One of my favorite features of Private Internet Access is the fact that they include unlimited SOCKS Proxy service with every PIA subscription. Every VPN plan includes free access to this Netherlands-based proxy server, which can be used for all sorts of fun stuff, like:
- Add a layer of anonymity to your torrent downloads
- Hide your IP when using web scraping software
- Anonymize any software that accepts SOCKS5 proxy w/ authentication
Most PIA subscribers don’t even realize that their subscription includes SOCKS proxy access (or they aren’t sure what to do with it). Getting access to the proxy server also requires an extra step (it uses a different username/password combo than the VPN does).
We’ll show you exactly how to generate your proxy login details, and which settings you need to know to get set up.
How to get your PIA SOCKS proxy Username/Password
PIA’s proxy server doesn’t use the same login/password as your normal VPN account. They do this to protect your account security (because the proxy isn’t encrypted and could protentially transmit the login details in plaintext). You can easily create new proxy login credentials any time you want. PIA has instructions on how to do this, or just follow the steps below.
Here’s how to get your login details:
Step #1 – You need a Private Internet Access Subscription
I know this sounds obvious, but many people don’t realize that PIA is a paid service. If you don’t have an account already, you can get one for as low as $3.33/month.
Step #2 – Login to your account control panel
Go to Privateinternetaccess.com and log into your account panel using your VPN username/password.
Step #3 – Generate new proxy credentials
Scroll down toward the bottom of your account panel until you see the section titled:
‘PPTP/L2TP/SOCKS Username and Password’
Simply click the ‘Regenerate Username and Password’ button to create a unique username/password combo to access the proxy server. Make sure to leave this window open or copy the credentials to notepad so we can easily copy and paste them in a future step when we actually set up the proxy connection.
SOCKS Proxy Settings
No matter what type of software you choose to anonymize with the proxy, the basic settings will be the same. Here are the settings you need to know:
Host/Hostname/Proxy Address – proxy-nl.privateinternetaccess.com
Port # – 1080Proxy Type – SOCKS5 (or SOCKS v5/version 5)
Authentication – YES
Username – Your username from step #1
Password – Your password from step #1
That’s it! You should be able to use this proxy with any software that allows authentication with SOCKS v5 proxies.
The most common use for PIA’s proxy service is for bittorrent downloads. All major torrent clients accept SOCKS proxies, including:
- tTorrent (android)
- Flud (android)