PrivateVPN Review (2022) – Secure VPN, Perfect for Streaming!
PrivateVPN is a Swedish VPN provider, owned by Privat Kommunikation Sverige AB, a company founded in 2009. Since then, it has established itself as committed to privacy and security. PrivateVPN does not keep logs, uses strong encryption, and offers stable, secure connections around the world.
In this review, we present the results of our full and comprehensive test of PrivateVPN. We answered all the questions you may have, like “Is PrivateVPN safe?” and “Does PrivateVPN work with Netflix?” Keep reading below to find out more.
PrivateVPN Short Review
|Works with American Netflix and several other streaming services||Live chat support is not always reachable|
|No logs||Smaller server network compared to competitors|
|Simple, unified user interface||Kill switch only available for Windows|
|Supports torrents||Customer service only available in English|
|Connect up to ten devices with the same license|
|Has dedicated IP addresses|
|Has dedicated VPN servers for streaming|
PrivateVPN is available for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and routers. A single subscription allows you up to 10 simultaneous connections. PrivateVPN subscriptions start at just a couple of dollars per month if you opt for a two-year subscription.
This provider unblocks most popular streaming services — including Netflix, Hulu, and HBO — with optimized streaming servers that ensure a seamless experience. You can also opt for dedicated IPs to further protect your privacy and enjoy speedy torrenting.
All in all, PrivateVPN ticks all the boxes needed to be an all-around VPN service for most users. Let’s have a closer look at each aspect in our PrivateVPN review below.
- Torrenting allowed
- Works with Netflix
- Zero logs
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is PrivateVPN?
It’s essential to have a fast VPN for streaming, downloading, and gaming. We tested PrivateVPN’s speed extensively to see how it fared at essential online activities. However, please note that speed test results depend on several factors, like your location, your internet service provider (ISP), and the time you used to run the tests.
Here are our main takeaways from our tests:
- PrivateVPN offers good speeds.
- It’s well-suited for browsing, streaming, and torrenting without any delays.
- You can game and work efficiently with PrivateVPN, but you can sometimes experience slowdown when connected to distant servers.
PrivateVPN speed test results
Below, you will find the speed test result we achieved with various PrivateVPN servers. These tests were carried out in the Netherlands. First, to get our baseline speed, we tested our internet speed without a VPN.
Speed results without VPN (speedtest.net)
Above are the speedtest.net results for our internet connection without the use of a VPN. We use this baseline data to compare all other results.
Speed results with a Dutch PrivateVPN server (speedtest.net)
These are the results when we were connected to a Dutch VPN server. As you can see, the ping response time is only slightly up, but the download speed has decreased significantly. Nevertheless, the results are still good. The VPN did not impact upload speeds much.
Speed results with the fastest US PrivateVPNserver (speedtest.net)
Above you will see the speedtest.net test results from when we were connected to a PrivateVPN server in the United States. It’s useful to connect to an American server if, for example, you want to access the more extensive range of TV series and movies available on American Netflix.
The ping response time increased greatly, which could cause problems while gaming. Compared to the baseline speed and the decreased speed results obtained with the Dutch server, the download speeds obtained while connected to the US server decreased even further. The distance between the server and our location is the logical reason for this decrease.
Speed during everyday use
We used PrivateVPN while browsing websites, streaming online videos, playing online games, and downloading. With all these online activities, we didn’t notice any difference in speed and had no problems with loading times.
Downloading torrents also worked well. We were able to download a 2 GB file in 10 minutes. Overall, we were satisfied with PrivateVPN speeds and did not face any obstacles when performing routine online activities.
Security – How Secure is PrivateVPN?
PrivateVPN has a lot to offer in terms of privacy and security. Below we discuss PrivateVPN’s encryption protocols, logging policy, and kill switch. Our overall impressions are as follows:
- PrivateVPN has excellent security protocols, i.e. OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2).
- This provider uses strong 256-bit encryption.
- PrivateVPN only has a kill switch in its Windows app.
- You only need an email address and password to create an account.
PrivateVPN uses industry-standard 256-bit encryption. This form of data protection meets the highest encryption standards that are also used by military and government agencies.
PrivateVPN supports the following protocols:
- OpenVPN (UDP/TCP)
We recommend using the OpenVPN protocol as it provides the best security. Furthermore, it offers a great balance between online safety and decent internet speeds.
If you want to learn more about VPN protocols, take a look at our in-depth explanation of the different VPN protocols.
Logging policy and privacy
We are glad to report that PrivateVPN lives up to its name and does not keep logs. This is especially important because the provider is located in Sweden, a country that’s part of the 14 Eyes alliance. This alliance makes it so that it’s fairly easy for the fourteen nations involved to share sensitive information about citizens with each other.
However, because PrivateVPN does not log any data, you can rest assured that your personal information will not be passed on to governments or other surveillance organizations.
