What better way to start our VPN reviewing journey than to try the service with the highest recommendations? ExpressVPN is the culprit in this case, as it currently stands sky-high in almost all rankings available on the world wide web.
The tests we’ll run against this VPN include but are not limited to various security-related ones that check for IP address leaks, DNS leaks, and WebRTC leaks, and also speed tests to check how several ExpressVPN servers behave when we’re connected to them.
You shouldn’t worry about trivial things such as the length of this review. We did everything in our power to avoid including unnecessary information here, so everything you’ll read will probably be worth your while. However, for those of you who don’t have the time or patience to go through the entire read, here’s a table of contents you can use to skip chapters that are of no interest to you.
- Background check
- ExpressVPN jurisdiction
- Data logging at its finest
- In the spotlight
- Terms of service analysis
- ExpressVPN – a quick introduction
- Creating an ExpressVPN account
- Downloading ExpressVPN to your device
- Getting to the dashboard
- Checking the installer for malware components
- Installing ExpressVPN on your computer
- Step-by-step configuration
- Basic settings adjustments
- More settings
- Some advanced settings
- Network Lock, Tor, Split Tunneling and Torrenting
- Playing online games with ExpressVPN
- A great solution for Chinese users as well
- List of servers
- Services it unlocks
- Testing procedures
- ExpressVPN security test results
- Speed test results
- Free vs Pro
- Overall reliability
Express VPN International Ltd., which is established in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is the company that developed and supports the ExpressVPN service.
Not much more is known about the company itself except the fact that its location is in the BVI (as mentioned above), they have staff all around the world, and the service has been operational since 2009.
However, this lack of information should not throw you off from relying on them as a trustworthy VPN service provider, since the practice of holding off information from the wide public is a common practice among VPN companies.
The justification between this decision (withholding apparently vital details) is a bit of a necessity in order to prevent authorities from trying to coerce VPN companies through legal channels to disclose client information forcefully.
On the downside, the lack of company details might also be perceived as a subterfuge by the masses, since the company’s identity isn’t entirely revealed, therefore not 100% transparent to their users. You should take into consideration the fact that, since the company is located in the British Virgin Islands, US and Europe cyber-security rules cannot be applied to the company’s server data.
As mentioned above, the company is located in the BVI, which is a group of islands in the Caribbean that are self-governing. This means that it has its own set of laws that are elected by its citizens, national police and an independent judiciary.
These self-imposed laws are the set of rules companies have to follow and are in no way connected to the UK, since they were enacted in the BVI.
SIGINT Seniors Europe, also known as “14 Eyes“ is a group of 14 countries with active foreign intelligence agencies, which frequently share critical information with one another, such as military or anti-terrorism data.
You must understand that these agencies operate on an international scale, without limiting themselves to the borders of the nations where they’re located. Therefore, running a VPN service such as ExpressVPN in one of those countries might be risky for its users, regarding privacy. However, since the BVI has no foreign intelligence agencies, and it is not part of the “14 Eyes” association, the risk of privacy breaches is kept to a minimum.
Data logging at its finest
First of all, ExpressVPN never claimed that they don’t log any of the data you might be generating whenever using their services. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t put you off, since the data they’re logging can’t be really tied to you in any circumstances and let us show you why.
First of all, the data collected by ExpressVPN consists of applications (along with their versions) that were successfully activated, dates (and not times) you connected to the VPN, the server of your choice and the total amount of data (MB) transferred per day. There is little to no chance that this type of data can violate your privacy.
Now for the data that isn’t logged: IP addresses (source and VPN), browsing history, traffic metadata or destination, DNS queries, data content, and timestamps or connection duration.
Therefore, you can see for yourself that your privacy is not going to be compromised by the information that ExpressVPN does log. Recording application-related data is absolutely necessary for troubleshooting some issues that might arise, providing tech support to customers, fixing network issues, and providing users with country-specific advice on service usage.
In the spotlight
July 2017 was the year when ExpressVPN released an open letter where the fact that Apple had removed all the VPN applications from its App Store in China was mentioned. Apple’s response was that the Chinese Government requested this and as a result, 674 VPN solutions were removed from the App Store.
On another note, ExpressVPN was involved in the Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov’s assassination investigation, since one of the ExpressVPN servers was apparently used to remove some relevant information from the assassin’s Facebook and Gmail accounts.
During this event, Turkish authorities seized the said server and attempted to retrieve any useful information, but failed to locate any logs to help them with the investigation. The company’s comment on the lack of data on their server was that it verifies their claim that no user activity and connection logs are stored.
