Introduction

 

After the massive success of the OpenVPN project in 2002, co-founders Francis Dinha and James Yonan created OpenVPN Technologies Inc to enhance the development of OpenVPN. Private Tunnel is more of an online privacy initiative than a VPN provider given it is a brainchild of OpenVPN Technologies Incorporated, creators of the OpenVPN technology. The team behind PrivateTunnel enriched the award winning OpenVPN protocol, combining the cutting edge technology with enhanced networking & software.

Based in Pleasanton, California (same as OpenVPN Inc.), PrivateTunnel was designed to provide optimized security, reliable connectivity and protected communication services. Our Private Tunnel review will outline how the brand goes beyond from being an antiquated VPN service and addresses future technologies including:

  1. SDN(Software Defined Network)
  2. Remote Access to Private Cloud & Networks
  3. Tunneling to UTM (Unified Threat Management Cloud & Gateways)
  4. Tunneling to DDoS Clouds &Gateways for malicious attack protection

In my 2017 Private Tunnel review that follows, I put the corporation’s entire offering to the test. We will go over each of the aspects of the provider’s service bundle and present an objective verdict for Private Tunnel apps, pricing, server coverage, privacy policy, customer support and much more.

 

PrivateTunnel Review VPN – Unique Features

 

Possibly the most unique feature that we discovered during this Private Tunnel review is that it is a brainchild of the same team that created the OpenVPN technology. The competency, knowledge and innovation that the creators of OpenVPN bring to PrivateTunnel is second not even to artificial intelligence.

 

private tunnel review 2017

Association with the OpenVPN Inc brings reliability & trust to Private Tunnel’s excellent service bundle. Let’s take an in depth look and review Private Tunnel’s feature bundle to determine where it ranks amongst leading VPN providers.

 

Private Tunnel Packages & Pricing Review

 

PrivateTunnel VPN has seen a complete change to their pricing plans, replacing the data based plans the provider now offers Free, Fixed & Flexible plans.

 

privatetunnel pricing review

 

Apart from the free version, the plans are no more limited by data and now offer:

  • Fixed Plan – $6 per Month or $35 per Year
    • Unlimited Data
    • Simultaneously connect 3 devices
    • 13 servers across 9 countries
    • Signature OpenVPN Technology
  • Flexible Plan – $6 per Month or $35 per Year
    • Unlimited Data
    • Simultaneously connect 3 devices
    • 13 servers across 9 countries
    • Signature OpenVPN Technology
    • Option to add devices at $6/month or $35/year

All Private Tunnel Subscriptions include:

  1. 12 Private Tunnel Servers across 9 countries (all self-managed)
  2. Leading edge 128-bit AES-GCM encryption standard
  3. Unlimited Server Switching
  4. Unlimited Speed
  5. Absolutely Zero Logging
  6. A great referral program for free version users

 

 

 

Private Tunnel Sign up Process Review

 

Private Tunnelhas a simple signup process which can be started using the Sign-Upbutton (top right) on the main webpage navigation. The button takes you to the account creation screen where you fill in the following details to begin:

  1. Email
  2. Password

 

private tunnel signup

Simple click CREATE ACCOUNT after entering your details, and a confirmation will be sent to your email address. Go to your email account and confirm the email which should activate your account and take you to the Download app page. Simply download the app for your respective operating system and you are set to go.

 

private tunnel signup 2

 

Since Private Tunnel is based on the OpenVPN project installation, configuration and use is very simple. I liked how the company has made sign-up pretty simple allowing even basic skill users’ easily setup the service. A highly recommended service for those starting out with their first VPN service.

 

Private Tunnel Crack Review

 

For users’ who consider using cracks rather than the premium version of the app, I would highly recommend they reconsider. Not only has it been proven but also widely known now that cracked apps are a backdoor for malware & cyber criminals to have unrestricted access to your devices. Consider the fact that, if someone can manipulate the code of an app they can definitely change the servers you are connecting to through the app.

 

private tunnel crack

 

So, when using a Private Tunnel crack do remember that you may just be connected to a “honey pot” for hackers, where no knowing who is monitoring you. Similarly, a cracked PrivateTunnel APK for Android (which is much easier to crack) can wreak havoc on your devices. A simple backdoor can give cyber criminals access to your contacts, email, financial information, apps and all the information on it.

Always consider subscribing to the premium service, never install a Private Tunnel crack on your PC or mobile device. The sad fact here is that, Google considers listing torrent websites illegal but does not consider possible malware as threats and lists them on top of its search results.

 

Private Tunnel APKs

 

Private Tunnel offers its signature APK for Android devices on the Google Play Store. The simple to use app is designed to make the VPN connection process easier for everyone to use.Although installing the Private Tunnel APK is recommended straight from the respective app stores, you can also get the apps on other trusted websites.

