ExpressVPN Evaluation: Due to its fast speeds and rigorous logging policy, ExpressVPN is one of our top VPNs.
What We Appreciate
No data retention laws: ExpressVPN is not a member of any international surveillance alliance due to its location in the British Virgin Islands.
No logging: All of our personal information, including our IP addresses, browsing history, and traffic, is encrypted in perpetuity.
We used split-tunneling to connect to both public and private networks concurrently.
What We Disagree With
Although we could have acquired additional connections for additional money, we were limited to only five simultaneous connections under the terms of the programs. To learn how to save money with this VPN, visit our article on ExpressVPN discounts and specials.
No phone support: We received assistance only via live chat or email, which is rather standard for VPNs.
ExpressVPN, which is based in the British Virgin Islands, can never be legally compelled to hand over user data to the government.
When it comes to VPNs, you don’t want to take a chance on a provider you’re unfamiliar with. That is why we are thrilled to do an ExpressVPN review. It’s one of the most reputable VPN providers available, having an excellent reputation.
ExpressVPN, based in the British Virgin Islands, has over 2,000 servers in 160 locations, enabling you to connect to secure private networks worldwide. This all sounds really impressive, but we wanted to see how ExpressVPN works for ourselves. What are our options? That is precisely what we do.
We’ll walk you through ExpressVPN’s features, pricing, and customer care in this review. Additionally, we study the ExpressVPN app and compare it to NordVPN, one of the company’s primary competitors.
Only then do we reach a conclusion about whether ExpressVPN is the best VPN for you. Let us begin!
ExpressVPN Quick Stats
|IP Addresses||Anonymous, regularly rotated|
ExpressVPN, as previously stated, has over 2,000 servers in 160 locations. It is critical for VPN providers to have a large number of servers located throughout the world, as your proximity to a server can impact your internet performance.
ExpressVPN’s headquarters are located in the British Virgin Islands. While the British Virgin Islands are a British colony, they have their own laws and are not members of any international surveillance alliances. This implies that ExpressVPN is exempt from surveillance legislation that would allow intelligence agencies to obtain consumer data legally. Additionally, the British Virgin Islands lacks its own data retention rules.
Despite these advantages, ExpressVPN has encountered its share of controversy, most recently. Kape Technologies acquired the company for $936 million in early September 2021, making it one of the costliest technology acquisitions in history. Cape originated as Crossrider, a corporation known for its virus production. 1
Cape appears to have improved its behavior since those early days and maintains that ExpressVPN will continue to function independently. Nonetheless, the two firms appear to be unique partners.
The same week, the US government said that it had accused Daniel Garicke, ExpressVPN’s chief information officer, of assisting the United Arab Emirates in hacking American targets.
2 This discovery has only added to the company’s woes. We continue to trust ExpressVPN for the time being, but we recommend keeping a tight eye on the technologies you use.
We used ExpressVPN whenever we had a Wi-Fi connection or a mobile data carrier’s LTE, 4G, or 3G connection.
Will ExpressVPN Keep a Log of My Activity?
Obviously, the primary reason we signed up for a VPN was to secure our data from hackers. ExpressVPN recognized, however, that we presumably do not want the VPN itself to have access to our personal data. ExpressVPN’s website makes it quite clear that the firm does not collect IP addresses, timestamps, or browsing histories at the moment and will never do so.
ExpressVPN collected no information on us other than the app and version we activated, the dates we utilized the ExpressVPN service, the server location we selected, and the total quantity of data moved over ExpressVPN in MB. Additionally, unless you utilized an anonymous payment method, ExpressVPN acquired payment information. Because virtually all VPN providers log this information, we weren’t overly concerned when ExpressVPN did as well.
Is ExpressVPN Equipped With A Kill Switch?
ExpressVPN includes a kill switch, which is normally standard. That meant we never had to worry about our privacy being violated. When the VPN connection was severed, the kill switch terminated all operating software programs and websites. When others could see what we were doing, the kill switch ensured that no one could see anything.
Which Tunneling Protocols Does ExpressVPN Support?
Another element of ExpressVPN that we appreciated is its split tunneling. Split tunneling enabled us to connect to a VPN and a local network concurrently, allowing us to save on bandwidth.