The comment is as follows:
“While it’s unfortunate that security tools like VPNs can be abused for illicit purposes, they are critical for our safety and the preservation of our right to privacy online. ExpressVPN is fundamentally opposed to any efforts to install ‘backdoors’ or attempts by governments to otherwise undermine such technologies.” (Source)
In December 2017, the company announced a project (“Privacy Research Lab“) that was aimed to help users determine whether their VPN provider is leaking network traffic, true IP addresses and DNS or not in various situations, such as when switching from a wired to a wireless connection. Some open source leak tests were released and are still available on GitHub.
Terms of service analysis
As we’ve done numerous times before, we’re going to simplify things for you. We understand that certain things in life, including agreements, terms of service, policies, and the such, are always skipped, it’s an unspoken rule. However, these very details you skip might be worth something after all, as they’re the backbone of literally any service you may be using.
Since ExpressVPN isn’t an exception to this situation, we’re going to try and bring you closer to understanding how these things work. For this to be possible, we’re going to give ExpressVPN’s entire Terms of Service document a thorough read, extract its essential parts, and bring them back to you.
- If you access ExpressVPN’s services, you agree on behalf of yourself to be legally bound by the terms and comply with them entirely;
- If you don’t agree with any part of the terms, you must stop using ExpressVPN entirely;
- Creating an account requires that you’re at least 18 years old and a valid legal entity;
- The information you provide during registration must be accurate and complete;
- ExpressVPN can update the terms and conditions from time to time without prior notice;
- It’s your obligation to review the terms from time to time;
- If you continue using ExpressVPN after modifications come into effect, it will be seen as your acceptance;
- Notification of any core changes to the terms will be provided via email message or website update;
- ExpressVPN claims to be committed to protecting your privacy;
- ExpressVPN claims it doesn’t collect or log traffic destination, browsing history, DNS queries or data content;
- During registration, some personal data will be collected from you;
- ExpressVPN claims it only collects data that’s necessary to deliver the site and services properly;
- You can use this service only after purchasing a subscription from the website;
- ExpressVPN reserves its right to change the fees or introduce new ones at any given time, but with reasonable advance notice sent via email or posted on the website;
- Any changes made to the pricing will not affect your current subscription, but it will become effective upon its renewal;
- Subscription purchases and refunds are handled through third-party payment processors;
- By default, plans renew automatically if your payment method supports it;
- You can turn off automatic renewal by signing in to the website and disabling the feature;
- Each paid subscription earns you the right to use the service on up to five different devices simultaneously;
- You can use ExpressVPN on more than 5 devices by installing it on your router, purchasing additional subscription plans, or buy additional licenses through “volume licensing”;
- ExpressVPN provides you with a 30-day full refund guarantee;
- Refunds beyond the 30-day purchase window will not be considered;
- You’re responsible to assess if using ExpressVPN’s services is in compliance with local laws and regulations;
- It is your responsibility to keep your ExpressVPN account secure and your account information confidential;
- You’re responsible for all activity under your account;
- If you suspect that your account has been compromised, you must inform ExpressVPN immediately;
- You should not misuse ExpressVPN’s services;
- If you misuse the service, you understand that ExpressVPN may terminate your account without offering you a refund;
- You’re not allowed to engage in unsolicited communication while using ExpressVPN (spam, pyramid schemes, chain letters);
- You’re not allowed to send illegal, hateful, insulting, threatening, defamatory content, or materials that infringe intellectual property rights, invade privacy or incite violence;
- You’re not allowed to retrieve or distribute copyrighted content or proprietary data without the permission of the content’s owner;
- You’re not allowed to access, download or share content that includes sexual or explicit depictions of minors;
- You’re not allowed to do anything that would interfere with other users’ ability to use or enjoy the service;
- You’re not allowed to engage in any form of hacking while using ExpressVPN;
- You’re not allowed to compile, use or distribute a list of IP addresses operated by ExpressVPN in conjunction with the service;
- You’re not allowed to use ExpressVPN for unlawful purposes;
- You’re not allowed to modify, reverse engineer, distribute to unauthorized parties or use the service in any way that’s not expressly authorized by ExpressVPN;
First thing’s first, ExpressVPN claims to collect only four types of data from you. Namely:
- Personal information;
- Aggregate apps and VPN connection summary statistics;
- Anonymous app diagnostics, including crash reports;
- IP addresses authorized to use MediaStreamer;
Note: the 3rd option can be disabled, and the 4th one is only for customers who use MediaStreamer.
