Private Service Based in Privacy-Friendly Romania
Logging Policy & Jurisdiction
VPN.ac collects identifiable data about your online activity, but it's deleted every day and is no privacy threat. We also like that it's based in Romania, which is a safe place to incorporate a VPN.
VPN.ac is owned and operated by Netsec Interactive Solutions, a company established in Romania in 2009.
According to the company’s website, VPN.ac is made up of “talented, forward thinking professionals.” These talented professionals are based at 76 Calea Dumbravii Street, 550399, Sibiu, Romania.
Being based in Romania may not seem great as it’s potentially subject to EU data-sharing agreements. However, data retention is considered illegal by Romanian courts.
When the Romanian government introduced the EU’s 2006 Data Retention Directive, in 2009 the Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) stated these laws were an unconstitutional violation of Romanian citizens’ rights to privacy.
As a result, Romania is the only EU country to have successfully thrown out the EU’s data retention laws.
This makes it a good place to base a VPN service, but we can’t be certain that Romania’s membership of the EU won’t eventually result in some negative anti-privacy legislation.
VPN.ac logs some connection data, but it is erased daily and permanently.
This data includes:
- Originating IP address
- Start and end time of VPN connections
- Amount of data transferred
“We do… keep some connection logs (to our VPN service) for security and support purposes. These are kept on a separate, encrypted server (located in an undisclosed location) and are automatically erased on a daily basis. We don’t keep any logs on servers, not even common Linux daemon logs.”
While our instinct is to flinch when a VPN collects your original IP, we actually like this approach; it is honest, clear, and poses no privacy threat when deleted daily.
VPN.ac keeps these temporary logs to combat attacks against the service, including brute force and MitM attacks. It’s more specific and legitimate than a VPN simply stating it keeps logs to ‘maintain the service’, which is often the case.
All in all, there’s nothing to fear when using VPN.ac. Your connection information will be deleted daily, which means you can trust it to protect your privacy.
Impressive Long-Distance Speeds
Speed & Reliability
VPN.ac is surprisingly fast, especially on long-distance speeds. But they're still not challenging the very fastest VPNs on the market.
VPN.ac is much faster than most lesser-known VPN services. You won’t experience any significant drops in performance on local connections.
Here are the full results from our most recent speed tests:
Local Speed Test results before using VPN.ac:
- Download Speed: 89.25Mbps
- Upload Speed: 97.88Mbps
- Ping: 2ms
Local Speed Test results with VPN.ac:
Download speed loss when VPN.ac is running: 6%
This local speed loss is minimal, meaning you shouldn’t experience any difference between using a VPN and not using a VPN.
That’s a great result.
Long-Distance Speed Test Results
Long-distance speeds were equally impressive, which means VPN.ac is also fast enough to stream content from international Netflix libraries.
When it comes to long-distance connections, we put VPN.ac through our scientific speed test to determine the average results that you can expect to get when connected to these locations:
- Download: 54Mbps
- Upload: 39Mbps
- Download: 65Mbps
- Upload: 64Mbps
- Download: 31Mbps
- Upload: 10Mbps
As you can see, VPN.ac’s long-distance speeds are quite impressive. We usually see much lower scores than this for the US and Australia.
Overall, these speeds mean you can do everything with VPN.ac that you could do without it.
A Highly Secure VPN with AES-256 Encryption
Security & Features
VPN.ac has all the top protocols and the best encryption around – AES-256. There's a kill switch to protect against IP address exposures and anti-leak technology. Best of all, VPN.ac owns all of its DNS servers, meaning it doesn't deal with unreliable third-parties.
VPN.ac is secure and safe to use. The desktop app defaults to OpenVPN, our preferred protocol for strong security and fast speeds. There’s also the option of using IKEv2, LT2P, and WireGuard, which not every VPN service has.
OpenVPN is not available on the iOS version of the app, however, which has IPSec and IKEv2 only.
Encryption is provided by the AES-256 cipher. This is the highest level of encryption available to commercial services, used by serious organizations looking to encrypt data, including the US federal government.
Alongside this groundwork are a bunch of additional privacy features, such as ‘Gateway Removal’ – VPN.ac’s kill switch. This protects your true IP address from sudden disconnections.
You’re also protected against DNS and IPv6 leaks, which we tested thoroughly.
What’s really great is that VPN.ac operates its own DNS servers, meaning that your web traffic won’t be routed through less-secure servers owned by third parties.
VPN.ac also offers 22 easily-selected Double Hop servers. This means that your traffic is routed through two different encrypted servers before reaching its destination. This gives you an extra layer of privacy, although there will be a reduction in connection speeds.
