ExpressVPN Review

Verdict

ExpressVPN’s quick speed test results and rock-solid privacy pedigree make it one of our long-term favourite VPN providers. Unfortunately, this month’s video streaming failures, along with its usual high price, mean that it’s dropped a couple of points from its score.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Expensive

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £82.48
  • Five simultaneous connections
  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec
  • UK pricing: £10.69/month, £49.47/six months, £82.48/year
  • US pricing: $12.95/month, $59.95/six months, $99.95/year
  • Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Linux (command line), Android, iOS, Chrome, Kindle Fire, FireTV

What is ExpressVPN?

While it’s one of the most expensive VPN (virtual private network) providers out there, ExpressVPN has proved itself one of the best 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’s had its no-logging policy demonstrated in a court case, making it a good choice for the privacy-conscious. In July 2019, the company also published the results of an independent audit showing that it complies with its privacy policy.

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN - 15 month subscription

One of the most trusted VPN's on the market, Express VPN gives you unrestricted access to Netflix, HBO and iPlayer. Get 49% off on their one year subscription and receive a further three months completely free.

Related: Best VPN 2019

 

ExpressVPN – Features and usability

It’s not a great option if you’re on a budget, and a relatively weak pound does it no favours with a high annual price of £82.48 (working out at £6.87 per month) and a month-to-month subscription fee of £10.69. The middle ground is a six-month subscription for £49.47.

On Windows, ExpressVPN has a pleasingly simple interface, with a cheery-looking button that, when pressed, will automatically connect you 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 see 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.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN running on Windows 10.

ExpressVPN – Performance

Endpoints/VPN UK Netherlands United States
ExpressVPN HTTP 131.2Mbps 133.68Mbps 103.04Mbps
ExpressVPN FTP 134.97Mbps 103.09Mbps 50.57Mbps

During this month’s performance tests, ExpressVPN produced good speed test results, but actually came in well below the outstanding performance it usually achieves.

The latest data shows HTTP speeds of 131.2Mbps (16.4MB/s) from the UK, 133.68Mbps (16.7MB/s from the Netherlands and 103.04Mbps (12.88MB/s) from the US. FTP test speeds were generally more restrained, at 16.9MB/s in the UK, 12.9MB/s in the Netherlands, and a relatively slow 6.3MB/s from the US.

Historically, ExpressVPN has always been one of the quicker services around so, although fast enough for anything you want to throw at them, these speeds are actually a little disappointing by its own high standards.

However, this month’s real shock was its unexpected detection by the most notable streaming services for UK VPN users: Netflix U.S. and BBC iPlayer wouldn’t work despite multiple connection attempts to get new IP addresses. Shudder U.S. and All 4 were, however, accessible, and it’s likely that ExpressVPN will rectify the situation promptly.

Related: What is a VPN?

 

Should I buy ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands which, although a British Overseas Territory, doesn’t share the UK’s strict data retention laws. If you’re after anonymous payment options, you can buy your subscription with Bitcoin, and the company has a clearly stated no-logging policy.

ExpressVPN’s no-logging policy 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.

Get Express VPN here

 

Verdict

ExpressVPN’s quick speed test results and rock-solid privacy pedigree make it one of our long-term favourite VPN providers. Unfortunately, this month’s video streaming failures, along with its usual high price, mean that it’s dropped a couple of points from its score.

Private Internet Access provides even faster speeds but mediocre streaming, while privacy-audited NordVPN is a consistently excellent option for video fans.

Todays VPN Deals

ExpressVPN

One of the most trusted VPN's on the market, ExpressVPN gives you unrestricted access to Netflix, HBO and iPlayer. Get 49% off on their one year subscription and receive a further three months completely free.

NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the fastest and most secure VPN services with unlimited and private P2P. Pay for a 3 year subscription and save 75%.

Private Internet Access

Equipped with a VPN kill switch and IPv6 leak protection are two of many reasons PIA is rated as our top VPN for security. Get yourself a year subscription and save 67%.

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