ExpressVPN Review: A Fast & Furious Solution for Online Freedom

Abeerah Hashim  - Security Expert
Last updated: November 21, 2023
Read time: 42 minutes
Facts checked by Ali Qamar

A superfast, highly secure, and user-friendly VPN that respects your privacy. Though it misses out on some fancy security add-ons despite high prices, its tremendous security is worth the money.

As security breaches and online tracking are rising, VPN use has become more essential than ever for individual internet users and organizations.

However, finding a reliable and trusted VPN service from many inferior VPNs is a chore.

Yet, a quick online search about the best VPNs will always bring one name to you as the best of the best – ExpressVPN.

From corporate to personal use, everyone recommends ExpressVPN for everything.

But is it worth it? How about the other good VPNs that are cheaper?

We know these are just a few questions from other queries that strike your mind whenever you read about ExpressVPN.

And you’re not alone in this – as we’re also equally curious to know the facts.

So, we got our hands on this VPN and tested it ourselves to develop this honest ExpressVPN review for you.

ExpressVPN — Quick look

Key features

Pricing$6.67-$12.95 per month, depending on your subscription length
Country locationsAvailable in 94 countries
Number of ServersOver 3,000 servers globally
Device compatibilityUser-friendly apps for all major devices, including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, game consoles, streaming services, and WiFi routers
LoggingZero log keeping
SupportTicketing system, 24/7 live chat support, FAQs, troubleshooting guides, and email
Works with NetflixYes
Other streaming sites (I tested and unblocked using it)Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO, ABC iView, 7Plus, SBS On Demand
Free TrialNone
Refund30-day money-back guarantee
VPN ProtocolsLightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Data AuthenticationSHA-512 HMAC authentication
Handshake4096-bit RSA key
Data EncryptionAES-256-GCM
Official Website

Pros and cons

  • It boasts a resilient server network that evades most VPN-blocking attempts from different services.
  • Offers stealth browsing features to support users in repressive regions like China.
  • Provides blazing-fast speed even on slow base connections.
  • User-friendly apps ensure quick installation and setup.
  • The first VPN to adopt RAM-based servers to ensure no data logging.
  • Responsive and knowledgeable customer support is accessible via email and 24/7 live chat.
  • Has relatively costlier subscription plans.
  • It lacks some fancy features like Double VPN and optimized servers.

ExpressVPN overview

If you don’t have time to read the entire article, here’s a summary of the key points about ExpressVPN.

  • ExpressVPN has top-notch security and privacy features. Without a doubt, this VPN has some of the best security and privacy features. They include; a reliable kill switch, RAM-only servers, a strict no-logs policy, AES-256 encryption, and a proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol, among others. These features provide a secure and private online environment.
  • The VPN has super-fast and consistent connections. After testing ExpressVPN alongside other VPNs, we can confidently say it has impressive connection speeds even when connecting to a more distant server location.
  • Excellent unblocking and streaming abilities: ExpressVPN is undeniably one of the best VPNs to bypass geographic restrictions imposed by streaming platforms. It works perfectly with all major streaming platforms, including Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and Netflix. Moreover, you can also use its MediaStreamer feature to access VPN services on non-VPN devices.
  • ExpressVPN has an extensive server network. The VPN has a network of more than 3,000 servers that are well spread across 94 countries. The extensive distribution of servers means you can connect to a server in any region worldwide.
  • Impressive additional features. Besides the core security, privacy, and unblocking features, the VPN has additional features that help you stay safe or customize your experience. For instance, it has a threat manager that protects you against tracking and a split tunneling feature that allows you to select which applications can connect via a VPN.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly application interface. ExpressVPN has applications for all major operating systems and devices. All its applications are easy to use, featuring a stylish, intuitive interface that both beginners and experienced users can use.
  • ExpressVPN is a bit expensive. The subscription price of ExpressVPN is $6.67, almost double that of other VPNs like NordVPN and Surfshark. However, you can take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee and use it for one month free of charge.
  • Flexible and reliable customer support. The ExpressVPN website has a dedicated FAQ page that attempts to answer all the frequently asked questions. Also, it has an excellent customer support system that supports email and live chats 24/7. Therefore, you can always reach out for help when stuck.

Servers and network coverage

ExpressVPN server locations
ExpressVPN has neatly categorized the server locations, helping users to select a VPN location without hassle.

If you’re familiar with VPNs like Private Internet Access, which has over 35,000 servers, or CyberGhost, which has 9,500+ servers, you might expect ExpressVPN to boast a similarly huge number.

However, the number of servers and coverage area of ExpressVPN show how quality weighs more than quantity.

ExpressVPN has a modest network of 3000+ servers.

Despite this seemingly smaller number (compared to PIA, CyberGhost, or NordVPN), ExpressVPN has set up the largest global network. Precisely, it offers servers from 160 different locations across 94 countries.

But how does it manage so many countries with so few servers, we hear you ask?

Because of its underlying security and stealth functionality, it can bypass all VPN blocking attempts. Thus, ExpressVPN does not need to have backup servers ready at hand to deal with server blocking.

Moreover, these guys have maintained physical servers in most countries.

It enables them to also focus on setting up virtual locations for repressive and distant regions like Belarus, Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Vietnam.

Amazed to read these names?

You can now imagine their competence in the field, as they even offer server locations uncommon with most VPNs.

Smart Location

ExpressVPN’s built-in Smart Location feature automatically connects you to the fastest server, eliminating the hassle of finding the best one. The feature is crucial, especially for first-time ExpressVPN users and those living in regions with heavy censorship.

The Smart Location feature ranks the best servers in the entire network based on distance, latency, and speed. It then allocates the fastest server near your location, giving you incredible connection speeds, especially when performing data-intensive tasks like torrenting and streaming.

Obfuscated servers

Obfuscated servers ensure that your VPN connection traffic appears like regular traffic regardless of your online activity. This ensures network monitoring tools and firewalls cannot detect or control VPN traffic. Obfuscated servers are essential when you want to access restricted content or live in a heavily censored region where government agencies monitor and filter traffic.

