Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is a full-featured VPN that offers lots of security benefits with a subscription. Founded in 2009, the company has staff members in Toronto, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Portugal, Croatia, Australia, and the Philippines as well as headquarters in the British Virgin Islands. It operates under this offshore set of islands’ jurisdiction, which has no data retention laws.
ExpressVPN, similar to some of its competitors, releases little other official information about its leadership on its website. One of the few public faces of the company is Vice President Harold Li. His biography on Forbes Councils lists Center for Democracy & Technology, Fight for the Future, OpenMedia, and the Open Source Technology Improvement Fund as organizations with which he works closely.
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What Is ExpressVPN?
At the top of our Best VPN Services of 2021 rating, ExpressVPN includes a robust number of features with its service. It markets a no-logging policy that doesn’t record your browsing history, traffic destination, data content, or DNS (website address) queries. ExpressVPN does not store logs of your actual IP address, your outgoing VPN IP address, connection timestamp, or session duration.
With 24/7 customer service and a 30-day money-back guarantee, it’s clear to see why ExpressVPN scored so highly with us. To purchase a month-to-month subscription, you’ll pay $12.95 per month, but for a little more than half that monthly cost, you can get a 15-month subscription. With the 30-day money-back guarantee, it means that it’s an easy decision to buy and try.
Is ExpressVPN Right for Me?
A variety of benefits sets ExpressVPN apart from its competitors. First, its robust list of connections is impressive, with 3,000 servers. It also has more groups of servers than most, with 160 server locations in 94 countries. The closest competitor in our rating is CyberGhost with 110 and 88, respectively.
If you like the idea of having access to streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, this is an excellent choice. Are you an active social media user? You’ll be glad to know that ExpressVPN includes access to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. In other countries that don’t allow access to one or more of those channels, you’ll be able to tunnel in with this VPN.
One of ExpressVPN’s claims is that you can access any content, no matter your location, eliminating geo-restricted browsing. For example, if you’re traveling in Morocco and want to binge-watch an American show you love on Netflix from your hotel room. This service makes it a simple matter of logging into ExpressVPN, choosing a U.S.-based server, and then signing into your Netflix account to watch your show.
How to Use ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN supports up to five simultaneous connections at the same time. If you need to connect more, the site explains how to connect unlimited devices through your router. You also have the option to purchase another account and connect five more, or you can share your VPN connection over Wi-Fi from a PC or Mac.
In addition to VPN apps for mobile devices and computers, ExpressVPN has apps and detailed set-up instructions for e-book readers (such as Kindle Fire and Nook HD) and media streaming devices (including Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick). Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are also available.
For sharing large files, ExpressVPN supports P2P through uTorrent, BitTorrent, Transmission, qBittorrent, Deluge, or any other P2P torrenting client. Per the VPN’s terms of service, users aren’t allowed to use ExpressVPN to violate any copyright laws.
How Much Is ExpressVPN?
Standard monthly cost: $12.95 per month
Subscription plans: Six months for $9.99, 15 months for $99.95
Check out the top ExpressVPN coupons here.
ExpressVPN is a little more expensive than other VPN providers on our list and it does not offer a free VPN trial. Out of its subscriptions, the best value is its 15-month plan. It’s billed upfront at $99.95, which breaks down to $6.66 a month.
ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with no hassle. If for any reason you’re unhappy with your experience within that first period, you can receive a full refund. For example, if you start your service at 10 a.m. on August 1, you can cancel any time before 10 a.m. on August 31 for a full refund. Its guarantee says that if you’re not 100% satisfied with the speed, security, and convenience of ExpressVPN, you can contact customer support via live chat or email at any time to cancel your service and request a refund. Your refund would show up via your original payment method.
The advantage ExpressVPN has over other free VPN trials is that you’ll get all of the features ExpressVPN offers versus a watered-down, content-limited version. In contrast, TunnelBear offers a free service, but with only a paltry 500 MB per month. Nor does TunnelBear include a money-back guarantee at all.
Is ExpressVPN Safe?
The mix of a clean history, firm no-logs policy, an offshore jurisdiction, high-security encryption, the TrustedServer feature, a kill switch, and more ensures that you can trust ExpressVPN with your privacy more than many other VPNs available.
When it comes to your data, this VPN does not collect logs of your browsing history, traffic destination, data content, and DNS (website address) queries. It also doesn’t store your actual IP address), the time you connect the VPN, or the length of each VPN session. There is some data collected, including the date you connect to the VPN, the amount of data you transfer each day, and the VPN server location you use.
One thing that sets ExpressVPN apart, is its TrustedServer feature. TrustedServer is a fairly new technology for this company and for the industry, first launching in December 2019. The advantage of this feature is that it operates on RAM, which requires power to store data, instead of traditional hard drives. What that means is that all of the information is wiped clean every time the server is turned off, ensuring that no data is stored or otherwise leaked.
ExpressVPN automatically selects what it determines to be the best VPN protocol for your connection, but it also gives you the option to choose a different protocol if you wish. It uses OpenVPN (with TCP or UDP) which is one of the most widely used protocols. It also supports PPTP and L2TP/IPsec protocols, though it says these provide weak security benefits and should only be used for anonymization or for changing locations.
Underneath that is the method of changing your data into coded information, which is composed of Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES, for starters. AES-256 is the same standard used by the U.S. government and many others around the world for top-level security.
Another layer is the zero-knowledge DNS protocol. DNS (domain name systems) servers store IP addresses for you like a contact file in your phone. It quickly connects the IP to the URL you want, but this information is often unencrypted, so your internet activity might be traced or maliciously redirected. ExpressVPN has its own private servers that generate DNS for you so that it keeps it all in the family. With zero-knowledge DNS, this VPN is not storing the data, which means that it avoids hacks like a man-in-the-middle attack, which is the method a hacker uses to intercept your information when you’re using a public Wi-Fi network. As the DNS server is the first possible entry point of a man-in-the-middle-attack, ExpressVPN is taking charge to minimize the chances of that happening.