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SwissVPN review

A capable provider with stable connections

SwissVPN
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

SwissVPN provides connection stability, good speeds, and is doing a good job in proving its dedication to its customers’ online privacy. That said, it is severely limited in terms of server network, native apps, support for geo-locked content, customer support, and chances to test it out before making a final decision.

For

  • Stable connections
  • Solid speeds
  • Transparent

Against

  • No free trial or money-back guarantee
  • No native apps
  • Doesn’t unblock Netflix or BBC iPlayer
  • Only one server location
  • Slow customer support

As its name would suggest, SwissVPN is a Switzerland-based provider of VPN services that offers “encrypted connections to the Swiss Internet”. It aims to protect your private information online by directing your traffic to servers in its Zurich data center.

Although it succeeds in doing so to a point, it nevertheless falls short in some areas, which is why you want to look at more VPN solutions in our best VPN guide before making a final decision.

Price

Although the website lists only one pricing option - monthly at $6.60 - the purchase page will allow you to choose for how many renewed months you want to receive the provider’s services - anywhere between one and 12 months.

Unfortunately, only one simultaneous connection is possible unless you throw in extra CHF2.00/month ($2.20), which will get you three simultaneous connections. 

Also, the speeds seem to be limited to 15Mbps/5Mbps if you go for the basic account. If you pay an additional $2.20/month, you can increase them to 30Mbps/10Mbps. The firewall also doesn’t seem to be a part of the basic offering, and it can be yours for, you guessed it, an extra $2.20/month.

We didn’t have to register or subscribe when purchasing the service (except for leaving an email address), which meant the company didn’t have our personal information, thus featuring a higher level of privacy on their side as compared to many other VPN providers.

Accepted payment methods include American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Swiss PostFinance, Twint, and PayPal. Sadly, the provider offers no free trial or no money-back guarantee, so you won't get a chance to try before you buy.

(Image credit: Future)

Alternatives

While SwissVPN certainly makes an impression of a capable and trustworthy VPN solution, it still isn’t as good as some of the top names in the industry.

For instance, ExpressVPN might be more expensive, but it includes various features and security tools, user-friendly native apps for all major platforms, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. It also unblocks popular geo-blocked streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Streaming

While many VPN providers pride themselves with offering access to today’s popular geo-restricted VOD services like Netflix or BBC iPlayer, this isn’t the case with SwissVPN, so you should look elsewhere if this is a deal-breaker for you.

About the company

SwissVPN is the product of Monzoon Networks AG, a Swiss telecommunications company founded in 2000 and one of the first European providers of public wireless internet services, so they should know a thing or two about keeping you safe there. Interestingly, there aren’t many server locations in its offering but one - a data center in Switzerland. 

According to the website, you’ll get “an encrypted VPN tunnel from your computer to a Swiss data center in Zurich, from where you can access the Internet”. The privacy policy specifies that “services delivered in Switzerland are supported by two data centers and a server room in the Greater Zurich Area”, while the “services delivered in Germany or elsewhere in the European Union are supported by two data centers in the Greater Frankfurt/Wolfsburg area.” 

The provider’s services in Switzerland are governed by the Federal Act on Data Protection (DSG), while its services in Germany are governed by the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Privacy and encryption

To make sure no one can see your information and activities online, SwissVPN uses AES (128-bit) tunnel encryption and Diffie-Hellman (1024-bit) key exchange. VPN connections can be established via L2TP/IPSec, SSL VPN (SSTP), OpenVPN, and PPTP/MPPE protocols.

The provider’s privacy policy, courtesy of its owner, Monzoon Networks, states that certain identifiers are collected to enable its customers to access the Internet, including login, password, hardware MAC address, IP addresses, session ID, location address, and order details. 

This is more logging than with some competitors, but at least the company is open about it. It would also be nice if they invited an independent auditor to check these claims in detail, as some of the competition had already done. 

All the information is stored in the company’s datacenters in Zurich and Frankfurt, although it is stated that it may be temporarily stored in another country “if the processing is technically complex”.

The website makes no mention of torrenting or P2P traffic, and the customer support is yet to respond to our query about it, so we recommend you check with them first if you intend to use the VPN for these activities.

Support

SwissVPN can be set up and used on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux devices, as well as routers. All the instruction manuals are available on the website as is the collection of frequently asked questions in the help section. If you need assistance with anything that the provider’s help section on the website can’t help you with, you can submit the support form or simply email the customer support. However, you might need to arm yourself with patience. We certainly had to.

Speed and experience

We purchased the basic service which says that the speeds might be limited to up to 15Mbps, and, sure enough, we got 11.50Mbps during our tests (on a 65Mbps testing connection).

However, higher speeds are promised if you throw in an additional $2.20. Five times each month you can activate a free Speed Boost option which supposedly gives you higher speeds for the duration of three hours, but we saw no improvement in speeds.

Setting the service up on your device isn’t easy if you’re not used to providers that don’t have native apps but facilitate VPN connection via third-party software like OpenVPN and Viscosity. But fear not, the provider has all the instructions available on the website and you’ll even get a link for them in the confirmation email after you purchase. This is less than desirable for beginners but not terrible. Also, be prepared to always have to enter your VPN credentials anew when connecting, at least if you’re using OpenVPN.

(Image credit: Future)

Verdict

SwissVPN is a solid VPN platform that might not sit well with beginners, but provides a reliable and secure privacy service.

However, it doesn’t have thousands of servers or any native apps, it doesn’t provide access to popular streaming channels, and nor does it offer a free trial or a money-back guarantee.

If these factors are a deal-breaker for you, you might want to get your hands on a top performer such as ExpressVPN instead.