ExpressVPN has a huge network that is secure, fast, is able to support torrents without any serious logging, easy to use and works for clients for almost everything. It also unblocks Netflix making it a high-quality VPN delivering service for almost every area.
- Delivers top speeds from most of their servers
- Excellent Customer Support
- Most clients for every platform
- Encryption is very strong
- Prices are above average
Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is one of the popular VPN service providers at present.
The VPN market is a tough one because of the presence of competition here and there but it’s no problem with ExpressVPN.
They certainly know how to stay on top and even stand out from the big crowd.
That’s why it has become one of the best VPN providers with plenty of features offered to users compared to others.
For instance, they have a wide network of more than 3,000 servers that are located in over 160 cities in 94 different countries.
The best coverage is in the US and Europe but they also have other locations strategically spread in Asia and in many other countries in continents like Africa, the Middle East, South America, and more.
This VPN provider offers platform support offering different apps for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, and others. It even works for customer firmware in many routers and has manual guides for setting it up in Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromebooks, Playstation, Kindle Fire, and much more!
The total cost for a year is $80.04 which translates to $6.67 per month for 12 months.
If you want to go and try ExpressVPN, you can check it out on their website.
The account used to only allow up to 3 connections which didn’t meet other top competitors like IPVanish who supports 10 connections and NordVPN which supports 6.
But as of June 2019, ExpressVPN is upping their game and now supports up to 5 connections and it also received an overhaul on the same month for its browser extensions. The Firefox extension already has a blocking feature for WebRTC, HTTPS Everywhere, and even location spoofing.
But given the fact that it supports routers of different firmware and brands, we suspect that it will be able to accommodate many devices that you want to connect at home.
And when it comes to technical extras, ExpressVPN has a lot to offer. It is able to protect your Internet traffic using the DNS servers that it owns. In terms of encryption, there’s a high-end one in this VPN service which is capable of stopping even the most advanced of attackers from ever spying on your activities online.
A split-tunneling system comes as a clever and unusual feature that gives you control on the apps that use the VPN and which ones are going to use the regular Internet connection that you have at home or in the office.
It’s a useful feature especially for apps that don’t work using a VPN connection or when apps run slower on a VPN.
But the feature that really stands out is the company’s support to its customers. We love how they ensure that there are agents available to help 24/7.
And it isn’t just the basic support that is commonly an outsourced kind of first-line customer support offered by other companies.
They employ experts who are willing to go the extra mile in helping you with technical issues that you might encounter. When you run into trouble using the service, there’s no need to wait a day just to get a response from the other side.
Based on our experience, there has always been someone who’s available in the Live Chat support feature.
So within a couple of minutes, you can get help with your issues, it was that fast!
The company claims that there’s been a lot of improvements to the service that they have implemented thereby improving speeds in OpenVPN along with enhanced unblocking of websites and a more effective VPN blocking bypass in certain countries like the UAE and China.
A major update to the router app and an improved virtual and physical security for different VPN servers with the TrustedServer scheme has now been implemented with the latest update.
In this review, we’re going to explore some of the big changes to the apps in ExpressVPN which includes the redesigned interfaces along with its new features.
Their Android version alone has received plenty of positive feedback because of the easy-to-use interface that it has.
Yes! It is designed so you can easily find and get reconnected to different locations while supporting “split-tunneling” and as well as offers one-click access shortcuts to different websites and apps after you’re reconnected.
Available Plans and Pricing
ExpressVPN’s pricing structure is very simple.
It only has three plans starting with one that is billed monthly at $12.95. It’s a bit higher compared to its competitors that are offering lower prices.
For instances, VyprVPN offers its feature-limited version at $8.97/month while NordVPN has its monthly plan at $11.95. But if you factor in the features that you’re going to enjoy, it’s still a fair value.
If you choose to sign-up to ExpressVPN’s 6-month plan offering, the price will become lower at only $9.99/month.
If you choose the annual plan, you will enjoy an even bigger discount with your monthly equivalent just totaling to $8.32. That’s 35% off of the regular monthly price.
