PureVPN vs. Private Internet Access 2024: Which VPN Is Better?

Updated on: May 24, 2024
Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Gjurgjica Panova Gjurgjica Panova
Updated on: May 24, 2024 Writer

Short on Time? Here’s the Final Verdict:

  • 🥇 Private Internet Access  — Winner in Extra features, Speeds, Streaming, and Torrenting. Private Internet Access doesn’t charge for extra features, like anti-DDoS protection and port forwarding (unlike PureVPN). It also maintains faster speeds across all servers and works with more streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime. Moreover, the VPN allows P2P traffic on all of its servers, not just on a few dedicated ones.

PureVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA) are two of the best VPNs on the market. They both have strong security and privacy features, a large server network, and user-friendly apps for all major platforms.

Both VPNs come with all the industry-standard VPN security features, like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy. Moreover, they also have the following features:

  • Perfect forward secrecy.
  • Full leak protection.
  • Obfuscation.
  • Split-tunneling.
  • Anti-DDoS protection.
  • Dedicated IP addresses.
  • Port forwarding.

However, there are some differences between the two providers. PIA includes extra features like port forwarding and anti-DDoS protection in its regular subscription price — PureVPN charges a small fee for each one. Moreover, it has fast speeds on nearby and distant servers and works reliably with 30+ streaming sites. The VPN also allows P2P support on all servers, not just on dedicated ones. On the other hand, PureVPN causes noticeable slowdowns on distant servers, and it doesn’t reliably work with streaming sites like Amazon Prime. What’s more, it only allows torrenting on servers in 30+ countries.

I used different metrics to compare PureVPN with Private Internet Access, including security, extra features, privacy, servers, speeds, streaming support, P2P support, gaming, bypassing censorship, ease of use, plans and pricing, and customer support. Overall, I think Private Internet Access is much better than PureVPN, but I still recommend reading the entire article to see which VPN would be the best option for your budget and online habits. Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

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PureVPN vs. Private Internet Access — Quick Overview

Private Internet Access PureVPN
💸Starting Price Starts at $2.29 / month Starts at $2.03 / month
📱 Number of Devices 10 Unlimited
🔐Security 256-bit AES encryption,
No-logs policy (audited).
Kill switch,
Full leak protection,
Perfect forward secrecy
256-bit AES encryption,
No-logs policy (audited).
Kill switch,
Full leak protection,
Perfect forward secrecy,
RAM-only servers
🌍 Number of Servers 6,075 in 66 countries Unknown number of servers in 91 countries
⚡️ Speeds Fast on nearby servers and noticeable slowdowns on distant servers Very fast on nearby servers and fast on distant servers
🎥Streaming Support Works with Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer Works with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
🔽P2P Support
(on servers in 30+ countries)

(on all servers in 91 countries)
💻 Apps Android,
iOS,
Windows,
macOS,
Linux,
Android TV,
AppleTV,
Fire TV
Android,
iOS,
Windows,
macOS,
Linux,
Android TV,
Apple TV
❓Customer Support 24/7 live chat,
Email support,
In-depth support library
24/7 live chat,
Email support
In-depth support library
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 31 days 30 days

Security — Both VPNs Are Secure

256-Bit AES Encryption No-Logs Policy Kill Switch Leak Protection RAM-Only Servers Perfect Forward Secrecy
Private Internet Access
PureVPN

Both VPNs are great for securing your data. They have industry-standard security features, including:

  • 256-bit AES encryption. Makes all your data unreadable, so that nobody can spy on it. Banks and militaries use the same encryption level.
  • No-logs policy. Prevents the VPN from storing your IP address, browsing history, and the files you download.
  • Kill switch. Shuts down all internet access if your VPN connection has dropped, which prevents data leaks.

PIA has an Advanced Kill Switch option on Windows and Mac, which disables internet access if you’re not connected to a VPN server. In my tests, it prevented me from accessing the internet when I wasn’t connected to PIA’s servers. I also like that the VPN has a built-in kill switch on its iOS app as many VPNs don’t have a kill switch on iOS.

