PrivadoVPN review

PrivadoVPN is a new VPN that may appeal because of a viable free version and cheap monthly pricing, but it’s not overly competitive on most other fronts.

PrivadoVPN logo
PrivadoVPN
3 out of 5 stars
3
Cheapest price
US$4.99/mth (1 year subscription)
Simultaneous connections
Up to 10
Free version
10GB per 30 days
May 05, 2022
6 min read
Quick verdict: PrivadoVPN review
PrivadoVPN has a strong initial VPN service offering thanks to a decent free version, which has a decent chunk of data and an okay smattering of global servers for a single connection. Paying the admittedly cheap monthly fee unlocks up to 10 simultaneous connections on “hundreds” of servers, which pales in comparison to the thousands of servers from our top picks.
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Viable free version
Pro Bullet Cheap monthly pricing
Pro Bullet 10 simultaneous connections
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Low server, country, location counts
Con Bullet Connection issues
Con Bullet Windows app woes

When it comes to picking the best virtual private network (VPN) for use in Australia, we keep going back to the big names. Why? Because while contenders tend to meet the security and ease-of-use basics that we like in a VPN, they also usually lose value in key pillar comparisons.

PrivadoVPN isn’t really a viable replacement for NordVPN or ExpressVPN, but a solid free version, cheap monthly pricing and a generous helping of simultaneous connections may tempt you to try the VPN upstart.

PrivadoVPN

PrivadoVPN pricing

Here's how much PrivadoVPN charges for its plans.
Plan
Monthly price
Upfront payment
Detail
PrivadoVPN Free Plan$0$0
One-month PrivadoVPN planUS$7.99US$7.99
One-year PrivadoVPN planUS$4.99US$59.88

PrivadoVPN prices and plans compared

Compared to the top five of our best VPN picks, PrivadoVPN beats all of them for typical monthly pricing by at least $5 (with all the prices converted to Australian dollars). That value drops to third place when comparing annual pricing, beaten by CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark VPN, plus there isn’t a biennial or triennial plan to compete with our top picks on long-term value.

That said, PrivadoVPN does have a Free Plan, which the provider actively spruiks on its pricing page, alongside an industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee for its annual plan. The free version includes 10GB per 30 days, which smashes the 2GB on offer from Speedify. It’s on par with the data offered by Windscribe VPN (except Windscribe offers an actual month of data), but beaten by the unlimited data offered by PureVPN’s free version.

As is the trend, the best value for PrivadoVPN comes from paying for the longest duration. While that’s capped at a year, it brings the monthly pricing down to US$4.99 a month instead of US$7.99, but note that you will be paying the full year upfront (US$96).

Compare PrivadoVPN prices to other VPNs

Brand
Details
Cheapest price
Number of VPN servers
Simultaneous connections
Nord VPNNordVPN
US$3.29/mth
US$78.96 2-year plan for new visitors
5,224
60 countries
6
PrivadoVPN logoPrivadoVPN
US$4.99/mth
US$59.88 1-year plan
60+
47 countries
10
Surfshark

Surfshark

AU$3.39/mth
AU$81.36 2-year plan
3,200+
65 countries

Unlimited

Private Internet Access VPNPrivate Internet Access
AU$2.89/mth
$75.14 2-year plan
28,429
78
10
Ip VanishIPVanish
US$3.99/mth
US47.89 1-year plan
1,600+
52
Unlimited
Express VPN Logo

ExpressVPN

US$8.32/mth
US$99.84 1-year plan
3,000+
94
5

Data effective of last page update. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

PrivadoVPN connectivity and user experience

Some great features muddied by slow connections and an unreliable Windows experience.

Most of my tests were performed on the Windows version of PrivadoVPN, which is a great place to start because it offers a tour of its basic functionality. By default, the kill switch is off—a feature that stops all internet connectivity on your device if the VPN connection stops—and you can easily toggle it off on the main screen, which is handy.

Be aware that it is an aggressive kill switch, which stops all internet connectivity on your device when you’re not connected to a PrivadoVPN server (if you have the service open), and not only in the event of an unexpected disconnection.

Compared to its peers, PrivadoVPN is slow to connect. Lower-latency servers, like those located in Sydney, take about eight seconds to connect and another four seconds to show your new IP address. Connections farther away are slower: it was 10 seconds to Los Angeles and nine seconds to show my new IP, then 12 seconds to London but only three seconds to show my new IP. Mercifully, it only takes a couple of seconds to disconnect, but cancelling your connection also takes a few seconds.

