OysterVPN advertises itself as a service designed with security and privacy at its core. It also makes the bold claim of being the fastest VPN available. But as a small provider, can it compete with the most popular VPNs?
My extensive tests showed that OysterVPN has great potential but is not as good as the top VPNs. It’s effortless to use, offers strong security, and is impressively fast over short distances. However, it has a limited server network, can be slow at long distances, and isn’t compatible with smart TVs or gaming consoles. You can check out this list of our top-rated VPNs to find a better value service.
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Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings
OysterVPN Features — 2024 Update
Money Back Guarantee
Does VPN keep logs?
Number of servers
Number of devices per license
Based in country
Streaming — Good Quality but Blocked by Several Platforms6.0
OysterVPN was okay for unblocking streaming platforms and could access several Netflix libraries. I tested it with the most popular streaming services and was impressed by how seamlessly it got around some geoblocks. Unfortunately, there were some major platforms it couldn’t access.
On the positive side, I could stream videos in picture-perfect quality. Throughout my testing, I also never struggled with load times or buffering.
Unblocked: Netflix, Max (HBO), ESPN, Peacock, and ITV
In my first test, OysterVPN unblocked Netflix US with its Los Angeles server. I was able to stream the entire Me Time movie without buffering. I also accessed full libraries in Germany, Japan, and France without issues.
Some VPNs can only unblock Netflix Originals, which removes geo-restricted content
I always have trouble unblocking Max when using smaller VPNs, but OysterVPN gave me access to the former HBO Max on the first try.
I was blocked in my first test with Peacock, but when I switched servers, I could watch it.
I recommend using the servers in Los Angeles or Dallas to access Peacock
I also unblocked ITV and ESPN+ immediately with the UK and US servers I tested. I streamed a few videos on each platform and was happy I didn’t experience any delays. The picture quality was consistently good, and I didn’t struggle with long load times.
Blocked By: Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video
With such stellar performance on other streaming platforms, I was surprised that OysterVPN couldn’t unblock Hulu. I tested all the US servers, but none could give me access. In fact, I couldn’t even log into my Hulu account.
I wasn’t able to test other servers since Hulu is only available in the US
I also couldn’t access Disney+ even when I switched servers. I was stuck at the loading wheel every time I tried to log in. OysterVPN’s website let me know it doesn’t work with Amazon Prime Video.
Overall, it could use some improvements to its unblocking abilities. If you want to access Hulu, Disney+, or Amazon Prime Video, you can find one of the best streaming VPNs from this list.
Speed — Fast on Close Servers; Slow on Distant Ones7.0
OysterVPN has impressive speeds on nearby servers but slows down significantly on faraway ones. When analyzing speed results, I pay attention to the following:
- Download speed. This measures, in megabits per second (Mbps), the time you need to download data from the internet. It’s what determines how fast pages load and how quickly files download.
- Upload speed. Also measured in Mbps, it's the time it takes to transmit files from your device to another location, including messages, images, and video files.
- Ping. This measures how fast your data travels in milliseconds (ms). It’s crucial during gaming because a high ping results in lag.
To ensure fairness in our evaluations, we conduct all tests using the same UK location and connection. We also use the fastest protocol available, which in this case was IKEv2. To maintain accuracy, we perform approximately 10 tests per server.
My speeds dropped by an average of 17% on nearby servers and 55% distant ones
I also personally tested about a dozen servers and had similar results. Speeds on servers close to my location gave me an average drop of approximately 10%. This is impressive since the average speed drop, even with the top VPNs, is 10-20% on short-distance servers.
My speed fell by a mere 10% on a server in Los Angeles
However, the South African server wasn’t as impressive despite it being the closest to me. Support couldn’t give me a concrete answer about why and only told me this might be because it’s a Smart Location. But this was contradictory because, according to the agent, a Smart Location is supposed to connect you to the fastest server available.
On long-distance servers, my speed drop was quite significant. For instance, my speeds lowered by about 87% while connected to a server in Singapore. If your base speeds are below 25 Mbps, such a drop can make it impossible to enjoy your content uninterrupted.
Although the speeds are pretty decent in some locations, there is room for improvement. Check out this list to find a VPN with fast speeds on nearby and far-away servers.
Gaming — Great Gaming Performance on Most Servers9.0
OysterVPN worked very well with online gaming. I was able to access and play all the games that I tested without any lag. In online gaming, the ping results determine how fast your information travels. Having a low ping is crucial because it allows your character to respond quickly to your commands.
