ExpressVPN Reviews and Expert Opinion

ExpressVPN
Outstanding!
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What do we look at?

ExpressVPN Overview

Don't buy ExpressVPN if you want to connect more than 3 devices at the same time. That is our biggest complaint when it comes to this otherwise excellent VPN.

If you want to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously then check out NordVPN, otherwise keep on reading.

From security, server locations, speeds, and the ability to access geo-blocked content, ExpressVPN scored high points in my review in every category.

Major Update: This review was updated after ExpressVPN released a serious upgrade to their server technology with the "TrustedServer".  Forget everything you've read or heard about ExpressVPN until now because this changes everything! 

This premium service does come with a hefty price tag, but you can save 49% and get an additional three free months with this ExpressVPN coupon.

 

Try ExpressVPN Now!


 

I tested the VPN on a variety of platforms over several months, including a quick trip to China, and focused on three main categories to determine whether this VPN is worth the price.

  1. Speed

  2. Security

  3. Bypassing geo blocks


Test 1: Is ExpressVPN really that fast?


ExpressVPN states on their website that they have “ultra-fast servers” and many of the users I’ve heard from have mentioned that they were the fastest VPN on today’s market. So naturally, I had to test this out for myself. I used the Ookla Speedtest to compare just how fast ExpressVPN was able to make a connection.

As a base, I ran a speed test on my internet without being connected to any VPN at all. The results I got were pretty standard at 67.58Mbs for my download speeds and 23.06 for my upload speeds.

Internet Speed base test

My internet speed before turning on ExpressVPN


When I used ExpressVPN, I was surprised to find the download speeds were almost exactly the same. By connecting to a few servers globally, I couldn’t believe they all came out with very similar results to my original speeds despite being in far away locations.

ExpressVPN Speed Test 2

Speed test with ExpressVPN server in Australia. You can see the download speeds are actually faster than the initial testing! The upload speeds are also fantastic here.


I also connected with servers in the USA, and while they weren't quite as fast as my baseline test or Australia, it came awfully close.

ExpressVPN Speed Test

Speed test with ExpressVPN server in the US. You can see the download speeds are practically the same as my control test.


As you can see in the screenshots above, the speeds for ExpressVPN were excellent. In one scenario, the connection with ExpressVPN improved my internet speeds. With speeds like this, I had no trouble streaming content and didn’t have to deal with any buffering or annoying loading screens.

I can safely say, ExpressVPN does come out on top with these results, and I’ve never experienced such speeds with any other providers.


Test 2: Is ExpressVPN really secure?


While ExpressVPN impressed me with its lightning fast servers I was a bit concerned about the level of security they were providing, as it’s well known that some VPNs cut down on their security to improve other aspects of their service.

Then I heard about their game-changing "TrustedServer" technology. They rebuilt their server architecture to run everything through RAM as opposed to the industry standard hard drives.

There is no longer any need to wonder about the ExpressVPN logging policy because the way RAM works is once it’s disconnected from the power, or even rebooted, all data is instantly erased.

Even with TrustedServer," they contionue to use 256-bit AES encryption, split tunneling, a built-in kill switch, and IP and DNS leak protection. Additionally, the company is located in the British Virgin Island, which is outside of the Five Eyes Alliance, a treaty between nations to share intelligence.

I even put their leak protection to the test and discovered positive results. ExpressVPN successfully hid my IP, and there were no IP or DNS leaks to be found. I used the WizCase IP Address Tool to see whether my local IP address would be recognized or if I'd be assigned one based on the ExpressVPN server location.

ExpressVPN ip leak Test

My IP address was shown as being thousands of miles from my actual location while connected to ExpressVPN.


Next, I ran a DNS test to make sure that I was completely anonymous while connected.

ExpressVPN DNS Leak test

In the months I was testing ExpressVPN, there were a few connection drops that occurred, but I didn’t have to worry because ExpressVPN handled it fantastically. Not only was I immediately notified of the connection loss, but the automatic kill switch came on without any delay to ensure I wasn’t left unprotected.

