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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: Safe & Fast, But Is It Still Worth It?

Our Score: 9.9/10
Best for Torrent & Streaming
Keira Waddell Updated on 11th June 2024 Fact-checked by Kate Richards 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 security features for much cheaper. So, do you really need to pay that much for a VPN as good as ExpressVPN?

To find the answer, I performed extensive tests on desktop and mobile devices running Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. I 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 also lists all the streaming platforms it currently supports on its website. My team and I tried every platform on the list, and even some that weren't, and didn't experience any difficulties. The only small downside is that ExpressVPN doesn’t work with certain Netflix regions.

While you could theoretically use ExpressVPN to access streaming platforms that aren’t available in your region, please be aware this likely goes against their terms of service and may violate copyright laws. In the tests detailed below, my colleagues and I only connected to servers within our own countries. We were able to watch the following platforms:

Netflix Hulu Disney+ BBC iPlayer (HBO) 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 Zattoo Channel 4
Sky TV beIN Sports DAZN fuboTV Sling TV Kodi
Showtime Apple TV YouTube Spotify UKTV Crave

Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble watching one of your services, try switching browsers. Some of our testers had issues streaming their Max and Hulu libraries, but they could switch from Chrome to Microsoft Edge and load them in seconds. Clearing your browser’s cache and cookies can also fix the issue, or you can try another server in your country.

Important. My team and I do not condone breaking any copyright laws. Since ExpressVPN promises to never record any of your online activities, it’s up to you to use the VPN responsibly. We urge you to always act in accordance with the terms of service of any website, app, or service you utilize.

Works With: 20+ Netflix libraries including US, UK, and Japan

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

Since I’m located in the UK, I started my tests with the London server and could log into my Netflix account with no issues.

Screenshot of Netflix player streaming It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia while connected to ExpressVPN's UK London serverI never experienced any loading or quality problems with my Netflix library

My teammates in 20 different countries were also able to watch their Netflix accounts. In large countries, there were some slightly longer load times using servers on the other side of the country. However, the longest any of our testers had to wait was 5 seconds for videos to start (which is still quite fast).

In addition to the US, our testers watched Netflix with ExpressVPN from the following locations:

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

Unfortunately, if ExpressVPN only has virtual servers in your country, your library may be limited to Netflix Originals. This is a version of the site that only has the movies and shows that Netflix owns, so you miss out on region-specific content. ExpressVPN only offers virtual locations in select countries like Argentina, Taiwan, Egypt, and Pakistan.

Works With: Disney+

My team and I could watch shows like Not Dead Yet on Disney+ without any buffering in several countries where Disney+ is available.

Screenshot of Disney+ player streaming Not Dead Yet while connected to ExpressVPN's US New Jersey 1 serverThe quality never dropped even when our US testers used servers on the opposite state

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: Amazon Prime Video

One of our testers had a small issue watching Amazon Prime Video, but for the most part, it worked great. My team and I could watch Prime Video in the UK, the US, and Canada.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN streaming Picard on Amazon Prime VideoEvery video played back instantly in HD, and I didn’t experience any buffering

Our US tester did run into one issue with the US servers. At first, it didn’t work even when they went through their basic troubleshooting procedure (switching servers/browsers/protocols), so they contacted support.

ExpressVPN support told us that it may work better to use the browser rather than the app when you’re connected to the VPN in the US. This method worked for our US correspondent, and they faced no further issues.

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 of Hulu played streaming How I Met Your Father while connected to ExpressVPN's US Chicago serverThe show began streaming 3 seconds after they pressed play in perfect HD

They were able to watch their library with 7 different ExpressVPN locations in the US.

Works With: Max

My teammates in the US could also watch the former HBO Max without any problems. Succession played back perfectly with no issues.

Screenshot of Max player streaming Succession while connected to ExpressVPN's New York serverIn all of their tests, there were no long load times or quality issues

Max worked great; they could start all their videos immediately in HD, and there was never any buffering.

Also Works With: BBC iPlayer, Peacock, Crunchyroll, ESPN+, Kodi, Social Media Sites, and more

ExpressVPN worked with every other platform we tried, including BBC iPlayer, Peacock, Crunchyroll, ESPN+, and many more. I was even able to stream the public domain movie, The Wasp Woman, on Kodi.

Since I’m located in the UK, I tested ExpressVPN with BBC iPlayer. I experienced seamless streams with all 5 UK locations. Our US tester reported it took about 10 seconds for videos to load on Peacock. Streams started fuzzy, but they upgraded to HD in 2 seconds. The US team also tested ESPN+, and their live football game loaded instantly and played back without errors. Finally, they could stream perfectly on Crunchyroll testing ExpressVPN US servers.

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.

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Speed — Lightning-Fast on Local and Distant Servers

10.0

ExpressVPN provides the fastest speeds of any VPN we’ve tested. I was impressed that I could get consistently quick speeds with ExpressVPN on both local and long-distance servers. These were the 3 aspects I focused on while analyzing our test results:

  • Ping is how long it takes data to travel. This is crucial when you’re gaming; the lower the ping, the faster your inputs are received. It’s measured in milliseconds (ms).
  • Download speed is how quickly you receive data. This affects your computer’s performance while streaming videos, loading web pages, downloading etc. It’s measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
  • Upload speed is how fast you send data. It tells you how quickly you can upload videos, post to social media, share files, etc. It’s also measured in Mbps.

