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PrivadoVPN Review: Speed, Free Plan, and Usability

PrivadoVPN excels in speed, and we’re delighted to offer free VPN plans. However, extended connection durations and various app issues hinder its performance. We recommend trying the free plan first to gauge its suitability before committing.

Pros:

  1. Generous 10 GB monthly free plan.
  2. Affordable annual and biennial subscription options.
  3. Successfully unblock US/UK Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Prime Video.
  4. Impressive WireGuard speeds.
  5. Reliable kill switch functionality.
  6. Accommodates up to 10 concurrent connections.

Cons:

  1. Slow connection times on select platforms.
  2. Fails to unblock Netflix in Australia, Canada, Japan, and Disney Plus.
  3. Subpar OpenVPN speeds.
  4. Room for improvement in the mobile apps.
  5. Limited content on the support site.
  6. A relatively small server network.
  7. Absence of an audit.
PrivadoVPN Review: Speed, Free Plan, and Usability

PrivadoVPN, a Swiss-based provider, offers a straightforward and trustworthy VPN service. Their network spans ‘hundreds of servers across 48 countries, ensuring proximity to your location.

The versatile app lineup includes Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire TV, and Android TV. With support for up to 10 simultaneous connections, it’s convenient, although some providers like Atlas VPN, IPVanish, Surfshark, and Windscribe have no device limits.

You can enjoy WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols for secure and rapid connections.

Privado VPN goes beyond privacy protection, featuring Control Tower content filtering that blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites. It even offers simple parental controls for restricting adult content and social media access.

P2P enthusiasts will appreciate torrent-friendly servers, a SOCKS5 proxy for faster torrenting, and a reliable kill switch.

In case of issues, their 24/7 support is available, although their support site is rather basic compared to ExpressVPN’s extensive troubleshooting resources. Live chat and email support, however, responded promptly – I received a helpful email response in under 70 minutes.

PRIVADOVPN PRICING PLANS

PRIVADOVPN PRICING PLANS
  • Privado offers a free plan with 12 locations and 10 GB of data per month for one device (no SOCKS5).
  • Comparatively, Avira’s Phantom VPN offers only 500 MB per month, while Avast One provides 10 GB weekly but lacks location choice. Proton VPN offers unlimited data but only three locations.
  • The monthly subscription is $10.99, offering unlimited data, SOCKS5 proxy, and support for up to 10 devices, competitively priced.
  • Opting for an annual plan reduces costs to $2.50 monthly in the first term, rising to $4.99 on renewal.
  • The best value is the two-year plan at $1.99 monthly for the first term, increasing to $3.99 on renewal.
  • Private Internet Access three-year plan is even cheaper at $3.33 per month, with no price hike on renewal.

PRIVACY AND LOGGING

  • PrivadoVPN, based in Switzerland, benefits from strong consumer privacy laws and maintains a zero-log policy.
  • Information collected includes email for sign-up and device identifiers for mobile apps, along with crash reporting.
  • No third-party logging audits have been conducted, impacting transparency and privacy assurances.

PRIVACY TESTS

  • PrivadoVPN’s website employs 13 trackers and 19 third-party cookies, exceeding average levels.
  • Unlike some competitors like Mullvad, Hide.me, Proton VPN, and PureVPN, PrivadoVPN does not avoid trackers or third-party cookies.
  • Windows app collects anonymous app crash data, with limited user control.
  • While the app offers strong security protocols (WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2), it lacks logging audits.
  • DNS leak protection and a kill switch enhance privacy.
  • Control Tower content filter provides decent online protection, with a 75% ad-blocker success rate.
  • Malware protection scores lower at 42.7%, but it complements other security measures effectively.

VIRTUAL LOCATIONS

VIRTUAL LOCATIONS
  • PrivadoVPN utilizes virtual locations but lacks transparency in detailing their usage.
  • Some countries have servers near their named locations (Brazil, Israel, Philippines, Ukraine), while others, like India, Russia, and South Africa, use servers in or near London.
  • Transparency regarding server locations would help users understand potential performance issues.

WINDOWS APPS

  • PrivadoVPN’s Windows app offers a familiar interface with a user-friendly ‘Connect’ button.
  • The location list is customizable, with sorting options by name, latency, or proximity.
  • Connecting to a new country requires multiple clicks, less user-friendly than competitors.
  • Connection speeds are slower, especially for WireGuard and OpenVPN.
  • An issue with CPU usage is present when the app window is open, potentially impacting battery life.
  • Minimizing the app to the system tray resolves the CPU usage problem.

WINDOWS SETTINGS

  • PrivadoVPN’s Windows app offers diverse options.
  • Connect via WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, or Automatic mode.
  • Customize OpenVPN settings, including port and Scramble options.
  • App auto-connects at launch, providing server choice.
  • SmartRoute system for easy split tunneling.
  • Includes a reliable kill switch.
  • Potential for more customizable settings in the future.

MACOS AND MAC APPS

  • Mac app closely mirrors the Windows interface.
  • Faster connections, sometimes in as little as two seconds.
  • Supports WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2, with a kill switch.
  • Stable performance with no unexpected disconnects.
  • User-friendly, catering to most user needs.
  • Free plan for trial and evaluation.

MOBILE APPS

MOBILE APPS
  • Mobile apps for on-the-go protection.
  • iOS app features mobile-friendly touches.
  • No Favorites support in the Mac app.
  • iOS lacks a kill switch and has limited auto-connect options.
  • Supports WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 with speed and reliability.
  • Android offers robust features, including a kill switch and split tunneling.
  • Watch out for potential Android battery usage concerns.

NETFLIX AND GLOBAL STREAM UNBLOCKING

  • PrivadoVPN successfully unblocks US and UK Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV, and Channel 4.
  • Struggles with unblocking other Netflix libraries (Australia, Canada, Japan).
  • Fails to unblock Australia’s 10 Play but succeeds with 9Now.
  • Successfully unblocks US Amazon Prime Video but not Disney Plus.
  • While it excels with some major providers, other options may be more consistent for unblocking needs.
  • Consider ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Private Internet Access, ProtonVPN, PureVPN, or Surfshark for reliable unblocking of various sites.

PRIVADOVPN PERFORMANCE

PRIVADOVPN PERFORMANCE
  • VPN performance is assessed via SpeedTest, Measurement Lab, Cloudflare, and more.
  • Tests were conducted from a UK data center and a US residential location (1 Gbps connection).
  • Each benchmark runs five times without VPN, five times with WireGuard, and five times with OpenVPN (where available).
  • A minimum of 120 speed checks were analyzed for results.
  • OpenVPN speeds: 120-130 Mbps (ordinary).
  • WireGuard speeds: 830-880 Mbps (impressive but not the fastest).

PRIVADOVPN REVIEW: FINAL VERDICT

  • PrivadoVPN excels in speed and offers a generous free plan.
  • Usability issues hinder it from matching top providers.
  • Try the free plan before subscribing.

Subscribe if:

  • Seeking affordability with feature-rich plans.
  • Needing a speedy service for gaming, streaming, and torrenting.
  • Requiring coverage for multiple devices (up to ten simultaneous connections).

Don’t subscribe if:

  • Need extensive content library access (partial success in streaming tests).
  • Prefer comprehensive support (limited support resources).
  • Concerned about lack of third-party audit for logging claims.

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