Our 2017 Review
Last Updated: 22nd April 2017
ExpressVPN is the market leading VPN provider and the highest rated VPN provider we’ve reviewed, scoring 96 out of a possible 100. And the top VPN Review recommendation.
Pros: There’s a lot to like about ExpressVPN. They:
- Work on all operating systems
- Have fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth across their 97 servers
- Are easy to setup and use and are incredibly secure (256bit encryption)
- Have excellent customer support backed by a 30 day money back guarantee
- Are BVI based and log bandwidth used but not the usage
Cons: There’s not much to not like about ExpressVPN. They:
- Only have live chat and email support. There’s no phone support available.
Overall Score: 96/100 (Our highest rated VPN)
If you want a fast, safe, secure, and well supported VPN, with a 30 day money back guarantee, then Express VPN is for you.
To get the highest rated VPN we’ve reviewed, sign up here: ExpressVPN
With over 120 different VPN providers on the market, and most of them claiming the be the fastest / safest / best, it’s hard to know how to choose and who to avoid.
In our continuing effort to pull back the promising and pristine covers and expose the dirty truth behind their lofty claims, we’re giving you the down and dirty on Express VPN today.
Will It work on your operating system?
The first step in working out which VPN is right for you is ruling out any VPN that doesn’t work on your operating system.
After all, the last thing you want to do is sign up to the fastest VPN only to find out that it doesn’t run on your iPhone (Yes, they do exist).
The good news is that ExpressVPN works on all operating systems.
It works on OS (Mac), Windows (PC), iOS (iPhone), Android (just about every other smart phone), and even Linux! (Shoutout to all you hardcore Linux fans)
This means it doesn’t matter if you switch between your PC at home and iPhone on the go, you can still use Express VPN.
Rating: 5/5 – ExpressVPN works on all operating systems
What are the features ?
There’s no point in signing up for a VPN because it’ll work on your Android phone and Mac PC if it doesn’t have the features you want.
So can ExpressVPN give you what you need to get full value out of your VPN? It depends if you want…
Feature #1: Multiple Connections
ExpressVPN will let you connect one mobile and one desktop device at the same time from each subscription.
That means you can stream House Of Cards on your PC whilst your partner securely accesses your bank accounts.
Rating: 4/5 – Connect from your desktop and mobile at the same time
Feature #2: Money Back Guarantee
ExpressVPN’s service is backed by their 30 day money back guarantee. This means that for some bizarre reason, you’re not 100% satisfied and want a refund, you have 30 days to make up your mind.
Given the extensive research we’ve done for this review and the results we’ve found, I can’t see any reason why you would need to get a refund but it’s there in case you want it.
Rating: 5/5 – 30 day money back guarantee
Feature #3: Number of Servers
In terms of numbers of servers, ExpressVPN falls into the category of ‘more servers in more countries than you could ever need’ with 97 servers in 78 countries.
Is that the most of all VPN providers? No, it’s not. There are some VPN providers that more but do you really need more than 78 countries?
Is there a real reason you need to browse the search engine results of Turkmenistan? No, I didn’t think so.
Which is why ExpressVPN has ‘more than you’ll ever use.
Rating: 4.5/5 – More servers in more cities than you can ever use
Feature #4: Referral Program
You know what’s better than using the best VPN on the market? Getting it for free when you refer your friend to it.
ExpressVPN has a market leading 1 month bonus when any friends you refer signup to ExpressVPN.
Rating: 5/5 – 1 month free access for every referral
Feature #5: Data Logging
What’s the point of increasing your internet security through using a VPN if your data is then just turned over to government authorities when they submit a simple request form.
Yes, this is possible, but only if the VPN company keeps logs of your browsing data.
Luckily for you, ExpressVPN doesn’t log your data browsing data so your internet browsing habits will never end up in the hands of people you don’t want to see it.
As they’re US based, the are required by law to log your IP address and your bandwidth use but they don’t record any websites you visit.
Rating: 5/5 – No internet browsing data stored
Feature #6: Bandwidth
The only thing more frustrating than not getting access to your favourite Netflix shows whilst overseas is getting half way through the new season of Orange is the New Black only to have your VPN bandwidth run out.
Luckily for you, ExpressVPN has unlimited bandwidth meaning you can stream as many movies and browse as much as you want without ever having to worry that you’re going to run out or incur overage fees.
