PrivadoVPN review: a privacy-focussed service that's free to use
ARE you looking for a VPN with good security features and a free subscription plan? Keep reading then, because PrivadoVPN has both.
We have tested PrivadoVPN for over two weeks and in this review, you'll find everything you need to know about this VPN.
Get 38% off PrivadoVPN
The VPN provider is currently offering 38% off its monthly price.
While a monthly subscription will normally cost you a recurring £6.35 ($7.99), if you purchase a yearly subscription now, you will pay a one-off fee of £47.59 ($59.88), saving you 38% or roughly £28 over 12 months.
- Get 38% off PrivadoVPN's monthly price now
PrivadoVPN is one of the few VPN providers offering a free 10 GB subscription plan (more on that later).
The VPN service works well when it comes to unlocking Netflix and other streaming services, and offers P2P, torrenting support.
PrivadoVPN also offers a no-logs policy and solid security features, though it yet has to undergo a third-party security audit.
Keep reading for an overview of PrivadoVPN's pricing option, connection speeds and app's performance.
We have tested the service on Windows 11, but PrivadoVPN is also available on Windows 10, macOS, and Linux devices, as well as on Android and iOS smartphones.
And if you feel you need to dust off your VPN basics before proceeding, here in our article about what a VPN is and one about whether you should be using one.
PrivadoVPN review: at a glance
PrivadoVPN offers strong encryption and comes with a no-log security policy supported by the company's geographical location.
The VPN also comes with most of the features you would expect from a service in this price range, including a kill switch and support for torrents.
Beyond the monthly and yearly subscriptions, which support 10 devices and the aforementioned security features, PrivadoVPN also offers a "downgraded" but free version of its service.
However, there are a few things we'd like to see added in future updates, including dedicated IPs, the updating of the WireGuard protocol (currently available in preview), and a few app improvements.
Tested: March 2022, Windows 11
- Free plan available (10GB a month)
- Unblocks most streaming sites
- Light client
- Effective kill switch
- Fast speeds
- App is a bit clunky
- No dedicated IPs
- Yearly subscription slightly expensive
- High ping in some servers not ideal for gaming
What is PrivadoVPN?
Based in Switzerland, PrivadoVPN maintains a reportedly rigorous no-log policy, also enabled by the country's stringent privacy laws.
Because of its structural organization, PrivadoVPN also sustains it does not qualify as a Telecommunication Service Provider (TSP) under Swiss law, which means its services are not subjected to any mandatory data retention requirements.
As a result, the VPN provider claims not to store any user information beyond the email address and username, which are required to provide the service.
Unlike NordVPN, however, PrivadoVPN has not yet undergone a third-party security audit.
On a positive note, PrivadoVPN is one of the few well-known VPN providers that has not been acquired by Kape Technologies, a conglomerate that currently owns Private Internet Access VPN, CyberGhost VPN,and ExpressVPN.
How much does PrivadoVPN cost?
- PrivadoVPN, £0 per month (10 GB per month) – get here
- PrivadoVPN, £6.35 ($7.99) per month – buy here
- PrivadoVPN, £47.59 ($59.88) per year (save £28.61) – buy here
As mentioned above, PrivadoVPN is one of the very few VPN providers offering an actual free plan.
The free plan of PrivadoVPN will give you access to 10GB of traffic per month, and connectivity options to 12 locations (as opposed to the 58 of the paid-for subscription options.)
Other limitations include the number of simultaneous connections (one in the free plan and 10 in the paid-for plans), and the lack of SOCKS5 Proxy, which increases the privacy level of your connections.
The monthly subscription to PrivadoVPN will cost you £6.05 ($7.99), which is the cheapest we have seen so far.
The yearly option, on the other hand, costs £45.35 ($59.88), which is a bit more expensive than most VPN services we have tested, including Surfshark and CyberGhost VPN.
PrivadoVPN: server and server locations
PrivadoVPN currently has servers in 45 countries. The number is slightly below average, with the closest competitors we have reviewed being NordVPN with servers in 60 countries, and Surfshark in 65.
The majority of PrivadoVPN's servers are located in Europe, but the company also offers some locations on each of the five continents (though substantially fewer in Africa).
It's worth mentioning here that PrivadoVPN currently operates according to a physical servers' policy, meaning the company does not use virtual servers.
According to PrivadoVPN, "physical servers are more secure than virtual servers, with fewer potential exploits and a smaller chance of a catastrophic security breach."
