ExpressVPN Review: Fastest and Most Worthy VPN 2023
Last updated: January 3, 2023
Looking for an honest ExpressVPN review before you make a decision?
With an iron-clad no-logging policy, thousands of VPN servers around the globe, and fast connections, it’s often touted as the best VPN provider and #1 rated on the market. But, its price usually makes the users think twice if it’s worth it or not. Given that there are other top VPN services offering similar features for a cheaper price.
In this ExpressVPN review, we take a long hard look at this VPN provider. And to help you answer the long-standing question of whether it is really worth it or not, we have performed our own test.
Overall, it showed us that ExpressVPN is definitely worth its price, with exclusive offers making it more of a great deal. Plus, you are protected by their 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it all you want risk-free. If you think that it doesn’t match your needs, you can simply ask for a refund
Short on Time? Here’s a summary of what we found about ExpressVPN:
- Reliably unblocks Netflix and other major streaming sites in most countries
- 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
- Stream geo-blocked content or browse the internet privately on any device
- ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN we have tested
- Best-in-class security and privacy
- Media Streamer for Increased Speed (but No Encryption)
- ExpressVPN offers split tunneling and kill switch
- It’s a great choice for torrenting
- ExpressVPN automatically uses the most suitable VPN protocol
- 24/7 General Customer and Technical Support
- A stellar customer reputation
|Connections per License||5 Devices|
|Servers/Locations||3000+ in 90+ countries|
|Device Compatibility / Native Apps||Windows, macOS, Linux, Routers, iOS, Android, routers, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Nvidia Shield, Smart TV, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, Roku, Chromecast, Game Consoles, XBOX, PlayStation, and Switch|
|Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge|
|Unblocking||Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, etc|
|Customer Support||24/7 support via Live Chat/Email|
|Best Pricing||$6.67/month + 3 months free | 1 Year|
|Free Trial||7 Days on Android and iOS|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 Days|
Here’s some great news to start us off with. ExpressVPN is an excellent VPN for streaming. Thanks to its blazing-fast speeds, you can enjoy smooth streaming with no interruptions, even on HD.
You can view geo-restricted Netflix shows from your own country, even when abroad.
You can even explore streaming catalogs from other countries if you’re interested. Netflix geo-restricts content, so users in the UK have a vastly different library than someone in the U.S.
By using ExpressVPN to sidestep that pesky geography, you’re able to unlock content from all over the world. But the ability to unblock Netflix is pretty rare in the VPN world.
The streaming service uses an upgraded security system to block VPN users from accessing content.
Thankfully, ExpressVPN has a way around it. Without getting into too many technical details, it actively rotates and changes IP addresses to avoid users getting spotted and blocked.
ExpressVPN also supports all other major streaming services, including the following:
- Disney Plus
- Amazon Prime Video
- BBC iPlayer
- Live Sports
- Other Streaming Platforms
When we talk about streaming, we can’t skip the topic of live sports. Most live sports channels and streaming platforms are geo-restricted. So, it can be frustrating if you can’t watch your favorite sports while traveling overseas or if it’s not available in your country.
With ExpressVPN, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of sports to watch as it can unblock a plethora of sports channels and streaming platforms. Here are some of the sports streaming services you can check out:
|ESPN||Fubo TV||Sling TV||DAZN||Hotstar|
|AT&T TV Now||Peacock||Sky Go||HBO||Showtime|
|Amazon Prime Video||SVT||Prosieben||beIN Sports||RaiPlay|
|RTÉ Player||CTV||7Plus||Rakuten Viki||ITV|
|Youtube TV||CBC||Pluto TV||Channel 4||Globoplay|
|French TV||TVNZ||Mediaset Infinity||RTBF|
|ESPN||Fubo TV||Sling TV|
|AT&T TV Now||Peacock||Sky Go|
|Amazon Prime Video||HBO||Prosieben|
|Youtube TV||CBC||Pluto TV|
|French TV||TVNZ||Mediaset Infinity|
|Rakuten Viki||Channel 4||Globoplay|
Whether it is team sports like football or combat sports like UFC, you can catch the live action with ExpressVPN!
If you’re wondering if ExpressVPN allows torrenting and peer-to-peer sharing, the answer is a resounding yes. And its excellent speeds even make it better. The no-log policy — which it can maintain due to the unique privacy laws in its home jurisdiction, the British Virgin Islands — ensures that no government will spy on what you’re doing.
