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Goose VPN review: Privacy and features tested

Verified by Amy Reeves

A virtual private network (VPN) allows you to encrypt your internet traffic and send it to a server controlled by a VPN provider. This means that your internet traffic is routed through a secure tunnel, so your internet service provider (ISP) doesn’t know what websites you’re visiting and the owners of the websites you visit don’t know where you are either. 

Goose VPN offers a service that prioritises security and privacy over providing a high number of servers in many countries. Installation is simple, especially on macOS devices. The app has a simple interface that most users will find intuitive.

60-second review

Goose VPN is a fairly simple service to set up, but this can mean that it lacks the features that a lot of advanced users have come to expect, such as split tunnelling or a wide variety of protocols. While there are many security and privacy benefits to using a VPN, you may want to look elsewhere if you want a wide variety of servers in many different countries.

Goose VPN doesn’t offer a multitude of features, but that can be a good thing. The features that are available – Autopilot and Cyber Alarm – are not what you typically get from a VPN service. If you’re someone who only wants privacy and is happy to only have one server option for each country, you’re likely to be satisfied with what Goose VPN has to offer.

Rating: ★★1/2

How we research and rate VPNs

250+
hours performance testing
700+
customer reviews read
500+
hours of research
35
competitors compared
4
VPN experts consulted

Our researchers are dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to buying a VPN. We will only recommend a provider after hours of testing, extensive head-to-head feature comparisons, and after taking into account verified customer reviews and the opinions of industry experts.

Our Hotspot Shield review score was determined by the following categories:

  • Privacy and performance (30 per cent)
  • Features and functionality (30 per cent)
  • Reputation and credibility (25 per cent)
  • Plans and pricing/value (10 per cent)
  • Customer experience (5 per cent)

We research and test a total of 25 elements within these categories, including:

  • Number and location of servers
  • Streaming service accessibility
  • Security features such as AES-256
  • Performance (upload and download speeds, latency)
  • Value for money, guarantees and customer service
  • Independent server-site security audits

All of our VPN articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, so you can be assured our content is as accurate and up to date as possible. To find out more, read our article on how we review VPNs.

Goose VPN overview

  • Lowest price: £4.28 per month for a yearly subscription 
  • Free version: No
  • Maximum connected devices: Unlimited
  • Number of servers: 100+
  • Encryption: AES-256 
  • VPN protocols: IPSec, IKEv2 and automatic
  • No-log policy: Yes
  • Audited: No
  • Headquarters: Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Pros and cons

Pros Cons
Simple to set-up and use Kill switch requires you to use Autopilot
Autopilot feature allows the VPN to turn on only for networks you don’t trust No split tunnelling
Cyber Alarm can notify you if you download malicious files Not many countries to choose from and only one server per country
Based in the Netherlands, where privacy is valued Only IKEv2 and IPSec protocols are available
Cyber Alarm doesn’t actually block malicious files and costs extra

How does Goose VPN compare?

While Goose VPN stands out from the crowd with its unlimited number of devices, it has far fewer servers. The 12-month plan is twice the price of other services, so it’s not exactly cheap either.

Goose VPN also does not have a plan of 24 months or more, other than the Lifetime plan, and there is no free version.

Product Goose VPN ExpressVPN NordVPN Surfshark VPNSecure CyberGhost
Monthly price £8.57 £10.19 £10.39 £10.05 £7.72 £10.89
Cheapest price £4.28 monthly (£51.35 annually) £5.25 per month (annual) £2.79 per month (standard/24 months) £1.78 per month (£46.39 now, annually after 26 months) £2.32 (three-year subscription) £1.92 per month (28 months)
Free version (Y/N) N N N N N N
No. of servers 25 countries, 100 servers 94 countries, approx. 270 servers 60 countries, 5,709 servers 100 countries, 3,200+ servers 34 countries shown (both 40+ and 45+ claimed), 75 servers 91 countries, 9,500+ servers
Max devices supported Unlimited 5 6 Unlimited 5 7
Netflix Y Y Y Y Y Y
BBC iPlayer N Y Y Y Y Y
Disney Plus N Y Y Y Y Y
Prime Video N Y Y Y Y Y
HBO Max N Y Y Y Y Y
Audit (Y/N) N Y Y Y N Y

Prices correct as of 26/07/2023

Best alternative to
NordVPN is one of the most trusted VPN providers in the world, offering top-notch encryption, incredible speeds, and extra features to make all your online activities more secure.
4.5
Excellent Trustpilot rating
24/7 customer support
AES-256 encryption
VIEW PLANS At NordVPN

How much does Goose VPN cost?

