ExpressVPN Review

ExpressVPN is a VPN provider based in the British Virgin Islands that has been operating since 2009. Thanks to the territory’s offshore legislation, it is not required to keep log files and activity logs of its users. As you will see during this ExpressVPN 2022 review and opinion, it has many servers that accept P2P and are spread over more than 160 locations around the world.

Logo-ExpressVPN

Thanks to its many advantages, ExpressVPN occupies the best position in our comparison of the best VPN providers. Users looking for a service that is secure, fast and capable of unblocking streaming platforms and TV channels will be served.

As a long-time PC and Mac user, we have familiarized ourselves with many VPN providers and know what the average user should expect from a competent VPN provider. But let’s see if ExpressVPN is really worth it…

Visit the ExpressVPN site

What is ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN offers a way to hide your online activities from the prying eyes of scammers, hackers, government agencies, and other unsavory characters. It does this by hiding your real IP address, making it look like your traffic is coming from an IP address provided by ExpressVPN.

In addition to obfuscating your connection, the ExpressVPN service also offers excellent data protection through encryption. Encryption protects all data you send or receive while connected to the Internet. This is a very good measure to take for any activity on the Internet and an excellent idea if you do a lot of banking or other sensitive activities online.

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. Although considered a British territory, they are not directly governed by the United Kingdom. Currently, there is no formal law regarding data retention.

ExpressVPN declares its commitment to respecting your privacy and does not collect or log traffic data or browsing activities of users connected to its VPN service. So even if they are asked for your online usage logs, they cannot provide them.

ExpressVPN has apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and Kindle. In addition, they offer the possibility to manually configure Linux and Chromebook devices, wireless routers (Sabai, DD-WRT, Asus or Tomato) and media streaming consoles (Apple TV, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One) .

ExpressVPN offers its desktop users the ability to use the OpenVPN protocol over UDP and TCP, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP to secure their data connection. Android users are limited to UDP and TCP (over OpenVPN), while iOS device owners can connect via L2TP/IPsec. Recently, it is also possible to use the new Lightway protocol developed by ExpressVPN. Both faster and even more reliable, this protocol is a real success. Either way, all of these encryption methods protect a customer’s data from prying eyes.

While the paragraph above may sound like a game of one-upmanship in the IT department toilet, it only means one thing: anyone will have trouble accessing the data you send and receive while logged into the service. ExpressVPN.

How does ExpressVPN work?

Let’s start this ExpressVPN review by looking at how the software works. By connecting to ExpressVPN servers, you can hide your internet traffic by replacing your current IP address with an address used by ExpressVPN servers. In addition to preserving your identity, it makes your internet traffic appear to be coming from a completely different place.

This is especially handy for accessing websites and other online content that may be restricted by a totalitarian government (eg China) or the content provider.

In addition to allowing access to content you might not otherwise be able to access, ExpressVPN also encrypts your internet traffic. Thus, the data and personal information is safe from the prying eyes of marketers, hackers, government agents and other unsavory characters.

P2P File Sharing (Torrenting)

ExpressVPN allows file sharing and BitTorrent usage through all of their servers. Although we couldn’t find any exact information about P2P or torrents on the website, a service representative we spoke to assured us that they respect their customers’ privacy rights and freedom. to use torrenting services.

The ExpressVPN website

The ExpressVPN website is a clean and informative experience. The site’s home page offers a nice summary of what the service offers. You can even read some ExpressVPN testimonials and reviews from other users. However, the site does not provide pricing information upfront, requiring you to go to the subscription page for subscription pricing options.

The homepage does, however, provide a fair amount of information on the number of servers offered by ExpressVPN, the encryption used by the service’s apps and more. We particularly like the listing on the homepage which offers a great overview of what ExpressVPN has to offer its customers.

Overall, while ExpressVPN’s website isn’t the best we’ve visited, it certainly outperforms a good number of competitors when it comes to information at a glance.

