Is ExpressVPN the Best VPN of 2023? Full review
Is ExpressVPN the Best VPN of 2023? Full review This is a complete and detailed review of ExpressVPN. Before we
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Launched in 2019, PrivadoVPN is a freemium VPN growing its user base. We will examine aspects such as server network, protocols and encryption, jurisdiction, streaming capabilities, torrenting and gaming, compatibility, and customer support. Our aim is to provide you with a well-rounded understanding of PrivadoVPN’s offerings and how it stacks up against its competitors in the market.
The rise of cybercrimes and the increasing sophistication of cyber threats make it crucial for internet users to take charge of their online privacy. Recent studies have shown that a new cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds, highlighting the importance of adopting robust security measures to safeguard your digital footprint. VPNs have emerged as an essential tool in this regard, encrypting your internet connection and masking your IP address to significantly reduce the risk of identity theft, data breaches, and surveillance.
PrivadoVPN, a relatively new player in the VPN market, has quickly gained traction due to its strong commitment to user privacy and robust security features. Founded with the mission to empower users to take control of their online security, PrivadoVPN strives to provide a reliable and user-friendly service that caters to the diverse needs of its users. In the following sections, we will delve deeper into the various aspects of PrivadoVPN to help you make an informed decision about whether it’s the right VPN for you.
|Number of Servers||300+|
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN IPSec/IKEv2|
|Logging policy||No Logs Policy|
|Streaming compatibility||Netflix, Disney+, HULU|
|Money-back||30 days Guarantee (Not in monthly plan)|
|Number of Servers||13|
|Protocols||WireGuard, OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2|
|Data Limit||10 GB/mo|
|Logging policy||Non-traceable data|
|Streaming compatibility||None (Unreliable)|
PrivadoVPN is a good but not the best choice to stream and unblock geo-restricted content. This is because of the fewer overall and streaming-optimized servers. PrivadoVPN does unblocks major streaming platforms, however, you
This being said, PrivadoVPN unblocks several popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+.
PrivadoVPN unblocked 5 Netflix libraries, which are slightly above the average VPN. PrivadoVPN consistently unblocks Netflix libraries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and more. The streaming quality was decent, but not HD.
It unblocked some additional international libraries, but the connection was not much reliable and thus will take time to improve.
Disney+ and HULU are other popular streaming platforms that were unblocked by PrivadoVPN. PrivadoVPN can successfully unblock Disney+ content from various countries, ensuring users can enjoy their favorite movies and shows without being limited by their physical location. HULU is difficult to unblock even with many top VPNs and yet, PrivadoVPN did an excellent job there.
PrivadoVPN failed to bypass BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime. While I was rooting for the VPN as it has strong servers in the UK, it still could not bypass the BBC iPlayer.
Amazon Prime always has unblocking issues, especially because it has our location through the Amazon shopping app. Though many VPNs unblock Prime, PrivadoVPN is not among them.
While PrivadoVPN is a good VPN and enough to stream for a regular user, however, for hardcore streamers whose priorities are streaming, I would suggest going for ExpressVPN.
PrivadoVPN’s server network is relatively smaller than most VPNs because it is a newer service than its competitors. PrivadoVPN provides servers in 48 countries and 63 cities. While the exact number of servers isn’t explicitly stated on their website, they claim to have ‘hundreds of servers in 48 countries and 63 cities.’
So, what does “hundreds” mean? PrivadoVPN possesses a somewhat specific, yet small yet robust server network. With approximately 300+ servers to offer (a figure quoted by Privado’s support executive), the VPN service still has room for expansion.
One of PrivadoVPN’s standout features is its commitment to maintaining a balanced distribution of servers, despite possessing fewer servers than most VPNs. This ensures that users in regions like Africa, South America, and the Middle East can also reap the benefits of the service’s broad server coverage. The VPN recently installed its first server in Africa.
