PrivateVPN

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9.4
PrivateVPN Review

PrivateVPN Review

PrivateVPN prides itself as the “fastest growing VPN worldwide” on its website. It doesn’t stop short of talking itself up on its website, with loads of other bold claims and promises. This is why we are particularly interested in testing out this service in our VPN review.

During our extensive VPN review, we were able to provide answers to questions such as:

  • Is PrivateVPN a great choice?
  • Is PrivateVPN reliable in China?
  • Does it work with Netflix?
  • Is PrivateVPN headquartered in a safe jurisdiction?

Without doubt, PrivateVPN is one of the best VPN services in the marketplace. It is a secure and affordable service, but it also has its flaws. This VPN review provides a breakdown of what you need to look out for.

Before we provide answers to these questions, let us consider some PrivateVPN pros and cons:

Pros
  • Very fast VPN speeds
  • Compatible with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services
  • User-friendly apps for popular devices
  • Strict logging policy and protection against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks
  • Allows torrenting and P2P activity on all VPN servers
Cons
  • No custom app for Linux
  • Small server network
  • Live chat is inconsistent
  • Very fast VPN speeds
  • Compatible with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other streaming services
  • User-friendly apps for popular devices
  • Strict logging policy and protection against IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks
  • Allows torrenting and P2P activity on all VPN servers
  • No custom app for Linux
  • Small server network
  • Live chat is inconsistent

Work With

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Sky, HBO, Torrenting, Kodi

Available on

Best Price

$3.82/month - 12 months plan

Speed and Reliability Test

Very Fast VPN Speeds

PrivateVPN’s connection is consistently fast across its server network. The upload and download speeds are excellent, and great for both buffer-free streaming and secure torrenting. PrivateVPN is one of the fastest VPNs in the market, so you would do well to consider it if speed is priority for you.

We observed a download speed loss of 7% when using PrivateVPN.

Before connecting to PrivateVPN:

Download Mbps
92.94
Upload Mbps
97.54

When connected to PrivateVPN:

Download Mbps
86.7
Upload Mbps
88.94

Our speed test results from our physical London location using a London test server.

Before connecting to PrivateVPN:

  • 92.94Mbps (download)
  • 97.54Mbps (upload)

When connected to PrivateVPN:

  • 86.7Mbps (download)
  • 88.94Mbps (upload)

According to our tests from our location in the UK, here are the average speeds you can expect when in these locations:

DOWNLOAD AVERAGE UPLOAD AVERAGE
US 63 Mbps 25 Mbps
Australia 18 Mbps Mbps 13 Mbps
Germany 86 Mbps 56 Mbps
Singapore 32 Mbps 15 Mbps

According to our tests from our location in the UK, here are the average speeds you can expect when in these locations:

  • US: 63Mbps (download) & 25Mbps (upload)
  • Australia: 18 MbpsMbps (download) & 13Mbps (upload)
  • Germany: 86Mbps (download) & 56Mbps (upload)
  • Singapore: 32Mbps (download) & 15Mbps (upload)

Decent Server Network

150 Servers Spread Across 59 Countries

img
59
Countries
75
Cities
7,000+
IP Addresses

In terms of coverage, PrivateVPN does not compete with some top tier VPNs in anyway, but it is not as poor as you may think at first glance.

There are over 7,000 individual IP addresses in the PrivateVPN network, so, while it maintains just 150 servers, you don’t need to worry about slow speeds or congestion. The 150 servers in PrivateVPN’s network are spread out really well. Popular locations like the US, Canada, Australia, and countries in Western Europe are well covered, and there are still lots of server options in Asia-Pacific and South America.

PrivateVPN users in South and Central America can connect to VPN servers in Panama, Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, and Colombia. But we were disappointed with PrivateVPN’s coverage in Africa – there is only South Africa on the list.

PrivateVPN offers city-level choices in eight countries:

  •  The UK (2)
  •  The US (9)
  •  Australia (2)
  •  Canada (2)
  •  Sweden (3)
  •  Italy (2)
  •  Ukraine (2)
  •  India (2)

The VPN service uses a blend of virtual and physical servers. PrivateVPN owns some of the servers in its network and leases others. Though this is not ideal, they set the leased servers up themselves and remotely monitor them to ensure that they do not store user logs.

Bypassing Censorship

Reliable VPN for China

PrivateVPN is a great choice for China as its Stealth VPN protocol and advanced privacy tools helps to protects its users and bypass China’s Great Firewall.

The Stealth VPN protocol means PrivateVPN can be used in countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Turkey. You can rest assured the speeds would remain fast and consistent in these areas since PrivateVPN has lots of servers in its network.

