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PrivateVPN Review 2023 — Surprisingly Better Than Most VPNs

Author Image Matthew Amos
Matthew Amos | Updated on 25th January 2023 Senior Editor

PrivateVPN advertises itself as one of the best VPNs for streaming at a low price. It also claims to have great torrenting support, strong security features, and a true no-logs policy. But PrivateVPN is a small company, so can it compete with the biggest VPNs?

To learn the answer, I tested out everything it offers. I tried it out with every major platform to see if it’s one of the best choices for streaming. Extensive speed tests let me know if it can maintain fast browsing, gaming, and torrenting speeds. I also thoroughly researched its logging policy and checked for leaks to test its security.

After my tests, I strongly recommend PrivateVPN. There aren’t many VPNs that can unblock all the platforms it lets you access. Its security is solid, and it never leaked my actual location. Plus, it has one of the best privacy policies and is supported by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can confidently try PrivateVPN. But it’s still a smaller company, which has a few drawbacks that mean it’s not for everybody.

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Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Pros

Cons

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PrivateVPN Features — Updated in February 2023

9.6
💸 Price 2 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 30 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 200+
💻 Number of devices per license 10
🛡 Kill switch Yes
🗺 Based in country Sweden
🛠 Support Live Chat
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Unblocks Tons of Platforms With Excellent Playback

9.8

This is one of the best VPNs for streaming. I could unblock tons of libraries with all of the top platforms. There were no issues concerning image quality, load times, or buffering. Its dedicated IPs are just as good as its top competitors’ streaming-optimized servers. Although my tests were performed on my Windows laptop through web browsers, I had no problem unblocking the same platforms on my mobile device.

There was only 1 platform I couldn’t unblock, which is impressive. I did have 1 minor issue where I couldn’t sign in to specific platforms while connected to PrivateVPN. However, customer support recommended I reinstall the app. After that, everything worked great, and I had no issues logging in to any of the streaming channels I subscribed to.

Unblocked: Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more

PrivateVPN works great with Netflix, and only a few VPNs unblock more libraries. I started by testing all of the dedicated IPs, which it recommends for unblocking platforms. 11 could access entire libraries. I also tried 4 regular servers and could unblock 1 more full region of content.

Screenshot of Netflix player streaming Red Notice while connected to PrivateVPNI didn't experience any buffering issues watching fast-paced movies with PrivateVPN

I accessed full Netflix libraries in the following countries:

United States Canada United Kingdom Australia
Spain Brazil Italy India
Finland Sweden Netherlands Norway

Some of the servers couldn’t unblock entire libraries. Locations in France, Japan, Switzerland, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, and New Zealand only let me access Netflix Originals. This is a version of the site that only has content Netflix owns. This is pretty common, and I don’t see it as a huge negative because Netflix has been working hard to block more VPNs.

I could unblock Disney+ with dedicated servers from the US, Canada, Italy, the UK, and Australia. Accessing the US library was actually the toughest. I was blocked on Chrome and Edge browsers with the New York server. Luckily, the Los Angeles dedicated server let me sign in with zero issues. I was stopped when I tested the location from Germany. However, it’s a regular server that isn’t optimized for unblocking platforms.

Screenshot of Disney+ player streaming Home Alone while connected to PrivateVPNEven on distant servers, I only had to wait 5 seconds for videos to load in HD

Hulu was easy to unblock with both dedicated servers from the US. I could also access it with the regular Dallas server, which I appreciate because it’s the server closest to me.

Screenshot of Hulu player streaming Wall Street while connected to PrivateVPNUnfortunately, there are no VPNs that can get around Hulu's ads

I had some minor issues signing in to HBO Max before PrivateVPN’s support staff helped me. There was no error screen, but I couldn't sign in, even though I was positive my password and email address were correct. The live chat agent recommended I reinstall PrivateVPN, which fixed all my issues.

Screenshot of HBO Max player streaming Amsterdam while connected to PrivateVPNDedicated IPs should connect via the OpenVPN UDP protocol — reinstall the app if it displays TCP

I could access Amazon Prime Video with 8 different PrivateVPN locations. This let me watch libraries from the US, the UK, Australia, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Japan. The only time I was blocked was with a dedicated IP from Spain, which gave me an error screen that stated Amazon detected my VPN.

