Express VPN Review 2021.

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Express VPN review 2021

What is a VPN?

A VPN is useful to protect your privacy when working online.

What is Express VPN?

The Express VPN has its headquarters in the British Virgin Islands, which has no data retention laws. They are also using RAM only servers. ExpressVPN also comes with a no-log policy and provides 160 server locations to choose from and got a 3000+ fleet of servers at their disposal.

 

express vpn review 2020
express vpn review 2021

Express VPN also got a Trustpilot rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. It got a 4.6-star rating out of 5 on the Apple App Store. They were critically acclaimed by the giants in the media industry like The New York Times, Cnet, BBC, and Forbes.

Features of the ExpressVPN

1.Stay Private.

The ExpressVPN provides you the ability to stay private without any problem. Did you know that your ISP can monitor and log your web preferences as well as your browsing history?

The United States legally allowed internet service providers to store, monitor, and sell the data of their users to third parties.

This is why you must use a VPN service to scramble your traffic in an encrypted tunnel so not even your ISP can monitor it. It is also important to choose a VPN service that comes with no log policy, which means that they do not monitor, process or store user’s data, there for even in a case where the law enforcement or some agency requests them to hand over the data, they cannot because they do not have any. The Express VPN comes with a No Log policy.

ExpressVPN also mentions that they only earn money through the sale of VPN subscription packages. They do not sell user data.

To ensure your privacy, turn on your VPN every time you go online.

2. Best in class 256bit encryption.

ExpressVPN comes with AES 256bit encryption to keep your data safe.

3. Bypassing Censorship with ExpressVPN

Due to geographical based or government-enforced restrictions, some websites and online services may not be accessible from your current location. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and China are famous for restricting access to many popular social media apps as well as foreign websites. Some of these countries are taking measures against the use of VPN software as well. This is why we must use a VPN service that can bypass the anti VPN protocols as well as geographical restrictions.

If you happen to live in a country with strict internet access policies or just paying a visit as a tourist, it is best to use a VPN service to get some online freedom.

Real-time protection despite the network that you are connected to.

Connecting to public Wi-Fi service is dangerous and if there’s a hacker on the same network, they can easily access your information. This is why you must use a VPN service to encrypt your data when connecting to free public Wi-Fi.  This helps you to ensure security despite the network that you are connected to.

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4. Unlocking Streaming Services with ExpressVPN.

Streaming services are bound to strict broadcasting laws that prevent streaming in certain geographical areas in order to protect distribution agreements for streaming companies. Most of the streaming services are enforcing strict measures against VPN services to prevent users from bypassing geographical restrictions.

For ex – Star Trek Discovery is available on Netflix for the rest of the world without any additional subscription fees while the users based in the US has to purchase a CBS all access pass to view it.

ExpressVPN provides support for Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify, Disney +, and many major streaming services. Streaming media is incredibly important to the average user. When I tried to access Netflix using a US server, and BBC iPlayer with a UK server, it worked perfectly without issues.

I was able to watch streaming services with excellent quality without frame rate dropping or significant quality loss.

expressvpn review 2020
expressvpn review 2021

5. Advanced DNS Leak protection.

If your VPN is configured incorrectly, it can leak your IP address or the details of your ISP provider and your DNS requests. ExpressVPN takes extra measures such as DNS leak protection to avoid such vulnerabilities.

6. Split tunneling.

Split tunneling allows you to add websites to a list of websites that you want to access without the VPN. What happens is, your data is getting routed outside the VPN tunnel when you are connecting to those websites. This feature is helpful when accessing websites that are using anti-VPN algorithms to block access to them such as websites of banks and financial institutes. You can use this feature to access white listed websites without having to manually turn off the VPN network.

7. Network Kill switch.

The kill switch feature prevents applications from connecting to the internet if the VPN is disconnected. This ensures the security of your information and privacy.

8. Protection for any connected device.

Smart TVs, Xbox, Playstation, and even IoT devices such as security cameras are getting protection if you configure the router to support ExpressVPN.

9. Shortcuts to your favorite services.

 

ExpressVPN Speed and Performance

VPN services are notorious for having an impact on your internet speed. The reason for this is that using a VPN will increase latency and reduce download and upload speeds. VPN services are now using optimization protocols to increase speed and performance with as minimal impact as possible.

