Let’s be honest for a second, iTop VPN wasn’t your first choice when you were looking up the best VPNs on the market. I mean…we’re so used to seeing Surfshark, ExpressVPN, and NordVPN dominate the realm of VPNs.
Amongst the noise, other VPNs that are actually really good don’t really get the spotlight they deserve.
This is why I decided to review iTop VPN – a super affordable VPN. It made its debut back in 2016 and has managed to attract more than 10 million users since.
After testing it thoroughly for a week, I must say…it checks all the boxes.
I mean…it offers 1800+ VIP servers worldwide, blocks ads, trackers & malware, and works with streaming services that even the most popular VPNs struggle to unblock.
Overall, iTop VPN is a good VPN service. But is it better than its competitors? Should you be paying $0.83/mo for its premium plan or just use the free version? Does it have what it takes to be recommended by The VPN Experts? Read on to find out.
Key Findings From the iTop VPN Review
|Servers||1,800+ servers in 100+ different countries. Dedicated servers for streaming, gaming, and social platforms|
|Best Features||Secure protocols (HTTPS, UDP, and TCP), Malware, malicious cookies, viruses, and system risk scanners|
|Does iTop VPN work with Netflix?||Yes, and it also works great with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus & other services|
|Is iTop VPN good for Torrenting?||Torrenting is supported on specialized P2P servers without any bandwidth limitations|
|Customer Support||No live chat support|
|Money-back Guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee|
|iTop VPN Pricing||Free
12 Months: $1.67/mo
24 Months: $1.25/mo
24 Months+ Extra 12 Months: $0.83/mo
|Other Findings||Zero logs, decent app compatibility, 5 simultaneous connections, Split Tunneling, free plan available, built-in IP checker, speed test, kill switch, and super Ad-block|
If you closely examine iTop VPN’s features, you’ll find them quite impressive, especially considering that this VPN starts at just $0.83 per month.
Now that we’ve taken a quick look at some of its features, let’s begin our VPN review with a speed test to see how fast this VPN performs.
iTop VPN’s Speed Test Analysis
- Short-distance servers speed test analysis
- Long-distance servers, speed test analysis
When I tested iTop VPN with my 100 Mbps internet connection, I was pleasantly surprised by the speed results. iTop VPN consistently delivered impressive speeds, regardless of whether I connected to servers near or far.
Something I wasn’t expecting from a VPN that costs less than Surfshark. Check out our Surfshark review to compare results.
Here’s a concise summary of the speed test results:
|Countries||Distance||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Ping|
|Italy, Milan#1||14792.34 km||54.12 Mbps||55.40 Mbps||215 ms|
|Canada Toronto||6453.43 km||67.44 Mbps||66.09 Mbps||270 ms|
|Switzerland Zurich||627.7 km||73.33 Mbps||70.59 Mbps||131 ms|
|United Kingdom London#1||677.04 km||68.51 Mbps||71.09 Mbps||124 ms|
|Singapore||10468.58 km||53.5 Mbps||55.49 Mbps||112 ms|
|United States Los Angeles#1||7505.72 km||61.97 Mbps||55.65 Mbps||266 ms|
During the speed tests and server selection process, I noticed that the iTop VPN app lacked labels indicating optimized servers for streaming and torrenting, a feature I appreciate in other VPNs. Nevertheless, as you can see from the table, iTop VPN’s performance was impressive.
I utilized iTop VPN’s automatic Smart Location feature, which consistently connected me to the best-performing server. I also manually selected servers from the recommended locations list.
iTop VPN consistently provided blazing-fast speeds, both for short-distance and long-distance servers. For example, with a 100 Mbps internet connection, I achieved a download speed of 80.5 Mbps when connected to a short-distance server in the UK and a download speed of 83.5 Mbps when connected to a long-distance server in Australia.
Now, let’s take a closer look at how iTop VPN performed on both short and long-distance servers:
Short Distance Servers
As I’m physically located in the Netherlands, my T-Mobile internet connection, without using iTop VPN, provided speeds of approximately 96.77 Mbps for download, 94.11 Mbps for upload, and a ping of 12 ms on my 100 Mbps connection.
