VPN.AC Review 2020
VPN.ac is a relatively powerful VPN on paper, but is it good in real life? Does its performance justify its $3.75 monthly price? find out if it's worth getting over other options in this review.
VPN.ac – created back in 2009, it is a Romania based VPN service owned by Netsec Interactive Solutions. Yes, it is lesser-known than some of the other VPNs covered in our VPN reviews 2020 guide, but it is actually a pretty decent service. I mean, at the time of writing this VPN.ac review, I found it to be impressively fast.
In addition, I found it to work great with torrenting and with streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It even comes with a decent amount of features. As standard, it comes with Multi-hop, Kill switch, 6 multi logins, no logs and it even works in China which is pretty impressive.
That said, VPN.ac is still not flawless to deserve 5-stars. For one, it costs more than much more renowned VPNs like PureVPN or Surfshark. Other than that, I’m not sure why they only offer servers in some 20 countries and keep connection logs. Overall, after weighing in its pros and cons, I’ve given it 3.0/5.0 stars in this review.
My Rating Criteria
To thoroughly test VPN.ac for its pros and cons, I used my 9 step rating criteria:
- Jurisdiction – Where is VPN.ac located?
- Security – Does VPN.ac keep logs?
- Leaks – Does VPN.ac leak IP, DNS, WebRTC?
- Servers – Is VPN.ac P2P compatible?
- Speed – How fast is VPN.ac?
- Streaming – Does VPN.ac work with Netflix?
- Compatibility – Which devices can I use VPN.ac with?
- Pricing – How much does VPN.ac cost?
- Trustworthiness – Is VPN.ac safe to use?
Jurisdiction – Where is VPN.ac located?
As I mentioned earlier, VPN.ac is a Romanian VPN service headquartered in Bucharest, which is a safe country from a privacy standpoint. This is because Romina does not fall under the surveillance jurisdiction of the 5 Eyes alliances. Even more impressive is the fact that, in Romania, data retention is considered illegal by law.
Therefore, operating from Romania basically grants VPN.ac the freedom to not store logs by law. In addition, Romania is the only country in the EU that has disregarded the EU’s data retention laws. But we’ll look more into the logging policy of VPN.ac a bit later on in this review.
Security – Does VPN.ac keep logs?
Well, to be honest, yes. But only connection logs, which they also claim to purge on a daily basis. As for activity logs, they don’t store any of that. While connection logs aren’t too intrusive, I still don’t get why they have to log user IPs. If you go through their terms of service, you’ll see that they clearly mention logging customer’s IP addresses.
In addition to IPs, they also store other connection logs like VPN session connect and disconnect time, and traffic transferred amount. But again, they remove this data from their secure servers on a daily basis. So, overall, I think it can supposedly pass as a no logs service.
Encryption & Other Features
Moving on to encryption and protocols, VPN.ac is pretty well equipped. If we talk about encryption, VPN.ac uses AES-GCM 256-bit encryption with Elliptic Curve along with 4096-bit RSA authentication. They even use SHA512 HMAC and PFS for added security. In addition to that, VPN.ac also uses top of the line VPN protocols like PPTP, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and even IKEv2. They also now support the WireGuard VPN protocol, which I think is pretty impressive.
This features basically helps you connect to two server locations at the same time. I think this feature works great and makes you even more anonymous on the web. VPN.ac currently offers around 20+ server locations for you to use the Double-hop feature with. One thing you are going to experience when you enable this feature is slightly slower speeds. That’s because you’ll be connected to two servers simultaneously.
Leak protection and kill switch
Two features that I really like about VPN.ac is the built-in Kill Switch and leak protection. Both of these features can be easily enabled by its app and adds an extra layer of privacy. Kill Switch can block your internet connection in case your VPN connection abruptly drops and leak protection basically prevents your IP, WebRTC and DNS from leaking. Overall, these are pretty cool features to have.
