In a world full of VPN suppliers, it’s not so easy to make the right choice. We did the ExpressVPN test to see if it lives up to its reputation, built for more than 10 years. Is it really performing? Is it really the fastest VPN provider on the market? Will you be able to enjoy all its features? Answers in our review on ExpressVPN.
Who is ExpressVPN? How do I install it?
ExpressVPN is a VPN supplier based in the British Virgin Islands, which was founded in 2009. With more than 10 years of experience, it is now positioned as the true benchmark in the market. Many users present it as the best VPN on the market in 2021, especially for speed and safety.
So we wanted to check all of this and evaluated its application on many criteria. Below is our review of ExpressVPN; you will discover its strengths and disadvantages in full transparency. Does he deserve his leadership position? That is what we are going to study now.
- Excellent speed
- Simplicity of use
- Unlock the Netflix platform
- Customer support 24/7/365
- Large global coverage (94 countries)
- Many compatible devices
- TrustedServers Technology
- Split Tunneling
- Works in every country in the world
- Only 5 connections at the same time
- Higher pricing than its competitors
How do I install my app?
The ExpressVPN app is compatible with many devices. It can be installed on a computer, tablet, mobile and a router, a games console, a Smart TV, or an Apple TV. Download the file corresponding to your device from the provider’s website.
The installation is very intuitive on Mac computers, Windows PCs, iPhones, iPods or other Android mobiles and tablets, and it is done in seconds (or minutes) in just a few seconds. In general, you won’t even need to refer to the installation guide as the different steps are easy to follow.
And when it comes to software configuration on less conventional devices such as connected TVs and connectors or Wi-Fi routers, simplicity is also the order of the day. Even people less comfortable with computers will be able to install them in no time. But just in case, ExpressVPN provides full installation tutorials in video and text format in its help section. At this level, our opinion on ExpressVPN is therefore excellent.
How do I use VPN?
The great strength of the ExpressVPN application is its clean side. Only essential information and commands are on the interface, making it very easy to use. In short, you only have to choose a country from its location list and then click the activation button in the middle to establish the connection. ExpressVPN’s algorithm will select the most suitable server based on its load and location.
Then wait for 2 to 5 seconds before everything goes green. Once it’s done, it’s good, you’re connected, and your IP is hidden. From then on, you can start browsing completely anonymously.
Once the VPN was installed on our computer, we wanted to test its speed to get a really complete opinion on ExpressVPN. Good connection speed is essential for daily smooth navigation and streaming, downloading, and sharing torrents in P2P.
Above all, it is essential to understand that any VPN will influence your speed; it is inevitable. And for a good reason, this adds an extra step between you and the site you want to visit since your traffic is redirected to a remote server. More steps also mean a longer journey, and therefore an increase in response time.
Also, the speed of ExpressVPN will depend very much on your base speed without a VPN. There’s no point in comparing the speed performance of a VPN if it’s not done on the same basic connection. For our speed test and to get an opinion on ExpressVPN, our basic connection was:
Another essential piece of information to fully understand our speed test was based in Dubai when the test was carried out. Therefore, the speeds displayed for the connection in France and the United States will vary considerably (upwards) if you are in France.
Here are the results we have obtained for France:
Unsurprisingly, there is a fairly strong increase in ping or latency, but the download and upload speeds remain really satisfactory. Remember that we are more than 5000 km from Paris. Our opinion on ExpressVPN and its connection speed are therefore very positive.
Since you may be using your VPN to have a U.S. IP address, we also wanted to test speed when connecting to a server in the U.S. There; geographical distance is even more important. Obviously, it is reflected in performance.
Here are the results of the speed test by repeating the operation with a connection to a server across the Atlantic:
The response time increases, even more, making sense, and there is also a slight decrease in download speed (download) and upload (transfer). Nothing too to worry about since playing a video in Ultra HD requires a speed of 25 Mbps and 5Mb/s for HD video. So you won’t have a problem watching videos hosted in the United States.
Overall, ExpressVPN is doing very well in terms of speed, and we can recommend it to you. This is a plus positive in our ExpressVPN review. Let’s move on to a second part: streaming. Is it up to the task of unlocking international bookstores? Can ExpressVPN be used to virtually convert its Netflix France subscription to a Netflix USA subscription?
ExpressVPN streaming test
Let’s continue our review of ExpressVPN with its streaming skills. Whether it’s to change countries on the Netflix platform or access French channels when you travel abroad, ExpressVPN assures.
Indeed, we did not encounter any problems during our tests – foreign and domestic channels combined. The error message that can be seen due to geo-blocking disappears once the ExpressVPN connection is established and the page is updated.
