ExpressVPN is a highly acclaimed large VPN service that is used by many people – but does it really live up to its good reputation?
In this new and updated ExpressVPN review, I provide services through extensive testing to answer the following questions:
- Is ExpressVPN fast and reliable?
- What is the effect of the function and leak-proof settings?
- Is the VPN application reliable and user friendly?
- Can it unlock Netflix and other streaming services?
- Is it really worth the price?
To answer all of these questions, I used the ExpressVPN application on dozens of tests on all major operating systems to verify that speed, reliability, security, and all features worked.
The following is a brief overview of the test results and findings of this ExpressVPN review:
Advantages of ExpressVPN
- Excellent speed of the entire server network
- User friendly and reliable VPN application ( all devices supported )
- Powerful encryption, powerful security features, no leaks
- Located in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction (BVI)
- Prove no log VPN provider
- Large, secure server network with servers running in RAM disk mode
- Suitable for Netflix, ideal for streaming
- Browser extension using HTTPS Everywhere
- Split tunnel function
- Great Android and iOS apps
- Dedicated VPN Router application (for unlimited connections)
- Excellent customer support (24/7 live chat + 30-day money back guarantee)
Disadvantages of ExpressVPN
- More expensive than some competitors (but see 49% coupons )
Other research results
- ExpressVPN leak test tool
- Can you grow with ExpressVPN? (Yes)
- Does ExpressVPN operate in China? (Yes)
- ExpressVPN now allows 5 connections
Here are the advantages of ExpressVPN:
1. Excellent speed of the entire server network
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs I’ve ever tested, and it’s always the fastest in the entire server network.
For this ExpressVPN review, I used 256-bit OpenVPN in a physical location in Germany to run all speed tests on a 160 Mbps wired connection on the latest ExpressVPN application.
Nearby ExpressVPN server speed
First, I tested it with a nearby ExpressVPN server that was relatively close to my physical location and was very impressive.
ExpressVPN server in Frankfurt, Germany: 147 Mbps
This speed test results almost exceeded my baseline connection speed, but this is not an exception: all nearby ExpressVPN servers are fast.
Swiss ExpressVPN server: 150 Mbps
UK ExpressVPN server: 147 Mbps
If you need a UK VPN service with excellent speed , ExpressVPN is a good choice.
With all the ExpressVPN servers in Europe, I am far faster than 100 Mbps and the average speed is between 140 and 150 Mbps. These are amazing speed test results – to say the least.
Remote ExpressVPN server speed
Next, I used the US and Canadian servers for some remote speed tests, which were farther away from my actual location. Long-distance speed testing is often used, and speed is greatly reduced due to higher delays. However, with ExpressVPN, the reduction is very small.
New York ExpressVPN Server: 141 Mbps
Considering the distance, this is another good speed test result.
New Jersey ExpressVPN Server: 136 Mbps
All of the ExpressVPN servers I tested in the US performed well, between 120 and 142 Mbps. For US readers who need a VPN in the United States , ExpressVPN will be a reliable choice given the speed and security.
I also tested some of Canada’s ExpressVPN servers. The locations I tested were Toronto and Montreal, and both servers were fast:
Server speed is once again very suitable for Canadian servers, making ExpressVPN one of the best VPNs in Canada .
These are the best long distance speed tests I have ever seen.
Get the fastest speed tips with ExpressVPN
The ExpressVPN app has a useful feature that helps you choose the fastest server, which is the ” recommended server ” feature. These “recommended” servers will provide the best speed based on your proximity to the server location and available bandwidth (server load).
Conclusion about speed : ExpressVPN is now the fastest VPN I have ever tested. It provides consistent fast VPN speed on all servers I test on the network. If you need speed, ExpressVPN delivers outstanding performance.
2. User friendly and reliable VPN application (all devices supported)
For a secure, reliable, and user-friendly VPN application that just works , ExpressVPN is probably the best choice.
In addition to VPN quality and reliability, ExpressVPN also provides dedicated applications to support all major operating systems and devices.
Recently, ExpressVPN introduced new and updated VPN applications for Windows, Mac OS, Android and iOS, which I tested in this article. Here are some new updates for these VPN applications:
- New design (better layout)
- One-click location change
- Increase connection speed
- Improve connection reliability
Here you can see the new ExpressVPN Windows app (for the same design for Mac OS, Android and iOS):
Click on the three lines in the upper left corner of the VPN application to open a new window with more features and settings, which we’ll cover below.
