ExpressVPN Review 2019
ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN having an expensive $8.32/mo price but worth buying. It provides 3000+ servers in 94 countries suitable for Netflix and torrenting. The service has received 4.0 stars rating.
ExpressVPN is a British Virgin Island service offering 3000+ servers to cater online privacy needs of netizens from all around the world.
During this ExpressVPN review, I found different features like no-logging policy, 30 days refund policy, 24/7 live chat, 5 devices simultaneous connection, Netflix unblocking and compatibility.
You can select your preferred pricing plans like monthly, half-yearly, yearly at the cost of $12.95, $9.99 and $8.32 on monthly basis respectively.
I strongly recommend ExpressVPN if you are willing to protect your privacy and don’t bother about spending some extra bucks.
I tested the VPN on different grounds like best-in-class encryption, zero-knowledge DNS, speed and checked whether the features that it offers actually delivers what it promises.
If you want to know other exemplary VPN services in the market, check out our exclusive VPN reviews guide.
My Rating Criteria
To keep things simple and to the point, I’ve tested and rated ExpressVPN through my easily understandable rating criteria mentioned below:
- Pricing – How much does ExpressVPN cost?
- Security – Encryption & Protocols
- Jurisdiction – Doesn’t exist in any eyes territory
- Speed – Ideal for Streaming purpose
- Streaming – Netflix & Torrenting
- Leaks – IP, DNS, WebRTC & Virus Tests
- Trustworthiness – Logs, Audit Report, CDT & GDPR Compliance
- Compatibility – Supports All Operating Systems & Devices
Pricing – How much does ExpressVPN cost?
As compared to other VPNs, it does have expensive pricing plans but based on the features it’s worth buying.
ExpressVPN has 3 pricing plans i.e. 1 Month, 6 Months, and 12 Months. On 12-month pricing plan, you get to save 35%.
These packages are standard for all users. Any website claiming a special 49% discount with their coupons are fooling only themselves.
As illustrated above, the best package is the 12-Month pricing plan at $8.32.
To summarize the pricing plan:
1 Month Plan: Pay $12.95 every month
6-Month Plan: Pay $9.99 every month ($59.95 every 6-Month)
12-Month Plan: Pay $8.32 every month ($99.95 every 12 months)
Remember, this VPN does not offer a FREE trial.
Since we all are fascinated with free things, they should have at least considered this attribute.
We believe that a VPN should offer diverse payment methods to choose from. This will facilitate a user to select a payment method as per their convenience. Check below to see the various payment methods:
In addition, there are many who consider third-party payments as a reliable payment option. For them, this service offers the most reliable transaction method of them all – PayPal.
That’s not all. The service also respects its users’ privacy. Thus, it accepts Bitcoin as well. Hence, it can be said that it cares a lot about its customers and their freedom of choice with respect to payment.
Considering there is a higher ExpressVPN cost, you must also keep in mind about its refund policy if in case you don’t like the service.
The service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to its users, ensuring a complete hands-on experience to subscribers. If a subscriber is unsatisfied with its service, they can request a full refund.
However, if the refund is requested after 30 days, then it will provide a pro-data based refund of service fees for the time duration when VPN wasn’t working. Not to forget, refunds are processed within seven days of a request through local currency or bitcoin.
You can get more information about how you can cancel your ExpressVPN subscription and avail a full refund through our detailed guide.
Security – Encryption & Protocols
ExpressVPN is one of the most secure VPNs available in the industry.
To secure their users’ data to another level, it simply applies 256-bit AES encryption.
The service supports different protocols such as PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP and OpenVPN too.
This best-in-class encryption prevents your data from being hacked or even being seen by your government or ISP.
It scrambles all your internet data packets and routes them through secure encrypted tunnels, making it virtually impossible for anyone to uncover or read your internet activities.
Considering its impressive tunneling protocols and encryption feature, I can say without a shadow of doubt that this VPN is secure and safe to use.
ExpressVPN uses its own encrypted DNS on every server they offer. Thus, you are able to make your connections secure and anonymous.
Does ExpressVPN have an Obfuscation Feature?
Yes, they offer a next-level obfuscation feature.
Surprisingly, other countries like UAE, Oman, and others are following the footsteps of China when it comes to suppressing their netizens’ online freedom right.
