RitaVPN is the newest addition in our database of VPN services that we test, review and rate, according to their performances. Now RitaVPN’s name won’t strike you much, as it seems like a common name fused with the VPN service description to give birth to what it is, but we shall not judge a book by its cover, or, in this case, a VPN by its name.
During our reviewing process, we’ll try to find some details about the founders of the project, analyze their policies, take their service for a test run, perform a series of assessments regarding speed and security, check the service’s reliability and at the end we’ll give it an honest rating and give it a permanent place in our database.
We understand that such a review might sound like a long, tedious read, and you’re probably right; not everyone gets excited about jurisdiction, privacy policies and technical stuff like we do, but not to worry! We’ve included a table of content in the following section so that you could jump to the sections that pique your interest (or skip the boring ones, however you like to see it).
- Company information
- Hong Kong Jurisdiction
- Terms of service analysis
- A quick introduction to RitaVPN
- Creating an account
- Downloading the app on your device
- Checking the installer for malware
- Installing the application
- Running RitaVPN on your computer
- Changing the settings
- List of servers
- Services unlocked
- TOR and torrenting support
- Customer support
- Security check-up results
- Speed test results
- Pricing plans
It’s our top priority to dig some company info first thing first when we start working on a VPN review since they’re the backbones of every project and need proper recognition. That being said, let’s start laying out all of our findings.
Well, sorry for getting you all excited about company details, but all that we’ve been able to find is the company’s name, which is “Weikawen technology limited” and its address, which is Room 19C, Lockhart Ctr.,301-307 Lockhart Rd., Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Although this might not seem like much, unearthing the location of a VPN company is a huge deal for us, since it will let us know a lot regarding that country’s jurisdiction in the next section.
Hong Kong Jurisdiction
So now we know that RitaVPN is based in Hong Kong, but how does that affect you, our reader and regular VPN user? Well, let’s start with the beginning, shall we? VPNs are totally legal in Hong Kong since this country does not fall under Chinese jurisdiction (and the Great Chinese Firewall), as it is only a SAR (Special Administrative Region) of China.
Hong Kong residents are able to access virtually any website on the Internet, even ones that have a different standing than the ruling political party of China. Censorship is minimal and it only targets pornography, digital piracy, and other similar offenses. Despite the minimum amount of censorship, Hong Kong government agencies often engage in monitoring Internet usage and there were some reports that indicated that activists’ emails along with their online activities are being put under surveillance.
Despite all the monitoring and surveillance, Hong Kong remains outside of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances, as it is not a member of these partnerships between countries, so at least we’ve got that going on for us.
Terms of service analysis
Even though RitaVPN doesn’t have a huge Terms of Service document (it’s actually a pretty short read), we’re going to extract the essentials and showcase them below, just so you can see them in a more convenient manner:
- There is no “Last Updated” date available anywhere within the Terms of service document, so you might want to check on the document as often as possible, to see if any modifications have come into effect;
- Since there is no effective date, it goes without saying that any modification comes into effect whenever it goes live on the Terms of Service page;
- The Terms of Service document starts with a short presentation of the RitaVPN service, which sells itself as a “trusted” and “lightning fast” VPN that was engineered to protect your privacy and security;
- Near the top of the document, we found a claim which stated that RitaVPN was not designed as an environment for engaging in criminal activities, so it goes without saying that unlawful usage of this service is not allowed;
- You are not allowed to violate any laws of the jurisdiction you are originating from while you are connected to the RitaVPN service;
- Since you are the only one responsible for all the actions that occur on your account (even if you’re not the one performing them), you should be careful with your credentials and protect them from unauthorized use;
- You are not allowed to use the service in order to send spam, scan ports, scan for open proxies or open relays, unsolicited and/or opt-in emails, launch pop-ups and/or attack in any way any other computer, device or network;
- You must understand that various parameters regarding the service, including speeds, locations, coverage, and even quality, may vary;
- Aside from maintenance and repair situations, the RitaVPN service aims to be available at all times;
- You must understand that certain factors that are beyond RitaVPN’s control such as emergencies, transmission problems, equipment or network issues and failures from third parties, might render the service unusable;
- RitaVPN is not responsible for any kind of loss such as corrupted data, lost messages or pages, undelivered messages, delayed or misdirected content and the such;