Overall, this is a secure VPN service. It offers the highest standard of encryption, a wide selection of connection protocols, a good range of advanced security features and it doesn’t leak your IP address or DNS information.
Accesses the Most Popular Streaming Sites
VPN.ac works with Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video. It's a good collection of unblocked streaming services – the most popular ones.
VPN.ac is a good VPN for unblocking US Netflix, including on its DoubleHop servers. We accessed the streaming service on all of the US servers that we tested and didn’t have a single failure on these servers, although some buffering was required.
VPN.ac doesn’t identify servers optimized for Netflix, BBC iPlayer, or other streaming services, but it remains a good choice for hassle-free access.
We gained access to BBC iPlayer using VPN.ac’s London servers, and could get around geo-blocks on HBO Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
VPN.ac doesn’t advertise its streaming reliability much, and its lack of attention towards designated streaming servers for its app shows that, but we can tell you it’s a solid choice for streaming regardless.
Torrenting Permitted on Every Server
VPN.ac has optimized servers for torrenting and directs you to the best ones. It's fast and safe, too, so you can share and seed files risk-free.
Torrenting is allowed on every one of VPN.ac’s servers.
VPN.ac goes even further to recommend the optimal server choices, informing you that the best servers are:
- Canada – Toronto
We are told these locations feature “over 28 gigabit servers” and so bandwidth won’t be an issue.
It’s nice to see a provider recommending how you can optimize your P2P activity with its service. Many ban or restrict P2P traffic completely, so be sure to choose carefully.
117 Dedicated Servers in 21 Countries
VPN.ac's server network is small and Euro-centric. But they are quality servers; each one is a physically-located, bare-metal server, and they're not rented. This makes them extra safe.
VPN.ac has VPN 117 servers in 21 countries available to connect to.
VPN.ac hasn’t increased its server selection over time but has actually decreased it, recently dropping from 25 countries.
It’s a small list no matter which way you look at it – the majority of its servers are in Europe, too.
However, while we would like to see more choice, it’s worth noting that these are bare metal servers, meaning that they are physical and not rented, and come with self-hosted encrypted DNS.
In other words, VPN.ac has gone for quality over quantity. Explaining its practice, VPN.ac states that it “focus[es] on fewer, where security is done properly and the bandwidth capacity is enough to ensure a fast and reliable service.”
There’s still the risk of congestion and reduced speeds, which is what happens when too many people are using the same servers, but you can be reassured in the knowledge that you’re safe and we’ve never had a bad experience using the service.
If a choice has to be made, then we’d always recommend a potential loss in performance for the guarantee of security. Having no virtual private servers (VPS) and no fake servers is a great step that we wish every VPN would take.
A Good Choice for Bypassing Censorship in China
VPN.ac is a good solution to strict censorship. Our tests have found that it works the majority of the time to get around China's Great Firewall. It's even more reliable in countries like Russia, Turkey, and UAE.
VPN.ac is one of the best VPNs for beating censorship.
It comes with China Optimized servers and a great array of obfuscation tools to bypass The Great Firewall. Using the OpenVPN XOR protocol alongside TCP-443 port will enable you slip through a crack in the wall and smuggle in a freer internet.
VPN.ac goes to great effort to ensure its service still works in China, offering a ‘China Status’ page and ‘Instructions for China’, detailing the current situation in the country and the best way to connect.
This information is viewable to anyone with an account, making it a solid choice for China – one of only a few.
VPN.ac will be a good choice for other censored countries too, including Russia, Turkey, and the UAE.
Available on Popular Platforms & More
Platforms & Devices
VPN.ac is availble to use on all the major platforms as well as Fire TV Stick, Android TV, router and Linux. The website offers helpful installation guides for each device.
You can install and use VPN.ac on lots of devices and platforms, including:
VPN.ac is available on nearly every device you can think of.
The usual custom apps, including Windows, macOS, Android and iOS, are available with one-click.
You can also follow VPN.ac’s step-by-step setup tutorial guides for the devices lacking native apps, including Linux.
If you want to protect all of the internet-connected devices in your home, you can always install VPN.ac at router level. It’s compatible with routers:
Once up and running, VPN.ac will automatically protect the internet-connected devices in your home, including games consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. If you’re willing to spend just a little extra time installing the VPN at router level, VPN.ac is a great choice.
Again, there are detailed tutorials on the website with helpful instructions that will save you having to download the VPN onto multiple devices.
VPN.ac is also generous in its allowance of up to six different devices using the same VPN subscription.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
VPN.ac offers SecureProxy extensions for:
VPN.ac is clear and open about the fact that using this makes you more vulnerable to IP leaks, and advises blocking Flash, WebRTC and Java, but it still provides a greater level of privacy for browsing than would normally be the case when browsing.
