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OctaneVPN review

Budget-friendly VPN with blazing speeds and modest features

(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

OctaneVPN is a great provider for users whose priorities are high speed, low price, and support for P2P traffic. However, if you want guaranteed access to the likes of Netflix and BBC iPlayer, you might need to look elsewhere.

For

  • Very affordable
  • Excellent speeds
  • Some handy features inside apps

Against

  • Some privacy concerns
  • No guaranteed access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer
  • Clients only for Windows and Mac
  • No live chat

OctaneVPN is a US-based provider of VPN services that has a limited server network but is one of the cheapest and fastest we have witnessed so far. 

It may or may not unblock popular streaming channels but if you want a provider that can give you such a guarantee, some very good options can be found among today’s best VPN services.

Price

Several subscription options are offered to anyone interested in the provider’s services. The monthly subscription will cost you only $2.99/month, followed by the 3-month option which is priced at $2.33/month. Next is the 6-month subscription at $2.17/month and the annual package at only $1.67/month, while the cheapest option is the 2-year subscription also at $1.67/month, making it one of the most affordable VPN solutions on the market.

Customers can pay using credit/debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum. All the packages allow up to five simultaneous connections under one account. There’s no traditional free trial, but the new customers can request a refund within seven days after payment.

Alternatives

Although OctaneVPN’s prices beat even the super-cheap Surfshark, its qualities do not. With Surfshark, you’re getting access to thousands of servers, clients for all major platforms, and unblocking of Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more. 

All these features and more are available if you sign up for some other premium providers, like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, or CyberGhost, albeit at higher prices.

Streaming

Some popular streaming services, like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, are often blocked in certain regions, which is why users resort to VPNs for helping them circumvent these blocks. We were told by the customer service agent that OctaneVPN may unblock streaming services but doesn’t guarantee it. If guaranteed access to such channels is important to you, then you may need to consider other VPN providers.

About the company

The owner of the VPN is the company Octane Networks, LLC based in Anderson, South Carolina. If you decide to entrust this company with your privacy, you’ll get access to 140+ VPN servers in more than 90 cities in over 45 countries including Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Panama, Russia, and others. Each server (or ‘gateway’, as the provider calls them) have 1-4 IP addresses and the real-time list of available servers can be found on the website.

(Image credit: Future)

Privacy and encryption

To cover your tracks online, OctaneVPN deploys the strong AES 256-bit encryption and relies on OpenVPN and IPSec transfer protocols. The NAT firewall on its VPN servers acts to deflect any sort of attacks aimed at getting your local IP.

There’s also IP and DNS leak protection that the provider says acts as an Internet kill switch, keeping “your Internet from working if you lose the connection to our servers”.

This VPN service is P2P-friendly, which means you can safely and securely share large file types through P2P and torrenting clients. As long as you’re not doing it on the US servers.

The provider’s privacy policy states that there’s no logging. Specifically, it says that “we do not log what your IP address is, what websites you visit, what protocols you use, or what data you send and receive through our service”. While this may sound good at first, it’s very incomplete. We aren’t told if any other information is logged, such as your device identifiers, operating system, connection times, amount of transferred data, etc. Besides, the no-logging claims have never been confirmed by a third-party, forcing us to rely only on the provider’s word. On top of this, the company is located in the United States, a country not considered a very privacy-friendly place, so user discretion is advised.

Support

OctaneVPN works with all major platforms. Clients are offered for Windows and Mac devices and can be downloaded from the provider’s Download page. If you want to enable the service on an iOS, Android, Linux, router, or NAS (Network Attached Storage) device, you can do so manually with the help of the provider’s setup guides.

In addition to the guides, OctaneVPN has an FAQ section and a knowledgebase, although they leave much to be desired. Customer support can be reached by opening a ticket, filling out a web form, or sending an email to support@octanevpn.com. However, it doesn’t have a live chat option, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get help quickly. We got our response in three hours, which is relatively fast considering some other providers took over 20 hours, if they responded at all.

(Image credit: Future)

Speed and experience

After we paid for the service, an email arrived with the app sign-in credentials. As soon as we entered those credentials in the app, the connection process started, connecting us within seconds to the best server based on our physical location.

You can find the best server for you using a handy speed test inside the app and there’s even an IP checker. Other features include choosing whether you want the app to launch/connect at startup, enable/disable logging or IP history, set default gateway, IP and DNS leak protection, switch between UDP and TCP protocols, change ports, choose gateways based on server load, and set IP behavior.

We ran the speed test for the location the app chose for us - Budapest, Hungary - and the results were excellent, with download speeds surpassing 34Mbps on a 55Mbps test connection. Next, we tried locations a bit further away, such as Toronto, Canada. Switching the server only required a double click on the desired one and we got re-connected in 5 seconds. Again, the speeds were amazing, easily going over 32Mbps. The server in Chile, however, performed significantly worse - below 3Mbps. Things got better when we tested a server in Tokyo, Japan, with a very satisfying 24.40Mbps.

(Image credit: Future)

Verdict

OctaneVPN is an exceptionally fast and budget-friendly VPN service that is available at very low prices. It supports P2P traffic and boasts some pretty handy features in its apps but it doesn’t have as many servers or native clients as the industry’s leading names such as ExpressVPN, nor does it provide guaranteed access to some of the most popular streaming channels.