Perfect Privacy VPN Review – Newcomer With Premium Servers
As stated on their website, their parent company is called Vectura Data Management Ltd. and is bases in Zug, Switzerland. As far as privacy goes, Switzerland is a great location to host a VPN network. Switzerland is an area that is known for valuing privacy, and in fact, it is one of the few places remaining where privacy is guaranteed under federal law. The Swiss have something called the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act, a legal framework for protecting consumers’ privacy.
Perfect Privacy also refers to the fact that their actual technical implementation, physical server loads, is primarily based in Panama and held under the name “Web invest International.” This location is also very strategic, as Panama is also a country that values privacy and is not beholden to any surveillance agreements. Many other VPNs such as NordVPN choose this location for those same reasons.
They state that they do not store any information on IP address, bandwidth used by any user, or any access times of durations. That means that they do not log any activities that you do while you are connected to the VPN, and they do not collect any information from their users regarding how much time they spend connected. This is precisely the kind of thing you are looking for in a VPN service, especially if privacy is your primary concern.
The only information that the company records are the total server load at any given time. They claim that this information helps them to optimize their servers and allows for quicker and more secure connections. Even with this information, there is no way to connect data to a specific user or account. No one will be able to tell how the account is being used.
One area where we would like to see Perfect Privacy improve is their lack of third party audits. Unlike VyprVPN and TunnelBear, Perfect Privacy is yet to be publicly audited by a third-party system. Without this audit, their customers can’t be sure that they are doing everything they promise. In this case, you will just have to take the company’s word for it.
Right out of the gate, it is clear that the focus of Perfect Privacy is on just that, privacy. When you sign up, you are assigned a random user name and a random password. This is opposed to recycling credentials that could be stored or guessed by hackers. None of these credentials are sent directly to your email unless otherwise requested. They are also only displayed once. If you happen to lose your credentials, you will need to contact customer service and request that a new one be assigned. This might seem inconvenient from the customer’s perspective, but it is a measure that improves their system’s security.
When you sign up successfully, you will then be directed to the downloads section. The download section has everything you need to get started on almost every platform. Here you can download apps for Windows, Mac, and Android and access the setup guides for each app. They also offer support for Chromebook, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Blackberry, AsusWRT Merlin, Tomato, and dd-wrt.
Here is where you will find various expert files to help you set up and configure the services to the specification you desire. You can find guides to setting up the OpenVPN configuration generator, IKEv2 certificates, IPsec shared keys, IP addresses, proxy details, and IPsec.
Most other VPNs make finding this information a chore. We often have to dig through the guides in order to find information on the advanced setups and protocols. It is refreshing to see a company documenting their setups so openly and quickly.
Perfect Privacy certainly comes with its fair share of shortcomings, but the setup is not one of them. They offer a very customizable client that is well documented. Even if you aren’t a VPN expert, you will be able to find the proper documentation to take you through even the most challenging setup.AppsPerfect Privacy VPN is unconventional in many ways. That includes its Windows App. The Windows app does not feature a conventional graphical app interface. There are no easy access panels and no high-resolution icons. The app instead features tiny buttons, a great deal of text, and what could be described as a clumsy interface.
Most apps that we have reviewed in the past use a single connect button on the console center to connect to the nearest server. Placing a button in this fashion makes connecting quick and easy. However, there is no automated server selection button on Perfect Privacy’s app. Instead, users need to choose the location by hand from a rather long list of servers.
What is usually a straightforward process becomes overly complicated and unnecessarily complex. You do not have the option to just double-click on a server location and connect from there. Instead, each location has its own connect button. This means that you need to scroll down the server list and choose the location you wish to connect to. Next, you need to click the connect button located on the right side of the list in order to establish a connection. This process is by no means complicated; however, it is far more awkward and time-consuming than it should be. This begs the question of why such an advanced VPN creator would ever think that this is a good idea at all.
