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When you connect to an unsecured Wi-Fi network at the local coffee shop, you’re not safe. An unscrupulous person could snoop on your web traffic, or perhaps the free Wi-Fi is phony and designed expressly to steal information from anyone who connects to it. Even out on the web, governments and advertisers are keen to get your data. When you’re connected to one of these services, your data travels through an encrypted tunnel to a server operated by the VPN company.
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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 website does an excellent job of spelling out these details in a clear and honest way. There’s no attempt to fool you, no headline prices which only apply if you sign up for years and years, no marketing trickery at all.
Each plan clearly displays the amount you’ll pay per month, the billing frequency and the total amount you’ll pay, exactly what you need to know. If you’re not quite convinced, ExpressVPN’s day money-back guarantee allows you to safely check out the service for yourself, and the mobile apps also come with 7-day trials. ExpressVPN If you decide you want to cancel, it’s also very straightforward. You don’t have to jump through hoops, make a phone call, fill in forms, justify why you want to leave, and there are no small-print clauses to catch you out 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. ExpressVPN is refreshingly different, because the company doesn’t just tell you how great it is, it also has an impressively lengthy list of features to help justify every word. Take encryption, for instance.
Support for Perfect Forward Secrecy adds another layer of protection by automatically assigning you a new secret key every time you connect, and then replacing it every sixty minutes while the session remains open. Even if an attacker has somehow managed to compromise your system, the very most they’ll get is 60 minutes of data. If you’re not an encryption geek, this essentially just means ExpressVPN’s encryption scheme is as good as you’ll get, anywhere.
But if you’re familiar with the low-level technical details, you’ll appreciate the in-depth explanations the company provides on its website. DNS support is another highlight.
ExpressVPN doesn’t just offer DNS leak protection, to prevent data about your online activities leaking out of the tunnel, but it also runs its own private, zero-knowledge, bit encrypted DNS on each of its own servers. Apart from the risk of logging at the DNS server, using unencrypted DNS gives attackers the chance to intercept your requests, filter them, block them and more, all issues which largely disappear using the ExpressVPN scheme.
ExpressVPN does things a little differently. The front page of the website doesn’t have any ‘zero log’ boasting, for instance, and you have to head off to the Features page to get a first look at the company’s position: Just clicking a link next to the ‘no log’ statement takes you to a clearly-written ‘ Policy towards logs ‘ page which explains what ExpressVPN collects, what it doesn’t, why the service works this way, and what it means for users.
The page states that the service doesn’t keep any logs of your IP address when you connect to ExpressVPN, the time you’ve logged in, the VPN IP address you’re assigned, any information on the websites or pages you’re visiting including via DNS requests or any of your traffic.
There is still some logging. The company records each date when you connected to the service, and your choice of server. But as it doesn’t store the connection time, or the IP address you were allocated, there’s no way anyone can use this data to definitively link an internet action back to a specific ExpressVPN account. The company also records the version number of any clients you’ve installed, along with the total amount of data you’ve transferred each day.
This data also doesn’t constitute any kind of privacy risk, and we’ve no doubt that other VPNs do similar things: We thought we had spotted a minor snag in ExpressVPN’s analytics data, where its VPN clients can collect speed test information, connection failures, crash reports and more. But, no– once again, ExpressVPN appears to outperform the competition.
The company explains that this data is anonymized, so there’s no way to tell which speed test results came from which client.
What’s more, you can tell the client not to send telemetry during the installation process, or disable it at any time with a click. To make this happen, a complainant would have to raise the 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 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. But it’s also the case that a lot of what ExpressVPN is saying must still be taken on trust.
The process began in the UK, where we logged into more than 50 of ExpressVPN’s OpenVPN-enabled servers, recorded the initial connection times and ran some ping tests to check for latency issues. These won’t necessarily affect download speeds, but they’re still a crucial part of the service experience if half the servers are always down, or connection times and latencies vary hugely, that’s going to be bad news.
Our first test saw no connection failures at all, and every server connected within a speedy two to five seconds, a very good start. These tests were taken over a short period of time and won’t necessarily reflect the long-term experience of using ExpressVPN, but from what we saw, the service has no significant connection issues at all.
Latency was reasonable, and performed more or less as we expected. Our local UK connections were fastest, near European servers were almost as speedy, and US servers also managed consistently good performance. The most distant servers Australia, New Zealand and locations which don’t have the best infrastructure some areas of South America saw latency increase and become much more variable, but that was no surprise, and it was never enough of an issue to prevent us browsing comfortably.
Checking download speeds requires a little more work, but we got started by using Netflix’ fast. All checks were run on a Windows 10 system accessing a 75Mbps fiber broadband line. Our local UK performance was generally excellent, with download speeds typically ranging from Mbps.
European speeds matched the UK in the closest and best-connected locations, with Amsterdam averaging 65Mbps. These remained high, even as we moved to more distant servers, with for instance Greece still averaging an excellent 50Mbps. Despite the longer distances, US speeds were very similar to Europe, ranging from 50Mbps on the west coast to around 65Mbps in the east. That’s both faster and more consistent than we’ll typically see elsewhere, even with the top competition.
