ExpressVPN Review: Why The Best Choice

08-Jul-2019

ExpressVPN is a VPN that focuses on the more expensive segment of the market where people don't mind paying a little more for a high quality VPN. And that they offer quality is clear to us. We think ExpressVPN is the best choice, and how that is, can be read in our overview of the best VPN's. ExpressVPN has easy to use software for the different operating systems. The apps developed by ExpressVPN work intuitively. In addition, Netflix also works over connections via ExpressVPN, so that with ExpressVPN you can watch the American Netflix. Privacy also plays an important role at ExpressVPN. All these good features are partly due to the fact that the VPN service has been in existence since 2009. In these years, ExpressVPN has gained so much experience that it is really able to deliver a very good service. In this ExpressVPN review you will discover what the test results are and what our overall experience with this VPN service is. Here, we will go through the most important features of this service again. We will also share our experiences of ExpressVPN that we have gained while using it.

ExpressVPN Review Our experience: best choice! Read here why.

ExpressVPN Server

The server range of ExpressVPN is very extensive. For example, there are more than 3000 servers, which in turn are spread over 160 VPN server locations and that in turn are spread over 94 countries. There are always multiple servers per location. The countries where the servers are located are also spread all over the world. Basically, wherever you are, there is an ExpressVPN server nearby so you can always get a good speed through your VPN connection, and besides, the servers are spread all over the world. In addition, with the servers distributed all over the world you can easily view the blocked content from all countries.

Easy to use software

As indicated, the ExpressVPN software is very easy to use for different devices. It all works very intuitively and does exactly what it is supposed to do. In the software you can easily test which server works the fastest. Also, the software indicates a recommended server. The software of ExpressVPN is really very good! Nowadays, the software is even available in Dutch, which is one of the reasons why the user-friendliness gets a 10 in this review. Our experience with the ExpressVPN software and apps on different devices is really great. More about it later in this review. ExpressVPN is available for the most used operating systems and devices. For example, there is software for Windows; from Windows XP up to and including Windows 10. Also for iOS (for iPhone and iPad) and Android phones and tablets there is a VPN app available from ExpressVPN. There is also a solution for other devices such as routers, computers with Linux, the Raspberry Pi and other less used systems. On the ExpressVPN website you will find an explanation of how to use VPN connections for all these systems.

ExpressVPN on Windows

ExpressVPN's software for Windows is truly outstanding. The software is well-organized, works fast, does not get stuck and has useful options. For example, there is a split tunneling option with which you can run certain data traffic via the VPN connection and other internet traffic via the "normal" connection. You can also easily choose which protocol you want to use. ExpressVPN also gives you the necessary login details if you choose to set up the VPN yourself in Windows.

On mobile devices

We have been testing the Android app ourselves for 2 months. The app works really well and does exactly what you expect it to do. The VPN connections are quickly set up and work perfectly via both the mobile 4g and 3g networks and a wifi connection. The iPhone app looks the same as its Android counterpart. Both apps have the same settings and the same features. So you can watch the video apps such as Youtube, Hulu, Netflix and any other similar apps via a VPN connection.

ExpressVPN router

If you send and receive all your data traffic via a VPN connection, it may be a good idea to set up your router as a VPN client. This way your router encrypts and decrypts all the data that is sent through your internet connection. To make this all easy, ExpressVPN sells routers through its own site that allow you to easily connect to the ExpressVPN server. They do this by installing their own firmware on the router, an ideal solution if you don't feel like setting up a router yourself. Of course you can also use any router with VPN support. Routers with DD-WRT or Tomato firmware for example have this support. There are also VPN routers available that are able to connect to a VPN server from the factory. If you are going to do it with your own router we advise you to consult the manuals on the ExpressVPN website. These are very clear and good.

ExpressVPN on Linux

Even for the well-known Linux distributions ExpressVPN has released software. In fact, these are installation files that automatically install the VPN account settings for you. There is an installation file for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and CentOS. With these programs you can easily connect via the command line. There is also an explanation on the website which tells how to use the VPN connections via the Ubuntu Network Manager. There is also an installation script that makes it possible to set up and use your Raspberry Pi ExpressVPN connections on your Raspberry Pi ExpressVPN.

Chrome extension and Firefox addon

There is an ExpressVPN extension and addon available for Chrome and Firefox. With this extension it is easy to run all browser traffic over an ExpressVPN server. For example, this is ideal when you want to hide your IP from the websites you visit and the ad networks that analyze your browsing behavior based on your IP address. ExpressVPN's browser extensions also block WebRTC. This is a feature in the Chrome and Firefox browsers that can cause your real IP address to leak to the website you are visiting, even if you are connected to a VPN server. WebRTC is mainly used to make video calls in the browser.