It’s still higher compared to the other services lie VyprVPN which has its annual plan priced at $6.23 and NordVPN at $6.99. But it’s still within the range of the price that we would expect from a premium quality VPN service.
ExpressVPN’s official website spells out all the details that a user needs to know in honest and clear details.
Another thing that we love is their wide support for different payment methods which includes Credit and Debit Cards, Bitcoin, Paypal, and many other payment service players like WebMoney, AliPay, Yandex Money, and many more!
ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee allowing you to feel safe while checking out if the service doesn’t really end up being the one that you were looking for.
All of their mobile apps have a 7-day trial period as well.
If you do choose to cancel your service within the 30-day window, the process is going to be easy and straightforward.
Other services have a “no refund after logging in a certain number of times” and “used more than a certain amount of bandwidth in GB” clauses which clearly are a way of forcing customers to stay with them.
You can use ExpressVPN fully, with all its features for the full 30 days, and if you are not satisfied or simply change your mind, you can simply call and cancel.
That is how confident they are with their service and it’s a reassuring sign for anyone who’s looking for the best VPN out there!
We’ve read it time and again from typical VPN websites: “NO LOGGING” often appear and are displayed in large fonts but because of privacy policies, you are given very limited detail.
ExpressVPN claims to be different because they say they will never claim that they don’t log traffic data. You can simply head to the Features section of their website to learn more.
They log DNS queries, traffic data, and any other details that they can use to identify you.
If you still want to learn more, there’s no need for scouring through the details embedded in a 2,000-word policy that is written in small print.
By clicking on the link that is found just beside the “No log” statement, you will be taken directly to the “Policy towards logs” page that explains in great detail the kind of data which ExpressVPN collects and what they don’t.
It also tells users why the service works this way and what it would mean for them.
Moreover, they also make it clear that they don’t keep any IP address logs whenever you connect with their VPN service.
They don’t even log your VPN IP address once you get connected and any other information like DNS requests and any of your traffic.
But there will still be logging that would happen as the company keeps a record of the dates that you get connected to their service as well as the server that you’re using each time.
The version number of the clients that you’ve installed is also recorded by the company along with how much data you’ve transferred in each day that you use their service.
But don’t worry, this will not present any risk to your privacy. In fact, we’re sure that other VPN services also do the same thing but they just don’t want to admit it.
There was a part where we thought we caught ExpressVPN red-handed. It is where they say that they actually collect information on speed test, crash reports, connection failures, and a lot more but they actually just use it to improve their service.
ExpressVPN just outperforms its competitors by making sure that this data is anonymized so there is no way to know which speed test result is owned by which client.
The privacy benefits are taken to the next level with the fact that ExpressVPN’s location is actually given.
It is based in the British Virgin Islands. This country is not part of SSEUR or SIGINT Seniors Europe which is also known as the “14 Eyes”, an intelligence-sharing agreement between countries.
It’s also not a party of any of the intelligence-sharing arrangements that are linked to the said agreement.
Although its a small country, The British Virgin Islands manages and regulates national affairs on its own.
This means that the USA or UK can’t compel ExpressVPN to release sensitive data in an effort of the said countries to collect intelligence data.
They don’t have the jurisdiction to do that. If they want to make that happen then they’ll first need to have a complainant who will raise an issue to the High Court of the British Virgin Islands, show proof that a serious crime is related to VPN records (it must be something that’s punishable by 1 year or more imprisonment) and they should be able to explain how the records are able to give relevant evidence to the said case.
And given the minimal records that ExpressVPN has on its users, it would be hard to use it as hard evidence on anything.
There’s plenty of things to like at this point. First, it is becoming clear that ExpressVPN actually has the knowledge on different issues and they are making all the effort to make them easily comprehensible even to the ordinary user/customer.
That’s a clear reassurance and a big leap of much-needed improvement on the privacy policies of other VPN services which says that they don’t collect any data at all.
But it’s still healthy to at least stay a little bit skeptical and not take everything that ExpressVPN is saying on trust.
Other VPN service providers such as VyprVPN and NordVPN are taking steps to reduce the risk by letting third-party auditing and reporting firms to examine their procedures and systems.
We’d like to see the same with ExpressVPN and all the other VPN services in the industry.
