PrivadoVPN Review (Features, Speed, Servers, Price, Streaming)


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PrivadoVPN are a newer, Swiss based Premium VPN provider that have been around a few years now, but what is their service actually like, and is it worth it?

I’ve been trying it out recently and I really like some things about it, but it also isn’t perfect and won’t be suited for everyone.

Here’s a bottom line answer:

PrivadoVPN offer a good VPN service at a reasonable price a decent selection of servers in 46 countries, along with a clean, simple user interface. They also offer an excellent free version to try their product out, and a strict zero logs policy. However, their VPN does not support access to streaming services.

Therefore for privacy and simplicity focused VPN users, PrivadoVPN can be an excellent option. However, for streaming focused users, it’s not suitable, as it will likely NOT allow access to geo-restricted services like Netflix. For value and cost focused users, it’s pretty much middle of the road – there’s cheaper VPNs and more expensive ones as well.

Let’s take a complete look at PrivadoVPN – cost, benefits, drawbacks, servers, speeds and comparisons to other VPNs – to give you a complete overview of the service.

How Much Does PrivadoVPN Cost?

We’ll cut right to the chase here, as this is what many readers want to know right up front.

PrivadoVPN’s subscriptions reasonable and mid range when compared to other Premium VPNs. There are more expensive services for sure, but also less expensive ones. However, $5 per month for a 12 month subscription is very fair, and they also have an excellent free version you can try before purchasing a paid plan.

Here are their current pricing tiers for different length plans:

  • 1 Year – $4.99/month – $59.88 billed every 12 months
  • 1 Month – $7.99 billed every month.
  • Weak Wi-Fi Solutions Offer – Special discount on 1 year plan, for our readers only (limited time) – switch language to English.

Click here to check current pricing for PrivadoVPN.

Does PrivadoVPN Have a Free Version?

PrivadoVPN do offer a limited free version of their service, with servers in 8 countries and 12 locations, and a data cap of 10 GB per month. Only an email address is required to get the free version, and only 1 connection is permitted, but the speeds are just as fast as the Premium version.

Here are the locations of the free PrivadoVPN servers:

  • USA – New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles
  • UK – London
  • France – Paris
  • Germany – Frankfurt
  • Netherlands – Amsterdam
  • Switzerland – Zurich
  • Canada – Montreal
  • Mexico – Mexico City

Therefore you can see that the USA is particularly well covered on the free version, but Canada, Mexico, France, UK and Switzerland are also good locations you won’t often find on other free VPNs.

The 10 GB/month data allowance is also quite generous and can go quite a long way.

See our article on PrivadoVPN’s free version for more details.

A Summary Of The Features of PrivadoVPN

Here’s a quick summary of some of the good things offered by PrivadoVPN’s Premium VPN:

Competitive Pricing – Their standard 12 month plan starts from $5/month for 12 months – reasonable in the VPN market. Also offer a 30 day money back guarantee, plus a free version as covered above, that you can try out.

Apps For All Major Devices – Applications for Windows, Android, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Can cover all major devices in the home.

Simple, Compact Interface – In many ways my favorite feature of PrivadoVPN. The interface is just a simple, small, clean box that loads up on device startup, so it’s ready to go. Just click on the key/keyhole icon to connect to the nearest server, and you’re good to go on a VPN connection. It’s simple and easy to use, and the server selection menu is also straightforward. It just looks good and works well – it’s my favorite interface of all the Premium VPNs I’ve tried.

10 Simultaneous Connections – Premium accounts allow up to 10 simultaneous devices/connections at once – a very good allowance compared to some other VPNs that only allow 5. Great for covering a small to medium sized household.

Strict Zero Log Policy – Based in Switzerland with strict consumer privacy laws, and operate a strict no log policy, whereby no personal data is collected or stored.

Kill Switch –  Good feature that kills all internet connections if the VPN connection is disabled or broken, for greater privacy and security. Be aware though, their Kill Switch is more literal and comprehensive than on some other VPNs – if it’s enabled, it literally blocks all internet access on all browsers if the VPN connection is disabled, even if disabled deliberately by you. In other words, you must use PrivadoVPN to access the internet on your device at all if you leave the Kill Switch enabled. You can easily disable it from the interface though if you need to.

