- 1 ExpressVPN Review
- 1.1 Summary
- 1.2 Features
- 1.3 Customer Service
- 1.4 Pricing
- 1.5 Payment
- 1.6 Privacy
- 1.7 Speed Tests
- 1.8 IP Location
- 1.9 Platforms Supported
- 1.10 DNS Leak Test
|DNS Leak Test|
- Express VPN has the Following Features:
- Devices and Platforms Supported: Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, Linux
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Server Switches
- Unlimited Speed
- 99.9% Up Time
- Open VPN (TCP, UDP), L2TP-IPsec, SSTP and PPTP protocols
- Strong Encryption
- Zero Logging of Your Browsing Activity
- Servers in more than 87 Countries
- Simultaneous Connections on up to 3 Devices
- 24 Hour Support by Chat or Email
- Referral Program
- 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
ExpressVPN has 3 ways to reach them for support: you can fill out a contact form, send them an email or contact them by live chat. I reached out to them by live chat late on a Saturday evening and I had a response in under 2 minutes. The customer service rep was knowledgeable about questions that I had and answered them very promptly. I was quite surprised by the availability of the live chat. It was nice to be able to message immediately and resolve my concern.
ExpressVPN offers three different pricing plans based on how long you want to prepay for the service. You can pay monthly for $12.95/month, semi-annually for $9.99/month (a 23% savings) or yearly $8.32/month (a 36% savings). The semi-annual and annual plans are charged in one recurring payment every six months or year depending on the payment plan selected. All payment plans are set up with the same features regardless of which payment option is selected.
Refund Policy: You have 30 days to try out ExpressVPN and if you are not pleased with any portion of the product, you can call them and cancel it within that first 30 and receive a full refund. So you pay up front for the service and then take it for a test drive.
ExpressVPN makes the purchasing experience as simple as can be. They provide over 20 different ways to pay for their service. These include major credit cards like Visa or Mastercard, online resources like PayPal, anonymous crypto currencies like Bitcoin and other online payment solutions such as WebMoney, Interac or Giropay.
ExpressVPN has an extensive network of servers based in over 87 countries and 6 continents. This large network allows me to surf around the world from different servers for different reasons. If I wanted to view content that was only available in the USA and I lived outside of the USA, then I have multiple places I can choose from. The company has multiple servers across the country to choose from so you can watch American Netflix.
I conducted speed tests using the following three websites: speedtest.net, speedtest.org and speakeasy.net/speedtest. I did 2 speed tests on each website: one before I launched ExpressVPN and one after I launched ExpressVPN. I did this to compare how much drag ExpressVPN had on my download and upload speeds. Below is the video taken showing the tests of the download and upload speeds.
Speed Test Video
Here are the screen shots of each of the three websites.
Speedtest.net Screen Shots
Speedtest.org Screen Shots
Speakeasy.net/speedtest Screen Shots
I have summarized the results in the following chart.
So to sum everything up, ExpressVPN had an average download speed of 6.83Mb/s and an upload speed of 0.89Mb/s before the service was launched. After the VPN was launched it had a download speed of 5.28Mb/s and an upload speed of 0.72Mb/s. I have a download speed of 6Mb/s from my internet service provider; I am actually getting better download speeds than what my ISP is selling me, so that was nice to stumble upon. ExpressVPN caused a bit of a drag on the download speeds but not enough to cry about. I feel that this is adequate for the privacy being provided by them.
Does ExpressVPN actually hide your location? I found that for the most part it does. I used iplocation.net to test out how well the service works. Iplocation.net provides results from 5 different websites to show where your server location is broadcasting. I found that for the most part the ExpressVPN server showed the server location I had chosen. There was a few times when this didn’t occur. For example, I picked Los Angeles as my server location but it did not show that five servers were located in L.A. The servers were shown in 2 locations: Los Angeles and Delaware. I found this to be problematic because I wanted consistency from the servers. But since the ultimate goal is to hide your personal location, it still did that even though it was not exactly what I had requested. Below are the screen shots from the different locations I selected with ExpressVPN.
The screen shots below show three of the five sites and where the IP location is registered. In the cases of Vancouver, Amsterdam and Seoul the IP addresses line up well. In the case of Los Angeles it shows an IP address in Delaware and L.A. I was concerned about this so I contacted the help desk and we had the following conversation. JD is the ExpressVPN representative and ME is, well, me.
