Since 2009 ExpressVPN has been going strong and is one of the world’s largest providers of premium VPN services. The company itself has been famed for its award winning apps and security features available on Windows, Mac and Android along with iOS support.
During this ExpressVPN review we also learned that this VPN service is also a strong advocate for internet freedom and non-profit organisations who fight for the privacy of individuals in our modern age.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get to grips with the security features ExpressVPN has to offer in this review!
ExpressVPN Review: First impressions…
First impressions can mean a lot to people who have never used a VPN so for this ExpressVPN review let’s go ahead and take a look over on their website and see what they have to offer us.
The first thing you will notice from this VPN provider is site screams professionalism and transparency making it really easy to find the areas you are after, or even just jump right too their pricing and packages.
Right off the bat they boast Easy-to use VPN apps for Windows, Mac and others allowing you at the click of the mouse to watch streaming services from any country anywhere on earth at superior and reliable speeds.
Of course as is the standard with other VPN providers we review, ExpressVPN also give insight into the kinds of ways you can use the service to encrypt your internet traffic, Unblock websites and most importantly stay anonymous while browsing the web.
They also claim to offer 5-star customer support so we will put this to the test later on in the ExpressVPN review.
ExpressVPN Price & Packages
Much like other VPN providers we review ExpressVPN are consistently changing their pricing to give their existing and new users a chance to snap up the VPN apps at a rock bottom price.
As you can see below the most popular option is currently the 12 month package that comes in at a discounted rate which is great news for all of us!
They are also so confident that you will enjoy the service that they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee which you don’t always see with a lot of VPN providers. This means you can give ExpressVPN a trial run and see how it all works and within 30 days if it doesn’t meet your expectations get a full refund.
ExpressVPN offers lots of choice when it comes to ways you can pay for the service. They offer the payment methods you would expect to see like Credit Cards and Paypal to other great options like Bitcoin that can help keep the payment process more anonymous. They also offer payment through services like Webmoney amongst many others.
Once you’ve chosen the subscription package you’re going to go with and paid, you will promptly be sent an email confirming your account details with a link that provides you with an activation code allowing you to install ExpressVPN on a huge amount of platforms. See the below list that shows what devices you can easily install ExpressVPN upon.
For this review we’re going to install and use ExpressVPN on Windows and Android which are two of the most commonly used platforms amongst their user base.
ExpressVPN Windows Installation
Ok so let’s go ahead and get the install on Windows underway!
The first page you will want to be looking at is where it says ‘Download Now’ for Windows which is where ExpressVPN will provide you with the latest version of the VPN to install. (Just be sure to pick the correct Version either for Windows 7, 8 and above or the alternative that’s for Windows XP and Vista)
Once downloaded simply run the installation file where you will be greeted with the usual installation process you are probably familiar with. Click ‘Install’ and hit ‘Next’ to choose your installation location and install the VPN.
Once installed an ExpressVPN Shortcut should appear on your Desktop, simply open the VPN software where you will be prompted to input the activation code provided to you. (This can be found on the download page sent to you via Email)
Once you have provided the verification code and it’s been accepted you are all set to start using ExpressVPN to change your IP address and encrypt your sensitive data or stream US Netflix with ease.
ExpressVPN Android Installation
Installing ExpressVPN on Android is seriously easily as they give you two simple options, the first being to download the ExpressVPN app straight from Google Play store. Alternatively if you would prefer you can download the APK for ExpressVPN from the download page they provide to you via email.
Once installed on your Android device simply run the ExpressVPN app where you will be greeted by a welcome page allowing you to login with your account details. Simply input the Email you signed up with and the password provided by ExpressVPN in your inbox.
Once you hit login ExpressVPN will then activate your account and should save your login credentials to your Android device allowing you to login easily on the fly.
That’s it! You’ve now installed ExpressVPN on your Android device and should see the UI along with server selections and your recommend server they choose based on your location.
Next to the software itself ExpressVPN has opened up the doors to unlimited usage offering Unlimited Bandwidth, Server Switching and Speed which means you really can get the most out of your subscription to the service.
They also pride themselves on reliability and quote a 99.9% up time across the server locations hosted in 78 countries worldwide.
You are also able to hook up ExpressVPN on multiple devices and run a simultaneous connection on let’s say a PC and handheld device for example, but not only that you can do the same on streaming devices like Apple TV or hardware such as a Asus Router.
ExpressVPN also give you round-the-clock customer support for any issues you may run into, but rest assured we will be putting all this to the test later on in the review.
Best of all is the 30-day money back guarantee that means you can try ExpressVPN for a total of 30 days and give it a trial run to see if you can unblock websites, protect your data and stream US Netflix if you can’t already do so in your area. Visit ExpressVPN below to learn more about this offer
ExpressVPN have always prided themselves on having very minimalist user interfaces allowing their users to easily swap and change server locations and adjust settings as needed. The look and feel has to be among some of the best we’ve come across with everything feeling streamlined while still making it easy to forget your using a VPN which is important as you don’t want anything getting in the way of things like streaming Netflix or interfering with things while you transfer data or bank online.
For this ExpressVPN review we installed on Windows and Android so let’s first go ahead and take a look at the UI on windows.
Windows UI –What’s the look and feel like?
On Windows the ExpressVPN UI has a really streamlined look and feel making it seriously easy to open up the VPN, Connect and leave it going in the background.
Initially ExpressVPN will give you a list of recommended servers to connect to which will normally give you the best speeds as these are chosen in most part by basing things on your location and current IP address.
