How fast is ExpressVPN? Is ExpressVPN safe and secure? Does ExpressVPN hide my IP? Does ExpressVPN work with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android?
ExpressVPN is one of the highest-rated virtual private networks. With its fast speeds, easy interface and large network of servers, ExpressVPN lets users surf the internet in secure anonymity.
You probably wonder: should I get ExpressVPN? It depends on how you use the internet. If secure browsing, unrestricted streaming and online privacy are crucial factors of your experience, read on for a full review of ExpressVPN.
What Is Good About ExpressVPN?
- Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux compatible
- 160 servers across 94 territories (Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific)
- Fast download speeds (200+ Mbps)
- Five simultaneous devices per account
- Netflix, Hula and Amazon Prime streaming support
- 256-AES encryption, 4096-bit RSA certificate
- Split tunneling, internet kill switch
- 24/7 live support
- Not the most inexpensive
- Google captchas (sometimes)
Privacy: Is ExpressVPN Really Private?
ExpressVPN lets you surf the internet in complete anonymity. You can log in to websites, message boards, news groups and social media platforms without leaving a digital footprint. If you value your privacy, it’s worth the investment.
Each time you connect to a server on ExpressVPN, you’ll get a different IP address. On interfaces where IPs are publicly viewable, this allows you to keep your anonymity. ExpressVPN effectively lets you randomize your IP, which lets you”
- Sign up on sites and social media platforms that already blocked your IP address.
- Use sites and message boards without being identified by the site administrators.
ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, outside the jurisdiction of the United States or Great Britain. VPNs located in the US, UK, Canada and Australia are required to surrender user data in the event of a government inspection.
The BVI isn’t part of the five-eye or fourteen-eye alliances, which the world’s leading superpowers have joined to crack down on certain online activity. On ExpressVPN, you can do virtually anything free of consequence.
Security: How Secure is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN offers air-tight security for online users. Your key undergoes multiple rounds of conversion, making it impossible for third parties to access your information. ExpressVPN employs the following:
- 256-AES encryption – employs 14 rounds of instantaneous conversion from plaintext to ciphertext.
- 4096-bit RSA certificate – provides distinct public encryption keys and decryption keys.
- Diffie-Hellman key exchange – the world standard for the secure exchange of cryptographic keys across public channels.
ExpressVPN runs on RAM-only servers. Since the servers are not disc-based, ExpressVPN can’t store or retain user data. The moment you disconnect, your info is gone from the servers. If the server times out, your information disappears from ExpressVPN’s memory.
Download Speed: How Fast Is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market. Using ExpressVPN’s automatic protocol, I tested the speed of my PC at the following sites:
Microsoft Bing at 2:30 pm (PST).
According to Bing, the download speed of my Internet cable connection is 171.89 Mbps. I then test my speed on four ExpressVPN servers, starting with those closest to my location (in Portland), followed by servers in central Europe and Indochina.
- San Francisco = 123.06 Mbps
- Seattle = 115.61 Mbps
- Switzerland = 92.07 Mbps
- Singapore = 53.25 Mbps
HighSpeedInternet.com at 2:40 pm (PST).
This website reads my basic cable download speed as 204.39 Mbps. Once I connect to ExpressVPN’s servers, this is what I get:
- Seattle = 115.54 Mbps
- San Francisco = 96.53 Mbps
- Switzerland = 80.85 Mbps
- Singapore = 77.18 Mbps
SpeedTest.net at 2:45 pm (PST).
This website reads my cable download speed as 208.86 Mbps. It reads the server speeds as follows:
- Seattle = 177.97 Mbps
- San Francisco = 148.04 Mbps
- Switzerland = 119.25 Mbps
- Singapore = 127.57 Mbps
ExpressVPN offers five connection protocols:
- Automatic – This is the default setting, which finds you the best connection the moment you hit the round button.
- Lightway User Datagram Protocol (UDP) – An advanced option with automatic, AES (advanced encryption standard) and ChaCha20 options.
- Lightway Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) – Slower than UDP but offers better performance on certain networks. Also has auto, AES and ChaCha20 options.
- OpenVPN (UDP) – Fast and secure, but only works on some networks.
- OpenVPN (TCP) – Slower, but works on most networks.
Connection Speed: How Long Does It Take to Connect?
ExpressVPN connects immediately to the servers in its network. You can connect to servers in 150+ locations across 90+ countries. Here’s what I found when flipping through the options:
- 16 countries in the Americas (including 23 US cities)
- 46 territories in Europe (including the UK islands of Jersey and the Isle of Man)
- 27 countries in the Asia Pacific region (including Japan, India, Indochina, Oceania)
- 4 territories in Africa and the Middle East (Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Israel, South Africa).
For the best speeds, go with what they recommend first and then move around. To connect, click the round button on the ExpressVPN app. To disconnect, click it again. Green = connected; brown = not connected.
Here’s how long it took me to connect to servers around the world on my Portland-based PC:
- Seattle = 0.5 seconds
- Phoenix = 0.5 seconds
- San Francisco = 1 second
Neighboring Country Servers
- Mexico = 1 second
- Toronto = 1.5 seconds
- UK = 1.5 seconds
- Netherlands = 1.5 seconds
- Spain = 2 seconds
- France = 2 seconds
- Singapore = 2 seconds
- Sri Lanka = 2.2 seconds
There’s hardly any difference between the connection speeds of nearby servers and those halfway around the world.
Compatible: What Devices Does ExpressVPN Work On?
ExpressVPN works on Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices. You can use the internet anonymously on PCs and Apple products. It can even work with Linux systems.
