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PrivateVPN Review 2018

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PrivateVPN is a Swedish-based zero-log VPN provider that offers support for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and other devices. It also provides a wide variety of connection protocols for power users. Read our PrivateVPN review to see how it fares against the competition.

For a secure and private VPN connection, get PrivateVPN here.

PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN Review – Pros and Cons

PrivateVPN is a Swedish no-logs VPN provider with a small server network. It offers a clean user interface and the ability to easily select from a connection protocol but falls down on user support and connection speed. Here are PrivateVPN’s strengths and weaknesses at a glance.

PROS:
  • Fast installation – running in minutes
  • Ability to specify connection protocols
  • Netflix works through US servers
  • Currently offering a 25% discount
  • Signups can be totally anonymous

CONS:
  • Small server network
  • Performance bottlenecks in some locations
  • No chat or phone support
  • Windows client is relatively simplistic
  • No two year subscription package

You can be sure to stay anonymous when surfing and streaming with PrivateVPN. Their price is competitive and you have enough time to decide whether you want to commit to a contract with their 30-day money back policy.

Overall Score for PrivateVPN: 82/100

PrivateVPN

8.5 Total Score
PrivateVPN Review

8.3Editor's score
Usability
8.4
Speed
8.2
Privacy
9.5
Support
7.1
Value
8.2
9.4User's score
Usability
9.4
Speed
9.6
Privacy
9.5
Support
9
Value
9.5
Add your review  |  Read reviews and comments

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PrivateVPN Setup and Usability

 PrivateVPN is very straightforward to setup. Windows users simply log in to the download area at privatevpn.com, click on the link to the executable file from the setup guide, and select the Private VPN download file. After a two minute installation process, users will be prompted to restart their computer. At this point, valid login credentials need to be entered in order to access the tool. (Unfortunately there is no such thing as a Private VPN free version, so a current subscription to the service is required. You can however try them for a 30-day trial period, money back guaranteed).

Windows support guides

Android and iOS users can download PrivateVPN either via app in their respected app store or via a link on the website. Linux users can access the tool through a command line interface (CLI) or via network manager add-ons. The company does not currently offer a GUI for the open-source operating system..

Second stage setup screen

The user interface is simple and intuitive with only three main sections: the dashboard (which conveniently lists the external IP and current connection protocol), a basic settings area, and connection guard for configuring leak protection.

  • Basc settings configuration
  • Basic settings

Rating: 8.4/10. Installation and the user interface couldn’t be much easier, but we’re deducting points for requiring a system restart to complete the setup process.

PrivateVPN Features

 Feature #1: Connection Protocols

Probably the most noteworthy feature of the PrivateVPN service is the wide variety of connection protocols that it offers. Although all VPN access involves tunneling encrypted traffic through a remote server, there are different encryption protocols ranging from relative newcomers such as IKEv2 to those that work better with older hardware such as PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling). For users that want to get under the hood of the VPN and enjoy the flexibility that choosing a protocol offers, PrivateVPN is one of the best vpn services on the market. Advanced protocol selection has been widely praised in other Private VPN reviews.

Feature #2: Server Network

As for the VPN itself: PrivateVPN operates over 80 servers in 55 locations around the world, giving users a relatively wide choice of connectivity options although overall this is still a small server network.

  • Connection to Dalllas with VPN protocol options
  • Choosing a server

Feature #3: Leak Protection

PrivateVPN offers both IPv6 and DNS leak protection.  Although it is not yet ubiquitous, IPv6 can cause leaks which give away both users’ locations and allow traffic to be intercepted by those monitoring the network.

Feature #4: Kill Switch

In addition to leak protection, PrivateVPN features a kill switch feature that automatically blocks the internet connection if the VPN link goes down. The programs that are automatically terminated if the link to the Private VPN Server is interrupted can be manually configured from within the UI.

Feature #5: Remote Installations

If even the thought of downloading and executing an installation file sends you recoiling in fear, worry not! PrivateVPN offers a fully-fledged remote installation service in which a customer service technician will temporarily gain access to your computer and get the service up and running (they’ll help with Windows, Mac, and even Linux installations!).

