ExpressVPN is one of the fastest, most secure, and best VPNs around, ExpressVPN's only drawback really is that it costs more than most of its competitors. In this ExpressVPN review I'll cover all the details and tell you if their amazing features outweigh the higher price!
Google shows over four million results for the search term “ExpressVPN Review”. So clearly, the data out there is abundant.
What makes this ExpressVPN review different?
I've actually spent time using the product, and done in-depth research. Most other sites just copy information from other pages or from the VPN themselves.
So let's have a quick look at what makes ExpressVPN great before we dive into the true nitty-gritty of it.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent value for money – worth the higher cost
- Super fast speeds for streaming and torrenting
- Huge VPN server network, 3,000+ servers in 94 locations
- Best VPN technology and hardware on the market
- Fast and secure Lightway VPN protocol (now open-sourced)
- 256-bit AES w/ Perfect Forward Secrecy encryption
- Native apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers
- Works in China, UAE and Iran and unblocks region-locked websites and streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu + more
- 24/7 live chat support
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- More expensive than most of the VPN competition
- British Virgin Islands Jurisdiction could be a problem down the line (+ job postings reveal that business operations are most likely run from Hong Kong)
- Keeps minor logs for performance monitoring
Overall, ExpressVPN isn't the most featureful provider. However, its features will suit 99% of everyone looking for a VPN.
- Based in the British Virgin Islands
- Only VPN to use RAM only servers to completely eliminate logging risks
- Extremely easy to use
- Split Tunneling available
- Kill Switch to help terminate your internet if the VPN connection drops
- Best streaming unblocking potential
The most basic VPN service would comprise of a single server to connect to, using a single device using a specified operating system, and using the most basic encryption. Of course, no one would pay serious money for such a service.
Luckily, ExpressVPN is packed full of features. While it's not the most featureful, the features it does have will please 99% of the population.
So let's have a look at all the features that make up ExpressVPN.
Speed & Performance
When it comes to using a VPN, speed is paramount. There's no use in having a private connection when your internet speed is slower than a snail on ketamine.
Yes, that sounds blunt but unfortunately, it's true. There are numerous VPN providers where average speeds are so abysmal that you can't even load Google, let alone stream any content.
Luckily, ExpressVPN does not fall into this category. As one of the oldest VPNs on the market, their average speeds are exceptional.
Of course, usage varies by use case. However, we've never had any issues with download speeds, and truth be told we would often forget that ExpressVPN is even running. You can see some images of our speed test below. We ran tests multiple times on multiple days and the results were always similar.
Does ExpressVPN Slow Down Internet Speed?
As with all VPNs, yes ExpressVPN slows down your internet speed. However, from the numerous test we've done, it's not a considerable amount.
As with download speeds, upload speeds are also affected. We didn't notice any serious effect here either.
Smart Location Feature
ExpressVPN's Smart Location feature is true to its name. It will pick the best server for you to be able to provide you with the best speeds and experiences possible.
Unless you're looking to connect to a specific country this feature will ensure you're private and secure online, while still having the best performance.
When it comes to using a VPN it's important that it supports all of your devices. There's not much use to a VPN that protects your computer but then not your mobile. Interestingly enough, until a few years ago, official VPN apps were only created by a few companies.
Like any decent VPN provider ExpressVPN has apps for all major operating systems; Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. However, it doesn't stop there.
Unlike countless competitors, it also has a Linux app. Unfortunately, it is command-line based instead of GUI, but it's still a lot more than what others offer.
On top of all of this, ExpressVPN offers set-up tutorials for a whole range of devices such as the Apple TV and Roku streaming devices.
To further ease the constant use of a VPN, ExpressVPN allows five simultaneous connections. Therefore, all of your devices can be protected at the same time.
ExpressVPN Router App
The real icing on the cake is the ExpressVPN router app. In short, it's possible to flash your router with different firmware that helps it be more functional or be optimized in one way or another. In this case, VPN usage.
Traditionally speaking, Tomato or DD-WRT firmware would be used for this. However, ExpressVPN has developed its own firmware which provides you with amazing speeds.
The big advantage of using a VPN on your router is that all of your devices are automatically connected. This means they are protected and allows you to use geographically limited services, such as Netflix, without having to set up the VPN for each device.
Streaming – Does ExpressVPN Work With Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Other Services?
