PrivateVPN Review Table of Contents:
- Background Info on PrivateVPN
- Compatibility and Features
- Pricing and Plan Options
- PrivateVPN Pros
- PrivateVPN Cons
- Do I Recommend PrivateVPN?
PrivateVPN was founded in 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden.
The full company name is Privat Kommunikation Sverige AB, and the company was originally named privatvpn.se. To date, we’ve reviewed another two Sweden based VPN providers, here’s our FrootVPN review and Mullvad review.
Those weren’t good enough, though.
I was excited to take a look at PrivateVPN because the name of this VPN provider itself implies that it’s stacked with some excellent privacy and security features.
I was interested to put these claims to the test and see just how private PrivateVPN really is. I also wanted to see if they sacrifice performance and speeds in the name of privacy.
In this review of PrivateVPN, I’ll be answering those questions (and more) while outlining the pros and cons of this VPN service. Ultimately, I’ll be letting you know whether I recommend them as a good VPN choice or not.
But before we dive into that, let’s find out more about the company behind PrivateVPN.
Background Info on PrivateVPN
When I first went to the PrivateVPN website, I noticed that they were using a shield with a lock in the middle as their company logo.
This fits in with their name really well. I also immediately noticed how easy their homepage was to navigate.
This made me wonder if their services were just as easy to use.
Here’s what the homepage of PrivateVPN looks like:
It’s bright and vibrant. Plus, at the time of my website visit, PrivateVPN was offering a 25% discount on all of their plans.
Not too shabby of a first impression, in my opinion.
Here’s what PrivateVPN has to say about themselves on their site.
Right off the bat, I really like that this provider offers every feature across all of their plans.
But this statement doesn’t tell me how private or secure they are.
Better yet – are their speeds up to par with other competitors?
I’ll be laying out the results of my own speed test on PrivateVPN servers in the pros and cons section.
Before we go over that, let’s take a look at the conversation surrounding PrivateVPN across the internet.
Overall, I didn’t find a ton of negativity about the company online, and most reviews of their services seem to be fairly positive.
One thing I noticed is just how much the company communicates with its customers on social media:
They tweet out when they add new server locations, apps, and installation guides.
And their users seem to love them. Literally.
Just look at what this Twitter user had to say about their service:
Notice how the user said that PrivateVPN’s servers work with Netflix?
I will be putting that claim to the test later on.
One Twitter user named R.Q. Mehdi seemed to want some additional features in the platform so that he could view ping and connection speeds for each server on the PrivateVPN app.
It looks like the company hasn’t gotten back with him yet…or at least not publicly.
Since PrivateVPN is located in Sweden, there are bound to be some legal limits on just how private they can actually be with user’s information.
In fact, the Swedish government has been tightening down on data retention laws in the country, hoping to make it mandatory for VPN providers to keep logs on users.
According to Privacy News Online, Sweden wants to introduce VPN surveillance and mandate that their internet is built around optimizing governmental surveillance.
This is potentially bad news for any VPN provider. However, the company has been pretty up-front with its customers about the legal changes so far.
Before we talk about pricing and speeds for PrivateVPN, let’s go over their features.
PrivateVPN Compatibility and Features
PrivateVPN boasts about its speeds, protocols, and security before anything else on their “features” page.
They also appear to have apps for different devices that are made with those specific operating systems in mind.
I like that they offer unlimited bandwidth, speed, server switches, and more across all plans.
They also offer a referral program and free setup guides for each device to assist users with the installation.
The VPN service supports the following devices and operating systems:
PrivateVPN works simultaneously on up to six devices. That’s a pretty nice perk compared to some providers that only provide two or three.
I’ll break down pricing below so that you know exactly how each plan works.
You can connect PrivateVPN to the following kinds of routers:
- ASUS RT models
This VPN provides 150+ servers 60 countries. They have servers in most major cities worldwide, however, the total is on the lower end of all the companies I’ve reviewed so far.
For a VPN provider that was founded in 2009, I expected to find more available servers and countries.
PrivateVPN offers a complete list of servers on their site:
The company offers a kill switch for their Windows VPN app, but they claim that a kill switch feature for their Mac VPN app will be out soon.
Kill switches are a huge deal when it comes to privacy and security.
They can sense when your internet connection is about to be disconnected, and they terminate your current browsing session to keep your data and browsing history safe.
I really wish that PrivateVPN offered this extra protection across every app. But at least they’re working on it, and hopefully, it will be out soon. Some VPN providers don’t offer a kill switch at all.