If you can move past the clunky interface, several additional bonus features just might make this app worthwhile after all.On the server list, each option will display the current server load. This isn’t just some random percentage and actually has practical uses. A “health” bar will show you when a server is too overloaded and will not offer optimal speeds. These values are real-time and will update immediately if a server becomes too crowded. This means you will always have the most up to date figures and can decide which server to choose based on their loads.
There is also a “Ping Servers” button, which will display the latency of each server. The client will ping the server repeatedly and then display the average ping time. For complete accuracy, this process will continue until you tell it to stop.
If you ever have issues connecting, you can also access the log screen with a straightforward click of the mouse. You can also access a live view, which will display the connection statuses and updates in real-time. It will also allow users to spot error messages as soon as possible and diagnose the issue from within.
When you are connected to the VPN, you are just one click away from opening up your VPN connection’s detailed settings. When you open the advanced settings menu, you will be able to view the location you chose, the IPv4 and the IPv6 addresses of the server you selected, the IP address assigned, and the physical locations of the DNS servers that you are currently using. This is where Perfect Privacy gives its users much more control over their connections than many other VPN services.
Additionally, you will see the standard options that most VPN users are familiar with in the comprehensive Settings menu. Here, you can change the protocol from OpenVPN or IKEv2. You can also decide if you would like the client to launch whenever Windows starts up. There is also the option to reconfigure the server list in order to appear by country, city, or ping time. These are all helpful options and offer much in the way of customization.
In fact, there are so many settings and configurations possible in Perfect Privacy that it would be impossible to list them all. To name just a few, you can choose to pick your exact locations down to the individual server, choose your preferred encryption method (OpenVPN, CBC/GCM, CAMELLIA-128/256-CBS, or AES-128/256), set up a whole table of port forwarding options, choose to route your traffic through several different servers simultaneously, configure proxy settings, select multiple stealth technologies for VPN blocking bypass (SSH, Stunnel, Obf Proxy3), and even customize the client’s DNS leak protection. The DNS options allow users to tweak settings to prevent IP leaks and drops in connections.To get a better idea of all the customizable options, we even took a look under the hood, so to speak. Even the smaller details of what was happening behind the scenes were impressive. Most VPN clients are still using the older OpenVPN configuration files that offer only the minimum when it comes to configuration commands. However, Perfect Privacy utilizes a more intelligently designed and up to date version of these command files, which offers more options.
We have talked about numerous extras that tend to appeal to the more tech-minded users, but if you do not consider yourself a techie, have no fear. This VPN is still easy to use, and all of these extra options are hidden away in the advanced options of the control panel. Most regular users will never need to tweak these options, but it is excellent to know that they are there if needed. As long as you know how to click the on/off button and change your server, you will be able to operate this VPN with ease. You really won’t run into any of this service’s technical aspects unless you go looking for them.
That being said, this is one of the more impressive VPNs we’ve run into concerning technical capability. They may be priced a little higher than most other yearly subscriptions, but they do offer many options to offset that one-time cost. If you are looking for a fully customizable option when you are choosing your next VPN, Perfect Privacy is an excellent option for you to consider.Perfect Privacy FeaturesThe Perfect Privacy app offers two main features in its interface. These can also be referred to as application features and server-side features.
The server-side features are the features that are activated from the server-side and will be active whenever you connect to the VPN. These features are involved when you connect with any device and use the encryption protocol that you choose. The main server-side features are TrackStop, port forwarding, and Neuro Routing.
The application features are the different features and controls that are accessed from within the application. These features are available on all of the apps, including the mobile Android application.No WireGuard SupportOne of the most significant advances in the VPN market is the ability to support WireGuard. WireGuard is quickly becoming the industry standard protocol and will soon be featured in most major VPN applications. The WireGuard protocol is so sought-after because it offers faster speeds, high encryption levels, and updated security.
