VPN.AC Review

VPN.AC is a good VPN provider that offers solid encryption and good streaming. However, its logging policy gives us pause, meaning the more security-conscious may want to avoid using it just in case. Read our full VPN.AC review for the details on that.

By Ben Stockton
— Last Updated: 03 Apr'19
2019-04-03T04:37:53-08:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
70%
Decent
Pricing
70%
Decent
Ease of Use
90%
Excellent
Speed
80%
Good
Security
80%
Good
Privacy
50%
Poor
Streaming Performance
100%
Excellent
Server Locations
65%
Decent
Customer Service
70%
Decent
User Reviews & Comments

Good
Starts from $ 375 per month
best-VPN-reviews

Faster, safer, better. These aren’t our words. They’re how VPN.AC, a lesser-known VPN service from Romania, describes itself. The service is quick, but it has an unusual connection logging policy that should give you pause if you’re worried about your privacy.

In this VPN.AC review, we’re going to cover its pros and cons. We’ll test it for speed and performance, including a look at its potential for streaming. We’re going to run through features and pricing, as well as its privacy policy. We’ll also test the client and website to give you a good idea of the service’s ease of use before giving our verdict.

VPN.AC is quick, with plenty of features and a pleasing desktop client. It’s logging policy could be a concern for privacy-focused individuals, though, especially when compared to those of providers such as ExpressVPN (read our ExpressVPN review).

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Fast speeds
  • Killswitch
  • Browser extensions provided
  • Multi-hop connections
  • Streams Netflix & BBC iPlayer
  • 6 simultaneous connections
  • Detailed knowledgebase
  • China-specific connection options

Weaknesses:

  • IP logging policy (wiped daily)
  • Unclear fair usage bandwidth policy
  • Low number of servers
  • Expensive monthly package

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Features

70% - Decent

There’s no doubt that there’s ambition behind VPN.AC. Features such as a killswitch and multi-hop connections prove that it’s trying to compete with bigger providers such as NordVPN (read our NordVPN review). There isn’t much customization available, though, which could be a positive if you’re a beginner or a negative because of the limited feature set.

You’re well-equipped with VPN.AC, thanks to it having clients for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices. There’s also a Linux client in beta testing for users with Debian-based distributions. There are tutorials to help you set up connections using routers and other devices, too.

The client for Windows is visually clean and simple, and the Android client looks identical. Not much configuration is needed initially, and an easy drop-down menu for choosing server connections is provided.

You also get two settings areas, where the few settings you can customize are explained in layman’s terms.

That’s great for VPN newbies. You won’t be left scratching your head trying to understand what a “killswitch” is because it’s explained to you. The killswitch isn’t enabled by default, which we suspect is to stop people from being confused if their internet drops unexpectedly, but it would be better if it came pre-enabled from a security standpoint.

VPN.AC lets you configure your chosen VPN protocols in the client, with options including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec and a well-labeled “insecure” PPTP. You can also choose which port you want to use to connect, with seven options provided.

Split tunneling doesn’t appear to be supported by the Windows client, as there’s no option to prevent certain programs using the VPN connection. It’s an option on the Android client, though, under the “exclude apps” area of the “advanced” section.

The client offers a setting for “censored countries,” which confusingly suggests it adds “China-optimized” servers to the server list. We could already see those servers in the list and connect to them, though, so “censored countries” may be a redundant setting.

Still, it’s good that VPN.AC offer servers and support guides to help users looking to bypass censorship in China. That level of support would usually make VPN.AC a strong contender for our best VPN services for China list, but check out the privacy section of this review before you rush to subscribe.

VPN.AC offers multi-hop connections, which add a layer of protection to the VPN tunnel. Your connection gets routed through two servers. For instance, it might go through a UK server, then a server in the Netherlands. That should, in theory, make it harder for your location, and identity, to be traced.

That’s a feature you normally only see in top-tier providers, such as Windscribe (see our Windscribe review).

Alongside VPN.AC’s VPN service is “SecureProxy,” a set of browser add-ons for the Chrome, Firefox and Opera web stores that’s included as part of your subscription. It uses a TLS tunnel to various provided servers to encrypt your browser traffic.

TLS tunneling isn’t foolproof and can be prone to IP leaks. VPN.AC admits as much and recommends its tutorial to help limit the risks. TLS tunneling isn’t an essential feature, but it’s a neat addition if you’re looking to only encrypt your browser traffic.

It’s also useful if you’re looking for the best VPN for streaming, which is something we’ll discuss later.

