ExpressVPN should be at the top of your list if you need a best VPN that is committed to openness and user privacy. It should also be at the top of your list if you are just a casual user who wants a VPN that is fast and great for streaming. Even though ExpressVPN costs more than other VPNs, it continues to be the best choice for people who want to get the most out of their VPN. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which are good for privacy, and has been around since 2009.
This makes it a real pro. It has a huge number of server locations and great connection speeds, so it should work well no matter where you are in the world. The fact that it has millions of users seems to be proof of that. Use the navigation menu to jump to a certain area if you want to find out about a certain feature right away. If you want to know everything there is to know about this VPN, just keep reading to read my full, in-depth ExpressVPN review.
What is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is a virtual private network (VPN) service that encrypts your internet data and sends it through a server in another location. This makes it look like you are browsing the web from that place instead of where you are. This can be helpful in a number of ways, like:
- Protecting your privacy: A VPN can help protect your privacy by hiding your IP address and encrypting your data. This makes it harder for other people, like the government or your ISP, to keep track of what you do online.
- Bypassing censorship: A VPN can be used to get around censorship by connecting to a server in a country where the material you want to access is not blocked.
- Geo-restrictions: A VPN can help you get around geo-restrictions, which stop you from viewing certain websites or content based on where you are.
- How to connect to public Wi-Fi networks safely: Public Wi-Fi networks are often not secure, which means hackers could easily steal your data. When you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, a VPN can help protect the data you send and receive.
Why Choose ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is a good choice for more than one reason. It has blazing-fast speeds, strong security with AES-256 encryption, a strict no-logs policy for more privacy, a wide range of server locations in over 90 countries, and easy-to-use apps for different devices.
ExpressVPN is also great at unblocking geo-restricted material, which makes it a great choice for streaming and using online services from all over the world. Its status as one of the best VPN services is made even stronger by the fact that it offers customer service 24/7 and works well.
If you choose a flexible one-month plan, you’ll pay the most, which is $12.95. This is true for almost every VPN service. If I’m being honest, this is only good for people who don’t like making commitments or who sign up to try out the service. With a six-month plan, the monthly price drops to $9.99, and ExpressVPN is one of the few services that offers this kind of plan. The 12-month plan, which costs $8.32 a month or $99.95 a year, is by far the best deal.
|Plan length||Overall cost||Monthly cost|
If you’ve done your homework, you’ll know that’s not a good deal, especially when competitors like Surfshark offer VPN services for less than $3. But unlike its competitors, ExpressVPN doesn’t sneakily raise prices when your plan is up for renewal. It’s also a good idea to check out our ExpressVPN promo codes to see what deals and savings are available right now. After 15 months, the price will go up a little if you don’t stop. Since you won’t get another 3 months free, the price will go up to $116.95 for the year, which comes out to $9.75 per month.
ExpressVPN Key features Table
ExpressVPN has a lot of features that make it safe, fast, and flexible for users who want the best online privacy and access.
|Server Network||3000+ servers in 90+ countries, offering extensive global coverage.|
|Speed||Blazing-fast connections for smooth streaming, gaming, and browsing.|
|Security Protocols||Lightway and OpenVPN protocols with AES-256 encryption for top-notch data protection.|
|Privacy||Strict no-logs policy ensures user data is not stored or shared.|
|Split Tunneling||Choose which apps or devices use the VPN while others access the internet directly.|
|Kill Switch||Automatically disconnects internet if VPN connection drops, preventing data exposure.|
|Unlimited Bandwidth||No data caps or throttling, allowing unrestricted browsing and streaming.|
|Device Compatibility||Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and compatibility with routers and more.|
|Streaming Support||Easily access geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and more.|
|Customer Support||24/7 live chat and email support to assist users with any issues or questions.|
ExpressVPN: Installation and Setup
Sometimes it’s hard to get a VPN app installed and running right, but the well-designed ExpressVPN website makes this as easy as possible. When you log in to your account homepage, for example, the website figures out what kind of device you’re using, shows you a Download button for that app, and lets you get a copy with just one click. If you need something for another platform, clicking “Set up on all your devices” will take you to links for Windows, iOS, Amazon Fire, Mac, Android, Linux, and more.
If you click on any of these, more download links and directions will show up. Even these are much more useful than you might think. Most VPNs will just send you to Google Play if you click on the “Android” link. ExpressVPN has a link to the Play Store, but it also gives you a QR code, a button to email yourself a setup link (useful if you need to install it on another device), and an option for pros to directly download the APK file.
ExpressVPN makes it easy to set up because you don’t have to find and type in your username and password by hand. Instead, you just need to copy the unique activation code from the page where you downloaded the app and put it into the app when it asks you to. The software will then set up your login information for you. You don’t need the best password manager to get up and running quickly.
