ExpressVPN is famous for its robust security features and a wide server network.
In this ExpressVPN review, I’ll analyze the provider’s core and additional privacy & security features, test its speeds during various scenarios, check whether it works with various streaming services and P2P clients, and let you know my UX with the provider and its customer support.
Overall, I’m happy to report that ExpressVPN met most of my expectations.
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ExpressVPN Key Features & Ratings
Here’s a short overview of the aspects I assessed in this ExpressVPN review:
|vpnAlert Rating:||9 of 10 ⭐|
|Jurisdiction:||British Virgin Islands|
|Audits:||Audits by PwC, F-Secure|
|Security Features:||RAM-only servers, NetworkLock Kill Switch, Password generator, Split tunneling|
|Servers:||160 locations in 94 countries|
|Protocols:||L2TP/IPSEC (some locations), OpenVPN UDP (all locations but London), IKEv2, OpenVPN TCP, Lightway TCP/UDP (all locations)|
|Average speed drop/increase:||Increase of 5.8%|
|Streaming||Netflix, BBC iPlayer, foreign TV channels from abroad|
|Torrenting:||Allowed on all servers|
|Supported platforms:||Windows, iOS, Android, macOS,|
|Customer support:||Live Chat, e-mail|
|Payment methods:||VISA, Mastercard, Amex, JCB, Discover, Diner’s Club, QIWI, UnionPay, Sepa, giropay, Mint, pix, Mercado Pago, OneCart, iDeal, Sofort, Interac, PayPal, Bitcoin, App Store subscription|
|Price & Discount:||ExpressVPN price|
ExpressVPN Pros & Cons
The most obvious strength of ExpressVPN is its privacy and security features and the measures it takes to enhance users’ safety. These measures include introducing TrustedServer technology and the Network Lock kill switch.
ExpressVPN also works very well with streaming and torrenting services and is simple to use. In case of any issues, you can contact the experts on the 24/7 Live Chat.
ExpressVPN is, however, pricier than other providers.
ExpressVPN has a wide network of physical and virtual servers in 160 locations in 94 countries. Such a network means there’s always an optimal server for you to connect to in most parts of the world.
Does ExpressVPN Rent or Own Servers?
ExpressVPN owns its diskless server network. This was confirmed to me by the provider’s representative. This is good news for people concerned for their privacy like myself – the fewer third parties involved with server management, the fewer chances of servers being compromised.
Where Are ExpressVPN’s Servers?
ExpressVPN has servers in over 90 countries. Here’s a full list of them, indicating which ones are physical or virtual.
|Server location||Servers||Protocols||Virtual server?|
|North America||Bahamas||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via USA)|
|Canada (Montreal, Vancouver)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Canada (Toronto, 2 locations)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Costa Rica||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Guatemala||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|Mexico||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Panama||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|United States (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas (2), LA (3 locations), Miami (2 locations), New Jersey, New York, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Tampa, Washington DC)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|United States (Denver, Lincoln Park, LA (1 location), New Jersey (2 locations), Phoenix, Santa Monica)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|South America||Argentina||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|Bolivia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|Brazil (2 locations)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Chile||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|Colombia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|Ecuador||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|Peru||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|Uruguay||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|Venezuela||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Brazil)|
|APAC||Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Australia (Sydney-2)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Bangladesh||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Bhutan||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Brunei Darussalam||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Cambodia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Hong Kong (2 locations)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|India||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via UK or Singapore)|
|Indonesia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via UK or Singapore)|
|Japan (Tokyo)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Japan (Tokyo-2, Shibuya, Yokohama)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Kazakhstan||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Kyrgyzstan||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Laos||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Macau||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Malaysia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Mongolia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Myanmar||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Nepal||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|New Zealand||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Pakistan||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Philippines||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Singapore (Jurong)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Singapore (CBD, Marina Bay)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|South Korea||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Sri Lanka||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Taiwan||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Hong Kong)|
|Thailand||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Uzbekistan||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Vietnam||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Singapore)|
|Europe||Albania||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Andorra||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Armenia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Austria||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Belarus||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Belgium||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Bulgaria||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Croatia||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Cyprus||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Czechia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Denmark||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Estonia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Finland||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|France (Paris - 2 locations)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|France (Alsace, Marseille, Strasbourg)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Georgia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Germany (Frankfurt - 2 locations)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Germany (Nuremberg)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Greece||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Hungary||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Iceland||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Ireland||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Isle of Man||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Italy (Milan, Cosenza)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Jersey||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Latvia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Liechtenstein||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Lithuania||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Luxembourg||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Malta||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Moldova||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Monaco||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Montenegro||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Netherlands (The Hague)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|North Macedonia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Norway||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Poland||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Portugal||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Romania||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Serbia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Slovakia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Slovenia||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Spain (Barcelona)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Spain (Barcelona-2, Madrid)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Sweden||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Sweden-2||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Switzerland||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Switzerland-2||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Turkey||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Ukraine||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via Poland)|
|UK (Docklands, East London)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|UK (London)||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (UDP)||No|
|UK (Wembley)||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Africa||Algeria||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Egypt||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||Yes (via The Netherlands)|
|Kenya||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|South Africa||IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)||No|
|Middle East||Israel||L2TP/IPSEC, IKEv2, Lightway (TCP/UDP), OpenVPN (UDP)||No|
As you can see, there are plenty of servers for you to choose from around the world. ExpressVPN even has servers in Turkey, Africa, and Israel – locations where few VPNs have a presence.