Although ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a dedicated IP address, it can hide your real IP address in the swarm. This protects you from potential attacks and tracking websites. You also don’t have to worry about leaks because you are protected by the Network Lock and Private DNS server.
The split tunneling feature even enables you to still access local content while you’re safely torrenting.
If we’re talking about gaming, ExpressVPN is a superb choice. Why? It’s simply because it offers the fastest speeds, which is a major factor for gamers.
Any lag or buffer in the world of online gaming can disrupt the whole experience. So, it’s always a priority to use the best VPN for gaming. ExpressVPN even allows up to 5 simultaneous connections. This means you can even play with your family and friends at home while staying protected from DDoS attacks.
Plus, did you know that ExpressVPN also allows you to unblock geo-restricted games like PUBG?
ExpressVPN’s reputation as the fastest VPN isn’t just a company claim. On our speed test, it impressed us with lightning-fast speeds. But before that, here’s a short description of what we tested to give you more context on how we measured its speed.
- Ping (Latency) – this is the amount of time (in milliseconds) it takes for your device or connection to get a response after you’ve sent out a request. So basically, low ping or latency means more responsiveness, which is critical when gaming and streaming.
- Download Speed – this is the amount of data in MB (megabits) your device can download in a second. So simply put, the higher the download speed, the faster your data loads. It is usually measured by megabits per second (Mbps).
- Upload Speed – this is similar to how download speed works but it happens vice versa. It is how quickly you can send the data to the server you are trying to access i.e. sending emails, video calls, or uploading photos. It is also measured in Mbps.
Note: Download Speed is usually faster than the upload speed. This is because most online activities require downloading data i.e. streaming videos, online gaming, or loading a page/app.
For our test, we connected to a local U.S. ExpressVPN server.
|64.4 Download (Mbps)|
|14.6 Ping (ms)|
|25.0 Upload (Mbps)|
|60.9 Download (Mbps)|
|26.0 Ping (ms)|
|17.6 Upload (Mbps)|
Before connecting to the VPN, our broadband internet connection reached 64.4 Mbps download speed, and 25 Mbps upload speed.
With the VPN connected, we hit 60.9 Mbps download speed, a negligible loss, and 17.6 Mbps upload speed.
That’s an almost-unheard-of speed drop of only 6.43% for downloads, while upload speed showed numbers more in line with other VPNs, with a 30% drop.
In reality, all VPNs are going to sap some of your speed. It’s the trade-off one makes for increased anonymity and stellar security features. That’s why we are impressed that ExpressVPN has time and time again proven to be the fastest VPN out there.
Elsewhere, ExpressVPN’s performance was equally impressive. We found switching servers to be smooth and effortless, with very little latency.
Wondering if ExpressVPN has you covered? No matter where in the world you are reading this from, chances are high that ExpressVPN has you covered. With over 3,000 ExpressVPN servers in 94 countries, you’re almost guaranteed a good fit.
ExpressVPN has a wide server network. Most of the world’s most populous countries are on the list:
- United States
- United Kingdom
In the U.S., you can choose between multiple server locations to reduce ping and increase the speed of your VPN connection.
Notable exceptions are China and Russia because of government restrictions on VPNs and web privacy in general.
You can easily search the full database of ExpressVPN’s server locations to confirm that your country is there.
Just take note that around 3% of the server network consists of virtual servers. This means that the assigned IP address will match the country you’ve selected. However, the physical server locations are existing elsewhere.
This list also includes which VPN protocols each server location supports.
Ease of Use
As the “original,” ExpressVPN has had more time and money to develop its product. They’ve definitely invested more than competitors in both ease of use and device support.
Set-Up & Installation
It’s also clearly the VPN that focuses most on ease of use. You can set up all local apps from start to finish with a few clicks. It’s all documented with easy-to-understand video tutorials.
If you need a VPN client for a less popular device, ExpressVPN is probably the way to go (but make sure you check compatibility before signing up).
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. I know this seems like a simple thing, but you’d be surprised how many VPNs make something as essential as connecting difficult.
You can choose to select which server location to use or take advantage of the single-click Smart Location feature. This automatically connects you to the nearest high-speed server for fast protection.
