Express VPN reviews have put this VPN at the top since it came to market back in 2009.
With ExpressVPN subscriptions, you have full access to a vast server network. The company offers many features that offer great user protection, which many other VPN providers follow.
In our review, ExpressVPN bares all, and we see if this British Virgin Islands-based VPN still leads the way. You can find if it is worth the price and whether it still sits in front of other VPN providers.
By the end of our Express VPN review, you’ll better understand what this VPN service provider offers.
When you use the VPN on a subscription or its 30-day money-back guarantee, you can conclude that ExpressVPN may not have one standout feature, yet it offers many features as standard.
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Quick Guide to ExpressVPN
Our review looks at this off-shore VPN provider where the VPN bares all. The British Virgin Islands-based VPN has led the way for years.
ExpressVPN has 3000+ VPN servers across 94 countries and 160 locations. You have 5 simultaneous connections and can have unlimited protected connections if you install it on your router.
VPN connections are secure and fast with new VPN protocol technology being implemented. You can stream, use P2P file sharing, or carry out online banking with equal privacy and security.
As with other VPN reviews, you can find the best security and encryption, which meets the highest international standards.
ExpressVPN maintains a zero-logging policy; and is easy to use. You can bypass restrictions and access nearly all streaming services such as US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and countless others.
|One - Year plan||$6.67||Billed as $99.95 for 1st 15 months then every 12 months thereafter|
|6 - Months plan||$9.99||Billed as $59.95 every 6 months|
|1 - Month plan||$12.95||Billed as $12.95 every month|
Express VPN pricing is straightforward. You choose to be billed on the monthly plan, over 6 months, or annually, which offers a 35% saving on the original price. You also get three months free.
Even while ExpressVPN is another VPN that doesn’t offer a free trial on desktops, ExpressVPN offers free apps; use the VPN on iOS and Android for 7-days free.
If you like the experience, you can proceed and opt to subscribe, where you can use the risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
The refund is no questions asked, yet to improve, the agents may ask for a reason, yet they don’t fix issues before offering a refund.
After using ExpressVPN, you’ll discover it offers good value for money. It costs more monthly, yet many other providers offer the same. Sign up for 12 months, and you save while you know you are using a superior product.
ExpressVPN accepts many payment methods:
- Credit Card
There are countless options for a regular subscriber, yet you can purchase the VPN using Bitcoin alongside a burner email address if you are concerned with anonymity.
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ExpressVPN uses multiple security protocols and can automatically pick the best protocol for a reliable and secure way to protect your data in your connection. The OpenVPN UDP protocol is popular, although there is support for OpenVPN TCP, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec.
However, ExpressVPN has a new protocol that can overshadow all these other protocols. Lightway is a pioneering new VPN protocol exclusive to ExpressVPN.
It can make your VPN experience faster, more secure, and more reliable than ever. Lightway runs faster, although it consumes less battery.
A VPN protocol is the building block of a VPN service and will dictate the experience you get. Many providers follow the trend and use off-the-shelf protocols such as WireGuard, which NordVPN and others use.
Lightway is available for apps on Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers. The protocol is soon to follow on iOS.
You get full DNS protection as ExpressVPN has its own DNS service on every server. Thus, it increases protection against leaks no matter your search or activity.
ExpressVPN is compatible with Windows PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and other operating systems. You can find the VPN works with Apple TV, Kindle Fire, Game consoles, and more using the MediaStreamer utility, though this requires manual configuration.
You will also find it is one of the few VPNs with a dedicated app for Linux rather than a terminal entry.
You get 5 simultaneous connections when you sign up for ExpressVPN. If you use the router app or configuration, you can get unlimited simultaneous connections.
Doing this means you can protect every device connected via Wi-Fi and thus don’t need installation on every device. You can even find devices that don’t have a VPN app that can so be protected.
Express VPN doesn’t offer any form of ad-blocker.
Privacy and Security
Many VPNs claim to have a zero logs policy, yet on further exploration, they are found to keep user data. ExpressVPN isn’t one of these. The VPN has headquarters located in the British Virgin Islands, which is well away from 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance; thus, it’s one of the best privacy-friendly countries.
When you read the logging policy, the company states it keeps no logs of activity or connection. Your online traffic, visited websites, data content, and DNS queries are included. The company only collects data when you sign up, such as your email address and payment details. You will discover standard information is logged, and you can find this highlighted in the logging policy.