PrivateVPN has an automatic kill switch. Having a kill switch means that if your connection suddenly drops, your internet traffic will be stopped until the VPN connection is restored. This keeps users protected if their connection is suddenly lost as it prevents their data from being exposed.
Unfortunately, the kill switch is only available for Windows. Therefore, users of macOS and mobile apps need to keep this in mind when considering PrivateVPN.
What information does PrivateVPN need?
To create an account with PrivateVPN, you only need an email address and a password. If you don’t want to share this information with the provider, you could choose to use an anonymous email address.
It is also possible to purchase a subscription using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. This will anonymize your subscription.
Usability – How User-Friendly is PrivateVPN?
How does PrivateVPN score on user-friendliness? In our opinion: very well. Before we get into the details about PrivateVPN’s installation process, website, appearance, and payment options, here’s a quick summary:
- PrivateVPN’s website and app are straightforward and easy to navigate.
- PrivateVPN’s customer service representatives respond reliably, although live chat is not always reachable.
- It’s one of the most affordable VPN services and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
PrivateVPN’s website has a striking purple color. The home page is fairly clear and is available in several languages. In addition to English, the website is also available in German, French, and Swedish.
Your IP address is shown in the top left-hand corner of the screen. PrivateVPN displays this information to show that your personal information is not protected and that it is, therefore, advisable to use a VPN.
Information is clearly grouped in the website’s top menu bar. For example, here you can find information about how a VPN works. In addition, there is also a tab labeled “Why PrivateVPN?” This tab provides information about the company, the servers, and the software.
You can also find several reasons why you should choose PrivateVPN. Finally, there’s a tab with pricing information and a tab labeled “Support” to help you get started with the VPN and get answers to frequently asked questions.
In the top right-hand corner of the screen, you can log into the website using “My Account.” You will then see several tabs at the top of the screen labeled: “Control Panel,” “Installation Guide” and “Settings.”
The account page is very clear. You can see your account history under the “Control Panel.” Under “Installation Guide” you will find information about the VPN’s installation process. Under the “Settings” tab, you can change your password. The website works very intuitively and is self-explanatory.
Installing PrivateVPN is very fast. The software is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. It’s also very easy to download.
You can connect up to ten different devices at once.
When you log into the website with your account, you can open the “Installation Guide” page. This page shows you how to get started with the VPN. In addition to an extensive video, a step-by-step guide is also provided.
PrivateVPN’s installation process is as follows:
- Create an account, choose a subscription, and complete your payment.
- Download and install the PrivateVPN app on your device(s).
- Log in to the app with your account credentials.
- Connect to the desired VPN server and location to enjoy a private browsing experience.
Do you prefer the VPN on your smartphone or tablet? You can download the official app from the App Store or Play Store without any fuss.
PrivateVPN’s appearance and user-friendliness
PrivateVPN’s software is visually appealing and uncluttered. You can turn the VPN on or off with the button in the middle of the screen. You can then see at a glance whether the VPN is running, how long you have been connected, and to which server you’re connected (in which country).
PrivateVPN’s interface offers two options: a “simple view” and an “advanced view.” By default, users are presented with the “simple view.” This setup is perfect for novice VPN users.
If you want more options and a more advanced interface, click on “advanced view.” Here, you can see the available protocols and select the one you prefer. Other options you will find here include IPv6, DNS leak protection, and the kill switch (on the Windows client).
As expected, the advanced interface is a lot less clear than the simple view and uses many technical terms. As such, we recommend researching any topics you’re unfamiliar with before making changes to the options in advanced view.
Connecting to a server is very simple. You can choose a server from a list of countries. The server list is sorted by country in alphabetical order, but it is also possible to sort the servers according to their proximity to you.
Several countries have multiple servers. In these countries, it’s possible to connect to a specific server. Furthermore, each server’s ping response time is provided, thus supplying you with a good estimate of the server’s speed.
In addition to the “All Servers” tab, there is also a “Streamed Services” tab. Here, PrivateVPN indicates which servers are suitable for accessing specific streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and Disney Plus.
PrivateVPN also includes a separate tab with a list of dedicated IP servers. These servers provide dynamic dedicated IP addresses. These are unique IP addresses, but they change with each session. In other words, you are the only one who uses that IP address, but you may not get the same IP address during your next session.
This setup makes these IP addresses suitable for getting access to streaming content, but not so much for logging in to online banking environments, social media, your email inbox, and other sensitive websites.
Finally, under “Help,” you can consult the FAQ section for answers to frequently asked questions. You can also access live support from here.
Prices and payment options
PrivateVPN offers a choice of three subscriptions of different lengths, but each subscription has the same features. If you choose a subscription that runs for longer, you get a discount.
Here’s a summary of the PrivateVPN pricing options:
- $8.99 per month
- $6.00 per month for 3 months
- $2.50 per month for 24 months
As you can see, the two-year plan is the best option and makes PrivateVPN one of the cheapest VPNs you can opt for.
