PrivateVPN Review – Safe and Fast VPN Service
|Number of servers||100+|
|Maximum devices supported||6|
|Support||Live chat but not 24/7, ticket system and FAQ page|
|Supported Client Software||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Kodi|
PrivateVPN is a very popular VPN provider, based in Sweden in 2009. Since 2008, Sweden has passed a law that allows the government to monitor all internet traffic. In 2009, Sweden passed copyright laws to combat piracy. The number of VPN users has increased sharply. In 2012, Sweden passed a law on mandatory data storage.
ISPs are obliged to keep all user data (connection times, websites visited, e-mail logs) for 6 months. PrivateVPN provides strong encryption of internet traffic, making it more secure. With a single account, it is possible to connect up to 6 devices at the same time, making it an interesting option for home use.
Private VPN is compatible with the most common operating systems and devices: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS and routers. The problem-free uptime is a huge advantage over the competition, it is 99.98%. It also offers 24-hour customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Next, we will get to know this VPN.
Key Features of PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN does not log, has more than 100 servers worldwide. You can choose any server and enjoy unlimited speed. The website fairly reviews its ability to provide quality services to users and does not represent itself as a VPN provider offering the highest speed in the world, as depending on the location of the servers, the speed can be variable.
PrivateVPN is perfect for large families who use phones, tablets and laptops to connect to the network because you can connect up to it up to 6 devices at the same time. With the help of PrivateVPN, you will secure your connection, both at home and in places with a public Wi-Fi network.
At the time of this VPN review, PrivateVPN has 100 servers hosted in 60 countries around the world. Over the years, the service has come under severe criticism due to its small number of servers. It should be noted that the VPN has been approaching the decade since its launch, yet its network of servers is mediocre.
These critics expect PrivateVPN to do more to expand its server network. There is no doubt that the number of servers is relatively low compared to high-end VPNs. On the other hand, it is likely to become more important in the near future.
If we look at the server network critically, it spans the Americas, Australia, Asia and Europe. Like all other VPNs, this service is firmly established in the United States and the United Kingdom. In the UK, for example, it has 8 servers in total. However, the VPN does not have servers in Africa.
In all of this, we must point out that PrivateVPN maintains level 1 servers, which means that the team does not outsource the management of its servers to third party companies. This measure, according to the cybersecurity company, is intended to provide better speed and increased security.
It should be noted that the company has a number of dynamically dedicated IP addresses, with servers hosted in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Ukraine.
Security & Privacy
There are always certain features you need to consider when it comes to the security and privacy of your favorite VPNs. We will dissect them thoroughly.
- VPN protocols
Just like other VPNs, PrivateVPN supports OpenVPN. In fact, it is the most popular VPN used in PrivateVPN. PrivateVPN is open about the VPN protocol it uses and has revealed that the encryption it uses is AES-256 encryption. Note that this VPN also offers you the option of 128-bit AES encryption.
However, AES-256 encryption offers better privacy protection. In addition, it uses an RSA 2048 handshake for HMA authentication. But it doesn’t stop there, as PrivateVPN implements DHE keys for Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS). Note that AES-256 encryption is also known as military-grade encryption and that encryption technology is the industry standard today.
This technology is difficult to decipher and is the same technology used by US intelligence services. In the future, OpenVPN is tamper-proof. So it’s being used by companies that want tamper-proof security. Other VPN protocols that this VPN supports include L2TP, PPTP, IPsec and IKEv2. Nevertheless, the VPN still encourages users to choose OpenVPN.
- Kill Switch
PrivateVPN users also benefit from another essential security feature, the Kill Switch. Basically, an automatic kill switch allows users to temporarily suspend their Internet connection in the event of a network loss. Note that when your VPN network starts to go haywire, there is a good chance that you will lose your data, revealing your identity.
However, the Kill Switch “kills” the connection. In doing so, it prevents your identity from being exposed. Although PrivateVPN guarantees users 100% uptime, this is another security measure that is provided with most high-end services as an emergency measure. This means that when your VPN goes down, the Kill Switch will cause your Internet access to be temporarily suspended.
- Leak protection
When you use PrivateVPN, you are sure to have DNS leakage protection. To put this in context, DNS leakage protection means that this VPN is designed so that your traffic carefully passes through a secure channel that does not allow your ISP to know what you are doing online.