Installation de l’application ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers compatible desktop software on Windows, macOS, and Linux as well as apps on iOS, Android, and Blackberry. The provider also offers guides for setting up the service on a number of compatible routers, smart TVs, streaming boxes and game consoles.

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© ExpressVPN

As usual, the setup experience we share with you in this ExpressVPN test and review will be on our computers and phones. Windows and Android users can expect a similar experience. If there are any major differences, we’ll be sure to point them out.

The macOS app is available for direct download from the ExpressVPN website. When we completed the registration process, we were automatically directed to the download page. In less than a minute, the download was complete.

It should be noted that when you access the Mac download page, an activation code is displayed on the page. Be sure to copy and save this code; you’ll need it to log into the ExpressVPN app after it’s installed. (You can also find it on your account page if you lose it.)

The downloaded setup file came in the form of a setup file that starts the installation process by double clicking on it. Once the application is installed, it runs automatically.

We were asked to paste the activation code in the field provided. We did and waited for the service to activate the app. Then just click on the “Start using the application” button to, logically, start using the application.

Install ExpressVPN

Installing the app on a mobile device

Installing the ExpressVPN app follows a process as old as time. At least as old as the time that has passed since app stores were created.

The download takes less than about a minute. As already mentioned, users can opt for a 7-day free trial of the VPN service for mobile devices only, or they can upgrade to a paid subscription that allows them to use multiple devices, whether fixed or mobiles.

Once we signed up for a one-month subscription, which was linked to an email address, we logged into the app ready to go.

The app will also ask for permission to install a certificate on your iPhone to allow it to trust the ExpressVPN connection. Users will need to enter the device PIN or use their fingerprint via Touch ID to authorize the certificate installation.

Android users will find that installing the app on their devices is quite similar to the iOS version. The app is installed through the Google Play store, although it can also be downloaded and installed manually on an Android device.

Features and Getting Started

Once the ExpressVPN app was installed on our computer, it worked immediately. It’s not for nothing that ExpressVPN is considered the best VPN on Mac. We were prompted to enter the activation code we had copied, everything was fine. Once the application has been configured and authorized, users are greeted by a simple and clear interface, consisting of a “Connect” button, an “Auto location” button and a “Chosen location” button.

Application-ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN app on macOS © Journal du Geek

The “Smart Location” button selects the best connection option for your current location. The Select Location button opens a list of VPN server locations around the world. The list is categorized into “Recommended”, “All” and “Recent”.

The ExpressVPN app offers functionality we haven’t seen with other apps. A “Speed ​​Test” option allows users to start a test procedure that connects to each ExpressVPN server to test the server’s response time and connection speed. The app then displays the results, so the user can make an intelligent decision as to which server to connect to.

Explore ExpressVPN

In our opinion, the Speed ​​Test feature is a definite advantage for ExpressVPN over other VPN providers. Knowing which server provides the best overall performance right now can save you time, through faster connection and better response times. As we all know, time is money!

Once the location is chosen, users only need to click on the larger button, which toggles the VPN connection on and off. Within seconds, the app connects to the selected VPN server, and you’re ready to surf the net incognito.

In the settings, we find the Network Lock (also called Kill Switch with other providers). This function allows you to protect your data in all circumstances by blocking your internet traffic during an unexpected disconnection from the VPN. These kind of disconnections have not happened many times because the VPN is very stable, but it can however disconnect without you realizing it when your computer goes to sleep or following a failure, for example.

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ExpressVPN features © Journal du Geek

The service allows the application to be installed on an unlimited number of devices and to connect 5 of them simultaneously. This number is slightly lower than most VPN providers we have reviewed in the past, which usually offer at least 6 simultaneous connections. That said, nothing dramatic since connections can be made unlimited via an ExpressVPN compatible router.

ExpressVPN offers a comprehensive feature set that makes it one of the best VPN apps available. We particularly like the app’s speed test feature, which makes it easy to decide which VPN server to use.

