Witopia VPN has been in operation since 2005. It isn’t very well known, so I was curious to see how it would fare in my review. On the surface, its marketing sounds just like every other VPN out there, so I wanted to know if it was worth purchasing a subscription? And if Witopia offers anything that other providers don’t?
This Witopia VPN review answers the following questions:
- How fast is Witopia VPN?
- Does Witopia work with streaming sites, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video?
- Is Witopia private and secure?
- Does Witopia work in China?
- How good is its customer service?
All those questions, and more, are answered in the full review. If you have the time, I recommend reading the whole thing to get all the details. But if you’re a bit stretched for time, you can have a look at the summary of my thoughts below.
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Witopia VPN summary
Witopia is one of the smaller VPN providers out there. Despite that, it has one of the best privacy policies we’ve seen, which is a big deal in the VPN space. The service also works in China and provides excellent speeds. However, many of its faraway servers are virtual and are located in North America and Europe to offer users in those areas higher speeds. Then we have the fact that Witopia supports weak protocols (PPTP, IKEv1) and reserves access to OpenVPN to its higher-tier plans – it should be available by default.
The service also doesn’t play well with streaming sites, and its website isn’t very informative. While Witopia still has something to offer, its prices don’t align with its offerings, and you can easily find a VPN provider that will give you more for less.
Witopia VPN key data
|OVERALL RANK: #44 of 76|
|Average Speed*:||97.9 Mbps|
|Video Streaming Support:||4K UHD|
|Other Streaming Services:||Amazon Prime Video|
|Encryption Type:||256-bit AES|
|Protocols:||OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP, IKEv1, IKEv2|
|Value for Money||
|Lowest Monthly Cost:||$4.99 on a 1-year plan|
|Money Back Guarantee:||7-day money-back guarantee|
How does Witopia compare to other popular VPNs?
Here’s how Witopia compares to NordVPN and Private Internet Access:
|No value||Witopia VPN||NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|Website||https://witopia.com/||NordVPN.com||PrivateInternetAccess.com||Average Speed (Mbps)||97.9 Mbps||196 Mbps||73 Mbps||OpenVPN data encryption||256-bit AES||256-bit AES||256-bit AES||Kill Switch||Allows Torrenting||Connection logs||Unblocks Netflix US||Unblocks Prime Video||Unblocks Hulu||Unblocks BBC iPlayer||Lowest monthly cost||$4.99 on a 1-year plan||$2.99||$2.11||Money back guarantee||7 days||30 days||30 days||24/7 live chat||Overall rating||6||9.7||7|
|Best deal (per month)||$3.05|
$3.05/mo on a 3 year plan
SAVE up to 69% + 3 months FREE
SAVE 83% on the 3 yr plan + + 4 FREE months
Witopia VPN pros and cons
- Good speeds
- Works in China
- Nice app design
- Obfuscation features (Stealth Modes)
- Kill switch
- OpenVPN only available in the Pro plan
- Custom router support only for the Premier plan
- No WireGuard support
- It doesn’t work with most streaming sites
- Weak protocols (PPTP, IKEv1)
- Uninformative website
- Uses virtual servers
Speed: How fast is Witopia?
Speed is always going to be critical with any VPN provider. While every VPN will slow your connection down to some degree, we all want this to be as minimal as possible.
I tested Witopia’s speed using OpenVPN across locations in North America, Europe, and Asia and the speeds were quite good—though there was something strange with the results, more on that below. Most people won’t notice the slowdown unless they have a very high-speed internet connection (100 Mbps or more). The global average across all locations came to 97.9 Mbps.
Here’s a breakdown of the average speeds per region:
- North America (nearest): 57.6 Mbps
- Asia: 84.3 Mbps
- Europe: 152 Mbps
That’s pretty fast. And I was using OpenVPN over UDP with AES-256 encryption and still got these results (AES-128 is typically faster than 256).
And here’s the strange thing: the fastest server is technically the furthest away from my actual physical location. This very likely means that the Honk Kong server is not actually in Hong Kong. It’s likely a virtual server with a Hong Kong IP address, which is located very close to where I actually am. In fact, the high speeds could result from most of Witopia’s servers being virtual and located considerably closer to where I am than the displayed location.
So I decided to write to Witopia’s Support department to ask the question. And the response was what I expected: Witopia uses both servers in the actual physical location it states and virtual servers, which can be anywhere and simply provide you with an IP address from the stated location. So odds are that the UK and the Hong Kong servers are close to my actual location.
