ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers in the industry. The success of this VPN rests on superb performances and the company’s customer-friendly policy that will now analyse in our ExpressVPN review.
An excellent 24/7 customer support, a super-fast connection with excellent download speeds, one of the best encryption algorithms on the market and a user-friendly app all contribute to highly satisfied clients. Additionally, the strict “no-logs” policy enhances your online security. Moreover, you can use it to watch Netflix from all around the world.
The 30-day money-back guarantee makes it very easy to have an ExpressVPN free trial.
In this test of ExpressVPN, we will dive into all these details.
We have analyzed all the features of this VPN and performed many tests. At the end of this review, most likely you will agree that it is an excellent option for you.
ExpressVPN Review – Main Features
- Protocols: OpenVPN (TCP, UDP), L2TP-IPSec, PPTP
- Encryption: Military-grade 256-bit AES
- No-Logs: Yes
- Servers: 3000+ servers in 160 cities across 94 Nations (and keeps expanding)
- Server Switches: Unlimited
- Smart DNS: Yes
- Speed Test: Yes
- Data Traffic: Unlimited
- VPN Split Tunneling: Yes
- Compatible Devices: Windows, Mac, iOS, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Apple TV, Kindle Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, Linux, Router
- Customer Care: 24/7 through live chat, email or contact form
- Login: Up to 3 devices simultaneous connections or use the router app to protect all the devices in your home with 1 subscription
- Works With: Netflix, BBC I Player, Hulu, Kodi, Torrenting, HBO, Sky, and other streaming services…
When you subscribe to any plan, you receive plenty of features that make this VPN highly flexible and efficient.
First of all, the company has over 3000 servers in 160 cities distributed across 94 nations on 5 continents. The VPN server network continues to expand so you may expect to see these figures grow in the future. Interestingly, they have servers even in Africa which is unusual among VPN providers.
Having a vast network of servers at your disposal is a critical factor when selecting a VPN service. If you need a VPN to access geo-restricted websites, it’s especially good to have a wide selection of countries to connect through to disguise your IP address.
Even better, this is one of the few VPN providers that you can use to watch Netflix. As of now, it still works with Netflix, unlike other major providers that have been banned. Of course, you should always make sure there is a server available in the particular country you need to access your favorite website.
With such a wide range of servers, Hotstar, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, and many other geo-blocked services can be easily accessed even if you’re not in the countries they originate from.
In a while, we will explain in detail how to watch Netflix with ExpressVPN.
How Much Does ExpressVPN Cost per Month?
One of the major complaints we hear about ExpressVPN is about the price, not the service. As you will dicover reading our ExpressVPN review, there are good reasons for the price difference compared to other providers.
However, there are a few factors you need to consider when making your decision.
This provider is one of the fastest VPN services in the industry. On their homepage, they claim to be “the fastest VPN on earth” and this is kind of accurate.
As you’ll see later on, after conducting several speed tests we can confirm that the company claim is reliable. ExpressVPN is a super-fast VPN connection.
Plus, the free Smart DNS service alone is worth the small difference in price, as it will protect your DNS queries.
A monthly subscription starts at $12.95 per month. However, using the special offer for our readers you can save 49% if you subscribe for one year. That will drop the price to only $6.67 per month.
It is true that ExpressVPN is more expensive than other providers. However, it may be well worth to pay for such a small difference if you consider the quality of the encryption and the many free add-ons.
The payment is pretty easy and convenient. You can choose from many payment methods including PayPal and Bank Transfer.
If online privacy is vital to you (you’re searching for a VPN service, after all) you can even select the Bitcoin payment. The new digital currency will make even your subscription anonymous.
After you become a client, you can earn 30 days of free service every time you refer a friend. If your friend subscribes, both of you will get this reward.
You can’t really count on lots of free services unless you have a very long list of friends, but it’s better than nothing.
How to Get ExpressVPN Free
A big plus when you subscribe to any plan is the 30-day money-back guarantee. You may consider this policy as your chance to get a free trial even though you have to advance the first payment.
