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PrivateVPN Review: Uncovered Truths

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PrivateVPN logo
Verdict:
RECOMMENDED​
Overall Score:
7 / 10

In this PrivateVPN review, I’ll go through its servers and protocols and conduct tests, like speed, security, P2P, and streaming tests.

I’ll also share my user experience with PrivateVPN’s apps and customer support.

Spoiler alert – PrivateVPN is easy to use, has great streaming options, and is good value for money. Although, it could’ve fared better in other areas, like speed.

Want to learn more about PrivateVPN and what it can do for you?

Keep reading, or grab our amazing deal now!

vpnAlert Rating: 7 of 10 ⭐
Server Locations: Over 200 servers in 43 countries
Speed & Performance: Average download speed is 45.5 Mbps. Drop of 63% on Windows, drop of 28.5% on iOS
Streaming: Yes, on all servers (Netflix, iPlayer, foreign TV channels)
Torrenting: Yes, on all servers
Gaming: Good on mobile
Privacy & Jurisdiction: Sweden, No-logging policy (unverified)
Security Features: Two kill switches, Stealth VPN, 256-bit AES, 128-bit AES, DNS leak protection
Platforms & Devices: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android,  Blackberry, Linux, Chrome OS, Kodi, FireStick, Roku, routers.
Simultaneous Connections: 10
Features: Application Guard OpenConnect servers
Customer Support: Live Chat, email, guides
User Experience: User-friendly installation & use
Monthly Price: $9.90
Discount: PrivateVPN Discount
Official Website: https://privatevpn.com/

Overview of PrivateVPN

get privatevpn app

Overall, PrivateVPN was straightforward to install and use, with apps for most devices, including PC and mobile. I also had no trouble unblocking Netflix, although BBC iPlayer was trickier. Torrenting was also a seamless experience.

Moving on, my security tests for PrivateVPN revealed that top-level encryption and two types of kill switches worked very well.

However, an external party hasn’t audited PrivateVPN’s security features, unlike Surfshark and NordVPN.

PrivateVPN’s server network is also much smaller than those providers. 

However, PrivateVPN has physical servers in Russia and India, which those providers don’t offer.

Here’s an overview of the rankings of PrivateVPN’s key features.

Feature Ranking 7 / 10
Server Locations 3 / 10
Speed & Performance 4 / 10
Streaming 8.5 / 10
Torrenting (P2P) 8 / 10
Gaming 10 / 10
Privacy & Jurisdiction 4 / 10
Security 8 / 10
Platforms & Devices 8 / 10
Features 3 / 10
User Experience 10 / 10
Customer Service 9 / 10
Price & Value 10 / 10

Overall, PrivateVPN VPN service is a strong choice if your priorities are:

  • User-friendly apps
  • Unblocking abilities
  • Good value for money
  • Many multiple connections
  • (Dynamic) Dedicated IP

If you’re uncertain, my detailed review of PrivateVPN will help you decide whether it’s the VPN for you. Let’s delve into the specifics!

Pros

Cons

Server Locations

Rating: 3 / 10

PrivateVPN has over 200 servers in 43 countries. Compared to other providers like Surfshark, it’s a rather small network.

Does PrivateVPN Rent or Own Its Servers?

A PrivateVPN representative confirmed that PrivateVPN owns some of its servers but rents others.

The more parties involved in managing a server network, the higher the risk of these servers being compromised. Therefore, this is a disadvantage of PrivateVPN- not least because PrivateVPN servers are not RAM-only.

privatevpn customer chat on if they rent or own their servers

Where Are PrivateVPN Servers?

Here’s a list of PrivateVPN’s most popular servers. I specified which ones are virtual and which offer Dedicated IP.

Server location Server countries Server locations Virtual? Dedicated IP?
North America Canada Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver   Yes (Toronto)
Mexico Mexico City Yes  
Panama Panama City Yes  
USA Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York   Yes (NYC, Los Angeles)
South America Argentina Buenos Aires Yes  
Brazil São Paulo   Yes
APAC Australia Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney   Yes (Sydney)
India Bangalore, Mumbai Yes (Bangalore) Yes (Mumbai)
Indonesia Jakarta    
Japan Tokyo   Yes
South Korea Seoul    
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur    
New Zealand Auckland    
Europe Austria Vienna    
Belgium Brussels    
Bulgaria Sofia    
Switzerland Zurich   Yes
Cyprus Nicosia    
Czech Republic Prague    
Germany Berlin, Frankfurt    
Denmark Copenhagen    
Estonia Tallinn    
Spain Madrid   Yes
Finland Helsinki    
France Paris   Yes
United Kingdom London, Manchester   Yes (London)
Italy Milan   Yes
The Netherlands Amsterdam   Yes
Norway Oslo   Yes
Poland Torun   Yes
Portugal Lisbon    
Romania Bucharest    
Russia Krasnoyarsk, Moscow    
Romania Bucharest    
Sweden Gothenburg, Kista, Stockholm   Yes (Stockholm)
Africa & The Middle East UAE Dubai    
Israel Tel Aviv    
Nigeria Lagos    
South Africa Johannesburg    

So, despite a small number of server locations, PrivateVPN is present around the world. It even has servers in Russia, India, and the UAE.

