ExpressVPN works on almost any device you can think of.
ExpressVPN has a huge network, plus it’s fast, secure, unblocks Netflix and just about everything else, supports torrents, has no serious logging (confirmed by an audit), offers apps for everything, and is easy to use. In short, this is a quality VPN which delivers in just about every area.
Over 160 locations across 105 countries
Easy to use top-quality apps for almost everything
Excellent customer support
Above average prices
Browser extensions require ExpressVPN app
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ExpressVPN review — quick menu
1. What’s new
4. Privacy and security
5. Logging policy
6. Where is ExpressVPN?
8. Netflix and streaming
11. Windows apps
12. Mac apps
13. Android apps
14. iPhone apps
15. Browser extensions
16. Customer support
17. Final verdict
18. Tested by
The virtual private network (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.
In TechRadar’s 15 years online, we’ve reviewed hundreds of VPN services, and Mike Williams regularly picks apart VPN services to see how they really work. Going beyond what ExpressVPN’s marketing teams tell us, he analyses the service inside and out, to tell you if you’re really getting what you pay for, and whether the service truly lives up to its claims.
ExpressVPN offers remarkably easy-to-use apps with tonnes of features, and plenty of customization for more advanced users, too. Couple that with remarkable customer support and reliably fast speeds, and it all adds up to a service that we really couldn’t recommend more. That’s why ExpressVPN is still sitting pretty at the top of our list of the world’s best VPNs.
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ExpressVPN’s Aircove is a Wi-Fi 6 router that comes with the firm’s router app fully integrated
ExpressVPN — what’s new?
ExpressVPN has ramped up its investment in third-party audits over the past year, and the results are spectacular. While other providers expect you to be impressed by a single app audit from years ago, ExpressVPN released the results of 11 audits in 2022 alone (more on some of those below).
There’s another recent highlight in Keys, ExpressVPN’s highly configurable secure password manager—that comes free with your subscription. Significant new features include support for saving credit card details and secure notes, and even importing credentials to Chrome. Even better as now, after a successful beta release, the provider officially launched Keys for all users.
Elsewhere, ExpressVPN has released Aircove, a powerful Cure53-audited Wi-Fi 6 router with the company’s router app built-in. Set this up at home and all your internet-enabled devices can use ExpressVPN immediately, without having to install a single app or worrying about device connection limits.
Aircove pricing looks good, too, at $169.90 on launch (the regular price is $189.90). But if you’re on a budget, no problem: you can still install the ExpressVPN router app on your own hardware (assuming it’s compatible) for free. The official Router setup page has more on this.
The latest ExpressVPN’s revamp released in October 2023 includes new ad and adult-site blockers, auto-update feature for desktops apps, bigger server network and a boosted multi-devices policy of up eight simultaneous connections with just one subscription. The provider is also now one of the few VPN services to include post-quantum protection on its Lightway encryption protocol.
A strong set of core features provide multiple layers of privacy protection. High-end encryption shields your traffic from snoopers; secure DNS prevents your ISP from seeing your traffic, too; and even if the VPN drops, a kill switch kicks in to block your internet connection and keep you safe.
Express boasts some advanced security tools, too. Its Threat Manager system is a web tracker and malware blocker that you can turn on and off directly from the settings menu, for example, alongside a new ad and adult-site blocker. It’s also one of the few providers to offer its password manager tool, Keys, as a VPN feature rather than additional service to buy on top.
ExpressVPN doesn’t just beat the competition on standard features, though. It has unique technologies of its own. Lightway is ExpressVPN’s speedy and secure VPN protocol, for instance. And the MediaStreamer smart DNS system enables unblocking some websites even on devices that can’t run the apps.
The provider even runs parallel connections to keep connection speeds almost instant, enabling you to pick the fastest, most secure VPN implementation for your needs. Overall, we found Express to automate a lot of the stuff that would normally have to be manually configured by the user.
On top of that, the company offers a vast network of more than 3,000 servers spread across 160 cities in 105 countries. Europe and the US have the best coverage, with the network spreading across 47 out of 50 European countries. At the same time, ExpressVPN also has many locations in the Americas, Asia and Africa, including several countries that rarely appear elsewhere. There are 27 Asia Pacific countries alone, by comparison, Mozilla VPN only has around 30 countries in its entire network.