The way it worked was as follows: a portion of our traffic passed through the ExpressVPN tunnel, while the remainder connected straight to the internet. That was fantastic when we were working at the coffee shop and needed simultaneous access to a public and a private network. ExpressVPN deserves praise for providing this level of flexibility to its clients!
Is Netflix Compatible with ExpressVPN?
We watched Netflix over an ExpressVPN server. We got access to our favorite shows from the United States of America regardless of where we were in the world. And what about when we were in Brooklyn? We tested Netflix in several countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom. Finally, when we wanted to view a movie, we used ExpressVPN to do some torrenting.
Encryption with ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN encrypts all of our data with AES-256 bits, the same level of encryption used by the United States military. Our connection utilized its own encrypted private domain name server, and our IP address was fully anonymous and cycled on a regular basis. The following approaches were used to encrypt our data:
Internet Key Exchange version 2 is a widely used VPN protocol that automatically reconnects you to your VPN when you lose internet access. It’s especially beneficial for someone who enjoys switching between Wi-Fi and mobile hotspots, a very popular maneuver when surfing the web in public.
IP Security establishes safe Internet connections and is frequently used in conjunction with other protocols to boost security. IPsec operates in one of two modes: transit mode, which encrypts only the message contained within the data packet, or tunneling mode, which encrypts the entire data packet.
Internet protocols define how data packets are routed over a network. Consider data packets to be mail, and protocols to be the various paths that mailmen could take. They could take a shortcut through the woods and arrive faster, but they risk running into a wolf along the way. On the other hand, if they stick to major routes, the mail will reach safely, albeit slightly later than if they took the back roads.
The same holds true for internet protocols, as secure protocols translate into a more secure, albeit slower, VPN server. ExpressVPN supports the following virtual private network (VPN) protocols:
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol is used in conjunction with IPsec (as discussed previously) to produce an extremely secure VPN client. While L2TP establishes the tunnel, IPSec is responsible for encryption and channel security. Additionally, it ensures that the data’s integrity has not been jeopardized.
OpenVPN is the most widely used VPN protocol, and for good reason. It is the ideal balance of safety and speed. Additionally, OpenVPN comes in two distinct flavors:
UDP: UDP, or User Datagram Protocol, transmits datagrams without the use of virtual circuits. UDP has the advantage of requiring less bandwidth, which results in less delay. The downside is that some packets may be misplaced or out of sequence.
TCP: Transmission Control Protocol is a seven-layer protocol that transports data and ensures it reaches its destination by dividing it up into smaller packets. It works well in conjunction with UDP, as it can ensure that data is reassembled in the correct order.
Consider UDP and TCP to be your parents packing for a vacation. While your father may pack your belongings more quickly, your mother will ensure that everything arrives securely and in order.
Finally, ExpressVPN has developed its own proprietary protocol, dubbed Lightway. Lightway eliminates non-essential, out-of-date features. This results in increased speeds. Simultaneously, it employs WolfSSL for cryptography, ensuring data security.
Are you unsure which protocol is appropriate for your particular situation? By default, ExpressVPN automatically selects the optimum protocol when you sign on.
ExpressVPN is being evaluated.
Before deciding whether or not to recommend ExpressVPN, we decided to do some objective tests to determine how well it performs. We specifically looked at internet speed and leak protection during the tests. How well-behaved was the ExpressVPN software?
Test of Speed
Obviously, internet speed is critical. As noted in our VPN guide, all VPNs slow down internet connections by introducing additional internet protocols. We wanted to ensure, however, that ExpressVPN did not significantly slow down our internet connection.
Bear in mind that internet speed is determined by a variety of factors, including the time of day, the location, the internet service provider, the software and hardware used to connect to the VPN server. From our Brooklyn, New York apartments, we tested ExpressVPN on a Macbook Air and a Windows Vivobook. Without a VPN, we’re often connected to an Optimum Wi-Fi network.
Tests of Download Speed
|Without VPN||37.05 mbps|
|With VPN||22.7 mbps|
|Without VPN||62.88 mbps|
|With VPN||39.77 mbps|
To begin, we compared the download speeds in megabits per second. As the following image indicates, ExpressVPN significantly reduced download speeds on both Mac and Windows machines. The download speed on the Mac was reduced by around 39%, while the download speed on Windows was reduced by approximately 37%.
