ExpressVPN is often found on numerous lists and overviews of the best VPNs available right now. Thanks to a clever combination of ingenious marketing and raving reviews (from both cybersecurity experts and regular users), many of you won’t think twice about subscribing to this VPN. And the fact is – you won’t make a mistake!
However, we will test this hugely popular VPN for ourselves and check all those marketing messages and claims. We’ll see whether ExpressVPN can truly unblock websites, stream the American version of Netflix, access other streaming platforms and if it really brings such amazing speeds and security-related features, as advertised. With that said, welcome to our hands-on ExpressVPN review!
First and foremost, let’s take a look at the basic set of information regarding this VPN. The following table gives you a glimpse of what to expect, and it’s a good starting point for comparing this VPN to its competitors.
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands.|
|Logs||No logs – independently audited.|
|Number of Servers||94 countries, 3,000+ servers.|
|Encryption Standards||AES-256; OpenVPN, Lightway, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP.|
|Speed Reduction||44.7%, on average.|
|Live Chat Support||YES|
|Supported Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Web browsers, routers, and media streaming devices.|
|Price||Starting at $6.67/month.|
One of the most popular reasons why many individuals use VPNs is to unblock media streaming websites. If that’s the reason why you’re interested in ExpressVPN, you’ll want to take a look at the following table.
Media Streaming Support
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
Also, we’re sure that some of you don’t have the time to read this entire article (we admit it – it’s pretty in-depth). So, we’re going to present our findings in a convenient matter.
The Bottom Line
|Pros||Incredibly simple to set up; Strong security- and privacy-related features; No activity logs whatsoever; Helpful customer support (available 24/7).|
|Cons||Not the most affordable option.|
|The Final Verdict||If your goal is to be anonymous on the Web, unblock websites, stream media, and even download torrents, you won’t find a better option than ExpressVPN.|
Finally, we are ready to dive into our hands-on review, taking a deep look at each aspect of this VPN. With that said, keep on reading to learn all you need to know about ExpressVPN in 2021.
What’s New in ExpressVPN? – Recent Updates & New Developments
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest-developing VPN services. Therefore, before we dive into our review of this VPN, we’ll take a look at some of the (most interesting) recent developments.
1. ExpressVPN Gets a Complete Visual Overhaul
Every couple of years, ExpressVPN takes a very drastic move of overhauling its visual design. That’s precisely what happened just recently, with ExpressVPN deciding to enter 2021 with a completely new UI and UX design. However, we’re not talking about cosmetic changes only.
In our dedicated news piece on ExpressVPN’s complete overhaul, you can read about the newly achieved uniformity across all of ExpressVPN’s app. This VPN is now incredibly simple to use, highly polished in terms of its UI, with plenty of newly released features being consolidated and optimized to bring an unparalleled level of usability.
2. Partnership With LastPass
Just recently, one of the most widely used password managers has announced a partnership with ExpressVPN. We’re talking about LastPass here, which now includes ExpressVPN as an additional tool in its arsenal of privacy-protecting features.
Previously, companies like Dynabook (Toshiba) and Hewlett-Packard have partnered with ExpressVPN as well, which comes preinstalled on many laptops now. This tells us that we’re dealing with a high-end VPN here, meeting the highest possible security and privacy standards, trusted by numerous companies around the world.
3. All-New (Proprietary) Lightway Protocol
Called Lightway, this is promised to be an ultra-lightweight protocol that works without a hitch. Connecting to a server will be done in a fraction of a second. You’ll also get to switch between different types of Web connections (Wi-Fi, 4G, 5G) while lowering your device’s processor load.
4. Security and Privacy Audit Done by PwC
ExpressVPN passed those security audits with flying colors, which doesn’t come as a surprise. This VPN is known for protecting the privacy of its subscribers in the most secure way possible.
5. Support For up to 5 Simultaneous Connections
Perhaps the biggest limitation of ExpressVPN in the past was its limited number of simultaneous connections. However, the VPN has corrected that downside and now allows up to 5 devices to be used simultaneously (using a single account, of course).
6. Integration of ‘TrustedServer’ Technology
To protect their subscribers’ privacy, ExpressVPN no longer uses hard drives in its data centers. Instead, we’re talking about using RAM here. Even if ExpressVPN’s servers get sized (which had happened in the past), the VPN won’t have anything to provide to any third-party.
This is one of the reasons why ExpressVPN is considered one of the safest VPNs in 2021. And as you’re about to see (if you carefully read this ExpressVPN review), we’re dealing with a sophisticated VPN here, designed to protect your privacy from the ground up.
ExpressVPN Review 2021 – Everything You Need to Know Before You Subscribe!
What follows is our hands-on review of this popular VPN service, based on our extensive testing and benchmarking, as per our uniform set of criteria. To learn more about how we review VPNs, please use the provided link.
Table of Contents
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
ExpressVPN is out of the ’14 Eyes’ Alliance’s jurisdiction and comes with an impeccable reputation for not storing any personal files whatsoever. Our Score: 10/10.
The main purpose of any VPN is to hide your real location and help you preserve your online anonymity. However, this also means that not every VPN will do the job in the best way possible. With that said, here’s what to expect from ExpressVPN.
Where Does ExpressVPN Come From? Is It Part of the 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance?
Every company needs to regulate its operations as per its home country’s laws. This is where the story about the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance comes into play.
It’s said that 5/9/14-Eyes Alliance countries have aggressive data logging laws, and they work together on exchanging data and information. This automatically puts VPNs from the USA, UK, and Australia (among other countries) in a problematic position.