ExpressVPN boasts some 3,000 servers in 160 cities across 94 countries
ExpressVPN pricing plans
As explained in our dedicated ExpressVPN pricing and deals guide, the provider has a very simple pricing structure with only three plans, and these start with a monthly-billed product for $12.95.
That’s not cheap, but it’s pretty standard pricing for a single month. Where you’ll see savings throughout the industry is with the longer subscription plans. Sign up for ExpressVPN’s 6-month plan and the price drops to $9.99 per month. That’s a fairly reasonable discount, and it 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 the cost further to a monthly equivalent of $6.67 (a chunky 49% discount on the monthly subscription), but it’s still substantially more than some of the competition. NordVPN asks for $4.99 per month on its annual plan, and Surfshark just $3.99 per month.
If you’re willing to sign up for long periods, you can make additional savings, but it’s a shame that ExpressVPN doesn’t offer longer subscription options to increase savings.
Below we’ve included the latest deals for ExpressVPN today:
When you’re comparing headline prices, though, be sure to check the small print, because ExpressVPN is closer to many competitors than you might realize. Many vendors offer significantly lower introductory prices which increase significantly when your subscription renews. For example, IPVanish looks good at face value for just $3.33 per month, but that price more than doubles on renewal.
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 (Giropay, UnionPay, SOFORT, QIWI Wallet, and more). Be sure to check out the latest ExpressVPN promo codes to help you get additional savings, too.
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.
ExpressVPN offers a wide array of payment methods.
Privacy and security
ExpressVPN’s privacy protection begins with its choice of highly secure protocols (OpenVPN and its own open-source Lightway), with industrial-strength encryption to shield your data from even the most well-equipped attacker.
ExpressVPN also runs its own private, zero-knowledge, 256-bit encrypted DNS on every server. This prevents data about your online activities from leaking out of the VPN tunnel, keeping you safe from every angle.
We put the mobile and desktop apps through the wringer, using multiple leak-testing websites, and couldn’t find any trace of DNS or traffic leaks.
We found no DNS leaks in our tests
Many VPNs now try to show they’re trustworthy by going through independent audits, where a third-party company inspects their apps, servers and procedures to confirm they’re properly handling your privacy. But while most providers stop with one or two audits, ExpressVPN has now had more than 12, with all these arriving just in the last eight months.
ExpressVPN regularly relies on independent cybersecurity groups, including Cure53 and KPMG, to carry out rigorous testing of its policies, practices, protocols, and technology. This means that it does exactly what it says on the tin, nothing more, nothing less.
Here’s a breakdown of some of ExpressVPN’s most recent security audits:
Cure53 checked the apps to make sure they were secure, and could not be exploited by an attacker to steal data or harm the user’s system. The results were positive, with none of the apps having any major concerns, and ExpressVPN fixing any smaller issues right away. F-Secure further verified these claims with another audit.
If you’re interested in the technical detail, check the ExpressVPN blog posts linked above for the full reports.
🔒Try ExpressVPN with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN runs its own DNS to prevent leaks
ExpressVPN does things a little differently. Out goes the usual fact-free «zero logs» boasting, in comes a clearly written «Policy towards logs» document which explains precisely what ExpressVPN collects, what it doesn’t, why the service works this way, and what it means for you.
The page states that the service doesn’t log your IP address when you connect to ExpressVPN, the time you’ve logged in, the VPN IP address you’re assigned, or any information on the websites or pages you visit (including via DNS requests), or any of your traffic.
There is some minimal logging. ExpressVPN records the dates you connect to the service, your choice of server, and the total data used. But as it doesn’t store the connection time or the IP address you’re allocated, there’s no way anyone can use this data to definitively link an internet action back to a specific ExpressVPN account.
Browse the web anonymously with ExpressVPN
Where is ExpressVPN based?
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Despite its small size, the country regulates its own affairs, and the UK and US don’t have jurisdiction to automatically compel ExpressVPN to release any data.
