OneVPN Review

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

Let’s see how OneVPN out of Hong Kong compares with its main competitors…

OneVPN is based in Hong Kong, as part of a company called Unravel Technologies Ltd.

They have over 390 servers in 59 countries, which puts them among the upper echelon of VPNs we’ve reviewed.

Supposedly. Reportedly.

BUT…

Can we take their claim at face value? You should be able to trust a company’s marketing claims, right?

You might want to hold back judgment for a second in this case.

I’ll explain why in this OneVPN review, detailing all of the suspicious activities we uncovered.

But first, let’s start with the good stuff.

OneVPN review

OneVPN Pros +

OneVPN doesn’t log or leak your data. They also allow torrenting.

Here’s a quick overview of their positive features.

1. No Logging Except For Some Harmless “Session Logs”

OneVPN claims they don’t log. Just like every other VPN in the known universe.

However, a quick perusal of both their Privacy Policy and Terms have mostly confirmed their stance.

OneVPN does not collect or store any browsing logs, which is the red flag to watch for. But they do keep what they call “session logs.” That’s a pretty vague moniker. So we followed up with customer support to see if they could flesh that out a little bit. Here was their response:

session log
Source: OneVPN “Privacy Policy” page

Ok, not too bad! Activation and logout times are pretty standard, to be honest. Most other VPNs track them so they can monitor and improve service performance. They’re mostly harmless to your privacy.

The key is that they’re not tracking all of the stuff in between those two points, like the sites you visit or stuff you download.

2. We Found No Leaks Or Viruses

We connected to a OneVPN server in France.

We then tested our IP address several times to make sure that everybody else believed we were sitting in France, too.

DNS leaks can undermine your connection by inadvertently broadcasting your true physical location. If the VPN tells you “France,” your IP address better not show up anywhere else.

Otherwise, you’re not fooling the websites you visit or anyone else sniffing your session.

Thankfully, all six tests we ran confirmed that OneVPN wasn’t gambling with your privacy.

  • https://ipleak.net/ (none found)
  • https://www.perfect-privacy.com/check-ip/ (none found)
  • https://ipx.ac/run (none found)
  • https://browserleaks.com/webrtc (none found)
  • https://www.perfect-privacy.com/dns-leaktest/ (none found)
  • http://dnsleak.com/ (none found!)

We changed our IP to “France” and it seemed to work:

onevpn no leaks

Next, we’ll take the installation files and test those to triple-check security. Once again, their install files passed with flying colors after a series of tests from VirusTotal.

onevpn virustotal

 

So far so good!

3. Supports Four VPN Protocols, With Strong AES-256 Encryption

OneVPN supports four VPN protocols, including PPTP. L2TP, TCP/UDP, and OpenConnect.

That means they do not support OpenVPN, which has quickly established itself as the de facto industry standard in the last few years.

OpenConnect is a decent alternative built on top of similar technology.

And they do use the AES-256 encryption standard, which is as strong as it gets. This standard is considered virtually hack proof, because there are no known successful loopholes.

Customer Support also confirms they have a built-in kill switch on desktop apps. These come in handy when your terrible hotel WiFi regularly gives out, preventing their ISP or the hacker sitting in the parking garage from opportunistically catching you with your pants down (figuratively, of course).

Torrenting is also allowed on all servers, with zero restrictions to worry about. So you can download until your hearts content.

 

OneVPN Cons –

OneVPN covered the basics pretty well.

But when we tested their VPN software, the problems started appearing.

Some weren’t too bad. You might be able to overlook a couple.

However, we also discovered a complete deal breaker.

Read on to find out what it was.

1. Slow Customer Support

Simple websites can be refreshingly easy to navigate.

They can also be frustratingly difficult to find information.

OneVPN falls in the latter category.

Yes, they technically have a ‘knowledgebase.’ Except it’s the opposite of helpful. More like, no-knowledgebase. (Zing!)

Not the end of the world if support could help us out. Except they apparently can’t.

We had to sent two reminder emails just to get a simple response. And then it was as if they dashed of the reply in like ten seconds.

They even apologized for it.

onevpn customer support email

So you can’t really find answers on their website. And you also can’t get answers from their support department.

Not a great start.

2. Outside ‘Eyes’ Security Agreements, But Controlled by China

Good news!

OneVPN’s Hong Kong home base is located outside any ‘Eyes’ security alliances. That VPN jurisdiction means they won’t willingly share your personal data with half the developed world.

However, be careful what you wish for.

Because Hong Kong is still under China’s jurisdiction. And China only approves VPNs allowed by the government. You know, the state-controlled one. The Internet-censoring one.

So is it really all that better? I’m not so sure.

If anonymity is critical for you, go with a neutral jurisdiction. Something outside of intelligence-sharing alliances. But something outside of authoritarian regime, too.

3. Bad Server Speeds

No VPN delivers amazing speed.

Think about it:

They’re re-routing your traffic through servers across the globe. They’re adding a ton of security layers to your connection.

So a slow down is inevitable.

That being said, OneVPN’s slow down was something special. And by “special,” I mean terrible.

Check out what it says on their site:

Blazing fast speed

Hmmm. Ok. Let’s see what the data says.

We fired up SpeedTest and saw regular connection speeds of 97.00 Mbps download and 53.00 Mbps upload. Not too bad.

Then, we flipped the switch on OneVPN.

First, we connected to a server in U.S.

US server speed

US Server (New York):

  • Ping: 151
  • Download: 27.65 Mbps (71.5% slower)
  • Upload: 11.72 Mbps (77.9% slower)

Not great. 70+% slower speeds will bring your connection down to a crawl.

So let’s retest. This time in Germany.

