Among the best VPNs you can currently purchase is ExpressVPN. When logging-on to ExpressVPN’s website, they brand themselves as the “#1 Trusted Leader in VPN” with high speeds, security, and an easy to use platform with instant setup. This guide puts these claims to the test and can help you decide whether ExpressVPN is the right VPN for you.
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The Company Behind ExpressVPN
Founded in 2009, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. Its location in the British Virgin Islands gives it a strong competitive advantage in that laws in the area afford more privacy and anonymity than the U.S. or Europe. Their public mission statement states they believe everyone should be able to go online with privacy, security, and freedom. You can use ExpressVPN apps on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Routers, and Linux. You can learn more about ExpressVPN, their product and the benefits and usage of VPNs on their Facebook page and blog.
Why ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs
Customer Reception – When scanning for comments on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, users of Express VPN are overwhelmingly positive about the service. While price shows up as a common pain point, you have to dig really deep to find negative comments on ExpressVPN’s product and service.
Customer Service – When choosing a VPN, you should always factor quality of customer service support in your decision. With ExpressVPN you can always count on receiving timely support. Available 24/7, you can always use the Live Chat feature on their website to get immediate customer support. From your mobile or tablet, you can reach out for support by email from within the app. ExpressVPN says they will respond within 24 hours, but you are likely to hear back much sooner. I received an answer to my question within 45 minutes of reaching out.
Speed – One way ExpressVPN stands out is how it prioritizes speedy service. When using the software on Windows, Mac and Android you can run a speed test, which gives you statistics on speed index, latency, and download speed across their servers. Their website is also transparent in showing which speeds are optimal for streaming videos, which is helpful in identifying the best server to view or stream content. Furthermore with 1,500+ VPN servers in 145 VPN server locations in 94 countries, you can count on having reliable and fast coverage all over the globe. However while ExpressVPN is fast, it cannot claim to be the fastest product out there. In fact when stacking against the competition, ExpressVPN ranked behind VyprVPN in our speed test.
Privacy – With ExpressVPN you can rest easy knowing that your Internet traffic will be hidden from third parties. The software features advanced encryption technology and includes a VPN killswitch whereby in the event of a sudden disconnection, rather than your Internet traffic being re-routed through your ISP and risking exposure, the VPN will instead shut off all Internet traffic entirely. This way your data will always be protected from third parties.
An additional benefit to ExpressVPN is that they allow P2P downloading through their software. While ExpressVPN does not stand alone in the industry for this, it is good to know that your Internet traffic and IP address will remain anonymous when downloading P2P content on torrent websites.
Underlying ExpressVPN is a company culture of protecting your privacy. ExpressVPN pledges that it does not and will never log your browsing history, traffic data, and DNS queries. While this can only be taken at face value, ExpressVPN’s website is very open about its views on digital privacy.
How to set-up ExpressVPN on your Computer
Purchasing and downloading ExpressVPN can be done in as little as a couple minutes. From ExpressVPN’s homepage click “Get ExpressVPN,” which will redirect you to a page where you can select your preferred plan, enter your email address and preferred method of payment.
After payment has been processed your activation code will be displayed within the web browser for you to copy. After copying the activation code download the software and install. Once installed, paste the activation code from the online browser into the ExpressVPN software window.
After activating the software you can choose your preferred server to enhance user experience. When choosing a server you can select for what is recommended, select by geographic region, or by name of the server. To find the most optimal server you can access the speed test by clicking on the three dot button on the top right of the window and select “Speed Test.” After running the test, you can view and select the fastest server.
When selecting the preferences menu, you can choose additional options such as launching ExpressVPN on startup along with changing protocols specific to your preferences (e.g. security over speed).
How to set-up ExpressVPN on your smartphone
Log-on to your account on ExpressVPN’s website and select the type of mobile device you will be using for ExpressVPN. From that page, copy down your password as you will be using this rather than the activation code to launch ExpressVPN on your smartphone. After starting the ExpressVPN app on your smartphone, select sign-in, enter your email address along with the unique password from your ExpressVPN account page.
Afterward, follow the set-up prompts and allow ExpressVPN to add VPN configurations. This will allow you to jump across different servers for better service. For the final step, choose whether you would like to share analytics from your phone that ExpressVPN can use to improve their service.
From here you can either skip to using the app or take a tour that walks you through how to use the app and connect to different servers.
Other Pros and Cons
30 Day Money Back Guarantee – Whereas other VPN products tend to advertise 3-7 day free-trials, ExpressVPN requires you to pay up front. However they do stand apart from other products in offering a 30 day money back guarantee. If not satisfied during the 30 day timeframe you can get a full refund without any questions asked. Other VPNs tend to have a 7-14 day window for requesting a full refund. If you still do not want to fork over money before trying the product, you can alternatively download the app onto your smartphone and try it for free for 7 days.
Price – Another con is the price you pay for ExpressVPN. For a 12 month subscription you pay $8.32 / month whereas other products you can anticipate paying anywhere from $3 to $7 / month. Therefore plan on paying slightly more than competing products with ExpressVPN. With that said they do have an attractive referral program where for each friend you get to sign up awards you 30 days free of service. There is also no limit to how many friends you can sign up in exchange for free service.
Multiple Device Usage – ExpressVPN allows usage of their software on up to three devices at the same time. While not bad, other VPNs allow more devices for simultaneous usage.
Start using ExpressVPN as a new user in minutes – Purchasing ExpressVPN, installing and activating the software can be done in minutes.
User Friendly Experience – Both the computer and mobile ExpressVPN app excel in being user friendly. Simply click the big button and you are connected. Unlike other VPNs where you change servers within the settings page, ExpressVPN allows you to connect to servers from the app’s homepage.
Other VPN providers require you to download multiple configurations to access different servers on your mobile phone. With ExpressVPN, you only need to download one configuration to access all the different global servers. This saves you plenty of hassle and makes using the app easier.
Do you use ExpressVPN? What do you think of their service? Please share your experience in the comments below!