There are two major revelations regarding the misuse of our online personal data during the last ten years, Edward Snowden's reports and the Cambridge Analytica's scandal. Both of those international cases pointed towards the grim reality that corporations and government alike would do anything in their power to use our personal information, without our consent, in the name of profit and national interest.
When those two pieces of information spread to the general public, people begin to look for solutions to protect their online privacy. One of the solutions is to actively use a VPN service whenever we use the internet, not only for our anonymity but also to add a strong layer of protection and security.
As the VPN market increasingly growing each year, so does the features that each company offers to attract new customers. Those improvements not only come in the form of new features but also a more user-friendly interface and affordable pricing plans.
In this article, we are going to thoroughly look at one such company called PrivateVPN, and hopefully, by the end of this article, you'll be able to decide whether or not to use their services.
PrivateVPN is a Swedish-based company that does its business under the umbrella of a parent company called Privat Kommunikation Sverige AB. This company has been in the Virtual Private Network (VPN) services since 2009 and has steadily increased its features and its user base ever since.
There's not much information available online regarding Privat Kommunikation Sverige AB other than the address of its HQ in Stockholm, Sweden, and their phone number. This seems to be a trend in VPN providers to be rather secretive about their parent company or the structure of their organization. I do hope PrivateVPN to be the exception to the rule but unfortunately, that is simply not the case. We looked into as much information in our review of PrivateVPN but were unable to find out any more information.
Over the past few years, PrivateVPN has slowly but surely got the recognition that it deserves. Most of the well-known online publication, such as CNET, Techradar, and PCMAG, has said some good things about them. Vpnmentor even went as far as putting PrivateVPN on its top ten VPN list alongside industry leaders like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Judging by its social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, and even Youtube, PrivateVPN seems to be focusing on capturing the growing users of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, HBOMax, etc. That means you can expect a great performance from PrivateVPN when it comes to watching geo-restricted content.
- Absolute Anonymity. As a member of the European Union (EU) Sweden is bound to their strict privacy law or better known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Couple that with the company's absolute zero-logs-policy, you can surf the internet with a peace of mind knowing that you truly are anonymous.
- Absolute Security. To ensure your security, Private VPN uses protocols that have been the industry standard for a long time, such as OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, and several others. They also have a kill switch feature in place to keep your data safe in case you suddenly lose connection to the VPN network.
- Absolute Protection. PrivateVPN uses a military-grade 2048-bit Encryption With AES-256 as a standard encryption method. They also implement IPv6 leak protection to further support and protect you from the threat of data loss due to an unstable connection. All of it working in tandem would certainly increase your overall protection when using their services.
- Unlimited speed and bandwidth. There is no limit on bandwidth when you use PrivateVPN. They also promise a highspeed internet connection. Keep in mind that you will see a decrease from your base speed when using a VPN, that being said PrivateVPN manages to give a pretty decent overall speed and the connection is also quite stable throughout.
- Great Accessibility. Private VPN has thousands of servers in more than 150 locations that are spread across 60 countries, and that number will keep on growing. They also let you use up to six devices to connect simultaneously to their network. You can use PrivateVPN on most of the popular platforms out there, such as Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and even routers.
- Affordable Price. Private VPN offers three pricing plans for their service. A monthly plan, a three-month plan, and an annual plan. Their best and most popular one is the annual plan that costs only USD3.82 per month. When I write this article, they giving out one month free if you purchase their annual plan. That is way cheaper than the industry standard of USD5 per month.
- Free trial and money-back policy. To complement their great pricing plans, they also offer a free seven-day trial. Another notable thing is their 30-day money-back guarantee for every plan but you do have to state the reasons why you request your money back. It is a hassle but it's better than not having that option at all, isn't it?
- Ease-of-use. PrivateVPN is easy to set up and incredibly easy to use. The computer and the smartphone's VPN client has a very clean, straightforward, and modern-looking user interface that does not only make it that much easier to use but also very pleasant to look at.
- Excellent customer support. Whenever you have a problem when using PrivateVPN, there is extensive and helpful documentation available on their official website. If that's not enough, you could also chat, email, call, and send question tickets and their representative would quickly reach back to you.
- Streaming Geo-restricted content. Like I mentioned before, PrivateVPN is currently trying to get as many people as possible to join their service through the promise of watching streaming service with geo-restricted content such as Netflix. That means they have exponentially increased the number of dedicated servers for the sole purpose of streaming content.
- Torrenting. PrivateVPN not only allowed torrenting activity they also have dedicated servers for it. Granted it is limited to those countries who still permit P2P connection, but the speed from those servers is quite decent so it's all good.
In 1946, right after World War II, five English-speaking countries form a multilateral relationship with the sole purpose of sharing intelligence that they have over the immediate threat at the time, the USSR. They are the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. They are known collectively as The 5 Eyes Countries.
Over the years, this special relationship between national intelligence agencies (US's NSA, UK's GCHQ, etc) expands to include more and more countries. The latest additions are Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. These countries are currently known as The 14 Eyes Countries.
And that's where PrivateVPN comes in. As a company that is based in Sweden, a member of the 14 eyes, PrivateVPN carries a unique risk of having its user's data under surveillance both from its own country and from the other member of the 14 eyes.
To be fair, PrivateVPN has explicitly said that they don't keep any logs on their user's activities while using their service. Moreover, Sweden itself is placed under a strict EU's privacy law. Yet the fact that Sweden is a member of the 14 eyes means that they do share whatever intelligence they have with the other members, including NSA. And thanks to Snowden, we know how NSA's feel about personal privacy, don't we?
It might not possess an immediate threat to the average users and I might just be overthinking things but I still feel that knowing this fact beforehand is better than not knowing it at all.
PrivateVPN is the best option for those of you who are still new to the world of VPN or maybe you've been using free VPN all this time and want to try what's it feels like using a professional-grade VPN service. Their affordable price, money-back guarantee, and most importantly the free trials are the perfect way to familiarize yourself with premium VPN providers.
Other than the concern that I've laid out above about Sweden's activity as a member of the 14 eyes, I don't have anything bad to say about PrivateVPN. The speed is good, the connection is relatively stable, and the streaming and torrenting experience also went rather smoothly.
If those are the main reason why you want to use a VPN service then PrivateVPN is the perfect fit for you.