When I connected to a server via the Quick Access list (Browse Securely & Privately), iTop VPN automatically routed me to an Italy, Milan#1 server about 1,044.8 km away from my actual location in the Netherlands.
Conducting a speed test, I achieved a download speed of 67.44 Mbps, an upload speed of 66.09 Mbps, and a ping of 159 ms.
The drop in speed (≈ 32.56% in download and ≈ 33.91% in upload) was decent and practically imperceptible during real-world usage.
I successfully streamed multiple 1080p videos on YouTube without buffering and even played online games without noticeable latency.
Here’s a screenshot of me playing PUBG mobile:
In addition to the Quick Access list, I manually connected to several other nearby servers. For example, while connected to the Belgium Brussels server, I obtained a download speed of 70.21 Mbps.
With the Germany Frankfurt#1 server, I achieved a download speed of 64.34 Mbps, and with the United Kingdom London#1 server, I obtained a download speed of 68.51 Mbps.
In summary, iTop VPN consistently delivered exceptional speeds on short-distance servers. For instance, the Italy, Milan#1 server provided a download speed of 67.44 Mbps and an upload speed of 66.09 Mbps. Similarly, I observed excellent performance with other nearby servers in Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom, making it ideal for streaming 1080p videos on YouTube and gaming with minimal latency.
After assessing the short-distance servers’ performance, I evaluated how iTop VPN performed on four long-distance servers.
I first connected to a US server (United States Los Angeles#1), which was approximately 7505.72 km away from my location in the Netherlands. Running the test, I achieved a download speed of 61.97 Mbps, an upload speed of 55.65 Mbps, and a ping of 266 ms.
With the Canada Toronto server, located approximately 6,453.43 km away, I achieved a download speed of 67.44 Mbps, an upload speed of 66.09 Mbps, and a ping of 270 ms.
For the Switzerland Zurich and Singaporean servers, I attained download speeds of 73.33 Mbps and 53.5 Mbps, respectively.
To summarize, iTop VPN consistently delivered impressive speeds on short- and long-distance servers. Although it is not the fastest VPN, it’s essential to keep in mind that VPN speeds can vary depending on your internet connection speed and your physical location, so your results may differ from mine.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with iTop VPN’s performance, which left me satisfied with its speed and reliability.
iTop VPN Successfully Passed DNS Leak Tests
Before putting iTop VPN to the test, I had come across numerous user reviews claiming its leak-proof nature. However, I decided to verify this claim firsthand.
To assess iTop VPN’s leak protection feature, I connected to a US server (United States Los Angeles#1) and conducted a leak test. As expected, iTop VPN performed flawlessly without any leaks.
Here’s a visual representation of the test results:
Since I was connected to a US server during the test, the screenshot above displays only a United States IP address, concealing my original IP address from the Netherlands. The DNS addresses visible in the screenshot all belonged to iTop VPN and not my ISP.
I conducted multiple leak tests across various server locations for a comprehensive assessment. The table below summarizes the results:
|Countries||IP Leak||DNS Leak|
|United Kingdom London#1||Passed||Passed|
|United States Los Angeles#1||Passed||Passed|
iTop VPN has proved to be reliable in safeguarding against IP and DNS leaks across a range of server locations during my tests. This is really impressive!
iTop VPN Can Unblock Netflix, Hulu, and Other Streaming Services
While some VPNs struggle to let you watch your favorite shows and movies, especially at this price bracket, iTop VPN makes it easy. I was really impressed with how well it worked during my tests.
I tried it with five big streaming services, and it worked perfectly with four of them.
When I was picking servers to test, I was really happy to see servers specifically labeled for streaming Hulu, Paramount+, HBO Max, Peacock, 7Plus, Sling TV, Pluto TV, Crunchyroll, beIN Sports, and much more.
During my tests, iTop VPN let me watch Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+ but failed to unblock Amazon Prime.
The video playback was also super impressive, without any noticeable buffering.
Before I share the test results, here’s a screenshot of my actual location:
Now, let’s talk about the tests. First, I wanted to see if iTop VPN could unblock Netflix US. I connected to a server in the USA, specifically the USA Fast Line San Francisco, and I tried watching “The Bachelor,” which is only available on Netflix US. It worked really well, and the show started playing in just a few seconds.