ExpressVPN uses popular OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) and IKEv2 protocols on all servers. It also offers L2TP/IPSEC on some servers. The latter combination is slower due to double data encapsulation, but it’s still in use, as it’s easy to configure and secure.
ExpressVPN also designed its own open-source custom-made protocol called Lightway. It’s a very speedy and secure protocol, which gives ExpressVPN really good speeds, as you’ll see later in this article.
It also helps you stay secure in case your connection drops – Lightway picks up the moment you’re back online, with no byte leaking through.
Protocol Data Consumption Tests
I tested how much data each protocol consumes over five minutes using the GlassWire app on my Desktop, on a server in Germany. Here are my results.
When connected to ExpressVPN’s German server:
|Data||Baseline (no VPN)||L2TP||OpenVPN TCP||OpenVPN UDP||Lightway TCP||Lightway UDP||IKEv2|
As you can see, Lightway UDP and IKEv2 use little data.
Of course, it also depends on how many tabs and apps are open on your device.
For that reason, I recommend Lightway and IKEv2 for the best speed and least data consumption – especially if you’re on mobile data. However, note that IKEv2 doesn’t work on all networks.
Does ExpressVPN Work in Russia?
Yes, ExpressVPN works fine in Russia on any device. However, it doesn’t have any servers in Russia – physical or virtual. Instead, Russian users can use ExpressVPN’s “Smart Location” feature to find the nearest server.
That said, if you need a Russian IP, consider CyberGhost.
Does ExpressVPN Work in Turkey?
Yes, ExpressVPN works in Turkey. During my travels to Istanbul, I used it with no problem. The provider has a virtual server in Turkey (via the Netherlands).
So, if you’re in Turkey and want to access your Ziraat Bankasi bank account, for example, or the services provided by the Turkish government while still keeping your connection protected, ExpressVPN can help.
Does ExpressVPN Offer Dedicated IP?
ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a Dedicated IP service. As clarified to me by a representative, that’s due to the provider regularly rotating the IP addresses for security reasons.
Does ExpressVPN Use Virtual Servers?
Yes, ExpressVPN uses virtual servers to cover countries where it’s hard to find servers with good speed and security. I’ve indicated in the table above which servers are virtual and which country they’re routed from.
Speed & Performance
ExpressVPN is a fast VPN, thanks to the Lightway protocol.
Let’s take a closer look at my speed tests and results.
Speed Tests Conducted
I conducted several speed tests using ExpressVPN across different servers and protocols. I also tested its Internet speed while using Netflix and downloading files via a torrenting client. Here’s what I discovered.
ExpressVPN Speed Tests Results
This is the baseline:
And this is an overview of the speed tests on different protocols and servers:
|Protocol||Server||Ping, ms||Download speed, Mbps||Upload speed, Mbps||Download speed drop, %|
|USA New York||145||12.40||2.73||+3.9%|
|USA New York||145||5.51||3.99||-53.8%|
|USA New York||148||17.96||7.43||+50.5%|
|USA New York||146||9.81||6.86||-17.8%|
|USA New York||146||14.67||4.19||+23%|
Based on these results, ExpressVPN is definitely worth it regarding speed.
The fastest ExpressVPN protocols are Lightway and IKEv2.
However, Internet speed also depends on server bandwidth, your Internet speed, and how many devices you use simultaneously. So, ExpressVPN might be slower or faster for you, depending on your situation.
I recommend sticking with Lightway protocol for the best results or IKEv2 (that one doesn’t work on some networks).
The good news is, based on this data, there’s no reduction in speed when using ExpressVPN. In fact, the results suggest an average increase of 5.8%.
ExpressVPN Streaming & P2P Speed Test Results
When using big apps like Netflix or uTorrent, it can impact your upload and download speed due to the increased amount of transferred data.
