X-VPN Review

X-VPN boasts a great many things about its security and ease of use, but even a surface inspection show these to be untrue. While testing, we found numerous issues that makes us recommend a hard pass of this VPN. Check out our full X-VPN review for the details.

By Brian MurrayWriter
— Last Updated: 12 Sep'19
2019-09-12T00:16:42-08:00
Table of ContentsRating
Features
35%
Terrible
Pricing
60%
Fair
Ease of Use
60%
Fair
Speed
40%
Terrible
Security
50%
Poor
Privacy
80%
Good
Streaming Performance
70%
Decent
Server Locations
90%
Excellent
Customer Service
55%
Fair
User Reviews & Comments

Fair
Starts from $ 599 per month
best-VPN-reviews

X-VPN is an unremarkable VPN provider on the surface, taking the safe route of using a copycat interface that mirrors the look of more than half the VPNs out there. It claims to have 50 million users on its front page, has live chat support and even offers a free trial plan.

Despite all this, X-VPN still manages to be completely unusable. As you’ll read numerous times throughout this review, X-VPN makes a few bizarre design choices with its client that are ultimately inexcusable. Specifically, the protocols it offers are not named in the interface, but rather hidden behind random letters. 

If you came here looking for a VPN that will offer security and performance, we urge you to head over to our best VPN roundup. If you want to see an excellent example of how messing up on the finer things can entirely undermine an otherwise fine product, then keep reading. 

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Concise & easy-to-understand privacy policy
  • Free plan
  • 5,000 servers

Weaknesses:

  • No kill switch
  • Protocols are not named
  • Broken split-tunneling
  • Unreliable speeds & performance
  • No long-term pricing offers

Alternatives for X-VPN

cloudwards rating
$ per month
top features
  • 1
  • /month
    • PayPal, Credit card, Ethereum, Advcash, gift cards
    • 5 Simultaneous connections
    • Unlimited bandwidth
    • Can access Netflix US
    • Allows torrenting
    • No-logging policy
  • Visit X-VPN X-VPN Review

Features

35% - Terrible

X-VPN’s menus are some of the most strikingly barren we’ve ever seen. Clicking the top-right hamburger menu opens up only two toggle options. One lets you configure the client to run on a Windows startup, and the other is a feature called “application control.” 

According to its description, the application control seems to be a kind of split tunneling that lets you define a list of programs that will disregard the VPN and use a standard, unprotected connection. Although split tunneling is a very desirable feature and something that is hard to find, X-VPN’s implementation of it does not work at all.

Every time we turned on the application control, we received a message saying that it does not work on our device. We were running the latest version of Windows 10 on a workstation PC. There should be no reason for this feature to simply not work at all. If you’re looking for a VPN that has a working split tunneling feature — on top of numerous other features — be sure to check out our ExpressVPN review

While X-VPN does have a button that tells the application to run on startup, there are no options for whether or not it connects when it does so. Additionally, there is no kill switch in the settings. 

Although its website mentions a feature called “smart reconnect,” there is no information as to what this is or what it does, and it cannot be found in the settings, either.

X-VPN offers an impressive nine protocols, but none of them are labeled in the settings menu. All the protocol options are listed simply as protocol A, B, C, etc. We’ll continue to touch on this later in the article, but this is a design choice that makes no sense and only adds to the seemingly rushed and decrepit nature of the X-VPN software. 

X-VPN does a decent job of covering a wide variety of devices, but with the mobile clients being just as barren as the desktop version, it is far from earning a spot on our best VPN for Android list. Ultimately, X-VPN offers almost no features, and what it does offer is very likely to simply not work at all. 

X-VPN Features Overview

Starts from$ 599per month

General

Payment methods
PayPal, Credit card, Ethereum, Advcash, gift cards
Accepts cryptocurrency
Simultaneous connections
5
Supports split tunneling
Unlimited bandwidth
Free trial available
Refund period
7 days
Worldwide server amount
5000+ servers in 50+ locations
Desktop OSes
Windows, MacOS, Linux
Mobile OSes
Android, iOS
Browser extensions
Chrome
Can be installed on routers

Streaming

Can access Netflix US
Can access BBC iPlayer
Can access Hulu
Can access Amazon Prime Video

Security

Encryption types
128-AES, 256-AES
VPN protocols available
OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, SSTP, X
Enabled at device startup
Allows torrenting
No-logging policy
Passed DNS leak test
Killswitch available
Malware/ad blocker included

Support

Live Chat
24/7
Email support
24/7
Phone support
User forum
Knowledgebase

Pricing

60% - Fair

For something that offers practically no working features, X-VPN positions itself to compete in pricing with some of the top contenders. It’s monthly pricing isn’t the worst we’ve seen, but it is also far from the best. For those looking for a VPN with an affordable month-to-month option, be sure to read our Mullvad review.

