ExpressVPN Review 2021: Fast and Safe, but Is It Still the Best?

ExpressVPN
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ExpressVPN Overview April 2021

You’ll find endless rave reviews about ExpressVPN online — but all these positive statements just seem too good to be true. I needed real proof and not just marketing buzzwords.

How much better could ExpressVPN possibly be than its rivals, especially to justify its pricier subscription plans? Even after I found ExpressVPN’s reduced prices, it was still more expensive than NordVPN, CyberGhost, and other top-rated VPN services. I wanted to know if it’s really worth the money (or if it’s just completely overrated).

To find honest answers, I put together a global research team to conduct a full analysis from 10 countries, including countries with internet censorship like China and Turkey. All tests were conducted on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and even Amazon Fire Stick. I also fact-checked ExpressVPN’s security and privacy claims, and ran speed tests when streaming, torrenting, and gaming.

I was surprised to find that ExpressVPN does deserve its stellar reputation and I definitely feel it’s worth the money. My full testing results are below — and you can even try ExpressVPN for free for 30 days using its money-back guarantee and confirm it for yourself.

Try ExpressVPN risk-free for 30 days!

April 2021 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

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

Get ExpressVPN for free for 30 days!

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

ExpressVPN is one of the most reliable services for streaming blocked sites and media players worldwide. During my tests, I successfully accessed Netflix (US, UK, Canada, Brazil, and more), Amazon Prime Video (US and UK), Disney+ (all countries), Hulu, Kodi add-ons, BBC iPlayer, Sling TV, HBO, Showtime, UKTV, DAZN, and ESPN+.

Out of all the VPNs I’ve tested, not many providers can access all of these streaming services. For example, IPVanish and Private Internet Access struggle to consistently unblock Netflix US.

But ExpressVPN constantly updates its global network of 3000 servers, so you’ll always have a fast working server to choose from. This is especially important if you want to connect to the US and UK, where most of the world’s most popular streaming services are located.

You can find the full list of every unblocked site on the ExpressVPN website, which is a bold move as it alerts streaming services (like Netflix) to crack down harder. By sharing a public list, it confirms to me that ExpressVPN is extremely confident in its VPN technology and ability to overcome any blocks.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN's website listing all the streaming services it can unblock, including Netflix and BBC iPlayer
I regularly use ExpressVPN to watch global shows, movies, sports, and live TV from blocked sites

Watch Netflix and more with ExpressVPN!

Netflix: Successfully Unblocked

I tested more than 30 providers with Netflix and ExpressVPN is one of my top VPN choices. It can consistently unblock Netflix in more than 18 countries, including the US, UK, Japan, France, Germany, and Australia.

I streamed The Irishman on Netflix US from my location in Turkey

On every server I tested, I could stream Netflix in HD and only had to wait for 1-3 seconds of buffering. I was especially impressed by the fast speeds when I was connected to the New York, Paris, London, and Frankfurt-1 servers.

Helpful Tip: How to Avoid the Netflix Proxy Error
There are a few quick fixes you can use to resolve the Netflix proxy error if it continues to appear. The fastest solution is to clear the browser cache to delete any stored data. If Netflix still isn’t working, try switching to another server in the same country or region. Alternatively, send a message to ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat team. They’ve always recommended a suitable Netflix server for me within minutes.

Watch Netflix with ExpressVPN!

Amazon Prime Video: Successfully Unblocked

I easily accessed Amazon Prime Video US and UK on the Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Docklands, and East London servers. I never had to wait longer than a few seconds for the show The Boys to load, and I didn’t experience any buffering or lag.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN connected to a UK London server and unblocking The Boys on Amazon Prime Video
ExpressVPN unblocked Amazon Prime Video so I could watch TV shows like The Boys

Watch Amazon Prime Video with ExpressVPN!

Hulu: Successfully Unblocked

ExpressVPN’s US servers unblocked Hulu without any issues. I was able to stream the movie Transformers: The Last Knight on the New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Los Angeles servers in HD with no interruptions. Even after watching Hulu for over an hour, my connection to ExpressVPN remained steady.

