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X-VPN Review

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X-VPN screenshot
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

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Our Verdict

7.17.1/10
How is this calculated?

Our overall rating is reached by combining several subcategories. The subcategories are weighted as follows:

  • Logging & Jurisdiction: 30%
  • Speed & Reliability: 25%
  • Security & Features: 20%
  • Streaming: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Ease of Use: 5%
  • Support: 5%

See our full methodology in how we review VPNs.

X-VPN is a decent option for unblocking Netflix, with fast speeds on nearby servers. The VPN also has a huge server network and it’s easy to install and use, but this comes at the cost of security. X-VPN’s weak encryption, invasive logging policy, and lack of kill switch mean we do not recommend it for online privacy.

Ranked #30 out of 68

X-VPN Category Ratings

  • 99.0/10
  • 4.64.6/10
  • 77.0/10
  • 6.76.7/10
  • 9.29.2/10
  • 44.0/10
  • 77.0/10
  • 8.38.3/10
  • 8.68.6/10
  • 66.0/10

X-VPN Pros & Cons

Pros

  1. Fast speeds on nearby VPN servers
  2. Works with Netflix
  3. Over 5,000 VPN servers in 52 countries
  4. Easy to set up and use

Cons

  1. No VPN kill switch for desktop
  2. WebRTC leaks on Chrome & Firefox extension
  3. Unclear torrenting policy
  4. Fairly extensive logging policy
  5. Lack of information about proprietary protocols

For this X-VPN review, we put X-VPN’s apps through our intensive testing process to find out if the service really works, and to answer questions like these:

  • Is X-VPN safe to use?
  • Does it work with Netflix?
  • How much does X-VPN cost?
  • Is torrenting permitted?
  • How fast is X-VPN?

Read our detailed review of the free version of X-VPN here.

X-VPN Key Data

Data CapSpeedLogging PolicyData LeaksJurisdictionServersIP AddressesCountriesUS NetflixTorrentingWorks in ChinaSupportCheapest PriceOfficial Website
PremiumFree
UnlimitedUnlimited
79Mbps67Mbps
Some User LogsSome User Logs
YesNo
Hong KongHong Kong
8,000+1
8,000+1+
601
YesNo
PermittedRestricted
YesNo
Live ChatLive Chat
$5.99/mo over 12 monthsFree
XVPN.io

Some logs kept by a company with ties to China

Logging & Jurisdiction

77.0/10
How is this calculated?

We dissect the logging and privacy policies of every VPN. A VPN should never log:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

A base of operations outside of 14-Eyes or EU jurisdiction is preferable.

Our main concern with X-VPN is its boardroom has ties to mainland China, a country extremely hostile to both VPNs and digital rights in general. In addition to that, X-VPN's logging policy collects connection timestamps, which we aren't comfortable with.

X-VPN is owned by Free Connected Limited, which was incorporated in July 2017 and is based in Hong Kong.

The Free Connected Limited website states that Free Connected Limited believes in “equal and fair access” to an internet “built on privacy, security, and transparency.”

From a data retention point of view, Hong Kong is a privacy-friendly VPN jurisdiction. It’s not part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance either.

However, our free VPN ownership investigation revealed that X-VPN does have links to mainland China, which is a privacy concern.

Jin Li, the company’s director, and Chengdu Zhuozhuo Technology Co, the sole shareholder, are based in the Sichuan province of China.

X-VPN also says it will not disclose your information “unless in response to law enforcement requests when the Service is being used contrary to these Terms and applicable laws.”

We’ll now review X-VPN’s logging policy to see how much of a privacy concern this is.

Logging Policy

X-VPN’s logging policy is clear and transparent but it does collect quite a lot of user data including:

  • Chosen VPN server
  • VPN connection timestamp (date and time)
  • Choice of VPN protocol
  • Network type
  • Server CPU load and bandwidth

These logs are stored for 96 hours before being erased and are collected for troubleshooting and VPN service optimization.

When you open the app, X-VPN also logs:

  • Device information
  • App version
  • Data usage
  • City-level location

This information is used to help X-VPN with product development, and can be deleted upon request.