- RitaVPN can and might impose limits on the service’s usage, suspend the service altogether and even block some kinds of usage at its sole discretion in order to protect the service and its customers;
- RitaVPN claims that the network speed is but an estimate and does not reflect the true speed value of one’s connection since that varies a lot based on various factors such as network congestion, compression, and configuration;
- RitaVPN claims that they don’t log any user activity such as DNS lookups, emails, visited websites, but that they do log connection attempts to their servers for security and troubleshooting purposes;
- RitaVPN claims that they don’t get involved in any form of censorship;
- RitaVPN claims that they won’t hand out your personal info to any third parties and that they don’t cooperate with requests of information unless they’re being ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction, which they usually aren’t;
- You are not allowed to engage in any form of hacking, cracking, distributing viruses, fraudulent activities, sabotaging the network, phishing and other such activities that are deemed illegal or unwanted. In case you are caught doing the above, your account will be either suspended or terminated;
- You are the sole responsible for the proper security and configuration of the services that you’re using and are also responsible for any damages that occur due to your negligence or exposure of vulnerabilities, whether intentional or without intention;
- There is no cap on the bandwidth or data usage per user, but the service is subject to fair usage;
- You are not allowed to create automated or manual RitaVPN sessions in a manner that would either impersonate a bot or would put an excessive load on the network and as a result, other customers’ activities might be disturbed;
- You are also not allowed to consume an excessive amount of bandwidth for an extended duration;
- You understand and agree to the fact that RitaVPN might suspend your account temporarily or terminate it altogether if you are found to be involved in unfair usage of their service;
Well, that’s it. Long story short, don’t break the law, keep your account secure, don’t try to be a hacker and use the service in a fair manner. If you can do that, everything should be alright.
However, being the nosy individuals that we are, we’ve managed to find such a document by simply looking it up on Google’s popular search engine, and without an issue, the engine delivered.
“RitaVPN is committed to protecting your privacy. We want you to understand what information we collect, what we don’t collect, and how we collect, use, and store information. We do not collect logs of your activity, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries. We also never store connection logs, meaning no logs of your IP address, your outgoing VPN IP address, connection timestamp, or session duration.”
Data RitaVPN collects:
Account user data:
- Account user data – it’s not clear what they use it for, as the question “What do we use it for?” is typed in the place where the purpose of collecting such data should’ve been;
- Your email address – used for general communications and for your user account (I’m guessing it’s used to create your account);
- Your confirmed email – used as a confirmation that your email is valid;
- Your OS version, Apps and Apps versions – used to troubleshoot issues more efficiently;
- Successful connection logs – contains the day you’ve established a successful connection to RitaVPN, the VPN location you chose, from which country you’ve connected and your ISP. This log doesn’t hold your original IP address and is reportedly used for troubleshooting;
- Aggregate sum of transferred data (MBs) – used to keep track of how much data you transfer, if you’re past your free quota, if the service runs properly and plan for the demand on the network;
- Usage statistics – minimal usage statistics to maintain the quality of their service (e.g. they may know that you connected to a certain location on a certain day and had transferred a certain amount of data, but they can’t link you to any behavior);
Data RitaVPN doesn’t collect:
- Your IP address when you visit the website;
- Your IP address when you connect to the service;
- Your DNS queries while connected;
- Details regarding apps, services or websites that you access while you’re connected to the service;
- Your browsing history;
- Your traffic destination;
- Your data content;
So, in theory, should anyone come seeking the pieces of information written above, RitaVPN shouldn’t be able to comply with that demand.
You are responsible to inform RitaVPN as quickly as possible of any changes to your personal information. That can be easily done by updating your account information.
In fact, the page isn’t even accessible from the website, so if you don’t look it up on a search engine like I did, chances are you won’t even know about its existence. Here, you can access it from this link.
A quick introduction to RitaVPN
RitaVPN advertises itself as being an effective way to stay anonymous while you’re online, one that helps you hide your IP address in order to keep your information safe from any third parties such as hackers, the government and your ISP.
RitaVPN also claims to be able to protect your online security (emails, photos, online banking accounts, social media passwords) from being hacked by using strong encryption algorithms.
