PrivateVPN Review

  • A 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Port forwarding is automatically enabled, ideal for torrent users
  • Supports HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies across all their servers.
  • Stealth VPN is the ace for bypassing geo-restrictions and VPN blocks
  • Customizable encryption levels give you control over security
  • Windows app is a breeze to use
  • Effective in bypassing China's restrictions
  • Over 200 servers across 63 countries
PrivateVPN Score

PrivateVPN is seriously underrated. Forget about chasing big names; this VPN punches well above its weight class. With a 7-day free trial, it's a low-risk option that gives you a taste of its solid capabilities.

Features That Make You Go "Wow!"

  • Torrent-Friendly: HTTP and SOCKS5 proxy options ensure you can torrent without a hitch.
  • Stream Without Limits: Geo-restrictions on Netflix or Hulu? Say goodbye to those.
  • User-Friendly App: No need to be a tech guru. Navigate the app with ease.
  • Rock-Solid Protection: High-end encryption methods keep you safe.
  • No Logs: Your online activities stay your business, not theirs.

Hot Deal Alert: PrivateVPN is currently offering an 85% discount. Don't snooze on this.

Detailed Ratings

Speed & Performance
Customer Support

Pros & Cons

Overview of advantages and disadvantages



Speed & Performance

Server Availability and Locations

PrivateVPN runs a relatively small operation with just over 200 servers across 63 countries. Specifically, here's how the servers are distributed:

  • Europe: 35 countries, 41 servers
  • Asia Pacific: 13 countries, 16 servers
  • Americas: 9 countries, 23 servers
  • Middle East and Africa: 5 countries, 5 servers

Although the geographical coverage is solid, the low number of servers can lead to overcrowding. This can significantly affect your online experience. It's a glaring issue, especially when most competitors boast far larger server counts. And let's remember that PrivateVPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections per user, which can exacerbate the congestion issue.

However, the silver lining here is the inclusion of unique server locations like Hong Kong and Cyprus, which you might not find with other VPN providers.

Does PrivateVPN Work in China?

Yes, PrivateVPN operates in China using its Stealth VPN mode. This feature utilizes the L2TP protocol combined with AES 256-bit encryption to bypass the Great Firewall. You can connect to nearby servers in countries like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and the Philippines for optimal speeds.

While you may experience some drop in streaming quality, it won't be significant enough to ruin your viewing pleasure. So, yes, you can stream content while in China.

Key Takeaways:

  • Effective in bypassing China's restrictions.
  • Streaming quality may be slightly compromised.

Speed and Performance

Speed Test Results

Baseline for Download/Upload: 1000 Mbit/s

  • US: Download at 144 Mbit/s (14% drop), Upload at 194 Mbit/s (19% drop)
  • UK: Download at 146 Mbit/s (14% drop), Upload at 374 Mbit/s (38% drop)
  • France: Download at 385 Mbit/s (41% drop), Upload at 639 Mbit/s (66% drop)
  • Singapore: Download at 238 Mbit/s (24% drop), Upload at 396 Mbit/s (41% drop)
  • Australia: Download at 269 Mbit/s (27% drop), Upload at 384 Mbit/s (41% drop)

PrivateVPN's speed isn't precisely industry-leading. One reason could be the absence of the WireGuard protocol, known for its high speed and robust security.

  • PPTP and L2TP are not recommended due to security concerns.

Customer Support

Contact Options:

  • 24/7 Live Chat: ✅
  • Email: ✅
  • Phone Line: ❌
  • Guides or Articles: ✅
  • FAQs: ✅

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Let's cut to the chase. I tried PrivateVPN's customer support, and it's a mixed bag.

Live Chat: It's there, but take your time. I waited 10 minutes, and nobody showed up to chat. That's like waiting for a bus that never comes.

Email Support: Now we're talking! I emailed them and got a detailed reply in just 3 minutes. That's faster than making a cup of coffee.

Knowledge Base: It's there, but it feels like a rough draft. For instance, they need to explain how their port forwarding works. You're left to your own devices to figure it out.

Guides for Setup: One shining star is their device setup guide. These are separate, detailed, and found in the 'Getting Started' section. So, if you're fumbling around trying to get the VPN running on your gadget, these guides are a lifesaver.

So, their email support could give Usain Bolt a run for his money, but the live chat and knowledge base need some TLC.


PrivateVPN may not be the Swiss Army knife of VPN features, but it has some nifty tools worth your attention. Whether it's about torrenting or just staying private online, here’s what you can expect:

Port Forwarding: Tailored for Torrenting

Port forwarding is a standout feature here. When you connect to PrivateVPN, you automatically get a random port number. Plug this number into your torrent client, and you're good to go. This feature is permanently on, so there are no toggles or settings to mess with. It can't be disabled, which may be a drawback for some.

