You’ll be remiss if you are unaware of the potential risks that exist on the internet these days. Falling prey to hackers and cybercriminals is an experience that can ruin your life. Hence, there is a lot of sensitization regarding identifying and plugging loopholes that can leave you exposed. One sure way to safeguard your privacy is through using a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an app that encrypts your network traffic. The encryption makes it impossible for hackers to break through and have access to your data. Apart from this, a VPN comes in handy for a plethora of other situations.
Generally, there are quite a number of VPN providers in the market today. Most of them claim to be good at what they do. However, it would be foolhardy to take them at their words. Therefore, I have taken to going through them one at a time.
In this review, I look at a provider known as OVPN.
OVPN is a relatively small provider, boasting of no more than 90 servers in 26 locations. However, it manages to provide above-average services.
This provider does excellently when it comes to security. It makes use of the standard AES 256-bit encryption model as well as other exciting security features. In the same vein, it takes the subject of privacy quite seriously. Apart from maintaining a strict no-logs policy, this provider stores users ’ data on the RAM memory, making it easy to delete each session after use.
OVPN is also great for streaming content. Its speed is not the fastest; however, it is decent enough to serve your needs. It unblocks content on a range of platforms, including Netflix US. Users get unlimited bandwidth and no lags during sessions.
OVPN boasts of apps for major device types. It further provides extensions of Chrome, Firefox, and several other browsers. Users can connect up to 4 devices to one OVPN account. To top it off, its plans are affordable, catering to every budget.
Let’s take a look at the individual features of this VPN.
The number of servers a provider has is quite important for a variety of reasons. The first is that it invariably ties in to the number of locations you can connect to at any given moment. The larger the server count, the more options you get.
Furthermore, if you are looking to bypass geo-restrictions in any location, you can only do so if the provider has servers present there. For instance, if you need to access Netflix outside of the United States, you need a VPN provider with servers in the US. That way, you can connect to any of the servers, change your IP address, and stream US-specific content unhindered.
Unfortunately, OVPN does not have an impressive server count. It has 90 servers in 17 countries and 26 locations. Although these locations cover high-traffic areas such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, they are still insufficient. Here is a breakdown of the servers by location:
The United States
The United Kingdom
While the server count may not be impressive, this provider makes up for it by its unblocking ability. I’ll tell you more on that later.
Speed and Performance
Apart from the quality of security features a provider has, one other area of concern for users is speed. While surfing, streaming, or downloading content, users like to have blazing-fast speeds. Thus, it is usually a downer when a VPN provider cannot assure users of this.
Typically, using a VPN slows down your internet speed somewhat. This is because of the time it takes the VPN to route your traffic through its servers and back. However, service providers do all within their power to make sure that the speed drop is negligible.
Surprisingly, OVPN does not make any claims regarding speed on its website. This is curious because most providers brandish their speed metrics in a bid to attract subscribers. However, running an independent speed test on the platform would show that OVPN’s speed is just a little above average. It allows you to carry out tasks without buffering or lags.
In addition, you may want to go with the provider’s suggestions when it comes to selecting servers. This would ensure that you get the fastest one in your location of choice.
Safety and Security Features
Ensuring stellar security is the primary job of any VPN. Thus, it is the primary consideration for a lot of folks looking to get on a VPN. Remarkably, even though it is a relatively small service, OVPN packs really powerful security features.
This provider makes use of the industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption on all of its servers. This level of encryption is so reliable that the United States military even uses it. In addition, it boasts of a kill switch on its desktop app – this immediately shuts down your connection if the VPN momentarily falters. Furthermore, you also get ad and malware blockers as part of the service too.
OVPN makes use of Perfect Forward Secrecy. This is a feature that protects you even if a hacker gains access to your current session. It resets your encryption key after each session so that the hacker can access the current session and no other. You also get DNS-leak protection features on this service.
OVPN also supports the best protocols you could find in the market. For all of its devices, you can choose between OpenVPN UDP/TCP. This is one of the most secure protocols you can lay your hands on. Unfortunately, you cannot access other protocols such as IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP, and PTTP.
All things considered, OVPN is a solid provider when it comes to security. You can easily put it up there with the best.
Anonymity and Privacy Features
The privacy features a provider boasts of is also another area of concern for most users. You must understand that even though the VPN protects you from hackers, virtually nothing protects you from the VPN provider. Hence, a service provider can access your details such as browsing history, information regarding your location, IP address, etc.
