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ExpressVPN Review

 97% 
1777 user reviews
ExpressVPN's desktop application
Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio

Ask Simon about ExpressVPN

Our Verdict

9.79.7/10
How is this calculated?

Our overall rating is reached by combining several subcategories. The subcategories are weighted as follows:

  • Logging & Jurisdiction: 30%
  • Speed & Reliability: 25%
  • Security & Features: 20%
  • Streaming: 10%
  • Torrenting: 5%
  • Ease of Use: 5%
  • Support: 5%

See our full methodology in how we review VPNs.

ExpressVPN keeps delivering a quality VPN service. Its 3,000 private servers are fast and optimized for anonymous torrenting. The VPN's user-friendly apps are equipped with key security features, and easily stream Netflix, HBO and many other content platforms. It's the best VPN of 2022, which justifies the higher subscription price.

Ranked #1 out of 70 VPNs

ExpressVPN Category Ratings

  • 9.99.9/10
  • 9.59.5/10
  • 9.69.6/10
  • 9.29.2/10
  • 9.89.8/10
  • 99.0/10
  • 9.79.7/10
  • 9.89.8/10
  • 9.99.9/10
  • 77.0/10

ExpressVPN Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High security and audited zero-logs policy
  • Fast and reliable worldwide speeds
  • Streams Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer and more
  • Unrestricted torrenting traffic on all servers
  • User-friendly apps, Smart DNS tool and router app
  • Chrome, Firefox and Edge browser extensions

Cons

  • More expensive than other top VPNs
  • No kill switch or split-tunneling on iOS
  • No Linux graphical user interface

ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN services, with over 3 million users worldwide. It’s also one of the more expensive services on the market, though.

For our review of ExpressVPN, we tested all its VPN applications to see if they are just as fast and secure as its rivals.

While ExpressVPN isn’t perfect, it remains our top VPN choice for 2022. The service delivers fast global speeds, strong security, and great usability.

ExpressVPN stands out for its ability to bypass strict geo-blocks. It easily unblocks streaming platforms like US Netflix, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video, and it’s one of very few VPNs to work in China.

Also, ExpressVPN allows torrenting on 3,000 secure diskless servers. Your internet traffic flows through secure VPN protocols like Lightway and OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption.

In our security tests, the VPN never leaked our DNS and IP address, and its VPN kill switch always shielded our true IP address during extremely rare connection failures.

Keep scrolling to view the VPN service’s key information in the table below. You can also compare ExpressVPN with its top competitors side by side later in this review.

ExpressVPN Review: At a Glance

Before diving into our full ExpressVPN review, take a look at this short video showing you how easy ExpressVPN is to use:

To view all of ExpressVPN’s applications, browser extensions, and tools, and watch more video walkthroughs, skip to our Platforms & Devices and Ease of Use sections.

ExpressVPN Key Data

Data CapUnlimited
Speed88Mbps
Logging PolicyAnonymous Server Usage Data
Data LeaksNo
JurisdictionBritish Virgin Islands (Privacy Haven)
Servers3,000
IP Addresses3,000+
Countries94
US NetflixYes
TorrentingUnlimited
Simultaneous Connections5
Works In ChinaYes
Support24/7 Live Chat
Cheapest Price$6.67/mo over 15 Months
Money-Back Guarantee30 Day Money-Back Guarantee
Official WebsiteExpressVPN.com

ExpressVPN Is Excellent for Streaming - Especially Netflix

Streaming

9.99.9/10
How is this calculated?

Streaming is rated by the number of different services unlocked, how many regional libraries are viewable, and how consistently the VPN can access them.

Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, DAZN, and Amazon Prime Video are all tested on a weekly basis.

ExpressVPN is the best streaming VPN overall. Its fast speeds and large server network make it an excellent choice to stream geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Amazon Prime Video.

In the video below, you can view our real ExpressVPN streaming tests. We evaluated the VPN’s performance when accessing US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and DAZN.

ExpressVPN Streams 10 Netflix Regions

In our most recent tests, ExpressVPN worked to stream the US Netflix library on almost all of its US VPN servers. New York was the only server that didn’t work.

We found that ExpressVPN worked to access 10 different Netflix regions in a variety of different countries, including Canada, Australia, Germany, France, the UK, and the US.

Using ExpressVPN with Netflix

ExpressVPN worked with US Netflix in all of our tests.

While Windscribe, PrivateVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark work with more Netflix regions, ExpressVPN is a more reliable VPN for streaming US Netflix, specifically.

That said, if you’re encountering the Netflix proxy error, read our dedicated guide on how to fix ExpressVPN not working with Netflix.

ExpressVPN Works with HBO Max, Prime Video, DAZN and More

While ExpressVPN doesn’t have dedicated streaming servers like CyberGhost, our tests reveal that most servers work with almost every streaming platform.

Not only is ExpressVPN is our favorite Netflix VPN, but it’s also the best VPN for HBO Max and DAZN.

