X-VPN Review (2020 Update)
X-VPN is an exciting young VPN that has been generating a lot of hype lately.
On paper, it has everything you would look for in a VPN.
The service promises fast and stable speeds, multiple advanced encryption protocols, and seamless access to restricted sites like Netflix and iPlayer.
But is it any good in practice?
We will find out in this in-depth X-VPN review.
However, if you’d rather cut to the chase and go with a globally trusted provider instead, then check out ExpressVPN.
Its rich feature set and proven reliability make it our top recommendation in 2020!
Quick Overview of X-VPN
|Logging||Zero activity logs|
|Locations & Servers||50+ locations, 5000+ servers|
|Simultaneous Connections||5 devices|
|Torrent and P2P allowed||Yes|
Monthly plan: $11.99/mo
Yearly plan: $5.99/mo
|Better alternative:||Find it here|
My Rating Criteria
I have examined X-VPN as per the following criteria:
The Encryption Level
One of the most important features of a VPN is its ability to encrypt your internet traffic. This helps keep your personal data and online activities safe from prying eyes.
But the level of encryption varies from one VPN to the next.
Compared to RSA, the AES cipher is more robust, with AES 256-bit being the gold standard in VPN encryption.
As for the protocols, OpenVPN remains the top-recommended option.
Other primary tunneling solutions include IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP.
Jurisdiction & Logging Policy
Another privacy aspect I check is the provider’s country of origin.
Generally, I like to steer clear of VPNs located in a Fourteen Eyes jurisdiction.
The 14-Eyes are a group of countries that collect and share mass surveillance data.
If your VPN service provider is located within this alliance, they can be compelled to surrender information about your browsing habits.
It is also vital to ensure that the VPN does not keep logs of your internet activities. Without any usage data, the provider won’t have anything to relinquish even when ordered to in court.
With VPNs, what you gain in security, you lose in speed.
As a result of data encryption, all VPNs register a dip in internet speeds.
Fortunately, the best VPN providers can keep the impact to a minimum and ensure fast connections.
In addition to fast speed ratings, I always fancy a VPN that provides different speed configurations and optimizations.
Servers & Locations
The higher the number of servers, the better.
It reduces the risk of overload and unstable performance.
Wide server distribution is also important.
With multiple server locations spread across various countries, you can easily find and connect to all preferred locations.
Again, you will have a choice of servers nearby, allowing you to enjoy faster, low latency connections.
Lastly, you should also check whether the servers are P2P and Netflix compatible.
Ease of Use
A VPN shouldn’t lots of time and energy to set up and use.
If you are a novice, I suggest opting for a service that comes with native clients for all your primary devices. Even then, the apps should be easy to set up and use.
Reliable support can help you solve problems quickly and easily.
Unfortunately, most providers are lax when it comes to customer service.
Always pay attention to the support options available, as this may prove to be a big problem in the future. While email remains the method of choice, I find live chat support to be more convenient.
What Is X-VPN?
X-VPN is a product of Free Connected Limited, a Hong Kong based online privacy company. The VPN has been in operation since 2014.
Fast forward 5 years, and they now claim to have around 50,000,000 users (which is quite massive even I had to check it twice).
Whether that number is correct, I can’t tell.
What I can say with certainty is that X-VPN does not mess around with user privacy.
They provide access to 5000+ spread in over 50 countries across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and the Asia Pacific.
The service is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and routers.
Here is a quick look at the pros and cons of the VPN service.
Price – How Much Does X-VPN Cost?
X-VPN offers both free and paid versions allowing you to choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.
However, both plans have some major downsides.
On the one hand, the premium plan is quite expensive, while the freemium plan is very limited in terms of features.
The current X-VPN packages are:
Android Pricing Structure
Uniquely, X-VPN offers both a free version and a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS. The free plan comes with the bare minimum, but the free trial allows you to get a taste of the premium version, without having to pay a single dime.
The free version is ad-supported and has just one location to choose from.
On the bright side though, it allows unlimited bandwidth.
Windows Pricing Structure
On Windows, the free version has only one limitation– bandwidth.
The data cap is set at 500 Mb, after which you will need to upgrade to a premium package.
X-VPN offers a range of payment options, which include PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, gift cards, and cryptocurrency.
Security – Encryption, Protocols & Features
X-VPN uses military-grade AES 256-bit as its default encryption.
They do not, however, disclose the specific tunneling protocol.
Instead, the provider claims to use a self-developed VPN protocol-X.
According to X-VPN, protocol-X not only provides impregnable security but also prevents firewall filtering and blocking.
In total, the service comes with 9 protocols, all of which are vaguely named A to I.
But on the plus side, X-VPN assigns speed and security ratings to each allowing you to pick the best option at any particular time.
Automatic Kill Switch
Secure encryption and protocols are vital.
However, if a VPN lacks an internet kill switch, your identity is nevertheless at the risk of exposure should your connection drop expectantly.
Luckily, X-VPN offers a kill switch, which automatically blocks internet access until your VPN connection is restored.
The company also admits to collecting additional usage data such as the server you connected, choice of protocol, and error reports.
However, this data is used for troubleshooting and VPN service optimization only.
I was quite pleased with their DMCA policy.
While X-VPN does indicate a willingness to cooperate with copyright holders, they explicitly state that they won’t be able to since they don’t store any user activities.
Jurisdiction – Is it Located in a 14-Eyes Country?
X-VPN is based in Hong-Kong, which does not belong to the 5-eyes, 9-eyes, and 14-eyes. Additionally, the countries privacy laws are user-friendly and VPN providers are not under any mandatory obligation to retain user data.