The pricing for Goose VPN isn’t particularly cheap unless you get a Lifetime plan, since this is a plan that never runs out. This is equivalent to 10 months on a monthly plan and would be cheaper than an annual plan if you kept the service for multiple years.

Subscription plan Price
Monthly €9.99/£8.57
Annually €4.99/£4.28 (€59.88/£51.35 upfront)
Lifetime €99/£85.75

Payment options

PayPal is the only online payment service that Goose VPN supports. 

The supported credit and debit cards are American Express, Mastercard, Maestro, Visa and a French card called Cartes Bancaires. Payments go through third-party payment provider Mollie.

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Goose VPN features

Autopilot is a somewhat unusual feature available on all platforms, which allows you to choose what networks to trust, so that the VPN is only active on public and untrusted networks. This differs from split tunnelling because it is only toggling the VPN on and off depending on the wifi network, using the VPN for all apps, rather than specific apps, as is the case with split tunnelling. 

You can only choose an IKEv2 or IPSec protocol or use the automatic mode, which selects the best one. You can choose to use the best server automatically, too. If none of its servers are in your country, the nearest server is likely to be chosen.

There’s an extra feature called Cyber Alarm, which acts like a firewall. It doesn’t prevent you from downloading dangerous files, but alerts you instead. By alerting you in real time, the hope is that you can act by either manually deleting the file or using actual anti-virus software. Cyber Alarm is difficult to enable because you have to log into the website and select “Change Subscription,” “Edit Subscription” and then “Add Addon” in order to add it. These instructions don’t appear on the page advertising the product.

Cyber Alarm costs an extra €3 (£2.67) per month.

Server count and countries

There are 100 servers available on Goose VPN (although our researchers only found 25 in the app), all of which appeared to be in different countries. This is lower than most VPN services, making it a poor choice if you intend to access content only available in certain countries. Some servers are labelled as being suitable for streaming or peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting services, which shouldn’t make a difference to other kinds of internet traffic. With only one server per country you can’t switch to another server if your connection isn’t fast enough.

No-log policy and headquarters

The Goose VPN FAQ page states that its product “does not pass on any user data collected on [its] website or software or forwarded to [it] (neither personally identifiable nor non-personally identifiable) to third parties”. It goes on to stipulate that Goose VPN “does not pass on data to organisations that are committed to copyright, such as the [BREIN] foundation.”

Goose VPN’s head office is located in Rotterdam. The Netherlands is part of the Fourteen Eyes cybersecurity alliance along with the US, the UK and many Western European nations. This presents a problem because the Goose VPN service could be accessed by the government in Italy and the data could be shared with 13 other countries, including the US. 

The FAQ page admits that the company will cooperate when served with a court order, but it does have a no-log policy and it doesn’t store any data on its servers.

The no-log policy has not been audited, so you have to rely on Goose VPN’s word that no data can be recovered by hacking or by court order.

Kill switch

A kill switch allows you to ensure your privacy by blocking all internet traffic if the VPN connection is lost. This does not cover situations in which you deliberately turn the VPN off but instead acts when the VPN encounters a problem.

With Goose VPN the kill switch is only active when using its Autopilot feature. 

This requires you to have a list of trusted networks where the VPN will be disabled and the VPN will automatically be connected when you connect to an unfamiliar network. On its website Goose VPN says that when “you are connected to GOOSE VPN via the AutoPilot, the Kill Switch is automatically active. If you use GOOSE VPN without the AutoPilot enabled, then the Kill Switch cannot be enabled.”

Split tunnelling

Split tunnelling allows you to choose which apps on your device use the VPN connection so that you can have a faster connection on apps when privacy is not your top priority.

