VPN.ac is a VPN service owned by the Romanian company Netsec Interactive Solutions. The parent company specializes in IT security auditing and penetration testing. And while it may not be the most well-known provider in the VPN market, it is still considered one of the most diligent and innovative services available – which means a lot can be said about it in our VPN.ac review.
The reason you may hear about VPN.ac for the first time – the company historically markets itself as a low-key provider. According to the website, VPN.ac’s motto is to provide a ‘safe, reliable, and fast’ service for a core base of ‘loyal customers .’However, such claims must be substantiated. That is what I am going to find out. In this VPN.ac review, I looked closely at the VPN service to determine what makes it the right choice for VPN shoppers.
VPN.ac review: Privacy and logging
VPN.ac uses Elliptic Curve Cryptography, blackout, innovative WireGuard technology, and various types of encryption to keep your sensitive information safe from outsiders in the privacy-unfriendly online world. Traffic protocols other than the WireGuard (which is in the beta phase) include OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec, and PPTP. Sharing large files via P2P/torrenting clients is allowed.
If you use the OpenVPN protocol, you can enable the kill-switching mechanism to disable your Internet access if the VPN is disconnected so that your actual IP address can no longer leak. You can also enable/disable the IPv6 blocking option in the app. For a higher level of privacy, you can send your VPN traffic not through one but through two VPN servers, called Double Hop. The Double Hop server combinations can be selected from the server list in the app.
The provider claims to “not log/monitor any form of user activity such as visited websites , emails, transferred files, chat messages, DNS queries, etc..” However, some connection logs are kept when you connect to the VPN service “for security and support purposes,” but they are erased daily. These connection logs include “your real IP address, connection starting/end time, and total traffic transferred during the session.” VPN.Ac adds that it does not store any server logs, not even regular Linux daemon logs.
The only information collected is kept for only one day sounds reassuring, but we can’t be sure unless an independent auditor observes the platform and makes a public report.
VPN.ac review: Performance
As soon as we have paid, the confirmation and activation emails come in immediately. We had to download the app, enter the data, and connect directly to a server in Amsterdam. The server performed great – delivering 40Mbps on a 70Mbps test connection.
After that, it was the more challenging locations, such as those in New York, USA. This time the speeds were expected to be lower, but still with a very usable 14Mbps. Sydney, Australia, greeted only 6Mbps. We also gave Double Hop a chance, and it delivered about 20Mbps when connected to servers in the UK and Switzerland, which was an excellent result given that the connection went through two separate servers.
Switching between the servers was fast and smooth. We had to select the desired server, and the app would connect to it whether or not it was already connected to another server.
While many VPN providers can give you access to essential VOD services such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, etc., blocked in certain areas, unfortunately, VPN.ac is not part of them. For example, where VPN.ac fails, ExpressVPN, or NordVPN perform better. This includes the unblocking of Netflix and BBC iPlayer, but also the genuinely risk-free money-back guarantees. There are more worthy contenders in those areas, including Surfshark and CyberGhost, both of which are cheaper than VPN.ac.
VPN.ac review: Pricing and plans
If you choose this provider, you have four subscription options at your disposal. The shortest is for one month and will cost you $9/month. A longer and 11% cheaper option is the 3-month option, at $24 (equivalent to $8/month), followed by the 1-year subscription with a 46% discount and the price of $58 (or $4.8/month). Finally, you get the best deal if you purchase the 2-year contract that comes with a $90 (or $3.75/month) price tag, placing VPN.ac somewhere in the middle of the price range in the VPN industry – there are cheaper players out there, but also much more expensive ones.
Under one account, users can run VPN on up to 6 devices when using the OpenVPN protocol or 3 when using WireGuard. The provider has a 1-week trial period, but you have to pay for it, which defeats the purpose, and it doesn’t even provide the full service – you can only connect up to 3 devices at a time. There’s also a 7-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the platform’s performance. However, the provider does ask you to contact customer service first to see if they can solve it.
Accepted payment methods include credit/debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other crypto cards, vouchers/prepaid cards, Alipay, UnionPay, iDeal, WebMoney, SEPA Direct Debit, and many more.
VPN.ac review: Customer support
If you need help, you can find it on the website in the form of setup tutorials, FAQs, and knowledgebase, divided into thematic categories. If these resources do not give you the answer you are looking for, the next logical step is to reach customer service. You can do this via email, Wire, Skype, a contact form, or a ticket system reserved exclusively for technical/invoicing support.
VPN.ac is a capable and fast provider, at least on the servers in the user’s relative environment. Combined with protecting privacy on a military level, this is one of the best VPN platforms for P2P traffic and torrenting, which it openly supports. It also features simple native clients for all major platforms and supports installation on additional devices.
That said, if the lack of capacity to unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer is a deal-breaker for you, you will want to look for a VPN service that is more successful in this area, such as ExpressVPN.
VPN.ac provides bulletproof online security and good browsing and torrential speeds on servers near you, but don't expect access to geo-restricted VOD platforms like Netflix or BBC iPlayer.
- Supports torrenting
- Great speeds on nearby servers
- Easy-to-use apps
- Doesn’t unblock Netflix or BBC iPlayer
- Not many servers
- No live chat