With that said, know that ExpressVPN comes from the British Virgin Islands. This exotic location seems to be an excellent choice since this is a territory of the United Kingdom with self-governing laws.
As this territory doesn’t have any laws connecting it to the UK, legislature and courts are completely independent. To put this differently – ExpressVPN is out of any surveillance agreements, and that’s what allows ExpressVPN to avoid collecting any data.
Did ExpressVPN Leak Private Data in the Past?
ExpressVPN came under the spotlight in January 2017, when its Turkey-based servers were seized by the country’s authorities. This was an opportunity for this VPN to truly prove its claims of not collect any data.
As it turned out, these claims were proven to be true. The authorities were not able to extract any information from the seized servers. This has also proven the fact that ExpressVPN doesn’t have any backdoors built into their applications.
In December 2017, ExpressVPN launched a project called ‘Digital Research Lab.’ The main goal of that action was to provide online tools for checking data leaks. In the latest version of the VPN’s applications, you can find a set of useful tools that are the primary result of this initiative. You can now check your IP address, DNS, and WebRTC leaks (using the ‘hamburger’ button found on ExpressVPN’s home screen).
Is ExpressVPN Legal & Safe to Use?
Yes, ExpressVPN is both legal and safe to use – but keep in mind your country’s laws.
Across the world, VPNs are allowed as they protect your right to privacy. However, there’s a group of countries that either actively discourages the use of VPNs or that have banned VPNs altogether. As you can guess, we’re talking about countries such as Belarus, Iraq, Oman, Russia, or China.
We also need to add that using a VPN doesn’t give you the right to go against your country’s laws. Online actions that are prohibited in your country are still prohibited even if you ‘hide’ behind a VPN.
Supported Platforms & Devices
ExpressVPN has done a fantastic job of offering apps for desktop and mobile platforms. Furthermore, you can use it on up to five devices at the same time. Our Score: 10/10.
The following table gives you an overview of ExpressVPN’s presence on desktop and mobile platforms. Take a quick look below, and then we’ll expand this topic with helpful information.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS, Amazon Kindle, Blackberry, NOOK eReaders.|
|Web Browsers||Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari.|
|Routers||DD-WRT, Tomato, TP-Link, D-Link, ASUS, Linksys, NETGEAR, Huawei.|
|Other Devices||Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, PlayStation, Roku, Xbox, Nintendo Switch.|
What needs to be highlighted is that ExpressVPN doesn’t require a complicated manual configuration. However, if you decide to go the manual route, ExpressVPN is there to support you. This is useful in certain cases, like when using the PPTP protocol (which needs to be configured manually).
Some devices, such as gaming consoles, support ExpressVPN via different workarounds. In that case, your best bet is to install ExpressVPN on a router and keep all your Web-connected devices in your household protected at once.
All in all, ExpressVPN has done a really great job of covering all of the currently popular devices. You’ll get to install it easily, and you’ll see a uniform design across all of its apps.
Installation & Initial Configuration
This VPN service has come up with an effortless installation method. Even complete beginners won’t have a problem installing and configuring ExpressVPN. Our Score: 10/10.
You can get started with using this VPN by visiting its official website. First and foremost, you need to get your ExpressVPN subscription before you do anything else. You can choose a subscription plan, and you’ll get your username and password afterward.
Once you log in using your new credentials (ExpressVPN’s website > My Account), the VPN will offer assistance by detecting your system and offering a suitable application. All it takes to get started is to click on the ‘Download’ button.
Of course, you can also go with ‘Set Up Your Devices’ (found once you log in to your account on the ExpressVPN website), from where you can download different versions of this VPN. When it comes to mobile apps, all you need to do is download them from their respective app stores.
The actual process of installing this VPN is very simple. There aren’t any unusual offers or bundled software. After a few steps, ExpressVPN will install and launch.
At this moment, you will see a handy trick. Instead of using your username and password, you can copy an ExpressVPN activation code from your ExpressVPN account dashboard (on the official website). This makes logging into the VPN as easy as possible – but this option is available on computers only, though.
Before you can start using the software, you will be asked to allow ExpressVPN to be launched during startup, and you can decide whether to send anonymous analytic data. It’s up to you to enable or disable these options (and the same can be done later as well).
ExpressVPN caters to both beginners and experienced users – and it brings an incredibly powerful arsenal of tools aimed at protecting your digital privacy. Our Score: 9.5/10.
To make it easy for you to compare different VPNs, we’ve created a checklist of features that any powerful VPN should bring. So, let’s see if ExpressVPN meets our requirements.
VPN Features Checklist
|DNS Leak Protection||YES|
|IPv6 Leak Protection||YES|
|Kill-Switch||YES (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, routers).|
|Split-Tunneling||YES (Windows, macOS, Android, routers).|
|Unlimited Server Switches||YES|
As you can see, ExpressVPN covers the basics quite well. You get a complete set of features aimed at securing your digital data and protecting your privacy. In other words, you can be sure that ExpressVPN will create an incredibly safe and leak-free tunnel for your data.
In terms of more advanced features, know that ExpressVPN offers a kill-switch (called ‘Network Lock’), available on select platforms. The same applies to split-tunneling. With that said, you can see why we believe that ExpressVPN is suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
So, what’s missing here? ExpressVPN doesn’t offer static/dedicated IPs. And also, it doesn’t come with a built-in ad-blocker. However, we don’t think of those as major drawbacks.