Does PrivateVPN Offer Dedicated IPs?

Strictly speaking, PrivateVPN doesn’t offer Dedicated IPs.

However, it does offer 16 free dedicated IP servers, where users will never get the same IP twice. This is great for users that want extra anonymity as dynamic, dedicated IPs are rotated between users. Also, dynamic, dedicated IPs are less likely to be detected and blocked by streaming services.

But if you want a static Dedicated IP, try NordVPN instead.

Does PrivateVPN Have Virtual Servers?

Yes, PrivateVPN has virtual servers. They’re located in countries where it’s challenging to find servers with decent security and speed or where laws restrict VPN usage, such as India.

Here’s a list of PrivateVPN’s virtual servers:

  • Argentina – Buenos Aires
  • Chile – Santiago
  • Colombia – Bogotá
  • India – Bangalore
  • Mexico – Mexico City
  • Panama – Panama City

PrivateVPN Protocols

PrivateVPN uses OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), LT2P, and PPTP protocols on its Windows application.

privatevpn protocols

On your iOS device, you can choose between OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec.

Unlike many other providers, such as CyberGhost and Surfshark, PrivateVPN doesn’t offer WireGuard. This means it’s missing out on offering its users the best speed and security combination.

Does PrivateVPN Work in Russia?

PrivateVPN is one of the few VPN providers that still works in Russia.

It has two servers in Russia, based in Krasnoyarsk and Moscow. So, users who have left the country can still use PrivateVPN to access Russian resources.

Speed & Performance

Rating: 4 / 10

PrivateVPN doesn’t have WireGuard or a custom-made protocol, which is one reason it’s behind other providers regarding speed.

Let’s take a closer look.

Speed Tests Conducted

To test PrivateVPN’s speeds, I conducted several tests using speedtest.net

I used several servers and protocols on my Windows and iOS devices.

Let’s look at the results.

Speed Tests Results

This is my baseline for my Windows device:

internet baseline speed on windows os

And this is my baseline for my iPhone:

Here are the results of PrivateVPN speed tests across the British, Swedish, American, and Mexican servers.

Protocol Device Server Ping, ms Download speed, Mbps Upload speed, Mbps Download speed drop, %
OpenVPN (TUN + TCP) Windows UK - London 18 71.10 19.47 -6%
Sweden - Gothenburg 59 45.56 7.35 -40%
USA - New York 237 26.22 19.64 -65%
Mexico City - Virtual 496 2.29 1.18 -97%
OpenVPN (TUN + UDP) Windows UK - London 14 69.35 19.79 -8%
Sweden - Kista 68 26.91 16.05 -64%
USA - New York 160 21.51 19.71 -72
Mexico City - Virtual 325 2.01 2.00 -97%
L2TP Windows UK - London 40 27.01 3.90 -64%
Sweden - Stockholm 68 38.18 18.10 -49%
USA - New York 168 14.70 3.42 -81%
Mexico City - Virtual 338 0.57 0.29 -99.25%
IPSec iPhone UK - London 14 71.6 19.5 -5%
Sweden - Kista 46 67.7 19.4 -11%
USA - New York 89 71.4 19.7 -6%
Mexico City - Virtual 263 9.14 5.41 -88%
IKEv2 iPhone UK - London 12 68.2 18.8 -10%
Sweden - Kista 41 68.9 18.3 -9%
USA - New York 90 68.2 18.8 -10%
Mexico City - Virtual 306 7.12 1.33 -91%

As you can see, PrivateVPN performed poorly on my Windows device across most protocols, even on the servers closest to me (UK and Sweden). The average speed drop was 63%, which is very high.

However, it did much better on my iOS device, with IPSec and IKEv2 protocols, with an average speed drop of 28.5%.

Streaming

Rating: 8.5 / 10

If you want to enjoy Netflix shows from all over the world or watch your home country’s TV from abroad, consider PrivateVPN. Here’s why PrivateVPN is a great choice for streaming.

Is PrivateVPN Good for Streaming?

PrivateVPN is good for streaming and unblocks most major streaming services and foreign TV channels. I recommend it, especially for Netflix and channels like Deutsche Welle. With BBC iPlayer, it took a while to get it working.

Does PrivateVPN Work With Netflix?