Furthermore, reportedly RitaVPN is also capable of unblocking various geo-restricted content, including streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also a suggestive picture on the homepage portraying a user attempting to access Netflix.
However, in the following sections, we’ll be able to see exactly how capable this service is and whether or not its claims about the features it can provide you with are true or not so much.
Creating an account
Since the service doesn’t mention anything about a free trial, we’ve just assumed that RitaVPN can only be used once you’ve created an account and purchased a subscription plan on said account.
On the other hand, even free trial services require creating accounts, so that they can keep track of whether or not you’re trying to exploit our abuse the trial system, so let’s create an account then.
- Head to the landing page of the product;
- Click the “Sign in / Sign up” button at the top-right corner of the screen (check the screenshots);
- On the new dialog section, look for the “Sign up” hyperlink and click it;
- Type your email address and your password in the designated fields;
- Make sure the checkbox that says “Login means you agree << Rita terms of service >>” is checked;
- Hit the “Sign up” button;
That being said:
- Click the “Price” button on the top menu of the website;
- Choose a subscription plan by clicking it;
- Scroll down and select a payment method;
- Fill in your payment details;
- Hit the “Continue” button;
- Complete the purchase;
Now you’re the owner of a paid subscription plan, as well. However, since the system’s a little weird, make sure you use the same email address you’ve used to create your account or, better yet, just log into your account before taking the steps mentioned above.
Downloading the app on your device
Even though downloading the app without having an account with an active paid subscription linked to it is pretty much pointless, maybe you’ll be glad to know that you can download the RitaVPN client to your favorite device without having an account.
All you have to do is:
- Head to the landing page of the product;
- Click the “VPN Apps” in the top menu of the website;
- Click the logo of the device you want to download the app to;
- Click the “Download” button once it becomes visible;
That’s it, you’ve now downloaded the RitaVPN client to your device. To avoid any confusion, we’ve downloaded it on our Windows computer, since we plan on installing and testing it from there. Moving on.
Checking the installer for malware
Did you think you’d get off that easily and just skip to installing the app? Joke aside, your computer’s security is nothing to laugh about, so you’ll probably be disappointed to find out that the next step is checking for nasty bugs instead of deploying the app on your computer.
How, you ask? Well, by using the trustworthy, online and free VirusTotal service, of course. The reason why we prefer this service is that it encompasses an outstanding amount of antivirus engines, so it beats performing manual, single checks with a single piece of antivirus solution.
Well, we wish that the installer was 100% clean, but a tiny little alert caught our attention. Even though it’s probably a false-positive, we should still be aware of it. You can check our results here and our screenshot of them below.
Installing the application
It’s time to install the RitaVPN client on our Windows computer, even though we’re aware of that pesky little alert that VirusTotal returned on our malware scan.
- Launch the installer that you just downloaded and scanned;
- Choose the language (optional);
- Decide if you want a desktop shortcut to be created or not;
- Decide if you want the RitaVPN service to be run at Windows startup;
- Accept the RitaVPN’s terms and conditions;
- Set the destination path by expanding the “Custom Installation” section;
- Hit the “Install Now” button;
- Sit back and wait for the setup to be finished;
That’s it, RitaVPN doesn’t require any kind of TAP driver adapter, advanced configuration or any other kind of assistance on your side to be completed. It’s as easy as double-clicking. Also, no anomalies have been sighted so far.
Running RitaVPN on your computer
The moment of truth, let’s launch RitaVPN. Oh, wait, it launches automatically after the installation. The first thing you’ll most likely be able to see is the login screen, which enables you to either log into your account or sign up for a new one. You can switch between the login/ sign up screens by using the corresponding buttons. Type your credentials in the designated fields and once you’re set, hit the “Login” button.
The main window of the app is quite large considering the nature of the service and compared with other similar VPN solutions. More so, it only has a connection button, a server switcher and an “acceleration mode” switcher, which are a bit confusing to be honest, since they seem to be largely different from what I’ve seen so far.
You can also top up your account and check your user profile, both of which have large buttons as if those were the most important features of a VPN, next to the VPN’s standard features themselves. There are also some miscellaneous sections such as a “Notice” one, but upon opening, we could only discover some Chinese characters and nothing else in there.
