ExpressVPN is a British Virgin Islands-based Virtual Private Network (VPN) provider, which was founded in 2009.
This provider has been my go-to VPN provider for the last few years, and I’ve found that the service delivers fast, reliable and well-protected access to content around the globe.
In this review, I’ll answer the following questions and also provide other important information about the VPN provider’s services:
How fast are ExpressVPN’s connection speeds? Are they sufficient for streaming HD and 4K video content?
What type of security and privacy protections does ExpressVPN provide to their customers?
Is ExpressVPN Right For You?
ExpressVPN provides some of the fastest connections in the VPN industry today. They also provide excellent privacy and security protections, as well as reliable access to numerous streaming services.
The VPN service offers 1-month, 6-month and 1-year subscription options. By using our link to the site, you can get 3 free months added to your 1-year subscription.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is available for all plans.
ExpressVPN is arguably the best option for VPN users looking for the fastest, most comprehensive access to streaming services around the globe. The service also does a top-notch job of protecting your online privacy.
|Tested Speed:||106.78 Mbps average download speed (independently tested)|
|Streaming Support:||HD & 4K HDR|
|Unblocks Netflix?:||Yes – reliably for many countries|
|U.S. Streaming Services Supported:||Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Spotify, many more|
|U.K. Streaming Services Supported:||Netflix U.K., BBC iPlayer, Sky TV, others|
|Supports Torrenting:||Yes, on all servers.|
|Value for the Money:||4/5|
|Money-Back Guarantee:||30 days|
- Connections easily handle 4K content
- Unblocks Netflix and other streaming services
- Excellent security and privacy protections
- Kill switch protection
- Wide-ranging global server network
- Priced slightly higher than many other providers
- No specialized servers
ExpressVPN provides native app support for the majority of popular desktop and mobile devices. Apps are available for the Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Kindle Fire, Nook and Amazon Fire TV platforms.
Browser extensions are available to protect your Chrome and Firefox sessions.
Router support is available for a large number of routers. You can get pre-configured routers from Flashrouters.com.
In addition, game console and streaming box users can make use of the provider’s MediaStreamer Smart DNS proxy service, which can unblock geographically-restricted streaming and gaming content for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Apple TV, Smart TVs and just about any other streaming-capable device.
(Note: ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer service doesn’t provide encrypted protection for your internet connection, like their VPN service does.)
ExpressVPN’s apps provide kill switch protection, DNS leak and IP leak protection. The service uses military-grade encryption and its own DNS servers. For information about these features, check out my VPN Security Features article.
ExpressVPN server options include the fastest available server and the ability to select server farms from around the globe.
The service’s server options are missing specializations I’ve liked when using other providers, such as servers designated for streaming, file sharing and other specialized activities.
However, the app does offer a feature not seen with other companies, which is a speed test. The feature can test the speeds of all available servers and report back the servers’ download speeds and latency (ping) numbers.
ExpressVPN apps are lightweight, placing minimal strain on device resources. The apps are easy to use for beginners, but offer enough customization features to satisfy most power users.
You can use up to 5 devices at a time with the ExpressVPN service.
As of July 2019, ExpressVPN’s global server network is made up of 3,000+ servers, stationed in 94 countries. The provider allows P2P file-sharing on all of their servers.
24/7 live chat support means your support needs are covered around the clock, and a support ticket tracking system, setup instructions and a searchable support library are all available to come to your aid.
Using a VPN to access geographically-blocked streaming video and audio content might not be the most popular reason for subscribing to a VPN provider, but I’d venture to say it’s in the top 2 or 3.
In the early years of the VPN industry, most any VPN provider could offer reliable access to nearly any streaming provider – Netflix, Spotify and BBC iPlayer included.
As time passed, Netflix and the other streamers began to get hip to the VPN trick of providing access to content outside of a user’s region. Once they caught on, they began blocking the IP addresses of the VPN providers, shutting down access to their servers.
ExpressVPN has earned an excellent reputation for its ability to unblock streaming content, providing access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, HBO Now and many other streaming services in the U.S.