Screenshot of Amazon Prime Video player streaming Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark while connected to PrivateVPNI was happy there wasn't any buffering even on regular servers

I could also unblock BBC iPlayer, Peacock, Sky GO, ESPN+, ITV Hub, and DAZN Canada. Most VPNs can’t even access DAZN’s website, so that one impressed me. Streaming videos buffer-free on P2P streaming services like PopcornTime through Kodi was also easy.

Streaming copyrighted materials is illegal, and I don’t recommend it. Please make sure you only access copyright-free movies and shows on peer-to-peer streaming networks.

Blocked By: Hotstar

Hotstar was the only platform I couldn’t unblock. I didn’t expect that because PrivateVPN has dedicated servers in several countries where it’s available including, Canada, the US, and India.

Screenshot of PrivateVPN live chat where they inform me Hotstar can't be unblockedIt's worked with the service in the past, so I believe it will again in the future

Overall, PrivateVPN is one of the best VPNs for streaming. The dedicated IPs are excellent at unblocking platforms. However, there are a few services that can access more Netflix libraries. And I did have that one minor issue where I had to reinstall. But other than those minor issues, PrivateVPN is great for uninterrupted streaming.

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Money-Back Guarantee: 30 Days

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Speeds — Decent Speeds That Hold up at Long Distances

8.0

PrivateVPN isn’t superfast, but I’ve tested much slower VPNs. I performed all my tests on a Microsoft Surface Laptop running Windows 10. PrivateVPN runs on an HQN (high-quality network), which should make it faster. Unfortunately, it still slowed me down quite a bit, even on nearby locations.

These are the 3 categories I looked at during my speed tests:

  • Download speed lets you know how quickly you can receive information. This is important for activities like torrenting and loading web pages.
  • Upload speed is the opposite. It tells you how long it takes to send information. You need good rates to quickly upload videos on YouTube or make posts on social media.
  • Ping is how long it takes your data to travel. This is essential for online gaming because it lets you know how quickly the network can respond to your inputs (or button presses).

PrivateVPN has several customization options, including encryption levels. I was surprised I got slightly better speeds with the higher 256-bit encryption, so I recommend sticking with that. You can also expect your speeds to be about 14% slower when you enable Stealth (making your VPN traffic appear like regular traffic).

So the following tests were done with 256-bit encryption with Stealth toggled off. Below you’ll see a chart that shows 5 speed test results from the Los Angeles server using each of the available protocol options.

 Chart displaying different speeds while connected to PrivateVPN's various protocol optionsOpenVPN UDP is the default protocol and the only one that works with dedicated IPs

OpenVPN TAP was the fastest protocol in my tests, but the message “NOT RECOMMENDED” is displayed beside it in the app. I asked why on the live chat, and a support agent said: “...it would just be redundant to use it since the tap adapter is already a built-in component of the VPN app.”

They told me it shouldn’t be a security risk or cause any other problems. However, I decided to stick with OpenVPN UDP for the rest of my tests. It gave me the second-best speeds, and it’s the protocol you must use with dedicated IPs. So it’s the one I use the most often anyways.

These are the results of my speed tests with dedicated IPs:

Distance Download Upload Ping
Base (Austin, TX) 0 km 302.38 Mbps 231.04 Mbps 4 ms
Los Angeles (US) 2,215 km 93.17 Mbps (69% drop) 233.76 Mbps (1% increase) 39 ms
Toronto (Canada) 2,596 km 85.02 Mbps (72% drop) 250.95 Mbps (8% increase) 45 ms
New York (US) 2,802 km 61.99 Mbps (80% drop) 181.84 Mbps (21% drop) 57 ms
London (UK) 7,905 km 141.23 Mbps (53% drop) 283.54 Mbps (19% increase) 113 ms
Sao Paulo (BR) 8,090 km 123.04 Mbps (59% drop) 6.63 Mbps (97% drop) 150 ms
Paris (FR) 8,195 km 56.95 Mbps (81% drop) 127.35 Mbps (45% drop) 121 ms
Zurich (CH) 8,674 km 61.65 Mbps (80% drop) 172.04 Mbps (26% drop) 138 ms
Tokyo (JP) 10,537 km 55.59 Mbps (82% drop) 146.02 Mbps (37% drop) 143 ms
Sydney (Aus) 13,621 km 108.71 Mbps (64% drop) 263.42 Mbps (22% increase) 191 ms
Mumbai (IN) 14,428 km 53.32 Mbps (82% drop) 150.90 Mbps (35% drop) 242 ms

