- Quick, dependable connections
- Robust privateness & safety
- Nice unblocking
- Costlier than rivals
- No double-hop possibility
- Solely 5 simultaneous connections
ExpressVPN delivers an incredible service that’s quick and gives assist for a lot of various kinds of units. It’s costly, although, and lacks just a few options which rivals supply at a decrease price.
With so many VPN companies to decide on between, it helps you probably have a well known model so you possibly can stand out from the group. ExpressVPN definitely has that, and it has subjected itself to a wide range of third-party audits which present that its apps and servers are safe, and that it sticks by its no-logs coverage.
ExpressVPN – as with all shopper VPN companies – grants an additional layer of privateness on-line, further safety on public Wi-Fi networks (comparable to in cafes and accommodations) and the flexibility to unblock region-locked content material, comparable to movies and web sites.
Once you use a VPN, you’re routing all of your exercise by its servers, so it’s essential which you can belief it with all of your web site visitors.
That is additionally why elements such because the historical past of ExpressVPN’s present proprietor – Kape Applied sciences – and the scorching water its CIO discovered himself in again in 2021 don’t matter very a lot. It is a VPN service we really feel greater than snug utilizing.
ExpressVPN positions itself as a premium VPN service, which is why it prices greater than a whole lot of its rivals. You received’t see any loopy offers providing 80% off: there’s solely ever one deal: join 12 months and also you’ll pay nearly half what you’d pay when you subscribed on a one-month rolling foundation. And, on the finish of the primary yr, you get three further months tacked on free of charge.
The large query, after all, is whether or not or not ExpressVPN value it when you will get a two-, three- and even five-year subscription to a rival VPN service for a similar cash? Preserve studying to seek out out.
- 3000+ servers in 94 nations
- 5 simultaneous connections
- Permits torrenting
- Unblocks 200+ streaming companies
Though some VPNs have extra servers than ExpressVPN, few cowl as many nations. What’s vital, although, is whether or not it has servers close to you, and within the nations the place you need to get round regional blocks.
It gives 24 areas within the US, 4 within the UK (three in London and one within the Midlands). There’s a selection of seven areas in Australia, however solely 5 nations overlaying the entire of Africa and the Center East.
It’s value mentioning that ExpressVPN permits P2P and torrenting, which some VPN companies particularly forbid.
Though ExpressVPN rents its servers – versus proudly owning them and having unique entry to them – it makes use of what it calls TrustedServer know-how. That is the place the software program runs fully in RAM and doesn’t save any information to the exhausting drive. Though servers nonetheless have exhausting drives, these are read-only and include solely the working system picture wanted in addition up the servers.
Put merely, it means anybody seizing a server (comparable to native authorities) wouldn’t be capable to retrieve any consumer information from it.
It’s a commendable setup, however the place it used to have this benefit over rivals, some have now caught up and successfully use the identical setup. It nonetheless isn’t fairly as safe as a completely owned and operated community the place there isn’t an underlying working system that – doubtlessly – datacentre workers might entry. However not many VPN suppliers run their very own servers.
Unblocking streaming companies is one in every of ExpressVPN’s greatest strengths. It claims to reliably unblock over 200 streaming service and in addition offers you a backup possibility – the MediaStreamer proxy service – when you discover that the VPN isn’t unblocking DAZN, say, on the actual second you need to watch a reside sports activities occasion.
ExpressVPN additionally has its personal encryption protocol, Lightway. This gives very quick connection instances and good speeds. That is vital you probably have a quick web connection and don’t desire a VPN to gradual it down.
You probably have any issues, reside chat is on the market around the clock, too.
One other characteristic is Menace Supervisor. This blocks site visitors from web sites recognized to be malicious, defending your units from malware, scammers and trackers. It really works solely when the VPN is related, however isn’t current within the Home windows or Android apps. ExpressVPN says it’s rolling out on these “quickly”.
- Home windows
- iPhone, Mac
- Linux (command line)
One among ExpressVPN’s different strengths is the vary of apps it gives: Home windows, macOS, iPhone, Android, iPad, Linux and Amazon Hearth TV. Nevertheless it doesn’t cease there. There are browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge.
And in contrast to all different VPN companies, whose extensions are merely proxies masquerading as VPNs, ExpressVPN’s extensions are extra akin to a distant management for the primary VPN app, so while you use them, you’re getting the complete safety of a VPN somewhat than merely altering your IP deal with.
Though ExpressVPN doesn’t supply a GUI for Linux, a workaround is to put in a browser extension and use that to connect with a server.
