ExpressVPN
9.8
Outstanding
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What do we look at?
Content: Our Score:
Speed 10 / 10
Servers 10 / 10
User Experience 10 / 10
Support 10 / 10
Pricing 9.0 / 10
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ExpressVPN Review 2024: Fast & Safe, but Is It Still the Best?

ExpressVPN Overview 2024

ExpressVPN has been a top VPN for many years, boasting fast connection speeds, premium security, and zero data leaks or privacy issues. But is it still a top contender when so many other feature-rich VPNs are available — and can it still justify its more expensive subscription plans? My team and I thoroughly evaluated ExpressVPN to find out.

During tests, ExpressVPN proved it’s a reliable and secure choice for streaming, torrenting, gaming, and more. Speeds are consistently fast, servers are conveniently available worldwide, and new features (like malware protection, ad-blocking, parental controls, and a password manager) have resulted in a well-rounded app ideal for daily use.

While ExpressVPN doesn’t have a ton of configurable features to play with, this doesn’t mean it’s lacking. These features are still at work but in the background, which I think makes ExpressVPN much easier to use than many of its competitors. This simplicity, alongside an impressive reputation and quality features, make ExpressVPN worth the extra cost.

Check out ExpressVPN

Don’t Have Time? Here’s a Short Summary (1-Minute Read)

2024 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan + 3 months free (you can save up to 49%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

ExpressVPN Works With 100+ Streaming Platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Kodi and More)

ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable VPNs for streaming. During tests, our global team successfully watched Netflix (US, UK, Canada, Germany, and more), Amazon Prime Video (US and UK), Disney+ (all countries), Hulu, Kodi add-ons, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, Max (formerly HBO Max), Showtime, UKTV, DAZN, ESPN+, and a ton more.

Its global network of over 3,000 servers and IP addresses are constantly being updated, which is why it rarely encounters proxy errors when using ExpressVPN with streaming platforms.

One thing that stands out about ExpressVPN is the number of smaller, international streaming services it works with in addition to popular services. ExpressVPN works with the following:

Netflix Hulu BBC iPlayer Max ESPN
Amazon Prime Video Disney+ FuboTV Channel4 Hotstar
DAZN Sky Go Showtime Apple TV+ SlingTV
Peacock Sky TV ITVX Paramount+ BEIN Sports
Discovery+ Canal+ Hallmark Channel Philo BritBox

There were a couple of issues during our streaming tests, but using the browser extension usually fixed them. The extension uses some extra features like WebRTC blocking and HTML5 masking, which help with more sophisticated proxy detection techniques.

The team also found that switching to a different browser or using Incognito Mode often fixed streaming issues. ExpressVPN works better with Hulu when using Firefox instead of Chrome, and using Incognito Mode was ideal for streaming Max.

Works With Netflix

ExpressVPN is one of the top VPNs for streaming Netflix. Our global team could watch Netflix in the US, UK, Japan, France, Germany, Australia, and more. On every server tested, it was possible to stream Netflix in UHD with less than 3 seconds of loading time.

ExpressVPN provides smooth, lag-free streaming on Netflix

ExpressVPN’s fast speeds were particularly impressive for users in New York, Paris, London, and Frankfurt.

Works With Amazon Prime Video

Our team found ExpressVPN works with Amazon Prime Video in its available locations, including the UK and the US.

ExpressVPN works with Amazon Prime Video to stream TV shows like The Boys

While streaming shows and movies, colleagues only experienced around 4 seconds of buffering before content played lag-free.

Works With Hulu

The US team found ExpressVPN’s US servers work with Hulu — you should use Firefox instead of Chrome if you’re using your browser for streaming, as this provides more consistent connections. They could stream Palm Springs on the New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Los Angeles servers in UHD with no interruptions.

Screenshot of Private Internet Access connecting to a US server and unblocking the show Palm Springs on Hulu
ExpressVPN’s speedy servers are ideal for UHD streaming on Hulu

Even after watching for an hour, connections to ExpressVPN remained steady, with extremely infrequent mid-session buffering lasting no more than a few seconds.

Works With Disney+

The team connected to servers in the US, UK, Netherlands, and Australia, and every tested server worked with Disney+. The show The Mandalorian loaded within seconds, with only a couple of seconds of buffering at the start.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN connected to a US New York server and unblocking The Mandalorian on Disney+
Disney+ shows stream in UHD with ExpressVPN

During tests, ExpressVPN’s speeds were consistently fast enough to stream Disney+ shows and movies in UHD quality.

Works With Max (HBO)

Our international team connected to several ExpressVPN servers in the US, including New York, Los Angeles, and New Jersey — every tested server worked with Max (formerly HBO Max) without issue.

ExpressVPN works with Max for buffer-free streaming
Speeds were excellent, more than fast enough to stream Aquaman without buffering.

Works With Kodi

ExpressVPN works with Kodi addons, even those that are restricted to particular locations. To test this, I streamed the (legal but geo-restricted) Popcornflix add-on, which is only available in the US and Canada. ExpressVPN’s USA–New York and Canada–Toronto servers worked perfectly to stream in UHD.

Next, I tested a Kodi add-on that streams cached BitTorrent files. I was able to watch public domain TV shows and movies in UHD, and only had to wait a few seconds for the stream to load. A bonus was knowing my traffic was secure the entire time I was streaming on Kodi.

Doesn’t Work With: N/A

Impressively, ExpressVPN worked with every streaming platform our global team tested. While it wasn’t a flawless performance, the occasional error message was easily fixed by using ExpressVPN’s browser extension or simply switching servers.

