Goose VPN Review
GooseVPN is a fairly new Dutch service that has impressed the Cloudwards.net team with its high security, ease of use and access to Netflix. Though not quite up to spec to market leaders, we feel confident that's not long in coming. Read our full GooseVPN review for the details.
Since it was one of our top choices for the best VPN for France and best VPN for Germany, it’s no surprise that we’re fans of Goose VPN. While it lacks the chops to earn a spot in our best VPN guide, it’s still a streamlined virtual private network experience that allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections for a low price.
In this Goose VPN review, we’ll go over everything we liked and didn’t like after spending time with the service. We’re going to discuss features, pricing, ease of use, supported devices, server locations, speed, security and support before giving our verdict.
Goose VPN is simple to use and inexpensive, to boot. It lacks the speed and features of other top providers, so it is best suited for newbies. For that market, though, we can’t think of a better option.
- Well priced
- Highly secure
- Thousands of servers
- Six simultaneous connections
- Lack of detail on server location
- No split tunneling
- Great for all streaming
- Highly secure
- Split tunneling
- Massive server network
- 3 simultaneous connections
- Gets into Netflix
- Updated interface
- Automatic killswitch
- Lackluster split tunneling
- No killswitch controls
- Spotty ad blocker performance
- No logs
- Multiple protocol options
- Ad blocker
- Blocked by Netflix
- Difficult to switch servers
- Easy to use
- No logging
- Excellent security
- Gets into Netflix
- Peer-to-peer supported
- Lacks features
- Automatic settings aren’t optimal
Goose VPN doesn’t have many extra features, but it covers the bases it should. As we’ll cover in the ease of use section below, the interface is straightforward. It doesn’t lend itself to tinkering, meaning some of the more advanced VPN features have been discarded.
A few essentials show up, though. Goose VPN includes a killswitch, which will sever your network connection if you lose connection to the remote server. The killswitch is a relatively new addition to Goose VPN’s services and came after the community asked, which is a good sign for features in the future.
Goose VPN also includes its smart server list. We’ll talk more about server navigation later, but smart servers are a big reason why it’s so easy to do. Instead of displaying all of the servers, Goose VPN shows the best server for P2P, streaming and in general for each country it’s available in. You can turn off the feature in the settings.
Other than that, Goose VPN is bare. That isn’t a bad thing, though. It’s clear that the focus of the service is the service, not the amenities. While speed graphs and leak tests help, they don’t change the VPN experience. Goose VPN covers the essentials and makes up for its lack of features in its excellent usability.
The only thing we’re missing is split tunneling. It allows you to move some traffic through the VPN connection and some through your normal connection. That is useful for ultra-fast speeds while gaming, for example, or you could just use our best VPN for gaming.
Split tunneling can be setup on almost any VPN service, but it’s a long and difficult process. Providers such as Astrill (read our Astrill review) offer simple tools in the interface to include or exclude certain applications from the VPN tunnel. That is a feature we’d like to see from Goose VPN in the future.
Goose VPN Streaming Performance
Goose VPN uses dedicated servers for streaming, so it seemed like a solid choice for binge watching. It broke into Netflix, but its slower speeds disqualified it from our best VPN for Netflix guide.
It struggled with BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, though. Netflix is our primary concern, as it has multiple exclusives in different parts of the world. We were able to access BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime Video occasionally, but it was spotty, at best.
Goose VPN Features Overview
Goose VPN is cheap, especially if you purchase a year upfront. There are a few shortcomings, though, namely the lack of a free plan or extended subscription. Even so, the entry point is low and we imagine that will be a determining factor for a lot of users.
|Plan||One Month Limited||One Month Unlimited||One Year Unlimited|
$ 2 99monthly
$ 12 99monthly
$ 4 99monthly
$ 59 88yearly
|Bandwidth||50 GB||Unlimited GB||Unlimited GB|
It doesn’t break the mold for monthly unlimited plans, though. To be blunt, Goose VPN has a terrible monthly rate. That said, it’s the same price as ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review), which has never held us back from recommending that service.
The annual unlimited plan is an excellent value. It’s a few dollars cheaper than CyberGhost (read our CyberGhost review) and comes with more simultaneous connections. The plan represents the true Goose VPN experience with unlimited connections and bandwidth for a decent price.
If you’d rather pay monthly, though, we recommend taking a look at PIA in our Private Internet Access review.
There’s also a limited plan available that provides 50GB per month. We often see cheaper plans that are restricted on time, not bandwidth, which makes this offering unique to Goose VPN. Even so, we don’t recommend it unless you’re only using the VPN on certain connections.
According to Xfinity, the average monthly usage for its customers is around 150GB per month. Poking around the internet, we found ranges anywhere from 100GB-200GB per month. While the monthly limited plan can protect basic browsing, it’s a bad choice for online tasks that require a lot of bandwidth, such as 4K Netflix streaming.