Luckily, all ExpressVPN servers are obfuscated and effectively hide your VPN traffic. So, you don’t need to worry about online platforms blocking your connection or ISPs throttling your connection.

ExpressVPN virtual locations

Virtual locations are essential when connecting to a country with restrictive internet policies. Some countries ban or restrict VPNs, making setting up data centers and VPN infrastructure complex. Therefore, VPN providers must develop innovative ways of allowing users to connect to such countries without necessarily having physical servers in them.

For instance, in 2022, India passed laws that required VPNs to record users’ personal data, which goes against ExpressVPN’s strict no-logs policy. As a result, ExpressVPN moved all its physical servers from India, but it still maintains virtual Indian servers. Today, around 5% of ExpressVPN servers are virtual servers.

Another reason for creating virtual locations is to improve speeds and stabilize connections in countries with poor internet connections. VPN providers set up physical servers in countries with better internet speeds and infrastructure, then create virtual locations for those with poor connections. Since virtual servers are located in different physical locations, you may experience reduced connection speeds, especially if the virtual server is far from the physical one. This makes them poor at unblocking streaming sites or performing data-intensive tasks like gaming and torrenting.

ExpressVPN security and privacy features

ExpressVPN is one of the most secure and private VPN services available. For example, the VPN has a robust encryption algorithm that shreds your data into pieces such that no one can access it, even your ISP or government agencies. This is just one of the many security measures this VPN applies to keep you safe.

Moreover, ExpressVPN has gone miles to ensure your utmost privacy and anonymity. For instance, it has a no-logs policy and is audited by reliable audit firms. Also, it is based in a privacy-friendly country.


ExpressVPN Privacy 600x300

A VPN is all about encrypting your data. The stronger the encryption is, the better your privacy will be – simple as that.

Hence, ExpressVPN defiantly employs a robust encryption strategy that relies on AES 256-bit encryption with 4096-bit DHE-RSA keys and SHA-512 HMAC authentication.

In simple words, it means that your data remains highly secured with this encryption strategy. No one can intercept the traffic passing through the encrypted VPN tunnel. Nor can anyone alter your messages during transit.

Besides, ExpressVPN offers Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) that regenerates encryption keys frequently. This rapid change of keys protects your privacy in the unlikely event of a key compromise.

It means that if an attacker gets your encryption keys and deciphers your message, the attacker won’t be able to see your past and future communications because the key would not apply to them.

VPN protocols

After encryption, the next thing that makes a VPN what it should be is the connection protocol.

Today, various VPN protocols exist. However, not all VPNs offer all types of them.

Nonetheless, ExpressVPN seamlessly impressed us when writing this review with its choice of protocols.

ExpressVPN protocols
VPN protocols are offered on the ExpressVPN Windows client.

To ensure thorough privacy for all users, even the non-technical ones, ExpressVPN doesn’t support insecure protocols SSTP or PPTP.

Besides, while it previously allowed users to configure PPTP and L2TP within their apps manually, they stopped supporting these protocols starting in 2023.

So now, by default, ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, and Lightway – its very own VPN protocol.

Specifically, “Lightway” is a lightweight protocol providing fast speed, thorough security, less power consumption, and sustainable connectivity that persists even when switching internet connections. It uses wolfSSL – a portable yet robust encryption that ensures fast-speed connectivity without compromising privacy.

Lightway is ExpressVPN’s exclusive VPN protocol that it built from scratch. Since its rollout in 2020, it has gained traction for speedy and secure connections. And now, given its strengths, ExpressVPN has open-sourced Lightway, available for the public on GitHub.

Here’s on which devices you can find these protocols available if you go with ExpressVPN.

  • Lightway: Android, Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, routers
  • OpenVPN: Routers, Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (requires Android 5.0 and above), iOS (requires iOS 12 and above)
  • IKEv2: Windows, Mac, iOS

Does ExpressVPN support WireGuard?

Wondering why did we miss mentioning WireGuard above?

Well, ExpressVPN, at present, doesn’t support Wireguard.

It doesn’t mean they oppose this protocol. Instead, as ExpressVPN explained, they have refrained from adapting WireGuard temporarily until the protocol is thoroughly audited for security. Also, they feel more comfortable optimizing their own-developed protocol for a better user experience.

So, you may not presently find WireGuard with ExpressVPN. Yet, you can try alternate VPNs supporting WireGuard, like NordVPN, Surfshark, and Private Internet Access.

Kill switch

Our following assessment parameter to grade any VPN is the presence of a vigilant kill switch. So, for this ExpressVPN’s comprehensive review, we also searched for the kill switch with this VPN.

And, again, ExpressVPN didn’t disappoint us!

The service comes with a robust kill switch named “Network Lock.”

ExpressVPN kill switch
Network Lock with default configurations on a Windows 10 system.

As expected, it locks your network whenever the VPN experiences a connection drop.

Yet, it also takes over your network in many other situations where the VPN suspects a potential IP exposure.

For example, if your internet connection is poor or flickering, you change your network, put your device to sleep mode, or your ISP suffers an outage, Network Lock will be activated to protect your real online details.

This feature is available across ExpressVPN clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, and router VPN apps.

Also, the feature is enabled by default. Hence you don’t have to fiddle with your VPN settings to configure this feature. However, if you wish to close this option, you can easily do so via the settings menu.

For Android and iOS users, this kill switch is named “Network Protection.” It features like the Network Lock, suspending internet connectivity in case of VPN disconnection. However, it has limited availability, supporting the latest devices only.

Specifically, this feature is available for devices running iOS 14 (and above) and Android 7 (and above). Nonetheless, users with older devices can still avail themselves of this feature by enabling the kill switch on the VPN router.

IP and DNS leak protection

IP protection is what VPNs are responsible for. However, the same tools often become the most significant source of IP leaks.