For the provision of this service, it means that you will let your ISP guess what you are doing on the Internet, as they cannot see the content of your online activities. We usually confirm whether or not a VPN offers this feature by performing a simple online test using the popular IVPN online tool. In the PrivateVPN test, our findings showed that PrivateVPN does not leak DNS information.
- Tor compatibility
It’s interesting to know that PrivateVPN works with the Tor network. This simply means that users have greater security when accessing the Internet. While its support isn’t absolute, PrivateVPN gives users suggestions on how to connect to the OpenVPN servers via Tor.
Once this is done, you can then connect to websites that allow visitors to access them via Tor browsers. This is simply because the details of the originating browser will be hidden. Many pro VPN users are still looking for VPNs that offer this service.
- Advanced features
While it has some security features, there are others that PrivateVPN does not have. Some of these features include split tunneling and ad blocking capabilities. While PrivateVPN does not have these features today, we cannot rule out the possibility that it will in the near future.
The importance of forestry policy cannot be overemphasized. As you already know, many people use the VPN for the sole purpose of accessing the Internet safely. The logging policy of the VPN provider is essentially important because some of them keep user data for the sole purpose of selling it to advertising agencies. In doing so, they compromise the privacy of users – the same privacy they have signed with the cybersecurity company for its protection.
In this case, any good VPN should have a no-connection policy. In other words, a “no logging” policy is a policy statement that explicitly clarifies the company’s position on the collection of user logs, stating that it does not retain subscriber logs. This policy is not only to sell user data to advertising companies but also to reassure subscribers that the VPN provider cannot pass their data to law enforcement authorities for any reason.
This means that the Swedish government can ask the VPN provider to disclose subscriber data. In that case, PrivateVPN will have nothing to disclose. Note that the 14-Eyes Alliance is a group of countries that have signed a treaty for the collection, analysis and sharing of information.
Yes, Sweden is a member of the alliance. It is reassuring for PrivateVPN to have a “zero log” policy, as potential users would be happy to sign up for the VPN. Indeed, no one wants to have an account with a VPN provider who will not only keep their information private but will also share the details with the relevant government authorities when they come to make a call.
|Server Location||Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|US||4 Mbps||7 Mbps|
|Netherlands||19 Mbps||23 Mbps|
|Hong Kong||4 Mbps||5 Mbps|
Most often, VPN vendors use gadgets to promote their services. It is therefore essential to perform a test to determine the actual speed of the PrivateVPN servers. You see, you need an excellent speed of your VPN to enjoy everything you do on the internet. Do you have any doubts? Think of it this way: From downloading to uploading, from video calls to audio calls, from streaming to chatting, there is nothing you do online that doesn’t require blazing speed.
So we’ve tested PrivateVPN to help you decide whether or not you want to order this VPN. We did this using servers in 3 different countries. Note that we used 3 different countries on different continents to give you a better idea of what PrivateVPN brings on board. We have explained our findings below.
First, we tested the server in the United States. The result was very bad as we recorded a download speed of 4 Mbps and an upload speed of 9 Mbps. To put it bluntly, these results are not so good considering the fact that it takes a superb speed to do a lot of things online.
From the server in the US, we switched to a remote server in the Netherlands to evaluate the performance of PrivateVPN in Europe. As shown in the table above, the speed improved significantly, as the download speed was 19 Mbps and the upload speed was 23 Mbps. These increases are undoubtedly commendable, but they are still far from what is expected from a top-notch VPN.
Finally, we performed the test on a PrivateVPN server in Hong Kong. Obviously, the results are heartbreaking, as we saw a major drop in spike, with speed results much worse than those in the US. To be clearer, the upload speed was 4 Mbps while the download speed was 5 Mbps. There is no doubt that these results are not encouraging, to say the least.
- Speed summary
At this point, you probably know how we feel about PrivateVPN when it comes to speed. The truth is that these speed results are not exceptional. Of the three countries we tested, none of them had impressive speed. Indeed, this result is worrying. Having said that, we must point out that there are certain factors that influence server speed.
These factors include your network connection, your location and the processing speed of your computer. Despite this, using a low speed VPN means that it could potentially throttle your connection.
In reality, VPNs always slow down the overall speed of the network, but an ideal VPN is one that affects the speed in such a way that you can rarely tell the difference between the speed before and after the connection. According to this assumption, the private VPN has to work on its speed.
The good thing is that there is always room for improvement, as PrivateVPN has shown over the years that it is committed to providing a fast and highly secure network to its growing community of users around the world. Yes, it is possible because it is one of the fastest-growing VPNs in today’s market.
