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ExpressVPN review

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ExpressVPN is deservedly popular among users. Today, its active users number about 3 million. At the same time, its technical infrastructure is not only one of the most developed on the market, but is also constantly evolving.

ExpressVPN is perfect for unblocking Netflix and other streaming services anywhere, torrenting securely, masking your location, and more. ExpressVPN is distinguished by its super fast speed and incredible selection of countries (VPN locations).

ExpressVPN is distinguished by its super fast speed and incredible selection of countries (VPN locations).

⭐ Rating:
4.1
🥇 Overall rank:#7 out of #24
📖 No logs policy:Court-proven, independently-audited
💵 Price:from $8.32/month
🖥️ Servers:3000+ servers in 91 countries
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more
🔥 Coupons:ExpressVPN coupon 35% OFF

ExpressVPN pros and cons

Servers and speed

ExpressVPN has the fastest registered speed among over 60 VPNs tested.

CountryDownload, Mbps
Upload, Mbps
United States
120-22070-200
Canada130-23080-200
Germany180-250150-240
Australia90-17060-170
Japan120-16050-130

In addition, this data transfer rate is available even for relatively weak devices (routers, TVs, some smartphones). This is achieved through the use of the proprietary Lightway VPN protocol, which is able to encrypt and decrypt data with high efficiency, practically without loading the processor.

The older OpenVPN protocol used by most VPNs has cumbersome code that puts a lot of strain on the hardware.

ExpressVPN supports a variety of protocols (you can select them in the app's settings). The maximum speed is highly dependent on the performance of the processor. We tested the speed on different devices and came to the conclusion that in most cases the Lightway protocol showed the best results, then IKEv2, then OpenVPN.

A big plus of ExpressVPN is the high stability of the connection speed throughout the day. We didn't find much variation throughout the day.

For long-term connections (a week or more), the service also showed excellent results. In none of the tested locations, did we find spontaneous shutdowns or a significant decrease in speed.

ExpressVPN apps have a built-in speed measuring tool that is consistent with the speeds determined using third-party tools. Only a few VPNs have this feature. It is convenient to use in cases where the VPN is used to watch high quality video, play games, or for other tasks with increased requirements for the quality of the connection.

ExpressVPN for streaming

ExpressVPN-for-Netflix

ExpressVPN is very popular with those planning to use a VPN to unblock Netflix for the US, UK or any other region.

Good VPN providers have been offering support for streaming services for about three years now. ExpressVPN is doing this very well, too. Moreover, it has shown excellent results (10 out of 10 tests are usually successful).

Which regions are available for Netflix?

This provider supports all regions.

Testing has been successfully completed for the following countries:

  • United States (USA)
  • United Kingdom (UK)
  • Germany (DE)
  • Canada (CA)
  • Netherlands (NL)
  • Japan (JP)
  • France (FR)

Netflix for other countries can also be unblocked using ExpressVPN.

What video quality is available with ExpressVPN?

Thanks to its excellent speeds, Netflix is ​​available to watch at the highest quality setting without any buffering.

So just plug it in and watch whatever you want

!It's not just Netflix that is available with ExpressVPN, though.

HBO, Hulu, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime (although not on all servers), and other video and TV services can be unblocked for the country of your choice.

Successful Hulu Support:

ExpressVPN for Hulu

In short, ExpressVPN is a great streaming service.

ExpressVPN for torreting

ExpressVPN for torrenting

ExpressVPN takes second place in our ranking of the best VPNs for torrenting.

There are three reasons for this:

  • High speeds
  • Locations for torrents
  • No logs policy and secure jurisdiction

The service does not openly state that it allows torrenting, but P2P connections are possible on all of their servers. There is no need to connect to special locations like some other VPNs.

It is worth mentioning though that its price is above average among other VPNs with a subscription for more than a year. This may make a difference for torrent users because the very purpose of torrents is to access content for free.

Testing has proven that ExpressVPN is a great tool for protecting your torrenting activity, however. And the download speed measurements showed some of the best results.

Security

ExpressVPN security test

The most reliable way to ensure your security and privacy is by intercepting the device's outgoing traffic using a VPN. Many services fail early on because their software allows unencrypted datasets to be transmitted bypassing the VPN channel.

ExpressVPN is completely secure and prevents data loss. After analyzing the application parameters and the features of the protocols used, we came to the conclusion that this is thanks to the enabled Kill Switch (the "Stop all internet traffic if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly" function).