One reason for the smaller number of servers is PrivadoVPN’s commitment to utilizing only physical servers for its users. Despite having the resources to offer virtual servers, which are cheaper and less reliable, PrivadoVPN chooses not to in order to avoid artificially inflating the number of servers on paper. PIA VPN, for instance, hosts many virtual servers, explaining its higher server count.
Virtual servers aren’t entirely without merit; they function just like any other server. However, they are less secure and often face reliability issues. PrivadoVPN’s commitment to quality is a benchmark we wish all major service providers would emulate.
PrivadoVPN is transparent about its server infrastructure, reassuring users that they’re connecting to authentic servers without hidden virtual locations. This commitment to transparency is vital in establishing trust in a VPN service, as users depend on these tools for their online privacy and security.
The distribution of PrivadoVPN’s servers across various regions:
PrivadoVPN also easily bypasses the firewall of China and thus connects Chinese Internet users to the rest of the world. You can easily connect with the Taiwan server, and then you are ready to bypass Chinese Internet restrictions.
Note: PrivadoVPN has named their Taiwan server as ‘Taiwan, Republic of China’ which shows they support China in the China-Taiwan matter.
Their Freemium servers are available in these locations:
PrivadoVPN offers impressive speed and performance, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable user experience. While all VPNs may cause some slowdown due to the encryption process, PrivadoVPN minimizes the impact on your connection speeds. Though the speed will surely lessen, the difference will be minimal.
PrivadoVPN also suffers from overcrowding of servers due to smaller server fleet. This reduces the Internet speed, as the VPN servers are mostly overloaded. The VPN provider is battling this problem by installing new servers continuously, which is also essential for a VPN to grow.
During our tests, PrivadoVPN was able to provide a download speed of 119 Mbps and an upload speed of 98 Mbps when connected from the local New York to the New York server. This speed is more than enough to stream HD content or download large files. The connection was completely stable and maintained the speed throughout the connection.
For the International distant server, we connected to the Australian (Sydney) server where we received a download speed of 89 Mbps and an upload speed of 67 Mbps. These were also affected because, at the time we were testing, the server was loaded.
Note: You should use WireGuard or Auto select protocol option to ensure the best speed possible.
Protocols establish the rules by which a VPN operates and secures us. These protocols, along with encryption methods, can be technical and perhaps a bit intimidating for people who aren’t particularly tech-savvy, so I’ll try to simplify them.
PrivadoVPN supports the following protocols: WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec.
WireGuard is currently the protocol creating a buzz in the industry, and it’s also considered the fastest protocol available. WireGuard is a lightweight protocol, which means it’s quicker than OpenVPN or any other protocol.
OpenVPN, on the other hand, is widely regarded as one of the most secure protocols available, which is why many VPN providers choose to use it. IKEv2 is another secure protocol that works particularly well on mobile devices, maintaining a stable connection even when switching between networks.
PrivadoVPN also provides users the option to choose between UDP and TCP packet sizes in OpenVPN, allowing them to tailor the service to their preferences. For most users, however, WireGuard will be more than adequate.
In VPN terms, encryption is the process by which our data is scrambled so that even if a third party were to intercept it, they wouldn’t be able to decipher it.
When it comes to encryption, PrivadoVPN uses AES-256 encryption, which is one of the strongest and most commonly used encryption methods. This level of encryption is the highest available, and it’s used even by military and banking institutions. This ensures that your online activities remain secure and protected from prying eyes.
Additionally, PrivadoVPN uses a 4096-bit RSA key exchange for secure communication between your device and the VPN server, adding another layer of security to your connection.
While none of the collected data is concerning, users might need to use the VPN after subscribing to visit their official website. All the data and reports gathered are in aggregate form and, as a result, cannot be traced back to any specific user. The VPN explicitly states that it does not store or log any user data.
In addition to their no-logs policy, PrivadoVPN also emphasizes that they do not sell, rent, or trade their users’ personal information with any third parties. The only information they do collect is the minimum necessary for account management and customer support, such as your email address and payment details.
For maximum privacy, you can sign up with a temporary or new spoof account and pay with cryptocurrency. This will ensure that the VPN has no identifying information about you.
