I 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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!