If you pay attention to the screenshot above, you’ll see an option that says, “I’m in China or other censored country”. This option basically is powered by obfuscation technology. This feature can mask your internet traffic to appear as ordinary HTTPS traffic. If you enable this feature, you can get past geo-blocks and firewalls in countries like China, Saudi Arabia, and other such countries.
Leaks – Does VPN.ac leak IP, DNS, WebRTC?
Thanks to the built-in leak protection and the fact that VPN.ac uses its own DNS servers, it is leak proof from pretty much every angle. Even after conducting multiple tests, VPN.ac managed to not leak my IP, WebRTC or DNS.
IP Leak Test:
For my IP leak test, I connected to the French server of VPN.ac and ran the test. As you can see from the screenshot below, VPN.ac passed this test without any issues.
DNS Leak Test:
Next, I checked for any signs of DNS leaks. I connected to the same server and sure enough, VPN.ac passed without any problem. Check out the screenshot below and you’ll see that all of my traffic is being routed through French DNS servers.
WebRTC Leak Test:
As for WebRTC leaks, again, VPN.ac again passed this test too without any issues. To honest with you, it performed better than my expectations. Just check out the screenshot below:
Last but not least, I ran its Android app link through Virustotal.com to observe any malware or viruses. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t find anything suspicious.
Servers – Is VPN.ac P2P compatible?
As for torrenting, VPN.ac is P2P compatible. However, since it only offers servers in some 20+ countries, you might encounter slightly slow speeds on P2P networks. In addition, due to the fact that it only offers around 100+ servers, you will have a hard time finding servers that are compatible with torrenting. Overall, in terms of privacy, VPN.ac is safe thanks to its Romanian jurisdiction. That being said, in comparison, PureVPN, and NordVPN offer way more servers.
Does VPN.ac work in China?
Yes, as I mentioned earlier, VPN.ac actually works in China. That’s mainly because of its obfuscation technology. In fact, you can find China optimized servers in its apps that are designed to help you bypass the Great Firewall. Personally, the thing that helped me unblock websites like Baidu, Bilibili, QQ and more, is their OpenVPN XOR protocol along with their TCP Port 443. Using the combination of both, I managed to unblock a ton of Chinese websites without a hitch. Overall, VPN.ac is an awesome choice for China.
Speed – How fast is VPN.ac?
As for speeds, VPN.ac is surprisingly fast. On my base 35 Mbps test connection, VPN.ac performed better than I expected. First, here’s a screenshot of my default internet speeds without connecting to VPN.ac:
When connected to the German server of VPN.ac, I managed to get around 25.03 Mbps downloading speed. Although not the fastest speeds I’ve seen, it is still pretty remarkable.
With the US server of VPN.ac, I managed to get even better speeds. At max, I got around 29.71 Mbps downloading speed. That’s seriously impressive.
Last but not least, I also tested the speeds of VPN.ac on it’s UK servers. On average, the UK servers managed to crunch out around 22.80 Mbps, which is a bit low, however, nothing worth complaining about.
Streaming – Does VPN.ac work with Netflix?
Even though you’re not going to find anything on their website about Netflix, it still works pretty well with it. I tried playing a bunch of shows on Netflix and all of them played in HD quality. Overall, really impressed by the fact that it works with American Netflix. Just check out the screenshot below.
Other Streaming Services that work with VPN.ac
Aside from American Netflix, what really blew me away was the fact that it also managed to unblock BBC iPlayer without much effort. Simply connecting the UK server, I was easily able to stream a bunch of geo-restricted shows on BBC iPlayer. And the video quality was also great. Overall, it performed quite well.
Compatibility – Which devices can I use VPN.ac with?
On the compatibility front, VPN.ac is available on nearly every device you can imagine. You can use it on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS with the standalone apps. I also like that it offers browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and even Opera.
You can even use it on other devices as well that don’t have native support for VPNs. With tons of tutorials available on their website, you can easily configure it to work with routers and even on Linux systems. And best of all, I love that they allow six multi-logins per subscription plan.
