Launched in 2009, ExpressVPN has carved out an image combining quality and performance in the VPN field. Is this reputation justified? Is it complete and easy to use? What about the different platforms?
Third in a series of advanced tests of the best VPNs on the market, this article allows us to review the functionality, performance and the various tools offered by ExpressVPN.
Presentation of ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN allows to connect more 3000 VPN servers in 160 virtual locations in 94 countries on all continents of clothing, under all available platforms. It is possible to install the service on an unlimited number of devices and to connect up to 3 simultaneously (which is quite little compared to the competition).
The service is catching up thanks to its compatibility with Windows computers, macOS and Linux, Android and iOS tablets and smartphones as well as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and as extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari web browsers . It is also found on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Samsung Smart TV, but also on BlackBerry and routers.
Note also that the subscription to this VPN service guarantees unlimited bandwidth with no weekly or monthly quota.
Safety is essential
Preserving the privacy of the user seems paramount for service based on British Virgin Islands. Not subject to the American Patriot Act, the company offers solid guarantees by not storing the user's navigation data.
In addition, secure AES-256 encryption provides protection against potential attacks and the risk of data leakage.
Still with this in mind, ExpressVPN on Windows offers to block all Internet traffic in the event of unexpected VPN disconnection, a function generally called Kill switch.
Prices and subscriptions
Here is the price list ofExpressVPN when writing these lines in April 2019:
Based on an annual subscription excluding discounts, ExpressVPN is somewhat expensive and offers higher prices than CyberGhost VPN, NordVPN or HMA VPN (HideMyAss).
Even if no free trial version is available, the user can count on a satisfied or refunded guarantee during the first 30 days of use. The service also offers to retain its users with 30 days of free subscription if a loved one subscribes in turn with a referral code.
However, technical support in English via email or live chat. However, the interlocutor still told us that he could translate from French to English thanks to an automatic translator. The documentation is available in French.
Getting started with Windows
Installing the software is quick, but still takes up around 180 MB on the disk. ExpressVPN is nevertheless light in system resources, using an average of 60 MB of RAM when the service is activated.
When using it for the first time, all you have to do is enter your account credentials to access the software interface. The user has two choices, the option Auto Location, to connect to the server with the best performance, or the button symbolizing three dots to access all the servers. The locations are classified by country and in several tabs: Recommendations, Favorites or All. The same country can have servers in several cities. An option also allows you to connect to the most recent location in one click.
The central button allows you to connect / disconnect from the server, an option also available via the notification area next to the Windows clock.
Test its connection speed on all servers
In order to quickly know which is the fastest virtual location, ExpressVPN provides a call tool Speed ??test. The latter offers a speed index for each server which combines the estimated download speed as well as the latency time. The higher this index, the faster and closer the connection to the user's original connection.
Advanced users will also be able to choose their connection protocol according to the needs and available networks. If the nophyte user will choose the option Automatic, the more experienced can choose between the protocols UDP and TCP OpenVPN, L2TP – IPSec as well as PPTP. The latter two provide less high security and fewer VPN locations available.
ExpressVPN also offers the function Split Tunneling which allows you to find out which software uses the VPN connection or not. This option is useful for downloading incognito via software while keeping your identity online in your web browser.
Going through the menu Forward, it is possible to define a protection against leaks of the IPv6 address and DNS when the VPN is connected in order to best protect its personal data.
A well thought out interface
The grip ofExpressVPN under Windows is flexible, simple and fast. The interface is entirely in French and the same is true for the dedicated extensions under Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari.
However, the simplicity of use is slightly reduced by switching to macOS with only the English translation available. For its part, the Linux version is configured and used only in the form of a command line. Tutorials for Linux are available here.
Android app ExpressVPN is also easy to use, complete and available in French (except the names of countries and cities). We find there the same virtual locations as on PC and a software icon allows to indicate if the mobile is well protected via the VPN. The application offers a widget for the practical home screen to connect in the blink of an eye without having to open the interface.
As we already had test for NordVPN) or CyberGhost, it's time to analyze how the different servers are behavingExpressVPN. We will use a modest ADSL connection via an Orange LiveBox around Bordeaux.
To do so, we use the Speedtest online service to have the downlink speed (to download, watch videos …), the amount flow (to host online content), theIP adress as well as location.
We then carry out various tests using Vivaldi in private browsing:
- The play a YouTube video : How to edit an image with Daemon Tools Lite, on the Clubic channel with a duration of 50 seconds and in 720p;
- The download VLC Media Player on Clubic with a file of around 39.52 MB;
- The loading WinRAR software (2.99 MB) via the Wetransfer online service.
IP Clubic : Mrignac | Down flow : 8.89 Mbits | Amount debit : 0.85 Mbits | Ping : 20 | YouTube video : 18.52 seconds | Download VLC : 40.64 seconds | Upload Winrar : 36.91 seconds
London (United Kingdom)
IP VPN : London | Down flow : 7.48 Mbits | Amount debit : 0.72 Mbits | Ping : 34 | YouTube video : 21.11 seconds | Download VLC : 45.19 seconds | Upload Winrar : 38.38 seconds
IP VPN : Stockholm (Sude) | Down flow : 7.79 Mbits | Amount debit : 0.73 Mbits | Ping : 54 | YouTube video : 18.97 seconds | Download VLC : 50.05 seconds | Upload Winrar : 36.66 seconds
New York (United States)
IP VPN : New York (United States) | Down flow : 7.80 Mbits | Amount debit : 0.71 Mbits | Ping : 197 | YouTube video : 18.81 seconds | Download VLC : 2 minutes and 20 seconds | Upload Winrar : 41.96 seconds
IP VPN : Sydney (Australia) | Down flow : 7.76 Mbits | Amount debit : 0.42 Mbits | Ping : 408 | YouTube video : 22.49 seconds | Download VLC : 3 minutes and 27 seconds | Upload Winrar : 1 minute 46 seconds
In view of these results and taking into account the modest Internet connection that was used during the tests, it is clear that the servers, even those at our antipodes, respond well and display satisfactory performance.
In the end, what to think of ExpressVPN?
In a nutshell, ExpressVPN is a very good VPN service that has more than one asset in its pocket. An impressive number of locations around the world, great performances and above all, software found on a plethora of platforms and even in the form of extensions for web browsers.
It offers a clear, intuitive and French interface on most platforms and proves to be the door for experienced and experienced users. However, it should be noted that the prices are a little high compared to the competition and limit coverage of 3 devices simultaneously.
Despite everything ExpressVPN is a VPN service highly recommend whether for use on computer or in mobility on tablets and smartphones.
You can take advantage of a free ExpressVPN trial offer, by activating the 30-day money back guarantee. We invite you to consult the conditions to terminate ExpressVPN before committing to a long-term subscription.
+ Many platforms supported
+ Browser extensions
+ Impressive number of servers
+ Careful interfaces, in French and simple
– Only 3 simultaneous connections
– High prices
– Only in English under macOS
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