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iTop VPN Review 2022 — Keep This in Mind Before Buying
iTopVPN unblocked a few streaming services during my tests. I could access popular websites such as Netflix South Korea, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube. However, I was disappointed to find out that Netflix US was completely out of reach even though the VPN has specialized servers for it.
While these are not bad results for a fairly new VPN, I was disappointed that its optimized streaming servers couldn’t really bypass a lot of geo-restrictions.
Unblocks: Netflix Korea, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and YouTube
Some of iTopVPN’s specialized servers worked great and allowed me to unblock Netflix Korea, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube.
I accessed Netflix South Korea using the dedicated Netflix Korea server, and the server optimized for BBC iPlayer also worked well.
I could watch BBC iPlayer with iTopVPN’s specialized server
Moreover, all other traditional VPN servers helped me successfully access YouTube for their respective locations.
Blocked by: Netflix US, UK, Disney+, and HBO Max
No matter which server I tried, I couldn’t access any other Netflix library. An interesting thing happened, though, where I could see the US shows but couldn’t actually watch them. This usually happens if you’re not in the service area, meaning that the VPN couldn’t successfully change my location.
Even though I could see the show, I couldn’t watch more than a trailer
Even though the dedicated servers for Disney+ and HBO Max successfully changed my IP and allowed me to access other streaming platforms, they failed to unblock the very platforms they were dedicated to. Both HBO Max and Disney+ blocked me for not being in the service area.
I couldn’t access HBO Max and Disney+ with iTopVPN
iTopVPN provided me with fast speeds on some servers but couldn’t always keep up. While some locations gave me faster speeds than my original ones, some slowed me down by more than 50%.
Some servers couldn’t provide me with fast enough speeds for Ultra HD
I started with a base download speed of 23.6 Mbps, 11.1 Mbps upload, and a ping of 24 ms. The first server I tested was the Disney+ optimized one, which slowed me down by 73% to 6.41 Mbps. Upload decreased by 49%, while ping increased to 195 ms. These differences are huge, and if my connection was any slower, streaming would have been impossible.
6.41 Mbps (73% decrease)
5.65 Mbps (49% decrease)
13.8 Mbps (41% decrease)
12.3 Mbps (10% increase)
10.7 Mbps (54% decrease)
5.26 Mbps (52% decrease)
18.4 Mbps (22% decrease)
8.21 Mbps (26% decrease)
26.2 Mbps (11% increase)
13.1 Mbps (18% increase)
The next server I tested was in New York, where the results impressed me. My download and upload speeds increased by 11% and 18%. What’s odd is that the distance from my location to the Disney+ and NY servers is basically the same, but the differences are huge. Therefore, I’m wondering if iTopVPN has virtual servers instead of physical ones.
The speeds on other servers I tested were within this range and fluctuated from 6 Mbps to 26 Mbps. Considering that most of the servers I tried were in the same area, I can only conclude that iTopVPN’s speeds are inconsistent.
I didn’t like that when I used its Smart Connect feature, it connected me to a server in the US — even though Poland was closer. I manually chose the server closest to me, and it did perform poorly than iTopVPN’s initial choice — the US.
Are iTop VPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? Yes, But Compatibility Lets It Down
iTop VPN has dedicated gaming servers — and a lot of them.
On Windows, there are servers for PUBG, Roblox, and COD Warzone. In the Android app, there’s an even bigger list that includes: Mobile Legends, BGMI, PUBG Mobile, PUBG Lite, Free Fire, Genshin Impact, Brawl Stars, Roblox, Call of Duty Mobile, LOL: Wild Rift.
As I play Roblox very often, I was super happy to see there are 3 different servers. I tested all of them and my download speed averaged 40 Mbps, while the upload stood at under 1 Mbps. Ping was on the lower end, at 80 ms. These results are good; a ping under 100 ms is desirable for gaming so I can recommend iTop VPN for gaming on some devices.
The main problem is that it’s only compatible with Windows and mobile devices, but not routers and gaming consoles. This is a big let-down if you want to use the VPN on your PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, or Mac.
Server Network — A Wide Network in the Premium Plans
iTop VPN has 1,800 servers in 100 countries available to premium users. Some of the countries supported by the VPN include Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, India, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, UAE, and the United States.
The servers are separated into 3 major categories: streaming, gaming, and social. There’s also the All Servers tab where standard VPN servers are visible. I liked how easy it was to find the optimized servers for each activity.
