AceVPN is yet another VPN provider, but are they the best option for you? I have my doubts. This service is moderately well-rounded, but I’m not sure their service is on par with other leaders in the industry. I also think their whole user experience is a little contrived, and may not be suitable for the average user. But before you make a final judgment, let’s look at this providers pricing, features, speed, security, and customer service.
AceVPN doesn’t truly have a free version of their service. I think most people will start to drool when they notice the service plan on their landing page that costs $0.00, but it’s only a proxy service. And proxy servers don’t encrypt data, so they aren’t good for protecting sensitive private information. Instead, proxy servers are really only good for unblocking geo-restricted content.
Still, free is free, and it’s nice to have an alternative to a paid subscription if all you’re trying to do is catch up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones. The following outlines their pricing model:
Premium VPN: $3.89 per month
Ultimate VPN: $11.67 per month
I was shocked to see such a drastic increase in price between the Premium and Ultimate subscription options. Each subscription has different features, as we’ll discuss in the next section. But I would have preferred to see a free version, or at least a free trial, of their service. It’s also worth noting that instead of a free trial version, they provide a 7-day money back guarantee.
It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing. Now let’s take a moment to discuss their features.
First off, I’d like to point out that AceVPN has a relatively small network of servers. One thing I really didn’t like about their service is that the Premium plan doesn’t have full access to all of their global server locations. If you want full access, you’ll have to shell out $11.67 per month, which is pretty darn expensive as far as VPN services are concerned.
Their network consists of servers in 25 locations. However, the Premium plan only has access to 20 locations. Why would they limit the Premium plan to only 20 servers? In my mind, it just doesn’t make sense. The rest of the features for the Premium plan are relatively basic, and don’t include any dazzling extra features. The following outlines the Premium plan’s features:
Access to 20 servers
Unlimited bandwidth, data, and server switching (which every other provider offers, so it’s not really a great feature)
Free SmartDNS (but they offer SmartDNS for free, so again, not a great feature)
No hidden charges or fees, which should be standard
No logs (we’ll discuss that more in the privacy section)
7-day money back guarantee
As you can see, all of these features are really just standard expectations. So the Premium plan is really nothing more than a bare-bones VPN service. Still, I can’t complain about the price. But I think you would do better with a service like PIA VPN, because it has better features and only costs $3.33 per month with an annual subscription. Next, the Ultimate plan has some truly useful features as follows:
Full access to all 25 countries
“Super secure encryption,” (whatever that’s supposed to mean…are they joking? We’ll discuss it more in the security section)
Access to servers with gigabit connections
P2P and Bit Torrent allowance
Free remote installation (a novel idea, and one feature that I like)
To be completely honest, the only features I think are worth anything with the Ultimate plan are full server access, gigabit servers, and Bit Torrent allowance. The Ultimate plan just feels too mundane to pay such a high price. Oh, and guess what? Both plans only allow up to two simultaneous connections. It just doesn’t add up, and I think you can get more bang for your buck and greater value with another provider.
For instance, ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month with an annual subscription, which is still on the high side as far as VPN services go, but still cheaper than AceVPN’s ultimate plan. Plus, ExpressVPN has greater features, such as the ability to connect up to 3 devices simultaneously and servers in 78 countries.
On the whole, I was rather disappointed with AceVPN’s pricing and features. I’m not saying they’re a bad service by any stretch of the imagination, I just think your dollar goes further with another provider.
Privacy & Security
AceVPN also carries the disadvantage of being based in the United States, and you know what that means. They are subject to US governmental laws and regulations, which have been notoriously poor in the last decade. Some people have sworn off domestic US digital services like VPNs because they fear the NSA might be planning another wiretapping scandal, like the PRISM program that was brought into the public view by Edward Snowden.
Also, like most other providers, they claim to be a “no-logs” VPN service. And that’s partly true, because they don’t log any user data or online activity. Be aware, however, that they do log metadata such as connection times, bandwidth used, and which servers an account connects to.
On a happier note, I was pleased with their security algorithms, which include OpenVPN, IPSEC IKEv2, L2TP, PPTP & Stealth VPN. Yet again, I must advise you to stay away from PPTP unless you are unlocking geo-restricted content or trying to connect to a foreign game server. PPTP is flawed and outdated, and it can be easily cracked with cheap software.
On the whole, I thought their security and privacy was decent. But I don’t typically like US-based VPN services, so I’d have to give them a ‘B-’ with regards to security and privacy.
Speed & Stability
The speed of their servers weren’t anything exceptional. The following outlines the results of the speed test:
- Download bandwidth: 4.23 Mb
- Upload bandwidth: 0.65 Mb
- Ping to speed test server: 61ms
- Ping to Google DNS server: about 120ms
To be fair, the connection seemed to be reliable, albeit a bit slower than the average provider. I lost a good chunk of my download speed, and about a third of my upload speed. It’s common for VPN services to tack on overhead to an Internet connection because of encryption overhead and latency, but this was a little too much.
Streaming video didn’t have any problems loading and playing without pausing for buffering. But I did notice that some website loaded a bit more slowly than usual. This is likely due to a decrease in bandwidth and higher latency when using the VPN tunnel. This was rather disappointing, and I think if you’re going to pay a lot of money for a VPN tunnel, it had better darn well have above average speeds.
As you may have guessed, support wasn’t that great either. They did have all the usual support pages like FAQs and troubleshooting guides, which could be a real asset to a user in need. They also have a support forum, but it’s nothing special. I think most people would like to contact the support department and interact with a real human being.
But they didn’t have a lot of contact options to do so. There was no live chat feature or telephone number, so support tickets are initiated by either an email or a contact form on their website. It just feels like they have such limited support options that it takes away from the user experience.
I’ll be completely honest. I don’t think their Ultimate plan is worth the money, especially because of lackluster support, poor speeds, and the fact that they’re based in the US. You might see some value in the Premium plan because it’s so cheap, and I might agree with that.
However, I think there are plenty of other options that cost less. For instance, PIA VPN costs as low as $3.33, and beats this provider in just about every category. And as far as the Ultimate plan is concerned, you would be better off with almost any other provider.
The only thing I really liked was the free SmartDNS, which could be a real asset for unlocking geo-restricted media. Overall, I didn’t care for this provider. My advice is to pay less for a higher quality provider, like ExpressVPN, PIA VPN, VyprVPN, PureVPN, or IPVanish VPN.