Private VPN – 65% OFF
We´re excited to review PrivateVPN as is a relatively small Swedish-based VPN provider which competes with large, global VPN companies. With 59 countries and only slightly over 100 servers, it claims to be the best VPN for streaming, privacy, and security. Our security experts found out that its performance is very good, with reliable upload speeds and low latency making it very appealing to gamers and torrenters.
It doesn’t store user data (in line with Swedish law) and offers very reliable access to all your favorite streaming services like Netflix or BBC.
Techradar’s verdict: A simple VPN with some advanced options and quality in-house support. PrivateVPN isn’t as fast or as powerful as some, but could be worth a look if you’ll use its advanced tweaks and settings.
What is a VPN?
A virtual private network, or VPN, extends across a public or shared network, and acts like a tunnel so you can exchange data securely and anonymously across the internet as if you were connected directly to a private network.
Determining which VPNs offer the best security isn’t an easy task. If you’re concerned with your data’s security on the web, VPNs can make it more difficult for someone to access your data and actually determine your identity.
If you find yourself using a public Wi-Fi networks on a regular basis, using a VPN is a good idea. Because you don’t know who is monitoring the traffic on a public network, you may want to use a VPN to help keep your browsing anonymous.
VPNs can save you money
Because Amazon and other e-commerce websites track your location, they can determine from your location more information about you. If they decide that you’re willing to pay more, they will certainly do so.
VPNs help keep your identity hidden from these websites, so they won’t raise their prices for you specifically.
Speed, speed and once again speed!
Global reviews showed that PrivateVPN’s real-world performance was acceptable, though a little inconsistent at times. We tested PrivateVPN connection speeds across different servers across the world and can confirm it.
At the same time it is fair to say that the relatively small network of servers doesn’t correlate to poor performance. We were able to stream 1080p video seamlessly with no buffering while connected to servers in New York, Los Angeles, and London, from the test location in Canada. There were also no issues when playing games using the same servers. Connecting to different servers rarely took more than a few seconds, and there were no dropped connections observed while surfing, downloading, or streaming.
US speeds were average at 20-30Mbps, depending on location. Still, that’s enough for most browsing, streaming and light downloading tasks.
Even the longest distance connections couldn’t entirely spoil the mood, with UK to Australia links managing a serviceable 10-15Mbps.
We also logged very convincing low latency of 3ms in London, Amsterdam, Oslo and New York, making PrivateVPN a great choice for gamers. Ping times in some of locations weren’t quite as reliable though, so again some sort of inconsistency was observed.
Servers and their locations
PrivateVPN’s website states that it has 100+ servers in 59 countries. According to the server list, this includes mostly locations in European countries and thirteen in the US and Canada. Some locations in Latin America are available as well. The number of server locations in terms of countries covered is higher than for many other providers. However, the total number of servers is tiny compared to some of the big players like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost who offer thousands of server locations.
More than 7,000 individual IP addresses offered is respectable and means that, despite maintaining just 100 or so servers, you shouldn’t have to worry about facing congestion or slowdown. You also get city-level choice in 10 countries, which is always useful.
Privacy, anonymity and trust
Is it actually as private as the brand name “PrivateVPN” suggests? Yes it is. It’s not just a name – this swedish VPN provider really offers a truly secure VPN, with lots of advanced features. Your data and browsing habits are kept as private as possible. PrivateVPN keeps your IP address, your location, your Internet activity and your personal communication private to protect your identity. No one can monitor your online activity or gain access to your data and personal information.
Depending on which device you’re using, you’ll have several different encryption options, including IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP, IPSec, and OpenVPN. You can toggle between these in the Dashboard tab in the desktop client or Settings screen for the mobile application.
A kill switch is enabled by default, so if the VPN connection happens to drop, internet traffic will be blocked. This acts as a backup to ensure your data remains private. PrivateVPN also protects you against IPv6 leaks and DNS leaks and most importantly Tor over VPN if you’re looking for an extra layer of security.
Streaming and torrenting
PrivateVPN remains a popular choice when it comes to streaming services and torrenting. In addition to the stealth protocol, access to Tor through its software is also a huge bonus for those trying to access government-blocked content.
Even with its relatively tiny amount of servers, PrivateVPN is one of the few VPN providers that according to number of reviews can currently unblock Netflix. We tested it with Windows, iOS, and Android, and they all worked seamlessly. PrivateVPN even marks certain servers in its list that will work with Netflix and other services what is particularly useful for users when searching for best unblocking option.
It’s just as well suited for P2P activity, with torrenting allowed on all servers. It’s perfectly suited for Kodi, too.
Easy to use apps available for all platforms.
The PrivateVPN website includes a full step-by-step installation guide (including downloads and screenshots) for every configuration it offers. Simply go into the Installation Guide tab and choose your operating system and protocol. Then follow the steps to download and install the VPN on your device.
PrivateVPN offers two modes: Simple and Advanced. The simple mode is the first thing that all users see. The interface itself is very simple, with few options. It has a drop-down menu and a Connect/Disconnect button, as well as an indicator towards the bottom that shows whether you’re connected to the VPN. If you’re a basic VPN user, that’s about all you need to know to use PrivateVPN.
Experienced users, however, can click the Advanced button in the lower-right corner of the window to see a larger dual-pane interface.
The Dashboard allows you to pick not only the location, but the type of VPN protocol to use, as well as the level of encryption for OpenVPN.
PrivateVPN offers good speeds, fantastic privacy (including Tor support) and great streaming and torrenting options. It is an all-round performer, not to mention one of the cheapest options on the current market if you opt for the annual plan.