To ensure this feature is enabled by default, we contacted ExpressVPN Support. We asked if ExpressVPN's connection is secure from the get-go after setting it up, as they say no additional configuration is required.

And here's the answer:... The kill-switch option is ON by default since the very first version of our network blocking on 12/2015 on Windows.

We've tested outbound traffic on Windows, Mac and Linux. The result is 100% safety.

ExpressVPN had no data security issues even with unstable connections and power consumption. According to our observations, any such problems were fixed back in 2019.

The level of protection offered by the analysis of visited URLs, the stability of work on mobile devices and the security of DNS queries have shown 100% efficiency and safety.

An example of checking the protection of visited URLs:

ExpressVPN DNS leaks test

Plans and Pricing

ExpressVPN pricing, including discount on our link, is slightly above average ($6.67 versus $5-6).

The longest plan they offer is 12 months. This sets the service apart from many competitors who offer longer and cheaper subscriptions.

An additional Dedicated IP Address feature is available at an additional cost of $5 per month per IP address (selectable in 5 countries).

You can pay using credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin (via BitPlay), AliPay, UnionPay, Webmoney and other payment systems.

Can you save money using a coupon?

There is such an opportunity, but it is no different from the discount that you will get when you click on our link.

Any other coupons you can find online are just variations of the same discount. Some websites that offer coupons can trick you - sometimes they require you to install potentially dangerous software or require your email address in order to add it to a mailing list. However, the final price for ExpressVPN will be the same as on our website.
ExpressVPN pricing:

  • $6.67 / month for 12 month subscription (3 more months free)
  • $9.99 / month for 6 month subscription
  • $12.95 per 1 month subscription

You can take advantage of a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS versions, or a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Apps and devices

ExpressVPN offers apps for a wide variety of platforms. The service holds a leading position in terms of the number of supported devices. At the same time, it is most convenient for multi-platform use, thanks to a huge knowledge base, which describes in detail and using video how to set up ExpressVPN on any device that supports VPN.

Windows

ExpressVPN for Windows has the maximum set of features. All of them are available through the desktop application installed from the official site.

  • 94 countries (170 locations in Asia Pacific, Europe, Americas, Middle East and Africa)
  • Stop internet traffic if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly (Kill Switch)
  • Manage connections on a per-app basis (Split tunneling)
  • 6 protocols, including Lightway
  • Browser extensions (Chrome, Firefox)
  • Prevent IPv6
  • Optimize Windows networking to maximize VPN speed
  • 15 languages
  • Speed ​​test

Mac

ExpressVPN for Mac is one of the few advanced VPNs that comes with a wide variety of options on macOS devices.

This issue is given unfairly little time in service reviews. Usually, a VPN service’s official site will indicate a list of functions available for Windows. However, they often lack information about the features of the application for Mac. Because of this, Apple computer users often put up with a simplified version of VPN software, and have to deal with the lack of such important functions as Split Tunneling or the choice of VPN protocol.

With ExpressVPN, you can count on all options except network optimization. This is a really high level when compared to most other Mac apps.

Android

Three years ago, we tested ExpressVPN for Android and found a significant flaw in it - in some cases, the software could not cope with an unstable Internet connection and allowed a real IP address to leak.

Now this problem has been solved. ExpressVPN for smartphones and other Android devices has been rigorously tested under the following conditions:

  • Unstable cellular internet
  • Moving the device
  • Moving the device between cellular network and Wi-Fi
  • Public Wi-Fi networks
At the same time, the Android app supports a wide range of functions:
  • 94 countries (170 locations in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Africa)
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • 4 protocols including Lightway
  • Additional secure connection statistics

ExpressVPN for Android comes with a 7-day free trial. Its peculiarity is that you do not need a map to use it.

iOS

ExpressVPN for iOS is one of the most powerful VPN apps available on Apple mobile devices.

Only a few services implement custom VPN protocols for iOS. Most applications only support the standard IKEv2 built into the system.

ExpressVPN has implemented its ultra-fast Lightway even on iOS. This level of service for iOS users is really rare.

ExpressVPN has the following features on the iPhone:

  • 94 countries (170 locations in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Middle East and Africa)
  • 2 protocols including Lightway

    ExpressVPN for iOS has a 7-day free trial.

Linux

Like most of its competitors, ExpressVPN offers a console script for VPN access. This software is relatively easy to install and run.

You can customize the functionality of the script with great flexibility according to your needs. For example, you can choose a VPN protocol, set automatic connection rules, and more.

