$12.95 per month
$9.99 per month
$8.32 per month
Known as the best virtual private network (VPN) around, ExpressVPN is jam-packed with exceptional features to safeguard you as you surf the internet. The service is offered by Express VPN International Ltd, registered in the British Virgin Islands. In 2018, Comparitech and TechRadar named ExpressVPN as their Editors’ Choice, and to this day, it’s the most reliable and best-recognized VPN on the market.
You can use ExpressVPN on almost all platforms. The app can be downloaded for Windows, macOS, Android, and a command line tool for Linux as well.
ExpressVPN probably has the largest network of VPN users. Why is it so popular? Because of its speed, security, and top-quality features. Plus, it’s really simple — suitable even for novice users.
To secure user traffic, ExpressVPN uses a 4096-bit CA, AES-256-CBC encryption and TLSv1.2. The application automatically defaults to the best protocol, but you can choose OpenVPN protocols (like TCP and UDP), SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, or PPTP whenever you like.
ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than other VPN services out there. But I assure you, it’s worth it. Unfortunately, there’s no free version or free trial, but you get a 30-day money-back guarantee for your peace of mind.
Both the desktop and Android applications are fairly intuitive. You can use ExpressVPN with multiple devices depending on your subscription, and it can even be installed on your router and/or SmartTV.
ExpressVPN has come a long way. It has 160 server locations in 94 different countries, and it boasts unlimited speed.
Read the following review to find out more.
ExpressVPN’s offers three subscription plans:
If you only want to test ExpressVPN or use it for a one-time thing, the 1-month plan for $12.95 should be good enough. The most popular plan is for 12 months. It’s billed every year and costs only $8.32 per month. The six-month plan is billed, unsurprisingly, every six months. It costs $9.99 per month.
As mentioned, all plans offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Something noteworthy about ExpressVPN compared with other VPN vendors is the large number of payment options you have. Aside from the usual credit card and PayPal options, there’s BitCoin, WebMoney, and more.
ExpressVPN has more than 3000 VPNs server in 160 locations, spread across 94 countries. This is a very large server coverage that encapsulates most of the world.
Europe has 48 server locations, the Asia Pacific region has 27, and the Middle East alongside the African region has 5 server locations.
The good thing about having many servers and, therefore, plenty of IP addresses, is that even if a premium streaming service bans some of them, you’ll still have a lot of backup plans to go with.
I get it, slow connection speeds are frustrating! So it’s important for you to get the fastest server possible for your location. With ExpressVPN, there’s a nifty Speed Test option available to help you select the best server.
First, let’s quickly go through how to use the Speed Test feature in ExpressVPN. Note that this is available only in Windows and macOS applications.
1. Go to Speed Test from the menu.
2. Select your preference from “All locations” or “Recommended Locations” and click Run Test.
You can rank the server locations in terms of latency and download speed. The ranking score is shown as the “Speed Index.”
Let’s check the speed with some servers using speedtest.net. This is my normal internet connection speed before connecting to any VPN server:
Here are the figures when I connect to the best server for me, as recommended by ExpressVPN:
Now let’s compare the figures when I connect to other servers…
ExpressVPN says they won’t collect any logs of your activity, including browser history, destination of your internet traffic, data content, or any DNS queries. Connection logs, IP address, outgoing VPN IP address, connection timestamp, and even session duration aren’t stored.
ExpressVPN collects four kinds of information:
ExpressVPN encrypts all internet traffic to prevent prying eyes — whether from the government, or ISPs, or other third parties — from reading your data.
It uses AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard), the most recognized encryption around. This is used not only by security professionals all across the globe, but also the United States government itself. With a 256-bit key encryption, there are 2^256 combinations possible. So, it’s virtually impossible for hackers to crack their way through to you with a brute force attack.
To implement such strong encryption, ExpressVPN also puts in place a range of VPN protocols. Although it’s set to automatically use the best possible protocol by default, you can always choose a different protocol if you prefer. You’ve got several options: two OpenVPN options (UDP and TCP), IKEv2, and L2TP/ IPsec.
To select a protocol other than the automatic option recommended by ExpressVPN, do the following:
And that’s it!
ExpressVPN offers excellent customer support. For example, the live chat is available 24 hours every day. A knowledgeable staff member will help you with any issues you have.
