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VPN.ac Review 2022 – Keep This in Mind Before Buying
Fast, secure, affordable, and even works in China? Too good to be true?
I ran into VPN.ac as I was searching for an affordable, beginner-friendly VPN. I did a little research and found a ton of contradicting information online. To take the guesswork out of the equation, I decided to test it out myself to see if it is any good.
My takeaway is: if you want secure browsing and decent speeds for an affordable price — read on. Given its price tag, security features, and intuitive platform design, VPN.ac is, in my experience, a solid choice if you’re just starting out with VPNs.
On top of that, VPN.ac can unblock Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Pandora. This means you can access libraries from the countries of your choice, with solid speeds (read: not perfect!) and streaming quality.
It does keep some logs, but the fact that it offers 256-bit encryption makes this VPN more than secure. VPN.ac also features DoubleHop servers and supports P2P traffic. However if you're looking for a completely log-free VPN, you might consider some other top-level providers.
As far as multiple devices are concerned, with a single VPN.ac account you can connect up to 12 devices, or 6 devices simultaneously using WireGuard.
Because I found so many different testimonies regarding VPN.ac, I decided to put all these claims to the test and try it out for myself.
User-friendly apps for most operating systems, including macOS, iOS, Windows, Android, and even some rare routers. Plus, you can connect up to 12 devices at a time. View other compatibility features here.
Perhaps it’s not among the top-level streaming VPNs, but it is still a worthy candidate. Technically, VPN.ac won’t give you access to all of the streaming sites, but it has a lot to offer — depending on what you’re looking for.
In case you were hoping to access some of the BBC iPlayer Exclusives like HyperNormalisation or The Rack Pack, or watch your favorite shows on Disney+, and HBO NOW or Netflix – VPN.ac can make your wish come true.
Unblocked: Pandora Music, Fox, HBO Now, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer
I was amazed that such an affordable provider is able to unblock Pandora music, Fox, HBO Now, Disney+, and BBC iPlayer.
Streaming BBC iPlayer while using UK - Portsmouth server
Can you watch HBO NOW with VPN.ac? Yes and no, depending on the US server you’re connected to. For example, while connected to the US Central - Dallas server, I managed to unblock HBO NOW content. Interestingly, some other US servers (like the US Central Chicago) wouldn’t grant me access.
VPN.ac is able to unblock HBO
The takeaway regarding using HBO NOW with VPN.ac — if it doesn’t work with the first server you connect to, try another one just in case.
As for Pandora music, I found that VPN.ac allows you to access Pandora music outside the US.
Pandora unlocked – while connected to a server in the US
VPN.ac also offers a native app for Fire TV Stick, and Android TV that you can download from their Apps & Guides Page. You can even use it for Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation, and Chromecast by simply connecting them to a router that has VPN.ac installed on it. The files and detailed instructions are all found on their website, which makes the entire process straightforward.
I wasn’t able to stream US Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. VPN.ac doesn’t boast dedicated streaming servers, so in case you were looking to access the US Netflix library, it is not capable of bypassing US Netflix’s proxy bans. I couldn’t access US Netflix exclusives like The Radium Girls and What's Eating Gilbert Grape using Double Hop servers or any other US servers:
I couldn’t access US Netflix exclusives while connected to VPN.ac’s Double Hop servers
As far as Amazon Prime Video goes, even though I was connected to a server in the US (the US Central - Chicago server), I was getting the content as if I were still in Austria.
Even though I was connected to a server in Chicago, I was denied access
Hulu’s geo-blocking was also too strong. I kept trying to log in, even though the password and the email were correct, I kept getting the following error:
I couldn't even log in to Hulu with this VPN
As for Spotify, I initially thought I might be able to use VPN.ac not only to get the lower price for a Spotify Premium monthly subscription. Because subscription prices differ around the world, you can use a VPN to land better deals and get your Spotify subscription from a region that has lower prices.
However, Spotify detected that I was using a shared proxy server.
Spotify detected this VPN service is using a shared proxy
Speeds — Consistently Excellent Server Speeds
I was more than satisfied with the speeds overall: I tested almost all of the servers with consistently good speed results.
