SwitchVPN offers decent server coverage with 145+ servers in 35 locations. They deploy OpenVPN, solid encryption, and allow up to five simultaneous connections.

SwitchVPN supports Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. You can also install it on routers and Netduma R1 using OpenVPN config files.

I tried out their Windows client, which is a sleek app with well-compartmentalized functionality. It’s intuitive, too, so the user experience is overall positive. If you’re a newbie, you’ll be just fine – choose the server, hit the big button, and enjoy the ride.

This doesn’t mean VPN-savvy users will be bored here. Click the gear icon and discover five tabs worth of settings from changing protocols to running diagnostics.

Switch VPN also comes with native Android and iOS apps. However, the mobile functionality is significantly reduced if compared to the desktop client. You can’t choose protocols, there are fewer servers than in the desktop app, and the Android version has issues with Samsung devices. The company offers support via live chat available round the clock. There is also the knowledge base, which is a scarce collection of basic FAQs and links to legal documents.

I contacted support and received a rather timely response, although my question was non-technical. Overall, however, the impression was that of a very busy agent multi-hopping from one chat to another. So, they didn’t ask if there was anything else they could do for me once my little inquiry was answered.

SwitchVPN software comes with a few bells and whistles – a kill switch, auto-reconnect, an option to add a server to favorites, and choose protocols. The VPN supports PPTP, L2TP -IPSec, TCP – OpenVPN, and UDP – OpenVPN.

You can also set MTU size manually, and enable HTTP, or SOCKS5. The encryption used is 256-bit SSL, backed by a virtual firewall.

SwitchVPN has monthly and yearly plans and with an option for Premium that connects up to 3 devices and Families that connects up to 6 devices. The monthly Premium plan is $6.99 per month while the monthly Families plan is worth $9.99 per month. The yearly Premium plan costs $47.88 per year ($3.99/month) and the yearly Families plan is billed $71.88 per year (5.99/month).

All plans come with a no-questions 30-day money-back guarantee, unlimited bandwidth, OpenVPN, and a slew of other protocols. Top it off with mobile and desktop apps and it starts to sound lucrative.

The company accepts credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin. There is also a 3-day trial for only $1 with all premium features included.

I tested SwitchVPN with a rather sluggish connection, which turned to a crawl with VPN enabled. Here’s my speed reading, if the Ookla speed test is correct, before connecting to the VPN:

Then I tested how SwitchVPN affected the speed. First, with a US Miami server:

Then with US Atlanta server:

And a UK London server:

As you can see, the drop was nearly double even for the short-distance US servers. Nonetheless, P2P is allowed, and I was able to stream. Overall, network performance was stable, while the software didn’t freeze or stutter. There were no lags when connecting/disconnecting.

I then took the VPN for a few security tests, and the results were good. No DNS leak was detected:

No WebRTC leak:

And no IPv6 leak, either:

With Netflix cracking down on VPN providers, I wasn’t expecting SwitchVPN to bypass Netflix VPN blocks. And it didn’t.BBC iPlayer isn’t as finicky, and I could browse and stream, although buffering was noticeable, but not aggravating.

Technical specs of SwitchVPN look solid – OpenVPN, 256-bit SSL encryption, backed by a kill switch, and a handful of customizable tweaks. You’d think properly implemented OpenVPN and rock-solid encryption is enough to hop on the bandwagon. But wait.SwitchVPN has a Privacy Policy, ToS, Export Control Policy, and DMCA Policy. Anyone mustering the idea of subscribing to the service should give all four a good read.

First of all, using a US VPN provider for P2P is a bad idea due to copyright laws in the US, but SwitchVPN allows torrenting. Their DMCA Policy, however, clearly states the company doesn’t intend to cover your back.

Next, worse. The FAQs explicitly state the company keeps no logs and doesn’t engage in user activity monitoring. But ToS and Privacy Policy are jam-packed with lists of all the data the company collects. Browser types, language preferences, referring sites, server information, data and time of visitor requests, usage metrics, duration of the session, and previous activity – we’re just getting started. Your IP address, network routes, usage statistics, technical data, media access control addresses, traffic patterns, and social sharing patterns – sounds like the NSA-level tracking. Names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, payment information, and verified identity data are also collected.

Note: the company will disclose this data to law enforcement, as well as share non-personally identifiable parts of it with third parties for “research or informational” purposes. ToS explicitly state the company reserves the right to monitor your usage:

Logging doesn’t become less logging if you call it other names.CS Systems also does a good job of hiding its India-based origins, which only raises more questions as to why do it in the first place. They have the US jurisdiction written all over their ToS, but it’s nothing flattering in the world of VPNs. Their website may read well, but this press release certainly doesn’t. The bottom line is the resulting contradiction doesn’t instill trust.

SwitchVPN looks capable and robust. The catch is it counts on you being so idle as to skip their Privacy Policies and ToS. The technology under its hood may be right, but it does nothing to protect you from the snooping provider. My verdict – steer clear.