ExpressVPN: Server Network
With more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, ExpressVPN has a big and reliable server network. This gives people a lot of choices no matter where they are in the world. Also, the servers are spread out, so there is usually one close by that can give you a fast, reliable link. ExpressVPN uses many different security methods, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and L2TP/IPSec. All of these protocols are thought to be safe and reliable, and they provide a good mix between speed and safety.
ExpressVPN also has a kill switch that will cut off your internet connection if the VPN link drops. This keeps your real IP address from being shown, which helps protect your privacy. ExpressVPN has a number of tools that aren’t related to security, such as split tunneling, DNS leak protection, and obfuscation. You can choose which apps and websites use the VPN connection and which ones use your regular internet connection with split tunneling.
DNS leak security keeps your ISP from finding out about your DNS queries. With obfuscation, your VPN data is hidden, making it harder for your ISP or the government to see. Overall, one of ExpressVPN’s best benefits is its network of servers. It’s big, dependable, and safe. There are also a number of other features that make the company a good choice for people who care about their privacy.
ExpressVPN: No-logs Policy
It’s also good to select whether or not to share your diagnostic information like speed test data, crash reports, and information regarding how a VPN connection attempt failed with ExpressVPN once you download its apps (some VPNs don’t offer you this possibility). And even if you decide to share data, it does not collect personally identifiable information.
The encryption, key and authentication with ExpressVPN depend on the VPN protocol you have chosen within the VPN app. If you decide on the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, ExpressVPN uses an AES-256 cipher along with an RSA-4096 key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication. In contrast, the Lightway protocol uses AES-256-GCM and ChaCha20/Poly1305 keys to encrypt traffic and D/TLS 1.2 for server authentication.
The AES-256 and ChaCha20 ciphers provide a very high level of encryption that is currently considered unbreakable. They also offer excellent performance, especially the Lightway protocol (test results below). In addition, ExpressVPN supports Perfect Forward Secrecy, negotiated via a Diffie-Hellman key exchange.
ExpressVPN: Security and Privacy
ExpressVPN is a well-known and respected VPN service that puts a lot of emphasis on security and privacy. It uses the best security standards in the business, like AES-256, and it doesn’t keep any logs. This means that ExpressVPN doesn’t keep track of your IP address, browsing history, DNS searches, or any other information about what you do online.
ExpressVPN uses a kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak protection, among other security measures, to protect your privacy. If your VPN connection drops, the kill switch will quickly cut off your internet connection. This keeps your unencrypted data from being seen. You can choose which apps and websites use the VPN connection with split tunneling, and DNS leak protection keeps your DNS queries from being sent to your ISP or other third parties.
|Encryption||256-bit AES encryption|
|Logging||No logs of internet traffic or VPN connections|
|DNS leak protection||Prevents your real IP address from leaking out|
|Kill switch||Automatically disconnects your internet connection if your VPN connection drops|
|Split tunneling||Choose which apps and websites use the VPN|
|Double VPN||Route your traffic through two VPN servers|
ExpressVPN has strong security features, and it is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is a privacy-friendly country. This means it doesn’t have to follow the same rules about keeping data that many other countries do. Overall, ExpressVPN is a VPN service that is very safe and private. It’s a good choice for anyone who wants to keep their privacy and protection online safe.
ExpressVPN: Kill Switch
ExpressVPN refers to its Kill Switch as the Network Lock. The network lock feature keeps your data safe by blocking all traffic when the VPN connection is down. This ensures that every data packet remains encrypted and secure, with your actual IP address hidden. The Network Lock feature is available in the apps such as:
- Mac OS
ExpressVPN does not provide the official Network Lock feature on mobile devices; for now, however, it still has a “kill switch” to defend against traffic leakage.
- Android has the “Network Protection” feature that functions as a “kill switch” and will block traffic when the connection is lost.
- iOS has the “Auto-Connect” feature, blocking traffic and automatically reconnecting the VPN when your internet connection resumes.
ExpressVPN: Streaming and Torrenting
ExpressVPN stands out as a VPN service that can be used for both viewing and downloading torrents. When it comes to streaming, ExpressVPN has speeds that are as fast as lightning and a large network of computers that are spread all over the world. This makes it easy to watch material from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video that is only available in certain countries. Its servers are designed for streaming, so you won’t have problems with buffering, and its top-level encryption will keep your online activities private and safe.
|Supported streaming services||Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more||Yes, unlimited P2P traffic|
|Number of streaming libraries||10||Yes|
|Optimized streaming servers||Yes||Yes|
|No throttling or bandwidth limits||Yes||Yes|
|Strict no-logs policy||Yes||Yes|
ExpressVPN gives people who like to torrent a safe and secret place to do it. Its P2P-friendly servers and tight “no logs” policy make sure that no one can see what you are doing while torrenting. The advanced security features of ExpressVPN, like a kill switch and defense against DNS leaks, add an extra layer of safety when torrenting.