The BVI isn’t a part of «14 Eyes», the intelligence sharing agreement also known as SIGINT Seniors Europe (SSEUR), and is not known to be a party to any of its intelligence sharing arrangements.
In short, any would-be complainant would have to raise their issue in the BVI High Court, show that the records related to a serious crime (one punishable by a year or more in prison if it happened in the BVI), and explain how those records would provide relevant evidence to that case. It’s hard to see how the minimal ExpressVPN records could provide useful evidence of anything.
There’s a lot to like here. It’s clear that ExpressVPN understands the issues to hand and is making considerable efforts to explain them, properly and in full, to its customers. That in itself is reassuring, and a huge improvement on the detail-free privacy policies of many VPNs.
You don’t simply have to take what ExpressVPN says on trust, though. As we’ve discussed above, the company has had independent audits of its TrustedServer technology, Lightway protocol, apps, backend systems, and more to confirm that it’s living up to its privacy promises.
Just like KPMG and Cure53, PwC has previously audited ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology and backend systems
Speed is an important factor when choosing a VPN, and we run some intensive tests to see what a service is capable of. While ExpressVPN offers some fantastic speeds, it’s by no means the fastest VPN.
We checked speeds from a US residential location and a UK data center, both with 1 Gbps connections. We used the standard ExpressVPN Windows app to connect to our nearest location, then checked the download speeds reported by multiple speed test sites and services (SpeedTest’s website and command line app, Measurement Lab, Cloudflare, and more). We took at least five results from each site, using two protocols (OpenVPN and ExpressVPN’s own Lightway), and ran the entire test set in both morning and evening sessions to look for variations over time.
ExpressVPN’s peak OpenVPN speeds were reasonable at 280 Mbps. That outperforms VyprVPN (100 Mbps), Surfshark (130 Mbps), IPVanish (225 Mbps), and NordVPN (240 Mbps), although some did better. Private Internet Access, Proton VPN, and Windscribe all beat 300 Mbps, and Mullvad soared to an exceptional 500 Mbps.
The real star is ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol, though, which accelerated its average download speeds to between 720 Mbps to 750 Mbps—a significant jump from our previous tests that clocked in at 560 Mbps. That shot past competitors like Hotspot Shield (570 Mbps), ProtonVPN (390 Mbps), and Private Internet Access (360 Mbps). For most people, that’s more than enough for every device and network you use—but if you feel you need more, Hide.me, IPVanish, Mullvad, NordVPN, Surfshark, and Windscribe all reached over 900 Mbps and higher in our latest tests.
⚡Try ExpressVPN’s lightning-fast servers with three free months of extra protection.
ExpressVPN impressed us with its raw speed, particularly when using the Lightway protocol Swipe to scroll horizontally
|WireGuard (or proprietary)||OpenVPN|
|ExpressVPN||750 Mbps||250 Mbps|
|NordVPN||950 Mbps||140 Mbps|
|Surfshark||950 Mbps||130 Mbps|
|Private Internet Access||360 Mbps||310 Mbps|
|Proton VPN||460 Mbps||350 Mbps|
|CyberGhost VPN||630 Mbps||360 Mbps|
|Hotspot Shield||570 Mbps||200 Mbps|
|Hide.me||950 Mbps||260 Mbps|
|IPVanish||950 Mbps||225 Mbps|
|Windscribe||950 Mbps||330 Mbps|
|Mullvad||900 Mbps||530 Mbps|
|TunnelBear||500 Mbps||310 Mbps|
|PureVPN||650 Mbps||140 Mbps|
Netflix and global stream unblocking
Unlike most of the competition, ExpressVPN doesn’t just make vague claims about its unblocking abilities. The company publicly specifies which platforms are supported: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, and others. It’s good to see a provider being upfront about what it’s claiming to do.
To get a feel for ExpressVPN’s unblocking abilities, we tried accessing 12 popular streaming sites from a number of ExpressVPN locations.
In our tests ExpressVPN was able to unblock Netflix
The service delivered great Netflix results, getting us into US Netflix in each of the three test locations we tried, and then unblocking Netflix Australia, Canada, Japan, and the UK, too.