Rating: 5/5 – Unlimited Bandwidth
How secure is it?
ExpressVPN uses the highest level of security in the VPN industry – 256bit encryption – which means your information is safe.
You can safely access your bank details, private files, and any other sensitive information without worrying whether your data is compromised.
For the geeks out there: ExpressVPN runs on the standard OpenVPN protocol though you can switch to L2TP or PTPP protocol if you need to stream things at ultra high speeds.
Rating: 5/5 – 256bit encryption ensures your data is always safe
What’s the setup process like?
Getting started is simple. The website is clear, straight forward, and simple to navigate. Just click on the big ‘Get Express VPN’ button on their home page.
Their signup form is also straight forward. It’s three simple sections:
- Choose your plan
- Enter your email address
There’s no extended questionnaire that asks you pointless questions that aren’t necessary. It’s just three sections and you’re one.
Once you’re signed up, you receive an email with your download links and activation codes. From there, it’s just a matter of downloading the software, imputing the activation code, and you’re a way.
The whole process takes less than 5 minutes.
Rating 5/5: The entire setup process takes less than 5 minutes
How easy is it to use?
Their system is incredibly easy to use. All you do is open the program, click on the big, obvious, connect button, and the system does the rest.
If you want to choose a specific server location, you can by simply following the very obvious prompts, but you don’t need to.
If you want to choose a different connection protocol, you can do so by navigating through the simple and straight forward preferences menu, but you don’t need to.
And once the connection is established, it just sits in the background doing it’s thing whilst you browse with your high speeds and unlimited bandwidth.
Rating: 5/5 – So easy that your blind, deaf, grandmother could use it
What if you run into problems?
Now we get to the real test of any company – the support.
Most well run companies can appear competent when things are running smoothly, but it’s only once you start to poke and prod beneath the colourful and well laid-out exterior that you really get a sense of how good something really is.
So that’s what we did. But before we get into the test, here are two important factors to consider:
VPN’s are great for streaming content that’s normally restricted to a particular country when you’re not in that country (eg. Netflix in the US).
But, if your VPN provider only has support in US business hours and you’ve got a problem in Australia at 10pm (which is the middle of the night in the US), what use if your VPN?
Because of this, 24/7 support is critical when choosing any VPN provider.
Luckily for you, Express VPN has 24/7 support so you can get the help you need, when you need it, regardless of the weird time zone you’re stuck in.
Rating 5/5 – 24/7 support FTW!
What’s the use of 24/7 support if the only way to access that support is via carrier pigeon or telegram? Support is only as useful as you’re able to make use of it.
ExpressVPN offers two 24/7 support channels – Realtime chat and email support.
They don’t have phone support which some people prefer, but the speed of the text chat more than makes up for the lack of phone support. And really, who wants to be paying international call rates to get help logging in to your VPN?
Rating 4/5 – Realtime chat and email support
Customer Support Test
The real test of any support system isn’t in the claims it makes about availability or the different channels that are available. It’s in how well the support system works.
How long do they take to respond?
How well do they answer your questions?
How polite are they?
To make sure this review is comprehensive and complete, we’ve conducted a test of the two support channels available
Email Support Test #1 – Sunday 3:38am
The first support test email we sent was at 3:38am CST on a Sunday. We chose this time because so many people use VPN’s whilst travelling outside the US and we wanted to make sure that support would be available for their crazy time zones.
We received and automatic confirmation that the support ticket had been received at 3:39am and an actual response from their tech support at 3:51am.
The response was polite, courteous, apologised for the problem, and asked us for more information so they could help us resolve the problem asap.
Result: 13 minute response time
Rating: 5/5 Anything less than an hour is incredible
Email Support Test #2 – Tuesday 11:26am
For the next test, we wanted to see how well they could answer our support ticket during what we thought would be peak hour, so we fired the a support request email at 11:26am on a Tuesday.
The automated confirmation that they’d received the email came through at 11:26am and the support team replied at 11:43am.
Once again, the email was courteous, polite, and apologetic and asked for more information to get the issue resolved.
Result: 17 minute response time
Rating: 5/5 Anything less than an hour is incredible
Live Chat Support Test #1 – 2:14am Saturday
Ok, so their email support is good – but 13 minutes is still 13 minutes of waiting – so we decided to test their live chat service.