Rating: 8.8/10. PrivateVPN’s main differentiator is its support for multiple connection protocols and the ease of manually selecting these from within the program. The server network is adequate but small but remote installation support is a nice touch. Overall, its features are nothing extraordinary.

For a secure and private VPN connection, get PrivateVPN here.

Can PrivateVPN Unblock Netflix?

If you hoping to purchase PrivateVPN exclusively to gain access to Netflix’s multimedia library from a geo-restricted region, you have no reason to worry about wasting your money on a subscription that won’t help them achieve their objective. We’re happy to report that we had success accessing the website through the company’s New York server, and did not receive the dreaded proxy error. In total, the company operates seven servers throughout the USA so even if one falls afoul of the company’s blacklisting efforts, users should be able to access Netflix through other servers in the network.

Rating: 4/5. The company hasn’t been blocked by Netflix yet and the money back guarantee makes trying PrivateVPN to watch Netflix essentially a risk-free proposition.

PrivateVPN Price

As of the time of writing this PrivateVPN review, the company is offering a 25% discount on its usual prices. The deal is even sweeter for those looking to sign up for one year as the company is throwing in an extra month for free (monthly price: $4.15). The one month subscription is currently down to $8.21 and a three month option is also provided for $5.63 per month. Those who want to go the extra mile to protect their online privacy can also pay with Bitcoin. If you would like to try before making a commitment, PrivateVPN does offer a 30 day money back guarantee.

Rating: 8.5/10.  The current discount is enticing and the package is particularly good value for money when bought for 13 months. The three month option is also perfect for those only requiring a VPN subscription for a relatively short period of time, such as during a sports tournament.

How Fast is PrivateVPN: Servers and Performance

We used the Dallas server over OpenVPN (TUN + DUP + 1994) to test out the server speed and performance overhead.  Download speed was 39.66 Mbps before connecting to the VPN but dropped to less than 1.5Mbps afterwards. Although some servers offered slightly better performance, dropping to less than 5% of the prior connection speed was one of the most staggering drop-offs that we have seen during our extensive experience reviewing VPNs and is a substantially greater overhead than what is experienced using alternative providers such as ExpressVPN, which markets itself as the industry’s fastest VPN.

Speed without PrivateVPN 

Testing connection speed before connection to Dallas server

Speed with PrivateVPN

Testing connection speed while connected to Dallas server

Rating: 8.2/10.  Evidently, some servers in the network suffer serious performance and bottleneck issues. Although testing VPN server speeds is notoriously finicky, users have previously reported very slow speeds online.

How Secure is Private VPN: Private VPN Logs

PrivateVPN is one of the truly no-log VPN providers on the market and is headquartered in Sweden which is regarded as a relatively privacy-conscious society (the country in fact claims the honor of being the first in the world to enact comprehensive online privacy regulations).

A further boon for security-conscious users is the wide variety of connection protocols that the provider offers (including IKEv2, a modern connection protocol that features extremely strong cryptographic algorithms) in addition to the ability to pay for subscriptions using Bitcoin.

Users can sign up for the service using an anonymous email account, only providing an email address, and the terms of use are provided in plain English that is a refreshing break from the arcane language that some providers chose to employ.

Rating: 9.5/10. PrivateVPN is a no logs provider headquartered in a privacy-conscious society. The TOS is readily understandable and accounts can be created completely anonymously if required.

Is PrivateVPN Reliable – Customer Support

The company includes free support as standard to its users, but what it provides is significantly more limited than some competitors. While PrivateVPN has done a stellar job of creating some excellent support documentation (including detailed installation guides for all the platforms supported, including videos), human-to-human support is extremely limited. In fact, the only option that users have is to complete an online contact us form which will be responded to “as soon as possible”. Although the email support is extremely responsive (we heard back within five minutes of filling out the form!), yes, there are no live chat or phone support options at all.

  • Email support response
  • Contact form

Rating: 7.1/10. PrivateVPN has clearly placed emphasis on self-service support through documentation and videos. The lack of live chat or phone support is a major negative for those that run into difficulty.

