ExpressVPN Review – Fast Service for Users
|Number of servers||3000+|
|Maximum devices supported||5|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Supported Client Software||Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows|
On our site, we strive not only to enlighten our many readers but also to help them make the best possible decisions regarding VPNs. And we don’t intend to slow down, as governments are enacting more and more laws to stifle Internet users. This ugly trend is upsetting to cybersecurity experts who believe in a free Internet. We are all concerned too!
While the use of far-reaching measures to combat cybercrime is a welcome development, banning access to certain sites is a no-no. Consequently, the team at ExpressVPN launched this service to allow users to get the most out of the Internet. In this article, we will therefore review the cybersecurity product.
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is a product of Express VPN International Limited, a software development company. As you probably know, VPNs are a privacy and security tool that protects the identity of Internet users and assigns new IP addresses to them. That’s exactly what this VPN does.
The developer launched it in 2009 to help a growing number of Internet users, who feel gagged, find their voice again. Well, this VPN product has been in the news for years now to defend the core values it believes in. Indeed, all these challenges have propelled it to the level it has reached today. But how high has it reached? Well, read on to find out.
Key Features of ExpressVPN
One of the key features that make VPNs what they really are is the technical aspect of the product. Basically, ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries and 160 server locations worldwide. Other features of this VPN are anonymous IP, tunnel separation and circuit breaker. The kill switch allows connection control, especially in case of network loss.
One of the advantages of the ExpressVPN is that you can connect up to 5 devices at the same time. In other words, you can share your account with your family, friends and colleagues. In doing so, they will also benefit from secure internet access, bypass geoblocked sites and everything else.
It’s really fascinating that the ExpressVPN offer allows you to do this despite the fact that it’s one of the most highly rated VPNs on the market today. We tried it, and it worked perfectly.
There is no denying that ExpressVPN has done its homework regarding a wide distribution of servers. First of all, the cybersecurity company has many servers distributed around the world, allowing users to make the most of the Internet. Whenever a network of servers is at the forefront, an issue that fuels the discussion is that of user security. Basically, there are a number of security features that make this British Virgin Islands-based VPN stand out.
While it is important for a VPN to have a wide distribution of servers, it should be noted that the factors that make the servers truly unique include the ability to bypass georeferencing, reliability and dizzying speed. It is interesting to note that ExpressVPN has no shortcomings in this regard. At the time of the review of this service, it had 3,000 super fast servers at 160 sites.
In addition, the service has over 3,000 IP addresses in its pool. These servers are hosted in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Canada, etc., and are located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Canada.
Keep in mind that some locations have more servers than others. A VPN provider that has many servers will always have an advantage over those that do not. This is because you need a large network of servers to be able to bypass many geoblocked sites.
Then, through a series of tests we conducted, we were able to establish that ExpressVPN provides best-in-class service in the United States. Overall, the U.S. has more than 20 servers in 15 cities. You often get the best server performance when you choose the server closest to where you live. That being said, it should be noted that each country has several servers.
However, the countries we mentioned earlier have more servers than the rest of the countries where this service is present. Also note that this VPN does not have servers in mainland China. But it does have some servers in Hong Kong.
To be sure that the Hong Kong servers work for mainland China, you can check some local Chinese channels using ExpressVPN. For example, you will notice that this VPN unlocks PPTV and iQiyi. Yes, we tried it ourselves and found that it works perfectly.
Privacy and Security
When it comes to user privacy and security, ExpressVPN has done its homework. Without mince words, it has most of the security features that business users are looking for. First of all, it uses TrustedServer technology, which ensures that the service runs on a server based on RAM. The reason for this is that the RAM stores all the data. However, as soon as it is switched off and on again, the data is lost. In general, we will address the issue of privacy and security with a few key features.
The encryption standard is one of the critical factors that make ExpressVPN the leader in online security. This VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption with a 4096-bit RSA key, followed by SHA-512 HMAC authentication.
Popularly known as military-grade encryption, AES 256-bit encryption is symmetrical by design. Because it is symmetrical, this means that the key used to encrypt it must be used to decrypt the message. It is therefore impossible to decrypt it. As a result, it has become the industry standard today.