All of PrivadoVPN's physical servers are owned by the company, enabling the team to respond quickly to issues and optimize performance.
PrivadoVPN: security and privacy
In fact, the company not only claims it doesn't store any data about what users browse or access through a PrivadoVPN connection, but also that they are unable to connect activity originating from an IP address from their VPN servers to activity conducted by an individual user.
In the document, PrivadoVPN also confirms it encrypts all data over VPN connections, and ensures never to log browsing history, traffic destination, data content, IP addresses, or DNS queries.
In terms of security features, PrivadoVPN offers kill switch and auto-connect toggles, together with three VPN protocols: IKEv2, WireGuard (currently in preview mode), and OpenVPN.
On this front, we would like to see added a couple of additional features in the future, such as dedicated IPs, and the possibility to pay for a PrivadoVPN subscription with cryptocurrency for maximum anonymity.
PrivadoVPN: speed and performance
After installing and connecting PrivadoVPN, the first thing we noticed was how light its Windows client was, taking up just 32MB of RAM.
The number effectively makes PrivadoVPN's client the lightest we have tested so far, making it an ideal option if you're using older machines with limited memory.
For context, the second-lightest VPN client we tested was CyberGhost VPN, which at 96MB was almost two times heavier than PrivadoVPN.
Albeit light, however, the PrivadoVPN app does need some work. From an aesthetic point of view, it is quite minimalistic, which is fine. The interface includes the connection icon, the option to choose servers, and a kill switch toggle.
But the app's window size is quite small on most screens (300 x 400-pixel), which translates to a lot of unnecessary scrolling to find servers that are further down in the list.
Oh, and there's no "Favourite" server list either.
But beyond the app's interface, how is PrivadoVPN in terms of speeds? Down below is a breakdown of speeds using different server options.
Our tests have shown that PrivadoVPN is one of the fastest VPN we have tested in terms of RAW speed, with download and upload performance remaining quite high even when selecting servers that are far away from London.
However, the same cannot be said about latency. While the ping remain beautifully low for nearer servers, it went up considerably when connecting to oversea locations such as Japan and Australia.
Low latency is necessary to play online video games, so if you're looking for a VPN specifically for that, CyberGhost offers dedicated servers for gaming.
Still, all in all PrivadoVPN performed well in our tests, and unblocked Netflix for all the tested locations.
How many devices can be supported on PrivadoVPN?
One PrivadoVPN can secure up to ten devices at one time, unless you go for the free option, which only supports one connection at the time.
Ten simultaneous connection is definitely above average in the world of VPNs, with NordVPN's basic offering covering up to six devices, and CyberGhost seven.
And if you're looking for a VPN subscription covering an unlimited number of devices, make sure to check out our SurfShark review.
PrivadoVPN: is it any good?
All-in-all, PrivadoVPN offers a solid service with basic security features and remarkable speeds (though gamers may want to look elsewhere).
The company also has a free subscription option, which is a true rarity in the world of VPN, and its monthly costs are among the lowest we've seen.
The yearly subscription, however, is a bit costly, making the pricing of this VPN service a bit of a hit-and-miss.
The PrivadoVPN client is functional enough and extremely light, but it does need some restyling from a stylistic perspective.
In conclusion, PrivadoVPN is an excellent option is you need a VPN you can use for free for a while before committing to a subscription.
It's good for streaming, but not necessarily for gaming, and we're looking forward to seeing what additional updates PrivadoVPN will unveil over the next few months.
- PrivadoVPN, £0 per month (10 GB per month) – get here
How we test VPN services
Our experts at The Sun use Ookla to test the speed of the VPN services we review. We are based in London, and currently testing speeds via Wi-Fi. All tests are conducted using the same machine and at the same distance from the router.
We test and review each VPN using the same processes, and judge them by the same criteria each time.
These criteria are price, server quality and location, security and privacy, speed and performance, and number/type of supported devices.
All of our reviews are editorially independent and free from bias.
Make sure you know your country’s laws and regulations if you’re unsure about how you're using a VPN service.
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Enjoyed our PrivadoVPN review? Then you should have a look at our round-up of the best VPNs for Netflix in 2022.
We also recently tested out another VPN service – don't miss our Private Internet Access VPN review.
For additional tech recommendations, head over to our dedicated Sun Selects Tech page.
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