Express VPN Review 2023
In today’s world, cyber security is rising among the biggest concerns not just at the individual but at the national level too. According to a report, it takes nearly 207 days for sources to identify a security breach. That is more than enough time for hackers to exploit innocent people.
Online privacy and security have become more critical than ever. With the increase in cyber threats and data breaches, it's essential to protect your online presence. That's where VPNs come in. VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, provide a secure and private connection between your device and the internet, allowing you to surf the web without leaving any digital footprints. A VPN creates a secure tunnel for our connection and even encrypts our data to eliminate any attacks or leaks from happening. Among the top VPNs is ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN is one of the most advanced VPN services on the market, offering a wide range of features and tools to help protect your online privacy and security. With its military-grade encryption, fast servers, and user-friendly interface, ExpressVPN is a top choice for anyone looking for a reliable and trustworthy VPN service.
ExpressVPN is among the top choices for VPNs as it is one of the most trusted VPNs. Whether you're looking to stream your favorite shows, shop online, or browse the web, ExpressVPN has got you covered. So, let's dive into our review and see what makes ExpressVPN stand out from the rest.
For Readers In A Hurry, Here Is My Quick Take:
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs currently present in the market with over-the-top features. ExpressVPN is the best VPN when it comes to streaming regional as well as geo-restricted content. With its Lightway protocol, you get the immense speed with the highest security of AES-256. It is based on the Zero-logs policy and has diskless features to maintain privacy.
Some other main features include the privacy-friendly jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands, special features like threat level managers, private DNS service, and advanced split tunneling. With high-speed torrenting servers and compatibility with almost all devices, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs.
While the country is based in privacy-friendly jurisdiction, it is still owned by Kape Technologies, an MNC that also owns PIA, CyberGhost, and Zenmate. Kape also shares a past not considered good or trustworthy by the people. ExpressPVN also collects some minor logs. Though they are aggregated and not shared with anybody, they are only used to make the VPN even better.
ExpressVPN is also a bit on the pricier side, but when compared to its value, it is definitely worth it for people who want the best VPN without having to worry about any other things. This VPN is best for streamers.
Fast and secure VPN
Best for streaming
Zero logs policy
24/7 live chat support
Latency is not displayed
Offers fewer Special features
Like other premium VPNs, ExpressVPN also comes in three different plans: monthly, six-monthly, and yearly. The longer the commitment, the cheaper the plan, however, I recommend you go for the monthly plan. If you don’t find the service suitable, you can cancel and get the money back.
The monthly plan costs $12.95/mo, while the 6-month plan costs $9.99/mo. or $59.95. The most affordable plan is the yearly plan costs only $6.67/mo. or $99.95 while you also get 3 months free
Excellent for streaming content globally
As a VPN review site, we at VPNGrades.com have extensively tested ExpressVPN and can confidently say that it is one of the best VPNs for streaming content globally. With the ability to access numerous platforms, ExpressVPN provides an excellent streaming experience.
When it comes to streaming content globally, ExpressVPN is currently the best VPN out there. With access to over 3,000 servers in 94 countries, this VPN can easily bypass geo-restrictions and provide access to popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more.
Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services globally, and ExpressVPN works exceptionally well with it. ExpressVPN can access 12 Netflix libraries, including those in the US, UK, Canada, Japan, and Australia. The VPN service provider ensures that users can stream Netflix in HD without any buffering issues or lag.
If you're a hardcore streamer like myself, you'll be glad to know that ExpressVPN also works seamlessly with BBC iPlayer, which requires a UK location to access. With ExpressVPN, you can easily access BBC iPlayer from anywhere in the world and stream your favorite BBC shows with ease.
ExpressVPN integrates flawlessly with Amazon Prime Video, another well-known streaming service. You can effortlessly access the huge collection of films, TV series, and other video content available in the Amazon Prime Video US and UK libraries by using ExpressVPN.
Apart from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video, ExpressVPN can also access other streaming platforms such as Hulu, Disney+, and many more. With ExpressVPN, you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies, no matter where you are in the world.
Speed and Performance
Note: At VPNGrades.com, we are committed to providing accurate and reliable information to our readers. To ensure that our reviews are based on real-world performance, we rigorously test the speed of VPNs using a variety of tools and methods. We test the speed of VPN servers across multiple locations and at different times of the day to get a comprehensive understanding of the VPN's performance. Read here how VPNs affect Internet speed.