In addition, ExpressVPN uses SHA-512 authentication, which is considered highly secure. The use of the secret key involves sharing a secret key, which allows the sender and recipient of the file to independently verify its authenticity. SHA-512 authentication allows users to establish whether or not the received file matches the sent file.
- Kill Switch
This service has a Kill Switch, which it marks with a Network Lock. The function of ExpressVPN’s Network Lock is to temporarily suspend your traffic in case of network loss. When your data flow is suspended, it prevents your IP address and data from being exposed. It is considered an advanced security feature.
By default, this VPN blocks your traffic when it suspects that your connection has been compromised. This is an additional measure to keep your IP address and data safe from prying eyes. It is interesting to note that the Kill Switch is always activated automatically.
However, we should point out that network lock is only available for a few platforms, including Windows, macOS and Linux. Although it works well with the previous ones, high-level compatibility has not yet been reflected on Android, iOS and routers. Given the pace at which ExpressVPN is advancing its network, there is a good chance that this feature will be integrated into operating systems in no time.
VPN protocols are a set of rules that define how the encrypted network interacts with the connected devices to achieve a high level of security, seamless communication, blazing speed, etc.
ExpressVPN uses most of the well-established VPN protocols in the industry, including OpenVPN. The advantage of this service is that it is designed to automatically select the best VPN protocol that works with the most reliable connection. Although this happens by default, you can change it if you think otherwise.
Most often, this VPN automatically assigns users to the OpenVPN UDP, which is by far the most secure VPN protocol. In addition, there is OpenVPN TCP, which is able to check data delivery using error correction. Although this method seems to increase reliability in many ways, it tends to slow down the speed of the network. Other VPN protocols you can use include L2TP/IPsec and PPTP. However, you will need to configure these protocols yourself.
- Split tunneling
With “split tunneling” you can encrypt some of your traffic using the browser. You can then leave the other functionalities intact. This is one of the main features that make ExpressVPN unique. Once split tunneling is in place, you can decide which application you want to use to access the network.
For example, you can add new applications such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix by simply clicking on the + sign. Once you’ve added your favorite application, such as BBC iPlayer, you can check whether you can stream it. Don’t forget that you can also remove the app from this feature. In this case, it means that these apps are no longer protected by the VPN. In other words, using these applications may expose your data and identity.
- Leak test
When you surf the web, your requests will have to go through an encrypted tunnel. As the data flow continues, there are often leaks. This is called a DNS leak. You see, when this happens, your online activity becomes visible. The implication is that your identity is revealed to prying eyes.
With ExpressVPN, you can hide your data from prying eyes. In fact, your anonymity will not be threatened. To perform our leak test on this VPN, we used ipleak.net for a more complete result as the test offered by ExpressVPN is basic. We tested it with servers in the US, UK and Australia. We performed the search from a Windows computer.
In the end, we realized that this service has no DNS leaks. That’s probably a plus. There was no data leakage and the IP address was secure. In addition, IPv6 was blocked.
- Compatibility with Tor
Although there are many VPNs that make gadgets too good to be true, only a few high-end services have this feature. With Tor compatibility, you can be sure that ExpressVPN offers an extra layer of security.
To be clear, this service has its site on the Tor network. This means you’ll certainly get tamper-proof security. To implement Tor from your ExpressVPN account, you’ll first need to log in to your ExpressVPN account and then download Tor. Go ahead and complete the process using these helpful guides. Most importantly, you should note that this service does not offer Tor on mobile devices.
- Security breaches
One of the reasons why ExpressVPN remains one of the leading VPN services is that it does not yet have any known security holes. Note that when a VPN service is not at its best, there is a strong chance that cybercriminals can intercept users’ data and use it against them.
As you already know, VPNs are supposed to offer unbreakable security. This means that every time a data breach occurs, the company’s reputation is threatened. This is simply due to the fact that all VPN providers promise to offer data security that is difficult to hack. There is no doubt that there are no reports that this service has been hacked at any time.
