PrivateVPN Review

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

September 23, 2020

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Features

4.6/5

Speed & Performance

4/5

Ease of Use

4.7/5

Mobile App

4/5

Customer Support

4/5

Pricing

4.5/5
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PrivateVPN Pros:

PrivateVPN Cons:

PrivateVPN has been running for over a decade now, and I noticed that is has quite a good reputation online amongst users. I will give you the lowdown on my thoughts in this review.

Overview

PrivateVPN is a user-friendly VPN that is good for streaming purposes and combines effective encryption with a strong no logs privacy policy.

It was founded back in 2000 and is owned by Privat Kommunikation AB.

One thing to note is that it currently operates under Swedish jurisdiction. This means that it is subject to intelligence-sharing agreements and data retention laws in the European Union.

In terms of server location, PrivateVPN has a number of servers locations across 60 different countries

This puts PrivateVPN middle-of-the-road when it comes to server options. I must say that you do get pretty good coverage as well. There is a good spread of locations across the world. 

This includes popular locations such as Australia, Canada, US, and a lot of countries across Western Europe. 

In Asia, there are servers in the likes of the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, India, Israel, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. 

In Central and South America, you can connect to VPN servers in the likes of Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. 

Disappointingly, though, South Africa is the only server location in Africa. 

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Speeds

I was pleased to see that my connection speed did not slow down much when using this VPN. Of course, it is natural to have a bit of a reduction in speed when using a VPN but this reduction was very low compared to the other VPNs on the market today.

In fact, when I connected to a server in the same country, I noticed that my Internet connection only slowed down by about 7%.

Even when connecting to long-distance VPN, I did not notice a significant drop in speed and so I would definitely go as far as to say that this is one of the best VPNs available today for good speeds.

However, after testing PrivateVPN for quite some time, I did notice that the speeds were more inconsistent when compared with other VPNs. If you are looking for a VPN that has fast and consistent speeds then I would recommend taking a look at Surfshark.

Inconsistent speeds can be annoying for people who are looking to stream content that has been geo-blocked from the likes of Hulu and Netflix.

Although I must say that when you look at the affordability of PrivateVPN when compared with the other options out there on the market today, the speed and consistency are pretty fair.

Security

PrivateVPN has certainly impressed me in the security department! Not only is it secure, but it comes with a number of options that can be configured. It’s clear to see why they decided to go with the name PrivateVPN!

It has a number of advanced features to make your browsing habits and data kept as private as possible. 

Security features

PrivateVPN operates its own DNS servers so there are not any unexpected diversions with regards to your traffic. It also uses the OpenVPN protocol, which I have reviewed in full, as well as providing virtually uncrackable AES-256 encryption.

There is the option of connecting to other VPN protocols, for example, L2TP or PPTP, yet I would not advise this, as the same level fo security is not provided.

No logs policy 

I was pleased to see that PrivateVPN claims they do not collect or log any traffic or use of its service. I confirmed with a customer support agent that PrivateVPN does not log IP addresses, connection timestamps, or DNS requests.

When it comes to privacy and logging, I do not have any complaints with this is VPN.

Does PrivateVPN have a kill switch?

PrivateVPN does come with a kill switch, but only for the Windows version. It does not come with this feature for macOS and mobile devices, which is disappointing. Because of this, I would only recommend using this VPN for Windows products.

If you are looking for a VPN that has a kill switch across the board, you have a few options. This includes PureVPN, IPVanish, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN

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Ease of use

It is easy to download and install PrivateVPN. It only takes a few minutes. Plus, there are installation guides on the site that provide you with a step-by-step process to follow. 

The mobile and desktop version of the PrivateVPN apps are very similar in appearance to one and another. Everything is very accessible and clearly labeled.

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Torrenting

If you are looking for a VPN to use for torrenting purposes, PrivateVPN is definitely one that I would recommend considering.

