When selecting a VPN, it can be difficult for the average computer user to determine what is what. Of course, you want a VPN that will protect your web traffic, but you also want a VPN that will not significantly slow down your Internet. The days of dialing in are over, and I don’t want to go back. What should the average consumer do? Check our Perfect Privacy VPN Review.
In this review, I look at Perfect Privacy, a VPN company based in Switzerland. I look at the VPN’s pros and cons, information about the company, and its features, including encryption methods and Internet protocols. I then put Perfect Privacy to the test to make sure it doesn’t leak data or significantly slow down my Internet. I’ll end by summarizing Perfect Privacy’s subscription options, customer support, and finally, the mobile app. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get to work.
Perfect Privacy VPN review: Privacy
Perfect Privacy has a concise and clear logging policy: “We do not register or log any user traffic, so the possible sharing of such data with third parties is technically impossible. We do not store IP addresses, access times or duration, or bandwidth created by individual users”. Good news: This excludes your online activities or session data (times of connection, bandwidth used, etc.). The company records the total load on individual servers, but nothing can relate to a specific account or its use.
Unlike TunnelBear, VyprVPN, and some other top VPNs, Perfect Privacy has not publicly monitored its systems, which means that potential customers cannot confirm that it is fulfilling its privacy promises.
Perfect Privacy’s a long history in the industry and obvious technical expertise count in its favor, and we see no reason to doubt what the company says. But customers shouldn’t have to rely on trust alone, and hopefully, in the future, the company will subject itself to some audit.
Signing up for Perfect Privacy was easy. We chose a plan, handed over our money (cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and many other methods are supported through BitPay and Paymentwall), and the website was ready to show our login details. Perfect Privacy’s focus on privacy is immediately clear. Customers are assigned a random username and password instead of entering the same login details they have used many times before. These will not be sent to your email unless you request them, and they will only be displayed once. If you lose them, you will need to request a different password from your web console. This might be less convenient, but it is not for nothing, and your account should be more secure as a result.
An excellent download section brings together everything you need to get started:
- App download links (Windows, Mac, Android).
- Setup guides for many more (iOS, Chromebook, Linux, Raspberry Pi, BlackBerry, dd-wrt, AsusWRT Merlin, Tomato, and more).
- Various files that experts can use to help configure the service (OpenVPN configuration generator, IPsec/IKEv2 certificates, IPsec pre-shared keys, proxy details, IP addresses, and more).
We are often forced to chase through FAQ pages and tutorials to find this kind of information, making it a very refreshing change to see it all in one place.
Perfect Privacy VPN review: Apps
The Windows app from Perfect Privacy does not have the graphic style of the typical VPN app. There are no sculpted panels here, no beautiful hi-res icons; this is all small buttons, too much text, and a generally clumsy interface. Most apps may have a single Connect button that allows you to connect to the nearest server, for example. Quick and easy. Unfortunately, there is no automatic selection of the server here; you will have to choose your location manually from a long list.
This usually is very simple, but somehow Perfect Privacy finds a way to make it more difficult. You can’t just double click on a country name or flag to connect, as is the case with almost everyone. Instead, each location has its own separate Connect button, so you have to scroll down the list, find the location you need and then click the Connect button on the far right to be protected. It’s not difficult, but it’s much more awkward than it needs to be, and it leaves us wondering – how did anyone think this interface was a good idea?
However, take a look at the clumsy interface, and there are several neat bonus features scattered around. For example, each server has a load indication, but this is not just a meaningless percentage. There are ‘used,’ and ‘total’ bandwidth figures (‘790 / 1000 Mbit’), green bars as a visual indicator, and these are not static values – they are updated at regular intervals to give you the latest figures.
A ‘Ping Servers’ button also displays latencies, but not just once-only results. The client repeatedly pints each server, then displays the average, for greater accuracy, and continues until you stop.
When you connect, another click displays the details, and again there is much more here than you see elsewhere: your chosen location, the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses of the server, and the addresses assigned to you, and the locations of the two DNS servers you use. An extensive settings panel starts with familiar options that any VPN user can recognize. For example, you can switch protocols (OpenVPN or IKEv2), decide if and how to start the client with Windows, and reconfigure the server list (e.g., sort by city, country, or ping time).
