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There are VPNs out there that provide you with unlimited access to any streaming service at any time of the day, with high speed, and constant uptime. Ideally, you’ll also benefit from added security, privacy, and anonymity.
Then, there’s My Expat Network.
Admittedly, it’s not that bad as a free VPN, but neither is it good enough to walk alongside the top-rated ones like NordVPN.
It’s mediocre at best.
- Available on phones
- Based in Hong Kong
- Multiple packages with different payment options
- Focused on media streaming
- Excellent customer support
- Seven-day money-back guarantee
- Up to five simultaneous connections
- Speed was sub-par
- Servers were limited to only four countries
- Pretty steep prices
- Encryption fails short of expectations, really short
- Leaks with DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 protocols
However, we need to delve into a little more detail, to see exactly how My Expat Network fares in some of the aspects that are known to characterize some of the best VPNs out there.
There are big problems with how the majority of the servers fare in terms of speed. Especially the UK one, which a lot of users have had problems with.
I stumbled upon a very harsh review which said that the UK server worked for one hour at most, then the speed would get dumbed down to a crawl (less than 0.2 Mbps), making it impossible to stream anything.
The only logical conclusion would be that, being only one such server in the UK, there were exceedingly many people trying to connect. And since the provided services are international, no matter how good a server could be, it cannot resist.
The baseline speed is 30 Mbps in Europe. However, when you actually turn on My Expat Network, your download and upload speeds gets lowered considerably. Considering that this VPN is used mainly for streaming media, it’s very disheartening, to say the least.
Sometimes, the servers would not even work. People have had problems with the Danish one as well, which was non-functional for more than a week at some point.
Though the speed was never so low that SD TV would not work (the main streaming service that My Expat Network was created for in the first place). However, even thinking about HD is a fool’s dream.
Moreover, the VPN has leaks, a lot of them. Multiple tests for WebRTC and DNS have registered the same outpour of information cascading outwards. The tests for IPv6 were even more aggrieving, showing 0 (zero) compatibility.
Moreover, some users have complained that the BBC iPlayer is not working correctly, something that even My Expat Network has acknowledged in its Troubleshooting section.
The VPN was initially created to help expatriates in other countries have access to international streaming services, so the customer base didn’t have high expectations or requirements.
In terms of speed, My Expat Network leaves a lot to be desired. Their “consistent” speeds are nothing but gibberish, while the uptime of the servers is another blatant lie.
The company is British, and it’s based in Hong Kong, which is known for its strict policies on privacy.
There are a total of four locations available:
- The UK
- The US
Having only four countries to choose from is extremely limiting and quite absurd for a VPN who was specifically made to stream media. What about those who reside in any other part of the world?
The number of servers ranges to about 120. This is rather low, but there are other VPNs out there with fewer or the same number of servers who do a great job.
Well, My Expat Network does not.
It’s very interesting that they choose to base their packages on the geographical spread of the servers. You can choose to buy a one-country package or buy them all.
The number of simultaneous connections you have access to is dependent on this as well.
One country – one device
Four countries – five simultaneous connections, thus five devices.
Also, with the full package, you get to stream media on multiple platforms from Desktop, Mobile, and Tablet.
They also provide you with a list of TV programs that you can access from each location:
- Plus 7, SMH TV, ABC Net i-View, and ABC News in Australia
- CTV Slice, Global TV, and CBC in Canada
- BBC One through Four, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, and 4oD in the UK
- CBS, NBC, Adult Swim, and Bravo TV in the US
Their online TV guide offers a more thorough list.
While at first, it might seem like a reliable choice for streaming media, the downsides quickly become apparent. For one, there are only four countries to choose from, and also the number of servers is very low.
As I said, mediocre service. By comparison NordVPN is the Hulk of the VPNs, with a total of 4568 servers, covering 62 countries, and offering 6 simultaneous connections.
First and foremost, I have to emphasize yet one more time that My Expat Network is based in Hong Kong. The data retention policies there are all but non-existent, which means that no government agencies can force the VPNs from disclosing the users’ private information.
This is definitely a white marble for them.
However, the encryption protocols it has in place are worse off, much worse. For PC and Mac, OpenVPN is the default one used, while mobile devices are encrypted using L2TP.
Canada, Australia, and the US are secured using 128-bit encryption, but the UK has a 56-bit encryption in place. Furthermore, there’s been talk that the other three locations will be demoted to the same encryption in the future.
You shouldn’t expect anything more than a medium encryption at best since the VPN is mainly aimed at providing access to geo-blocked streaming services. A toothless guard dog that will drop dead after a few more attacks, that’s what it’s all about.
There is no zero-logging policy in effect. The company keeps information about the connection details and bandwidth utilization. While it won’t record anything on your data usage and activity on the internet, those privacy purists out there won’t like this at all.