How Many Simultaneous Connections Do You Get With ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN currently offers up to five simultaneous connections. Previously, this limit was set to three devices. Needless to say, we’re happy to see this improvement.
More precisely, ExpressVPN can be installed on as many devices as you want. However, you can have five simultaneous connections active at any given moment.
And lastly, installing and using this VPN on a router counts as a single device, no matter how many devices are connected to that router.
Does ExpressVPN Have a Kill Switch?
Yes, ExpressVPN comes with a kill switch included. This feature is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and routers.
Keep in mind that ExpressVPN’s kill switch is actually called ‘Network Lock.’ However, aside from its name, this kill switch works as you’d normally expect. It provides total security and a leak-free environment in case your VPN connection drops.
More precisely, ExpressVPN’s kill switch shuts down your device’s Internet connectivity if something unexpected happens. By doing so, your private information doesn’t leak at any moment. Once ExpressVPN reconnects you to its servers, it continues pushing your Web traffic through its tunnel in a continuous manner.
Here’s How to Find and Activate ExpressVPN’s Kill-Switch on Computers
- Click on the hamburger button in the top-left corner of ExpressVPN’s home screen.
- Select ‘Preferences‘ or ‘Settings.’
- Make sure that the ‘General‘ tab is active.
- Take a look at the ‘Network Lock‘ group of settings.
- Finally, make sure to tick the box next to ‘Stop all Internet traffic if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly.’ That’s it!
Here’s How to Find and Activate ExpressVPN’s Kill-Switch on Android
- Open ExpressVPN and tap on the hamburger button in the top-left corner.
- Then, navigate to Settings > Network Protection.
- Make sure to enable the option labeled “Block internet when unable to connect or reconnect to VPN.”
Does ExpressVPN Offer Split-Tunneling?
Yes, ExpressVPN offers two types of split-tunneling. This feature is available on Windows, macOS (however, macOS Big Sur is not supported), Android, and routers. Here’s what you need to know.
- ‘Regular’ Split-Tunneling: By using this type of split-tunneling, you select devices that don’t need VPN protection. Everything else will be within ExpressVPN’s tunnel.
- Inverse Split-Tunneling: This type of split-tunneling allows you to select devices/applications that you want to protect. Everything else will be outside of ExpressVPN’s tunnel.
Here’s How to Find and Activate ExpressVPN’s Split-Tunneling
- Click on the hamburger button in the top-left corner of ExpressVPN’s home screen.
- Go to ‘Settings‘ or ‘Preferences.’
- Make sure to select the ‘General‘ tab.
- Take a look at the bottom of this window, where you’ll find ‘Split Tunneling.’
- First, you need to enable this option. Then, select ‘Settings.’
- Lastly, this is where you can use ‘regular’ or inverse split tunneling. The application will ask you to specify which applications need protection (or which ones don’t).
Using ExpressVPN’s app for routers, you can also take advantage of split-tunneling – on a higher level. This application allows you to pick from several ways of how VPN tunneling is used, where you can choose from three options: ‘Router VPN,’ ‘No VPN,’ and ‘MediaStreamer.’
Does ExpressVPN Offer a Static/Dedicated IP Address?
No, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer static/dedicated IP addresses.
The reason for this is due to ExpressVPN’s core structure. To preserve your privacy, this VPN rotates IP addresses. So each time you connect, you’ll get a new IP address (the best possible one). This is a way for the VPN to guarantee the anonymity of its users.
Does ExpressVPN Have an Ad-Blocker?
No, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a built-in ad-blocker.
As per this VPN’s explanation, you have every right to pick an ad-blocker that suits your individual needs, priorities, and budget. Therefore, combining a third-party ad-blocker with ExpressVPN is always a possibility. However, the VPN itself doesn’t offer a way to block ads.
What Features Are Missing on Android & iOS (Compared to Desktop Apps)?
In general, VPNs don’t bring the same set of features across all of their apps. Due to specific limitations of Android and iOS, mobile features are typically a couple of steps behind their desktop counterparts.
In the case of ExpressVPN, there are some differences even between its iOS and Android apps. For example, you won’t find a kill-switch or split-tunneling on iOS. However, both of those features are present on Android.
Besides, ExpressVPN’s desktop apps allow you to run a speed test prior to connecting to servers. This is a hugely helpful feature – but it’s not present on mobile versions of the VPN.
Server Count & Infrastructure
With 3,000+ servers available, you can connect to any part of the world. ExpressVPN’s server network isn’t the biggest out there – but it’s more than what you’ll need. Our Score: 8.5/10.
In general, you’ll want a VPN with plenty of servers. On the one hand, this lets you connect to a large number of countries and gets you a wide range of IP addresses. On the other hand, VPNs can achieve fast performance by offering plenty of servers for all of their customers.
Server Count Info
|Number of Servers||3,000+|
|Number of Locations||160|
|Number of Countries||94|
|Specific Cities Selection||YES|
You should know that this VPN service is on our list of VPNs with the highest server count. However, some of its direct competitors offer 6,500+ servers. This sounds amazing in theory, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get better performance by choosing a VPN with a larger number of servers.
By default, ExpressVPN presents you with an ‘optimal’ server bringing the best possible performance. In general, this is a nearby server that might even be located in your country.
However, you also have full freedom to connect to any of the 3,000 servers offered by this VPN. There’s a search option letting you find a specific country or even a city.