Anonymized connection logs record when the service was used, the server connected to, and the amount of data transferred. The company uses this for maintenance and troubleshooting. With this, you will see the information isn’t linked to any user data or IP address. Over the past couple of years, ExpressVPN has enhanced its security with the TrustedServer technology.
With this, servers only run in RAM rather than writing to disk. Any data and instances of the operating system will be lost with every server reboot. Once a server starts, there is a red only image on a hard drive that loads and stops hackers from gaining access. (Read NordVPN Vs Avast)
ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AED encryption while combining the AES 256-bit cypher with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication. In use, this means the same key used to encrypt the data is required to decrypt and read the data.
ExpressVPN fully utilizes Perfect Forward Secrecy, an advanced feature that changes encryption keys each time you log into a server. Every time, you have a new key for a new session.
DNS leaks can occur from encrypted connections; should this happen, it can reveal your activities to Internet service providers. In comparison, it is worse in restrictive countries such as China, Iran, and Turkey. Should this happen in Australia, the ISP is obligated to hang onto your activity data for two years.
Even though all traffic is sent through an encrypted connection, there is always the possibility of leaking a DNS leak phenomenon. A DNS leak can reveal your online activities to your ISP, which in Australia may not be as big of an issue as it is in a country like China or Iran, for instance.
Any VPN service should offer DNS leak protection to guarantee anonymity. ExpressVPN offers a built-in leak test, though, for any testing, it is advisable to use a third party. (Read ExpressVPN Netflix Not Working)
You can test yourself using ipleak.net to test. Merely change the VPN server and connect and then visit the webpage of this test. No IP leaks were detected from ExpressVPN.
Tor Over VPN
ExpressVPN boasts Tor compatibility, which is rare to find on only a handful of VPN services. Tor can help offer maximum anonymity since your data is transmitted across the internet and invisible to a VPN. The downside is that connections are much slower since the data passes around multiple servers before it exits onto the internet and reaches the destination.
Now, ExpressVPN has joined the ranks of third-party audits on software and systems security. Such audits have been conducted by PwC and Cure3, where results show there are no breaches and the VPN company sticks to what it says in its policies.
The company runs independent audits via renowned Cure3 and security advisory behemoth, PwC to ensure that its services are secure.
Ease of Use
Signing up for ExpressVPN is super easy. Once you choose your selection, you create your account and enter your payment details.
Once you do this, you’ll receive a welcome confirmation email containing your activation code and download links. You are taken straight to the installation guide for your device. From here, you can download and install the app with one or two clicks. The entire process takes less than five minutes.
Setup and User Interface
Setup is as easy as installing any other software. On your first run of an app after installation, you’re asked to input your activation code. The ExpressVPN desktop and mobile apps are clear from distractions; and very stable in use.
It is easy to select which server location to use, or if you are happy with the VPN to choose, you can leave it alone and use the single-click Smart Location feature.
- You will be automatically connected to the nearest high-speed server.
- The app automatically detects and selects the best security protocol.
- The app will also display recent locations you’ve connected to.
As you navigate the app, you’ll find that clicking on the hamburger menu takes you right to the settings. It is possible to use the speed test, change security protocols, and gain access to the split tunnelling feature. You have simple toggle switches to turn features on and off, such as the Network Lock (kill switch).
ExpressVPN has many features that are there by default. Many other VPNs make a point of highlighting these as selling points. However, using this VPN, you find many below the surface and working without user intervention.
Two that do need your confirmation to work or be enabled on the VPN services are here.
You’ll discover this is an advanced security feature to help keep your IP address and traffic secure. The Network Lock will keep your device secure, even when your VPN drops the connection.
Should this happen, it will keep data and IP addresses from accessing the internet until a connection is reestablished.
ExpressVPN’s kill switch is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers. On Android, you’ll find it as a network protection feature. However, on iOS, it’s different as no kill switch is available. Much of this is the restrictions in the iOS rather than an omission by ExpressVPN.
When you use split tunnelling, you can send data in one of two ways. You can send it through your regular connection, your ISP, or the VPN and be encrypted. Thus, this standout feature allows you to encrypt half of your data and leave everything else untouched.
All you need to remember is that split tunnelling doesn’t encrypt part of your system, so you must be careful which way you connect. For example, you won’t gain access if you want US Netflix from Australia and don’t connect through the VPN. (Read Hotstar In Australia)
ExpressVPN has dedicated browser extensions for both Chrome and Firefox and now for Microsoft Edge. As with any browser extensions, these will only encrypt traffic from your browser. You can use these extensions to function as a basic split tunnelling feature.
