The internet has become an indispensable tool for billions of people around the world. But it’s also brought with it several challenges, namely staying private and anonymous.
Anytime you post on social media or search for something, you leave behind a digital trace that companies and malicious parties follow.
One way to protect your privacy online is with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) — software that lets you securely and anonymously browse the web.
While researching different VPNs, you may have heard of Ace VPN. If you’re wondering what this VPN offers and whether it’s worth it, then you’re in the right place.
In this in-depth Ace VPN review, we’ll look at different areas like performance, security, device compatibility, and more to determine if this service is right for you. We’ll also look at some leading Ace VPN alternatives so that you’ll understand all your options.
Click the links below to jump straight to the section you want to learn more about:
How does a VPN protect your privacy?
Ace VPN review: Strong encryption but invasive logging policy
Leading Ace VPN alternatives
How does a VPN protect your privacy?
More companies are tracking your activities online to create targeted advertising profiles. Even your internet service provider (ISP) collects your data and sells it to advertisers without your consent.
Fortunately, there are measures you can take to prevent this unwanted data collection. Here’s how a VPN protects your privacy online.
Encrypts your connection
When you’re online (which is pretty much all the time these days), you’re constantly sending information from your device and receiving data back.
The websites you visit along with your ISP can see what you’re doing. Worse, you could be exposing information like login credentials and credit card numbers if your connection isn’t secure.
A VPN creates a secure tunnel between your computer and the internet. It does this through encryption — scrambling your data into unintelligible text.
Even if you’re on an unsecured connection like public Wi-Fi, your ISP and any snooping parties won’t be able to see what you’re doing because your data is encrypted.
Masks your IP address
An IP address is a string of numbers that identifies a device on the network. An example address is something like 188.8.131.52.
IP addresses don’t necessarily reveal personal information. But hackers can use them to pinpoint someone’s geographic location and even tie online activities to their IP.
A VPN replaces your IP address with one associated with a server that you connect to. This makes it impossible for anyone to determine your real IP address.
Hides your location
Location-based ads are great from a business standpoint, but they can be downright intrusive for the average internet user.
If you live in Los Angeles and travel to New York, you might start seeing ads for restaurants or car rentals literally down the street as you browse the web.
A VPN prevents advertisers from serving ads based on your location. It routes your traffic through a private server, making it appear like you’re accessing the web from somewhere else.
Now that you know how a VPN protects your privacy online let’s take a closer look at Ace VPN and whether it’s worth using.
Ace VPN review: Strong encryption but invasive logging policy
Ace VPN is a free VPN that secures and anonymizes your traffic. Features include strong encryption and decent performance, but is this VPN worth it? Keep reading to find out.
Ace VPN pros
Supports modern protocols
Ace VPN cons
No native apps available
Intrusive logging policy
No credit card payment option
Expensive monthly plans
Speed and performance
Ace VPN offers a network of servers that it claims are built on a high-speed gigabit network. It’s available for free and doesn’t have bandwidth limits.
Here are the server locations that Ace VPN offers for free:
So how does Ace VPN perform?
We started by running a speed test without a VPN to establish a baseline. With the VPN off, our connection was 43.5 Mbps download speed, and 19.9 Mbps upload speed.
Next, we downloaded and installed the Ace VPN app from the Google Play Store. Then we selected and connected to a U.S.-based server but had to watch an ad to establish a connection.
With Ace VPN on, our download speed was 21.2 Mbps, and our upload speed was 8.95 Mbps — fast enough to stream HD quality content without any loading issues.
Our download speed dropped by 51.2%, while our upload speed went down by a little over 55%.
There were no hiccups when browsing the web, and we were able to stream 4K content on YouTube with minimal buffering. The connection was also fairly stable.
In short, Ace VPN offered decent performance based on our tests. One annoying thing was having to constantly watch ads whenever we wanted to change servers or disconnect.
Streaming and torrenting
Ace VPN offers Smart DNS — a feature that allows you to bypass geo-restrictions that streaming services have in place due to licensing terms.
We wanted to test whether we could use Ace VPN with Netflix. However, Netflix gave us the following error when we attempted to watch a show.
