PrivateVPN review

TOP rank 9.3 Reviewed by Jayden Andrews
January 30, 2020

This is a complete PrivateVPN review. As far as VPN apps go, PrivateVPN is one of the best. It does have some issues such as streaming error on Netflix, but it performs very well on server speed and on privacy and security.

The customer care service is also one of the most outstanding that we have seen thus far. They can be reached through chat (live) and on mail. PrivateVPN is also the most affordable VPN in our list of reviewed VPNs because at just $5.48 a month, you will get a one month subscription. The free trial period for this app is 7 days and as if that’s not enough, there is a 30 days money-back guarantee on all subscription plans.

1 year: $1.95/month
Save 82%

This is a complete PrivateVPN review. As far as VPN apps go, PrivateVPN is one of the best. It does have some issues such as streaming error on Netflix, but it performs very well on server speed and on privacy and security.

The customer care service is also one of the most outstanding that we have seen thus far. They can be reached through chat (live) and on mail. PrivateVPN is also the most affordable VPN in our list of reviewed VPNs because at just $5.48 a month, you will get a one month subscription. The free trial period for this app is 7 days and as if that’s not enough, there is a 30 days money-back guarantee on all subscription plans.

8.8
Speed
9.7
Security
8.7
Compatibility
9.5
Price
9.6
Support
Pros
Military-grade encryption
Zero logging policy
Port forwarding
SOCKS5 and HTTP Proxy
Cons
Some servers are slow
Streaming error on Netflix

Summary

Speed drop speedtest We check the speed with and without VPN, then calculate the average in percentage. The smaller the speed drop, the faster the VPN.
-34%
Logging
Strict no-log policy
IP, DNS Leaks
No
Jurisdiction The 5 Eyes (FVEY), 9 Eyes and 14 Eyes alliances impose laws that force VPN companies to hand over logs to the government upon request. Privacy Havens - These are countries where companies don't have to share their logs to the government and VPN users are completely protected.
Sweden (14 eyes)
Servers
160+
Countries
60+
Netflix Unblock
No
Torrenting speed drop
-31%Good
Simultaneous connections
8
Works in China
Yes, stealth VPN option
Support
24/7 Live Chat, Email
Kill switch
Yes
Encryption AES-256 is the most secure type of encryption today. Other standards like DES-CBC, AES-128 provide lower levels of security.
AES-256
Protocols OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec are the most popular protocols which provide optimal balance between speed and security.
L2TP, OpenVPN, PPTP
Platforms
Android, iOS, macOS, Windows
Applications
Routers

PrivateVPN Speed tests

Ordinary connection
Download: 2.24 Mbps
Ping: 51 Ms
Upload: 0.13 Mps

All VPN apps want you to believe that they have the fastest servers in the industry, but unless you put them to the test, there is no way of knowing which app is really fast and which is not.
Server speeds matter because users still want to be able to access their favorite sites even after connecting to a VPN app. We tested a number of PrivateVPN servers on a 2Mbps connection to see how well they would fare. The following are the results of these tests.

Checking VPN servers

It is safe to say that PrivateVPN servers not only show consistency but that they are also fast. It is what you would want from a VPN service. Other VPN apps do much worse (30%) and above. Let us look at results from other servers.

Norway
Download: 1.61 Mbps
Ping: 506 Ms
Upload: 0 Mbps
Japan
Download: 1.99 Mbps
Ping: 523 Ms
Upload: 0.07 Mbps
USA
Download: 1.99 Mbps
Ping: 253 Ms
Upload: 0.14 Mbps
Australia
Download: 0.31 Mbps
Ping: 558 Ms
Upload: 0.14 Mbps

Average speed drop: -34%Good

PrivateVPN Servers

160+ servers
60+ countries

Private Internet Access VPN has one of the biggest network server in the industry today, with more than 3300 servers spread across 32 countries. It has several servers located in major countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France, UAE, and Spain.

However, the servers are limited to 32 countries only so users will have fewer options in terms of location.

PrivateVPN Security Features

PrivateVPN has very strong security and privacy credentials. Let us have a look at them.

OpenVPN Protocol

OpenVPN is the protocol of choice for most of PrivateVPN connections. It is the world’s most popular VPN protocol beloved for its secure and fast connections. Other protocols that are used by PrivateVPN include PPTP and L2TP.

AES-256 Encryption

PrivateVPN uses the latest in encryption technology to secure the data that passes through their network of servers.

Check all PrivateVPN features

Stealth VPN

Stealth VPN is a setting that, once turned on, will help you to bypass government censors and firewalls. It is excellent for places such as China and Sudan where government’s monitor user activity.