In case of China, the VPN servers the local users by effectively circumventing the GFW (Great Firewall of China).
With having particular “Stealth Servers” located in Hong Kong, it allows users to bypass instantly the GFW and access Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, YouTube and almost every blocked site from within China.
You may check out our exclusive guide about how you can bypass VPN blocks with obfuscation.
The first and foremost objective of TOR is to offer next-level security.
You can safeguard your traffic through multiple servers. If you use their app while using TOR, you are providing an additional layer of security to your data.
Hence, you can get rid of all the security vulnerabilities in the right way. You will have to access TOR network first and then you can launch ExpressVPN connection through http://expressobutiolem.onion.
ExpressVPN delivers a kill switch feature by the name of Network lock. It helps users secure their data even if their VPN connection suddenly drops or doesn’t work for any reason.
This benefit will protect all your internet traffic as long as online security is not restored. You can use kill switch on different apps like Windows, Mac, Linux, and routers too.
ExpressVPN has launched an Industry First TrustedServer Technology
The British Virgin Island’s service takes no half measures when it comes to innovating itself. This is the reason ExpressVPN has come up with an idea of TrustedServer technology.
The said initiative may revamp the servers’ management technique completely. As a result, it can improve VPN users’ privacy next level.
TrustedServer technology relies on RAM quite heavily. It runs on volatile memory (RAM) rather than hard drives.
This way, it may decrease the chances of data risks to a certain degree. This is because all the information available on the server is wiped off every time it is rebooted.
When they reboot the servers, no information nor intruders can exist on the servers anymore. According to Harold Li, Vice President at ExpressVPN:
We never collect any activity or connections logs and engineer our systems to ensure sensitive information never touches the hard drive.
Through TrustedServer technology, you can be sure of consistency across ExpressVPN server network. It means all the servers use read-only image to load the latest software stack while booting.
Consequently, all servers are bound to use the exact and up-to-date code all the time.
Jurisdiction – Doesn’t exist in any eyes territory
ExpressVPN is located in a safe jurisdiction that means it is not a part of any 5 eyes, 9 eyes and 14 eyes countries.
It is a brainchild of a British Virgin Islands company ExpressVPN International Ltd, which is a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean.
This BVI based VPN service protects users’ online traffic and their original IP addresses.
It is so important to know where your VPN is based. Why? Because you got to know what internet rules does it follow?
The good thing is, the British Virgin Islands does not have any kind of data retention laws. Meaning, ExpressVPN is legally permitted to hide your online activity from the government and ISPs.
That is the benefit of being jurisdictionally separated from countries under heavy surveillance from the intelligence-sharing alliance known as the Five Eyes.
If you’re unfamiliar with this shady surveillance entity, explore our article discussing how 5 Eyes impacts online privacy of the average user.
Impressive Global Server Coverage
There is no denying the BVI based VPN offers an impressive server spread feature worldwide.
Currently, the provider delivers its services through a massive 3000+ servers that are available in 160 locations across 94 countries.
As compared to other VPNs, ExpressVPN has a multitude of servers in every continent be it Europe, Asia, and others.
Apart from having presence in all leading destinations, it has existence in some rare locations such as Venezuela, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Macau, and Myanmar too.
This is really extraordinary.
Does ExpressVPN use Virtual Server Location?
When it comes to offering reliability and security, ExpressVPN takes no half measures at all. Through virtual server locations, you are still able to connect to high-quality servers from anywhere.
This is because you may anticipate issues while connecting to your desired servers in some countries. Therefore, the role of such benefit comes in handy.
Here is the list of virtual server locations that include:
- Andorra (via the Netherlands)
- Armenia (via the Netherlands)
- Bangladesh (via Singapore)
- Belarus (via the Netherlands)
- Bhutan (via Singapore)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (via the Netherlands)
- Brunei (via Singapore)
- Cambodia (via Singapore)
- Ecuador (via Colombia) & others
Read our informative VPN server locations guide that describes some of the major differences between physical and virtual VPN servers.
Speed – Ideal for Streaming purpose
As per speed testing results, ExpressVPN offers excellent download speeds.
Now, getting to the most important part that concerns many people: how fast is ExpressVPN?