PrivateVPN works very well with Netflix. I connected to its Danish server to watch a Scandinavian series called “Tuntematon Sotilas.”

use privatevpn to unblock netflix

Connecting to a PrivateVPN New Jersey server also proved fruitful, as I could watch US-only Netflix shows like “Alexa & Katie” and “Sugar Rush.”

stream netflix over privatevpn

Does PrivateVPN Work With BBC iPlayer?

I’m based in the UK, so I tested PrivateVPN from abroad to see whether it worked with BBC iPlayer.

Luckily, PrivateVPN works with BBC iPlayer! I connected to a London server to test it, and it worked. However, it did take three tries of reconnecting to the server and clearing my browser cache before I could access “Doctor Who.”

unblock bbc iplayer with privatevpn

Can You Watch Local TV With PrivateVPN?

I tested PrivateVPN with German and Swedish TV channels.

Good news! PrivateVPN allowed me to watch the German TV channel Deutsche Welle when I connected to its Frankfurt server.

stream dw live tv over privatevpn

Similarly, I could watch a Swedish TV channel called Sveriges Television (SVT) when connected to PrivateVPN’s Gothenburg server.

unblock swedish tv over privatevpn

Therefore, PrivateVPN works with local TV channels.

Torrenting (P2P)

Rating: 8 / 10

If you use torrenting technology to share files, you want a VPN that supports torrenting, downloads your files fast, and doesn’t leak your IP.

Let’s see if PrivateVPN delivers.

Is PrivateVPN Good for Torrenting?

PrivateVPN is a good VPN for torrenting.

All PrivateVPN servers are P2P-friendly, and you can enable its kill switch or Application Guard to protect your data if your VPN disconnects. PrivateVPN also allows seeding.

In addition, PrivateVPN offers dedicated P2P servers – they’re the same as the Dedicated IP servers. You can use them if you want speedier torrents.

privatevpn torrent servers

Does PrivateVPN Support Port Forwarding?

Yes, PrivateVPN supports static and dynamic port forwarding on all devices. 

However, it assigns random port numbers rather than opening a specific one.

You can set up static port forwarding in the PrivateVPN app. Just go to the desktop app and click “Advanced View.” You’ll see the port forwarding data on the dashboard.

privatevpn port forwarding

This is the port that you can use to forward your data.

Torrent Tests & Results

 tested PrivateVPN’s P2P download speeds using 3.2-3.5 GB video files on UK, US, and Sweden servers. I used the recommended OpenVPN + TUN + UDP protocol for this.

These are the results:

Server Average download speeds Maximum download speeds Download completion time
UK - London 2.3 MiB/s 3.1 MiB/s 40m 26s
Sweden - Gothenburg 1.4  MiB/s 1.6 MiB/s 42m 39s
USA - New Jersey 1.7 MiB/s 1.1 MiB/s 45m 9s

The max download speed was the highest when I was connected to the UK server

The download also finished in the quickest time. That’s not surprising, as I’m in the UK.

privatevpn torrenting on uk server location

With the Swedish PrivateVPN server, the download time was the second shortest, only longer than the UK’s by 2 minutes.

privatevpn torrenting on sweden server location

And the US-based server gave me a slightly longer download time, but not by much.

privatevpn torrenting on us server location

Overall, all three PrivateVPN servers performed well for torrenting.

PrivateVPN Torrenting Policy

Nothing in PrivateVPN’s terms of use or privacy policy prohibits torrenting

In fact, they emphasize safe P2P file sharing on their website.

privatevpn torrenting policy

However, the Terms of Use mention that users agree not to distribute, upload, download, or reproduce copyright-protected content. Therefore, you shouldn’t use PrivateVPN to pirate copyrighted content over P2P technology.

privatevpn terms of use

Gaming

Rating: 10 / 10

If you like playing online games but don’t want to expose your IP address, you need a VPN with excellent speeds, low latency, and privacy protections.

Let’s see if PrivateVPN makes the cut.

Is PrivateVPN Good for Gaming?

PrivateVPN is a good VPN for gaming. It can unblock region-restricted games and doesn’t cause UX issues.

I tested PrivateVPN with a game called “Devil Book” on my mobile device and “Rage of Kings” on my PC. Let’s see what I got.

Playing Games With PrivateVPN

Since “Devil Book” isn’t available in the UK, I wanted to check whether PrivateVPN would unblock it.

play devil book game over privatevpn

I’m happy to report that PrivateVPN unblocked “Devil Book” just fine. 

I enjoyed playing it when connected to PrivateVPN’s New Jersey server with any PrivateVPN protocol. And I haven’t noticed any lags or drops in my UX quality.

Meanwhile, given the rich graphics and multiplayer interface of “Rage of Kings,” I wanted to ensure PrivateVPN didn’t cause lags or buffering.

