New VPN providers seem to crop up almost every week. But new and good ones? Not quite as frequently. That’s why I was curious to review Oeck VPN. It hasn’t been around for a long time, yet in scouring the web for user reviews, I quickly found that its users appear to like the service they’re getting.
I wanted to know if it lived up to its users’ hype. So in testing Oeck VPN, I aimed to answer the following questions:
- Does Oeck VPN offer anything that other VPN providers don’t?
- How fast is Oeck VPN?
- How is its streaming performance?
- Does Oeck VPN work in China?
- Does it support split tunneling?
All of the above questions and more are answered in this review. I recommend reading the full review if you have the time and want all the details. If not, you can have a look at a summary of my thoughts below.
Oeck VPN Summary
Oeck is an Australian-based VPN provider that does things a bit differently. For one, it uses what it calls device profiles. A device profile consists of a suite of settings applied to all your VPN connections, regardless of the device you use or the server you connect to. A profile is considered a sub-account with a different username but the same password as your primary account. You can create as many profiles as you like with different settings for different situations or devices. And that’s especially nice for the less tech-savvy – no messing around in settings menus. You get a clear and easy-to-understand UI to configure your profile.
Another way Oeck distinguishes itself is through streaming. Not only is its streaming performance quite good, but its Smart Routing feature makes the entire process very easy. You simply connect to the region in which the content is available, and Oeck’s Smart Routing feature will automatically route your connection through the server that provides the best connection.
However, despite all this good stuff, its speeds weren’t great, and the service only supports OpenVPN. While OpenVPN is very secure, most of the VPN industry also supports WireGuard, so we hope to see Oeck add WireGuard support in the near future.
You can also read more on the criteria I used to test ClearVPN and our broader VPN testing methodology here.
Oeck VPN key data
|OVERALL RANK: #11 of 76 VPNs|
|Average Speed*:||106 Mbps|
|Video Streaming Support:||4K UHD|
|Other Streaming Services:||Paramount+, Hulu, HBO Max|
|Encryption Type:||256-bit AES|
|Value for Money|
|Lowest Monthly Cost:||$6.97|
|Money Back Guarantee:||30-day money-back guarantee|
How does Oeck VPN compare to other popular VPNs?
|No value||Oeck VPN||NordVPN||Surfshark|
|Website||https://oeck.com/||NordVPN.com||Surfshark.com||Average Speed (Mbps)||106 Mbps||196 Mbps||189 Mbps||OpenVPN data encryption||256 bit-AES||256-bit AES||256-bit AES||Kill Switch||Allows Torrenting||Connection logs||None||Effectively none||Unblocks Netflix US||Unblocks Prime Video||Unblocks Hulu||Unblocks BBC iPlayer||Lowest monthly cost||$6.97||$2.99||$2.21||Money back guarantee||30 days||30 days||30 days||Overall rating||7||9.7||9.6|
|Best deal (per month)||$6.97 |
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Oeck VPN pros and cons
- Good streaming support (Smart Routing)
- Provides an ad blocker and a DNS filter
- Zero logs policy
- Has a warrant canary
- Very good customer support
- No dedicated apps for macOS or iOS
- Native apps aren’t pretty (at all)
- Its speeds aren’t great
- Only supports OpenVPN
- No live chat
- A bit expensive
- Undisclosed VPN network size
Speed: How fast is Oeck VPN?
Speed is always a big one. And it’s understandable. You pay your ISP based on your bandwidth (i.e., speed). VPN users obviously want privacy, but not at any cost. A good VPN provider is able to offer secure encryption without bogging your connection down.
So, how fast is Oeck VPN? Not very fast, I’m afraid. While the speeds we encountered weren’t terrible, they were significantly slower than some big names (and some not-so-big names) in the commercial VPN space.
Below are the average speeds for servers in each region. We usually test North American, European, and Asian servers when assessing a provider’s speed. However, Oeck does not have any selectable servers in Asia, so we tested the Australia region instead.
- North America (where I’m located): 114 Mbps
- Europe: 101 Mbps
- Australia: 105 Mbps
Global average: 106 Mbps
So while it isn’t “turtle slow”, you can find far faster VPNs without much effort. I think adding WireGuard support would improve Oeck VPN’s speeds.
Apps: What devices work with Oeck VPN?