Private VPN Rating by Secure Thoughts

PrivateVPN is a decent VPN service but besides from the ability to easily select different connection protocols, it doesn’t offer anything to make it stand out from the crowded pack. In addition, although Netflix is currently working through it, the server network is small and evidently suffers from some performance bottlenecks. Support options are also limited.

For a secure and private VPN connection, get PrivateVPN here.

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25 Comments
Show all Highest Rating Lowest Rating Add your review
  1. Reply flemens@gmail.com'
    Juha T
    April 1, 2018 at 4:44 pm
    4.9
    Usability
    90
    Speed
    100
    Privacy
    100
    Support
    100
    Value
    100

    I have been using VPNs for five years. Experience with Anonine and NordVPN which has served me well but I wanted to try something new. Since PrivateVPN offered a seven day trial (after contacting their support) I decided to try it.
    Netflix runs smoother in PrivateVPN compared to the two mentioned above ime.

    I had some trouble first. It showed that it was leaking DNS and the Openvpn protocol wouldnt work, only PPTP and L2TP protocols could connect. I contacted support during a weekend. Very friendly and patient support. The problem was due to my choice of password. Evidently it, kind of, doesn’t accept special characters or spaces in the password (I mean the connection worked fine with the two other protocols) . As soon as I changed the password without spaces (as I had) Openvpn protocols worked as they are supposed to. No DNSleak anymore.

    Speed is relatively fast. On swedish PrivateVPN server (I live in Sweden) I get 124Mbit down and 100Mbit up on my 300/100Mbit line most of the time, sometimes over 200, occationally it drops just below 100 but so far never slow and nothing I have noticed any negative effects on while surfing or watching US Netflix.. so far at least. I find that reasonable. About the same experience as with the two mentioned above.

    Event though I am used to have more servers to choose from I haven’t had any problems with the relatively few PrivateVPN offers in every country. I only used very few even though NordVPN have many more servers in every country.
    Only complain I have is about the Windows app. No biggie, and I guess I am a bit spoiled from the two other VPNs I´ve used previously, but I would like to have the option to change server “on the fly” so to speak. instead of having to log out to change server. Anyhow, I decided to take the one year plan before my 7 day trial ended which I consider a very fair price, not much more expensive than others.

    + PROS: Secure
    - CONS: A bit too locked gui in the app.
    • Reply shira.s@webpals.com'
      ST Editor
      April 1, 2018 at 11:39 pm

      Hi Juha! Thank you for your in-depth review. We really appreciate when users take the time to write a review on the products on our site.

  2. Reply dummy@live.co'
    Tony
    February 5, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    PrivateVPN has been great so far, I could see it becoming a serious competitor for the big providers in the future

  3. Reply ShuanoftheDead@FunnyBritComedies.com'
    Shaun
    February 4, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    So the big question is whether this VPN supports torrenting? If so, are most of the server open or are you limited to just a couple of servers in Chapulatpecistan? Has anyone actually tried to torrent with this? I need to know and relatively soon as I don’t want to get booted by my ISP for getting my Warez.

  4. Reply sarahturnerfeelance@gmail.com'
    Alison Evans
    February 4, 2018 at 1:32 am

    Hi there, I was wondering if you could possibly clarify a few things for me. First, thank you for a great post. Unfortunately I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to technology. It seems like this a good option to use, but what is the repercussions of the smaller server network. We have just moved overseas and I’d really like to watch the BBC and Channel 4. Will this privateVPN be able to achieve that?

    Thank you

    • Reply shira.s@webpals.com'
      ST Editor
      February 14, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      Hello, and thanks for reading! PrivateVPN is certainly a good option if you’re looking for a way to bypass geo-restrictions. Usually, smaller server numbers aren’t a major problem, but they do have some disadvantages compared to bigger networks. The first is simply a matter of choice–if you have more servers, you can more easily find one that works for your needs and reliably. The second is speed–sometimes, when there are many people connecting to a single server at the same time, it can congest the network and impact your browsing speed. Finally, for streaming content, having fewer servers means that if one server goes down, it may be harder to find another that works. That being said, we’ve found that PrivateVPN does work well with many of the popular British streaming platforms, and has little drop-off in service. We still recommend it as one of our top choices, but if you prefer a service with more server options, you can try a provider like ExpressVPN, which has over 1,000. Let us know how it works for your needs!

