ExpressVPN Review 2020

Express VPN is exactly that - express. It is fast to set up, and fast to run with very minimal change (and sometimes even from our test INCREASES your speed test results! Not very often do we come across a VPN as solid and robust as Express VPN is.

ExpressVPN is the currently the number one provider in the VPN industry. The VPN prides itself with its famous words, “A VPN that just works.” ExpressVPN is feature-packed, insanely high performing and enjoys a massive user-base around the world.

Blazing-fast speeds, best-in-class encryption levels, best device and platform compatibility, unbeatable 24/7-365 days customer support and more. These are some of the top attributes that make ExpressVPN an excellent performer in the industry. The VPN doesn’t come short in terms of server distribution either. High-speed servers, that allows for HD streaming and fast torrents.

ExpressVPN is registered in the British Virgin Island where it has an operational jurisdiction. This is an excellent location to base a VPN. British Virgin Island has an impressive reputation of supporting online privacy and doesn’t support data retention laws. What’s more, the region is clear of any EU or 5/9/14 Eye country alliances. Thanks to this conditions, ExpressVPN is able to keep a complete zero-logs policy, and doesn’t store user data.

Quick Stats

Money back guarantee30 days
Allowed concurrent connections5 devices
Supported streaming servicesNetflix, BBC iPlayer, and more
No logs policyYes
Encryption256-bit AES
ProtocolsOpenVPN, L2TP-IPSec, IKEv2
Special featuresSplit tunneling, kill switch, double VPN, SmartDNS, Perfect Forward Secrecy, .onion Tor Web address, Stealth tech
Customer support24/ 7 live support
Server locations160+ cities; 94+ countries
Number of servers3000+ servers
Server SwitchesUnlimited
BandwidthUnlimited
Supported platforms and extensionsWindows, Linux, Mac, iOS, macOS, BlackBerry, Nook, Kindle Fire, Chrome, Firefox, Safari
Supported devicesApple TV, Fire TV, Xbox, PlayStation, Routers Nintendo Switch
VPN legal jurisdictionBritish Virginia Island

ExpressVPN is a self-proclaimed VPN leader in the industry. Therefore, this calls for a deep dive into its performance, features, customer support, and its pricing model. This review gives you all the information you need to know about ExpressVPN before you can commit to its service.

ExpressVPN Pricing and payment options

ExpressVPN doesn’t sell the most favourable pricing rates, but they make up for it with perfomance and a ton of features. At the time of this review, the VPN offers three premium plans. While we’ll discuss why you need to invest in ExpressVPN, lets look at how the three packages compare.

  • Monthly plan – retails at $12.95 per month; costly plan and not recommended. Don’t buy!
  • 6-Month plan – goes for $9.99 a month, and is billed at $59.95 every six months. You can consider it if you need ExpressVPN for a couple of months.
  • 12-Month plan – costs $8.32 each month, but billed at $99.95 every twelve months. This is the most popular plan and highly recommended. You’ll also get up to 35% discount if you purchase.

ExpressVPN Pricing

Payment options

ExpressVPN has in the past supported multiple payment options. However, at the time of this review, the VPN only accepted PayPal payments. Noteworthy, this is unwelcoming news coming from the number leader in the VPN industry. We feel thatExpressVPN should include at least one form of cryptocurrency as a payment option – to enable maximum anonymous purchases.

ExpressVPN Payment Options

30-Day money back guarantee

ExpressVPN offers a no-questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee that applies to every plan purchase you make. 30 days is sufficient time to try the VPN before you can trust them with your privacy and security.

ExpressVPN Server locations and distribution

ExpressVPN Server Locations

Being the VPN leader also means that ExpressVPN runs one of the largest server network in the VPN industry. At the time of this review, the BVI-based VPN operates over 3000 servers in 160 locations evenly distributed across 94+ countries. Bear in mind that these are high speed servers that you can use to stream, torrent, and unblock censored content hassle-free. The massive server distribution also means that users don’t have to be congested on a single server.

A close study revealed that ExpressVPN has servers even in repressive regions like China, Russia, Turkey, and more. You can also get servers in less VPN invested regions like Asia, Africa, and South America. Popular regions like Europe, North America and Oceania are also available. The best part, this server network is only going to expand.

