We conducted our tests on the client that ExpressVPN dedicates to Windows 7 and later versions. There is another one reserved for Windows XP and Vista. For both of them, and for any other software of the company, the key term is automation. Most features can be set up to start by themselves by simply ticking in a box. These include an auto-start option and also an auto-connect one. There is a bit of a twist on the latter, as you cannot select a certain server to connect to once the ExpressVPN client starts. Instead, you are offered to visit the last VPN location you connected to.
A more rare sight though is a kill switch. When enabled, this tool will shut your VPN down automatically if you are attacked, or if you encounter any complication that would threaten your online safety. You can also set up your VPN to initiate connection either automatically, or with certain types of encryption only. The client does not hesitate to inform you that the less reliable (and more sparsely used) types of protocols (PPTP, SSTP) do not run on every server.
ExpressVPN also has a smart DNS service that is fully integrated into the VPN. In fact, it is present as a tick as well. By default, a VPN only changes the IP address of your device for the duration of your connection. This still leaves your other type of identifier, the DNS address exposed. Thus, by automatically connecting to ExpressVPN’s DNS servers on top of the VPN you will guarantee yourself a much higher level of safety. This is great, as most other companies offer smart DNS either separately as a free addition, or worse yet, another product to buy. This is not the case with ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN has connections to 87 countries and across about 136 servers. This is quite good, as most other companies stop at around the 30 mark. It is also true though that a few other top VPN providers have well over 100 different states on their lists. Because ExpressVPN is famous for being the fastest provider today, we found it important to dive deeper into the matter. We ended up comparing the Windows client’s built-in speed test feature with our own results.Luckily, ExpressVPN’s software automatically lists out all connections – from the best to the worst in descending order. There are general trends we observed during probing, and thus we would like to assume that the values displayed there are average ones.
The case is such because ExpressVPN’s connections are indeed quite fast and are equally fast compared to each other. However, they take time to ramp up. We would also like to warn you that countries with worse internet capabilities are naturally capped in speed. If you experience a quicker internet than a given country’s capabilities allow it, we suggest not using that server. We love animals, but that sounds a bit fishy.
For the protection of the connections themselves, you get full service. A good variety of encryption protocols are available for use. OpenVPN is the most secure today, but for mobile devices, L2TP is generally recommended (at least until some hardware advances in the future). SSTP and IPSec are also on the table, but do not taste PPTP, it is unsafe compared to the rest.
OS, Device Support
Device support is neat with ExpressVPN. For Windows, you have different software available for XP-Vista and Windows 7-8-10. Mac clients are also numerous, with four different options to go for, depending on the type of Mac you plan to use. For Linux, the Ubuntu/Debian/Fedora/CentOS setups are supported, this is also impressive. Mobile devices include iOS and Android, each with their own pleasant to use native mobile app that runs as smoothly as the desktop client. We must praise the setup guides as well at this point, as they are sorted and divided based on the version of the mobile device you use – this is a rare, but helpful addition. Amazon Kindle Fire is also welcome, along with Apple TV. Gaming consoles include PS 3&4 and Xbox One and Xbox 360.
ExpressVPN definitely has its price, and not on the cheap side. Of course, you could argue that with such exceptional speeds, the organization is right to demand more. It can be said that ExpressVPN is suitable for streaming, even for full HD quality, eliminating the need to purchase a separate smart DNS for high speed streaming.
One month of ExpressVPN costs $12.95. Half year is set to $9.99 per month ($59.95), which are the standard monthly expenses elsewhere, mostly. One year of quality VPN will lighten your purse by $8.32 per month ($99.95) worth of money, meaning that this, their best offer is 35% off. All in all this is about two bucks per month more than the monthly costs of other comparable VPN solutions. All packages have a 30-day refund time attached to them. However, it must be emphasized that ExpressVPN does not have a free trial to boot.
You payment options include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Visa Electron, DriversClub, PayPal, Bitcoin, WebMoney, Giropay, OneCard, some debit cards, and more.
ExpressVPN has one of the most complete customer service systems in today’s VPN world. You can contact them via all the other conventional means in use. These include live chat, e-mail and ticket submission-based help, as well as the barely even seen telephone and remote desktop-oriented assistance options. During our testing, ExpressVPN showed second to none response times with stellar assistance across the different support channels. The company also thrives in social media: you can find them on Facebook and Twitter primarily and in the case of a latter, the organization responds to queries on the message board. ExpressVPN also has its own blog that is mostly reserved for VPN an internet security news, ranging from politics and its effects to sports news or even contests.
To sum up, ExpressVPN scores great across all departments. A kill switch or more automation is always welcome, and with such fantastic device and software, your VPN experience is bound to be satisfying. All this greatness does come with a somewhat greater price than the ones you see with other top VPN companies. With ExpressVPN’s features that let you stream content at impressive speeds, you may no longer feel the need to pay for a separate smart DNS to enjoy, which then further justifies its premium price. Furthermore, the availability and quality of customer support is of such high level that you may not mind paying a couple of bucks more.
- Customer service
- Perhaps the best speeds
- 87 countries
- Device support
- Kill switch
- Built-in smart DNS
- Rather pricey