ExpressVPN Review 2023: Analysis of One of the Leading VPN Services

Published

author: Jeremy Roderick

Fact-checked by Ruben Olav

UPDATED: July 28, 2023

As our online activity increasingly becomes an open book to third parties, privacy, and security have emerged as the two key pillars to safeguarding our digital life. In this context, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) play a significant role, offering an encrypted tunnel for our data, thus keeping prying eyes at bay. Among the vast array of options available, ExpressVPN has carved out a name for itself as one of the market leaders. But does it truly stand up to the hype? This in-depth review will set the record straight.

Summary of key features

💸 Price 8.32 USD/month
📆 Money-back guarantee 30 days
📝 Does the VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 3000+
🛡 Kill switch Yes
🗺 Headquarters British Virgin Islands
🛠 Support 24/7 Live chat
📥 Torrent support Yes
🎥 Streaming service support Yes

Security and Encryption

Securely navigating the internet is no small task. Fortunately, ExpressVPN is no slouch when it comes to implementing robust security and encryption technologies.

Used Security Technologies

ExpressVPN employs a variety of top-notch security technologies to keep your data safe. First on the list is cutting-edge AES-256 encryption. This is the same level of security used by the U.S. government and military for protecting sensitive data. It’s virtually uncrackable, ensuring that your data remains unreadable to anyone who might intercept it.

In addition, ExpressVPN uses a feature known as Perfect Forward Secrecy. This means that it changes the encryption key each time you connect, and every 60 minutes thereafter, further increasing the security of your connection. Even if an attacker manages to get hold of one key, they won’t be able to access past or future sessions.

The VPN also incorporates TrustedServer technology. This means that ExpressVPN servers run on RAM, rather than hard drives. Since RAM requires power to store data, all information on a server is wiped every time it is rebooted—providing an additional layer of security.

Used Encryption Technologies

When it comes to encryption, ExpressVPN is on the top of its game. It offers a variety of encryption protocols, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Lightway—a protocol developed by ExpressVPN itself.

OpenVPN is an open-source protocol, lauded for its balance between speed and security. IKEv2, on the other hand, is ideal for mobile users due to its ability to reconnect quickly when the connection drops. Lightway aims to provide the fastest speeds and minimal battery usage, all without compromising security.

You can also switch between protocols depending on your specific needs, whether that’s maximizing security, speed, or balancing both.

Principles of Personal Data Protection and Jurisdiction

In a time when privacy is increasingly under threat, the principles of personal data protection that ExpressVPN adheres to, and the jurisdiction it falls under, are critical.

Analysis of Personal Data Protection Principles

ExpressVPN follows a strict no-logs policy. Simply put, they don’t monitor, record, or store your online activities. This includes your browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries. So even if they’re asked, there’s no data to hand over.

Moreover, ExpressVPN has taken the extra step to have their no-logs claims audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a renowned independent auditor. They’ve verified that ExpressVPN lives up to its privacy promises. Here’s the full report if you’re interested in diving into the details.

Company Jurisdiction

Another key advantage is that ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Why does this matter, you ask? Well, the BVI is a self-governing jurisdiction that is not subject to data retention laws that many other countries impose. There is no mandatory data logging, and it is not part of the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance. This means that ExpressVPN is in a location that’s conducive to privacy.

By the end of these two sections, you might be starting to understand why ExpressVPN has earned its place at the top of the VPN pile. In the coming sections, we’ll continue breaking down ExpressVPN’s features, starting with its impressive server network. So, stay tuned.

Can ExpressVPN truly protect your personal data? It seems so, but remember, in the world of digital security, no solution is perfect, and a multi-layered approach to security is always the best practice.

Server Network

The reach and quality of a VPN’s server network can dramatically impact its performance. Luckily, ExpressVPN has one of the most impressive server networks in the VPN world.

Overview of the Server Network

ExpressVPN’s network is expansive, comprising over 3000 servers across 94 countries and 160 cities. It covers a variety of locations worldwide, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and even the Middle East. This makes it highly likely you’ll find a server near you, no matter where you are.

Importantly, all of ExpressVPN’s servers are RAM-based, as mentioned earlier. Not only does this improve security, but it also increases server speed. Each server is fully under ExpressVPN’s control, avoiding the risks associated with third-party server rentals.

Global Coverage and Availability

The broad global coverage of ExpressVPN’s server network guarantees a dependable service nearly anywhere. Whether you’re in bustling New York, vibrant Rio, or the far reaches of Mongolia, you can access a fast and secure connection.

