Update January 5, 2021:
- ExpressVPN’s Mac app is now available in multiple languages
- How ExpressVPN ensures its apps are free of malware
- ExpressVPN launches bug-bounty program on Bugcrowd
- Must-watch sporting events to increase VPN sales
- Catch up on our latest blog posts
Virtual Private Networks have been gaining steam as encryption tools to browse the Web anonymously. After years of cybercrimes, hacking attacks, illegal cryptocurrency mining, data and identity thefts, users are finally becoming conscious about data privacy and are willing to do anything that may enhance their online security, which is a VPN’s job.
The VPN market provides hundreds of options: some are cheap, others are expensive. Some are free VPNs, while others require a payment. Some are trustworthy, and others just aren’t worth your time and energy. But, at least, according to users and pundits, ExpressVPN is considered one of the best of the bunch, if not the best VPN service.
ExpressVPN is known for its ease of use and ability to let users access any content with fast VPN servers across 94 countries. Unblocking sites and apps is possible with this outstanding software that is both secure and anonymous enough to guarantee your online privacy.
It uses powerful encryption (the military-grade 256-bit AES encryption), it has great features such as DNS/IPv6 leak protection, kill switch, and split tunneling; and it provides a fantastic and helpful customer support service, with plenty of tutorials, guides, manuals, and a 24/7 live chat feature.
Its 2,000+ servers and huge global network not only provide endless accessibility options, but also offer users top-end speeds and stable performance. Customers can also enjoy unlimited bandwidth and no throttling.
PRICING & PLANS
Within the VPN industry, ExpressVPN is considered somewhat expensive, at least when compared with similar alternatives. However, as one of the very best VPN apps and clients on the market, the cost is more than justified.
For a month of ExpressVPN service, users have to pay $12.95. Again, the industry may consider that fee to be a bit pricey, but in the overall scope of things, $13 every month won’t kill most users’ budgets, especially considering that there aren’t many better options to get.
Additionally, as it happens with most VPN companies, ExpressVPN offers its customers great discounts if they choose to buy longer-term plans. For example, if a user wants to buy a six-month plan, he would end up paying the equivalent of $9.99 per month, paying a single payment of $59.95.
The best deal, however, is a yearly plan. Customers pay $99.95, or the equivalent of $8.32 per month. That means the customer receives a 35% discount when compared to the monthly price.
All three payment modes come with the same features and services. As for the payment methods, customers can use all major credit cards – Visa, Master Card, American Express, Diners Club International, Discover, Delta, and others – and also PayPal. Other payment forms are accepted as well: Alipay, Web Money, Union Pay, Ideal, GiroPay, and more. The world’s most prominent cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is also valid.
PRIVACY & LOG POLICY
“We never keep traffic logs, and we also don’t keep any logs that might enable someone to match an IP and timestamp back to a user. We work entirely on the basis of shared IPs, meaning that a single IP does not track back to an individual user,” is the company’s statement regarding the matter.
ExpressVPN collects some connection logs, but they won’t have any consequences of any type, and they do it to improve services and networks. “We record aggregate data-transfer amounts and choice of server location, neither of which are data points that can identify a specific user as part of an investigation. We may collect the following information: dates (not times) when connected to our service, choice of server location, and the total amount of data transferred per day.”
ExpressVPN has its operational base in the British Virgin Islands, which may or may not be a positive thing, depending on whether you see the glass half-full or half-empty. On the good side, the BVI is a self-regulatory state, at least for internal affairs, and it has no data retention laws to speak of.
However, the British Virgin Islands are, after all, a British territory, and there is a possibility that, in the midst of an ongoing investigation, the UK government may put pressure on BVI’s authorities to share data logs. That is the negative aspect, although there’s a low probability of it happening.
Lag, latency, ping time, buffering, and others are concepts that have become household names for gamers, torrenters, and streaming addicts in the net universe. After all, a substantial percentage of people use the Internet to search for entertainment options as a way to kill time in a fun way.
