OctaneVPN is an affordable and quick VPN solution that makes up in practice for what it seems to lack on paper.
While there is some independent research to conclude that some OctaneVPN servers are virtual and thus less safe than a bare-metal servers (and that they’re based in the US, notorious for its mass surveillance), their no-logging policy is transparent, well-defined, and the product comes packed with smartly-constructed premium-level features.
Simply put, OctaneVPN works well for unblocking the Internet and making you more secure while doing so, all at a cost that’s reasonable, and supported by a money back guarantee.
If you’re wondering whether this is the right VPN for you, our OctaneVPN review will go into every detail that might be relevant to your needs and wants.
Security and privacy
OctaneVPN is solidly secure – you can download it knowing full well that your data won’t be open to any vulnerability (more on this in the Pricing section).
To control spam and related activities that could even be malicious, OctaneVPN blocks outgoing SMTP requests and data. To ensure DNS leak protection, OctaneVPN runs their own DNS servers.
What follows is a rundown of their security features, from the cipher used for encryption and bonus features such as port forwarding and their unique setup that protects you from legal notices:
- OctaneVPN offers encryption of the highest quality (AES-256-CBC over OpenVPN).
It also supports a kill switch option which they describe as “proactive,” since it’ll drop everything but the VPN connection, ensuring there’s no sliver of time where you’re left unprotected.
- In addition to DNS and IP leak protection options and running their own DNS servers, leaks are also controlled by the method described above.
- Dynamic IPs ensure each user gets a different “digital identity” each time they log in. Additionally, OctaneVPN also has port-forwarding. Unfortunately, as of right now, it’s available on request and is exclusive to each customer (and limited to either UDP/TCP).
Does OctaneVPN keep logs?
While we can’t say that OctaneVPN doesn’t keep any logs, which is true of most VPNs, their policy is nonetheless detailed and heartening.
The only type of logs OctaneVPN keeps is an aggregated number of users connected to, and bandwidth used by, each gateway. The RAM keeping these erases itself once powered down.
Hence, there’s no storing of your IP address, activity, data usage, or even protocol usage – thus, the service keeps connection logs only.
Additionally, none of the data is used elsewhere, sold, or shared with third parties.
In fact, the split-structure we mentioned earlier comes into play here. Their marketing front is a company different from their network connections company, so even being based in the US (a country with privacy issues), when contacted, they’d have no access to the network connections – and Network Connections, operating out of Nevis, wouldn’t have any customer account data to provide.
Speed & Performance
VPNs are known for their abilities to get around bandwidth limits, and OctaneVPN is no exception.
With 108 servers in 46 countries, the connection speed should be higher than average even if you’re accessing a server half the world away. However, as mentioned, some of OctaneVPN’s servers are virtual, meaning the connections won’t always be great.
There are near-unlimited IP addresses available to each user due to their use of dynamic IPs – every time connecting to OctaneVPN will bring a different IP address, for maximum security, anonymity, privacy, and anti-tracking abilities.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
A standard number of devices support OctaneVPN: you can download VPN clients for Windows/Mac/Linux, mobile apps for Android and iPhone, and an easy to use guide from the Tutorials section of the site can help you set it up on a supported router.
OctaneVPN offers custom apps for the following platforms:
There is also support for:
- Synology DSM (5.0/6.0)
The app design is simple if a little dated-looking and largely uniform across. There’s a built-in speed test and servers can be ranked on the basis of closeness to your location.
Unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms with OctaneVPN
Unless a VPN makes specific mention of being able to get around a service such as Netflix or Hulu blocking the content on local versions of their websites to users from different countries (known as geo-blocking), chances are that the service won’t be of much use for it.
On our tests, we weren’t able to get into Netflix US from a non-US location, nor get around the geo-restrictions on Amazon Fire TV.
This is a shame since OctaneVPN’s uptime and speeds make it decent for streaming, so the ability to unblock region-restricted content would go a long way in the service’s favor.
Check out our Best VPN for Netflix list
OctaneVPN for P2P and torrenting
There are really just two questions you have to consider when you’re trying to determine if your VPN client is good for torrent downloads: does it allow a P2P connection, and can it save you from copyright infringement notices?
If you’ve skipped ahead to this section, OctaneVPN is good for torrents given its speeds and the fact that it allows P2P connections on all servers.
Their unique form of no-logging involves two companies working in tandem to make sure that the marketing end can’t respond to a DMCA takedown notice (for example) with any information – since they don’t have access to the network connections.
OctaneVPN does not offer a SOCKS5 proxy, however, which would be a good addition to OctaneVPN.
Online censorship in China and elsewhere
Many people might know of China’s “Great Firewall” already: a form of censorship limiting Internet access in China.
OctaneVPN has a server in Hong Kong, which is a good sign – however, there are no special features that indicate that users in countries with severe censorship are a focus for the company.
Usually, a VPN will offer a Stealth Mode to get around Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) – a method used by governments to block VPNs (disallowing OpenVPN connections, which OctaneVPN uses – though not exclusively). OctaneVPN doesn’t come with any such features enabled or available.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve had experience with OctaneVPN in either China or one of the many other countries notorious for their online surveillance (some names that come to mind are Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Russia, and Turkey, for example).
Customer support is offered in the form of:
- Support tickets through a form on the site
- Common issues listed on the support page
- Installation guides
- Postal address
Unfortunately, there’s no live chat option on the website. Otherwise, however, we were able to contact the company and get a curt and courteous reply in between the time of starting and finishing this review in the form of an e-mail reply.
Compared to the top VPN services, OctaneVPN is cheap. The rates are lower than the industry standard.
All plans offer the same benefits and features – unlimited data, 5 simultaneous connections, all servers, et cetera – with the only difference being your payment plan. The pricing plans on offer are:
- 1-month price: $7.99/month
- 3-month price: $6.00/month
- 6-month price: $4.66/month
- 12-month price: $3.08/month
While there’s no free trial or free version, the refund policy is practical: there’s a money-back guarantee, provided you stay within 30 days and a 10GB bandwidth limit.
The service has an anonymous payment method – Bitcoin. Of course, standard credit/debit cards and PayPal are accepted as well.
Here is a service that offers robust security and the basics of anonymity for a reasonable price. There are better services if you have a higher budget, but the user-friendly OctaneVPN delivers on the basics.