Based in Sweden, OVPN is one of the smaller VPN service providers on the market. Steadily growing in size and quality, it offers some useful extra features as well as extensive device compatibility.
We conducted extensive tests on OVPN to see what speeds it offers, how well it performs with streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, as well as how secure it is. It’s a little more expensive than some other well-known VPN clients, but its unique features make it a worthwhile option for peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing.
Setup Process: Reasonably straightforward
Signing up for OVPN and getting the VPN set up is fairly straightforward, although we did run into a problem where it took a while for our account to become active. After signing up and paying, it took about 10 minutes before we finally received the confirmation email. Until the email came through, the client insisted that we didn’t have a valid account.
While you need to enter a username and password to get started, entering an e-mail address or any sort of identifying information is considered optional.
Setup is painless, although the app does throw you into the deep end. We found that we were unable to connect to any of their servers until we disabled the IPv6 option, which we discovered purely through trial and error. The error messages generated during the failed connections weren’t helpful.
There’s no free trial with OVPN, although there is a 10-day money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with the service. While you need to enter a username and password to get started, entering an e-mail address or any sort of identifying information is considered optional.
OVPN does recommend that you provide an email in case you need a password reset, but you can decide if that extra layer of security is worth the potential inconvenience.
Design: As simple as you need, as complex as you want
OVPN offers the best of both worlds with its app design. If you simply want to connect to a VPN to mask your current IP, you can click the Connect button and the app connects to the fastest available VPN server near you. For simple, hidden web browsing, this is a perfect setup.
Alternatively, if you want to choose your location, you can click Show on the app and choose the location from a dropbox list of places. In each case, you can select Choose the best server in x country and OVPN does the rest of the hard work for you. Wherever you choose, connecting typically takes a matter of 5 to 10 seconds with a timer showing you progress.
Once connected, there are graphs highlighting the amount of incoming and outgoing data, along with indicators that demonstrate when the kill switch is activated, and any potential DNS leaks.
Further statistics are available by tapping Statistics. OVPN easily has one of the best user interfaces out there. It’s clear and concise and gives you just the right level of information each at each level.
OVPN offers extensive device support along with guides on how to get started for the majority of them. It has specific software for Windows, macOS, and Ubuntu, along with manual OpenVPN setup guides for a whole slew of other Linux distributions, Android, and iOS. You can also use it with most VPN routers, as well as devices like Synology NAS units. Finally, they also provide browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Vivaldi.
OVPN also offers its own proprietary router called Vilfo. It costs $399 and it’s a powerful device that promises to be 40 times faster than the average consumer router, as well as energy-efficient and fan-less. No technical knowledge is required to set it up and you can use it in conjunction with your existing router if you want an additional layer of protection.
OVPN offers extensive device support along with guides on how to get started for the majority of them.
Performance: Fast enough
OVPN promises to connect you to the best server every time and it managed to do that in our experience. We did notice slight dips in test speeds when connected to distant servers, like in the UK, but not enough to be a problem. This remained the case whether we were connecting during peak or off-peak times, suggesting that OVPN provides is a highly reliable service, no matter what you intend on doing with it.
During our tests, we were able to achieve a maximum downstream speed of 108.1 Mbps on our 1 Gbps internet connection. That’s significantly slower than competitors like NordVPN and Speedify that notched download speeds of 229 and 344 Mbps respectively, but it’s still plenty fast enough for most purposes.
When browsing websites, we noticed no pause or delay during regular use. Similarly, we were unable to notice any real difference when downloading files, even when queuing up numerous torrent based files.
Streaming videos through sites like YouTube and CNN provided no problem, with no buffering or loading issues, and an effortless experience throughout.
Streaming Services: A no-go option
OVPN is pretty fast and offers unlimited bandwidth for no extra charge. That’s good if you download a lot of big files and stream a lot of video content, but it’s unfortunate that OVPN isn’t compatible with most streaming services. While we experienced no problems streaming video through sites like YouTube and CNN, we were unable to get OVPN to work with any popular premium streaming services. then that it’s not suited for streaming services.
As soon as we tried to watch anything on our Netflix account, we received a VPN blocking notice. Similar tests provided the same results when trying to view content on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer.
Unfortunately, that means you have to turn OVPN off to watch streaming content, and you won’t be able to change your geolocation to access banned content from other countries. This poses an especially troubling prospect for anyone who wants to place all of their devices behind OVPN by running it on a router.
OVPN is based in Sweden, which is a member of the 14 Eyes surveillance agreement. That’s a red flag if you’re concerned about privacy, as residents of other 14 Eyes countries may have their own governments pressure a Swedish company into releasing compromising data.
