PrivadoVPN Review 2024

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Our Verdict

PrivadoVPN offers an affordable VPN service with excellent connection speeds

PrivadoVPN is a relatively new VPN service, and in just a few years, it’s become one of the leading services in the industry.

Its competitive pricing and great connections make PrivadoVPN excellent value for money. Although there are VPNs that offer servers in more countries and better customer support, PrivadoVPN’s performance makes up for it. It also offers one of the best free-forever plans we’ve seen, which makes it an ideal pick for first-time users.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Generous free-forever plan
  • Reliable kill switch and split tunneling
  • Parental controls
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Knowledge base could be better
  • No third-party audit
  • Only 300 servers

In our PrivadoVPN review, we’ll cover all the key details about the VPN provider so you can decide if it’s the right option for you.

Privado is one of the most affordable VPNs when compared to the best VPNs on the market today. We’ll weigh up whether the low price point gets you a bargain or whether more expensive options would serve you better.

What is PrivadoVPN?

PrivadoVPN is a virtual private network (VPN) provider that offers a reliable and secure service for users looking to enhance their online anonymity. Privado is a relatively new VPN provider, but it has already enjoyed praise as a user-friendly service and one of the best cheap VPNs.

With 300+ servers in 47 countries, PrivadoVPN has a relatively small server fleet. Nevertheless, it has the benefit of operating under Swiss privacy laws and the country’s respect for privacy.

Besides the standard VPN features it offers, you can expect PrivadoVPN to keep you safe from malware, phishing attacks, and third-party trackers, thanks to its Threat Prevention feature.

In addition, PrivadoVPN offers a generous free-forever plan, meaning you can try its features before committing to a subscription.

PrivadoVPN Plans & Pricing

PrivadoVPN has a simple pricing structure. You can subscribe for a month, a year, or two years with the same features available with each plan and at a decreasing monthly rate for longer subscriptions.

Opting for the one-year or two-year plans gives you three months free on top of what you paid for, so the already cheap service is even better value for money.

Billing Term Price
One Month $10.99/mo
One Year $2.99/mo
Two Years $1.99/mo

PrivadoVPN extends its privacy and security features to up to ten devices per account, so you can keep all your devices safe with a single subscription or share the account with family and friends.

Its security features include AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and split tunneling, among others, to protect you from third parties, such as hackers, advertisers, and your ISP. In addition, the platform offers robust parental controls, making PrivadoVPN a great pick for parents looking to keep their children safe online.

Privacy-conscious users will appreciate PrivadoVPN’s no-logs policy, DNS leak protection, and the fact that you can subscribe to its services using cryptocurrency to avoid leaving any digital footprints.

In addition, PrivadoVPN comes with Control Tower security features to combat malware, ransomware, phishing scams, ads, and more, so you won’t necessarily need to spend money on getting one of the best antiviruses.

Can You Get PrivadoVPN Free?

Although comparing free VPN vs paid VPN services generally ends in favor of the latter, there are some benefits to PrivadoVPN’s free-forever plan. You can download it for free, connect to 12 server locations around the world, and upgrade to the premium version whenever you want to.

In testing, we found PrivadoVPN to be one of the few free VPN providers that is suitable for streaming and gaming. However, it only lets you use 10GB of data a month, making the premium version a better choice for these activities.

Opting for the free version will also leave you without some useful PrivadoVPN features, including malware protection and ad blocking, in addition to unlimited data. You can try the product out risk-free for a month, however, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Is PrivadoVPN Safe and Secure?

PrivadoVPN is a solid choice for anyone looking for online security and privacy. With decent support for VPN protocols, a robust encryption algorithm, and a no-logs policy, PrivadoVPN’s security features are on the level of some of the biggest names in the industry.

Encryption

The provider uses AES-256, a 256-bit encryption protocol, to keep your data safe from unauthorized parties, whether they’re trying to intercept your communications or track your location and browsing data.

This uses a 256-character key to encrypt and decrypt data and provides a very high level of security. It’s virtually uncrackable by current computing standards, so many government organizations and cybersecurity experts trust it.

PrivadoVPN uses this encryption algorithm to encrypt all data transmitted through its servers, whether you’re browsing the internet, accessing streaming services in different regions, or transferring sensitive data.

Tunneling Protocols

Tunneling protocols for PrivadoVPN
PrivadoVPN’s tunneling protocols

PrivadoVPN supports multiple VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, IPsec (IKEv2), and WireGuard. You can switch between these protocols to adjust PrivadoVPN’s performance.

