PrivateVPN is a Swedish VPN provider that hits all the right notes when it comes to features. While its total server count is relatively small compared to other providers, it boasts servers in an impressive number of countries. Each server is optimized for performance, so speeds are excellent, which is good for torrenting and gaming. PrivateVPN’s Netflix unblocking works well, which is rare given that Netflix has been cracking down on VPNs. They have upgraded their security, and now boast advanced features like their own DNS servers.
Remote control support
“Connection guard” killswitch
Low price for the 15-month option
Slow customer service response time
Live chat is not always available
While PrivateVPN has a relatively small number of servers compared to other brands, this does not compromise its speed and performance. Streaming 1080p video is seamless across its servers. That makes PrivateVPN one of the best VPNs for Netflix, not to mention the gamut of other online streaming services. Swapping between PrivateVPN servers takes just a few seconds, and the connection is reliable and doesn’t drop.
Apart from fast speeds, there are no limits on bandwidth, and they allow P2P file sharing, all of which makes it a great choice for both torrenting and gaming. PrivateVPN prides itself on a feature it calls “High Quality Network” (HQN). Most VPN providers purchase their internet capacity from a hosting company, which themselves purchase capacity from an IP transit provider. PrivateVPN, by contrast, purchases most of its internet capacity directly from the IP transit provider, cutting out the middleman, and avoiding the latency and speed problems that come with this unnecessary middle step. They recommend using the Sweden-based servers available in your PrivateVPN login for torrenting.
Because PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, it is subject to strict data retention regulations. However, the service logs absolutely none of your data, including both browsing information, as well as connection metadata like time of connection and length of connection, meaning there’s nothing for them to share, even if the Swedish government came knocking.
PrivateVPN uses the highest-grade 256-bit AES encryption, which is impossible to crack. All of the major VPN protocols are covered, including the industry standard, Open VPN, and you can toggle between these protocols within your PrivateVPN login on both the desktop and the mobile apps.
A backup killswitch, which PrivateVPN calls “Connection Guard,” blocks all internet traffic if your VPN connection drops. This means your data will remain completely private even when it is more vulnerable to attack. The service protects against both IPv6 and DNS leaks. They have also recently upgraded to use their own, in-house DNS servers, which adds an extra layer of security.
To get your PrivateVPN download, you can pay with PayPal, Stripe, or Bitcoin, useful for those who need to keep their personal information private.
With over 80 servers in 52 countries, PrivateVPN’s server count is relatively low compared to other providers. As noted above, however, this does not impact performance at all. The most popular destinations are covered, with six servers in the US, and two each in Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. For extra peace of mind, PrivateVPN has actual physical control over its servers in Sweden, where it is based. Usefully, PrivateVPN has a list of available servers on its website, which helps you to choose the best server based on which exact city it is located in.
This is a VPN that works with Netflix, which is available on its US servers, as well as Amazon Prime, available on a number of servers throughout the US and Europe, and BBC iPlayer, which is available on PrivateVPN’s UK servers.
Customer support is perhaps PrivateVPN’s biggest weak spot. The website advertises a live chat feature, but the live chat module actually directs you to send an email if support staff are not available to chat, and it takes them a few hours to get back to you.
That being said, they do offer remote control support, which is particularly useful for beginners who are having trouble with their PrivateVPN download, or who have questions on things like how to unblock Netflix. This feature is also useful for advanced users, to assist them with troubleshooting for higher-level features
PrivateVPN’s monthly plan costs $9.95, or $7.50 a month if you sign up for three months. However, if you buy the 15-month plan, you will pay only $3.98 a month. This is a significant benefit, as most other VPN providers will only offer such a low price if you sign up for a full two years.
There is also an option for a PrivateVPN trial, so you can see if you like their service without having to commit.
A great all-round VPN that makes up for slow customer service with excellent speeds and great privacy features.