Here’s a screenshot of it:
Next, I tried Hulu with the same US server. I looked for the movie “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and it started playing right away with no problems.
Here’s a screenshot of it:
Next, I wanted to see if iTop VPN could unblock Disney Plus. Most VPNs have trouble with this one, but iTop VPN did great. I watched “The Mandalorian,” and it started playing instantly.
Here’s a screenshot of it:
After that, I switched to the United Kingdom London#1 server and tried accessing BBC iPlayer. I watched a show called “Fleabag,” and it started playing in really good quality right away.
Here’s a screenshot of it:
Finally, I visited Amazon Prime with a random server in the US, and I looked for the movie “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”. Sadly, I came across an error message.
Here’s a screenshot of it:
So, if you want to watch your favorite shows and movies on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and more, iTop VPN is a great choice, even if it can’t unblock Amazon Prime. Such an unblocking performance is quite impressive for a super cheap VPN.
iTop VPN is a Good Choice For Torrenting
Unlike some VPNs that require you to experiment with different servers, iTop VPN offers dedicated P2P servers.
In terms of torrenting features, iTop VPN offers a comprehensive package that includes a Kill Switch, unlimited bandwidth, leak protection, various VPN protocols, and a strict no-log policy for added security.
To evaluate iTop VPN’s torrenting performance, I first connected to a US server. When I began downloading a 1.7 GB file, I achieved a decent average download speed of approximately 1.2 MB/s, which led to the complete download of the file in approximately 24.18 minutes.
After that, I connected to a Swiss server and downloaded another file to assess iTop VPN’s performance. To my surprise, the download proceeded smoothly without interruptions or noticeable speed drops.
Overall, I would say iTop VPN is a robust choice for torrenting. Its speed is on par with VPNs like NordVPN, and it ensures your download speeds remain unthrottled, making it a great solution for users seeking a reliable and fast VPN for P2P file sharing.
iTop VPN’s App Compatibility Can Be Better
Like many VPN providers today, iTop VPN provides Windows, Mac, and iOS applications. However, it’s worth noting that unlike ExpressVPN, which offers a wide range of device compatibility, including router support, iTop VPN has a more limited selection of supported devices.
In fact, iTop VPN doesn’t even have an Android app at the moment, as per their website.
But on the plus side, their apps are really easy to use and intuitive. You’ll find the user interface to be simple yet modern-looking.
Their apps are also lightweight and won’t occupy much space on your device. For instance, the setup file for iTop VPN’s Windows app consumes only 27.7 MB of space on my MacBook Air M1. Thanks to its small size, the installation process takes just a matter of minutes, which is always a plus.
Servers are conveniently categorized by usage, making locating and connecting to the one you need is a breeze. More experienced users have the option to delve into various security settings and configure the app to meet their specific requirements.
As for iTop VPN’s mobile app, it has a modern-looking and well-designed interface. The iOS VPN app, available on the Apple App Store, holds a 4.3-star rating and has a compact size of only 34.7 MB.
However, it’s important to note that certain features available in the desktop version of iTop VPN may not be accessible in the mobile version. Nevertheless, iTop VPN has secured its place on my list of top iOS VPNs.
iTop VPN Comes With a Legit No-Logging Policy
To determine the trustworthiness of iTop VPN, I scrutinized its logging policies to ensure they prioritize safeguarding user privacy.
To begin, I looked into the company’s headquarters and discovered that iTop VPN is based in Hong Kong, a jurisdiction known for not being a part of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Fourteen Eyes alliances.
“We do not log your activity while you are utilizing the Services, including your original IP address, browsing history, traffic destination, DNS queries, or transferred data.”
Plus, they give you the option to “add, remove, edit, and change any data that are saved in iTop Services, at any time, by logging into your account.”
On paper, iTop VPN is a legit no-log VPN. However, it would’ve been better if they had gone through an independent audit like Surfshark VPN.
iTop VPN Offers a 30-day Money-Back Guarantee
iTop VPN, like many other VPN providers, offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for all subscription plans, including those for 1-month, 6-month, and annual subscriptions. Additionally, they provide a 60-day full money-back guarantee for one-time charge plans
However, it’s important to note that refunds for plans purchased through the Apple App Store (iTunes) may not be covered by iTop VPN’s 30-day Full Money Back Guarantee.