As a matter of fact, their refund policy is sincere and you can cancel ExpressVPN anytime. The company will not ask you any question and you will surely get your money back.
GIVING EXPRESSVPN A TRY IS VIRTUALLY FREE
There are no restrictions hidden between the lines of the contract and you don’t even need to explain why you want a refund. Just ask for your money back and they will keep their promise. That’s why you can consider this option as a free trial.
This is another area where the company seems to excel in customer care.
IMPORTANT: If you get ExpressVPN at the App Store or Google Play Store, be aware that in this case the refund policy is different. For iOS, you have a 7-day money-back guarantee and for Android only 1-day money-back guarantee.
Most users ask us if it is safe to get an ExpressVPN crack. We warmly discourage you from choosing this option because cracked VPN may pose serious threats to your privacy.
Is ExpressVPN Safe?
We continue our ExpressVPN review with a list of pros and cons. When it comes about privacy and security, speed, functionalities, support and other key factors for a VPN service, you will see that this provider is very solid. Only the price can raise some complaint.
Excellent Privacy & Security
A “no-log” VPN provider makes your surfing totally anonymous
This VPN is among the provisions that apply a strict “no-log” policy, which means enhanced security and privacy for you.
Why does a “no-log” system give you better protection?
When you connect through a VPN, the strong encryption algorithm hides your traffic and neither your ISP (Internet Service Provider) nor government agencies can see it.
The only one who knows what you’re doing online is your VPN service provider.
Now, many VPN providers must keep a record of your activity to comply with local laws. If for some reason, like copyright infringement, there is an investigation into your activity, the authorities may force the VPN provider to give access to your record.
This is not the case for this VPN since they do not store any data at all. For instance, when in 2017 Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Instanbul ExpressVPN has been involved in the investigation. However, investigators didn’t find any persoanal data since the company doesn’t store it.
Where is ExpressVPN located?
The company is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands where the law doesn’t require VPN providers to keep a record of your traffic.
In the event of an investigation, there is no record at all to show the authorities. A “no-log” VPN provider makes your surfing totally anonymous.
Strong Encrypton and VPN Protocols
The company uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys (AES 256). This is the standard that the U.S. government uses and even security experts worldwide adopt AES 256 to protect classified information.
Several VPN protocols are supported:
- OpenVPN (TCP, UDP)
The PPTP protocol is, of course, highly insecure, but if you need it, you have this option.
The best thing you can do is always also use the Open VPN protocol, which guarantees the best protection.
This handy feature comes for free when you subscribe to any plan.
A Smart DNS service resolves your IP address to a destination that you specify whenever you make your DNS queries. Using the Smart DNS service, you can still geo-spoof websites but the traffic is not encrypted. Since your data doesn’t go through encryption, the Internet speed will be faster.
Keep in mind, however, that when using the Smart DNS service, your activity is visible and not protected.
Smart DNS is a handy feature that comes free with every subscription
The Smart DNS is useful on devices that do not support a VPN software and have dynamic IPs like Apple TV, Play Station, Xbox.
Without a Smart DNS, it may be difficult for the device to access certain services when the dynamic IP changes. The Smart DNS gets around the problem tracking any change in your IP address e redirecting it to a hostname that never changes.
In doing so, the Smart DNS avoids any blocks. With a Smart DNS, you can enjoy the full potential of your media streaming device, and have your DNS queries always go through.
You cannot set the Smart DNS through the user interface.
You have to log in to your account on the ExpressVPN website and click “DNS Settings” on the top menu.
Scroll down the page and refer to the section titled “Dynamic DNS Registration.” If you don’t know what to do, click on “learn more, ” and you’ll find a series of easy-to-follow tutorials that will guide you through the process.
If something goes wrong or the next step is not clear, don’t panic. Just use the live-chat function, and a customer service rep will help you set up the Smart DNS feature.
VPN Split Tunneling
This is an attractive option that enables you to customize the VPN software to your needs.
You can set the VPN Split Tunneling on any compatible router. Its purpose is to select which of the connected devices you want to protect using the VPN and which ones can access the Internet unprotected.
