EXPRESSVPN REVIEW

Expressvpn is great VPN for overall usage

ExpressVPN is a high authority VPN service that is often attributed to high-speeds, military-grade security, and absolute anonymity. The VPN boasts of superb performances, and its highly regarded customer-friendly service. They back their claims by giving out a verified 30-day money back guarantee should you choose to withdraw your subscription. ExpressVPN is currently one of our top-rated VPN services.

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Quick Stats

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Money back guarantee

30 days

Allowed concurrent connections

3

Logging Policy

No Logging

Server locations

148+ locations in 94+ countries

Special features

Double VPN, kill switch, Hide IP, BitTorrent e P2P allowed, , WiFi protect, DNS leak protection, Split tunneling, Perfect forward secrecy

Customer Support

24/7 live support

Number of servers

2,000+

Supported devices

Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Apple TV, Kindle Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, Routers, Fire TV, Nintendo Switch, Smart TV, Nook, Chromecast

Jurisdiction

British Virgin Islands

Introduction

ExpressVPN began its operations in 2009 and has since expanded, amassing a reputable position in the VPN industry. The VPN is an excellent feature-packed VPN for users willing to spend an extra dime to get its outstanding speed and tier-one security. The fact that the VPN has a legal jurisdiction to operate in the British Virgin Islands, explains why it offers discrete protection and keeps zero logs of your online activity. The British Virgin Island are not within reach of any encroaching governments who might want to collect user data.

A recent change in their policy meant that ExpressVPN now allows for up to 3 devices in a single subscription. Its proven fast connection speeds make it stand out as one of the best for accessing popular streaming services, including Netflix US.

In this review, we try to look into all the features and services offered by this VPN service. We also attest our hands-on experience with the product. Keep reading to learn why ExpressVPN is genuinely a fantastic VPN service that will satisfy your needs.

Servers

This VPN provider has an extensive 2000+ server distribution in 148+ locations, across 94+ countries globally. Its server coverage is growing at an accelerated rate – we predict they will keep expanding rapidly. They even have coverage in most African and Middle East countries – making it rank amongst the few with such coverage.

Getting a VPN with a vast network of servers at your disposal is of paramount importance if you’re to access censored geographical content and blocked sites as well. A VPN service like ExpressVPN will give you wide access to content while concealing your identity from prying eyes.

Given its wide distribution of servers, ExpressVPN makes it easy to access popular streaming sites such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, etc.

Regardless of your physical location, choosing the right server location will give you access to unlimited content. You should know that ExpressVPN gives you access to Netflix US, regardless of where you live.

Virtual locations

ExpressVPN has some virtual server locations for some countries. These virtual servers work by giving you an IP belonging to the country of your choice – while traffic is rerouted to a different location. This technique ensures your connection remains private, secure and fast. Such servers are used in countries like Srilanka and Bhutan for instance.

Jurisdiction

Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN guarantees an anonymous browsing experience. The VPN has a strict no-logs policy since they are not bound by any jurisdiction of major nations. Consequently, their complete suite of next-gen security features, including military-grade encryption, an automated kill switch, perfect forward secrecy, and a DNS leak protection ensure that no one can track your online activity. Their base also promises secure torrenting, which is enabled on all their servers. The fact that their anonymous servers have unlimited bandwidth makes this VPN an excellent choice for P2P file sharing.

Security & Privacy (Protection)

Military grade Encryption techniques

ExpressVPN secures your data with the AES-256 Cipher together with an RSA-4096 handshake and an SHA-512 HMAC hash authentication on an OpenVPN traffic – the VPN’s default protocol. This technique is the highest security standard a VPN can deliver. Moreover, the same security standard has been adopted by major governments such as the US and other security experts globally. Truly, ExpressVPN rolls with the best, when it comes to security standards.

Perfect forward secrecy feature

Further, the VPN has a perfect forward secrecy feature that is an anonymously shared key which refreshes every 60 seconds. The feature ensures no hacker will ever break into your encrypted sessions. The VPN’s perfect forward secrecy feature uses a technique called Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) key exchange.

