Ever heard the saying “If you don’t risk it, you won’t get the biscuit”? Although it’s useful life advice, when using a VPN, “risking it” is something you don’t want to do. Founded in 2013, ZoogVPN knows that, and that’s why it advises you to “stay safe and secure online, use a VPN. Don’t risk it!”. Something ZoogVPN takes to heart with various types of tunneling protocols you can pick from. On top of that, it’s based in Greece, a country outside the 14 eyes surveillance alliance which won’t spy on its citizens. Security is good and all, but if you don’t get decent speed and are not able to browse the internet, what good does high security do? Well, no need to worry! ZoogVPN not only claims that it will unblock any website from any country, but it will also do it with “blazing fast speed”.
Right off the bat, ZoogVPN’s website is well designed, user-friendly, and evokes trust, something important when delivering a VPN service. It’s true that the free plan comes with many limitations compared to the paid one, but it still gives beginners who are just looking for an easy VPN to use enough features.
While the application itself is not the best-looking one we’ve ever seen, it’s simple to use. After you log in, you need to create an account for the free plan, and you are led to the connection tab. Here, by default, the server is on auto. However, if you click it, you are able to pick between the different servers ZoogVPN provides.
You also have a tab with configurations where you can choose between standard options such as launching the app when you start the device, but you also have more in-depth configuration choices such as enabling the kill switch, ZoogVPN Shadowing and choosing what protocol you want to use. You have a tab which gives you the information about your plan and when it’s going to expire, as well as a tab with general information about the app, and lastly, the exit button.
ZoogVPN’s Free Plan
If you opt for the free plan you will have the opportunity to choose between three different servers. One in the U.S., another in the UK and, lastly, one in the Netherlands. However, if you let the server pick automatically pick one, ZoogVPN will choose the most suitable server for you and may go for servers that are only available on premium.
Moreover, even though you only get 128-bit encryption, you still get some nice features such as the option to choose between two different protocols (IKeV2 or OpenVPN) and can also turn on the kill switch. The latter is a good (and new on Windows) add-on since not all free VPN services have this possibility that gives you more security, which you can never get enough of.
Netflix and Torrenting
One of the things we loved the most about ZoogVPN’s website is how it has a list of all the streaming services you can access using its service. You can even choose the type of service you are looking for.
ZoogVPN markets itself as being able to reach these services wherever you are. For this review, we connected to the U.S. server and tested some of the free services. It did work, but with such a small monthly bandwidth allowance, it only takes a few episodes for you to consume all the available data.
ZoogVPN provides one server compatible with P2P on its free plan (Netherlands). We tested it and we only got a minor slowdown, which was pleasantly surprising. Of course, again, with the limited bandwidth, ZoogVPN’s free plan is not made for torrenting. However, this gives us a good idea of what we would get with a premium account.
As mentioned before, the ZoogVPN free plan offers three servers in different countries: U.S., UK, and the Netherlands. Although this list isn’t very long, it does the job and it’s nice to be able to choose between the three instead of being restrained to the automatic option.
However, if you go for a premium account, the array of servers expands and you are able to pick from 47 servers in 26 countries across five continents. To be honest, that is not a great number compared to other paid VPN companies who’ve been in the industry for around the amount of same time as ZoogVPN has, who offer on average, a much larger selection of countries. Nevertheless, it seems to be an active company that takes its customer feedback into consideration and is always trying to improve. So, this number may increase in the near future.
The three servers available with the free plan did a good job with our speed tests. For reference, the values we started with when not using the VPN service were a ping of 3ms, a download speed of 33.78Mb/s and an upload speed of 25.98Mb/s.
Although we got a decrease in our speed, something typical when using a VPN service, we were able to torrent, stream HD videos, and browse the internet without feeling any slowdown which is perfect!
Speed Test While Disconnected
Speed Test UK Server
Speed Test U.S. Server
Speed Test Netherlands Server
Like most companies in the VPN industry, ZoogVPN claims to protect all of its users’ sensitive online data as well as to prevent them from being tracked online, protect their identities, and have no DNS leaks. It also claims to have a strict zero-logs policy. But, is that true?
Well, ZoogVPN offers a good array of VPN protocols. Although the free users need to be content with the 128-bit encryption, paid users will have 256-bit encryption which is still the most popular and reliable in the industry.
Although ZoogVPN offers the most common protocol, OpenVPN – on either UDP or TCP – for both free and paid users, TCP/UDP, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and Ikev2 are also available when using a premium account. These are supported by a SHA256 authentication and an RSA-2048 handshake. On top of that, ZoogVPN has its own DNS and offers Socks5 proxy which will help with your internet speed.
OS, Device Support
ZoogVPN is great for anyone looking for a VPN service with a vast range of supported devices. In terms of operating systems, it works on Windows Vista and onwards, on Mac, and on Linux Ubuntu. It also has an app for both iOS and Android. Moreover, it also works on Fire TV, Android TV, and BlackBerry.
On top of that, it works with a few of the most popular open-source router firmware like Tomato and DD-WRT, as well as on Mikrotik.
The features differ slightly depending on the device you are using. Although ZoogVPN offers a kill switch on both Windows and Mac, the same feature is not available on Android. The same goes for the application’s interface. While on Android you are able to see the amount of bandwidth you have used so far as a free user, the same is not true for the Windows version. It’s understandable that it will take some time for the kill switch to be available on all devices, but the interface should at least have the same information across all devices.
When using a free account, ZoogVPN is only available on one device at a time. However, if you upgrade to the premium account, you can have a maximum of five devices working simultaneously.
Although ZoogVPN offers a completely free version of the service for as long as you want, with such a low margin of bandwidth, it’s only natural to start considering upgrading your plan sooner rather than later.
The premium version of ZoogVPN comes with three different payment tiers and there is almost always a sale going on. You can have a monthly subscription and pay $7.99 or a six-month subscription which is $3.99 per month ($23.94 in total) which is a 69% discount. You can also choose a two-year subscription where you pay only $1.75 per month ($42.00 in total), an 87% discount.
You can pay for the service with VISA, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, UnionPay, Paymentwall, or PayPal. But, you also have the possibility to pay with Bitcoin.
Bad customer service can destroy a company, even if you are a top-notch VPN service and ZoogVPN knows that, proven through the good customer service we saw right from the moment we opened the website. First and foremost, you can see how open and transparent ZoogVPN is by browsing its FAQ. Yes, it answers some general, basic questions, but it also explains how to see if you are having DNS or IPV6 leaks while connected to the VPN. Clearly, it trusts its own product to never fail, no matter what.
Moreover, although not in the FAQ, anytime you want to install ZoogVPN on a device where it takes more than just double-clicking on the executable file, it provides a step-by-step guide on how to make its VPN work on your device. You are able to find guides for Linux, BlackBerry, and routers, amongst others.
But, if you browse through all that and you still have questions, you can always use the live chat where someone is always ready to assist you. Last, but not least, if you are more of a social person, ZoogVPN is also on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If your problem is a little more complicated, you can always rely on good old email.
Although ZoogVPN is a strong contender in the VPN industry, the truth is, its free service won’t suffice, even for beginners. There are other free VPN services which will give you better encryption, as well as more bandwidth, as 2GB/s is not enough. For example, during our tests where we did not stream or torrent that much, we surpassed 1GB in one day. In other words, the free service will never be enough to guarantee your safety throughout the month.
However, it is a good way for you to try the VPN and decide if it’s good enough for you to purchase a premium account. To be honest, ZoogVPN offers one of the best prices on the market, and the premium version is decent and easy enough if you are a beginner in the VPN world. But, if you are more experienced and want more configurations out of your VPN service, you are better off going for one of the more expensive ones. It may cost you a couple more dollars, but you will get better service.
- 24/7 customer service
- Competitive price
- Good connection speed
- Based in Greece
- Always improving
- Bandwidth limit on free plan