Vpnjack.com provide a very simple PPTP VPN service. The service is fully anonymous and sold in blocks of time. Subscribing to vpnjack.com allows you to connect to a VPN server that issues you with an IP address based in the USA. While we won’t try to pretend that there aren’t alternative options out there with considerably more functionality, it is fair to say that some people have simple requirements and only want a simple service that meets them. Vpnjack is certainly that, but unfortunately the performance is a little below average. Even so, those who value anonymity more than speed may still want to take a look.
Vpnjack.com’s service hardly boasts a huge range of features, but all some people want is a simple, uncluttered service offering. Vpnjack definitely meets the bill: a service offering one country, one protocol and one security level. Thankfully, what it does do it does reasonably, but the performance is far from earth-shattering. However, the ability to anonymously purchase VPN access for short periods at a low price may prove useful for certain purposes. Our experience with the support department was good too.
Packages & Pricing
Essentially, vpnjack.com offers just one service, named “Premium VPN.” There is also a free service available, but this is extremely limited and really only worthwhile for a very quick trial. Free accounts are only valid for 24 hours and, more significantly, for a total of 10 minutes use. Furthermore, download speed on free accounts is limited to just 1Mbps.
Returning to the main, “premium” service – this is sold in time blocks. You are basically given a username and password for the VPN server, valid for a set time period, ranging from 24 hours to 180 days.
Pricing is quite competitive, with 24 hours of acces charged at just 99 cents. The maximum 180 day subscription period costs $19.99, therefore a year’s access costs around $40, which is inexpensive. However, potential subscribers should take account of the rather limited functionality on offer. A full table of the prices is shown below.
Vpnjack.com offers little in the way of support. Clicking on the “Support” link allows you to find an email address but not much else, beyond a link to a fairly limited FAQ section.
There is no promise of 24/7 support or any commitment to a particular response time. We send a simple query in via the email address provided and were pleased to receive a professional response within a couple of hours.
We couldn’t find a telephone number for the company, but this is unfortunately fairly standard for VPN service providers.
Security and Privacy
All of vpnjack.com’s service is based around the PPTP protocol, which, its fair to say, has long been surpassed by other VPN technologies in terms of security.
Even the provider admits that PPTP is only “pretty much” secure in the FAQ section! However, individuals who simply want a US IP address to view region-locked content probably won’t be unduly concerned by the lack of security. For others, however, this may be seriously off-putting.
The PPTP technology used is secured with MPPE 128-bit encryption.
Moving onto privacy, vpnjack.com make much of being an anonymous service. The provider actually requests no personal details whatsoever. As all payments are handled via PayPal, the only information you hand over is an email address.
The “Terms of Service” page of the website includes a list of activities users must not indulge in whilst using the service, including the use of file sharing sites, spamming and hacking. What isn’t completely clear is whether vpnjack.com keep logs of user activity. We sent a query about this to the support department who confirmed that no logs are maintained, strengthening the appeal of this service for those seeking total anonymity.
Registering with vpnjack.com is extremely straightforward, and all payments are handled by PayPal.
All you need to do is select a validity period for your account and click the PayPal “Visit Site” button. You are then immediately redirected to PayPal to complete and authorise the transaction.
We subscribed to a 24-hour service for our review instead of using the free trial. We made this decision because the free trial limits speeds to 1Mbps, and we wanted the ability to properly test performance.
After subscribing, we were immediately redirected back to vpnjack.com, where we were shown our new username and password. We also received an introductory email containing the same information.
The sign-up procedure was slick, simple and effective.
Installation and Configuration
We clicked the “Setup Guide” link once we had subscribed, to look for instructions on how to set up the connection on our test machine, a MacBook running OS X 10.8.
As you can see from the screenshot above, there were no specific instructions for OS X 10.8. Instructions for Windows 8 were also absent from the list. While we know that the procedure for setting up a PPTP VPN is identical on 10.7 and 10.8, the absence of the most recent operating systems amongst the setup guides was disappointing to see.
We used the instructions for OS X 10.7. While these were clear enough, they were only text based. In a world where many VPN providers offer screenshots and sometimes even video tutorials, this is always a bit of a letdown.
We glanced at the setup guides for other platforms, and found that all of them were devoid of screenshots.
We followed the instructions and soon had a new VPN connection available via our Mac’s “System Preferences.”
We were pleased to find that the connection worked on our first attempt, and that we then had a US-based IP address that allowed us to access region-locked American content.
Connection Speeds and reliability
Testing the speed of vpnjack.com was simple, with just one protocol and country option to look at.
First, however, we tested the speed of our Internet connection using Speedtest.net, so we could obtain a benchmark speed whilst disconnected from the VPN. As shown in the image below, this produced a download speed of around 7Mbps.
Next, we connected to vpnjack.com’s PPTP server and ran the test again.
As you can see, this was a very mediocre result, with the overhead of the VPN connection reducing our download speed by roughly half.
To give vpnjack.com more of a chance, we ran a couple of additional speed tests, but obtained download speeds of 3.87Mbps and 3.37Mbps for each. So while performance is consistent with vpnjack.com, it’s not very fast at all.
Vpnjack.com’s compatibility list is fairly small.
Although WIndows and Mac are covered, the setup guides haven’t been updated for the latest versions. Support for Linux is also notable by it’s absence. In terms of mobile devices, although iOS devices are on the list, there’s nothing to indicate support for Android. Vpnjack ultimately does nothing beyond providing a PPTP connection, so it’s more than likely that an enthusiast could make the service work on other platforms, but the list of supported systems is only as shown in the screenshot above.
We had a test iPhone to hand, so decided to try out the service via iOS.
Vpnjack.com on the iPhone
As we had already tested vpnjack.com on our WiFi network, we decided to see how we got on using the VPN over 3G.
First, we had to configure the new VPN connection. We turned back to the setup guides, and found the iOS guide to be text-based and brief, in common with the Mac instructions.
Once we had completed the setup, we switched off our iPhone’s WiFi and ran a speed test to obtain a benchmark speed for our 3G connection.
We then connected to the vpnjack.com PPTP server and ran the speed test again.
Sadly, this performance drop (of over 4Mbps) was even worse than we experienced on the Mac.
Vpnjack.com doesn’t offer a dedicated customer area. There is a “Your Account” link, where you can enter your username and password:
However, all this does is show you how long your logon remains valid for:
Fully anonymous service with no logging
Flexible subscription period and easy sign-up
Very rapid answers to support queries
We weren’t so sure about
Very simple, single protocol service with basic encryption
Setup guides and FAQs were rather basic
Only US IP addresses available
Very mediocre performance
Limited range of platform compatibility
Vpnjack.com fills something of a niche, and could appeal to those who simply require a US IP address for a limited period. It’s a shame that the performance is so mediocre, otherwise we would have given it a cautious recommendation for certain user demographics despite the lack of features, protocols and country options.
As it stands, it may still suit those with specific requirements, especially due to its anonymous nature, but those subscribing shouldn’t expect to be too impressed with the performance on offer.