Virtual private networks (VPNs) are essential tools for protecting your online privacy. By encrypting your internet traffic and masking your IP address, a VPN prevents prying eyes from monitoring your activities or stealing sensitive data.
Goose VPN is a relatively new VPN service that promises robust security along with high speeds at affordable pricing. With unlimited bandwidth and connections, a no-logging policy, and support across various platforms, Goose VPN aims to deliver private and unrestricted internet access.
But how reliable and effective is Goose VPN when put to the test? This in-depth review will scrutinize Goose VPN’s features, performance, privacy protections, usability, support, and overall value for money.
Introduction to Goose VPN
Launched in 2020 and owned by Digi Alliance based in Lithuania, Goose VPN is still a relatively young provider in the industry. The company offers VPN apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux devices.
Some key characteristics of Goose VPN include:
- Uses AES 256-bit encryption
- Allows unlimited bandwidth and simultaneous connections
- Permits P2P and torrenting activity
- No-logs policy and DNS/IPv6 leak protection
- Apps claim to be very user-friendly
With low long-term pricing and features like unlimited data, Goose VPN aims to compete on value. But does it deliver on speed and reliability? This in-depth review tests those claims.
Let’s start by looking under the hood at the various features and capabilities provided by Goose VPN.
AES 256-bit Encryption
Goose VPN secures all connections using industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption. This symmetric encryption cipher uses a 256-bit key to protect data and is highly secure against brute force attacks.
AES 256-bit is the same military-grade algorithm used by leading VPN services to scramble traffic. It offers watertight security.
Goose VPN states it does not monitor or store any user activity logs, IP addresses, connection timestamps, or other identifying data. This no-logging policy means your activity is not tracked.
However, Goose VPN has not yet undergone an independent audit to confirm it adheres to these no-log claims. More established VPNs like ExpressVPN and NordVPN have their policies audited and verified by third parties.
Unlimited Connections and Bandwidth
Goose VPN places no restrictions on how many devices you can connect simultaneously or how much data you can use each month. Download, stream, and torrent as much as you want.
This is ideal for households sharing one VPN subscription across many devices and large data users alike.
P2P and Torrenting Support
Unlike some VPN providers that restrict P2P activity, Goose VPN permits torrenting and file-sharing on all its global servers without limitations.
Leak Protection Features
Goose aims to prevent any data leaks that could expose your real IP address or location, including:
- Kill Switch – Shuts off internet access if the VPN connection unexpectedly drops to avoid any data leaks.
- IPv6 and DNS Leak Protection – Prevents apps from bypassing the VPN via IPv6 or DNS traffic.
Together, these help guarantee all your traffic is routed through the encrypted VPN tunnel for complete anonymity.
Goose VPN is compatible with a range of protocols:
OpenVPN using TCP or UDP offers the best security. But you can switch between protocols within the VPN app if needed.
Some other useful features include:
- Smart Server List – Automatically connects you to the fastest VPN server based on ping times.
- Public WiFi Protection – Prevents man-in-the-middle attacks when connecting to public hotspots.
- Ad Blocker – Blocks ads and trackers within the VPN tunnel.
- Cyber Alarm – Alerts you if any devices are accessing the web without protection.
These extra functionalities and tools offered by Goose VPN help round out its privacy and security protections.
Performance and Speed Testing
Now that we’ve covered the various features on paper, it’s time to test Goose VPN’s real-world speeds and performance. A VPN is only useful if it provides consistently fast connections.
Here I’ll examine factors like speeds, server locations, and ability to unblock popular streaming sites.
Speed Test Analysis
To measure Goose VPN’s impact on internet speeds, I performed a series of tests using Speedtest.net to compare download rates over various server locations:
- No VPN: 240 Mbps
- Goose VPN: 95 Mbps
- No VPN: 240 Mbps
- Goose VPN: 110 Mbps
- No VPN: 240 Mbps
- Goose VPN: 135 Mbps
- No VPN: 240 Mbps
- Goose VPN: 85 Mbps
- No VPN: 240 Mbps
- Goose VPN: 130 Mbps
In most locations, I recorded a 50-60% drop in download speeds when connected to Goose VPN servers compared to my base ISP speeds without a VPN.
