ExpressVPN Review

Company: ExpressVPN Ltd

Background: With servers in 94 countries worldwide, ExpressVPN offers one of the most extensive VPN networks available today. The company's roots stretch back to 2009, and it today stands near the top in experience and reputation.

Starting Price: $6.97/mo

Currency: USD

Visit Online: https://www.expressvpn.com/

Review Summary & Ratings

4.5

While there may be some VPNs that offer rates lower than ExpressVPN, I assure you that it is difficult to find one with the same quality of service. The performance and capabilities of ExpressVPN far exceed that of many others.

The Internet has always been a little bit of a dangerous place; as time passes, it is becoming increasingly so. Some may question the need for a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. The answer is simple. From businesses losing our private data to cyber criminals and governments spying on our online activities, privacy is fast eroding.

If you're still in doubt about the necessity, read our newbie guide to VPNs here for many reasons why you need a VPN. On that note, I'd like to introduce ExpressVPN, one of the top providers in the world.

ExpressVPN Speed Test Results

Almost every ExpressVPN server you connect you will offer similar speed results – which never fails to impress me.

Get more details in the review below.

LocationDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Ping (ms)
No VPN (Benchmark)527.54503.021
United States (Seattle)411.49217.33191
United States (New York)361.54180.09259
United Kingdom (London)406.84127.01252
Germany (Frankfurt)398.55198.81256
Singapore495.02474.7210
Australia (Perth)458.44388.2256
Japan (Tokyo)435.02347.1594

ExpressVPN Price Comparisons

VPN Services*6 months Subscription1 Year Subscription2 / 3 Year Subscription
ExpressVPN$9.99/mo$6.67/mo$6.67/mo
NordVPN$11.99/mo$4.99/mo$3.09/mo
AtlastVPN$10.99/mo$3.29/mo$2.05/mo
CyberGhost$12.99/mo$4.29/mo$2.29/mo
IPVanish$10.99/mo$3.33mo$3.33/mo
Surfshark$12.95/mo$3.99/mo$2.21/mo
TorGuard$9.99/mo$4.99/mo$4.99/mo
VyprVPN$15.00/mo$8.33/mo$8.33/mo

Pros: What We Like About ExpressVPN

1. Excellent Security and Privacy Features

As one of the premier VPN brands, ExpressVPN rides the cutting edge in security and privacy. There's little compromise in these two core areas, and that's precisely how it should be for a service of this nature.

Like most competitors, ExpressVPN offers military-grade 256-bit encryption, Kill Switch, Split Tunneling, a global network of secure servers, and more. Several features stand out in particular. 

Fast and Secure Lightway Protocol

ExpressVPN provides a proprietary protocol called Lightway instead of WireGuard. These protocols are super fast and lightweight – precisely what VPNs need. However, Lightway uses wolfSSL for additional security.

wolfSSL is a small-signature add-on that helps implement TLS and supports multiple APIs. The plain-language translation of that is simple; it helps make ExpressVPN fast and extremely safe to use.

TrustedServer Technology

TrustedServer Technology is ExpressVPN's way of saying they use servers that operate entirely on RAM. These volatile memory servers help assure privacy by ensuring no data is left behind once machines lose power (like during a reboot).

I wish more VPN brands would do this, as it's incredibly reassuring. The only problem is that RAM-only servers are expensive, and not every company can afford to implement thousands of servers in this configuration.

Threat Manager

Threat Manager is disabled by default. You need to enable it by using the Lightway protocol.
Threat Manager is disabled by default. You need to enable it by using the Lightway protocol.

Using ExpressVPN means you don't need a cookie blocker. It comes as part of the ExpressVPN app in the form of its Threat Manager. This system helps prevent app trackers from recording your device and browser footprint as you travel across cyberspace. 

Managed DNS

ExpressVPN offers private DNS which comes with significant benefits to users.
ExpressVPN offers private DNS which comes with significant benefits to users.

Some of you might be used to fiddling with alternate DNS management, but with ExpressVPN, you won't have to worry about that anymore. ExpressVPN comes with private and encrypted DNS, allowing your connection to go anywhere it wants to – irrespective of whether anyone is trying to block it.

Based in the British Virgin Islands

Despite some links with the United Kingdom, local legislation in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is independent. Most importantly, the BVI has no formal legislation regarding data protection. VPN companies deciding to base their interests here are not subject to data retention laws.