I also tested Witopia with online gaming, and the results were also excellent. To make sure to get lower ping times, I connected to servers close to my actual physical location and everything ran smoothly. I didn’t experience any freeze-ups, and it felt as if I was going through my ISP connection. Good stuff.
See also: Fastest VPNs
Apps & devices
Witopia supports the following platforms:
- Amazon FireStick/TV
- Microsoft Surface
- Blackberry OS10
That’s quite a bit of coverage. However, Witopia VPN only supplies native apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. For all of the other platforms, you need to set up a manual connection. Witopia provides setup guides for every supported platform. While it would have been nice to see more native apps on offer, it has the leading platforms covered, at least.
Witopia also allows up to five simultaneous connections on its Basic and Pro plans – which is pretty standard. The Premier plan can go up to eight simultaneous connections. But because the Premier plan is the only plan that allows you to configure your own VPN-capable router with the service, the eight simultaneous connections would be more useful on the Basic or Pro plans.
The client app itself is basic and simple yet covers pretty much all of the bases. It’s also, somehwat strangely, branded PersonalVPN rather than Witopia VPN. This is likely to distinguish its VPN from its encrypted email service.
You can access the different sections of the app by clicking the three lines icon at the top right.
The VPN Locations menu lists the different servers you can connect to by country. You can then drill down to select a specific city.
The Preferences menu brings up a Settings window with five sections:
This section allows you to set the app’s behavior at startup and enable the kill switch and IPv6 leak protection.
The Protocol menu is where you can select your VPN protocol and your encryption level. This is also where you can enable Witopia’s obfuscation features, called Stealth Mode. There are two Stealth Modes to choose from. The difference between the two is, of course, not explained anywhere on Witopia’s website.
The DNS section allows you to override Witopia’s DNS servers with your own. The General section lists your account info and the expiry date of your plan. And the Advanced section lets you select the log verbosity level (how detailed they are) and set the MTU of the VPN interface.
All in all, I quite like Witopia’s app design. It’s simple, functional, and shouldn’t be intimidating to new users.
Router support is a bit of a strange one with Witopia VPN. It does support routers, insofar as you can purchase different models of its CloakBox router. This is a pre-configured VPN router setup to work over Witopia’s network out of the box. While there’s nothing wrong with having that on offer, most VPN providers enable you to configure your own VPN router, given the router either supports OpenVPN (usually) or can be flashed with a custom firmware that supports OpenVPN.
On the latter point, the Premier plan supports that option. So, if you purchase a Premier plan with Witopia, you’ll be able to configure a VPN connection on your own router, as long as it’s one of the following ASUS routers:
- RT-AC66U (version B1 only)
- RT-AC1750 (version B1 only)
And you need to be running the AsusWRT firmware.
Now, as far as instructions on configuring your router to connect to Witopia’s network, I was unable to find anything on its website. I wrote its Support department about it and was told that I would find instructions on how to do this once logged into my account, but I never did… so I first thought that the Support rep was mistaken, but no, the rep is very likely correct. It’s just that setting up your own router requires a Premier subscription, whereas I purchased a Pro subscription.
If you’d like more information on setting up a VPN connection on a router, check out our guide on VPN routers.
Streaming and Netflix
Streaming region-locked video from abroad is quickly becoming one of the more popular reasons people sign-up for VPNs. But in recent years, many streaming sites are harder and harder to access over VPN.
Witopia does mention accessing streaming sites in its marketing. And in my testing, I was able to access some streaming sites, though not all, nor most. By and large, Witopia did an OK job granting me access to streaming sites over its network. But you can definitely do better.
I was able to access Netflix US but wasn’t able to access any other Netflix libraries. The service also worked on Amazon Prime Video. But no Hulu, Disney+, or BBC iPlayer. So if you’re big on streaming over VPN, you may want to choose a different VPN provider.
You can have a look at our recommended VPNs for streaming.
Does Witopia support torrenting?
Torrenting is another area of interest for many VPN users. And, technically, Witopia VPN does support torrenting—I tried it, and it worked. However, it doesn’t mention torrenting in its marketing. Witopia also provides a Copyright Policy on its website. Reading through it, you immediately understand that Witopia is DMCA-friendly. That’s OK, but I wouldn’t go and download a bunch of copyrighted movies and TV shows over Witopia’s network.