We unblocked HBO Max using ExpressVPN

We unblocked HBO Max using ExpressVPN without an issue.

ExpressVPN Has Issues Streaming BBC iPlayer

ExpressVPN has issues streaming BBC iPlayer, but it works most of the time. Beating BBC iPlayer’s VPN ban isn’t easy, and it can take a few tries for ExpressVPN to work.

For BBC iPlayer, we recommend using ExpressVPN’s browser extensions and connecting to the London server, or the Wembley one. This method works well, as long as you’re located outside the UK.

If you’re using ExpressVPN and it doesn’t work with BBC iPlayer, try connecting to a different UK server or changing connection protocols. Its Smart DNS service called ‘MediaStreamer’ works well with iPlayer, too.

Because of the level of ‘tweaking’ required, ExpressVPN is not the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. If that’s what you’re looking for, read our NordVPN review to see why we recommend it instead.

Here’s a list of popular streaming platforms ExpressVPN currently unblocks:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • DAZN
  • Disney+
  • ESPN
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Now TV
  • Paramount+
  • Peacock
  • SHOWTIME
  • Sky
  • Sling TV
  • YouTube

The VPN’s fast download speeds mean that it’s capable of streaming all these platforms internationally with very little buffering.

How Does ExpressVPN Compare to Other Streaming VPNs?

The table below shows how ExpressVPN performed against other top streaming VPNs in terms of download speed, streaming access, Smart DNS capabilities, and more.

ExpressVPN Is Consistently Fast Around the World

Speed & Reliability

9.29.2/10
How is this calculated?

Speed ratings are calculated using upload speeds, download speeds, and ping (latency).

We test average speeds regularly using a dedicated 100Mbps connection in London, UK. Local download speed is considered the most important factor.

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs we’ve tested. We recorded an average speed loss of just 8% connecting to its nearby VPN servers, and as little as 17% when connecting overseas. In fact, ExpressVPN is consistently just as fast as major rivals like NordVPN.

The VPN’s speeds are remarkably consistent on both short-distance and long-distance connections. All of its apps connect quickly to servers, and we didn’t experience any unexpected connection drops over thousands of tests.

To measure the impact of ExpressVPN on internet speed, we compared our download speeds before and after manually connecting to a nearby VPN server (using the ‘Smart Location’ feature).

Here are our full local speed test results:

Local Speed Test results before using ExpressVPN:

  • Download Speed: 95.46Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 99.62Mbps
  • Ping: 3ms

Local Speed Test results with ExpressVPN:

  • Download Speed: 87.46Mbps
  • Upload Speed: 91.22Mbps
  • Ping: 8ms

Download speed loss when ExpressVPN is running: 8%

An 8% speed loss using a VPN is very impressive. The OpenVPN and Lightway protocols had barely any impact on our download and upload speeds. Wherever you’re located, you can expect similar speed performances connecting to nearby servers.

ExpressVPN International Speed Test Results

We also measured ExpressVPN’s average speeds connecting to servers around the world. We needed to see how well the service performs over long-distance connections (even if these places may not be far from you).

Here are our ExpressVPN’s latest long-distance speed test results:

  • USA (New Jersey):
    • Download: 78.92Mbps (17% slower)
    • Upload: 45.36Mbps (55% slower)
  • Germany:
    • Download: 88Mbps (8% slower)
    • Upload: 74.98Mbps (25% slower)
  • Singapore:
    • Download: 73.12Mbps (24% slower)
    • Upload: 22.35Mbps (78% slower)
  • Australia:
    • Download: 69.44Mbps (27% slower)
    • Upload: 23.44Mbps (77% slower)

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on long-distance connections, something many VPN services struggle with. We only had a 30% speed loss connecting from the UK to East Asia and Australia, which is remarkable.

Fast Speeds for Lag-Free Gaming

ExpressVPN’s strong speed performance makes it a top choice for gaming. We recorded a ping time of 8ms on a nearby server, which is faster than almost every other VPN we’ve reviewed.

The lower the latency the less lag you’ll experience playing online video games. Generally, we recommend a ping rate below 50ms for fast-paced games, like Call of Duty and CS:GO. ExpressVPN was fast enough for competitive gaming on every local server we tested.

Using ExpressVPN with CS:GO

ExpressVPN is a good choice for gaming.

As is typical, ExpressVPN’s ping time increases significantly on further-away servers. Unless you’re playing a slower-paced game, we recommend you stick to servers in your country.

How Fast Is ExpressVPN Compared to Other VPNs?

We carried out the speed tests above manually. The speed results below are from our automated VPN speed test tool, instead. Our tool tests 18 VPNs across 13 different cities around the world.

The graph below shows VPN speed loss on a New York to New York test connection, compared to no VPN running. Tests run automatically, four times per day, with speeds capped at 100Mbps (a typical home internet connection).

Provider speed comparison chart

Compare ExpressVPN’s speeds across the world using our tool.

ExpressVPN has been extremely fast since we began testing it, and it continues to be in 2022. As you can see from the speed graph above, ExpressVPN is much faster than Private Internet Access, and just as fast as NordVPN.