Being one of the top VPN service providers in the market, ExpressVPN claims that they offer complete privacy to their users.
But digging deeper into the details and you will find that there’s very little evidence to back this claim.
But there’s a refreshing difference with the company. Unlike other VPN service providers, ExpressVPN actually tells you how great the service that they offer is while giving a lengthy list of features and functions in an effort to justify every word that they say.
For instance, in the aspect of Encryption, its competitors will simply say that they have support for OpenVPN or mention a reference to AES-256 but ExpressVPN is not like that.
They try to go further in this aspect. They explain clearly that they use a 4096-bit SHA-512 RSA certificate with an added layer of AES-256-CBC which encrypts the channel for control and the Hash Message Authentication Code (HMAC).
This prevents the alteration of regular data in real-time.
To test and prove whether this is true, we’ve looked into the OpenVPN configuration files that they use and we’ve seen that the details actually matches what the company describes.
Another layer of protection is given by its support for Perfect Forward Secrecy.
It works by automatically assigning a secret key each time you connect. It then replaces the key every 60 minutes while you are connected to a session so even if an attacker is able to penetrate your system, they will only be able to get 60 minutes amount of data.
If you’re not the geeky type person, these details just mean that the encryption type which ExpressVPN uses is one of the best. It’s as good as it can get from any VPN service.
If you are familiar with the lower-level details then you will surely appreciate how the company explains things in great detail on their website.
Another highlight that we really appreciate is ExpressVPN’s DNS support. DNS leak protection isn’t just what ExpressVPN’s offering, it also prevents data from anything that you’re doing online from ever leaking out of the secure tunnel.
They also run their own zero-knowledge, fully-private 256-bit DNS encryption on every one of their servers.
That’s something that other DNS service providers don’t have as most of them only redirect DNS traffic to OpenDNS and other third-party service providers.
This increases the risk of DNS server logging because unencrypted DNS is an easy attack target by giving chance for intercepting your requests, having them filtered, blocked and many more! These problems and threats are totally wiped out when you use ExpressVPN.
When choosing a VPN, it is important to consider speed. We have done a lot of intensive tests on US and UK servers in an effort to find out how well ExpressVPN really works.
Our intensive test started in the UK where we opened more than 50 OpenVPN-enabled servers of ExpressVPN, performed tests and recorded the connection times every time while performing latency and ping tests to find any issues.
It was designed to not have any effect on download speeds but they are important aspects of the overall service experience.
If latencies and connection times varied largely and there were at least half of the servers that were always down then that is going to be bad news from users.
During our first test run, there were no connection issues and failures at all. Every server we were connected to responded within just two to five seconds which is actually great!
The tests we performed were only done for a short period of time which means that it cannot and will not show the long-term ExpressVPN user experience but from the results that we were able to obtain, we didn’t experience any big connection issue at all!
The latency was just the right level. It performed just as we expected. The local UK connections were the fastest among all while servers that were near European performed almost at the same speed.
US servers also maintained good performance in a consistent manner while servers that were the most distant like those in New Zealand and Australia, as well as other areas that don’t have the best infrastructure like South America, had increased latency with the tendency of becoming more variable.
It did not come as a surprise though and the issue was not that big to make browsing feel uncomfortable.
Checking download speeds entail more effort though and we started with Fast.com by Netflix to get sample test set of the servers.
All of the six locations in the UK and as well as fifteen that are located in the US, sixteen in Europe and fifteen overall in Australasia and Asia.
We then tested using SpeedTest by Oookla and OpenSpeedTest to get confirmation of the speed test results.
All of the tests were performed using Windows 10 operating system with 75Mbps of broadband fiber line.
The local UK performance was simply excellent with download speeds that reached 60-65Mbps.
Even the worst test results for the UK servers were at 40.7Mbps and it performed a lot better than other lesser services.
The speeds in the European servers almost matched that of the UK test results especially in the best-connected and closest locations.
The one in Amsterdam averaged 65Mbps. Results remained high even in the other distant servers and it was more consistent and stable than other VPN service providers. Yes! It performed well even against the top competitors out there!
