The VPN market is a tough one, with a lot of competition around, but ExpressVPN knows exactly how to stand out from the crowd: it piles on the professional features, delivering way more than just about anybody else.
Top-notch platform support includes apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux and other platforms, not to mention custom firmware for many routers, as well as detailed manual setup guides for Apple TV, Fire TV, PlayStation, Chromebooks, Kindle Fire and more.
ExpressVPN’s browser extensions aren’t the feeble offerings you’ll often get from other providers (if they have them at all.) Extras include WebRTC leak blocking, location spoofing, and HTTPS Everywhere support, and they’re available for Chrome and Firefox.
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There are valuable technical features everywhere you look. ExpressVPN protects your internet traffic by using its own DNS servers, for instance. High-end encryption technologies prevent even the most advanced attackers from snooping on your activities. And a clever split-tunneling system allows you to control exactly which apps use the VPN, and which will be routed through your regular internet connection. That’s very useful if you find some apps don’t work with a VPN, or running through the VPN noticeably slows them down.
ExpressVPN subscription options:
12-month plan – US$6.67 per month (US$80.04 total cost)
The company offers a vast network of more than 3,000 servers spread across 160 cities in 94 countries. Europe and the US have the best coverage, but ExpressVPN also has many locations in Asia and several countries that rarely appear elsewhere. There are 27 Asia Pacific countries alone, for instance – even the massive TunnelBear network only covers 22.
The real standout feature could be supported, though, where ExpressVPN has agents available 24/7 on live chat. This isn’t the very basic, outsourced, first-line support you’ll often get with other services, either: they’re experts who can walk you through just about any technical issue. If you run into trouble, then, you won’t be waiting a day (or potentially longer) for support response. In our experience, there’s always someone available on ExpressVPN’s live chat, and you could be getting quality help within a couple of minutes.
The service hasn’t seen many technical changes in the past few months (maybe no great surprise, considering it has so many features already). The mobile apps have gained some handy troubleshooting tools and in-app help, and the browser extensions now have a dark mode, but there’s not a lot else to report.
Other recent improvements are looking smarter than ever, though. After news of NordVPN being hacked broke last year, for example, that rival VPN announced it was upgrading its servers to run in RAM, reducing the chance of being compromised or hackers being able to recover sensitive files. A smart move, but ExpressVPN got there first, introducing its own TrustedServer technology earlier in 2019.
That’s not cheap, but it’s similar to many providers (CyberGhost, GooseVPN, Hotspot Shield and VyprVPN all charge around $13 for their monthly plans), and not far from the $9-$10 charged by most big-name VPNs.
Sign up for ExpressVPN’s 6-month plan and the price drops to $9.99 per month. That’s a reasonable discount, and it also gives you more flexibility than you’ll get with some competitors, who don’t offer a 6-month plan at all.
The annual plan cuts your costs still further to a monthly equivalent of $8.32, a chunky 35% discount on the monthly subscription. While that beats Hotspot Shield’s annual $9.99, and isn’t far from NordVPN and HideMyAss! which are pitched at $6.99, it’s more than twice some of the competition (Private Internet Access asks $3.33 on its annual plan, Ivacy is priced at $3.50, Windscribe is $4.08).
The difference becomes even more significant if you’re happy to sign up for longer periods. While ExpressVPN stops with its annual plan, some providers offer serious discounts if you sign up for longer. Speedify’s three-year plan costs only $3 a month, for instance, while we’ve seen Ivacy offer an occasional five-year deal (not available at the time of writing) at an effective $1.50 a month, or $90 in total – that’s cheaper than one year with ExpressVPN.
There’s more to a VPN than price, of course. Anyone can offer low headline rates; it’s offering a decent service, too, that’s the tricky part.
There are ways to save some cash, as well. Signing up with our exclusive deal adds three free months to the annual ExpressVPN subscription, giving you 15 months of service for an effective $6.67 per month.
If you decide to sign up you’ll discover a wide range of payment methods, including cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and a host of other players (AliPay, Yandex Money, WebMoney and more).
If you’re not quite convinced, installing the Android or iOS app gets you a 7-day trial. And even after handing over your cash, ExpressVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee allows you to safely check out the service for yourself.
If you decide you want to cancel, it’s also very straightforward. There are no small print clauses to catch you out (some firms insist on providing no refund if you’ve logged on more than x times, or used more than y GB of bandwidth). You can use the service, in full, for 30 days, and if you’re unhappy, or you simply change your mind, just tell ExpressVPN and you’ll get your money back. That has to be a reassuring sign of just how confident ExpressVPN is in its service.