The ExpressVPN app has always been one of my favorite VPN apps with intuitive design and excellent layout. Many VPN applications are erroneous and/or cumbersome. This is not the case with ExpressVPN, especially the latest VPN application released in April 2019.
3. Powerful encryption, powerful security features, no leakage
Although ExpressVPN is a high-performance VPN with amazing speed, it will not compromise on encryption or security.
For encryption, ExpressVPN uses an AES 256-bit password and a 4096-bit RSA key with SHA-512 HMAC authentication . This is the highest level of encryption and is currently considered unbreakable and also provides good performance. In addition, ExpressVPN supports Perfect Forward Secrecy negotiated through Diffie-Hellman key exchange.
You can choose which VPN protocol to use directly in the ExpressVPN application. The following are the available VPN protocols for the ExpressVPN Windows application:
- OpenVPN UDP
- OpenVPN TCP
- IPSec / L2TP
With “Auto” enabled, ExpressVPN will choose the best VPN protocol based on your network settings. For the vast majority of cases, this will be the OpenVPN UDP protocol, which provides the best combination of speed and security. If you are experiencing connectivity problems on the network, OpenVPN TCP may be a better choice (but not as fast as UDP). L2TP and PPTP also provide good speed, but not as much security as OpenVPN.
ExpressVPN network lock function (terminate switch)
ExpressVPN refers to its kill switch as a network lock. If the VPN connection is broken , the network lock feature will block all traffic, ensuring data security. This ensures that each packet remains encrypted and secure, and your real IP address is always protected.
The network lock feature is currently available in the following applications:
- Apple system
You can see the ExpressLock network lock feature under the general settings of the Windows application below:
When I tested with Windows and Mac OS, the network lock function worked fine. When I manually interrupt the VPN connection, all traffic is effectively blocked.
The kill switch (network lock) is a very important feature that protects data security in the event of a disconnection. Most VPNs offer this feature, but in many cases it doesn’t work very well (see, for example, PureVPN).
ExpressVPN leak test results
I run ExpressVPN Windows and Mac OS applications with some basic VPN tests to identify any issues. The main test site I use is ipleak.net. I have not found any leaks or security issues with any ExpressVPN application.
The ExpressVPN Windows client does not leak:
As you can see, ExpressVPN protects all my traffic by providing me with an IPv4 address, blocking IPv6, and using my secure DNS resolver to handle all DNS requests. The ExpressVPN Windows app passed all the tests (no leaks were found).
I also ran the ExpressVPN Mac OS client through these tests, but found no leaks or security issues.
I really like the ExpressVPN Mac OS app. It’s arguably the best VPN on the Mac, with design, leak-proof settings and performance.
Conclusion about ExpressVPN security
If you need a high-security VPN service with the highest encryption and data protection features, ExpressVPN is a good choice. It provides performance and security.
4. Located in a Privacy-Friendly Jurisdiction (BVI)
ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The British Virgin Islands is an independent autonomous entity whose strict laws protect the privacy of businesses and individuals operating there.
Unlike the UK, the British Virgin Islands does not have mandatory data retention laws or large-scale surveillance programs that affect UK VPN providers. Similar to Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands is known for its strong privacy protection and data privacy.
The British Virgin Islands’ judicial system also cannot force BVI companies to provide records for their clients. As a country, the British Virgin Islands is completely independent and does not belong to the jurisdiction of any other country, although it has historical links with the United Kingdom.
With all of these factors in mind, ExpressVPN seems to be in a good privacy privilege , which is not part of the 5/9/14 Eye Surveillance Alliance.
5. Prove no log VPN provider
ExpressVPN is also one of the few VPNs with unverified logs. First, we’ll take a closer look at the ExpressVPN strategy, and then we’ll look at real-world examples to further validate these strategies.
ExpressVPN log policy
ExpressVPN clarifies its commitment to user privacy on its website:
ExpressVPN is an advanced VPN provider focused on user privacy and anonymity. Our network is built on the basis of not knowing the user’s Internet activities . Since privacy is a core part of our service offerings, ExpressVPN is designed to protect users’ private Internet data.
The following is a brief overview of the policies on their website:
ExpressVPN is committed to protecting your privacy. We want you to know the information we collect, the information we don’t collect, and how we collect, use and store it. We do not collect your activity logs, including not recording browsing history, traffic targets, data content or DNS queries. We also never store the connection log, which means there is no log of your IP address, outgoing VPN IP address, connection timestamp or session duration.