Why would you need VPN Split Tunneling?
Transmitting all your data through a VPN may consume all your allotted bandwidth. So, if some of your data is not sensitive, you may decide to access on an unprotected device.
That way you will save the bandwidth for more important tasks. For instance, you can stream your favorite movie from a foreign website using the VPN connection while reading the local news unprotected.
As a result, your internet speed will still be fast enough to enjoy the streaming. VPN Split Tunneling will help you to manage all your devices in just a few clicks.
Dark Web Website
This is exactly the same website as the official one, but you can access it only through Tor Browser.
This .onion version of ExpressVPN is excellent if you live in a country like China that has strict censorship, where is tough to use the Internet freely.
Websites that run on the Dark Web are almost impossible to censor. So if you connect to ExpressVPN using Tor Browser, doesn’t matter where you live-the Internet will be entirely censor-free.
ExpressVPN Kill Switch – Why Important
We’ve found the “Kill Switch” option worthy of consideration.
The Kill Switch, which you can set directly from the user interface, is a great feature to enhance your online security. We will consider a bit later how to use this tool to protect your privacy.
Even the best VPN service may drop at a time. When this happens, your activity is suddenly exposed.
The Kill Switch prevents this annoying and risky problem.
If the VPN service drops while the Kill Switch is active, all your connections will automatically drop too until the VPN is active again.
No more risk of being suddenly unprotected and exposed to prying eyes.
Does ExpressVPN Unblock Netflix, SkyGo, and Blocked Sites
Yes, ExpressVPN works with Netflix and all the most popular blocked websites.
One of the most appreciated features of this VPN connection is the ease with which you can unlock sites otherwise not accessible. Simply activate the VPN and choose the server in the country you need. Netflix, HotStar, DAZN, BBC iPlayer and hundreds of other sites will no longer deny you access.
The procedure is very simple and is the same for any site you want to unlock. All you have to do is connect to a VPN server in the site’s home country. For instance, to watch BBC iPlayer select a server in the UK, for HotStar you need a server in India, for Netflix US change location to the USA, and so on.
Here is the procedure to watch Netflix but you can follow the same steps to unlock any other website. We have also included a video to show the simple procedure to connect to Netflix from outside the US, in this case from Europe.
- Launch the app
- Select a server in the United States and start the VPN
- When the VPN is connected, browse the Netflix US site
- Stream the movie or TV series of your choice
The procedure takes no more than a few tens of seconds or even less sometimes. Follow the same steps for any other site you want to unlock, just make sure you choose a server in the country from which you need to simulate the connection.
NOTE FOR NETFLIX USERS: As for seeing Netflix US with ExpressVPN, not all American servers work. At the time of writing this ExpressVPN review you can use New Jersey-1, New Jersey-3, Washington DC, Los Angeles-3. The servers running on Netflix may change over time. So, if you cannot unblock Netflix, send a message in the Live Chat support, and in a few seconds they will tell you which server to use.
Excellent for Live Streaming
Express VPN is particularly suitable for viewing live streaming content. This is for several reasons.
- It guarantees a very high connection and download speeds which turns into a very fluid view.
- As explained in the previous point, it works perfectly to unlock sites around the world giving you the possibility to access an unlimited amount of live streaming content.
- Many live streaming sites contain copyrighted material. The VPN allows you to access this type of material safely as it totally protects your true identity by making you untraceable.
BitTorrent, P2p and Torrenting in Total Security
ExpressVPN supports unlimited torrenting, P2P file sharing and BitTorrent. Not only will you be able to download unlimited content but you will do it in total security.
It is well known that torrenting is a risky activity that can have unpleasant legal consequences. we strongly recommend you to perform these operations while always having an active VPN.
In this regard, ExpressVPN is ideal not only for its speed performance, which makes it possible to download content exactly as if the VPN were not active. More importantly, it has all protections you need to hide your identity and avoid receiving fines or legal notifications when downloading torrents. These protections include:
- Super secure and protected military encryption algorithm
- Kill Switch that instantly deactivates your Internet connection in case the VPN stops working
- Advanced VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN, that secure your navigation.