  • OpenVPN — Compatible with various devices, this open-source protocol offers strong encryption and the ability to bypass firewalls. It may not be as fast as WireGuard and IKEv2, though it remains a solid pick for everyday browsing.
  • IPsec (IKEv2) — As one of the most stable protocols, this is an excellent pick for mobile users as it won’t leave your devices unprotected while you change between Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile data. However, it’s not as customizable or widely available as OpenVPN.
  • WireGuard — This relatively new protocol stands out for its simplicity and high-speed performance. Designed to be more efficient than OpenVPN and IKEv2, it features improved battery life on mobile devices and faster connections. However, its security features are still undergoing tests as it’s not considered to be fully proven.

Logging Policy

PrivadoVPN has a strict no-logs policy, but the VPN provider has not undergone an independent audit to confirm its implementation.

PrivadoVPN’s headquarters are in Switzerland, though, meaning it has no legal obligations to collect your data. The country doesn’t belong to the 5, 9, or 14-eyes alliances, either, and the country’s laws don’t mandate data retention for VPN providers.

PrivadoVPN Features

PrivadoVPN doesn’t offer as many extra features as NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but it does include all the basic VPN security features. It’s also one of the easiest VPNs to use, meaning even first-time users will find it intuitive.

Servers

PrivadoVPN's server list
PrivadoVPN’s server list

While some competitors offer thousands of servers around the globe, PrivadoVPN has 300+ servers in 47 countries. PrivadoVPN uses physical servers exclusively and doesn’t rely on virtual servers.

Physical servers offer better performance, are easy to maintain, and are less vulnerable to cyber attacks. This means PrivadoVPN’s server fleet is highly secure and offers excellent performance.

The provider also covers most of the world with its network, with servers in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa. That said, we would like to see more of its servers in Africa, as it only offers one, located in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Simultaneous Connections

A free PrivadoVPN account lets you use its services on one device. With PrivadoVPN’s premium service, you can use up to ten simultaneous connections. This makes it possible to secure numerous devices with one subscription. You can use PrivadoVPN on smartphones, PCs, and even smart TVs.

In addition, it offers unlimited bandwidth across all of its apps, meaning you won’t need to worry about hitting a monthly limit while traveling or when using potentially dangerous public Wi-Fi networks. This also makes PrivadoVPN one of the best VPNs for torrenting and streaming.

Kill Switch

PrivadoVPN's kill switch feature
PrivadoVPN’s kill switch feature

One of the first features we test while evaluating a VPN service is the kill switch. The kill switch cuts off your device’s access to the internet if your VPN connection drops, meaning your ISP, hackers, and other third-party actors won’t get a chance to acquire your real IP address or data traffic if your VPN connection drops.

SmartRoute

PrivadoVPN's SmartRoute feature
PrivadoVPN’s SmartRoute feature

SmartRoute is PrivadoVPN’s split tunneling feature, which allows you to select which apps will be routed through the VPN connection. This means you can exclude apps that wouldn’t function well with a VPN, such as banking or weather apps, or programs where you want a full-speed, local connection.

Control Tower

PrivadoVPN’s Control Tower suite includes its ad blocker, parental controls, and tools for protection against online threats, such as malware. This feature blocks third-party trackers that collect your information online, preventing websites from profiling you and displaying personalized ads.

Your account also provides tools to keep your family safe and monitor your child’s activity on social media platforms, such as Facebook and TikTok. From blocking adult content and phishing scam websites to controlling access to apps, PrivadoVPN’s capabilities match some of the best parental control apps.

The Control Tower feature also protects against malware and ransomware, making PrivadoVPN an excellent pick for both home users and business devices. It can detect and block clones of popular websites that may be used for phishing attacks, and it will also detect and remove crypto-mining trackers from your devices.

PrivadoVPN Performance

Our team conducted in-depth testing of PrivadoVPN’s connection speeds and the reliability of its service.

We ran speed tests with Privado connected to servers around the world and compared these to a direct internet connection to establish the impact on data transfer. These tests were repeated three times a day over an extended period to minimize the impact of any anomalies.

PrivadoVPN performed very well in these tests and is among the fastest VPNs we’ve seen. Download speeds ran at an average of 69% of an unencrypted connection, with some tests at 80%+. Upload speeds, meanwhile, fell to between 76% and 87% of a direct connection.

PrivadoVPN Compatibility and Ease of Use

PrivadoVPN offers easy-to-use, intuitive apps for nearly every major operating system, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and smart TVs. It’s worth mentioning, though, that only premium PrivadoVPN users can use the Linux client.

We tested each of its apps on our devices to see how they perform, and here’s what we found:

WindowsmacOSLinuxAndroidiOSOther Devices

PrivadoVPN for Windows

PrivadoVPN on Windows
PrivadoVPN on Windows

PrivadoVPN offers a customizable Windows app packed with advanced features. We liked its compact size and the inclusion of a Favorite Servers list, which allows you to save a list of your favorite locations.

