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ExpressVPN Review [2022]: Is It Good + Worth the Price?

Tim Mocan
Tim Mocan
Published on: May 16, 2022

ExpressVPN Review: Quick Expert Summary

ExpressVPN is one of the safest, fastest, and most intuitive VPNs on the market, and it comes with more features than most competitors. But it’s also somewhat pricier than other top brands with similar functionality. So, is ExpressVPN really worth the money in 2022? I think it is — and here’s why.

ExpressVPN has 3,000+ servers located in 94 countries, provides excellent speeds, and has top-notch security features. ExpressVPN lets you connect up to 5 devices at the same time, including Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux devices, smart TVs, gaming consoles, smart home devices, and routers.

In my tests, ExpressVPN worked with all popular streaming sites, including Netflix, and there were no interruptions, lag, or buffering as I streamed content. ExpressVPN also supports torrenting on all of its servers, and it can help you get around firewalls in countries with internet censorship, like China or Iran.

On top of standard security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and secure protocols, ExpressVPN also offers:

  • No-logs policy — ExpressVPN says it keeps no logs of user data (which has been independently audited and confirmed).
  • Split-tunneling — Lets you choose which data gets routed through the VPN server and which data gets routed through your local network.
  • Obfuscation — Hides your VPN traffic, making it seem like you’re browsing the web without a VPN, allowing you to bypass restrictions and censorship.
  • Tor support — Adds another layer of security to the Tor network (making it impossible for any Tor node to see your IP address).
  • Threat Manager — Stops ad trackers from spying on your browsing and blocks connections to malicious sites.
  • ExpressVPN Keys — A secure password manager that’s included in each ExpressVPN subscription.
  • And more…

I love almost everything about ExpressVPN, but I don’t like how its iOS app doesn’t have split-tunneling (but I don’t know of any VPN that offers split-tunneling on iOS). Another minor complaint is that ExpressVPN doesn’t have a feature that blocks ads, which is something that many top VPN competitors offer.

But overall, ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN service in 2022 — it’s secure, fast, feature-rich, reliable, and very intuitive across all apps.

ExpressVPN has a 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month plan. The best-value plan is the 12-month plan, as it includes an excellent first-year discount as well as an additional 3 months for free. And all subscriptions are covered by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

🏅 Overall Rank #1 out of 76 VPNs
🌍 Number of Servers 3,000+
📱 Number of Devices 5
💸 Starting Price $6.67 / month
🎁 Free Plan No
💰 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days

30 Days Risk Free — Try ExpressVPN Now

ExpressVPN Full Review

ExpressVPN Full Review

I spent a few weeks testing, researching, and getting to know ExpressVPN, and I can safely say that it’s the best VPN on the market.

It comes packaged with a lot of really useful features, high security, a strict no-logs policy, and some of the fastest speeds in the entire VPN industry.

And while it’s not the cheapest VPN around, it provides a really good value — plus, you can save on your subscription with our exclusive 49% discount. ExpressVPN is also currently giving away 3 months for free, and it’s backed by a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

49% off ExpressVPN's 15-Month Plan

Get a full 15 months (12 months + 3 free months) at a 49% discount.

ExpressVPN Features

ExpressVPN Features

ExpressVPN has the following security features:

  • 256-bit AES encryption. End-to-end military-grade encryption to make internet traffic 100% unreadable.
  • No-logs policy. ExpressVPN doesn’t log personal information, internet traffic, or what files you download. ExpressVPN has undergone a third-party audit to verify this no-logs policy.
  • Kill switch (Network Lock). This feature shuts down your internet traffic if you’re disconnected from the VPN server, protecting you from accidental data leaks.

One thing I really like about ExpressVPN is that its servers run on RAM memory, which means nothing is stored on a physical hard drive. All of the data on the server is wiped clean each time the server gets rebooted.

I also like that ExpressVPN provides its own DNS on every server, encrypting all DNS requests automatically, meaning that DNS queries won’t be visible to third parties and the server’s response times will be quicker.

In addition to preventing DNS leaks, ExpressVPN also offers built-in protection against WebRTC and IPv6 leaks. ExpressVPN lets you completely disable WebRTC in its desktop apps and browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. It also automatically blocks IPv6 traffic (this is way better than competitors like TunnelBear that require you to manually disable IPv6 on your device).

ExpressVPN Features

ExpressVPN has the following protocols:

  • Lightway (TCP/UDP). This is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol, which is open-source, meaning anyone can inspect the code for security vulnerabilities (in fact, Lightway underwent and successfully passed a security audit by cybersecurity firm Cure53 in 2021). Lightway provides excellent security and very fast speeds (since it has a very lightweight codebase) — in my tests, I always had the fastest speeds while using Lightway. And I really like that Lightway resists network changes, meaning your VPN connection won’t drop if you switch from Wi-Fi to mobile data, for example. Lightway also provides obfuscation (makes VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic), which helps you access the web freely in restrictive countries like China and Iran. Lightway is available on all of ExpressVPN’s apps.
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP). OpenVPN is a very popular protocol that’s open-source and provides excellent security, but it’s also prone to noticeable slowdowns — compared to Lightway, my speeds were 50–60% slower with OpenVPN. You can use OpenVPN on all of the ExpressVPN apps.
  • IKEv2/IPSec. Provides good security, has fast speeds, and resists network changes just like Lightway. That said, IKEv2/IPSec was 40% slower than Lightway in my tests. Also, unlike Lightway, IKEv2/IPSec isn’t available on ExpressVPN’s Android and Linux apps, and it’s easier for governments to block it.
  • L2TP/IPSec. Provides moderate security and good speeds, but it was still 30% slower than Lightway in my tests. Also, ExpressVPN doesn’t support L2TP/IPSec on all of its apps and servers, and it’s also easy for network admins and ISPs to block this protocol. I only recommend using this protocol if the other options don’t work for you.
Android iOS Windows macOS Linux Routers
Lightway
OpenVPN
IKEv2/IPSec
L2TP/IPSec

There’s also an Automatic protocol setting, which automatically selects the best protocol for your location. ExpressVPN told me the Automatic option obfuscates your traffic and prioritizes Lightway.

