ExpressVPN Review – Check Pricing, Servers, Streaming & more (November 2023)
In this ExpressVPN review, our experts tackle the crucial question: Is it truly the best VPN choice?
In our comprehensive ExpressVPN review for 2023. We will discuss how, in today’s digital age, where online privacy and security are paramount, choosing the right VPN service is crucial. ExpressVPN stands out as a leading contender in the VPN market, renowned for its exceptional speed, robust security features, and user-friendly interface.
In this in-depth review, we’ll explore every facet of ExpressVPN, from its pricing and security protocols to its global server network and customer support. As avid advocates for online privacy, we at VPNRanks understand the importance of using the best VPN services.
ExpressVPN has consistently been a top choice for users worldwide, offering a blend of speed, security, and simplicity. Our goal is to provide you with an unbiased, detailed analysis of ExpressVPN, helping you make an informed decision about whether it’s the right VPN for your needs.
Throughout this review, we’ll delve into the technical aspects of ExpressVPN, assess its performance in various real-world scenarios, and compare it with other leading VPN services. Whether you’re a streaming enthusiast, a frequent traveler, or someone concerned about online privacy, this ExpressVPN review is tailored to give you a clear perspective on what to expect from this renowned VPN provider.
Stay tuned as we uncover the strengths and weaknesses of ExpressVPN, providing you with the insights you need to navigate the complex world of VPNs.
Ranked #1 out of 56 VPNs
- Swift download speeds
- Suitable for torrenting
- RAM-only servers for utmost privacy
- Unblocks various streaming platforms
- Subjected to independent audits
- Effective at thwarting online trackers
- Up to 8 simultaneous connections
- Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee
- Offers a 7-day free trial on iOS and Android devices
- Light on VPN features
What’s New in ExpressVPN Latest Updates
That’s not all. ExpressVPN has introduced a host of new features since our last evaluation. For example, this VPN announced its transition from 1Gbps to the new 10Gbps servers, which is a significant update to its capable infrastructure. Now, this means that you get much better speeds and reliable connections than they already were!
Moreover, its Threat Manager is the latest privacy tool that blocks advertisements, trackers, and malware-infested websites. Currently, it’s available on Mac, Linux, and iOS and is soon to be released on other devices/operating systems.
Some features have also been removed from the Windows apps as per the ExpressVPN Reddit review, including IKEv2/L2TP protocols and the built-in speed test. Also, you can now delete your ExpressVPN account directly from the iOS app, unlike other companies that make it super-hard for users to there ExpressVPN subscription and their accounts.
Best ExpressVPN LIMITED OFFER for November, 49% OFF on the 1-year plan!
ExpressVPN is a fantastic VPN that is now offering an outstanding November discount. The 1-year plan is 49% reduced, bringing the monthly cost down to $6.67. This is very reasonable pricing for a VPN of this level.
|🥇 Overall rank:||#1 out of #56|
|📖 No logs policy:||Yes|
|💵 Price:||From $6.67/month|
|🖥️ Servers:||3000+ servers in 105 countries|
|📱 Supporting Devices:||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, routers, streaming devices, smart TVs|
|🍿 Streaming services:||HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, YouTube TV and more|
|💸Money Back Guarantee:||30-Days|
|🔥 Coupons:||ExpressVPN coupon 49% OFF|
ExpressVPN Cost: How Much Does it Cost?
ExpressVPN offers a straightforward pricing structure with three plans. The monthly plan is priced at $12.95, which is standard. For savings, you can choose the 6-month plan at $9.99 per month. The annual plan offers a significant discount, costing $6.67/mo (a 49% reduction compared to the monthly plan).
Here, we break down ExpressVPN’s pricing structure, comparing the value offered in each plan. We’ll assess whether the higher-tier plans truly offer more bang for your buck and how ExpressVPN’s pricing stacks up against industry standards.
How much is Express VPN? Generally, ExpressVPN costs remain more expensive than some competitors like NordVPN ($4.99 per month) and Surfshark ($3.99 per month) on their annual plans. ExpressVPN does not currently provide extended subscription plans for additional savings.
Like other premium VPN providers, ExpressVPN offers the same package across all subscription tiers. The only difference is the subscription duration, where longer plans offer more significant savings.