With the more tricky distant server tests, we thought that the entirely positive mood was going to be broken.
Among the best-connected countries were Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Australia, South Korea, and the others averaged at 60Mbps above.
The other servers delivered well as well. For instance, Pakistan gave 15Mbps, Cambodia for 60mbps, and Malaysia at 25MBPS. There were a few servers that were disappointing to test.
Vietnam, for instance, was able to get 5Mbps at its best. However, this can happen in any short -term test runs. Overall, ExpressVPN worked well in the UK tests that we conducted.
On the second test set, we have randomly run speed checks manually from a server located in the US.
This test has opened the door for us to compare the performance and see what changes will happen when connecting from the US while the fast 1Gbps connection of the server meant that accurately assessing the fastest VPN is greatly possible.
Just keep in mind that the use of VPNs in the real world will not deliver speeds which data centers have so you will just likely get the speeds that we’ve got in these tests.
The result of the US performance test was excellent. The nearest server to us which is in Dallas averaged at the speeds of 90Mbps.
The tests that we did in other locations in the US reached 85Mbps while the lowest ones clocked at 78Mbps and that is the server in New York.
Connections from the US to UK servers were on the average of 60Mbps but they were variable and we were quite surprised that the range was between 36 to 71Mbps.
There were many European servers that performed better than those in the UK reaching speeds that almost matched the US at 90Mbps average which was a bit surprising.
The performance was slower in server locations like Greece which was at 35-40Mbps but it was still very good!
For our long-distance server tests, the results were really impressive as well! Australia, for instance, averaged at 80Mbps, Japan at 70Mbps, and Singapore reached 50Mbps.
We had problems with the Vietnam server which is actually a virtual server that returns Vietnamese IP addresses.
We couldn’t connect to it though it could have been a temporary issue that has occurred during our test. We can say that ExpressVPN performed really well overall.
Being able to access apps and websites that otherwise geoblocked is just another of the major benefits that you’ll enjoy when using a VPN service.
If the streaming site that you love just allows US subscribers to view certain content, you can log in to a VPN server in the US and the block might be bypassed.
But it isn’t that simple all the time. Netflix and other content streaming providers are aware of the different things that users do in order to get around of the existing rules so they constantly update their systems and processes in order to detect and then block individuals who are accessing their website and services via VPN.
Others might even block individual websites via a WiFi Hotspot Administrator who doesn’t want users to stream on YouTube in order to save on data. In other cases, it is the state that tries to control internet usage for its entire population.
ExpressVPN indicates the list of sites that they’re claiming they can unblock and that includes Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Wikipedia, Youtube, Google, and many others (totaling to more than 25 services listed). This is why we love this VPN service provider.
Most VPN services don’t even indicate such an important feature but ExpressVPN is bold enough to make such kind of commitment.
They just don’t want their users to be complaining about a service which they promised but can’t deliver so it’s a great thing that they’ve indicated clearly what they can actually do.
To experience ExpressVPN’s unblocking capabilities, we decided to perform a couple of tests which involved connecting to different VPN locations in the US and UK.
The first set involved connecting to 10 ExpressVPN servers in the US and checking if the US Netflix and geoblocked Youtube sites can be accessed. The second set of the test was performed on 7 different UK ExpressVPN server locations and seeing if BBC iPlayer would be unblocked.
The results for Netflix were really great. 7 out of 20 locations were actually able to unblock the service.
If you’re unlucky and you choose the blocked servers on your first 3 tries, you can simply contact the support team via their live chat channel and you’ll surely be advised of which servers to choose in order to enjoy Netflix.
And the whole process should take no longer than a couple of minutes.
However, it is important to note that Netflix is constantly improving its VPN detection system all the time so this can change in the near future.
But the commitment of ExpressVPN to really unblock Netflix conveys a clear message that they’re going to fight back so that the service stays available.
It is much easier to unblock YouTube and ExpressVPN was able to give us quick access from every one of its US servers.
For BBC iPlayer on the other hand, the good news just continued although it had better protection against VPN compared to YouTube.
ExpressVPN seemed to not care at all with every one of its UK servers allowing us to browse and as well as stream the content that we want.