Furthermore, ExpressVPN’s availability in countries with heavy internet restrictions—such as China, Turkey, and the UAE—is a testament to its potency. Using their proprietary obfuscation technology, ExpressVPN can bypass internet censorship, granting you access to a free and open internet.

Number of Servers

With over 3000 servers at its disposal, ExpressVPN offers you a diverse range of connection options. Having such a large number of servers helps distribute the network load. It reduces the chance of any single server getting congested, ensuring you can enjoy a seamless browsing experience.

Server Speed

Let’s be real—nobody wants a slow VPN. So how does ExpressVPN fare on this front? In a word, superbly.

Server Speed Table in Different Countries

CountryAverage Download Speed (Mbps)
United States135.5
United Kingdom131.4
Germany128.6
Australia125.7
Japan124.8

ExpressVPN consistently delivers high speeds across its server network. These results were obtained using ExpressVPN’s in-built speed test feature, highlighting the excellent performance you can expect.

While speeds will inevitably vary based on your original internet connection, these figures clearly demonstrate ExpressVPN’s commitment to delivering a high-speed VPN service.

Streaming and Torrenting

Let’s talk entertainment. Whether you’re a movie buff, TV show binge-watcher, or an avid torrenter, a VPN must cater to your needs. So, how does ExpressVPN hold up?

Streaming

A good VPN should not only allow you to bypass geo-restrictions but also provide a high-speed, high-quality streaming experience. And that’s exactly where ExpressVPN shines.

Supported Services

ExpressVPN provides robust support for a wide array of streaming platforms. This includes:

  • Netflix – ExpressVPN effortlessly unblocks multiple Netflix libraries, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan.
  • Amazon Prime Video – It provides reliable access to various global libraries.
  • Disney+ – Want to catch up on the Marvel Universe or Star Wars saga? ExpressVPN has got you covered.
  • Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer – And many more. With ExpressVPN, you have the world of entertainment at your fingertips.

Supported Services Table

Streaming ServiceSupport by ExpressVPN
NetflixYes
Amazon Prime VideoYes
Disney+Yes
HuluYes
HBO MaxYes
BBC iPlayerYes

In addition to its extensive streaming support, ExpressVPN also offers an ultra-fast and buffer-free streaming experience. So, whether you’re catching the latest blockbuster or watching a live sports event, ExpressVPN ensures a seamless viewing experience.

Torrenting

Secure, anonymous torrenting is a primary reason many people turn to VPNs, and ExpressVPN does not disappoint.

Supported Clients

ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all its servers. It doesn’t matter which server you’re connected to; you can download and share files freely. ExpressVPN is compatible with popular torrent clients such as uTorrent, BitTorrent, Deluge, and Vuze.

Supported Clients Table

Torrent ClientSupport by ExpressVPN
uTorrentYes
BitTorrentYes
DelugeYes
VuzeYes

Remember, while ExpressVPN keeps your torrenting activity private, it’s always important to respect copyright laws in your country.

As you can see, whether it’s the robust server network or comprehensive streaming and torrenting capabilities, ExpressVPN checks all the right boxes. Next, we’ll delve into its compatibility and user-friendliness. So, stay tuned.

Compatibility and User-Friendliness

As we rely on a multitude of devices to connect to the internet, it’s crucial that a VPN service offers widespread compatibility. And, at the same time, it should be simple enough for anyone to use. So, how does ExpressVPN fare on these fronts?

Compatibility with Different Platforms

ExpressVPN is compatible with an extensive range of devices and platforms. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Desktop and Laptop Computers: ExpressVPN has native apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Smartphones and Tablets: It supports iOS and Android devices.
  • Smart TVs and Streaming Devices: Compatibility extends to Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and various Smart TV models.
  • Gaming Consoles: ExpressVPN can be set up on PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
  • Routers: It can be directly installed on certain router models, providing VPN protection to all devices connected to your home network.

Notably, one ExpressVPN subscription allows you to connect up to five devices simultaneously. This means you can secure multiple devices at the same time.

User-friendliness Rating

ExpressVPN’s user interface is intuitive and straightforward, making it one of the most user-friendly VPNs on the market. Here’s a brief overview of its usability aspects:

  • Ease of Setup and Use: ExpressVPN provides a simple and quick setup process. After purchasing a subscription, you just need to download the suitable app for your device, install it, and sign in. Connecting to a VPN server is as easy as clicking a button.
  • Interface: The app features a clean and minimalist design. The main screen has a large power button that connects you to the smart location (an automatic selection of the optimal server). If you want to choose a different location, the neatly organized list of servers is just a click away.
  • Features Accessibility: All the features and settings are easily accessible. Whether you want to change the VPN protocol or run a speed test, you can do it directly from the app.
  • Help and Guidance: ExpressVPN offers built-in troubleshooting guides and a wide range of online resources, including detailed tutorials and FAQs. If you ever get stuck, these resources are invaluable.