- Security audits
Another important feature of the VPN landscape is its willingness to submit to an external audit and publish the findings of the auditing company. In the industry, many VPN providers claim to be secure because they rely on their Internet security audits.
However, what shows that a VPN provider knows its strengths in the area of cybersecurity is its willingness to submit to an external audit and publish its findings. In the case of ExpressVPN, it relies on online leak tests to demonstrate that it is secure. In 2018, it has entered into agreements with the cybersecurity company Cure53 to audit the VPN company’s browser extension code.
ExpressVPN will later publish its findings. In addition, in September 2019, the British Virgin Islands-based VPN entered into a partnership agreement with leading PC manufacturer HP. This reassures the global user community that ExpressVPN knows what it is doing.
In order to improve user anonymity, many VPN service providers claim not to record user data. The reason is that this provides some reassurance to users that government officials cannot access their information, especially in countries with strict Internet laws. While this is commendable, there is more to it than that. The fact is that, like everything else that people have abused, there are negative aspects of this policy.
For example, people could commit crimes online and go into hiding under the provisions of this policy. The assassination in December 2016 of Andrei Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, is one example. Investigations by the Turkish authorities led to the seizure of an ExpressVPN server.
The authorities considered that this server would be useful to the investigation as all links suggested that the assassins had a connection to the server. However, the investors could not find anything because the server had no logs! Although this VPN could give clues to the government authorities, it was never useful because it has a no-log policy! This event was our test of its no-log policy.
Speed of ExpressVPN
|Server Location||Download Speed||Upload Speed|
|New York||60 Mbps||30 Mbps|
|London||147 Mbps||8.5 Mbps|
|Amsterdam||83 Mbps||51 Mbps|
|Hong Kong||30 Mbps||12 Mbps|
As an ordinary Internet user or torrentalist, you don’t need a fortune-teller to tell you that network speed is paramount. Although this VPN service has a built-in speed tester, we performed an independent test to check the speed of its various servers.
The servers we used for this sampling include those in New York, London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. Without wanting to whet your appetite, the test results will blow your mind. From the above, the table summarizes the results of our tests.
We will begin our speed test with the New York server. As you can see, the result indicated a download speed of 60 Mbps downstream and 30 Mbps upstream. By all criteria, the download and upload speeds are relatively good, making ExpressVPN one of the best in the United States.
With this speed, you can stream and enjoy high-definition movies and TV series without buffering. Of course, speed is very important when it comes to streaming U.S. sites on demand.
After testing the server in New York, we switched to the server in London, UK. It is interesting to note that ExpressVPN was not considered insufficient in the far UK, as it had 147 Mbps and 8.5 Mbps for download and upload speeds respectively.
Without a doubt, this clearly shows that download speeds have increased dramatically. In contrast, the London server experienced a significant drop in upload and download speeds. The fact is that it is super fast speed.
We didn’t stop there on our way to the Netherlands with a stop in Amsterdam. If you look at the speed of the Amsterdam server, we saw a download speed of 83 Mbps while the upload speed remains at 51 Mbps. A glance at the download speed indicates that it has dropped considerably. However, the upload speed is still very good. In other words, any user can get as many results with such a download speed.
Finally, we made a stop in Hong Kong. When we connected to its server, we saw a massive drop in download and upload speeds. Basically, the download and upload speeds were 30 Mbps and 12 Mbps respectively. So far, the speed of the ExpressVPN server in Hong Kong was the slowest of all the servers we performed a speed test on.
- Speed summary
In conclusion, it can be said that its speed does not collapse as many experts expect when travelling long geographical distances. This is especially true when connecting from one part of the world to another. It shows that ExpressVPN has a proven track record in this area.
From New York to London, from Amsterdam to Hong Kong, users can do so much from the comfort of their homes simply by connecting to a server nearby. For example, they can bypass geoblocked sites and explore the content of their catalogs.
But they can also listen to music, play games, surf the web, share P2P files, stay in touch with loved ones, make audio/video calls, and the list goes on and on. Although the Hong Kong server has the lowest speed, that doesn’t stop potential users from doing all the fantastic things that other subscribers do with the rest of the servers.
