PrivateVPN was established in Stockholm, Sweden in 2009. The company operates under the full name of Privat Kommunikation Sverige AB and initially went by the name privatvpn.se. In our previous reviews, we examined two VPN providers based in Sweden, namely FrootVPN and Mullvad. Unfortunately, neither of them met our expectations.
When I came across PrivateVPN, I was intrigued by its name, which suggested that it offered robust privacy and security features. I was eager to test these claims and determine the true extent of PrivateVPN’s privacy features. Additionally, I wanted to investigate whether their focus on privacy compromised their performance and speed.
In this comprehensive review of PrivateVPN, I will address these inquiries and more, while also discussing The remarkable benefits and potential drawbacks of this VPN service. Ultimately, I will provide my recommendation on whether or not PrivateVPN is a suitable choice for a VPN service.
Before delving into the details, let’s first explore the background of the company behind PrivateVPN.
Table of Contents
Overview of PrivateVPN Review
|OVERALL RANK:||#29 out of 78 VPNs|
|USABILITY:||Easy to install and use|
|LOG FILES:||Questionable Logging|
|LOCATIONS:||61 countries, 84 servers|
|SUPPORT:||Ticket system and FAQ page|
|ENCRYPTION/PROTOCOL:||256-bit AES PPTP, OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2 & L2TP|
Background Info on PrivateVPN
Upon visiting the PrivateVPN website, my attention was immediately drawn to their company logo, which featured a shield with a lock at its center. This design choice perfectly aligned with their name and the concept of privacy. Furthermore, I quickly realized that their homepage was exceptionally user-friendly and intuitively organized.
The seamless navigation of their homepage left me pondering whether their services were equally as effortless to utilize. For a more comprehensive grasp, here’s an enlightening overview. of what you can expect when visiting the homepage of PrivateVPN:
The website exudes a lively and dynamic ambiance. Additionally, during my visit, I discovered that PrivateVPN was currently providing a generous 25% discount on all their plans, which further enhanced my initial impression. All in all, I found it to be an impressive first encounter.
Now, let’s dive into an in-depth examination of how PrivateVPN presents itself on their website.
Moreover, I’m keen to evaluate the performance of PrivateVPN in comparison to their competitors. In the pros and cons section, I will present the results of my own speed test conducted on PrivateVPN servers.
Before diving into those details, let’s explore the online conversation surrounding PrivateVPN. Overall, I discovered a relatively limited amount of negative feedback about the company, with most reviews of their services being predominantly positive.
One noteworthy aspect I observed is the active engagement of the company with its customers on social media platforms. They appear to prioritize communication and interaction, which is worth noting.
PrivateVPN regularly shares updates on Twitter regarding the addition of new server locations, apps, and installation guides, actively keeping their users informed.
The positive sentiment expressed by their users is quite evident.
In fact, take a moment to see what one of their satisfied Twitter users had to say about their service:
Take note of the user’s remark regarding the compatibility of PrivateVPN’s servers with Netflix. I plan to verify this assertion in due course.
A particular Twitter user, R.Q. Mehdi, expressed an interest in having supplementary functionalities on the PrivateVPN platform, specifically the ability to monitor ping and connection speeds for each server through the app.
It appears that the company has not yet responded to him, at least not publicly.
Considering that PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, there are inevitably some legal constraints on the level of privacy they can offer to their users’ information.
In fact, the Swedish government has been enforcing stricter data retention laws in the country, aiming to make it obligatory for VPN providers to retain logs of user activity.
As reported by Privacy News Online, Sweden intends to implement VPN surveillance and mandate that its internet infrastructure is designed to optimize governmental surveillance.
These developments potentially pose challenges for any VPN provider. Nonetheless, the company has been fairly transparent with its customers regarding the legal changes thus far.
Prior to discussing pricing and speeds associated with PrivateVPN, let’s delve into its features.
PrivateVPN Compatibility & Features
On their “features” page, PrivateVPN prioritizes highlighting its speeds, protocols, and security above all else.
Furthermore, they provide dedicated apps tailored to various devices, designed specifically for each operating system.
One appealing aspect is their provision of unlimited bandwidth, speed, server switches, and other features across all subscription plans.
Additionally, they extend a referral program and provide comprehensive setup guides for each device, aiding users with the installation process.
The VPN service is compatible with the following devices and operating systems:
PrivateVPN offers the convenience of simultaneous usage on up to six devices, which is quite an appealing advantage when compared to other providers that restrict you to only two or three.
Now, let me dive into the pricing details, so you can have a clear understanding of how each plan functions.
Moreover, PrivateVPN allows you to connect it to various types of routers, expanding its compatibility to meet your specific needs.
- ASUS RT models
With a network of 150+ servers across 60 countries, this VPN offers global coverage with servers present in numerous major cities worldwide. However, compared to other companies I have reviewed, the total number of servers falls on the lower end.
Considering that PrivateVPN was established in 2009, I anticipated a more extensive availability of servers across a wider range of countries.
