ExpressVPN is constantly in the talk about the best VPN service. As numerous ExpressVPN reviews rank it among their top choices, there has rarely been a VPN preceded by so much hype here, on TechJury. Our initial tests confirmed as much: this is a private network without any security leaks and with excellent speed.
But is that enough to rank it the best? How does it handle Netflix geographic restrictions?
Can ExpressVPN connect to torrent trackers easily?
Does it keep your privacy as private as it should?
All my findings are listed right here, in this comprehensive, fact-based 2019 ExpressVPN review.
What is ExpressVPN?
Over 2000 servers handle with impressive ease the traffic users create, and that’s admirable because many people use this private network for all sorts of bandwidth-heavy things like Netflix, Kodi, and torrenting.
ExpressVPN masks your IP address, applies AES-256 encryption to all traffic, and is super easy to use.
So far so good, eh?
Maybe even visitors of places with heavy internet censorship like China and Turkey can benefit from this service?
Let’s see what the numbers say.
ExpressVPN Essentials – Speed, Security, and Privacy
Speed, security, and privacy make or break any VPN service. The folk behind ExpressVPN seem to know this all too well.
ExpressVPN supports several methods that scramble your data, including the industry standard OpenVPN (over UDP). Regardless of which encryption protocol you prefer, the speed across the boards is very, very good.
The speed drop is about 20% on average. Of course, this 20% include instances when the VPN server is remote (New Zealand) and the overall speed is considerably lower. I tested Asian and European servers and got about a 10% drop in speed, which is the inevitable dip in data transfer that goes through encryption.
When utilizing the recommended locations the ExpressVPN app suggests upon login – a cool feature that makes it easy to choose a server with decent speed from the geography you need – speed was either superb or decent.
Overall, ExpressVPN delivers a fast and reliable performance.
Of all tested servers, only once I had difficulties establishing a connection. In all instances where I reached the network, the connection was stable and without any lag.
I browsed through many ExpressVPN user reviews while researching this service provider. There were some complaints here and there, but none concerning the security of ExpressVPN.
That’s in-line with my own testing which detected no DNS leaks or other vulnerabilities.
DNS leaks happen when the virtual private network fails to route the traffic from your device through its servers. When this happens, the connection is established over the regular pathways, i.e., the network of your ISP, which handles all data transfer without any encryption.
Upon login, ExpressVPN suggests the best location to connect from, but connections remain safe even when choosing servers at random. During my testing, a couple of times creating the tunnel to the remote server took a while (about 40 seconds or so), but no data was transferred before proper connectivity between my machine and the VPN server was established.
ExpressVPN deploys AES-256 encryption and a fully-functional kill switch that closes all connections if the VPN tunnel is compromised in any way. If you don’t tweak the settings manually, the tunnel will be created through OpenVPN over UDP, which is the safest choice there is at the moment.
Overall, Express VPN is an extremely secure and reliable private network.
ExpressVPN does keep certain logs, but none of them are useful for tracking user activities. Rather, these are service logs that help optimize the network as a whole: date and general location of established connections and the amount of data transferred are the chief talking points here.
All such data is aggregated and clustered together upon collection to help network monitoring (as in, network functioning) and bandwidth allocation. Express VPN doesn’t log who exactly connected from where and did what; all metrics that help improve the service are anonymous.
Thanks to its location and user-friendly policy, ExpressVPN is one of the best choices for a trackless internet presence.
Speed, security, and privacy are the cornerstones of any VPN service, but what good would they be if you couldn’t watch your favorite Netflix shows or participate in P2P sharing? Are there any ExpressVPN discount codes worth mentioning?
This VPN provider allows all activities you might think of and tempts new customers with some sweet deals.
Here are the main perks of using this service.
1. 30-day Money Back Guarantee
Most VPN services are not particularly generous with their money-back terms but this one is an exception. While no ExpressVPN free trial exists, the 30-day money back guarantee is even better.
Free trials typically last 3-7 days and often come with somewhat limited service, whereas the ExpressVPN allows you to test the service thoroughly for a month, risk-free.