Plus, the ExpressVPN app is a breeze to set up. The application is presented in a logical and easy to use manner, and offers great flexibility in its settings.

Connection quality and speed

During our ExpressVPN test and review, we ran the usual ping, download, and upload time tests through the Speedtest website.

We first run the tests over our normal internet connection to establish a benchmark for comparison. The same tests are then run through a VPN connection to a server in the US, and last but not least, a connection to a VPN server in the UK.

In the case of US and UK VPN connections, one selects the country and lets the ExpressVPN service decide which server to use in the selected country. According to the ExpressVPN website, this should select the optimal connection.

Most internet users still consider a faster connection to be a better connection. However, when considering the security of your personal data, as well as the ability to access web content that is not normally available, the numbers look a little different.

It is a generally accepted rule that any VPN connection will be considerably slower than an unfettered connection. But, while speeds may indeed be slower, they may not be noticeably slower when used for everyday online tasks.

The pings from our tests show a tendency to increase as the distance between my actual location and the VPN server locations increases. This is normal, because the further you are from the VPN server, the longer it takes for data packets to come and go. However, this will not cause problems with normal Internet use. But online FPS gamers may disagree.

The upload and download speeds of both ExpressVPN servers are excellent, and are well within the vicinity of my normal connection speeds. We were a little surprised by the excellent results of the connections between the United States, the United Kingdom and France. For now, it is the fastest VPN on the market.

As always, ping and performance can be affected by server saturation when you connect. If you connect to a server where a large number of other users connect, you may experience a performance hit. As with any computer, the more that is demanded of a VPN server, the slower it will be to complete its tasks.

The ExpressVPN app offers a feature called “Speed ​​Test” which checks the performance of each VPN server currently available on the ExpressVPN network. The test measures the download speed and latency of each server, and offers a speed rating for each. This feature is designed to allow users to make a wise decision when it comes to VPN connections.

Before we move on, let’s also note that your choice of VPN protocols and encryption levels can also affect the speed of your VPN connection. However, today’s encryption schemes were created with the aim of improving efficiency, so you may not see a big difference in your connection, depending on the encryption used.

After the speed tests, we also put the VPN connections through a series of real-world tests. In general, the viability of the connection is tested for use in video and audio streaming, video calls, games and general online use. The results are shown below.

YouTube

YouTube streamed its 1080p video content without any issues. All of the videos we watched streamed immediately with no buffering times and zero static on connections in the US, UK, and France. Fullscreen HD videos play well on either VPN connection.

Netflix

Let’s move on in this ExpressVPN review to the performance of the service on the famous streaming platform. Our Netflix experience through the ExpressVPN app was a very pleasant surprise. When we connected to the American “Smart” localization of the service, we were able to access all American content from Netflix without the site detecting the use of a proxy, and this from our account established in France.

We also tried changing the connection to the New Jersey one and were able to see the content the same way, in high definition and without latency. So we tried all the US connections on the list and got a success rate of around 90% to access the US Netflix catalog, which is a very good score.

Our attempts to connect to Netflix through any UK VPN connection worked. Same, we tried all the UK servers on the list and the result was the same: the English library showed up and the movies and TV shows loaded without issue. Ditto for French VPN servers.

We now understand why ExpressVPN highlights its use to watch Netflix on its blog.

Note that very few VPNs manage to unblock the platform correctly. When trying to watch Netflix content through a VPN service, success is always a bumpy ride because you never know when Netflix will blacklist a set of IP addresses used by a VPN provider. Anyway, RAS for ExpressVPN.

Explore ExpressVPN

Hulu

Another positive point in this ExpressVPN review, it also manages to unblock Hulu. When we tried to play Hulu content on either connection, we got the same results as with Netflix. Links to the US were not rejected by Hulu, as were most links to the UK.

The streaming quality was Netflix-like and the stream seamless. So it would seem that the ExpressVPN server IP addresses are not blacklisted. This makes it possible to view Hulu programs outside of the United States.