Overall, ExpressVPN’s exceptional local and international speeds are well-suited to torrent large files and stream HD/4K video.

ExpressVPN's P2P Servers Are Fast & Anonymous

Torrenting

9.59.5/10
How is this calculated?

We calculate the average download bitrate of every VPN using a bespoke torrenting setup.

Testing also factors in the percentage of servers which permit P2P, plus useful features like port forwarding.

Our testing repeatedly proves that ExpressVPN is a great choice for torrenting. P2P activity is unrestricted across the entire server network, IP and DNS leaks are unheard of, and its average bitrate of 9.4MiB/s is faster than most of the competition.

We tested ExpressVPN with torrent clients like qBittorrent, uTorrent, and Deluge. The VPN didn’t leak our torrent IP address or DNS credentials once.

If the rare event our VPN connection dropped, the VPN kill switch kicked in to prevent our real IP address from being exposed.

Combined with AES-256 encryption and secure VPN protocols, it’s this level of security that makes ExpressVPN a great VPN for torrenting.

Using ExpressVPN with the qBittorrent torrent client

Using ExpressVPN with the qBittorrent torrent client.

ExpressVPN lets you torrent files across its entire server network without restrictions. None of your file-sharing activity is tracked, logged or stored.

Fast P2P Download Speeds, But Limited Port Forwarding

In our ExpressVPN torrenting tests, we recorded an excellent torrenting bitrate of 9.4MiB/s. This is much faster than CyberGhost’s 3.9MiB/s or NordVPN’s 6.5MiB/s, for example.

However, when it comes to seeding, the VPN service only allows port forwarding on its router app. You can still technically upload (or ‘seed’) files using the other VPN clients, but speeds are very slow.

Seeders should read our Private Internet Access review, a very good VPN that allows port forwarding on its apps.

ExpressVPN Is a Virtually No-Logs VPN Based in a Safe Jurisdiction

Logging & Jurisdiction

9.69.6/10
How is this calculated?

We dissect the logging and privacy policies of every VPN. A VPN should never log:

  • Your real IP address
  • Connection timestamps
  • DNS requests

A base of operations outside of 14-Eyes or EU jurisdiction is preferable.

ExpressVPN is a virtually no-logs VPN service. The VPN doesn’t collect any personal activity logs, and it only keeps basic connection data including the date of your connection and your choice of server. It doesn’t store your full IP address or web activity.

ExpressVPN Only Collects Anonymous User Data Logs

Here’s all the information ExpressVPN collects:

  • Dates when connected to the VPN service
  • Choice of VPN server location
  • Total amount of data transferred per day

Based on the above, ExpressVPN is virtually no-logs. The company maintains this minimum amount of data is needed to keep server performance optimal. Ultimately, all this data reveals is that you used the VPN at some point.

An excerpt from ExpressVPN's logging policy

An excerpt from ExpressVPN’s logging policy

We also spoke to Harold Li, Vice President of ExpressVPN, about the VPN’s data retention policy. This is what he told us:

“. . .duration of retention varies based on the type of data . . . we never collect nor retain any data that could link an individual customer with specific activity on the VPN network. EU customers can also request for their data to be deleted at any time, in line with their rights under the GDPR.”

While it’s disappointing not to know how long this data is retained, the crucial aspect is that it cannot be used to identify you or what you do online.

ExpressVPN’s logging policy was stress-tested in December 2017. One of its servers was seized and inspected by Turkish authorities investigating the assassination of the Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov.

However, the Turkish investigators couldn’t find any user connection logs.

To summarize, ExpressVPN doesn’t monitor or store:

  • Your true IP address
  • The VPN IP addresses you’ve used
  • Your internet (browsing) history
  • Internet activity metadata
  • DNS queries

Who Runs ExpressVPN?

The VPN service was founded in 2009, and is operated by Express VPN International Ltd. The company’s management likes to keep a very low profile.

Ideally, a VPN company should be transparent about its ownership. ExpressVPN maintains its private nature helps it to maintain a safe and reliable service in countries like China.

Kape Technologies bought ExpressVPN in late 2021 for almost $1 billion. The British-Israeli tech company already runs other VPN services: CyberGhost, Private Internet Access, and ZenMate.

Since the acquisition, very little has and should change in the day-to-day operation of ExpressVPN and the performance of its software.

Project Raven Controversy

In September 2021 it emerged that ExpressVPN CIO Daniel Gericke was once hired by US and UAE intelligence services. He also worked on the controversial Project Raven, which ExpressVPN has condemned.

ExpressVPN has provided an official response to the news here, and explained Gericke’s role and importance at the company here.

ExpressVPN is Based in the Privacy-friendly BVI

The company is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and outside the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.

The BVI is an excellent choice of jurisdiction for a privacy-minded company. The country has full sovereignty over its data regulations, and outside governments or agencies cannot force ExpressVPN to surrender information.

How Private Is ExpressVPN Compared to Other VPNs?

