We conducted our tests on SwitchVPN’s Windows client. You can also opt for a manual setup via configuration files, but SwitchVPN’s own desktop client is a much more leisurely solution that will require the least effort on your part to hide your presence online.
Design wise, SwitchVPN’s software is plain and simple and rather emphasizes functionality instead of visual appeal. There is nothing wrong with this, especially since the company had great utilities built into the client. We do however recommend that you always run the program as Administrator on your Windows system.
SwitchVPN has some more advanced functionality to experience. The properly done kill switch is still a rarely seen addition. This module cuts off any VPN connection in case problems arise in your VPN network. This is extremely useful, as intruders and such will have a very hard time doing anything to your machine even if – by some mysterious means – they get past the high security encryption of SwitchVPN. Port forwarding is another very good functionality to behold. In its essence it allows you to establish your VPN connection – which almost always involves connecting to some server – through select ports. The advantage here is that these ports are obviously not public ones, and thus they serve as another layer of protection and hiding from plain sight.
Private DNS Servers and up to 5 Connections
Furthermore, there is also a beta version of a functionality that lets you exclude certain websites from your VPN connection. This can similarly come in handy in many situations. Of course, the more commonly seen auto connect and auto start assets will leave with even less work in the end. We must also note that there are also private DNS servers running that make your DNS requests hidden – another good security solution. SwitchVPN is generous in terms of the number of connections you can have simultaneously; up to five VPN connections can be established at the same time using your account.
SwitchVPN has a growing network of locations and servers. Today, there are 32 countries to connect to, but thanks to the news and social media presence of SwitchVPN, you are always informed about new locations. In a more rare twist, there is even a connection to China available if you opt for the Premium package. Furthermore, there are four different addresses in Hong Kong available, meaning further support for that territory. In terms of speeds however, the high level of security shows as a slowing factor. Even though we conducted our tests with no additional safety options like the kill switch or port forwarding enabled, we still experienced mediocre speeds. As you can observe, two were done on L2TP settings and two on OpenVPN, to varying results.
SwitchVPN supports OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP and PPTP protocols. This is a good selection, but when we write about such protocols, we always make sure to let you know that PPTP is not recommended. And one of the main reasons for investing in a VPN is safe internet usage. As mentioned above, L2TP and OpenVPN are indeed slower solutions, but they are also a lot safer than PPTP. However, because of the deficit in this agility, we would recommend SwitchVPN for general internet usage, and not for downloading larger volumes of data, for example. And lastly on the note of privacy, the logging policy of SwitchVPN is favorable. Few logs are taken, only the ones that are necessary to identify you as a customer and to have the means of contact. Even registration does not require too sensitive information.
OS, Device Support
Device support with SwitchVPN is above average. On the one hand, the more popular operating systems are featured. Windows, Mac OS X and Linux are all available. This is standard availability, but the list of other devices is more extensive. Therefore, on the other hand, Android and iOS machines are supported as well, each with their own native application. Furthermore, Tomato and DD-WRT routers are similarly welcome, with ample instructions available to complete the setup of SwitchVPN on each of these open source router firmwares.
The pricing structure of SwitchVPN is divided into two main segments. There’s the Single Combo Pro plan for regular users and one aimed at businesses. For the Single Combo Pro, one month of VPN costs $9.95, a standard price. Three months fare at $8.95 per month – this offer is 10% off compared to the aforementioned duration. Finally, if you are interested in a whole year of VPN, you can get it for 50% off, with $4.95 being your monthly cost. In all three cases, you can connect a maximum of five different devices at once to your VPN account. For businesses, this number rises to 10 devices simultaneously. Furthermore, both the regular and business models support P2P and VoIP as well. For the latter, one month costs $59.95. Three months are available at $49.95 per month and one year is eligible if you pay $25 per month. Therefore in both cases, there are serious discounts if you choose the annual plans. SwitchVPN has a very generous 30 days of refund time, but no free trial. Payment options include Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Perfect Money, Payza and Bitcoin.
SwitchVPN’s customer service offers several ways to establish contact. First and foremost, help is available 24/7 and on every day of the year. This is great; even some top providers do not have constant customer service availability. SwitchVPN has a live chat option for those of you who require instant help. We advise you to approach the staff with more general questions here. For more complicated matters, submitting a ticket or sending an e-mail are also possible. If you encounter a problem that is either very hard to explain or you are not that adept at fixing it yourself, you can even enlist help via remote desktop. SwitchVPN provides help mainly through Skype in this matter. Whichever contact method you choose to get in touch with SwitchVPN, you’ll always get a speedy and friendly answer from one of their competent staff members.
SwitchVPN is indeed like a switch for a light bulb. It sometimes lightens up, but at other times you are a forced into waiting in the dark a bit. Utility wise, this is a great VPN service. With high security, a possible 2048 bit encryption and advanced client functions like the kill switch or port forwarding create a great foundation for a pleasurable VPN experience. However, our main concerns were speeds. Even at settings that do not slow down your connection considerably, we experienced average results at best. If a general-purpose VPN mostly for browsing use is what you’re seeking, then SwitchVPN is a fit candidate. Their money back guarantee of 30 days is suitable to discover if the correctly priced $4.95 Single Combo Pro plan does the trick for you.
- Kill switch
- Port forwarding
- 30-day refund
- Great extra security features
- No free trial