2. Vast Network
ExpressVPN is one of the best performing VPN service providers largely because it relies on a massive global network. Over 2000 servers across 94 countries ensure very good speed and high connectivity rates regardless of where you are.
Indeed, there are private networks that maintain even bigger networks (more on that in our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison), but the optimization – speed, security, reliability – of Express VPN sets it apart.
3. Super Easy to Use
One of the main advantages of ExpressVPN is its extremely easy setup. All it takes to secure your connection is a simple download and quick installation of a lightweight app.
It helps to be logged into your account because it contains a verification code you’d have to insert to get the ExpressVPN app going.
Once the app launches you can connect with the click of a button, as ExpressVPN suggests a highly recommended location to connect from right off the bat.
The interface is lean and clean, with server locations and general settings easily accessible.
For easier control of the VPN service, you can also run the Chrome, Firefox, or Safari plugins that replicate the app functionality quite fully.
4. Excellent Support
One of the departments VPN services generally lack is customer support. Many VPN providers are reachable only through email forms and are somewhat slow to address customer queries.
ExpressVPN has a 24/7 live chat, ticketing system, and a robust knowledge base. These offerings make the support really shine, especially compared to most of the other names in the industry.
5. Seamless Torrenting
This is one of the private networks that allows peer-to-peer file sharing. The ExpressVPN download speed is very decent. Coupled with unlimited bandwidth and strict no-logging policy, this service is an excellent choice for torrenting.
6. ExpressVPN Netflix Servers
Generally, with ExpressVPN you can easily bypass the Netflix geolocation filtering. However, not all servers are configured to work with the popular streaming service. There is a list of available locations to connect to whenever you want to watch your favorite shows.
Once connected, you’ll be able to stream with remarkable ease as the ExpressVPN Netflix-optimized servers provide an excellent connection.
7. Supports Multiple Devices, Including Web Routers
ExpressVPN can be enjoyed safely on all kinds of devices, mobile and stationary alike:
- Windows OS
- Mac OS
- Linux OS
- Web routers
- Web browsers
The last two entries in the above list are particularly noteworthy because setting up a VPN service on a web router means that you can direct the traffic of your entire household through a secure connection. Given the limited number of simultaneous connections allowed, an ExpressVPN router setup is more than welcome.
Also, the most popular web browsers, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari get a very handy ExpressVPN extension that helps connectivity tremendously.
8. Multiple Protocols
ExpressVPN supports all popular VPN protocols. By default, it will connect you over UDP deploying OpenVPN, but you can easily switch to PPTP, IKEv2, SSTP, and L2TP/IPSec.
The possibility to switch protocols is always a good sign. Some of these encryption methods may be outdated and risky, but they can be useful in certain scenarios.
9. Community Support
ExpressVPN maintains a blog full of security tips. The posts are detailed and give many good ideas about how to erase your online footprint.
We really like this comprehensive approach to online security and privacy. The ExpressVPN team put a good effort to keep our data safely hidden from prying eyes.
10. ExpressVPN Promo Codes
ExpressVPN welcomes newcomers with nice discounts. They often change but a somewhat standard offering for this provider is to give three months free service for those who subscribe for one year. Coupled with the reduced price of the 12-month plan, this is a tempting deal, indeed.
A mighty VPN service it may be, but a thorough ExpressVPN review cannot overlook the flaws and limitations the service comes with.
Here they are.
1. Few Simultaneous Connections
Unlike other top VPN choices, ExpressVPN limits the number of simultaneous connections to only three. Many other providers maintain up to five or even unlimited devices, but this service goes for a rather low number.
Of course, this limitation can be bypassed if you configure ExpressVPN on your router, but it is there nevertheless.
When you consider the above-the-average price, the restriction on devices looks even sterner.
2. Slightly Expensive
It is debatable whether this is something truly negative, as the service provided is worth the money even without counting potential discounts and offers. You get what you pay for.
All the same, the ExpressVPN price leans toward the higher end of the spectrum, even when compared to other premium choices.
