Perfect Privacy VPN Review (2019): Has It Got Complacent?

Perfect Privacy has long had a reputation for being one of the most powerful VPNs in terms of security. It started out in 2008 and was one of the first to introduce several features like dynamic multihop and tracker-blocking. Is it still cutting-edge, or resting on its laurels?

PROS

  • Tons of security features
  • Extremely secure
  • Swiss location
  • No logs
  • Unlimited connections

CONS

  • Extremely expensive
  • Tiny server network
  • No Netflix/Hulu
  • Outdated interface
  • Long connection times on Windows
  • No iOS app
  • Poor support

Speed & Expectations 

VPNs tend to (with some exceptions) decrease your internet speed, due to the VPN tunnel.

To measure speed, we tested the 3 main speed indicators:

  1. Download speed: The rate at which data is transferred from the server to your device. This is measured in megabytes per second (mbps) and a higher number is better.
  2. Upload speed: The rate at which data is transferred to the server from your device. This is also measured in megabytes per second (mbps) and a higher number is better.
  3. Ping (or latency): Tested by “pinging” the server, it’s the amount of time it takes for it to receive and process your request. This is measured in milliseconds (ms) and a lower number is better.

First we ran a baseline test using a default 100mbps internet connection in Chicago, IL.

Then we tested various Perfect Privacy VPN servers across the globe.

We ran each test 5 times to increase reliability.

Speed results

These are the results of our baseline test:

So the average baseline score was:

  • Download:34.9mbps
  • Upload: 31.6mbps
  • Ping: 9ms

Next we ran our tests on a Perfect Privacy VPN United States server:

US averages of the 5 different speed tests were:

  • Download: 33mbps (5.5% slower) 
  • Upload: 22.1mbps (29.9% slower)
  • Ping: 15.4ms (71.1% longer)

(You would expect these to give the fastest results since we’re performing the tests in the US).

Next we tested Europe:

Europe’s averages were:

  • Download: 15.4mbps (56% slower)
  • Upload: 9.4mbps (70.1% slower)
  • Ping: 104ms (1055.6% longer)

Here’s Asia:

Asia’s averages were:

  • Download: 50.8mbps (45.5% faster)
  • Upload: 22.7mbps (28% slower)
  • Ping: 234.6ms (2506.7% longer)

Sadly, Perfect Privacy VPN doesn’t have any South American or African servers to test.

We also compared these results against the average of other VPN tests. How does Perfect Privacy VPN measure up?

First up, let’s take a look at download speeds:

VPNUSEuropeAsiaS.AmericaAfrica
Perfect Privacy-6%-56%46%n/an/a
Goose VPN-48.00%-64.00%-71.00%n/an/a
Touch VPN10%9%9%n/an/a
Ra4w-54%-51%-94%n/a-57%
Freedome-38%-56%-82%n/an/a
Mullvad-50%-74%-61%-78%-37%
Betternet13%-7%-28%2%n/a
Private Tunnel-19%-66%-69%n/an/a
IVPN-23%-45%-67%n/an/a
Avira Phantom-41%-97%-98%-75%n/a
Speedify-6%-39%-73%-69%-69%
ZoogVPN-59%-74%-80%-98%-87%
NortonVPN-34%-68%-72%-29%n/a
SurfEasy-43%-61%-65%-37%n/a
Celo VPN-75%-93%-93%n/an/a
proXPN-52%-73%-74%n/an/a
X-VPN-71%-75%-99%-62%n/a
SpyOFF-66%-57%-76%-65%-63%
VPN.ht-48%-78%-68%-67%-67%
vpn.ac-52%-51%-67%-47%n/a
Tiger VPN-48%-68%-68%-55%-72%
VPN Unlimited-27%-77%-79%-64%-61%
Cyberghost-35%-59%-71%-56%-68%
Torguard-37%-58%-81%-60%-67%
ProtonVPN-35%-50%-56%-77%-54%
PureVPN-26%-68%-94%-32%-89%
Trust.Zone-14%-99%-80%-66%-82%
AVG Secure VPN-56%-87%-69%-75%-68%
Hoxx VPN-12%-96%-93%n/a-68%
VPNSecure-68%-93%-98%-61%-77%
IPVanish-36%-54%-72%-76%n/a
NordVPN-40%-99%-69%-58%-75%
ExpressVPN-71%-58%-64%-95%-67%
Avast-45%-63%-72%-66%-77%
Windscribe-44%-57%-80%-98%-73%
Average-38.7%-64.6%-69.4%-62.6%-68.9%