Privado VPN has not yet been audited by third parties. An independent third-party audit is one of the most significant methods to verify a VPN’s privacy and logging policy. It reveals vulnerabilities and issues through thorough auditing, contributing to the transparency and trustworthiness of the companies. Atlas VPN, another relatively new VPN, has already undergone third-party audits.
Note – Privacy is a matter of personal opinion and you can also watch for other options until you are completely satisfied.
PrivadoVPN is based in Switzerland, a country renowned for its strong privacy laws and dedication to individual rights. Switzerland is not a member of the 14 Eyes Alliance, an intelligence-sharing network that includes countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. This implies that PrivadoVPN is less likely to fall under intrusive surveillance or data-sharing agreements with foreign governments.
Switzerland isn’t part of the EU, which could have forced them to retain some data. The country’s data retention laws apply only to ISPs, meaning all VPNs based in Switzerland don’t have to comply with any data retention policy.
All requests and warrants go through the Swiss Judiciary, meaning no international authorities can directly demand user information from the company unless the request is approved by the Swiss Judiciary. The company affirms that it doesn’t store any data that could be provided to comply with such orders.
PrivadoVPN doesn’t maintain transparency reports like Surfshark and other VPNs. Thus till now, the VPN’s policy has never been tested in the real world.
The parent company of PrivadoVPN is Privado Networks AG. This Swiss-based company has a strong focus on privacy and security, which is reflected in its products and services. By being headquartered in Switzerland, Privado Networks AG can offer a VPN service that benefits from the country’s privacy-friendly legislation, making it an attractive choice for users concerned about their online privacy.
While the company is still new, it has no plans to merge with big corporations, which is often considered a negative step for privacy concerns. Big VPNs corporations like Ziff Davis and Pango acquire multiple VPNs creating an oligopolistic approach, not a good sign for the cybersecurity industry.
Note: Switzerland is one of the best jurisdictions for cyber security and privacy companies like VPNs.
PrivadoVPN uses its own zero-knowledge DNS servers to handle your DNS requests. This means your DNS queries are not exposed to third-party DNS providers, ensuring your browsing history remains private and secure.
A kill switch is an essential security feature that protects your data in case of an unexpected VPN disconnection. PrivadoVPN’s kill switch automatically disconnects your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops, preventing any data leaks.
This feature is essential and it can protect your identity in cases where you don’t want your IP address to be exposed.
This advanced feature allows you to select which applications or websites should use the VPN connection and which should bypass it. Split tunneling provides flexibility in managing your internet traffic, enabling you to optimize your connection for specific tasks or activities.
PrivadoVPN offers two types of split tunneling, offering professional choice. While the Bypass option lets you choose the apps and software you want your VPN to ignore, through the tunneling option, you will select the applications that you want PrivadoVPN to protect.
PrivadoVPN offers extensive compatibility, making it accessible to users across various platforms and devices. The VPN service supports a wide range of operating systems, including:
PrivadoVPN has a dedicated app for Windows users, which is user-friendly and easy to set up. You can download the application from their official website. Then you will be required to log in with your username and password.
PrivadoVPN opens in a vertical tab, rather than a different window. The interface is simple, a bit too simple for privacy tools. The VPN automatically shows the best server available in case, you don’t have any specific server in mind. You can navigate to the server list by clicking on the current servers.
In the server list, you can choose the server and even sort the list by latency and name. This feature is especially important for PrivadoVPN, where the server load is key to selecting a server. Previously, the VPN did not have the option to add specific servers to the favorite, but now the option has been added. This makes it convenient since the VPN does not offer lists of specialized servers.
The Windows app offers all the essential features, including various protocols, a kill switch, and the ability to choose between different server locations.
Mac users can enjoy a seamless VPN experience with PrivadoVPN’s macOS app. The app is unavailable on App Store and you will need to download it from the website.
The interface is similar to the Windows version, however; it feels smoother in the macOS. It’s designed to integrate smoothly with the macOS ecosystem and provide access to all the essential VPN features. The app is easy to install and navigate.