We logged onto their support panel at 2:14am on a Saturday one night after a few choice beverages and some fun at the Secure Thoughts offices just to see how 24/7 their support really was.
The live chat connection was established at 2:14am and the ‘Just a moment…’ notification appeared straight away. A polite young man named Jayson offered us assistance in 26 seconds and we were up and running.
As there wasn’t a real issue to work through, we’re not able to say how good he was at providing his support but he seemed nice J
Results: 26 second response time
Rating: 5/5 Anything less than an 5 minutes is incredible
Live Chat Support Test #2 – 6:44pm Thursday
The final support test we ran was another peak hour test. We wanted to see just how quickly they could respond once all the office workers got home and started trying to jump online.
So, we jumped on their support page at 6:44pm, opened up their live chat, and started banging away.
Whilst this one took CONSIDERABLY longer than the first… but when ‘considerably longer’ is 10 seconds longer, I’m happy 🙂
Result: 36 second response time
Rating: 5/5 Anything less than an 5 minutes is incredible
Overall, I would say that ExpressVPN’s support it WELL above average. 13 and 17 minute response times to email support and 36 seconds as the longest wait for live chat support are better than we’ve found on any other VPN provider.
Rating 20/20: A maximum of 17 minutes wait time on 4 support tickets
How fast is it?
What’s the point in getting the VPN with the most features, that’s the most secure, and has the most servers, if it’s so slow you may as well be using dial-up internet?
The modern internet is built around speed and without it, browsing and streaming is not fun at all.
So how fast is ExpressVPN? The answer is: This fast.
Without Express VPN
With Express VPN
The difference in Ping time is basically negligible, the download speed is slightly lower, as is the upload speed.
These small differences are the best I’ve found in the industry so Express VPN gets a thumbs up here.
Rating: 4.5/5 – Only a slight reduction in connection speed
How much does it cost?
Now, the important part – cost.
How much is it to get more servers than you’ll ever need, 256bit encryption, the fastest connection in the industry, and top level, 24/7 support?
Well, to be honest, it’s a little more than most VPN providers.
The great thing about VPN’s though is that they’re so cheap that even a ‘little more than most VPN providers’ is still only as much as a cup of coffee every few weeks.
Is that more than some other providers? Yes.
Is it worth it for the best security, fastest speeds, and best support available? I have no doubt is saying ‘Yes’.
Result: 4/5 – Well worth the extra few dollars
The final element for you to consider is ‘The X Factor’.
Sometimes, companies produce a piece of software that in theory, ticks all the boxes – in that it does what it’s supposed to do and is supported by a solid system – but there’s something missing.
Maybe it’s that the software just isn’t as intuitive as it should be. Maybe it’s that the team supporting it was just a little bit short.
Because of that, we’re including ‘The X Factor’ in this review.
And, I’m happy to say that ExpressVPN has that X Factor. It just seems to do everything right. The system logs in quickly, it’s designed intuitively, it works well, and the team supporting it are fast, polite, and efficient.
Rating 10/10 – Fast, intuitive, and well supported
How Does It compare to the competition?
|Ease of Use||5/5||5/5||5/5||5/5||5/5|
|Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
|Website||View Website||View Website||View Website||View Website||View Website|
There’s a lot to take in here so let me break it down for you.
What Was Great:
There’s a lot to list here:
- The fact that it works on all operating systems
- 30 day money back guarantee
- The ability to connect to multiple devices at once
- 97 servers in 78 countries
- A referral program
- No data logging
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Easy to use
- 256bit Encryption
- Amazing customer support
- Excellent speed
That’s a big list but there’s a reason why after testing 30 different VPN providers, ExpressVPN is the one I use.
What Could Be Better:
This is a pretty short list. The only two things that could be improved is that they’re located in the US and must store your IP address and bandwidth used (but not the websites you visited or the data you downloaded) and that they don’t have phone support.
But when the data they store doesn’t indicate which sites you’ve visited and what you’ve downloaded and the live chat responds in less than 40 seconds, why would you worry?
Overall Score: 96/100
ExpressVPN is the industry leader in features, support, simplicity, and value for money.
If you think that having a problem free browsing experiences whilst being 100% safe and secure is worth a few dollars a month, then I have no doubt in saying that ExpressVPN is for you.
To get the highest rated VPN we’ve reviewed, sign up here: Express VPN