VPN.AC Features Overview

Starts from$ 375per month

General

Payment methods
PayPal, Credit card, SMS
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections
6
Supports split tunneling
Only on mobile
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
7 days
Worldwide server amount
114 servers over 26 countries
Desktop OSes
Windows, MacOS, Linux
Mobile OSes
Android, iOS
Browser extensions
Chrome, Firefox, Edge
Can be installed on routers

Streaming

Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video

Security

Encryption types
128-AES, 256-AES, Blowfish-128
VPN protocols available
IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included

Support

Live Chat
Email support
24/7
Phone support
User forum
Knowledgebase

Pricing

70% - Decent

VPN.AC doesn’t have the cheapest pricing we’ve seen — its monthly package is rather pricey — but it’s not the most expensive, either. It’s competitive compared to some of the providers in our VPN reviews.

Monthly
  • Fair Use Policy bandwidth policy
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 6 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
3 Months
  • Fair Use Policy bandwidth policy
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 6 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
3-months plan $ 8.00/ month
$24.00 billed every 3 month
1 Year
  • Fair Use Policy bandwidth policy
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 6 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
1-year plan $ 4.83/ month
$58.00 billed every year
2 Years
  • Fair Use Policy bandwidth policy
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 6 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
2-year plan $ 3.75/ month
$90.00 billed every 2 years

VPN.AC doesn’t offer a free trial, but it does offer a one-week trial period for $2. The only difference between the trial and a standard subscription is you’re limited to three simultaneous connections instead of six.

Otherwise, you get the same features across the board with VPN.AC’s paid plans, whether you go for a monthly subscription or longer. Its standard monthly rate is $9, but, like other VPNs, it offers discounts for longer terms. If cost is a problem for you, look for a budget-focused VPN, such as SaferVPN (read our SaferVPN review).

You’ll save 11 percent on the three-month package ($8 per month instead of $9), but the best discounts come with the annual and two-year plans. The annual package will set you back $58 (the equivalent of $4.80 a month) for an overall discount of 46 percent.

The two-year package costs $90 (equivalent to $3.75 a month), giving you an overall discount of more than 60 percent. That’s comparable to the deep discounts you get with CyberGhost (read our CyberGhost review).

You can pay using PayPal, credit and debit cards, SMS or cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin or ethereum.

Whether you go for the $2 trial or any of the full packages, you’re entitled to a refund within the first seven days if you’re not happy with the service. It’s worth testing the service with the $2 one-week trial before committing to a longer period.

Ease of Use

90% - Excellent

It’s clear through testing that VPN.AC has tried hard to make the service as user-friendly as possible. The website and VPN client don’t avoid jargon, but it’s used effectively and with supportive explanations. There aren’t many customization options, so signing up for and using VPN.AC is simple.

It’s easy to sign up for VPN.AC. On the pricing page, you’re given the four checkout options. You select the package you want, click “get it now” and proceed to the checkout.

VPN.AC asks you to provide your email address and a password for your VPN account, as well as your country of origin. It’s good that you’re not asked for billing details, though third-party providers may ask for them, but VPN.AC asking for your country of origin can still narrow down your location.

That’s a small concern, but it’s still a concern. If you want a provider that doesn’t ask for personal information when you sign up, check out Perfect Privacy (read our Perfect Privacy review).

Once you’ve signed up and your payment has been processed, you’ll be sent a confirmation email with your auto-generated VPN login details.

The username and password are sent in plaintext. VPN.AC recommends changing your VPN password, which is different to the password you chose at sign-up. You’ll need to generate a secure password, then go to your “client area” on the VPN.AC website to change it.

There’s not much to see in your account area. Other than changing your VPN service password, you can see any currently active services, past invoices, latest news and your current support tickets.

Moving on to the VPN client, you’re not expected to be a VPN veteran. The client makes it simple by showing you the minimum amount of settings. The main login window offers you server locations in a drop-down menu and a button to turn the VPN on or off.

You’ll need to log in with your VPN username and password in the “preferences” section first, but doing so isn’t difficult. It’s just a login area with basic settings for auto-connection and start-up at boot.

If you don’t like the default dark interface, you can switch to a lighter version. That’s a small touch, but it shows that thought has been put into making the interface comfortable for users.

VPN.AC Settings

The two settings areas, listed under “preferences” and “advanced,” offer some customization. They’re where you can enable the killswitch and set your connection to your chosen VPN protocol. The killswitch is disabled by default, so if it’s important to you, you’ll need to enable it in the “preferences” area.

