PrivadoVPN Review (2021) – Focused on Safety and Privacy
PrivadoVPN was founded in 2019 and, as their name suggests, they focus mainly on safety and privacy. This relatively new player on the VPN market uses the strongest methods of encryption and has a strict no-log policy.
PrivadoVPN introduces itself as “the fastest and most private VPN service on the planet”. That’s quite a statement. In this review we’ll check whether PrivadoVPN manages to live up to this promise. We test, among other things, their speed, safety, and user-friendliness.
First, you’ll find a short summary of our conclusions about this VPN down below.
PrivadoVPN Short Review
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Downloading torrents is possible
- Works with U.S. Netflix
- No logs
- Strong encryption
- Kill switch
- Easy to install
- Good free option
- No dedicated IPs
- Doesn’t accept cryptocurrency
- No WireGuard protocol
- Dashboard window cannot be adjusted
- Not that many servers
PrivadoVPN is based in Switzerland. This means they are not legally required to keep any user logs, so they don’t. This is important for users that want to be assured that their privacy and online activities are protected.
With one PrivadoVPN subscription you can protect ten devices at the same time and enjoy unlimited bandwidth.
We particularly liked PrivadoVPN’s free version. Compared to other free VPN providers, PrivadoVPN offers a lot of options. Their free version has 10 gigabyte of data a month and allows access to 12 servers. However, the paid version gives you access to over 200 servers in 47 countries.
Users of the free option get access to servers that are also included in the main server network for paying customers. This means everyone gets the same level of security and speed.
Some drawbacks of PrivadoVPN are their limited server network, the lack of a WireGuard protocol, and the fact that they don’t offer dedicated IP addresses. However, these aren’t major issues and in general we are very satisfied with PrivadoVPN.
- Torrenting allowed
- Works with Netflix
- Zero logs
- Credit card
Speed – How Fast is PrivadoVPN?
Speed is very important for a VPN. We test all VPNs on speed to make sure you don’t experience any lag while streaming or gaming. In short, these are our conclusions about PrivadoVPN’s speed:
- The speeds of PrivadoVPN are decent.
- In daily use, there are no noticeable drops in speed.
Speed test results PrivadoVPN
Our test with Speedtest.net gave us the results presented below. We ran these tests with our internet connection in the Netherlands. The results of any speed test you run yourself might differ depending on your internet connection and location. However, these results do give an indication of how using PrivadoVPN affects your speed.
Without a VPN (Speedtest.net):
These were the results of our internet speed without a VPN. We use these results as a baseline measurement. This makes it easier to see how PrivadoVPN performs.
Local PrivadoVPN server (Speedtest.net):
The picture above shows our speed results when where were connected to a local, Dutch PrivadoVPN server. The ping has increased slightly and both the download and upload speed have decreased slightly.
Faraway PrivadoVPN server (Speedtest.net):
This shows our speeds when we connected to a PrivadoVPN server in the United States, which is a great distance away from our local connection. As you can see, the ping has increased a lot. The download and upload speed have decreased slightly compared to the speed we had with a local server.
Speed during everyday use
We also tested the speed of PrivadoVPN during daily use. Fortunately, we didn’t experience any delays while browsing. Downloading and streaming also went quite smoothly.
YouTube and Netflix both appear to work well with this VPN. While streaming the American Netflix, we experienced almost no delays. Moreover, it’s possible to play games while connected to a PrivadoVPN server.
All in all, PrivadoVPN is a relatively fast VPN, with hardly any delays.
Safety – How Secure is PrivadoVPN?
No matter how fast a VPN is, it’s of no use if the VPN doesn’t also protect your online information. A good VPN makes you more anonymous online and encrypts your data. PrivadoVPN does all of these things well.
- PrivadoVPN is based in Switzerland, meaning users are protected by very strong privacy laws.
- They have a strict no-log policy.
- The VPN uses 256-bit encryption.
- Users can choose between several strong VPN protocols, including a SOCKS5 proxy.
