Interview with Dutch VPN service GOOSE VPN – VPN Anbieter Vergleich Test
The Dutch VPN service GOOSE VPN is a relatively young company. What motivated you to participate in this competitive market?
In the (Dutch) media, you often hear about the fact that public Wi-Fi is unsafe and they advise you to use a VPN. The whole safety and privacy aspect is becoming more and more alive for people here in the Netherlands since a couple of years. The media only advises to use a VPN, but not which one is the best option.
I am an entrepreneur since a young age and started my own company at the age of 19. Dutch Blue, an online marketing agency, has now two locations in the Netherlands and a team of approximately 20 developers, graphic designers and online marketeers.
When I started my investigation about 3-4 years ago, I discovered there was no Dutch VPN provider. Most of them were American companies which mainly focus on a technical user. They provide difficult explanations about protocols, images of VPN tunnels and software which is hard to install and not easy to use for non-technical users.
The support / customer service of the VPN providers I’ve tried were very very slow. I had to wait multiple days for an answer and the answer I received was not helpful.
With all companies, I’ve been involved with in different competitive branches, there were just a few factors which helped us to make a difference and to become successful; listen to your customers and help them the same way as you prefer to be helped and make it as easy as possible.
With this in my mind I investigated further and discovered there was more than enough ‘room’ for another player in the VPN market.
GOOSE VPN is an affordable and easy to use VPN service, available for everyone from young till old. I always take my parents as an example, even they understand our service (sorry mom and dad). We needed over 3 years to develop GOOSE VPN. Most of the time went to testing the software and website by a broad test panel with people from 16 – 70 years old. What was there feedback and how can we improve our services to make it easier for all ages?
When we launched in November 2016 and welcomed our first ‘real’ customers, we received even more feedback which helped us to further improve our services. We try to release updates every month and really do something with the feedback we receive. Our mission is to become the best VPN provider worldwide, which we can do only when we work together with our customers.
What does GOOSE VPN actually means in short words?
The name GOOSE VPN comes from the animal. A goose is the best security guard one can have. In the past, geese (plural of goose) were used to watch over dogs on farms. Uninvited visitors were greeted with loud honking and the geese would never allow others to access your territory. A goose is clever, social, watchful and very loyal.
GOOSE VPN is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) built to protect you and keep you safe online. GOOSE VPN creates a secure tunnel between your device and everything you do online, making sure you can browse the internet fully protected without any fear and with absolute freedom.
If you are based in the Netherlands, is there no danger of state surveillance?
Good questions, but, no, we don’t really danger state surveillance in the Netherlands.
First of all, I would like to say that I’m not fully aware of all legal factors in The Netherlands. We have a legal team of lawyers who supported us from the very beginning a couple of years ago, therefore they advise us in legal terms.
I can only give examples and a compact explanation of what I know about (internet)privacy in the Netherlands. We are ranked very high when it comes to digital infrastructure, broadband penetration, adoption rates of technology, government stimulation, access to talent and judicial infrastructure like net neutrality and privacy.
In January 2012, the Dutch internet service providers (ISP’s) Ziggo and XS4ALL were conscripted by a court order in a case brought up by BREIN (Bescherming Rechten Entertainment Industrie Nederland) to block the website of The Pirate Bay, due to copyright infringement. This blocking raised questions within the government, customers and the internet providers themselves, not only because of the blocking, but also regarding to the role of BREIN, because an industry trade association can change the blacklist. The Dutch government was mostly concerned about the freedom of speech and privacy. At first, the ISP’s were forced to block The Pirate Bay in 2012, but in 2014 the Court of Appeal overturned the initial verdict and made sure that Ziggo and XS4ALL no longer had to block the Pirate Bay.
In June 2011, the Dutch House of Representatives voted for network neutrality enforced by law. The revised Telecommunications Act was formally ratified by the Senate in May 2012. Among other things, this law prohibits the blocking of internet content.
In accordance with the European Union directive in 2006/24/EC providers had to store information about internet traffic. While the original duration of implementation was set to twelve months, it was changed to six months due to questionable usefulness and necessity. The directive was annulled in 2014.
Personally, I don’t really fear state surveillance. BREIN is feared by a lot of people in The Netherlands, but I wish them good luck. We have a really good legal team and comply with all legislation.
In fact, the Dutch government advices people to protect themselves and their online privacy by using a VPN.
Why does your service supports such a thing as P2P / file sharing?
