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Express VPN is an ambidextrous VPN providers which emphasizes on high-performance that makes it attractive to the customers looking for privacy and security. Express VPN, a Virgin Islands-based VPN provider is one of the most preferred VPN provider when we discuss about a customer-focused service, too.
Express VPN Review 2018
Quality matters above anything, so it gives you quality services for which you paid: superb encryption, high operating speeds, reliable access to the most popular sites and highly responsive, experienced customer support. Ease of use, Ultra-fast and Ultra secured service, responsive 24/7 customer support, and 30-day money-back guarantee are some eye-catching characteristics of Express VPN which make it a leading entity of the industry.
Pricing & Plans
Express VPN has no gold, premium or plus plans like other VPN providers do. Express VPN offers just the one plan for all of its customers so that every customer can enjoy its service equally. If we decide to pay monthly, the plan may seem little bit costly at $12.95 per month price but if we pay annually, it will be $99.95 for every 12 months; means $8.32 per month- which is more affordable and interesting. A free trial is available for mobile users which gives an iOS users seven days of free usage and one day of free usage for the Android user (as per standard Apple Store and Google Play Store policies), though it does not provide any free trial for computer’ operating systems like Windows, mac etc. It offers very generous 30 day money back warranty which allows you to cancel your service within 30 days without any explanations. Express VPN accepts payment via credit or debit card, PayPal, bit coin and any other payment gateway or merchant websites like web money, union pay etc. It has also partnered with Payment wall to accept a number of more obscure international payment options. . It has very exciting referral program also. If your friend joins or sign up in Express VPN you both will get 30 days free.
Here are the list of features we can discuss-
- It supports most VPN protocols, including SSTP, Open VPN (TCP and UDP), L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP. Though OpenVPN is generally regarded as the best option, It will automatically choose the most convenient protocol on your behalf.
- Content From anywhere: You can enjoy contents from censored and blocked websites from any part of the world, even while traveling.
- 145 server location: One can choose from 145 VPN server locations in 94 countries all over the world with unlimited server switches.
- Speed Test: It has the built-in Speed Test feature which gives latency and download speeds of every server locations in ExpressVPN’s network though it is little bit time consuming process.
- It has apps for all the digital platforms like mac, Windows, android etc.
- 24/7 live chat support for helping in set up and troubleshooting.
- VPN split tunnelling: It allows you to route some of your device traffic through a VPN keeping the rest directly access the internet.
- Smart DNS: Smart DNS Proxy is a complicated technology which allows Internet users all over the world to unblock Geo-restricted (or Geo-Blocked) websites like Netflix, Hulu, BeInSports.net, BBC and many more popular websites which contain regional-restricted content. As no encryption/decryption is required, it is fast without any buffering issues. It can be used with any devices which have internet access, including the devices which cannot run VPN application like smart TVs, and Roku devices etc. But one thing you should remember that Smart DNS does not do anything to improve your privacy or security. All paid customer get full access of Smart DNS service.
- DNS leak protection on IPv4
- 256 bit AES encryption: Each and every data in the servers is protected by advanced mathematics in AES-256 encryption (encryption standard trusted by many security experts worldwide).
- A .onion Tor Web Address: Sometimes it becomes difficult for defeating censorship with a VPN to access a VPN provider’s website so you can sign up for the service and download its software. Express VPN has a solution for this! Just type http://expressobutiolem.onion into the URL bar of the Tor Browser to visit a Tor Hidden Services dark web mirror of the Express VPN website. Using a .onion address makes it more or less impossible to censor the website.
- You can be online anonymously. It allows you to mask your IP address. You need not to reveal it.
- In the blog of Express VPN you can get the security tips and internet privacy news around the world and internet privacy guides.
- One subscription covers three devices of any type. Or you can add more devices with Express VPN’s app for wireless routers.
It’s incorporated beyond the reach of data laws. In high-censorship countries like Syria, Iran, Uzbekistan etc., Express VPN automatically uses a suitable protocols to provide users with a layer of additional overshadowing which helps them to overcome more rigorous blocks. They have the network lock features like kill switch which blocks any IPv6 traffic.
As the company noted earlier that Express VPN never keep traffic logs or any other logs which may enable someone to match an IP and timestamp back to a user. They work entirely on the basis of shared IPs, which means a single IP does not track back to an individual user. Despite its simple app, you can select manually security protocols.
But For the purpose of improving network resource allocation, they record aggregate data-transfer amounts and choice of server location. They may collect the following information: dates of when connected to their service, choice of server location, and the total amount of data transferred per day.
“Our software may send diagnostic data to a third party analytics provider for the purpose of identifying connection errors and possible bugs in our application. The information collected is generic in nature and does not contain personally identifying information.”
The above quote from Express VPN says that they collect minimal amount of information for troubleshooting purposes, it is not associated with the IP addresses of individual customers. These concerns may not please any privacy purist but these issues hardly matter to most of the customers.
Another concern is- Express VPN is based in a British overseas territory named British Virgin Island. The BVI regulates its own internal affairs, and has no mandatory data retention laws. Though it is under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of United Kingdom, it can be expected that the UK government could put pressure on BVI Government if needed.
Express VPN uses the following encryption: AES-256 cipher with RSA-4096 handshake and SHA-512 HMAC hash authentication. Express VPN stands with gold standards when it comes to authentication (SHA 512). 4,096-bit ephemeral encryption protects key exchanges with perfect forward secrecy, which guards past sessions against future compromises of secret keys or passwords.
