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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

ExpressVPN Review 2024: Fast & Secure, But Is It Worth It?

Our Score: 9.9/10
Best for Torrent & Streaming
James Everard Updated on 12th July 2024 Fact-checked by Matthew Amos Senior Writer

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular and trusted names in the industry. It’s known for being one of the safest, fastest VPNs around, so I wanted to see if it can live up to these claims. It’s not the cheapest VPN, but it often offers discounts that make it a better value for the money. Other decent VPNs offer similar features for less in the long term. So, do you really need to pay that much for a VPN as good as ExpressVPN?

To find the answer, we performed extensive tests on desktop and mobile devices running Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. We tested its speeds while gaming, streaming, and torrenting. I also explored its security features, device compatibility, and its own Lightway protocol. To see if it's still trustworthy, I dove into its privacy policy, independent audits, and company history.

My conclusion: ExpressVPN is tough to beat in almost every way. It’s definitely worth the price. It is one of the fastest VPNs I've ever tested, is incredibly easy to use, and has powerful security features. Plus, it's one of the best VPNs for streaming securely, and it has the best VPN router app I’ve tried. There's a money-back guarantee, too, so you can test out all of ExpressVPN’s features risk-free. You have 30 days to get a refund if it’s not for you.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free >>

Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

Pros

Cons

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ExpressVPN Features — 2024 Update

10.0
💸 Price 6.67 USD/month
📆 Money Back Guarantee 30 Days
📝 Does VPN keep logs? No
🖥 Number of servers 3000+
💻 Number of devices per license 8
🛡 Kill switch Yes
🗺 Based in country Virgin Islands (British)
🛠 Support 24/7 Live Chat Support
📥 Supports torrenting Yes

Streaming — Excellent Playback Without Buffering or Load Times

10.0

ExpressVPN works great with streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer. For these tests, I utilized an international team of testers to make sure the VPN worked with all the popular streaming platforms. ExpressVPN constantly updates its servers, so we rarely encountered any issues.

It was particularly notable that ExpressVPN worked with every platform we tried without having to switch servers or alter any settings. All 3,000 servers are optimized for streaming, so we simply hit connect and started streaming.

It’s possible to securely access the following platforms from anywhere with ExpressVPN:

Netflix Hulu Disney+ BBC iPlayer Max Crunchyroll
Amazon Prime Video Peacock ESPN+ Paramount+ Rai Play Globoplay
DStv ProSieben 6Play ORF CBC Gem Vudu
Pluto TV Discovery+ Locast Rakuten Viki IPTV AT&T TV
Now TV ITV Hotstar Crackle Zatto Channel 4
Sky TV beIN Sports DAZN fuboTV Sling TV Kodi
Showtime Apple TV YouTube Spotify UKTV Crave
Editor’s note: The VPNs we recommend have strict no-logging policies that prevent them from tracking your online activities. This means you’re responsible for how you use a VPN, so please be sure to follow all applicable rules and regulations. My colleagues and I do not condone copyright infringement.

Works With: 20+ Netflix Libraries, Including US, UK, and Japan

My international team and I could watch Netflix securely and stream without interruptions. In these tests, everyone was able to encrypt their connection while still being able to watch their region’s Netflix library.

Since I’m located in the UK, I started my tests with a Midlands server and could log into my Netflix UK account without issues.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app connected to a UK server over a browser streaming NetflixThere were no dips in quality throughout the entire episode

My teammates in 20 different countries were also able to watch their Netflix accounts. Overall, ExpressVPN can access the following Netflix libraries without added delays:

United Kingdom Canada United States Australia France
Chile Japan Germany Italy Brazil
Sweden New Zealand Hong Kong Netherlands Switzerland
Colombia Malaysia Romania Spain Greece

Works With: Disney+

My team and I could watch shows like Welcome to Wrexham on Disney+ with no buffering in several countries where it’s available.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app connected to a UK server over a browser streaming Disney+US testers got great quality with servers across the country

Our testers could watch Disney+ in the US, Australia, Canada, Italy, and the UK with zero buffering. The only small issue was it took about 3 more seconds to load videos for our colleague in Australia.

Works With: Prime Video

Once again, I could switch platforms without switching servers or settings. Prime Video streamed without problems on the main Amazon site using the same UK - Midlands server. My colleague in America had a similar experience.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app connected to a UK server over a browser streaming Amazon Prime VideoVideos loaded in the best quality right away with no pixelation

In the rest of the world, the platform streams slightly differently and is hosted on its standalone primevideo domain. The experience was the same — my colleagues in Germany, Canada, and Australia had no problem streaming on Prime.

Works With: BBC iPlayer

ExpressVPN worked with BBC iPlayer at the first attempt, but given the popularity of the platform, I tested servers in all of ExpressVPN’s 5 locations. They all worked with the iPlayer without hesitation and I binged on coverage of Radio 1’s Big Weekend.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app connected to a UK server over a browser streaming BBC iPlayerI was able to watch BBC iPlayer with superb video quality too

Works With: Hulu

Hulu is primarily available in the US, and my US colleague could watch shows and movies on the platform in HD with super short load times while connected to ExpressVPN’s US servers.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app connected to a UK server over a browser streaming HuluExpressVPN can quickly load videos on Hulu from anywhere

Many VPNs have a tough time securely accessing Hulu due to its powerful VPN detection technology. So, it’s impressive that ExpressVPN does so with uninterrupted streams.