On the other hand, subscribers who connect to the internet from the other servers will certainly have an amazing and worry-free internet experience because the speeds are much higher.
ExpressVPN Customer Service
|Type of support||Live chat|
|Free trial period||No|
To stay ahead of its competitors, this service has a help desk that provides 24-hour technical support through chat rooms. That’s what they want us to believe. But we still had to test it, because we didn’t want ours to be another approval test. Our conclusion? Yes, they’re absolutely right. On top of that, this service offers good old-fashioned methods of communication such as e-mail and contact forms.
However, the live chat, which is responsive and available 24/7, makes this product stand out from the crowd. There is no doubt that this product not only sounds its own trumpets but many cybersecurity experts have also ranked it as the best in the industry. Of course, real-time customer service is one of the many ways ExpressVPN is winning the hearts of new VPN users.
Supported Client Software
One of the advantages of this VPN is that it can support many different platforms. We’ve touched on a few of them briefly.
One of those operating systems is Windows. The Windows ExpressVPN client is comfortable and easy to use. With an ON/OFF button, you can easily turn the software on or off as soon as you start it. If this client software is running on your system, the intelligent location function will automatically choose your nearest server.
However, you can switch to the server of your choice. To do this, simply double-click on a particular country and choose the server of your choice. Note that you can also use a server box and keyword to find the exact location. Another crucial part of the software is the settings dialog box. From here you can choose your preferred VPN protocol, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, PPTP, IPsec, etc.
- Android app
You can also install the ExpressVPN client on your mobile phone. To do so, simply go to the Google Play Store to download it. If you have already created an ExpressVPN account before, there is another way to install the application.
You can go to the ExpressVPN icon on your Windows computer. Select the Setup and then the Android page. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions and have the application downloaded and installed on your smartphone. After downloading and running the application, you’ll find that it’s very simple and works just like the Windows version.
Using the “Location Picker”, you will be able to establish a connection to the available servers. Unfortunately, you will discover that some of the fantastic features that come with the Windows client are not available in the Android version.
For example, there is no speed test, which means that you will be able to see the location of the servers without knowing their speed (or overload). You can set up a channel for Netflix streaming from the application. Note that the application also has a split tunneling feature.
- iOS app
If you are a proud user of the iOS device, there is a provision for you to join the growing community of ExpressVPN subscribers. While the Android client seems to have an easy installation process, the iOS application does not. The reason for this is that iOS has many security features, which makes its confirmation a bit longer. In addition, there is no Android-like download link that speeds things up.
Despite this, the installation of the application takes a few minutes. As soon as you finish downloading it, you’ll have full access to the same user-friendly interface as other clients. Note that you don’t need to close the iOS application before switching from one server to another.
This is how it works on other platforms. Just like Windows, you are entitled to a wide range of VPN protocols here. You can use OpenVPN UDP and TCP, L2TP and IKEv2. Well, L2TP and IKEv2 have not yet been integrated into the Android application.
The ExpressVPN for Linux application runs on a command line interface (CLI), which is very different from the Windows and macOS versions available in a graphical user interface (GUI). Launched in April 2016, the Linux client is much easier to download and manage configuration files on the server than any other client. Most importantly, a user can effortlessly switch from UDP to TCP OpenVPN.
As for the ExpressVPN client, it also works for other Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Kali and Centos. Note that you can fine-tune the client for ultra-fast connection speed. Indeed, the client works well with this operating system because users get the same experience as with Windows and macOS.
It is user-friendly, but this client costs a little more than other desktop versions. You must have created an account with the service before downloading this software. That being said, if you have trouble using the CLI, you can use the browser extension for your Chrome or Firefox as shown below.
With a 3-step installation, you can run ExpressVPN on your router. The beauty of connecting your router to a VPN is that you can actually connect smart devices that are not compatible with a VPN. These devices include Samsung Smart TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Android Smart TVs, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and more.