Considering you can get 10GB or more for free with Windscribe (read our Windscribe review), we’d recommend skipping Goose VPN’s limited plan and going unlimited for a year.
The limited monthly subscription takes the place of a free plan. Most free plans are bad, so we don’t mind Goose VPN charging a small fee for limited bandwidth. The annual price is good, too. While there could be a better value for longer terms, Goose VPN is still cheaper than even the most inexpensive VPNs, such as NordVPN (read our NordVPN review).
Goose VPN thrives on its ease of use. The application is dead simple to use while still granting a decent amount of power to users who want to tinker. If you’re new to the VPN market, it can get you up and running in a matter of minutes with little fuss.
Sign-up is simple. Goose VPN’s condensed, three-plan lineup doesn’t leave questions on the table. After entering your email address and password, selecting a plan and confirming your order, it will detect your operating system and automatically install the appropriate application.
You can find the other installers in the downloads section of your customer portal. It’s likely that you won’t use the portal much, though, especially if you have an unlimited plan. Other than installers, it shows your bandwidth usage, invoices and account settings.
The install takes a few minutes, but it’s all the configuring you need to do. Everything about Goose VPN is automatic, you just need to tick the “on” switch. As we’ll discuss in the security section below, your privacy will benefit from changing some settings, but you can still connect without any additional configuration.
Goose VPN will select a server and protocol based on your location. It suggested we use IKEv2, which leaked DNS requests like crazy. We recommend changing your protocol to OpenVPN. Thankfully, that’s easy to do.
Goose VPN Settings
You can access the settings menu by clicking the gear icon in the bottom right corner of the user interface. The “protocol” tab allows you to select what protocol you’re using. You’ll have to disconnect and reconnect for the changes to take effect.
There are other basic settings you can adjust, such as what Goose VPN does on start-up, but we want to highlight the smart server setting. By default, the service enables smart server navigation, which means it will automatically select the best server for each country and condense the server list to only include those.
You can turn off smart servers in the “connection” tab of the settings. You’ll have to disconnect from the VPN before doing so, though. After that, the full server list will appear in the UI. Goose VPN handles server selection with a simple drop-down menu that’s easy to get through. You can click the star icon next to a particular server to favorite it.
Some servers have additional icons next to their name. The “play” icon means a server is meant for streaming and the “P2P” icon indicates servers meant for P2P connections, such as torrenting (read our best VPN for torrenting guide).
Even if you have smart servers disabled, server navigation is easy. The system could benefit from a hierarchy based on country and a search bar, but it’s still usable.
The automatic settings make starting with Goose VPN simple. While additional configuration is required to use the service to its fullest potential, those settings are easy to find. Goose VPN is a no-frills service, which means it’s also a user-friendly one.
Goose VPN says it supports an unlimited number of devices and, from what we can tell, it does. The support team assured us that there’s no limit to the number of connections you can have and, though that’s true, there is a fair use policy in place that only allows up to 1 percent of Goose VPN’s network.
That said, connections are unlimited, according to our testing. If you want to test thousands upon thousands of connections for the sake of it, be our guest. For normal users, Goose VPN supports an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. That’s why it took first place in our best VPN for multiple devices guide.
You’ll likely use the unlimited connections, too, since Goose VPN supports almost any platform available. The usual suspects are offered, including Windows, macOS, ChromeOS, Linux, Android and iOS, but there also unique ones, as well.
It also supports Android TV and routers. You can find setup guides for the latter in the download section of your control panel. We were also happy to find the Android APK available online, meaning you can install Goose VPN on non-traditional Android builds.
Between the platform support and unlimited simultaneous connections, it’s hard not to give Goose VPN an instant win in this round. It has everything we want in a VPN as far as device support goes.
Like VyprVPN (read our VyprVPN review), Goose VPN has a small network. It has a presence in 26 countries, but the exact number of servers isn’t clear. Support wasn’t even able to provide us with a number. We counted 71 while it was installed, but the sporadic numbering scheme suggests there may be more that weren’t available at that time.
If you’re using smart servers, that shouldn’t matter. Goose VPN’s server count and spread isn’t impressive by any means. It covers major media centers, but remote locations are omitted. Most of Asia and Africa are absent, as well as the Middle East.
Goose VPN shows servers meant for streaming and P2P connections. The P2P servers allow for P2P connections, which, in most cases, means they’re suitable for torrenting. We’re not sure what’s going on with streaming servers, though.
Support told us they “help you to stream online videos and surf internet in a better way,” which is as close to the textbook definition of vague as you’re going to get. The servers break into Netflix, so it’s likely there’s configuration to bypass its blocks. From our testing, there’s no speed benefit.
While Goose VPN automatically set the protocol to IKEv2 when we started it, we switched to OpenVPN for our speed tests. It’s a slower option, but a necessary one if you want the best protection. Running our tests that way also makes it easier to compare it to other VPN on the market.
