ToyVPN Review – A Totally Free VPN Service [not up as of 1/12/2015]
By Paul Liu
Monday, January 12th, 2015
NOTE: As of 1/12/2015 the service does not seem to be up and running. Perhaps the free service was too expensive for them to keep for so long.
In the last 2-3 years, many free privacy services have made their presence felt. ToyVPN is a free VPN service that was launched in 2012 and in this review, we will focus on what the service has to offer to its users.
Server Locations & Site Access – While most free VPN services have gateways at one or two locations, ToyVPN has got servers in 3 different countries (5 different cities). The company’s servers are located in United States (Los Angeles, Kansas and Walnut, CO), United Kingdom and Italy so the service can help British, Italian and American expats to unlock their favorite IP restricted streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Rai TV, Lovefilm, Amazon Prime, ABC Player, USA Network, Sky Go, Eurosport, YouTube, iTV Player, CWTV, CBS, Demand 5, Vevo, MTV, STV, Xfinity, Pandora, FOX, Vudu, HBO Go, MLB, Hulu, TNT, 4OD, NHL, NBC and UK TV from all over the world.
In addition, business travelers and tourists visiting China or Middle East can use the service to circumvent local censorship and access their favorite VOIP, social networking, video and email sites (Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, GTalk, YouTube just to name a few) without getting into trouble with the local authorities. Also, since there is no restriction on server switching, it is possible to switch to US, UK and Italian IPs and unlock local content from all the three countries.
VPN Speed & Bandwidth – Unlike some other free VPN providers, ToyVPN does not guarantee a minimum connection speed. Anyhow, since there is no upper limit on bandwidth, you can stream and download unlimited content and even use the service for gaming and VOIP activities. However, the service is not really meant for long streaming or gaming sessions since the VPN password gets reset after every 2 hours. This means that you can never be connected to the service for more than 2 hours at a time. While the provider has implemented this system to prevent abuse, in our opinion it also prevents genuine users from taking full advantage of the service.
Privacy Settings – ToyVPN creates PPTP or L2TP based encrypted tunnel (with minimum 128 bit encryption) from your computer or mobile device to one of its servers. The service automatically secures all types of online connections (FTP, browsing, VOIP, emailing, messaging) from surveillance / snooping and even protects your sensitive data (internet banking details, social network passwords) when you are connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot at a public place (coffee shop, hotel, airport etc.).
If you are wondering about the logging policy of the provider, well there no zero-logging guarantees available. The provider may share user details with the police if someone has been found to be involved in illegal activities.
Supported Operating Systems – ToyVPN can be used from Windows, Android, iOS (iPads/iPhones) and Android based devices. The service takes less than 2 minutes to set up but you would need to do the configuration manually since there is no dialer client available.
Customer Support – One of the biggest drawbacks of using a free VPN service is that there is often no customer support available. If you face speed or connection issues while using ToyVPN, just check whether you are still using an old password to connect to the service and change it to the latest value.
Pricing Options – ToyVPN is 100% free so you don’t have to spend even a single dime in order to use the service. Since there are no restrictions applicable whatsoever, you can use the service to secure online sessions on all of your devices.
Final Verdict – While ToyVPN is free, it is not the best free VPN service out there. The biggest drawback of the service is that it resets all VPN connections automatically after two hours. Still if you are looking for a basic privacy service for light browsing, you might find it useful.