PrivadoVPN’s Windows worked well when we stress-tested its kill switch, but it’s worth mentioning that this will cut your device’s internet connection completely, so apps not encrypted via split tunneling will also lose internet access if the switch activates.

The app makes switching between protocols a breeze, and switching to OpenVPN and activating its “Scramble” option will conceal your VPN usage from everyone, including your ISP. Although this feature is available on all PrivadoVPN clients, it showed the best performance on Windows during our tests.

PrivadoVPN for Mac

PrivadoVPN on Mac
PrivadoVPN on Mac

PrivadoVPN’s Mac app is very similar to its Windows counterpart, which we see as a plus. That means you won’t need to master a new layout if you’re switching between these devices, and it’s equally easy to use.

Like the Windows app, the Mac app offers a kill switch and supports IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard protocols. We found the Mac app to be faster at establishing a VPN connection than the Windows app, which was an unexpected benefit.

PrivadoVPN for Linux

Unlike some of the best VPNs for Linux, PrivadoVPN doesn’t offer a GUI for Linux users, which may be an obstacle for inexperienced users. In addition, it requires manual IKEv2 or OpenVPN installation, which is available only for paying PrivadoVPN users.

However, PrivadoVPN offers installation guides on its website, which can help you get it up and running on your Linux device.

Although its Linux app doesn’t offer as many features, you’ll still enjoy the benefits of the robust AES-256 encryption algorithm and PrivadoVPN’s high-speed VPN connections.

PrivadoVPN for Android

PrivadoVPN on Android
PrivadoVPN on Android

PrivadoVPN offers an exceptional Android app that features a “Quick Connect” button, is easy to use, and supports most of its advanced features. Although we noticed some users complain about its high battery usage, we didn’t noticed any issues during our testing.

We used PrivadoVPN to watch streaming shows and play games on an Android phone without noticeable speed drops or connection issues and no DNS leaks.

PrivadoVPN for iOS

PrivadoVPN on iOS
PrivadoVPN on iOS

The iOS app is the most user-friendly PrivadoVPN client we’ve tested. It includes the kill switch, which can be invaluable while traveling or connecting to potentially dangerous public hotspots.

In addition, you can set the device to auto-connect to a VPN server when the app starts or simply click the large keyhole button to establish a VPN connection. The iOS app supports IKEv2, OpenVPN, and WireGuard, and we had no issues in testing.

Other Devices

One of our biggest gripes with PrivadoVPN is its lack of browser extensions. Although you can get a similar effect with its split tunneling feature, applying protection only to browsers, it’s hard to replace the accessibility browser extensions offer, like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

It does offer router support, though. Although a complicated process, setting up router VPN protection allows you to protect all the devices connected to your home network through a single VPN connection.

PrivadoVPN offers numerous setup guides on its website to make the process easier, even for beginners.

You can use this method to encrypt the traffic from your smart TVs, and you can download PrivadoVPN’s dedicated apps for FireTV and AndroidTV devices directly from the Amazon Appstore and Google Play Store, respectively.

Is PrivadoVPN Good For Streaming on Netflix and Other Streaming Services?

PrivadoVPN is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a VPN that can unblock streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and others. We found its speeds and connection stability sufficient to stream in 4K from Netflix without encountering issues like buffering or long loading times.

Thanks to its unlimited bandwidth and implementation of WireGuard, one of the best VPN protocols, we were able to stream from Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Hulu on four devices simultaneously. This makes PrivadoVPN an excellent choice for families and friends looking for a reliable streaming solution.

Is PrivadoVPN Good For Torrenting?

PrivadoVPN is one of the best VPNs for torrenting for several reasons. Its entire server network is peer-to-peer (P2P) friendly, which means it supports high-speed downloads. Furthermore, it provides SOCKS5 proxy servers to enhance P2P transfer speeds, and AES-256 encryption and a reliable kill switch to ensure security.

Is PrivadoVPN Good For Gaming?

We had mixed opinions about PrivadoVPN’s gaming performance, primarily due to its small server network. Although we observed low ping rates and had no lag issues during our gaming sessions on PC and Android, PrivadoVPN’s relatively limited network and coverage means you can’t expect latency improvements.

While that won’t be an issue for most players, competitive gamers looking for the best latency would fare better with ExpressVPN or IvacyVPN.

PrivadoVPN vs. Top VPN Competitors

Finding a VPN provider that offers more value for money than PrivadoVPN won’t be an easy task. However, there are numerous alternatives to consider if you’re looking for a VPN that offers unique features, faster protocols, or more add-ons.

In this section of our PrivadoVPN review, we’ll compare it to its top competitors to help you make an informed decision.