Collected personal information
- Your email address;
- Payment information;
How your personal information is used
Your email address is used by ExpressVPN for the following reasons:
- To send you emails regarding payment transactions;
- To provide links to the ExpressVPN website, including password reset emails;
- To send you announcements and updates;
- To communicate with you about ExpressVPN services;
- To respond to your communications;
- To send marketing information, such as offers, invitations (you can opt-out of marketing emails);
Collected aggregate apps and VPN connection summary statistics
- Which apps you have installed on your devices and their versions;
- Successful connection logs (holding the date, but not the time);
- The VPN location you’ve connected to (but not your originating or outgoing IP addresses);
- The country you’ve connected from (but not your source IP address);
- The aggregate sum of data transferred (MBs);
We’ve engineered our systems to categorically eliminate storage of sensitive data. We may know THAT a customer has used ExpressVPN, but we never know HOW they have utilized our Service. We stand by our firm commitment to our customers’ privacy by not possessing any data related to a user’s online activities.
Anonymous app diagnostics, including crash reports
- Diagnostics information regarding if and how your ExpressVPN connection attempt failed;
- Speed test data;
- Crash reports;
- Usability diagnostics;
Reminder: you can turn sharing for these data off from the application. When you activate any ExpressVPN app, you’ll be asked if you would like to share this data, to which you can say “no.”
ExpressVPN – a quick introduction
ExpressVPN, as its name indicates, is a VPN service (which stands for Virtual Private Network) that aims to provide the end-users with increased privacy and data protection by routing their Internet traffic through a proprietary server and not keeping proof of their online activities.
The company behind the ExpressVPN project claims that they don’t keep data or activity logs on their servers and that their product is a privacy and security utility that masks the user’s IP address and also their web traffic. Therefore, any third-party attempt to break the user’s cover can prove ineffective if the developer’s recommendations are followed precisely.
The company released a series of applications that were designed to work with several devices and operating systems, such as Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux, Blackberry, PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV, media streamers, and even routers. The ExpressVPN utilities showcase a 4096-bit RSA key, and AES 256-bit cipher, as well as SHA-512 authentication, while also making use of TLSv1.2 in order to keep your traffic secure and away from the prying eyes of tracking services.
The VPN protocols that these applications support include UDP (OpenVPN), TCP (OpenVPN), SSTP, L2TP/IPSec as well as PPTP, thus providing the end-users with a broader range of possibilities when it comes to data protection.
Creating an ExpressVPN account
If you’ve skipped the terms of service analysis a few chapters above, you’re in for a surprise. You can’t really use ExpressVPN without creating an account. That’s justified, considering that ExpressVPN doesn’t feature a free trial for you to test its services before buying a subscription.
That being said, there are a few steps you need to take to create an ExpressVPN account. These are:
- Head to ExpressVPN;
- Click the “Get Started” or “Get ExpressVPN” buttons;
- Choose a subscription plan from the menu; (You can save 49% on ExpressVPN now!)
- Type your email address in the corresponding field;
- Select the payment method of your choice;
- Type in the required payment details;
- Hit the “Join Now” button;
You should be all set now! Not only do you now have an ExpressVPN account, but you also have a paid subscription to enjoy the service at your leisure.
Downloading ExpressVPN to your device
Downloading ExpressVPN is even easier than creating your account, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it. However, this ONLY works if you’ve already registered an account and bought a subscription plan. That being said, follow these steps:
- Head to ExpressVPN;
- Click the “My Account” button;
- Log into your account;
- Click the “Download for Windows” button;
That’s it! The download should’ve already started and you should be on your way to installing and using ExpressVPN.
If you need to install on other devices, make sure to click the “Set Up on More Devices” button instead of the “Download for Windows” one. Also, you will need to copy the activation code on the right, because that’s the only way you can sign into the app on your device. No standard username + password combination.
Getting to the dashboard
A quicker way to get hold of these packages would be through the setup page after you sign in to your account (assuming that you’ve already created an account).
Note that attempting to access this page without being signed in to your account will either display an error or prompt you to sign in to your account. Here you can also find an activation code that will be requested from you if you install ExpressVPN on Windows, Mac, Linux or a router. After logging into your account you are redirected to your dashboard.
The dashboard lets you quickly navigate to perform various account-related actions such as viewing your invoices, adding a credit card to your account, accessing the referral system, viewing DNS settings, copying the activation code that’s needed during the setup, managing subscription details and setting up ExpressVPN on all your devices (up to five at the same time).
Clicking the “Set Up on More Devices” button lets you quickly download the app on your current device as well as access and copy the activation code mentioned above. Among the device types you can set up ExpressVPN on it is possible to find Windows, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Mac, Android, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Apple TV, Fire TV, Kindle Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, Linux, Router and MediaStreamer. Alternatively, you can access a “Manual Config” section which is kinda self-explanatory.
