- 145 cities in 94 countries
- Consistent high speeds across all devices
- Suited for a wide array of uses, from streaming to torrenting
- Simple and intuitive interface accessible to any technical level
- 24/7 customer service
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Wide range of VPN protocols and 256-bit SSL encryption ensure privacy
- Does not record browsing history or activity logs
- Outside of US and European jurisdictions
- Accepts Bitcoin
- Slightly more expensive
- Minimal advanced features for power users
- Only 3 simultaneous connections
ExpressVPN is a very modern VPN service. Both the desktop and mobile apps are easy for users of all technical skill levels. As the name implies, speed is their game, and in that they do not disappoint. Downloads averaged well over 50Mbps in the US and Europe with a slight downtick in the rest of the world. Speaking of which, ExpressVPN offers massive server coverage worldwide. With over 1,000 servers in 94 countries you will never see slowdown when traveling abroad. This makes it great for streaming HD content like Netflix, sports, and BBC iPlayer, all of which work with ExpressVPN. To top it off, their 24/7 live chat support is just as fast as their servers.
Perhaps even more important than their dedication to speed is that ExpressVPN records no logs of any kind. They're also based out of the British Virgin Islands, outside of both US and EU jurisdictions (it is an independent overseas territory). That means in addition to not recording logs, there's no major entity to subpoena them even if they did. ExpressVPN's weakness is their price and merely standard level encryption features. Still, ExpressVPN is a great recommendation if you are a traveler who wants fast servers for streaming or downloading worldwide.
Privacy and Security
ExpressVPN is based out of the British Virgin Islands. It's a country with no data retention laws, and it's no coincidence that ExpressVPN chose that country as a home base. No record, history, or logs are ever recorded in the system. This lets customers can do whatever they want online without fear of being tracked by some third party. Subscriptions can even paid for via Bitcoin to create another layer of anonymity.
By default, ExpressVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol with a secured AES 256-bit encryption. It's the same setup the military and financial services rely on to keep sensitive data secure. However, other protocols are available for devices that don't support OpenVPN. One final cool feature is a kill switch to close specific applications if the VPN connection ever drops. It's a final nod to the importance ExpressVPN places on user security.
There's no faster or more consistent service than ExpressVPN. Like all VPN services, some connections will perform better than others. By and large though, ExpressVPN is on average the fastest VPN available. Additionally, there are no bandwidth limits or speed caps. Users who want a VPN for gaming, P2P sharing, or streaming will find little to complain about. Mac users will also enjoy split tunneling capability that allows them to pick and choose what goes through the VPN and what doesn't.
At over 100 cities to choose between, there are a lot of options here. ExpressVPN offers connectivity to every major country in the world except for China. Even then they make up for that with VPN options in pretty much all of the surrounding Southeast Asian countries. Their multi-city presence in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and Germany are especially wide spread.
ExpressVPN also offers over 1,000 servers and 20,000 IP addresses. Both of these numbers put the service towards the top of the competition and help ensure both speed and privacy for their users.
Ease and Usability
Can you handle clicking on a link and pressing install? Then you can handle ExpressVPN's setup because that's basically all there is to it. The service will choose a recommend server, but it's also just a single click to select a specific connection. They also offer apps for a multitude of devices, even less common ones like routers.
The ease of selecting specific cities should specifically appeal to sports fans. With almost 100 countries to choose from, users of ExpressVPN won't have to worry about location based blackouts anymore. The mobile app is just as easy as the desktop version too. There's no lack of functionality and users can easily keep tabs on the VPN with an easy to read status bar icon. For those who want to go even lighter, ExpressVPN also offers a Firefox or Chrome browser extension. This lets you access VPN servers for web traffic while keeping the rest of your internet usage at max speeds.
The downside to ExpressVPN's usability is that power users might be disappointed with the lack of some niche features. For most common uses of a VPN though, this service offers everything that's needed. It's quick to setup and easy to use, regardless of the device.
ExpressVPN offers 24/7 customer support via email or live chat. Live chat is pretty close to an instant response, while email usually takes a few hours. The customer support staff is clearly knowledgeable and should be more than able to assist with any issues.
Given that the service is so intuitive and the tutorial so informative, it's unlikely customer support will need to be contacted often. But everything breaks eventually so it's reassuring to know customer support is so readily available.
ExpressVPN is definitely on the pricier side of options. For lighter weight users, it's going to be overkill. If you don't need a lot of connection choices, speed isn't a concern, and you don't expect to need to support, there might be a much cheaper VPN option out there.
But as they say, you get what you pay for. The reason this service is more expensive is because it just delivers so much. While it is higher priced than the rest of the competition, it's not necessarily bad value. The value proposition still feels very fair with all things considered.
For a first time VPN user, ExpressVPN is hard to beat. It's easy to setup, safe, fast, and can be used for every common online activity. It is more expensive than the competition and power users might find it a little lacking. Those are relatively minor and niche complaints though for a VPN service that does it all.