iTop VPN Review: is a 100% Free VPN Really Good

iTop VPN's generous 700MB/day (21GB/month) free plan might be worth considering for simple, non-privacy-critical tasks, but the service has too many basics to justify your cash delivery.
1

The Overview of iTop VPN

General Information of iTop VPN

115 / 5.000 Kết quả dịch iTop VPN is a free VPN service with a reasonable premium plan and an unusual privacy add-on or two.

Advantages

  • The impressive free plan (limited)
  • Additional privacy protection features
  • Unlocked BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus
  • Cheap two-year plan

Disadvantages

  • Can’t unblock Netflix, Amazon Prime
  • The kill switch fails in some situations
  • Use protocols without standard documentation
  • Websites allowed HTTP access to the login page

The free plan gives you 700MB of data per day (21GB per month) and a choice of 16 locations (including the US and UK), easily beating most of the competition.

Paying for a subscription gets you access to over 100 locations and over 1,800 optimized gaming and streaming servers. (P2P is also supported, though only on some dedicated servers.)

A longer-than-usual list of extras including split tunneling, along with the ad, tracker and malware blocking, browser history cleaning, and the Security Reinforce tool that checks for settings to secure your device and warns of any problems.

iTop VPN has apps for Windows, Mac (recently added), Android, and iOS, and supports connecting up to five devices at once.

iTop VPN for mac
You get 100+ locations and 1,800+ servers optimized for streaming and gaming with iTop (photo: iTop VPN)
2

The Price of iTop VPN

Relatively affordable price

This VPN’s monthly plan costs $11.99, not the highest we’ve seen, but pricier than most.

Paying six months in advance brings the cost down to $6.99 a month, but that’s still above average. For instance, you’re paying iTop $41.94 for six months of coverage, but Private Internet Access is only asking for $39.95 for the whole year ($3.33 a month).

However, iTop is yet to be implemented. Choose the annual plan and you’ll get an extra year, giving you two years of protection for $2.31 a month. A handful of providers are even cheaper – Private Internet Access has a three-year plan for $2.19 a month, Ivacy and PrivadoVPN are even lower – but it’s still a real bargain.

itop vpn price

iTop supports payment via card, PayPal, and bank transfer. It’s good to see that you can also turn off auto-renew when you purchase the service, ensuring that you don’t accidentally pay for a second term you don’t want.

Even better, if you’re not satisfied, the ‘no questions asked 15-day money-back guarantee (7 days on monthly payment plans) means you can get your first payment back, too.

3

Privacy

Bring privacy to users

Most VPNs protect your privacy by using secure VPN protocols like WireGuard and OpenVPN. This doesn’t guarantee you’ll be safe – vendors can easily make mistakes in the setup – but they’re open source, so anyone can see how they work or check the code to find out. problems.

However, iTop uses a custom scheme of its own. The Windows app seems to make a fast proxy connection to the VPN server, then uses an open source package called WinDivert to direct your traffic through the tunnel, apparently encrypting it using its own protocol.

Maybe this is safe, maybe not, but the company doesn’t provide enough information to judge. For instance, you cannot test the encoding it uses.

anti tracking

We noticed a separate privacy issue on the iTop VPN website. Its SSL certificate is not configured properly and this allows us to access areas of the website, including the Login page, using an unencrypted HTTP connection. Unless you’re using a VPN, that risks exposing your credentials to stalkers.

iTop values another privacy for its order form, where it insists we entered our full name, city, and postal or ZIP code. One tooltip attempted to justify this by saying the details ‘allow us to contact you if there are any issues with your order.’ Uh, that’s not our email address for what?

4

Logging

No-logging policy

iTop VPN claims to have no logging policy and the privacy policy explains what this means.

The company does its best to sound reassuring, telling users: ‘We do not record your activity while you are using the Service, including your browsing history, the bandwidth you have used, or the time you connect to the VPN server. We do not store your original IP address or the server IP address you connect to.’

It sounds good, but we already know this can’t be entirely true. iTop VPN limits its free plan to 700MB a day, so to make this work it has to record the bandwidth you use and associate it with a device ID.

Scroll down the page and you’ll see a ‘What Information We Collect section, which can also include a lot of data: ‘…operating system, device ID, Internet protocol address, browser type, browser language, refer/exit pages, clickstream data of our websites and products or services, and pages or features of our software or services that you have visit and time spent there.’