I like that both VPNs have full leak protection. I ran leak tests while connected to servers in 20+ countries for each VPN, and I never saw any leaks.

Only PIA has RAM-only servers. This is an advanced security feature that only writes data to the RAM instead of the hard drive. In this way, with every server reset, all data is wiped.

The good news is that both VPNs have perfect forward secrecy. This security feature changes the encryption key for each VPN session, which prevents hackers from compromising past or future encryption keys and using them to access your VPN traffic history.

Each provider offers fast and secure protocols. They both have OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPSec protocols. PureVPN also has a protocol called Proxy, which is a proxy connection that changes your IP address, but it doesn’t encrypt your traffic. This means that you’ll get faster speeds, but no security.

Both VPNs have two-factor authentication — this requires you to verify your login attempts with a time-sensitive code or security key that’s generated by an app.

Winner (Security): It’s a tie

Both VPNs have strong security features. They come with industry-standard features, advanced security features, secure and fast protocols, and two-factor authentication. The only difference is that Private Internet Access has RAM-only servers, an Advanced Kill Switch option on Windows and Mac devices, and an iOS kill switch.

Extra Features — Private Internet Access Has More Extra Features

Split-Tunneling Obfuscation Blocks Ads Blocks Malicious Sites Tor Support Smart DNS Other Features
Private Internet Access Port forwarding, SOCKS5 proxy servers,
Dedicated IP addresses,
Identity Guard
PureVPN Port forwarding,
Dedicated IP addresses,
Quantum Resistant servers

Private Internet Access has more extra features. Although PureVPN’s additional features are decent, it can’t compete with PIA, which has feature-rich apps.

You get split-tunneling with both VPNs. However, PIA’s split-tunneling feature is better, as it not only allows you to choose which apps use or don’t use the VPN but also lets you choose which IP addresses bypass the VPN.

Each VPN allows obfuscation, which hides your traffic to provide better privacy. PIA provides obfuscation via Shadowsocks, an encrypted open-source proxy. I like that both VPNs can work in restrictive countries like China.

However, only PIA has an ad blocker, which is called PIA MACE. It’s the best ad blocker on the market, which blocks ads, ad trackers, and malicious sites. In my tests, it blocked all ads on ad-heavy portals and prevented me from accessing shady sites.

PIA offers Tor support on all of its servers. It allows you to browse .onion sites with an extra layer of security. I like how easy it is to use the feature — you can just connect to any PIA server and then start using the Tor browser, which is free to download.

Only PIA offers a smart DNS feature. It allows you to use the VPN on devices that don’t have a native VPN app, like smart TVs and gaming consoles.

I like that both VPNs offer port forwarding and dedicated IP addresses. Port forwarding lets you connect to more peers to get faster speeds for downloading torrents. Dedicated IP addresses are IPs that are assigned only to you for an extra cost. They are useful for reducing the amount of reCAPTCHAs you get while browsing. They both offer dedicated IPs from 10+ different countries.

PIA has some features that PureVPN lacks:

  • SOCKS5 proxy servers. They provide you with faster speeds for downloading by changing your IP address, but not encrypting your traffic.
  • Identity Guard. This is a data breach monitoring tool that allows you to check if your email has been a part of a data breach, and it will alert you if anything gets leaked in a new breach.

PureVPN comes with Quantum Resistant servers in 66 countries. These Quantum Resistant servers use quantum-resistant encryption keys, which can’t be compromised by quantum threats. They future-proof user data to protect it against potential quantum threats.

Winner (Extra Features): Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access has more extra features. It has the best ad blocker on the market, PIA MACE, and Tor support. It also comes with an Identity Guard feature, a SOCKS5 proxy, and a smart DNS feature. That said, both VPNs have split-tunneling, obfuscation, port forwarding, and dedicated IP addresses. In addition, PureVPN also has Quantum Resistant servers.

Privacy — Each Provider Is Great For Privacy

Logs User IP Addresses Logs User Traffic Audited No-Logs Policy Headquarters Open-Source Apps
Private Internet Access US
(part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances)
PureVPN British Virgin Islands
(not a part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances)

You get great privacy from both VPNs. The VPNs’ no-logs policies have been independently audited and verified. PIA’s no-logs policy underwent an independent audit in 2022, and PureVPN’s no-logs policy has an “always-on” audit policy, which means that the contracted security firm (KPMG) can audit the VPN’s policy at any time without notice.