It was the same story with other top US platforms, as ExpressVPN got us access to Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus. The positive news continued in Australia, as we managed to stream content from 9Now and 10 Play. Plus, in our final UK tests, ExpressVPN successfully unblocked BBC iPlayer, ITVX, and Channel 4.
Getting around region blocks is one of the most useful features of a VPN
These are great results, but a quality VPN isn’t just about getting you access right now, it’s also what happens if a platform blocks a new range of IPs, and your favorite server doesn’t work anymore.
Complain to many VPNs and they’ll just reply that «we don’t guarantee access to any streaming platforms», leaving you on your own. However, ExpressVPN proactively monitors its own unblocking performance, giving it a chance to detect and fix any problems before you’ve even noticed.
On the rare occasions we’ve had unblocking issues with ExpressVPN, we’ve opened a live chat session, been talking to an agent within a couple of minutes, and either had recommendations on locations to try, other troubleshooting advice, or been told it’s a known issue that’ll be fixed soon (which has always been true). Now that’s what we call helpful.
ExpressVPN’s website doesn’t advertise its P2P support, but we dug into the details, ran a few tests, and found it’s far more torrent-friendly than most of the competition.
P2P users aren’t forced onto a small number of overloaded servers, for instance. You can access torrents from the full set of ExpressVPN locations. There are no bandwidth or transfer-related catches, either. The company says it will never throttle your connection.
Performance testing with torrents is a challenge as there are many factors that might affect speeds, but we tried downloading using three locations (US, UK, Netherlands), had no connection or other issues, and saw broadly the performance we’d expect in each case.
Factor in other key features of the service—no activity logs, lots of locations, apps for everything, Bitcoin support, and the 30-day money-back guarantee—and ExpressVPN looks like a great VPN for torrenting.
📨 Check out ExpressVPN’s guides to help you set up port forwarding.
ExpressVPN does support torrenting, although the provider doesn’t shout about it.
ExpressVPN installation and setup
Getting a VPN app installed and working properly can sometimes be a challenge, but the well-designed ExpressVPN website keeps hassles to an absolute minimum.
Log in to your account dashboard, for instance, and the website detects the type of device you’re using, displays a Download button for that app, and enables grabbing a copy with one click.
If you need something for another platform, clicking ‘Set up on all your devices’ takes you to links for Windows, iOS, Amazon Fire, Mac, Android, Linux and more. Selecting any of these displays more download links and instructions.
Even these are far more helpful than you would expect. Hit the Android link with most VPNs and you’ll probably just be redirected to Google Play. ExpressVPN has a Play Store link, but it also gives you a QR code, a button to email yourself a setup link (ideal if you need to install it on another device), and even an option for experts to directly download the APK file.
In a neat setup touch, ExpressVPN doesn’t force you to find and manually enter your username and password. Instead, all you have to do is copy the unique activation code displayed on your download page, and paste it into the app when you’re asked. The software then automatically sets up your login credentials—you don’t need to use the best password manager to get up and running quickly.
The provider even offer some dedicated tutorials on its website to help you install and use ExpressVPN on all your devices.
ExpressVPN has clients available for most popular platforms
The ExpressVPN Windows app has a comfortable and familiar interface which immediately makes you feel at home. A big On/Off button allows you to activate the service when required, a clear status display shows you the current server, a «choose location» button enables picking something else, and a menu button top-left gives speedy access to other features.
The client makes it exceptionally easy to choose the best server by always displaying the three most likely options: the closest, whatever’s currently selected in the list, and the location you accessed last. No need to open a location list, search, sort, apply filters or anything else, just click the server you need and typically you’ll be connected in a fraction of a second (ExpressVPN’s Lightway has one of the fastest connection times around).
You can still view a full list of locations, of course, and it has all the conveniences you’d expect. Locations are grouped by continent and country, a search box allows you to find locations by keyword, or you can add individual locations to a Favorites list for speedy recall later.
You can even connect without opening the full app. Right-clicking its system tray icon (or taskbar button) displays a menu which includes your last three locations, and choosing one of those will get you connected right away.
This is the interface of ExpressVPN’s Windows app
Once the connection is established, the app displays a small toolbar with app and website shortcuts (Chrome, Outlook, Wikipedia, and Google by default, although you can customize it with whatever you like). Tapping a shortcut launches that app or site, without having to open the menu, use search, or anything else.