Of course, a kill switch is critical in preventing your IP’s accidental exposure to the internet. But it only works when the VPN connection drops.

IP leaks happen during an active VPN connection. Such leaks occur via IPv6 exposure, WebRTC, and DNS leaks.

So, while many low-reputation VPNs do not offer a kill switch, those who do also fail to prevent IP leaks.

ExpressVPN ensures superior IP and DNS leak protection to all customers.

At first, they prevent IPv6 and WebRTC leaks by simply blocking IPv6. This feature is enabled by default, so you don’t have to worry about configuring this setting.

Secondly, ExpressVPN prevents DNS leaks by employing its DNS servers with a VPN connection. This way, the service reroutes your regular internet traffic and does the same to all your DNS queries.

Data-logging policy (no logs)

Perhaps, you might have been looking for this until now.

And you won’t be wrong in doing so because data privacy is one of the most significant purposes of a VPN. If a VPN logs your data, your privacy faces the same risk when you use no VPN.

Thankfully, ExpressVPN is one of those few VPN services that maintain a strict and bold no-logging policy.

To ensure that they remain free of any external pressure or threat to log customers’ data, they have set up their structure in a way that does not support data storage.

Their Privacy Policy clearly states,

We’ve engineered our systems to categorically eliminate storage of sensitive data. We may know THAT a user has used ExpressVPN, but we are unable to single out the user and we never know HOW they have utilized our Service. We stand by our firm commitment to our users’ privacy by not possessing any data related to a user’s online activities.

And they even proved the same when asked to provide logs during Andrey Karlov’s assassination investigation. As per their statement,

While it’s unfortunate that security tools like VPNs can be abused for illicit purposes, they are critical for our safety and the preservation of our right to privacy online. ExpressVPN is fundamentally opposed to any efforts to install “backdoors” or attempts by governments to otherwise undermine such technologies.

Any changes after the Kape Tech deal?

Now you might wonder whether privacy will continue at ExpressVPN’s end even after being acquired by Kape Technologies.

Indeed, despite not being a member, Israel is one of those countries that somehow collaborate with the 14 Eyes alliance. It is questionable for a VPN service to join a firm with this background.

Also, Kape Technologies had a shady past when it existed as Crossrider – a firm infamous for malicious activities like adware distribution.

After being caught, Crossrider rebranded as Kape to detach its checkered history. Moreover, the firm now also boasts itself as a digital privacy-focused service.

To add weightage to this claim, Kape Technologies started acquiring privacy-centric services, like antivirus and VPNs. Consequently, it spent a fortune acquiring Cyberghost in 2017, Intego in 2018, ZenGuard GmbH (makers of ZenMate VPN) in late 2018, and Private Internet Access (PIA) in 2019.

Continuing this practice, Kape Technologies acquired ExpressVPN in one of the largest deals in its history for a whopping $936 million.

Indeed, this significant acquisition raises questions about whether ExpressVPN would compromise its policies to comply with the parent firm. Nonetheless, both Kape Technologies and ExpressVPN have confirmed that the latter will continue to operate independently.

Elaborating on this in a blog post, ExpressVPN stated,

ExpressVPN will remain a separate service from other Kape brands, and everything you’ve come to know and love about ExpressVPN will only continue to improve: our award-winning speed and reliability, premium global server network and bandwidth, 24/7 live chat, BVI jurisdiction, policy of not collecting activity or connection logs, independent third-party audits, and more.

So, ExpressVPN will have no effect from this deal besides a jazz-up in resources.

Therefore, you can trust that your data privacy and security remain conserved when using ExpressVPN. No need to fear your data landing at the hands of your government.

Nonetheless, as a responsible internet user, you must ensure legitimate use of ExpressVPN and its likes so that these services continue to exist without hassle for millions of privacy-savvy customers globally.

Privacy audits

To support all its claims about privacy, especially the no-logs policy, Express VPN invites renowned independent organizations to scrutinize their servers. The infrastructure was recently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting company which ascertained that the VPN’s privacy claims are valid.

Additionally, the provider has a bug bounty program that invites independent testers to look for vulnerabilities or bugs that could compromise the VPNs functionality. The program has been there for a while now, and it targets the overall infrastructure of the VPN, including users.

Independent audits and the bug bounty program show ExpressVPN’s commitment to user privacy and security.

ExpressVPN key features

Since we aimed to develop a dead-honest review of ExpressVPN, we couldn’t limit our research to only general features.

Hence, our team scratched the surface to see if ExpressVPN has anything special for its users.

Unexpectedly, ExpressVPN missed numerous unique features, such as a Double VPN. It was a strange finding since many other good VPNs frequently offer such features for no extra cost.

So, if you’re looking for a VPN with many fancy features, NordVPN or Surfshark may suit you better.

Nevertheless, if you aren’t concerned about getting lots of features and merely focusing on VPN performance, ExpressVPN would be a better option. With fewer features, ExpressVPN warrants superior computer and internet security to top the list of all VPNs.

Let’s backtrack and examine how ExpressVPN has evolved over the past few years.

  • May 2020: Launched the Lightway tunneling developed to reduce power consumption and improve connection speed.
  • Sep 2021: Kape Technologies, a digital security and privacy organization, acquired ExpressVPN.
  • Jan 2022: Launched Parallel connections feature that created multiple ways of connecting users to a server simultaneously.
  • Sep 2022: An ExpressVPN preloaded router called Aircove launched.
  • Sep 2022: Enhanced the Android App security and started protection for rooted and jailbroken devices.
  • Nov 2022: F-Secure and Cure53 conducted independent audits of the ExpressVPN desktop version.
  • Dec 2022: Cure53 conducted two external audits of ExpressVPN mobile device apps.

Below we quickly review what ExpressVPN has for you.

Split tunneling

While VPNs are necessary for your internet security, you can’t keep them connected 24/7 for all purposes.

