In times where everyone is so concerned with their privacy, it is very important to use a good VPN service that will provide you some privacy. Recently, I got a chance to use ExpressVPN and after using it for a while, I present you with my ExpressVPN review.
In this article, I am going to present my ExpressVPN review and talk in-depth about its features.
What is a VPN?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a private network that works across public networks, in simple terms, a VPN connects your device through the internet by routing you through a server this help in increasing web security and privacy. VPN works as a private tunnel between your computer and the Internet which passes through a server, that server is located in some other country. No one even not your ISP can know about your surfing, whatever you are doing over the web is only up to you.
How VPN works?
The VPN service changes your IP address with the server (IP address of some other country, where the server is located), so when you visit any site using VPN your changed IP address is being received by that site, and which means you are in that country but in actual you are not. For example: – If you are in Russia and using a VPN service of the USA, so if you visit any site your IP address will tell your location somewhere in Russia.
Why VPN is necessary?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is necessary to secure your online privacy. Isn’t it awkward if you get to know that someone is spying on you, whatever you do over the Internet is being tracked and recorded by someone, this is cheap and awful? But many of the leading organizations even our government, our ISPs keep an eye on us always. Nothing is secret in the world of the Internet.
If you need to protect your privacy, so you should use a VPN service. How cheap it will be when you are using some platform over the Internet to consult with a doctor, you need to protect your privacy that’s why you used the Internet, but here also everything is been recorded. Similarly, we have various doubts which cannot be asked of anyone and we search them on the Internet but here people are spying on us, that’s why you need a VPN.
ExpressVPN is one of the most trusted and famous VPN services available out there. It is clean and very easy to use. It has over 3,000 servers globally that you can access to hide your privacy. It also has a Kill Switch feature for all the platforms except for iOS. With features like access to torrenting on all servers and all the other features that you would expect from a normal VPN, ExpressVPN is just very good.
|Jurisdiction||British Virgin Islands|
|Kill switch||Yes, except for iOS|
|Allows torrenting||Yes, on all servers|
|Unblocks Netflix US||Yes, optimized streaming servers|
Setting Up Process
You see this is one of the areas where it will take you a bit longer to set up your ExpressVPN. I have used it on my Android and Windows and as of now the Android app for ExpressVPN is not available on Google Play Store (India only), so you will have to go to their site, and then tap/click on ‘Get ExpressVPN’, choose your plan, and complete the whole process, then you will get the APK file, in case you’re residing in India, but if you are living outside India, then you can simply head to Apple App Store and Google Play Store to download the application on your mobile.
After getting the APK file, it is very simple, install the APK file, opens it, and log in using your credentials. Once you have done that, you can use it pretty much like every other VPN.
Now we come to the main part, on the welcome screen you will get the option to pick any location that is available, By default, it is ‘Smart Location’ India (via UK). You can simply tap on the power looking button at the center of the screen to connect via that path.
However, if you want to select a different location, you can do that by tapping the three dots on the right side of the location. You will then see a list of ‘RECOMMENDED’ locations from which you can select your preferred location or you can tap on ‘ALL LOCATIONS’ to see all the available locations.
I prefer to use the United States for my VPN location and it is listed right at the top of the ‘RECOMMENDED’ locations. You just have to tap and you are all set.
In terms of setting up the VPN, I would say that the installation part at first is a bit lengthy as it does not have a direct app on the Google Play Store but using it after installation is very easy and clean.
Speed Loss and Battery Usage
One of the things that people are a lot concerned about is speed loss after they connect to a VPN. So I have tested the speeds before and after connecting to ExpressVPN below are the screenshots of that:
As you can see that ExpressVPN is no exception when it comes to speed loss. On my use, I saw a 21% drop in the average download speed and about a 35% drop in upload speed. If we take the average of the upload and download speeds that make it about 28% average speed loss when using ExpressVPN.
Now a lot of my known ones also complained that their battery seems to drain faster when they have a VPN app on their phone and I also noticed this with other VPN apps on my phone. But when I used ExpressVPN, I didn’t face any of those dramatic battery drainage issues.
Kill Switch: This feature blocks internet connection automatically when the system’s connection is not connected to the VPN. ExpressVPN has a Kill Switch feature for every platform except for iOS.
Split Tunneling: This feature is very useful for apps that work on geolocation like banking apps. If you take the example of India, several apps won’t work if you are outside of India. With this feature, ExpressVPN will bypass and turn off for such apps.
Torrenting on All Servers: ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all servers, unlike other services that are optimized for P2P servers.
Streaming Services Optimization
One of the main reasons why I use VPN service is to get access to all the US-based content and for this ExpressVPN works like a charm. As you know that a lot of shows and movies are not released in India by OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video so it is very important to get a fast and nicely optimized VPN for such occasions.
I used ExpressVPN to connect to the US servers and then instantly all of the content that was locked in India on Amazon Prime Video got unlocked. For example, Chasing Happiness is a Jonas Brothers documentary that isn’t available in India on Amazon Prime Video but using Express VPN, the documentary was unlocked for me. However, I did face network issues and because of that I had to watch it in low quality.
So yes using ExpressVPN you can easily get access to all the US exclusive content on various OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and others. However, you might have to watch them on a lower quality.
I was also able to access some of the websites that are banned in my region using ExpressVPN and they worked fine.
Well, I am not one of the heavy gamers but one of the most important things when it comes to gaming that involves the use of the internet is ping. In order to have a smooth gaming experience, one must have a low ping.
In the case of ExpressVPN, using the VPN service actually had a negative effect as I was getting higher pings which are not great if you ask any gamer out there. In my case, I faced a huge surge in ping and it was just too much and I couldn’t play the game properly. So yup, not too friendly for gamers.
Security and Privacy
ExpressVPN comes under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands which is a British overseas territory. That means its sovereign state is the United Kingdom. The UK has some good privacy protection laws which makes ideal place and the Data Protection Act of 2018 states that everyone responsible for using personal data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’.
When it comes to security, ExpressVPN uses the most advanced 256-bit AES encryption. So to give you an idea, a hacker will have to use 2^256 unique combinations to crack a 256-bit encrypted message and it is hypothetically impossible.
Also, ExpressVPN uses security protocols like UPD/TCP depending on the device plus you also get to choose between them.
ExpressVPN is one of the most compatible VPN services out there. You can have it for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Routers. It also has extensions for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
You can download ExpressVPN for your device from the link given at the end and then use it for doing your stuff.
ExpressVPN does not have one of the best pricing but has good pricing when it comes to long terms plans. The monthly plan isn’t that good and quite expensive for USD 12.95 for a month. The best plan according to me is the annual plan which is for USD 99.95 for a year and that brings a per month cost to USD 8.32 which is a straight 35% discount. The plans are as follows:
- 1-Month Plan: USD 12.95 per month
- 6-Months Plan: This will cost you USD 59.95 and will be USD 9.99 per month(effectively).
- 1-Year Plan: This will cost you USD 99.95 and will be USD 8.32 per month(effectively).