People’s internet privacy is becoming less and less protected in recent years, with all the data collection practices being implemented by government and law enforcement entities around the world.
That being said, it makes sense why people have started looking for ways to “hide” themselves from prying eyes by using VPN services, chief of them PrivateVPN.
PrivateVPN is one of the smaller service providers on the market. That does not mean that the quality of the service they are offering is in any way compromised. On the contrary, PrivateVPN offers one of the most stable and reliable VPN services around.
The company is located in Sweden, meaning that it does not fall under U.S. privacy protection laws which infringe on citizen’s rights on a regular basis. This reduces the chances that your browsing data will fall into the hands of someone you wouldn’t want handling your information.
Furthermore, PrivateVPN has a zero-logs policy in place, meaning that even if somebody is interested in your data, PrivateVPN will not hand it over since there is no data records to begin with. This also prevents said data from falling into someone’s hands in an unlawful way.
Couple this with the extensive attention offered to encryption protocols used for the service and you have one of the most secure VPN services in the world. And the best part is that it does not come at a cost in terms of internet speed. When connected to a server located near you (Canada > U.S., for example) the speed reduction will be almost unnoticeable.
The downside here is that there will sometimes be no servers close by to connect to, since the service currently operates on “only” 80+servers worldwide. But the good news is that even the servers located further away offer outstanding speed, so you should not fret if there is no server in your immediate proximity.
There are three payment plans available for PrivateVPN’s services. All of the plans have the same privileges, meaning the speed and the number of devices connected to the service are the same. The only difference is in the length of the plan.
The longer the plan, the smaller the monthly fee. The one-month plan, which is offered at the most expensive price per month, costs $10.95. The three-month plan will set the user back $22.50 or $7.50 per month. And the least expensive option is the one-year plan, which costs $57.60 or $4.80 per month.
This puts the PrivateVPN price somewhere in the middle of the price range as far as VPN services go. It should be noted, though, that PrivateVPN’s services far outclass those of its competitors in this price range, and the little extra spending could be a very worthwhile investment in the long run.
Privacy is one of the factors where PrivateVPN really shines, as its name obviously refers to.
As stated above, the company is headquartered in Sweden which, while having a little lenient laws concerning data protection, is still much better than countries like China or the U.S.
The other very important thing concerning privacy is PrivateVPN’s zero-logs policy. This basically means that the provider will not retain any data concerning clients’ internet usage whatsoever. This in turn means that even if somebody comes looking for said data, either lawfully or unlawfully, PrivateVPN will not hand it over, as there is nothing to hand over in the first place.
But this is not the full extent of the protection that PrivateVPN offers—in fact, this is just the beginning. PrivateVPN’s TAP uses 128-bit CBC encryption and their TUN uses 256-bit AES encryption. SHA256 combined with 2,048-bit RSA is used for authentication, while 2,048-bit DHE keys are used to provide forward secrecy.
Encryption options can be manually set and reset on every device that uses PrivateVPN, and there is even an option to install it directly on your router.
PrivateVPN also comes with a built-in kill switch for security purposes—it will shut down the internet connection if the user disconnects from their servers for any reason. This security measure protects the user from accidental DNS/IP leaks, but can be disabled in the menu if the user does not want to have their internet connection cut without their knowledge or warning.
The fact that the service operates on a little over 80 servers located in 52 locations does not mean that the connection speed is worse than that offered by PrivateVPN’s competitors. On the contrary, it is often times better, since having a smaller number of servers means that they can be maintained more easily and effectively.
When it comes to download speed, there is no concrete number that can be given, as internet speed is impacted by a large amount of different factors. As a loose estimation can be made by conducting several download speed tests on different servers and at different times, one can expect to have around 15 to 25 percent download speed reduction while using PrivateVPN. Upload speed is affected by 15 percent or less depending on the server and the load it is under.
To put this in perspective, there will be no buffering, even when one attempts to stream a 1080p video at 30 Mbps without a VPN. This means that the service offers great performance for streamers and gamers alike, who require constantly high connection speeds.
One more thing that needs to be noted is that PrivateVPN claims that it can unblock Netflix with a 100 percent success rate. This is a bold statement, especially taking into consideration the fact that Netflix has started to block VPN services recently. If there are problems with unblocking Netflix, or any other problems for that matter, PrivateVPN offers a seven-days money-back guarantee.
Though PrivateVPN’s headquarters are located in Sweden, its servers are spread out on 52 different locations around the globe.
PrivateVPN offers more than 80 possible servers to choose from, which might seem like a small number compared to its competitors who have even over 1,000 servers. But this should not dissuade potential users of the PrivateVPN service, as their servers are exceptionally well-positioned and maintained. There will hardly ever be a time where PrivateVPN users will not have a stable and fast connection to one of the servers, no matter where they are located in the world.
PrivateVPN has servers on every continent (except Antarctica), which means that there will always be several server options to choose from no matter the country.The most populated are the U.S. and places in Europe like Germany, the U.K. and the Netherlands.
PrivateVPN offers its users the ability to connect up to six devices simultaneously to their network. That also includes mobile devices like smartphones and tablets which use Android or iOS as their operating system. This can be done through the use of PrivateVPN’s Android app, which can be downloaded and installed from the respective OS’s app store.
The desktop application for PC and Mac offers one of the more sleek and straightforward interfaces on the market. However, the downside to this is that some of the features that are customizable on other VPN services cannot be changed in the app. Some of those changes can be made in a different way, while others cannot be made at all.
On the main screen of the PrivateVPN application, the user will have the ability to choose the server they wish to connect to. Aside from standard information like the IP address of the server, the country where it is located and the amount of users currently connected to it, each server icon also displays the exact city where it is located—ensuring that the user has the ability to connect to the server closest to them.
In the app’s advanced options, the user will have access to more complex settings like choosing connection type or turning the DNS and IPv6 leak protection on and off.
The mobile version of the PrivateVPN application is even more streamlined. The main screen offers information about the location of the server, its IP and the length of current connection. In the settings tab, the only changeable thing is the connection protocol but there is information about the user’s account located here.
As with other VPN service providers, PrivateVPN offers customer support for users both in real-time over live chat and via email communication.
Given the fact that their headquarters are located in Sweden, the best time to contact the customer support team would be during Sweden’s working hours. While PrivateVPN claims that they provide 24/7 quick customer support, there are sometimes delays in response, most often during weekends and off-hours in Sweden. This does not mean that the support is unresponsive; it just takes them between one and four hours to respond in such situations.
The same can be said about PrivateVPN’s live chat service. The support is incredibly polite and helpful and will be able to solve any problem, 99 percent of the time. The only downside, however, is that the response can be a bit slower during night hours in Sweden and during weekends.
Despite being one of the smaller VPN providers on the market, server-wise, PrivateVPN is starting to break through as one of the most reliable and secure VPN services in the world.
Just by looking at the comments left by the VPN community, one can realize that PrivateVPN has numerous extremely satisfied customers backing the product. And with the recent increase in demand over high-quality VPN services, it is just a matter of time before they start expanding even more.