X-VPN may have a website that looks swish, but does the service itself live up to expectations? We’re going to put X-VPN to the test today and see how it performs in all the important departments.
Full disclosure: We’re testing X-VPN using its first free 500MB for Windows and Mac. This was more than enough to let us test everything thoroughly. Once this runs out, you have to purchase a premium plan or use their one free server, which is automatically chosen based on your location.
Servers and Locations: Let’s go global, baby
X-VPN really delivers with the number of servers (5,000+) and locations included for both free and premium users.
At the time of writing this review, X-VPN had a lot of servers to choose from that stretch all around the world. From the UK and the U.S. to Israel and New Zealand, X-VPN truly has global coverage.
Some servers are dedicated for specific use such as the U.S. and GB Netflix servers, or the U.S. Hulu server. There’s even an Australian 9Now server! This demonstrates that X-VPN goes to great lengths to satisfy its customers’ requests.
Netflix Test: Dedicated servers work their magic
Netflix access is a big part of any premium VPN. Many people turn to VPNs to access geo-blocked Netflix content (mostly outside of the U.S.) and it’s disappointing when a VPN service isn’t able to provide it.
Luckily, X-VPN does! We were able to access Netflix U.S. when connected to their dedicated Netflix server.
Happy days! Streaming content through X-VPN is made incredibly easy by their streaming-orientated servers and these are labeled for easy identification.
Product Interface: Clean, simple (less is more)
X-VPN’s interface is clean and easy to use.
After signing in, you’re greeted by the main connection screen. This shows you where you’re connected or your own IP address when disconnected. From here, you can select a protocol and choose which server you’d like to connect to.
All in all, we have nothing bad to say about the X-VPN interface other than the lack of advanced options. All you can do is connect to a server and choose from pre-set protocols. Still, simplicity is key here and we like what we see.
X-VPN Neutral Points
VPN Speed and Performance: Good enough for streaming? That’s a yes
It all comes down to two things: speed and privacy. If a VPN fails in these areas, it often sours our view. We put X-VPN to the test by connecting to two servers and running a speed test. These are our results.
Here we’re comparing X-VPN’s speed to our normal download speeds when not connected to a VPN:
When connected to the U.S. Netflix server, our results were:
When connected to a German server, our results were:
As you can see, our 90Mbps download speeds were only reduced by 40.1% when connected to the U.S. Netflix server and by 19.3% when connected to the German server. This isn’t bad at all really, but they’re not the best results we’ve seen.
Still, the Netflix server is fast enough for streaming so that’s good news!
Pricing & Plans: Great for a yearly subscription
Some VPNs offer lots of different plans and pricing whereas others are simpler. X-VPN falls on the simpler side with their two options: a monthly rolling subscription, or an annual subscription paid in advance.
$11.99/month for a monthly subscription is pretty high in comparison to other VPNs. But $5.99/month billed in advance at $71.88 is very affordable. If you don’t mind paying upfront, this one’s a no-brainer since it knocks off half the cost.
Refund Policy: Get your money back in 7 days
X-VPN offers a 7-day money-back guarantee. As long as you request a refund within 7 days of making the purchase, it will be processed with no questions asked.
Payment Methods: Yes to Bitcoin, no to checks
X-VPN offers a lot of payment methods including cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It’s always good to see Bitcoin as a payment option because this helps on the privacy front.
You can also opt for PayPal and credit/debit cards. However, cash, checks and gift cards are not accepted.
Device Compatibility: A good range, including Chrome
X-VPN offers downloadable apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. All these apps install quickly and seamlessly for simplified and instantaneous protection.
There’s also a browser extension available for the best browser, Google Chrome! (Frequent Chrome surfer? You might want to check out the best VPN Chrome extensions.)
Unfortunately, at this time X-VPN does not support other devices such as games consoles. You also can’t install X-VPN on your router to protect every connected device.
You can connect up to 5 devices at a time.
Sign-Up Process: Easy, just enter your email
Signing up to X-VPN should only take you a few minutes. You’ll need to create an account with an email address and password, and then you can sign in after downloading the VPN.
