Updated February 26, 2019

ExpressVPN Review

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ExpressVPN is a one-size-fits-all VPN service provider. They're one of the best but the service comes at a cost. Is it worth it? Find out in this review.

ExpressVPN

Overall Score

4.0

Price

3.0

Speed

5.0

Number of Servers

4.0

Countries Served

5.0

Devices per license

3.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Works in China
  • Allows P2P
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • Expensive
  • 3 device limit

Bottom Line

Great speeds and service for a higher price

What is a VPN?

A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. Think of it as an internet security service that can:

  • Change your online address to hide your location AND
  • Encrypt your data to keep your identity and activity private

Basically, a VPN prevents hackers and/or spies from knowing, WHO, WHERE or WHAT you do online. So how do they work?

First, a VPN creates an encrypted connection from your device to one of their servers.

Then that server connects to the internet, acting as a "middleman" between the sites you visit and your computer.

Thanks to the encryption process, your data is exchanged as a code. The information can only be understood by your device and the VPN server.

Are VPN's Legal?
Yes, VPN's are completely legal to use. However, doing illegal activities through a VPN will get you into trouble.

© CreditDonkey

WHERE IS EXPRESSVPN BASED?

ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which doesn't have data retention laws. Why is this important?

It means the country is NOT required to keep logs on their users. BVI is also not part of the "14 Eyes" group intelligence so it's difficult for other countries to request user logs from them.

Governments requesting logs must first petition the BVI High Court. They must then go through a lengthy legal process to get the court order. An extremely strong case is needed to request user logs from ExpressVPN.

What is the "14 Eyes" group?
Like the "Five Eyes" and "Nine Eyes," this is a shared intelligence network. In other words, a group of countries that spy on each other's citizens.

It includes the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and certain European nations.

While based in BVI, ExpressVPN operates more than 3,000 servers in locations across 94 countries.

More than 97% of the servers are physically present in the country in which they're listed. The rest are virtual servers whose locations don't match their destination IP address.

For example, you could connect to an ExpressVPN server in Cambodia. It would be a Cambodian IP address, but the actual server may be in Singapore. Virtual servers can

  1. Help conceal your actual location. This is good for "high risk" countries where server seizures are common.
  2. Allow for faster connection speed. A closer server equals a faster connection.

What Does EXPRESSVPN Cost?

ExpressVPN has three payment plan options. Each include device apps, 24/7 customer support, and unlimited high-speed bandwidth:

Monthly Plan is $12.95 billable each month
6-Month Plan is $59.99 ($9.99 a month) billable twice a year.
12-Month Plan is $99.95 ($8.32 a month) billable once a year.

Express VPN accepts a wide variety of payment methods. (More on that below.)

TIP: Take advantage of Express VPNs free trial period.

The company offers a 30-day, money back guarantee for new customers. Visit their website for more information.

What Does EXPRESSVPN Include?

A subscription allows for three device connections per account. Simply download the app to your device to begin - the company offers apps for:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Routers
  • Linux

You can also connect the service directly to your router. This allows you to protect yourself without having to install the app on each device. And you'll bypass ExpressVPN's three-device limit.

Is Express VPN worth the cost? Keep reading to find out.

REASONS WE LIKE EXPRESSVPN

"No-logging" policy
ExpressVPN clearly states which information it collects and why.

They log dates (but not times) when you connect to their VPN service. They also collect the VPN server location used and the amount of data spent.

This information is used to troubleshoot technical problems.

You Should Know: ExpressVPN states that it cannot match any collected information to a specific user. Their apps and servers don't store any sensitive information.

In other words, their logs can't be traced back to their users. Even if the BVI were to force them to hand over information, your privacy is protected.

High level of security and privacy
ExpressVPN takes security very seriously. They provide:

  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • DNS/IPv6 leak protection
  • Kill-switch
  • Split tunneling

If all sounds like jargon, check out the company's "Privacy Research Lab" page, which explains those terms clearly.

ExpressVPN also reviews the weaknesses each feature addresses. And it teaches you how to test for "leaks" using online tools.

ExpressVPN has a reputation as one of the fastest VPN providers. They claim to have an average speed of 39.48 Mbit/s over seven days.

That's higher than Netflix's recommended speed for Ultra HD streams.

Bypass the great (fire)wall of China
China often plays a cat-and-mouse game with VPNs. But ExpressVPN is one of the few providers that holds up well against the country's efforts to ban them.

They maintain servers in nearby Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan which are optimized for users in China.

Occasionally, you may still experience problems while trying to connect in China. If so, simply contact Express VPN for assistance in finding a server.

