There is no news that ExpressVPN is one of the most well-known VPN providers, probably due to the impressive list of safety and security features it offers. Despite the obscenely expensive subscription plans, the VPN provider has managed to gain a large following. So what compels people towards buying ExpressVPN? Is the glossy brand name the reason why people subscribe to ExpressVPN, or is the VPN provider really worth all that money?
The best possible solution for the scratching of that curiosity is to subscribe to ExpressVPN and test it out for what it has to offer! This review, therefore, is an unbiased view of whether ExpressVPN is worth all the hype or not! Read along to find out!
Who Owns ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN International Limited, a private company belonging to the British Virgin Island, established ExpressVPN in 2009. The country is not a part of the five eyes, nine eyes, and 14 eyes alliance, and no mandatory data retention laws apply to the users. It is safe to use a VPN as the company is not bound by any rules to risk users’ online privacy.
The service provider company is also a member of the VPN Trust Initiative group. ExpressVPN and other top-level VPN providers set a quality standard and educate people about VPNs through this initiative.
ExpressVPN comes with a bundle packed with security and privacy-oriented features. Each feature gives off remarkable service that makes ExpressVPN a reliable service provider to use. Below is a quick insight into ExpressVPN’s features.
|Encryption||Uses AES-256 bit encryption (standard)|
|VPN protocol||OpenVPN (AES-256-GCM encryption with a 4096-bit DH key), IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, and Lightway protocol|
|Servers||3000+ servers in 94 countries|
|P2P support||Dedicated servers with no bandwidth limit.|
|Device support||Five simultaneous connections on Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux, Routers, Games consoles, and Smart TV.|
|Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge|
|Kill Switch||It has an actively working kill switch protection called a Network lock|
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Island-secure jurisdiction out of 5.9 and 14 eyes|
|Log policy||Strict log policy|
|Log audit||Has a log audit report|
|Discounts||Currently ExpressVPN On Sale – Offers 3 Months Off|
With these features, ExpressVPN leaves an impression of being a safe, secure, and trustworthy VPN. The latter section of the article will explain how these characteristics contribute to maintaining your online security and privacy. So, let’s get started.
Online security is crucial, and VPNs promise to provide a top-notch level of protection to their users. Although most VPNs, including ExpressVPN, make big claims about their safety, they are still vulnerable to VPN leaks. Thus, it is vital to test your VPN for various VPN leaks.
– IP Leak Protection
– DNS Leak Protection
ExpressVPN is among those rare VPNs that don’t use any third-party DNS servers. It comes with its own private and encrypted DNS servers that forward the DNS requests and protect against DNS leaks. If you doubt, you can also conduct a DNS leak test for ExpressVPN by using this tool.
– WebRTC Leak Protection
Another vital function of a VPN is to protect against WebRTC leaks. Such leaks can expose your IP address and browsing activities to any prying eyes. Fortunately, ExpressVPN also protects against WebRTC leaks. The VPN ensures that when you open a web page, your IP address isn’t leaking.
Moreover, ExpressVPN browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox also help in preventing WebRTC leaks. You can also run a WebRTC leak test or manually disable them by tweaking your browser settings.
– Encryption Standards
ExpressVPN uses uncrackable and robust encryption to protect users’ data traffic. It uses standard AES-256 bit military-grade encryption, 4096-bit DHA-RSA keys, and SHA512 hash authentication to protect all the communication and ensure that no one can decipher the contents.
Furthermore, ExpressVPN also uses various encryption protocols. We analyze ExpressVPN encryption by using WireShark software. The VPN uses OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), IKEv2, and LT2P/IPSec protocols. During my test, ExpressVPN was more secure with the OpenVPN protocol. Also, the IKEv2 protocol was encrypted with the ESP protocol.
Other than this, ExpressVPN also uses its own released Lightway protocol. As the name suggests, it is light in weight and specially designed for a fast and reliable connection. With all such protocols, ExpressVPN takes security seriously and is safe to use.