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 10 tests done on each server. These tests were done with the Lightway UDP protocol since it gave us the best speeds.

Screenshot of a speed chart showing results while connected to ExpressVPN servers around the worldA minor 5% speed drop on local servers and 25% on distant ones

ExpressVPN is incredibly fast — we didn’t record any speeds below 75 Mbps. In other words, speeds never dropped by more than 38%. To put that into perspective, it’s common for even the best VPNs to drop your speeds much more. For example, a 30% drop on local servers, and up to 85% on long-distance ones are pretty common results even with fast VPNs like CyberGhost and Private Internet Access.

In June 2022, ExpressVPN began upgrading its servers to make overcrowding less of an issue. Several popular servers’ bandwidth went from 1Gbps to 10Gbps. More than 20 locations have been updated, including every US and UK location.

ExpressVPN’s speed testing tool is now only available on the macOS app. That’s too bad because it used to be on the Windows app too. It shows you the relative difference in ping (listed as latency), download, and upload speeds between servers to help you choose the best server for your needs.

Local Speeds

ExpressVPN’s local servers were the fastest of any other VPN we’ve tried. We never had more than a 7% drop. Below, you’ll see our speed tester’s full base speed with no VPN connection to compare the results.

No VPN (London, UK):

Ping (ms) 6
Download (Mbps) 121.26
Upload (Mbps) 17.03

These tests were performed using a Windows 11 laptop.

The first test used the “Smart Location” feature, which automatically finds an optimal server based on latency, speed, and distance. It connected to a server in London, UK, and the rates barely dropped.

London, UK:

Ping (ms) 8
Download (Mbps) 115.78 (5% drop)
Upload (Mbps) 16.37 (7% drop)

Connecting a little farther away to Paris, France, resulted in very similar results.

Ping (ms) 22
Download (Mbps) 113.43 (6% drop)
Upload (Mbps) 16.27 (7% drop)

Germany and Ukraine also didn’t result in any noticeable speed drops. The speeds only fell by 5% connected to a Ukrainian server, which is impressive since it’s over 2,500 km away from the UK.

Screenshot of Ookla speed tests record with no VPN connected and while connected to ExpressVPN's Frankfurt 3 serverOur tester’s speeds never fell by more than 7% on local servers

I performed tests on the same servers, and there were no noticeable changes in performance when I was browsing or streaming on any of the European servers from my location in the UK. I was always able to stream in Ultra HD since you only need 25 Mbps.

Long-Distance Speeds

Speeds dropped more over long distances, but were still very impressive. The biggest drop was on the Tokyo 2 server, where speeds dropped by 38%. But since it’s 9,294 km from the test location, these are actually really good results — I’ve personally tested VPNs that dropped my speeds by 90% at that distance.

Testing servers in both US coasts gave us the following results:

New York, United States:

Ping (ms) 94
Download (Mbps) 95.21 (21% drop)
Upload (Mbps) 16.21 (6% drop)

Los Angeles, United States:

Ping (ms) 160
Download (Mbps) 84.96 (30% drop)
Upload (Mbps) 14.54 (25% drop)

Finally, super faraway servers in Australia, India, Brazil, and Japan were tested.

Screenshot of Ookla speed tests done with no VPN connected and while connected to ExpressVPN's Brazil 2 serverSpeeds never dropped by more than 38% on long-distance servers

During my own tests, speeds on long distance servers were still fast enough for high-bandwidth activities. Overall, ExpressVPN’s long-distance speeds are great, and you’ll be able to find a fast connection no matter where you are.

Protocol Speed Tests

Lightway UDP was the fastest protocol during my tests, but there wasn’t a huge difference between that and IKEv2. I measured both local (green) and long-distance (yellow) speeds with all protocols.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN's speed tests trying different protocolsYou won’t have to worry about speed drops if you decide to switch protocols

Although OpenVPN was the slowest, my speed never dropped below 70 Mbps.

Gaming — Seamless, Lag-free Gaming on Nearby Servers

9.5

ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for gaming as long as you stick to local servers. On long-distance servers, I wasn’t able to load a match because the ping was too high. But this is to be expected — I’ve never found a VPN that lets me game on long-distance servers.

When you’re playing competitive online games, your inputs are very important. This is why you want a ping rate below 85 ms. If it takes too long for the game to register your commands, it stops being fun. Even a split-second of lag puts you at a disadvantage, especially in games that require instant reactions.

I performed my tests with the fast-paced shooter Team Fortress 2. I started on the London location with a really low ping of 8 ms. I found a match in no time at all. During the game, I didn’t even notice I was using a VPN.

Screenshot of playing Team Fortress 2 connected to ExpressVPN's London serverI was able to run, jump, duck, and shoot with zero delays

However, playing an FPS on a long-distance server was impossible. I got the best download speeds from the Chicago location, 6,349 km away. So, I decided to test it with gaming. The quick download rate didn’t matter because my ping was over 13 times higher than London at 110 ms. I waited 5 minutes for a game to load. After that, I decided to exit out and reconnect. The same thing happened again, so I couldn’t even see how it played.