2. ExpressVPN is Fast and Stable

Two essential things are important regarding a VPN's server network. The servers must be secure and perform well to offer fast and safe access. Additionally, the server network must be large enough to provide better geo-location access.

Thankfully, ExpressVPN meets both these requirements.

Considerable Network of 3,000 Servers

ExpressVPN possesses a wide spread of 3,000 servers in 94 countries.
ExpressVPN possesses a wide spread of 3,000 servers in 94 countries.

ExpressVPN boasts a global server network that's over 3,000 strong. With such an extensive network, most people would assume that a VPN service would be fast and stable but let me assure you that this is not always the case.

An often overlooked aspect is stability and consistency. Few VPN service providers can offer consistent speeds across their massive server networks. ExpressVPN is one of the rare ones that can do so.

Excellent Speed Across the Entire Network

Before I discuss ExpressVPN speed in greater detail, some things need clarification. I have noticed some misconceptions where users try and use a VPN and blame the service provider when connection speeds are not up to their expectations.

VPN speeds depend on many factors, including (but not limited to) – Your Internet line speed, the capabilities of the device you're using, what encryption protocols you select, distance from the chosen VPN server, and what you're doing on the VPN server.

Our ExpressVPN Speed Test Results

From years of testing ExpressVPN's speed performance, the one thing that never fails to impress me is its consistency. Almost every server you connect you will offer similar speed results. Still, they can't control latency, so watch out for that.

Note: Discussing VPN speeds is an entirely different can of worms, so if you're not sure what makes your VPN go fast (or slow), check out my VPN guide here.

LocationDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Ping (ms)
No VPN (Benchmark)527.54503.021
United States (Seattle)411.49217.33191
United States (New York)361.54180.09259
United Kingdom (London)406.84127.01252
Germany (Frankfurt)398.55198.81256
Singapore495.02474.7210
Australia (Perth)458.44388.2256
Japan (Tokyo)435.02347.1594

These are the specifications for the software and equipment I used for the ExpressVPN speed tests;

ExpressVPN Speed from Different Countries

Test Platform Specifications

  • Device – AMD Ryzen 5800X, 32GB RAM
  • OS – Windows 11
  • Router – Asus AX86U
  • Network Connection – Gigabit LAN
  • Internet Speed – 500 Mbps
  • NordVPN App – Version 10.30.0 (0)
  • Protocol Used – Lightway
  • Physical Location: Malaysia

No VPN

Speed test with no VPN
Speed test result without a VPN connection – Download = 527.54 Mbps; Upload = 503.02 Mbps (see actual speed test results)

US (Seattle)

ExpressVPN speed test results from Seattle
ExpressVPN speed test results from Seattle US – Download = 411.49 Mbps; Upload = 217.33 Mbps (see actual speed test results)

US (New York)

ExpressVPN speed test results from New York
ExpressVPN speed test results from New York US – Download = 361.54 Mbps; Upload = 180.09 Mbps (see actual speed test results)

UK (London)

ExpressVPN speed test results from London UK
ExpressVPN speed test results from London UK – Download = 406.84 Mbps; Upload = 127.01 Mbps (see actual speed test results)

Germany (Frankfurt)

ExpressVPN speed test results from Frankfurt Germany
ExpressVPN speed test results from Frankfurt Germany – Download = 398.55 Mbps; Upload = 198.81 Mbps (see actual speed test results)

Asia (Singapore)

ExpressVPN speed test results from Singapore
ExpressVPN speed test results from Singapore – Download = 495.02 Mbps; Upload = 474.72 Mbps (see actual speed test results)

Australia (Perth)

ExpressVPN speed test results from Perth Australia
ExpressVPN speed test results from Perth Australia – Download = 458.44 Mbps; Upload = 388.22 Mbps (see actual speed test results)

Japan (Tokyo)

ExpressVPN speed test results from Tokyo Japan
ExpressVPN speed test results from Tokyo Japan – Download = 435.02 Mbps; Upload = 347.15 Mbps (see actual speed test results)

3. Works With Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and More

Streaming on BBC iPlayer via ExpressVPN.
Streaming on BBC iPlayer via ExpressVPN

With speeds on all servers I tested being so high, there should be technically no issue with streaming even 4K movies over an ExpressVPN connection. I understand some streaming services are geolocation-restricted, and ExpressVPN helps with that.