Here are the Internet speed tests for using ExpressVPN for streaming Netflix and torrenting.
To check my Internet speed when streaming Netflix’s show “Marcella” with Lightway UDP, I used the Speedtest website. Here’s what my speed was.
When connected to one of the three ExpressVPN servers:
|Server||Ping, ms||Download speed, Mbps||Upload speed, Mbps||Download speed drop / increase,%||Upload speed drop / increase, %|
Since ExpressVPN shows Sweden as the “smart location,” it’s no surprise the download speed was the highest on that server. And that’s the speed that matters most for streaming shows on services like Netflix.
However, for live streaming, upload speed is equally important.
For me, upload speed was the highest on a Canadian server. A VPN server with equally high upload speeds will be the best option if you want to live-stream services like Twitch with ExpressVPN.
I used ExpressVPN’s Lightway UDP protocol to torrent a file via uTorrent.
Here are the speed tests results:
|Server||Ping, ms||Download speed, Mbps||Upload speed, Mbps||Download speed drop / increase, %||Upload speed drop / increase, %|
|USA New York||148||23.86||14.10||+1.74||-28.82|
Based on these results, the server nearest to me (Sweden) offered the best download speeds for torrenting and was also specified as ExpressVPN’s smart location.
However, the upload speed was quite low. Both speeds matter for P2P file-sharing – the faster you upload, the more peers will prioritize your download.
Therefore, consider trying different servers for torrenting with ExpressVPN to see which works best. Later in this article, I’ll share which server worked best for me with uTorrent.
ExpressVPN Speed vs. Other Providers
How does ExpressVPN compare to other top VPNs? To answer that, I compared ExpressVPN’s speeds on the fastest protocol (Lightway UDP) with other providers.
Here’s what I found.
ExpressVPN vs. Surfshark
First, I compared the speed of ExpressVPN’s Finnish server with Surfshark, using its WireGuard protocol.
This is the baseline speed:
And these are the results:
|Provider, protocol||Ping, ms||Download speed, Mbps||Upload speed, Mbps||Download reduction / increase from baseline, %||Faster VPN?|
|ExpressVPN, Lightway UDP||93||9.84||4.28||-32||No|
Therefore, Surfshark is slightly faster than ExpressVPN, but its latency is higher. That means it’s not the best choice for gaming, although it’s good for fast browsing.
ExpressVPN vs. CyberGhost
I performed the same tests with ExpressVPN and CyberGhost.
I connected to ExpressVPN’s server in the Netherlands, measured the speed, and compared it to CyberGhost’s Dutch servers.
This is my baseline speed:
And these are the results:
|Provider, protocol||Ping, ms||Download speed, Mbps||Upload speed, Mbps||Download reduction / increase from baseline, %||Faster VPN?|
|ExpressVPN, Lightway UDP||75||19.09||7.38||-32.14||Yes|
ExpressVPN is, therefore, faster than CyberGhost, but not by much.
CyberGhost’s latency and upload speed are lower and higher, respectively, which might make it better for live gaming.
If you’re a VPN user who wants to access streaming services from abroad or watch content unavailable in your home country, here’s why you should consider ExpressVPN.
Is ExpressVPN Good for Streaming?
Thanks to its speedy Lightway protocol and rotating IPs, ExpressVPN can unlock most streaming services with little buffering. So, I recommend ExpressVPN for streaming your favorite Netflix, iPlayer, and Hulu shows from other countries.
Does ExpressVPN Work With Netflix?
As a fan of Swedish crime shows, I was happy to see that connecting to ExpressVPN’s Swedish servers allowed me to enjoy Scandinavian TV content like “Young Wallander.” This confirms that ExpressVPN works with Netflix.
When I tried to access the US Netflix library with ExpressVPN, I was pleased to see that it also worked fine. All I had to do was connect to ExpressVPN’s US server, and I could enjoy US films and TV shows.
Does ExpressVPN Work With BBC iPlayer?
If you want to enjoy your favorite BBC iPlayer shows, like “Gentleman Jack,” ExpressVPN works with the streaming service very well.
Just connect to one of its UK servers, log in to your BBC account, and enjoy the British content!
Does ExpressVPN Unblock Foreign TV Channels?
I unlocked Deutsche Welle – a German TV channel – when connected to ExpressVPN’s server in Frankfurt with no problems.
Therefore, ExpressVPN can unblock foreign channels. If you’re traveling outside Germany, for instance, you can still enjoy DW, ZDF, and other programs by connecting to a server in Germany.
MediaStreamer is a feature of ExpressVPN you can enable if you have an ExpressVPN-compatible router or a Windows app. It’s not a VPN, so it doesn’t encrypt your activity. Rather, it’s designed to improve your streaming experience.
