Reviews

PrivateVPN Review 2024

By TechNadu Staff / December 30, 2023

Established in 2009, PrivateVPN is based in Sweden and offers a solid VPN at an affordable price point. The provider's location may raise some eyebrows since Sweden is part of the 14-Eyes Alliance. More precisely, countries that are part of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliances try to collect and share intelligence from VPN services. 

PrivateVPN's saving grace is that it doesn't store user logs, so there's nothing to share if anyone comes knocking - and it has never had a data leak!

The highlight of PrivateVPN's capabilities is its ability to consistently unblock geo-restricted content. Few cheap VPNs can unlock foreign content libraries, but PrivateVPN boasts access to Netflix and other streaming services. In addition, PrivateVPN provides high-speed connections powered by its High-Quality Network (HQN) that ensure smooth 4K streaming, torrenting, and gaming, especially on nearby servers.

PrivateVPN also promises to keep you safe online with a suite of excellent safety protocols that delivers some of the highest levels of encryption, so your sensitive data is protected from hackers and trackers.

Let's kick things off by taking a look at PrivateVPN’s key features:

Jurisdiction Sweden (the EU).
Logs No logs.
Servers 200+ in 63 countries.
Simultaneous Connections 10.
Supported Devices Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, and routers.
Features Kill switch, Application Guard, stealth VPN, DNS leak protection, and more.
Protocols OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), L2TP/IPsec, WireGuard, PPTP, and IKEv2.
Supports Netflix, Disney+, torrenting, gaming, and more.
Customer Support Support tickets, 24/7 live chat, installation guide, FAQs, and remote control installation.
Price From $2.00/month.
Live Deal 80% OFF (3-year plan)
Our Score 8.1 out of 10.

PrivateVPN's claims sound great, but our job is to put them to the test. So, in this PrivateVPN review, we put the provider through a series of evaluations to determine if its promises are valid.

We’ll discuss its location and reputation, supported devices, installation, features, server network, user-friendliness, security and privacy, speed, and more. If you want to learn more about how we review VPNs, we created a comprehensive breakdown for you to read.

Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation

Despite being a Sweden-based VPN provider, PrivateVPN enforces a strict no-logs policy and has never had any data leaks. Our Score: 8/10

The most effective way to evaluate a VPN's reliability is to assess its background, location, and past data leaks. Luckily, as previously mentioned, PrivateVPN hasn't experienced any data leaks and doesn't store its users’ data, despite being located in a country that’s part of the 14-Eyes Alliance.

Where Is PrivateVPN Based?

PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, which is part of the 14-Eyes Alliance, an agreement between countries to share data and intelligence about their citizens. However, Sweden doesn't apply data retention laws to VPNs because VPNs aren't considered electronic communication networks.

Regardless, PrivateVPN maintains a strict no-usage-logs policy, which means there's no data recorded that governments or authorities can access.

Miss Group Holdings Ltd. acquired PrivateVPN on June 17, 2022. Miss Group is an international Web hosting group founded in 2014 that provides a range of hosting-related services at affordable prices. These services include domain registration, web hosting, dedicated servers, VPS, a site builder, SEO tools, SSL certificates, domain management, and web security. At this time, Miss Group does not own any other VPN services besides PrivateVPN.

Miss Group is also an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar through Name SRS. Its headquarters are in Stockholm, Sweden, and it has offices in several countries, including Finland, India, Mexico, Canada, the US, and the UK. 

Did PrivateVPN Leak Personal Data in the Past?

No, PrivateVPN hasn't leaked personal data in the past. The provider firmly commits to its no-logs policy, assuring its users that their data is secure. PrivateVPN has steered clear of any privacy-related scandals or hacking incidents, setting a positive example in a market that is becoming increasingly unpredictable.

Until proven otherwise, it's safe to say that PrivateVPN is a top choice for those who value privacy and security. Still, it's worth noting that no VPN provider can guarantee 100% infallible security. You should always take necessary precautions, such as regularly updating your passwords and using two-factor authentication.

Is PrivateVPN Safe?

Yes, PrivateVPN is a safe VPN service that prioritizes your security and privacy. As such, they don’t keep any records of your online activities.

