Private Tunnel (review) is based outside of Silicon Valley in Pleasanton, CA.
They are the leading developers of OpenVPN, the cutting-edge VPN protocol used by all of today’s leading companies.
That’s a big problem.
James Yonan, CTO of Private Tunnel, is credited with being the original author of OpenVPN. It was initially created 16 years ago, in May 2001, and has been downloaded more than 50 million times since then.
To say that we had high hopes for this Private Tunnels Review is ironic.
So we bought a paid plan and ran it through a battery of tests.
Here’s an unbiased, data-backed look at their performance.
Private Tunnel VPN General Info
|OVERALL RANK:||#33 out of 78 VPNs|
|SPEED:||#3 out of 78 VPNs|
|LOG FILES / JURISDICTION:||Minor logging / U.S.|
|COST:||$6/month or $35/year|
What Does The Private Tunnel Do?
Private Tunnel hides your real IP address and blocks your connections. which means it will connect securely to any public WiFi, without exposing any personal data.
They will also confirm that all your devices remain absolutely clean from malware and viruses. His site prides itself on “preventing a million cyberattacks a day.”
You can also access any network in the world. Not only will your private information remain private, but you will also have access to unrestricted content from around the world.
Private Tunnel Cons
Some Records Of The Use Of The Application
There is great news and bad news about Private Tunnel‘s logging policy.
The good news is, they don’t keep track of the individual sites you visit or the content you download. and that they are quite transparent.
The bad news is that they are recording the time you spend connected to their service, plus the bandwidth you use. However, all that data is discarded after fifteen days.
We even confirmed this with a support representative:
They will also deliver aggregated information to “other parties for marketing, advertising or other uses.” Those parts won’t be ready to get your hands on for individual use or anything like that. But they could still get the shit off you.
The Private Tunnel Terms of Service are also detailed a bit more.
They warn you against using the service for any crime. They admit that they will send you newsletters and other marketing materials. And they also say that you may simply need to authorize your identity through a mobile device.
So while they can’t specifically track the individual sites you visit, they are above many other facets and discourage any criminality (or anything else).
Private Tunnel is formally owned by OpenVPN Inc., a Pleasanton, California-based company.
On the one hand, it recognizes that they are legitimate.
They created the gold standard tunneling protocol. And both California and US regulations are rigid.
But that is also part of the matter.
Because, on the contrary, an address in Northern California means they are at the heart of the 5-Eyes Watch Alliance.
The United States is one of the founding members of this world espionage group that freely shares information.
That means that along with the four opposing founding members (Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand), plus the 14 Extended Eyes, your data could be shared with half the civilized world.
The terms of Private Tunnel already warn that they will hand over data if the authorities question it. So this scenario is not as far-fetched as it sounds.
Doesn’t Seem To Work With Netflix
Winter is not coming. He already returned in January 2016.
That’s when Netflix began blocking VPN servers in droves, isolating access for many people trying to circumvent geographic licensing restrictions.
Sadly, Hulu also jumped on the bandwagon at the same time.
One by one, the different streaming services started to get tricky with the VPN IPs they recognized. Logically, they began to go after most of the big players in the market because they had the main users.
That included the private tunnel.
We tested Netflix on five different servers and found that each of them was blocked.
- New York blocked
- Chicago blocked
- London blocked
- Canada blocked
- Holland blocked
They also explicitly say that there is an honest chance that geo-restricted services, like almost all streaming services, won’t work. Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu are all mentioned directly.
If you want a VPN that works with Netflix, take a look at this list.
Downloading Torrents Is NOT Allowed
The short answer is none.
The longest answer is that they don’t restrict it on all of their servers. But they don’t recommend it.
P2P traffic is not allowed on most of your existing servers. And for those where it doesn’t, they warn (a) that you will likely have problems, or (b) illegally downloading copyrighted material is against your TOS.
Only A Few Servers, No Kill-Switch
Private Tunnel offers access to more than 50 servers in 12 different countries.
That is VERY low compared to several other VPNs.
So if this VPN fills up, you should expect a decrease in speed.
Furthermore, there was no switch in sight either.
That means you are in danger of losing your data protection if your connection unexpectedly drops, exposing your real IP address.
This was one of the biggest drawbacks that I encountered.
Private Tunnel Pros
Very Fast VPN Servers
I admit it:
There were tons in this speed test.
First, they are the technical geniuses behind industry-standard technology.
Second, they openly boast of employing a lower encryption standard to strike a balance between security and performance.
But they didn’t let us fall.
Private Tunnel is the third-fastest VPN we have tested.
Yes, they are cheating a bit with lower-bit encryption. However, you can’t get too far from your results.
We chose two of their servers at random, one in the Netherlands and one in the US.
First, the EU:
EU speed test:
- Ping: 35ms
- Download: 90.59 Mbps (6.6% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
- Upload: 46.37 Mbps (12.6% slower than 53 Mbps benchmark)
Those European speeds are incredible. Out of 78 VPN providers we evaluated, this was the quickest EU server.