Most settings have descriptions to help explain what they do. Not all of them are jargon-free, but VPN.AC keeps beginners in mind with tips, such as “normally not needed.”

The client offers built-in links to test your VPN with an “IP leak check” button in the “connect” area. You also get to see a connection log, including detailed connection settings, which you can save if you need to refer issues to customer support.

If you want to use the SecureProxy browser tunneling service, you’ll need to install the plugin for your chosen browser. You can find links to them on the VPN.AC website under “SecureProxy” at the top of the page.

Once the plugin is installed, you simply use your VPN username and password to log in and choose your TLS tunneling server, which is a similar process to the main client.

The client is well-designed for catering to beginners and advanced users, as is the browser add-on. It’s not jam-packed with hundreds of features, but it’s quick. Changing servers takes seconds, rather than making you wait to disconnect, select a server, then reconnect.

Speed

80% - Good

Faster is how VPN.AC describes itself. We wanted to test that claim, so we conducted speed tests to get a feel for how the service performs under regular use.

We tested five VPN.AC servers across the globe, looking at latency, download and upload speeds and comparing them to our unprotected speeds in the UK. The results are shown in the table below.

Locations:Ping (ms)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
Unprotected (UK)1535.254.43
Amsterdam2432.694.19
Madrid7332.103.89
Toronto18423.103.35
Los Angeles29224.962.74
Tokyo4799.611.48

Speeds from European servers, such as Amsterdam and Madrid, were close to our unprotected speeds during our tests. There wasn’t a huge difference in latency and both servers had near-identical download and upload speeds.

Our tests from farther locations continued that theme. Speeds from Toronto and Los Angeles had higher latencies but good download speeds (between 23 megabits per second and 24 Mbps) that would make them solid options for streaming. They’re not likely to make our best VPN for gaming list, though.

The speeds from Tokyo were the worst, but it was also the farthest location from us that we tested. At nearly 10 Mbps, it would still be fine for regular use, but the latency might put you off streaming or gaming.

As a whole, VPN.AC is quick and would be a frustration-free solution for most users, but you may find a better provider on our fastest VPN shortlist.

Security

80% - Good

All the major VPN protocols for encryption that you’d expect are supported by VPN.AC. Helpfully, the service provides a comparison of the VPN protocols in a knowledgebase, but our PPTP vs OpenVPN showdown should give you the same idea.

VPN.AC’s recommendation — and ours — is to use OpenVPN, which is the default protocol in the VPN client. You’ve got several OpenVPN encryption levels available, as well as L2TP/IPSec and PPTP, which isn’t recommended.

For most users, connecting using OpenVPN 128-bit AES/ECC or AES 256-bit is recommended because they give you high security and good speeds.

Though it’s not as secure as an OpenVPN connection, VPN.AC’s SecureProxy tunneling service for browsers is a good alternative if you’re working in an environment that restricts VPN connections.

VPN.AC’s killswitch will protect your identity by blocking access to the internet if you lose connection to a server. It isn’t pre-enabled, but the setting is easily found in the client preferences.

The IP leak check button in the client sends you to a website dedicated to IP, DNS and WebRTC checking. To confirm, we ran our own checks, and the service passed with no problems.

From a security point of view, VPN.AC has users covered, but it would be better if security features such as the killswitch were enabled by default like you’d find with services such as TorGuard (read our TorGuard review).

Privacy

50% - Poor

This review has been positive so far, but VPN.AC’s privacy policy is its biggest downfall.

It makes all the right noises, with a focus on bypassing censorship, “protecting your identity” and so-called safeguards to limit data sharing, such as limiting access to logs to only one employee.

The damning words are in its FAQ, where it tells users that it logs your access to its VPN service for “security and support purposes” for one day. That’s repeated in its privacy policy. To be clear, your IP address, data usage and times you connected and disconnected are recorded each day.

According to VPN.AC, that data is erased by the next day.

That’s a strange contradiction and it makes VPN.AC difficult to recommend to anyone interested in their privacy. We can’t, in good conscience, recommend it to people living in restricted countries, such as China, while its logging user data, whether for a day, a month or a year.

What makes the situation even more peculiar is the company’s pedigree. Romania-based Netsec Interactive Solutions, the company behind VPN.AC, is primarily a security testing company.

VPN.AC’s website claims that the company holds logs for troubleshooting and to protect itself and its servers from attacks. Given that the company is a penetration testing firm, that may be true.

We can’t independently verify its claims regarding data logging, but it does suggest that its VPN customers use shared IP addresses as extra protection against data tracing.