Customer Service Chat
Thank you for visiting ExpressVPN. How can I help you today?
Me: Hi there
Just a moment…
Thank you for contacting ExpressVPN support.
My name is JD and I’ll be glad to assist you.
How may I help you?
Me: Hi there. I have a couple of questions for you.
Me: I bought a monthly subscription to your service a couple of days ago and I was trying it out. I tried switching servers to different locations and I ended up coming up with different results. I picked a server that said it was in Singapore, but when I looked up my server location on a location finder website it said that I was based out of New York. So I tried a couple of other locations: one in L.A. and it said I was in Illinois and one that did work was the Netherlands said I was in the Netherlands.
JD: The most likely explanation here is that the IP lookup site that you’ve used might have an incorrect geo-location information of our Washington server’s IP address or their database isn’t updated. That’s why it’s returning a different location. Note that the information reported in IP databases may sometimes be different from the actual location of the servers. For example, if the company (that’s hosting the Washington server cluster) has its headquarters in California but has a data center in Washington (i.e. where the actual server is physically hosted), you might see the California address instead and not the actual Washington address.
Me: Can you tell me why this would have happened?
JD: The most likely explanation here is that the IP lookup site that you’ve used might have an incorrect geo-location information of our Singapore server’s IP address or their database isn’t updated. That’s why it’s returning a different location. Note that the information reported in IP databases may sometimes be different from the actual location of the servers. For example, if the company (that’s hosting the Washington server cluster) has its headquarters in California, but has a data center in Washington (i.e. where the actual server is physically hosted), you might see the California address instead and not the actual Washington address.
Me: But what about the Singapore one showing in New York? Those are two different nations.
JD: Those locations use VPN servers that are physically located in their respective state. Unfortunately, not all geo-databases have been updated to reflect the physical location of the servers, and we are unable to directly control the results since they are maintained by 3rd parties.
Me: Well that stinks. Will it show me as being in New York even though I want to it to be showing me in Singapore for example?
JD: It shouldn’t.
JD: What website are you using in checking your location?
JD: You can try using this: whatismyip.network/ That’s what we use here.
Me: Okay let me try.
Me: I just checked my IP address and it shows that I am in Beijing. My server location i picked was Singapore – CBD.
JD: Just like what we mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, not all geo-databases have been updated to reflect the physical location of the servers and we are unable to directly control the results since they are maintained by 3rd parties.
Me: And when I check on iplocation.net it shows results from a few different websites. I have three in Singapore, one in Shanghai and Luxembourg. That is a little discouraging; the whole reason for using your service is for privacy. So if I am picking one location that is where I want the IP address to be showing I am from. At any rate, I appreciate your time. I will contact you if I have anymore questions,
JD: The main purpose of using ExpressVPN is to hide your true location.
JD: I believe the app is still doing its purpose.
Me: I agree, but if I need to access Netflix or something from a different country I want to know where I am accessing it from or rather where it thinks I am accessing it from.
JD: If you need Netflix…
Me: Just as an example.
JD: You just need to connect to a US location. We do have recommended servers for Netflix. Sorry for any inconvenience though. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: Well thanks again for you help. I will be in contact if I have anymore questions.
JD: Sure. Thanks again for contacting us. Have a great day!
Chat session disconnected.
IP Location Video
IP Location Screen Shots
Los Angeles, USA
Seoul, South Korea
ExpressVPN has apps that are available for each of the major platforms: iTunes, Google Play, Mac and the Windows Store. According to their customer support team the Windows app has to be purchased before it can be installed on your device.
DNS Leak Test
I tested the Domain Naming System (DNS) to see if any leaks were found by doing a DNS leak test. This test was completed to see how many sites were registered while using ExpressVPN. So to do this test I used 3 different websites as listed in the chart below. The DNS leak nearly passed with flying colours. Two of the 3 sites detected no leaks and the third one only showed a small leak. I have included screen shots from the DNS leak tests below the summation chart.
DNS Leak Test Video
DNS Leak Test Before ExpressVPN Launched
DNS Leak Test After ExpressVPN Launched