One of its drawbacks is the need to check the status of your VPN connection through the console to ensure that the protection is active.


ExpressVPN testing on Linux showed high connection stability and speed.

TV and Routers

ExpressVPN also supports the following platforms:

  • TV and set-top boxes
  • Routers
  • Gaming consoles

This support is provided by three key benefits of ExpressVPN:
  • Apps for Android TV, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV / Fire Stick
  • Settings for any device that supports OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP or PPTP
  • Huge knowledge base with detailed instructions and even videos

You can go to the ExpressVPN website to find detailed information on how to set up your device.

Browser extensions

ExpressVPN offers a powerful add-on for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. Using this add-on, you can hide your location and unblock websites without installing the main VPN application.As with most VPNs, the browser extension only protects web browser traffic. All other programs, applications and system processes are left unprotected.For complete protection, use the VPN add-on from NordVPN.

Features of ExpressVPN for Chrome:

  • Super high speed.
  • Location masking function prevents websites from accessing your real location through your web browser.
  • HTTPS is everywhere. ExpressVPN automatically changes http to https to improve security.

ExpressVPN for Chrome is one of the best VPNs for web browsers today.

ExpressVPN features

Large number of servers

With over 3000 VPN servers in 91 countries, you can hide your IP address very effectively.

Few VPNs have more servers and there is only one provider that supports more countries.

ExpressVPN has long been a leader in technical infrastructure. However, in recent years it has been surpassed by at least three other services. Two of them, NordVPN and CyberGhost VPN, offer access to any specific server they have, while ExpressVPN only allows you to select the VPN location.

Nevertheless, the service showed the best speeds in unpopular locations. This compensates for the "disadvantages" described above.

You can choose the exact location in several countries (cities):

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Australia
  • Hong Kong (3 data centers)
  • India
  • Japan
  • Singapore


ExpressVPN not only has a wide network of servers, but it is also one of the first services to support diskless servers, thus guaranteeing a no-log policy. You can learn more about this in the next section.

Confirmed no-log policy

More and more people are starting to consider the logging policy when choosing a VPN service. At the same time, many users believe that VPN services cannot be trusted because they can keep data about user activity secret. Such cases are not uncommon.

ExpressVPN is one of the VPN services that has been proven to keep no logs.

How, you ask?

In 2017, an ExpressVPN server was seized in the course of a high-profile criminal investigation in Turkey. This server was used by criminals. However, no information about these users was found on the server.

We took another look at ExpressVPN's privacy policy, just in case, and found nothing to suggest that they monitor user activity.It should also be noted that this provider uses new diskless servers (TrustedServer technology) that simply cannot save logs. They do not have a hard disk, and the server’s systems run over the network.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling significantly improves the usability of VPN by eliminating the need to frequently switch connections when you need to use your real IP address for some sites.

For example, if you are registered on a site that does not accept anonymity (this is often the case with resources related to the storage or movement of money) and requires you to use the IP of the country of registration, then if a VPN is enabled, it can lead to problems, up to blocking the account.

If, at the same time, you are watching Netflix from another region or using a VPN for anonymization, then to enter the site with your real IP, you will not only have to disconnect the secure connection, but also make sure that all sites you visited with the changed IP are closed.

This is very inconvenient and requires constant monitoring and rechecking.

Split tunneling eliminates this problem.

You can simply select a list of sites that you don’t want or need a VPN active for. You can do this in ExpressVPN’s settings:

ExpressVPN settings

Thus, if you use two web browsers, one of which is configured to bypass the VPN, you can visit local sites or sites with a strict identity verification policy with your real IP address without disconnecting the secure connection.

MediaStreamer

Today, not all TV platforms can install applications. Also, not all platforms have the physical ability to use VPNs. However, it is possible to unblock some geo-restricted video services without a VPN.

It uses Smart DNS technology (MediaStreamer in ExpressVPN).

It allows the TV to act as if it is using a VPN. It doesn't work as reliably, but you simply have no other options to spoof your location on most TVs.

If that doesn't work in your case, use a router configured with ExpressVPN.

Selecting Tunneling Protocols

ExpressVPN currently supports 6 VPN protocols. Depending on your device, you can use Lightway UDP, Lightway TCP, OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, IKEv2, or PPTP.

Cooltechzone recommends Lightway, as it is the fastest and most efficient protocol using the wolfSSL FIPS 140-2 compliant encryption library.

The protocol has passed an independent audit and is open source, available at Github.