Chromecast with ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is perfectly suited for use in combination with a Chromecast. On the ExpressVPN website you will find a clear explanation on how to use the VPN connections with a ChromeCast. This works differently than normal. Also on our Chromecast VPN page you will find more information about this. Setting up a VPN connection on your Chromecast gives you the advantage of seeing content that you normally cannot see due to geographical blockages. For example, it is possible to view Netflix's U.S. offerings via your Chromecast. Or you can watch sports events that are actually only broadcast in America.

Using Kodi with ExpressVPN

Just like with the Chromecast, at Kodi it is important to stream content. ExpressVPN is very suitable for this and is therefore perfect for use in combination with Kodi. Install ExpressVPN on the device you use Kodi with. Make a VPN connection and then open Kodi. Everything you stream online now will be streamed through the VPN connection of ExpressVPN.

Simultaneous connections

Something to keep in mind is that 5 devices can connect to the VPN service at the same time. Previously ExpressVPN had a maximum of 3 simultaneous connections, fortunately this has now been increased to 5. On our page about the different VPN providers, you can easily filter on the minimum number of simultaneous connections you would like to use. So if you need more than 5 simultaneous connections you can take a look at that page.

Change location with ExpressVPN

By default ExpressVPN chooses the fastest server for you. In most cases this is the VPN server that is physically closest to you. This is of course ideal when you want to encrypt your internet traffic, or when you are sitting in a cafe on the public wifi network for example. When you specifically want to change a location for the outside world, because you want to watch a broadcast abroad for example, it is also very easy with ExpressVPN. In the software and various apps, there is simply a list of countries with which you can easily connect to via a VPN server in a certain country. 

Automatic connection

To make sure that you are always secure while using the internet, it is useful if the VPN client software automatically connects to a VPN server before sending and receiving data. In the Windows software there is the option to start the program automatically when you start up your computer. There is also an option that allows you to automatically connect to the VPN server you last used. Another VPN service that allows you to automatically connect to a VPN server when starting your computer is NordVPN. This service is also a good alternative to ExpressVPN.

Local network accessible with ExpressVPN

In the ExpressVPN client on Windows and Mac, you can set the local network to remain accessible while the VPN connection is active. This means you can continue to use your printer, network drives and Chormecast, for example, while the VPN connection is active. Since this is impossible with many VPN services, this can be a real plus for some people.

Privacy and security of ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN itself claims that they do everything in their power to guarantee and secure the user's privacy in the best possible way. We have checked and tested whether this is the case.

The service uses, among other things, the 3 most important and well-known protocols: PPTP, L2TPIPSec and the most secure, OpenVPN. The latter, in combination with 256 bit, is the standard used in the ExpressVPN software. Of course you can also choose to use L2TP or PTPP. Since the company is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, it does not have to comply with the data retention laws of the United States or data collection laws in Europe. In addition, the company uses the shared IP principle, which means that an IP within their range cannot be linked back to a user. Hundreds of users use the same IP address at the same time. In addition, you can pay with Bitcoin and all you have to do is enter an email address when registering. It seems that ExpressVPN has a good privacy policy for its users in this area.

Logs

No logs are kept of the exact usage of the users on the ExpressVPN network. No data is kept about the websites you visit or online services you use. They don't even keep track of who connects when. In this way, your privacy is truly guaranteed at ExpressVPN, although they do indicate that they log the servers in order to optimize them and keep them as fast as possible.

Killswitch option at ExpressVPN

As extra security, the software for Windows and Mac computers have a killswitch function. This is important because otherwise your computer will send the data from your IP address to the internet without encryption. A killswitch function makes a VPN really safe! It is easy to enable the killswitch option of ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN calls this option network lock. This is a real plus for our review, as there is even an option available that allows you to set a kill switch for each program. With this function you can, for example, set a program to be shut down from the internet when the VPN connection is lost. We can imagine you setting this for your torrent download program like uTorrent. This function is called split tunneling and is very useful for those who want to use it.