I’m happy to report that there was no buffering or delay in interacting with other players, and my experience was seamless.

privatevpn unblocks devil book in the uk

However, is PrivateVPN good for latency when playing games? Let’s find out!

PrivateVPN Gaming Latency & Packet Loss Tests & Results

I play mobile games on my iPhone a lot, so PrivateVPN needed to offer decent latency.

My baseline latency on my iPhone is 14 ms, which is very low and works quite well with games like “Devil Book.”

Here are the latency results of my connections to three PrivateVPN servers across different protocols on iOS.

Server OpenVPN TCP, ms OpenVPN UDP, ms IKEv2, ms IPSec, ms
UK - London 30 32 33 37
Sweden - Stockholm 112 104 97 90
USA - New Jersey 173 204 169 208

It’s not surprising that the lowest latency is on the server closest to me (London).

The packet loss on the US server amounted to 0.00% on my mobile.

I also tested the latency and packet loss on my desktop with PrivateVPN. 

In that case, the baseline latency was 9 ms.

Here are the latency and packet loss test results on my Desktop across 3 PrivateVPN servers and different protocols.

Server Packet Loss OpenVPN TCP, ms OpenVPN UDP, ms L2TP
UK - London 0.00% 23 12 11
Sweden - Stockholm 0.00% 42 84 44
USA - New Jersey 0.00% 156 164 155

Like with my mobile, the best latency was on the server close to me (London). 

None of the servers reported any packet loss.

Based on these results and my experience playing the two games with PrivateVPN, I recommend PrivateVPN as a good VPN for gaming.

If you want to access a game unavailable in your location, use PrivateVPN’s latency indicators to choose the server with the lowest latency.

privatevpn us server latency

Privacy & Jurisdiction

Rating: 4 / 10

If your primary concern when choosing a VPN is privacy, PrivateVPN could be your VPN provider. Here are some things you need to consider, however:

PrivateVPN’s No-Logging Policy

According to its privacy policy, last updated in 2020, PrivateVPN doesn’t collect or log any traffic or use of the Service.

privatevpn no-logging policy

On paper, this is excellent news for users concerned about privacy.

However, the policy also stipulates that it does collect some data, such as your email and billing information. The latter is done via third parties like PayPal or Stripe.

privatevpn payment information

Many VPN providers don’t use these external providers for privacy reasons. 

After all, the more third parties that have your data, the higher the risks of leaks.

Has PrivateVPN’s Privacy Policy Been Audited?

PrivateVPN hasn’t undergone any audits concerning its privacy policy or overall product.

This differs from ExpressVPN and Surfshark, which underwent several audits to prove their privacy claims.

PrivateVPN hasn’t verified their no-logging claims any other way either, unlike PIA, who confirmed via a court case.

This lack of proof of PrivateVPN’s privacy policy, combined with the higher-than-average amount of data it collects, are big downsides of PrivateVPN for me as a privacy-conscious user.

Where Is PrivateVPN Based?

PrivateVPN is based in Sweden.

privatevpn location

Here’s what you should know about the Swedish data retention laws.

Sweden is a 14-eye state, which means it can share information with other countries in the alliance.

However, it doesn’t have any laws requiring VPN providers to retain data, and in 2017, the courts struck down its data retention law.

So, despite Sweden being a 14-eye state, the authorities can’t compel PrivateVPN to share user data with them as there’s no legal basis to do so.

Who Owns PrivateVPN?

A Swedish private company called PrivateVPN Global AB owns PrivateVPN.

However, in June 2022, an international web hosting company Miss Group, also based in Sweden, bought PrivateVPN.

When I requested more details from PrivateVPN, they confirmed the acquisition had no impact on its privacy policy.

Security

Rating: 8 / 10

PrivateVPN’s security features are quite comprehensive, including the choice between two encryptions, two kill switches, and DNS leak protection.

However, PrivateVPN doesn’t have RAM-only servers. That means the data recorded on traditional disk servers is not erased automatically upon reboot, like with RAM servers. 

And as a result, such data can be at risk of a breach.

Let’s take a look at PrivateVPN security!

Is PrivateVPN Secure?

PrivateVPN offers top-level encryption, two types of kill switches, obfuscation with Stealth VPN, and DNS leak protection.

The encryption options include 256-bit AES and 128-bit AES encryption on all devices, including Windows, iOS, and Android.

While the industry standard for top-level privacy is 256-bit encryption, you might have to use 128-bit if speed is a concern.

privatevpn encryption types

PrivateVPN Kill Switch

PrivateVPN has a kill switch that terminates your Internet access when your VPN connection breaks. It’s available on Desktop and mobile devices.

You can find the kill switch in the “Advanced View” menu on the Desktop.

privatevpn connection gaurd settings

In addition, PrivateVPN has another kill switch called “Application Guard,” available on Windows devices.

privatevpn application guard enabled

This feature is a combination of a kill switch and split tunneling.