In such cases, iTop VPN suggests requesting refunds directly through the App Store, which is subject to Apple Support’s discretion.
iTop VPN also offers partial refunds. If customers no longer require their services, they’ll get a refund based on the remaining unused subscription months after calculating the fees for the used months.
So, overall, their refund policy is straightforward and pretty flexible.
Key Features of iTop VPN
iTop VPN offers a decent number of advanced features. Here are some of the highlighted features of iTop VPN:
- AES 256-Bit Encryption
- Split Tunneling
- Secure VPN Protocols
- Kill Switch
- Leak Protection
- IP Checker
- System Security Scanner
- Privacy Protection
- Super Ad-Block
AES 256-Bit Encryption
iTop VPN claims it uses very strong encryption to keep your information safe.
Well, when I asked their customer support about the type of encryption, they said it was “military-grade” encryption, but they didn’t give more details.
Usually, when VPN providers advertise “military-grade” encryption, they mean the highest level, which is 256-bit AES encryption. But since iTop VPN didn’t confirm this, I can’t be completely sure about the level of encryption they use.
Split tunneling is a useful feature that lets you exempt trusted apps and websites from being protected by the VPN. Essentially, it allows these apps and sites to access the internet directly, bypassing the VPN’s encrypted tunnel. This can improve your internet speed and save bandwidth, which is especially beneficial for free users.
iTop VPN provides two types of split tunneling: inclusive and exclusive. Inclusive split tunneling allows you to create a list of specific apps and sites that will use the VPN while letting others connect directly. On the other hand, exclusive split tunneling lets you specify apps and sites that should not use the VPN, directing all other traffic through it.
It’s worth noting that iTop VPN offers split tunneling for both websites and apps, which is somewhat unusual as many VPNs typically offer only one of these options. This versatility allows you to tailor your VPN usage to your specific needs.
Secure VPN Protocols
iTop VPN provides users with a range of VPN protocols to enhance data security during transmission. These protocols include HTTPS, UDP, and TCP.
Although it doesn’t offer OpenVPN from what I could find, TCP still offers enhanced protection for sensitive tasks such as online shopping and banking, while UDP can optimize your connection speed for gaming and streaming.
As for the HTTPS protocol, it aids in bypassing restrictions on certain websites and adds an additional layer of encryption to your data.
When connecting to a server, you have the option to select one of these protocols manually or leave it in Auto mode.
iTop VPN offers a Kill switch that blocks internet access if the VPN connection is lost. To put iTop VPN’s kill switch feature to the test, I initiated a deliberate VPN disconnection while actively using the service.
After connecting to a VPN server of my choice, I began my regular internet activities. Then, I intentionally disconnected from the VPN server to observe the kill switch’s functionality.
While I could hide my real IP address using this kill switch, I wished it could also stop any data from going through the internet when the VPN was turned off.
We’ve already looked at how effective iTop VPN is at not leaking user IP and DNS information earlier in this iTop review. Needless to say, being a cheap VPN, iTop VPN does a very good job.
This isn’t a super impressive feature. However, I still find it handy. This feature displays your current IP address in real time whenever you connect to a server network.
System Security Scanner
This feature is rather unique, and most VPNs don’t offer it. Basically, it helps to get rid of viruses and malware on your Mac. You can click “Scan Now” to begin the scanning and removal process to keep your Mac safe. Although I can’t say for sure if this feature works 100%, it is reassuring to have a utility like this built-in to the VPN app.
The Privacy Protection feature scans and removes harmful cookies, browsing history, recent items, and traces from your apps to safeguard your privacy. To some extent, this feature compensates for the absence of a browser extension.
Most VPNs offer ad blockers. However, what makes iTop VPN’s ad-blocking feature unique is that it allows you to customize the ad blocker to let ads appear on specific websites if you want. This feature is accessible to both free and premium users.
iTop VPN also has a built-in speed test tool, which I find super helpful. However, keep in mind that this feature is on the iOS app and not in the macOS app.
