OstrichVPN

OstrichVPN

Ostrich VPN is a freemium VPN app developed by GeWare Technology Limited.

VPN Protocols

The absence of WireGuard as an option in the “auto” function of a VPN service could be a significant drawback for users who prioritize both speed and security. WireGuard is often considered the industry standard for modern VPN protocols due to its lightweight nature, high performance, and strong encryption algorithms. It uses state-of-the-art cryptography and is easier to audit because of its compact codebase, making it generally more secure and faster than its predecessors like OpenVPN and IPSec. Many leading VPN services have adopted WireGuard because it offers a great balance between speed and security, making it a go-to choice for those looking to maintain fast connections without compromising on privacy.

In contrast, the VPN service defaulting to VMess for its “auto” function might raise some eyebrows. VMess is primarily used as part of the V2Ray project and is less universally adopted than WireGuard. While VMess also aims to offer a secure and private connection, its less widespread use means that it hasn’t been as thoroughly vetted by the community and security experts as WireGuard has. Moreover, the other protocol options like WebSocket, IKEv2, and OpenUDP each have their own sets of pros and cons but generally do not offer the same level of streamlined security and performance as WireGuard. Users who are not aware of these nuances might unknowingly compromise on both speed and security by going with the default “auto” setting.

Speed

Speed tests for VPN services are highly contextual, influenced by a myriad of factors including user location, the quality of the local Internet infrastructure, server distance, and even the hardware being used. Therefore, while speed test results are valuable, they should be taken as a frame of reference rather than an absolute measure of performance for all users. In our case, being based in Seattle, the closest “high-speed” server available for our test was in New York City. Despite the considerable geographic distance, the service performed exceptionally well in our tests, delivering a download speed of 191 Mbps with an average latency of 78.5ms and zero packet loss.

These results are quite impressive, suggesting that the servers were neither overutilized nor significantly throttled at the time of testing. The high download speed and low latency indicate a well-optimized network capable of providing a robust and smooth Internet experience. However, it’s worth noting that these results are specific to our testing conditions and may not be directly translatable to all users. Factors like network congestion, individual ISPs, and even the time of day can affect performance, but our tests suggest that this VPN service is capable of delivering high speeds and low latency under optimal conditions.

App Telemetry

In the multifaceted landscape of Virtual Private Network (VPN) offerings, Ostrich VPN presents itself as an entity worthy of investigation. Initially, the application appears to fulfill its core objective effectively, establishing connections primarily to its own domain, i.ostrichvpn.net. This suggests an alignment with the foundational purpose of ensuring user privacy and security. However, the analysis takes a more complex turn as additional domains come into view.

The application establishes links to third-party domains such as google.com and firebaseinstallations.googleapis.com. While not overtly indicative of privacy risks, these connections introduce questions regarding supplementary functionalities that might extend beyond the core service offering of the VPN. Moreover, the app exhibits connections to Apple’s ecosystem through domains such as amp-api-edge.apps.apple.com and buy.itunes.apple.com. These links could be a nod to in-app purchase capabilities or other transactional elements integrated within the app. The presence of these additional domains doesn’t necessarily tarnish the privacy credentials of Ostrich VPN but adds a layer of complexity to its operational profile. In summary, Ostrich VPN secures a “B” rating on our privacy evaluation scale, revealing that the nexus between app functionality and user privacy is often more intricate than initially apparent.

Privacy Policy

Ostrich VPN’s Privacy Policy covers a wide array of data collection and usage scenarios that potential users should scrutinize closely for privacy implications. Here are some key takeaways:

Data Collection and Usage:

  1. Account and Identity Information: Ostrich VPN collects your name, username, email, and even identity verification information. This extensive set of personal identifiers could be a concern for users who prioritize anonymity.
  2. Billing and Payment Information: This policy does not elaborate on how this sensitive financial information is secured or who exactly has access to it.
  3. Usage and Device Information: While Ostrich VPN claims not to log any information that associates your identity with your VPN browsing activity, they do collect data like bandwidth usage, device types, and even location information based on your IP address or GPS. The retention period for this data is not specified.
  4. Third-Party Data: Information may also be collected from third parties, including potentially from ‘reputable members of the security industry,’ which could include personal data.

Third-Party Sharing and Advertising:

  1. Affiliates and Service Providers: Data is shared with third parties for processing payments, analytics, and even advertising. The security measures for this data sharing are not explicitly detailed.
  2. Advertising Networks: They serve ads to users and share limited personal data with third-party advertising networks. If you’re using a VPN, this could be a red flag, as one of the primary uses for a VPN is to avoid tracking.

Contradictions and Ambiguities:

  1. Data Minimization and Retention: The policy claims to retain your data for as long as needed to provide services or as long as you have an account. However, it does not specify what ‘as long as needed’ means, which could be indefinite.
  2. International Data Transfers: While it mentions that data could be transferred internationally, it does not specify the countries involved or the legal safeguards in place.
  3. Legal Compliance and Law Enforcement: The policy mentions they may share your information to comply with legal processes, but it doesn’t specify under what conditions they would consider a request to be valid.

In summary, while Ostrich VPN provides some level of privacy assurance by not logging your VPN browsing activity, the extensive data collection and third-party sharing raise concerns. Users should be aware of these issues, especially those who prioritize strict privacy measures.


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