ExpressVPN also offers perfect forward secrecy, which changes the encryption keys used to encrypt and decrypt your internet traffic every 15 minutes or whenever you disconnect from the VPN. This ensures the security of your sensitive data even if the most recently generated encryption key gets hacked (the hacker would only be able to see the traffic encrypted with the hacked encryption key, but any past or future traffic wouldn’t be compromised).

Besides these standard security features, ExpressVPN also offers a few extra security features.

Split-Tunneling

ExpressVPN FeaturesExpressVPN’s split-tunneling tool is really good — and it’s available on Android, Windows, and macOS. While most premium VPNs offer split-tunneling for Windows and/or Android, there aren’t many competitors that support this feature on macOS — in fact, ExpressVPN is one of the rare VPNs to provide split-tunneling for Mac users. This feature is available for macOS 10.15 or below, and ExpressVPN is currently developing support for macOS 11.

I tested ExpressVPN’s split-tunneling on several occasions, while downloading torrents, making VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls, and accessing websites that are geo-blocked in my country — and the feature worked seamlessly every time. Plus, when I routed torrenting traffic through an ExpressVPN server and browsed the internet on my local network, I was able to get faster download speeds than when all of my traffic was routed through the VPN.

ExpressVPN’s split-tunneling feature worked really well for me, and I also found it very easy to use on my Samsung Galaxy, Windows PC, and MacBook Pro. The only minor drawback is that ExpressVPN doesn’t let you exclude specific websites or IP addresses from the VPN tunnel — for example, competitors like ProtonVPN let you exclude web browsers, apps, and IP addresses.

Overall, ExpressVPN’s split-tunneling feature is a great way to send traffic through the VPN and your local network simultaneously. I’d like to see ExpressVPN’s split-tunneling tool offer more customization options, but including or excluding specific apps is good enough for most users. Plus, this feature works really well, is very easy to use, and is even available for Mac.

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Built-in Speed Test

ExpressVPN FeaturesExpressVPN’s built-in speed test feature lets you quickly test ExpressVPN servers to find the fastest one for your location.

This tool ranks the servers by latency (how long it takes for your device to communicate with the VPN server) and download speed — and it’s available on Windows and macOS.

ExpressVPN’s speed test was extremely accurate in my testing. I tested ExpressVPN’s top recommended server against the lower-ranking servers, and the top recommended server was always the fastest.

I really like this feature because it allows you to select the fastest server every time you use the VPN. Plus, most competitors don’t offer in-app speed tests like this (the closest is CyberGhost VPN, letting you see the amount of load on each server).

Overall, ExpressVPN’s speed test feature is helpful. It’s easy to run the tests, you don’t need to use a third-party to get speed test results, it’s accurate, and it’s not something offered by other VPN services.

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MediaStreamer

MediaStreamer is ExpressVPN’s smart DNS service, which is included with every ExpressVPN subscription. MediaStreamer helps you access US streaming sites on devices that don’t support VPN apps, like Roku, PlayStation, and Xbox. Please keep in mind that MediaStreamer won’t change your IP address or encrypt your traffic, so it can’t protect your privacy or prevent bandwidth throttling (but it will provide you with much faster speeds than the VPN).

MediaStreamer requires a manual setup, but I like that ExpressVPN provides helpful step-by-step tutorials for tons of devices. My colleague in the US said it only took him about 5 minutes to set up MediaStreamer on his PlayStation 4. He also confirmed that MediaStreamer allowed him to access popular streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

In addition to US sites, MediaStreamer can also access streaming services from other countries. ExpressVPN couldn’t provide me with a list, but its reps told me you can use ExpressVPN’s live chat to find out if MediaStreamer works with a specific streaming app. I asked a support rep if MediaStreamer works with BBC iPlayer, and the rep told me MediaStreamer can access BBC iPlayer (and my colleague in the UK confirmed it worked for him).

Overall, MediaStreamer is a smart DNS tool that’s easy to use and lets you access popular US sites on devices that don’t natively support VPNs. While it doesn’t provide security, it has significantly faster speeds than the VPN.

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Threat Manager

ExpressVPN Features

Threat Manager stops your device from communicating with servers that host malware or trackers. Basically, this feature blocks connections to malicious sites (so it protects you from phishing attacks) and limits how much browsing data ad trackers collect (for example, they won’t know which articles you read on a news site or app).

I tested this feature on my iPhone X and MacBook Pro by connecting to shady HTTP sites while connected to ExpressVPN — Threat Manager stopped me from accessing these websites every single time.

Threat Manager is available on ExpressVPN’s iOS, macOS, and Linux apps.

The only thing I don’t like about Threat Manager is that it doesn’t block ads (like Private Internet Access’s PIA MACE feature, for example).

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Support for Tor Traffic

ExpressVPN FeaturesAll ExpressVPN servers support traffic from The Onion Router (Tor). You don’t need to turn on any option — you can start using the Tor browser after you connect to an ExpressVPN server.