The lightning-fast speed of ExpressVPN separates it from the competition and makes it a top-tier VPN service. According to our tests, ExpressVPN offers outstanding download speeds of up to 960 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 920 Mbps. It is a fantastic option for streaming, downloading huge files, and playing online games because of its lightning-fast speeds.
One of the most impressive features of ExpressVPN is its consistent and reliable speed, even when connecting to servers in different countries. In our tests, we found that ExpressVPN consistently provided high-speed connections, with minimal fluctuations or drops in speed.
This makes it an excellent choice for users who need to connect to international servers for work, or for streaming content from other countries. With ExpressVPN, you can expect to experience fast and stable connections, no matter where in the world you are connecting from. Moreover, it offers unlimited bandwidth, which means you can stream and download as much as you want without worrying about any speed throttling or bandwidth caps.
Lower Pings for Gaming:
ExpressVPN’s fast speeds don't come at the expense of high pings. In fact, it has an impressive record of delivering low pings, making it a suitable VPN for online gaming. Our tests showed that it provides an average ping of 11 ms, which is fantastic for gamers looking for seamless online gaming experiences.
Eliminates ISP Throttling:
Another significant advantage of ExpressVPN is that it eliminates ISP throttling. If your ISP is slowing down your internet connection for certain activities like streaming, torrenting, or gaming, ExpressVPN can help you bypass these restrictions. With its advanced encryption, ExpressVPN hides your internet traffic, making it impossible for your ISP to track and throttle it.
Speed test results 2023:
ExpressVPN is as dedicated to privacy as every VPN should be. A VPN is a tool trusted by its users to save their privacy, and thus it is extremely wrong for some VPNs to still sell users' data or exploit their trust.
However, ExpressVPN is a well-established premium VPN and has never conducted any of these activities. ExpressVPN follows a strict no-usage logs policy or a simple no-logs policy. This indicated that just after 15 minutes of the VPN disconnecting, all the browsing data and information would be automatically wiped out, leaving no data to store or exploit.
ExpressVPN also uses RAM-only or diskless servers to keep their servers and users' privacy safe. A diskless server cannot store information, even if it were compromised, This is because it lacks the disk or storage to even store any data.
· Personal data (name, email address, payment information)
· Usage statistics data
· Data added to ExpressVPN Keys
· Anonymous app diagnostic data (optional)
ExpressVPN does not collect data about users’ browsing and internet activity while connected to the VPN.
Personal data is encrypted and not shared with third parties.
Users can opt-in to send anonymized app diagnostic data.
ExpressVPN provides an optional MediaStreamer service for devices that do not support VPNs.
Verified External Audits
Cybersecurity firm Cure53 has conducted separate assessments of ExpressVPN's Android and iOS mobile apps through white-box penetration testing and source-code audits. The audit of the Android app was conducted in August, while the iOS audit was conducted from late August to early September.
Protocols and Encryption
ExpressVPN offers many protocols, but the best is its own Lightway protocol. Lightway is designed in-house to optimize speed and reliability without compromising security. This protocol has undergone rigorous third-party audits and has been found to be secure and trustworthy.
When it comes to speed, we noted that it could reconnect within 3 seconds, which was a massive improvement over OpenVPN. To compare, Lightway only has 1,000 lines of code, while OpenVPN has nearly 70,000, making Lightway easy to load and audit.
In addition, ExpressVPN offers a range of other protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2. OpenVPN also has the option to use UDP or TCP if you have any specifics in mind.
To ensure maximum security, ExpressVPN uses strong encryption standards, including AES-256, which is considered to be one of the most secure encryption algorithms available. This means that your online activity is protected by military-grade encryption, making it virtually impossible for anyone to intercept or decrypt your data.
A new encryption key is generated every time you connect to the VPN thanks to Perfect Forward Secrecy, which is another feature of ExpressVPN's encryption. By doing this, you can guarantee that your past and present online behavior will be secure even if your encryption key is stolen.
ExpressVPN Servers and Server Locations
ExpressVPN provides an extensive network of servers spread across 94 countries, with over 3000+ servers available to users. This wide server network ensures that users can connect to a server in their desired location and enjoy a fast and secure internet connection. Having the advantage of services in 94 countries, the users have more options to spoof or bypass the web.
ExpressVPN's server locations cover all major regions of the world, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This makes it an ideal choice for travelers or anyone looking to access geo-restricted content from different regions. However, I felt like ExpressVPN has a bit fewer servers in Middle Eastern regions, which needs to be focused on.
ExpressVPN has physical servers almost everywhere, however, they also have a couple of virtual servers. Express VPN has specific requirements to maintain a safe server. If these requirements are not met, Express VPN removes the physical server and provides a virtual server to users. This happened in India, where, due to some changes in government policies, Express VPN had to shut down its physical server, but later they used two virtual servers.