IP and DNS Leaks

PrivateVPN offers automatic DNS and IP leak protections, but we still went ahead to test and see if this was really the case. The IP address that you see above is the one that was assigned to us by the VPN app, meaning that we are truly anonymous. Otherwise, if it was the IP address given by the ISP provider, then we would be leaking private information.

IP leak results:
No leaks
DNS leak results:
No leaks

Logs policy

PrivateVPN has a strict no logs policy. Here is a quote from their site:

PrivateVPN does not collect or log any traffic or use of its service. If you are browsing our site, you don’t have to give us any identifiable information”

The company behind PrivateVPN is located in Sweden. Sweden is one of the world’s most peaceful nations and its government agencies have no business snooping on foreigners. In other words, you can trust PrivateVPN to keep their word on not passing any of browsing history to a government out there.

Check PrivateVPN privacy policy

PrivateVPN for Netflix

With so many streaming services, it is no wonder that people are turning to VPN apps in an effort to get the best in TV programming. Companies such as Netflix, the BBC, and Hulu provide different content depending on the geographical region that you are part of. Such kinds of arrangements mean that the best movies and shows are reserved for mostly Western European and North American audiences, but with a VPN app, you can bypass the censors.

We tried to see if PrivateVPN was up to the task of unblocking Netflix, we got the following results. It is not what we expected, but we were not quick to rule PrivateVPN out when it comes to streaming. They have very many dedicated servers and we believe that most of them can help stream on other services such as BBC iPlayer and Showmax.

Netflix
Netflix unblock status:
Failure

Torrenting

P2P sharing is another big reason for which people rely on VPN apps. With the level of anonymity that VPN apps give, one can make as many downloads as possible without the fear of being discovered by government agencies such as the FBI or the Motion Picture Association of America.

The thing about VPN apps, however, is that they sometimes lead to significant drop in download speeds. So if you could find app that is able to strike the right balance between download speeds and security that would be great. We were able to test one of the torrenting modes of PrivateVPN app to see how well it would fare.

Torrenting without VPN:
303 kb/sec
Torrenting with VPN:
210 kb/sec
Speed deduction: -31%
Good

When it comes to downloading and sharing stuff online, security conscious people rely on VPNs. They just don’t want to get caught by the FBI, for instance, for copyright violations or for sharing forbidden content. While using VPNs for this purpose, it is essential to establish whether the app impacts the download time in any remarkable way.

You simply don’t want an app that will throttle your internet connection to the point where it becomes impossible to browse.  We tested the torrenting capabilities of Surfshark and we can say that Surfshark is really good for torrenting. It does not impact the download time in any remarkable way.

Tor Check

The Tor browser is the safest way to surf the internet, if you are privacy conscious. However, the network can be ridiculously slow a situation that can make it incompatible with most VPN apps.
We tried accessing some of the popular websites on the Tor network under the cover of PrivateVPN to see what would happen.

We were able to access common sites such as YouTube but could not open some popular onion sites such as Science hub and the intercept. We believe that the later had something to do with our already slow internet connection. Thus, the verdict is PrivateVPN is compatible with the Tor Network.

Tor
Compatibility status:
Success

Platforms

Android
iOS
macOS
Windows
Routers
Simultaneous connections:
8 devices

PrivateVPN is available to users on the following platforms: Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, routers, and Kodi. With a single subscription, you can connect up to six devices at a time, but since the app has a router option, this increases the number of possible simultaneous connections to as many as are connected to the internet through the router.

For this review, we downloaded the app on an Android phone and on a desktop Windows computer. As far as the interface goes, it is very intuitive and user -friendly. Choosing between the different servers is easy and there is lots of documentation to guide you around. You can also access instant help from the apps interface which is really cool.

private vpn application   privatevpn mobile application

Customer Support

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN has an excellent customer care system in place. They can be contacted through mail and on phone and are available on a 24/7 basis. They usually respond to any queries within seconds. Here is a screenshot of a conversation we had with the team requesting a refund. If you choose to use the ticketing system, it might take some time before your issue gets resolved.
The customer care team also offers free remote set up and installation via TeamViewer, meaning that should you ever encounter some problems when installing the app, they can be of much help.

Support channels:
Email
Live chat
Help center
Phone line

Pricing

PrivateVPN is the best priced app that we have reviewed thus far because at just $5.48 you can get a monthly subscription. Other plans are just as affordable. You have $1.95 per month for 37 months and $3.75 for three months. There is a 7-day free trial period and on top of this you still get a 30 days money back guarantee.

1 month
$ 5.48
per month
 
5.45$ billed every month
3 months
$ 3.75
per month
Save 65%
$11.25 billed every 3 months
1 year
$ 1.95
per month
Save 82%
$72 billed every year

For this review, we went for the cheapest of the plans i.e. the $5.48 monthly subscription. In case you are wondering, the payment process is very smooth and you have the option to choose between many payment options.