- PrivadoVPN has a kill switch.
- To create an account, you only need to share an email address and payment details.
PrivadoVPN uses 256-bit encryption, which is the golden standard in the VPN world.
PrivadoVPN supports the following protocols:
- OpenVPN (UDP): By far the strongest combination of speed and security. Works on almost any network.
- OpenVPN (TCP): Slightly slower than OpenVPN (UDP), but more secure and works on almost all networks.
- IKEv2/IPsec: Faster than OpenVPN protocols but may not work on some networks.
Out of these options, your safest bet is OpenVPN(UDP). This protocol has never been hacked.
PrivadoVPN chooses the fastest protocol by default. If you prefer a specific VPN protocol, you can select this protocol in the “Settings” menu under the “Protocol” tab.
In addition to the various protocols, PrivadoVPN also has a SOCKS5 proxy.
PrivadoVPN doesn’t offer the WireGuard protocol, even though this open-source, high-speed VPN protocol is used by some other providers. This protocol is often seen as a newer, safer, and better option than IPsec and even OpenVPN.
If you’d like to learn more about VPN protocols, you can check out our article comparing the different available VPN protocols.
Logging and privacy
PrivadoVPN is based in Switzerland, where the privacy of users is well protected. As a result of this, PrivadoVPN doesn’t need to keep any user logs. On top of that, any requests for customer data at PrivadoVPN have to legally be disclosed to the customer.
PrivadoVPN has a strict no-log policy and doesn’t store any information about user behavior of their service. The VPN provider also doesn’t collect your IP address. In short, your online surfing behavior is not tracked in any way.
Current data is stored on RAM servers, which means it cannot be stored for longer periods of time. All connection logs are anonymized and not in any way linked to the user account.
In other words, with this construction, PrivadoVPN couldn’t even keep user logs if they wanted to. The VPN service knows that users are connecting to the network, but they have no data telling them who’s connected, where they are, or what they’re doing.
Moreover, the PrivadoVPN servers are fully protected against IP and DNS leaks. So, users don’t have to worry about anyone looking in on what they’re doing online while they’re connected to the PrivadoVPN network.
When your connection to a VPN suddenly drops, your data is exposed. To prevent this from happening, PrivadoVPN has a kill switch option. This kill switch immediately closes off your internet connection when the VPN network is dropped, so your information won’t be leaked online. This really is a must-have for every security-minded VPN provider.
The kill switch function can be found in the dashboard and can easily be switched on and off.
What information does PrivadoVPN need?
To create an account with PrivadoVPN, you only need a verified email address. To access a premium account, you will also need to provide your credit card or PayPal information.
PrivadoVPN unfortunately does not offer anonymous payment options such as cryptocurrencies. For a VPN that values privacy, this would be a good future addition to their service.
Usability – How User-friendly is PrivadoVPN?
Are you wondering how user-friendly PrivadoVPN is? Here we discuss the installation options, software, price, and customer service. In short, these were our conclusions about the user-friendliness of PrivadoVPN:
- The PrivadoVPN website is easy to navigate.
- The software is easy to install.
- The PrivadoVPN apps are very intuitive.
- The VPN dashboard is fixed on the right side of the taskbar. It isn’t possible to enlarge or move the window of the app.
- The free PrivadoVPN account works just as well as the paid account, but is limited in server availability, the number of devices that can be used, and the amount of monthly data.
- The PrivadoVPN customer support is only available through email.
The PrivadoVPN website is well-arranged and easy to navigate. It contains additional information about the provider and VPNs in general, and also gives you the opportunity to log in to your account.
There is also a blog on the website, which covers both PrivadoVPN specific topics and more general cybersecurity news.
You can download the PrivadoVPN software for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
The installation process is very simple and pretty straightforward. Below you’ll find a step-by-step plan:
- Go to the software page on the PrivadoVPN website and choose your operating system.
- Click on the button for your OS to download the installation file.
- After installing the software, enter the username and password you received when you registered.
