- ExpressVPN; https://www.expressvpn.com/
- Price: from £5.15 per month (current offer)
- Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone and iPad, Android, Routers, Browser Extensions
Demand for privacy while online, protection from prying eyes, or the ability to bypass a country’s restrictions are some of the top reasons why millions of Internet users all over the world are turning to VPNs to help protect their digital activities. The problem is, there’s just so many VPNs to choose from.
ExpressVPN was launched in 2009, and has been protecting the digital rights of users across the world with an impressive arsenal of security features. Running from 160 server locations in 94 countries, ExpressVPN can provide you with a solid connection wherever you’re located. And since the company is registered in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction, there’s no logging taking place. In fact, the company regularly welcomes third-party audits of its logging policies, to assure that all connection to and from the VPN are private. That includes IP addresses, browsing history, traffic destination and data, and DNS queries.
In terms of security technology, ExpressVPN tops the bill with some of the best VPN protocols we’ve ever tested. With an AES-256 bit cypher, RSA-4096 bit keys, and SHA-512 bit HMAC, ExpressVPN is quite possible the highest level of security in any VPN available. In addition to all that, the company also uses Certificate Authorities to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, and Perfect Forward Secrecy, which means there’s a new secret key issued every time you connect or every sixty minutes. All in all, it’s impossible for any attacker to be able to view your connection information and transfer of data while you’re connected to ExpressVPN.
Other features include a network kill switch, which will lock out all Internet traffic should you lose connection to the VPN – except local network traffic, so you can still access a network printer; Split Tunneling, so some traffic can be passed through the VPN while the rest access the Internet normally; IP Address Masking, Unlimited Bandwidth, and the ability to connect up to five device simultaneously; and the Express VPN servers run in RAM mode, so once the power is removed from the volatile memory anything stored in it is gone forever – so there’s certainly no storing of information regarding your connection.
One of the main bugbears with VPNs is the speed of the connection. While it’s great to be able to connect and obtain an IP address from another country, the speed of the connection is often something of a let-down. However, that’s not the case with ExpressVPN.
Using the Ookla online speedtest, we recorded 38.25Mbps download, and 13.17Mbps upload while not connected to ExpressVPN.
When we connected to ExpressVPN, we chose a local server, one based in London Docklands, and managed an excellent 35.64Mbps download with 12.11Mbps upload.
Furthermore, we connected to a server on the other side of the planet, one located in New Zealand, and was surprised to get a download speed of 26.56Mbps and upload speed of 11.55Mbps; not too much of a loss of speed from our original test without the VPN altogether.
Using the ExpressVPN software is extremely easy. Once installed, you can choose from a list of recommended servers, ones that are closest to your current location for maximum speed, or by All Locations, which lists all the available servers across the 94 countries. Connecting and disconnecting can be done by clicking on the power button in the centre of the ExpressVPN app window, and there’s also plenty of options to finetune your experience, as well as to install the VPN as an extension to your web browsers.
Pricing is slightly higher than some VPNs we’ve reviewed in the past, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. In this case it’s the highest possible form of security and speed. A one-month connection to ExpressVPN costs £9.99, while six months comes in at £7.71 per month. There’s currently (at the time of writing) a special deal on for 12 months with 3 months free, this costs just £5.15 per month. All pricing models come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and are charged in US dollars – you can even pay with Bitcoin, to heighten your privacy if you so wish.
As an added bonus, ExpressVPN are offering 30-days free if you sign up via this link: 30 Days Free
ExpressVPN has proved itself to be well above the competition in terms of security and privacy. It’s policies are rock solid, and its features are more than enough for any sort of user who’s in need of secure Internet access. The connection speeds are the best we’ve seen from a VPN, and while the pricing may be slightly higher than some of the competition, we think it’s worth every penny. In short, simply the best VPN on the market, and we highly recommend using it.
Superb security and privacy, good connection speeds and peace of mind when online.
+ Secure and reliable connection.
+ Support for multiple devices.
+ Excellent connection speeds, and no data leaks.
+ No logging, and a large global network of secure servers.