ExpressVPN review 2018: Are they really #1?

    • Categorical has doubled the variety of servers accessible to greater than 2,000. It has additionally launched break up tunneling, a number of browser extensions and open sourced various instruments together with leak testing ones.

    ExpressVPN is a big British Virgin Islands-based supplier of VPN companies. The corporate’s merchandise begin off somewhat dearer than most, from $12.95 (£10.35) for a one-off month possibility, though it drops to $6.67 (£four.71) for the usual yearly plan (which comes with three additional months).

    There are many companies which might beat that, however ExpressVPN offers you numerous on your cash. We’re speaking greater than 2,000 servers throughout 145 areas in 94 international locations, P2P help, and straightforward setup with customized purchasers for Home windows, Mac, iOS, Android, even Linux. You additionally get numerous genuinely useful web-based tutorials and troubleshooting guides, and 24/7 e mail and stay chat help when you have issues.

    There is no free plan or trial, however you are in a position to attempt the total service for as much as 30 days with no sneaky small print restrictions on bandwidth or classes, and for those who nonetheless need a refund you possibly can simply e mail and ask. We tried this and there have been no questions in any respect, only a fast acknowledgement the following day, and a full PayPal refund three days later.

    For those who just like the service, ExpressVPN additionally has a easy referral scheme which might help cut back prices. Get a pal to enroll and supply your e mail tackle throughout the order course of, and also you each get a free month.


    ExpressVPN’s privateness coverage is uncommon for lots of causes. Fortuitously, they’re all good causes: it is clear, it is detailed, it covers many alternative areas and tells you nearly all the things you need to know.

    Take logging, for instance. Whereas different suppliers could be imprecise and go away you guessing, ExpressVPN will get straight to the purpose:

    “We don’t gather logs of your exercise, together with no logging of searching historical past, site visitors vacation spot, information content material, or DNS queries. We additionally by no means retailer connection logs, that means no logs of your IP tackle, your outgoing VPN IP tackle, connection timestamp, or session period.”

    There’s a little session logging, together with your connection dates, alternative of server and complete quantity of knowledge transferred all being recorded. ExpressVPN would not gather your connection instances or IP addresses, although, so this cannot be used to determine you.

    ExpressVPN’s purchasers have a telemetry characteristic which can “gather anonymized analytics information used for community diagnostics.” Which may be a priority for some, however ExpressVPN takes the time to clarify precisely what could be despatched, who it is despatched to, and factors out which you can cease sharing this information at any time by toggling a shopper setting.

    The remainder of ExpressVPN’s small print was very, very commonplace. The corporate shops primary details about you, however would not share it with anybody else, and the web site makes use of cookies and third-party analytics, however then so does nearly everyone else. It is all very regular and we noticed no purpose for any privateness considerations.


    ExpressVPN’s signup process is carried out nearly solely on a single web page, the place all the important thing particulars are clearly displayed.

    Step one is to select from the one, six or twelve-month plans. The corporate exhibits each the month-to-month and complete quantities and the billing frequency, so you should not have any disagreeable surprises later.

    Registration is stored to a minimal when it comes to requested particulars, with the corporate asking on your e mail tackle solely.

    A wide variety of fee choices contains card, PayPal, Bitcoin, and plenty of others by way of Paymentwall.

    After handing over our money, the ExpressVPN web site generated and displayed a safe password for us. That is a sensible transfer because it hopefully reduces the prospect that customers will enter the identical credentials that they use elsewhere. However for those who prefer to hold management, no drawback, there’s additionally an choice to enter a password of your individual.

    The following web page displayed a hyperlink to obtain the Home windows shopper for our laptop computer, and provided hyperlinks for different gadgets.

    You may set up ExpressVPN’s purchasers on as many gadgets as you want. This is a bit more difficult than common because the agency asks you to enter a 23-character ‘activation code’ allotted to your account. You solely have to do that as soon as, although, and you then’re in a position to join as much as three gadgets to the service at one time.

    For those who’ve bought issues with any of this, hyperlinks level you to some useful help pages. We checked out the article on ‘what number of gadgets could be linked to ExpressVPN concurrently’ and located it clear and easy, with helpful examples and useful hyperlinks to different particulars you’ll want to know.

    We downloaded and launched the Home windows shopper. The setup program prompted for the activation code we would simply been given on the web site, gave us a few easy configuration choices, after which put in in a couple of seconds.

    A fast examine of ExpressVPN’s information confirmed the bundle grabbed somewhat extra arduous drive area than common at round 60MB. However the service scores the place it issues, with its two background processes solely taking round 40MB RAM (we have seen CyberGhost, for instance, seize as a lot as 200MB RAM).

    It may be fascinating to see how typically a VPN shopper is up to date, as this provides you some concept of how a lot time and impact has gone into the app. Only a few suppliers offer you any clear concept of this, however ExpressVPN has a ‘What’s New’ page which spells it out. Within the first half of 2017 the app had 10 releases, for instance, greater than you would possibly count on from many specialist builders.

    The ExpressVPN desktop shopper is all about simplicity. Launch it, the closest location is routinely chosen, one click on on the Join button is sufficient to get you protected, and clicking it once more turns the VPN off.

    The Select Location button allows searching areas by continent, nation or particular person server, in addition to offering a easy favorites system.

    The placement lists haven’t any particulars on server load, however a separate Velocity Take a look at window can benchmark the servers, giving their obtain velocity in Kbps in addition to easy latencies. This takes two or three minutes as ExpressVPN insists on testing each server, sadly: the shopper actually ought to enable for benchmarking solely the international locations or servers you choose. Nonetheless, this extra thorough method has its advantages, supplying you with measurements of obtain speeds in addition to the fundamental ping instances you will get elsewhere.

    The shopper’s Settings dialog would not comprise many choices, however there are a pair that stand out from the gang.

    You are in a position to decide on your most well-liked protocol from choices together with OpenVPN by way of UDP, OpenVPN by way of TCP, L2TP – IPSEC, PPTP or SSTP. Alternatively, settle for the default Automated setting and the shopper will determine itself.

    The shopper additionally supplies a Community Lock characteristic, a kill swap which stops all community site visitors if the connection drops. You may allow and disable this, and there is an possibility to permit entry to community gadgets akin to printers or community shares.

    ExpressVPN achieved stable ends in our efficiency assessments*. UK-UK connections have been quick and dependable at 31-36Mbps; close to European connections have been much less constant however nonetheless very acceptable at 14-35Mbps.

    There was little change in UK-US site visitors with downloads averaging 15-25Mbps, and connecting to even probably the most distant Asian server nonetheless gave us Three-7Mbps, perhaps sufficient for primary video streaming.

    ExpressVPN accomplished the optimistic image by doing properly in our leak assessments, with its DNS safety making certain our id was protected always.

    Ultimate verdict

    ExpressVPN prices greater than most VPNs, however then it additionally offers you extra areas, higher efficiency, and an actual focus in your internet privateness. For those who worth service high quality greater than worth, this can be a VPN you’ll want to attempt.

    *Our testing included evaluating common efficiency (searching, streaming video). We additionally used speedtest.internet to measure latency, add and obtain speeds, after which examined instantly once more with the VPN turned off, to examine for any distinction (over a number of rounds of testing). We then in contrast these outcomes to different VPN companies we have reviewed. After all, do notice that VPN efficiency is tough to measure as there are such a lot of variables.

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