Support for Torrents
It may not appear torrent-friendly when you first look at it. Its official website doesn’t even have a mention about P2P but luckily, the reality about it is the opposite.
We simply had to drill deeper in the FAQs section and we then discovered the truth!
They don’t only support torrent but also ensures that the common annoyances and hassles that are common in using this service and other related services are dealt with.
The torrent users are not going to be forced to use a small number of servers that are already overloaded because you will have the freedom to choose from the different VPN server locations that ExpressVPN has.
Find out how to setup Torrent Access via ExpressVPN in this tutorial article from their website.
You will not experience any bandwidth or other catches that are related to transfers either. There’s no such thing as a data cap and they will not throttle your Internet connection.
Now, you might ask, are these promises really genuine or they’re just another marketing spin that every other VPN service provider does to promote their products?
There’s not a single review out there that can assure 100% guarantee on this but we have found a reassuring and quite interesting clue when we read through their website.
You can browse through the policies of the popular VPN services out there and you will surely be able to read that “too much” of using the service is not allowed.
NordVPN, for instance, is not allowing any action that will affect the quality of service for other users.
This gives you a clue that they might be limiting your bandwidth as well.
Check the Terms and Conditions of ExpressVPN and there’s nothing similar to that which you will find.
You may read of an Acceptable Use Policy but it only contains statements and clauses relating to legal issues including one that tells its users not to download any content that is copyrighted.
It’s a lot better than any sneaky clauses which actually limit or even ban heavy downloaders from doing their thing.
Bring in the other features like no logging of your activity logs, varied locations, apps for almost everything, unblocking capabilities, and a 30-day money-back guarantee; ExpressVPN just has it all making it one of the best VPN services for those who love to download torrent files.
Getting Familiar with Client Setup
Setting up a VPN client can be a challenge but with ExpressVPN, it’s going to be a breeze. Yes! Their well-designed website provides clear instructions so that the hassle is taken to a minimum.
If you log in to the dashboard of your account, you will no longer need to spend some time looking for the link that says “Download”.
The website works like magic by automatically detecting the operating system that runs on your device and displays the download button for your kind of platform.
Downloading a copy is done in a single click.
In case you need a different client to install on your other device/s that runs on other platforms, you will simply need to click on the “Set up on all your devices” link and you will be able to get access to a wide variety of client options which include Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Kindle Fire, and a lot more!
If you tap any of these links, you will be able to open even more download links together with instructions for each.
This is going to be a very helpful feature when compared to other VPN service providers.
Try tapping the “Android” button/link on other VPNs and you will simply be taken to Google Play. ExpressVPN on this matter provides a link to Play Store and also provides a QR code.
There is even a button that gives you the option of sending the setup link to your email.
This is ideal if you want to install ExpressVPN on your other devices. For those who are on the expert level, a download link for the APK file is also provided.
Everything is designed to be neat and they’re not going to force you into entering the username and password for your account.
You will instead be asked to copy the activation code that can be found on the download page then have it pasted into the client once it asks you.
The software will then set up your login credentials automatically and you no longer need to remember names and passwords again.
Another option that you have is setting up a third-party client like OpenVPN.
Once you are on this stage, all you need to do is follow the instructions and you should get ExpressVPN installed on your device.
The Windows Client
Installing ExpressVPN on Windows is a very familiar task. It will surely be a comfortable feeling for most of us.
There’s a big button that serves as the On/Off switch for activating the service when needed.
Along with that is a status display that clearly shows the current server that you’re using.
If you want to use another server from other locations, you can simply click on the “Choose Location” button while a menu button is found at the top-left portion of the software screen which is great for making the task of accessing different features a lot easier!
There’s a lot of different ways of choosing the servers that work best. If you don’t want to deal with such then you can simply use the “Smart Location” feature to let the software choose the server which is closest to you.
Double-clicking on the name of a country will make you access the best locations that are available.
You also have the option of browsing every location in a certain country so you can manually choose the one that you like.
The search box feature also allows for easy finding of locations by way of keywords and you can add the locations that you often use to the “Favorites” list.
