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MyPrivateNetwork Review

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My Private Network is a Hong Kong-based VPN aimed at the UK market. The company prices its service in pounds and is a good option for expats who want to access UK TV while living abroad.

The features of the service include an additional Smart Domain Name System (DNS) service. This should get you into most of the TV services that you miss, including Sky Go. You may find a few aspects of this Virtual Private Network (VPN) service aren’t perfect. However, the three-day free trial should give you the opportunity to work out whether it is good enough to fulfill your needs.

  • ProsPROS
  • Three-day free trial
  • Open-ended money-back guarantee
  • Free version
  • Custom app for Windows
  • Third-party app for Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Android
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections
  • ConsCONS
  • Custom app not available for Macs, Android, or iOS
  • No kill switch

Visit My Private Network »

My Private Network Pricing and Plans

The company offers three different types of plans. The main package gives access to servers in 44 countries and allows five simultaneous connections.

My Private Network global plan

If you’re only interested in accessing websites in one country, you can get a cheaper deal that gives you access to servers in just that country.

My Private Network single country service prices

There’s also a free version. It has a speed limit of 1 Mbps. However, it doesn’t have any data usage limits and doesn’t sneak adverts onto your browser.

My Private Network free vs paid

Prices are in pounds. Accepted payment types include Bitcoin, PayPal, and credit cards.

My Private Network payment options

Account sharing is not permitted with any of the packages.

The company says you can cancel at any time and get a refund. There’s no time limit on that promise.

My Private Network Features

The features of the company’s package are:

  • Servers in 44 countries
  • No data usage limits
  • NAT firewall
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection
  • Private DNS servers
  • MyTelly Smart DNS
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Torrenting allowed on Russian and Malaysian servers
  • Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP), Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP), and OpenVPN
  • Multilingual app

The server network includes locations in 44 countries.

My Private Network server locations

Visit My Private Network »

Is MyPrivateNetwork Secure?

My Private Network offers PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2). However, there’s only an app for OpenVPN. You need to set up the other protocols manually.

OpenVPN Encryption
Cipher
AES-256
Data Auth
HMAC SHA1
Handshake
RSA-2048
Control Auth
HMAC SHA256
Forward Secrecy
DHE-2048
Logs & Legal
Connection
Yes
Traffic
None
Country
Hong Kong

The OpenVPN implementation uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption system with a 256-bit key. This is very good – it’s as strong as any VPN uses. The key exchange and session establishment procedures of OpenVPN use the methodologies laid down in the Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. This is the security system that protects HTTPS webpages. OpenVPN gives implementers options over the strength of RSA encryption used for the session creation phase. The main variation between VPN services is the length of that key.

My Private Network’s RSA implementation includes a 2048-bit key. This is standard in the industry. The top VPNs in the world use a longer key, of 4096 bits in length.

Security features that are absent from this service are a kill switch and automatic WiFi protection. A kill switch prevent apps on your device from connecting to the internet if the connection to the VPN drops. Automatic WiFi protection prevents your mobile devices from connecting to open WiFi hotspots without your knowledge.

Is My Private Network Private

Although clearly aimed at the British market, My Private Network is run out of Hong Kong. This location was chosen because there are no data retention laws there. Additionally, companies based there aren’t liable to pressure from the secret services as they are in the UK.

Although the company is committed to protecting its customers’ privacy, there are a few alarm bells hidden in the privacy policy. The company doesn’t keep activity logs, but it does keep connection logs. Worryingly, it doesn’t say how long it stores that information for. Connection logs can provide all of the information that law enforcement or copyright lawyers need in order to trace your activities through the VPN and to your door.

The site includes a warrant canary. This system addresses the problem that anyone who has been served with a court order for information isn’t allowed to tell the people who are under investigation that the authorities are collecting information on them. However, they are allowed to tell you that they haven’t been served with a subpoena. Therefore, if you spot a gap in the warrant canary log, that means the service received a court order.

My Private Network Warrant Canary

The My Private Network Website

The My Private Network website is well-organized and looks professional. The big pink buttons that lead to the free trial are all over the site. This trial seems to be the company’s main marketing channel.

My Private Network Review

A free version of the VPN is a separate entity to the free trial.

The menu bar at the top of the site includes a link that says “Free VPN.” This free service is available long-term and uses the same interface as the paid version. However, data throughput is limited to 1 Mbps and you can only use a server in one location, which you can’t choose.