P2P / file sharing does not always mean it’s about unauthorized use of copyrighted works. I’m a supporter of open internet. What is already happening in Germany and where BREIN dreams about to do in the Netherlands is giving people a fine / penalty for downloading copyrighted protected work.
It’s 2017, wake up, this is how the world works nowadays. I advise the film industry to take a good look at the music industry, who faced the same problems years ago. Now, when having a good alternative available (Spotify e.g.), I hardly know any people who still download music. It’s better to look for a solid solution, like what happened in the music industry, then stay in the 1900’s and go after people who download.
What Netflix offers is not enough, the availability of movies is limited and there is this stupid thing of providing a much broader and diverse supply in for example the US compared to The Netherlands or Germany. When you are for example on a holiday and you finally have time to watch a movie, you can’t watch it because you are abroad. Hello Netflix and film industry, wake up!
As long as there is no good alternative, people will always search (and find!) for alternatives like downloading illegal.
With GOOSE VPN, we absolutely do not focus on this group of users, who purely want to use it for (illegal) downloading. But yes, we have special P2P servers available for this. We just are aware of the fact it’s 2017 and it’s time to change!
Don’t you think that this also supports possible legal violations by the unauthorized use of copyrighted works?
My answer to the previous question covers these questions already. Yes, it will probably supports possible legal violations. But do you blame someone who sells a knife? He probably sells you the knife for you to cut your bread, but if you use it to murder someone, can you blame the seller?
With GOOSE VPN one can get among other things to access contents of Netflix, Amazon video, etc. Why are these vendors blocking the use of VPN services?
Ssst, we are making it even harder for ourselves now, but yes, with GOOSE VPN you can access contents of Netflix and Amazon video.
Netflix is indeed, despite widespread criticism, attempting to block access to its service from each and every VPN. This policy, to block VPN providers, is announced just a few days after another announcement of Netflix expandeding its service to nearly every country in the world. Netflix has a long-term goal of being able to supply a single service with the same shows and movies to everyone across the globe. The aim is a laudable one, but to get there it needs to win the support of the key rightsholders for shows and movies. This means the big US TV networks and Hollywood studios – and these rightsholders will fiercely protect the rights to their content.
To win them over, Netflix needs to be seen doing something to combat a practice. Which until earlier, they have tolerated. So, the main motivation of Netflix is to please the rightsholders and advance their aim of having the right to show everything, everywhere.
We at GOOSE VPN see it as a cat and mouse game; when one of our IP’s is blocked, we will just replace it. It’s a childish game, but will I give you the same answer as earlier, we support open internet.
How do you ensure that you will not be blocked? Will vendors be affected by these locks sooner or later?
Like I said, it’s a cat and mouse game. We monitor daily, automatically and manually- if our ‘streaming’ servers still work for Netflix and other services. If one is blocked, we simply replace them and we continue doing this for days, weeks or even months. It’s not the most enjoyable thing to do, but we want to have servers available which are still working at all times.
I think the approach of Netflix to block all VPN providers is very time consuming, inefficient and therefore very expensive. On the long run I think two scenarios can happen. Netflix stops their crackdown on VPN users or the film industry will finally get how it works and will work together with alternatives such as Netflix or hopefully more innovative concepts.
Through publications of recent years, the extent of the monitoring measures against each Internet user was revealed. Why should users trust GOOSE VPN?
The safety and privacy of our users is very, very important to us. It’s simple, when we fail, we will harm our brand name and image and we can quit our company. We have a very strict and 100% no-log policy. We have a very experienced team of VPN professionals, from developers to system administrators. The ‘core’ of this team is located in the Ukraine, but we also have a group of developers in the Netherlands.
Those two ‘groups’, which basically is one solid team, monitor each other’s work to ensure safety and to maintain our policy.
We don’t sit still, we are continuously improving GOOSE VPN. Not solely with the feedback of our customers, but also by hiring external security companies to test and improve our software and server network.
Is it possible for users of GOOSE VPN “to remain completely unrecognized”, of its activities on the Internet?
Yes, we don’t log the activity of our users. We have a strict 100% no-log policy.
“Logfiles” (logs) of users’ activities can lead to the use of VPN services becoming more uncertain. Do you save your log files?
No, we don’t save logfiles, we have a strict 100% no-log policy. I even don’t even see the reason why one should save them, I think it’s a waste of your server capacity.
