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Home » Tips » Can Your Internet Provider See Your Internet History with a VPN?

A VPN connection is one of the few ways to prevent your ISP from seeing your internet usage. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can see all the devices you connect to the internet and almost everything you do on the internet. There are ways to hide what you do on the internet from your ISP, which I recommend from a general personal privacy perspective.

I’m Aaron and I love technology. I also love information security and privacy. I love it so much, I’ve dedicated an entire almost two-decade career in law and information security to educating about privacy and security issues and trying to improve people’s privacy and security.

In this article, I’m going to explain what your ISP can and can’t see and what you can do to protect your personal privacy. 

Key Takeaways

Your ISP can’t get your internet history.

Your ISP can see your live internet browsing without a VPN.

If you’ve enabled a VPN connection, your ISP can see that you’re using a VPN connection, but not what you’re browsing on the internet.

How Does Your ISP Connect You to the Internet?

Understanding how you connect to the internet through your ISP is important to understand what your ISP can and cannot see. 

Here’s a very highly abstract picture of your connection to the internet:

As you can see, your computer doesn’t connect directly to the internet. Instead, your computer hits a number of different points in its journey to connect to a website:

Wireless Access Point, or WAP, is a wireless radio that broadcasts a signal to which your computer wi-fi connects. These can be separate antennas or included in your router (and frequently are if you’re using your ISP’s router). If you’re connecting via a cable, then you’re not connecting via a WAP. 

The Router is what allows you to communicate with the ISP. It provides an internet address to the ISP and parses communications to the various devices you have in your house. 

ISP Routing is a series of networking equipment that provides you a connection to the ISP and from the ISP out to the internet. Those devices announce the address of the ISP to the internet and route the information to your router. 

ISP Servers are a set of very large computers that process ISP users’ website requests and parse the information appropriately. It effectively helps link your requests out to a website with that website’s request back to you. It keeps you from searching for a website and getting someone else’s search back, or nothing at all!

You’ll also see that I included a dotted blue line encapsulating the communication path from your router to the ISP’s router bordering the internet. The reason for this is that the ISP has full control of all devices within that perimeter and can see everything within that perimeter. But there are exceptions.

How does a VPN Connection Prevent My ISP from Seeing My Internet Use?

The devices within your ISP’s control collect information about everything that happens on them. Outside of that boundary, your ISP cannot easily collect information unless you install software that permits them to do so. 

So your internet history on your computer cannot be seen by your ISP, whether you use a VPN or not. 

That being said, your ISP generally doesn’t need your internet history to collect information about your internet usage. They’re responsible for transmitting and receiving all information your browser requests via your internet browsing. 

The way to hide that is to encrypt data. Encrypting data is where you hide data by rewriting it with a cipher, or code. 

That’s effectively what a VPN connection does: it provides an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN servers. That connection looks something like this:

Your computer sends information to the VPN servers, which then make requests to the internet on your behalf. The connection between your computer and the VPN server is encrypted, meaning that your ISP can see that a connection exists, but they cannot see what’s happening over that connection. So a VPN is an effective way to hide your live browsing activity from your ISP. 

What Can My ISP See?

Your ISP can still see some information about your devices and your use. If you’re using an ISP-provided router, they can see every device connecting to that router. They can also see detailed information about that device if the device is broadcasting it, which many do nowadays. 

Your ISP can also see that you’re using a VPN. Even though the connection is encrypted, the destination of the connection is not. They can see the transmission information, terminating at an IP address known to be used by a VPN. 

Here’s a YouTube video discussing whether your ISP can see your internet use if you use a VPN (they can’t) and whether they care (they do sometimes). 

FAQs

Here are some other questions you might be curious about.

Can Someone Else in My House See My Search History if I use VPN?

Yes, if they have access to your computer. VPN doesn’t wipe your search history, it just prevents the internet at large from seeing what you’re doing. If you don’t want your internet history recorded locally, then use incognito/InPrivate/private browsing mode. 

Can My VPN Provider See My Data?

Yes, VPN providers can see your browsing activity. The VPN provider has an end-to-end view of all of your activity since they’re the ones hiding it. If you use a free or disreputable service, chances are they’re selling that data. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: on the internet, if you’re getting something for free, you’re the product.

Can My Internet Provider See What I’m Browsing Incognito?