Also Works With: Max, Peacock, Crunchyroll, ESPN+, DAZN, RTL, Kodi, and more

ExpressVPN worked with every other platform we tried, including Max, Peacock, Crunchyroll, ESPN+, and many more. I was even able to stream the public-domain movie, Night of the Living Dead on Kodi.

Overall, ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for streaming. It also works with dozens of popular social media sites and apps. Similar to how we tested streaming platforms, we used an international team to access different apps. These included Facebook, Instagram, Google (and Google services like Gmail), Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tinder, and more.

In fact, we usually carry a “Doesn’t work with…” section; but there was no need for it here.

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Speed — Exceptional on Local and Faraway Servers

10.0

ExpressVPN provides the fastest speeds of any VPN we’ve tested. We have a dedicated VPN speed tester who tests ExpressVPN servers every week from the same UK location. This chart displays the average speeds of several tests done on each server. These tests were done with the Lightway UDP protocol since it gave us the best speeds.

Screenshot of a chart showing speed results from various worldwide ExpressVPN servers We lost 6% on average on nearby servers and 15% on distant ones

ExpressVPN is incredibly fast — we didn’t record any speeds below 135 Mbps. In other words, speeds never dropped by more than 40%, even on the farthest servers. To put that into perspective, it’s common for even the best VPNs to drop your speeds more. For example, a 20% drop on local servers and up to 60% at long distances are common results, even with fast VPNs.

Local Speed

ExpressVPN’s local servers were the fastest we’ve tested. We consistently got a drop of around 1% with the closest location. That’s sufficiently fast that you won’t even notice you’re using a VPN.

Screenshot showing the base speed and speed drop of just 2% from a server in UkraineThe ping was still fast enough for online gaming too

The Ukraine server retained an impressive amount of speed, remarkable given that it’s over 2,500km away from the UK testing location.

Long-Distance Speed

Slowdowns of just 7% on the LA servers speak for themselves. That would be an impressive speed if the server was just down the road, and not over 8,500km away. The biggest slowdown we faced was in Tokyo. I’ve seen many VPNs lower speeds by 80% or more on servers this far away (around 10,000km), but ExpressVPN was way faster.

Screenshot of Ookla speed tests done with no VPN and while connected to ExpressVPN's Tokyo serverOur upload rates only fell by 17% on the Tokyo server

In short, ExpressVPN still performs the best in this category, and it’s been consistent for years. As I stated above, our speed expert performs tests every week. We’ve been regularly gathering these results for years, and it always maintains this level of performance. If you need a VPN that will affect your base rates as little as possible, you won’t find better.

Gaming — Seamless Gaming on Nearby and Mid-Range Servers

9.5

ExpressVPN works great for online gaming, and it actually lowered our ping with the closest server. The server in the UK gave us 29ms of latency compared to the 32ms we had with no VPN connected.

Ping is the key metric for gaming, and you’ll want it below 85ms for online play. This is because it measures your actions in relation to the on-screen response. If you press a button and your character doesn’t react immediately, you won’t be able to stay competitive. Thankfully, ExpressVPN kept our ping below 85ms on all European servers.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app connected to a UK server over a retro gameI was able to run, jump, fly, and shoot with zero delays

We could enjoy games of all genres as it also worked well with fast-paced shooters. While playing Counter-Strike 2, I could quickly load up matches and play like normal. Even a tiny amount of lag is noticeable in these games, but I never detected any with the nearby servers.

It’ll become difficult to enjoy online games with distant servers, but that’s common. I’ve never found a VPN that worked well for gaming on far-off locations. Sending data across the world almost always increases your ping, even with the fastest VPN we’ve tested.

Server Network — A Vast Selection of Global Servers

9.6

You may notice that I've used the same Midlands server for all of ExpressVPN’s UK-based testing. That’s not laziness on my part; it’s simply to illustrate that ExpressVPN’s entire server network is optimized for streaming, gaming, torrenting, and even obfuscation.

So, while it only has 3,000 servers compared with Private Internet Access’s 29,650, it avoids overcrowding while maintaining fast speeds. That means your online activities aren’t confined to specialty servers, and it’s convenient, too. Plus, you can almost always quickly connect to servers; it rarely took me longer than 2 seconds, which is much faster than most VPNs.

There are plenty of locations to choose from in many countries, with 5 in the UK, 24 in the US, and multiple cities in Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, and Canada, to name a few. City-level servers make it easier to optimize your speeds. That’s because they let you know which city a server is in, so it’s easier to find one nearby.

And with locations in 105 countries, you get coverage in some regions that few VPNs provide. These include Panama, Honduras, Lebanon, Kenya, Macau, Mongolia, Armenia, and Malta.

While the IP addresses are all owned by ExpressVPN, they do work with third-party data centers. Their job is to maintain the servers, but they have no access to the information on them. After contacting ExpressVPN, I was told their partners can see traffic coming in and out of the server. However, they don’t have the proper credentials to tie any online activity to individual users.

TrustedServer Technology

ExpressVPN boosts your security and privacy by running RAM-only (diskless) servers. They call this TrustedServer Technology. RAM is incapable of storing any data, so once it’s restarted, any data from your session is deleted. Everything, including the operating system, is loaded fresh with each reboot from a secure read-only image stored on the hard drive.

