ExpressVPN Review – What You Need To Know
Regardless of if you want to connect over long distances, stream content on Netflix, play games, or download torrents faster, you might be surprised to know that ExpressVPN can grant you that. Even more – if you want to stay anonymous and secured at the same time, ExpressVPN got you covered.
Whether you are trying to find a VPN to guard your connection on non-secured WiFi, unblock any streaming services, or just “shield” your web privacy, we absolutely suggest ExpressVPN. And the best thing about it is that both beginners and advanced users can use it.
What is ExpressVPN? What do you use ExpressVPN for? Is it really that fast? Is ExpressVPN secure? These and many other queries will be clarified here in our ExpressVPN review. We have compared many ExpressVPN reviews and tested ExpressVPN ourselves. Keep scrolling down, and you will have all the information needed.
Overall ExpressVPN review
It is true that ExpressVPN had been known for its speeds and reliability for a very long time. But the market developed and, therefore, made it hard to work with. More streaming platforms have included stronger geo-blocks and limited access to them during the last few years. Hackers have evolved, becoming more dangerous, and more countries added higher barriers. And lastly, ExpressVPN’s competitors are growing and even getting better.
Our tests and researches have determined that ExpressVPN is still one of the quickest and most trustworthy VPNs out there.
On the other hand, you will find a number of different things that matter along with speed. We have tested the servers’ coverage, security features, and most importantly, costs and customer support. Yes, it would be great if the VPN is fast and safe, but users have to trust the company that sells it and their representatives. It is vital that someone got your back when you need help and assistance.
Streaming – Does ExpressVPN Works With Netflix and Other Services?
Yes. UK and US Netflix libraries are accessible with ExpressVPN with no issues through all of the servers to start off. You can effortlessly unlock content and stream in HD. With ExpressVPN, you can also stream on Netflix in Australia, South America, and Europe.
How does it work? Just connect to a server-based in the same country as the preferred Netflix library, and you will be ready to go.
It certainly works to unblock geo-limitations not only on Netflix but also on – BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and HBO by fast speeds and insignificant buffering. So, if you are looking for a reliable connection for fast streaming in HD – ExpressVPN is a solid choice. Even though ExpressVPN does not have servers dedicated to streaming, it is not a problem, as most of its servers work with streaming websites.
Is ExpressVPN Good For Torrenting?
Let’s start with the difference between speeds and bandwidth. Bandwidth represents the amount of data that we can download or upload from our devices. On the other hand, speed is how fast we can upload or download this data on our devices.
Across the entire ExpressVPN network, torrenting and P2P sharing are unlimited and unrestricted. Since ExpressVPN does not show or keep any logs, your activity will certainly not leak anywhere. It is recommended to use a BitTorrent client, such as uTorrent if you want to be anonymous for granted.
There are no bandwidth limits or restrictions on P2P as well. Plus, ExpressVPN has DNS protection, which ensures its own DNS on every server, protecting from any potential leaks. All of these, along with the strong security, make ExpressVPS a great option if you want torrenting and downloading files with no leaks and increased security.
ExpressVPN Review of Speed (Tests)
ExpressVPN is one of the quickest VPNs that you can find. It delivers much faster speeds. The average downloading speed of up to 85MBpS makes it comparable to the most famous and expensive VPNs on the web nowadays.
ExpressVPN owns a Smart Location add-on, and it will allow the users to connect to a server with just one click. It covers latency, speeds, and range. This benefits in getting the quickest possible servers each time you connect. It is also incredibly reliable and steady in terms of performance, regardless of whether the server is a nearby one or on the other side of the world. Users will unlikely face any interruptions.
We can confirm that if you want to connect to a server that is really far away from your location and stream in HD, upload/download videos, or just ensure a rapid and secure connection, ExpressVPN is the VPN we recommend.
Local ExpressVPN Speed Test
In this section of our ExpressVPN review, we have connected to a nearby server to check how much will ExpressVPN slow down our network speed if connected from a nearby physical location.
We have found that even when you are connected to local servers, the majority of VPNs can usually prompt your connection and speed to be decreased by a lot.