Oeck VPN’s app support is a bit of a mixed bag. First, let’s list the operating systems that Oeck supports. They are:
That’s not bad. Linux isn’t systematically supported by VPN providers, so we like that. There are two issues we have with Oeck’s device support:
- It doesn’t provide a native macOS or iOS app. It uses the Passepartout VPN client for iOS and macOS.
- Its native apps really aren’t pretty.
And given point number two, you’re actually better off using Passepartout. It’s a nicer and more intuitive app.
None of this makes the service unusable. It would just be a more streamlined experience if Oeck provided native apps for all supported platforms and hired better app designers.
While the app works well, it isn’t winning any beauty pageants any time soon.
From the app’s main page, you can select your profile, region (not a specific server – more on that later), encryption level, and protocol. You can also enable or disable the killswitch and the obfuscation feature, which you can use if you’re having trouble connecting in specific scenarios. Beyond that, there’s a Settings icon you can click at the top left of the app, but it doesn’t provide any settings to configure.
You have three options:
- Connection: That’s the application’s default and only screen.
- Support: Allows you to enable logging within the app (to send to Support for troubleshooting) and provides a link to Oeck’s website’s Support section..
- Logout: Self-explanatory
So not much in terms of configuration, but that’s OK. Oeck VPN does things a little differently in that you create a profile that contains most of your VPN settings on your Oeck account page (more on that below). And that’s pretty cool in itself.
It allows Oeck to streamline its VPN experience despite not providing a native app for each platform.
To configure things like streaming performance, ad blocking, and DNS filtering, you need to access your Oeck account and configure your profile. Configuring your profile is done via three menus.
The Channels menu is where you configure your streaming parameters. We’ll cover this in the Streaming section lower down.
From the Cerberus menu, you can enable or disable different content filters (ads, adult content, malware, social networks). You can also enable or disable the DNS Filter, which allows you to create a list of blocked websites. Once you enter a website in the Filter List, it will not resolve when you’re connected to Oeck.
This is where you can choose between Oeck’s DNS servers (recommended), pre-configured third-party DNS servers, or a custom DNS server of your choice.
If you want to use OeckVPN on macOS or iOS, you need to download the Passepartout VPN client app. To be honest, it looks much better than Oeck’s native app and is easier to navigate in my opinion. It has a built-in option to configure multiple VPN providers, including Oeck. And given that most account settings are configured via profiles, you don’t lose anything by using a third-party app. The iOS and macOS apps are the same, just adapted to their respective screen size.
Does Oeck VPN support routers? Yes, it does.
Oeck supports ASUS and OpenWRT routers. It provides setup instructions in its website’s Support section.
Setting up a VPN connection on a router has two main benefits:
- It allows you to connect to a VPN server without using a dedicated app. Simply connecting to the router does the trick.
- You can bypass your VPN provider’s limit on simultaneous connections. Regardless of how many devices are connected to the router, it will only count as a single connection (the router).
Take a look at our guide on VPN routers if you’d like more information on the subject.
The screenshot above also lists Browser Killswitch as an option. That’s because Oeck VPN also provides its users with a proxy server – SOCKS5 or HTTP. It provides this functionality mainly for iOS and macOS, which don’t have native client apps. You can set up a killswitch by forcing your browser or device to use a proxy server that’s only accessible over Oeck’s VPN. If the VPN should ever drop, all traffic will be blocked because the proxy server is not accessible. This can be very useful on iOS and macOS. These platforms don’t get a native Oeck app and hence, no native killswitch.
Oeck VPN also supports port forwarding in a very user-centric manner.
When you first create your account, you create a profile for it. That’s your primary profile. Let’s say my primary profile is called “profile1”. For every primary account, Oeck provides a list of ports that you can forward to any other port within your own network by using a secondary profile.
Let’s unpack that a little. For example, let’s say you have a web server on your home network running behind the VPN that listens to port 443. From Oeck’s website, you create a profile for your web server. Let’s call it “profile2”. You log into Oeck VPN from the web server and connect to a server. The username is the profile name (profile2), and the password is the same as your primary account.
Then, from the Port Forwarding page, you enable port forwarding by selecting the web server profile from the drop-down. After that, you enter the destination port 443 in the Forward To field and choose the type of traffic you want to forward: TCP, UDP, or TCP+UDP.
Now, whenever you want to grant someone access to your server, you simply supply them with the following URL: profile1-profile2.oeck.me:10899, and they will be redirected to your server on port 443. Of course, your URL will differ according to your profile name and forwarded port—great implementation of port forwarding.