Checking the installer for malware components
We can’t stress this enough: if you don’t have a habit of checking EVERYTHING that comes in contact with your computer (yes, we mean things you download), then you should start doing so as soon as possible and keep doing it every time you retrieve files from the Internet.
Nowadays, attacks are becoming more and more creative, and there’s no guarantee that even the most trustworthy sources (such as ExpressVPN) can’t get compromised. We use VirusTotal to check our files, despite the fact that some of you might complain that it’s not “100% accurate.” Well, let me tell you something: not 100% accurate beats not checking the files at all.
We’ve picked up one alert for the ExpressVPN installer, but judging from the code that was detected, we can safely conclude that it’s a false-positive. These things have a nasty habit of happening especially for security tools. Check our results here.
Installing ExpressVPN on your computer
As it can be easily noticed from the screenshots in the gallery attached below, the setup shouldn’t pose any threat to any users, regardless of whether it’s a seasoned user or a novice one we’re talking about. Installing the application to the target computer can be easily done by simply launching the setup kit.
Once the installation process has finished, you will be greeted by the application’s main window. The first few screens offer you a bunch of brief details about ExpressVPN and ask for your consent to launch the app on startup, collect some app data from you, and ultimately set up the app properly. The last step is the activation screen, which will require you to copy and paste the subscription code associated with your account.
Usually, it can be found on the website – on the page that you download the ExpressVPN client installation package from – and copying it to the clipboard can be accomplished with just one click. After pasting it into the dedicated field in the activation screen, you simply need to click the “Sign In” button so that the app can be activated and loaded onto your system.
After the application has been successfully installed, you can either jump into the action quickly by simply clicking a button, or configuring some of the parameters for a while before sealing the deal and ultimately securing your connection. ExpressVPN has a Smart Location module that automatically picks the server and country that are most suitable to your needs and suggests that you connect to them without any other configuration.
However, if you at least want to choose the server, you can easily do so by clicking the “Choose Location” button and picking a country and server from the menu that you just accessed. Here, you can find a wide variety of countries and servers, as you will see later in this article, which is organized by “Recommended,” “All” and “Recent” ones so that you can view them in an easier manner. If you need a little guidance, take a look at our screenshot gallery below to see exactly how to choose a server from the “VPN Locations” window.
Technically, all you need to secure your connection is to decide on a server and location and clicking the big power button in the main window, but some users are more curious than others, so let’s explore the rest of the settings you can alter. First things first, accessing them can be done by clicking the hamburger button in the ExpressVPN app’s main screen and choosing “Options” from the menu.
Basic settings adjustments
In the “Options” window you’ll be able to choose from various settings categories, ranging from protocol and account to browsers and advanced ones. However, general settings can be also configured from the same window without breaking a sweat.
As you can clearly see in the screenshots, general settings include modifying ExpressVPN’s startup behavior (launching on startup and connecting to the last used location), shutting down all traffic if the VPN disconnects, allowing access to various local network devices such as printers or file servers, and managing connections on a per-app basis.
The last setting can be only modified if the VPN is off and refers to letting all apps use the VPN freely, refusing certain apps VPN access or permitting access to some apps exclusively, depending on your preferences.
Moving on, protocols can be easily configured by simply clicking the radio buttons next to the protocol you’re interested in. Protocols are exactly as we’ve mentioned above: UDP (OpenVPN), TCP (OpenVPN), L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP. Additionally, there is one extra option that lets the application automatically pick the protocol that is the most appropriate for your network.
The “Account” tab doesn’t stand for much except for letting you view a bunch of details about your ExpressVPN account, such as its status and expiration date. You can also sign out of your account by using the dedicated “Sign Out” button or even refer friends for a few free VPN subscription days in return by clicking the second button in the “Account” tab.
In a similar manner to the accounts category described earlier we have the “Browsers” section, which only lets you install browser extensions quicker and check whether they are working properly. At the time of our testing, the only available browsers that supported the ExpressVPN extension were Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
Some advanced settings
Finally, we have the “Advanced” tab in the configuration window. This is the most complicated part of ExpressVPN, although seasoned users might think otherwise since there’s really nothing complex going on here. You can choose to share crash reports, speed tests and whatnot with the ExpressVPN developers, prevent IPv6 address detection while connected, opt to use exclusively ExpressVPN DNS servers when connected, optimize your Windows networking to increase VPN speed, and change the language, most of which you can do with the click of a button.
So there you have it, the full installation and configuration process that can guarantee you the full proof of security and privacy protection with the possibility of choosing your favorite server by country as a bonus.
Network Lock, Tor, Split Tunneling and Torrenting
There are a bunch of features that ExpressVPN provides you with in order to increase your privacy and online security which we’re going to discuss before proceeding to the next part of our review.