As noted earlier, ExpressVPN doesn’t impose any restrictions, so you’re free to switch between servers as many times as you like. Disconnecting and connecting to another server takes only a few seconds, and the overall experience is quite fluid.
Does ExpressVPN Use Virtual Server Locations?
Yes, ExpressVPN uses a small number of virtual server locations. More precisely, less than 3% of ExpressVPN’s servers aren’t physically located in their “end country.”
To understand how ExpressVPN’s virtual servers work, we’d like to give you an example. Let’s say that you want to connect to a server in Argentina. For this country, ExpressVPN uses servers located in Brazil. That means your Internet traffic will be routed through servers in Brazil, while you’ll be assigned an Argentian IP so that your Web traffic appears to originate from that country.
In terms of virtual servers, ExpressVPN is front of its competitors. With only 3% of its servers being virtual, 97% of its servers are bare-metal servers owned by ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN’s Virtual Server Locations – Full List
- Algeria (via the Netherlands)
- Andorra (via the Netherlands)
- Argentina (via Brazil)
- Armenia (via the Netherlands)
- Bangladesh (via Singapore)
- Belarus (via the Netherlands)
- Bhutan (via Singapore)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (via the Netherlands)
- Brunei (via Singapore)
- Cambodia (via Singapore)
- Chile (via Brazil)
- Ecuador (via Brazil)
- Egypt (via the Netherlands)
- Guatemala (via Brazil)
- India (via the UK)*
- Indonesia (via Singapore)
- Isle of Man (via the Netherlands)
- Jersey (via the Netherlands)
- Kazakhstan (via Singapore)
- Laos (via Singapore)
- Liechtenstein (via the Netherlands)
- Macau (via Singapore)
- Malta (via the Netherlands)
- Monaco (via the Netherlands)
- Mongolia (via Singapore)
- Montenegro (via the Netherlands)
- Myanmar (via Singapore)
- Nepal (via Singapore)
- North Macedonia (via the Netherlands)
- Pakistan (via Singapore)
- Panama (via Brazil)
- Peru (via Brazil)
- Philippines (via Singapore)
- Sri Lanka (via Singapore)
- Taiwan (via Hong Kong)
- Thailand (via Singapore)
- Turkey (via the Netherlands)
- Uruguay (via Brazil)
- Uzbekistan (via the Netherlands)
- Venezuela (via Brazil)
- Vietnam (via Singapore)
UI/UX Design & Ease of Use
ExpressVPN comes with a simple UI. Even if this is your first time encountering a VPN application, you shouldn’t have any problems using it. Our Score: 10/10.
In this segment, we’ll explore ExpressVPN’s applications for both desktop and mobile platforms. And considering that this VPN offers a Web browser extension, why not check that as well? With that said, keep on reading our hands-on ExpressVPN review.
How Well Does ExpressVPN Work on Desktop Platforms?
We’ll start with the main screen, where the biggest portion is reserved for a prominent ON/OFF button. When you connect to a server, it will go green (along with its colorful background) – indicating that the VPN is active. Otherwise, the button stays red.
Underneath this button, you’ll see your currently selected server. To pick another, click on ‘Selected Location.’ Then, you will also see two additional suggestions here – a recommended server – labeled ‘Smart Location,’ as well as your previously used server – labeled ‘Recent location.’
In the top-left corner, there’s a ‘hamburger’ button (three vertical lines). The first option here is called ‘VPN Locations,’ and as you can expect, this is where you can check out the available servers (as you can see on the image above). ExpressVPN presents a list of recommended servers, but you’re also free to review its entire server network, and more.
The next item in the ‘hamburger’ menu is called ‘Speed Test.’ Using this tool, you can let ExpressVPN test its servers (based on your physical location). This way, you will get three pieces of information: speed index, latency, and download speed. Once you do a speed test, you can double-click on any server’s name, and ExpressVPN will connect you immediately.
Now, we’ll check another item from this menu, called ‘Preferences.’ This is where you’ll find six tabs, each bringing a distinct set of options. Here’s a quick overview:
- General: This tab lets you set ExpressVPN to launch every time you power on your computer, and you can set the VPN to connect to a specific server automatically. You can also decide whether you’d like to use the ‘Network Lock’ feature, which is another name for this VPN’s kill-switch. And lastly, you can fine-tune your split-tunneling options.
- Protocol: ExpressVPN supports a nice range of protocols, where each comes with its own set of benefits and downsides. So, this is where you can easily choose which one to use. You can choose from OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), Lightway, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec on macOS and Windows.
- Account: This tab lets you check the status of your account. You can see when it’s due to expire, and you can refer friends to get another free 30 days of use.
- Shortcuts: Once you connect to a secure server, ExpressVPN provides a series of shortcuts to various apps on your computer/smartphone. So, let’s say that you use Netflix often. This means you can set a shortcut to Netflix here, so you can easily access this streaming platform right from ExpressVPN’s UI.
- Browsers: In case you’d like to find out how to install Web browser extensions, this is where you can take a look. However, using a native app will protect all incoming and outgoing traffic using the highest possible encryption, which beats any Web browser extension with ease.
- Advanced: The final tab lets you fine-tune some advanced options that seem to be optimized by default. You can prevent IPv6 detection, enroll in sending anonymous usage data back to ExpressVPN, and more.
The rest of the options in the ‘hamburger’ menu are pretty self-explanatory. You can find support documentation, check how to install ExpressVPN on other devices, refer friends, and more. All of these options are actually links to the VPN’s official website.
How Well Does ExpressVPN Work on Mobile Platforms?
