The Complete Witopia Review: Is the Personal VPN PPTP Service a Good Choice?

witopia-reviewI wrote a brief review on Witopia’s PPTP personal VPN service a few months back and thought now might be a good time to revisit it with an updated review not only because

I’ve had a chance to use the service for several months but also because it’s one of the top search terms leading to this site. That tells me some folks out there are trying to get an idea of the quality of service Witopia provides.

We’ll break this review into three sections:

  • About Witopia’s PPTP VPN service
  • Based on my experience with it could the service be a good choice for you?
  • How to set it up on your own PC

So, if you’re a “witopia review” Googler here’s a welcome to you! I’m assuming you know the basics of what a VPN will do to help you protect your privacy online but if not you might want to read the first couple paragraphs of my original Witopia review which give a brief look at what it’ll do for you.

About the Witopia personalVPN PPTP Service

By the way I’m not currently affiliated with Witopia in any way other than being a customer. I did look into becoming an affiliate but it seems they don’t have an open affiliate program at the moment so that didn’t go anywhere. On to the info…

Witopia offers three different Virtual Private Network services:

  • PersonalVPN – SSL/PPTP Combo
  • PersonalVPN – SSL
  • PersonalVPN – PPTP

Since I was trying to be frugal I went with the PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol) option which is the most affordable at $39.99/year.

If you’ll be connecting from many different locations and want a VPN protocol that is less likely to be blocked you may want to go with their top tier service (the $69.99/year SSL/PPTP combo) since it provides the most alternate connection options.

The personalVPN – PPTP service doesn’t require any third party software and works on many different platforms including:

  • iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
  • MacOS X
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP
  • Linux
  • Android OS
  • Symbian OS
  • Windows Mobile

One of the things that attracted me to Witopia for VPN service was the huge number of servers available worldwide. The list is too big to include here but you can check it out on Witopia’s product page.

How Has It Performed?

What we really care about is how well the service performs for us, right? I’ve been very happy with it overall.

My connection speeds are always quite fast and I never feel as though I’d be better off speed wise if I didn’t route my traffic through the VPN.

Here’s a screenshot of my latest speed test which topped out at 1.4Mbps on my DSL line limited to 1.5Mbps.

Witopia-Review-Speed-Test

I do occasionally experience trouble connecting to the server in one city but can usually resolve that by using another of the connection options (i.e. connecting through Dallas if the Los Angeles server fails to connect).

This is not what I’d call a frequent occurrence but it has happened perhaps 5 times in the past four months. Just setup a couple different connections to different servers and all it’ll take is a couple clicks to get online if you find your connection to one server isn’t successful.

Getting disconnected from the VPN server in the middle of web browsing is a rare occurrence indeed which is a good thing…obviously.

I haven’t had any need to contact Witopia for support so I can’t evaluate their customer service but of course the best customer service is a trouble free product.

How To Set Up the Witopia VPN

Getting your system set up to use the PPTP personal VPN service is super easy. I don’t have every platform that it is compatible with but I’m guessing many folks will be using it on a Windows system.

I’m running Windows XP (hard to believe it’s about a decade old isn’t it?) so the set up video I include will demonstrate a Windows XP set up however the steps are very, very similar for Vista and Windows 7 so don’t be scared off.

As a brief aside: If you haven’t noticed I recently released a guide that includes HD narrated how-to video and step-by-step instruction not only on how to set up a VPN on your PC but also secure it and your files from thieves, snoops, prying government agents and the like using encryption and other cool tricks. You can read more about the guide here.

Getting back to the matter at hand…

…before you get started make sure you have your username and password created/assigned when you purchased your VPN service. All the other setup information is available through the support wiki on Witopia’s site. I’ll post the steps below the video if you’d like to reference them.

Steps:

1) Go to Start > Settings > Control Panel

2) Open Network Connections

3) Go to the File menu and select New Connection

4) In the New Connection Wizard click Next & select Connect to the network at my workplace

5) Hit Next and select Virtual Private Network Connection

6) In the Company Name field enter whatever name you want to identify the connection as. It’s up to you and won’t affect the functionality of the connection.

7) Select Do not dial the initial connection

8) Hit Next and enter the server address for the Witopia server you wish to connect through. You can find the list of options here (in the video I use the pptp.yyz.witopia.net server address which out of Toronto)

9) Hit Finish to complete the set up. A window will open asking for your username and password. Once you enter those credentials you’ll be connected and should see the little connection icon in the notification area by the clock in the bottom left of the screen.

That’s It!

Once you’ve completed the process once it’s super easy to run through it again to create multiple connections to different Witopia servers worldwide in case you wish to connect via a different server in the future.

Here’s the link to check out the Witopia service options: Witopia.net

Are you a fellow Witopia user? Leave a comment and tell us what your experience has been. Also, if you think this review would be useful to folks you know be sure to share via the Twitter and Facebook buttons up top!

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  • MH

     I use  Witopia’s services from a country which severely restricts internet access. Therefore, I needed a lot of help connecting to their servers and the customer service was one of the most helpful, patient  and friendly I’d ever encountered (If not THE most). I had bought their combo package but connecting to their OpenVPN (SSL)  servers was impossible for me, so they refunded me for that portion of my purchase within 5 minutes of my refund request.
    And one time, I wasn’t able to login to their anonymous proxy server so I contacted tech support; they fixed it for me and extended my subscription by a month for my few hours of inconvenience.Excellent service, excellent staff. highly recommended.M.H.

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    Wow, sounds like great service. As I mentioned I haven’t had a need to
    contact their tech support so it’s nice you can fill in the blank spot in my
    review. Glad to here it’s been a good VPN for you as well.

