SwitchVPN is a newcomer in the VPN industry. The VPN is built on a decent server network of over 230 servers in 43+ locations worldwide. They use OpenVPN, strong encryption, and allow up to 5 simultaneous connections. Torrent junkies will be pleased with the news that SwitchVPN supports P2P file sharing. The VPN is also an excellent pick for gamers and streamers, thanks to its top, gigabit speeds.
The company was founded in 2015 by CS Systems Inc., a Delaware corporation out of the US. Notably, SwitchVPN was established because the founders were worried that, “free internet was under threat,” and wanted to take back online freedom.
However, SwitchVPN’s DCMA, Terms of Service (ToS), and Privacy Policies look obviously suspicious even for an undemanding user. Moreover, the company doesn’t seem bothered to disclose its origins, and that makes them look even more prohibitive.
Money back guarantee
Allowed concurrent connections
2 devices for SwitchVPN
5 devices for SwitchVPN Plus
Supported streaming services
No logs policy
OpenVPN, P2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, SSTP, PPTP
NAT Firewall, Kill switch, DNS leak protection, internal DNS System
24/ 7 live support
Number of servers
Supported devices & platforms
Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers
VPN legal jurisdiction
SwitchVPN is a simplified VPN that takes great pride in putting your privacy above all else. However, in all honesty, we’re not entirely sure if this is the case. We’ve put together weeks-worth of work in this SwitchVPN review 2020. Our review entails first-hand experience, pricing, server network distribution, features offered, as well as quantitative analysis from various third parties.
Stay with us throughout this review to find out whether SwitchVPN is worth your trust and investment.
Pricing and Payment Options
Although the VPN offered multiple packages in the past, it now sells two subscription plans – SwitchVPN and SwitchVPN Plus. While these two are the same, the Plus option allows you to secure up to five devices, compared to the 2 concurrent connections on the standard option.
You can pay for either plan on a month-to-month or annual basis. However, if you’d rather pay monthly, you’ll have to incur the extra cost, which is $5.95 for the standard plan and $9.95 for the Plus package. Alternatively, you can choose to go for the annual rates and save up to 44% of your money. The standard plan costs $3.33 per month and is billed at $39.95 every 12 months. The Plus plan goes for $5.89 per month totaling to $69.95 yearly. We recommend that you go for the annual subscription.
30-Day Money Back Guarantee
SwitchVPN offers a no-questions-asked, 30-day money back guarantee on all packages. Enough time to try out SwitchVPN before you commit your trust in their service. If you feel like exploring other options, simply email the helpdesk team within the first 30 days of your initial subscription, and you’ll get your money back. Thankfully, the refund policy doesn’t have any exceptions or caps.
You can choose to purchase SwitchVPN using a credit/debit card, PayPal, or Bitcoin. However, we highly recommend you settle for Bitcoin as a payment method if you wish to keep your identity anonymous during purchase. Otherwise, you can choose to pay via AliPay if you’re not too concerned about privacy.
SwitchVPN Payment Plans
The company offers over 250 servers in 43 countries worldwide – a decent network that offers super-fast speeds across all locations. As usual, their best coverage is in Europe, the US, Asia, and the greater Pacific. While they still don’t have a presence in Africa, the VPN recently added servers in Brazil – thereby including South America. Moreover, we were delighted to see up to 10 server locations in the US. Europe also boasts several city-level servers including UK, London, Maidenhead, and Gosport.
SwitchVPN Server Locations
SwitchVPN offers a Kill Switch feature that automatically stops any incoming or outgoing internet traffic on your device whenever a VPN connection drops. This is to prevent your network from revealing your online identity to prying eyes. Thankfully, torrent lovers and gamers can leave their devices unattended without risking exposure.
The company has also developed an advanced internal DNS system to give you end-to-end security. This includes providing safety and freedom in heavily censored countries like China, Russia and more.
SwitchVPN supports P2P file sharing. This means that you can enjoy free access to the world’s popular BitTorrenting and torrenting websites.