PrivateVPN uses military-grade 2048-bit encryption with AES-256 to ensure your online safety. It also offers several protocols, including OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), L2TP/IPsec, WireGuard, PPTP, and IKEv2/IPsec. (Please note that using WireGuard requires a manual setup process with raw configuration files.)

These VPN protocols provide a flexible mix of speed and security to suit your needs. They protect your data from hackers, government surveillance, and various other threats. Thus, you can surf the Web confidently and access restricted content without revealing your identity.

Additionally, PrivateVPN has several security features such as DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and Application Guard to ensure your sensitive information is visible only to you. As the provider does not log anything, you don't have to worry about them selling your data to third parties. PrivateVPN believes that your online activities are your business.

PrivateVPN is lacking in one area: it hasn't been audited by a third party. Although an audit can provide additional assurance of a VPN's security and privacy practices, the lack of one doesn't necessarily mean you can't trust the company. That said, we hope the provider undergoes an audit in the near future.

Supported Platforms & Devices

PrivateVPN has comprehensive device coverage, but it's worth noting that it does not support web browsers. Our Score: 8/10

The table below will give you an overview of PrivateVPN's device coverage for desktop, mobile, and other VPN-compatible devices.

Desktop Platforms Windows, macOS Linux, Chromebooks.
Mobile Platforms iOS and Android.
Web Browsers N/A.
Routers DD-WRT, AsusWRT, Tomato, Merlin, Synology, Linksys, and more.
Other devices Amazon Fire TV, Android TV.

PrivateVPN offers apps for macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS, which you can download from their respective app stores. It also provides manual setup guides and configuration files if you want to install the VPN on other devices, such as Amazon Fire TV.

While it's true that PrivateVPN doesn't support Web browsers, we don't consider this a significant disadvantage since browser extensions typically function as proxies. It's easier to fully leverage the benefits of a VPN with its native app, and this is where PrivateVPN excels.

PrivateVPN allows up to 10 simultaneous device connections, each with a unique IP address. This coverage means you can easily protect your Internet activity on all your devices.

Installation & Initial Configuration

Downloading, installing, and learning how to use PrivateVPN on major platforms is straightforward. All you need to do is visit the PrivateVPN website, register for an account, and download the app. Our Score: 9/10

To purchase PrivateVPN’s services and download the app, visit the official website. You must first subscribe to a PrivateVPN plan before you can use the app. Choose a plan based on how long you want to protect yourself and how much of a discount you want to receive. The longer your subscription, the higher the discount. After subscribing, download the app for your device(s).

Once the download is complete, follow the installation procedure to install the app on your device. We downloaded the Windows app for our testing purposes. The installation process is simple: double-click the installer and choose where to save the application's files. After the installation, restart your computer, and PrivateVPN will be ready to use.

Once PrivateVPN is installed, open the app and input your credentials to log into your account. Choose a server and click the "Connect" button to establish a secure connection. Voila! You're now protected by PrivateVPN's robust and secure application.

Prominent Features

PrivateVPN offers customers a wide array of features to guarantee their online privacy and security. However, it doesn't have many advanced or unique features. Our Score: 8/10

PrivateVPN boasts a plethora of useful features that support your safety online. Its military-grade encryption protects your sensitive data, and its selection of protocols ensures you can use the VPN for any activity, whether it be streaming, gaming, torrenting, or simply browsing the Web.

Here's a breakdown of PrivateVPN's key features:

PrivateVPN Kill Switch on Windows
PrivateVPN Stealth VPN on Windows
PrivateVPN Application Guard on Windows
PrivateVPN port forwarding on a Windows app

Server Count & Infrastructure

With only 200+ servers in 63 countries, PrivateVPN offers an average VPN server network. That said, it still delivers a smooth online experience. Our Score: 5/10

While PrivateVPN has a large number of server locations, its number of available servers could be higher, especially considering most competitors offer more extensive server networks. This small server list often results in overcrowding, which negatively impacts connection speeds. 

Number of Servers 200+
Number of Locations 75+
Number of Countries 60+
Specific Cities Selection Yes
Unlimited Switching Yes

PrivateVPN has a decent range of server locations across 63 countries. However, the network only has 200+ servers, which is relatively small compared to other VPNs with the most servers.