Personally, I’ve not seen much difference with and without it enabled because ExpressVPN’s speeds are very good with streaming if you connect to the best server.
It also took a long time to set up, and it’s not a very secure option, so I wouldn’t recommend it if your streaming experience with ExpressVPN is already good.
Here’s how you can enable MediaStreamer on Windows:
- Go to the ExpressVPN DNS settings page and sign in to your account.
- Check your email for the verification code and enter it.
- Click “Register my IP Address” and toggle “Automatically register my IP address.”
- Go to this page, sign to ExpressVPN again and enter the verification code sent to your email.
- In the next window, you’ll see IP addresses for your MediaStreamer. Don’t close this page.
- Press “Windows + R” on your device.
- Type ncpa.cpl and click “OK.” That opens the Network Connections windows.
- Right-click on your active connection (e.g., your Wi-Fi network) and select “Properties.”
- Make sure that “TCP/IPv6” is unchecked. Double-click on “IPv4.”
- Select “Use the following DNS server addresses” in the “General” tab and type in the preferred DNS server and the alternative DNS server the MediaStreamer addresses you got in step 5.
- Click “OK” and then again “OK.”
When torrenting a file via your torrent client, you need to ensure your IP isn’t leaking. A good VPN is necessary for that. Let’s see if ExpressVPN is a suitable provider for torrenting.
Is ExpressVPN Good for Torrenting?
ExpressVPN is good for torrenting on all torrenting clients.
It has good speeds and doesn’t leak my IP to the rest of the peers, as confirmed by DNS leak tests.
Moreover, you can set up split tunneling on ExpressVPN so only the torrenting client’s traffic is routed through the VPN. This is useful if you need to browse resources that block VPNs simultaneously.
Does ExpressVPN Support Port Forwarding?
The only way to get port forwarding with ExpressVPN is to activate it on your router. If you have ExpressVPN enabled on your router, here’s how you can set up port forwarding:
- Sign in to your router with ExpressVPN running.
- Go to “Advanced settings” and select “Port forwarding.”
- Click “Add new rule.”
- Complete the following fields:
4.1. “Description” – a name that’d help you recognize the forwarded port.
4.2. “Device” – choose the device you want to access remotely (e.g. iPhone, Desktop).
4.3. “Internal port” and “External port” – for both, enter numbers between 1 and 65,535.
4.4. “Protocol” – choose the protocol you want (e.g. TCP, UDP)
- Click “Save.”
Torrenting Speed Test
I tested the download speed of P2P files with ExpressVPN on video files about 40 MB each using servers in Sweden, France, and the US. Here are the speed test results with Lightway UDP protocol:
|Server||Average download speeds||Download completion time|
|USA New York||20.2 kB/s||44 minutes|
|France Marseille||22.4 kB/s||36 minutes|
|Sweden||26.1 kB/s||28 minutes 22 seconds|
As you can see, the Swedish server, which was the ExpressVPN “Smart location,” provided the best results. So, I recommend following ExpressVPN’s recommended server for torrenting.
ExpressVPN Torrenting Policy
However, the terms require you not to use ExpressVPN to send or transmit copyrighted content without the owner’s permission.
Do you like playing online games but don’t want to expose your IP?
If so, you need a fast VPN with low latency that can obfuscate your IP address. ExpressVPN checks all these boxes.
Is ExpressVPN Good for Gaming?
Whether ExpressVPN is good for gaming depends on what your Internet speed is. If it’s good, ExpressVPN can prevent throttling, which helps you get the full benefits of your ISP package. In such cases, it’s better to connect to a nearby server for lower latency.
However, if your speed and latency aren’t ideal, your connection can lag with ExpressVPN. Let’s see what the tests tell us.
Latency Tests & Results
I play games on my computer and iPhone. In both cases, high latency can ruin the UX. Therefore, I tested ExpressVPN’s latency on my Desktop and iPhone.
Here’s what I got:
My latency baseline on my laptop was 30 ms. It works fine for games like “Syberia.”
Connecting to ExpressVPN’s different protocols on the Desktop gave me these latency results:
|Server||OpenVPN TCP, ms||OpenVPN UDP, ms||Lightway TCP, ms||Lightway UDP, ms||IKEv2, ms|
|Sweden (smart location)||75||68||68||78||Didn’t work|
|UK East London||77||87||75||83||Didn’t work|
|USA Washington DC||139||156||178||142||151|
So, the best location for latency was Sweden. The game worked quite well when I was connected to that and the British server, but my UX was much worse when connected to the US.
For that reason, choose the server closest to you when playing a game to ensure your latency is as low as possible.