It’s also important to note that ExpressVPN’s streaming capabilities don’t just cover the most popular streaming platforms. It works with services that even top VPNs like CyberGhost struggle with. These include DAZN, ITVX, Channel 4, Sky GO, and other local services like TF1.

Stream in UHD with ExpressVPN

Speed

- 10 / 10

Is ExpressVPN Fast? (Yes, It’s Really Fast!)

ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN I’ve tested, so much so that I sometimes forget that I’m connected to it. I’ve used ExpressVPN for several years to browse the internet, stream TV shows and movies, play online games, and torrent large files, and I have no complaints about its speed.

In the last few years, ExpressVPN’s speeds have improved further thanks to its network upgrades. As it stands, more than 80% of ExpressVPN’s network is now using 10Gbps servers, providing faster speeds and more reliable connections. All servers in key locations, like the UK and US, have already been upgraded.

Speed Test Results

I ran speed tests from different locations around the world (with the help of my colleagues) — and I was impressed to see that ExpressVPN’s servers are consistently fast worldwide.

Generally speaking, servers that are further away from your actual location tend to perform slower. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a huge difference between ExpressVPN’s server speeds in nearby France or almost 17,000 km away in Australia.

images of Ookla speed test results, with ExpressVPN connected to servers in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia

ExpressVPN offered consistently fast speeds on its global servers

I also tested ExpressVPN’s Lightway and OpenVPN protocols to see how they compare speed-wise. Lightway, as the name implies, is designed to be lightweight, with the protocol comprising around 2,000 lines of code (compared to 70,000 with OpenVPN). This was especially visible to me in how fast I could connect to and switch between servers. It’s also a top option for mobile since it doesn’t drain as much battery.

Interestingly, I found that OpenVPN was slightly faster than Lightway (by a margin of error). However, for some of my colleagues, Lightway was significantly faster, showing how different variables impacting your local connection can affect which protocol is best for you. Generally, it’s best to use the “Automatic” protocol to let ExpressVPN choose the best option for you.

You can see the results of each protocol below, versus my baseline speed of 520Mbps. Your results will vary, but it gives a good indication of what each protocol is capable of.

bar graph showing the results of speed tests with ExpressVPN's different connection protocols.

All of ExpressVPN’s protocols deliver excellent speeds

Compared to its competitors, ExpressVPN had the least impact on my baseline internet speeds (which means it won’t slow you down). To test this, I launched ExpressVPN on my Windows PC and connected to a Melbourne server, which was furthest from my location. My download speed slowed by just 25% — not much at all considering the distance.

For the quickest server connection, I’d still suggest using a server that’s close to your physical location. But if you’re traveling or need to connect to a server far away, ExpressVPN has proven to offer great connection speeds worldwide so you won’t experience a significant slowdown.

Top Tip: Get the Fastest Speeds With ExpressVPN

  • Connect to a “Recommended” server: The “Recommended” servers offer the best speeds based on your distance from the server location and number of connected users.
  • Select faster security protocols: I suggest using a faster protocol like Lightway or OpenVPN (UDP).
  • Speak to customer support on 24/7 live chat: You can contact the support team online and they’ll recommend fast servers for you.

Are ExpressVPN’s Speeds Fast Enough for Gaming? (Yes)

Having fast speeds is crucial when it comes to gaming, with low latency being the most important factor. Latency (often referred to as ping) is the measure of time by which data packets travel between your computer and the game server. High latency can result in noticeable lag during gameplay, negatively affecting your in-game reactions and timings.

I decided to test ExpressVPN with a few titles, including Call of Duty: Warzone and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) on Steam. Being competitive online titles, these games require a fast, low-latency connection, as any delays could mean the difference between winning and losing.

To my delight, ExpressVPN exceeded my expectations. When I connected to a server in nearby Germany, my ping rate was roughly 55ms, versus my usual 40ms — ideal for gaming. Anecdotally, I’m totally fine with online gaming under 90ms, although I prefer keeping it under 65ms, especially in faster-paced titles.

 image of a COD: Warzone online game in progress with ExpressVPN connected to a server in Turkey.

I had no issues using ExpressVPN for online gaming

Overall, I barely noticed that I was using a VPN, except that most of my fellow players were suddenly speaking German. I even used it while on holiday in Turkey and was still left with a more than adequate 79ms average ping while playing Warzone. Your own results will vary depending on your distance from the server.

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.

Servers

- 10 / 10

Large Global Server Network (105 Countries)

ExpressVPN offers 3,000+ servers in 105 countries, which is a large number for any VPN. Even though it doesn’t have the highest number of total servers, it’s a wide-ranging selection covering a large stretch of the globe. This means you’ll always be able to find a server nearby, whether you live in the US, France, Sri Lanka, or New Zealand.

The best server coverage is available for countries in Europe and North America, but there’s also a solid selection in the Middle East, Africa, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Obfuscated Servers — Ideal for Staying Hidden From Eavesdroppers

All of ExpressVPN’s servers are obfuscated by default, making it an excellent choice if you’re traveling to countries with restrictions on VPN use. Server obfuscation hides the fact that you’re using a VPN, making it easy to get around deep packet inspection (the technology that detects VPN traffic).

When I ran tests from Turkey, I never had issues connecting — even though ExpressVPN’s website is blocked there. It also offers a frequently updated mirror site in case you want to download it while in a censorship-heavy country. Just email their support team to get the most up-to-date working link (support@expressvpn.zendesk.com).

ExpressVPN provides virtual servers for regions with unstable infrastructure or strict internet laws. For instance, if you select a server in Venezuela, known for its tight online regulations, ExpressVPN assigns you a Venezuelan IP but connects you to a nearby server in Brazil. This guarantees a simultaneously secure and stable connection.

