ExpressVPN Review: T3’s Pick for Best VPN Overall
ExpressVPN has done just that again, ranking as T3’s pick in 2021 for VPN of choice. Whether you’re here for a short and nice overview, or want to take an in-depth look at this great software, you’ll find both here. Keep scrolling to read about ExpressVPN’s cost, payment plans, geo-unblocking features, security, and other features.
Today’s ExpressVPN Best Deals
ExpressVPN 1 Minute Review
ExpressVPN consistently finds itself at the top of our VPN buying guides, and maintains its position in the VPN market as one of the most powerful full-featured products with a list of features and measures that promise to protect you from internet ugliness. It does this through its intuitive and elegant interface, providing clean integration across a number of devices, including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and many other operating systems.
With its own Lightway protocol, which provides speed and security, ExpressVPN also easily performs more exciting tasks, including unblocking Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer with little to no hassle. Security is certainly not forgotten, though, with the transparency in its logging policy, which details to customers what information is and isn’t kept on their side. You’ll also find the usual suspects in terms of features, including a nifty kill switch for when the connection drops and leaves you at risk, as well as DNS servers for optimal security.
Offering a domain of over 3,000 servers in 94 countries in several select locations, ExpressVPN’s only real downfall is that it’s not the cheapest. However, offering a 30-day money-back guarantee that new customers can try before making a full commitment, you have time to see if the service is right for you. Furthermore, it is fair to say that the security of your personal and sensitive information is invaluable.
- Servers: 3000+
- Locations: 160 cities in 94 countries
- Hardware: 5 simultaneous connections
- Platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, router, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku, Chromecast, and game consoles
- Protocols: ExpressVPN’s Lightway and OpenVPN UDP or TCP and IKEv2 and L2TP
- Main Features: kill switch, split tunneling, DNS leak test
ExpressVPN Review: How Much Does ExpressVPN Cost? Is there a free trial?
Admittedly, ExpressVPN is not a cheap VPN. Finds itself at the higher end of the spectrum with several more affordable services that find themselves under the $3 mark, including Surfshark at $2.49 / £1.76 / AU$3.19 per month for the two-year plan and CyberGhost at $2.25 / £1.99 / Australia $3.11 per month when you commit to 3 years. As with any VPN, though, ExpressVPN gets more expensive the longer you’re willing to commit.
- 1 month plan: $12.95 / £9.68 / AU$16.75 per month
- 6 months plan: $9.99 / £7.47 / AU$12.95 per month ($59.95 / £44.04 / $77.55 billed every 6 months)
- 12 month plan: $8.32 / £6.11 / AU$10.75 per month ($99.95 / £73.43 / $129.30 paid every 12 months)
However, if you subscribe directly through T3 to their 12-month plan, you can Save 49%, to $6.67 / £4.99 / $8.65 a month with additional file Added 3 months free, to extend it to a 15-month plan.
The best value for money, through T3 you can also take advantage of a One year free subscription to Backblaze, very. This is a cloud storage service, that allows you to backup important files, including photos, videos, and other documents with unlimited storage, and will usually set you back $60/approx. AUD$77 if purchased directly with Backblaze.
But does ExpressVPN come with a free trial? Strictly speaking, no. If you decide to get the iOS or Android client directly through their app stores, you can get a 7-day free trial – however, you won’t take advantage of the exclusive T3 deal. As mentioned earlier, ExpressVPN offers all new customers a 30 day money back guaranteeIt works just like the free trial period with the option to get a full refund if you decide the service isn’t right for you within the 30-day time frame.
Does ExpressVPN work on Netflix? What other streaming services can unblock it?
Let’s face it, while of course the security on your device is of paramount importance, a lot of them go after a VPN for its geo-unblocking properties, especially when it comes to a streaming VPN. It’s great if your office or school blocks the use of some websites or social media apps, jump into a server and access the likes of WhatsApp and Spotify easily.
For many, it’s all about Netflix and other streaming services. Unfortunately, many people are locked out in the country your account is set to, which means the service is almost redundant if you’re abroad for business or leisure. However, with ExpressVPN, we were able to bypass geo-restrictions across all the major players in the warming streaming platform, including Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and BBC iPlayer without a problem.
ExpressVPN is very frank about its claims, listing on its website the access tool that can give you more than 25 different services. While ExpressVPN is happy to talk, we’re putting it in the competition, trying to get to the US Netflix library, and putting the same experience in the shoes of Amazon Prime Video. All three attempts were met with success.
(Image credit: ExpressVPN)
BBC iPlayer has always been the one to do battle, with stronger VPN detection. However, two of ExpressVPN’s four servers located in the UK allowed us to stream iPlayer content. Comparing that to NordVPN, where iPlayer unblocking was highly inconsistent, this is a definite win for ExpressVPN.
Disney Plus saw similar results to Netflix and Prime Video. Of course, that’s not the case every time, but we did find incredible support from ExpressVPN when, on a rare occasion, we found their service to do the trick. Providing troubleshooting tips and alternative server locations to try, ExpressVPN is then quick to log the problem and always seems to have a quick fix turnaround.
