PrivateVPN Review

PrivateVPN Review

Our Verdict

Overall Rating: 9.1/10


Ranked #5 out of 65 VPNs

In the realm of virtual private networks, PrivateVPN emerges as a stellar performer, garnering an impressive 9.1/10 rating in our comprehensive assessments. Its standout feature lies in its unparalleled prowess for circumventing geo-restrictions, particularly excelling in unblocking content across 14 different Netflix regions, alongside seamless access to platforms like Hulu and BBC iPlayer. While its proficiency is evident, occasional server congestion concerns may slightly impact the high-definition streaming experience, urging users to consider this aspect for optimal performance.

PrivateVPN Review Category Ratings

Streaming 9.8/10
Privacy & Logging 9.3/10
Server Locations 8.5/10
Security & Features 9.1/10
Customer Support 8.3/10
Torrenting 9.1/10
Speed 9.1/10
Bypassing Censorship 9.6/10
Ease of Use 8.3/10
Price & Value 9.5/10
PrivateVPN Pros & Cons

Established in 2009, PrivateVPN boasts a longevity that surpasses many counterparts in the VPN landscape. Throughout its existence, the VPN has steered clear of any controversies, consistently establishing itself as a secure and dependable choice for users.

In 2022, the reins of PrivateVPN were handed over to Miss Group, a prominent Swedish internet services company. Initial apprehensions surrounding the acquisition quickly dissipated as PrivateVPN not only weathered the transition seamlessly but continued to uphold its stellar performance.

To provide a thorough evaluation for this PrivateVPN review, we subjected its software to our rigorous testing protocols. A concise overview of PrivateVPN’s key specifications is presented in the table below, offering readers a snapshot of its capabilities or the option to delve into a comparative analysis with alternative choices later in the review.

Who Should Get PrivateVPN?

Choose NordVPN if:

  • You aim to stream content from geo-blocked platforms. Leveraging its dedicated IP servers, PrivateVPN effortlessly unlocked content across 14 Netflix libraries and various other sought-after streaming platforms.

  • Budget constraints are a consideration. With the option to commit to a three-year plan upfront, PrivateVPN offers a cost-effective subscription, available for as low as $2.00 per month.

  • You are a VPN novice. If you prefer a straightforward experience without the need for advanced features, PrivateVPN stands out as one of the most user-friendly VPN applications, making it an ideal choice for those navigating VPNs for the first time.


Avoid NordVPN if:

  • Swift connection speeds are paramount. Owing to the absence of the WireGuard protocol and a limited server network, PrivateVPN exhibited notable slowdowns in internet speeds, particularly evident on extended-distance connections.
  • You seek a feature-rich VPN experience. PrivateVPN falls into the category of an exceedingly basic VPN, lacking various technical features such as an ad blocker or multi-hop servers.
  • You rely on a 100% free VPN. PrivateVPN no longer provides a seven-day free trial, necessitating a subscription for VPN usage.

PrivateVPN Key Data

Data Cap
Download Speed
Logging Policy
No Logs
Data Leaks
Sweden (14 Eyes Member)
IP Addresses
Countries with Servers
US Netflix
Simultaneous Connections
Works In China
Live Chat
Cheapest Price
$2.00/mo over 3 years
Money-Back Guarantee
30-day Money-Back Guarantee


Works with Netflix, Hulu & More

Rating 9.8/10

PrivateVPN excels as a top-tier streaming VPN, unlocking all tested services, including 14 Netflix regions, via dedicated IP servers. Although lacking a Smart DNS feature, its fully-featured app for Amazon Fire TV enhances the streaming experience.

Ranked #2 out of 65 VPNs for Streaming

Below is a list highlighting some popular streaming services seamlessly compatible with PrivateVPN:

Streaming platforms
Works with PrivateVPN
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Channel 4
Hotstar India
Netflix US

PrivateVPN recently eliminated dedicated streaming servers from its app, asserting that all servers now support streaming. However, our testing contradicted this claim, as PrivateVPN occasionally struggled to unblock specific services through its main server list. In such cases, resorting to the exclusive IP addresses provided by dedicated servers became necessary, ensuring reliable streaming success, albeit with limitations on their availability across locations.

A notable drawback in PrivateVPN’s streaming compatibility is its subpar support for TV-connected devices. While an app exists for Fire TV and Android TV, the absence of a Smart DNS feature for Apple TV and gaming consoles, coupled with the lack of a router app for Roku and Chromecast devices, hinders its broader device compatibility.

