Upon discovering iTop’s claim of having over 10 million users globally, you felt compelled to put it to the test and determine if it truly ranks among the top VPNs available. Throughout your evaluation, you directed your attention towards assessing its proficiency in unblocking content, evaluating its speed performance, and examining the extent of its server network.
- Unblocks a few streaming platforms. Unblocks select streaming platforms, including BBC iPlayer, Netflix Korea, and Amazon Prime Video.
- Unreliable speeds. Inconsistent speeds across servers, with noticeable slowdowns on certain ones.
- Decently big server network. Decently large server network of 1,800 servers in 100 countries, suitable for streaming, gaming, and other online activities.
- Good security. Strong security with military-grade protection, a kill switch, and an ad blocker for internet threat protection.
- 5 simultaneous connections. Premium plan allows 5 simultaneous device connections.
- Modest compatibility. Compatibility is limited to Windows, Android, and iOS.
Quick setup.Quick setup via app downloads for Windows, Android, or iOS.
Free plan available.Quick setup via app downloads for Windows, Android, or iOS.
30-day money-back guarantee. Risk-free exploration of the premium version with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
2023 Update Features Of iTop VPN
Streaming: Decent Unblocking Capabilities
While testing, iTopVPN can effectively unblock several streaming services. You can gain access to platforms like Netflix South Korea, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube. However, you might have been disappointed because you couldn’t access Netflix US, even though iTopVPN offers specialized servers. While these outcomes are reasonable for a relatively new VPN, you might have felt disappointed by its streaming servers’ limited ability to bypass various geo-restrictions.
Unblocks: Netflix Korea, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and YouTube
You can experience success with some of iTopVPN’s specialized servers, enabling you to unblock platforms like Netflix Korea, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube. You can even access Netflix South Korea using the dedicated Netflix Korea server, and the server optimized for BBC iPlayer also proved effective.
I could watch BBC iPlayer with iTopVPN’s specialized server
The other traditional VPN servers allow you to access YouTube for their respective locations successfully.
Blocked by: Netflix US, UK, Disney+, and HBO Max
You can’t access any other Netflix library, regardless of which server you try. An interesting phenomenon occurs where you can see the US shows but can’t actually watch them. This usually happens if you’re away from the service area, indicating that the VPN can’t successfully change your 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 change your IP and allow you to access other streaming platforms, they fail to unblock the very platforms they are dedicated to. Both HBO Max and Disney+ block you for not being in the service area.
I couldn’t access HBO Max and Disney+ with iTopVPN
Suppose you aim to unblock all Netflix libraries and numerous other streaming services. In that case, explore VPNs that excel at accessing Netflix.
Speeds: Sometimes Fast, but Inconsistent
iTopVPN offers fast speeds on certain servers but can only sometimes maintain that level. While some locations provide quicker speeds than your original ones, others slow you down by more than 50%.
Some servers couldn’t provide me with fast enough speeds for Ultra HD
You start with a base download speed of 23.6 Mbps, 11.1 Mbps upload, and a ping of 24 ms. The first server you test is the Disney+ optimized one, which slows you down by 73% to 6.41 Mbps. Upload decreases by 49%, while ping increases to 195 ms. These differences are substantial, and streaming could only become possible if your connection is slower.
The next server you can test is in New York; the results impress you. Your download and upload speeds increase by 11% and 18%, respectively. What’s odd is that the distance from your location to the Disney Plus and NY servers is essentially the same, yet the differences are significant. This makes you wonder if iTopVPN uses virtual servers instead of physical ones.
Speeds on the other servers you tested fall within this range, fluctuating from 6 Mbps to 26 Mbps. Considering that most of the servers you tried were in the same area, you can only conclude that iTopVPN’s speeds are inconsistent.
You didn’t like that when you used its Smart Connect feature, it connected you to a server in the US, even though Poland was closer. When you manually chose the server closest to you, it performed worse than iTopVPN’s initial choice – the US.
Overall, you feel quite disappointed in iTopVPN’s performance. Exploring these superfast VPNs is suggested if you’re seeking a service with rapid connections.