DNS Leak Protection
To find a mid-range VPN that offers a useful DNS leak protection feature is a rare case. Thankfully, this brand has a built-in feature that will prevent your DNS information from being sent to your local ISP. Meaning once you turn on the function, you can browse without having to worry about who’s monitoring your online activity.
Privacy and Security
Furthermore, the provider has recently switched its base operation to the US, making its vague no-logs policy even more concerning. This means that the VPN is likely to fully comply with invasive US surveillance laws. Moreover, we now know that any user data can be shared with several other countries as per the US and UK data retention laws. Therefore, their claims to observe a strict zero logs policy are entirely controversial.
However, SwitchVPN has some exciting features and utilities that can restore your confidence in them. For instance, they provide an advanced virtual firewall, as well as best-in-class internal DNS system.
SwitchVPN offers a series of encryption options including the strong AES-256 bit encryption for OpenVPN protocol. There’s also the 128-bit Blowfish for data-stream – which is the default for OpenVPN, and an RSA-1024 with a 2048-bit handshaking key.
Drawing from our review tests, we were pleased to find zero DNS & IPv6 leaks – a clear indication that the VPN has invested well in your online privacy. There are also features like automated Kill Switch – though only available on Windows and macOS clients – which protects your online activity whenever the VPN connection drops. We also discovered that SwitchVPN operates up to 80% of its DNS servers, and Cloudflare Anonymous maintain the remaining 20%. This will keep your identity and activity away from the reach of intrusive parties like ISPs and cybercriminals.
Overall, we’re happy with SwitchVPN’s level of security.
According to the website, the company says that you can stream online content with top speed rates from anywhere in the world. But how accurate are these claims? We had to be sure, so we conducted a speed test. Since we needed a benchmark result, we tested our internet speed without a VPN connection. The image below displays our baseline result:
In our first VPN speed test, we connected to a nearby server. Looking at the results below, you’d notice that speeds went down but at a reasonable rate.
We also connected to a remote server location. While the speeds dropped significantly, we were still able to stream and torrent online content with little to no difficulties. The results were as illustrated by the screenshot below:
SwitchVPN doesn’t precisely offer competition in terms of speed, but they’re certainly fast enough to prevent any connection lags or streaming playbacks. In fact, you should be able to stream HD content without any buffering issues and enjoy general surfing as well.
Ease of Use
SwitchVPN has come a long way with its website, which is now impressive, very well designed, detailed, and simple. The home page displays all the useful information that can give you a hint of what the service has to offer. There’s also a “Get Started” button at the top half of the page, and an illustration confirming that they’re a multiplatform VPN.
If you scroll down, you’ll view information on why you should settle for the VPN and the pricing of the two packages on offer. At the bottom of the website, you’ll find a variety of useful links like how to check your IP address, different client downloads, privacy policies, and DCMA statements. Although, the DCMA page is still empty.
However, our only dissatisfaction with the website was the difficulty to locate their 24-hour free trial. As it stands, you’ll have better chances of finding it through Google than through the site. Therefore, it’ll be helpful if they advertise it on the home page.
To get started with SwitchVPN, follow these simple steps:
Click on either the “Get Started” button or the “Sign Up” link text.
Choose your preferred plan to and click Checkout.
You’ll be redirected to a page where you’ll enter your email, and password details.
Select your ideal payment method and sign up.
Download the client and install it.
The VPN offers dedicated clients for all major platforms including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The VPN doesn’t have a client app for Linux and routers, but you can still configure them using a verified guide. You can’t also install an app directly to other devices like gaming consoles, but you can always secure them by connecting to a configured router.
Registering for the 24-hour free trial is reasonably straightforward. Once you navigate to the free trial page, enter your email and password to continue. Then, you’ll receive a confirmation link to the email you provided. Once you click on the link, you’ll be redirected to a page containing your trial account details. However, once your trial period is over, your account details will remain. And since the service is very anonymous, it will only ask you to choose your preferred package and mode of payment to get started.
At first glance, you’d think it’s a mobile app: very sleek, simple, well-labeled, and easy-to-use. Once you enter your login details – which are often different from the website account logins – click connect to initiate the VPN connection. The app has an Auto Selection feature that will choose the best available server and connect to the location.