First thing first, we’re going to provide you with some details regarding the Network Lock feature that ExpressVPN provides you with, or, how some people refer to it by, the Kill Switch. Before we go into that matter, we should give you the inside scoop. Sometimes, when you’re connected to the Internet, your connection might drop all of a sudden, and the next course of action that your computer takes is to connect you to the next best one that is available.
For VPN users, this thing can be catastrophic, since if you’re connected to a private VPN server and it loses connectivity, your computer will look for the next available connection (which is your default, unprotected one) and link itself to it. The consequence is that you’re now on an unsecured connection and the worst part is that you probably have no idea about it since your computer usually doesn’t notify you whenever it connects to another network.
ExpressVPN’s kill switch, which is called the Network Lock, prevents that from happening and automatically pulls the plug whenever your connection drops, so that your computer is unable to connect to the Internet unless you reconnect through the VPN server. This kill switch is enabled by default and can’t be modified if you’re already connected to a VPN server, so if for some reason you decide to disable it, you must do it while the VPN service is inactive.
The concept behind this technology is a little bit more complicated than the previous one, but it’s just as easy to understand.
The need for split tunneling arose when VPN users had to use various devices on a remote network such as network printers or local storage devices while still protecting their privacy through a VPN server. Simple enough, right?
So what split tunneling does is that it lets you choose which devices that are currently connected to your router are connected to a VPN server and which ones are connected to the Internet directly.
This can help you download in complete safety without compromising the speed of other Internet services, print documents on your printer without revealing your online identity and even stream online content such as movies while using local services.
Both Mac and Windows editions of ExpressVPN include a “Connection Per App” feature that let you decide which application should be VPN-protected and the ones that are not.
Tor, which is another popular anonymity service, can be used in conjunction with ExpressVPN to further increase your online privacy. The “science” between this technique which is also known as “Tor over VPN” is that you can benefit from Tor network’s complete privacy protection without any node knowing your home IP address or your ISP flagging you for using Tor since all the traffic is encrypted.
More so, using Tor from a location that currently bans it, such as schools, certain countries or some corporations, is also possible thanks to the VPN servers. The only thing you need to make sure of before using this technique is that you must connect to the ExpressVPN server before accessing the Tor network. This way, if there’s some Tor-related bug, you’ll have an extra security layer to protect your privacy.
Torrenting is another pressing matter when using a VPN, since most of the traffic is heavily monitored nowadays and you might want to cover your tracks as thoroughly as possible.
The very nature of using P2P (peer-to-peer) services is that it exposes the IP address of each and every one of its users so that you know where you’re getting your files from. If that IP address happens to be your real one, you can get busted by various third-parties you don’t want to be involved within the first place, since metadata and location can be easily figured out from there.
However, if you use a VPN service such as ExpressVPN, the chance of this scenario happening is significantly reduced, if not completely eliminated, and let me tell you why. When you use a VPN service, your IP address is replaced by another one, namely the address of the VPN server you’re currently connected to. That IP address is more often than not shared by numerous other users, so the chance of your activity being traced back to you as an individual is almost null. Furthermore, ExpressVPN has a policy that prevents them from keeping logs that can be used to identify you, so the risks are non-existent.
IP binding and using the Network Lock
If you’re crazy-careful with your anonymity when using torrents, you’re probably already familiar with the practice of IP binding. uTorrent users, for example, configure this service so that their downloading and uploading activities are limited to a single IP address, the most popular cases are where you use the IP address of a secure VPN server.
However, if you’re using ExpressVPN and have the Network Lock feature active (it is enabled by default), IP binding is not a necessity anymore. As stated above, if your VPN-routed Internet connection suddenly comes to a halt, the download – along with any other traffic – will automatically be cut and your privacy will remain untainted.
Healthy advice for safe practice
Whenever you feel like using services that the authorities might find highly questionable, such as simply connecting to the Tor network or downloading the contents of a torrent file from the Internet, there are some rules that you should follow for the sake of your privacy and security.
Authorities are not the only ones that want to get their hands on your data, but also certain users who can use this information to blackmail you, for instance.
So, the first step before doing anything that might compromise you is to check if your ExpressVPN connection is active, double-check if the server you’re connected to is the one you chose and not some randomly-picked one, and, most important, run an IP check in your browser. No service is infallible, and you might think that you’re 100% protected when, in fact, some software or hardware component might’ve failed you and exposed your tracks completely. Be safe.
