In this review we will analyse Swedish-based PrivateVPN, a VPN service with some interesting and somewhat unusual features. PrivateVPN is a relatively small VPN provider, which allows them to focus on optimised servers and low prices. This VPN has an outstanding balance between simplicity and functionality. Its very user friendly and equally attractive to experienced or new VPN users.
When I say PrivateVPN is relatively small, I mean small in that they have just over 100 servers in 60 countries, which is small compared to other premium VPNs. The advantage of this is ALL the servers are torrent friendly and support unlimited P2P file sharing. This unlimited P2P support and the unrestricted bandwidth policy make PrivateVPN a great choice for torrenting at reliable speeds.
We tested PrivateVPN against our usual performance criteria, using Fast.com and Speedcheck.org. We carried the tests out over 10 days and used them to generate this review. The results were steady and reliable, with consistent 65 -85Mbps speeds on most servers. There was a drop in speed for Australian and Asian servers. However, this is to be expected given the distances and average latency for those distances.
PrivateVPN is not the fastest VPN we tested but, overall, has very consistent and reliable speeds. To give you an idea of the speed for comparison, if you wanted to watch Netflix in Ultra HD, Netflix recommends a 25Mbps connection.
Note: During testing there were several instances where server crowding slowed the connection speed.
Security and Privacy
True to the name PrivateVPN, the results of our privacy testing were very robust. This company markets themselves on their robust security and privacy features and scored strongly in our usual tests. There are a few choices and different options of encryption algorithms for the advanced user. For VPN beginners, the default setup is stronger than many competitors and I would recommend not changing it.
AES 256-bit encryption is the most secure option offered. AES 256-bit encryption is the same level of encryption used by the military and the IRS.
PrivateVPN also supports an array of other secure protocols, such as OpenVPN with UDP/TCP, PPTP, L2TP, IPsec and IKEv2.
PrivateVPN has DNS leaks protection and 2 kill switches, one for the app and one system-wide. The kill switch for those who do not know is a feature that temporarily kills your internet connection should the VPN connection drop. During testing these features performed above expectation and gave further credence to the robust security PrivateVPN Offers.
A disadvantage noted for this review was the app kill switch, is only currently available on the windows app.
What is DNS leak protection?
A DNS leak is a security flaw that allows your DNS requests to be revealed to Internet Service Providers DNS servers, even though you use of a VPN service to conceal them. The DNS leak protection provided by PrivateVPN is an additional feature that prevents this.
The Stealth feature is especially useful to bypass VPN blocking, using many auto-start options, and the diagnostics tools include an install/repair feature for Windows TAP adapter.
One thing that really impressed me about PrivateVPN was the Basic and Advanced mode. The basic mode is very user friendly for those who are new to VPNs: you can connect in a few clicks and have no security concerns as the default settings are robust.
The advanced view is particularly customisable for the advanced user and has features like: being able to change your protocol (OpenVPN TUN, TAP, TCP and UDP, L2TP, PPTP) change the encryption method (AES-128/256-CBC/GCM.)
The Simple Mode
Ideal for any beginners who want to turn on the VPN and not worry about configuration. Your safe with the default settings, 4 clicks and your ready.
The Advanced Mode
The advanced mode is perfect for more experienced users to fine-tune the settings. Select your own preferred encryption protocols and algorithms.
We tested all the usual streaming services, Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, iPlayer, Hulu etc to make sure PrivateVPN could unlock the geo-blocked content.
PrivateVPN is very user friendly for streaming and has labelled each server showing, which is best for Netflix, best for iPlayer and so on. Additionally, they provided in-depth information on each server location and details of the connection.
Will PrivateVPN Work in China?
PrivateVPN has an enormous advantage for China because of the Stealth VPN feature! You will not find any information online about how the Stealth VPN mode works, this is because that information could be used to counteract or reduce the effectiveness of the feature. Do not worry, we could not figure it out either!
This is a highly effective feature and adds a lot of value for countries with strong censorship like China, Russia, and Iran.
The Stealth VPN mode makes your VPN connection seem like regular internet traffic. Allowing you to bypass the great firewall of China with ease. Even though the great firewall might catch an OpenVPN connection, the L2TP protocol will breeze by these restrictions.
Value for Money
All the features of PrivateVPN are available on all the plans, the only difference is the duration of the plans. You get up to 6 connections for a single licence.
PrivateVPN is very affordable and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. And Although not publicised on the website, you can get the 7-day free trial by contacting customer service and requesting it. This is not an ideal method, but you receive a gift code you input to start your 7-day free trial.
PrivateVPN has some nice guides and detailed information on the FAQ section. However, there is an issue with the customer service in that they are not 24/7 and operate on Swedish time. It’s difficult to find out when you can contact them, although you can leave a message.
When we got in contact with the customer services, they were friendly and technically gifted. They even support you via TeamViewer, which is a unique and an excellent service. This feature allows you to give remote control access to your device to a PrivateVPN technician who will install the VPN on your devices or troubleshoot any issues.
Affordable prices, Robust security, and a user-friendly interface PrivateVPN is Simple and reliable service with many strengths. PrivateVPN can unblock Netflix and bypass the strict censorship in China, its user-friendly interface is easy to use.
The lower server count is a concern, and some servers suffered from below-average speeds because of crowding. And While some areas of the VPN still have room for improvement, there are no major weaknesses. PrivateVPN are a solid provider with lots to offer. Instead of submitting a lengthy list of features, PrivateVPN markets itself as a simple but high-performing service.
Payment methods accepted: including PayPal and all major credit cards or even Bitcoin for extra anonymity.
Compatibility: PrivateVPN offers dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Manual installation guides are also available for Linux, compatible routers, and KODI.
What makes PrivateVPN powerful?
ZERO Data Logging Policy
The IPv6 Leak Protection
2048-bit Encryption using AES-256
Up to 6 Simultaneous Connections
Unlimited Bandwidth policy
Servers In 60 different Countries
FULL 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee!
Kill Switch Feature
VPN Protocol Includes OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IKEv2 And IPsec
Free Remote help + Installation
Anonymous Torrenting + P2P Friendly