Intego Privacy Protection Review (2022): Is Intego VPN good?
Intego Privacy Protection is a VPN that can be bolted onto Intego’s antivirus or downloaded separately. The software is essentially Private Internet Access (PIA) in all but name. Fortunately, PIA is an excellent VPN provider in itself, which bodes well for Intego’s VPN service. The software’s owner, Kape Technologies, has also acquired ExpressVPN and CyberGhost, two of the best VPN providers in the market.
Of course, we’d never take a name at face value, nor recommend the service to you based on brand alone. So, is this standalone service actually one of the best VPNs? Let’s dive a little deeper and see what makes this Intego VPN tick.
Intego Privacy Protection: A Short Review
|Great value ($19.99 for one year)||Lacks mobile application support for Android or iOS|
|Over 25,000 VPN servers in 77 countries, thanks to PIA’s extensive network||Customer service via a ticket system only|
|Doesn’t block torrenting|
|Offers basic and advanced kill switch options|
|Boasts a slick and minimalistic UI|
|Includes added security features like Split Tunnel and Kill Switch|
Intego Privacy Protection might feel familiar if you’ve used PIA before, because this VPN is essentially a copy of PIA that is offered either separately or as a bolt-on to Intego’s Mac internet security products.
All in all, we’re pretty impressed with Intego Privacy Protection. It’s not nearly as well-known as NordVPN or CyberGhost, but it didn’t disappoint. Due to its close ties with PIA, most servers are relatively fast and can unblock Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and more.
It’s fast and responsive, and the VPN uses unobtrusive software with a slick design. There’s plenty of customization for VPN protocols and encryption, and some useful extra options, like Multi-Hop and Obfuscation, as well.
Interestingly, Intego Privacy Protection is cheaper than PIA, despite being practically identical. All in all, this is a very decent VPN with nice options and some minor drawbacks.
- Torrenting allowed
- Works with Netflix
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is Intego Privacy Protection?
Speed is a crucial factor in choosing a VPN. A poor-quality VPN can vastly reduce your internet speed, stopping you from streaming or downloading. The fastest VPNs on the market can encrypt your connection without causing noticeable delays.
How fast is Intego Privacy Protection? It has some fast VPN servers, that’s for sure. However, far-away servers suffer a drop. Overall, we’ve given Intego Privacy Protection a 7.5/10 for speed and performance.
Here are our key findings:
- We retained around 80-85% of our usual speed on the fastest VPN server and just 10% on the slowest.
- Curiously, some of Intego’s VPN servers are slower than PIA’s matching servers.
- In most cases, though, Intego Privacy Protection offers great speeds.
- There’s no noticeable slowdown in day-to-day use, such as streaming and gaming.
Speed test results for Intego Privacy Protection
Speed tests are important to understand what kind of VPN service you can expect. To calculate how fast Intego Privacy Protection is, we baselined our connection speed without using a VPN. Then, we tested some local servers before moving to ones in distant countries.
On a local VPN server in the Netherlands (where we tested from), our download speed was barely affected. Across the pond in the UK, the outcome was similar. However, things got noticeably worse as we moved further away geographically.
In a nutshell, local servers are ideal for any online activity, but further away servers get worse, fast.
|Server||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)||Ping (MS)|
|The Netherlands (Amsterdam)||73.18||89.9||7|
|US West (Seattle)||61.62||84.72||144|
|Brazil (São Paulo)||48.47||89.08||215|
|US East (New York)||12.44||32.05||95|
When we compared Intego’s VPN results to our PIA tests, we came to some interesting conclusions. The two VPNs use the same server network, but we had better results when testing PIA.
For example, the slowest PIA server we tested was a local one in The Netherlands. The lowest connection speed we got when using PIA was 47% of normal, while here, we saw the Australian server tank our connection to around 10% of normal speeds.
Oddly, our upload speed remained relatively constant across the board. That’s good news for torrenting, where both download and upload speeds matter.
Speed during daily use
As with any VPN, we wanted to put Intego Privacy Protection through its paces during daily use. Overall, our findings were good: the VPN connection didn’t hamper any of our usual activities, including:
- Watching shows on Netflix: Intego unblocks Netflix without any trouble, and we could binge The Last Kingdom without seeing our connection drop. The resolution remained in consistent high-definition, too.
- Playing video games: Our usual hour of Battlefield 2042 before hitting the pillow went down well. Intego Privacy Protection won’t make our aim better anytime soon, but it didn’t hamper the fun.
- Listening to music: With Spotify streaming in the background, our playlist kept up throughout the evening. Our connection didn’t drop even once.
