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Switch VPN offers to “unblock geographical restrictions” on your Internet and they claim 100% anonymity thanks to advanced 1024-2048 bit encryption. The company began in 2010 and has a simple corporate logo and a simple message. It stresses total anonymity and security, regardless of the connection you use. The system can work on any WI-FI hotspot, even if you’re at an airport, a café, a hotel or a mall. The company has a strong web presence, as it operates a YouTube channel, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
The company only offers two plans and they are a regular and a combo plan. The first is $5.95 per month and the second is $9.95 per month. The first plan only offers limited torrent downloading, while the second plan offers unlimited torrents. The first plan also works with one chosen server, while the second plan offers access to all servers, plus PPTP and a dedicated IP.
There are no setup fees and you only pay as you go along. There are no long term contracts, though there are special coupons available throughout the year. Do note that Switch VPN does differentiate according to PPTP and L2TP from OpenVPN technology. PPTP costs less ($5.95 or $9.95, according to the plan) than OpenVPN (which costs $7.90 a month or $11.90 a month) on basic or combo plans.
Switch VPN offers servers in US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Switzerland and Malaysia. The company does not give specific information about the number of servers it uses besides the fact that they are spread across 11 countries. This usually means servers are less than ten in total.
The company offers protocols of PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSL and OpenVPN. However, it does not support SSTP or IPSec. The system is easy to understand and simple enough for users to learn quickly. It doesn’t hurt that the installation is fast too. The program works with practically any ISP or source of online connection.
The company offers customer support to its users, not only in a ticket system and in a knowledge base, but also with live server status and with live chat. The company is also accessible through email. Users may need remote desktop, which allows staff members to access the computer directly. English is the only language offered for customer support. Though no phone is provided, emails and tickets are answered 24-7 throughout the week. For the setup process, customers can get help from the Live Remote Assistance program available to setup VPN on a PC, Laptop or DD-WRT, with a program named Teamviewer (available from the website).
The company is currently offering a money back guarantee for five days, which contradicts reports that it only offers a 48-hour grace period. This may be a new policy or a special promotion. In either event, five days is plenty of time to evaluate the program. There are no special terms listed, as the company states it is a customer satisfaction guarantee.
The Switch VPN Company does not place limitations on traffic. Unlimited bandwidth is provided, and with the combo plan, there are no restrictions on P2P. However, the basic plan can only provide P2P on a Netherlands server. The company’s flexibility on P2P freedom is refreshing, since more than a few companies ban users’ ability to share files or exceed certain download traffic limits.
Switch VPN does not have any restriction on network speed. They offer 1Gbit Port service. Speed testing revealed performances at 43.33 Mbps download from the US east coast, and nearly 12 Mbps download from Chicago. The speed is uneven, and this is probably due to the low number of servers. Reviewers and customers state that performance is average, not the slowest or the fastest service available. All encryption slows the system down somewhat, but ideally the slowdown should be unnoticeable.
The company offers compatibility with mobile devices, so as long as the system supports PPTP / L2TP VPN. This includes systems like Windows Mobile, Android, iPad, iPhone and DDWRT routers and Tomato routers. Supported programs include instant messengers (MSN and Yahoo), ICQ and Skype. Laptops, cell phones, and desktop systems will also be secure.
Switch VPN works with multiple Windows generations (7, Vista, XP), as well as Mac OS X and Linux (or at least the Ubuntu Linux). Web browsers such as Chrome, Opera, Safari, Firefox and IE also work fine. It will work on most systems since these OS’s are standard in the industry.
The company does not currently offer a trial version for free or a demo version. However, they do offer a 48-hour money back guarantee—now pushed to a full five days for an evaluation (as of December 2011). It is not known whether the deal will continue into 2012, since references to 48 hours continue on the site. The website states that the company only wants to be paid if you are happy with the service.
Switch VPN accepts multiple credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) as well as online payments from PayPal, Liberty Reserve, AlertPay and 2CO. Users can use any Internet connection to gain access to popular websites, including often blocked sites like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook and so on. The company also provides a secure IP Address for every computer in your network. The company is a nice compromise in price and in quality service, as they do allow much in the way of freedom (in content, speed and traffic). The company also offers dedicated or dynamic IP service, which is a major advantage.
However, the lack of servers can be a negative, as the fewer servers available, the more problems are reported with connections—this explains why customers often cite problems with their secure network connection being “sluggish.” For the price, Switch VPN might be a deal worth looking into. The website seems marketed to newcomers rather than experienced individuals, though technical information regarding servers is provided up front, to the company’s credit.