I was pleased with my speed test results with VPN.ac
I experienced slight reductions in upload and download speed, but that happens almost always when you install any VPN because of the extra layer of encryption that it provides.
However, VPN.ac even has a new experimental feature that could improve your speed, called Lower MTU:
Lower MTU is a new experimental feature that can you can turn on to improve speed and reliability
As for the speed tests, my baseline speed in Vienna was around 150 Mbps download and 15Mbps upload on macOS.
For a VPN with this popularity and price, I was pleasantly surprised by their server speed. Whether you’re downloading, gaming or streaming, this VPN will deliver.
With this speed performance, I was able to watch 4k resolution shows on Netflix almost without any buffering. The average speed reduction while using VPN is usually 10-20%, and in this case even less on some servers. Of course, for more distant locations like Brazil and Japan, you can expect the speed to drop more:
For a better visual rundown, here’s a table showing download and upload speeds, and ping in each of the locations I tested, plus the average speeds — excluding the baseline speeds:
No VPN (Austria)
US Central, Chicago 2
97.16 (36.99% loss)
13.46 (15.13% loss)
US East, New York 2
131.71 (14.58% loss)
14.44 (8.95% loss)
Finland, Helsinki (P2P optimized)
145.98 (5.33% loss)
12.16 (23..32% loss)
Netherlands, Amsterdam, P2P optimized
146.34 (5.09% loss)
14.33 (9.64% loss)
Brazil, São Paulo
73.18 (51.27% loss)
6.75 (57.44% loss)
28.09 (81.27% loss)
1.29 (91.8% loss)
143.89 (6.68% loss)
8.81 (44.45% loss)
86.37 (43.98% loss)
9.15 (39.80% loss)
A table showing speeds in each of the locations I tested, plus the average speeds
In my experience, VPN.ac can give you solid gaming speeds. As a huge Overwatch fan, I was more than satisfied with latency and streaming quality in general. While using the Germany-Frankfurt server, I was able to play Overwatch with excellent 71ms latency, very similar to the one I usually have without a VPN.
I had consistently low latency while connected to a server in Germany
I even played Overwatch on their DoubleHop servers. Latency was around 290ms, which is not ideal — I experienced very little lagging, but still satisfactory.
I was satisfied with the game latency using VPN.ac
Server Network — Secure Bare-Metal Servers With No Bandwidth Throttle
I found its speeds satisfactory, and most importantly — reliable.
Possibly thanks to its bare-metal servers. Its network consists of physical servers, dedicated to a single user. What this actually means for you is that bare-metal servers, as opposed to virtual ones, don’t get so easily overcrowded which makes the speed and functionality more consistent.
VPN.ac has 130 servers in 20 countries. To make your browsing even more secure, it also features over 30 DoubleHop and around 20 China-optimized servers at the moment. As found on their website, their servers are connected to 1000 Mb/s channels.
As for the bandwidth, I was pleased to find out that VPN.ac has no bandwidth limits:
VPN.ac does not limit the amount of data you can transfer at any given moment
I also tested to see if there are any fake server locations using ping.pe, and every server I connected to turned out to be legit.
I detected no fake locations using one of its China Optimized servers, US West - Los Angeles 1
Also, on their website, there’s a page called ‘VPN Nodes Status’ where you can check the real-time bandwidth and status of all their servers. In addition to that, you can also see the current number of their servers and whether there are any infrastructure issues.
Security — Secure and Reliable, Supports Plenty of Protocols
In my experience, VPN.ac is a safe and stable VPN provider with different protocols to choose from.
VPN protocols are important because they can improve safety and speed of your online connection. Some protocols are more focused on security, others on speed. There is no Wireguard for macOS, though.
In case you decide to experiment with different protocols depending on what you’re doing, you will find plenty of choice here. I mostly prefer OpenVPN, simply because it is versatile and the easiest to use.