Bear in mind that we connected with a server using the automatic connection option. Funnily enough, that server, located in Brussels, wasn’t the fastest on our list, but it got the job done.
Safety – How Secure is Intego Privacy Protection?
This provider offers a secure service that has suffered no known data breaches so far. It gives you a lot of control when it comes to selecting VPN protocols and encryption types.
- Intego’s VPN uses the OpenVPN (UDP & TCP) and WireGuard protocols.
- It gives you the opportunity to choose your encryption type: GCM or CBC, and 128 or 256-bit AES encryption.
- Their simple and advanced kill switch options keep you safe from data leaks.
- The Split Tunnel feature allows you to use the VPN only on parts of your traffic.
- Intego Privacy Protection requires slightly more information from you than some competitors.
The most flexible VPNs offer various VPN protocols to choose from, giving you more options for, for example, bypassing online censorship. Intego Privacy Protection offers two excellent VPN protocols:
- OpenVPN (UDP/TCP): This is the most popular VPN protocol used today. It’s typically one of the fastest options, in addition to being super-secure. With Intego, you can set up TCP or UDP connections. You’ll normally enjoy better speeds with UDP, but could hit online geographic restrictions. TCP may be slower, but it’s better at bypassing the most stringent online censorship.
- WireGuard: WireGuard has been around for a few years and has developed quite a fanbase. In addition to strong security and good speeds, it’s pretty simple to install. Unlike OpenVPN, it only works on UDP and can’t quite guarantee privacy in the same way, although it has other advantages. You can read more about that in our VPN protocol comparison.
The Intego website mentions that it uses two more protocols (PPTP and L2TP/IPSec), but those aren’t actually available in the software itself. We suspect the information on the website might be slightly outdated.
Intego Privacy Protection offers four options for data configuration: either GCM or CBC for both AES-128 and AES-256-bit encryption.
While it’s nice that Intego offers the choice, we recommend using AES-256-bit GCM encryption for the greatest online security. This is the same “military-grade” encryption used by governments, hospitals, and other institutions worldwide.
AES-GCM encryption includes authentication, while CBC is mere encryption. CBC encryption isn’t inherently unsafe, but GCM simply works harder. In practice, GCM means that potential hackers have less manipulative control over your data if they manage to access it, which is why we recommend it.
When it comes to the choice between AES-128 and AES-256, the decision is easy. The bottom line is that 256-bit encryption is better than 128-bit, although both offer near-unbreachable protection.
Logging and privacy
- Personal information: This includes your name, address, email address, and the username you choose at registration, as well as any correspondence you submit via support channels on the website. According to Intego, your IP address will be stored and anonymized, as will your approximate, country-based location information. Intego will also capture transaction information, what you’ve bought, the amount you paid, your billing information, partial credit card data, and any chargeback or order cancellation data. This is all for fraud-prevention measures.
- Technical information: Intego will capture technical data regarding your use of their services, including the browser you use, your computer’s OS (Operating System), the date and time you visited their website, and your language preference.
The technical information captured is also said to include web log information and other click-stream data. We reached out to Intego to ask them directly what these points were referring to, as “web log information” is quite vague. Intego clarified that it refers to browsing activity only within the Intego website domain.
They further informed us that technical information, such as your IP address and OS, is stored permanently on authentication servers with your software serial number to manage license usage. Upon uninstalling the software or allowing your subscription to lapse, the data is said to be wiped. This is good news, although it remains unclear whether this policy covers Privacy Protection as well.
When your VPN connection drops for any reason, your IP address can be exposed. That’s not ideal. The whole point of a VPN is to cloak your IP and encrypt your data. This is where a kill switch comes in. It’ll automatically kill your internet connection if the VPN drops, in order to stop unintentional data leaks.
Fortunately, Intego provides a VPN kill switch, which you’ll find under the “Privacy” menu within the app. This is split into two features:
- The VPN Kill Switch prevents data leaks by stopping your internet traffic if the VPN loses connection while you’re using it.
- The Advanced Kill Switch is a system-wide kill switch that prevents any data from being passed across the internet, even if you’re not using the VPN, much like ProtonVPN’s feature.
The third option in this menu is Intego Privacy Protection MACE, an ad blocker that we’ll discuss in more depth later.
Does Intego Privacy Protection leak your data?
To check whether Intego Privacy Protection leaks data, we ran a few quick tests. First, we connected to a server in The Netherlands, changing our IP address. You can see this in action through the VPN interface below:
Next, we checked whether the VPN was actually doing its job by opening up our IP address tool. This tool shows you what IP you’re using when you visit our website. The good news is that the IP address and location shown were exactly what Intego Privacy Protection promised us. That’s a win for Intego’s VPN service!
