What to Expect from this ExpressVPN Review?
When choosing a VPN, you never want to take the risk with an organization you don’t know anything about. It’s for this reason we’ve decided to review ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands and has more than 2000 servers situated in 148 locations, which allows you to easily access the most secure private networks across the world. While all this sounds very impressive, I want you to see exactly how ExpressVPN works.
This ExpressVPN review will take you through the product features, performance, customer support, and ExpressVPN app and subscription information. Next, we’ll compare ExpressVPN to NordVPN, another popular competitor. Finally, we’ll deliver the final verdict on whether it’s the best VPN for you. Let’s get started!
Pros and Cons of ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN has more than 2000 servers situated in 140 locations. A VPN company needs to have multiple servers across the globe, mainly because your proximity to the server significantly affects the Internet speed.
ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands. Even though the British Virgin Islands is within the UK’s territory, they have their own laws. It’s also important to note that they are not part of the International surveillance alliances. This means ExpressVPN isn’t subject to any surveillance laws that allow intelligence agencies to access user data. Moreover, the British Virgin Islands doesn’t have any data retention laws in place, which makes it a perfect location for a VPN company.
ExpressVPN At A Glance
|Country of Origin:||British Virgin Islands|
|Number of servers:||2200+|
|Number of countries:||148|
|Platforms supported:||Android, iOS, Mac, windows, windows phone, Chromebook, and more.|
|Supported protocols:||OpenVPN UDP, Lightway, L2TP/IPsec, OpenVPN TCP, and IKEv2|
|Support:||Articles, live chat, email|
Express VPN Plans
Known as the gold standard of the VPN software, OpenVPN is crowd-sourced and regularly updated to prevent interference agencies. ExpressVPN talks about OpenVPN as “the perfect combination of performance, security and speed,” which will be tested in a short while. The only challenge of OpenVPN is that users will have to download 3rd party software that they might or might not be interested in. ExpressVPN largely defaults on OpenVPN, even though users can select between TCP and UDP (more about these later).
- Kill switch
- Split Tunneling
- Anonymous and regularly rotated IP Addresses
Will ExpressVPN Log My Data?
Essentially, one of the main reasons why you have chosen to join a VPN is that you want to ensure your data is well protected from cybercriminals. The good news is that ExpressVPN also understands that users don’t want them to access their sensitive data either.
You will be glad to know that ExpressVPN does not log your data files, which means they don’t store or track your sensitive data. If you check through the ExpressVPN site, you can see that they don’t and will never log DNS queries, metadata, traffic destination, or the browsing history.
The only data collected by ExpressVPN is which application and exact version you have downloaded, dates you use their VPN service, the server location you have chosen, and the amount of data transferred via ExpressVPN. Nevertheless, without browsing data, IP or time, it would be impossible to use such information to link any action that is taken on the Internet to any ExpressVPN customer.
As you can see, these are standard practices adopted by many VPN companies, which means you never have to worry about hackers accessing your web traffic or actual data. With ExpressVPN, users can make payments using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. This means you don’t have to share your banking details, making it harder to track and identify you.
Does ExpressVPN Have A Kill Switch?
Assuming you are on the ExpressVPN network and unfortunately, you lose connection. Will you also lose your privacy? The answer is your privacy will never be compromised, and this is because of the kill switch. Commonly referred to as the network lock feature, the kill switch automatically kills whatever websites or software you were using. This means with ExpressVPN; your privacy will always be protected. However, the official Network Lock Feature isn’t available on mobile devices, but there is a kill switch to protect data against traffic leaks.
Tunneling is the process of moving data packets from a network to another. Another great feature you will find in ExpressVPN is split tunneling. Split tunneling means you can be on the local network and VPN simultaneously, a perfect way to reduce bandwidth.
Here is how it works: some part of your web traffic goes via the ExpressVPN tunnel while the rest directly connects with the Internet. This is important if you want to access both private networks and public networks simultaneously. ExpressVPN offers the split-tunneling feature with their apps for routers, Android macOS, and Windows.
Encryption of ExpressVPN
Encryption is the act of encoding a file or message so that only people with permission can access the files. All your data is encrypted in 256 bits, a modern Advanced Encryption Standard. Your Internet connection has its own encrypted domain name and the IP address that is completely anonymous and frequently rotated. ExpressVPN uses Internet Key Exchange version 2 (IKEv2) and IP Security (IPSec) techniques to encrypt user data.
