ExpressVPN Review - UPDATED Jan. 2018
ExpressVPN is often considered one of the best, fastest and most secure VPN services on the market. It’s also one of the most favorite VPN providers among users, as it offers multiple server locations and protocols, supports all major devices and provides non-stop customer support.
This VPN provider is dedicated to making their customers happy, which is obvious from its website and client software. What we especially liked while doing research for this ExpressVPN review is that everything that might interest the average user is clearly outlined on their website, enabling everyone to learn the basics of VPN services, more about the company itself and their features and packages.
Registering to the website is quite simple and requires only your email address and payment method. Once you enter these, you’ll get an email confirmation and password, which you then use to download and install the software.
Whether you’re an inexperienced computer user or thoroughly familiar with VPN services, ExpressVPN’s client software is neat and simple, allowing users to easily navigate the client.
You can choose any server location from a list of available servers and easily change servers with one click of the mouse. The ExpressVPN client can also help you choose the best server for your location and protocol for your device.
Performance and Reliability
ExpressVPN offers more than 1700 servers across 94 countries and 145 cities. This basically means that the VPN provider allows you to safely and anonymously access websites from almost anywhere in the world.
As far as the speeds are concerned, ExpressVPN justifies its excellent reputation. The service provides unlimited bandwidth without any speed restrictions whatsoever. However, this also means that the server can experience some problems due to the number of downloads happening at the same time.
ExpressVPN is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, and iOS, so it can support all devices that use these platforms. What’s more, you can even connect up to three devices at the same time (including virtual machines), which is not an option many VPN providers give you.
ExpressVPN also offers manual setup guides for a variety of devices and platforms on the official website including routers, consoles, Chromebook, Windows phones, and even Blackberry devices. It also implemented browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, which are a front end for the complete desktop software rather than just browser-only proxy servers. Therefore, in order to activate these extensions, you also have to install the “main” ExpressVPN software.
ExpressVPN has a rather impressive list of features that come with all plans. Some companies save their best features for the most expensive plans, but ExpressVPN has made all their plans attractive and feature-rich. Let’s take a look at the basic stuff you can expect from this provider. ExpressVPN offers unlimited bandwidth, server switching, and speed. No caps on any of these. The uptime is excellent – 99.99% as the company promised.
As we already mentioned in this ExpressVPN review, the servers are located in 94 countries of the world, which is a pretty amazing geographic coverage. There are even some servers in Egypt, Uzbekistan, and Kenya. Better coverage means better speeds because you want to connect to the server that is the nearest to you in order to get the best possible speeds.
As for security, ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN (TCP, UDP), L2TP-IPsec, SSTP and PPTP protocols, and we recommend OpenVPN as the most superior option by far. You can get simultaneous connections for up to three of your devices. This is more than many other providers offer but still less than unlimited connections that certain companies boast. Note that you CAN connect an unlimited number of devices to your ExpressVPN account, but you can use only three at the same time.
By signing up for ExpressVPN, you are automatically granted access to the company’s Media Streamer SmartDNS. This is great news for those who are interested in streaming shows or listening to online radio stations. The only catch is that you have to register your IP address on the website before you proceed to stream any content.
In addition, ExpressVPN has a very good referral program. Again, this is not something you see in most VPN providers. A referral program means you can earn perks (such as 30 days of free service per sign up) for referring friends to the provider.
Finally, ExpressVPN provides all users, regardless of the package, with the full suite of their own user-friendly software, compatible with all major devices and systems, from Mac and Windows, through iOS and Android, to Linux and routers. As previously stated in this ExpressVPN review, setup is extremely easy and intuitive and server switching and customization are a piece of cake with this excellent software.
Security and Privacy
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is neither required to follow US Data Retention rules nor EU DRD laws and regulations. In other words, they are not obliged to share their data with any government, which means they don’t need to keep traffic logs. British Virgin Islands is a sovereign overseas territory of the UK, but they are exempt from the 14 Eyes surveillance treaty, which is another piece of good news.
ExpressVPN collects minimal information regarding the usage of its services. This data is used to identify and address technical issues but cannot identify you or your online behavior. In other words, the company doesn’t collect any traffic logs that would be able to show connections between your IP and timestamps.
The company uses AES-256 cipher with RSA-4096 handshake and SHA-512 HMAC authentication, which is an extremely solid encryption setup. This level of encryption could be construed as excessive so, you can go lower if you want without compromising your safety.
Furthermore, the provider allows Bitcoin payment, which is another plus when speaking of privacy. It’s also important to note that ExpressVPN operates on the basis of shared IP addresses, which means that individual users don’t have to worry that someone will track back a single IP to them.
You can get answers to your questions through email, support tickets or live chat. The fastest and most reliable option is definitely the live chat, which is available to all users 24/7. During our research phase for this ExpressVPN review, we found out that email support is not that efficient, as it might take a while before you receive the response. Moreover, their email can end up in your junk or spam mail, so make sure to add ExpressVPN to your contact list.
You can also find the solutions to the most common problems in the FAQ section, as well as make use of the tutorial page, which can help you setup a VPN connection. However, don’t hesitate to contact customer support since they are always ready to help.
ExpressVPN offers three packages, which are basically one package that features unlimited VPN services, with the distinction that you can choose to sign up for one month, six months or one year.
You will get a discount in accordance with the duration of your subscription, saving over 20 percent for the six months package and 35 percent for the annual package.
That being said, the single month package, which is renewed automatically, costs $12.95, the semi-annual package costs $9.99 per month and is billed every six months and the annual package costs $8.32 per month and is billed once per year.
Though there is no free trial available, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee. This fact comes with a sidenote, though, since ExpressVPN DOES offer a free trial for Android (1 day) and iOS devices (7 days).
ExpressVPN accepts Mastercard, VISA, Discover, American Express, Bitcoin, PayPal, UnionPay, Alipay, iDeal, Giropay, Yandex, SOFORT, Carte Bleue, Maestro, MINT, Interac Online, FanaPay, and OneCard.
- Unlimited bandwidth and speed
- Fast and secure VPN service
- Multiple server locations and protocols
- No usage logs
- Offers up to three simultaneous connections
- Great device compatibility
- Highly-efficient customer support
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Simple VPN client
- High prices
- No free trial for desktop platforms