Upload Speed Tests
|Without VPN||25.9 mbps|
|With VPN||22.19 mbps|
|Without VPN||40.61 mbps|
|With VPN||30.95 mbps|
Following that, we compared upload speeds with and without the VPN. ExpressVPN operated admirably once again, however it performed better on the Mac, with a decrease of only about 14% compared to 23% on the Windows PC.
Ping Speed Evaluations
|Without VPN||14 mbps|
|With VPN||20 mbps|
|Without VPN||14 mbps|
|With VPN||19 mbps|
Finally, the ping, or delay, in milliseconds, was determined. In this category, the Windows machine outperformed the Mac, although only somewhat. In general, we found that ExpressVPN performed admirably on both Mac and Windows PCs. We were quite satisfied with our speeds.
DNS Leakage Examination
We constantly conduct DNS leak testing because if a device has a leak, it may send DNS traffic outside the VPN tunnel. Alternatively, it may connect to a third-party server over the VPN tunnel. Even if you configure your VPN manually, a leak can occur if an intruder gains control of your router.
ExpressVPN’s website includes a DNS leak test. All we had to do was turn on our VPN and click the button that indicated we were looking for leaks. We obtained our answer in a matter of seconds.
DNS Leakage Test with ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN webpage screenshot.
As shown in the following image, our ExpressVPN server had no DNS leaks, which is a very good sign.
- WebRTC Leakage Experiment
- WebRTC Leak Test with ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN webpage screenshot.
WebRTC, or Web Real-Time Communication Test, is a collection of standardized technologies that enables direct communication between web browsers. This eliminates the need for intermediary servers. WebRTC enables faster rates, which are especially beneficial for video conferencing, live streaming, and file transfers. That sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?
The potential security risk derives from WebRTC’s requirement for your private IP address.
Public IP addresses are assigned by ISPs, or internet service providers. These are globally unique addresses, and your ISP can only allocate one to each device, which is often a router. Public IP addresses enable people to connect directly to the internet.
By contrast, routers assign private IP addresses to each device connected to your network. They are mostly used by computers, cellphones, and tablets. A VPN assigns you a unique private IP address, which prevents third parties from tracking your online activity.
Due to the fact that WebRTC utilizes your private IP address, it is critical to test for WebRTC leaks if you are using a VPN. A leak could expose your address to unscrupulous individuals. Bear in mind that Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, and Microsoft Edge all use WebRTC by default.
As with DNS breaches, ExpressVPN’s website includes a WebRTC leak test that is super simple to perform. We turned on our VPN and pressed a button to check for leaks.
Fortunately, our ExpressVPN kept us safe from WebRTC leakage. We were able to maintain a high-speed connection without jeopardizing the security of our private IP addresses.
Subscriptions to ExpressVPN
Let us get straight to the point. How much does all of this safeguarding cost?
We had the option of monthly, six-month, or year billing. In essence, the monthly payment decreases as the term length grow. ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, which allowed us to test the VPN risk-free. We were aware that we could “return it” digitally and receive a full refund.
|Subscription length||1 month||6 months||12 months|
Indeed, we earned more than $8.32 every month. ExpressVPN is currently offering an additional three months of service for free during the first year. This reduced the monthly cost of our Express VPN to just $6.67.
By comparison, NordVPN’s entry-level package costs only $3.67. However, you must purchase a two-year subscription in advance.
We were able to choose between an infinite number of servers and keep five simultaneous connections with any of ExpressVPN’s subscriptions. If we required additional concurrent connections, we could have purchased an additional license or set up a VPN router to obtain an unlimited number.
Configurations Made by Hand
ExpressVPN is compatible with Linux, Chromebooks, and a variety of wireless routers (Sabai, DD-WRT, Asus, or Tomato), as well as a variety of streaming media and gaming consoles (Apple TV, FireTV, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox).
We were given the option of connecting to an ExpressVPN server via Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.
Customer Support ExpressVPN
When we encountered difficulties with ExpressVPN, we were relieved to find professional customer care personnel.
