ExpressVPN Review : Is it Worth the Price in 2020?

Published by TechGeek on

Today’s marketplace is now flooded with numerous VPN providers making it complicated for the consumers to decide which one fits all your needs and give the complete package of world-class service. And then there is the fact that they may be promoting themselves a bit more over their actual capacity.

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If you’re ever concerned about who is spying over your online activity, then consider using a virtual private network or VPN.

This review of ExpressVPN takes into account in detail at one of the top-notch market leaders of VPN providers to see if they are offering what they say, and they sit among the top bunch on actual merits rather than false advertising.

Pros

  • Strong privacy and information security practices.
  • Large Geographical server locations coverage.
  • Supports OpenVPN protocol across all platforms.
  • Customer service – Live Chat & 24/7.
  • Dedicated VPN router pre-configured available.
  • Simple interface.
  • Brilliant speed and performance.
  • Torrents and P2P file sharing on all servers.
  • Up to 5 simultaneous connections.

Cons

  • Quite expensive compared to rival VPNs.
  • No/Limited ExpressVPN free trial.
Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Overview


ExpressVPN, an excellent market leader in the field of VPNs, has a globally wide distribution of servers to ensure and prioritize customer satisfaction without compromising with the quality encryption. Moreover, it has a hefty investment in creating and explaining how it operates a safe and secure company. While it has continued to improve the value of its services, its still costly for what it offers to the average consumers.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Key Features


Once installed, there is minimal configuration, which is ideal for new users. ExpressVPN automatically chooses the best protocol, which matches your connection.

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On most occasions, this is OpenVPN. However, users do have the opportunity to select any protocol they wish if it meets their needs better. Any of the following can be connected to if so desired: SSTPPPTPL2TP/IPsec, and TDP.

Encryption levels are locked, which is a good thing; many users try to speed up their connections by sacrificing their security. ExpressVPN makes sure users can’t do this. Because of the kill switch (network lock), which stops all traffic on the internet if your VPN connection drops.

By doing this, you are prevented from having DNS leaks. Aside from this, all of the DNS requests are made over IPv4 instead of the IPv6 protocol, which is less secure.

If you wish, you can test your connection speed to see how much you are getting from your bandwidth. ExpressVPN has a built-in speed tester tool, come in handy to test the speed. It may take a while to complete the test, but the results you receive can change depending on the time of the day or from one hour to the next.

Another included key feature of ExpressVPN is the split tunneling option. Here you can direct individual apps through the VPN tunnel while others go via the default route of your ISP network.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Pricing


ExpressVPN has three subscription options: $12.95 billed each month, $59.95 billed every six months ($9.99 per month), and $99.95 billed annually ($6.67 per month). While $12.95 may seem a little steep to pay for a VPN, but if you opt to pay annually, the monthly premium gets dropped to $6.67 along with three months free, which is much more affordable.

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Like many VPNs, ExpressVPN also offers multiple payment methods like Credit cards, PayPal, and many more, including Bitcoin.

However, a 30-day money-back guarantee is included with every new purchase. If you’re not satisfied with ExpressVPN, you’ll receive your money back without any explanation.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Smart DNS


The Smart DNS feature lets the users the ability of geo-spoofing; this allows users to mask their location. This feature can be very convenient for web developers and testers, as well as for personal use.

Personal use can include the ability of U.K. Netflix users to access the U.S. Netflix, gaining you access to all the best shows. I tested this out and can confirm that YES it does work! Similarly, it allows U.S. users to access BBC iPlayer. 

Smart DNS has more advanced features over a regular VPN, including:

  • Speed: Smart DNS is a lot faster as it doesn’t need to use encryption/decryption.
  • Accessibility: It can be used on a variety of internet-capable devices, including Smart TVs.

However, be cautious; Smart DNS may lower your privacy and security. As an ExpressVPN customer, you can gain access to VPN and Smart DNS services.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

VPN Protocols & Security


VPNs are a mature technology, and there are various ways to create a VPN connection. But as a high priority for the security of users, ExpressVPN uses the following OpenVPN encryption: AES-256 cipher with RSA-4096 handshake and SHA-512 HMAC hash authentication.