Playing online games with ExpressVPN
Given the fact that ExpressVPN managed to pull some incredible numbers in our tests when it came to latency and download speeds, it should come as no surprise that the app can be safely used while gaming as well. In fact, you should not see too much of a difference in terms of pings if the chosen location is relatively close to you, although things might get a bit choppy if you are trying to use servers on a different continent.
Even so, the latency measured on servers across different continents is not bad at all, which might actually allow you to access geo-restricted realms inside the game as well, without suffering major penalties in the process. Hence, if you are in the US and you want to play DotA 2 or World of Warcraft on European servers, it should be achievable without taking a significant hit ping-wise.
A great solution for Chinese users as well
ExpressVPN is also quite capable of working within normal parameters on Chinese territory as well, which is not something you can get from many other VPN providers out there. Not only that, but most servers should be accessible to you, not just a select few that are geographically close to China.
Getting online is also pretty easy, given the fact that the native apps should work as intended right out of the box. Granted, that may not be possible on platforms that use Android, given the fact that the Google Play Store is blocked in China, but your PC or Mac can definitely be equipped with ExpressVPN with no major issues.
To make things even better, ExpressVPN also allows you to pay for your subscription using cryptocurrency, which is much harder to track than a credit card or a PayPal account. Thus, you do not have to expose your true identity while paying for your subscription.
List of servers
At the time of writing this article, ExpressVPN boasted an outstanding number of over 3000+ servers in 160 server locations in 94 different countries. Therefore, you are provided with a remarkable level of flexibility when it comes to choosing the server that best suits your needs.
|Americas||OpenVPN UDP||OpenVPN TCP||L2TP/IPsec||IPsec||IKEv2||PPTP|
|Argentina||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Bahamas||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Brazil||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Brazil||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Brazil – 2||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Canada – Montreal||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Canada – Montreal – 2||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Canada – Toronto||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Canada – Toronto – 2||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Canada – Vancouver||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Chile||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Colombia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Costa Rica||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Ecuador||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Guatemala||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Panama||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Peru||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Atlanta||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Chicago||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Dallas||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Dallas – 2||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Denver||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Los Angeles||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Los Angeles – 1||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Los Angeles – 2||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Los Angeles – 3||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Los Angeles – 4||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Los Angeles – 5||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Miami||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Miami – 2||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – New Jersey – 1||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – New Jersey – 2||Available||Available||Not supported||Not supported||Not supported||Not supported|
|USA – New Jersey – 3||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – New York||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – New York – 2||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Salt Lake City||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – San Francisco||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – San Jose||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Santa Monica||Available||Not supported||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Seattle||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Tampa – 1||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|USA – Washington DC||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|USA – Washington DC – 2||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Uruguay||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Venezuela||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Europe||OpenVPN UDP||OpenVPN TCP||L2TP/IPsec||IPsec||IKEv2||PPTP|
|Albania||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Andorra||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Armenia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Azerbaijan||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Belarus||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Belgium||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Bulgaria||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Cyprus||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Estonia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Finland||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|France – Paris – 1||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|France – Paris – 2||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|France – Strasbourg||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Georgia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Germany||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Germany – Frankfurt – 1||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Germany – Frankfurt – 2||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Germany – Frankfurt – 3||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Germany – Nuremberg||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Greece||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Isle of Man||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Italy||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Italy – Cosenza||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Italy – Milan||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Jersey||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Latvia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Liechtenstein||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Lithuania||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Malta||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Moldova||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Monaco||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Montenegro||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Netherlands – Amsterdam||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Netherlands – Amsterdam – 2||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Netherlands – Rotterdam||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Netherlands – The Hague||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|North Macedonia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Poland||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Serbia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Slovakia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Slovenia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Spain – Barcelona||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Spain – Madrid||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Switzerland – 2||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Ukraine||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|UK – Docklands||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|UK – East London||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|UK – Kent||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|UK – London||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|UK – Wembley||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Asia Pacific||OpenVPN UDP||OpenVPN TCP||L2TP/IPsec||IPsec||IKEv2||PPTP|
|Australia – Brisbane||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Australia – Melbourne||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Australia – Perth||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Australia – Sydney||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Australia – Sydney – 2||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Australia – Sydney – 3||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Bangladesh||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Bhutan||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Brunei Darussalam||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Cambodia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Hong Kong – 2||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Hong Kong – 3||Available||Available||Not supported||Not supported||Not supported||Not supported|
|Hong Kong – 4||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|India (via UK)||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|India – Chennai||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|India – Mumbai – 1||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Japan – Tokyo – 1||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Japan – Tokyo – 2||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Japan – Tokyo – 3||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Kazakhstan||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Kyrgyzstan||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Laos||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Macau||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Mongolia||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Myanmar||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Nepal||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Pakistan||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Singapore – CBD||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Singapore – Jurong||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available||Available|
|Singapore – Marina Bay||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Sri Lanka||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Taiwan||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Uzbekistan||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Vietnam||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Middle East & Africa||OpenVPN UDP||OpenVPN TCP||L2TP/IPsec||IPsec||IKEv2||PPTP|
|Algeria||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Egypt||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|Kenya||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
|South Africa||Available||Available||Not supported||Available||Available||Not supported|
As you can see, the list is pretty impressive. However, aside from the ones listed above, ExpressVPN also has a list of virtual servers.
