With prices starting as low as $1.90 per month, Privatoria offers one of the least expensive commercial VPN services for people who want to browse anonymously or circumvent online censorship. Here’s a look at its features, installation process and bandwidth speeds.
Privatoria’s main features include:
- Servers spread across twenty-one countries, including the United States. That makes it a strong platform for circumventing censorship policies that block content in certain regions. (Privatoria itself is a Czech company.)
- Standard encryption is AES-256, providing very good data protection.
- Live chat support is available during normal business hours in the Czech Republic. At other times of the day, email support is available. In our experience, the company has a good track record of responding quickly and competently to messages.
- Setup is relatively simple. Users can connect using either Windows’s built-in L2TP/IPSEC functionality or a generic OpenVPN client (which works on any operating system, including Linux, where we were able to configure Privatoria very easily following the company’s Ubuntu installation instructions). There is thus no need for special software.
Pricing begins at $1.90 per month if you sign up for a twelve-month plan and pay up front for the whole year. Month-by-month plans cost $3.90 per month.
Privatoria also promises that it has “no government backdoors” and performs “no data mining” on users. As with any VPN service, it’s not possible for third parties to verify these claims. But it is at least clear that Privatoria is staking its reputation on protecting users’ private information.
Download and upload speeds are some of the biggest differentiators between VPN services. In our tests, Privatoria performed relatively well in this area, although there was some bandwidth loss.
When connected to the default Privatoria VPN server in Germany, we saw maximum download and upload speeds of 8.31 and 4.63 megabits, respectively. Those are compared to 10.51 and 4.51 megabits on the same connection when not logged into the VPN.
For people who download or stream large files, the loss of up to about 2 megabits’ worth of bandwidth may be an issue. But people whose primary online activity is browsing and who download or upload large amounts of data only occasionally are unlikely to notice any speed differences using Privatoria.
Our overall impression: For its low cost, strong encryption, simple setup and relatively good bandwidth speeds, Privatoria compares favorably to many other commercial VPN services. If you want ultra-fast downloads and uploads, you may need to pay for a more expensive VPN, but Privatoria is a good option for most normal Internet users who want to stay private online.