As it turns out, ExpressVPN delivers outstanding results in speed tests, which is a critical feature of a VPN. Traffic and data traveling through remote servers that may be separated by considerable distances, can sometimes slightly slow down connection speed. However, this is not an issue with the currently reviewed brand.
High speeds are essential for online streaming with no buffering, for quick torrent files download, and for multiplayer games with no lag. Those are high consuming data transfer activities that require a VPN to have a specific infrastructure to deliver acceptable results.
Fortunately, ExpressVPN delivers high speeds and stable performance all around. Users can enjoy fast browsing, streaming, torrenting, and gaming with ExpressVPN.
The speed is consistently over 50 Mbps for downloading and 25Mbps for uploading, with an average time to connect of less than 10 seconds and a ping time of 2 ms.
As an additional tool, ExpressVPN offers a VPN speed test feature. The VPN Speed Test will show customers the best VPN servers with the fastest speed available by measuring latency and download speed.
ExpressVPN is one of the most feature-rich VPN service providers on the market. That is what separates it from the pack, and what gives it the edge when discussing the absolute best alternatives that the online security and privacy market provides.
For starters, it offers a useful split tunneling feature, which is the process of allowing a customer to access a public network while also allowing him to access resources on the VPN. In short, a user can access the web while also accessing devices on a remote network.
ExpressVPN also has a kill switch, a service that automatically “kills” your Internet connection in the event of a VPN disconnection. This is done to prevent you from sharing unencrypted data on the web before anything terrible happens to your online security.
DNS leaks are an undesirable event associated with VPN connections. Fortunately, ExpressVPN is well-equipped to stop or prevent them with its DNS leak protection feature. There are cases in which a VPN service provider can fail to protect the customer’s device’s DNS (Domain Name System) queries. Leaks can put your safety and privacy in jeopardy.
One little drawback of the ExpressVPN service is that it “only” offers availability to connect three different devices at the same time. That number is not bad per se, but is a bit lacking, considering that most of the top VPN brands offer five simultaneous devices and others, like NordVPN, can go as high as six.
ExpressVPN also has a private, zero-knowledge DNS, which means that the company runs its own DNS on every server. There are no third parties, no DNS blocking, no activity logs, and robust 256-bit encryption.
The brand also offers educational features. For example, it has an active blog with security tips, Internet privacy guides to help the customer learn how to browse anonymously, and even streaming sports guides.
A good VPN provider not only has to provide robust encryption, high-end speed, and stable performance but also has to offer a broad server network that operates in various cities and countries around the world. That is what gives ExpressVPN its “global” status: it has more than 2,000 servers.
Users can unblock websites and streaming sites of 94 countries. The 2,000 servers are spread across 148 total cities.
On top of having such a complete selection of servers and countries, the website does a fantastic job outlining which protocols are available for each location, including the five major ones: OpenVPN (both TCP and UDP,) L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, IKEv2, and PPTP.
Below is the list of ExpressVPN server locations:
- Costa Rica
- United States
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Republic
- Isle of Man
- Moldova, Republic of Moldova
- United Kingdom
- Brunei Darussalam
- Hong Kong
- Korea, Republic of Korea
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- New Zealand
Africa, Middle East & India:
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
PROTOCOLS & ENCRYPTION
ExpressVPN implements OpenVPN encryption. It uses AES-256 cipher with an RSA-4096 handshake and SHA-512 HMAC hash authentication. It also uses The
Elliptic Curve Diffie–Hellman (ECDH), an anonymous key agreement protocol that allows two parties, each having an elliptic-curve public-private key pair, to establish a shared secret over an insecure channel.
While such strong encryption may have an impact on speeds and performance, at least if the popular theory is correct, this is not the case with
ExpressVPN, which has a broad and highly developed infrastructure to prevent that from happening.
On top of OpenVPN, ExpressVPN offers its user several other protocols L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, SSTP, and PPTP.
