Private Tunnel is very likely to appeal to users who are concerned about security, after all, it is a commercial solution created by OpenVPN technologies, the developers of the popular open source OpenVPN protocol. The service offers features that are designed to offer a high level of protection for your online traffic. Since OpenVPN has built a strong reputation as a reliable and secure VPN protocol, it is normal to expect a lot from Private Tunnel, even if it is not one of the most recognized names in the industry. In this review, we will find out if the service meets the expectations.
Privacy and Security
Given the fact that it is a service from the same company that created OpenVPN, Private Tunnel focuses on this protocol, which is considered as the most secure solution to protect your online data. Private Tunnel uses 128-bit AES-GCM encryption to protect your information from eavesdroppers and online criminals. GCM stands for Galois/Counter Mode and it is a technology that also has the advantage of helping you to enjoy good speeds, while keeping a strong level of security. While Private Tunnel states that they are not interested on users’ online activities, meaning that they don’t monitor or log what you do on the internet, they keep some connection logs.
These details are kept for troubleshooting and maintenance purposes, but those who are very conscious about their privacy will probably prefer a zero logs policy. It is also important to keep in mind that Private Tunnel is based in the US, which makes the service more likely to be targeted by requests to hand over data, and by NSA surveillance. It should also be noted that although they don’t specifically refer to P2P, they state that they will comply with DMCA requests and that using the service for activities involving piracy is against their terms. Still, it is worth noting that they support Bitcoin payments, via Stripe wallet.
Private Tunnel is mainly designed to be a secure option for users who connect to internet using public WiFi, or who want to add a layer of security to their traffic. The service focuses on helping users to keep their privacy protected, even when they are on the go. The software is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS and Android, and the service can also be used with Linux, but this will require some advanced technical knowledge. Manual set up is required for other platforms supported. The client is fairly simple and it doesn’t offer advanced settings. This would be good for those who prefer a straightforward solution, but may disappoint those who prefer additional customization options and convenient features such as internet kill switch.
Private Tunnel gives you access to servers in countries like United Kingdom, United States, Hong Kong and Germany. While the selection includes key locations to access popular content, it is very limited. There are only about 10 countries in the list, which is considerably less than what most providers offer. The speed of the service is not as good as what you can get from top providers like ExpressVPN, but when you connect to servers in the US, you will be able to access websites without major issues. However, you will experience slower speeds in general, which means that your experience with activities like streaming and gaming, may not be as efficient. The good news is that after testing, we didn’t find DNS or IP leaks. Moreover, in order to help to protect your identity, Private Tunnel uses shared IPs.
Private Tunnel’s pricing structure is slightly different from that of other providers. Instead of organizing the plans based on the length of the subscription, Private Tunnel sets its plans according to the amount of data they offer. There is a free plan that gives you up to 200MB and you can get additional free data if you refer friends. The next option is a plan that gives you 20GB of data for $9.99 and you can connect as many devices as you want. If you require more, you can upgrade to the 100GB plan, which also lets you connect an unlimited number of devices. It costs $19.99. None of the above plans expire, so you can use the data available as needed. If you don’t want to be subject to data limits, your best bet is the last plan. The Unlimited plan gives you unlimited data and allows you to connect up to 10 devices, for $29.99 per year, which makes it a very affordable solution.
The website features a Support section that includes a Knowledge base and a FAQ that covers information about billing, connection and other aspects. However, there are no step-by-step guides, or detailed information about the features, the security, or technical specifications. The support team can only be contacted via email, but the responses usually take just a few hours. They also have profiles on Facebook and Twitter and they are very active on social media.
Private Tunnel is ideal for customers who travel, or who are constantly on the go and need to secure their connection when they use public WiFi hotspots at airports, hotels or coffee shops. While the service would be an efficient solution to keep your data protected from prying eyes that lurk unsecured networks, the fact that the company is based in the US may cause concerns among those who look for the ultimate privacy protection. Overall, the service is easy to use and the pricing structure is convenient if you don’t want to be tied to a subscription.