ExpressVPN looks and feels the same – no matter on which device you use it. With that said, know that this VPN’s Android and iOS apps are incredibly simple to use, and they come highly polished. So, let’s take a closer look at those.
For the most part, ExpressVPN’s Android and iOS apps look the same. On their home screens, you’ll find a prominent ON/OFF button used to connect to a server (and later on, disconnect). You can tap on the ‘three dots’ icon to reveal all of ExpressVPN’s locations, where you’ll get to see recommended locations, the entire list of the VPN’s servers, or your favorites.
Tapping on the ‘hamburger’ button in the top-left corner reveals additional options. This is where you’ll get to tinker with the VPN’s settings, check your account info, reach ExpressVPN’s support team, and use the VPN’s handy tools for checking for data leaks.
Speaking of ExpressVPN’s settings on mobile devices (‘Hamburger’ button > Settings), here’s what you can expect to tweak.
- Auto-Connect (Android & iOS): Don’t confuse this option with a kill-switch. ExpressVPN’s ‘auto-connect’ simply reconnects you to the previously chosen server if something unexpected happens. On Android, you can also decide to start ExpressVPN once Android starts up.
- Network Protection (Android): This is where you’ll find ExpressVPN’s kill-switch. It can be auto-activated when ExpressVPN is unable to connect (or switch) to a server.
- Split Tunneling (Android): Then, another Android-only feature. Using split-tunneling, you get to decide which apps can use the VPN’s secure tunnel (and vice versa).
- VPN Protocol (Android & iOS): And finally, this is where you can switch to a different protocol.
All in all, ExpressVPN is a joy to use – no matter if you have an Android or iOS device. In terms of the VPN’s performance, both of those apps are doing an excellent job. ExpressVPN feels smooth, even when used on older Android/iOS phones.
How Well Do ExpressVPN’s Web Browser Extensions Work?
ExpressVPN brings extensions for Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Edge, and Mozilla’s Firefox. These are basically the same, in the sense that they bring the same set of features.
ExpressVPN’s Web browser extensions are unique when compared to what other VPNs offer. To use them, you also need to install ExpressVPN’s desktop app. Therefore, these extensions act as a remote control for the app, giving you access to all 3,000+ of ExpressVPN’s servers.
As soon as you download and install one of ExpressVPN’s extensions, you’ll be greeted by a familiar UI. Using the home screen, you can connect to a ‘smart location’ or pick from a recently used server. You can also connect to any of ExpressVPN’s servers manually.
If you click on the ‘hamburger’ button in the top-left corner, this will reveal additional options, as explained below.
- Settings: You can set ExpressVPN’s extensions to connect at launch, show desktop notifications, and send anonymous reports to the VPN (for diagnostic purposes).
- Privacy & Security: This is where you can enable WebRTC leak protection, hide your location by stopping HTML5 geolocation services, and automatically switch to HTTPS addresses.
- Account: Using this tab, you can review the status of your account, when it’s due to expire, and manage your account’s details.
All in all, we really like ExpressVPN’s approach to Web browser extensions. Instead of offering a half-baked solution, you get the best possible protection for your data, in addition to ExpressVPN’s entire army of servers.
Media Streaming & Torrenting Support
ExpressVPN can easily unblock a huge number of media streaming services, with Netflix US included. Plus, it fully supports P2P traffic, with no limitations involved. Our Score: 10/10.
We’ve checked whether ExpressVPN unblocks popular media streaming platforms, and you’ll find the results of our tests in the following table.
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
|Torrenting (P2P) Support||YES|
As you can see, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs in terms of media streaming. It’s capable of accessing just about any popular OTT platform. However, it works equally well with regional and less popular platforms as well. With that said, we’re 100% sure that you’ll get to unblock any streaming platform you want – from anywhere in the world.
Also, let’s not forget about fans of torrenting. ExpressVPN fully supports torrenting, and it doesn’t come with any bandwidth limitations or data caps. What’s even better is that you can use any of ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers for torrenting, giving you plenty of options.
However, keep in mind that connecting to a server near you should get you the best possible download speeds. This means you can anonymously download torrents and even fight against ISP-imposed throttling.
Does ExpressVPN Work With Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video & Disney Plus?
It’s also worth noting that you can unblock some country-specific versions of Netflix (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom). The same could be said about Amazon Prime Video.
When it comes to other websites that work with ExpressVPN, you can count on ITV, ESPN, HBO GO, and more. Then, ExpressVPN also unblocks Facebook, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram, Wikipedia, Google, and Skype – in countries where these Web apps aren’t available.
Which ExpressVPN Server Works Best for Netflix?
Based on our experience, any of the ‘USA – New Jersey‘ group of ExpressVPN’s servers will let you unblock Netflix. Moreover, the ‘USA – New York‘ server should work great as well. We’ve had plenty of luck unblocking other streaming services using those servers as well.
Of course, the above-mentioned servers are used to unblock the US version of Netflix. In addition to that, this VPN unblocks Netflix in the following countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Feel free to try other countries as well, as ExpressVPN is improves its services continuously.
To find the best Netflix-friendly servers for those individual countries, we recommend talking to ExpressVPN’s customer support team (you can do that via the VPN’s website).
Can You Use ExpressVPN With Kodi?
Yes, you can use ExpressVPN with Kodi. In fact, we highly recommend using ExpressVPN no matter what type of Kodi addons you use.