PIA is based in the US, which is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of countries that share surveillance data). However, even if the government asked the VPN for user data, PIA’s no-logs policy means it wouldn’t have any data to share. I like how PureVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, which is a privacy-friendly location and is outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances.

Only PIA has open-source apps — this means that anyone can inspect the code for security vulnerabilities. That said, I would like to see PIA’s app undergo an independent security audit.

It’s great that both providers accept cryptocurrency payments, which provide better privacy than standard payment methods, like credit cards.

Winner (Privacy): It’s a tie

I couldn’t pick a winner here. Both VPNs’ no-logs policies have been independently audited and verified. Although PIA is headquartered inside a 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances country, its no-logs policy proves it doesn’t have any data to hand over to authorities. PureVPN is based in a privacy-friendly location, the British Virgin Islands. Both VPNs accept cryptocurrency payments, but only PIA has open-source apps.

Servers — Both VPNs Have Great Server Networks

Number of Servers Number of Countries Virtual Locations P2P Servers Obfuscated Servers Dedicated IP Addresses
Private Internet Access N/A 91
(in 40+ countries)

(on all servers in 91 countries)

(on all servers in 91 countries)
PureVPN 6,075 66
(in 20+ countries)

(on servers in 30+ countries)

(on all servers in 66 countries)

I’m impressed with both VPNs’ server networks. Private Internet Access doesn’t display the number of servers, but it has servers in 91 countries, while PureVPN has 6,075 servers in 66 countries. With a large server network, you’re less likely to connect to overcrowded servers, which can cause slowdowns.

Both VPNs use virtual servers — these servers provide you with an IP address from the country you connect to, but they’re physically located in a different country. PIA has virtual servers in 40+ countries, and PureVPN has virtual servers in 20+ countries.

Each provider also allows P2P traffic on its servers — PIA allows torrenting on all of its servers in 91 countries, while PureVPN allows P2P traffic on servers in 30+ countries.

Both PureVPN and PIA support obfuscation on their servers. Both VPNs allow obfuscation on all servers.

I like that both providers offer dedicated IP addresses for an extra cost. You’ll be assigned an IP address that’s only yours. These dedicated IP addresses are helpful for avoiding reCAPTCHAs, which are quick tests you need to do to access certain sites to prove you are human.

PIA has dedicated servers for streaming in 5+ countries — the US, the UK, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. These servers refresh their IP addresses more often, making it more difficult for streaming sites to block them.

PureVPN has Quantum Resistant servers. These Quantum Resistant servers use quantum-resistant encryption keys, which aren’t vulnerable to quantum threats.

Winner (Servers): It’s a tie

I really like PureVPN’s and PIA’s server networks. PIA offers servers in 91 countries, and PureVPN has 6,075 servers in 66 countries. Both VPNs also have virtual servers, support traffic, and obfuscation, and offer dedicated IP addresses. Moreover, PIA has dedicated servers for streaming in 5+ countries, while PureVPN comes with Quantum Resistant servers.

Speeds — Private Internet Access Has Faster Speeds

Website Load Time HD Video Load Time 4K Video Load Time Time to Download a 20 GB File
Private Internet Access Instantly
(on nearby servers)
1–2 seconds
(on distant servers)
Instantly
(on nearby servers)
2 seconds
(on distant servers)
Instantly
(on nearby servers)
4 seconds
(on distant servers)
11–12 minutes
(on nearby servers)
20–22 minutes
(on distant servers)
PureVPN 2–3 seconds
(on nearby servers)
5–6 seconds
(on distant servers)
5–6 seconds
(on nearby servers)
7–8 seconds
(on distant servers)
8–9 seconds
(on nearby servers)
10–12 seconds
(on distant servers)
32–34 minutes
(on nearby servers)
40–43 minutes
(on distant servers)

In my tests, I had significantly faster speeds with PIA — this doesn’t come as a surprise, as the VPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market.