Screenshot displaying a page from ExpressVPN's website where it explains its TrustedServer technologyThis improves security by getting each server on the latest code

Most VPNs store their information on hard drives. This is less secure because hard drives store data until it’s manually deleted. ExpressVPN’s servers are rebooted every 1–2 weeks. Since these servers won’t store your sensitive information, you’d be safe no matter how often they reboot. However, it’s good that they're continually restarted to ensure they’re updated.

ExpressVPN is even offering a bug bounty of $100,000 to anyone who can find flaws in its servers. This is one of the highest sums any company has offered on Bugcrowd (the website where it hosts its bug bounties). ExpressVPN doesn’t expect anyone to gain unauthorized access to its servers, or to find leaks. So, this shows me it’s very confident in the security of its servers.

Smart Location

Smart Location is convenient, but I was able to find faster servers myself. For example, Smart Location kept trying to connect me to East London, but Midlands was 2 to 3% faster.

Obfuscated Servers

All of ExpressVPN’s servers have automatic obfuscation. No specialty servers, settings, or obfuscating protocols — you just need the default Automatic protocol selection. The servers simply detect VPN blocks and give you an extra layer of encryption when you need it. It means that you may not even notice when you’re evading tough media blocks or website blocklists at work, college, or on public WiFi hotspots.

Virtual Servers

The government of India stipulates data-sharing laws that would negate the no-logs policy of a VPN. Therefore, ExpressVPN offers virtual servers for India. That means they can give you an Indian IP, but they aren’t physically located in the country (they’re in Singapore and the UK).
These are ExpressVPN’s only virtual servers.

In keeping with its general ease of use over customization, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer dedicated IPs (personal, exclusive IP addresses).

Security — Impeccable Credentials to Protect Your Data

10.0

ExpressVPN’s range of security features and bank-level encryption will protect your data. I thoroughly tested its kill switch, split tunneling, and Tor compatibility. Plus, I compared its protocols and did a deep dive into its proprietary Lightway technology. The latter gives ExpressVPN the edge over its competitors in terms of efficiency and security.

Encryption — Bank-Level Protection

ExpressVPN’s encryption technology protects your private information. It keeps you safe with 256-bit AES encryption, which combines an AES 256-bit cipher with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication. This is the same level of encryption used by militaries, banks, and governments. In simple terms, your data is virtually uncrackable.

The number of bits in a key determines the number of possible combinations. For instance, 1 bit leads to 2 combinations, while 8 bits result in 256 combinations. But with 256 bits, you get a huge 78-digit number worth of combinations, making it extremely difficult to decrypt even a small part of the data.

ExpressVPN ensures high security for data transfers, such as P2P file sharing, through the use of SHA-512 HMAC authentication. It uses a shared secret key that allows both the sender and receiver to verify a file's authenticity. Any alteration in the secret key would indicate tampering, enabling prompt detection, so any breach would be quickly identified and dealt with.

ExpressVPN employs perfect forward secrecy as well. This feature alters your encryption key with each logon session, ensuring that even if one key is compromised, previous and future VPN sessions remain inaccessible as they use different keys.

Security Protocols — Superior Options for All Devices

Protocols are a set of rules a VPN uses to tell it how to encrypt your information. They can be switched in the protocols tab for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN Preferences panel with the Protocol tab selectedYou can use advanced options to change the encryption cipher

Here are the 2 main options:

  • Lightway. This protocol was developed by ExpressVPN, and no other VPN offers it. It drains less battery and transitions between networks seamlessly, making it a good choice for phones. There’s a UDP and TCP option. UDP was faster during my tests, but TCP can be more reliable on unstable networks.
  • OpenVPN. This is one of the most secure protocols. It’s open source, and people all over the world continuously examine the code to strengthen it. It also has UDP and TCP options.

The macOS app also has IKEv2, and you’ll have different options for protocols depending on your device. There’s also an automatic setting. This will choose the best protocol for you based on your setup and situation. Overall, I’d recommend Lightway UDP since it offers the best balance of speed and security.

Lightway

Lightway is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol that’s super lightweight and quick (my speeds were around 14% faster than OpenVPN). On mobile devices, it also changes networks quickly. Rather than terminating the VPN connection, it idles when the signal drops, allowing quick reconnection when switching between WiFi and mobile networks.

Plus, Lightway often establishes connections in less than a second. With only 2,000 lines of code, Lightway has one of the smallest VPN protocol code bases, making it easier to audit and resulting in lower battery usage.

It also offers advantages over WireGuard, the industry-standard protocol for speed. Firstly, Lightway supports obfuscation. With other VPNs, you’d have to switch to the slower OpenVPN in order to activate the security feature. Further, Lightway offers a TCP option, which WireGuard does not.

You now get post-quantum protection with Lightway as well. While most computers can’t crack standard encryption levels in any realistic timeframe, cybercriminals with quantum technology can do it in a few days. That’s why I’m happy ExpressVPN has updated its exclusive protocol with quantum protection, so you’ll be safe if these attacks become widespread in the future.

Leak Tests — Passed

ExpressVPN passed all of my leak tests on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone apps. In my first set of tests, I used ipleak.net with 10 different servers.

My extensive tests revealed zero leaks 🙊Every protocol was tested and my location was never revealed

The image above shows that each of the tests only saw the VPN’s Canada IP address and DNS server I was connected to within the app. IPv4, IPv6, WebRTC, and DNS leaks are all different ways that your data can be accessed. Even if a VPN does a great job protecting you in every other way, leaks like these can still occur. That’s why it’s great that ExpressVPN has built-in leak protection to conceal your data from every method hackers use to access it.

