Perfect Privacy Review
While it's somewhat pricey and doesn't do much to hold your hand, Perfect Privacy packs a slew of features designed to protect your anonymity and offers more configuration options than most VPNs today, if not as many country connections.
Perfect Privacy is a Switzerland-based VPN service that doesn’t try to dazzle you with packaging but delivers quite well on what its name promises. It has good security features and while its slightly crude interface takes a little getting used to, its success at carrying out its core VPN functions is what finally matters.
This comes at a price, however, and it’s definitely one of the more expensive options on the market, even when considering some of the all-around best VPNs available. It’s more configurable than other high-end options but some users may prefer to have their VPN in a neater package with fewer things to think about.
- Good security features
- Gets into Netflix
- No bandwidth limits
- Unlimited connections
- Warrant canary
- Good Speeds
- Doesn’t get into iPlayer
- Client interface needs work
- No split tunneling
- Mediocre technical support
Perfect Privacy is not like VPN services that package everything for you in a user-friendly bundle, although it does have its own interface for Windows users. If you use a Mac it’s more like a site that helps you combine several open source software products like Tunnelblick and the OpenVPN encryption protocol.
It has some fairly unique features like “neurorouting” which is a trademarked routing algorithm based on the model of neural networks. It automatically chooses a server closest to the destination you’re connecting to and will learn and adapt if the routing changes.
Perfect Privacy also operates a killswitch though it’s not called that. A is a function that disconnects your internet if the VPN becomes disconnected and ensures that nobody catches a glimpse of your IP address while your guard is down.
You activate it by clicking on the “VPN details” button under the icon in your menu bar, which will bring you to a “configurations” window. It has more nuanced killswitch options than most other VPN services in that you can choose to operate the killswitch only when there’s an unexpected disconnect and also in the case of an expected disconnect.
By clicking on the “advanced” button you can get to a screen that allows you to hear sounds when the killswitch is activated. From here you can also get it to flush the DNS cache upon disconnection and set it to disconnect when your computer goes to sleep. This is quite an unusual suite of killswitch options in our experience of the VPN market.
Another interesting feature of Perfect Privacy is its “trackstop” function which blocks a range of tracking and phishing domains. Combined with the neurorouting feature this allows you a lot of fine-tuned control over your security, though for some people it may be more than you want to have to think about.
Perfect Privacy Features Overview
|Plan||1 Month||3 Month||6 Month||12 Month||24 Month|
$ 12 99monthly
$ 11 983 months
$ 10 996 months
$ 9 99yearly
$ 8 952 years
|Bandwidth||1000 GB||1000 GB||1000 GB||1000 GB||1000 GB|
Perfect Privacy defends its price structure by claiming to be a premium service offering a suite of features that most of its competitors don’t. However, we can think of comparable services like Mullvad that offer a very similar package for less than half the price.
See our Mullvad review for more details.
Perfect Privacy resembles Mullvad in that it allows you to pay by cash, as well as by the more common methods of credit card, PayPal, bitcoin, and a variety of less well-known payment methods. It no longer accepts PaySafeCard because that company won’t allow customers to purchase VPNs.
The cash option is not very widespread among VPN services and may seem like a throwback to an earlier era of civilization but it’s actually a useful feature for the security-conscious as it means there’s no way of tracing your VPN usage to your identity.
Perfect Privacy requires you to install open source software called Tunnelblick that it then connects to its OpenVPN configuration files. This might seem a daunting process at first, but it only involves a couple of extra steps compared to most VPN services.
First, you go to the Tunnelblick website from the link in the Perfect Privacy members’ area, then download the latest version to your desktop. Clicking on it will open an installation window from where you will be asked whether you have configuration files.
You can get the configuration files from Perfect Privacy by clicking on the OpenVPN tab and downloading the software to your desktop. Tunnelblick will detect its presence automatically and integrate with it. You know it has worked when you see the tunnel icon on your computer’s menu bar.
If you’re not on a Windows machine, Perfect Privacy uses the Tunnelblick interface, and since this is open source software it has very few of the cosmetic bells and whistles one finds on other VPNs. It shows you the list of servers and a link to a settings interface, but in the settings interface, there is a range of features that you don’t get in most VPNs.
Upon connecting to a server from the list under the tunnel icon, a smaller window appears showing your connection status as well as the upload and download speeds. It disappears as soon as you move the mouse outside it, but if you reconnect to a different server you may find that windows for all the servers you’ve previously connected to will reappear.
In other words, each server location has its own window and therefore you can find yourself with a chain of open interface windows running down your screen. You can dismiss each one manually or they disappear when you move the mouse away but if you haven’t dismissed them they’ll be back. Not an ideal situation, but not really a major problem either.
More annoying is the fact that whenever you connect to a new server you will have to enter your username and password into a form that appears upon clicking the server name. You can set each server to remember these details but you can’t set them all to remember you, and in any case, you may not want to leave this kind of trail behind you.
If you change servers a lot it means you have to change your password to something you can remember, or have your Perfect Privacy password as the last thing you copied so you can paste it into the form each time.