Unfortunately, the same issue popped up when I tried a New York server. It’s only 5,567 km away from me, but I still couldn’t find a game even after multiple attempts. Because of this, I only recommend ExpressVPN for gamers if you know there’s a server near you.

Server Network — A Vast Collection of Servers Distributed Worldwide

9.6

ExpressVPN operates an expansive network comprising more than 3,000 servers distributed across 105 countries. This broad coverage makes it significantly easier to secure a swift and reliable connection.

However, it's important to note that using crowded or distant servers might result in reduced speeds. While certain providers, such as Private Internet Access, boast even larger networks (29,650 servers), ExpressVPN’s selection is substantial enough to help you find quick nearby servers every time.

Screenshot of server map from the ExpressVPN websiteThe United States and Europe have the most servers, and Africa has the least

ExpressVPN also has great coverage within countries. For example, it’s nice to see servers on both Australian coasts. There are also servers in several countries that other VPNs often neglect, including Hong Kong, Venezuela, and Turkey. Just keep in mind these are virtual locations, and that might affect speeds.

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.

ExpressVPN does not offer dedicated/static IP addresses. Some VPNs let you pay extra to use one of these, which can be helpful if you run a website. However, they’re much less safe. ExpressVPN mixes your IP with the traffic of other users, making it much harder to track your information and activity. Each time you sign in, you’ll connect to a different rotating IP.

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.

Smart Location

Smart Location is convenient, but I was able to find faster servers on my own.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN's Windows app highlighting the Smart Location featureThe 3 dots next to your Smart Location will show you the full server list

For example, Smart Location connected me to the Midlands server, but when I tried the East London location my speeds were 5 Mbps faster.

TrustedServer Technology

ExpressVPN increases 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. This increases the safety of the technology in the following ways:

  • None of your data is ever stored in a hard drive.
  • Data is stored for shorter periods of time.
  • The software is reinstalled every time the server reboots, so they’re all updated with the latest security patches.
  • It ensures the software is consistent across all servers. With some VPN services, the software can vary across servers, leaving some more vulnerable.

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 are continually restarted to make sure they’re always running the most updated technology.

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.

Obfuscated Servers

Every ExpressVPN server is automatically obfuscated. Some VPNs make you use different servers or special protocols to use a VPN on networks that block them. I’m glad you don’t have to worry about this with ExpressVPN since every server “obfuscates” (hides) your VPN use. This makes it more likely you can connect to ExpressVPN at work or school, for example.

Does ExpressVPN Use Virtual Locations? Yes

Less than 5% of ExpressVPN’s servers are virtual locations, meaning the physical server is somewhere else. Your new IP address is within the target country, but the actual server is in another one.

Screenshot of the Virtual server list on ExpressVPN's websiteIt also lists the location of the physical server, which helps you estimate speeds

Virtual servers let ExpressVPN offer IPs in countries with restrictive internet policies. It can be difficult to find safe locations to place a data center in countries that ban or restrict VPNs. Having no physical servers in countries like Saudi Arabia, China, and Russia also keeps ExpressVPN outside their jurisdiction.

ExpressVPN removed physical servers from India in 2022, for example. The country’s government passed new laws requiring VPNs to record customers’ personal information like phone numbers and physical addresses. Removing physical servers means ExpressVPN doesn't have to adhere to these laws, and it still has virtual Indian locations.

Virtual servers can also provide you with better speeds and more reliable connections. Some countries don’t have fast or stable internet connections, so the VPN’s performance is improved by placing the server in a country with better infrastructure.

The downside is these can sometimes lower your speeds if the server’s real location is farther away than the virtual one. Overall, these servers allow ExpressVPN to offer much wider global coverage than most other top VPNs. For example, NordVPN only offers servers in 105 countries.

Security — Flexible Options to Customize Your Safety Features

10.0

ExpressVPN’s wide variety of security features and military-grade encryption will keep your data safe. I thoroughly tested ExpressVPN’s kill switch, split tunneling, and Tor compatibility. Plus, I compared its protocols and did a deep dive into its exclusive Lightway technology. Lastly, I looked into the results of its third-party audits to see how its infrastructure and practices held up under scrutiny.

Encryption — Military-Grade 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. In layman's terms, your data is essentially uncrackable. This is the same level of encryption used by militaries, banks, and governments.

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. It would take billions of years for even the most powerful computer to do so.

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 — Multiple Options for All Devices

ExpressVPN offers multiple security protocols that let you customize the VPN for any situation. 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. On Linux, you use commands in the terminal.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN Windows app showing the protocol settingsAdvanced options for Lightway lets you change the encryption cipher

Each of the protocols is a little different:

  • 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 it’s a little more error-prone than TCP.
  • 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.
  • IKEv2: Generally thought to be faster than OpenVPN, it was only 1% quicker in my tests. I only use this protocol if the others aren’t working because it’s not as secure. There’s no TCP option, so it’ll be blocked by some firewalls.

You’ll have different options for protocols depending on your device. There is also an automatic setting. This will choose the best protocol for you based on your current connection.