I was impressed with PIA’s speeds on nearby and distant servers. On nearby servers, websites, HD videos, and 4K videos loaded instantly. I was able to download a 20 GB file in 11–12 minutes. On distant servers, websites loaded in 1–2 seconds, HD videos in 2 seconds, and 4K videos loaded in 4 seconds. I was able to download the same 20 GB file in 20–22 minutes.

I experienced noticeable slowdowns when connected to PureVPN’s servers. On nearby servers, websites loaded in 2–3 seconds, HD videos loaded in 5–6 seconds with minor buffering, and 4K videos took 8–9 seconds to load with noticeable buffering. It took me 32–34 minutes to download a 20 GB file. On distant servers, websites loaded in 5–6 seconds, HD videos played in 7–8 seconds with interruptions, and 4K videos loaded in 10–12 seconds with major buffering. The same 20 GB file took me 40–43 minutes to download.

Winner (Speeds): Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is the clear winner. In my tests, PIA was able to maintain fast speeds on nearby and distant servers for browsing, streaming, and torrenting. With PureVPN, I experienced noticeable slowdowns on nearby and distant servers.

Streaming — Private Internet Access Has Better Streaming Support

Number of Streaming Services the VPN Works With Works With Netflix Works With BBC iPlayer, Max, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ Smart DNS
Private Internet Access 30+
PureVPN N/A Works with all sites except Amazon Prime

I think PIA is much better for streaming, as it works with 30+ streaming sites. PureVPN couldn’t provide me with an exact number.

Both VPNs work with Netflix. However, PIA’s support team confirmed that it works with 5+ Netflix libraries, including Netflix US, Netflix UK, and Netflix Japan. On top of that, both providers work with other streaming sites, like Max, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer (confirmed by my UK colleague). That said, only PIA is compatible with Amazon Prime.

PIA also comes with a smart DNS feature. This allows you to use the VPN on devices that don’t have a native VPN app, like gaming consoles.

Winner (Streaming): Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access has much better streaming support than PureVPN. It works with 30+ streaming sites and 5+ Netflix libraries. It also has a smart DNS feature. PureVPN couldn’t give me the exact number of the streaming sites it works with, and it doesn’t work with Amazon Prime. What’s more, it lacks a smart DNS feature.

Torrenting — Private Internet Access Has Better P2P Support

P2P Servers Works With Top P2P Apps Port Forwarding SOCKS5 Proxy Support Kill Switch No-Logs Policy
Private Internet Access On all servers in 91 countries
(independently audited)
PureVPN On servers in 30+ countries
(independently audited)

PIA has better torrenting support, as it allows torrenting on all of its servers in 91 countries. PureVPN only allows P2P traffic on servers in 30+ countries.

Both VPNs work with top P2P apps, like qBittorrent, Vuze, and Deluge. I tested 5 different P2P apps while connected to P2P servers from each VPN, and I never experienced any issues.

I like that both VPNs allow port forwarding. With PureVPN, you’ll need to pay extra to get access to the port forwarding feature, while PIA includes port forwarding in its subscriptions.

Only PIA has SOCKS5 proxy support. These SOCKS5 proxy servers change your IP address but don’t encrypt your traffic, giving you faster P2P speeds.

Each VPN has strong security and privacy features for torrenting. They both have a kill switch and a no-logs policy that has been independently audited and confirmed. In addition, PIA has a top-notch ad blocker called PIA MACE, which blocks malicious ads on P2P sites, prevents you from accessing shady torrenting websites, and blocks malware-infected downloads.

I ran leak tests before I started torrenting with each VPN — I never experienced any leaks. Moreover, I also ran torrent IP leak tests to ensure P2P apps can’t expose my real IP address while connected to each VPN. Each time, the VPN’s IP address was displayed, not my real one.

Winner (Torrenting): Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is a better choice for torrenting because it allows P2P traffic on all of its servers, has SOCKS5 proxy support, and an ad blocker. That said, both VPNs work with top P2P apps, allow port forwarding, and have great security and privacy features for torrenting.