VPN.ac for Windows & Mac
If we talk about the Windows and macOS apps of VPN.ac, they’re really well built. One thing that you’re definitely going to love about their apps, is the options. If you hop on to the Advance settings, you’ll literally see a ton of options that you can play around with. But despite having so many options, it is still dead easy to use.
VPN.ac for iOS & Android
As for the iOS and Android apps of VPN.ac, they are also very user friendly. Both apps are pretty snappy to use and all of its options are right in plain sight. Overall, VPN.ac has done a fine job developing its apps. As for app ratings, VPN.ac has a 3.9-star rating on Google Play Store and the same 3.9-star rating on the iTunes store.
Pricing – How much does VPN.ac cost?
As for pricing, VPN.ac is slightly expensive than its competition. That’s something to consider when there are other cheaper options like Surfshark that offer similar features and way more servers. But to make up for it I guess, they allow six multi logins.
Moving on to payment methods, you can expect to see options like Bitcoin, PayPal, Alipay, Credit Card, Union Pay and more. Not a lot of VPN providers offer this many options.
Aside from pricing, another thing that’s a bit disappointing about VPN.ac is the short refund policy. Unlike other providers, like PureVPN or Surfshark that offer 30-day refunds, VPN.ac only offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. They do offer a trial version as well, but it costs $2, which I guess is not good either.
Trustworthiness – Is VPN.ac safe to use?
Well considering that VPN.ac doesn’t keep any activity logs, it is actually safe to use. Even if we look over their Trustpilot rating, it has mostly positive reviews. With a 3.8/5-star rating, VPN.ac has 50% Excellent reviews and 25% bad reviews.
VPN.ac Reddit reviews
Even over at Reddit, most users have positive reviews about VPN.ac. For instance, here are a couple of comments praising VPN.ac for its features and performance.
Here’s another positive comment about VPN.ac on Reddit. Looks like people genuinely don’t have any issues with this service.
Coming over to their customer support and I don’t think it’s worth the price they’re charging. I mean, they don’t offer live chat support which is just a shame. In comparison, Surfshark offers 24/7 live chat support. But other than that, they do offer the usual customer support options like:
- Contact Us
Speaking of Skype, although not the fastest option, I did manage to get answers to my queries via Skype quite conveniently. I like that their support team is quite knowledgeable and don’t resort to copying pasting answers.
Comparison between PureVPN and VPN.ac
So overall, VPN.ac is a pretty decent service. But like I mentioned, it is a bit expensive. If you want something that’s more affordable, you might want to check out this comparison between PureVPN and VPN.ac.
|Servers||2000+ in 140 Countries||20+ in 20+ Countries|
|Compatibility||All Devices||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android,|
|Logging Policy||Zero Logs||No Logs|
|Customer Support||Live Chat & Email Support||FAQs & Email|
|Trust Pilot Score||4.8||3.8|
Alternatives to VPN.ac
If you do not wish to use VPN.ac for any reason, you might want to consider checking out the list of alternatives listed below. Who knows, you might find something even better.
- NordVPN Review
- PureVPN Review
- AVG VPN Review
- Astrill VPN Review
- Turbo VPN Review
- Hola VPN Review
- Unlocator Review
- Surfshark Review
- VPNBook Review
- ExpressVPN Review
Do I Recommend VPN.ac?
Overall, I do recommend trying out VPN.ac. As we have seen in this VPN.ac review, it is actually a pretty capable VPN service. After all, it works with Netflix and torrenting and also keeps no logs. It is also pretty decent in terms of speed and performance. Even if you’re an advance VPN user, you’ll be more than happy with VPN.ac simply because of the sheer number of features it offers.
That being said, it does have its shortcomings as well. For instance, it only offers limited servers. In addition, it lacks one major feature and that is live chat support. It is also comparatively more expensive than other options like Surfshark. Overall considering all the good and bad, I’ve given VPN.ac 3.0/5.0 stars in this review. So, if you want to try VPN.ac, that’s perfectly okay, but if you want to try something else, check out our unbiased VPN reviews.
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