Instead of making you research pricing tables for abstruse services, you pick from one of just three packages: one year of PPTP-based privacy, one year of OpenVPN-based privacy or a combo package of both. The annual fees range from $50 to $70, and once you've picked your poison, you don't have any significant hurdles to jump through.
Within a minute of creating an account and ordering a personal VPN SSL at WiTopia's site, I received the receipt and setup instructions, including a URL for downloading the client software. WiTopia's installation package included the personalized key the OpenVPN client software needed to configure my account, so as soon as the installation was over, I was ready to connect.
Unlike the other services in this roundup, WiTopia provides access to all its servers right in the OpenVPN client software. Where HotSpotVPN and StrongVPN make you log in at their Web sites, request a server change and reconfigure the access program, WiTopia gives you a pick list. Right-click on the Windows tray icon and you can browse 60 servers in a variety of locations across the globe; as long as you remember to disconnect from your current server first, you can connect within seconds to another.
Server hopping's not something you need to do every day, but it's definitely handy. For example, if you suddenly want to step up your security level from a standard 128-bit to a more industrial-strength 256-bit encryption, you can look for a more robust server from the list.
And if you travel, you may want to pick a server that's nearer to your current location. That's because the further you are from your VPN server, the more sluggish the response tends to be. If you're from New York and working in Chicago, you might not notice much lag. If you're from San Francisco and visiting Manchester, England, you'll definitely want to log on to a Manchester server (or even a New York one) to bump up your response time.
At a Glance
Prices: $69.99/year (OpenVPN and PPTP combo); $59.99/year (OpenVPN only); $39.99/ (PPTP only).
Pros: Simple pricing, 30-day money-back guarantee, easy installation and configuration, easy to switch servers, servers available around the world at no extra cost.
Cons: No short-term contracts for conferences or vacations, no static IP addresses.