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.
Get 73% off with PrivateVPN's 15-month plan
PrivateVPN Pricing & Deals
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.
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
- Download Speed Average:69.57 MbpsUpload Speed Average:29.49 MbpsPing Time Average:138 ms
- Download Speed Average:241.32 MbpsUpload Speed Average:164.09 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:270.81 MbpsUpload Speed Average:100.58 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:132.75 MbpsUpload Speed Average:138.62 MbpsPing Time Average:11 ms
- Download Speed Average:263.97 MbpsUpload Speed Average:180.01 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:203.87 MbpsUpload Speed Average:141.47 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:161.52 MbpsUpload Speed Average:58.74 MbpsPing Time Average:18 ms
- Download Speed Average:277.75 MbpsUpload Speed Average:181.95 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:132.22 MbpsUpload Speed Average:59.50 MbpsPing Time Average:11 ms
- Download Speed Average:171.92 MbpsUpload Speed Average:56.55 MbpsPing Time Average:3 ms
- Download Speed Average:395.82 MbpsUpload Speed Average:198.93 MbpsPing Time Average:2 ms
- Download Speed Average:57.21 MbpsUpload Speed Average:14.23 MbpsPing Time Average:68 ms
PrivateVPN offers ridiculously fast download speeds on local connections, peaking at 396Mbps in Toronto, while other hotspots average 210Mbps. Connecting out to the US from the UK you can expect amazing speeds of 108Mbps, enough for HD streaming across multiple devices.
Even the majority of more distant connections performed very well, such as San Francisco to Sydney at 31Mbps, but if you’re going to be connecting out from Australia expect slightly slower speeds closer to 17Mbps.
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 68ms in Vancouver.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
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 100 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
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.
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
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 labelled for specific services like Sky and Hulu, as well as favorites like Netflix and BBC iPlayer, are massively helpful.
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.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- Supports TCP Port 443
- VPN Kill Switch
- TOR via VPN Server
Despite the recent VPN crackdown in China, PrivateVPN remains a decent choice for people who want to connect out from that country due to its propriety stealth protocol. This adds an extra layer of obfuscation so that your VPN traffic appears as normal browser HTTPS, making it a great deal harder for censors to detect and block it. Using the protocol will make it a breeze to access content that would otherwise be blocked by the Great Firewall – it’s one of our Best VPNs for China.
PrivateVPN also remains a popular choice in other high-censorship countries due to its decent-sized server network, as you’ll rarely be too far from a high-performance server in a free-speech country. In addition to the stealth protocol, access to Tor through its software is also a huge bonus for those trying to access government-blocked content.
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.
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.
In the past, PrivateVPN has received requests for user information from third parties and has had nothing to give them. The support team also informed us that if Swedish laws ever changed and required them to keep logs, they would move out of the country, showing how much they care about the privacy of their customers.
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.
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.
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
- Excellent, reliable performance with speeds of up to 396Mbps
- 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 58 countries
- Strong encryption and a strict zero-logs policy
- 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.