Private Internet Access
Gives access to the internet that no one else can use
- Category Blockers & Access Control
- Program license Paid
- Version 3.3.1.06924
- Size 59.96 MB
- Works under: Windows 10
- Program available in English
- Program by London Trust Media
What is PIA?
Private Internet Access--or PIA0--is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) program. VPNs help people browse more securely, and sometimes even stabilize their connections for low or no cost.
PIA was designed by a team lead by Andrew Lee, and was originally intended to hide IP addresses on IRC (Internet Relay Chat, an old chat platform still used in the background of many sites, such as Twitch).
In 2019, PIA was merged with Kape Technologies (formerly Crossrider), operator of three of PIA's competitors.
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is like a virtual tunnel, which wraps around your network to provide a more secure, hidden way to use the web.
When you use a computer, phone, or other internet device, you can use a VPN to connect to a private network before heading to your intended destination. To the rest of the internet, it's no longer your connection; just another set of bits going to some random destination.
It's extremely hard--but not impossible--to track down your internet traffic through a VPN. That's because you traffic becomes indistinguishable from everything else in the VPN.
The network sends requests for you. It finds internet content to you. It arrives at your computer inside the VPN, not from the internet and then your computer.
So, how could someone track your data? If someone cared and had a reason to track your path, the best way would be to check the logs of the VPN company.
Logs are a big topic of discussion in the privacy world. A truly private VPN will never keep logs, and doesn't have a reason to. Unfortunately, VPNs in certain companies may be required to keep logs, or might be harassed by law enforcement or other groups to log information in order to track down a target.
The discussion gets deep and there are other, far more complex ways to track down a connection. However, most of these tasks are too much for the average VPN user, especially with the modern way people use VPNs.
For example, VPNs can be used to thwart attackers and slow down spies. Many companies use VPNs to provide basic security, since it blocks most basic, passive, automated ways to steal private information on public networks.
In a gray area, but still low priority part of VPNs, some people want to watch a foreign version of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or other streaming platforms.
Why is a VPN necessary for watching foreign streaming? Because some companies block non-local IP addresses. Why do they do that? Because local distributors, media networks, and other invested groups may have specific local rights, and may want local advertising for future broadcasts in your area.
There are many other rules, including overloading a small, growing place with international traffic before they're ready for a global audience. But still, a VPN can get around those issues by changing your connection to something that looks local to your target site.
Pros and Cons
- 30-Day Free Trial.
- Up to 10Gbps connections.
- One of the better customer service teams for web services.
- No app flexibility; you can't explicitly exclude or whitelist apps.
- Now owned by a company that made potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Potential conflict of interest.
- Not available in as many countries, but due to those countries forcing logging. PIA disagrees with VPN logging.