As I mentioned, ExpressVPN uses diskless servers, meaning they cannot store users' data even if they were compromised. This is very essential, and all VPNs should try making their servers RAM-only.
ExpressVPN has also upgraded its servers from 1GBps to 10GBps, making them way more efficient. Currently, 80% of the total broadband data is handled by these upgraded servers, and soon all the servers will be upgraded.
ExpressVPN also provides a feature called "Smart Location," which automatically selects the fastest and most secure server location for the user. This feature is particularly useful for users who are not sure which server location to choose.
ExpressVPN servers in countries across the globe:
Europe: 42 countries
North and South America: 16 countries
Asia and Oceania: 26 countries
Middle East and Africa: 3 countries
This server is scattered, and this makes it the best VPN choice for nearly everyone except Africans and Middle Easterners. It would be the best VPN for Europe and North America.
One of the most critical factors to consider when choosing a VPN provider is its jurisdiction. It affects the freedom the VPN service can have regarding data. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is a privacy-friendly location that is not part of any international surveillance alliances such as Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes. As a result, the company is not required to store user data or monitor internet traffic, and it is protected by the BVI's strong data protection laws.
This means that ExpressVPN is not subject to mandatory data retention laws and is not legally required to hand over customer data to law enforcement or government agencies. As a result, the company can guarantee that it operates a genuine no logs policy, which means that it does not collect or store any information that could be used to identify its users.
ExpressVPN would only need to answer the subpoena from local courts, and even though they get a subpoena, they would not have anything to submit as they do not store any logs. This makes ExpressVPN an excellent choice for freedom and privacy.
In Jan 2017, Turkish Authorities seized ExpressVPN servers to investigate a murder trial of an ambassador. ExpressVPN clearly said that they did not have any data and even after the seizure, the authorities could not find anything. This incident also verifies their no-logs policy.
ExpressVPN was recently bought by Kape Technologies in 2021 for nearly a billion dollars, which also set a record for a VPN acquisition. Kape Technologies also owns PIA VPN, CyberGhost VPN, and Zenmate VPN. This makes them one of the biggest names in the VPN industry, followed by Nord Security and Ziff Davis.
ExpressVPN offers a wide range of features that help to ensure a fast, secure, and private online experience for its users. Though it still lacks many features offered by some of its competitors, NordVPN offers far more features.
Read the NordVPN review here.
ExpressVPN features include Threat Manager, Private encrypted DNS, an internal and system-level kill switch, and tunneling.
Threat Level Manager
Threat Manager is a unique feature that helps protect users from potential online threats. It automatically scans for malware and phishing attempts, as well as blocks suspicious websites and downloads. This feature provides an added layer of protection to ExpressVPN users, ensuring they can browse the internet without worrying about malicious attacks.
If you think that it is an alternative to anti-virus software, then you are wrong. It is a VPN service and does not have expertise in virus protection; for that, you would need a well-established anti-virus program.
Private Encrypted DNS
A DNS request is a request your network sends to find the domain name system of the address you requested. Think of DNS as turning a human-readable address into a machine-readable address, so that you can be reached at that address.
Private, encrypted DNS is another key feature of ExpressVPN. It encrypts all DNS requests, preventing ISPs or other third parties from monitoring users' online activity. This feature is particularly important for users who are concerned about their online privacy, as it helps to keep their internet browsing history private.
A kill switch is a feature that automatically disconnects the Internet connection in case the VPN is disconnected due to any error. This is a very important feature, as if you are not protected by a kill switch, a few seconds of disconnection is enough for trackers to track you.
ExpressVPN is equipped with two types of kill switches: internal and system level. The internal kill switch disconnects the internet from the selected applications. The other apps will only have a minor or partial effect.
While the system kills, the switch usually terminates the entire internet connection in case of an error in the VPN. This would be more useful while surfing the dark web or other parts of the Internet where protection is a must.
The internal and system-level kill switch is yet another feature that sets ExpressVPN apart from other VPN providers. In the event that the VPN connection drops, this feature will automatically block all internet traffic, preventing any data leaks. This is especially important for users who rely on VPNs for online security and privacy.
Advanced Split Tunneling
ExpressVPN's Split Tunneling feature allows users to choose and select which apps or websites use the VPN connection and which ones use the regular internet connection. This can be useful for users who need to access certain websites or apps that may not be available through a VPN connection. You can use it to leave banking and payment apps as they require your real data to identify you.
