PrivadoVPN Review 2024: Private, Fast, and Cheap

PrivadoVPN unblocks Netflix, provides fast speeds, and has super affordable prices. But we wish it had more servers and available countries.
4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On PrivadoVPN's website

VPN
PrivadoVPN
  • Affordable pricing and a free plan option
  • Fast speeds and unblocks Netflix
  • Low server count
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

If you want a fast and secure VPN that’s also affordable (starting at about $2 per month), we recommend PrivadoVPN.

We like that PrivadoVPN works with Netflix and we didn’t have any issues with its interface, security features, or the speed and privacy tests we ran. We also recognize that PrivadoVPN is a newer VPN provider, but we think it could benefit from a larger server count and an independent audit of its no-logs policy.

Let’s dig into the details of our PrivadoVPN review to see if it’s one of the best VPNs on the market.

Pros
  • Affordable pricing and a free plan option
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds and unblocks Netflix
Cons
  • Low server count
  • Ad blocker and parental controls could be better
In this article
Overview
Our experience
Who is PrivadoVPN best for?
Prices and subscriptions
Features
Test results
Compatibility
Customer support
Alternatives
FAQs
Bottom line

PrivadoVPN overview

Price Free–$10.99/mo
Free version Yes
Max # of connected devices 10
# of servers Hundreds in 45 countries
VPN protocol OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2
No-logs policy No logs
Headquarters Switzerland
Netflix access Yes
Details Get PrivadoVPN
Prices as of 5/10/2024.

How we test and rate VPNs

We complete standardized hands-on tests for each VPN we review so we can put their claims to the test. This includes vigorous third-party testing by comparing our internet speed while connected to different servers, checking for DNS leaks, making sure the kill switch actually works, and more. We also make sure we can comfortably access popular streaming sites, like Netflix, and still do our day-to-day work without interruption.

Once we’ve completed the testing, our editorial rating is calculated by taking into account key features you’d expect from a good product. We score each VPN in the following categories and use a weighted average to calculate the final rating out of 5 stars: price, server count, speed, security, and features.


4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On PrivadoVPN's website
VPN
PrivadoVPN
  • Affordable pricing and a free plan option
  • Fast speeds and unblocks Netflix
  • Low server count

Our experience

Our experience with PrivadoVPN was overall very positive. The software is sleek, easy to use, affordable, and works perfectly 99% of the time.

When we first opened up the browser app, it was easy to understand how to connect to servers — just click the giant orange button that says Click to Connect.

PrivadoVPN main screen

If you want to specify which location you want to connect to, PrivadoVPN makes it easy by listing everything out by country in order of latency.

You can also choose different sorting options or just simply search for the country you're looking for. As an added bonus, you'll also be recommended the fastest server for your location right at the top and get the ability to favorite servers for easy access.

PrivadoVPN server list

Connecting to servers was smooth and we didn't experience a lot of glitches throughout our testing. At one point, our Spotify broke and started skipping every song, but we were able to fix this by just switching servers.

When completing our hands-on testing, we didn't see any noticeable decline in speed, which is top priority. We were also happy with all the leak tests it passed, though the parental controls leave a bit to be desired. 

If you're looking for a reliable VPN that's based in a privacy-conscious country, has a robust no-log policy, and doesn't impede on your internet's performance too much — then PrivadoVPN is a good option that even comes at a pretty affordable price.

Who is PrivadoVPN best for?

  • Recommended for someone who wants an affordable VPN that works with Netflix and doesn’t slow down their online activities.

The reasons why you should use a VPN vary by person. But, in general, VPNs help keep your online activity private and secure. They can also unlock opportunities to watch regional content on different streaming platforms.

With PrivadoVPN, we didn’t have any issues streaming regional Netflix content or masking our IP address and other information. We also felt secure with PrivadoVPN’s encryption and VPN protocols and with the available features, such as a kill switch and split tunneling.

Finally, we didn’t experience any significant drops in our internet speed while using PrivadoVPN, and the pricing is more than affordable. It’s hard to beat a price starting at about $2 per month, but you can always use the free plan, too.

PrivadoVPN prices and subscriptions

PrivadoVPN has three paid plans to choose from, including a one-month, a 12-month, and a 24-month plan. There’s also a free plan, which could help you save on VPN costs. And starting at about $2 per month, even the paid PrivadoVPN plans are affordable.

Compare this to the starting prices of other popular VPNs:

  • Hotspot Shield: $7.99/mo (billed annually).
  • ExpressVPN: $6.67/mo (billed annually).
  • NordVPN: $4.69/mo (billed biennially) for the first two years.
  • PrivadoVPN: $1.48/mo (billed annually).