TrustedServer Technology — Automatically Erases All Data From Servers

ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers operate through RAM disks as opposed to hard drives. RAM disks require constant power to store data, so when servers are rebooted every 1-2 weeks, all information is instantly wiped. That means the TrustedServer technology erases any trace of your private data and browsing history with every reboot.

While this feature is becoming more commonplace amongst the top premium VPNs, several other providers still run servers through hard drives. The problem is that hard drives retain all data until they’re manually erased or overwritten. This includes sensitive data, which creates potential privacy issues if there’s a leak or hacking event.

To demonstrate confidence in its TrustedServer technology, ExpressVPN has a bounty of $100k USD available for anyone who finds a security-critical bug. This huge bounty shows me that ExpressVPN doesn’t anticipate anyone finding a leak or flaw in its server security, which makes me feel confident that my data is safe.

Smart Location — Nice Idea With Middling Execution

In theory, the Smart Location feature recommends a nearby server for optimal connectivity. However, it occasionally suggests odd choices, like an Italian server while I was in Poland, or New York while in England. Though it aims for servers with high speeds and low latency, I generally found manual selections a lot more accurate.

Screenshot showing ExpressVPNs Smart Location feature

ExpressVPN’s Smart Location wasn’t always good at choosing the best location for me

While the current implementation is pretty hit-or-miss, I’d love to see this feature developed since it can save you precious seconds when you’re in a hurry. I use it frequently with some other VPN providers, making it one of ExpressVPN’s few weak points versus the competition (thankfully, just a minor one).

Is ExpressVPN Good for Torrenting and P2P? Yes!

ExpressVPN doesn’t heavily advertise its P2P features like other VPNs do, so I thought it might not support torrenting — but I was wrong. After conducting extensive tests, I was impressed to find that ExpressVPN is actually one of the best VPNs for torrenting.

Every server is optimized for P2P activities, supporting popular clients like uTorrent, qBittorrent, and Vuze. This ensures every server is primed for speed and security.

Its many privacy-bolstering features further make ExpressVPN a perfect pick for torrenting. Its military-grade encryption hides your traffic, IP address rotation means you’re constantly a step ahead of trackers, and Network Lock (ExpressVPN’s kill switch) terminates your internet connection in case there’s ever a server connection error.

Furthermore, its jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands offers added assurance. Being free from data retention mandates means ExpressVPN won’t be required by law to store or share your online activities. That being said, this doesn’t mean that using ExpressVPN gives you free rein to download any file you want — downloading copyright-protected material is always illegal, so please be responsible.

Of course, without high speeds, all this means nothing. Fortunately, as we saw above, ExpressVPN is lightning-fast. This was mirrored in my P2P testing, where I was able to download a 10GB file in just 3 and a half minutes.

Does ExpressVPN Work in China? (Yes)

Accessing the internet in China is notoriously hard thanks to China’s censorship laws – and most VPNs no longer work in China. Thankfully, ExpressVPN can successfully bypass the country’s strong firewalls, making it one of the few VPNs to do so. It never had any issues accessing sites like Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, Netflix, and many more.

ExpressVPN doesn’t have servers in China, freeing it from local regulations and data logging requirements. If you’re traveling to China, I recommend pre-downloading ExpressVPN since its website is blocked there. Alternatively, you can contact ExpressVPN through email (support@expressvpn.zendesk.com) to ask for their most recent mirror link, which should allow you to download the app within China.

Once connected, your internet traffic is encrypted and hidden from all censorship, governments, and ISPs. As an extra security measure, the Network Lock kill switch will block all internet traffic if the VPN connection is ever unstable or not working. This prevents any of your personal data from accidentally leaking online and exposing your identity.

To verify this, my research team ran a DNS leak test from China while connected to ExpressVPN’s New York server. There were no leaks found — so you can be confident that your online traffic is well-secured.

One minor issue I found was that not every global server works in China, so you’ll be slightly limited by the options available to you. That being said, ExpressVPN’s servers in Japan and the US successfully bypass China’s firewalls.

Important! China bans VPNs that aren’t approved by the government, meaning that using ExpressVPN there could be breaking the law. Please check the most recent local laws if you want to use ExpressVPN to bypass governmental blocks (in any country) and make sure you don’t do anything that could get you into legal trouble.

Security Features

Cutting-Edge Encryption Standards — Provide Unbreakable Security Layers

ExpressVPN uses an AES 256-bit encryption combined with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication. What does this mean? This is the highest standard of encryption and is currently considered practically impossible to break.

The SHA-512 HMAC authentication adds an extra layer of security to data transfers (like P2P file-sharing and torrenting). Both the sender and receiver of the sent file use a shared secret key — any changes in the secret key mean the connection has been intercepted, so you’ll know immediately if there’s an intruder.

Additionally, ExpressVPN is now including post-quantum protection with its Lightway protocol. When connected to Lightway, you’ll have a security boost designed to protect against quantum technology, which has the potential to undermine today’s top encryption — essentially, ExpressVPN is future-proofing your data security.

Multiple Security Protocols Available on All Devices

ExpressVPN offers the unique Lightway protocol, alongside standard options like OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), and IKEv2. ExpressVPN doesn’t make all protocols available on every device, although each operating system gives you plenty of options, such as:

  • Windows — Lightway (UDP and TCP), OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), IKEv2 (ExpressVPN version 10 only).
  • Mac — Lightway (UDP and TCP), OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), and IKEv2.
  • Android — Lightway (UDP and TCP), OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), and IKEv2.
  • iOS — Lightway (UDP and TCP) and IKEv2.
  • Linux — Lightway (UDP and TCP), OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), and IKEv2
  • Routers — Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2.

