SwitchVPN is a basic, to-the-point provider that prides itself on putting user privacy above all else. However, in reality we’re not sure if this is completely the case.
It offers excellent speeds, easy access to Netflix and solid encryption, but we were a little disappointed by its vague, somewhat misleading logging policy.
With just a few small amendments it could easily become a major player in the market – we just hope these come sooner, rather than later.
Pricing & Deals
SwitchVPN offers two different packages – SwitchVPN and SwitchVPN Plus. These are exactly the same thing, but the Plus plan allows you to use the VPN on up to five devices at once, versus two on the Standard plan.
Both the standard and Plus packages can be paid for on a month-by-month basis or with an annual subscription. Monthly, the plans come in at $5.95 or $9.95 respectively and drop by 44% to $3.33 or $5.82 if you opt for the 12-month plan.
Get 44% off SwitchVPN's 12-month plan
SwitchVPN Pricing & Deals
SwitchVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. This is totally no questions asked and not subject to any hidden exceptions or caps – simply email the support team within 30 days of signing up and you’ll receive a refund.
Payment & Refund Options
You can pay for SwitchVPN using a credit or debit card, PayPal or Bitcoin. There’s also the option to pay via Alipay if you’d rather do that.
Speed & Reliability
SwitchVPN isn’t going to be worrying any of our top-tier providers in this area, but it’s certainly quick enough that you shouldn’t experience problems no matter what you choose to do online.
Connecting locally you can expect speeds of up to 70Mbps down and 80Mbps up, and we were pleased to see very little fluctuation from one test to the next. Even long-distance connections performed extremely well, coming in at 44Mbps from Europe to the US – this is ample for streaming in HD on multiple devices simultaneously.
We were a little disappointed by latency, however, which was a little higher than what we’d expect to see on same-country connections (17ms in London). While this is unlikely to be an issue for most everyday users, there are snappier options out there for gamers – we’d recommend IPVanish.
Overall not to be sniffed at, though.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
SwitchVPN is currently present in 29 countries around the world. As usual, coverage is best in Europe, Asia, and the US, so if you live in these areas you shouldn’t struggle to connect to a nearby server.
We were pleasantly surprised to see 10 city-specific servers in the US, covering both the East and West Coast with a few options in between. The only other country with city-level choice is the UK, offering London, Maidenhead and Gosport.
The obvious holes in SwitchVPN’s network are South America and Africa. The former has just one server (in Brazil) while the latter is lacking any servers at all. We’d like to see some improvement here to bring SwitchVPN up to speed with its rivals – especially HideMyAss!, which offers a server network of over 190 countries.
Platforms & Devices
Custom SwitchVPN apps are available for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android devices. You can also manually configure your router to support the software, although this only works with certain router types – you can check the list on the support section of the website.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that yourself, SwitchVPN also offers a remote installation service, where it manually configures your router without you having to lift a finger.
SwitchVPN doesn’t offer any sort of browser extensions, so the only way to protect your web traffic is via the desktop or mobile app.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
The only way to use SwitchVPN with any sort of games consoles or streaming devices would be to connect them to a configured router – this way, all internet-connected devices in your home will be protected.
If you’re looking for a provider that offers one-click custom solutions for these sorts of devices, you’ll be better off with our top pick ExpressVPN.
Streaming & Torrenting
SwitchVPN is an excellent choice for streaming fans. Not only does it work with Netflix on eight out of 10 US servers (all apart from New York and Miami), it also unblocks BBC iPlayer, which is notoriously difficult following the service’s recent crackdown on VPN providers.
P2P activity is permitted on all of SwitchVPN’s servers, meaning it’s also well-suited to torrenters – solid upload speeds will help here, too.
Encryption & Security
SwitchVPN is incredibly secure, utilizing top-class AES-256 encryption and a range of different VPN protocols. We like that the app defaults to OpenVPN on startup, though, as this offers the best balance of performance and privacy.
There’s a VPN kill switch (although currently this is only on MacOS and Windows) which prevents your true location from being exposed in case of a connection drop. SwitchVPN also owns around 80% of its DNS servers, with the other 20% being maintained by Cloudflare Anonymous, keeping your personal information away from the likes of your ISP and Google.
We were pleased to see no DNS, IPv6 or WebRTC leaks in our tests at all, proving SwitchVPN really does take user privacy seriously. Overall we’re very satisfied with the level of protection on offer.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
- First-party DNS
- VPN Kill Switch
- Split Tunneling
We’ve been informed by the customer support team that SwitchVPN should work effectively to bypass censorship measures in China. This is thanks to an “advanced algorithm” that involves IP switching and re-routing traffic to alternative servers if it’s blocked.
There’s no way of us knowing for sure how reliable this is without being in the country itself, but SwitchVPN assures us it has servers in China and is monitoring the situation 24/7.
SwitchVPN’s logging policy is suspiciously short, stating that it “does not collect or log any traffic or use of its VPN service”. At first glance this looks too good to be true and, after reading more, we discovered it indeed is.
Hidden further down the page, SwitchVPN goes on to admit that it “may disclose your Personally Identifiable Information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary”. This is incredibly concerning, as it must mean some logs are being collected, else the company wouldn’t have anything to hand over.
What makes this vague logging policy even more worrying is SwitchVPN’s US jurisdiction.
Not only does it make the service subject to intrusive surveillance laws, it also means any user information can be shared with several other countries according to intelligence-sharing agreements.
Ease of Use
SwitchVPN’s apps are really user-friendly without sacrificing too many advanced features. We like that the main screen shows you your new IP address and how long you’ve been connected for, but the on/off button can take a while to respond at times.
You can’t change servers without disconnecting first, which is pretty common, but we wish this was made clearer. It’s good that the server list opens in the same window, though, and the fact you can favorite locations is useful.
The settings menu is extensive and helpfully separated into labelled tabs – the contextual information alongside the VPN protocol selection will be useful for newbies, too.
Getting up and running with SwitchVPN couldn’t be easier – simply download and install the application, start it up and log in. It took us less than two minutes from start to finish.
SwitchVPN’s customer support could do with a bit of a polish but will solve most problems quickly and efficiently. We really like that live chat is available 24/7, and the friendly agents were willing to answer all of our questions in great detail, no matter how simple.
The resources on the website need a makeover, though – there’s only a handful of FAQs and some manual setup guides. We’d like to see some more in-depth material here soon, but for now it’ll do to answer most basic queries.
The Bottom Line
- Reliable local and international speeds
- Access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- No torrenting restrictions
- User-friendly apps for popular platforms
- 24/7 live chat support
- Vague, misleading logging policy
- Company based in US
- Noticeable gaps in server network