WiTopia PersonalVPN review: PersonalVPN is small; however, a capable VPN service of the American security company WiTopia. By signing up, you get access to a decade long network spread over 42 countries. As usual, most are in Europe and North America; however, PersonalVPN has other locations in Asia, Oceania, Israel, Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, and more (the full list can be found on the network page).
Elsewhere, a secure DNS service hides your Internet activities, stealthy routes can help you avoid VPN blocking, there is support for up to 8 simultaneous connections to the top plans, and live chat is available 24/7 if you get into trouble.
WiTopia PersonalVPN review: Privacy and logging
The PersonalVPN website does not have much to say about logging but still manages to cover the basics. In one or two sentences, a FAQ document explains that there is no logging of a user’s Internet activities, browsing, content, websites, DNS, or metadata, and as a result, ‘there are no logs that would allow a person or entity to match an IP address and a timestamp to a user of our VPN service.’
While this is clear and obvious, a potential customer cannot know whether PersonalVPN delivers on these no-logging promises. Competitors such as NordVPN, TunnelBear, and ExpressVPN have conducted public audits to verify their private information. While this is by no means essential, it does give users greater assurance that their data is being handled properly.
WiTopia has other privacy loops, including the encrypted DNS and stealth modes. Perhaps best of all, the ultra-configurable OpenVPN provides a 4096-bit certificate per user and allows experts to choose their favorite ports and numbers and choose to make UDP or TCP connections.
WiTopia PersonalVPN review: Performance
PersonalVPN doesn’t make much noise about its unblocking ability, and our tests suggested why: it did give us access to US Netflix but had no luck with BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, or Disney+.
The news improved as we continued downloading speeds. In our tests, UK-UK connections averaged around 67-68Mbps on a 75Mbps fiber broadband line. There was little change in Europe, and even long-distance travel such as UK-Australia reached a creditable 12-25Mbps.
Our privacy checks also went well: the service gave us a new IP address each time at the promised location, and there were no DNS or WebRTC leaks. If you’re not so lucky, you may be able to access PersonalVPN’s 24/7 live chat support, so that’s the last thing we tested.
The service started positive, with the chat system queuing our number 1 and a friendly agent responding within about a minute. We posted a problematic question about connection issues, but the agent handled it well, listened, understood what we were saying, asked sensible questions, and offered quality advice. If you’re tired of talking to outsourced VPN support teams and you realize you know a lot more about the technology than they do, then PersonalVPN’s professional agents should make a refreshing change.
WiTopia PersonalVPN review: Pricing and plans
PersonalVPN’s Basic plan only gives you the core of VPN: access to all network locations, but only native protocols (IVEv2, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP), and no OpenVPN support. Nothing is surprising about it, but the price is equal to $5.99 billed per month, $4.17 on the annual plan, which drops to $3.06 over three years.
The Pro plan adds OpenVPN support, allowing you to use the service with more customers and devices, and throws in a sneaky mode. There is no monthly plan, but prices are still reasonable, ranging from $6.67 per month on the 6-month plan, $5.83 over one year, and $4.44 over three years.
Choosing the top-of-the-range Premier plan gives you support for up to 8 concurrent connections and adds additional VPN router setup tools. It looks expensive, though, at $10 a month on the six-month plan, $8.33 over a year, falling to $7.09 over two years, or $5.83 over three years.
Viewing the up-front payments helps to put this into perspective. PersonalVPN expects you to pay $99.99 for one year’s service; Private Internet Access charges $39.95 for its annual plan; pay Surfshark $47.75, and you are covered for a full two years.
There is no free trial period and no refund available for the monthly plan. However, everything else includes an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you plenty of time to see how the service works for you.
Despite the improvements that have been made, WiTopia is still not feature-rich enough or fast enough for us to put it high on our list. Suppose it adds some extra bells and whistles like split tunneling and improves its speeds a little. In that case, we can easily see that WiTopia is becoming a real contender in the VPN market, but until then, it’s doomed to become mediocre. That’s it for our WiTopia PersonalVPN review.
PersonalVPN is not the cheapest VPN available, but we can see why - the company invests its money in fast networking and professional support. It also needs to improve its Windows client, but in general, if service quality is at the top of your priority list, PersonalVPN is worth a try.
- Excellent speeds
- Unblocks Netflix
- Quality 24x7x365 live chat support
- Good-looking and easy-to-use apps
- Doesn't unblock iPlayer, Amazon, Disney+
- Windows kill switch issues
- No OpenVPN support on starter plans
- Some plans look expensive