No, we aren’t referring to VPN data limitations here. Especially in the case of ExpressVPN, you don’t have to worry about it since ExpressVPN never limits your data.

But, having a VPN turned on might hinder your IP-specific activities.

For example, you may face trouble signing in to your Facebook profile. The service might detect your sign-in request as a malicious login attempt from a different location.

Similarly, you may lose access to other essential platforms typically available to your IP location if you try to access them via a VPN.

You might think of turning off your VPN in such situations. However, while this is possible, it indirectly means putting your data at risk of cyberattacks.

So, what should you do?

ExpressVPN has got you covered by offering split tunneling.

Clicking the “Settings” button (highlighted in red) opens a new window, showing three options to configure split tunneling. You can choose the apps to use or not use VPN, accordingly.

With this feature, you can mark the specific apps to run outside the VPN without turning off the VPN. (For example, as shown in the image above, I selected Mozilla Firefox to run outside the VPN tunnel.) This way, you divide your traffic into two paths – an encrypted VPN tunnel and the traffic outside this tunnel.

Similarly, you can mark certain apps to run only with the VPN while performing the rest of the activities with your regular internet connection. For instance, you can use this feature when torrenting, hiding your torrenting activity with the VPN while continuing your work outside the VPN.

Private DNS with every server

Another important technology that allows ExpressVPN to provide fool-proof privacy is Private DNS.

While most VPNs either lack separate DNS or offer DNS as an add-on, ExpressVPN’s Private DNS feature is available to all by default.

Precisely, ExpressVPN runs a separate private DNS for every server. Thus, when you enable ExpressVPN on your device, all your DNS queries automatically pass through the encrypted VPN channels.

Since every server has its own DNS, the whole process gets super fast, and your DNS queries return responses within the blink of an eye. That’s what jazzes up the VPN speed here.

Plus, as your DNS queries remain encrypted, neither your ISP can track you via DNS leaks. Nor can any cybercriminal spy on you or store your data.

Moreover, this DNS encryption also saves the service from DNS hijacking attacks and censorship by DNS blocking.

Of course, you get all these benefits without worrying about the VPN logging your data.

MediaStreamer DNS

While IP masking via VPNs works great to access blocked websites, some platforms, such as streaming sites like Netflix, remain tricky to unblock. That’s because such services, or your ISP, employ various VPN detection techniques to block users from evading their content restrictions.

That’s where a Smart DNS comes into play – helping you watch your favorite movie or sport anywhere. The Smart DNS reroutes your DNS traffic through its DNS servers instead of your ISP. Also, such DNS traffic rerouting bluffs the streaming sites regarding your online location, giving you a chance to unblock your preferred content.

However, a Smart DNS alone can’t warrant resistance against harsh restrictions. Hence you must couple it with a VPN to ensure unrestricted access.

ExpressVPN understands and addresses this issue by offering MediaStreamer – a Smart DNS proxy that unblocks even the most aggressively blocked content libraries on any platform you choose.

Smart Location

While all the servers ExpressVPN has for you are superfast, you might wonder which would work best for you.

ExpressVPN offers the “Smart Location” to address this confusing situation for their customers.

Again, it isn’t an optional add-on but a primary technology that runs on the VPN client by default.

With this feature, ExpressVPN automatically chooses the best VPN server for you.

Smart location feature ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN app connecting to Singapore server as “Smart Location.”

Although this feature may sound common among VPNs, such as CyberGhost and PIA, ExpressVPN offers something different.

Unlike other VPNs that auto-detect the best server by choosing a server nearest to your location, ExpressVPN walks the extra mile to assess servers’ performance.

It means they do not typically recommend a server based on distance. Instead, they also evaluate other parameters, like latency and download speed. Only after assessing the servers against all these parameters does the service brings the best server to you.

If your activities aren’t location-specific, this automatic server selection can significantly benefit you.

Yet, at any time, you can simply select a desired server from the list to connect to. It will automatically push the Smart Location feature aside, allowing you to use your desired location server.

Don’t worry about getting the Smart location settings back. Since you can’t disable this feature, it will automatically return when you start your VPN connection.

Parallel Connection

Since ExpressVPN’s core strength is its speed (which is what the provider is proud of), it takes every measure to stand up to its claims. While technological advancements successfully do that, what slightly marred its efforts was the connection time in the case of restricted networks.

Hence, ExpressVPN rolled out the “Parallel Connection” feature to address this problem.

Elaborating on this in a post, the provider explained that some customers experienced up to 30 seconds to establish VPN connections. That’s because the VPN client would try different protocols one-by-one to connect, depending upon the base network.

However, with “Parallel Connection,” the VPN client tries all methods together, reducing the connection time.

The provider began rolling out this feature on iOS first while planning to expand the release on other platforms sooner. (So, if you subscribe to ExpressVPN, you can notice the swift connection establishment on your iPhones compared to your other devices.)

Router applet

Setting up a VPN application on a router can be an uphill task for ordinary users because it requires technical skills to tinker with the firmware.

This is why ExpressVPN introduced a router applet that streamlines this process with just a few steps. The applet gives overall network control to configure which devices can use the VPN, port-forwarding, and connection settings.

Additionally, it allows you to create custom groups and add several devices so you can manage them separately. As a result, you can configure different groups of devices and even change their settings without affecting others. Normally, you’ll have to pay a lot to get a router with such functionality.


The ExpressVPN shortcut feature helps you save time and navigation by allowing you to couple the VPN with your frequently used applications or services.

Once you launch your VPN and have established a sever connection, you can create and edit shortcuts by right-clicking the bar under the connect button and selecting ‘Edit shortcuts.’ Then, click the shortcut icon to launch the added application or link.

The feature is available on Android, Mac, and Windows devices and allows you to create up to 5 shortcuts.

ExpressVPN security add-ons (if any?)

After checking out the robust security measures and protocols with ExpressVPN, we anticipated this VPN to offer many dedicated security tools.

Of course, most VPNs do that.