Even the nearby servers dropped my speeds significantly. The London server actually gave me the best download speed, even though it’s nearly 8,000 km away. My upload speeds were much better, with a few servers increasing it. The ping held up pretty well too. I was impressed that every server I tested in North America kept it below 100 ms.

My tests on regular servers gave me better results:

Distance Download Upload Ping
Dallas (US) 313 km 221.08 Mbps (27% drop) 95.08 Mbps (59% decrease) 11 ms
Chicago (US) 1,803 km 153.86 Mbps (49% drop) 226.03 Mbps (2% drop) 32 ms
Paris (FR) 8,195 km 133.52 Mbps (56% drop) 219.52 Mbps (5% drop) 121 ms
Tokyo (JP) 10,537 km 121.09 Mbps (60% drop) 215.04 Mbps (7% drop) 144 ms
Sydney (AUS) 13,621 km 114.66 Mbps (62 % drop) 231.29 Mbps (0.001% increase) 191 ms

I wasn’t surprised that the closest server gave me the best speeds. It wasn’t the best result since I’ve tested some VPNs that only lower my speeds by 10% or less on nearby servers. However, I was glad that the regular servers were much faster at long distances. For example, the Paris server was almost twice as fast as the dedicated IP in the same city.

Screenshot of Ookla speed test results with PrivateVPN connected and disconnectedMy connection speed only lowered by 27% connected to PrivateVPN’s Dallas server

PrivateVPN doesn’t have the most extensive server network, so I’m guessing its speeds are slower than many of its competitors because of overcrowding. It also lets you have many simultaneous connections, which could make its servers even more crowded. I hope it enables you to see the server load in the future. For now, there’s no way to know how many people are on any of its servers. I’d also like it to add the Wireguard protocol for better speeds.

It’s also too bad that normal servers are faster than dedicated IPs. Dedicated IPs worked better for streaming, gaming, and torrenting in my tests. All these activities work best at fast speeds. But you should still be able to do all of these things at a comfortable speed unless you have a slow base connection. Overall, PrivateVPN is okay when it comes to speeds, but it definitely has room for improvement.

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Are PrivateVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? Yes On Nearby Servers

9.6

I could play online games while connected to one of PrivateVPN’s dedicated IPs. In my first test, I tried the Dallas server. It’s the closest one to me, and it only had a ping of 10 ms. You want a ping rate between 50-85 ms for gaming, so your character can respond to your button presses close to instantly.

Even though the ping was low, the game was laggy with the regular server from Texas. After clicking my mouse, it took about half a second for the gun to fire. This meant I couldn’t enjoy the game, and I kept dying soon after respawning.

Screenshot of Steam running Counter-Strike Global Offensive while connected to PrivateVPNIt only took 10 seconds to find a match

With the dedicated IP I tested, there was practically no lag. This was even though the ping rate was 4 times higher (around 42 ms). The gameplay paused briefly 1 time, but that can happen to me even without a VPN. I’m not great at the game, but I was able to plant a bomb to help my team win once the game was running smoothly.

I also tested a dedicated IP in the UK that’s about 7,905 km away from me. The ping was over 100 ms at that distance, and the gameplay was glitchy. I ended up falling through the floor and experiencing weird problems that made the game unplayable. However, that’s normal, and I was impressed with PrivateVPN’s gaming results overall. There aren’t many VPNs that let you play online games lag-free, even with a nearby server.