This VPN offers dedicated IP servers in the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and 5 other locations. Dedicated servers are excellent for delivering enhanced security and blazing-fast speeds.

PrivateVPN’s server network consists of both physical and virtual servers. Virtual servers recreate the functionality and features of physical servers, but physical servers are preferred. Luckily, the provider only has seven virtual servers. 

UI/UX Design & Ease of Use

PrivateVPN Interface with Servers Listing

PrivateVPN boasts user-friendly apps that have been recently updated to improve user experience and appeal. They are intuitive to set up and operate. Our Score: 8.5/10

PrivateVPN's UI/UX design for their desktop and mobile apps is simple and user-friendly, making accessing basic and advanced VPN features easy. 

Launching the PrivateVPN app displays its sleek and "Simple" interface, specifically designed for newbies. It has a drop-down menu with all of the VPN's servers, enabling you to choose and connect to your desired location quickly. 

PrivateVPN Listing dedicated IPs

To connect using the Simple View, click the red power button, and it will connect automatically to a random nearby server. You can choose a different server by clicking the "Change" button beside your server location. This will open an additional window with a list of servers.

It’s easy to find fast servers because you can sort them by proximity and country. You can also access dedicated IPs, which are better for streaming. 

PrivateVPN Interface Advanced View

You can switch to the Advanced View to access a more robust interface with extra features and customizable settings. You'll find four tabs on the screen's left side, allowing you to manage the application. Let's take a closer look at each of these tabs:

PrivateVPN's design quality is consistent across all platforms—its mobile app interface is similar to the desktop app's Simple View

PrivateVPN's interface on an iPhone

PrivateVPN's mobile app home screen displays basic info, including the connection status, session length, and connected server. Turn the VPN on by clicking the big power button, which should turn green once connected. You can switch servers by clicking "Change" beside your current server location. 

To access more settings, tap the hamburger menu in the top-left corner. You'll see three options: Account, VPN Settings, and Help Support. You can view PrivateVPN's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use here as well. The VPN Settings section is where you tweak encryption, protocol, and Stealth VPN settings.

Overall, our experience with PrivateVPN's desktop and mobile apps was smooth and beginner-friendly. There were no overwhelming VPN settings in either app, and we were able to navigate and locate all the important features easily. 

Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support

PrivateVPN has proven to be a top-performing VPN for streaming, as it unblocked every major streaming service when we tested it. This excellent performance also extends to torrenting and gaming. Our Score: 10/10

Aside from safeguarding your privacy and security, comprehensive VPNs provide additional features for media streaming, P2P activities, and online gaming. However, not all VPN services shine in these areas. So, let's explore how well PrivateVPN performs in these domains.

Is PrivateVPN Good for Streaming?

Yes, PrivateVPN is a good and reliable choice for media streaming. Similar to the best streaming VPN, the provider excels in unblocking all the popular media streaming providers, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.

We also found accessing the geo-restricted content on YouTube and BBC iPlayer using PrivateVPN effortless. Many premium VPN providers struggle to unblock BBC iPlayer, making PrivateVPN’s success with the task even more impressive. 

Here are some of the US streaming platforms that PrivateVPN can unblock.

Netflix Disney+ Max
Hulu Prime Video Paramount+
Sling TV Fubo TV Peacock

Now, let's check out what PrivateVPN can unblock regarding international and non-US streaming platforms.

BBC iPlayer (UK) ITVX (UK) Channel 4 (UK)
GloboPlay (Brazil) Crave (Canada) StackTV (Canada)
RTE Player (Ireland) RaiPlay (Italy) Zattoo (Germany)

We also have to mention that PrivateVPN plays well with Kodi, making it a great companion for all your streaming adventures.

Is PrivateVPN Good for Torrenting?

Yes, PrivateVPN is a good VPN for torrenting. It's got servers optimized for P2P traffic, ensuring you can safely torrent at super-fast speeds. You’ll be able to share files online without the risk of being intercepted by hackers or discovered by your ISP. Just remember to connect to the nearest server for the speediest downloads.

Moreover, it comes with port forwarding and SOCKS5 proxies, boosting your speed by connecting to more peers. And there's a kill switch, a must-have for torrenting, protecting you from any IP leaks.

