The Netherlands is known for quite a lot: cannabis bars, bicycles, windmills, tulips, cheese, and – Goose VPN?
If other review sites are to be trusted (which is debatable due to their habit of letting VPN provider affiliate programs dictate their reviews), Goose VPN is a favorite for many users. But there’s always a good chance there’s more than mere money involved in their endorsement.
So, in our endless quest to make sure there’s at least one objective VPN review site available, we decided to test Goose VPN ourselves.
Goose VPN Review Overview
- Works with streaming
- Military grade encryption
- Small server network & slow speeds
- 12 month plan - £4.99 per month (£59.88 total cost)
- 1 month plan - £12.99 per month (£12.99 total cost)
Take a look at How We Rate VPN Providers!
How Goose VPN Compares to the Competition
Not a Good Location
Even though the Netherlands take a loosey-goosey (pun intended) approach to cannabis use, their take on online privacy is more akin to that of the US. This is to say online privacy is pretty much only available to those who take measures at creating it themselves.
It’s no coincidence: the Netherlands is part of the 5 Eyes, 9 Eyes, and 14 Eyes Alliance.
More specifically, they joined in as one of the 9 Eyes, so the personal data their government agencies gather is shared with at least 8 other nations. The US is, of course, number 1 on that list as part of the original UKUSA Agreement.
This means a VPN provider based in the Netherlands, like Goose VPN, is at a disadvantage.
Are They Keeping Logs?
Privacy policies are notoriously full of legal mumbo-jumbo, making it difficult for most people to understand what’s going on. Unfortunately, Goose VPN is no exception.
At first glance, everything seems alright. But before you’re done with Section 1 (General), it’s already turning sour:
Soon after, it becomes a mixed bag of good and bad news, often contradicting itself:
To be fair, the bandwidth usage is what we’d consider diagnostic. Goose VPN needs to keep an eye on it.
However, having our original IP address recorded at all is far from ideal. Even more worrisome, however, is this snippet of information buried away in a FAQ:
So what’s necessary to convince Goose VPN a user is reasonably suspected of criminal activities? If they can keep a log on specific users when asked by a public body, how do we know they aren’t already doing this anyway?
We couldn’t get any kind of response from Goose VPN’s support when we tried getting clarity on the matter and we’re hesitant to give a VPN based in a 9 Eyes jurisdiction the benefit of the doubt.
Military-Grade Encryption and the Best VPN Protocols
Like any self-respecting VPN provider, they use military-grade, industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption. It’s practically unhackable (at least until the far-off completion of quantum computing), so we always prefer to see this as the default encryption standard for any VPN.
The same can almost be said regarding their choice of VPN protocols:
Granted, we’re glad to see they’re using OpenVPN and IKEv2, and they haven’t made L2TP/IPSec or the highly unsecure PPTP protocols their default. But we do wish Goose VPN used OpenVPN as their default instead of the somewhat less secure (and more easily blocked) IKEv2.
Still, we can’t fault the provider much in this area. It’s fairly easy to change the protocol being used in the app settings.
Kill Switch, But No Info on DNS Leak Protection (and No Split Tunneling)
We’re not quite done scrutinizing Goose VPN’s security features.
First up is the kill switch, which will automatically end your internet connection if your VPN app stops communicating with the VPN server (for example, while switching servers). This is an important safety feature all VPNs should have.
The Mac and iOS apps have the kill switch set to “Always On” by default, so we don’t see why they couldn’t do the same for Windows. And as for Android users, you’re out of luck – there is no kill switch available.
The provider’s website doesn’t mention DNS leak protection – which is just as important as preventing IP address leaks. However, when we put Goose VPN through a few tests, we found no IP or DNS leaks.
Unfortunately, there’s no split tunneling feature available. But this is something of a “nice-to-have” we don’t recommend anyone other than advanced VPN users take advantage of anyway, so we’re not too worried about its absence in Goose VPN’s features suite.
TOR Capability – but No Double VPN/Multi Hop Feature
Goose VPN doesn’t have one of our favorite features, the so-called “Double VPN” or “Multi Hop,” which routes your connection via 2 VPN servers instead of just 1.
This isn’t a very big deal for us. However, for users in countries like China and the UAE, where the censorship laws are draconian, the feature can be a literal lifesaver. It effectively doubles your encryption and makes it twice as hard to figure out your original IP address and location.
However, there is a consolation prize: TOR compatibility.
Using The Onion Router (TOR) proxy browser is a good work-around when you need a Double VPN feature but one isn’t available. TOR effectively reroutes your connection via 3 remote servers to obfuscate your location, making you more anonymous online (until you start logging into websites, of course).
That said, TOR doesn’t have great encryption. So if you’re going to use it, we strongly recommend connecting to your VPN first.
Small Server Network
The exact size of Goose VPN’s server network is something of a mystery: guesses online range from 65 to 114. Goose VPN only says they have 97+ servers (in this FAQ) – and, of course, we couldn’t get in contact with their support team through any medium.
What we do know for sure is there are Goose VPN servers in 25 countries and most of these locations have at least 3 servers apiece.
We tried counting them manually in the app, but that quickly became frustrating.
25 countries is a far cry from the 59+ offered by the best overall VPNs, such as CyberGhost. And even if each of those countries had 20 servers each (which they definitely don’t), Goose VPN’s server network would still only be a fraction of the 1,500+ minimum we strongly prefer.
A small server network isn’t always a bad thing. But it very often is.
One of the reasons we don’t like seeing small server networks is it leaves users vulnerable to network congestion. Once the server is operating close to its maximum capacity, performance takes a steep turn for the worse.