Luckily, VPN.ac supports this protocol, as well as many others, including IPsec, which has incredibly high security performance. When you add cutting-edge encryption — up to AES-GCM 256-bit with Elliptic Curve or 4096-bit RSA authentication, and Stealth against Firewall/DPI to the mix — you will be more than safe online. Quick tip, though: 256-bit encryption isn’t turned on by default, you need to manually select this option within the app itself, but only when using the OpenVPN protocol:
Available protocols on macOS
Moreover, I detected no leaks. My tests showed no DNS or WebRTC leak — I tested servers in the Netherlands, Australia and the US:
US West - San Francisco (OpenVPN XOR ONLY) server also showed no leaks
If you’re not sure what it all means and which VPN protocol to use, on their Knowledge Base page I found useful tips on which protocol works best with this provider. VPN.ac recommends using OpenVPN with its software for optimum speed, ease of use and security. Also, bear in mind that its kill switch feature has to be turned on manually, within the app itself.
If you want to connect VPN.ac with your home router, again, you can do so by using OpenVPN “with custom ROMs like DD-WRT, Tomato, Advanced Tomato, OpenWRT, AsusWRT/Merlin, pfSense,” as mentioned on their FAQ page.
Even though PPTP is technically the fastest, VPN.ac does not recommend using this protocol because of its weak encryption — which allows for the amazing speeds in the first place.
You can also use IKEv2/IPSec, which is also one of the fastest protocols, in case you want to increase your speed. On top of that, it also offers L2TP which provides a much safer connection than and pure TLS with the browser add-on — with a caveat, though. If you do use add-ons for tunneling, make sure you use Fash, WebRTC and Java because using browser add-ons may allow IP leaking, jeopardizing your security.
Browser tunneling may not be the safest way to use VPN.ac due to possible IP leaking
As indicated on their website, thanks to their DPI technology, the connections using the SecureProxy don't trigger alerts like classic VPNs normally do, which means you are more likely to remain undetected.
As far as the company goes, VPN.ac is operated by an IT security company, Netsec Interactive Solutions, whose members are highly-experienced in the IT sector. The company even has ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certifications, which even further show that the organization has invested in the technology and skilled personnel for optimum information security.
As indicated on their website, pentesting and security audit services make the infrastructure incredibly strong. Thanks to their decade-long experience in the security sector, VPN.ac’s encryption and data security are top-notch and compliant even with military and government use requirements.
Privacy — Military-Grade Encryption, But Not a Strictly No-Log VPN
More than safe for all surfing needs. Even though Romania is the only EU country to ban data retention laws, the incoming data is still subject to data-sharing laws to a certain degree. However, data retention is illegal and unconstitutional according to Romanian laws. This makes Romania a great country to base a VPN provider.
But the question still remains: does VPN.ac keep logs? Yes, and no. As stated on VPN.ac’s FAQ Page, even though it does not monitor or log any kind of user activity, it does keep connection logs to improve security and support.
Technically, logs are deleted daily -– it only keeps connection logs very briefly for troubleshooting purposes. In addition to that, it doesn't use Google Analytics at all but only stores your chat records for a month, and it doesn't keep Linux daemons as most other VPNs do.
Torrenting is unlimited and works on every server I tested. But is P2P and torrenting safe using VPN.ac? Yes — but with a caveat. According to their customer support, “connecting to a VPN is not enough by any means, you need to configure your torrent client correctly to work only over a VPN connection.” There is a guide for safe torrenting on its site.
A reply from their customer service to my question regarding P2P torrenting
However, what makes VPN.ac potentially a safe option for torrenting is its ability to help you avoid DMCA complaints from your ISP provider. Technically, they are exempt from the usual data retention laws that other EU states are subject to, which makes this VPN provider a good option for torrenting. Being based in Romania, you can use VPN.ac to stay on the safe side while torrenting, but I’d let you decide on that because I don’t condone intellectual property theft nor encourage the illegal download of copyrighted material.
It also prides itself on the “28-gigabit” feature of their servers as well as Secure DNS feature — also relevant for torrenting — and it even gives tips on how to optimize your P2P activity.
In most cases — yes, as indicated on its website. Being able to bypass censorship in China is one of the main selling points of this VPN provider. It has around 20 China-optimized servers equipped with hefty obfuscation tools to help you go around The Great Firewall undetected.
Connecting you through two servers (which are DoubleHop servers) and using OpenVPN XOR and TCP-443 port allows you to remain undetectable, making your connection even more secure and private.
