ExpressVPN Review

An in-depth review of the ExpressVPN service. Is it really the best VPN? Does the performance match the hype?



ExpressVPN is an overpriced VPN service considering the speeds, privacy, reputation, and functionalities.

This review of ExpressVPN contains the results of tests between 3 September 2020 and 4 November 2020.

This document is a continuously being updated with fresh data each month in order to be accurate and consistent.

Is ExpressVPN a good VPN? Is it worth getting?

Privacy & Anonymity Summary

They claim to be a no-logs VPN but collect information such as the ISP, country, and the server location.

Speed & Performance Summary

The speed provided is only average and depends on the protocols, with UDP being the fastest among them. The TCP protocol is very slow, and the IKEv2 protocol provides below average speeds.

Functionality & Application Summary

ExpressVPN’s clients are smooth and intuitive. It supports split tunneling and has an internet kill switch, but does not offer customizations when it comes to cipher, port, proxy, etc.

Reputation & Support Summary

They have faced criticisms in the past for using less-secure 1024-bit encryption, and also there is a DNS leak associated with the split tunneling feature. ExpressVPN’s reputation has gone down lately.

Price & Value Summary

Their annual plan costs $99.95/year and it is a bit expensive for the quality of service offered.


How Was ExpressVPN Rated?

Review Criteria

I've rated ExpressVPN on multiple elements across five categories, and analysed the results to give you a good understanding of the service.

  1. Privacy & Anonymity

    Does ExpressVPN leak any data while in use? Do they collect or store logs? Do they allow you to anonymously purchase the service? Do they employ a variety of security protocols to keep you anonymous online?

  2. Speed & Performance

    Does ExpressVPN offer fast speeds (on par with browsing without a VPN connection)? Are these speeds consistent? Or do they drop off or fluctuate too much?

  3. Functionality & Application

    Does ExpressVPN work well? Is it easy to install and use? Does it unblock geo-restricted content? Can it unblock Netflix and BBC iPlayer?

  4. Reputation & Support

    Is ExpressVPN a reputable seller with a strong track record of happy customers and good reviews? Does it provide outstanding customer and tech support? Does ExpressVPN and their parent company have a track record of honesty, transparency, and its customers' best interests at heart?

  5. Price & Value

    Does the price of the service match (or exceed) the quality of experience? Does ExpressVPN represent value for money?

Privacy & Anonymity

Does ExpressVPN have a logging policy?

ExpressVPN claims that they are a no-logs VPN, but they do collect more logs than many other no-logs VPN services. Information such as if a user has established a successful connection on a particular day, the VPN server location, and the total amount of data sent are collected. However, the source IP address and assigned IP address are not collected.

In December 2016, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Mr. Andrey Karlov, was murdered by a police officer. The culprits deleted social media posts and emails of the assassin using ExpressVPN, and the investigators seized ExpressVPN’s server for pieces of evidence. However, the seizure did not yield results since ExpressVPN did not keep identifiable logs.

ExpressVPN uses usage trackers by Google and Facebook; two of the biggest privacy offenders, on their website.

Does ExpressVPN have a kill switch?

The Windows client does not have an app kill switch, but has an internet kill switch.

What security protocols does ExpressVPN use?

On Windows, ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec protocols. WireGuard is not supported as yet.

Speed & Performance

Is ExpressVPN fast?

ExpressVPN’s OpenVPN-UDP protocol provides above-average speeds, and the IKEv2 protocol provides below average speeds. OpenVPN-TCP protocol is very slow.

Does ExpressVPN provide consistent speeds?

The speeds are mostly consistent but can be slower at peak hours depending on the location.

Functionality & Application

Is ExpressVPN easy to use?

ExpressVPN app dashboard on Windows

The app dashboard on Windows.

Yes, the Windows client is intuitive and very easy to use.

The installation was pretty quick, it took only around 15 seconds on Windows, and there were no checkboxes or license agreements. It was just a matter of opening the setup file.

When I opened the client for the first time, it asked me to configure some important settings, such as launch on startup, disconnect the internet when VPN is not active, etc. This felt like a good practice since we often forget to set these things when using a VPN for the first time.

The client is fairly simple, smooth, and intuitive, and I could find and configure my preferred settings without any effort. The server locations screen is very user-friendly. The app shows the recommended servers based on our location, and there is a search button to make it even easier. They’ve divided the locations into regions such as Asia-Pacific, Middle-East and Africa, America, and Europe. This arrangement made it very easy to choose servers from specific countries.

The app doesn’t offer customizations when it comes to port, cipher, etc. but it does have all the necessary settings to protect our privacy when using the internet.

ExpressVPN recommended locations screen on Windows

The app shows recommended server locations on Windows.

ExpressVPN all locations screen on Windows

The server locations have been divided into regions.