Private DNS on All Servers

One of the reasons ExpressVPN passed my leak tests is because of its private DNS servers. You need to access a network called the Domain Name Server to move between websites. A Private DNS server cuts out this middleman, eliminating one more area where your information can be leaked.

There is an option to use your own DNS, but I recommend sticking with ExpressVPN’s own Private DNS servers as often as possible.

Kill Switch

ExpressVPN’s kill switch blocks your internet traffic if the VPN ever disconnects, so you’re always protected. This is an essential feature in any VPN, and ExpressVPN calls its version Network Lock.

Screenshot showing how to activate the kill switch on ExpressVPN's desktop and mobile appsOn the mobile apps, it's called Network Protection in Settings

On Windows, Linux, and Mac, ExpressVPN's kill switch is enabled by default. You can also grant access to devices on the LAN. This is handy if you have a printer or other devices connected via WiFi.

Tor Compatibility

ExpressVPN can be utilized in conjunction with Tor (The Onion Router) through the Tor over VPN technique. Tor operates as a distinct browser that encrypts all data within its network. Originally built for anonymous browsing on the regular web, Tor can also be used to access the dark web.

While some illicit activities take place there, the dark web also serves as a vital platform for activists and whistleblowers worldwide to disseminate crucial information anonymously. However, it’s often associated with criminal activity, and since your ISP and government agencies can detect the use of the Tor browser, using a VPN is advisable.

Crypto Trading Compatibility

ExpressVPN’s bank-level security makes it a great choice for trading crypto. I logged into my Bitpanda account on Mac and sold some IOTA. I just had to respond to an “Authenticate this new browser” security email. On my iPhone, I logged into Blockchain and bought some Litecoin.

I spoke to ExpressVPN’s live chat about this matter, and they said some websites and apps block the use of proxies and VPNs, so it may depend on your preferred platform.

Advanced Protection

ExpressVPN goes the extra mile when it comes to security with its Advanced Protection features. Threat Manager stops websites and apps from communicating with third parties known to track your activity or engage in malicious behavior. It’s available on all ExpressVPN’s apps, and is on the Aircove router as well.

Additionally, ExpressVPN includes an ad blocker feature. Together, Threat Manager and Ad Blocker stopped an impressive 59% of ads and trackers in my tests. That’s impressive for a VPN blocker, but you can also use it in conjunction with another free ad blocker.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN app over an online ad blocker test toolI tested ExpressVPN with an online ad blocker test tool

Finally, you can use Parental Controls to block adult sites, offering a safer browsing experience on family PCs and children’s devices.

Privacy — A Trustworthy Company That Won’t Store Your Data

10.0

ExpressVPN has a zero-logs policy and is located outside of the 14 Eyes Alliance. In addition, the company’s privacy policy has been court-proven several times and has a reputation as one of the most trustworthy on the market. It's owned by Kape Technologies, which owns other VPNs such as CyberGhost and Private Internet Access.

Does ExpressVPN Keep Logs? No

ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy, so it will never store, share, or sell your personal data.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN privacy policyI appreciate how clear ExpressVPN's privacy policy is

ExpressVPN states it only collects:

  • Information you used to sign up (billing details and email address)
  • How many apps and app versions you’ve activated
  • The day a connection was made (no specific time)
  • The server location you connect to (but not the IP address assigned to you)
  • The amount of data transferred in one day

I was impressed with how little information is stored; I can’t think of another VPN that collects less. This is the minimal amount of information needed to maintain the VPN and stay in contact with customers. It only reveals that you’ve used a VPN at some point, nothing more.

In addition to everything else, ExpressVPN's policy of not keeping logs was challenged in 2017. The Turkish government seized one of ExpressVPN's servers while investigating a serious crime. However, they discovered no information as no data had been stored, validating the authenticity of the no-logs policy.

Was ExpressVPN Audited? Yes

Independent audits done by several reputable security firms prove ExpressVPN is as secure as it claims. These reports never found any major issues and each minor vulnerability was quickly fixed. Of all the VPNs I’ve tested, ExpressVPN has the most frequent audits by the largest variety of firms.

Cure53 audited its Lightway protocol (2021), TrustedServer technology (2022), and the Chrome and Firefox extensions (2018). The browser extensions are open-source, so anyone can perform similar tests. Its latest audits were on the Linux and macOS apps in 2022.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is one of the industry's leading auditing firms. For an entire month, they reviewed ExpressVPN’s privacy policy and TrustedServer technology by examining code and interviewing team members (2019).

KPMG audits major companies in several industries, from insurance to governments. In 2022, it also audited the TrustedServer tech and ExpressVPN’s privacy policy.

F-secure tests the security of many of the world’s top banks. In 2022, it looked for any weaknesses in the Windows v.12 app and found none.

ExpressVPN also received ioXt Alliance certification for its Android app. The app was checked in 2021 for low-level security issues to ensure its design and how it can be trusted.

In March 2024, ExpressVPN hired Nettitude to conduct one of its highly accredited penetration tests for the Windows app after a tech writer reported leaks. The tests found a medium-level risk that the VPN quickly resolved. These tests also led ExpressVPN to publish a paper in the engrXiv Engineering Archive describing more thorough DNS leak testing methods.