On my mobile, the baseline latency was 32 ms, which is usually fine for games like “Hogwarts Mystery.”
When I connected to the ExpressVPN servers, these are the results I got:
|Server||Lightway TCP, ms||Lightway UDP, ms||IKEv2, ms|
|Sweden (smart location)||78||104||Didn’t work|
I’m far from North America, so it’s no surprise the Canadian server’s latency was the highest. However, even the French servers went over 100, which is when games started to lag.
For that reason, I recommend ExpressVPN’s Smart Location when gaming – Sweden was that for me.
Privacy & Jurisdiction
If you’re conscious of privacy, you must ensure that ExpressVPN can protect your online activities. I’m happy to report that ExpressVPN is excellent in terms of privacy. Here’s why:
ExpressVPN No-Logging Policies
This is good news for privacy-conscious Internet users.
However, I want more assurance from my VPN provider than just a legal document. Fortunately, ExpressVPN delivers on that front.
Real-Life Proof and Audit of No-Logging
ExpressVPN’s no-logging policy and servers were audited in 2019 by PwC.
The audit confirmed that the server structure complies with the policy, and no connections, IP, activities, or other logs were recorded.
Therefore, your data isn’t logged. Moreover, even if it were, the server structure allows it to disappear (more on that later).
In addition, the provider’s no-logging policy was verified by a real-life incident. In 2017, ExpressVPN didn’t share its logs with the Turkish government concerning a diplomatic incident – because there were no logs to share.
These real-life confirmations of ExpressVPN’s effective no-logging policy are important for privacy-conscious users.
Where Is ExpressVPN Based?
ExpressVPN is based in the BVI, a country with no mandatory data retention laws. This means ExpressVPN isn’t required to retain your data, which is another point in favor of their privacy features.
However, the holding company of ExpressVPN is operating out of the UK, which is a 5-eyes country. More on that below.
Who Owns ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN Technologies Ltd is owned by Kape Technologies plc, based in the UK. It also owns other providers like CyberGhost. The UK is a 5-eyes country, which means it can share data on its Internet users with other countries.
This extra reassurance that my data isn’t stored by a conglomerate that owns several other tech companies makes me rate ExpressVPN quite high in terms of privacy. I rank it 9.5/10.
In addition to verified privacy features, ExpressVPN has robust security features. Some examples are the independently verified server structure, a Password Generator, and a kill switch. I rated these features 10 out of 10.
Is ExpressVPN Secure?
Short answer – ExpressVPN is a very secure VPN. In addition to protecting your traffic with AES-256 bit encryption, the highest standard of encryption accepted today, it offers a robust kill switch, RAM-only servers, and a few extra features, like Password Generator. It also passed my security tests.
I’ll go through the features one by one.
ExpressVPN Network Lock Kill Switch
ExpressVPN Network Lock kill switch ensures that if your connection breaks, your data is safe once you’re reconnected by blocking the connection.
The kill switch is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, routers, and Android apps.
On Android, it’s called “Network protection.” It’s enabled by default, but you can disable it if you need to, like with NordVPN.
On Windows, you can enable it manually by checking the “Stop all Internet traffic if the VPN disconnects unexpectedly” box in Options.
I found this kill switch very helpful when switching to data from WiFi on my Android device. I only had to enable it manually once when I first installed ExpressVPN on my device, which was easy.
Here’s how you can set it up:
- Open ExpressVPN on your device and go to “Options.”
- Select “Settings.”
- Click “Network protection.”
- Toggle “Block Internet when unable to connect or reconnect to VPN” into the “On” position.
ExpressVPN and the kill switch were activated right after I reconnected.
I like this feature, as it saves time and keeps me protected.
However, it’s not as easy as enabling the kill switch on Mullvad – with that provider, it’s enabled by default and cannot be disabled, so no actions are needed on your part.
TrustedServer & Its Benefits
The proprietary ExpressVPN server structure ensures that if any data is logged, it’s erased as soon as the server is rebooted.
That’s because ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology prevents it from being recorded onto a hard drive. These VPN servers are RAM-only, with limited memory.
This means your data is safe even if ExpressVPN’s servers are compromised – because it simply doesn’t exist, and there’s nothing to pull from the VPN servers. This is an important reason why I rated ExpressVPN’s security so high.
ExpressVPN offers a service called Password Generator.
It’s browser- or app-based and can help secure your login information.
You can customize it by type of characters and length.
You can also test your existing passwords in the generator, and ExpressVPN tells you how long it could take to crack them. For example, I tested one of mine, and the result was different from what I expected.
If you’re concerned about your passwords getting stolen or guessed, ExpressVPN’s Password Generator is a great, straightforward tool to test their security.