Even the tricky long-distance tests couldn’t entirely break the positive mood. A few were disappointing – India and Vietnam managed 5Mbps, at best – but that can happen in any short-term tests, and overall ExpressVPN performed very well in our UK tests. For our second set of tests, we ran manual speed checks from a dedicated server in the US.
This allowed us to see how performance might change when you’re connecting from the US, while the server’s excellent 1Gbps connection meant we could accurately assess even the fastest VPN. But keep in mind that in real world use, you’ll almost never have data center levels of connectivity, and you’re unlikely to achieve the top speeds we saw. US performance was excellent, with our nearest Dallas server averaging a speedy 90Mbps. Performance tailed off in a few locations Greece typically hit Mbps but was always very good.
Our long-distance results were mostly impressive, too, with Australia averaging 80Mbps, Japan reaching 70Mbps, Singapore hitting 50Mbps. The only significant issue we had was with Vietnam actually a virtual server located in Singapore, but returning Vietnamese IP addresses , which wouldn’t ever connect. That could have been a temporary issue which appeared while we were testing, though, and overall ExpressVPN performed very well.
If your favorite streaming site only allows US visitors to view some content, for instance, log in to a US VPN server and you might bypass the block.
Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. Providers such as Netflix know exactly what users are doing to try and get around their rules, and they’re constantly updating their systems to detect and block individual VPNs. Individual websites might also be blocked by anyone from a WiFi hotspot administrator who doesn’t want users accessing YouTube, to a nation state trying to control the internet use of its entire population.
Most VPNs don’t make that kind of commitment, presumably because they don’t want users to complain if they can’t deliver, so it’s good to see ExpressVPN spell out exactly what it can do. To get a feel for ExpressVPN’s unblocking abilities, we ran a couple of tests. Netflix results were good, with 7 out of 10 locations unblocking the service. Even if you’re unlucky enough to choose all the blocked locations, first, calling up the support team on live chat will generally get you an accurate server recommendation within a couple of minutes.
Netflix is improving its VPN detection all the time, and this could easily change, but ExpressVPN’s commitment to unblock Netflix suggests the company will fight back to keep the service available. The good news continued with BBC iPlayer. We dug around the FAQ and eventually discovered the truth. The service not only supports torrents, it also avoids the common hassles and annoyances you’ll often get with other services.
Torrent users aren’t forced onto a small number of overloaded servers, for instance. You can choose from the full set of ExpressVPN locations. There are no bandwidth or transfer-related catches, either. The company has no data cap, and says it will never throttle your connection. Are these promises genuine, or just marketing spin? Browse the small print for most VPNs and you’ll find a ‘fair usage’ clause which essentially says you’re not allowed to use the service ‘too much.
There’s an Acceptable Use Policy, but that’s more about legal issues including a warning that you mustn’t download copyrighted material than providing sneaky loopholes to help ban heavy downloaders.
Factor in other key features of the service – no activity logs, lots of locations, apps for everything, the day money-back guarantee – and ExpressVPN looks like a great choice of VPN for all your torrenting needs. Log in to your account dashboard, for instance, and you don’t have to hunt for a Download link. The website detects the type of device you’re using, displays a Download button for that client, 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 a huge list of options, including Windows, iOS, Kindle Fire, Mac, Android, Linux and more. Tapping any of these displays more download links and instructions. Even these are far more helpful than you would expect.
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 user name and password. Instead, all you have to do is copy the unique activation code displayed on your download page, and paste it into the client when you’re asked.
The software then automatically sets up your login credentials, and you won’t have to think about user names and passwords, at all. Your other option is to set up a third-party OpenVPN client. ExpressVPN makes this much easier by providing sensibly-named. There are a host of ways to choose the best server. A Smart Location feature picks your closest server.
You can double-click a country to access its best location, or browse every location within a country and choose one manually. A Search box allows you to find locations by keyword. You can add individual locations to a Favorites list. The latest edition of the client even displays recent locations on the main client window, for faster reconnections.
This is just about as much location-picking functionality as we’ve seen in any VPN software.
Updated: Now with five simultaneous connections
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 website does an excellent job of spelling out these details in a clear and honest way. There’s no attempt to fool you, no headline prices which only apply if you sign up for years and years, no marketing trickery at all. Each plan clearly displays the amount you’ll pay per month, the billing frequency and the total amount you’ll pay, exactly what you need to know.
VIDEO: Download VPN Apps – Software for Windows, Mac, iPhone
ExpressVPN is a virtual private network engineered to protect your privacy and security. Go online safely and anonymously in just a few taps. 7-day free trial. The company features native apps for Windows (RT, XP, Vista, 7/8/10), Android ( Alternatively, you can simply set up a VPN router using the ExpressVPN app and or let the software pick the optimal option for greater download speeds . ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPNs around: it’s secure, versatile, and After signing in, you will be able to download the ExpressVPN software for.