Use the table below to compare ExpressVPN to other leading VPN services based on its logging policy, jurisdiction, and auditing history.

ExpressVPN's Applications Are Very Secure & Private

Security & Features

9.79.7/10
How is this calculated?

Top-rated VPNs offer OpenVPN or WireGuard protocols, AES-256 encryption, and a functional kill switch. We also consider additional security features and the global spread of VPN servers.

ExpressVPN is an extremely safe VPN service that uses the highest standard of VPN connection protocols and AES-256 encryption. The VPN’s security has been verified through audits by trusted firms like PWC and Cure53, and the applications are open-source. All in all, ExpressVPN is one of the most secure VPN services available.

Protocols
  1. IKEv2/IPSec
  2. L2TP/IPSec
  3. OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
  4. Proprietary
  5. PPTP
Encryption
  1. AES-256
Security
  1. DNS Leak Blocking
  2. First-party DNS
  3. IPv6 Leak Blocking
  4. VPN Kill Switch
  5. WebRTC Leak Blocking
Advanced features
  1. Smart DNS
  2. Split Tunneling

ExpressVPN’s Powerful Encryption

ExpressVPN uses AES-256-CBC encryption and secure VPN protocols. Combined with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC (Hash Message Authentication Code) authentication, your internet data can’t be altered in real-time.

The level of encryption ExpressVPN uses is the same governments and banks recommend.

ExpressVPN runs its own private, zero-knowledge DNS servers. In other words, ExpressVPN handles and encrypts your DNS requests (the websites you visit), not a third party. Very few VPN services have these servers.

ExpressVPN's advanced settings including IPv6 leak protection

ExpressVPN’s advanced settings menu, including IPv6 leak protection.

By default, the VPN service uses Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS). PFS creates a new encryption key for every VPN session, replacing it every 60 minutes. Even if someone intercepted and decrypted your connection, the most they could get is 60 minutes of data.

LightWay and ExpressVPN’s Other Secure Protocols

The VPN apps automatically choose the best VPN protocol for you, but you can choose one manually if you prefer.

The ExpressVPN protocol selection settings menu

The ExpressVPN protocol selection settings menu.

We recommend using OpenVPN, or ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol named Lightway.

Lightway has been performing very well in our speed and security tests. It also uses less bandwidth and battery power than other VPN protocols, since it has fewer lines of code.

ExpressVPN recently made the Lightway protocol open source (allowing anyone to inspect its code). This is a great way to build trust in a proprietary VPN protocol.

ExpressVPN's Lightway protocol encryption settings.

Lightway protocol encryption settings.

Lightway is available on all of ExpressVPN’s software. You can also choose between automatic, AES or ChaCha20 encryption.

ExpressVPN Has a Dependable Kill Switch

ExpressVPN doesn’t have a ton of advanced security features, but those it does have are extremely effective.

Its reliable VPN kill switch is called ‘Network Lock.’ It stops your internet connection entirely in the unlikely event your VPN connection drops. In doing so, your true IP address is never exposed.

ExpressVPN’s kill switch has worked very effectively in our tests. In the rare instance of a VPN connection failure, Network Lock promptly cut our internet connection to protect our real IP address.

ExpressVPN's Kill Switch setting

ExpressVPN’s Kill Switch setting.

Network Lock is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android (on which it’s called Network Protection). It’s not on the iOS app yet, which ExpressVPN needs to fix.

ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer Technology

TrustedServer is the proprietary technology ExpressVPN has developed to ensure your web data is never written to a VPN server’s hard drive.

TrustedServer has the following security benefits:

  • Wipes all data with every reboot, as VPN servers are diskless and run on RAM only
  • Servers never write to the hard drive, further minimizing data risk
  • The entire software stack is reinstalled on every server at startup
  • Allows ExpressVPN to know what’s running on every server, with no inconsistencies

ExpressVPN Doesn’t Leak Your IP or DNS Address

We ran the VPN apps through IP, DNS, and WebRTC leak tests and it passed all tests with zero leaks.

As you can see in the screenshot below, ExpressVPN masked our real UK IP address, replacing it with a Swedish one.

ExpressVPN passing our IP leak test

Browserleaks.com also confirmed ExpressVPN does not leak your IP address.

We also tested ExpressVPN’s extensions for HTML5 browser leaks and torrent IP leaks, and they also passed with flying colors.

ExpressVPN Allows Split Tunneling

VPN split tunneling is a useful setting you won’t find in many VPNs. It lets you decide which apps should use the VPN connection, and which ones shouldn’t.

The split tunneling setting in the ExpressVPN PC app

We tested ExpressVPN’s split tunneling by restricting VPN traffic to our Chrome browser only.

This setting can have practical uses (for example with your wireless printer). You can keep certain devices connected to your standard internet line rather than the VPN, preventing connection issues between devices.

Split tunneling isn’t available on ExpressVPN for Mac, though.