We also checked our connection for DNS and WebRTC leaks. Data leaks like these can reveal your IP address, thus your location, even when you’re connected to a VPN. Here’s what we found when testing with Intego Privacy Protection:
- DNS Leak Test: No leaks according to multiple DNS leak tests across different tools
- WebRTC Leak Test: No leaks according to several tools, including those provided by Surfshark and ExpressVPN
It’s full marks across the board for Intego Privacy Protection here. We suffered no data leaks that could potentially expose our real location.
What information does Intego Privacy Protection need?
Intego automatically provides you with your own online account once you’ve subscribed. To start a subscription, you’ll need to provide the following personal data:
- Email address
- Billing address
- Payment details
Since you’ll have to fill in a billing address and you’re only able to pay by credit card or PayPal, it isn’t possible to create an anonymous account with this VPN. If you’d rather do that, you’re better off picking one of these best VPNs you can buy with cryptocurrency.
Usability – How User-Friendly is Intego Privacy Protection?
When talking about usability, Intego Privacy Protection is up there with the best VPNs. Their dark-themed interface is one of the best-looking dashboards we’ve seen. Better still, everything is well laid-out and easy to find. That’s why we’ve awarded Intego Privacy Protection a 8.5/10 for usability.
Here are a few key details worth noting:
- Intego offers an easy-to-use website, though it has a greater focus on Intego Antivirus.
- It has a very fast, automatic installation process when using a Mac.
- The VPN uses unobtrusive software designed to fade into the background.
- Intego Privacy Protection is cheaper than PIA and many other providers.
- Customer service is fast to respond: we had a reply via email within two hours.
Intego’s website and installation process
Intego’s website is very simple and straightforward, but mostly focuses on its antivirus software, Intego Antivirus. By clicking the “Buy Now” button in the upper-right corner, you can view a clear breakdown of costs for each package.
The homepage itself is informative, providing user statistics and links to a regularly updated blog on Mac internet security topics. Header links branch off to other sections, including a particularly broad support section with user guides for Privacy Protection and other software packages.
Fortunately, this page does a great job of selling the benefits of Intego’s VPN. It’s stuffed with useful infographics and a detailed list of countries supported by the vast network of VPN servers.
Installing Intego Privacy Protection is straightforward, though support isn’t as extensive as with some other VPNs. This VPN supports Mac and has a Windows version as well, but iOS or Android users will have to look elsewhere. There is currently no support for mobile apps.
For the purpose of this Intego Privacy Protection review, we downloaded the VPN software on a Mac. Here’s the installation process:
- Visit the official Intego Privacy Protection page.
- Click on “Get The Offer,” which will open a new tab.
- Fill in your name, email address, and billing address.
- Choose a payment method (either credit card or PayPal).
- Click on “Review Order” and follow the last steps to completion.
- Locate the confirmation email from Intego, then download the Mac or Windows file, depending on your device.
- Run the downloaded file to start the installation wizard.
Once you’ve finished the steps above, you’ll receive two separate emails:
- An order confirmation: This email can be a little confusing, as it states the “official” price as if it weren’t discounted, but the amount you’ve actually paid is listed further down.
- A list with installation links: A second email will contain links to download Intego for Mac and for Windows.
One drawback of Intego Privacy Protection has to do with your login details. Our confirmation email assigned us a random username and password. The username consisted of around 40 alphanumeric characters, and we haven’t found a way to change it. We recommend using one of these trustworthy password managers to avoid forgetting it!
Apart from the lengthy login details, we were quite content with the installation process. Some installations on Mac can be time-consuming. Often, you have to restart your system, move apps into the application folder manually, and so on. With Intego Privacy Protection, running the file was all we had to do, after which the software was ready to go.
Intego’s appearance and ease-of-use
In contrast to other Intego apps, the VPN uses the same skin as PIA, just with its own logo at the top. The software is sleek and easy to use right out of the box.
Whether you’re using the Mac version or the Windows version, your dashboard is essentially split in two. Click on the small castle icon in your Apple toolbar at the top of the screen, and you’ll see a large “ON” button beside a world map. A bigger, more advanced dashboard will open alongside this little widget, giving you access to more features.
If you click the “ON” button, the software automatically chooses a VPN server for you to connect to.
If you click the small downward-facing arrow in the widget, you get additional options. This includes statistics about the VPN’s performance (showing your connection speed), usage (showing your download and upload data), and connection (your choice of protocol and encryption).
The widget also gives you access to a couple of handy, quick-access features that include:
- Quick Connect: Immediately connect to one of several popular VPN servers, including the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
- VPN Snooze: Disconnect your VPN connection until a configurable timer ends.
