VPN.ac Review from China – May 2017 Updated

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In the first half of 2016, VPN.ac used to be my favorite VPN for China but recently I am not really satisfied with the performance of the servers of any of the VPN servers when connecting from China Telecom. Currently, I am using ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 / Hong Kong 4 as my main every day VPN connections (read more about which VPN servers are performing the best for me in China). If you are not as concerned as me with getting the best latency and download speeds, or if you are using China Unicom then I highly recommend you try out VPN.ac. They have a 7 day money back guarantee so you can try it risk-free!

VPN.ac does offer great value for money and some excellent features. Almost all of the servers connect from China reliably, they allow up to 6 simultaneous connections, and have excellent customer support (although it’s not 24/7).

In addition to the VPN, they also offer a browser proxy extension for Chrome and Firefox. You can think of it as a mini-VPN or a VPN within the browser. It connects very quickly (usually 1 second) and the connection is fast and stable. This is sometimes useful for me when I’m using Chinese websites (Taobao, Online Banking, etc) and I don’t want to keep disconnecting and reconnecting to a VPN when I want to go back and forth between Chinese sites and overseas sites. I just open the Chinese sites in Internet Explorer and open international sites in Chrome with the browser proxy extension.

There is also a very nice unofficial and unadvertised feature of VPN.ac. Geo restricted video streaming sites such as BBC, Hulu, etc are unblocked automatically regardless of which server location you are connected to. You can connect to Hong Kong and still watch USA or UK geo-restricted streaming video. This works for most video streaming sites with the exception of Netflix. Check here for watching Netflix in China.

Recently, VPN.ac has finally introduced an iOS app. I plan to try it soon and I will update this page.

Tips for signing up with VPN.ac

  • Use this link to reveal a coupon code for a 25% off recurring discount valid for the life of your account!
  • If you want to pay by Alipay or Union Pay (Chinese bank card) then you must sign up using a Chinese IP address. That means if you have another VPN then turn it off while you sign up for VPN.ac. The payment processor will only offer Alipay and Union Pay if you are connecting from China.

Tips for VPN.ac users

  • The SecureProxy browser extension sometimes works very good. I have tested up to 92.1Mb/s with SecureProxy. You can download the extension for Chrome here or for Firefox here. Just login with your same username and password as you use for the VPN.
  • Check the VPN blog page for the VPN.ac servers which are currently performing the best
  • If you don’t already have a VPN on your android and can’t access the Play Store you can download the apk file directly from the VPN.ac website.

Here are some of the FAQ from the VPN.ac website.

Question from VPN.ac FAQ page: Why should I choose you and not one of the bigger VPN providers?
Question from VPN.ac FAQ page: Do you allow P2P/torrent traffic? Answer: Yes, we don't block such protocols. 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.
Question from VPN.ac FAQ page: What DNS servers do you use? Do you protect my DNS queries? Answer: 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.  Question 2: What if some 3rd party will monitor traffic of your DNS resolvers? Answer 2: 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

Special Offer for VPN.ac

25% off lifetime recurring discount (valid for all plans)

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Reader Comments (14)

  1. Going to Shanghai and neighboring cities for 10 days. Am thinking of getting a one month plan with ExpressVPN ($12.95) or VPN.ac ($6.75) for mobile phone use (i.e. facebook, instagram, whatsapp, google maps etc.) which one would you recommend?

  2. Hi, is it true that VPN.ac doesn’t work at all for Netflix US? Thanks

    • Although it’s not officially supported, I have had limited success with Netflix in in my browser in the past. It has never worked for me on mobile devices, Apple TV, Roku, etc. If you don’t mind watching Netflix in your browser, you can give it a try. I can’t say for certain whether it will work, but they do offer a 7 day money back guarantee.

  3. james could you try this vpn in openvpn ecc udp 443 and tell me which servers work nicely between 9-10 pm around.

    • I am in Shanghai on a business trip now, the WIFI in my hotel is very slow. I will check for you when I get back home next week. However the servers that work best for me might not work good for you in your location. You should try different servers yourself to see what works the best for you in your location.

  4. hey i find that whenever i connect to this vpn. the speed is pretty fast, browsing net is fast. but skype keeps lost connection like constantly.

    • I normally use the SecureProxy Chrome extension so my Skype does not go through the VPN/Proxy but I tried it just now with PPTP and found the same problem. I changed to OpenVPN and Skype is connecting normally. I guess that you are using PPTP? Try OpenVPN or L2TP.

        • I sent a support ticket to VPN.AC regarding the Skype issue when using PPTP. Let’s see what they say. Regarding Astrill I don’t have an account to test but the StealthVPN is still working as far as I know. I also heard that OpenWEB is working again with their newest software update. If you want to try Astrill free for 7 days you can follow the instructions here http://www.tipsforchina.com/mobile/astrill-7-day-free-trial.html

          • thank ^^
            i find yesterday night time vpnac works really slow in every server. dl from 1-4mb but this morning at 7, same severs dl reach to 20-50mb. quite weird huh.

            • Internet is always slower at night, especially for accessing servers outside of China. Some nights are worse than others. After 1am it’s very fast. The reason is that there is limited bandwidth available for connections outside of China so it is slower during peak night hours. It’s nothing to do with the VPN. I usually find Asian servers such as Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore are faster at night but of course not as fast as the day time or after 1am. For me at night it’s fast enough to watch YouTube or Netflix in HD but not fast enough to get over 10M on a speed test.

            • You can thank China Telecom and China Unicom for overselling bandwidth. That’s why the internet is slow at night.

          • i actually tried with all mode openvpn,pptp,SecureProxy,L2TP, pretty slow at night(well, at least yesterday).