- Extremely consistent connection speeds
- Customer support goes the extra mile and can even remote troubleshoot issues
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Slick and responsive interface
- Cheap month to month pricing options
- Free 24-hour trial
- Top of the line encryption and security features
- Supports all major protocols
- Limited country options for connections
- Sweden has been approving more invasive anti-privacy laws
- No dedicated IP option
PrivateVPN is a very dependable service. They boast top of the line privacy and security features with very consistent (if only slightly above average) download speeds. Their software is very responsive and easy to use. Support also earns above average marks. They do offer servers in 29 countries but in return they charge $2 less per month than other premier VPN subscriptions. Subscribers should still be able to connect from almost anywhere in the world (including China) but options are limited. PrivateVPN works well for all uses, including troubling ones like Netflix US access.
Privacy and Security
The VPN service is based out of Sweden, which isn't bad but isn't ideal either. Sweden is known as being a government that values the privacy of its citizens, but recent laws have run counter to that stance. The country currently has mandatory data retention laws, but luckily these only affect ISPs and thus doesn't apply to PrivateVPN. Their membership in the European Union is also troubling as this may result in issues down the road. Right now there's no issue. PrivateVPN is dedicated to ensuring privacy to the best of their ability, but Swedish laws will be something to watch.
Speed is a complete non-issue in testing PrivateVPN. Their servers were extremely consistent at delivering download speeds over 20Mbps. The top speeds weren't as fast as providers like ExpressVPN and PureVPN, but it was so much easier to simply find a server that worked. This isn't something we usually call attention to, but their Windows client felt extremely responsive.
PrivateVPN has practically doubled their country count in the past several months from 28 countries to 55. They now provide access to 68 cities in 55 countries, with the vast majority of servers residing in Europe. Additionally, these servers are coming on without any drop in quality. Connect to anywhere in the PrivateVPN network and you should be treated to fairly consistent connection speeds. The company really seems to care about individual optimizations. Subscribers wanting to use watch Netflix US should choose the Buffalo or New York City locations.
Ease and Usability
Getting setup is a breeze. Even the technically disinclined will find using this service to be very straight forward. As discussed above in our PrivateVPN review, the speeds were extremely consistent. This made for a relaxing experience in terms of ease of use compared to lower end VPN services. The client doesn't boast a crazy number of options. It's pretty much what you see is what you get. This may annoy some power users, but the default settings for PrivateVPN are actually well thought out.
The 24/7 support staff is well equipped to handle any problems. They even offer remote access in case you encounter any trouble with installation or use of the VPN software. This will allow them to temporarily take control of a computer to solve the problem at hand. This requires a separate download (TeamViewer) so remote access is only available with a user's express permission.
It should be noted that 24/7 support does not include 24/7 live chat. While responses are all very fast (usually in under an hour), certain times will necessitate creating an email support ticket. Almost all problems users might expect to encounter can be solved on their own with PrivateVPN's extensive selection of guides.
In its current form, PrivateVPN is a tier 1 service with tier 2 pricing. This makes it a very good value for price conscientious consumers. It's currently safe for all common VPN uses including P2P file sharing, streaming, and browsing online anonymously. The monthly cost is $8.21, where most tier 1 services charge over $10. This can be reduced to $3.60 per month when prepaying for a year thanks to a free 3-month add-on.
There's not a lot of complicated settings to deal with so that leaves plenty of time to see if the features work for you. 6 simultaneous connections allows the whole family to connect with just one product. They also offer a 30-day Money-Back Guarantee with no questions asked.
For a while the only thing we really hammered PrivateVPN on was their limited number of countries and server options. Now that there's over 60 cities served, things are much improved. Dependable is the word that comes to mind when thinking of PrivateVPN. It's simply a good all-around option when searching for a long-term VPN service. As long as Swedish or EU laws don't take a turn for the worse, we imagine this service will get talked up more and more. It's a good value that quite simply "works".
For a hassle-free VPN, PrivateVPN is easily worth the subscription price.