Algeria (via the Netherlands)
Andorra (via the Netherlands)
Armenia (via the Netherlands)
Bangladesh (via Singapore)
Belarus (via the Netherlands)
Bhutan (via Singapore)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (via the Netherlands)
Brunei (via Singapore)
Cambodia (via Singapore)
Ecuador (via the USA)
Egypt (via the Netherlands)
Guatemala (via the USA)
India (via the UK)*
Indonesia (via Singapore)
Isle of Man (via the Netherlands)
Jersey (via the Netherlands)
Kazakhstan (via Singapore)
Laos (via Singapore)
Liechtenstein (via the Netherlands)
Macau (via Singapore)
Macedonia (via the Netherlands)
Malta (via the Netherlands)
Monaco (via the Netherlands)
Mongolia (via Singapore)
Montenegro (via the Netherlands)
Myanmar (via Singapore)
Nepal (via Singapore)
Pakistan (via Singapore)
Peru (via Brazil)
Philippines (via Singapore)
Sri Lanka (via Singapore)
Turkey (via the Netherlands)
Uruguay (via Argentina)
Venezuela (via Brazil)
Vietnam (via Singapore)
*For India, you have the option of connecting to either a server located in India or to the virtual server location.
Services it unlocks
During our testing here at FindYourVPN.com, we didn’t find a service that this VPN client wouldn’t be able to unlock. We have tested the product extensively on a large number of services, many of which were more popular than others, but ExpressVPN managed to provide us with access to each and every single one of them.
Among the services, we tested against were social network websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, vk.com, Instagram, Snapchat, Kik and Telegram, various Google services that were otherwise not available, such as YouTube Premium, and other sites of interest such as Netflix, Spotify, and Amazon Prime.
- Amazon Prime
- BBC iPlayer
- PlayStation Vue
- Sky Go
Sometimes a website appeared temporarily unavailable or still detected the original location, but this can be easily fixed by clearing cookies and the cache in your browser of choice and loading the locked contents again. However, before accessing any services we strongly recommend you clear your cache and cookies from your browsers and try using the incognito mode since cookies are widely known as being capable of storing sensitive content and leaking it when you least expect it.
More so, not all of the servers might be able to unlock the services listed above, only certain ones. We could go on rambling about the details and disclose the ones which can successfully unlock the service you’re looking for, but that might trigger the service to block ExpressVPN’s server. Instead, we encourage you to contact ExpressVPN’s support team and ask them to guide you in picking the most reliable server to unlock the service you want to use.
As stated in the testing and tools article, in order to make the review as honest and transparent as possible we’re going to perform a series of tests so that you can see exactly how reliable this VPN provider truly is. The tests range from various leaks such as IP, DNS, browser fingerprinting, location, user agent or browser leaks, to speed tests that can prove you once and for all that using a VPN does not necessarily make your connection completely unusable.
The purpose of these tests is to help you understand the true purpose of these operations and how they can help you pick a decent and reliable client whenever you feel ready to take this step. First of all, we need to mention that the tests will all be completed by using websites that are widely available for everyone who wants to try on their own and replicate the results.
The websites we’re going to use are the IPX, ipleak and BrowserLeaks, while the VPN’s speed will be tested using Netflix’s fast.com website. It is worth saying that ExpressVPN has developed its own suite of testing tools that can be accessed directly from their website.
The tools consist of an IP address checker, a DNS leak test and a WebRTC leak test. You can find out more information about each one of these tools by going to their respective websites. This includes basic information regarding IP addresses, why you can’t go online without one, what can it reveal about you, how to change it, what is WebRTC, how does a WebRTC leak jeopardize your privacy, what is DNS, what causes a DNS leakage, and more. If you are a new VPN user, you might want to consider reading that material thoroughly, since understanding it can make you more proficient in choosing and using a VPN service.
ExpressVPN security test results
Conclusion: after performing our suite of tests, we can safely conclude that ExpressVPN doesn’t leak IP, DNS, WebRTC and Flash IP data.