I strongly suggest you stick to modern, secure protocols like Lightway and OpenVPN. Lightway is a proprietary protocol developed specifically for ExpressVPN’s customers and is typically the fastest option for global connections.

You can easily choose a protocol by clicking on the “Settings” icon and navigating to “Protocol”. With the default option of “Automatic” enabled, ExpressVPN will select the best VPN protocol based on your network settings. For most people, it’s best to leave it this way, but if you have any network issues you can quickly switch these up.

image of ExpressVPN's Windows app, showing the available protocols in the app Options.

ExpressVPN makes it simple to configure different protocols for your specific needs

Protocols that you won’t see supported by ExpressVPN are SSTP, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec. These outdated protocols simply cannot keep up with the ever-changing threats that many users face. Even having it as an option can leave your system open to threats if you choose them by accident.

Automatic Kill Switch — Successfully Secures Internet Traffic During Connection Drops

Network Lock prevents any data or traffic information from leaking if your VPN connection drops. In case of any connectivity issues, this kill switch temporarily cuts off your internet connection until the issue is resolved and you reconnect.

This feature is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and router apps. On Android and iOS, it’s called “Network Protection.” I tested it on my Windows PC and smartphone (running Android version 14), and my internet was successfully blocked every time I manually interrupted the VPN connection. It’s enabled automatically, so you don’t need to worry about switching it on.

You also have the option to allow or disallow access to LAN devices (like a printer or file server) if Network Lock cuts the connection to the internet. This way, you have the option to remain on your LAN to avoid disruption when printing, for example. Alternatively, Network Lock can completely cut off access to your device on all networks, which is great for security.

Split Tunneling — For Windows, Mac, Android, and Router Apps (More Than Most Other VPNs)

This is where ExpressVPN is a clear winner. Many VPNs don’t offer split tunneling, and even VPNs with this feature only provide it on 1 or 2 apps — usually Android. However, ExpressVPN offers split tunneling on all its native Android, Windows, and router apps.

Split tunneling gives you the ability to choose specific apps to bypass the VPN. Let’s say you want to watch shows on a foreign streaming platform, but you also want to do some local online banking. By enabling split tunneling, you can set up Netflix to stay connected to ExpressVPN, while your regular internet browser bypasses the VPN.

image of ExpressVPN's Windows app, showing the split tunneling feature.

Split tunneling lets you choose specific apps to use or bypass ExpressVPN

Unfortunately, Split Tunneling isn’t available on macOS 11 (Big Sur) and above or on iOS. This is an unfortunate reality of Apple devices, which either don’t allow split tunneling at all, or only allow it on macOS with specific (and less popular) encryption protocols, making it more difficult to implement for VPN providers.

Leak Test Results — No Leaks Found

Even though a VPN encrypts your online traffic, it’s still possible for your private data to be exposed through DNS, WebRTC, and IPv4 leaks. ExpressVPN offers its own leak test, but I wanted to run my own independent tests on ipleak.net.

image of ExpressVPN's Windows app connected to a UK server, with the results of a leak test showing no data leaks.

ExpressVPN won’t leak your device’s IP address and other personal data

I tested ExpressVPN’s servers in the UK, US, and Japan on my Mac, and I’m happy to say that ExpressVPN had zero leaks throughout my entire session. Only my new IPv4 address was visible and IPv6 was blocked, so there were zero risks of any leaks exposing my personal data.

Encrypted DNS on Every Server

ExpressVPN’s Encrypted DNS feature protects your privacy and security online by encrypting your DNS queries, instead of exposing them to third parties. This means that your ISP, the government, or other potential eavesdroppers can’t see what websites you’re visiting. It also blocks ads and trackers, further helping to improve your privacy.

This feature doesn’t require turning on — it’s always on by default to make sure all of your traffic is protected from your very first connection.

Advanced Protection — Blocks Ads, Trackers, Malicious Sites, and Provides Parental Controls

ExpressVPN’s Advanced Protection features add extra privacy protection by blocking websites and apps from tracking you, as well as entirely blocking malicious websites, ads, and adult sites. Features are available in the Options menu as Threat Manager, Ad Blocker, and Parental Controls.

Threat Manager works particularly well to stop targeted ads on websites after specific Google searches or using a particular app. I didn’t see any targeted ads while using ExpressVPN’s Advanced Protection.

I was impressed to find that these features are the same across platforms, so they’re available for use on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. Just bear in mind that they’re only active while you’re connected to the VPN — once you disconnect, Advanced Protection features are no longer active.

Compatible With Tor for Extra Security

I found ExpressVPN works exceptionally well with Tor due to its:

  • Excellent speeds — although browsing on Tor slows down internet speeds, ExpressVPN’s high speeds mean that it isn’t more detrimental to your connection.
  • 256-bit encryption — hides traffic from all nodes in the Tor network.
  • Kill switch — prevents accidental leaks if the VPN connection is interrupted, so your real IP address is never exposed to Tor’s entry and exit nodes.
  • No-logs policy — stops your personal information and Tor activity from being logged.
  • RAM-based servers — ensures your data is wiped from ExpressVPN’s servers.

For even greater security and privacy, I always recommend connecting to ExpressVPN first and then Tor. This method is known as “Tor over VPN” or “Onion over VPN”, and prevents even Tor from seeing your real IP address.

ExpressVPN Keys Password Manager

One of the main ways that people’s online security is undermined is by using weak passwords for online accounts. ExpressVPN’s Keys service aims to fix this by offering a password manager that can create and store super-strong passwords (and the associated logins). It also auto-fills relevant sites and apps to cut down time spent logging in.