- Choose a server in a location of your choice.
- Connect to PrivadoVPN and your data will be protected!
If you want to install the VPN on your tablet or smartphone, you can download their official app from the Play Store.
You can also install PrivadoVPN directly on your router or on Linux systems. On the PrivadoVPN website, you’ll find extensive manuals explaining how to do this. At the moment, this is a premium feature only available for paid accounts.
PrivadoVPN’s appearance and ease of use
The PrivadoVPN app is well-organized. The most important options are shown on the main dashboard of the app, making for easy access.
As soon as you open the dashboard, you’ll see a large round button with a key. This is the “on” button. The button is red when you’re not connected to the VPN. When connected, the button turns green.
The VPN automatically selects the best server location for you. Often, this will be the server closest to your current location. In our case, this was Amsterdam, because we are located in the Netherlands. Click on the arrow next to the server location, and you’ll see different server locations you can choose from.
The app is easy to navigate with clear visual instructions.
It’s unfortunate that the VPN is stuck on the right side of your taskbar. When you’re not using the app, it disappears. Moreover, it isn’t possible to enlarge or move the app window. This can be quite bothersome.
There are numerous options in the menu in the upper right corner. Here you’ll find, among other things, the settings panel where you can choose a VPN protocol, set up your default server, and choose whether you want to connect automatically every time you turn on your device.
If you run into any problems, you can click on “Contact us”. You’ll automatically be redirected to the support page with all sorts of useful information about PrivadoVPN.
Prices and methods of payment
Privado offers both a free and a paid VPN. The free PrivadoVPN package offers 10 GB of data every month and access to the twelve most popular servers. These servers belong to the same network as the servers for the paid account, meaning you’ll get the same quality and security with a free account as with a paid account.
If you want to upgrade, you can choose between a monthly subscription and an annual subscription. A monthly subscription costs $7.99. With a one-year subscription, PrivadoVPN only costs $4.99 a month.
A premium account will give you access to all of PrivadoVPN’s servers, unlimited data and a SOCKS5 proxy. Moreover, these plans allow you to connect up to ten devices to the VPN simultaneously.
Both paid subscriptions offer the same features, the only difference being that the annual subscription is significantly cheaper and has a longer fixed subscription period.
PrivadoVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means that, if you aren’t satisfied with their service, you can ask for your money back within 30 days.
PrivadoVPN accepts the following payment methods:
- Credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card)
For the sake of complete privacy, it would be nice if they also offered an anonymous payment method like cryptocurrency. If you want this level of anonymity, you would be better off with a VPN provider like Mullvad, that does accept cryptocurrencies.
The PrivadoVPN website has a support page containing answers to a lot of frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t listed there, you can always contact customer service via email. We tested the customer service and received clear answers to our questions within an hour.
Unfortunately, PrivadoVPN doesn’t have a live chat feature. This would definitely make their customer service even better. However, despite the lack of a live chat, we received a very quick response to our email.
Server Network PrivadoVPN
PrivadoVPN’s server network is quite extensive for a relatively new VPN, but small compared to competitors. Below you’ll find our conclusions about the PrivadoVPN server network.
- PrivadoVPN’s server network exists of over 200 servers in 47 countries.
- Free VPN users can choose between twelve of those servers.
- Many of their servers are managed by PrivadoVPN, making upgrades and maintenance easier.
- PrivadoVPN doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses.
Number of servers and locations
PrivadoVPN has over 200 servers in 60 cities in 47 different countries. Compared to some VPN providers, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, this isn’t a lot. However, it’s probably enough to be able to bypass geographical restrictions.
A big plus is that a lot of the servers are managed by PrivadoVPN themselves. This is a great choice, as renting servers from a third party can have serious implications for the security.
PrivadoVPN has servers in the following countries:
- America: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
- Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
- Asia: Australia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Taiwan.
- Middle East & Africa: Israel, Turkey, and South Africa.
