Switzerland has one of the highest internet penetration rates in Europe. A huge percentage of the country’s population has reliable web access, over 87% as of 2016. That’s a lot of people doing a lot of things online. While the government doesn’t impose strict regulations on which sites citizens can visit, there are some restrictions in place, not to mention the privacy issues involved with sending your data to overseas companies. To keep yourself and your information safe, it’s always a good idea to use a reliable VPN. Keep reading for some of the best VPNs to use in Switzerland.
What are the Best VPNs for Switzerland?
- Subscribe to one of the VPNs in this guide.
- Download and install the VPN’s client software.
- Connect to a VPN server located in the United States.
- Now you can enjoy unrestricted access to any websites.
- 1 Choosing the Best VPN for Switzerland
- 2 Internet Censorship in Switzerland
- 3 Benefits of Using a VPN in Switzerland
- 4 Conclusion
Choosing the Best VPN for Switzerland
Virtual private networks use both encryption and IP address obfuscation to keep users safe online. Each time you run VPN software you ensure every packet of data is wrapped in a layer of complex cryptography. This keeps third parties from seeing your online activity, and when combined with non-local, anonymous IP addresses, you can stay untraceable and private no matter what you do online.
Our VPN Selection Criteria
Encryption brings a lot of benefits, everything from breaking through censorship walls to accessing geo-restricted video streams. Choosing the right VPN for Switzerland means weighing a lot of factors, comparing them to the competition, and testing their speeds to see which performs the best. The good news is we did all the hard work for you. Below are the top criteria we used to pick the best VPN for Switzerland.
- Fast download speeds – VPNs have a reputation for being slower than a regular internet connection. If you want high quality videos and fast downloads, you need to go with a VPN that puts a huge priority on speed.
- Unlimited bandwidth – Some free VPNs restrict how much bandwidth you can use, leaving you unencrypted and unprotected the minute you run out. Our recommendations below offer unlimited bandwidth so you don’t have to count kilobytes.
- Unmonitored web access – Want to download torrents or files from P2P networks? Make sure your VPN doesn’t block these protocols!
- Zero-logging policy – VPNs can log your activity just like a standard ISP. To ensure your data stays safe, the best VPNs have a zero-logging policy in place, promising that no sensitive data is ever stored on their servers.
ExpressVPN is known for one thing above all else: speed. The company’s network covers over 140 locations with 1,700 servers in 94 different countries, with tighter clusters around highly populated areas for decreased lag. This casts a wide net for IP addresses, too, which means you can pick and choose your virtual location for a free and open internet. ExpressVPN’s software is also incredibly easy to use. Just fire it up and click the big button, then you’re connected. 256-bit AES encryption keeps your data secure, a zero-logging policy ensures information stays safe, and both kill switch and DNS leak protection features add extra privacy, just in case something goes wrong.
ExpressVPN operates servers all across Europe, most of which offer the company’s full array of security protocols and encryption practices. There are even two server nodes within Switzerland, allowing you fast and private access without having to use a foreign IP address.
IPVanish does what few other VPNs manage to do. For most services, speed and security are at odds with each other. The higher the encryption, the slower the connection, for example. This means you often have to choose between fast downloads and top notch privacy. With IPVanish, this isn’t the case. The service hits a sweet spot between anonymity and lightning fast speeds. As soon as you log in you’re kept safe by 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. You also get a zero-logging policy on traffic to help keep your activity safe, all without sacrificing any speed. It’s perfect for video streams and anonymous torrents, or just regular old web browsing!
IPVanish operates a network of over 950 servers in 60 different countries, one of the largest in the industry. You’ll be able to grab an IP address from just about anywhere in the world, including the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Asia. If it’s a local Swiss IP address you want, IPVanish has eleven different choices right in the heart of Zurich, giving you a fast, low-lag connection right in your backyard.
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Most VPNs have a set number of servers that increase slightly over time. With NordVPN, you get new additions just about every day, giving it one of the largest server networks on the market. At the time of writing NordVPN operates 2,763 servers in 56 countries, covering every continent except for Antarctica. You’ll never have a problem grabbing a fast connection, even if you live in the middle of nowhere. NordVPN uses this variety to provide some unique features, too, such as DDoS protection, onion over VPN routing, and double VPN, all backed by a sturdy zero-logging policy, 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, and automatic kill switch features.
NordVPN’s large network means plenty of locations in Switzerland, as well. There are over 59 choices in the country’s borders, along with P2P service and Nord’s amazing double encryption server options.
When privacy is your top concern, VyprVPN is the service for you. The company behind Vypr offers over 700 servers in 70 different countries, including plenty of locations in Europe and Switzerland (Zurich). VyprVPN owns and operates this entire network, meaning third parties never have access to your information. You also get sturdy 256-bit AES encryption, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and a zero-logging policy that covers traffic and DNS requests. It’s a solid foundation for online privacy, and it’s enough to keep you safe in the unfriendliest of internet environments.