ExpressVPN offers live chat and email assistance 24 hours a day. As millennials, we found these services sufficient, despite the absence of a phone line. Additionally, we had the option of contacting customer support directly through our ExpressVPN app, which should have streamlined the process.
The ExpressVPN Application
Naturally, we want a good app to connect to our VPN. Let’s discuss the ExpressVPN app in more detail: what it offers, where we utilized it, and how well it performed.
ExpressVPN supports the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Blackberry, routers, and Kindle. We selected our VPN and communicated with customer care via the app when necessary.
Overall, we were rather pleased with the ExpressVPN app. Others on the app store appear to be pleased as well. It has a near-perfect 4.6 rating in Apple’s App Store and a respectable 4.3 rating on Google Play.
“I’m quite taken aback by the new in-app shortcuts for navigating to favorite apps…
I’ve observed a noticeable improvement in the reliability of the connection,”
Android user Bruno Perovic just gave the app a four-star rating.
NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN
NordVPN is another popular VPN service that shares many features with ExpressVPN. While ExpressVPN has over 2,000 servers in 160 locations, NordVPN has a huge 5,246 servers in 62 countries. However, before making a decision, be sure to check out its server locations.
Additionally, because NordVPN and ExpressVPN are domiciled in the British Virgin Islands and Panama, respectively, neither is a member of an international surveillance alliance or subject to data retention rules.
|IP Addresses||Anonymous, regularly rotated||Static, Shared with Other NordVPN Users|
Neither VPN stores data about your session, including the time and duration of your session, your IP address, the servers you use, the things you download, and the websites you visit. Both VPNs provide kill switches, a critical security feature, and we were able to stream Netflix and download torrent files with both.
Unlike ExpressVPN, NordVPN does not provide split tunneling, which means we were unable to connect to both private and public networks concurrently. While both VPNs provide anonymous IP addresses, NordVPN always assigned us the same IP address, which was insecure. By pooling our IP address with that of other NordVPN customers, we made ourselves more difficult to track.
You can purchase a dedicated IP address for a nominal cost. We appreciate ExpressVPN’s method of frequently rotating its IP addresses, as it makes it more difficult for hackers to follow us.
After comparing the features of NordVPN and ExpressVPN, let’s discuss their performance. While ExpressVPN performed better in terms of speed on our Windows computers, NordVPN performed better on our Macs. There were no DNS or WebRTC leaks on any machine.
For more information, visit our ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN comparison page. While both of these VPNs are excellent choices, we prefer ExpressVPN for Windows users and NordVPN for Mac users.
In general, we suggest ExpressVPN to our readers since it is extremely safe, operates admirably, and enables us to access Netflix and torrent movies. However, because everyone has personal preferences, we’ll further divide it down.
We’d recommend ExpressVPN to anyone looking for a VPN with a server location in a Five Eyes non-member country and a global network of more than 2,000 servers. ExpressVPN is also an excellent alternative for anyone looking to stream Netflix or download content since it fared admirably in our speed testing.
ExpressVPN, on the other hand, may not be the best choice if you require multi-hop encryption, dedicated IP addresses, or an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. Apart from that, ExpressVPN is the greatest VPN for a reason: it’s safe, secure, and affordable.
ExpressVPN Frequently Asked Questions
Our readers frequently ask us questions regarding ExpressVPN, and we’ve included the most frequently asked below.
Is ExpressVPN a free service?
ExpressVPN is not a free service. Rather than that, its monthly fees begin at $8.32 for a one-year subscription. While ExpressVPN does not provide a free trial or version, it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel prior to the first billing date, you will receive a refund.
Is ExpressVPN a criminal enterprise?
ExpressVPN is lawful in the United States, as are VPNs. However, not all countries permit VPNs, so ExpressVPN may be banned in countries such as Russia and China.
Is ExpressVPN a reputable provider?
ExpressVPN is a reputable VPN provider. The British Virgin Islands-based corporation operates over 2,000 servers in 160 countries.
What is the price of ExpressVPN?
Monthly, ExpressVPN costs $12.95, $9.99 for six months ($59.95 total), or $8.32 for a year ($99.95 total).
The company is now conducting a special promotion. When you sign up for a year, you receive an additional three months, bringing your monthly total to $6.67.