A lot of VPNs that support Tor over VPN provide dedicated servers for Tor traffic, including ProtonVPN, so it’s nice to see that ExpressVPN lets you use Tor on any server you want.

Also, I really like that ExpressVPN has an .onion version of its official site, which makes it much easier to stay anonymous while purchasing a subscription. This also enables users in countries with heavy internet censorship to purchase ExpressVPN.

But keep in mind that using a VPN with Tor may result in particularly slow speeds — the Tor network is already slow because it encrypts your traffic multiple times, and adding another layer of encryption through the VPN makes the connection even slower. When I tested this feature, sites took much longer to load (over 10-15 seconds), and I experienced a 70-80% slowdown when compared to my regular internet speed.

But if you regularly use .onion sites and want to avoid leaks while using the Tor network, I definitely recommend ExpressVPN. That said, you’ll still need to download and use the Tor browser to access the Tor network — competitors like ProtonVPN let you browse .onion domains in browsers like Opera or Chrome, which could be more convenient for some users.

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ExpressVPN Privacy & Security

ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy — it doesn’t log your IP address, what sites you visit, or what files you download. ExpressVPN’s Privacy Policy clearly states it only logs your email address (for communication purposes), payment information (for issuing refunds), and the VPN apps you download. ExpressVPN also records communication with the support team (to improve user experience) and data usage (to monitor for users who abuse the service).

It’s also great that you can choose whether or not to share your diagnostic information (speed test data, crash reports, and information about how a VPN connection attempt failed) with ExpressVPN once you download its apps (some VPNs don’t provide you with this option). And even if you choose to share any data, it doesn’t contain any personally identifiable information.

ExpressVPN Privacy & Security

I really like that ExpressVPN has undergone multiple independent audits to verify its no-logs policy. In 2018, cybersecurity firm Cure53’s review of ExpressVPN’s Chrome extension found that ExpressVPN complied with major security and privacy standards. A year later, auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) confirmed ExpressVPN was in compliance with its Privacy Policy and that user data is erased each time a server is rebooted (with its TrustedServer technology). That said, I’d really like to see ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy undergo another more recent audit.

ExpressVPN is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), which is not part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances (a group of countries that share intelligence data). This is good because the BVI doesn’t have mandatory data retention laws and only the BVI High Court can order ExpressVPN to share user data — but because ExpressVPN doesn’t log data, there would be no information to turn over!

ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy was proven true when one of its servers in Turkey was seized in 2017 by Turkish authorities, who were investigating the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey. The investigators suspected the ExpressVPN server included information (such as the IP address) of the person who allegedly removed the assassin’s Gmail and Facebook accounts, which may have contained critical evidence pertaining to the case. But the server didn’t contain any user data for the investigators to use, further verifying ExpressVPN’s no-logs policy.

Overall, ExpressVPN has a transparent no-logs policy that was independently verified, and it’s headquartered in a privacy-friendly country that’s not part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances.

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ExpressVPN Speed & Performance

I ran dozens of speed tests while connected to ExpressVPN’s servers to find the average VPN speed. I had the fastest speeds while using a local VPN server (in Romania), but my VPN speeds were also great while using distant servers in the US and Australia.

I started my speed tests without being connected to an ExpressVPN server so that I could get a baseline for my speeds:

ExpressVPN Speed & PerformanceNext, I used ExpressVPN’s Smart Location feature to connect to the fastest VPN server (I was connected to a server in Romania). My speed loss was minimal, and I was able to surf sites and watch content without any delays.

ExpressVPN Speed & Performance

Then, I connected to a US server. I had a slower download speed, but I expected that to happen since the distance between me and the server was 4,786 miles (7,703 kilometers). However, the slowdown hardly impacted my online experience — Netflix TV shows and movies quickly loaded, and I played online video games without much lag (although websites took an extra 2-3 seconds to load).

ExpressVPN Speed & Performance

Finally, I tested an Australian server. The download and upload speeds were faster than on the US server, which was surprising considering the Australian server was farther away than the US server. While I was able to stream HD content, it sometimes defaulted to SD quality for 4-5 seconds before switching back to HD. My 1080p videos loaded instantly on YouTube, but 4K videos took a few seconds to start. I also downloaded a 70 GB torrent file in around 2 hours, which is very fast.

ExpressVPN Speed & Performance

I conducted my speed tests with both OpenVPN and Lightway to see which protocol offers the fastest speeds, and Lightway is no doubt the faster option. I tested the protocols on a Romanian and Australian server. On the Romanian server, the OpenVPN speeds were 53% slower than when I used Lightway. And on the Australian server, the OpenVPN speeds were 75% slower.

But because Romania has really fast internet speed, it’s not fair to compare my results to what people from other countries might get. So I asked my colleague in the US to run some speed tests, too.

First, he conducted a speed test while not connected to an ExpressVPN server.

ExpressVPN Speed & Performance

Next, my colleague used Smart Location and was connected to a server located in New York. Just like my experience being connected to a local ExpressVPN server, he didn’t notice a difference when he browsed the internet or streamed content.

ExpressVPN Speed & Performance

Then, he connected to a server in the UK. While his ping increased significantly, his download speed only dropped by 15%, which is really good. He reported fast download speeds when torrenting and didn’t experience any glitches during two different VoIP calls.

ExpressVPN Speed & Performance

For his final speed test, my colleague connected to a server in Australia (one of the most distant servers from his location). He was surprised at how little his speed was affected when he browsed the internet (websites only took an extra 2-3 seconds to load) and streamed content (HD video loaded in less than 5 seconds and remained in HD).