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Server Network — Reliable Connections on a Limited Number of Servers

8.8

PrivateVPN has a small server network, but it gives you a nice mix of locations worldwide. The connections are reliable too. I only had a few issues when I used the L2TP protocol, which wouldn’t let me connect to Sao Paulo or Los Angeles. But it’s not a protocol I recommend since it’s slower and less secure than OpenVPN.

While there are only 200 servers in 63 countries, it has 7,000+ IPs in total. The IPs are rotated randomly when one is at full capacity. The table below gives you a breakdown of how many locations are available in each continent:

Continent Number of Locations Countries
North America 19 Canada (4 cities), Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and the US (12 cities)
South America 4 Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Colombia
Europe 39 Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany (2 cities), Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden (3 cities), Switzerland, Turkey, the UK (2 cities) and Ukraine
Asia 17 Hong Kong (2 cities), India (2 cities), Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia (2 cities), Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, Israel, and Vietnam
Oceania 5 Australia (4 cities), and New Zealand
Africa 2 Nigeria and South Africa

There are only 7 virtual servers. A virtual location means the server is in a different location than the IP it gives you. This shouldn’t cause any security issues, but it could give you worse speeds if it’s farther away than you expected. The virtual servers are Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Bangalore, Mexico City, Panama City, and Lima.

Most of PrivateVPN’s servers are rented. The vast majority of VPNs rent servers as it costs much more for them to own their infrastructure. As long as a VPN has a solid no-logs policy, this shouldn’t create any privacy issues. But it does give me added peace of mind when a VPN cuts out this middleman. I reached out through PrivateVPN’s live chat and found that it owns some of its servers.

Screenshot of PrivateVPN live chat where they told me which servers it ownsThere are 15 dedicated IPs in total in 14 countries

I do hope that PrivateVPN upgrades to RAM-based servers eventually. These servers delete all the information on them each time they reboot for added privacy. But I understand that PrivateVPN is a smaller service, so it can’t compete with the massive networks and advanced technology of its largest competitors. The number of locations should be enough for most people. But you can find VPNs with many more locations, especially in Africa, South America, or the Middle East.

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Security — Secure but Missing Some Extra Features

9.2

PrivateVPN passed all of my leak tests thanks to its military-grade encryption. By default, it uses 128-bit GCM encryption. I recommend switching to 256-bit GCM since it’s harder to crack and it was faster in my tests. CBC encryption is also available, but GCM is considered to be a little safer. Plus, I didn’t notice any speed differences, so I’d stick with GCM. PrivateVPN also uses its own DNS servers, which cuts out a go-between, making it more secure.

It never revealed my actual location during tests with servers from the US, Australia, the UK, Sweden, and Japan. I did find one US server that gave me a different location than the one listed. However, it wasn’t a big deal since it still unblocked the full Netflix US library, HBO Max, and every other US platform I tested. IPv6 and DNS leak protection is automatically enabled, but WebRTC leak protection isn’t available. So, you’ll have to take care of that in your browser’s settings. It’s a little inconvenient, so I hope it’s added in the future.

Screenshot of leak test performed on ipleak.net while connected to PrivateVPNI was surprised, as the LA server isn't listed as a virtual location on PrivateVPN's website

The kill switch works as advertised, but I wish it was available for more than just the Windows and Mac apps. I tested it by switching servers with a browser open. It blocked my connection every time, so I know it’s effective. This essential feature ensures your IP and data are never vulnerable, so I wouldn’t recommend using a VPN without one. Just make sure you turn it on since it’s not enabled by default.

Application guard lets you add apps to a list that are automatically disconnected when you turn off the VPN. It’s useful for things like a banking app that you wouldn’t want to leave on without protection. The last security feature it offers is Stealth VPN. This hides your VPN use, so you can use PrivateVPN on restricted networks. It utilizes the Shadowsocks proxy to do this. Support staff recommended you only use it if you’re in a country with heavy internet censorship.