You can choose a specific server depending on your needs
If you don’t have a server preference, a Smart Location feature is available in the All Servers tab. This feature picks a server that provides the best performance based on your location. For me, it chose the US — even though it was the most distant location from me.
Switching between servers is very fast and simple. Just go to the server menu, find the server you want to connect to, and click Connect. There’s no need to disconnect. The VPN will reconnect you to the new server in just a few seconds.
While premium users get access to all servers, there are some big discrepancies on server availability for free accounts — depending on your device.
On Windows, with a free account, I could access a total of 12 servers — only 11 VPN servers, and 1 streaming server. All other streaming, social, and gaming servers were blocked and required a premium account.
On the other hand, on the Android app I could access a total of 40 servers with my free account — 10 VPN servers, 2 streaming servers, and 28 of the 29 gaming servers (only 1 gaming server required a paid account on mobile).
This is good news if you’re an Android user, but not so great if you use Windows. I’d recommend going for the premium plan if you’re on Windows, or choosing from our list of the top VPNs for Windows instead.
Security — Multitude of Security Features to Keep You Protected
iTop VPN claims to use military-grade encryption to keep you safe and protected. I contacted customer support to check the level of encryption used, and they told me it was “best-in-class military encryption” but didn’t specify any more than that.
“Military-grade” usually means 256-bit AES (the highest level of encryption). However, without clarification from the VPN, I can’t be completely sure that’s what’s on offer.
iTop VPN runs using 2 protocols, OpenVPN and PPTP.
OpenVPN — fast and secure protocol that’s become industry standard. It runs with UDP and TCP depending on the type of connection you need.
PPTP — older and vulnerable protocol, and it had some major security breaches in the past.
On mobile devices, it’s not clear what protocol you’re using — but I’m assuming it’s OpenVPN. You can only choose between UDP, TCP, and HTTPS. UDP and TCP are transfer protocols in charge of moving your data from your computer to the server and returning it. HTTPS is a proxy.
You can only choose between TCP and UDP in iTopVPN’s iOS app
TCP is the most secure protocol, but slower. UDP is slightly less secure but super-fast. HTTPS is a proxy that doesn’t offer encryption, it just hides your IP address. So, you can adjust your connection depending on your needs for safety and speed — even if you can’t choose the protocol itself.
I was pleased to see that there is a kill switch though. Kill switches automatically disconnect you from the internet if your VPN connection drops, preventing any of your location or browsing data from being leaked.
The VPN has strong protection against IP and DNS leaks too. In the Privacy & Security panel, I noticed a DNS Protection tool that’s automatically turned on. Next to it, you can see the IP Checker. This handy feature shows your IP address in real-time. If you connect to any server, it will display your virtual IP address and location.
iTopVPN didn’t leak my IP address or DNS requests
To be completely sure though, I ran my own DNS and IP leaks using an independent tool. iTop successfully hid my IP address during my tests, and there were no IP or DNS leaks.
Security Reinforce is an additional data security tool that comes with the Windows app. It analyses your device and suggests ways to improve your security, stop data leakage, and keep you safe from potential hackers or malicious bugs. This tool also comes with a premium version that makes an even deeper analysis of the system and suggests additional ways to increase your PC’s security.
I quickly realised that the tool doesn’t do anything particularly special except tell you what Windows features you should activate to stay safe. Security Reinforce recommended that I turn on my Windows SmartScreen to identify reported malware and phishing websites. It also suggested disabling hidden and administrative shares to prevent access by hackers using Trojans.
None of the tips were anything more than I could’ve found with a quick internet search.
One iTop feature I liked is the AdBlocker. This tool blocks malicious ads to prevent malware infection. Even better, it's available for both free and premium users.
In premium you can turn on Auto Block and enjoy safe browsing at all times. If you want to, you can further configure and whitelist websites that you know are safe and don’t need blocking. I switched on Auto Block and I immediately enjoyed browsing without any annoying pop-ups or ads on my streaming content.
iTop VPN claims to have a strict no-log policy, but that’s not exactly the case.
The VPN stores:
Cookies — used mainly for analytics purposes, and you can decline them when you access the website.
Payment data — payments are handled by 3rd party services. They include email address, home or work address, telephone or mobile phone number, payment information, including credit card number, expiration date, security code, name of your issuing bank. Some of this information may be transferred to iTop VPN.
Customer service data — this data is gathered when you contact the support team and may include your name, email address, order reference, how you use the service, your computer or device information such as hardware and system version, and crash logs.
