VPN.AC Review - 2019
VPN.AC is a relatively young Romanian provider operating since 2012.
Their solution offers a decent network of self-hosted servers and sophisticated AES-GCM 256-bit encryption and 4096-bit RSA authentication. The VPN allows up to six simultaneous connections, competitively priced plans, P2P, and a sleek cross-platform client. The speeds were notably better than that of many currently popular services in my tests, so I recommend you to give this lesser-known provider a chance – you might as well stick to it.
Pricing and Plans
VPN.AC doesn’t offer free trial accounts, but all paid plans are covered by a 7-day full refund policy. I received a full refund within several hours of my request – no questions. This is by far one of the fastest refunds I’ve seen in VPNs, and it speaks volumes of their work ethic.
A monthly subscription with them will set you off $9 while a three-month subscription is $24. Their bi-annual service costs $36, but their annual plan is $58, which is a good deal.
You can pay with PayPal, Bitcoin, credit cards, via Alipay and other options. All paid plans include six simultaneous connections, P2P servers, a kill switch, cross-platform software, OVPN config files, no speed limit, support for multiple protocols, and servers in 21 countries for VPN and 32 countries for SecureProxy.
When you subscribe, VPN.AC automatically allows itself to set up auto-renewal for your subscription, which is something VPN providers shouldn’t be doing by default.
On the other hand, I was happy with their welcome email. It contained all the information I needed to start using the service – my VPN login and pass combo, links to downloads and setup instructions, a brief roundup of supported protocols and which is best for what purposes. Wrapping up the email was the set of links to guides for users connecting from China, news, and ways you can contact their support.
Even though it’s a minor detail, but VPNs tend to send you a dozen different emails, sometimes bordering on spam, so it’s worth lauding the provider for the right way of introducing itself to a new user.
VPN.AC native client supports Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS devices. Considering you can download OVPN config files, you can set up your VPN virtually on any device that supports OpenVPN client.
I loved their native desktop software. It installed itself without delay, and in a matter of seconds, I was ready to browse. It’s sleek, smooth, and it runs flawlessly, allowing you to change protocols, switch servers, tweak its settings, and even change its looks from the Dark to Light theme.
Switching servers never really produced a delay or freeze in the app’s performance, while all servers I tried were responsive and working, except the Double Hop configuration.
As for mobile, you can download their Android app directly from Google Play or get an APK file from the developer. For iOS, just download the app from iTunes, enter your login and password, and start using it.
Their knowledge base is well-organized, and I had no trouble finding the guides I needed. You can contact their support via online ticketing system, contact form, Skype, email, or Jabber, but it doesn’t seem to be available 24/7.
VPN.AC comes loaded with perks. Double Hop, for instance, allows you to connect to two servers in different locations to prevent persistent individuals – or organizations – from tracking your real location.
You can change protocols (OpenVPN 256-bit, 128-bit, XOR, L2TP/IPSec, or PPTP), enable a kill switch, block IPv6 leaks, disable DNS on physical network adapters, or lower MTU. You can also try their LibreSSL, which is more secure than OpenSSL, but can be slower.
The servers are conveniently sorted by regions, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to make a favorites list.
The app itself also provides a wealth of links to setup and usage guides and ways to contact support, so you have everything in one, perfectly compartmentalized and user-friendly software.
As if that’s not enough, you can torrent from P2P-optimized and connect from six devices simultaneously.
As you can see from my speed tests, VPN.AC had a minor effect on my default speed, and I was able to browse without lags and annoying buffering times. Here is my speed test result before I connected the VPN:
Here is the speed for their US server:
P2P-optimized Netherlands server:
There were no surprises in my security tests since VPN.AC didn’t leak my DNS, IPv6, or WebRTC:
To my surprise, I was unable to stream my BBC iPlayer shows:
But was able to stream Netflix US shows without a glitch:
This is a somewhat upside-down situation for a VPN because in most cases, VPNs unblock BBC iPlayer and fail to bypass Netflix’ VPN guards. So, if you’ve been looking for a way to access your US library of favorite Netflix shows, this provider has you covered.
Privacy and Security
I’m content with VPN.AC on the privacy and security fronts, too. It’s a Romanian provider, which means the EU Data Retention Directive is not at play since the Romanian parliament declared it unconstitutional.
The provider does not log your activity when you are connected to their VPN (file transfers, web browsing, chats, DNS queries). They do keep connection logs (your IP, VPN session connect and disconnect times, traffic amount) for troubleshooting purposes, but these are deleted on a daily basis.
Also, they run their own DNS resolvers that do not log anything. The provider doesn’t even use Google Analytics on their website and keeps your support chat history for one month. They don’t even store the Linux daemons, as most VPNs do.
On the security front, VPN.AC puts its specs front and center on the features page – AES-GCM 256-bit encryption, Elliptic Curve, as well as 4096-bit RSA authentication, SHA512 HMAC, and PFS, if those ring a bell. In human speak, that’s excellent security topped by their Double Hop feature, a kill switch, and IPV6 leak protection. The only downside is I couldn’t connect via their Double Hop protocol for some reason.
I was thoroughly impressed by VPN.AC, even though I couldn’t connect via Double Hop. Its speeds are great even on long-range connections while the privacy and security specs are excellent. Its software is extremely easy-to-use, yet allows a granular control over protocols, ports, leak protection, and more. So you’ll feel at home here irrespective of your technical background. Try it.