Monthly
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
Annual
  • Unlimited GB Bandwidth
  • 5 Included Devices
  • Bitcoin
1-year plan $ 5.99 / month
$71.88 billed every year

The other option that X-VPN provides is an annual signup, which brings the price down considerably, but still not to a level that makes it a great value. The annual option matches the pricing of CyberGhost, but as you can read in our CyberGhost review, it offers additional two- and three-year plans, which X-VPN does not. 

Both plans give users an unlimited amount of total bandwidth for up to five simultaneous connections. If those aren’t enough devices for your needs, be sure to take a look at our dedicated article on the best VPN for multiple devices

These more long-term options offer the best value and are entirely overlooked by X-VPN’s pricing. That said, X-VPN does offer a free plan for those who want to try out the service risk-free.

The free plan limits your options for which server and client you can use. For starters, if you aren’t a paying customer, you cannot use the browser extension. Instead, you will have 500MB of bandwidth through the desktop application and be limited to only the nearest available server. 

Free users can also use the mobile app with an unlimited amount of bandwidth, but again only the closest server will be available. Additionally, the mobile application runs ads for free users. 

Although this is a great way for new users to get a taste of the service, 500MB is pretty meager. Better options are out there for those who are looking for the best free VPN services.

If you like the trial and plan to upgrade, there are a number of ways to pay, including PayPal, credit card and bitcoin, as well as other cryptos and even various gift cards. Your purchase is protected with a seven-day refund period and gets you access to up to five simultaneous connections with unlimited bandwidth.

Ease of Use

60% - Fair

The user experience with X-VPN is the epitome of a mixed bag. On the surface, the client seems up to par with the rest of the competition. It uses a fairly standard layout that incorporates a large power button as the main feature of a minimalist interface.

The power button in the middle of the screen connects you to the VPN, which can happen instantly or can take more than a minute and then fail entirely. The settings menus, as we looked at previously, are incredibly barren, so it should be no surprise that these are user-friendly enough.

Once tunneling, the quality of the VPN’s connection seems to also vary wildly. We’ll talk about this in more detail in the “speed” section, but the on-and-off nature of the connection made both surfing and productivity very hard to do using X-VPN. 

If you’re looking for a VPN with enough bandwidth to reliably watch videos (or even play games) at school, then be sure to check out our best VPN for school article. 

Lastly, as we’ve already touched on — and will continue to touch on — the protocols in the settings menu are not given their actual names. Instead, X-VPN labels the protocols in the settings as “Protocol A,” “Protocol B” and so on.

In terms of ease of use and user-friendliness, this is among the worst things a VPN could do. Hiding the VPN protocol from the user themselves serves no purpose and only makes X-VPN even more broken and unusable than it already otherwise would be. 

For those who are interested in an easy-to-use VPN that manages to pack in more features than X-VPN, be sure to take a look at our NordVPN review.

Speed

40% - Terrible

X-VPN came out of the gate strong on the first server we tested it on. The nearby U.S. server returned a majority of our bandwidth, exceeding 200Mbps download speeds and nearly reaching the same speed on uploads.

What’s more, this server had a low enough ping to be a competitive choice for our best VPN for gaming list. As we moved along, however, things got worse and worse for X-VPN. The UK server saw a drop in performance, with upload speeds dwindling to a mere fraction of our unprotected speeds.

Location:Ping (ms)Download (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)
Unprotected (Virginia)3292.66337.13
U.S.4209.78193.15
UK78116.744.17
Japan15269.812.16
Brazil12448.192.51
India18962.831.89

Likewise, Japan, Brazil and India all saw significant hits to performance in download speeds, upload speeds and ping times. On average, these results land X-VPN far from our fastest VPNs roundup.

To make matters even worse, though, is the fact that the performance on paper does not even begin to demonstrate what the actual experience of using this VPN is like. At times, things perform normally. Pages load quickly, and videos don’t require more than a moment of buffering to play at full resolution.

Roughly half the time, though, things freeze up entirely. The connection seems very unstable and behaves as though it is cutting in and out. Going to a website could be nearly instant, or it could be 45 seconds before the connection kicks in and things start to load at all. 

This strange and unreliable performance means that even though the speeds on paper are not the worst we’ve ever seen, we still urge potential users to look for a more reliable provider. For better sustained download speeds on large files and videos, be sure to check out the providers on our best VPNs for torrenting roundup.

Security

50% - Poor

Security is yet another category where we have to continue beating a dead horse. As you have already heard many times in this article, X-VPN does not label the protocol options in the settings menu with their actual names. 

Instead, they are assigned letters, which are out of order, with “D” coming after “I.” This makes it impossible to determine the level of security or even the encryption you are using. We’ll go into more detail about what we were told in the “customer service” section that is coming up, but in short, we were able to find out what protocols were being used… sort of.