Virtual Servers

ExpressVPN also owns a ton of virtual servers for specific remote regions around the world. You can use them to select a specific IP address of a remote location like Bhutan, but your browsing traffic is rerouted to a different location. Virtual servers specialise in maximising speeds while maintaining your privacy and security online.

ExpressVPN Performance

ExpressVPN the most admirable performance, on all its dedicated clients. We didn’t experience any issue noteworthy. However, we noticed that if you stick with an app that isn’t up-to-date, you’ll most likely get slightly reduced performance.

ExpressVPN Speed Test

In terms of speeds, ExpressVPN claims to offer blazing-fast connection speeds. This is something we couldn’t resist to confirm. While it remains to be expected, we prefer to give you results of what we recorded.

Express VPN has no performance issues. There are no latencies or connection failures. The download speeds are extremely fast with quick connections. There are slightly lower speeds for distant locations, which is common for all VPNs.

We tested ExpressVPN from Sydney Australia in April 2020 and the results can be seen in the below table.

Download MbpsUpload Mbps
Country123Average123Average
Benchmark92.793.093.192.937.233.935.235.4
Australia68.565.955.363.223.629.132.228.3
UK16.111.416.314.622.12216.920.3
USA12.310.49.010.65.68.76.36.9

We will start with the Australia results. ExpressVPN averaged a download speed of 63.2 Mbps against the benchmark of 92.9 Mbps, this is an efficiency score of 68% which is really good.

For the UK servers the download speed suffered a large drop to 14.6 Mbps. This is an efficiency score of 16%. Whilst this is a large drop in performance a user needs over 3 Mbps to stream content. This result wouldn’t be good enough to stream 4K content which has a recommended minimum download speed of 25 Mbps.

USA results look similar to the UK. In this case the speed has dropped to 10.6 Mbps which is only 11% of the benchmark download potential of 92.9 Mbps. Much like the UK users will struggle to watch 4K content using this VPN connection.

ExpressVPN Features

ExpressVPN offers a ton of advanced features that you can tweak to improve your online experience. We managed to cover most of them below:

ExpressVPN SmartDNS (Media Streamer)

ExpressVPN gives a SmartDNS feature (popularly known as Media Streamer) that can allow you to spoof your physical address. This is an excellent tool for streaming various content on the internet. You can the Media Streamer to unlock a ton of content libraries for sites like Netflix, CWTV and more. You can use the feature on devices like Smart TVs and gaming consoles that don’t have an ExpressVPN dedicated client. You can easily configure the SmartDNS settings on the devices and unlock a ton of exciting content.

And while a SmartDNS offers top speeds compared to VPNS, it doesn’t guarantee sufficient security levels. Therefore, we suggest you use ExpressVPN’s SmartDNS and enjoy an excellent balance of speeds and security.

ExpressVPN Stealth technology

ExpressVPN also offers a stealth technology feature, something we’re excited about. Stealth tech is an advanced solution to use if you want to visit highly repressive countries like China, Russia, and more. To overcome the heavy firewalls – extremely hard to crack –used in these regions, you’ll need powerful obfuscation techniques. Thankfully, ExpressVPN has a stealth tech that does the trick.

.onion Tor Web address

.onion Tor Web is an excellent feature you can when you purchase ExpressVPN. This is a great solution if you want to beat censorship, and unblock websites and government files. Tor is a free software that allows you to browse the internet anonymously. This is good news if you want to visit China or any other repressive country. Therefore, if ExpressVPN is blocked in that region, you can use the Tor website to access the VPN. AT the time of this review, the BVI-based VPN uses this website address that you can use: http://expressobutiolem.onion/. Additionally, you can also use the .onion extension available on the dark web to unblock websites.

ExpressVPN Split tunnelling

You can also get Split tunneling on ExpressVPN. This is an exciting feature that lets you choose the apps you want to protect at certain times only. Furthermore, if you need a particular app that doesn’t do well when put through VPN encryptions, then you can use split tunneling to put it on the sidelines. For example, e-banking apps can be whitelisted from VPN protection if your local bank doesn’t allow constant change of locations.

