Although ExpressVPN is known as having the best overall service (or at least one of the best), you shouldn’t rush to the conclusion that it’s also the safest. In this case, you could be right, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s always best to dig deeper in search of the truth. That’s why you’re probably wondering: “Is ExpressVPN safe or what?”
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’re dedicating this page to exploring the truth behind this market leader. Before answering the question of whether ExpressVPN is safe or not, let’s look at a few important things first.
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’s 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 not to 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 proven way too eager to help the authorities no matter where they’re located (e.g., PureVPN case and HideMyAss case).
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.
ExpressVPN keeps logs of:
- 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’s remind you of an investigation last year (2017), when the Turkish police seized an ExpressVPN server to find information about the killing of the Russian ambassador in Ankara. The authorities came up empty-handed because there was no useful data to find.
So let’s try it again: Is ExpressVPN safe?
When it comes to logging your data – hell, yeah! What more could you ask for than a real-world example of them passing the no-logs test? This shows that ExpressVPN is one of the safest on the market. So, this Turkish case actually came in handy for Express as free promotion. But there’s more to consider when it comes to online security and privacy.
ExpressVPN has over 3000 servers in 160+ VPN server locations over 90 countries. While the number of servers is not the highest compared to the competitors, their diversity 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 linking 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 practically 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 look at some other important aspects.
Express offers a great variety of VPN protocols, including OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), IKEv2/IPsec, L2TP/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.
Moreover, quite recently ExpressVPN introduced Lightway – a new protocol to its beta version testers. Currently, it is only available to Android users, however, other platforms are likely to get this protocol sooner rather than later.
With Lightway, users will get to enjoy both – bulletproof security, and exceptional performance.
Unfortunately, ExpressVPN doesn’t have a “stealth protocol” to combat internet restrictions, such as the Great Firewall of China.
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 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. And that, unfortunately, is the case with ExpressVPN app for iOS, which is yet to have a kill switch.
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 that links you to your VPN account, select an anonymous payment option, and you’ll 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.
Most likely, it is 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.
- Watertight security
- Massive server list
- Great for streaming
- Very good for torrenting
- Very fast
- 24/7 customer support
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, even when lacking a “stealth protocol” and a kill switch for iOS.
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!