However, it is true that the US server performed a bit worse:
US speed test:
- Ping: 121ms
- Download: 69.29 Mbps (28.6% slower than 97 Mbps benchmark)
- Upload: 24.62 Mbps (53.6% slower than 53 Mbps benchmark)
That gave Private Tunnel a combined total download of 159.88 Mbps, putting them in third place on the list of fastest VPNs we compiled.
Safe and Secure
Unsurprisingly, Private Tunnel uses its own OpenVPN protocol.
This technology was built on the same TLS protocol that HTTPS uses.
Except it works best, by always creating a replacement TLS session every time it is used. So you get an equivalent level of SSL security but without the potential vulnerabilities.
Interestingly, Private Tunnel only opts for 128-bit AES-GCM encryption.
Don’t get me wrong, this is often still very safe. But technically it is not that secure because of the 256-bit option used by other VPNs that we have reviewed.
Private Tunnel even addresses this distinction.
They believe that the difference is insignificant because the majority of hackers do not adhere to the encryption algorithm. They are instead looking for “how encrypted data is handled.”
The other additional feature can be 128-bit encryption and that is that your connection should be much faster.
It requires fewer resources, so you should see an increase in performance.
We put this speed claim to the test just to be sure. The outcomes are listed below.
No DNS Leaks or Malware Found
Bad VPNs often “leak” your personal data without you even noticing. for example, up to 70% of Chrome VPN extensions can leak your DNS.
That would not only deliver your session data but your location as well.
That’s why we put all VPN companies through a series of six tests.
Private tunnel passed with great success:
- https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
- https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
- https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
- http://dnsleak.com/ (none found)
We also ran your desktop software installation files through VirusTotal.com and they looked flawless too.
Multiple Compatible Devices
They even have an app for the Amazon Appstore. So it will protect all Kindle Fire devices and presumably SmartTVs that employ a Firestick.
Private Tunnel works on Linux, but it will need a touch of technical knowledge to boost its execution. You will need to use the OpenVPN command line client with your site’s configuration file.
Because OpenVPN is so widely used, it will also operate well on routers. Vyatta, pfSense, DD-WRT, OpenWrt, and Tomato are now on the list.
Unfortunately, no other game console or SmartTV (outside of those enabled for Amazon) is supported.
I also attempted to use the Tor browser while connected to the VPN, but it refused to allow me to do so.
It’s like you can’t duplicate privacy.
It is also worth mentioning that Non-Public Tunnel allows a maximum of three devices.
Easy to Use
Installing Private Tunnel on a desktop device was straightforward.
The application is simple and easy to use. When you log in and connect for the first time, you will be guided through the method in just a couple of seconds.
There is a huge “Connect” button. And once connected, it changes to a huge “Disconnect” button.
Switching servers requires only two mouse clicks. will configure the application to start automatically, while also configuring a connection timeout for when the application advances to the subsequent server in the event of a failed connection attempt.
I went through a couple of servers and it had been near perfect.
The app seemed pretty stable and didn’t lag in the slightest. It also didn’t fail the whole time I used the VPN.
Quick And Helpful Customer Support
Private Tunnel provides the full range of support.
- Emails are available around the clock, seven days a week.
- Live chat support
- Knowledge base
- FAQ section
There is currently no phone support. And email tickets are only responded to during normal Pacific time business hours (9 AM to 6 PM).
I emailed them just to check and they only took two hours to reply. Not bad!
Otherwise, your chat support agent was quick, friendly, and knowledgeable as well.
Pretty good all over the place!
Private Tunnel VPN Cost, Plans & Payment Methods
Private Tunnel pricing plans are simple.
I like that they provide a real month-to-month option. But at six dollars, he puts them in the middle of the package.
Otherwise, if you choose to buy this VPN software, the $ 35 for a full year can be a steal.
The main difference in the plans is that the other (“Flexible”) allows you to continue adding as many devices as you want to buy.
With both, you receive a seven-day free trial. Neither of these transactions necessitates the use of a master card in advance.
They currently accept everything from major credit and debit cards to PayPal and even Apple gift cards (via their iOS app).
They currently do not accept cryptocurrencies or other anonymous currencies.
However, Private Tunnel uses external payment processors, so none of your bank or account details are stored on their servers.
However, we did find a misleading statement in your Terms of Service. Basically, it says that their service is provided “as is”, so they are not responsible for any loss or damage. Refunds won’t trend either, so forget about the guaranteed money back, like many other VPNs (like ExpressVPN) offer.
I’m not sure how they’re going to police that, to be honest. So, before you go any farther, bear that in mind.
Do We Recommend Private Tunnel VPN?
No. Here’s why…
Private Tunnel can be a solid company with legitimate experts.
You can trust the reputation and experience behind the company.
However, what you can’t trust is your US jurisdiction, to begin with.
Comparatively, they are sacrificing one-touch security to deliver fast speeds. So it’s not really a good fight with most of the 256-bit connections we’ve tested.
There isn’t a kill button. They don’t allow torrenting or connecting to the Tor network. We were unable to watch Netflix on any of the five servers we tried.
So it is a former directory along with the simplest VPNs.
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