Perfect Privacy supports Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, though some features like its custom interface are only available for Windows. Protection against the WebRTC vulnerability is also a Windows-only option. You can get a browser extension to deal with this in any case so it’s not that big a deal if you’re a Mac user.
There’s no limit to the number of devices you can use but it does say that transferring your log-in details to another user is against its terms of service, so if you do that don’t get caught. It offers special packages to businesses who want to sign up 10 or more users, but you’ll have to negotiate that with its representatives yourself.
Perfect Privacy cites the fact that it has 42 server locations in 23 countries as one of the justifications for its high prices, but this is a very average number and there are quite a few VPN services that are significantly cheaper with more servers and a better geographical spread.
Perfect Privacy’s geographical spread is quite poor.
Its servers are heavily concentrated in Europe and the U.S. It has two servers in Asia and two in the Middle East but nothing in Central or South America and nothing in the rest of Africa. It does have some unusual locations like Tel Aviv and Cairo that might be a selling point for some users, though the Cairo server didn’t work when we tried to connect to it.
There’s no bandwidth limit, but it does ask people to be respectful of the fact that other customers will be sharing each server and if you’re doing something that requires a lot of bandwidth like torrenting, you should split it among several servers.
It doesn’t offer customers a dedicated IP address and says this is due to anonymity considerations (see our VPNArea review for a service that does allow this). Still, it would be nice to have it as an option for people who are less concerned about security, especially since Perfect Privacy justifies its pricing based on having a wide range of features.
The speeds we recorded while using Perfect Privacy definitely put it up there among the faster VPN services. They were generally a third to a half as fast as the unprotected speed, and there wasn’t a long wait for a connection to be established.
You can check the speeds of its different servers from the website, but it will also tell you the upload and download speeds on the connection window that appears when you connect to a particular server. This was the independent speed test we did while connecting to its Montreal server:
Perfect Privacy operates a no-logs policy but as always it’s prudent to know exactly what it means by this. It says that OpenVPN may log some information, for example.
There are steps you can take using its detailed settings options, such as enabling DNS leak protection or using its “neurorouting” function to increase your privacy. Neurorouting is enabled by going to the “config” page in the Perfect Privacy website, while DNS leak protection is enabled from the settings page accessed through the desktop client.
We were able to get into Netflix on Perfect Privacy’s U.S. servers without much delay or sacrifice of speed, but when using neurorouting, Netflix detected that we were on a proxy server and blocked us. As with most VPN settings, there’s a trade-off between security and speed. We had no luck getting into BBC iPlayer, with or without neurorouting.
Perfect Privacy operates a “warrant canary” a relatively unusual feature that it shares with only a few other VPN services. See our BolehVPN review for another example. The warrant canary is a message on its website that is removed if the company has been legally required to cooperate with an investigation.
The VPN service may be subject to a gag order in some jurisdictions that prevents it telling clients when they’re being investigated, and the disappearance of the warrant canary allows it to let you know in a way that technically doesn’t break the law. Its presence here may be a response to the seizure of two Perfect Privacy servers by Dutch police in 2016.
We didn’t detect any DNS leaks while using Perfect Privacy, and so it seems to be better than most in being able to get into geoblocked content while protecting your privacy at the same time.
This DNS leak test showed a lot of different servers and IP addresses because Perfect Privacy is a “multi-hop VPN service” which makes it much more difficult to trace your activities back to your own computer.
You can find the helpdesk by clicking on the “contact” button at the top of Perfect Privacy’s internet landing page. It doesn’t have a live chat option but the response to e-mail through its website came within a couple of hours, which is better than many VPN services can manage though not as good as the best of them.
We asked about split tunneling, a feature that is increasingly common in VPN services. It allows you to choose which apps on your computer go through the VPN server so that you don’t slow down your connection by sending your communication with your printer through a server in Fiji.
However, the support staff didn’t know what split tunneling was and when we explained they confidently asserted, “That is not possible for VPN connection – they always work system-wide” from which we conclude that Perfect Privacy’s support staff are not technically knowledgeable.
This might be forgivable in a VPN service that has everything packaged in a user-friendly way, but in a service that requires effort on the part of users to configure its various features, it’s a more serious shortcoming.
The FAQs on its website are quite a good guide to some of these features, but they don’t explain others like neurorouting, which is a feature unique to this VPN that people need information about. There is a separate page explaining it but no link to it from the FAQ page.
There is also a customer forum linked on the webpage where users share information about problems they have encountered in using Perfect Privacy, but we found that much of it was in German and it wasn’t possible to translate it within the page.
Perfect Privacy is not pretty and seems at first to require a lot of effort on the part of the user, but it’s actually quite easy to use. It’s highly configurable but not at like those services which require people to download and follow complex instructions. It just has a lot more options in its settings interface than most, and you’re free to ignore them.
It has good speeds and good security which are the primary requirements most of us have with a VPN service. It also has unlimited bandwidth and unlimited connections, and a few unusual features like neurorouting. On the downside, its tech support isn’t great, it’s not the most user-friendly website or interface we’ve seen, and it’s pricey.
Let us know what you think about Perfect Privacy VPN in the comments below and don’t forget to check out our best VPN roundup for more options. Thanks for reading.