WiTopia Personal VPN certainly gives out a positive first impression when you visit the provider's website, with endorsements from The New York Times and The Economist. The good impressions continue too; thanks to great client software and instant 24/7 support. Sadly, however, WiTopia Personal VPN lets itself down with extremely variable performance, leaving you with a service that's hard to recommend.
- Jurisdiction Unites States
- Simultaneous connections 8
- Countries 42
Alternative VPN Choices for You
- Servers in 42 countries
- Well designed and innovative client software (for PC and Mac)
- Excellent 24/7 live chat support
- A choice of encryption protocols (OpenVPN on premium)
- Support for some obscure platforms
Speed and Performance
We carried out a number of speed tests to check out WiTopia's performance. To start with, I used Speedtest.net to benchmark my connection without a VPN connection. My benchmark download speed was just under 7Mbps.
Next, I tested the Lisbon server, chosen by the WiTopia client's "quick connect" mode. The result was disappointing, as it almost halved my download speed. Next, I connected to New York via L2TP and tested again. This result was even worse - far less than half our original download speed. Finally, I connected to the London server and got speeds of just under 6 Mbps, which was the best results I got from the service.
Overall I was disappointed with the mixed results, as they would almost certainly destroy my chance of streaming without buffering with the service.
Price and Plans
WiTopia Personal VPN offers two VPN services, a "basic" package and a "pro" option. They also offer a hardware VPN solution, but that is not covered in this review.
There are two fundamental differences between the two packages: The "Pro" option provides VPN servers in a greater range of countries, and supports OpenVPN, alongside a selection of other VPN protocols. The cheaper "basic" package offers no support for OpenVPN, which is our preferred protocol for security and privacy.
Another key difference is that the "Pro" package is only available on a six-month or annual subscription basis (at $39.99 or $69.99 respectively). The "Basic" package is also available for shorter monthly and three-monthly time periods. One month will set you back only $5.99, which isn't a bad starting price. However, considering the service overall, I wouldn't recommend it even at this price point.
Although WiTopia doesn't offer any free trial, they do advertise an "unconditional" 30-day money-back guarantee. However, the reality is that the money back guarantee is not always honored according to subscriber complaints.
Privacy and Security
WiTopia provides a good range of encryption protocols, and we found it easy to find the technical details we were looking for.
WiTopia offers PPTP, L2TP over IPsec and Cisco IPsec protocol options. In addition, OpenVPN (SSL) is on offer to those subscribing to the "Pro" package. Encryption up to 256-bit is available on the premium account. However, I am not able to confirm whether OpenVPN is implemented with Perfect Forward Secrecy, and so I can not definitively vouch for the security of the platform.
To conclude, I cannot definitely recommend this service for privacy purposes.
We had really high hopes for WiTopia - we experienced great support, the price was right, and the client software was really well designed.
It was, therefore, a crying shame to experience such inconsistent connection speeds during our speed tests, with results ranging from very good to truly awful.
In addition, this VPN is completely lacking important features like a killswitch. Also, the lack of OpenVPN on some subscription plans is a disappointment. To conclude, we find this a service hard to recommend when compared to other VPNs in a similar price range.
However, it does unblock iPlayer and Netflix US - so you may want to give it a test run for that reason alone!