A VPN or Virtual Private Network is becoming more and more of a necessity in today’s increasingly online world. Whether you want to get around pesky location blocking or you just want to ensure that your web activity is secure and safe from potential threats, a VPN is something you simply can’t overlook. Today, we’re here to take a closer look at one of the more popular choices, and give you a full review of ExpressVPN.
In recent years numerous VPN providers have cropped up in order to meet this new demand, but with all of the technical jargon they spout, choosing one can be frustrating. At HowtoWatch we like to help our readers cut the wheat from the chaff by highlighting one of the more popular VPN services available, ExpressVPN. Keep reading for our full ExpressVPN review.
What Is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is a virtual private network service (VPN). VPN’s are used to mask or change your IP address, so that you can experience increased privacy while browsing the web. They are also useful for bypassing geographical restrictions to watch videos online, access certain websites, etc.
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services out there, and for good reason. Keep reading our ExpressVPN review to learn all the details of this service. Or, head to ExpressVPN’s website to learn more about the service direct from the source!
As per usual, ExpressVPN offers their service across three pricing tiers. The service is exactly the same across all of the tiers, however if you choose a longer subscription period, the overall cost is reduced. At the time of this writing, ExpressVPN cost is as follows:
- 1 month: $12.95/month
- 6 months: $9.99/month
- 12 months: $8.32/month or $99.95/year, which is the best deal
The plans include all ExpressVPN apps, 24/7 customer support and no speed caps. Unfortunately, ExpressVPN does not have a free trial, however they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee. ExpressVPN also has a referral program, where for every friend of yours who signs up for the ExpressVPN service, you get 30 days of service for free – not a bad deal and one which will help you lower your ExpressVPN cost significantly.
ExpressVPN Compatibility and Interface
ExpressVPN works with every device imaginable, from Windows, OSX and Linux desktop clients, to mobile apps for iOS, Android and even Blackberry. As an added bonus, ExpressVPN can be configured on your router, so any device connected through your router will be covered by their service.
The ExpressVPN software clients are incredibly easy to use and intuitive. ExpressVPN also offers some additional functionality not always found with their competitors, like a kill switch toggle, which cuts off access to the web if an interruption in the ExpressVPN service is detected.
Those of you who prefer the DIY method of setting up their VPN connection, the ExpressVPN website offers detailed manuals that even have illustrations for the newbies.
ExpressVPN Encryption and Privacy
ExpressVPN uses 256-bit military grade encryption, so you can rest assured that your data and online activity is safe from even the most tenacious of peeping toms. ExpressVPN also supports the OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP and PPTP protocols. We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again, the PPTP protocol isn’t as secure as the others, so it’s probably best to avoid that one.
ExpressVPN proudly claims that they have a “zero logging” policy, meaning that they do not keep records of any of their users Internet activity. ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands; meaning data retention laws are fairly vague. All of our research says that the British Virgin Islands have fairly lax laws, meaning that combined with ExpressVPN’s 256-bit encryption, users should be confident in their anonymity and data protection.
ExpressVPN Server Locations
ExpressVPN has servers in 130+ locations in 87 different countries. There are other VPN providers who boast a much larger number of servers in a wider variety of locations, however for most this doesn’t really matter.
Those of you who are concerned primarily with getting around geo-blocking (imagine you want to watch BBC iPlayer but you’re physically located in the US), ExpressVPN has servers in all of the countries that host the video streaming apps you’re after, so you’ll never have to worry about seeing the annoying “sorry this content is not available in your region” message.
ExpressVPN Review: The Verdict
In terms of compatibility and software, ExpressVPN makes everything relatively painless for even the most clueless of customers, which is a big plus in the accessibility category.
ExpressVPN may not have the most servers, but it has ones in the countries that matter. In addition they offer 256-bit encryption across multiple protocols, which means you don’t have to worry about prying eyes catching glimpses of your activity.
ExpressVPN claims to be the fastest VPN service available, which could be the reason why they feel justified in charging considerably more than their competitors. Different sources give conflicting reports regarding ExpressVPN’s overall speeds (mainly due to the location of the server in relation to the user’s physical location), however the vast majority of them seem to be satisfied with the average speed they were able to procure. We suggest that you try ExpressVPN during the 30-day money back guarantee, and utilize a speed test to ensure that the service is going to deliver the speeds you need.
Overall, ExpressVPN does what it says very well, however the inflated monthly price tag is bound to turn some people off. We recommend going for a full year subscription, as that will net you the greatest value for your money. Ultimately, if ExpressVPN doesn’t do it for you be sure to check out our breakdown of the best VPN providers of 2018. Thanks for reading our ExpressVPN review, and have a great day!