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I currently use Witopia as my vpn provider, though after hearing about AirVPN, I'm thinking of switching. I've been looking through the forums and can't seem to find any major differences. Witopia requires some manual editing of the ovpn files for iOS, but that's not really a big problem. On the other hand, they have servers in many more locations and more direct help (24/7 live chat). Also, the price is the same (though exchange rates could change that.) Speeds and privacy policies seem about the same too,

 

I was wondering if there were anything I was missing in the comparison? I'm not interested in torrents and the last time I tried (admittedly several years ago) Netflix was not a problem.

 

AirVPN:

* Easier creation of ovpn files

* Forums full of lovely technical folk

* Based in Italy

* SSH, SSL, & Tor Tunnels

* Experimental support for IPv6

 

Witopia:

* Faster Support

* Based In US

* Tor Tunnel

* Client on macOS seems more stable

* Don't think it has Network Lock, but I can set up Little Snitch to provide the same functionality

* Servers in more countries/locations

 

Any thoughts?

 

-Bruce

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Hello!

 

Welcome to AirVPN!

 

We're associated with the question on these boards, so naturally we're susceptible to being biased and so I won't pretend to be impartial, but I'll try to be fair of course.

 

I took a browse through what I think to be their site and I think there's a world of difference:    

 

  • No native Linux client and apparently none other, which is FOSS(Free and Open Source Software). Instead, they rely on Network Manager and this is only on Ubuntu-derived systems it seems.
  • Their product is segregated into basic and pro, instead of one-size-fits all.  Which means not all users get access to the same features. The personal one only supplies broken protocols, such as L2TP.
  • They disallow the sharing of an account. So if you set up their product on a router and thus extended use of their product to other people's devices in your home, you would be breaching their ToS.
  • They say you must use WiTopia "reasonably" in their ToS and say it's in their sole discretion to determine what that is. Otherwise they may suspend your account.
  • Their product is subject to US export controls(!) and so you may not use it in certain countries such as Iran, Cuba, Sudan, Syria and others. Which is otherwise where human-rights activists need it most.
  • They use Google Analytics on their website, while thinking that in their privacy policy, that an opt-out plugin is the solution for it, instead of just not using Google in the first place.
  • They accept DMCA claims.
  • It's seemingly not possible to setup their product on your own router, so you must buy one of their pre-configured routers. Which is an issue for many reasons, if this is accurate.
  • "Full Support for openVPN SSL, L2TP/IPsec, Cisco IPsec, PPTP, and 4D Stealth™" I thought they were joking with 4D Stealth, but they repeat it on their purchasing page, so...
  • Stating they're a "We’re a pure privacy and security service provider with nothing to compromise that standard." And yet they use Google. But also if not, that's a tall claim, which has little real meaning.
  • Their client appears to use Google maps for its server lists.
  • Their clients "Low Profile Mode" makes little sense to me: "For those of you who truly want to be off the grid. Low Profile Mode disables the client’s location detection features as well as updates. We don’t recommend this as it lessens the functionality and experience in our opinion, but we thought we’d provide the option just the same."
  • They only offer AES-256 at certain locations.
  • If you want the maximum out of their product, like access to the OpenVPN protocol, you must buy at least a 6 month subscription. While their "basic" lineup makes a monthly subscription lineup possible.
  • There's only 2 payment methods. Credit Card or Paypal. No cryptocurrencies.
  • They self-certify the EU-US safe-harbor agreement. Including in their privacy policy. But that agreement died in 2015 thanks to a lawsuit and the link on their checkout page is dead anyway.
  • Even their link on their privacy policy page to their own certification is dead.
  • SSL labs couldn't connect to witopia.net to make an assessment and the same is true for hpersonalvpn.com/ (the part of witopia which doesn't deal with secure email).
  • Their latest reviews, which they show on their frontpage, are from 2011. While their newest testimonials are from 2008 and 2007(!).
  • They don't support custom router configurations and it seems most would need to buy routers from witopia, for it to be fully supported. 
  • In their comparison chart, the Encryption field is blank for the non-Pro subscription. So what does that mean, that there's no encryption for L2TP/PPTP/IPSEC? There's a clear attempt to upsell.
  • Their client doesn't appear to be supply any kind of killswitch or similar additional security. As such, their only fix for WebRTC leaks was to tell users to install addons or change about:config.
  • If their blog is any indication, they last deployed a server in 2013/2014. But they're using an image overlaid with their own logo, of serverracks belonging to none other than Facebook.
  • They don't seem to do remote port-forwarding.
  • They don't do free trials due to scammers and spammers that "that dirty up our network and IP address space"(?). So they ask you to trust them to honor their 30-day money back guarantee.
  • No DNS micro-routing by the looks of it.
  • No talk of support for IPv6 anywhere.
  • No apparent live stats on their infrastructure, how its doing, how other users are performing or anything.
  • Their "Quick Connect" client feature suggests the client knows your location and can't function if it doesn't(!). One can wonder if this location is then shared with 3rd parties. They also assume proximity = better connection.