  5. Reply fromscratch413@gmail.com'
    Kyle
    January 30, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    PrivateVPN actually seems to live up to its name in terms of privacy and security, which is great. But overall, the features don’t seem as comprehensive as its competition. I trust that it unblocks US Netflix, for example, but seven seems like a low number of servers for that location.

  6. Reply marketing123@gmail.com'
    Timmothy E.
    January 30, 2018 at 7:26 am
    4.8
    Usability
    90
    Speed
    100
    Privacy
    90
    Support
    100
    Value
    100

    The Bitcoin capabilities are a game changer. Knowing that I don’t have to put my cc in the hands of a company that might go out of business or get screwed by the government is awesome. Really appreciate the peace of mind PrivateVPN is giving me right now. Thanks for the pro tip guys.

  7. Reply farhanameghami.fm@gmail.com'
    Nanti
    January 15, 2018 at 2:14 am
    5
    Usability
    100
    Speed
    100
    Privacy
    100
    Support
    100
    Value
    100

    PrivateVPN is a VPN well known for providing high levels of privacy and a reliable service. Robust encryption, an outstanding privacy policy, and servers located all over the world – coupled with amazingly budget prices – inevitably makes PrivateVPN an easy VPN to recommend and use.
    Moreover, it has a lot of pro features such as a kill switch, DNS leak protection, a built in Socket Secure (SOCKS5) proxy, a choice of encryption protocols, an auto connect feature that connects the VPN as soon as it is launched and apps for all platforms (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome).
    Overall, a great VPN for use today!

  8. Reply jeancane2017@gmail.com'
    Davidson
    January 7, 2018 at 10:31 am
    4.7
    Usability
    100
    Speed
    100
    Privacy
    80
    Support
    90
    Value
    100

    PrivateVPN doesn’t keep logs and has anonymous sign ups. I’ve never had any problems with it. It’s affordable and that draws me to it. I don’t need complex services so even the VPNs with the smallest servers will work for me.

  9. Reply WallyWest@TheFlash.com'
    Wally
    December 30, 2017 at 2:35 pm
    4.6
    Usability
    100
    Speed
    100
    Privacy
    100
    Support
    60
    Value
    100

    If you want a true anonymous signup process, connect to TOR, signup for an anonymous email address, register for the account through TOR and then pay with Bitcoin.

    I’ve used this service for a while and it will do most anything you want it to do. I’ve had no problems with speeds or access any content that I’ve wanted to. Be prepared to do your own support unless you’re willing to wait for email replies. Other than that, I don’t have any complaints.

    + PROS: Fast speeds Accepts Bitcoin Great for getting around blocks
    - CONS: Just email support
  10. Reply iamdonnasmith2@gmail.com'
    Jane
    December 29, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    PrivateVPN is a good service, Had for over a month now and use as they don’t Log. connection speed is normally really good.. sometimes it drops but there Windows app auto reconnects so not much of an issue.

  11. Reply thakur00711@gmail.com'
    Miley
    December 29, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Private vpn is good easy to setup and it protects our privacy perfectly and the overall score of this vpn is also good.

  12. Reply apple123@me.com'
    Tom
    December 29, 2017 at 1:05 am

    Lesser known company that I wish I had tried sooner. Kill switch has saved me a bunch of times when I was abroad trying to watch Netflix, Hulu, etc. Really appreciate the team here doing there research to find such a diamond in the rough. Cheers.

  13. Reply shahzadwaheed0000@gmail.com'
    Ehtsham Ahmed
    December 27, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Can PrivateVPN help me escape my internet providers? They record everything that I search on the internet and I don’t want it. So, my question is still there, can this VPN service help my hide my search history from my internet service providers?