Gaming

We tried a little Doom 3 deathmatch with IPs in the US and UK. Both connections worked fine. FPS gamers will likely be happy with the service’s connections, but we suggest you try your game of choice on an ExpressVPN server before the 30-day refund period ends.

General internet use

The ExpressVPN connections both worked well when used for our daily online activities. We worked on the Google Docs suite of online office applications – creating text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. All tasks worked fine on VPN connections in the UK, US and France. We didn’t feel any really significant drop in speed during our navigation.

Staying in touch with friends, family, and co-workers via text messaging and major social media apps also worked great when connected to the VPN servers.

Global Server Coverage

Let’s continue this ExpressVPN test and review with its infrastructure. The provider has over 3,000 VPN servers spread across 94 countries. While not the greatest server coverage among the VPN services we’ve reviewed, this provider has done a great job of spreading out their servers, ensuring users find a server in the area. which is necessary for them.

The company has servers spread across the US, UK, and Europe, as well as Asia Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, and India. Looking at the list of server locations, we couldn’t find any major locations that ExpressVPN overlooked. In short, ExpressVPN might not offer the most number of server locations among the VPN providers we reviewed, but they do make a good choice of locations for their servers.

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© ExpressVPN

Privacy, Security and Legal Notices

ExpressVPN offers desktop users the ability to use the OpenVPN protocol over UDP and TCP, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP. Android users are limited to UDP and TCP (over OpenVPN), while iOS device owners can connect via L2TP/IPsec. The Lightway protocol, recently developed by the provider, is ahead of conventional protocols in terms of speed, security and reliability. With 1,000 lines of code less than the others, Lightway is lighter, which explains the almost instantaneous connection to the VPN server. Remember that all of these encryption methods help protect any customer’s data and personal information from prying eyes.

As discussed earlier in this ExpressVPN review, this British Virgin Islands-based VPN provider has been operating since 2009. Although the islands are considered British territory, they are self-governing and not subject to UK conservation laws. Datas.

ExpressVPN states that they are committed to respecting the privacy of their users and that they do not collect or log any traffic data or browsing activity from individual users connected to their VPN service. So even if the government were to call them, they wouldn’t have a log of activities to hand over.

Additionally, when signing up for an ExpressVPN subscription, payment by Bitcoin is accepted. Another positive in this ExpressVPN review since it is the privacy-protecting cryptocurrency and is popular among privacy-conscious internet users.

An ExpressVPN service representative confirmed to us that the ExpressVPN service works well in China. He also said that the support team would be available should any issues arise during the visit to the country. When you know how difficult it is to find an effective VPN in China, this is a big plus.

Subscription options and prices

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© ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers 3 subscription levels through its website but does not offer a free trial. Instead, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. That’s pretty generous in the VPN industry. Most VPN providers we’ve come across offer up to a 7-day money-back guarantee.

The pricing for the service is definitely on the higher end of the VPN price scale compared to other services we’ve used. However, the 12 month option reduces the cost of the service thanks to -49% immediate reduction and 3 months free.

The subscription conditions and costs are as follows:

  • 1 month package at €11.32 per month
  • 6 month plan at €8.73 per month (€52.40 billed every 6 months)
  • 12-month package at €5.83 per month (€87.36 billed annually) – 49% savings!

Subscribe to ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN also allows users to sign up through the app on iOS and Android devices. Subscriptions purchased through the mobile apps also work on other devices and desktops. Although the service offers a 7-day free trial period to mobile device users, an “upgrade” to a paid subscription is required to use the account on other devices.

All registrations and subscription payments are made over a secure HTTPS connection. The service accepts subscription payments via VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club, PayPal, Bitcoin, WebMoney, UnionPay and others.

iOS users don’t pay through an in-app purchase, as most services require, but instead are directed to the ExpressVPN website to sign up for a paid subscription. This is obviously an effort on ExpressVPN’s part to avoid paying Apple’s fees for in-app purchases. Android users can pay by credit card, Bitcoin, and PayPal, as well as through Google Play.