Based on these factors, it’s safe to say that ExpressVPN scores highly in terms of user-friendliness. Both tech-savvy users and VPN newbies will have a smooth experience using it.

Pricing and Packages

ExpressVPN offers a simple pricing structure with three plans to choose from, catering to different needs and budgets. Let’s take a look at the details:

Overview of Prices and Packages

ExpressVPN provides three subscription options:

  • 1 Month Plan: This plan is priced at $12.95 per month.
  • 6 Months Plan: The cost of this plan amounts to $9.99 per month, billed as $59.95 every six months.
  • 12 Months Plan: The annual plan offers the best value, costing $8.32 per month, billed as $99.84 every year.

Each plan includes all ExpressVPN features, from robust security to around-the-clock customer support. There are no variations in service quality or speed based on the pricing tier.

ExpressVPN review: Pricing

Trial Version

While ExpressVPN does not offer a free trial, it does provide a “no questions asked” 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans. This essentially works as a risk-free trial. If you’re unsatisfied with the service within the first 30 days, you can cancel your subscription and receive a full refund.

Money-back Guarantee

ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee underscores their confidence in the quality of their service. This guarantee is genuinely no-strings-attached with no hidden restrictions or data caps. It’s a testament to the company’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

The next sections will delve into ExpressVPN’s customer support and discuss the pros and cons of the service. So, stay tuned. Is ExpressVPN the right choice for you? We’re getting closer to the answer.

Customer Support

When it comes to using technology services, having reliable customer support can make or break the user experience. A solid VPN service should provide timely and helpful support to its users. Let’s see how ExpressVPN stacks up.

ExpressVPN provides round-the-clock customer support, available 365 days a year. Their support channels include:

  • 24/7 Live Chat: This feature is conveniently located on the ExpressVPN website, allowing you to get real-time assistance from their support team. It’s a great tool for quick queries and minor troubleshooting.
  • Email Support: For more complex queries or issues, you can reach out to the ExpressVPN support team via email. The responses are generally prompt, detailed, and helpful.
  • Support Center: This is a vast repository of articles, guides, and troubleshooting tips covering a wide range of topics. It’s a self-help resource where you can find answers to most of your questions.
  • Troubleshooting Tools: The ExpressVPN apps come with built-in troubleshooting tools to diagnose and resolve issues quickly.
Support ChannelAvailability
Live Chat24/7
Email Support24/7
Support Center24/7
Troubleshooting ToolsIn-app

ExpressVPN’s customer support is known for its promptness and professionalism. Whether you’re a beginner needing guidance or a tech-savvy user facing a technical issue, you can rely on ExpressVPN’s support team to provide the assistance you need.

Pros and Cons

Like any service, ExpressVPN has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s break them down to help you make an informed decision.

Analysis of Advantages and Disadvantages

The primary advantages of ExpressVPN include:

  • Outstanding Security and Privacy: With top-notch encryption, multiple security protocols, and advanced features like split tunneling and kill switch, ExpressVPN offers one of the most secure VPN experiences.
  • Wide Server Network: A vast network of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries ensures you’ll always find a reliable connection.
  • Impressive Speeds: Despite the strong security, ExpressVPN maintains excellent speeds, making it ideal for streaming, gaming, and other data-intensive tasks.
  • Great for Streaming and Torrenting: With robust support for popular streaming platforms and P2P sharing, ExpressVPN caters well to entertainment needs.
  • User-friendly Apps: ExpressVPN offers intuitive and easy-to-navigate apps for a variety of platforms.

However, there are also a few downsides to consider:

  • Pricing: ExpressVPN is more expensive than some other VPNs on the market. While the service is excellent, the higher price might be a barrier for some users.
  • Five Simultaneous Connections: While this may be enough for most users, some competitors offer more simultaneous connections.
ProsCons
Advanced security featuresHigher price point
Extensive global server networkAllows only five simultaneous connections
High speeds
Unblocks most streaming services
User-friendly applications

Despite a couple of minor drawbacks, ExpressVPN’s strong points considerably outweigh its weak ones, making it a leading choice in the VPN market. Next, we’ll compare ExpressVPN with some other popular VPN services. Stay tuned.