PrivateVPN: Stream US Netflix & Beyond

Upon testing all of PrivateVPN’s servers with Netflix, our findings revealed that 22% of these servers successfully functioned with the streaming service. Impressively, this translates to PrivateVPN successfully unblocking content across 14 Netflix libraries. Among the 65 VPNs scrutinized in our tests, only Windscribe outperformed PrivateVPN in terms of streaming a higher number of Netflix regions.

Here are all the Netflix libraries that PrivateVPN can access:

  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • South Africa
  • Thailand
  • UK
  • US
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Ireland

The streaming experience exhibited notable discrepancies across regions. Connecting to Japan and Ireland resulted in constant buffering and limited display to SD quality. Contrastingly, video quality in regions like the US and Canada was notably more impressive.

For accessing US Netflix, connecting to the New York location from the dedicated IP server list is essential, as the US servers tested from the main server list proved ineffective.

At least one PrivateVPN server could stream US Netflix in our tests.

Unblocks US Streaming Platforms

PrivateVPN extends its capabilities beyond Netflix to effortlessly access all major US-based streaming sites. Users experienced seamless bypassing of geo-blocks on platforms such as HBO Max, Hulu, YouTube TV, and Prime Video.

In contrast to the Netflix scenario, all of PrivateVPN’s US servers proved effective with these content platforms, ensuring nearly instantaneous video loading and high-definition display.

PrivateVPN streamed HBO Max on all of its US servers.

Works Well with BBC iPlayer

Despite the limited presence of only two server locations in the UK, PrivateVPN has consistently demonstrated efficacy with BBC iPlayer throughout years of testing. Whether accessing live or on-demand content, the loading process is virtually instantaneous, delivering streams in the highest resolution available.

In comparison to several other leading VPNs, including ExpressVPN and HMA, which occasionally encounter challenges in unblocking BBC iPlayer, PrivateVPN’s performance stands out as excellent, particularly considering its affordability.

Both of PrivateVPN’s UK servers work with BBC iPlayer.

In addition, we connected to PrivateVPN’s UK servers to stream Sky GoITVX, and Now.

Hides Kodi Activity from Your ISP

PrivateVPN’s exceptional streaming performance positions it as an outstanding option for utilizing Kodi and Stremio. Leveraging its app on Fire TV, we successfully streamed content from platforms such as Crackle and Pluto TV. Throughout these sessions, our connection remained stable, and all online activities were effectively concealed from our Internet Service Provider (ISP).

PrivateVPN works well with all Kodi add-ons.


PrivateVPN: Exceptional for Torrenting

Rating 9.1/10

PrivateVPN stands out as an excellent choice for private torrenting, offering support for P2P traffic and port forwarding across all its servers. The VPN’s robust security measures, including AES-256 encryption, private DNS servers, and a strict no-logging policy, collectively ensure that your torrenting activities remain confidential and untraceable.

Ranked #6 out of 65 VPNs for Torrenting

Here’s a brief summary highlighting PrivateVPN’s performance in our torrenting tests:

Torrenting Attribute
Average Download Bitrate
No. of P2P Servers
Logging Policy
No Logs
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding

Our testing with various torrent clients revealed that PrivateVPN consistently facilitated uninterrupted torrent file downloads. Users can expect a seamless experience when downloading large files such as movies, music, and software without encountering any disruptions.

Our testing with various torrent clients revealed that PrivateVPN consistently facilitated uninterrupted torrent file downloads. Users can expect a seamless experience when downloading large files such as movies, music, and software without encountering any disruptions.

While torrenting is permitted on all PrivateVPN servers, we strongly recommend connecting to a location from the ‘Dedicated IP’ server list. These servers, exclusively owned and controlled by PrivateVPN (unlike others rented from third parties), offer an added layer of control and security crucial for maintaining the privacy of torrenting activities.

Moreover, these dedicated servers automatically enable port forwarding without manual configuration. This feature enhances PrivateVPN’s speed in torrenting, surpassing many other VPNs in performance. For a comprehensive demonstration, refer to the comparison table below showcasing PrivateVPN’s download performance with a 20GB torrent file against other leading torrenting VPNs:

VPN Service
Download Bitrate
Time To Download 20GB
Torrent File
32 minutes
33 minutes
36 minutes
1 hour 21 minutes


PrivateVPN: Fast Locally, Slower Globally

Rating 9.1/10

PrivateVPN exhibits impressive speed when connected to a nearby server, with test results indicating a mere 5% drop in download speeds. This level of performance ensures that the VPN is sufficiently fast for activities such as streaming, gaming, and a variety of other online tasks. However, it’s important to note that PrivateVPN’s global speeds are less remarkable, and congestion on its servers can result in noticeable slowdowns.