It uses zero-knowledge architecture, meaning that only your primary password (or biometrics on a mobile device) can retrieve your stored items. This means that even ExpressVPN can’t see them (and if you ever forget your password, you’re out of luck!).

Unlike other password managers, ExpressVPN lets you store an unlimited number of passwords, and you can also store data like passport numbers, medical information, or credit/debit cards as “secure notes” — also unlimited. Keys will also help identify vulnerable passwords and check if your passwords have been exposed in data breaches.

It’s a service where I’m always happy to see more competition, and given ExpressVPN’s cybersecurity background, I have confidence in their ability to deliver a strong product. In fact, Keys has been audited by leading cybersecurity firm Cure53, so you know that your passwords are being held securely (and privately).

Minor Con: No Dedicated IP Addresses

ExpressVPN doesn’t offer Dedicated IP addresses to ensure its users have the highest level of privacy. In order to increase your level of anonymity, there are no static IPs available — all IP addresses are regularly rotated, so you may randomly be assigned one you’ve used before or a completely new IP when you connect.

I think it’s a shame ExpressVPN doesn’t have Dedicated IPs available for users who want them — they’re a great way to avoid CAPTCHAs and account verification processes, and they’ll often provide working connections to sites that otherwise block VPNs. If you’re interested in getting one, CyberGhost offers Dedicated IPs for a small monthly fee.

Privacy Features

Strict No-Logs Policy — Tested and Passed

You’ll find many VPN services claim to keep zero logs — but it’s not always true. Popular VPN providers with a “no-logs policy” will still track their users’ IP addresses, connection timestamps, and devices. That’s why it’s so significant that ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy has been verified and proven.

image of ExpressVPN's website stating that ExpressVPN won't log personally-identifiable data.

None of your online activity or VPN connection information is ever tracked or stored by ExpressVPN

In 2017, Turkish authorities sought user logs from ExpressVPN. Due to its no-logs policy, ExpressVPN had no data to hand over. Nonetheless, authorities seized a local server to attempt data retrieval but were ultimately unsuccessful. This went a long way in proving — in the real world — how true to its word ExpressVPN is, and how secure user data is.

ExpressVPN does give you the option to share data with its technical team for diagnostic purposes. This data includes speed test reports, connection failures, or app crashes. All data is anonymous and can’t be traced back to any individuals or devices, so your privacy is still ensured. As an extra safety precaution, I’d still recommend opting out.

Located in the British Virgin Islands

ExpressVPN is owned by Express VPN International Limited, which is a privately-held company in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). ExpressVPN’s location in the BVI is important because:

  • No mandatory data retention laws — so ExpressVPN isn’t legally required to keep any data on its users’ internet activity, unlike Australia and many countries in Europe.
  • No mass surveillance programs — thanks to BVI’s strict privacy laws to protect its residents and businesses like ExpressVPN, in contrast to the wide-scale surveillance seen in countries like the US and UK.
  • Independent and self-governing jurisdiction — due to ExpressVPN only being subject to BVI laws and not falling under the jurisdiction of any other country.
  • Outside the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes — since BVI isn’t part of the “Eyes” intelligence-sharing network between the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Spain.

Third-Party Audits — Successfully Passed

Surprisingly many VPNs have never been audited by third-party companies. I find this odd — people shouldn’t rely on just reputation and blind trust when evaluating the claims made by VPN providers.

This is why I was impressed that ExpressVPN has undertaken numerous independent audits to back up its privacy and security promises. Starting in 2019, ExpressVPN hired various firms, beginning with PwC, to verify its privacy policy. Since then, ExpressVPN has worked with the following:

  • PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) — for the initial audit in 2019 to verify ExpressVPN’s privacy policy and TrustedServer technology.
  • Cure53 — to audit its browser extensions, Lightway protocol, and TrustedServer tech for any security flaws.
  • KPMG — to test ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy and TrustedServer implementation.
  • ioXt Alliance — verified and certified ExpressVPN’s Android app.
  • F-secure — probed ExpressVPN’s Windows app for vulnerabilities

In fact, ExpressVPN underwent 12 independent audits in 2022 alone. These covered its privacy policy, TrustedServer technology, Keys password manager, Aircove router, Lightway protocol, and more. This shows that ExpressVPN has nothing to hide and is committed to transparency, versus many other VPN providers that choose a more shadowy route.

The full results of most of these audits are publicly available online. ExpressVPN even open-sourced its browser extensions so people could review the code themselves.

Server Locations

Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Argentina
Armenia
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bangladesh
Belarus
Belgium
Bhutan
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
See all supported locations...

User Experience

- 10 / 10

Easy Installation and Set Up With Native App (Less Than 2 Minutes!)

Not many premium VPNs offer native apps for more than 4 or 5 device types. However, ExpressVPN has a native app for Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV (all versions), Amazon Fire Stick (2nd generation onward), Android TV, Nvidia Shield, and routers.

The native apps only take a couple of minutes to install, which makes ExpressVPN a great choice if you’re a beginner and new to VPNs. There’s no complex manual configuration involved, and here’s a general quick overview to give you an idea of the process.

How to Install ExpressVPN:

  1. Get the ExpressVPN app. If you’re on PC, visit the ExpressVPN website; if you’re on mobile, head to your respective app store and download from there.
    Screenshot showing ExpressVPN download page and devices available
  2. Open the downloaded file. When the pop-up window comes up, click ‘yes’ to install the app, and that should be it! If on mobile, simply let ExpressVPN install and then open it up.
    Screenshot showing ExpressVPNs installation window
  3. Log in and connect! The application’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to choose a server and get connected.
    Screenshot showing successful ExpressVPN install

Features vary across the different ExpressVPN native apps, however, with key features like split tunneling and OpenVPN missing from iOS. The table below summarizes the differences between the apps.