P2P file sharing
P2P file sharing exposes your IP address. That makes it easy for anyone on the P2P network to identify you, which makes you an easy target for spying or cyber attacks.

ExpressVPN allows you to spoof your IP address so it can't be traced. Moreover, their speed-optimized network is perfect for file sharing requirements.

Streaming with ExpressVPN Streaming like Netflix and HBO sites often block VPN servers, so users can't access geo-locked content.

ExpressVPN is one of the few providers that allow you to enjoy your home selection of channels and content, even while traveling.

Now that you know the benefits, check out some drawbacks.

REASONS TO CHOOSE ANOTHER VPN PROVIDER

It's expensive
ExpressVPN's 12-month subscription offers the best value. But it's still higher than many competitors.

Keep in mind: the price IS worth the service. You get a fast, secure connection with access to a huge network of servers. The high price also ensures that ExpressVPN makes money from their service - not your personal data.

Still, if you're looking for something cheap, you can find a better deal. (See below for more info.)

No voice support line
ExpressVPN has no phone support. If there's a problem, you'll need to contact them through their live chat or email.

To be fair, you'll face the same issue with other VPN providers like NordVPN and VyprVPN. But if speaking with an agent is important to you, find a VPN service that offers this perk.

TIP: Check out ExpressVPN's extensive troubleshooting guide. It'll can help you solve problems, even without speaking to an agent.

Three-device limit
ExpressVPN's three device connection limit is pretty stingy. Providers like NordVPN allow up to six connections. It might be a problem if you use multiple devices.

However, you can install ExpressVPN directly on your router. That way, all devices connected to the router are protected.

Think ExpressVPN is the right service for you? Keep reading to learn how to sign up today.

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR EXPRESSVPN?

Follow these step by step instructions to enroll in one of ExpressVPN's plans.

1. Visit the site to select a plan: monthly, six-month or annual.

2. Provide some basic information to register your account.

3. Choose a payment method. ExpressVPN accepts credit cards, PayPal, and Bitcoin, as well as providers such as WebMoney and UnionPay.

4. Install the app on your devices (up to 3). First-time users will need to input an activation code, which will be different for each device. Your confirmation email will have a link to the web page containing your codes.

TIP: Install the service directly to your router. This will save time and skirt the three device limit.

Also, installing your VPN to a router means you'll automatically connect to a VPN server. In other words, you're protected from the source.

OTHER OPTIONS TO CONSIDER

NordVPN
ExpressVPN has servers in more countries. But NordVPN has the higher server count overall. So which is one is best for you?

Having access to more countries is useful if you travel a lot or want to access a site from a specific country. But having more servers means less traffic congestion.

Check out other Pros and Cons of ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

 ExpressVPNNordVPN
 Learn More
 

ExpressVPN

NordVPN

 

Benefits and Features

Live Chat Support
Yes
Yes
Subscription$12.95/month
$9.99/month (6-month subscription)
$8.32/month (12-month subscription)
$11.95/month
$6.99/month (12-month subscription)
$3.99/month (24-month subscription)
$2.99/month (36-month subscription)
Payment MethodsCredit card, Paypal, Bitcoin, Paymentwall (UnionPay, giropay, Yandex Money, etc)Credit card, Paypal, Bitcoin, Paymentwall (UnionPay, giropay, Yandex Money, etc)
Free Trial
N/A
3 days free trial, no credit card required.
Windows
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
Yes
Yes
macOS
Yes
Yes
Android App
Yes
Yes
Linux
Yes
Yes
CancellationPaypal and credit card users can cancel via their ExpressVPN account. Customers paying with Bitpay will not have their subscription renewed.Paypal and credit card users can cancel via their NordVPN account. You can also cancel recurring subscriptions on the Apple store and Google Play.
Jurisdiction
British Virgin Islands
Panama
Number of Servers
2000+ servers
4400+ servers
Countries Served
94 countries
62 countries
Security ProtocolsPPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, OpenVPN (with TCP/UDP)PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN (with TCP/UDP)
Encryption
AES-256
AES-256
Works in China
Yes
Yes
Devices per license
3 devices
6 devices
Routers
Yes
Yes
AnonymousAllows user to stay anonymous. Accepts payment in Bitcoin and other methods. Registration only requires e-mail address.Allows user to stay anonymous. Accepts payment in Bitcoin and other methods. Registration only requires e-mail address.*
Keep LogsDoes not store activity or connection logs. Keeps information on apps and app versions activated, dates (not times) connected to VPN service, choice of VPN server location, and total amount of data transferred per day.Keeps no logs, except user's e-mail address, username, and payment data. Bitcoins can be used to keep personal data private.
Allows P2P
Yes
Yes. P2P traffic will automatically be rerouted to servers in Canada and the Netherlands.
Money Back Guarantee30-day money back guarantee.30-day money back guarantee.