Not only this, but the distance between your physical location and the VPN server can also negatively affect the VPN’s performance and usability. The further away you are, the slower your internet speed becomes.
You already need to worry about how your device type, operating system, and original internet connection will affect your VPN speed. Worrying about whether the server best suited to your needs is going to be too far away and/or saturated with users is just unnecessary extra baggage.
Here’s how Goose VPN’s small server network affects its speed:
Device Compatibility and Connections
Goose VPN earns full points for its device compatibility:
- Chrome (browser extension)
- Android TV
If you set up Goose VPN on your router, then you’re also able to protect your online privacy with non-Android smart TVs and gaming consoles, so there’s practically no device that isn’t covered.
However, we’d like to see a Firefox browser extension too. It’s a far superior option to Chrome, especially when it comes to your online privacy. Granted, there are even better browser options, such as Pale Moon, but with a little tweaking, Firefox is still our go-to choice.
Goose VPN goes above and beyond most of the competition when it comes to using multiple devices, though. While the industry standard is around 5 or 6 simultaneous connections, Goose VPN lets you connect an unlimited number of devices at once.
Subscription Plans and Pricing
Goose VPN offers 3 subscription plans:
While Goose VPN used to have a limited 50GB per month option as well, at $2.99 per month, it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. This is a pity, as 50GB might be enough for some users – and Goose VPN is otherwise rather expensive, especially considering the features they lack.
There also aren’t any anonymous payment options. You’re limited to Visa, Mastercard, the Dutch bank debit card iDeal (only available via participating banks), PayPal, and Giropay.
Unblock Websites for Unlimited Streaming
Goose VPN only has specialized streaming servers in the Netherlands and US. This is alright if you’re only interested in accessing the US Netflix Region’s library, but not if you also want to stream BBC iPlayer.
However, you aren’t limited to using these specialized servers. We put Goose VPN through a few tests and found we were able to stream Netflix and BBC iPlayer without too much difficulty. This is great news, as both streaming platforms are notorious for their anti-VPN proxy detection software designed to prevent users from getting around their own country’s library limitations.
All told, if it weren’t for the questionable logging policy, we’d say Goose VPN is an ideal streaming VPN. However, as it stands, we recommend sticking to one of the Best Netflix VPNs and/or the Best BBC iPlayer VPNs instead.
A blowback against online streaming platforms introducing exclusivity deals and anti-VPN measures is a lot of users turned back to illegal downloads via torrenting.
We don’t endorse infringing copyright through torrenting, but peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing does have legal applications too. And if you’re going to download The Witcher via BitTorrent anyway, then you’ll need a VPN.
Goose VPN has a few specialized P2P servers (more than they have streaming servers, which is odd). However, they’re very adamant you only use them for legal file-sharing. If they suspect you’re downloading copyright material, or even if you use a regular server for legal P2P connections, they’ll close your account.
Usability and Support
Even with the hiccups and missing features, Goose VPN is a very user-friendly service.
Their installation process is quick and painless, and we were quickly able to connect and start testing the VPN’s performance. Speed issues aside, it was a largely positive experience.
We do still wish all their apps had the kill switch enabled by default and we didn’t need to manually switch from IKEv2 to OpenVPN. These are seemingly small but important changes most VPN users wouldn’t think to make.
Unfortunately, we have very little good to say about Goose VPN’s support.
The FAQ section is fairly comprehensive at least and we were able to find most of the answers we wanted there. However, we often found the information by accident, in loosely-related FAQ articles that don’t come up when running a search for the relevant keywords.
For the instances where the accidental FAQ articles weren’t enough, we were forced to open a support ticket. After nearly 24 hours, we sent a second email. We still haven’t gotten confirmation Goose VPN received our tickets, let alone an actual response.
To be fair, they do say to message them on Facebook if there’s no email response.
However, we don’t feel comfortable sharing our Facebook profiles with our VPN provider – the whole point is anonymity. And Facebook makes it difficult to make “throwaway” accounts.
Besides, isn’t the point of a ticket system to actually reply to the tickets?
How to Cancel Goose VPN and Get Your Money Back
We see a lot of potential in Goose VPN, but the provider has a long way to go before we can recommend using their service. If you find you’re equally dissatisfied, here’s how to cancel your Goose VPN subscription and get a refund:
- Log into your Goose VPN account
- Click “My Profile”
- Click “Cancel Subscription”
- Provide a reason for cancelling (optional)
- Choose whether you want the cancellation to take effect immediately or at the end of your billing term
- Open a support ticket asking for a refund
- Provide proof of payment
However, note Goose VPN only issues refunds within 30 days of payment…. and only if you used less than 100MB.
How much does Goose VPN cost per month?
Goose VPN costs $12.99 per month.
Does Goose VPN work for Netflix?
Yes, with specialized streaming servers.
Is Goose VPN legitimate?
Goose VPN has a vague logging policy making it difficult to call them 100% legitimate.
Is Goose VPN a good VPN?
A vague logging policy and issues with their security features make Goose VPN a mediocre VPN.
Does Goose VPN hide my IP address?
Yes, Goose VPN will hide your original IP address when connected.
Does Goose VPN charge monthly?
Yes, though you can also get good savings on the 1-year and 2-year packages.
Is Goose VPN a zero-logs VPN?
No, their vague logging policy and FAQs reveal they may or may not be logging IP addresses and can log all of your data if asked to by law enforcement or the Dutch government.
Can you cancel Goose VPN anytime?
Yes, however they have a restrictive refund policy.
Is Goose VPN safe in China?
Yes, but their vague logging policy and lack of a Double VPN feature makes them less ideal than similarly priced (or even cheaper) options.