PrivadoVPN is the least expensive of these VPNs, costing less than five times the amount of Hotspot Shield per month. PrivadoVPN might not have the largest server network, but it provides fast speeds and can unblock Netflix at an extremely affordable price.

Plan 1-Month Plan 12-Month Plan 24-Month Plan
Price per month $10.99/mo $2/mo (billed annually) $1.48/mo (billed annually)
Prices as of 5/10/2024.

PrivadoVPN accepts a huge range of payments, including several types of cryptocurrency:

PrivadoVPN payment types accepted

PrivadoVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee on its 12-month and 24-month plans but not monthly ones. Note that you can’t access the 30-day money-back guarantee if you subscribe to PrivadoVPN through the Apple App Store — you’ll need to contact Apple Support directly.

PrivadoVPN free plan

PrivadoVPN offers a free VPN plan in addition to its paid plans. The free plan limits you to 10 GB of data per month, access to 12 servers in 10 countries, and one device connection. You also can’t access Control Tower features, including the ad blocker, threat protection, and parental controls.

Note that it’s not very straightforward if you want to sign up for a free PrivadoVPN plan. You can find a minuscule, almost hidden button for the free plan during the checkout process.

You can find a minuscule, almost hidden button for the PrivadoVPN free plan during the checkout process.

We also found a button to get the free plan after downloading the PrivadoVPN Windows app and selecting the option to create an account.

We also found a button to get the free plan after downloading the PrivadoVPN Windows app and selecting the option to create an account.

Free plan testing

From our testing, we found we could access servers in these countries using a free plan:

  • United States
  • Mexico
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Switzerland
  • Argentina
  • Netherlands
  • Brazil

We had no trouble using a free plan to connect to a U.K. server and unblock Netflix regional content in the U.K.

We had no trouble using the PrivadoVPN free plan to connect to a U.K. server and unblock Netflix regional content in the U.K.

Considering you’re limited to 10 GB of data per month on a free plan, we wanted to see what this meant in terms of how much streaming you could do before getting cut off.

So we left a show on Netflix running while connected to the VPN to see how much data a short episode might use. Granted, we also did some Google Chrome browsing while the episode ran.

We ended up at 9.5 GB left of our 10 GB allotment after finishing a 20-minute episode of a Netflix show and doing some light Chrome browsing. That’s about 40 minutes of streaming per GB, or a little over 6.5 hours of streaming total, according to our rough calculations.

Free vs. paid plans

Feature PrivadoVPN Free Plan PrivadoVPN Unlimited VPN
Data 10 GB per month Unlimited
Number of servers 12 Hundreds
Number of countries 10 45
Number of device connections 1 10
Ad blocker
Threat protection
Parental controls
Data as of 5/11/2023.

PrivadoVPN features

We tested PrivadoVPN using the Windows desktop app on a PC from a physical location in Canada. We also used the Google Chrome browser to access our PrivadoVPN account and use PrivadoVPN’s different features.

The PrivadoVPN Windows app was easy to install and use, with a user-friendly minimalistic design and helpful features, like a kill switch and a split tunneling option (called SmartRoute).

We thought the option to go through a tutorial at our initial app launch was a helpful feature, especially if you’re new to using VPNs.

PrivadoVPN walks you through a tutorial when you first launch the app.

Overall, we had no glaring issues using the PrivadoVPN app or any of the features we tested. We think the PrivadoVPN server network is smaller than some competitors, but it’s also hard to beat Privado’s low prices.

Server network

  • Hundreds of servers in 45 countries

PrivadoVPN doesn’t publish its exact server count, but its website mentions the number is in the hundreds and spread across 45 countries and 66 cities. For both its server count and the number of available countries, PrivadoVPN falls a bit short of what the competition has to offer.

For example, in a comparison of Surfshark vs. PrivadoVPN, Surfshark has over 3,200 servers in 100 countries. Privado could be slightly behind because the company is only a few years old. So don’t be surprised if more servers are added to the PrivadoVPN in the future.

In some cases, certain servers could experience heavy loads if many users are connected, which could slow down your connection speed. But you can simply switch to another server with a lower load if you have plenty of servers to choose from.

Having more countries to choose from gives you more opportunities to stream regional content from around the world. If that’s important to you, it’s worth considering which countries are available with different VPN providers.

Note that PrivadoVPN uses physical servers rather than virtual. Physical servers are generally more reliable, powerful, and customizable than virtual servers. They tend to be more secure if the VPN provider owns the servers it uses, which PrivadoVPN does.

