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VPN Gate Review 2023

VPN Gate is a free Japanese online privacy service that delivers 6000+ servers globally. It offers a multitude of tunneling protocols however; the service has obtained 2.8 stars rating overall.

VPN Gate is a free VPN service and a subsidiary of SoftEtherVPN that was introduced in Japan. The VPN service was initially launched as a research project at the University of Tsukuba, Japan. If you’re wondering, ‘is VPN Gate a good VPN?’ you’ve landed at the right place! You may want to read on.

In this VPN Gate review, we have examined each VPN factor, including how effective it is as an anti-censorship tool. The service also has a huge server spread like NordVPN or ExpressVPN. Moreover, it delivers an amazing free version that allows you to secure your digital footprints hassle-free.

However, it keeps users’ logs for two weeks and does not offer multi-login benefits. It has been associated with certain controversies in the past and recorded inconsistent speeds during testing. Therefore, we don’t recommend VPN Gate to privacy seekers despite having an efficient free version in its armory.

You may explore other VPN reviews to find a premium VPN of your liking.


Our Verdict
Overall Rating :
4.1 / 10

Ranked #43 out of 56 VPNs

Based on our VPN Gate review, we found this VPN hugely lacking in terms of its services. Despite being a free VPN, it has a long way to go. It may be able to unblock various streaming sites, however, its speeds are disappointing, and it is unsuitable for torrenting. All in all, you can opt for other free VPNs instead of trying this one.
VPN Gate Category Ratings
  • 6 / 10
  • 2 / 10
  • 3 / 10
  • 2 / 10
  • 6.5 / 10
  • 4.5 / 10
  • 5 / 10
  • 3 / 10
  • 3 / 10
  • 5.5 / 10
Why Should You Trust Us?

We have spent thousands of hours and days testing 160+ VPN services using our carefully curated testing process to recommend you the best VPN. Here are a few statistics:

  • tick_doneTotal Hours of Testing1000+
  • tick_doneWeekly Speed Tests110
  • tick_doneVPN Services Reviewed160+
  • tick_doneStreaming Platforms Tested Daily50+
  • tick_doneIP & DNS Leak Tests Performed100+
  • tick_doneHow Much we have spent on testing$30,000+

Key Findings – VPN Gate Review

  1. Pricing – VPN Gate is free of cost
  2. Servers – A good number of servers all over the globe
  3. Security – OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, SSL-VPN, 256-bit encryption
  4. Speeds – Terrible speeds
  5. Streaming – Works with Netflix but not BBC iPlayer
  6. Torrenting – Not good for torrenting
  7. Compatibility – Works with Windows, Mac, iPhone/iPad, Android
  8. Installation of Apps and Ease of Use – A bit of a hassle as UI needs improvement
  9. Bypass Censorship – Doesn’t share its Chinese servers list
  10. Customer Support – Through discussion forum, no live chat or email support
Pros
  • Free of cost and open source
  • Offers 6000+ servers
  • Easy to use for beginner VPN users
Cons
  • Slow and inconsistent speeds
  • Untrustworthy as it may keep logs
  • No additional features apart from the VPN service itself
  • No native apps apart from Windows
  • Volunteers may abuse user information

Pricing – How Much Does VPN Gate Cost?

VPN Gate is free, and it will remain that way throughout its existence. The individuals behind this brilliant venture have no plans on introducing paid plans.

This is something unusual as we have previously seen ‘free VPNs’ venture into paid pricing plans. However, it seems as if money is not the motivational factor for the good people at Tsukuba University. You can also browse more free VPNs in case you’d like to explore other options.


VPN Gate – Servers and Locations

VPN Gate offers a massive server infrastructure consisting of about 6608+ public VPN relay servers distributed across prime regions of the world.

The exact number of public VPN relay servers keeps changing, but on average, VPN Gate offers around 12 to 13 active servers in the US. These servers are located across New York, Florida, Texas, and more cities.

vpn-gate-server-list

Here are a few servers from the list of servers available on the VPN Gate website.

The servers are also available in other countries like Ukraine, Georgia, the UK, Germany, Canada, Poland, Japan, the Philippines, Brazil, Norway, India, and Thailand. By using these regional servers of VPN Gate, you can get regional IP Addresses like Georgian IP Addresses, UK IP addresses, etc.

VPN Gate may have a huge number of servers, however, the server network spans only a certain number of countries. If you’d like a number of options in terms of server networks, you’ll be better off with a premium VPN like NordVPN or even ExpressVPN.


