As more and more countries and companies try to know everything about our online activities, whether for good purposes or not, online privacy has become a very important aspect of our life. One of the best ways to improve your online privacy, but also get access to any kind of content, from anywhere in the world, is to subscribe to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers nowadays, so we thought it would be quite a good idea to see what they're offering. We used their VPN services for quite a while now, and it's time for us to share everything we’ve learned about their services, in this review:
A Few Introductory Words About ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is a company based in the British Virgin Islands, a British overseas territory. That means that the company is governed by the laws applicable in British Virgin Islands which, in its turn, means they should be able to offer you a greater level of confidence in terms of privacy than the United States, for example.
ExpressVPN doesn't have different versions of its software and prefers offering the same services to all its customers. ExpressVPN promises high-speed unlimited bandwidth and 24/7 customer support. However, the price you'll have to pay for ExpressVPN depends on whether you'll pay on a monthly basis, make a semi-annual payment or an annual payment. Unfortunately, ExpressVPN is not available as a trial software but does promise to give your money back in 30 days, if you're not satisfied.
If you intend to buy a subscription and use ExpressVPN you should also know that, while you can install the software on as many devices as you like, you can only use it on one device at a time. To get it to work on two or more devices simultaneously, you'll have to purchase additional subscriptions. We strongly believe that ExpressVPN should add a subscription option that works for more devices at the same time, as many people use a desktop PC, a laptop, a smartphone and other devices simultaneously, on the same network. Having to buy a different subscription for every device in your house is not exactly something we'd want to do, as it can get quite expensive.
When we wrote this review, ExpressVPN offered servers in more than 100 cities, from 78 different countries. However, the only information we could find about the actual number of servers, was that they provide "hundreds". That may be true, but even after we contacted their support service, we still couldn't get a straight answer. However, if you'd like to see the complete list of locations where ExpressVPN has servers, follow this link: ExpressVPN around the world.
A nice aspect that we'd like to share is the fact that, when we contacted ExpressVPN's support team, we did it via the live chat option on their website and we were pleasantly surprised that we got someone to talk to in less than 10 seconds. That's a really good support service.
Also, because we're talking about a privacy-related service, it's important to mention that, when you purchase a subscription, ExpressVPN includes a Bitcoin option. If you choose to use it, all you'll have to provide in terms of personal information is an email address.
ExpressVPN Windows App - First Impressions
Downloading and installing the ExpressVPN are both easy and fast processes. You start by downloading a 7.86 MB executable file named expressvpn_188.8.131.524.exe.
The install wizard includes only a few steps and, after clicking Next a couple of times, ExpressVPN is installed on your computer.
It's worth mentioning that, in order to be able to install ExpressVPN, you'll need administrative privileges. Also, in order for it to function properly, ExpressVPN will need to install a set of virtual network drivers - TAP-Windows Provider V9 Network adapters. When asked about it, choose Yes to allow the installation, otherwise ExpressVPN won't be able to work.
After the whole setup process is done, ExpressVPN will ask for your activation code. You should have it in the email sent to you when you subscribed to their services.
And that's it! ExpressVPN is now installed on your computer and it's ready for you to use its services.
Our first impressions are quite good. We totally agree with the fact that you should not have to provide any personal information and we also liked the simple and straightforward download and install processes offered.
The interface offered by ExpressVPN is one of the simplest we've ever seen. Just take a look at this screenshot:
The main point of interest on ExpressVPN's interface is the large green Connect button sitting on its top center. Right under Connect, ExpressVPN also displays a recommended server for you to connect to. If you don't need or want to use a server from a specific location, you can simply press this button and ExpressVPN will establish a VPN connection to the automatically recommended server. We did this a couple of times and we always found the process to be fast.
Once the VPN connection was made, ExpressVPN's interface will change to show that you are connected and also the location of the server you've connected to. Instead of a Connect button, you will now have the option to Disconnect.
Right under the location of the VPN server you're connected to, you can also find two options for viewing or saving the VPN connection's logs.
Let's go back to the options offered by ExpressVPN before you connect to a VPN server: beneath the Connect button, you'll notice an option called Select Another Location. Clicking this option will trigger the launch of a separate window, called Location Picker. From here, you can manually select the country and city to which you'd like to create a VPN connection.