Say you’re downloading something on uTorrent while browsing the Internet, and your VPN disconnects. In that case, Application Guard can terminate uTorrent to stop your IP from leaking to peers.

Simply add “uTorrent” to the list of programs that terminate when the VPN disconnects by pressing the “Add” button and choosing the program from your device.

privatevpn split tunneling

Stealth VPN

Stealth VPN allows you to bypass VPN blocks and DPI firewalls by disguising your VPN traffic as regular web traffic, concealing VPN usage from your ISP. 

StealthVPN is available on all devices, including Windows, macOS, and mobile.

StealthVPN can help if, for example, you’re traveling to a country with Internet restrictions and want to access restricted content.

privatevpn stealth vpn enabled

Android & iOS Permissions

Some VPN providers, including PrivateVPN, have specific permissions that enable their functions on your mobile devices. I checked PrivateVPN’s permissions on my iOS and Android phones to ensure they don’t have access to the data or functions they don’t need.

Android PrivateVPN Permissions

I used a tool called Exodus to check the permissions attached to PrivateVPN’s Android applications.

privatevpn android trackers and permissions

Two trackers and eight permissions aren’t bad at all.

These 8 permissions were related to Internet access, running at start-up, wake-lock, and others I had expected.

privatevpn android permissions

The 2 trackers collect data on crush reporting (Google Crashlytics) and analytics (Google Firebase Analytics).

privatevpn android trackers

iOS PrivateVPN Permissions

To check which permissions PrivateVPN has on my iPhone, I went to “Settings” and clicked “Privacy & Security.” Then I accessed the App Privacy Report.

PrivateVPN didn’t appear in the report, which means it doesn’t have access to your iOS device’s data.

If you do see PrivateVPN having permissions you don’t want, check the video below to see how you can change them.

PrivateVPN Security Tests

To verify PrivateVPN’s security claims, I ran some tests.

First, I ensured my IP wasn’t leaking with IPLeak.net and that there were no DNS leaks with DNSLeaktest.com.

Then, I tested the encryption with WireShark software, the kill switch, and the Application Guard.

Here’s what I found.

IP Leak Test

privatevpn ipleak test

I connected to PrivateVPN’s Swedish server to test for IP leaks. Since it showed a Swedish IP address and I’m in the UK, I’m satisfied that PrivateVPN isn’t leaking it.

DNS Leak Test

I used DNSLeakTest.com to check for DNS leaks when connected to PrivateVPN’s USA server.

privatevpn dnsleak test

The test showed that there were no DNS leaks and that my IP was US-based. 

Therefore, PrivateVPN protects against DNS leaks.

Encryption Test

To test PrivateVPN’s encryption, I used Wireshark while connected to PrivateVPN’s New Jersey server using OpenVPN protocol.

By right-clicking the appropriate network in the Wireshark menu, enabling the capture, and following the UDP stream, I saw that PrivateVPN’s encryption works fine

Here’s the proof.

privatevpn encryption test

As you can see, this data is gibberish, which means it’s encrypted.

Kill Switch Test

I also tested the PrivateVPN kill switch on my Windows when my VPN connection broke. Here’s the alert I received.

privatevpn kill switch test

Since I could not access the Internet until I turned PrivateVPN off and back on again, I’m satisfied that the PrivateVPN kill switch works.

Application Guard Test

This is how I tested Application Guard:

  1. I added uTorrent to the list of applications that must be terminated when the VPN connection breaks.
privatevpn split tunneling
  1. I connected to PrivateVPN’s server in Dublin and launched uTorrent.
using utorrent with privatevpn
  1. I then disconnected from PrivateVPN, and uTorrent disappeared off my screen immediately!
Therefore, I’m satisfied that PrivateVPN’s Application Guard kill switch works well.

Platforms & Devices

Rating: 8 / 10

If a VPN provider doesn’t offer sufficient simultaneous connections, it may severely limit your household’s online activities that you want to keep private.

How does PrivateVPN fare in that regard? Let’s find out!

What Devices Does PrivateVPN Support?

PrivateVPN supports a wide range of popular devices. Let’s take a closer look.

Desktop, Laptop, and Mobile

privatevpn devices

You can use PrivateVPN on Windows, macOS, and Linux laptops and desktop computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, and tablets.

PrivateVPN offers native apps for Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS.

For Linux, you can download installation files from PrivateVPN’s website and configure them manually on your device.

privatevpn linux guides

Routers

PrivateVPN works with compatible routers. Some of these routers are:

  • Asus RT routers
  • Synology
  • QNAP
  • pdFense

Depending on the type of router, PrivateVPN provides files or credentials you can download and then configure for your device.

privatevpn compatible routers

Smart TV Devices

You can also use PrivateVPN on Smart TV devices such as FireStick or Roku.

