ExpressVPN Review (Updated January, 2017)

Whether you're looking for the best VPN for China, the best VPN for Netflix, the best VPN for torrenting, or the best VPN for online privacy and anonymity, ExpressVPN is the clear winner in all of these categories. The superior quality apps, ease of use, 24/7 support, and high-speed servers are without compare in the VPN industry. Overall, no other VPN that I have used can match the quality, reliability, and speed of ExpressVPN. You don't need to take my word for it though, you try ExpressVPN yourself risk-free for 30 days due to their very generous 30-day no-hassle money-back guarantee. You can cancel any time for any reason within 30 days, no questions asked! As proof of how easy it is to get a refund, I am sharing the chat transcript of my friend who cancelled his service without any hassle at all.

One of my favorite features of ExpressVPN is the built-in speed testing function for the desktop applications. Unlike the speed test tools of other VPN software, this measures both latency and download speed. These measurements are combined to assign a "speed index" so you know which server locations will work the best from your location. No need to waste your time connecting to all the servers one by one to find the best one. You can see my speed test results below from my home China using China Telecom ISP.

expressvpn speed test software results

So far I have personally used the ExpressVPN apps for Windows, Android, iOS, and the new router app. They also have apps available for Mac and Linux and a smart DNS service that works for watching Netflix on Apple TV, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, etc. All of the apps I have used work extremely well and much better than the apps of any other VPN I have tested. The app that really stands out from the competition is the ExpressVPN iOS app. Many VPN providers cannot offer an iOS app that works good in China but ExpressVPN has managed to do it. The ExpressVPN iOS app supports both Cisco IPSec and OpenVPN protocols. In fact, ExpressVPN is the only VPN company I am aware of that has implemented the OpenVPN protocol within their dedicated app for iOS. Normally, it's only possible to use OpenVPN on iOS through the third party OpenVPN Connect app.

Although ExpressVPN is the best VPN, it's also one of the most expensive. For me personally, it's well worth the $8.32 a month given the high performance of the Hong Kong 3 server when connecting from my ISP, China Telecom.

Tips for using ExpressVPN for Netflix

  • Not all servers will work for Netflix, you need to contact support by live chat or email to get the right server. Currently, there are working server locations in USA, Canada, and UK. Check the latest updates for working VPNs for Netflix here.
  • If you are using the mobile apps for android or iOS, you must disable locations services to prevent the app from knowing your real location.
  • The easiest way to get American Netflix on Apple TV, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, etc is to use the MediaStreamer DNS which is included free all ExpressVPN subscriptions. Another easy option that doesn't require you to flash customer firmware on your router is to use your computer as a virtual VPN router. This will share the VPN connection from your computer with all devices wirelessly.

Tips for using ExpressVPN in China

  • Use the built-in speed test function of the desktop software to find the best servers. Run the test again if you are experiencing poor performance, if you change locations within China, or change ISPs.
  • If you don't get good speeds then try changing the port between UDP or TCP or just simply re-connect using the same port. Some server locations are hosted on more than one data center and you can get different servers by re-connecting to the same location. You can also trying PPTP and L2TP, but in my experience these protocols don't work well with ExpressVPN and several servers are missing when setting the protocol to PPTP or L2TP.
  • Keep the apps up to date, ExpressVPN releases updates very frequently and the apps keep getting better and better.

November 2016 Update on Hong Kong 3

There has been some problems with the Hong Kong 3 server recently. Some customers found that this server was removed from their account and in fact it was not available in certain accounts starting sometime in the summer of 2016. Then it was removed completely for maintenance in the beginning of October. Nowadays it seems to be available for most accounts although I have heard from 2 people who say it is still missing from their account.

If you find that the Hong Kong 3 server is missing from your account then here are my suggestions for you.

First make sure that it really is missing. It will only show up under the "all servers" section. You won't find it in the "recommended servers" section and you will not find it anywhere if you changed the protocol to PPTP, L2TP, or SSTP. If the protocol is set to OpenVPN then you should see it as shown below. You can add it to your favorites by clicking the star as I have done.

ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 server located in the All Locations tab

If it's really missing then run the speed test using the ExpressVPN Windows or Mac app to find out what other servers might work good for you. This test measures both latency and download speed and it's very accurate. For me the second best server is usually Taiwan 1. The speed and latency is decent although not as good as Hong Kong 3.

If you can't find any other servers that work good for you then talk to support. ExpressVPN has very good support and they will likely give you a solution such as helping you find another good server, re-enabling Hong Kong 3, or even giving you a refund even outside of 30 days. Every case is dealt with individually so I can't say for certain what they will do for you but all of those solutions I mentioned are possible. All I can say for certain is that they will resolve your complaint one way or another.

If you lost Hong Kong 3 and can't get it back from support and you a really desperate to get it back there is only one way. Sign up for a new account.

If you are looking for another server with comparable performance to ExpressVPN Hong Kong 3 then try 

StrongVPN HKG301 or HKG302 (15% off the annual account here), or Hong Kong 1 (25% lifetime recurring discount here). For the latest updates on what servers I am personally using you can check my VPN blog page.