SwitchVPN is among the few VPNs to offer a variety of features to tweak in the settings page. The latter is categorized into various tabs including general settings, protocols, advanced features, subscription details, and the diagnostic window.
SwitchVPN Desktop Client
The General tab allows you to toggle startup options as well as the Network Lock settings. Moreover, if you find the app’s white background too bright for your eyes, then you can always use the Night Theme on the Personalization section. The brand also offers the highest number of connection protocols on the desktop client including OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), L2TP/IPSec, IKEV2, SSTP, and PPTP. However, the app automatically selects the UDP-OpenVPN protocol by default, since it’s the most secure option. Furthermore, the Advanced tab has security and privacy features such as an automatic Kill Switch, internal DNS system, DNS & IPV6 leak protection, and more. You can also view the subscription details on the Subscription window, and the Diagnostic tab helps you solve connections issues including contact links to access customer service.
The mobile app is very similar to its desktop counterparts in terms of design, navigation, and the number of servers. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t provide enough features on its settings page. Even worse, it only has IKv2 for connection protocols available.
SwitchVPN Mobile App
Compatibility with Devices and Platforms
SwitchVPN has custom apps available for popular platforms such as Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. While there isn’t a dedicated client for routers, you can manually set up your router to secure your whole network. Unfortunately, it only supports a few routers as listed on their website.
However, if you aren’t confident with the setup process, the brand offers a remote installation service. The VPN manually configures your router, as long as it’s supported. The process only takes minutes, and you don’t have to lift a finger. Moreover, you can secure various gaming consoles using SwitchVPN. But the only way to do so is by connecting the consoles to a configured router. That way all your home devices will be secured.
Compatibility with Streaming and Torrenting
SwitchVPN is an excellent choice for streaming online content. Surprisingly, it can unblock Netflix US and works on eight out of ten US servers – only Miami and New York didn’t work. The VPN also unblocks other giant services including BBC iPlayer – which is notoriously hard to crack.
Moreover, the VPN also supports P2P on all of its servers. This means that you can access all popular torrents from any region in the world.
The company confirmed during our little chat that its service works effectively to bypass heavily censored countries. In particular, SwitchVPN can overcome the Great Firewall of China, thanks to an “Advanced Algorithm” that uses IP switching and redirecting traffic to other servers if it gets blocked.
Regrettably, we couldn’t find a way to confirm the claims since we’re not in China, but the folks at SwitchVPN assured us that they have servers in the country that are monitored continuously.
Unfortunately, SwitchVPN’s customer service is not up to elite standards and can do with a bit of polish. However, their help center has a vast knowledge base system that will solve most of your issues quickly. For instance, they have a search bar feature, a collection of frequently read articles, FAQs, and other manual guides.
We were disappointed with their live chat service that did not meet our expectations. Regrettably, they claim to be available 24/7, but they took several hours before they could get back to us. Moreover, the delayed replies to our queries went on for days, asking for our email address on every occasion. Nonetheless, the agents were polite and knowledgeable enough to handle our technical inquiries.
SwitchVPN Customer Support
No logs policy
Unlimited downloads and uploads
DNS & IPV6 leak protection
Works with Netflix and iPlayer
Automatic Kill Switch
30-day money back guarantee
Controversial 24/7 customer service
Vague contradicting logging policy
Limited server distribution
Other VPN Providers
If you’re still not too sure about ProtonVPN, the list below features some of the highest-ranked brands in the industry:
SwitchVPN can compete with top VPNs in the industry – they just need a few small polishes. The provider offers desirable speeds, unlimited access to streaming services, and P2P support for torrenting. SwitchVPN is also a feature-packed service that provides advanced privacy and security features – allowing them to stack among the popular top VPNs.
Unfortunately, they have a threadbare logging policy that lowers the trust of their consumers. Otherwise, the service is very affordable and it can be a good fit for you – that is if you’re not concerned about privacy but love good speeds.
A reader, writer, and avid internet user. Hiba has spent the better part of her adult life looking for ways to have a safer and more user-friendly online experience, all while praising the uses of VPN connections to anyone who would listen.