For example, NordVPN, Private Internet Access, and Surfshark VPN offer feature like adblocking, malware protection, email breach alert, and more. CyberGhost even provides malware protection and system update scan.

These features save users from the hassle of arranging separate security tools to protect their privacy. They instead buy themselves thorough protection when they subscribe to one such VPN.

ExpressVPN previously lagged here – we should necessarily mention it in this ExpressVPN unbiased review.

Nonetheless, the provider is now working to outsmart others in this arena with the rollout of the following features.

Threat Manager

Beginning in 2022, ExpressVPN has rolled out Threat Manager as a dedicated malware and tracker protection tool for users.

The provider leverages publicly available sources listing known malware and trackers for this feature. Using these lists, ExpressVPN has compiled the Threat Manager blocklist, also available as open-source.

This feature prevents websites, authorities, ISPs, and other entities from tracking your web traffic. Likewise, it ensures protection against scammers.

This feature is available on Mac, Linux, and iOS clients but will soon be available for other platforms. Users can easily find this feature via the VPN app settings.

ExpressVPN Keys

Like NordVPN’s NordPass, ExpressVPN Keys is an integrated password management tool that securely generates and stores strong passwords. It also comes with a smooth auto-fill feature, saving you time typing passwords and preventing any keylogging attempts.

The tool works on zero-knowledge encryption, ensuring no access to your stored logins. The logins are only decrypted on your respective device, preventing any snoopers.

ExpressVPN Keys is a free security add-on, requiring no separate subscription from you. Also, it doesn’t restrict the number of stored logins or supported devices. Simply put, you get a free password manager with all premium features with a single VPN subscription.

The service is currently available for mobile users as an integrated feature with ExpressVPN iOS and Android clients. Desktop users can download the ExpressVPN Keys Chrome extension, but it requires the respective macOS or Windows VPN client installed on your device to function.

ExpressVPN user experience

After evaluating ExpressVPN against all its features, it appears to be a remarkable service with the utmost security. Though it misses out on some add-ons, it isn’t a big deal as far as the VPN itself works the way it should.

And, no doubt, ExpressVPN has everything in place to keep you secure and anonymous online.

But, we assessed ExpressVPN for its user experience, just like any other app.

Indeed, not all ExpressVPN users are tech freaks. Many would have opted for this service after reading ExpressVPN users’ reviews.

So, is this app straightforward to use for all users? Let’s check it out.

Windows and macOS

There’s no significant difference between Windows and Mac VPN applications. Both applications have the same features, but the Windows application arguably has the best user experience.

In both applications, the main interface window consists of a big button for creating a connection and a shortcut to connect to servers you have used recently. You can customize and create shortcuts or connect to the servers ExpressVPN’s SmartLocation feature recommends.

To access more server options, click the horizontal lines on the top left corner of your application and click ‘VPN server Location.’ A new window will open on the right side with a list of all available servers.

Unfortunately, the Windows and Mac ExpressVPN applications do not have a map. Still, you can filter locations according to continents from where you select the country you want to connect to.

Thankfully, ExpressVPN has a split tunneling feature, but it is only available in Windows and older versions of MacOS. MacOS version 11 and above do not support this feature, so if it is important, consider picking a different VPN.


ExpressVPN has applications for all major Linux distributions, including Mint, Fedora, Ubuntu, RedHat, Debian, and Arch-based distributions. The good thing about Linux applications is they are easy to use and do not require root permissions which sits well with users.

Linux applications have a decent array of features, including an option to use Lightway tunneling protocol which is faster and consumes less power. Also, they are easy to troubleshoot and diagnose using the terminal.

You can install an ExpressVPN browser extension and control your connections from there if you are uncomfortable using the terminal. However, the application lacks some critical features like split tunneling.

Mobile apps

The design logic of ExpressVPN’s mobile apps is similar to desktop applications. The only significant difference is the options tab has been modified to fit taller mobile screens.

Generally, ExpressVPN applications for mobile phones have a stylish and responsive interface that is easy to navigate.

Both iOS and Android versions have all features of desktop applications, but the Android versions appear to be better equipped than the iOS versions.

While both apps allow you to switch between various tunneling protocols and configure auto-connection settings, only Android versions have shortcuts and split tunneling features.

Browser extensions

ExpressVPN has a lightweight bundle designed for browsers. The browser extension is available for Edge, Chrome, and Firefox browsers.

You can use browser extensions alongside your desktop application if you find it easier to use. It has a sleek user interface that allows you to switch between light and dark modes.

The extension is a better version of Opera’s integrated VPN because it is customizable, and you can set it up to auto-connect each time you open a browser.

Download and setup

At this point, ExpressVPN excels as it ensures its customers don’t face VPN issues. It is straightforward to download and install across all devices.

All it takes is simply visiting their website and clicking the “Get Started” button. You will then land on the subscriptions page. Here, you can enter your details to subscribe to ExpressVPN, choose a subscription plan, and select the payment method.

If you’re wondering how to proceed with ExpressVPN free download, let us clarify that ExpressVPN isn’t a free tool. But you can get your money back if you aren’t satisfied with its performance (more on it below).

After completing the account registration, you can safely download the VPN app on your device.

Once the setup executable downloads, click (or tap) on it to start the installation process.

Installing ExpressVPN didn’t require any user input and was completed within 1 minute.

Again, you don’t have to stick your eyes to your device because the VPN will self-install without direct input from you. Nor does it take forever to complete the setup.

Launching the app requires you to give a few commands, such as signing in to your account, to complete the process. Once done, you can open your VPN app to start a secure online journey.

Performance and speed: Is ExpressVPN fast enough?

ExpressVPN ranks among the fastest VPNs in the market today. Besides using many popular tunneling protocols, ExpressVPN has a custom protocol dubbed Lightway tunneling protocol. The protocol supports fast and secure transmission of data while reducing power consumption.

The table below shows a summary of ExpressVPN speeds in different locations.

