VPN.ac is perhaps the only VPN service provider that isn’t known in the industry, not because it’s bad but because it simply does not have the PR budget.
Regardless, it is one of the “good” VPN service providers out there in the market.
Well, you’ll have to read the full review in order to find that out.
Comparing with some of the other VPN service providers, VPN.ac is certainly one of those VPN service providers that deserve some amount of attention.
We’re doing our part in providing VPN.ac that piece of attention in the form of a review.
Because they don’t have a huge marketing budget, you won’t be seeing any Google ads mentioning VPN.ac as a brilliant product. Nope, there are no other forms of flashy forms of advertisements either.
The internet is a pretty big place and to really get noticed in it, you have to spend a bit of money on advertising. VPN.ac has none of that and hence doesn’t have a massive presence on the web.
But does that automatically translate to a mediocre VPN service?
As far as the company’s history is concerned, VPN.AC has improved in the last couple of years and has established itself as a VPN service provider that is reasonably fast and reliable.
But what about this year? Is it still the same?
Let’s break VPN.ac down into its components and then analyze them individually to know the answer to that question.
As far as the variety of the offered packages is concerned, VPN.ac is no different than some of the other VPN service providers in the industry today.
VPN.ac offers just one package. The price for that package varies depending on how long you plan to stay with the company as a paying customer.
If you sign up with VPN.ac for a short amount of time then you’re package is going to cost you a big more on a daily basis. The longer you decide to stay with the company as a consumer, the cheaper the packages will become. That should automatically translate to more savings for you.
For example, if you show a bit of confidence in the company and sign up for its VPN package for a period of 12 months, i.e a full year, then you can get a massive fifty percent discount on the price one would have to pay for a monthly package.
So you should definitely think about signing up for VPN.ac and think twice about whether to sign up with the VPN service for a longer period than say one or two months because the discounts on offer are great.
Right now, there are basically four packages. All differentiated by the time period.
- A one month plan for $9
- A three-month plan for $24
- A six-month plan for $36
- A twelve-month plan for $58
And that is pretty much it. No complex packages where it becomes irritatingly hard to decipher what each offers. Simple packages, with simple payment periods.
The modern web is truly an interconnected place for people to engage in commerce. And since we’re talking about a fairly huge place, it is vitally important for any company that wants to do business to make it easier for people to pay them.
VPN.ac does that reasonably well. There are several payment options available for new users.
You can pay through,
- Paypal. Which is the standard option for most people
- Credit Card
Who knows, maybe you could use a discount coupon from somewhere and get VPN.ac’s VPN package for even less.
On that note, VPN.ac offers news users a seven day money back guarantee. So if you’re not confident right now, you can sign up for the trial version without having to worry about losing money. You’ll only lose your time if you decide to not use the service in the end.
You can sign up for any VPN.ac package and the VPN company will furnish you with the ability to connect up to six simultaneous connections. That six number may sound small but is one of the largest numbers in the VPN industry.
For the end user, this means that any user can connect all of his/her devices to the VPN service with a single subscription package.
VPN.ac connects most of its users to its VPN servers with shared IP addresses. Any operation through the use of shared IP addresses means that all several users are given the exact same IP address and hence it makes it harder for anyone to link one type of activity to any one given user.
Shared IP address forms a web of internet activity that is very difficult to monitor and then analyze correctly.
Along with the shared IP addresses, VPN.ac also has Private DNS servers. These enable users to hide their activity, precisely the URL of the websites that they might visit, from internet service providers and other spying agencies.
Most of these DNS servers are situated in regions that are outside the United Kingdom and the United States. All traffic that passes through these servers is encrypted and then filled with a series of random requests which makes sure that there isn’t a pattern of activity for any one user and hence no one can determine what user is requesting what from what website.
Another feature that VPN.ac added to its arsenal is the double-hop feature. The double hop feature is related to VPN servers where a user’s data is passed through two VPN servers which are located in two different locations around the world.
This technique allows the user’s data to be more secure and more difficult to trace. The downside is that the VPN service itself becomes slower.
For the normal users, it is not recommended to use this type of connection as the default. If you want to stream videos of visit websites that consume a lot of bandwidths, then you should not go near the double-hop VPN server feature.
However, if you want extra privacy, then, by all means, turn this feature on.
Almost all good VPN service providers offer dedicated apps for various operating systems and devices nowadays. That clearly helps them attract more customers.
VPN.ac does the same to some extent as it offers software applications along with mobile operating system apps for all major devices. These include apps for,
Believe it or not by VPN.ac actually, does have its own iOS app which is a rarity in the VPN industry. It is in beta mode through but is completely functional.
Other top VPN service providers definitely have a new competitor to deal with as far as device support is concerned and that is VPN.ac.