PrivateVPN’s native app enabled on FireStick works with compatible devices such as Samsung Smart TV.

How Many Simultaneous Connections Does PrivateVPN Allow?

PrivateVPN allows 10 simultaneous connections. That’s a good amount, more than providers like ExpressVPN  and NordVPN (5 and 6 connections, respectively) offer. However, it’s no match for Surfshark or AtlasVPN, which offer unlimited simultaneous connections.

privatevpn simultaneous connections

Features

Rating: 3 / 10

Unlike popular providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, PrivateVPN doesn’t offer traditional split tunneling.

privatevpn support on split tunneling

PrivateVPN also doesn’t offer MultiHop, ad blocker, or threat manager (offered by ExpressVPN).

But let’s see which extra features PrivateVPN does offer!

OpenConnect Servers

For macOS PrivateVPN users, the provider offers OpenConnect Servers, compatible with Cisco’s AnyConnect Secure Mobility clients.

Here’s how to enable PrivateVPN with Cisco AnyConnect on your macOS:

  1. Download the .DMG Cisco Mobility client and double-click on it.
macos files
  1. Double-click on the icon to start the installation.
anyconnect.pkg on macos
  1. Click “Continue.”
anyconnect installation on macos
  1. Click “Continue” once more.
anyconnect license agreement
  1. Uncheck all boxes except “VPN” and click “Continue.”
check vpn on anyconnect installation
  1. Click “Install.”
install anyconnect on macos
  1. Enter your macOS credentials and close.
anyconnect installation successful
  1. Go to “Applications” – “Cisco” and open the AnyConnect client.
macos applications
  1. Enter one of the addresses below and click “Connect.”
privatevpn adresses
  1. Enter your PrivateVPN credentials and click “OK.”
enter privatevpn email address
  1. You’re all set!

SOCKS5 Proxy

PrivateVPN also offers SOCKS5 proxy on all its servers.

privatevpn customer support chat on socks5 proxy

If you don’t want to use a VPN for your torrents due to speed concerns, SOCKS5 can be the answer, as it masks your IP. However, ensure you don’t use SOCKS5 to illegally download torrents. With SOCKS5 on, your ISP can still see when you visit pirating sites.

Check out our guide on how to use SOCKS5 with PrivateVPN!

Customer Support

Rating: 9 / 10

PrivateVPN has a decent customer support system. The available channels are the 24/7 Live Chat and email – support@privatevpn.com.

PrivateVPN’s Live Chat does work 24/7, but it sometimes takes me up to 2 minutes to get a response. Also, its interface is very simple but could be more user-friendly. 

It also doesn’t allow me to send messages by hitting the “Enter” key, which is what I’m used to. 

I was, however, pleased that I was put directly through to the operator rather than having to deal with a chatbot.

Customer Support Tests & Results

To test how well PrivateVPN customer service worked, I asked them two questions.

First, I asked whether the VPN allowed seeding when torrenting, and if yes, how my IP was kept safe in that process.

The answer took about 2 minutes to arrive, which was within the specified reply time.

I was pleased with the answer as it explained the technology behind it and how PrivateVPN’s dedicated IPs made it possible to seed.

I also asked a harder question – to explain the difference between the two StealthVPN ports (443 and 22). Here’s the answer I got.

This question took the support team a bit longer to answer – I had to wait 7 minutes and needed to push a couple of times. However, once the answer did come, it was comprehensive. It clarified how different ISPs treat different ports and when they’re likely to be throttled.

User Experience

Rating: 10 / 10

To test PrivateVPN, I installed it on my Windows laptop, iPhone, and Android device

I found the installation process straightforward across all three platforms.

Once the app was installed and running, switching between the main and advanced menus with a single button click was very user-friendly. Likewise with choosing a server, especially on Windows, as the options indicated the latency next to them.

privatevpn servers

Overall, I’m pleased with PrivateVPN’s UX. But I would’ve preferred the option to sign up via a mobile device rather than a browser.

PrivateVPN for Windows

It was very easy to install PrivateVPN for Windows. Here’s how it’s done.

  1. Go to the PrivateVPN website and click “Why PrivateVPN?
why privatevpn button
  1. Go to “View our software” and choose Windows as your operating system.
privatevpn software
  1. Click “Download for Windows,” and your download will begin.
download privatevpn for windows os
  1. Click on the file in your Downloads and press “Yes” when prompted.
allow privatevpn download on windows os
  1. Click “Log In.”
  1. Enter your credentials, choose the server to connect to, and you’re all set!
privatevpn all servers

PrivateVPN for iOS

PrivateVPN’s native iOS app was also easy to install. Here’s how to set up PrivateVPN on your iPhone:

  1. Download the PrivateVPN app from your App Store.
  1. Open the app on your device, enter your credentials, and press “Log In.”
  1. Tap “Allow” to configure the VPN on your device and use Touch ID or your passcode to confirm.
  1. Press the Power button or choose another server to connect to by pressing “Change,” and you’re all set!