Some VPNs do more to automate connections. CyberGhost can watch for specific app launches and automatically connect, for instance, without you having to open the VPN app at all. But this comes with some usability hassles (you might not want to connect to the VPN every single time you launch an app, for instance).
Although ExpressVPN’s shortcuts bar is a small and simple idea, by comparison, it’s another little detail that makes things simpler.
A capable Settings dialog allowed us to choose from four protocol variations: ExpressVPN’s Lightway or OpenVPN, both in UDP or TCP flavors.
Elsewhere, a kill switch blocks all internet traffic if the VPN connection drops, reducing the chance of any data leaks. There’s no setup involved with this, it’s enabled by default, and always ready to protect your privacy.
It works, too. We simulated all kinds of extreme situations, but the app took everything we threw at it and kept our traffic protected at all times.
ExpressVPN only uses the most secure VPN protocols
Low-level technical touches include basic IPv6 leak protection, and the ability to access devices on the local network when you’re connected to the VPN.
One highlight of the app is its support for split tunneling, a smart technology which enables defining which apps use the VPN, and which use your regular internet connection. If an application won’t work when your VPN is up (an email client, say), you can make it use your normal internet connection instead. Plus, if you’re gaming, redirecting game traffic out of the VPN tunnel should improve performance.
If we have a small gripe, it’s the lack of connection status information. The app tells you when you’re connected, but not your server IP, the protocol it’s using, whether the kill switch is enabled, or anything else. That’ll be good news for some, as it keeps the dashboard clean and uncluttered. But experts might wish the app gave just a little more technical feedback about its current status.
Overall, though, this is an exceptionally well-designed app, fast, easy to use, and with top-quality engineering underneath. An absolute must for your Windows VPN shortlist.
This nifty extra gives you shortcuts to launch your favorite apps right on the connection panel
MacOS and Mac apps
ExpressVPN’s Mac app looks much like the Windows app, at least initially: it shows the current location, a Settings icon, a big Connect button, and nothing else to get in the way. Even newbies will figure out what to do immediately.
There are some small interface differences, and they’re mostly improvements. The Windows app only displays your last two locations in its Recent list, for instance, but the Mac app has a separate Recent tab where it lists many more.
The Mac Settings box is presented a little differently, but the options are organized in exactly the same way. If you’re used to Mac VPN apps which leave out most of the more advanced Windows features, good news: this one has the kill switch, WireGuard and OpenVPN support, IPv6 leak protection, and more.
There is one omission: the Mac app doesn’t support split tunneling. But it makes up for that with support for ExpressVPN’s tracker and malware-blocking Threat Manager (not yet available on Windows). We didn’t test this in-depth and can’t give a definitive verdict on how effective it is, but any extra layer of protection is welcome. (And if it causes you any issues, you can always turn it off).
Put it all together and this is a likable Mac app, a well-designed mix of power and ease of use—well worth a try.
ExpressVPN’s Mac app looks much like the Windows version, but there are some minor differences
The Android app looks good, with portrait and tablet-friendly landscape interfaces. As on the desktop, your closest, currently selected, and recently used locations are always visible, and in many cases, you’ll simply connect or disconnect with a tap.
The full location list is on hand if you need it. This also looks and feels much like the desktop apps, with locations grouped by country and continent, and a Search box if there’s something you can’t find (just type a few characters of a country or city, and any matches pop up).
There’s no visible way to mark locations as Favorites. You can build a favorites list very easily—just swipe right on your chosen location—but that may not be obvious to first-timers.
ExpressVPN’s Android app is well designed and easy to use
A Protection Summary box displays your current IP address and gives details of how much you’ve used the service recently. We don’t see any great need for a chart showing us that we use the VPN mostly on Wednesdays (for instance), but the IP information is handy, and if you don’t like the Protection Summary then you can turn it off with a tap.
A security assistant reminds you of steps you should take to «protect your device» and «guard your privacy» (keep Android up-to-date, use Facebook’s Privacy Checkup, and so on). They’re reasonable suggestions and it makes sense to give them a look over, but they’re not VPN-related, and we don’t see much value in having them permanently displayed on the main app window.
