I could be mean and save my conclusions on ExpressVPN for the bottom of the page. . . but you would probably just end up scrolling down there and skipping everything anyway. You win. I’ll give you the lowdown right here, then the full ExpressVPN review to follow.
ExpressVPN know what they are doing and they are a market leader with one of the best products out there. It can be a little more expensive than some of the competitors, but this is made up for in features, such as high speeds and intelligent interfaces, Fort Knox level security and a simplicity that will have our chimp brethren using US Netflix and torrenting anonymously.
ExpressVPN don’t mess around when it comes to features. They easily match their competitors on most features and surpass them with intelligent design and simplicity. At the core of the product, their software is easy to use and very straight forward (seriously, anonymous chimp hacking is a huge concern). The mobile apps are specifically optimised and the website is modern and clean, so any information you might need is easy to find. It has a minimalist and uncluttered style without being depressingly bland.
ExpressVPN offer users three main server protocols, with servers in 78 countries. You may not be able to afford that holiday in Italy, but at least you can use a server based there. ExpressVPN have the edge on some of their competitors by allowing setup across several devices. A single subscription can be used simultaneously on one computer, one mobile device, one wireless router and one streaming media console. If you want to use it on more than one of these devices simultaneously, you can arrange another subscription.
Plans and Pricing
If you decide that ExpressVPN is for you, there are three different pricing plans for you to choose. They all offer the exact same level of service but are at different price points depending on the time commitment. Long term subscriptions will give you the biggest discount, with the 12-month package costing $8.32/month. A six-month plan will set you back $9.99/month, while if you want the flexibility of month-to-month commitments, it is $12.95/month. Although this is more expensive than many VPNs, the features that are offered justify the price for many users.
Don’t stress out if you aren’t too sure on ExpressVPN. They offer you a 30-day money back guarantee if you change your mind or decide that the product isn’t for you.
– Comprehensive 24/7 support with live chats and contact forms.
– Detailed setup tutorials with screenshots and an exhaustive troubleshooting section.
Express VPN know how to look after their customers.
Their tutorials can help you set things up without any headaches, while if something does go wrong, the live chat is always there to give you immediate assistance. The tutorials cover most device types and operating systems, so even more obscure setups have step-by-step instructions to follow.
Privacy and Security
Using OpenVPN as the standard protocol and with 256-bit security, ExpressVPN take the security and privacy of their users very seriously. The bandwidth is fantastic, but it is also possible to jack things up a bit with PPTP and L2TP. These faster options are also available through the mobile apps.
ExpressVPN is a proud supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, helping fund them so that they can stand up for the rights of internet users. They put privacy first, so the company is now based out of the British Virgin Islands to avoid the European Data Retention Directive laws and similar US laws. ExpressVPN works on the premise of sharing IPs, which means that an IP can’t be tracked back to any single user. They don’t keep logs of user traffic, require only an email to sign up and also accept Bitcoin.
Simplicity is paramount in everything that ExpressVPN do. All you need is an email address and a way to pay them to sign up. A confirmation email will come through and you will be directed towards your download.
Installation is very straightforward. You just have to copy the verification code that you are sent, rather than logging in with your own details. When you reach the home screen, you can choose the server that you would like to use, or choose the connection with the best speed. Don’t use this if you are looking to access geo-blocked websites. Connection will only take a few seconds.
If you want, you can change the protocol in settings. OpenVPN is the default, but you can change it to L2TP or PPTP for higher speeds. These other options trade off some of the security for higher speeds. ExpressVPN has the option to do speed tests and allows you to choose either TCP or UDP if you are having issues with firewalls or protocols. The software is straightforward with enough features for the average user, but it lacks some of the advanced settings of other VPNs.
Upon testing out the VPN, our download speeds went from 9.85Mb/s without a VPN to 9.06Mb/s with OpenVPN and 9.33Mb/s with L2TP. Upload speeds went from 1.03Mb/s to 3.35Mb/s and 0.96Mb/s respectively. The Ping went from 21ms to 34ms to 27ms.
With the DNS Leak test, our real DNS/IP never showed up, so everything worked effectively.
The app can be downloaded through the Play Store or ExpressVPN’s website. To determine which protocol you will be assigned, you need to use the website to get your password. It will either assign you OpenVPN for 4.0+ or L2TP for v2.0+. You can manually go through the native client to setup PTPP or L2TP, but this only allows you to use the servers of eight countries.
The main screen of the app allows you to select your connection and only takes a few seconds to connect. The results of the speed test were reasonable. Without the VPN, the download speed was at 24.13Mb/s, the Upload speed at 4.34Mb/s and the Ping at 17ms. With Open VPN, the respective values were 20.86Mb/s, 3.30Mb/s and 92ms.
ExpressVPN provides specific apps for each of your devices. It has a 4.0 client for Windows and Mac that makes the service easy to access through Wi-Fi, cellular or wired connections.
Express VPN is one of the best VPNs on the market. Though it is priced significantly higher than some of the lower range competitors, it more than makes up for it with its features. It uses OpenVPN as its standard protocol and has dedicated apps for all devices. Everything about the company is focused around simplicity and ease of use, whether it is the website, installation or the apps. The product works amazingly and the support services are great.
The only real problems with it are that the price point will put it out of reach for some users and you will need to use different login codes on your devices. Apart from this, it’s as good as VPNs get.
Are you an ExpressVPN user? Leave an ExpressVPN review below with your thoughts on the service, and help others out when madecisioneir decison.