Windows Mac iOS Android Linux Routers
Lightway UDP Optimized for speed, security, and reliability ✔*****
Lightway TCP Slower than UDP but connects better on some networks ✔*****
OpenVPN UDP Offers good speeds and security but doesn’t work on all networks
OpenVPN TCP Slower than OpenVPN UDP but works better on some networks
IKEv2 Fast but doesn’t work on all networks * ✔*****
Split Tunnelling Allows you to only use the VPN connection with specific apps ** ✔****
Threat Manager Blocks trackers and malicious sites on ExpressVPN’s blocklist
Kill Switch Automatically disconnect from the internet if your VPN connection drops ✔*** ✔***
Keys ExpressVPN’s password manager

*Version 12 of ExpressVPN for Windows removed support for IKEv2 and L2TP/IPSec.

**Split tunneling is not available with ExpressVPN for Mac running macOS 11 (Big Sur) and above.

***ExpressVPN’s “Network Lock” kill switch is known as “network protection” on Android and iOS.

****On routers, split tunneling is known as “Device Groups”; it’s only available on supported routers, not via manual configuration.

*****Lightway and IKEv2 are only supported on dedicated VPN routers, manual configuration only supports OpenVPN.

Native App for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android — Easy to Use

I’ve used ExpressVPN for several years and I have to say — the app is one of the best for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. The design is clean and simple with an intuitive layout. The app interface is the same across these different operating systems, making it easy to quickly switch between different devices throughout the day.

images of ExpressVPN's apps on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, all connected to UK servers and displaying the server list.

Some VPNs are not user-friendly or regularly crash, but I’ve never experienced this with ExpressVPN

There’s a large “power” button that attempts to connect to the fastest available server in a single click. You can also choose from a list of servers or manually type in a location and choose a server that way. On Windows and Mac, you’ve got the option to launch automatically upon startup — something I find convenient in moments when I forget!

Like the desktop app, the Android and iOS apps are equally easy to navigate. I could also add shortcuts to my 5 favorite apps (like Netflix, Spotify, and Chrome), making it even faster to browse securely.

Unfortunately, on iOS you can only choose between Lightway UDP, Lightway TCP, and IKEv2 (no OpenVPN support) and there’s no split tunneling feature either — but other than that, both iOS and Android apps include all the same functionalities as the desktop apps.

Another Android-only feature is Protection Summary. This tool gives you personal insights like the number of days and percentage of time you’re connected to ExpressVPN. While it’s not likely to be of interest to the majority of users, this feature may give you some assurance about your digital security to know you’ve been consistently protected.

One thing that the iOS app has that isn’t available on Android is the Reinstall VPN Configuration setting. This means you can easily reset the settings if you’re having issues without having to completely uninstall and reinstall the app (which is what you have to do with Android.)

Chrome and Firefox Browser Extensions — Powerful Remote for the Main App

ExpressVPN offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers. The browser add-on is an extension of the ExpressVPN app, so the app itself needs to be running in the background. To get the browser extension, you need to have installed the ExpressVPN app for:

  • Mac (Version 7.1 or newer)
  • Windows (Version 6.9 or newer)
  • Linux (Version 2.0 or newer)

The main reason I like the browser extension is for convenience — I can easily switch between servers directly in my browser in a couple of clicks. Here’s what it looks like in Chrome and Firefox:

The browser extensions use the same design as the Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android apps

The browser extensions use the same design as the Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android apps

While the extension may seem like a simple remote control for the main app, it actually adds a few interesting features. These include:

  • HTML5 geolocation spoofing — an advanced way to access geoblocked content.
  • HTTPS Everywhere — redirects you to the safer encrypted version of a site where available.
  • Block WebRTC — obscures your IP address from WebRTC leaks to prevent websites from tracking your real IP and location.

MediaStreamer for PS4, Xbox, and Smart TVs — Limited Security

MediaSteamer lets you change your virtual location on smart TVs and game consoles. This is particularly useful for streaming — for example, if you want to watch Netflix US from the UK on a PS5 or Xbox Series X. You can also use it with Apple TVs, Samsung Smart TVs, LG Smart TVs, Nintendo Switches, older Xboxes and PlayStation consoles, and more.

Anecdotally, MediaStreamer seems to split opinions. Personally, I love using it on my PS5 for lag-free streaming. However, it doesn’t encrypt your traffic, so it’s not really doing the full job of a VPN and also needs to be manually set up. However, it provides a solution where otherwise none exists, making it invaluable to me and many others.

It’s worth noting that MediaStreamer won’t always work with local content libraries, which could put you at risk of copyright infringement. For example, if you want to watch Netflix, MediaStreamer always defaults to Netflix US (even if you’re not in the country). I recommend speaking to customer service to confirm it’ll work with your streaming service.

Dedicated Router App — Great for Unlimited Device Connections

A huge perk is that ExpressVPN is one of the only premium VPNs with a dedicated router app. You can connect every device in your household to ExpressVPN when you install the app on your router (even devices that don’t support VPNs, like smart TVs and game consoles). This gives it a huge competitive advantage over premium rivals.

Better yet, the router is only considered as 1 device connection, so no matter how many devices you connect to it, you’ve still got multiple device connections left.

Some of the routers where you can download the ExpressVPN app include:

  • Asus — RT-AC56(U/R/S), RT-AC68U, and RT-AC87U
  • Linksys — EA6200, WRT1200AC, WRT1900AC(S), and WRT3200ACM
  • Netgear — R6300v2, R6700v3, Nighthawk R7000, and Nighthawk R7000P

You can still manually set up and install ExpressVPN if you’ve got a different router (though not all routers are supported). Most Asus, Linksys, and Netgear routers can be manually configured through your browser, as well as D-Link, Xiaomi, TP-Link, and Tomato routers — but you’re limited to just switching IP addresses with manual configuration.