Mirroring the prior bullets point by point, Air by contrast:

  • Native Linux client and it's all FOSS. While using Air through Network Manager is possible, but not recommended.
  • Air has no tiered usage. So all premium users get the same things and only OpenVPN is supported.
  • Air is fine with account sharing I think. Certainly no limitation if done through a router.
  • Air accepts any degree of usage, so you can download as much as you want. Only free trials may see a limit of some sort.
  • Air is not subject to any controls. Certainly not US export controls.
  • Air uses no 3rd party tracking on the site. Only internal analytics, using Piwik (Now Matomo). So both the analytics and support is on a closed-loop.
  • Air rejects DMCA claims flat out.
  • It's easily possible to use Air with a router. Indeed many do, with custom firewalling and other hardware too, to get the best performance.
  • Air doesn't use words like "Stealth", because the only thing stealth features hide, is what they actually do. There's no need either, as there's SSL, SSH and Tor.
  • Air tries to avoid overselling.
  • Air doesn't use any Google maps in their client or similar notorious companies.
  • Air has no "low-profile mode" because it's not needed. Network Lock does the job and well.
  • Air uses the same high encryption across the board and the website is equally good too.
  • All users get the same protocols and you can also buy a subscription which only lasts 3 days.
  • Air supports many payment methods, including a whole host of cryptocurrencies. Including, recently, without any middle men. So it's possible to use Air completely anonymously if done right.
  • Air is in Europe and therefore subscribes to a lot of European law already, with no need for anything export-related.
  • Airs site gets A+ ratings on SSL labs.
  • Air has recurring reviews in all sorts of places. If not from this year, then the last and without any affiliate marketing. As well as an active forum and announcement section.
  • Air doesn't sell any hardware or email related stuff, but supports router configurations and many mobile ones too.
  • Air has an entire page almost entirely dedicated to encryption alone.
  • Air has Network Lock in its client, which helps as a killswitch on 3 different platforms and for that reason and others, Air didn't find the WebRTC debacle to be an issue.
  • Air is really careful with where it sets up a server, announces new locations frequently and doesn't use images. Certainly not ones from the inside of a Facebook datacenter .
  • Air has remote port-forwarding. Which helps with many applications - not least torrenting, which Air supports fully.
  • Air has free trials. Especially on the basis of human rights-related activity.
  • Air has micro-routing, which is useful for getting access to different online content, regardless of location. So unlike Witopia, you don't need to connect to UK to access UK content.
  • Full IPv6 being implemented.
  • Pretty much as open as can be, on infrastructure, with information on every server and its performance.
  • Airs Eddie client doesn't need to know your location (and doesn't) to connect to somewhere automatically, as it simply calculates the best route based on different metrics each time.

Actual performance, customer service quality and general trustworthiness I can't really say anything about. I've made the comparisons I care to make, that one can see from a website. There's always lots of technical details one could compare too, such as if there's entry and exit IPs, if Perfect Forward Secrecy is supported, key sizes, cipher suites, APIs and so on. But it's meaningless to most people.

