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Sunday, October 28, 2018

ExpressVPN Review

https://thebestvpn.com/reviews/expressvpn/

Last updated: April 17, 2018


Brad Smith · Read user reviews

After reviewing dozens of VPNs, I can say that ExpressVPN can be considered as “all around” VPN. Their biggest con is their current pricing…


ExpressVPN is rated 1st out of 74 VPNs on TheBestVPN.com

I was curious to put together this ExpressVPN review as I just couldn’t believe the hype around it.

Most “comparison” sites claim them to be fast, secure and fully anonymous.

But I was wondering…

Is it really as fast and secure as promised? Can I use it for torrenting and streaming Netflix?

Does it really cost that much or is there a cheaper way to get it?

These are just some of the questions I answer in this review.

Ready? Let’s get started…
ExpressVPN Overview
OVERALL RANK: #1st out of 74 VPNs
USABILITY Very Easy
LOG FILES: Strict No Logging
LOCATIONS: 94 countries, 2000+ servers
SUPPORT: Live Chat
TORRENTING: P2P & Torrenting Allowed
NETFLIX: Unblocks Netflix
ENCRYPTION: OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2
JURISDICTION: Out of 14 eyes
COST: $6.67
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.ExpressVPN.com

ExpressVPN Pros
1. Strict “No Logging” PolicyInformation on: https://www.expressvpn.com/what-is-vpn/policy-towards-logs

Keep in mind that vast of majority of VPN providers try to explain in their TOS that they don’t keep log files, but we’ve seen some VPN services that have VERY questionable logging policy (hint: PureVPN & F-Secure Freedome).

Luckily, ExpressVPN isn’t that suspicious at all…

ExpressVPN also operates under a rather stringent “No Logging” policy.

Basically, this means that they do not track or store your personal data whenever you are using their services. From the second that you log onto your ExpressVPN server, your information (or at least most of it) is encrypted and hidden from hackers, government agencies, and yes, even ExpressVPN themselves.

However, ExpressVPN does collect some data as outlined in their privacy policy. According to the companies website, they do collect:
Apps and app versions successfully activated
Dates (not times) when connected to the VPN service
Choice of VPN server location
Total amount (in MB) of data transferred per day

And after reviewing dozens of other VPNs, I have found that this is a pretty standard practice that is actually necessary to ensure an optimal user experience.
2. Speed Test: One of The Fastest VPNs

Probably the most important strength that ExpressVPN has is their fast upload and download speeds.

Without VPN, we had the following results:

With a 100 Mbps connection, we’re able to get a download speed of 83.15 Mbps which makes them one of the fastest VPNs we’ve reviewed till date.

Of the 70+ of VPN providers that I have tested, only a few offer upload and download speeds comparable to ExpressVPN’s (such as PIA & Private Tunnel, but they lack in every other aspect).

See the complete results yourself:

US Server (New York)
Ping: 110ms / Download: 60.04 Mbps / Upload: 30.41 Mbps

EU Server (Amsterdam)
Ping: 40ms / Download: 83.15 Mbps / Upload: 51.81Mbps

Asia Server (Hong Kong)
Ping: 292ms / Download: 30.26 Mbps / Upload: 12.46 Mbps

Always take speed testing with a grain of salt because it relies on too many variables, such as your physical location, your computer specs, your Internet connection etc.

But since I compare VPNs with the same method (same computer & Internet connection), I can truly say that ExpressVPN is very fast.
3. Lots of Servers and Privacy Features
Anonymous IP: Yes
Kill-Switch: Yes
Netflix compatibility: Yes
P2P servers
3 simultaneous connections
2000+ servers
94 countries (last verified on 1st of May, 2018)

Where ExpressVPN really shines is in their wide selection of servers, so you can easily change or hide your IP.

With over 2000 servers operating in 94 countries across 148 different cities (and counting), ExpressVPN is rivaled only by NordVPN, PIA and TorGuard in terms of the sheer volume of servers they offer.



