PrivateVPN Expert Review

8.5
Privacy
9 / 10
Pricing
9 / 10
Speed
8 / 10
Support
8 / 10
Features
8 / 10
Security
9 / 10

PrivateVPN Review

PrivateVPN is subject to Swedish privacy laws. This VPN service offers many unique features for clients, including enhanced security, rapid speed, military-grade encryption, and a growing number of servers across 60 locations. Clients can enjoy PrivateVPN on Windows, Mac, iPhone and iPad devices. This fee can service is a trusted option for unblocking Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and torrenting purposes.

Is My Privacy Protected with PrivateVPN?

Our PrivateVPN review found that this provider offers enhanced safety, security and anonymity for clients. Information pertaining to privacy controls is found in the Privacy Policy. The easy-to-read privacy policy unequivocally states the following: ‘PrivateVPN does not collect or log any traffic or use of its service. If you are browsing our site, you don’t have to give us any identifiable information.’ The fact that PrivateVPN does not keep user logs or log any traffic is important. Information that is collected includes an email address, password, and payment-related information. As with other VPN services, cookies are collected (session cookies and persistent cookies), however, users can disable cookies from their browser.

PrivateVPN claims to have 44,000 satisfied customers with 15,000 TB of protected data on its servers. The company maintains 150+ servers across 60 countries. In certain countries, clients will only be able to connect through an anonymous server via L2TP VPN. Various other VPN protocols are available with PrivateVPN including OpenVPN with UDP/TCP, OpenVPN over TCP, OpenVPN over UDP, L2TP/IPsec, IPsec, PPTP, and IKEv2. Each of these protocols describes a specific way to connect to a VPN server. PrivateVPN provides AES-256-bit encryption technology, with a 2048-bit DH key for enhanced security. The fact that this VPN service never produces logs of data traffic is encouraging since it guarantees that no information can be turned over to government authorities.

We researched the VPN app and found that the PrivateVPN Windows app which featured a kill switch now boasts a function that suspends internet traffic if the connection has been interrupted. Additionally, an improved version of IPv6 leak protection was added.

How Much Is PrivateVPN? Is There a Free Trial?

Source: PrivateVPN Prices

PrivateVPN offers multiple subscriptions to users. At the time of our review, a special deal was running, for 12 months + 1 month extra. The plan costs $3.82 per month, or $49.68 per year, for savings of 65%. The plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Other popular plans include the 3-month subscription at a price of $4.88 per month, or $14.63 for 3 months. This plan also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. For users who are looking for a VPN subscription for just 1 month, the service currently runs at $7.67 per month.

Source: PrivateVPN Prices

The plans are suitable for personal or business use, given that there is unlimited bandwidth and server switches. All operating systems and platforms are fully supported, and with up to 6 simultaneous connections at the time, PrivateVPN is a viable solution for anonymous online browsing. Compared to other reputable VPN services, PrivateVPN is affordably priced. Consider the following costs: ExpressVPN features a 1-month price of $12.95, a 15-month deal at $6.67 per month, and a 6-month plan at $9.99 per month. Another top VPN provider, NordVPN offers a 3-year plan at $2.99 per month, a 1-month plan at $11.95 per month, 2-year plan at $3.99 per month, and 1-year plan at $6.99 per month.

Payment can be made via credit card (Diners Club, Discover, JCB, American Express, Visa, and MasterCard), PayPal, and Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency option is best for increased anonymity, provided is used with a burner email address. All payments are conducted via a secure server, with 30-days, risk free, money-back guarantee.

PrivateVPN Speed Test

Our experts found during their PrivateVPN review that this service offers speeds that may actually be faster than your regular ISP speed time, given that internet service providers often throttle specific traffic. With PrivateVPN, there is no restricted online activity whatsoever. The process of evaluating the speed of your VPN service requires a speed test without a VPN as a baseline measurement. You can typically expect local VPN servers to be quicker than remote VPN servers. This means that your upload and download times will be better for servers closer to your current location.

Speed tests will vary from server to server. It appears that the European servers of PrivateVPN offer faster download and upload speeds, and lower ping times then servers in Hong Kong and the US. Your speed test results will vary based on your own internet connection. Suffice it to say, the connection speed to your VPN will usually be slower than without the VPN. You can expect download speeds anywhere from 4.70 Mbps to 19.83 Mbps on average, and upload speeds from around 5.73 Mbps through 23.07 Mbps, based on the servers mentioned above. PrivateVPN offers DNS leak protection and IPv6. When judging PrivateVPN vs ExpressVPN we found their respective speeds to be similar.

How Is Customer Service at PrivateVPN?

