Today in our ExpressVPN review, we will focus on the world’s biggest premium VPN service provider. Express VPN is an easy-to-use application for Windows, Android, Mac, and iOS devices to provide security and privacy for users.
ExpressVPN operates one of the most popular and reliable VPN (Virtual Private Network) services in the industry. Not only does it work efficiently, but it guarantees to encrypt your web traffic and obscure your IP address.
The company is based in the British Virgin Islands. It’s a location claimed to be the safest when it comes to users’ privacy given the British Virgin Islands do not have laws on data retention. Not only is ExpressVPN safe, but it offers over 3,000 servers in 160 VPN-server locations in 94 countries.
If ExpressVPN has piqued your interest, continue reading through our ExpressVPN review to learn more about this VPN service.
This part of our ExpressVPN review talks about the platform’s general security. ExpressVPN makes use of the highest standards for encryption. It keeps users protected and secure with the 256-bit AES encryption.
This encryption combines the 4096-bit RSA key and the SHA-512 HMAC authentication with the AES 256-bit cypher for enhanced security.
AES 256-bit Encryption
The AES 256-bit encryption is symmetric. It means that the same key used for encrypting data is also used for decrypting data. With this setup, it becomes nearly impossible to break.
With that, even the world’s most efficient computer will take years to decrypt .1% of the information it holds.
SHA-512 HMAC Authentication
The SHA-512 HMAC authentication that the VPN uses is extremely secure, especially for data transfers like P2P file sharing. By employing a shared secret key, the receiver and sender of the download can verify the file’s authenticity.
Plus, any change in this secret key will act as proof that someone tampered with the file.
We like that ExpressVPN uses more than one security protocol. It automatically chooses the best protocol to give you the most reliable connection.
The default mode is an advanced OpenVPN UDP protocol. However, TCP, OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IP-sec are supported as well.
IP and DNS Leaks
Because of privacy concerns, many web surfers use services like ExpressVPN to disguise their actual IP addresses and help encrypt personal data while surfing the web.
A DNS leak is the act of storing, monitoring, then filtering the DNS traffic at an ISP level. It’s done by inspecting public DNS servers being used to resolve host names to IP addresses.
For IP leaks, it’s the process of leaking the real IP address of a user while connected to a VPN service.
The DNS leak occurs when a security flaw sometimes allows the forwarding of DNS requests to your ISP’s DNS server. It results from unencrypted DNS queries sent by your PC outside the created VPN tunnel.
It’s a flaw that stems from an OS’ lack of concept of the collective DNS. With that, the flaw lets an ISP see what sites you’re visiting.
If you aren’t familiar, everyone uses a third-party DNS server to access different sites. These DNS servers log and note DNS queries every time users attempt to access websites.
In order to get around these unsecure processes, ExpressVPN comes with a Zero-Knowledge DNS feature. It allows the private DNS servers of ExpressVPN to handle all DNS requests. The feature is a huge contrast compared to other VPN providers using OpenDNS / other third-party DNS services.
The issue concerning third-party DNS is that they aren’t controlled by the VPN providers. So, they lack the same quality of tunneling and encryption.
This setup results in hackers waiting for your DNS queries to appear on substandard third-party solutions to compromise your security. These can occur while thinking you’re secure by using a VPN.
But with private DNS, ExpressVPN guarantees no loose ends left anywhere in its system that a hacker can exploit. This provides you with all-encompassing secrecy and security while online.
Zero Log VPN
ExpressVPN doesn’t log any of your internet traffic. They don’t record your IP address or even the server’s IP address that you’re connected to.
The service only gathers dates and location you connected to, and the number of data transferred each day. What’s great about ExpressVPN is that it doesn’t retain the time and the specific servers you go into. None of the data is traced back to you and is only used for diagnostic purposes to curb abuse.
ExpressVPN Review – Special Features
Our ExpressVPN review won’t be complete without listing its features. Aside from the common privacy benefits that a lot of VPN providers give, ExpressVPN features special security features for you. We’ve listed the following to give you an idea of what they are.
The ExpressVPN TOR Compatibility
The primary objective of TOR is offering top-notch security that allows you to safeguard traffic via multiple servers. When using the app together with TOR, you’re getting extra layers of security to your internet connection and data.
With that, you can avoid all the security vulnerabilities and issues properly.
Kill Switch – The ExpressVPN Network Lock
ExpressVPN provides a kill switch feature called Network Lock. If the VPN connection is interrupted, the Network Lock will shut down your PC’s internet connection until re-establishing the VPN.
