Besides the essential online privacy and security, as well as some extras that come in handy when connecting to public WiFi networks, Private WiFi doesn’t really feature any qualities that make it stand out from the crowd. You can’t use it for watching Netflix or BBC iPlayer, torrenting, or pretty much anything else beyond browsing, while its location and poor speeds make its pricing less than reasonable. But at least it has a risk-free 10-day free trial.
Ease of use
Flexible payment plans with several pricing options.
Doesn’t support torrenting
Poor customer support
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In response to mainstream news reports about the security flaws in WiFi hotspots back in 2010, Private Communications Corporation established Private WiFi.
The VPN is entirely based in the United States, and the United States is an active member of the Five Eyes countries. That means that if US authorities want users' information from the company, they can obtain it with a warrant.
The government has not yet requested that Private WiFi disclose any user information. If they are required to do so in the future, they promise to notify their clients in advance, unless the law prohibits them from doing so.
The Private WiFi VPN has a good mix of locations, with 50+ servers in 84 countries. But it lacks obfuscated servers, which is why it cannot operate in an internet-restricted country like China or Russia.
Private WiFi VPN: Pricing
There’s no free VPN on offer here - and that may be a good thing overall, given the issues surrounding free virtual private networks. But Private WiFi VPN does offer a free 10-day trial period that you can use to test the service. All you need is a working email address to get started.
You’ll find a monthly and an annual subscription, with two options for paying for your private WiFi subscription: PayPal and any of the four major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express). For any unused data, keep in mind that you have 30 days from the start of your subscription to ask for a refund.
You can switch between an unlimited number of VPN servers on an unlimited number of devices with any of the VPN subscription plans. However, you'll be limited to using ten devices at once unless you make use of a VPN router.
Private WiFi VPN: Privacy and encryption
Private WiFi employs the industry-standard 256-bit SSL encryption, as well as the WEP and WPA wireless network security protocols. The encryption software provides an exceptionally high level of security and assists you in keeping your Wi-Fi sessions safe from criminals and hackers.
Whereas many competitors detail everything they do and don't log when you connect to their services, Private WiFi only gives us a few sentences:
"We do maintain a set of logs necessary to manage our servers. However, the only information that is traceable to individual users is the time on and off our network and the number of total bytes transmitted. We do not monitor or record the sites that you visit nor the contents of any Internet communication."
Additional features like an ad blocker and data compression can lower the amount of bandwidth that your encrypted connection consumes.
Private WiFi VPN: Streaming
One of the most sought-after qualities in a VPN is the ability to provide its users with access to major VOD services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and others that are frequently blocked in certain regions.
Private WiFi falls short in this area, which is unfortunate. You can forget about using the VPN for torrenting, too. Therefore, if access to geo-restricted streaming services is your main concern when looking for a VPN, consider the best Netflix VPNs and streaming VPNs.
Private WiFi VPN: Speed
Although every VPN will, to some extent, slow down your connection, the best VPNs have a minimal impact that avoids lags or buffering. Additionally, speed may differ based on your location, connection, and internet service.
When we ran a speed test on the VPN as a result of our physical location, the app automatically connected us to a server in India, but when we tested the download speeds, we got a low 2.6 Mbps on a 62 Mbps connection. We then made the decision to try a server in New York, and it performed as we had expected worse, delivering only 3.4 Mbps.
Private WiFi VPN: Support
Customer service is only available by email between the hours of 8am and 12am EST, as well as through ticket registration on their website, as remote monitoring assistance and live chat support are not available.
The software itself has some basic troubleshooting measures available in the help section of the main menu. This help section contains multiple topics ranging from a quick start guide, FAQs, and privacy tips.
Additionally, there are different sections in the FAQs section for general, technical, privacy, purchase and license issues, and troubleshooting.
Besides this, they provide a privacy section in the help menu that directs users through various steps like browsing, the advantages of using a VPN, maintaining online anonymity on social media, etc. They also include a connectivity test in the software to check for any connectivity issues on the client side.
Private WiFi VPN: Apps
Private WiFi has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. The iOS app has a rating of 3.2 stars (out of 5), as judged by 31 people. It was last updated on May 9, 2018, with improvements in terms of faster activation and improved handling of server locations. As for its Android app, its rating is 3.5 as decided by the jury of 377 users (out of 10,000+ that installed it). The app was last updated on July 28, 2020.
Customer service is available via email only, between 8:00 am and 12:00 am EST. However, before you reach out to them, try consulting the provider’s FAQ section on the website, because you’re going to have a hard time getting an answer. We still haven’t gotten one.
Private WiFi VPN: Alternatives
If you want to stay safe on public WiFi networks, Private WiFi might be a good option but if you want a complete VPN platform, you should look more closely at some of the bigger players on the market.
Private WiFi VPN: Verdict
To sum up our review of Private WiFi, we can say that it is a fairly straightforward VPN with only the price being truly unique and no special features. There is nothing noteworthy to mention. This application is only intended for occasional users who wish to temporarily maintain their anonymity. There are many better options on the market, such as ExpressVPN, that offer excellent services and much more satisfactory performance for the same price.
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.