When you are new to the world of VPNs and VPN providers, it can be difficult to decide which is the best provider to subscribe to. ExpressVPN is one possible provider and following will be a brief overview of the services they provide and whether or not there service is right for you. ExpressVPN has impressive speeds, simple to understand software, can be used on many devices, and has hundreds of available IP addresses in over 33 countries. Let us take a closer look at the details in our ExpressVPN user review:
What Is A VPN?
When shopping for a potential VPN provider it is worth knowing some basic nuts and bolts about VPNs. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network is a process of tunneling your connection to the internet from your device, through a remote server, and then on into the world wide web. As your connection is tunneled through the remote server, your data stream is being encrypted to protect you and your data from prying eyes. The same time the encryption is happening, you are given a new IP address that will be based off the physical location of the remote server. This aspect of a VPN is especially useful if you are traveling abroad and wish to still stream your local television via the web. In normal scenarios you would be blocked from viewing this content when you were out of the projected region. With a VPN you can gain access to an IP that is in the correct region in order to avoid the geo locked content.
Is It Safe?
By its very nature, using a VPN is an extremely safe thing to do. Most vpns have a default 128 bit encryption and many providers offer additional encryption of 256 bit or higher but typically charge a higher cost for the service. It is always recommended to use a VPN especially when accessing the internet via public WiFi. Public WiFi hotspots tend to be the preferred hunting grounds of data thieves who intercept the data as it is transmitted. By using a VPN that data is just gibberish and the thief will likely move on to easier prey rather than spend extra time on your encrypted data. Data thieves aren’t the only reason for using a VPN however. Some internet service provider will log your user data which can then sometimes be sold to third parties who wish to target you with their advertising or potentially turned over to authorities in some cases. By using a VPN your data cannot be logged and you are given a greater level of anonymity on the web.
How Fast Can It Really Be?
A VPN’s speed is dependent on two key factors, your physical relation to the servers and how many available servers there are for use. You are adding an additional step to any data that you send and receive, the closer that you are to the remote server the shorter distance that data has to travel before going out in the wilds of the internet. A provider with a relatively small number of available servers can congest during peak times if many users are attempting to access the web at the same time. In almost all cases your connection speed will slow down, how much it slows down depends on the factors above but this connection does have some benefits as well. Many internet services can be intermittent with the data flow speeding up and slowing down in a regular pattern. Connecting via a VPN will secure that connection and level it out, so while you may be seeing a slower max speed you are less likely to see massive spikes where your connection slows well below the max promised.
Security Is Key
ExpressVPN is a provider who offers various levels of security. The provider offers both 128 bit as well as 256 bit encryption but these are dependent on which protocols you connect with. OpenVPN is the standard protocol but ExpressVPN also offers PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec which work on some devices that do not support for the OpenVPN protocols. A major downside to users seeking complete anonymity is the ExpressVPN does log basic actions suchs as your actual IP address, server choice while connected, and the total amount of bandwidth you used while connected to the service. ExpressVPN is also based in the United States and will be subject to relevant US laws pertaining to digital information and more.
Is It Fast Enough?
ExpressVPN isn’t the fastest VPN provider available but it is highly unlikely that you will notice any significant drop in performance or speed. When comparing VPN providers you are better served by looking at the average speeds as many do not consistently offer their max possible speed just as with internet service providers. Just as with ISPs you will see occasional dips in speed and performance but most of the time they will be unnoticeable.
What Devices Is It Compatible With?
ExpressVPN offers the standard protocol of OpenVPN, but also provides access to PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec. This is particularly useful if you only want to access a VPN while on your tablet or smartphone which do not support OpenVPN. The variety of protocols also ensure that you will be able to connect to nearly any device you may want with little to no frustration or lengthy and risky work arounds.
What Is the Cost?
ExpressVPN has a fairly straightforward pricing structure that does lean towards the more expensive range when looking at VPN providers. The price is $12.95 a month with discounts if you buy in larger chunks of time. If you were to pay for a year at a time the average monthly cost would work out to be about $8.32 a month. Unfortunately ExpressVPN does not offer any sort of trial period so you cannot try before you buy, the saving grace is they do offer a 30 day money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied. In order to learn about this and other top VPN providers, our team of experts have created an easy to digest table highlighting the top VPN providers listing a quick summary of pros and cons from this ExpressVPN user review: