SwissVPN has been operating since 2000, but it hasn't built a reputation for trust. I found some worrying information about how its parent company, Monzoon Networks AG, handles your private information (it stores your personal information for 10 years!). You might ask, do you still get ample protection with its OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and SSTP protocols?
I tested the VPN’s security, streaming, speed, ease of use, and customer support. It doesn't offer native apps, but you can install it manually on Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and others.
SwissVPN only has 1 server (and it’s in Zurich). So, it’s only useful if you need a Swiss IP. The server unblocked Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video libraries in Switzerland, but I couldn’t access Netflix US and BBC iPlayer. It was also slow and unstable for streaming — my speed dropped by 60%.
It allows P2P, but isn’t safe enough due to the lack of a kill switch and DNS leak protection (it leaked my DNS requests). Paying extra for its Firewall option takes care of these problems.
Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
SwissVPN Features — Updated in February 2023
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Number of devices per license
Based in country
Streaming — Can’t Unblock Sites Outside Switzerland
You only use SwissVPN to stream Swiss content. Because it only has Swiss IPs, you can’t unblock Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ESPN, or any foreign streaming services.
Unblocked: Swiss Versions of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+
I accessed the Swiss versions of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Kodi, and Disney+ (with Swiss titles), with 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
Streaming platforms outside Switzerland (like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video US, Disney + US, BBC iPlayer, and HBO Max) isn’t possible with SwissVPN, because it only has Swiss IPs.
So, SwissVPN isn't good for unblocking streaming platforms. Instead, find a VPN that is optimized for streaming and has servers in many countries.
Speeds — Capped and Unstable
SwissVPN is too slow for most activities and doesn’t maintain consistent speeds.
At its peak performance, my speed was 15%–20% slower than the standard 15Mbps it ought to offer. Other times, it dropped by up to 60% within short intervals (causing video buffers on Netflix ).
Speeds of a VPN depend on factors like your connection, server congestion, or your distance from the server.
Speed was below 15Mbps and fluctuated throughout the testing period
You can purchase SwissVPN’s Speed Boost feature (at CHF 2.00/$2.20) and lift its limit to 30Mbps. There weren’t significant speed improvements when I used the Speed Boost trial offered with my basic account (available for 3 hours, 5 times a month).
Are SwissVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No
SwissVPN is not ideal for gaming because its speeds are unstable.
Gaming requires around 5Mbps download and 3Mbps upload speeds. Because of its slow and inconsistent speed, SwissVPN won’t load fast-paced games (like Call of Duty) smoothly if you use a connection under 10 Mbps. The VPN also increases latency to 290ms, which is above the 150ms maximum recommended for most online games.
Still, I played Roblox online on my 30Mbps connection without any problems.
I played Roblox while connected on SwissVPN
Server Network — Coverage is Too Limited
SwissVPN operates 1 data center in Zurich, which makes it less useful.
My speeds were inconsistent due to overcrowding on SwissVPN’s only 1 server. Videos loaded slowly, and I couldn’t play HD Netflix titles. The server also restricted me to streaming content only in Switzerland.
Thus, the small server network makes it unreliable for activities like streaming, gaming, and torrenting.
Security — Basic Protection with Some Failures
SwissVPN provides only basic security and needs to upgrade its features.
It has the OpenVPN, Stealth (SSL VPN/SSTP), PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec protocols. All these are safe except PPTP, which many VPNs have dropped (avoid it if the others are available on your device).
Its MPPE/AES 128- and 168-Bit encryption are inferior to the military-grade AES 256-bit encryption used on many VPNs today. However, it integrates the Diffie-Hellman (1024-bit) key exchange mechanism that is secure for public communications, so it's still safe.
SwissVPN doesn’t have a kill switch. Your IP might leak if your connection to the server drops. My DNS requests also leaked while using the VPN and ISPs could see my searches.
DNS leaks happen on SwissVPN
I purchased a Firewall (at an extra CHF 2.00/$2.20) and it filtered the network packets from my device (by blocking all incoming internet connections but allowing the leaving traffic). It prevented my IP address (including IPv6) and DNS requests from leaking whenever connections dropped.
The firewall feature is also important for protecting against malware/DDoS attacks, and it can be configured based on 5 TCP/UDP ports’ rules.
SwissVPN secures IPv4 and IPv6 connections
Privacy — Not Very User-Friendly
I studied its policy and found that Monzoon Networks AG (the telecommunications company that created SwissVPN in 2000) collects your IP addresses, MAC address, location, session ID, phone number, and email address. This is much more than what many VPNs collect, and it is not good for your privacy. It can improve transparency by inviting auditors to scrutinize how it collects and uses this information.
The company has a clause that it doesn't guarantee protection of your data from third parties.
Monzoon does not protect your data from third parties
It can also use your logged data for marketing and promotional services with its hotspot partners.
Another concern I have is that hackers can steal your financial data from its database (years after leaving the service) since it stores your personal information for 10 years. Swiss law requires ISPs to store users' connection data for only 6 months, not 10 years.
Monzoon stores personal data for 10 years
Moreover, you may not always enjoy the data retention laws in Switzerland while using SwissVPN. It can store your data in a location outside the Swiss DSG regulations, like Frankfurt-Germany which is subject to GDPR privacy laws.
Torrenting — Works but It Is Risky
SwissVPN works with torrent clients, but doesn’t guarantee full protection.
(My team and I don't condone illegal torrenting. Understand the regulations in your country to avoid violating the laws).
I tested SwissVPN with BitTorrent and uTorrent. It worked though, my IP address leaked each time the connection dropped. It does not have a kill switch or SOCKS5 proxy firewall to reinforce safety while torrenting. Also, the connection wasn’t steady, and it took 4 minutes to download my 75MB file.
You can use SwissVPN with torrent clients
Does SwissVPN Work in China? No
There is no surety that SwissVPN bypasses The Great Firewall of China.
I didn’t get a response from the support about its usability in China. Its website doesn’t offer any information either.
There is a likelihood it can work in the country because it uses the SSL protocol which is great for bypassing censorship. However, the long distance between Zurich and China means it won’t be very helpful because of slow speeds.
Thus, I concluded that SwissVPN wouldn’t work well in China.
Simultaneous Device Connections — Has a Small Device Limit
SwissVPN allows only 3 device connections. I configured it on my Windows laptop, desktop, and my smartphone. You can connect 2 more devices by paying an extra $2.20 (CHF 2.00) per month.
Device Compatibility — Works on Most Devices
The variety of devices SwissVPN supports include:
- Window versions 7–10, XP, and Vista
- Mac OS X
- iOS (iPhone/iPad)
- Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora)
- Routers (Asus, DD-WRT)
- Gaming consoles
It doesn’t, however, have a native app for any of the devices.
SwissVPN supports OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, IKEv2, and PPTP protocols on Windows 10. Mac/iOS/Android lack IKEv2 and SSTP protocols.
L2TP, SSTP, PPTP, and IKEv2 protocols configurable on Windows devices