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ExpressVPN Review

It's relatively expensive, but this is one of the best VPNs around right now

Verdict

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Trusted Reviews Recommended

ExpressVPN’s reliable streaming performance, speed test results and a logging policy that has withstood legal action make it one of our long-term favourite VPN providers.

Pros

  • Good HTTP transfer speeds
  • Wide range of endpoint countries
  • Clear no-logging policy, demonstrated in court and by audit
  • Excellent streaming video performance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Confusing display prices

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £9.71 per month
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec, Lightway
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Linux (command line), Android, iOS, Chrome, Kindle Fire, FireTV

Buy ExpressVPN for £9.71/$12.95 per month

While it’s one of the most expensive VPN (virtual private network) providers out there, ExpressVPN is among the best VPN services you’re likely to see. It provides a stable, versatile and feature-packed VPN service, with clients and documentation for a wide range of devices and operating systems.

It’s one of the few VPN services that has had its no-logging policy demonstrated in a court case, making it a good choice for the privacy-conscious. In July 2019 and November 2020, the company also published the results of independent audits that showed it complies with its privacy policy. Since 2019, all ExpressVPN servers have used RAM disks – rather than hard disks – that are automatically wiped on reboot.

Pricing and subscriptions

ExpressVPN costs £9.71/$12.95 per month, £44.95/$59.94 for six months and £74.94 for 15 months. The falling value of the dollar – which is the currency you’ll actually be billed in – has reduced the cost of the service for users in the UK and Europe.

If you’re after anonymous payment options, you can buy your subscription with Bitcoin.

Features and usability

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which doesn’t share the UK’s strict data retention laws. The company has a clearly stated no-logging policy, which has been put to the test in a court of law: when its Turkish endpoint servers were seized by local authorities in December 2017, no logs were found on the systems.

In July 2019, it had an independent audit carried out to confirm the accuracy of its no-logging claims and to confirm that its new TrustedServer system fully wipes all servers every time they’re rebooted. A 2020 audit verified the security of its open-source browser extensions.

On Windows, I find ExpressVPN to have a pleasingly simple interface, with a cheery-looking button that you can click on to automatically connect to either an optimised endpoint or the last one you selected.

Additional features include a speed test on all available endpoints, and a diagnostics output that lets you view your log files – a welcome feature for those who want to know exactly what’s going on in the background when they connect.

An options menu allows you to configure ExpressVPN to start and connect on Windows start-up, enable an internet kill switch that stops all internet traffic if you lose your VPN connection, and switch from automatic protocol selection to your choice of OpenVPN or a range of other supported protocols.

Extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari allow you to start the VPN directly from your browser, block potential data leaks from the WebRTC protocol, and automatically connect to the last-used location when you open your browser.

Clients are also available for macOS, Linux and the usual mobile platforms, plus Amazon’s Kindle Fire and FireTV, with instructions available on using ExpressVPN with routers and other appliances.

ExpressVPN client

Performance

Endpoints/VPN UK Netherlands United States
ExpressVPN HTTP 175.2Mbps 211.2Mbps 124Mbps
Reference Group Average HTTP 179.7Mbps 160.13Mbps 91.805Mbps
Reference HTTP without VPN 604.8Mbps 544.8Mbps 700.8Mbps

All of my testing was carried out on a virtual desktop physically located at a data centre in London with a high-speed internet connection. This testing setup produces results under optimal connection conditions. VPN clients are tested on their default settings.

During our latest performance tests, ExpressVPN produced conspicuously good HTTP speed-test results, well above average in all cases. ExpressVPN is generally great at region-shifting for streaming media, too.

Should you buy ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is still a long way from being a budget choice, with a best-value monthly cost that works out at £6.35. However, if you want both reliable streaming and one of the strongest security pedigrees you can get without taking responsibility for setting up your own VPN endpoints, then ExpressVPN is the way to go.

ExpressVPN’s quick speed-test results, reliable region-shifting for streaming, and rock-solid privacy pedigree make it one of our long-term favourite VPN providers. However, it’s priced accordingly and doesn’t usually offer the dramatic discounts of many of its rivals.

If you’d prefer to spend quite a lot less, Private Internet Access provides largely comparable speeds and a strong security pedigree, but isn’t a very reliable choice for streaming enthusiasts, while Surfshark and Windscribe are cost-effective alternatives worth checking out.

Buy ExpressVPN for £9.71/$12.95 per month

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