VPN Review: Perfect Privacy
Total anonymity online - is it possible? According to Perfect Privacy, the answer is a resounding 'yes'. The Swiss VPN provider is relatively unknown compared to its competitors, however, that doesn't stop it from making big promises. Our test shows how close Perfect Privacy comes to perfection, and where its offerings are less than stellar.
What is Perfect Privacy?
Pros and Cons
Loaded with security features
Easy to install and use
Small server network
Visually unappealing applications
No iOS app
Installation and Features
Perfect Privacy's only has Windows, Mac, and Android clients. The lack of an iOS client is questionable, but the company's website offers guides for manual installation on iPhones and other devices and operating systems. Nevertheless, better coverage would certainly be greeted positively.
After installation of the Windows version, we were taken to the app's settings menu, where we entered our user data.
Here, seeing the unappealing interface of the app for the first time, it slowly dawned upon us why the provider's selection of supported operating systems and clients is so limited: Perfection is undesirable for Perfect Privacy. The Windows client is little more than a list of available servers in a light-gray text box, lacking a quick connect feature, or any accouterments.
Maybe such features are unnecessary owing to the app's emphasis on performance: Perfect Privacy allows for all servers to be seen at once, and connected to by clicking on the 'electrical plug' symbol next to them.
The available bandwidth can be seen via the green bar, and ping latency can be tested if desired. Servers can be organized alphabetically, by country or location, by ping quality, or by their available bandwidth. No options exist to favorite servers, however, since the list is relatively small, this isn't really necessary.
While Perfect Privacy's app appears unimpressive on the surface, under the hood, it becomes much more intriguing. Under settings, alongside the typical options such as auto-start, there are also a number of security features, meshing well with the provider's emphasis on privacy.
For example, different DNS settings can be configured, and if desired, manually set. The kill switch, which automatically severs connections if the VPN connection is lost, can be found, somewhat hidden, under "firewall".
The cascading feature is particularly interesting: This allows for up-to four VPN connections to be chained together, making your connection more secure, but also slower. The "stealth VPN" function allows for censorship in restrictive countries (like China) to be circumvented with SSH tunneling.
Additional data security features can only be activated via the provider's website. NeuroRouting ensures that your traffic flows as directly as possible, whereas TrackStop allows for specific domains to be blocked on the VPN level. Some of Perfect Privacy's security features are impressive, and make the provider worth a look for those who are concerned with anonymity online. There is, however, one notable absence among the provider's security features, namely, split tunneling.
Those who use VPNs for streaming won't be particularly satisfied with Perfect Privacy: Netflix, the BBC's iPlayer, and Amazon Prime identified our connection attempts, blocking us from streaming content from abroad. Perfect Privacy does not offer dedicated networks for streaming, unlike its competitors.
Perfect Privacy's Android app is similar to its desktop app, and sticks to the basics: A scrollable list shows the servers that are available, whereby, in contrast to the desktop app, no information about server usage is visible.
Apart from that, the mobile app doesn't have a great deal of functionality: The only setting which can be configured is the use of a default VPN profile. No split tunneling and no protocol selection. Those security features which are configured via the provider's website should theoretically also extend to the mobile app, however, apart from those, the mobile app is bare-bones.
Perfect Privacy's developers passed on integrating a sleek design, or practical features like dedicated streaming or P2P servers, some might argue, in order to offer the most secure and anonymous VPN experience possible. This caters to a specific client base, and apparently, not without success: For those who place a premium on privacy, a solid package of features and services which guarantee this awaits behind the app's plain appearance. If Perfect Privacy could package its features more appealingly, and extend its desktop features to its mobile app, the provider might be able to step out from behind the VPN heavyweights.
Score: 3.7 / 5
Perfect Privacy has around 60 servers spread across a total of 23 countries. The majority of these are in Europe, however, the US, Hong Kong, Egypt, Japan, and Singapore also host servers.
Neither the number of servers, nor the depth of Perfect Privacy's network are really impressive. In contrast to other providers, some of which have thousands of servers in hundreds of countries, the less said about Perfect Privacy's network, the better.