X-VPN also collects anonymous aggregated data of the sites visited via its servers, however none of these can be attributed to a specific user.

Most importantly X-VPN doesn’t store user IP addresses.

This logging policy should satisfy most users, but read our Private Internet Access review for a top-rated no-logs VPN.

Fast on same-country connections, disappointing over distance

Speed & Reliability

6.76.7/10
How is this calculated?

Speed ratings are calculated using upload speeds, download speeds, and ping (latency).

We test average speeds regularly using a dedicated 100Mbps connection in London, UK. Local download speed is considered the most important factor.

A confusing, secretive selection of protocols doesn't make optimizing X-VPN's speeds easy. We tried our best and managed some surprisingly fast local speeds. However could only get mediocre speeds on long-distance connections no matter which mystery protocol we selected.

Before reading these results you should know that X-VPN doesn’t use standard VPN protocols like OpenVPN, which we usually use for our tests.

Because of that it’s not fair to compare speeds like-for-like with other VPNs we’ve reviewed.

X-VPN employs a proprietary protocol named ‘Protocol-X’, but confusingly this isn’t the terminology used within the VPN apps, where you’ll find protocols labeled ‘Protocol A’ through to ‘Protocol I’.

Screenshot of X-VPN's protocol options

For these speed tests we used protocol H, which claims to provide the highest level of security and the fastest speeds of all the protocols on offer.

Despite selecting the fastest protocol available X-VPN’s speeds were fairly mediocre.

The VPN performed well with speedy downloads and low ping times when we connected to nearby servers, losing about 15% of our normal internet download speeds. However, it was slow on longer distance connections, such as the UK to the US and beyond.

Local Speed Test results before using X-VPN:

  • Download Speed: 93Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 99Mbps
  • Ping: 6ms

Local Speed Test results with X-VPN:

  • Download Speed: 79Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 44Mbps
  • Ping: 6ms

Download speed loss when X-VPN is running: 15%

If you don’t want to connect into foreign countries then you shouldn’t notice much of a difference to your internet speeds when using X-VPN.

The situation is much worse over long distances, though:

  • USA: 22Mbps (download) & 5Mbps (upload)
  • Netherlands: 81Mbps (download) & 44Mbps (upload)
  • Singapore: 29Mbps (download) & 4Mbps (upload)
  • Australia: 12Mbps (download) & 2Mbps (upload)

As long as you connect to servers close to your physical location, X-VPN should be fast enough for most online activities including 4K streaming, torrenting, and gaming.

Huge network of over 8,000 VPN servers in 60 countries

Server Locations

9.29.2/10
How is this calculated?

The global spread and coverage of the VPN server network is the most important factor here.

We also consider the number of city-level servers, plus how many IP addresses are maintained.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

X-VPN's server network is absolutely outstanding. It's one of the biggest available on the VPN market right now. The 60 countries on its network are very well spread out, and eight of them have a choice of cities. 8,000 individual servers puts X-VPN right up there with the best VPNs on the market.

Globe with a blue flag
60Countries
Image of a city landscape
87Cities
Image of a pink marker
8,000+IP Addresses

X-VPN’s server network is one of the biggest in the market with over 5,000 individual servers – these are a mixture of bare metal servers and rented virtual servers. The network covers 60 countries, which is an excellent number spread around the world.

The network covers popular locations like Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US, as well as plenty in Asia-Pacific.

What’s perhaps most impressive is X-VPNs coverage in regions that normally get ignored. There’s servers at both ends of Africa (Egypt and South Africa) plus five locations categorized as the Middle East (Bahrain, Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, UAE). Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia serve South America.

There’s also a number of specialized servers for streaming and gaming, including services like Netflix and Hotstar and games like League of Legends and Roblox.

A very good streaming VPN for Netflix & more

Streaming

99.0/10
How is this calculated?

Streaming is rated by the number of different services unlocked, how many regional libraries are viewable, and how consistently the VPN can access them.

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, DAZN, and Amazon Prime Video are all tested on a weekly basis.

X-VPN is a great VPN for unlocking streaming services. In our testing it consistently unblocked Netflix in four different regions, including the US, as well as BBC iPlayer. In a time when even the biggest and best VPNs are struggling to provide access to streaming sites, X-VPN is performing very, very well.