The Android app boasts portrait and tablet-friendly landscape modes.
The Settings section includes an integrated kill switch to protect you if the connection drops. Protocol support includes OpenVPN and ExpressVPN’s own Lightway protocol, split tunneling enables defining which apps should or shouldn’t use the VPN.
In my testing, the app had issues locating and excluding Android Auto from the VPN, and was causing issues with connecting my phone to the car, resulting in the following message:
If Android Auto detects VPN usage, you’ll get the following error message, as seen here on Andreas Theodorou’s Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra.
You could get around this by setting the VPN to configure split tunnel as a default exclusion list, with select apps being encrypted, but this poses wider security concerns, and shouldn’t be a consideration when you just want to mirror your phone on the car’s infotainment system.
I contacted the team at ExpressVPN, and the engineers were able to correct the issue almost immediately, meaning you can now identify and exclude Android Auto from the VPN encryption and connect to your car with ease.
I’m glad to see this now in effect, and have tested it to confirm it works without issue. I’m impressed with how quickly ExpressVPN reacted to this issue because it shows how much the teams care about the product.
ExpressVPN can now split tunnel Android Auto, making it easier to connect your phone to your car and use Google Maps and Spotify without having to turn off your VPN elsewhere.
A bonus auto-connect feature is particularly welcome, optionally connecting you to the VPN whenever you join untrusted networks (like public Wi-Fi). There’s the same «App and Website Shortcuts» bar we saw on the desktop, making it easier to launch your favorite apps or websites once you’re connected.
A new «App Screenshots» feature prevents your IP address or other information in the app from being visible in screenshots. That’s probably not necessary for most users, but it’s another sign of ExpressVPN’s attention to detail, blocking every possible way any data could leak about your web activities.
If you’re having problems, there’s in-app help that gives you speedy access to support documents without having to head off to the website, while an ‘Email us’ link gets you swift assistance if and when you need it.
It doesn’t have quite as many expert-level features as you’ll get with some apps—you can’t set your preferred DNS servers, for instance—but ExpressVPN’s Android offering has more than enough functionality for most people while remaining easy to use. If you’re at all interested in Android VPN apps, ExpressVPN needs to be on your shortlist.
The Android app includes support for the Lightway protocol
iOS and iPhone apps
ExpressVPN’s iOS VPN apps open with much the same clean and straightforward interface that you’ll see on other platforms. It displays a recommended location, a big connect button to get online, and a menu button to explore further.
The well-designed Location Picker offers multiple ways to find specific cities or countries. You can add commonly used locations to your Favorites by swiping right, assuming you realize that’s an option, and a Recent Location list includes everything you’ve accessed lately.
The choice of protocol is limited to IKEv2, Lightway UDP, and Lightway TCP—there’s no OpenVPN anymore. Losing secure protocols like OpenVPN is never good news, as it gives you fewer ways to bypass VPN blocking or get connected in tricky situations. Lightway and IKEv2 performed very well for us, though, and it’s likely they’ll provide all the connectivity you need.
A new Network Protection feature acts as a kill switch, blocking internet access if the VPN drops and can’t be restored. The iOS app now includes Threat Manager, too, optionally blocking trackers or communications with malicious sites.
ExpressVPN’s iOS app is quite similar to its Android offering
We’ve seen more feature-packed VPN apps, but on balance, ExpressVPN’s iOS offering is likable, easy to use, and delivers the functionality most folks are likely to need. If you’d like to check out the service for yourself, then good news. As with Android, there’s a risk-free 7-day trial available.
All apps give you easy access to useful privacy tools
The ExpressVPN apps are generally very polished and user-friendly, but they’re not the only way to work with the VPN. The company also offers Chrome VPN and Firefox extensions which allow you to control its Windows, Mac, or Linux apps directly from your browser.
Unsure as to why you might need the extension? Here’s a quick example: suppose you’re using Chrome on Windows 11, and realize you need to unblock the current website. So now you have to switch away from the browser, maybe launch the ExpressVPN app, choose whatever location you need, and go back to Chrome when you’re done.