As always, the bitcoin payment option will be welcome for users who want to keep their payment and internet activities completely secret by using the anonymous bitcoin payment method, with a disposable email address.

As has become a tradition here, we signed up for a one-month subscription to ExpressVPN using my work credit card. The charge appeared on our credit card statement as “EXPRESSVPN.COM NEWARK DE.”

When you register for the service, you provide your email address, which is the means of receiving your transaction confirmation. You are assigned a system-generated password, which you can continue to use or change to a password you created yourself.

While the system-generated password will likely provide better protection for your account, the one you find will likely be easier to remember in our opinion.

ExpressVPN also offers a way to get months of free service added to your subscription by offering its customers a referral program. ExpressVPN provides you with a unique referral link, and when one of your friends uses your link to sign up for the service, you get an additional 30 days of service added to your current subscription.

Is the ExpressVPN subscription refundable?

Now that you know the prices of this VPN, it is normal to wonder if the purchase is subject to a refund, especially when you decide to commit to 6 months or more. Good news, ExpressVPN applies a Satisfied or Refunded guarantee valid for all its offers and for 30 days after the purchase. Thanks to the latter, you can test the application over several days and form your own opinion.

In case you are convinced by ExpressVPN, you don’t have to do anything. Your account will be maintained automatically. If applicable, if ExpressVPN does not meet your needs, you will be refunded the amount of your purchase upon request to customer support.

Finally, at €87.36 for an annual subscription, ExpressVPN is not the cheapest VPN on the market. However, it offers excellent value for money, the euros spent are definitely worth it. Plus, there’s even a 30-day free trial that makes getting started stress-free.

Test ExpressVPN

Customer service test

ExpressVPN’s customer support options consist of an online chat, an online support form, and an informative troubleshooting library.

The ExpressVPN library contains a good amount of usable information, covering most issues or questions you might have about the service. It offers a number of helpful tutorials showing users how to set up the ExpressVPN app on all supported computers and devices, routers, Chromebooks, game and streaming consoles, and more.

We submitted a support question through the online support ticket system on a Tuesday afternoon at 4:04 p.m. Central Time and received an immediate acknowledgment. A response was received at 3:32 a.m. on Wednesday morning. This was well below the company’s quoted 24-hour response time.

We also used the service’s online chat function (available from any page of the website) to ask how to use the service in China. We got a response within seconds during the day.

ExpressVPN’s support staff are top notch and were able to help with any issues.

Conclusion and opinion on ExpressVPN

After this comprehensive test, our opinion of ExpressVPN is very positive. This is a great option for users who need quick setup, easy operation, and maybe a little getting started. Their apps are easy to set up, they connect with just a click or two of the mouse, and the service offers responsive customer support.

The ExpressVPN servers provided solid connections, with excellent data speeds on the Mac app and decent data speeds on the iOS app. We tried a number of connections around the world, and all were up to snuff. International travelers, as well as US users who need access to international content, should take a look at this service.

1080p HD video streaming from YouTube offers a premium viewing experience on par with streaming on Netflix and Hulu via US and UK connections.

ExpressVPN’s prices remain higher than those of competitors, but for such a level of service, the price is more than justified. Plus, 6-month and 12-month subscription options lower the usual monthly rate.

Signing up for the service is relatively easy and a wide variety of payment options are available. Bitcoin is available which is always a great anonymous payment option. No matter what type of payment you prefer, an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee applies.

The service’s customer support options include: an online trouble ticket submission system, online chat, and a support library. The support staff are extremely responsive and very helpful.

Users who are looking for a solid, easy-to-use VPN option, and who don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for reliable, fast service should check out the ExpressVPN site. If you are a Netflix or Hulu fanatic, you will also be able to enjoy it wherever you are in the world.