The feature ensures that there aren’t any packets of your data slipping through the internet from your PC. Of course, ExpressVPN’s encryption will defend it efficiently.
Perfect Forward Secrecy
ExpressVPN makes use of Perfect Forward Secrecy. It’s an advanced feature that changes the encryption key during every log in. With that, you’re assigned to have a fresh key at the start of each session.
All the data from earlier sessions are entirely unrelated to the current session, making it completely secure.
Thanks to the TrustedServer Technology of ExpressVPN, the servers run on volatile memory (RAM), and not on hard drives. Plus, all data and software on the server are cleaned every time it’s powered on and off.
ExpressVPN Review – Speed of Platform and Servers
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN services we’ve used. It topped the list in our speed tests, and its speed was considerably higher than the other ones we tried.
While connected to most servers, we had plenty of bandwidth, allowing us to stream 4K videos and video chats. Also, we were able to see these videos in high-definition.
Different Coverage Locations
Some locations have more servers compared to others, and the ExpressVPN is one of the best that we’ve tried. During our speed tests, we saw no connection failures, and every server connected within a few seconds.
From what we’ve seen, the ExpressVPN has no significant connection issues. Latency was likewise within our expected range. For the geolocation checks, it displayed all the servers were in the list of locations they advertised.
For the speed in various locations, ExpressVPN’s average download speed was impressive. In North America, we got 100Mbps. For Asia, we got 107Mbps, and for Europe, we got 115 Mbps.
ExpressVPN Review – Streaming Capabilities
With ExpressVPN, you can stream your favorite video platforms with ease, including Youtube, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Kodi, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, Disney+, Showtime, and Sling TV. Additionally, it can stream shows in beIN Sports, Stream Sky Go, Vudu, Zattoo, ESPN, ITV, DAZN, fuboTV, and more.
Additionally, ExpressVPN has servers in Hong Kong to allow you to access Chinese TV and websites, even outside China. It also works vice versa to help people inside China to gain access to digitally censored websites. The VPN uses obfuscation across its servers to do this.
With obfuscation, the ExpressVPN disguises the VPN server code to make it look like usual internet traffic. As a result, it won’t be detected as a VPN and won’t get blocked, allowing users to browse freely. They can also access restricted sites, even from China.
Moreover, ExpressVPN lets you unblock other sites like Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, Netflix, and more from inside China. However, you need to install the VPN outside of Chinese borders first. Otherwise, it will be blocked regardless.
First, let’s begin with the compatibility of ExpressVPN. You can use it with Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Nvidia Shield.
For the number of devices, ExpressVPN allows five simultaneous connections. However, installing the application to the router gives you unlimited simultaneous connections, since the router is considered the only device connected to the application.
When you install ExpressVPN on your router, you can protect each device connected to Wi-Fi in your household.
Pricing and Support
ExpressVPN offers three types of plans. The monthly plan costs $12.95. The 6-month plan costs $9.99 per month, while the 12-month plan is $6.67 per month.
These aren’t the cheapest options available since the company positions itself as a premium VPN service provider. Although a bit pricey, the costs aren’t unreasonably high, and you get more than what you pay for.
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ExpressVPN Review – Support Features
Excellent customer support is essential in any service you pay for. Aside from the tech considerations, customer service is one of the most significant deciding factors when choosing a VPN provider. It’s great to have someone available to assist you when you’re having a hard time making your VPN work properly.
As for ExpressVPN, they have the most helpful and accommodating customer support team. They have live chat support that’s available 24/7, so you can contact them to ask questions. They’re not only responsive, but they also give logical answers that aren’t copy-and-pasted.
Aside from the live chat, they provide support through the self-help guides available on their website. It’s the best option if you don’t want to wait for an agent. You can also contact ExpressVPN via email support or file a support ticket.
ExpressVPN’s support team consists of knowledgeable and helpful agents. They make it easy for you to get the answers you need to use your VPN properly and stay protected.
ExpressVPN Review – Conclusion
After using ExpressVPN for weeks, we had a great overall experience with it. Because of that, we’re highly recommending this VPN service to everyone. When it comes to the most important things in a VPN, security and speed, ExpressVPN outperforms it competitors.
It is especially useful for gamers and torrenters who require high-speed connections.
ExpressVPN a bit more expensive compared to other VPN providers’ plans, yet it performs excellently and offers heightened security. It provides sufficient speed, increased protection, and it can unblock a variety of websites today.
To sum up our ExpressVPN review, it’s one of the best VPN providers we’ve used. If you’re interested in purchasing ExpressVPN’s services, be sure sign up with our affiliate link for up to 3 months of free service.