Ranked #24 out of 65 VPNs for Speed

To uphold fairness and impartiality in our speed testing, we conducted measurements of our internet speeds both before and after connecting to PrivateVPN servers across the globe. This rigorous testing process spanned several days, and the average figures derived from each session were used for a comprehensive and unbiased evaluation.

PrivateVPN is fast on nearby servers.

Here are the results we recorded when connecting to PrivateVPN servers in various locations:

No VPN (New York) US (New York) Canada (Toronto) US (Los Angeles) UK (London) Germany (Berlin) Brazil (São Paulo) Japan (Tokyo) South Africa (Johannesburg) Australia (Sydney)
Server Location
Download Speed
Upload Speed

PrivateVPN showcases impressive short-distance speeds, registering at 95Mbps, a performance level on par with other premium VPNs that come with higher price tags.

However, significant speed reductions were observed when connecting to distant servers, with a 39% drop in download speed when connected to South Africa and a 24% reduction when connecting to Australia.

To mitigate server congestion, the listed competitors maintain 10Gbps servers in more locations and boast larger server networks compared to PrivateVPN. Addressing these concerns in a future update would enhance PrivateVPN’s overall performance.

Price & Value

Great Value: privatevpn price Long-Term Plans

Rating 9.5/10

PrivateVPN delivers exceptional value for its relatively low price. Priced at $2.00 per month, it stands as a more economical option compared to any of its competitors. Additionally, users can take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee period, further enhancing the value proposition.

Ranked #2 out of 65 VPNs for Price & Value

Here are PrivateVPN’s different pricing plans:


9.90 USD billed every month

3 Months
Save 50%
Billed $17.99 every 3 months
Save 50%
3 Years
Save 85%
Billed $72.00 the first 3 years, annually thereafter
Save 85%

PrivateVPN stands out as an excellent VPN choice for budget-conscious users, thanks to its impressive prices on long-term plans. However, the cost of a single month at $11.99 may be considered expensive when compared to other budget-friendly VPNs.

To cater to a broader range of users, it would be beneficial for PrivateVPN to introduce an annual subscription option, providing an alternative for those who prefer not to commit to a three-year upfront payment.

PrivateVPN Free Trial

Regrettably, PrivateVPN has discontinued its free trial feature, despite still advertising it. Attempts to sign up for the trial redirected us to the premium subscription page. The removal of the free trial, previously a standout feature lasting seven days without requiring payment details, has noticeably diminished the appeal of PrivateVPN.

Upon inquiry, the reason cited for its unavailability is “due to the amount of abuse.” To address this issue, we recommend the adoption of a freemium model, akin to Windscribe and Proton VPN. Currently, users looking for a trial experience will need to rely on PrivateVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee.

Payment & Refund Options

PrivateVPN accepts the following payment methods:

Privacy & Logging Policy

Doesn’t Store Any User Information

Rating 9.3/10

PrivateVPN stands as a verified no-logs VPN service, with a track record of never supplying user data to third parties. It adheres to a stringent no-logging policy, ensuring user privacy and data security. Despite its base in Sweden, which falls under the 14 Eyes jurisdiction, the robust implementation of its private logging policy serves as a countermeasure, mitigating concerns associated with the jurisdiction.

Ranked #5 out of 65 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

Here’s a summary of all the data that PrivateVPN logs:

Data Type
Logged by PrivateVPN
Account Information
Browsing Activity
Date of Last Connection
Device Information
DNS Queries
Individual Bandwidth Usage
Individual Connection Timestamps
Number of Simultaneous Connections
Originating IP Address
VPN Server IP
VPN Server Location

PrivateVPN, headquartered in Sweden, a jurisdiction that often raises concerns for user privacy, distinguishes itself through a robust no-logs policy. This commitment ensures that even under the pressure of compliance with the Swedish government, PrivateVPN is unable to furnish any user information.

The only piece of information retained by PrivateVPN is the user’s email address, solely utilized for logging into the service. PrivateVPN assured us that this data is not linked to user activity. Such a high level of privacy, typically associated with more expensive services, is a noteworthy feature.

However, one notable drawback is the absence of diskless VPN servers. These servers, devoid of storage devices, eliminate the possibility of logging data entirely. The addition of diskless VPN servers would be a valuable enhancement, and it’s a feature we hope to see implemented by PrivateVPN in the future.