The extensions offer WebRTC blocking and HTTPS Everywhere. Unlike some extensions, you need the desktop app installed for the extension to work with the VPN services. The extensions can’t, unfortunately, be installed on another device like if you were using someone else’s device on public Wi-Fi.
Performance and Servers
Before seeing the results of any speed tests, in most VPN reviews, you’ll find Express VPN ranking right at the top of anyone’s speed tests. After running multiple speed tests on several locations, we can confirm that speed tests are true. Many VPN reviews are based on OpenVPN rather than using the new, faster Lightway Protocol.
On top of the protocol difference, you can find that the Smart Location feature can also help get the fastest download speeds possible. The feature measures latency, speed, and distance to get the fastest possible server. You will need to override this if you wish to connect to an overseas streaming service, as the fastest server may not be in the same region as the streaming platform.
ExpressVPN has over 3,000 servers in 160 server locations, covering 94 countries. Like other VPNs, you can find an influx of servers in the USA and around Europe; however, Asia, Australia, and other remote regions are not forgotten by any means. You can also find that ExpressVPN uses some virtual VPN location connections, which are there to ensure fast speeds on a secure and reliable connection.
As you connect to virtual location servers. Traffic comes from an IP address registered in countries of choice while routed via a VPN server location in a country offering better connection speeds.
With any VPN, the further away the survey is, the slower the speed will be. Here you can find the results of our speed tests.
Local Connection Speeds
With the Quick Connect feature enabled, we connected to a local server. With this, the speed was 48.8 Mbps. The VPN’s speed only decreased by 23.28%, which is very good for these services. Other VPNs cause a more significant drop in most cases. In testing, we manually changed the server and saw drops of just 12.64%.
Long-Distance Connection Speeds
When connecting to a server in the US. We used the recommended server, and speeds were 30.1 Mbps, meaning my speeds slowed down by 49%. Such speeds are still suitable for streaming to Australia and are governed by the speed of your current collection. Heading off toward a Hong Kong server. The speeds were reduced by 46.89% and presented a speed of 32.4 Mbps. Gaming and streaming were possible, and this drop-off was hardly noticeable.
A connection to an Australian server would test the internet speed right to the limit. The speed test result was 20.6 Mbps. From a base speed of 61 Mbps, the overall decrease was 66%, give or take a little. All the tests were conducted using OpenVPN and also Lightway. Here are the OpenVPN results, and all the Lightway test results were around 10% faster than those on all devices and all server locations used in testing.
When using a VPN regularly, these fast speeds are sufficient for most tasks with no noticeable impact on your experience. Base speed will have an impact, yet on an average connection, accessing Netflix shouldn’t be an issue, even if you share the connection with other family members.
Nowadays, there are many more online gamers than previously. You also find speed tests are not conducted using real-world scenarios. Connecting to remote servers and gaming, you will be happy to find no lag or buffering during the fastest FPS gameplay. Streaming is a bandwidth hog, and server locations will be remote for VPNs to access such streaming services.
Netflix is the main platform users often select because of the ease of sign-up. Netflix is also a genuine test of any VPN unblocking potential. If they can crack Netflix, then few others pose much of a problem.
In testing, most libraries could be accessed without issues. However, occasionally, you can find no access. All you need to do is change the VPN server to another, and you can gain access.
Tech support often passes on such information about working servers and does so quickly. Besides Netflix, there are now also many other streaming services grabbing attention.
Luckily, you can find ExpressVPN unblocks its fair share of other platforms, including:
- Disney Plus
- BBC iPlayer
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Max
- ITV Hub
- Channel 4
- Hotstar India
- and countless others.
The download speed is more than enough to access any of these buffer-free. Unlike many other VPNs, you can find access to common social media or region-blocked services should you be behind the Great Firewall of China.
Torrenting is the final area and is equally well supported. With unlimited bandwidth and no data caps, you can torrent freely as much as you desire. You also find all servers allow torrenting rather than just a handful being compatible.
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One key thing that says a lot about a VPN company is more than how fast they are and what content they can unblock. Customer service shows how much the company carers for its customers. Not every user can solve issues on their own or wishes to wait to find a working server for Netflix.
It isn’t surprising to find that ExpressVPN excels in this department and is often touted as providing the best customer support in the industry. On the website, you can find a wealth of videos, FAQs and setup guides to cover all areas of the VPN service and how to set up the apps and various devices.
