Private Tunnel Review 2020
Private Tunnel comes from a team that developed OpenVPN protocol. Based in the US, it has only 49 servers and doesn't support torrents nor Netflix. For only $3.00/mo, it earns 2.8-star rating.
Private Tunnel VPN comes from the same team that developed OpenVPN technology. It is based in the US and offers 49 servers in 12 countries, which pales in comparison to the extensive network coverage of PureVPN and Surfshark.
The service offers a decent speed but doesn’t tend to unblock Netflix and nor does it support torrenting. In addition, it stores IP addresses and other connection logs for a period of 14-30 days which is a little bit concerning.
Nonetheless, in this Private Tunnel review, I found the VPN to have excellent customer speed, good security, and a very affordable yearly pricing plan
For these reasons, it has earned a rating of 2.8/5.0.
My Rating Criteria
Here you will find a list of 9 factors that I will be using to perform this review:
- Jurisdiction – Is Private Tunnel located in a 5-eyes country?
- Security – Is Private Tunnel secure?
- Leaks – Does Private Tunnel leak IP, DNS & WebRTC?
- Servers – Is Private Tunnel compatible with P2P?
- Speed – How fast is Private Tunnel VPN?
- Streaming – Does Private Tunnel work with Netflix?
- Compatibility – How many devices does Private Tunnel support?
- Pricing – How much does Private Tunnel VPN cost?
- Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Rating, Reddit Reviews & Support
Jurisdiction – Is Private Tunnel located in a 5-eyes country?
Private Tunnel VPN is based in Pleasanton, California US that means it falls under 5 Eyes country. Although there are no mandatory data retention laws in the US, the history of surveillance in the country doesn’t exactly inspire trust.
Therefore, jurisdiction-wise, Private Tunnel isn’t off to the perfect start in this review. Nonetheless, it is the logging policy that will ultimately decide if the jurisdiction may have implications on your privacy.
Security – Is Private Tunnel secure?
Yes, Private Tunnel is quite secure. The provider implements AES-256-bit encryption. That is the strongest encryption in the VPN industry.
Since the VPN is built around and by the developers of OpenVPN, it offers the OpenVPN protocol by default (over both UDP and TCP). In addition, it also offers Obfsproxy protocols which can help you deal with censorship in a better way in some countries
Unfortunately, the provider doesn’t offer extra protective features that have become standard in the industry such as kill switch, which is a little disappointing.
Does Private Tunnel Keep Logs?
Private Tunnel stores some connections logs. These include your source IP address, the IP of the server you are connected to, timestamps, and the bandwidth consumed.
This information is kept for 14-30 days and then deleted after. Private Tunnel keeps no information of your traffic or content of data for any length of time whatsoever.
Overall, it is a good logging policy but not perfect. Many providers keep no record of source IP address, which is one of many personally identifiable pieces of information. Moreover, the fact that the VPN is based in the 5 eyes state of the US also makes this logging policy a little wanting from the privacy standpoint.
Leaks – Does Private Tunnel leak IP, DNS & WebRTC?
Private Tunnel VPN easily passed the leak test. I tested for leaks when I connected to its Italy server.
Here are the results:
IP Leak Test:
I found no problems at all when I tested Private Tunnel for IP leaks.
DNS Leak Test:
The VPN easily passed the DNS leak test as well:
WebRTC Leak Test:
It comfortably prevents WebRTC leaks:
For this Private Tunnel VPN review, I also scanned the VPN’s.exe file for any viruses or Trojans. Gladly, I did not find any viruses.
Here is the scan result:
Servers – Is Private Tunnel Compatible with P2P?
The provider offers 49 servers in 12 countries throughout the world. This is a pretty small server network since many providers offer a much wider range of servers like PureVPN. However, it does cover some of the most popular locations that VPN users prefer to connect to such as the US, UK, Netherlands, Japan etc.
These servers are not compatible with p2p filesharing and torrenting. So if you regularly download torrents, Private Tunnel may not be a good option for you.
Does Private Tunnel Work in China?
Private Tunnel is not reliable for China. The provider openly claims that its VPN isn’t functional in countries with restrictions and heavy regulations on VPN traffic, which includes China.
Speed – How fast is Private Tunnel VPN?
Private Tunnel VPN is pretty impressive when it comes to speeds. I used a 30 Mbps connection to perform speed tests for Private Tunnel.