Analysis of Servers
Premium users of iTop VPN can connect to over 1,800 servers spanning 100+ different countries. Some of the popular locations it offers include:
- United States
- United Kingdom
It’s important to note that iTop VPN doesn’t operate physical server locations. Instead, it offers virtual server locations, granting you access to IP addresses in various countries.
Its paid servers are marked with “VIP” in the app. The free version also offers around 20 servers, but upgrading to the premium plan unlocks more servers.
iTop VPN categorizes its servers into tabs designed for specific purposes such as video streaming, online gaming, social networking, and torrenting.
The choice of optimized servers depends on your location, ensuring optimal speed and bandwidth. If your needs are more specific, you can explore all available servers under the “All Services” tab, but it’s important to note that these servers are exclusively accessible to paying customers.
Each server shows a performance icon next to it, providing real-time data on the server’s health, color-coded for quick identification of fast and slow servers.
Detailed information about the VPN servers is also available, helping you choose the best servers for your streaming, P2P, or gaming requirements.
While iTop VPN offers servers in numerous countries, other VPN services have larger server counts at potentially more competitive prices. For instance, CyberGhost provides access to 7,000+ VPN servers located in 90+ countries.
A greater number of servers can reduce the likelihood of encountering congestion when connecting to specific locations. Still, iTOP VPN’s server network is good.
iTop VPN’s App User Experience
It might seem a bit overwhelming when you first open iTop VPN’s Windows app due to its many features and server groups. However, thanks to its user-friendly design, it’s quite easy to get the hang of.
iTop VPN for macOS & Windows
The main screen prominently displays an on/off button and provides additional information below. You’ll always have your actual or assigned IP address, current server, and chosen protocol visible.
To access settings, you can click the hamburger menu in the top-right corner. This menu is relatively concise and branches into several sections:
- General settings: Offers various launch options and language preferences.
- Protocols: Allows you to select your preferred VPN tunnel.
- Notifications: Customize your iTop VPN notification settings.
- Update: Allows you to choose between manual and automatic updates.
- Auto Connect (VIP): Defines the auto-connect preferences for iTop VPN.
iTop VPN also supports 22 languages, ensuring it can cater to users from different parts of the world, making it convenient for a diverse user base.
Its macOS app is also similar to the Windows app, boasting more or less the same UI, and is super easy to use as well.
iTop VPN for iOS
iTop VPN’s mobile app is impressively well-designed and comes with some features that are not available in the desktop app, which I find quite interesting and useful. For example, the built-in speed test features or the Super Ad-blocker.
Does iTop VPN Work in China?
While I’m currently not in China to verify if iTop VPN works there, I reached out to their support team for confirmation. A representative from the company informed me that iTop VPN does not operate in China.
It’s important to recognize that a VPN’s effectiveness in bypassing strict censorship laws often hinges on its use of advanced obfuscation technology. iTop VPN’s lack of this technology makes it highly unlikely to function as intended in a country with such rigorous censorship regulations.
Despite the consistent censorship efforts of the Chinese government, Surfshark has repeatedly demonstrated itself as a reliable choice for a VPN in China.
Best Alternative to iTop VPN
To be honest, I haven’t found many flaws with iTop VPN. It has excelled in all aspects, including my streaming and speed tests and various other evaluations conducted during this iTop VPN review.
However, I feel like iTop VPN can be improved in some regards, like live chat support and better apps. All of which Surfshark VPN offers at a super affordable price. But if budget isn’t an issue for you, then you might want to go for something even more premium, like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Do I Recommend iTop VPN?
Absolutely! Having thoroughly explored iTop VPN, I wholeheartedly endorse it. Despite being nearly flawless, its performance is remarkable, especially considering its affordable starting price of just $0.83 per month.
A quick reminder of what you get if you go for iTop VPN instead of free VPNs:
- 1,800+ servers in 100+ different countries.
- Secure protocols (HTTPS, UDP, and TCP).
- Malware, malicious cookies, viruses, and system risk scanners.
- Works great with Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus & other services.
- Torrenting is supported on specialized P2P servers without any bandwidth limitations.
- Customer support (ticket).
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Zero logs.
- Decent app compatibility.
- 5 simultaneous connections.
- Split Tunneling.
- Built-in IP checker.
- Speed test.
- Kill switch.
- Super Ad-block.