SOCKS5 Proxy – Nice feature which allows you to connect to a server in a different country, to download files anonymously, while still keeping high speeds. A nice middle-way between a VPN and an open connection, which keeps you anonymous but also maintains good speeds. Great for file downloading and sharing.

IP Leak Protection – Standard feature now, but all connections are fully secured against DNS or IP leaks, or other things which can compromise privacy. All connections are fully secure and private when using PrivadoVPN.

Split Tunneling – Nice feature whereby you can split your connections into VPN protected and non VPN protected, in case you’d rather have some connections unprotected for better speeds.

24/7 Customer Support – Standard for most VPNs now – can get support by email or live chat all day, every day.

Where Does PrivadoVPN Have Servers?

PrivadoVPN currently offers 300+ servers in 58 server locations in 46 countries.

Here is a complete breakdown by region:

  • USA – New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, St Louis, Dallas, Denver, Portland, Seattle.
  • UK – London and Manchester
  • Canada – Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto
  • Australia – Sydney
  • New Zealand – Auckland
  • All major European countries (east and west) – Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, Latvia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Romania, Greece, Ukraine, Slovakia, Slovenia.
  • Scandinavia – Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland.
  • South Africa
  • India
  • Middle East/Asia – Turkey, Israel
  • Far East – Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan.
  • Central/South America/Caribbean – Argentina, Brazil, Mexico.

As with many VPNs, server coverage is excellent in America and Europe, but patchy elsewhere.

Here’s some notable countries where PrivadoVPN does NOT currently have servers:

  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • China
  • Iran
  • Pakistan
  • All African countries except South Africa.
  • South America – Paraguay, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Peru, Chile, Colombia etc.
  • Middle East – Jordan, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Oman, UAE
  • Far East – Philippines, Vietnam

Therefore PrivadoVPN’s server coverage is decent, but not the best available is the VPN market.

Click here to check current pricing for PrivadoVPN.

Testing PrivadoVPN Server Speeds

Let’s have a quick look at how the speed of PrivadoVPN servers holds up when we test different locations around the world. For reader’s information, I’m based in the UK.

No VPN – Here’s the speed I got without using PrivadoVPN at all (just an unmasked, normal connection):

UK Server – Still excellent speeds when testing the nearest PrivadoVPN UK server – only losing about 15% download speed, and virtually no upload speed loss.

Europe Server (Germany) – Moving a bit further east in mainland Europe, using the Berlin server did result in about a 50% speed loss versus no VPN, but still a very usable connection.

USA East (New York) Server – Testing the nearest American server from the UK again did result in significant speed loss, but the connection was still good enough to stream YouTube for example.

USA West (Los Angeles) Server – Testing a west coast server only delivered slightly less speed than the New York server, but ping starting to creep up a lot more now:

Asia (India) Server – Moving further eastwards instead, I was starting to lose significant speeds also testing the Mumbai, India server from the UK. Speeds were still usable though:

Bottom Line – PrivadoVPN provides excellent speeds when using nearby servers, with only a small speed loss, and still usable speeds even when using far away servers, enough for watching YouTube videos for example. There are definitely VPNs that have less speed loss when using different servers, but also VPNs that deliver worse performance as well. PrivadoVPN seems in the middle of the range and should deliver at least usable performance pretty much regardless of the server used, as long as the connection is solid on your end.

The servers are also reliable from what I’ve seen so far using the service – whilst the servers can be slow to initially connect, I’ve not seen any drop outs in the connection so far.

Downsides To PrivadoVPN

Every VPN has some downsides, so here are some drawbacks to PrivadoVPN’s Premium offering:

Slow initial connection/disconnection time – Whilst the server speed is usually good once you are connected (even on the free version), I have found that the program does take a long time to establish the actual VPN connection initially, even to a nearby server. It can take 10-20 seconds to get the VPN connection fully up and running once you select a server location, versus other VPNs that can connect in a few seconds. Really only a minor problem though – you’re only usually waiting another 5-7 seconds versus other VPNs. Also, disconnecting from the servers can sometimes also be slow, and it can take a bit of time to resume normal, unprotected browsing.

Slow page load speeds – Using the service a bit more, I have also noticed that on some servers, standard web pages pages can be slow to load. Videos have always played fine, but sometimes other pages can be sluggish to load, and also sometimes display errors that require refreshing the page. Doesn’t happen often, but is a slight negative. I have used VPNs with faster page load speeds.