Streaming and Netflix
Streaming is one of Oeck VPN’s strong points. And it works using two of Oeck’s features: Channels and Smart Routing.
I mentioned the Channels feature above in the App section. The Channels feature lets set which streaming channels you want to be made available to you. There are three settings:
- Netflix: The Netflix region you want to be available
- Channel Group A: The selection of “premium” channels you wish to enable. You can choose between two packages. But you can create as many profiles as you like. So if you want access to all of the premium channels, simply create a profile for each package and you can switch between the two.
- Autochannels: The streaming channels available in all configurations if you want. You can choose to enable or disable Autochannels.
The second feature involved is called Smart Routing. With Smart Routing, you don’t need to select a specific server. You choose the region of the streaming content, and the Smart Routing feature will automatically route your traffic through an optimal server for that content.
But you’ll notice I didn’t mention some of the usual suspects, like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. That’s because they aren’t supported and don’t work. So when it does work, it works great. But it would be nice to see Oeck support some of these top-rated streaming services.
Check out our recommended VPNs for streaming.
Does Oeck VPN support torrenting?
Yes, it does.
As with streaming, for torrenting over Oeck’s network, you first select your region, from the app’s drop-down menu. However, you won’t actually be selecting a region; you choose Torrent. Once set, Oeck’s Smart Routing feature will automatically route your traffic through an optimal server.
In my testing, torrenting worked very well. I didn’t experience any freeze-ups or disconnects.
All good on the torrenting front. But you can still have a look at our recommended VPNs for torrenting.
Does Oeck VPN support split tunneling?
Oeck does not support split tunneling at this time.
Split tunneling lets you selectively route your traffic through the VPN tunnel or out your ISP gateway on an app-by-app basis. So with split tunneling, you could send your streaming traffic through your regular ISP connection while routing the rest through the VPN tunnel. Alternatively, you could only send your P2P traffic through the VPN and everything else through your ISP connection. It’s a very versatile feature and can accommodate any routing scenario you can dream up.
Look at our recommended VPNs for split tunneling if it’s an important feature to you.
Security, privacy, and logging
It’s always important to look past a VPN provider’s marketing to really assess its security and privacy practices. Marketing tends to be an embellished version of reality.
- It’s very short
- It’s easy to read
We like that.
It lists what it explicitly does not collect:
Then it clearly lists what it monitors regarding the VPN service:
And finally it clearly lists what it monitors regarding user accounts and interactions with its website.
So in terms of data collection, Oeck doesn’t collect much. It’s actually one of the best (and clearest) privacy policies I’ve seen.
Oeck VPN also provides a warrant canary.
A warrant canary is a document that a service provider publishes at regular intervals that states it has not received a secret warrant or a gag order from law enforcement. If the provider is ever served a warrant or a gag order, it stops updating the warrant canary, which lets its users know that the service has been compromised without violating the gag order.
Regarding the supported VPN protocols, Oeck supports the tried and trusted OpenVPN protocol. OpenVPN has been with us for a while, and it’s deemed very secure. Oeck’s encryption specs are AES-128/256, with 4096-bit key exchange. Again, that’s very secure, but it’s the only protocol Oeck supports – and that’s too bad. Most big-name VPN providers today support both OpenVPN and WireGuard. WireGuard is a newer protocol that has a few benefits over OpenVPN. One is that Wireguard has a much smaller code base, making the protocol much easier to audit. The other is that it is usually a lot faster than OpenVPN.
Hopefully, Oeck will add WireGuard support soon.
Moving on to IP address, DNS, and WebRTC leaks, I’m pleased (but not surprised) that Oeck was not vulnerable to any of them.
IP Test – Without VPN
IP Test – With VPN
DNS Test – Without VPN
DNS Test – With VPN
Other than that, Oeck’s VPN servers don’t have any hard drives – everything runs off volatile memory, so any residual data will be tough to scrape. Oeck’s performance on the security front is top-notch.
The number of servers in Oeck VPN’s network remains vague. It has four “regions” you can connect to before the Smart Routing feature takes over and routes your traffic through a specific server. But Oeck VPN doesn’t disclose the actual number of servers in its network.
I wrote its Support department hoping to find out and this is the reply I got.
Does Oeck VPN work in China?
