Perfect Privacy Review 2023: Secure, But Too Slow?
Complete online anonymity - is it possible? According to Perfect Privacy, the answer is 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 achieving VPN perfection.
What Is Perfect Privacy?
Perfect Privacy ⇱ is a Swiss VPN provider that wants nothing to do with sleek apps or elegant user interfaces. Instead, the relatively small service (on the market since 2008) has been able to gather a sizable following owing to its focus on privacy and open-source software.
Perfect Privacy Review
Loaded with security features
Easy to use
Small server network
Visually unappealing applications
Installation and Features
Perfect Privacy only offers Windows, macOS, and Android clients. The absence of a unique iOS client is questionable, and better coverage would be desirable. All the same, detailed guides for manual installation on iPhones and other devices and operating systems are available on the provider's website.
Perfect Privacy doesn't offer many apps, instead providing a wealth of installation guides.
After installation of the Windows client, we were taken to the app's settings menu, where we input our user data.
Here, seeing the app's unappealing interface for the first time, it slowly dawned upon us why the provider only supports a few operating systems and clients: Perfection isn't Perfect Privacy's goal. The Windows client is little more than a list of available servers in a light-gray text box, lacking even basics that make the VPN experience more user-friendly, like a quick connect button.
These might be considered unnecessary owing to the app's emphasis on performance: Perfect Privacy does display all servers at once, making it easy to connect to one by clicking on the electrical plug symbol next to it.
Available bandwidth is always shown in the green bar, and ping latency can be tested if desired. Sorting is possible either alphabetically, by country or location, by ping quality, or by the available bandwidth. You're not able to mark servers as favorites, however, since the list is fairly small this isn't really necessary.
Anyone looking for a visually-appealing interface is barking up the wrong tree with Perfect Privacy.
While Perfect Privacy's desktop client appears unimpressive, under the hood, it becomes much more intriguing. Alongside the usual options, like auto-start, there are also a number of security features in the Settings menu, 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 disconnects you from the Internet if your VPN connection is disrupted (and worked flawlessly during testing), can be found, somewhat hidden, under "Firewall".
"Cascading" is particularly interesting: This feature allows for up to four VPN connections to be linked together, making your connection more secure, but also slower. "Stealth VPN" helps to circumvent censorship by using SSH tunneling in restrictive countries (like China).
Don't let its looks deceive you: Perfect Privacy offers extensive security features.
More data security tools are available on 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 anyone looking to enhance their online anonymity.
There is, however, one notable absence among the provider's security features, namely, split tunneling. This feature allows users to choose which apps, programs, or websites use their VPN tunnel, and which stay on their regular Internet connection. According to the developers, they couldn't find a "clean" way to integrate this, so they decided not to include it.
Those who use VPNs for streaming won't be particularly satisfied with Perfect Privacy: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video saw through our connection attempts, blocking us from streaming foreign content. Unlike its competitors, Perfect Privacy does not offer dedicated networks for streaming.
Perfect Privacy's Android app is similar to its desktop client, and sticks to the basics: A scrollable list shows which servers are available, however, in contrast to the desktop app, no information about server usage is provided.
Apart from that, the mobile app doesn't offer too much: The only setting that is configurable is the use of a default VPN profile. You won't find split tunneling or be able to select protocols. Any security features that you configure through the provider's website are also applied to your mobile VPN connections. You can turn on "Always-On VPN" so that all of your traffic is routed through a VPN connection.
Perfect Privacy's Android app is highly functional.
Perfect Privacy's developers decided against packaging their software in a sleek client and adding practical features like dedicated streaming and P2P servers: Offering the most secure and anonymous VPN experience possible was more important. This caters to a specific client base, and apparently, not without success: For those who value privacy, a solid package of features and services awaits behind the app's plain appearance.
If Perfect Privacy could package its features more attractively, and extend its desktop features to the mobile app, the service might be able to join our sample's VPN heavyweights.
Perfect Privacy has around 60 servers spread across a total of 25 countries. The majority of these are in Europe, however, the US, Hong Kong, Egypt, Japan, and Singapore also host servers.
You can check server status on Perfect Privacy's website.
Neither the number of Perfect Privacy's servers nor their geographic spread is impressive. In contrast to other providers, some of which have thousands of servers across hundreds of countries, the less said about Perfect Privacy's network, the better.
