ExpressVPN has found a home among VPN users, whereby the application has the latest protocols and features that you’ll need to stay secure over the web. The company itself hasn’t been around for a very long time but manages to stay recommended among other older VPNs that are commonly named among these brands. There’s a lot to be excited about here, mostly from the things that ExpressVPN manages to do right that some other VPNs have yet to manage. But does that make it good enough for you to try out for yourself? This guide will serve as an in-depth look at all of ExpressVPN’s features, benefits, and setbacks that you should know about before putting down any payments. Continue reading to find out more.
What to Know from the Start
At one point in time, VPNs weren’t always the easiest to find, and many of the most popular applications were free. There were paid services many years ago, but this decade’s revelations about mass surveillance events in the news served as an extreme boost to their popularity. In just a few years since the Edward Snowden and NSA leaks, consumers have become much more aware of potential vulnerabilities in their home computer systems. You never know where the latest threat will come from, and many of the newest emerging issues aren’t always viruses.
VPNs help to minimize or reduce all of these issues by hiding what you do online during your everyday activities. But there’s also more that can be had from subscribing to an account, especially if you like to partake in activities that involve file sharing. Torrenting has been blocked the world over, and even torrent clients themselves will strongly advise their users to set up a VPN to access their services. You can hide your authentic IP address by using a VPN, which remains hidden through a layered redirect to different servers that operate through protocols. ExpressVPN’s standard protocol is OpenVPN, one that comes with the latest encryption, AES-256. With this, you’ll have end-to-end encryption that rivals what’s currently used with the US government, because that’s where it originated in the first place.
Pricing and Affordability
VPNs are purchased through plans which usually number at least three. With Express, you can choose between a monthly ($12.95), which is the most expensive when used for the same time period at the cheapest option ($8.32). Out of many comparable VPNs, ExpressVPN’s extended plan is one of the more generous options since a lot of it’s rival’s costs would remain over two dollars per month, even when used for a period of a year or longer. Another plan costs a little bit more than the cheapest, which is $9.99 every month for a year, which is also how long the service lasts until it must be paid for again.
If you’re having trouble deciding which VPN plan you should go for with ExpressVPN, never go with the most expensive option from the start. Try to test things out with the free trial, moving up to the per-month plan after that if you like it. From that point, you could either upgrade to a longer plan or stick to the one you are currently using (the month-to-month). You should certainly do this if you think that you might switch over to a different VPN service in the not-too-distant future. Getting out of the monthly plan is easier, but could be more expensive if you stick with it for too long of a time period.
ExpressVPN has multiple ways for you to pay, which includes credit and debit options, PayPal, and even Bitcoin. As a side, there’s also the crypto Ethereum, which has emerged as another good contender and alternative to the former dominant crypto. If you’re looking to keep your name away from ExpressVPN (which would further your anonymity), then making a subscription purchased through crypto is the best option to do so. The company could never find out your real name since Bitcoin wallets can be set up in an anonymous way, or mixed.
Free Trial and Reimbursement
ExpressVPN has a lot of things going for it, and one of those is the very nice trial period that the service offers to all their anticipated customers. It lasts for seven days, which is plenty of time for most to do all the testing and consideration that they need to find out if the service is good enough for a recurring purchase. If you do start out with a trial, be sure that you change over to the plan that you want, especially if you’re going to be debited for the one-year option.
All Protocols and how they Protect You
ExpressVPN is embedded with good protocols that can be set up automatically during the installation, or further enhanced manually from the application’s advanced setting later on. If you’re a beginner, you won’t have to touch a thing if you don’t need to, and it’s recommended that you use the VPN as normal without changing a thing. But if you are going to check out or test them, know that there’s several for you to assign. The first and most popular choice is OpenVPN and is great for speed and outstanding encryption features. Other are IPSec and L2TP, equally good for speed and protection but not as complicated to set up an OpenVPN. And there’s also obsolete protocols such as PPTP, which isn’t recommended and used mostly with free VPNs but can still be found on some that are paid.
Kill Switch Features
ExpressVPN has a kill switch feature that’ll keep your internet connection in check if you ever run into the issue of it going off in the first place. When this happens, a program could inadvertently attempt a connection by using your ordinary IP address, something that could give away your location to websites or programs that don’t need to have such information. This could also create problems with your service provider if the content that you attempted to access was blocked by them.
How it Works with Tor and Other Browsers
ExpressVPN will work over the Tor Network but might slow it down a bit. If you’ve ever used For before, you know that slowdowns are quite common among the onion browser. Anything that could reduce its speed even further is probably just going to make you even more impatient with the browser itself. But you can try it out. If your internet connection is high speed, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. But for those operating on something that’s average or low in megabytes per second, you might want to reconsider using ExpressVPN over Tor, at least temporarily.