After receiving support, you’ll be asked to complete a small feedback survey to rate the support and provide comments (if you have any).
I contacted the customer service team to find out whether ExpressVPN supports Tails Operating System. The operator was friendly and professional, quickly providing me with a link to their review of the Tails OS.
Apart from the live chat, there are two other options you can use for ExpressVPN support.
If you click the “Troubleshoot Now” option, you’ll find information regarding six topics: About ExpressVPN, Accounts, Connection Help, Platforms, Other Issues, and Log File Errors.
If you click the “Get Instructions” option, you’ll be directed to the page for all their setup tutorials.
When I purchased ExpressVPN for the first time, I couldn’t download it and had some issues regarding my account. Fortunately, the Support team quickly transferred my money back, and I was able to purchase another subscription fairly easily.
All of ExpressVPN’s applications are easy to use — even if you’re a novice user.
You’ve already seen almost all desktop interfaces, so now let’s check out some of the important ones for the mobile app.
The interface to select a suitable location is very straightforward. I love how uncluttered everything is. The main menu’s and the settings menu’s interface is intuitive as well.
As you can see, it’s quite easy to use the mobile version of the ExpressVPN app, too.
The iOS version looks and feels almost identical to the Android one, as such, I decided not to make separate screenshots for iOS.
IP-Address Masking and Shared IPs
With a shared IP, an encrypted connection or tunnel is created with your device and the internet at endpoints. In this tunneling process, your IP address is masked with that of the VPN’s IP address. This IP address is shared with other ExpressVPN users, too, which makes it impossible for anyone — including those with malicious intent — to trace you.
Your location, identity, and internet activity will be protected, as the VPN will scramble your device’s IP address.
The split tunneling feature (available for Windows, macOs, Android, and routers) enables you to route some internet traffic through a normal internet connection, and other traffic through an encrypted, VPN tunnel. This allows you to use the VPN tunnel only for the traffic you need to protect.
Now, why not route all traffic through a secure tunnel all the time? Well, you may run into situations where you’re not allowed to access foreign servers along with local internet services at the same time, or access Local Area Network devices when connected to the VPN.
Also, split tunneling may be useful in speeding up your connection, as transmitting all your data through a VPN tunnel may use up excessive amounts of your bandwidth.
ExpressVPN offers two split tunneling options:
Here’s how to activate split tunneling in ExpressVPN:
1. Go to Preferences (Options on Android).
2. Enable split tunneling.
3. Click on Settings. If you prefer to enable split tunneling, choose “Do not allow selected apps to use the VPN.”
4. But if you prefer to enable inverse split tunneling, choose “Only allow selected apps to use the VPN.”
Users serious about VPN connectivity will be happy to know that ExpressVPN has one of the finest kill switches around. They just call it a “network lock.” When your VPN connection fails, the network lock ensures that your privacy is safe by stopping all internet traffic until the connection is restored.
Here’s how to enable the network lock-in ExpressVPN:
1. Go to Preferences (Options on Windows/Android).
2. Tick the Network Lock options.
Certain countries block VPN traffic. This is when obfuscated servers come in handy when trying to purchase a VPN.
ExpressVPN provides several obfuscated servers. And fortunately, obfuscation is already enabled! No additional configuration on your part is required.
If you reside in a country that blocks VPN traffic, you’ll have to use designated servers for that country. So for example, if you live in China, you’ll have to use designated servers for China users. If you don’t know the exact servers, you can always ask the support team.
One of the many benefits of an ExpressVPN subscription is that it lets you use the VPN in however many devices you want. But the catch is that you can connect to only up to five devices simultaneously.
If you have more than five devices to connect to, then it’s best to install ExpressVPN on the router you’re using.
If you’ve decided to sign up for ExpressVPN, the first step is to purchase a subscription. You’ll need to provide your name, email address, and credit card details.
Then follow these steps:
1. Sign in to your account at https://www.expressvpn.com/sign-in
2. Download the application for your platform. For demonstration purposes, I’ll use Mac.
3. After installing, you’ll need to sign in and activate the account with the activation code.
4. Then connect to a server.
ExpressVPN is undoubtedly the best VPN there is. The only drawback is its higher price. But we’re confident you’ll find that it’s a worthwhile investment.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below.