There are also 5 protocols available:

  • OpenVPN UDP is the best protocol for unblocking websites. It’s also super secure since each version of OpenVPN is open-source. This means it's tested for vulnerabilities by people all around the world, which can then be fixed.
  • OpenVPN TCP is a little slower than UDP and uses more data. It’s good to have as a backup, but UDP is the better choice for most activities.
  • OpenVPN TAP isn’t recommended by PrivateVPN, so I don't know why it’s available. I asked support what use it has, but they couldn’t answer me.
  • L2TP was the fastest protocol in my tests. However, it’s older and less secure than OpenVPN. Plus, I ran into connection issues with it, so I’d stick with OpenVPN.
  • PPTP is even less secure than L2TP. Most people won’t need it, but some people use it with an outdated operating system.
Screenshot of a connection to the Tor browser while connected to PrivateVPNSome ISPs block Tor, so you can use PrivateVPN to access it

It’s unfortunate that PrivateVPN doesn’t have some extra security features many of its competitors have. For example, there’s no double VPN or WiFi protection. In addition, there’s no split tunneling, but you can connect to PrivateVPN’s SOCKS5 and HTTP proxy servers on your browser. That lets you change locations on your browser while the rest of your apps use your normal internet connection. But it’s not as convenient as split tunneling and doesn’t offer encryption.

Overall, PrivateVPN is secure. It always hid my true location and protected my vital information. It could be improved by adding some of its competitors extra security features.

Protect Your Data With PrivateVPN

Privacy — Stores No Logs but It’s in a 14-Eyes Country

9.2

PrivateVPN is located in Sweden, but it's great no-logging policy means that’s not an issue. Sweden is a part of the 14-Eyes Alliance. This is an agreement between governments to share information about their citizens. Plus, it’s not the most privacy-friendly country (there have been ongoing issues with its data retention laws). But PrivateVPN only stores the small amount of information you give them. So, they’ll have nothing to share if any government demands data on its customers.

Screenshot of PrivateVPN's privacy policy highlighting the information it collectsMost VPNs store some anonymized logs, so I'm impressed that PrivateVPN only keeps your email address

All that PrivateVPN stores about its customers are your email address and password. Payments are made through third-party processors, so PrivateVPN won’t have access to any of your financial information. If you want, you can create a new email address to sign up to stay completely anonymous.

One issue is PrivateVPN’s policy hasn’t been verified by an independent audit or a public court case. Other VPNs pay reputable companies to perform audits on their policies, which prove that they’re followed. I understand that PrivateVPN is a smaller company, but I hope this is done in the future. A court case could also verify the policy, but the company can’t control that. On the other hand, PrivateVPN has a good reputation, and I trust them to be responsible with my data.

Lastly, it does work with a third party called Intercom, which provides infrastructure for its live chat. I don’t see it as a significant privacy concern. Still, it’s a good idea to never share any of your sensitive information with any company’s support team. PrivateVPN support assured me Intercom doesn’t have access to your conversations over its chat service.

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Torrenting — Great Speeds on P2P Networks

9.6

PrivateVPN is a great choice for torrenting. Most VPNs drop my speeds a lot when I try torrenting. Without a VPN, I can usually reach a speed of around 12 MB/s during downloads. I’ve tested tons of VPNs that drop me down to about 1 MB/s or less. With PrivateVPN, I could reach 4 MB/s, letting me download a 1.6 GB file in less than 15 minutes. This was with a small number of seeders too.

Screenshot of uTorrent downloading It's a Wonderful Life while connected to PrivateVPNI found its dedicated IPs twice as fast as regular servers

Port forwarding is always on for every PrivateVPN server, giving it better torrenting speeds. A member of the support staff told me that dedicated IPs open “almost all” ports, while regular servers let you access one. That would explain why dedicated IPs were much faster.

Torrenting is legal in most parts of the world, but it’s illegal to download copyrighted files. My team and I don’t condone any illegal activities. Please read up on the rules and regulations where you live before you decide to torrent. If you want to stay safe on P2P networks, PrivateVPN is one of the best torrenting options.

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Does PrivateVPN Work in China? Sometimes

Due to increased regulation of VPNs in China, PrivateVPN can’t guarantee it will work in the country. If you want to use it in China, it’s best to download the VPN before you enter the country. Once there, you should use one of the OpenVPN protocols and toggle on the Stealth feature.