Connecting to the UK, I tested out BBC's iPlayer (I even registered for a free account with a UK postcode on the site), and it works fine. More importantly, ExpressVPN opens the entire Netflix US library to anyone on their service.

4. P2P Downloads are Fast and Smooth

You can expect fast P2P speeds with ExpressVPN.
You can expect fast P2P speeds with ExpressVPN.

Torrenting or P2P is very dear to my heart, and I am happy to report that ExpressVPN works very well with P2P activities. In fact, unlike some services which restrict P2P activities to specific servers, ExpressVPN does not.

All you need to do is stick to the smart location connection and run your P2P program, which will work. Word of advice – it does take some time for the ports to map out correctly and then your torrents to start downloading. Do not be alarmed; give it some time – it will work!

5. You Can Use ExpressVPN on Most Platforms

You can setup and run ExpressVPN on routers.
You can setup and run ExpressVPN on routers.

Unlike some VPNs that target mobile devices only, ExpressVPN works on almost every platform imaginable. I run its native apps on my Windows PC, Macbook air, and Android phone. You can even run it on routers, gaming devices, and more.

Browser extensions allow you to control ExpressVPN, if you're using Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. However, I feel that the experience isn't the best, and I highly recommend you use the app's desktop version.

Note that despite being available for so many platforms, you can only run five simultaneous connections per account for this VPN. This small number might have been fine in the past, but today it feels a little too limiting.

There is the option for blanket coverage of all devices if you install ExpressVPN on your router. However, I don't recommend doing so as you can't use Lightway, and most home routers don't process encryption well. That will slow your connection speed to a crawl.

6. Easy Installation and Setup

Installing ExpressVPN on Windows PC is easy. Just download the installation file from their website and run the setup.

Despite its broad device compatibility, ExpressVPN maintains a consistent experience across most of them. The setup process is simple and precisely how you would install any other software on those devices.

For example, running it on a Windows PC means downloading the installation file and double-clicking the icon to start the process. Once done, you can launch the service and sign in with your username and password.

Most installations will take minutes (or seconds, depending on how powerful your devices are), and you can grab their apps directly from your account on the ExpressVPN client dashboard.

Here's how you setup a VPN on different platforms.

7. You can Pay for ExpressVPN with Crypto

ExpressVPN supports most standard modes of payment. That means channels like credit cards (Visa, Master, American Express, JCB, etc.) and online payment walls (PayPal, UnionPay, Alipay, Mint, OneCard, Klarna, YandexMoney, etc.). 

More importantly, it also accepts some forms of cryptocurrency, such as BitCoin.

If that's not enough, you can also signup for ExpressVPN on the Dark Web (.onion address here and learn how to access the Dark Web here).

Cons: What We Didn't Like About ExpressVPN

1. Gaming Latency Still Exists

Gamers considering using ExpressVPN to access various game server locations may need to reconsider. Despite the excellent quality of service, ExpressVPN can't overcome the laws of physics. Connecting to far-away servers will still result in considerable lag. 

That will likely throw off your game unless you're connecting to a VPN server near your location. Doing so would be pretty much pointless anyway, so do take note. 

2. Less Intuitive App Experience

ExpressVPN - Select Locations
You can choose which server to connect to via the ExpressVPN app.

The app experience that ExpressVPN offers is a double-edged sword. For those new to VPNs, it's fantastic. Launch the app and click the connect button, then off you go. The problem, however, is when you want to customize your experience.

For example, on the app screen, you can see a large connect button alongside three box areas – selected location, smart location, and recent location. You need to click the three dots to open a location menu to choose a new location.

There is also a strange discrepancy between the app indicating “Connected” and when the connection is usable. The green connection light comes on quickly, but you can't use the Internet for a short while. 

While the seeming lag isn't excruciating, it can be annoying if you like to do things quickly. 

ExpressVPN User Reviews – What Others Say About ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN user reviews on Trustpilot

Despite its cost, you may be surprised how many customers have tried and loved ExpressVPN. It scores a stunning 4.7 (out of 5) on Trustpilot from more than 11,000 user reviews.  

ExpressVPN reviewers have lauded the brand for many things. From customer service to ease of use and performance, it seems to be the single, most loved VPN brand on the planet. 

ExpressVPN Pricing and Plans

How Much Does ExpressVPN Cost?