Non-Personal Information — iTop collects: operating system, device ID, IP addresses, browser type, browser language, referring/exit pages, clickstream data, as well as the pages or features of our software or services accessed by you and the time spent there.
I’m not sure how the VPN defines “non-personal” but your IP address is very much personal data that can be used to identify and track you. The fact that iTop collects this is concerning, as a no-logs VPN should never store your IP address.
iTop also states that it will share any of that information with the purpose of defending its rights or property.
Another interesting thing is that this policy apparently differs depending on your location. The customer support team informed me that the privacy of US citizens, and anyone living in the US, is governed by the laws of the US.
For everyone else living outside the US, the policy will be governed by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region laws of the People’s Republic of China.
Neither is good news, to be honest — the US is the founding member of the 5-Eyes Alliance, and data privacy is poor in Hong Kong.
Last but not least, iTop VPN has a Browser Privacy feature that analyzes your browser history and checks it for items that can be used to track your real identity. If you turn it on, you will see a detailed list of potential vulnerabilities that Browser Privacy suggests you clean to stay protected.
While this is an interesting feature, it’s definitely not privacy-friendly. With iTop storing so much information, giving it access to your browsing history would allow it to know everything about you and what you do online — which completely defeats the purpose of having a VPN.
iTop doesn’t support torrenting. I reached out to a customer support representative, and she told me that it doesn’t support P2P transfers for now. This probably means that we’ll see a list of optimized torrenting servers in the app in the future.
You won’t be able to use iTopVPN for P2P file transfers
From a security point of view, torrenting would be possible — the VPN uses the OpenVPN protocol, which encrypts your data and has a kill switch. However, it stores an incredible amount of your data.
I don’t condone illegal downloads, but even if you accidentally download copyrighted materials, you can be held responsible for it — and iTop will happily share your personal data with any government agencies.
You get 5 simultaneous device connections with one premium account. If you use the free version, you don’t really have an account, and you’ll be able to use it only on 1 device. Though 5 is not much, it’s enough for personal use.
I tested the VPN’s performance when connected on multiple devices by connecting my laptop, and 2 smartphones. I connected all devices to the same server and started streaming some content. There was no big change in the speeds and I did not experience any lags.
The bad news is that iTop doesn’t really offer the device compatibility you need to make the most of these simultaneous connections.
iTop is only available on Windows, Android, and iOS. There are no native apps or alternative options for installing the app on other operating systems or routers.
Considering that other VPNs offer apps for all major platforms and even routers, this lack of compatibility is far from ideal.
Ease of Use
Set-Up & Installation — Fast and Easy to Setup and Use
iTop VPN is very easy to install and use. You can download the app you need from the website. The Windows app will download automatically, while the Android and iOS apps will take you to their respective app stores. Once the app is downloaded, just press install.
If you decide to go with the free version, you can start using the VPN right away with no login. In the premium version, you first need to sign in with your username and password before you can use the service.
Even first-time VPN users can enjoy the app thanks to the simple interface and ready-to-use setup. Servers are categorized by usage which makes it easy to find and connect to the one you need. More experienced users can explore the various security settings then set up the app according to their needs.
iTop comes in 2 versions, free and premium. The premium option has 3 plans depending on how you want to pay — monthly, for half a year, or for the full year in advance. As expected, the yearly plan offers the biggest savings.
The only accepted payment options are debit/credit card, PayPal, and bank transfer. This is not ideal considering that many other VPNs also accept cryptocurrencies, giving you an additional layer of anonymity when you pay.
iTop is backed by a 15-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free. If you later decide it’s not for you, then you can ask for a refund.
It also offers partial refunds in some cases, but only for 6-months and 1-year plans. This is not guaranteed either, and when you do get a partial refund, your long-term plan will be converted to monthly subscriptions and calculated like that — so you may not get any money back.
iTop has no live chat, only a Support Center/Online Feedback page. There are links to FAQs, How To Activate, and User Manual page on the support pages. But on the manuals page, there’s no guide for the VPN, only for the company’s other apps (Screen Recorder and Screenshot). There’s also a blog that offers a lot of content in different languages.
I contacted support through its online feedback page and received an answer in under 24 hours. My questions were answered simply, without special explanations. If I had a bigger problem, I would probably have to wait a few more hours to get clarifications. I’d much rather use a VPN with 24/7 live chat support.
Add a lack of torrent support, poor device compatibility, and an unreliable support team, and you end up with way more cons than pros. iTop is a VPN that’s just not worth the risk.