- Speed: 10/10
- Pricing: 9/10
- Number of Servers: 10/10
- Ease of use: 10/10
- Reliability and support: 10/10
Last Updated: June 11, 2021
- Speed: 10/10
- Pricing: 9/10
- Number of Servers: 10/10
- Ease of use: 10/10
- Reliability and support: 10/10
- Competitive speed for all locations
- Strong privacy and security
- ExpressVPN servers run on RAM only
- Works with all major streaming sites
- Unrestricted, worldwide access
- Excellent customer support
- Higher price than competitors
- No kill-switch available on iOS app
ExpressVPN is one of the highest-rated VPN services on the market, delivering outstanding speed and over 3,000 servers across the globe.
This VPN unblocks almost all streaming services and is great for torrenting too. On top of that, it provides advanced security and privacy features. Plus, it’s been independently audited to give users the peace of mind and anonymity they’re looking for.
But is the higher price tag worth the quality? Is ExpressVPN that much ahead of the competition?
Keep reading our ExpressVPN review to find out!
Having an extensive network of servers means nothing if it’s not backed up by great speed.
We ran an ExpressVPN speed test and concluded that the company’s claim of being the fastest is, in fact, true. This is a result of ExpressVPN’s new protocol Lightway, which doubled the speed of OpenVPN—the company’s previous protocol.
We started tests from Europe with an average non-VPN speed of 182Mbps.
With ExpressVPN, we got an average of 120Mbps in Europe, higher than the worldwide average of 95Mbps. Considering both EU and global tests, it’s safe to say that you won’t notice any drop in your internet speed while using ExpressVPN.
Let’s take a closer look.
Average Speed Loss
When connecting to remote servers in New Zealand, we experienced an average speed drop of 20%. However, when connected to ExpressVPN’s US servers, we only saw a 10% loss.
Surprisingly, when we tried servers in Australia, we got an unnoticeable drop in speed. This is impressive given the distance from the UK, especially when you consider that such distances create considerable losses even with otherwise excellent competitors such as Surfshark.
There are four ExpressVPN servers located in the UK, all of them in London. If you’re not sure which one is best for your location, try using the one closest to you or let the “Quick Connect” feature automatically choose a server for your network.
Our connection was with a server in East London. The fastest connection we got was 176Mbps, just a 12% decrease in speed.
To test long-distance speed, we connected to servers in Europe, North America, and Asia. We concluded that if your home network speed is over 100Mbps, you won’t even notice a slowdown.
The average ExpressVPN speed for Europe was 132Mbps, North America’s average was 126Mbps, while Asia had 124Mbps. No matter which server you connect to, ExpressVPN’s speed is lightning fast.
Upload speeds are also pretty consistent. Our tests got an average of 152Mbps when connected to local servers and 47Mbps and 28Mbps when connecting to the US and Hong Kong, respectively.
Security and Privacy
Privacy and security are among ExpressVPN’s main strengths. Let’s explore them in detail.
ExpressVPN employs advanced encryption techniques to make sure that all your data is protected.
The company uses 256-bit AES encryption, which is almost unbreakable, making brute-force attacks nearly impossible. After all, this is the same encryption used by the US government and security agencies to protect sensitive information.
In addition, ExpressVPN incorporates perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption key every session so that even if it’s compromised, it cannot be used to decrypt your past sessions.
ExpressVPN uses multiple VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, IPsec, and its latest addition—Lightway.
It also supports much older protocols like L2TP on macOS and Windows, although the company doesn’t recommend using it. They’ve also stopped supporting PPTP on their apps as it’s not secure.
The Express VPN app automatically chooses the best VPN protocol for you, but if the default setting is not to your liking, you can always change it manually. It’s little features like this that make ExpressVPN easy to use for beginners and experts alike.
Here’s a closer look at ExpressVPN’s protocols.
OpenVPN is the highest-rated protocol by VPN experts. It’s open-source, which means anyone can see how it works, and almost all the major players on the market adopt it. Not only does ExpressVPN support OpenVPN, but it also allows users to switch between UDP and TCP to boost speed and reliability.
ExpressVPN subscribers can also opt for the IKEv2 protocol—another one recommended by VPN experts because of its speed and reliability. Currently, ExpressVPN for Android doesn’t support the IKEv2 protocol, although all other versions do.
At the beginning of the year, ExpressVPN launched its next-generation protocol Lightway.
This protocol can double, and in some cases even triple, the speed of ExpressVPN’s traditional protocols OpenVPN and IKEv2.
Also, Lightway provides faster speed and more secure, reliable connections; plus, an almost imperceptible switch between 4G and Wi-Fi on mobile devices.