Having said that, there is an option in the VPN application to share crash statistics, which helps ExpressVPN improve the application, but the data is completely anonymous and does not include personal information. However, you can easily disable it by clicking it in the Settings area.
Seized ExpressVPN Server: Confirm “no log” policy
In December 2017, it was reported that the Turkish authorities seized an ExpressVPN server and tried to obtain customer data. Before the server was seized in Turkey, the Turkish authorities tried to force ExpressVPN to provide logs from the relevant servers. ExpressVPN tells officials that they are logless VPNs and are not subject to Turkish law and they do not have any data to offer.
Why is this important?
The related issue here is that the authorities are unable to obtain any customer data – because there are no logs available .
ExpressVPN issued a statement here explaining this case:
As we told the Turkish authorities in January 2017, ExpressVPN did not and never had any customer connection logs, which allowed us to know which customer is using the specific IP referenced by the investigator. In addition, we were unable to see which customers visited Gmail or Facebook during the relevant time because we did not keep an activity log. We believe that the investigation and inspection of the relevant VPN servers by the investigators confirmed these points.
This case confirms ExpressVPN’s logging strategy and overall commitment to protect customer data.
6. Large, secure server network running in RAM mode
ExpressVPN provides a large number of servers around the world with very secure network settings.
Currently, ExpressVPN has approximately 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries with a total of more than 3,000 VPN servers. Europe and North America have the highest coverage, but they also offer good server options in South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.
Check the server page on the ExpressVPN website to see the location of your area. This page also shows which servers are online and the available VPN protocols supported by each server.
All servers are running in RAM disk mode (TrustedServer function)
In April 2019, ExpressVPN announced a major new network update: all servers in the network will run in RAM disk mode with no storage on the hard disk . ExpressVPN calls this network security standard TrustedServer, which is a major benefit.
ExpressVPN explains the security benefits of running all servers in RAM disk mode on their blog:
With our industry-first TrustedServer technology, our VPN servers run only on volatile memory (RAM) and not on hard drives. Since RAM requires power to store data, it is guaranteed that all information on the server will be turned back on each time the power is turned off.
In contrast, the traditional and most common way to run a server relies heavily on the hard drive, which keeps all the data until they are erased and written, which is a difficult and error-prone process. This increases the risk that the server may inadvertently contain sensitive user information. If someone wants to crack or grab the server, they can access the data. Worse, hackers who find their way may be able to install an indefinite backdoor.
This is a huge benefit and is further queued for no logs and data collection. In addition, if the VPN server is seized by the authorities, it can also protect customer data.
Does ExpressVPN use virtual server location?
The virtual server location is the IP address that the VPN server announces that does not match the physical location of the server. As ExpressVPN explains on its website, the reasons they use virtual server locations are as follows:
- When data centers in some countries do not meet the security requirements of ExpressVPN (for example, in Turkey, the server is blocked by the authorities)
- In countries where the network infrastructure supporting ExpressVPN servers is insufficient
Because some ExpressVPN users need to use IP addresses in these locations, ExpressVPN does use a limited number of virtual server locations, which are less than 3% of the total network. Many VPNs that use virtual locations (such as PureVPN) are not transparent to the exact location. However, ExpressVPN lists all the virtual locations on its website and explains why they are used.
If you want to use IP addresses from around the world, ExpressVPN will be a good choice because they have a huge server network.
Does ExpressVPN provide a static/private IP address?
No, ExpressVPN does not provide a private IP address.
If you need a dedicated IP address, please refer to my VPN-specific IP guide for more details. (Note that private/static IP is not the best choice for privacy because your internet traffic is not mixed with other users.)
7. Works with Netflix, ideal for streaming
No matter where you are, ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN providers to continue working with Netflix.
For this review, I tested the US Netflix with an ExpressVPN server in Washington, DC. Everything is perfect.
To use Netflix with ExpressVPN, simply launch the ExpressVPN app on your device, connect to the server of your choice in the Netflix zone, and stream Netflix as usual.
If you encounter any proxy error with Netflix while connecting to the ExpressVPN server, simply contact ExpressChat chat support and they will tell you which server to use.
ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN for Netflix for two main reasons:
- Excellent streaming quality (no buffering or interruption)
- 24/7 access to Netflix (no network range)
If you need a reliable Kodi VPN, ExpressVPN is also a good choice.
8. Use HTTPS Everywhere browser extensions
ExpressVPN provides browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers. The browser plugin is an extension of the ExpressVPN application, so you need to run the ExpressVPN Windows, Mac OS or Linux desktop application.
