OVPN review: An ideal VPN except for one big drawback

OVPN review: An ideal VPN except for one big drawback

P2P allowed: Yes Business location: Stockholm, Sweden Number of servers: 56 Number of country locations: 7 Cost: $84 per year VPN protocol: OpenVPN Da

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P2P allowed: Yes
Business location: Stockholm, Sweden
Number of servers: 56
Number of country locations: 7
Cost: $84 per year
VPN protocol: OpenVPN
Data encryption: AES-256-GCM
Data authentication: SHA1 HMAC
Handshake encryption: TLSv1.2

One of the big questions many people have about a VPN service is just how well they can trust a company’s no-logging claim. OVPN tries to allay that concern as much as possible by running its own small network of servers in seven countries.

On top of that, the company doesn’t allow its hardware to hold internal or external hard drives, USB sticks, or CD-ROM drives. That, of course, begs the question where it stores the operating system and server configuration. The company tells me that it runs the operating system and all system configuration files on RAM. If you’re interested to learn about how this works check out OVPN’s blog post on the topic.

Note: This review is part of our best VPNs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

Services and features

OVPN’s Windows desktop app is very basic. At the top are four categories: Connections, Statistics, Support, and Account. The primary places that users will be looking at most days are Connections and Account.

ovpnconnection IDG

OVPN with an active connection.

Connections is where you see all your options for connecting to the VPN. By default, OVPN connects to the fastest server based on your location. If you need a specific country, such as the U.S., you can let OVPN determine the best server for you within that location. Finally, you can drill down and personally select one of OVPN’s 56 servers. The automated approach based on speed is quite common for a VPN service, but it’s nice to see a company spell it out for the user. Once you’ve chosen your connection options, click Connect and OVPN takes care of the rest.

The Account section would be more accurately called “Settings” since this is where the desktop app houses all its various options to tweak. By default, OVPN turns on its kill switch that shuts down all internet activity when the VPN connection drops. Also on by default is IPv6 support, launching the desktop app at boot, and various notification options.

One thing to note is that when you hit the minimize button, OVPN disappears to the system tray. If you’d rather it stayed on the taskbar you can do that at Account > Client > Minimize to system tray.

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