PrivadoVPN has enough qualities to please most VPN users. On the one hand, the desktop app is simple and minimalist enough, but a quick look under the hood reveals that there are some customizable options such as choosing the most suitable VPN protocol, and enable the kill switch, auto start, and auto connect features. In addition, PrivadoVPN is also P2P compatible and offers SOCKS5 proxy solutions for enhanced torrent speeds.
Easy Connection Customization
Users who don’t want to spend too much time customizing their preferences can stick with the default options and jump right into the action. PrivadoVPN automatically assigns the fastest server every time the app is opened, which is not necessarily the closest one. Latency is also an important factor, and because of that users can also filter the server list so that the best options are displayed first. For American users this might not be too relevant, but those in Europe will sometimes find that distant servers are the better option over other closer locations.
On top of this, users can also choose between two connection protocols – IKEv2 and OpenVPN (TCP/UPD) – change ports, and toggle the kill switch and both the auto start and auto connect features. The first one automatically launches the PrivadoVPN app when your computer starts, while the latter will automatically connect to your preferred server as soon as the app is launched.
While it runs perfectly undisturbed in the background, the PrivadoVPN Windows desktop app ‘sticks’ in the bottom right of the screen and is quite sensitive. This means it occasionally disappears into the background and you’ll need to click the PrivadoVPN icon to pull the app back up, which can be frustrating at times.
The proprietary server network is one of PrivadoVPN’s biggest assets. To begin with, the company owns and operates its own data centers, giving it control over the speed, quality, and overall security of its VPN network. Also notable is that PrivadoVPN does not cut corners by using virtual servers, which can often be slower and become overcrowded. Unlike some other VPN providers, all PrivadoVPN servers are physically located in those exact locations.
Speaking of which, the VPN network includes multiple worldwide server locations in 45 countries – a big enough number to make even some of its more illustrious VPN rivals jealous. Europe has the most connection options, while the U.S. has ten different cities alone. The rest of the world isn’t left out either, with servers in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa, Brazil, and Argentina all included, among others.
We tested multiple servers and locations from Europe with very positive results. Speeds are good even on the most distant servers and, more importantly, they’re always consistent. This means that it’s very unlikely that PrivadoVPN will ever let your streaming session down which make this is a recommended service for streaming HD content.
Another important aspect worth mentioning is that PrivadoVPN protects you from DNS leaks as long as the kill switch is turned on. Therefore, we recommend always using this feature, especially when sharing files.
Due to the fact that the company is based in Switzerland (a country with some of the strongest consumer privacy laws in the world) PrivadoVPN’s no-log policy is perhaps the most trustworthy in the VPN industry. When it comes to the service itself, it uses AES 256-bit encryption as well as OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, allowing users to also choose their ports. And let’s not forget the always useful kill switch, the cherry on top of this bulletproof cake.
OS, Device Support
PrivadoVPN is compatible with the most common devices and provides official apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Desktop users must have at least Windows 10 or macOS 11, while mobiles need to be running iOS 11 or Android 5.0. It should be noted that the free version of PrivadoVPN can only be used on Windows and Android, which means that Apple users will need a premium subscription to install the VPN on their devices.
However, PrivadoVPN can also be installed on a handful of other devices via manual configurations. The official website provides a quite useful list of setup guides not only for the systems covered by the official apps, but also for Linux and a couple of different routers. We’d like to highlight the latter as it allows you to extend PrivadoVPN’s protection and overcome the limit of ten simultaneous devices.
This is often where games are won or lost for many VPNs. Fortunately, this is definitely a win for PrivadoVPN. Customers have two options when purchasing a premium account and they both offer the same full access to the service. The default monthly plan costs $7.99 while the annual option is billed once at $59.88. The latter is the best choice as it’s the same as paying only $4.99 per month, which translates to a 38% saving compared to the monthly plan. This isn’t the lowest we’ve seen VPNs priced at, but considering everything that PrivadoVPN offers, it’s without a doubt very attractive pricing. Payment methods include credit cards, PayPal, and SEPA transfers for European residents.
Praise must be given to the company as PrivadoVPN’s free version is one of the best we’ve ever seen. It obviously comes short in some respects when compared to both premium plan options, such as providing a limited VPN network and device support, but it’s not common to see P2P supported (even if it’s without the SOCKS5 proxy) and 10GB of data being offered for free. The latter is even renewed every month, so it shouldn’t be too hard to keep it under control.
In addition, all purchases include a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you’re protected even when upgrading to a premium plan. And, obviously, this also means a full month risk-free trial of unlimited access to all the features.
Even though a live chat would be a preferred method, PrivadoVPN offers 24/7 customer support via email. But before resorting to this we advise giving the FAQ and knowledge base pages a read as both are very complete and answer many of the questions you might have. Nevertheless, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can also be used for direct contact with the company. PrivadoVPN’s profiles are updated frequently with a handful of different privacy-related articles that can also be found on the company’s blog.
PrivadoVPN is one of those services that even the most skeptical users have to praise. The official app could always be more intuitive on computers – namely not being stuck at the bottom and disappearing into the background so easily – but the truth is that PrivadoVPN delivers in what really matters. Not only does it operate its own network with fast and reliable speeds throughout worldwide servers, but it also lets users change between different connection protocols to unblock content and boost streaming. In addition, the service supports P2P traffic and includes the ease of a SOCKS5 proxy. All of this while knowing your data is protected by Swiss privacy laws. And the best part is that it all comes wrapped up with some very attractive pricing, not to mention that everyone can try the software at no cost thanks to a rarely seen ‘enhanced’ free version.
- Multiplatform apps
- Unlimited data
- P2P support & SOCKS5 proxy
- Proprietary, worldwide VPN network
- Attractive pricing & free version
- Trustworthy no-log policy
- Windows desktop app pins to taskbar