Private WiFi Review

Private Wi-Fi is a VPN service offered by Private Communications Corporation, a company based in United States. Launched in 2010, Private Wi-Fi offers VPN services to two different types of consumers, both for personal as well as corporate use. Let us learn a bit more about the VPN service offered by Private Wi-Fi through this brief Private Wi-Fi review.

Installation & Configuration

The installation file is available from Private Wi-Fi’s website and is only made available to download by selecting the payment package, where you will be required to enter a valid email address. You can also choose the ‘Trial’ option to download the installer. The good thing about Private Wi-Fi is that the Private Wi-Fi VPN platform is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android operating systems. However, for Linux and Android users, manual VPN configuration is the only possible VPN alternative for now. Private Wi-Fi is still in the process of developing standalone VPN apps for these operating systems.

The installation process is pretty straightforward. You can have the VPN dialer installed within a few minutes. Once you have installed the software, you will have to activate it to start using the VPN connection by connecting using the platform and entering the login information that has been sent to you upon registration.

Once activated, you will be notified with a green Private Wi-Fi icon in the systems tray to let you know that you are connected to VPN. You can either choose the auto settings for the platform to find the best VPN server to encrypt your connection, or you can choose a specific server according to your requirements. The interface is indeed simplistic and is easy to use as well as understand.

Private Wi-Fi offers 128 bit encryption over OpenVPN and PPTP protocols. This is largely a drawback, as most VPN service providers offer varied VPN protocols for users who access VPN through multiple devices.

Subscription Cost

There is just a single package available that offers the entire range of VPN servers along with unlimited speed and bandwidth. For a single month, Private Wi-Fi subscription costs $9.95 per month, which is way too high compared to industry standards. You can get a discount for the annual package which costs $84.95 per year, or $7 per month. This is once again higher than the norm.

However, for more than a single subscription, there are further discounts in the form of family or corporate accounts, with the top of the corporate account for over 1000 users costing just $2.12 per month (for the annual subscription). As far as we are concerned, we would like Private Wi-Fi to reduce their normal subscription cost further.

When it comes to a free trial period, a subscriber can only receive a 3 days free trial period, which is not sufficient to properly analyze the VPN service. This is once again a drawback at Private Wi-Fi. Also, the payment options are limited to Credit Cards and PayPal. In short, Private Wi-Fi needs a major overhaul when it comes to their subscription cost, mode of payments and free trial to truly stand up to the competition.

Speed, Reliability & Bandwidth

Private Wi-Fi cannot boast of being the fastest VPN service provider, but they are not slow either. Their VPN service performed close to the 60%-80% speed threshold of the available ISP browsing speed. However, we did face a few connection issues, and we experienced drastic levels of decrease in browsing speed from a few servers. This may be attributed to the relatively lower number of servers and server locations, which is something that Private Wi-Fi can work on.

On the other hand, Private Wi-Fi does offer uncapped speed and bandwidth, making it perfect for users with high bandwidth requirements. Unlimited speeds and bandwidth are pretty much standard offerings these days, hence, it isn’t a surprise that Private Wi-Fi chose to offer unlimited data transfer for their users.

Server Locations

Private Wi-Fi owns server clusters; therefore, they have 16 server clusters located in different parts of the world. Being predominantly based in the US, Private Wi-Fi has a strong presence in the United States with servers located in Miami, Seattle, New York, Chicago, Virginia, Missouri, Georgia, Los Angeles and Texas. Apart from the US, Private Wi-Fi has installed server clusters in Amsterdam, Australia, Brazil, London, Toronto, Singapore and South Africa.

The number of server clusters is actually low for such a high premium, and certainly reflects why we experienced low speeds during our test runs. Granted that Private Wi-Fi adopts server rerouting technologies to equalize and spread the load over different server clusters, but the lack of extended server network is indeed known while using their VPN service.

Data Logging Policies & Online Anonymity

Private Wi-Fi guarantees 100% online privacy, and will only log user data that relates to log time and bandwidth usage. No other form of website tracking is adopted by Private Wi-Fi. However, being in the US, issues related to terrorism, piracy or other illegal activities may be monitored if intimated by a court or from other relevant authorities.

We are not entirely pleased about the procedure required for subscription either. They do collect some identifying information such as name, email address, phone number and credit card information at the time of the signup, hence, people who are extremely wary of their online anonymity do have reasons to be worried.

Customer Support

Customer support is indeed a good point at Private Wi-Fi, and all of the customer service channels are pretty helpful and resourceful. You can get all of your queries answered within an hour at the most. The live chat feature is only available for 11 hours a day, 7 days a week.

While the live customer support channel is available for all days of the week, users out of the EST time zone will find it difficult to contact customer support in a timely manner. However, all emails are usually answered within the hour, and we were surprised to know that responses were dispatched within 10 minutes of contacting the email support channel.

Issues & Problems

We did face a lot of speed and reliability issues, albeit not so much that we hated Private Wi-Fi. We believe this is a result of relatively low number of servers, coupled with unlimited bandwidth and uncapped browsing speed. We are also immensely apprehensive about the payment options and are not particularly pleased that we have to impart so much personal information at the time of signup.

Review Conclusion

Private Wi-Fi can be considered as an average VPN service provider that offers good quality VPN services, but one that charges a bit too much premium for the VPN privilege. Corporate VPN accounts at Private Wi-Fi makes sense due to the low monthly rate and discounts on offer, but as far as personal VPN services are concerned, there are other options, unless Private Wi-Fi addresses some of the issues such as price, speed and reliability.

2 thoughts on “Private WiFi Review

  1. I am a paying member of AOL, and I get Private Wifi as a part of my subscription. I travel one or two times a year and take extended trips of typically one to two months. It is essential to me that I have daily internet connections while on the go (I don’t stay in one place for any extended period of time). This means hotels, Mcdonald’s etc. typically, and of course most of them are not protected, so Private Wifi is very valuable to me.
    The first year I had it (3 years ago I think) it worked but was very buggy and unreliable. Always I could log on to the net, but sometimes could not access sites I needed etc. After reading the reviews I now believe this was because of the limited number of servers, since the problem seemed to be very inconsistent, based on both time and location. Before leaving the next year I tried it again and it didn’t work at all. I had to go through AOL but contacted the company and they immediately said the software I had was out of date and helped me install the newest version. I have used that for 2 years now and it works most of the time, although I still have had occasional site access problems. Even so, I am happy to have it as I often have to input credit card info for reservations, etc, and I feel much safer when using P W.
    However, in reading this review and others I note that I simply do not have some of the mentioned features at all, such as firewall and AV, so I wonder if my AOL version is stripped-down. That really doesn’t make much sense to me – sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, but who knows. And an obvious problem is that it never updates. I would have to delete and re-install, I assume, to get the latest version, which I’ll do before traveling again. But all and all, I still consider it one of the (few and) better benefits of AOL.

  2. Thank you for this review. It is extremely helpful and saved me a lot of time. I could not get the program to run even after speaking with customer service. I now believe the cause is due to the low number of servers. In other words due to the low number of servers and I was a trial, aka non-paying, customer I was not able to finish down loading the program.

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