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StreamVPN Review 2022 — Keep This In Mind Before Buying
My Expat Network (MEN) focuses on expatriates interested in watching TV abroad. The VPN company was founded in 2011, and so far, it has 120 servers across 12 countries.
MEN uses primary and stealth servers to unblock major streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer. However, MEN states that there’s no guarantee on upload and download speeds. So, I’d recommend other better-rated VPNs.
MEN doesn’t store activity logs, details on bandwidth usage, and DNS queries. The VPN uses OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP protocols, and AES 256-bit encryption. Furthermore, it’s equipped with DNS leak protection and a kill switch.
It is expensive with 3 plans to choose from but offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. $5.49/month is the lowest cost for a long-term subscription. Payment options are diverse. Though, there’s no anonymous payment option.
MEN allows torrenting in only 1 of its server locations. Furthermore, I had a good experience with the support team as they responded to my queries fairly quickly.
Offers diverse payment methods — You can get a 1-month, 6-month, or yearly plan with PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, or Maestro. All pricing tiers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but overall its prices are expensive for what it offers. Learn more about this in the pricing section.
My Expat Network Features — Updated in August 2022
The website has a directory of online streaming channels in each country that MEN serves. It promises to unblock all these channels and streaming platforms.
Some of these channels offer on-demand online content that MEN promises you can unblock while traveling
However, since these are just claims, you’ll be better off with one of these more dynamic VPNs for streaming.
Unblocked: Netflix UK, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, and Amazon Prime Video
I asked MEN’s customer support, and they replied that the VPN unblocks Netflix UK and its other libraries (without specifying which ones).
However, they said that it doesn’t unblock Disney+
MEN also unblocks Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and ITV as all these platforms are included in its TV Guide.
You can find these streaming platforms in the TV Guide with channels that MEN promises to unblock
Blocked By: Disney+ and HBO Now
MEN’s customer support said it doesn’t unblock Disney+ or HBO Now. These streaming services implement advanced VPN monitoring algorithms that can immediately detect the origin of IP addresses.
After I sent a follow-up email about HBO Now, the representative confirmed that MEN can’t unblock the platform
Speeds — Unpredictable and Inconsistent
MEN’s speeds may differ based on location, internet traffic, line quality, and other circumstances beyond its control. Taking into consideration that MEN has servers in just 12 countries, you’ll most likely have slow speeds if you’re located far away from those countries. The provider doesn’t guarantee uninterrupted service, nor upload and download speeds. The amount of data you transfer each month doesn’t limit the service, but MEN can impose this restriction when necessary.
Its Terms & Conditions also explain that speeds can vary depending on many factors
Are My Expat Network’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? No
MEN has 120 servers in 12 countries: the US, the UK, Canada, France, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy, and Spain. It also offers over 2,000 IP addresses.
Each VPN location has regular and stealth servers. Stealth servers offer extra security by making the VPN traffic appear to be from a standard network. I asked MEN’s customer support if I’ll get a different IP address on both connections. During my research, I found some claims that it actually assigns you the same IP, so I wanted to check in with them. They responded vaguely by saying that IPs are assigned automatically on each connection without specifying whether I’ll get the same or different IP on the primary and stealth server counterparts.
They didn’t answer whether the IPs would be different on both stealth and regular servers from the same location
Security — Decent Security Features
The good news is MEN uses AES 256-bit encryption to hide your browsing data from your ISP and the government. There’s also a kill switch that automatically disables your internet if your VPN connection drops to prevent your IP address from being exposed. Additionally, it comes with a DNS leak protection, which further strengthens your security.
MEN integrates Stealth Mode that makes your VPN traffic look like a normal, unencrypted one, making it harder for the VPN to get detected. It also uses 3 protocols:
OpenVPN leverages the OpenSSL library with AES 256-bit encryption, which is currently the best you can get. It’s available on Windows, macOS, and Android.
L2TP by itself is not the safest option. Most VPNs pair it with another protocol to make it safer, but MEN doesn’t. It’s IPSec that enables encryption if you want to be safe on public WiFi networks. You can use L2TP on Windows and iOS.
IKEv2 is one of the fastest protocols. It can hop from WiFi to a mobile network without losing the VPN connection (this is great for phones and tablets). It’s available for macOS and iOS.
I emailed MEN about setting up the VPN on my iPhone manually using the L2TP protocol. This was their response:
The representative’s instructions were concise and clear
Privacy — Not the Focal Point
MEN is based in the jurisdiction of Hong Kong where data laws are acceptable for VPNs, and the region isn’t a part of the Five Eyes Alliance. According to MEN, it won’t sell or divulge your personal details to third parties without your consent, or without the law requiring it to do so.
