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ExpressVPN Review: Most Comprehensive VPN Service

Editor's Choice

Our Verdict

ExpressVPN is a very versatile VPN service, with a large number of servers spanning the globe, a strict no-logs policy and support for almost all platforms. Although pricier than alternatives, it’s safe for torrenting, gaming and streaming (Netflix included).

For

  • Military-grade encryption
  • Large network of servers across the globe
  • Excellent speeds from most servers
  • Runs on most platforms

Against

  • Supports maximum of 5 simultaneous connections per account
  • A bit pricey
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

VPN remains the most popular and reliable way for maintaining your privacy online. One of the most popular VPN platforms is ExpressVPN. It’s a strong and nicely designed tool that truly stands out from the crowd with a wide range of features, top-notch security and a large number of servers.

Specifications

Client Software PlatformsWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Kindle Fire, BlackBerry, Nook HD, routers, Playstation, Chrome and Firefox browser extension
Native Supported PlatformsWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Kindle Fire, BlackBerry, Nook HD, routers, Playstation, Chrome and Firefox browser extension, Chromebook, Windows Phone, proxy service for game consoles, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Boxee Box
Supported ProtocolsOpenVPN/UDP, OpenVPN TCP, L2TP-IPSec, PPTP
Approximate Number of Servers2,000
Approximate Number of Countries With Servers94
Country of RegistrationBritish Virgin Islands
Payment OptionsCredit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, AliPay, Yandex Money, WebMoney
Encryption ProtocolAES-256-CBC
Data UsageUnlimited
Bandwidth UsageUnlimited
Max Number of Connected Devices 5
Customer Support Live chat, email, troubleshooting website
Privacy PolicyNo logs

Pricing

ExpressVPN offers a 7-day trial period to test its services on mobile apps but does not have a free trial for other devices. However, it does have a no-questions-asked, 30-day money back guarantee.

As for pricing plans, it has three:

1 Month$12.95 (~£9.86)
6 Months$9.99 (~ £7.60) per month
12 Months$8.32 (~ £6.33) per month

These prices are a bit on the high side in comparison to other VPN services. For example, NordVPN’s one-month plan is $11.95, IPVanish’s is $10 and Windscribe’s is $9 a month.

Features

ExpressVPN has over 2,000 servers in 160 cities across 94 countries. Some of the locations covered include countries in South America, Africa and the Middle East that you won't find on the node lists of many other VPN services. ExpressVPN also has effective means of bypassing VPN restrictions in countries such as China and the United Arab Emirates.

You can select your preferred server or opt for the Smart Location feature, which automatically connects you to the server nearest to your current location.

Privacy is guaranteed with a 4096 SHA-512 RSA certificate (for server and client authentication in SSH connections), along with strong AES-256-CBC encryption and HMAC (Hash Message Authentication Code) protection against regular data alteration. Users can select one of the four protocol variations: OpenVPN/UDP, OpenVPN TCP, L2TP-IPSec and PPTP. There is also a default Automatic setting, which allows ExpressVPN to choose the most appropriate protocol for your network.

In addition, ExpressVPN has a few extra features to sweeten the deal. One of them is a Network Lock (essentially a kill switch) that keeps your data secure from leaking by terminating all traffic in case of a sudden VPN connection interruption. The integrated kill switch is also present in ExpressVPN mobile apps.

The second interesting feature is split-tunneling, which allows some of your apps to run on a normal internet connection while maintaining the VPN connection for others.

Furthermore, ExpressVPN provides DNS leak protection and even runs its own 256-bit encrypted DNS on each of its servers for an additional layer of protection.

This robust service supports a comprehensive list of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and more, accompanied by custom firmware for routers and manual setup walkthroughs for Apple TV, Fire TV Stick, PlayStation and others. It also has a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.

ExpressVPN is a great choice when trying to access geo-restricted services, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Spotify, YouTube and Hulu. Additionally, the provider supports torrents with no limitations on bandwidth or data usage.

Although ExpressVPN allows 5 simultaneous connections per account, this limitation can be bypassed via the router support, which allows you to connect as many devices as you want. Setting up VPN on your router will automatically protect all your devices. You will not be going against any of ExpressVPN’s policies by doing this.

In case you run into any problems when using the service, support is available via 24/7 live chat and email. That is in case the vast troubleshooting section fails to address your issues.

ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy. That means it It does not keep any kind of logs that can be used to identify you, such as traffic data, IP address, VPN IP address, connection times and DNS queries.

That said, it does collect information such as dates (but not times) when you connected to the service, the total amount of data transferred per day, which apps were successfully activated and which VPN server locations you used. In ExpressVPN’s Policy Towards Logs page, the company states that it only uses this very limited amount of information to help tweak performance.

“None of the above data enable ExpressVPN or anyone else to match an individual to specific network activity or behavior. We are unable to answer questions related to data that we do not possess, such as how a customer has utilized our VPN service,” the page reads.

Performance

After intensive testing from locations in the U.S. and UK, we were left very satisfied.

Connection times were pretty consistent, with servers connecting within 2 to 5 seconds. As expected, latency depended on the proximity of the server location, as well as the infrastructure that is less than ideal in some places. In general, the latency did not affect our browsing experience, and there were virtually no issues with servers in close locations.

Bottom Line

ExpressVPN continues to uphold its status as a worthy contender for the VPN throne. With a wide range of handy features, including user-friendly software for almost any platform and geo-restricted service, sturdy security, an honest privacy policy and professional assistance available at all times, this provider offers everything you need for safe internet activities.

Of course, ExpressVPN is a paid-for service. If you’re not willing to pay for VPN, Windscribe VPN is currently our favorite free VPN service. However, download times can be slow, and mobile devices will miss their own client software.

But if you can overcome 5-connection limitation (without router support), then ExpressVPN is a splendid choice.

Image Credits: ExpressVPN


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  • Dark Lord of Tech
    NordVPN is what I've used for 3 years now , great price plans , speed , no logs.
    Reply
  • coolitic
    Toms, mark your ads as such please and thank you.
    Reply
  • in_the_loop
    coolitic said:
    Toms, mark your ads as such please and thank you.

    They more or less did with a tiny, tiny line on the top right above the article:
    "Tom's Hardware reviews products independently. When you click links to buy products we may earn money to support our work. "

    In one sentence they manage to contradict themselves.

    Anything where you earn money from people clicking on a link to the product you review is making you totally dependent on the companies you "review" and untrustworthy.

    Just have a listen to tech podcasts and look around the web and you will see that most tech sites/podcasts are totally all-in for promoting "Express VPN".
    It's the "product placement" of the net right now!
    For me it makes me want to puke on that service, just for that reason!
    Reply