If a VPN isn’t meeting the privacy standards, then there is no use for it. To check if your VPN is providing maximum privacy, you need to look for its privacy-focused features. ExpressVPN does offer amazing privacy features that make your browsing experience more anonymous and private. ExpressVPN’s privacy features include:
– Logging Policy
The service provider restrains itself from collecting and recording users’ connection and activity logs. This include:
- IP address
- Connection timestamps
- Session duration
- Traffic contents
- Websites visited
- Browsing activities
ExpressVPN belongs to the British Virgin Island that follows no mandatory data retention or internet laws. Also, the region falls outside the jurisdiction of the global surveillance alliance group, meaning by no way would your privacy be at risk.
However, the VPN collects user email addresses, successful VPN connections, and the aggregate sum of transferred data. The collected data is later used to improve the VPN’s service.
But, if you are still worried, you can configure your settings and stop sharing any of your information.
– Log Audit Report
Various occasions raise questions on ExpresVPN’s logging policy. In 2017, the Turkish police seized one of the ExpressVPN servers accusing it of hiding details about the assassination of a Russian Ambassador.
The event put ExpressVPN’s no-log claim on the test. Between May and July 2019, independent auditors from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) examined VPN’s code. They interviewed different team members to confirm that the servers were fully incompliant with the privacy and no-log policy. The PwC was also behind auditing ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology.
The audit firm, in their report, confirmed that no activity or connection logs were found in ExpressVPN’s servers. Thus, it is a safe VPN to use that keeps you and your activities anonymous over the web.
– Split Tunneling
ExpressVPN’s split tunneling feature is available on Windows, Android, supported routers, and macOS. It enables you to select what traffic goes through the VPN and what traffic directly goes to the internet. It is a valuable feature for torrenting because you can easily set your torrent client for P2P file-sharing, which won’t slow down your other web activity. You can even watch foreign streaming content and browse other web services with your actual IP address.
The ExpressVPN’s split tunneling feature works in two different ways. It either protects all your apps or connected devices except for the excluded ones. Or it only protects the selected apps or devices, and everything else flows outside the VPN.
If you are an iOS or Linux user, then you can’t benefit from this feature.
– Network Lock
ExpressVPN kill switch is known as Network lock. It is activated by default in all ExpressVPN supported devices. It immediately stops the traffic from entering or leaving your device when the VPN connection drops. This way blocks all your online activities and protects your personal information from exposure to your ISP or any other spying eyes.
A kill switch can also leak your IP address or send your data unencrypted. You must test if your kill switch is working correctly or not.
– Trusted Server Technology
ExpressVPN is among the first-ever VPN that introduced TrustedServer technology. It means that the VPN servers run only on RAM and not on hard drives, which guarantees that all the information on a server gets wiped off whenever it is rebooted.
ExpressVPN TrustedServer technology prevents any apps on the system from recording user data by using volatile memory. This is another proof of ExpressVPN following a no-log policy. The PwC company also audited this technology, and they found no information on its servers.
– Zero-Knowledge DNS
Private or zero-knowledge DNS is another impressive and innovative feature of ExpressVPN. Unlike other service providers, ExpressVPN runs its own private and encrypted DNS servers instead of relying on third-party DNS. The personalized DNS protects both your internet traffic and DNS request and assures better privacy and security levels. Each VPN server is encrypted and protects the DNS queries so that no one can spy or intercept your communication.
The private DNS servers optimize the network and ensure that the DNS request does not leave the VPN tunnel, which means you’d get a quick response time. Also, you can safely visit any website without being connected to public WiFi networks. These servers are secure and also prevent DNS leaks. Isn’t it great?
– Stealth Mode
The ExpressVPN stealth server disguises the VPN traffic as regular traffic. When you connect to the stealth servers, they mask your traffic so that it appears as HTTPS. By no way can anyone monitor your activities or can learn that you are using a VPN. Thus, it also enhances your privacy.
These servers are of great advantage in countries that have a restrictive internet environment, like in China. It efficiently blocks the deep packet inspection and the firewalls that can detect your VPN traffic. Thus, ExpressVPN stealth mode offers excellent help in getting around censorship and internet restriction.
– Tor over VPN
Supporting Tor over VPN service is another added privacy feature of ExpressVPN. You should first connect to a compatible VPN to access the Tor network and bypass ISP throttling safely. It provides you privacy protection on the Tor network and prevents any Tor node from viewing your actual IP address. ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN (UDP-TCP) encryption protocols that increase the Tor connection speed.