Gaming — Both VPNs Are Great For Gaming

Ping on Local Servers (North Macedonia) Ping on Distant Servers (the US) Lag-Free Gaming Anti-DDoS Protection Router Support Cloud Gaming Support
Private Internet Access 19–20 ms 140–143 ms
(only minor lag, not game-breaking)
PureVPN 22–26 ms 175–178 ms
(noticeable lag sometimes)

I used both VPNs while playing Dota 2 — PIA was faster, but PureVPN’s speeds were also decent. Both VPNs provided me with a good ping on local servers. On distant servers, I had a higher ping with PureVPN, while PIA maintained a lower, more stable ping. However, the lag was more noticeable with PureVPN.

It’s also great that both providers have anti-DDoS protection. If anyone tries to DDoS you when you’re connected to either of the VPNs’ servers, they wouldn’t be able to do it. PIA offers anti-DDoS protection on all of its servers, and it’s included in its regular subscription. I don’t like that PureVPN charges extra for DDoS protection.

I like that you can set up both VPNs on your router, which allows you to game with a VPN on devices that don’t natively support VPN apps, such as gaming consoles.

Neither provider has support for cloud gaming, which means that you won’t be able to use them to access online services, like GeForce Now, that stream video games to portable devices, like smartphones and laptops.

Winner (Gaming): It’s a tie

I like both VPNs for gaming. They provide low ping on local servers. On distant servers, PIA only has minor lag, while PureVPN also has more noticeable lag on distant servers. Moreover, both providers allow manual router setups and have anti-DDoS protection on all servers. However, you won’t get cloud gaming support with either VPN.

Bypassing Censorship — Both VPNs are Good Options

Obfuscation Works in China Bypassing Censorship — Both VPNs are Good Options Works in Russia Bypassing Censorship — Both VPNs are Good Options Works in Iran Bypassing Censorship — Both VPNs are Good Options Works in Indonesia Bypassing Censorship — Both VPNs are Good Options Works in Saudi Arabia Bypassing Censorship — Both VPNs are Good Options
Private Internet Access
PureVPN

PureVPN and PIA work in restrictive countries like China, Russia, Iran, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia. The customer support reps of each VPN confirmed that the VPNs work in these countries and any others that restrict internet access.

Winner (Bypassing Censorship): It’s a tie

Both VPNs work in restrictive countries that censor the internet.

Apps & Ease of Use — Both VPNs Are User-Friendly

iOS App Android App Windows App macOS App Linux App Smart TV App Router Support Other Apps
Private Internet Access
(Android TV)
Apple TV
PureVPN
(Fire TV, Android TV)
Apple TV

Both VPNs have apps for all major platforms — iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, and Linux. PIA has an app for Android TV and Apple TV, and PureVPN has an app for Fire TV, Android TV, and Apple TV.

I’m a big fan of the mobile apps of both providers. PIA’s mobile apps allow customization of 20+ settings. For example, you can change encryption levels, protocol settings, and the look and layout of the app. PureVPN’s mobile apps allow you to create 1-click shortcuts for certain streaming sites and VPN servers. I tested it by setting Netflix with a server in Canada, and it worked perfectly.

Apps & Ease of Use — Both VPNs Are User-Friendly

The desktop apps are also great. They have a very simple design, which makes it easier to find the server you’re looking for. There’s a quick-connect feature that connects you to the fastest servers, and the settings are easy to understand and configure.

I like that you can manually configure each VPN on your router. Both VPNs provide helpful tutorials that help a lot during the setup process.

Winner (Apps & Ease of Use): It’s a tie

Both VPNs are easy to navigate. They both have apps for most major platforms and come with mobile and desktop apps that are easy to navigate. In addition, they offer setup tutorials for configuring the VPN on your router.

Plans & Pricing — Both VPNs Are Affordable

Starting Price Free Plan Simultaneous Connections Payment Options Money-Back Guarantee
Private Internet Access $2.03 / month Unlimited credit/debit cards, PayPal,
Amazon Pay, cryptocurrencies
30 days
PureVPN $2.29 / month 10 credit cards, Google Pay, PayPal, cryptocurrencies 31 days

Both VPNs are quite affordable. PureVPN allows 10 simultaneous connections (though you can add 10 more with the Multi Login paid add-on at checkout if you need more connections), while PIA allows unlimited devices connected. So, you can use it on as many devices as you want.