P2P is permitted on all of the servers, and there are also servers that are optimised for this in 17 different countries. It is easy to find these servers by using the VPN app and heading to the servers list. From here, you will be able to see the servers that are suitable for you from the dedicated IP Torrent option.

I would say that PrivateVPN is definitely one of the safest options for torrenting because of the fast downloads and uploads, the wide range of security features, and the no-logs policy.

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Unblock streaming services

Where this VPN really comes into its own is in terms of streaming. You are able to access 32 different Netflix libraries using this VPN. Some of the most popular libraries that are available include South Korea, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

PrivateVPN passed all of the other tests that I ran for different streaming services. This includes BBC iPlayer, as well as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Hulu, and Disney Plus.

The fast speeds that you get with this VPN mean that you can easily watch your content in HD and you will not experience any slowdowns in the form of buffering.

Does it bypass the Great Firewall of China?

Yes, PrivateVPN is a good choice if you are looking for something to get passed the Great Firewall of China. 

The stealth VPN protocol and advanced privacy tools make it a good choice for China, or if you want to bypass censorship in any other country for that matter. 

This means that it is also a wise selection for Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The speeds should remain fast because there are a lot of servers across Asia

If you want an added security layer, PrivateVPN also provides Tor over VPN as well. 

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Compatibility

PrivateVPN features custom VPN apps for all of the most popular platforms. This includes the following:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Apple macOS
  • Microsoft Windows 

If you use a platform like Linux, you will need to use one of the manual set-up guides to navigate through this. They are easy to follow, although this can be a bit inconvenient.

PrivateVPN enables you to connect six devices at the one time, which is a little bit more than the average of five devices. This is good if you are looking for a plan that will cover the entire family. 

Games consoles and streaming devices

Aside from the custom apps mentioned in the previous section, there are also solutions for smart televisions and games consoles too, which is music to the ear for any gamer!

In addition to this, PrivateVPN is one of the very few providers that have a dedicated VPN app available for Amazon Fire TV Stick. All you need to do is head to the store to download the app, and you’re all set to go.

To ensure you are protected when using a games console or any other type of streaming device, you will need to connect them to a router that has been configured or another device that runs the PrivateVPN app, for instance, a smartphone or a laptop.

Browser extensions

There are no browser extensions available with PrivateVPN. So, if this is something you are interested in, you will need to consider a different VPN.

Other provides that offer browser extensions include CyberGhost, Surfshark, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN.

Customer support

The customer support offered by PrivateVPN is good, but not perfect. There is live chat available, which is always a welcomed addition. However, you do need to be mindful that this is not available 24/7. 

You can easily see whether the chat box is available because it will either be green or red. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be any way of predicting whether or not someone is going to be online, so it is a bit of pot luck!

If you are not able to get through to someone online, an online contact form will pop up instead. 

When using the email chat system, I received fairly quick replies. The support agents were friendly and knowledgable, and my queries were answered efficiently without needing to go backward and forward.

There is also an online FAQ and resource section, so you can find answers to commonly asked questions and issues.

Pricing

One of the best things about PrivateVPN is that it is so affordable. Their plans are some of the best on the market. 

I’ll start off by revealing the best and most popular option, which I highly recommend. This is priced ar $3.82 per month, which is for a year’s contract, so you will be billed $49.68 at the start of the contract. However, you actually get an extra month free, which means you get 13 months instead of 12. 

Aside from this, you have the option of a one-month or a three-month plan. The three-month plan will cost $15.08 upfront, which equates to $5.03 per month. The final plan is the monthly plan, which costs $7.67 per month.

If you are not happy with the service that you receive, you can get your money back, as there is a 30-day money-back guarantee option available.

Summary

If you are looking for a good VPN that the entire family can use, I would recommend PrivateVPN. The ability to connect six different devices at once means you’re going to have more than enough coverage for everyone.

Plus, PrivateVPN is one of the most affordable options out there, giving you good value for money.

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