ExpressVPN Speed & Performance

Overall, ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPNs around — during my tests, connection speeds were excellent on both local and distant servers, I was able to stream content on multiple sites in HD quality, I maintained fast speeds for torrenting, and it took only a few seconds for shows and movies to load while connected to distant servers.

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ExpressVPN Servers & IP Addresses

ExpressVPN Servers & IP Addresses

ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations in 94 countries. This is a really large server network that will enable you to easily find a nearby server no matter where you live. However, I’d like to see ExpressVPN display server load percentages like CyberGhost VPN does, allowing you to see how many users are on a server before you connect to it.

One thing I really like is that all ExpressVPN servers support P2P traffic, making it easier to find a nearby server to get faster downloads (many VPNs like ProtonVPN only allow P2P on special servers). I’m also happy that all of ExpressVPN’s servers support obfuscation — this is definitely more convenient than having to pick one from a small list of supported servers.

I have seen a few reviews that claim ExpressVPN comes with “Stealth Servers,” which obfuscate your traffic, but that’s not accurate — it provides obfuscation via its Lightway protocol and the Automatic protocol setting across all servers. It doesn’t have an in-app “Stealth Servers” category you can use. I talked with 5 different ExpressVPN support reps over live chat and email about the “Stealth Servers” and all of them told me you won’t find that server category inside ExpressVPN’s apps.

Most of ExpressVPN’s servers are physical servers (they’re physically located in the country that you connect to and typically provide better speeds), but ExpressVPN also uses virtual servers (which are located in a different country than the one you connect to). I like that ExpressVPN discloses where its virtual servers are actually located — virtual servers are routed through the Netherlands, Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the UK.

ExpressVPN’s servers use shared IP addresses, meaning you share the same IP with multiple users. That’s good for your privacy because your traffic gets mixed in with a lot of other users’ data. Unfortunately, ExpressVPN doesn’t currently offer dedicated IP addresses. Private Internet Access and CyberGhost VPN have dedicated IPs for an additional cost, and PrivateVPN includes dedicated IPs with certain protocols.

Overall, ExpressVPN has many servers located all around the world, and they all support P2P traffic and have obfuscation. ExpressVPN uses physical servers in the majority of locations and assigns users one of many shared IP addresses.

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ExpressVPN Streaming Support

ExpressVPN Streaming Support

I think ExpressVPN is the best VPN for streaming on the market because it works with 65+ streaming apps, including popular and smaller streaming services. I also love how ExpressVPN provides streaming support on all 3,000+ of its servers — some VPNs (like ProtonVPN) only access streaming services via dedicated servers, which is a little inconvenient.

ExpressVPN is also my favorite Netflix VPN because it consistently works with this popular streaming service. I always use it when traveling abroad to access my home library, and I never experience any proxy errors. My colleagues in the US and the UK also confirmed ExpressVPN successfully accesses the US and UK Netflix libraries. I also reached out to customer support, and the rep confirmed ExpressVPN is compatible with 10+ Netflix libraries, so you get a really good variety. The rep also told me you can use ExpressVPN’s live chat to find out if the VPN works with a specific Netflix library, which is very convenient.

In addition to Netflix, ExpressVPN also works with other top streaming platforms, including Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. What’s more, it’s also compatible with many other streaming apps like Crunchyroll, VRV, HBO Max, DAZN, RaiPlay, Now TV, ESPN, TVNZ, Antena 3, Channel 4, Sling TV, Apple TV+, and Sky Go. I especially like that ExpressVPN lists all the streaming sites it works with on its site — it’s a much faster way to find out if this VPN works with the platforms you’re interested in than using live chat.

ExpressVPN Streaming Support

I also asked a support rep why ExpressVPN is so good for streaming and they told me it’s because the VPN refreshes its servers’ IP addresses very often (they couldn’t tell me how often because it’s confidential information). That makes it extremely difficult for streaming services to detect this provider’s IP addresses.

Overall, ExpressVPN is excellent for streaming — it works with 65+ streaming services (including top sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+) and regularly refreshes its IP addresses to provide consistent access to all streaming sites.

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ExpressVPN Torrenting Support

ExpressVPN Torrenting Support

ExpressVPN provides excellent torrenting support and is actually our #1 pick for the best VPNs for torrenting in 2022. It allows P2P traffic on all 3,000+ of its servers, which are located in 90+ countries. This is extremely convenient because some VPNs only allow torrenting on dedicated servers — for example, HMA VPN only supports P2P traffic on servers in 6 countries, so it’s harder to find a nearby server for fast downloads.

I tested ExpressVPN with 6 popular P2P apps (qBittorrent, Vuze, Deluge, uTorrent, BitTorrent, and Transmission) and it always worked without any problems. I had the fastest speeds while using qBittorrent, but I also enjoyed fast downloads with the other torrent clients.

qBittorrent
Vuze
Deluge
uTorrent
BitTorrent
Transmission

ExpressVPN also comes with port forwarding (lets you connect to more peers to get faster downloads), but it’s only available on its router app. That said, its router app is incredibly easy to install and use, so it only took me about 6–7 minutes to configure the app on my router and enable port forwarding — doing that successfully increased P2P speeds on my Windows PC by about 10%.

ExpressVPN provides secure torrenting because it has a kill switch and full leak protection, so you don’t risk experiencing traffic leaks while downloading torrents. I actually ran multiple leak tests on servers in 10+ countries using ExpressVPN’s built-in leak testing tools and a third-party service before I downloaded any torrents, and I never experienced any leaks. I also ran several torrent IP leak tests on 3 torrent clients to make sure the apps don’t share my real IP address with other peers — the results always displayed ExpressVPN’s IP addresses.