- Quick Settings: Allows you to alter or activate a range of features, including desktop notifications, MACE (ad blocker), port forwarding, allowing LAN communication, debug logging (which logs data for customer support), and a light theme.
The small, three-dot menu in the widget as well as the “View All Settings” option under “Quick Settings” takes you to the full settings screen in the main dashboard.
A minor drawback of the dashboard, if you ask us, is that it disappears every time you click away. Because the widget in your Apple toolbar handles everything, you don’t get a dock icon. Therefore, to get back to the dashboard, you’ll need to click on the castle icon again. Alternatively, use a three-finger swipe upward on your touchpad to find the app.
If you’d like to learn more about the dashboard and its settings, take a look at our PIA VPN review, where we’ve covered this software’s aesthetics extensively.
MACE is a handy DNS-level ad blocker that automatically blocks domains commonly used by ads, ad trackers, and malware. Essentially, because it works at the DNS level, it can completely block known advertising domains. It won’t, however, block ads that are served up by legitimate website domains.
Also, bear in mind that due to its method of operating, it can end up blocking full websites. For example, Intego’s own user guidance notes that Google Analytics is inaccessible with this feature turned on.
Within the dashboard’s “Settings” menu, you’ll find the option “Split Tunnel.” This extra feature allows you to choose specific applications that will be routed via the VPN. Everything else will be passed through your usual internet connection, without the VPN’s protection.
Some of the benefits of a split tunneling feature include:
- Unblocking content from abroad while keeping access to local content at the same time
- Accessing LAN (Local Area Network) devices
- Reducing bandwidth consumption by your VPN service
Although it isn’t a must for every VPN user, split tunneling is a useful extra tool to have, and we appreciate that it’s included in Intego’s VPN package.
Pricing and payment methods
Intego Privacy Protection doesn’t offer a free tier. However, you can get a 30-day free trial by downloading the software and choosing the free trial option. You don’t even have to provide any personal information to try this out!
After that, there’s just one price tier for the standalone VPN subscription:
- $1.67 per month ($19.99 in total) billed annually
It’s worth pointing out that this makes it cheaper than PIA, which is $39.99 annually. This is curious, since, for all intents and purposes, it’s the same software!
There is one caveat, however. When we signed up for the $19.99 offer, this amount didn’t include VAT. At the final step of the checkout process, a few extra dollars were tacked onto the total before we submitted the order. In some countries, this won’t come as a surprise, but it can be misleading for users in countries where VAT is always included in the standard price.
To make a payment for your subscription, you can choose from two payment options: credit card or PayPal. While using a payment wallet like PayPal isn’t as secure as cryptocurrency payments, it’s typically better than using a personal payment card.
Finally, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee you can use in case you’re not satisfied with the VPN software.
At the top of Intego’s homepage, you’ll find a section titled “Support” that offers the following:
- Knowledge Base: This section contains extensive FAQs and user guides. The guides are exceptionally detailed and appear to cover every feature in the software package, so you’ll likely be able to find the answer to many of your questions regarding Intego here.
- Customer Support: Unfortunately, support is only offered through a ticket system. Even the chatbot in the lower-right of the screen eventually funnels you out into a ticket submission form. Although email might not seem like the fastest way to get customer support, Intego answered our ticket in two hours.
- Malware Report: This form allows you to report any kind of Mac malware to Intego. Intego regularly updates a blog that contains troubleshooting and malware information for Mac Internet Security users.
There are a few additional options in this menu, but none of them were particularly useful for us as regular, day-to-day users. These are mostly focused on software renewals and corporate discounts.
All in all, Intego’s customer service is simple and replies quickly.
Server Network – Can Intego Privacy Protection Unblock the Internet?
The more servers and countries are included within a provider’s network, the better. It improves your chances of bypassing online censorship and finding faster connection speeds.
Through PIA’s extensive server network, Intego Privacy Protection offers the following, earning it an 8.5/10:
- It gives users access to 25,000+ VPN servers in 77 countries, including the UK, the US, Australia, and large parts of Europe.
- There are working streaming servers for unblocking Netflix and other platforms.
- Torrenting is allowed at optimal speeds on any VPN servers in the network.
- Intego’s VPN doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses.
- Their Multi-Hop and Obfuscation feature can help you get around almost any VPN block while staying secure.
