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SwitchVPN Review 2022

Update: August 13, 2022
Highlights
  • Torrenting possible
  • Keeps connection logs
  • Customer support could improve
Score
5.8

Our SwitchVPN score

  • Speed
    7.5
  • Safety
    5.5
  • User-friendliness
    4.0
  • Servers
    6.0

SwitchVPN Review (2022): Not a Great VPN for China

SwitchVPN cares a lot about online anonymity and internet freedom. Designed to circumvent censorship in China, SwitchVPN claims to be “for privacy-oriented individuals” who need a virtual private network for “anonymous web surfing, lightning-fast streaming, private P2P file sharing, and bypassing Internet censorship.”

We put its claims to the test in this in-depth SwitchVPN review. Based on our analysis, we found that SwitchVPN works well enough and has all the standard security features common in VPNs.

However, it lacks additional features like dedicated IP addresses. Its privacy practices and customer service also score poorly, especially against premium VPNs.

Read our full review for a complete assessment of SwitchVPN.


SwitchVPN Review: Short Review

ProsCons
Easy to installKeeps connection logs
Torrenting is possibleNetflix USA doesn’t work
Maintains speedRelatively expensive
30-day money-back guaranteeOnly available in English
Customer support could be better

SwitchVPN is a straightforward VPN service that’s easy to use. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and it’s possible to pay anonymously using Bitcoin.

However, prices for regular plans are relatively expensive, and the provider’s server network is very small. On top of that, SwitchVPN keeps connection logs, which means you’re not browsing the web with full privacy. Customer service is also rather poor, as it took their team a week to respond to our query. Submitting a ticket also requires providing your email address and password, which is a major privacy red flag.

In short, SwitchVPN is a decent option if, for some reason, other VPNs don’t work on your devices or network. If you’re looking to bypass the Great Firewall, we have an article on recommended VPNs for unblocking content in China. Top of the list are NordVPN and VyprVPN.

For more information on SwitchVPN features, pricing options, and privacy policy, keep reading below.

Specifications SwitchVPN
Operating systems
  • Windows
  • ,
  • Mac
  • ,
  • iOS
  • ,
  • Android
Simultaneous connections
  • 3
  • ,
  • 6
Torrents
  • Torrenting allowed
Protocols
  • OpenVPN
  • ,
  • IKEv2
  • ,
  • SSTP
  • ,
  • L2TP/IPsec
  • ,
  • PPTP
Payment methods
  • Paypal
  • ,
  • Credit card
  • ,
  • Cryptocurrency
Money-back guarantee
  • Yes
Works with
  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows
  • Torrent

Speed – How Fast is SwitchVPN?

Score scale 7.5/10

A good VPN should let you browse the internet both safely and speedily. Some VPNs only offer one or the other, but we encourage people not to settle for less. So, how well does SwitchVPN fare?

In order to assess SwitchVPN’s speed performance, we tested the app by running official speed tests and keeping an eye on the VPN connection during daily use. Overall, we give SwitchVPN a score of 7.5 out of 10 for speed. Here’s what we found:

  • Speed is generally well-maintained when using nearby servers.
  • Distant servers are notably slower.
  • During regular use, we didn’t notice any delays.
  • We were able to download files and watch YouTube videos without issue while connected via the VPN.

Speed test results SwitchVPN

Since our test speeds were run from the Netherlands, which is where our office is located, the results below only provide an indication of SwitchVPN’s capabilities. Your own speed results could differ from ours.

We’ve used speedtest.net for the official tests. First, we took note of our connection speed without the use of a VPN. This serves as a baseline measurement to compare the VPN results to.

ServerDownload (MBPS)% DownloadUpload (MBPS)% UploadPing (MS)
No VPN203.59 Mb/s100%246.97 Mb/s100%4
The Netherlands190.97 Mb/s93.8%233.15 Mb/s94.4%3
United States (New York)179.53 Mb/s88.2%217.81 Mb/s88.291
United States (Los Angeles)56.05 Mb/s27.5%28.41 Mb/s11.5%141

As you can see in the table above, upload and download speeds remain relatively on par with our regular internet connection when connecting to a local server. Meanwhile, the distant server on the US East Coast provides high speeds, though the ping increases significantly. The US server on the West Coast, however, does show a clear decrease in VPN connection speed.

When connecting to a SwitchVPN server, the provider’s interface displays its own download and upload speed results in real-time. Generally, the VPN software shows speeds that are several Mb/s faster than what we’ve found.