Faster reconnection is possible in the newest client version because it displays the most recent locations on the main client window.
It’s one of the best functionality for “location-picking” that we’ve seen in any other VPN client for windows.
The system tray icon for the client also works smarter than before.
Simply right-clicking on it will reveal a menu that includes the three last locations you’ve connected to.
Clicking on one of them will get you connected to that location in an instant.
You won’t even need to fully open the client just to reconnect.
There’s also no need to close the previous connection if you want to connect to a new server.
You can double-click on that location from the list and it will automatically disconnect so you can switch to the new server of your choice.
And better yet, the client is capable of warning you that the Internet connection you’re using isn’t secure until you are reconnected.
That’s a great way to remind users which is a feature that is not seen in other VPN clients for the Windows OS.
The speed of its servers doesn’t display speed information of its servers initially.
It is something that helps you choose the location which has the fastest connection speed.
You’ll surely love the Speed Test feature that is built within the client which is able to show more relevant information compared to its competitors.
Yes! It displays information such as download speed estimates and even latency.
Some users say that it takes a longer time to run and based on our tests, it took about 6 minutes to speed test every location on the system that we used.
Though it is able to check speeds for server groups, it will not allow checking the recent and favorite locations alone.
This could have been a very useful feature for most users.
Choosing from the different variations of protocols is also possible through its Settings dialog menu. The available options include:
- OpenVPN TCP
- OpenVPN/ UDP
It’s noticeable from this point that SSTP has been dropped. This is a great feature to have but if you don’t know which one to choose, you can just be happy with the “Automatic” setting.
This means that ExpressVPN will choose the protocol that will work great on your kind of network.
We don’t know how the software does this since reading through the small print and FAQs don’t offer any clue at all.
The client does not also tell which protocol it currently has set as active.
It looks a bit like a design flaw and if you feel concerned about it, you can simply choose the protocol that you prefer such as OpenVPN UDP for instance and ExpressVPN will use that every single time.
In other places, you will be able to find a button which acts as a Kill Switch for blocking every Internet traffic that’s there in case the connection to the VPN server drops.
This helps reduce the possibility of any leaks on your data. You don’t need to set up anything to get this feature because it is already enabled by default. This is a great way of protecting your privacy.
If you’re knowledgeable enough about what you’re doing, you can take advantage of ExpressVPN’s interesting feature which is called split tunneling.
Get this turned on and you can start forcing apps to use the VPN service while those that you have not selected will only use the regular Internet connection.
However, getting this feature to work will take some brain juice but it’s worth it because it offers some essential benefits.
For example, if an app does not work with VPN, you can simply get it running on your normal Internet connection.
This happens often in email clients. If you use VPN service only for a couple of apps such as a torrent app and a browser, for instance, you can redirect all the others to use the regular Internet connection that you have so the tunnel can deliver better performance.
The Android App
If you want to use ExpressVPN on your Android smartphone, the steps in installing the app work very much like installing other apps so there’s no need to get intimidated.
You just need to open the Google Play Store, search for the app (then notice its impressive users that have now reached over 5 million with a high rating of 4.1 stars), click the “Install” button, then afterward, you can work on the process of signing up.
If you already have an account with ExpressVPN then the process will be easier. You just need to log in to your account using your computer or laptop, head to the Setup > Android settings page, scan the QR code and the app will automatically be downloaded then installed. You will need to allow the installation of apps outside of Play Store in your phone for this to work.
During the install process, we had to decide on a couple of choices. For instance, we had to choose whether to allow the app to send analytics data to ExpressVPN or not but thankfully, there were no complicated steps involved so the process only took a few seconds. We were not bothered by any step that asked for a username and password.
The app just took care of everything and configured things automatically during the installation process. Once it is done, you will not see any login page every again. There’s still an option to sign out though just in case you’re concerned about privacy and security.
The app really looks good! It works very much like the Windows edition so you surely can find your way in it. A Location Picker feature makes choosing and reconnecting to servers a breeze. Connecting and disconnecting happens with a single click and the user-friendly interface allows for checking your VPN status and current location in a single glance.
