Today, I will be giving out the Complete and Comprehensive review of Private Tunnel accompanied by the Definitive Guide on all you need to know before buying.
It is the commercial child of OpenVPN Technologies, the people responsible for the OpenVPN protocol.
It is relatively unknown in the VPN industry, so I decided to conduct a Private Tunnel review to see how the service performs.
I usually recommend using the OpenVPN protocol when using a VPN, so finding out where Private Tunnel stands as a VPN service was especially intriguing.
Now by the end of this review, you will definitely know if Private Tunnel is actually the best for you.
Now let’s dive in,
Private Tunnel Review
I will be discussing Private Tunnel under the following sub-headings.
- About Private Tunnel (Overview)
- Compatible Devices
- Features of Private Tunnel
- Speed and Performance
- Price (Free or Paid version)
- Privacy and Security
- Pros and Cons
1. About Private Tunnel (Overview)
The story of Private Tunnel starts with James Yohan and Francis Dinha, the founders of OpenVPN Technologies Inc.
They achieved massive success with their award-winning OpenVPN project in 2002 and launched their company to enrich its further development.
We look at Private Tunnel more like an online privacy initiative rather than your ordinary VPN provider.
The tried and true team behind it incorporated enhanced software and networking, with state-of-the-art technology and unique features.
It was created to provide its users with optimized security, protected communication services, and reliable connectivity.
We’ve put the service under heavy scrutiny and will relay the complete results in this dedicated review.
2. Compatible Devices
Private Tunnel supports Windows, Mac, Android 4.0+, and iOS 6.1+. It can also work on Linux, but this requires prior knowledge and experience with the command line interface.
You can also make it work on a variety of different operating systems and devices by downloading configuration files and doing some extra work.
While researching for this Private Tunnel review, we tested the VPN on our PC and Android smartphone and the installation was done in just a few minutes without any difficulties in the process.
The following devices are incompatible with Private Tunnel due to their limited support for the OpenVPN driver:
- USB TV sticks
- Set-top TV boxes
- Specialty tablets
Some years ago, there were mentions of implementing support for Blackberry and Windows Phone, but that hasn’t happened yet.
3. Features of Private Tunnel
Private Tunnel offers only a handful of server locations, including the US, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, Canada, Japan, etc. This isn’t enough for worldwide coverage, so you may not be able to connect from your geographic location, depending on where you are located.
You won’t be able to access Private Tunnel from the following countries due to their censorship rules:
- Saudi Arabia
Private Tunnel doesn’t offer service in the following countries:
- Ivory Coast
We also weren’t able to access Netflix using Private Tunnel, so you should probably look for alternatives if streaming is your main reason for purchasing a VPN.
If you decide to go premium, you’ll have unlimited data access and keep 3 or 4 simultaneous connections. The service also comes with unlimited server speed.
4. Speed and Performance
We connected to numerous random servers throughout our testing circuit and can report mediocre results.
The speeds were generally inconsistent between different servers, with the US server offering somewhat better results than all the others.
We experienced constant disconnects when trying to connect to the UK server and weren’t able to get satisfying results due to persisting connection interruptions.
Servers in Germany and Hong Kong also showed underwhelming results compared to our initial expectations.
All in all, our speed-testing phase yielded poor to mediocre results when it comes to average server speed. We would definitely like to hear more opinions, so you’re more than welcome to contact us and relay your experiences as well.
Private Tunnel is really slow, even if you connect to a VPN server located within the same country as you.
Our download speeds dropped by around 50% over short-distance connections and by almost 90% connecting from the UK to the US.
If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is.
Local Speed Test Results
Before using Private Tunnel:
When connected to Private Tunnel:
Upload speeds were much faster than downloads were when we connected to nearby servers, but that alone doesn’t make Private Tunnel any good for torrenting (read more about that here).
While Private Tunnel is fast enough for basic browsing, it won’t cut it for more performance reliant activities like gaming or 4K streaming.
5. Price (Free or Paid version)
Private Tunnel offers 7-day free trial on all plans. The monthly plan will set you off at $6, while the yearly plan for only $36 a year. It bundles unlimited data access and three simultaneous connections. The pricing is straightforward and accessible, especially considering the seven-day free trial.
The company only accepts the traditional payment methods like PayPal, credit and debit cards, wire transfers, and Apple gift cards. I think I expected the company behind OpenVPN to offer the latest in VPNs, including anonymous payment and top-notch no-logs policy.
6. Privacy and Security
Private Tunnel uses the OpenVPN protocol exclusively. This means you won’t have the option of connecting with PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, and SSTP. This is not a downside in our opinion since we always recommend using OpenVPN.
The service is located in the US, which can be a deal-breaker for some VPN users. Although the US doesn’t have any mandatory data retention laws, it is home to the CIA and NSA, which are notorious for their warrants and gag orders. In other words, the US is definitely not a friendly place for VPN services.
Private Tunnel uses AES-GCM cipher with 128-bit keys, which is rather weak according to modern standards.
AES-256 is considered to be the strongest cipher currently on the market as it still remains “uncracked” by the authorities.
You can visit the site anonymously, but if you decide to register, you’ll be prompted to provide your name, email, phone number, and payment details.
Private Tunnel will collect this information and record it into its database. The recorded data is protected via SSL technology, but we would be much happier if the company didn’t record any logs in the first place.
7. Pros and Cons
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Expandable simultaneous connections for an extra fee
- Good speeds in synthetic tests
- Multiple protocols
- Live chat support
- Connection logs
- Possibly usage logs
- Basic software
- No Netflix, no BBC iPlayer
- Limited server locations
- Does not accept Bitcoin
- Geared toward advanced users
- No-kill switch
Evaluating the service in this Private Tunnel review, I found some good qualities. For instance, it uses strong protocols for encryption and VPN tunneling along with fast speeds.
The customer service is also extremely responsive and answers your queries without wasting time.
The bad aspects of the service include the fact that it keeps your IP logs for 30 days, doesn’t offer protective features like Kill Switch, has a small server network, and doesn’t support Netflix and torrenting.
This brings us to the end. Hope I left nothing out?
If you enjoyed this article and appreciate the time and effort I put into developing it, let me know right away in the comment section.
Also, tell me:
Have you downloaded any VPN yet?
If not download and install a Private Tunnel, try it out and let’s know your experience in the comment section.
Or maybe you have a question let me know in the comment section.
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