Zoog VPN Review
VPN technology has experienced a surge in the last couple of years. Part of it can be attributed to the growth of the industry itself, and another sizable percentage should be blamed on hackers and cybercriminals forcing everybody's hands with their suspicious activity.
A perfectly adequate alternative for online security is Zoog VPN. It is based in the Isle of Man, which is a British Crown Dependency, but the company is a paradise for privacy, as there are no data retention laws that can force the enterprise to hand over logs of their users' activity.
Zoog VPN is an up-and-coming VPN brand with improved services and an excellent website, in which customers can find everything they are looking for. It should not be considered among the top five or even top ten when it comes to online privacy companies, but it does more than OK.
Pricing and plans
Zoog VPN has a clear advantage over the average VPN provider, which is that it offers both a paid and a free service. The former is full of features, while the latter lacks punch, which isn't surprising considering that customers wouldn't be paying anything.
The paid plan's monthly price $6.99, which is comfortably above average. However, there's more: an annual subscription exists and is very affordable, at just $2.99 per month (the payment is made once for the added yearly total, which is $35.88).
That's not all! There is a two-year plan worth $1.25 per month. Users can save a considerable amount of money provided they are convinced about hiring Zoog VPN for a long time. As for payment methods, you can use credit and debit cards, PayPal, Paymentwall, and even Bitcoin.
Free Trial and Money Back Guarantee
As we have already mentioned, ZoogVPN offers a free plan, which means that it would be pointless to provide a free trial as well. However, it is, naturally, worse than the paid service, with significantly weaker encryption (128-bit.)
On top of that, ZoogVPN offers a week-long money-back guarantee if you find yourself unsatisfied with the paid mode after seven days of use.
Sign Up and Client
Let's start with Zoog VPN's website. It is attractive and well-organized, with all the necessary elements for users to reach: there is useful information about the company, as well as VPN technology. People can easily see which features Zoog VPN has, as well as the servers available, pricing, and customer support.
The sign-up process is very straightforward. The link is easily reachable on the website (several of them, actually,) and the rest is just following the system's instructions: you have to choose your plan, write the needed data, provide your payment, and you are all set!
To set up ZoogVPN, you need to download the suitable app or client, depending on your device. Log in to your account, turn on the VPN encryption, change the virtual server if you like, and that's it. In general, Zoog VPN is extremely easy to install and use.
P2P is supported in Zoog VPN, but not on all servers. Be aware because the supported servers are indicated when you are going to connect. The company offers unlimited bandwidth and server switching, too.
Users can connect up to five simultaneous devices, and the apps and clients are very user-friendly. Zoog VPN has a free plan and a seven-day money-back guarantee, already discussed in this review.
There are numerous protocols available for customers. They can choose between OpenVPN UDP 1194/TCP 443, IKEv2, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec. Zoog VPN also provides WiFi protection and 24/7 customer support.
The free mode includes the possibility to connect to three servers, located in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. It has a 2 GB monthly data cap, and limited P2P support.
Now, in the cons section. The lack of a kill switch feature is painful, as users can be unprotected in the event of a VPN connection loss. Also, Zoog VPN is not very useful for unblocking TV streaming services, because there are no dedicated servers for it.
Zoog VPN's server network is worryingly lacking. Having an insufficient server network means that there will be few options for users to choose if they want to switch around in their quest for better speeds and performance. Additionally, they won't be able to access numerous international sites and services around the world if there aren't many nations to choose from.
In total, Zoog VPN has 27 servers in 18 countries. While we aren't asking for 3,000 servers or 140 nation states like other VPN companies can offer, improvements in both fronts are needed if the brand is ever going to shoot for the top spot.
That server network applies for the paid customers. Those signing up for the free plan can only enjoy three server locations: the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Speed and performance
To our surprise, Zoog VPN tested out very well when it comes to speeds, considering that their server network is so small. It offers more than acceptable rates for downloading content and loading pages.
Another piece of good news is that there are no DNS or IPv6 leak problems while using Zoog VPN. That is a testament to how robust is its encryption, at least in the paid version.
Privacy and Encryption
Zoog VPN has a clear and concise privacy statement. That doesn't mean that it is all roses, though. Despite claiming to implement a no log policy, you should know that the company does collect some user data, including session records, personal information, and cookies. The good news is that they say they don't share that information with any third parties.
Since the company needs to monitor data caps offered in their free plan carefully, it is logical that they collect bandwidth usage information. But don't worry: they won't use that data to harm you in any way.
Zoog VPN is based in a location that fosters online privacy, which is the Isle of Man. There is no government snooping on people' traffic there, so you can rest easy and stop worrying about the country's association with Great Britain.
Another positive development related to privacy is that Zoog VPN handles its DNS server network, avoiding third parties that want to get a hold of your data and traffic. A drawback is the number of website trackers that the company has, but that can be defeated with the Privacy Badger browser extension.
The encryption details are encouraging: OpenVPN comes with AES-256 cipher, HMAC SHA1 data authentication, RSA-2048 handshake, HMAC SHA256 control authentication, and DHE-2048 forward secrecy.
Zoog VPN has 24/7 customer service support via tickets. While it is not the gold standard in the industry, it is fair to say that the feature is highly responsive and useful. The support center is easily accessible via the website.
There are also manuals, setup guides for several devices or platforms, and a useful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.