There is currently no free trial per se, but you can take advantage of PrivateVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee to test out the VPN. If you don’t enjoy the service, you can cancel your subscription anytime within 30 days and get a full refund.
PrivateVPN accepts a variety of payment methods including major credit cards (i.e. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover and Diners Club), PayPal, and Bitcoin.
PrivateVPN states that it provides help to customers via live chat, email, and remote desktop. It took us several attempts, but we did manage to get in touch with customer service via live chat. When we tried to open the live chat, we often received a message stating it was offline. Eventually, however, we managed to make contact. Once connected, we received an immediate response from an employee, and they adequately addressed our queries.
It is also possible to fill out a contact form. We asked a question via the contact form, and we received a detailed response within the day. The customer service rep provided a clear answer to our question.
In addition, there’s an FAQ section on the website where you can find answers to many of your questions. Note that customer service is only available in English. Regardless, on the whole, the support provided was satisfactory albeit a bit difficult to reach out to.
PrivateVPN’s Server Network
PrivateVPN’s server network is fairly extensive, although still relatively small compared to premium VPN providers such as ExpressVPN. Here are our main takeaways:
- PrivateVPN currently has more than 200 servers spread out over 63 countries.
- PrivateVPN has many different server types for various streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO.
- Dedicated IP addresses are available for various countries.
Number of servers and locations
With 200+ servers in over 63 countries, the average VPN user is likely to be very satisfied with the VPN’s server network. These servers are located all over the world and can therefore help you bypass geo-blocks.
However, PrivateVPN will be hard-pressed to compete with the thousands of servers available from other VPN providers, such as CyberGhost and NordVPN. When many of its users are active at the same time, PrivateVPN’s servers can become overcrowded. As a result, this may cause a drop in your connection’s speed.
However, the fact that PrivateVPN has special premium servers for streaming videos in HD is a definite plus, as it provides you with a smoother, faster streaming experience.
To learn more about which servers are available in which countries, check out PrivateVPN’s website.
Dedicated IP addresses
PrivateVPN offers dynamic dedicated IP addresses and provides the ability to connect to different servers. A dedicated IP address means that you are the only person using that IP address.
However, since it is a dynamic IP address, it is likely to change for each session. Static IP addresses stay the same from one session to the next. PrivateVPN does not offer static dedicated IP addresses.
A VPN is primarily used to surf the internet anonymously and securely. In addition to that, it lets you access geographically restricted or censored content, download torrents, and more. Here’s what our PrivateVPN review revealed in this regard:
- PrivateVPN works well with American Netflix and other streaming services.
- PrivateVPN is optimized for fast and secure torrenting.
PrivateVPN and Netflix
PrivateVPN is perfect for watching the American or UK version of Netflix from overseas. PrivateVPN has servers specially designed for Netflix. We connected to an American server recommended for Netflix and were presented with the extensive range of titles available on American Netflix. Streaming quality and speed were also up to the mark.
PrivateVPN and torrents
PritvateVPN does not keep user logs. This makes it a torrent-friendly VPN provider. Furthermore, downloading torrents anonymously is very quick and simple.
Conclusions – Our Experience with PrivateVPN
To conclude, PrivateVPN stands out with an attractive blend of security and ease-of-use at a very affordable price. We appreciate that it doesn’t keep logs and uses strong encryption. Consequently, you do not have to worry about other parties tracking you online.
Furthermore, PrivateVPN is well-suited to help you stay anonymous on the internet and allows you to access your favorite content from around the world on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO.
This VPN provider would score higher if the server network was wider and if the apps and customer service were available in languages other than English. However, these are minor points.
PrivateVPN still scores very well on the most important aspects such as security, speed, and features. So, it’s an excellent choice for those who want a cheap and secure VPN for streaming and torrenting.
Got a question about PrivateVPN? We’ve got you covered. Check out our FAQ below. Click or tap on a question to see the answer.
PrivateVPN is a Swedish VPN provider established in 2009. It offers stable, speedy, secure internet connections for streaming, browsing, and downloading. it does not keep logs and has a good set of features while being one of the most affordable VPN providers. You can read more about this VPN in our full PrivateVPN review.
Yes, our PrivateVPN review revealed that it’s quite safe, with zero logs and strong encryption. You can use it to browse the net anonymously and bypass geo-blocks.
Yes, PrivateVPN works to unblock American Netflix and other popular streaming services such as Hulu and HBO. It has optimized streaming servers that offer a seamless experience.
No, PrivateVPN is not a free VPN. However, its subscription is very affordable at just over $2 per month when you opt for a 2-year plan. You can also benefit from a 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the service risk-free. If you’d rather use a completely free VPN, you can check out our list of best VPNs that won’t cost you anything.
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