An important subject, for many of our readers is that they do not want to re-enter a subscription or have unclear contractual conditions. How do you manage the relationships with your customers?
I totally understand why many of your readers see this as an important subject. I really hate unclear contractual conditions too. We try to keep it as simple as possible and we therefore offer everyone one free month to try out our services.
We offer different packages:
- 50 GB package for 2,99 per month, which can be cancelled easily via the user portal at all times
- Unlimited package for 12,99 per month, which can be cancelled easily via the user portal at all times
- Unlimited package for 4,99 per month – if paid annually – and can therefore only be cancelled by the end of the period
I always advise people to use the free month to check if they like our service and also to see how much data they need. For a regular internet user who doesn’t stream often, 50GB is enough.
Our customers are very important to us, like I said earlier, with our customers we can become the best VPN provider worldwide. So, please give us feedback. We of course love to hear what you like about our service, but we also love to hear what you don’t like about it, so we can improve ourselves. The relationship with our customers is very important to us.
The speed of access via VPN, should correspond with the best case to the normal Internet access. How do you ensure users can reach the appropriate speed?
I do not fully agree with this. When you download via a VPN, your speed will ALWAYS be slower than without a VPN. This is easy to explain because the connection makes a detour. The speed with VPN should be at least 50-75% of your regular internet connection. I personally don’t download and have GOOSE VPN on at all times (of course ;)). I don’t notice any difference in speed, even streaming movies on websites is as fast as it would be with GOOSE VPN deactivated .
We monitor our servers like I mentioned earlier, not only if they are still working on streaming services like Netflix, but also to check the load and speed. We continuously improve our server network.
If you experience a slow connection, please let us know, so we can do something about it. Therewith, you can’t always blame the server if your speed is slow. It can also be a local issue. To make it easier, you can just contact our support and we can fix it locally for you, for example by using Teamviewer. We can also upgrade our server network until we have a satisfied customer.
Today, most Internet users (numerically) use mobile devices. What is the best way to protect your privacy on these devices?
If I look at my own environment, I am really amazed about the fact how easily most of them just log on in to a free public Wi-Fi, without knowing the terms and conditions or even knowing who the owner is of the network. They just trust it’s safe and don’t think about what can happen when they go online on a public network.
The same thing with downloading apps; if you have iOS, you can download anything from the app store without serious problems or harm, but on other operating systems, you really need to be careful about your downloading behaviour.
Of course I advise everyone to use a VPN on your mobile device as well. When you are on 3- or 4G, it’s not really necessary, but it can’t harm you. It encrypts the data you pass, so it will always be good to do. When you use a (public) wifi, always use a VPN on your mobile device! Besides using a VPN, always be careful about what you’re downloading and make sure your passwords are safe on all platforms and never use the same password everywhere.
Have you received any requests from authorities to investigate individual users? How do you react to this?
No, we haven’t received any request from authorities. Fortunately, or unfortunately. When we had, we could have proved we really have a 100% no-log policy, for now it’s just a promise which our users should believe.
We only collaborate with authorities in certain cases; for example if the FBI comes to us with proof (from court) that one of our users spreads child pornography or something, we can activate logs for this specific user. We only do this in cases similar to this and with the obligation from the Court of Appeal.
Many VPN vendors or other companies in the security sector are also suspected of cooperating with NSA or other intelligence services. Can you exclude this for me?
Yes, I can, I’m just a computer nerd who loves to work and become the best VPN provider worldwide. I get a big smile on my face when I see someone using GOOSE VPN who I don’t even know. I experienced this some weeks ago at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. From a distance, I recognised our happy orange coloured software on someone’s Macbook. That’s why we do it!
We are a Dutch company and have no bands with NSA or other intelligence service whatsoever.
Does GOOSE VPN also help against hacker attacks on your own PC?
A VPN does help against hacker attacks on your PC. Using a VPN helps standing guard against calamity for payment data and authentication details e.g. Using a VPN becomes a more urgent matter when you consider the breadth of common hacking techniques used by online criminals to procure this data. Keyloggers record each keystroke you tap, fake public Wi-Fi networks trick you into accessing what seems like legitimate web portals and phishing link infect your computer the second you click them. This are just a few examples of the various ways hackers can access your personal data.
A VPN can help you protect yourself from hackers, but always be aware, a VPN does not protect you against mallware or viruses. Always combine the use of a VPN with an antivirus programme.