ExpressVPNUpload retentionDownload retention
Germany36% (351 Mbit/s)29% (284 Mbit/s)
Australia34% (332 Mbit/s)23% (249 Mbit/s)
UK29% (286 Mbit/s)21% (209 Mbit/s)
Canada33% (322 Mbit/s)30% (292 Mbit/s)
US (NY)21% (207 Mbit/s)18% (173 Mbit/s)

When using the Lightway tunneling protocol, your connection happens instantly, and the average drop in download speed is 34% which is fair compared to other VPNs. On the other hand, ExpressVPN outperforms its competitors by retaining an average of 90% of upload speed.

Let’s compare ExpressVPN’s average download speeds with those of other VPNs.

VPNAverage VPN

How does ExpressVPN perform with other protocols?

Besides the Lightway protocol, ExpressVPN allows you to choose other protocols. However, their connection speed may not be as fast. Here is a summary of the average download and upload speeds using different tunneling protocols.

  • Lightway: 203.5/146.4
  • OpenVPN (UDP): 174.1/123.5
  • OpenVPN (TCP): 103.7/52.6
  • IKev2: 211.2/9.5

From the summary above, it is easy to note that OpenVPN (UDP) has a pretty impressive download speed. Its download speeds can drop as low as 14%, which is acceptable. Also, you can notice that IKev2 has excellent download speeds but poor upload speeds. Generally, expressVPN is a super-fast VPN, especially if you choose servers near your location.

Device compatibility

Devices compatibility

Can you name a VPN with a dedicated VPN client for every device in your home?

Even if you’re an avid VPN user, you will often get stuck at one or more devices regarding how to install your subscribed VPN on a specific unsupported device.

For instance, you often face trouble finding a VPN for your gaming console or your Firestick. Or, you wonder how to protect your router with a VPN, as your existing subscription doesn’t support routers.

To address all these situations once and for all, you’ve got one comprehensive solution – ExpressVPN.

It has one of the widest ranges of VPN apps, supporting almost all major devices and platforms. With this single VPN subscription, you can protect everything from cyber threats, from your smartphones to your routers and other smart devices.

Wondering if we are making any boastful claims here? Well, check out the following list of apps it offers.

  • Smartphones: Android, iOS
  • Computers: Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook
  • Streaming: Amazon Fire TV/Firestick, Android TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, NVIDIA Shield
  • Gaming consoles: PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, Xbox
  • Other devices: Routers, Blackberry (BlackBerry Priv and BlackBerry DTEK50), Kindle Fire
  • Browser extensions: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Brave, Vivaldi

Wondering if ExpressVPN has missed out on any device you own? We doubt!

Yet, if you can come up with one, you won’t face trouble protecting it with ExpressVPN as you can connect it to your VPN router. Simple as that!

Simultaneous device connections

Now that you know ExpressVPN supports many platforms, you may ask how to connect them with a single account.

The good news is that ExpressVPN offers up to 5 simultaneous connections with a single account.

And, no, this number isn’t about how many devices you can run this VPN. Instead, this limitation applies to simultaneous connections. That is the number of devices running ExpressVPN (subscribed to your account) simultaneously.

For example, if you have connected your Windows PC, MacBook, Android Phone, Xbox, and iPhone simultaneously, you may not run other devices on a VPN. But the moment you disconnect any of these active connections, such as if you turn off your Xbox, you can run the VPN on any other device you own.

Although, with regards to simultaneous connections supported, ExpressVPN lags behind Surfshark (unlimited connections), PIA (10 connections), and CyberGhost VPN (10 connections).

Even NordVPN offers six simultaneous connections on a single account – 1 more than ExpressVPN.

However, given the fast speed, ease of use, and excellent platform compatibility, you don’t want to miss this VPN only because of fewer simultaneous connections.

Of course, you can’t simultaneously run every gadget in your house on a VPN. But if you want to do that ever, ExpressVPN’s router support will let you protect your entire network.

Therefore, this support for five simultaneous connections still looks great and feasible.

Customer support

On every excellent software service, active and helpful customer support is a must-have – at least, we believe.

And when it comes to VPNs, this is even more important since VPNs constitute a critical privacy tool. If the customers face issues while using the tool, they can either lose access to their network or leave themselves exposed online due to misconfigured settings.

Active customer support, however, works best to save their customers from such issues.

Still, many VPNs fail to adequately provide a continuous support portal for the users.

Nonetheless, ExpressVPN has excelled at this point as well. They claim 24/7 customer support, and we must say their claim is valid!

Since we’re to come up with an honest review of ExpressVPN, we tested their live chat support feature. Our team contacted them at various times and asked different questions. Each time, they didn’t disappoint us.

We found them much more vigilant than other tech firms (including the non-VPN ones).

We could get a response within a few seconds when we posted a query to them. Even the longest waiting time for us didn’t last more than 30 seconds.

Here we share some screengrabs of our chat with them.

screenshot 1 live chat
Screenshot 3 live chat
screenshot 2 live chat
Screenshot 4 live chat

This is what makes this VPN incredibly easy for users to use. You can contact them for a resolution from download to setup and subsequent settings.

If you doubt, you can head to their website (right now when you’re reading this review). Drop them a message via the chat feature and start your stopwatch. You’ll be amazed to see their response time.

Apart from the live chat option, ExpressVPN also offers email support. So, if you have a more detailed query, want a detailed response, or simply running short on time to chat, drop them an email. You will surely get a swift response.

Although, in most cases, you won’t need to contact them since you’ll find every detail you wish to know in their support articles. You can find a comprehensive answer to all your queries, from application setup tutorials to compatible devices and configuration recommendations.

Again, the chat feature is all yours if you don’t find what you yearn to know.

Can I use ExpressVPN for Netflix unblocking?

Wondering if ExpressVPN can solve that Netflix blocks for you?

We thought the same — hence, our team tested ExpressVPN with multiple Netflix libraries. Indeed, it worked incredibly well for unblocking Netflix in any location.

