ExpressVPN Review

ExpressVPN Review

ExpressVPN boasts to be the world’s leading VPN provider with mentions in PCWorld, TechRadar, Forbes, BBC, The New York Times and many more. It has all the best features you would expect from a good VPN provider including strict no-logs policy and full torrenting and streaming services compatibility. It has been around since 2009 and is based in the British Virgin Islands it’s outside the 14-eyes alliance.
ExpressVPN made it as No.2 in the TOP5 Best VPNs for Android 2019 list.

Features

  • Fast & reliable speeds:
  • Netflix, BBC iPlayer & more support
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • No IP or browsing history logs
  • 160 server locations in 94 countries
  • Over 3000 servers
  • Works in China, UAE and more
  • Multiple platform support
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • Network Lock Kill Switch
  • VPN split tunneling
  • AES-256 encryption
  • OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox)

Privacy

ExpressVPN is under the British Virgin Islands jurisdiction that has sovereignty over its own data regulations. This means they are not obligated to give out any data so the BVI is a safe place for a VPN service. Although ExpressVPN states that they have very strict privacy rules they do collect some data. They don’t collect any user data like IP addresses (source or VPN), Browsing history, Traffic destination or metadata or DNS queries but some minimal information is being stored. It’s important to note that the data that is being collected can’t be associated with specific users but still, the apps and app versions, dates (no timestamps), server locations and amount of data transferred are logged and stored. 

ExpressVPN never stores any activity logs nor connections logs like timestamps, session,. IP addresses.

Compatibility

Like most of the VPN providers, ExpressVPN has most devices covered. It works on all your favorite devices and has full support for:

  • Windows
  • Mac Os
  • Linux
  • Chromebook
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Kindle
  • Nook
  • Routers

It has extensions for both Chrome and Firefox and the MediaStreamer is compatible with:
Playstation

  • Nintendo Switch
  • Xbox
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV
  • Samsung Smart TV

And if you don’t mind a bit o manual tinkering itä’s compatible with Chromecast, Roku and Nvidia Shield.

ExpressVPN is known for the wide array of supported devices so it pretty much handles everything you can throw at it. The setup is one of the easiest you can encounter so if you have a lot of devices and want hassle-free setup then we definitely recommend ExpressVPN.

Support

One of the features that make ExpressVPN one of the top recommendations from the big media portals is the 24/7 technical support that is really fast and knowledgeable. The chat widget on their website is always available if you are not yet a customer and need advice before committing to buying or if you are already a user and need help setting things up. For us, the support agent responded within 10 seconds and the few test questions we asked (about router configuration and Netflix support) got adequate and fast replies. This shows the support agents are tech-savvy and not just outsourced labor giving scripted replies.

If you are not that into chatting with people you can always refer to the Set-Up instructions. You can find set-up manuals for all devices from your standard Windows app to routers to even Blackberry tutorials if for some reason anyone still uses them. 

The troubleshooting guides address the most common issues you might have and direct you to the right solutions for most issues. The troubleshooting guides and the set-up manuals are easy to follow with detailed screenshots and are updated constantly. ExpressVPN users vote thumbs-up or thumbs-down to make sure the instructions really are helpful.

Installation and app usage

ExpressVPN supports just about any device out there and the installation is simple on most of them. If you need to install it on a router you might want to consult the tutorials first to make sure everything goes smoothly.

The mobile apps are as easy as the desktop apps and for us, the UI and the usability are as easy and intuitive as they come. The Android app landed in out TOP5 Best VPN for Android 2019 list with high marks for usability, speed and an average user rating of 4.2 in the Google Play store.

ExpressVPN user rating in the Google Play store
Feedback and user reviews you can find online are usually positive

Security and Speed

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest we have tested and it gets top marks for speed, connection time and responsiveness.  It’s pretty remarkable how consistent and reliable the connections are even if connected to servers on the other side of the world. ExpressVPN is pretty consistent even in tough locations with high censorship like China or UAE, some VPN providers really struggle with those locations but ExpressVPN seems to be very strong here.