Are iTop VPN’s Speeds Fast for Gaming? Yes, But Compatibility Lets It Down
iTop VPN provides you with a range of dedicated gaming servers, and there’s a considerable number of them available. If you’re using Windows, you’ll find servers tailored for games like PUBG, Roblox, and COD Warzone. The Android app offers an even larger selection, encompassing games such as Mobile Legends, PUBG Mobile, PUBG Lite, Free Fire, BGMI, Genshin Impact, Brawl Stars, Roblox, Call of Duty Mobile, and LOL: Wild Rift.
For those who frequently enjoy Roblox, three distinct servers will likely excite you. Upon testing each, you can expect an average download speed of around 40 Mbps, with upload speeds below 1 Mbps. The ping, which affects gaming performance, is notably low at 80 ms. Achieving a ping under 100 ms is generally desirable, so I recommend iTop VPN for gaming on certain devices.
However, a significant limitation is that iTop VPN is only compatible with Windows & mobile devices. Unfortunately, it can’t be used with routers and gaming consoles. This restriction is a letdown if you want to utilize the VPN on platforms like PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, or Mac.
Suppose you aim to use a VPN with a gaming console or on macOS. In that case, explore our recommendations for the best VPNs suited for gaming.
Server Network: A Wide Network in the Premium Plans
iTop VPN offers a network of 1,800 servers across 100 countries, exclusively available to premium users. You can find servers in countries like Australia, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, India, South Korea, Japan, Finland, Singapore, UAE, and the United States.
These servers are conveniently organized into three main categories: streaming, gaming, and social. Additionally, an “All Servers” tab displays standard VPN servers.
You can choose a specific server depending on your needs
One notable feature is the Smart Location option within the All Servers tab. This feature automatically selects the best-performing server based on your location, even though it might sometimes choose a distant location.
Switching between servers is both rapid and straightforward. Navigate to the server menu, select your desired server, and click Connect. Disconnecting is unnecessary; the VPN will seamlessly reconnect you to the new server within seconds.
It’s important to note that while premium users enjoy access to all servers, there are significant differences in server availability for free accounts based on your device.
On Windows, a free account grants you access to a total of 12 servers, including 11 VPN servers and 1 streaming server. All other streaming, social, and gaming servers are restricted and require a premium account.
Conversely, the Android app provides more options for free accounts, allowing access to 40 servers. This includes 10 VPN servers, 2 streaming servers, and 28 out of 29 gaming servers (with only 1 gaming server needing a paid account on mobile).
This could be advantageous if you’re using Android but less favorable if you’re on Windows. If you’re a Windows user, it recommends considering the premium plan.
Security: Multitude of Security Aspect to Keep You Protected
iTop VPN assures you that it utilizes military-grade encryption to ensure your safety and security. When you reached out to customer support to confirm the encryption level used, they informed you that it’s “best-in-class military encryption” without delving into more specifics.
Commonly, “military-grade” denotes 256-bit AES encryption, which is the highest standard. However, with a clear explanation from the VPN, you can be entirely certain about the encryption provided.
iTop VPN operates on two protocols: OpenVPN and PPTP.
OpenVPN is a swift and secure protocol that has become an industry standard. It functions with both UDP and TCP, adapting to the type of connection you require.
PPTP is an older and more vulnerable protocol that has experienced significant security breaches in the past.
The protocol being used on mobile devices isn’t explicitly indicated, but you can assume it’s OpenVPN. Your choices are limited to UDP, TCP, and HTTPS. UDP and TCP serve as transfer protocols, managing the movement of your data between your device and the server. HTTPS functions as a proxy.
You can only choose between TCP and UDP in iTopVPN’s iOS app
TCP is the most secure protocol but can be slower. UDP is slightly less secure but boasts exceptional speed. HTTPS is a proxy that conceals your IP address but doesn’t provide encryption. This allows you to customize your connection based on your priorities for safety and speed, even if direct protocol selection isn’t available.
You’ll be pleased to note the presence of a kill switch. This feature automatically severs your internet connection if the VPN connection drops, effectively preventing any potential location or browsing data leakage.