But let’s just talk about the apps that over 90 percent of the users are likely to use. These are the Windows and Android based ones. But if you’re really curious, know that the Mac and iOS apps are equally accomplished.
The Windows software application for VPN.ac has a minimal interface and that gives it some form of an edge over the other top VPN service providers who just try to pack in as much as they can in the given space which actually confuses the user rather than helps him/her.
You won’t get any fancy looking maps or animations in the Windows and Android software application. However, it will show you all you need to know in order to form a solid and reliable connection to a VPN server.
The other should you should keep in mind is that VPN.ac is slowly but surely proving itself to be the go-to VPN service for people who prioritize security over everything else. And towards the point, the staff behind VPN.ac don’t really make an effort to appeal to the masses. Maybe that is a good approach. Only time will confirm that conjecture.
As far as the actual interface is concerned, the main screen shows Location, Port and Protocol options for users and hence users can connect to their VPN server of choice rather quickly and without many clicks or taps.
There is also a “latest news” section from the people behind VPN.ac.
For the more experienced users, there is an Advanced tab. Needless to say, if you’re new to the VPN industry and its services then you should definitely consider it a no-go area.
However, if you do know about all the options that are available then, by all means, go have a blast.
VPN.ac does its part well and explains each option with a helpful description below the related option.
Overall, the VPN.ac Windows client is fairly simple and compact which makes it intuitive to use. Don’t expect to hear any ringers or bells since VPN.ac has done away with all those too. The company simply offers an app that can help you get safe online in terms of your data and identity and that’s the way it should be.
If you couldn’t figure it out already then the Android app is pretty similar to the Windows app in its theme. It is still very functional and is suitable for all kinds of users regardless of technical know-how and experience.
You can make a connection to a VPN server from your desktop or your smartphone and hence protect it without much trouble or steps.
The Android app does a really good job of slowly guiding users to the core functions of the app. That also makes the app really self-explanatory. The homepage, or the main windows, of the VPN.ac Android app allows users to choose their favorite country and the location of the VPN server as well.
Users can also select the OpenVPN connection type along with the relevant port. On a side note, using the Android app you can only connect via OpenVPN as other VPN protocols are unavailable. They are only available in the Windows version of the VPN.ac app.
There is also a separate information area, a Settings menu along with a special area for excluding any type of app that you want to disable as far as the VPN connection is concerned. You can also view logging information is a separate area.
You might as well be thinking, is there anything wrong with the Android or Windows version of the VPN.ac app?
Indeed there is.
The Android app isn’t all that user-friendly. That doesn’t mean it isn’t built well enough or doesn’t have the required functions. It’s just that it lacks some of the most basic features that you would expect from a VPN app.
A feature like the capability to simply swipe to the left in order to access another menu screen. You’ll have to physically tap the heading button if you want to change your current section. Of course, that can’t be considered a deal break by any means but small mistakes like these go a long way in hurting a VPN service providers reputation in the industry.
With that said, there is no doubt that the feature to exclude applications from accessing the internet through the VPN connection is something that is really cool and useful.
Right now VPN.ac provides the industry standard three VPN protocols. These are,
You should always opt for OpenVPN if you aren’t an experienced VPN service user.
The nice thing about the staff behind VPN.ac is that they actually go ahead and tell you straight up that IPSec is not secure anymore and should not be utilized for stuff that is considered to be sensitive.
Speed is one area where VPN.ac excels at a much greater agree when compared to some of the other areas. It is probably one of the fastest Vpn service providers in the industry today.
The reason for its good speed could be many. The first sign is that it shows that VPN.ac has not oversold its service.
Its servers are not activated to the full degree (most of the time) and that shows that no one server is overloaded at any given time. Server usage is also kept to a minimum whenever that’s possible.
It also indicated that VPN.ac has a pretty reliable network infrastructure that allows the company to cater to the needs of many customers without compromising quality.
Speed tests are mostly useless when it comes to VPN services because so much depends on your connection type, your location, your distance from the connected VPN server and other vagaries of the internet.
But if you want to stream or want fast internet browsing, then VPN.ac will not come in your way. You can expect a smooth experience with both of those activities while using VPN.ac.
VPN.ac has come a long way from its early days and now boasts around 21 different countries for its servers. Users can choose any one of them to connect to a VPN server and use VPN.ac.
Apart from that, VPN.ac now have a Secure Proxy service of their own. If you only want to use your internet browser to get protection and not the whole system then you can use VPN.ac’s Secure Proxy service.
The total number of countries available in Secure Proxy service is around 32.
The good thing is that you don’t have to sign up for the service. It is included in the main VPN package.