One of the biggest advantages of using a VPN is that it allows you to access geographically blocked content such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and others.
|Amazon Prime Video||Antena 3||Apple tv+|
|BBC iPlayer||beIN Sports||Canal+|
|HBO (Max, Now & Go)||Hotstar|
|Kodi||Locast||Netflix (US, UK)|
|Now TV||ORF TV||Peacock|
|Rakuten Viki||Showtime||Sky Go|
Hold on? Do you say you've already got access to Netflix?
That's because streaming services provide different content depending on where you live. For example, the US Netflix library is the largest. However, there are still titles that are blocked due to licensing reasons.
Though if you connect to another country, say the UK, this title might become unblocked.
Another important use for a VPN is to protect yourself while torrenting. In many countries torrenting, and other P2P traffic is frowned upon even if you're not doing anything illegal.
Since a VPN helps conceal your identity, it's the perfect tool to use for torrenting.
Most VPN providers have some kind of restriction of which locations you can torrent in, or if you're allowed to torrent at all. ExpressVPN is not one of these companies. It allows for unrestricted torrenting on all of its servers.
Thanks to its fast download speeds, you also won't have any issues with having to wait days for a torrent to download. After all, it's not Napster days anymore.
ExpressVPN Server Locations
To put it in ExpressVPN's own words they have 3000+ VPN servers in 160 server locations in 94 countries.
So really, ExpressVPN has a VPN server for you to use regardless of where you are around the globe. The same goes for if you want to appear to be in another country.
For more popular and larger countries such as the UK and the US, there are servers placed around the country. This ensures a fast and secure connection at all times.
If you are looking to connect to a specific country we recommend checking out their full list of servers.
Virtual VPN Servers
Some VPN companies try to save money by using virtual server locations. In short, a virtual server is where the IP shows one country, but the actual server is in another country. This issue is so severe that there's been serious backlash about them.
They openly admit that out of all of the ExpressVPN servers in the world less than 3% are virtual. The servers they use are physically close to the IP location they are providing and hence their aim with these is to optimize for speed.
Years ago there was a realization that some of your activities could still be tracked by tracking your DNS requests. In short, a DNS query translates the domain URL to the IP address so that you can view a website. This is called a DNS leak.
Luckily, the issues were quickly solved and now DNS leak tests and DNS leak protection are common practices in the VPN industry. In turn, ExpressVPN also runs its own DNS servers so that there's absolutely no chance of this happening.
Does ExpressVPN offer a VPN server with a dedicated IP address?
While using dedicated IP addresses with a VPN can have its benefits, it also has numerous downsides. Alongside this, it's a rarely requested option for a VPN to have.
For these simple reasons, ExpressVPN only uses shared IPs. On top of this, it uses a range of rotating IP addresses to help keep you even more secure.
When you're using any kind of product, digital or physical, you'll expect a level of support.
Traditionally, the amount of support should be related to the price of the product. Hence Wish.com has very little support but Rolls Royce will do pretty much anything their clients request.
Since ExpressVPN is on the more expensive end of the spectrum for VPNs, you'd be right in expecting top-notch support. As such ExpressVPN's support is exactly that – top-notch.
The core support method for ExpressVPN is a 24/7 live support chat system. All of the support staff are friendly and knowledgeable. We've tried to catch them out with multiple questions but so far nothing has caught them out.
If the question does become too technical, then you'll be redirected to email support. Again, the technical support team is extremely helpful, and they will even liaise with the technical team if they have to answer your question.
Alongside this, they have a huge range of support pages in sort-of-a Wiki format. For many of these, they have even included videos alongside the written instruction to really help you troubleshoot your problems.
Alongside all of the above, ExpressVPN offers the following
Split tunneling is a clever feature by which you can allow some applications to use the VPN, and others to use your standard connection.
For example, a common use case might be that you want to protect all of your internet activities and torrenting but you don't want a VPN to slow down your gaming. Split tunneling will help you achieve exactly this.
Security & Privacy
So now we get to the most important section. A VPN is worth absolutely jack-all without solid privacy and security protocols.
Protocols & Encryption
ExpressVPN supports four protocols Lightway, L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2. Now we're not going to go in-depth into the pros and cons of each as that's a whole in-depth article in itself.
In short, these four protocols are a great selection to choose from and will allow you to set up ExpressVPN on pretty much any device that you'd like to.
The defacto standard for the recommended protocol to use was OpenVPN for years. This is due to its open-source nature and excellent security level (when used with the right key strength).
For OpenVPN, they use an AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA-256 data authentication for the data channel.
This is alongside an AES-256-GCM cipher with RSA-384 handshake encryption and HMAC SHA-256 data authentication with perfect forward secrecy being provided by a DH2048 Diffie-Hellman key exchange for the control channel. Overall, it's a superb configuration.
