Total VPN was launched as a VPN service back in 2014, so you can already imagine that it is a relative newcomer in the field of VPN service providers.
Its main draw is that it offers new users a free plan which provides any new user with three servers based in Singapore, Iceland, and Netherlands. Not a bad deal considering that you don’t have to pay a dime to sign up for the new VPN service.
With that said, the free plan does come with a 2Mbps data cap on its speed even though the transferable online data is unlimited.
Total VPN does a good job of attracting new customers with a sleek interface which is intuitive and easy to understand app for new users.
But how does Total VPN compare with the heavyweights of the VPN industry such as NordVPN or even ExpressVPN?
Well, that’s what we are here to find out.
Note: According to our tests, this VPN provider is not at the same standard as the industry leader IPVanish.
Total VPN Price
We’ve already talked about the free plan so no point in discussing that here since that does not cost any money.
The second plan, which is also called as the premium plan, is one of the most affordable paid VPN plans that one is likely to find on the VPN market and that’s saying something for Total VPN since there are some really cheap (and not very good) VPN services out there in the market at the moment.
The premium version will cost you around $4.49 per month and if you show a bit of commitment and sign up for Total VPN for a duration of 24 months then you’ll only have to pay $2.99 per month.
If you sign up for Total VPN for a period of 12 months then there is still some form of discount as you’ll only be charged $3.59 per month.
Readers should keep in mind though that regardless of the package you subscribe to, each subscription package for Total VPN comes with its own 30-day money back guarantee.
Which is great, except for the part that Total VPN does a horrible job of mentioning it on its official website for the obvious reasons. But if you look closely enough by going to their terms and conditions you’ll find this provision right in there.
In other words, when you buy a Total VPN package, you can rest assured that if you don’t like this specific VPN service, you can opt out anytime you want to provided you have not been using the VPN service for more than 30 days.
Total VPN makes it quite easy, as it should since it is a business and not a charity, for new customers to pay up for their subscription package. You can pay for a Total VPN package with the help of your credit card or even your PayPal account.
But for the more adventurous of you, there is little luck since Total VPN does not accept payments made through alternative methods such as Bitcoin, or gift cards or even other third-party payment gateways.
Total VPN Features
If you sign up for the normal account that Total VPN offers, then you’ll get the ability to use three simultaneous devices.
However, if you think of yourself as a power user and want more than three devices then Total VPN has got you covered with a multiple device add-on package that costs around 14.95 GBP (British Pounds) per year which roughly converts to around 21.72 USD (United States Dollars).
When you sign up for Total VPN, the VPN service will provide you with three different VPN Protocols.
No prizes for guessing that we’ll recommend everyone to use the OpenVPN protocol since it is the safest and the most reliable one. The IKEv2 protocol is quite powerful on mobile devices but sometimes does bother users with unstable connections.
Readers should also know that the IKEv2 is one of the handful of VPN protocols that is compatible with Blackberry devices but who owns them now anyway? Right?
Needless to say, Total VPN does not offer a native application for mobile operating systems such as Blackberry. Apart from that, the mobile application of Total VPN only forms an online connection through OpenVPN. So, depending on your needs, that may or may not be a deal breaker for you.
By now, it should be clear to you that Total VPN is basically going after novice users who want a smooth and simple experience without too much configuration. Total VPN is trying to do that by being extremely affordable along with offering a very simple to use app.
We’ve already mentioned that Total VPN apps are easy to use and intuitive to manage but those two qualities come at a cost.
Total VPN apps lack some significant features that are widely available in other VPN service’s apps. In other words, Total VPN apps are not as robust as some of its counterparts in the VPN industry.
For example, there is no kill switch in Total VPN apps which is a great feature to have if you have an unreliable internet connection and most of the major, if not all, VPN service providers offer this feature to their clients regardless of the package.
Total VPN also does not offer any DNS leak protection which might cause problems for some users depending on their level of use.
Total VPN also does not support Smart DNS but the good news for users who require this feature is that Total VPN has stated on its official website that a full-fledged Smart DNS feature is on its way and due for an official release very soon.
Total VPN Servers
First of all, there is one issue with Total VPN when it comes to server equality. The premium version of the VPN service offers, what the company calls, “premium servers” that basically put a hard limit on the number of users that are allowed on each VPN server if the premium user pays an extra 25 GBP per year.
Of course, these super servers are mostly untested but even if they do provide the extra advantage when it comes to speed and reliability, it seems a bit unfair that all users aren’t treated equally.
The normal rule says that if you pay for a normal subscription, you should get the normal subscription. There should be no “extra features” for normal users as well as premium users. Users should have the same bandwidth available according to what they pay.
For users who like to stream videos from sites such as Netflix and the like, there is definitely some bad news. Total VPN US servers don’t work with Netflix though you can watch Netflix from some of its other servers that work from countries other than the United States of America.
But you already know why most people prefer the US version of Netflix. Yes, that is because the US version of Netflix has the widest variety of the best available shows on the planet. So if you sign up for Total VPN service then you can forget about watching the US version of Netflix on your streaming device.