Servers and Locations
The list of servers is impressive. The service has over 5000 servers spread across an incredible 50 countries. Now that’s true global coverage.
But it’s still less than ExpressVPN, which has a presence in 94 countries around the world.
Quite notably, X-VPN provides video and game optimized servers in the US, UK, and Japan. PLAYERUNKOWN’S BATTLEGROUND fans are especially well taken care of with a PUBG dedicated server.
Dedicated IPs & SmartDNS
Despite having such a vast network, the provider does not support dedicated IPs or Smart DNS in any of the servers.
While not as anonymous as shared IPs, I find dedicated IPs to be quite useful, especially when trying to access a restricted network remotely.
SmartDNS, on the other hand, is always a good addition for streaming purposes.
The feature allows you to access geo-blocked websites without any noticeable drop in speed. However, you should note that unlike normal VPN servers, smart DNS connections are not encrypted.
Speed Test – How Fast Is X-VPN?
Their server speed is good enough for fast streaming.
I connected to no less than 10 servers to check its connection speeds.
My baseline speed before using X-VPN was 75 Mbps.
As is usually the case, the nearest servers (London, UK) delivered the best results, but the US, Hong Kong, and Australia servers were also within acceptable ranges.
Here is a quick summary of the speed test:
|Speed before using X-VPN||41 ms||74.71 Mbps||23.87 Mbps|
|Connected to London server||134 ms||47.42 Mbps (-36.52%)||13.93 Mbps (-41.66%)|
|Connected to US server||217 ms||41.17 Mbps (-44.90%)||14.48 Mbps (-39.32%)|
|Connected to Australia||291 ms||33.90 Mbps (-54.62%)||19.59 Mbps (-59.81%)|
|Connected to Hong Kong||269 ms||36.37 Mbps (-51.31%)||12.23 Mbps (-48.79%)|
Leaks – IP, DNS, & WebRTC Tests
IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks can totally undermine the purpose of a VPN.
To check the safety of X-VPN, I ran a series of tests.
Since these leaks might not always overlap, it’s important to check all.
After thorough testing, I found no leaks.
When conducting the test, I was connected to the California, US server, and the results are shown below.
Streaming – Does it Work with Netflix?
It may not be right off the bat, but X-VPN does support Netflix.
After trying multiple US servers, I was able to find a few that worked.
The streaming servers performed far much better and to my surprise, unblocked the site on the first try.
In addition to Netflix, X-VPN also works with Hulu and BBC iPlayer.
P2P – Is X-VPN Good for Torrenting?
X-VPN allows P2P traffic in a majority of their servers.
Its connection speeds are good enough for torrenting, and there are no bandwidth limitations, whatsoever.
The VPN is also safe thanks to its military-grade encryption and leak-free connections.
Compatibility – Apps and Supported Devices
X-VPN is compatible with all the primary platforms and comes with apps for the following devices:
The service is also compatible with routers and offers a Chrome extension as well.
Customer Support – What are the Available Options?
X-VPN provides customer support via email, Twitter, and Facebook.
They also claim to have a 24/7 live chat, which, as it turns out is not functional.
I tried out the live chat severally, but I wasn’t able to send a single message leave alone receive a response.
The rest of the support options are functional.
However, I found X-VPN to be unresponsive, especially on email.
X-VPN also has a help page where you can find useful information on getting started, general inquiry, technical support, and payments/accounts.
What Other Users Are Saying About X-VPN
After scouring the web for other user comments on X-VPN, I found most were rather positive. Most were pleased with the VPN’s geo-unblocking capabilities, connection speeds, and the ad-free free version on Windows.
However, a few complained about the vagueness of X-VPN protocols and its slow customer support.
Alternatives for X-VPN
Although X-VPN does score well in several categories, it lacks key features like SmartDNS and OpenVPN support.
Again, while good, its speeds are it’s nothing compared to the fast connections offered by ExpressVPN, Surfshark, CyberGhost, and NordVPN.
ExpressVPN boasts ultra-fast connections and a server network that stretches over 94 countries. The service supports two of the best VPN protocols in OpenVPN and IKEv2 and keeps neither connection nor activity logs.
Advanced ExpressVPN features include multi-hop VPN, split tunneling, and smartDNS (Mediastreamer).
Surfshark is an affordable VPN that delivers fast and secure connections.
Available at $1.99, the service offers over 1000 servers in 60+ countries.
Surfshark uses AES 256-bit encryption with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec.
Extra security features include an internet kill switch, private DNS leak protection, and CleanWeb, a malware blocking tool.
CyberGhost provides access to over 5700 servers in 90 countries. Connections are secure and you can choose between OpenVPN, IkEv2, and L2TP/IPSec protocols.
CyberGhost is relatively affordable and features a 24-hours full-featured free trial.
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs today. With over 5800 servers, you can easily find a server to unblock almost any content on the internet. Like all the above alternatives, NordVPN supports both OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Do I Recommend X-VPN?
No, I don’t.
X-VPN has an exciting array of security and privacy features.
Its jurisdiction is privacy-friendly, and speeds are generally good.
However, the VPN’s cost is quite high.
For such a price, I expect a VPN to offer ultra-fast connections, best-in-class protocols, split-tunneling, dedicated IPs, and SmartDNS.
Honestly, X-VPN feels overpriced.
There are several top-tier VPNs like ExpressVPN that deliver premier all-around performance at a similar price range.