Source: PrivateVPN Contact Us

PrivateVPN offers professional and courteous customer support to clients. Clients can get in touch with customer service representatives via the online messaging service. The support representatives respond to client queries as quickly as possible. Another useful way to get in touch with support is through the live chat feature located on the bottom right of the screen. Live chat is powered by LiveAgent, and clients simply need to enter their name, email and a short message. This real-time communication channel is the best way to get a resolution to your queries.

The FAQ section provides answers to typical VPN-related questions. These include general questions about PrivateVPN, security-related concerns, subscription plans, and technical issues. The questions and answers are easy to understand. PrivateVPN intentionally crafts its content to be as easy to read as possible. Clients can also access customer support in other languages including German, Swedish, and French. A strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the in-house blog, completes the package for users. A community of people routinely posts about their experiences with this VPN service. 

Source: PrivateVPN on Twitter

Source: PrivateVPN on YouTube

Source: PrivateVPN Blog

In terms of overall transparency, PrivateVPN is somewhat enigmatic. There is no identifiable information about the company other than the fact that it is owned by Privat Kommunikation AB, in Sweden. No telephone numbers, fax numbers, or management info is provided, and no snail-mail address is listed. However, further investigation revealed that the physical address is Bygdevägen 5 lgh 1301, SE-191 48 Sollentuna, Stockholm and the telephone number is +46-70-862-21-30.

Features of PrivateVPN

  

Source: PrivateVPN App Store                                      Source: PrivateVPN Google Play Store

PrivateVPN offers many useful features to clients. These include anonymous targeting, a no logs policy, multiple VPN protocols supported, IPv6 leak protection, 2048-bit encryption, unlimited speed, and unlimited bandwidth, port forwarding, and AES-256-bit encryption. Up to 6 simultaneous connections are permitted, which means that PrivateVPN maintains ‘some’ data about each user. Without logging session data to a degree, PrivateVPN would not know that users are connected with up to 6 devices. IP switching is easily done with PrivateVPN, thanks to 150+ servers across 60 countries. In countries like China where the firewall blocks access to VPN services, clients can use L2TP VPN.

PrivateVPN apps are available for smartphone systems and PC there is also a PrivateVPN download for Mac on offer. Clients can download the apps for Android 4.0 and later directly from the Google Play Store, and the iOS VPN for iPad iOS version 9.0 and later from the App Store.  The services provided by PrivateVPN allow users to securely connect to public Wi-Fi without worrying about a man in the middle attacks, enjoy anonymous online browsing at all times, and unblock websites which are geo-location blocked to traffic. PrivateVPN offers clients an easy way to unlock video content on Kodi, as well as streaming on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and other TV, film and other torrenting websites. With PrivateVPN it is possible to enjoy torrents without fear of adware, malware, or viruses affecting your system.

Signing up for this service is relatively straightforward. Simply select your plan from the range of options provided, create a secure account using an email and password, and then choose your payment method. We encourage using the most anonymous registration system possible. In this case, use a burner email address and use Bitcoin to pay for your subscription. Of course, this registration option will still reveal your IP address to PrivateVPN, but if you use Tor you may be able to get around this problem.

How Safe is PrivateVPN?

PrivateVPN is a safe and secure VPN service. Detailed instructions are provided for installing this software on Routers, and for OpenVPN. Their other protocols include IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP and L2TP. With regards to security features, PrivateVPN utilises the OpenVPN cipher Blowfish with 128-bit CBC encryption for TAP. With TUN, PrivateVPN uses AES-256 bit encryption with SHA-256 authentication. There is also an additional TLSv1.2, 2048-bit RSA, and cipher TLSv1. These security protocols are strong enough to withstand brute force attacks. This military-grade encryption guarantees your safety online. The inclusion of an upgraded kill switch and leak protection offers additional peace of mind. At the time of writing, there were no concerns vis-a-vis DNS leaks, Mac operating system vulnerabilities, or Windows vulnerabilities. Further, no incidents of WebRTC leaks were reported. Safety is generally ironclad, however, there is a little grey area about how PrivateVPN knows that you have connected 6 devices without logging any of your personal information.

Bottom Line

PrivateVPN is definitely a VPN service worth considering. For starters, they talk to you in plain English – no tech jargon which most people don't understand. If you read their privacy policy, it's pretty clear that they don't keep logs of your online activity, including your IP address, session data, or other metadata. In terms of pricing, this is definitely one of the more affordable services on the market. Military grade encryption, anonymity, unlimited switching between IP addresses, and various applications for browsers, smartphones, tablets, PC and Mac devices are also available. There are other VPN services with more features such as ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and PureVPN, but this one certainly holds its own.

*It is worth staying up-to-date on privacy laws in Sweden. The government is moving towards greater data retention provisions and disclosure. This could affect the way that VPN services in the country log user information.

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PrivateVPN Prices, Plans & Features - 2019

15 Months
$2.88
per month
More Details
3 Months
$4.50
per month
More Details
1 Month
$6.57
per month
More Details

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