In conclusion, ExpressVPN has an amazing mix of fast speeds, strong security, and servers all over the world. This makes it a great choice for people who like to stream or download torrents. Its easy-to-use design and great customer service make the whole thing even better.
ExpressVPN: Speed and Performance
When choosing a VPN, speed is a big deal, so we put each one through a lot of tests to see what it can do. Even though ExpressVPN has some great speeds, it is not the best VPN. We looked at speeds from a home in the US and a data center in the UK, both of which had 1 Gbps links. We used the ExpressVPN Windows app to connect to the server closest to us. Then we checked the download speeds given by different speed test sites and services, such as SpeedTest’s website and command line app, Measurement Lab, Cloudflare, and more. We used two protocols (OpenVPN and ExpressVPN’s own Lightway) to get at least five results from each site, and we ran all of the tests in the morning and evening to see if the results changed over time.
At 280 Mbps, ExpressVPN’s top OpenVPN speed wasn’t too bad. That is better than VyprVPN (100 Mbps), Surfshark (130 Mbps), IPVanish (225 Mbps), and NordVPN (240 Mbps), though some did better. Private Internet Access, Proton VPN, and Windscribe all went over 300 Mbps, and Mullvad reached an amazing 500 Mbps.
The real star, though, is ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol, which boosted its average download speeds to between 720 and 750 Mbps, which is a big jump from our previous tests, which only reached 560 Mbps. That was a lot faster than Hotspot Shield (570 Mbps), ProtonVPN (390 Mbps), and Private Internet Access (360 Mbps), which were among the rivals. Most people will find that to be more than enough for every device and network they use. However, if you feel you need more, our latest tests showed that Hide.me, IPVanish, Mullvad, NordVPN, Surfshark, and Windscribe all hit 900 Mbps or higher.
ExpressVPN: Customer Support
ExpressVPN says that live chat is the fastest way to get answers, but we still sent a test email question to see how long it took to get a response. Even though the company says it can take up to 24 hours to respond, we got a friendly, informative, and helpful message in 25 minutes. That’s a lot faster than most providers, and the answer had everything we needed to figure out what was wrong and fix it.
|Live chat||The fastest way to get help. Available 24/7.|
|Email support is available 24/7, but response times may vary.|
|Knowledge base||The knowledge base contains articles and tutorials on a variety of topics.|
|Forums||The forums are a great place to get help from other ExpressVPN users.|
|Social media||ExpressVPN is active on social media, and you can often get help through their Twitter or Facebook pages.|
Live help also did a great job. We tested the service several times. There were always agents available, and we usually got our first real answer (a real comment on our problems, not just an automated “I’m Steve and I’m here to help you”-type bot response) within a minute. The chat support was also much better than average, with agents ready to take a very long time to walk us through some well-chosen diagnostic steps.
ExpressVPN’s desktop VPN apps are very easy to use and have a user interface that makes it easy to use without sacrificing features. Along with the Smart Location, the interface has a nice on/off button that makes it easy to turn on protection. When you click on the chosen location, a list of servers appears, from which you can choose your favourite or most recently used server. Notably, you can connect to the last three places without opening the app.
You can do this by using system tray icons or the Mac menu bar. Even though ExpressVPN doesn’t have the server health information that other VPNs do, it makes up for it with a speed test that can be used to get a precise look at the server. In the settings section, you can choose from protocols like Lightway, OpenVPN UDP, and OpenVPN TCP. IKEv2 is only available on Mac, but not on Windows. Here, you can set up important things like the kill switch, IPv6 leak protection, and DNS settings.
Windows users also get the added benefit of split tunnelling. Even though the Mac version doesn’t have a kill switch, it is better than the Windows version because it has a feature called Threat Manager that protects against ads, trackers, and dangerous sites. Overall, the Windows and Mac apps from ExpressVPN set a high standard in the VPN market with their sleek, easy-to-use designs and powerful features.
Mac and MacOS Apps
At first glance, the ExpressVPN Mac app looks a lot like the Windows app. It shows the current location, a Settings icon, and a big Connect button, but nothing else. Even first-timers will know what to do right away. There are some small changes to the interface, and most of them are for the better. In its Recent list, the Windows app only shows your last two locations, but the Mac app has a separate Recent tab where it shows many more. Even though the Mac Settings box looks a little different, the options are still set up the same way.