Kodi and ExpressVPN run side-by-side. This won’t add any complexity to your usual workflow, as ExpressVPN has apps for pretty much all of the currently popular platforms. Simply launch the VPN, connect to a server, and then use Kodi like you normally would.
Security & Privacy
To find out if you should really trust ExpressVPN with your data, we will take a look at three aspects: VPN protocols, logging policy, and IP/DNS leaks. This should give us plenty of information about the way your personal data is used.
ExpressVPN Protocols – Listed & Explained!
ExpressVPN offers a range of VPN protocols. However, some of those are available on specific devices only. First, let’s give you an overview of what VPN protocols to expect.
In case you’d like to take a deeper dive into VPN protocols, TechNadu offers an in-depth guide explaining everything you need to know. So, if you’ve been wondering which VPN protocol to use, make sure to click on the provided link, and you’ll get your answer.
By default, ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN across all of its apps. This is a highly secure and trusted VPN protocol, in use for many years now. This is the VPN protocol of choice for many providers, as it brings fast Internet speeds – even when combined with high-end encryption.
ExpressVPN offers two variants of the OpenVPN protocol – UDP and TCP. The UDP variant is optimized for speed, while the TCP variant is optimized for connection reliability. You can jump between those by opening the VPN’s settings panel (hiding behind the ‘hamburger’ button on the VPN’s home screen).
Lightway is ExpressVPN’s experimental protocol, currently under development (available in beta). As per the VPN’s explanation, it’s incredibly lightweight while being incredibly powerful at the same time. This means you can count on instantaneous VPN connectivity and high-end protection.
One of the best things about Lightway is that it’s built for mobile connectivity. As you switch between Wi-Fi, 4G, and 5G, your connection won’t drop. Instead, ExpressVPN will easily switch on its own without requiring any user input.
This is a relatively new protocol, known for its performance and speed. In general, it’s best used on mobile devices, and especially if you want to stream online media. However, this protocol isn’t available on Linux, and you can’t really customize it. ExpressVPN offers IKEv2 on Windows, macOS, and iOS.
L2TP has also been used for many years now. However, due to its age, it’s not as secure as other protocols. You can think of it as a step-up in comparison to PPTP. However, OpenVPN is still many steps beyond L2TP.
ExpressVPN offers this protocol on Windows and macOS, paired with AES-256 encryption. As such, it could be a viable alternative to OpenVPN in certain cases.
PPTP is one of the oldest VPN protocols. As such, it’s one of the least secure options. Due to that reason, it doesn’t come built-in. Instead, you can use PPTP on Windows, Linux, and iOS – but only via manual configuration.
In general, we don’t recommend using PPTP. However, it’s good to know that ExpressVPN still offers this VPN protocol to those who know what they’re doing – and who are adamant about using PPTP.
Does ExpressVPN Log Private Data?
After taking a very close look at ExpressVPN’s logging policy, we can say that this VPN provider doesn’t collect your personally identifiable information. However, know that ExpressVPN does collect some information.
We are talking about the timestamps of each VPN connection, information related to the servers used, as well as the amount of data transferred. However, this information can’t be connected to your (user)name, and it’s used for diagnostic purposes only.
Then, we already told you about ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology. By having data centers not relying on hard drives – the VPN avoids logging any information. We’re talking about RAM in this case, which means that even anonymized data is perfectly safe.
ExpressVPN also went through an independent audit in 2019 – further proving that it doesn’t collect your personal data in any way or form.
With all of that said, we conclude that ExpressVPN is one of the safest VPNs out there, capable of handling your sensitive data in the best way possible.
Will ExpressVPN Leak/Expose Your Private Data?
As you can see from the screenshot below, ExpressVPN has managed to hide our IP address. Besides, DNS addresses point to ExpressVPN’s servers only. Once we checked our geolocation data, it pointed to a location in the USA – which is great since we’ve used a US-located server.
As you can see, our real identity remains hidden. ExpressVPN doesn’t allow websites to see our real IP address, as it instead shows our virtual IP (based on the server we’re connected to). With this said, we can conclude that ExpressVPN is airtight when it comes to keeping private data from leaking.
Speed & Performance
ExpressVPN provides reliable performance with small slowdowns. It’s not one of the fastest VPNs, but it also doesn’t disappoint. Our Score: 8.5/10.
Finally, it’s time to check this VPN’s performance. First, we are going to check the speed of our ‘naked’ connection without using ExpressVPN. Then, we’ll proceed to connect to the nearest server, then to a nearby location, and finally to a remote (long-distance) server.
ExpressVPN Speed Test
To truly get to know ExpressVPN’s performance, we’ve tested a wide range of its servers. First, we started with local speed tests. Then, we expanded to distant countries to check how long-distance VPN connections work.
The image above shows our Web connection’s stats – without using a VPN. We first test our ‘naked’ Internet connection to establish baseline stats in terms of download and uploads speeds. This helps us calculate by how much will ExpressVPN slow us down.
Local Speed Tests
In the world of VPNs, terms like ‘local’ and ‘long-distance’ are relative. However, know that we’re located in Europe. Therefore, we’ve tested two servers in this first round of tests.
By letting ExpressVPN connect us to the ‘fastest’ server, the VPN connected us to a server in Italy (Cosenza). We’ve received 270.45 Mbps for downloads and 35.33 Mbps for uploads.
Then, we’ve also tested a server in the United Kingdom (London). We managed to get 293.21 Mbps for downloads and 36.87 Mbps for uploads during this round of speed tests.