To conduct the ExpressVPN speeds test, I tested MANY different servers from around the world. My exact physical location is Utrecht, Netherlands and my current internet speed is 20 Mbps. All the tests were conducted using the ExpressVPN OpenVPN protocol.
Nearest Servers (Europe)
There will be two rounds of speed tests, the first one where I will be testing the nearest server to the Netherlands i.e. in Europe. I went on to conduct tests in 3 different cities i.e. East London, Paris, and Frankfurt. The results were fascinating as I was able to get an average speed of 15 to 18 Mbps speed.
Let me show you the testing results one-by-one.
My current physical location: Netherlands
Download Speed: 20 Mbps
A test conducted with Paris, France server.
Download Speed: 18 Mbps
Declined by: 10%
A test conducted with East London, UK server.
Download Speed: 16 Mbps
Declined by: 20%
A test conducted with Frankfurt, Germany server.
Download Speed: 17 Mbps
Declined by: 15%
With nearest servers, ExpressVPN performed exceptionally well with consistent speed. If I had a much better internet speed, I was sure ExpressVPN would have performed even better.
Long-Distance Servers (Outside Europe)
The second round of the speed test was conducted using ExpressVPN servers that are outside the European region, just to get the taste of how well it performs when servers are placed at a long distance.
So, the only destination I could think of was the United States. It is almost 7,500 Km away from my place, so why not? Let’s give it a try!
I tested with the ExpressVPN server located in New Jersey.
Download Speed: 14 Mbps
Declined by: 30%
The last test with ExpressVPN server located in Kansas City.
Download Speed: 15 Mbps
Declined by: 25%
By looking at the above speed test results for the long-distance, I now know why people are willing to spend all that money on ExpressVPN. It’s because they have excellent speed, and that’s what really makes their money worth.
What should I do to connect to the ExpressVPN Fastest Server?
Not all of its servers are renowned for their speed, but ExpressVPN app lets you connect to the best server according to speed. Just let ExpressVPN do what it does best.
One Reddit user asked about the selection of ExpressVPN fastest server.
Interestingly, the VPN chooses the best server on your behalf automatically.
But, you can select the nearest location of your choice to attain maximum connection speed.
Streaming – Netflix & Torrenting
ExpressVPN is good for both unblocking US Netflix and anonymous torrenting.
Not long ago, Netflix decided to ban VPNs that allowed access to its US library from outside US region or any other library for that matter. Here’s a thing! Netflix has made agreements with copyright owners to make their content available according to their specific targeted regions.
ExpressVPN has 31 US servers and Yes, it works perfectly well with Netflix. Not only that, the VPN has an amazing feature in their applications menu that will connect you to the fastest Netflix server. I performed extensive tests to check whether ExpressVPN unblocked Netflix or not using its different US server.
Below, I am streaming Netflix series with ExpressVPN New York server. There were no proxy errors, neither had I faced slow streaming. Worked 100% fine!
To access Netflix with ExpressVPN, you just ought to connect Express to a US server. Once you do that, open Netflix and start streaming! If you ever get any problem, just get help from their Live Chat Support. They will help you out.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN supports Kodi, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime and other streaming services.
You may check out our exclusive blog that describes how you can access US Netflix with ExpressVPN for more insights.
Torrenting is Allowed
For any VPN to work with Torrents, you got to have a feature that encrypts P2P traffic and allow P2P file sharing.
Why ExpressVPN makes the best VPN for Torrenting? It’s because of these 5 following factors:
- Encrypts P2P traffic and allows P2P file sharing
- Protects users from lawsuits, fines, & penalties by hiding your internet activity
- Fast speed and even greater reliability
- Protects against leaks vulnerability
- Unlimited bandwidth for your unlimited Torrent download
When you use ExpressVPN, you should not bother yourself about any kind of DMCA notice or copyright troll.
At the time of writing the review, I downloaded a torrent file to watch the Oscars award ceremony after selecting one of the ExpressVPN servers.
Luckily, I met with instant success. Here is the screenshot of Oscars 2019 award function below:
You may read our exclusive blog ExpressVPN torrenting that describes how you can use this VPN for torrenting.
Leaks – IP, DNS, WebRTC & Virus Tests
ExpressVPN is a leak-proof service. It offers IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks protection features. Also, it is clean from any viruses, malware, and trojans.
