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
Get 20% off My Expat Network's 12-month plan
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
Avira Phantom’s free plan offers quick, reliable speeds when connected to your nearest VPN server location (which is currently the only option for free users).
You can expect speeds of around 50Mbps from Avira Phantom VPN on same-country connections, which is quick enough to do pretty much anything you want to online without breaking a sweat.
We found latency to be lower than what we’ve seen from other free services. Same-country connections were as low as 18ms, which will be snappy enough for most but might cause enough lag to frustrate gamers.
Beware that connection times are fairly slow on the desktop apps, and the fact that there’s no kill switch feature means your IP address could still be exposed while the app connects to a new server.
To read 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
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, but considering how lightweight the desktop app is, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
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.