Can I Use ExpressVPN for Streaming?
One of the best selling points for many VPNs is easy to access Netflix and ExpressVPN is one of the best when it comes to accessing different streaming services. With ExpressVPN, you will be able to access many locations including the US, Japan, France, Canada, Australia, the UK, and many others. Other streaming services you can unblock with ExpressVPN include Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.
Can I Use ExpressVPN for Torrenting?
Torrenting is a file-sharing protocol that is based on peer-to-peer technology. It usually refers to the act of uploading or downloading files through Torrent clients.Although not hugely publicized on ExpressVPN’s official website, all the VPN Servers offered by them are customized for P2P sharing, which means you don’t have to waste time looking for a torrenting server, you will find one suitable for your needs.
Also, they don’t have any limits on data transfer. Plus, the superb security features, and excellent privacy, alongside cryptocurrency support and no logs make ExpressVPN a perfect choice if you are searching for the best torrenting VPN.
The Internet protocols usually determine how data packets are transmitted across a network. ExpressVPN supports the OpenVPN UDP/TCP on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. Also, it supports the configuration of routers to utilize OpenVPN. Also, ExpressVPN supports the earlier version of the L2TP protocol on Windows and macOS. However, the less secure PPTP only works on windows. It’s also evident that ExpressVPN supports the OpenVPN in the iOS app.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN supports IKEv2 protocol on iOS; this is my second best option for a VPN protocol after the OpenVPN. A while back, ExpressVPN launched a public beta of their Lightway VPN protocol. This customized protocol makes use of the WolfSSL cryptography library. This is a good idea because any attempt to create their own crypto from the ground up can be a daring venture. Following are some of the VPN protocols used by ExpressVPN:
The Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SST) is widely known for its speed and performance. It’s compatible with all windows devices. Moreover, SSTP is known for its ability to easily bypass different firewalls and creating a secure connection.
Also, ExpressVPN is completely compatible with TOR. This is important if you really want to remain anonymous.
How Fast is ExpressVPN?
All the privacy isn’t any good if users are left buffering. Our performance tests were carried out in the US and the UK, using OpenVPN. Our first check of 25 servers showed that 93% of connections were established within 4 seconds, including connections to servers far from the UK in Cambodia and Pakistan. Moreover, our ping tests were impressive, which is excellent, especially if you use it as a gaming VPN.
Our US datacenter connection is capable of about 600Mbps, but here ExpressVPN delivered remarkable speeds of about 200Mbps to 220 Mbps. The European connection is capable of 400Mbps to 60OMbps, and using this connection, Express delivered impressive speeds of about 135Mbps to 140Mbps.
Let’s cut to the chase. What’s ExpressVPN subscription going to cost you? Users can select from one month ($12.95), 6 months ($9.99), or yearly billing ($8.82). As it is the case with most VPNs, the monthly costs get lower with long-term commitments. Remember ExpressVPN offers its customers a 30-day moneyback guarantee. So, if you don’t like the service, you can cancel the subscription and request a full refund. As a result, we strongly recommend that you try their service for about a month before making long-term commitments.
Regardless of the subscription plan you choose, you will be allowed to switch between multiple servers and maintain at least five connections simultaneously. Also, if you are searching for additional simultaneous connections, you should purchase another license or install a VPN router to get more. One thing that I love about ExpressVPN is the ability to use as many devices as possible regardless of the subscription you choose.
ExpressVPN Customer Support
Although ExpressVPN has already proven to be stable, like any other complex software, issues can arise – from lost access to Netflix to server upsets. It’s for this reason why it’s crucial to have a professional customer support team whenever you need help. Let’s look into how ExpressVPN handles its customer support.
Customer Support Features
Fortunately, ExpressVPN offers customer support through email and live chat around the clock. As a millennial, these customer support platforms are enough for many people, even though support via phone is conspicuously lacking. You can get in touch with the support team through the ExpressVPN app, making it a smooth experience.
Also, you can check out ExpressVPN setup guides and a raft of articles, which cover a wide range of topics such as how to cancel your subscription, how to resolve a lost connection, how to set up a VPN router, and many others. Let’s see what other customers think about ExpressVPN support.