IP Leak Test
Leaking your IP is another great disappointment with your VPN provider. Let’s see if ExpressVPN passes this test. I will be conducting the test using ipleak.net.
First, I managed to check with my original IP without using ExpressVPN:
Now, I connected to ExpressVPN US server and let’s see the results:
DNS Leak Test
It is important to check whether your IP is leaking or not before you go downloading Torrents or unblock a website. It is possible that your VPN provider is leaking your original location.
To check that, I logged into dnsleaktest.com before connecting to ExpressVPN:
Now I checked again while I was connected to ExpressVPN US server:
There you go, ExpressVPN clearly passed the DNS Leak Test with flying colors. That means you are safe.
WebRTC Leak Test
I ran ExpressVPN through browserleaks.com to check whether it leaked my WebRTC information or not.
Fortunately, I did not encounter WebRTC leaks at all.
To know more about different types of VPN leaks like IP, DNS, WebRTC and others, read our detailed VPN leak test guide.
I checked for viruses in the ExpressVPN Windows app file on virustotal.com. It yielded Zero viruses. Here is the screenshot from their website:
Trustworthiness – Logs, Audit Report, CDT & GDPR Compliance
ExpressVPN does not keep logs. The VPN has published third-party audit report on its official website. It also complies with GDPR guidelines.
Let’s discuss ExpressVPN logging policy in detail.
The VPN does NOT log any of your activity or logging history, none of that.
To be specific, it has clearly outlined in their logging policy that they never log:
- IP address
- Browsing history
- Any website you visit/Torrent you download
- DNS queries
From its logging policy:
We have carefully engineered our apps and VPN servers to categorically eliminate sensitive information. As a result, ExpressVPN can never be compelled to provide customer data that do not exist.
But what does ExpressVPN collect? This is what it collects:
- Which app you successfully activated
- Dates (not time) when you connected to ExpressVPN
- Your server location choice
- Data (MB) you used
By considering the above factors, these are just the tools that happen to make your experience better with this VPN.
I managed to confirm the ExpressVPN logging policy by reviewing the case of a ‘Turkish policeman that killed Russian ambassador’.
Turkey had to seize ExpressVPN server which was part of a criminal investigation. The authorities were unable to retrieve any customer data.
In January 2017, Turkish Authorities released a statement:
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.
This unbiased statement from Turkish authorities confirm the ‘No Logs’ policy of ExpressVPN and that is why you should get one.
Security Audit by Cure53
There is no denying ExpressVPN takes all the required measures to become one of the most transparent
Recently, Cure53 a German cybersecurity firm conducted an independent audit. The organization reviewed its Chrome browser extension in detail.
During the testing phase, Cure53 identified 8 different types of security-related risks.
Out of these 8 security-related risks, 3 were termed as a medium, 2 were labeled as low and the remaining ones were deemed only informational level risks.
In order to clear its Chrome extension from such bugs, ExpressVPN developers covered up all the identified loopholes.
Consequently, Cure53 team conducted an exclusive test to verify their fixes claims. Thus, the company gave ExpressVPN clean chit and concluded that Chrome extension test was positive.
ExpressVPN Open-Sources its Browser Extension
The British Virgin Island service took another step towards transparency as they outsourced its Chrome extension publicly.
When you add ExpressVPN extension on your Chrome browser, you will have to grant various permissions including “read and change all your data on the websites you visit” and “change your privacy-related settings”.
It could become a risky business if you are installing an unreliable browser extension.
But, in case of ExpressVPN, you are on the safe side.
According to their official response,
By open-sourcing our extension, we’re inviting anyone to look under the hood and confirm that we are using these permissions responsibly.
To check how much ExpressVPN takes its users’ online privacy seriously, you can check its source code.
Security Audit by PwC
ExpressVPN again came clean as PwC; a renowned audit firm tested the VPN server technology to validate its privacy claims.
Through the said tactic, ExpressVPN has improved its credibility and trustworthiness to a new plane.
The whole activity also focused on its no-logging policy including no collection of activity or connection logs.
By doing so, they were able to affirm its TrustedServer technology in the right way.
If you wish to know which are the most transparent VPNs in the industry, read our exclusive and interesting guide.