The VPN also offers robust protection against IP and DNS leaks. Within the Privacy & Security settings, you’ll observe the DNS Protection tool, which is turned on by default. Adjacent to it, you can access the IP Checker. This useful feature displays your real-time IP address. Upon connecting to a server, it showcases your virtual IP address and corresponding location.
iTopVPN didn’t leak my IP address or DNS requests
To ensure complete confidence, you run your own DNS and IP leak tests using an independent tool. The results were positive, as iTop VPN effectively concealed your IP address during your tests, and no signs of IP or DNS leaks were detected.
With iTop VPN’s Windows app, you can access an additional data security tool called Security Reinforce. This tool analyzes your device and provides suggestions to enhance your security, prevent data leaks, and ensure protection against potential hackers or malicious software. A premium version of this tool is available, which conducts a more comprehensive system analysis and offers extra recommendations to boost your PC’s security further.
As you explore this tool, you’ll quickly notice that it doesn’t offer anything particularly unique. Its main function involves advising you which Windows features to activate to maintain your safety. For example, Security Reinforce might suggest enabling Windows SmartScreen to identify reported malware and phishing websites. It also recommends turning off hidden and administrative shares to thwart hackers who might exploit Trojans.
However, it’s worth noting that none of these tips go beyond what you could easily discover through a brief internet search.
One feature you find appealing in iTop VPN is the AdBlocker. This tool actively prevents malicious ads from appearing, providing a solid defense against potential malware infections. Even better is that it’s accessible to both free and premium users.
If you’re a premium version user, you can enable Auto Block, ensuring a consistently safe browsing experience. If desired, you can also personalize settings and allowlist websites you’re confident are secure and don’t require ad-blocking. Once you activate Auto Block, you’ll immediately notice a more enjoyable browsing session, free from bothersome pop-ups and advertisements, especially when streaming content.
iTop VPN claims to maintain a strict no-log policy, but let’s delve deeper into the matter. The VPN retains certain data:
Cookies: Mainly for analytics; you can decline them when you visit the website.
Payment data: Managed by third-party services, this might include email, address, phone number, payment info, and bank details. Some of this could be shared with iTop VPN.
Customer service data: Collected when you interact with support; it could involve your name, email, order reference, service usage, device specifics, and crash logs.
Non-Personal Information: iTop gathers data like operating system, device ID, IP addresses, browser type, language, clickstream data, and time spent on software or services.
However, the definition of “non-personal” isn’t entirely clear, and your IP address is indeed personal data that can identify you. The fact that iTop collects it raises concerns since a true no-logs VPN shouldn’t retain your IP.
Additionally, iTop mentions it might share this data to safeguard its rights or property. Interestingly, this policy seems location-dependent. The support team indicated that US citizens and residents adhere to US laws, while others outside the US fall under Hong Kong’s laws.
Both scenarios are ideal: the US is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance, and Hong Kong’s data privacy needs to be improved. Lastly, iTop VPN offers a Browser Privacy feature that inspects your browser history for elements that could expose your true identity. If activated, you’ll receive a comprehensive list of vulnerabilities to address for enhanced protection.
However, this feature could be more privacy-friendly. With iTop holding extensive information, granting it access to your browsing history would essentially reveal your online actions and identity—contradicting the core purpose of using a VPN.
Torrenting: Not Supported
iTop VPN currently does not support torrenting. Suppose you were to reach out to a customer support representative. In that case, they might inform you that the VPN does not currently facilitate P2P transfers. This suggests that there are plans to introduce 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 standpoint, torrenting could be technically feasible. The VPN relies on the OpenVPN protocol, known for data encryption and a kill switch. However, it’s essential to know that iTop retains a significant amount of your data.
While engaging in illegal downloads is not encouraged, you need to understand that even accidentally downloading copyrighted content could lead to consequences. In such situations, you could become liable, and it’s worth noting that an iTop VPN might be prepared to share your personal data with government agencies if the situation requires it.
Does iTop VPN Work in China?: No
According to iTop’s support team, the VPN doesn’t function in China due to policy reasons (which aren’t specified).
You won’t be able to use iTopVPN in China due to policy reasons
Suppose you’re seeking a VPN that can reliably bypass the Great Firewall. In that case, it recommends considering one of the leading VPNs for China.
