ExpressVPN – the New Level of Your Online Freedom
Security and privacy are basic needs of every person. However, in the modern world, it is almost impossible to stay completely unnoticed, especially when we roam in the World Web.
We bet any of you feel like becoming invisible from time to time. If you strive for confidentiality (for whatever reason), the easiest way to get it is to use a reliable VPN service. And if you don’t want to compromise the speed and stability of the Internet connection, ExpressVPN which is often called the industry leader, may as well be your best choice.
ExpressVPN is widely known as the fastest one out of the existing services. In addition, it is one of the few VPNs that are capable of bypassing severe geo-restrictions, including those set by Netflix and other streaming services. Do all these merits make it undeniably better than rest of VPNs out there? Are there any hidden pitfalls you should be aware of? Read our ExpressVPN review to find out.
Pros and Cons
Before we proceed to the detailed description of ExpressVPN, we’d like to enlist its advantages and disadvantages. Expectedly enough, there is a lot to be loved about it, so the list of pros is quite impressive.
- It is speedier than all counterparts.
- Different security protocols are supported.
- An impressive coverage of 94 countries/148 cities.
- Netflix content can be accessed.
- Torrent downloading is easy and secure.
- It is fully compatible with multiple platforms.
- Advanced 256-Mb encryption supported.
- It is definitely not the cheapest option in the market.
- No trial period is offered.
- It allows simultaneous connection for only three devices.
If you wonder what is the exact price of not the cheapest option in the market as we state above, here’s the answer. Express VPN currently offers three pricing plans.
- Monthly plan – $12.95
- 6 months plan – $9.99 (save 33%)
- 15 months plan – $6.67 (save 49%)
There is no free trial, but you can get your money back within 30 days after purchase no questions asked if you find the service not quite satisfying.
You will not experience any difficulties with purchasing the selected plan due to an array of payment methods accepted. Just select the preferred payment system in one click and pay with comfort. Apart from traditional Visa/MasterCard options, they work with multiple e-wallet systems, including PayPal, and even Bitcoins for those who are looking for the ultimate privacy.
It’s important to understand that all the listed plans are basically one and the same package. The difference between the three pricing plans is the period they cover. Going long-term may let you get three free months of service. This is not surprising, as the wholesale price always tends to be lower than the retail price.
And still, the service is a sort of pricey, as with some other top VPN services monthly fees for yearly plans can drop as low as $3.00.
Naturally, there are some reasons for ExpressVPN charging its users more. Some of this VPN’s features let it stand out, and make users choose ExpressVPN in spite of the steep price. Let’s now take a closer look at what ExpressVPN has to offer.
Privacy and Security
ExpressVPN is not a newcomer in the field of security services providing. It first entered the market in 2009 with a special offer for the Asian countries, suffering from numerous restrictions. Over the years, they have expanded their activities far beyond the Asian market. As of today, they can boast the maximum coverage: more than 1500 servers in 94 counties of the world.
ExpressVPN meets the highest security standards. It offers four protocols for users’ maximum security: OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP (IPsec), or PTPP. Even if you are not a spec, don’t worry, as in most cases the service selects the most suitable protocol automatically. In the majority of situations, OpenVPN is the best choice.
To provide the strongest protection of users, the Advanced Encryption Standard, a.k.a. AES, is used. This is 256-bit data encryption, which provides the maximum possible level of protection. When data is transferred via a tunnel secured by the OpenVPN protocol, it is virtually impossible to access.
An important feature is the so-called “kill switch”, which is activated when VPN connection suddenly fails. It is called Network Lock and helps prevent confidential data leakage.
For those who need an ultimate privacy or live in regions with severe restrictions and censorship, a special onion version of Express VPN has been developed. It can be accessed and downloaded via Tor browser and helps to bypass even serious barriers set by some governments.
A small downside is the lack of dedicated IP addresses. For example NordVPN does offer personal IP addresses that can be used for easier and faster access to particular sites. Here, only static IPs that are shared by multiple users are offered.
ExpressVPN Logging Policy
Being located on the tax-free independent British Virgin Islands, it doesn’t fall under the jurisdictions of major regulatory bodies of most countries. To put it simply, the company guarantees that a user’s actions are not monitored as long as he or she is not involved in something criminal.
At the same time, like most VPN services, ExpressVPN reserves the right to collect some aggregate information of the account that doesn’t allow to identify the user’s personality or derive any personal sensitive data. This data can include the date of the connection, the server used, the volume of data uploaded or downloaded, but no any personal information, such as IP address, logs and so on is collected.
If you need the maximum confidentiality, you may prevent even this aggregate data collection. To do it you need to sign up as an anonymous user (for example, via Tor) and pay for the chosen pack with cryptocurrency.
Servers and Performance
As we’ve already mentioned in our review of ExpressVPN, the service can boast the widest servers coverage, and this is one of the reasons for its steady performance. A stable high speed is one of the strongest points of ExpressVPN. In numerous speed tests, it has repeatedly demonstrated brilliant results.
Thus, we’ve measured both peak and average speed in the frameworks of a series of speed tests. The peak speed of almost 180 Mb/s is an impressive result though not the best in the class. That said, with the average speed of 83.15 Mb/s, it has no rivals in the market.
The results of IP/DNS leak tests are also encouraging. ExpressVPN has a built-in DNS leak protection that really works. In our tests, we revealed no IP or DNS leaks.
Of course, the speed to a large extent depends on the user’s location and the location of the server used. For example, if you are connecting to a US server while being physically in the US, there is virtually no speed loss at all. If the server is located far from you (for example, US-UK), the speed drops, but the ping reasonably increases, so it doesn’t cause any serious discomfort.
The great thing is that it allows to stream video and load other types of demanding content without hassle. We tried to access Netflix, ITV, BBC iPlayer, and some other platforms such as Hulu through ExpressVPN and experienced virtually no problems except for very rare connection drops.
The quality of customer support is an important indicator of the overall reliability and trustworthiness of the company. ExpressVPN support service can be described as “excellent” and “top-class”.
Despite having a great FAQ section where one can find answers to all typical questions, they offer a live chat that is available in the 24/7/365 mode to every visitor, including those, who haven’t made a purchase yet. No matter what your question is, you will get a fast, comprehensive and professional piece of advice.
Usability, Torrenting, and Streaming
ExpressVPN runs on all major platform offering a pleasant experience to its users. As you can expect after going through the previous sections of our review, torrenting and streaming capabilities woudn’t disappoint you as well.
The Bottom Line
ExpressVPN outstrips its rival in several criteria. As of today, it is really the fastest available VPN service, providing a hassle-free access to stream video, torrents, and other kinds of content, including games. It has a whopping number of servers and covers 94 states, which is very impressive. More than that, it is one of the few VPN products that efficiently cope with the censorship and restrictions in mainland China, which makes it a popular choice for the Asian region. Finally, it is very easy to use.
We were able to find only some minor shortcomings of ExpressVPN. The most significant of them is the price and a limited number of devices that can be connected simultaneously.
- If you use more than 3 devices simultaneously, use ExpressVPN for a router and resolve the problem at the root.
- Order a 1-year plan and save up to 35%.