The free trial, on the other hand, is exactly the same as the full “Global” package. You can use it for free for three days. The installation files for the free trial get all of the software for the paid version on your computer, along with access to the free version. Thus, once your three-day trial expires, you have the choice of signing up for the service or continuing with the free version.

There are links to more pages in the site’s footer.

My Private Network site footer

These links include access to the service’s blog.

My Private Network blog

Support

If you experience problems with the VPN service, your first port of call should be the website’s knowledge base.

My Private Network knowledge base

There isn’t a vast amount of information on this page, so you may well need to contact the customer support team. Access to the help desk is via a web form.

My Private Network contact screen

You will receive a reply to your query by email.

The Process

My Private Network Free Trial

Whether you intend to use the paid service or the free version, you need to set up an account first. The registration process gets you access to the three-day free trial. This is your starting point. Press on any “free trial” button on the site to access the registration form.

My Private Network sign up

You’ll receive a welcome email to the address that you enter into the registration form. You don’t actually need to enter a real email address because you can log into the site’s client area to get the software you need without having to read any emails. Also, the username and password you set up when registering are the credentials you’ll need to log in to the VPN interface.

However, if you object to giving the VPN company your real email address it is better to create an anonymous webmail account rather than just typing in a fake address. Having some channel of contact may be necessary if you ever need to access the help desk.

Check your inbox for a welcome email.

My Private Network welcome email

A link in this email leads through to a download page, which will get the app on your computer.

My Private Network installation instructions library

The installation process involves you choosing which server configuration files to set up. One of those files is for the free service. If you don’t decide to pay for the service after the three-day trial ends, you won’t be able to use any of the named servers. However, the free service option will still appear in the app and will still work.

Signing Up

If you want to pay for the service after the free trial expires, you need to sign in to the website’s client area.

Mt Private Network sign in

You can buy a subscription via the My Subscriptions option in the left-hand menu.

Select a package, then a subscription period.

My Private Network subscription screen

Next, choose your payment type.

My Private Network payment screen

You’ll get time credit added to your account that will enable you to continue using the full VPN service once the trial period expires.

The My Private Network Windows VPN Client

My Private Network uses a program called OpenVPN GUI for its Windows app. This was developed by the organization that manages the OpenVPN standard. This interface is available for free. You may already have it installed on your computer if you’ve used a VPN before.

The company has produced its own adaptation of the standard OpenVPN GUI app. This makes it easier to install. However, the configuration files go into the directories used for OpenVPN GUI. Thus, if you already have that program, the configuration files for the servers of the last VPN that you got the software for will still be on your computer. The menu for the interface is made up of records for each configuration file, so the My Private Network menu will include entries for that other VPN’s servers.

If you want to get rid of old configuration files, to delete them from the interface menu, you need to look in C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config. If you want to save the old configuration files, you can create an archive folder in the OpenVPN directory and store them there.

Installing My Private Network

The installation process creates a desktop shortcut. The image below shows this, with the shortcut for the standard OpenVPN GUI program beside it. You could click on either of these to access the My Private Network service.

My Private Network shortcut

When you click on the program’s shortcut, you won’t see an application open. Instead, an icon will appear in your system tray. If you don’t see the icon, click on the up arrow in the system tray to reveal hidden icons.

My Private Network icon in system tray

Right-click on the icon to access the VPN’s menu. As your mouse pointer passes over each menu entry, a submenu with controls will appear. Click on Connect to engage that server.

My Private Network interface menu

A nice feature of the My Private Network customization of this interface is that you enter your username and password when you install the app. Ordinarily, users of the OpenVPN GUI have to enter a username and password every time they connect to a server. In this case, you never have to enter any credentials.

Connection Confirmation

You’ll see a screen that fills up with scrolling system messages as the connection proceeds. This window will disappear once the connection has been established.

My Private Network connecting

Another confirmation that you’re connected to the VPN is a service notification that appears in the bottom right of your screen. You’ll also notice that the My Private Network icon has turned green.

My Private Network connected

Back in the interface menu, you’ll see a tick next to the server that you connected to. Use Disconnect in that server’s submenu to close the connection. If you want to switch servers, you need to disconnect from the current server before opening a connection to a new one.