PrivateVPN for Android

And here’s how you can install PrivateVPN’s native app on your Android device:

  1. Download the PrivateVPN Android app from your PlayStore and wait for it to finish installing.
  1. Open the app on your device and press “Log In.”
privatevpn log in
  1. Enter your credentials and press “Log In.”
privatevpn android app log in
  1. Click “Allow” to configure your VPN, and click “OK.”
configure privatevpn on android
  1. Click the Power button to connect or click “Change” to choose another server, and you’re all set!
privatevpn android app home

Price & Value for Money

Rating: 10 / 10

PrivateVPN is on the cheaper side of VPNs. The best deal on offer is the 36-month deal. Also, you can grab our exclusive PrivateVPN discount.

privatevpn pricing
Image for illustration only. Design, deals, and details may differ. Click on the image for current info.

The plans on offer are the 1-month, 3-month, and 3-year plans. All plans offer the same PrivateVPN features discussed above and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Payment Methods

You can pay for PrivateVPN with most major credit and debit cards and PayPal

You can also use Apple Pay or Google Pay if you’re purchasing it on your mobile device or a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

PrivateVPN doesn’t accept cash payments.

privatevpn payment methods

Does PrivateVPN Have a Free Trial?

PrivateVPN occasionally offers 7-day free trial coupons.

privatevpn free trial

However, it’s unclear how many of them are on offer per month, as that changes frequently. This is what I got when I tried to click on the above button:

privatevpn free trial access denied

To try PrivateVPN risk-free for 30 days, click here!

What Is PrivateVPN’s Money-Back Guarantee?

PrivateVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans

That’s about the same as most providers.

If you change your mind after purchasing a PrivateVPN subscription, you can cancel within 30 days after you bought it by emailing support@privatevpn.com

Please note that you have to provide a reason for cancellation.

privatevpn money-back guarantee

However, if you purchased PrivateVPN with Bitcoin, you can’t get a refund

And if you bought a subscription via App Store and want a refund, you need to contact them rather than PrivateVPN.

PrivateVPN Pricing vs. Other Providers

Let’s see how PrivateVPN’s pricing compares against the pricing of other VPN providers!

VPN Provider Monthly Plan Best Deal Payment Options Refund Policy
PrivateVPN $9.90 36 months ($72) - save 85% Visa, Mastercard, Amex, JCB, Discover, Diners Club, UnionPay, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Bitcoin 30-day money-back guarantee
Surfshark $12.95 24 months + 2 months free ($53.28) - save 84%! Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrency 30-day money-back guarantee
CyberGhost $12.99 2 years + 4 months ($56.94) - save 84%! Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrency 45-day money-back guarantee (14-day on 1-month plan)
NordVPN $11.99 2 years + 3 months free ($99.43) - save 55%! Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, Maestro, JCB, ACH Transfer, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrency 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN $12.95 12 months + 3 months free ($80.04) - save 49%! Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover, JCB, UnionPay, PayPal, Bitcoin, QIWI, iDeal, SEPA, mint, OneCard, mercadoPago, giropay, Sofort, pix 30-day money-back guarantee

Therefore, PrivateVPN’s monthly is cheaper than most providers and its best plan is the longest.

What Do Users Think About PrivateVPN?

To find out other users’ experience of PrivateVPN, I went on TrustPilot

The overall score for PrivateVPN was a very impressive 4.9/5.

privatevpn trustpilot rating

People are particularly praiseful of the provider’s customer service and speed of response via different channels.

privatevpn customer service review

A lot of users are also happy with streaming with PrivateVPN.

privatevpn customer support review

That’s not to say that PrivateVPN doesn’t have any negative reviews. 

However, they are less than 2% of all 1850 reviews on Trustpilot and mostly relate to misunderstandings of the refund policy. Mostly, PrivateVPN representatives answer these reviews promptly and clarify the situation.

privatevpn money-back review

PrivateVPN Alternatives

PrivateVPN offers a straightforward VPN solution that’s good value for money and can be used on many devices for streaming and secure browsing.

However, other VPN providers might be more suitable, depending on your use case.

NordVPN

The Panama-based VPN provider NordVPN offers fewer simultaneous connections than PrivateVPN and has a higher price tag.

However, it offers a much larger server library of over 5000 servers worldwide. 

And thanks to its NordLynx VPN protocol, which is based on WireGuard, it offers better speeds.

Finally, its RAM-only servers and no-logs policy, verified by an independent audit, confirm its strong privacy and security features.