CNet publishes a brief review and a direct download of the Private Tunnel APK, allowing you to get the app if you like the service. Similarly, you can also download the PrivateTunnel APK from tech review website Softpedia, which also provides you a details overview of the service.

 

private tunnel apk

 

How to Setup Private Tunnel on Linux

 

This guide was created courtesy of the Private Tunnel FAQ “How do I connect to PrivateTunnel using the Linux operating system?

The recommended method from PrivateTunnel tutorial mentions that the easiest way to configurethe service on Linux devices is through the Terminal Window. I have listed the step wise Private Tunnel setup on Linux (Ubuntu/Debian) below:

  1. Open a Terminal Window then type,sudo apt-get install openvpn,this will install the OpenVPN app package.
  2. Next, download& save the Private TunnelOVPN Config files from here, remember the location of these files
  3. Back in the terminal window type, sudo openvpn –config “path to your .ovpn file(enter the name of the OVPN server you want for example USA or UK)
  4. Wait for “Initialization Sequence Completed”message to appear and your Private Tunnel service should be connected.

 

Private Tunnel Review of Servers

 

Private Tunnel offers 13 servers, laid across 9 strategic locations namely:

  1. USA(5 Servers in New York, Chicago, San Jose and Miami)
  2. UK(1 Server in London)
  3. Sweden (1 Server in Stockholm)
  4. Germany (1 Server in Frankfurt)
  5. Japan (1 Server in Tokyo)
  6. Netherlands (1 Server in Amsterdam)
  7. Hong Kong (1 Server in Hong Kong)
  8. Switzerland (1 Server in Zurich)
  9. Canada (1 Server in Montreal)

All Private Tunnel servers support P2P & Torrents providing you unlimited speed downloads no matter where you are in the world. During this PrivateTunnel review I also discovered that the provider “does not block OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT” (whatever that maybe) while you are connected to their service.

Private Tunnel VPN also offers instant unblocking & connectivity to geo-restricted entertainment services in the regions it caters. These include Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HULU, HBO Now, Spotify, SkyTV and many other services blocked outside their host countries.

 

Private Tunnel Speed Test Review

 

I conducted tests using the premium PrivateTunnel service over a 3Mbps connection under controlled conditions. The results I must say were phenomenal considering I am on the other side of the world. The result from their US server was something I haven’t recorded in a long time. I got great speed while testing with my Netflix but the speed on uTorrent was worse than other providers I have tested. It took my uTorrent client close to 7 minutes to allow incoming connections.

 

private tunnel speed tests review

 

Private Tunnel is an excellent choice for those looking for freedom when online without having to come across geo-restrictions. Streaming video & music was absolutely brilliant so a definite recommendation in case that is your only requirement. In case you are looking to download torrents securely I would recommend you rather try ExpressVPN, PureVPN or TORGuard.

 

Private Tunnel Customer Support Review

 

Powered by a fairly new support section, Private Tunnel VPN currently only provides support through the website Knowledge base and the Ticket System (email). There is no live chat available yet on the website which we are hoping should come up with time. Support is available via email Monday – Friday 09:00 AM – 5:00 PM Pacific Time (United States) and usually takes them 24-48 hours to respond to your queries& issues.

 

private tunnel customer support and knowledge base

Since PrivateTunnel VPN is an OpenVPN based service and operated by the creators of the technology, you have a massive community of experts, developers and professionals who can help you instantly any time during the day, anywhere in the world. Check out these amazing OpenVPN forums for help in case you cannot reach PrivateTunnel VPN support:

  1. OpenVPN Official Forum
  2. OpenVPN Community Wiki
  3. OpenVPN Support on pfSense Forums
  4. OpenVPN EU Forum (German)

 

Private Tunnel Payment Methods Review

 

Private Tunnel VPN currently accepts payments through six globally accepted merchants, namely:

  1. Debit & Credit Cards (MasterCard, VISA, Discover, American Express)
  2. PayPal
  3. Bitcoin
  4. Apple GiftCards – only through the iOS app
  5. AliPay E-Payments
  6. Bank Account Transfer

private tunnel payment methods

Users’ who pay with credit maybe required to present their Credit Card statement for additional verification in some regions. The Privacy Policy also informs that PrivateTunnel does not offer services in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

 

 

Private Tunnel VPN Compatibility Review

 

PrivateTunnel is currently available on the five major operating systems used across the world including Windows, Android,iOS, Mac, and Linux. PrivateTunnel’s compatibility review also identified that the service is available to use over OpenWRT & DDWRT routers.

 

private tunnel apps compatibility

Tests run during this Private Tunnel compatibility review identified that with the free, 20GB and 100GB plans you can use the service over unlimited number of devices, while the unlimited plan only offers connectivity on up to 10 devices simultaneously. The following devices are said to have limited support for OpenVPN and hence are not compatible with Private Tunnel:

  1. USB TV sticks
  2. Set-top TV boxes
  3. Specialty tablets
  4. BlackBerry
  5. Windows Phone , and
  6. Symbian

 

Private Tunnel Apps Review

 

Private Tunnel offers modified OpenVPN apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android while manual configuration for routers and Linux OS is possible.