My Private Network interface menu connected

My Private Network Performance (Speed, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 Tests)

I conducted speed tests using OpenVPN over User Datagram Protocol (UDP). The graphs below show the performance of unprotected connections to Miami (US) and London (UK) from a location in the Caribbean. I then tested the connection to Miami with the My Private Network US server managing the line, then with a server in Canada engaged. My final test ran a connection to the test server in London through the My Private Network UK server.

Each of the blocks in the graph represents the maximum, minimum, and average speeds observed over five test runs. I performed these tests using testmy.net.

I used IPLocation.net to detect the actual locations of each VPN server. The US server was in Matawan, New Jersey. The Canadian server was in Coquitlam, British Colombia. The UK server was in Maidenhead.

My Private Network download speeds

My Private Network upload speeds

The graphs show highest, lowest, and average speeds for each server and location. See our full speed test explanation for more detail.

All servers gave acceptable speed performance that came within range of the speeds experienced on the unprotected connections.

I performed more tests with ipleak.net while connected to the My Private Network UK server to check DNS leaks and the Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) bug. This site reported my location as the UK but couldn’t state a specific location. Only one DNS server was detected. That was in the UK. Thus My Private Network passed those tests.

I also tested for DNS leaks with doileak.net. I performed these tests while connected to the UK VPN server.  This site detected my location as being in the UK, and using DNS servers in the UK. The only problem identified by this test site was that the time zone settings of my computer weren’t the same as the time zone of my reported location. This could be used as an indicator of VPN usage.

My Internet Service Provider (ISP) doesn’t use IPv6 addresses, so I was unable to test for IPv6 leaks.

Streaming Services

I tested the My Private Network UK server to see whether it could get me into video streaming services. Netflix’s detection systems spotted the VPN and blocked video delivery. However, I was able to watch videos at the BBC and Channel 4 websites.

The US server also couldn’t get me into Netflix. It had no success at the ABC website either, but it did get me access to videos at NBC.

Other Platforms

The My Private Network custom app is only available for Windows. Users of Apple Macs, iPhones, and iPads get a generic program, called Tunnelblick. The PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP protocols are available for manual setup on Linux machines, and the Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android operating systems. Macs with macOS can have SSTP and L2TP VPNs set up on them manually. Additionally, you can get a VPN on a DD-WRT router or on Kindle Fire with PPTP.

Other/Free Services

My Private Network comes with a Smart DNS service, called MyTelly. A Smart DNS system can sometimes be a good solution if you just want to get into overseas TV streaming services and having security on your connections isn’t a priority. I installed MyTelly and tested its performance with the same video streaming services that I tried with the VPN.

There is no way to manipulate MyTelly to direct it towards a specific country service for Netflix. I set up the DNS following the guide on the My Private Network site. However, the service didn’t divert my access for Netflix. Instead, I got the library for the country that I was in. The VPN was able to get me into ABC and NBC in the US. That was a better performance than the VPN, which couldn’t get me into ABC. In the UK, I got into the BBC, the ITV Hub and Channel 4 to watch videos.

My Private Network Review: Conclusion

This VPN’s adaptation of the OpenVPN GUI system creates some improvements over the standard interface. The option to choose which severs to install is a little time consuming. In addition, the pre-setting of whether to use Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or UDP during the installation process is an annoying limitation. However, it’s great not to have to enter log in credentials every time you connect to a server.

If you’re used to using the OpenVPN GUI, you’ll like this system. However, if you’ve tried out the custom apps of some of the best VPNs on the market, such as ExpressVPN or Buffered, you’ll find this VPN’s interface clunky. The absence of a kill switch and an option for automatic WiFi protection also arise from the fact that My Private Network doesn’t have its own fully customized app.

I liked:

  • Three-day free trial
  • Free version
  • Accepts PayPal and Bitcoin
  • Unlimited data
  • Allowance of five simultaneous connections

I wasn’t so sure about:

  • No online chat for support

I hated:

  • Can’t get into Netflix
  • No kill switch
  • No automatic WiFi protection

As a traveler with a Netflix subscription, this service would be no good for me. If you’ve tried My Private Network with your favorite streaming services, let us know in the Comments section below. Do you have a Sky subscription? Were you able to get into Sky Go from abroad with My Private Network? Let us know which countries you went to and which streaming services worked well for you with My Private Network.

Visit My Private Network »

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