To have a sense of what sort of impact ExpressVPN does on our internet experience, I used the Ookla test to measure the speed while using the VPN service and without using the VPN.

Internet connection      ping  download upload

Internet without VPN 11 87 69
Express VPN Denmark Server 121 45 24
Express VPN Sweden Server 32 34 29
Express VPN Singapore Server 114 47 36
Express VPN USA Server 131 76 54
Express VPN Canada Server 67 58 39
Express VPN Mexico Server 12 34 31
Express VPN Chile Server 23 26 19

 

Though it is evident that while using some server locations there is a significant impact on both upload and download speeds, none of those are enough to have an impact on our average online experience. SurfShark VPN, CyberGhost VPN also came with similar results and it is safe to say that SurfShark, CyberGhost, and ExpressVPN perform exceptionally well without any significant drawbacks.

VPN protocols

Android, Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux users can choose either one of these protocols. OpenVPN, UDP/TCP.

L2TP protocol is available on macOS and Windows OS.

PPTP protocol is Windows only.

I do not recommend using PPTP or L2TP protocols unless it is absolutely necessary to do so.  PPTP is heavily unsecure. L2TP is also insecure and slower compared to other protocols.

For iOS users, the ExpressVPN provides the user the ability to choose either TCP, IKEv2, IPSec, and UDP as your preferred VPN protocol. Its better to choose IKEv2/IPSec due to improved speed and reliability.

Servers and Server Locations

ExpressVPN got 160 server locations in 94 countries around the world. Due to this, you have the option to choose any location of your liking to bypass censorship and to keep your online presence hidden from cybercriminals, even when they are connected to the same network that you are using.

They are using RAM only servers which means that servers are completely rebuilt at reboot, which improves security and reliability as it removes any harmful software hiding inside. Express VPN stats that they use a cryptographic key scheme that assigns unique keys for each server and these keys are not stored on disk, to make it even harder for an attacker to impersonate an ExpressVPN server.

The ExpressVPN has more than 3000 servers at its disposal. CyberGhost VPN got 7000+ and NordVPN got 5000+ in comparison.

The more locations to choose from is important if you are traveling a lot. Because, when you connect to the VPN network, you are getting connected to the nearest server for better speed and reliability. When there are more locations covered, the chances that you happen to find yourself nearby a one is higher.

The ExpressVPN is also very transparent about its use of virtual serves.

Virtual servers are software-defined and single physical hardware can host multiple virtual servers in it. Many VPN service providers are using virtual servers to meet the demand as well as to provide access to virtual locations.

For example- A server in Amsterdam can hose a virtual server that is configured to appear as based in South Africa. VPN providers do so to provide locations in dangerous territories without endangering their property or staff by putting them in that location. Having an actual server in a location with strict regulations is also dangerous as government agencies or third parties backed by force can tamper with the servers to reveal private information.

ExpressVPN explains that they use virtual servers to provide better performance and security.

ExpressVPN provides coverage across South American and African continents as well. These continents are not usually covered by other VPN companies.

Once Turkish law enforcement seized a sever location of ExpressVPN, but when they investigated, they could not find any server logs or data to link it to a specific user. They were even not able to figure out which user was connected at the given time. After this ExpressVPN withdrew itself from Turkey and now provides coverage for Turkey using a virtual location.

ExpressVPN Compatibility

ExpressVPN is compatible with Windows OS, macOS, iOS, and Android OS. It also provides support and client applications for Linux based operating systems as well. ExpressVPN also provides router-level VPN configuration to make the entire network safer eliminating the need of setting up every one of each device.

You can access all the client applications by clicking on the following link which directs you to their official website.

Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7 are supported.

macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS High Sierra (10.13), macOS Sierra (10.12), MacOS El Capitan (10.11), and MacOS Yosemite (10.10).

iPhone 6 and later devices are supported.

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Ease of use.

The client applications for Android OS, macOS, iOS, and Windows OS came with interfaces that were very intuitive and user friendly. You can connect to the VPN network with a single click to browse securely.

