OVPN Review & Comprehensive Tests (2020)

OVPN logo
MY VERDICT:
RECOMMENDED
MY SCORE:
7.6 / 10

In my work, I deal with a lot of digital content, which unfortunately poses a lot of privacy risks for its owners.

For that reason, I’m very concerned with the security of my digital activities and have decided to look for a reliable VPN service.

In this OVPN review, I tell you about what I’ve discovered about a Swedish provider OVPN and what it’s offering.

OVPN
Logs:No
Servers:88 servers in 17 countries
StreamingYes, by enabling streaming servers
Price:$4.99 per month
Discount:Save $72 + get Multihop for free (worth $60)
OVPN header

What is OVPN?

OVPN header

OVPN is a Sweden-based VPN service provider, founded in 2014 by David Wibergh.

It’s managed by OVPN Integritet AB. It claims to be a “privacy-friendly” VPN provider that’s always transparent and guarantees service uptime of 99.5%.

It promises features including privacy-by-design, access to Netflix US, P2P file sharing, Multihop, and browser extensions.

The lowest price is $4.99 per month, but only if you buy a 12-month package.

My primary concern when choosing a VPN provider is privacy and security, so this is what I focused on when I dug into further research into OVPN to see whether it’s as privacy friendly as it claims.

Pros

  • Privacy-by-design
  • AES 256-bit encryption
  • P2P - secure torrenting
  • No traffic is unencrypted - even if your connection breaks - thanks to the automatic killswitch
  • Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi, Opera Browser extensions
  • Multihop - double protection of your traffic

Cons

  • Slow speeds due to few servers
  • Third-party streaming servers
  • No free trial

Privacy & Jurisdiction

0 / 10
Rating

Is There Evidence of OVPN Keeping Logs?

OVPN claims that it doesn’t use hard drives but rather, RAM memory to store information. 

RAM (random access memory) is a series of chips on a computer activated when the computer is running a program. As soon as a computer loses power, everything on RAM is lost. Unlike RAM, hard drives retain information irrespective of the power supply.

Therefore, usage of RAM by OVPN means that any data run through the operating system is lost as soon as the device is turned off.

By this principle, OVPN doesn’t have technical means to store any logs.

The service’s privacy policy confirms this.

OVPN does not know who is connected to their service, what you are doing or when you are doing it.

Nothing can be connected to an account:

"By utilising a VPN service you are essentially moving the trust from your ISP to the VPN provider. It's crucial that you're using a VPN service that is trustworthy and transparent on how the business is run and which methods they've employed to protect your privacy and integrity. We strongly believe that OVPN is the most transparent and trustworthy VPN service."

- OVPN
  • no logging of traffic
  • no logging of timestamps
  • no logging of DNS requests
  • no logging of IP addresses
  • no logging of MAC addresses
  • no logging of individual user bandwidth volumes

In addition, the VPN service doesn’t require an e-mail address upon signing up.

A user can provide one, but it’s optional, whereas it’s usually mandatory for most other vendors I’ve seen. Whilst this could cause some problems in case I forget my password, an e-mail address is one less thing that can be attached to your name.

I’m glad to see that the anonymity is taken seriously by OVPN.

I’m therefore convinced that OVPN doesn’t keep logs.

The company stores the following data for each account:

OVPN collects data

Jurisdiction and Applicable Privacy Laws

OVPN is based in Sweden. This means it must follow the local and the international laws to which Sweden is a signatory. One of these is the 14-eyes alliance, which means it’s required to participate in sharing data with other jurisdictions and government bodies.

If a VPN service keeps logs, it could be a cause for concern for privacy-conscious computer users like myself.

However, from what I’ve seen OVPN doesn’t keep logs.

Swedish law requires a court order for a specific subject to access their online activities. And since OVPN’s records of users are eradicated the moment their computers are turned off, there’s no way to establish whether a person is a user of OVPN.

In addition, OVPN has special insurance for legal fees in the event of a court case.

OVPN takes privacy very seriously

How Secure Is Provider?

0 / 10
Rating

Tunneling Protocols & Encryption

OVPN Encryption Standards

As far as OVPN’s cyber security approach goes, OVPN’s usage of AES-256-bit encryption, protected by the 2048-bit Diffie Hellman key, means that they take their clients’ privacy seriously.