Widgets included with the VPN
ExpressVPN has a handle little browser extensive that you can download for free through Google Chrome. And since it’s available on Chrome, you can also use it on Opera browser (it has the ability to use all Chrome extensions). But you won’t need this unless you’re not looking to buy the application since having both at the same time would defeat the purpose of the extension in the first place. But if you do want something that can be used for a temporary time period, check out ExpressVPN’s extension and see whether or not it’s worthy of staying on your Chrome browser.
Headquarters and Relationship with Host Country
ExpressVPN, along with a few other VPN applications, is located in the British Virgin Islands. Don’t confuse this with the UK, since their laws regarding privacy are entirely different from what you might be familiar with in the European nation. There are no data retention stipulations set up by the government there, which is very attractive to VPN companies that wish to do business but maintain the truth of their servers. ExpressVPN knows that their customers value the right to privacy online, and the BVI is the perfect location to make sure that happens. And since it’s not situated within the jurisdiction of a Five Eyes nation, you’ll never hear about this island on the news when instances of mass surveillance do happen. Or if you do, it would most likely be favorable to the VPN.
Server Number and Quality
ExpressVPN has about 800 high-quality servers that are great for using for all sorts of activities, which could include your daily browsing habits or going on streaming content. On top of this, the servers are housed in over 54 remote locations or countries. Threat means you’ll likely find a working server that is ideal for whatever account you’re attempting to access or create while on the VPN. Most of the EU and North American continents are featured within this list, but a few major Asian and South American countries also make the cut. If you’re not in the Americas or Europe, you could still find a server that’s close by, which is good when you must handle torrenting but need to get as strong a connection as possible.
Testing Its Speed
You can run speeds tests through ExpressVPN is you want. In order to do so, you must go to a website that will monitor your web speed. It’s easy to do, so just look for such a place on your search engine and go from there. Or you could just look into what users have a similar speed to yours has gauged the VPN at. More than likely, your connection while over the VPN will be slightly lower than the average speed of your ISP (when there’s no VPN online). This is perfectly normal, but it can be used to tell whether or not you need to acquire a faster connection from the jump. If you do, you’ll have fewer chances of the VPN going out at random times (but remember, if that does happen, you’ll still be protected by the kill switch).
Streaming Netflix and Other Music/Video Websites
Yes, Netflix can be streamed over ExpressVPN without any problems at all. You can enjoy all of the movies and TV shows that you wish. If your connection is fast, you could even watch in 2K or 4K picture quality and never see artifacts within the body of the video itself. But there’s not only Netflix support here. Other alternative streaming content will work just as well, no matter if you’re using Amazon Prime or Hulu. Apple will also playback movies in a flawless manner, and display sharp images with hardly any buffering. As shown in the section above, try to ensure a fast connection, these benefits will be descriptive of your streaming experience with ExpressVPN.
File Sharing and Torrent Compatibility
If you like to share files, you can do so with ExpressVPN via a torrent client. You will have access to the sites themselves, an even the applications that make have been blocked from you with your normal ISP. No matter if you’re using BitTorrent, uTorrent, and more, your access will be once again unrestricted, as it may have been in the past. You can safely download all of your favorite movies and music that you wish, and leaks won’t ever happen, the kind that would expose you to potentially getting a note in the mail from your ISP. With ExpressVPN, this is a non-issue and would never arise, so go ahead and begin your download as soon as the application is finished installing.
How it Performs with DNS Leaks
DNS leaks are sometimes common with certain VPNs, but not with ExpressVPN, you won’t have this problem, and the VPN itself will change your DNS servers to their address. This won’t affect your connection speed at all, and there will be no need for you to change back to your ISPs DNS when you have ExpressVPN on your computer.
User Agreement and Logging Policy
When looking at ExpressVPN’s user agreement in detail, try to not confuse yourself with its language. Nowhere do they claim to log any of the information that you share with them; your privacy remains important to their entire operation. Logging is completely unheard of, so feel free to use the application as you wish. They will never know or gain enough data to figure out your where about unless you voluntarily give it to them. And this can be avoided by correctly choosing a discreet payment option to pay for your subscription.
Customer Service and How to Contact
ExpressVPN has two methods for contacting someone that works in their service department. You can do so by email or live chat. Fist, try the live chat if the problem your having doesn’t involve extended guidelines for troubleshooting. They could probably walk you through the issues within the chat is this isn’t the case, so go live first. If for some reason you don’t get the answers you want from the live chat, submit a support ticket, and the response will generally be more in-depth and thorough. ExpressVPN typically responds to support ticket on the following day from submission, unless you send an email on the weekend.