Private VPN also offers IPv6 and DNS leak protection.
Pros of PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN has some wonderful features. I was really pleased with the overall security of their servers.
First, I’ll tell you what the company is doing right before we switch our attention to where they can improve.
1. It’s safe and secure
PrivateVPN doesn’t have a ton of features to offer.
However, you can rest assured that their security is rock-solid. Here’s a quick look.
Is it Well Encrypted?
According to their FAQ page,
This is top-of-the-line security that not even a brute-force attack can break through.
It’s bank-grade, so you can definitely trust your data to this kind of encryption.
What Protocols Are In-Use?
The very front page of their website lists down the protocols that they’re using:
Based on the number of protocols, it is safe to say that they’re tunneling software is secure.
Is Torrenting Allowed?
Torrenting is allowed with PrivateVPN.
That means you’re free to connect with others to move large files like movies, music, or software and use a VPN to protect your security as well as your privacy.
2. PrivateVPN is easy to use and install
PrivateVPN has an installation guide for you, no matter the device or computer you’re looking to install it on.
You can even find installation guides right from the home page.
Once you’ve downloaded PrivateVPN, here’s what the platform will look like.
Just enter your email and password to get started.
Here’s what PrivateVPN looks like once you’ve logged in. Notice the “Not Connected” graphic at the bottom of the page.
Just pick a server from the list and hit connect.
Once you’re connected, you’ll receive a notification.
Just hit “Disconnect” to end your connection, or choose another server from the list.
However, if you want to see more advanced options, click the “Advanced” button in the bottom right-hand corner.
There, you can find a user dashboard:
A settings page:
And connection guard options.
Overall, I’d give it a 7/10 for usability.
I like that the advanced features are there if you need them, but they aren’t automatically added to the normal interface.
3. Convenient customer support
PrivateVPN has ticketing and live chat options for customers.
To contact them, just click on the text bubble on the bottom right-hand corner of their home page, or click the “Live Support” button in the top left-hand corner of the PrivateVPN app.
When I tried to access PrivateVPN’s live feature, no representatives were online.
All you have to do is enter in your name, email, and message to submit a ticket.
Once you hit send, you should see this notification.
I wish that live chat was available 24/7, but the ticketing option was relatively easy to use.
PrivateVPN doesn’t go above and beyond when it comes to customer service, but they definitely met my expectations and regular industry standards.
Plus, they have a great FAQ page where you might be able to find an answer to your question.
In fact, I found the answer to my question about P2P downloads there. (They’re allowed, but PrivateVPN recommends using Sweden servers.)
4. Inexpensive long-term pricing
PrivateVPN’s pricing is relatively cheap and easy to understand.
The yearly plan is only $5.95 per month, too. And you can access as many as six devices at the same time.
There was a 25% off sale on all their plans when I visited the site, but even without the discount, their prices are reasonable.
Plus, every feature is available with each kind of plan. So you can try out the monthly plan to test them out, before switching to the long-term one to lock-in the big savings.
5. A Perfect 5/5 Servers Worked with Netflix
Supposedly, PrivateVPN has created their VPN specifically for Netflix.
That’s the claim anyway. And a big one at that.
But unfortunately, most “Netflix Compatible” VPNs have fallen by the wayside ever since Netflix cracked down in 2016.
We have good news, though.
PrivateVPN delivered where it counts: Our real-life tests.
We connected to the following servers and were able to successfully stream:
- United States: New York
- United States: Los Angeles
- United Kingdom
A perfect 5/5 score is good enough to put them among the Best VPNs for Netflix that we’ve seen.
Cons of PrivateVPN
There are tons of great things about PrivateVPN.
Their encryption is amazing, it’s easy to use, and they even offer installation guides to customers.
But there are also a few things that aren’t so great about their service.
Here’s what I wish I could change about PrivateVPN.
1. Questionable logging policy
PrivateVPN claims to keep absolutely no logs of your data.
That’s great, right?!
However, they do collect your IP address and cookies.
They even claim that sites may not load correctly on their servers if you disable cookies.
“Third parties might analyze our site data. In this case, however, we only give them non-identifiable information. This is to improve our site or marketing and only for internal use.”
This sketchy logging policy means that PrivateVPN isn’t so private after all. I wish they were more transparent about their terms of service.
2. Inconsistent server speeds
Every VPN provider talks about its server speeds like they’re the fastest in the world.
