PrivateVPN is a growing provider that claims to be a great VPN for security and privacy, as the name implies.
Instead of offering a long list of unique features, this VPN sells itself as a simple but high-performing service. I put PrivateVPN through a series of tests to find out how it performs in each category and whether it will truly keep you safe and private.
PrivateVPN’s strengths include a no-logs policy, robust security, and reliable connections. The Stealth VPN mode is great to access popular platforms. The PrivateVPN apps are also very user-friendly and give you a lot of freedom to customize your settings without overwhelming you with options.
Downsides include a small server network, a kill switch only available on Windows, and a lack of 24/7 live customer support.
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PrivateVPN Features — Updated in August 2022
Money Back Guarantee
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Number of devices per license
Based in country
Server Network and Speeds — Decent Performance
One of the complaints in the past has been about PrivateVPN’s small server network. However, PrivateVPN now offers 200+ servers in 63 different countries, as well as multiple server locations within many countries.
Although the total number of servers is still fairly small, it’s clear that PrivateVPN is constantly expanding its network and will hopefully continue to grow in the future.
PrivateVPN is also able to maintain good speeds and reliable connections that are comparable to some competitors with thousands of servers, so the network size isn’t necessarily an issue.
Crowded VPN server networks can sometimes slow your connection speed significantly. I tested my speeds before and after connecting to PrivateVPN to find out whether the VPN would slow me down.
My base download speed before connecting to PrivateVPN was around 65 Mbps.
PrivateVPN doesn’t indicate in any way which server will give you the fastest speeds. The first server I connected to in the US slowed me down to 22 Mbps.
The next server I tested in the US gave me an excellent connection speed of 61 Mbps.
I was equally impressed with my speeds with the UK server I tested, which gave me a download speed of 59 Mbps.
I got decent — but not great — speeds when connecting to other servers in Europe.
Connecting to a server in Australia, across the world from my physical location, my speeds took a major hit.
It’s common for your connection speed to suffer when you connect to servers farther away from your physical location, but some top providers are able to keep speeds relatively high despite the distance. Unfortunately, PrivateVPN isn’t one of them.
PrivateVPN isn’t the fastest VPN I’ve tested, but the speeds are still very good, especially considering the small server network.
Through trial and error, I was able to find multiple servers that gave me excellent speeds, so you should have no trouble browsing the web or enjoying your favorite movies and shows with PrivateVPN.
Although speeds varied across different servers, I found that each server’s speed stayed consistent over time. This is a big plus for PrivateVPN’s reliability.
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Security – Multiple Security Features
PrivateVPN has a lot to offer when it comes to safety and security. When the VPN is enabled, it masks your IP address and protects your data with strong encryption. This keeps you safe even if you are connected to an unsecured WiFi network.
PrivateVPN also protects your connection with IPv6 leak protection, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. That means that even if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly, your data will remain totally secure.
The downside is that the kill switch is only available on the Windows app.
One of the best parts of PrivateVPN’s service is that you don’t have to adjust any of the security settings before connecting to stay safe. Although you have the option to change your security settings, the default settings offer excellent protection.
I did not experience any IP or DNS leaks while connecting to PrivateVPN. I tested this on several websites, and my true location in the US was undetectable.
Encryption and Protocols
PrivateVPN gives you the freedom to choose from several encryption algorithms. The most secure option is AES 256-bit encryption, which is the same level of encryption used by many military and government agencies.
The VPN also supports a variety of secure protocols, including OpenVPN with UDP/TCP, L2TP, IPsec, PPTP, and IKEv2.
The default protocol is an OpenVPN connection with UDP. You can also change your protocol within the app’s settings or follow one of PrivateVPN’s installation guides.
Privacy — True No-Logs Policy
When you sign up for the service, you are required to provide an email address and password to create an account. This is the only information stored by PrivateVPN. Privacy-lovers should be pleased with PrivateVPN’s strict no-logs policy.
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Simultaneous Device Connections — Up To 10
PrivateVPN allows you to use it on 10 devices at the same time. This means that you can keep all your devices protected, and your speeds won’t decrease in any way.
Device Compatibility — Works With The Major Systems
PrivateVPN has native clients for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. Manual installation guides are also available for Linux, and compatible routers.
The PrivateVPN app is similar across platforms, with the main difference being that PrivateVPN only offers an automatic kill switch in the Windows app. Other platforms don’t have a kill switch at all, which is a pretty big downside.
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Installation & Apps
Set-Up & Installation — Quick Installation
One of the best parts of PrivateVPN’s service is the app’s user-friendly interface. The app has a unique design. It allows you to choose between a simple mode and an advanced mode with the click of a button.
The simple mode is perfect for VPN beginners or people who like to be able to turn on their VPN without the hassle of advanced configurations. It displays your connection status, server list, and the option to turn on Stealth VPN mode.
Connecting is as simple as choosing your server and clicking connect.
On the other hand, the advanced mode is great for experienced users who like to have the freedom to fine-tune their settings. You can view all of the adjustable settings and easily select your preferred encryption algorithm and protocol.
When you’re happy with the settings, you can click “Connect With Above Settings” to connect to the server. While connected, the app displays your current server location, any relevant labels, and your external IP address.
I found the PrivateVPN app to be very intuitive to use and navigate. Like the rest of PrivateVPN’s service, it strikes the right balance between simplicity and functionality.
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Reliability & Support
PrivateVPN offers an excellent live chat service, but unlike many of its competitors, this service is not available 24/7. There is no information on PrivateVPN’s website about when you can expect the live chat feature to be available.
The first few times I tried to use the live chat service, I was redirected to a blank page with an image, which linked me to the website’s email contact form.
When I tried the next morning, the chat feature was available. This time, I was able to speak with a support agent within minutes of reaching out. I found the live chat support team to be responsive, friendly, and helpful.
My guess is that the live chat is only available during business hours in Sweden, which is fine. I just would have liked to see this information stated on the website rather than leaving me guessing. During times when the live chat support is offline, you can still contact support through email or by filling out a contact form on the website.
PrivateVPN’s website also has helpful resources like detailed installation guides and an FAQ page.
Even though the installation process is easy, PrivateVPN offers a unique remote help service through TeamViewer. This feature allows you to give remote control of your device to a PrivateVPN technical support representative, who will install the VPN on your device without any effort on your part. The TeamViewer service can also help you with troubleshooting.
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