VPN Gate – Privacy and Security

In this VPN Gate review, we’ll also be addressing the privacy and security features provided by VPN Gate. We expect at least VPN Gate’s security will prove to be efficient in comparison to other VPN providers in its league.

VPN Gate – Jurisdiction

Wondering, ‘where is VPN Gate based?’ VPN Gate is a free privacy solution and a subsidiary of SoftEtherVPN that was introduced in Japan. The VPN service was initially launched as a research project at the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

Recently, internet freedom has declined to a certain extent as the official authorities have started banning manga piracy sites. As a result, law enforcement agencies have arrested numerous copyright violators. Therefore, you should not use VPN Gate for downloading copyrighted material.

VPN Gate – Kill Switch

VPN Gate doesn’t offer a kill switch. SoftEther’s VPN User Forum has plenty of complaints from current users who demand that the VPN provider include a kill switch in its app.

If the VPN intends on improving its services, it ought to offer a kill switch as it is a critical part of any VPN. It ensures your actual IP address is never revealed to others if your VPN connection drops at any moment.

VPN Gate – Logging & Privacy Policy

You may easily find the logging policy of the VPN Gate on the server list page. Here, the providers make it clear that they keep logs for three months or more. Other than that, VPN Gate also maintains a strict anti-abuse policy. For that purpose, it records connection logs that include:

  • Time and date
  • IP address, ID, and VPN server’s destination hostname
  • Type of action (disconnect and connect)
  • Choice of VPN protocol (L2TP, SSL-VPN, SSTP, or OpenVPN)
  • Hostname and Original IP address of the source VPN client computer
  • VPN Client software name, id, and version
  • Debug data of communication errors and the number of bytes and packets during the VPN connection
vpn-gate-privacy-policy

VPN Gate’s privacy policy mentions that it keeps logs for three or more months.

All this information ends up on the university’s logging server through all of the VPN Gate servers. That’s a lot of data being logged, we would rather not use this VPN regularly or at all.

Learn more about VPN logging policies to know which factors to look out for in a VPN’s Privacy Policy.

VPN Gate – Protocols and Encryption

As VPN Gate servers are run by worldwide volunteers, each server can support different protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec,  or SSL-VPN. However, we didn’t find a PPTP protocol, which is not a big issue since PPTP is an obsolete technology anyway.

VPN Gate has an interesting mechanism for tunneling protocols and encryption. Here is how VPN Gate works:

Server operators of VPN Gate have the freedom to choose which encryption they would like to use on their server. They can use anything up to 256-bit military-grade encryption. Therefore, you are never too sure which encryption level is being used until you test the VPN yourself. It varies from server to server.

Leaks – IP, DNS, WebRTC & Virus Tests

While this VPN Gate review we have found that, VPN Gate is secure as it does not leak your IP, DNS, and WebRTC information. Moreover, its app did not reveal any viruses or malware during the testing phase.

IP Leak:

After connecting our system to VPN Gate’s Atlanta server, we checked our IP address. Well, what do you know, our actual IP address didn’t show up as you can observe in the screenshot below:

IP-Leak-Test-VPN-Gate (1)

VPN Gate passed our IP leak test successfully.

DNS Leak:

After that, we checked if we were facing any DNS leaks while using VPN Gate’s Atlanta server, but we didn’t! You can see the evidence right below:

DNS-Leak-Test-VPNGate (1)

We didn’t face any DNS leaks while using VPN Gate.

WebRTC Leak:

Similarly, we also tested VPN Gate for any webRTC leaks. However, there weren’t any issues and our actual IP address remained hidden. See for yourself in the screenshot below:

WebRTC-Leak-VPN-Gate

VPN Gate also passed our webRTC leaks successfully.

Virus Test:

We checked its Windows file to see if it was affected by any virus or not. Fortunately, we did not detect any malware in its systems.

Virus-Test-VPN-Gate (1)

Thankfully, we didn’t detect any virus or malware within the VPN Gate setup.


VPN Gate – Speed and Performance

The server speed of the VPN Gate is not good enough at all. We explored this reality when we connected to its US server. We used a 24 Mbps internet connection, and after connecting to its US Atlanta server, we received a mere 3.98 Mbps download speed and 10.32 Mbps upload speed.

We noticed a considerable drop of more than 83.42% in speed. Clearly, this VPN didn’t make it to our fastest VPN list.

Speed-VPN-Gate

VPN Gate speed tests provided disappointing results.

On the other hand, we didn’t receive any better speed on the South Korean server. We were met with a download speed of 1.95 Mbps and an upload speed of 0.11 Mbps on the base connection of 24 Mbps. We faced a speed drop of 91.88%. That’s why it wasn’t possible for us to watch any Kdramas on South Korean Netflix which was unfortunate.

vpn-gate-speed-test

Our speed test on the South Korean server didn’t provide high speeds either.

Your speed may also vary depending on how close you’re located to the VPN servers offered by VPN Gate. For instance, if you live in Canada, you might be close to one of the fast servers of VPN Gate and receive different speeds. At least compared to the ones we received.


VPN Gate – Streaming

To our immense surprise, VPN Gate makes itself one fine VPN for streaming purposes. Based on our VPN Gate review research, we were able to unblock multiple streaming sites and bypass geo-restrictions with ease like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and others.

netflix-using-vpn-gate

We could stream Netflix Turkey using VPN Gate.

However, UK streaming channels are out of reach like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, since VPN Gate doesn’t have UK servers. Here are the results for accessing BBC iPlayer with VPN Gate:

bbc-iplayer-geo-restriction-error

If you access BBC iPlayer using VPN Gate, you’ll receive this geo-restriction error.

Does VPN Gate work for Netflix?

Yes, VPN Gate works with Netflix. That said, connection speeds at times can hamper your streaming experience a great deal. Although you might not be able to access Netflix with every US server. So you’ll have to try your luck until you find one that does the job for you.

On the other hand, if you are not satisfied with its performance with Netflix, you can definitely opt for other free VPNs for Netflix in order to have a smooth and buffer-less streaming experience.


No, we don’t recommend VPN Gate for torrenting. A VPN with L2TP/IPSec is considered a safe and perfect solution to download torrents anonymously. This Japanese service offers L2TP/IPSec, but you shouldn’t use VPN Gate for torrenting purposes.

As VPN Gate servers are run voluntarily by worldwide users, your online activities might get shared with ISP or copyright trolls. Thus, in the VPN Gate review, we suggest users steer clear of VPN Gate, especially for torrenting activities.

It is important to know for all streaming fans that VPNGate works exceptionally well on Kodi. When it comes to unblocking Live TV Channels or safe streaming, it is a go-to option, and so is the best VPN Kodi.

For secure and anonymous torrenting VPNs, try the safest VPNs for torrenting.


Compatibility – Apps and Supported Devices

VPN Gate is compatible with:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets (iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows RT)
  • Cisco
  • VPN routers
  • Android
  • iOS

Users can freely use the VPN on Windows, Android, and iOS. However, they will need to set up this VPN on these devices manually.

Windows users can use VPN Gate on their laptops and desktops to protect against prowling hackers, snoopers, identity thieves, state surveillance, and more cyber threats. While conducting this review, we found no official VPN Gate client for iPhone, iPad, or other iOS devices.

vpn-gate-download-windows-app

You can download VPN Gate’s Windows client app from its website or from a third-party source as well.

VPN Gate does not offer a native app for Android either. Furthermore, the service does not have extensions for browsers such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox. The provider has not specified if it supports routers, smart TVs, or gaming consoles as well.

Installation of Apps and Ease of Use

Downloading VPN Gate’s Windows app proved to be a bit of a hassle as we had to set it up manually. There are two options either rely on downloading through a third-party client or connect it through a native VPN on your device. Once we finally got past this stage, we were a bit taken aback by the UI since it wasn’t as user-friendly as we hoped.

Again keep in mind, this is a free VPN so you have to make do with what you get. We were able to establish a connection using the OpenVPN protocol successfully, even though it took us a minute or two to connect.

In the Settings menu of VPN Gate, you can customize the limited features available. All in all, the VPN Gate client doesn’t have much to offer and needs improvement.

vpn-gate-ui

We didn’t find VPN Gate UI impressive at all.


Does VPN Gate Work in China?

Yes, VPN Gate works in China as some of its servers work apparently. However, the website doesn’t list Chinese servers on its website, which is an inconvenience. Instead, on the VPN Gate forum we found a number of people leaving their email addresses in the hopes of getting a China VPN server list.

One of the comments included how the service has been discontinued and now we don’t know what to make of the situation. In such a case, you’re better off using a trusty China VPN instead of opting for dubious ones, which may or may not bore fruit.

vpn-gate-china-servers

VPN Gate doesn’t show its Chinese server list on its website.


