A Universal Service for Streaming Netflix, Torrenting and Privacy
|Server Count||3,000+ VPN servers|
|Jurisdiction||The British Virgin Islands|
|Logs||Doesn’t keep logs|
|Price||$8.32/month ($99.95 for 1 Year)|
|Protocols||OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) L2TP/IPsec & PPTP|
|Bypasses China Firewall||Yes (http://exp4links4.net/)|
ExpressVPN Review 2019
The hype around ExpressVPN is that its a really fast, highly secure and powerful VPN service provider.
On top of this, ExpressVPN costs $8.32/month on its 1 Year deal, which is quite expensive so the hype had to be real if users are willing to subscribe to it at this high price point.
We had to conduct a full-fledged review of ExpressVPN to find the answer to this question. Let’s see how it fares and only then we will be able to give you a recommendation whether this VPN is worth it or not.
Based in a Safe Jurisdiction – The British Virgin Islands
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands or BVI.
This is a small country that, despite coming under the purview of the British Monarchy, is completely independent in managing its internal affairs.
But is BVI a safe jurisdiction for a VPN to be based in?
- BVI has no mandatory data retention laws
- It’s not a part of any data sharing coalition like the 14 Eyes or the 5 Eyes Alliance, making it non-mandatory for it to comply with any external data extradition request
All of this combines to make this location incredibly safe for ExpressVPN, increasing the privacy that the service can afford to give to its users.
The BVI is one of the safest locations globally for a VPN to be based in. For ExpressVPN, this increases its credibility and protects its service from undue tinkering by the law authorities elsewhere.
ExpressVPN has published a full-scale explanation regarding BVI and its data laws as well.
A Clear Logging Policy
ExpressVPN doesn’t keep any kind of logs, period.
No metadata, user browsing history, user’s own/real IP or that of the VPN server connected to, DNS queries etc is logged by the provider.
As a proof, ExpressVPN states this on its site.
No one can see what you do online when you connect to this service, not even the team behind ExpressVPN.
However, they do collect and store information on some accounts. Here is the data that ExpressVPN does store:
- The kind of apps installed and their current versions
- Connection timestamps
- What VPN server you connected to
- How much bandwidth was consumed each day by the user?
These logs are usually harmless, so you shouldn’t be worried majorly about them at all.
ExpressVPN Uses Brute Force Proof, AES 256 Encryption
CIA, NSA or any other major military or sensitive civilian authority uses AES-256 encryption standard to secure their data in transit and for good reason.
There is literally no way you can get through and decipher this form of encryption, even by the most sophisticated brute force attack.
ExpressVPN uses this same military-grade encryption to secure your data as well.
This means that if you use ExpressVPN, no one can access your data, leave alone tamper with it.
ExpressVPN Supports OpenVPN
When your device connects to a VPN server, it needs a tunneling protocol.
Currently, the most secure tunneling protocol out there is the open-source, highly secure, OpenVPN protocol.
This protocol works on the same SSH hash arsenal as banking security channels generating unique keys for each access point.
If you don’t want to get further in on the jargon, consider protocols as tunnels through which your data travels.
These protocols are your first line of defense and OpenVPN is the strongest of them all.
ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN TCP/UDP on all of its apps by default.
L2TP/IPsec and PPTP protocols are also supported but since they have a history of being relatively unsecure, we would recommend that you stick to OpenVPN.
ExpressVPN WebRTC and DNS Leak Review
To just remind you as to why is ExpressVPN valued so highly in the whole industry and by users across the world alike, I conducted a WebRTC test to check whether you are being exposed or not:
The results, like always, were excellent. No such leak was detected. The provider is a hallmark of greatness in the industry, so if you want to subscribe to it, do it without any apprehensions as you will never regret it.
The clear results continued during all Leak tests that we conducted.
- https://ipx.ac/run – Passed
- https://ipleak.org/ – Passed
- https://ipleak.net/ – Passed
- https://browserleaks.com/webrtc – Passed
ExpressVPN has been marked safe in the leak endemic!
ExpressVPN Hasn’t Revealed Who Owns it Yet
The only we were able to find about ExpressVPN’s origins is that its owned by ExpressVPN International Limited.