If you want to take a look at what other server locations you have to pick from you can do this by clicking ‘By Region’ which will give you a whole heap of new locations to pick from. This is especially handy if you are travelling and still want to watch things like Game Of Thrones using a US IP address.
Alternatively ExpressVPN lets you choose ‘By Name’ which will give you and alphabetical list of countries around the world in which ExpressVPN currently run servers from for you to connect to.
When using ExpressVPN on Windows the program can be easily minimised to your system tray meaning it’s out of the way while you make use of your new connection but can easily be accessed again by right clicking the icon and selecting ‘Show ExpressVPN’
Android UI – Does it get in the way?
Once you have the VPN installed and activated on your Android device it’s actually very easy to forget the complexity of the application and what’s going on behind the scenes as it just feels like any other Android App you would expect to find on your device.
On the main screen of the ExpressVPN app you are greeted by the recommend server locations for you to connect to. These are based on their connection speed and your current location.
You are also able to favorite your most commonly used servers and connections into a nice and neat list. This is seriously useful as in just a couple of taps of your android device you can be connected to a server and be free to use your new encrypted connection.
While ExpressVPN is running on your android and you have connected to a new server you will see a handy tray icon appear giving you a breakdown of the current connection and rough estimate of the speed at that current moment. The speed stats here will depend solely on your current usage.
ExpressVPN offers 100+ VPN server locations in over 78 countries around the world with the United States notably getting the highest priority in locations like Los Angeles, New York and Miami. They also have a strong presence throughout Europe, the Middle East and Asia so you can be sure to find a fast and reliable server location near you.
When connecting to a VPN server we have noticed little to no lag or downtime on any of the locations we’ve tested around the world which is a good sign the network infrastructure is solid and reliable.
When choosing a server on ExpressVPN it’s important to note what you will be using the connection for.
If you are simply looking to unblock and access censored content like Facebook, Skype or Twitter in your region for example East Asia you can still pick a server location that’s closer to you like Hong Kong or Los Angeles as the speed will be much improved when compared to a server location on the East coast of the United States.
If your goal is to simply protect your data and activity against third parties and hackers looking to exploit it. You should pick a server location that’s closest to you to ensure you still maintain fast speeds and are still protected by a high level of encryption.
ExpressVPN Security & Privacy
OpenVPN is set a default for ExpressVPN which in our eyes is a good choice offering a high level of security on each new connection to a VPN server. This can be run over TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) Or UDP (User Datagram Protocol) with TCP being the more reliable as it offers error correction meaning when a network packet is sent across the network it will wait and confirm the data has arrives before resending the packet (if no confirmation has been received back)
Let’s take a look at the protocols ExpressVPN has to offer:
- OpenVPN (TCP, UDP)
- L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)
- PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)
- SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)
For this ExpressVPN review we mainly used OpenVPN as L2TP and PPTP offer less security and also may only provide a subset of server locations for you to use with the service.
When choosing which protocol to use it is again important to know what you are going to be using the connection for. ExpressVPN is by default set to pick a protocol automatically in which in normally opt’s for OpenVPN but to be sure every connection remains the same it’s a good idea to go into the settings on Windows or Android and adjust this to UDP – OpenVPN which should give you the best combination of speed and security.
The OpenVPN encryption on ExpressVPN takes place under AES-256bit which is more than enough for most needs while still having no effect on things like streaming Netflix or downloading using Bittorent.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands which makes it out of reach of most jurisdictions looking to get hold of large quantities of data from users of the service. Notably the US and EU data retention laws who notoriously impose rules and regulations on the kinds of data they wish a VPN service to store over a period of time.
Minimal logs are stored by ExpressVPN along with the use of shared IP addresses meaning you are in effect sheltered from prying eyes by being bundled in with a large amount of other user traffic. The only exception to this would be a large government backed operation or high level security expert looking to target you specifically (Which is in some ways possible but most unlikely)
Customer Support & Troubleshooting
ExpressVPN like most other larger VPN providers offer a wide range of options when it comes to getting in contact quickly and easily if you want to query the service or have run into an issue.
They offer round the clock Live Chat which enables you to get in contact with the support staff quickly and easily and ask questions or solve any problems that have arisen with the service or your subscription. In our experience they respond instantly to any query and if they happen to have information on hand they will point you in the right direction.
The biggest plus for ExpressVPN’s support is the shear amount of Setup tutorials and Troubleshooting guides they have written up in the support sections of the website. You are quickly able to answer most queries by doing a quick search and finding exactly what you are looking for.
We put this to the test by installing ExpressVPN’s OpenVPN on an Asus router ‘RT-N66U’ and followed the setup guide step-by-step and after a few minutes we were connected with a reliable connection to a VPN server based in New York.
The guides are also constantly updated by demand and with feedback from their users meaning no matter what hardware you are trying to install ExpressVPN upon they will be sure to have a guide for it or one in the pipeline for upcoming versions.
ExpressVPN Review Conclusion…
We really found it hard to find anything bad to say about ExpressVPN in this Review due to how reliable each and every connection has been with the service.
Sometimes VPN providers tend to fall short on backend areas like support and guides but this really is not the case with ExpressVPN who offer an ever growing, and ever more reliable support structure to their service.
The encryption levels offered are a real big plus to the VPN service giving you more than enough protection whether you are simply looking to stream things like Netflix or even if you want to safeguard your sensitive file transfers or download habits.
With a 30-Day money back guarantee you really can’t go wrong giving them a trial run especially if you have never used a VPN service before and want to learn how having this in your security arsenal can have a big effect on keeping your personal information safe.