Apple Platforms Now Have Threat Manager

ExpressVPN’s latest feature, rolled out at the end of 2021, is called Threat Manager. When activated it blocks websites other apps on your Apple device from sharing your activity with third party trackers or communicating with malicious sites.

ExpressVPN threat manager feature on macOS

Threat manager works with a simple toggle in the ExpressVPN app – but you need to use Lightway to enable it.

This is quite different from other tracking blockers we’ve seen packaged into VPNs before. Normal VPN tracker blockers simply prevent websites from tracking you, but Threat Manager prevents other apps and programs from tracking you, too.

It works by blocking access to certain DNS servers that are on ExpressVPN’s blacklist. Despite cross-referencing DNS requests from your device, it still adheres to ExpressVPN’s no-logs privacy policy and does not store any of those requests.

It’s currently only available on iOS and macOS, but is set to come to the Windows, Android, and Linux versions of ExpressVPN soon.

ExpressVPN Works in China, Turkey & the UAE

Bypassing Censorship

99.0/10
How is this calculated?

Our remote-access server in Shanghai, China routinely tests if a VPN can beat restrictions and access a free, open internet. Obfuscation technologies and nearby servers are also a contributing factor.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that still work in China. We test its ability to bypass censorship in China weekly, and although VPN services like Astrill are consistently better, it is one of the more reliable VPNs in the region thanks to its obfuscation technology.

The vast majority of VPN services simply do not work in China. It takes serious investment to create a VPN that consistently bypasses restrictions in the country.

To its credit, ExpressVPN has invested significant resources into outsmarting the Great Firewall of China.

Its obfuscation technology activates by default when you switch the protocol selection feature to “Automatic.” This disguises your VPN traffic as normal web traffic, letting you access restricted websites and apps.

Unlike other VPN review websites, we test ExpressVPN every week from within China. View our real-world tests in the video below. We could access blocked websites, like Instagram and Wikipedia.

Testing ExpressVPN from Shanghai, China.

ExpressVPN Has a Good Choice of Anti-censorship Servers

ExpressVPN recommends specific servers for its users in China. Contact their customer support (available 24/7) for updated server tips.

These servers are usually in nearby locations, like Hong Kong (which still enjoys a free internet). The Hong Kong servers also let you access Chinese TV and websites from outside China.

The official ExpressVPN website is blocked in China, so remember to download the latest version of the app(s) before you arrive.

ExpressVPN’s built-in obfuscation tool is so effective that the VPN also works in the UAE, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other restrictive nations.

ExpressVPN Runs 3,000 Secure Servers in 160 Locations

Server Locations

9.89.8/10
How is this calculated?

The global spread and coverage of the VPN server network is the most important factor here.

We also consider the number of city-level servers, plus how many IP addresses are maintained.

This rating does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Security & Features rating.

ExpressVPN operates 3,000 VPN servers across 160 cities in 94 countries. This is one of the largest VPN server networks available, and you're unlikely to have trouble finding a nearby server. Moreover, the VPN never suffers from traffic congestion or slow speeds.

Globe with a blue flag
94 Countries
Image of a city landscape
160 Cities
Image of a pink marker
3,000+ IP Addresses

ExpressVPN Operates Many City-Level Servers

ExpressVPN lets you access 51 city-level servers in the following locations:

  • Australia (4 cities)
  • Brazil (2)
  • Canada (3)
  • France (2)
  • Germany (2)
  • Hong Kong (3)
  • India (2)
  • Italy (2)
  • Japan (3)
  • Netherlands (3)
  • Singapore (3)
  • Spain (2)
  • Switzerland (2)
  • UK (4)
  • US (14)

A wide selection of city-level servers is another rare feature among top VPNs. It lets you be more specific in your choice of nearby server for the absolute best speeds possible.

The VPN includes 14 city-level server locations in the US, and four in Australia. Having servers on both sides of these big countries equals fast VPN speeds wherever you are.

ExpressVPN's server locations list

ExpressVPN’s server locations list.

There are plenty of servers in Asia, as well as countries that aren’t typically available with other VPN services.

Does ExpressVPN Use Virtual Servers?

ExpressVPN is one of the few VPN services that is open and transparent about using virtual server locations.

40 of its 160 server locations are virtual server locations.

A physical VPN server is physically located in the country or city you wish to connect to. The server and the IP address it assigns are located in the same country. Most ExpressVPN servers are physical.

Virtual server locations work differently. They are physically in one country, but they give you an IP address of another country. They help you connect to countries where it’s difficult to install a physical server.

Virtual server locations are just as effective at bypassing web geo-restrictions. Your IP address is still registered in the country you’ve chosen to connect to. However, if the server is physically located further from you than expected, it can have an impact on connection speeds.

ExpressVPN Can be Downloaded on Most Devices

Platforms & Devices

How is this rated?

A quality VPN should maintain functional, fully-featured applications and extensions for as many platforms and devices as possible.

This does not directly contribute to the Overall Rating, but instead makes up a portion of the Ease of Use rating.