Good for Newbies and Pros Alike
Ease of Use
VPN.ac is user-friendly and customizable. It's not as sleek as some of the best VPNs on the market, but it's simple, clearly arranged, and it does the job.
How to Install & Set Up VPN.ac
VPN.ac will appeal to seasoned VPN users with its huge number of customization options. It comes with the ability to select a number of protocols and ports that pros will want to exploit.
This comes at the cost of intimidating newbies but VPN.ac still makes it as simple as can be with an easy-going app and plenty of information available on its website. There is also a ‘Help’ tab with useful links to common issues users may experience.
You can also switch between ‘Dark’ and ‘Light’ themes, toggle auto-connect options, and much more.
VPN.ac packs a lot into its package.
We do wish that the servers were made more simple to switch between. You have to toggle the ‘On’ and ‘Off’ before making the changes, rather than re-connecting automatically once you select the server.
Customer Service Needs Improvement
VPN.ac's website is full of useful information and guides. It doesn't have a 24/7 live chat feature, but there's a ticket support system with quick responses. It's nowhere near as advanced as a service like ExpressVPN, but most will get useful and quick assistance.
|Email support via an online form||Yes|
VPN.ac has a comprehensive knowledgebase. It offers FAQs, troubleshooting tips, setup guides and all-round useful information about the apps features.
The app says that “almost everything is already covered on site” but, failing that, allows you to contact VPN.ac via ticketing or a message form.
However, VPN.ac did respond only one minute later to our ticket enquiry, as you can see:
Our one complaint with VPN.ac’s support is that we’d like to see a more enthusiastic invitation to ask for help – plus the addition of 24/7 live chat.
The best VPNs are easily contacted and quick to respond over chat. As it stands, we had to wait for 24 hours before we got a response to our support form.
On the bright side, we really like that the company includes its Skype ID as a method of contact, as this is especially useful for users in countries like China where most other communication methods are blocked. It does advise, however, that this is not a secure communication protocol and should really only be used as a last resort.
Cheap but Refunds Should Be Extended
Price & Value for Money
VPN.ac is worth the money, but there are cheaper options available. We'd also like to see its refund policy extended from seven-days to the standard 30-days.
VPN.ac offers four different pricing plans that all offer the same features but get cheaper the longer the subscription:
US$9/moBilled $9.00 every month
US$8/moBilled $24.00 every 6 months
US$4.80/moBilled $58.00 every 12 months
US$3.75/moBilled $90.00 every 2 years
For a service as robust and secure as VPN.ac, its $3.75 a month price tag is a bargain.
This offer is part of its two-year plan, meaning that you have to pay $90 upfront every two-years.
It’s still quite cheap on the one-year plan at $58.00 a year, totalling $4.80 per month.
A single-month subscription, useful if you’re taking a trip to China and want to use a VPN only for that time, costs $9.00. That’s slightly cheaper than the standard one-month deal.
Whichever plan you are interested in, VPN.ac comes with a seven-day refund offer. We wish it would extend that offer to a whole month, but it offers an unambiguous promise of getting your money back if you’re simply “not satisfied” – seemingly no questions asked.
That is until you read its Terms of Service which contradicts this somewhat by stating:
“We do not refund orders for vague reasons like “it doesn’t work” without providing us details and letting us help.
We can only assume that being unsatisfied with the service is specific enough for VPN.ac. Just don’t complain that it’s not working. VPN.ac should do a better job of clarifying this.
Payment & Refund Options
You can pay for VPN.ac through a number of different methods:
There’s plenty of options here, including cryptocurrencies, many of which will satisfy even the most demanding of privacy enthusiasts.
VPN.ac Delivers Top Results
The Bottom Line
We absolutely recommend VPN.ac. It’s surprising to us that it isn’t more popular – our testing has revealed that it has very few downsides.
We really admire its dedication to security and the fact that the company knows what it’s talking about when it comes to the technical aspects of operating a VPN.
It could benefit from better customer support and a bigger server list, but VPN.ac is a good choice for most users looking for fast speeds, secure browsing, and access to restricted streaming services.
This is a quality VPN service that you can trust to keep you safe online.
Additional research by David Hughes
Alternatives to VPN.ac
If you’re not fully won over by VPN.ac, we’d recommend ExpressVPN for the simple fact that it has more server choices and it is, after all, our number one recommendation overall. It’s more expensive, but not by much. Read ExpressVPN review
Our second choice is naturally our second overall recommendation – NordVPN. Like ExpressVPN and compared to VPN.ac you have a greater variety of global server selection. You might be tempted due to its much cheaper price tag, too. Read NordVPN review