But you can’t just take them at face value. The only way to know for sure is to test and verify for yourself.
So that’s exactly what I did.
I tested PrivateVPN connection speeds across different servers across the world.
I ran speed tests on PrivateVPN’s US, Netherlands, and Hong Kong servers to see how they compare to competitors.
Here are my results:
- Ping: 139 ms
- Download: 4.70 Mbps
- Upload: 7.63 Mbps
- Ping: 50 ms
- Download: 19.83 Mbps
- Upload: 23.07 Mbps
Hong Kong Server
- Ping: 245 ms
- Download: 4.63 Mbps
- Upload: 5.73 Mbps
Some of those speeds looked great, right?
However, the last Hong Kong one was awful. So the performance results are really hit-or-miss, to be honest.
PrivateVPN Pricing Options & Plans
One of the best things about PrivateVPN is that they offer a 30-day money back guarantee.
This is huge, especially if you commit to the service and find that there’s something you just don’t like about it that’s a dealbreaker for you.
PrivateVPN offers a one-month, three-month, and one year package.
Here’s how they are broken down:
The one-month package is $10.95 per month.
This comes out to be $131.40 per year.
The three-month package is $7.31 per month.
This comes out to $87.72 per year.
The one year package is $5.95 per month.
This comes out to only $71.40 per year, so it’s the best value out of all the plans. The company was also offering a 13th month free with this plan.
The company was offering a 25% discount at the time I looked at plans and pricing. So these rates may not last long.
Here’s how the company’s pricing plans are broken down on their site:
Payment methods include credit card, PayPal, and Bitcoin.
I would recommend trying out PrivateVPN for a month and then changing your plan to a yearly one if you find that you like the service.
PrivateVPN is also one of the more affordable VPNs out there. Especially when you consider all the features you’ll have access to with each of their plans.
If you don’t like something about the platform, you can always get a refund within 30 days of your purchase, too.
Now that you know all about the features and pricing of PrivateVPN, let’s discuss the pros and cons.
PrivateVPN Review Conclusion – Do I Recommend it?
No, I don’t.
If you’re looking for a VPN that’s easy to use and has strong encryption features, PrivateVPN is a great choice.
They offer leak protection, too, and a kill-switch if you’re using Windows.
You can use as many as six devices simultaneously without having to pay more for the service, and every plan comes with the same feature.
Plus, the company offers a 30-day money back guarantee. Torrenting is also allowed with PrivateVPN.
Customer service is satisfactory, and the company has a fully equipped FAQ page to give users resources to find answers to questions on their own time.
However, I would love to see some more server options with Private VPN. 100 is a really low number, especially for a VPN that’s been around since 2009.
I also wish that the company was more transparent about their logging policy, which is bound to be a bit more strict than companies in other countries due to Swedish laws.
Last but not least, the server speeds were unfortunately too inconsistent to recommend it.
If you need a VPN with low costs, stacked features, and high-quality security, think about PrivateVPN.
Leave your own PrivateVPN review below
P.S. Have you used PrivateVPN? If so, consider leaving a review below :). Thanks.
25 user reviews for PrivateVPN
I can't even use their site/service when running another VPN! So if you're hoping to use TOR, better look somewhere else. The whole point of using VPN is to unblock and unrestrict website access. What's the point of blocking competitor's access to your own website? Sounds fishy.
Worst VPN Service
PrivateVPN have the worst service. I had to try and cancel after two hours of testing it out, but they refuse to cancel and refuse to credit back the trial fee. The "support" guys are very rude and it is like trying to reason with a Troll off Reddit.com. I have to caution anyone who is thinking about trying this service out.
I used this VPN for less than 1 month and it didn't work well. In fact it wasn't any better than having no VPN. I sent their support email a detailed message as to why it didn't work and requested a refund. They refused my refund because they said I didn't give them a reason why it didn't work. I kept sending the same detailed explanation. I then had to request a refund through PayPal. This company is corrupt and cannot be trusted. Avoid this company.
DO NOT TRUST PRIVATE VPN
"30-Days Risk Free. Not satisfied? Get your money back." BULLSHIT! They spout "most trusted", "full money back guarantee", "ultra fast servers". LIES!
Prices are in USD or something, although I could not see this clarified anywhere on the website and consequently was charged about 30% more than I expected.
I paid for a 'buy 2 years, get 6 months free' plan and on the very next page, they offered a 3 years deal for only a few cents more!