Compatible with Android, iOS and Mobile Devices
You can download ExpressVPN for mobile devices, and have up to three simultaneous connections. On the download section you can find the app for both Android and iOs. The layout of the client for mobile devices is practically identical to the computer version
Using the App, you can have all the functions we just described activated on your mobile device.
For instance, you can change the VPN server location very easily from the home screen. As it happens on the app for desktop, even on your smartphone or iPad you can choose between the recommended VPN servers or you can choose the one you prefer.
The only significant difference we detected while preparing our ExpressVPN review, it is that the App doesn’t have the Kill Switch; instead, there is an “Auto-reconnect” function instead.
In the event of a service drop, the App will keep trying to reconnect until it establishes the VPN again.
Excellent Connection and Download Speeds
The company claims to be “the fastest VPN on earth.” According to our tests, it is definitely a well-performing VPN.
With ExpressVPN you can stream movies or download Torrent files Easily
You can use the VPN to stream movies or for torrenting without problems (BitTorrent and P2P are supported.)
Thanks to the speed test, you can always check in advance the performance of the server you are selecting. This is a handy function especially when you have to choose a server far from your location.
During our ExpressVPN review, we performed our own speed test from a computer located in Europe.
This is the result of connecting without the VPN active:
After that, we connected to a server located in Europe not far from our location. As you can see the speed dropped a bit but the performance was still very good. The ping didn’t change much and was still quite fast.
Finally, we connected to a server located in the U.S. We used the speed test function to find the server with the best performance. The result clearly shows how distance has a significant impact on the connection. The ping in particular increased dramatically.
In any case, it is evident that ExpressVPN offers excellent performances and has proved to be a very fast VPN connection.
The New ExpressVPN Browser Extensions
Each subscription includes browser extensions for;
The extension for Safari is not available yet but hopefully we will see it released soon.
Once you have an active ExpressVPN subscription and you have downloaded the app on your device, you can install the browser extension directly from the app. Jus click on the top left menu and select “Preferences” and then on “Browsers.”
When you install ExpressVPN on Chrome or Firefox, you have quick access to the VPN service directly from the browser’s navigation bar.
All you have to do is to click on the VPN icon on the bar to activate the protection quickly and easily. Through the same icon, you can even check the status of the VPN or switch server. We tested all the browser extensions, and they work just fine and save you some time.
A Superb 24/7 Customer Service
Our review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the customer service.
The quality of the customer support is critical when you use a VPN connection.
If you’re doing something important and suddenly experience a problem, it is vital to receive the support you need quickly.
We have contacted the customer care several times asking for assistance and we’ve used the live-chat function.
The response has always been a few seconds and a couple of minutes.
This is pretty quick, and the representatives have always been helpful and knowledgeable. For that reason, we rate the customer service very high.
Does ExpressVPN Work in CHINA?
Many of our readers frequently ask if ExpressVPN works in China. The answer is YES.
Simply said, this VPN is one of the best VPN for China. Some of our team members are based in China and use it daily, therefore we can testify that this VPN is excellent for China.
The Chinese government censors the Internet and the sites you are most used to like Facebook, Google, Twitter and an endless list of super popular sites are all inaccessible. Moreover, the vast majority of VPNs do not work in China and are therefore totally useless to access these sites.
Express VPN is one of the few VPNs that work in China and manage to circumvent Chinese censorship. In addition, ExpressVPN in China manages to ensure sufficient connection speed to surf without frustration.
Disclaimer: The Chinese Government continues to strengthen censorship in the country. Sometimes ExpressVPN may stop working but the service is generally restored within a short time.
More Expensive than Competitors
To be honest, there are not many complaints about this VPN.
However, it must be noted that it is more expensive than other top VPNs. However, super reliable service and enhanced performances have been for many years what justified the difference in price.
Recently many VPNs, such as CyberGhost, have significantly improved their service by offering performance in all respects similar to ExpressVPN. At the same time, these VPNs have significantly lowered the price of their subscriptions, increasing the gap with ExpressVPN even further.