To explore the complete list of servers offered by PrivateVPN, it is available on their website:
The company currently provides a kill switch feature for their Windows VPN app, and they have announced that a kill switch for their Mac VPN app is in the works and will be released soon.
Kill switches hold significant importance in ensuring privacy and security.
These switches are designed to detect potential internet disconnections and automatically terminate the ongoing browsing session, safeguarding your data and browsing history.
While it would be preferable for PrivateVPN to offer this additional protection across all their applications, it is encouraging that they are actively working on implementing it, and hopefully, it will be available in the near future. It’s worth noting that some VPN providers do not offer a kill switch at all.
Moreover, PrivateVPN also offers IPv6 and DNS leak protection to further enhance security measures.
Pros of PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN boasts a range of impressive features that left me thoroughly satisfied, particularly when it comes to the robust security measures implemented on their servers.
Before shifting our focus to areas for improvement, let’s first acknowledge what the company excels at.
1. It’s safe and secure
While PrivateVPN may not overwhelm you with an extensive array of features, rest assured that their commitment to security is unwavering.
Here’s a brief overview of their robust security measures.
Is it Well Encrypted?
As mentioned on their FAQ page,
The security provided by PrivateVPN is of the highest caliber, impervious even to brute-force attacks.
With encryption on par with bank-grade standards, you can confidently entrust your data to this level of protection.
What Protocols Are In-Use?
Right on the homepage of their website, you’ll find a concise listing of the protocols they utilize:
Judging by the range of protocols available, it is reasonable to conclude that their tunneling software is secure.
Is Torrenting Allowed?
PrivateVPN permits torrenting, granting you the freedom to engage in file-sharing activities such as transferring large files like movies, music, or software. By utilizing a VPN, you not only safeguard your security but also preserve your privacy during these activities.
2. PrivateVPN is easy to use & install
PrivateVPN offers comprehensive installation guides tailored to your specific device or computer, ensuring seamless installation regardless of your platform.
Discover a wide range of installation guides directly from the home page, simplifying the setup process for you.
After successfully downloading PrivateVPN, this is how the platform’s interface will appear.
To initiate the process, simply provide your email address and password.
Upon successful login, you will be presented with the PrivateVPN interface. Take note of the “Not Connected” graphic located at the bottom of the page.
To establish a connection, simply select a server from the available list and click on the “Connect” button.
Once connected, you will receive a notification confirming your successful connection. To terminate your connection, click on the “Disconnect” button. Alternatively, you can choose another server from the list.
That’s all there is to it!
If you wish to explore more advanced options, locate the “Advanced” button situated in the bottom right-hand corner. By clicking on it, you will access a user dashboard where additional features and settings can be found.
A settings page:
And connection guard options.
In terms of usability, I would rate it 7 out of 10.
One aspect I appreciate is the availability of advanced features, which are accessible when needed. The normal interface remains uncluttered without automatically including these advanced options.
3. Convenient customer support
PrivateVPN offers customer support through both ticketing and live chat channels.
To initiate contact, you can click on the text bubble located at the bottom right-hand corner of their home page. Alternatively, within the PrivateVPN app, you can click on the “Live Support” button situated in the top left-hand corner.
While attempting to access the live chat feature, I encountered a situation where no representatives were currently available online.
To submit a ticket, simply provide your name, email, and message. It’s a straightforward process that allows you to seek assistance effectively.
After clicking “send,” you will receive a notification confirming the submission.
While it would be ideal to have 24/7 availability for live chat, I found the ticketing option to be relatively user-friendly.
When it comes to customer service, PrivateVPN meets the expected industry standards without going above and beyond. They have fulfilled my expectations in this regard.
Furthermore, their FAQ page is highly valuable, offering a plethora of information where you may find answers to your queries. In fact, I discovered the answer to my question about P2P downloads there, confirming their permissibility. PrivateVPN also recommends utilizing Sweden servers for such activities.
4. Inexpensive long-term pricing
PrivateVPN offers budget-friendly and transparent pricing options that are easy to comprehend.
The yearly plan stands out, priced at just $5.95 per month, providing an excellent value. Moreover, you have the convenience of connecting up to six devices simultaneously.
During my visit to the website, there was a tempting 25% discount available on all plans. However, even without the discount, their pricing remains reasonable.
The best part is that every feature is accessible across all plan types. This allows you to initially try out the monthly plan and evaluate their offerings before committing to a long-term plan, securing significant savings in the process.
5. A Perfect 5/5 Servers Worked with Netflix
According to claims made by PrivateVPN, they have developed their VPN service with a specific focus on Netflix compatibility.
Such a claim carries significant weight, considering that many VPNs labeled as “Netflix Compatible” have struggled since Netflix implemented stricter measures in 2016.
However, we bring you encouraging news.
In our real-life tests, PrivateVPN proved its mettle and delivered outstanding results where it truly matters.
By establishing connections to the following servers, we achieved seamless streaming success:
- United States: New York
- United States: Los Angeles
- United Kingdom
Earning a flawless 5/5 score solidifies their position among the top-tier VPNs for Netflix that we have encountered.