Based in the Privacy-Friendly British Virgin Islands

ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, a country with no data retention laws. The country where a VPN company is incorporated is very important because it's required to follow the rules and regulations of its jurisdiction. Along with their strong privacy laws, it’s very difficult for prosecutors to acquire a warrant. They don’t have a mass surveillance program, and the BVI are also outside of the 14 Eyes Alliance (or SIGINT Seniors Europe). This is an agreement between countries to share data on their citizens.

Does ExpressVPN Work in China? Yes

ExpressVPN works in China, and has a page on its website dedicated to the subject. It recommends selecting the Automatic protocol option and lists some servers that should work in China. These include US - Los Angeles 5 and UK - Wembley, but check the website for the up-to-date list. You also get servers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.

Screenshot showing a chat with the ExpressVPN customer serviceWith ExpressVPN, you can usually chat to a live agent within 30 seconds

The ExpressVPN website is blocked in China, along with many other VPN sites. But, ExpressVPN maintains a mirror URL for use in China. Again, it’s best to contact customer service for the latest URL. Live chat also told me that the service works in other restrictive countries like Iran, the UAE, Turkey, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

The Chinese government has banned many VPNs, but there have been no publicly reported cases of them going after tourists for using them. My teammates and I don’t condone any illegal activities and advise you to read up on the local laws before deciding to use a VPN.

Torrenting — P2P Support on Every Server for Speedy Downloads

10.0

ExpressVPN allows P2P file sharing with unlimited bandwidth on every server, so it’s great for torrenting. Many VPNs restrict P2P to specialty servers, but with ExpressVPN, you’ll be able to use the best location near you for top speeds. It works with qBitTorrent, Transmission, Vuze, Deluge, uTorrent, and every other major P2P application.

To test ExpressVPN’s torrenting performance, I used Vuze to download the public domain movie Night of the Living Dead. Using my trusty UK - Midlands server, I was able to download at 8.3 MB/s, letting me complete the 1.76 GB download in under 4 minutes. It was just 1% slower than downloading the same file without the VPN.

ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a SOCKS5 proxy. It does offer port-forwarding, but only at router level, so it’s a little fiddly to set up. I’d recommend using the regular VPN since its leak protection and Network Lock kill switch will keep your file-sharing private at all times.

While torrenting is legal in most countries, downloading copyrighted files isn’t. We strongly urge you to only access torrents within the public domain to refrain from breaking any laws.

Installation & Apps

10.0

Installation & Apps — A Simple Design That’s a Pleasure to Use

ExpressVPN’s desktop and mobile apps are attractive, stable, and user-friendly. It has a sleek, modern design with a big power button in the center.

Screenshot showing the 3 interfaces of the ExpressVPN appThe 3 lines in the upper left corner take you to the settings

I like that the server list and Preferences panels are separate, making them easy to navigate. Plus, the servers are divided into 4 geographical subcategories, so they’re easy to find. Meanwhile, the Preferences are sorted into 7 simple, well-labeled tabs.

True, it doesn’t have a ton of adjustable security features. But, for example, I didn’t feel the need for a double VPN feature when you’ve got automatic obfuscation on every server. And you don’t need to switch to lower encryption when you already have the fastest VPN speeds. The functionality is all there; it’s just integrated.

Setup & Installation

It took me less than 3 minutes to sign up and install ExpressVPN.

Screenshot showing how to download ExpressVPN on the websiteJust find your OS on the menu and hit the download button

Quick Guide: How to Install ExpressVPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. Go to ExpressVPN’s website to begin the sign-up process. Choose a plan and enter your info. It also offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out risk-free.
  2. Install the app. ExpressVPN has easy-to-use native apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Just download the app on your preferred device and enter your activation code.
  3. Connect to a server. Start streaming, browsing, gaming, or torrenting securely with ExpressVPN.

This method works for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. If you’re using Linux, you’ll need to use the command line. It’s nearly as fast as installing other versions, and ExpressVPN has detailed setup guides on its website.

Device Compatibility

ExpressVPN supports all major operating systems across a diverse range of devices. It provides native applications for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux platforms. This includes a full app for Android TV devices.

Additionally, dedicated native apps are available for Apple TVs, Amazon Fire TVs, Fire Sticks, and Chromecast with Google TV. These applications are accessible through the respective stores of each device. ExpressVPN is also pre-installed on every TCL smart TV available after 1 February 2024, which all come with a 30-day trial subscription.

You can also encrypt your connection on just about any device with its native apps available for many routers. In addition to these operating systems, MediaStreamer lets you easily connect devices that don’t typically support VPNs, like gaming consoles and smart TVs.

Desktop — Apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux

ExpressVPN’s Windows and Mac app interfaces are remarkably similar. However, there are some differences in the features. While the OpenVPN and Lightway protocols are available on both, IKEv2 is only available on macOS. Another difference is that you don’t get the split tunnel feature if you’re using OS 11 and up on a Mac.

You’ll need Windows 7 or newer, and macOS 10.11 or older. ExpressVPN has also added native apps for Apple’s Silicon Mac devices (sometimes called M1 and M2). Many apps need to be “translated” to work for these devices, which usually causes issues. That’s not a problem here; just make sure you update to the latest Mac app, and ExpressVPN will be fully compatible with your Apple Silicon tech.

Screenshot showing a chat with the ExpressVPN customer serviceThis makes it an easy transition if you switch devices

I found the app easy to use on all 3 versions of desktop, although it did take a little time to learn the commands for Linux. Technically, it doesn’t have a graphical user interface (GUI). There aren’t many VPNs that do, but Private Internet Access offers one that you control the same way as your PC or Mac app.