Hong Kong is an administrative region of China, and their complicated relationship makes me wonder if I can trust MEN’s privacy policies. Perhaps, it won’t be long before Hong Kong implements mainland Chinese surveillance laws. This would be detrimental for MEN.
Privacy isn’t MEN’s major focus, though it highlights certain information that it doesn’t collect.
Torrenting — Only 1 Server Location Supports Torrenting
MEN’s Netherlands servers support torrenting and the VPN has a kill switch, making it secure. In its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), MEN states that distributing or retaining any materials protected by copyright will result in the provider suspending or terminating your account.
Make sure that you torrent safely and ethically
Please note that the team and I don’t encourage users to take part in any illegal activities. For your own safety, always check the laws in your country before deciding to torrent.
Does My Expat Network Work in China? In Some Regions
I contacted MEN’s customer support and they responded that the VPN doesn’t work in some regions of China without specifying which ones. They also recommended using Stealth Mode in China.
Stealth Mode scrambles your traffic, making it much harder to detect that a VPN is in use
Note that only government-approved VPNs are permitted in China, but the officials usually go after the VPN technology. No tourists have been penalized for using a VPN in China.
Simultaneous Device Connections — 5
MEN supports up to 5 connections at a time with a single subscription. However, if you get the Sabai or DD-WRT routers, you can connect all your home devices simultaneously.
Installation & Apps
Device Compatibility — Works With the Major OSs
MEN has native apps for Windows, Linux (Ubuntu), macOS, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV. You can connect on a mobile/tablet using the Android and iOS app, and set up the VPN manually on Windows phones. However, there aren’t browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.
Additionally, you can configure MEN on DD-WRT and Sabai Technology routers or buy one of its pre-configured VPN routers — Netgear Nighthawk, InvizBox 2, and Asus — with your subscription. Installing the VPN on your router means that any devices that connect to the WiFi will be protected — even if they don’t support VPNs normally. This means you can use it on Roku, Kodi, smart TVs, Apple TVs, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
You can find the setup guides for all devices on MEN’s website
Setup & Installation — Quick and Straightforward
The entire process only takes a few minutes, after which you can install the VPN app. If you need help configuring the router or installing the apps, there are step-by-step tutorials on the website for each device.
You can also request one of their technical experts to install the service remotely via TeamViewer. They will contact you between 9am and 12am GMT on the same day.
My Expat Network offers 3 subscription plans, starting from $5.49/month for a long-term plan. Its prices are quite expensive — almost the same as some of the premium VPNs that offer a much better service than MEN. As is the case with most VPNs’ plans, MEN’s 1-month package costs more than the yearly subscriptions. So, the best value for your money would be to get a long-term plan.
MEN guarantees safe payments. You can pay through Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and Maestro credit cards, or PayPal. It doesn’t accept American Express credit cards or anonymous payments, such as Bitcoin.
It accepts the most popular credit cards and PayPal
MEN does not offer a free trial, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also cancel your subscription anytime.
Reliability & Support
My Expat Network delivers good customer service. On its website, there are thorough installation guides, a FAQ page, and a blog section that covers VPN-related posts. The only drawback is MEN does not offer live chat or phone support.
To determine MEN’s level of responsiveness, I emailed them for assistance with setting up the VPN remotely, and they replied within 40 minutes. I contacted them a couple more times after that and concluded that their average response time is around 25 minutes.
The representative explained how to set up MEN remotely
You can use the Help Desk (Help button) to send them a message if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the top results. The team will send an email confirming your ticket number. The Help Desk is available in 9 languages to support the 12 countries that My Expat Network covers and it isn’t the same as a live chat feature, so don’t expect real-time responses.
You can try looking for an answer via the Help button before contacting customer support
Compare My Expat Network With The Top Alternative VPNs
MEN offers strong, but basic security features — so taking everything into account, I can say that it is quite expensive and there are premium VPNs that you can get for the same price.
Unblocks Netflix UK, Hulu, and BBC iPlayer
Uses AES 256-bit encryption
Based in the safe jurisdiction of Hong Kong
Reliable email-based customer support
Pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Maestro, or PayPal
MEN will most likely slow your speeds down, as is the case with most VPNs. The provider suggests using the primary connection as default and switching to Stealth Mode when necessary because doing so affects speeds. Also, speeds vary depending on factors including server location and internet traffic. Considering that its server network is small, your speeds might be badly affected if you’re located far from the countries where it has servers.