Although ExpressVPN remains the leading VPN in the market, it would be desirable for the company to review the prices of their subscriptions. This would allow the company to get in line with their competitors as the differences in quality of service are no longer as evident as before.
How to Use It
Express VPN is one of the easiest VPN to use.
When you sign up, you will be requested only your email address (apart from your payment details of course). If you want to further protect your online privacy, you can use a disposable email address.
Once you complete the payment process, you will be redirected to the download page where you can install the VPN software on your device. In this page, you will see the activation code you must use during the installation. You have to copy and paste it when requested later on.
From the list of devices, choose the one where you want to install the software. After you have selected the device, click the download button and you’re done. The process couldn’t be easier.
ExpressVPN App – One Of The Easiest VPN Client In The Industry
The client also guarantees a great user experience. The version 7.0 of the app features a new look and new functionalities. As it happens with any new release by this VPN, the tests we performed have revealed improved performances.
Moreover, the software is available in several languages for both versions, ExpressVPN Android and ExpressVPN iOs. The same option is unfortunately not available yet for the desktop version.
How to Activate the VPN
As you open the app, you’ll see a big button. Click it, and in seconds your protection is on. Turning on your computer is possibly more complicated than activating the VPN.
The design may slightly differ depending on whether you use Mac or Windows, but the layout is very similar in both versions.
Though simple, the client gives you total control of your VPN connection.
As you activate the VPN, you can see the “shortcuts bar” that displays a series of application. This is part of the new feature and it gives you one-click access to your favorite app. You can customize which apps you want in the bar from the menu preferences > shortcuts.
How To Change Server Location
As you start the app, the software automatically shows you the best performing VPN server close to your location. This option may be fine for you. However, if you need to mask your IP address and simulate that you are connecting from a different region, you need to change ExpressVPN location.
You can choose any VPN server of your choice in seconds.
If you click “Choose Location”, you can choose the VPN server manually. You will se a list of recommended VPN server or, alternatively, if you’re not happy with that selection, the menu “All” will open the complete list of servers around the world. You can manually select the one you want.
To make your life easier, you can even save servers in your “favorites” list for future reference.
Here is a brief video tutorials we have prepared to show how easy it is to change server.
How to Use ExpressVPN Kill Switch
To access the Kill Switch panel, click on the top left menu and select “Preferences”. From the menu “General” you can now activate or turn off the Network Lock, as ExpressVPN call it.
Speed Test Function
This is a convenient feature to make sure you always get the fastest connection.
You may find the speed test very helpful if you have to connect to a server far away from your current location. Using the speed test, you can always log in to the server with the best performances.
All you have to do is to click on the “Speed Test” menu in the user interface and run a speed test. In a matter of minutes, you will have a complete list of the best-performing servers all over the globe.
If you want to customize your VPN connection, click on the menu symbol in the upper corner. From here you can access several functions, such as the “Speed
Test” we discussed before.
This is also where you can:
- Select the VPN protocol
- Activate the Kill Switch function
- Choose to launch ExpressVPN on startup
- Customize your shortcuts bar
- Install browser extensions
You can explore this section, and you will quickly see how easy it is to use this VPN
Do We Recommend ExpressVPN?
If you are looking for a secure, reliable and fast VPN, Express VPN will not let you down.
This VPN provider has been on the market for quite some time now. Over the years the company has consistently improved its services.
Not only this is one of the fastest VPN available, but it is certainly one of the major players on the market.
If you need a reliable service that efficiently protects your online privacy and unblock streaming services, ExpressVPN deserves your attention.
If you’re addicted to torrenting, this VPN provider not only allows it but even has a “no-log” policy that will protect you in case of an investigation.
The price is a bit higher compared to other excellent providers like CyberGhost, HideMyAss, and IPVanish.
The difference in price is justified but the high level of security offered and the many features that come with it as highlighted in this review.
This VPN provider has the right to be in the VPN’s hall of fame. If you subscribe to any of its service plans, you are not likely to regret your decision.
You may read even our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN article.