First, we connected to a US server to unblock Netflix USA. Then, we accessed Netflix and could only view the content exclusive to USA users without speed lags or prolonged buffering. Nor did we ever get a proxy error while connecting.

We then connected to some local servers, and the experience went excellent as expected.

Afterward, we switched locations, changed devices, and seamlessly unblocked other Netflix libraries.

Besides, we also tested this VPN for accessing other streaming services, including:

In brief, ExpressVPN never hindered our streaming experience.

Apart from these streaming platforms, we assessed this VPN for working with Kodi. In addition to online protection, using VPNs with Kodi will let you get more add-ons and access more content on your device.

Thankfully, ExpressVPN offers dedicated support for Kodi across major platforms, including Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, and Chromebook.

Hence, if you want to buy a VPN for streaming, you can easily choose ExpressVPN. Since it remains challenging to detect by most platforms, you will likely not get any proxy errors during streaming. But you can switch your server and continue streaming if it ever happens.

Is ExpressVPN safe for torrents?

In the case of streaming, a VPN works more like a workaround to bypass geo-restrictions.

But, for torrenting, a VPN is a must-have, given the grey nature of this activity.

Especially if you’re living in a country where torrenting is illegal or surveilled, you’ll land in hot water for torrenting. Hence, you need a robust VPN for torrents to anonymize yourself online.

So, we tested ExpressVPN to see if it is as secure as it claims.

Indeed, it is because we observed no IP leak during the process.

Besides, we got superfast speeds with nearby servers and could download torrents quickly. Though, the distant servers were also good. But since torrenting usually doesn’t require a specific location, we were happy to proceed with secure and fast torrenting via nearby servers.

Since our experience was great, we recommend ExpressVPN to all those who frequently torrent. This VPN is better than any other torrent proxy as it hides your real IP and encrypts your data.

On top of that, ExpressVPN has a demonstrated no-logs policy. So, with this VPN, you don’t have to worry about your government getting the slightest hint of your torrenting or P2P activities.

Responsible use of every privacy tool is your obligation. PrivacySavvy never encourages misuse of these fair privacy tools like VPNs for any unethical practices. Therefore, make sure not to indulge yourself in any grey activity (such as copyright violation) while using ExpressVPN for torrenting.

Does ExpressVPN support gaming?

After evaluating ExpressVPN for streaming and torrenting, we moved on to our following VPN testing parameter – gaming.

And, no, we didn’t specifically test it for routine online games like Candy Crush or the ones for kids. (Though we did, for security purposes, not check its feasibility regarding the speed and all.)

While ExpressVPN performed well with those lighter games, we aimed for more aggressive testing.

So, our team connected to a local server and started Red Dead Redemption 2. After a while, we switched servers, and our gaming experience remained unchanged.

After that, we started Fortnite on local as well as nearby servers.

And the results, in all cases, were incredible. No IP leaks, speed lags, buffering, glitches, or bandwidth issues. All in all, ExpressVPN made our gaming experience even better than what we had without a VPN.

While impressive, we decided to develop all possible ExpressVPN details with this extensive review. So, we also tested the distant servers with these heavy online games. Although our experience wasn’t as seamless as with nearby servers, it allowed us to play without lags.

Thus, if you want a secure gaming experience without being left out due to ISP throttling, you can trust ExpressVPN.

If you’re wondering whether this VPN would let you access and play PUBG or not, then we can tell you that it will. You won’t face any problems accessing the game in case it’s banned in your locality. Nonetheless, we still advise you to respect your local laws and not attempt playing PUBG if the authorities in your region deem it an offense.

ExpressVPN and The Great Firewall of China

Until now, we have analyzed ExpressVPN for its performance, speed, and features. Indeed, ExpressVPN seamlessly passed all our tests for this review.

Yet, we’re left with one thing – how does this VPN serve in repressive regions? Is it robust enough to bypass the Great Firewall of China?

You more likely know that China is a classic example of countries that typically discourage the public from using VPNs.

While most VPNs, respecting local laws, have exited the regions where VPNs are illegal, China remains under discussion as it hasn’t explicitly marked VPNs as unlawful.

Yet, many popular VPNs, like Private Internet Access, McAfee Safe Connect, and CyberGhost, have failed to serve customers in China.

So, our final test involved the use of ExpressVPN in China. And the results were as expected – ExpressVPN smoothly evaded China’s Great Firewall!

The connection worked well with considerable speeds and also prevented IP leaks. Moreover, our team didn’t get a hint of traffic monitoring with this VPN.

ExpressVPN employs obfuscation server technology to facilitate users in China. This technology masks the VPN data packets, making them appear like regular HTTPS internet traffic. This way, the VPN prevents any surveilling authority from tracking your data and detecting VPN use.

Appreciably, enabling this feature doesn’t require manual input. Instead, it automatically kicks when the VPN client finds you connecting from a repressive region.

So, together with Network Lock, you can use ExpressVPN to bypass China’s Great Firewall without the fear of getting caught.

Does ExpressVPN work with Tor?

The Onion Router or Tor is another privacy-oriented tool. However, it often faces backlash from authorities as it’s a gateway to the dark web.

Nonetheless, Tor itself isn’t grey, and you should still use it for privacy with your regular searches. We consider using the Tor browser as neutral.

However, to avoid facing any issues due to your use of Tor, you should ideally couple it with a VPN.

But, another problem here is that Tor isn’t fast enough as it reroutes your traffic through multiple nodes before releasing it to the internet. When coupled with a VPN, the overall speed may drop even lower as your data will be treated twice before reaching the online world.

Nonetheless, you cannot stop using a VPN with Tor due to speed, as it will risk your privacy.

Thus, you need a robust VPN that offers thorough security without lagging speed – just like ExpressVPN claims.

So, we tested this VPN with Tor as well.