The various servers are clearly shown in the PrivadoVPN app. You can easily choose which server you want to connect to. You can also select a preferred server which Privado will then automatically connect you to the moment you start the app.
Dedicated IP address
PrivadoVPN doesn’t offer dedicated IP addresses. A dedicated IP address can help to unblock streaming services and prevent annoying captchas. If you’re looking for a VPN that does offer dedicated IP addresses, you can check out NordVPN or CyberGhost.
PrivadoVPN offers various additional features. Here’s a brief summary of the most important ones:
- It’s possible to access the US Netflix library with PrivadoVPN.
- PrivadoVPN allows torrent downloading.
Below we’ll explain these extra features in more detail.
PrivadoVPN and Netflix
PrivadoVPN and Netflix go well together. With this VPN, you won’t have to worry about any geographical restrictions. You simply choose a VPN server in the region where the content you want to watch is available, and you can instantly watch it.
Netflix tries to block VPN users and will interrupt a stream if they suspect you might be using a VPN. PrivadoVPN buys IP addresses in bulk, making it more difficult for Netflix to figure out that one of their IP addresses is owned by a VPN provider.
PrivadoVPN works especially well with US Netflix. If you connect to one of their servers in the United States, you can enjoy the extensive offer of movies and series on the American version of Netflix.
PrivadoVPN and torrents
Downloading torrents also works well with PrivadoVPN. Unlike other free VPNs, PrivadoVPN supports P2P traffic on all their servers and for all active accounts.
PrivadoVPN has two options for anonymously downloading torrents. Firstly, you can connect to the regular PrivadoVPN network to torrent securely. Your IP address will be masked and your data will be encrypted. This process of encrypting and decrypting data takes time and can slow down downloads. We experienced this in practice as well: while testing, we encountered some delays during downloading.
The second option for downloading with PrivadoVPN is more focused on speed. If you have a paid account, you can use a SOCKS5 proxy for downloading. SOCKS5 anonymizes your connection by masking your IP. However, your data won’t be encrypted the way it is with a VPN, so it’s not as secure as connecting to a VPN server from Privado would be.
Conclusion – Our Experience with PrivadoVPN
For a relatively new VPN service, we are very pleased with PrivadoVPN. Their VPN is very reliable and adheres to the strict Swiss privacy laws. Moreover, PrivadoVPN is very user-friendly. Their server network is not as extensive as that of some other VPN providers, but it contains enough servers in different countries for most purposes. The connections we tested were stable and didn’t slow down our internet connection too much.
Of course, there are a few things that PrivadoVPN could still improve about their service. For instance, they don’t currently offer dedicated IPs or split tunneling, which are useful features we do see with other VPN providers.
Moreover, PrivadoVPN doesn’t yet use the new WireGuard protocol. This fast protocol is used by other VPN providers, like Surfshark. PrivadoVPN also doesn’t accept anonymous payment methods like cryptocurrencies.
All in all, the benefits of PrivadoVPN definitely outweigh the downsides. For a new VPN, they function extremely well. Do you want to test PrivadoVPN before committing to a paid subscription? Try out their service with their free version or use their 30-day money-back guarantee!
Do you have a question about PrivadoVPN? Take a look at some of our frequently asked questions below. Click on the question to see our answer.
PrivadoVPN is a very secure VPN service. This VPN uses the strongest encryption of this moment and has a strict no-log policy. Moreover, PrivadoVPN has a kill switch that will keep your data safe even when your VPN connection is interrupted.
With PrivadoVPN you can access your Netflix account. If you connect to a server in the United States, you’ll gain access to the U.S. Netflix library.
Installing PrivadoVPN is quick and easy. The PrivadoVPN website and software have a clear and intuitive look. Because of this, PrivadoVPN is also suitable for new VPN users.
PrivadoVPN has a nice free version with 10 GB of data and twelve available servers. To unlock all of PrivadoVPN’s features you can already get a premium subscription for $4.99.
Personal opinions experts VPNOverview.com