This encryption standard is used by the NSA and would take billions of years to crack, according to cybersecurity experts.

In OVPN, it’s enabled by default, so it doesn’t require additional set-up at the installation stage.

OVPN Security Protocols

I checked whether OVPN used secure protocols for your online activities – this is important because these protocols are what determines how data is routed.

  • OVPN uses OpenVPN as its default and sole protocol. This protocol is an open-source protocol that makes use of the AES 256-bit key encryption I already mentioned. Its configuration would, however, take a bit of technical maneuvering. OVPN provides pretty clear instructions about how to do this, though.
  • OVPN doesn’t support earlier protocols like PPTP and L2TP, which are considered less secure.
  • OVPN also offers WireGuard protocol – a new open-source VPN security protocol. Although it’s still a very new solution, it’s already embedded in the Linux 5.6 release of March 2020.

Given that Wireguard is considered a solution that encompasses the state-of-the-art cryptography, I was indeed glad to see that OVPN, being a rather new company itself, is keen to capitalize on the best things that the cybersecurity market can offer.

Other Great Security Features

  • In addition to using the protocols considered best in the industry, OVPN also implements its security measures at the physical level. It’s not possible to connect any peripherals like USB drives or keyboards to the OVPN server computers, and therefore no possibility to copy data.
  • Each OVPN package comes with an automatic killswitch. It’s activated if the VPN connection is unexpectedly interrupted. When this happens, there’s a risk of a leak, but a VPN killswitch makes sure that doesn’t happen.
  • OVPN has an SSL-protected website with the certificate issued by Let’s Encrypt Authority X3. This is an additional layer of protection of data sent across the site, which ensures that only the intended recipient can see it. I’m pleased that OVPN takes their own cyber security seriously, as well as their customers’.

Leak Tests

0 / 10
Rating

VPN services would ideally conceal your DNS requests from your ISP to ensure your online activities remain private from it. You can do a check online whether there’s a DNS leak when you’re using a VPN.

OVPN offers its own desktop client that monitors the settings of your network adapters to ensure that its own DNS servers are used and no software is interfering with that.

IP Leak Test

To verify whether OVPN leaks my DNS requests, I ran tests on a few websites, using my Windows-enabled laptop.

I used IPLeak.net to see whether the service was leaking my IP.

I was pleased to see that my IP wasn’t leaking when I had OVPN on.

DNS Leak Test

A DNS Leak is when your DNS queries are exposed to your ISP, despite the fact that they’re supposed to be concealed by a VPN tunnel.

I ran a test using DNSleaktest.com and fortunately, OVPN wasn’t exposing my activities. OVPN also offers its own DNS Leak Test.

WebRTC Leak Test – WebRTC Tool

A WebRTC leak exposes your IP address through your browser’s WebRTC function.

OVPN offers a browser extension that blocks this API.

I activated the extension and ran a WebRTC Leak Test through IPLeak.net.

Thankfully, the test showed that OVPN protected the system from leaking WebRTC requests.

Speed and Performance

0 / 10
Rating

It goes without saying that a VPN service must keep your online activities secure.

A certain reduction of speed comes with a territory here, since your traffic is routed through an extra hop (or two).

However, I had hoped that my connection speed wouldn’t be too affected when I used OVPN.

99.5% uptime guaranteed

To test the reduction in my Internet speed, I connected to several OVPN servers around the world.

Download SpeedUpload SpeedSpeed Reduction
Base Line Data15.34 Mbps13.28 MbpsN/A
Closest Server (Helsinki)10.71 Mbps4.56 Mbps-30%
Connected to London, UK8.79 Mbps1.54 Mbps-42.5%
Connected to Chicago, USA5.92 Mbps5.55 Mbps-62%
Connected to Netherlands9.93 Mbps10.99 Mbps-34.5%
Connected to Australia0.23 Mbps0.00 Mbps-98%

I was pleased to see that the server closest to me (in Finland) showed a speed reduction of only 30%.