ExpressVPN: Pricing information from published website as of 06/18/2018

NordVPN: Pricing information from published website as of 06/18/2018

IPVanish
ExpressVPN lets you pay anonymously. But IPVanish lets you use up to 10 devices with one account.

Here's a comparison of ExpressVPN and IPVanish.

 ExpressVPNIPVanish
 Learn More
 

ExpressVPN

IPVanish

 

Benefits and Features

Live Chat Support
Yes
Yes
Subscription$12.95/month
$9.99/month (6-month subscription)
$8.32/month (12-month subscription)
$10.00/month
$8.99/month (3-month subscription)
$6.49/month (12-month subscription)
Payment MethodsCredit card, Paypal, Bitcoin, Paymentwall (UnionPay, giropay, Yandex Money, etc)
Credit card, Paypal
Free Trial
N/A
Free 7-day trial only with the Apple iStore. For all other methods, they only offer a 7-day money back guarantee.
Windows
Yes
Yes
iPhone App
Yes
Yes
macOS
Yes
Yes
Android App
Yes
Yes
Linux
Yes
Yes
CancellationPaypal and credit card users can cancel via their ExpressVPN account. Customers paying with Bitpay will not have their subscription renewed.Paypal and credit card users can cancel via their IPVanish account. You can also cancel recurring subscriptions on the Apple store and Google Play.
Jurisdiction
British Virgin Islands
United States
Number of Servers
2000+ servers
1000+ servers
Countries Served
94 countries
60+ countries
Security ProtocolsPPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, OpenVPN (with TCP/UDP)PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN (with TCP/UDP)
Encryption
AES-256
AES-256
Works in China
Yes
Yes, but must connect manually
Devices per license
3 devices
10 devices
Routers
Yes
Yes
AnonymousAllows user to stay anonymous. Accepts payment in Bitcoin and other methods. Registration only requires e-mail address.Not anonymous. You'll have to provide payment details for your subscription.
Keep LogsDoes not store activity or connection logs. Keeps information on apps and app versions activated, dates (not times) connected to VPN service, choice of VPN server location, and total amount of data transferred per day.Keeps no logs, except user's e-mail address, username, and payment data.
Allows P2P
Yes
Yes
Money Back Guarantee30-day money back guarantee.7-day money back guarantee.

ExpressVPN: Pricing information from published website as of 06/18/2018

IPVanish: Pricing information from published website as of 06/18/2018

VyprVPN
VyprVPN is based in Switzerland, which has great privacy laws. They currently offer more than 700 servers across 73 locations all around the world and provide unlimited data usage.

They've got regular features such as auto-connect and kill-switch. Also, VyprVPN offers its proprietary Chameleon protocol and VyprDNS for added security.

The company has apps for most devices and operating systems, each with an easy-to-use interface. Performance-wise, the service is quite fast.

NOTE: VyprVPN doesn't offer refunds. But they do have a three-day trial to test their service.

If you want options similar to ExpressVPN and NordVPN, VyprVPN could be a good alternative.

Windscribe
Windscribe is a great choice if you're willing to trade performance for price. It has apps for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS clients.

Their free plan is generous and you can use it for as long as you like. With a confirmed email address, you get 10GB/month of data limited to one device.

Performance-wise, Windscribe should be sufficient for casual users. Their main weakness? You'll only have access to 10 countries.

You Should Know: Windscribe offers a paid version that lets you connect to over 50 countries with unlimited data.

The paid version also has unlimited connections, which means that you can use it on any number of devices. This may be useful if you want to spread the protection across several devices.

ProtonVPN
ProtonVPN is a free VPN service from the guys who made ProtonMail, the free encrypted email service. That shows the company cares about online security and privacy.

The free service is rather limited, however. You can connect to three countries from only one device. ProtonVPN also throttles the speeds for free users to make way for paid ones. The free version has no P2P support either.

Still, it's not all bad. ProtonVPN offers unlimited data, even for free users. For the casual user who only needs a VPN occasionally, ProtonVPN is a good choice.

Bottom Line

ExpressVPN offers transparency, an extensive network of servers, and fast connection speeds.

The price is a drawback - it's one of the more expensive VPN services on the market. But few other VPNs match up to ExpressVPN in terms of speed and number of servers.

For casual users with a budget, there are better, cheaper options. But if you don't mind paying for a premium VPN service with plenty of server locations, ExpressVPN is worth a look.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

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