Of course. Looking at the data flow diagram above, your internet provider can see everything you’re doing live, unless you use a connection encrypted independently of them (e.g.: VPN). Incognito/InPrivate/Private browsing only prevents your computer from storing your browsing history. 

Can My Landlord See My Internet History if I Use a VPN?

No. If you’re receiving your internet connection through your landlord, then a VPN will encrypt the traffic starting at your computer. As such, unless your landlord has access to your computer, they can’t see your internet browsing if you use a VPN. 

Can Someone Providing Public Wi-Fi See My Internet History if I Use a VPN?

No. This is for the same reason your ISP and landlord can’t see what you’re browsing if you use a VPN. The encrypted connection starts at your computer. Everything downstream to the VPN server cannot see what’s being transmitted over that connection. 

Conclusion

VPN is a strong tool to keep your internet use private from all sorts of groups, including your Internet Service Provider. If you value your privacy online, you should absolutely consider subscribing to a reputable VPN service. There are a few out there, just make sure you do your research.

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Can Chatgpt Improve My Resume?

Can ChatGPT improve my resume?

AI-approved CV writing from ChatGPT

Creating and maintaining a great resume is crucial for job seekers. However, the process can be overwhelming and confusing, especially for those who are unsure about what information to include. ChatGPT can help by making the process more manageable and streamlined. With its natural language processing abilities, ChatGPT can quickly and efficiently turn your raw information into a polished and professional resume that can catch the attention of potential employers.

Using ChatGPT to improve your resume – things to consider

How to improve your resume with ChatGPT

When it comes to improving your resume with ChatGPT, the quality of the output heavily depends on the quality of the input you provide. It’s important to give specific and personalized instructions to the chatbot to ensure that it generates a resume that fits your needs.

To get started, gather all the necessary information, including your education, work experience, skills, and any relevant certifications or accomplishments. Then, create a new prompt in ChatGPT and begin inputting your information, starting with your basic details like your name and contact information.

After that, add your education and work experience, making sure to include all relevant details, such as job titles and responsibilities. Be sure to also include your skills and any related certifications or achievements, and mention any specific software or tools you’re proficient in.

Once you’ve inputted all the necessary information, tell ChatGPT to generate your resume. The model will then use the information you’ve provided to create a professional and polished document that can help you stand out to potential employers. Remember again though that ChatGPT is a tool, and you shouldn’t entirely rely on it to write your whole resume. Also remember to tailor it to the specific job you’re applying for.

If you already have a resume from previous job applications, you could try inputting this into ChatGPT and asking the chatbot to suggest improvements based upon what you already have.

READ NOW: Can ChatGPT be detected by Turnitin?

Using ChatGPT to improve your resume – downsides

As long as you make sure to edit the content ChatGPT gives you carefully, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. If you input all the relevent information correctly ChatGPT should be able to collate this into a cohesive and polished resume for you to edit.

As mentioned however, since ChatGPT has been trained on information from before 2023, it may not be up to date with thew latest trends in terms of CV writing. This means that it’s worth looking up these latest trends and editing your resume accordingly.

It is also worth bearing in mind that while ChatGPT is remarkably good at imitating human writing it is not in fact human. Consequently it can be more effective to rewrite sections of your resume in all your own words. This is especially important if you want to come across as passionate and personally excited about a job opportunity. Having a little bit of you in your resume can make it stand out to an employer.

Can ChatGPT write a resume?

Yes, with the correct prompts, ChatGPT can structure and write the perfect resume for you. The best way to use AI to help with a resume is a balance of your existing CV and some additional tips from ChatGPT. ChatGPT can make mistakes and mislead, however, if you are supplying it with your experience, previous jobs, talents, and whatnot, it will do a really good job of collating that data into a resume.

READ NOW: We got ChatGPT to review a graphics card

ChatGPT alternatives for improving my resume

It’s important to remember that ChatGPT is only one of many fantastic AI writing tools that are available right now. You might want to try out an alternative if you don’t feel like ChatGPT is right for you.

Can ChatGPT improve my resume? : Final word

ChatGPT can create and improve resumes, but it may not be the best choice for everyone. For people with a complex job history or those in high-level executive positions, working with a certified resume writer is recommended. However, for those who are starting their careers or have a simple job history, ChatGPT can be a useful tool in creating a polished and professional document.

It’s important to keep in mind that the quality of the output depends on the quality of the input. Therefore, providing specific and personalized instructions is crucial. With a little bit of effort and careful review, ChatGPT can help you create a resume that showcases your skills and experience.

