Express VPN is one of the more prominent providers in the industry and enjoy a lot of positive reviews of their products and services. Express position themselves as a ‘VPN for everyone’ and their product reinforces this, here’s what we thought when we reviewed them.
Website: The Express VPN website is rather nice, it’s design has been given some thought and the iconography is pretty cool. The website’s colour scheme feels secure and you immediately get an understanding of what is on offer to you as a potential customer. The site is well laid out, easy to navigate and very informative about the product.
Plans and Pricing; Express VPN keep their pricing simple with one plan and three terms. Customers have the option of 1, 6 or 12 months that get cheaper as the plan length increases - the cheapest plan (12mo upfront) is $8.32/mo. This pricing structure places Express VPN towards the more expensive end of the market and at $12.95/mo paid month to month is actually pretty darn pricey.
Features: ExpressVPN has a pretty standard feature set but it does keep company with the big industry players with a pretty impressive global network. Express VPN’s network spans 100 locations in over 78 countries - whilst it doesn’t list the number of IP’s that are available, you can safely assume there are plenty of them. Similar to a number of other prominent providers Express provides it’s customers with unlimited bandwidth (read the terms), Unlimited server switches and unlimited speed.
Security & Protocols: The guys at Express VPN certainly aren’t tight with the protocol offering and offer all of their users OpenVPN (TCP,UDP), L2TP-IPSec, PPTP and SSTP - which is one of the strongest set of protocols offered in the market. Express are ‘logless’ to an extent, but do admit to collecting the following information: times when connected to our service, choice of server location, and the total amount of data transferred per day.
Customer Support: Express VPN’s support is built on top of Zendesk and as you would expect, provides a pretty nice experience. The support team can be reached by live chat or email; we tested both and found that ticket submission response was 5 hours, live chat (An agent named Noel) took 20 seconds to connect and he was really helpful. There are plenty of setup guides and tutorials and a few FAQ’s, but I really felt that i couldn’t quickly access the answer to any question I had - the addition of search is definitely required here.
Customer Dashboard: I found the dashboard to be simple to navigate and offer everything that I needed in order to manage my account. The design is a little uninspiring, but everything is accessible and exactly where it should be.
Desktop Client: The client is remarkably simple, almost a little too much so. It kind of looks like it was 50% designed then handed off to the engineers. Nevertheless, it is super easy to navigate and although I personally have a bit of a problem with desktop clients popping open new windows when you click an action button, it does manage to keep things pretty intuitive. The server list is easily accessible and search, favourites and recents all work rather well. All in all, it’s one of the better software clients in the marketplace.
Mobile: The application really struggles when compared to it’s competitors, choosing/locating a server to connect to is a massive pain in the ass, as it is done with a map rather than a list/search and it really sucks. Once I finally found the location that I wanted to connect to I tried to connect and…….. nothing, nada - I tried again on another location and…….nothing, it’s at that point I gave up and deleted the app.
Conclusion: It’s difficult to find too much fault with Express VPN, their core product offering is really solid and their network is very impressive. They are let down by some pretty simple UI/UX flaws and a really buggy iOS mobile app. I would certainly recommend Express VPN and hopefully they figure out their iOS issues soon.