Screenshot of PrivateVPN live chat where support staff told me it doesn't always work in ChinaYou'll get the best speeds if you use nearby servers in Hong Kong

The Chinese government generally sticks to banning technology rather than going after the people that use VPNs. However, my team and I don’t condone any illegal activities. We advise you to read up on the laws of the country you’re in before you decide to use a VPN.

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Installation & Apps

8.8

Device Compatibility — Good Apps but Some Devices Aren’t Supported

PrivateVPN has full apps for the most popular OS’, but I hope more devices get full support in the future. The apps all have a simple design and are easy to navigate. They differ slightly in the features they have, but if you’ve used one, you’ll know how to use the rest.

You can sort the server list alphabetically or by the closest location. Most of its competitors have an auto-select feature connecting you to the “best” server for you (often the fastest or closest server). However, since the server list is so small, I can see why this hasn’t been added. You can also create a favorites list of servers, but beyond that, there isn’t much more to the app.

Screenshot of the PrivateVPN Windows app highlighting where the find the settingsYou get unlimited bandwidth, so I'm not sure why it displays your data usage

Here are the main differences between each app:

  • Windows: This version of the app has everything PrivateVPN has to offer, including all the security features and protocols. It’s also the only app that comes with its application guard feature. This app is compatible with Windows 7+.
  • Mac: The Apple desktop app is close to the Windows app, but you won’t get the PPTP protocol. It will work with MacOS 10.12+.
  • Android: This app has most of the same features as the Windows app. The main difference is you only get the OpenVPN TCP and UDP protocols. I wish it came with Application Guard since apps are so widely used on mobile devices. You can set it up on Android 4.0+.
  • iOS: The app for iPhones and iPads is the weakest version. You can only use the IKEv2 protocol, and there is no kill switch. You also can’t tell the VPN to auto-start. It’s compatible with iOS 10.0+.

I’m glad that there’s a full app for Firestick. It lets you connect to all the same servers you use with the desktop apps. So you’ll be able to unblock the same number of platforms and Netflix libraries you can with the other apps. You can also download the APK file for an Android TV, giving you the Android mobile app on your television.

There are no browser extensions or a Linux app. You can connect to PrivateVPN proxy servers on your browser, but it’s not the same as a full extension that lets you switch between servers and access features the way you can with ExpressVPN’s extensions. Similarly, you can manually access PrivateVPN servers on Linux, but no app is available – not even with a CLI. PrivateVPN is lagging behind many of its competitors here, especially services like ProtonVPN, which gives you a Linux app with a full GUI (graphical user interface).

I wish it offered smart DNS to make it easier to connect game consoles or smart TVs. This feature doesn’t give you full encryption. Still, it gives you a proxy IP address that’s easy to enter in the settings of just about any WiFi-enabled device. Currently, the only way to connect non-compatible televisions or consoles is by connecting PrivateVPN to a router. It would also be nice if it sold preinstalled routers like some of its competitors do.

PrivateVPN excels in many areas, but it has a ways to go when it comes to compatibility. All of its full apps work well and are easy to use. I just wish it was easier to connect more devices.

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Simultaneous Device Connections — 10

PrivateVPN lets you connect 10 devices at the same time, which is quite generous. I tested this out by connecting my Windows laptop, Android phone, and 2 iPhones from family members. After that, I began streaming on Netflix with every device. There was no difference in the quality, so you’ll be able to connect several devices without issues.

This will be more than enough connections for most people. If you really need to connect more devices, IPVanish gives you unlimited connections on each pricing tier.

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Set-Up & Installation — Super Easy to Get Started

It couldn’t be much simpler to set up PrivateVPN’s full apps, but it’s more complicated to use on non-compatible devices. When it comes to desktop devices, you download the installer file and follow the instructions to set it up in a matter of minutes. You'll download it on mobile devices or Firestick through the appropriate store (Google, Apple, or Amazon). This process is just as easy.

If you want to use it on your Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo Switch, or an unsupported smart TV, you'll have to set it up on a router. It can be set up on Asus RT, Synology, DD-WRT, Tomato, Linksys, QNAP, or pfSense routers. You should be careful if you try this because it can damage your router during this process.