PrivateVPN's Logging Policy Verified in Real-World Tests

PrivateVPN distinguishes itself among VPN services by having its no-logs privacy policy verified in real-world scenarios. Despite being approached by law enforcement on multiple occasions, PrivateVPN has consistently been unable to provide user data, as affirmed by documented evidence.

While we do not endorse any illicit activities conducted using a VPN, these real-world cases serve as a reliable and practical test for evaluating a VPN’s logging practices. PrivateVPN’s consistent adherence to its no-logs policy in such instances underscores its commitment to user privacy and security.

Data Gathering Not Disclosed for Free Trial Users

Our investigation revealed that PrivateVPN had previously logged the IP addresses of users signing up for its free trial. PrivateVPN clarified that these IP addresses were securely stored in a “dummy database” and were not linked to any other data. However, the concern arose from the lack of disclosure regarding this logging practice.

Upon bringing this matter to PrivateVPN’s attention, the VPN promptly addressed the issue. It has since ceased tracking the IP addresses of new free trial sign-ups, demonstrating a responsive approach to user concerns and a commitment to refining its privacy practices.

Server Locations

Servers in 62 Countries

Rating 8.5/10

PrivateVPN offers an expansive choice of 62 global IP addresses, outperforming competitors in its price range. However, with just 200 servers, it’s important to consider the network’s size for those seeking a widely-used VPN service.

Ranked #19 out of 65 VPNs for Server Locations






IP Addresses

PrivateVPN’s servers are spread out as follows:

Number of Countries
South America
North America

Explore Prime Server Locations with PrivateVPN: US, UK, Australia, Japan, Germany, Canada, and More!

Benefit from the convenience of city-level server options in popular locations, ensuring you connect to the nearest server in a specific country. PrivateVPN stands out by extending its server presence to six South American countries, a notable advantage over other VPN services that often limit offerings to Brazil alone.

Some Servers Are Virtually Located

Distinguishing itself from competitors, PrivateVPN boasts a broader server coverage by incorporating virtual server locations. A notable 13% of its servers fall into this category, indicating that they are physically situated in a country different from the IP address they furnish. Uncover the versatility of PrivateVPN as we found instances like the Japan server being housed in a Canadian data center, showcasing the innovative approach to expanding its network.

PrivateVPN’s Japan server is located in Canada.

Ensuring an optimal internet experience requires awareness of server locations when connecting virtually. If you believe you’re linking up with a nearby server, the reality of it being positioned continents away can impede your internet speed. To enhance transparency, the PrivateVPN app should distinctly distinguish between virtual and physically situated server locations. Esteemed VPN providers like CyberGhost are exemplary in their forthrightness regarding this crucial information.

Security & Technical Features

Is PrivateVPN Safe?

Rating 9.1/10

While PrivateVPN boasts commendable security with AES-256 encryption and a reliable kill switch, it falls short in comparison to leading VPNs in terms of advanced features. Notable omissions include WireGuard support, diskless servers, and multi-hop functionality. Despite these limitations, PrivateVPN ensures ample security for routine web activities.

Ranked #12 out of 65 VPNs for Security & Technical Features

Use the table below to see if PrivateVPN includes the VPN protocols, encryption ciphers, and technical features you want to use:

Available in PrivateVPN
Available in PrivateVPN
Available in PrivateVPN
DNS Leak Blocking
First-party DNS
IPv6 Leak Blocking
Supports TCP Port 443
VPN Kill Switch
WebRTC Leak Blocking
Advanced Features
Available in PrivateVPN
Ad Blocker
Dedicated IP
Double VPN
Smart DNS
Split Tunneling
Static IP
Tor over VPN Server
Tracker Blocker

No Option to Connect Using WireGuard

Distinguishing itself in our top 10 VPN services, PrivateVPN stands out as the sole contender that abstains from utilizing WireGuard or a proprietary VPN protocol. Acknowledged for its secure open-source nature and superior speed capabilities, WireGuard remains absent from PrivateVPN’s repertoire. The reliance on OpenVPN, an older and comparatively slower VPN protocol, is noteworthy. Given that many premium VPN services have transitioned away from OpenVPN as their default choice, it would be advantageous for PrivateVPN to consider incorporating WireGuard as an additional option.

OpenVPN is the only secure protocol that PrivateVPN offers.

Robust Encryption Safeguards Online Traffic

Ensuring absolute privacy and anonymity, PrivateVPN asserts the implementation of the most robust encryption methods, notably the AES-256 cipher and a 2048-bit RSA handshake, as detailed on their website. To substantiate this assertion, a meticulous analysis of the VPN connection logs was conducted. The findings affirm the resilience of PrivateVPN’s encryption and security measures, underscoring their commitment to providing a robust and secure online experience.