At the moment, none of the Perfect Privacy apps offer support for the WireGuard protocol. Preferably, they are still using the IPSec and OpenVPN protocols. However, these protocols are still used by most of the big names and are trusted protocols. OpenVPN is user-tested and continuously checked for security vulnerabilities, and the speed difference is negligible for most uses.TrackStop FilterOne of the most significant advantages of the Perfect Privacy VPN is built in TrackStop filter. This filter is useful for blocking unwanted advertisements, malware, and tracking. Using a VPN with a built-in ad blocker is always a smart choice as threats seem to grow daily. Additionally, you will get the support of blocking malicious ads and web tracking.
Why use an adblocker?
- Tracking– Ads can be thought of as a digital surveillance camera of sorts. Without the user’s consent, these ads are quietly tracking and recording all of your keystrokes, page views, and even browsing history. They take this data and send it off to other third-parties. After a while, these third-parties have a massive amount of data on your web activity and use that data to target you with ads.
- Malware– In addition to online ads, malware can be a huge issue. They are often piped through third party domains and are becoming more common. Malware can be hidden in the pixels of an image and can infect your system in mere seconds. Stoping these hidden infections before they start is critical.
- Data usage– Lastly, loading ads takes a considerable amount of data and could put unwanted strain on your CPU. In essence, loading ads will slow down your computer.
Many users opt for browser-based ad blockers, which can be ineffective and even relatively inefficient. These integrated browser extensions can also create their own privacy risks. When you use a browser extension, you rely on the extension itself to analyze the data coming in and decide what to block and what to allow.
TrackStop is quite efficient in protecting every device that is connected through the VPN. The best part about TrackStop is there is no need to install any separate software, add-ons, or extensions. Everything is based on the VPN client itself, so you are protected every time you connect to the VPN service. It is a simple and robust solution to protect users from malicious programs, tracking, and data eating advertisements.
While TrackStop is useful in many instances, there is no option to whitelist sites that you visit frequently. However, if you want to see or access content that is being blocked by TrackStop, you can simply toggle the menu setting to switch it on and off.Multi-hop VPN CascadesIt is already quite clear that Perfect Privacy values its customer’s privacy first and foremost. One way they offer more protection than other VPN services is by utilizing a multi-hop VPN cascade. This feature isn’t unique to perfect privacy, but many VPNs are relatively slow to implement this technology.
This feature is available on both the Windows and macOS applications and can be accessed by opening the VPN manager. With multi-hop, you can create your own custom VPN cascade, which means you can access and route your traffic through up to four different servers simultaneously.
Each time your data passes through a server, it “hops” and re-encrypts your data. It is also assigned a brand new IP address before it even touches the surface web.
Some other services offer the cascading option, but most of these services limit it to a double-hop or just two different servers. From what we have seen, Perfect Privacy is the only VPN that allows its users to create custom and dynamic VPN cascades through the VPN client. Additionally, it is the only one that allows up to four different server connections in these cascades.
When testing these servers, it was clear that they put a lot of effort to maintain speeds. We noticed that the multi-hop rates were barely affected and produced similar results as just powering the VPN on.
Why use a multi-hop VPN cascade?
Even for a VPN such as Perfect Privacy that strives to offer the utmost in consumer protection, it is a great option to be able to customize how your data is routed. Even if the company does not keep logs or store data, users can never be certain when a third party monitors incoming or outgoing traffic, from a data center, for instance.
Using a VPN cascade gives users better protection by routing traffic through multiple layers of encryption as well as directing it through several locations.
Using the multi-hop feature through Perfect Privacy is incredibly simple and can be easily found in the main settings options. From there, you can choose how many “hops” you would like your data to take. Again, you can choose up to four.
Then you have several different options as to where the data goes. You can select your individual servers all from the main window of the settings tab. You also have the opportunity to change the encrypted server chain without ever losing your connection.
