Finding a great VPN is an arduous task, especially given the competitiveness of the market. You'll find many people willing to share their experiences online of their favorite, or most hated, VPNs. Yet, the difficulty in understanding whether or not these reviews are free from bias.
However, Reddit is an area online where users of all walks of life gather to discuss things they're passionate about, more notable things that they feel require sharing. One outstanding feature of Reddit is the culture that surrounds it. While users can write anything they want, subreddit mods are quick to weed out false statements, obvious marketing tactics, and messages from brands that could skew the nature of the open discussion.
For VPN enthusiasts, you'll find no better place than Reddit to get your VPN questions answered. Subreddits such as r/VPN and r/VPNreviews are consistently active with multiple daily threads, giving new users a plethora of helpful information to make an informed decision.
ExpressVPN is one such topic that is widely spoken about on these subreddits. While we can learn about what features a VPN offers through its official website, we wouldn't be able to get a hands-on understanding without purchasing the product and becoming a user.
Reddit then offers you a means to tap into the collective experience of multiple users from different locations, giving you far more insight into the actual applicable use of the VPN and any problems you may have using it.
VPN's often get split recognition on Reddit, and ExpressVPN is no different. Many users praise ExpressVPN as their go-to VPN of choice for its features, speed, and other identifiers. On the other hand, many users have a poor experience using the VPN and promptly urge new users to turn to other VPNs instead.
To save you the time scouring through hundreds of Reddit posts to find an answer, we have compiled some of the key thoughts expressed on Reddit regarding ExpressVPN.
We cover every point you need to know about ExpressVPN below, including some screenshots from Reddit so you can see what other users are saying and what their experiences are with each area of the VPNs use.
Privacy and security are always at the top of the list when considering which VPN is right for you. Many factors go into excellent security, whether through the security features provided or the ability for the VPN to do what it promises to achieve.
One of ExpressVPNs leading features is their TrustedServer Technology. This technology allows them to heighten your security and privacy by routing their servers through RAM only, meaning your data is never saved to a hard drive. RAM storage is incapable of saving information locally, meaning that once restarted, wiping your data. Meaning you can be sure that your data won't stay visible for any attack made on the servers.
ExpressVPN reboots their servers every other week, sometimes sooner. Servers reinstall their software when rebooted, including the operating system, ensuring a complete reset. This is great for security at face value, but it's also an essential feature for server uniformity. Wiping data across the board enables ExpressVPN to keep all servers up to date with the same security, something that some other VPNs lack.
As one user eloquently puts it, ExpressVPN has the best level of encryption available. They also mention that you gain access to a Kill-Switch, which we talk about below, and that there were zero leaks on their test. Providing good back up for Express’ security options and availability.
When looking at the other security options present, we can see that ExpressVPN also offers Split Tunneling, an in-built kill switch, Private DNS servers, and multiple security protocols.
Here's how these impact your VPN experience -
Split Tunneling allows you to reroute some apps and traffic through the VPN while exempting others. You'll likely need this if you need a local connection to access some sites; banking would be one of those requirements. Torrents will find this helpful as you can route your downloads through the VPN while making full use of your local internet for your remaining use.
An in-built Kill Switch protects you should your VPN connection drop. You will be able to find this setting under 'network lock,' despite the name, it functions the same as a regular kill switch by preventing you from accessing a webpage should your connection to the VPN drop during a search.
Private DNS servers move you directly to the website rather than going through multiple steps. During these steps, your data can be leaked. We're happy to say that we found no issues or leaks during our leak tests, no doubt partly due to data moving through ExpressVPNs dedicated DNS servers.
DNS servers and leak prevention might be a passing benefit for some users, but this user made it apparent that ExpressVPN handles these well in comparison to other VPNs like NordVPN.
Security protocols tell a VPN how to go about encrypting your data. It's not uncommon for VPNs to offer a selection of protocols; however, ExpressVPN, has its own label, 'lightway', designed to drain less battery - great for phones. Lightway also improves connections for unreliable networks, which is an additional benefit.
On top of this, they offer the standard OpenVPN, which is the more secure protocol, IKEv2, and L2TP. We suggest not using the latter two as they are less secure than ExpressVPNs own protocol and the OpenVPN option.
Privacy and security go hand in hand; without privacy, we aren't truly secured. One contention point for privacy with VPNs is the logging policy. ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy, which means that they don't keep any data on you whatsoever.
Even more impressively, PwC audited ExpressVPNs servers in 2019 to confirm essential privacy protections and found no issues. Similarly, another third-party audit by Cure54 on their security procedures found no problems either.
To be clear, it is uncommon for VPNs to have third-party audits completed with full transparency. Doing so puts ExpressVPN on top of their game with other VPNs that haven't done this.
Using a VPN is an excellent option for keeping your online viewing secure and anonymous. However, its usability dwindles if you cannot connect to a reliable server. Checking server availability is necessary, especially if you live in a remote region away from more populated areas.
ExpressVPN has over 160 server locations in 94 different countries. The coverage provided by ExpressVPN is challenging to match, with them being one of the most, if not the most, covered VPN services available right now. If curious, you can check ExpressVPNs server locations list to see which are available and what security protocol they are compatible with, providing an extra layer of reassurance before investing in the VPN.