There’s a native ExpressVPN app for:
- iOS mobile devices Android mobile devices
- Amazon Kindle
- Chromebook (provided it supports Android apps. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to set up ExpressVPN manually)
- The following routers:
- Asus RT-AC56(U/R/S)
- Asus RT-AC68U
- Asus RT-AC87U
- Linksys EA6200
- Linksys WRT1200AC
- Linksys WRT1900AC(S)
- Linksys WRT3200ACM
- Netgear R6300
- Netgear Nighthawk R7000
Unless you use a very rare OS or device, you can get the VPN up and running without any painstaking manual setup.
You can also manually install ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer on the following devices by tweaking your DNS settings:
- PS4 & PS5
- Xbox (Series X, S, and One)
- Apple TV (4th and 5th generation)
- Nintendo Switch
- Amazon Fire TV
- Samsung Smart TV
If you install ExpressVPN on the router level, you can use the media streamer for any device connected to the WiFi network, including any that aren’t listed above.
If your device is on this list, using ExpressVPN is as easy as downloading the app, installing it, and clicking the “On” button.
If your device isn’t supported — and you don’t mind putting in some elbow grease — there’s a good chance you can still use ExpressVPN by installing it manually. ExpressVPN’s website has step-by-step manual installation instructions with screenshots or videos for:
- Nvidia Shield
- The following routers:
- Asus models on which the ExpressVPN app isn’t supported
You can also download the ExpressVPN browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Unlike the VPN app, these add-ons won’t encrypt all your internet traffic. Only the traffic coming from your browser.
For ExpressVPN, you can only have up to five devices connected at the same time. That’s definitely a con, as some competitors offer unlimited devices connected at the same time.
However, the silver lining is that it’s only a con if you’re investing in the VPN for your whole family or have an obscene amount of devices. Since ExpressVPN has a router app, every device connected to that WiFi network would be protected.
In the increasingly competitive world of VPNs, ExpressVPN is no longer the cheapest option. Instead, it’s using its brand power, reliability, and advanced features to charge a premium price.
At $6.67 per month for 15 months — an even $100 — it’s one of the more expensive plans for long-term deals.
For one-month plans, an ExpressVPN subscription is competitively priced, sticking to the industry standard of $13/month.
Yes, there are cheaper options out there, but they often come with significant issues like painfully slow speeds, your original IP address leaking through, not being able to unblock Netflix, and more.
Price doesn’t always indicate quality, but in the case of ExpressVPN, that truly is the case.
We all know that every VPN’s most basic and important feature is how well it keeps you private and secure. Yet it is sometimes overlooked, especially when you are blinded by all the other good features you can get from it.
But in the case of ExpressVPN, it does great in all categories of privacy and security.
It was recently acquired by Kape Technologies. It also owns Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and ZenMate. This acquisition helps ExpressVPN level up its VPN service by investing more in the advancement of digital protection and security technology.
Logs Policy: Does ExpressVPN keep logs?
Of course, like almost every VPN out there, ExpressVPN still collects general information to administer your subscription like billing information and email address. They also collect other minimal details for maintenance and troubleshooting including the following:
- connection time
- apps and app versions
- the aggregate sum of data transferred
- anonymous diagnostics reports (which can be turned off by the user)
- VPN server location (but not your assigned IP Address)
If you think that’s not enough, they also developed an in-house technology called TrustedServer, which wipes out all data every time a server is rebooted (ram-only servers).
If you want to add another layer of protection, you can choose to create a new email dedicated to your VPN activities. Plus, they even recommended that you use Crypto payments (Bitcoin) to subscribe to their VPN services. This also minimizes the amount of personal information you submit to them.
Jurisdiction: Is it under the 14-Eyes Alliance?
One of the things we liked about ExpressVPN is that it’s located in the British Virgin Islands. Despite the fact that it’s part of the British overseas territory, this country has an autonomous government so there are no data retention laws.
On top of its strong privacy laws, it’s also outside of the 14 Eyes Alliance so they are not obliged to share any information with whoever demands it.
Encryption: Is ExpressVPN really secure?
All ExpressVPN traffic is encrypted using AES 256-bit standard — the same encryption the US government uses to protect classified information. This is also the encryption standard most VPNs use.