We also received the same error with other server locations. Ace VPN also didn’t work with other streaming services like BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.
If you’re looking to use a VPN to unblock Netflix when you travel or to access content that’s only available in certain countries, you may want to consider other alternatives.
We recommend ExpressVPN or NordVPN, as these services have proven to reliably unblock streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and other international services.
Ace VPN supports torrenting and peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, but it’s only available with the Ultimate VPN package, which comes in at the hefty price of $15 per month.
Security and privacy
One of the main selling points of a VPN is to secure your data and protect your privacy. But, unfortunately, any compromise in these areas will put your personal data at risk.
Let’s start with data security.
Ace VPN encrypts your internet traffic with Advanced Encrypted Security (AES) 256-bit encryption — the kind that cybersecurity experts and government agencies use to secure sensitive data.
Ace VPN supports OpenVPN, a versatile and secure protocol that the best VPNs use to create encrypted tunnels.
This VPN service also supports the following protocols:
For a free VPN, you get a highly secure connection. Ace VPN also includes a built-in kill switch, which automatically disconnects your device from the internet if your VPN connection drops.
Now let’s look at privacy.
To ensure that your privacy is truly protected, you want a VPN that doesn’t log any information that can be traced back to you, like your IP address or the servers you use.
Ace VPN falls short in this regard.
The fact that the company collects your name, address, phone number, and IP address is a huge red flag.
As for information about your online activities, here’s what its logging policy says:
Ace VPN doesn’t monitor your bandwidth or internet usage, but they do log your personal information.
Another area of concern is that SecureNet, a company based in the U.S., owns Ace VPN. The U.S. has mandatory data retention laws, meaning Ace VPN is required to hand over any records if compelled to do so by the authorities.
In other words, you’re getting minimal privacy with Ace VPN.
We recommend ExpressVPN because the company is based in the British Virgin Islands, which doesn’t have data-retention laws. It has also had its no-logs policy independently verified by PwC.
Ace VPN works on almost all operating systems and devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, routers, and even gaming consoles.
It has a mobile app available in the Google Play Store for Android devices. Installing the app was straightforward, and it required no signup or configuration.
However, things aren’t that simple if you want to use Ace VPN on other devices.
Ace VPN doesn’t offer native apps for platforms like Windows, macOS, and iOS. Unless you have an Android device, you can’t just download an app and start using it.
Instead, you have to follow a rather lengthy and technical tutorial to install Ace VPN.
Here are steps needed to install Ace VPN on Windows 10:
If you feel comfortable with your technical abilities, you shouldn’t have any problems installing Ace VPN on your device. But, if you want a VPN that you can simply install and start using right away, you may want to consider other alternatives.
There’s no limit to how many devices you can install Ace VPN on. But you can only have one active connection at a time.
Ace VPN offers a few ways to get help.
Its knowledge base is fairly extensive and includes links to installation guides and resources on troubleshooting issues.
There’s also a community forum where you can post questions and get help from other users or from the support team. While there’s no live chat available, you can reach out via email.
Ace VPN is available for free, but there’s a caveat — the mobile app displays ads whenever you connect to a server, change locations, or disconnect.
To disable ads and access more server locations, you’ll need to upgrade. The Premium plan costs $5.95 per month, and the Ultimate plan costs $15 per month.
Here’s a snapshot of what each plan gets you.
Note that you can save more if you subscribe to a longer-term plan.
Ace VPN only accepts two payment options: PayPal and mail-in payments.
Unfortunately, there’s no trial period available, but the company does offer a seven-day money-back guarantee (only available for new customers, and there’s a $1 processing fee).
Ace VPN offers a free VPN with strong encryption and unlimited bandwidth.
We found it easy to install the VPN on our Android device and connect to one of its servers. However, you’ll need to jump through more hoops to get it working on other platforms.
We liked that Ace VPN uses AES 256-bit encryption and modern protocols to create secure connections. However, one area we found concerning is its logging policy.
While the company doesn’t log internet usage, it logs personal information like your name, address, and even your IP address.
One thing we also didn’t like is its pricing. The Ultimate plan is $15, which costs more than premium providers like ExpressVPN and NordVPN (companies that offer more security and privacy features at a lower price point).