Although ExpressVPN probably has the most decent VPN rankings as the best overall service, you shouldn’t rush to the conclusion that it is the safest as well. In this case, you could be right, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is always best to dig deeper in search of the truth. So, “Is ExpressVPN safe or what?”, you may wonder.
On the surface, a lot of VPN services may seem like the best choice since their promotional communication can be rather deceiving. After taking them apart, you may find that it was all smoke and mirrors.
This is why we dedicate this page to exploring the truth behind this market leader. Before answering the question of whether ExpressVPN is safe or not, let’s find out:
How do we determine the answer to “is ExpressVPN safe?”
Let’s see what makes this VPN software a leader. In all fairness, we need to mention that there are a few other services, such as NordVPN, that could arguably claim the Numero Uno position – the truth, when it comes to the Top 3, is relative. It always depends on what your criteria are or what your angle is.
The first good bit of news about ExpressVPN is that it is located in the British Virgin Islands. This means no US or UK jurisdiction, no data protection or retention laws. In other words – freedom from surveillance. No Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes countries can (theoretically) touch it.
We believe that it’s important for your VPN to not be based in any of the global surveillance-friendly countries, like the US, Canada, or Australia.
Nevertheless, there have been cases when even that doesn’t help. Certain VPN providers have been proven way too eager to help the authorities wherever they were located (e.g., PureVPN and HideMyAss). Yet, ExpressVPN has given us no reason to question their integrity in this sense.
No logs policy
In addition to its good location choice, ExpressVPN is also an eager flagbearer of a true no logs policy. This means that they don’t just claim and promote having a zero logs policy – they also take it seriously.
- Apps and app versions successfully activated
- Dates (but not times) when you connected to the VPN service
- Selected VPN server locations
- Total amount of data transferred per day
You can clearly see that this information can’t be used to identify you or link you to your online activities.
But even if this was not enough, let us remind you of an investigation last year (2017), when the Turkish police seized an ExpressVPN server to find information in relation to the killing of the Russian ambassador in Ankara. The authorities ended up empty-handed because there was no useful data to find.
Let’s try it again: Is ExpressVPN safe?
Hell, yeah! What more could you ask for than a real-world example of them passing the no logs test? This proves that ExpressVPN one of the safest on the market. So, this Turkish case actually came in handy for Express as a free promotion. But there’s more to consider when it comes to online security and privacy.
ExpressVPN has over 2,000 servers in 148 VPN server locations over 94 countries. While the number of servers is not the highest compared to competitors, their dispersion is very impressive. Indirectly, this also makes ExpressVPN safer, since it allows you to find alternative locations for bypassing censorship more easily.
What gives this VPN yet another layer of security is the fact that its network uses private zero-knowledge DNS servers. This is a great way to ensure that there are no DNS leaks. In other words, ExpressVPN makes it difficult to snoop on you or find out what you are doing online and link your activities back to you.
Although most VPN apps provide the same cipher for your internet activities, we still need to mention that ExpressVPN encrypts your data using AES-256. This algorithm is sometimes called “military-grade” or “bank-level” because it is the standard employed by the US government, military, and banks.
The main reason behind this cipher’s popularity is the fact that it is impossible to “brute-force”. Even if you combine all of the computational power available today, such an attack would still take ages. Sounds safe enough for your online activities? But you may still wonder: Is ExpressVPN safe? So, let’s go on.
Express offers a great variety of VPN protocols, including OpenVPN (UDP/TCP), SSTP, L2TP over IPSec, and PPTP. Whether it is speed, reliability, security, or any combination of these that you need, you can choose the right one for the task at hand.
Fortunately, ExpressVPN also comes with a kill switch (Network Lock), which is indispensable when it comes to providing a secure VPN service. If your VPN connection drops, this particular kill switch will stop all network traffic, so that your device (smartphone or PC) doesn’t connect you automatically to the web via your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
No VPN provider can possibly guarantee that there won’t be connection drops from time to time. Therefore, a kill switch is a must if you want to feel safe online.
This is a sort of IP/DNS leak protection. Without it, in our opinion, a VPN is close to useless.
The icing on the cake is that ExpressVPN gives you the option to pay anonymously for its apps. You can choose to pay in Bitcoin or other alternatives, like Alipay, WebMoney, and Yandex Money. If you don’t want your financial transaction to have a record, linking you to your VPN account, select an anonymous payment option and you will be as safe as one can get.
“Is ExpressVPN safe?” – we’ve been doing our best to answer that question in this post. The short way to put it is: of course, ExpressVPN is safe. Probably, one of the safest tools you can buy. We hope that you can see you’re in good hands if you let this VPN take care of your online security and privacy.
However, on a less positive note, we do have to mention that this high-level safety comes at a high price. ExpressVPN is indeed one of the most expensive VPN services on the market today. You can find other VPN services with similar security features at a lower price – if that is your main concern. Just keep in mind that ExpressVPN offers a lot more than just safety!