Here at HideMyTraffic, we're always looking for emerging players in the VPN space. Today we gaze towards PrivadoVPN, a relatively new provider that's been making waves since its founding in 2019.
PrivadoVPN is based in the heart of Europe, Switzerland. It's committed to unblocking streaming services, facilitating torrenting, and, most importantly, offering unwavering dedication to solid security.
Note: This expert review covers the free version of PrivadoVPN. It is a freemium brand that offers an upgrade path toward paid subscriptions.
- Relatively fast performance
- Industry-standard security features
- Compact and lightweight apps
- Offers free and premium versions
- Access to SOCKS5 proxy servers
- Up to 10 simultaneous connections
- Strict no-logs policy
- Relatively small server network
- Free plan limited to 10GB/mo
- Cumbersome app login system
Introduction to PrivadoVPN
PrivadoVPN has been ticking all the right boxes for consumers. From its robust free version to a comprehensive premium offering, PrivadoVPN is making some headway in a crowded marketplace. However, can it survive and grow in such an environment? Let's find out.
PrivadoVPN Privacy and Anonymity
PrivadoVPN, as the name suggests, emphasizes privacy in its service offerings. Built upon the strong privacy laws of Switzerland, where the company is based, the VPN service has a wide array of privacy-oriented features, both in its free and premium versions.
Strict No-Logs Policy
One of the foremost privacy features of PrivadoVPN is its strict no-logs policy. This means the company does not store or track information about the user's online activities. The VPN provider also does not collect your IP address.
In the world of VPN services, a no-logs policy is critical in ensuring that your data cannot be sold or turned over to third parties, including government agencies. This commitment to user privacy is a significant positive aspect of PrivadoVPN.
Kill Switch and DNS Leak Protection
PrivadoVPN also includes a kill switch feature in its desktop applications. This safety mechanism automatically disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, preventing your data from being exposed.
The VPN service also offers protection against DNS leaks, ensuring that your online activity remains hidden even at the DNS request level.
However, the lack of a kill switch in the PrivadoVPN apps on iOS and Android is a slight concern. It can potentially expose your data if the VPN connection is interrupted on these platforms.
Anonymity and Payment Methods
To sign up for PrivadoVPN, users are only required to share an email address and payment details, which is less information than some other VPN providers ask for. This minimal information requirement is beneficial for privacy-conscious users.
However, it should be noted that specific payment methods, such as credit cards, can still leave a trace of the transaction.
PrivadoVPN aims to offer a secure surfing experience with various protective features. Let's delve into the specifics of what's available here.
Strong Encryption and Secure Protocols
PrivadoVPN uses AES 256-bit encryption, the same level of security used by many governments and institutions for classified information. This powerful encryption ensures that your data is securely transmitted and cannot be easily intercepted by third parties.
Multiple Secure Protocols
The VPN supports multiple secure protocols, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, and the relatively new WireGuard. Each of these protocols offers a good balance of speed and security, with IKEv2 being used by default.
You can change the protocol based on their preference in the “Settings” section of the app. WireGuard is recommended when speed is a priority, while OpenVPN is known for its robust security and broad compatibility.
SOCKS5 Proxy Support
PrivadoVPN also provides access to SOCKS5 proxy servers. A SOCKS5 proxy is a versatile server that can handle any internet traffic and is often used for P2P sharing and torrenting.
While a proxy server doesn't offer the same level of security as a VPN, it can provide an additional layer of anonymity when needed.
PrivadoVPN Speed Performance
|Country Server||Speed Test Results|
|US (New York)||406 Mbps / 240 Mbps (Down / Up)|
|EU (Germany)||412 Mbps / 20 Mbps (Down / Up)|
|Asia||No server available on the free plan|
|Australia||No server available on the free plan|
The speed we see in tests for PrivadoVPN is notably impressive. That's especially true since we are only assessing the free plan. With WireGuard, we achieved over 400Mbps download speeds across multiple servers (on a baseline speed of 500Mbps).