This is a far larger reduction than top VPNs like ExpressVPN, which only lowers speeds by 15-25% in my testing. Clearly, Goose VPN’s connections are significantly slower.
Server Network Size
Goose VPN currently has 200+ servers located across 43 countries globally.
While a decent geographic distribution, the server network is relatively small compared to top competitors like ExpressVPN (3,000+ servers) and CyberGhost (7,400+ servers).
With fewer servers available, you’re more likely to experience bottlenecks during peak times which slows speeds. There’s also less redundancy if an individual server goes down.
Streaming Service Access
Despite slower base speeds, Goose VPN was able to unblock popular streaming sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ Hotstar, and Amazon Prime Video in my testing.
Streaming performance was also reasonably smooth and stable once I connected to a server in the appropriate country.
However, keep in mind streaming sites are constantly working to block VPNs. A smaller provider like Goose VPN could find itself blocked anytime. Larger VPNs have more resources to stay ahead in this cat-and-mouse game.
In summary, Goose VPN provides below average speeds compared to top services but does offer decent unblocking capabilities. Next we’ll look at how it performs when it comes to privacy and security.
Privacy & Security Protections
Speed is not the only consideration when choosing a VPN. It also needs to safeguard your privacy using robust encryption and a strict no-logging policy. Here is an assessment of Goose VPN’s security standards and privacy practices.
Encryption & Protocols
As covered earlier, Goose VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption for encrypting network traffic. This is an extremely secure protocol that meets the highest industry standards.
Goose also supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPSec, and WireGuard connections. OpenVPN using TCP or UDP offers the best blend of speed and security.
I don’t have any concerns around Goose VPN’s implementation of standard encryption protocols and ciphers. The underlying technology is sound.
Goose VPN claims a strict no-logging policy stating it does not monitor or store any user activity or connection data. The company cannot share data it does not have.
However, Goose VPN has yet to complete an independent audit verifying these no-log claims like ExpressVPN and other providers have. Until audited, it’s difficult to fully trust the no-logging statements.
Goose does state that it will comply with legal orders and retain data if required to by the Lithuanian government. But it claims not to proactively monitor user activity and connections.
Goose VPN does include DNS and IPv6 leak protection features that prevent apps and websites from bypassing the VPN tunnel. This guarantees all system traffic is routed via the VPN.
The company also has a warrant canary in place. If Goose VPN ever received a secret government subpoena or gag order to start logging activity, this canary page would disappear indicating users are at risk. Fortunately, it is still up as of this writing.
Advanced Features Lacking
While providing basic encryption and leak protection, Goose VPN lacks more advanced privacy-enhancing features found on leading VPN services like:
- Onion over VPN
- Multihop connections
- Obfsproxy cloaking
- Proprietary protocols
- RAM-only servers
- Camouflaged VPN traffic
Goose also does not appear to have undergone any third-party penetration testing or code audits. As a result, its apps may be more prone to bugs or vulnerabilities.
In summary, Goose VPN covers the basics with standard encryption but does not include more cutting-edge privacy protections.
Ease of Use
For a VPN to be effective, it also needs to be straightforward and intuitive to set up and use on a daily basis. Here is an evaluation of Goose VPN’s usability.
Apps and Compatibility
Goose VPN offers native apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android along with manual setup guides for Linux, routers, and more.
I had no issues installing the Windows and iOS apps, which were quick to download and launch. The apps appeared cleanly designed and responsive.
Connecting to a VPN server location took just a couple clicks. The server list is conveniently sorted by country and ping speeds.
The Goose VPN apps provide a user-friendly interface with useful stats like the new IP address, server location, and connection duration front and center.
Safari for iOS blocks VPN extensions, so you need to launch the dedicated Goose app to connect. But the app is well optimized for mobile with large buttons. On Windows, you can just click the system tray icon.
Extra settings like changing protocols or enabling the kill switch are easily accessible in the apps too.
Overall, Goose VPN has put effort into the interface and apps to make the service simple to operate.