PIA has 1-month, 6-month, and 2-year plans starting at $2.03 / month. The 2-year plan offers the best value and often offers additional months for free.

PureVPN offers monthly, yearly, and 2-year pricing plans that start at $2.29 / month. It also has 3 tier-based subscriptions. The Standard subscription comes with all VPN features, the Plus subscription adds a password manager and end-to-end file encryption, and the Max subscription adds social media privacy.

Both providers accept credit/debit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies. PIA accepts Amazon Pay, while PureVPN accepts Google Pay. Moreover, PureVPN has a 31-day money-back guarantee, while PIA has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Winner (Plans & Pricing): It’s a tie

Private Internet Access and PureVPN offer affordable plans. PIA offers unlimited simultaneous connections, and PureVPN offers up to 10 connected devices. They both accept multiple payment methods. PureVPN offers a 31-day money-back guarantee — one day more than PIA’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

Customer Support — Both VPNs Have Good Customer Support

Live Chat Email Support FAQs Tutorials Troubleshooting Guides Phone Support
Private Internet Access ✅ (24/7)
PureVPN ✅ (24/7)

PIA and PureVPN offer multiple customer support platforms. They have extensive support libraries with FAQs, tutorials, and troubleshooting guides.

I like that each VPN has great 24/7 live chat support. The friendly representatives were capable of answering all of my questions quickly and accurately.

I also tested each VPN’s email support — it usually took less than a day to receive a response from each VPN’s email support team. The replies I received were always detailed and informative.

Winner (Customer Support): It’s a tie

I was really impressed with either VPN’s customer support. Both VPNs have in-depth support libraries, email support, and 24/7 live chat. The support reps were always able to provide me with informative answers.

Overall Winner: Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is much better than PureVPN — as it comes with more extra features, like an ad blocker, a smart DNS, and faster speeds. It also works with more streaming sites and allows torrenting on all of its servers in 91 countries.

PureVPN has decent security and privacy features. It also offers a vast server network, a great obfuscation feature, and affordable plans. What’s more, its customer support is quite responsive and helpful.

While both VPNs are good, PIA provides much better value. It offers more extra features and can maintain fast speeds across all servers. It works with 30+ streaming sites and allows P2P traffic on all of its servers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Private Internet Access better than PureVPN?

According to my tests, yes. Private Internet Access comes with more extra features, like an ad blocker, smart DNS feature, and Identity Guard. It has faster speeds on nearby and distant servers and works with more streaming platforms. Moreover, PIA allows torrenting on all of its servers.

Are Private Internet Access and PureVPN safe to use?

Yes, both VPNs have strong security features. On top of the industry-standard VPN security features, they come with a no-logs policy that has been independently audited and advanced features like perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption key for each VPN connection, and full leak protection.

Do Private Internet Access and PureVPN work with Netflix?

Yes, but I think PIA is a much better option for Netflix than PureVPN. It works with 5+ Netflix libraries, including Netflix US, Netflix UK, and Netflix Japan whereas PureVPN’s reps told me it only works with Netflix US. Overall, PIA has better streaming support, as it reliably works with 30+ streaming sites. PureVPN’s representatives couldn’t provide me with an exact number of the streaming services the VPN works with.

Is Private Internet Access faster than PureVPN?

In my tests, PIA had faster speeds than PureVPN. PIA was able to maintain fast speeds for browsing, streaming, and torrenting on nearby and distant servers. With PureVPN, I experienced significant slowdowns, especially on distant servers.

Read more about the best VPNs in 2024

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About the Author
Gjurgjica Panova
Updated on: May 24, 2024

About the Author

Gjurgjica is a cybersecurity writer who is driven by her passion for the written word and anything tech-related. When she is not in the role of a Safety Detective, she can be found wrapped in a comfy blanket, binge-watching her favorite shows.