|Support||Email and chat|
OVPN is a VPN (Virtual Private Network) company that is heavily focused on protecting your online privacy. It isn’t designed as a mass-market service. The OVPN network sports a small number of highly-secure, high-end VPN servers in a small number of data centers around the world. OVPN supports many devices, multiple VPN protocols (including WireGuard), strong encryption algorithms (including ChaCha20), and offers quite a few customization options, allowing more advanced VPN users to tweak the performance as desired.
In this review, we take a detailed look at OVPN. We’ll discuss the special features of the service as well as see how it measures up in core VPN characteristics like security and privacy, speed, and the ability to view streaming content. By the time we are done here, you should have a good idea if this sophisticated VPN service will fit your needs.
Here’s what we have learned as a result of our research and testing with OVPN.
- Designed for maximum user privacy and security
- Support for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, Routers, and other devices, as well as browser extensions
- No IP address or DNS leaks detected
- Support for streaming and torrenting
- Lots of configuration options
- Monthly transparency reports
- Multiple payment methods including anonymous payments
- Very small network with few server locations
- Reasonable price, but low number of simultaneous connections
- Short money-back guarantee
Additional interesting FACTs:
- OVPN and OVPN Integritet AB (background info)
- Middle of the road speed test results
- WireGuard support under development
- Add-on features
- Customer support
OVPN has a number of features that make it easy to see why it is popular. These positive points include:
1. Designed for maximum user privacy and security
OVPN has designed their system for the maximum in user privacy. In keeping with the current industry-standards for protecting your privacy, they have a strict no-logs policy and 100% diskless servers across their network. While there has not been a third-party audit to verify the no logs VPN policy, we have no reason to doubt their claims.
The only exception is account and billing information. Even here, OVPN accepts both Bitcoin and cash payments allowing you to set up a fully anonymous VPN.
Note: If you are curious how anonymous payments work in practice, OVPN explains the process on their website.
On the network security front, OVPN has a seven layer security model. It extends from the high level of physical security on their VPN servers in the data center, through the software that you install on your devices, to their browser extensions, website, right up to insurance that will cover any legal fees necessary to fight against demands for user data by third parties.
For the purposes of this review, we note that OVPN supports OpenVPN on both UDP and TCP. They use very strong ciphers (such as AES-256 and ChaCha20), and algorithms supporting Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) to secure your data.
All available network adapters are automatically redirected through the VPN tunnel and use the OVPN DNS servers to ensure that there are no DNS leaks. OVPN actively monitors the DNS settings on every network adapter to prevent other installed software from changing the DNS servers, and their DNSCrypt support protects you from DNS spoofing attacks.
2. Support for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, Android, iOS, Routers,
and other devices as well as browser extensions
We were very impressed when we visited the OVPN Apps page. The list of supported operating systems and devices just goes on, and on, and on.
They of course hit the big four: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. But as privacy-minded folks, we appreciate that they support Linux. And not just generically. They’ve got Ubuntu, Debian, Manjaro, FreeBSD, CentOS, Fedora, even Raspberry Pi!
When does their Linux team manage to sleep?
And it doesn’t even stop there. They have guides for installing OVPN on nine different types of routers, along with a handful of other devices that we’re not very familiar with.
No dedicated mobile apps
While we were very impressed with the desktop apps, OVPN only supports Android and iOS through third-party apps. In other words, OVPN does not offer dedicated VPN clients for Android and iOS, unlike most of the other big VPN providers.
One drawback here is that you are limited on the features when you use a third-party VPN app. Therefore OVPN would not be our top recommendation if you need a VPN for Android or iOS.
OVPN also provides browser extensions for Firefox, Chrome, Vivaldi, and Opera. The extensions protect you from logging into suspicious websites without having the VPN activated. They also block WebRTC leaks, which can occur even when you are connected to a VPN.
The extensions also have some nice additional capabilities, as they can block ads and trackers, as well as purging cookies and other unwelcome gunk that some websites might install on your device.
3. No IP address or DNS leaks detected
We ran a subset of the OVPN apps through our standard VPN leak tests and didn’t encounter any problems. All OVPN clients include a kill switch which is enabled by default. The kill switch disables your internet connection if the connection to OVPN is lost, ensuring that no unencrypted traffic is sent from your device.
