ARE you on the lookout for a VPN with several privacy options and a vast network of servers around the world? ExpressVPN could be the right tool for the job.
Our experts tested ExpressVPN for nearly three weeks, and below you’ll find all the guidance and information you need to figure out if it’s the right option for you.
- ExpressVPN, from £5.09 per month – buy here
ExpressVPN is mostly known for its number of servers, which are located in many locations that don’t usually appear on VPN lists.
In addition, the software offers solid privacy and security features, alongside a clean and minimal user interface.
We’ve also got articles on what a VPN is or whether you should use one that are definitely worth a read.
Now, without further ado, here’s is everything you need to know about ExpressVPN, from pricing options to speeds, server locations and more.
We have tested this VPN on Windows 11, but ExpressVPN is available on virtually every device and operating system (OS), including iOS and Android, Linux, and even gaming consoles.
And if you’re weighing up your options, be sure to read our Surfshark review and our pick of the Best VPN apps.
ExpressVPN review: at a glance
Generally speaking, ExpressVPN aims to stand out from the competition thanks to a substantial number of professional features.
These include the aforementioned availability of servers in most countries, detailed installation guides for several hardware ecosystems, and a connection kill switch should the VPN get accidentally disconnected.
Speeds are good across the spectrum (though they vary substantially based on location), and ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands jurisdiction, which is known to be privacy-friendly.
In terms of prices, ExpressVPN’s are slightly more expensive than competitors, but given the number of features here, they are still more than reasonable.
It is important to notice, however, that there are VPN services with similar or even more features that are cheaper (more about this in the pricing section to this review.)
On the downside, it’s also worth noting that the number of simultaneous connections is slightly lower than similarly priced VPNs.
Tested: December 2021/January 2022, Windows 11
- Well-distributed server network
- Light clients and available for most devices
- Unblocks most streaming websites
- Extra privacy and security features
- Slightly more expensive than average
- Browser extensions need ExpressVPN app
- High ping in some locations not ideal for gaming
- No multi-hop features
What is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is a solid VPN service, featuring a large global presence and outstanding privacy practices crafted to protect user information.
In addition, the company has recently updated several of its apps, now offering a simple and straightforward user interface, consistent across devices.
As of September 2021, ExpressVPN was being used by three million users worldwide, a number that could potentially grow further after the Kape Technologies acquisition.
In terms of device support, ExpressVPN is among the best VPN services, with clients available for the vast majority of desktop and mobile machines.
These include Windows, Mac, Chromebook and Linux (though no user interface is available on the latter), Android and iOS devices, wireless routers, and even streaming media consoles.
For a full list of compatible devices, you can have a look at this page on the ExpressVPN website.
How much does ExpressVPN cost?
- ExpressVPN, £9.88 per month – buy here
- ExpressVPN, £45.74 per six months (save £13.56) – buy here
- ExpressVPN, £76.27 per twelve months (save £57.48) – buy here
There’s no way around this: ExpressVPN is more expensive than the competition and paying a similar or even lower price you can potentially get options with extra features, including NordVPN.
However, these extra features may not match ExpressVPN’s server availability or proven security standards.
In other words, make sure you pick ExpressVPN if you’re in need of servers located in particularly remote locations, or if you require security features that are not available from other providers.
As with most respectable VPN providers, all ExpressVPN plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
As a general reminder, make sure to regularly review your VPN subscription of choice’s terms, as its price may automatically increase after the first term.
ExpressVPN: server and server locations
ExpressVPN counts 160 VPN servers located in 94 countries.
Of these, the majority are in Europe, with a total of 46 locations, followed by 27 in the Asia Pacific, 16 in the Americas, and only five across the Middle East and Africa.
If you have used VPNs before, you’ll notice that ExpressVPN’s approach is more decentralised than most providers, meaning it has fewer servers than similarly priced competitors but in substantially more countries.
For context, NordVPN offers a whopping 5132 ultra-fast servers in 60 countries, while Surfshark has more than 320 servers across 65 countries.
Still, if you’re in need of a server located in a specific location, odds are ExpressVPN will have that.
ExpressVPN: security and privacy
ExpressVPN operates under the British Virgin Islands jurisdiction, a region known to be privacy-friendly.