EASE OF USE
ExpressVPN is very easy to install.
The website makes it simple and easy for new users to join and use the service. There are tons of guides, manuals, instructive materials, videos, not to mention the live chat feature for any unique issues.
While it is true that the VPN industry is filled with enterprises with unresponsive, unfriendly customer service and support departments, CyberGhost VPN has taken the step to improve in this area.
What was once known as a very bad customer staff with no live chat feature, now CyberGhost has the service available in case you have an urgent issue or requirement. The ticket method, however, can take a lot of time to respond to a simple query.
The problem is not submitting tickers, though: the issue is getting a timely response that can help you solve your issue in time. You want a VPN brand to respond in a matter of minutes, not hours or even days.
The live chat feature, though, is now “on air,” and in native French and German, no less.
Compatibility and apps
ExpressVPN is compatible with all devices, operating systems, browsers, and platforms that the Internet provides.
ExpressVPN has dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android, not to mention a fantastic Windows client. Also, it is compatible with other operating systems, such as Linux and Mac. It runs smoothly on other devices, such as Apple TV, Fire TV, Smart TV, PlayStation, Android TV box, and many more.
Protecting your online privacy, security, and anonymity is possible on every platform, thanks to ExpressVPN’s compatability with extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Sign up and client
The sign-up process is straightforward, and for the users’ convenience, the layout provides the options in a clear way. First, you need to choose a plan (monthly, six-month, or annual) and payment method. The company only asks for your email.
The desktop client oozes simplicity, yet doesn’t miss out on anything when it comes to features. There are options to choose everything, from protocol or encryption to server location. There is also an option for a more automated setup: location is automatically selected. After clicking on the “Connect” button, you are protected and encrypted!
Click here to download ExpressVPN.
While some VPN service providers mask conditions behind a perfectly marketed money-back guarantee – some require users to stay under a data limit – this is not the case with this top VPN provider.
The best VPN service providers offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, and ExpressVPN is no exception to the rule. It provides the user with a full month to test the VPN’s features, encryption quality, server network, and so on.
If a customer doesn’t like the service, he can be issued a refund, no questions asked. Some brands may put up a “fight” to convince you to stay or to avoid returning your funds, but not ExpressVPN.
NEGATIVES – HERE ARE THE “CONS”
The present review’s verdict is that ExpressVPN is arguably the best VPN provider in a market full of good options. However, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one single drawback that is worth mentioning.
If you want to nitpick, you can point that the fact that there is no free plan or trial offered, and customers need to agree to the 30-day money-back guarantee policy, which isn’t bad at all.
Another little flaw is the number of simultaneously connected devices, just three. The best VPN brands offer five or six.
ExpressVPN customer service and support is the envy of the industry, competing with the very best. Urgent queries can be quickly processed with a live chat feature.
Part of the charm of ExpressVPN is the fact that it makes it so easy for people to buy the service or solve related issues. All the guides, videos, and tutorials are part of the customer service experience, as is the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.
The tutorials and instructions are almost always supported by screenshots with the intention of making it easier to understand. In addition to the live chat feature and the multimedia material, ExpressVPN provides a ticket system for email support.
In conclusion, ExpressVPN is an outstanding VPN service that not only promises (and delivers) not to share data logs of your online activity but also has a complete set of features that makes it an elite option.
Even though ExpressVPN doesn’t offer 5 simultaneous connections, overall it is still a top VPN provider when reviewing the entire package.
The huge infrastructure and attention to detail guarantee that there is no lag when playing online, no buffering while streaming, and no DNS or IP leaks when browsing anonymously.
The bottom line is that for a price of $12.95/month, users can enjoy the best encryption on the market, compatibility with Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and Mac; as well as security measures and features, such as split tunneling, DNS leak protection, and kill switch. Also, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku, Play Station, and Android TV box users can run ExpressVPN without much hassle.
If you value your online privacy and your digital assets, you may reap the benefits of peace of mind with ExpressVPN.