Overall, I’d recommend Lightway UDP since it gives you the best balance of speed and security.

Lightway

Lightway is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol that’s super lightweight and offers several advantages, including fast speeds (my speeds were around 12% faster than OpenVPN). For devices like smartphones, switching to ChaCha20 encryption further enhances speed. It uses wolfSSL, a modern cryptographic library known for its military-grade 256-bit encryption, thoroughly reviewed by third parties.

Lightway 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.

ExpressVPN has also updated Lightway to DTLS 1.3, which improves it in several ways. It’s the first VPN to utilize DTLS (Data Transport Layer Security) version 1.3. This upgrade makes the protocol more secure, improves latency for activities like gaming, and lowers data consumption.

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.

Although it doesn’t offer Wireguard, this exclusive option is a comparable replacement that’s similarly speedy and safe. ExpressVPN's Lightway protocol makes it one of the best VPNs to use on mobile devices. The protocol has also been independently audited by Cure53, and its core library is open-source (it's available on GitHub).

Leak Test Results — 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.

Screenshot of a leak test performed on ipleak.net while connected to ExpressVPN's Montreal serverEven though I was really in the UK, the test only detected the VPN's Montreal server

The image above shows that each of the tests only saw the Montreal IP address and DNS server I was connected to with 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.

Independently Audited

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.

Out of every VPN I’ve tested, ExpressVPN has the most frequent audits by the largest variety of firms. It’s constantly improved by world-class experts, and I’m particularly impressed that it’s had audits done by multiple companies that verify its privacy policy.

Cure53

This firm has audited its Lightway protocol (2021), TrustedServer technology (2022), and the Chrome and Firefox extensions (2018). The browser extensions are open-source, so anyone with the technical ability can perform a similar test. Its latest audits were on the Linux and macOS apps in 2022.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

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

KPMG

KPMG does audits for major companies in several industries from insurance to governments. It also audited the TrustedServer tech along with ExpressVPN’s privacy policy in 2022.

F-secure

This is a team that 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.

ioXt Alliance

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 runs is safe and can be trusted. For ex., network security, where the encryption keys are stored, and whether the software design and updates are secure.

Nettitude

ExpressVPN hired this company to employ one of its highly accredited penetration tests for the Windows app after leaks were reported by a tech writer in 2024. They found a medium-level risk that the VPN quickly resolved. These tests also led ExpressVPN to publish a paper in engrXiv Engineering Archive describing more thorough DNS leak testing methods that it hopes every VPN company will take notice of.

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”.

On Windows, Linux, and Mac, ExpressVPN's kill switch is enabled automatically. You can also grant access to devices on the LAN. This is handy if you have a printer connected to WiFi, so your documents aren’t affected by a faulty server. With the desktop, Android, and iOS apps you can toggle the kill switch on and off, but the router app cannot. It’s called Network Protection on Android and iOS apps, and it takes one additional step to activate: you just need to set the VPN to “Always On” in the Android settings.

Split Tunneling

Split tunneling allows you to exclude certain traffic from the VPN tunnel. This is useful for maintaining a local connection for activities like banking while you’re connected to an international server. It can also be utilized for printing and conserving bandwidth during file downloads (by encrypting only the torrenting application).

It's simple to add or remove applications from the list of exemptions, but it's necessary to disconnect from the VPN temporarily to do so.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN split tunneling features on Android and Windows appsYou will need to disconnect from the VPN while you add or remove apps and websites

I removed my online banking app from the tunnel and put this feature to the test. After I connected to a UK server, I had no issues utilizing my UK banking app. So, it works as advertised.

This feature is available for Linux, Windows, Android, and router apps. Unfortunately, there is no split tunneling in the iOS app or on macOS devices using OS 11 and up.

ExpressVPN temporarily offered its Windows app without split tunneling when a reviewer from a well-known tech publication observed DNS request issues while utilizing this feature. I was impressed that it worked so quickly to resolve the problem. Its engineers fixed the feature and restored it in a little over a week. They also commissioned the independent audit from Nettitude that you read about above due to this incident.

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, hoping to anonymize your online activities. While commonly associated with the dark web, where some illicit activities take place, Tor serves as a vital platform for activists and whistleblowers worldwide to disseminate crucial information anonymously.

For ExpressVPN to work with Tor, you need to connect to the VPN first. This lets you access Tor even if it’s blocked on your network. You also won’t have to worry about being flagged for using Tor, and you’ll have extra protection against any bugs in the browser.

Since Tor is highly encrypted, it’s a little slower than traditional browsers. Connected to the Los Angeles 1 server, I loaded up a Tor browser in 4 seconds. This is equivalent to my speeds with no VPN connected, so I used Tor without any extra delays.

Advanced Protection

ExpressVPN goes the extra mile when it comes to security with its Advanced Protection features, including Threat Manager, Ad blocker, and Parental controls.

Threat Manager

Threat Manager stops websites and apps from communicating with third parties known to track your activity or engage in malicious behavior. There's nothing more annoying than when you start seeing a bunch of targeted ads after browsing a site or app. But you don’t need to worry about this with ExpressVPN.