ExpressVPN for Linux provides the user with a command-line tool that you can use relatively easily with simple command or two.

It also provides plugins for browsers such as Firefox, Safari, and Chrome. Browser plugins function as proxies and let you mask the location but do not apply the same encryption found with VPN protocols. So, install the relevant application for your device and configure it to get the best protection.

The ExpressVPN is providing a well-designed interface but it is not that best looking as the interfaces provided by SurfShark VPN and NordVPN.

ExpressVPN provides client apps for Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Kindle devices as well. They also provide detailed step by step instructions on how to use their service on Apple TV or consoles like Xbox and Playstation devices.

ExpressVPN doesn’t require you to log in with a username and password or a generated username as you do usually with internet-based subscription services. ExpressVPN provides an activation code in their customer portal to make it easier to enter rather than entering manually.

Once you are logged in, ExpressVPN provides a minimal interface and the main dashboard provides a large button that lets you connect and disconnect quickly.

After a successful connection, the ExpressVPN shows a list of shortcuts to apps and websites. However, you can turn it off completely or edit the list from the settings section.

Additional windows let you sort and save preferred servers but it doesn’t show more information about each server. CyberGhost VPN provides details such as whether they support streaming, torrenting, and overall bandwidth usage.

ExpressVPN provides detailed step by step tutorials on how to setup VPN on your device.

Customer Support

ExpressVPN provides 24/7 customer support and you can contact one of the agents via live chat or email. You can get help from them in the case of setting up, troubleshooting, etc.

Pricing and Packaging

The Express VPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee to eliminate risk in case of customer dissatisfaction.

The current monthly plan costs you $12.95 per month.

The annual plan is $99.95 and opting for this reduces the monthly fee to just $8.32.

Setting up the ExpressVPN in Windows.

Subscribe to Express VPN by following the link provided in price and packaging.

After subscribing, you can download and install the Express VPN client application for Windows OS.

Click the On button to use the VPN.

To choose a specific location, click on the location bar.

Choose any one of 160 server locations provided.

Once connected, you are secured despite the network you are connected to.

Setting up Express VPN in macOS.

Install the app. It is user-intuitive and easy to do so.

Click on the Connect button to connect to the VPN.

Download and Install the ExpressVPN client app of iOS and Android OS

Install the app. It is user-intuitive and easy to do so.

Click on the Connect button to connect to the VPN.

To choose a specific location, click on the location bar.

Choose a specific server location from the recommended tab or from the all or recent tab.

Once you are connected, you can use the web securely.

 

Setting up Express VPN on Linux

Subscribe to the Express VPN by following this link.

Download the client application for Linux.

Install the app by following simple steps.

After installation, use expressvpn list commands to view the full list of 160 ExpressVPN server locations.

Enter “expressvpn connect Location” to connect to the server location of your choice.

Once connected, you can browse the web securely.

Configuring a router to protect it with Express VPN

You can protect your entire network by installing the app on any compatible router. If your router is not compatible, then you can buy a compatible one.

Configuring Express VPN at the router level eliminates the need to set up every device one by one.

Sign up for the Express VPN package by following this link.

Purchase a VPN router from the range of recommended home Wi-Fi routers. If you already have a compatible one, skip this step.

Set up your router with easy to follow steps that they provide you on their website after selecting the correct router model.

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Express VPN Final Recap

express vpn
express vpn

Express VPN is a capable versatile VPN service provider. It provides dedicated client applications for iOS, macOS, Android OS, and Windows OS. It also provides apps for Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Kindle devices, and detailed instructions on how to configure Playstation, Xbox, Smart TVs or to protect those devices.

It also provides instructions and applications for a range of Wifi routers that you could configure to support VPN at the router level. There by eliminating the need to configuring every one of each device.

ExpressVPN comes with 160 locations to choose from and got 3000+ servers at their disposal. All the servers are RAM only servers eliminating several cybersecurity threats. It comes with advanced features like split tunneling.

It supports multiple VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, IPSec, IKEv2, PPTP, TCP, UDP. * Note. Some protocols are not available on client applications for specific operating systems.

They also come with a No log policy to ensure the privacy of the user.

The user interface is minimalist and intuitive as well.

 

 

 

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