 

After all my testing, I couldn’t fault ExpressVPN. They have amazing features, and all their claims stand true. In the end, ExpressVPN is worth the extra money and I can guarantee that you’ll be receiving a premium quality provider with the best capabilities on the market.

 

Stay Secure With ExpressVPN



Test 3: Does ExpressVPN deliver on their promise to unblock content from anywhere


While ExpressVPN doesn't have specific servers that are optimized or recommended for streaming, I had little to no trouble unblocking streaming sites from all over the globe.  All I needed to do was connected with a server in a specific country, and they were able to provide me with an IP address that wasn't detected as coming from a VPN.

This meant that I could watch Netflix as if I was in the US, Canada, UK, or France and enjoy the shows and movies that are only available in those locations. I should point out that I tried connecting with Netflix in Argentina and Brazil to watch Billions, and it was blocked. I did find the show on Netflix Japan and was able to watch it,  but I do hope that they improve their South American servers for Netflix access.

I was also able to connect with over 25 streaming services around the world, below you can see just a sampling of the sites that I enjoyed while testing ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN Bypass geo blocks

Some of the sites that we watched with ExpressVPN from top left; Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BBC iPlayer, France2, Hotstar, Hulu, ESPN  


Start Streaming with ExpressVPN Today



What if you Get a Netflix Proxy Error While Using ExpressVPN


It did happen on occasion that I got a Netflix proxy error, or something similar from one of the streaming services I was trying to watch. All that means is that the specific server I was using was "burned" and recognized and blacklisted by the site. All I did was quickly switch servers, keeping it in the same country, and I had a new IP address and was able to begin streaming immediately.

Does ExpressVPN Bypass Online Gaming Geoblocks?


Not only was I able to play Fortnite with ExpressVPN, but there was also no lag in the game flow, and I was able to compete with friends from all over the world.

ExpressVPN works with Fortnite

I was able to play Fortnite while connected to ExpressVPN


I was also able to change my location in Steam, which gave me access to different games and better prices than I have at home. In the screenshot below I was playing Team Fortress 2, and the gameplay was excellent with no lagging or other potentially frustrating slowdowns.

Team Fortress 2 Steam with ExpressVPN

 

Enjoy Online Gaming with ExpressVPN

Pros

  • One of the fastest VPNs on the market
  • Based outside of the Five Eyes
  • Clean, intuitive design on desktop and mobile
  • Top-shelf security features — AES-256 encryption, kill switch, zero-knowledge DNS
  • Easy access to popular geo-restricted services
  • Split-tunneling functionality
  • Excellent 24/7 customer service
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only 3 simultaneous connections
  • Expensive

Compare with Alternatives

9.9 / 10
9.6 / 10
9.5 / 10
9.8  / 10

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Speed10

To get a good representation of the speeds, I used a wide range of different servers from around the world and tested them at varying times of day for the most accurate results. While the ExpressVPN app uses a built-in speed tester to show you which servers have the fastest download times, I decided to outsource my speed test with Ookla. This was to ensure I had an unbiased outcome.

I tested servers from France, the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada before averaging out the results which can be found in the chart below.

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs I’ve ever tested which is why they can charge a premium price. After running through several tests during the day, the speed tests indicated that there were no notable changes from my normal ISP speeds.

 

Try ExpressVPN Now!


 

Naturally, when I connected to local servers, the speeds were better. However, even with that said, when I connected overseas, I didn’t lose that much in the way of download speed. No matter where I tried it from, streaming from Netflix and Hulu was never an issue.

While I didn’t have any problems with speed, if you end up on a slow server, you might want to reconnect to another one. Sometimes a server might become overburdened, but a simple switch to another server can quickly remedy the issue.

