If you’re considering SwissVPN, it’s crucial to weigh its offerings. Established in 2000, it needs a robust reputation for trust. Your concern about Monzoon Networks AG, its parent company, storing personal information for a decade is valid. Regarding protection, SwissVPN provides OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and SSTP protocols, but you might question their adequacy given these privacy concerns.

When you try SwissVPN, you’ll notice it lacks native apps, necessitating manual installation on various platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS. With just one server in Zurich, it’s only beneficial if you specifically need a Swiss IP. Streaming is limited; it unblocks Swiss Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video libraries but needs help with Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. Moreover, streaming experiences may suffer as they tend to be slow and unstable, causing up to a 60% speed reduction.

While SwissVPN allows P2P, it lacks critical features, including a kill switch & DNS leak protection. That leads to potential vulnerabilities. Addressing these issues requires paying extra for the Firewall option.

SwissVPN uses AES-128 & 168-bit encryption, which is considered less secure than the industry standard 256-bit encryption used by most privacy-focused VPNs. This raises concerns about the level of protection it provides. Its privacy policy, storing data for a decade, raises red flags regarding intrusiveness.

Considering these factors, weighing the value proposition against your specific needs is essential. Assess if SwissVPN’s limitations align with your privacy and security requirements before investing your money.

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

 

  • SwissVPN works on most devices. If you choose SwissVPN, it’s compatible with a range of devices, including Android and iOS, although it lacks native apps. However, keep in mind that it permits only 3 simultaneous connections.
  • It is not fast. In terms of speed, SwissVPN falls short, offering a maximum speed of 15Mbps. However, you have the option to boost it to 30Mbps.
  • Doesn’t unblock geo-restricted streaming websites outside Switzerland. When it comes to accessing geo-restricted streaming sites beyond Switzerland, SwissVPN is limited. Unfortunately, it won’t work on platforms like Netflix US or BBC iPlayer.
  • It has only 1 server. SwissVPN operates with just one server located in Zurich, Switzerland, which may impact its overall performance.
  • The VPN is not entirely safe. Safety is a concern as SwissVPN lacks a kill switch and has been reported to leak DNS. Additionally, it helps retain your data for the long run, i.e., more than 10 years. That helps in raising privacy-related apprehensions.
  • It has a 24-hour free trial. Even though SwissVPN provides a free trial lasting 24 hours, there is no money-back guarantee.
  • Customer support is available via email and FAQ articles. Customer support is available exclusively through email and FAQ articles, which may impact the level of assistance you can receive promptly. Consider these factors carefully to determine if SwissVPN meets your needs and expectations.

2023 Update Features Of SwissVPN

💸 Price6.53 USD/month
📝 Does VPN keep logs?No
🖥 Number of servers1+
💻 Number of devices per license3
🛡 Kill switchNo
🗺 Based in countrySwitzerland
📥 Supports torrentingYes

Streaming — Can’t Unblock Sites Outside Switzerland

Your utilization of SwissVPN is primarily geared towards streaming Swiss content. Given its exclusive Swiss IPs, unblocking platforms like Disney+, Netflix US, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, or any foreign streaming services becomes unattainable through this VPN.

Unblocked: Swiss Versions of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+

Unlocking the Swiss editions of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Kodi, and Disney+ featuring Swiss titles becomes accessible through the VPN.

I watched the documentary Die Frauen Der Wikinger— The Viking Women on Netflix, Switzerland
I watched the mini-series, Die Protokollantin on Disney+

Blocked By: Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video US, YouTube US, Disney+ US, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max

Navigating streaming platforms beyond Switzerland, such as Netflix US, Disney+ US, Amazon Prime Video US, BBC iPlayer & HBO Max, proves challenging with SwissVPN due to its exclusive Swiss IPs.

Therefore, SwissVPN might not be your ideal choice for unblocking diverse streaming services. Consider exploring a VPN specifically designed for streaming, offering a broader range of servers across various countries.

Speeds — Capped and Unstable

If you’re using SwissVPN, it’s generally slow and lacks consistent speeds.

Even at its peak performance, your speed could be 15% -20 % slower than the expected 15 Mbps. At times, it might drop by up to 60% in short intervals, leading to video buffers on platforms like Netflix.

Speed was below 15Mbps and fluctuated throughout the testing period

Remember that a VPN’s speed is influenced by factors such as your connection, server congestion, and your distance from the server. You can enhance SwissVPN’s speed by purchasing the Speed Boost feature at CHF 2.00/$2.20, which raises the limit to 30Mbps. However, trying out the Speed Boost trial included with your basic account (available for 3 hours, 5 times a month) may yield little speed improvements.