I also recommend using ExpressVPN’s Threat Manager feature while torrenting because it blocks connections to malicious sites, including fake P2P platforms that can infect your device with malware. I tested it by connecting to 5 shady torrenting sites, and Threat Manager blocked my connections to all of them.

Overall, ExpressVPN is the best P2P VPN out there — all of its servers are P2P-friendly, it works with the most popular P2P apps, it has port forwarding on its router app, and it provides excellent leak protection.

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ExpressVPN Gaming Support

ExpressVPN Gaming Support

ExpressVPN is excellent for gaming — I used it to play online games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Steam and had a smooth experience. First, I used a distant server in the US to download Dota 2 (around 35 GB of data) and it only took approximately 15 minutes, which is very fast. And when I played the game on the same US server, I had average ping (113-119 ms) but didn’t experience any lags, freezes, or random disconnects.

Because ExpressVPN changes your IP address, other online players can’t target you with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, which force you offline. But here’s what I really like — all of ExpressVPN’s servers include anti-DDoS protection. So even if another gamer tries to target you with a DDoS attack, it will (unsuccessfully) target ExpressVPN’s IP address instead (keeping your actual IP address safe).

ExpressVPN is also one of the few VPNs that provide support for cloud gaming services (platforms that stream video games to portable devices like tablets and smartphones). It works with tons of popular cloud gaming services, including Google Stadia, PlayStation Now, and GeForce Now. I tested servers in 10+ countries on my Google Stadia account by playing Risk of Rain 2 and Far Cry 6, and ExpressVPN always successfully reduced my ping and provided me with stable, secure connections.

And I love that ExpressVPN comes with an easy-to-install router app (most VPNs require complicated manual setups on your router) — so it’s really simple to use it on gaming devices that don’t support VPNs, like Xbox and PlayStation consoles. For example, it only took me about 7–8 minutes to set up ExpressVPN on my router so that I can use it to securely play Elden Ring on my PlayStation 4.

Overall, ExpressVPN is excellent for gaming (and is our #1 pick for the best VPNs for gaming in 2022) — it provides fast gaming speeds on nearby and distant servers, comes with anti-DDoS protection on all servers, works with cloud gaming services, and even has an easy-to-install router app for secure gaming on devices that don’t support VPNs.

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ExpressVPN Bypassing Censorship

ExpressVPN uses obfuscation to hide your VPN traffic and enable you to bypass firewalls and restrictions in countries that censor the internet like China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. These types of countries control what websites its residents are able to visit, including news sites, social media, and Gmail. They also restrict users’ access to VPNs, and some countries have outright banned VPNs (China, for example).

However, ExpressVPN claims to work in almost all of these countries by providing obfuscation, which stops anyone from detecting your VPN traffic. ExpressVPN offers obfuscation via its Lightway protocol or the Automatic protocol setting — though ExpressVPN’s support reps recommend that you use the Automatic protocol setting in restrictive countries.

I also think it’s great that ExpressVPN has servers all over the world — it allows users in restrictive countries to connect to nearby servers for fast speeds. For example, users in China can connect to servers in Singapore and Hong Kong, and users in Saudi Arabia can use servers in Israel and Cyprus.

ExpressVPN’s obfuscation tool is similar to VyprVPN’s obfuscation tool — but I much prefer ExpressVPN because its obfuscation feature provides faster speeds (obfuscation normally lowers your speeds because it adds another layer of encryption, which obfuscates your VPN traffic).

ExpressVPN Bypassing Censorship

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ExpressVPN Plans & Pricing

ExpressVPN Plans & Pricing

ExpressVPN is one of the more expensive VPN services on the market — but you can use our special 49% discount to get it for just $6.67 / month.

It has a subscription-based model with a 1-month, 6-month, and 12-month plan (that comes with an additional 3 months free). The 12-month plan provides the best value, but it’s more expensive than other competitors’ 12-month plans, like CyberGhost VPN. All ExpressVPN plans give you access to the same features.

ExpressVPN allows up to 5 simultaneous connections with 1 subscription, which is about the average for a top VPN. But this number of connections is still fewer than CyberGhost (7 connections) and IPVanish (allows unlimited connections).

ExpressVPN accepts credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin, and Paymentwall (which supports 11 payment options like Mint, Giropay, and UnionPay). Every plan is covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Overall, ExpressVPN is more expensive than many other top VPNs, but it still offers a great value due to its extremely fast speeds, strong security and privacy features, and near-perfect functionality.

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ExpressVPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

ExpressVPN has apps for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, and Wi-Fi routers. Installing ExpressVPN is very simple. It took me just 1-2 minutes to download and install ExpressVPN on my Samsung Galaxy, iPhone X, Windows 10 PC, and MacBook Pro.

How to Install ExpressVPN (Just 3 Simple Steps):

  • Step 1: Sign up for ExpressVPN. Pick the plan that works for you and create an account.
  • Step 2: Download and install its apps. Just follow the on-screen instructions provided in ExpressVPN’s installation wizards.
  • Step 3: Open the VPN app. Connect to a server with just 1 click and start surfing the web securely.

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Android

ExpressVPN’s Android app is feature-rich and easy to use. I installed it on my Samsung Galaxy without any problems, and I instantly found the design of the app highly intuitive.

The app’s home screen lets you quickly connect to a VPN server using the Smart Location tool or you can choose to connect to your two most recent locations. Tap on Smart Location, and you’ll see a short list of recommended locations and the option to view the full list of servers.

ExpressVPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

If you tap the icon with three little lines in the top left corner of the app, it will open up the ExpressVPN app menu. Under Settings, you can enable auto-connect, use split-tunneling, customize network settings, and manually choose your protocol — ExpressVPN’s Android app includes Lightway and OpenVPN (but I recommend sticking with whichever protocol ExpressVPN defaults to so you get the best connection speed and security).

Another convenient feature I like is Shortcuts, which allows you to create 1-click shortcuts to your favorite apps (like Netflix or Facebook) that appear on your screen immediately after you connect to ExpressVPN. This way, you don’t have to find the app on your device.

Under the Privacy & Security Tools tab, you’ll find IP, DNS, and WebRTC leaks tests.

ExpressVPN’s Android app doesn’t include the Network Lock, but you can still enable “Block internet when unable to connect or reconnect to VPN”, which functions in a similar way. The Android app also comes with ExpressVPN Keys, but it doesn’t include Threat Manager. The Android app is also missing the ExpressVPN speed test tool, but this isn’t a major drawback for most Android users (ExpressVPN has really fast speeds for most of its servers anyway).

Overall, ExpressVPN has one of the best Android apps on the market. It’s very user-friendly, has quick and easy connection options, great security features, and fast speeds.

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iOS

ExpressVPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

ExpressVPN’s iOS app is very similar to the Android app. However, the iOS app doesn’t have split-tunneling (I don’t know that any VPN has split-tunneling for iOS) or the Shortcuts feature — but it does come with the Lightway and IKEv2/IPSec protocols, Threat Manager, and ExpressVPN Keys.

ExpressVPN’s iOS app also comes with Network Lock, but it’s only available if you use the Lightway protocol. I’m really happy to see this because many VPNs don’t include a kill switch on their iOS apps.

Overall, ExpressVPN has a well-designed iOS app. While it lacks split-tunneling (most iOS VPN apps do), it’s still packed with other great security features like a password manager and a kill switch.

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Windows/Mac (Desktop)

I installed ExpressVPN’s app on my Windows 10 PC and MacBook Pro. Like with the mobile apps, you can connect to the Smart Location or your most recent servers.

ExpressVPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

If you click on the menu icon, you can view all server locations, access the Options menu, run ExpressVPN’s Speed Test, and contact support.

The Options menu is where you’ll find security features (like the kill switch and split-tunneling), protocol options, and advanced settings. While you can customize the VPN to your needs, I really like that ExpressVPN sets all of the important functions to recommended default settings so you don’t have to manually enable or disable them.

It’s also important to keep in mind that ExpressVPN is one of the few VPNs that has split-tunneling for macOS, but it’s only on macOS 10.15 or below (the feature is not yet available on macOS 11.0 or higher). The macOS app also comes with Threat Manager. And both apps provide access to the same protocols, but L2TP/IPSec is missing on macOS (which is not a problem since it’s not a very secure protocol).

Overall, ExpressVPN has great desktop apps. The Windows and macOS apps are mostly the same, and ExpressVPN even has split-tunneling for macOS 10.15 and below (unlike most of its competitors).

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Browser Extensions (Chrome/Firefox/Edge)

ExpressVPN Ease of Use: Mobile & Desktop Apps

Unlike most VPN browser extensions (such as CyberGhost VPN), ExpressVPN’s extensions are not simple proxies (tools that change your IP address but don’t encrypt your traffic) — instead, its extensions let you remotely control the VPN app installed on your device, so they can encrypt your data. That way, ExpressVPN’s browser extensions secure your device’s entire traffic (not just the browser’s traffic), so they provide better security.

I think ExpressVPN’s browser extensions are very user-friendly — they share the same design across all browsers (so it’s very easy to switch between the extensions), there’s a quick-connect feature, the interface is simple to navigate (on average, it only took me about 5 seconds to connect to a server), and all settings and features have helpful explanations.

I also like how feature-rich the extensions are — you don’t get split-tunneling, but there are other useful security features. For example, HTTPS Everywhere automatically connects you to a website’s HTTPS version if it’s available instead of the HTTP version. All HTTPS websites use encryption to protect your data and are more secure than HTTP websites, which aren’t safe. I tested this feature by accessing 10 HTTP sites, and I was always connected to their HTTPS versions.

The extensions also come with a feature that prevents HTML5 geolocation from identifying your device’s real location (HTML5 geolocation can do that by using GPS data, Wi-Fi networks, and cell tower triangulation). Basically, ExpressVPN’s extensions make your browser geolocation data match the IP address of the VPN server location you’re connected to, so that streaming sites and other geo-restricted sites can’t see your real location.

And I also like that ExpressVPN’s extensions allow you to block WebRTC, a browser-related issue that can leak your IP address while you’re connected to a VPN. I ran 10+ WebRTC leak tests while connected to servers in 5 countries and I never experienced an IP leak.

My only minor complaint is that you need to install ExpressVPN’s Windows, macOS, or Linux apps on your device to use the browser extensions, which might be a little inconvenient for some users. But, overall, I think ExpressVPN has some of the best browser extensions out there — they’re secure, easy to use, and feature-rich.

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Router App

Most VPNs require you to perform complicated and inconvenient manual setups to use their services on your router. However, ExpressVPN is one of the rare VPNs that come with its own dedicated and easy-to-install router app (VyprVPN also has a router app, but it’s less user-friendly than ExpressVPN’s app). ExpressVPN’s router app is available on popular router brands like Netgear, Asus, and Linksys.

Setting up the router app is really simple — it only took me about 8 minutes to complete. All you need to do is:

  1. Download ExpressVPN’s router app.
  2. Upload the router app to your router.
  3. Wait for the router to restart.
  4. Configure the app.