Stability and speed with ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN appears to be one of the faster VPN providers we have tested. They indicate that they are also actively committed to this. During our review we tested the speed with a connection to an ExpressVPN server in Amsterdam. Based on your IP address, the ExpressVPN software checks which server is closest to you and this location is indicated as the recommended location for the best speed. We tested the speed of ExpressVPN using the speed test offered by Google. This showed that we achieved a very good speed and low ping. Our original speed (without VPN connection) is 251.8 Mbps, the upload is 37.2 Mbps and the ping is 4 ms. After connecting to an ExpressVPN server in Amsterdam we reached 125.6 Mbps for download, 35.6 Mbps for upload and 5 ms ping. The stability of the connection with a VPN server from ExpressVPN was also fine during our review. There had not been a single connection problem. With these speeds and stability, the service is ideal for streaming videos and downloading them anonymously. All in all, the reliability of the ExpressVPN apps and connections is really fine.

Torrents download via ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN allows downloading from Bittorrent through their network. In fact, we think that the speed of the service makes it ideal for downloading torrent files. For downloading torrents, it is a good idea anyway because you download anonymously through a VPN connection. Also in the Netherlands, we expect that there will be download fines for people who download via Bittorrent. When you download these torrent files with ExpressVPN, you do so anonymously, so you can't get a fine. This automatically means that ExpressVPN is also recommended for use in combination with Popcorn Time. Since Popcorn Time also uses the Bitorrent network, we expect that there will be fines for this. Another fine fact is that ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. They therefore have no obligation to cooperate with other authorities when they request the data from a torrent downloader.

Netflix and ExpressVPN

When you connect to Netflix via a VPN server in a certain country, you get the offer of that country. In each country there is a different offer of films and series available, especially the American offer on Netflix is interesting. In America, series and films are often available much earlier on Netflix. We have tested for a long time whether it was possible to watch Netflix with ExpressVPN. Our experience is that we always succeeded and because of the high speed of ExpressVPN connections there is no delay or longer buffer times. ExpressVPN does everything to bypass the Netflix blockages. They do this very well. In case Netflix blocks an ExpressVPN server, in our experience there is always a server available that still works.

ExpressVPN price

ExpressVPN has a clear overview of packages to choose from. All packages offer the same service, but when you sign up immediately for a longer period of time you pay less per month. We love this kind of clarity and transparency in the price; you just know where you stand. You can choose between a package for 1 month, 6 months or for 12 months. If you compare the prices, the 12 months subscription is the cheapest per month. Below you see an overview of the prices of ExpressVPN via the link on our website. We have a nice offer on now; you will get a discount! For this already low price for 12 months you get a 15 month subscription. Converted, the costs are then only $6.67 per month. The VPN service offers no possibility to use the service for free. However, they do have a 30 day money back guarantee. This way you can try the service for 1 month at no risk, to find out if ExpressVPN suits your needs and requirements. It should be noted that compared to other services the service is on the expensive side. As you can see, there are plenty of payment methods available to pay for subscription on the ExpressVPN website. The best known payment method iDeal in the Netherlands is also supported. In addition, payment by credit card, Paypal and Bitcoin is also supported.

Free trial

There is a free trial period with this VPN service, this comes in the form of a money back guarantee. The trial period or free trial is for 30 days. This is a very long free trial period, even more reason to test it. ExpressVPN's free trial works as follows: you pay at the start of the trial period and If you don't like it in those 30 days, you can ask for a refund without any hassle, as well as get occasional interesting offers. During such an offer, you can usually purchase the service from ExpressVPN for a lower price. At the moment, we even have an offer that gives you 3 months free of charge if you subscribe to ExpressVPN for a year via the link on our website. This is 15 months ExpressVPN for the price of 12 months.

Termination of ExpressVPN subscription

If you want to cancel your ExpressVPN subscription, this is easily done. In your account on the website you will find a button to cancel your subscription. This is done without being asked any difficult questions and is simply completed within 1 minute.

Conclusion: our experience with ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a VPN service that has its affairs technically very well in order; we have noticed this during our review. The network is very fast and you really notice that when using the internet, especially when you want to stream videos. Also, the security seems to be very good and your privacy is guaranteed with this VPN service. On the technical level we have had very good experiences with ExpressVPN and the way ExpressVPN indicates to deal with your privacy is also good. No data is logged at all, so nothing about your internet behaviour is tracked. Even if third parties ask about your internet activities, ExpressVPN wouldn't be able to do so because nothing is stored. The fact that they fall under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands is also a good sign in terms of privacy. For this good service and quality a relatively high price has to be paid. But if you want to buy a good stable VPN service and you don't mind paying just that little bit extra, ExpressVPN is a very good choice. Because of the perfect service, fast and stable connections, good software and sound privacy policy we currently find ExpressVPN to be the best VPN service.

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