However, there is so much more that we can’t even discuss here. But go through just a few of them. You can choose your preferred OpenVPN encryption method (AES-128/256, CBC/GCM, CAMELLIA-128/256-CBC), choose locations up to server level, set up a whole table of rules for port forwarding, choose to have your traffic run through multiple servers, configure proxies, choose from numerous stealth technologies to bypass VPN blocking (Stunnel, SSH, Obfxproxy3), and take massive control of the client’s DNS leak protection and a firewall.
Perfect Privacy VPN review: Performance
Perfect Privacy claims that the Windows client firewall is better than a regular kill switch, and the company may have a point. We tried to shut down our VPN connection using increasingly drastic techniques, but the client didn’t blink. In any case, the firewall immediately blocked our Internet access, without any hint of a leak, while the customer automatically reconnected. This security does pose a usability problem, as it seems to take some time to configure. Connection times can take up to 20 seconds, even for IKEv2 – usually, we hope to see about 4 seconds, which can be much less.
And while most VPN clients disconnect almost immediately, Perfect Privacy can have an additional delay of about 15 seconds while undoing the firewall and restoring regular operation.
Perfect Privacy sells itself more on its advanced technical features than the ability to ‘view Hulu from anywhere,’ so we didn’t expect a great website unblocking performance. But the results were fractionally better than we expected. Although the service failed with Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+, it did get us into US Netflix and simpler platforms like US YouTube.
Our speed testing started reasonably well, with downloads averaging 65-68Mbps on our 75Mbps UK test line. The speeds were slightly more inconsistent than average, but they performed very well most of the time.
However, the performance in the US was very different. We gave Perfect Privacy space to breathe with a 600Mbps connection, but the speeds were consistent at around 35-40Mbps. That’s not a disaster – 35Mbps is perfect for most tasks – but it’s far, far behind the best of the competition. For example, in 20 tests, the lowest result from Speedify – not the average, the worst – was 256Mbps.
Perfect Privacy tests were conducted in March and April 2020, during the coronavirus lockdown, so it’s possible that the results were affected by extra internet traffic (all those additional Netflix streams have to flow through something.) Unlikely, as other VPNs scored very well, but we can’t rule it out.
However, the image was improved at the end of the review because the Windows client passed our privacy tests, returning IP addresses from the countries we expected and blocking all DNS leaks effortlessly.
Perfect Privacy VPN review: Pricing
Perfect Privacy’s monthly plan is pretty much acceptable for $12.95, but there is a little discount for the longer term. The one-year plan still costs $9.99 a month, and even the two-year plan is a hefty $8.99 (Surfshark’s two-year plan is less than a quarter of the price at $1.99). This is clearly not a VPN for bargain-hunting beginners, then, but if you need the advanced features of the Perfect Privacy, it could be worth a look.
Good customer service is always essential, but it is imperative when it comes to technology. There are few things more frustrating than not communicating with a computer and not being able to figure out why – it feels a bit like trying to speak to someone you are in love with and whose language you don’t speak. That’s why a VPN company needs to have a robust customer support system. Let’s see how Perfect Privacy’s customer support works and how effective it is in helping customers.
Perfect Privacy VPN Review: Conclusion
Perfect Privacy has many powerful features under the hood. Still, its handful of clumsy apps urgently need a refresher, the performance wasn’t right for us, and even the cheapest plan is 50-100% more expensive than it should be. If you need the specific features, take a look, but if you’re satisfied with the basics, there are very capable VPNs nearby for much less money.
6.5 Total Score
Perfect Privacy has some excellent features and options, but the bad apps make them hard to find and use, the performance wasn’t great and it’s just too expensive for what you get. Maybe it’s worth taking a look if you really need a specific feature, but elsewhere you’re probably better off.
- Many advanced technical features
- Effective kill switch
- Unblocks Netflix
- Bitcoin support
- Very high price
- No iOS app
- Usability issues on Windows
- Speeds weren’t good for us