It can be challenging to ensure that you are always about to subscribe to a quality service, regardless of what it provides for you. Unlike a product, a service is often something that is more challenging to quantify. A service that is ideal for one person may be clunky and inconvenient for someone else.
It is for this reason that it is crucial to put a good deal of research into every available option when opting for a service provider, regardless of whether it is for your internet, phone, or anything else. In today’s case, we are going to be reviewing a VPN provider. More specifically, we will be taking a look at SwitchVPN.
As with any other similar service, we believe that it is essential for all of our readers to be on the same page while reading this article. It is for this reason that we will be including an overview of what exactly a VPN does as a sort of preface to our review.
Of course, if you are already acquainted with VPNs, and you know how they function, you can feel free to skip ahead to our review of SwitchVPN. For all of our other readers, even if you have a vague idea of what a VPN is, we would recommend reading through the following section to get the most out of our review.
What is a VPN?
You may be wondering precisely what VPN stands for, and what one does is evident from the name alone. VPN stands for a virtual private network, and one is, in essence, a virtual network that runs on your home internet connection which can provide more privacy than the connection you get from your ISP (internet service provider).
How does a VPN run? In reality, a VPN is composed of computers that are linked together over the internet, forming a network of their own. Since the connection between these machines is discrete, you will find that they offer far more privacy than your standard internet connection.
While your ISP can’t do very much with your information unless legally obligated, there are still things that they can do that many would consider an invasion of privacy. Earlier this year, there was controversy over the US Senate ruling to allow ISPs to sell your browsing data to ad agencies for a profit.
Keep in mind that a VPN can be used for more than just cloaking your browsing from your ISP and any other potentially prying eyes. VPNs do not only disguise your data, but they can make it appear as if it is coming from an entirely different place on earth.
If you want any reasonable expectation of privacy on the internet, as would anyone, it may be necessary to invest in an ISP. It is somewhat sad that we live in a world where it is essential to pay an additional subscription fee for a service that allows us to keep what should rightfully be ours: privacy.
Unfortunately, while ISPs still hold most of the power over their consumers as if they were hostages, a USA VPN will be essential for the foreseeable future. In fact, VPNs may soon become nearly necessary, especially since the FCC is currently ruling to override net neutrality (something enshrined in law in the EU and other places).
Why Use a VPN?
There are several reasons to use a VPN, and we have already addressed the matter of privacy, but we feel like we can delve a little more deeply into it before moving onto the other reasons. Other than ensuring that your ISP does not have access to your info, you can keep it from other individuals and hackers.
If you want to keep your info private, there is no better option than a VPN (Tor can help, but that has its own issues). Aside from privacy, there are also matters of convenience when it comes to using a VPN. For example, if you travel often, you may need one to access certain websites.
A VPN can make it appear as if you are located in a different country, so you can use it to access services and websites while on vacation that may only be available back home. The purposes for using a VPN in such a manner can range from those oriented on entertainment or more serious matters.
For example, if you are away on business and you can’t access a site that you need to do your job correctly, you will need a VPN to circumvent any international restrictions. Keep in mind that this is typically not restricted by rules or regulations in anyways, so you will not have to take any risks.
Beyond these reasons, you will also want to employ a VPN if you are browsing the internet on a public network, especially if you are going to be logging into any accounts. An open network makes it much easier to intercept your data, and a VPN will encrypt it to prevent it from being accessed.
While this may be similar to the reason why you would want to use a VPN at home for matters of privacy, it is much more crucial in these situations since your info could be at risk. If anything, you never want to access sensitive websites like bank accounts and Paypal when you are using a public network.
As you can see, there are many reasons to use a VPN and no potential downsides (apart from the fact that you have to pay a subscription fee). For the price of a sandwich every month, you can ensure that you are protected from your information being stolen, being region restricted, and much more.
Our Review of SwitchVPN
So what does SwitchVPN offer you as a consumer? This service may not be revolutionary when compared to other options on the market, but it provides a convenience that can’t be matched by many other VPN services. Before we get to the meat of our review, let’s take a look at some features of SwitchVPN.
- Uses nearly 150 servers located across four different continents for optimal coverage
- Features advanced DNS technology that allows the VPN to be used in high-risk areas
- SwitchVPN logs none of the actions of its users for superior privacy
- This VPN can be used on up to five devices all at once
- Offers excellent speed compared to much of the competition
- Servers run at all times, so you will not be restricted in some time zones
- SwitchVPN offers expert customer support to every one of its subscribers
- A little more pricey than competing VPN services
- The help section of the SwitchVPN site is a bit sparse
- Light VPN coverage in South America due to a single server location in Brazil
We will start off by going over what we liked from this VPN service, and we have to admit that we appreciated quite a few of the features and more.
Encryption and Reliability
First off, we will address the matter that concerns users more than anything else: how useful is the VPN at encrypting your internet connection? Over the course of two weeks of persistent use, we only had two failures of this VPN, and one of those failures was due to a fault on our end.
If you are searching for reliability in a VPN, few options can compete with SwitchVPN, even in several locations around the world. We had members of our team in different areas trying out this VPN, and it seemed like the service did not suffer markedly.
SwitchVPN has such broad coverage due to their use of over 145 servers located across four continents. If you do business in North America, Europe, Asia, and to a lesser extent, South America, you will find this VPN ideal for your needs.
Aside from the coverage and the reliability, we found that SwitchVPN managed to retain high speeds, which is something that is always in question when choosing a new VPN. If you are a heavy downloader or perhaps a gamer, you will need speeds to remain manageable, even through a VPN.
One aspect that is not often discussed when it comes to VPNs is the customer service department of the provider. SwitchVPN has customer support agents that understand the fundamentals of a VPN, unlike some competitors where you would be more likely to solve your issue on your own.
Business and Travel Advantages
Another way that this VPN accommodates travelers is through its 24-hour schedule in which it is active. If you need a VPN that you are sure will be active the majority of the time, SwitchVPN will be sure not to let you down.
Compatible with Multiple Devices at Once
Support for five devices is the cherry on the icing of this service as you can run your tablet, smartphone, and computer through the SwitchVPN network simultaneously. This VPN is ideal for users who have a family that they would like to keep secure from prying eyes as well as themselves.
Unfortunately, when using a VPN, there is always the concern that your VPN provider may be spying on you, but SwitchVPN offers a privacy guarantee. This guarantee states that there is no logging whatsoever undertaken on the part of SwitchVPN, which helps keep your info to yourself.
Even if your VPN provider had no intention to use your info, logging that information leaves it open to hacking and other forms of infiltration. The best way to ensure that your info never ends up in someone else’s hands, you will want to opt for a VPN that has a guarantee that they will not log a thing.
Finally, we have to address the matter of security from outside threats. SwitchVPN offers advanced DNS protection that makes your signals nearly impossible to decrypt, even if you are browsing on a risky network.
Of course, the best way to avoid such risks is not to use those networks in the first place, but when traveling, there is sometimes no choice.
Of course, as with any other product, it can’t all be good. Unfortunately, we came across a few issues while using this VPN. Thankfully, none of the problems we experienced were deal-breakers, at least for the vast majority of users.
One of the main issues we had with this VPN was its relatively light coverage in South America since its only servers on the continent are located in Brazil. If you travel to South America outside of Brazil, you may wish to invest in a VPN that specifically covers that area.
Other than the dead-zones on certain continents, you will find that this VPN is not exactly ideal for users who prefer the most affordable option. While there are cheaper VPNs, you will be hard-pressed to find a service that offers the same value for money, as more affordable offerings will often be less impressive.
While the help section of the SwitchVPN site could use a little bit more work, it still contains all of the info needed by a new user. If you would like help with more advanced matters in the VPN world, you may have to resort to a more specialized publication that focuses on VPNs and their use.
As you can see, most of the negatives for this VPN service are nowhere near as critical as some of the issues that face competitors in the same price range. While this VPN offers nothing revolutionary, that is not an issue. This is a VPN that is meant for users who want something more refined yet less experimental.
If you are tired of beta builds and unreliable VPNs, we believe that SwitchVPN is an excellent option, especially if you travel between North America, Europe, and Asia.
While this VPN may be a little more expensive than other choices, the price difference is not that massive, and we believe that 6 to 10 dollars per month could be worse. We hope that this review has helped you decide whether or not this is the right VPN for you