Nothing stands still in the VPN world, and it’s about now when everyone begins rolling out a new set of reviews for all the top VPN providers.
This ExpressVPN review takes another look at what has changed with the service, and if they are still rated as the best VPN for Australia?
|Overall Rank:#||Ranked 1st out of 74 VPN's|
|Usability:||Very Easy to use straight out of the box|
|Log Files:||Strict No Logging policy|
|Locations:||94 countries and 2000+ VPN servers|
|Support:||24/7 Live Chat|
|Torrenting:||Torrenting & P2P Allowed|
|Netflix:||Easily unblocks Netflix|
|Encryption:||OpenVPN, IPSec & IKEv2|
|Jurisdiction:||Outside of any 14 eyes countries|
Privacy and Security
ExpressVPN is based on the (BVI) British Virgin Islands which is an independent country, and all their own regulations and legal system.
This small country has no laws regarding data retention, and it is also a Tax haven so obtaining records on any user is almost impossible.
Such is the standard of privacy held by the company, it might cause concern in some people that it is difficult to find information regarding company employees or their founders. This shows how much ExpressVPN values privacy.
Such is the extent of the zero log policy, that as was mentioned at the back end of 2017, a Turkish ExpressVPN was seized and the government wanted logs, but the company adamantly said they were in no position to provide these logs because none existed.
Some VPN providers do keep some logs, hence the reason why it is good for ExpressVPN to be based outside of any 5 or 14 eyes country.
For the ultimate in privacy, and they are using location specific activities such as gambling through an online VPN.
ExpressVPN has its rock-solid kill switch which automatically kills any software you are using should your VPN lose its connection.
ExpressVPN has not rested having their Network Lock as being one of the best, they have also updated their apps to protect users against rare scenarios where there could be a leak when a user changes between a network interface. Lan to Wi-Fi etc.
There have also been some welcomed security updates in various areas, and these are:
Additional WebRTC leak protection on the most common browsers where your IP address can be seen. Many other VPN services don’t protect users from this.
Additional DNS leak protection is updated.
This VPN also wants to further understand problems which might occur, and for this reason they have developed their own suite of tools for testing privacy. These are free to users and are available from GitHub
ExpressVPN uses an AES 256-bit cipher with a 4096-bit RSA key and SHA-512 HMAC authentication which is super strong, so no users’ need to worry how safe is ExpressVPN.
This encryption prevents any brute force attacks, and it is the same as the CIA, FBI and many banking institutions use.
Most users only need the default (and most secure) “OpenVPN.” But, ExpressVPN supports SSTP, L2Tp/IPsec, and PPTP protocols if users need them.
One good thing with this VPN was security and encryption was high, but speeds were still pretty good, whereas other VPN providers start to suffer speed wise when the security levels are increased. Some services even lower security levels so they can promote faster speeds.
There is another service which is designed for out and out security and it is supported by ExpressVPN.
Tor compatibility isn’t supported by every VPN provider, but it can be a welcome option for users who want the ultimate in security.
Any of your data is relayed around multiple servers, so finding your physical location borders on impossible.
User who wish to use this feature can use their official browser on an Android Windows or Mac device and access the following address: http://expressobutiolem.onion.
ExpressVPN also now provides for split tunneling, and with this you can easily choose which apps exit via the VPN router and which ones will go via the regular route of your ISP.
During testing of the ExpressVPN apps and service. ipleak.net was used as the primary testing source.
The received results were more than satisfactory and there were no bugs, leaks or problems tested using any of the VPN apps.
When testing using windows, the client was securing all the traffic by resolving the IP address (IPv4) and blocking IPv6 traffic.
At the same time all DNS requests were handled using their secure DNS resolver servers.
One of the greatest strengths of ExpressVPN is their download and upload speeds, and here are a few examples of the results we achieved.
- Base Speed without VPN running – 100 Mbps
- The speed with ExpressVPN running – 83.15 Mbps
There are other VPN’s which can offer speeds around this mark, but they either skimp on encryption or the whole service lacks on features.
All tests were conducted using 256-bit OpenVPN, and the base speed was 100 Mbps. Here you can see results gained from central Europe to servers in various locations:
- Switzerland: Download speed: 92 Mbps
- Italy: Download speed: 94 Mbps
- New York: Download speed: 77 Mbps
- Washington D.C: Download speed: 78 Mbps
- Hong Kong: Download Speed: 30 Mbps
Their apps and VPN services are supported on the following by dedicated apps.
- iPhone and iPad
- Various routers
- Various web browser extensions
Other devices which are supported:
Apple TV, Fire TV, Smart TV, PlayStation, Android TV box, and many more
Numerous VPN providers offer a decent service yet they have abysmal customer service and support. On occasions, users are waiting for days to receive a reply.
ExpressVPN is very different and offers the best customer service in the industry which is based on 24/7 365 chat, so there is always a person to speak to regarding any queries.
All of the staff are knowledgeable in resolving issues, and this goes as far as help with accessing US Netflix.
The Service has a solid reputation for being the best VPN for Netflix with very minimal problems. The following servers work exceptionally well in accessing this streaming service
- USA (NY)
- Canada (Toronto)
- UK (London)
This being said, some servers might throw up an error, but the staff will quickly help you to choose one which is working.
Being able to download torrents or P2P file sharing is also well supported on the majority of their servers. Again, if there are any issues, the staff are only a quick message away to put it right.
For any Australian VPN user, these are two of the most significant selling points, and it is great to see a world-class VPN do all they can to make sure they continue to offer these two services.
Over the past few months, there was a download ExpressVPN free 3-month option for ExpressVPN when you signed up for 12 months.
Unfortunately, they have finished this, and now they purely offer a reduced rate. It is worth checking for offers on ExpressVPN.com while you are deciding, because offers do show from time to time.
With all packages, you have a 30-day money back guarantee with no questions asked, and no limitations like some VPN providers impose.
Here are the current pricing plans for the ExpressVPN full service:
- Monthly Plan: $12.95 per month
- 6 Monthly Plan: $9.99/month (Billed $59.95 every six months)
- 12-Month Plan: $8.32/Month (Billed $99.95 every 12 months)
The service also accepts plenty of payment options, and once you have signed up, you receive an email with your ExpressVPN key. And, all you need to do then is click the download link, and once you start your ExpressVPN app enter your ExpressVPN activation code on each device, and you are secured.
The entire process takes less than 30 minutes.
There is probably not such a thing as a perfect VPN, but Express VPN is pretty close. However it does have a couple of drawbacks. For many users, it might not be a concern, but they still only allow 3 devices to connect at once.
You can install the apps on as many devices as you like, but you will need to deactivate it on one before connecting another.
A simple solution to this problem is to install it on a router (if compatible) or purchase a pre-configured router with ExpressVPN already installed. This counts as 1 device.
Price can be seen as another con, but with the current offers. They have fallen in line and offer a reduction for a yearly plan.
Pricing aside, with this company you get a fast anonymous VPN with masses of device support and well over 2000+ servers to choose from which is only rivaled by ExpressVPN Vs. NordVPN in server numbers.
Once you see it in action, you can easily see how safe and secure your connection is, and for any Australian who is worried about ISP data retention, they can quickly have nothing to worry about.