You do not get split tunneling and WireGuard protocol for macOS. We tested the VPN for DNS leaks and WebRTC tests, and the VPN did not have any DNS leaks.
PrivadoVPN offers a dedicated Android app available on the Google Play Store. The app is well-designed, lightweight, and compatible with a wide range of Android devices. It includes features like a kill switch, auto-connect, and protocol selection.
iPhone and iPad users can download the PrivadoVPN app from the Apple App Store. The iOS app is user-friendly and includes essential features like a kill switch, protocol selection, and the ability to choose between server locations.
PrivadoVPN also provides browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. These extensions allow you to enable the VPN service directly within your browser, making it convenient for users who want to secure their browsing activities without installing a full-fledged app.
Other Devices: PrivadoVPN can also be manually configured on devices like routers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles, protecting all connected devices within your network.
Customer support is a crucial aspect of any VPN service, as it directly impacts the overall user experience. PrivadoVPN offers several channels to provide assistance and address any issues that users may encounter while using their service. The VPN has a live chat, but it is irregular. I had a chat with executives through live chat, but after 10 minutes, I couldn’t find the option for live chat. It is the same situation for premium users. This makes Email support their primary mode of assistance.
Email support does get answers to all the problems, but it takes time to get a reply. The VPN should improve its live chat.
Some other options are to search through the guides and how-to articles that cover most of the general topics. You can also ask for support from their community, where the agents are ready to help you.
PrivadoVPN comes in three different pricing models: monthly, yearly, and 2 years. The longer the plan, the cheaper it is. The monthly plan of PrivadoVPN starts from $10.99/month, making it the most expensive plan. This plan is not worth buying, even for testing out the service, as it does not offer a refund policy like the other plans.
The Annual plan is priced at $4.99/month or $59.88 annually. This is comparatively the best plan between the long commitment and the hefty price tag.
The third plan is the 2- Year plan, which requires a long commitment in exchange for more lowered prices. The plan costs $3.99 per month or $95.76. The plan is the cheapest, but the difference between annual and 2-year is not significant.
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PrivadoVPN does not accept payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins yet. So, there is no way to pay without the transaction being recorded. You can pay with Bitcoin for many other VPNs, but not PrivadoVPN.
PrivadoVPN is no doubt a great VPN that is on its way to becoming the Next Proton VPN or better. The privacy policies and jurisdictions look excellent, however, they have never been tested in any real life yet. The VPN has smooth but basic applications which still lack important features that many other VPNs provide.
While the pricing does make the VPN look exclusive, it still lacks the infrastructure and network of industry leaders. The VPN is surely growing, but it still has a grow a lot to be a name in the price-competitive industry.
As my final remarks on PrivadoVPN, if you have decided to get PrivadoVPN after the article, you got yourself covered. If you are still confused, I would suggest you explore Surfshark VPN as an alternative.
Yes, PrivateVPN is known for its ability to unblock popular streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. Their dedicated streaming servers ensure a smooth and buffer-free streaming experience.
PrivateVPN supports torrenting and P2P file sharing on its servers. The VPN offers strong encryption and a strict no-logs policy, ensuring your torrenting activities remain private and secure.
PrivateVPN delivers impressive speeds, making it suitable for streaming, gaming, and other bandwidth-intensive activities. However, the speed may vary depending on factors such as server location, your internet connection, and network congestion.
Yes, PrivateVPN allows users to connect up to six devices simultaneously with a single subscription. This ensures you can secure multiple devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers, with a single account.
PrivateVPN offers dedicated apps for various platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. The VPN also provides manual setup guides for other devices such as Linux, routers, and more, ensuring widespread compatibility.
PrivateVPN offers robust security features, including AES 256-bit encryption, a variety of VPN protocols (OpenVPN, L2TP, IKEv2, and PPTP), a kill switch, and DNS leak protection. These features work together to provide a secure and private browsing experience.
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