I enjoyed streaming Hulu in HD while connected to ExpressVPN’s servers in the US

Watch Hulu with ExpressVPN!

Disney Plus: Successfully Unblocked

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

Disney+ isn’t available where I’m living but I can easily gain access with ExpressVPN

When I ran speed tests, the UK–London server was the fastest and Australia–Sydney was the slowest. Speeds were still fast enough to stream in HD quality, so I was more than satisfied with this result.

Watch Disney+ with ExpressVPN!

Kodi: Successfully Unblocked

ExpressVPN claims to unblock Kodi add-ons restricted to specific countries. To test this, I streamed the (legal but geo-restricted) Popcornflix add-on, which is only available in the US and Canada. And it worked — I successfully watched the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows using the USA–New York and Canada–Toronto servers.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN connected to a US New York server and unblocking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Kodi

ExpressVPN helped me stream a bigger selection of Popcornflix movies on Kodi

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

Stream on Kodi with ExpressVPN!

HBO Max: Successfully Unblocked

I connected to several of ExpressVPN’s US servers, including New York, Los Angeles, and New Jersey — every server I tested unblocked HBO Max without issue. My server speeds were excellent so I could stream shows like Selena & Chef without waiting for it to load. The fastest server for me was New York at 93Mbps which is more than enough to stream in Ultra HD video quality.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN connected to a US server and unblocking the show Selena & Chef on HBO Max
ExpressVPN unblocked HBO Max and I could stream without lag or buffering

Important to know

British Virgin Islands
2009
No
5
30 days guaranteed
windows mac linux android ios blackberry router

Contact Details

[email protected]
www.expressvpn.com

Speed10

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

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs I’ve ever tested — I sometimes even forget that I’m connected! It’s super quick to switch between servers too (it only takes a few seconds) and I’ve never experienced any connection failures.

I’ve now used ExpressVPN for nearly a year to browse the internet, stream TV shows and movies, play online games, and torrent large files of 90GB and higher, and I have no complaints about its speed.

Speed Test Results

I ran all my speed tests from the UK — 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. However, there was very little difference between ExpressVPN’s server speeds in nearby France or almost 17,000 km away in Australia.

Chart detailing speed test results for ExpressVPN connected to a variety of global servers.
ExpressVPN’s speeds never dropped below 89Mbps — suitable for fast streaming and downloading

I tested each country’s servers multiple times and the results were always very similar with minimal fluctuations. While it was a small drop from my regular ISP speed, I could easily browse the internet, download files, and stream in HD with all server locations.

Screenshots of ExpressVPN's speed test results when connected to different servers globally
ExpressVPN offered consistently fast speeds on its global servers

I also tested ExpressVPN’s Lightway and OpenVPN protocols to see if they could boost my speed. Lightway, ExpressVPN’s own VPN protocol, is designed to be less resource-intensive while maintaining security and top speeds. With Lightway, my speeds reached an impressive 104Mbps. OpenVPN’s UDP protocol is designed for speed, achieving 101Mbps. Both of these protocols gave me faster speeds than ExpressVPN’s automatic setting.

In comparison to its competitors, ExpressVPN has the least impact on my regular internet connection speeds (which means it won’t slow you down). To test this, I launched ExpressVPN on my Windows laptop and connected to a Melbourne server, which was furthest away from my location. My download speed slowed down by just 25% — which isn’t much at all considering the long distance.

I then performed the same test with NordVPN, CyberGhost, Surfshark, and PrivateVPN to see how ExpressVPN fared against other top VPNs. NordVPN and CyberGhost followed ExpressVPN with a 44% decrease in speed. Surfshark and PrivateVPN did much worse, recording over 48% speed reductions.

Chart showing ExpressVPN's connection speed to an Australian server compared to other VPN services
I compared ExpressVPN’s speeds with its main competitors like NordVPN and CyberGhost

This makes ExpressVPN the clear winner when it comes to reliable and fast speeds. 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.

Try ExpressVPN’s fast speeds today!

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

As a gamer, I know how important it is to have super fast speeds while gaming. Unfortunately, you’ll find most reviewers only perform basic speed tests with zero activity in the background.