While running the standard speed tests we found the results very pleasing. The loss in download speeds averaged around 32% compared to download speeds without ExpressVPN. This is a very good result and puts ExpressVPN in a very competitive spot compared to other VPN providers. Connecting to different servers is easy and you have a wide selection of different locations available. With around 3000 servers there will be no shortage of options.

  • ExpressVPN is considered to be a market leader in security with features like obfuscation protocols, kill switch and strong AES-256 encryption. IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec,  OpenVPN, PPTP and SSTP protocols are used and some of the security features are:
  • DNS leak protection
  • First-Party DNS
  • IPV6 Leak blocking
  • VPN kill switch
  • WebRTC leak blocking
  • Split Tunneling

The security settings on ExpressVPN are truly up to the highest standards and if you leave the VPN settings on Automatic the app will determine the best security protocol to use for you. This is something not all VPN providers have.

The AES-256 encryption is considered near-unbreakable and the Split Tunneling feature is an advanced feature that allows you to safeguard your web traffic while keeping access to all your connected devices like a printer for example.

Netflix and Torrenting

You can access all major streaming services and sites that are geo-blocked in certain locations with ExpressVPN including Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, BBC iPlayer and many other services.

Besides accessing streaming services ExpressVPN also advertises the possibilities to browse social media sites that are banned in certain countries. This is mostly directed to people living in high-censorship countries or people traveling in those areas.

Torrenting is also perfectly allowed on all ExpressVPN servers and considering the great download speeds you get and the unlimited bandwidth you will have a good P2P streaming experience. The kill switch works really well and protects your privacy when torrenting. 

Speed Test

The default location ExpressVPN suggested was Sweden and it had very good speeds. It is refreshing to see the exact location before actually connecting so ExpressVPN has done a good job with this.

Sweden server

Denmark showed really excellent high download and upload speeds and the test were really consistent. This is the best speeds we have seen when connecting to nearby countries. CyberGhost, for example, suffered a much larger drop in downloads of around 31%. UK also performed well with around 25% drop in download speeds.

Denmark server had just a 4% drop in download speeds
London server averaged around 25% speed drop

US servers also surprised with consistent and very high speeds. The average loss in download speeds was between 23% and 32% whereas uploads suffered more averaging around 75% drop. If you compare that to some of the other VPNs you can clearly see why ExpressVPN landed on the top position in our list. Here`s a quick comparison of some of the competing VPNs speed tests to USA, New York server. ExpressVPN has a clear lead in the download speeds.

ExpressVPNNordVPNCyberGhostSurfShark
Download69.7838.1822.8250.93
Upload24.1618.4524.943.03
New York server (east coast)
Los Angeles server (West coast)

South Korean server has the best result in all of our Asian countries test and ExpressVPN wind big in the speed category. A 32% drop in download speed is impressive.

South Korea server only had a 32% drop in download speeds

Pricing

This is where ExpressVPN falls short a bit. It’s a bit pricey if you are very budget conscious and there are only three pricing plans available when most competition offers four options.


1 Month Plan6 Month Plan6 Month Plan
Price$12.99$8.32/month$9.99/month

You do have the 30-day money-back guarantee so you can test the service out but considering the price per month is a fair bit higher than what you would get with NordVPN, for example, you might want to consider your options. If for some reason you are not happy with the service canceling and getting your money back is easy and you just need to open the online Chat to get it done.

ExpressVPN pricing options

ExpressVPN offers all major payment options including Paypal, Bitcoin and many others like WebMoney, Mint, AliPay, Klarna and a few others. 

Pros and cons

Pros
  • Very fast speeds
  • Netflix and other streaming services supported
  • Unrestricted torrenting
  • Based in British Virgin Islands
  • A lot of server options
  • Works in China
Cons
  • Pricey

Verdict 

Although ExpressVPN as a lot to offer in terms of features and it`s one of the fastest VPN services we have tested it is a bit more expensive than some rivals. If getting the best deal for your money is your goal look for other providers but if the few bucks you will have to pay more don’t bother you ExpressVPN is an amazing choice.

Privacy features
Security
Speed
Ease of Use
Price
Average

Leave a Reply