Can ChatGPT make my resume better?

Yes, ChatGPT can help improve your resume with just a few well written prompts.

How do I prompt ChatGPT to write a resume?

You need to tell it certain data like “write me a resume for {Job Description} based on these skills, previous positions, and achievements {enter this data}. You can start to structure a well written resume in seconds.

Can My Vr Game Be A Good Workout?

What about playing video games to get fit? Experts say this is true and that virtual reality (VR) technology is bringing about a whole new way of working out.

We all know that exercise is good for our health and can help us look and feel our best, but it’s easy to put off going to the gym to lift weights or putting on your running shoes. Virtual reality (VR) fitness could be the answer for people who have never been active or played sports as kids but have yet to find a fitness program that works and is fun.

If you’ve ever had trouble getting yourself to go for a run or hop on an indoor bike, here are the best virtual reality (VR) fitness apps to help you work out virtually and have fun while doing it.

What Is VR Fitness?

In video games, the person playing uses a portable controller to tell their in-game avatar what to do. In virtual reality fitness, the actions of your virtual persona depend on how your body moves. For a few seconds or minutes, you might be on your feet, jumping over laser beams, squatting and lunging to the side while riding a virtual reality roller coaster, or swinging your arms wildly while fighting a monster with a sword.

Who Would Virtual Reality Exercise Help the Most? Is There Anyone WhoShouldn’t DoIt?

VR workouts might be fun for people who like more interactive or virtual workouts. Virtual reality games and programs can be a great way to get people who don’t usually exercise to start, especially if they find it more fun than going to the gym.

Even people who hate being active might burn calories while playing this game.

Remember, though, how fit and mobile you are right now. Before you start an exercise routine, talk to your doctor if you have a condition or injury that might make it hard for you to exercise safely. In the same way, if you don’t do much physical activity, it’s probably best to start any game you want to play on the “easy” setting.

Top 4 VR Games for Workout 1. Liteboxer VR

Liteboxer VR is unique because it is the first virtual reality (VR) fitness platform that lets you train with real coaches. Liteboxer’s nine world-class trainers are more inspiring, informative, and helpful than working alone or with other virtual reality fitness apps that use avatars or fake instructors.

Your exercise score is a combination of correct hits, streaks, and force, and you can see your progress in different ways over seven days or thirty days.

Liteboxer VR Fitness can be used for free, or you can pay for it. The paid version has more than 300 trainer-led classes and the top 40 songs from the app’s library, but the free version only has 35.

2. FitXR App

The best virtual reality (VR) fitness game is the FitXR app. This inspiring training software for VR combines the realism of VR with challenging exercises for the whole body that experts in the field made. The app has workouts for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and other types of exercise, like boxing and dance, so that users can put together a complete fitness plan.

FitXR’s fitness courses are so fun that they’re like going to a party while you work out. There are hundreds of courses to choose from, and new ones are added every week. Boxing and HIIT exercises are some of the best. You can make your Workout fit your needs by choosing from different virtual studio settings. Some high-intensity interval training sessions, for example, take place in a beautiful studio on a clifftop, adding to the aesthetic pleasure of punching, dodging, and smashing your way through a series of full-body exercises.

3. Supernatural App

Supernatural is the best virtual reality (VR) fitness software you can get. This app is your best bet after FitXR if you want well-designed VR workouts that are also very effective. There are more than 500 different workouts to choose from, and you can do them in many realistic virtual places worldwide. There are many challenges to choose from, and virtual coaches can help you get the most out of your workouts. Users can choose from several challenging exercises and connect with other fitness fans through different social media sites.

Music and movement are used in supernatural exercises. You can choose a VR boxing workout, a VR yoga session, a VR meditation session, or a VR stretching session in Supernatural. Flow is a less gentle choice, but boxing is more extreme.

Flow courses, unique to Supernatural, involve complicated rhythmic movements. As you lunge, swing, and swipe to the music, your heart rate will go up and burn calories.

4. The OhShape App

OhShape is not a virtual reality fitness app, but it will keep your blood pumping and your body moving. The game is based on the Japanese TV show Hole in the Wall, and players must punch, dodge, and weave through holes in the Wall as the music gets faster and faster. More points are given for moving faster and more accurately.