Users who sign up for the premium packages get exclusive access to over 33 servers in 27 countries. Total VPN offers US based servers in more than seven cities while the rest of the countries only get a single server each.
Of course, this statistic does not include the previously mentioned super servers which come as add-ons to the regular packages.
The official website has a list of all the servers that are available and has the nice addition of being able to show users which servers are handling how much load at any given time.
As you might expect, servers located in cities such as New York are overloaded and overcrowded most of the time.
But it could also be because the VPN server in New York is the default server when a user opens up the application for the first time.
Total VPN Compatibility
Total VPN is available as an application for a wide range of operating systems so you don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues. It is available for download for operating systems such as Windows, Mac OSX, Android and iOS which basically covers up most of anything you or your buddy owns.
There are also some great tutorials on the official site on how to manually configure the Total VPN application for users who just would not budge away from the Linux operating system.
Total VPN Installation And Setup
As with most well-built VPN service apps, Total VPN is pretty simple to install and get up and running. The installation requires users to download a small file and then execute that file to finish off the installation process with the help of an installation wizard. Easy as a pie.
Users are also required to input their relevant email address and the connected password and that’s it, the app logs users in quickly and without much trouble.
And if you happen to be one of the free users then you don’t even need to go through the process of logging in the app either.
The other benefits of using Total VPN service is that there are no activation codes for free users, no email verifications or even the dreaded two-step authentication required on part of the users.
Of course, the more paranoid among us might see that as a flaw rather than a benefit. But if you’re looking for ease of access and simplicity, then it doesn’t get any simpler than Total VPN apps.
As mentioned earlier, Total VPN is trying to build its reputation of being super simple to use for the novice users. Not only that, but the Total VPN apps are expertly designed on all platforms including desktop and mobile.
When you connect to the app, you’ll be able to see a simple list of servers that are available for use and a big connect button in order to connect to one of those servers. That is basically it as far as the core functionality of the app is concerned.
Any user who is afraid of messing up his/her VPN connection because of some convoluted menus in a given VPN app has nothing to be afraid of here since everything is very intuitive and simple.
The Total VPN app also allows users to star some of their favorite VPN servers which enable them to be displayed at the top of the main list.
When a user connects to a specific server, the app shows an overview of the connected server along with other things such as server usage, the protocol used, bandwidth limit, and connection duration.
All of this information is conveniently displayed on the homepage of the app. Of course, you don’t have to worry about bandwidth limit when you are on the paid version. The limit only applies to new users who are on the free version of the Total VPN app.
For what it’s worth, there is also a search bar that is present at the top for users to search for their queries.
How does that help the average users?
Well, if you want to search for a particular server then you don’t have to go through each and every server on the entire list to find the one you are looking for. You can just search for a server in a particular country or city and then BAM, hit the connect button and you’re done.
The Total VPN app also has a settings tab for the more adventurous types. The settings tab is connected to each user’s account and it provides users with options such as protocol selection along with other options such as whether to run the Total VPN app on start up or connect to a specific server on startup.
Users are also allowed to toggle on or off Total VPN app notifications. The other cool thing about the Total VPN app is that users are provided the right to turn on or off marketing messages from the company.
The company also displays security tips and users have the option of turning them off as well.
As a pro tip, it is a good idea to turn off security tips and marketing messages because that way you’ll get rid of ads without having to request someone from the company to do it for you.
Total VPN is also unique in the sense that it has a proper desktop application for users who still haven’t abandoned their computers for more mobile platforms. The desktop version of Total VPN, when running, will sit quietly in the system tray and won’t bother you that much.
The only problem is that the system icon doesn’t have a way to notify you whether or not the Total VPN service is running. It is a problem but not a big one for most users.
You still get the standard functions, though. You can right-click on the icon in order to connect to the servers you might have previously starred. The icon also allows users to disconnect to servers along with the facility to check for updates and access more settings.
As far as the mobile application of Total VPN is concerned, that one is pretty simple to use also. It shows a list of servers and a homepage that shows a lot of details which a regular user is likely to find useful but not overwhelming.
The process of installing the mobile application is pretty similar to the one for the desktop application. All a user has to do is to install the application and then input the required email address and password.
Any server that a user stars will be automatically synced across all other devices of the user.
As indicated earlier, all the apps look and feel wonderful and are very natural to use. However, if you go to the official website, you would find little to corroborate that claim.
It’s not that the official website is badly designed, it is just that the designers behind the official website gave little thought to how to make the website easily navigable.
That holds especially true for users who sign up for the free plan in the beginning. Finding information regarding troubleshooting and support requires an uncomfortable amount of work. The links on the website also don’t follow any particular order and perhaps a standard search bar at the top of the homepage might help new users get accustomed to the new VPN service.
Total VPN Speed
Total VPN servers should not give any average trouble in buffering HD videos. If you like to play online games with friends then you can do so with full confidence because Total VPN is quite capable of handling the load that is required for online gaming.
However, that only holds true for the premium version. The free version of this VPN service is slightly slow and may be too slow for online gaming.
