PrivateVPN Review

PrivateVPN is among the best VPNs that offer strong security, privacy, and speed suitable for streaming. It has 80 plus servers locations in 57 countries with the US having the most servers. PrivateVPN offers 6 simultaneous connections with unlimited bandwidth and speed. It has a zero-log policy and one of the best encryptions available: 256-AES. It is compatible with most operating systems such as Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. Besides security, privacy, and speed, PrivateVPN also offers free remote help and installation.

PrivateVPN Review 2018

Introduction

Staying private while enjoying what the internet offers is a wish every web user dreams of. This is a reality with PrivateVPN as this is what this Swedish based VPN offers: Digital privacy, protecting everything and also unlocking anything on the internet.

Why PrivateVPN?

Safety, speed, and privacy are the primary reasons why you should use PrivateVPN. With these three entities, PrivateVPN ensures you surf the internet at lightning speeds without worrying about your digital privacy nor the safety of your data. PrivateVPN achieves this by using strong encryptions, changing your IP address and also by implementing high-speed servers.

Besides the three entities, PrivateVPN also gives you other benefits such as unlimited bandwidth and server switches, a variety of VPN protocols and the ability to bypass censorship and gain access to various restricted contents. Also, PrivateVPN has competitive pricing plans.

Private VPN Pricing and Plans

PrivateVPN has 3 pricing plans which give you access to all its features. Private VPN accepts payments via all major credit cards such as Visa, PayPal and if you prefer anonymity, they also accept crypto-currency: Bitcoin. All pricing plans offer a 100% 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee. According to their Terms of Service, to qualify for a refund before the 30-day period is over, you need less than 100GB of traffic used.  Below are the pricing plans:

1-month plan:
$7.67 billed monthly.

3-months plan:
$5.25/month, billed monthly, $15.75 billed every 3 months.

13-months plan:
$3.83/month, billed monthly, $50.40 billed every 13 months.
This is the cheapest and most popular plan as it saves you 64% off the original price.

PrivateVPN also has a referral program which can give free VPN access. This feature works by giving you points every time you recruit an individual to use PrivateVPN. Every time an individual subscribes to any of the above plans, you get points. You can then redeem these points and get free days of VPN service.

PrivateVPN Features

Security and privacy

This is the backbone and core functionality of every reputable VPN. Below is how PrivateVPN implements its security and privacy:

  • Military grade encryption– PrivateVPN uses one of the highest encryption levels available in the market: for routing (TUN), it uses the AES-256 encryption with SHA256 for HMAC authentication. When bridging (TAP), it uses the OpenVPN Blowfish cipher with 128-bit CBC encryption. On top of those two, PrivateVPN implements secure socket layer with 2048-bit DH keys.

All this mean that the security levels offered by PrivateVPN are unbreakable. PrivateVPN openly claims that they haven’t had any single breach given the massive data they encrypt and protect. PrivateVPN’s security is further enhanced by the secure protocols such as OpenVPN, IKev2, andIPsec. These protocols also ensure the above heavy encryptions don’t highly impact your connection speeds. Other protocols include L2TP and PPTP.

  • Zero data logging policy– With the Swedish privacy laws in play and PrivateVPN’s logs policy, this VPN does not collect any traffic data, and they don’t even know what activities you do when you are connected on their servers.
  • DNS and IP leak protection– Leaks often lead to privacy and security breaches, but PrivateVPN’s protection keeps them in check. Unlike other VPNs, PrivateVPN services your DNS requests via their servers. This also makes them hard to leak.

Other features

  • Killswitch/Application guard
  • Port forwarding

PrivateVPN Speed

PrivateVPN is engineered to provide a fast VPN service with lower latency and higher speeds. Like other VPNs, it buys some of its internet capacity from hosting companies. However, what makes a difference is that it also uses HQN, High-Quality Network. HQN is the internet capacity that PrivateVPN purchases from IP transit providers. This means PrivateVPN avoids dealing with intermediaries more often and this in turn results to lower latency, less routing hops, and increased speeds. By doing this, PrivateVPN offers lightning speeds that make it suitable for Streaming and torrenting as it supports P2P services.

 

PrivateVPN Speed Test

We tested the speeds of PrivateVPN across some servers and their claims about having HQN might be true. We conducted the tests on a 50Mbps connection in Estonia. Generally, we were not disappointed as some servers yielded amazing speeds while others were terribly slow. For instance, a faraway server such as the one we connected to in Australia was painfully slow.

From the tests, you can notice that nearer servers deliver exceptional speeds which even exceeded our internet connection speed. These speeds mean that you won’t experience any buffering problems when streaming.

Note: the tests we conducted cannot be considered definitive, and they are a general indicator of the speed performance we got. You might get different results depending on the different factors that can affect your connection. Even though, the discrepancies won’t be that much.

