Express VPN is one the most hyped VPNs out there… but is it any good? They claim to have a VPN which simply “works”, provides super high-speed and finally, they claim that Express VPN is the #1 in the world.
I was curious to know just how better the Express actually is: is it worth paying a premium just to have #1 VPN in the world? Does ExpressVPN provide access to American Netflix or BBC streaming services? What about security and encryption? Does Express VPN allow torrenting?
Let’s take a deep look at ExpressVPN and see if this is truly the best VPN in the world.
About the company
There truly is a very limited amount of information about ExpressVPN as a company. We’ve read their privacy policies but found almost no information at all. From what they say, ExpressVPN’s mission is to keep internet users’ information private and secure. From what they say, ExpressVPN’s headquarters and registered place of business is in the British Virgin Islands.
The BVI (as well as Panam or Romania) has no data retention laws, and any legal order requiring a BVI company to disclose customer records must come from the BVI Supreme Court. From the general practice, it is nearly impossible for any government institutions to get their hands on data when the company is registered and operated in the British Virgin Islands. Also, ExpressVPN states that they do not collect any IP addresses, browsing history or traffic data.
Our review is summarized in the table below (to all the busy people)
|Logging policies?||Strict no-log|
|Location?||British Virgin Islands|
|Encryption protocols||IPSec & IKEv2 and 256-bit AES/OpenVPN|
|Customer support||24/7, via email & live chat|
|Unblocks US Netflix?||Yes|
|Money back guarantee?||30 days|
|Option to pay with cryptocurrencies?||Yes, by Bitcoin|
|Cost||$8.32 – $12.95/mo|
Express VPN is equipped with more than 3000 servers across 94 countries and supports all the major platforms. A large number of servers is the main advantage of this particular VPN. This allows you to have anonymous IP, up to 5 simultaneous connections and the cherry on top – it enables Netflix streaming.
It’s rather impossible to beat Express VPN in terms of infrastructure, as the only couple of other VPNs provide this kind of coverage.
ExpressVPN works on all major platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire, Nook, routers, Playstation
Natively supported platforms: All of the above, plus Chromebook, Windows Phone, Proxy service (not VPN) available for game consoles, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Boxee
Kill switch is present too, which means that ExpressVPN will automatically kill any browser or software you’ve been using in case the connection drops.
So you are always protected.
As mentioned earlier, ExpressVPN has a military-grade 256 bit AES encryption protocol which is indeed strong encryption for your secure internet.
To be more exact, AES aka Advanced Encryption Standard removes even the slightest chance of a brute force attack meaning that other sorts of attacks are also eliminated.
It might sound like a rocket since when discussing technical details of AES encryption protocol but keep in mind that both FBI & CIA uses this protocol to secure their precious data.
I can firmly state that ExpressVPN takes great care of your security and you can rely on this product.
When it comes to VPN security, VPN tunnels also play a big part. As an industry-standard, most VPN providers use OpenVPN as the default connection method (which is the most secure at the moment). But ExpressVPN decided to allow L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and SSTP protocols which might be useful for some more advanced users. Those users can take great advantage since it lets you establish a connection that is adjusted for your specific requirements.
If you are still doubting whether ExpressVPN provides security for you to be able to use public Wi-Fi – I say it does, you should not worry about any security-related issues.
VPN speed is an essential element for the majority of users. After all, if VPN diminishes your comfort when using almighty internet – this is a VPN to avoid, folks.
And there is nothing better to asses VPN speed capacity than run multiple tests + use it on daily browsing activities.
For this review, I’ve been using ExpressVPN daily for 2 weeks. During this time I haven’t encountered a single connection issue. Youtube, Netflix, and other high-bandwidth consuming services were running smoothly at 4K.
But let’s get geekier with numbers:
Testing device – Apple MacBook Pro
Internet connection – WiFi
Location – Netherlands, Europe
This is the result without VPN was – download 68 Mbps, Upload 18 Mbps with 4 ms ping
With ExpressVPN, speed dropped just slightly to 47 Mbps download, Upload was 12 Mbps with 42ms ping
As you can already tell, download speed dropped just a bit, compared to other VPNs
I’ve run multiple tests during the days to ensure the highest accuracy of results and got similar results.
This makes me confirm that ExpressVPN has great speed and a very stable connection.
There is a large customer base in the VPN community with a requirement for various streaming services. The most popular is undoubtedly Netflix US which offers different content depending on the country.
During days, not only VPNs are becoming faster and smarter but so does Netflix algorithms so it’s becoming difficult to find a reliable VPN that can support this feature.
Before even installing ExpressVPN on my devices I expected it to Netflix content so it was no surprise it did! I was able to see way different Netflix library than I usually access.
During in-depth Netflix testing, I’ve noticed that not every ExpressVPN server unlocks Netflix but it is not a big deal as you don’t usually need to switch between servers very often.
Torrents + ExpressVPN
In one sentence – ExpressVPN allows torrenting together with file sharing.
I’ve done some torrent downloads with ExpressVPN, it worked great, speed was great so having in mind that this VPN has secure encryption on top – it’s clear that ExpressVPN is your go-to VPN when torrenting is needed. It might seem natural that VPNs should provide privacy and security, therefore torrents have to be allowed but some competitors like TunnelBear have stated – No torrenting allowed.
In the torrenting category, ExpressVPN wins.
Another hot topic after torrenting is a TOR browser and its compatibility with a VPN.
Originally TOR was created for a single mission – to make browsing anonymous.
The TOR browser itself brings you anonymity as your connection requests are being encrypted across multiple servers. Also, your data is being layered (like an onion) therefore, it’s almost impossible to track down your location.
But security concerned users do recommend to incorporate a VPN on top of a TOR browser. This way you maximize your privacy and eliminate any chance of security leak.
Now to access the TOR network, just download their official browser, launch it and head straight to expressobutiolem.onion. Enjoy 100% anonymous internet.
ExpressVPN always resonates with premium pricing and that is actually true. It’s one of the most expensive VPNs we’ve tested.
The cheapest deal you can get (and most popular offer) is 6.67 USD per month.
There are no pricing plans for longer periods of time like NordVPN which has a 3 – year plan. But having in mind that ExpressVPN provides military-grade protection, doesn’t discourage you from torrenting or file sharing – it’s a fair price to pay.
When you spend 80 USD per year for a VPN, you expect to be treated special – dedicated 24/7 live chat and email support is a must. And you get all this with ExpressVPN.
During testing weeks, I’ve contacted the support team multiple times using both live chat and email. The support team responded every time within seconds! At first, I thought it was automated messages but it wasn’t. There is a possibility to beat ExpressVPN support – winner in this category for sure!
This literally took less than 5 seconds.
The ultimate question to answer – do I recommend ExpressVPN to keep you private on the internet? YES, ExpressVPN is definitely the TOP2 VPN that exists at the moment. Of course, the price is above average, but remember that you are getting extra perks for that. If you do want to stay truly anonymous on the web, you should get ExpressVPN.