The percentage of drop/loss produced with ExpressVPS can vary between 11% and 24%, which, for anyone who is a VPN-beginner, is a really impressive result. It means that using ExpressVPN connected to a nearby server will unlikely interrupt the performance you are experiencing without it.
If you want to ensure you will get the quickest speed possible, it is recommended to try connecting to different servers. The Quick Connect function links you with a random server in the chosen location, so it is better to test a number of servers to find the speed you need.
Long-Distance ExpressVPN Speed Test
During our checks, we wanted to test how good is ExpressVPN’s performance when it comes to linking to servers in different countries all around the world. It is essential to check that when choosing the right VPN because many of them have some issues, and the speed is really slow across the border.
We have connected to a long-distance server in the US, and the speed test for both downloading and uploading was different in several of the chosen servers, but it might vary between 15-20 and 80mbps. Which, to be honest, is really impressive. The same applies to other countries tested. Unfortunately, when connected to servers in Singapore and Australia, the upload speed is slower, but downloading and streaming are still rapid.
You can expect under 50% lowering of speed when commented to a server in Hong Kong, or respectively loss with under 70% when the servers you want to use are in Australia. This is a remarkable performance of speed, as still, most common VPNs will decrease the speed by around 90%, which would still be expected.
Overall Speed Results
You will be surprised to know that it does not matter if you are connecting to a server nearby your location or on the other side of the world – the speed drop will be much lower compared to any other VPN. The maximum drop rate will be under 70%, and this will allow you to stream in HD or torrent different files quickly and hassle-free.
We have run packet loss tests as well. Packets are small files of data that are sent and received whenever you are accessing the internet. When some of these small units do not reach the destination it was supposed to; it is called packet loss.
With ExpressVPN, you will face a packet loss of under 0.3%, which can be considered nothing.
To sum up the speed results, we need to guarantee that ExpressVPN will provide remarkable speed and reliability – no matter from and to where you are connecting. If you just want to use it for safer and secure browsing, and not for a specified reason, we advise using the SmartLocation – it is set up by default on the app, so you do not need to make any configurations or install it.
Can I Use ExpressVPN for Gaming?
So far, we have confirmed that the speed delivered by ExpressVPN is lightening. But the speed is not the only thing that can make a VPN eligible and working for gamers. Many questions can come to mind when referring to gaming. Will ExpressVPN keep the high speed during the sessions? What will be the worst ping rate? Do we have enough bandwidth? And most importantly – will I experience lags and buffering? Lag can completely destroy your progress and battle, and it is crucial for most of the games. Lagging depends on the ping time, and the ping time with express VPN is about 8ms, which is more than great.
To make it challenging, we have connected to a server placed in a long-distance country. The result was a smooth game with minimum lags and buffering.
Is ExpressVPN Secure Enough?
The main purpose of a VPN is to protect your data while your IP address stays hidden. Yet, the only way to discover that is by different analyses and tests.
Whenever you want to check if a VPN secures, you would need to look for high levels of encryption, strong security protocols, as well as IP leaks assurance. ExpressVPN has other security features as well, such as split tunneling.
To start off, we need to say that ExpressVPN has the strongest standard of encrypting data. It ensures you are secured with 256-bit AES encryption, which connects an AES 256-bit crypher with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication.
Basically, it means that once your data is encrypted with this key, it requires the very same key to decrypt it. This makes ExpressVPN’s encryption indestructible.
The authentication used by ExpressVPN – SHA-512 HMAC is mostly used for data sharing, such as P2P sharing. Both sides – receiver and sender will need to use a special password to verify the file in question. With any changes related to the key, you will be sure that someone is trying to get the file.
Furthermore, your encryption keys will be changed each time you log out and back in. This means that all data from the previous sessions cannot be linked to the current one.
When it comes to security protocols – ExpressVPN is choosing the most suitable in regards to the connection – this makes it even more reliable. The initial one is the OpenVPN UDP, but ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN TCP, PPTP, and L2TP/IPsec as well.
The term Kill Switch is the feature that will keep your IP address hidden, and your traffic and data will still be secured in case of connection interruptions of the VPN you are using. ExpressVPN calls the Kill Switch – Network Lock. The best thing about it is that with ExpressVPN, the Kill Switch does not require any configuration and installation. Moreover, it allows you to choose to block the traffic if the VPN disconnect unexpectedly.
