With technology continuing to play an increasingly prominent role in all our lives, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are becoming more and more popular by the day.
Therefore, it’s hardly surprising – given the growing demand for online security – that the VPN market is an incredibly competitive one. There are a wide range of high-quality options available, as well as a number of unreliable services to avoid.
One of the leading VPN providers on the current market is ExpressVPN, who offer a premium service from top to bottom. They’ve set the benchmark for performance and reliability, and have quite rightly earned a huge following and an excellent reputation within the industry.
We’ll also look to answer some of the frequently asked questions related to their service.
Before examining some of ExpressVPN’s key features, it’s worth taking a quick look at the pricing of the service. ExpressVPN starts with a simple one-month plan priced at $12.95.
This monthly price is about average for most of the leading VPN providers on the market, with Hotspot Shield, CyberGhost, and VyprVPN also charging around $13 for a month’s worth of their services.
The $12.95 monthly price is reduced to $9.99 if you opt for ExpressVPN’s six-month plan, which is a decent discount, and offers more flexibility than many of the other providers who don’t provide a six-month option at all.
If you’re willing to commit to an annual plan, this reduces the monthly price further to $6.67. Needless to say, this is ExpressVPN’s cheapest month-by-month plan.
It’s also worth noting that ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Not only does this give you peace of mind when committing to a plan, it’s also a reassuring sign of just how confident ExpressVPN is of its product.
The first feature we’ll take a closer look at is the privacy credentials of ExpressVPN’s service. Many of the top VPN providers will often drop in a reference to AES-256 encryption, which is a great privacy feature, but ExpressVPN takes this one step further.
The company is open in using a 4096-bit SHA-512 RSA certificate, with AES-256 to effectively encrypt its control channel, as well as Hash Message Authentication Code (HMAC) to protect against data being changed in real-time.
ExpressVPN also supports Perfect Forward Secrecy which adds another important layer of protection to your data.
This is done by automatically assigning you a new key every time you connect, meaning that if worse comes to worst, and one of your sessions is compromised, your next will be automatically protected through the use of a different key.
DNS support is another excellent privacy feature provided by ExpressVPN. Not only do they offer DNS leak protection to prevent any of your data creeping out of the VPN tunnel, they also run their own private, zero-knowledge, 256-bit encrypted DNS on each one of their servers.
All of these impressive privacy and security features make ExpressVPN quite comfortably one of the safest VPN services you’ll find on the market.
In terms of performance, the day-to-day functionality and speed of a VPN service is one of the most important factors to take into consideration. After all, there’s no point being connected if your connection is restricted to a snail’s pace.
Fortunately, ExpressVPN is among the fastests providers on the market. Their OpenVPN speeds are above average at around 250-270 Mbps in the US and 310 Mbps in the UK.
However, it’s their Lightway protocol which is the real star of the show, producing a massive 570-580 Mbps in the UK and a more than respectable 350 Mbps in the US. These speeds place ExpressVPN ahead of many of its competitors such as Surfshark and StrongVPN.
It’s worth noting that some providers can go a little faster than ExpressVPN. These include NordVPN, CyberGhost, and IPVanish – all of which have reached speeds of 750 Mbps and higher in recent tests.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons people invest in a VPN is to access geo-restricted streaming sites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
ExpressVPN is more than capable in this respect, with there being very few streaming platforms that you’ll be unable to access from abroad when using the service.
They’re refreshingly open about which platforms they support, with the list including Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Wikipedia, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and a whole lot more.
It’s worth keeping in mind that Netflix has been fighting VPNs harder than usual recently, with a number of top-end VPN providers struggling to access the platform. Nevertheless, ExpressVPN hasn’t been defeated yet, so you shouldn’t have any problems.
Unlike the vast majority of VPN providers on the market, ExpressVPN offers command-line utilities for quick and straightforward installation on all devices running Linux. They also provide native apps for IOS, Windows, Android, and Amazon Fire devices.
For added security, ExpressVPN offers a top-notch kill switch which activates immediately to block your internet activity if the VPN ever drops off.
Other useful features include ExpressVPN’s very own fast and secure VPN protocol named Lightway, as well as a number of browser extensions such as location spoofing and WebRTC leak blocking.
If you’re someone who regularly engages in unprotected torrenting activity, it may come as a surprise to learn that you’re exposing your IP address to everyone you’re sharing your information with. Therefore, it’s essential that you find a VPN provider with excellent P2P functionality.
While ExpressVPN might not appear torrent-friendly when taking a quick glance at their website, there’s no need to worry as they allow P2P sharing on all of their servers.
What’s more, there aren’t any restrictions when it comes to bandwidth or data, so you’ll be sure to have an enjoyable and hassle-free browsing experience.
ExpressVPN provides a support site with a long list of troubleshooting guides. So, whether you’re looking for help on understanding an error message or guidance on how to change your password, there’s plenty of information on hand.
While many of the other VPNs on the market offer a single line such as ‘try another server’ when detailing how to address a problem, ExpressVPN provides comprehensive, well-written articles, offering a number of potential solutions.
What’s more, if you can’t get the help you need on the website, ExpressVPN also has a support team that is available 24/7 via both email and live chat.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many servers do ExpressVPN offer?
At the moment, ExpressVPN provides over 3,000 servers across 160 cities in 94 different countries. This is notably better than many of their other competitors such as NordVPN who offer server locations in 59 countries.
Can ExpressVPN be trusted?
As this guide has explained, ExpressVPN is one of the leading VPN providers on the market. The service comes with military-grade encryption, a strict no-logging policy, and zero-knowledge DNS, making it one of the safest and most secure VPNs you’ll find.
Does ExpressVPN have static IP?
No, ExpressVPN doesn’t provide static or dedicated IPs. This is mainly due to the fact that ExpressVPN IP addresses are rotated on a consistent basis. What’s more, when you connect to an ExpressVPN server, you’ll automatically be given the best possible IP address.
This IP may be one that you’ve used or connected to before, but there’s every chance that it could be a completely different one.
Does ExpressVPN change your location?
As mentioned earlier in the guide, ExpressVPN lets you replace your IP address with another secure one in any one of 94 countries across the world.
Is using a VPN illegal?
This is one of the biggest worries for people who use a VPN. Therefore, it’s important to understand that it’s safe and legal to use a VPN in the US.
Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that any type of browsing or internet activity that’s illegal when not using a VPN, still remains illegal when using one. For example, it’s illegal if you use your VPN to download copyright material.
Is it possible for police to track VPN?
While police aren’t able to track live, encrypted VPN traffic, it’s worth noting that if they manage to get a court order, they can request access to your connection and usage logs through your internet service provider (ISP).