OysterVPN’s low ping let me play CS:GO on nearby servers without lag.
My ping didn’t exceed 50 ms on any nearby server that I tested
I was impressed that it also worked okay with servers far from my location. There was a slight lag when I tested it with servers in Germany (9,416 KM away), but it didn't noticeably impact my gaming. Still, you’ll want to use nearby servers for optimal performance.
But this is because I have a good base speed. If your base speeds are low, you might not be able to play games with long-distance servers. Although it’s normal for a VPN to produce higher ping on long-distance servers, I have tested some VPNs with slightly lower ping than OysterVPN.
Server Network — Limited Servers That Are All Rented3.0
OysterVPN has only 140 servers in 15 countries. I do like how evenly they are distributed globally. However, it doesn’t have servers in many countries top VPNs offer, like Australia. This means you might be unable to connect to a server close to your location for the best speeds.
Here’s a table displaying its server locations:
It also has few options for city-level servers. There are servers in 6 US cities and 2 in the UK. All other servers are labeled with country names. You must do IP checks to discover their specific city locations.
Due to where I’m located, my Smart Location is in South Africa
Support claims there are multiple servers in each country even if there’s only one location to connect to. This should help with overcrowding, but I wish there was a load percentage, so I could see for myself.
OysterVPN’s servers are RAM-only, which makes them more secure. However, it doesn’t own any of its infrastructure. The support agent told me it only rents from providers with solid track records. However, this doesn’t give me complete confidence in the privacy and security of OysterVPN’s network. You can find a VPN with a large server network that offers better features in this list.
Security — Top-Tier Features to Keep You Safe8.0
OysterVPN has an impressive arsenal of security features — almost on par with some top VPNs. Its features include a built-in anti-malware feature, which is a high priority for me.
Unfortunately, I couldn't confirm whether it uses perfect forward secrecy (PFS). This feature ensures security by frequently changing your server's private key. Preventing an attacker from decrypting all past and future data. The agent I spoke to said he would confirm with the technical team and respond. But I have yet to receive an email to this effect.
It also doesn't offer double VPN (sending your traffic through two servers, thereby encrypting it twice) or obfuscation, so you'll have to look elsewhere if those are on your wish list.
Encryption and Security Protocols
OysterVPN employs industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption, which is highly secure and widely used in many applications, including government and military data protection. This ensures that the data transmitted through the VPN tunnel is virtually impenetrable.
It also uses the most secure VPN protocol, OpenVPN (TCP or UDP). However, you can choose PPTP, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec, too.
I was only disappointed that it doesn’t offer WireGuard, one of the best and fastest protocols available today.
IP, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 Leaks
OysterVPN prevents IP, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks. These leaks can potentially expose your real IP address and compromise your security and privacy. I performed tests on 10+ servers and detected no leaks.
I tested for leaks multiple times during the day and night and never found any
This gave me confidence that my information will be protected when using OysterVPN’s servers.
I tested OysterVPN's kill switch, and it worked perfectly. If your VPN connection drops for any reason, a kill switch automatically blocks your device's internet traffic until the VPN connection is restored. This is a crucial feature that every VPN needs to keep your online activities, location, and personal information private.
I ensured it worked by keeping a web page open while disconnecting the VPN. It always blocked my connection, so my activities couldn't be spied on if the VPN suddenly disconnected.
One of my all-time favorite features for any VPN is the split tunneling feature. So, I was impressed when I found out that OysterVPN offers it. With split tunneling, you can choose which apps or websites go through the VPN while others access the internet directly. It comes in handy if you want easy access to something local (like a banking app) while you’re streaming with a distant IP.
Privacy — Strict No-Logs Policy but Not Audited6.0
OysterVPN doesn’t retain any information about what you do while connected to its servers. It’s also based outside of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance, but I hope its policy is audited in the future to prove its claims. There were also a few other privacy concerns I’ll elaborate on below. You can check out this list to find VPNs with proven no-logs policies.
Does OysterVPN Keep Logs? No
I was happy to learn that OysterVPN maintains a strict no logging policy. This means that it doesn't collect or record your data, like the websites you visit or when you connect. However, it collects some anonymous data to maintain its service, as nearly every VPN does. So, OysterVPN’s policy doesn’t raise many concerns for me.