It also provides access to numerous other countries’ Netflix streams, as well as BBC iPlayer and other U.K. streaming providers.
I tested numerous server locations with Netflix and other providers, and found that the provider reliably unblocks streaming content, achieving an excellent batting average when it comes to opening access to geo-blocked content.
While there were servers that failed to unblock content occasionally, selecting another server in the same area generally proved to be successful.
ExpressVPN’s fast connection speeds delivered an excellent streaming experience, with little to no buffering, even when viewing 4K content.
Security and Privacy
ExpressVPN not only does an excellent job of opening access to content that might not normally be available in your region, it also does a top-notch job of protecting your online activities while doing it.
Using government-grade encryption, the provider keeps your online activities well undercover, preventing any interested third parties from tracking you online. Protocols that the provider offers include OpenVPN, L2TP and PPTP.
Protections include kill switch, DNS leak and IP leak protection. (For more information about these features, check out my VPN Security Features article.)
ExpressVPN saves no logs of any kind, so there’s no information whatsoever available about your online activities. The provider’s no-logs policy was proven to be authentic when Turkish investigators seized an ExpressVPN server and were unable to find any records of customer information or activity.
Recently, ExpressVPN began using “TrustedServer Technology,” which runs all server applications on the server’s RAM, never writing any information to the hard drive. This means that every time the server is rebooted, the server and its information are wiped.
Thanks to their TrustedServer Technology, ExpressVPN’s servers never retain users’ personal data. As far as I know, ExpressVPN is the only VPN provider to offer a feature like this.
Users can add an additional layer of anonymity protection by using a disposable email address and the provider’s anonymous Bitcoin payment option.
Before I go into detail about the download speeds that ExpressVPN’s servers deliver, I’d like to offer you a look at how we at Pixel Privacy – a team of 3 users – measure a provider’s average connection speed figures.
All VPN connection speed testing is performed using the Windows VPN app to connect to a server located in the United States. We connect to the internet via a gigabit Ethernet connection, using OpenVPN over UDP.
We connect to 3 different VPN server locations during testing – the United States, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. For 3 days, we perform 3 tests per day, allowing at least 4 hours between each speed test.
Now for the results.
ExpressVPN’s average downstream connection speeds measure in at 106.78 Mbps, making it the top-performing provider in our most recent round of download speed tests. This means it can easily handle online gaming, as well as streaming HD and 4K video content.
Admittedly, ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPN providers that I’ve ever reviewed, but all things considered, I think you’ll find that you receive an excellent return on investment, especially if you’re willing to commit to a year-long relationship.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is available for all subscription plans.
ExpressVPN is definitely the best VPN option available for users looking for the fastest speeds and the best access to geo-blocked streaming services.
Yet, some users may not have the financial resources to afford the provider. For those users, I strongly suggest they take a look at one of the following providers. You can also see a comparison of ExpressVPN vs NordVPN here.
CyberGhost has been around for over 8 years and is one of the most reliable VPN providers available today.
CyberGhost offers native apps for all of the most popular computing and mobile device platforms, and the apps are easy to use, providing one-click access to VPN protection.
The provider offers fast connections (with an average download speed of 58.22 Mbps), providing plenty of speed for downloading files, streaming video or any other of your favorite online activities.
Speaking of streaming, the provider has servers specially designed for streaming that provide access to Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and numerous other streaming services.
Server coverage is also a plus where CyberGhost is concerned, with a global server network made up of 4,800+ servers located in 61 countries. The provider allows P2P file sharing on servers in 24 countries.
The provider protects your internet connections with top-notch encryption, keeps no logs of any type and accepts Bitcoin to protect your payment info.
Live chat support is available 24/7, as is a support ticket tracking system and a searchable help center.
PrivateVPN offers fast connections, reliable Netflix-unblocking and excellent connection protection, all for a reasonable price.
While the provider’s global server network is a bit lacking when compared to many other providers, it has located them well, and Netflix access is well-represented.
In our most recent speed tests, PrivateVPN’s connections measured in at 58.56 Mbps. That means it’s more than up to handling online gaming and even 4K video streaming.