ExpressVPN wisely eschews rhetoric and instead gives you the “express” version of what it offers on the homepage (which is stylish but not overdone). Namely, Internet freedom so that you can access blocked sites, enjoy fast and secure surfing privacy, and figure an easy set up process. They also offer articles and videos explaining how VPN works and why it is of benefit for users to sign up. ExpressVPN has been around since 2005 and claims to offer 99.9% uptime for its services. ExpressVPN also runs a blog where representatives comment regarding the latest issues in the industry, most notably, Internet censorship.
The company offers a standard package for $12.95 per month, though they also offer a contract for $59.95 for six months and $99.95 for one year. No setup fees apply. The company also claims to offer many discounts, including initial savings of up to 50% off listed price. While $12.95 is slightly higher than the packages of other companies, there are savings available on a consistent basis.
ExpressVPN has approximately 15 servers spread across the globe. Supported countries include the U.S., Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, France, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Switzerland. Users have Access to all servers at any time.
Supported protocols include OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP-IPSec and SSTP, which are standard for VPN service. There are both install and no install options available, depending on the user’s setup. OpenVPN does not require any installation.
ExpressVPN provides a FAQ section for relatively easy fixes. However, they also remain “on staff” seven days a week through a support ticket system or through direct email. Unfortunately, no phone number is provided for live service. They only answer emails and only during Asian daytime hours. They may take a few hours to respond to complex queries. The company does actually have a virtual chat option accessible on its website. Simply type in your question and receive an answer within a few moments. (Provided this occurs during normal hours)
ExpressVPN is offering one of the best money back guarantees in the business bar none, since it is an unconditional refund offer, extending for a full 30 days. The user must request a full refund within 30 days to stop the next billing cycle. However, there are a few conditions that must be respected, including the usual promise not to do anything illegal (such as viruses, illegal acts, harassment, etc.). ExpressVPN does not allow VPN sharing with other people, though it allows multiple account purchasing. While they offer secure and anonymous browsing they do use IP addresses to help diagnose server problems. They only investigate logging files if there are complaints from others. For the most part, they offer freedom and do not store private information about their users—unlike (surprisingly) many other VPN companies.
ExpressVPN does not have any bandwidth limitations for any of its plans. It works with all ISPs and offers anonymous surfing with encryption. They have 128-bit encryption, which is equal HTTPS. Unfortunately, total privacy is not guaranteed, at least not by the company who does keep server logs of your IPs, email addresses and credit card information. The company is based in the U.S. and thus is forced to honor the country’s stringent laws regarding tracing IP addresses and submitting them to authorities.
Using VPN service does not slow down your system but Internet speeds can be affected by a number of situations. For example, foreign websites tend to be faster, while sites closer to you tend to be congested and slower. For the most part, PPTP and L2TP are said to have the same speed rates in Mbps. Only OpenVPN seems to run slower. The average number of servers (as opposed to companies with many servers) does prevent the company from being the fastest and most reliable host.
Because ExpressVPN has PPTP/L2TP it can support VPN options on most modern Smartphones like Windows Mobile, Android, iPhones and iPads. The fact that it supports Nokia phones is also a big plus, as not every VPN host states this compatibility.
The VPN host can work with a number of OS software, including the best new systems from Windows and Apple. The company supports Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS. It also hosts Linux, though customer support for Linux is limited because of great differences between Linux and Windows or Apple software. However, even Linux users can use OpenVPN without a problem. Other well known applications work because of universal OS compatibility, and these programs include Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Pandora, BBC Player and Hulu. Browser compatibility is no issue, as the VPN features work with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome and Opera.
The company does not offer any free trial program. However, they offer what is perhaps the best money back guarantee in VPN services today: a full month of service. The user can use the service for less than 30 days and then make a request to cancel the service. The refund policy is virtually unconditional (with a few obvious limitations).
ExpressVPN does allow access for multiple computers or mobile units, with the firm condition that only one connection can be used at a time. In order to use more than one VPN system, you must buy an additional account. ExpressVPN accepts payment through well established websites like PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and even American Express and Discover, which is not very common in the industry. One major problem reported with ExpressVPN is the fact that the company only offers shared IP types, and with no option for dedicated VPN service. In addition to English, the company also provides assistance in the French language. Overall, the company does offer competitive VPN services at slightly higher prices than other VPN providers. However, there money back guarantee remains, for users who want an extended practice session.
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