ExpressVPN’s reliable streaming performance, speed test results and a no-logging policy that has withstood legal action make it one of our long-term favourite VPN providers.
- Good HTTP transfer speeds
- Wide range of endpoint countries
- Clear no-logging policy, demonstrated in court and by audit
- Excellent video streaming performance
- Confusing display prices
- Review Price: £81.44
- Five simultaneous connections
- Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec
- UK pricing: £10.55 per month, £48.85 per 6 months, £81.44 per year
- US pricing: $12.95 per month, $59.95 per six months, $99.95 per year
- Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients
- Clients for Windows, macOS, Linux (command line), Android, iOS, Chrome, Kindle Fire, FireTV
Buy now: ExpressVPN from £5.31/month
While it’s one of the most expensive VPN (virtual private network) providers out there, ExpressVPN is among 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.
Related: Best VPN 2020
ExpressVPN – Features and usability
On Windows, ExpressVPN has 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 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.
ExpressVPN – Performance
Average HTTP download speeds for the April 2020 VPN group test, measured from a test system in London selected for stability in the light of increased load on the UK’s internet infrastructure, were 65.63Mbps from UK endpoints, 71.37Mbps for the Netherlands and 51.15Mbps from the US.
During this month’s performance tests, ExpressVPN produced good HTTP speed test results, well above average in all cases, and with one of the top three US download speeds, beind only ProtonVPn and NordVPN. However, its FTP performance fell over completely. This is entirely uncharacteristic of ExpressVPN’s genreal performance, but if you’re shunting a lot of files around using that protocol, this is not the right time to begin your subscription.
Historically, ExpressVPN has always been one of the quicker services around, although this month’s UK to Netherlands connection was a little below average – but still fast enough for even the most demanding streaming tests.
ExpressVPN is generally great at region-shifting for streaming media.
Related: What is a VPN?
Should you buy ExpressVPN?
As it bills in US dollars, ExpressVPN works out at £10.55 per month, £48.85 per six months and £81.44 per year. It’s still a long way from being a budget choice, with a best-value monthly cost that works out at £6.79, but 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.
Confusingly, its pricing page currently shows UK users prices in British Pounds, even though it bills in dollars, and the prices are are far more expensive than the exchange rate would make them. You can safely ignore these, but it’s a really confusing feature that makes an already expensive service seem even more so.
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.
The service’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.
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 go in for the dramatic discounts offered by many of its rivals, although you can currently get three extra month free on an annual subscription, which is well worth having.
Private Internet Access provides similar speeds and a strong security pedigree, but isn’t a very reliable choice for streaming enthusiasts, while Windscribe is also a cost-effective alternative worth checking out. NordVPN could have handled a recent security breach with more grace, but remains a very solid option for anyone whose priority is region-shifting.