When using a VPN, it’s more likely that you’ll experience problems when connecting to game servers and lag during gameplay. That’s why I tested ExpressVPN with Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) on Steam. This online game requires a huge amount of bandwidth and top-notch connection speeds. Any delays could mean the difference between winning and losing.

I was pleasantly surprised by ExpressVPN’s performance — when I connected to a server in Germany, my ping rate was 41ms (I find anything below 50 ms is fine for gaming). Even with all the high-speed action, I didn’t experience any connection issues or lag. I barely noticed I was connected to a VPN, aside from most of my fellow players now speaking German. I was even prepared to endure lower resolution — but I played CS:GO in HD throughout my entire session.

ExpressVPN even improved my gaming speeds when I was traveling. During a short trip to Latin America, I experienced tons of lag while playing the game Call of Duty. Not only was my Internet Service Provider (ISP) throttling my speeds, but I was also far away from my usual gaming servers in the US. Luckily, I connected to ExpressVPN’s server in the US and immediately had less lag and more responsive gameplay.

Screenshot of ExpressPVN connected to a US server while a user is playing Counterstrike
Hardcore gamers won’t have any speed or quality issues with ExpressVPN

If you’re in a rush to start gaming, you can always reach out to ExpressVPN’s customer support team over 24/7 live chat. The representatives can find VPN servers closest to your gaming servers for you and save you time.

Get fast gaming speeds with ExpressVPN!

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

Widest Server Network Worldwide (94 Countries)

ExpressVPN offers 3000 servers in over 94 countries, which is a large amount for any VPN. Even though it doesn’t have the highest number of total servers, ExpressVPN offers the widest server coverage worldwide. This means you’ll always be able to find a server nearby, whether you live in the US, Kyrgyzstan, 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 Asia-Pacific.

In addition, ExpressVPN offers virtual server locations in countries where the infrastructure is unstable or there are oppressive internet laws. For example, imagine you need to connect to a server in Venezuela (a country known for its strict online regulations). You’ll be assigned a Venezuelan IP address, but ExpressVPN will actually connect you to a server physically located in neighboring Brazil. This ensures you’ll have a safe and steady connection at all times.

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 supports torrenting

ExpressVPN works with all torrenting clients, including uTorrent, qBittorrent, Transmission, Vuze, and any other Bittorrent client. Unlike other VPNs, there are no “special” torrenting servers or features — instead, all servers have been optimized for maximum security and fast downloading speeds. This means P2P servers won’t be overcrowded with other users, which can slow down speeds during peak times (I’ve experienced this with NordVPN and CyberGhost, which both have specialty servers for torrenting).

Unlimited bandwidth results in lightning-fast speeds

All the global servers I tested are exceptionally fast, so it’s easy to torrent safely and quickly. Better still, you can download torrent files of any size, whether it’s music, movies, TV shows, games, or software. To test this, I downloaded a whopping 94GB file and I didn’t have any issues.

Strong privacy and security measures to protect your anonymity

ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy, it encrypts all traffic with military-grade standards, and secures every server with DNS leak protection. An automatic kill switch (called Network Lock) also blocks all unencrypted internet traffic when you’re switching servers or if the VPN unexpectedly disconnects. This means your torrenting activity and IP address are hidden at all times. You don’t have to worry about the authorities tracking you down if torrenting is illegal in your country, nor potential cyberattacks from fellow torrenters.

ExpressVPN isn’t subject to data retention or copyright laws

The company is located in the British Virgin Islands. This is an ideal location for a VPN — there are no data retention laws and the British Virgin Islands aren’t subject to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) or other international copyright agreements. This keeps you safe from legal and privacy issues when torrenting on ExpressVPN’s servers.

Safely torrent with ExpressVPN!

Does ExpressVPN Work in China? (Yes)

When my team ran tests in China, we found ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that successfully gets around the country’s strong firewalls. My colleagues never had any issues accessing sites like Facebook, Instagram, Google, Gmail, WhatsApp, Wikipedia, YouTube, and Netflix.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN connected to a US server and unblocking YouTube in China

ExpressVPN’s New York server provided lag-free YouTube streaming from inside China

You don’t have to be concerned about China’s online surveillance laws either. ExpressVPN doesn’t operate any servers in China, meaning the provider isn’t legally required to comply with Chinese regulations or keep data logs on its users.