It's messy. I closed down the app on my laptop and logged out of the website, yet I was somehow still logged in to the VPN?!
Now, back to this supposed money back guarantee: Private VPN promises super fast connections, yet I was continually waiting for my videos to buffer and, once or twice, it even timed out! I also couldn't access something I wanted to see and they guaranteed I would be able to.
On my first day, I asked for a refund. The initial form asked for reasons, which I gave. Private VPN gives as a valid reason for a refund.
I received an automated response saying I would get my refund within 5 days and please give reasons. I gave my reasons for the second time.
I received instructions on how to access the thing I couldn't see. I replied saying, as I'd already mentioned, I didn't want that, I want a refund, please. I received an email asking for my reasons.
Are you kidding?!
I've since read other reviews from people who've also been dicked around trying to get their money back. Don't risk it. DO NOT TRUST PRIVATE VPN.
Lousy customer support will use any kind of tricks not to refund your money. No such thing as 30 day money back. I asked for a refund 2 days after signing up and not getting a hold of customer support got an answer 3 weeks later saying i used 150gb of their lousy service and no refund was available. No live support.
I have PrivateVPN about a month. It’s cheaper but make you from fibre internet dial up internet. Practical there is not customer service because only contact by email and answer after 24 hours. Other bad things is when I want to watch Netflix I have to disconnect. I just keep for to do banking but I think VPN is useless because when you are on any web they can locate me exactly.
PrivateVPN Not Recommended
Private VPN does not honor the 30 day refund policy BEWARE! Claimed that I used 384 GB in a 2 hour period (most of the 2 hours was spent to to get it to work) The app would not work properly on my android box. Contacted support took 12 hours to get a reply. Deleted the app and went with another service.
New customer experiences
New customer, and am well pleased. It's always difficult to put a review in the correct perspective and context, especially in terms of making it general enough to be unbiased. As for me, their pricing is very attractive, the level of security is top notch. The amount of servers and geo-coverage, is for me really somewhat of a non-issue, truly. It all depends on needs, and my needs are a secure connection when on public wifi, and the ability to unlock Netflix, BBC and the like, and to that end, privateVPN works like a charm. My own personal needs do not extend to needing servers all over the world, I would make do with 10, as long as they are situated where I need them, and for my needs, they are. So in terms of my personal needs, I couldn't find any better, myself being in Sweden is not a point in and of itself, but I do know that because of regulations and such, I do trust their no logging policy, it's very much ingrained into the Swedish mindset of being mindful of privacy. Quick install, works like a charm on my Linux boxes, nothing to complain about really. There might well be others that are better, in some senses, but this is the first one I truly tested, and have found no reason to look further, it just works.
Appalling customer service
Had terrible problems installing this service so contacted customer service via very slow web chat. Was promised refund under the 30 day money back guarantee but never got it despite several emails. I’d steer clear if I were you.
not reliable, average quality
I used privateVPN for the last year, when it works well streaming/torrent can go very fast but let's say at least 30% of the time servers are super slow (impossible to do anything with that). Some servers went offline FOR DAYS and their support it's slow and annoying.
Poor customer services
Having used the VPN service now for approx 7 months, I encountered a problem with the ethernet/wifi connection and opened a ticket.
Within an hour I received a response but this wasn't to hopefully resolve my problem. I am still waiting to hear from them some 30 hours later.
I have about two months remaining on my current subscription but unable to use the service.
I have sent many messages to them with no response. They are always off-line.
Their customer service is absolutely atrocious.
This vpn is so annoying!
I used the vpn, but there was a problem and I asked them for help and their help was so frustrating and upsetting. I've tried several servers for Torrenting, but other servers besides Swedish servers are often broken and bad.
I sent an e-mail to support but I could not contact the support right away. I couldn’t send the email, because I received an error saying "could not api", it took a long time and also the response was not very helpful and I could not get an apology either. I am curious what they are doing in the company?
Slow and unreliable access to US Netflix enabled servers.
Your review is spot on! Slow inconsistent service, disconnects randomly. Netflix works into US/UK (from Canada) BUT it sometimes is impossible to connect to a "Netflix enabled" server (overload) but at the same time access to the other servers works. Cannot oftentimes connect during the evening (North America timezones) to a Netflix enabled server and get ANY performance whatsoever -- Speedtests (during this time) regularly report download speeds < 1.0 Mbs, Do not buy -- I am waiting for my contract to run out and switch to something else.
