Questions and Answers - VPN.AC

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Do you offer a trial period or a demo?

Yes, we provide a 1-week trial account for only $2. You can signup here. Note that a trial account allows 3 simultaneous connections compared to 6, with a regular account.

How long will it take to set up my account?

Accounts are activated instantly when the payment is confirmed. If there is any delay, it means that the payment has not been confirmed or you already have an active account with us.

Why should I choose you and not one of the bigger VPN providers?

Maybe we are smaller in terms of user-base or as "a brand", which might be a good thing - by the way - but we are definitely not smaller in terms of network capacity, innovations, quality of service, reliability, encryption strength and so on. In fact, some of the "bigger" providers copy and learn from us on a regular basis.
Being a smaller provider, we offer some important advantages:

  • A smaller user base means no overselling on bandwidth, which in turn results in better speeds for you.
  • A better customer support experience: we do not externalize support. Here, you talk directly to those who designed and implemented the entire VPN service from A to Z. No ticket escalations, and no operators copy/pasting predefined - yet frustrating - answers to your problems.
  • With us, you are a person: not an "advertising conversion". We care more about individual's satisfaction than volume selling.
  • We are a pure security company focused on "security done right".
Will I receive many email from you?

No. We hate unsolicited emails as much as you do. We will send you only auto-generated payment reminders/confirmations and important announcements on very rare occasions (once in a few months on average). Example of announcements: implementation of major features, software releases etc. Such announcements are only sent to customers who have an active account with us. We will never send you emails like "Hey! Look what's new! We want you back!" - unless, of course, you asked us to notify you once a certain feature will be available.

Does a VPN slow down my internet connection?

It depends on your connection speed between you and the VPN node. Using a VPN node which is closer to your location would usually be faster due to better routing/peering - matching or almost matching your regular connection speed. VPN speeds also depend on the VPN protocol you use. OpenVPN (TCP) is slower by design, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN (UDP) and PPTP(insecure) are the fastest. Try all of them and see what’s the fastest for you. Also, check our speed testing guide.

Will you refund my order if I am not happy with your service?

Yes, absolutely: if you can't use our VPN service for technical reasons or you are not satisfied with it, we offer a 7-days full refund policy.

However, before asking for a refund, please tell us what's the problem that you are facing. In most cases, we can help and solve it.

What payment methods do you accept?
  • Mainly bitcoin, PayPal and credit/debit cards
  • Region-based payments: Alipay, UnionPay, iDeal, WebMoney, SEPA Direct Debit and many more
  • Over 100 prepaid voucher cards, Perfectmoney and altcoins (soon)

Security and Privacy

Do you log/monitor my activity? What logs do you keep on servers?

No, we do not log/monitor any kind of user activity such as visited web-sites, emails, files transferred, instant messages, DNS queries etc.

We do, however, 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.

Keeping these logs also help us in identifying potential attacks against our service, such as brute-force and even some MiTM attack vectors.

What exactly does "connection logs" mean?

When you connect to a VPN server, the server (VPN daemon) will log your real IP address, connection start/end time, and total traffic transferred during the session (e.g. 100MB, 2GB etc). These connection logs with your IP address are generated by the VPN server/daemon and are stored for one day. All logs on this server are permanently deleted on a daily basis running a cron job. We do not log or store any sensitive data such as what you actually transfer during the session.

Some other VPN providers do not log anything. Not even the connection start/end time.

Some of them probably don’t, but we seriously doubt that all of them live up to their claims.

There is simply no way to prove a provider’s claims, so it’s really a matter of trust between the user and the provider. VPN servers/daemons log such data by default as they are designed to do so. In most cases, the complete disabling of session logging capabilities requires source code modifications. We have solid reasons to believe that many of them have implemented a default/out-of-the-box VPN solution, with no source code modifications. Moreover, we use the connection logs for security purposes, such as detecting brute-force attempts and several other types of attacks, so we believe that the way we handle the connection logs is a positive security feature.

Do you use virtual or dedicated servers?

We use dedicated servers on our VPN nodes, mostly consisting of powerful E3 and E5 Xeons with hardware AES crypto acceleration. Running VPN gateways on VPS/cloud instances is a security risk. Moreover, running VPN nodes on dedicated hardware can be as 10x or even 20x times more expensive than running on virtual servers, hence the reason why we don't advertise 'hundreds' of locations but focus on fewer, where security is done properly and the bandwidth capacity is enough to ensure a fast and reliable service. Speaking of bandwidth, apart from security and reliability advantages of running VPN servers on bare metal servers, speed can be much better than the one coming with virtual servers as we use dedicated network ports, not shared with others. Bandwidth on a virtual server is shared among hundreds of other users on the same physical machine.

