Alphabet Outline VPN Review 2019: Is it Really a VPN?
Alphabet Outline VPN let you build your own server at $5/month. It manages to offer a rare ChaCha2020 encryption and is best for journalists and small businesses, but not so much for individual users. It earned 2.5 stars.
Alphabet Outline VPN is a project of ‘Jigsaw’, a technology incubator created by Google.
It was developed for a sole purpose to give safe access of information to journalists. It makes it easy for news organizations to set up a VPN on their own server.
It is not an easy-to-use VPN for normal user but its certainly free of cost.
The product is still in its nascent stage however, the future of outline VPN looks quite optimistic.
In this Alphabet Outline VPN review, I will be testing its speed, IP leak, compatibility, and more.
Have a look at our various VPN reviews and ratings to know more about VPNs.
My Rating Criteria
These are the factors on which I have given ratings to Alphabet Outline VPN:
- Pricing – How much does Outline VPN cost?
- Security – Encryption & features
- Jurisdiction –Is it located in a 5-eyes country?
- Speed – How fast is Alphabet Outline VPN?
- Streaming – Does it work with Netflix?
- Leaks – Does it leak IP, DNS & WebRTC?
- Trustworthiness – Logs and Customer Support
- Compatibility – App experience and supported devices
Pricing – How much does Outline VPN cost?
Google Outline VPN is absolutely free. But, you will need to create your own server, and for that you will need to pay at least $5/month.
You will need to add a payment method to your account. After that, you will be awarded $10 in your account straightaway.
Surprisingly, Digital Ocean will charge you $5 as server maintenance fee.
See also: Best Cheap VPN Services of 2019
The only billing method available for server maintenance is through:
- Credit/Debit Card
If you are accessing the VPN through a Digital Ocean server, you can request a refund from the company.
That said Digital Ocean does not have a particular time-period in which you can receive a refund.
Security – Encryption & features
The provider uses 256-bit ChaCha2020 IETF Poly 1305 cipher. There was no tunneling protocols specified by the VPN service.
Still, the encryption level is top-notch.
This is a strong VPN encryption that only a few VPNs use in this industry.
By this, it has kept its word to provide a safe platform for journalists to share their information.
Jurisdiction –Is it located in a 5-eyes country?
Alphabet is the parent company of both Outline VPN and Google. So, it is based in Mountain View, California. US is a part of 5 eyes intelligence sharing country.
This gives US authorities the right to access users’ information of any company that lies within the United States jurisdiction.
To know if your VPN has safe jurisdiction, visit our 5 eyes, 9, eyes, and 14 eyes guide.
Users can develop and manage VPN servers at their own. However, once you have setup an Alphabet Outline VPN, you cannot change your server locations.
If you are using Digital Ocean account, you can delete the prevailing server by clicking the Gear button.
Thus, you can choose “Destroy Server” option to attain your desired objective. You can still create a new server in your preferred location.
If you’re looking for a VPN that offers servers in countries that have strict internet regulations, then check out obfuscated servers guide.
Speed – How fast is Alphabet Outline VPN?
Alphabet Outline VPN has decent speed and is good for streaming.
This may be because the servers are not clogged and it does not use a tunneling protocol.
Internet speed without VPN:
Internet speed with Outline VPN:
We see a decline of speed by 44% which is decent.
Streaming –Does it work with Netflix?
Alphabet VPN does not unblock Netflix.
So when you try to run Netflix with the VPN connected, it shows you the infamous black screen.
This is not surprising, as these server do not have a technology to surpass Netflix restrictions.
Since this VPN is more of a proxy, it has issues outside your browser. This means torrenting with Outline VPN is fruitless.
Hence, readers of this Outline VPN review will be better off using our best VPN for torrenting.
Leaks – Does it leak IP, DNS & WebRTC?
It easily passed the leak test since Outline VPN has the strongest encryption.
There was only 1 server to connect when checking for the IP leak:
I also conducted a virus test. Unfortunately, it found 1 Trojan engine. The file had a virus.
You can see the results in the below picture:
Trustworthiness – Logs, virus test, & customer support
This Alphabet Outline VPN review explores that the service does NOT store session logs. However, it collects information that includes server IP, non-personal identifiable technical information and others.
It was also found in this Outline VPN review that it stores information that consists of comments and email of the users if they provide feedback.
Technically, it is a safe VPN to use and trust.
Look for the VPNs and know their logging policies.
Since this VPN is free, I did not expect it to have extensive customer support. Still, I was impressed by what I witnessed.
This Alphabet Outline VPN review explores that the service offers an exclusive Outline Help Center feature to their users.
I would expect that the service would add more features to make the customer support function more efficient in near future.
Compatibility – App experience and supported devices
Alphabet Outline VPN is compatible with limited number of operating systems. These operating systems include Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. However, the Android users will have to rely on the beta version app at present.
The service is also compatible with Chrome operating system.
Here is a look at the interface of Windows, Android, and iOS app in this Google Outline VPN review:
Alphabet Outline VPN has two different interfaces. The users may assume the first interface as Alphabet Outline manager. Likewise, the official Alphabet Outline VPN client is the second interface.
You can use the first interface in order to develop and manage VPN servers. The second interface that is an app allows you to secure your web traffic after developing the VPN connection.
Alphabet VPN’s Mac client is available free on Apple App store. It’s 17MB in size, which means that it does not take much of your disk space.
The android version of Outline comes with MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256 signatures. It’s a lightweight app, taking only 9.48 MB of space.
One thing to like about this app is that it is easily navigable.
Check out our detailed guide on top VPN for Android 2019 to disclose more popular VPNs in the industry.
The iOS app is a bit similar to Android. However, it is 59.4 MB in size. With its 256-bit encryption, the app keeps your data secured.
Outline VPN Reddit Review
Here are the recent reviews of Outline VPN by Reddit users:
This user complains that once he connects Outline VPN to a Wi-Fi, it seems to work fine. But once he uses it on an iOS device via cellular data, it doesn’t seems to work.
There is NO auto Turn ON/OFF option. You will have to manually shut it down in settings. This function is really frustrating because all of the VPNs have this functionality, but not Outline VPN.
VPN Comparison between Outline VPN and PureVPN
|Servers||2000+ in 140 Countries||Create your own server|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, Android, Mac, iOS,|
Linux, & Chrome OS
|Jurisdiction||Hong Kong||United States|
|Logging Policy||Zero Log||Zero Log|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||Contact Form & Email Support|
|Trust Pilot Score||9.5||N/A|
Alphabet Outline Alternatives
Here are some other reviews worth checking out if you are an internet privacy seeker.
- Avast Secureline VPN review 2019
- CyberGhost review 2019
- Speedify review 2019
- Seedboxes cc review 2019
- b VPN review 2019
- Hide My IP VPN review 2019
- VPN One Click review 2019
- Doublehop me VPN review 2019
- Le VPN review 2019
- VPNBook Review 2019
- PrivateVPN Review 2019
Do I Recommend Outline VPN?
No, I do not recommend Outline VPN.
Outline VPN is hard to setup on desktop and macOS. You need to create your own server which is a bit complex.
It is not a bad VPN, but it offers no new features to be listed in our best VPNs list.
Journalists and other users can use other VPNs for a lesser price.