X-VPN comes with servers optimized for streaming popular services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

Just select one of the servers from the ‘Streaming’ tab within the app and you’ll be able to watch all your favorite shows immediately.

It’s very surprising that X-VPN is still able to stream US Netflix and BBC iPlayer, especially the latter. Many VPN services struggle to access the BBC’s video platform.

In addition to the US library, we were also able to unlock Netflix in the UK, Spain, and Brazil through their respective dedicated servers.

Other services like Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and HBO Max were no problem at all for X-VPN, all unlocked with ease.

Slow P2P speeds & an untrustworthy privacy policy

Torrenting

4.64.6/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the average download bitrate of every VPN using a bespoke torrenting setup.

Testing also factors in the percentage of servers which permit P2P, plus useful features like port forwarding.

X-VPN is a poor torrenting VPN for a number of reasons. The main issue is the company's mysterious ownership and its logging policy, neither of which we trust entirely. Beyond that, though, it simply doesn't download or upload fast enough.

X-VPN may have added a kill switch to its apps, which is incredibly important for private torrenting, it’s still a poor torrenting VPN.

Another issue is that there’s no mention of torrenting anywhere on X-VPN’s website or privacy policy. In the past, live chat support agents have told us that torrenting is only permitted on some servers, but not told us which. When we asked most recently we didn’t get a response at all.

Works in China on multiple protocols

Bypassing Censorship

44.0/10
How is this calculated?

Our remote-access server in Shanghai, China routinely tests if a VPN can beat restrictions and access a free, open internet. Obfuscation technologies and nearby servers are also a contributing factor.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

X-VPN might just be the ultimate dark horse of China VPNs. In our testing it worked on multiple protocols with incredible consistency. It was even much quicker and more responsive than some of our favorites for China, like Astrill.

Getting a VPN to work consistently in China is perhaps the greatest challenge any service faces.

Even being able to bypass the Great Firewall just once is impressive, but doing it with consistency over long periods of time is the true test. If X-VPN can keep up this level of reliability over six months to a year then its score will certainly increase.

While using protocols B, D, E, and F on a Windows PC we were able to access blocked sites like YouTube and Wikipedia from our Chinese test server with no issues.

Simple custom VPN apps for wide range of devices

Platforms & Devices

How is platforms & devices rating rated?

A quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

This does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Ease of Use rating.

X-VPN is capable of protecting every device in your home. There’s dedicated native apps for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, a Terminal command for Linux, and router coverage for everything else. X-VPN also has a browser extension for Google Chrome.

Apps

You can install X-VPN on the following platforms:

  1. Windows Logo
    Windows
  2. Mac Logo
    Mac
  3. iOS Logo
    iOS
  4. Android Logo
    Android
  5. Linux Logo
    Linux
  6. Router Logo
    Router

X-VPN has custom apps for:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Apple MacOS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Linux

You can use X-VPN on up to five devices at any time using just one account.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

X-VPN doesn’t have Smart DNS for streaming on consoles, but it can be installed on your home router.

  1. AppleTV Logo
    AppleTV
  2. Amazon Fire TV Logo
    Amazon Fire TV
  3. Android TV Logo
    Android TV
  4. Chromecast Logo
    Chromecast
  5. Nintendo Logo
    Nintendo
  6. PlayStation Logo
    PlayStation
  7. Roku Logo
    Roku
  8. Smart TV Logo
    Smart TV
  9. Xbox Logo
    Xbox

If you do this then any device connected to it (including your PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo) will benefit from full encryption and IP spoofing.

This is only an option for specific types of routers, though, so be sure to check if yours is compatible before you take out a subscription.

The X-VPN website has setup guides for the following brands of router:

  • Asus
  • D-Link
  • Huawei
  • Linksys
  • TP-Link

It also has flashed firmware for any routers that run OpenWrt, DD-Wrt, and Tomato.

However, you can only access five VPN server locations on router:

  • US-Dallas
  • Hong Kong
  • United Kingdom
  • US-Netflix
  • New Zealand

There’s a simpler solution for Amazon Fire TV Stick users, though. X-VPN has a custom app that can be downloaded straight from the Amazon app store.

