PrivadoVPN review

PrivadoVPNvreview
PrivadoVPN review

Can you trust this fresh face with your private information?

A new zero-logs VPN service has emerged on the market that combines some of the best features of its competitors into a straightforward package.

Spanish for private, this VPN service officially launched in 2019. However, that is to their benefit. Privado has learned from its competitors to deliver a product focused on security, privacy, and speed.

In addition to these critical features, Privado provides a simple, non-intrusive UI, an optional kill switch, and a no-logs policy. Oh, and you can watch Netflix in any country and securely download torrents too because the SOCKS5 feature is included.

So what else has Privado learned from its competitors? Perhaps the better question is, do they do it better than them, or does Privado come up corto?

PrivadoVPN synopsis

Ranking:

#9/52

Parent company:

Privado Networks AG

Jurisdiction:

Switzerland

Locations:

45 Countries/200+

Overall test result:

SAFE

Torrenting:

PASSED (Torrent allowed)

Netflix:

PASSED (Unblocks Netflix)

Encryption/protocols:

256-bit encryption/OpenVPN (UDP)/Open VPN(TCP/IKEv2/IPsec

Support:

Ticket System ~ 1h

Cost:

FREE

Official site:

privadovpn.com

Company profile

The page titled Who Are We on the Privado website doesn’t actually provide much detail behind the service’s creators. What we do know, however, is that PrivadoVPN is based in Switzerland, which is a positive. The country is renowned for having some of the world’s best privacy laws.

The company profile speaks more to PrivadoVPN’s mission: to provide everyone with an easy, secure, and affordable way to browse the internet. They also make mention of fighting for 20 years against big brother and free online services that are only interested in monetizing online activity.

While this is commendable, the lack of a face for the company is concerning. Even the advertised LinkedIn profile doesn’t offer any clues. The company claims to have between 51 and 200 employees, but only one is listed on their page with no information available about them.

Logging Policies

Privado logging
PrivadoVPN logging policy

In their Privacy Policy, Privado makes it abundantly clear that they do not capture any information about your browsing history or the servers you’re connecting to. They also make a point that they will never sell your data to third parties.

The company also makes it perfectly clear what information they do collect. This includes:

  • Account creation information, including your email address and username.
  • Your payment information. While they use third-party payment processors, the information that is collected varies according to your method. However, they do not store your credit card number.
  • If you use Privado’s support services, they will keep the information you provide, and they may use third-party software for reporting purposes.

There is also information from mobile applications, mobile analytics software, and mobile identifiers provided by iOS and Android. It doesn’t contain your email address or name, but it does provide statistics for marketing or channel partners.

Information by cookies is also collected. This information is used to see which features are popular and how Privado can continue to improve your experience.

It is possible to opt out of some of these options or implement a workaround to remain 100% anonymous. However, it’s more hoops you need to jump through for complete privacy.

Secure protocols

Even though you might raise your eyebrows at some inevitable data that’s being collected, you can be assured that PrivadoVPN is utilizing the latest technology when it comes to its protocols.

The service uses 256-bit encryption, which is currently the best in the world. It supports OpenVPN (UDP), which is compatible with most networks, and OpenVPN (TCP), which is a little slower but more secure. PrivadoVPN also offers IKEv2IPsec, which is one of the fastest protocols around, but you’re best to check if your network supports it before activating it.

Key features

PrivadoVPN includes all of the essential features you would expect from a service. It’s got DNS and IP leak protection, secure encryption protocols, a kill switch, and a no-log policy. But there is one other that stands out.

If you’re using a VPN primarily for torrenting, then you can set up PrivadoVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy on your client so you can get fast downloads on a secure IP address. It’s an excellent feature for P2P fans.

Speed

There is a catch when it comes to speed with PrivadoVPN. Provided that you choose a server that is relatively close to your actual location, then your speeds will be reasonable. You can sort the countries by latency, and there is a valuable display that shows the strength of the network connection.