Simultaneous Device Connections: Up to 5
With one premium account, you can enjoy the benefit of connecting 5 devices simultaneously. If you opt for the free version, you won’t have an actual account and can only use it on a single device. While 5 connections might not be extensive, they generally suffice for personal use.
You can assess the VPN’s performance while connected to multiple devices by linking your laptop and two smartphones. Connect all these devices to the same server and start streaming content. You likely notice minimal impact on speeds and no noticeable lags.
However, it’s important to note that it needs to provide the comprehensive device compatibility required to leverage these simultaneous connections fully.
iTop is accessible solely on Windows, Android, and iOS devices. Unfortunately, there are no native apps or alternative methods provided for installing the application on different operating systems or routers. It’s worth considering that several other VPNs provide apps for all major platforms, and some even offer compatibility with routers. This limitation in compatibility might not align with what you ideally seek in a VPN service.
Installation & Apps
Set-Up & Installation: Fast and Easy to Setup and Use
Upon installing and using iTop VPN, you’ll encounter an incredibly user-friendly experience. The required app can be effortlessly downloaded from the website. For Windows users, the app initiates its own download; Android and iOS users will be directed to their respective app stores. After the download completes, a simple tap on the “install” button is all that’s necessary.
Opting for the free version gives you instant VPN access without requiring login credentials. Choosing the premium version, however, necessitates logging in with your username and password for service access.
Even if you’re new to VPNs, be assured that the app is designed with simplicity in mind, boasting a user-friendly interface and a setup that’s ready to roll. Servers are conveniently categorized by usage, making it easy to locate and connect to one that suits your needs. And for more experienced users, the app offers the added advantage of exploring various security settings and customization options.
iTop offers you two versions: free and premium. If you opt for the premium version, you’ll find three plans that give you flexibility in payment—monthly, every half-year, or for the entire year in advance. As you’d expect, the yearly plan provides the most significant savings.
Regarding payments, the service exclusively accepts debit/credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfers. Keep in mind that this payment selection might not align with your preferences. Unlike iTop, some other VPNs allow you to use cryptocurrencies for payments, offering an extra layer of transactional anonymity.
Rest assured, iTop provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to explore it without any risk. If you later determine that it doesn’t match your needs, you have the option to request a refund.
In certain situations, iTop also offers partial refunds, which only applies to 6-month and 1-year plans. However, receiving a partial refund isn’t guaranteed, and even if you do qualify, your long-term plan will be changed to monthly subscriptions and recalculated accordingly. This means you still need to receive your money back.
Reliability & Support
iTop doesn’t provide you with a live chat feature; instead, it offers a Support Center and an Online Feedback page for assistance. You’ll find links to FAQs, an activation guide, and a User Manual page within the support section. However, it’s important to note that the manuals page lacks a guide specifically for the VPN—instead, it only covers the company’s other apps like Screen Recorder and Screenshot.
Additionally, the blog contains a wealth of content in various languages. In case you need support, you can reach out through the online feedback page. Generally, you can expect a response within 24 hours. The answers you receive are likely to be straightforward, without intricate explanations. You might need to wait a bit longer for more complex issues for detailed clarifications. If having access to 24/7 live chat support is crucial to you, you might consider opting for a VPN service that offers this feature.
The Bottom Line
Moreover, the lack of support for torrents, limited device compatibility, and a customer service team that may not inspire confidence contribute to a list of drawbacks that outweigh the benefits. Considering the potential challenges it could entail, iTop VPN doesn’t appear to be a viable option.
Frequently Asked Questions (iTop VPN)-
Is iTop VPN safe to consider?
Can iTop VPN effectively unblock Netflix?
iTop VPN can only reliably unblock Netflix in Korea. Despite having dedicated servers for Netflix US, the VPN needs help accessing the platform in other regions.
Will iTop VPN slow down my internet speeds?
Yes, it affects your speeds, depending on the server you connect to. While certain servers exhibited strong performance, others noticeably slowed down the connection. Notably, the dedicated streaming servers were among the slower options.