It’s also worth noting the final sentence of VPN.AC’s privacy policy says no personal data is given to third parties “unless required by law.” That suggests that the company is prepared to cooperate with authorities when directed to.

That said, we couldn’t find examples of VPN.AC cooperating with authorities or providing logged data to other third-parties.

Streaming Performance

100% - Excellent

Though VPN.AC is a letdown from a privacy point of view, it’s a much stronger option for streaming. We tested it to see how well it would play streaming content from services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

There are no specifics about media streaming on the VPN.AC website and none of its servers are marked for media playback, but the ones we tested worked without issues.

We were able to stream content from the U.S. and Canadian Netflix servers at reasonable speeds and quality without buffering, so VPN.AC stands its ground compared to its competitors on the best VPN for Netflix list.

Because the review took place from the UK, we already had access to BBC iPlayer, but the BBC usually blocks streaming if you’re connected using a VPN. Connecting to UK-based servers allowed us to stream BBC iPlayer without difficulty, so VPN.AC could be a good alternative to the best VPNs for BBC iPlayer.

A VPN server that doesn’t trip geoblocking measures is a VPN server that’s worth recommending if you’re a streaming fanatic who wants to know how to stream movies online.

Server Locations

65% - Decent

According to VPN.AC’s website, there are 114 servers spread across 26 countries. The number of servers is good, but the coverage is poor, which is another downside worth noting.

North America and Europe have the bulk of servers, but South America only has one, in Brazil, while Asia only has seven, including a few that are classified as “China-optimized.” There are no servers in Africa or the Middle East.

That’s probably going to reflect in the speeds you see. If you’re in Asia, Africa or the Middle East, the servers you can connect to are fewer and farther away than they are for users in Europe or North America. You may get better performance from other services in our VPN library that have a wider geographical spread, such as VPNArea (see our VPNArea review).

Customer Service

70% - Decent

Getting support from VPN.AC is easy enough. The support section includes access to its ticketing system, which it recommends for “maximum priority,” as well as links to its tutorials and knowledgebase.

If you’d rather use traditional email, you can do that, too, via VPN.AC’s support form or the email address provided. Unusual communication methods are available, as well, such as Skype and Wire, a privacy-focused secure messaging app.

To test VPN.AC’s customer service, we sent two messages: one via email and one through its ticketing system.

It responded within six hours, which is quick. The response was curt and to the point, but the questions were answered. It would’ve been nice if more of an effort was put into responding because the response didn’t feel professional.

The knowledgebase includes Q&As and support guides on everything from payment methods to choosing VPN protocols. You also get troubleshooting and optimization guides to help speed up your connection if it’s slow.

Most of the guides are simple, and the instructions are clear. Some of the longer articles include a TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) summary at the top to help you skim through the content.

There’s also an FAQ page with sections for general, privacy and technical questions.

The Verdict

VPN.AC is a try-hard service with a lot of positives and one big negative. Its client is easy to use and includes top-tier features, such as multi-hop connections, as standard.

It’s quick and maintained reasonable speeds over long distances during our tests. There isn’t much server selection outside of Europe or North America, though, and that could affect your experience if you’re not in those areas.

VPN.AC prides itself on its security features, but we’re concerned that it keeps connection logs, even if just for a day. It says it keeps them for “security and support purposes,” but other providers do without, so that’s a weak claim.

We can’t recommend VPN.AC to anyone worried about their privacy. Logging your IP address and connection information for one day is still logging, and there’s no independent verification that VPN.AC hasn’t given that data to authorities in the past or that it wipes the log data every day like it says.

Considering its efforts to market itself to people in countries with heavy censorship, it’s strange that it keeps logs, and that brings down the service. It won’t be making our list of the best VPNs for Iran for that reason alone.

If you’re looking to stream content from Netflix or BBC iPlayer, though, VPN.AC is a strong option. Content streamed well when we tried it across several servers, but there were slowdowns, so your mileage may vary, depending on where you are.

Though we can’t recommend VPN.AC for privacy, we can recommend it as a beginner-friendly VPN service for streamers or basic internet users. There are better options out there, though, so don’t forget to look at our reviews to find the best VPN for you.

Do you disagree with our review or have your own experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for your time.

VPN.AC Review

A solid service, but it keeps logs.

VPN.AC is a good VPN provider that offers solid encryption and good streaming. However, its logging policy gives us pause, meaning the more security-conscious may want to avoid using it just in case. Read our full VPN.AC review for the details on that.
Starts from$ 375per month
Visit VPN.AC
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