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ExpressVPN Review: Why is it so popular?

Where many VPNs have failed to live up to expectations in one way or another, ExpressVPN remains one of the most recommended encryption providers.

Its state-of-the-art security protocols are the perfect line of defense against malicious attacks, with the provider protecting over 4 million users daily.

On this page, we will take an extensive look at ExpressVPN’s offerings, plans, prices, and everything else directly coming at you from a first-hand user.

Pros & Cons of ExpressVPN


  • Provides extensive server variety across 105 countries.
  • Uses Lightway protocol, based on post-quantum cryptography to provide a reliable and secure connection.
  • Offers Aircove router with native support, allowing for connections throughout the entire household.


  • Only provides a single subscription tier that includes all available features, making it more expensive.
  • Lacks encrypted Cloud storage
  • Only allows you to connect to 8 devices.

Key ExpressVPN Features

ExpressVPN presents a secure, no-logs encrypted connection with unlimited bandwidth. Allowing split-tunneling and torrenting, you can access thousands of obfuscated servers, all of which run on the in-house Lightway encryption.

The other notable extras you get with a subscription include a password manager and an ad blocker. These are handy tools, especially in today’s day and age where social media is riddled with infuriating distractions at every turn.

Another way ExpressVPN goes above and beyond in fulfilling its purpose is by throwing a Threat Manager in the pot. You browse the internet worry-free while the Threat Manager spots, quarantines, and kills malware and trackers that might compromise your privacy.

Additionally, the Tracker Blocker and DNS Leak Protection work in the background simultaneously. This helps to keep your traffic secure and in a private tunnel hidden from prying eyes.

The parental controls are another feature of ExpressVPN that is worth every penny. Using parental controls you can track your children’s screen time and their device’s locations.

You can also restrict in-app purchases, and ensure that they aren’t mistakenly exposed to inappropriate content.

ExpressVPN puts tons on the table for its users and is inarguably an all-in-one security kit.

How many servers does ExpressVPN have?

ExpressVPN has an extensive network of 3000+ servers spread across 105 countries.

Many of these servers are distributed across multiple cities in each country. This plethora of city-specific servers is what makes it one of the most accessible platforms on the market.

Furthermore, about 95% of them are virtual servers, meaning the servers don’t exist in the locations they are routing your traffic through. Virtual servers help save resources by using multiple servers virtually on a single physical server.

It is an efficient way to use computing resources and provide security.

However, there isn’t any server variety in ExpressVPN which is a bummer. All standard servers are obfuscated allowing you to access all parts of the internet without any interruptions.

A dedicated IP or multi-hopping Double VPN servers are not available using this provider.

The servers available allow connection speeds of up to 10Gbps and have a built-in Smart Location algorithm that automatically picks the best server for you based on your distance and latency.

ExpressVPN might not have a ton of features, but it doesn’t compromise its quality.

How much does ExpressVPN cost?

ExpressVPN operates on a subscription-based pricing model.

Unlike most virtual private networks, it has a single all-in-one plan in which all features come included. The only real difference arises in the purchase duration.

The service has 3 subscription options to choose from; 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months.

Speaking of pricing, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a traditional free trial. Alternatively, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re not entirely happy with it, you can cancel your subscription within the first 30 days.

If you really want to make a saving, keeping an eye on seasonal coupons and special promotions is wise.

Privacy and security

ExpressVPN is among the most secure providers in the world. It utilizes custom-built AES-256-GCM encryption to provide users with secure connections.

In layman’s terms, AES-256-GCM encryption is cryptography that governments and secret services use to cipher classified files.

To be specific, that’s a bazillion possible combinations needed to decode the encryption we’re talking about! An impossible nut for even the most advanced computers to get crack!

The AES-256 encryption is virtually impenetrable and is currently the strongest and most robust encryption system on Earth today.

ExpressVPN also comes with several advanced threat protection features, including a kill switch called Network Lock. This instantaneously cuts off your access to the internet if the connection to the VPN server drops.

If you change between Wi-Fi networks, put your PC to sleep, or if there’s any sort of issue, the Network Lock automatically detects the change. Therefore, any unencrypted data is prevented from being uploaded.

It’s an invaluable feature for those who prioritize privacy above all else.

And to put the final nail in the coffin and lay all your privacy concerns to rest, ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, a territory that has no data retention laws.

To sum it up, the company can’t be court-ordered to provide data about its users, even if it did store any of our data.

What VPN protocols does ExpressVPN use?

