Review of Virtual Hacking Labs - Penetration Testing Course/Lab

These are my personal opinions based on my background and training experience.

Course Reviewed


This course is online.


The course materials include PDF and lab access.

Class size:

The class size unknown.


The lab environment is shared.

Estimated cost:

At the time of this review, the course prices were listed as follows (Check the web site for actual prices!)

$49 - Week Pass
$99 - Month Pass
$249 - 3 Month Pass
$449 - 6 Month Pass
$749 - Year Pass

About the Course:

All passes give you full access to all courseware on the site and more than 40 custom made hosts.

My motivation:

I signed up for this shortly after the OSCP because I was wanting more experience.

My Review:

I had forgotten about this course, although I really don't know how or why I forgot about it. I will report what I remeber, and maybe I can grab some new lab time (because a LOT has changed since I first signed up) and add to this.

I recall finding this site fresh out of the OSCP. I signed up and got access to the PDF, which I recall really liking a lot and all I can remember is the design seemed to appeal to me as well as the materials.

I went through a few boxes in the lab, very much OSCP like, and a few different boxes. But I was new, and was not at the level I needed to be at to proceed. I recall seeing that they had a Certificate of Completion at the time, and wanted to work toward it and be the first to get one, but, I just found it too hard to progress at the time (which may have been time related or work related or maybe even skill related... I honestly don't recall and it could have been all of those combined.

I let my time lapse, and was a little disappointed I didn't push myself harder because I recall when they posted the first CoC had been awarded. That motivated me a lot. I signed back up, and I started over. I recall having some issues with a few machines and thinking it was odd that ports were closed and/or things didn't seem right. Glancing back at my notes from before, I grabbed and admin hash and jumped on one of the boxes to see. The application was not running. I started the application, exploited it like before, and rebooted the box. I checked a little while later and the application wasn't running, so I logged in and started it. I recall typing an e-mail to support to ask if they could check to see if it was the box or maybe another user and I were accessing the same system, or something, but I have no clue if I sent the e-mail or not. So to this day I don't know if the second lab I connected to was having problems or me and another user were working the same box.

I spent some time in the labs, I had some fun, and then my time expired, and I totally forgot about VHL.

When I was moving some data off one external hard drive to another, I saw the VHL PDF and was like, yikes, they deserve a review...and I owe it to myself to sign back up and get a Certificate of Completion that I didn't get the first time.

After making plans to write the review, I went to their website to gather some data, and I found a lot has changed. Prices still seem to be about the same and very reasonable, but they have added a lot of new boxes. I do recall them adding a few boxes while I was subscribed, but I think there were only about 30 when I first joined. So a second, or actually a third in my case, look is in order.


The Exam:

There is no exam, although if you meet specified requirements*, you can get a VHL Certificate of Completion and/or a VHL Advanced+ Certificate of Completion.

* See the Certificate of Completion section of https://www.virtualhackinglabs.com/labs/penetration-testing-lab/ for the requirements.

My two cents:

I signed up when this was just getting started. I remember the PDF being excellent. I recall the labs being good as well, until I let my time expire, signed back up and got in to a different lab setting where I recall having some issues that I have no clue if they were lab related or due to other users. Either way, this was a hidden gem that I forgot about and recommend people give it a try.

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