PIA or Private Internet Access is a seasoned VPN provider well-known for its solid privacy levels, strong encryption, a wide network of available servers, and extremely budget-friendly pricing policy. This set of features makes it an attractive option for everybody from VPN beginners to knowledgeable VPN veterans.
Today, we’re investigating whether Private Internet Access can help Chinese users protect their online privacy and security. As we all know, China has been fighting to ban VPN traffic for as long as we can remember. Bypassing the Great Firewall of China is quite a feat these days, so keep on reading to learn whether PIA works in China.
The Great Firewall of China has received an update in 2017, which programmed it to seek out and block any VPN traffic it can find. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to connect to a VPN in China at this moment – and PIA is no exception.
The silver lining, however, lies in the fact that it doesn’t block most L2TP connections, so it’s usually recommended to use this setup if you’re trying to connect from China. If you don’t know how to do it, the official PIA website has detailed instructions on how to set up the L2TP connection on your device. If you decide to go with this configuration, note that it uses a separately generated PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS5 username and password, which will be different from the logging data for your personal PIA VPN account. Also, you have to use an IP address for the server setting instead of the hostname. There are numerous online tools that can help you get an IP address for the specific PIA server you’d like to connect to.
Having said that, the L2TP connection is far from optimal when it comes to overall safety and security. The protocol is severely dated at this point and considerably inferior to OpenVPN in all aspects. So, if you absolutely have to use this VPN from China, it is definitely possible to do that, but know that your connection will never be 100% secure/private and you’ll most likely be open to omnipresent prying eyes and hacking attacks.