Installing the browser extension gets you an ExpressVPN icon on your address bar. Clicking this gets you an almost identical interface to the desktop app, with the same main screen and location list. The «Recent Location» is the one you need, so you click it, the extension passes your command to the regular app, which connects to the location for you. This way, you’ve unblocked your site in a couple of taps, with no need to find the actual ExpressVPN app, or even leave your browser.
This isn’t always as handy as it sounds. If you’ve marked some of the most useful locations as Favorites, for instance, you might be expecting to just click one of those, but there’s just one problem: Favorites aren’t supported by the browser extension. You can find servers using the regular location picker, but if you’re doing extra work, you might as well just switch to the app as usual.
There’s also a little good news, though, in the shape of some bonus privacy tools. Both the Chrome and Firefox extension include settings to prevent HTML5 geolocation from revealing your real location while you’re connected to the VPN, as well as blocking WebRTC leaks at the browser level, and using HTTPS Everywhere to automatically force connections to the HTTPS versions of websites whenever they’re available.
The browser extension won’t be for everyone, especially as you must have the ExpressVPN app installed to use it. But the ability to control the app from your browser is a genuinely useful feature that you won’t find with the competition, and overall, it’s a very worthwhile addition to the package.
ExpressVPN offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox
ExpressVPN customer support
Much like any other networking technology, a VPN can misbehave in many ways, and figuring out exactly what’s going on can be a real challenge. That’s why even the most experienced user can benefit from quality VPN support.
ExpressVPN’s support site gets off to a good start with its list of troubleshooting guides. Whether you’re trying to diagnose slow speeds or dropped connections, understand error messages, change your password, or cancel your account, there’s plenty of useful information to hand.
Most articles are well-written and deliver in all the key areas. They don’t assume technical knowledge, instead taking the time to explain the background, offering multiple suggestions to resolve most problems, and linking to other relevant articles. For example, where other VPNs might have a single line suggesting you «try another server» to help diagnose speed problems, ExpressVPN also links to a detailed article explaining how to find the best location for you.
The setup articles are even more impressive. You don’t just get one generic installation tutorial per platform, for instance. There are guides covering how to install the app, how to set up manual connections, or use third-party apps such as OpenVPN GUI. And this isn’t just about Windows. You’ll find tutorials for Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chromebooks, Smart TVs, routers, and just about anything else you can think of.
An accurate search engine scans more than 250 of these articles to find whatever fits your requirements. It’s hugely refreshing to enter advanced keywords on a VPN support site and actually view a lot of useful content. OpenVPN has 39 hits, DNS has 60, there are 135 referring to Android, 13 for Ubuntu, 5 for DD-WRT, and the list goes on.
✨ If the website can’t help, ExpressVPN’s support team is available 24/7 via email and live chat.
ExpressVPN recommends live chat for the fastest results, but we sent a test email question anyway to check response times. Although the company suggests it can take up to 24 hours to reply, we got a friendly, detailed, and helpful message in 25 minutes. That’s much faster than we see with most providers, and the reply contained everything we needed to diagnose and resolve our issue.
Getting in touch with customer support is easy with ExpressVPN
Live chat also performed very well. We ran several checks on the service, there were always agents available, and typically we had a first genuine response (a real comment on our issues, not just an automated «I’m Steve and I’m here to help you» bot-type reply) within a minute.
The quality of chat support was well above average, too, with agents willing to spend a very long time patiently walking us through some well-chosen diagnostic steps.
If you’re a networking expert, it’s tempting to assume this doesn’t really matter. You know what you’re doing, so there’s no need to pay a premium for this kind of handholding, right?
Well, maybe, but keep in mind that there’s more to VPN support than explaining the low-level geeky technicalities. We’ve also asked about system status issues like temporary connection problems, or the best server to use for US Netflix or Amazon Prime. Unlike some providers, there’s no waiting for a day to get an email response. We’ve always had useful advice within minutes of asking, and that ability to get speedy help makes a huge difference to the overall service experience.