We also avoided P2P and streaming servers for our chart, but testing those separately didn’t yield much better results.
The best thing we can say about Goose VPN’s speeds is that they’re consistent. It has mediocre results in all metrics across the board. It seems like distance has a more subtle effect, though, so that’s an upside.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|Unprotected (St. Louis)||12||44.92||10.58|
You can learn more about the differences in metrics in our latency vs. speed guide, but our focus is the download speed. Goose VPN was only able to return a third of our unprotected speed, and that’s just in one location. Excluding London from the results, it ate, at minimum, 35 megabits per second.
While out unprotected speed isn’t the fastest, it isn’t the slowest, either. If you’re working with a limited network speed, Goose VPN will slow your connection to a halt. The speeds will still keep up with basic browsing, but even streaming YouTube videos will be a challenge.
That’s disappointing considering Goose VPN broke into Netflix without a problem. Two of the results don’t even make Netflix’s recommend 5 Mbps for streaming high-definition video. All but our unprotected speed fell short of the 25 Mbps for streaming 4K content.
Upload speeds deteriorate as expected, but the latency stays relatively low. It’s still higher than we’d like, especially over long distances, but a server close to your geographic location should be suitable for gaming.
This is easily the weakest link in Goose VPN’s service. The speeds aren’t awful — BoxPN takes the cake on that front, as you can see in our BoxPN review — but Goose VPN isn’t the fastest VPN around, either.
Goose VPN has several protocols to choose from and the inclusion of a killswitch makes it all the better. You can secure your connection with IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP or OpenVPN.
By default, it will choose the “automatic” option in the protocol section. It connected us with IKEv2 when we first loaded it as that protocol offers good speed and security. OpenVPN is more secure, but it comes at the cost of speed.
Unfortunately, you can’t choose the port you tunnel through. While that shouldn’t present an issue for most, it could be one if you’re trying to bypass the Great Firewall of China. You should use the best VPN for China if that’s what you’re doing. We didn’t have issues during testing, but we did it in the U.S.
Your data is encrypted using AES 256-bit, one of the strongest forms of encryption available, when it’s on Goose VPN’s servers. On that front, you’re covered.
That protection seems to be in vain, though. We tested five locations with ipleak.org and ipleak.net, the latter of which is managed by AirVPN (read our AirVPN review). When using IKEv2, which Goose VPN automatically selected, we were leaking DNS requests like crazy.
A DNS leak defeats the purpose of a VPN, as the requests can still be seen by your internet service provider. We ran the tests again while using OpenVPN and had better results, though, so we recommend you take that step, too.
Goose VPN Privacy
Goose VPN is based in The Netherlands, which doesn’t have the strictest privacy laws around. In fact, a law was passed in 2016 that allowed the Dutch government to hack the computers of suspects during criminal investigations. That isn’t anything the U.S. doesn’t take part in, though.
Even with its subpar location, Goose VPN has excellent privacy. We were happy to see that it maintains its own VPN network, which is something that providers such as IPVanish (read our IPVanish review) can’t attest to.
The only thing it keeps on record is bandwidth usage. That isn’t surprising as it offers a limited bandwidth plan and must enforce its fair use policy, which states that anyone using more than 1 percent of its network will be asked to pay a higher fee. Of course, your usage can’t be tied back to you.
That’s assuming you’re using a burner email. Goose VPN doesn’t require information such as your name and address during sign-up, but it does require an email. If your user information is tied to bandwidth usage, it could, theoretically, be used to identify you if someone went down that rabbit hole.
Goose VPN offers live chat and email support, but you’re unlikely to get many answers from the former. We used live chat numerous times and often hit roadblocks in our questioning. At most, it can provide vague technical answers and solutions for sales problems.
If you’re looking for support, it’s best to use email. We reached out late on a Saturday night and received a response early Sunday morning. That is a snappy response time, especially on a weekend.
We were happy to see that the company doesn’t try to redirect your question through the knowledgebase before sending it to support. You can start communication at live chat and, if your question is too complex, send an email through the contact form. There are no hassles.
You can also try to fix issues yourself. Goose VPN offers an extensive knowledgebase with topics ranging from how to use Tor to changing your billing information. The contact form is directly below the knowledgebase, too, making for a concise support area that covers all the bases it should.
Support gives us a similar feeling to the one we had with features. Goose VPN is lacking other support routes, such as a forum, but we don’t miss them. The essentials are of a high enough quality that amenities aren’t needed.
Goose VPN is simple and inexpensive, and that’s what’s most attractive about it. It doesn’t have great speeds or server selection, but it will get you connected to the internet securely without much fuss.
Its support for an unlimited number of devices and simultaneous connections is another key point. Goose VPN doesn’t impose restrictions on your VPN experience and, if that’s worth sacrificing speed to you, then it’s an excellent value. If you value speed more, though, it’s better to read through our other VPN reviews.
What do you think of Goose VPN? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.