According to tests performed by Comparitech, Total VPN outperformed other reputed VPN services such as ExpressVPN in terms of speed which was definitely a surprise. Perhaps, the real achievement for the company would be to maintain these speeds when it itself becomes one of the big players in the VPN industry.
Total VPN Security
By default, when on a desktop, the Total VPN app selects the PPTP connection as your default protocol connection.
So what should you do then the first time you launch the application?
Well, you should go to the settings and change the protocol setting from PPTP to OpenVPN. PPTP, while blazingly fast, is not as secure as OpenVPN and since you’re buying a VPN service for security reasons in the first place, it’s better to go for security than for speed.
Of course, you also have the IKEv2 protocol option and it is pretty well built too and you can opt for it if you don’t want to go with OpenVPN.
Most of you might already know by now that the OpenVPN protocol makes use of 256-bit AES encryption and it is basically the strongest form of encryption that is available to any user in the world apart from users who work for government organizations. In other words, then it comes to consumer-grade online transfer encryption, you can’t get any better than the 256-bit AES encryption.
All Total VPN servers utilize shared IP addresses which further strengthens the anonymity of the user. It strengthens it by making it very difficult for any agency or hacker to trace the online activity of any particular user back to the original single user.
As you might have noticed by now, Total VPN doesn’t offer more configuration options other than choosing different protocols and that’s one of its drawbacks.
As mentioned before, there is also no DNS leak protection. If you go to a reputable DNS leak checker like IPleak.net, you’ll find that Total VPN does indeed leak your DNS when you’re connected to the VPN services.
So users signing up for Total VPN will have to protect themselves using other pieces of software on their own.
In an ideal case, any VPN service should be able to route DNS requests through one of its own DNS servers. Routing DNS requests through third-party services such as Google Public DNS is also an acceptable option.
But in the case of Total VPN, the DNS requests are routed through the ISP and that most likely reveals the physical location and the real IP address of the concerned user.
That is the reason why we suggest that you set up Google Public DNS on all of your devices if you plan on buying Total VPN service.
However, with that said, Total VPN clearly states that it will not store usage or activity logs. So you don’t have to worry about the content that you visit through the VPN service’s servers. Be wary though, that Total VPN will keep a record of the connection and authentication logs.
If you don’t know what that means then know that it means that the VPN service will keep a hold of the time when you log in, your “logged in” IP address, the related username along with IP address source, VPN protocol used and the VPN username.
Novice users should know that the biggest problem with online privacy is when VPN services keep a file on your activity and usage logs. Connections logs are not a big deal as they can’t reveal too much information about any particular user.
The official website of Total VPN also makes use of some tracking cookies which it has the right to turn over to advertising companies and other agencies as well.
Total VPN Customer Support
Unlike some other elite VPN services, Total VPN service does offer 24/7 live chat number. But doesn’t get too excited just yet.
Users have reported that you have to wait quite a bit to connect to an operator and that is probably the reason why the VPN service also has a ticket submission system in place.
Now comes the biggest problem with Total VPN customer support. It offers better customer support to customers who pay more for the privilege, which is something of a rarity in the VPN industry.
Basically, if you pay the company an extra .9.95 GBP, about $14.54, every year, you can gain the privilege to jump in front the customer service line and get in touch with the most capable of Total VPN staff.
This is similar to the case with the company’s superfast server add-ons. Generally, everyone is entitled to a quick and effective customer service, but apparently Total VPN doesn’t seem to think so.
Needless to say, it makes Total VPN like a VPN service whose only purpose is to make money and not to provide a good VPN service.
However, there is a knowledge base on the official website which is fully searchable and the tutorials there are pretty helpful too.
As mentioned before, you can turn off the marketing messages from the company if you want to but Total VPN doesn’t bother its paying customers with unwanted promotions in its apps.
Should You Buy Total VPN
If you want speed, then Total VPN is one of the fastest VPN services that are present in the market at the moment. Additionally, it offers that speed at much reasonable rates than some of the other players in the VPN industry.
For new users, this is a very affordable and efficient VPN service. Though, users who have been around the block for some time will find that the Total VPN apps are a bit too dumbed down which takes a toll on some features which are, as a result, missing.
There are some configuration options missing and experienced users would have liked to have more privacy protection tools.
The DNS leak problem is the one that will kill the deal for experienced users as far as Total VPN is concerned and developers behind the application should get to it as soon as possible.
In short, it will take some time and some work too for Total VPN to catch up the giant of the VPN industry like ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
Update: A lot of users have complained about the billing issues and not being able to unsubscribe to the service. Some have also complained about not being able to uninstall the application from their desktop users.
And because of these problems, we’ve decided to downgrade our rating of Total VPN by a full star.
If you are serious about getting the best value for money VPN then you should check out IPVanish. They are our top ranked VPN provider. Read the IPVanish Review here.
- number of simultaneous connections for the price
- fast speeds in tests
- the app is very simple to use even for newcomers
- affordable rates
- free plan for new users
- DNS leak problem is a big one
- customer service is not even average
- some "extras" are just cheap ways to make money
- too much information stored in logs