There are lots of features that are available just like in the client for Windows OS. There’s a section for Split Tunneling which allows you to choose a particular app to run via VPN while others will not so if you only want to run Netflix on ExpressVPN then that would be possible from the Android app.
The new “App and Website Shortcuts” section in the app features a connection window that has a configurable toolbar which can hold up to 5 app and website icons so you can keep your favorite shortcuts and apps separately for quick access. But nothing is as interesting as the Split Tunneling feature though, however, this feature allows launching your favorite apps in a single tap as soon as you are connected to the VPN service.
We think that a Kill Switch is needed in the Android app but nevertheless, we’re really impressed with how well the interface is designed. It is truly easy to use with smooth navigation and the needed features for every user to enjoy. Above all, we like the fact that after installing the Android app, you will automatically have a free 7 days trial. This is an offer which can’t be enjoyed when you sign up via their website. If you’re really interested in using VPN on your Android smartphone then ExpressVPN should definitely be one that should occupy the top of the list.
The iOS App
Now, we come to the cousin of the Android app. Yes! ExpressVPN also has an app for iOS devices. Compared to Android, the iOS app has a few additional steps and that is because Apple is a bit more strict in terms of security. This means that you’ll need more time in confirming that the app would have the authorization to function as it needs to. You also won’t get a link for directly downloading it just like in Android, a feature which supposedly helps save you time.
Overall, the procedure for installing and setting up the app only takes a couple of minutes. Once the process is done, the app launches a very clean and easy-to-use interface that is evident in the apps for the other platforms (Windows and Android).
We don’t really know why but this app automatically picked Los Angeles to serve as its “Smart Location”. We think it’s not really that smart especially if you’re not living in the US. However, if that automatic selection works great for you, the next step is to tap the button that is labeled “Connect” and voila! The VPN will activate right then and there! Another tap on the same button and it will be turned off.
We do love its well laid out “Location Picker” feature which gives users a lot of ways in finding countries and cities while allowing Recent Connections to be organized in a list. With it, adding the commonly-used server locations to the “Favorites” section becomes a lot easier.
Just like the Android app, you will be able to switch servers quickly without having to disconnect the current one first. It might just save you a single tap but if you often switch from one server to another, this feature is really a big plus!
There are only two significant settings in the app. We’re not criticizing it at this point but we think its a bit lesser than what we expected. We’re a bit sad that the protocol options don’t include TCP & IPSec and OpenVPN UDP. However, you will have IKEv2 access which is something that you can’t find in the Windows and Android app editions.
Although the absence of a Kill Switch is something that others lament, there’s a feature that lessens the sadness and it is the auto-reconnect option. It will continually try to reconnect the tunnel in case the VPN connection drops. We have tested other VPN apps that are packed with features but the iOS app version for ExpressVPN is not that hard to love. It is easy to use and has every feature to function well for most users. If you want to try how well it works, you can install it today on your iOS device and you’ll get a risk-free trial for 7 days.
ExpressVPN’s Browser Extensions
All clients for all operating system versions on both mobile and desktop operating systems work really well. They are all designed to provide ease-of-use and smooth navigation. But they’re not the only way you can work with ExpressVPN. Yes! They also have Firefox and Google Chrome extensions which give you control over the client from the comfort of your web browser.
It is not like the other VPN service providers out there because the browser extensions don’t just act as meager proxies. They’re actually interfaces that are designed to work almost independently on your browser whether you’re using Linux, Mac, or Windows. It will not work unless you get it installed. That might feel a little bit inconvenient but it actually presents some major benefits.
Try launching the browser extension and you will notice that it is constantly communicating with the desktop client. It will also adjust to the client’s default location and in case the client is connected by the time the browser extension is launched, it will also reflect that.
It is also possible to control the desktop client from the browser extension. For instance, if there’s a particular website that you want to unblock, you can simply do so by selecting a VPN location from the browser extension, connect to that location, start browsing, then once you’re done, just disconnect ExpressVPN. It’s that convenient and quick! There is no need of switching back and forth from your browser to the client then back to your browser just to do those kinds of stuff.
We can say that the browser extension really works well even at the simplest level. And its interface looks very much similar to regular apps and clients with the system for selecting locations and browsing that works almost the same. However, there are limitations that are present.