Some of it looks like it’s referring to iTop’s website, not the app, but the fact that we have to guess is a problem. The privacy policy should be clear and precise, leaving us with no more questions than answers.

Whatever you think of iTop VPN’s claims, the real problem here is that the company hasn’t confirmed them with any form of security testing or logging. We are left to trust iTop and hope the company is delivering what it promises.

5

Windows Applications

Friendly Windows Apps

iTop VPN’s apps look good and feature-rich but also score poorly on many usability fundamentals.

For example, tapping the big red Connect button will automatically connect you to the nearest server. But even when we’re testing from the UK, the free app regularly connects us to Japan, and the paid plan sometimes picks up Germany.

The ‘All Servers’ list allows switching to another location, but this is not as easy as it should be. For example, countries are not sorted by name, continent, distance, or any other order we can recognize (there are sequences like Korea, Russia, United Kingdom, Italy, and Singapore). , etc.). And there is no Favorites system or Recently Used list to help.

The application lacks some useful shortcuts that we often see in other places. For example, you can’t double-click a location name to connect – you must click the location’s Connect button instead. When the app connects (or disconnects), there’s no notification to alert you, so you won’t know if you’re protected unless you keep an eye on the app interface.

On the plus side, you have separate Streaming, Social, and Gaming lists where you can watch slots optimized for specific platforms (PUBG, Warzone, Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, iPlayer, Hulu, etc.).

Scrolling too much? The Quick Access pane lists 17 common reasons to use a VPN: Browse Privacy, Hide Location, Watch Netflix, Play PUBG, Unblock WhatsApp (or Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and more. If you’re looking to unblock Netflix, there’s no need to scan a long list of servers and try to guess which is best: just tap ‘Watch Netflix’ and the app will automatically pick the location for you.

They work well and we like the flexibility. But we do want iTop VPN to sort out some of the interface basics before layering on any extras.

6

iTopVPN App on Mac, Android, iOS

Compatible with multiple platforms

iTop VPN’s Mac app looks mostly like the Windows build, but there are a few very noticeable changes.

For instance, there is no Downloads section – the P2P locations are in the ‘All servers’ list. The Quick Missions section does not have a Play PUBG tile. There’s no cancel switch and no Settings menu (the Protocols list is now on the home screen). If you regularly use both Windows and Mac apps, the difference can be a bit confusing.

The iOS app is all about simplicity, with no Settings menu, no kill switch, no P2P, no HTTPS protocol options, and absolutely no extra security tools. Instead, you just get a list of locations, a large Connect button, and a choice of TCP/UDP protocols.

There is good news in the iOS field. Cities are grouped into countries, making for a shorter and better-organized list. But it’s still not sorted alphabetically (and worse, the iOS app uses a different order than the Windows build).

The Android app is essentially an iOS version that adds split tunneling and different sort order for the server list. Not a big deal unless you’re using iTop VPN on several platforms – only then will you need to remember where your favorites appear on each device.

iTop VPN offers a kill switch
iTop VPN offers a kill switch, but it’s a flawed effort (image: iTop VPN)
7

Featured

Unique features of the service

iTop VPN supports a breaker switch to stop internet traffic if VPN drops suddenly. We found that the Windows application was mostly successful but there were some flaws. For example, when we force the application to fail, our VPN connection is interrupted, the cancel switch does not work, and our traffic is unprotected. And since the app doesn’t issue any notifications, it’s hard for affected users to realize they’re at risk in such a case.

Support for split tunneling allows you to decide which applications use the tunnel and which do not. It’s handy if you only need a VPN to unblock a few websites, such as other apps that can use your normal (and faster) connection. This worked well for us, directing browsers only through the VPN by default, but made it easy to add other apps as required.

DNS Protection claims to protect your DNS settings from being modified by malware. You can also set your DNS to one of the public DNS providers, simply by selecting them from the list: Google, OpenDNS, Verizon, Comodo, and DNS Advantage.

The application has several settings. You can launch it when Windows starts, optionally connect and choose one of three protocol options: UDP, TCP, and HTTPS. Since iTop VPN doesn’t use any standard VPN protocols, it is not entirely clear what the impact of these settings is, and the descriptions don’t help much. (For example, choosing TCP explicitly gets you ‘high-level privacy’, while choosing UDP means faster speeds but ‘uses more data for special occasions.’)

iTop VPN also lacks some of the more advanced settings we see with other apps. For example, it won’t automatically connect when you’re on unsecured Wi-Fi. There’s no leak protection option, and we don’t see a way to control notifications.

useful security enhancements
You get some nifty privacy extras including a useful security boost (image: iTop VPN)
8

Security Features

Security features of iTop VPN

iTop VPN has some extra privacy and security features that we haven’t seen in other VPNs.

The Security Reinforce module scanned our PCs for weak or non-standard security settings and then suggested the appropriate changes. You’ll need some technical knowledge to understand its report, but the advice sounds good to us and is likely to improve your system’s security.

The Browser Privacy feature can inspect and delete your browsing routes in Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera, and even Internet Explorer.

These tools aren’t the best we’ve seen, and they may not all be suitable for a VPN. For example, most providers use their own DNS servers instead of OpenVPN or Google, as that ensures no one else can see the websites you visit.

DNS protection powered by IObit Malware Fighter
IObit Malware Fighter powered DNS protection (image: iTop VPN)

But there is also more power here than we expected. For example, DNS protection isn’t something iTop VPN has put together in an afternoon – it’s an IObit feature taken directly from IObit Malware Fighter. Put it all together and the extra features might have some value for more experienced users. (Although, as with the main app interface, we’d be happier if the developer sorted out the core features before starting with a pile of extras.)

9

Netflix and streaming

Does iTop support Netflix?

The iTop VPN apps have specialized slots for unblocking multiple platforms, making them much easier to use than many of their competitors. If you’re looking to unblock a US-supported platform, for example, you don’t have to start choosing US locations until you find one that works: just choose a service from the list and you are ready.

We tried this with BBC iPlayer, which is usually a difficult site to unblock, but iTop VPN got us in straight away.

iTop VPN has Disney Plus locations in New York and Los Angeles. Both work for us.

There are streaming locations for Amazon Prime in the US and UK, but we weren’t so lucky with these. Amazon detected what we were doing, showing ‘your device is connected to the internet using a VPN or proxy service’ and asking us to ‘disable it and try again.’

It’s the same disappointing story with Netflix: iTop VPN has a few dedicated Netflix servers (the US and South Korea) but didn’t work for us.

Putting us in two of our four test sites isn’t bad, but other providers do much better. ExpressVPN, Hide.me, Hola, PrivadoVPN, Private Internet Access, ProtonVPN, and Surfshark have all unblocked all of our test platforms in recent reviews.

10

Performance of iTopvpn

The performance of this VPN is relatively good

We measured iTop VPN speeds from US and UK locations with 1Gbps connections in both cases, using several performance testing websites and services (websites and command line apps). of SpeedTest, nPerf, SpeedOfme, etc.). We tested download speeds at least five times from each site, and then we repeated all the tests in an evening session.

UK download speeds are average at 180-190Mbps, but in the US performance is much better, with peak average speeds around 360-400Mps, even reaching 900Mbps at times. We’re skeptical of that top score, as it only happened in a single session out of the 20 we ran in the US, and none of the others came close to half that rate. We think the 360-400Mbps figure is more representative of what you can see.

That’s not a bad result, and it’s a match in line with the OpenVPN performance we’ve seen from apps like HideMyAss! (270-410Mbps) and TunnelBear (330-350Mbps).

However, iTop’s results are worse than many other VPNs, especially when they are using WireGuard and faster protocols (providers like CyberGhost, IPVanish, and NordVPN regularly hit 750-900Mbps).

There is another problem. The 330-350Mbps speeds we see from TunnelBear are using a standard OpenVPN connection with a very clear level of encryption and security. But iTop VPN uses the company’s own custom protocol, which means we can’t be sure these metrics are a fair comparison. For example, if iTop VPN is using more basic encryption, that could give it a big performance advantage, but at the expense of some security.

11

iTop VPN Review: Final Verdict

Conclusion

iTop VPN has a bunch of powerful extras, but it lacks a lot of VPN fundamentals: no OpenVPN or WireGuard, limited unblocking flawed kill switch, plus privacy issues different private. Its 700MB per day (21GB a month) free VPN plan might be worth considering, but we wouldn’t use it for anything privacy-critical – look for something better like customization can choose. ExpressVPN #1 rating.

Plus, check out today’s best VPN services and the best gaming VPNs.

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