If all that sounds appealing, you even get more choice of payment methods than usual, with support for cards, PayPal, Bitcoin and gift cards. If, for some reason, a recent update is causing problems, you can download a previous version, and new since our last review the site now lists the changes for every new build. You could set these up separately and for free, but the extensions make it easier and they do add worthwhile extra layers of protection. The initial signs were positive. We clicked the Windows client, and as well as pointing us to the installer, the website redirected to a page displaying a setup guide. It's easy to add a Quick Connect toolbar, for instance, where mini flag icons give you one-click access to particular countries. European speeds dropped off a little with the more distant servers, but were still consistently fast at 50 to 65Mbps.
Private Internet Access has raised its prices significantly since our last review, but that's not as bad as it sounds. And other addons installed in any local Firefox profile will be ignored, so you don't have to worry about them recording any compromising information. If you have a faster connection, you might see even better results. There was no Chat button, and the Contact Us page asked us to set up a ticket via email. What's New in Version 2. It's a surprisingly capable setup, although you'll need to treat it with care, as disabling everything could break some websites. The service might not be the bargain it once was, but it's still cheaper than many competitors.
The add-on can block location access, for instance, and prevent websites accessing your camera or microphone. Private Internet Access keeps no logs on its users Image Credit: Private Internet Access Logging Check out the Private Internet Access website and you'll see the company claims it keeps 'no traffic or request logs. If you're not accessing the web directly - you're going over the network to a router, say - then your network traffic can still be tracked. We ran the connection test twice on all servers, and didn't have a single issue. Unfortunately, this didn't seem to be available during the review. Payment methods are a highlight, with the company supporting cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, Amazon Pay, gift cards and many others. This only protects your browser traffic, but if that's not an issue, the extension makes Private Internet Access much easier to use.
Instead of a simple country list, the client displays city locations where available, complete with ping times, and includes a search box and Favorites system to help you quickly access whatever servers you need. Choose another location and the app automatically disconnects from the original server, and reconnects to the new one. All this functionality means there are lots of settings to explore, but on balance the add-ons work very well. We logged the connection time, ran ping tests to look for latency issues and used geolocation to verify that every server appeared to be in its advertised location. Connection times were faster than usual, and although these unsurprisingly increased with distance, this was never more than we expected, and not enough to become an issue at any time. It's a smart move, which we think indicates the company is doing its best to be transparent about how the service works. This allows other developers to freely examine the source code, assess its quality, report bugs, maybe check to see whether it's doing anything which might compromise your privacy.
The extra configurability rescues the package, though, and on balance it's a decent app, especially if you'll use the more advanced features. This is the interface of Private Internet Access' updated Windows client Image Credit: Private Internet Access Windows client We weren't big fans of Private Internet Access' Windows client in our last review, mostly for its odd system tray icon-based interface, so we were happy to see it had been replaced with an entirely new client. When you click the system tray icon, what appears looks like a regular window, but it can't be dragged around the desktop to your preferred position, and it also disappears if you click on the desktop or another application. It's easy to set up and use. There is one small signup plus. Add a Favorites list and we'll be mostly happy. Some of these are relatively basic, but there's still a lot to explore, with, for instance, 15 articles on Android alone.
Tap a location, tap On, and you're connected within seconds. Get connected with the Chrome extension and you'll find a bunch of bonus privacy features block location access, third-party cookies, website referrers and more. You also get Flashblock to block Flash cookies. The opening interface is very customisable. That's not going to make you significantly more vulnerable to attack at your local Wi-Fi hotspots, though, and this is only the default.
It provides a custom profile which turns off persistent cookies, browsing and download history and other potential privacy risks, for instance. The closest we can find to an issue is that there's no free trial, and the money-back guarantee period is a relatively stingy 7 days CyberGhost gives you 45 days, most companies allow 30. Welcome extras start with a which alerts users to new servers, app updates, service issues and more. There's support for using the app with a proxy, reducing packet size to improve reliability, and automatically connecting when the device or app starts. If you can't get or stay connected, that may be effective, and the Private Internet Access client makes it quick and easy to try this out. The network is a reasonable size, with over 3,300 servers in 32 countries.
A simple opening interface displays the current location, and there's a full list of locations and a Favorites system if necessary. You can even have your handset vibrate to indicate when you're connected, far more convenient than the usual notifications. Private Internet Access didn't get us into the service during our last review, and unfortunately it didn't work this time, either. These aren't just file links. AdBlock Plus and a subscription to the EasyPrivacy list will do a good job of blocking tracking scripts and sites. There's no need to create and remember new account names or pins because it works with your phone number, and uses your regular address book to find and connect you with friends who use WhatsApp already.
After much searching, we found a saying 'live chat is temporarily disabled at the moment due to higher than average ticket queues. Since our last review, Private Internet Access has also began publishing a detailing any official requests for information, and user data handed over. For example, a Security Best Practices encryption gives users some background on encryption, authentication and handshaking methods, and more. You can talk one-to-one or in group chats, and because you're always logged in there's no way to miss messages. That can't compete with the 60Mbps and more than Hotspot Shield delivered from most locations, but it's more than enough for most purposes.
You shouldn't expect much help with any of this, at least from the website. Browse the web privately with our full-featured multi-tab private browsing app. And Private Browsing by PortableApps. The full six-month report for July through December 2018 records 18 subpoenas received and two court orders, with no data produced for any of these requests. The client has some pluses, though. There is some good support news, though: moving those live chat operators over to the tickets must have improved support times, because we had a friendly and helpful response to our test query in under two hours.