It was challenging to find information about whether Oeck VPN works in China. So I wrote its Support department asking the question. And the short answer is no, but with a “but”…
The reply I received from Oeck clearly states that, at this time, it does not. But it also says that it’s actively working on a way to bypass the Great Firewall of China and that it may well have an announcement within a few weeks. Great.
It’s nice to know that Oeck is working to make its service better.
To learn more about connecting to a VPN from China, have a look at our recommended VPNs for China.
How is Oeck VPN’s customer support?
Support with OeckVPN comes in the form of an email ticketing system. Once logged into your account, click on the Dashboard icon, select Support, and then Technical Support. You then have the option to create a ticket and send it off to Oeck’s Support team.
I created a ticket asking Oeck if its service worked in China. And I got a reply in under three hours. That’s excellent support. On top of that, the response was clear, polite, and to the point. Excellent stuff.
It would be nice, however, if Oeck also provided live chat support. Live chat is great when you have an issue that could be easily solved by asking a quick question. While responding in under three hours is great, three hours can be long if you’re stuck and need help using your VPN.
Oeck VPN pricing
Oeck VPN provides three subscriptions.
- Weekly: $3.94
- Monthly: $9.95
- Yearly: $83.58 – works out to $6.97 per month
While these prices aren’t unreasonably high, they remain higher than what most established players will charge you – especially on a yearly plan. The weekly plan is welcome, though. It’s a nice way to test the service before committing to a longer term.
Its prices aren’t prohibitively high, but it would be nice to see them go down. All subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Do I recommend Oeck VPN?
Yes, I do. I think Oeck VPN is one of the more promising “up and coming” VPN providers, and more competition from proper and trustworthy providers can only be good for VPN users.
Oeck VPN, while not perfect, ticks many of the right boxes.
The service also provides its Smart Routing feature for streaming and torrenting, automatically routing your traffic through an optimized server. So you won’t need to do any “server-surfing” to find a good connection. And its port forwarding feature is also available on all plans.
The areas where Oeck could improve its offering include app design. It doesn’t provide native apps on all platforms, and where it does, the app, while perfectly functional, isn’t beautiful. It could also decrease its prices; it’s more expensive than many “premium” providers. Another point would be its speeds. They’re not painfully slow but significantly slower than most of our recommended VPN providers. Lastly, we’d like to see Oeck bring WireGuard support to the table. It only supports OpenVPN right now. There’s nothing wrong with OpenVPN. But WireGuard can be faster, and that would definitely help Oeck with its speeds.
We hope to see Oeck VPN grow in the VPN space in the coming months and years. Oeck VPN is recommended.
Oeck VPN alternatives
ExpressVPN is one of the more prominent players in the commercial VPN market, and it benefits from an excellent (and well-deserved) reputation. Its privacy and security practices are among the best. Its VPN servers run from volatile memory (RAM) and boot from read-only disks. This setup essentially guarantees that no remnant data (logs) can exist on the system’s hard drives, which is an excellent boon for user privacy. ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than most commercial VPN providers, but it’s fast, secure, unblocks streaming sites, and works in China.
Surfshark is another provider worth considering. It’s the cheapest VPN service I’ve seen, with subscriptions starting at only $2.05/month. Surfashark only supports secure protocols and plays nice with streaming services. It also adheres to its strict no-logging policy and works in China too. Surfshark also allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Methodology used for testing
Below you’ll find the criteria used to assess the VPNs we review. It’s essential to be consistent across the board so that our reviews are reasonably objective and that we’re not comparing apples to oranges. For that reason, we want to publicize our criteria.
- Speed – Speed is one of the most crucial factors for any VPN. Aside from being annoying, slow speeds can prevent you from streaming or browsing the web. Our recommended VPNs scored very high in our most recent speed tests to ensure we address this issue.
- Apps & ease of use – App design and ease of use are more critical than ever. We look at the client apps’ UI, features, supported operating systems, and complexity.
- Streaming services – Accessing streaming sites over a VPN can be challenging. But many VPN providers claim to work on streaming sites – with varying degrees of success. Before recommending a VPN provider for streaming, we test VPNs against various popular streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu, etc.
- Torrenting – Many VPN users are avid file-sharers as well. But not all VPN providers allow torrenting over their network, while others provide dedicated P2P servers. We look at each VPN’s policy around torrenting and run tests on those to see how well they handle file-sharing.
The above represents a high-level view of our methodology. For more details, look at our full VPN testing methodology. This data-driven approach helps us better understand the services to recommend the right VPN to the right users.