Long-Distance Speed Tests
Now, it’s time to check how long-distance VPN connections work. For this round of speed tests, we connected to servers all around the world, from the USA to Australia. Once again, please note that we’re located in Europe.
Surprisingly enough, a server in the United States (New Jersey) performed amazingly well. We got 294.57 Mbps for downloads and 20.30 Mbps for uploads. Even though our upload speeds suffered a bit, our download speeds remained steady.
Without any surprise, a server in Canada (Toronto) performed admirably as well. We got 276.84 Mbps for downloads and 19.62 Mbps for uploads. Both the USA and Canada are popular ‘destinations’ for VPN users, so it’s good to know that ExpressVPN provides a pleasurable experience overall.
We certainly didn’t want to leave India out of our testing. A server in India (Mumbai) managed to get us 226.13 Mbps for downloads and 8.27 Mbps for uploads. Our upload speeds deteriorated further, but our download speeds remained steady.
And lastly, we also checked a server in Australia (Syndey), which is on the opposite side of the world (so to say) in relation to our physical location. We managed to get 147.97 Mbps for downloads and 10.32 Mbps for uploads.
So, How Well Does ExpressVPN Perform?
Finally, let’s make sense of all those numbers. To see how ExpressVPN performed in our tests, check out the following table. And then, we’ll discuss the following results.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline (Europe)||455.54 Mbps||47.36 Mbps||0%|
|Italy (Cosenza)||270.45 Mbps||35.33 Mbps||40.6%|
|UK (London)||293.21 Mbps||36.87 Mbps||35.5%|
|USA (New Jersey)||294.57 Mbps||20.80 Mbps||35.3%|
|Canada (Toronto)||276.84 Mbps||19.62 Mbps||39.2%|
|India (Mumbai)||226.13 Mbps||8.27 Mbps||50.3%|
|Australia (Sydney)||147.97 Mbps||10.31 Mbps||67.5%|
If you want us to give you a number – we could say that ExpressVPN slowed us down by 44.7% on average. In general, this is on par with ExpressVPN’s competitors, even though there are reasons to recommend this VPN over any other.
We were impressed with how ExpressVPN worked in terms of long-distance connections. So, if you’re somewhere far from the USA and if you want to unblock services available in this country only, know that this VPN is an excellent choice.
What Kind of Performance Can You Expect? When it comes to any VPN, it’s good to have a fast Web connection to begin with. In the case of ExpressVPN, our Internet connection speed went from around 450 Mbps to around 150 Mbps – which is still more than enough to stream 4K movies on multiple devices at the same time.
Therefore, ExpressVPN will impact the speed of your Web connection. However, speaking in general, this is a fast-performing VPN that works equally well with local and long-distance connections.
There are many variables in this equation, so it’s hard to predict what kind of performance you will receive based on your physical location. However, also know that there’s plenty you can do to speed up your VPN connection.
Is ExpressVPN Good Enough for Torrenting (P2P)?
Yes, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for torrenting.
This VPN doesn’t impose any limitations on P2P traffic. Therefore, this type of traffic is supported on all of its servers. To secure your privacy while downloading torrents, simply connect to the nearest server, which should get you the fastest possible speed.
Is ExpressVPN Good Enough for Online Gaming?
Yes, ExpressVPN can also be used for online gaming.
Considering that it has more than 3,000 servers, ExpressVPN gives you plenty of freedom when choosing an optimal server based on your gaming needs. Still, keep in mind that ExpressVPN will slow you down a bit, so it’s crucial to have a fast Web connection.
ExpressVPN doesn’t really have gaming-optimized servers. Instead, you can use any of its servers. In addition to that, you can choose from a wide range of protocols. This allows you to reduce lag and increase performance in terms of online gaming – on both local and long-distance connections.
ExpressVPN offers a comprehensive support section with plenty of useful material. At any moment, you’ll find someone from the company to assist you. Our Score: 10/10.
There really are numerous ways to get help with ExpressVPN. So, let’s give you an overview of what to expect if you decide to become an ExpressVPN subscriber:
- Live Chat Support: First and foremost, there’s a live chat option on the ExpressVPN website, open for anyone who visits it. You won’t find any long queues, and ExpressVPN’s team will assist you in a very friendly manner. Also, this option is available 24/7, which is something we don’t see often.
- Setup Instructions: ExpressVPN offers comprehensive set-up instructions for each of the devices that it supports. There are also in-depth guides on how to get the most out of this VPN for watching videos, using it with NAS devices, and more.
- Troubleshooting Guides: If you have technical questions, you can find troubleshooting guides related to your account and payments, connectivity problems, different kinds of log file errors, and more.
- Email & Support Ticket: If you’d like to ask for help directly from ExpressVPN, there’s a convenient way to open a support ticket or send an email. However, we suggest you go with the live chat option first, as that’s definitely the quickest way to resolve any issues.
ExpressVPN has been on the market for a while now, and it knows how to create a useful support system. There are multiple communication channels you can use and plenty of support documentation.
We strongly believe that ExpressVPN is worth its price – especially if you decide to get its annual subscription. Our Score: 9/10.
ExpressVPN currently offers three subscription plans. As you can expect, you can save quite a lot if you go for one of its long-term plans. Here’s what you need to know.
How Much Do You Need to Pay for ExpressVPN?
As you can see, the biggest savings can be found in ExpressVPN’s annual plan (where you also get three additional months of use). This is where you can find the price of $6.67 per month, which seems like an amazing deal considering the value this VPN brings.
