ExpressVPN did before the(VPN) package in 2020 that offers great speeds and a reputation for reliability and security. The easy-to-use interface makes it a suitable choice for newbies just starting to learn about VPNs, and compatibility with multiple platforms adds to its value to a wide customer base. These factors more justify ExpressVPN’s slightly above average pricing, starting at $ 6.67 per month.
- Market leading speeds
- Solid security suite
- The company is based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction
I do not like it
- Above average price
- Limited number of simultaneous connections
- No Safari ExpressVPN browser extension for WebRTC security
We recommend ExpressVPN as an excellent choice for beginners and professionals alike. Learn more about.
- Average speed loss: Less than 2%
- Number of servers: over 3,000
- Number of server locations: 160 in 94 countries (four in Hong Kong)
- Number of IP addresses: 30,000
There’s no room for debate about the speed of ExpressVPN: it consistently turns out to be one of the fastest VPNs out there.
We ran our ExpressVPN speed tests over a period of three days in two locations with both wireless and ethernet connections. One location offered slower broadband speeds and the other offered higher speeds over fiber optic internet. Internet speeds in the United States vary widely by state and provider. For any speed test, the results depend on your local infrastructure. The hyper-fast internet service delivers higher speed results.
That’s one reason we care more about lost speed. In the case of ExpressVPN, we were impressed: using a VPN can typically reduce your internet speed by half or more, but ExpressVPN reduced our internet speed by less than 2% overall.
An overview of the general results of the top online VPN speed testers shows that as of late 2019, ExpressVPN’s main competitors for speed are PureVPN.and . PureVPN’s speeds have been a bit inconsistent, but often reach peak speeds above the ever-increasing ExpressVPN average. Surfshark has closed the gap and could still catch up with ExpressVPN. And NordVPN, with their huge international server roster, has stayed on ExpressVPN’s heels for most of 2019, but only occasionally overtakes them.
Security and privacy
- Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands
- Encryption: AES-256, 4096-bit RSA key, Perfect Forward Secrecy
- No leaks detected
- Includes a kill switch
We think it’s good that ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which is generally considered a privacy-friendly country due to a lack of agreements to share surveillance with other countries. Although the British Virgin Islands is a territory of the United Kingdom, it is a separate jurisdiction from the United Kingdom with no data retention laws, the national high court of which has historically opposed inquiries from extranational business records.
The encryption is standard AES-256 and supports perfect forward secrecy. This means that the encryption keys are changed frequently to avoid security risks. The company offers a useful kill switch function that prevents network data outside of the secure VPN tunnel from being lost if the VPN connection fails.
One of the clearest ways a VPN provider can prove they are not keeping logs is to have their servers seized by the authorities. This is exactly what happened to ExpressVPN in 2017, when an investigation into the murder of the Turkish ambassador to Russia, Andrei Korlov, in 2016 led Turkish authorities to seize one of ExpressVPN’s servers in order to search for logs of criminal conversations. Authorities came out empty handed, and ExpressVPN has had a reputation for not keeping logs ever since.
In 2019, the company went into RAM disk mode, which means nothing is stored on hard drives. Not every VPN offers this. NordVPN, for example, only switched to full use of RAM disks as a security response after this year’s breach. That said, around 3% of the ExpressVPN server fleet are virtual servers (which are often claimed to be less secure than physical machines), but according to the company, these virtual servers are only allowed to be used in countries where the network infrastructure is inadequate is supported, or those where hardware would be riskier, like in Turkey.
No IP address, DNS or other potentially user-identifying data leaks were detected during our tests. Nevertheless, we recommend a little caution here. Previously, the ProPrivacy auditors had found an IPv6 leak on MacOS and Windows during testing in 2019. This leak should come as no surprise, however. A technology built into most browsers called WebRTC that enables voice and video applications to run has been known to have problems with data leaks, even if you are using a VPN.
This type of leak can compromise your identity and location, but while it sounds complicated to the average user, it’s easy to avoid. ExpressVPN’s browser add-ons fill in most of the loopholes, and you can get them for free from the company’s easy-to-use guide on how to disable WebRTC. You can also test for IPv6 leaks yourself independently of the ExpressVPN website by visiting a competing VPN (Private Internet Access) widely used IPv6 leak test for free (if you are fluent in the Internet we recommend classic standby mode, IPLeak).
The clean user interface, easy-to-navigate server options, and one-click connection make ExpressVPN a welcome choice for VPN newbies. ExpressVPN has almost all of the configuration options you’ll likely find in power-user VPNs, but it’s miles friendlier for the privacy-conscious novice. ExpressVPN also offers 24/7 customer service support through live chat with an email option and a series of tutorial videos.
Setting up on desktop and mobile is a breeze. Not only does it work on most operating systems – whether desktop or mobile – but it also works on 10 media streaming consoles, nine router brands, and even e-readers. ExpressVPN doesn’t set any data limits, allows unlimited switching and torrenting of servers, and we had no issues accessing Netflix. However, unlike some of its competitors, you can only run five devices at a time with a single subscription.
The price is a little higher than many of its competitors, but we still believe it’s worth it. ExpressVPN’s best plan is $ 6.67 per month for an annual plan that includes three months of free. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can pay with credit card, PayPal or Bitcoin.