The world of VPNs has become a gimmicky, seedy one over the years as new tech startups swamp the marketplace with lackluster service and interfaces that never fail to disappoint. As one of the only VPNs still working with Netflix, ExpressVPN has taken the spot of top dog in the market, and for a good reason.
But is it worth all the hype? We take a closer look at ExpressVPN to see how it holds up to its rockin’ reputation.
Aside from its stellar reputation as being the way to watch Netflix overseas, ExpressVPN comes feature-packed, with roundhouse-kick security that wipes the floor with the competition on any device.
Their plans allow you to connect up to three devices per account, and their software is compatible with just about everything.
ExpressVPN also offers a handy built-in speed testing tool that allows you to check the speed of their network’s servers before you connect, so you can pick the fastest server for streaming without having to weed out the duds.
This is by far ExpressVPN’s strongest selling point. Aside from their immaculate customer service reputation and unheard of money back guarantee, their user interface is one of the simplest and easiest to use that we’ve ever seen.
Installation is a snap, and there are no manual configurations to do on your end. Just download and install the software, and use your unique authentication code to get the ball rolling. After you do so for each device, you’ll never have to log in to use the app again.
All of this makes ExpressVPN a great option for people intimidated by the tech side of VPNs. The user-friendly interface can be navigated by anyone, and there are few settings to get lost in.
If you don’t like keeping the app open, just minimize it, and the app will sit idly in your dock. From there you can connect with a couple of taps on your favorite servers, and you’re off and running. The apps are incredibly mobile-friendly, and work on everything from Windows phones to iPads.
ExpressVPN also works beautiful on routers to secure your connection and hide your IP address on your home network. You can either buy an ExpressVPN router that’s preconfigured, or install the VPN on a compatible model of router. The beauty of this setup? The router only counts as one device, so any device using the network your router supplies won’t even count towards your account limit.
The only notable downside to the ExpressVPN software is that it doesn’t automatically remove connected devices when you try to connect a device that puts you over your limit. What this means is that if your limit is three connections for your account, you have to go to the device you want to disconnect and actually disconnect it to add a fourth. A minor inconvenience, but worth noting nonetheless.
Speed and server network
ExpressVPN actually boasts one of the larger server networks. With over 1,000 locations scattered across the world, it’s one of the biggest we’ve ever used, though a few competitors still beat even that number.
Connections are always reliably fast with ExpressVPN. Streaming, online gameplay, downloading large files – ExpressVPN handles it all with zero buffering and zero downtime. It’s all pretty seamless.
The only drawback is that the connection can, from time to time, suddenly cut out. It’s not common, but when it happens, it’s not ideal since there’s no built-in killswitch. All in all, it’s not a bad tradeoff if you’re just trying to access some innocent content, but if you’re concerned about having your IP address revealed, it’s not worth the risk.
Does ExpressVPN Work with Netflix?
Ohhhhh yea, it definitely does. Even as Netflix continues its crackdown on VPN service providers getting around their geo restriction policies, ExpressVPN manages to hold out.
That being said, there are only a handful of servers that are currently working to unblock Netflix overseas, so you may have to contact customer support to get the definitive list. Be a lamb though, and don’t share them online where the whole of the Netflix security squad can swoop down on them – at least not if you want them to keep working.
There’s no sugar-coating it – ExpressVPN is one of the pricier VPNs out there. We chalk it up to paying staff to provide such excellent customer service, but the truth of the matter is, their monthly fees are well above average at $12.95 without a yearly subscription.
Like most VPN service providers though, you get a sweet discount on that rate if you buy by the year, slashing that price down to $8.32 per month, or $100 a year.
ExpressVPN currently accepts Paypal, major credit cards, and anonymous payment with BitCoin.
If you’re not savvy on things like encryption protocols, ExpressVPN is a sweet option because it automatically chooses the protocol that’s ideal for your uses. The software offers L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, OpenVPN over UDP (preferred), and SSTP. Generally speaking, OpenVPN is the most secure and flexible security protocol.
There are good things and bad things about ExpressVPN’s automatic security features. On the one hand, you don’t have to know a damned thing about any of it to get what you need. On the other, you can’t adjust the security protocols to optimize your connection, where encryption is less necessary than a fast connection.
Additionally, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a kill switch feature, which automatically cuts your connection if the VPN fails (which we now know happens from time to time). DNS leak protection is also not included, which is when your IP address is accidentally displayed to the website, despite the use of a VPN.
ExpressVPN’s customer service is, quite simply, second to none. Their response rates are always wicked fast, leaving even email queries unanswered for no more than four hours at a time.
Their staff is available 24/7/365 to help you out if you get stuck, and communication is always pretty seamless thanks to their live chat and email availability. They also have a number of well-written user guides and tutorials on their site to help walk new users through the setup process.
What’s really awesome about these guys though is their commitment to you just loving the shit out of their product. ExpressVPN offers an unprecedented 30 day money back guarantee on their service, and it’s literally no questions asked. It doesn’t matter if you hated their software, or just didn’t like the color scheme of their home page. You get your money back, and your account goes away the moment you say so.
If you’re particularly tech-savvy and really want security customization with your VPN service, than okay yea, ExpressVPN is probably not your cup of tea. However, this was a VPN designed with beginner users in mind, and it’s simplicity coupled with its dependable connection speed and stellar customer service makes it well worth the price tag.