ExpressVPN has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Fire OS and Linux. Based on our experience during testing, all of the apps are very easy to set up and use. You can use one ExpressVPN subscription on five devices at the same time, which is the industry average.

Apps

ExpressVPN is available to download and install on the following devices:

  1. Windows
  2. Mac
  3. iOS
  4. Android
  5. Linux
  6. Router
  7. Chrome OS

Here’s a summary of the main differences between ExpressVPN’s applications for each device:

Let’s take a closer look at each application and the key differences between them:

ExpressVPN’s Windows Client

ExpressVPN's Windows client

ExpressVPN’s Windows client home screen.

Click on the server you have selected, and a second window with a server list will open next to it.

Don’t miss the two tabs at the top: ‘Recommended’ is selected by default, but it doesn’t reveal the whole server list.

Click ‘All Locations’ to see the full list, or use the search bar to find a specific location.

Other important features are the kill switch (called ‘Network Lock’ under the ‘General settings’ tab) and the protocol selection tab. From here you can select your preferred VPN protocol, or leave it set to ‘Automatic.’

ExpressVPN’s macOS Client

ExpressVPN’s macOS app is practically identical to the Windows version. Many VPN providers release subpar Mac apps compared to their flagship Windows app, but that’s not the case here.

The only issue for Mac users is that there’s no extension for Safari yet.

ExpressVPN's application for macOS

ExpressVPN’s macOS application home screen.

ExpressVPN’s iOS Application

ExpressVPN for iPhone and iPad is even more simplified than the desktop version.

It looks largely the same, however once you dive into the settings menu you’ll notice there’s not much there.

The ExpressVPN settings menu in the iOS application

The ExpressVPN settings menu in the iOS application.

You can choose between the Lightway (UDP and TCP) and IKEv2 protocols, and a toggle for whether or not the VPN automatically reconnects if it loses connection. There’s also a button to reset the VPN configuration if the app stops working.

ExpressVPN has decided to make its iOS app more streamlined and lightweight for mobile. But, the lack of a kill switch is an important absence.

ExpressVPN’s latest extra feature, its Threat Manager tracker blocker, is only available on iOS and macOS.

ExpressVPN’s Android Application

The Android app has the exact same home screen as the iOS app, but there are a few differences between the two applications.

The homescreen of the ExpressVPN Android application

ExpressVPN’s Android application homescreen.

The main difference with the iOS app is the inclusion of a kill switch. With this feature enabled, you can use your smartphone safely knowing that your IP address will remain hidden if your VPN connection ever drops.

You’ll find the kill switch under Settings > Network Protection > Block internet when unable to connect or reconnect to VPN.

The other useful feature on Android that’s missing on iOS is split tunneling. ExpressVPN was able to introduce this feature because the Android platform is more flexible, which lets you choose which apps (if any) should not use the VPN connection.

ExpressVPN Linux Client

Despite having great apps for every other platform, ExpressVPN’s Linux app is disappointing.

In fact, ExpressVPN doesn’t even have a true application for Linux machines. There’s no GUI (graphical user interface), meaning that the VPN runs straight from the console.

ExpressVPN running on Linux

ExpressVPN running on Linux.

Linux users are likely used to this, but it’s still an oversight. We much prefer VPNs with native Linux clients.

Once you’ve installed ExpressVPN using standard Linux console commands, you can connect to the recommended server, or see a full list of servers along with the console commands required to connect to them.

You can also toggle the Network Lock (the kill switch), change protocol, and instruct the client to auto-connect on startup.

ExpressVPN Router App

ExpressVPN's router app

You control ExpressVPN’s router app via your browser.

Perhaps the most impressive ExpressVPN app of all is the one it made specifically for routers.

While plenty of VPNs are router-compatible, very few have a full custom app like ExpressVPN’s. It requires surprisingly little technical knowledge to set up, and is super intuitive once installed.

You can connect to the full range of ExpressVPN servers using it, port forward, and even connect different devices to different server locations simultaneously.

The only catch is that the app is only compatible with a small number of wireless routers, and those that are can be expensive. You can see a list of suitable models here. We test using a Linksys WRT-3200ACM.

ExpressVPN Router Compatibility

For unlimited connections, you’ll need to install the VPN on your home router. ExpressVPN provides one of the best VPN router apps we’ve tested.

ExpressVPN is compatible with the following routers:

  • Asus RT-AC56(U/R/S)
  • Asus RT-AC68U
  • Asus RT-AC87U
  • Linksys EA6200
  • Linksys WRT1200AC
  • Linksys WRT1900AC(S)
  • Linksys WRT3200ACM
  • Netgear R6300v2
  • Netgear R6700v3
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7000
  • Netgear Nighthawk R7000P

You can also manually set up the VPN on routers from these manufacturers:

  • Other Asus models
  • D-Link
  • DD-WRT
  • Netduma
  • Sabai
  • Tomato
  • TP-Link
  • Xiaomi

ExpressVPN’s router app lets you assign your devices to specific groups. You can then connect each group to different server locations.