Surfshark

The Dutch provider Surfshark is slightly more expensive than PrivateVPN but offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

It also had its RAM-only server structure audited by external parties and offers fantastic speeds compared to PrivateVPN. And its library of over 3200 servers, all of which allow streaming and torrenting, is much more extensive than PrivateVPN’s. 

However, Surfshark doesn’t allow seeding, unlike PrivateVPN.

CyberGhost

The Romania-based VPN provider CyberGhost is on par with PrivateVPN in terms of pricing but offers a much larger server library of over 7000 servers, including servers optimized for streaming and torrenting.

CyberGhost does offer only 7 simultaneous connections compared to PrivateVPN’s 10. Also, you can only download CyberGhost on seven devices, whereas with PrivateVPN, that number is unlimited.

The speeds and latencies offered by PrivateVPN and CyberGhost are similar, although CyberGhost’s is slightly faster.

All VPNs Compared

Here’s an overview of how three popular VPN providers compare to PrivateVPN.

Criteria PrivateVPN NordVPN Surfshark CyberGhost
Jurisdiction Sweden Panama The Netherlands Romania
Security features Two kill switches, Stealth VPN, 128-bit and 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection RAM-only servers, 256-bit encryption, DoubleVPN, Obfuscated servers, Kill switch, DNS leak protection   RAM-only servers, No-borders mode, MultiHop, Camouflage mode, Kill switch, 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection   RAM-only servers, 256-bit encryption, Kill switch, DNS leak protection  
Other features Dedicated servers, OpenConnect, SOCKS5 proxy Onion Over VPN, Split tunneling, Ad Blocker, Dedicated IP Split tunneling, Static servers, CleanWeb Split tunneling, Dedicated IP, Content Blocker
Logging Unverified no-logging policy Verified no-logging policy Verified no-logging policy Unverified no-logging policy
Protocols IKEv2, IPSec, L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN (TCP / UDP) IKEv2/IPSEC, OpenVPN (TCP / UDP), NordLynx (based on WireGuard - TCP / UDP) IKEv2, WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP / UDP) IKEv2, WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP / UDP)
Servers Over 200 servers in 43 countries, Dedicated IP / torrenting servers 5577 servers in 60 countries, P2P servers, Obfuscated servers, DoubleVPN 3200+ servers in 95 countries 7983 servers in 90 countries, Streaming servers, P2P servers
Speed loss difference Reduction of 63% Reduction of 18.5% Increase of 5.55% Reduction of 34.2%
Gaming Good for low and high performance games Good for low and high performance games Good for low and high performance games Good for low and high performance  games
Torrenting Yes on all servers Yes (on special servers) Yes on all servers Yes (on special servers)
Streaming Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, Deutsche Welle, SVG Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, local channels Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, local channels Unblocks Netflix, iPlayer, local channels on special servers
Devices Windows, macOS, iOS, Android,  Blackberry, Linux, Chrome OS, Kodi, FireStick, Roku, routers. Windows, macOS, iOS, Android,  Blackberry, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, FireStick, Xbox, PS, Raspberry Pi, Chrome OS, Kindle Fire, routers Windows, macOS, iOS, Android,  Blackberry, Linux, FireTV, Edge, smartTVs, Xbox, PS, routers Windows, macOS, iOS, Android,  Blackberry, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Amazon Fire TV, FireStick, Xbox, PS, Roku, Raspberry Pi, Chrome OS, Kindle Fire, routers
Price PrivateVPN price NordVPN price Surfshark price CyberGhost price
Simultaneous connections 10 6 Unlimited 7
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FAQs

Whether PrivateVPN is better than NordVPN depends on your needs.

If you need a low-cost VPN for a large household with more than 6 devices, PrivateVPN is better than NordVPN since it offers 10 simultaneous connections.

However, if you need a VPN with verified security features that can block ads and offers split tunneling, NordVPN is better than PrivateVPN.

Whether PrivateVPN is worth it depends on what you’re looking for from a VPN.

If you want a cheap provider that’s easy to use and allows you to unblock geo-restricted content while keeping your IP private, it’s worth it.

However, if privacy and security are most important to you, there are other providers you should consider that have had their security features verified independently.

Conclusion

After testing PrivateVPN for several days for speed, security, privacy, streaming, torrenting, customer service, user experience, and value for money, this is my conclusion.

PrivateVPN is a good provider for users that want to pay less for basic VPN features and solid streaming and torrenting offerings.

However, if you’re willing to spend more on verified privacy and security features and great speeds, consider other providers like Surfshark or NordVPN.

Want to try out PrivateVPN for yourself? Grab our exclusive discount today!

Try PrivateVPN Risk-Free!

Protect private web traffic from snooping, interference, and censorship. All plans are covered by a no-hassle 100% money-back guarantee for your first 30 days of service.

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