No names of the individuals who actually own, run and operate the service from BVI have been divulged yet.
By doing this, the provider has tried to maintain a shroud of secrecy behind its actual team.
This is quite surprising since ExpressVPN offers incredible transparency in all other places.
But we can understand this as running a VPN is a sensitive undertaking and this practice is quite common as far as this industry is concerned.
Protecting user data is the primary motive usually behind such acts, so we won’t scrutinize the provider more on this parameter as it’s done enough already to ensure maximum transparency and privacy on all other fronts.
It’s Now a CDT Compliant – VPN Service
Being one of the market leaders in the industry, ExpressVPN always initiates ground-breaking steps to ensure maximum transparency of its service across all spectrums.
A recent action taken in this regard by ExpressVPN was to make its service CDT Compliant.
CDT or the Center for Democracy and Technology is a non-profit organization that runs independently to safeguard human rights and civil liberties across the world. Recently, it showed concern about the prevailing issue of non-transparency in the VPN domain.
To counter it, CDT introduced a compliance test that involves questioning a VPN regarding many different aspects of their business and operations including who owns them, what’s their business model, how diversified their revenue sources are, what protocols do they use, what more is the provider doing in protecting user data among others.
ExpressVPN was one of the first few providers brave enough to answer all of these questions, strengthening the already rock-solid trust factor it enjoys among VPN enthusiasts.
The questions and their detailed answers have been published by ExpressVPN in a blog titled “Signals of a Trustworthy VPN” just recently.
ExpressVPN Cost/Plans and Price Review
ExpressVPN’s main pressing point has long been its high subscription prices.
Currently, ExpressVPN offers three types of pricing plans:
- Monthly Subscription: $12.95 billed once
- Half Yearly Subscription: $9.99/month ($59.95 billed once)
- 12 Month Subscription: $8.32/month ($99.95 billed once)
At almost $13 each month, its monthly subscription is way over budget, even if its the best VPN in the world.
The same goes for the 6-month plan: It’s too expensive at almost $10/month.
But at $8.32/month for a year’s worth of subscription, ExpressVPN is a great option. The price is still way too much on the higher side, but considering that no one matches the provider’s speeds, commitment to privacy, user experience and integrity, the high price seems more like a premium you need to pay to get access to the best service around.
ExpressVPN Free Trial
ExpressVPN does offer a 30-day risk-free trial.
You do need to pay for its subscription but if you don’t like the service, the provider will fully refund your money if you file for a refund within 30 days.
This doesn’t make it a free trial in the true sense of the word, but the fact that ExpressVPN does return your money without a hassle is really something great and we can consider it as a period in which we are using the service for free.
ExpressVPN Payment Methods Review
According to our ExpressVPN review, the provider supports a huge list of payment options.
Among these include credit cards, direct payments, and the anonymous Bitcoin.
Bitcoin payment option is perfect for you if you don’t want to share your personal financial details to the provider.
But do remember that you don’t get a refund if you pay via Bitcoin.
ExpressVPN Servers and Performance Review
ExpressVPN now has 3000+ servers, spread across 94 countries around the world.
This is one of the highest number of servers sported anywhere in the industry.
Such a large server network made sure that we experienced no bandwidth or crowding issues on any server we connected to during our testing phase.
ExpressVPN server network is well-distributed as well.
So whether you are in Luxembourg or Calcutta or Hong Kong, you will always an ExpressVPN server located very close to you.
This matters highly because the more the distance between your actual location and the server you connected to, the higher your chances are of getting poorer speeds.
With ExpressVPN large server network, you rarely face this issue.
ExpessVPN has the Fastest Speeds in the Industry
Every VPN connection experiences some sort of speed loss due to the encryption, server hop and multiple other factors at play.
But mostly, the speeds offered by VPN providers get pathetically slow making them unusable, to begin with.
In such an environment, a fast VPN is a novelty.
But ExpressVPN is not fast, its the fastest VPN out there.
When we checked its speeds on speedtest.net, the results were phenomenal.
We connected to the New York, USA server on our 100 Mbps connection and we got these jaw-dropping results!