We were provided with a link to this page that explained X-VPN’s protocols. Here, we can see that OpenVPN is among them, but again, knowing it is available is meaningless because you do not know which option is OpenVPN in the settings.

There are proprietary protocols available, and the encryption used changes depending on the protocol. Both of these factors further compound the issue of really having no idea what you are getting when you effectively pick a protocol blindly while using X-VPN.

Although we were not able to detect any DNS or IP leaks, this does not mean the VPN is safe. The level of security is impossible to know without knowing what protocol is in use at any given time. 

Because of this, we suggest that people who are behind China’s great firewall — or anywhere else where security and privacy are vital — take a look at our best VPN services for China roundup. 

This is a design choice that makes no logical sense, and we see no reason for X-VPN to be doing things this way. For those who are interested in a highly secure VPN that leaves no questions unanswered, read our TorGuard review.

Privacy

80% - Good

Despite all the things we’ve seen X-VPN do wrong throughout this review, we have to give credit where credit is due. X-VPN has one of the most concise and easy-to-read privacy policies out there. 

It’s a few short pages and has a structure that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for if you’re interested in a certain aspect of the policy. It starts off by stating that X-VPN does not log anything regarding how you use the VPN or your IP address.

This means that it does not record traffic logs or identifying information about your use of the VPN. However, it does collect some information, both on the website and through the VPN itself.

Some information will be recorded when you create an account, but all of this is given over by your choice during signup. This includes an email, payment information and a social media account, if you choose to hand one over. 

The VPN collects information such as timestamps, error reports and choice of protocol. All this information is used to help X-VPN maintain its server network and is non-identifying.

Streaming Performance

70% - Decent

X-VPN performs surprisingly well when it comes to streaming. BBC iPlayer works as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime. We were able to get all of these streaming platforms working without any effort at all by simply connecting to the relevant country with default settings.

Hulu, however, was able to detect the VPN and told us to turn it off in order to watch anything. Luckily, for those who are looking for a way to get Hulu content, we have a best VPN for Hulu roundup. 

Unfortunately for X-VPN, though, just being able to connect to several streaming sites isn’t quite enough. The quality and reliability of the stream is also a factor we need to consider.

As we pointed out in the “speed” section, X-VPN felt like it was constantly losing connection. This translated to videos sometimes loading instantly at high resolutions, but just as often resulted in grainy playback at 144p and frequent buffering.

While most streaming sites worked, Hulu was able to shut us down, and the overall performance of X-VPN leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to streaming. If you’re on the hunt for a VPN that will reliably punch through geoblocked sites while also having the performance to reliably watch content in buttery-smooth HD, be sure to read our best VPN for streaming guide.

Server Locations

90% - Excellent

X-VPN claims to offer more than 5,000 servers that are spread throughout 50 locations. If this server count is accurate, then there is really no need to worry about an increase in traffic causing a slowdown on X-VPN’s network.

The 50 locations offered are spread out well across the globe. All the most heavily relied upon regions are covered, including much of Asia, North America and Europe. 

That said, it would seem that some of the locations X-VPN offers are virtual servers, meaning if things aren’t working properly, it is often necessary to disconnect and try for a new randomly assigned server and IP address. Although X-VPN’s server network covers the most demanded locations, some areas are left a bit dry. 

Most of Africa is completely neglected, meaning those who are on this continent might be forced to connect to a more distant server with higher ping times and worse performance. If you’re looking for a good VPN for Africa, our best VPN for South Africa article is a good spot to look.

Customer Service

55% - Fair

X-VPN offers two forms of customer support. For those who need help immediately, there is a live chat option on the website. This is staffed “24/6,” according to the website, with Sunday seeming to be the day when nobody is available.

There is also an email you can reach out to if nobody responds through live chat, which can happen. Response times vary with the live chat, from a mere moment to waiting more than 24 hours and getting no reply at all. 

Aside from the hit-or-miss email and live chat, there is also a help center. This contains a small knowledgebase that only covers the most basic questions regarding VPNs in general, as well as X-VPN’s particular service, and it will most likely be of little help.

The Verdict

X-VPN seems to be careful not to rock the boat and follows many of the standard conventions of the VPN industry. At the same time, its execution of the finer points fall so flat it is almost comical.

The lack of labels for the protocols alone is a deal-breaker. The unreliable performance only adds insult to injury, and the numerous broken aspects of the menus are the final nail in the coffin. If you’re looking for a reliable and high-performance VPN, be sure to check out our full archive of VPN reviews.

If you’ve had any experience with X-VPN, we’d love to hear how it compares to ours in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.

X-VPN Review

A VPN to avoid.

X-VPN boasts a great many things about its security and ease of use, but even a surface inspection show these to be untrue. While testing, we found numerous issues that makes us recommend a hard pass of this VPN. Check out our full X-VPN review for the details.
Starts from$ 599per month
Visit X-VPN
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