Knowing a server near you is available, the next important check is to ensure your connection is fast enough to not slow down your regular internet use. No matter how good a VPNs features are, if you aren’t able to surf uninterrupted, the service is unusable. We tested ExpressVPNs in a number of locations.
As a quick disclaimer, while we were able to test servers from our current location, speeds will largely be dependent on your current service provider, current speeds and the servers you are looking to access. As you’ll see below, speeds quickly begin to drop once you try to connect to servers outside of close proximity.
To start, we tested our connection in the UK, without being connected to a nearby network.
We’ll use this speed as our default to compare towards. From here we can see how the speeds differ when comparing to other servers in different locations.
To do a basic test on ExpressVPNs servers, we then connected to another server within the UK, and this was the result:
A marginal difference, one you wouldn’t notice.
From there, we tested Spain’s servers:
Strangely, we saw better results connecting to Barcelona’s servers than we did to a server in the same country of residence.
Then onto New York:
Once again, we saw very similar results with the other nearby servers. UK to US is the first big leap due to the nature of wanting to connect to other countries for their streaming services or differing content availability. While the download and upload speeds hover around the same level, ping tick rate is substantially higher.
Regular internet usage wouldn’t be noticeably different, however, connecting to these servers with the intent of gaming would be difficult.
Finally, we tried 3 locations that we wouldn’t necessarily connect to, but were far enough away that we wanted to test what the results were like should you need to do something similar. These included Turkey, Kenya and India:
Despite each result differing in results, none were particularly unexpected. In fact, All results saw little to no impact on upload speed, with India surprising us with the second best download speed outside of our default location.
It’s safe to say after checking only a few servers that ExpressVPN aren’t cutting corners with their servers, and are offering a great service with little drop-off should you need to connect to alternatives outside of your usual region.
Once more, checking the server availability on their website will help determine which country closest to you has available servers. You can use this information to gauge whether or not you’re likely to see a big drop-off in speeds.
Similarly, ping rate is crucial to look at should you want to game while your VPN is active. A higher ping will mean more in-game lag and potential packet loss while playing, causing severe rubber banding in some games.
Finally, we should note that we didn’t experience server drop-offs at any point, with our connection remaining consistent during connection.
One user voices their concerns about having their speeds throttled and are experiencing poor speeds, while we wouldn’t be able to know whether this holds true, we find it interesting how their speeds can quickly drop off.
We can see through this user's thoughts however that despite the speed drop in relation to their internet service provider, they are happy with the speeds when connected through ExpressVPN. This highlights that speeds, for the most part, are subjective as to whether they are fast enough for what you need.
Customer service is an area of every service that we hope we don't need to use but hope that it is swift and positive if we do. Yet, most customer service isn't consistently great or bad, at least not for VPNs. We have reviewed many VPNs in the past, and customer service is an area where some users have a great, welcoming experience while others have nightmare stories about how they were left on hold for what feels like a century.
One user quickly voiced their opinion and experience with customer support and gave ExpressVPN a 10/10 for quick responses and a great service.
Whereas this user experiences the issues they’ve had with ExpressVPNs live chat function not actually being live chat. Which left them confused and disappointed in the service provided.
From the various passing Reddit comments on VPN threads, customer service quality is a mixed bag, being highly subjective to the individual.
Users can rejoice as ExpressVPN offers a generous 30-day no-questions-asked money-back guarantee. While this offer is helpful for users, it still requires you to purchase the VPN and remember to request a refund should you want your money back.
You may also get hold of a 30-day free trial, either via an offering from ExpressVPN or through a referral code by a friend. While a free trial is always welcome, it is not a traditional offering. ExpressVPN offers free 30 days on top of their existing packages, meaning you are still required to create an account and purchase one of their packages.
The 30 days free is then added onto the end of the package you purchase, essentially giving you an extra 30 days on top of what you buy. Keep this in mind, if you wish to test the VPN and refund should it not fit your needs, leveraging the money back guarantee on offer is the best way to do that.
It's clear that ExpressVPN is one of the VPN Trailblazers, paving the way in both functionality and speeds. Reddit speaks highly of the VPN and what it offers, with negative feedback often associated with individual problems or poor encounters with customer service.
Most positive remarks are directed towards the security and tight privacy policies, including comments about reliable and fast speeds.
Some users even took the time to compare ExpressVPN to other VPNs they've purchased to see which is best. Here's an example of one user recommending ExpressVPN over NordVPN, the closest rival.
With the functionality available, you can't go wrong selecting ExpressVPN as your go-to VPN choice. If you're on the fence, rest assured that you can make liberal use of their 30-day money-back guarantee to try out the VPN, test the speeds yourself and see whether it covers every criteria you need it for.
As an added note, Express VPN can be used with five devices simultaneously, which should provide the freedom to use it on your main computer, a laptop, and mobile device, leaving room for any additional devices you may have. These limitations can be frustrating if you're looking to keep a family protected. It could be a deal-breaker should your family have multiple devices too.
Download ExpressVPN now and start benefitting from fast, reliable VPN speeds, complete security protection and all the features you need to stay anonymous online. If, however, ExpressVPN sounds like it won't be able to cover what you need it for, you can check out our Top VPNs of 2021 list and find a VPN that suits your exact requirements.