These advanced, customizable options are slightly complicated and may not mean much to casual users. However, these options are fantastic if you are looking for extra security for your data. This feature is one of the main reasons why Perfect Privacy is highly regarded by those seeking to get the most anonymity from their VPN service.SpeedIn order to test the speed of the Perfect Privacy VPN, we put it through a series of speed tests from the Ookla speedtest.net service. To begin, we ran the test without using the VPN to establish a baseline. From there, we connected to the nearest server (optimal sever), and then we tried it again while connected to the US-only server. The results we got were fairly average, if not slightly mixed.
Here is the result of the speed test without using the VPN for comparison purposes.Here is the test without selecting a server location:As you can see, the download speed actually improved; however, the ping was quite delayed, and the upload speeds decreased drastically.
Lastly, we checked the VPN by connecting the VPN to a US-based server:Our ping went way up by connecting to a US-only server, and both download and upload speeds went down. However, these speeds are still fast enough for most users and would always be adequate for gaming, torrenting, and downloading. Overall, Perfect Privacy scored middle of the road on our speed test.PerformanceThe Perfect Privacy service makes the claim that their firewall is better than using just a regular kill switch. While this might sound unusual to most users, there may actually be something to this claim. To test this, we attempted to close our VPN connection using even the most drastic of methods, and the VPN client stood steadfast. With every scenario that we threw at it, the firewall immediately blocked off and partitioned our connection without any whiff of a leak. After that, the client reconnect automatically.
However, this type of protection does make for specific usability issues. In order to get the VPN to this automated point, it does take a little work to configure it. Connection to the VPN service can take as long as 20 seconds to secure, even when using the IKEv2 protocol. For most VPNs, we can expect to see around 4 seconds or less.
Additionally, most VPN services disconnect immediately when told to do so. We see an additional 10-15 seconds delay with Perfect Privacy as it detaches from the firewall and restores normal operations.Streaming ServicesMost streaming services have license agreements with their content providers to only allow access to specific regions’ content. While this can be annoying for most regular users or users living outside their home country, these companies agree that these companies take it very seriously. So much so that many have started to wage war against the VPN industry and will employ every possible measure to ensure that the known VPN workarounds are thwarted.
That being said, it is impossible to tell when a company will figure out a VPN workaround and block it. We know that these companies are actively working on this issue, and it could happen at any time.
In most cases, we were pleasantly surprised by Perfect Privacy’s ability to unblock regional content and bypass VPN blocking measures. To start our tests, we tested against the always vigilant Netflix service. Netflix is notorious for being very stringent with their VPN blocking measure, and bypassing these blocks is not an easy feat. To our surprise, Perfect Privacy was able to get around the Netflix block on every region that we tested it on.
When testing other streaming services, we were also pleasantly surprised that we ran into no further issues. We were able to successfully stream content from Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and Peacock. That is one of the great benefits of customizing server control, and if you ever run into any issues with these streaming services, you can play around with the server settings until you reach a workaround.
Overall, we were delighted with the ability of this VPN to get around VPN blocks.Final VerdictPerfect Privacy is a very powerful VPN with many options for users looking for customization. It has some great features, such as the multi-hop VPN cascade that are not often represented in other VPN services. Many users who are just looking for a causal VPN for streaming or web browsing might not use many of the more technical options offered by Perfect privacy, but it is an excellent option for those who are looking for more control.
The interface is a bit clunky and outdated, and it certainly won’t be winning any awards for design in the near future. That being said, this type of VPN generally appeals to those who are using VPNs for specific purposes. If you are looking for a VPN that is easily customized and offers a range of options, this might be a good option for you.
With that in mind, it is a shame that they are not currently offering a WireGuard option. Hopefully, the company will consider this in the future, but we could not find any public plans to do so.
Their pricing plans are a little unconventional but still generally affordable. Even though the multi-year option is more expensive than some other options on the market, it is still affordable and will not break the bank.
Perfect Privacy is a trustworthy VPN that does the job and focuses on anonymity. If those things are important to you, then this service is a good option. If you are looking for a more visually appealing option with an easily controlled interface, you might want to consider some of the more user-friendly options on the market.