My Expat Network is a well-established VPN that mainly caters to expats looking to stream media content from their home countries.
We can’t deny that it’s a great option for streaming fans, unblocking Netflix and BBC iPlayer with absolutely no problems, but consistently below-average performance is a real letdown and could lead to buffering issues.
In terms of privacy it’s a mixed bag, but the lack of information on the website is a real concern. Strong encryption and no DNS leaks is a bonus, although it’s very apparent that this VPN is focused on unblocking content above all else.
Pricing & Deals
My Expat Network’s pricing model is quite different to anything else we’ve seen. It’s possible to customize your own package depending on what country you want to connect to, and you can also choose whether you need the VPN on desktop, mobile or both.
My Expat Network Coupon
My Expat Network
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My Expat Network Pricing & Deals
There’s also an all-inclusive package that allows you to use the VPN on up to five devices at once and gives you access to all of My Expat Network’s global servers. This is the most expensive option, coming in at a pricey $12.00 per month, but you can save yourself 20% by opting for the annual plan, bringing the monthly cost down to $9.60.
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that’s totally no questions asked – you can cancel at any time in your account area.
Payment & Refund Options
My Expat Network is pretty limited when it comes to payment options. It’s currently only possible to pay using your credit or debit card or via PayPal – there’s no way of using any sort of cryptocurrency, nor are there any alternative methods such as Alipay or UnionPay.
Speed & Reliability
Le VPN’s performance was nowhere near as good as we expected, however it’s decent enough on local connections for HD streaming on a couple of devices. The main issue was the fact that some servers were ‘unreachable’ on all protocols, meaning we couldn’t even test speeds in the Netherlands, Singapore, Japan or Canada. What’s more, we usually test all servers using OpenVPN, our preferred protocol, but unfortunately some of our test locations weren’t available on OpenVPN, meaning we were forced to use L2TP instead.
Downloads on local connections are pretty good, reaching 66Mbps in France and 63Mbps in the UK, which is more than quick enough for buffer-free streaming and speedy downloads on at least one or two devices. Connecting out to the US from the UK you can expect speeds of around 15Mbps, which is nowhere near as quick as some of our top-tier providers, but definitely good enough for general browsing and streaming on a single device. We were impressed with performance across long-distance connections, such as Australia at 12Mbps, which isn’t to be sniffed at considering we test from London.
High latency (even on local connections) means we’re hesitant to recommend Le VPN to keen gamers. The lowest ping we found was 7ms on the UK server, which isn’t too bad, but there are competitors out there offering latency of 1ms or less for a speedy, lag-free gaming experience. As expected, connecting internationally produced ping times of way over 300ms.
Once we were up and running, we found Le VPN’s connections to be pretty reliable, with no connection drops and very little fluctuation in performance. The main issue is finding a server that works with your chosen protocol, as this can take a lot of trial and error. Thankfully you can select an option that cuts off your internet connection while the VPN is connecting, meaning there’s no chance of your true IP address being leaked when you switch servers.
Uploads were much the same as downloads – good enough on local connections but nothing to shout about elsewhere. They peaked at a fairly impressive 89Mbps in the UK (over OpenVPN) and hovered around 50Mbps across the rest of Europe (over L2TP). As is usually the case, international connections struggled to reach speeds of more than 10Mbps, but this usually isn’t an issue for torrenters.
Overall, Le VPN produced good enough results for us to recommend it to keen streamers and P2P users who are exclusively going to be connecting locally, but anyone other than that should look elsewhere. International results weren’t consistent enough and high ping means there are far better options out there for gamers.
To find out about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
My Expat Network caters to a very limited amount of people with servers in just 12 different countries. Those living in the US, Australia or Western Europe won’t have any problems connecting to a nearby server, but users elsewhere in the world will be left wanting.
There’s no way of drilling down to specific cities, which is a useful tool for those in larger countries – if that applies to you, you’re looking in the wrong place.
Platforms & Devices
The My Expat Network has custom apps for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and Linux devices.
If you want to install the VPN at router level, you have two options – either buy a pre-configured device through My Expat Network’s partnership with Sabai Technology, or install the VPN on your existing router (as long as it supports DD-WRT).
There are comprehensive setup guides for all supported platforms on the My Expat Network website.
There are no browser extensions available for My Expat Network users.
