our opinion on this VPN in 2023

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Written By tsboi team

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ExpressVPN logo

ExpressVPN has been around for over 13 years and is now part of this caste of virtual private network services that have become comfortable in a market that has become ultra-competitive. Over time, its performance has greatly improved, and its interface has been revamped to better accommodate today’s simplification standards. Here is our take on VPN.

ExpressVPN Features

💰Current offer €6.41 /month
💸 Refund Yes, within 30 days
💻🌍 Number of servers / location Unmentioned
📱Applications PC/ Mac/ Linux/ Android/ iOS/ Android tv/ Firetv/ Routers
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Number of simultaneous connections 5
📺 Access to US Netflix Yeah
⏬⏫ P2P mode No
🔐 Data retention Read the ‘Privacy Policy’ section

Who is ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is one of the oldest services on our comparator. Its creation dates from 2009 under the impulse of two American entrepreneurs. For more than 10 years, the VPN has been extremely successful due to its performance and ease of use. It also considers it a point of honor to respect the privacy of its users through a strict confidentiality policy and regularly resorting to auditing firms specialized in computer security to test its ambitions.

Its best publicity (and arguably its most controversial) comes in December 2017, just after the assassination of a top Russian official in Turkey. This led to the seizure of a brand server that had been used to delete information from Gmail and Facebook accounts. No information could be recovered from the latter (logs, history, connections, etc.), proof of the effectiveness of the VPN in terms of user data security. A free communication operation, but at least effective. To complete the picture, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which gives it (in addition to a drastic reduction in taxes) the non-obligation to store the data of its users, as required by international treaties.

However, this reputation is at risk of being damaged by the acquisition of ExpressVPN by Kape Technologies in 2021. An acquisition that is controversial, because the company is a specialist in publishing adware, an area that ExpressVPN has been fighting since its inception. Today, ExpressVPN boasts 3 million users worldwide and has announced that it will remain a separate service from Kape’s business.

ExpressVPN interface and management

Obviously, the ExpressVPN app has been designed to be as simple and ergonomic as possible. No unsightly windows or cluttered with options to check, it gets right to the point with a welcome window that lets you connect to a remote server with a single click.

Server list, options menu, everything is perfectly translated into French and easily understandable.

Everything is translated into impeccable French, which is a significant contribution, even today, compared to many competitors. We still would have liked the addition of a dark mode or even a card for server choice. This aesthetic choice provides the same interface on PC and mobile, thus creating overall consistency across the VPN app ecosystem when you’re used to using your VPN on multiple devices at the same time.

The app also includes some handy add-on options, such as the ability to check your IP address to make sure you’re located in a different country than your connection, or tests for DNS or WebRTC leaks. However, these are accessible in the ” help and supportwhich is a bit disturbing.

The app also offers direct installation of Chrome and Firefox extensions, the latter of which allows you to secure your browser session without compromising your overall computer connection. Only mobile exclusive, the password generator is very practical, although we would have liked something more ambitious, like a Dashlane or 1password-type aggregator.

The ExpressVPN mobile app is also very simple and easy to use.

Finally, it is a pity that there are not certain advanced options, such as the possibility of having a fixed IP address or using double VPN. In any case, we note the presence of more classic options for a VPN, such as the split tunneling LAN device discovery, or the equivalent of akill switchto disconnect the connection in case of malfunction.

ExpressVPN servers and performance

By 2023, ExpressVPN offers 3,000+ servers in 160 locations in 94 countries. From Bangladesh to the United States via Algeria, there is much to do. Some countries also benefit from multiple servers. This is the case in the United States, for example, where you can find a dozen different locations that allow you to connect on both the East and West coasts.

Unlike its competitors, ExpressVPN does not offer “ specialized serversin a certain type of domain. This is actually a promise from ExpressVPN that whatever server you connect to and whatever you want to use it for, meets the overall performance requirements. Either to download (live or from peer to peer), to access the American Netflix catalog or simply protect your connection, we never encountered the slightest DNS problem or leak through the set of servers tested.

A promise therefore kept since, in general, ExpressVPN servers show very good speeds, many times higher than what we find with many other VPNs. Here are some speed tests we ran on a PC with a Parisian wired fiber connection and through the Nperf platform.

SANSVPN 853 671 2
US SERVER (NEW YORK) 273 246 79
HONG KONG SERVER 53 fifteen 237

The tests were performed with automatic protocol assignment.

Regardless of which server we connect to, speeds have always stayed close to 200 Mb/s ondischarge. Servers a bit further out, on the other hand, have a harder time, particularly with a ping spike above 200, or even 300ms in most cases.

These good results are undoubtedly enhanced by the contribution of the Lightway protocol. It is an internal network protocol developed by ExpressVPN based on performance, reliability, and flexibility. A way for the service to sidestep OpenVPN, the universal protocol used by many VPNs, but whose age and complexity no longer meet today’s standards.

ExpressVPN Privacy Policy

Like most VPNs (at least for a fee), ExpressVPN claims complete confidentiality regarding its users’ sensitive information. It goes through the logs during its use, the history and even the timestamp of the sessions of its users. For once, even if it’s a habit with most VPNs, communication from the service has always been honest about it.

ExpressVPN has already demonstrated its bona fides in the past by certifying its privacy policy by the independent auditing firm Price Waterhouse Coopers. Subsequently, Cure53, another independent security auditing company, was in charge of validating the protocols used. ExpressVPN is also a member of the VPN Trust Initiative, a consumer online safety advocacy group, and so far the service has not been subject to any data leaks or attacks.

Previously independent, ExpressVPN was acquired in 2021 for $936 million by Kape Technology. Why is this a problem in this case? You should know that this adware company has been the subject of a lot of controversy for years and its activities go against what the VPN has been promoting since its creation. It has already acquired many other companies specialized in cybersecurity and in particular VPNs such as Private Internet Access, Zenmate or even… CyberGhost VPN. If ExpressVPN claims its independence from its new parent company, the future of the service’s privacy policy is now in doubt. To be continue.

ExpressVPN Customer Support

This is something ExpressVPN is very good at. Their customer support is responsive and you can quickly access an online adviser via chat on the official website. In addition, it has recently had an automatic translation module that allows you to converse with a connected agent without fear of being misunderstood.

We also appreciate the presence of many tutorials and guides in French accessible from the VPN support page, sometimes very useful to avoid going through online chat.

The price of ExpressVPN subscriptions

ExpressVPN is without a doubt one of the most expensive VPN providers out there. It offers three subscription plans, the most popular of which is a one-year subscription currently at €6.41 per month, or €96.04 per year. This is almost twice as expensive as the annual subscription at NordVPN or the two-year subscription at CyberGhost.

As it stands, it’s hard to tell if it’s still a good deal despite the quality of service. In any case, the first 30 days can lead to a full refund in case of non-satisfaction.

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