ExpressVPN has long been considered one of the best VPN providers on the market. It continues to dominate, with a massive network of servers, user-friendly clients for every device, and relatively fast connections.
The only significant downside we can find is the price, and even that isn’t outrageous considering everything else ExpressVPN has to offer. In our ExpressVPN review, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this tried-and-true provider.
It's worth noting that we rate ExpressVPN so highly that it took home our coveted Best VPN Award at the T3 Awards 2020.
- See whether a free VPN is good enough for your needs
- Want privacy for your mobile? Here's the best Android VPN apps...
- ...and iPhone VPN choices for iOS users
ExpressVPN review: plans and pricing
ExpressVPN is on the expensive side for VPN platforms, but the pricing isn’t too far out there. The platform charges $12.95 per month for a month-to-month plan or $6.67 per month for an annual plan.
As an added bonus for T3 readers, when you sign up for an annual plan you also get three months included for free (only for new plans, not renewals).
You get up to five simultaneous connections with your plan. Although there’s no free trial at ExpressVPN, the platform does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked.
ExpressVPN review: features
Everything about ExpressVPN, from its server network to its apps, is extremely robust.
To start, this provider manages more than 3,000 servers spread over 160 locations. The network includes servers in parts of Oceania, Africa, and South America, where few other VPN providers offer coverage. Many of these servers are running in RAM, which reduces the chances of a hack like the one that happened to competitor NordVPN in 2018.
ExpressVPN offers just about all the security features you would expect from a high-end VPN. There is an IP kill switch that works consistently in our testing, as well as a DNS firewall to prevent you from connecting to malicious websites. The desktop and mobile apps also offer support for split-tunneling, making it easier to keep ExpressVPN on anytime you’re connected to the internet.
The only thing the service is conceivably missing is advanced encryption protocols. ExpressVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol by default, but it doesn’t have an additional protocol for obscuring the fact that you’re using a VPN. This means that ExpressVPN is locked in a constant battle with firewalls in countries like China, but in our experience the VPN is winning that battle most of the time.
ExpressVPN review: interface and in use
ExpressVPN offers clients and apps for just about every internet-connected device. It supports Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, iOS and Android mobile devices, most routers and smart TVs, and even Chrome and Firefox browsers.
The apps are extremely user-friendly as well. When you open up ExpressVPN, you can simply click the large power button and you’ll be automatically connected to the fastest server available. Helpfully, you can also save favorite locations or browse servers by region.
We also liked the speed test feature, which pings all of ExpressVPN’s servers to determine your potential connection speed. This takes a few minutes to run (we were waiting for around five minutes for the test to finish), but it can be extremely helpful if you’re looking for an ultra-fast server for torrenting or streaming. Unfortunately, the mobile apps leave this feature out, so you won’t know ahead of time what connection speed you’ll get if you’re on an Android or iOS device.
Overall, we were very happy with ExpressVPN’s performance. We tried connecting to servers in remote parts of the world, and it never took longer than six seconds to establish a secure connection with OpenVPN.
When we tested connections to US servers from a speedy 600Mbps broadband line in the US, we typically got speeds between 200 and 250Mbps. While those aren’t the fastest speeds we’ve seen, they’re certainly nothing to scoff at and should suffice for even heavy P2P applications.
ExpressVPN review: support
We were genuinely blown away by ExpressVPN’s support. The company has technicians available 24/7 via email and live chat. We were able to get a response to emailed questions within an hour, and the response was much more detailed than we expected.
On top of that, the provider’s website has an extremely thorough online documentation center. You’ll find very detailed guides filled with screenshots. If an article doesn’t quite answer your questions, there are links to numerous related articles at the bottom of the page.
ExpressVPN review: the competition
ExpressVPN delivers on all fronts and sets the bar high for competitors.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, Surfshark VPN offers two-year plans for as little as $1.99 per month. And speed is your aim, check out Hotspot Shield - this VPN is pricey but it offers blazing fast speeds that even ExpressVPN can’t match.
ExpressVPN review: final verdict
ExpressVPN is, simply put, the best VPN provider available today.
It boasts a large and geographically diverse server network. The interface is user-friendly no matter what device you’re using it on, and the connection speeds are fast. While we’d love to see ExpressVPN offer a cheaper long-term pricing option, this VPN is well worth the money for the majority of users.
- Google Nest Hub Max review: Google's best smart home device yet