With a 24/7 live chat service, you won’t have to wait long for an answer. However, in case you lose connection in the chat, the support agents will take your email so they can send a solution to your issue or if devices are causing more technical problems. if you want to access any overseas content and find you face restrictions, the support staff can tell you which VPN servers are working with that particular service.
Even ExpressVPN can be hit by Netflix restrictions from time to time. One thing missing from chat support is a telephone number, yet many VPNs don’t even offer live chat and rely on a ticketing system. ExpressVPN never makes users wait very long, no matter which part of the world they live in. While it may not affect many users, you can find help on the website in 16 languages, so no one should struggle to find help when needed.
Besides just the website being in all these languages, you can find the support centre in the BVI covers 6 of the most popular languages.
Is Express VPN legit?
ExpressVPN is among the most trustworthy VPNs you can use. The headquarters location has no data retention laws, and they have third-party audits conducted. Besides, some code will soon be open source.
Is ExpressVPN legal in Australia?
In Australia, it is legal to use ExpressVPN. Activities such as torrenting copyright-protected content are what will determine whether something is legal or illegal.
ExpressVPN maintains its promise of private internet access when using its VPN services, regardless of your activity or region.
How much does ExpressVPN cost?
ExpressVPN costs $6.67 per month for the first 15 months (including 3 months free)
Is Express VPN free to use?
All VPN subscriptions will have a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can experience the VPN for a month risk-free.
How can I get free ExpressVPN?
You won’t find a free version for desktops because ExpressVPN is a premium VPN service. ExpressVPN offers a 7-day free trial on iOS and Android mobile devices.
Can I Watch Netflix with ExpressVPN?
You will find in many VPN reviews, ExpressVPN comes out on top for accessing US Netflix and many other streaming platforms from around the world. You can stream US Netflix TV and movies on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and many other devices.
Is ExpressVPN illegal?
No, the VPN isn’t illegal. In Australia, as with most other countries, it is legal to use ExpressVPN.
Which is better, ExpressVPN or NordVPN?
Both VPNs are excellent choices. You’ll find ExpressVPN offers better functionality, and NordVPN offers slightly better value. After testing, ExpressVPN comes out as the best VPN in functionality, ease of use, and all-around performance.
Does ExpressVPN hide your IP address?
ExpressVPN doesn’t log internet traffic or VPN connections. Therefore, there isn’t anything to relate to your IP address. In addition, with shared IP addresses, it makes it nearly impossible to trace back to sole users.
Has ExpressVPN ever been hacked?
ExpressVPN has never been hacked. With high military-grade encryption levels when connected to the VPN and full DNS leak protection.
Does ExpressVPN slow the Internet?
The company monitors ExpressVPN servers’ performance to ensure sufficient bandwidth and processing capacity for all users.
Users of all VPNs can experience slower connection speeds through network congestion and extra processing for encryption. ExpressVPN faces smaller levels of slowdown than most other VPN services.
Is This VPN Service for You?
The point of any VPN review is to determine how the service can help you. ExpressVPN can appear more expensive than some, yet it is worth every penny. You won’t quibble about any lacking feature or your slow download speed. No matter what devices you have, there is an ExpressVPN solution. From this, you can see why ExpressVPN is so popular and in widespread use around the globe.
Fast speeds are just the tip of the benefits you will find as there is more on offer. Live chat is a blessing, and this many other VPNs are compared. The VPN makes the most of the highest military-grade level of encryption, a humongous global network of streaming-optimized servers.
You can use the advanced split tunnelling and fully use the impressive unblocking capabilities to access any overseas content you desire. The security of the VPN is not bettered, and all they claim about retaining no data has been proven in court cases.
Now, with the introduction of an audited zero-logging policy and the new TrustedServer technology on all servers, ExpressVPN is clearly committed to protecting the data of every user who signs up for the service. There is no worry about not understanding how to use the apps, as these are nearly self-explanatory, and it was the VPN apps here that set the trend for a large power button to show when you are connected.
ExpressVPN does much more for users than merely unblocking all major Netflix libraries and BBC iPlayer from any location you may be. Underneath the surface, there are many complexes in features and functions, yet other VPNs use these bells and whistles to try to make their service appear better than it is.
If you are a new VPN user or looking for a replacement for the service, you are no longer satisfied with it. ExpressVPN is the perfect solution, as it can cater for everyone. Some users miss the built-in ad-blocker, yet there are many websites you may visit that won’t work with an ad-blocker, and all you do is turn it off.
ExpressVPN is suitable for anyone and offers something for everyone. It works with little intervention and doesn’t disturb your experience in any way.