However, I wouldn’t recommend going through the trouble of using it on your router, browser, or on Linux. This is because it only hooks you up to servers. It’s better than using a proxy because you do get full encryption, but it’s not the same as using a full app.

Quick Guide: How to Install PrivateVPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Sign Up. You’ll need to choose a subscription tier and enter an email address to get started with PrivateVPN.
  2. Download the installation file. Once you’ve found the right file for your OS, download it and open it up. It’ll only take a few minutes to complete the installation.
  3. You’re ready to connect. The app will start up automatically. All you have to do is enter your email and password, and you’ll be all set to protect your device by connecting to any server.

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Pricing

9.2
12 Months + 24 Months Extra
$ 2 / month per month
3 Months
$ 6 / month per month
1 Month
$ 11.99 / month per month

You’ll get the best value with PrivateVPN’s longest subscription tier, which is a great price for everything it offers. It’s even cheaper than CyberGhost, another great VPN that’s very affordable with its long-term plan. I don’t recommend using a lower tier, especially when you usually get a 85% discount with PrivateVPN's long-term subscription.

You can pay with the following credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, Discover, Diners Club International, or Union Pay. It also accepts Apple Pay, Google Pay, Paypal, and bitcoin.

There was no free trial during my tests, but every subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. It was strange because there are still free trial links on the website, but these only send you to its sign-up page where you choose a tier. But it doesn’t matter because I had no problem receiving my refund. If you don’t like it, you can ask for you money back at any time of the day.

Screenshot of PrivateVPN live chat where I requested a refundI only had to give a reason for canceling before my request was submitted

In a few minutes, I received an email confirming my request was submitted. It was approved the next day. After 5 business days, I got all my money back. I was impressed with the refund process and the overall value of PrivateVPN. You do miss out on a few extra features more expensive services have, but the lower price makes it worth it.

Reliability & Support

9.2

PrivateVPN support is good, but a few minor things need to be fixed. You can contact it through email or through its live chat. It claims the live chat is available 24/7, and it usually is. But there was one time when I tried contacting and I never got a response. This is probably because there are only a small number of customer service reps (I was randomly connected to the same 2 for an entire week).

I was most impressed when a support agent helped me fix the dedicated IPs. These should only be able to connect with the OpenVPN UDP protocol. For some reason, my app was connecting them through TCP. They realized this was an error and asked me to reinstall it. This provided a quick fix for my problem, and it’s exactly what I look for from support services.

Screenshot of PrivateVPN live chat where the live agent told me to reinstall the app to fix dedicated IPsAfter reinstalling the app, I no longer had issues unblocking full Netflix libraries

It’s a big plus that it uses developers as its support agents, but sometimes they still couldn’t answer my questions. For example, when the Los Angeles server was showing up as Sweden in my leak tests, they just told me the test was inaccurate. I don’t believe this because the site I use has always worked great with every other VPN I’ve tested. It was also challenging getting answers about which features and protocols are available for each app version. I was just sent links to set up guides which told me nothing about the features.

PrivateVPN uses a third-party program called Intercom for its chat feature, but this doesn’t compromise your privacy. When you contact support, you only speak with PrivateVPN staff. The conversations are saved for troubleshooting purposes, so you don’t have to ask the same questions again. I was assured that Intercom can’t access this information, so it’s all protected through PrivateVPN’s solid no-logs policy.

Lastly, you can use a program called Team Viewer to give a support agent remote access to your device. I didn’t feel comfortable using this, and I don’t think it’s necessary since the app is so simple to use. So overall, I was generally pleased with support. I could always get answers over the live chat within 2 minutes. Email took a bit longer, with answers taking between 2-18 hours to come through.

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The Bottom Line

Final Verdict — Tons of Value For a Great Price

PrivateVPN is one of the most impressive VPNs available today. It ranks as one of the best unblocking streaming sites for smooth playback. The service also performed excellently in my torrenting and gaming tests. Plus, it’s super privacy-friendly and protects your device with military-grade encryption.