Top VPNs Starting Price Top 3 Features Number of Connections Servers Server Locations Split Tunneling? Free Version?
PrivadoVPN $1.99/month for 24 months + 3 free – SmartRoute
– Control Tower
– SOCKS5 Proxy Servers
10 300+ 47 Free-Forever Plan
Surfshark $2.29/mo. for 24 months + 2 free – Private Search Engine
– Alternative ID Generator
– Breach Alerts
Unlimited 3,200+ 100 7-day free trial for Android, iOS, Mac
CyberGhost $2.03/month for 24 months + 2 free – DNS Leak Protection
– Unlimited Bandwidth
– 10 Gbps Servers
7 11,500+ 125+ Free trial for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and free browser extension
ExpressVPN $6.67/month for 12 months – Aircove Router
– Private DNS
– TrustedServer Technology
8 3,000+ 105
PureVPN $2.11/month for 24 months + 4 free – Smart Server Selection
– Dedicated Apple TV App
– Internet Kill Switch
10 6,000+ 80+ 7-day $0.99 trial
IvacyVPN $1.17/month for 60 months – Malware Protection
– P2P Support
– DDoS Protection
10 5,700+ 55+ Free-Forever Plan

How to Use PrivadoVPN – Quick Guide

Installing PrivadoVPN on any device takes just a few minutes. In this section of our Privado VPN review, we’ll take you through the steps required to install it on Windows and connect to one of its VPN servers.

  1. Create a PrivadoVPN Account

    First, you need to go to PrivadoVPN, subscribe to its premium plan, and create an account. Head to the official PrivadoVPN website to select your preferred subscription term, head to the checkout, and enter your email address to create a PrivadoVPN account.

    <strong>Create a PrivadoVPN Account</strong>
  2. Download and Log Into Your PrivadoVPN Client

    After the purchase, you’ll need to verify your email. PrivadoVPN will then share your account’s username and password (these can be changed later). Then, download the app for your operating system, follow the on-screen instructions, and log in to your account.

    <strong>Download and Log Into Your PrivadoVPN Client</strong>
  3. Secure Your Internet Connection

    PrivadoVPN will offer a quick tour of its app. You can follow this quick tutorial or simply search for a server location of your choice and click on it to connect.

    <strong>Secure Your Internet Connection</strong>

PrivadoVPN Customer Support And User Reviews

To get a better understanding of how users really feel about PrivadoVPN, we’ve explored real online user feedback at length. Reading reviews from long-term users can provide unique insights into the quality of the provider’s customer support, performance over the long term, and pricing changes.

On Trustpilot, PrivadoVPN users have rated its services at 4.1 out of 5 stars, which is marked as “Great” overall feedback.

A review of PrivadoVPN on TrustPilot
A review of PrivadoVPN on TrustPilot

With more than 2,300 reviews, PrivadoVPN enjoys a positive reputation among its users. Some 60% of reviews give the service a full five stars, while another 15% give it four stars. Most users praise its fast and reliable connections, especially considering its budget-friendly pricing.

A review of PrivadoVPN on TrustPilot
TrustPilot users praise PrivadoVPN

However, there are some negative reviews as well. These generally mention its lack of customer phone support and scarcely populated knowledge base.

We’ve also tested the support to get a sense of what it delivers. While PrivadoVPN offers 24/7 customer support, this comes via a contact form rather than live chat. While they answered promptly, it’s not the best support experience we’ve seen.

How We Tested PrivadoVPN

To determine whether PrivadoVPN works as advertised, we thoroughly tested the service following a standardized methodology for its performance, security features, apps, and customer service.

  • Performance – We found no reason to complain about Privado’s performance while streaming and torrenting, and its fast, consistent VPN connections haven’t let us down.
  • Features – Privado has a lot to offer, and its kill switch and SmartRoute features are easy to set up and use. They also flawlessly passed all of our stress testing.
  • System security – The Control Tower prevented us from accessing malicious websites that would otherwise attempt to spread malware, and we didn’t see any DNS leaks during our tests.
  • Customer support – Although we wish Privado provided more customer support channels, our contact with its customer support team was satisfying, and our query was fully addressed.
  • User feedback – The user reviews we found matched our opinion regarding most of PrivadoVPN’s qualities and flaws as well as providing insights regarding long-term use.
  • Competitive field – Besides our experience with PrivadoVPN, we’ve tested most of its main competitors, including Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhostVPN, which allowed us to draw comparisons between the products and how they compare.

Our Other VPN Guides

In addition to this review, we’ve created a range of guides and resources about the best VPNs on the market, including:

FAQs

Is PrivadoVPN a good VPN?

Is PrivadoVPN safe to use?

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Does PrivadoVPN work with Netflix?

How much is PrivadoVPN?

Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer
Ilijia Miljkovac
Technology Writer

Ilijia Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with seven years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about cybersecurity topics, spanning VPNs, antiviruses, and hosting, helping to inform B2B and B2C audiences about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not working, Ilijia spends his time hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.