Privado says its VPN has “hundreds” of servers which, despite being wholly comprised of physical servers owned by the provider (and not virtual servers), isn’t a flash number compared to its peers. More concerning is the comparatively low numbers for countries (48 at the time of review) and locations (60 by my count). Considering the only Australian servers are in Sydney, those using PrivadoVPN up north, out west and in Tasmania should anticipate a greater impact to latency, download and upload speeds.

During testing, there were times that connection times took longer than those outlined above or were perpetually stuck on connecting. With no control over manual server connection, this means you’re at the mercy of Privado’s automated server selection. It also doesn’t have a favourites feature nor does it offer a list of recently connected servers, so you have to scroll through the full list by country name, filter by latency or manually search for the location you want.

PrivadoVPN supported devices

PrivadoVPN allows for 10 simultaneous connections and an unlimited number of device installations. It also has supported apps for a good range of devices, including:
  • Windows
  • Android
  • MacOS
  • iOS
  • Fire TV
  • Android TV

PrivadoVPN also supports compatible Asus, DD-WRT and pfSense routers, as well as SOCKS5 proxy for peer-to-peer software. Note that installing PrivadoVPN on a compatible router will provide VPN protection for all devices in your home when connected, but this will also impact overall connection speeds for all devices.

PrivadoVPN speeds

Download, upload and latency tested results.

Unless your internet provider is throttling your speeds, you can safely expect that connecting to a VPN service will impact your latency and download/upload speeds. To highlight this, the table below shows the test results of midday speeds for PrivadoVPN with a Superloop NBN 100/40Mbps FTTC connection.

PrivadoVPN server latency and speeds from Australia

VPN server
Download speed
Upload speed
Latency
No VPN80.46Mbps38.31Mbps5ms
AU VPN74.15Mbps (~8% slower)35.39Mbps (~8% slower)6ms (1ms slower)
US VPN (manual, Los Angeles)66.33Mbps (~18% slower)29.23Mbps (~24% slower)184ms (179ms slower)
"UK VPN (manual, London)"37.78Mbps (~53% slower)30.11Mbps (~21% slower)259ms (254ms slower)

The single-digit percentage change in download and upload speed for the Sydney server, plus the negligible 1ms impact to latency, are all great and on par with some of the better-performing VPN services. Then again, I’m based in Sydney, so those numbers will change if you’re connecting from other parts of our vast nation. The latency when connecting to Los Angeles is okay but not particularly fast, and the impact to download and upload speeds is acceptable if not admirable. Latency to London is about where it should be, but you’ll likely notice the 53% hit to downloads and 21% impact on download speeds.

Streaming with PrivadoVPN

For those who don’t mind running the risk of having their streaming services blocked or banned, a VPN can be used to stream content from geoblocked libraries overseas. On this front, PrivadoVPN is an okay workaround. Privado claims to support more than 30 international services of varying popularity, and you can see how it performed in our selection of typical tests below.

PrivadoVPN performance with popular streaming services

Streaming service
PrivadoVPN compatibile?
Buffering speed
Netflix USPartialVaries
HBO MaxYesFast
HuluYesFast
PeacockYesFast
BBC iPlayerYesFast
KayoNoN/A
Stan (including Stan Sport)YesFast

True to its claim, Privado offers fast access to the libraries for HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock and BBC iPlayer, and content is incredibly fast to play, too. That said, while we could access the Netflix US library with PrivadoVPN, buffering content took close to two minutes for LA and Seattle servers, which is a painfully long wait. On one testing day, the LA server had a partial VPN detection, in that it was showing popular US library content but was saying specific US content wasn’t available in my region. Netflix US speeds are fast on other servers, though—between two and 13 seconds—but testing across the list of US servers also had me caught in a “cannot detect IP” error loop for Washington DC and New York.

In terms of Australian services, PrivadoVPN had no problems tackling Stan and Stan Sport, but it was blocked by Kayo. Admittedly, Kayo is very good at sniffing out VPNs, with only Windscribe, Hotspot Shield and ExpressVPN bypassing it in my tests.

The table below gives you an idea of how PrivadoVPN might work with your NBN connection. It uses the current download speed averages from the latest ACCC NBN data (from participating NBN providers) to give you an idea of how the best-case 18% and 53% download speed changes for Los Angeles and London servers, respectively, might impact your overall download speed when using PrivadoVPN. The three columns on the right offer the number of simultaneous streams per connection. While Netflix has a maximum of four simultaneous streams per 4K account, Hulu and BBC iPlayer have options for unlimited streams. We know these stream numbers get ridiculous for beyond-NBN 100 plans, but they’re a good indication of speed degradation.