Unfortunately, split tunneling is only available of the desktop client and routers as well. However, the feature does extremely well on routers. You can choose the devices you want to secure with ExpressVPN. For instance, if you want to unblock and stream various libraries, then you can choose to enable ExpressVPN on your smart TV, and deselect other devices like phones and laptops. Thanks to this, you can enjoy maximum streaming speeds that will otherwise be compromised when using several devices at once.

Perfect forward secrecy

ExpressVPN gives a security feature called Perfect Forward Secrecy that tends to work against hackers and other thieves who want to penetrate your active encryptions. This is made possible, because ExpressVPN issues a new secret key every time you connect. The best part, the shared key keeps on recycling every 60 seconds the whole time you remain connected.

ExpressVPN Privacy and security

ExpressVPN Privacy

ExpressVPN has one of the best legal jurisdiction, which is in the British Virgin Island. This is a region that doesn’t have any data retention laws. What’s more, the island has strong advocacy for online privacy of its residents. This gives ExpressVPN an ample environment to practice a strict no-logs policy.

Like most VPNs, ExpressVPN only collects minimal information that it can use for billing and support. Otherwise, the BVI-based VPN doesn’t store data that will otherwise compromise your privacy and security.

ExpressVPN Security

Arguably, this is the VPN with the best-in-class security levels. ExpressVPN uses military grade AES 256-bit cypher that is used alongside the RSA 4096-bit handshake as well as the SHA 5120bit HMAC authentication keys. Noteworthy, this is the highest level of security a VPN can offer.

ExpressVPN uses Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) key exchange to enforce perfect forward secrecy. This is a shared private key that recycles every 60 seconds. This feature makes it hard for hackers to crack your active encryptions.

It’s also within our knowledge that most top and mid-range VPNs avoid these levels of security, given the speeds compromise issue. Fortunately, ExpressVPN has somehow found a way to give an excellent balance of these high-security standards and blazing-fast speeds.

ExpressVPN Ease of use

ExpressVPN Ease of Use

ExpressVPN has one of the best website design in the VPN industry. Once you open the site, you’re met without bold assuring words, “The VPN that just works.” This should boost your confidence in the VPN’s service. Scrolling down the homepage, you’ll have aglimpre of what ExpressVPN has to offer. The VPN does well to continously update its site with new useful information.

To get started with ExpressVPN, follow these clear-cut steps:

  • Open the official ExpressVPN website
  • Tap the Get ExpressVPN red button
  • Select your preferred subscription plan
  • Enter your email address
  • Click on the PayPal checkout green button
  • Download the client (after entering the code sent to your email)
  • Enter your activation code and launch
  • Connect to the server of your choice.

The whole process takes less than ten minutes.

ExpressVPN Client apps

Desktop client

ExpressVPN Desktop App

The desktop client sports a minimalistic design with an impressive user interface.

To use the desktop app, you require a one-time activation code that ExpressVPN gives on the website account dashboard. Copy the code and paste on the desktop client to launch. Next, click on the big red button at the center of the home window to connect. This will connect you to a smart location (best available server).

Alternatively, click on the displayed server name to access the complete server list. This page gives you the option to search server locations by recommended list or all locations – in which case you can go to a specific continent of your choice.

ExpressVPN VPN Locations

To access the settings page, click on the three-bar icon on the top-left of the home window. Tap on options to access the various settings options available on the desktop client. You can toggle between the various tabs to check the settings options available. If you’re an advanced weak the advanced settings to suit your online expereince. Otherwise use the default settings options if you’re a starter.

ExpressVPN Mobile app

ExpressVPN Mobile App

The mobile app has a similar design to its desktop counterparts. The user interface is also great and you can easily get around on all pages of the app.

When you open the app, you’re required to log in before launching. Unlike the desktop client, you also don’t need an activation code when launching. But you’ll have to allow the app to install VPN configurations on your smartphone.

To get around the mobile app, use the same experience we’ve shown in the desktop client guide above. Noteworthy, the mobile app doesn’t sport many settings options.

