Can Switcherry VPN app compete with NordVPN?
Image credit: Morning Tick

Digital privacy has become a mainstream issue. One of the ways to get open access without being tracked by other corporations and authorities is by using a VPN.

A VPN or virtual private network encrypts data and conceals the user’s IP address enabling them to use the web anonymously. This means since a device uses an unknown IP address, the chances of cybercriminals hacking the device to get personal information or governments spying on the user are massively reduced.

Alongside security, using a VPN has other benefits such as being able to access websites that aren’t available in a particular region, therefore, allowing users to stream all the latest content available worldwide.

However, with a slew of VPN apps available – such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Turbo VPN – choosing which one suits your needs and is good value for money isn’t exactly easy.

Experience with Switcherry app

I tried using Switcherry for a few weeks and here is what I thought of it.

The app is easy to use, connects the device automatically on unknown networks, and allows you to choose various countries. The app overall has a user-friendly interface with the list of countries, connection status, and a ‘Connect’ button. Logging in is a simple process where it connects to your Apple account – if using on iOS –  giving three days of free service for new users.

Switcherry VPN
Switcherry VPN, How to connect

I could visit all worldwide websites – which are banned in India – seamlessly. In addition, the app connected my device to another network – this can come in handy especially if one’s current network is insecure therefore enabling an extra layer of privacy.

Security & Performance

Security is not the only advantage of this app. Performance-wise too the app does not disappoint. Having tried switching to various countries, the download speed did reduce – especially on a US server – but the escalating internet use due to the pandemic could be a reason for that.

Switcherry VPN app features
Switcherry VPN app features

For those who spend a lot of time on streaming services and OTT platforms – which might be most of us – the app helps in connecting to various sites that might not be available in all countries. For instance, geo-blocked sites in the likes of Hulu, Disney+, Prime Video, US Netflix, and some torrent sites have different content in countries, and only through a VPN app, you can stream the ones unavailable in your country.

Through the app, I streamed a film on Prime Video only available in the US, and it’s fair to say that it was smooth. The only issue I faced was when I tried surfing Disney+ and got an error.

Subscription and Trial

The caveat with Switcherry is that while it may seem like a zero-logging service at first, you will need to sign up using your credit card details for a premium subscription. It gives a three free day trial after which the company says you can cancel anytime. However, in the reviews section, a host of comments suggests otherwise where users have been charged for months despite cancelling it. Personally, it was easy to stop the service and I switched off the auto-renewal.

Once you subscribe to Premium, the app allows you to use its VPN services on other devices as well.

Pricing

Available for Android and iOS/iPadOS, the app offers subscription services ranging from monthly to half-yearly and annually priced from $9.99 onwards.

With 4.3 out of 5 on the Apple App store, I would say it is not a bad option, and one can consider it as an alternative for NordVPN.

Try Switcherry VPN appiOS | Android 

Rise of VPN apps in India and beyond

The use of VPN apps is only to skyrocket. For instance, in India mobile downloads of VPN apps grew 405% to 57 million in just a year starting October 2018 after the government’s porn ban, per data from Top10VPN. Reiterating this data, a report released by Pornhub said that 91% of its users from India use mobile VPN apps to stream.

Furthermore, a report by ExpressVPN said that the country witnessed a growth of 15% in VPN usage since end-February this year – particularly after the government banned 59 Chinese apps.

On a global level, more than 480 million mobile VPN apps were downloaded in a year, up 54% compared to the previous year, per Top10VPN.

While some might be heavy investment-wise but it’s a small price to pay to protect your data.

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