Australia

USA (New York)

Germany

Finland

 

PrivateVPN DNS Leak Test

PrivateVPN assures its users that it doesn’t leak since it has DNS and IP leak protections in place. Not that we didn’t believe, we wanted to be sure, and we went ahead and performed some DNS leak test while using Estonia based ISP provider. As you can see from the results below, PrivateVPN doesn’t leak, its IP and DNS leak protections are tight.

 

PrivateVPN Company and Jurisdiction

PrivateVPN is owned by a Swedish-based company Privat Kommunikation Sverige AB. Apart from that, nothing is known about PrivateVPN’s history, and even their About Us page has nothing about them. There is no Our Team page nor is there any information about the company itself.  How it started and for how long has it been in the business. But considering the number of server locations, it’s not that old.

Being based in Sweden is a tricky affair for a VPN as Sweden is part of the 5, 9 and 14 eyes alliance. The Swedish parliament also passed the IPRED and data retention laws. Also, there is disturbing news that the government is doubling on data retention laws and proposing VPN surveillance.

 

PrivateVPN Logging Policy

According to their website, PrivateVPN is a zero logging VPN. This means they don’t collect or log any traffic. Although there are data retention laws in Sweden, PrivateVPN is safe in that even if its pressured to give details about their customer’sactivities, or forced to comply to investigations, they won’t have anything to give.

But they do collect some information and details. Also, their session cookies allow their systems to identify you uniquely.

 

PrivateVPN Usability & Apps

PrivateVPN apps sport a clutter-free user-friendly interface which makes it easy to use the service. Most of its settings and functionalities are easily accessible. Also, if you get stuck while using the PrivateVPN software, you can request for remote assistance.

Getting started with PrivateVPN’s apps is an easy task. After creating an account on their website, download your preferred VPN app according to the operating system you have and install it. They have apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android. Configuring the apps is easy, but if you get stuck, they have great guides on how to set up your VPN. Below is a brief overview of its VPN apps:

  • Windows

The Windows client is straightforward with all the necessary features easily accessible. There’s a server selection menu, log out button and an advanced button for more settings. Advanced settings pages are also clean with only four vertical tabs. Advanced settings allow you to toggle and select various features according to your preference.

  • Mac
    The Mac OS client has the same interface featured in the Windows’s client and its clutter free. What’s great about their app is that you can quickly identify which servers unblock the services you need, g.,Hulu, Netflix, ABC, etc.

  • iOS and Android Apps

Similar to the desktop apps, PrivateVPN mobile apps offer an intuitive interface with quick access to functionalities and features.

PrivateVPN Customer service and support

PrivateVPN offers its customer support through a live chat, email system, remote assistance and through their support section. Their live chat is not online all the time hence you might have to wait for a response a little bit longer. Their email system also has the same predicament as you have to wait until they are online for them to respond to your query.

PrivateVPN support section is not as populated as what you would see in other VPNs. But it has helpful information which comprises of guides on their various VPN apps. Some of the guides also offer a video tutorial on how to install and set the VPN app. There’s also an FAQ that answers most questions related to PrivateVPN.

Remote control

Private VPN provides free assistance to their clients who are unable to configure their VPN client. All you need to do is set up a remote-control feature via the TeamViewer app. After you are done with the activation, you will then be required to send your TeamViewer ID and password to one of their customer support technicians. The technician will then control your device remotely and set up everything required to help you get started with PrivateVPN.

Does PrivateVPN unblock Netflix?

PrivateVPN not only unblocks Netflix but also it unblocks other streaming services such as Hulu and ABC without a fuss. Their server listing shows you which servers are able to unblock a particular streaming service. Other servers may not work as Netflix still continues its crackdown on VPNs. If you find a server is not working, try the next one. As most of the servers provide high speeds, you won’t experience any buffering problems.

 

Does PrivateVPN allow torrents?

Torrents are closely monitored by many agencies and even with the IPRED law in place, PrivateVPN allows anonymous torrenting / P2P traffic across its network. This is good as you will get to access content that’s not available on other websites. Its strong encryptions ensure that your identity remains anonymous the entire session of torrenting. Also, since they don’t log any activities you do on their service, you don’t have to worry about anybody tracking you.

7.5 Total Score
Good VPN but with fewer servers

PrivateVPN has proved to be a good VPN. It offers competitive prices for its functionalities and performance which can be matched with those of very reputable VPNs. Despite its fewer servers, PrivateVPN has what you need for privacy protection, security and speed.

PROS
  • Zero logging policy
  • Military grade encryption
  • Unlimited bandwidth and speed
  • Remote help
  • Free trial
CONS
  • Fewer servers
  • Slow at times
  • Live chat isn’t 24/7
User Rating: 5 (2 votes)