We tested connecting our Fire TV Stick and our Apple TV to a US server location, and our smartphones to servers in France. It all worked without a hitch.

Games Consoles and Streaming Devices

ExpressVPN is a great VPN to use on games consoles and streaming devices that don’t support native VPN applications.

In fact, ExpressVPN is the top-rated VPN for Xbox One and Series X|S consoles due to its fast connection speeds, native router app, and Smart DNS.

ExpressVPN worked well with Apple TV in our streaming tests, and the VPN is also compatible with the following games consoles and streaming devices:

  1. Apple TV
  2. Amazon Fire TV
  3. Android TV
  4. Chromecast
  5. Nintendo
  6. PlayStation
  7. Roku
  8. Smart TV
  9. Xbox

MediaStreamer Works with Apple TV and Games Consoles

MediaStreamer is ExpressVPN’s Smart DNS tool. It allows you to unblock streaming content on devices that don’t allow VPN apps, such as Smart TVs and game consoles.

It works by changing your device’s default DNS servers to ones run by ExpressVPN. It’s not as secure as a full VPN connection, but it’s the easiest way to spoof your location on these devices.

ExpressVPN MediaStreamer

Our MediaStreamer DNS credentials page in the Account area.

Using MediaStreamer is simple, and there are setup guides for dozens of devices on the ExpressVPN website.

Before you can use MediaStreamer, remember to register your IP address in ExpressVPN’s DNS settings page. Then, press the ‘Configure DNS on this device’ button.

The ExpressVPN DNS Settings Page

Register your IP address and set up DNS to use MediaStreamer.

ExpressVPN Has a Good Fire TV Stick App

ExpressVPN has a good Fire OS app that unblocks multiple content platforms, and streams Kodi add-ons and IPTV apps anonymously.

ExpressVPN running on an Amazon Fire TV Stick

ExpressVPN’s Fire TV Stick application.

Though functional, ExpressVPN’s Firestick application lacks features present in newer Firestick VPN apps, like the ones we highlight in our IPVanish review.

Having said that, the ExpressVPN Firestick app does have key advanced settings such as split tunneling and a kill switch (called Network Protection).

Browser Extensions

  1. Chrome
  2. Microsoft Edge
  3. Firefox

ExpressVPN provides full VPN browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Over a million Chrome users and over 90,000 Firefox users use them.

ExpressVPN's extension for Google Chrome ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension looks just like the desktop app.

Most VPN browser add-ons we review are proxies, but not ExpressVPN’s. That’s because they need the desktop application to run at the same time, essentially acting like a remote control for the full VPN client.

As a result, ExpressVPN’s browser extensions offer almost exactly the same level of functionality as the full VPN software. For this reason, we consider them the top VPN add-ons for Firefox and Chrome browsers.

ExpressVPN’s Browser Add-ons Are Private and Secure

The security and privacy of these extensions is reinforced by the use of HTTPS Everywhere – a security tool made by The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

HTTPS Everywhere encrypts your browser’s communication with insecure websites still not using SSL certificates.

What’s more, the ExpressVPN extensions are the only browser add-ons we’ve tested that prevent HTML5 IP location leaks.

ExpressVPN's Apps Are Easy to Set Up & Use

Ease of Use

9.89.8/10
How is this calculated?

This rating mainly consists of the intuitiveness of setup and everyday use.

Device or platform compatibility and customization options are also a factor.

ExpressVPN is easy to use, no matter your skill level. Its apps are among the best in the industry – they’re easy to set up, intuitive and well-designed. Our tests found that it takes less than 5 minutes to subscribe, install, and start using the VPN apps on almost every device.

How to Connect to a Server with ExpressVPN

  1. How to Connect to a Server with ExpressVPN on MacOS

  2. How to Connect to a Server with ExpressVPN on iOS

How to Change Settings in ExpressVPN

  1. How to Connect to Change Settings on ExpressVPN on MacOS

  2. How to Change Settings in ExpressVPN on iOS

To get started with ExpressVPN, simply choose your subscription plan, create an account, and enter your payment details.

After you’ve subscribed, you’ll receive a confirmation email with an activation code and a link to the installation guide for your device.

Once you’ve installed the application, the ExpressVPN home screen is simply a big on/off button and a list of VPN servers.

You can also customize your experience by adjusting the advanced settings in each app. These are labeled and explained in plain language, so you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.

ExpressVPN Is Expensive - but Worth It

Price & Value

77.0/10
How is this calculated?

Price & Value for Money receives a rating, but is not factored into our Overall Rating. We believe the reader should decide what is or isn’t a reasonable price.

A good rating here isn’t just based on how cheap the VPN is, but for the value it offers overall.

ExpressVPN is more expensive than most VPN services, including its main competitor NordVPN. However, its cheapest subscription plan of $6.67 per month represents good value given the quality of its service. Mobile customers get a seven-day free trial, and all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN’s Monthly Subscription Prices

ExpressVPN offers three main subscription plans, all of which include the same features. The longer you subscribe for, the cheaper the monthly cost – although you will have to pay the full subscription fee upfront.