Threat Manager is available on all ExpressVPN’s apps, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux. Plus, it’s included in its Aircove router as well.

Ad blocker

Additionally, ExpressVPN includes an ad blocker feature, which demonstrated strong performance in my testing by blocking 72% of ads. While not flawless, it’s better than most ad blockers (I’ve yet to find one that blocks everything).

This feature is currently accessible for Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS apps, with Linux compatibility coming soon.

Parental controls

ExpressVPN also offers unique parental control features, such as an adult site blocker. It lets you restrict access to inappropriate content on any device, particularly your child’s. Similar to the ad blocker, this feature is currently limited to Windows, Android, macOS, and iOS apps. But a version for Linux is still in the works.

Auto-Update

ExpressVPN's desktop apps come with an automatic update feature, keeping users up-to-date with the latest features and security enhancements. This means you don’t need to worry about manual updates taking time out of your day — it will simply update itself automatically.

This feature is especially useful for those in regions with internet restrictions, such as China or the UAE. It eliminates the need to manually update the apps from the ExpressVPN website, which you won’t be able to access there easily.

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

10.0

ExpressVPN has a zero-logs policy and it's located outside of the 14 Eyes Alliance. It's owned by Kape Technologies, which owns many other VPNs (CyberGhost and Private Internet Access, for ex.).

Does ExpressVPN Keep Logs? No

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

Screenshot of the ExpressVPN privacy policy highlighting what it does not collectIt only stores email and billing information along with anonymized data to improve performance

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.

To protect yourself further, you can pay with cryptocurrency and make a new email for your account. I reached out to ExpressVPN support through the live chat to see if your data, payment, and email information can be deleted. It can, but only after you cancel your subscription.

Screenshot of live chat stating you can request to have your information deleted after you cancel your subscriptionThis can only be done after you've cancelled your account

ExpressVPN does not collect:

  • Your personal IP address or the VPN IP address you’ve used
  • Data on your browsing history (which websites you’ve accessed)
  • Metadata
  • DNS queries (the websites you’ve attempted to access)

In other words, there’s no record of where you used ExpressVPN from or what you did while connected.

Diagnostic information can be shared with ExpressVPN voluntarily. When you download the app, simply choose “No Thanks” on the “Help Improve ExpressVPN” page.

Screenshot of Help Improve ExpressVPN page on ExpressVPN appIf you choose to share, it only gives them anonymized data that can't be linked to you

ExpressVPN began publishing biannual transparency reports in 2024 to disclose any time its legal department has received requests for user data. Since it doesn’t store any identifiable information, it never has anything to share. This is one more instance where I appreciate how open it is about its privacy practices.

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 an assassination. However, they discovered no information as no data had been stored, validating the authenticity of the no-logs policy.

ExpressVPN International Limited (the parent company behind the app) uses ExpressVPN as its sole source of revenue. The company has also worked with the Center for Democracy and Technology to help improve privacy rights worldwide. This, along with its proven track record, shows me that ExpressVPN is dedicated to online anonymity.

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.

Despite being a British overseas territory, the BVI operates with complete autonomy in its governance. This is great as Britain is part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. Although other nations can request the BVI high court to share data, the BVI government cannot be compelled to disclose information concerning its citizens or businesses.

Even in the hypothetical scenario where another country might influence them, it's important to note that ExpressVPN does not retain any customer data. Nonetheless, being based in such a privacy-friendly jurisdiction offers an additional safeguard for your information that I appreciate.

Does ExpressVPN Work in China? Yes

You can use ExpressVPN in China, but it’s best to download it before getting there. While only government-approved VPNs are legal in China, so far, the government fights non-government-approved VPNs by blocking them. It’s uncommon for them to go after the individuals using them. However, we urge you to read up as much as you can about VPN use in China so that you’re fully aware of the risks.

The Chinese government heavily censors internet usage in the country. This online censorship is known as the Great Firewall of China. However, when the Chinese government cracked down on VPN use a few years ago, ExpressVPN was one of the only VPNs that still worked (and still does).

ExpressVPN also has servers in Hong Kong. Although the ping was high (229ms), the Hong Kong 2 server only decreased my speed by 14%. In theory, you could use this server to access Chinese streaming platforms outside of the country. However, I warn you this will likely break their terms of service and copyright laws, so I can’t recommend it.

It works in reverse, too: people inside China could hypothetically access digitally censored sites with foreign locations. Once again, my team and I don’t condone this or any form of copyright violation.

While ExpressVPN uses obfuscation technology, it also keeps an updated list of servers that are guaranteed to work in China. To stay safe, I recommend you do your research because the laws and regulations are always changing.

Screenshot of chat with ExpressVPN support staff confirming it works worldwideYou need to set your protocol to automatic and connect to one of the recommended servers for China

The support team told me it also works in restrictive countries like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. For China specifically, the company has a website with troubleshooting advice, along with the servers it recommends. These are constantly changing, so be sure to check out the list each time you connect.

Torrenting — P2P Support on Every Server for Quick 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 a specific server, but with ExpressVPN, you’ll be able to use the best location near you for top speeds. ExpressVPN works with qBitTorrent, Transmission, Vuze, Deluge, uTorrent, and every other major P2P application. It also works with Kodi, where you can access P2P streaming sites.