What To Do If Your Speeds are Slow While Connected 


In general, you should always expect some slowdowns when connected to a VPN. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Your connection is being rerouted to a remote server

  2. Your connection is being encrypted 


While these two factors will slow you down, what I liked about ExpressVPN is that if I didn't run the speed tests, I would not have felt any slowdowns. Meaning, I was able to stream Netflix without buffering and download torrents very quickly. So I didn't really feel a drop from 67 Mbps to 62 Mbps.

However, if your speed drops down to 5 Mbps (for example) you will feel the difference. There are a few reasons why you may experience such a big drop in speed. It could be that you're connected with a server that is crowded and can't provide such fast speeds.  Another potential slow down is the distance between your actual location and the remote server that you've connected with. A third possibility is that you're using a slower VPN protocol, such as TCP instead of UDP.

In the first two cases, the answer can be as simple as connecting with a different server. If you need that specific location, it may take some trial and error or I found the 24/7 live chat support staff very helpful in situations like this. If you're using a slower VPN protocol you can easily change that by going to the settings and switch over to UDP, a faster protocol.

Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.

Servers9.3

ExpressVPN offers over 3,000 servers located in 94 countries and that number is constantly growing.

Because ExpressVPN is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, it’s beyond the legal jurisdiction of many government agencies like the GCHQ and NSA. Their OpenVPN traffic is encrypted with a 256-bit AES algorithm and is their default protocol.

They also excel at setting the bar high with authentication. The 4,096-bit ephemeral encryption they provide protects exchanges with maximum secrecy. Although I did discover that if you are on the mobile app, there’s no way to alter the default encryption. When I was on the computer, there was a multitude of options.

After scouring through their privacy policy, I also discovered that they don’t monitor your activity or keep logs on what you’re doing, so you can use the service however you wish. While they do have access to connection logs, a feature you can switch off if you choose to, it’s only used for diagnostic purposes, so there’s nothing to worry about. The company doesn’t track the times that you’ve connected, what server you’re using or the data transfer. It also doesn’t log your IP address.

 

Try ExpressVPN Now!


 

When connected I would receive a static IP address that’s shared since many people will be on the same IP address, it adds another layer to anonymity.

ExpressVPN does use virtual locations for some of their servers. On their website, they list all the virtual locations for useful knowledge. Even though virtual locations have some drawbacks, they aren’t used in larger countries. Less than 3% of their servers are virtual, one of which is in Turkey since their servers were seized.

Torrenting with ExpressVPN


Despite being able to access any streaming site with ExpressVPN, there is always a time when torrenting your shows and movies becomes a better option. For me, torrenting is a great option when I’m traveling as I can download my favorite shows to watch during flights or long bus rides when I don’t have access to the internet.

Torrenting can be quite dangerous without a VPN, so it was especially important that ExpressVPN was able to handle P2P traffic and give me easy access to torrenting sites. Thankfully, the service has no issues when it comes to torrenting, and I was able to visit sites such as uTorrent to download TV shows for my long trip.

torrenting with ExpressVPN

The speeds held up while I was torrenting too, so it wasn’t a painfully long process waiting for anything to download. When it comes to torrenting, ExpressVPN servers do an excellent job.

Can ExpressVPN Bypass The Great Firewall Of China?


Through the process of testing out ExpressVPN, I, fortunately, had a long layover in China that allowed me to quickly test out the VPN’s ability to bypass the Great Firewall.

After trying out a few other VPNs I had installed in my computer and having no luck in getting past the strict firewalls, I was surprised that ExpressVPN could do the trick. As I use iOS and Mac devices, I struggled to get most VPN services to work on my devices in China. However, with ExpressVPN, I could connect with ease.

The best part about using ExpressVPN in China was that there were no extra steps required and I was able to connect to their servers just like I would at home. Once connected, I could browse the web like normal and access any site I needed regardless of what it was.

Server Locations

United States
Andorra
Albania
Armenia
Argentina
Austria
Australia
Azerbaijan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bangladesh
Belgium
Bulgaria
Brunei
Brazil
Bahamas
See all supported locations...