Ping: 176 Ms
Download Speeds: 85.29 Mbps
Upload Speeds: 76.92 Mbps
Does ExpressVPN work in China?
The Chinese Government doesn’t like VPNs as this tool disallows them to control what their citizens online.
They’ve added an intricate set of controlling mechanisms in their Firewalls to weed out VPN connections, especially by way of operating deep packet inspection.
This practice has rendered almost all VPNs useless towards offering the facility of unblocking geo-restrictions for users in China. On top of this, Chinese authorities have banned users from accessing many VPN sites, making it even more difficult to download and use them, let alone bypass geo-restrictions through them.
ExpressVPN is a rare service that still offers an incredible service as a VPN for China.
The most amazing thing in support of this statement is that you can access ExpressVPN’s website directly by using this incredible re-direction link exclusively developed for China.
Users will also benefit from the high number of servers located in close proximity to China, in places like Hong Kong and Singapore. Such closely located servers mean that you will have no major issues in speeds or bandwidth choking while using ExpressVPN in China.
ExpressVPN Extra Features Review
Once you sign up with ExpressVPN, you can feel assured to leverage maximum security. The provider offers plenty of advanced features, designed to provide complete anonymity and privacy online, allowing you to explore an unfiltered and secure internet. Among these, include:
ExpressVPN’s Kill Switch a.k.a. Network Lock is a feature that protects you, in circumstances, your internet traffic is exposed, due to VPN disconnection. It automatically stops all traffic by shutting off the internet, preventing your traffic from routing back to your local ISP. This saves you from paying hefty copyright infringement fines, especially if you use the VPN for streaming/downloading pirated content.
Only a few providers in the marketplace including ExpressVPN offer split-tunneling features. It typically allows users to route bits of the traffic through the VPN, while other devices/apps maintain direct access to the internet. This prevents your ISPs from finding out about your online activities, especially if you engage in P2P/Torrenting.
This feature from ExpressVPN is one-of-a-kind providing users with unmatched unblocking capabilities. Since the provider runs its own DNS, all your traffic is safe from censorship, phishing, DNS filtering, and other attacks. Since your DNS requests never leave the VPN tunnel, you even leverage quicker response times when exploring the internet.
Does ExpressVPN Support Torrenting?
ExpressVPN is fast, leak-free and doesn’t keep logs, making it a solid option as a VPN for Torrenting.
A majority of its servers are Torrenting friendly and it has apps for all major devices ensuring that you can indulge in Torrenting securely from anywhere and on any device.
The incredible, working kill switch also makes ExpressVPN good for Torrenting since it literally “Kills” your connection if the VPN drops or the internet goes down, stopping your real IP from being exposed on the web. This keeps you safe from copyright trolls and protects your tail from DMCA notices.
A perfect Torrenting VPN definitely!
ExpressVPN is Extremely Suitable for Netflix Unblocking
Apart from Surfshark, ExpressVPN is the only service whose every server I tested, managed to unblock Netflix.
ExpressVPN’s US servers allowed me to watch Netflix US in HD without any hiccups.
The same goes for Netflix Spain, Netflix UK, Netflix Netherlands, Netflix Germany and even Netflix Japan.
For the sheer volume of countries that ExpressVPN manages to unblock on Netflix, it’s the top streaming VPN according to our review.
ExpressVPN Has Apps for Every Major Device
You will find an ExpressVPN app for almost every device imaginable.
Whether it’s for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS or even Firestick, the provider has a dedicated, compatible app for it.
These apps are also designed in the best possible manner.
From accessing the server list to connecting to a server, everything is incredibly smooth.
ExpressVPN’s apps have the best UI/UX design experience in the entire industry.
These apps are also mightily stable as they don’t crash ever.
They are safe to install on your devices as well.
We checked all of their apps on VirusTotal.com for any viruses, malware or engines.
And all the tests came out squeaky clean.
Here is the VirusTotal.com test of the provider’s Windows app.
There’s green all round so we can conclude that they are safe to set up and use on any device.
ExpressVPN also works with all major routers and if you want to set them up, just contact their live chat and they will guide you with the full installation process.