Conclusion

If you’ve been keeping up with virtual reality, you know that Oculus has been promising for the past decade that it’s on the cusp of bringing VR to the masses. So, what’s different today? To put it simply, this is the issue of access.

Got A Stuka On My Hand

Illustration by Ross MacDonald

I built and for nine years flew an airplane called a Falco, which is Italian for hawk. But it wasn’t until May that I flew a real hawk-a cold-eyed, scimitar-beaked, red-brown Harris’s hawk that perched on my gloved left hand, flapped off into the Vermont air, dove at mice and voles like an F/A-18 with bin Laden in the crosshairs, and eventually returned softly to my hand. OK, it didn’t return to my hand, it returned to the small cube of raw beef placed between my thumb and forefinger.

Yes, this column is called Man & Machine, but hang on, a hunting hawk is nothing more than a killing machine with the aerodynamics of a Reno racer. It is also hard, fast, and shiny.

How fast? Well, how’s 242 mph, a peregrine falcon’s dive speed recorded in a recent edition of National Geographic Explorer? There is a piece of film shot in the 1940s, analyzed by the British Royal Navy, which concluded that a hawk was diving at 273 mph, but skepticism abounds. Still, I can’t think of a faster animal on the planet.

A diving hawk looks like a very angry top-gun Tomcat at full-aft wing sweep. The truly fast ones take only birds in midair, since they’d crater if they dove on a ground animal. The Harris’s with which I practiced was better adapted to surface targets. Like feathered Stukas, hawks have tiny tabs called alulas at about the midpoint of their wings that form little leading-edge slots with which they can vary the direction and speed of a dive. Hawks even have tiny bony protrusions in their nostrils that act a bit like the splitters inside a supersonic jet’s intake, to prevent the airflow in a dive from rupturing air sacs.

Hawks don’t sing, soar for fun, or socialize at birdfeeders. Their only vocalizations are a squawking “pick me, pick me” when you enter the mews where a bunch of hunting hawks are waiting to be taken out, and something that sounds like Yoda ruminating when they’re on your fist and sense meat somewhere nearby. In the wild, a small raptor needs to eat 20 to 25 percent of its body weight per day-the equivalent of a 200-pound running back putting away 40 to 50 pounds of Big Macs and fries. All that hawks think about is food. They spend about 90 percent of their life standing motionless on a perch, digesting what they’ve eaten or looking for more.

The key to using hawks for sport hunting is not that the birds kill-they do that for a living-but that you can retrieve them after they do so. It’s not that they form a bond with their handler, for you have as much chance of turning a hawk into a pet as you do of having a shark fetch your slippers. The trick is fuel management. No free-flight modeler would launch an airplane fat with gas, for that would let the thing fly so far he’d never get it back. Similarly, hawks are flown by falconers only when their “tanks” are a quarter full or perhaps even on reserve.

A falconer knows to a fraction of an ounce the empty weight, as a pilot would say, of his or her bird. If a Harris’s hawk is just an ounce or two heavier than that, it’s good to go: It’ll run out of gas before flying too far and will be forced to refuel-to return for the easy chunk of meat on your fist.

As a new falconer with a bird on the fist, the first surprise is that the vicious-looking beak a foot from your face isn’t a danger. A hawk’s main weapons are its talons, and it would no more think of biting than a pit bull would consider kicking you in the shins. The second surprise is the bird’s weight: It feels as heavy as you imagine a robin might, for its bones are quite hollow-a tube-frame fuselage, in effect.

When you “cast” the bird by stepping off with your right foot and urging it into flight with your left hand, it’s like launching a balsa-and-Mylar model. You want to be smooth, not wrist-snappingly harsh, and your heart flies with the bird just as it would with the model. To fly a hawk is to be a hawk.

Even better is when the hawk returns. A cowboy whistle usually brings it back, and the bird wastes not an erg of effort on its nicely stabilized descent. On final, it goes right down into ground effect, less than half a wingspan off the ground, and adjusts its outer feathers like outspread fingers: quintuple-slotted flaps and ailerons combined, in effect. Coming over the fence, again as a pilot would imagine it, the bird brakes delicately, feeds in some aft stick and flares, gear down and locked, bleeding off speed by climbing the 5 feet from ground level to fist.

