Once we began writing this Private VPN review, the offering was looking basic in some areas. It was also showing signs of some unique features.
The company is small and doesn’t offer masses of servers, so can it do enough to stand out from all the other VPNs?
We pushed this VPN through a range of tests to see if it delivers and any weaknesses. By the end, you will see all you need to know about what PrivateVPN offers.
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- Users who like streaming
- Users who want privacy and security
- Users who want to bypass country restrictions
Plans and Pricing
When you begin looking at the pricing, the cheapest option seems very appealing. However, this is a Black Friday deal, and it will revert to the regular price.
Billed $72 for 12 months
Billed $22.50 for 3 months
Billed $10.95 for 1 month
All of the lock-in periods come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This offers enough chance to test the functions before parting with any money.
If you do some digging, you can find a 7-day free trial for the VPN, although PrivateVPN doesn’t advertise it that much.
You can find this at the bottom of the page, click the link, add your email address, and enter a password. The company issues a 7-day access code when you create your trial account.
Once you pick your plan, you choose a credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin to pay with. (Want to pay for a VPN with Bitcoin)
Before looking at how private you can be using PrivateVPN, the company bases itself in Sweden, which has strict privacy laws. However, Sweden is located inside the 14-eyes jurisdiction.
When it comes to encryption, they use the same military-grade encryption used by other market leaders, 2048-bit with AES-256. Protocols in use are OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), L2TP, IPsec, PPTP, and IKEv2.
Users can be guaranteed that any of their information won’t be seen any time soon. The only things the company retains are standard session logs that contain the IP address, connection times, and bandwidth used.
Aside from this, no data is sharing with marketing firms or other partners that can take advantage.
Ease of Use
The company allows six simultaneous connections to different devices. All of these will have different IP addresses.
Once you dive into the PrivateVPN apps, there is a wide range, even if it isn’t the largest available.
There are Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android (Fire TV, FireStick, etc.). Routers and Linux come with setup guides for installation.
Once you visit the website, you are greeted with a black and neon color scheme. This may be to give the atmosphere of Black Friday sales. However, you do have the large red button to click on.
From here, you go to the plan page, where you select one and then add your email and password to create your account.
Once you go through this step, you will have your payment option, and you can download the client app for your device. (Read Netflix Free Trial Without Credit Card)
You can find this is as easy as installing any other software. Install the client and add your username and password to log in. After that, you are on the main screen.
The app screen will show you as not connected. All you need to do is select a country and hit connect.
For the most, that is all you need to do, or you can go to your dashboard. This gives you access to your settings.
Run at system startup, connect automatically on startup, automatic connection after failure, and a few other things.
The last tab is the Connection Guard. This holds the more detailed features that help to secure your connection.
It is in the connection guard tab of the client where you can find access to the most advanced features the VPN services deliver.
The first is ipv6 leak protection, which is followed by DNS leak protection. These are not enabled by default, yet it is just a toggle switch to allow them to.
If you lose your VPN, you will be happy to see a kill switch included; this also needs enabling. Unfortunately, this is only available in the Windows client.
Application Guard allows you to say which applications are stopped in the loss of your VPN connection. This is a unique feature not seen in others.
There are no browser extensions for PrivateVPN.
When we did the speed test for this VPN, it was a surprise. The company has a minimal network that only has 100 servers in 60 countries—the majority of the server locations are spread across the UK and the USA.
Like many other Private VPN reviews, we saw decent speeds and reliable connections. The connection speed during testing was better than some bigger named VPN’s that have thousands of servers. It was admiral that a small network could deliver this kind of performance.
Although speeds drop off the further you go, our tests encompassed Asia and Australia. There was some drop-off, yet the download speed was more than enough for any online activities.
On occasion, there was a little drop-off and was more than likely due to the number of users. When you reach the tens of thousands shared between a thousand, you can see why connections can be overloaded.
Good VPN providers will nearly always have good customer support in place. This isn’t the case in many cases, and many VPN providers don’t cater for around-the-clock support, never mind a live chat.
PrivateVPN not only has 24/7 customer service, but it also has a live chat with in-house support staff. These are not overseas workers, so you are right with the people who can resolve any issues you have.
You also have the ticket option and FAQs; viewing these could do to be more extensive.
With live chat, the company is better than a lot, yet they fall behind on the wealth of support in other areas. Many users want detailed guides they can go through at their leisure.
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It is hard to say which VPNs can and can’t access Netflix. There are fewer and fewer that can do this, yet users do want a VPN that works for Netflix as a priority.
This limits choices when it comes to purchasing a VPN, but it does eliminate services that are poor performers. PrivateVPN isn’t among these, and selecting the server from a list (Netflix next to server name) could connect from every server.
PrivateVPN Netflix’s performance was ideal regardless of the library we connected to. This is a major selling point; however, it may be because the network is small and flying under the radar at present.
Here we have another popular pastime where users need to remain out of sight. Luckily, torrenting and P2P file sharing are taken care of when connecting to specific servers.
Not all are optimized for torrenting, yet they still offer this in a market where VPNs are being hounded for supporting torrenting.
PrivateVPN may not be the biggest provider globally, and it may not have the most extensive feature set. However, it performs well enough to cater to most people’s needs who need a casual VPN.
With the sales on at the moment, it can be a bargain. If you miss these and it reverts to its regular price, it doesn’t look appealing.
It is just as easy to find a premium VPN service that delivers more for around the same price.
Nevertheless, this is still a growing service, and over time, it could be leapfrogging some of the better names in the industry.
A decent VPN with enough security, enough performance, and enough value for money for users who need enough. (Get PrivateVPN and SAVE 82% here)