For instance, the browser extension doesn’t support the “Favorites” list which we wish it would since it takes away the hassle of building up a new custom list. Some other tools are also just available in the client and that includes the Speed Test and Settings Dialog feature but it will have very little effect on day-to-day use.
Now, let’s go to the good news! If you’re using the Google Chrome extension, you will see some additional options that are genuinely useful on their own. There’s a “Privacy and Security” section that gives access to settings for disabling HTML5 geolocation from showing others what your real location is while you are using the VPN service. It also blocks leaks in WebRTC from the browser level while using HTTPS in places where it can in order to get every connection to HTTPS whenever it’s available.
It’s a fact that not all users will be using the browser extension. For some, the lack of the “Favorites” list may even be an issue but it’s still a great addition to the great things that ExpressVPN already offers. We can only expect even more enhancements and improvements in the near future.
Just as other networking technologies have their fair share of troubles and issues, VPNs can also misbehave in different ways and finding out what exactly is wrong can be a big challenge. That’s the reason why even the users who have enough experience can still benefit from the support that a quality VPN offers.
And that’s precisely what ExpertVPN’s support site actually offers. By looking into the lengthy list of troubleshooting instructions and guides, you will know how dedicated this company’s support team is in getting every problem addressed. Whether it’s slow speeds or connections that suddenly drop, you will know how to decipher error messages, change the password, and even get your account canceled. It’s full of relevant and useful information for every user.
The articles that they have are well-written and are informative for every key area of usage, troubleshooting, and many other crucial aspects of using ExpressVPN. They don’t just assume that the reader has some technical knowledge, they take the time in explaining the background of things and bring-in multiple solutions to get every problem solved.
They also have very useful links to articles that are relevant to the issue being discussed. For example, other VPNs might be contented of just saying “find and connect to a different server” in an effort to solve problems with speed but ExpressVPN will give links to more detailed articles and guides that explain how you can find the best location that offers the best speed.
We were impressed even more by the setup article where there are multiple guides that are available for the different platforms where ExpresVPN can run. For Windows tutorial articles alone, there are over 9 articles that are available discussing the process of installing the apps that ExpressVPN has, how manual setup is done in different Windows editions, and many more. You also get 8 articles for Mac, 5 articles for iOS, and 4 guides for Android. Even Linux has its own setup guide tutorial that is different from that of Raspberry Pi, Ubuntu, Terminal via OpenVPN and much more!
If you’re having a hard time looking for the right guide to read and get instructions from, you can make use of the accurate search engine that scours through more than 250 available guides and articles so you can find the one that you’re looking for. If help can’t be found on the website, you can contact their support team via live chat or email and they’re available 24/7 to accommodate customer queries and call for help.
They even go as far as recommending their Live Chat channel if you want to get really quick results. We’ve sent a test email to find out what the typical response time is. The company says that response through email can be expected within 24 hours but we got it in under an hour. Now that’s a fast response rate and the great thing about it is that it contained everything that we needed to get our issue resolved.
We don’t have any complaint with the live chat as well. We sent them several queries and we were impressed that there was always an agent who’s available to respond to us. And the first response came from a real person and not just some ordinary bot with an automated reply spiel. We got the response that we were expecting within a couple minutes or so.
We place the quality of their Live Chat support at a level that is above average. There was always an agent who patiently spent over 30 minutes helping us solve the problem with the best steps available. That suggests that they employ and train their agents in the best way possible making them very efficient in dealing with different concerns that customers might have.
Whether you’re just new to networking or you’re already on the expert level, ExpressVPN’s support team will always be able to offer help and they’re going to assist you in solving any issue that you have in the best and the quickest way possible.
Our Final Say
ExpressVPN has passed every one of our tests with flying colors making it a premium and top-quality VPN service provider that’s really worth using. They’ve got everything from privacy and support for every platform, unblocking capabilities, ease of use, and excellent customer support. The lack of a kill switch button on the mobile app might be a bit of an issue for others but overall, it is a powerful service that is streamlined and polished to provide one of the best VPN service possible!