Lightweight and Speedy App
Special note must also be made of the PrivadoVPN app for Windows. It's exceptionally lightweight compared to many contemporaries. That's great if you plan on running the service from something like a budget laptop, for example.
However, it has this strange sign-in process. You're forced to verify your sign-in via their website. It may be more secure, but usability-wise, it does not help.
PrivadoVPN Customer Support
In any service-oriented industry, customer support is a critical aspect of the user experience. For VPN users, quick and effective support can be especially crucial, given the technical nature of the service.
PrivadoVPN provides a range of support channels to assist its users. A comprehensive Help Center is available on the company's website, offering a variety of guides and FAQs for both general and technical issues.
This can be a valuable resource for users who prefer troubleshooting issues themselves or want to learn more about the service. For more specific or complex queries, users can contact PrivadoVPN's support team via email.
However, it's worth noting that PrivadoVPN does not currently offer live chat support. This is a significant drawback, as live chat can provide instant responses to user inquiries, which is particularly beneficial in resolving urgent or time-sensitive issues1.
Response Time and Quality
While it's challenging to quantify the response time and quality of PrivadoVPN's customer support without personal experience, user reviews and feedback provide some insights. We've experienced good encounters but also occasional delays in responses.
This varied experience suggests that while PrivadoVPN's customer support can be effective, there might be inconsistencies in its performance2.
P2P and Torrenting on PrivadoVPN
One of the most commendable aspects of PrivadoVPN's free plan is its P2P support, a crucial feature for users interested in file sharing and torrenting. The VPN offers a secure connection via SOCKS5 proxy to facilitate P2P sharing.
This is a big plus, considering that not all VPN providers offer P2P support, especially on their free plans.
Furthermore, PrivadoVPN uses robust AES-256 encryption, the same level of security used by many government agencies and cybersecurity experts globally. This ensures that your P2P activities are not only allowed but also secure.
Media Streaming on PrivadoVPN
PrivadoVPN can access geographically restricted content on media streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. The ability to unlock this content is a significant advantage for users worldwide.
However, for those on the free plan, streaming media shouldn't be on the top of your “to-do” list since you only get 10GB of free bandwidth each month. A few short hours on Netflix will blow that figure out of the water, so use PrivadoVPN wisely.
Well, if you reduce the video quality, it will last a little longer, but I'd not recommend it for streaming in most cases. If you want to stream Netflix with PrivadoVPN, sign up for their 2-year subscription and binge-watch to your heart's content.
Plans and Pricing
PrivadoVPN offers its 2-year subscription at only $1.99/mo.
PrivadoVPN offers both a free and premium version. The free version of the service provides you with 10 GB of data per month and access to server locations in 11 countries.
The premium version offers unlimited data, up to 10 simultaneous connections, and access to server locations in 44 countries. The premium service is available for $1.99 per month if you sign up for their 2-year subscription plan.
Before you think that $1.99/mo is a fantastic deal, be warned that some premium VPN brands with much more extensive server networks are priced at or around that exact figure. CyberGhost, for example, only charges $2.11/mo for its 2-year subscription plan.
They also allow monthly subscriptions, but the price increases to an eye-watering $10.99/mo. However, this isn't anything new, and most VPN providers use this tactic to “encourage” you to sign on for more extended periods.
The paid plans offer an identical range of features, so it's mainly an issue of how much you're willing to cough up monthly for your PrivadoVPN subscription.
Final Thoughts: Is PrivadoVPN Worth Trying?
Very honestly, PrivadoVPN is pretty good when it comes to VPN services. It's managed to stay afloat for a few years and gained some credibility in an overcrowded industry. However, equally honestly, we have concerns.
Having been around for a while, Privado hasn't been able to grow the service significantly. Comparatively, Surfshark, for example, managed to quadruple its network size in roughly the same timeframe open to PrivadoVPN.
While we love supporting new brands that do a great job, we have to say that you'd likely be better off with a similarly-priced industry veteran like CyberGhost. You get a ton more features at almost the same price.
Still, if you're willing to experiment, give PrivadoVPN a go. They certainly do offer decent performance in a small package.
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