The Kill Switch of ExpressVPN is available for all of the devices, including Mac, Android, Linux, and different routers. The bad news is that no kill switch is available for iOS. The feature is supported for iOS in other VPNs, but with ExpressVPN, it is not, which is a shame. But, of course, there is always room for development, so we hope that ExpressVPN will manage to make it possible.
Split tunneling is a great feature offered by ExpressVPN that will allow users to encrypt a section of their browsing with the VPN through specific browsers, but all others will remain as you want them. Basically, split tunneling ensures you can browse both locally and through the VPN at the same time, from the same device. For example, you want to leave your online banking and Netflix not-encrypted but want to browse in Australia. As soon as you turn on the ExpressVPN split tunneling, everything will work as you want it to. You will be able to browse all content within both apps while being connected to the Australian and your local servers at the same time.
The split tunneling is a fantastic feature that will provide additional flexibility. However, you need to note that the apps that are not going through the VPN are not encrypted, so your local IP address could be visible while using the apps.
Even though your traffic and data will be sent via encrypted tunnels, there is still a chance for leaks. They are known as DNS leaks.
The DNS leaks can make the activity visible to your ISP. To be said, it means that the activity can be reached by third parties.
Luckily, ExpressVPN offers leak tests so that you can check for leaks with a third party. A strong VPN will protect your data and ensure you will be anonymous. If you run some tests in the most commonly chosen countries like the US, Australia, and the UK, you will unlikely spot any leaks. But we still need to confirm there are some chances to experience such. It is not sure it will happen, though.
Your IPv6 remains blocked in any of the tests, which is one of the requests from your ISP to the device providing your IP address. This results in hidden IP addresses by the ISP because there will be no request sent.
Tor Compatibility, Security Audits, and Security Breaches of ExpressVPN
Tor is an abbreviation of The Onion Routing, and it is a software that enables anonymous connection by directing Internet traffic. The primary purpose of Tor’s use is securing the privacy of the person browsing and keep their freedom and abilities to hide any confidential communication while keeping the activities unmonitored.
You might be thrilled to know that ExpressVPN supports Tor. You will get higher levels of anonymity, and your data will not be visible to the VPN. After running all the possible checks, we can say that ExpressVPN has advanced security features and will protect your data and traffic, even with an unreliable connection.
Also, ExpressVPN does objective audits, which are performed by Cure2 and the professionals from PwC.
You will find that almost all VPNs will promise to keep your privacy online, but taking a closer look over their policies will show that there are some disadvantages and “tricks”. It means that your data is actually stored and saved with some of them and could be provided to third parties. Such a third party can even be the government. But where is ExpressVPN based? Their headquarters are placed in the British Virgin Islands, and they are considered a privacy-friendly zone, as they are outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.
Does ExpressVPN work with ad blockers?
If you want to keep the advertisement away while using your VPN, we might disappoint you. ExpressVPN does not offer ad blockers, so you might see some ads while browsing.
Does ExpressVPN Keep Logs?
If you dig deeper into ExpressVPN’s policies, you will find out they claim that no data is saved, including logs, browsing history, data, and DNS.
The only thing they keep is your sign-up details, which are email, payment method, etc.
But is there any proof of that? The answer is YES. Back in 2017, there was a case when the Turkish government inquired about and information in regards to an association. Still, they achieved no luck – ExpressVPN did not provide any information, precisely because no data was stored.
Number of Servers and Server Locations
As confirmed, ExpressVPN has headquarters based in the British Virgin Islands. But this VPN provider has more than 3,000 servers, based in around 160 locations and 94 countries, including the US, the UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, and many more.
Server Security Standards
The TrustedServer Technology used by ExpressVPN will ensure that each server runs only on RAM. What does that mean? All the data is completely deleted with each reboot you make.
RAM is not capable of storing data and history, leading to wiping out everything once you turn it off. Then, after turned on again, it starts an absolutely clear new session. In addition, literally, everything is deleted with each new session, including the operating system, which is freshly loaded, and the secure read-only images, which are stored on the hard drive.
This makes ExpressVPN less vulnerable in regards to attacks by hackers – there will be no data for them to get in the first place.