User Experience10

I loved the simplicity of ExpressVPN’s purchase and installation process as it only took me two minutes before I was ready to use the service. I found it to be a very straightforward task and with just a few clicks they provided me with a code to enter into all of my devices.


Check out our detailed video review of ExpressVPN 


The best experience a VPN can give its users is the feeling that they aren’t even using one. You want to feel like the internet has always been this unrestricted and you don’t want to be slowed down in any shape or form. While I was connected to ExpressVPN, even I forgot it was active. I could be binge-watching Netflix or Hulu for hours without slowing down or being buffered.

 

Try ExpressVPN Now!


 

ExpressVPN has unique invisibility where other services don’t, and it was a pleasure to use.

There simple and intuitive interface is also brilliant, allowing you to switch between servers and connect to your favorite sites directly from their app. You can even set the service up, so it connects automatically each time you start your device. Navigating ExpressVPN’s app was extremely easy, and even as a beginner, you wouldn’t have an issue.

The ExpressVPN Mobile App


I love the ExpressVPN mobile app. It has helped my daily commute pass much faster since I can connect in a second and quickly start watching Hulu while sitting on the train.

The app has a one-click feature that quickly allows me to connect to the location of my choice. What's really nice is there is space for 5 shortcuts to apps that I use with the VPN turned on. Once it connects, I'm literally a click away from accessing the apps I want.

When I want to change servers, just click on the 3 dots next to the current server and a new screen opens with the recommended server options.

ExpressVPN Mobile App

The app shortcuts on the mobile app are a really nice touch


I was also impressed with how easy it was to make changes in the setting, whether it was changing the VPN protocol or setting up split tunneling on my Android phone. Just click on the three bars on the top left corner of the app, and the setting page opens up.

ExpressVPN app settings

Very easy to change the VPN setting

Third Party Apps


ExpressVPN works with many different IoT devices, and the easiest way to run secure any internet connection is to install the VPN on your router. If you don't have a router that allows for a VPN connection, then it's good to know that ExpressVPN has apps that work with AppleTV, Kodi. Fire TV, PlayStation, and more.

I was able to test ExpressVPN with my Amazon Fire Stick with mixed results. The native app was great when I'm watching Netflix and Hulu, but when I try to watch TV channels, such as NBC, ABC, or ESPN my screen was constantly reloading and I was unable to watch anything.

Support9.7

I had to test out the support to see if all the hype about this company was indeed real. For the price being asked, I expected the customer support would be above and beyond anything we’ve ever experienced.

ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support and I was happy to see that there were real people answering questions, not chat-bots like I've come across with other VPNs.

If you would prefer not to discuss your matters with a human or machine over chat, there are some other options available. They have a contact form and email address provided as well. Unfortunately, you won’t get to speak with a human, because there is no support phone number provided.

 

Try ExpressVPN Now!


 

The company does offer a 30-day money back guarantee for the service. This is helpful if you plan to go out of the country but still need access to your favorite websites for a short period or if you find that their service just isn’t for you.

How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Pricing9.8

As stated earlier, ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive options on the market, but hopefully, you’ll see, as I did, that it’s completely worth it. My initial skepticism of the cost vs. the quality has crumbled, and I am impressed with what ExpressVPN can offer users. To get the best value for your money, make sure to use this 49% ExpressVPN coupon with your purchase.

Try ExpressVPN Now!


Currently, they offer three basic payment plans, and the yearly plan will get you the most value for the cost. Regardless of which plan you choose you can still take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee. There are numerous payment options which makes it easy to customize your experience. You can pay with a credit card, Paypal, and various other methods depending on what you prefer. I also loved that they provide you with the option to pay with a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin if you’re particularly vigilant when it comes to online privacy and security.



While the price is on the more expensive side, there’s no denying that you’ll be receiving higher quality service. You’ll receive fast speeds, privacy that gives you peace of mind, reliable access to geo-restricted content, and exceptional customer service, making ExpressVPN extremely hard to beat.

 

ExpressVPN offers the following plans

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