Not many VPN providers are willing to go through such measures to ensure your safety, since having additional security and encryptions tend to lower connection speeds. No matter, ExpressVPN somehow has a way to balance their military grade security with ultra-fast speeds. We will show you how they do it in the speed test section below.

Connection protocols

Apart from OpenVPN, the VPN also offers other protocols, including L2TP-IPSec, and the PPTP protocols. And while OpenVPN is the VPN’s standard recommended protocol, you are free to use other available protocols if you prefer speed over your safety.

Automated Kill-Switch

ExpressVPN uses an automated Kill-Switch feature to ensure your connection is never exposed in the event your VPN connection drops. This is an important feature especially when you leave your devices unattended.

Privacy

When it comes to privacy, ExpressVPN has all the perks to top the charts compared to other VPN providers. For instance, the VPN has legal jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands – a location which puts them beyond the reach of any legal jurisdiction of intelligence agencies such as the NSA and GCHQ. This means that unlike other VPN connection based in the UK and US, ExpressVPN is not bound to reveal any user data from its servers.

Therefore, ExpressVPN is a justified no-logs policy VPN service – an enhanced safety and privacy advantage for you. The only data they collect is meant for operational use only; they don’t collect any of the following:

  • Browsing history
  • Traffic metadata
  • DNS queries
  • IP addresses

ExpressVPN doesn’t store your browsing activity, and that means if anyone asks they won’t get anything. After all, you can’t issue that which you don’t have. What’s more, if you opt for payments is in Bitcoin, then your anonymity is guaranteed – zero trace of your association with the service.

To add extra assurance of your privacy, ExpressVPN issues its users with a shared IP address which is shared with users accessing the same server. A shared IP address is miles better since it will be difficult to single out your true identity.

Speed

ExpressVPN has a bold claim to be the fastest VPN in the industry. We wanted to verify their claims. Therefore, we used a speed test tool to test the connections of the VPN. Thanks to the speed test tool, you can always use it to check the speed performance of a server that is far away from your actual location.

Please note that I performed this test on a slow internet connection. Don’t be alarmed by the slow speeds you see here. Trust me when I tell you that these are very close to when the ExpresVPN connection is turned off.

Here is an illustrative snapshot of the test with no VPN connected:

This second snapshot illustrates what we connected to a nearby server location:

Now here are the results after we tested with a distant connected server:

Looking at these snapshot results, it is evident that ExpressVPN lives up to its claims of fast speeds. So far no VPN service has recorded this wonderful results – only a few have come close.

The results we got from the speed test gave us the satisfaction about the performance of ExpressVPN. We, therefore, concluded that you can bank on ExpressVPN to stream HD videos, torrent without lags – P2P is available too.

DNS Leak test

We also performed a test to check if the VPN’s VPN leak protection works. We, therefore, did a DNS test and were not surprised by the results – recorded zero leaks. Here is an illustration screenshot of the results:

Prices and payment methods

If there is a setback to be attributed to this VPN, it is its high pricing. To get a decisive conclusion, we visited other ExpressVPN reviews across the web – the VPN is priced one of the highest in the industry.

Nonetheless, the seemingly high pricing is justified by the VPN’s great feature set and its service delivery. The unexpected SmartDNS feature alone justifies the difference in price compared to other VPN providers.

ExpressVPN offers the same package – under different time plans. A monthly subscription starts at $12.95 every month – an expensive plan you can overlook. Its 6-month plan is priced $9.99 per month. However, if you choose to buy its 12-month plan, you’ll get it for $8.32 every month, and it is the most popular plan. Know that you’re required to pay an accrued monthly rate for the long-term plans.

Free trial

ExpressVPN doesn’t exactly offer a free trial if you subscribe through the website. You can only get the free trial when you download the mobile clients – for iOS and Android platforms. Consequently, you’ll be required to comply with the App store and Google to use it.

Payment methods

The British Virgin Islands-based VPN is flexible in terms of its payment channels. They accept a wide range of credit/ debit cards and global PayPal. The VPN has also partnered with PaymentWall to accept various obscure international payment options.

ExpressVPN joined a few other VPN providers in accepting Bitcoin payments. This is an excellent option for users striving to stay completely anonymous – an option we highly recommend.