Personally, we don’t like that email is the only option. Other VPNs have different systems in place, such as Mullvad where each account is identified by a unique ID—there are no emails involved.
Emails can potentially identify you, but of course, you can get around this by using a throwaway email address.
Customer Support: You can chat (but you might have to dig for answers)
We used their live chat to ask about torrenting and immediately received a response. The response was a bit on the brief side, so we had to probe a little to get a full answer.
This isn’t great, but it’s nice to see that live chat functionality is there. You can hit the “Help center” button from within the X-VPN app to be redirected to their support page.
On their help page, there’s a link to the live chat, a small knowledge base, and their main support email address. There’s no form, though—you’ll have to send an email via your own email client.
Logging Policy: 4-day deletion period (not exactly “zero logging”)
X-VPN claims to enforce a strict no-logging policy according to their website. While that sounds nice, it may not actually be 100% true. Some VPNs like to bend the facts a bit and claim not to log anything while still doing it in practice.
X-VPN’s logging policy goes so far as to say there’s no logging at all aside from a few small pieces of information that can be used for optimization and development purposes. These are supposedly deleted after 4 days and include:
- Dates and times of connections to their servers
- What servers are being connected to
- Protocol being used
- Bandwidth being used
Given the 4-day deletion period, none of this is personally identifiable; however, it does mean that “zero-logging” isn’t strictly true.
Kill Switch: Yes, turn it on
X-VPN has an integrated kill switch that will completely cut your internet traffic should your connection drop. This is vital because without a kill switch, a dropped connection could expose your IP address and internet traffic to your ISP and third-parties.
Torrenting Policy: Forget about it
Unfortunately, X-VPN doesn’t seem to support torrenting. We asked through their live chat function and were promptly met with the answer we didn’t want to see.
While torrenting is unsupported, X-VPN doesn’t ban it—you can try to use P2P services and undertake torrenting on their servers. Whether it works or not is another story.
Don’t worry though, there are plenty of VPNs that offer torrent support, unlike X-VPN.
Encryption and Protocols: 8 protocols, but… you can’t tell which one you’re using (yeah, we’re not happy about this)
X-VPN offers AES-256-bit encryption to fully secure your data and ensure privacy. At the moment, AES-256 is the very best encryption available and is even used by U.S. officials to secure secret information. As of today, it’s unbreakable.
X-VPN supplements this encryption with 8 protocols, or so they claim. They actually don’t say which tunneling protocols are being used. When you choose a protocol to use in their app, this is what you’re greeted with:
Instead of naming protocols, they’ve given them star ratings on how they perform. This isn’t great for those of us who are privacy-conscious and want to know if we’re using OpenVPN or something else that may not be as secure.
This protocol labeling is sketchy and for this, we’ve docked some points from X-VPN. We simply have no information about the protocol(s) being used.
X-VPN as a Business & Jurisdiction
X-VPN is based out of Hong Kong, the autonomous Special Administrative Region of China. There are no laws for mandatory data retention here, and this is good news because it allows them to purge everything after 4 days.
X-VPN Conclusion: Needs to fix some problems…
X-VPN could be a very good service if some key problems are fixed by the developers.
The website and customer support are… OK. English is clearly not the developers’ or support team’s first language. This is less than optimal. On the other hand, we got a quick reply to our live chat support query and the site has a knowledge base.
Moving on to the app, it looks nice and is very easy to use. There’s a distinct lack of overall customization, but some people prefer this. You can choose from 8 different protocols, but there’s no way of knowing which protocol you’re actually using. This will clearly be an issue for a lot of users.
As a basic VPN, it works fine. You can watch Netflix, change your location and, on paper, stay secure. While X-VPN does use AES-256-bit encryption, we have no idea what tunneling protocol is being used. Because of this, we would never recommend X-VPN for sensitive tasks. For things like watching Netflix, it’ll do just fine.
Overall, X-VPN is fairly average (for a relatively unknown brand). There’s nothing special about their service that would make us recommend it over other VPNs. For the price they’re offering, there are far better VPNs available.