Proxy Support: HTTP and SOCKS5

PrivateVPN supports HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies across all their servers. HTTP is your go-to for regular browser traffic, while SOCKS5 is more versatile and suitable for torrenting and other types of traffic.

Stealth VPN: Your Ticket to Restricted Content

Stealth VPN is a game-changer if you're dealing with geo-restrictions or heavy censorship. It masks your VPN traffic, making it look like regular web traffic. It benefits streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, as it prevents VPN detection. The downside? A possible dip in connection speed due to the added layer of encryption.

Encryption: AES-128 or AES-256, CBC or GCM

PrivateVPN lets you customize your encryption level, with options that include:

  • AES-256-CBC
  • AES-256-GCM
  • AES-128-CBC
  • AES-128-GCM

The numbers 128 and 256 refer to encryption key lengths. Higher numbers mean more possible combinations and, hence, better security. CBC vs GCM is a more nuanced choice. CBC is generally less secure as it depends on previous data blocks for encryption. GCM, on the other hand, randomizes data blocks, making it more secure.

Tunneling Protocols: Limited but Effective

You get limited tunneling protocols, including OpenVPN (TUN+UDP+1194) as the default. Also available are:

  • OpenVPN (TUN+TCP+443)
  • OpenVPN (TAP+UDP)
  • PPTP (Not recommended)
  • L2TP/IPSec

Stealth VPN can also be enabled as an extra layer.

Kill Switch: Mostly Reliable

The kill switch kicks in if your VPN connection drops, preventing data leaks. However, the app doesn't auto-switch to another server. You'll have to reconnect manually.

Logging: A Mixed Bag

PrivateVPN is based in Sweden, a 14-Eyes Alliance member with data retention laws. While they promise a no-logs policy, their location and some ambiguous terms in their privacy policy raise questions.

Audits: A Missing Piece

No third-party audits have been done on PrivateVPN. This could be a concern, given that the service operates from a 14-Eyes country.


Platform vs. Experience

  • Windows: The Cream of the Crop for PrivateVPN
  • macOS: Tailored for macOS, but Missing Some Bells and Whistles
  • Linux: CLI Only, No GUI Here
  • Mobile: Solid Android and iOS Apps, but Could Be Smoother
  • Browser: No Browser Extensions, Period.

PrivateVPN has excelled in crafting a user-friendly interface. While the look and feel can differ across operating systems, the core experience remains consistent. However, it's not all sunshine and rainbows; some hiccups could affect your overall experience. Let's dive right in.


The Windows app is a breeze to use. It bombards you with notifications for everything that happens—ensuring you're always aware of your connection status.

Key Features:

  • Customizable Main Screen: Toggle between a simplified view showing only connection status and country and an advanced view that lets you dig deep into settings like connection type and encryption.
  • Streaming Services Tab: Well, it's supposed to show servers, but it doesn't. Needs fixing.
  • Port Forwarding: Handy but finicky. It changes ports every time you connect, requiring you to tweak your router settings repeatedly. And you can't turn this feature off.


For macOS users, the app mostly mimics its Windows sibling but with rounded buttons to align with Apple's design philosophy. However, it's not a 1:1 copy; some features didn't make the cut.

Key Features:

  • No PPTP: This outdated protocol is gone, which is good for your security.
  • Missing Add-Ons: Lacks DNS leak protection and selective app kill switch.


No native Linux app here. PrivateVPN gives you a manual and sends you off to set up OpenVPN via the command line. It's not as sleek as what you get on Windows or macOS, but it's robust and secure.

Mobile Apps

The mobile apps are a mixed bag. While they echo the desktop versions' design principles, they're noticeably less smooth.

Key Features for Android and iOS:

  • Bare Minimum Interface: Just enough to complete the job.
  • Kill Switch on Android: A lifesaver if you use an older Android phone without native support. iOS users, you're out of luck here.
  • Stealth VPN and Port Switching: Limited customization options, but these are available.


PrivateVPN offers three subscription plans, and each comes with the same set of features. The only variable here is the time commitment. The longer you commit, the more you save—pretty standard in the VPN world.

Pricing Breakdown

  • 1-month plan: $9.90/month
  • 3-month plan: $6.00/month (Total: $18.00, Save 39% compared to the monthly rate)
  • 36-month plan: $2.00/month (Total: $72.00, or $59.99 a year, Save 80% compared to the monthly rate)

What You Get

  • 10 Simultaneous Connections: Connect up to 10 devices simultaneously.
  • 7-Day Free Trial: To claim, email their support at for a gift code. No credit card is required!
  • 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee: Not feeling it? Get your money back, no questions asked.

Payment Options

  • Credit Cards
  • PayPal
  • Cryptocurrencies

⚠️ Note: Opting for PayPal? Watch out for a 5% handling fee. For example, if you go for the 36-month plan, that's an extra $3.60.