ExpressVPN: a very serious VPN but a bit expensive

ExpressVPN has been around for more than 14 years now and it 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 suit current simplification standards. Here is our opinion on VPN.

ExpressVPN Features

💰Current offer €6.26 /month
💸 Refund Yes, within 30 days
💻🌍 Number of servers/ locality Not mentioned
📱Apps PC/ Mac/ Linux/ Android/ iOS/ Android tv/ Firetv/ Routers
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Number of simultaneous connections 5
📺 Access to US Netflix Yes
⏬⏫ P2P mode No
🔐 Data retention Read the ‘Privacy Policy’ section

Who is ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is one of the oldest services in our comparator. Its creation dates back to 2009 under the impetus of two American entrepreneurs. For more than 10 years, the VPN has enjoyed great success due to its performance and ease of use. It also makes it a point of honor to respect the privacy of its users via a strict confidentiality policy and by regularly calling on audit firms specializing in IT security to test its ambitions.

Its best (and arguably most controversial) publicity comes in December 2017 right after the assassination of a senior 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. From the latter, no information (logs, history, connections, etc.) could be recovered, proof of the VPN’s effectiveness in terms of user data security. A free communication operation, but to say the 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) a non-obligation to store its users’ data, as required by international treaties.

However, this reputation risks 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, a sector 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.

interface and handling of ExpressVPN

The design of the ExpressVPN application has obviously been thought out to be as simple and ergonomic as possible. No unsightly windows or filling with options to check, it goes straight to the point with a welcome window that allows you to connect to a remote server in one click.

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

The application also includes some very practical accessory options, such as the possibility of checking your IP address to ensure that you are located in a country different from your connection, or DNS or WebRTC leak tests. However, these are accessible in the ” help and supportwhich is a bit disturbing.

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

Finally, it’s a pity that certain advanced options, such as the possibility of having a fixed IP address or using a double VPN, do not exist. We note all the same 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 the event of a malfunction.

ExpressVPN servers and performance

In 2023, ExpressVPN offers over 3,000 servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. From Bangladesh to the United States via Algeria, there is plenty to do. Some countries also benefit from several servers. This is the case of the United States, for example, where you can find a dozen different locations allowing you to connect on the east coast as well as the west coast.

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

For further

What are the best VPNs for watching Netflix in 2023?

A promise therefore kept since, in general, the ExpressVPN servers display very good speeds, often higher than what we find with many other VPNs. Here are some speed tests that we carried out on a PC with a Parisian wired fiber connection and via the Nperf platform.

WITHOUT VPN 853 671 2
US SERVER (NEW YORK) 273 246 79

Tests were performed with automatic protocol assignment

Regardless of the server to which we connected, the speeds always remained close to 200 Mb/s indownload. Servers a little further away, on the other hand, have more difficulty with in particular a rise in ping exceeding 200, or even 300 ms in the majority of cases.

These good performances are undoubtedly enhanced by the contribution of the Lightway protocol. It is an in-house network protocol developed by ExpressVPN based on performance, reliability and flexibility. A way for the service to set aside OpenVPN, the universal protocol used by many VPNs, but whose age and complexity no longer meet current standards.

ExpressVPN’s Privacy Policy

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

ExpressVPN has already proven its good faith in the past through the certification of its privacy policy by the independent auditing company Price Waterhouse Coopers. Later, Cure53, another independent security audit company, was responsible for 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 hacks.

Formerly 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 much controversy for years and its activities go against what the VPN has been promoting since its inception. It has already acquired many other companies specializing 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, doubt is already allowed as to the future of the service’s privacy policy. To be continued.

ExpressVPN customer support

This is something ExpressVPN is very good at. Its customer service is responsive and you can quickly access an online advisor via the chat on the official website. In addition, it has recently had an automatic translation module allowing 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 the online chat.

The price of ExpressVPN subscriptions

ExpressVPN is hands down 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 6.26 euros per month, or 93.76 euros 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 is difficult to determine if it remains a good deal despite the quality of the service. In any case, the first 30 days can lead to a full refund on request.

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