PrivateVPN Customer Service
|Type of support||Live chat but not 24/7, ticket system and FAQ page|
|Free trial period||7-day|
No matter how much we pretend, he must never take away the fact that we need a VPN to have a human face. Yes, that’s the goodness that customer service brings to the VPN. In short, it makes perfect sense if the team is able to respond quickly to requests and complaints. The reason is that subscribers are constantly experiencing one technical problem or another. When they encounter one, there is no one to turn to other than the helpdesk.
In addition, people who have a question or another one can always contact customer service for reliable information. So when it comes to excellent customer service, every serious VPN service should have one. In addition to having one, its team must be ready to work 24/7 to ensure that people’s questions and/or complaints are dealt with in no time at all.
Also there must be multiple communication channels to interact with subscribers. Based on industry best practices, basic methods of reaching the team should include live support and e-mail. But some VPNs go further by opening social media accounts. What does PrivateVPN offer? Well, let’s find out.
If you need a VPN service that offers 24/7 customer support, you may have to look elsewhere, as PrivateVPN does not offer such a service. When we tried to use the channel, we were directed to a white page. That indicates that it was not available at that time.
Although there is a live chat and you can reach the team by email, they don’t give instant replies to messages. The fact is that most VPNs are likely to respond to your messages faster when you join the team via their live chat support.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for PrivateVPNs. In what appears to be a well-calculated initiative to compensate for its shortcomings in this regard, PrivateVPN has a FAQ section. This is a good thing, as the FAQ page contains a number of articles that answer questions that potential users would like to ask. You can also contact an agent by e-mail by submitting a post. Yes, he has a ticket system. He answers messages received via this channel in less than 2 hours.
In addition, you will certainly appreciate the fact that this VPN offers a one week trial period. In other words, you can enjoy the VPN for a week and subscribe later. The trial period allows you to experience its performance in practice.
In keeping with our tradition of practically testing how long it takes the team to respond to messages, we tried this by asking how long it takes to refund unsatisfied subscribers. Some 6 hours later, a customer service agent (name withheld) responded to our message by saying it was “30 days”. Finally, he gave a remote virtual help.
Supported Client Software
It is important that a VPN service supports a wide range of platforms. This is undoubtedly important, as many people would like to have a VPN to which they can connect with the device of their choice. Now let’s dissect some of the platforms that PrivateVPN supports.
If you are using the Windows operating system, you have absolutely nothing to worry about as you are practically considered ahead of all other platforms. However, you must have Windows 7 and above before this VPN will work on your system.
Guess what, you will benefit from everything this service offers you, including privacy, multiple connections, georeferencing bypass, etc. The system requirements are 512 MB RAM and hard drive each, 3 GHz processor speed, etc. Although there are other special features, it works perfectly when your Windows computer meets or exceeds these basic requirements.
If you belong to the Linux family and its distributions, your interests are fully protected by PrivateVPN. You can download the client for Ubuntu (which works for others) by registering and clicking on the Ubuntu button. It works perfectly on Ubuntu 16.04 and later. Although the installation process is not simple, the step-by-step instructions are detailed on the website.
Other users who benefit from Internet access via PrivateVPN are macOS users. You can download this application to your desktop using the Android Bluestacks emulator. The process takes a few minutes as it consists of only 5 steps.
By downloading this application, you will start enjoying the benefits offered by this VPN. These include relatively good speed, AES-256-bit encryption, trace-free Internet access, DNS leakage protection, a kill switch and other features offered by PrivateVPN.
You can take advantage of the security and privacy that PrivateVPN offers on your Android devices by simply downloading its application. Of course, there is a PrivateVPN app for Android devices, and it works seamlessly. You can then choose between OpenVPN, IPsec and IKEv2 for your smart device.
However, you must have Android 4.1 and higher to take advantage of it. To download the application, you need to go to Google Play from your device and download the latest version 3.9.
If you use iPhones and iPads, you can secure them with PrivateVPN as there is a custom application for your iDevice. This application brings to your smart iDevice the same functionalities as those of other operating systems.
To get started, simply follow a three-step process. The application is available at the Apple Store. Keep in mind that all the VPN protocols available in this VPN work well on iOS devices. But your device must work on iOS 10 or higher.
If you’re wondering if this device works with a router, it does. Some devices do not support VPN services, so you need to protect them by connecting them to the VPN via your router. Feel free to connect your Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and any other smart TV of your choice. In addition, you can unblock geoblocked sites from these devices.
