ExpressVPN is a VPN-provider based in the British Virgin Islands that is offering a clearly customer focused service. When it comes to the security of their vpn service we have noticed some minor concerning things that unfortunately do make the difference compared to other providers on the market.
ExpressVPN supports most VPN protocols, including OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), SSTP, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP. Please keep in mind that you should use OpenVPN whenever possible. Other features include:
- Servers in 145 cities in 94 countries (Including unusual and exotic locations)
- Stealth servers
- A deep-web website
- Based in the British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands
The BVI are a British Overseas Territory and are under UK influence. While this means that they officially do not belong to the so called 14-eyes-countries there is a clear connection to them (United Kingdom).
Due to the unclear connection we can not guarantee that ExpressVPN can offer the same security as other providers that are not based in or connected to one of the 14-eyes countries.
A .onion Tor Web Address
Sometimes the most difficult thing about defeating censorship with a VPN is actually getting onto a VPN provider’s website so you can sign up for the service and download its software. ExpressVPN has a solution for this!
Just type http://expressobutiolem.onion into the URL bar of the Tor Browser to visit a Tor Hidden Services dark web mirror of the ExpressVPN website. Using a .onion address makes it more or less impossible to censor the website. Another plus is that your original IP can not be seen even during your sign-up!
Stealth Servers to break the great wall of China
Designed specially to defeat censorship in mainland China, these Hong-Kong based servers should be useful wherever VPNs are blocked. ExpressVPN is understandably cagey about how these servers actually work. However, from the reports we receive, they work well.
Just remember that nothing can be 100% guaranteed when a powerful government is actively working to counter technologies such as this.
The speed that ExpressVPN offers is definitely great. We tried different servers at different regions and did not receive any major speed loss. Even while streaming or downloading high-quality videos we did not have to much buffering times. This makes ExpressVPN a good solution for all downloading or streaming users.
Since they claim to be the fastest VPN around we can definitely say that they are fast. But probably not the fastest! . Their special feature, “VPN Speed Test,” lets users check how fast their VPN server is working so that they can chop and change the location that is fastest for them. 4/5 Stars!
ExpressVPN offers you 3 different plans. Each has a different runtime.
After choosing your desired plan, the whole signup-process is still fairly easy.
Other than payment details, the only information you are asked for is a valid email address. There is nothing to prevent you from using a disposable email address, and because ExpressVPN accepts payment in bitcoins, if care is taken it is possible to register anonymously. Do please remember, though, that however you register and pay, ExpressVPN will know your real IP address.
Once signed up, you will receive a welcome email, which includes a number of useful links for setting up the service. 5/5 Stars!
The ExpressVPN Client
ExpressVPN specializes in making its service easy-to-use and as user friendly as possible
One wrinkle is that you need to enter a unique activation code. This is available via your subscriptions page on the ExpressVPN website.
Once installed, all you need do is select a location and hit the big friendly Connect button!
This is basically it. You are ready to go.
If you wish to delve deeper, however, the ExpressVPN client contains some other powerful features including a firewall-based kill switch and DNS leak protection.
Their signup + their client are one of the easiest on the market. Beginners have an easy to setup client and expert users can go deep into advanced settings. 5/5 Stars!
ExpressVPN in large part built its reputation on the level of support it provides to customers. Instant 24/7/365 support is available via live chat or a ticketed email system.
They offer 3 different options to directly contact them. We made the best experiences with their live chat and got a response within some minutes.
Their contact and e-mail contact form has an average answer time of about 3.5 hours which is till ok for this kind of contact. Unfortunately their answers did not always fulfill our needs but were ok in 90% of all cases.
Another way of fixing your VPN problems is their really huge Troubleshooting guide with over 100 guides to fix your encountered problem.
As mentioned before ExpressVPN really puts the user experience in front. This is probably the reason for the effort that they put into their customer service.
ExpressVPN offers a fully featured and highly user friendly service that is one of the best on the market. Their good customer service as well as their easy-to-use software combined with a generous 30-day money-back guarantee is a huge plus.
I am glad to say that ExpressVPN’s technical security matches the professionalism it shows in making the service as user-friendly as possible. Encryption is fulfulling, which makes ExpressVPN’s good speed performance all the more remarkable.
The minimal aggregated connection logs kept by ExpressVPN may concern privacy purists, but they really do present very little threat to your privacy.
Throw in an excellent, free Smart DNS service, anti-censorship stealth servers and we think it’s fair to say that ExpressVPN has earned its place on the upper side of all the providers!
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