Why use a browser extension when using a desktop VPN application?
The biggest advantage of using a browser application is convenience – the ability to easily switch server locations directly in the browser without having to navigate to the desktop VPN client. This is what it looks like in Firefox:
In addition, the ExpressVPN extension also includes HTTPS Everywhere – a powerful add-on (from the electronic frontier) that forces HTTPS connections.
9. Split tunnel function
ExpressVPN provides separate tunneling capabilities and applications for Windows, Mac OS and routers.
Split tunneling allows you to choose which applications will pass the VPN tunnel and which applications can bypass the VPN to the regular (unencrypted) internet.
This feature can be found in the Settings area of Windows and Mac OS clients. By default, all traffic and applications are routed through VPN. In the settings, you can choose from three different options:
- All apps use VPN
- Do not allow selected apps to use VPN
- Allow only selected apps to use VPN
If you click on the second or third option, a pop-up window will appear allowing you to select a specific application.
Mac OS split tunneling is basically the same as Windows above.
This is also very useful for routers because it allows you to choose a specific device and/or website to bypass the VPN. ExpressVPN is one of the few providers that offer this feature (and works fine).
10. Excellent Android and iOS apps
The two ExpressVPN mobile apps I tested on Android and iOS are working fine.
ExpressVPN is one of the best choices for Android and iOS, allowing you to use the OpenVPN protocol and secure tunneling. Most VPN providers are limited by the VPN protocol they provide on mobile devices. This is especially true for iOS, where most VPNs only support the IPSec / IKEv2 protocol.
ExpressVPN features a full-featured OpenVPN application that provides secure 256-bit encryption for Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad). With iOS, you can choose OpenVPN and IPSec / IKEv2 protocols. The ExpressVPN Android app only uses the OpenVPN protocol.
From a design and layout perspective, Android and iOS apps are the same screenshots as Windows and Mac OS apps above.
11. Dedicated VPN Router application (for unlimited connections)
ExpressVPN is also one of the few VPN services that offer a dedicated VPN router application for some router models.
Using VPN on a router is a very smart way to establish an unlimited number of connections to a VPN . This is because the router counts as only one connection, but it will provide the full benefits of VPN for each device connected to the router: encrypted traffic, new IP address, location anonymity.
If you want to use ExpressVPN on your router, you can use the following options:
- Use the ExpressVPN Router app on one of the supported router models (recommended)
- Manually set up ExpressVPN on your router (more work, but not too difficult for some routers, such as most ASUS models)
Using the ExpressVPN router application is the best solution because it provides the following features:
- Easily switch VPN servers
- Split tunnel (choose to bypass the VPN application or website)
- Network lock (end switch) blocks all traffic when the VPN connection is lost
Here you can see which models are supported by the router application on the left and the types of routers that can be used for manual setup on the right:
For more information, visit the ExpressVPN website or visit the My VPN Router Guide for additional setup options.
12. Excellent customer support (24/7 live chat + 30-day money back guarantee)
While supporting larger VPN services can sometimes be affected, ExpressVPN seems to do a good job of real-time chat support.
I have repeatedly tested the support of ExpressVPN in this review. In all my interactions, I found the support department to be quick, knowledgeable, and polite.
You can access 24/7 live chat support directly from the website in the lower right corner . In each chat session I initiated, I contacted a representative in one minute.
Live chat support is definitely an advantage if you need help setting up a VPN on your device or have specific questions that are not answered on the website.
30-day money back guarantee
Another big benefit of ExpressVPN is that it offers one of the longest refund windows in the industry. With all VPN subscriptions (even one month’s plan), you get a 30-day full money back guarantee. If you are not 100% satisfied with the VPN subscription, you can cancel on the 30th day for a full refund without any problems.
The overall ExpressVPN provides excellent customer support.
1. More expensive than some competitors
One disadvantage of ExpressVPN is that it is a bit more expensive than other competitors’ VPN competitors (but certainly not the most expensive).
If you use this discount coupon and choose a 15-month plan, ExpressVPN will cost $6.67 a month. If there are no discount coupons, the cheapest price for ExpressVPN is an annual plan of $8.32 per month.
The following are the prices of current ExpressVPN coupons :
This makes ExpressVPN more expensive than NordVPN ($2.99 a month), even with NordVPN coupons . (Note that ExpressVPN is still among the best in the comparison between ExpressVPN and NordVPN.) It is also cheaper than the alternative top service, Perfect Privacy, at a monthly fee of $8.95.