ExpressVPN Review: What Features to Expect and How Do They Enhance Security?
Letting a long list of features do the talking in terms of the kind of privacy and security that ExpressVPN offers to users, it’s good news going forward. ExpressVPN is transparent, with facts to back up any claims. In terms of logging, you can easily find their “Policy on Logs”, which details exactly what information you log and do not log. This is also supported by frequent system audits by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
If that wasn’t enough, ExpressVPN now has ioXt Alliance certification for its Android client. This certification looks at corporate network security, software architecture, updates, and encryption.
In terms of features, ExpressVPN offers a dedicated kill switch, which starts automatically when a connection is lost, ensuring that your information is not compromised in these crucial seconds. You’ll also find a full range of protocols available, giving you the freedom to choose based on your task. Choose from ExpressVPN’s Lightway and OpenVPN UDP or TCP, IKEv2, and L2TP, each of which offers advantages whether it’s speed, security, or a combination of the two.
When it comes to encryption, ExpressVPN goes out all guns blazing here too, using AES-256 encryption with a 4096-bit SHA-512 RSA certificate and HMAC (Hashes Message Authentication Code) to protect against real-time data modifications. DNS support also enhances ExpressVPN’s privacy, as 256-bit encrypted DNS runs on all of its own servers.
The same diversity can be seen when it comes to ExpressVPN and torrenting. ExpressVPN doesn’t need to talk about its servers for torrenting, because all of its 3,000 servers are available for those who want to torrent, with no transfer or bandwidth capture. This makes ExpressVPN a service with few – if any – restrictions.
ExpressVPN Review for Speed and Overall Performance
When putting ExpressVPN through its paces, we made sure to run a thorough test that tests test servers near and far to get a more rounded idea of ExpressVPN’s performance. We did this using ExpressVPN’s Windows 10 client on a 1Gbps connection, connecting to both ExpressVPN’s protocols to get a bunch of results.
Based in the UK, trialing US servers
OpenVPN: 270-280 Mbps
IKEv2: 300-310 Mbps
road lighting: – 490-630 Mbps
US servers delivered staggering numbers, with ExpressVPN’s own Lightway protocol only being beaten by StrongVPN over its WireGuard protocol with 590-600Mbps results. Meanwhile, it beat NordVPN’s NordLynx 240-280Mbps, and even Hotspot Shield’s 360-380Mbps score, which typically appears at the top of our best VPN quick guide.
Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to run speed tests for US servers as the face value of ExpressVPN’s top performer. That’s why we then continued our speed tests, and moved to servers far from our UK base to see what ExpressVPN has to offer elsewhere around the world.
Based in the UK, experimenting with long distance servers
Malaysia: 68 Mbps
Brazil: 69 Mbps
Nepal: 64 Mbps
Kenya: 42 Mbps
The numbers here are much lower, although still impressive when you consider the greater distance between countries. What’s more, even the lowest score – Nepal at 42Mbps – is more than enough for casual browsing and HD streaming, which means anything above is just a bonus.
For all the sites in between, we expect efficient performance that won’t reduce our download speeds much when connected to ExpressVPN. This makes it a great shout out for a number of tasks, including 4K streaming, online gaming, and downloading large files with little risk of seeing a significant drop in bandwidth.
Client setup and support available from ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN makes setting up a variety of its clients a straightforward task no matter which device you want to make the most of your five connections on. Simply log into your account on a web browser to access the control panel. The phrase “Set up your devices” appears in a large box at the top right with a list of devices, as well as the option to click “More” if you need to dig deeper into selecting their apps.
Even better, if you’re using your smartphone, console, or other device, ExpressVPN can usually detect the device, and direct you to download that specific client.
Whichever device you’re on, ExpressVPN offers a download link, as well as step-by-step instructions to help you install it and work with your chosen tool. The likes of the Android or iOS app will direct you to the Google Play and App Store (alternatively you can scan a QR code on the dashboard), while Router Setup will ask you to select your modem model in order to download the correct firmware.
(Image credit: ExpressVPN)
In terms of design, ExpressVPN sticks to its uniform no matter which device you download it on. From Windows to Android, and Mac to iOS, you’ll open a familiar interface that’s sleek and easy to use, providing a large and clear “Play” button, as well as the location you currently selected, an “intelligent “location” that detects the server closest to you, and a “last location” The last server I joined.
Need any help along the way? ExpressVPN’s supporting material is amazing. Besides a number of lengthy and detailed troubleshooting guides available across all ExpressVPN compatible devices, there are setup guides for each tool as well. In fact, with over 250 articles, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find the answer you were looking for.
In case you haven’t, ExpressVPN has a 24/7 support team, with the option to email or talk via live chat, with responses to promised emails within 24 hours, although we found responses much faster .
(Image credit: ExpressVPN)
ExpressVPN Review: Our Final Verdict
Whether you are a new VPN user or a seasoned user, ExpressVPN ticks all the boxes and bundles its services in…