No-logs policy and headquarters

  • PrivadoVPN logs policy: No logs
  • PrivadoVPN headquarters: Switzerland

PrivadoVPN is based in Switzerland and has a strict no-logs — or zero-log — policy. According to Privado’s privacy policy, PrivadoVPN doesn’t log your browsing history, traffic destination, data content, IP addresses, or DNS queries associated with PrivadoVPN connections.

This type of no-logs policy generally means that there shouldn’t be any information recorded about your connection or activity that someone could trace back to you, providing you with a high percentage of privacy and anonymity.

And since PrivadoVPN is based in Switzerland, you’re protected by Swiss privacy laws, which some consider among the best in the world.

Switzerland isn’t part of the Five, Nine, or 14 Eyes Alliance, a global intelligence organization that monitors internet activity in certain countries. This, combined with the no-logs policy, means PrivadoVPN likely wouldn’t turn any user information over to police or government officials, especially since PrivadoVPN shouldn’t have that information to begin with.

Note that we couldn’t find any information about PrivadoVPN having had an independent audit of its no-logs policy, which is common practice among top VPN providers to ensure the VPN app truly abides by its no-logs claims.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling lets you exclude certain apps or programs from your VPN connection. This could be helpful if you don’t want your VPN to slow down your connection while playing an online game or still want to browse local content on your web browser while streaming foreign content using a VPN.

The PrivadoVPN split tunneling feature is called “SmartRoute,” and it’s located in the app settings.

The PrivadoVPN split tunneling feature is called “SmartRoute,” and it’s located in the app settings.

We added Google Chrome to the list of applications excluded from the VPN and then checked our IP address using Chrome and Microsoft Edge. Chrome showed our actual IP address, while Edge showed the VPN IP address (in the U.K.), indicating that the split tunneling was working.

We also opened Hulu in Chrome while the VPN was connected to a U.K. server and it worked just fine, which likely wouldn’t be the case if SmartRoute wasn’t working.

Encryption

PrivadoVPN uses AES-256 encryption, which is often recommended as one of the best and strongest encryptions available. This is the type of encryption used by the U.S. government and many other organizations worldwide.

As an example of how strong AES-256 encryption is, it’s calculated that it would take billions of years to crack with our current technology.

VPN protocol

PrivadoVPN uses OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 as its VPN protocols. These are common and strong protocols that many popular VPNs use, including NordVPN, though Nord also uses NordLynx, which is a next-generation protocol built around WireGuard.

PrivadoVPN protcols

Threat protection suite and ad blocker

PrivadoVPN paid plans provide access to Control Tower, which offers ways to block ads, protect yourself from online threats, and set up parental controls. You can access your Control Tower settings by logging in to your PrivadoVPN account using a web browser.

PrivadoVPN comes with Control Tower, which offers ways to block ads, protect yourself from online threats, and set up parental controls.

Some of the online threats you can protect against with Control Tower include:

  • Ads
  • Crypto scams
  • Malware
  • Phishing attempts
  • Ransomware

To test it, we turned the ad-blocking feature on in Control Tower and visited websites that tend to display many ads. We visited a page on Forbes and saw multiple ads show up.

We tested PrivadoVPN's Control Tower ad-blocking feature by visiting sites with lots of ads.

We then tried turning on the VPN and visiting the same site again and ended up with mixed results. The ads didn’t load on some pages, while we could still find ads on the other pages. So the ad blocker didn’t work as well as we’d hoped.

PrivadoVPN's Control Tower ad-blocker feature worked on some sites but not all.

Parental controls

You can also use Privado Control Tower to set up certain parental controls, including blocking:

  • Websites that sell legal or illegal drugs
  • Adult content (sexually explicit content)
  • Social media platforms, including separate controls to block Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube

PrivadoVPN's Control Tower also comes with parental controls and site blockers.

We tested the parental controls by turning on the option to block YouTube and the option to block sites that sell drugs. We had no issues loading YouTube or a vape shop website while the parental controls were on and the VPN was off.

We then turned the VPN on and tried to load the same websites. We couldn’t load YouTube at all, but the vape shop website loaded just fine. So it seems like some aspects of the parental controls work, but it doesn’t seem foolproof.

PrivadoVPN test results

We tested PrivadoVPN with speed, DNS leak, WebRTC leak, and kill switch tests to see if it provides fast speeds while protecting your privacy and security. We also tested PrivadoVPN to see if it works with Netflix.

We ran these tests using the PrivadoVPN Windows app on a desktop PC running Windows 10 from a physical location in Canada.

PrivadoVPN passed all of our tests successfully.

Speed tests

  • PrivadoVPN speed test results: PrivadoVPN saw an average download speed difference of 26%, which is fairly typical for a VPN. It wouldn't be noticeable at our typical speeds.