If there is a server you need, chances are, ExpressVPN has got it. You can also check their server locations in real time.
Kill Switch

For anyone using location-specification specific activities (like gambling), ExpressVPN also offers a very handy Kill Switch that will automatically kill whatever software or websites you were using in the event that your network connection is lost.

Meaning that even when you’ve lost your protection, you are still protected.
Works on Multiple Devices

Their services are supported on:
Windows
Mac
Android
Linux (best UI in the industry)
iPhone and iPad
Different routers
Different web browsers

While I am sure there is some device out there that remains unsupported, you would be hard-pressed to find it.
4. Located in Safe Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands

Founded in 2009, ExpressVPN International Ltd is located in the sun-kissed and (almost) the tax-free British Virgin Islands.

The fact that they located in a tax haven and have almost no information regarding their founders or employees can raise a few red flags for the cautious consumer.

However, ExpressVPN’s secrecy should not be a cause for alarm.

Due to the very nature of their services, most VPN companies go to great lengths to hide their identities and impede unwanted investigations.

With the current landscape of data security becoming more tumultuous by the day, it is almost a requirement for VPN providers to limit the accessibility of their more private information.
5. Strong Encryption (AES-256) + OpenVPN

In order to ensure that your data protection is at the highest levels, ExpressVPN uses a strong 256-bit AES encryption… Like a super strong encryption.

Known as Advanced Encryption Standard or AES, the 256-bit cipher that ExpressVPN utilizes all but eliminates the possibility of a brute force attack (and most other attacks for that matter).

I won’t bore you with all of the jargon and technical details about the AES 256 key that is used to protect your internet experience, but I will suffice it to say this:

When the CIA or FBI decides that they want to protect the transmission of sensitive data, they use an AES-256 encryption.

If security is one of your primary concerns, you can rest soundly knowing that ExpressVPN is not at risk of being compromised anytime soon.

VPN tunneling protocols are the method that your device uses to connect to a VPN server. While most users will only need the default (and most secure) “OpenVPN”, ExpressVPN also supports SSTP, L2Tp/IPsec, and PPTP protocols.

For users with more technical requirements, this is a great feature to have because it allows you to establish a connection that is tailored to meet your specific needs (typically, speed vs. security).

By de-jargonizing everything I wrote above, I can safely say that yes, ExpressVPN is secure and safe VPN.

You can safely use a public Wi-Fi to protect your data
6. ExpressVPN Allows Torrenting

This is a huge plus for many users.

While other companies like TunnelBear have officially stated that they do not allow torrenting, ExpressVPN has made no such statements.

Although I was unable to find an example where ExpressVPN blatantly condoned torrenting, you don’t have to read far between the lines to realize that, at the very least, they aren’t opposed to it.

Everything about their service, from the military-grade encryption to the unlimited bandwidth and admirable download times scream “Torrent Friendly”.
7. Unblock Netflix Feature

As Netflix’s security protocols and procedures continue to evolve, it is becoming increasingly rare to find VPN providers with Netflix compatibility.

After setting up my service with ExpressVPN, the first (and clearly most important) thing that I wanted to find out was whether or not their Netflix compatibility worked as advertised. Much to my surprise (and delight), I was presented with a queue of films and TV shows that was wildly different from my regularly scheduled programming.

It should be noted that not all servers are compatible with Netflix and you will probably run into a few proxy errors when trying to stream Netflix from non-U.S. servers.

The following servers worked perfectly fine for bypassing Netflix:
USA (NY)
Canada (Toronto)
UK (London)
8. 24/7 Live Customer Support

In an industry that suffers from notoriously bad customer service, ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live support is one of its biggest selling points. Unlike many providers who rely on outdated contact forms and laggy email chains, ExpressVPN boasts a 24/7 365 live chat feature that has been consistently rated one of the best in the business.