But if you're on the lookout for VPNs that do well with torrenting, take a look at our best torrent VPN guide for our top picks.

Is PrivateVPN Good for Gaming?

Yes, PrivateVPN is a good VPN for gaming. Although it's not the best gaming VPN, using its Application Guard feature can ensure that only your game traffic is routed through the VPN, reducing any potential ping or latency issues.

By also changing your virtual location, PrivateVPN will help you bypass geo-restrictions to play games that are blocked in your country. You can choose your preferred server to access location-specific game content.

Security & Privacy

PrivateVPN's commitment to user privacy is impressive. The VPN service uses military-grade encryption and does not log personal data. Our Score: 8/10

In this section, we'll explore PrivateVPN's security and privacy features, closely examining three crucial aspects: VPN protocols, logging policy, and its defenses against IP/DNS leaks. This will give us a clear picture of how PrivateVPN protects your data.

PrivateVPN Protocols

PrivateVPN supports various VPN tunneling protocols for different devices. Its app automatically chooses the best protocol for your network conditions and device type. Understanding the different protocols and their specific use cases will help you get the most out of the service.

OpenVPN UDP/TCP L2TP/IPsec PPTP WireGuard IKEv2
Windows YES YES YES YES (manual) NO
macOS YES (manual) YES (manual) NO YES (manual) YES (manual)
Linux YES (manual) YES (manual) NO YES (manual) NO
iOS YES YES NO YES (manual) YES
Android YES NO NO YES (manual) NO

Does PrivateVPN Keep Logs?

No, PrivateVPN doesn't keep logs. It has a strict no-logs policy, meaning it doesn't monitor, record, or store any data on users' online activities, including websites visited, DNS queries, traffic, or IP addresses. 

PrivateVPN collects only the necessary information from users to create an account, such as your email and payment information. Additionally, the provider collects aggregate bandwidth usage, but this data isn't tied to specific users and is instead used to optimize server performance. 

Does PrivateVPN Leak/Expose Your Personal Data?

No, PrivateVPN doesn't leak your data. To be certain of this, a DNS leak test can be performed to determine if a VPN is truly concealing your identity.

PrivateVPN Data Leak Test

When we performed a DNS leak test, we connected to a server located in the USA to assess PrivateVPN's ability to conceal our real location.

Our test results confirmed that our real IP and location weren't visible. This means that when you use PrivateVPN, third parties will only see your virtual IP address and remote DNS server, ensuring that all your sensitive information remains secure.

Speed & Performance

PrivateVPN Performance Tests
PrivateVPN's performance across a range of nearby and remote servers.

PrivateVPN's speed with near and distant servers was average but enough for general browsing, streaming, and torrenting. We observed a 44% average drop in download speeds across multiple servers. Our Score: 7/10

We evaluated the performance of PrivateVPN by testing the speed of its servers in various locations. To establish a baseline for comparison, we started out with a test of our Internet connection speed without using the VPN.

Our baseline speed results showed download speeds of 40.10 Mbps and upload speeds of 41.25 Mbps. Due to the encryption and security protocols VPNs use, we expected to see a decline in speed once PrivateVPN was turned on. 

Here are the results of the rest of our server tests:

Download Speed Upload Speed Speed Reduction
Baseline  40.10 Mbps 41.25 Mbps 0%
United Kingdom (London) 34.98 Mbps 26.37 Mbps 12%
Italy (Milan) 29.20 Mbps 20.81 Mbps 29%
India (Mumbai) 9.39 Mbps 1.89 Mbps 76%
United States (New York) 14.78 Mbps 21.05 Mbps 63%
Canada (Toronto) 13.47 Mbps 24.91 Mbps 66%
Australia (Sydney) 32.26 Mbps 24.58 Mbps 20%

Overall, we saw less-than-average speed results on PrivateVPN, with a 44% average drop once traffic was routed through the provider. The results were satisfactory for most of our online activities, with faster speeds on nearby servers. As long as your baseline speed is high, you shouldn’t have any problem streaming, gaming, or browsing with PrivateVPN.

Keep in mind that the farther away a server is, the lower your connection speed will be, so choosing servers closer to you is always a good idea. PrivateVPN allows you to sort servers by distance in its app. 

