Today we’re going to do a quick yet comprehensive ExpressVPN review in this article. Now, as you all know, I’m a bit paranoid about online security and privacy, so I was looking at different VPNs out there lately. Because only a right VPN can provide you with the ultimate online protection, given that you know what you’re doing. Personally, I am frequently at airports or Starbucks connecting to their Wi-Fi, and I know there is the potential for others around me to see and compromise my data potentially. And so I decided to sign up and use a VPN. Now, do I use ExpressVPN myself? Yes, I do. This is the VPN I decided on using after researching about half a dozen different options. And so in this article, I am going to explain all those factors so that you can understand why I personally decided on using ExpressVPN and that will help you to conclude whether or not this is the right VPN for you.
ExpressVPN Pricing: Not your regular cheap VPN!
Let’s start with the pricing of ExpressVPN. I’m going to be completely honest with you here, ExpressVPN is like the Cadillac of VPNs out there. They are among the best ones out there, but they are not necessarily the cheapest.
There are options out there for VPNs that cost anywhere from $3 to $5 per month, or in some cases even less expensive, but the services they provide are far from decent. They have three payment plans where they charge $12.95 if you go monthly basis, $9.99 for the half-yearly plan and finally, you’ll get the best deal if you go ahead and buy the 12 months in advance.
By that way, you’ll get their VPN service for $8.32 per month, which is going to be $99.95 billed every 12 months. I really don’t care about paying $8.32 a month (for a 12 months subscription) for a VPN as long as I’m getting the best possible service as per my requirements. So for me, that price is not necessarily a problem. But if you are on a budget, ExpressVPN is probably not going to be the one for you. Is that a con? You decide!
ExpressVPN Speed: My personal test result
If you’re looking to use the fastest VPN out there and take advantage of that security, I would highly recommend ExpressVPN. Let me share the result of the speed test I conducted with ExpressVPN, just so you know what kind of speeds I’m getting, and what you may expect as well. So, the results I got connecting to my Wi-Fi without a VPN, was a ping of 16 milliseconds, 260 MBPS download, and 194.5 MBPS upload.
And then when I was connected with ExpressVPN, I ended up getting a ping of 22 milliseconds, a download speed of about 55 MBPS, and an upload speed of 58 MBPS. Naturally, if you’re connected to a fast Wi-Fi, you can’t be expecting any VPN to match your non-VPN speed, but this is pretty solid. And what’s impressive is that I have seen in some cases where I was connected to ExpressVPN on a public Wi-Fi, and the speeds I was getting through ExpressVPN were actually faster than if I just linked to that public Wi-Fi on its own.
So I have found through my testing that ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN out there. And if you are looking for the top speeds, this is one of the best options available currently.
VPN security and privacy: is ExpressVPN safe?
Encryption and Protocols
If we look at their encryption and VPN protocols, they maintain industry-standard. If you look at their website, you’ll find lots of technical jargon to impress a visitor which is a cool marketing tactic no doubt, but at the same time, those are enough to confuse you as an end-user. So, let me put it in short – they use AES 256 encryption and OpenVPN protocol, and those are known to be the best and most widely used as far as VPN goes. They have other protocols too, like L2TP and PPTP, but those are either proprietary or known to be breached by security agencies already, so don’t use them, and you’ll be fine. Hence, absolutely no complaints here.
DNS leak prevention
Coming to the DNS leak which is a major security threat for anybody using a VPN. ExpressVPN sorted this out in their app, so there’s nothing to be worried I guess. In fact, most VPN companies already solved this by releasing necessary updates promptly when it was revealed for the first time.
Jurisdiction and logging policy
Now, moving to the most vital privacy feature, logging policy, and VPN jurisdiction. If you’re looking for a VPN, this should be at the top of your list to be checked as logging policy is what often separates the great VPNs from the average ones.
ExpressVPN has their registered office in the British Virgin Islands, and there is no data retention law in that area, so they are not required by any laws to retain any data on users that are using this VPN for any means. So the ExpressVPN does not log IP addresses of either the source of where you’re coming from or the VPN server you’re connecting to. They do not record any browsing history, traffic destination or metadata, or DNS queries. What data they do collect is apps and app versions, dates of connection (but not the exact timestamp), choice of VPN server location, and the total amount of data transferred per day. Is this the best no-log policy? Hell no! We have found more comprehensive logging policy few other VPNs are offering, but let me tell you one thing honestly here. It all depends on your adversaries. If you’re planning to do something really evil, there are more ways to find and catch you; a mere VPN won’t be able to protect you. For every other possible usage, like torrenting, which may be illegal but no NSA would come after you – ExpressVPN is more than enough. I did a lot of digging and found no instances of them ever releasing logs to any authorities, so I give them a thumbs up in that area as far as being a no log VPN.
Another thing that I do like about ExpressVPN, not something that I took advantage of, but they do accept Bitcoin as a payment method. If you’re looking to be as anonymous as possible, do not use credit or debit card or PayPal or any other payment method. In that case, bitcoin should be the only currency you must pay with to any VPN. So, again, another thumbs up to ExpressVPN here.
ExpressVPN Customer support
As far as customer service goes, they offer 24/7 chat support and email support. And talking about any kind of free trial, they don’t provide one. Instead, they do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is quite generous because in most cases, it’s a three or seven-day money back guarantee, that I have seen with other VPNs out there.
When I buy a VPN (and trust me, I do buy a lot), I focus on three main things. First is their reputation, second is their overall security and privacy features, and third is the speed. Price is my least concern always because I don’t hesitate to pay a little extra for my peace of mind. So, do ExpressVPN excels in all the primary deciding factors? Yes, they did, period. Aren’t there other VPN services who offer more privacy (with a more strict no-log policy)? Yes, there are. But I won’t put my money on a run-of-the-mill VPN company who promises absolutely zero logging, but just popped up in the market a few months ago. Is ExpressVPN safe? More than most average joe would ever need! So, what’s your thought about this? Let us know by commenting below.