PrivateVPN is a relatively small VPN service based out from Sweden. It is small because it does not have a large server pool to boast about. However, it is not small in stature, since it is well respected in the VPN community and can boast a vast consumer base all over the world. The service, much like most newer VPNs, tries to make the users’ online experience as pleasant and secure as possible.
You enjoy high-speed connections, have good protection for your files, can be sure that your activity is your business alone, and unblock streaming websites around the world that are geo-restricted. PrivateVPN basically lets you do everything you wish for when you subscribe to a VPN service.
Pricing and Plans
PrivateVPN offers three different pricing plans to users.
- 1 month – you get all the features of the VPN service for one month at $10.95 per month
- 3 months – all the VPN features are available for a quarterly subscription at $7.5 per month, billed $22.50 every three months
- 1 year – you get all the features of the service for a year at $3.6 per month billed $61.20 every 12 months. PrivateVPN is currently offering 5 months extra on this package, so you basically get 17 months’ service at $61.20.
Free Trial and Money Back Guarantee
Opting for a VPN is always a tricky business. There are many services which are only out there to get your money, while there are services which genuinely want to help you become anonymous on the internet and to help you keep your online activity private. PrivateVPN falls in the latter category, which is why it offers you a free trial of its service.
You can use PrivateVPN for 24 hours for free, in which time you can try all the features and servers of the service and find out if it really is as good as it claims to be. You still have an option to back out once you make the payment since PrivateVPN offers a generous 30-day money back guarantee across all its packages.
A lot of VPNs offer a money back guarantees, but there are just a handful of services that offer it over 30 days and return the money without any conditions or questions. PrivateVPN, despite being a smaller service, has the confidence that users will not leave them once they have gotten a taste of their service. That confidence doesn’t arise from some misguided image of themselves either.
When you wish to subscribe to PrivateVPN, you can choose from the three payment methods they support. You can either pay through:
- Credit cards
It is always good to see VPNs accepting payments through Bitcoin. An anonymizing service accepting anonymous payments feels right, and that’s the way to go about things.
This is one part where some can lift a finger against PrivateVPN. It does not have a large global presence in the form of server count. The industry giants it competes against an offer at least 500 around the world, while PrivateVPN only offers around 90 servers as of now. These servers, though, are well scattered all over the globe.
You can find PrivateVPN servers in 55 locations across the world. This strategic placement of servers is important to allow users from all parts of the world to be able to use the service. Also, it allows people to unblock a wider list of geo-restricted services. The only way to unblock these services is to have servers in the locations they are accessible in. PrivateVPN understands that very well, which is why its servers are well placed.
PrivateVPN doesn’t disappoint in the speed department. It claims to be one of the fastest VPNs on the planet. That claim isn’t too presumptuous since the speed test in UK and US servers showed good results. If you are wondering about IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, you don’t have to worry.
We checked PrivateVPN against all these leaks and were pleased to find out that no sort of leaks occurred. This was after repeatedly checking the service against IP leak tests. The speed and not leaking IP or DNS queries is vital to allowing users to stream content from anywhere in the world.
As for PrivateVPN’s claim to help you unblock streaming services and being one of the best in the business when it comes to that, it’s true to a great extent. It is one of the few VPNs that are able to bypass the VPN blockades that Netflix has put in place. With PrivateVPN, you can stream Netflix USA, as well as BBC iPlayer in the UK.
Privacy and Security
Privacy and security are the basic requirements from all VPNs. No VPN is good enough if it fails to fulfill these two basic necessities that users all over the world have today. PrivateVPN delivers on this front as well.
PrivateVPN is a strictly no-logs VPN service. Nothing that can be traced back to you is recorded by the VPN. The only thing it records is your email address to contact you and verify your subscription, as well as web cookies to help improve user experience on its website. No connection or usage logs are recorded by PrivateVPN.
While its base location in Sweden could deter a few people, given the country’s tussle with privacy enthusiasts in recent years, PrivateVPN users are always safe. The support staff notified us that PrivateVPN owns and controls all its servers and routers in Sweden, which means that it is virtually impossible for anyone to force it to collect data logs.
