With the VPN market expanding dramatically, the competition has never been tougher. Tech companies are racing to offer the best service, speed, privacy, and, of course, an affordable price. In the sea of available options, it is getting harder and harder to stand out and offer something new. However, ExpressVPN has managed to do just that.
Read our ExpressVPN review to find out what it is that makes this VPN one of the best choices you can make.
Pretty much every VPN on the market advertises top-notch security. However, if you scratch the surface even just a bit, you will find that there is often little substance to back up those claims. That is where ExpressVPN differs from its competition: it offers a wide range of privacy features, and it delivers on each one.
Though most VPNs don’t go into much detail on the kind of encryption they use, ExpressVPN makes sure you know exactly what you’ll be getting. It uses a 4096-bit SHA-512 RSA certificate and AES-256-CBC to encrypt the control channel. HMAC (Hash Message Authentication Code) is there to protect any real-time alterations of regular data.
There is another layer of protection as well: support for Perfect Forward Secrecy. This feature assigns you a different security key every time you log in. What’s more, the key changes every hour, even while you are logged in, so no hackers will have much time with your data even if they do manage to attack.
DNS support is yet another highlight of ExpressVpn’s security features. This VPN doesn’t offer DNS leak protection only. In fact, it also runs its own 256-bit encrypted DNS on each of its servers, ensuring your online activity truly stays private.
Most other providers will most likely redirect your DNS traffic to a third-party service such as OpenDNS. Such practices give hackers a good chance of intercepting, blocking or altering your requests. ExpressVPN’s private DNS makes these issues disappear.
Most websites you can use to check for DNS leaks, including DNS Leak Test and IPLeak, confirm that the DNS support is truly top-notch. None of the ExpressVPN servers had any DNS or traffic leaks.
ExpressVPN is, without a doubt, one of the fastest VPNs on the market, thanks to its new proprietary protocol called Lightway. Most speed tests show that this protocol was up to three times faster than the one ExpressVPN previously used (OpenVPN).
The average speed across different locations and times was 135 Mbps, which is more than most other providers had. The speed does not vary much depending on the region, so servers in North America, Asia, and Europe averaged similar results in each test.
Streaming videos or binge-watching TV shows using this VPN is seamless, and there is no buffering at all. What’s more, the VPN is also perfect for online gaming, especially for fast-paced games. Just make sure you choose a server that is either close to your location or the game’s servers, and you’ll be good to go.
Though the company still offers the option to use OpenVPN as your VPN protocol, we suggest you always go with Lightway. It guarantees the best results by far.
Streaming Geo-Blocked Content And Torrenting
ExpressVPN is rather straightforward about the sites and platforms it can unblock. These include Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Wikipedia, Youtube, Google, etc.
All tests show that his VPN unblocks streaming services seamlessly, with great results for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. The situation was a bit trickier with BBC iPlayer as it has far better protection, but ExpressVPN managed to unblock that, too. Youtube and Google were, of course, both easy to access.
The same premium-quality service applies to torrenting. Although you might think this VPN isn’t that torrenting friendly because their website doesn’t mention it at all, it’s far from the truth. In fact, it is one of the best VPNs for torrenting out there.
You can pick any server in any location, and there are no bandwidth or transfer issues. If you also consider that the company has no activity logs, supports Bitcoin, and offers a 30-day refund, ExpressVPN truly becomes the best answer to all your torrenting needs.
ExpressVPN Pricing Plans
This part of the ExpressVPN package is the one most people have a problem with. Compared to most big-name VPN providers, this VPN is a bit pricier. For reference, most monthly rates are at the $10 mark, while ExpressVPN charges $12.95 every month.
Many other providers, including Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost, also charge around $13 a month, so the price isn’t a novelty. If you consider everything ExpressVPN offers in terms of security, performance, and unblocking abilities, the price is more than reasonable.
If you sign up for the 6-month plan, the price dips to $9.99 a month, which is a pretty good discount. It gives you a lot of flexibility and offers a quick way out. The same cannot be said of some other providers who do not offer 6-month plans at all.
The annual plan is an even better offer. Here, you get a 35% discount and have to pay only $8.32 per month. This price is similar to NordVPN’s $7 offer and Hotspot Shield’s $9.99 plan. However, it is still a lot more expensive than, for example, PIA VPN, whose annual plan is just above $3.
However, anyone can offer low rates and affordable services. The important question is, what do you get for the money you give? In the case of ExpressVPN, that is only top-notch features, so the price is not a surprise at all.
ExpressVPN also offers many deals that can help you save some cash. For example, you can get a few months added to your annual plan for free. If you get their 3-months free deal, you will get 15 months of excellent services for just $6.67 a month.
If you decide to sign up for a plan, you will see that this VPN offers a wide range of payment methods. These include credit and debit cards, PayPal, Yandex Money, WebMoney, Bitcoin, and a whole host of other options.
If you are unsure if this VPN is what you want, you can install the iOS or Android app and get seven days for free. That way, you can test everything out before making any decisions and payments.
The Android App
Installing the ExpressVPN works like installing any other app. You can get it on the Play Store for free, and the signup process is rather straightforward. The app looks great and works similarly to the Windows version.
Our favorite feature was the Location Picker, which allows you to choose any server you like. The Picker also makes it easy to reconnect to servers you’ve already used and liked.
The Privacy menu has several features that allow you to check your connection, current IP address, and location. You can also use these features to check for DNS leaks and to generate secure passwords. You can, of course, do all of this on the Windows app as well. However, this mobile app makes it all much easier and more accessible.
The app also supports the Lightway protocol, meaning you will get the best speed and performance, whatever server you choose. We particularly liked the auto-connect feature, which connects you to the VPN as soon as you join an untrusted network.
All In all, the app is highly functional and quite easy to use.
The iOS App
The iOS app has the same straightforward interface you will find on other platforms. It has pretty much the same features as the android app, except for the fact that this one does not have a kill-switch.
However, this app offers you access to some protocols that are not available for Android users. Apart from Lightway, OpenVPN, and TCP, you can also opt for L2TP and IKEv2 protocols.
The Privacy and Settings features are similar to those in the Android version as well, so you will get the same experience no matter which app you use. And as with the android app, you can try the VPN for a week for free. That way, you can figure out whether ExpressVPN is what you want and need before choosing a plan and truly singing up.
And The Verdict Is…
ExpressVPN is one of the top VPN options on the market for a good reason. The quality of performance and the number of security layers it offers put it way above the competition. In addition, it is the best VPN for gaming, torrenting, and streaming content on geo-blocked sites. Both the Android and the iOS app are easy to use and install and an excellent addition to the whole package.
Of course, not everything is perfect. ExpressVPN is also one of the priciest options out there. Although there are indeed many more affordable options available, it is important to say that their features and speed often cannot match those of ExpressVPN.
If you want great speed, excellent security, and a range of servers and locations to choose from, look no further. ExpressVPN is the way to go.