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 con 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, my colleagues never had an issue using servers in Japan and the US to bypass China’s firewalls.

Just make sure you download ExpressVPN before you arrive in China as the website is blocked inside the country. Although it might not be too late — a method that sometimes works is to install the Tor browser and download ExpressVPN from its .onion site (http://expressobutiolem.onion).

Security Features

High Encryption Standards

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 near-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 download file use a shared secret key — any changes in the secret key means the connection has been intercepted, so you’ll know immediately if there’s an intruder.

Multiple Security Protocols Available on All Devices

ExpressVPN offers the unique Lightway protocol, alongside standard options like OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), IKEv2, and L2TP/IPSec. Lightway is a proprietary protocol developed specifically for ExpressVPN’s customers. In my tests, I found it has faster speeds and stronger security than the older protocols (including the popular OpenVPN). Please note that Lightway is not to be confused with WireGuard, which similarly improves speed and security but is open-source (so any VPN provider can use the technology).

ExpressVPN doesn’t make all protocols available on every device, although each operating system gives you plenty of options. I strongly suggest you stick to the secure protocols like Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2.

  • Windows and Mac: Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec
  • Android: Lightway, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec
  • iOS: OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec
  • Linux: Lightway, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec

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, this will be Lightway or OpenVPN (UDP) protocol. Both options provide the best combination of speed and security.

Screenshot of the ExpressVPN app displaying all the available protocols including Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2 and L2TP/IPsec
ExpressVPN makes it simple to configure different protocols for your specific needs

Automatic Kill Switch — Successfully Secures Internet Traffic During Connection Drops

ExpressVPN’s automatic kill switch (which they call “Network Lock”) ensures your device and internet activity remains hidden — especially when the VPN connection is unsteady or you’re switching between servers. This feature is available on Windows, Mac, Android (version 7.4 onwards), Linux, and router apps. However, I was disappointed to discover that this feature isn’t available on iOS. If you want this extra layer of protection on your iPhone or iPad, NordVPN offers a kill switch on its iOS app.

I tested the kill switch on my Macbook Pro, Windows PC, and smartphone (running on Android version 9), and my internet was successfully blocked every time I manually interrupted the VPN connection. It’s enabled automatically so you don’t need to waste time switching it on.

Secure your device with ExpressVPN!

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

This is where ExpressVPN is a clear winner. Not many VPNs have 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, Mac, and router apps (iOS is currently unavailable).

Split tunneling is a truly underrated VPN feature. The main advantage with split tunneling is the ability to choose specific apps to bypass the VPN. Let’s say you want to watch shows on a foreign streaming platform (like US Netflix or BBC iPlayer UK) — but you also want to check the local news in your country. By enabling split tunneling, you can set up Netflix to stay connected to ExpressVPN, while your regular internet browser bypasses the VPN.

Screenshot of a user setting up the split tunneling feature on the ExpressVPN app
Split tunneling lets you choose specific apps to use or bypass ExpressVPN

To see whether the split tunneling feature works well, I first excluded the Chrome browser app from using ExpressVPN. I then connected to a server in the UK and started streaming BBC iPlayer. While an episode of the TV show Killing Eve was playing, I browsed for coffee machines on Google. I was happy to only see options from local vendors in Turkey displaying prices in Turkish Lira (as opposed to UK retailers with prices in GBP!).

Try ExpressVPN for free for 30 days!

TrustedServer Technology — Automatically Erases All Data From Servers

This is one of ExpressVPN’s most unique security features and it makes the service stand out from its competitors. Its 3000 servers operate through RAM disks as opposed to hard drives. RAM disks require power to store data, so every time it’s powered on and off again, all information is instantly wiped out. That means the TrustedServer technology erases any trace of your private data and browsing history with every reboot. This system also gives you extra protection against hackers — if an intruder somehow managed to penetrate a server, they’d also be removed.

Typically, the industry runs 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 hacker.