If you want a genuine no-logging policy, top of the line encryption, kill-switches (which My Expat Network lacks), then there are plenty of VPNs out there that provide this and more.
In terms of privacy, this VPN has about the same efficiency and credibility as it does in terms of speed. Just think about it. If its main goal is to decrypt and offer access to high-quality streaming services with top speeds, and it fails to do that, how could it be any better with encryption and security?
Ease of use
On the official website, there are four simple steps that you have to follow in order to get started:
- Click on the “JOIN NOW” button
- Choose your plan
- Enter your details
- Download the app
Simple instruction that anyone could follow, so this is a plus.
Moreover, the website is very easy to use, accessible and systematically organized in terms of information. The main page contains pretty much all you need to know about the services it provides (the prices, the supported countries, compatibility, and so on).
There are also a few customer reviews on the main page, where you can see how their service is appreciated, praised, and how they deal with problems promptly.
Typical marketing techniques.
You can also find a complete list of the TV programs you can access with the different packages, as well as updated information about upgrades, news concerning the company, and different news on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
There is one thing that My Expat Network implements wonderfully, surprisingly. Any customer has the possibility to ask for support when installing the app. The whole process happens real-time, through Team Viewer, with one of the staff making sure that you are good to go and ready to start streaming.
The service is available from 9 AM to 12 AM on their website. You just have to file a request, and that’s it.
Moreover, they will also provide you with a lot of information about how you can use their VPN on Linux, which is not officially supported.
While it doesn’t have that many features as other titans on the market like NordVPN, My Expat Network is really easy to use. Few users have complained about this, so at least this is something they don’t blow from the get-go.
The website is very intuitive, helpful, and offers support for pretty much any problem you might encounter while using the app. Registration is elementary, downloading the program doesn’t pose any problems, and as for the installation, you can have it done for you if there are any problems.
The official reviews say that their customer support is generally good, offering exhaustive information about any potential problem that you might encounter. The FAQ section and the Help Center are filled with announcements, forums, tips and tricks, anything really.
There is also a section for customers to leave comments and discuss on the app itself. It’s like a chat of sort.
If you still can’t get your problem fixed after searching on the website, you can contact the technical team. Just issue a request by completing an online form. You’ll receive an email containing your request number, and an assurance that you’ll be contacted shortly.
The answers are prompt and swift, with detailed descriptions of your problem, and the solution to it.
However, I’ve come across a few users that complained about the customer support when they issued a request on the low speed. The response was that this was not related to them, or that you should use other browsers to access the streaming service.
For most of the time, the customer support is precise, swift, and pretty good. However, the angry users that complain about the apparent indifference of the company when some servers drop is still an issue that should be mentioned.
The pricing plans are very customizable. You can choose between the British, American, Canadian, or Australian package, or all four of them. This way, you have access to either one country-based streaming package or all of them.
Naturally, the price is higher with the latter option. Next, you get to choose what device you’re using to stream so that they optimize your traffic for that specific device.
Finally, there are three main plans:
- Monthly subscription
- Six-month subscription
- Yearly subscription
There are plenty of differences in terms of price because of the many options you have. You could pick the Australia + US package, for a six-month subscription, or choose Canada alone for the same subscription.
For one month, you get the full package for $12. Change the subscription, and you’ll see the differences.
After making your choice, there are multiple payment methods from MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Discover, and Maestro. Unfortunately, there are no anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin.
Even more, there is no free trial option, so you have to go on trust. However, there is a 7-day money-back guarantee policy that will dampen the impact if you’re not content with their services.
When taking into consideration the services it provides, the reduced customizability, the low speeds, and the server issues, the bill is a bit spicy. The quality-price ratio is unequal and points to a serious problem, one that many users have noticed.
Once you pay for something, you expect only the best. However, My Expat Network fails to meet the standards. It’s sub-par, clearly not on the same level as NordVPN, for example.
In the end…
Many people are looking for VPNs that unlock geo-blocked content on the internet, primarily streaming services. Netflix remains of the most popular one among them, and it usually restricts access to VPN users after a while.
This is why having many different servers in different countries might help. My Expat Network barely manages this, but the mind-numbingly slow speeds are enough to drive you insane.
There is no HD feature either.
The company is straightforward from the beginning though, about their services being mainly aimed at helping you stream media. Implicitly, this means that privacy measures and security are sub-par from the beginning.
However, I assume no one wants to deal with encryption and protocols leaks. The WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks are unbearable for any VPN, no matter their goal.
I guess if you don’t mind the security issues at all, and if you want to watch SD TV from one of those four countries, then My Expat Network might be for you.
Otherwise, I suggest looking elsewhere for better VPNs that are quality-based, privacy-oriented, with top of the line encryption protocols, and failsafe measures in effect.
One of them is NordVPN, the leading online security provider on the market.
My Expat Networkis extremely fast, simple and private: a truly standout VPNGo to NordVPN Instead