Should You Go For a Free Version, Premium or Something Else?
The last couple of years have seen the decline of Internet freedom restrictions and severe censorships. The US FCC has voted to put a halt to Net Neutrality, Italy and Australia have introduced new Data Retention Orders, Denmark blocked eleven more sites, Spain ordered ISP censorship of The Pirate Bay, Ireland courts ordered people to be disconnected from the internet if they violate the copyright monopoly, and Russian VPN banning became effective officially.
With online privacy continuing to remain a massive cause for concern, proxies and VPN services are becoming increasingly important tools for privacy-conscious netizens around the world. That being the case, several VPN service providers are jostling for mindshare and market share of users worldwide and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to decide on the best suitable service among a pool of services that would not put any restrictions either in terms of speed or in terms of overall data usage. What’s just as difficult is to find VPN services that would value privacy concerns of users, so anybody that publicly claims to offer some or all of the above is definitely worth the try.
However, X-VPN, though a relatively new name in the industry, has done pretty good work since then. So let’s take a look at some of the key features of the service.
Alternatives to X-VPN
ExpressVPN & NordVPN
The Graphic User Interface (GUI) of X-VPN is fairly intuitive, user-friendly even for the newcomer to VPNs. As shown in the screenshots, there’s a fairly self-explanatory Connect/Disconnect toggle that gets you connected to what X-VPN believes the fastest available server on your plan. It’s literally just a single-click set-up process, and you don’t even need to be signed into your account to use their service. If you don’t want to settle for the default server location, you can also click on the “Select Location” button to manually opt for the location and server of your choice.
All the personal settings, registered account mail, account status, etc. are in the upper left corner of the main screen. Help center, where you can get direct feedback from the customer support team, can be easily found in the bottom right corner. Whatever problems you’ve bumped into, you can get direct help from their 24/7 available international team.
No annoying ads popped up during testing period, just as X-VPN promised, and the only ad shown up is when connected successfully. The clean interface, even for free users, is a good attraction.
Available Countries and Servers
X-VPN currently has its more than 1,500 servers around the globe. Locations are available in over a dozen different countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, U.K., Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico and the UAE and so on. If you are a free user, you can also freely choose from the 21 locations in 13 countries, however, with a premium account, you can gain access to all the servers freely, including the US-video server that works perfectly for US streaming sources.
One of the reasons that make X-VPN different is their self-owned servers without bandwidth limitations. This means that the team can get full access and help when anything unexpected has happened to the servers. And all servers are provided by AWS and Rackspace, the names that provide the most reliable and fast servers in the market at the moment.
Speed and Reliability
Speedcheck results suggest that the free X-VPN server in Germany isn’t that notably slower than the presumably faster, premium one in Germany.
As we can see from the image above, we were getting 9.45Mbps download speed and 9.90Mbps upload speed without X-VPN, while with X-VPN connected to Los Angeles, the speeds slightly reduced to about 7.40Mbps and 9.51Mbps respectively, irrespective of whether we were using the free or the paid server. And when we choose a fair distant server of Mexico, the speed is slower to 5.46Mbps and 4.51Mbps.
Also Read: Best Free VPN for Android in 2019
The latency time goes in correlation with the geographical distance. When the geographical distance is pulled further, the latency time goes from the very agreeable 8 ms without X-VPN to a comparatively uncomfortable 302 ms when connected to the Mexico free server, but part of that is to be expected because of obvious geographical reasons as the Los Angeles server gets the ping 206ms. And in all the occasions we can watch 4K videos from YouTube fluently both with and without X-VPN in their default fastest servers.
In terms of availability, the X-VPN client is now available on most major computing platforms, including Windows x86-64, MacOS, Android and iOS, but it isn’t currently available on Linux and some extensions. And there’s no word on whether it will be in the foreseeable future.
Free vs Premium
While free users have access to fewer servers than their paying counterparts, they enjoy the same fast speed and the same reliable customer services. With unlimited data in mobile devices, computer-free users are limited to 500MB of the data cap. By the look of things, you’ll only face the data cap on your PC and not on phones or tablets, because the company promises unlimited usage even for free users on mobile devices. What’s more, premium users also enjoy special servers designed for Netflix US library.
Read in Detail: Free VPN vs Paid VPN Expert Opinion
To have access to all the premium high-speed servers and remove the data cap, you’ll need to subscribe to one of the paid tiers. The restrictions on premium servers, however, will remain irrespective of whether you’re using desktop clients or mobile clients. The free version of the mobile clients also come with advertising, something that the premium subscription gets rid of.
Encryption and Privacy
The company undertakes a whole host of safeguards to protect the privacy of its users. Firstly, all connections are said to be encrypted via AES with a minimum key size of 256 bits. Secondly, all users can choose from 7 types of security tunnels catering to different demand, to bypass filters and firewalls or other demands.
According to X-VPN statement, some of the other privacy-related features include:
- DNS Leak Protection
- Kill Switch
- Access via UDP/TCP
- Multiple VPN Gateways
- Port Forwarding
The company is run under Hong Kong law and regulations, thus it sticks to net neutrality principle and won’t respond to any other request under national law for user log details.
Support For P2P Protocols like Torrent
According to X-VPN customer support team, X-VPN “does not restrict users’ ability to browse the internet freely, however, we would only encourage our users to use torrents for legal purposes. And it is for both free and premium users”. So we can get a safe conclusion that X-VPN does not discriminate against Internet traffic based on protocols, which is a definite plus for net neutrality supporters who have often expressed reservations about some VPN service providers treating video streaming or torrent downloads differently from standard browsing. And they do provide video streaming servers that attract a lot of people around the world.
Also Read: Best Paid Torrenting VPNs
While X-VPN’s free service is fairly comprehensive and is quite enough for daily uses, the company also offers premium services that come with more bells and whistles. One of them is that premium users can use unlimited devices simultaneously under one paid account.
Pricing starts from $11.99 per month for all platforms, including desktops. If you pay on a yearly basis instead, the cost-per-month comes down by 50%, so you’ll only need to pay $72 for 1-year subscription at $5.99 per month. The yearly subscription offer is really competitive as compared to some competitors and even their own monthly subscription.
The Final Word
X-VPN looks like a competent VPN service that has great potential going forward. It will unblock Netflix’s US library whether you’re in Hong Kong or UAE, it will let you post selfies on Twitter/Facebook while at school, it will let you enjoy some leisure time with Minecraft or Clash Royale while in workplaces, and it will also let you download (hopefully legal) and share torrents on your PC. With an uncluttered and intuitive UI, good speeds and a net-neutral approach to internet traffic, X-VPN is an easy recommendation especially on mobile devices, although, many users will find the 500MB data cap on a desktop a bit of a sore point.
- Intuitive user interface
- Decent speeds
- Supports all traffic equally
- AES 256-bit Encryption
- Unobtrusive ads (mobile-only)
- 7/24 available customer support
- Unlimited usage on mobile devices
- Unavailable on Linux at present
- The desktop free version comes with a 500MB data cap
Surf Anonymously and Unblock Geo-Locked content with X-VPN
X-VPN not only does what any good, free VPN service is supposed to do but also brings a whole bunch of other cool features to the table. As mentioned earlier already, whether you want to access geo-locked content, bypass internet censorship or just surf anonymously, X-VPN has got you covered. If you’re searching for a free VPN service or even a paid with good and high secure quality, do give X-VPN a go, as it is one of the most hassle-free VPN services you can use either on your desktop or on your smartphones.