If you’re used to Mac VPN apps that don’t have most of the advanced Windows features, this one is a good change: it has a kill switch, supports WireGuard and OpenVPN, protects against IPv6 leaks, and more. One thing is missing: split tunnelling doesn’t work on the Mac app. But it makes up for that by supporting ExpressVPN’s tracker and malware-blocking Threat Manager (which is not yet available on Windows). We didn’t test this in depth, so we can’t say for sure how well it works, but any extra protection is a good thing. (And if it causes you any issues, you can always turn it off). All in all, this is a nice Mac app that is a good mix of power and ease of use. It’s definitely worth a try.
When you open ExpressVPN’s VPN apps for iOS, you’ll see a clean and simple interface that’s similar to what you’ll see on other platforms. It shows a suggested place to go, a big button to connect to the internet, and a menu button to learn more. The Location Picker is well-made and gives you several ways to find specific cities or countries. By swiping right, you can add places you visit often to your Favourites, if you know that’s an option, and the Recent Locations list has everything you’ve been to recently.
There are only three protocols to choose from: IKEv3, Lightway UDP, and Lightway TCP. OpenVPN is no longer an option. Losing secure protocols like OpenVPN is never a good thing, because it means you have less ways to get around VPN blocks or connect in difficult situations. We did find that Lightway and IKEv2 worked very well, so it’s likely that they’ll give you all the connectivity you need. A new Network Protection feature blocks access to the internet if the VPN connection drops and can’t be fixed.
This is called a “kill switch.” The iOS app now has a feature called “Threat Manager,” which lets you block trackers or communication with dangerous sites if you want to. We’ve seen VPN apps with more features, but overall, ExpressVPN’s iOS app is nice, easy to use, and has the features most people are likely to need. Good news if you want to try out the service for yourself. As with Android, you can try it for free for 7 days.
ExpressVPN: Browser Extensions
Chrome, Safari, Edge, and Firefox all have desktop browser apps you can use. The ExpressVPN plugins are not independent proxies like most VPN browser extensions. They only have control over the main VPN app, which must also be on my computer. This is helpful for people who use Chromebooks, but not as much for Mac and PC users. The ExpressVPN browser extensions have a few extra features that make them worth installing, such as defense against WebRTC leaks, forced HTTPS, and HTML5 geolocation spoofing.
The geo-location spoofing tool hides your real location by doing more than just hiding your IP address. Websites can still find out where you are by using the HTML5 geolocation API, which uses wi-fi and cell phone signals, GPS, and other positioning gear to figure out where you are. The ExpressVPN browser extension “spoofs” the API-retrieved address to a place near the VPN server to which you’re connected.
Late in 2022, ExpressVPN was the first company in its field to launch a hardware product called ExpressVPN Aircove. Aircove is basically a Wi-Fi 6 router with a custom backend that can be accessed through the website for Aircove. This lets users avoid the hard work of manually setting up a VPN on a router (even though ExpressVPN’s router app is already the best).
It has cool features like device groups, protection for Wi-Fi-connected devices like a Ring doorbell that wouldn’t work with other routers, family-friendly restrictions, and, most importantly, a way to get around the 8-device limit. It was reviewed by Cure53 and is only sold on Amazon. It costs $189.90 and is very interesting, but it’s not likely to be very popular. But it shows a level of creativity that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the business.
ExpressVPN: Pros and Cons
ExpressVPN is a great VPN service with fast speeds and strong security features. But it can be expensive, and some users have said they had trouble connecting. ExpressVPN is a good choice if you want a VPN service that is effective and safe.
- 160 locations across 94 countries
- Easy to use top-quality apps for almost everything
- Very fast speeds across all server locations
- Zero logs policy
- Slightly more expensive than rivals
- Browser extensions require ExpressVPN app
ExpressVPN is great in almost every way, and there’s a reason why people all over the internet recommend it so much. It works great for viewing, is very safe, and is a joy to use. As a whole, and for most daily users, ExpressVPN is the best service on the market.
This is a high-quality VPN that goes above and beyond our standards in all areas, including platform coverage, privacy, ease of use, ability to bypass blocks, and customer service. ExpressVPN is more expensive than most, but it’s easy to see why: this is a slick, powerful, and professional service.
How to Use ExpressVPN?
If you have any problems setting up or using ExpressVPN, you can get help through live chat, troubleshooting tips, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). Make sure that when you use ExpressVPN, you always follow their terms of service and the rules of your country.
- Subscribe and Sign Up
- Download and Install
- Install the App
- Log In
- Choose a Server
- Disconnect and Reconnect
- Explore Additional Features
- Enjoy Secure Browsing