Lightway, is similar to WireGuard, in short, both are slimmer, faster, and more secure than OpenVPN. What is great is that ExpressVPN has made Lightway Open Source.
In short, ExpressVPN offers a nice range of protocols and absolutely fantastic encryption standards.
A big weakness of VPNs is leaks. As the name suggests leaks are weak points where your true identity (IP address) could escape into the open.
As with many things in the VPN world, leaks used to be commonplace up until a few years ago. In fact, again, it was a scandal when webRTC leaks were discovered and it turned out that nearly all VPNs were vulnerable to it.
In short, leaks are bad.
We've tested ExpressVPN for IP leaks and couldn't find any. While this is reassuring, it's also something that we come to expect. If a VPN shows any signs of a leak they immediately make it into our naughty list.
Some review sites have mentioned minor IPv6 webRTC leaks, unfortunately, we weren't able to test this. Additionally, if you use the ExpressVPN browser plugin, or disable webRTC this probably will be solved.
Kill Switch / VPN Connection Protection
Alongside DNS leak protection, ExpressVPN offers a Network Lock option. Which is just their name for a kill switch.
As the name suggests a kill switch will kill your internet connection if your VPN connection stops. This helps stops you from unwantedly using the internet while you're unprotected.
It doesn't matter how strong a VPN's encryption is, how savvy it is, or how cheap it is if it keeps logs. Especially usage logs.
Luckily, ExpressVPN fully understands this and logs very little data. The data they do log is as follows:
- Apps and app versions successfully activated
- Dates (not times) when connected to the VPN service
- Choice of VPN server location
- Total amount (in MB) of data transferred per day
This is absolutely minimal and in no way can it be used to identify an individual.
While some would argue that absolutely no logs would be the best thing in the world we understand that this data helps improve the service so at the end of the day we can receive a better product.
As with any VPN provider you have to trust them at their word as you'll never honestly know what they are logging.
However, the biggest win by ExpressVPN is their use of RAM-only servers. This means that their VPN servers don't use any hard drives so even if they were raided, it would be pretty much impossible to get any useful information from them.
As with logging, you'll have to have a level of trust to believe everything a company says. Due to their level of transparency, honesty, and lack of previous issues, we are happy to trust ExpressVPN.
Location & Jurisdiction
The location where a VPN operates is quite an important factor. This is because depending on the country it's based in, the government could easily commender all of its data.
Alternatively, it could put pressure on executives and employees to create backdoors. Worst of all, the government could even steal data just by monitoring the company's internet traffic.
ExpressVPN is registered in the BVI (British Virgin Isles) which is a perfect place for privacy due to the lack of regulations and government oversight. Of course, this is purely for legal (and probably financial reasons).
While theoretically, the BVI is under UK jurisdiction, technically speaking it operates as an autonomous state. Though if the UK had a good reason they could probably gain complete control again.
However, by good reason, we mean something like a very legible threat of nuclear attack – not your everyday scenario.
The actual operation is most likely based in Hong Kong judging by its job postings. Additionally, it likely has offices in Singapore and Poland. A Hong Kong-based operation is somewhat of a scary thought, and while it's considered independent from China, time will tell if this remains true.
In short, neither is ExpressVPN based in or operating from a 5-eyes or 14-eyes country. While a Hong Kong head office does offer some food for thought, it's not something we're too worried about.
The ExpressVPN app provides a simple and straightforward experience, irrelevant of which device you're using it on. While there are minor differences between devices, it's not substantial enough to notice a significant change.
Using ExpressVPN on a desktop PC is as easy as pie. Once you've installed and activated it, you’re immediately greeted by the get-connected screen.
Clicking the burger icon will bring up the settings. These are easy to navigate and with helpful hints, you can set up everything as you wish.
Truth be told, the range of settings isn't extensive. However, ExpressVPN likes to keep it simple. This is to hold true to their motto “The VPN That Just Works”.
As discussed you can also download ExpressVPN for mobile. These have a 4.4 and 4.5 rating on the Android and iOS app store respectively. While ratings can be faked, this is a good initial sign.
Setting up on mobile is slightly more difficult as you need to allow the app to have permissions to network settings and notifications. So instead of a 1-click setup, it's a 4-click setup – something you won't even notice in the long term.
On mobile, the settings vary somewhat. Unfortunately, there are no Advanced Settings. This is likely due to the fact that there's less control available to mobile apps, than there are to desktop software.