  • Mark Smith

    Nice Review .. how to contact you. no email ?

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    That’s true I am missing a contact page…you can get me at daniel (at) theartofprivacy (dot) com.

  • Gregory

    My Witopia VPN stopped working and the support staff Shirin couldn’t help and the company didn’t want to refund the money. Their software and customer service sucks. I am using another VPN now which actually works!

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    Sorry to hear about the poor experience with Witopia Greg…Wish I had some clout to help resolve the trouble. What VPN do you use now?

  • http://www.foxyvpn.com/ vpn service

    Thank you very much for sharing. I’ll definitely try this one out.

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    Sure thing. Glad to be of help. My Witopia service will be coming up for renewal soon and I’ll definitely be sticking with them.

  • devo1d

    I have used Witopia for almost one year now and I will be renewing. I had no problems installing and using on a Windows laptop however setting up on a Nokia phone was more complicated because of Symbian OS. Tech support helped me find a solution and everything works. Can’t imagine being without VPN now.

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    Great! I just renewed my service especially since it’s handy for the out-of-country travel I’m doing since I can appear to websites (read: Hulu) as if I’m still in the U.S. I don’t have experience with Symbian but I do use the Witopia service on my Android phone.

  • Marco Bonechi

    Just renewed witopia.
    I use both the sslvpn/pptp and a cloackbox.

    My samsung galaxy tab can do netflix really well through the android vpn.
    The latest android, ICS, works with PPTP and not the IP2Sec of 2.x/3.x androids.

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    Nice. What type of speeds to do get on speedtest.net running through the SSL VPN?

    I’m still using the basic PPTP VPN to connect to U.S. gateways and am lucky to hit 1.2 Mbps even though I’m running through a 2+ Mbps cable connection. Just curious if the SSL VPN got any better speed numbers.

  • Chuck

    On Saturday January 14th Witopia made major changes in their system. I was unable to use the system for three days. Their online chat support service is worthless. They finally told me after three days that I needed to download new software. There was n notice of this or anything or their website to that affect.  I have downloaded their new client software and made my connection to their gateways. HOWEVER the connection constantly disconnects leaving me exposed on the internet AND IT DOES NOT NOTIFY ME OF THE DISCONNECT AS THE SYSTEM USED TO. Their service has gone to hell in a matter of days and it appears there is no relief in site. I highly recommend that anyone stay away from Wipotia until they have demonstrated that they have improved the service and customer support. Chuck

  • Anonymous

    Haven’t checked speed. From Austria and Switzerland the cable is 10+ Mbps
    The only time I care to switch out of VPN is for games and torrent.

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    Ouch, sorry to hear about the bad experience Chuck. Sounds like you’re using the “premium” service with SSL capability…

    …I’m still using the basic service and did have a brief service outage but things are working again for me now. Hope you can get yours back up and running or find a good alternative.

  • Ryan3609

    Would you mind sharing your new VPN provider now?

  • Ryan3609

     Got the same problem. That’s why I change to a new vpn provider. I am now using this VPN (PD-Proxy) Don’t know why they called it PD-Proxy since it is actually a VPN :)

  • Smithyoo73

    Hi, Ive been trying to activate my Witopia for two weeks nows and still no joy. Does anybody have, or no of a contact add for them ?
    Cheers

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    How have you contacted them? I got help via chat on one occasion…Here’s the contact page: https://www.witopia.net/contact/

  • DaveC

    I’m in the USA. I tried Witopia, but tech support couldn’t help me achieve my goals. 

    Not all web traffic needs to go from here to UK and  back (when accessing local servers). I want only UK (and other foreign) site traffic to go through the VPN. 

    But Witopia says that selective routing through the VPN is not possible (even though there’s a check-box in the settings “Route all traffic” (apparently it does nothing). They say that sometime in the future ”we may allow you to choose certain services or websites to not be protected by the VPN if you prefer. But for the now you cannot.” 

    Is there a competitor VPN service that allow selective routing through VPN? Anybody…?

    Another option is to use what is called a “/etc/ppp/ip-up” script. I’m researching this, but any pointers would be appreciated. 

  • http://theartofprivacy.com Daniel

    I’ve not tried to do this with any VPN but it looks like there is an option that might be kind of what you are looking for in the PureVPN dashboard.
    There is a Split Tunneling option that is supposed to let you select what applications run through the VPN. It says “If Split Tunneling is enabled only applications launched from the screen below will go through the VPN”.
    I suppose you could connect to a UK VPN and then open whatever apps you plan to use through the Split Tunneling screen.

  • Dew_over_lotus

     You can do that with Surfbouncer….so far it works well for me.

  • Quarrel

    I DON’T RECOMMEND!!!

    I signed up for a year of “pro” service a couple of days ago. I am currently living in SHanghai China. It hardly ever works, and when it does the connection is not stable and tends to disconnect a lot. Most places I can’t even connect to. (they say 31 different connections, I can never connect to them) Most times when I am connected I still can’t access web pages or content.

    I talked to support they were NOT very helpful by any means. Directing me to a webpage that wasn’t even related to issues I as having. Poor support.

    also as a side note, you are not able to see the ping, ever.

    I HIGHLY SUGGEST YOU DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT/PACKAGE.

  • Aidan Roberts

    expressvpn.biz is a great provider, too. It’s the best I’ve tried in over 2 years.

  • happy14now

    The only glitch in this service is, when active, I can’t re-pin Pins on Pinterest. Big deal. I love that I can use it at work and not have Big Brother watching over me.