The dedicated router app comes with more perks than just ease of use, too. I found it easier to switch between servers on the app, and I could still access features like Network Lock kill switch and split tunneling. In fact, I had even more control over split tunneling as I could control which devices in my household were connected to the VPN.

Aircove — A Protected Router for Guaranteed Whole Home Protection

Aircove is ExpressVPN’s solution for device connection across your entire household or business. It’s a dedicated router that comes preloaded with ExpressVPN’s regular top protection. Once set up, your entire internet connection is secure and encrypted. There’s no need to install apps or fuss with loading software onto a router that might not be compatible.

Household members and guests will be protected simply by connecting to your home network, and the easy setup can be completed in just a few minutes. In addition to being a whole home security solution, Aircove is also a powerful router in its own right. It delivers dual-band WiFi 6, speeds up to 1,200Mbps, and coverage up to 1,600 sq. ft.

Currently, Aircove is available in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and US.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Plenty of Coverage for All Your Devices

With a single 6- or 12-month subscription, you can connect up to 8 different devices at once. With the monthly plan, the limit is 5 connections. As discussed above, you can also get an unlimited number of connections if you install the ExpressVPN app on your router or get Aircove. This allows every device connected to the router to use ExpressVPN.

It’s not as much as some of the competition, where unlimited device connections are becoming more common, but 8 devices should still be plenty for most.

During my tests, I effortlessly switched between my Macbook, iPhone, iPad, Windows PC, and Samsung S22. Every task, from streaming to browsing, was seamless and uninterrupted on all platforms, even with max simultaneous connections active.

Support

- 10 / 10

Whenever I pay for a service, I expect to see quality customer support — and ExpressVPN certainly delivers it.

You can seek help in 3 different ways:

  • Visit the website — which offers troubleshooting guides, written and video tutorials, and setup instructions in 16 languages.
  • Email — a helpful alternative for non-urgent issues or if you’re in a country where the website is blocked.
  • 24/7 live chat — for fast and comprehensive answers from a customer support representative.

There’s no phone call option, but this wasn’t an issue for me as I got all the help I needed from the available options.

24/7 Live Chat — Best Way to Contact ExpressVPN for Fast and Friendly Help

I tested the live chat option on the ExpressVPN website when I was experiencing issues connecting my laptop to Chromecast.

Live chat is my preferred method of contacting ExpressVPN since it’s so quick and easy. When I tested live chat a few more times, I never had to wait more than 3 minutes for a response.

images of ExpressVPN's live chat, with an agent responding to questions about the MediaStreamer feature.

You can speak directly to a customer service agent 24/7 via live chat

It only took a few seconds to connect to a customer support agent, who then provided a detailed explanation about what was happening and why. I was offered a solution (to install the ExpressVPN app on my router so all devices, including my Chromecast, would be automatically connected) — which successfully solved the problem.

Email Support — Only Takes 30 Minutes to Receive a Reply

I sent multiple emails to customer support over a period of 24 hours. I asked which of my local servers were best for Netflix and how to use the Lightway protocol. I even sent emails from a non-registered email address, as I wanted to see whether ExpressVPN would still help me if I wasn’t a current customer.

ExpressVPN support email response screenshot

ExpressVPN gave me easy-to-follow instructions about installing the Lightway protocol

I was very impressed with the quick turnaround; I received a response to my emails within 30 minutes every time, and all replies were friendly and helpful. There was no difference to the level of service I received, whether I was an existing customer or just enquiring about the VPN.

Tested: Website Troubleshooting Guides and FAQs

I found ExpressVPN’s help center well-organized with many in-depth guides on features, common technical issues, and device installation instructions. I especially liked the useful video tutorials offered for more technical topics! Even if you’re a total beginner, you can easily follow ExpressVPN’s guides to set up complex configurations.

 Screenshot of ExpressVPNs YouTube page showing all setup guides and video tutorials

You’ll find all of ExpressVPN’s video tutorials in one place on its YouTube channel

Given that many leading VPNs such as IPVanish only offer text and image-based tutorials, I was very impressed to find that ExpressVPN offers fully narrated video tutorials in addition to standard FAQ answers and guides. These videos cover the most common issues and are easy to follow regardless of your technical know-how.

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.

Pricing

- 9.0 / 10

While it’s not the most expensive provider, ExpressVPN has a slightly more premium price tag than its competitors. The 1-month plan is the most costly, so I suggest choosing the 1-year + 3 months plan as it offers the best value. Plus, this way you’ll get 49% off and can even get additional months for free.

Lots of Payment Options Available

You can sign up for a subscription with a diverse range of payment methods. In fact, ExpressVPN offers more payment options than most of its competitors. You can choose between:

  • Credit card: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Visa Electron, and Diners Club International
  • PayPal
  • BitPay (Bitcoin)
  • Other payment methods: Alipay, UnionPay, iDEAL, Klarna, WebMoney, Giropay, Yandex Money, Interac Online, Mint, OneCard, Carte Bleue, Maestro, FanaPay, and more

I especially like that ExpressVPN offers anonymous payment options, like Mint and cryptocurrencies. You can simply sign up for ExpressVPN with one of these payment methods and use a “burner” email address. This allows you to safely use ExpressVPN without exposing your real name and billing information.

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee Lets You Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free

Every plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test ExpressVPN for a few weeks without any risk. If you change your mind, you can request a refund from a live chat agent. The best part about the money-back guarantee is that it’s “no questions asked” — so you don’t even need to offer a reason for why you’re canceling.

