Privado VPN Review

It's nice to find a VPN from a newer company that looks like its ready to compete in the big leagues.

VPN’s maybe have a bit of an undeserved reputation in some quarters. For some, they are seen as a means to a nefarious end. At the very least allowing the illegal streaming of foreign Netflix right down to hiding a multi-national torrenting piracy ring but surely there is more to keeping your privacy, er private?

Even if you take things to the next extreme that you might need to keep your internet identity somewhere secure because you are a journalist in a country with, let’s say, less stringent rules around freedom of the press. You might want a VPN to look after your online identity in that case.

But what if you are like me? Not massively worried about being kidnapped by the Belarus Secret Service and whisked away never to be seen again but still pretty keen all around on not being followed round the internet by ad-trackers, cookies, advertisers, marketers, and other general annoying cyber-folk.

That’s when a VPN gets interesting.

That’s also when a VPN gets confusing. The world has plenty of options when it comes to Virtual Private Networks. We have some big players who are well established such as Tunnel Bear, Cyber Ghost, and SurfShark but a whole host of others you might not have heard of.

So how, when you are keen to protect your privacy, do you make sure you hand over your cash to a company that actually cares about whether you stay anonymous online or not. Well for starters you can check out our Best VPN article right here or even have a closer look at our guide to staying safe online.

Both will serve you in good stead, but what if you come across a relative newcomer to the VPN offering field. The best thing then is to wait for a review and, well here you are.

VPN? Try Privado

Privado VPN is a relative newcomer to the scene and is based out of Switzerland – a country known for protecting some of the best privacy laws in the world. This is a good start but doesn’t end there.

Signing up for one of Privado’s plans (there is a free month-long trial too so you can test the service out and see if it for you) which come in prices that are pretty much the same across the industry – you’ll pay about $5 a month for the most popular service – will give you login details that can then be used to download the installer.

Things are pretty simple from there. Install it as you would with anything and you will be quickly greeted by the app which sits in the taskbar. Tap in your user credentials again and you will be into the VPN proper.

It’s important to note that the software, unlike some, does not automatically connect you to the internet unless you change the settings. This may be useful in some situations but if you forget when you reboot or crash you could find yourself exposed, so it’s best to change it to automatically connect and then disconnect if you don’t need the privacy layer for certain things.

There is also a Kill Switch which is disabled by default, but this sits on the control panel, rather than having to head to the Settings. This will automatically drop your internet connection should your partnership with the VPN server flake out for whatever reason. Again, pretty standard stuff these days but it is good it’s there.

Other features

On top of all that Privado offers the following: (for transparency they sent us a list of these features):

Privado VPN Ease Of Use

Well, this section is pretty simple to write. Privado VPN is as simple as you could hope for when it comes to connecting and securing your internet safety. I took the quick help tour you are offered upon installation, but really didn’t need to. After that, I selected a random ISP server in Turkey and was connected within seconds. A few checks on the web to ensure I was safe came back clear with my identity well and truly hidden and to all intents and purposes, I was browsing the web as if I was sat in Instanbul enjoying the heat and a ridiculously strong coffee.

But can I watch foreign Netflix with Privado VPN?

You can indeed. Just by selecting a country in the VPN, connecting then logging into Netflix, you will be able to watch region-restricted content. Handy if you are a US Netflix user who finds themselves away on business or on holiday in Europe. Many people use VPNs in this manner and Privado VPN offers no barriers to this usage case.

You are only as safe as the server you use

Private has over 200 servers in 45 countries. Compared with some of the mainstream providers that may not seem a lot, but realistically it is more than enough. It’s unlikely you are going to come across any restrictions you can’t maneuver around with this number of options. Privado also manages many of the servers themselves which adds another potential layer of security to your session. Rented servers are a risk in some cases.

It would be nice to see in the app which these are though. I couldn’t find an easy way of discovering this, even though I would always be more inclined to go for these options.

Other nice bits

Privado offers a pretty comprehensive package on its paid tier. Torrenting and P2P, in general, is well catered for with the ability to use SOCKS5 protocol to speed things up at the expense of a little privacy is a nice touch – though I’d just keep using the regular old VPN for the security myself.

Privado is a breeze to use and the settings are only a couple of clicks away if you need them. You certainly aren’t overburdened by scary hacker-esque options and language and it would be quite easy for pretty much anybody to get on with the app, certainly on a Windows PC.

Maybe some people would want more ‘in-your-face’ options but I don’t think that’s who Privado is necessarily targeting here. The Privado app has been made deliberately easy to get around and is all the better for that. It’s quite simple to turn it on and never, ever think about it again which is great, and also quite a relief that you can just turn on ‘internet safety’ and forget about it.

Don’t VPNs Themselves Cause A Dip In Connection Speed?

Nope In fact, more and more in the 21st century, this is becoming a non-issue, especially if you’re getting speeds of 100 Mbps from your ISP. If you’re already using one of our best VPNs, and it’s causing a glitch in your connection speed, get rid of it immediately and go for one of the modern alternatives we suggest.

Why Do I Need A VPN?

There are lots of reasons why you would choose to run the best VPN you can find. Smoother, faster connections for one. A response to the throttling tendencies of some ISPs is another. Protection from DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks is more likely with a VPN. And whether your data includes financial information, activity location or the ability for hackers to put malicious code on your computer through your IP address, an effective (ideally log-free) gaming VPN can help give you a better online experience all around.

With VPN technology constantly improving and more companies offering more and more simultaneous connections so you can keep all your devices protected, browser extensions and a money-back guarantee if you don’t get on with the product, the world of VPNs has never been more exciting, even if it’s not always the first thing you think of before a massive online session.

Our Verdict

Editor's Choice

Privado VPN

Simple VPN for everybody

4.7/5

If you are new to the world of VPNs then Privado is a great choice. It’s remarkably simple to use from start to finish and has enough server options for the vast majority of users. It’s fast, connects quickly, and stays connected so you can’t really ask for much more. Competitively priced and secure to boot, Privado looks ready to gatecrash the big boys’ VPN party.

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PC guide
Been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision. Spent over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title. Has written tech content for GamePro, Official Australian Playstation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the Daily Mirror. Twitter: @iampaulmcnally

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