VPN.ac Review – Advanced security but at what cost?

(Image Credit: VPN.ac)

Born in Romania, VPN.ac at first glance seems like it has all the answers.  

With a background in IT security and coming to the table with audits, international standards, and accreditations including ISO27001 and ISO9001 certifications, on the surface, they at least feel like more than your run-of-the-mill VPN. Seemingly more akin to the likes of ProtonVPN with a heavy interest in security as a whole rather than just as a VPN service.  

But how does VPN.ac stack up against other paid VPNs? 

Let’s find out in our VPN.ac review.  

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, ensures you stay anonymous online. When you use a VPN, all of your traffic is sent through an encrypted tunnel via a private VPN server which can’t then be accessed, allowing you the freedom to browse the internet in relative peace. 

From helping you to stay secure and anonymous on unsecured public WIFI to preventing advertisers knowing everything about you before you’ve even visited their site, a VPN can help in any number of ways.  

No longer limited to hiding your IP address and accessing geo-blocked content VPNs have now become a staple in personal and corporate security. 

Price and plans – How much does VPN.ac cost?

VPN.ac offers 4 paid plans ranging from $9 for a monthly subscription to a 2-year deal which equates to $3.75 per month.  You get the same package for each subscription with the only difference being the amount you save.  

They also offer a 7-day trial which you do need to pay for but are more than happy to provide you with your money-back as is the case with all their plans.  

Annoyingly, the 7-day trial doesn’t feature the full range of services they offer and limits the amounts of simultaneous connections to 3 rather than 6.  

Payment methods include flexible and anonymous ways to pay with options including Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Dogecoin, and a host of others.  

When making a payment they also advise against using Tor for anyone unsure or new to VPNs which is the kind of thing we like to see. 

Compared to other competitors, VPN.ac sits somewhere in the middle of the pricing range with both more expensive and cheaper options available. We’ll come to whether we think they’re value for money a little later on.  

If you’re just starting out with VPNs, I would never recommend jumping straight in and buying a year’s or 2 year’s subscription, from any VPN. Even if the VPN comes with a 7-day guarantee, like with VPN.ac, no one likes asking for their money back.  

Privacy - Is VPN.ac Trustworthy?

Privacy is the fundamental aspect of a VPN and it’s imperative that the one you choose comes with serious credentials.  

Recently, we saw how one user posted a list of one-line exploits to steal VPN credentials from over 49,000 Fortinet VPN devices and again with Pulse VPNs enterprise servers resulting in 900 passwords being freely available.  

So, although unblocking Netflix and a cheap price are great, security must come first. 

Luckily, this is where VPN.ac really shines.  

Where is VPN.ac Based?

VPN.ac is owned and operated by Netsec Interactive Solutions and based in Romania. 

Interestingly enough, Romania actually declared data retention unconstitutional via the Constitutional Court of Romania under article (no. 235/2015) so you should be more than happy that your information won’t be subject to a court order anytime soon.  

DNS Protection

VPN.ac uses their own private DNS resolvers, which are local servers that manage requests for all DNS queries, and, as this is done in-house, they have complete control over how this is managed rather than using a third-party. 

All DNS queries are protected with AES 128-bit encryption and VPN.ac also generates millions of queries a day and mix these in with VPN queries so any monitoring of the resolvers is redundant.

Does VPN.ac Keep Logs?

With VPN.ac, rarely do you get a VPN being so open and transparent with both their accolades and what information they will be storing and for how long. 

As per their privacy policy, VPN.ac will keep the standard information you would expect from any business and includes your email address and payment information which is then made via a third party.  

They also advise that while they do log your IP address, this information is only used for troubleshooting, improving the service as a whole, and is wiped on a daily basis. Your internet activity and browsing history aren’t kept either so, while VPN.ac can’t be considered a true no-log VPN, they come as close as can be.  

Features

VPN.ac has a decent variety of features and includes a kill switch, P2P support, and their own browser extension called SecureProxy. You also get a double VPN feature, or double-hop VPN, which only a handful of providers offer and is a welcome addition to their arsenal. 

SecureProxy

VPN.ac’s own browser extension, SecureProxy, is on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera which is available on any of their plans and easy enough to set up and has around 30 servers in as many locations for you to choose from. 

We haven’t used it exhaustively but we did find it easy enough to set up with decent speeds.

Devices

All plans allow you to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously with the exception of WireGuard implementation which is limited to 3 devices.  

Servers and Locations

Currently, VPN.ac only offers 131 servers in 26 locations but does offer a decent spread with available servers ranging from Canada to Brazil to Taiwan. It’s nowhere near the size and range of many other paid counterparts including NordVPN and CyberGhost but they cover major locations in Europe and America. 

It would great to see VPN.ac add more servers soon but currently, the coverage simply can’t compete with other vendors.  

They do provide a VPN node status page on their site which shows the city and bandwidth usage currently being used.  

Hands on with VPN.ac

VPN.ac offers desktop versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers as well as iOS and Android devices. 

Both the Windows and iOS apps are almost identical and are easy to use as well as to set up, like most VPNs.  

You have the option of saving servers and locations as favourites for quicker access. On both apps, they also include a link to an IP leak check on the front screen which is a really handy feature to have for that extra peace of mind.  

The advanced settings are only available via the Windows client where you can enable and disable options like a kill switch, block IPv6, and lots of others.  

Overall, it’s a straightforward design and interface which does everything required.  

Support

24/7 live chat isn’t available with VPN.ac and for any direct queries, you’ll need to contact them either via submitting a ticket, email, or Wire. You do get plenty of support including tutorials, guides, and comprehensive knowledgebase available on their website.  

Netflix

VPN.ac does not unblock Netflix which is a real shame. As we mentioned previously, this shouldn’t be a make-or-break feature but because all of the top VPNs now offer this, it definitely dents VPN.ac’s viability as an alternative.  

It remains to be seen whether or not this will be offered in the future but as of now, it’s not something that they can provide.  

Torrenting

With VPN.ac you are free to torrent as much as you like with no restrictions on bandwidth. We would like to see some custom P2P servers going forward but these aren’t available at the time of writing.  

Summary

VPN.ac certainly has some promising features including having security at the forefront of its business model as well as the availability of all protocols at your disposal. If that’s your only concern then you would struggle to find a more robust VPN on the market.

However, until any of the big players in the field show any cracks in their own security, the lack of unblocking Netflix, the number of servers, and even the price means that VPN.ac lags behind most of its competition.  

For the best paid VPN we recommend NordVPN. 

We also recently covered what we feel is the best cheap VPN in Ivacy. Read the review here