On the surface, this might seem like too huge a compromise to make. Thus, service providers attempt to assuage the fears of users by crafting watertight privacy policies. Typically, a provider would agree not to retain any logs pertaining to the user’s activities. Furthermore, they will pledge not to give up a user’s identity, especially to the government.
OVPN’s privacy policies meet and even exceed these benchmarks. This provider does not retain any logs of user’s activities. To show that it means business with this, OVPN only uses RAM for storage. This option wipes off users’ data as soon as each session ends.
You will be glad to know that this provider owns all of its servers. This is amazing as the provider can effectively monitor as well as provide proper security for these servers. Third parties would be unable to tamper or steal the hard drives, as is sometimes the case with sublet servers. Here you can actually see pictures of the servers, taken from OVPNs website.
Furthermore, only the basic information is required of you during sign up. This provider does not require you to reveal your name, email address, physical address, or phone number when purchasing a subscription. Remarkably, you can even mail an envelope with cash to the physical office of OVPN and get signed up anonymously. You can also decide to pay for your subscription using Bitcoins. This further cements your privacy.
Unfortunately, OVPN has its headquarters in Sweden. This country is part of the 14 eyes network. This means that companies in the country are obligated to share information about their users with the government. Nevertheless, seeing as OVPN does not store any data in the first place, you stand no risk of having your data compromised. If nothing is retained, then there obviously would be nothing to reveal.
You would definitely be miffed if you discovered that the VPN provider you went along with has no suitable app for your device. This is why I would advise you to confirm that your provider of choice has compatible apps for your different devices.
Similarly, it also makes sense to confirm the number of simultaneous devices connection the provider allows. The industry standard is 5, but some providers go further to allow even up to 10 simultaneous connections. The higher the number, the better for you. You can connect family and friends to your account and could even pool resources together to get on a subscription plan, depending on the range of devices your provider allows.
It will interest you to know that OVPN has apps for major device types. On its website, you can download compatible apps for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices. You can even go further to download and install the VPN on routers. This would increase the reach you can have.
OVPN offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Vivaldi. Surprisingly, these extensions boast of more features than the desktop and mobile versions.
You can connect up to 4 devices to the same account at the same time.
Streaming and Torrenting
A lot of folks turn to a VPN for an enhanced streaming experience. On its own, using a VPN for streaming could be a great idea, especially if you are looking to improve your download speed. Some Internet Service Providers identify when you are streaming from specific sites and sometimes throttle your speed. However, when you use a VPN, you eliminate the possibility of this happening.
For most cases, though, you may need a VPN to unblock geo-restricted streaming sites. Some streaming platforms shut you out if you aren’t physically located within their catchment area. Hooking up to a VPN, and connecting to a compatible server, gets rid of this challenge.
With OVPN, you can access streaming sites such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Nordic. This provider assures users that as long as there is an OVPN server in that region, unblocking the content of choice would be no hassle at all. Even more so, you can access these videos in High Definition quality since the provider allows you to connect to a server that is fast enough to serve your needs.
Finally, although this provider boasts the platforms it can unlock, there may be some slight differences in reality. This provider can certainly unblock Netflix US from whatever location you are in. However, for other geo-restricted sites, you may have to confirm that for yourself before getting on a subscription plan.
OVPN also allows for torrenting on all of its servers. However, its speed during P2P file sharing and torrenting leaves much to be desired. Hence, you may want to consider other alternatives if great torrenting speed is a dealbreaker for you.
Plans and Pricing
OVPN’s plans and pricing are as follows:
Monthly subscription: $11 per month
6-Month subscription: $6.99 per month
12-month subscription: $4.99 per month
OVPN’s website has a modern and intuitive outlay that makes it easy to navigate. The same goes for its apps. You will hardly be at a loss regarding how to configure settings or make any changes that you need.
Even if you have not used a VPN before, OVPN provides you with sufficient information to guide you through the process. This provider errs on the side of revealing too much when it comes to doling out information.
When you run into any challenges, there are set out processes for rectifying this. You can make use of the live chat, speak to a customer care person, and have your issue sorted out. In addition, this provider has a FAQs section where you will find common queries already handled. OVPN gives you a unique experience.
Pros and Cons
- Stellar security features
- Great subscription options
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Great unblocking ability – especially for Netflix US.
- Limited server count
- Slow speeds
It goes without saying that everyone needs a VPN in this modern era. One of the providers to consider is OVPN. I have analyzed all the features of this VPN. You can consider all of them before deciding on what your next steps will be.