Fine until something goes wrong
Good performance when everything is working OK but when things are not quite right and you contact them this is where the true nature of a company emerges.
Sadly their customer support is the worst I have come across for decades. Very rude, aggressive, impatient, disrespectful, and don’t provide answers. And this goes all the way to the top. Shameful but apparently not unusual for a Swedish company so may be a cultural thing. If you are used to it and can tolerate it then be my guest but not for me. Or hope nothing goes wrong.
I like it
I had some problems first time, but the support team helped me quick. The vpn works great on Lubuntu 18.04, i recommend it!
Easy and good to use
Setup remotely to my parents in greece, they want to view swedish TV, there was a minor issue to get it working, just needed to install/repair one of the files and worked flawless after this. My parents are happy, they now dont have to do anything, just start the computer and let it connect and then go straight into viewing the swedish channels they were restricted from using.
I actually used HideMyAss for a few years but the servers they had sucked so im happy about this switch and so are my non technical parents.
Your app isn’t the easiest one for a guy who is new, but your efficient support was really good and got things sorted for me. Overall I am happy to date.
First off they aren’t 100% money back guarantee.
I’m having a dispute and requested a refund.
I’ve been using VPN for 5 years now. I have tried several, Anonine, Mullvad, NordVPN, Kaspersky through the years. I would say PrivateVPN is pretty secure, at least I haven’t found any leaks on the sites that test for them. But it was a bit hassle to get it right, it didn’t protect DNS-leak out of the box – for me – on windows 10 home, and their app isn’t the easiest one for a novice I guess, but great patient support (on a weekend). Overall I am happy with them.
Great uptime and I get almost all of my 300/100Mbit. Great price with a discount they had (got 15 months for $39). It’s not better than the others, but not worse either imho.
I signed up for 3 month service, then found all kinds of issues with documentation, false or misleading claims on their website, issues with some protocols including errors of configuration in OpenVPN and IkeV2. Their support is being very combative and providing a refund. It seems to me their business model is to get customers by offering 30 guarantee, but then be so nasty people just give up.
I discussed this with a lawyer so will be calling Visa and the the police, BBB, and leaving reviews everywhere
I’m not a computer guru so I can’t really analyse this app or compare it with others but I know enough to understand that I needed a VPN and why. I researched several VPNs tried a few ‘free’ options and eventually decided that a proper subscribed service was the way to go for a trouble free VPN ‘gateway’ and all the features I needed.
Basically PrivateVPN does what it says on the box at a reasonable price which is what I wanted. Support is excellent, fast and informative. Nobody judges you, they just tell you what you need to do to get going.
Is it the best? I honestly don’t know, but it does everything I need reliably consistently and without issue and that to me is worth every penny.
Privacy is not priority...
Trevor is on the money. Crashed my computer as well as couldn’t connect to VPN. Think it is because of my Linux debian os? Well I tried with Chromebook which I have never had any problems connecting to with a VPN and it would work with the VPN anymore. In fact, I cannot connect to any VPN even another companies VPN after using them. Seriously untrustable VPN. Heed this warning.
Have tried this on and off over 6 months. Trying to access even the BBC MEDIA PLAYER from another country is impossible. If the service cannot even enable access to the BBC, then, it is very poor.
The helpline has been no help at all.
First I’d like to thank you for reviewing our service! It’s important to provide objective reviews.
At the same time, it’s very important that all information is correct in any way.
1. When it comes to Netflix it’s important to connect to right VPN location. Of course, all locations doesn’t work with Netflix. No VPN provider provides that. It’s all about connecting to the right VPN location: https://privatevpn.com/best-vpn/netflix-vpn/
2. Speeds – When it comes to the speeds I’m not even getting close to your low speeds(Expect from the Hong Kong server). There are many different reasons why a VPN user can experience low speeds. Here are my test results I’ve made from Sweden US server: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/6919592199
Netherlands Server: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/6919595617
Hong Kong: http://www.speedtest.net/my-result/6919599172
3. Logging policy – The information was incorrect on our website as we do not collect information such as IP addresses. This has been corrected now.
If we track clicks and sales to get data on how different campaigns are performing. How do you get that to we “might” sell it to a third-party company? I don’t understand why someone would even buy non-identifiable information.
PrivateVPN - Highly Recommended
Living abroad and wanted VPN to access and protect my web browsing. Some websites I use to view television series are not accessible and this VPN allowed me to connect with a secure and stable connection. Interface is easy, highly recommend!