Money back guarantee

To make up for its lack of free trials, ExpressVPN provides a generous 30-day money back guarantee. Unlike other VPN providers, its money back policy doesn’t have any catches. You simply need to cancel your subscription for whatever reason, and you’ll be refunded – of course, it has to be within the time period of 30 days.

We believe the 30 days period should be enough to have a go at the VPN and answer your curiosity of its claim – one of the best VPN in the industry.

Features

ExpressVPN packs great features other VPNs cannot afford to offer. We tried to look at some of their best attributes.

SmartDNS

ExpressVPN includes SmartDNS in all its packages. SmartDNS is a technology, which is excellent at geo-spoofing your actual location.

While this might be a useful addition, some devices only work with SmartDNS but don’t support a VPN connection. These devices include Apple TV, Smart TV, PlayStation, Xbox Nintendo switch, etc. However, ExpressVPN has a way you can configure the SmartDNS via the VPN – which works perfectly with geo-restricted services.

You should know that SmartDNS doesn’t offer security, but only lets you to access geo-restricted services. And since the feature works faster than a VPN, you can use it in cases where you just need to unblock an absolute legal service. You’ll be assured of high connection speeds and will stream HD content.

Stealth technology

Notable countries like China and Iran have strong censors against services like VPNs. To use a VPN in such countries, ExpressVPN has a stealth technology feature that uses an obfuscation technique – making OpenVPN traffic appear like a regular HTTPS traffic.

However, during our review on the ExpressVPN website, we noticed that the VPN hasn’t mentioned the feature. We had to confirm with them about it via their 24/7 live chat support.

.onion Tor Web address

In heavily censored countries, even most VPN providers are blocked. That includes registering or downloading a VPN client. Thankfully, ExpressVPN has a solution for this – a .onion version for their website.

Tor is a free software that is also an open access network, allowing websites to run on encrypted connections – for anonymity and safety. To access ExpressVPN via Tor, just paste expressobutiolem.onion on your Tor browser. Consequently, dark websites are quite secure, therefore, using a .onion extension ensures you don’t get blocked.

Split tunneling

ExpressVPN also offers a split tunneling feature. The feature enables you to customize your client, by choosing particular apps you wish to protect with the VPN. If for instance, a certain app doesn’t require a VPN protection, then you can customize ExpressVPN exclude it in its protection. However, the feature is only available for Windows, Mac OS, and compatible routers.

We learned that a router’s split tunneling will suit you the most. If say, you want to stream Netflix US on your smart TV or PC, then you can configure the VPN not to protect your smartphone. That way you will increase the connection speeds for streaming the content.

Ease of use

Getting started with ExpressVPN

Here is how you can get started:

  • Visit the ExpressVPN official site
  • Click on GET STARTED
  • Sign up easily
  • Download the target VPN client
  • Enter your activation code
  • Click connect to use the service

Sign up procedure

To register with ExpressVPN, you will only need a working email and a payment method. If you wish to remain anonymous as we all encourage, then use Bitcoin as a payment option. However, if staying anonymous is not a priority at the start, then you use any of the remaining payment options. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes.

Getting ExpressVPN client

All ExpressVPN clients are easy and straightforward. Considering they pack quite a number of features, their clients stack impressively.

In this review, we tested with Windows and mobile clients.

To access the windows client features, you’ll require an activation code that is emailed to you after the signup process. After opening the client, just hit the connect button to enjoy the service. The VPN has a smart location feature, which will connect you to the best server automatically for improved connection speeds.

However, if you want to connect to a specific server, click the Choose Server button to proceed. You will be redirected to a window with a list of servers that the VPN estimates you will be interested in. Nevertheless, if your preferred location is not listed, then click on ‘All’ to access a complete list of servers.

Customization
While the client might appear to be simple, it has a number of advanced features you can use to suit your needs. To customize the VPN client, click on the menu symbol, on the top corner. Choose Options to get started.

Some of the utilities you might want to include a firewall-based kill switch and a DNS leak protection feature. There is also a list of protocols you can choose from to work with.