OysterVPN retains only the basic information you give when signing up
One disappointment I had with OysterVPN is that it doesn't accept cryptocurrency as a payment method. Therefore, when signing up for OysterVPN, you must provide some personal information, even if you prefer not to.
Was OysterVPN Audited? No
Most top VPNs that I have reviewed have their policies and apps audited and verified by independent parties. This gives me peace of mind that my data won’t be compromised or sold.
Based in Ireland
I liked that OysterVPN is based in Ireland — outside the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance. This is an intelligence-sharing alliance among several countries, which could potentially lead to data sharing and surveillance. VPNs located within these countries are obligated to share information with authorities if requested, which can compromise your privacy.
Does OysterVPN Work in China? No
OysterVPN won’t always get past the Great Firewall.
OysterVPN’s agents recommend using OpenVPN TCP if you’re in China
While many VPNs have been banned in China, the government rarely goes after individuals for using them. My team and I don’t condone any illegal activities and recommend you read up on the laws before attempting to use a VPN in restrictive countries. If you choose to use a VPN while there, check out this list of VPNs that reliably work in China.
Torrenting — Allows Torrenting On All Servers9.0
OysterVPN is great for torrenting. It's fast and provides solid security features to keep you safe while downloading torrents.
I could download at the same speeds I have with no VPN connected. My first test was performed on a US server. It only took me 4 minutes to complete a 700MB file, which is no different from how long it takes with my regular connection. I also appreciate that you can torrent with any server.
The only downside is it doesn’t offer SOCKS5 proxies that you can manually configure in your BitTorrent client to conceal your IP address.
I should also mention that many torrents are protected by copyright, and my team and I do not condone any illegal activities. I recommend reading up on the laws first and only downloading torrents in the public domain.
Installation & Apps
Easy to Install and Use
I found OysterVPN apps to be very intuitive. The apps are very straightforward, featuring a simple server list on the left and a clearly visible connect button on the right. If you want to access the advanced settings window, you just click the settings button on the edge of the left side. That’s really all there is to it, so there’s little to no learning curve.
Setup & Installation
It’s easy to install OysterVPN on any compatible device.
There’s no confirmation code; you simply log in to get started
With desktop apps, you download it through the website. Mobile apps are installed through the proper store (Google Play or Apple). While I had no complications during setup, I wish Oyster VPN supported more devices.
OysterVPN has apps for the most popular devices and operating systems. There are only a few devices it doesn’t support that I hope it includes in the future.
For example, there are no browser extensions currently. The website makes it look like you can download them, but when you click the links, it only says “coming soon.”
You can’t directly connect it to smart TVs or gaming consoles either. Many VPNs let you get a full app for streaming devices like Fire TV Sticks and on many televisions. OysterVPN also has no smart DNS feature, which gives you an easy way to access servers on a Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch. You can find a VPN that’s much easier to use with a smart TV or gaming device here.
Desktop — Apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux
OysterVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops.
You can favorite servers by clicking on the star to the right of each location
I appreciate that each desktop app comes with the same features and protocols. These are the apps that give you everything it has to offer.
Android and iPhone (iOS)
Mobile apps are similar to desktop apps but have fewer features. Like most VPNs, the Android app has minimal features. For example, it has no kill switch and only offers one security protocol (IKEv2). This is the same case with the iOS app.
OysterVPN works well with routers. When testing, I used the tutorial on its website and could configure it on my Huawei router in less than 10 minutes. I especially liked how simplified the process was in the guide, making it easy to follow even without technical experience. It’s compatible with the most popular routers on the market today.
Setting up OysterVPN on your router eliminates the need to install and configure it on each of your devices individually. Once the VPN is set up on the router, all devices connected to the network automatically benefit from the protection without any additional setup required. This saves time and effort, especially when you have multiple devices or frequently switch between devices. This also gives you a way to use it on devices without native apps like smart TVs or gaming consoles.
Simultaneous Device Connections
OysterVPN allows you to use it on up to 5 devices. Although this might seem generous, many top VPNs offer more. During my tests, I connected it to 2 laptops, an iPad, and my Android phone without any issues. It also worked just as expected when streaming on multiple devices simultaneously. There were no slowdowns, and I could stream on every device in picture-perfect quality.
Overall, this number should be sufficient for most people, but it would be great if they offered the option to connect more devices simultaneously, even at an additional cost.
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