In the midst of cyber surveillance, growing governmental pressure to record user’s metadata, and the constant threat posed by cybercriminals, your online privacy might not stand a chance at surviving. Fortunately, there is still hope as tools such ExpressVPN offer robust online security and fight to uphold your privacy.
ExpressVPN is one of the leading VPN providers in the industry. It offers servers spread across 87 different countries, state of the art cybersecurity networks, leading-edge protocols, encryptions, and emphasizes on having a zero-log policy.
You can check out our ExpressVPN review for more details about the VPN provider. To get more insights about how good is ExpressVPN in preserving a user’s privacy and what steps does it take in ensuring complete online security, we got in touch with David Lang (Communications Manager) in an exclusive interview.
VPNRanks: Can you please tell us more about your brand ‘ExpressVPN’ and its stance on preserving users privacy?
David Lang (Communications Manager): At ExpressVPN, preserving privacy is paramount. In fact, it’s one of the basic principles upon which the company was founded. ExpressVPN’s mission statement is to make it easy for everyone to use the Internet with security, privacy, and freedom.
The right to privacy may not always be the most convenient choice, but we believe it’s a fundamental human right, and it must be preserved. This is why ExpressVPN has a strict zero logging policy for all browsing data.
VPNRanks: Where is ExpressVPN located and under which jurisdiction does the company operate? Can a user’s privacy be impacted, in any way, under such jurisdiction?
David Lang: ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and is subject to BVI jurisdiction. Our offshore jurisdiction is a huge plus where users’ privacy is concerned.
VPNRanks: ExpressVPN is one of the prominent VPN services in the industry. In your opinion, what sets you apart from the rest of the VPN providers when it comes to securing your subscribers’ privacy & security?
David Lang: ExpressVPN is a premium VPN service. This means we invest heavily in both our network and apps, as well as in a 5-star support team with round the clock live chat support. You’ll never catch ExpressVPN cutting corners when it comes to service, privacy, or security.
VPNRanks: Does ExpressVPN keep any logs of its users? If so, what kind of information is stored and for how long?
David Lang: ExpressVPN has a strict no-logging policy for all personally identifiable data.
ExpressVPN does NOT and WILL NEVER log:
- Browsing history
- Traffic data
- DNS queries
In the interest of transparency, here’s all the information that will ever be used from a user’s VPN connection:
- Dates (not times) when connected to the VPN service
- Choice of VPN server location
- Total amount of data transferred per day
This information cannot be used to identify anyone, because it does not contain personally identifiable information such as IP address or time stamps. Why does ExpressVPN use this information in the first place?
- To offer the best possible support to all customers
- To optimize the VPN network for maximum speed and stability
- To help us decide when to buy new servers
VPNRanks: When we consider some of the leading VPN providers in the industry, majority of them offer annual plans around $4.00 per month. ExpressVPN is a brand that prices its yearly package at $8.32 per month. Is there a special reason behind this?
David Lang: Definitely. Referring back to your earlier question, ExpressVPN is a premium VPN service. We take pride in the investments and advancements we’ve made in security, connection reliability, and customer support, but all of these things cost money.
Additionally, ExpressVPN offers premium server locations: in total, you have 136+ locations in 87 countries to choose from.
It’s often said, “You get what you pay for”. We couldn’t agree more.
VPNRanks: Does ExpressVPN ask for photo identification, picture of credit card, or any other personal information (other than that mentioned on the cart) from subscribers upon signing up for verification purposes?
David Lang: Typically not, but in rare cases, we may ask for a photo of the credit card used for purchase. If you want to be certain there is zero personally identifying information associated with your order, Bitcoin is the way to go.
VPNRanks: Do payment methods vary from region to region? If yes, then which methods are accepted in which region and which would you suggest our readers use for maximum privacy?
David Lang: ExpressVPN accepts many standard forms of payment, including credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, Alipay, WebMoney, UnionPay, and more.
For maximum privacy, no question – Bitcoin. In fact, ExpressVPN has created a comprehensive guide to making payments with Bitcoin for even more security: https://www.expressvpn.com/internet-privacy/bitcoin-anonymity/step-by-step-guide/
VPNRanks: If you receive a court order, subpoena, or instructions from law enforcement agencies to provide information about a particular user, how would you handle such situations?
David Lang: These notices generally ask us to reveal which customer was utilizing a particular IP at a particular point in time. We do not record or store this information by design – a court order or subpoena cannot change this.
VPNRanks: Netflix is a prominent streaming service with global presence, but it has been blocking VPN users for the past few months. Is ExpressVPN still working in helping users access Netflix of other regions?
David Lang: We’d like to use the famous Fight Club quote here: The first rule of Netflix is: don’t talk about Netflix. It is due to ExpressVPN Netflix that users are able to stream library of the US Netflix unlike other VPNs in the industry.
VPNRanks: Currently, ExpressVPN has servers in 87 countries. What are you future plans for expanding your network?
David Lang: It’s likely you’ll see this number increase in the future. We listen to our customers, and if we get enough requests for a particular country, we’ll add it to our list.
VPNRanks: As you might have heard, a new data retention law has been passed in Russia which requires internet companies to log user’s metadata and internet traffic for up to one year. How do you plan on preserving your user’s privacy in Russia?
David Lang: We’ve been in close contact with our Russian data center partner and have NOT been asked to keep such records. As said, by design, this information is not kept. ExpressVPN will continue to monitor the situation closely, and take steps to ensure our users’ privacy, regardless of the cost.
VPNRanks: In light of this data retention law, PIA (Private Internet Access) decided to stop operating in Russia. Do you see ExpressVPN taking the same decision to safeguard its subscriber’s data?
David Lang: Yes, we would remove our Russian servers if our service is impacted in any way.
VPNRanks: Do you support the use of torrents and P2P file sharing? If yes, which servers would you recommend users to use for securing their privacy?
David Lang: We have no P2P restrictions on any of our server locations. Users should choose the location best suited for them: https://www.expressvpn.com/vpn-server
VPNRanks: Let’s say you receive a takedown notice (such as DMCA), how does ExpressVPN handle such situations?
David Lang: There is nothing to take down, as we are not a content host. We maintain the anonymity of our customers and would not attempt to identify users on the basis of DMCA notices.
VPNRanks: ExpressVPN offers robust protocols for online privacy and security. Which protocols would you recommend your users for maximum protection?
David Lang: We recommend OpenVPN, which is also used in the majority of our apps when “Choose Protocol Automatically” is selected.
Additionally, ExpressVPN runs its own Logless, Zero-Knowledge DNS on every VPN server. We also offer kill-switch technology to further safeguard our users’ privacy.
VPNRanks: In your opinion, what is the future of the VPN industry? Where do you think it is heading, considering the increasing pressure from governments to monitor and record user’s internet traffic and communications?
David Lang: One word: trust. As VPNs become more mainstream, attempts by governments to regulate them and their users will intensify. Choosing a VPN provider that has a proven track record of safeguarding users’ privacy, and which does not bow to outside pressure will become critically important.