In addition to TV programs, we also looked at what was going on with streaming services. Many users use these tools to unlock platforms that are not available in their geographic area. Let’s start with the most used SVoD platform: Netflix. It should be noted that recently, Netflix has developed a high-performance proxy detection system that makes it much more difficult for VPNs. This test was therefore highly anticipated.
The first test was to check if we were accessing Netflix’s French bookstore (thus with a French IP) from abroad with ExpressVPN. As you can see from the image below, everything worked perfectly, and the video starts quickly and without any problems.
As you may know, Netflix’s American catalogue is much more extensive than in France. Whether it’s for movies or series, there’s no photo. So we also looked at whether ExpressVPN was able to unblock Netflix US. Without prolonging the suspense any longer, the result was positive the first time. The library change is instantaneous. It’s a certainty; the provider manages to get around the blockage put in place by Netflix. Another good point that will leave you, too, an excellent opinion on ExpressVPN.
The good news is that ExpressVPN has also worked perfectly for Disney, DAZN, OCS, Hulu and even Amazon Prime Video, which is excellent for blocking VPNs.
For a VPN provider to protect you effectively, it must first encrypt your data correctly. To do this, ExpressVPN offers a wide range of VPN protocols such as OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), IKEv2 or L2TP-IPsec. The choice of protocol depends on the speed/security balance you are looking for. Often the best compromise will be OpenVPN, but you may have to choose another in some cases.
However, we advise you to check the “Automatic” option, which will immediately find the most appropriate protocol for your network and country. This is ideal for beginners who want maximum security without getting into the technical aspect. By default, this interface is not visible when you open the ExpressVPN window; you will have to go to the application settings.
Once the VPN was activated, we ensured that no IP and DNS leaks occurred. It is essential to check this to avoid any unpleasant surprises. To analyze the effectiveness of ExpressVPN, we used the site https://ipleak.net/. This information tells us about the IP address, location, and the DNS used or WebRTC leaks.
You can see from the image above that ExpressVPN has effectively hidden our IP address, locating us in New York State. Also, the DNS does have the VPN server’s IP and not yours, which proves that no DNS leak is detected (very dangerous for your anonymity). Finally, there is no WebRTC leak. This is essential to ensure that your browser will not disclose your IP address to the websites visited.
ExpressVPN’s security is all the better because the provider has its own DNS servers. As a result, any risk of leakage is greatly reduced. As a reliable VPN provider, ExpressVPN obviously has the Kill Switch feature it calls Network Lock. The latter will cut off all exchanges with the internet if your VPN protection ever abandons you for a few seconds.
To confirm this, the provider had done an external audit of its servers by PwC in 2019. This audit confirmed that ExpressVPN’s claims were legitimate. No information about you (your original IP address, for example) and your browsing with the VPN (visited sites, DNS queries, the destination of your traffic…) are recorded.
Remember that the location of a VPN company is critical. Indeed, some countries are obliged to keep logs (logs of connection). Others, such as the British Virgin Islands, have no data retention laws. Also, they do not belong to a coalition like the 5, 9 or 14 Eyes. It is not for nothing that the headquarters of ExpressVPN is located there. Thanks to its strict no-log policy, your data is truly secure with ExpressVPN, which is perhaps the most important point of this review.
It should be noted. However, that very little information about your account is kept. This is the case of the email address provided when registering for the service or the means of payment, for example. This allows you to keep informed by sending you emails, managing the billing, and possibly making a refund. In any case, this data will not threaten your privacy as it is not related to your online activities.
Does circumventing censorship work?
If you are used to travelling or going on business trips abroad, you are certainly aware that one of the VPN uses is to circumvent censorship. What about ExpressVPN? Is it effectively circumventing it in the most censored countries?
As we told you at the time of The ExpressVPN speed tests, we were located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This country is one of the few countries in the world that block VPNs. Obviously, we could use our VPN safely, which proves that it works perfectly in this country.
Many users we contacted confirmed that it worked very well in other Middle Eastern countries and China or Russia. ExpressVPN’s servers are potent, and they are constantly updated to be able to outsmart blockages.
Our opinion on ExpressVPN can therefore only be excellent when it comes to circumventing censorship. All you need is a click to regain freedom on the internet and not be deprived of your usual sites and applications.
Focus on the network of countries and servers
Network quality is essential in your choice of a VPN. Both many countries need to be available, but also that there are many servers in the countries. Indeed, if you have 100 countries available, but only 1 server per country, you can be sure that the performance will not be up to scratch. The servers will be constantly overloaded, and this will affect your speed which will be very slow.
Users generally have a positive review on ExpressVPN as it offers one of the best networks on the market. And for a good reason, it has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries. In other words, you will always find your happiness. It’s a good way to connect to as many countries as possible in the world.
Among the countries covered are France, Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and many more! It will really take a thorough search to find a country that ExpressVPN does not cover.