The protocol features high speed and low processor requirements. This allows it to be used even on weak devices and saves battery power (when compared to classic VPN protocols).

If your device does not support Lightway (for example, routers and game consoles), then you can always set up a connection using the widespread OpenVPN or PPTP.

IKEv2, the main tunneling protocol for Apple products, is also available with ExpressVPN. This may be necessary when manually setting up a connection without using an application.

ExpressVPN Security Audit

ExpressVPN has subjected itself to several independent security and privacy reviews over the years. The checks were carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers, who have also audited NordVPN and many large non-VPN companies.

In addition to ready-made verification reports, the service has its own program for correcting errors for a fee. This is a strong step and one that is most effective in avoiding software bugs.

Its independent audit and bug-finding program make ExpessVPN stronger and more reliable than most of its competitors and offset the somewhat higher price tag.

Safe Jurisdiction

ExpressVPN is located offshore in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). There is no law on the mandatory storage of user data or any programs to monitor user activity on the Internet.Since its acquisition by Kape Technologies, the service has not changed its legal address.

This allows them to remain independent and protected from any potential pressure from governments that are not interested in promoting the freedom of their citizens on the Internet.

In recent years, we have analyzed open sources to find any reliable information about which country or countries the provider's management were from before the buyout. There is no detailed information in open sources. This speaks to the high professionalism of the company and extensive experience in confidentiality matters.

Hopefully ExpressVPN remains bulletproof after its change of ownership.

What's New in ExpressVPN

Few VPNs develop their own technology or participate in security projects. ExpressVPN is one that does.

Over the past 2 years, the service has introduced support for two important technologies that increase the efficiency and security of VPNs:

  • TrustedServer technology. The so-called diskless servers, which do not save any data about user activity to the hard disk, since it simply does not exist.
  • Lightway protocol. High performance VPN protocol with high speed and high security. Their own development.

  • These innovations have had a positive impact on the quality of ExpressVPN's services. In fact, in terms of technical level, it is ahead of all its competitors in the market.

    ExpressVPN was sold in 2021

    On September 13, 2021, VPN experts were literally stunned by the news that one of the largest VPN services, ExpressVPN, had become another acquisition of Kape Technologies, which already owns VPN giants CyberGhost and Private Internet Access.

    Nothing foreshadowed a change in the owners of the service. The company's cumulative annual growth was over 35%.

    Obviously, the sale of ExpressVPN was not related to a deterioration in the company’s business. This is evidenced by the incredibly high price of the transaction - $936 million.

    At the same time, the VPN community is concerned that Kape Technologies is not a company with a completely clean reputation.

    Until 2018, the company (then called Crossrider) was associated with the distribution of ad-ware. Malwarebytes specifically called their software a potentially unwanted program.

    It is worth noting that shortly before the sale, ExpressVPN CIO Daniel Gericke announced his participation in the hacking of American machines. This was Project Raven, in which Daniel participated as a mercenary from the UAE.

    These two facts have put the ExpressVPN community on alert. But should these two facts be considered absolutely negative? Cooltechzone thinks not.

    The point is that the ad-ware monetization of free software has been a common practice recently. Plus, Crossrider wasn't in the VPN business at the time. As for the "scandal" involving the ExpressVPN CIO spying on some human rights activists and journalists, this only speaks to the high level of professionalism of the ExpressVPN team and has no proven connection with their products.

    Conclusion

    So when do we recommend using ExpressVPN?

    • Hide IP address (location)
    • Unblock websites, including those in China, UAE and other censored countries
    • If you have fast internet and other services are too slow for you
    • Unlock any region for streaming
    • Torrenting
    • Secure data exchange (taking into account the problems described in the article)
    • Protecting yourself on public networks
    • Particularly delicate tasks requiring maximum anonymity or connection protection

    In some cases, you can find a more suitable VPN:

    • No super cheap data plans (many services offer discounts of up to 80% when subscribing for 2 years or more, but not ExpressVPN)
    • If you need the application to have an interactive map for choosing locations

    Testing in 2022 has proven that ExpressVPN is a powerful, state-of-the-art VPN service with very fast speeds and the highest levels of security. Our opinion is that of our users - you can trust ExpressVPN. Their attitude towards user privacy is the best on the market. This has been proven by time and the recent introduction of TrustedServer technology.

    We also want to note that it offers the best support on the market for streaming sites like Netflix.

    All this makes ExpressVPN a great all-in-one VPN suitable for any purpose.