In fact, ExpressVPN, happily, supports OpenVPN UDP/TCP on Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. It also supports configuring routers to use OpenVPN.

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ExpressVPN also supports the older L2TP protocol on macOS and Windows, and the much less secure PPTP on Windows only. I don’t recommend using either unless you have to for some obscure legacy reason. Notably, ExpressVPN also supports the IKEv1/2 protocols on iOS, which is my next-best choice of VPN protocol after OpenVPN.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Privacy


When you use a VPN, you’re entrusting it with access to your web traffic. If the VPN company lacks morals, it can easily monetize your personal information much the same way an ISP can. The VPN might also be targeted by law enforcement to hand over information relating to its customers. That is why it’s crucial to read and understand a VPN’s privacy policy. 

Don’t worry; I’ve read the fine print for you. I’m happy to say that ExpressVPN has made some pretty strong statements regarding the protection of consumer privacy, and securing its data and infrastructure. It’s one of the few companies whose claims have been tested by crisis.

ExpressVPN is clear about the limits of its data gathering. The company says it stores no logs of user activity, originating IP address, the VPN IP you connect with, the session duration, or a connection timestamp. That’s what you want to hear from a VPN company. Better still, ExpressVPN makes it clear in its policy that it only generates revenue through the sale of VPN subscriptions. The company does not sell user data.

The company does, however, collect some information. It gathers the aggregate amount of data transferred by each user. The company also notes which VPN location you connect with—but not a specific public-facing IP address. ExpressVPN stresses that this information is not sufficient to identify a particular individual, since it would be identical to many other users. Still, customers should always be skeptical of anonymized data, since it doesn’t always stay anonymous.

ExpressVPN has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, which has no data retention laws. The company points out that any request for user information would have to be issued from a local court else the crime under investigation would be punishable by at least a year in prison in the British Virgin Islands. The hope is that this would slow down frivolous or intrusive investigations that would infringe on your privacy.

ExpressVPN is one of the few companies to use RAM only servers. That means servers are completely rebuilt at reboot, removing any nasty software hiding inside making it tough to confiscate.

While I am satisfied with ExpressVPN’s efforts to protect customer privacy, you may feel differently. If you don’t feel you can trust a VPN, for any reason, I strongly suggest choosing a different service.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Servers and Server Locations


A larger portion of what you are paying for a VPN subscription is access to the company’s fleet of VPN servers. These are the machines through which your web traffic will flow. Generally speaking, it’s good to have a diverse distribution of servers, since this will ensure that you’ll be able to find one close by, no matter where you travel, and likely get better service because of that closeness. It also gives you more options for spoofing your location.

ExpressVPN offers 160 server locations across 94 countries, having the best balance of hardware and virtual servers in most countries. In addition to having the most server locations, ExpressVPN also excels in geographic diversity, with several in Africa and excellent coverage across South America—two continents often underserved or totally ignored by other VPN companies. ExpressVPN also maintains servers for some countries with repressive internet policies, including Turkey, and Vietnam.

Virtual servers are software-defined servers, meaning that one piece of hardware can host multiple virtual servers. These servers are configured to appear as if they are in a country other than where that physical hardware is located. These virtual servers aren’t necessarily bad, but the idea that your data may be heading to some country other than where you want it to go can be unnerving.

ExpressVPN is transparent about its use of virtual servers. An explanatory page says that less than three percent of servers are not physically located where they appear to be and lists their true location. ExpressVPN explains that part of why it uses virtual servers is to provide better performance and improved security. 

You wouldn’t necessarily want a VPN server within a dangerous country, as it could be tampered with, potentially revealing private information about its users. ExpressVPN’s Turkey, Venezuela, and Vietnam servers, for example, are all virtual; this sounds reasonable.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Speed & Performance


An everlasting concern with VPNs is that using one will slow your internet connection down. While it is true that using a VPN will increase latency and reduce upload and download speeds, it’s usually a tolerable experience considering the security you’re getting.