ExpressVPN Compliance with CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology)
ExpressVPN has collaborated with CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology) in order to raise privacy standards to new heights.
You can consider these numerous questions in the shape of corporate accountability and business model, data collection practices, DNS information and others.
Here are some other questions posed by CTD and answers given by ExpressVPN:
Question: Does ExpressVPN have ownership in any VPN review site?
Answer: ExpressVPN international limited or any relevant organizations do not have any association with any VPN review site whatsoever.
Question: Does ExpressVPN record any data or metadata produced during a VPN session? If so what data is collected? (From connection to disconnection)
Answer: The ExpressVPN apps do not store such data like personal or sensitive information by default.
That said, ExpressVPN does collect minimal metadata to conduct technical troubleshooting and enhance service performance.
The metadata does include operating systems, apps, choice of VPN server location, total amount of data (in MBs) transferred during the day.
ExpressVPN has also conveyed its stance over users’ privacy when I conducted a detailed interview with their Communication Manager David Lang.
Complies with GDPR
The VPN takes its users privacy quite seriously. This is the reason they have tried their level best to become GDPR compliant VPN.
The provider collects and processes the whole information according to GDPR requirements. Likewise, they are supposed to take prior approval from users when it comes to using their customers’ data.
Customer Support – Delivers numerous options
Customer support is another area where ExpressVPN has outperformed other VPNs by a long distance.
The service has divided the section in different subcategories and these are:
- 24/7 365 days live chat
- Setup ExpressVPN
- Troubleshooting guides
- Support Ticket
- Popular Support Topics
Compatibility – Supports different Operating Systems & Devices
ExpressVPN is compatible with all the famous platforms and devices.
The latest addition for ExpressVPN apps is ‘Samsung Nook Tablet’. It keeps updating to the new technology devices and platforms to ensure full compatibility.
Operating Systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS)
As I already mentioned, ExpressVPN is one of the most compatible VPNs available in the market. You can download and install the VPN on your different devices be it Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
If you compare ExpressVPN with other VPNs, you would observe that many VPN services don’t offer all the required VPN protocols for mobile devices.
In case of iOS, not many VPN providers deliver OpenVPN protocol. This is because they offer only IPSec/IKEv2 protocol.
Interestingly, ExpressVPN does have an OpenVPN protocol that you can use on Android and iOS devices both coupled with 256-bit encryption.
This is the reason ExpressVPN has become one of the most used VPN services among privacy seekers as it enables you to use OpenVPN protocol.
Moreover, you can use secure tunneling feature accordingly.
Smart TVs have become one of the most sought ways to complete media streaming ways.
Therefore, ExpressVPN has delivered its dedicated apps for various smart TVs like Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Firestick and others.
ExpressVPN has also catered the needs of its gaming subscribers by offering apps for numerous gaming consoles.
You can play all your desired geo-restricted games on any console be it Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, and so on.
ExpressVPN apps are not the only source to work with your device. In fact, it has made it easy to access the VPN with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari extension.
It has completely revamped its browser extension. New features include:
- HTTPS everywhere
- Spoof location feature
- Block WebRTC
- Auto-connect to the last location
- See your location from the toolbar
Installing the extension will add an ExpressVPN icon on your toolbar placed at the top-right corner. Once you click on it, the extension will open and let you select the country.
Dedicated ExpressVPN Router App
There’s only a handful of VPN providers that offers a dedicated router app.
ExpressVPN is one of them.
Why is this important is because you can connect ExpressVPN to as much device as you want with a single account?
You can only setup ExpressVPN router with the ones listed below:
- Linksys WRT3200ACM
- Linksys WRT1900ACS
You avail every bit of a VPN benefit using a VPN router connected with ExpressVPN.
Currently, it has upgraded to a new router software that is safe from any vulnerabilities.
The vulnerabilities that were found in original manufacturer firmware are eliminated.
Do I Recommend ExpressVPN?
Yes, I do recommend ExpressVPN.
The VPN delivers an out of the box service including numerous features adequate for both novice and experienced users.
After availing the provider, you get what you pay for eventually.
Concisely, this service is secure and offers next-level anonymity.
I had an amazing experience with this service while conducting ExpressVPN review. Thus, I endorse the service.
Based on the above analysis I give 4.0/5.0 rating overall.