Nowadays at the virtual market you can find not only such VPN titans as ExpressVPN or IPVanish VPN, but also small companies which offer their security services. One of such providers is VPN.ac, founded by a Romanian IT security company, Netsec Interactive Solutions, in 2009. Despite its size, VPN.ac is certificated by URS (United Registrar of Systems) and accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service).
VPN.ac Plans and Pricing
Though VPN.ac is not a leading provider, its pricing list creates an impression which seems to be different. If you look at the plans you will find out that its month service will cost you $9 (cf. Boleh VPN and IPVanish VPN ask $10 per month, and VyprVPN just $6.67 monthly!). If you are sure that this service is created namely for you and you are ready to continue your cooperation with this provider, you can expect for a discount. You will save 11% choosing 3 months package ($8 per month), 33% purchasing a package for 6 months ($6 per month) and 46% after becoming its subscriber for a year ($4.8 per month). As we can see, the pricing policy is a standard one – the longer you stay their user, the better discount you can get.
However, after choosing a plan which is suitable for you will find out that even a month package has already got a 20% recurring discount (i.e. you save $1.80) and the general sum is $7.20. There is no doubt that such offer is surprisingly great, but wouldn’t it be much more effective, if to let people know about it at the homepage or in the information block devoted to prices? Besides, keep in mind that such discounts are spread over all pricing plans and even the most favorable (a year package) will offer you $11.60 of a discount.
Usually VPN services give their customers a chance to get their money back in case something is wrong, and VPN.ac is not an exception, too. It allows the subscribers to reject the service during the first 7 days after the moment of purchase. It means you have to try all possible options VPN.ac can offer and find out whether they satisfy your demands in a week. As to a free trial, this provider cannot boast of such function, though it regards 7-day-money-back-guarantee as its worthy substitution. Whether we agree with this view-point? Definitely not. A free trial does not require any financial operations while money-back guarantee is based on them.
Speaking of a checkout process, you will need to give out your personal information like first and last name, email address, city and country. The payment methods include PayPal, CashU, Perfect Money, Bitcoin and others like Credit Cards, Unionpay, Alipay, 100+ US Gift Cards, Webmoney, iDEAL, Giropay and mobile/SMS depending on your location.
Though this company isn’t well-known in the world of VPN services, it shows a great understanding of a true privacy and security system a VPN provider can offer its users. VPN.ac follows the main principles of a reliable service – no logs policy, good encryption, a wide range of protocols suitable for various devices and platforms and direct support in case of any troubles.
The Romanian provider has been also striving for a good compatibility of its VPN service. Nowadays VPN.ac software can be used for such platforms and devices as Mac, Windows, Android, Linux and iOS.
There is also a nice support diversity which involves Live Chat, Skype chat, email support, ticketing, FAQ, blog and tutorials. The quality is at a premium and, consequently, there is a guarantee of a professional support. The speed with which you can it get is also fine – it won’t make you bored or nervous while waiting for a precious piece of advice.
A structure of the official VPN.ac website is simple, but easy to use and understand. There is an access to all the important information sections like history of a company, pricing plans, the main technical features, a map of servers and customer support. The design is unobtrusive and doesn’t cause any distractions while looking for some stuff.
VPN.ac Security & Privacy
VPN.ac takes care of a security level using various approaches. First of all, this provider includes only self-hosted DNS servers and it means that there are no 3d parties like Google Analytics, tracking beacons, “Like” buttons and so on. As to the VPN encryption it is believed to be a reliable one – VPN.ac uses AES 256-bit encryption with Elliptic Curve or 4096-bit RSA authentication, SHA512 HMAC and PFS. Sometimes these encryption types are used simultaneously. It also doesn’t save logging data and doesn’t monitor its subscribers’ Internet activity. Such policy helps to boost clients’ privacy and protect them from peering eyes. Besides, VPN.ac is one of those providers which offer their customers shared IP addresses. The protocols used involve OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and pure TLS with VPN.ac browser add-on. This provider rejects PAP or MS-CHAP version 1 authentication which aren’t secure and traffic which doesn’t have any encryption. The same is with the data leaks between subscribers connected on the same VPN nodes.
The list of VPN.ac servers which cover our planet is not impressive at all – just about 20+ countries: the US, Mexico, Spain, the UK, France, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Finland Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and, of course, Romania.
We are ready to inform you with the utmost pleasure the fact that this VPN provider is really good at its compatibility features, though, to be honest, we even didn’t expect to get such results. VPN.ac will “make friend” with various devices and platforms. These may be tablets, laptops, mobile devices like iPhones or Androids, iPod Touch or Apple TV. The same is with the OS types – Linux, Mac OS X, Windows (8, 7, XP, Vista) and iOS. All necessary instructions about the setting up you can find in FAQ section, on the blog or ask for help using all possible channels of customer support.
In spite of a nice compatibility, customer support, security and privacy features, VPN.ac will disappoint you with its speed results. But don’t panic – they are not as bad as you can think. The matter is that they are not fantastic at all. While testing the Hong Kong server we met frequent disconnections, especially on the Android device. The metrics on PC were somewhat better, but still not impressive.
According to VPN.ac the high security level it offers its subscribers is organized only due to the experienced (about 15 years in security and networking) and talented team it has. Consequently, such staff members can provide users with a top-notch support. VPN.ac prefers direct connection with its clients therefore don’t even expect to find any externalized support or ticket escalation. This provider uses Live Chat, Skype chat and a ticket system. As to the first option it is rather good, though not so perfect as subscribers usually want it to be. VPN.ac doesn’t offer 24/7 function of Live Chat, though the quality of support itself is worth of praising. The answers are quick, logical and simple in understanding. Customer support service is very polite and friendly and this creates a kind of a special atmosphere in which you feel you are a part of a big family.
A ticket system is also fast and won’t make you spend hours waiting for the answer. You will be able to get the necessary piece of information just in several minutes. For those who have enough time to study their perplexing questions there is created a special blog. It involves “Announcements”, “Awareness” and “News” sections. FAQ is also available and covers issues devoted to compatibility, security and privacy, and general questions. Furthermore, there is an option of email support, too. So, it is up to you to choose the way you can connect with VPN.ac team and get a piece of advice you are looking for. At least, as we can see there are offered different options depending on the urgency of a problem.
As to the technical side of support, VPN.ac uses remote desktop. This option allows getting access to the users’ PC and help to remove software bugs. Moreover, it is ready to provide every client with all tutorials, videos and screenshots to help him/her cope with a problem. Speaking of tutorials, you can find them for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and router. They also include instructions concerning protocols used for a certain device or platform and manual setup information. Besides, you will be able to study the problem of DNS leaks, Windows Firewall rules concerning blocking P2P/Torrent traffic in case of VPN disconnection and the main privacy principles of this VPN provider.
Pros & Cons
After studying VPN.ac we can say for sure – new and unknown doesn’t mean bad. This provider proved that there is a place for small VPN servers at the modern market. There is no doubt that the absence of a far-famed name doesn’t lead to the failure. All what is needed for success, even if it is little at first, a hard-working team which makes the service quality grow.
VPN.ac looks attractive for its security, privacy, compatibility and customer support. Its weak spots include speed results, number of locations and partially pricing policy. However, VPN.ac belongs to promising providers and there is a chance of its sufficient rise in the future.