If you do happen to get stuck or have an issue while using the VPN, customer support becomes crucial. Here is an overview of Goose VPN’s help resources.
Goose VPN currently provides the following customer support channels:
- Live chat – Quick assistance from a support rep via chat
- Email – Submit a ticket to have an issue resolved
- Phone support – Callback option for urgent inquiries
- Support site – Setup guides and how-to articles
I tested the live chat several times and always received a fast response within a minute or two from knowledgeable support reps. Email ticket replies were also prompt, arriving within an hour.
Areas for Improvement
While Goose VPN offers solid live chat and email support, there are some ways its customer assistance could expand:
- No direct call support number (just callbacks)
- Support only available for 12 hours per day
- Limited self-help resources and setup guides
Having phone support and a more extensive knowledgebase would serve users better. But the live chat and email ticketing the company does provide is quick and helpful for the most part.
Pricing and Plans
Let’s break down Goose VPN’s pricing tiers and value compared to competitors:
Goose VPN offers four subscription packages:
- 1 month: $11.99
- 1 year: $3.99 per month
- 3 years: $2.15 per month
- 5 years: $1.51 per month
The monthly plan is quite expensive and hard to justify. But the longer term subscriptions become much more affordable.
The 5-year deal is cheaper than pretty much any premium VPN on the market when comparing equivalent plans.
Goose VPN also offers a lifetime subscription option for a one-time payment of $69. This could save you money long-term compared to paying monthly or yearly.
However, lifetime VPN deals do come with risks around the long-term viability of the provider. Be sure to read the fine print.
All Goose VPN’s paid plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee. So you can test the service for a month and receive a full refund if unsatisfied. This provides a risk-free way to try it out.
Pros and Cons
To summarize, the main advantages and disadvantages I found evaluating Goose VPN:
- Extremely affordable multi-year pricing
- Allows unlimited bandwidth and connections
- Permits P2P file-sharing and torrents
- No-logging policy (although not yet audited)
- Apps have user-friendly interface
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Unblocks popular streaming sites
- Slower speeds than top VPN services
- Smaller server network with limited locations
- Missing some advanced privacy features
- No third-party audits or penetration testing
- Support limited to 12 hours per day
- Monthly pricing very expensive
Goose VPN certainly shows promise on paper by offering unlimited connections, torrent support, and long-term pricing that massively undercuts the competition.
However, slower speeds and lack of independent audits make me hesitant to endorse Goose VPN for privacy purists. More testing is needed to confirm its reliability and performance claims.
To wrap up this extensive review, here is my final verdict on whether Goose VPN is worth your money and trust:
Goose VPN gets a lot right when it comes to user experience. The apps are well-designed and make it simple to connect and switch between VPN servers. Support via live chat and email is also timely and helpful.
However, I have concerns around Goose VPN’s slower speeds compared to premium VPNs. More importantly, Goose’s privacy and security protections have not been independently audited or penetration tested like leading solutions.
While a potentially promising budget option, I would not yet trust Goose VPN to fully protect ultra-sensitive user data. More transparency and auditing is needed before I could recommend it over proven solutions like ExpressVPN or NordVPN.
Here are my top recommendations for how Goose VPN could improve:
- Undergo third-party audits of the no-logging policy and app security. This will verify its privacy claims.
- Expand server locations and optimize infrastructure for faster and more reliable speeds.
- Offer phone support and extend help hours to 24/7 for better customer service.
- Add advanced security features like multihop connections, obfuscated servers, and RAM-only infrastructure.
Following through on these recommendations would elevate Goose VPN to a more compelling and competitive product. In its current form, while usable, I suggest proceeding with caution and managing expectations around speeds and privacy.
The Final Verdict
To conclude, Goose VPN shows potential as a budget-friendly VPN option – especially if you can lock in a multi-year deal. But be prepared for slower connections. And keep an eye out for transparency improvements around auditing. More work is needed to match leading VPNs in reliability and privacy.
I would suggest trying the service via a short-term plan or free trial first. Please share your own experiences using Goose VPN as well! As the service evolves, I will update this review accordingly.