OVPN is so committed to this policy of not logging your activity, or even information about when and how you connect, that their servers don’t have physical hard drives. There is literally no storage media to hold logs. Everything is stored in RAM, including the operating system, which will be wiped immediately if the servers are seized and removed.
Security Features: Reassuringly extensive
OVPN’s security features will look familiar to anyone researching other VPN clients. The overall feature set is extensive, and it’s exactly what privacy and security-minded users should look for in such a service.
Its features include:
- OpenVPN encryption: It’s the most secure VPN encryption currently available.
- AES-256 encryption: Combined with RSA-2048 handshake and SHA-1 authentication, OVPN uses military-grade levels of protection although it’s worth noting that RSA-2048 is a little outdated.
- Extensive public information on server setup: OVPN is keen to be as transparent as possible, so a dedicated part of its site explains all about how the company keeps your data safe. It’s reassuring reading.
- Automatic kill switch: If your connection drops for some reason, the kill switch is activated and no more data is sent or received by your computer until you restore your connection via the VPN.
- Optional add-on packages: For an additional fee, you can purchase a Public IPv4 add-on which allocates you a public IPv4 address. You can also buy the multihop add-on which routes your traffic through two of OVPN’s data centers, drastically minimizing the risk of being detected.
Torrenting: Speedy and with no limits
OVPN is a strong contender for any avid torrent user. It has unlimited bandwidth, a strong no-logs policy, and there are no limitations placed on what server users can connect to for torrenting purposes.
In our speed tests, we found downloading torrents via OVPN to be pretty reliable, too. While downloading multiple torrents, we found only a minimal speed drop compared to if we were doing so unprotected. These speeds and level of performance-based degradation depends on what server you connect to, but with OVPN’s promise of automatically connecting you to the fastest and nearest server to you, you don’t need to think about this too deeply. The automatic kill switch also means you can focus on what you’re downloading rather than worry about security concerns.
Ad Blocking: Not present
Some VPN services include a built-in ad blocker as an added convenience and a bit of extra protection against malicious ad trackers gleaning information about your system or connection. OVPN doesn’t include an ad blocker, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if that’s something you’re interested in.
Customer Service: Sluggish email-based ticket system
OVPN has a web chat feature on their site for the purposes of customer service and support, but we weren’t actually able to take advantage of it. When we attempted to contact support through the so-called web chat function, we received a message that no agents were available, and our request was placed into an email-based ticket system. About six hours later, we eventually received a response.
Price: Reasonable and flexible
OVPN rests neatly between the frequently on offer price from NordVPN and the slightly heftier asking price of products such as ExpressVPN. A month by month plan costs $10.99 per month, with that price dropping to the equivalent of $8.33 per month for 6 months or $7 per month if you commit to a 12-month subscription plan.
Unlike other VPN services, you can pay for OVPN with cash. To do so, you need to mail the cash to a physical address in Sweden along with a one-use code that promises to never link back to you after the payment is accepted. If you’re keen that there are no audit trails back to your identity, this is the best method out there, although there is the risk of mailing cash.
Unlike other VPN services, you can pay for OVPN with cash.
Competition: OVPN vs NordVPN
For all VPNs, NordVPN is consistently the paid service to beat. The Panama-based firm frequently runs heavy discounts on its services, especially if you commit to multiple years at a time, so it’s here that it easily beats OVPN. If you’re willing to commit to two or three years, it’s hard to touch NordVPN when it comes to low prices.
However, when dealing with month by month plans or one year at a time, OVPN looks more attractive. Its user interface is far easier to use than NordVPN’s, and while OVPN can’t beat NordVPN for the number of virtual servers to choose from, it also offers some neat features you can’t get elsewhere.
NordVPN wins streaming, though, since it’s superior when it comes to compatibility with Netflix. Plus it allows for more than one device to be connected simultaneously, too.
For the most part, it all comes down to what you need as to which service is better, with both offering worthwhile features and speed.
If you’re a big streamer, look elsewhere, but otherwise, it’s a decent option.
OVPN is a solid and dependable VPN client that gets a whole lot right in the privacy and security departments. The app is incredibly easy to use, yet also offers plenty of options for more advanced users. We appreciated their open policy when it came to privacy and security, ensuring you can feel confident about the service it provides to you. Netflix support would have been a convenient addition, but for avid torrenters in particular, this is still a very worthwhile VPN to subscribe to.
- Product Name: OVPN
- Price: $7.00
- Speed (Fastest Observed): 108.1 Mbps (Tested on a 1Gbps connection)
- Operating Systems: Windows, macOS, Linux
- Devices: One at a time
- Server locations: 13 Countries
- Number of Servers: 74
- Streaming: No
- Torrenting: Yes, including kill switch
- Encryption: AES-256 OpenVPN
- Logging: No logging, transparency reports available
- Jurisdiction: Sweden