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PrivateVPN Review

Callum Tennent
By Callum TennentUpdated
Our Score9.3
User Rating
 96% 
(1,961 User Reviews)

Fantastic zero-logs VPN that offers some of the fastest speeds on the current market.

What we like
  • Fast, reliable download speeds: 71Mbps (global average)
  • Quick, easy access to Netflix, iPlayer and more
  • P2P and torrenting permitted on all servers
  • Simple set-up on a range of devices
  • Connect securely to 59 countries

PrivateVPN is a fantastic zero-logs VPN that offers some of the fastest speeds on the current market. Both local and global performance is excellent, with reliable upload speeds and low latency making it very appealing to gamers and torrenters.

It doesn’t store a single ounce of user data and offers very reliable access to all your favorite streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer – we just wish that the live chat was more reliable.

Pricing & Deals

With a sizeable 73% saving available when taking out a 15-month plan, $2.88 per month for the duration is an extremely enticing price for a service of this quality.

PrivateVPN Coupon

PrivateVPN Pricing & Deals

Best Value Deal
15 Months
US$2.88/mo
Save 73%
Billed $43.20 for the first 15 months
3 Months
US$4.20/mo
Save 61%
Billed $12.60 for the first 3 months
1 Month
US$7.12/mo
Save 35%
Billed $10.95 for the first month
Get PrivateVPN30-day money-back guarantee

There’s no free trial – there’s something better. PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all users, and the only conditional is that you use less than 100GB of data in the period.

All refunds are processed within five business days of them being requested if you have second thoughts.

Payment Options

PrivateVPN accepts a wide range of payment options including most major credit and debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin and a handful of international methods such as JCB, Discover and DCI.

Speed & Reliability

PrivateVPN has one of the highest global averages we’ve seen in all our testing. This means that no matter where you’re located you should expect to receive the same high level of performance.

Local speeds and ping times are very good, while the quality of long-distance connections is equally impressive.

PrivateVPN Performance Data

Select location:
  • Download Speed Average:71.38 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:30.01 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:135 ms
  • Download Speed Average:267.55 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:180.51 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:288.22 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:122.21 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:121.73 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:153.41 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:11 ms
  • Download Speed Average:265.33 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:168.90 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:205.34 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:146.91 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:193.85 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:71.21 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:20 ms
  • Download Speed Average:300.35 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:201.09 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:147.05 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:64.22 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:9 ms
  • Download Speed Average:298.92 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:83.22 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:395.31 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:204.90 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:97.55 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:22.40 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:42 ms

PrivateVPN offers ridiculously fast download speeds on local connections, peaking at 395Mbps, while other hotspots average 235Mbps. Connecting out to the US from the UK you can expect amazing speeds of 94Mbps, enough for HD streaming across multiple devices.

Even the majority of more distant connections performed very well, such as San Francisco to Sydney at 26Mbps, but if you’re going to be connecting out from Australia expect slightly slower speeds closer to 14Mbps.

We also logged incredibly low latency of 2ms in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and New York, making PrivateVPN a great choice for gamers. Ping times in a handful of locations weren’t quite as reliable however, ballooning out to a laggy 42ms in Vancouver.

To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.

Features

Server Locations

Globe with a blue flag59Countries
Image of a city landscape75Cities
Image of a pink marker7,000+IP Addresses

PrivateVPN’s array of locations and servers is nowhere near the highest we’ve seen, but it’s not as poor as it may first look.

The more than 7,000 individual IP addresses offered is a good number and means that, despite maintaining just the 150 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.

Platforms & Devices

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid
Linux LogoLinux
Router LogoRouter

All the most popular platforms are covered, including Microsoft Windows, Apple MacOS, iOS and Android. For any other platforms, like Linux, there are plenty of manual setup guides online to help you through it.

Browser Extensions

There are no browser extensions, which is something we really hope to see from all of our highest-scoring providers. ExpressVPN, for example, provides full-featured VPN extensions for the most popular browsers.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

AppleTV LogoAppleTV
Amazon Fire TV LogoAmazon Fire TV
Chromecast LogoChromecast
Nintendo LogoNintendo
PlayStation LogoPlayStation
Roku LogoRoku
Xbox LogoXbox

PrivateVPN is one of very few providers to offer a dedicated app for the Amazon Fire TV Stick, meaning all you have to do is download the app from the store and you’re ready to go. In order to use consoles or any other streaming device, you’ll need to connect to a configured router or another device running the PrivateVPN app, such as a laptop or smartphone.

For hassle-free VPN protection on a huge variety of devices we would recommend CyberGhost.

Streaming & Torrenting

Despite some recent hiccups, we’ve found PrivateVPN to be one of the absolute best VPNs on the market for streaming.

Servers labeled for specific services like Sky and Hulu, as well as favorites like Netflix, are massively helpful. BBC iPlayer is accessible through a couple of servers – just ask customer support which ones are currently working.

It’s just as well suited for P2P activity, with torrenting allowed on all servers and treated to the same zippy speeds as regular traffic. It’s ideal for Kodi, too.

Encryption & Security

It’s not just a name – PrivateVPN really is a truly secure VPN, with lots of advanced features in place to make sure your data and browsing habits are kept as private as possible.

There’s a kill switch to keep you safe if your connection drops, near-uncrackable AES-256 encryption, the OpenVPN protocol – our personal favorite, and DNS servers operated by PrivateVPN so that your traffic doesn’t take any unexpected diversions.