However, the key issue is value: the money you get. In terms of value, ExpressVPN has a lot to choose from, just as you can see all the above professionals. I think the biggest factor that makes ExpressVPN worthwhile is:
- Amazing speed (always consistent across the entire server network)
- Safe and reliable application, powerful
- 24/7 access to Netflix and other streaming services
Although ExpressVPN is at the higher end of the price range, you can usually get paid for using VPN.
Update: There are now more device connections (5)
Previously, one of the drawbacks was that ExpressVPN only allowed three connections, but in June 2019 they increased the connection limit to five. This is a good number of connections and the average of the VPN industry.
Other research results
Here are some other pieces of information I found about ExpressVPN comments:
ExpressVPN leak test tool
In the past year, ExpressVPN has made several major improvements to its applications. Although the applications still have the same design, they are now enhanced and protected to protect users from all types of leaks.
The following is a brief overview of these security updates:
- Additional WebRTC Leak Protection – WebRTC leaks are browsers based on Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Chromium that can expose your real IP address. While this is technically a browser vulnerability, many VPNs cannot protect you from attacks, but ExpressVPN applications now offer protection.
- Additional DNS leak protection – ExpressVPN also updated their applications to fix rare DNS leaks that can occur when switching network interfaces using active VPN connections (eg switching from Ethernet cable to WiFi). Few VPNs can prevent this leakage.
To identify problems with VPN services, ExpressVPN has developed a suite of privacy testing tools. They decided to make the leak testing tools completely free and open source – they can be used to test any VPN failures (available on GitHub).
You can also get more information and test your VPN in its website leak test suite.
Can you grow with ExpressVPN? (Yes)
Many VPNs restrict or limit hosting on their networks. With ExpressVPN, hosting is allowed without any restrictions or restrictions.
There are four factors that make ExpressVPN the best choice for Torre:
- High performance (advanced) server network with extremely fast speed and high reliability.
- An overseas jurisdiction that is not required by the DMCA or infringes copyright requirements.
- A high-quality application that protects your data while protecting you from leaks and vulnerabilities. Of course, this also protects you from copyright trolls and DMCA notices.
- There are no bandwidth limits or traffic restrictions.
ExpressVPN is one of the best recommendations for our VPN guide for Torre.
You can also get more information on the ExpressVPN torrenting page.
Does ExpressVPN operate in China? (Yes)
ExpressVPN is still working in China despite the current VPN blocking and review efforts.
To use ExpressVPN in China, simply connect to one of the servers specified in China (check the support to view these servers). These servers will automatically use the obfuscation protocol with the VPN application to hide VPN traffic as regular HTTPS encryption. It’s easy to work through firewalls and reviews.
For additional information and setup tips, please refer to the VPN Guide that best suits China.
Now five simultaneous connections
In June 2019, ExpressVPN increased the connection limit from three to five. This is a big improvement over the previous three connection restrictions.
Note: You can use ExpressVPN on an unlimited number of devices, but your subscription can only connect five at a time .
If you want to use more than five devices on a VPN, there is a simple solution: use ExpressVPN on your router – as described above – for an unlimited number of connections. The router will only count as one connection and you can use multiple devices as needed.
ExpressVPN review conclusion
ExpressVPN has earned a top spot on this latest review update performance as the best VPN of 2019 .
In the overcrowded VPN market, ExpressVPN continues to stand out and remains the best recommendation for Restore Privacy. To summarize, this is the main finding of the ExpressVPN review:
- Excellent performance , the entire VPN server network has excellent speed and reliability .
- High security applications with maximum encryption (through all privacy/security tests) and network lockout ensure all data is secure.
- Excellent offshore jurisdiction and corporate policies to protect customer data and user privacy (this has also been verified by Turkish server seizures).
- Continue to use Netflix and other streaming services.
- A large selection of applications , well designed, safe and reliable, user friendly.
- Prove that there is no log VPN service , all servers are running in RAM disk mode (data cannot be stored)
- First-class customer service , 24/7 live chat support and a 30-day money back guarantee .
Very few people don’t like ExpressVPN.
Over time, this service will continue to improve and become better. Although prices have traditionally been at the higher end ($8.32 a month), there are now large discounts that can be reduced to $6.67 a month.
Note: I also have a comparison between NordVPN and ExpressVPN because they are the two most popular VPNs in the industry.