The VPN employs a robust encryption framework, comprising the following components:

  • OpenVPN connections are initiated through an RSA-2048 handshake.
  • Perfect Forward Secrecy is ensured via an ECDH key exchange.
  • Authentication is fortified through the utilization of an SHA-384 hash.
  • Data traffic is safeguarded through secure encryption employing the AES-256 cipher.

In short, these protocols work together to ensure your data is kept safe, secure, and private.

PrivateVPN securely encrypts all network traffic.

Exclusive IP Servers Ward Off Unauthorized Intrusions

PrivateVPN distinguishes itself by offering a unique feature across all its applications – a dedicated tab facilitating connections to ‘Dedicated IP’ servers. Remarkably, unlike many other VPN providers, this feature is seamlessly integrated into every subscription without incurring extra costs.

Upon connecting to these servers, your IP address remains exclusive to you, eliminating any sharing with other users. This exclusivity proves advantageous for bypassing streaming geo-blocks. Additionally, the IP addresses remain dynamic, ensuring a different IP each time you reconnect.

A noteworthy aspect is that PrivateVPN owns all these servers, devoid of any third-party rentals. This ownership enhances privacy and security by eliminating additional intermediaries responsible for handling your data. The strategic ownership of these servers underscores PrivateVPN’s commitment to providing a secure and private online environment for its users.

PrivateVPN’s dedicated IP servers are more secure than its other servers.

While PrivateVPN’s dedicated IP servers stand out as a key strength, offering enhanced security and reliable streaming, there’s room for improvement in their promotion and user education. Currently, the VPN does not actively highlight these servers or provide guides to educate users on their optimal utilization. It would be beneficial for PrivateVPN to emphasize and provide more information about these dedicated IP servers in the future, ensuring users are well-informed and can maximize the advantages they bring to both security and streaming experiences.

Kill Switch Prevents IP Leaks

PrivateVPN incorporates a kill switch feature for both Windows and macOS, although it is not enabled by default. Users are advised to activate it within the ‘Connection Guard’ tab found in the settings menu.

In our testing, PrivateVPN’s kill switch demonstrated effectiveness, successfully preventing IP address leaks during manual VPN disconnections. However, it was observed that the app leaked our IP address when switching servers, without providing an accompanying error message to alert users.

Upon notifying PrivateVPN of this vulnerability, a representative assured prompt action, assigning a dedicated developer to address the leak urgently. While the issue persists at the time of writing, it’s noteworthy that PrivateVPN has exhibited a proactive commitment to resolving the concern.

PrivateVPN’s kill switch doesn’t work correctly when you connect to a new server location.

Leaks IPv6 Addresses on Linux

Our investigation uncovered a potential privacy concern with PrivateVPN on Linux, where IPv6 addresses are susceptible to leakage. Notably, while the standard VPN applications include IPv6 leak protection, this safeguard is absent from the Linux software.

This presents a significant privacy issue that warrants immediate attention and resolution. As a precautionary measure until the matter is addressed, users are advised to disable IPv6 from their Linux system settings. Addressing this vulnerability promptly is crucial to ensuring the comprehensive privacy and security of PrivateVPN users on the Linux platform.

Desirable Technical Attributes on Our Wishlist

PrivateVPN falls short on the technical features expected from a premium VPN service. Here are key enhancements that should be incorporated in a future update:

  • Diskless VPN Servers: Implementing diskless servers ensures that no activity logs can be stored on any VPN server, enhancing user privacy.

  • Split Tunneling: Introduce split tunneling capabilities to enable users to selectively exclude certain apps, such as smart home controls, from the VPN tunnel for a more tailored experience.

  • Multi-Hop Servers: Enhance anonymity and fortify against traffic correlation attacks by integrating multi-hop servers into the VPN infrastructure.

  • Tracker Blocker: Incorporate a tracker blocker feature to counter cross-site tracking, bolstering overall web privacy for users.

  • WireGuard Support: To optimize connection speeds, add support for WireGuard, as previously discussed in this review, providing users with the fastest and most efficient VPN experience.

Leading VPN providers like NordVPN and Surfshark already offer these comprehensive features. To compete effectively, PrivateVPN must expedite the integration of these functionalities into its applications. Stay ahead in the competitive landscape by prioritizing these updates promptly.

Bypassing Web Censorship

Does PrivateVPN Work in China?