Browser Extensions

There’s an X-VPN browser extension for Google Chrome, but we wouldn’t recommend using it.

  1. Chrome Logo
    Chrome

Not only did it connect us to the wrong country – we selected the US and it gave us a Canadian IP address – but it also leaked our IP address through WebRTC.

Screenshot of X-VPN leak test result showing WebRTC leaks

You can see our true IP address in the WebRTC section of the leak test.

WebRTC leaks are a browser issue that expose your true IP address, and usually browser extensions block these leaks, but X-VPN has failed to do so.

This puts your privacy at risk.

Confusing protocols & no extra settings

Security & Features

77.0/10
How is this calculated?

Top-rated VPNs offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a functional kill switch. We also consider additional security features and the global spread of VPN servers.

X-VPN is confusing. We're unable to say for sure just how secure it is as its many, many protocols are all kept anonymous. While we didn't spot any leaks in our testing, we did have issues with X-VPN connecting to IP addresses in the wrong country (on more than one occasion). There has, at least, been a kill switch recently added.

Protocols
  1. Proprietary
  2. Undisclosed
Encryption
  1. AES-256
Security
  1. DNS Leak Blocking
  2. First-party DNS
  3. VPN Kill Switch
Advanced features
  1. Split Tunneling

X-VPN uses proprietary protocols rather than the standard ones – these are labeled from A to I and, according to X-VPN’s website, vary in speed and security levels.

While X-VPN claims its proprietary technology is better than the standard protocols, there’s no way to know this for sure because the company doesn’t publish any technical details about it.

Until we know more details about the technology, we’d rather stick with VPN services that use standard protocols like OpenVPN, which is open-source and has been through thorough testing.

For all we know one of these protocols might even be OpenVPN, but there’s no way to find out.

Here’s what X-VPN has to say about its proprietary protocol, named ‘X’:

“Our self-developed protocol X is proven to be highly effective in unblocking heavily restricted/censored networks thanks to its camouflage mechanics which disguises [sic] the data communication patterns.

“While we primarily focusing on circumvent performances of the protocol X [sic], we also implemented multiple unparalleled encryptions & authentication algorithms to ensure its security.”

According to X-VPN’s website, the service uses AES-256 cipher to encrypt traffic at least, which is considered very secure.

It has also recently introduced a kill switch on Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android, which is extremely important and long-overdue.

On Android there’s a split tunneling feature called Application Control, which allows you to choose which apps go through the VPN tunnel, but that’s it for configurable options.

Even then, there’s a pop-up warning Windows users that the application control may lead to connection issues.

On the plus side, the main VPN apps didn’t leak during our IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests:

Screenshot of X-VPN's leak test results

Here are the leak test results when we connected to X-VPN’s Canada server. We test from the UK.

However, we found something stranger than a normal data leak. When connecting to the US, X-VPN gave us a French IP address multiple times. And when connecting to Germany it gave us a US IP address.

This happened repeatedly until we dived deeper into the server menu and chose a specific city-level server to connect to.

And as mentioned earlier, the Chrome extension doesn’t protect against WebRTC leaks.

Simple set up but lacks customization

Ease of Use

8.38.3/10
How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the intuitiveness of setup and everyday use.

Device or platform compatibility and customization options are also a factor.

X-VPN is extremely easy to use, mostly because of its complete lack of extra features. This naturally lends it more to beginners looking for a simple app. If you have experience with VPNs then you'll likely find X-VPN extremely stripped-back.

How to Install & Set Up X-VPN

X-VPN is really easy to use, at the expense of configurability.

There aren’t many settings to play around with, particularly on desktop which doesn’t even have a VPN kill switch.

All you need to do is download the custom app for your device from X-VPN’s website, run through some installation prompts, select a server location, and connect.

You can choose to route certain app traffic outside the VPN tunnel using the Application control but that’s about it.

The main screen is very sparse – it displays the server you’re connected to but no other information like your new IP address is supplied.

The most complicated part of the apps is the protocol options. X-VPN doesn’t use standard VPN protocols and labels them from Protocol A to Protocol I.