But unlike other providers, ExpressVPN elaborates that it uses a 4096-bit SHA-512 RSA certificate, as well as HMAC authentication, control-channel encryption, and data-channel encryption.
Plus, Perfect Forward Secrecy assigns your device a unique secret key whenever you connect to the app. This is replaced every 60 minutes for as long as your session stays open. So, should your system be compromised, the hacker will lose access after 1 hour, which limits the damage.
Basically, all these technical details only prove that ExpressVPN ensures that your data is protected.
Protocols: Which One is the Best?
If you don’t know what a VPN protocol is, simply put, it’s the method the VPN uses to connect your computer to the VPN server and transfer data.
Think of it as the pipeline that enables data to flow to and from the VPN server. If you use outdated ones, your connection will be slower and could be vulnerable to hackers. (Just like how a rusted pipe might spring a leak.)
Luckily, ExpressVPN gives you access to all the newest, fastest, and most secure VPN protocols:
- IKEv2 (not available on Android)
- L2TP/IPsec (Windows Apps only)
If you don’t know what any of that means, don’t worry. With the default auto setting, the ExpressVPN client automatically chooses the best protocol based on your usage.
We recommend using Lightway, which is the exclusive protocol developed by ExpressVPN. It’s super lightweight, uses less battery, and offers quick network transition. This makes it an ideal choice for mobile devices and is comparable with WireGuard.
Private DNS: Does it prevent DNS leaks?
Unlike many other VPN providers, which redirect your DNS traffic to a third-party provider, ExpressVPN runs its own zero-knowledge DNS servers. This guarantees that your data stays private.
When we used the software, we tested it on www.dnsleaktest.com and confirmed that it passed the DNS leak test. ExpressVPN showed that their VPN servers are handling all DNS requests.
ExpressVPN has also created its own open-source DNS testing tool, which you can try and use for free on its website (or access on GitHub).
ExpressVPN offers its version of Kill Switch called Network Lock. This is one of the essential features you’ll need to keep your data safe in case your VPN connection drops. What it mainly does is block all internet traffic until your connection is restored so that your IP address will not leak.
The Network Lock feature is only available on Windows, Mac, Linux, and router app. For Android, there is Network Protection which offers the same feature as Network Lock. However, take note that this might disrupt split tunneling. So make sure that you choose the right settings under Network Protection.
Split tunneling is a way to separate out VPN traffic. It doesn’t need to be passed through the secure VPN tunnel. That way, you can, for example, browse the web with your regular internet connection while your torrent client is connected via the VPN.
ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for split tunneling. It’s built straight into the ExpressVPN apps for Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and routers. It is not yet available in the iOS app at the time of writing, so we’re hoping that they add it in the future.
Since ExpressVPN lets you choose which apps to include or exclude in your VPN connection, you can get very granular with which apps to let through.
Note: Split tunneling is not yet available for MacOS 11 at the time of writing.
All ExpressVPN plans come with round-the-clock customer support via live chat. You can also open a support ticket or get in touch by email.
But if you’d rather troubleshoot and resolve any issues yourself, you can’t go too far wrong. Alongside its detailed installation guides, ExpressVPN’s website has a comprehensive list of troubleshooting articles, sorted by topic.
ExpressVPN also has a growing bank of video tutorials with tips and tricks on getting the most out of your service.
A Stellar Reputation
Our own users have left overwhelmingly positive feedback for ExpressVPN, and other third-party review sites show the same story. Just look at Trustpilot, where 86% of all reviews are excellent.
The guides are all written in plain, straightforward language and have screenshots and videos to help you follow along.
But since this is the real world and not a Hollywood movie, there are also bound to be some downsides. It can’t all be sunshine and rainbows.
While ExpressVPN is on the expensive side — for longer prepaid contracts — and only allows up to five simultaneous connections, it’s hard to argue with the quality, speed, and iron-clad, no track, no-log privacy guarantee it offers.
All in all, we think that you do get what you pay for. With custom ExpressVPN-owned DNS servers, you get another level of privacy, reliability, and security.
Native apps for a variety of devices make it super easy to use, even for complete non-techies. If you want robust security and privacy with negligible speed loss and don’t need to run the VPN on a large number of devices at the same time, it doesn’t get much better than ExpressVPN.
FAQs about ExpressVPN
Published on: April 1, 2022