Express VPN gives two options for Split Tunneling, too. You can either select the applications and websites that you want to access with the VPN connection, or you can select and choose the applications you want your VPN to avoid securing. The latter is called Inverse Split Tunneling.
ExpressVPN supports nearly all devices and operating systems. This is one of the reasons for ExpressVPN’s success. ExpressVPN supports:
ExpressVPN on Windows:
Users of Windows can download and install the ExpressVPN application without difficulty. The program is appropriate with all the newer Windows. Also, it offers an easy-to-use interface that enables users to rapidly connect to a server or modify settings according to their needs.
Users of the Windows software can quickly and easily connect to any of the 3000+ servers spread across 94 nations using the app. To further improve the security of users' online activity, the program also provides features like split tunneling and a kill switch. Also, the software provides a quick and reliable connection, guaranteeing a smooth browsing experience.
ExpressVPN in Android
ExpressVPN has a user-friendly and simple app for Android devices, which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store. Any Android smartphone running current Android versions is compatible with the app.
It is a solid VPN choice for Android users thanks to its various features, which include split tunneling, network lock, a kill switch, and auto-connect.
The Android client for ExpressVPN also supports the OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, however, Lightway works better than these protocols even in Android, which is in itself an achievement. This helps enable quick and secure connections for users.
Users get access to an enormous network of servers for surfing, streaming, and gaming by simply connecting to any of ExpressVPN's servers in over 90 countries with a single tap. Its fast connection speed is also beneficial for faster mobile networks.
Check out our top picks for the best Free VPNs for Android.
ExpressVPN in iOS
The ExpressVPN iOS app is available on App Store for free. The app has an intuitive interface and is easy to use. It offers the same set of features as the Windows and Android apps, including the kill switch, private DNS, and the ability to choose from a wide range of 9 across the world. Though, due to the better RAM optimization of iOS, the app connects quicker than on other platforms.
The app is also compatible with iPads. ExpressVPN connects to both Wi-Fi and cellular networks, which makes it a versatile choice for users who want to protect their online privacy on the go. iOS already has a good image for privacy and security provided by Apple, using ExpressVPN boosts that security, making it unbeatable.
The iOS app also supports a feature called "Trusted Networks," which is one of the best features of ExpressVPN. This allows users to create a list of trusted Wi-Fi networks. When the device connects to a trusted network, the VPN connection is automatically disabled, which helps conserve battery life and ensure a fast connection.
ExpressVPN in macOS
The ExpressVPN macOS app is a cross between iOS and Windows applications. The software has an identical user interface to the Windows version and is simple to install and use. All of ExpressVPN's features, such as split tunneling, the automatic kill switch, and DNS leak protection are included in the macOS edition. The connection and response times are comparable. Even the macOS application has a quick connect function that connects us to the fastest server automatically.
The macOS version of ExpressVPN also features a Safari browser extension that gives customers an additional layer of security and privacy. By using this extension, users can access geo-restricted content from their browsers. This encrypts their web traffic and prevents websites from tracking their online activities. Accessing geo-restricted content them using the browser is simpler. The extension integrates perfectly with the ExpressVPN app and is simple to install and use.
We also checked for DNS and WebRTC leaks, but we did not find any types of leaks. The kill switch also worked perfectly.
ExpressVPN is one of the biggest names in the VPN industry, and to get there , they have really dedicated themselves to their users. ExpressVPN has three types of customer support available. First comes the extensive archive of helpful articles that can be helpful for normal instructions and guides. Then comes email support, where you can email your query or problem with your registered account and you will get a reply as soon as possible. During testing, Express VPN replied to us within 20 minutes. The best customer support is live chat. All you need to do is submit your email, and within 2–3 minutes (general waiting time), you will be connected to an agent. After testing 3 agents, I can say that they are experienced and know their app.
Overall, I would say I was really impressed by ExpressVPN here, though what less could we expect from one of the most premium VPNs? The live chat was very fast and efficient.
Conclusion: Is it worth it?
After analyzing ExpressVPN completely, I would say that it is currently the most premium VPN out there, which also justifies its price. While other VPNs try to offer features unrelated to privacy or security, ExpressVPN solely focuses on being the best VPN out there. This is why, despite being one of the most expensive VPNs, it still has one of the largest user bases.
So, ExpressVPN is for those people who don’t want to waste their time finding or testing different VPNs. ExpressVPN is like an investment that is hard on your wallet but makes the rest of your life easier. I would definitely recommend ExpressVPN and it is currently one of the best premium VPNs.