ExpressVPN Mobile client

The VPN’s mobile apps adopt the same look and feel of the Windows and Mac clients. The user interface is also simple, smart and engaging. The menu button on the top left will lead you to the settings window where you can tweak a few features to suit your needs.

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The Choose Location button on the home page allows you to choose from a list of ExpressVPN servers. Once you’re on the server’s list page, you can perform a quick server speed test by tapping on the speed-icon on the top right.

The mobile client gives you tips on the side of the Choose location. However, if you use a free trial, you will observe adverts asking you to follow ExpressVPN on Facebook.

Compatibility

For any VPN to rank highly amongst its peers, it needs to offer excellent device compatibility. A VPN that only support Windows but not your smartphone just doesn’t get the job done. In such cases, you need a VPN like ExpressVPN that offers a wide range of supported devices as well as browser extensions.

ExpressVPN handles device and software compatibility better than many other VPNs in the industry. It works on computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, and various other devices. The client apps support a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, as well as Linux. It also supports browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

ExpressVPN also allows concurrent connections for up to 3 devices under a single account subscription – Ideally, we would like this amount to be higher but we find it to be manageable.

Compatibility with streaming sites

We also checked to learn if ExpressVPN works with streaming sites – Netflix US being one. We discovered that not all ExpressVPN servers work with Netflix Netflix. You may have to clarify with the support team, which servers are working at a given time.

During our experiment, we tried to connect to a server in Texas but failed. However, other US server worked well at the time.

ExpressVPN is also an excellent choice if you want to access other major streaming services such as Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO, CBC, NBC, YouTube Red, Spotify, etc. The VPN works well because of its ultra-fast connection speeds.

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Customer support

Live chat, Emails, FAQs, Guides, Tutorials

ExpressVPN has a noteworthy 24/7 live chat. They also offer alternative support through troubleshooting, guides, tutorials to some technical and usage problems. The VPN has an advanced Email system that allows you to include attachments of issues you may face. Moreover, there is a general FAQ which tries to solve the typical problems that you may run into.

However, of all the support services, the 24/7 live chat support stands out with a faster response time of fewer than 10 seconds. The agents work with you in real time, and will always try and solve your queries. We particularly noticed their politeness and patience to answer even the most basic questions that we asked them – a big plus for any service-based business. What’s more, ExpressVPN also values the privacy of your identity; their live chat doesn’t ask for your details.

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Bottom Line

ProsCons
Automatic Kill SwitchExpensive
Ultra fast SpeedsSupports only 3 concurrent connections
Great for Netflix US, Hulu, BBC, HBO, Youtube Red, CBC, NBC
Supports Torrents and P2P
No logging Policy
OpenVPN, L2TP, PPP and others supported
Stealth Technology
Advanced 256 bit encryption
DNS leak protection
2000+ Servers
Excellent device and OS support
Accepts Bitcoin
Reliable 24/7 support
30 day money back guarantee

If living up to its claims is anything to go by, then ExpressVPN truly delivers. And while the VPN might not suit users on a budget, the service-feature offered are worth every penny. The VPN checks on all the boxes in design, solid security, superior performance, and fantastic customer support. ExpressVPN is a reliable connection with efficient protection of your online privacy and covers online streaming well. They even offer perfect torrenting with a P2P experience.

ExpressVPN is a reliable connection with efficient protection of your online privacy and has superb coverage of media streaming. Consequently, if you’re addicted to torrenting, ExpressVPN has anonymous servers that will ensure your privacy. What’s more, the VPN upholds a strict no-logs policy, which ensures privacy.

Once again, the difference in its seemingly high price rates is justified by its addictive, great features. ExpressVPN is one of the few top VPNs with SmartDNS – let alone its stealth technology feature which allows you to access content in censored countries like China – unidentified.

If you are a user who’s keen on reliability, and after a service that can protect your online activities, ExpressVPN is your go-to. The VPN scores well on all the boxes in design, solid security, superior performance, and fantastic customer support.

Disclosure
The VPN Guru is an independent review site. In order to pay fund ourselves, we do receive affiliate compensation for clicking on our links. Note that this does not affect our reviews. It may, however, impact the location and/or prominence of the placement of location on where the VPN’s appear on the site.