We measure the speed of all VPNs from our sample using a server in Europe with a 1 GB/s connection. To do this, we connected to random Perfect Privacy servers in the US and Germany at different times of the day to gauge their performance. 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):
During testing, Perfect Privacy clocked a download speed of 99.3 MB/s and an upload speed of 12.7 MB/s, consigning it to 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 12 months.
All the same, speed isn't everything. During surfing, our connections were stable and without interruption, so long as we didn't try to watch any foreign content on streaming platforms. We also noticed that Perfect Privacy required more time than other providers to connect to or disconnect from servers.
Overall, when it comes to performance, we were disappointed with Perfect Privacy. Prioritizing security and privacy is good, however, the sacrifices in terms of speed and usage are simply too much in our opinion.
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 what the competition offers.
Still, even in terms of basics, Perfect Privacy takes security to the next level: Its kill switch is referred to as a "firewall", and DNS protection is also included. In this regard, Perfect Privacy is multi-faceted and highly functional.
Perfect Privacy scores with its multi-faceted security features.
Beyond that, Perfect Privacy uses the industry-standard, AES 256-bit encryption, whereby, other types of encryption can be selected (for example, in case your CPU cannot handle AES 256).
In terms of protocols, IPSEC and OpenVPN can be used. Unfortunately, WireGuard, the new gold standard among VPN protocols is not supported.
The program passed our VPN leak tests for IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC without any difficulties.
It's also worth mentioning that Perfect Privacy doesn't include any trackers that send data to marketing or analytical companies.
Perfect Privacy successfully navigated our leak tests.
Since "privacy" is part of Perfect Privacy's name, we had high expectations for the program in this area and were not disappointed. Like most VPNs, Perfect Privacy attracts customers with its promise not to log user activity. These should always be taken with a grain of salt: VPNs are not required to allow independent audits of their operations, with some "No-Logs" promises already shown to be hollow.
With regards to Perfect Privacy, we have no reason to doubt their sincerity, confirmed in part by their good ratings on data security websites. More importantly though, in 2016, the company passed a trial by fire when two of its servers were seized by Dutch authorities ⇱, with no user data subsequently compromised. Of course, an independent audit, such as those that NordVPN or ExpressVPN undergo, would be even better.
Perfect Privacy is headquartered in Switzerland, however, according to the company's website, its "technical operations" are based in Panama, operating 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 Western European and US laws.
Perfect Privacy's name isn't just a marketing gimmick but actually describes what the provider offers, namely, online anonymity and privacy that's a cut above its competitors.
Perfect Privacy's help center is home to a number of guides for installing its clients, as well as FAQs, and a forum, the latter of which doesn't seem to be too active. For those who want to speak directly to a support team member, it's possible to submit an email or support ticket. The provider lacks a live chat, which, owing to the size of the company, shouldn't come as a big surprise.
DIY types will find plenty of guides, however, for direct support, you'll have to file a ticket.
Our test query was answered in 18 hours. Perfect Privacy's customer support is decent, but adding a live chat would be a big plus.
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. Still, the service's 2-year package remains expensive, costing three times as much as most of its competitors. Put differently, prospective users will have to dig deep into their wallets for the provider's extra security features.
A current price list can be found here:
|2 years||1 year||1 month|
|Contract Period (Months)||24||12||1|
|Number of Devices||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|Number of Servers||50||50||50|
|Number of Countries||25||25||25|
|No Server Logs|
Subscriptions can be paid by credit card, PayPal, or Bitcoin. Free trials aren't offered, and subscribers have a 7-day, money-back guarantee.
We wanted to love Perfect Privacy because the Swiss company is one of the VPNs we can most identify with. Behind its less-than-appealing app are powerful security tools, enticing to any data privacy activist, and, unfortunately, uncommon elsewhere.
At the same time, 'performance' is the name of the game in the world of VPNs, and here, Perfect Privacy just doesn't cut it. Since the service is more expensive than even the best-performing VPNs we evaluated, it's difficult for us to recommend it. In its present form, Perfect Privacy seems to be designed for a niche audience, namely, those fixated on security.
In order to provide you with a more rounded picture of Perfect Privacy, we gathered user reviews from several reliable online aggregators.
Should you want a better-performing VPN, you're in luck: Every other provider from our sample registered faster speeds than Perfect Privacy. First place in terms of speed went to NordVPN, which was also our overall winner. You won't have to make any sacrifices in terms of security either, as the service has allowed its "No-Logs" commitment to be checked by independent auditors.