One of the most relevant names among the most prominent VPN services that you can find in the market is ExpressVPN. It has long been one of our favorites, despite its high price which characterized it in the monthly payment.
But the competition is catching up and ExpressVPN needs to stay ahead. At the time of writing this article, ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol was in beta, but is expected to be available soon, increasing speeds accordingly.
Speed is a key factor when choosing and subscribing to a VPN service, but there are many others. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about ExpressVPN, and whether it offers anything that interests you most.
What does Express VPN do?
The idea behind ExpressVPN, as with all end-user VPN services, is to provide the privacy of internet connections, the security of open Wi-Fi networks you connect to, and the ability to unblock region-locked content (videos in diffusion).
This means all you need to do is press the big “ power ” button on the app and in seconds you’ll be protected from ISPs, governments, and any other intruders trying to track your traffic. computer.
So you can visit any website and download any file without anyone knowing or following you on the net. You can choose a VPN server in a different country than yours and it will make websites and services believe you are in that country.
This means that you can access content (eg TV channels) that is usually limited for your country. Some streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max have different content for each region.
This means that you can see certain content if you connect to a VPN server in the US, or different if you connect to another in the UK, for example.
Privacy and Security
ExpressVPN is one of the largest VPN providers with thousands of servers spread around the world. Currently, the list expands to 160 cities in 94 countries, including those where you’re most likely to want to appear.
The apps are available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, iPad, Linux, and Amazon Fire TV. But it doesn’t stop there. There are browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and you can also use tutorials to run VPN on devices like Apple TV, Android Smart TV, NAS, etc.
Note that support for devices that do not support a VPN connection itself will depend on running ExpressVPN on a router. This means that the VPN connection can work on all devices that connect to the internet through Wi-Fi.
You can even buy a router with ExpressVPN already installed as standard.
One of the great features is security with TrustedServer. This means that each ExpressVPN server runs entirely in RAM.
Although the servers always have hard drives, they are read-only and contain only the operating system image required to start the servers. All servers are running the same version of Software and user data is never written to a hard drive.
Essentially, when the server, operating system, and Software VPNs are basically reinstalled, making ExpressVPN’s servers harder to hack.
Some competitors are migrating their servers to RAM only, including competitors like NordVPN and Surfshark, and they offer similar benefits to ExpressVPN in other ways.
For example, all of these services are registered in countries with favorable privacy laws. This provides peace of mind because, despite not everyone claiming that they do not store information about the use of your service, even if they do, local laws prevent them from disclosing data to authorities. .
This includes DNS queries and browsing histories. ExpressVPN runs its own DNS servers, which you can also use as part of your MediaStreamer feature (more on that later).
Another cool security feature is the kill switch available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and now Android as well. Network Lock is ExpressVPN’s kill switch.
It works in such a way that it stops sending or receiving data if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, which keeps you safe. If the connection is lost, the apps will automatically reconnect and re-establish the encrypted connection.
You can also change this feature to allow local traffic while removing all remote traffic, to prevent other devices, such as printers, from losing connectivity when the stop switch is turned on.
Split tunnel function
In addition to this, the function of Shared tunnel VPN It is available in Windows, Android and macOS applications (as well as in the router version). This allows you to choose which apps use the VPN connection and which don’t.
The advantage is that you can still access local websites or devices, such as wireless printers, without any issues while simultaneously accessing foreign sites through the VPN to, for example, watch videos on diffusion.
Note that shared tunnel is not yet available for macOS Big Sur. Here, it should be noted that ExpressVPN supports P2P connections and torrents, which some VPN services explicitly prohibit.
You can also install and use the Chrome or Firefox browser extension to limit the scope of the VPN to only the websites you visit with that browser.
Performance and ease of use
For most people, the top four apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android will cover most of their needs, and the straightforward interface couldn’t be easier to use.
Once you’ve signed in with your username and password and approved the requests for the app to access your device’s VPN settings, just choose a country and tap on the big button.
The Android app (below) has a widget useful which allows to connect very easily to a server without even starting the application. Another important detail is that in the app itself there are shortcuts to launch apps after it connects to a server.
The servers we tested were all stable and the speeds were very good. And by great we mean we only saw a small drop in download speeds on our 100Mbps line, so this is a stable VPN.
If your connection is faster than that, you might notice a bigger drop, but as mentioned at the start, ExpressVPN implements its own Lightway protocol, which was recorded at 500 and 600 Mbps in ExpressVPN tests.
However, it is not as fast as the protocol NordLynx based on WireGuard, which was recorded at speeds greater than 1 and 2 Gbps.
One box that most people will want to check is Netflix US Library Compatibility. And every time we check this, we haven’t had any issues streaming from any of ExpressVPN’s servers located in the US.
ExpressVPN unlocks many other streaming services as well, but at the time of writing this article we were unable to unblock BBC iPlayer and the ITV hub. This is a persistent problem for most VPN services and not just for ExpressVPN.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Just use the MediaStreamer mentioned above – ExpressVPN’s DNS servers. Instructions can be found on the company’s website for a variety of devices, from laptops and PCs to televisions.
Basically, you will lose the VPN encryption, but iPlayer should work fine.
As far as support goes, ExpressVPN has 24 hour active chat. Too bad it’s only available on the web, not through the mobile app, to name just one example. An email also allows you to report bugs.
Finally, we come to the sticking point with service, which is none other than price. You can sometimes find deals like the one we found at the time of this review, offering 15 months for a price of 5.67 $ (3 months free), saving 49% of the final price.
Individual price plans are $ 11 per month, or a monthly price of $ 8.48 if you decide to rent a minimum period of 6 months. You know, these services, the more months you hire, the cheaper the service will be.
The company offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can get it back no questions asked if you are not happy with the service you receive for any reason.
Payment is made by credit card, PayPal service, Bitcoin and a wide range of options. So much so that if you want to make the payment anonymously, that will also be possible.
ExpressVPN offers a great service that should be suitable for the most privacy-critical users, as well as those who want easy-to-use apps no matter what device they’re using.
There is a wide variety of countries and servers, solid support, and plenty of step-by-step guides for installing on devices where apps are not available. You’ll also find security features to make sure your activity stays private.
It’s not the fastest, but it will be the fastest once the Lightway protocol is out of beta, with the default protocol. The price is still a bit high. But if it’s within your budget, we recommend a rival like NordVPN.
Take a look at our special offer on the best VPN services of the year.