THE BOTTOM LINE: Despite its higher-than-average price tag, ExpressVPN knocks the competition out of the park with its robust server network, strict commitment to privacy, fantastic speeds, and stellar customer support. New VPN users will delight in its clean and easy-to-navigate interface, while the advanced users will love its wide range of security features and tunnelling protocols. Ensuring a safer internet experience in just one click, we say ExpressVPN's price is more than justified.
- Vast server network
- Built-in speed test feature
- Ultra-fast servers in 94 countries
- Solid privacy and security practices
- Uses RAM-only servers
- No activity and connection logs
- Based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction
- Independently audited
- Multiple tunneling protocols
- Network Lock kill switch and split-tunneling features
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Lowers ping and overall lag for better gaming experience
- Ensures Public Wi-Fi safety
- Easy-to-use interface
- Wide variety of supported platforms
- Extensive payment options
- Works in China and the UAE
- 24/7 customer support by live chat and email
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Only 5 simultaneous device connections
- Premium pricing
- No multi-hop connections
Security and Privacy Features
One of the first things you look into when choosing a VPN is its jurisdiction. Why? Because some countries have data retention laws that make your internet activities accessible by law enforcement agencies. Kinda defeats the purpose of a VPN, right? Fortunately, Express VPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands — an offshore jurisdiction renowned for being privacy-friendly. It has no data retention laws and is not part of any international surveillance-sharing agreements.
"We do not collect logs of your activity, including no logging of browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS queries. We also never store connection logs, meaning no logs of your IP address, your outgoing VPN IP address, connection timestamp, or session duration."
The company's commitment to privacy protection was tested when its servers were seized in 2017 following an investigation into the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov. Turkish authorities requested access to connection and activity logs without success, simply because Express VPN had no data to hand over in the first place. Tragic, but it also cemented the company's reputation for being a no-log VPN.
On the security front, Express VPN is no slacker either. First off, it uses AES-256 — the same encryption adopted by world governments to keep classified information under wraps. Secondly, you have multiple tunneling protocols at your disposal: the new open-source Lightway, OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec. Sounds like technical mumbo jumbo? No worries! You can just leave it on Automatic, and Express VPN will pick the best protocol on the fly.
Express VPN's additional set of core features guarantees multiple layers of support. This includes Network Lock kill switch, split tunnelling, Private DNS, browser extensions, and Threat Manager — a free feature designed to protect you against trackers, nosy apps, and malware. Express VPN wraps everything up nicely by going into RAM-disk mode in 2019. This means all of your data is wiped with every reboot, eliminating the risk of it falling into the wrong hands. Only a few other VPNs offers this, so it's a huge plus for Express VPN.
Express VPN has a highly diverse server distribution with 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries. These servers are spread across The Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.
Speed and Reliability
The combination of hardware and virtual servers, unlimited bandwidth, widespread locations, and Lightway protocol yielded promising results during our speed tests. With a base speed of 100 Mbps, we were able to clock in speeds averaging 60 - 80 Mbps while connected to various servers in different regions. This is great since the last thing you want when gaming or surfing the web are lag spikes and spotty connections.
Compatible Platforms and Devices
Express VPN has a client for almost everything. It is compatible with most desktop and mobile operating systems, media and game consoles, routers, browsers, and even e-readers. You can only use it simultaneously on 5 devices, but it imposes no data cap, so you can download, surf, or watch content online as much as you want.
Express VPN currently offers three billing options: month-to-month, 6-months, and 12-months. Like every other VPN, the longer you subscribe, the more affordable it becomes. It is quite pricey when you opt to be billed each month at $12.95, but this drops a little to $9.99/month when you go for a 6-month subscription. If you want to get the most value for money, get the annual plan at $8.32 per month. All three subscription options are covered with a hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
Another standout feature for Express VPN is its 24-hour live chat and email support. We're not talking about bots and automatic responses; we're talking real humans who are on hand to assist you with setups, troubleshooting, billing questions, and more. In our experience, it only took us a few seconds to connect with a live support agent through chat. This sure beats digging through a maze of online resources or waiting days for an email response!