Also, their FAQ section only holds some instructions on what you can do if you want to receive a refund as if that’s the most frequent question they get, which is not exactly encouraging.
Well, we must say it: the feeling we got while using the RitaVPN Windows app was that of using a cheap clone after another app. Like the app should’ve had a totally different purpose and it got repurposed (badly, I might add) into a VPN.
Changing the settings
If you take a look at the top-right corner of the app’s main screen, you can probably spot a series of icons or buttons, whatever you like to call them. Among those buttons, you can spot one that looks like a gear. Click it and select the “System setting” if you want to access the app’s configuration section.
Or better yet, click it if you want to get disappointed, since all that you can configure from within this menu are a “Launch setting” option and a “Close panel” one, both of which are equally confusing. “Launch setting” lets you set it to “open” or “close” and I have no idea what’s that supposed to mean. The “Close panel” lets you “hide to the task bar” or “exit” so I’m guessing that it controls the behavior of the “X” button in the main window.
Where’s the kill switch? Where’s the protocol switcher? Where’s the split tunneling option? No settings that actually have something to do with VPN functionality could be seen in this section, so we’re deeply disappointed. Additionally, you can’t switch windows if you open the configuration screen, so make sure to close it first.
List of servers
We couldn’t spot a list of servers on the RitaVPN website, so we had to do what needed to be done: copying the servers from within the application.
Hong Kong – 1 (China)
Hong Kong – 2 (China)
Hong Kong – 3 (China)
United States – Los Angeles
United States – Seattle
United States – San Jose
United States – San Francisco
United States – Silicon Valley
Germany – Frankfurt
United Kingdom – London
United Arab Emirates – Dubai
India – Chennai
Indonesia – Jakarta
Singapore – Telecom
As you can see, the list of servers is quite far from being impressive, but we appreciate the effort made to cover some major areas and not sticking to local servers only.
Since the RitaVPN service advertises itself as a very competent product, one that is capable of unblocking various geo-restricted content such as Netflix and Hulu, so that you can access them from anywhere in the world, it was time to take a look for ourselves.
Well, we weren’t surprised to find out that not even one of the five U.S.A. servers could unblock the U.S. version of Netflix. Hulu is also off the table, as well as BBC iPlayer, Amazon, Spotify and the rest of the popular ones.
So we can rule that out as well: RitaVPN is not capable of unblocking any geo-restricted content. Well, maybe it does, but not the ones we’re all interested in.
TOR and torrenting support
You can engage in torrenting and other P2P file sharing activities while you’re connected to the RitaVPN service, but just make sure that you’re on the right side of the law while doing so. Torrenting works, no major slowdown could be noticed (although there is a slowdown, and a noticeable one, as well) and the whole experience could be described as being “fine.”
TOR, on the other hand, although it works fine on top of RitaVPN, shouldn’t be used like that. In fact, scratch that: TOR shouldn’t be used in conjunction with any VPN service due to the risks you’re putting yourself and your computer to. Picture this: aside from your speed dropping to almost nothing, you could land on a malicious TOR node, which passes unencrypted traffic, which is especially easy to monitor. Stay safe.
At first sight, you could swear that RitaVPN has a live chat option, but upon further inspection, you can see that it’s a ruse: you leave them a message and they get back to you via email. Which part of that is live?
The only ways you could seemingly get in contact with the RitaVPN customer support crew are a ticket submission system, an email address and a phone number so you can chat with them on WhatsApp.
We’ve tried the ticket submission and the email and a few days have passed, but we’re still expecting our replies. In other words, the customer support system has been like a black hole so far: you know it’s out there, but there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it.
Security check-up results
If you read the article where we described the test routines we’re going through each time a VPN service such as RitaVPN lands on our table, then you probably know what’s going down in this section. If not, please give it a read and you’ll understand.
However, if you’re not in the mood, I’ll only say this: we’ve chosen a U.S.A. server and we’ll run our battery of security tests against it, checking to see if anything leaks. The reason why we choose a single server is that we also want to see if there is any inconsistency regarding location during our tests. That being said, let’s begin.
Conclusion: Although we chose a server in Los Angeles, the tests detected our location to be either in Chicago or in Dallas, Texas, but apart from that, no IP, DNS, WebRTC and/or Flash IP data leaked from our connection. That’s very good news.