  1. Monthly

    US$12.95/mo

    Billed $12.95 every month
  2. 6 Month(s)

    US$9.99/mo

    Billed $59.95 every 6 months
    Save 23%
  3. 15 Month(s)

    US$6.67/mo

    Billed $99.95 first 15 months and 12 months thereafter
    Save 49%

The monthly plan costs $12.95 per month, while a six-month plan is priced at $9.99 per month. A 15-month subscription plan gives you a 49% saving, bringing the monthly price down to $6.67.

These prices are all above average for a VPN service, and more expensive than most competitors including Surfshark and PrivateVPN. However, it’s still good value for the best all-round VPN service you can get.

Running a large VPN server network costs money, and optimizing that network for streaming and torrenting costs even more. That means there might be cheaper VPNs available, but they’re likely to be much less effective than ExpressVPN overall.

Payment & Refund Options

ExpressVPN offers a seven-day free trial to new Android and iOS customers. All subscriptions also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no-questions-asked.

To get a full refund, simply contact customer support within 30 days of signing up. You’ll get your money back within five to 10 business days.

Payment Methods

Different payment methods offer different levels of anonymity. However, ExpressVPN users simply pay using their credit card or PayPal.

Below is a comprehensive list of payment methods that ExpressVPN accepts:

  1. Alipay
  2. American Express
  3. Bitcoin
  4. Giropay
  5. iDeal
  6. Klarna
  7. Mastercard
  8. Mint
  9. PayPal
  10. SOFORT
  11. UnionPay
  12. Visa
  13. WebMoney
  14. Yoo Money (Yandex.money)

In addition to the payment methods above, you can also subscribe to ExpressVPN using Discover, Diner’s and JCB credit cards.

ExpressVPN doesn’t accept cash payments. Paying with cash is great for anonymity, but only IVPN and Mullvad VPN currently offer this payment method.

How Expensive Is ExpressVPN Compared to Other VPNs?

The table below compares ExpressVPN’s key pricing data to its top competitors, based on the cheapest monthly plan cost, refund policy, and free trial period:

Well-Trained 24/7 Live Chat Support

Customer Support

9.99.9/10
How is this calculated?

This rating is based on our assessment of each VPN’s:

  • Email support
  • Live chat support
  • Online resources

Not every VPN offers all of these, and they often vary in quality and response time.

ExpressVPN is one of the most customer-focused VPN services we’ve reviewed. It offers an excellent 24/7 live chat support service, helpful email support, and a large range of detailed guides and tutorials in its online knowledge base.

24/7 LiveChat supportYes
EmailYes
Online ResourcesYes

ExpressVPN’s helpful 24/7 live chat support is exemplary. If you ever have a problem, you’ll be back up and running as quickly as possible.

Its support team is friendly and makes sure to keep you happy both before and after you’ve become a customer.

You can also email customer support with equally responsive, helpful and tailored responses to your queries.

ExpressVPN live chat conversation

Conversation with an ExpressVPN live chat agent.

There’s also a wide range of support guides, FAQs, video tutorials, and troubleshooting options available on the website. The online help center is available in over 16 languages.

It may seem trivial, but an effective customer support team is essential if you ever run into a problem using a VPN service. Though some rivals come close, ExpressVPN leads the industry when it comes to customer support.

ExpressVPN Is the Best All-Round VPN on the Market

The Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is the VPN service we recommend the most. It’s clear from our review we think the VPN is worth the higher price.

ExpressVPN provides optimal user experience on all apps, fast global speeds and a high degree of internet security.

Whether you want to stream US Netflix or protect your internet privacy, ExpressVPN is ideal for both beginner and advanced VPN users alike.

While ExpressVPN isn’t perfect, it’s difficult to find a better all-round VPN.

ExpressVPN Compared to Other Top VPNs

The table below compares ExpressVPN to its leading competitors based on average speed, privacy, security, and more:

As you can see from the table above, ExpressVPN beats its main rivals in most areas.

Over the last few years NordVPN has narrowed the gap with ExpressVPN, however ExpressVPN remains the best VPN overall.

Take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee and try ExpressVPN risk-free.

Additional research by Luke Williams

Alternatives to ExpressVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN

9.59.5/10

If ExpressVPN costs more than you'd like to spend on a VPN, then take a look at NordVPN. It comes close to ExpressVPN in almost every aspect, and it's cheaper on a multi-year plan. Read NordVPN review

Private Internet Access logo

Private Internet Access

8.88.8/10

PIA VPN is one of the fastest and most private VPNs we've tested. It doesn't offer the same all-round package as ExpressVPN, but it does many things right, at a lower price. Read Private Internet Access review

About the Author


  • Simon Migliano Head of Research at Top10VPN

    Simon Migliano

    Simon is a recognized world expert in VPNs. He's tested hundreds of VPN services and his research has featured on the BBC, The New York Times, CNet and more. Read full bio


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