Download speeds were strong: well above average in the US and Asia, and above average in Europe. In the US there was a tiny drop in speed, whilst in Asia there was actually a massive increase in speed, which is very rare.

Next, how did upload speeds compare?

VPNUSEuropeAsiaS.AmericaAfrica
Perfect Privacy-30%-70%-28%n/an/a
Goose VPN-64.00%-64.00%-33.00%n/an/a
Touch VPN-20%-41%-49%n/an/a
Ra4w30%-32%48%n/a-46%
Freedome41%22%57%n/an/a
Mullvad205%-15%64%-10%40%
Betternet24%16%12%55%n/a
Private Tunnel75%-15%13%n/an/a
IVPN77%-83%108%n/an/a
Avira Phantom252.9%-87%-60%-30%n/a
Speedify-36%-40%-29%-34%-25%
ZoogVPN117%24%50%3%24%
NortonVPN161%38%59%9%n/a
SurfEasy-4%-17%-50%-2%n/a
Celo VPN-35%-30%-40%n/an/a
proXPN-7%-15%-52%n/an/a
X-VPN-33%-61%-98%-77%n/a
SpyOFF-9%-18%-88%-52%-50%
VPN.ht-10%-17%-25%-23%-63%
vpn.ac-6%-18%-44%-16%n/a
Tiger VPN-3%-14%-20%-17%-42%
VPN Unlimited-13%-39%-85%-19%-56%
Cyberghost-8%-16%-92%-37%-48%
Torguard-9%-20%-35%-22%-41%
ProtonVPN-2%-15%-20%-41%-29%
PureVPN13%2.5%-54%-11%-72%
Trust.Zone-13%-45%-67%-28%-84%
AVG Secure VPN-19%-58%-75%-80%-77%
Hoxx VPN-5%-90%-24%n/a-51%
VPNSecure-9%-19%-92%-26%-56%
IPVanish-5%-19%-84%-22%n/a
NordVPN-13%-46%-26%-16%-70%
ExpressVPN-9%-24%-34%-72%-42%
Avast-13%-42%-78%-70%-77%
Windscribe-6%-17%-52%-97%-53%
Average17.6%-28.1%-29.2%-29.4%-45.9%

Upload speeds weren’t so strong: they were around average in Asia, but well below average in the US and Europe.

And finally latency:

VPNUSEuropeAsiaS.AmericaAfrica
Perfect Privacy72%1056%2507%n/an/a
Goose VPN210.00%1158.00%2298.00%n/an/a
Touch VPN-6%-4%-2%n/an/a
Ra4w655%1015%2234%n/a2615%
Freedome367%1965%4559%n/an/a
Mullvad309%1040%2366%1613%2568%
Betternet19%1164%2485%1483%n/a
Private Tunnel33%1046%2150%n/an/a
IVPN36%1321%2572%n/an/a
Avira Phantom35%1147%2322%1596%n/a
Speedify506%1160%2604%1689%3051%
ZoogVPN386%1931%4176%5004%6194%
NortonVPN194%1569%2276%1426%n/a
SurfEasy-9%792%1711%1058%n/a
Celo VPN915%1161%1654%n/an/a
proXPN194%996%2194%n/an/a
X-VPN-28%397%837%560%n/a
SpyOFF213%944%4278%2533%2598%
VPN.ht273%785%1667%1282%2109%
vpn.ac60%388%968%487%n/a
Tiger VPN9%895%1786%1105%2309%
VPN Unlimited33%935%3946%1411%2535%
Cyberghost27%1085%2344%1352%2415%
Torguard7%1036%2023%1384%2502%
ProtonVPN17%810%1840%1185%2017%
PureVPN-23%708%489%1018%1823%
Trust.Zone104%1206%2438%1396%2750%
AVG Secure VPN1021%1111%2419%3560%3336%
Hoxx VPN566%1098%2470%n/a2794%
VPNSecure281%1051%2519%1530%2917%
IPVanish240%1038%4144%1424%n/a
NordVPN34%1278%2328%1560%2696%
ExpressVPN98%965%2122%1545%2461%
Avast33%1133%2465%1556%2815%
Windscribe310%1018%1904%2042%2782%
Average205.5%1039.9%2316.9%1632.8%2774.7%