Speed test results
Now for the speed test. As opposed to the security tests, in this part of the review, we’re going to switch between multiple servers and perform our speed tests on each.
The reason why we’re doing this is that we’re aiming to see if the location has a negative impact on the speed value and if it does, we’re looking to see exactly how much it affects it.
|Location||Internet Speed||Latency||Upload Speed||Downloaded||Uploaded|
|U.S.A.||11 Mbps||233 ms||239 ms||8.1 Mbps||40 MB||30 MB|
|Hong Kong||11 Mbps||444 ms||448 ms||8.4 Mbps||30 MB||30 MB|
|Germany||11 Mbps||114 ms||132 ms||11 Mbps||30 MB||50 MB|
|Without RitaVPN||68 Mbps||4 ms||185 ms||57 Mbps||80 MB||220 MB|
As you can see, the speed results are far from being great and even the best speed results were 83% lower compared to our default connection. Surprisingly, servers that were further away from our location (i.e. Hong Kong and U.S.A. servers) had the same speed as the Germany one, which is basically next to us, compared to those other two.
Unfortunately, speed is not one of RitaVPN’s strong points. At all.
RitaVPN has three different subscription plans, as follows:
|Plan type||1 Month Plan||6 Months Plan||1 Year Plan|
|Total Price||$10.99||$49.99 every 6 months||$64.99 every year|
Defeat VPN Blocking
Work On Multiple Devices
Unblock Network Limit
Zero Traffic Logs
However, we can all agree that the quality-price ratio is a bit off balance. What we’re trying to say is that the price is a bit high for what little RitaVPN provides you with, at least compared with other similar services.
All in all, RitaVPN is a modest VPN service that’s developed by the Hong Kong-based Weikawen technology limited company. Hong Kong is not a member of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances, so there should be no mandatory data retention laws, but the government sometimes interferes and as a result, some communications are monitored.
The website of the product is hard to navigate even for an advanced user, who needs to know its way around a website to understand all that it has to offer. On top of that, some sections are incomplete and do not provide you with the information you’re after.
RitaVPN can be downloaded without an account, although it requires an account with a paid subscription to be used. Despite there being some mentions about free trials (based on a “watch ads, receive trial” basis), there was nothing even close to this, not even suggestions.
We weren’t thrilled about the app since we’ve seen a lot of other apps that shared the same backbone, giving us the feeling that the RitaVPN Windows app is but a clone, an app that’s been repurposed to act as a VPN. More so, some sections of the app are downright confusing, while others are incomplete, blank, or written in Chinese.
Another downside of the RitaVPN app is the lack of configuration possibilities it comes with; despite the fact that it has a configuration menu, you can only change some app behavior stuff from there like what happens if you click the “X” button.
Even though the website says otherwise, RitaVPN is not capable of unblocking any entertainment website such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime Video, but it does work with torrent clients, although there’s a noticeable slowdown present throughout the entire connection.
The customer support section has a live chat that’s not a live chat (you leave them a message and they get back to you via email), a ticket submission system and an email address to which you can address your inquiries. However, a few days have gone by and we’re still waiting for a reply, so we think that place (the Customer Support section) might be deserted.
Security-wise, apart from some location inconsistencies, we haven’t noticed anything wrong with RitaVPN, as it seemed to be able to keep our connection airtight. The speed tests, on the other hand, were downright disastrous, with RitaVPN’s top-speed servers being 83% slower than our default, non-VPN connection.
Last, but not least, the price of the product is very high compared to what RitaVPN has in store for you, even after applying the volume discounts.
Do we recommend RitaVPN? Yes, if you’re looking for a zero-logging VPN that could provide you with an airtight connection, but don’t mind the slow speeds, high price and the clone-like feel of their Windows app.
+ Good security; (5)
+ Zero-logging policy; (5)
+ Works with torrents (although slow); (3)
– Clone-like, confusing Windows client; (1)
– Confusing, incomplete website; (2)
– Customer support seems to be non-existent; (1)
– High price for what it has in store; (1)
– Can’t unblock Netflix, Hulu, etc.; (0)
– Very low speed; (0)
RitaVPN receives a 2/5 rating.