When connecting to the closest server, the speed dropped by 32%. That said, we still clocked 34 Mbps, plenty for streaming in HD quality.

Here is the baseline speed without PrivadoVPN connected.

PrivadoVPN speed test original
PrivadoVPN speed test original

Here was the closest server, which also displayed full bars in regards to latency.

PrivadoVPN speed test original
PrivadoVPN speed test connected

Torrenting and Netflix: within reason

Yes, you can stream Netflix using PrivadoVPN.

The same goes for torrenting. Depending on where you are in the world, you may have difficulty torrenting due to strict laws. For example, if you’re in New Zealand and your only option for a decent connection is in Australia, you won’t be able to access certain websites outside of Australia. So you’ll need to keep this in mind before you sign up for an account.

Compatible devices

PrivadoVPN works on most devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and FireTV. You can also install it on routers so that every connected platform is protected.

There are detailed setup guides available on the website that take you through each individual step. It also includes information on how you can choose the right protocol for your needs.

A solid selection of servers

Privado servers
Privado servers

The VPN boasts a solid 200+ servers across 45 countries around the world. While the spread of countries is decent, the number of servers leaves much to be desired compared to top-tier VPN services like Surfshark. That said, PrivadoVPN does have servers in some of the most desirable locations like the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

Connecting is simple. However, you will need to sort the countries by latency to ensure you establish the fastest connection. Simply choose the server with the most bars and then return to the main page and connect.

Connections are made within seconds, provided you’ve chosen a server within range. If you haven’t, then it will make an attempt before disconnecting automatically.

Android reviews

The PrivadoVPN app currently has 268 reviews and an average score of 4.0 out of 5.

The reviews are a bit of a mixed bag. The majority of five-star reviews don’t provide a lot of detail as to why they love it. The few that do compliment it on its simplicity and speed.

However, the reviews from people unhappy with the service seem to be more than happy to air their grievances. Most recently, there has been a lot of comments made about the app disconnecting regularly. There are also comments on the significant decrease in network speed. That said, PrivadoVPN did recently release an update that addressed these issues.

Privado Android reviews
Privado Android reviews

Pricing and payment options

If you’re unsure if PrivadoVPN is the right service for you, a free option is available with many of the same security features as the paid alternatives. This free option includes no logging, no ads, no speed limits, plus support for P2P and all other web traffic. You can only use it on one device compared to 10 with the PrivadoVPN premium option, and you can access 12 server locations. Also, you’ll have a limit of 10GB every 30 days. However, this should give you an indication of if it will provide you with the type of protection that you need.

Alternatively, you can pay $59.88 for 12 months, which works out to be $4.99 a month, or you can pay $7.99 on a monthly basis. Both premium options give you unlimited access to all servers plus you get support for streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Disney+.

PrivadoVPN accepts all major credits as well as payments through PayPal. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Privado payments
Payment methods

One to watch

PrivadoVPN is still a relatively new zero-logs VPN service, and it feels like it’s still getting up and running.

There is a lot to like about it. It features a solid no-logs policy, some of the best security protocols available, and ideal settings for peer-to-peer file transfers. It also supports the most popular streaming services.

However, it doesn’t offer as many servers as other providers, but all servers on its network are physically located in the locations listed. More specifically, it does not utilize virtual servers, which often experience slowdowns caused by overcrowding. Premium plans are a little pricier, but it does offer one of the best free VPN options available on the market. and there are some question marks around leakage and data collection.

There’s some issue with speeds if you connect to a server located far from you. While you’ll get a decent connection when connecting to servers close to you, if you’re not located anywhere near the US or UK, then your options are limited.

It’s still early days for the young company. If their Android updates are anything to go by, the team is committed to improving the platform and the connectivity issues.

At the very least, check out the free version of PrivadoVPN or sign up for a 30-day money-back guarantee. It might just work for you.

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