We ran speed tests with PrivadoVPN to see if its VPN service significantly slowed down our internet speed. It’s common to see a slight decrease in speed that could grow larger depending on the VPN server location, but you typically shouldn’t see a huge decrease in internet performance.

We ran a speed test before connecting to PrivadoVPN to establish a baseline speed. We then connected to different PrivadoVPN servers worldwide and ran speed tests for each server we tested.

This was our baseline speed: 219.08 Mbps download speed / 58.72 Mbps upload speed / 19 latency (ping)

PrivadoVPN speed test results

Test type No VPN CA to CA CA to EU CA to AU
Download speed 219.08 Mbps 169.81 Mbps 157.21 Mbps 159.86 Mbps
Upload speed 58.72 Mbps 50.58 Mbps 37.43 Mbps 46.63 Mbps
Latency (ping) 19 ms 66 ms 133 ms 239 ms
Download speed % difference N/A -22% -28% -27%
Upload speed % difference N/A -14% -36% -21%
Latency % difference N/A +247% 600% 1158%
Test results as of 5/10/2024.

Overall, there wasn’t a significant decrease in speeds while connected to different PrivadoVPN servers. We saw about the same decrease in download speed no matter where the server was.

But we expect to see a bit of a slowdown in internet speed while using a VPN, especially as the VPN server gets farther away from our physical location in Canada.

Netflix test

  • PrivadoVPN Netflix test results: PrivadoVPN passed its Netflix tests.

You can watch Netflix with PrivadoVPN, which is great if you want an affordable VPN for streaming.

We tested PrivadoVPN with Netflix by opening Netflix in a Chrome browser while connected to different VPN servers. While connected to different VPN servers, we checked to see if Netflix gave us any errors, wouldn’t load content, or had issues with lag or video quality.

PrivadoVPN unblocked Netflix UK when we connected to a London server.

We had no issues watching regional Netflix content while connected to PrivadoVPN servers in these locations:

  • Denver (U.S.)
  • London (U.K.)
  • Vancouver (Canada)

Unfortunately, the Australian server we were testing did run into an error that got us locked out of the Netflix account for a little bit:

Netflix giving us a proxy error when using Privado VPN's Australian server

PrivadoVPN Netflix test results

US to US US to UK US to Canada US to AU
Did it work with Netflix?
Test results as of 5/10/2024.

We didn’t see any specific servers optimized for streaming, which typically means you can use any available server and it should work. We found that was the case with the servers we tested for Netflix.

DNS leak tests

  • PrivadoVPN DNS leak test results: PrivadoVPN passed its DNS leak tests.

We ran domain name system (DNS) leak tests to see if private information leaked through our internet connection. We used the DNS Leak Test tool from BrowserLeaks for these tests.

Without turning on the VPN and running the test, we could see our IP address, the IP address of our ISP, and the general location of our ISP.

After turning on PrivadoVPN and running the test again, our private information was hidden. We could only see an IP address and ISP information linked to the VPN server, so the leak protection was working.

WebRTC leak tests

  • PrivadoVPN WebRTC leak test results: PrivadoVPN passed its WebRTC leak tests.

We ran a WebRTC leak test to see if our IP address was exposed while using PrivadoVPN. We used the IP Address tool on the BrowserLeaks website to run these tests.

With the VPN off, we could see our IP address and associated ISP information. With the VPN on, we could only see an IP address and other information associated with the VPN.

PrivadoVPN has no WebRTC leaks

Kill switch

PrivadoVPN has a kill switch feature in its app. VPN kill switches are typically designed to stop your internet activity if you lose your VPN connection. This could help prevent your IP address or other information from leaking to your internet service provider (ISP) or someone else if your VPN is disconnected.

All you have to do to enable the kill switch functionality is hit this handy little button underneath your server connection:

PrivadoVPN has a kill switch feature in its app.

To test the kill switch, we opened up IPleak.net and switched servers while the site was running. In order to pass, we don't want to see our real IP address show up between the first server and the second server.

Luckily, PrivadoVPN passed with flying colors. When we switched from an Australian server to a Canadian server based in Ontario, our real IP address based in New Brunswick didn't show up:

PrivadoVPN kill switch test

PrivadoVPN compatibility

PrivadoVPN supports these devices, operating systems, and mobile apps:

  • Windows
  • macOS (Mac)
  • iOS (iPhone and iPad)
  • Android
  • Android TV
  • FireTV

Note that while PrivadoVPN might not provide dedicated apps for other devices or operating systems, you can still use PrivadoVPN on Linux and certain routers.