I tested torrenting over Witopia. I downloaded a Linux ISO file, and it was fast and smooth—no lock-ups whatsoever. So torrenting works just fine over Witopia’s network. Just be careful what you download.
If you’re a big torrenter, it might be worth checking out our recommended VPNs for torrenting.
Does Witopia support split tunneling?
Sadly it does not. Split tunneling (sometimes called selective routing) allows you to choose where you route your traffic: through the VPN or over your ISP connection. With split tunneling, you could only send your P2P traffic through the VPN while sending the rest out through your ISP gateway. Or you could send all of your traffic through the VPN, except your Netflix traffic, for instance. Split tunneling is generally quite flexible and can accommodate almost any scenario on an app-by-app basis.
Witopia has an opportunity for improvement here. Check out our recommended VPN for split tunneling.
Security, privacy, and logging
Sounds good to me – thoughtful and reassuring. Below, we then find the following:
Again, this is good stuff. No legalese. And everything is clear and easy to understand. Plus, Witopia collects very little information. The only information it claims to collect is its users’ usernames and passwords. When you create an account with Witopia, you can use your email as your username or create a username independent of your email address. That’s all Witopia collects—and it’s hard to see how it could do otherwise. It mentions that its users are free to use a disposable email address. That’s what we like to see.
Below that is another thoughtful disclosure on Witopia’s part:
It’s nice that it takes the time to detail this information. And we like what we see.
Turning now to encryption, Witopia provides AES-128 and AES-256 – both of which are very secure.
However, it also supports many weak protocols.
- IPsec (IKEv1)
- IPsec (IKEv2)
- OpenVPN (only on the Pro and Premier plans)
Witopia should really drop support for PPTP and IKEv1. I would also liked to have see WireGuard support. The only protocol I could really recommend for users on Witopia’s Basic plan is IKEv2. For those on a Pro or Premier plan, IKEv2 or OpenVPN would be recommended.
Turning to IP and DNS leak tests, I was happy to see that I didn’t experience any. No IP leaks, no DNS leaks. That’s what we like to see.
IP Test – With VPN
IP Test – Without VPN
DNS Test – With VPN
DNS Test – Without VPN
Witopia’s network consists of over 300 servers in 45 countries. That’s more than enough for me. But, again, I’m the kind of user that appreciates smaller networks. It gives me the impression that more diligence goes into setting up each server. The keyword here is “impression”, as I have no way of verifying that. Still, I prefer smaller networks to networks that comprise thousands upon thousands of servers.
In Witopia’s case, I think we have a moderate network. Not small, not huge. Middle of the road. It should be enough for pretty much everyone.
Does Witopia work in China?
Yes, it does.
I couldn’t find anything about connecting from China on Witopia’s website—save this small mention of China in the DNS setup for its macOS client. It wasn’t much, but it did seem to imply that its service works from China.
So I wrote to its Support department and asked the question. The answer was yes. However, the support rep recommended purchasing the Pro plan to gain access to OpenVPN (likely for the ability to connect over TCP, which can sometimes fly under the radar.
Witopia also provides some obfuscation features that may help when connecting from restrictive jurisdictions. It refers to these as Stealth Modes.
Of course, not being in China, I can’t test the service to see if it works, so your mileage may vary.
If connecting from China is important to you, you should read our in-depth article on which VPN providers actually work in China. We tested over 50 VPN providers to separate the ones that work from the ones that don’t. Witopia VPN isn’t on the list, but if using a VPN from China is something you want to do, it’s recommended reading.
How is Witopia’s customer service?
I wrote to Witopia’s Support team, asking questions about VPN routers and whether or not the service works in China. The answers to those questions are addressed in the corresponding section of this review. Here, I want to talk about the quality of Witopia’s customer service.
First, Witopia claims to have 24/7 live support. In my head, that would mean live chat. But I could not find a support chat interface or button or anything—regardless of whether I was logged in or not. Perhaps it means 24/7 email support. I don’t know; I didn’t email them at night.
However, as I mentioned above, I contacted Witopia’s customer service to ask about the service working in China and about setting up Witopia on your own VPN-capable router. And I got responses very quickly—within a few hours. So that was appreciated. But some of the information I received about routers was inaccurate, so it loses some points there.
Witopia advertises three different three-year plans on its website. You need to click a drop-down menu at the bottom of each subscription box to access shorter terms.
