X-VPN is a minimal-logs VPN ideal for streaming, thanks to a range of dedicated servers for Netflix and a host of other popular sites. Speeds aren’t the quickest we’ve seen, but are more than good enough for HD streaming locally and on some international connections too. P2P is permitted, but X-VPN blocks some torrents, and gamers may be put off by high latencies.
X-VPN offers some great security features, such as DNS leak protection and split tunneling, but we don’t like the lack of information regarding the proprietary protocol baked into the app. However, X-VPN’s minimal logging policy goes some way to making up for this. The range of apps are very user-friendly but lack some configurable options that experienced users might miss. Customer support is below par, with slow and impersonal replies on live chat and a lack of online resources.
Pricing & Deals
X-VPN offers a couple of different pricing plans to make finding your ideal option a little easier. As with the majority of providers, each plan offers the same features, but commiting to a longer subscription reduces the monthly cost.
The most expensive option is the monthly subscription at $11.99, which is fairly average compared to the majority of other providers. You can cut this cost by 50% to just $5.99 per month if you choose the annual plan, which is great value.
Get 50% off X-VPN's 12-month plan
X-VPN Pricing & Deals
X-VPN offers a seven-day money-back guarantee for its premium subscription, but you can only request a refund through the live chat support. Agents may ask the reason for the refund to help them improve the service, but will issue a refund whatever the reason. After the seven days are up, X-VPN may issue a refund on a case-by-case basis. There are providers out there offering much more generous ‘no questions asked’ 30-day money back guarantees.
X-VPN accepts most common payment methods, including major credit/debit cards and PayPal. For those seeking higher levels of privacy, X-VPN also accepts cryptocurrencies, including as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum.
Speed & Reliability
X-VPN is not a super speedy VPN, but performance will definitely allow you to stream in buffer-free HD locally and on most international connections too. We usually test using the OpenVPN protocol, as this offers the best balance between performance and privacy, however as this wasn’t an option we were forced to use X-VPN’s proprietary ‘X’ protocol.
We experienced fairly consistent download speeds across the server network, but found the best performance connecting to France (we test from London), coming in at 36Mbps. This is nowhere near the performance of 200Mbps+ we’ve seen from our top-tier providers but will probably do the job for most. We were impressed when connecting to the US as speeds only dropped a little to 32Mbps. Performance on more distance connections, such as Japan at 18Mbps, is still enough for HD streaming on a single device.
Latency, however, was much less impressive, with even same-country connections coming in at 10ms. While this isn’t the end of the world for casual users, avid gamers might want to look into other providers, some of which offer super-fast ping times of 1ms or even less.
Connection times were super fast, taking only a couple of seconds each time, which is great if you need to change servers regularly. This was made better by that fact that we experienced no connection drops throughout our tests.
We found uploads to be quite inconsistent, even on local connections, ranging from a reasonable 39Mbps in Germany to a measly 11Mbps in the Netherlands. Connecting out to the US came in at 5Mbps, so, coupled with the fact that X-VPN blocks some torrenting activity, P2P users should definitely steer clear.
X-VPN offers fairly reliable speeds, meaning that you can easily stream in HD on one or two devices simultaneously. Download speeds are relatively consistent across the server network, but high latencies and unreliable uploads mean that avid gamers and torrenters may want to look elsewhere.
To read about our speed testing methodologies, please read How We Review VPNs.
X-VPN has a pretty limited server network covering just 33 countries. However, these are fairly evenly distributed around the world and cover the most popular locations. Should you need a wider choice of locations, providers such as HideMyAss! boast up to 190 countries.
We are impressed that X-VPN maintains 5000+ individual servers, which will help to alleviate congestion at peak times. Customer support also confirmed that the number of IP addresses fluctuates depending on traffic, and has previously reached 8,000+, further reducing the risk of slow downs.
City-level servers are available in a few countries, including two in Australia, three in India – a country often overlooked by other providers – and a choice of nine different cities in the US. This is great for a server network of this size and means you can connect to the server closest to your true location for the best possible performance.