To get a sense of the impact a VPN has on your internet experience, we tested the speed. Keep in mind that network connections are always fluctuating, and the chances are very high that your individual experience will differ from mine. Besides, the speed will also vary from server to server. So, think of these results as more of a snapshot for understanding, rather than a final verdict on performance.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Ease of Use


I found ExpressVPN really easy to use for its user-friendly interface, even for beginners. The signup and installation process was quite simple. As soon as you have signed up and completed the payment, you can make your ExpressVPN download and then quickly make the installation.

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When you run it for the first time, you will be asked to sign in. Simply enter your details here, along with your activation code. Now, you’re all set to get protected! You will find this activation code in your confirmation email. However, this process differs from device to device.

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From this point, as soon as the app gets started, and you are ready to go. The app will detect your current location, offering you to connect to the BEST server available. The app begins protecting you with a single click.

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Once connected, the power icon will turn green and display as connected, you can change your location by clicking on the three dots on the current location button, where you’ll find a list of locations.

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You can either scroll through the recommended locations or type your desired location into the search box. It can’t be any simpler, even for beginners.

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ExpressVPN provides bunches of options for you to use. The tabs are easy to navigate, and each option has a small description to describe its purpose, making it very useful and user-friendly! In short, ExpressVPN has simplified everything to the level where it is the most straightforward and most intuitive VPN app to use.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Supported Devices


This anonymous VPN supports so many devices. The most common are Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android. If that wasn’t enough, there are also ExpressVPN extensions for your favorite web browsers: Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. ExpressVPN takes its device coverage even further. Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon FireTV, AppleTV, etc. are all supported.

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ExpressVPN Supported Devices

All mobile devices have the same simple set-up procedures. So no matter what type of device you use, you are met with the same interfaces.

One drawback is that only 5 devices are supported simultaneously at one time. If you wish for another device, you have to disconnect one before adding the other manually. ExpressVPN can also be purchased on a pre-configured router.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Customer Support


ExpressVPN is widely known for its customer support. They offer 24/7/365 support via live chat or through support tickets.

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Many of their staff members are experts in technology, and those that aren’t, are extremely quick to point you in the right direction to obtain the information you require.
Their website offers setup tutorials to walk you through the process, and plenty of troubleshooting guides if you run into any problems.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Can I Get ExpressVPN for Free?


Absolutely YES!! ExpressVPN awards 30 days of free service for every successful referral made by you. There are no limits to how many referrals you can make. Here are the steps you need to follow

We have tested it by referring it to a couple of friends to see if the referral program was indeed as good as it sounds, and it was! You can try it too!

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?

Would We Recomend ExpressVPN?


ExpressVPN offers really a great affordable option for VPN services with world-class encryption and security. If you are dedicated to using a VPN service, you can go for ExpressVPN’s annual plan, which will eventually reduce your monthly payments.

However, if things go wrong or it turns out you’re not pleased with the product, there is a generous 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you won’t feel tied in. This, for me, is a really BIG positive!

ExpressVPN’s features are really top-notch. They may go a little overboard with their security, which can cause marginal performance differences. But we’d much prefer to have better security to protect us.

With mobile apps and compatibility, ExpressVPN is a perfect choice if you have multiple devices.

We tested features, such as Smart DNS to find if we could access the variety of TV shows on Netflix, and it worked! Again, this is a big tick in the box because I love being able to access new shows and movies. Express VPN is super simple to use and highly reliable; their customer support system is unbeaten, and rightly so.

ExpressVPN offer server locations in 94 countries, with unlimited speed and bandwidth, we are proud to announce that ExpressVPN boldly claims to hit the mark and do what they say. I would HIGHLY recommend signing up for ExpessVPN today.

Does ExpressVPN sound right for you?
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