For a relatively new player in the VPN game, Total VPN presents a polished and professional interface. It may be one of the easiest to use out there today.
Despite these appearances, this VPN service comes up short.
Nonetheless, Total VPN may appeal to some people, especially those who are new to VPNs and feel intimidated. Total VPN’s interface is user-friendly, so novices will feel right at home. The service even provides OpenVPN protocol, which is widely considered the best available.
TotalVPN has several drawbacks.
Chief among these is the logging policy, which is a concern for many. The other major problem is their data transfer rates. You should look at some of the best VPN providers out there if you’re looking for a fast connection.
Though most people won’t recognize the name of Total VPN’s parent company Endurance International Group, they will almost undoubtedly recognize some of its other brands. These include Constant Contact, Bluehost and HostGator. With headquarters in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, privacy advocates who are concerned about logging policies will immediately see a red flag.
This is because the U.S. is a member nation of the Five Eyes network. This surveillance agreement allows the member countries to keep tabs on the online activities of their citizens, and this information is freely exchanged.
If you are really serious about online privacy and anonymity, then you are better off with a VPN that’s not headquartered in a Five Eyes nation.
Security and Encryption with Total VPN
Sophisticated users will appreciate that they have a choice of VPN protocols with Total VPN. Among these choices is OpenVPN, which generally is regarded as the protocol of choice among techno-geeks around the world. One of the characteristics that make OpenVPN so attractive is that it is open-source software. This means that it benefits from the dedicated work of developers around the world.
If you prefer not to use OpenVPN, then Total VPN offers you PPTP, though this protocol typically is no longer recommended because of security concerns. The bad news for novice users is that Total VPN’s default settings strangely are set to PPTP. Less sophisticated users not in-the-know may use PPTP, leaving themselves vulnerable, because they don’t know that they should switch their settings to OpenVPN.
Other protocol options with Total VPN include L2TP/IPSec and IkeV2, both of which are better options than PPTP.
Total VPN’s Server Network
Total VPN is not one of the larger and better-known VPN providers. This is because, compared to these more established competitors, Total VPN has a small server network.
The company’s website boasts servers on all seven continents, then backtracks, saying that Antarctica is too cold for servers. Interestingly, the website also says that there are no servers in South America.
Users are left with good coverage in Europe with 20 servers. These are found in locations such as London, Vienna, Moscow, Zurich, Stockholm, Bucharest and others. An additional 17 servers are in North America. These locations are mostly in the U.S., with servers in places like Chicago, New York, Seattle, and Los Angeles. Canada has a single server in Toronto.
Sparse server coverage is found in Asia with five countries being represented. These are in Mumbai, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Africa is represented by just one server, and an additional server is located in Sydney.
That means that Total VPN’s server network stretches to just 30 countries. That’s not particularly impressive when compared with some of the major players in the industry, which may have upwards of two or three thousand servers found in more than 100 countries.
This lack of geographic diversity and number of servers means that performance suffers. Anyone who’s hoping to choose from a large number of servers or who needs to rely on VPN service being available worldwide for travel would be better off looking elsewhere.
Can You Use BitTorrent or P2P with Total VPN?
Unlike some VPN providers, Total VPN does not forbid customers from file sharing or indulging in other P2P activities. In fact, they have a server in the Netherlands that is expressly set aside for these purposes.
Reports from users suggest that the performance on this server leaves much to be desired. This and the overall slow data transfer rates mean that it is generally is a good idea to look elsewhere if you plan to do a lot of torrenting with your VPN.
Speed Test Results with Total VPN
The computer used for the speed test has some truly solid data transfer rates when it was put through its paces for benchmarking purposes. Downloads yielded results of 98.71 Mbps and upload rates were 53.00 Mbps.
Things changed when Total VPN was activated. Although its speed test results were not among the most abysmal, they still were far short of impressive. That is especially true when their results are compared to the results of the strongest VPNs.
Total VPN showed that it was not capable of providing a seamless experience regardless of which server is being used. This is somewhat true for all VPN providers since the farther your actual location is from the physical location of the server you choose, the slower your data transfer rates are likely to be. However, the speed test results with Total VPN were notable for how wildly inconsistent they were.
Speed problems are going to be a primary concern for people who sign up for Total VPN’s free service. Only three servers are allocated for “free” customers. These are located in Amsterdam, Iceland, and Singapore. Unless you are very close to one of these locations, you are in for a frustrating experience. Paying customers have more choices, but performance remains dubious at best.
Connecting to the San Jose, California server from a computer in New York provided a download rate of 31.52 Mbps and an upload rate of 7.88 Mbps.
Connecting to a server that was closer to home provided better results. The New York server clocked in at download rates of 59.61, though upload rates were a disappointing 10.81 Mbps.
The server in London offered similar results. Downloads were transferred at a rate of 35.64 Mbps with upload speeds being 8.85 Mbps.
Testing was conducted using the server in Tokyo. These rates were really frustrating. Downloads came in at 11.88 Mbps and uploads were 4.03 Mbps. Considering the many miles between the computer in New York and the server in Tokyo, these results aren’t exactly shocking.
Overall, using Total VPN resulted in download times being increased a full 76 percent. Almost as bad, upload times were increased by 59 percent. If you value speed in your online experience, then you would be better off with a different VPN.
Total VPN’s Logging Policy
If you want anonymity online, Total VPN does not do much to help. Customers must submit to a detailed registration process that has them disclosing all of their personal information. Additionally, any time that you contact Total VPN for assistance, notes are kept of the interaction.
Total VPN says that all of this tracking is used to improve the customer experience and to head off problems. Alarmingly, they go on to say that the data they keep also is used to sell you third-party products.
If you really want an anonymous online experience, go with a different VPN provider.
How Much Does Total VPN Cost?
The free version of Total VPN is limited to three servers and a restrictive data cap, making it difficult to work with. A month-to-month subscription can be purchased for $14.97 per month, which is not a bargain.
Package deals that are paid in advance may bring the price down to as little as $4.99 per month. This is introductory pricing, so you may pay significantly more when this period expires.
Should You Get Total VPN?
As if the slow data transfer rates and lack of servers weren’t enough, the company’s questionable logging policies seal the deal. Look elsewhere for a reliable VPN.
With so many issues, Total VPN is not recommended.