Rating 9.6/10

PrivateVPN successfully overcomes Chinese internet restrictions using its Stealth VPN protocol. We were able to bypass the Great Firewall, unblocking websites like Netflix, YouTube, and WhatsApp. This highlights PrivateVPN’s effectiveness in providing access to restricted content in regions with strict online censorship.

Ranked #2 out of 65 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

PrivateVPN stands out as a highly reliable VPN for use in China, boasting an impressive success rate of approximately 82%. In comparison, leading VPNs such as NordVPN and Surfshark exhibit significantly lower uptime percentages, with only 5% and 18% effectiveness in navigating Chinese restrictions, respectively. This underscores PrivateVPN’s exceptional performance and dependability, making it a preferred choice for users seeking consistent and effective VPN access in China.

PrivateVPN works reliably in China.

Camouflaging Traffic with the Shadowsocks Proxy

To overcome web censorship using PrivateVPN, activating Stealth VPN in the app’s settings is necessary.

While Stealth VPN is promoted as a distinctive PrivateVPN protocol, it operates by directing traffic through the open-source Shadowsocks proxy. It’s important to note that Shadowsocks is not exclusive to PrivateVPN and is utilized by various other VPN services. However, it is not as secure as custom VPN obfuscation tools.

In contrast, some VPN services, such as Astrill, employ proprietary technology designed specifically for bypassing censorship. Unlike relying on proxies, these proprietary technologies provide a safer alternative, especially for consistent connections from within China.

EXPERT TIP: Prioritize downloading and installing the PrivateVPN app before entering China. Access to PrivateVPN’s website is restricted by the Great Firewall, preventing installations within the country. Ensure you have the app ready in advance to guarantee seamless connectivity upon arrival.

Device & OS Compatibility

Device-Compatible Apps, No Browser Extensions or Smart DNS

PrivateVPN offers native applications for all major platforms and devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. It’s important to note, however, that the service does not provide browser extensions or a Smart DNS tool at this time. Users can enjoy dedicated applications on their preferred devices while considering the absence of these specific features.

Supported on:

PrivateVPN is available to download and install on the following devices:

Six Simultaneous Connections

With PrivateVPN, users can simultaneously connect up to six devices to a VPN server, slightly surpassing the average limit. This allocation is generally more than sufficient for individual use, unless you are sharing an account with family or friends, in which case you may need to consider additional device slots.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

PrivateVPN can be used on the following devices by installing it on a router:

In contrast to several other VPN providers, PrivateVPN does not provide pre-installed routers for purchase. Instead, users are required to manually set up the VPN on their routers.

Notably, despite being positioned as a streaming-focused VPN, PrivateVPN lacks a Smart DNS feature. Consequently, to unblock streaming sites on devices such as a PS5 or Apple TV, users must install PrivateVPN on their routers. This adds an extra step for users seeking seamless streaming access on specific devices.

Ease of Use

Functional Apps with a Basic Interface

Rating 8.3/10

PrivateVPN’s applications boast user-friendly and well-designed interfaces. The consistency in design across various platforms ensures a seamless experience across all your devices. However, it’s worth noting that users may find it somewhat challenging to modify protocols and adjust other VPN settings, expressing a desire for a simpler process in these aspects.

Ranked #20 out of 65 VPNs for Ease of Use

To initiate the installation and utilization of PrivateVPN, visit its website and click on “Get PrivateVPN.” Select your preferred subscription plan and proceed to download the app. The entire process is straightforward and typically takes less than 10 minutes.

It’s important to note that PrivateVPN has not refreshed its app design in quite some time, resulting in an interface that may feel slightly dated when compared to other leading VPNs.

For a more in-depth understanding of our experience using PrivateVPN across various operating systems, please see the details provided below.

Desktop & Laptop (Windows & Mac)

Exclusive to its desktop applications, PrivateVPN provides users with the option to choose between a ‘simple view’ and an ‘advanced view.’

In the app’s advanced view, users have the flexibility to manually configure a range of settings. This includes adjusting the level of encryption and activating advanced features, catering to those who prefer a tailored service.

Conversely, the simple view is designed for VPN novices seeking a quick and straightforward method to connect to the VPN and change server locations. However, it’s worth noting that certain simpler settings, such as altering the VPN protocol, cannot be adjusted from this simplified view.

PrivateVPN’s apps for Windows and macOS.

Regrettably, unlike the majority of VPN apps, PrivateVPN lacks the capability to automatically select the fastest server based on your location, necessitating manual selection.

On Windows, choosing a server is facilitated by the app’s display and color-coded ping information. Connecting to the server with the lowest ping ensures faster speeds. However, the experience differs on Mac, where the server list appears blank, providing no indication of the distance between you and the servers.