Score: 1 / 5
The speed of all VPNs which we tested was evaluated using a server in Europe with a 1 GB/s connection. We tested random Perfect Privacy servers at different times of the day to more accurately evaluate their performances. More information concerning our methodology can be found in our VPN speed test.
The table below shows the average results from the last 365 days, arranged in order of download and upload speed (descending):
When testing was conducted, Perfect Privacy clocked a download speed of 81.9 MB/s and an upload speed of 14.6 MB/s, bestowing upon it the dubious 'honor' of 15th and last place in our ranking. One likely explanation is that the provider's robust security features come at the cost of connection speed.
The diagram below shows Perfect Privacy's average speeds over the past months.
Score: 0 / 5
Security and Privacy
Perfect Privacy's special security features have already been mentioned above. TrackStop, NeuroRouting, cascading, or port-forwarding make this provider "perfect" for privacy-obsessed users, going far beyond the 'basics' offered by its competitors. But even in terms of basics, Perfect Privacy takes security to the next level: Its kill switch is listed as a "firewall", and DNS protection is also integrated. In this regard, Perfect Privacy is multi-faceted and highly functional.
Beyond that, Perfect Privacy uses the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption, whereby, other types of encryption can be selected from (for example, in case your CPU is not able to handle AES- 256-bit).
Since "privacy" is part of Perfect Privacy's name, we had high expectations for the program, and were not disappointed. Like most VPN providers, Perfect Privacy attracts customers with its promise not to log any user activity. This promise should always be taken with a grain of salt: VPN providers are not mandated to allow independent audits of their operations, and the "no logs" promises of some of the biggest providers have already been shown to be meaningless. With regards to Perfect Privacy, we have no reason to doubt their sincerity, confirmed somewhat by their good ratings on data security-oriented websites.
Perfect Privacy is headquartered in Switzerland, however, its "technical operations" are based, according to the company's site, in Panama, under the name Webinvest International SA. Switzerland has strict data protection laws, while Panama is a favorite among VPN providers owing to its independence from West European and US laws.
As the Latin saying goes, nomen est omen (the name is a sign), and Perfect Privacy demonstrates this wonderfully. Perfect Privacy offers a solid choice for users who want, above all else, to safeguard their privacy and anonymity online.
Score: 4.7 / 5
Perfect Privacy's help center provides a number of guides for installing its clients, as well as FAQs, and a forum, which appears to be rather inactive. For those who want to speak directly to a support team member, emails can be sent, and support tickets filed. The provider lacks a live chat, which, owing to the size of the company, seems a bit odd.
Our test query was answered in 18 hours. Perfect Privacy's customer support is decent, but live chat would be a be a big plus.
Score: 3.7 / 5
Without a doubt, Perfect Privacy is one of the more expensive VPNs we reviewed. As is common practice with VPNs, the longer the subscription, the lower the price, however, even Perfect Privacy's 2-year package has a relatively high monthly cost: In comparison to most of the top VPNs, Perfect Privacy is three times as expensive. Said differently, prospective users will have to dig deep into their wallets for the extra security features. A current price list can be found here:
|2 years||1 year||1 month|
|Price per month||$8.96||$9.99||$12.99|
|Contract period (months)||24||12||1|
|Number of devices||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Number of servers||50||50||50|
|Number of countries||23||23||23|
Subscriptions can be paid for by credit card, PayPal, or Bitcoin.
We wanted to love Perfect Privacy, because the Swiss company is one of the VPN providers we can most identify with. Behind its less-than-appealing app are powerful security tools, which any data privacy activist would love to have in their arsenal, and which aren't too common among other providers.
Unfortunately, 'performance' is the name of the game in the world of VPNs, and here, Perfect Privacy fares poorly. Since the service is more expensive than even the best-performing VPNs we evaluated, it's hard for us to recommend it. In its present form, Perfect Privacy seems to be designed for a niche audience, namely, those fixated on security.
Unfortunately, we were unable to find a large enough number of reviews for Perfect Privacy so as to compile a representative sample.