Latency was well above average in the US, but just below average in Europe and Asia.

Speed (Summary)

Perfect Privacy has about average speeds overall, with fast downloads, average latency and slow uploads.

Performance & Features

In this section we look at the key features all VPNs have and see how Perfect Privacy fares.

Number of servers: 58

How many active servers are available to connect to across all countries, regardless of their physical location.

This is extremely low. Respectable VPNs usually have at least a few hundred.

Number of countries: 26

How many countries the total number of servers cover, regardless of how many are located in a single country.

Again this is very low, with no servers in South America or Africa. It’s mostly focused on North America and Europe, with only a couple in Asia. There are servers in Israel, Russia and Egypt though, which is fairly uncommon.

Number of connections allowed: Unlimited.

How many devices can be connected to a server (or number of servers) based on a single VPN account or subscription.

Perfect Privacy allows unlimited connections, which is awesome, as you never have to worry about device limits. The average across VPNs is just 5.

Torrenting allowed: Yes (almost all servers).

They allow torrenting on all servers except the US and France because “the hosting companies there are under strong pressure from media agencies to not allow against any sort of file sharing and BitTorrent”.

This doesn’t stop a lot of other VPNs, and it’s a shame the US is excluded from an already tiny network.

Kill switch available: Yes (desktops).

Whether the VPN software can disable your connection to the network in the event you disconnect from the VPN server. This prevents your IP address from being exposed.

Perfect Privacy has 3 levels of kill switch on Windows and Macs, but not mobiles.

Performance and Features (Summary)

Perfect Privacy’s got nearly full access torrenting, unlimited connections and kill switches on desktops. This is all great, but it’s massively let down by it’s tiny server network of just 58 servers in 26 countries.

Privacy & Security

Is Perfect Privacy VPN secure and trustworthy?

First let’s look at the technical aspects:

Protocols/Encryption: OpenVPN, IPSec protocols with AES-256 or CAMELLIA encryption

Perfect Privacy offers just 2 main protocols, OpenVPN and IPSec. We would highly recommend OpenVPN as it’s considered the best overall option, since it’s secure and open-source.

Unlike most VPNs, Perfect Privacy also gives you a choice of encryption for OpenVPN: AES or Camellia at 128 or 256-bit, and CBC or GCM for AES.

We recommend AES-256-GCM, as this is industry-standard and the most secure.

Camellia is pretty outdated, and only CBC is available.

However, it’s nice to have the option of dropping to AES-128 if you want to increase speeds (but decrease security).

HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies are also available directly within the app, as well as sophisticated multihop and obfuscation options.

Multihop is ideal for maximum anonymity, and stealth is great for disguising your VPN traffic.

Perfect Privacy seems to have a high level of security expertise; it’s even pointed out security flaws in other VPNs in the past before.

DNS leaks: None found.

IP leaks: None found.

WebRTC leaks: None.

Viruses/malware: 3 engines found issues.

Legal issues

Jurisdiction: Switzerland. Switzerland is an ideal VPN location as it has a great pro-privacy reputation, plus it’s outside 14-eyes.