The apps are typically straightforward to make use of. They’ve a easy residence display with an enormous button to attach. You don’t even want to choose a location: it’ll do this for you.
You solely want to decide on a location you probably have a particular want, comparable to unblocking movies abroad. Within the Home windows app, the nation checklist isn’t significantly apparent, and throughout all apps defaults to an inventory of beneficial areas. You’d be forgiven for lacking this truth and questioning why there have been so few areas accessible within the US.
Nonetheless, these are minor gripes, and we like that standard nations are listed on the high, somewhat than the everyday alphabetical order that places the US and UK close to the underside.
Latest servers keep on the house display, however you may also favorite them to rapidly reconnect at a later date.
One characteristic you received’t discover is ‘double hop’, which routes your connection by way of two servers for even higher privateness. It’s additionally a disgrace that the few digital servers (comparable to India and Indonesia) aren’t marked up as being digital within the apps.
All apps have the identical feel and appear and work in the identical manner. The desktop apps can get a bit messy as a result of the checklist of areas and settings open as separate home windows. It isn’t a dealbreaker, after all.
A pleasant characteristic is which you can rapidly connect with current servers from the taskbar menu on each macOS and Home windows.
Jim Martin / Foundry
Android and iPhone homeowners will recognize the helpful widget that makes it straightforward to connect with a server with out even launching the app. One other considerate contact is that, within the app itself, there are shortcuts to launch apps after you’ve related to a server, and you may choose your favorite apps for the checklist.
In order for you a VPN primarily to unblock video and you’ve got an Apple TV or one other machine for which there’s no VPN app, then ExpressVPN is an efficient selection. That’s as a result of you possibly can configure suitable routers to make use of ExpressVPN. Which means each machine connecting to the web by way of the router makes use of the VPN connection, and this additionally will get across the five-device restrict that ExpressVPN imposes for simultaneous VPN connections: a router counts as just one machine.
Ordinarily, operating a VPN connection on a router could be uninteresting to most individuals, however as router apps go, ExpressVPN’s is one of the best we’ve seen.
It’s surprisingly straightforward to make use of. You may change server pretty simply, and it doesn’t drive your entire computer systems and Wi-Fi devices to make use of the VPN: you possibly can select which units do or don’t. In actual fact, you possibly can even create machine teams, so all of your good TVs might connect with a US server, whereas your IoT units might join by way of your nearest server. You can even specify units that don’t use the VPN in any respect.
You may’t set up ExpressVPN on any previous router – you’ll want a suitable Asus, Linksys or Netgear – otherwise you’ll have to purchase a router with ExpressVPN already put in from an organization comparable to FlashRouters.com.
ExpressVPN has even launched its personal Wi-Fi 6 router with the identical software program. You may purchase the AirCove from Amazon (within the US) for $189.99 or from FlashRouters which is able to ship to different nations.
The TrustedServer tech that ExpressVPN makes use of is just a part of the general privateness story. The corporate is registered within the British Virgin Islands, a self-governing territory that isn’t topic to British legal guidelines. This gives further peace of thoughts as a result of, though ExpressVPN (similar to nearly each different VPN) operates a no-logs coverage, even when some consumer information did someway get saved, the native legal guidelines imply they’ll’t be requested handy over information to authorities.
Most VPN companies have an analogous enterprise setup, particularly in the event that they’re primarily based in a rustic with unfavourable privateness legal guidelines such because the US, UK and others which share intelligence with one another.
ExpressVPN’s privateness coverage states clearly (on the high of the web page) that “We don’t accumulate logs of your exercise, together with no logging of searching historical past, site visitors vacation spot, information content material, or DNS queries. We additionally by no means retailer connection logs, that means no logs of your IP deal with, your outgoing VPN IP deal with, connection timestamp, or session length.”.
ExpressVPN additionally runs its personal DNS servers, that are additionally a part of its MediaStreamer characteristic. This removes the chance that every one the web sites and companies you utilize might be leaked and recorded by third-party DNS servers (and even your ISP’s DNS servers).
One other good safety characteristic is the kill swap (referred to as Community lock) which is on the market within the Home windows, macOS, Linux and Android apps. This stops any information being despatched or acquired if the VPN connection unexpectedly drops, maintaining you protected.
You can even set Community lock to permit native units (on your property community) to proceed working whereas stopping all distant site visitors. When the VPN connection is reestablished, the web connection to every other app that requires it will likely be restored.
Break up tunnelling
Break up tunnelling is on the market within the Home windows, Android and macOS apps (in addition to the router model). What this does is allow you to select which apps use the VPN connection and which don’t. The benefit is which you can nonetheless entry native web sites or units – comparable to wi-fi printers – with none issues whereas concurrently accessing abroad websites by way of the VPN.