ExpressVPN iOS Updated 2019
The new, redesigned iOS app by ExpressVPN is much, much better than its previous version.
The font is now more readable and the features are now much more accessible and responsive than previously.
I felt no problems in accessing the main buttons on the screen and as is evident from the image attached below, the “OK” button can be seen and interacted easily, is a great example of the stunning functionality the redesign has brought to the app experience.
Here is how the interface of the new iOS app by ExpressVPN looks like. I’ve also mentioned all the new and old options and how are they placed.
But you know what the biggest deal of them all is?
This iOS VPN app will allow you to unblock Netflix US!
It is unprecedented for a VPN app to allow you to do this on the iOS platform so flawlessly, because the VPN ban on Netflix becomes even more stringent to bypass on this platform.
It’s so simple to do it.
Just connect to a working US server that unblocks Netflix US as I connected to Los Angeles Server 3:
And then I went to Netflix and started to watch Avengers: Infinity War!
But I had one very interesting observation when I was testing the iOS app for unblocking Netflix US.
Whenever I tried to take a screenshot of the movie playing as proof that ExpressVPN’s iOS app unblocks Netflix US, the picture came out blank like this. The screenshot was never able to capture an image from the movie. All I could get was a page with Netflix running with all the features and everything visible apart from the movie itself.
Intriguing, isn’t it?
ExpressVPN Android app 2019 Update
While the iOS app has gotten the new features, the Android app’s UX feels like it has been flattened out.
The Connect button, as well as the main server selection option, bears a more flat feel as can be seen from the image above.
Its good but I really don’t like it. The reason for this is that the previous button design, which can be seen still in the iOS app, was better looking and was easier to interact with.
The two vertical bars that signal that the VPN is off now on the Connect button give it an ugly look. I don’t like their broadness. This should be changed.
But apart from that, I really welcome the new additions like the shortcut feature which allows you to go directly to your favorite apps and services from the ExpressVPN app.
And the rest of the app is easily navigable as well. Here are some screenshots I culled from it.
ExpressVPN Browser Extensions Review
ExpressVPN’s browser extensions boast the same exact appearance and design on Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
The menu and configuration options are neatly laid out, making it incredibly easy-to-use.
You have a huge collection of servers available for connection.
There is even a WebRTC leak protection feature, which prevents information leakage from your browser.
Express VPN Router Review
At a single point in time, you are limited to using ExpressVPN on just 5 devices.
This is enough or even more than enough for a lot of users.
But still, if you want to connect more devices than that to ExpressVPN simultaneously, you need to set up ExpressVPN on a router.
By doing this, all the devices getting internet via the router will automatically get a secure VPN connection powered by ExpressVPN.
The process to do so might seem difficult to you, so contact live chat and they will guide you easily.
ExpressVPN Customer Support Review
The best customer support in the entire VPN industry is offered by ExpressVPN.
Every single query or question is answered by extremely well-trained executives who ensure that you don’t exit the chat without getting a satisfactory answer.
The customer support doesn’t end there with live chat support.
If you are looking for an instant solution, there is a troubleshooting page available too.
Here you can find all information about how to get started with the service, the usage of different features, and frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the VPN.
If the above options do not prove helpful enough, you can always visit the setup tutorials page. Here you can receive manual guides on how to set the VPN up on different platforms, which include Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and plenty more.
ExpressVPN Media Streamer Review:
The MediaStreamer DNS service from ExpressVPN is perhaps one of its unique selling points.
The provider has specially created their own DNS servers, which can be used on dedicated streaming devices like the Amazon Firestick, Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation for streaming content.
This is perhaps the best way to enjoy unblocked streaming sites on streaming devices without having to set up a VPN in actuality.
For more information on how to set up MediaStreamer DNS, check this link out.
Is ExpressVPN Recommended?
A big, resounding, YES!
There is no reason why we wouldn’t recommend it really. ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN out there with incredible security and top-notch user experience. The price of $8.32/month is justified by the stellar service quality of ExpressVPN as well.
There are no better providers than this one, so if you are looking for a VPN that’s nothing but the best, opt for ExpressVPN.