To test ExpressVPN’s torrenting performance, I used uTorrent to download the public domain movie A Boy and His Dog. On a New York server, I was able to download at 2.1 MB/s with only 0.44 seeders. That let me complete the 700 MB file in under 6 minutes.

Screenshot of Utorrent downloading A Boy and His Dog while connected to ExpressVPNEven with only 0.44 seeders, I reached a 2.1 Mb/s download speed

ExpressVPN only allows port forwarding through its router application and it does not offer a SOCKS5 proxy. While these functions are mainly used for faster seeding, my test results revealed that speedy downloading can still be achieved in their absence.

It's important to note that neither my team nor I endorse illegal torrenting or streaming activities. I advise sticking to the download of files that are free from copyright restrictions to ensure you're in compliance with the law.

Installation & Apps

10.0

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 of ExpressVPN Windows app showing the home screen, server list, and options pageThe three dots take you to the server list, and the three lines let you access options

One thing I liked is that the app shows recent locations you’ve connected to. In addition, the Windows and Mac apps are essentially the same.

Navigating through the app to find your settings is easy: just click on the hamburger menu. From here, you can change security protocols, access the split tunneling feature, and use the toggles to turn other features on and off, such as the Network Lock (or Network Protection).

There are a few settings and features that you need to access through your ExpressVPN dashboard on its website. When you go to "My Account" and log in, you'll have access to your activation code and subscription details, and can change your payment details or view past invoices. You can also tweak your DNS settings and access your MediaStreamer IPs. You'll also find the setup page, where all the ExpressVPN apps can be downloaded (accompanied by a handy setup guide that shows you how to install it on each device).

Setup & Installation

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

Screenshot of ExpressVPN website highlighting where to download the app for WindowsJust select your device and press the big green download button

Step-by-step guide for installing ExpressVPN:

Quick Guide: How to Install ExpressVPN in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Pick a plan. 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 — Available on a Ton of Hardware

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.

Screenshot compatible devices listed on ExpressVPN's websiteMediaStreamer makes it super easy to connect devices that don't have a native app

One great thing about ExpressVPN is how intuitive the apps are across every device. Each app functions in largely the same way. The one exception is the Linux app. It doesn’t have a graphical interface, so I had to interact with it using text. I still found it quite easy to switch servers and access every feature using the command line.

While the apps look similar, there are slight differences in the features available with each.

In addition to these operating systems, MediaStreamer lets you easily connect devices that don’t typically support VPNs, like gaming consoles and smart TVs. It also has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Desktop Computers — Apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux

ExpressVPN’s Windows and Mac app interfaces are nearly identical. 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.

Screenshots of the ExpressVPN Windows and Mac apps side-by-sideThe only difference is the Mac app won't have split tunneling

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.

However, ExpressVPN’s unique browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome let you use the VPN with a GUI. Since these extensions are remote controls for the app instead of proxies, using them will protect your entire device (not just what’s in the browser). The only drawback is you can’t change settings; you can only connect, disconnect, and change servers.

To install ExpressVPN and to access the settings on Linux, you’ll need to use commands in the terminal. For example, “expressvpn connect” will reconnect you to the last location you used. The command “expressvpn list all” will bring up the entire collection of servers for you to choose from. Since the browser extension is easier to use, I mainly only access the terminal when I need to change protocols.

Besides split tunneling, the Linux version has all the other desktop apps’ essential features. Other notable differences are that it only uses Lightway and OpenVPN and you can’t use app shortcuts like with Windows and Mac. This feature gives you one-click access to websites from the app, which I rarely used anyway. Apps are offered for Linux users with Ubuntu, Fedora, Arch, and Raspbian systems.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN Linux app connected to the Los Angeles locationThe only features it doesn't have are app shortcuts and split tunneling

No matter which operating system you use, you’ll get a feature-packed version of ExpressVPN on desktop.

iOS and Android

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.

You should sign up on ExpressVPN’s website before downloading the Android app through the Google Play Store, and you’ll need Android version 5.0 or newer.

Screenshots of the ExpressVPN Windows and Mac apps side-by-sideThe only difference between the mobile apps is that the iOS one is missing the split tunneling feature

ExpressVPN Keys is its proprietary password manager, offered on 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.

I was also happy to see that ExpressVPN updated this feature for Android after a report from IIIT-H was released detailing vulnerabilities in several Android password managers. ExpressVPN Keys wasn’t even listed in the report, which shows how proactive it is about security.

In addition to Keys, there’s also a Protection Summary feature on the mobile apps. This displays the percentage of time you've been connected to the VPN since its installation.

Android apps let you choose Lightway UDP or OpenVPN UDP protocols. The Android version also has app and website shortcuts (up to 5) that can be added in. Overall, the Android app works just as well as the desktop versions. I was able to stream shows in picture-perfect HD and switch between mobile data and WiFi instantly using Lightway.

Unfortunately, the iPhone version is missing the split tunneling feature. However, you will receive 2 extra features on your iPhone that Android users don’t get.