Encryption and Security: Strong Security Features and Lots of Configurable Options

  •  Encryption: AES-256
  •  Protocol: OpenVPN (TCP/UDP); PPTP; IKEv2/IPsec; L2TP/IPsec
  •  Security: VPN kill switch; IPV6 leak blocking; DNS leak blocking; Supports TCP port 443; First-party DNS
  •  Advanced features: SOCKS; TOR over VPN server

PrivateVPN is more than just a name. It is truly a safe and secure service, with loads of advanced features to ensure the security of your data and online activities.

PrivateVPN uses the near impenetrable AES-256 encryption method, and the DNS servers are owned and managed by PrivateVPN, so your web traffic cannot be diverted unexpectedly.

There is also a VPN kill for Windows switch to protect your data in the event of a connection drop. But the lack of this feature in MacOS and mobile devices is really disappointing.

During our extensive VPN review and testing, we were able to confirm that PrivateVPN protects users against DNS or IPv6 leaks, and you can even use TCP Port 443 or Tor over VPN for extra security.

Streaming and Torrenting

Compatible with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and other Streaming Services

PrivateVPN is one of the best choices when it comes to streaming. The VPN makes streaming very easy by organizing the list of server locations into those dedicated to streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. PrivateVPN also has optimized VPN servers for Amazon Prime, ESPN, Hulu, Sky, HBO, and 13 other streaming channels.

  •  Torrenting

PrivateVPN is also ideal for torrenting, as it allows P2P activity on all of its servers, though there are servers specially optimized for that purpose in 17 countries too. Go to ‘By Service’ > ‘Dedicated IP/Torrent’ to find these special servers.

PrivateVPN is also one of the most secure options for torrenting due to its zero-logs policy, fast upload and download speeds, and loads of security features.

Logging Policy

Strong No-logs Policy

PrivateVPN lives up to the billing in terms of privacy. Our findings revealed that the VPN’s claims that it “doesn’t collect or log any traffic or use of its service” is true. The VPN service does not also log DNS requests, IP addresses, or connection timestamps, which makes it a true zero-logs VPN.

  •  Jurisdiction

PrivateVPN was founded in 2009 by Privat Kommunikation AB – a Sweden-based company. Its location in the EU makes it subject to data retention laws and intelligence-sharing agreements. However, PrivateVPN’s no-logs policy means that they wouldn’t have any data to present if compelled by authorities to supply information about subscribers.

Ease of Use

Easy to Setup and User-friendly Apps

It only takes a few minutes to download and install PrivateVPN. On its website, the VPN provider has step-by-step installation guides for a lot of popular devices in case you need help.

PrivateVPN’s apps are very simple, displaying advanced features in a well-organized manner. Though PrivateVPN’s apps do not offer integrated support, you can always seek the help you need online.

Devices and Operating Systems

Simple Native Apps Designed for Major Platforms

App

Windows

Mac

iOS

Linux

Android

Router

Streaming Devices and Gaming Consoles

AppleTV

Amazon Fire TV

Chromecast

Nintendo

PlayStation

Xbox

PrivateVPN provides custom apps for the main popular platforms like Microsoft Windows, iOS, Apple MacOS, and Android.

Users on platforms like Linux can use the manual setup guides online to set up PrivateVPN on their device. What’s more, PrivateVPN allows up to six simultaneous connections, which makes it a good choice for those who want to protect more devices.

  •  Streaming Devices and Gaming Consoles

As well as providing custom apps for four of the most popular platforms, PrivateVPN offers smart TV solutions too. The VPN is one of the few services that has an app optimized for Amazon Fire TV Stick, which means that once you are good to go once you download the app. To protect your streaming device and gaming consoles, you would need to connect them to a different device running on the PrivateVPN app or a configured router.

Customer Support

Live Chat is Inconsistent but Online Resources come in Handy

PrivateVPN has a live chat support feature on its website, but it is not available 24/7. Worse still, it is impossible to predict when the live chat feature will be available as the feature could go red or green at anytime.

The email support responds quickly to requests, and the support agents are knowledgeable. Though the live chat is pretty inconsistent, PrivateVPN’s online resources can be especially helpful in these situations.

Pricing

Plans and Payment Methods

PrivateVPN is pocket-friendly on longer plans. The standard monthly plan costs $7.12, but you would be saving 73% on the 15-month plan which costs $2.88 per month. There is also a 3-month plan available at $4.20 per month.

PrivateVPN accepts relatively few payment options, but you can still pay with cryptocurrency. Other payment methods include PayPal and major credit and debit cards.

PrivateVPN users can sign up for a seven-day free trial where they wouldn’t need to provide any payment details. All you need is an email address to get full access to the service for seven days.

All subscribers are also entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee, on the condition that less than 100GB of data was used within that period. PrivateVPN would make certain inquiries to determine why you are requesting a refund, but your funds would be processed within five working days.