I Use ExpressVPN on my Windows PC. The app appears in my Start menu. When I hit the icon, up pops the button, which I hit to connect automatically to the nearest server. If I wish to connect to an international server, I click the ellipse to see the menu of servers around the world.
ExpressVPN lets you have five simultaneous connections per plan. For most people, this is plenty. Few users have more than one up-to-date mobile and stationary computing device at the same time.
Content Access: What Can I Watch With ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN allows you to surf the internet and access all the sites you normally use on your PC and mobile devices. More importantly, it lets you access content that is otherwise blocked in your country.
The BBC, Netflix and YouTube are notorious for geo-blocking select content. On ExpressVPN, you can log onto servers located outside these geo-blocked territories.
Today, I put this to the test with a certain video on my old YouTube channel that YT geo-blocked in North America. Earlier, when I tried to view it on a secondary YT account, YT told me this:
“Video unavailable: This video contains content from WMG, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”
To finally see the video, I connect to ExpressVPN through a UK-based server and presto! I can now watch the video on any browser in one of my five alternate YT accounts. Considering the damage that WMG did to the view count on that video (the US being 80% of my channel’s audience), ExpressVPN lets me drum up the views.
With ExpressVPN, you can now access all types of content that WMG or the BBC never let you watch before.
ExpressVPN is good for streaming on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Hulu and more. It works with programs like Apple TV, Fire TV, PlayStation, Chromebooks and Kindle Fire.
Features: Can I Customize ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN offers numerous customization features that you can adjust to your own liking. Under the menu button (three horizontal lines), you’ll find:
- Options – Manage startup preferences, accounts, protocols, shortcuts, language and browser apps (Chrome and Firefox).
- Help & Support – IP tracker, leak tests, diagnostic info and support contacts.
- Secure All Your Devices – Email setup link for gaming, mobile, router, TV and desktop apps.
If you want ExpressVPN to activate on each reboot and reconnect to your last server, check these options under General → Startup.
ExpressVPN has an internet kill switch that deactivates your cable connection if and when the server times out. This way, your private info won’t be exposed to such an event. For this, check General → Network Lock → “Stop all internet traffic…”
ExpressVPN also offers split tunneling, which lets you pick and choose which applications to route through your VPN. Go to General → Split Tunneling → Settings.
ExpressVPN offers browser apps for Chrome and Firefox. These let you control the app from your browser. You can download these through the desktop app in Options → Browsers.
Functionality: Is ExpressVPN Easy to Use?
ExpressVPN is a simple app with an intuitive interface. I had no prior experience with VPNs when I first used ExpressVPN and I had it working within seconds of my purchase.
Go to the website, choose your payment plan, complete the transaction and download the app.
They’ll send an activation link to the email you provide. Once activated, you’re good to go.
Open the app and hit the round icon above the words “Not Connected.” The server will connect you within two seconds.
ExpressVPN defaults to Smart Location servers with the best possible connections for users in specific regions. To modify this, click the ellipse and scroll through the server menu.
Once connected, your internet browsers work as normal. You won’t be logged out of your browser accounts (Google, Facebook, Twitter). However, Google might make you check captcha boxes from time to time.
Support: How Does ExpressVPN Work?
ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live support and numerous help instruction and troubleshooting tutorials.
For help or instructions, go to expressvpn.com/support/ or bring up the page from the menu button in the app.
On the support page, choose from the following options:
- Video tutorials – YouTube videos that walk you through setup and configuration steps.
- Contact support – Click to bring up the live chat window, enter your registered email address and click “Start Chat.” A live ExpressVPN help representative will be with you shortly.
- Tutorials – This offers a wealth of in-depth text and image tutorials for all aspects of ExpressVPN. Tutorials include setup and configuration articles for various devices (Mac. Windows, Linux) and browsers.
- Troubleshooting – Step-by-step guidance for configuration issues.
You can also email ExpressVPN with tech issues and questions.
Price: How Much Does ExpressVPN Cost?
ExpressVPN offers three payment plans, priced as follows:
- 1 month = $12.95 (billed monthly)
- 6 months = $9.99 ($59.95, billed biannually)
- 12 months = $8.32 + three free months (35% savings)
The 12-month plan is the most popular because it costs only $99.84 per year; nearly half off the monthly plan, which adds up to $155.40 per year.
ExpressVPN gives new users of the 12-month plan three additional months free in the first year, so the first rebill doesn’t occur till after 15 months.
They’re not the cheapest but they offer superior speed and security. Unlike some competitors that offer sweet onboarding deals but raise the price on the first rebill, Express VPN stays consistent.
For new subscribers, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the service for any reason, cancel for a full refund.
ExpressVPN accepts payment via credit or debit card, PayPal and Bitcoin. They also accept international bank cards like UnionPay and Giropay.
Updates: How Often Does ExpressVPN Add New Features?
ExpressVPN constantly improves its app for maximum worldwide speed, security and performance on all devices. Recent updates include:
- June 2022 – Server upgrades, including 40 Gbps bandwidth servers.
- June 2022 – New virtual servers in India (replacing physical servers).
- April 2022 – ExpressVPN Keys password manager, integrated with apps (Beta).
In March 2022, ExpressVPN’s Windows app received a clean bill of health in an audit by F-Secure, a leading name in global cyber security.
Should I Get ExpressVPN?
If you value privacy in your online surfing, streaming and communication, you should try ExpressVPN. It’s easy to use, even if this is your first time on a virtual private network. It works around the world on all modern computing devices.
ExpressVPN takes multiple types of payment, including Bitcoin (a very private way to pay). They offer a full money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose by trying the app. Test its speeds and watch some geo-blocked content. It could change your internet experience forever.
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