Virtual Server Locations
When connected, the server and IP address are from and in the same country. However, ExpressVPN grants virtual server positions. In this case, the IP address will be located in the selected country, but the physical server is located elsewhere. Hence, you will receive a more stable and reliable internet connection and better speed. Even though you will still have an IP address in the selected country, no matter where the actual server’s location.
Can I have a dedicated IP address with ExpressVPN?
You will not get a static IP address with ExpressVPN because this VPN provider intends to constantly switch the IP addresses, which benefits in increasing the performance and getting rapid speeds each time you use it.
Apps, Extensions, and Compatibility
ExpressVPN is compatible with almost each and every device. But, in order to benefit from the complete functionality, it is recommended to use the desktop version of ExpressVPN. As confirmed earlier in the review, for example, you don’t get Kill Switch with iOS. Actually, both iOS and Android can be short in terms of essential features, but on Max and all versions of Windows, you will get all you need from a VPN provider.
iOS and Android Apps
Initially, both apps for iOS and Android are a bit different than each other, and also, none of them has all the features available for the desktop version of ExpressVPN.
For example – Tor will not be active on your mobile, so if you are after Tor compatibility, you will need to stick to the ExpressVPN desktop app. Also, the IPv6 leak protection is not available on the mobile app, so you will not be able to check if your security protection, which is not really convenient.
Additionally, you will not be capable of running the ExpressVPN speed tests on your mobile. Even if so, the connections are still reliable, and you will unlikely face any lagging and buffering on your mobile devices.
While with the iOS app, you can choose which security protocol to use, Android users can use only OpenVPN. But it is the most reliable one, offered by ExpressVPN, so you will you this one, even if you can choose among the others.
On the other hand, Android users can take advantage of the Network protection feature – the Kill Switch of ExpressVPN, which is not available for iOS users. It will surely block internet access when it has difficulties with reconnecting.
You can use the browser extensions provided by ExpressVPN on both Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. They ensure the encryption of any traffic on the chosen browser, and at the same time, not encrypt everything else, just like split tunneling.
Installing ExpressVPN happens via the add-on in the browser itself. To connect, you just need to click on the extension, and it will be ready. It can be one of the best solutions if you want to encrypt your browsing traffic and data quickly.
You will be pleased to know that ExpressVPN has an app for routers, and by installing it, the VPN will ensure the safety of every device in your house, including consoles, mobile devices, and even your TVs (applicable to Apple TV as well). Even if the devices do not support VPN software – they will be protected. If you install ExpressVPN on your router, there is no limit in regards to the number of linked devices and connections.
ExpressVPN can be set up easily, with just a few steps. Basically, you can choose your router from the drop-down menu on the website, and you will receive a specific guide according to its type, and you will be ready to get started.
You can also manually install the ExpressVPN with the router, but it will increase the chance of missing out on some of the most important security features if not connected as it should be. One of the best parts regarding the router ExpressVPN app is that you can change the settings using split tunneling if you want some of the devices to be disconnected from the VPN.
Can ExpressVPN work in China? (Geoblocks)
As you might have noticed, in the last few years, a lot of countries have applied and updated the geo-blocks used for detecting and blocking VPNs. China is one of the countries that have restricted access to their websites, even the most commonly used, like Google, Youtube, and Facebook. This is called The Great Firewall of China, and it is the reason why the majority of VPNs are not strong enough to get through it. It is great that ExpressVPN can do this. It is among the few VPNs that are working.
As confirmed above in the review, ExpressVPN has servers located in Hong Kong, and they allow access to Chinese websites even though it is not in the China mainland. For the Chinese citizens, it works in reverse as well – they can easily access websites that are censored in the mainland.
How is this possible? Using obfuscation across its servers, the VPN server code looks like regular internet traffic. Hence, it will not be detected as a VPN and then blocked. With ExpressVPN, websites and platforms like Facebook and Netflix can be unblocked. To be able to do so, you will need to install Express VPN outside of China – this will guarantee it will not be blocked.
Is There a Limit on the Devices I Can Combine With ExpressVPN?