It might not be the best speed for streaming content, but if your priority is privacy of yours and your clients’ digital files, which OVPN seems to also prioritize, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

OVPN also offers a solution to increase your Internet speed when connected to the service

Unlimited OVPN bandwidth

However, the US and Western European servers showed a higher speed reduction.

This is because they’re further away and also because OVPN currently has only 86 servers.

The Internet connection speed depends on the number of servers a VPN has.

And since OVPN has seven servers in Scandinavian countries that are close to me, it’s no surprise that the speed was decent when I used a Finnish server.

Media Streaming

0 / 10
Rating

If you want to stream TV that’s only available in a certain country whilst traveling, a VPN is your solution. However, some services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Hulu often block VPN-like IP addresses.

Therefore, if you want to use a VPN service for streaming content you for some reason can’t get access to, make sure that it offers that option.

OVPN has released a new feature last year that allows you to do just that.

It’s called “Streaming services” and you have to activate it manually in your desktop client. It works by way of a multihop. You connect to your chosen VPN server (USA for Netflix USA and Hulu, for instance), and that server then redirects your traffic through a rented server dedicated to streaming via the Wireguard protocol.

Since these rented servers are third-party, there’s no guarantee of the same level of privacy and security as on OVPN’s own servers. In addition, the multihop slows down your streaming speed.

Streaming Service:
Netflix USYes
HuluYes
Netflix SwedenYes
BBC iPlayer
No
HBO Nordic
Yes
Amazon Prime Video
No

Does OVPN Work With Netflix?

OVPN works with American, Swedish and German Netflix.

You can activate this option by turning on the “Streaming services” toggle and connecting to a server in the US, Sweden or Germany.

Torrenting (P2P)

0 / 10
Rating

Is OVPN Good for Torrenting?

I tested OVPN to see whether it allows for secure P2P file sharing.

If you regularly use certain programs for P2P file sharing, or torrenting, you’ll be happy to know that OVPN’s strict no-logs policy and closed incoming ports make it a very secure service for torrenting. 

The service provides clear guidance on optimizing download time when sharing files peer-to-peer. It specifies which ports should be opened to ensure the speed and security, depending on which torrenting program you use.

OVPN is compatible with BitTorrent, uTorrent and Vuze.

The built-in automatic killswitch would cut off your connection instantly in case of a security vulnerability.

Countries and Servers

0 / 10
Rating
OVPN's network of servers around the world

Currently, OVPN operates in 15 countries with 86 servers altogether – 5 in the USA, 1 in Canada, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Netherlands, Austria, Germany, France, Japan, Singapore and Australia, and 7 in the Scandinavian countries.

All the servers and hardware are their own, they don’t rent from other providers, which makes the servers secure.

For a service that’s only 5 years old, that’s not bad.

However, with the ever-increasing number of VPN users across the world, the need for a high number of servers is also increasing.

This is because the more servers a VPN has, the better the connection speeds.

Data center in Stockholm, Sweden
Data center in Stockholm, Sweden
Gothenburg, Sweden
Data center in Gothenburg, Sweden

Does OVPN Work in China?

OVPN doesn’t have servers in China, so I’ve asked the team whether it was possible for it to work in China anyway.

This is the answer I received via Live Chat.

OVPN support is explaining how to connecto China

So, it seems that OVPN does work in China through its Singapore server.

Does OVPN Offer Dedicated IP?

A dedicated IP address is a unique IP address assigned exclusively to you. It’s also known as a static IP address.

OVPN offers a dedicated IP address option , known as Public IPv4, for $3.29 per month.

Multi-Platform Compatibility

0 / 10
Rating

How Many Devices Can You Use OVPN On?

You can use OVPN on four different devices at the same time. Custom configuration files are offered for each type of device.

OVPN can work with several Desktop operating systems:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Linux Ubuntu/Debian (requires downloading special configuration)
OVPN's macOS desktop client
macOS desktop client
OVPN's Windows desktop client
Windows desktop client
OVPN's Ubuntu desktop client
Ubuntu desktop client

OVPN is also compatible with major mobile platforms iOS and Android.

There are no mobile apps that several other VPN providers have, however, so mobile set-up requires some manual configurations on your device.

Reliability & Customer Support

2 / 10
Rating

OVPN’s website has a Live Chat function that works 9-5 CET on weekdays.