The sport of falconry is 4,000 years old, and along with the occasional use by African nobles of cheetahs to chase down game, and the use of cormorants by Chinese fishermen, is a rare example of wild creatures being used by humans for hunting. Falconry equipment-leather jesses to hold the hawk’s legs, an intricately sewn hood to cover its eyes while traveling, a swung lure that mimics the hawk’s prey, the thick glove-is much the same as it was when Kublai Khan rode forth with a staff of falconers on horseback tending his 500 raptors.

Except for one thing: the tracking beacon. Today, valuable hawks aren’t flown until a tiny radio transmitter trailing a thin antenna wire is strapped to one leg, so the bird can be found if it gobbles up enough mouse meat to undergo a change of mind about the need to go home. What in the Middle Ages was the nobility’s equivalent of r/c model airplanes has today become, if not radio-controlled, at least radio-located.

Private Internet Access Review: A Reliable Vpn

Private Internet Access, PIA for short, wants to make it easier to stream and download your favorite content wherever you might be. Forget geo-restricted content. PIA has you covered all over the world and with many of the most popular players. Of course, privacy (hence the “private” in the name) is a top priority, but how well does this VPN stack up to its claims?

This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Private Internet Access. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.

Overview of Features

Private Internet Access started offering its feature-rich VPN in 2009 and has become a highly trusted and recognized name in the industry. With thousands of servers across 84 countries, there aren’t many areas that are left uncovered. This extensive network is just the start of what makes PIA a popular choice.

A recent addition is the 50 servers representing the 50 states in the United States. This domestic focus makes it ideal for U.S. users wanting to check out sporting events that are blacked out locally or view east coast content live versus having to avoid spoilers when they live on the west coast. Users are also able to access sites, such as banking or local news, that might be blocked outside of the state’s borders.

The VPN offers a wide variety of settings to best meet your needs. You can choose between using WireGuard and OpenVPN, specify encryption preferences (as high as AES-256), set a kill switch, get a dedicated IP, create automation rules, use split tunneling, and set up multi-hop via a proxy using Shadowsocks or SOCKS5 Proxy.

Privacy is front and center. Thanks to open-source apps, you can rest assured that the active open source community is always looking for vulnerabilities to keep the apps as secure as possible. If you’re worried about logs, breathe easily. Private Internet Access keeps zero logs and provides a semi-annual transparency report to back it up.

To further protect your data, PIA is set to kill your connection immediately if the VPN fails to avoid leaking your real location. This includes both the desktop and mobile versions. The VPN also uses its own DNS server to reduce any chance of your location being leaked. This is customizable, though.

You can use it on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, gaming consoles, routers, and even smart TVs.

While you have unlimited bandwidth and devices, you are limited to 10 devices at one time – which, for most users, shouldn’t be a problem.

Exploring Private Internet Access

You’ll see a full list of available servers along with their current latency. They’re nicely organized by country.

You can stick with the default settings, but some sites and streaming platforms may require you to adjust your settings. For instance, sometimes you’ll get better speeds with OpenVPN versus WireGuard and vice versa.

You can change your settings at any time by opening the Private Internet Access app, opening the menu, and selecting “Settings.” From there, everything’s laid out in a convenient dashboard. Some settings have links that give you more details, but you can also check out the variety of guides for more information.

Using the VPN

While everything looks great so far, the real test is whether Private Internet Access actually works when trying to access restricted content. Also, does the kill switch keep my location from being leaked?

Since PIA recently added the 50 servers in the United States, I wanted to check out YouTube TV to access local channels wherever I may be. By default, YouTube TV limits you to the local channels in the area where you’re currently streaming. If I traveled from one coast to another, I couldn’t still watch my local stations.

All I had to do was choose the US West Streaming Optimized server to start streaming west coast local stations from the east coast. Of course, you can choose any state you want, but speeds are a little faster with the streaming optimized servers. Throughout my tests, for both domestic and international servers, speeds ranged from 160 Mbps to just over 300 Mbps.

For YouTube TV, I had to let the service search for my new location. After a few seconds, I had a new west coast zip code and the local stations shown below.

Stream Almost Any Service

Officially, Private Internet Access says the VPN will help you access content from the services mentioned below from certain countries.

During my tests, I had no issues accessing Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO Max content. I don’t use Netflix, so I can’t speak as to whether Netflix works well. However, if it works as smoothly as the other services I tried, then you shouldn’t have any issues.

I like to stream a lot of CBC content, which is restricted to Canada only. so that was my next major test. Instead of having to wait for months for a show to air in the U.S., I was able to stream “Sky Med” directly on CBC.