The company keeps a strict no-logs policy, meaning it does not collect any identifying information transmitted through the network.
However, ExpressVPN does collect maintenance-related data, including server location utilised, the total amount of data transferred, server connection time, and app versions.
At the time of writing, no users’ leaks were reported. However, it is worth mentioning that ExpressVPN has been acquired in September 2020 by Kape Technologies, a company that was in the past associated with malware distribution tactics.
In this regard, ExpressVPN told The Sun they are aware of these events and that ExpressVPN will remain a separate service from other Kape brands.
The good bit is that when such changes occur, VPN providers are legally required to let you know, so make sure not to ignore any ExpressVPN in the next few months and years, if you choose to purchase a subscription.
In terms of security features, ExpressVPN is one of the best options on the market. The number of supported protocols exceeds those of most competitors, and the company offers additional tools, such as network lock and split tunnelling at no extra cost.
If you purchase an ExpressVPN subscription, you have also 24/7 customer support by live chat. We have tested the feature and the chatbot connected us to a human operator in less than a minute.
ExpressVPN: speed and performance
The ExpressVPN user interface is clean and straightforward, and selecting the right server for you is a breeze.
The Windows client is also quite light, taking up just 75MB of RAM power when connected. For context, Google Chrome with five tabs take up almost 500MB of RAM, so ExpressVPN is light.
Generally speaking, the number of servers localized in the same area can affect connection speeds.
Since ExpressVPN’s server concentration is less intense than competitors, speeds appear to be slower where fewer servers are present in the area (e.g. Australia) and faster where ExpressVPN has more servers (e.g. the US.)
Down below is a breakdown of speeds using different server options.
Speeds varied quite substantially during our tests depending on the country and servers selected, but none of them dropped below half the connection’s original speed.
We have also tried watching Netflix using all the locations above and ExpressVPN successfully displayed content from that specific country without any lag or delay.
A word of warning for gamers here: the ping of your connection may rise considerably using some ExpressVPN servers, so make sure to do some tests before purchasing a subscription.
We did not have this problem using the Smart Location option, however, which automatically selects the fastest VPN location for you based on metrics like download speed, latency, and distance.
How many devices can be supported on ExpressVPN?
All ExpressVPN subscriptions grant access to the simultaneous use of the service on five devices.
After purchasing a subscription, it’s possible to install ExpressVPN on any number of devices (including virtual machines), but only five of them can be connected to the VPN at the same time.
This is one of the minuses of this otherwise excellent VPN, as many competitors tend to offer more at the same price or less.
NordVPN, for instance, allows for up to six device connections, CyberGhost for seven, and Surfshark an unlimited number of simultaneous connections.
ExpressVPN: is it any good?
ExpressVPN is a solid, though slightly expensive choice.
It grants access to a number of servers located in regions otherwise not very well covered by other providers, and it offers ample choice of connection protocols and additional security options, including network lock and split tunnelling (it would be nice to see a multi-hop feature added in the future though.)
This VPN also unlocks most streaming websites and has an extremely light client, which is always a plus as VPNs are often utilized for hours and should not be resource hoggers.
And its recently-updated, minimalistic interface is also a welcome addition to this already great VPN.
Unfortunately, the limited number of connections, above-average price and high ping in many servers make ExpressVPN less appealing than some options.
However, if you need to connect to particular servers that aren’t available from other service providers, or you need a particular security protocol, it’s hard to do better than ExpressVPN.
- ExpressVPN, from £5.09 per month – buy here
How we test VPN services
Our experts at The Sun use Ookla to test the speed of the VPN services we review. We are based in London, and currently testing speeds via Wi-Fi. All tests are conducted using the same machine and at the same distance from the router.
We test and review each VPN using the same processes, and judge them by the same criteria each time.
These criteria are price, server quality and location, security and privacy, speed and performance, and number/type of supported devices.
All of our reviews are editorially independent and free from bias.
Make sure you know your country’s laws and regulations if you’re unsure about how you’re using a VPN service.
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For extra cybersecurity, don’t miss our pick of the best antivirus software, both free and paid.
For additional tech recommendations, feel free to have a look at our dedicated Sun Selects Tech page.
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