As it uses high level of encryption technology this could negatively impact performance results. That’s why many other providers use lower levels of encryption. However, Express VPN still manages to show great performance results, which is a great technical accomplishment in spite of using high levels of encryption. Connection logs can be viewed on the local computer which has the Express VPN app and the user can save them to a local file. ExpressVPN generally keeps records of the dates on which you connect to the service, using of servers and the amount of data transferred during any session. It does not need your IP address, and the most important part is – it is only associated with your account exclusively. None of this activity can be traced back to you if you signed up anonymously using bitcoin and gave a burner email id.
It allows us to anonymous browsing by masking the IP address for us. It changes accordingly your IP address through any of the Express VPN’s servers Users get a shared static IP address which adds a significant level of anonymity. As we read earlier about the security aspects it has like Smart DNS, No log traffic Data etc.
The Express VPN website has very professional looks and feels. Its design goes with the branding. Many information is available on the website but it should be more organized and user friendly. The website lacks of the company details, the detailed explanation of the technology it uses, the encryption methods etc. It provides a detailed knowledge of what VPN is and its functions and all. A blog is also available, which is regularly updated and contains useful and interesting articles.
Express VPN advertise its highly supportive customer service. To maintain its reputation, they definitely provide so. Instant 24*7 support is available via live chat or a ticketed email system. The front-line staffs are not all technical persons but with some detailed questions they always connect you to relevant resources, or answer the questions after a quick consultation with other staff members. But contacting on phone is the only thing it lacks. Email response time is good which shows the popularity of the service with personable help that deals with your issues rather than semi-automated responses. We just love the customer support service except the phone call features lacking.
Installation and Usability
Signing Up in Express VPN is very easy. You only need a valid email address. ExpressVPN accepts payment in bitcoins, so if we want we can register anonymously. After signing up, you will get a welcome email, which includes a number of useful links for setting up the service.
- ExpressVPN made its service user friendly as much as possible. During the installation at first, you need to enter a unique activation code which you will get through your subscriptions page on the ExpressVPN website. It is a bit tedious to input the activation code for each device separately. The ExpressVPN client contains some powerful features which includes a firewall-based kill switch and DNS leak protection. Various VPN protocols are also available.
- The Express VPN app is probably the most spontaneous and simply-designed VPN software we’ve ever used. Just select a server you want to connect and hit Connect. Basic setting can be modified in the options menu like which protocol you prefer to use and all. But you can ignore it if you don’t need it. Straightforward plug-and-play interface makes ExpressVPN a great choice for a beginner or for people who need something for their kids or elderly family members.
- If you prefer not to leave the ExpressVPN GUI open, it will run quietly in the system tray. You can quickly connect to your favorite servers, disconnect, and access the options from there as well.
- I have performed some tests on my AT & T US 70 Mbps/5 Mbps fibre connection, using the OpenVPN UDP protocol and it shows a very good result. I was blocked by US Netflix when connected to its New York server, but all other servers worked fine.
- Custom VPN apps are available for Windows, Mac OS/OS X, Android, and iOS. A custom Linux app is also available but it lacks smart dns service. The website features a ton of setup guides for a wide range of devices and platforms. There is express VPN app add on also in the chrome and Mozilla.
- It also develops firmware that can be used by certain popular models of wifi routers. You can either buy a router pre-configured with ExpressVPN, or install the router app for free if your existing router is compatible. With a configured router, all the devices connected to your home wifi will have their internet traffic routed through The router only counts as one device, so an unlimited number of devices can be used through the VPN on a normal subscription, bandwidth pending.
- Mac OS X/Mac OS client:
Recent changes to the Windows client now matches the Mac client in looks.
- Browser Extensions:
They are not a browser specific proxy servers but a front-end to the full desktop software, which must also be installed.
So, when the VPN is turned on with the browser extension, your entire computer is protected by the VPN.
- The Android App:
The android app compatible with android 4.2 and above, can be installed from the Google Play store or downloaded directly as an .apk file. The app has the same tastes as its desktop version is; similarly easy to use and user friendly.
- Servers in 94 countries
- Great customer service
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Superb 256 bit encryption
- Anonymous Browsing
- Free Smart DNS service
- DNS leak and WebRTC protection
- User Friendly mobile apps
- Three connections simultaneously
- Excellent speed performance
- Works with US Netflix , hulu, BBC and iPlayer.
- .onion address
- Active blogs
- Internet privacy Guides
- Highly secretive servers located in Hong Kong
- Fully featured and easy-to-use software
- A Linux client (basic but it works)
- Browser add-ons for Chrome and Firefox
- Generous referral program
- IP Masking
- Monthly Plan slightly costly
- IP location Issue
- More than three connection Problems facing
- Windows app crashing
- Some connection logs required to keep in records for trouble shooting
- No ad-blocking or advanced features
So we can conclude that ExpressVPN offers a fully featured and elegant service. Its quality customer service, user friendly applications, and 30-day money-back guarantee will lead it from its competitors. Though for those who prefer a ton of configuration options and extra features might find it lacking, as it does not support simultaneous connected devices more than three.
By making the application user friendly it shows its professionalism to think about the customers. Encryption is truly excellent, reliable which makes ExpressVPN’s speed performance remarkably efficient. We streamed 1080p video without waiting for video to buffer and could seamlessly play fast-paced online games without any noticeable extra lag.
Minimal logs it keeps for troubleshooting purpose to attain an improved service. But it makes hardly any difference as the customers are rarely care about it. Its referral program is also seemed lucrative which shows a good marketing strategy. The smart dns, stealth servers ensures the privacy of its customers. So after reviewing it in detail that Express VPN will definitely give its competitors a tough competitions to the race of attaining the top spot in this business.