What’s more, in the activation email, you get special tips and instructions from the provider about how to proceed when connecting from China:
Device Compatibility — Compatible With Most Devices and Operating Systems
As found on their website, VPN.ac offers apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, compatible with all new releases and devices. Aside from these, it also supports Linux, and even some rare routers including Tomato, DD-WRT, pfSense, and AsusWRT.
Another useful feature is its browser extension. Even though browser extensions are not as safe as regular VPN apps, they can be a handy and fast feature especially if you need a VPN for basic surfing needs.
Set-Up & Installation — Fast and Easy Installation Process Using Its Native App
In my experience — as far as Windows and macOS devices go — it is quite easy and fast to get this VPN up and running. To make the entire process smooth and hassle-free, they also offer detailed instructions on how to connect to the VPN.
All the security and privacy features, server change and are a click away — including its kill switch feature. Also, its browser extensions can be found on Firefox and Chrome add-on marketplaces.
If you need help, on their Apps&Guides Page, there are detailed tutorials for virtually every device and OS they support, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Router, Linux, and other tutorials. Installing this VPN on your router is a little more complex, in that you would have to switch the firmware, which is also not a huge hassle – but requires more time and know-how.
This provider is relatively affordable, with a 7-day money-back guarantee, which is yet another reason that makes it a perfect beginner’s VPN.
However, as already mentioned earlier – don’t forget to manually unsubscribe because if you don’t, your subscription will be automatically renewed.
To cancel your subscription, log in to your account (‘Client area’), under the ‘Management Actions’ card you will find the option to cancel your subscription. You’ll receive an email that confirms this. If you used PayPal to purchase the VPN, you have to deactivate the recurring payments directly on PayPal.
VPN.ac sent me a cancelation request confirmation
There are plenty of payment options to choose from, including PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and some other methods like credit/debit cards, Unionpay, even gift cards, Webmoney, iDEAL, Giropay, and more, depending on where you are.
Something interesting worth mentioning when it comes to payment is that you will get an invoice first — per email as well as on their platform — and once you submit your payment you will be able to proceed with the installation.
Solid customer support, but sadly no 24/7 live chat option. You can get help either via ticketing (highest priority), via email (using the GPG key method, which is used to secure safe communication between two parties), or even through Skype (but this communication method isn’t highly secure).
Even though they do not offer a 24/7 live chat option, the customer support was responsive and fast the first time I contacted them. The second time though, they were less responsive. I contacted them via email asking about VPN.ac’s inability to unblock Hulu, and they replied in less than 10 minutes.
Their customer support was very responsive
Even though this didn’t solve my problem with Hulu, they were responsive and fast. The second time I reached out though, they were not as fast as the first time, but still responsive (it took them 12 hours).
Aside from online ticketing, other ways of getting help are:
Wire ID: cryptolayer
General email inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org (GPG)
You can also open a ticket if you email them at email@example.com. Alternatively, they also mention the fact that they also offer remote assistance under one condition, as found on their website under the FAQ section:
VPN.ac offers remote assistance as a “last resort”
VPN.ac is a hidden gem among beginner VPNs. It can give you safe surfing, solid speeds and all that at an affordable price. Good choice for those new to VPNs. I definitely think this provider deserves more attention than it's currently getting.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised by its speed and user-friendly interface. Even though it can’t be categorized in the same class as premium vendors, VPN.ac has a lot to offer in terms of features.
As for encryption, VPN.ac offers AES-256 bit encryption, which is practically uncrackable. This level of encryption is commonly used by militaries and governments to protect highly sensitive data.
Can VPN.ac unblock Netflix?
No. Based on my tests VPN.ac can’t bypass US Netflix geo-blocks. In case you are looking for Netflix-friendly VPNs that can unblock most libraries, you can find better VPN alternatives. Jump to my streaming section.
Will VPN.ac slow my speeds down?
I can’t complain about the speeds of this VPN. Your speed is always slightly affected, depending on the server distance. But the speeds in this case were excellent — especially considering the price. I believe that is partly due to its dedicated metal-bare servers. You may notice 5-20% in speed reduction, sometimes slightly more depending on server distance. You can see my speed test results here. See my server speed test results here (including average speed).