Cons of PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN boasts numerous outstanding features that contribute to its overall excellence. The encryption it employs is remarkable, the user experience is intuitive, and they provide valuable installation guides for their customers.
Nevertheless, it is essential to address certain areas where their service falls short.
Here are the aspects I wish could be improved or changed about PrivateVPN.
1. Questionable logging policy
However, it is important to note that they do collect certain information such as IP addresses and cookies. They state that disabling cookies might cause issues with site functionality on their servers.
This logging practice raises concerns about the level of privacy provided by PrivateVPN. It would be beneficial if they were more transparent and explicit about their terms of service to provide users with a clearer understanding of their data handling practices.
2. Inconsistent server speeds
While every VPN provider claims to offer unparalleled server speeds, it’s crucial to approach such assertions with a discerning eye. Verifying the actual performance requires conducting tests and assessments firsthand.
That’s precisely what I did.
I meticulously tested the connection speeds of PrivateVPN’s servers across various locations worldwide. I conducted speed tests on their US, Netherlands, and Hong Kong servers, comparing them to competitors in the market.
Now, let’s delve into the results I obtained:
- Ping: 139ms
- Download: 4.70 Mbps
- Upload: 7.63 Mbps
- Ping: 50 ms
- Download: 19.83 Mbps
- Upload: 23.07 Mbps
Hong Kong Server
- Ping: 245 ms
- Download: 4.63 Mbps
- Upload: 5.73 Mbps
Indeed, certain speeds showcased impressive performance, capturing attention with their excellence.
However, it is important to address the contrastingly disappointing results from the last Hong Kong server. This inconsistency highlights the fact that the overall performance of PrivateVPN’s servers can be quite variable, leading to a rather unpredictable experience.
PrivateVPN Pricing Options & Plans
PrivateVPN stands out by providing a significant advantage: a generous 30-day money-back guarantee. This feature holds immense value, particularly if you decide to fully invest in their service but encounter a specific aspect that becomes a dealbreaker for you.
PrivateVPN offers flexible subscription options, including a one-month, three-month, and one-year package. Let’s examine how these packages are structured:
The one-month package is $9.90 per month.
This comes out to be $9.90 per year.
The three-month package is $6.00 per month.
This comes out to $17.99 per year.
The one year package is $2.00 per month.
At just $72.00 per year, this plan represents the ultimate value proposition, surpassing all other options. To sweeten the deal, the company even includes a 13th month for free with this particular plan.
During my examination of the plans and pricing, I discovered that the company was providing an impressive 85% discount. However, it’s important to note that these rates might not remain available for an extended period.
Now, let’s delve into the breakdown of the company’s pricing plans as outlined on their website:
Embrace the ease of multiple payment methods at your disposal, including credit cards, PayPal, and even the cutting-edge Bitcoin.
I suggest giving PrivateVPN a try for a month and then transitioning to an annual plan if you find their service to be satisfactory.
One notable aspect of PrivateVPN is its affordability, particularly when you take into account the extensive range of features available with each plan.
If you encounter any aspects that you are not satisfied with, rest assured that you can request a refund within 30 days of your purchase.
Now that you are well-informed about the features and pricing of PrivateVPN, let’s delve into the pros and cons of their service.
PrivateVPN Review Conclusion – Do I Recommend it?
Certainly! Here’s the rewritten version:
“No, I don’t.
If you’re seeking a user-friendly VPN with robust encryption features, PrivateVPN is an excellent option. It offers leak protection and a kill-switch for Windows users.
Moreover, you can connect up to six devices simultaneously without any additional charges, and all plans include the same features. Additionally, the company provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, and torrenting is permitted with PrivateVPN.
The customer service is satisfactory, and the company maintains a comprehensive FAQ page, which enables users to find answers to their questions at their convenience.
However, it would be beneficial to have a greater selection of server options with PrivateVPN. A mere 100 servers is quite limited, especially for a VPN that has been in operation since 2009.
Furthermore, I would appreciate more transparency regarding the logging policy, as Swedish laws likely impose stricter regulations compared to other countries.
Lastly, the server speeds were unfortunately inconsistent, which prevents me from recommending it without reservations.
If you prioritize affordability, an array of features, and top-notch security, PrivateVPN is worth considering.”
This PrivateVPN review has provided a comprehensive overview of the service, its features, and pricing options. PrivateVPN offers a range of compatibility and features, making it a versatile choice for users across various devices. The review highlighted several pros, including its strong focus on safety and security, ease of use, responsive customer support, affordable long-term pricing, and reliable access to Netflix servers. However, it also pointed out a couple of cons, such as a questionable logging policy and occasional inconsistencies in server speeds.
Considering all the factors discussed, it is clear that PrivateVPN is a competitive VPN service that offers a solid user experience. While the logging policy and server speed issues may be of concern to some users, the overall package provided by PrivateVPN makes it a worthy consideration. With its affordable pricing options and positive attributes, PrivateVPN presents a compelling choice for those seeking a reliable and accessible VPN solution.
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