How much does ExpressVPN cost? ExpressVPN has three subscription options and you can check their pricing below:
If you’re still unsure and want to see how ExpressVPN stacks up against the competition after reading the ExpressVPN review, here’s a look at the price for ExpressVPN and some of our other top VPNs:
|VPN provider||Monthly plan||1-year plan||2-year plan||Free trial||Free version||Money-back guarantee|
|ExpressVPN||$12.95||$6.67/month||N/A||7-day (via iOS and Android)||No||30 days|
|Surfshark||$5.99||$3.22/month||$2.30/month||7-day (via iOS and Android)||No||30 days|
|NordVPN||$12.99||$4.99/month||$3.19/month||7-day (via Android)||No||30 days|
|Atlas VPN||$11.99||$3.29/month||$1.82/month||7-day (via iOS and Android)||Yes||30 days|
|IPVanish||$11.99||$3.49/month||$2.99/month||7-day (via iOS and Android)||No||30 days (only with yearly subscriptions)|
Can I get ExpressVPN for free?
Yes, you can utilize ExpressVPN for free for 7 days using the ExpressVPN free trial option. You can obtain the trial by downloading ExpressVPN for iOS or Android devices, and after signing up, you can enjoy the free trial on any device that ExpressVPN supports.
Moreover, you’re free to test out the service and all of its features this way before committing to a long-term membership plan.
|Free trial||7-day free trial (iOS, Android)|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days|
This way, you can check out the service and all its features without having to commit to a costly membership right away. You can additionally try out this service risk-free thanks to a 30-day money-back guarantee. The best thing about these choices is that there are no limits on either data or speed.
Why ExpressVPN is so expensive? ExpressVPN costs more than its competitors because it provides a superior quality of service. Due to its nature as a for-profit product for businesses, no completely free version of ExpressVPN or most other premium VPNs is available indefinitely. However, we wouldn’t recommend depending on the free versions because of their restrictions and lack of functionality. Instead, take advantage of our ExpressVPN discounts to save money on the industry’s best VPN service.
ExpressVPN Payment Methods
Express VPN reviews make it easy to learn about the best VPN. You can subscribe to ExpressVPN by paying via several different payment options.
ExpressVPN supports PayPal Credit cards, in-app payments from Apple, and in-app purchases from Google Play all have an automatic renewal setting for subscriptions. To prevent getting charged when your membership expires, you may disable auto-renewal
These are the types of payment they accept:
|Credit card||ExpressVPN accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Delta, Diners Club International, OneCard, and Hipercard as payment methods.|
|Debit card||You can pay for ExpressVPN with Visa and Mastercard debit cards.|
|PayPal||Pay for ExpressVPN using PayPal in most countries.|
|Bitcoin||You can pay for ExpressVPN with Bitcoin, a popular cryptocurrency.|
|Other cryptocurrencies||ExpressVPN also accepts other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash.|
|Online transfer payments||ExpressVPN accepts Western Union and MoneyGram online transfers.|
|Local payment methods||In certain locations, ExpressVPN also offers local payment options.|
Security and Privacy – How does ExpressVPN security work?
Is a VPN worth it? Yes, a VPN transmits your data through a secured tunnel like ExpressVPN which is secured with AES-256, a similar encryption standard used by the US government and other security personnel around the world to protect sensitive information. This tunnel cannot be penetrated by attackers or other third parties, rendering your online activities anonymous and untraceable.
What is a secure VPN? A secure VPN, short for virtual private network, creates an encrypted and protected connection between your device and the internet. This secure VPN connection is designed to safeguard your online activities and protect against external threats.
How does a secure VPN work? A secure VPN operates through the establishment of a protected link between a client (such as your device) and a server, which is commonly provided by services like ExpressVPN.
So, how safe is ExpressVPN? For safety, your device initiates a connection with a remote access server (RAS) using valid credentials, and these credentials undergo authentication through various protocols, forming the initial layer of security. Additionally, client software is employed on your device to create and sustain a secure VPN connection. This client software configures a tunneled connection to the RAS and oversees the encryption that ensures the safety of your connection.
Let’s delve into these processes in more detail.
Where is ExpressVPN Based?
ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Despite being a small territory, the BVI manages its own affairs, which means neither the UK nor the US can easily compel ExpressVPN to disclose any data. That being said, it is owned by a UK-based company Kape Technologies, which has strong Israeli connections. The status of Israel as one of the world’s most keen surveillance states is well known, not to mention the UK’s status as a founding member of the Five-Eyes alliance.
Is ExpressVPN still trustworthy? ExpressVPN remains highly trustworthy in 2023, according to VPN users. They highlight its excellent security and privacy features, along with its impressive performance, which includes minimal impact on connection speed and strong streaming capabilities.
After investigating the service for months, we’re also convinced that ExpressVPN is one VPN we’d highly recommend to privacy-conscious users, thanks to its RAM-only server fleet, heavily audited no-logs policy, and transparency. This is aided by the fact that ExpressVPN’s privacy and security initiatives have continued to scale in the industry.