Split tunnelling does not appear to be available with Goose VPN. There is still Autopilot, a feature that connects to the VPN automatically on untrusted networks. This isn’t split tunnelling, however, because the traffic isn’t being split by app. Once the connection is made to an untrusted network, all traffic is encrypted with no unencrypted traffic from specific apps. 

Encryption and privacy

Goose VPN uses Advanced Encryption Standard with 256 bits, the industry standard which is pretty much impossible to hack. 

On macOS, the only protocols offered are Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2), which is the default, or IPSec. IKEv2 is better on unstable connections, so it works well on mobile devices. IPSec balances speed and security, so it’s a better choice for gaming. There is also an automatic setting that chooses the best protocol for you. On Windows or routers it’s possible to use Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) or OpenVPN, but on Android there seems to be no choice of protocol.

Goose VPN performance test results

The best way to find out how a VPN affects a user’s internet speed is to test it.

There are three main components to consider when testing internet speed, with or without a VPN: download speed, upload speed and latency (ping).

  • Download speed: The rate at which digital data is transferred from the internet to your device.
  • Upload speed: The rate that data is transferred from your device to the internet.
  • Latency (ping): The time it takes for a set of data to be transmitted to a server on the internet and back to your device again.

Our researchers thoroughly tested NordVPN to establish how using the service affected internet download and upload speeds. First, we tested the speeds without the VPN to obtain a baseline with which to calculate the degradation between the speeds with and without NordVPN. Then we moved on to test speeds from the UK to servers on other continents. Our reviewers used the Ookla Speedtest for this research.

Speed test without VPN
Speed test when connected to Goose VPN UK server
Speed test when connected to Goose VPN US server
Speed test when connected to Goose VPN Australian server

During our testing the UK server actually had the biggest impact on download speed, despite being in the same country. This makes it seem like the server is just slow and this is exactly why it’s bad that Goose VPN only has one server per country. The biggest reduction in upload speed was made by connecting to the Australian server, which makes more sense as it’s the furthest possible distance.

VPN configuration No VPN UK to UK UK to US UK to Australia
Download speed (Mbps) 64.44 42.58 57.57 51.99
Upload speed (Mbps) 19.32 17.25 17.25 13.24
Latency ping (ms) (idle/download/upload) 13/13/436 33/32/240 88/85/267 274/274/309
Download % of base 100% 66% 89% 80%
Upload % of base 100% 89% 89% 68%

WebRTC leak test

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is a tool developed by Google to make audio and video calls work better in a browser. Unfortunately, it often leaks your true public IP address, even when using a VPN, so it’s important to test for it if you value your privacy. 

Goose VPN appears to have a WebRTC leak when tested on Chromium browsers as our IP address was visible.

Breaches and audits

There do not appear to have been any breaches at Goose VPN, but it also hasn’t been independently audited. This means that we can only trust that the VPN traffic is not logged because the company tells us so, without knowing if an auditor could independently confirm such an assertion.

Goose VPN compatibility

Desktop app

Goose VPN isn’t available on the Microsoft Store, which means that Microsoft hasn’t checked the app for performance, stability and security. This also means that there are no automatic updates. It’s necessary to log into the website to access the downloads page. The installer is an MSI file and is compatible with Windows 7 and above.

The macOS app for Goose VPN is compatible with macOS Sierra and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. This allows you to have more trust in the product because you know that Apple has checked the app for performance, stability and security. You can also be sure that you’ll always have the latest version if you have automatic updates enabled.

To enable automatic updates, open the App Store and press Cmd + comma (,) to open Settings. Here, you should be able to tick a box that enables automatic updates.

After installing, we experienced some issues setting up the VPN. Logging in worked fine, but it was difficult to enable the VPN. A number of prompts asked for permission to allow the app to access the macOS keychain and the VPN cannot be installed without giving this permission. We also didn’t get a prompt to install the VPN profile in macOS System Settings at first, so it took several attempts to get this to work.

Mobile app

Goose VPN has been compatible with every version of the mobile operating system since Android 5.0 Lollipop, which was released in 2014.  The app is available from the Google Play Store or by logging in to Goose VPN’s website and downloading the Android Package Kit (APK) file directly from the downloads page. The Android app does not seem to offer the ability to switch protocols.