I was pleased with the speed of reply to my query – according to the instructions, they answer within 20 minutes, and I got an answer in less than 3, on a Monday.

There’s also an option to contact customer support via a form on the website or by e-mail. You can also send OVPN a message on Twitter.

I was happy to see, upon browsing through their Twitter feed, that they publish information about planned maintenances and service disruptions.

On OVPN's Twitter feed, they publish information about planned maintenances and service disruptions

User Experience & Usability

0 / 10
Rating

The website of OVPN is quite straightforward to use.

There’s a lot of content on the landing page, but it’s a nice mix of visual and text information. The Live Chat button is clearly visible, and the FAQ menu is very informative and easy to navigate. I would’ve appreciated a search button for the entire site though, rather than FAQs alone.

The interface is available in English and Swedish.

The installation of the desktop client itself on Windows, MacOS and Ubuntu is fairly straightforward, as all you have to do is download the .exe/zip file and follow detailed instructions provided by the service.

I found OVPN’s Windows client to also be easy to navigate. Connecting to it requires only clicking the “Connect” button.

You can see that the automatic killswitch is activated and there are no DNS leaks.

OVPN's Windows desktop client
Windows desktop client

OVPN automatically chooses the best server for you or you can choose your own.

The number of OVPN’s servers, which is considerably lower than major providers’, does somewhat diminish the UX due to the reduction in speed. 

The “Enable Streaming Service” toggle was also easy to locate in OVPN Desktop client. 

In terms of UX, OVPN’s comprehensive guides available on its website for installation and usage are very helpful.

Despite never having configured a VPN manually, I had no problem doing just that, thanks to the guides.

Affordability

2 / 10
Rating

Unfortunately, privacy is something we need to pay for in this day and age.

I’m quite happy to do that, but only if I have a guarantee of a VPN service’s value for money. Since OVPN’s privacy-focused service’s USP is privacy, I checked to see how much maintaining this privacy would cost.

How Much Does OVPN Cost?

If you buy OVPN for 1 month only, it’ll cost you $11.

If you buy the six-month offer, the monthly price would be $6.99 per month, and you’d pay $41.94 per that period overall. If you choose the 12-month package, each month would cost $4.99, and you’d be charged $59.88 for that period.

Both the six- and the twelve-monthwelve- month packages include Multihop – OVPN’s feature that “cloaks” your traffic into two encryptions, rerouting it through two data centers rather than one.

1 Month

$ 11
00
per month
  • $11.00 billed every month

6 Months

$ 6
99
per month
  • $41.94 billed every 6 months
  • +Get Multihop for free
save $24

12 Months

$ 4
99
per month
  • $59.88 billed every 12 months
  • +Get Multihop for free
SAVE $72

Payment Methods

OVPN accepts most cards (Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, JCP), and PayPal.

You can also wire a cash payment to OVPN’s head office in Sweden. OVPN also accepts bitcoin payments.

Does OVPN Have a Free Trial?

OVPN doesn’t offer a free trial. However, it does offer a 10-day money-back guarantee for each of its packages.

FAQ

Is OVPN a Scam?

OVPN’s operator is a registered Swedish company. The service has legitimate privacy policies. It doesn’t ask for any of your data, therefore it can’t scam you. OVPN is not a scam.

Is OVPN Safe?

OVPN uses the latest cyber security technologies and the safest encryption standards. It’s set up in a way that doesn’t retain any information about you. OVPN is therefore quite safe to use.

Is OVPN Expensive?

OVPN costs $4.99 if you purchase a 12-month deal and $11 per month if you get it on a monthly basis. It’s not the cheapest service on the market.

Does OVPN Steal Your Data?

OVPN doesn’t steal your data. It doesn’t require an e-mail upon signing up and it doesn’t store any logs – its technology is set up in a way that doesn’t allow for it.

Do I Recommend OVPN?

OVPN is a provider that prioritizes privacy above all else.

The 256-bits encryption, together with the automatic kill switch and usage of RAM rather than hard drives does support that assertion.

However, it has fewer servers than other providers, which can slow down your speed.

Since my priority is also security and privacy, I recommend OVPN as a provider that’ll keep your online activities safe and secure.

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