Speed during daily use

During daily use, SwitchVPN’s speeds were decent overall. Even while downloading 1 GB files, we were able to continue browsing and chatting at the same time. The files were downloaded within 15 minutes.

However, SwitchVPN still scores lower than premium VPNs because of slow loading times on distant servers. Many VPN users need to connect to other countries. Some want to unblock Netflix or Disney Plus even while traveling abroad. Others need to use a different country’s IP address in order to unblock content.

In short, we recommend using SwitchVPN if you’re sure you don’t need to connect to a distant server. The SwitchVPN app works great if you only need local or nearby servers.


Safety – How Secure is SwitchVPN?

Score image showing 5.5/10

Safety and anonymity are the most important features of VPNs. After all, the main reason to use a virtual private network is to make sure that your private data isn’t up for grabs.

Initially, SwitchVPN was developed to circumvent government-imposed censorship in China. From the get-go, they’ve put a strong focus on protecting user data and ensuring as much online anonymity as possible. After having a closer look, however, we can only give SwitchVPN’s safety features a score of 5.5 out of 10. This is based on the following conclusions:

  • It’s possible to pay for your account anonymously using Bitcoin.
  • The provider uses strong VPN protocols.
  • SwitchVPN keeps connection logs, so SwitchVPN is not a zero-logs VPN.
  • The kill switch doesn’t seem to work.

Protocols

To ensure a safe connection to the SwitchVPN server network, you can choose from different VPN protocols. The standard protocol is OpenVPN. This protocol provides you with a high level of encryption and is generally seen as one of the best and safest protocols.

While we don’t recommend that you change the standard settings (unless you know what you’re doing), it is possible to choose any of the other available protocols:

  • OpenVPN UDP
  • OpenVPN TCP
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • IKEv2
  • SSTP
  • PPTP

Logging and privacy

SwitchVPN’s privacy policy claims not to log anything that occurs within the encrypted VPN tunnel. But, unfortunately, it seems that the provider is using connection logs. When we asked customer service about this, they informed us that this is not the case. However, within the SwitchVPN interface, you can see for yourself exactly which data gets collected by clicking on “Show Logs Folder.”

Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, Diagnostic tab, Show Logs option highlighted

When a provider keeps connection logs, it means they keep track of which servers you connect to and when. If you wish to prevent SwitchVPN from collecting this information, you have to deactivate the automatic transfer under the Diagnostic tab in the interface.

Kill switch

SwitchVPN has a built-in kill switch. Note that you have to activate the kill switch yourself. When running the VPN on the standard settings, your kill switch is automatically switched off.

On top of that, the kill switch didn’t actually work during our tests. We could continue using the internet while the VPN was in the process of disconnecting. This creates opportunities for data to leak through.

When we asked SwitchVPN for an explanation, they came back to us with the following, unsatisfying response:

Kill switch is not turned on by default. You can turn it on and it will get triggered when your Internet is dropped. Basically, our application will remove the default ISP route from the routing table, which means if the Internet is dropped, the data has no route to travel and prevents any data to pass through your ISP.”

What information does SwitchVPN need?

If you want to create a SwitchVPN account, the provider needs the following information: an email address and a method of payment. Depending on how you choose to pay, you have to submit additional information.

These are the payment options you can use to purchase SwitchVPN:

  • Credit card
  • PayPal
  • Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin)
  • UnionPay

If you pay using Bitcoin, you can purchase SwitchVPN completely anonymously.

Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, Payment method


Usability – How User-Friendly is SwitchVPN?

Score image showing 4/10

SwitchVPN’s software is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. We’ve tested the Windows application, which means our user-friendliness assessment is based on this software. Altogether, we score SwitchVPN’s usability a 4 out of 10. This is based on the following:

  • The website is well-organized but lacks information.
  • The application runs smoothly and is easy to use.
  • The SwitchVPN app is only available in English.
  • The VPN is relatively expensive.
  • Customer service leaves much to be desired.

SwitchVPN website and installation process

The SwitchVPN homepage is organized well. You can see on which platforms you can use the software, as well as purchase the VPN right away.

Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, website homepage

Unfortunately, finding out more information is a bit of a chore. Under their Features tab, you can only find basic information. For example, it doesn’t tell you what type of encryption SwitchVPN uses.

It’s also difficult to get info on SwitchVPN’s server network. The website states that the provider has 250+ serves in 43 locations. However, it remains unclear how many servers you can connect to per location. Additionally, the application only shows 39 locations. We discuss this in more detail down below.