As is the case with many providers, the majority of servers are located in Europe and North America. However, we are impressed by the amount of choice in the Asia-Pacific, which includes servers in Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, and a few more countries. South America only has servers in Brazil, and Central America is just covered by Mexico. For those in the Middle East, Israel is the only choice and if you live in Africa, unfortunately, there are no servers at all.
Platforms & Devices
X-VPN offers custom apps for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android devices with simple setup guides available on the website.
X-VPN has recently added support for routers too, meaning you can protect all Internet-connected devices in your home such as games consoles and streaming devices. There are easy-to-follow instruction for installing the VPN at router level on X-VPN’s website.
If you want to protect your PlayStation 4, X-VPN offers an alternative solution to routers. You’ll need to piggyback off a mobile device’s VPN connection by following the steps outlined in the ‘use on other devices’ section of the Android/iOS app. This is a relatively fiddly process, but easy enough if you follow their simple instructions.
X-VPN offers a Google Chrome browser extension, which is will encrypt your browser traffic but not as securely as a true VPN connection will. This is a great bonus for heavy browser users looking for a more lightweight experience, but it won’t encrypt traffic outside the browser, so we’d suggest using it alongside the desktop client to ensure the best possible levels of privacy.
Streaming & Torrenting
Streaming your favorite shows is made incredibly easy by X-VPN’s dedicated streaming servers, which can are clearly labeled for a range of different services, including Netflix, Hulu, and more.
We had no problems whatsoever accessing Netflix on the dedicated US and UK servers and reliable local speeds meant that we were able to stream in HD without worrying about buffering.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the same story for BBC iPlayer, which was accessible some days but not others.
Despite the fact that torrenting isn’t mentioned at all on the website and live chat support agents claim it isn’t supported, the X-VPN team did confirm by email that P2P activity is permitted on all servers, but the apps block ‘about 5% [of torrents] due to copyright issues’.
Unfortunately, inconsistent uploads make it harder for us to recommend X-VPN to avid torrenters and there are other providers out there, such as IPVanish, offering much quicker speeds and completely unrestricted access.
Encryption & Security
X-VPN offers a good level of security, but we probably wouldn’t recommend it to those seeking the highest levels of privacy since standard VPN protocols aren’t available.
X-VPN uses its own baked-in proprietary protocol, ‘X’, but due to the fact no technical information about it is available, we’re unable to tell how it measures up to OpenVPN in terms of security. Within the app, you can choose between 8 different variants of the protocol, but again there’s no way of knowing the difference between them. Thankfully, encryption is via AES-256, a cipher considered to be unbreakable.
X-VPN does offer a couple of essential security features, including first-party DNS servers and DNS leak protection that prevent your ISP or any third parties seeing your online activities. After a little digging, customer support also confirmed that IPv6 and WebRTC leak protection are integrated into the client too, all of which were working effectively during our independent leak tests. There is also a built-in VPN kill switch which blocks your internet traffic should the VPN connection drop at any point, preventing your true IP address from being exposed.
We like that X-VPN also offers split tunneling, an advanced feature that allows you to choose which traffic is and isn’t routed through the VPN tunnel. This means that you can encrypt privacy-sensitive data, while the other stuff travels outside of the tunnel, leading to improved performance without compromising on privacy.
- DNS Leak Blocking
- First-party DNS
- IPV6 Leak Blocking
- VPN Kill Switch
- WebRTC Leak Blocking
- Split Tunneling
Due to China’s recent crackdowns on VPN providers, it’s become harder to recommend X-VPN to users living in or travelling to the country.
Customer support confirmed that it doesn’t support the service in the country due to government policy. So, if you are looking to bypass the Great Firewall, there are other providers out there offering far more reliable solutions.
X-VPN’s proprietary protocol, X, does offer a couple of configurations geared towards bypassing censorship, so it could be a viable option for use in other high-censorship countries, such as Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. However, this isn’t guaranteed, so we recommend you to take advantage of the 7-day money-back guarantee to see if it works for you.