What makes TrustedServer technology different is that it ensures all data on ExpressVPN’s servers is deleted with every reboot. It’s an impressive feature, especially since very few premium VPNs offer this layer of security for users.

Leak Tests 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. 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 browsing session.

Screenshot of an ExpressVPN DNS and IP leak test
ExpressVPN won’t leak your device’s IP address and other personal data

Only my new IPv4 address was visible and IPv6 was blocked, so there were zero risks of any leaks exposing my personal data. The tests showed that my IP and DNS server addresses were no longer in Turkey (where I’m based). This proves to me that ExpressVPN’s in-built leak protection works well, and will successfully hide my real location from hackers, governments, and other unwanted third parties.

Stay safe online with ExpressVPN!

Compatible With Tor for Extra Security

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

  • Excellent speeds: Browsing on Tor normally slows down my internet connection, but ExpressVPN’s fast speeds help minimize any lag.
  • 256-bit encryption: This hid my IP address from all nodes in the Tor network.
  • Kill switch: Prevented accidental leaks if the VPN connection was interrupted, so my real IP address was never exposed to Tor’s entry and exit nodes.
  • No-logs policy: My personal information and Tor activity wasn’t tracked or logged.
  • RAM-based servers: My data was 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 it prevents even Tor from seeing your real IP address.

Unlike many VPNs, ExpressVPN even has its own.onion site in the Tor network. This allows you to access the ExpressVPN homepage and download the app, which is especially useful if you’re in a country where VPNs are banned.

Minor Con: No Ad Blocker

ExpressVPN doesn’t come with an in-built ad blocker, although I actually don’t mind as it gives me the flexibility to use a standalone ad blocker of my own choosing. I personally use uBlock Origin and I’ve found it works very well with ExpressVPN.

However, the lack of ad blocker is unusual, especially since top-tier VPN services all include it as a standard. NordVPN’s CyberSec feature is particularly good at blocking ads, as well as malware, viruses, and phishing scams.

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 its 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.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN's privacy policy on its website
None of your online activity or VPN connection information is ever tracked or stored by ExpressVPN

In 2017, Turkish authorities demanded user logs from ExpressVPN. However, there wasn’t any data to provide as a result of the no-logs policy. In addition, ExpressVPN wasn’t subject to Turkish law as the company is located in the British Virgin Islands. The Turkish authorities then physically seized an ExpressVPN server in an attempt to obtain customer data, but were ultimately unsuccessful. ExpressVPN issued a statement here, which summarizes the (lack of) findings:

“As we stated to Turkish authorities in January 2017, ExpressVPN does not and has never possessed any customer connection logs that would enable us to know which customer was using the specific IPs cited by the investigators. Furthermore, we were unable to see which customers accessed Gmail or Facebook during the time in question, as we do not keep activity logs. We believe that the investigators’ seizure and inspection of the VPN server in question confirmed these points.”

As you can see, the authorities couldn’t obtain any data on ExpressVPN’s customers — because there were no logs available.

ExpressVPN does give you the option to share data with its technical team for diagnostic purposes. This data includes speed tests 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.

Screenshot of the ExpressVPN app asking for user permission to share crash reports, speed test, and other user data with the company
ExpressVPN will ask for permission to collect anonymized data — but you can say no

Try ExpressVPN for free today!

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 — 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 — BVI has 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 — ExpressVPN is only subject to BVI laws and doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of any other country.
  • Outside the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes — 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.

Stay safe online with ExpressVPN!

Third-Party Audits — Successfully Passed

Very few VPNs have been independently audited by third-party companies. I find this odd — are people meant to rely on nothing more than reputation and blind trust when evaluating the claims made by VPN providers?

This is why I was impressed that ExpressVPN has undertaken independent audits to back up its privacy and security promises. In 2019, ExpressVPN hired PwC to verify its privacy policy. After a thorough review of the servers and code, PwC confirmed that ExpressVPN fully complies with its published privacy statements (including no-logs policy). PwC even audited key security features, including the TrustedServer technology, to confirm it all works as advertised.

ExpressVPN has also worked with cybersecurity firm Cure53 to audit its browser extensions for any security flaws. The full results of the audit are publically available online. ExpressVPN even open-sourced its browser extensions so people could review the code themselves.