The installation process is very straightforward. If you want to use SwitchVPN on your Windows PC, you can take the following installation steps:

  1. Purchase a subscription on the website and create an account.
  2. Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, Sign up form
  3. Download the right installation file on your account page. SwitchVPN is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
  4. Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, download options
  5. Open the installation file and click “Next.” The installation starts automatically.
  6. Open the app once the installation is done.
  7. Enter your username and password.
  8. Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, Login screen
  9. Select a server, or let the app choose for you.
  10. Go online by clicking “Connect.”
  11. Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, interface and server list

You’re now connected and ready to go online.

SwitchVPN appearance and ease-of-use

The Switch application is easy to navigate. Right away, you can connect to a server and browse the web via a VPN tunnel. If you want to access or change any of the settings, you have to click the cog in the right-side corner. This will take you to the following tabs:

  • General: Among other things, this is where you can enable automatic launch on Windows startup, choose how the VPN should interact with your local network, and activate personal preferences, such as the app’s night theme. If you’re using the VPN for the first time, we recommend enabling the kill switch.
  • Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, General menu
  • Protocol: This is where you can manually select a VPN protocol. The standard settings will run the VPN on OpenVPN protocol.
  • Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, Protocol tab
  • Advanced: If you want to use a proxy server, you can do so under this tab.
  • Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, Settings Advanced tab
  • Subscription: This is where you can see an overview of your subscription, including the end date. You can also choose a different subscription from this tab.
  • Diagnostic: Here, you can see which logs SwitchVPN keeps and manually deactivate sending diagnostic data.
  • Screenshot of SwitchVPN app, Diagnostic tab, Show Logs option highlighted

SwitchVPN is only available in English.

Pricing and payment methods

SwitchVPN offers two types of subscriptions. For both of these plans, you can choose to get a subscription for one month, six months, or one year. Your cheapest option is a year-long Families plan. This will cost you $3.99 a month.

The only difference between the Premium and the Families plan is the number of devices you can use the VPN on at the same time. The Premium plan gives you three simultaneous connections, while the Families one gives you six simultaneous connections.

Type of PlanBilling CyclePrice
PremiumMonthly$6.99
PremiumSemi-annually$5.59
PremiumAnnually$3.99
FamiliesMonthly$9.99
FamiliesSemi-annually$7.99
FamiliesAnnually$5.99

SwitchVPN allows you to pay using PayPal, credit card, Bitcoin, and UnionPay. If your initial subscription isn’t to your liking, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can change subscriptions halfway through.

Like Touch VPN, you can easily pay using cryptocurrency, which is a good trend amongst middle-tier VPNs. However, many stalwarts in the industry, like Whoer VPN, still don’t offer this option.

NOTE: Make sure that you submit your money-back request early. It took us over a week to receive a refund, since you have to use a specific cancellation webpage instead of your personal account. Moreover, customer service attempted to change our mind. In the end, the only way we could cancel our subscription was by cancelling our PayPal payment.

Finally, it’s possible to test SwitchVPN for a period of 3 days. This costs $1.00.

Customer service

According to the SwitchVPN website, an expert customer support team is available 24/7. This doesn’t really appear to be the case.

If you run into issues using SwitchVPN, you have to put in quite some effort to get into touch with customer service. There’s a speech bubble on the website to get in touch with the live chat. However, we’ve found the live chat to be unresponsive on multiple occasions.

You can also submit a support ticket via your account. To submit the ticket, you have to write down your email address, username, and password on the form. Entering a password outside of a log-in page is always very suspicious. We tried to submit a random string of letters for the password since we didn’t want to provide our real login info on a form. This allowed us to submit the ticket (even if it was the wrong password).

Screenshot of SwitchVPN, submit ticket window

For some reason, your real IP address is connected to the support ticket, as well. This is quite concerning and doesn’t make a lot of sense for a VPN company. Additionally, you have to check a box to indicate which operating system you use. Notably, two of the most widely used systems — Windows 10 and macOS 11 — were not an option.

We waited a week for SwitchVPN’s response to our support ticket. During the waiting period, we happened to get a general email from SwitchVPN asking us about our experience with the provider. We repeated our questions in our reply and got a response the same day.


Server Network SwitchVPN

Score scale 8/10

A decent server network is an important asset for a VPN provider. The more servers in different countries, the more possibilities for users to unblock geo-restricted content.

Overall, we give SwitchVPN a score of 6 out of 10 for server network. Here’s why:

  • SwitchVPN offers special servers for streaming, torrenting, and internet users in China.
  • The server network is very small.
  • The interface only allows you to connect to a location, not to a specific server.