VyprVPN goes above and beyond the norm by providing an exclusive protocol named Chameleon. With Chameleon active, your data packets get wrapped in an extra layer of encryption, obfuscating the metadata to defeat deep packet inspections. This means Vypr can bust through censorship walls in places like China or Turkey, keeping you invisible even if a government or hacker is actively trying to discover your identity.
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PureVPN is more than just a VPN. The service delivers a ton of extra features available on both desktop and smartphone platforms. Ever wanted anti-virus protection, malware shields, app blocking, or DNS level website filtering? Those features and more are baked into PureVPN’s all-encompassing security suite. All you have to do is run the VPN, choose your bonuses, then surf the web in complete safety.
As for its VPN specific features, PureVPN is certainly no slouch. The company provides excellent protection with a zero-logging policy on all traffic, an automatic kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, and DNS leak protection. You also get access to a large self-owned network of over 750 servers in 140 different countries, with four unique servers located in the heart of Switzerland!
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Internet Censorship in Switzerland
Switzerland isn’t part of the European Union, which has laws in place protecting things like net neutrality and online freedoms. Even without these regulations, the country has shown an extremely progressive, user-focused attitude towards web access in general. Despite this openness, using a VPN in Switzerland is still a smart move. Data travels outside of the country to fetch websites and files, and you never know who’s waiting to intercept your information.
VPNs and Tor
As of 2018 there are no government level restrictions on the internet in Switzerland, nor is there any evidence suggesting federal agencies monitor e-mail illegally. Citizens know the importance of base-level internet privacy, however, and frequently deploy technologies such as VPNs and Tor to keep their data safe. The government imposes no restrictions on encryption or circumvention software of this nature.
In 2002 several Swiss ISPs were ordered to block access to three websites in the U.S. that were openly critical of the court system in Switzerland. The Swiss Internet User Group resisted, stating the move went against the country’s constitution and that the blocks could be easily bypassed. Despite this, the ISPs complied, opening the door to content censorship on the web.
Unlicensed Movie Downloads
The Swiss government has ruled that downloading pirated copies of movies, TV shows, music, and video games for at-home personal use was not illegal, as it didn’t directly harm the copyright holders involved. This was something of a controversial move at the time, making Switzerland the only country to impose such a standard.
The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland ruled that local privacy laws include Swiss IP addresses. In other words, if you connect with a Swiss IP, it cannot be used to track your internet activity without your permission. The only exception to this regulation is when the State is pursuing suspects in criminal cases.
Most countries either block or severely regulate online gambling. A similar proposal was drafted in the early 2000s to make running a gambling service within the country’s borders illegal, but the effort was suspended just a few years later, with no further activity since.
Benefits of Using a VPN in Switzerland
Threats to net neutrality, ISPs collecting and selling information, and hackers with invasive data mining tools are just a few of the dangers present in the modern internet. By simply switching on a VPN, you can protect yourself from most of these threats, all without lifting a finger. Below are some of the main benefits of using a VPN, including bonuses that extend far beyond simple privacy and protection.
Defeat Region Lock Restrictions
Even though Switzerland doesn’t block a lot of content locally, that still doesn’t mean you have open access to the internet. Have you ever gone to YouTube, Hulu, HBO GO, or Netflix only to see the content was blocked in your area? Geo-restrictions are common in the movie, TV show, and video game worlds, and they’re frustrating for everyone involved.
You don’t have to live by these arbitrary restrictions, however. Running a VPN lets you pick a non-local IP address in any country offered by your service. Can’t see the latest movies from the U.S.? Connect to a VPN server in the United States, reload, and start the stream.
It’s increasingly common to see websites block or alter certain content depending on a visitor’s location. Sometimes this is done at the request of a government agency, other times it’s simply a sales tactic. Either way, running a VPN means you don’t have to have your traffic shaped by your location. If something isn’t available to your standard IP address, just connect to your VPN and try again.
Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi
Public internet hotspots are popular targets for hackers. By deploying software such as man in the middle attacks, anyone can harvest personal data from people connected to the same Wi-Fi network, going so far as to serve fake websites to get credit card information. While a VPN can’t protect from every form of malicious element, they do help keep your data secure, all thanks to strong, nearly unbreakable encryption. Before you log in at the cafe, turn on your VPN.
Privacy while Traveling
Your information is safer in Switzerland than most countries around the world, but as soon as you step over the border you’re subject to new laws and regulations. Traveling means subjecting yourself to all kinds of data dangers, everything from hackers to activity logging ISPs. A VPN on your phone, laptop, or tablet means information gets encrypted before it leaves your device, preventing these third parties from causing any harm.
Switzerland has a reputation for being one of the safer countries in terms of online privacy. If you live in the country or are just passing through, though, don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security. The internet is a vast and dangerous place with data bouncing through servers all around the world. Only by encrypting your data with a VPN can you keep your activity and your identity safe.