There are a few areas where it could improve. It doesn’t have as many servers as its larger competitors. And it’s not the fastest VPN I’ve tested, although it should give most people decent speeds. I’d also like to see a few more security features and compatibility options added to it.

Overall, most people will get great value for their money with PrivateVPN. If you need a VPN with the most advanced technology and a massive server network, I’d recommend paying a little more for ExpressVPN. However, you won’t find much better if you need a simple app to keep you safe while you’re streaming, gaming, torrenting, and browsing.

  • Unblocks all the top streaming platforms
  • Works great for online gaming
  • Strong encryption levels with a kill switch
  • Strict no-logging policy
  • Excellent speeds for downloading torrents
  • Great value for the price

FAQs on PrivateVPN

Can PrivateVPN unblock Netflix?

Yes, you can unblock several full Netflix libraries with PrivateVPN. I was able to access 12 different regions of content with its dedicated IPs. In my tests, I never had to deal with buffering and videos always played back in the highest quality. It took a few seconds more to load videos at long distances, but that’s normal. Plus, it could unblock Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and many more platforms.

Is PrivateVPN safe?

Yes, PrivateVPN will keep you safe online. It has multiple encryption levels, but I recommend using 256-bit encryption, which is nearly impossible to crack. My leak tests on servers around the world showed me that PrivateVPN always hid my real location too.

I recommend turning on the kill switch, so your internet connection will be disabled if the VPN ever disconnects. Lastly, you can also feel safe having PrivateVPN handle your data. Its got a great privacy policy and doesn’t log any information about your sessions with the VPN.

Will PrivateVPN slow my speeds down?

Yes, you will lose some speed with PrivateVPN. All VPNs will slow you down a little because your data has to be rerouted. The closest PrivateVPN server dropped my speeds by about 46%. For most people, this will still allow you to stream buffer-free and play online games without lag.

Can you get PrivateVPN for free?

No, but every subscription comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. It used to offer one week free trials, but these aren’t available anymore. However, you can test it risk-free, because it’s easy to get a refund if you don’t like it. I had my cancelation request approved in a few minutes and got all my money back in 5 business days.

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Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: 10

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PrivateVPN User Reviews (User reviews are not verified)
9.7
Based on 908 reviews in 29 languages
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Jacob Klipper
Jacob Klipper
10/10
Very interesting concept.

I am going to do a test run on all these articles, especially the flights one, alongside the amazon prime VPN price difference with all these different vpn services that I have already utilized in the past only for different things. I hope this isn't just a bogus affiliate site getting people's hopes up because it got my hopes up. Haha

TRCIII
TRCIII
8/10
Comparatively Slow, but otherwise good product

It allowed my Plex to be accessed from outside of my network. That's a plus. It was much cheaper than the service I was already using (Express VPN). Another plus. Although everyone talks about how this service has fewer access points, they had enough close to me to not be a problem. Yay! And that may be enough for you. Here's my problem with this service: Baseline Internet Test Speed for download, NO VPN (server in Dallas): 446.2 Mbps Express VPN Internet Test Speed for download (server in Dallas): 292.6 Mbps PrivateVPN Internet Test Speed for download (server in Dallas): 53.3 Mbps Other locations were even worse (Atlanta: 50.1 Mbps, Phoenix: 46.0 Mbps) Basically, while using PrivateVPN, I'm wasting my money on a high-speed bandwidth service. That's the same speed I was getting when I only had 100 Mbps service. Express VPN did not support IP pass-through, which broke my Plex access, so it's not even an option for me anymore. But I'm going to keep looking for another service with a better download speed than this one.

Alex
Alex
10/10
I've used various VPN

I've used various VPN services (Nord, Mullvad, Proton, TunnelBear), and as for now, using it for around two months, this one is the only one I couldn't find flaws in. I am using it on desktop Linux OS, works well and doesn't slow the internet speed much. For example, I've used it from a cafe with a speed of 100mbps and it slowed to like 92~mbps, which is almost nothing. I can compare this one only with the VPNs I've sat by myself on dedicated servers, but with PrivateVPN you don't need to care about things like maintenance and security (I mean from a developer perspective). I didn't use support yet and can't say anything about that.

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