Private Internet Access Android App Review

Private Internet Access recently released an Android app for their popular VPN service.  You can download it free directly from Google Play.  We tested version 1.0.2 which was released on April 13th and will share a review of our experience.  The new PIA Android client is free to all new and existing members.  You can enjoy unlimited access to any of their 260+ VPN servers in 9 countries for just $6.95 a month or $39.95 a year.

Let’s dive right into the review.  We had the pleasure of testing the new app on both a Samsung Note II and Asus Transformer Prime tablet.  Both worked fine.  For our demonstration the screenshots will refer to the Note.

PIA Android App Setup

First we visited Google Play and download the latest version which was v1.0.2 released on April 13th, 2013.  Once installed we opened the app and entered our PIA credentials including username and password.  The user interface allows you to save your password and select a server automatically or manually.

The first time you connect to PrivateInternetAccess through the app you’ll be presented with a warning screen letting you know that the VPN connection will intercept your network traffic.  That’s the whole point.  To use PIA as a secure tunnel.  Just click the “I trust this application” button and the message will no longer appear.

App Usage and Speed Testing

Let’s take a look at the PIA app running on our Samsung Note II:

PIA Android App

As you can see we connected to a PIA server in Texas.  Once the VPN is enabled you can view your data usage stats, disconnect and configure additional features.  Here’s a look at the settings pages and our speed test:

PIA Android speed test

By default the Private Internet Access app uses OpenVPN UDP connections.  We prefer UDP as well for speed.  If you notice data loss or other issues then check the “Use TCP” box.  You can also set the client to use a remote (random) or local port.  The 1-click connect feature will let you automatically connect when the app is started.  You can also set the app to connect on boot.  In addition you can select from a full list of VPN server locations.

Last but certainly not least we tested the speed while connected to PIA on our Note II through AT&T wireless.  The results were impressive.  As you can see in the screenshot above we were able to achieve a download speed of over 13 Mbps and upload of nearly 10 Mbps.  Fast enough to easily stream Netflix.

In conclusion we enjoyed testing the Android app.  You can tell the team at Private Internet Access put a lot of effort into development.  Carrying a lot of the desktop client features over to Android.  We look forward to using the mobile client more on an upcoming trip.  In the meantime visit Private Internet Access and check it out.