DNS Leak Test
We ran an Express VPN DNS leak test to see how protected your IP address really is. In this case, we tested the servers in the US, Australia, Canada, and our local connection in the UK. We had no DNS or traffic leaks across any server.
One of the reasons ExpressVPN promises (and delivers) no leaks is that it runs its own private DNS on every server. This means that a user’s DNS requests are not handled by third parties but by the company itself. On top of that, all DNS requests are encrypted automatically, just like the rest of your internet activity, so there’s zero chance of leaks.
For added protection, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer dedicated or static IP addresses, making it harder for your IP address to be tracked since you share it with other users.
Jurisdiction: Where Is ExpressVPN Based?
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, a self-governing Caribbean group of islands that has no mandatory data retention laws and doesn’t fall under the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.
ExpressVPN is clear about the data it gathers. It only collects the info you provide when you sign up, like your email and payment details. The company doesn’t collect logs of user activity and original IP addresses.
However, we did find that some logs are kept, like the date of the connection, your server of choice, and the amount of data transferred. But this is not information that can be used to identify you or endanger the privacy of your browsing session.
Express VPN Kill Switch
ExpressVPN calls its kill switch the Network Lock.
The good news is that the service automatically enables the kill switch in the app, saving you the trouble of activating it manually.
The downside is the kill switch isn’t available for iOS, something we hope that ExpressVPN will remedy in the future. Currently, the Network Lock feature is available for Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and routers.
Split tunnelling is another protection feature from ExpressVPN. It allows you to use the VPN and public network simultaneously.
This feature is currently available on Windows, Android, and macOS—it isn’t available on iOS. This is a bit disappointing, as it’s offered by competitors such as NordVPN, but it’s definitely not a deal-breaker.
Servers and Locations
ExpressVPN has an impressive network of servers around the world, ensuring you’ll have one close at hand no matter where you are.
The company has 3,000+ servers in 160 locations across 94 countries, including four in London. It may not be the biggest server park out there (NordVPN has over 5,000, and PIA has more than 35,000), but it’s impressive nonetheless.
ExpressVPN also has a wide range of virtual server locations for more secure and reliable connections. This allows you to keep the IP address in the country of your choice while the physical server is located elsewhere.
ExpressVPN offers several ways to connect to a server. If you want to access content from a specific location, you can choose a server manually. Or you can use ExpressVPN’s Smart Location, which automatically selects the best server location for you based on metrics such as download speed, latency, and distance.
ExpressVPN Primary Uses
Whether you need a VPN service for streaming, torrenting, or gaming, ExpressVPN won’t disappoint.
Does ExpressVPN stream Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other services?
Yes. We tried the UK and Australia’s Netflix libraries and found we could access them without any issues.
We also headed to Netflix US—another success. We even tested the US Netflix library across ExpressVPN’s 20+ US servers, and we could view content in HD easily on each one.
ExpressVPN can also stream Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video, without any lagging or buffering, even in full HD.
Express VPN Torrenting
With unlimited bandwidth, no data caps, and P2P sharing across all servers, ExpressVPN is perfect for torrenting.
Plus, it doesn’t keep any connection and activity logs, so your torrenting activity or history cannot be leaked to anyone.
Put simply, you’re free to use ExpressVPN with any torrenting client, like uTorrent or BitTorrent.
When it comes to gaming, ExpressVPN doesn’t disappoint.
Gaming speeds are excellent even when connecting through long-distance servers. Plus, ExpressVPN is compatible with gaming consoles like Xbox, PS5 and PS4, and Nintendo Switch. What more could gamers ask for?
ExpressVPN is compatible with almost all devices. Anyone can easily set up and use the ExpressVPN app on Windows, Mac, and Linux and get all the major features this service offers, including an automatic kill switch and split tunnelling (not on Linux, though) as well access to the new Lightway protocol.
As for mobile applications, users have a choice between ExpressVPN for Android and iOS.
The app versions are slightly different, and neither has all the features included in the desktop version. Even so, we recommend them because they are easy to install and can come in handy when you need a VPN connection on the go.
The Android app has a kill switch and supports the Lightway and OpenVPN protocols.
The iOS app, on the other hand, does not support Lightway or split tunnelling, but it does enable L2TP and IKEv2 protocols, which you won’t find on the Android app.
Both apps allow users to switch servers, and best of all, they come with a no-risk seven-day Express VPN trial.
ExpressVPN’s browser plug-ins aren’t just proxies. Unlike most other VPN clients, they don’t work unless installed. Plus, you can use them to control the desktop client through the browser—a great feature that makes using this software much simpler.