As said, if you install the ExpressVPN app on your router, you can have unlimited devices using simultaneous connections. It is because the router is considered as one device connected to the app, using such simultaneous connections. But the router does not limit the number of devices connected to itself. If you want to protect all of them, it is advised to install it on your router. By default, with ExpressVPN, you can use up to 5 simultaneous connections at once.
You will hardly find a VPN that can be installed directly on your Apple TV or game console, but ExpressVPN not only will allow you to do so but will give detailed instructions on how to install it on your Xbox or PlayStation.
Is ExpressVPN Better Than the Competition?
Along with the review of ExpressVPN, we have compared it to some of its competitors, such as NordVPN and CyberGhost. The first ones tend to be slightly cheaper than ExpressVPN, and it has similar features, but they are not that advanced. CyberGhost, on the other side, is a lot cheaper compared to ExpressVPN pricing, but it lacks in features and reliability.
While ExpressVPN has headquarters based in the British Virgin Islands, NordVPN’s are in Panama, and CyberGhost is based in Romania. Split tunneling is not available for ExpressVPN’s competitors, and they both have trouble working in China.
However still, Express VPN is more expensive than other VPN providers, including NordVPN and CyberGhost, but you will surely get what you paid for. It is considered as value for money.
ExpressVPN – Ease of Use
The setting up of ExpressVPN is simple and takes only a few minutes. First, you will need to choose your ExpressVPN subscription, and after creating your account and adding your payment details, you get a welcoming email, which contains the activation link. When clicking on it, you will be redirected to the dedicated installation app, depending on your device, from where you can download the app. After that, following the installation flow, you will be ready within a few clicks.
The ExpressVPN app for both mobile and desktop is beginner-friendly but reliable at the same time. You are able to choose which server location to work with, or use the Smart Location method, which will make it easier and choose the most suitable for you with just a click. It will connect you to the highest-speed and nearest server. The ExpressVPN app will also choose the most adequate security protocol, depending on your needs.
Even more – The express VPN app will show you all the recent locations you have connected to as soon as you log in.
In the ExpressVPN app, you can easily access the navigation menu, from where you can do a speed test, select security protocol manually, and access the different features. It is much easier as with other VPNs apps, as everything is gathered in one place, and this makes it easy to use.
How Much Does ExpressVPN cost?
The cost of ExpressVPN can be a bit higher compared to its competitors, but as confirmed in our review, ExpressVPN has many features that you won’t regret paying for.
If you prefer to pay your subscription on a monthly basis, it will cost you 12.95 per month. However, if you sign up for a 12-month contract, you will pay 99.95 for the whole period, which makes it 8.32 per month. This plan is the most affordable if you are looking for a trustworthy and reputable VPN provider to use for a long time ahead. You can as well pay for a 6-month subscription, which will cost 59.95 for the period, or 9.99 per month. The pricing gets much cheaper with the discounts given for more extended plans.
Besides the rapid speed from servers in 94 countries and the features that we mentioned above in the review, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It means that even if you sign a contract for 12 months, if you are not satisfied or decided to go elsewhere, you get the chance to give up and receive your money back, thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee.
For extra convenience, you can pay for ExpressVPN with almost every credit or debit card, which supports online payments, and also with PayPal. If you want to be extra anonymous, you can also pay in Bitcoin.
Even though the ExpressVPN price can be a bit higher compared to other providers, like SurfShark, it will give access to much more for your money. The features, virtual IP addresses, own DNS on each of the servers, 24/7 live chat, and money-back guarantee.
Customer Support and Reliability
When looking for a proper VPN provider, one thing is certain – along with the ease of use, you should be able to get adequate customer support that you can count on. Live chat, quick and helpful assistance sometimes can be crucial.
Customer support is a field that ExpressVPN really invests in. There are a few things that need to be highlighted in regards to the live chat service: the agents are user-friendly, you will get the assistance you are in need of, and most importantly – they are available 24/7. Even more – if you are a registered user, the agents can ask for your email in order to answer via email if the chat tool disconnects.
If you do not like the live chat option, you can find almost every query answered on the website. You will find different ExpressVPN FAQ pages, guides, reviews, and many more. If you need a walkthrough – there are video tutorials as well.
The website of ExpressVPN can function in 16 different languages, and the chat support is available in 6. We must say that this is an excellent customer approach, even compared to ExpressVPN’s competitors – NordVPN, for instance, have their help Center only in English.