Finally, the real test of any VPN: can PIA work with BBC’s iPlayer? I’d read some reviews of this VPN in the past and saw it struggled to get past iPlayer’s VPN detections. At first, I didn’t think Private Internet Access was going to work, even though the service claims it will. I tried all the U.K. servers and both VPN options, which are easy to switch to in the settings.

I’d like to add that some servers stream faster on OpenVPN over WireGuard, but for U.K. streaming, I found WireGuard to be a little faster.

For some reason, I couldn’t get iPlayer to work in the Brave browser with PIA. When I switched to Chrome, I had no issues as long as I used the U.K. London-Streaming server. No other U.K. servers would work.

As far as all the other features, such as the kill switch and split tunneling, everything worked perfectly. Feel free to use the VPN without worrying about location leaks, and only use it for the sites you want.

Pricing

There isn’t a free trial available, which would be nice. However, you can test it out for a month for $11.99. While the monthly cost is kind of steep, there’s also a 6-month plan for $7.50/month. But, the best deal is the 2-year plan for $2.19/month that gives you two free months. That plan makes Private Internet Access an incredible deal. You can also purchase a dedicated IP and antivirus as add-ons.

Final Thoughts

If you’re ready for a VPN you can count on, try Private Internet Access.

Crystal Crowder

Crystal Crowder has spent over 15 years working in the tech industry, first as an IT technician and then as a writer. She works to help teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps. She stays on top of the latest trends and is always finding solutions to common tech problems.

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Private Internet Access Vpn Review: A Low

Pros

Independently verified no-logs policy

Unlimited simultaneous device connections

Incredible number of servers

Great extra features such as multi-hop and split tunneling

Cons

App panel awkwardly located on the lower-right corner of screen by default

Speeds are just okay

Our Verdict

Private Internet Access is one of the top VPN services around. It’s affordable and comes with one of the best feature sets on the market. It has a great global server spread, offers a ton of servers, and it’s been upgraded to allow for unlimited simultaneous device connections. The speeds aren’t exceptional, but they’ll do fine in most situations.

Best Prices Today: Private Internet Access

Retailer

Price

Private Internet Access

$11.95

View Deal

Private Internet Access VPN in brief:

P2P allowed: Yes

Simultaneous device connections: Unlimited

Business location: U.S.

Number of servers: 10,000+

Number of country locations: 84

Cost: $11.95 per month, or $79 + 3 free months for a three-year subscription

Further reading: See our roundup of the best VPNs to learn about competing products.

Private Internet Access VPN features and services

Sam Singleton

Upon first opening PIA you’ll notice that it has maintained the same user-interface design since the company overhauled its Windows app in 2023. You’re presented with a simple panel in the lower-right corner of your screen. By default this panel is locked to that location and you’re unable to move it. This design decision honestly felt a bit constrained and awkward. Thankfully, you’re able to change this in the settings menu, but it isn’t obvious at first glance. 

Private Internet Access comes with a plethora of great features such as split-tunneling, multi-hop, and a kill switch.

Private Internet Access server location display with name and latency of each server.

Sam Singleton

Next to each country location is its latency displayed in milliseconds and there’s a heart icon which allows you to designate a server as one of your favorites. It also denotes which servers are virtual servers with an icon that states “This is a geo-located region” next to the name. A virtual server is not located within the country itself, but rather assigns an IP address of the country location instead. The transparency here should be commended as not many other VPN providers label which of their servers are virtual or physical.

Overall the server-list layout is nice and simple to follow. PIA allows you to sort its server list either by latency or location name, as well. This makes it much easier for people who are only interested in speed to find the optimal connection, or likewise by name to find their desired location.

Private Internet Access Settings menu.

Sam Singleton

Private Internet Access also comes with a plethora of great features such as split-tunneling, multi-hop, and a kill switch. Split-tunneling allows you to pick and choose which apps you wish to run through a VPN, allowing you to optimize bandwidth for low-risk activities such as streaming or gaming. In fact, PIA has one of the most dynamic split-tunneling features we’ve ever seen. Power users can go to town tweaking things such as which apps, IP addresses, and DNS requests are allowed to bypass the VPN. It even allows you to designate an app-based kill switch, which will block traffic only on specific apps should the VPN connection break. 