    FAQs

  • Go to the user area on the ExpressVPN website;
  • Open “Subscription settings”;
  • Disable automatic subscription renewal and confirm it twice.

  • After it, the subscription is canceled.If less then 30 days after the registration date have passed, you can get a refund. Contact the support service and describe your will.

  • $6.67 per month when subscribing for 1 year (get 3 additional months for free);
  • $9.99 per month when subscribing for 6 months;
  • $12.95 when subscribing for 1 month.

  • The service has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

  • Download ExpressVPN on Amazon AppStore or APK file on the website of the service.
  • Activate the app.
  • Choose the country and customize the interested for you location through Fire Stick settings (Your Account -> Your Content and Devices -> Preferences -> Country/Region).
  • Connect to the VPN.

  • After it, you’ll get access to the content of the chosen country.

  • Register on the ExpressVPN website (only email is required)
  • Pay for the chosen plan. A 1-year subscription is the most saving one as it offers a 20% off when visiting the website through CoolTechZone.com.
  • Download and set up the application on your OS (you can use it on up to 5 gadgets per 1 account).
  • Run the app.
  • Choose the country you want to use to hide your location.
  • Connect to the VPN.

  • After it, the traffic of all apps of the connected devices will be protected.

    Also, you can use the Split tunneling feature to route the chosen programs or apps not through the VPN.


    Comments

    Anonymous
    Anonymous
    prefix 8 months ago
    You have very well described ExpressVPN in this article. You must have done lots of hard work to provide such an informative article like this. I came here through expressvpn deals but I can say it is really good.
    Power Crack
    Power Crack
    prefix 1 year ago
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    Mary
    Mary
    prefix 2 years ago
    I completely agree with the idea that there are no good free VPNs. I use ExpressVPN for several years. Yes, it is pricey. Though I feel protected and safe. All issues were successfully solved with the help of savvy customer support.
    Johnny Boy's Ego
    Johnny Boy's Ego
    prefix 2 years ago
    Hi, do we know for sure what the country of origin of ExpressVPN is? There are some weird rumors online that it’s owned by the Chinese or something. I’m almost 1000% sure it’s just a nothing burger and possibly someone is trying to discredit the service but I REALLY don’t want to buy anything that is Chinese owned.
    Dean Chester
    Dean Chester
    prefix 2 years ago
    Johnny, these are just rumors. There isn’t any credible information about who the real owners of ExpressVPN are. Though ExpressVPN denies it, it can be the Chinese. But this anonymity of the owner is a positive of an offshore jurisdiction.

    Lucy
    Lucy
    prefix 2 years ago
    NordVPN or ExpressVPN… the never-ending battle! I would prefer the first one. Being a user of both two providers I may claim that NordVPN has better applications for mobile devices. Besides, its Kill Switch is easier to toggle. On the other hand, Express VPN has better router configuration and would be extremely useful for those who need a VPN for gaming.

    Actually, Nord and Express are the best for sure. Their functionality and service cannot be compared with other paid or free VPNs.
    BobbyB
    BobbyB
    prefix 2 years ago
    It’s OK but they do have some weird verification process… When I bought ExpressVPN I was asked for my phone number to confirm it’s me. I guess it’s selective and not all clients are asked this but it’s still odd.
    Mel
    Mel
    prefix 2 years ago
    I’ve seen ExpressVPN in many ratings, and after using it for more than a year I can say, the provider is worth its money!

    furygf12
    furygf12
    prefix 2 years ago
    I’m a first-time user of ExpressVPN and I’m dead satisfied with it. Wide server network, strong functionality, but… But its Kill switch ‘’kills’’ my internet. Every time there are problems with server connections, I’m disconnected from the Internet. I do understand that it’s very helpful as regards data privacy, but it’s so irritating to watch films while the connection is not stable.

    Xavier
    Xavier
    prefix 2 years ago
    Hi there, Thank you for lots of useful info! However, there is still a question that wasn’t covered in the review. Being a noob in the VPN topic, I am not sure if Express VPN is good for gaming. I know that it is compatible with Xbox but how difficult is to set up the VPN on it? As far as I understand, I need to do it manually. Could you, please, help me with this task? And finally, is it safe for gaming? Thank you!

    Dean Chester
    Dean Chester
    prefix 2 years ago
    Xavier, all above-mentioned VPNs are suitable for gaming. I recommend reading the instructions on how to set up Xbox One and Xbox 360, which are published on the ExpressVPN website. The process is clearly laid out there.

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