Pros

  • It offers around 60 different server locations across the world
  • 6 Simultaneous Connections which is much higher than other VPN providers
  • It claims to keep Zero activity Logs
  • It offers 24/7 customer support
  • It allows Netflix to be accessed in US, UK, Canada, Germany and Italy
  • It has fast speed
  • Live Chat Facility makes it user friendly

Cons

  • Small network of servers
  • Live chat not available 24/7

PrivateVPN is widely used for its simplicity and easy user experience, hence more appreciated by new users. It does offer complex settings, there for it a preference for many advanced users as well.

PrivateVPN is a Sweden based company founded in 2009 in Stockholm, with more than 100 servers well positioned in 55 different locations. Company’s full name is Privat Kommunikation AB with a business address: Bygdevägen 5, 191 48Sollentuna, Sweden. Martin Müller is company chief. Sweden has strict legal limits that need to be followed to handle user’s information. But, unlike other Sweden VPNs, PrivateVPN has scored a reliable position.

Pricing Plan

It offers $50.4 for 12months along with 13th month free. There are three packages one-month, three-month and one year package. It frequently offers discounts on all plans.

PrivateVPN Pricing Plan

Payment options include credit card, PayPal. Bitcoin. It gives a 30-day full money back guarantee. So it is suggested to try for one month, if it fulfills your requirement, you can extend the plan or use the money back if you don’t like it.

Compatibility & Features

  1. PrivateVPN uses OpenVPN as the VPN protocol and allows P2P.
  2. It encrypts data with AES-128-GCM and Handshake encryption: TLS-ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384 (AEAD)
  3. It authenticates data with SHA-256 with HMAC
  4. It offers 2 modes, depending on the client’s preference. PrivateVPN’s Simple Mode offers an interface on the single-pane window that cannot be adjusted and displays some basic settings like your connectivity status and Connect/Disconnect button. As soon as you connect you can see the servers.

Advanced Mode offers experienced users a larger dual-pane interface. As you connect, you can select the location, the type of VPN protocol to use and the level of encryption for OpenVPN. Other settings also include booting PrivateVPN on system startup, automatically connecting on startup and reconnecting automatically on connection failure.

  1. PrivateVPN’s Connection Guard:

It offers connection guard houses including IPv6 & DNS leak protection, internet kill switch that is enabled by default and an application guard which disconnects few apps as soon as the VPN connection drops. Kill switch is important for privacy

  1. It offers unlimited bandwidth, speed, server switches, and more across all its plans.
  2. It works on the following routers: ASUS RT models, Synology, DD-WRT, Tomato, Linksys, QNAP, pfSense

Supported Platforms

Windows

It provides DNS leak protection and allows Windows’ clients to toggle various protocol options. It also includes a kill switch known as ‘Connection Guard’. In case if VPN connection drops, specific selected software is terminated through a kill switch.

Mac

It implements secure OpenVPN protocol with AES/GCM for data cipher. It does not yet have a built-in kill switch. You can easily use a built-in tool called pf to deploy a kill switch.

Mobile

PrivateVPN is available on Google Play Store and App Store. It is downloaded as .apk file and works on Android 4.0.3 and iOS 9.0.

Privacy & Security

PrivateVPN claims web activity is not tracked and data traffic logs are not stored. But, it does set cookies and tracks usage on its site, and also note, you need to log in to the site to access your account, therefore your email address is required.

Payment Options include Stripe, Paypal or bitcoin. Account details are used for correspondence and may also be used for sharing promotional materials but they are not sold to third parties.

For data security, 128-bit CBC encryption is used for TAP and 256-bit AES is used for TUN on the default OpenVPN protocol. They are considered to be effectively un-crackable, 256-bit is comparatively stronger. SHA256 is used for authentication, in combination with 2,048-bit RSA keys. To provide perfect forward secrecy 2,048-DHE keys are used.

Different encryption options include IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP, IPSec, and OpenVPN – Viscosity is offered for various devices.

Kill switch functionality is enabled by default, so in case VPN connection drops, internet traffic is blocked. This is a key step to backup and hence ensure your data remains private. If this feature is not activated in advance, you can turn it off in the Connection Guard screen (within the desktop client).

It also provides protection against IPv6 leaks and DNS leaks. Previously, PrivateVPN used to use Google DNS servers but now it has set up their own. The Google DNS servers allowed Google the ability to maintain strong track of the websites you visit when using the VPN, it doesn’t know your real IP address. Now PrivateVPN’s own servers are used, hence it is more secure.

Servers & Performance

Performance has been observed to be very fast Although it doesn’t score to be the fastest option by retaining a base speed of 50.52 percent across 5 locations. The servers are located in multiple places in Europe and there are six in the US. As compared to other VPNs, it has a variety of countries with servers, but the numbers are relatively very small. ExpressVPN has 1500 servers.

PrivateVPN Servers Location and Supported Countries

Despite the difference, it has maintained good performance. Streaming is smooth for 1080p videos, games are also playing well. Connectivity to servers is very fast also. It is observed to not drop any connections while surfing, downloading and streaming.

Most VPNs are blocked in China, but PrivateVPN’s configuration option allows its use in China as well.

It guides users to use L2TP for connecting in China as OpenVPN and PPTP are blocked easily by the country’s firewall. Some VPN sites are blocked in China, for tackling this you must know how to switch to L2TP on all of your devices. You can toggle within the apps if you are unable to the handle website’s extensive guide will definitely be helpful as it provides guides for installing manually.

Customer Service

PrivateVPN claims a live chat session and remote control support for setup and troubleshooting. But, it has been noticed that this availability is not supported on a few occasions especially weekend or the response time was delayed.

For help with setup and troubleshooting, PrivateVPN offers remote control support. Since some of the protocol options require setups that are complex, it is really helpful.

Verdict

Although PrivateVPN is a relatively small network, it offers much more. I is counted as a reliable connection and has many essential features that VPN users are searching for like Netflix streaming, unlimited bandwidth, fast speed, and P2P allowance. It is good for torrenting.

It is a good option if you are a new VPN user, as it is easy to use and has strong encryption features. Other features that benefit include leak protection, too, and a kill-switch if you’re using Windows. It also offers relatively more simultaneous connections as compared to other VPN providers. Satisfactory customer service via live-chat and in-depth FAQ page is helpful for users to find answers to questions on their own time. Being in Sweden, the company is not completely transparent about their logging policy, as it has to abide by Swedish laws.

It is recommended only if you are looking for budget-friendly VPN with low costs which still provides stacked features along with high-quality security.

Hudson

Hudson is currently an editor at Hudson Rhine. She also holds a degree in Computer Science from Bridgewater College. She loves to write about software and tech shaping the future. She lives in Virginia with her parents.

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