ExpressVPN has been around for more than 10 years now and it is now part of this caste of virtual private network services that have become comfortable in a market that has become ultra-competitive. Over time, its performance has greatly improved and its interface has been revamped to better suit current simplification standards. Here is our opinion on VPN.
|💰Current offer||8.51€ /month|
|💸 Refund||Yes, within 30 days|
|💻🌍 Number of servers/ locality||Not mentioned|
|📱Apps||PC/ Mac/ Linux/ Android/ iOS/ Android tv/ Firetv/ Routers|
|👨👩👧👦 Number of simultaneous connections||5|
|📺 Access to US Netflix||Yes|
|⏬⏫ P2P mode||Nope|
Who is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is one of the oldest services in our comparator. Its creation dates back to 2009 under the impetus of two American entrepreneurs. For more than 10 years, the VPN has enjoyed great success due to its performance and ease of use. It also makes it a point of honor to respect the privacy of its users via a strict confidentiality policy and by regularly calling on audit firms specializing in IT security to test its ambitions.
However, this reputation risks being damaged by the acquisition of ExpressVPN by Kape Technologies in 2021. An acquisition that is controversial, because the company is a specialist in publishing adware, a sector that ExpressVPN has been fighting since its inception. . Today, ExpressVPN boasts 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 application has obviously been thought out to be as simple and ergonomic as possible. No unsightly windows or filling with options to check, it goes straight to the point with a welcome window that allows you to connect to a remote server in one click.
Everything is translated into impeccable French, which is a significant contribution, even today, compared to many competitors. We would still have liked the addition of a dark mode or even a card for the choice of the server. This aesthetic choice brings the same interface on PC and on mobile, thus creating an overall consistency in the VPN application ecosystem when you are used to using your VPN on several devices at the same time.
The application also includes some very practical accessory options, such as the possibility of checking your IP address to ensure that you are located in a country different from your connection, or DNS or WebRTC leak tests. However, these are accessible in the ” help and supportwhich is a bit disturbing.
The application also offers the direct installation of Chrome and Firefox extensions, the latter allowing you to secure your browser session without compromising the overall connection of your computer. The only mobile exclusive, the password generator is very practical, although we would have liked something more ambitious, such as a Dashlane or 1password type aggregator.
Finally, it’s a pity that certain advanced options, such as the possibility of having a fixed IP address or using a double VPN, do not exist. We note all the same the presence of more classic options for a VPN, such as the split-tunneling LAN device discovery, or the equivalent of akill switchto disconnect the connection in the event of a malfunction.
Servers and performance
As of 2020, ExpressVPN offers over 3,000 servers in 160 locations across 94 countries. From Bangladesh to the United States via Algeria, there is plenty to do. Some countries also benefit from several servers. This is the case of the United States, for example, where you can find a dozen different locations allowing you to connect on the east coast as well as the west coast.
Unlike its competitors, ExpressVPN does not offer “ specialized serversin a certain type of domain. This is actually an ExpressVPN promise that whatever server you connect to and whatever you want to use it for, it meets the performance requirements overall. Whether for downloading (live or peer to peer), to access Netflix’s American catalog or simply protect its connection, we never encountered the slightest problem or DNS leak via the set of servers tested.
A promise therefore kept since, in general, the ExpressVPN servers display very good speeds, often higher than what we find with many other VPNs. Here are some speed tests that we carried out on a PC with a Parisian wired fiber connection and via the Nperf platform.
|DOWNLOAD (Mb/S)||UPLOAD (Mb/S)||ping|
|FRENCH SERVER (AUTO)||828||590||4|
|FRENCH SERVER (STRASBOURG)||584||244||17|
|US SERVER (NEW YORK)||273||246||79|
|US SERVER (SAN FRANCISCO)||134||51||151|
|JAPANESE SERVER (TOKYO)||90||69||367|
|HONG KONG SERVER||53||15||237|
|SOUTH AFRICAN SERVER||19||0.60||174|
Tests were performed with automatic protocol assignment
Regardless of the server to which we connected, the speeds always remained close to 200 Mb/s indownload. Servers a little further away, on the other hand, have more difficulty with in particular a rise in ping exceeding 200, or even 300 ms in the majority of cases.
These good performances are undoubtedly enhanced by the contribution of the Lightway protocol. It is an in-house network protocol developed by ExpressVPN based on performance, reliability and flexibility. A way for the service to set aside OpenVPN, the universal protocol used by many VPNs, but whose age and complexity no longer meet current standards.
Like most VPNs (at least paid), ExpressVPN claims complete confidentiality regarding the sensitive information of its users. This goes through the logs during its use, the history and even the timestamp of the sessions of its users. For once, even if it is a habit with most VPNs, the service’s communication has always been honest about it.
This is something ExpressVPN is very good at. Its customer service is responsive and you can quickly access an online advisor via the chat on the official website. In addition, it has recently had an automatic translation module allowing 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 is hands down one of the most expensive VPN providers out there. It offers three subscription plans, the most popular of which is a one-year subscription currently at 7.56 euros per month, or 90.86 euros per year. This is almost twice as expensive as the annual subscription at NordVPN or the two-year subscription at CyberGhost.
As it stands, it is difficult to determine if it remains a good deal despite the quality of the service. In any case, the first 30 days can give rise to a total refund in the event of non-satisfaction.