Android and iPhone (iOS)

In general, the Android and iOS apps are similar to the desktop ones.

The Android app has all the same features as desktop apps (split tunneling, kill switch, auto-connect), along with a few extras. There’s also a crawl on the bottom of the homescreen with tips that link you to ExpressVPN’s blog.

Another unique feature on the Android app lets you disable in-app screenshots. This prevents any apps or snoops from being able to view sensitive information on your ExpressVPN app screen.

Screenshots of the Android and iOS ExpressVPN appsApps for iOS rarely have split tunneling due to its design

ExpressVPN Keys is its proprietary password manager on the Android and iOS apps. It provides unlimited storage and encryption for all your online passwords, simplifying account access. There’s also a password generator for crafting secure, unique passwords for each service. Keys can even be used on Windows, macOS, and Linux via its browser extension.

Browser Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi

ExpressVPN’s browser extensions give you a few extra security options, but you can only use them on desktop. There are dedicated browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. You can add it to Microsoft Edge as well, but you’ll need to download it through the Chrome Web Store and allow extensions from other stores in Edge’s settings. This process also works for Brave and Vivaldi.

Instead of proxies, these extensions are more like a remote control for the main app. This is good because it gives you all of the app’s features. You’ll need to have ExpressVPN downloaded to your desktop. Connecting in the browser will also connect with your app. The best part about this is it basically gives you a GUI on Linux.

Apps for Amazon Fire TV, Smart TV, Apple TV, Nvidia Shield

Native apps are available for a wide range of smart TVs and media players, so you don’t have to sideload via an APK file (although that method is available if you need it).

I installed ExpressVPN on my Amazon Fire Stick. It took a few minutes more than the desktop apps since I had to use my remote control to input my details. Once installed, it ran smoothly and was consistent with the apps for other platforms.

MediaStreamer — Works with Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, Smart TVs, and More

MediaStreamer lets you connect ExpressVPN to devices that VPNs don’t normally work with, like gaming consoles and older smart TVs. These devices don’t support VPN use, but you can alter your default DNS servers. This simply involves replacing the DNS server address in the device's internet settings with the MediaStreamer’s DNS.

Keep in mind that MediaStreamer is only meant for streaming and is not the same as a VPN — it doesn’t switch between various locations. Once connected to the MediaStreamer DNS, locations in the US and the UK are available. This makes it possible to access popular streaming platforms in those countries in great quality from anywhere in the world.

Configuring a device with MediaStreamer will use up one of your 8 simultaneous device connections. It also doesn’t encrypt your traffic or hide your IP address, so you won’t get the same protection as using the full VPN app. However, because of this, I didn’t record any difference in speeds when using it.

It took me less than 5 minutes to set up MediaStreamer on my LG smart TV. All I had to do was register my IP in my ExpressVPN account. I was given new MediaStreamer IPs, and it only took a couple of seconds to enter the new address into my TV’s network settings.

Router Compatibility

ExpressVPN has a browser-based app for routers, along with manual configuration on selected devices. This is a great feature that makes ExpressVPN stand out, especially for ease of use. There just aren’t many VPNs out there with such a sleek app for routers.

Installing the app on your router method gives you several advantages. You can utilize ExpressVPN's complete server network, safeguarding all devices linked to your home network, even those that typically lack support for VPN software. This is also particularly effective if you want to use ExpressVPN with Roku.

In addition, it lets you encrypt your connection and bypass throttling on game consoles, smart TVs, and a range of streaming devices, including older Chromecast models. But, my favorite part about installing on a router is how it allows you to protect an unlimited number of devices.

The router app includes features like its kill switch and split tunneling. Plus, its setup guide was easy to follow, and I was ready to go in under 10 minutes. The app is compatible with numerous router models from Asus, Linksys, Netgear, Microsoft, and more.

The easiest way to get set up is to buy a router with ExpressVPN pre-installed. However, this is the most expensive method. You can find several routers with the firmware already configured for you on the ExpressVPN website.

ExpressVPN has also created Aircove 6, its own WiFi router. With ExpressVPN’s router app pre-installed, it lets you place your devices into 5 distinct groups each connected to separate servers.

Its WiFi 6 tech provides fast speeds, and there’s even a portable version called Aircove Go, which doesn’t need an ethernet cable to connect. Since you can go completely wireless, it’s great if you travel with a lot of tech. Every version of Aircove has also had its security verified in an independent audit by Cure53.

Simultaneous Device Connections

You can use ExpressVPN on 8 different devices at once with all of its plans. I was impressed that they bumped this up from the previous offer of 5 devices without raising any prices. This is more than most VPNs allow, but a few do give you unlimited connections (Surfshark, Private Internet Access, and IPVanish are the most notable).

To test this out, I set up ExpressVPN on my Windows laptop, desktop Mac, iPhone, and Android tablet. I watched the same YouTube video with each one while playing Doom Eternal multiplayer online. None of the videos dropped in quality or buffered, and there was no lag in the game. So, simultaneous connections shouldn’t affect ExpressVPN’s performance.

That being said, you can get unlimited connections if you set ExpressVPN up on your router. It’s easier to set up and use than most other VPNs because of the native router app and firmware. After you set up your router, you’ll have unlimited device connections, too.