The process was simple and quick thanks to ExpressVPN’s very helpful step-by-step tutorials for tons of router models.

I’m also a big fan of how user-friendly ExpressVPN’s router app is — the dashboard is really similar to the mobile and desktop apps (so it’s easy to get used to it), the quick-connect feature (Smart Location) is available, and it’s really easy to find and connect to different servers.

I also love the Device Groups feature, which lets you set up a maximum of 5 separate groups for each of your devices — for example, you can create one group for your desktop devices, one group for your mobile devices, and one group for your smart TVs and gaming consoles. Also, it lets you connect your devices up to 5 different locations (most VPNs normally only allow you to connect your devices to just 1 location).

You can even create a device group that doesn’t use the VPN and a group that uses MediaStreamer (ExpressVPN’s smart DNS, which is good for accessing US streaming services). Creating a device group is extremely simple, and you move devices from one group to the other by dragging and dropping them, which is very convenient.

I used the Device Groups feature when my friend from the US visited my country (Romania) and stayed over for a few weeks — I created a device group that connected to a US server so that he could watch his favorite Hulu shows, while my devices (which I mostly use for gaming and torrenting) remained connected to my “home” group, which used a VPN server in Romania.

And I also like that ExpressVPN’s router app comes with the Lightway protocol to ensure you get very fast speeds across all devices. When I used the router app, I was able to maintain fast streaming, browsing, and torrenting speeds on my Windows 10 PC, Android smartphones, laptop, smart TV, and PlayStation 4 on both nearby and distant servers.

What’s more, the router app lets you enable port forwarding, so you can speed up torrenting speeds across all your devices.

Overall, ExpressVPN is one of the only VPNs that has a router app (and it’s also very simple to install and use). The router app works on tons of router models and also lets you connect your devices up to 5 different locations.

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ExpressVPN Apps: Is ExpressVPN Easy to Use?

All ExpressVPN apps are really easy to use and feature-rich.

The apps include most of the same features with only a few exceptions. The iOS app is missing Shortcuts and split-tunneling, the macOS app only supports split-tunneling for version 10.15 and below, the Android and Windows apps don’t have Threat Manager, and the desktop apps are missing ExpressVPN Keys.

But other than that, the apps are nearly identical, and they all work exactly as promised. Plus, I love that ExpressVPN is one of the only VPNs that comes with a router app (which is very user-friendly). Also, the browser extensions are very secure and let you remotely control the desktop apps, which is really convenient.

Android iOS Windows macOS Linux Routers
Graphical User Interface (GUI) ✅ (only by using the browser extensions)
Kill Switch
Split-Tunneling ✅ (macOS 10.15 and lower)
Threat Manager
ExpressVPN Keys
Shortcuts
Speed Test

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ExpressVPN Customer Support

ExpressVPN has extensive troubleshooting guides, video tutorials, 24/7 live chat, and email support.

There’s no phone support, but I don’t think this is a problem since ExpressVPN provides a wide range of really good customer service channels.

ExpressVPN’s troubleshooting guides and tutorials are very well structured and informative. I especially like that ExpressVPN offers video tutorials that cover how to install ExpressVPN’s apps and how to sign in and set up ExpressVPN on your device. They are great tools, especially for users who are new to VPNs (competitors like IPVanish also provide video tutorials).

ExpressVPN Customer Support

I tested ExpressVPN’s live chat feature twice — once on the weekend and once during the week. Each time, I was connected to a support rep in less than 15 seconds, and the customer support representative provided me with very helpful information. ExpressVPN only offers support in English, but it offers a translation tool to communicate with you in different languages. I tested the tool by speaking in Romanian, and the support rep was able to understand me (and solve my issue).

ExpressVPN Customer Support

I also sent ExpressVPN 3 emails to see how fast it would take to get a response. I got a response within 6-7 hours, which is pretty good, and the answers were very detailed.

And, if asked, ExpressVPN’s support reps will email you a transcript of the conversation you had with them. It’s a minor thing, but I like it because it helps me keep track of all the questions I ask (so that I don’t need to contact customer support and ask again later).

ExpressVPN Customer Support

Overall, ExpressVPN has excellent customer support. I really like the helpful support guides and 24/7 live chat. Email support is available too, but I recommend using live chat because it’s much faster.

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Is ExpressVPN Really the Best VPN in 2022?

ExpressVPN has fast speeds, excellent security features, allows up to 5 simultaneous connections, supports all major platforms, works with all popular streaming sites, and is very user-friendly.

All ExpressVPN servers support P2P traffic, and ExpressVPN works in countries that censor the internet like China and Iran.

I always had fast speeds while using ExpressVPN — even while I was connected to servers that were far from my location — this allowed me to browse the internet, stream content (in HD quality), and download large files. In fact, ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol outperformed other popular VPN protocols like OpenVPN and WireGuard in all of my tests.

ExpressVPN keeps user data safe with 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy (audited and confirmed), a kill switch, and full leak protection. Its servers only run on RAM memory, so all data is wiped with every reboot. And if you ever experience a problem, ExpressVPN’s support reps are available 24/7 through live chat and email.

Overall, ExpressVPN is my #1 VPN in 2022. It’s fast, secure, and very easy to use. ExpressVPN is more expensive than most top VPNs, but it provides a really good value, and it covers each plan with a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.

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Is ExpressVPN free?

No, ExpressVPN doesn’t have a free plan. However, it has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test the product risk-free for a month (and I got my refund back into my account 4 days after requesting it).