Do take note that the range of 21 countries (and the 32 countries in case of Secure Proxy) isn’t a range that can be considered huge by any stretch of the imagination. Some VPN service providers offer as many as hundreds of countries so this puts VPN.ac right in the middle as far as range of countries is concerned.
Of course, not everybody would give much weight to the number of countries a VPN service provider offers. Plus, VPN.ac offers its servers in very strategically located regions around the world. These regions include,
- North America
This is a pretty safe range. However, if you want a VPN service that provides more then you can have a look at IPVanish that offers more than 60 countries for its VPN servers.
Does VPN.ac offer quality over quantity?
Not entirely, but it is better than many other VPN service providers. Almost all of VPN.ac’s servers offer good speed and you would rarely encounter a server that is overloaded. That definitely shows that VPN.ac prefers quality over quantity.
As far as individual countries are concerned, you can connect to a VPN server that is located in,
- United States
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
- Hong Kong
Looking at the list of countries, I would reckon that the number of countries that VPN.ac offers is pretty comprehensive for the average user.
The total number of VPN servers that are offered by VPN.ac is 76. Needless to say, some countries have multiple VPN servers while some only host a single VPN server.
Another area where VPN.ac is brilliant is in its encryption methods. The VPN company offers many kinds of encryption methods and most of them are rock solid.
At the moment, with an OpenVPN connection, users can select from the following encryption standards,
- 128-bit BF-CBC
- 128 bit AES CBC
- 256 bit AES CBC
Along with these, there is also the 4096 bit RSA handshaking key. This standard of key security is of the highest standards in the VPN market. Even some of the top VPN service providers don’t offer this kind of encryption and key security.
Other VPN protocols include L2TP/IPSec and PPTP. The L2TP/IPSec makes use of a 256 bit AES/128 bit AES depending on the type of device that the user is using or the operating system the user is one.
The PPTP VPN protocol utilizes a 128-bit MPPE but does it really matter since VPN.ac itself states that this VPN protocol is not safe?
And for what it’s worth, the Secure Proxy service relies on an AES 128 GCM coupled with 4096 bit RSA certificate which makes it pretty secure.
VPN.AC Customer Support
The main form of communication with company representatives, as stated on the official website, is through the use of a ticketing system. Not the best system but it is certainly the most popular one with VPN service providers.
Other customer support methods include,
- The good old email plus a GPG key so that the communications are encrypted as well
- XMPP or Jabber contact support
- Skype contact support
There is no live chat or help available just in case you were wondering.
According to official sources, even though you can communicate with company representatives via Skype, it is not secure and hence not recommended.
We’ll say that you should only use Skype if all other secure means of communications are not working or are blocked in your region.
As far as logging policies go, VPN.ac gets full marks because of the clarity and openness in the matter.
It clearly states what it does and doesn’t do with user data.
There are no magical claims about being the most secure VPN service in the world. What they offer you is honesty. They tell you the way they collect data or log information and the limitations that are involved with the process.
VPN.ac may not be the king of the hill just yet but it has all the ingredients to become one. 2017 will be a big year for the company as a good VPN service provider.
VPN.ac puts maximum concentration on the security and anonymity of the users. It is true that their honesty in their ability and product might put off some new users but that should be expected.
The apps are easy to use and any user regardless of experience or technical knowledge can quickly become accustomed to the user interface.
Not to mention that the speed of servers is impressive too.
Perhaps VPN.ac downfall is its lack of number of server locations but we certainly hope that people can forgive the company for this shortcoming. Twenty-one countries is a pretty big selection to choose from if you really think about it but different people have different tastes so we won’t judge you on that.
The pricing of the packages is decent too considering other VPN services in the market. If you sign up for a full year then VPN.ac becomes even more competitive.
Features such as six simultaneous connections along with Secure Proxy and several encryption methods makes VPN.ac quite a VPN service provider to try out at the least.
Overall, VPN.ac gets a nod from us. There isn’t really an area where we can say VPN.ac doesn’t hold up as a solid VPN alternative to some of the top names in the business.
Of course, there are many areas where VPN.ac can and should improve if it wants to make it big. The user-friendliness of its apps could certainly be improved in terms of the number of taps or clicks one has to perform.
Also, the setup of the entire service should be made more simple to understand and follow. Other VPN service providers have gone a long way in ensuring that users don’t have a problem in installing and running their apps.
While VPN.ac is a solid option as a VPN service, there isn’t much that jumps out, apart from the massive six simultaneous connections on every account, and hence we’ll say that you should stick to the best the VPN industry has to offer.
- Good device and OS support(Windows,Android,Mac, iOS).
- 6 simultaneous connections
- fast speed
- High standard encryption
- Shared IP Addresses
- money back guarantee available for seven days
- lack of number of countries for VPN servers when compared to the top VPN services
- Beginners may not like the interface or the honesty
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