Pricing

9.4
12 Months + 3 Months
$ 6.67 / month per month
6 Months
$ 9.99 / month per month
1 Month
$ 12.95 / month per month

Pricing — Great Value, Especially on Long-Term Plans

You can choose from 3 different subscription plans, with the longest plan offering the best value. The 1-month plan is great if you aren’t sure whether you’ll need a VPN in the long term, but at almost $13/month, it’s pretty expensive compared to other VPNs.

And while you have to pay upfront with the 6- and 12-month plans, you can make considerable savings. For a year, it’s only $6.67/month, which is 49% cheaper than the 1-month plan (plus, you get 3 free months).

For me, ExpressVPN is worth the price because it’s the best provider I’ve tested. While there are solid VPNs you can get for less, ExpressVPN is better in most departments, such as speed, reliability, customer service, privacy, and security.

Its longest plan is the best value, and it’s only a few dollars more per month than its cheaper competitors. Plus, it doesn’t have a horrendous price hike upon auto-renewal, unlike some VPNs.

You can purchase ExpressVPN with Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Qiwi Wallet, Maestro, Bitcoin (via BitPay), and loads more. You can even sign up anonymously by paying with crypto and using a disposable email.

You have 30 days to get your money back if you’re not happy. To test this guarantee, I contacted live chat support to ask for a refund. They asked me why I was leaving and quickly approved the cancellation.

Screenshot of a conversation with ExpressVPN customer support where they approved our cancellation and refundIn only 3 days, all of the money was returned to my account

The only exception is for iPhone users who order ExpressVPN through the Apple App Store. Here, you get a 7-day trial and need to request a refund from Apple if you decide not to continue after those 7 days are up. They won’t be obligated to uphold the 30-day money-back guarantee. This is why I recommend you always sign up on ExpressVPN’s website. You can easily download it on your phone and sign in afterward.

Another way you can save some money is to refer a friend. When you do this, both of you get 30 days of the service for free. Under your account settings, you’ll see a little gift package icon where you can enter their email.

Reliability & Support

10.0

Reliability and Support — Friendly, Knowledgeable, and Quick

It’s quick and easy to access ExpressVPN’s live chat. I only had to go through a chatbot when I first logged into the website. I left the chat idle and was able to rejoin with new questions at any time. With many VPNs, you now have to go through a chatbot every time before speaking to a real agent.

I contacted support over 20 times while writing this review, and I received a response from an agent within a minute every time. They always had the answers to my questions, although sometimes it took them 2 or 3 minutes to research tough queries. You can also request a transcript of your conversation or request the agent send answers over email.

Screenshot showing a chat with the ExpressVPN Customer Support teamUse the 3 dots to enable/disable alert sounds

In terms of reliability, I’ve never had to reinstall ExpressVPN on any of my devices, and I’ve never known it to crash. That can be a common problem with other less stable services. Should you run into any issues, help is at hand.

ExpressVPN’s website has a massive library of FAQs, setup guides, and video tutorials. If you’d prefer not to talk to a live agent, you’ll most likely be able to find your answers there. It also lets you send direct emails, although it replied via auto-response when I tried it. The answer was quite thorough, though, and included a relevant link with further info.

The Bottom Line

Final Verdict — Reliability, Top Speeds, and Excellent Security Make It Worth the Price

Most leading VPNs have a standout feature or a niche appeal, whereas ExpressVPN beats the competition in almost every category. It’s simply the fastest and most reliable service we’ve tested. Its proprietary Lightway protocol is fast and secure, ideal for streaming, and even future-proofed against quantum computing attacks.

When it comes to security, ExpressVPN is as safe as it gets. Its military-grade encryption and private DNS servers helped it pass all of my leak tests. On top of that, it has a strict no-logs policy and is headquartered in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands. The policy has also been audited, so you know it's trustworthy.

The only negative is that it’s slightly more expensive than some other VPNs out there. However, considering its performance and the wealth of features it offers, it’s definitely worth it. Plus, you can use the money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with it.

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  • Fastest speed results we’ve found
  • Can securely access many popular streaming platforms
  • Vast server network of 3,000+ servers in 105 countries
  • Military-grade encryption and a kill switch
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Native apps for various devices, including routers
  • Excellent 24/7 live chat support
  • Lightway protocol is fast and lightweight for mobile devices
  • Comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee

FAQs on ExpressVPN

Is ExpressVPN trustworthy?

Yes, its military-grade encryption, advanced security features, and strict no-logs policy make ExpressVPN extremely safe and trustworthy. AES 256-bit encryption hides the key to your data in a number 78 digits long, so it’s virtually uncrackable.

Its kill switch makes sure your IP stays hidden even if the VPN server disconnects. On top of that, ExpressVPN retains zero data about its customer’s location or online activities. This was put to the test in 2017 when the Turkish government seized ExpressVPN servers and found no data they could use inside.

ExpressVPN is also safe to use because it’s based in the British Virgin Islands. This is a country with no data retention laws that’s also outside of the 14 Eyes jurisdiction. They can’t be forced to share data on their citizens or companies by anyone else. And, even though they’re a British overseas territory, they operate entirely under their own rule.

Which devices can I use ExpressVPN on?

You can use ExpressVPN on nearly any device that connects to the internet.