But, for whatever reason, ExpressVPN decided that it would be beneficial to continue offering the more traditional contact forms and support emails. So it’s important to note that if you do run into any issues when you opt for one of these archaic methods, ExpressVPN will be quick to redirect you to their live support team (as they do in the following correspondence).
9. TOR Compatibility

The Orion Router or TOR is a network designed for one thing and one thing only.

Security.

When using TOR, your traffic information is encrypted across multiple servers and your data is relayed so that it is difficult (bordering on impossible) to track your actual location.

If you are extremely concerned about your personal security, ExpressVPN allows you to combine the TOR networks on top of your existing VPN in order to maximize your privacy and all but eliminate vulnerabilities in your data’s security.

In countries with Draconian censorship laws, this added layer of security can (literally) be a lifesaver.

To access the TOR network, simply use their official browser on a Windows, Mac OS, Linux, or Android device then launch your connection using the following address: http://expressobutiolem.onion
10. No IP or DNS leaks found

Last, but not least, we also tested ExpressVPN towards multiple DNS, WebRTC and IP leaks.

Luckily, we couldn’t find any (5 different sites tested).

I also uploaded their installer file to VirusTotal.com which indicated no viruses found.
ExpressVPN Cons
1. Only 3 Devices Can be Connected Simultaneously

If there is one other complaint I had about ExpressVPN it is that they only allow you to simultaneously use their services on three devices.

While it’s unlikely that this is an issue for users who are only interested in personal security, the limit can become frustrating whenever you are trying to ensure the security of your entire family’s data and devices.

This is especially bothersome when you compare ExpressVPN’s device limit to those of other companies who consistently offer 5-7 simultaneous connections.

While it’s far from a deal breaker, it is an issue that I would like to see resolved sooner rather than later.
2. Not Very Transparent Company

Similarly to NordVPN, ExpressVPN remains pretty anonymous company. There are no visible phone numbers nor business contacts on the website, yet they serve millions of customers.

However, remaining anonymous in the VPN business is a pretty common thing. Businesses tend to do that because of the different laws and their motive to protect their customer’s data.
ExpressVPN Pricing, Plans & Facts

When a company boasts as many features and perks as ExpressVPN, it shouldn’t shock you to find out that they charge a premium price for their services.

With their packages going as high as $12.95/month, ExpressVPN is far from a “budget service” (although every plan comes with a 30-day money back guarantee)

Here’s how the pricing plans break down.

Month-to-Month Plan: $12.95 per month
6 Months Plan: $9.99/month (billed $59.95 every six months)
12-Months Plan: $8.32/Month (Billed $99.95 every 12 months)

However, if you are willing to keep a watchful eye on their website, you can occasionally find great sales that reduce the total cost to $6.67/month or lower.

This might seem expensive to some of you, especially when you compare the cost of ExpressVPN to some free VPN services.

But it’s important to remember that, as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for”.

And there are no exceptions to this rule when it comes to VPN providers.

If you want to buy ExpressVPN, you can use all major credit cards, PayPal as well as anonymous payment methods, such as Bitcoin.
No logging: Yes.
Ease of the VPN software: Very beginner friendly and simple.
Hidden fees & clauses: None found.
Upsells: No upsells.
Instant access after payment: Yes.
DNS leaks: DNS Leak Protection feature (free).
Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands.
Tunneling Protocols: OpenVPN, IPSec, PPTP & L2TP.
Kill-switch: Yes.
P2P servers: Yes
Do I Recommend ExpressVPN?

Yes, I do recommend ExpressVPN.

They offer a fantastic service that is filled with the wide array of features sure to delight both novice and expert web-surfers alike.

They keep you fully anonymous, safe and secure.

And with such a large pool of servers (2000+) to choose from and an effective team of customer service agents at your disposal, I feel that you get what you pay for – which is a lot!

It’s fast, safe and secure. Hands down, my experience with this VPN was solid, hence I recommend this.

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