PrivateVPN is a relatively small but feature-packed VPN service launched by a company called Privat Kommunikation Sverige AB. The father company was founded back in 2012 in Sweden, which would be bad news if it were not for PrivateVPN’s strict logging policy designed to protect the privacy of its customers.
This unbiased PrivateVPN review will show you the results of our exhaustive performance tests, explore its features and policies, and dissect its current pricing scheme.
Speed & Performance
Our testing team in Belgrade, Serbia (Europe) performed our usual battery of tests on 19 PrivateVPN servers over a period of one week. This allowed us to gauge the VPN’s overall performance levels and the impact of its encryption package on our connection speed. Having said that, we are happy to report that PrivateVPN is one of the fastest services we have ever tested.
Our top performers were the servers in Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto, London, Amsterdam, Kyiv, Frankfurt, and Bangalore, which were all able to maintain more than 90% of our original speed. In other words, this is a perfect VPN for anything from streaming and torrenting to online gaming.
Servers in Tokyo (23.38%), Sidney (37.00%), and Singapore (40.36%) were not all that impressive but still provided us with enough speed for some basic operations.
During our tests, we did not experience any disconnects or major issues of any kind, but the servers did take some extra time to establish a connection (10-20 seconds).
|Location||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|New York, US||121||30.04||5.77|
|Los Angeles, US||184||46.97||7.31|
PrivateVPN supports all the major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. You can also use it on routers and Kodi streaming devices. Notably, the company does not feature any browser extensions.
Apart from the native apps, PrivateVPN provides its users with a variety of manual setup instructions on the official website, which expands its coverage to many other devices in need of proper VPN protection.
PrivateVPN currently operates 100+ servers in 60 countries, which is not an impressive server network but more than sufficient for your regular VPN needs. Apart from the standard VPN connection, you can use SOCKS5 proxy servers if you want to boost your connection speed by avoiding encryption. The port forwarding feature is also included in the offer, which is excellent news for torrenting aficionados around the world.
The client provides you with ping values for each server, so you can connect to optimal locations without any experimenting. Dedicated streaming and P2P servers are placed in a separate tab for easier access. Among others, you can connect to servers with dedicated IPs for Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Fox, NBC, CBS, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and many other geo-restricted platforms. You can also create a list of your favorite servers for optimal convenience and ease of access.
PrivateVPN provides unlimited bandwidth and server switching and guarantees 99%+ uptime. Unfortunately, the client does not show you the current load on any given server, so you might theoretically experience some performance issues when you connect to overcrowded locations.
Safety & Security
PrivateVPN supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, L2TP, and IPsec connection protocols. Naturally, we suggest going with OpenVPN since it features the optimal speed-to-security ratio, although IKEv2 is not far behind. On the other hand, PPTP and L2TP are considered to be quite insecure and outdated by modern cybersecurity standards.
When it comes to encryption, PrivateVPN’s TAP adapted uses Blowfish-128-CBC. TUN, on the other hand, uses AES-256 cipher with RSA-2048 handshake and SHA-256 for HMAC authentication. This is a very solid encryption package, so you do not have to worry about malicious online entities ever interfering with your traffic and getting ahold of your personal information.
As already mentioned in this PrivateVPN review, the company features public dynamic dedicated IPs with OpenVPN TUN/UDP/1194 in Sweden, Germany – Frankfurt 1, Norway, Ukraine, Switzerland, Netherlands 1, France – Paris, the UK – London 2, and the US – Buffalo, Los Angeles.
PrivateVPN allows you to use the so-called Stealth VPN protocol to bypass any DPI firewalls. The Application Guard enables you to create a list of programs that will automatically shut down the moment you disconnect.
During our tests, we did not experience any IP or DNS leaks, as indicated on the report generated on Ipleaks.net.
Lastly, PrivateVPN comes with a reliable automatic killswitch feature that will cut your Internet connection and prevent your personal information from leaking out in case your VPN software gets compromised or blocked for whatever reason.
Logging & Privacy
PrivateVPN only collects your email address and password upon registration. All payments go through PayPal, Payson, and Stripe, so these services will require some extra data, but PrivateVPN does not have access to it.
Apart from this, PrivateVPN also uses persistent-based and session-based cookies to identify your account once you log in. However, you can always opt to disable cookies, but note that the official site might lose some of its features if you do so.
The collected information is used to create your PrivateVPN account, communicate with you, verify your identity, complete your orders, keep internal records and improve the website, and analyze the usage of the site. The company does not permit its third-party associates to disclose any of the recorded data for marketing or any other purposes.
Bottom line, PrivateVPN is almost a zero-logging provider, meaning the company will never keep any traffic logs or share your information with any third parties.
If you have some additional questions or want to change your information, you can always contact the company directly at email@example.com and you will receive your answer within 24 hours.
As already stated in this PrivateVPN review, this is a perfect VPN service for accessing your favorite content from all corners of the world. During our testing phase, we were able to access Netflix US, UK, Germany, Canada, France, and Japan without any problems.
Apart from various regional versions of Netflix, we were also able to stream content on Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Crunchyroll. In these precarious times when streaming platforms intensify their war on VPN traffic on a daily basis, PrivateVPN definitely sets an example for some of the much larger VPN providers.
PrivateVPN does allow torrenting on its servers and supports all the popular BitTorrent-based applications. Note that the company suggests using its servers in Sweden for all kinds of P2P filesharing. Being one of the fastest VPN services on the market, PrivateVPN provides its users with a very impressive torrenting experience, as demonstrated by our performance tests.
Plans & Pricing
PrivateVPN features three different subscription options, including a 1-month plan ($7.67 per month), a 3-month deal ($4.88 per month; $14.63 total), and a full 1-year package ($3.82 per month; $49.68 total). If you purchase a 1-year subscription, you get one additional month absolutely free of charge.
The accepted payment methods include credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club, and Discover), PayPal, and Bitcoin. All purchases come with a full 30-day money-back guarantee. Lastly, if you just want to test the software, you have a 7-day free trial at your disposal.
Apart from the exhaustive knowledgebase and FAQ sections on the official website, PrivateVPN features a dedicated contact form and live chat. The customer support staff is there for you 24/7 and is more than capable of answering any questions you might have. The live chat feature also allows you to receive a transcript of your conversation.
The company took second place for customer support at the 2019 ProPrivacy.com Awards, which speaks volumes about the level of customer care you can expect.
PrivateVPN Pros And Cons
As we wrap up this PrivateVPN review, here’s a quick overview of the features that wowed us and the aspects of the service that could use some improvement.
- Excellent speeds
- Support for all major platforms
- Solid encryption package
- Port forwarding
- App guard
- Stealth VPN
- Automatic killswitch
- Public dynamic dedicated IPs
- No DNS leaks
- Almost no logs
- Dedicated streaming servers
- Works with Netflix and other geo-locked platforms
- Torrenting is allowed
- Live chat support
- Based in Sweden
- Small server network