Or, read our ExpressVPN review, which comes with very easy to use VPN extensions.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
My Expat Network has recently revealed its new app for the Amazon Fire Stick, which is available to download from the Amazon store.
You can also use My Expat Network VPN with a range of games consoles and streaming devices by connecting them to a configured router.
Streaming & Torrenting
Considering it’s marketed purely as a solution to unblock streaming sites, it came as no surprise that My Expat Network is currently working with both Netflix and BBC iPlayer. It’s also a great choice for other popular services such as Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Now TV and Sky Go, among others.
It’s bad news for torrenters, though, as P2P activity is prohibited on all servers for copyright reasons. If you need a VPN for this purpose, we would recommend you look into IPVanish.
Encryption & Security
My Expat Network is oddly secretive on its website about encryption and VPN protocols, which is strange as, if what customer support told us is true, it should have absolutely nothing to hide.
The software operates on OpenVPN and uses AES-256 encryption, providing users with an almost unbreakable level of privacy without compromising too much on performance. We also didn’t experience any DNS, IPv6 or WebRTC leaks while connected to the VPN, a further reassurance that your personal information will be protected from prying eyes.
My Expat Network falls down when it comes to advanced features, not even offering a VPN kill switch, meaning your online activity could be exposed if the connection dropped without you realizing. It also rents DNS servers from third parties rather than maintaining its own, which comes with inherent security risks.
- OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
In theory, My Expat Network should be well-suited for use in high censorship countries thanks to its proprietary stealth protocol. However, when we discussed the matter with customer support the response was not entirely convincing.
We were told that they “can’t guarantee” it will work “since it depends on the Internet Service Provider”, but reassured us we’d get a refund if we couldn’t use the VPN in countries such as Iran or Egypt. They seemed confident it should work in China, though try this at your own risk.
For a more reliable solution, we’d advise going with a provider such as NordVPN.
While My Expat Network discloses in great detail the information it collects when you visit its website, we couldn’t find anything related to when you’re actually using the VPN. We were informed by customer support that they don’t collect any logs whatsoever, but this seems far too good to be true.
If a provider truly is zero-logs, we’d expect to see this advertised in multiple places across the website, but a lack of this on My Expat Network’s site prompts us to think that this may not be the case after all.
As is the case with its logging policy, My Expat Network doesn’t reveal its jurisdiction on the website, but another quick email to customer support provided us with the answer.
The company is based in Hong Kong, which is good news for privacy as no data retention laws exist, but it looks like it also has links to China, which isn’t so great.
If it truly is a zero-logs VPN you have nothing to worry about, but we have serious doubts about that.
Ease of Use
My Expat Network couldn’t really be much easier to use, although we don’t love that the desktop app is little more than a system tray icon.
Clicking on it brings up the server list. There is a settings option at the bottom of the menu which opens in a separate window, however this only lets you configure the proxy settings.
The mobile apps are certainly better from an aesthetic viewpoint but lack any manual settings whatsoever.
All that you need to do before you can begin using My Expat Network is sign up for an account and download the relevant software. It’s an incredibly simple process and there are comprehensive installation guides on the website, should you need them.
My Expat Network’s customer support is surprisingly good, even if it doesn’t include live chat. You can contact the support team via email and responses are very quick and helpful, if a little blunt.
Online resources are a little less impressive, limited to some basic FAQs and installation guides, but should do the job in most cases. My Expat Network also runs its own blog and has a very active social media presence, meaning you have the option to get in touch via its Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Bottom Line
- Unblocks popular streaming services
- User-friendly custom apps
- Strong encryption & VPN protocols
- Good customer support
- Slow, inconsistent speeds
- Torrenting/P2P not permitted
- Vague logging policy
- Small server network
- No advanced privacy features
If you’re willing to pay way above the mark for a VPN that’s only really good for streaming Netflix and BBC iPlayer, My Expat Network could be the one for you.
It’s marketed mainly as a solution to overcome content blocks and it does this very well, but this VPN is let down by slow and inconsistent speeds on all servers.
Solid encryption and no DNS leaks are privacy pluses, but the vague logging policy and lack of advanced security features are downsides, as is the fact that torrenting is totally prohibited.
The VPN software is simple enough to use, but could do with a makeover to bring it into the 21st century.
My Expat Network won’t be coming close to top-tier VPN providers anytime soon, that’s for sure.