ExpressVPN is definitely one of the most sought after VPN service out there. The hype surrounding this service sure has my curiosity piqued.
My curiosity was further fueled by some of the sites that referred to it as fast, secure, and completely anonymous. This surely had me thinking that whether all the claims are in real, true or not? A zillion questioned raced in my mind such as
- Is it actually as fast as they claim?
- Do they actively support torrenting, peer to peer file transfer as well as Netflix streaming?
- Are their servers equipped with the industry style Open VPN protocol and AES 256 bit encryption as they claim?
- Does its subscription really cost so much or are there any getaways available?
To quench my thirst of curiosity, I did a search up and then managed to compile together the following review, which contains the answers to my nagging questions as well as more insights.
Now before delving into the deep layers of what ExpressVPN has to offer, let’s start off with the somewhat generic highlights of the service provider:
ExpressVPN Review Testing & Results
Apart from that, while working on it, I was able to distinguish its features into pros and cons which I have defined in the article.
Perks of using ExpressVPN
There are many pros of using expressVPN, which are an add-on to its popularity. I have taken up liberty and described them below:
The location of where a VPN service provider operates from is exceedingly crucial. It is essential to notice that it is away from the five eyes, nine eyes, and the twelve eyes jurisdiction location. ExpressVPN however, works under a safe jurisdiction of British Virgin Islands.
In 20019 it was founded on this beautiful sun-kissed islands that almost don’t demand any tax. This jurisdiction is offshore and therefore ensures perfect privacy. It is known to have no data retention laws, thus making it ideal for a VPN service setup.
With many countries turning up to have strict data retention laws, ExpressVPN has sure chosen the ideal location to operate, which ensures that the privacy of its customers remains intact.
2. Strict no logging policy
As mentioned in the overview, too Express VPN is known to be a VPN service which keeps up strictly zero logs. As they claim on their official website.
They have proudly mentioned there the fact that they don’t keep up any log files such as DNS queries, IP addresses, or metadata. Now you all must be aware that most of the VPN services, in their TOS, do mention that they don’t keep up any logs, but their logging policies are somewhat questionable.
However, Express VPN is known to strictly steer clear of keeping any kind of logs. This means that they have an interest in tracking and maintaining a store of your personal data of their users. As soon as the user logs into the Express VPN server, most of the information is encrypted and thus hidden away from the prying eyes o government agencies, hackers and even Express VPN itself.
Despite the policy Express VPN surely keeps track of some information, that all VPN service providers keep a check on. This information is pretty standard such as:
- Activated apps and their versions
- Date when the user connected to the VPN service
- The VPN server location the user mostly uses
- The total amount of data transferred a day in MBs
This information is relatively standard and is tracked to provide a premium experience to the users.
3. Wide range of servers and Privacy features
Express VPN proudly operates almost 3000+ servers which run in 93 different countries and 160+ cities. This enables it to provide anonymity to its users by hiding their IP addresses.
Only NordVPN, PIA, and TorGuard are the services that can match up to several servers’ offered. Its full array of servers can easily be viewed here.
Apart from that Express VPN is also equipped with a vast number of impressive privacy features such as:
- Anonymous IP
- Kill switch
- P2P servers
- 3 simultaneous connections
- Split Tunneling
- Zero knowledge DNS
These privacy features all serve up a specific purpose. They contribute to the privacy offered by ExpressVPN to its users. Their functions are described further along.
1. Anonymous IP
Express VPN is known to have a large number of servers throughout the world. As mentioned above, they are available in about 92 countries and 160 cities.
These servers allow the users to change the IP address and thus remain anonymous. Here changing IP means that the original IP address of the user will be masked with another IP address of the server they had chosen.
2. Kill switch
This is an advanced feature offered by Express VPN. This switch kills off any website of software that was running in case there is a loss of connection. This way, it ensures the privacy of the user.
This feature comes particularly handy while performing location-based activities such as gambling. If during such events, the connection happens to come across a disruption, kill switch feature makes sure you remain protected even if you have lost the source of protection by executing the software or website.
The level of encryption offered by ExpressVPN is of high quality that is the 256-bit AES encryption. This encryption level as you techno freaks would know is military grade and is known to be a source of utmost protection. There have been no reports of cracking of 256-bit AES encryption, unlike other encryption methods.
Named as the Advanced Encryption Standard or AES as most commonly referred as this 256- bit cipher ensures that the information present within its grasp remains secure from the brute force of any type of attack for that matter.