Q: What can I use the VPN for?
A: Basically, the VPN is a multi-purpose tool. You can use the VPN to hide IP addresses from your locations, protect and secure confidential information, and access your favorite websites worldwide. The best part is that when you use the VPN, you can easily stream and download anywhere, anything- securely, anonymously, and unlimited.
Q: Will using a VPN reduce the speeds of my connection?
A: This might happen with any VPN, but you will unlikely spot the difference. In some situations, working with a VPN can even increase the speed of your connection. In our case, ExpressVPN functions by a high-speed network with bandwidth from Tier-1 providers.
Q: Where are ExpressVPN’s servers located?
ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers in 160 spots in 97 different countries. The VPN’s headquarters are in the British Virgin Islands.
Q: Will ExpressVPN log my data?
A: ExpressVPN counts on the privacy of their customers, and this is why they do not store any logs or data for their users. To be said, though, ExpressVPN might gather some information in regards to the servers’ usage, but this is just to identify potential technical issues. This information cannot be used to address a user to any specific activity and\or behavior.
Q: Is using a VPN legal?
Yes, absolutely. In most places, it is certainly legal, as long as you are using a legitimate provider. A VPN is related to guarding your privacy, and you will be totally free to use it.
However, even though using a VPN is legal, you must not be involved in illegal activities while using it.
Q: Which is better: ExpressVPN or NordVPN?
Both of these vendors are great options if you are looking for a trustworthy VPN. However, ExpressVPN offers more features and better functionality while a bit pricier than NordVPN. In terms of speed, functionality, features, and customer support, our undeniable choice will be ExpressVPN.
Q: Is ExpressVPN actually safe?
A: Simply, the answer is YES. Express VPN uses uncountable measures to protect the data of its users. You will get the DNS of every server, Kill Switch, no activity or connection logs, and 256-bit encryption. Moreover, its headquarters is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is considered a privacy-friendly zone.
Q: Will I get proper customer support for my queries?
A: Absolutely, yes. ExpressVPN’s customer support and live chat are available 24/7. They are educated and helpful, so you will not face any issues with the agents.
ExpressVPN Review – Our Final Verdict
ExpressVPN can be considered one of the best VPN vendors all over the world. We can only start with the lightning speeds it offers. It has the highest levels of encryption, large global networks, and servers located literally everywhere.
Using ExpressVPN, you can take advantage of numerous different useful features. With Split Tunneling (which only a few vendors support) to differ which browsers you will encrypt, the Kill Switch to wipe off your data in case of connection interruptions, and many more, you will even get more than you paid for.
ExpressVPN passed every single of our tests on speeds, security, and performance, proving itself as the best VPN you can get.
Regardless of whether you want to connect over a longer distance (even across the world) or keep your privacy when browsing locally – you will not find a faster product. And as soon as you connect – you can easily unblock content on different sites with no lagging. Whether you want to stream Netflix internationally or get your gaming skills higher – you got it. Thanks to the low ping time, you will not experience any interruptions.
Even if it is great for entertainment, ExpressVPN servers are a worthy privacy tool. It offers VPN services even in China, unlike the majority of its competitors. Other strictly censored locations are available as well, which ensures access to a wider area. It will often switch its IP addresses to improve your experience and ensure you will receive the ultimate speeds each time.
You can have it on all kinds of devices, including iOS, Android, Windows, or Mac. It can even be connected to your Xbox and PlayStation. To get all the devices in your household linked to the VPN, you have the ability to use the router app. The installation will take no more than five minutes, and choosing a server to connect to will be done via just a click with the Smart Location feature.
Yes, it can be a bit pricy if you choose to pay for it on a monthly basis, but you will hardly find anything better than ExpressVPN. And with the 30-day money-back guarantee included, you got nothing to lose.
ExpressVPN is user-friendly and can be handled by both beginners and advanced users. And if you still have issues with some of the areas – you can get to customer support even in the middle of the night.
So, no matter if you want to unblock Netflix or other streaming platforms, secure your connection, or just to protect your online privacy – you will never regret choosing ExpressVPN. It is simple yet effective and powerful and will not let you down.