Customer Support Ratings
If you choose to buy ExpressVPN via Amazon, you will see that they have a 3.8 customer rating from more than 640-customer reviews. While the reviews seem fairly mixed, more than half of these were in a remarkable five stars. When I checked out the reviews that specifically mentioned customer support, I was very pleased to find out that about 60% of the feedback was positive. Even though there were a few customers who had a disappointing experience, it was comforting to see real users praise ExpressVPN’s professional customer support.
Payment Options at ExpressVPN
With regards to the payment options, there is an excellent selection available. Besides the traditional payment methods such as credit card and PayPal, you can also use cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and other payment options, including WebMoney, Yandex Money, AliPay, and more. Most of all, we were very happy to find they accept bitcoin payments because this means you don’t have to share your banking information, a perfect way to remain anonymous.
How To Cancel ExpressVPN?
Luckily, cancellation is pretty straightforward. You just have to get in touch with the customer support team and ask for a refund. The only thing you must do is make sure you request a refund within 30-days. This way, they will oblige without any further investigation into the amount of data transferred.
You need an app to easily connect with ExpressVPN. Let’s look into what ExpressVPN is all about, where one can access it, what the app offers, and how it works. ExpressVPN app is supported on Android, ios, mac, windows, kindle, routers, blackberry, and Linux. From the ExpressVPN app, you can choose a VPN and speak to customer support if need be. I advise people to use the app with the VPN since it’s straightforward to use and doesn’t require any manual configuration. Also, it allows access to extra features.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN comes with plugins that are available for different browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and safari. Keep in mind that the browser plugin acts like proxies, which allows you to only change the conspicuous location of your browser traffic and doesn’t use the same encryption used by VPN protocols. It’s also important to note that ExpressVPN also provides Kindle Fire and Fire TV apps and guidelines for using their service on Xbox, PlayStation, and Apple Devices.
The iOS app has a few limitations that can be attributed to the operating system. Users don’t get a kill switch or split tunneling – both features are available on the Android app, but you still get automatic reconnection, which is as close to a network lock as the iOS app can ever allow.
ExpressVPN Vs. NordVPN
ExpressVPN shares lots of similarities to NordVPN, another popular VPN. Although ExpressVPN has more than 2000 servers in about 148 locations, NordVPN boasts of having 5,246 servers in 62 locations. Always ensure you check out the server location before choosing a specific VPN. More importantly, you should know that neither ExpressVPN nor NordVPN is part of the International Surveillance Alliance. Moreover, none is subject to any data retention laws since they are based in Panama and the British Virgin Islands.
ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN Features
Neither VPN logs your data, including websites visited; files download, servers used, IP addresses, and the time of your session. Both VPN has an official network lock/kill switch, a crucial security feature. The good news is that you can torrent files and stream from Netflix with both VPN.
However, NordVPN doesn’t provide split tunneling, which means you cannot access a public and private network simultaneously. Although both VPN provide anonymous IP addresses, with NordVPN, you get the same IP address every time, which is not good for security purposes. However, NordVPN shares your IP address with other users, which makes the IP address harder to track. They offer you a chance to get a dedicated IP address at a small fee. I like how ExpressVPN frequently rotates users’ IP addresses, making it harder for cybercriminals to trace you.
Please take note of the fact that we have only checked into how ExpressVPN and NordVPN features compare; let’s take a look at their performances. Although ExpressVPN performs better on my Windows Operating System in terms of speed, NordVPN performed better on Mac OS. Neither Operating System has any WebRTC or DNS leaks. Overall, both VPN are perfect options, but I would recommend ExpressVPN and NordVPN to windows and Mac users, respectively.
ExpressVPN Final Verdict
ExpressVPN will be a great option for you if you are looking for:
- Kill switch: In case you lose your connection, all the websites and software you were using gets killed immediately.
- No data retention rules: No jurisdiction can legally gain access to the data transferred on ExpressVPN.
- Do not log files: ExpressVPN doesn’t save or view your data.
- High-rated app: Both iPhone and Android customers rated the app at least four stars.
- Speed: ExpressVPN performed exceptionally on both windows and mac computers.
- Split Tunneling: Allows easy access to private and public servers simultaneously.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN only allows five concurrent connections per subscription plan, but you can still buy another router or subscription for additional connections.