Speed test results
Last, but not least, the speed tests, which were completed using Netflix’s fast.com tool revealed that our Internet speed values when we were actively connected to the VPN servers ranged from 78 Mbps to 270 Mbps, as you can observe in the screenshots below.
This result is remarkably good, given that the servers and locations we chose have been at least pretentious when using other similar tools. The complete results are, as you can see in the screenshots below, the following:
|Location||Internet Speed||Latency||Upload Speed||Downloaded||Uploaded|
|U.S.A.||78 Mbps||148 ms||157 ms||20 Mbps||320 MB||80 MB|
|Switzerland||270 Mbps||64 ms||264 ms||20 Mbps||640 MB||50 MB|
|Brazil||120 Mbps||255 ms||277 ms||21 Mbps||390 MB||70 MB|
|Hong Kong||150 Mbps||229 ms||326 ms||17 Mbps||490 MB||50 MB|
|South Africa||110 Mbps||237 ms||278 ms||19 Mbps||190 MB||60 MB|
|Australia||78 Mbps||283 ms||332 ms||18 Mbps||270 MB||60 MB|
As we already pointed out in our other articles, we highly encourage you to perform the same tests in the same way we did and leave us some feedback in the comments section with your results. We’re interested in knowing if your results were different or the same as ours.
We used average hardware equipment since we understand that not every user owns high-end technology. However, the gear you use should only affect the VPN’s speed and overall performance, without poking any holes in your security system.
That concludes our testing procedures. We have checked for various leaks and breaches in security, while also focusing on speed since a 100% secure connection that runs at 50 Kbps is of little-to-no use to us.
Free vs Pro
As have you probably noticed, there is no way that ExpressVPN can be used for free, at least not in the beginning, as you have to buy a license before you can launch it on your computer. More so, you are provided with various payment plans, so you can choose the one that suits your needs the best.
The lack of a free service can be frowned upon by many users, mostly novices who don’t understand the costs of running so many servers and keeping them entirely private.
However, the fact that its features cannot be accessed without paying a fee can make the client seems a bit exclusive and premium-like, which, in our opinion, isn’t a bad thing, given the number of supported countries and servers provided to you, as well as the guarantee that your activity is not being logged or stored anywhere.
You should also take into consideration the fact that once you purchase a subscription plan for ExpressVPN you can install the service on five different devices simultaneously using the same access code. The plans they offer are as follows:
The 15 Months plan is currently the most popular choice since it offers you a 49% discount. Therefore, you can pay $99.95 per year ($6.67 per month) instead of $194.20 per year ($12.95 per month).
Another positive thing about purchasing an ExpressVPN license is that you’re provided with multiple payment methods, so you don’t need to stress about finding the right one for you. You can view a list of accepted payment methods below.
- Credit cards: VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, VISA Electron, DELTA, Diners Club INTERNATIONAL.
- Other: Alipay, UnionPay, iDEAL, Klarna, WebMoney, Giropay, YandexMoney.
We have encountered no crashes or random errors during ExpressVPN’s uptime on our computer, and we even made a few stress tests to see how far it can go without crashing and not even once did it randomly interrupt the connection.
Things are looking good. As for the customer support, well, you can choose to do anything – from sending an email, to filing a support ticket, searching for articles in their support database, viewing a series of troubleshooting guides, to receiving setup instructions directly from their website and talking to “a human” (as they state on their website) through live chat.
If you’re nervous that this VPN client won’t satisfy you, then you’ll be glad to learn that all the plans that were mentioned above are covered by a 100% refund policy that lasts for your first 30 days of service. What does that mean? Basically, if for any reason you decide that this product is not good for you in the first 30 days, you can request your money back.
To draw the line, we enjoyed testing and using ExpressVPN. Even on a lower-end laptop computer such as our old faithful Toshiba Satellite it performed well, without hogging too many resources. It can also be easily installed and configured without additional assistance from any help documentation, which is yet another plus.
Testing revealed that it’s a reliable choice when it comes to security, but it also has the advantage of being a “speedster” (so far it has the fastest servers according to fast.com). The company is trustworthy when it comes to security and privacy since they don’t keep any traffic or activity logs.
Unfortunately, no free service is provided to the end-users who might just want to try it before buying it, but there’s a 100% money-back guarantee on the first 30 days. It is a bit disappointing that they don’t offer a lifetime subscription, but, as they say, lack of sustained revenue means that some things, such as security and customer service, must be cut.
+ Performs great even on lower-end machines; (5)
+ Can be easily installed even by novices; (5)
+ Both secure and high-speed servers; (5)
+ Large server network; (5)
+ No-logs policy, trustworthy company; (5)
– Services are a bit pricey and no trial; (4.5)
ExpressVPN receives a 4.91/5 rating.