 

Some drawbacks for Air is the lack of an Air client on mobile, despite of course being able to use other clients, but Staff seem to be playing with the idea of releasing one sometime in the future. Other drawbacks could include only supporting one protocol and not supplying the famed 24/7 support. Being too technical has also been a criticism; which I then tried to help, by making the guide you can see in my signature. I can't think of much else that Air is really missing.

 

I also want to point out:

 

  • Faster support doesn't necessarily mean it's better. The techs you get in contact with aren't necessarily that knowledgeable.
  • Being able to connect to more locations, doesn't necessarily mean all those locations are real, bare-metal ones. I actually doubt they are,for Witopia. (How can they not be allowed to export to Iran/Syria etc. but have Russian servers?)
  • The privacy policies between the two pretty much couldn't be more different. Here's Witopia's and here's Airs. One is general. The other is specific.

 

But since you're still with Witopia, could you ask their support what their 4D Stealth technology is all about? It would be interesting if they supply any details.


Moderators do not speak on behalf of AirVPN. Only the Official Staff account does. Please also do not run Tor Exit Servers behind AirVPN, thank you.
Did you make a guide or how-to for something? Then contact me to get it listed in my new user guide's Guides Section, so that the community can find it more easily.

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I used Witopia VPN, it was the first and only VPN service I had used prior to AirVPN.

 

Lots of servers to choose from, speeds were fast, disconnects that occurred often enough to be annoying, customer service was pretty good, price was much higher than most other VPN services.

 

They sent me a DMCA warning for allegedly downloading something, I told them it wasn't me, they wrote back and said I was right, they had some kind of mixup on the DMCA warning.

 

Their logging policy spurred me to start looking for a new VPN service.

 

The day before I had to renew with Witopia, I found AirVPN.

 

Compared to Witopia:

 

AirVPN's servers are rock-solid, I don't think I've ever had a dropped connection.

 

I've tested AirVPN's Network Lock. It works great, nothing gets out.

 

AirVPN's servers are much, much faster. On one download, speeds peaked at 119 MB, and average is probably around 50 MB. Witopia topped out around 20 MB and average was probably around 10 MB.

 

AirVPN's price is about half of Witopia's.

 

NO LOGGING.

 

NOT IN USA.

 

Get AirVPN, you won't regret it.

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https://www.personalvpn.com/support/faqs/

 

I forgot to mention that at the time I had Witopia, I believe they only allowed 2 connections compared to AirVPN's 5 connections though they apparently now allow 5 connections.

 

"With WiTopia VPN service, you may set up the VPN on any device that you personally own as well as have up to five(5) simultaneously connected devices per account. If you need to add additional VPN services to your account, you can easily do that in your Customer Portal."

 

 

As for their logging policy, they now state they don't keep logs. I don't think that was their policy when I used their service but if it was then it was a lie since they did send me a DCMA notice.

 

"By design, we absolutely do not capture or store any logs of a user’s internet activities, DNS, or metadata. Furthermore, there are no logs that would allow any person or entity to match an IP address and a timestamp to a user of our VPN service."

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https://www.personalvpn.com/support/faqs/

 

I forgot to mention that at the time I had Witopia, I believe they only allowed 2 connections compared to AirVPN's 5 connections though they apparently now allow 5 connections.

 

"With WiTopia VPN service, you may set up the VPN on any device that you personally own as well as have up to five(5) simultaneously connected devices per account. If you need to add additional VPN services to your account, you can easily do that in your Customer Portal."

 

 

As for their logging policy, they now state they don't keep logs. I don't think that was their policy when I used their service but if it was then it was a lie since they did send me a DCMA notice.

 

"By design, we absolutely do not capture or store any logs of a user’s internet activities, DNS, or metadata. Furthermore, there are no logs that would allow any person or entity to match an IP address and a timestamp to a user of our VPN service."

Well if you trust Airs opinion, that logging statement is next to meaningless, as one doesn't need to store anything in order to perform real-analysis.


Moderators do not speak on behalf of AirVPN. Only the Official Staff account does. Please also do not run Tor Exit Servers behind AirVPN, thank you.
Did you make a guide or how-to for something? Then contact me to get it listed in my new user guide's Guides Section, so that the community can find it more easily.

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