Additionally, taking after other VPN providers such as NordVPN and Surfshark, PIA has added a handy security extra in the form of an ad- and tracker-blocker that it calls MACE. This is something we’re seeing more regularly as a means to entice users with a complete online security suite rather than just a VPN service. You can even opt-in to an antivirus tool from PIA for an additional fee when you sign-up if you so choose. The convenience of this all-in-one approach is appealing, but generally speaking, a standalone antivirus software, like our favorite antivirus suites, will offer you more comprehensive coverage and overall security.

It seems that every time we do an updated review of Private Internet Access it has introduced new upgrades and features and this time is no exception. Since early 2023, PIA now allows for unlimited simultaneous device connections—which is increasingly becoming an industry standard. Also, PIA is in the process of upgrading its servers to NextGen 10Gbps instead of the 1Gbps it’s had in the past. This should increase connection speeds significantly for users in the future.

How is Private Internet Access VPN’s performance?

In our testing we measured connection speeds across PIA’s servers in five different countries all around the world and then compared them to our baseline internet speed. PIA’s speeds were alright, but they weren’t enough to make our top five fastest VPNs. Across all locations tested, the speeds averaged 52 percent of the base download speed and a respectable 80 percent of the base upload speed. 

Of course, as one would expect, we noted that locations closer to our physical location had better speed averages, while server locations further away were slower. For a top VPN, these averages are a bit on the slow side. NordVPN, one of PIA’s top competitors, has average speeds of over 70 percent of the base download speed. That being said, they aren’t terrible and should be plenty fast enough to allow you to stream, game, or browse to your heart’s content without noticeable lag—depending on your own home internet connection, of course.

As for streaming, Private Internet Access worked perfectly fine with all of the major streaming services such as Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. We didn’t come across any servers that were blocked and geo-restriction access was never an issue.

Private Internet Access VPN security and privacy

[PIA website services screenshot]

Private Internet Access

When you sign up for PIA, it only asks for your email address. It accepts a good range of payment options including credit card, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin—there’s also an option to use Bitpay instead of direct wallet transfers. 

PIA has been owned and operated by Kape Technologies, a UK-based company formerly known as Crossrider, since 2023. There have been some questions in the past about the somewhat dubious practices surrounding Crossrider. Its development platform for browser extensions was used by independent developers to deliver malicious adware and malware to users. Realizing this and facing backlash, Crossrider closed the platform in 2024 and rebranded as Kape Technologies. 

Since this reset, and subsequent leadership reorganization, Kape Technologies has pivoted to become a major provider of digital security software. It has gone on a run in recent years of purchasing ownership over some of the largest VPNs on the market today including PIA, ExpressVPN, ZenMate VPN, and CyberGhost VPN, as well as Mac antivirus firm Intego. 

To its credit, PIA has made an effort to ease the minds of privacy-focused users with regular transparency reports. Additionally, in 2023 it underwent an independent audit by Deloitte to review its no-logs policy. Deloitte confirmed that PIA stores no logs and no details that could be used to identify users or their activities. Privacy is one of the pillars of a good VPN service and this independent audit and PIA’s continued willingness to strive for transparency has done a lot to rectify concerns over its parent company’s past.

PIA uses the industry standard AES-256 encryption and in the Windows app supports WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols. There is also built-in protection against DNS leaks. We confirmed this by using a DNS Leak test tool and found that our real location information was never leaked while connected to PIA’s servers.

PIA also uses diskless RAM-only servers, which boot on a read-only image and use RAM modules instead of hard disks. By not storing data on hard disks, RAM-only servers are more resistant to tampering both by hackers and physical breaches. This is also becoming increasingly popular among VPN providers, but it means that PIA is staying at the forefront of security.

Is Private Internet Access VPN worth it?

Private Internet Access has been at this game for a long time and it shows. Its VPN is well polished with a nice interface, plenty of servers to choose from, and tons of tweakable features. Its continued publication of transparency reports and up-front nature regarding user privacy and security is commendable as well. 

It’s true that the speeds might not be the fastest, and its parent company has had its fair share of dubious issues. But that is all seemingly in the past and PIA has done its best to show that it is removed from all of that anyhow. While there may be other services that do one single thing better, PIA stands apart as a jack-of-all-trades that does everything well. It continues to be a top-tier VPN that is only getting better with age.

Editor’s note: Because online services are often iterative, gaining new features and performance improvements over time, this review is subject to change in order to accurately reflect the current state of the service. Any changes to text or our final review verdict will be noted at the top of this article.

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