Android & iOS Permissions
ExpressVPN has certain permissions to work on your mobile devices.
I checked which ones it had on my Android tablet and my iPhone.
I used the Exodus tool to check ExpressVPN’s Android permissions.
The report was pretty fresh, written earlier this year. Here’s what I found:
Two trackers, Google CrashLytics for crash reporting, and Google Firebase Analytics, which isn’t bad.
The 11 permissions were mostly concerning the Internet and Bluetooth access, and system-based ones like running on start-up. Given what I described about ExpressVPN’s functionality, they make sense.
On my iPhone, I clicked on “Privacy” in “Settings” to see all the permissions available and checked all of them to see which ExpressVPN’s iOS app has access to.
“Local Network” was only one of them, but ExpressVPN’s access to it was disabled. So, you can be certain ExpressVPN doesn’t have access to any of your iOS data unless you expressly allow it.
I ran ExpressVPN through tests to make sure that my real IP wasn’t leaking.
I also tested the encryption and kill switch with Wireshark software.
Here’s what I found.
DNS Leak Test
I connected to ExpressVPN’s Swedish server. The DNS leak test performed with IPLeak showed that my IP was Swedish. This confirmed that my IP wasn’t leaking through ExpressVPN’s protection.
WebRTC Leak Test
The WebRTC leak performed with Browserleaks confirmed the same thing – my real IP address was hidden, and the shown Public IP was Swedish.
Therefore, the ExpressVPN connection to Sweden hides my real IP address, and the VPN works as intended.
With Wireshark, I tested ExpressVPN’s OpenVPN UDP connection when connected to a German server. Here are the results.
As you can see, the data is encrypted, as it appears as nonsense.
I’m therefore satisfied that ExpressVPN’s encryption works.
Kill Switch Test
I also tested ExpressVPN’s kill switch using Wireshark. Here’s how.
- I requested an IP address of a specific website (Forbes) via my command prompt and noted it down.
- I connected to ExpressVPN’s Swedish server and went to Forbes’ website.
- Then, I terminated the VPN connection and checked Wireshark to see if any connections with Forbes’ IP address were also terminated.
Wireshark confirmed that the IP address disappeared from the connections list. Therefore, ExpressVPN’s kill switch also works well.
Platforms & Devices
A good VPN provider offers several simultaneous connections across different platforms. For example, if you’re chatting on Telegram on your phone and watching Netflix on your laptop, you want to protect your privacy on both devices simultaneously.
Can ExpressVPN do that? Let’s find out!
What Devices Does ExpressVPN Support?
ExpressVPN supports the most popular devices and platforms, such as:
- Kindle Fire
- Browser extension – Chrome, Firefox, Edge
- Smart TV – Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, Roku, Chromecast
- Game consoles – Xbox, PS, Nintendo Switch
As you can see, ExpressVPN supports a huge range of devices.
Whether you need it for your smartphone, tablet, PC, smart TV, or gaming system, you can use ExpressVPN. If you’re struggling, you can use the helpful guides or the 24/7 Live Chat, which provides guidance very quickly.
How Many Devices Can You Use ExpressVPN On?
You can download ExpressVPN on as many devices as you like.
However, you can only use it on 5 devices simultaneously.
That’s why I’m only giving ExpressVPN 8 out of 10 for the platform and device support – you can use other VPNs like Surfshark on an unlimited number of devices.
If you want to protect your entire household, you can install ExpressVPN on your router – I’ll talk about that now.
Can You Use ExpressVPN on Router?
You can activate ExpressVPN on your router, provided it’s compatible with the service. Such routers include Netgear R6400v2 or R6700v3, Asus RT-AC68U (up to v3), Linksys EA6200, and others.
This allows you to protect all devices connected to that router.
So, if your entire household is working from home, that could be useful for you.
ExpressVPN provides a straightforward guide on how to install it on your router. And if you get stuck, you can contact the 24/7 Live Chat.
With ExpressVPN activated on your router, you don’t need to download the ExpressVPN application on your device.
You can also exclude devices from the ExpressVPN router connection if you need to.
ExpressVPN also offers additional features that could benefit you.
With ExpressVPN’s split tunneling feature, you can tailor what traffic is and isn’t routed through a VPN tunnel. This is useful if, for example, you need to torrent safely while using an online service such as a bank that’s only accessible from a local IP.
This is how you can activate split tunneling on Windows:
- Launch the ExpressVPN app but don’t connect yet.
- Go to the menu and click “Options.”
- In “General,” check “Manage connections on a per-app basis.”
- Click “Settings” and select the options that you want – either “Only allow select apps to use the VPN” or “Do not allow select apps to use the VPN.”