For torrenting, Privado suggests using the PrivadoVPN SOCKS5 proxy with certain torrent clients, including BitTorrent, uTorrent, Deluge, and Vuze.

PrivadoVPN customer support

PrivadoVPN offers 24/7 email support and online help guides.

Email support

If you wish to email support, you can find the option to create a ticket on their support site.

Overall, we found the email support helpful. We asked about torrenting and streaming capabilities and whether any servers were optimized for either feature. We received an email response in a little over 20 minutes after sending our query, which is quite quick.

The response confirmed that PrivadoVPN works with torrenting and we were given a link to torrenting setup guides for different clients.

We received an email response in a little over 20 minutes that confirmed that PrivadoVPN works with torrenting and we were given a link to torrenting setup guides for different clients.

Unfortunately, the email response didn’t address anything about optimized servers or whether PrivadoVPN works with different streaming services. But a live chat rep told us PrivadoVPN works with Netflix, Peacock, Discovery+, BBC iPlayer, and mlb.tv.

Support guides

The online guides are useful, but not super comprehensive. For example, the article for downloading the PrivadoVPN iOS app doesn’t do much more than give you a link to the applicable App Store page.

Tthe article for downloading the PrivadoVPN iOS app doesn’t do much more than give you a link to the applicable App Store page.

Live chat

When we tested this product in May 2023, we were able to find the live chat feature after a bit of a wild goose chase. A rep told us it’s usually 24/7 service unless nobody is available, which should only be the case if reps are already helping other people. So we wondered if the functionality disappeared while no one was available, which is why we couldn’t find it at first.

Upon fully retesting PrivadoVPN in 2024, we were unable to find the live chat functionality anywhere, even at different times of day. It's possible they may have removed this feature and settled for the email and guides being good enough.

Top alternatives

If you're on the fence about PrivadoVPN, there are plenty of options for you to think about. Here's some top examples that you can compare to what you like and don't like about PrivadoVPN:

Price $3.69–$15.99/mo $2.19–$17.95/mo $2.19–$12.99/mo
Free version
Max # of connected devices 10 Unlimited 7
# of servers 6,300+ servers in 111 countries 3,200 in 100 countries Servers in 100 countries
VPN protocol NordLynx (WireGuard), OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2 Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Encryption AES 256-bit AES 256-bit AES 256-bit
No-logs policy No logs No logs No logs
Headquarters Panama The Netherlands Romania
Netflix access
Learn more Get NordVPN Get Surfshark Get CyberGhost

FAQs


+

Is PrivadoVPN really free?

Yes, PrivadoVPN is free if you use its free plan. The free plan provides VPN access on one device at a time, 10 GB of data per month, and a selection of 12 global servers. With a paid plan, starting at about $2 per month, you get unlimited data and access to hundreds of servers on up to 10 devices.


+

Does PrivadoVPN sell your data?

PrivadoVPN doesn’t sell your data, according to statements on its website. Rather, PrivadoVPN makes money by selling its premium VPN services. You can also use a free PrivadoVPN plan, but it limits your monthly data usage, how many devices you can use, and how many servers you can access.


+

Which is better, PrivadoVPN or NordVPN?

NordVPN is the better VPN in terms of overall reliability, as it has had multiple independent audits of its no-logs policy. PrivadoVPN is a newer VPN service that hasn’t yet had an independent audit completed of its no-logs policy, so it’s hard to verify the veracity of the policy.

Bottom line: Is PrivadoVPN good?

PrivadoVPN makes sense if you want a fast and affordable VPN that works with Netflix.

PrivadoVPN is a fairly new VPN service (founded in 2019) compared to longtime favorites like NordVPN (2012) and ExpressVPN (2009). It hasn’t yet completed an independent audit of its no-logs policy. Still, it provides fast speeds and high levels of security, so it’s worth a look if you want rock-bottom prices (starting at about $1.48/mo (billed annually).)

For our top recommendations and more VPN reviews, check out the best VPN apps.

4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On PrivadoVPN's website
VPN
PrivadoVPN
  • Affordable pricing and a free plan option
  • Fast speeds and unblocks Netflix
  • Low server count
Author Details
Ben Walker is a security, travel, and credit card writer with a passion for all things internet and technology, whether it's using VPNs while away from home or organizing his life with password managers.
Kalleigh Lane is a passionate digital security advocate and the Lead Editor at All About Cookies. After completing her Master of Arts in English Literature, Kalleigh has gained over 5 years of editing and writing experience in the fields of cybersecurity, tech, and finance. She has been featured in major media outlets such as The Globe and Mail and CTV News, emerging as an advocate for digital security.