When you connect these devices to ExpressVPN via a router, you automatically extend security to them. What’s more, the ExpressVPN interface is easy to use and the connection leaves the devices with superb security. It should also be noted that the ExpressVPN works with routers such as Linksys, Tomato, DD-WRT, D-Link, Netgear, etc.
Like the previous versions, this client is also easy to use. Basically, ExpressVPN offers Chrome and Firefox extensions. With the extension, you can control the client and the service from the browser.
These are not simple proxies, but the browser interfaces of Windows, macOS and Linux. This means that it will not work until they are installed. The underlying reasoning is that the extension is just an extension of the existing software or application.
When the extension is running on your system, you can control the desktop client from the browser. You can also unlock a website by choosing from a list of locations provided on the browser extension. A glance at the browser extension shows that its interfaces resemble regular clients that have mechanisms for selecting different locations and navigating the web.
Again, you must have the application running on your device for the browser extension to work properly. Once both have been installed, you can then control the application from the browser extension. Keep in mind that it includes HTTPS.
Torrenting with ExpressVPN
You can never overestimate the importance of the torrent in the VPN circus. This is especially true because many VPN users look at it before subscribing to a service. That’s why all major VPN services on the market support the torrent, even if they can’t say so explicitly.
As more and more VPN service providers continue to turn away from this service, this VPN proudly supports the torrent and even shouts it out. Moreover, this service even adds a dimension to the torrent. As we mentioned earlier for the ExpressVPN, the TOR is also supported.
Well, TOR is an onion-layer network that allows people all over the world to communicate via well-structured and secure communication channels. Although the TOR network is designed with limited bandwidth, TOR was essentially developed to give a voice to people living in countries with draconian Internet laws.
In the network, encrypted packets are mainly routed through three different layers before reaching the receiver. This is a special feature that ExpressVPN boasts, making it unique.
Netflix Access with ExpressVPN
One thing is for a VPN to talk, and another is for that same VPN to put their money where their mouth is. In today’s cybersecurity industry, many companies still use marketing tricks that are too good to be true, just to attract more users.
One such trick is to pretend to have capabilities that unlock and broadcast sites. Curiously, US Netflix is always on its guard. In fact, it continues to scan its network for and jam servers that have illegally unlocked its georeferenced content.
But ExpressVPN seems to be in top form, as its protocols continue to bypass Netflix’s firewalls despite all the efforts of the streaming giants to bring it down. Once this service is successfully implemented, you’ll be amazed to see a queue of movies waiting for you.
However, not all of its servers are compatible with this Netflix service. In general, servers in the US, UK, Netherlands and Canada can unlock the geoblocked streaming site without any problems.
Despite the enormous value, this service brings to your smart devices, ExpressVPN also has some weaknesses.
The price of ExpressVPN is one of the main disincentives for potential users. There is no doubt that this service offers amazing features. However, it is far more expensive than any other high-end product available on the market. To address this obvious disadvantage, the VPN offers attractive offers (discounts) to maintain its advantage in the competitive cybersecurity market.
- Insufficient mobile features
Our findings also show that more amazing features have been implemented on the desktop than in the mobile version. For example, the Android version does not provide server details such as speed, overload, etc., and the mobile version does not have the same functionality as the desktop version.
Final Thoughts About ExpressVPN
In conclusion, we did some research to try to determine whether ExpressVPN “lives what it tells people”. In addition, this service is also considered one of the best in the industry. So we looked at it to see if it’s true or if it’s just another marketing gimmick. We discovered that the main challenge it might face is its price.
Nevertheless, it needs to provide people with more information about the developers. Despite these insignificant shortcomings, we couldn’t agree more. Indeed, ExpressVPN is one of the top three VPNs in the market today.
As a result, it has become one of the most sought-after products by Internet users looking to get the most out of the Internet. Just before we conclude this study, we need to make one point.
As a Bitcoin whale, you will certainly appreciate the fact that this service allows you to pay in encrypted currency, thus preserving your anonymity online. Clearly, there is nothing an ordinary VPN can do that this service cannot do. So, do we recommend it? Yes, we recommend it!