Simply observe that cut up tunnelling nonetheless isn’t accessible on macOS Large Sur or later.
Another choice when you don’t need all apps utilizing the VPN connection is to put in and use one of many net browser extensions to restrict the VPN’s scope to solely web sites you’re visiting in that browser.
Efficiency & ease of use
Quite than do what others have completed, ExpressVPN determined to not use WireGuard however to as an alternative develop its personal protocol referred to as Lightway.
It’s fairly quick, too, and pretty constant. We examined utilizing a gigabit connection (for each add and obtain speeds) in San Francisco. The outcomes under are good, though not the quickest we’ve seen. Surfshark and NordVPN’s obtain speeds had been faster, however ExpressVPN did nicely on add speeds general.
Adam Patrick Murray / Foundry
As in earlier years, ExpressVPN didn’t leak our actual IP deal with or DNS in any of our assessments, the latter due to utilizing its personal DNS servers. It doesn’t assist IPv6, so merely blocks any IPv6 requests.
- Unblocks HBO Max, Disney+, Netflix, BBC iPlayer
ExpressVPN has a superb observe file for unblocking, and it was no totally different once we examined the service in February 2023. We had been in a position to watch exclusives on Netflix’s US library from the UK, in addition to HBO Max and Disney+. We additionally tried the Australian streaming service 9Now and located ExpressVPN allowed us to stream in HD with no points for hours on finish.
It additionally unblocks Netflix Japan, Australia and France, and BBC iPlayer within the UK.
For those who do have any points, ExpressVPN additionally gives its MediaStreamer DNS servers. You’ll discover directions for apply it to the corporate’s web site for numerous units, from laptops and PCs to good TVs. Primarily, you’ll lose the encryption from the VPN however will be capable to unblock the content material you need.
Not all VPN suppliers have 24/7 reside chat however ExpressVPN does, and brokers reply rapidly and are educated. There’s now a hyperlink to the assist centre from the cell apps, however once we examined this on an iPhone, it merely confirmed us a clean white web page.
Worth & plans
At £11.07 / US$12.95 for one month’s use, ExpressVPN is roughly the identical value as rivals. Nonetheless, nearly no-one pays for a VPN month by month. Usually, suppliers supply large reductions for subscribing for a yr or two.
ExpressVPN doesn’t actually do these gives: its longest subscription is 12 months, though with a particular deal for the primary yr provides you with 15 months for the value of 12. This prices
After this, the annual subscription renews at $99.95 / £85.47 per yr after the preliminary deal. That’s $8.33 / £7.12 monthly (inc VAT). That’s nearly thrice the price of most VPNs.
One mitigating issue is that ExpressVPN now features a password supervisor within the subscription. That normally prices further with different VPN companies, however Keys is presently in beta.
It’s vital to know that almost all VPNs cost you a better value while you subscription renews, one thing ExpressVPN doesn’t do. Nonetheless, there’s nothing stopping you from cancelling your subscription with a rival and renewing on a brand new two-year deal. ExpressVPN is just costly on a regular basis.
We’ve talked about it already, however ExpressVPN is a bit stingy with the variety of units you possibly can join on the identical time. The place Surfshark permits you to use its subscription on an infinite variety of units, ExpressVPN restricts you to 5 (except you utilize the router app).
There’s a 30-day a reimbursement assure when you’re not proud of the service for any purpose. You may pay by bank cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and a variety of different choices together with GiroPay. So if you wish to pay anonymously, you are able to do so.
General, we’re impressed with ExpressVPN. It’s fast and nice at unblocking streaming companies – going past the same old US Netflix, Disney+ and different US-based companies.
The apps work nicely, there’s a large selection of nations and servers, stable assist and loads of step-by-step guides for set up on units the place apps aren’t accessible and respectable safety features to make sure your exercise stays personal.
Given the value, although, there are just a few options lacking that you simply get with different, cheaper companies. NordVPN and Surfshark, for instance, each supply double hop, however ExpressVPN doesn’t. It additionally doesn’t assist Tor-over-VPN. Lastly, it doesn’t supply devoted or static IP addresses. Not many individuals want a kind of, however the possibility isn’t there when you do.
Worth stays the largest disadvantage. Until you need to run a VPN on a router – which ExpressVPN does higher than anybody else – then it’s exhausting to justify that value when rivals comparable to Surfshark and NordVPN supply comparable safety, unblock standard streaming companies and supply even higher speeds.