Logging policy: No logs.

Perfect Privacy has a great no logs policy that’s clear but detailed.

The only information they store is:

  • Email address
  • Login credentials
  • Expiry date of the account

They don’t store any payment information as this is processed by third parties.

They record the total load of servers, but nothing about the individual’s usage of these servers. So they don’t even record your total bandwidth used.

They also make you aware that they (like everyone else) collect information if you go on their website, so they recommend using it with the VPN to make yourself anonymous.

They go into details about all the analytics and tools they use, with instructions for and links to how to opt-out where possible.

They don’t have an independent audit, but they do have a warrant canary. This reads more like a transparency report.

It states they haven’t received any requests for data, which seems unusual, but I guess since they’re out of 14-eyes no foreign countries can demand anything.

Wired also states that court cases have proved that Perfect Privacy is a true no-logs provider, such as when their servers were seized in 2016.

Privacy and Security Summary

Perfect Privacy offers industry-standard OpenVPN with AES-256, along with other options. SSH2, HTTP and SOCKS5 proxies are also available. 3 anti-virus engines caught potential issues, but these are almost certainly false positives. It’s based in ideal Switzerland with a great no-logs policy and warrant canary.

Usability

This section looks at the following aspects:

  • Streaming/Geo-spoofing
  • Compatibility
  • Overall UI/UX

Streaming/Geo-spoofing

Geo-spoofing streaming services is a great benefit of using a VPN, but many struggle to trick Netflix and like nowadays. Let’s see how Perfect Privacy VPN measures up.

  • Netflix: Detected. Netflix didn’t work on any servers.
  • Hulu: Detected. Hulu was also blocked on all US streaming servers.
  • YouTube: Undetected. YouTube worked fine on all servers.
  • Kodi: Undetected. Kodi worked fine with Perfect Privacy.

Compatibility

Is Perfect Privacy VPN compatible with most devices?

We tested everything from Tor, iOS devices, Android devices, Smart TV’s, Amazon Firestick, Mac, Windows, to routers:

  • Tor browser: Supported. Tor works fine in conjunction with Perfect Privacy.
  • iOS (iPad, iPhone): Not Supported. Unfortunately, Perfect Privacy doesn’t have iPhone app.
  • Android: Supported. Perfect Privacy has a fully-functioning Android app.
  • Smart TV’s: Not Supported.
  • Amazon Firestick: Not Supported.
  • Windows: Supported. Perfect Privacy has a Windows app.
  • Mac: Supported. Perfect Privacy has a Mac app.
  • Routers: Supported. Perfect Privacy has manual setup guides for DD-WRT and Tomato Routers through OpenVPN, or users can purchase Viflo routers.

Overall UX/UI

Perfect Privacy’s interface is extremely outdated.

The main screen is just the server list, which is unusual.

Servers are listed in alphabetical order but by city. This makes it a bit hard to navigate, but you can change this in settings and the flags help somewhat.

Available bandwidth is shown, and there’s also a column for ping, but no stats are actually shown. Available bandwidth in mb is a rarity and extremely useful, as this affects speed a lot.

Unlike most VPNs, there’s no Quick Connect button that connects you to the best available server.

You connect by clicking the power button on the right of the server. Again, this is a very outdated icon that looks like a plug.

The red logo changes to green, in the interface as well as the system tray. You’ll also get a notification on the desktop.

If you click details you can see some connection stats.

Connection times were extremely, extremely long for most servers.

Our internet also occasionally dropped, and didn’t come back on until we exited the application completely, despite the firewall being off.

The lookup icon on the far right shows a debug log.

It’s impossible to connect to another server without disconnecting first. This takes time as disconnecting takes a while too.

Perfect Privacy disappears to just the system tray after a short time of being inactive, which is kind of annoying. You have to double-click to reopen. However, if you right-click there’s a shortcut menu to change servers.

That’s pretty much it for the server list, but Perfect Privacy is pretty powerful on the back-end.