Considering its robust transparency measures, we can undermine Kape’s capability to reap and sell user data through ExpressVPN. We don’t actually think that Kape does that though. Here’s why:
ExpressVPN can be deemed the king in Kape Technologies’ portfolio. Following this VPN’s purchase, Kape’s revenue increased by 89%, likely doubling by 2023’s end. Assuming this, we’re confident that Kape won’t try jeopardizing ExpressVPN’s reputation and profitability by harvesting data from them.
Now that we know all ExpressVPN users are safe from data collection, let’s take a closer look at all these security features and see if this VPN itself is a safe bet:
Secure connections via tunneling
Split tunneling allows you to send data across the internet privately while exempting some traffic from the VPN tunnel. This is useful if you want to enjoy streaming with an international connection and access your banking site with a local IP. To start, all you need is to decide which app will use the VPN connection.
For testing, we chose the 3rd option and added our Netflix app to test the feature. Then, we connected to ExpressVPN’s USA – New Jersey – 3 server and accessed the streaming platform’s app. It worked great, and we could stream the exclusive US content while using our local IP for everything else normally.
This feature is only available on the Mac, Windows, and router apps for ExpressVPN. Sadly, you don’t get split tunneling on mobile apps.
Encryption — Military-Grade Protection
The encryption technology of ExpressVPN protects your personal information. It safeguards you using its AES 256-bit encryption, which is a combination of 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication with AES 256-bit cipher. On the 256-bit keyspace, your data is simply uncrackable. Please note that this is the same encryption level that banks, governments, and militaries use to secure sensitive data.
AES 256-bit means 1.1 x 10^77 or 2^256 possible combinations. The number of bits tells you the possible number of combinations there are to make the key.
Moreover, ExpressVPN uses the SHA-512 HMAC authentication, which is super-secure for transferring all kinds of data, including torrent files. With a shared key, both the sender and receiver can determine the identity of the file. In case of any changes in the secret key, you’ll know that the file has been tampered with, and so the breach would quickly be identified and dealt with.
It further uses perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption key every time you log into ExpressVPN. So, even if someone decrypts your key, your past and future sessions will not be decrypted.
Finally, each security protocol will slightly change your level of encryption. For example, the Lightway protocol uses wolfSSL, which is not AES but still tends to be 256-bit encryption. So, it’s more open-source and pretty secure.
ExpressVPN Security Protocols
ExpressVPN offers different protocols, allowing you to customize the VPN for any situation. Security protocols are rules that a VPN uses to inform how to encrypt your data.
Please note that every protocol is a bit different than the other, so let’s dig into the ExpressVPN Keys review:
- Lightway: This protocol is exclusive to ExpressVPN. It seamlessly transitions between networks and doesn’t drain too much battery, making it an excellent choice for mobile phones. It offers two options: Lightway UDP and TCP. As per our testing for the ExpressVPN Lightway review, the TCP is 10% faster than UDP and is a better option for unreliable networks.
- IKEv2: This was only 2% faster than OpenVPN, as per our tests. The protocol isn’t too secure and can easily be blocked by firewalls, so you should only use it if the rest aren’t working. Moreover, it has no TCP option.
- OpenVPN: This open-source protocol is one of the most secure options. It has TCP and UDP options; however, UDP comes out a bit faster than TCP.
- L2TP/IPsec: This is the oldest and the least secure option. However, it turned out the fastest in our tests and can be used if you prioritize speed over security.
You can switch to different protocols using the protocols tab on Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android. Whereas on Linux, you can use various commands in the terminal. Moreover, you get a different set of protocols based on your device:
You can also use the Automatic selection option to choose the best protocol based on your connection. Please note that not every server supports L2TP/IPsec protocol. Overall, we’d recommend using Lightway to you for the best security and speed.
ExpressVPN Lightway Protocol
Lightway is a lightweight proprietary protocol of ExpressVPN, which is ideal for users wanting security on mobile. Here are a few benefits of the protocol as per our tests:
- Ability to establish connections instantly: When tested, we could connect to the Lightway protocol within 2 seconds.
- Updated level of encryption: It uses the wolfSSL encryption, which is the latest cryptographic library providing 256-bit encryption.
- Fast speeds: Our base speeds improved by 3% while connected to Lightway. However, you can switch from wolfSSL to ChaCha20 for a speed boost if you’re using a device that’s not extremely powerful, like a phone.
- Codebase is small: The protocol has only 1000 lines of code, which is the lightest codebase amongst all protocols, making it extremely easy to audit Lightway.