There are free VPNs out there, but I don’t recommend using most of them — the majority of free VPNs lack basic security features, have slow speeds, place a limit on your data, spam you with ads, and/or monitor your traffic. On the other hand, using a premium VPN gives you excellent security, top-notch privacy, and ultra-fast connection speeds for all of your online activity (ExpressVPN can do all of this and more).

Does ExpressVPN work in China?

Yes, ExpressVPN works in China and other countries with heavy internet censorship. If you live or are traveling to a country that censors the internet, ExpressVPN can help you get around firewalls and internet restrictions. And ExpressVPN is secure, fast, intuitive, and it supports all major operating systems.

Does ExpressVPN work With Netflix?

Yes, ExpressVPN works with Netflix. It has fast speeds so I watched Netflix TV shows and movies in HD (and 4K) without long load times and buffering. I really like how ExpressVPN supports streaming on all of its servers — unlike some competitors that only have dedicated streaming servers.

ExpressVPN also supports other popular streaming apps, including BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and FuboTV.

Is ExpressVPN safe?

Yes, ExpressVPN is one of the safest VPNs on the market. It uses 256-bit AES encryption, has a kill switch, and maintains a strict no-logs policy (that has been independently audited and confirmed). ExpressVPN’s servers only run on RAM (all data is wiped each time the server is rebooted), and ExpressVPN also offers complete leak protection for WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 (I ran several leak tests and had 0 leaks).

Does ExpressVPN slow down internet speeds?

All VPNs slow down your internet speeds because the encryption-decryption process increases the time it takes for your data to travel over the web. But ExpressVPN significantly minimizes the speed loss with its extremely fast proprietary Lightway protocol and its large server network of 3,000+ servers in 90+ countries (so it’s easy to avoid overcrowded servers and connect to nearby servers to get fast speeds).

I ran dozens of speed tests on nearby and distant servers while connected to ExpressVPN, and it always provided me with very fast speeds for gaming, torrenting, streaming, and browsing. I even had fast speeds on 5+ devices when I used ExpressVPN’s router app.

Is ExpressVPN worth the money?

Yes — while ExpressVPN’s plans are a little pricey (they start at $6.67 / month), they’re worth it because ExpressVPN is hands-down the best VPN on the market in 2022. ExpressVPN has top-tier streaming support (it works with 65+ streaming apps including top sites like Netflix and Hulu), the fastest speeds on the market, high-end security features (including advanced security features like RAM-only servers, full leak protection, and perfect forward secrecy), and very user-friendly apps for all major platforms (including a router app that’s very easy to set up and use).

Does ExpressVPN have stealth servers?

ExpressVPN provides obfuscation (which makes your VPN traffic look like regular internet traffic), but it doesn’t have in-app access to dedicated stealth servers. It doesn’t need to provide stealth servers since you can use obfuscation across most servers via the Automatic protocol setting or Lightway (ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol), which I think is much more convenient than finding and connecting to obfuscated servers.

Which devices does ExpressVPN support?

You can pretty much use ExpressVPN on any web-connected device. It provides dedicated apps for:

  • Android smartphones and tablets running Android 5.0 and above.
  • iPhones, iPads, and iPods running iOS 12 and above.
  • PCs (personal computers) running Windows 7 and above.
  • PCs running macOS X 10.11 and above.
  • PCs running Linux distros (Ubuntu, Debian 9 and 10, Fedora 34, Mint 20.1 and LMDE4, and the latest Arch release). You can also use ExpressVPN’s apps on distros that are not officially supported by the provider, but are based on the distros I listed. However, ExpressVPN won’t provide fixes for issues on unsupported distros.
  • Android TV devices running Android 5.0 and above.
  • Amazon Fire devices (Fire TV and 2nd generation Fire Stick and above).
  • Amazon Fire tablets running Fire OS 5 and above.
  • Chromebook devices running that support Android apps.
  • Raspberry Pi devices running Raspbian 9 and 10.
  • Routers from Netgear, Linksys, and Asus.
  • Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers.

If you set up ExpressVPN on your router, you can use its VPN connection on devices that don’t natively support ExpressVPN’s apps, like Apple TV, Roku, and PlayStation consoles.

You can also configure ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer (its smart DNS service) on the following devices:

  • Smart TVs and streaming devices like Apple TV (1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen and tvOS 4th gen and above), LG Smart TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Amazon Fire TV.
  • PCs running macOS and Windows.
  • Gaming consoles like Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, 4, and 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.
  • Routers from brands like Netgear and Linksys or routers running DD-WRT firmware.

Yes, using ExpressVPN is perfectly legal in most countries. That said, there are restrictive countries like China, Iran, and Indonesia that block, discourage, or punish VPN usage. If you plan on traveling to one of those places, I strongly recommend checking the local laws to make sure you won’t face prosecution or huge fines if you’re caught using ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN Products & Pricing

Bottom Line

ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN provider on the market — it has excellent security features, (TrustedServer Technology, 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and an independently audited no-logs policy), extra features like split-tunneling and Tor over VPN, intuitive apps for all major platforms, fast speed, and includes 3,000+ servers in 94 countries. ExpressVPN can access all major streaming sites, supports torrenting on all of its servers, and works in internet censorship-heavy countries like China and Iran. ExpressVPN is more expensive than other top VPNs, but it offers a great value and backs each purchase with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

About the Author

Tim Mocan
Tim Mocan
Lead Contributor

About the Author

Tim Mocan is a cybersecurity journalist who has been writing about the VPN industry for the past 5 years. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, eating good food, video games, using VPNs (yes, really!), and watching anime.

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