You can choose your protocol, though only between OpenVPN and IPSec. Generally, OpenVPN is more secure whilst IPSec if faster.

There’s a few startup settings, and one auto-connect settings where you can actually pick a server.

You can also sort servers by name, ping, traffic or country.

The ping ranking option seems to actually work, even though you can’t actually see the pings.

It would just be a lot easier if this sorting option was on the server list rather than in settings.

If you’ve opted for OpenVPN, you can pick your encryption, with a much wider variety than most.

You can also check ‘use single server configuration’ in order to see individual servers on the server list.

This gives more control, and it’s nice that you can turn this on and off.

There’s a few unusual settings for their Firewall (aka kill switch). You can have it on all the time for full protection.

Of course, that means you’ll have to turn the VPN on each time before you can access the internet.

Their leak protection seems quite sophisticated, and is definitely effective. Again, you can have this on permanently. You can also manually select DNS servers.

You can also set up port forwarding, a big plus for advanced users to increase speeds.

On top of that, there’s 3 stealth protocols on offer (Stunnel, SSH, Obfxproxy3), multihop with up to 4 hops, and you can use HTTP or SOCKS5 proxies if you wish.

The only downside is there’s a massive lag going on in the Settings area.

A few more options are, very bizarrely, located on the members area of the website.

Here you can activate NeuroRouting, a dynamic algorithm-based multiop, and TrackStop, an ad/tracker/malware-blocker.

TrackStop is very clever. There’s different blocks available: child-protection, tracking and advertising, known malware domains, known fake news domains, and even Facebook, Google and social media.

Overall, the software’s very powerful, but it’s very laggy, disjointed and the servers take a long time to connect.

The mobile app (we tested Android) was a lot sleeker-looking.

The server list was much the same. However, connection times were super fast.

Unfortunately, there were hardly any settings. You can connect to a specific server, or use the Always-on feature, but that’s it.

Usability (Summary)

Perfect Privacy has no Netflix or Hulu and has only Windows, Mac and Android apps. There’s router support, though. The Windows app looks outdated and is powerful but awkward and very slow, whilst the Android app looks sleek and is fast but has no features.

Pricing & Refunds

Perfect Privacy has a simple pricing structure with 1 month, 1 year and 2 year plans.

Unfortunately, it’s very expensive. The 1 month price at $12.99 is on par with ExpressVPN, a VPN giant.

And the worst thing is the prices don’t offer much discount with the longer plans. The 1 year price is still a whopping $9.99, far more expensive than most. And the 2 year price only drops by $1, at a staggering $8.95.

All other VPNs offer much deeper discounts. Their 2 year price is by far the most expensive I’ve come across. By comparison, Nord’s 2 year price is just $3.99.

Perfect Privacy does offer quite a few methods of payment including card, Paypal, Payment Wall and Bitcoin.

However, there’s no free trial whatsoever and their money-back guarantee is a measly 7 days.

Pricing (Summary)

Perfect Privacy has 1 month, 1 year and 2 year plans but is very expensive, with hardly any discount applied to the longer plans. There’s no trial and only a 7-day money-back guarantee. You can pay via Bitcoin, though.

Support

Perfect Privacy only has a ticketing system for support. This is disappointing considering their high price.

They took 7 hours to reply. Their answers were a bit vague, and they completely ignored some of my questions.

Wherever possible, they just sent a link, even if this didn’t fully answer the question.

For example, I asked about encryption and which protocols are on different devices, but they just gave me a link to protocols.

When I asked about their support hours, they said “we try to answer questions as quickly as possible.” Again, vague.

They completely ignored my question about torrenting and simultaneous connections allowed.

In terms of the knowledgebase, they have a great FAQ page that answers most common questions.

They also have a wide range of manual setup guides.

Unfortunately, that’s it in terms of the knowledgebase. No long form or troubleshooting articles.

They do have a forum, both in German and English, however the most active part appears to be the German section.