ExpressVPN exceeded our expectations in all departments
ExpressVPN review: Final verdict
This is a top-quality VPN that exceeds our expectations in everything from platform coverage and privacy, to ease of use, unblocking abilities, and excellent customer support. ExpressVPN is more expensive than most, but you can see why: this is a polished, powerful, and professional service.
In the future, we’d love to see ExpressVPN introduce more security tools, but all in all, it’s a five-star service that will surpass most users’ needs.
TechRadar rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
✔️ You want a VPN that you can set and forget: ExpressVPN’s auto-connect feature means that you connect once, and you’re always protected.
✔️ You’re wanting to access content everywhere: with over 160 locations around the world to choose from, you’ll be able to access local content no matter where you are.
✔️ You need a VPN you can trust with your life: between ExpressVPN’s regular audits and no-logs policy, you can be certain your information is safe from oppressive regimes.
Don’t subscribe if:
❌ You’re on a strict budget: in a cost of living crisis, ExpressVPN is an expensive choice If you can’t afford its prices, we’d recommend looking towards NordVPN or Surfshark.
❌ You need a full security suite: ExpressVPN prides itself on being the best VPN, and that’s where it focuses its attention. If you need an all-in-one solution with built-in antivirus capabilities, Express may not be the right pick for you.
❌ You want a Linux app: while ExpressVPN supports Linux installations, it only operates a command-line interface. If you need a graphical user interface (GUI), you should consider Surfshark or Private Internet Access.
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|Design||A clean and simple design that gives you everything you need, exactly when you need it||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Ease of use||Intuitive apps with auto-connect functionality make life easier||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Performance||Fast enough for anything you could throw at it, but slower than NordVPN and Surfshark||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Unblocking||Effortlessly gives you access to content around the world||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Security and privacy||Express offers military-grade protection for total peace of mind||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Customer support||Always available, friendly, and helpful||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Price||More expensive than leading competitors||⭐⭐⭐|
How we test VPNs
Beside using the top recommended VPNs for our daily activities, we also conduct a thorough analysis of the top 30 VPN services every 6 months to keep track on how the software compares with other providers as new developments come in.
We start by reviewing each provider’s website to double check if its claims and offering changed. We also look for any tracking cookies on the site and if/when they activate to see if the service tracks people using the site.
We then install and use each VPN service across a wide range of location servers and devices to see how they perform across the board. We go through all the settings to make sure all the features work as promised, while playing around with encryption protocols.
Our reviewers actively challenge the software, too, in the lookout for any flaws. For example, we purposely make the VPN connection drop so that we can test if the kill switch does its job of preventing data leaks correctly.
From speed connections and streaming unlocking results, to customer support and app usability, we regularly make sure to test every aspect of the software that could affect the experience of our readers.
As issues arise during our testing, we make sure to investigate these even by digging into the source code or the contents of its RAM if necessary. Head to our dedicated VPN testing methodology page if you want to know more.
Meet the experts behind our ExpressVPN review:
What is a VPN and how does it work?
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a secure way to connect to the internet. A VPN gives you software that you can install on your devices, providing a «tunnel» to send your data down in encrypted form, therefore making that data traffic more secure, and giving you a higher level of privacy online. However, it delivers more than just security and anonymity. Its IP address spoofing ability will also let you access geo-blocked content via servers in different countries, and more besides. See here for more details on how a VPN works.
Can you try ExpressVPN for free?
Sort of. The provider doesn’t offer a free trial as such, but there is a no-strings-attached money-back guarantee. This means that if you sign up for an ExpressVPN subscription plan, and don’t like the service, you can cancel at any point within the first 30 days and you’ll get your money back. But, remember, you’ll need to invest some money beforehand.
Does ExpressVPN slow down your internet connection?
Using any VPN, including ExpressVPN, may slow down your internet connection a little, as there is inevitably some overhead to encrypting your data and sending it through a VPN tunnel. Sometimes, the difference is so little that it’s likely you won’t even notice it with most everyday tasks you’re carrying out online.
Will ExpressVPN drain my laptop or phone battery?
Again, as any other application you use on your device, also ExpressPN uses some system resources to run on your hardware. Therefore, those resources will have an impact on the battery life of a portable device. Having said that, this shouldn’t affect your experience more than any other apps.
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