ExpressVPN Compatibility

ExpressVPN Compatibility with platforms and devices

ExpressVPN yet again supports the highiest number of platforms and devices. For instance, you can get dedicated apps for Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, BlackBerry, Chromebook, Nook, Kindle Fire and Routers. You can also get high-performing extensions for major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. ExpressVPN also allows integration with popular streaming devices like PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, Nintendo Switch, Fire TV, and Smart TVs.

ExpressVPN Compatibility with streaming services

You’ll be pleased to know that ExpressVPN unlocks all major streaming services, thanks to its its SmartDNS feature also called Media Streamer. We were able to stream content on several Netflix libraries around the world. The BVI VPN also works very well with BBC iPlayer, an exciting streaming outlets, geo-restricted to UK residents only. You can also use ExpressVPN to go around geo-restrictions of other exciting streams like CWTV, HBO GO, YouTube, Sony Crackle, and more.

ExpressVPN BBC iPlayer

ExpressVPN Compatibility with torrents

ExpressVPN supports P2P filesharing, something torrent lovers can be happy about. Thanks to the VPN’s massive server network, you can get servers in almost every region that supports torrents. Coupled with the best-in-class security you get from ExpressVPN, you can enjoy torrents without jeopardising your security.

ExpressVPN Customer support

ExpressVPN Customer Support

At the time of this review, ExpressVPN offered several customer service options. You can use their troubleshoot information library to solve a list of issues you might face when using the service. You can also get instructions that can help you navigate the client apps. If you’d rather talk to their support agents, then leaving them your message using the ‘contant support’ option is your best bet.

ExpressVPN Customer Email

Unfortunately, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a LiveChat support service at the time of this review. This is very odd, for a VPN claiming to be the number VPN in the industry. Otherwise considering the LiveChat option was available previously, we think it’ll be back soon.

Bottom line

Pros

  • Superb speeds
  • Zero logs policy
  • Works in China, Turkey, and Russia
  • 30-Day money back guarantee
  • Best-in-class security levels
  • Perfect Forward Secrecy
  • SmartDNS
  • Supports P2P and torrenting
  • Optimised for streaming
  • Excellent platform and device compatibility

Cons

  • Disturbing pricy subscription plans
  • Lacks LiveChat support

Conclusion

ExpressVPN checks every box as the best VPN in the industry. The VPN does extremely well in terms of speeds, compatibility, server locations, security and privacy. However, ExpressVPN still has a lot to work on in terms of pricing and customer support. The VPN has recently removed its LiveChat support service, and their pricing plans are always disturbing.

Their legal jurisdiction, which is in the British Virgin Islands is a big plus. The VPN also makes up for its expensive price plans with a ton of exciting features that you can use to improve your online experience.

ExpressVPN is currently the leader in the VPN industry, and its worthy every penny.

Check out our other VPN Reviews

UltraVPN Review

Virtual Shield VPN Review

Hide.Me VPN Review

NordVPN Review

CyberGhost VPN Review

Zenmate VPN Review

TorGuard VPN Review

PureVPN Review

Ivacy VPN Review

Summary
software image
Author Rating
1star1star1star1star1star
Aggregate Rating
5 based on 1 votes
Software Name
Express VPN
Operating System
Window
Software Category
VPN
Price
USD 8.32
Landing Page

Compatable on

Windows

iOS

Andoid

Linux

Bottom Line

Our testing has found ExpressVPN to be the best all-round VPN on the market. As a whole package it simply can’t be beaten. Its consistency is remarkable, with consistently fast speeds around the world, plus unbroken access to Netflix, BBC iPlayer and more. It’s private, feature-packed, and one of the most user-friendly VPNs out there. At a premium, yet affordable, price, it’s our clear favorite.

Features

  • Very fast speeds, average of 64Mbps globally
  • Reliable access to Netflix & iPlayer
  • No restrictions on P2P traffic
  • Very easy to use. Instant setup on all devices
  • Connect securely to 94 countries
  • Chrome, Firefox and Safari browser extensions

Top 3 VPN Picks

#1
NordVPN
#2
Virtual Shield
#3
Express VPN

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