Again, ExpressVPN performed exceptionally well during our review. We tested local and nearby servers and connected to the farthest server locations. Even the latter delivered satisfactory connection speed, just enough to let us browse. In comparison, the nearby servers worked faster.

With a kill switch in place, ExpressVPN also protects against accidental tracking by your ISP in case the connection drops. So, regardless of the consistency of your base connectivity with ExpressVPN, your TOR activities will remain veiled.

ExpressVPN pricing plans

expressvpn updated pricing

After reading about ExpressVPN in this review, you might wonder if subscribing to this service costs you a fortune.

Although its subscription fees won’t disrupt your budget, you may not find it as cheap as Surfshark VPN.

Precisely, ExpressVPN offers three different pricing plans to subscribers. First is the monthly plan, the priciest of all, costing around $13. Then, you have a half-yearly plan costing approximately $10 per month and a yearly plan, which is the cheapest of all, as you can subscribe to it for roughly $6.67 per month.

Compared with other VPNs like NordVPN and Surfshark that offer services akin to ExpressVPN alongside additional privacy tools, ExpressVPN costs relatively more.

Nonetheless, given how well it protects your privacy and warrants top-notch security, it’s still affordable to subscribe to ExpressVPN instead of subscribing to VPNs that lag in performance or compromise your privacy with free VPNs.

Although, you won’t find any offer regarding ExpressVPN’s free trial. Yet, they offer a 30-day paid trial with a risk-free money-back guarantee.

It means you can confidently test their VPN without worrying about your money. If they fail to satisfy you (quite unlikely), you can contact them via chat or email and ask for a refund. You’ll have your money back in your account within a few business days.

Payment options

“I have decided to choose ExpressVPN, but how would I pay them?” We hear you ask.

With ExpressVPN, you don’t have to consider an appropriate payment method. These service providers offer support for various payment modes, thus facilitating their customers.

Indeed, a VPN with such a vast global footprint must support more payment options to let customers join them worldwide.

In short, you can pay the subscription fee to them via PayPal, credit card, or any other online money transfer service such as UnionPay, AliPay, WebMoney, and more.

Besides, if you prefer not to share your billing details with them, you can go for anonymous payments via Bitcoin.


We have now reached the end of this comprehensive ExpressVPN review.

While we don’t think you need a precise answer after reaching this far, if you still wonder whether you should trust ExpressVPN, the answer is “yes.”

We have tested dozens of VPNs while working, as we keep doing that as part of our regular activities. The only VPN that consistently delivers services par excellence is ExpressVPN.

From unblocking restricted websites to delivering fast-speed connectivity for heavier tasks such as gaming and torrenting, ExpressVPN never fails.

Plus, it warrants 24/7/365 online security to all its subscribers when they keep their VPN connections active.

It has a robust kill switch, unbreakable encryption, and strong abilities to resist VPN bans and bypass firewalls even in repressive countries.

The only issue (though minor) with ExpressVPN is the lack of fancy security features like Double VPN. It becomes notable while considering its relatively higher subscription fees.

You may find NordVPN, Surfshark, and Private Internet Access as cheaper alternatives to ExpressVPN.

But this substitution is more about the price. If you compare today’s top VPNs’ online security, ExpressVPN surpasses them.


Unlike most VPNs claiming a no-log policy while secretly logging your details behind, ExpressVPN has a demonstrated no-logging practice. They have set up their infrastructure not to store anything ever.

Unfortunately, no. ExpressVPN does not offer any free trial or free subscription. It is typically available for paid subscriptions. However, you can try their services for 30 days. And, if you aren’t satisfied, you can have your money back within this period.

ExpressVPN is safe and completely legal to use. Unless you live in a country that explicitly labels VPNs as illegal, using ExpressVPN won’t cause you to face legal consequences. However, ensure you do not use this VPN for unlawful activities.

ExpressVPN doesn’t make your online existence invisible. Thus, your ISP can find out that you’re using a VPN. However, it can’t track your activities when connected to the VPN. Moreover, if VPNs are legal in your region, your ISP can’t summon you just for using ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN has a threat manager that blocks malware and malicious links. It has a frequently updated blocklist of old and new threats used to determine whether links and files are legitimate.

ExpressVPN has a router applet that protects the entire home network. Unlike other VPNs that require technical expertise, ExpressVPN’s router applet is easy to install and use. However, it only works with Linksys, Netgear, and Asus router models. The fully customizable application can help you manage devices and applications on your network.

Canceling your ExpressVPN subscription is easy. Whether you want to cancel a recurring, ongoing, or money-back subscription, you only need to contact the customer support team via email or live chat. You will also receive your money back if your cancellation invokes the money-back guarantee. If you cancel a recurring or ongoing subscription, the provider stops charging you when the current contractual subscription expires.

No. ExpressVPN only has annual, six-month, and monthly subscription plans. This is because of future uncertainties, which could lead to increased operational costs resulting in losses. For the user, paying a lifetime subscription is a considerable risk because the services may change for the worse, or another better product could emerge in the future, leaving them at a crossroads. Also, an untrustworthy organization may acquire the company, leaving you to look for other options.

ExpressVPN can stop ISP throttling if it only targets certain activities like downloading torrents or streaming videos because ExpressVPN encrypts your traffic, rendering it unreadable to your ISP. Therefore, your ISP cannot know what you are doing, so they cannot throttle your connection. However, if the ISP throttles the entire connection, there’s nothing a VPN can do to stop it.

ExpressVPN apps for iOS and Android devices are similar to desktop applications in every aspect. They have the same features and design logic. The only significant difference is in iOS devices, where the split tunneling feature is absent. Otherwise, both applications are superb and fast, primarily if you use the proprietary Lightway protocol.

No, ExpressVPN does not have a built-in ad-blocker. Instead, the provider suggests that users who wish to block ads should install free ant-tracking/ ad-blocking extensions like Privacy Badger. ExpressVPN explained its absence by saying that each user has a right to decide which ads they want to block and whether they want to block ads at all.