Are SwissVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No

Gaming may not be the best experience with SwissVPN due to its fluctuating speeds.

If you’re into gaming, you’ll find that around 5 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds are typically required. However, with SwissVPN’s slow and inconsistent speed, using a connection under 10 Mbps might result in a less-than-smooth experience for fast-paced games like Call of Duty. The VPN also raises latency to 290ms, exceeding the 150ms maximum recommended for most online games.

Despite these challenges, you can try playing Roblox online on your 30Mbps connection without encountering any problems.

I played Roblox while connected on SwissVPN

Server Network — Coverage is Too Limited

If you’re using SwissVPN, it may be less beneficial as it operates only one data center in Zurich. The limited server capacity often leads to inconsistent speeds, especially during peak times when overcrowding occurs. Consequently, you may experience slow video loading and difficulties playing HD Netflix titles. The server’s restrictions also confine your streaming activities solely to Switzerland.

This small server network makes SwissVPN less reliable for various activities such as streaming, gaming, and torrenting.

Security — Basic Protection with Some Failures

SwissVPN offers fundamental security features and could benefit from an upgrade to enhance its capabilities.

If you’re using SwissVPN, it offers protocols like OpenVPN, Stealth (SSL VPN/SSTP), PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec. While all are generally secure, it’s advisable to avoid PPTP if your device supports the others, as many VPNs have discontinued its use.

The encryption provided by SwissVPN, MPPE/AES 128- and 168-bit is less robust than the AES 256-bit encryption employed by numerous VPNs today. However, integrating the Diffie-Hellman (1024-bit) key exchange mechanism enhances security for public communications, maintaining safety.

DNS leaks happen on SwissVPN

It’s important to note that SwissVPN lacks a kill switch, which could potentially result in IP leaks if your connection to the server drops. DNS requests may also leak, exposing your searches to ISPs. To address these issues, you can purchase a Firewall feature for an additional CHF 2.00/$2.20.

This feature filters network packets from your device, blocking all incoming internet connections but allowing outgoing traffic. It effectively prevents IP addresses (including IPv6) and DNS leaks in the event of connection drops.

Additionally, the Firewall feature proves crucial for safeguarding against IP leaks and protecting against malware/DDoS attacks. Furthermore, it allows configuration based on rules for 5 TCP/UDP ports, enhancing your overall security.

SwissVPN secures IPv4 and IPv6 connections

Privacy — Not Very User-Friendly

SwissVPN’s privacy policy raises concerns about its intrusiveness, particularly in the extended duration for which it retains your data, surpassing what is typically required.

As you delve into its policy, you’ll discover that Monzoon Networks AG, the telecommunications company behind SwissVPN since 2000, gathers significant information, including your IP addresses, MAC addresses, location, session ID, phone number, and email address. This collection surpasses what many other VPNs typically gather, raising concerns about your privacy. To enhance transparency, SwissVPN could consider inviting auditors to scrutinize its practices concerning collecting and utilising this information.

Monzoon does not protect your data from third parties

The company includes a clause indicating that it cannot assure the safeguarding of your data against third-party access.

As you explore its privacy policy, you’ll notice that SwissVPN may utilize your logged data for marketing and promotional services in collaboration with its hotspot partners. Monzoon, the parent company, explicitly mentions in its privacy policy that it can share your data with Swiss law enforcement if requested.

An additional concern is the extended storage of personal information for 10 years, potentially posing a risk of hackers accessing your financial data even years after you’ve stopped using the service. It’s worth noting that Swiss law mandates ISPs to retain users’ connection data for only 6 months, not a decade.

Monzoon stores personal data for 10 years

Furthermore, the data retention laws in Switzerland may not always fully apply while using SwissVPN. The service might store your data in a location outside the Swiss DSG regulations, such as Frankfurt, Germany, which falls under GDPR privacy laws. This introduces an additional layer of complexity regarding protecting your personal information.

Torrenting — Works but It Is Risky

While SwissVPN is compatible with torrent clients, it doesn’t guarantee comprehensive protection.

It’s crucial to emphasize that you should not endorse illegal torrenting. Ensure you understand the regulations in your country to avoid violating any laws.

If you’re using SwissVPN with BitTorrent or uTorrent, you might find that it works; however, your IP address could leak each time the connection drops.

You can use SwissVPN with torrent clients

The absence of a kill switch or SOCKS5 proxy firewall might compromise safety during torrenting. Additionally, the connection may need to be more consistent, and you could experience a four-minute download time for a 75MB file.

Remember that SwissVPN’s privacy policy may not align with torrent-friendly practices, as authorities could obtain your data from Monzoon. It’s crucial to be aware of these factors if you decide to try torrenting with SwissVPN.

Does SwissVPN Work in China? No

There’s no guarantee that SwissVPN can successfully navigate through The Great Firewall of China.

Suppose you’re considering SwissVPN’s usability in China. In that case, you may need more information on its website, and your attempts to seek clarification from support might go unanswered.

While there’s potential for it to function in the country due to its use of the SSL protocol, which is effective for bypassing censorship, the considerable distance between Zurich and China suggests that it might need to be more helpful due to slow speeds.

Considering these factors, you might determine that SwissVPN may not be the most effective choice for use in China.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Has a Small Device Limit

Using SwissVPN, you can establish connections on up to three devices. Suppose you’ve configured it on your Windows laptop, desktop, and smartphone. In that case, you can connect two more devices by paying an additional $2.20 (CHF 2.00) monthly.

Device Compatibility — Works on Most Devices

SwissVPN extends its compatibility to a wide spectrum of device supports, including:

  • Window versions 7–10, XP, and Vista
  • Mac OS X
  • Android
  • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
  • Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora)
  • Routers (Asus, DD-WRT)
  • Gaming consoles

While SwissVPN lacks native apps for any device, it provides support for various protocols on various platforms. Specifically, Windows 10 accommodates OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, and PPTP. However, the availability is limited for Mac, iOS, and Android, omitting IKEv2 and SSTP protocols.

L2TP, SSTP, PPTP, and IKEv2 protocols configurable on Windows devices

Installation & Apps

Set-Up & Installation — Not Very Straightforward

If you’re using SwissVPN, the absence of a downloadable app might make the manual configuration process on your PC or smartphone’s operating system a bit frustrating, especially for beginners.

However, SwissVPN offers a guide on its website that can help you quickly set up manual connections on your Windows 10 computer. Additionally, you can utilize OpenVPN GUI or Viscosity clients to configure the OpenVPN protocol, providing alternatives for setting up your VPN connection.

Pricing

The cost of SwissVPN seems disproportionately high, considering its limited utility.

For $6.53 per month, the basic SwissVPN plan provides access to a single server with speeds capped at 15 Mbps for downloads and 5 Mbps for uploads. You can renew your SwissVPN subscription for durations ranging from 1 to 12 months.

Extra features like the 30Mbps Speed Boost, a 3-device connection limit, and the Firewall option each come at an additional cost of CHF 2.00 /$2.20.

Only your email is required for registration when purchasing the service through PayPal. Accepted payment methods include Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Swiss PostFinance, and Twint. Notably, SwissVPN needs the option for anonymous payment methods such as Bitcoin.

It’s important to note that SwissVPN does not offer a money-back guarantee.

Before committing, you have the opportunity to try the speeds of the L2TP/IPSec, SSL VPN (SSTP), and PPTP protocols for 24 hours. However, this trial doesn’t support browsing or Netflix streaming. To access the trial, use “connect-test.swissvpn.net” as the VPN server address and “swissvpntest” as both the username and password during manual configuration.

Reliability & Support

While SwissVPN’s customer support lacks 24/7 availability, it remains a valuable and resourceful assistance option.

SwissVPN provides support in both native English and German through email and an extensive FAQ database. While an email inquiry received a response after 36 hours, which might not be ideal for those seeking immediate assistance, the staff demonstrated friendliness and offered helpful answers.

I received helpful answers from customer support after 36 hours of waiting

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict

SwissVPN, priced on the higher side, offers limited functionality, particularly in terms of speed, security, and privacy. Consequently, there may be better choices for activities like streaming, gaming, or torrenting. However, if your primary goal is obtaining a Swiss IP address, SwissVPN could serve that specific purpose.

Frequently Asked Questions (SwissVPN)-

Is SwissVPN considered safe?

No, it lacks a kill switch, and there is a risk of DNS leaks despite using secure encryption protocols.

Can SwissVPN effectively unblock Netflix?

No, it can only unblock Netflix within Switzerland.

Will SwissVPN impact my internet speeds?

Yes, its speed is capped at 15Mbps, potentially leading to a slowdown in performance.

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