Notably, the server list window appears unnecessarily large on both platforms, lacking the option to resize it for user convenience. Additionally, the server list opens in a separate window, obstructing the main app’s home screen. This design choice can be confusing, as users may not immediately realize they need to close the window to return to the main app—a departure from the interface design of many other VPNs.

Furthermore, PrivateVPN lacks the functionality of being usable from the menu bar on Mac and the taskbar on Windows. Unlike other VPNs that allow quick server location changes from these locations, PrivateVPN does not offer this convenience.

Mobile (Android & iOS)

PrivateVPN’s iOS and Android applications are straightforward and user-friendly. The home screen prominently features a large on/off button, allowing users to easily connect or disconnect from the VPN.

However, it’s worth noting that PrivateVPN’s mobile apps lack additional features optimized for mobile usage. There is no inclusion of a dark mode interface, and integration with the Shortcuts app on iOS is absent. Additionally, the absence of widgets for both iOS and Android is a notable drawback. PrivateVPN’s mobile applications provide a basic yet effective VPN experience without incorporating specific mobile-oriented enhancements.

PrivateVPN’s apps for Android and iOS.

Similar to the desktop version, the primary contrast between PrivateVPN’s mobile apps lies in the Android version’s addition of server ping.

Unlike the desktop counterparts, the mobile apps lack a distinction between ‘simple’ and ‘advanced’ views. To adjust the VPN settings, users can tap on VPN Settings. It’s advisable to enable the kill switch promptly, as it is not activated by default.

In summary, PrivateVPN’s mobile apps are notably basic compared to those of other leading VPN services. Without dedicated development efforts to integrate more seamlessly with the devices they are designed for, the VPN may fall behind its competitors in terms of features and functionality.

Amazon Firestick & Fire TV

PrivateVPN offers a straightforward and user-friendly app for the Amazon Fire TV Stick. It allows for quick server connections, enabling users to unblock content seamlessly on their TV.

The process of changing the server location is also uncomplicated, although there is room for improvement. It would be beneficial to have the option to search for a specific location instead of scrolling through the entire list of countries.

One drawback of the app’s interface is the lack of optimization for Fire TV. Since it’s essentially a scaled-up version of the Android app, originally designed for touch input, it can be challenging to discern which setting is being controlled at any given time. The only indicator is a faint green-colored border that appears around the focused button. This aspect could be enhanced to provide a more intuitive and user-friendly experience on the Fire TV platform.

PrivateVPN’s app for Amazon Fire TV.

To address the usability issues on Fire TV Stick, it is recommended that PrivateVPN develops a custom app specifically tailored for this platform. A custom app designed for Fire TV, as seen with other VPNs like CyberGhost and Atlas VPN, would take into account the larger screens and provide a more user-friendly experience. This approach ensures optimized functionality and navigation, enhancing the overall usability of the VPN service on Fire TV Stick.

PrivateVPN App on Linux

Connecting to a PrivateVPN server on Linux is indeed possible but presents significant challenges. PrivateVPN lacks both a Command Line Interface (CLI) and a Graphical User Interface (GUI) app specifically designed for Linux.

To establish a connection on Linux, users must rely on OpenVPN certificate and key files, involving a lengthy and technical process. Unfortunately, the difficulty is compounded by PrivateVPN’s outdated 12-step walkthrough. When using Ubuntu 22.04, we encountered issues where numerous instructions referred to labels and options that either no longer existed or had been renamed. Furthermore, if users wish to have the option of connecting to more than one server, they must repeat these 12 steps.

Improvements in the Linux setup process, along with an updated guide, would significantly enhance the user experience for those utilizing PrivateVPN on Linux systems.

PrivateVPN’s app for Linux.

Additionally, we found that the Linux app of PrivateVPN exposes your IPv6 address, details of which can be found in other sections of this review.

Ideally, it would be beneficial for PrivateVPN to invest time in implementing comprehensive Linux support. Even a Command Line Interface (CLI) app, similar to what ExpressVPN offers, would provide a more user-friendly experience. Comparable VPNs in terms of pricing, such as Surfshark, have successfully incorporated fully-featured Linux apps that are as intuitive as their Windows and Mac counterparts. Enhancing the Linux user experience would contribute to PrivateVPN’s overall accessibility and appeal to a broader range of users.