Compatible Operating Systems
You can use ExpressVPN with on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. There are other systems supported by the VPN too, such as Chrome OS and Linux. If you’re going with a Linux distro, you’re the safest bet would be to start with Ubuntu fist, then trying them out on your other distros if there are any. The VPN works fastest on smartphones, given the nature of their handheld design. If you do go with the smartphone version, you’ll still be able to use the same account from your laptop or computer.
Number of Devices that can Be Used with One Account
With ExpressVPN, you have access to multiple devices with only a single account. It’s a great benefit to the company since you’ll be able to put an unlimited number of devices on your account at the same time. So if you have a friend or family member that you would like to share the account with, you can easily do so. And with them, you could invite even people to use your VPN is you wanted. There’s also routers support, so don’t limit yourself to the account only, particularly if you’re going to be using the VPN mostly from your home.
How it Stacks Up against the Competition
ExpressVPN is clearly one of the better choices that you can have with VPNs. There are lots of cool features for everyone, some of which easily stack up to the company’s rivals. One of the biggest rivals to them is Surfshark, seeing as they are also located within the British Virgin Islands. But there are others, such as Nord. You can’t go wrong with either one of these VPNs if you were forced to choose, so pick whichever you have a preference for or the service that appears the most promising.
Pros and Cons
Shown below are several pros and cons that are found with the ExpressVPN application.
- Their no-logging policy is legitimate – ExpressVPN has a very honest logging policy that doesn’t change on a dime. What you see (or read in the user agreement) is what you’ll get. They don’t hide things from their customers, and the service can be trusted for its past honesty and relationship with the people subscribed to the service.
- Allows an unlimited amount of devices for the same account – It doesn’t matter if you’re in a household that’s filled with people that need to use a VPN. Everyone will be able to get online with ExpressVPN. You can even set it up through a router if needed, then sharing the username and password with your loved ones. If you do share the account with someone else, they will have to download the VPN on their device (unless you go the “router” route).
- Streaming video sites are accessible – ExpressVPN completely unblocks Netflix, and it won’t matter what location you’re in. If you stay in a place that blocks the sites from showing up on your internet service provider, try it out, and the streaming content will likely be accessible as if you never have to use it, to begin with. The same goes for Hulu and iPlayer; make use of the VPN whenever you’re not based in your home residence.
- Good Pricing Options – There are three plans for you to choose with ExpressVPN VPN. You can get either the lowest cost options that are the longest or the highest option that’s the shortest. There’s also a middle option, so consider that if you’re stuck in between the longer or shorts choices, not knowing which one to pick. If you’re trying to compare the service with other VPNs, stick to the short monthly plan so that you won’t have to make any long-term investment that you could (potentially) regret.
- Responds to inquiries in a Timely Manner – ExpressVPN usually responds to issues very quickly. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach them through email or live chat support. You probably won’t get in touch with the company via phone, but that could always change in the future with the service.
- ExpressVPN is great for Stopping DNS leaks – If you have had to worry about DNS leaks with other VPNs, you won’t have such a problem with ExpressVPN. The application completely shields your DNS (and the service provider from knowing what you’re doing online).
- Servers speeds are highly dependent on how the Fast the user’s Internet Remains – If you know for a fact that your internet connection is spotty, then you’ll definitely want to think about upgrading before ending up with ExpressVPN. That’s because the servers are highly dependent on whether or not said speed is efficient and fast. If it isn’t, then slowdowns and lag during the watching of streaming video content are very likely to occur. When you get ExpressVPN, be sure to run it through a speed test when you’re still on the free trial period, to see if the speed is good enough for all you want to do on it.
- Long Response time during Weekends – Although ExpressVPN has great customer service, you might have to wait a little while longer if you submit an email to them anytime between Friday and Monday. This isn’t really that bad of a con but might irritate those that are impatient. As said earlier, you should always speak with a live chat agent with the company first before moving on to the support ticket system. by doing this, you will have the opportunity to settle the issue from the start, while might settle the problem without you having to go through the ticketing system. If it takes you a while to hear back from them through the ticket system, try sending out a second message to see if they will respond quickly. Eventually, someone will get back at you. ExpressVPN representatives are very informative and know what they’re talking about, so it’s likely your problem will be solved very quickly when they see your message. If your concern involves more advanced problems, then you might have to submit a response through your own email as a reply. When you do that, you will be able to get back with them in a day or two.
If you enjoyed the article, what do you think about ExpressVPN? Was your opinion of them as a company changed, or would you still avoid it? And if you were persuaded to try out the VPN, what was the major selling point? ExpressVPN is clearly a top choice among its opponents and will be around for a long time. It’s expected for the company to grow, so more servers and locations could be in the VPNs future lineup. If you want a VPN that gets things right the first time around, then try out ExpressVPN and see if their servers are good enough to keep your internet in the other things this miraculous VPN can do!