PrivadoVPN speeds for international 4K streaming services

NBN speed tier
Average NBN TEDS
PrivadoVPN TEDS
Netflix US 4K (25Mbps)
Hulu 4K (16Mbps)
BBC iPlayer (24Mbps)
NBN 1211.72Mbps"9.61Mbps (US), 5.51Mbps (UK)"Too slowToo slowToo slow
NBN 2524.42Mbps"20.02Mbps (US), 11.48Mbps (UK)"Too slowToo slowToo slow
NBN 5048.84Mbps"40.05Mbps (US), 22.95Mbps (UK)"1 stream1 streamToo slow
NBN 10097.68Mbps"80.1Mbps (US), 45.91Mbps (UK)"3 streams2 streams1 stream
NBN 250244.2Mbps"200.24Mbps (US), 114.77Mbps (UK)"4+ streams7 streams4 streams
NBN 500488.4Mbps"400.49Mbps (US), 229.55Mbps (UK)"4+ streams25 streams9 streams
NBN 1000976.8Mbps"800.98Mbps (US), 459.1Mbps (UK)"4+ streams50 streams19 streams

Should I buy PrivadoVPN?

Cheap monthly pricing is great for VPN first-timers but there are better services available.

There are other, better VPN services available that beat PrivadoVPN on most meaningful metrics. For server, country and location counts, opt for CyberGhost, PureVPN or Private Internet Access VPN. Hotspot Shield is a speedy streaming powerhouse. And you can score unlimited simultaneous connections from Surfshark, IPVanish and Windscribe. The good news is you can try PrivadoVPN for free and, if you do decide to upgrade, it does have incredibly cheap monthly pricing.

Compare PrivadoVPN with other VPN services

How does PrivadoVPN compare?

Compared to the top five of our best VPN picks, PrivadoVPN beats all of them for typical monthly pricing by at least $5 (with all the prices converted to Australian dollars). That value drops to third place when comparing annual pricing, beaten by CyberGhost VPN and Surfshark VPN, plus there isn’t a biennial or triennial plan to compete with our top picks on long-term value.

That said, PrivadoVPN does have a Free Plan, which the provider actively spruiks on its pricing page, alongside an industry-standard 30-day money-back guarantee for its annual plan. The free version includes 10GB per 30 days, which smashes the 2GB on offer from Speedify. It’s on par with the data offered by Windscribe VPN (except Windscribe offers an actual month of data), but beaten by the unlimited data offered by PureVPN’s free version.

As is the trend, the best value for PrivadoVPN comes from paying for the longest duration. While that’s capped at a year, it brings the monthly pricing down to US$4.99 a month instead of US$7.99, but note that you will be paying the full year upfront (US$96).

Compare PrivadoVPN prices to other VPNs

Brand
Details
Cheapest price
Number of VPN servers
Simultaneous connections
Nord VPNNordVPN
US$3.29/mth
US$78.96 2-year plan for new visitors
5,224
60 countries
6
PrivadoVPN logoPrivadoVPN
US$4.99/mth
US$59.88 1-year plan
60+
47 countries
10
Surfshark

Surfshark

AU$3.39/mth
AU$81.36 2-year plan
3,200+
65 countries

Unlimited

Private Internet Access VPNPrivate Internet Access
AU$2.89/mth
$75.14 2-year plan
28,429
78
10
Ip VanishIPVanish
US$3.99/mth
US47.89 1-year plan
1,600+
52
Unlimited
Express VPN Logo

ExpressVPN

US$8.32/mth
US$99.84 1-year plan
3,000+
94
5

Data effective of last page update. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

PrivadoVPN FAQs

Here are the most frequently asked questions about PrivadoVPN.
There are free and paid versions of PrivadoVPN. The free version works on one device and offers 10GB of data to use with 13 international locations.
PrivadoVPN has a decent selection of locations in its free version, though none of them are in Australia. Here’s where you can connect to with the PrivadoVPN Free Plan:
  • United States (Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, New York, Miami)
  • Mexico City
  • Montreal
  • Zurich
  • London
  • Amsterdam
  • Paris
  • Frankfurt
  • Sao Paulo
You can trust PrivadoVPN because it has a zero-log policy and is based in Switzerland, which operates outside data-sharing alliances. PrivadoVPN also has industry-standard military-grade encryption to keep your connection private and secure.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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