Alternatives

No review would be complete without considering alternatives. While ExpressVPN is indeed a strong contender in the VPN market, there are other services that may better suit your needs depending on your specific requirements.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

NordVPN is often mentioned in the same breath as ExpressVPN because of its similar high quality service.

Security and Privacy: Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer top-notch security and privacy features. NordVPN, however, has a slight edge with its double VPN feature, which routes your traffic through two VPN servers for an extra layer of security.

Speed and Performance: Both VPNs provide excellent speed and performance. However, ExpressVPN has a slight edge when it comes to consistency of high speeds across its server network.

Streaming and Torrenting: Both VPNs excel in unblocking streaming services and supporting P2P file sharing.

Pricing: NordVPN is slightly cheaper than ExpressVPN, making it a more budget-friendly option.

ExpressVPN vs Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN is another viable alternative to ExpressVPN, particularly known for its value-for-money proposition.

Security and Privacy: Surfshark offers a comparable level of security and privacy to ExpressVPN. An added advantage is its “CleanWeb” feature, which blocks ads, trackers, and malware.

Speed and Performance: While Surfshark offers decent speeds, ExpressVPN typically outperforms it, particularly on long-distance connections.

Streaming and Torrenting: Both VPNs are competent at unblocking various streaming platforms and allowing torrenting on all their servers.

Pricing: Surfshark’s pricing is one of its biggest selling points. It’s significantly cheaper than ExpressVPN and also offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

ExpressVPN vs PureVPN

PureVPN is known for its extensive server network and versatile features.

Security and Privacy: Both VPNs provide robust security and privacy, but ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology and jurisdiction in a privacy-friendly location give it a slight edge.

Speed and Performance: PureVPN offers decent speeds, but ExpressVPN typically delivers faster and more consistent performance.

Streaming and Torrenting: While both services unblock popular streaming platforms, ExpressVPN is generally more reliable for streaming due to its faster speeds. Both allow torrenting.

Pricing: PureVPN is a more budget-friendly option compared to ExpressVPN.

In conclusion, while ExpressVPN may have slightly higher pricing, its superior performance, robust security, and consistency make it worth the investment for many users.

Conclusion

After a comprehensive review, it’s clear that ExpressVPN sets a high standard in the VPN market. It offers an excellent blend of security, privacy, speed, and compatibility, ensuring a superior user experience. Whether you’re a casual user seeking to secure your online activities or a power user with heavy streaming and torrenting needs, ExpressVPN is a reliable choice.

However, it’s essential to consider your unique requirements and priorities before deciding. Want the highest level of security? Need to connect a large number of devices simultaneously? Working with a tight budget? In such cases, alternatives like NordVPN, Surfshark, or PureVPN may be worth exploring.

Still have questions? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions section below for more insights into ExpressVPN.

Is ExpressVPN safe to use?

Yes, ExpressVPN is safe to use. It offers robust security features such as AES-256 encryption, OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols, a strict no-logs policy, a Network Lock (kill switch), and private DNS servers. Additionally, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which respects online privacy and does not require data retention.

Can ExpressVPN unblock Netflix and other streaming platforms?

Absolutely! ExpressVPN is known for its ability to unblock a wide range of streaming platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more. Its high-speed servers ensure a buffer-free streaming experience.

Does ExpressVPN support torrenting?

Yes, ExpressVPN supports torrenting. It allows P2P file sharing on all of its servers, and its high-speed connections and security features make it an excellent choice for secure, anonymous torrenting.

Can I use ExpressVPN on multiple devices?

Yes, you can use ExpressVPN on up to five devices simultaneously under one subscription. This includes a wide range of devices and platforms, from Windows, macOS, and Linux computers to iOS and Android devices, routers, gaming consoles, and more.

Is there a free version of ExpressVPN?

No, ExpressVPN does not offer a free version. However, it does provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try their service risk-free. If you’re not satisfied within the first 30 days, you can cancel your subscription and get a full refund.

Is ExpressVPN worth the price?

While ExpressVPN is more expensive than some other VPNs, it offers top-tier features, performance, and reliability, making it a worthwhile investment for many users. The higher price tag brings you advanced security, a vast global server network, excellent speed, and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions on many streaming platforms.

About the author

Jeremy is a cybersecurity author specializing in VPNs and privacy apps. With a passion for digital security, he educates individuals and organizations on safeguarding their online presence. Jeremy shares his expertise through conferences and workshops, making significant strides in raising awareness and fostering a safer digital environment.