Both extensions block WebRTC leaks and prevent HTML5 geolocation from disclosing your location while you’re connected to the VPN.
If you want to fly under the radar, the Tor browser is an excellent tool. But if you pair Tor with VPN, you get ultimate protection and privacy.
Luckily, ExpressVPN offers Tor compatibility, keeping you fully protected from your ISP and other prying eyes.
Express VPN Router App
ExpressVPN also has an app for routers, letting you protect devices in your home that don’t typically support VPN, such as TVs, tablets, phones, and game consoles.
This also means that you can connect an unlimited number of devices, although officially, a single Express VPN subscription only covers up to five simultaneous connections.
Pricing: How Much Is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN has three subscription plans available. Bear in mind that although they’re presented in pounds, the prices of ExpressVPN in the UK are converted into US dollars as soon as you make a payment.
|Semi-annual plan||£43.66/every six months; £7.28/month|
|15-months plan||£72.79/first 15 months and 12 months thereafter; £4.86/month|
Depending on the period, users can find many discounts, coupon codes, and more than one ExpressVPN deal.
Also, the ExpressVPN refund period is 30 days, and the policy doesn’t impose any data caps.
There’s no denying that ExpressVPN is costlier than the competition. While a monthly plan with NordVPN is £8.84, ExpressVPN has a similar package for £9.57. In fact, the price plans are the only downside we (and most other ExpressVPN reviews) could find.
That said, this client is unrivalled on the market in terms of speed, privacy, and reliability, so the higher price tag is worth it.
ExpressVPN doesn’t have phone support, but its top-notch 24/7 live chat more than makes up for it. You can easily reach client reps and get all the answers you need promptly and politely.
What’s more, unlike some competitors, ExpressVPN is upfront about all its news, policies, and changes—you can find extensive information on all of these on its official website and its FAQ page.
Want to Consider Other Options?
ExpressVPN is undoubtedly an excellent option. But how does it compare to other popular services?
NordVPN vs ExpressVPN
Both VPNs are fast and more than suitable for streaming and torrenting. They both offer advanced privacy and security features and are in close competition for the title of “best VPN.”
There are some differences, though, namely the price. ExpressVPN is slightly more expensive than NordVPN, and in some tests, the latter performed better when it comes to speed.
So should you choose ExpressVPN or NordVPN? You won’t go wrong with either option.
ExpressVPN vs Surfshark
Both VPN clients offer exceptional performance when it comes to unblocking geo-restricted streaming services; they offer 24/7 customer support and a total refund. But ExpressVPN has servers in more than 90 countries, including special ones that can even bypass the Great Firewall of China.
On the other hand, Surfshark is much cheaper and allows an unlimited number of connections, so it may be a better fit for budget-conscious users.
IPVanish vs ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is faster but supports fewer security protocols and simultaneous connections than IPVanish. It’s also more expensive.
However, IPVanish comes nowhere near ExpressVPN in terms of speed and other features, such as streaming and torrenting.
ExpressVPN is hailed as one of the fastest and safest VPN services available right now. Considering its performance and the advanced security and privacy it offers, we can’t help but agree.
All in all, ExpressVPN does everything it’s supposed to and more. It easily unblocks Netflix and other streaming services with minimal speed loss and in HD. It’s perfect for torrenting and gaming, and it’s compatible with almost all devices in your home.
There is room for improvement, though, especially regarding the iOS app, which is missing some features available on Android and desktop. But given the vast array of functions and the ease of use, this is hardly something we can hold against them.
You can look for a cheaper VPN service, but it will be challenging to find one of the same quality.
Yes! ExpressVPN takes plenty of measures to ensure your VPN connection is secure, including military-grade encryption and advanced security protocols. Plus, it doesn’t log any data and is located in the British Virgin Island, so it doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.
Use ExpressVPN’s IP address checker. If connected properly, the IP address shown will correlate to the location you are connected to via the VPN. You will also receive a confirmation message.
To cancel your subscription, you need to do the following:
- Log in to your ExpressVPN account
- Go to “Subscription” and check your renewal date
- Click on “Manage subscription settings”
- Select “Turn off automatic renewal”
- Confirm your choice on the next two pages
ExpressVPN allows up to five simultaneous connections.
However, if you want to connect more than five devices, you can pay an additional fee and get an unlimited number of connections. Alternatively, you could install the client on your router, and that way cover other devices in your home, such as TVs and game consoles.
As mentioned in our ExpressVPN review, this company is pricier than the competition, but it’s one of the fastest, safest, and best-performing VPN services on the market right now. You might pay a little more, but you get a lot in return.