Optimized servers

We’ll discuss the amount of SwitchVPN servers down below. First, we want to highlight three different specialized servers that the VPN provider allows you to connect to.

  • Special streaming servers: These servers are intended for watching and streaming videos. These are located in all seven US cities, as well as in London.
  • Optimized servers for users in China: Considering the internet restrictions of the Great Firewall, a VPN is essential in China to get around censorship. SwitchVPN offers servers specifically for China-based users.
  • P2P servers: These are in various locations in Europe and make downloading and torrenting with SwitchVPN possible.

Number of servers and locations

A wide server network gives you optimal use of a VPN service. SwitchVPN claims to have over 250 servers. Compared to premium providers such as NordVPN or Surfshark, this is a very small network.

Moreover, the provider only names the following 32 locations:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada (Toronto)
  • Czech Republic
  • Germany
  • Finland
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • The Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom (London, Maidenhead)
  • United States (Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco)

If we assume each country only has one server location, SwitchVPN would only have 39 servers. Since the interface doesn’t allow you to see or select a particular server, we tried to figure out whether SwitchVPN has multiple servers within a country by trying to connect multiple times. Unfortunately, we got the same IP address each time.

Dedicated IP address

SwitchVPN does not offer dedicated IP addresses. If you’re using any of their servers, you will get a shared IP address.

This means that multiple users connect to the web via the same IP. This increases your online anonymity since it makes it more difficult to trace your online activity back to you personally. However, in some cases, a dedicated IP can have benefits. If you’re looking for a VPN that offers dedicated IPs, check out Private Internet Access.


SwitchVPN’s Options

Some VPN providers offer options that set them apart from other VPNs. For example, some offer a multi-hop feature: the opportunity to connect to various VPN servers at the same time, creating an extra layer of encryption. SwitchVPN does not offer this function, unfortunately. It does, however, have special servers for streaming and torrenting.

SwitchVPN and Netflix

SwitchVPN claims to have optimized streaming servers among its US and UK servers. This would make it an ideal service to unblock BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu. However, when trying to connect to the American Netflix library, our access was denied every time.

If you want to use SwitchVPN to watch your local Netflix library, this is not an issue. We didn’t experience any delay or buffering. If you do want to access foreign Netflix libraries, however, a VPN like Surfshark is much better equipped to do so.

SwitchVPN and torrents

SwitchVPN has servers that are optimized for torrenting. These P2P servers are located in various European countries, although they don’t specify where.

We can’t complain about SwitchVPN’s functionalities on this front. We managed to torrent several files successfully and got 1 GB file downloaded in under 15 minutes, all while browsing the web at the same time.


Our Experience With SwitchVPN

SwitchVPN is a decent enough provider when it comes to speed and security. We do have our concerns about the logging policy. Additionally, the server network is small, which doesn’t make it the ideal VPN to get around geo-blockades.

If you want to get a VPN, but you’re unsure about SwitchVPN, you might want to check out our top 5 VPNs. These providers are often cheaper and offer you excellent features, plus a much larger server network on top of that.

SwitchVPN Review: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any questions about SwitchVPN? Check out our FAQ below to get some answers.

SwitchVPN runs on OpenVPN. This is a very safe protocol. It ensures that all your data is properly encrypted.

Do you want to know more about SwitchVPN’s safety and logging policy? Check out our full SwitchVPN review.

SwitchVPN has special streaming servers in America. Theoretically, these servers should make it possible to stream Netflix USA. Unfortunately, our access was repeatedly denied. We were only able to get access to our local Netflix library.

Yes, SwitchVPN has servers that are optimized for torrenting. During our test, we didn’t run into any issues while downloading files.

No, SwitchVPN is not free. They do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on their service. You can also buy a 3-day trial for $1.00.

SwitchVPN offers two subscriptions:

  1. Premium: starting at $3.99 a month
  2. Families: starting at $5.99 a month

Personal opinions experts VPNOverview.com

“SwitchVPN has decent speeds, but a small server network and a questionable logging policy.”
Our Score
5.8
Lauren Mak
Lauren Mak
"SwitchVPN has decent speeds and optimzed servers for streaming, torrenting, and users in China. However, we ran into a couple issues with regard to privacy, which customer service wasn't able to respond to. It's also a tad expensive."
"SwitchVPN has decent speeds and optimzed servers for streaming, torrenting, and users in China. However, we ran into a couple issues with regard to privacy, which customer service wasn't able to respond to. It's also a tad expensive."
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