Threat Manager and Parallel Connections are available on iOS, so you’ll be safe from malware and connect to the VPN faster on restricted networks.

Parallel Connections lets you connect to a server faster (especially on restricted networks) because the VPN will try to connect using several methods at once. For example, some schools may block UDP connections, but the VPN will simultaneously try to connect using TCP. That means you don’t have to waste time trying different protocols to find a working connection. On top of that, ExpressVPN’s iOS app also retains the website and app shortcuts available on other versions of the app.

As well as the Lightway protocol (TCP and UDP), IKEv2 is also available on iOS.

With your iPhone, you’ll have to install through the App Store and need iOS version 12 or newer.

Browser Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and 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 your 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.

Screenshot showing the ExpressVPN Chrome extension and its option screensSpoofing your location helps when platforms require geolocation in the browser

Using the browser extension helped me access platforms like Hulu that require geolocation in the browser. Hulu can use the geo-tracking tech in your device to see where you really are. But, toggling “Spoof your location” will make it look like you’re in the same location as the VPN’s server, unblocking the platform.

The extension also lets you block WebRTC leaks. WebRTC is a communication software activated in many browsers that can reveal your IP address. I tested this out during my leak tests, and no WebRTC leaks were found.

You can make your browsing even more secure by activating “HTTPS Everywhere.” When a website is offered in HTTPS (a safe version of a site that uses encryption), ExpressVPN will automatically access it. I visited 6 different websites I normally use with this option activated, and it gave me the HTTPS version each time.

The browser extensions are super useful, but it’s a shame they’re not available for phones or tablets. Switching between apps and browsers on a desktop is easy, but with a touch screen, it’s a hassle. Browser extensions are available for Chromebooks (which use ChromeOS), but I had syncing issues when I tested it, so I don’t recommend using them. It’s also too bad there’s no Safari extension.

Dedicated Router Applet

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 with this method gives you several advantages. You gain the ability to 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 your 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 ExpressVPN app is compatible with numerous router models from Asus, Linksys, and Netgear.

It’s important to bear in mind that installing ExpressVPN’s firmware on your router will replace the original firmware. This may invalidate your warranty and could damage your technology if done incorrectly. Just make sure you follow the steps on ExpressVPN’s website very carefully, and seek assistance from their 24/7 support if you need it.

Here’s how to set up ExpressVPN on your router:

  1. Perform the initial internet setup for your router. Then, search for your router model on the ExpressVPN download page and download the firmware.
  2. Log in to your router’s admin panel via the browser. The default address is 192.168.1.1.
  3. Go to the “Administration” section in the “Advanced” tab. Then, select “Browse.”
  4. Go to the folder with the downloaded firmware. Select the file, and click “Update.” After installation, you may need to reconnect your router using the factory settings.
  5. Go to https://www.expressvpnrouter.com. Follow the step-by-step instructions to finish the setup.
  6. Select a VPN server. Now you can also manage your ExpressVPN router app via the dashboard.

Note: The setup guide provides detailed instructions depending on your router model. The steps above were followed to set it up on a Netgear Nighthawk R6400v2, so the steps for your router may be slightly different.

ExpressVPN has also recently updated its router software. It’s added an auto-update feature (for versions v2.7.0 and up), so you don’t need to manually reinstall when upgrades and updates are offered. As for infrastructure, it’s now using OpenSSL version 1.1.1k for improved security. New Linksys WiFi drivers have also been implemented for added stability.

You can also create distinct groups that each connect to different servers. This feature is called Device Groups, and I found using it very straightforward; you can effortlessly relocate your devices by dragging and dropping them in the interface.

This really makes ExpressVPN stand out since nearly every other router setup I’ve found makes you connect everything to one server.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN's browser-based router firmwareYou can buy pre-installed routers, install it on compatible routers, or use a manual configuration

You can also manually install ExpressVPN on router models from Asus, D-Link, DD-WRT, Netduma, Sabai, Tomato, TP-Link, and Xiaomi. However, manual configuration is more time-consuming, and you’ll only be able to switch IPs.

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.

MediaStreamer — Works with Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, Apple TV, smart TVs, and more

MediaStreamer (SmartDNS proxy) lets you connect ExpressVPN to devices that VPNs don’t normally work with, like gaming consoles and 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 IPs.

Keep in mind, MediaStreamer is only meant for streaming and is not the same as a VPN — you can’t switch between various locations. Once you connect to the MediaStreamer DNS, it will give you locations in the US and the UK. That means it may be theoretically possible to access streaming content outside of your region, but remember this will probably be seen as copyright infringement and go against their terms of service.

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.

Screenshot of MediaStreamer settings on ExpressVPN account websiteRegister your IP address, then click "Configure DNS on this device" to get your MediaStreamer IPs

Since I live in the UK, I asked my colleague in the United States to stream with the US MediaStreamer IP. They were happy to see they could still stream on the platforms they can watch with no VPN. This included Hulu, Max, Amazon Prime Video, and US Netflix.

During my tests in the UK, I could watch local content like Channel 4 and BBC iPlayer on MediaStreamer’s UK IP. For apps that have different content libraries (like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video) MediaStreamer defaults to the US versions, so please be aware of this if you’re in a different country. Since we’re against all forms of copyright violation, we urge you not to access sites like this with MediaStreamer unless you’re in the US.