Moreover, the newly released lightway protocol also enhances your privacy and speed over the Tor network.
Lightway is another innovative technology built by ExpressVPN. It is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol. It uses two ciphers, ChaCha/Poly1305 and AES-256-GCM, and lightweight cryptographic libraries for speedy connection and boost privacy and security levels. It is the best protocol for mobile devices and is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
It is a safe and reliable protocol to use. The security of the lightway protocol was audited by the famous audit firm Cure53. The company gives a clean shit to this technology as they found no bug or vulnerability within the protocol.
Here is more information that you might want to know about ExpressVPN.
Is ExpressVPN Free?
No, it is not free! But as per their website claim, the VPN offers a free trial for some specific mobile devices. ExpressVPN is a premium service provider that offers monthly, annually or half-yearly subscription packages at different prices. But, the VPN does offer a risk-free 30 days free trial period along with a 30-days money-back guarantee.
Does ExpressVPN Block Ads?
Unfortunately no! Unlike most service providers, ExpressVPN doesn’t have a built-in ad, tracker, or malware blocker. Thus, it won’t protect users against intrusive ads or malicious website content.
Is ExpressVPN logless?
Yes, ExpressVPN is log-less. They claim not to store user connection or activity logs. To prove their stance, the company has also undergone a log-audit process. The log audit also confirms that the ExpressVPN servers don’t have any record of user metadata.
Does ExpressVPN Support Torrenting?
Yes, ExpressVPN is among the best VPN for torrenting. It offers more than 160 P2P-optimized servers for downloading torrents from different torrent clients. Moreover, an active kill switch, vast server network, torrent IP leak prevention, and consistently fast speed make ExpressVPN reliable for torrenting.
ExpressVPN app has a speed test option that is of great use while you download torrents. It allows you to first RUN a speed test before selecting a server to connect. This helps in choosing a server with fast speed for torrenting. Similarly, the smart location feature also ranks the server regarding download speed, latency, and distance, making your torrenting experience worth amazing.
Is ExpressVPN Working With Netflix?
It is no surprise that ExpressVPN works perfectly well with Netflix. The service provider does update its servers that work with Netflix and ensures that users enjoy a good quality video. ExpressVPN unblocks more than 10 Netflix libraries, including US Netflix, making it one of the best VPNs for streaming Netflix.
Besides Netflix, ExpressVPN enables users to access other streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, and Hulu. All credit goes to its fast speed and vast server network. Moreover, ExpressVPN does offer a media streamer feature that is a DNS server and improves your online streaming experience.
Is ExpressVPN Legal to Use?
Yes, it is entirely legal and safe to use ExpressVPN, except for some countries where VPNs are banned. These countries include:
- North Korea
Is ExpressVPN Worth Buying?
ExpressVPN is a reliable VPN provider. It has unlimited bandwidth, supportive privacy, and security features like encrypted DNS, split tunneling, VPN leak protection, and media streamer. Moreover, its server covers more than half of the world and supports torrenting and streaming too. All these reasons make ExpressVPN worth buying.
Do ExpressVPN Offer Dedicated IP Addresses?
ExpressVPN, like many other service providers, only assigns shared IP addresses to the users. They don’t offer dedicated IP addresses. It means when you connect to an ExpressVPN server, you share your server IP address with other users. It adds a layer of anonymity and makes it tough to track back the online activity of a single user. But this won’t have any impact on the overall credibility of ExpressVPN.
How Many Devices Can You Connect Via ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN allows up to five simultaneous device connections on a single subscription account. You can connect ExpressVPN on all major operating systems and devices like Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, and supported routers.
From our ExpressVPN review, we can conclude that overall, it’s a reliable and secure VPN provider out there. There are many security options to choose from. It supports streaming, torrenting, and there are various security and enriched privacy features, and the best part is they are all working correctly.
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Although the service is a bit expensive, I am happy to pay for a service that offers fantastic features high anonymity level.
The best VPN of all time. High speed, super-fast connection, top-notch level of security, and keeps no logs. It is highly recommended.
What disappointed me about Express VPN was that the kill switch doesn't work well with Torrenting.