The three plans are:
- $109.99 – 3 years (GBP £83.44)
- $79.99 – 2 years (GBP £60.68)
- $49.99 – 1 year (GBP £37.92)
- $28.99 – 6 months (GBP £21.99)
- $5.99 – 1 month (GBP £4.54)
- $159.99 – 3 years (GBP £121.38)
- $119.99 – 2 years (GBP £91.03)
- $69.99 – 1 year (GBP £53.10)
- $39.99 – 6 months (GBP £30.34)
- $9.99 – 1 month (GBP £7.57)
- $209.99 – 3 years (GBP £159.32)
- $169.99 – 2 years (GBP £128.97)
- $99.99 – 1 year (GBP £75.85)
- $59.99 – 6 months (GBP £45.50)
They differ in features and price but they all include a 30-day money-back guarantee. The Basic plan includes access to all servers but is limited in terms of the available VPN protocols. As such, it only supports PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, IKEv1 (IPsec), and IKEv2 (IPsec). The only protocol I would recommend using on the basic plan is IKEv2. The Basic plan also includes up to five simultaneous connections.
The Pro plan contains everything in the Basic plan and gives you access to the OpenVPN protocol and Witopia’s mysterious Stealth Modes.
The Premier plan includes everything in the Pro plan and allows you to set up a VPN connection on your own VPN-capable router (rather than buying one from Witopia). The other difference is that the Premier plan grants you up to eight simultaneous connections.
It’s nice to have options, but perhaps Witopia should streamline its offerings a little bit more. Three-year plans aren’t for everyone, so maybe it should advertise its monthly and yearly plans up front rather than the three-year plans. Also, even the Basic plan should include OpenVPN. If Witopia wants to compete with well-established premium VPN providers, it shouldn’t treat OpenVPN as a bonus feature. It should be standard in all subscriptions.
Aside from that, Witopia is relatively expensive, charging more than many premium VPNs out there. Again, that’s a hard sell as premium VPN providers will offer you a lot more than Witopia for the same price. Another opportunity for improvement on Witopia’s part.
Do I recommend Witopia VPN?
The two big points that make me unable to recommend Witopia are price and the reserves OpenVPN for its higher-tier plans. Depending on the term you choose, Witopia can be more expensive than a subscription to a premium VPN service. And when it costs less (on longer terms), it also offers you less. So you can’t really win.
Then there’s also the fact that the service doesn’t unblock many streaming sites, and its website is very uninformative and often quite confusing.
The bottom line is that while the service is respectable, there’s simply no incentive in choosing it over one of the VPN providers below.
Witopia VPN alternatives
Surfshark supports secure VPN protocols and works with most streaming services. It adheres to a strict no-logging policy and also works in China. Surfshark also allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. It also recently updated all of its servers to run from RAM. Definitely worth checking out.
ExpressVPN is one of the larger players in the commercial VPN market and benefits from an excellent reputation. Its privacy and security practices are outstanding. All of the VPN servers run from volatile memory (RAM) and are booted from read-only disks. This setup essentially guarantees that no remnant data (logs) can exist on the system’s hard drives, which is great for user privacy. ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than most providers out there, but it’s fast, secure, unblocks streaming sites, and works in China. Excellent provider.
Methodology used for testing
Below you’ll find the criteria used to assess the VPNs we review. It’s essential to be consistent across the board so that our reviews are reasonably objective and that we’re not comparing apples to oranges. Here is some of our criteria:
- Speed – Speed is one of the most crucial factors for any VPN. Aside from being annoying, slow speeds can prevent you from streaming or even browsing the web. To make sure this issue is addressed, all of our recommended VPNs scored very high in our most recent speed tests.
- Apps & ease of use – More people than ever are using VPNs today and for more varied reasons than ever too. So app design and how easy it is to understand and use is critical. We look at the client apps’ UI, the features they provide, the supported operating systems, and their complexity.
- Streaming services – Accessing streaming sites over VPN is becoming rather tricky. But many VPN providers claim to work with streaming sites—with varying degrees of success. Before recommending a VPN provider for streaming, we test VPNs against a range of popular streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, and more.
- Torrenting – Many VPN users are avid file-sharers as well. But not all VPN providers allow torrenting over their network, while others go as far as providing dedicated P2P servers. We look at each VPN’s policy around torrenting and run tests on those to see how well they handle file-sharing.
The above represents a high-level view of our methodology. If you’d like more details, have a look at our full VPN testing methodology. This data-driven approach helps us better understand the services to recommend the right VPN to the right users