How strong is your VPN encryption?
  • OpenVPN: 256-bit AES-CBC, 128-bit AES-CBC or 128-bit BF-CBC.
  • For AES (both 128 and 256 bit) we use RSA-4096 and Elliptic Curve (ECDHE) with secp256k1, SHA512 HMAC.
  • We are one of the very few in the industry providing full Elliptic Curve support.
  • All OpenVPN certificates are generated "the right way": offline, secure machine, multiple - high quality sources of entropy.
  • L2TP/IPsec: 256-bit AES or 128-bit AES (depends on OS/device).
  • PPTP: 128-bit MPPE (considered insecure, not recommended for sensitive data transfers).
  • SecureProxy: AES 128-GCM with 4096-bit RSA certificates.
Does your VPN service provide me 100% anonymity, privacy and security?

No. There are many factors to consider when you are looking for the best possible way to protect your anonymity and security online. Some of them are outside our control (datacenters, Internet transit providers, peering nodes...to name but a few).

Having said that, we are doing our best to provide a higher level of privacy and security, but you should always be aware that there is no such thing as 100% privacy, anonymity or security on the Internet.

Word of advice: question those who promise you 100% [anything] - especially in a highly dynamic and complex industry like information security.

Does your VPN protect me against malware, spyware, viruses?

No. Such protection requires traffic inspection on VPN servers using anti-malware/virus/etc gateway software. We don't inspect traffic and we don't run any scanning engine on servers. You should always keep your PC/devices secure by adopting proven practices.

Do you provide static or dynamic IP addresses?

We provide shared IP addresses, which means that all users connected to the same VPN node will use the same IP addresses (best practice for privacy purposes). We do not provide dedicated IP addresses and we do not plan to provide in the future.

What is the difference between a VPN and a proxy server?

A VPN provides security by encrypting your connection from your PC/device to the VPN Node. A Proxy doesn't provide encryption (referring to classic ones, not our SecureProxy service), therefore unauthorized 3rd parties can easily intercept your communication and access your private data, such as usernames/passwords, websites you visit and emails.

Will I be able to send emails through your VPN?

Yes, you can send emails if you are using a webmail service such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Protonmail and others.

If you are using an e-mail client such as Outlook, Thunderbird and you are using an SMTP connection on port 25/TCP to send e-mail, that won't be possible because we block external connections to SMTP port 25/TCP in order to mitigate SPAM abuse (most ISPs block SMTP port 25).

We suggest you use Submission (port 587/TCP) instead of SMTP (port 25/TCP) to send e-mails. Most email services support it.

What DNS servers do you use? Do you protect my DNS queries?

We protect DNS queries against MitM hijacking and snooping, wiretapping. We have our own, private DNS resolvers outside of US and UK. All DNS queries sent by VPN users are forwarded by our VPN servers to the private resolvers, through encrypted tunnels. As long as you don't manually change your DNS servers while being connected to our VPN, and you use the one we assign, no DNS queries will leak out of our VPN servers through our hosting partners and IP carriers.

What if some 3rd party will monitor traffic of your DNS resolvers?

We are using an unique and clever way to overcome this risk, by running a query generator service on each DNS resolver. Specifically, We are generating over 10 million DNS queries to existing domains each day. Those queries are generated randomly, at a high rate, and are mixed with the DNS queries of our customers. Basically, we are generating "noise" and it's virtually impossible to match a user's DNS queries within the "flood" of queries sent by us to DNS root servers directly. Therefore, if a 3rd party is ever going to wiretap our DNS resolvers, it will be totally ineffective.

Do you log/monitor traffic statistics on your website? How about 3rd party statistic tools?

We don’t use any 3rd party tracking services like Google Analytics, as they defeat the purpose of a privacy service. The same applies to "Like" buttons and other social sharing tools.

We keep website access logs for at least 1 month and we regularly check them for various purposes, including but not limited to identifying fraudulent signups and website hacking attempts.

Who has root/admin access on your servers?

We are very strict on this matter. Only one technician has access to our infrastructure, and he is a security-minded professional who knows what he's doing. Needless to say, he would never share - not even temporarily in case of unforeseen emergency - authentication credentials with anyone else.

Compatibility

Do you provide a VPN client software?

Yes, we have a VPN Client Software compatible with all Windows releases, working with OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec and PPTP. It is also available for Mac OS, starting with version 10.7 and Android.

For other Operating Systems and devices we provide step-by-step connection instructions using 3rd party VPN software or OS specific, built-in settings.

What VPN Protocols can I use with your service?

We offer OpenVPN (with different encryption types, TCP and UDP on several ports), PPTP, L2TP/IPsec. These are the most widely used protocols, so you should be able to use them on virtually any OS/devices such as smartphones, tablets, HTPCs etc. All protocols support strong encryption and we do not allow unencrypted connections. However, be aware that PPTP is an insecure protocol and we don't recommend to use it for anything sensitive.

What's the fastest VPN protocol I should use?

L2TP/IPsec is likely the fastest one. We run in-house optimized kernel modules to make it faster than all other protocols. OpenVPN UDP come next, followed by PPTP, while OpenVPN TCP is the slowest - due to protocol design, and not because of our available bandwidth. PPTP should be used only on devices that provide PPTP support out of the box (smartphones, tablets) and keep in mind that PPTP is insecure compared to IPsec and OpenVPN. Check our KB article for a comparison between protocols.