ExpressVPN general settings on Windows

The internet kill switch and split tunneling settings on Windows.

ExpressVPN’s supported protocols on Windows

ExpressVPN supports multiple protocols.

ExpressVPN advanced settings screen on Windows

The advanced settings on Windows.

Does ExpressVPN support split tunneling?

Yes, ExpressVPN does support split tunneling, and it lets us include or exclude the selected apps from tunneling.

ExpressVPN split tunneling on Windows

Split tunneling is supported on Windows.

Is ExpressVPN good for torrenting? Do they approve of using P2P technology?

ExpressVPN approves of using P2P technology, and its OpenVPN-UDP protocol provides above-average torrenting speeds. However, their IKEv2 protocol seems to have issues with some torrent trackers. I wasn’t able to download Ubuntu with IKEv2, and when downloading Big Buck Bunny, it could connect to only one seed, and so it was very slow.

ExpressVPN has problems with IKEv2 torrenting

ExpressVPN’s IKEv2 protocol had trouble connecting to some trackers.

Is ExpressVPN good for Netflix?

ExpressVPN was able to successfully unblocked geo-restricted Netflix content in 5 out of 15 countries. I could watch Netflix content exclusive to Canada, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom and USA.

Is Private Internet Access good for BBC iPlayer?

Is ExpressVPN good for streaming?

What are some good features of ExpressVPN?

  • Easy to use clients
  • 24-hour live chat support
  • Supports split tunneling

Reputation & Support

Is ExpressVPN trustworthy?

They have gone through some controversies lately, and have denied the use of virtual server locations. At the same time, their claim of collecting only non-identifiable data was proven to be true from the Andrey Karlov murder investigation.

Does ExpressVPN have live chat support? Are they responsive?

Where are they based? What jurisdiction are they under?

ExpressVPN and their parent company are based in the British Virgin Islands. Their office is located at C/O: Overseas Management Company Trust (B.V.I) Ltd, OMC Chambers, ROAD TOWN, TORTOLA, VG1110, British Virgin Islands.

Who is the parent company?

ExpressVPN is owned by ExpressVPN International Limited, a private company based in the British Virgin Islands.

Have ExpressVPN or their parent company been involved in any controversies or scandals?

A few months back, a Reddit user reported a DNS leak vulnerability with ExpressVPN when using split tunneling. The user claims that he notified ExpressVPN, and the VPN provider admitted that they knew about this vulnerability even before the user reported it. ExpressVPN has not responded to the thread yet.

In 2016, former Google information security engineer Marc Bevand criticized ExpressVPN for using short, less-secure 1024 bits RSA keys. He claimed that ExpressVPN was one of the best VPNs to evade the Great Firewall of China, but China may already be spying on ExpressVPN users due to the bad encryption. However, ExpressVPN responded quickly by upgrading its OpenVPN CA certificate strength from 1024 bits to 4096 bits.

In 2017, online privacy advocates found that ExpressVPN and PureVPN are using fake server locations. It may show the location as Saudi Arabia or Zimbabwe, but the actual server may be located in some other country. When the news came out, ExpressVPN said that their servers are real, but six days after the article release, they updated their website with virtual server location information.

What do most customers say they like about the service?

Users from China reckon that ExpressVPN is very helpful in unblocking many websites otherwise blocked by the Chinese authorities. Most of the customers agree that their customer support is responsive, reliable, and helpful.

What do customers most dislike about the service?

Several users report that VPN connection drops quite often, almost once in an hour. This seems to be a problem for many users, and it makes ExpressVPN not so good for gaming.

Price & Value

How much does ExpressVPN cost per month?

ExpressVPN offers three different plans, a monthly plan costing $12.95/month, a six-month plan costing $59.95 at $9.99/month, and a one-year plan costing $99.95 at $8.32/month.

ExpressVPN plans and pricing

The pricing options in USD.

Is ExpressVPN worth the money?

Considering the speeds, reputation, logging policy, and functionalities, ExpressVPN is not worth the money at $99.95/year since there are many better options at this price.

What payment forms do they accept?

ExpressVPN accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, and Diners Club credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and various other wallets and payment methods through Paymentwall.

The payment methods accepted by ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN accepts a number of payment methods.

Do they have a trial or a money-back guarantee? What is their refund policy?

ExpressVPN offers a 30-day no-hassle money-back guarantee. They do respect their money-back guarantee, and process refunds in around 7 days.


Who is ExpressVPN good for?

ExpressVPN is a good choice for those who are looking for a VPN with good customer support, easy to use clients, and above-average speeds.

Who is it not suitable for?

It is not suitable for gamers since the occasional connection drops can kill the joy of gaming. The DNS leaks and virtual servers point to possible vulnerabilities, so it is definitely not a good VPN for journalists.

Visit ExpressVPN

Very Good - 7.19 / 10