PrivateVPN is compatible with all other routers, except Amplifi, which does not support routers at the moment. In other words, it works with ASUS RT, Synology, DD-WRT, Tomato, Linksys, QNAP, and so on. The installation process is quite simple and detailed on its website.
Although this VPN works on a number of platforms, it should be noted that PrivateVPN does not support browser extensions at this time. However, the service is growing rapidly. As the VPN is constantly expanding, it is likely that it will incorporate this functionality in the near future. The advantage, however, is that you can use PrivateVPN clients without browser extensions.
Torrenting with PrivateVPN
As a torrent aficionado, PrivateVPN allows you to make a torrent without fear of legal action. For those who are unaware, torrent is a term used to describe peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing via the BitTorrent protocol. Without going into technical details, the act is gaining ground because it is secure and allows large files to be downloaded easily.
These files include music, movies, TV series and software. However, there is a growing concern that people are also downloading copyrighted P2P files without the consent of content developers. This is considered illegal in many countries. As a result, government officials, in collaboration with production companies, closely monitor torrent sites for the sole purpose of prosecuting trolls or fining them.
Here is some good news, PrivateVPN allows you to make torrents safely. Its server supports the most common BitTorrent applications. Yes, torrenting with PrivateVPN is also a good experience. What’s in it for you? It allows you to hide your online activities, preventing prying eyes from discovering what you are really doing online.
In addition, it changes your IP address when the need arises, such as when you move from one location to another. Also you’ll enjoy the torrent with PrivateVPN because it offers users unlimited bandwidth and the torrent is allowed at no extra cost. With all these benefits, you don’t have to worry about speed loss when downloading large P2P files.
Netflix Access with PrivateVPN
One of the main reasons people use VPN services today is to be able to unlock and view geoblocked streaming sites. US Netflix is one such streaming site that offers geoblocked streaming services on demand. You can watch the latest movies and TV programs on its website, on your 4K TV, and other smart devices. But there is a caveat: you must be a U.S. resident to watch American Netflix, which has the largest Netflix catalog in the world.
If you’re not based in the U.S., you can use PrivateVPN to bypass Netflix firewalls and explore its amazingly rich content. Many users claim that the VPN was specifically designed to unlock the streaming site because the process is transparent.
To bypass the streaming site, you need to connect to servers located in New York (USA), Lost Angeles (USA), Canada, the UK or the Netherlands. You will appreciate the fact that the viewing experience is unbuffered.
While there are many advantages to using this VPN, we must admit that there is a litany of disadvantages. We will present them to you.
- Inconsistent speed
One of the main drawbacks of this VPN is that its speed is not impressive. A glance at our speed tests says it all. It’s even worrying that this service hasn’t done enough to improve its speed since it’s been in the industry for over a decade.
- Not-too-good customer service
Remember that PrivateVPN does not offer 24/7 customer service. This is a major flaw because a help desk is the main feature that gives a VPN a human face. This means that when a person has an emergency, the team does not provide help early enough.
- A small number of servers
As this VPN has been on the market for more than ten years, one would expect it to have significantly increased the number of its servers. Unfortunately, this has not been the case, as PrivateVPN is still lagging behind other high-end VPNs in terms of server distribution. Of course, it needs to improve.
Although PrivateVPN has repeatedly stated that users do not have to worry about its location, it will be impossible to completely alleviate these concerns. As noted above, the Swedish government is a member of the 14-Eyes Alliance.
In conclusion, it is inappropriate to shed light on the drawbacks of PrivateVPN and to downplay its many advantages. To avoid this, we will quickly refresh your memory with some of the advantages of using this VPN.
These advantages include easy installation of desktop and mobile applications, no logs, top-notch encryption, unlocking of US Netflix and BBC iPlayer, affordable price (which makes it an excellent choice for beginners), 30-day money-back guarantee, 6 simultaneous connections, remote support, etc. Clearly, it has many advantages.
However, the shortcomings of PrivateVPN are really worrying. So, do we recommend it? Yes, we recommend it. Since this service is affordable, it is preferable to opt for the trial period in order to carry out a thorough evaluation.
If you like the service, you can now take your subscription to the next level. In this case, an annual subscription wouldn’t be such a bad idea as it offers the cheapest subscription plan in the long run.
Again, we are sure you are considering trying PrivateVPN as you have just started your VPN forwarding. Otherwise, we strongly recommend that you try premium VPNs. Try them now and feel free to share your thoughts with us later.