Our testing detected no DNS or IPv6 leaks, and you can also use Tor over VPN or TCP Port 443 for even greater security.

Protocol
  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
  • PPTP
Encryption
  • AES-256
Security
  • DNS Leak Blocking
  • First-party DNS
  • IPV6 Leak Blocking
  • Supports TCP Port 443
  • VPN Kill Switch
Advanced features
  • SOCKS
  • TOR via VPN Server

Bypassing Censorship

Its advanced tools and protocols mean that PrivateVPN is still one of our most reliable choices for beating China’s Great Firewall – or censorship in any other country, for that matter.

It also provides Tor over VPN if you’re looking for an extra layer of security.

Privacy

Logging Policy

A VPN can’t truly be private unless it has a top-notch logging policy. PrivateVPN’s claims that it “doesn’t collect or log any traffic or use of its service”.

That’s great – unfortunately, that one quote is also the full extent of it. Ultimately we trust PrivateVPN, and you should too, but ideally we look for a little more information and clarification in a privacy policy, just for peace of mind.

Jurisdiction

PrivateVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Sweden, making it subject to EU data retention laws and intelligence-sharing agreements.

However, its zero-logs policy means that even if it was asked to comply with any type of investigation, it doesn’t have any information about its subscribers to give to the authorities, so there’s nothing for users to worry about.

Ease of Use

The minimalist apps do a great job of keeping things simple while simultaneously showcasing PrivateVPN’s more advanced features.

The desktop and mobile apps are very similar in appearance, and everything is clearly labelled and accessible – although mobile users should beware that the Android and iOS versions are missing the kill switch.

There’s no integrated support, either, so newbies or those looking for assistance will need to head online for help.

Getting Started

Downloading and installing PrivateVPN is incredibly easy and takes only a matter of minutes. There are step-by-step installation guides for loads of popular devices on the website which are very user-friendly and simple to follow.

The installation prompts are pretty self-explanatory once you’ve got it downloaded, but should you need any extra support the manual set-up guides have loads of helpful screenshots to get you back on track.

  • Installing software
  • How to use the app

Customer Support

PrivateVPN operates its live chat help system in a way we’ve never seen before, and it’s less than ideal.

The chat box is either red or green depending on whether or not it’s available – there doesn’t seem to be any way to predict exactly when that will or won’t be. When unavailable it brings up an online form instead.

Even if the live chat isn’t active when you need it, the online resources and FAQs should be able to see you through most issues.

The Bottom Line

What we like
  • Excellent, reliable speeds: 395Mbps (peak local download)
  • Optimized streaming servers for Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more
  • Very easy to use. Instant set-up on many popular devices
  • Good-sized global network - connect securely to 59 countries
  • Strong encryption and a strict zero-logs policy
What we like less
  • No browser extensions available
  • Live chat availability is inconsistent
  • Small number of individual servers

PrivateVPN is a truly impressive all-round performer, not to mention one of the cheapest options on the current market if you opt for the annual plan.

If you’re looking for seriously fast speeds and super-easy access to a range of streaming services including Netflix and BBC iPlayer, look no further. Fantastic upload speeds on local connections combined with low latency make it a great option for torrenters, keen Kodi users and gamers alike.

On the privacy side of things, PrivateVPN couldn’t really get much more secure. Loads of advanced privacy features and a strict zero-logs policy more than make up for the fact it’s based in privacy-unfriendly Sweden, as even if a third-party requested your details there would be nothing to show them.


PrivateVPN User Reviews

 96% 
4.8 out of 5 stars

Based on 1,961 reviews

  1. 5 star
     0% 
    (1695)
  2. 4 star
     0% 
    (227)
  3. 3 star
     0% 
    (22)
  4. 2 star
     0% 
    (5)
  5. 1 star
     0% 
    (12)

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Best Positive Review
 100% 

Been solid with Ubuntu Linux

Verified Purchase

I've been with PrivateVPN since I first started using a VPN several years ago. The sever selection, speeds, reliability and price have kept me satisfied, so I've stayed with them. No software for Linux, but not necessary and the instructions on the site are comprehensive and easy to follow for a novice. The few times I've emailed customer support I always heard back within the day, usually within hours. A-OK by me!!

Best Critical Review
 20% 

Sooo sloooow

Verified Purchase

Not impressed at all. Remarkably slow Internet. I knew a VPN would slow down my Internet a bit but, I sure didn't expect it to be around 4 to 5 Mbit/s both down and up. My Internet connection without Private VPN is around 91 Mbit/s down and around 94 Mbit/s up.

Showing 1-3 of 1,961 Reviews
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  1.  100% 

    No problems

    Verified Purchase

    I have been using VPN for nearly 12 months and I have found it to be very easy to use and most effective in it's operation. It is very reasonably priced and just as easy to recommend. No Problems

  2.  100% 

    Excellent VPN

    PrivateVPN is the best VPN I ever had. Solid, fast and a good price. Thank you for this simply and effectiv software. Its running best on PC,Smartphone and Tablet.

  3.  60% 

    So far, so good

    Verified Purchase

    Cant say I've had any problems. I wish I had more control, even access to a menu or something, but this is probably not the fault of the vpn. Probably the fact that I'm on a chromebook. This vpn seems to have done its job, though.

See all 1,961 PrivateVPN user reviews