ExpressVPN currently has servers running on 3 different protocols: Lightway, OpenVPN, and IKEv2.

Lightway is a custom-designed protocol aimed at delivering high-speed and reliable encryption, based on the well-established wolfSSL cryptography.

It uses AES-256-GCM and ChaCha20/Poly1305 double cyphers to keep your data secure. As the name suggests, it is lightweight due to consuming less power on Windows, macOS, Android and iPhone.

Alternatively, some servers on ExpressVPN utilize OpenVPN. This is widely regarded as one of the best protocols for VPNs.

OpenVPN uses AES-256 encryption too. Although it is not as secure due to the lack of double ciphering, it is faster as a result.

This protocol is also suitable for Windows, Android, and iPhone. However, it cannot be used on macOS devices.

As for the IKEv2, ExpressVPN, like other VPN services, uses this to provide mobile users with best-in-class encryption. This makes it a popular choice for Android and iPhone customers.

ExpressVPN Logging policy

ExpressVPN is a no-logs service provider, meaning it never keeps track of a user’s IP addresses, browsing history, metadata, DNS queries, or any sort of online activity.

Through the use of its in-house TrustedServer technology which relies on RAM-only servers, the company makes sure that all data is wiped clean with every server reboot.

To further elaborate, the TrustedServer tech provides security and has two major lines of defense.

Firstly, the RAM-only servers wipe data clean whenever they are reset – typically, this is a weekly event.

Secondly, whenever the servers are reset, the entire operating system (OS) is reinstalled on each server, basically negating all chinks in the armor.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) examined ExpressVPN’s privacy policy rigorously.

The auditors interviewed employees, made in-depth assessments of the VPN code, and inspected logs. In their report, PwC claimed that ExpressVPN’s privacy and security were on par with their standards.

To validate these claims, cybersecurity auditing firms KPMG and Cure53 further conducted an audit of ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer system in 2022.

How fast is ExpressVPN?

Everyone expects VPNs to throttle your connection speeds, which is true, but with ExpressVPN it’s not all that noticeable.

It’s by no means the fastest service in the world, but it outperforms a lot of competitors by a substantial margin.

Techradar analyzed different VPNs to see how ExpressVPN would hold up against them. They used 1Gbps connections and first tested ExpressVPN’s OpenVPN protocol.

In one specific server, ExpressVPN maxed out at 210Mbps. This might seem like a big drop, but it was still able to edge out NordVPN, TunnelBear, and VyprVPN.

Results were better with ExpressVPN’s own Lightway protocol. Its speeds fluctuated between 410Mbps and 750Mbps, beating out some major competitors.

It is safe to say that ExpressVPN has more than enough performance metrics to support high-quality streaming, games, and any other demanding online tasks.

Is ExpressVPN a good option for gaming?

If you’re a gamer who wants the lowest ping and latency but not at the cost of your security, then ExpressVPN is the best gaming VPN for you.

Whether it’s while streaming games over the Cloud or playing competitively, the experience with ExpressVPN is so smooth that you won’t even remember there is a VPN active.

I was enjoying Warzone on Windows with a buttery smooth connection and with the service active in the background, I wasn’t worried about any data breaches.

ExpressVPN’s DDoS protection gives you peace of mind that you won’t be targeted by hackers during your gaming sessions.

Xbox 360Xbox OneXbox Series X/S
Nintendo SwitchChromecastOculus Quest
Fire StickSteam DeckAndroid

ExpressVPN Customer Support

ExpressVPN has countless beginner-friendly setup and troubleshooting tutorials for multiple devices.

And that’s still just a tiny part of their customer support page which gives you an in-depth look at the smallest problems.

When I had trouble installing ExpressVPN on my Amazon Fire Stick, I visited their support panel and followed a simple guide explaining the entire process.

This panel is divided into multiple sections, making it easier for users to navigate through sections.

You can find articles related to commonly faced issues or get dedicated help via live chat which is available 24/7.

Moreover, you can email them or find active community forums. Here, you can discuss various topics, share experiences, and find solutions to all your problems.

Final thoughts

While pricey and a little lackluster in the quantity of features offered, ExpressVPN outperforms where it really matters.

The number of servers available boosts the VPN’s effectiveness further, and the security, reliability, and speed are already second to none.

The extras like the password manager and Threat Manager might not make the plan all that appealing.

However, ExpressVPN clearly pulls its weight with its encryption quality.

If you’re someone who prioritizes the best and most secure VPN connection and doesn’t care much for the add-ons that come with it, picking ExpressVPN is a no-brainer.

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