Number of servers and locations
Specifically, Intego Privacy Protection offers access to 25,196 VPN servers and counting. You can find servers in the following countries:
- Africa and the Middle East: Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates
- Americas: Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Greenland, Macao, Mexico, Panama, United States, and Venezuela
- Asia-Pacific: Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Vietnam
- Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
Intego Privacy Protection and streaming (Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)
We wanted to know whether Intego’s VPN service can unblock streaming services. Geographical restrictions are no match for a good VPN that can change your IP address, especially when that VPN also manages to get around VPN blocks.
We tested Intego Privacy Protection with various streaming services, and here’s what we found:
|Platform||Can Intego unblock it?|
We had great success bypassing Netflix blocks using Intego Privacy Protection. This was tested on three different servers: in the US, Japan, and Italy. What’s more, we were also able to unblock various other services, like Prime Video and Peacock using this VPN. This shows just how useful it can be to use the server network of a big, established VPN provider.
Intego Privacy Protection and torrents
Intego Privacy Protection allows torrenting while connected. Just to give you an extra tip: the Port Forwarding feature can also be used to try and optimize your performance. Look out for VPN servers that show support for Port Forwarding, as in the below image.
Dedicated IP address
Curiously, although PIA does offer the option to get a dedicated IP address, Intego Privacy Protection doesn’t. During checkout, we didn’t see this anywhere as an add-on.
There are many advantages of a dedicated IP address, like easier unblocking options and avoiding blacklists with VPN IPs on them. If you’d like to get a dedicated IP address, you’re better off using the official service offered by PIA.
Multi-Hop and Obfuscation
Rather impressively, Intego Privacy Protection offers a Multi-Hop and Obfuscation feature. This is an option you don’t commonly see, except in the best VPN providers. It’ll let you route your VPN traffic through a proxy server (Multi-Hop) while hiding the fact you’re connected to a VPN (Obfuscation). We gave it a whirl and didn’t see much of a difference in speed while streaming or browsing, which is great news. This basically means it offers extra protection without slowing down your connection.
Our Experience With Intego Privacy Protection
Both Intego and PIA were acquired by their parent company, Kape Technologies. Intego also offers popular Mac antivirus software that’s been around since the 90s. So, it makes sense that some of the popular VPN security software under the company’s remit would be added as an extra.
As you’d expect from a company that also owns CyberGhost and ExpressVPN, Kape’s Intego Privacy Protection VPN holds up pretty well! It has an excellent server network that gives you more internet freedom. It may slow down your connection when you pick servers that are farther away, but in practice, we barely noticed this.
A big plus is that Intego’s VPN is one of the cheapest, premium VPNs we’ve tested. It can be an excellent solution for many users, specifically Mac users who also use the Intego Antivirus software. If you’re a fan of PIA and looking for a cheaper alternative, the Intego VPN is your perfect solution, too. This simple Privacy Protection add-on will give you the best basics when it comes to online privacy, security, and freedom.
Alternatives to Intego Privacy Protection
If you’re wondering how Intego VPN holds up against other providers, we’ve outlined a couple of alternatives and the reasons that you might consider choosing those instead:
- NordVPN: NordVPN is one of our best VPN providers. In addition to some of the great security features listed here, NordVPN steps it up even further. Dedicated IP addresses, a built-in password manager, and secure cloud storage are just some of the benefits.
- Surfshark: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly VPN provider, Surfshark is almost on-par with Intego in terms of price. Though lacking the dedicated IP addresses that NordVPN can offer, it’s very user-friendly and offers advanced security options that include a NoBorders mode. This is ideal in areas where internet censorship is high.
Do you have more questions about Intego Privacy Protection VPN? Check out our FAQ below.
Yes! Intego Privacy Protection offers a 30-day free trial, which you can opt for after downloading the software. While this is only a temporary free version, it can help you decide whether you’d like the full deal. A yearly subscription costs just $19.99, which makes it cheaper than most of our go-to budget VPN services.
Intego offers Intego Total Protection, a Mac antivirus that’s been around since the 90s. All of their software is owned by Kape Technologies, a company that also acquired CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, and PIA. These are some of the biggest names in VPN security. Coupled with our extensive deep-dive into Intego’s software, we’d say yes, Intego is trustworthy.
It’s very easy to start a VPN session on Intego:
- Open the small widget by clicking on the icon in your Apple toolbar or Windows task tray.
- Click the “ON” button.
Intego Privacy Protection will automatically find a suitable server for you and connect you to it. If you want a different server, click on the “VPN SERVER” button below the “ON” button to browse your choices. For more info on how this VPN works, check out our review of Intego’s VPN.
Yes, Intego Privacy Protection can unblock Netflix! We tested Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Prime Video. In every case, Intego’s VPN unblocked each service in three different countries. We recommend looking for an optimized streaming server if you want to watch Netflix abroad.
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