MediaStreamer is a convenient way to watch your favorite platforms on devices that don’t normally support VPNs. But, if you require the full functionality and safety features of a VPN, it’s best to use ExpressVPN's dedicated router app.

Simultaneous Device Connections — Connect 8 Devices

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).

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.

To test this feature out, I set up ExpressVPN on my laptop, PC, iPhone, Android tablet, and through MediaStreamer on my LG smart TV. I accessed 4 different streaming platforms while playing Doom Eternal multiplayer online. None of the videos dropped in quality or buffered, and there was no lag in the game. So, you won’t have to worry about simultaneous connections affecting ExpressVPN’s performance.

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

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.

While you have to pay upfront with both the 6 and 12-month plans, you save considerably. 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 VPN I’ve tested. While there are solid VPNs you can get for less, ExpressVPN is better than just about all of them when it comes to speed, reliability, customer service, privacy and security combined. ExpressVPN's 12-month plan is the best value, and it's only a few dollars more per month than its cheapest competitors. Plus, a few other VPNs (for example, Surfshark) offer great deals when you first sign up, then increase prices dramatically on renewal. This isn’t the case for ExpressVPN — what you see is what you get.

You can purchase ExpressVPN with Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Qiwi Wallet, Maestro, Bitcoin, and loads more. If you pay with cryptocurrency and use a new email, you can sign up anonymously.

 You also have up to 30 days to ask for a refund if you’re not happy with it. To test this money-back 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 live chat where I requested a refundI had all of my money back in 3 days

The only exception is for iPhone users that 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

Friendly, Knowledgeable, and Quick to Respond

It’s super easy to access ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat. Once you connect, you’re immediately connected with a real human, not an annoying bot like with a lot of VPNs. Its support team is also well-informed and knowledgeable — it never took more than a few minutes for the team to answer my questions.

I contacted support over 20 times while writing this review, and I received a response from an agent within 10 seconds 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.

For example, it wasn’t super easy to find information about using its browser extensions on tablets or Chromebooks on the website. The support team member responded with everything I needed to know about these devices after a few minutes.

Screenshot of a discussion in ExpressVPN's live chat where an agent told me how to use its new post-quantum protection featureI connected with a support agent in 10 seconds or less every time

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 use its ticketing system or send direct emails.

The ExpressVPN website is easy to navigate and full of helpful resources. It’s also available in 17 different languages, including English, Spanish, French, and Dutch.

The Bottom Line

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

ExpressVPN is by far the fastest and most reliable VPN I’ve ever used. It also works great for streaming, and I always had buffer-free HD streams. All the videos I watched loaded almost immediately without issues.

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 always use the money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with it.

Overall, I recommend ExpressVPN to anyone interested in using a VPN. It’s definitely worth it for the price.

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  • Lightning-fast speeds for buffer-free streaming
  • Works great with streaming platforms like Netflix
  • Vast server network with 3,000 servers in 105 countries
  • Military-grade encryption and an automatic kill switch to protect your data
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Native apps for tons of devices as well as routers
  • Its own Lightway protocol is superfast and great for mobile devices
  • Excellent 24/7 live chat support
  • 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 that no computer can crack it. 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, 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 any WiFi-enabled device 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+ andBBC 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.

While you could theoretically use it to access Netflix libraries or streaming platforms unavailable in your region, please be aware this will likely go against copyright laws. My team and I don’t condone any illegal activity and recommend you follow the rules and regulations of any site, app, or service you use.

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.

Can you use ExpressVPN in China?

Yes, you can use ExpressVPN in China. ExpressVPN has servers in Hong Kong, and it’s known as one of the best VPNs to use in China. However, ExpressVPN is banned in China and my team and I recommend that you research the rules and regulations there before using it. However, it generally fights non-approved VPNs by blocking the technology rather than tracking down the people using it. It’s also a good idea to download the VPN before entering the country if you are planning to travel there.

Is ExpressVPN good for Canada?

Yes, ExpressVPN is a great choice for Canada. With its vast server network and robust security features, ExpressVPN offers a reliable and secure VPN experience for Canadian users.

ExpressVPN offers an expansive global server network with locations in multiple Canadian cities. This helps you achieve swift and reliable connections. Whether you're streaming Canadian programs, using financial services, or simply browsing the web, ExpressVPN offers dependable servers to ensure a seamless experience while you’re in Canada.

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 7%. 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 1407 reviews in 29 languages

Write a Review on ExpressVPN

Please rate VPN.

All Speed Streaming Security Сustomer service
Trygve
Trygve
10/10
Fantastic VPN

I have just started using ExpressVPN and I must say that I was very impressed by how user-friendly it was and how easy it was to set up on the different devices I have at home. I also tested their customer service with chat and they were quick to respond and I got good help. I can recommend this product

JKJHB
JKJHB
Mar 23, 2024
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.

Gminetos
Gminetos
8/10
Great until Price Increase

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

Keira is an experienced cybersecurity and tech writer dedicated to providing comprehensive insights on VPNs, online privacy, and internet censorship.

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