To me, this shows that ExpressVPN has nothing to hide and is committed to complete transparency with its users.

Try ExpressVPN now!

Server Locations

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

User Experience10

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 devices. 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.

The quickest way to get started is to download the ExpressVPN app directly from the website. ExpressVPN will automatically detect which device you’re using and create a download button. Once you’ve downloaded the app, the site provides you with a unique access code to log in. The software then quickly sets up your credentials for you, making the entire setup process smooth and straightforward.

With a single subscription, you can connect up to 5 different devices at once. You can also get an unlimited number of connections if you install the ExpressVPN app on your router. This allows every device connected to the router to use ExpressVPN.

Setup ExpressVPN in under 2 minutes!

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

I’ve used ExpressVPN for nearly a year 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.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN's app interfaces for Windows, Android, Mac, and iPhone
Some VPNs are not user-friendly or regularly crash, but I’ve never experienced this with ExpressVPN

There’s a large “power” button that allows you to connect to the fastest available server in a single click. You can also choose from a list of servers or manually a type in a location and choose a server that way. For Windows and Mac users, you’ve got the option to launch ExpressVPN automatically upon startup (I find this really convenient).

Like the desktop app, the Android and iOS apps are equally easy to navigate. I found the one-click feature particularly useful, enabling me to connect to my desired location quickly. I could also add shortcuts to my 5 favorite apps (like Netflix, Spotify, and Chrome), making it even faster to browse the internet securely.

Both mobile apps also offer the highly-secure OpenVPN protocol. Not many VPN services offer OpenVPN for mobile devices, especially iOS (it’s usually the IKEv2/IPsec protocol instead). Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t offer the split tunneling feature — but other than that, both iOS and Android apps include all the same functionalities as the desktop apps.

Although the Android app does have a unique Protection Summary feature. This tool gives you personal insights like the number of days and percentage of time you’re connected to ExpressVPN’s servers (and thereby securing your IP address). This helped me feel more in control of my personal security by letting me monitor when and how often I used the app.

Chrome and Firefox Browser Extensions — Convenient, But Only for Mac, Windows, and Linux

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:

Screenshot of the ExpressVPN's browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox
The browser extensions use the same design as the Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android apps

MediaStreamer for PS4, Xbox, and Smart TVs — Not Worth the Hassle

MediaSteamer lets you change your virtual location on game consoles and smart TVs. This is particularly useful for streaming — for example, if you wanted to watch Netflix US from the UK on PlayStation 4. Aside from PlayStation 4, you can also use MediaStreamer on Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

To be honest, I don’t like using MediaStreamer for a couple of reasons. First, it doesn’t encrypt your internet traffic so there’s no security benefits associated with a VPN. Second, MediaStreamer needs to be manually set up. Although it was easy to install by following instructions on the ExpressVPN website, I prefer using the dedicated router app instead of MediaStreamer.

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 like NordVPN, CyberGhost, and Surfshark. Better yet, the router is only considered as 1 device connection, so you’ve still got 4 device connections left.

You can download the app on the following routers:

  • 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. However, the dedicated router app comes with more perks. 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.

Support9.7

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 the customer support team.
  • Speak with a customer service representative over 24/7 live chat.

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.

Email Support — Only Takes 30 Minutes to Receive a Reply

I sent multiple emails to customer support over a time period of 24 hours. I asked which servers were best for Netflix and whether there was an ad blocker available (sadly there is not), 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.

Screenshot of email conversation with ExpressVPN's customer support team about the LightWay protocol
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 every reply was 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.

Get ExpressVPN now!

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.

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.

Screenshot of a user contacting ExpressVPN over 24/7 live chat and asking how to watch Netflix with Chromecast
You can speak directly to a customer service agent 24/7 via live chat

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.

Tested: Website Troubleshooting Guides and FAQs

I found ExpressVPN’s website is well-organized with many in-depth articles 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 ExpressVPN's online video tutorials on the website
The website is a very useful resource if you prefer to solve problems on your own

Try ExpressVPN today!

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

April 2021 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.