Here are Windows VPN leak testing results with the default OVPN settings:
Leak testing OVPN is complicated by the fact that there are just so many combinations you could test. They support a massive number of devices, with multiple VPN protocols for each. In addition, their apps give you a ton of options (see below) which could potentially spring leaks. The company itself warns that using the compression option could have security issues.
We have no reason to believe that there are any leaks in the various OVPN clients and configurations. But to reassure yourself, we recommend that you set up the exact OVPN configuration you want to use, then simply browse to https://ipleak.net to ensure that your specific setup is safe.
4. Support for streaming and torrenting
OVPN offers basic support for both streaming and torrenting on all their servers.
OVPN streaming support
OVPN has an interesting approach to streaming. The OVPN client has a setting called Enable streaming services. When this is set and you try to connect to a streaming service, OVPN automatically sends all streaming-related traffic through the best server (a streaming-capable server) for the job. Non-streaming content continues to go through the normal VPN server.
This seems like a great solution to an annoying problem.
According to the OVPN website, they currently can unblock Netflix USA, Germany, and Sweden. Additionally, this VPN can unblock Hulu, C More, TV4 Play, SVT Play, Viaplay, HBO Nordic, SF Anytime, YLE Areena, and are working on unblocking more streaming services all the time.
Unfortunately even with Enable streaming services set, we were not able to connect to BBC iPlayer while logged into the UK, or Amazon Prime while logged into the USA. While we would not consider OVPN to be the best VPN for streaming, it remains a decent option. You can also see other VPNs for BBC iPlayer here.
OVPN file sharing / P2P / torrent support
OVPN considers itself to be a provider of a service, rather than a regulator of that service. In other words, it isn’t up to them to control what is sent through their servers.
As a result, OVPN file sharing / P2P / torrents on all their servers. This is a good option if you need a safe VPN for torrenting.
5. Lots of configuration options
OVPN gives you plenty of options to make it work exactly the way you want it to. Take a look at the Settings tab of the OVPN desktop client to see what we mean:
Beyond what you see here, you can choose to connect to a specific server with the app displaying the current load and ping time to simplify the choice.
6. Monthly transparency reports
OVPN wants their users to be informed and comfortable about what is going on with their service. To that end, they publish monthly transparency reports. They’ve been doing so every month since October 2014, which is really impressive if you ask us.
If you want to see the most recent transparency report, or are curious about what’s been going on with OVPN for the past 5+ years, head on over to their Status and transparency reports list on their website.
7. Multiple payment methods including anonymous payments
OVPN has four available payment methods, one of which is totally anonymous, and one pseudonymous.
The standard payment methods are credit cards or PayPal as shown here:
Cash is the anonymous payment method. You literally put some money in an envelope, along with a note stating your OVPN username, and mail it to the company in Sweden. Assuming you don’t do anything crazy, like put your return address on the envelope, or hand the envelope to the postman directly in front of the camera, this payment method should be totally anonymous.
Bitcoin is another great payment options, although less anonymous than cash sent in the mail. However, there are Bitcoin mixing services, which should theoretically anonymize your Bitcoins. We discuss this more in our guide on How to Be Anonymous Online.
Here are the drawbacks we found for this OVPN review:
1. Small network with few server locations
OVPN has a small server network. At the time of this review, the server network consisted of 89 servers in 17 countries. The following map shows the entire network, but they are adding locations:
As noted above, the high security philosophy of OVPN emphasizes fewer, higher-quality, secure servers. The growth of their network is governed by data center usage, with new servers added once a data center reaches 60% capacity, likely giving you faster speeds due to lack of server congestion. It is a different approach than that taken by most VPN companies, but consistent with their focus on privacy and security above all.
2. Reasonable price, but low number of simultaneous connections
OVPN pricing is pretty much in line with that of other premium VPNs. The company explains that they always use the latest hardware and keep the load on their servers low to save you from network congestion and other problems that can plague low-quality VPNs.
Although OVPN is not quite in the “cheap VPN” category, the prices aren’t too high.
We also like that the price plans aren’t overly complicated. What we don’t like is that you are limited to a maximum number of 4 simultaneous connections. Most leading VPN services support more simultaneous connections: for example, ExpressVPN supports 5, NordVPN supports 6, and Surfshark places no limit on the number of simultaneous connections you can have. Depending on your circumstances, the lower number of simultaneous connections could be a deal breaker.