Server choice – It’s fair to say that PrivadoVPN is only in the low to mid end of the pack in terms of server choice, with only 58 locations in 46 countries offered currently. This puts it roughly in the range of AtlasVPN, Hide.me and TurboVPN – those more stripped down services that only offer servers in the major countries you commonly find on VPNs. More specialized countries are not usually offered by services like PrivadoVPN – for those you need something more expensive like ExpressVPN.

Not Streaming Supported – This is a big downside if you want to access blocked streaming services. PrivadoVPN have expressly stated that they do NOT offer this, and are instead focused on user privacy and security. Therefore, you’ll have to work on the assumption that PrivadoVPN will NOT work in unlocking geo-restricted streaming services like Netflix. On occasion, it might if you are persistent and try different servers, but you have to assume that in most cases, it won’t, since it’s not something PrivadoVPN are putting their focus on, whilst streaming services are now aggressively blocking VPN usage.

Here is their own statement on this:

“Our primary focus of the VPN service we provide is to keep your Internet activity private and un-monitored by your ISP. Many streaming content providers began a widespread blacklisting of VPN providers which has affected all of the most popular VPN providers, including us. All previous attempts we’ve made to allow the service to function again has been met with an immediate response from them by blocking us immediately after.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause”.

(Source).

Therefore, PrivadoVPN is more of privacy focused VPN than a streaming focused one. For users who specifically want access to streaming services, then it’s getting more and more difficult these days, but ExpressVPN is our recommended choice.

PrivadoVPN Compared To Other Premium VPNs

PrivadoVPN sits pretty much in the middle of the field in terms of pricing and server choice.

Here’s a comparison table with some other Premium VPN services:

ProviderPrice (12 months paid in advance)Number of countries offeredNumber of Servers OfferedMain Benefits
AtlasVPN$3.29/month34750Cheap price
TurboVPN$5/month4821,000Server choice
Hide.me$5/month46160+Free version available
ExpressVPN$8/month94160+Best country choice
ProtonVPN$4/8/month (Basic/Plus)631700+Reputable brand
Private Internet Access$3.33/month8410,000Great server & country choice.
VyprVPN$8/month64700+Review here
NordVPN$6/month605400+Reputable brand.

Therefore you can get VPN’s with more comprehensive server choice, but it’s worth considering whether you even need it. Do you need servers in obscure countries like Lichtenstein or Guatemala? If you don’t, and just need a server in one of the main Western countries (USA, UK, Europe etc), then a simpler, cheaper VPN like Privado will cover you fine.

For users who want to access streaming services, ExpressVPN is recommended.

Concluding Thoughts (Is PrivadoVPN Worth It?)

PrivadoVPN has many things going for it, but one of the best bonuses is their free version – you can try before you buy!

Therefore it’s absolutely worth trying out the free version of PrivadoVPN, to see if you like the general layout and look of the program, as well as the performance and server choice. Then, if you do, you can easily upgrade to a paid plan.

Some users just like the layout and menu setup of one particular VPN over the others, and that was certainly the case with me. I just like the way PrivadoVPN works, with it’s small unobtrusive popup menu and easy to use interface. It looks good and it works well, so it’s definitely a VPN I’ve enjoyed using.

However, everyone is different and if you’re wanting a wider or more specialized server choice in more countries, or perhaps a specific country PrivadoVPN doesn’t cover, then going for a provider with a more comprehensive server choice might be better, though you’ll sometimes be paying more.

Also, if you want to access streaming services, PrivadoVPN is NOT for you, since this is not something they optimize or focus on. Odds are, you won’t be able to do this using PrivadoVPN. We recommend going for ExpressVPN instead in this case.

Similarly, if cost is your main concern, then there are cheaper VPNs available as well, which also provide a similar level of server choice to PrivadoVPN. AtlasVPN and Private Internet Access are two alternatives that spring to mind, with the latter offering more locations for a cheaper price currently.

Realistically though, most VPN users really have dozens of viable choices that could all do a very good job for them, and PrivadoVPN is one more of these choices, with decent server choice and performance, and a nice clean interface.

If this sounds good to you, and it can provide a server location where you need it, PrivadoVPN is a great Premium VPN choice.

Click here to check current pricing for PrivadoVPN.

Oliver

Online gamer and general home networking enthusiast. I like to create articles to help people solve common home networking problems.

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