 

private tunnel apps

Preview of Private Tunnel for Android –Download the Private Tunnel APK

You can try out Private Tunnel for a review by downloading the Private Tunnel apk from the Google Play Store on Android, headover to review the Private Tunnel iOS app on iTunes Apps Store. The Windows & Mac apps are available to download free from the Private Tunnel website.

 

Private Tunnel Tutorials Review

 

PrivateTunnel VPN does not offer any tutorials or guides currently. This is primarily due to the fact that the service is OpenVPN based, resources for which are widely available across the internet for free. The OpenVPN project itself has millions of guides and support manual available on their official website.

Sinceboth OpenVPN & Private Tunnel are one and the same,it is advisable to take help from the original OpenVPN project website. Have a look at these brilliant guides & tutorials on the official OpenVPN project website:

  1. OpenVPN HOWTO’s
  2. OpenVPN FAQs
  3. OpenVPN Solutions Page

 

Openvpn Private Tunnel Review – Protocols & Encryption

 

Private Tunnel is solely based on the OpenVPN Tunneling Technology (TCP & UDP). To summarize the project quickly, OpenVPN comprises of the following features:

  1. Uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) & TLS (Transport Layer Security) for key exchange
  2. Bypasses NAT & Firewalls
  3. Can use all ciphers in the OpenSSL Library for encryption
  4. Authenticates peers through pre-shared keys, certificates,and Username & Password combinations for enhanced network security
  5. Can be run over User Datagram Protocol (UDP)&Transport Control Protocol (TCP)
  6. Can create both Layer 2 & Layer 3 tunnels

The OpenSSL Library allows OpenVPN users to cipher data using either 128 bit or 256 bit encryption.The OpenSSL library allows encryption using a huge list of ciphers including AES, Blowfish, Camellia, SEED, CAST-128, DES, IDEA, RC2, RC4, RC5, Triple DES, and GOST 28147-89.

 

Private Tunnel Review of Logging & Privacy Policies

 

Private Tunnel has an absolutely gem of a privacy policy which is elaborate,clear, simple, and jargon free.Private Tunnel does not ask for personal information, instead they collect information voluntarily submitted while registering on the website, placing an order, responding to a survey or filling out a form.The information that Private Tunnel collects includes:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Email
  4. Credit Card Number
  5. Phone number

Information collected is only used:

  • To improve Private Tunnel’s website
  • To improve customer service
  • To process subscriptions &transactions
  • To send periodic marketing & special offer emails

 

Private Tunnel VPN Free Trial

 

Yes, Private Tunnel VPN offers a limited version free trial that can be used over unlimited devices, but, you can only use 200 MB of data on it. However, PrivateTunnel’s excellent referral program allows you to get 200MB of data for every friend you refer to the service.

 

 

Private Tunnel Crack – Not Working Or Not Connecting Issue

 

To kick off this section, do not use the Private Tunnel Crack!

Primarily, every time a crack will come up Private Tunnel will immediately patch the bug and make the crack redundant for everyone. There is also a chance that the crack for Private Tunnel has been modified to steal your personal data and spy on your online activities. In case you experience the Private Tunnel crack not working error simply uninstall the cracked version of the app.

 

Private Tunnel VPN Reviews on Reddit

 

PrivateTunnel VPN has been routinely reviewed and discussed on Reddit for the past 2 years. Discussions usually involve PrivateTunnel’s association with OpenVPN and if it is worth trying. To answer many prospect users’, yes, Private Tunnel is a venture of the OpenVPN project and is a must try for anyone who likes to VoD online streaming & torrents.

private tunnel reddit

Another important Private Tunnel review on Reddit discussed how the service was really helpful in bypassing the university firewall to game online. Since OpenVPN is a very effective protocol to bypass firewalls, Private Tunnel is an ideal premium OpenVPN mod if you wish to use it for gaming online. Consider the user below who unblocked the University firewall to play League of Legends and Wildstar.

 

private tunnel reddit user issue

 

After a detailed review & testing we can safely assume that Private Tunnel does not keep activity logs since I have been downloading copyright torrents with their service for the past 5 days. It is also good for streaming but speeds suffer during the night.

 

Reviewer’s Verdict

 

I hope you enjoyed reading through all of Private Tunnel VPN’s reviewed features. Since this was my first review of Private Tunnel, there are certain aspects that were not addressed and will be added in routine updates.

Our editor’s verdict for this Private Tunnel review is a superb 3.5 out of 5, based on the following observations. PrivateTunnel VPN offers a very simple, yet attractive website & navigation. The association of OpenVPN and PrivateTunnel gives the brand a solid base to build on while giving it a strong brand identity.