In our ExpressVPN test, this large infrastructure resulted in excellent speed performance, as you saw earlier in this review. It should also be added that the vendor servers are of excellent quality. Of course, they don’t have as many as NordVPN or CyberGhost, but, following our many tests, we really think they offer better performance. On this subject, don’t be impressed by a huge number of servers. Quantity is not everything, and quality is just as important.
What is ExpressVPN’s customer support worth?
Online service automatically means customer support. How do I reach ExpressVPN?’ Is he reactive? We’ve tested all this for you to reassure you before you go shopping.
If you need help, there are three options available to you at ExpressVPN:
- The FAQ (Finding a Solution)
- Instant messaging
- Instructions for use (very detailed guides)
Our preferred option is the use of online chat, which is accessible from the official ExpressVPN website. During our test, we were impressed by their responsiveness. We contacted them twice and never waited more than 30 seconds before we got a response.
Advisors can be reached 7 days a week and 24 hours a day from instant messaging, allowing you to contact them at any time and without any limits. So don’t hesitate to send them a message if you have any questions.
Offers and pricing
We come to the point on which ExpressVPN is often criticized: its price. Indeed, it is not the cheapest VPN on the market, but we believe its pricing is totally justified.
And for a good reason, if you compare it to its competitors who sometimes cost less than 3 euros per month, you have to commit to 2 or 3 years to arrive at such a monthly cost. With ExpressVPN, you won’t have a longer subscription than its 12-month offer.
In this case, three offers are offered in 2021:
- 1 month at $12.95
- 6 months at $59.95 ($9.99/month)
- 12 months – 3 months free at $99.95 ($6.67/month)
Therefore, the long-term offer is very clearly the most interesting since it allows us to benefit from a 49% discount and 3 months free! The only “constraint” is that the bill will have to be paid at once and not via monthly debits.
It should also be added that ExpressVPN has a satisfied or refunded 30-day warranty. No justification is to be given if you ever want to get your refund. All you have to do is contact support to get a full refund of your purchase. Hard to get a negative opinion on ExpressVPN when you know that. Either you are convinced, or you get your refund 100%!
In terms of means of payment, you will not run out of choice. The solutions are:
- Payment cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover…)
No matter which payment method you choose, you can always enjoy the 30 days satisfied or refunded unconditionally.
We are nearing the end of this article. Having said that, there are still some points that we still want to cover. This additional information could help you refine your opinion on ExpressVPN.
The number of connections in parallel
With an ExpressVPN subscription, you can use the app on 5 devices simultaneously. This means that you can use it simultaneously on a computer, a tablet, and 3 phones, for example. You can, however, install it on an unlimited number of devices. However, only 5 can be activated at the same time. This is good news because today we all have several computer equipments.
Note that you have the option to increase the number of simultaneous connections if 5 are not enough for you by setting up the VPN directly on your Wi-Fi router. This will give all connected devices protection.
The Split Tunneling
Another interesting feature that we liked during our ExpressVPN test was the Split Tunneling. It allows you to manually select apps that may or may not require a VPN connection.
For example, if you’re watching Youtube videos on Google Chrome and at the same time doing P2P on uTorrent, you can activate the VPN only on uTorrent and let your browser run without a VPN. This will make the most of your speed and significantly improve your user experience. You can do the same with your messaging app if you feel it doesn’t need VPN protection.
Since 2019, ExpressVPN has implemented the new TrustedServer technology across its entire infrastructure. The principle is simple: servers only work on RAM to keep no trace of user data. As soon as the server restarts, everything is gone. This sets it apart from its competitors whose servers operate on a hard drive.
This is an additional security layer, showing that ExpressVPN is at the forefront of security technology.
Browser extensions (Chrome and Firefox)
Last point before our final ExpressVPN review: extensions on your browsers. If you don’t want to bother with the Split Tunneling setup, you can take advantage of the excellent ExpressVPN extensions for Chrome and Firefox. The installation is done with one click, and you will then have the ExpressVPN icon at the top right of your screen on the browser.
We particularly appreciated this feature during our ExpressVPN test because it makes it very easy to turn VPN on and off only on the browser. The extension complements the desktop application as it allows you to protect yourself even more effectively from WebRTC leaks.
Following this comprehensive review of ExpressVPN and the testing of many criteria, we can confirm that it is probably the best supplier in 2021. Apart from its slightly higher-than-average pricing and limited simultaneous connections, we have nothing to criticize.
Its performance lives up to its reputation, and the user experience has been carefully crafted from A to Z to provide a simple and efficient service. We can only advise you to test it now and take advantage of its satisfied or refunded period to get your refund if it does not suit you.
To take advantage of its 49% discount and get 3 months free, consider taking the 12-month subscription. For more information, please visit the technology publisher’s website here: