ZoogVPN - Full Review
A VPN – short for virtual private network – helps to keep your information secure when you’re online by creating an encrypted path from your computer to the sites or apps you wish to visit and routing your connection through servers in different locations.
There are a number of reasons you might require a VPN – to protect yourself from hackers, to hide your online activity from your ISP, or even to bypass geo-restrictions set by your favourite streaming app.
But with so many rival products around, if you’re a novice it may not be easy to know which one to pick. ZoogVPN doesn’t have a big reputation but claims to be a ‘complete online freedom and privacy solution’, so we tested it out to see if it lived up to that billing.
One drawback of a VPN is that the method it uses to protect your data involves taking it via a longer route than it would usually take – and this inevitably leads to a decrease in speed. This drop in connection speed varies from product to product, and unfortunately ZoogVPN had one of the biggest decreases we have seen.
Without the VPN attached, our internet speed averaged around 55mbps – however when we connected via ZoogVPN, this dropped to barely 11mbps, a drop of 80% that is significantly more than most rival services.
While this shouldn’t cause any problems if you are just browsing websites, it is likely to lead to major buffering issues if you are streaming high-quality video – not to mention serious lag if you are playing games online (for more details, see the Gaming section below).
As a general rule, the more servers a VPN can offer, the easier it should be to find a quick and stable connection. Again, ZoogVPN is somewhat lacking in this regard – while many of the most respected VPNs offer a server base in the thousands, this product provides just 50 different servers.
Even worse, almost all of these servers are based in Europe or North America, so if you’re looking to unblock region-specific content from elsewhere in the world you may struggle.
While VPN companies are always looking for a new selling point to attract customers, the main purpose of a VPN is to protect your data. On a basic level, ZoogVPN does this well – incorporating 256-bit encryption technology to ensure your information is safe. The service also operates a no-logging policy, which means the software does not retain any details of your activity and thus cannot provide it to other parties.
However, ZoogVPN is lacking in one key feature which is offered by most other VPNs; the product does not have a kill switch for mobile devices, an essential function that automatically disconnects your device from the internet if you lose your connection to the VPN server.
This means that, should your VPN connection drop, your activity will be public.
As mentioned above, the process ZoogVPN uses to keep your data private has a significant impact on the speed of your internet – and this can make it difficult to stream high-quality video. If your base internet speed is fast enough, however, you should find that you’re able to stream media without too many buffering issues – and if this is the case, ZoogVPN literally opens up a world of possibilities.
Streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime vary their content libraries by region, and use ‘geo-blocking’ software to ensure that customers can only view the content from their region – so you may not be aware just how much content is hidden from view. By connecting to a VPN server in another country, you can gain access to the content library from that region, allowing you much greater choice of shows.
If you use torrent software regularly, you may have noticed in recent times that you can struggle to access certain sites and programs.
This is because, with P2P software frequently used for illegal purposes, many ISPs now have an outright ban on their use.
Of course, there are plenty of legitimate uses for torrenting software – and a VPN allows you to work around these restrictions by masking your activity, preventing your ISP from realising that you are using a P2P app. ZoogVPN is excellent in this regard – while the number of servers is limited, many of them are optimised for P2P data transfer, ensuring that downloads are as quick and smooth as possible.
The loss of speed we experienced when connecting to the internet via ZoogVPN made gaming difficult, with lots of frustrating buffering and bad lag. For online gaming we can’t recommend ZoogVPN, with plenty of other services offering faster connections that will allow you to play games without worrying about latency issues.
However, if you are more of an offline gamer, ZoogVPN’s ability to bypass geo-restrictions could be useful, allowing you to access games that have been released in other parts of the world before they reach your country.
While there are a number of drawbacks to using ZoogVPN, it does have one major point in its favour: it offers an excellent free plan if you’re an occasional internet user. While this is a limited service – it only allows access to three servers and limits you to 10gb of data per month – it is perfectly good for web browsing.
The paid plans are cheaper than most rival products, too – while the monthly plan costs $9.99, a year long subscription works out at $2.99 per month and a three-year subscription costs just $1.39 per month, making it one of the most cost-effective options on the market.
ZoogVPN does not offer a free trial, although as mentioned previously it does have a free basic plan. The company also has a 7-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to test the product out and get a refund if you decide it’s not for you.
What is ZoogVPN?
ZoogVPN is a low-cost VPN that encrypts your data to keep your activity private while on the internet.
Is ZoogVPN safe?
This product has AES-256 encryption and the company has a policy of not logging data, which adds extra security. However, the lack of an automatic kill switch is an oversight that means your activity is less secure than it could be.
How do I use ZoogVPN?
Setting up ZoogVPN is simple: just download the app onto your device, follow the instructions for installation, run the app and then select your VPN server.
Is ZoogVPN any good?
ZoogVPN offers reasonable protection and is a cost-effective choice, but the low speeds offered mean that HD streaming and online gaming may not be possible.
Where ZoogVPN is concerned, it’s a case of getting what you pay for. This product is one of the cheapest on the market and does the basic things well, providing a high level of security and adequate speeds for web browsing.
If you require a bit more from your VPN – for example higher speeds for video streaming or advanced security features (the lack of a kill switch for mobile devices is a major oversight) – there are much better options available.