The 30-day money back guarantee can offset the fee somewhat because you can commit to a longer period of time in advance without risking much.
ExpressVPN Pricing Structure
As is the case with most VPN services, ExpressVPN comes cheaper when you prepay.
How much does ExpressVPN cost per month?
Mind, this is not the cheapest option you can find, but you get what you pay for and then some.
If you prepay for a full year, the bill would come at just under $100 or $8.32 per month. Not too bad considering the speed, reliability, and global accessibility you get in return.
When paid on a month-to-month basis, Express VPN costs $12.95.
There is no ExpressVPN free trial.
Do I Recommend ExpressVPN?
Of course, there is room for improvement, but the truth of the matter is that ExpressVPN is a robust service with scarcely any downsides.
This is probably the best VPN provider for 2019. There you have it.
According to my research, which encompassed user feedback, the ExpressVPN reviews are unilaterally positive and this one is no exception. It combines everything such a service must: excellent security, superb speed, no logging policy, user-friendly interface, global accessibility, 24/7 support and more.
Indeed, it is not the cheapest option you can find, but your money will be well spent should you choose ExpressVPN.
Q: How much does ExpressVPN cost per month?
A: $12.95 is the monthly fee for those who pay on a monthly basis. However, if you pay for one year in advance, the monthly fee falls to $8.32. A 6-month deal brings the monthly expenditure down to $9.99. Right now, new users can sign up for 15 months, and bring down the fee to $6.67. ExpressVPN often runs promotions for new customers, so it is very likely to get an even better price for the first term of usage.
Q: Which is the fastest VPN?
A: Among the VPN services I have tested so far, ExpressVPN definitely scores very high in speed tests. It is a bit hard to tell with 100% certainty which service is the fastest due to varying network conditions, but ExpressVPN is certainly in top 3 in terms of speed. Its connectivity can be boosted further by using some of the faster protocols available. The overall speed is complemented nicely by the fact that connecting to the ExpressVPN servers usually takes mere seconds.
Q: Is it illegal to use a VPN?
A: Using virtual private networks is perfectly fine, as long as you are not in China, Russia, Turkey, Belarus, and a handful of other countries that impose certain restrictions to free VPN usage. In all other nations, the USA included, using a VPN service is completely legal. At the end of the day, it is simply a more secure and untraceable way to access the global network. Of course, if you engage in illegal activities while utilizing the service, you may face persecution.
Q: Is ExpressVPN safe?
A: Absolutely! My extensive testing discovered no DNS leaks whatsoever. Additionally, the provider uses the unbreakable AES-256 encryption and has a kill switch. Overall, it is one of the most secure VPN services there are. It doesn’t disclose any information with third-parties and logs no personal activity. The only records ExpressVPN collects are anonymous and are used to optimize the provided service.
Q: Can I use ExpressVPN in China?
A: Generally, ExpressVPN is available in China, but the local government puts a lot of effort to prevent people from accessing the internet freely. As a result, the connection from mainland China might be erratic. We are yet to test ExpressVPN properly from China, but the folks behind the service are doing their best to provide smooth connectivity to the People’s Republic. Here are the steps you need to undertake to connect to ExpressVPN from China.
Q: Does ExpressVPN keep logs?
A: No, it does not. ExpressVPN doesn’t track user activity, nor it discloses personal data with third parties. The virtual private network provider collects anonymous data to have a better idea about the amount of traffic its servers handle. This information is useful for optimizing the service itself but in no way reveals the activity of the end user.
Q: Is NordVPN better than ExpressVPN?
A: NordVPN is another prime option and certainly is very close to ExpressVPN overall. It is more affordable and has a larger network, but the speed tests I conducted gave ExpressVPN ever so slightly the edge. I also liked the ExpressVPN uncluttered interface, even though NordVPN has done a stellar job too. It is close. Both companies have excellent products; you can’t go wrong with either of them. Read my NordVPN and ExpressVPN reviews, compare the results, test the services, and see which suits you best.