Goose VPN has all the same features on iPhone as it does on macOS. There is an Autopilot feature that allows you to connect the VPN automatically when joining networks other than those you explicitly trust, and Cyber Alarm is available, although its functionality is questionable on an operating system that’s as locked down as iOS. You’re still able to select from one of the two provided protocols or to select automatic mode to choose the best protocol at any given time.

Goose VPN router compatibility

The company claims to support the following routers: ASUS RT-N16, ASUS RT-N18U, ASUS RT-N66U, ASUS RT-AC78U, ASUS RT-AC3200, Mikrotik hAP mini, Mikrotik hAP lite classic, Mikrotik hAP lite, Mikrotik hAP ac lite, Mikrotik RB95Ui-2HnD, Mikrotik hAP ac, Lynksys Archer c3200, Linksys Archer c3150, Linksys Archer C9, Linksys Archer C8, Linksys Archer C59, Tomato, Netgear, D-Link 600 and DD-WRT.

Goose VPN customer support

Goose VPN has a support ticket system where you can submit a request, but there does not seem to be support available via phone or live chat. Our researchers sent a message asking about what protocols were available, and two hours later had an answer confirming that PPTP and OpenVPN are only available on Windows.

What do customers say?

Goose VPN has an average rating of 4.1 out of five stars on Trustpilot, with 51 per cent of reviews awarding it five out of five stars. These reviews praised the security, affordability and customer service of the VPN. Customers found the service easy to use, and they didn’t seem to mind that only a few features are offered.

Of the 8 per cent who gave one-star reviews, criticisms were mostly with regard to difficulties in getting the service working or wishing there were more servers in more countries. Some people found that the service was slow, while others named specific streaming services that didn’t seem to be aware that their location had changed.

On Apple App Store, the average rating is 4.6 out of five stars. The five-star reviews praise the price and ease of use. The most critical review was from someone who wanted to trial the product and was unable to get a promised refund. 

On the Google Play Store, the app received an average of 4 out of five stars. The five-star reviews included comments about the affordable service and the “basic UI, which makes switching easy.” One critical review found that the service “disconnects at least 4-5 times per day”, and others suffered crashes when they opened the app.

“Goose VPN has so far worked great on all my devices, and the price of it is such a steal! I am so grateful for that because our security is so important with the rise of hackers, but not many people can afford high quality VPNs. I used Express VPN before, but it didn’t feel worth the cost so I cancelled. Then my accounts got hacked including my bank, Amazon and social accounts. I was looking for an alternative that I could afford long term and then found Goose. I absolutely love their branding also, it’s fun to activate the “Goose Egg”. I will recommend Goose to everyone I know.”

“Simple, elegant, reliable and well-priced!”

  • _BA_Johnson, via Apple App Store

“The connection keeps disconnecting by itself, forcing me to switch back to the app to make it reconnect. Very annoying when watching a movie or series. Also only the US and NL are supported for streaming, I would love to see more countries. When these issues are fixed I’ll reevaluate.” 

  • R.D. Meijering, via Google Play Store

Independent Advisor’s verdict

If security and privacy are your priorities, Goose VPN might be for you, as long as you’re okay with a no-logging policy that hasn’t been audited and a headquarters located within the Fourteen Eyes cybersecurity alliance. With Cyber Alarm, you have a better chance of finding out if you have downloaded a malicious file even if the app has no way of quarantining or deleting that file itself. If you mostly use a VPN to access location-restricted content, this service probably isn’t for you because it doesn’t have many servers in many countries. It lacks a variety of protocols to allow you to get around network or ISP restrictions either.

Rating: ★★1/2

Score breakdown

Reputation ★★★
Privacy ★★
Performance and features ★★★1/2
Plans and pricing value ★★
Customer experience ★★
Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month

Millie is an expert in computer technology and is a Bachelor of Computer Science, graduating from Sheffield Hallam University in 2021. She writes tech reviews and coding tutorials for publications such as Storius and Better Programming

For the Independent Advisor, Millie writes VPN reviews and features.

amy

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.