There’s also a server status page.

Support (Summary)

Perfect Privacy only has a ticketing system, which it says is 24/7 but a little slow on weekends. They took 7 hours to respond to us and were a bit vague. The knowledgebase has a great FAQ page and manual setup guides, but not much else. There’s also a forum, but it isn’t the most active.

What Do Other Reviewers Say?

What does the rest of the internet have to say about Perfect Privacy VPN? Here’s a summary of other reviews.

Some were more complimentary about the server network, calling it somewhat small or not bad. One even said it had a good server selection. But others agreed it was tiny compared to the VPNs that have thousands.

Speed data varied a lot. One said it had excellent speeds, with 65mbps local speeds. One said key locations were fast like the US and UK, but Asia and other locations were slow. Another said it had some of the slowest download speeds they’ve come across.

They all raved over Perfect Privacy’s security features, saying it’s one of the best in the business in this area. They loved the IPv6 protection, port forwarding and multihop.

One stated Perfect Privacy use bare metal servers and loved the NeuroRouting and Trackstop features, though said it would be nice if there was a whiltelist option. They also said the obfuscation made it a good option for China.

Another said the OpenVPN configuration files were one of the best they’ve seen, it had multiple layers of leak protection, and the firewall was watertight.

They also all praised the logs policy as being strictly no-logs, short and clear, and jargon-free. One said it hasn’t done an audit, but trusts its history and expertise. Another said it operates in RAM disk mode so doesn’t store any data.

Most were extremely happy with the location in privacy-friendly Switzerland, though one said it will cooperate with 5 eyes countries if required. Another said some parts of the country are based in Panama, which is even better.

Most got no Netflix access, though one said Netherlands Netflix worked for them. Most liked the torrent support, though one complained that the torrenting was limited.

In terms of device compatibility, many emphasised that it worked on all platforms, even though a lot of these are manual setup only. One criticised the lack of iOS app. All praised the unlimited connections, however.

All agreed that the interface was clumsy and old-school, and one didn’t like the server list layout, but most didn’t seem as bothered by it as us.

They liked the level of control and many security options, including the 3 levels of kill switch, and server stats. However, one called it minimal and simple, with no bells or whistles.

No one mentioned ping not being visible or any connection issues, but one said connections took 30 seconds.

Unlike us, all seemed to like the email support, saying it was fast and professional with direct answers. One said they got a 12 hour response time, but considered this pretty good.

They thought the FAQ was OK and one said the forum was good, though like us one said the most active part was German.

Almost all agreed the price was extremely expensive, but one said it wasn’t bad. All said there were very little discounts, though. They weren’t impressed with the short guarantee and no trial.

What Do Other Reviewers Say (Summary)

Most rated it excellent. They generally liked the security, control, no logs, location, unlimited connections, and torrenting. They didn’t like the lack of streaming, and expensive price.

Our Verdict

Perfect Privacy is one super-secure, souped-up VPN with a ton of features.

You’ve got tons of multihop, stealth, port forwarding, kill switch and leak protection options. Way beyond what most VPNs have. You’ve even got an advanced tracker-blocker.

Even without these, Perfect Privacy is ultra-safe, both on the server side and the legal side, with a great no-logs policy, a Swiss location, and a history of not handing over data.

If you’re an advanced user and security is your game, Perfect Privacy seems like an ideal option.

However, this is one expensive VPN, and to be honest, it doesn’t have a lot else going for it.

The server network is tiny, there’s no streaming, average speeds, no live chat and fairly poor support. There’s not even an iOS app.

The desktop interface is extremely outdated and frustrating to use, with major lags, extremely long connection times and suspect UX choices.

The Android app doesn’t even have any settings so is worse than most.

Perfect Privacy might still be cutting-edge in security, but it’s woefully-lacking in all other areas. It really needs to step up and get with the times.

Still, if security is your main priority and you’re willing to live with the flaws, it might be worth it.

We would rate this 3.9 out of 5 overall.


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