Overview of SwitchVPN
SwitchVPN is based in the United States, which concerns many users because it’s a country known for privacy invasion. Additionally, some security researchers noticed vague language in their user policies. However, the VPN service offers good to great speeds, although that’s understandable seeing how small their server network is compared to the leaders in the industry. They are also suitable for users who seek torrenting, and offer adequate, although not extravagant security features. Plus, the provider has VPN clients for the most popular platforms.
We also have to mention SwitchVPN upholds a 30-day money-back policy. Thus, if you need urgent protection or don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty, you can try SwitchVPN and get your money back if you’re unsatisfied. The provider also offers a full product free trial for 3 days for a mere $1. Overall, it’s a solid choice for a beginner that seeks basic online privacy with occasional streaming or gaming. However, there are VPN services with a better value for money.
|VPN speed||Up to 18 Mbps|
|Logging policy||No logs but inconclusive|
|IP address and DNS data leaks||No|
|VPN servers||Over 250|
|IP addresses available||Undisclosed|
|Obfuscation||Yes, for China|
|Money back guarantee||30 days / 3-day trial|
|Customer Support||Email and 24/7 live chat|
Features of SwitchVPN
With the overview and specifications covered, it’s time we dive into the SwitchVPN features:
Privacy and logging policy
SwitchVPN claims to store no logs, specifically “non-identifiable information” and we find that to be mostly true. However, we were worried to find that they do collect what they claim to be “Non-Personally Identifiable Information”, which includes IP address, type of browser, and domain names (DNS). That’s not horrible if collected en masse and anonymously.
However, it becomes worrying knowing they openly state they plan to comply with any legal processes they deem valid, including DMCA claims or government requests for identification or information. They claim to have nothing to turn over, but this has never been verified by an independent audit. Also, SwitchVPN is based in the US. That’s a country well-known for surveillance and a member of the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes Alliance that shares information that shares intelligence with other members.
SwitchVPN comes off as very basic but sufficient for most users’ needs with 256-bit AES encryption. They also offer a kill switch, but only on Windows and Mac for now, and even worse, it only works with OpenVPN, not other security protocols. Moreover, you can benefit from split tunneling, but only on Android, but it was implemented to work as a kill switch, too. On the other hand, we found no IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks on any connection. The VPN even disabled IPv6 to ensure that. Moreover, SwitchVPN supports these security protocols:
- PPTP (Outdated—we recommend avoiding)
Connectivity and VPN speed
The VPN download and upload speed of SwitchVPN is great, which is unsurprising considering they only have so many servers (250+) to maintain. We also found them to be neatly spread out, which you’ll see below. Also, although they all support torrenting, some are optimized for P2P traffic. We had the best speeds with servers in the US and Australia.
Although you can’t expect to stream in 4K flawlessly, due to their low latency and solid speed, you can play video games, stream HD to Full HD, and browse the Web. Also, you can connect up to 3 devices at once on a Premium plan and up to 6 on a Families plan.
SwitchVPN has over 250 servers spread across 43 locations, but not countries. The number of countries is still decent, with most servers in the United States and the United Kingdom. However, you’ll find Mexico, Canada, and the most populated European and Asian countries on the list, too. South American territory only includes Brazil, sadly.
Streaming and torrenting
We don’t condone using VPN to bypass streaming platform limitations, but SwitchVPN can bypass VPN blocking from the most popular streaming services except Amazon Prime Video. Additionally, all VPN servers support P2P (peer-to-peer) transfer and the apps also let you connect to torrenting-optimized servers.
SwitchVPN can obfuscate your connection but seemingly only in China. Not only do they offer servers optimized for the Great Firewall of China, but also have servers in Hong Kong to get you even closer. The provider’s website also has a detailed connection guide for China.
SwitchVPN only offers 24/7 live chat and email support on their website as means of Customer Support. However, users have access to a comprehensive website section called Help Center with troubleshooting guides and simple instructions. We found the response time satisfying and the team knowledgeable.
Platform support for SwitchVPN
SwitchVPN only supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. That’s right—you won’t find apps for Smart TVs, consoles, Fire Stick, Roku, or even routers. However, the service has manual guides for NAS devices, Smart TVs, routers, consoles, and Chromebook, made possible by OpenVPN.
SwitchVPN pricing and subscription plans
SwitchVPN does not have a free version, and instead only offers two payment plans:
- Premium – $6.99 per month (monthly) or $3.99/month, $47.88 upfront (yearly)
- Families – $9.99 per month (monthly) or $5.99/month, $71.88 upfront (yearly)
The main difference is that you get 6 concurrent connections on the Families plan instead of 3. They also have a paid 3-day trial for $1 from time to time, giving you full access to their network and features. All plans support a 30-day money-refund warranty.
- App support for all major operating systems
- Bypasses most streaming VPN blocks
- Great speed
- Works in China
- 24/7 Customer Service via live chat and email
- Supports several VPN protocols
- 30-day money-return guarantee and 3-day paid trial
- Based in the United States, a non-privacy-friendly country
- Small server network (250+ in 43 locations)
- Collects some user information
- Never underwent independent privacy and security audits
- VPN clients only for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, and Linux
Wrapping up our review of SwitchVPN, we can say it’s not for everyone. Those that want a confirmed logging policy, a privacy-friendly country, lots of servers and security features, and more concurrent connections should avoid it. We would also like to see at least a kill switch and split tunneling across all applications. It would help users know they remain protected everywhere if their connection drops. However, the service supports the needs of a regular user, functions in China and with torrents, works on major operating systems, and is reasonably priced.
SwitchVPN is a US-based VPN provider with military-grade encryption and basic security features. It has a small server network that supports torrenting, streaming, and access to China with decent speeds. However, its data collection policy may be worrying.