VPN protocol and Encryption
The OpenVPN config files can be found on the PrivateVPN website, along with a description of each protocol along with its merits and demerits. You are in good hands when you use PrivateVPN as it uses OpenVPN AES 256-bit encryption, the most secure encryption you can have in today’s world.
PrivateVPN can be used on almost any device you use to connect to the internet. It has VPN apps for:
There are setup guides for other devices on the PrivateVPN website. The guides are well detailed and help you set up the service on your device without any problem. The devices and operating systems other than those for which VPN apps are provided are:
- Amazon Fire Stick
- OpenELEC Kodi
PrivateVPN Windows Client
The Windows client by PrivateVPN is really lightweight and works quite smoothly. The interface isn’t the most elaborate of interfaces, but it’s neat and subtle. The sky blue color goes with the general feel of the client.
You can see which country’s server you are using, as well as which city that server is in. This can help you out in selecting a server closest to your geographic location. The closer the server is, the higher your connection speed is. Other than that, you can choose to toggle general setting and features in the Settings and Connection Guard tabs respectively.
PrivateVPN iOS Client
The iOS app is pretty similar to the Windows client in terms of look and feel. It’s not as feature-rich as the Windows client, but it works efficiently nonetheless. If you are looking for adblocking through the mobile apps, you will be disappointed. A few VPNs offer ad blocking and malware protection through their mobile VPN apps, but PrivateVPN isn’t one of those VPNs.
Customer support service is a big factor in maintaining a customer base. It is the one thing that keeps customers loyal to your service once they have subscribed to it. It is common for users to face difficulties when setting up a VPN for the first time in their lives. Although the setup guides provided by PrivateVPN should help people out in that respect, there are still a number of issues users might face as they use the service.
To help address all grievances and resolve all issues, PrivateVPN offers 24X7 customer support. You can contact the support staff through live chat or email them your query. You are sure to get a response in a short time. The responses are always courteous and detailed, helping you overcome the obstacle in no time.
For those people who are not at all tech savvy and for whom setting up a VPN is no less than climbing Mt.Everest, PrivateVPN offers remote assistance. This is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.
Just contact the support staff, and they will guide you through the process of allowing them to control your system remotely and set up the VPN for you. This is a feature that isn’t provided by even some of the best VPN services.
It only goes to show how much PrivateVPN is willing to go out of its way to help the paying customer get the best possible experience and face the least amount of difficulties.
PrivateVPN, like most VPNs today, offers an internet kill switch. Enabling this feature will disconnect you from the internet the moment your VPN connection drops. Connection drops can take place in any VPN for a number of reasons, which is why it is important to have an internet kill switch in place.
This makes sure you are protected at all times. When you are downloading files, this feature becomes even more important, since it allows you to leave your system unattended. Even if the connection drops while the download is taking place, no one will be able to see what you are downloading, since your internet connection will stop as well.
This isn’t exactly a feature per se, but it’s a service that PrivateVPN provides and many other VPNs do not. Many countries come down really hard on P2P services and users who download content illegally for free. Copyright infringement is taken seriously in many western countries, with users receiving notices whenever caught using P2P.
Be in the prospect of receiving a DMCA notice, or an Aubhmanung letter, it is unsafe to download copyrighted content without protection. If your VPN allows P2P, there is no better thing. PrivateVPN users can use the VPN service for P2P usage. PrivateVPN recommends that you use its Sweden servers for this purpose.
The Verdict on PrivateVPN Review
PrivateVPN is a VPN service which might be small in size but performs at par with the top VPN names in the industry. Whether it is privacy, protection, speed, or overall user experience, PrivateVPN delivers on all fronts.
Although it currently has just 90 servers in 55 locations of the world, it is continuously adding to this list, and the servers are well placed, not to mention the high-connection speeds they provide their users with.
It is one of the few VPNs which allows you to access Netflix USA, allows 6 simultaneous connections, allows P2P, has a great customer support service, and offers a 24-hour free trial and a 30-day money back guarantee. There’s not much to frown about when you use PrivateVPN, and it is a service that will challenge the top VPNs very soon.