X-VPN’s logging policy is clear, concise and best of all, totally transparent. It doesn’t log any personally-identifiable data, including browsing history, original IP address, server IP address and DNS requests. However, X-VPN isn’t completely zero-logs as it does collect some connection metadata for troubleshooting and server optimization purposes, including:
- Server location
- Connection timestamp (date and time)
- Choice of protocol
- Network type
- Server CPU load and bandwidth
These logs are permanently erased after 96 hours, therefore aren’t a cause for too much concern. The fact it collects an exact timestamp means that the authorities could potentially cross-reference this data to prove that you have visited certain sites if they really want to, however this is an extreme example and fairly unlikely to happen – especially within a 96-hour time period.
Ease of Use
X-VPN offers a range of polished, user-friendly apps for most popular devices, which are great for VPN newbies. The main screen is clutter-free and only includes a connect button and your chosen server, which makes connecting super quick and easy. X-VPN automatically suggests the fastest server for you, but you can access the whole server list by clicking ‘select location’. It would have been nice to see a little more information on the main screen, perhaps your new IP address or chosen VPN protocol.
Simplicity is great, but we feel that X-VPN may have stripped back the apps a little too much. The settings menu, located behind the burger icon in the top left, is far too basic for our liking, with just the option of opening the app on startup and configuring the split tunneling feature. Aside from that, the apps lack many of the advanced options that more experienced users may be seeking.
You can change the proprietary protocol settings behind the tab in the bottom left. These are labelled from ‘A’ to ‘H’ and include a star rating system that indicates the level of speed and security you will receive from each. This is helpful but it’s pretty frustrating that you can’t access any standard VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN. Overall, X-VPN does well to offer a simple client for newbies, but more experienced users may be left dissatisfied.
It takes just a matter of minutes from downloading the software to connecting. You can easily find the installation files for each device on the website and then all you need to do is follow a couple of simple installation prompts and log in to access the premium content.
Installing the clients is a very simple process, even for complete newbies, however there are simple step-by-step guides available on X-VPN’s website should you need them.
X-VPN does offer a live chat feature, which is available Monday to Saturday, however the support we received left much to be desired. Considering most of our top-tier providers offer support within seconds, it was frustrating to be left waiting for 15-30 minutes for an answer. The support agents had limited knowledge and came across quite unprofessional. On one instance, they kept sending us screenshots from the website with no accompanying explanation- these were too small to read and made it feel impersonal, leaving us very frustrated and without the answers we needed. Email support was also slow, but far more knowledgeable.
Unfortunately, you won’t find many resources on X-VPNs website as the support section is very sparse. It includes basic setup guides for each device with screenshots, but lacks any other self-help resources. The troubleshooting section offers barely any information, and more often than not suggests rebooting your device or contacting live chat for more help. There are a couple of helpful posts on their blog, including updates to the service, but we found this hard to navigate.
The Bottom Line
- Local download speeds of up to 36Mbps
- Easy access to Netflix
- DNS leak protection
- Simple, modern apps for popular devices
- Connect securely to 33 countries
- Limited server network
- Some torrents may be blocked
- Restricted to proprietary protocol
- Lack of configurable options on the client
X-VPN is a great choice for those seeking a reliable VPN for streaming their favorite shows, thanks to its dedicated servers for Netflix and other popular streaming sites. Connecting locally is more than quick enough for HD streaming on a couple of devices at the same time. Torrenting is supported, but X-VPN may block some torrents.
Based in Hong Kong, X-VPN maintains a sensible approach to logging but the lack of information available about its proprietary protocol means we can’t tell how it compares to standard VPN protocols, so we wouldn’t recommend it for those seeking the highest levels of privacy. X-VPN does offer some good security extras, though, including a VPN kill switch, first-party DNS servers, and DNS leak protection.
Newbies will be thankful for the range of sleek and user-friendly custom apps that are available for most popular devices, but more experienced users may be frustrated at the lack of configurable options. There are setup guides for all major platforms but customer service leaves a lot to be desired due to slow live chat support and agents with limited knowledge. If you’re not set on lightning-fast speeds or lots of configuration options, X-VPN offers a simple, user-friendly service and is great choice for streaming.