OVPN received its first paying customer on August 20th, 2014. That means we're six years old today! During the previous two years, I have taken the opportunity to summarize what has occurred during the year as well as what we aim to achieve during the next. I'll continue that tradition.
Exactly one year ago, we had 72 VPN servers in 11 different countries. Today, OVPN has 89 VPN servers in 26 cities across 17 countries. That means OVPN increased the number of countries we have servers in by 63%.
I specified three areas of improvement that I wanted OVPN to focus on until our sixth birthday. Those were:
- Adding additional VPN locations
- Improve our desktop client
- Release WireGuard & improve infrastructure
We were able to complete all of them — and more.
For our VPN locations, we expanded to:
There were a total of nine new desktop client releases during the last 12 months, with a combined result of a drastically improved desktop client and user experience. We're still not satisfied though, so more improvements are underway.
WireGuard was released across our entire infrastructure and runs beautifully. It will be integrated into our desktop client within the next few months. To show our appreciation of WireGuard and enable the WireGuard developers to continue working on and improving the protocol, OVPN donated to them in March.
Besides the areas of improvement that I wanted OVPN to focus on prior to turning six, we were also able to do quite a lot more. We rolled out support to unblock streaming services and currently support the most major streaming services, such as American Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, C More, NRK & TV4 Play. We have been able to accomplish this by building our special functionality that circumvents the blocks put in place by the streaming providers while retaining the ease-of-use for users.
Support for additional languages has also been added. As of now, OVPN.com is available in four languages: English, Swedish, German, and Norwegian.
What OVPN aims to achieve until next year
Quite a lot, to be honest. Functionality-wise we want to:
- Release our Android app that purely runs WireGuard. It's been in beta since June and we hope to release it within a few weeks on the Play Store
- Release an iOS app that's powered by WireGuard
- Full localization of all apps & software
- Include WireGuard into our desktop clients
- Add support to block ads & trackers via our DNS servers instead of via our browser extension
- Improve Multihop drastically by allowing users to choose entry and exit servers dynamically
- Add support for Public IPv4 & Multihop in WireGuard
- Perform an external audit of our infrastructure
- Add support for additional streaming services
Besides the featured goals, we're also aiming at increasing our user base substantially. OVPN has always been incredibly product-oriented, but we haven't really focused on any sales or marketing. As a result, VPN services that are better at marketing - but aren't taking user privacy as seriously - are growing quite a lot. We believe this is a risk to users as they aren't getting the privacy they deserve, and wrongfully believe they are getting.
To enable awareness regarding OVPN, we have started sending out free OVPN stickers to people so that they can show that privacy matters. If you haven't already requested a set of stickers, please do! Put a sticker on your phone or on your laptop.
We are also printing up t-shirts with the same slogan. If you're an avid OVPN fan, it would be fantastic if you'd want to rock our merchandise.
As a last note, I'd like to thank all of our users. OVPN would not exist without you, and we're incredibly thankful, humble, and proud that you support our mission and trust us with your privacy.