Please note that ExpressVPN does not offer a SOCKS5 proxy on its apps and servers. To know more about it, read our ExpressVPN SOCK5 guide.
ExpressVPN kill switch
ExpressVPN kill switch (Network Lock) is available on the app for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and routers. It keeps your activities safe if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly. it’s better to use ExpressVPN MikroTik or ExpressVPN on pfSense.
This kill switch mechanism ensures that there’s not even a single packet of your data that slips through the internet from your computer without ExpressVPN guarding it.
To evaluate the kill switch for our ExpressVPN review, we connected to ExpressVPN’s AU – Brisbane server and then switched our internet off to see the results. We kept the ExpressVPN app open on our screen while doing so, and this is the error we immediately received:
Once this error was displayed on our screen, we could not access any site until we connected to our Wi-Fi network again. In short, ExpressVPN worked flawlessly without any issues and responded swiftly to our attempts.
You can enable and disable the kill switch on the Windows and Android apps using its toggle as per your preference. As per the ExpressVPN router review, the same function isn’t offered on the router app, though.
Additionally, the feature is known as Network Protection on Android devices, and you require setting the feature to ‘Always On’ in the settings to make the most of it. Not to mention, ExpressVPN’s kill switch is automatic on Mac, iOS, and Linux.
ExpressVPN DNS leak protection
ExpressVPN has a built-in leak protection feature that blocks any technique hackers use to access your data.
It works this way: You enter a URL in your address bar to visit any website. That URL is sent through the encrypted tunnel to a DNS server by ExpressVPN. The DNS server then looks for the IP address and sends it back to ExpressVPN to access the website. ExpressVPN instantly sends you back to that page. No traffic manages to escape the tunnel’s protection.
Your data can be accessed through several methods, including IPv4, WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks. However, ExpressVPN passed all our leak tests with flying colors on its Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows apps in our ExpressVPN review.
First, we executed its DNS/IP leak tests using ipleak.net on seven global servers.
The image above demonstrates that each test only detected the DNS server and IP address for Brisbane that we were currently connected to using the app.
Then, we ran ExpressVPN through browserleaks.com to check whether it leaked our WebRTC information or not. Since we were connected to the Canadian server of ExpressVPN for the test, the results below showed IP addresses associated with ExpressVPN’s servers, evidence that we did not encounter WebRTC leaks at all with ExpressVPN.
Even if a VPN keeps you secure in every way, please note that leaks can still occur. That’s why it’s great to ExpressVPN, since it offers a built-in DNS leak protection feature, keeping you secure from all kinds of leaks.
Get ExpressVPN30 Days Money Back Guarantee
Logging Policy – Does ExpressVPN keep logs?
No, ExpressVPN does not keep any connection or activity logs of its users. No activity logs mean ExpressVPN does not view, store, or record the sites you visit. It also doesn’t log your traffic or destination’s content, session duration, timestamps, or source IP address. The ExpressVPN no-logging policy is stringent, and the VPN is confident enough not to over-advertise its no-logs policy on its homepage.
Is ExpressVPN safe and legal? Yes, ExpressVPN is safe and legal to use anywhere. It ensures your safety by hiding your IP address and employing robust security measures, such as AES-256 encryption, which safeguards your data from potential threats. In terms of legality, using ExpressVPN is generally legal in most countries, with a few exceptions where VPNs are restricted or banned.
To sum up, no record exists of where you connected to ExpressVPN or what you did while connected.
This is super impressive. Literally, not many VPNs log less information about their users. The best part is all this information is used for maintenance and to improve the quality of the service – not for any malicious reasons.
But if you still want more anonymity, ExpressVPN allows its users to buy subscriptions with cryptocurrency. How cool is that!
Also, after you’re done using ExpressVPN and want to end your subscription, you can reach out to ExpressVPN and have your personal information completely wiped. We confirmed this through ExpresVPN’s live chat support:
If you’re not aware, ExpressVPN’s zero-logs policy was tested in 2017 when the Turkish government seized one of ExpressVPN’s servers. However, they discovered nothing because no data was stored, demonstrating the legitimacy of the no-logs policy, because ExpressVPN is also the best VPN for offshore. And as we mentioned earlier, ExpressVPN has been independently audited by Cure53, PwC, and F-Secure.
Trusting a VPN with your privacy is a huge deal. While some VPN providers undergo independent audits to demonstrate their trustworthiness, ExpressVPN has gone above and beyond in this regard. In the past year alone, they have undergone more than 12 independent audits, confirming the robust handling of privacy across their apps, servers, and procedures.