- Add the apps you want to include/exclude from the VPN tunnel.
- Click “OK” and connect to ExpressVPN.
Today, many companies track your usage of apps and online activity and then tailor their ads toward you. To mitigate this annoyance, ExpressVPN has a Threat Manager feature.
Threat Manager is a DNS-based Internet traffic blocker that prevents your apps from communicating with third parties that track your activity.
The provider has a database of such malicious third parties that’s updated regularly. Currently, it only works with the Lightway protocol and is available on iOS, Mac, and Linux.
As someone who has an AdBlock installed on all my browsers, I’m grateful for this additional protection from nuisance ads on my iPhone!
Testing Threat Manager
I enabled Threat Manager on my iPhone when connected to ExpressVPN to test it.
After browsing several sites where I usually get pop-ups and ads (like Forbes and CNN), I’m happy to report that I haven’t seen any of those with ExpressVPN’s Threat Manager enabled.
ExpressVPN has a 24/7 Live Chat feature, where you can ask questions.
I tested the feature, and here’s the result.
ExpressVPN Customer Support Test
I asked the Chat operator whether ExpressVPN allows seeding with torrenting and how my IP is kept safe. I found the chat a very straightforward feature – you just enter your name and an e-mail address if you have an ExpressVPN account.
Click “Start Chat” if you don’t.
An ExpressVPN representative has answered my questions, and I managed to get more details after some prodding. For more certainty, I also asked another representative the same question.
Since both representatives provided helpful responses on seeding, I’m happy with ExpressVPN’s customer service.
I tested ExpressVPN on my Windows and iOS devices. It provided an equally seamless installation and UX across both platforms. The switch-on process is very straightforward, and the hamburger menu makes it easy to find key features like protocol and split tunneling. Overall, I’m happy with ExpressVPN’s UX.
Let’s discuss more.
How to Use ExpressVPN?
Here’s how you can use ExpressVPN on your platforms.
Use ExpressVPN on Windows
Here’s how you can use ExpressVPN on Windows after buying the VPN subscription and logging in:
- Double-click on the ExpressVPN Windows app’s icon or select it from the main menu.
- If you’re happy with the default settings, click the “Power” button, and ExpressVPN will connect to the best location.
- If you want to change the location or the protocol, go to the hamburger menu on the left and customize it to your liking by clicking on “VPN Locations” and “Options.” Then click the “Power” button.
As you can see, it’s a straightforward application to use. If you run into any problems, you can contact the team on the ExpressVPN website via the 24/7 Live Chat.
Use ExpressVPN on iOS
Here’s how to set up ExpressVPN on your iPhone.
- Download the ExpressVPN app from the App Store.
- Click on the icon and if you’re happy with the default settings, click on the “Power” button.
- If you want to change the protocol, go to “Options” and click “Settings.”
- Customize the settings to your liking and return to “VPN.”
- If you want to change the location, click on the three dots beside “Smart Location.”
- Choose the location you want and return to “VPN.” The VPN will connect automatically.
Price & Value
ExpressVPN’s prices are steep compared to other providers.
Your best deal is the 12-month deal. You can also grab our discount, risk-free.
Does ExpressVPN Have a Free Trial?
ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free trial on any of its plans.
The exception is the free trial obtained via the App Store or Google Play Store. That trial is available for 7 days, but the App Store purchase doesn’t qualify for a refund.
However, ExpressVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with every plan on offer. This lets you try the service risk-free for 30 days. If you don’t like it, you can get a full refund.
ExpressVPN accepts most major payment methods, including credit and debit cards, cryptocurrency, and PayPal, as well as other e-wallets.
It doesn’t accept cash, unlike NordVPN.
All ExpressVPN plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
So, if you change your mind, you can cancel your subscription within 30 days after buying it. To do that, get in touch with Live Chat or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Please note that the money-back guarantee isn’t supported if you buy ExpressVPN on the App Store. If you want a refund after buying a subscription this way, get in touch with Apple’s Support team. For Google PlayStore, ExpressVPN can issue refunds.
Is ExpressVPN Good Value for Money?
In terms of security, speed and server network, you certainly get your money’s worth with ExpressVPN. However, there are providers like Surfshark with premium security features and unlimited connections for a lower price.
For that reason, I give ExpressVPN’s pricing 7 / 10.
ExpressVPN Price vs. Other Providers
ExpressVPN is pricier than other providers – but you can grab our exclusive discount today!
One of the cheapest providers out there is Surfshark, the security features of which most closely resemble ExpressVPN’s. CyberGhost isn’t far behind Surfshark in terms of prices, and NordVPN is slightly pricier than CyberGhost.