While the desktop apps give some context about the security and performance of the various protocols, the mobile apps don’t, leaving users in the dark.

Browser Extensions

Screenshot of X-VPN's Chrome browser extension

It takes no time to set up X-VPN’s browser extension for Google Chrome.

All you need to do is add it to your browser from the Chrome Web Store and log in. There aren’t any settings, so just choose and server and click the connect button.

We experienced WebRTC leaks while using the extension, though, so we advise against installing it.

Decent resources, unreliable live chat

Customer Support

8.68.6/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is based on our assessment of each VPN’s:

  • Email support
  • Live chat support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all of these, and they often vary in quality and response time.

X-VPN live chat support is clearly not manned 24 hours-a-day, but it doesn't tell you that. Multiple times we spent hours sat waiting for a response, even when the chat window said that agents were online. The written resources are useful, with some popular topics covered, but are nowhere near as comprehensive as some rivals.

Live chat SupportYes
EmailYes

X-VPN live chat support is not at all reliable.

We were told that live chat is available Monday to Saturday but even within those days we were left waiting hours for a response.

When an agent did eventually answer they lacked technical knowledge and asked us to send an email with our questions for the manager.

It took a couple of days for the manager to reply, and they still didn’t answer all of our questions.

X-VPN’s online resources are nothing special, either.

There are a few basic setup articles and some general FAQs, but it lacks troubleshooting and technical resources.

There seems to be quite a lot of information on the website that conflicts with what customer support told us, too. While it has clearly been updated recently (and is a big improvement on what it used to be) it still has a long way to go.

Not worth the price

Price & Value

66.0/10
How is this calculated?

Price & Value for Money receives a rating, but is not factored into our Overall Rating. We believe the reader should decide what is or isn’t a reasonable price.

A good rating here isn’t just based on how cheap the VPN is, but for the value it offers overall.

X-VPN is overpriced. While it may offer some solid features and benefits, even at its cheapest monthly rate you could get almost any other VPN on the market - many of them much better than X-VPN.

X-VPN is fairly pricey, particularly because it doesn’t provide any long-term plans to bring the monthly price down.

There’s a one-month plan for $11.99 or a yearly plan for $5.99 a month.

There are far better VPN services available for less money. Check out the best cheap VPNs here.

  1. Monthly

    US$11.99/mo

    Billed $11.99 every month
  2. 12 months

    US$5.99/mo

    Billed $71.88 every 12 months
    Save 50%

All plans have 7-day money-back guarantee

Payment & Refund Options

  1. American Express logo
    American Express
  2. Bitcoin logo
    Bitcoin
  3. Bitcoin Cash logo
    Bitcoin Cash
  4. Mastercard logo
    Mastercard
  5. Monero logo
    Monero
  6. PayPal logo
    PayPal
  7. Visa logo
    Visa
  8. Voucher logo
    Voucher

There’s a seven-day money-back guarantee in case you change your mind.

Just get in touch with live chat support to request a refund. The agent may ask you the reason for canceling the service but they will issue a refund, whatever the reason.

X-VPN accepts the standard payment methods like credit card and debit card, as well as PayPal.

You can also pay with cryptocurrencies through CoinPayments for more privacy, as well as via gift card.

X-VPN has potential

The Bottom Line

X-VPN gets a lot of things right: it’s easy to use, excellent for streaming, and has a huge server network. It also works in China, which is rare.

Unfortunately, almost every positive is offset by a negative. We have no idea what protocols its using to (often incorrectly) encrypt traffic, it logs too much data, and its owners have ties to China. It’s also a poor VPN for torrenting.

Even on a one-year deal, X-VPN is expensive. It’s simply not worth the money right now.

Alternatives to X-VPN

CyberGhost

CyberGhost

9.29.2/10

CyberGhost is one of the cheapest VPNs on the market and it’s great for streaming and torrenting. CyberGhost also maintains a no-logs policy and comes with all the security essentials you need. Read CyberGhost review

The new ExpressVPN logo

ExpressVPN

9.79.7/10

A little more expensive than X-VPN, ExpressVPN offers a much better package. It’s compatible with loads of devices, uses the most secure encryption and technology, and it works in China. Read ExpressVPN review

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio


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