However, you do get some nice Privacy and Security Tools on mobile. Namely an IP checker, two Leak Testers, and a Password Generator.
ExpressVPN Browser Extensions
The mobile browser plugins for Microsoft Edge, Chrome, and Firefox are just as streamlined. Functionality and usability wise it's somewhere between the mobile app and desktop software.
Just remember that when you're using the browser plugin only your web browsing activities will be protected and nothing else.
ExpressVPN Plans and Prices
When it comes to pricing, ExpressVPN provides a simple straightforward choice. You have the choice of three different ExpressVPN subscription options. Each plan offers the same proposition but varies in the time period.
The longer you sign up for, the bigger discount you get.
|Monthly||6 Months||1 Year||2 Years|
|$12.95 per month||$9.99 per month||$8.32 per month||$8.32 per month|
1 month is $12.95/mo, 6 months is $9.99/mo, and a one-year subscription comes to $8.32 per month. As such, ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPN providers. Though as with all things, you get what you pay for – and with ExpressVPN you get a world-renowned service.
Get 49% OFF + 3 months FREE! Visit ExpressVPN now
What's really interesting though is that ExpressVPN has been at this price for at least 5 years now! But hey, consistency is key they say.
As with most digital services, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. This has no limitations so if you're displeased with the service for whatever reason. To initiate this, just get in contact with their support team either via email or by live chat.
Additionally, if you would like to get it a bit cheaper you can always wait around for the major holidays such as Black Friday or Data Privacy Day.
When it comes to paying for ExpressVPN you have a range of options. Naturally, most credit & debit cards are accepted as well as PayPal.
Alongside this, there are also less common options such as WebMoney, UnionPay, Giropay, and a few others. Of course, for the truly privacy-minded individuals Bitcoin payment is supported.
A lot of VPNs have started adding extra services to their packages and help users become more protected. While this is great to see, you should consider whether they are doing this as a marketing tactic or to truly protect their customers. We would like to think it's somewhere in the middle.
ExpressVPN doesn't provide any such features. Instead, it has stayed dedicated to providing the best VPN service on the market and it does this fantastically.
It does have a Password Strength Checker on its website, but with the rise of password managers, we think this is more of a novelty feature for marketing rather than anything that someone would use.
Here are some commonly asked questions when the topic of ExpressVPN comes up. Of course, these are just short insights and we've covered everything in our full in-depth ExpressVPN review above.
Is ExpressVPN Legit and Trustworthy?
From doing our in-depth research, we believe that ExpressVPN is a trustworthy company. Unfortunately, as with any digital product, you can never truly be sure. However, we think ExpressVPN has done everything possible to ease our minds.
Is ExpressVPN illegal?
ExpressVPN like all VPNs is legal to use! That is, it's legal for countries where VPNs are legal. Countries, where VPNs are illegal, are; Belarus, China, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Russia, Turkey, Uganda, UAE, and Venezuela.
Is ExpressVPN Faster than NordVPN?
Generally speaking, ExpressVPN is faster than NordVPN. This is because, in our opinion, invest more into their technology than into their marketing. However, as always with speed, your mileage may vary. It's also faster than other VPN services such as Private Internet Access and VyperVPN.
Can My ISP Block ExpressVPN?
Unless you're living in a country where VPNs are illegal, it's unlikely your ISP will want to block your VPN connection. However, it is possible for an ISP to block your VPN. Of course, ExpressVPN does offer ways around this.
Does ExpressVPN Work in China?
Yes, ExpressVPN does work in China. The Chinese government is getting ever more dedicated to tracking down on VPN usage. However, ExpressVPN is one of the few that still manages to get around the blockades. Bear in mind that it does not have any servers in China though.
All in all, ExpressVPN is considered the best VPN provider by countless professionals across the globe. This review will have hopefully helped you understand all of its fantastic pros and some minor cons.
Don't hesitate any further. Give this premium VPN provider a spin today and you'll never look back.
The 4-Star VPN
i would rather go for this one and give a four-star rating because of its cost yet the features and benefits are actually worth it. I have no doubts about its power and what it can do for your business and the VPN arena…This is definitely cool!
I don't mind the cost as long as I exactly get what I wanted from its features. So for me, this is definitely the perfect VPN!
Too expensive for me
Works so well and servers load so so fast. Don't wanna leave but it became too expensive for me so moved over to a cheaper VPN
So worth it!
Sure it's not the cheapest, but well worth the extra $$$ when I can stream the latest netflix US without any hassles