JKAServer is one of the most popular VPN apps currently available on the Apple App Store with over 150,000 five-star reviews. It has been around for a while, and has been featured on numerous occasions as one of the best and, sometimes, the only option available for certain use cases. And while the app itself remains popular, supporting nearly 2 million monthly active users, the free version has now become unsupported due to Apple cutting off all free apps that are more than a year old from being updated. We tested out the paid version of the app, which allows for up to five simultaneous VPN connections and is still updated, to see how well it performs in the real world.
First off, let’s take a quick look at how much faster and more efficiently the app performs compared to other VPN apps. While using the Mac OS X version of the app, we used the built-in network monitor to monitor the network performance before and after connecting to a VPN server. Here’s a look at the results of our tests.
As you can see in the above images, the VPN almost immediately improved our network performance. The upload and download speeds went up as well, and we saw an increase of around 15% across the board. This was true for both wired and wireless connections, which is pretty impressive given that most VPN apps don’t do as much as JKAServer and don’t provide any sort of speed improvements. Even with these minimal improvements, which is already good enough for most people, using a VPN is still almost always worth it.
While not every VPN is created equal, JKAServer takes the cake when it comes to feature sets. First off, the built-in VPN support in newer versions of macOS is pretty good, but still not on par with dedicated VPN apps. So, if you’re looking for dedicated VPN support, you might have to look elsewhere. But for everyone else, it’s pretty much perfect. And what’s perfect is that it works with the great majority of VPN servers out there, including those run by Google, Netflix, and other large companies, so you don’t have to worry about being locked out of certain sites or services. (More on that in a bit.)
On the other hand, some competitors provide fewer server options, do not allow for as many simultaneous connections as JKAServer does, or only work with a select group of servers.
One of the best things about the app is that it allows for up to five simultaneous VPN connections. This is great for families or larger companies that need to securely access multiple devices from a single location. The feature is also great if you have friends or colleagues in different time zones and you need to be able to simultaneously access information on all of their devices when you’re together using a single VPN connection.
Unfortunately, this is one feature that some competitors lack and even the Mac OS X version of the app does not support the feature. While a VPN is undoubtedly worthwhile, if you’re traveling or working remotely at some point in the near future, you might find that having a dedicated device at your side is the better option. Especially since you can always download and install the app on a separate device (provided you have enough storage).
This point is important enough that we felt it deserved its own section. Not every VPN is created equal when it comes to securing your personal information. Some firms keep logs of every single connection you make and store them for up to three years. While most do not. So, you need to think carefully about the security and privacy implications of using a VPN before making up your mind.
To make sure that your personal information is secure, it’s important to use strong passwords and to change them periodically. It’s also important to use security software on your phone, computer, and other devices, and to ensure that all firewall and anti-virus software is up to date. (More on that in a bit as well.)
This point is self-explanatory, but it’s important to remember that using a VPN does not always translate into faster speeds. It depends on the type of internet connection you have as well as the location of the server you connect to. But, as a general rule of thumb, it’s usually safe to assume that using a VPN will improve your internet experience. Especially if you are streaming services or downloading massive files. (More on that in a bit as well.)
Last but not least, we want to point out that while most VPN apps are easy to use, JKAServer takes the cake when it comes to being user-friendly. It provides clear instructions on how to connect and use the app, and walks you through the setup process step by step. This makes using the app much simpler and less daunting for first-time users. And it’s not just about the simplicity of the app itself either. It also checks for updates and provides pop-ups when they’re available, making sure that you’re not vulnerable to any security issues.
We love the Mac OS X version of the app because it’s so easy to use, but also because of its numerous features. If you need a VPN but don’t want to go the dedicated route, the Mac version is one of the best free options available. Just remember that some servers might require payment, and you won’t be able to connect if your account has been suspended by the company that runs the server.