3. Short money-back guarantee
The OVPN money-back guarantee is a relatively short 10 days. In addition, you cannot simply log into your account and cancel your subscription. The full process goes like this:
The user must contact OVPN within 10 days of making the first payment by email or live chat for the money-back guarantee to be valid. For payments made in Bitcoin, the equivalent amount will be refunded, regardless of exchange rate fluctuations. For cash refunds, the user must visit OVPN’s office to receive a refund.
OVPN interesting FACTs
Here are some interesting bits of information about OVPN that didn’t easily fit into the Pros or Cons section.
1. OVPN and OVPN Integritet AB
OVPN is a product of OVPN Integritet AB, which is registered in Sweden. We weren’t able to find much information about the company beyond its founding in 2014 and the launch of OVPN in 2015.
While Sweden isn’t a horrible location for a privacy company like this one, it does have one big drawback. Sweden is a member of the 14 Eyes alliance, an international surveillance alliance. This drawback is balanced by the design of OVPN, which doesn’t lend itself to the surveillance of users. No-logs and diskless servers means there is no information available anywhere in their system to track you.
2. Middle of the road speed test results
For this OVPN review, I ran speed tests with servers around the world. My baseline connection speed was about 500 Mbps and all tests were conducted from the United States.
First, I connected to the “Fastest Server” which the OVPN client selects for you based on your proximity to the server and the available bandwidth (server load). The app selected the Los Angeles, CA server, which give me about 190 Mbps.
This is definitely not a bad speed test result for OVPN.
Next I tested a server in Dallas, Texas, giving me about 143 Mbps:
Not, as good as before, but still not horrible.
Next up was New York, at 127 Mbps.
I also tested servers in Canada.
Here was an OVPN server in Toronto, Canada, which gave me good speeds at 190 Mbps.
Finally, I ran a few speed tests with servers in Europe.
Here was an OVPN server in the UK at 72 Mbps:
The last server I tested was in Frankfurt, Germany: 77 Mbps.
Overall, these are decent speeds, but OVPN is certainly not the fastest VPN I’ve tested.
With OVPN servers in the US and Canada, there was some variability in both upload speed and download speed. Servers in Europe were even further off my benchmark’s speed. And even though slower speeds can be expected with longer distances, in our tests for NordVPN, speeds were consistently fast across the board. We even hit 445 Mbps with a NordVPN server in Seattle.
3. WireGuard support under development
OVPN is one of the few VPNs currently offering WireGuard support. It is not available for every client, and as described on the site, OVPN is running an open beta of WireGuard.
OVPN informed us they will be integrating WireGuard support into their VPN clients in the coming months.
4. Add-on features
OVPN offers two add-ons features which might be important to you. These are: Multihop and Public IPv4.
OVPN’s Multihop is similar to Surfshark’s MultiHop or NordVPN’s Double-VPN, except that it can pass your traffic through two or more VPN servers, greatly increasing your privacy and security, while resulting in slower speeds thanks to all the additional steps between your device and whatever it is connecting to out on the internet. Multihop is automatically included in your OVPN subscription if you sign up for six months or longer.
Public IPv4 is a way to give you a dedicated IP address that is not shared with anyone else. Having a public IPv4 address is a necessity for certain use cases. If you have one of those use cases, you know it. You can get more information about the Public IPv4 option on the OVPN website.
5. Customer support
OVPN customer service can be reached through the contact form on the website, email, live chat, or Twitter. Note that the company does not provide 24/7 customer support like their larger competitors, which could adversely affect response time for urgent issues.
If you’d rather go with a VPN that offers 24/7 live chat support, you may want to consider ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
OVPN review conclusion
There is a lot to like about OVPN, from its strong focus on online privacy to the large number of configuration options it offers. But whether it is a service you should consider depends heavily on what you plan to do with a VPN. If all you need is a VPN to unblock Netflix and other streaming sites, then OVPN may not be the best fit.
If you are using a VPN mainly for privacy and security reasons, then OVPN may be a great choice. It also caters to privacy-conscious users with a full GUI client for linux, multi-hop support, strong encryption, and support for the WireGuard VPN protocol. Take advantage of the 10 day money-back guarantee to give OVPN a try.
Alternatives to OVPN
Click the VPN name below to read our full review – or grab the discount for the best savings. All three of these VPNs have a 30 day money-back guarantee.
- ExpressVPN [49% discount + 3 Months Free]
- NordVPN [68% discount]
You can also check out our guide on the best VPN services list for other recommendations.