ExpressVPN supports multiple devices and costs only $6.67/mo for 12 months of subscriptions.
ExpressVPN supports multiple devices and costs only $6.67/mo for 12 months of subscriptions.

The minimum subscription period for ExpressVPN starts from one month, but I don’t really think anyone would buy in to that plan since it’s the most expensive. Almost all VPN providers encourage users to buy in for more extended periods for lower prices.

A one-month plan costs $12.95, but that price drops if you sign up for 6 or 12 months. Sign on for 12 months, and you get three months free – essentially halving the monthly fee. While not the cheapest rate, it certainly is a competitive one.

Verdict: Is ExpressVPN Worth Getting?

While there may be some VPNs that offer rates lower than ExpressVPN, I assure you that it is difficult to find one with the same quality of service. The performance and capabilities of ExpressVPN far exceed that of many others.

I feel that there is very little to complain about the service. It has an ample number of servers with a good geographical spread, fast connection speeds, and an excellent reputation in the field. It excels in precisely what's necessary – Privacy and Security.

From positive ExpressVPN Reddit remarks to rave reviews from professional tech sites, this service is one of the tops in performance – even if not in price.

ExpressVPN Alternatives

If ExpressVPN somehow doesn't float your boat, there are many other alternatives in the market. Some of these alternatives include:

NordVPN

NordVPN is more established in the market and has a solid reputation for reliability. The team at NordVPN has also been developing a suite of other security-related features like NordPass and their own NordLynx VPN protocol.

To reassure customers of security, NordVPN has of late been working with third-party auditors to test their no-logging claims. So far, everything has turned out completely fine.

Surfshark

This newer and relatively untested VPN brand has grown phenomenally in terms of quality and network span. Surfshark has been building up steadily but remained more mainstream in its approach to technology. 

Still, that hasn't stopped them from doing crazy things, such as running servers entirely on RAM to ensure they don't retain any data. 

Compare ExpressVPN with other providers

VPN Services*6 months Subscription1 Year Subscription2 / 3 Year Subscription
ExpressVPN$9.99/mo$6.67/mo$6.67/mo
NordVPN$11.99/mo$4.99/mo$3.09/mo
AtlastVPN$10.99/mo$3.29/mo$2.05/mo
CyberGhost$12.99/mo$4.29/mo$2.29/mo
IPVanish$10.99/mo$3.33mo$3.33/mo
Surfshark$12.95/mo$3.99/mo$2.21/mo
TorGuard$9.99/mo$4.99/mo$4.99/mo
VyprVPN$15.00/mo$8.33/mo$8.33/mo

To see more choices in VPN services, check out our list of 10 best VPN services.


Frequently Asked Questions about ExpressVPN

How much does ExpressVPN cost?

ExpressVPN has three main pricing plans: monthly, quarterly, and annual. The monthly prices for these plans are $12.95, $9.99, and $6.67, respectively. As you can see, monthly fees decrease as your subscription term increases.

Is ExpressVPN worth the price?

If you're looking for a reputable VPN brand that offers a fast and reliable service, ExpressVPN is worth the price. It provides a wide range of features, excellent performance, and a solid customer support system.

How much is ExpressVPN in the UK?

ExpressVPN provides three subscription options in the UK. Monthly subscriptions cost £10.55. If you sign on for six months, the price drops to £8.14 per month. Annual subscriptions are cheapest at a mere £5.43 per month.

How much is ExpressVPN in Malaysia?

ExpressVPN customers in Malaysia pay for the service in US dollars. They follow the standard pricing format of $12.95, $9.99, and $6.67 for monthly, 6-month, and annual plans. That converts to average Malaysian Ringgit prices of RM57, RM44, and RM29 per month.

Is NordVPN better than ExpressVPN?

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are excellent VPN service providers. I prefer NordVPN for various reasons. That includes faster speeds, a much more extensive server network, constant innovation, and value-added services.

How much should I pay for VPN?

For extended subscriptions, average VPN prices range between $2 to $5 per month. However, just because a VPN is more expensive does not mean it's the best. You should choose a VPN that best fits your needs – e.g., video streaming, P2P downloads, or geo-unblocking.

Does China own ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is not related to China in any way or form. The brand is today owned by Kape Technologies, a UK-based commercial entity, alongside other VPNs like Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and ZenMate VPN.

Photo of author

Article by Timothy Shim