While it’s not the most expensive provider, ExpressVPN has a slightly more premium price than its competitors. The monthly plan is the most costly, so I suggest choosing 15-month 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 (even top-rated services like NordVPN!). 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 fake email address. This allows you to safely use ExpressVPN without exposing your name and billing information. In combination with the strict no-logs policy, this means no one will be able to link your online activity with your real identity.

Sign up for ExpressVPN today!

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee Lets You Try It for Free

Insider Tip: ExpressVPN regularly offers promotions on its subscriptions, but they’re easy to miss. Check out this page to make sure you’re getting the best offer.

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 afterwards, you can either request a refund from a live chat agent or cancel your subscription on the website. 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 (unlike other VPNs that waste your time trying to troubleshoot and get you to stay).

I’ve even tested the 30-day money-back guarantee myself. I signed up for a plan, used the service for 29 days, and then asked for a refund. It was granted within minutes and I got my money back within a week.

It’s very easy and stress-free to get a refund with the money-back guarantee

Try ExpressVPN for free for 30 days!

ExpressVPN offers the following plans

Final Verdict

Based on my tests, I’ve determined that ExpressVPN is still the best in April 2021 due to its fast speeds, powerful security, and reliable network of servers. Its premium features are definitely worth the investment into a long-term subscription. You’ll get unlimited access to top-notch features that you won’t find in other VPNs on the market, such as torrenting support on every server and access to over 100 streaming sites worldwide.

The only way to know if ExpressVPN is right for you is to test it out yourself. So before committing to a subscription, I suggest you try it for 30 days for free.

The money-back guarantee is a risk-free way to see how the VPN features really perform. If you’re not convinced, it’s easy to get a refund from the customer service team over 24/7 live chat — no questions will be asked.

Try ExpressVPN now!

FAQs About ExpressVPN

How can I get ExpressVPN for free?

While there’s no free plan, you can use ExpressVPN for free by taking advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll have unlimited access to every premium feature for 30 days. This is essentially a month-long free trial — the only difference is that you pay upfront and get a refund later. Better still, it’s a “no questions asked” refund policy so there aren’t any hidden downsides. 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 extremely careful about the terms and conditions. For example, you’re not eligible for the 30-day money-back guarantee. You also need to cancel at least 24 hours before the free trial ends, or you’ll be automatically billed and locked into a subscription. You can’t reach out to ExpressVPN via 24/7 live chat for any payment issues either, since your account is entirely managed by the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

In my experience, the trial wasn’t worth the hassle or potential risk. I found the 30-day money-back guarantee is a much safer (and longer!) way to use ExpressVPN for free.

Is ExpressVPN better than NordVPN?

Based on my latest testing results — yes. I found that ExpressVPN is consistently faster than NordVPN for streaming, torrenting, and gaming. It also works well in countries with strict internet censorship, like China. Plus ExpressVPN’s refund process is easier than NordVPN 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. NordVPN is more affordable — its cheapest plan is nearly half the price of ExpressVPN. NordVPN also offers certain security features that ExpressVPN lacks. This includes a built-in ad blocker, multi-hop encryption, and specialty servers for Tor, torrenting, and obfuscation.

Is ExpressVPN safe to use?

Yes! ExpressVPN encrypts your internet traffic with AES-256-bit standards, which is nearly impossible for third parties to break through. This level of encryption is even used by governments and militaries around the world to safeguard sensitive information. Not even ExpressVPN will know what you’re doing online — it employs a strict 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?

While other VPNs might dramatically lower your device’s speeds, I didn’t experience any significant slowdown when I tested ExpressVPN.

It’s normal to get slower speeds with a VPN as your internet traffic needs to be encrypted before it’s then routed through the VPN’s server. However, ExpressVPN already offers fast speeds so I barely noticed a difference when I was streaming, downloading, and even gaming.

What do I do if ExpressVPN servers are down?

This is an extremely unlikely scenario as ExpressVPN is constantly maintaining its servers. Plus I’ve used ExpressVPN daily for nearly a year, and I’ve never encountered any server errors.

But 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.

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 instead. It’s a quick and easy way to get a list of updated servers.

Try ExpressVPN for free today!

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