a strong outsider, but doubt remains

ExpressVPN has now been around for more than 10 years and it is now part of that caste of virtual private network services that have thrived in an extremely competitive market. Over time, its performance has improved significantly and its interface has been overhauled to better match current standards of simplification. Here is our take on VPN.

ExpressVPN Features

💰Current offer €8.51 /month
💸 Refund Yes, within 30 days
💻🌍 Number of servers/location Not mentioned
📱 Apps PC/ Mac/ Linux/ Android/ iOS/ Android tv/ Firetv/ Router
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Number of simultaneous connections 5
📺 Access US Netflix Yes
⏬⏫ P2P mode nope
🔐 Data retention Read the “Privacy Policy” section.

Who is ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN is one of the oldest services in our comparison. Its creation dates back to 2009 and was inspired by two American entrepreneurs. For more than 10 years, the VPN has enjoyed great popularity due to its performance and ease of use. It is also a point of honor to respect the privacy of its users through a strict confidentiality policy and to regularly consult audit firms specialized in IT security to test their ambitions.

His 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 branded server that had been used to delete information from Gmail and Facebook accounts. No information (logs, history, connections, etc.) could be recovered from the latter, a testament to the effectiveness of the VPN in terms of user data security. A free communication operation, but effective to say the least. To complete the picture, ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which means (in addition to a drastic tax cut) it is not required to store its users’ data as required by international treaties.

However, that reputation could be damaged by Kape Technologies’ acquisition of ExpressVPN in 2021. A controversial acquisition given that the company specializes in releasing adware, a sector that ExpressVPN has fought since its inception. . Today, ExpressVPN has 3 million users worldwide and has announced that it will remain a separate service from Kape’s business.

Interface / Getting Started

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

Interface expressvpn pc 2
Server list, options menu, all perfectly translated into French and easy to understand.

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

The application also comes with some very handy accessory options, like the ability to check your IP address to make sure you’re in a different country than your connection, or DNS or WebRTC leak tests. However, these are in the ” help and supportwhat is disturbing.

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

expressvpn mobile app 2021
ExpressVPN’s mobile app is also very simple and easy to use.

Finally, it’s a pity that certain advanced options aren’t present, such as the possibility of having a fixed IP address or using a dual VPN. However, we note the presence of more classic options for a VPN, such as split tunneling LAN device discovery or the equivalent of aEmergency switchto disconnect in the event of a fault.

servers and performance

As of 2020, ExpressVPN offers over 3,000 servers in 160 locations in 94 countries. From Bangladesh to Algeria to the United States, there is a lot to do. Some countries also benefit from multiple servers. This is the case in the United States, for example, where you can find a dozen different locations to connect to on both the East Coast and West Coast.

Unlike its competitors, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer ” specialized serversin a specific domain type. This is actually an ExpressVPN promise that whatever server you choose to connect to and use it for will meet their overall performance requirements. Whether for download (live or Peer to peer) to access Netflix’s American catalog or simply to protect its connection, we never encountered the slightest problem or DNS leak through the tested servers.

A promise kept, as ExpressVPN servers generally have very good speeds, often faster than many other VPNs. Here are some speed tests we ran on a PC with a Paris fiber optic connection and through the Nperf platform.

WITHOUT VPN 853 671 2
US SERVER (NEW YORK) 273 246 79
HONG KONG SERVER 53 fifteen 237

Tests were performed with automatic protocol assignment
Regardless of which server we connected to, speeds always stayed close to 200 Mb/s inDownload. Servers that are a little further away, on the other hand, have more problems, especially with a ping increase of over 200, usually even 300 ms.

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

Privacy Policy

Like most VPNs (at least paid ones), ExpressVPN claims absolute confidentiality when it comes to its users’ sensitive information. This goes through the logs during its usage, the history and even the timestamp of its users’ sessions. While it’s a habit with most VPNs, for once, the service’s communication has always been honest.

ExpressVPN has demonstrated its good faith in the past by having its privacy policy certified by independent auditing firm Price Waterhouse Coopers. Later, Cure53, another independent security auditing company, was responsible for validating the protocols used. ExpressVPN is also a member of the VPN Trust Initiative, an advocacy group for consumer online safety, and so far the service has not been affected by any data leaks or hacks.

ExpressVPN DNS Leak Test

Formerly independent ExpressVPN was just acquired by Kape Technology in 2021 for $936 million. Why is that a problem in this case? You should know that this adware company has been the subject of many controversies for years and its activities go against what the VPN has been promoting since its inception. It has already taken over many other companies specialized in cybersecurity, especially VPNs like Private Internet Access, Zenmate or even… CyberGhost VPN. With ExpressVPN claiming its independence from its new parent company, doubts about the future of the service’s privacy policies are already in order. Be continued.

Customer service

ExpressVPN is very good at this. Customer service is responsive and you can quickly access an online advisor via chat on the official website. In addition, it recently added an automatic translation module that allows 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.

ExpressVPN Pricing

ExpressVPN is undoubtedly one of the most expensive VPN providers out there. It offers three subscription plans, the most popular of which is an annual subscription, which currently costs €7.56 per month or €90.86 per year. That’s almost double the price of the annual NordVPN plan or the two-year CyberGhost plan.

As it stands, it’s hard to tell if it remains a good deal despite the quality of service. In any case, the first 30 days of dissatisfaction can result in a full refund.

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