There are also two more options. You can choose ExpressVPN’s six-month plan, which comes priced at $9.99 per month (which means that you’ll be billed $59.95 every six months). And if you decide to pay monthly, you will be billed $12.95 every month.
Next, you also need to know that ExpressVPN supports the following payment options: various credit cards (including Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and more), PayPal, Bitcoin, as well as other payment methods including Alipay, UnionPay, Yandex Money, and more.
ExpressVPN 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee – Will You Get Your Money Back?
Yes, ExpressVPN offers a ‘no questions asked’ money-back guarantee. As long as you initiate this procedure within the first 30 days of your subscription, you won’t encounter any problems.
It’s also hugely important to mention here that you won’t find any fine print in ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantees. It is your right to change your mind, and this VPN will return the full amount you paid. This is good news, as choosing a more comprehensive plan comes without any risks.
Can ExpressVPN Be Used Free-of-Charge?
No, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free-of-charge plan.
Technically speaking, you can try it for free. As explained above, ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. There won’t be any questions asked if you decide to have your money returned. However, you’ll still need to pay for a subscription.
In general, there are no reputable VPN services that offer their services for free. Running a VPN network is a significant investment, so companies that offer their services for free need to turn to other revenue paths. This typically happens at the expense of your privacy.
ExpressVPN Free Trial – Here’s What You Need to Know!
ExpressVPN offers a free trial – but only on Android and iOS. That’s where you’ll find a 7-day free trial, which can be activated on your smartphone or tablet. When it comes to desktop apps, you won’t find a trial there. However, you’ll find the next best thing.
As a way to prevent potential misuse of their services, top-rated VPNs no longer offer free trials on desktop platforms. Instead, they come with money-back guarantees, with no questions asked (more on that in the following segment).
In other words, you’ll need to supply your payment information when signing up for ExpressVPN, and you’ll be charged immediately. However, if you change your mind during the first 30 days of use, you’ll have your money back.
Additional Considerations, ExpressVPN Comparisons & More!
We’re sure you want to spend your money wisely. With that said, let’s see how ExpressVPN compares to other VPNs, does it work in restricted countries, and more. Keep on reading.
How ExpressVPN Compares to Other High-Rated VPN Providers (ExpressVPN vs. CyberGhost VPN vs. NordVPN)?
ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and NordVPN are among the most popular VPNs right now. They offer a similar set of features while promising to protect your data in the best possible way. With that said, you can already guess that subtle differences are what matters here.
|Number of Servers||3,000+||6,600+||5,500+|
|Number of Countries||94||90||59|
|Number of Connections||5||6||6|
|Speed/Performance||VERY FAST||MEDIUM FAST||FAST|
|Prime Video Support||YES||YES||YES|
As you can see, there aren’t that many differences between ExpressVPN, CyberGhost VPN, and NordVPN. However, we do have to note that ExpressVPN comes with the most complete set of features, suitable for both beginners and advanced users.
You also see that ExpressVPN comes with a higher price when compared to CyberGhost VPN and NordVPN (we’ve compared their annual prices, by the way). Therefore, it all comes down to your budget, needs, and priorities.
All three of those VPNs are truly amazing – and the best ones you’ll find in 2021. ExpressVPN might be the most versatile one, but CyberGhost and NordVPN check all the right boxes as well.
Does ExpressVPN Work in China?
Yes, ExpressVPN works in China. In fact, this has been one of the most popular VPNs for Internet users in China for many years now.
By offering servers outside of China (in neighboring countries), ExpressVPN allows you to unblock just about any website. This includes media streaming sites (like Netflix), Microsoft’s services (like Skype), Google’s services (like Gmail), and more.
ExpressVPN also offers mirror websites, allowing you to download its apps. And in case of any issues, you can always rely on ExpressVPN’s excellent customer support. They’ll be more than willing to send you any files or instructions at any moment.
What’s ExpressVPN Missing?
ExpressVPN is a complete VPN service. It gives you pretty much every single tool you’ll ever need to protect your digital privacy. Unblocking online content with ExpressVPN is also a possibility.
In terms of what’s missing – well, not much. ExpressVPN doesn’t offer support via telephone, but that could hardly be considered a downside. In addition, you’re limited to five simultaneous connections, which could be a limiting factor for certain individuals.
Also, this isn’t the most transparent company, as you’ll have a very hard time finding individuals running it. However, that’s not such a bad thing in the world of VPNs.
ExpressVPN Pros & Cons
Finally, let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of using ExpressVPN. Here are our conclusions, after having tested and used ExpressVPN extensively.
- Has a reputation for protecting the privacy of its users (proven many times before).
- Doesn’t log personally identifiable data in any way or via any of its apps.
- Incredibly polished interface, across the board.
- High-end encryption; Numerous capable VPN protocols available.
- Frequent updates containing new features and refinements.
- A sizable network of servers spread evenly across the world.
- Works in China and the United Arab Emirates.
- Great for media streaming (unblocks Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, Disney+, and more).
- Incredibly helpful customer support team (available 24/7).
- More expensive in comparison to its competitors.
So, Do We Recommend ExpressVPN?
Without any doubt, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN services today (if not the best). It’s very easy to use, it’s present on numerous devices, and makes sure you’re 100% safe on the Internet. On top of that, it unblocks websites and even allows torrenting. So, what’s not to like here?
The bottom line is that ExpressVPN could be the perfect choice for the majority of users in 2021. So, make sure to get your ExpressVPN subscription today – and browse the Web without any worries, as well as without any boundaries!