Customer Support

PrivateVPN provides multiple options to assist you and address your concerns. Its live chat support typically responds to inquiries in under two minutes. Our Score: 9.5/10

Our experience with Private VPN demonstrates that they prioritize ongoing customer support. 

Overall, PrivateVPN's customer support is top-notch, and you can trust that they'll be there to assist you every step of the way.

Pricing

PrivateVPN is an affordable choice compared to top VPN brands on the market. Its subscription costs as little as $2.00 per month, which is cheaper than most VPN services. Our Score: 8.5/10

PrivateVPN has three subscription plans. If you choose their long-term plan, you can trim down your expenses. Let's break it down for you.

How Much Is PrivateVPN?

You can get PrivateVPN for as low as $2 per month if you subscribe to the 36-month plan. The standard monthly plan costs $9.90, while its three-month plan is available for $6.00 per month.

All plans have identical features, including 10 simultaneous device connections, native app support for all OS, fast servers, and a 30-day money-back guarantee that doubles as a free trial.

Here's a breakdown of PrivateVPN's available plans:

Total Price Per Month  Savings
1 Month $9.90 $9.90 0%
3 Months $17.99 $6.00 39%
36 Months $72.00 $2.00 80%

When your first 3-year term expires, your subscription will renew annually at the rate of $72 per year. Since the provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, this plan can also serve as a free trial. If you don't like the service, you can contact support and get your refund within the 30-day period

For modes of payment, you can choose to pay via Apple Pay, Google Pay, credit cards, and PayPal, including cryptocurrencies.

Final Thoughts - Is PrivateVPN Worth It?

Yes, apart from being reliable, PrivateVPN is one of the most feature-rich yet inexpensive VPN providers available. The provider's primary focus is providing top-notch privacy and security backed by solid customer support. 

PrivateVPN also delivers a seamless streaming and browsing experience, despite its average server network. Furthermore, its ability to unblock content is impressive, and it works in countries with extreme Internet restrictions. Of course, you'll quickly find a more powerful VPN - but you'll hardly find a more affordable option.

We recommend PrivateVPN if you’re looking for a cost-effective provider that doesn’t limit its performance to offset its low price point.

PROS

  • No-logs policy.
  • Good for streaming.
  • P2P servers for torrenting.
  • Dedicated servers in many cities.
  • Offers multiple protocols.
  • Military-grade security features.
  • Unblocks geo-restricted content.
  • 10 simultaneous device connections.
  • Wide device coverage.
  • Easy-to-use native apps.
  • Works with routers.
  • 30-day money-back guarantee.

CONS

  • Average server network.
  • Based in Sweden.
  • No third-party audit.
  • Significant distance-related speed declines.

FAQ

What Is PrivateVPN?

PrivateVPN is a VPN provider based in Sweden that provides its users with top-notch security and privacy features and stable, fast connections.

Does PrivateVPN Have a Free Trial?

PrivateVPN no longer offers a free trial. However, you can test out the provider risk-free by taking advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Is PrivateVPN Free?

No, PrivateVPN isn't free. It's a paid VPN offering various subscription plans. However, it provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for those who want to try the service before committing.

Who Owns PrivateVPN?

Miss Group currently owns PrivateVPN. The digital solutions provider acquired PrivateVPN in 2022.

Does PrivateVPN Work with Netflix?

Yes, PrivateVPN unblocks Netflix regardless of your current location.

Does PrivateVPN Work on Fire Stick?

Yes, PrivateVPN works on Fire Stick. It can efficiently bypass geo-restrictions, unlock vast content, and provide you with the comprehensive protection you need on your Fire Stick device.

Review Summary

PrivateVPN could be a good fit if you're willing to make some compromises. However, this VPN is committed to protecting your sensitive data, so you can be sure you're 100% safe online.

8.1
Overall Score
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
8
Supported Platforms & Devices
8
Installation & Initial Configuration
9
Prominent Features
8
Server Count & Infrastructure
5
UI/UX Design & Ease of Use
8.5
Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support
10
Security & Privacy
8
Speed & Performance
7
Customer Support
9.5
Pricing
8.5


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