EU server speed

EU Server (Germany):

  • Ping: 65
  • Download: 20.81 Mbps (78.5% slower)
  • Upload: 29.11 Mbps (45.1% slower)

Yikes. This one wasn’t great, either.

Overall, OneVPN’s combined score is only good enough for 60th out of 74 VPNs.

4. Terrible User Experience

Slow performance can ruin the user experience.

Unfortunately, OneVPN’s user experience was flawed before we even got to the speed test.

Our initial login attempt failed. The second attempt finally connected after a really long time. However, it told us “not connected.”

Weird.

We then got another error after attempting to move forward again.

“The network connection between your computer and the VPN server was interrupted. If this problem persists, contact the VPN administrator and analyze the quality of network connectivity.”

Geez. It took at least ten minutes to even get a server connection.

onevpn usability is bad

Except we still weren’t the clear just yet.

The app said I was connected to Vienna, but no servers were actually loading. So were we connected or weren’t we?

The entire experience was incredibly buggy.

Next, we noticed that PPTP was the default protocol. That makes no sense when you think about it, seeing as PPTP can be hacked in under three minutes by following a simple guide.

This is an old-school, outdated protocol. And I honestly would not recommend it if security is your concern.

But before switching protocols, we got distracted again by all of the grammatical errors inside the app.

Oy vey. What is happening?

Most of the servers we tried using simply wouldn’t work. So we got in touch with their Support department, thinking they could quickly sort this out.

Sadly, we were mistaken.

5. Appears to be Lying About their Servers

All of these server issues forced us to reach out to Support. We had to restart multiple times, before they told us that the remaining servers were basically down for at least ten days.

onevpn servers dont work

 

Wait. What?

Doesn’t sound right, does it?

Seems fishy.

Unfortunately, we know the truth about VPN servers. We had some suspicions. So we did a little extra digging.

We were finally able to connect to a Frankfurt server, but What’s My IP said I was in France.

Wait a sec…

onevpn servers lie 2

Unfortunately, our only conclusion is that OneVPN is lying about their server locations. They’re not where they say they are.  Which leads us to believe that their server number is probably vastly over-reported, too.

Bigger is typically better when it comes to the number of VPN servers a company has. It means your odds are better at finding a quick option close to you. And it means the server you pick hopefully won’t get overcrowded anytime soon.

Both bode better for performance. Close, uncrowded servers are fast servers.

But these quirks from OneVPN were suspicious. We already confirmed that they weren’t leaking our data. We weren’t actually sitting in France, either.

Instead, they were simply connecting us to a different server than we requested. Which they could have more glitches or mistakes inside their app.

Or worse, it could mean they’re lying about server locations and that the actual number of servers is probably much, much lower than they let on.

6. Only Three Default Platform Apps

OneVPN only currently supports Windows, Mac, and Android devices with native apps.manual set up guides

That means if you want to use it on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll have to manually set up the PPTP protocol.

Which is puzzling considering we’ve already established that PPTP ain’t secure in the slightest.

Linux Ubuntu, routers, and Chromebooks are also supported. But again, only by installing PPTP.

Customer Support confirms that they support gaming consoles, smart TVs, and the Tor browser. But again, no native apps.

So you’re going to have to manually configure a largely worthless protocol yourself.

Why bother?

But wait, there’s more!

Most VPN companies will give you at least five simultaneous connections by default. Some go higher. And those that don’t will provide router integration so you can connect as many as you’d like.

OneVPN don’t do none of that. They only give you three across all of their plans. That means you might even have to purchase multiple plans to cover the devices in your household. Boo.

7. Netflix Not Supported

OneVPN doesn’t even attempt to mask this one.

They come right out and say that Netflix is not supported.

Sure enough, we tested five different servers and none of them worked. So look elsewhere for a Netflix VPN.

Customer Support told us that the only streaming services is Hulu and BBC iPlayer. But even that is a partial lie.

Recently, the BBC iPlayer made changes to stop non-UK residents from using iPlayer. People in the UK must pay an annual fee for a television license. This money goes to pay for the BBC and its programming. It is also used to pay for BBC radio and the Internet.

The BBC hit upon the idea of not only blocking proxy servers to iPlayer, but also demanding that iPlayer users set up a BBC account and enter their TV license number to prove they were paying the annual fee. Only then could they use the BBC iPlayer.

So how can OneVPN say they can unblock iPlayer? I highly doubt it to be honest.

OneVPN Cost, Plans & Payment Methods

OneVPN cost plans

All of OneVPN’s plans are virtually the same. The only difference is the price you’ll pay for the number of months you’ll get.

They start on the high end around $7.95/month for the month-to-month option. But that number quickly falls to only $4.99 a month for six months. And even lower to $4 a month for a full year.

OneVPN is also literally bursting at the seams with payment options. Check it out:

payment options
  • All major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express
  • Paypal
  • Bitcoin
  • Alipay
  • 11 different payment services.
  • 10 different gift cards.

Cash is pretty much the only thing that’s not accepted.

There is no free trial period to test drive the service. There is a seven-day money-back guarantee. But even that’s on the short side compared to some of the 30-day ones we’ve seen.

Do You Recommend OneVPN?

No we don’t.

The leak test came out clean. Their logging policy was pretty good.

But there are just too many issues to overlook.

Customer support was virtually nonexistent. Both on their knowledge base and through reps. Despite a favorable logging policy, their Chinese jurisdiction causes us some concern. The server speeds were consistently slow across the board.

The entire user experience was a pain. It was buggy, with lengthy delays. We couldn’t connect properly to servers.

And the servers we did connect to were incredibly fishy. It told us it was German, even though our IP showed France. Except we were in France! There’s also no Netflix, plus limited device compatibility on an outdated protocol.

We’re not impressed overall.

If you really want to download content that badly, we recommend checking out these torrenting VPNs, instead.

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