Now, rather than going into much depth over what the technical details of this encryption method, to concise if. You can get the grasp of the protection level by the mere fact that it is used by CIA, FBI and all the other intelligence agencies out there. Thus proved that ExppressVPN does indeed has the encryption level high.
4. VPN protocol used
A VPN mainly works through a VPN protocol. They are the critical component have a large hand in how the information is being transferred through the encrypted tunnel. A VPN tunnel protocol basically plays a hand in how the device the said user is connecting to the server.
Now ExpressVPN offers one of the most secure VPN protocol available that is the OpenVPN. This protocol is however standard, but apart from that, it also supports SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP protocols. These protocols are pretty compatible with the users need.
This OpenVPN protocol is, however, most suited for the privacy-conscious people and the ones who have a technical work requirement. This is because it has been individually crafted to cater to professional needs- that are it offers speed as well as protection.
5. Zero knowledge DNS
Another excellent privacy feature offered by ExpressVPN is “zero-knowledge DNS.” Now for those of you, who don’t know Domain Name System or DNS as more commonly referred, is the way the device interprets the URL a user types or click on.
However, ExpressVPN is a service that claims to offer its own private DNS. Unlike while being connected to other VPN services, ExpressVPN protects the DNS activity applying encryption and the protocol tunnel preferred by the user. It makes use of its own DNS while connected to any of the ExpressVPN servers.
Typically other VPN services usually make use of third-party DNS servers which collect or log information, but ExpressVPN guarantees the privacy of its users by creating its personal DNS which is protected with ESO 256-BIT encryption. This ensures but privacy and security.
Now that it is established that ExpressVPN indeed has its privacy game strong. Let’s have a more in-depth look into what other features it has to offer that adds up to its popularity:
Other star features
ExpressVPN demand is further fueled by several other stars features it has to offer. These features are a great add on to privacy and security. I have taken up the liberty to define them further along with the article:
1. Multiple device compatibility
ExpressVPN is very user-friendly and easy to set up. There are no connection hassles whatsoever. Furthermore, it is compatible with various platforms such as:
- iPhone and iPad
- a diverse range of routers
- web browsers
- smart TV
Now I am confident that there might be some devices out there which remain under uncharted territory, but they may only be of a handful number.
2. Split Tunneling
This is a particularly handy feature offered by ExpressVPN which allows the user to transfer only some of its data through an encrypted channel while the rest goes through unencrypted. It does so by making sure that the user doesn’t lose connection with the local network devices
This is very feasible if the user wants to gain access to foreign as well as local internet service simultaneously. Or in other events, while being connected to a VPN service, your bandwidth gets used up so you could channel only some part of data encrypted to preserve it.
Furthermore, at times, it is hard to connect to LAN devices with a VPN connection, so you naturally have to disconnect it. With split tunneling, you can get rid of these problems and at the same time stream foreign movies and browse the web services with a local IP address.
You can also easily download connect without it having an impact on your web activity. Thus split tunneling is indeed a very useful and an original feature.
3. Netflix Streaming
Netflix is known to have several security protocols that are continually being upgraded from time to time, thus making it extremely difficult to come up with a VPN service that is Netflix friendly.
Checking up t see if Netflix was compatible with ExpressVPN was a priority for me because of course Netflix and chilling is the ultimate weekend vibe! While looking it up, I was pleasantly surprised to find all of my restricted USA content that I was craving to have my hands on just within my grasp.
However, in spite of it, I was kind of bummed to find out that not of all of the Netflix servers were fully compatible with ExpressVPN. While trying to stream some of the non-USA ones, I did have to face proxy errors. The servers that work very well are:
- United States
- United Kingdom
These servers work mighty fine with ExpressVPN, and oh well you can surely make the most out of them.
4. Torrenting and P2P file sharing
For most users who ardently torrent, this is a significant plus. With torrent being banned in most countries and declared as illegal, most services such as Tunnelbear have officially not allowed torrenting through their service.
ExpressVPN has, however, made no such claims. While other services banning the use of torrent, ExpressVPN openly allows its users to go ahead with it. Furthermore, with their option to have an anonymous IP address, military-grade encryption, and unlimited bandwidth- the users can have a supreme torrent experience through it.
5. TOR friendly
The Onion Browser or TOR, most commonly referred as is a browser designed for ultimate protection. It provides layer to layer encryption