    • Reply shira.s@webpals.com'
      ST Editor
      January 14, 2018 at 11:38 pm

      Thanks for the privacy-conscious question! PrivateVPN, like many other top VPNs, promises a zero-logs policy, so they don’t keep track of any of your activities online, including masking your IP address. However, VPNs may still be tracked by some overzealous ISPs, and though many times it’s simply for recordkeeping, some have been known to throttle users’ speeds or limit their bandwidth. If you want to make sure your history and activity isn’t being tracked, you could pair your VPN usage with Tor’s Onion router or web browser, which make you much harder to locate online. Let us know if this was helpful!

  14. Reply topawareness@gmail.com'
    LIZZY
    December 25, 2017 at 12:32 am
    4.9
    Usability
    100
    Speed
    100
    Privacy
    100
    Support
    90
    Value
    100

    Since I started using Private VPN with my Android device, I have always been able to unblock restricted content. It is very fast and reliable.

  15. Reply kwazla@hotmail.com'
    Kumar
    December 8, 2017 at 9:47 pm
    4.6
    Usability
    100
    Speed
    90
    Privacy
    90
    Support
    100
    Value
    80

    I subscribed to PrivateVPN a few months ok and have enjoyed using it thus far. The privacy aspect really appealed to me and I’ve had no trouble accessing Netflix. It’s a little on the expensive side but it sure seems worth it.

    + PROS: Can access US Netflix
    - CONS: Not the cheapest
  16. Reply chloethomas1193@gmail.com'
    Ted McAnthony
    December 6, 2017 at 1:45 am
    5
    Usability
    100
    Speed
    100
    Privacy
    100
    Support
    100
    Value
    100

    When you want absolute anonymity, PrivateVPN is just the right choice. I’ve tried many VPN but this one never changes of fail as in all other VPN I’ve tried. It;s fast and reliable.

  17. Reply kasperkk13@gmail.com'
    casper
    December 6, 2017 at 12:59 am
    4.7
    Usability
    90
    Speed
    80
    Privacy
    100
    Support
    100
    Value
    100

    Though i was not impressed by the speed but the servers are very secure and reliable. Great customer support and easy installation. Great product featured with a kill end switch in case of crashes.

    + PROS: kill end switch privacy and security Great customer support
  18. Reply mitchelledavis92@gmail.com'
    Eric Stanley
    December 5, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Always a great experience. Flawless connection and speed. Ideal for protecting your online privacy.

  19. Reply dalvaro@hotmail.com'
    Danny
    December 1, 2017 at 9:45 pm
    4.5
    Usability
    90
    Speed
    90
    Privacy
    90
    Support
    90
    Value
    90

    I chose PrivateVPN mainly because you can pay with Bitcoin. I mean, what’s the point of a VPN if they have all your payment details, you aren’t really private then are you? Anyway, I’ve had a great experience with PrivateVPN, performance levels are decent, number of servers is ok and no data retention is a huge plus.

    + PROS: Accepts Bitcoin
    - CONS: Performance isn’t great in certain locations
  20. Reply steve.rap@gmail.com'
    Seth
    November 28, 2017 at 9:40 pm
    4.5
    Usability
    90
    Speed
    90
    Privacy
    90
    Support
    90
    Value
    90

    I signed up for PrivateVPN on a month by month plan, but pretty quickly switched to a 1-year plan after I realized they were the most secure VPN on the market and the one which could actually guarantee your privacy wasn’t being compromised. I get that people want to talk to customer support using live chat but I have had no problems contacting them via email.

    + PROS: Connects to 6 devices simultaneously
    - CONS: On the slower side
  21. Reply jmitchel@gmail.com'
    Janine
    November 21, 2017 at 9:38 pm
    4.6
    Usability
    90
    Speed
    100
    Privacy
    100
    Support
    80
    Value
    90

    I chose PrivateVPN because it emphasized privacy and anonymity over all else. Admittedly, some brands offer faster speeds but regular internet is even faster and if you’re not secure, what’s the point of having a VPN altogether. When I use PrivateVPN I know that nothing is being recorded which is extremely reassuring.

    + PROS: Available in 55 countries
    - CONS: No live chat
  22. Reply luella.el@gmail.com'
    Tony V.
    November 20, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Don’t fall for the hype, the big brands talk a lot but they don’t deliver, PrivateVPN is reliable and helpful.

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