Screenshot of a user successfully requesting a refund from ExpressVPN over live chat with the 30-day money-back guarantee
It’s very easy and stress-free to get a refund with the money-back guarantee

I’ve tested the 30-day money-back guarantee myself. I signed up for a plan, used the service for a few weeks, and then asked for a refund via the 24/7 live chat. The policy truly was no-questions-asked, and my request was approved in under 5 minutes. I had the money back in my account 5 days later.

7-Day Free Trial on iOS or Android

If you’re a new user, ExpressVPN offers a 7-day free trial of its mobile app when you sign up on iOS (Apple App Store) or Android (Google Play Store). You must have an existing store account with a payment method to sign up for the trial. Unfortunately, the trials are exclusively for your mobile device — you can’t use them with other platforms, like Windows.

Be mindful to cancel before the trial period is up, otherwise you’ll automatically be charged for a year-long subscription. This is especially important for iOS users, as Apple App Store subscriptions aren’t covered by ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantee. You’ll have to hope that Apple lets you have a refund, and that can be a lengthy process.

ExpressVPN offers the following plans

1-Month Plan
 
$12.95
per month
 
View Plan
12-Months Plan
$12.95
$6.67
per month
Save 49%
View Plan
View Plan
Save 49%
6-Months Plan
$12.95
$9.99
per month
Save 23%
View Plan
View Plan
Save 23%

Final Verdict

Based on our results, I’m happy to recommend ExpressVPN as one of the top VPNs in 2024. It’s the fastest VPN we’ve tested, with consistent speeds across its comprehensive server network. Our results show zero security or privacy flaws, which is the key to a reliable and trustworthy VPN you can feel confident using in your day-to-day life.

While there are a few things I’d like to see ExpressVPN improve (like a more accurate Smart Location button, or the addition of Dedicated IP addresses), I can’t complain about overall functionality and ease of use. Advanced VPN users may want more customizable options than ExpressVPN offers, but its intuitive apps are more than enough for most users.

Ultimately, ExpressVPN remains a top contender among VPNs. With its continued improvements, expansions, and regular audits, I think it’ll be highly-ranked for a long time to come.

FAQs About ExpressVPN

How can I get ExpressVPN for free?

While there’s no free plan, you can test out ExpressVPN risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the service, then you can get a refund with no questions asked. When I tested the process myself, I easily got a refund in minutes and the money returned to my bank account in less than 1 week!

There’s a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS but you need to be careful when using the Apple App Store. ExpressVPN doesn’t offer refunds for plans bought through the Apple App Store. For cancellations and reimbursements, you’d need to reach out to Apple directly.

In my experience, the trial wasn’t worth the hassle or potential risk. I found the 30-day money-back guarantee a much better way to try ExpressVPN and see if you like it.

Is ExpressVPN safe for Netflix?

Yes, ExpressVPN is safe for Netflix. It’s known for working seamlessly with Netflix without facing any blocks or errors and offers fast streaming speeds, ensuring a smooth viewing experience. Additionally, ExpressVPN employs strong encryption standards to keep your online activity private and secure, so you can stream with confidence in your digital security.

Is ExpressVPN better than NordVPN?

Maybe — it depends on what you’re looking for in a VPN. Both VPNs have excellent speed and security features, but ExpressVPN is the most reliable option on the market if you want a VPN that works in censorship-heavy countries. Plus ExpressVPN’s refund process is easier than NordVPN’s as it has a “no questions asked” policy.

However, there are some cases where you might find that NordVPN is a better fit for your needs. For instance, NordVPN has a unique MeshNet feature that allows you to create a private network of up to 60 devices (10 internal and 50 external) for file sharing, remote access, or LAN parties.

Is ExpressVPN trustworthy and safe to use?

Yes! ExpressVPN encrypts your internet traffic with AES-256-bit standards, which is nearly impossible for third parties to break through. Not even ExpressVPN will know what you’re doing online — it employs a strict (and independently audited) no-logs policy so there’s zero data to trace back to individual users.

Is ExpressVPN legal?

Yes, ExpressVPN is a legal service. Depending on your country, it’s also perfectly legal to use ExpressVPN to freely browse the internet. However, some oppressive governments have strict online censorship, and either ban or discourage the use of VPNs. This includes but isn’t limited to Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

If you’re traveling abroad and want to use ExpressVPN, I highly recommend checking the country’s laws and regulations beforehand.

Will ExpressVPN slow down my internet speed?

Only a little — while all VPNs will slow down your speeds at least a little due to how they bounce your traffic around, ExpressVPN barely slowed my speeds at all.

Whether for streaming, downloading, or gaming, ExpressVPN maintained such high speeds that I frequently forgot that I was even connected to a VPN. With local servers, I even had such low-latency connections that I could comfortably play games online, which isn’t a common occurrence with most VPNs.

What do I do if ExpressVPN servers are down?

If you do happen to connect to a server that doesn’t work, I recommend simply switching servers. It only takes 2 clicks to change to a new server. However, this is an extremely unlikely scenario as ExpressVPN has 99.9% uptime and is constantly maintaining its servers. I’ve used ExpressVPN for several years, and rarely (if ever) encountered errors.

If you’re looking to connect to a specific server that’s down, then I suggest contacting the customer support team over 24/7 live chat. It’s a quick and easy way to get a list of updated servers.

Is ExpressVPN reliable?

Yes. In fact, I found it the most reliable out of the dozens of VPNs that I’ve tested. It has 99.9% uptime, high speeds and the consistent ability to unblock major streaming services. This means that you don’t have to worry about losing your connection while binge-watching a show on Netflix, torrenting, or even playing your favorite online game.
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