The following devices have native apps:

  • PCs running Windows 7 or newer, macOS 10.10 and up, and Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, and Raspbian)
  • iPhones and iPads running iOS 12 and newer
  • Android smartphones and tablets running version 5 and up
  • Select routers from Asus, Linksys, and Netgear
  • Android TV
  • Amazon Fire Devices (Fire TV, Tablets, Cubes, and Fire Stick)
  • Nvidia Shield
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast with Google TV
  • TCL smart TVs (pre-installed on all versions sold after 1 February 2024)

Connecting ExpressVPN to your router allows you to connect most WiFi-enabled devices to the VPN, including Chromecast (Generation 1–3), smart home systems, and any model of smart TV.

You can also use its MediaStreamer feature to connect these devices:

  • Gaming Consoles like Xbox, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Wii U, Nintendo Switch
  • Smart TVs, including Samsung, Vizio, Sony, LG, and more
  • Streaming devices such as Roku
  • Routers that don’t support ExpressVPN’s app

Is ExpressVPN better than NordVPN?

I’d recommend ExpressVPN over NordVPN. Both are great VPNs, and NordVPN definitely offers great value for the money. However, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN I’ve tested. It also provides more stable connections, minimizing interruptions or drops in the VPN connection (an issue I’ve had in the past with NordVPN).

Can I use ExpressVPN to watch Netflix?

Yes, ExpressVPN works with Netflix. My team of international testers and I could watch Netflix securely from 20 different countries. Testers in the UK could also watch Disney+ and BBC iPlayer, while my US team had no problem streaming Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. In fact, it worked with every streaming service we tested, providing HD video with zero lag. So, it’s possible to safely access dozens of Netflix libraries from anywhere with ExpressVPN.

Can I get ExpressVPN for free?

There’s no free plan, but on some devices there is a free trial. However, I recommend using ExpressVPN’s money-back guarantee instead of using a free trial.

This free period was discontinued for desktop users, but on an iPhone or Android there is still a 7-day trial available. I don’t recommend it because it prevents you from using the 30-day money-back guarantee. You also have to cancel at least 24 hours before the end of the trial. Lastly, these free trials are handled through the Apple and Google Play stores. This means you can’t reach out to ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat to request a refund.

How much does ExpressVPN cost?

You can get plans for as low as $6.67/month. Short-term plans are generally more expensive than long-term ones. With a year-long subscription, you save 49% compared to monthly plans. I recommend going with the yearly plan, especially since you’ll still have 30 days to request a refund if you don’t like it.

Is it hard to cancel an ExpressVPN subscription?

No, canceling your subscription with ExpressVPN is very straightforward. If the service fails to meet your needs, you have 30 days to request a complete refund. I tested the money-back guarantee myself and can confirm it’s trustworthy. It only took a few minutes to make my request via its live chat, and my money was returned in 3 days.

Is ExpressVPN good for Canada?

Yes, ExpressVPN is a great choice for Canada. It offers an expansive global server network with locations in multiple Canadian cities and robust security and privacy features.

Should I keep ExpressVPN on at all times?

Keeping ExpressVPN on constantly is beneficial for continuous privacy and security. If your online activities often involve sensitive transactions or you download a lot of torrent files, having your VPN active can protect your data from cyber threats. I’d also recommend it if you regularly access public Wi-Fi networks.

Will ExpressVPN slow down my connection?

Yes, but the difference is so small you’ll hardly notice it. Any VPN will slow your connection down a little because it takes time to encrypt and route your traffic through its servers. However, ExpressVPN’s local servers only dropped my download speed by 1% on nearby servers. Most VPNs drop your speed by much more, so it’s a really impressive stat. It also gave me the fastest long-distance speeds I’ve ever seen.

Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
Mobile app:
Number of devices per license: 8
VPN Plans: expressvpn.com
We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
ExpressVPN User Reviews (User reviews are not verified)
9.7
Based on 1408 reviews in 29 languages

Write a Review on ExpressVPN

Please rate VPN.

All Speed Streaming Security Сustomer service
Dijana
Dijana
Jun 17, 2024
10/10
Amazing quality

ExpressVPN is fantastic! It offers blazing fast speeds, strong security features, and a user-friendly interface. Perfect for streaming, browsing, and protecting your online privacy. Highly recommended!

JKJHB
JKJHB
8/10
jhJ JJ

I've been an ExpressVPN customer since 2017 and it's been great: quickly connects to a nearby server in the Wash DC region, embedded shortcuts to apps I want to use while using VPN, disconnects quickly, has the kill switch feature which is necessary these days, and has a fine mobile app which works well on my Android phones and tablets. However, I was just notified that the annual price is jumping from $99 to $117 upon the next renewal, so it's time to see how the others compare within VPN Mentor.

Kriss
Kriss
10/10
Great

I've been an ExpressVPN customer since 2017 and it's been great: quickly connects to a nearby server in the Wash DC region, embedded shortcuts to apps I want to use while using VPN, disconnects quickly, has the kill switch feature which is necessary these days, and has a fine mobile app which works well on my Android phones and tablets. However, I was just notified that the annual price is jumping from $99 to $117 upon the next renewal, so it's time to see how the others compare within VPN Mentor.

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Editor's Note: Transparency and impartiality are important to us when bringing you our best selection of VPNs. Some of the industry-leading products on our list, including Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and ExpressVPN are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company. The VPNs we choose are derived from a thorough testing process.

About the Author

James conducts rigorous hands-on research and testing to evaluate dozens of VPNs for his articles. He's an advocate for digital freedom.

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