Customer Support

Inconsistent Customer Support Services

Rating 8.3/10

PrivateVPN’s customer support is not on par with other top VPNs. While the email support staff is generally well-informed, the live chat team is not always available, and the online guides are limited in scope. This can result in a less comprehensive support experience compared to leading VPN services.

Ranked #20 out of 65 VPNs for Customer Support

You can get help from PrivateVPN in the following ways:

Customer Support
Available in PrivateVPN
24/7 Email Support
24/7 Live Chat Support
Live Chat Support
Email Support via Online Form
Online Resources
Tutorial Videos

Despite claiming to be operational 24/7, PrivateVPN’s live chat is not consistently available. According to the company, a limited number of customer support agents can lead to temporary shutdowns of the live chat system when facing a large queue.

This falls below the standard expected from a top VPN service, where 24/7 customer support, or at least scheduled availability, is commonplace. Furthermore, the inconsistency in the quality of support agents adds to the concerns, with some being knowledgeable and prompt, while others are ill-informed and slow to respond. Overall, this highlights a notable inconsistency in the customer support experience provided by PrivateVPN.

PrivateVPN’s live chat is not available 24/7.

In instances where live chat is unavailable, inquiries are directed to PrivateVPN’s email support, which operates 24/7. During testing, we consistently received replies within an hour.

Notably, the email support team tends to be more knowledgeable than the live chat staff. Therefore, for more advanced queries, it is recommended to contact the email support team for a more thorough and informed assistance experience.

The Bottom Line

Is PrivateVPN Worth It?

At its affordable price point, PrivateVPN delivers excellent value, offering user-friendly apps for beginners, robust security measures, and an outstanding dedicated IP feature.

Notably suitable for streamers seeking an uncomplicated way to bypass geo-blocks, PrivateVPN successfully accesses platforms like US Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and BBC iPlayer. However, the absence of a Smart DNS feature limits its compatibility for streaming on devices such as Apple TV or gaming consoles.

Despite its positive attributes, we observed inconsistent speeds during our testing. The VPN’s limited server network and lack of server load information may lead to overcrowded servers, resulting in occasional buffering and lag.

In conclusion, PrivateVPN is a strong recommendation for users seeking a budget-friendly VPN that meets basic needs, especially for tasks like connecting to public WiFi networks. However, for those requiring a more feature-rich VPN with top speeds, Smart DNS, browser extensions, 24/7 live chat, and an extensive server network, alternative options may be more suitable.

Alternatives to PrivateVPN

If you’re open to paying upfront for an extended subscription, there are better VPN options available at a similar cost compared to PrivateVPN.

NordVPN, priced at $3.29 per month, stands out by offering nearly every technical feature that PrivateVPN lacks. It includes an excellent DNS-based ad and tracker blocker, multi-hop servers, and fast global speeds using WireGuard.

For those aiming to access an even broader range of streaming sites, Windscribe proves to be a superior alternative. Windscribe surpasses PrivateVPN by unblocking 32 Netflix libraries, as opposed to PrivateVPN’s 14. Additionally, it successfully streams less mainstream platforms like TOD and RTBF Auvio.

Comparison of the Best VPNs

Compare PrivateVPN with its alternatives in more detail in the table below:

ExpressVPN Review
NordVPN Review
PIA VPN Review
Surfshark Review
PrivateVPN Review
IPVanish Review
CyberGhost Review
atlasVPN Review
VyperVPN Review
PureVPN Review
Overall Rating
Download Speed
No. Netflix Regions
Not work
Not work
Logging Policy
No Identifying Data
No Identifying Data
No Logs
No Identifying Data
No Logs
No Logs
No Identifying Data
Some User Logs
Countries with
Cheapest Price
$6.67/mo over 15 months
$3.29/mo over 2 years
$2.03/mo over 26 months
$2.21/mo over 2 years
$2.00/mo over 3 years
$2.49/mo over 2 years
$2.03/mo over 2 years
$1.99/mo over 3 years
$5.00/mo over 12 months
$1.99/mo over 27 months
Free Trial
7 Days (Mobile Only)
7 Days (Android Only)
7 Days (Mobile Only)
7 Days (Mobile Only)
7 Days (Mobile Only)
1, 3 & 7 Days


3 Days (Mobile Only)

 7 days

Browser Extensions
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Chrome, Firefox
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Who's It Best for?
Worldwide streamers
Security-focused users
Bargain hunters
Android users looking
to spoof GPS data
Beginners on a budget
Fire TV & Kodi streamers
Users who need the same
anonymous IP address
perfect for beginners
fast and secure VPN that
covers the basics well
good for casual users looking
for a cheap service
PrivateVPN Review

Overall Rating: