iTop VPN, a recent entry in the VPN market, is a suitable tool for casual users. It offers a free plan that supports 700 MB of data per day and is quite easy to install and use. However, things change when the paid version of the app comes into the picture. While it brings with it a ton of features, there are also things that raise concerns. Whether or not we recommend this VPN will depend after we have done a thorough examination of the service offered in our iTop VPN review.
iTop VPN: Brief Introduction
The Hong Kong-based VPN was first launched in 2016, and since then it has amassed a following of over 10 million users. The app is especially loved on the Google Play Store since it is free to use. However, it also raises concerns regarding security and privacy.
As a free VPN, the app seems to do fine, even with limited servers and a data cap. But it blocks all other features on the free plan. There is no advanced security or streaming support, no add-ons, and no tricks to make the user’s life easier. However, when switched to the paid subscription, the service has enough to offer.
The following article will examine iTop VPN and the various services offered on a paid plan, alongside its feasibility and value for money. We will also check its support and some niche features we are used to finding in top-of-the-line products.
Key Specifications for iTop VPN
Given below is a table that provides an overview of the features of the iTop VPN:
|IP address and DNS leaks
|Only on some servers
|No Live Chat
Features of iTop VPN
Now let us begin our examination of the different features the VPN has to offer:
The paid users of the service get access to around 1800 different VPN servers spread across 100-plus locations. The locations include countries like the USA, UK, Germany, India, Australia, and Japan.
The VPN only offers virtual servers or IP addresses and not physical servers, which can be a security concern because such virtual servers are mostly hosted on third-party servers that do not comply with the same terms and conditions. But since they are virtual servers, hosting and maintaining them costs much less to the provider, which plays a role in how it offers free service.
iTop VPN does have some stability issues. While the speed experience after connecting to a server wasn’t that slow, we did find some inconsistencies. The VPN speed is above average for sure, but on select servers, it drops around 80-90%, which is definitely a bad sign for the service. But overall, speed and connectivity aren’t the issues with this provider.
Privacy and Logging policy
Being headquartered in Hong Kong is a double-edged sword for the VPN service. On one hand, it is clearly a pretty good VPN service provider. On the other hand, there are no exclusive details of how the VPN operates and what data is being shared with the government, etc.
All these concerns could be alleviated by the logging policy of the service, which according to the VPN provider is a strict, no-logs policy, but it still records the following data:
- Payment data such as credit card history, email, name, phone number, etc.
- Customer service data
- Device information
- Browser information
- IP Address
- And Clickstream data
Furthermore, the VPN uses custom VPN protocols and encryption that are definitely not open source. And since they are not available to the public, we are left with no choice but to take the provider on its word that it is using safe and secure tech.
Coming to the security aspect of the service, we have to reiterate that the VPN mostly uses custom tech in its product. And since there has been no independent audit, we can either trust the provider on what it says or make our own conclusions.
For encryption, iTop only says that it uses military-grade encryption. It claims the tech to be the best in class military encryption but fails to mention specifics. Generally speaking, AES 256-Bit encryption is considered the best, so we might assume the VPN is referring to it if we are generous.
The same is true for VPN protocols as instead of specifying which protocols it uses, such as WireGuard or OpenVPN, it simply lists three options in app settings that are UDP, TCP, and HTTPS.
Other than these issues, the VPN does offer basic security features and a few advanced ones, such as a kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS protection. However, it also lacks some useful stuff like VPN auto-connect or leak protection.
Lastly, there are some bonus features like the Security Reinforce that scans your PC for non-optimal security settings, an Ad blocker, a Malware tracker, and Static IP.
iTop VPN is mediocre as far as streaming goes. Don’t get us wrong, it does unblock a few streaming services, even on the free plan, but it is not enough to name it a streaming VPN. It sure has a few VIP servers in the paid plan that can unblock Netflix South Korea, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube.
Despite being feature-rich, we were unable to find any specific feature that targets VPN blocking. The app indeed offers TCP/UDP, which might seem enough for lightweight geo-block bypassing we are still unsure of their capabilities since they are custom protocols.
As for torrenting, the results are mixed. Although the provider proudly claims its support for P2P file transfer on the website, the reality was a bit different, even with 05 custom servers for torrenting.
The VPN provider disappoints a little bit on the customer service front. There is no dedicated support system like a 24/7 live chat or call. You can, however, reach them out via support tickets or social media. If you don’t find it a problem, then it’s all good. They seem responsive over the support ticket system.
The mobile app
One of the best things about iTop VPN we came across is its mobile app. Most default servers seem to be pretty fast and usable. A ton of free servers are also available for quick browsing requirements. The interface is very easy to use and provides a fast one-tap connection. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.
iTop VPN Pricing
The VPN is free to use. Although, it does have a few paid subscription plans for interested users. However, it is pretty costly at $11.99 per month. Furthermore, it only offers a 15-day money-back guarantee, or a 7-day guarantee if you only subscribe for a month.
The good news is that at the time of writing this article, the provider was offering huge discounts on subscription packages. The three plans, when discounted, were as follows:
- The 12 months plan @ $1.67 p/m
- The 24 months plan @ $1.25 p/m
- and lastly The 36 months plan @ $0.83 p/m
Lastly, we are going to look for the platforms that can run the app. If you visit the official iTop VPN website, you will see that the provider has offered the services for four major platforms: Windows, macOS, and iOS. There is also an Android app available on the Google Play Store. But there is no Android TV support or browser extension.
- Free service
- Virtual servers
- No-logs policy
- Supports streaming and Torrenting
- Unverified custom VPN protocols and encryption
- No auditing
- Inconsistent speed on some servers
- Mediocre performance
Our final conclusion is that the app is good enough for free or casual use. As for the features, the VPN has done a fairly decent job, even if we shut our eyes on a few issues, on a large scale, the VPN is good enough, especially if we consider the discounted pricing.
However, it is definitely not top-of-the-line material and is only above average. But despite it, many people might find it useful, if only for the daily 700 MB free use.
iTop VPN Review
iTop VPN is a decent VPN service for anyone looking for getting into a VPN service provider for quick protection and speed.