Connecting to a US server, I got an impressive 23.39 Mbps download speed:
The UK server also delivered reasonably fast speeds:
Finally, connecting to Italy, the VPN continued to provide good speeds:
Therefore, Private Tunnel is a remarkably good service as far as speeds are concerned.
Streaming – Does Private Tunnel work with Netflix?
Private Tunnel fails to work with Netflix. I tried visiting Netflix after connecting to Private Tunnel’s US servers. None of these worked and always led to the same error screen:
This makes this VPN a poor choice if the primary reason you’re looking for a VPN is to unblock Netflix regions to access geo-restricted content.
Other Streaming Services
Private Tunnel is also ineffectual when it comes to unblocking other streaming services. I tried accessing BBC iPlayer after connecting to its UK server. BBC iPlayer instantly gave an error message and refused to stream:
Thus, Private Tunnel is an inefficient service as far as unblocking streaming services is concerned.
Compatibility – How many devices does Private Tunnel support?
Private Tunnel VPN supports three simultaneous connections. The provider offers dedicated apps for desktops and smartphones including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Amazon devices.
It does not matter which operating system you are using, just click on the download tab to use the software.
If you are using the Linux operating system, you can still select Private Tunnel VPN since the provider is also compatible with the Linux operating system.
Private Tunnel Desktop Apps
The Windows and Mac apps look alike and have the same features too. These apps have an extremely simple user-interface. You can choose a server location from the main screen, which is pretty much all that can be done with this app.
There are hardly any settings that you can play with other configuring auto-connection and changing protocols.
Private Tunnel Smartphone Apps
The smartphone apps of Private Tunnel boast the same simplicity in the interface as the desktop apps. Users can choose the server they want to connect to from the main screen and access settings by tapping on the three vertical lines on the top left. As for ratings, Private Tunnel has a 3.8-star rating on Google Play Store and a 3.7-star rating on the iTunes store.
Pricing – How much does Private Tunnel VPN cost?
Private Tunnel VPN is an affordable VPN service having only 2 pricing plans. These are listed below:
I like the simplicity of their pricing structure because most providers offer 3 or more pricing plans, and that makes things a little confusing.
Private Tunnel is a little expensive if you go for the monthly plan, but it’s extremely affordable if you opt for the yearly plan costing $36/year.
Although there’s no refund policy, it does offer 7 days free trial.
In terms of payments, you get the following options.
- Credit and Debit Card
- Apple Gift Cards
The Apple Gift Cards payment method is only accepted through Private Tunnel VPN iOS application.
This is a good VPN in terms of price. However, if you’re looking for a better VPN at lower rates, check out our specially curated list of best VPN deals of 2020 right now.
Trustworthiness – Trustpilot Rating, Reddit Reviews & Support
Private Tunnel is a ghost on Trustpilot in the sense that it has zero reviews and no ratings from users at all. This is a common occurrence for VPNs that are not as broadly known in the industry.
Private Tunnel Reddit Reviews
Reddit discussions of Private Tunnel are usually quite a few years old. The VPN is not as popular on Reddit as other providers. A recent thread revealed that the provider no longer supports torrents:
Private Tunnel offers support through live chat and the team can also be reached with email tickets if you have any problems. In addition, the support section consists of topics with answers to commonly asked questions.
Overall, the customer support at Private Tunnel is easy to reach. I was instantly entertained by a customer representative as soon as I asked them a question using live chat:
Comparison between Private Tunnel and PureVPN
Below you will find a table that reflects the features and pricing of the two VPN service providers. Have a look at them:
|Servers||2000+ in 140 Countries||49 in 12 Countries|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, macOS, Linux,|
|Jurisdiction||Hong Kong||United States|
|Logging Policy||Zero Log||Connection Logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||Live Chat & Email Support|
Alternatives to Private Tunnel
There are many useful privacy features that this service does not provide. In particular, it does not have an in-built Kill Switch or DNS-leak protection. If you are seeking these features, you can check out the reviews below.
- NordVPN Review
- CyberGhost Review
- Private Internet Access Review
- TunnelBear Review
- Ivacy VPN Review
- SlickVPN Review
- Turbo VPN Review
- ProtonVPN Review
- Astrill VPN review
Do I Recommend Private Tunnel?
Yes, I recommend Private Tunnel for VPN users with privacy needs. 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.
Based on these points, Private Tunnel gets a 2.8/5.0 rating.
For more reviews, look towards our VPN reviews 2020 section that has tons of unbiased reviews waiting for you to be read.