What Do Customers Think About ExpressVPN?
I checked Trustpilot to see what other people thought of ExpressVPN.
The overall score was an impressive 4.7 / 5.
Generally, ExpressVPN is a popular choice for its security, unblocking features, and user experience. Many praise ExpressVPN’s usability and speed.
Many users also laud the privacy and security features of ExpressVPN.
The few negative reviews I saw mostly related to delays with refunds and auto-renewal. However, it seems ExpressVPN is ready to respond to such reviews with apologies and suggestions to get in touch, which tells me they take their customer service seriously.
Tech professionals seem to agree that ExpressVPN’s security is excellent:
I’m a Software Infrastructure Engineer and use ExpressVPN. It’s a must in my view as it wraps your connection in an encrypted layer to the VPN server that routes your traffic over the end and has a kill switch.— John Mulhall (@johnmlhll) June 18, 2022
Likewise for TV fans – many agree with me that ExpressVPN works with TV channels and streaming services:
If you get a VPN you can watch it this Sunday. I got ExpressVPN ($12) and can go on channel 4 and watch anything live. It can’t be taped. Channel 4 blocks taping like Netflix does.— Katie🦋🍄 (@khills77) June 15, 2022
The best one in my opinion, and I did a lot of research, was ExpressVPN. I tried others and it really slowed down my computer and phone.— ba (@bablock31) June 14, 2022
Can you not get a refund if it doesn't work— r3trogam3boy 💙🇺🇦💛 (@r3trogam3boy) June 13, 2022
Expressvpn hast no logs and even Netflix works on it
ExpressVPN is a reliable VPN provider with robust security features.
However, here are some other VPN providers that could be a strong alternative to ExpressVPN.
The Dutch provider Surfshark has RAM-only servers verified by a third party, like ExpressVPN. It also offers great speeds, thanks to the WireGuard protocol.
Unlike ExpressVPN, Surfshark lets you connect to unlimited devices simultaneously. And the price of Surfshark is lower than ExpressVPN’s.
This Panama-based provider also had its RAM-only servers and privacy policies audited by third parties, like ExpressVPN. It has a large range of servers across the world, albeit only in 60 countries compared to ExpressVPN’s 94.
NordVPN is also somewhat slower than ExpressVPN.
CyberGhost is a popular choice for streaming and P2P.
Thanks to its dedicated servers and a huge server library worldwide, it offers seamless experiences for both. However, CyberGhost was slower than ExpressVPN in my speed tests.
CyberGhost has servers optimized for torrenting and streaming.
ExpressVPN allows that too, but doesn’t offer the relevant dedicated servers.
All VPNs Compared
|Security features||RAM-only servers, Password Generator||RAM-only servers||RAM-only servers, No-borders mode||RAM-only servers|
|Server range & types||160 locations in 94 countries||5577 servers in 60 countries, P2P servers, Obfuscated servers, DoubleVPN||3200+ servers in 95 countries||7983 servers in 90 countries, Streaming servers, P2P servers|
|Privacy & Jurisdiction||BVI Verified no-logging policy||Panama Verified no-logging policy||Netherlands Verified no-logging policy||Romania Unverified no-logging policy|
|VPN Protocols||L2TP/IPSEC, OpenVPN (TCP / UDP), Lightway (TCP / UDP), IKEv2||IKEv2/IPSEC, OpenVPN (TCP / UDP), NordLynx (based on WireGuard - TCP / UDP)||IKEv2, WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP / UDP)||IKEv2, WireGuard, OpenVPN (TCP / UDP)|
|Average speed reduction / increase||Increase of 5.8%||Reduction of 18.5%||Increase of 5.55%||Reduction of 34.2%|
|Streaming||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (on special servers)|
|P2P||Yes||Yes (on special servers)||Yes||Yes (on special servers)|
|Price||ExpressVPN price||NordVPN price||Surfshark price||CyberGhost price|
It depends on what you’re looking for in a VPN. Overall, however, the two providers are on par in terms of privacy, security, server coverage, and streaming options.
Although, NordVPN is slightly cheaper than ExpressVPN and offers a dedicated IP. However, ExpressVPN has better server coverage and speeds.
If your priorities are verified security and privacy features and strong speed, ExpressVPN is worth paying a little extra.
After analyzing ExpresVPN’s security and privacy features, jurisdiction and policies, speeds, streaming and torrenting opportunities, and value for money, I conclude that ExpressVPN is worth the price.
Want to try out ExpressVPN for yourself? Grab our exclusive discount today!
Protect private web traffic from snooping, interference, and censorship. All plans are covered by a no-hassle 100% money-back guarantee for your first 30 days of service.