PrivateTunnel does not offer too many sever locations but the ones that are available are 13 of the most popular locations of the world. All their servers allow P2P and torrents while the provider does not discriminate against ANY website or online service.

I tested the Windows, Android and iOS apps. The Windows app was a bit of a disappointment as it failed to install the first time and failed to connect the first time when it was properly installed. The Android app is simply brilliant, low on device resources and has great connectivity even on mobile 3G/4G networks. The iOS app like the Android app has great performance and connectivity likes its Android cousin.

Customer support is a poor disappointment, even though there area large number of forums & communities available for OpenVPN support. PrivateTunnel should at least consider a live support service to assist customers with service issues & troubleshooting.

Private Tunnel VPN offers decent pricing plans given the unlimited data plan is only $30 for the year. You can always buy additional data with the other plans which is a brilliant offer for mobile & tablets users who are travelling or using VPN on the go.

The one unconvincing aspect of PrivateTunnel was their privacy policy and the fact that the company is based in the USA. If you know about online privacy then you definitely know about the NSA and its cronies spying on citizens all over the world. We cannot be assured that the provider does not retain data and has not been compromised already.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Private Tunnel VPN
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray
Ameer Abbas

Ameer Abbas is a senior editor and a most viewed writer on Quora in Internet Privacy, Cyber Security, VPN and Torrents. He has continued work as a privacy advocate with Best VPN Provider and is working towards becoming an established privacy & security author online. Ameer takes a keen interest in technology, geo-political affairs and international cyber laws. Ameer loves outdoor sports including cricket, swimming, athletics, and football.
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4 Responses to Private Tunnel Review 2017 (Updated May)
  1. Eddie_M says:

    Private Tunnel does not support IPv6, ONLY IPv4.

    I aksed PT’s support chat this question: “PRIVATE TUNNEL WORKS WITH IPV4 BUT NOT IPV6. WHEN I SEARCH MYIPADRESS, WITH PRIVATE TUNNEL ON, I GET YOUR SERVER IP AS THE IPV4 ADDRESS BUT MY ISP IS IDENTIFIED AS THE IPV6 ADDRESS. WHAT GIVES? DO YOU NOT SUPPORT IPV6?”

    This was their answer: “We are not supporting IPV6 at the moment. We are planning to introduce it soon.”
    “There is no estimated date at the moment.”

    PT provides no VPN-related benefit if your IPs assigns bot IPv4 and 6 address, like Comcast and many others

  2. Charles Malinowski says:

    Added to my above post I goofed on the scheduling showing only the monthly pricing.

    Monthly Fixed: is $6 per month or $35 per year limited to three devices.

    Flexible:

    7- day trial period
    Unlimited data access
    Choose more than 3 devices
    Flexible Monthly

    2 + 1 = $6. Additional Device X $6/month

    Flexible Yearly

    2 + 1 = $35/year. Additional Device. X $35/year

    The way they have laid out their pricing is kind of confusing for the Flexible option. My best advice would be to go to their website and look at it for yourself. I was just trying to point out that the pricing in the above article is no longer valid.

    My apologies to Private Tunnel for goofing on my first effort.

    • Ameer says:

      Thank you Charles I will have a look and update pricing as it appears on their website. Most kind to point it out.

  3. Charles Malinowski says:

    I am surprised to see that this was noted as updated in May 2017. Private Tunnel’s pricing schedules as noted were in fact correct up until sometime within about the last eight weeks or so, I don’t have an exact date. I know because I went to look at re-upping my data allowance and put it off until I went back a couple of days ago and was surprised by their pricing change. Here is a cut-and-paste of their new pricing schedule and format. Taken from the Private tunnel website . 05/27/2017

    New Private Tunnel pricing schedules
    Subscribe to a fixed or flexible plan to start your 7-day free trial.

    Fixed

    7- day trial period
    Unlimited data access
    Connect up to 3 devices
    Monthly
    Yearly
    $6/month
    SUBSCRIBE
    Flexible

    7- day trial period
    Unlimited data access
    Choose more than 3 devices
    Monthly
    Yearly
    2 + 1 = $6/month Additional Device X $6/month
    The above two schedules are the current pricing schedules and formats as of May 27, 2017.

    I would like to add that during the approximately two years I have been using Private Tunnel I have been very pleased with their service. It was very reliable, with few connection problems, and on the occasions when I tested it, not much of a speed lag. I loved the old pricing schedules, not so happy about the new ones, but will probably end up purchasing more data usage from them anyways . An extremely easy to use and set up VPN, although somewhat limited in range of functional options, which in some cases is actually a plus – fewer options means less confusion – for people who want the plug-and-play equivalent of a VPN this is the way to go.

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