VPN Gate Customer Support

While examining customer service for this VPNGate review, we weren’t able to find any 24/7 live chat or helpline for timely customer support. Instead, VPN Gate offers a detailed discussion forum where users can find basic VPN Gate information. Although to post any queries or even answer someone’s query, you’ll need to register for an account.

Once you do that, you can look up answers to your queries and seek help from other users who have faced similar issues.

vpn-gate-forum

VPN Gate’s discussion forum may be able to resolve your query.

We found this way of communication a bit jarring, to be honest, however, given it’s a free VPN, this might be the best you can get. Since the forum is open to everyone perhaps you can leave a comment regarding updating VPN Gate’s customer service. We were definitely tempted to do that but thought better of it.

Anyways, you can always explore more efficient free VPNs that offer better and more efficient customer service.


Comparison between ExpressVPN and VPN Gate

Since we don’t recommend VPN Gate, we have compared ExpressVPN, our recommended provider, with VPN Gate. Have a look at the table given below:

FeaturesExpressVPNVPN Gate
Price $6.67/mo (Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE on its 12-Month Plan)$0.00
Servers3000+ in 94 countries6608+ in 10+ Countries
CompatibilityAll DevicesWindows, Android & iOS
JurisdictionThe British Virgin IslandsJapan
Logging PolicyZero LogsKeeps Logs for 2 weeks
Customer SupportLive Chat & Email SupportForum
WebsiteExpressVPNVPN Gate

As a result, ExpressVPN is a far better option compared to VPN Gate. You should opt for the former and invest in a reliable future for your VPN needs through ExpressVPN.


Alternatives to VPN Gate

VPN Gate is not stacked with advanced security tools like many other VPN providers. However, those providers may cost you some money.

So, if you are in the mood for a superior VPN experience, check out the following providers:


FAQs – VPN Gate Review

Yes, VPN Gate can unblock Netflix US. However, not all US servers may be able to unblock Netflix for you. So you’ll have to opt for a brute force method and look for a server or two, which will finally do the trick for you. Apart from Netflix US, VPN Gate is incapable of unblocking other Netflix content libraries.

Yes, VPN Gate will slow down your speeds as observed in our speed test results. However, the drop in speeds may vary depending on where you’re located. If you live near a server offered by VPN Gate, the less likely you’re supposed to encounter the drop in speeds.

Yes, VPN Gate is safe at least according to its claims. VPN Gate states that anyone who connects using its services to the internet through VPN Gate’s service computer should be safe.

However, since it is based in Japan and an ally of 5 Eyes Alliance, we have certain reservations associated with this VPN. The VPN also states the bunch of information it stores and that too for 2 entire weeks. We don’t know about you but we find this fact a bit too worrisome.
That’s why we wouldn’t deem VPN Gate safe to use.


Do We Recommend VPN Gate?

No, we don’t recommend VPN Gate after this review.

VPN Gate is a suitable choice for those who wish to unblock geo-restricted sites and services. However, due to certain shortcomings, it doesn’t provide the edge other VPNs do. For instance, it doesn’t work in China, it doesn’t have active customer support, and most of all it keeps logs for three months or more which we find highly intrusive.

So if you’re looking for top-grade privacy, robust online security, and reliable data protection then choose a full-fledged premium VPN service like ExpressVPN. For this VPN Gate review, we give their service an average 2.8/5.0 rating as per privacy features and service offerings.

'Gerald Hunt

Gerald Hunt

Gerald Hunt's Biography :


Gerald is a steadfast believer in the inviolable right of every citizen to freedom of expression. Writing about online privacy and security without any regard for political correctness is his way to counter the instruments threatening our liberty. In his spare time, he loves to binge watch Netflix, anime and play video games.


Posts by Gerald Hunt

2 Responses to VPN Gate Review 2023

  1. Barnaby001 says:

    I want to know if VPN Gate comes into any use for protection against ISP bandwidth throttling? I know that VPN with strong protocols are able to bypass ISP speed throttling, but does VPN Gate also helps in this case? P.S. A well written guide and informative blog it is.

    • Abdul Rehman says:

      Hi Barnaby, VPN Gate is among the lower-rated VPNs on VPNRanks. If you’re concerned about ISP bandwidth throttling and strong protocols, I would strongly advise opting for Surfshark, ExpressVPN, PureVPN, or NordVPN.

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