VPN.ac offer a total of 60 servers across 20+ countries, but this is list is expanding pretty fast. All inhabited continents are represented, except South America. They provide access to 6 simultaneous connections, regardless of the pricing plan you choose, which tops the maximum number other top VPN providers offer.
We have tested both the company’s own Windows client and the open-source client (on OpenVPN) that needs configuration files to be set up. While simple in design, the VPN.ac client relies on efficient information display above all. Not only can you select specific connection options like security protocols or ports right away on the main screen, but you can also access news, connection logs, contact support or even access your VPN account settings. Advanced options include a built-in kill switch, and more basic functions like auto-connecting and auto-reconnecting.
The open-source VPN client is a bit more complicated matter. As it is not the product of the company, it offers less or less accessible settings and the setup process is also a bit more complicated, but nothing that would break a sweat. In this case, we cannot talk about an explicit client window like the VPN.ac software – connections and all major operations are done from the tray of your desktop.
2TBs of Bandwidth
VPN.ac calls attention to the fact that “unlimited” bandwidth is often a ruse. Since the amount of data you use with a VPN service is often logged, the provider can – unbeknownst to you – limit your bandwidth based on your usage. VPN.ac subsequently plays with cards open in this matter, and provides a maximum of 2TBs worth of bandwidth per month. Of course, we must note here that because of this, casual internet usage is the most recommended form of activity here.
Available on Chrome, Opera and Firefox, VPN.ac’s SecureProxy web extension offers you to bypass installing client software for example, making VPN connections possible right away from your browser. You can think of this service as a VPN inside your browser. We think this is another tick on the list of casual usage support – its features are a testament to this. In both cases, your HTTPS traffic will be encrypted and protection will be provided against DPI tracking. Optimized for streaming services, the list of countries via the SecureProxy extension is a bit more extensive than that of the VPN service. Countries including popular destinations for streaming including the U.S. and the UK, but also Japan, Russia, the Netherlands, Singapore and Germany among others.
VPN.ac were the first in the world to introduce private DNS resolvers, a solution that makes the VPN exit nodes immune to DNS hijacking and logging. The company treats DNS issues – one of the major threats to VPN networks today – seriously. To further describe their network – in Romania they own the hardware while everywhere else it is rented. VPN.ac uses bare-metal servers only, even for the rented ones, as the regular VPSes are not secure. On the roadmap page of their official website, you yourself can gather information about the details of the current situation of their servers.
The company also informed us that in the near future, they plan to release a smart DNS service for free for all active users, which will include ad-blocking and tracking-blocking. It will feature the most popular steaming services for starters.
Our speed tests were done both on their Windows client (on L2TP) and their OpenVPN GUI open-source software. Results were mixed, and we rate their speeds as average.
Back in the first months of 2014, VPN.ac introduced support for vElliptic Curve Cryptography and VPN obfuscation. Its preferences are the following: 4096-bit RSA keys, AES-256-CBC cipher for tunnel data channel, PFS (Perfect Foward Secrecy) with hourly rekeying, SHA512 for HMAC authorization. They are one of the very few in the world to provide ECC support. VPN.ac also makes PPTP and L2TP connections available. We personally do not recommend PPTP, as it is the least safe of all of them. The others are all welcome however. VPN.ac ensures privacy and doesn’t keep any logs of user activity or data transfers. The only logs that are kept are of connection history for 1 day only serve for troubleshooting.
OS, Device Support
VPN.ac has their own VPN software client for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and XP. All of them work on the basis explained in the features section. If you are a Mac OS X or Linux user, you are also eligible for a client. And indirectly, we can also categorize the SecureProxy extension here, as it supports some form of device with VPN access.
For mobile devices, Android fanatics are in favor, as their machines are supplied with an application. iOS users need to rely on manual setup. Routers are better fed, with DD-WRT available on OpenVPN and PPTP and Tomato along with pfSense on OpenVPN. For all of the above, the official website provides professional help, shooting past the barrier of a knowledgebase or FAQ, even though that is how they are named online. The amount of written help can be considered as educational content about VPN. Overall, while device support is not that extensive, informing the public is still on an excellent level.
VPN.ac offers one package over four different durations, each with different discounts, but the same set of features. The standard, one month price stands at $9. If you opt for 3 months, you can save 11%, resulting in an $8 per month price and an overall cost of $24. The company’s biannual package is even more advantageous, with a $6 per month cost and a total of $36. You will save 33% by choosing this plan. And lastly, their best offer is the annual one, which fares at $4.8 per month. This means a $58 price for a whole year and a 46% commotion. These prices are nothing special, they mold into the competition. But keep in mind that the various features and networking options raise the value of VPN.ac’s services, especially on longer-term investments.
The company does not provide a free trial. Instead, they offer a try on their full experience for $2. You can consider this a “weekly” package, even. The reason that they do not offer a free version is that they want to reduce abuse. VPN.ac practices a 7-day refund policy with a firm guarantee on a full refund should you wish to cancel your account.
Preferred payment methods are PayPal and Bitcoins, but VPN.ac accepts MasterCard, Visa, CashU, Mint and wire transfer, and you can even pay via phone or SMS.
It is most important to emphasize here that VPN.ac uses a self-hosted customer support solution. This means that nothing gets to third party services; your queries are kept in secrecy. Furthermore, they provide support via XMPP, which is xml-based messaging. For this solution, VPN.ac provides OTR support for encryption. You are also welcome to ask for help via e-mail, supporting GPG – your messages are encrypted here. More good news is that remote desktop is also an option, via Skype. Live chat is available from 7 am to 10 pm GMT. You can also submit a ticket: this is separate from the e-mail based side of support.
Considering that the company was extremely helpful in providing as much information as possible, we were very satisfied with the overall state of customer support and VPN.ac should take pride in their efforts.
VPN.ac’s VPN is great. With some of the most devoted helpers in the VPN business, they are all about flooding you with all the necessary information. And still, if you run into problems, customer support is there to get you out of trouble in a jiffy. Extensive built-in features, networking options and security solutions prove that their service is all-around well, with the only exception of some speed issues. The price of this all is very attractive to say the least, and luckily there is a 7-day money back guarantee to further compensate the lack of a truly free trial. VPN.ac is at the forefront of making VPN even more secure and reliable than it already is, and we can’t wait to see how this Romanian company will further innovate in the VPN space.
- Built-in features and security options
- SecureProxy extension
- Top customer support
- ECC support
- DNS resolvers
- Average speeds