ExpressVPN is one of the top VPNs for users and experts. Online reviews highlight its ability to unblock various streaming services, strong security suite, connection speeds, and intuitive apps.
Based in the British Virgin Islands and follows an independently audited no-logs policy, the provider ensures complete privacy of your personal details and online activities. Combined with industry-leading AES encryption and an in-house built Lightway tunnel, you get unbreakable fast connection speeds. At the same time, additional features build additional layers of security.
But when it comes to additional tools, ExpressVPN is not feature-rich compared to its competitors. Its price only adds to the doubts.
However, let’s not jump to any conclusions before jumping into our full ExpressVPN review. Here, we’ll outline its security and privacy measures, performance, feature set, ease of use, pricing, and other essential details. Read on to find out how good ExpressVPN is.
ExpressVPN pros and cons
- fast download speed
- P2P support
- pure memory server
- Unblocks most streaming services
- independent review
- threat manager
- obfuscated server
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 7-day free trial with iOS and Android devices
- expensive subscription plans
- Only 5 simultaneous connections
If you’re short on time, here are our key takeaways from ExpressVPN’s test results:
- ExpressVPN is an undeniably secure VPN provider. AES-256 encryption, an independently audited no-logs policy, RAM-only servers, a functional kill switch, in-house built Lightway tunneling protocol, and other features guarantee total online protection.
- A VPN provides a fast and stable internet connection. Despite being slower than NordVPN, Surfshark, and even CyberGhost, ExpressVPN retains around 74% of your actual connection speed. Even when connecting to more distant server locations, there will be no sudden drop in speed.
- Great for streaming. There is no doubt that ExpressVPN is indeed one of the top VPNs for bypassing geo-restrictions on streaming services. Not only does it unblock a wide range of popular streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, but it also has a MediaStreamer feature that helps you use a VPN to stream on non-VPN devices.
- ExpressVPN runs a massive server farm. So we don’t know the actual number of servers this VPN offers. However, the last time the information was publicly accessible, it had more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. While the latter is still publicly visible, the number of servers couldn’t be less. Therefore, you receive a geographically diverse server farm.
- Great set of additional features. In addition to MediaStreamer, ExpressVPN includes split tunneling for customizing your VPN traffic, obfuscated servers for shielding your VPN connections, a threat manager to help you prevent tracking, and more.
- Modern and user-friendly application interface. ExpressVPN’s apps on all major operating systems keep it simple but sleek. The best part is that the application is intuitive and suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
- Pretty expensive subscription plan. To help you get a better picture, let’s compare NordVPN’s starting price with ExpressVPN’s starting price. So, you can get NordVPN for as low as $3.29 per month. Instead, ExpressVPN – $6.67 per month. That’s almost double the price. So, you might want to use its 30-day money-back guarantee to make sure ExpressVPN is the right VPN for you.
- You will have extensive and flexible customer support. If you have any issues with ExpressVPN, the provider has it covered. In addition to an extensive FAQ section, you can also ask for help via live chat or a ticket system.
Is ExpressVPN safe?
Yes, ExpressVPN is safe because it employs industry-leading security measures. The AES-256 encryption used by the provider fragments your online data into pieces, ensuring government-grade protection.
The provider also has the ability to ensure complete online privacy by seeking court approval and an independent audit of its no-logs policy. Equally important are privacy-friendly jurisdictions. Overall, ExpressVPN seems to be a solid VPN provider.
When you connect to a VPN server, your IP address is hidden and traffic is encrypted. This means that the data stream cannot be read by anyone without the encryption key.
ExpressVPN uses the AES 256-GCM cipher, but if you choose Lightway, a different protocol is used – ChaCha20/Poly1305. It’s more suitable for low-power routers or entry-level mobile devices.
Your authentication is done with the help of the SHA-512 hash function. This solves the problem of logging in with your credentials instead of exchanging them in plain text. This ensures that in the event of a data breach, your passwords remain safe.
Network Lock (smartphone network protection) is the name of the ExpressVPN kill switch, which is usually a core component of any virtual private network. If you use a VPN to protect your identity, a kill switch turns off your Internet connection if the VPN connection drops or is otherwise interrupted. This prevents accidental disclosure of your real IP and location.
You can easily turn on Network Lock by going to your settings. You can also disable or allow access to other local network devices, such as file servers and printers. This creates a block so restrictive that your device is disconnected from the local network. It’s handy if you’re using a VPN in public places.
Plus, it can disable specific apps if you customize it that way. This feature is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
They do, however, collect some usage information, such as the sum of successful VPN connections and data transferred. It is primarily used to improve the service, and you can opt out if you are concerned.
ExpressVPN has chosen a location that does not interfere with providing a privacy-friendly VPN service, as they are located in the British Virgin Islands. The location does not have any potentially harmful data retention laws, nor does it belong to any large surveillance alliances, such as the Fourteen Eyes alliance.
Security and Privacy Audit
ExpressVPN has passed a series of independent audits. Their no-logs policy is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the Big Four accounting firms, which also audited NordVPN. The report states that ExpressVPN’s settings comply with their privacy statement.
But that’s not the only way ExpressVPN ensures your utmost privacy. Their bug bounty program has been running for years and covers not only all of their clients, but also VPN servers and internal systems. This allows independent testers to find bugs or vulnerabilities that internal developers may have missed.
Trusted Server Technology
For those still skeptical about obstruction of justice and third-party audits, ExpressVPN has another trump card. TrustedServer technology makes it physically impossible to store data logs, since the server runs only on RAM, storing only working data. Thus, it allows data to be exchanged at a very high rate and cleared immediately when not in use.
This mode of operation also means that the software that manages connections must be reinstalled every time the server is shut down. So if a hacker finds a vulnerability and installs a backdoor, it will also be wiped during the reset along with the rest of the data. So with one simple fix, they can eliminate a long list of potential vulnerabilities.
Programs and Pricing
Like most VPN service providers, ExpressVPN doesn’t lock specific features behind certain plans. You get the same package. The only difference is the length. The longer the subscription you choose, the better your savings.
You can choose between three options:
- 1 month plan $12.95/month
- 6-month plan $9.99/month
- 1 year plan $6.67/month
Although the advertised prices are shown separately throughout the subscription process, they are quite high. Even with the 49% annual subscription discount, you’re still paying twice as much as many other premium VPN services.
Also, with ExpressVPN, you get a cap of 5 simultaneous connections.
As for payment options, you can use other options like credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin or UnionPay. So there are options for those who want to keep their privacy and those who prefer convenience.
Can you get ExpressVPN for free?
- Free Trial 7-day free trial (iOS, Android)
- free version no
- Money back guarantee 30 days