ExpressVpn Review December 2021
You see, the co-founder of ExpressVPN wrote this book. I don’t know if the company was first registered in Florida, but has since moved. And what’s crazy is that when the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was assassinated, ExpressVPN– I can’t quite decide if all this information I’ve been able to dig up on the origins of ExpressVPN and its founders makes me trust the service more or less.
I’ll have to let you decide. Welcome to All Things Secured. , and as a long time user of ExpressVPN, long time as in I’ve now been through multiple branding redesigns, and as someone who refuses to place full trust in any digital-service company, I’m here to give you my two cents on ExpressVPN.
It’s fair to say that ExpressVPN is one of the most established players in the commercial VPN market. And you’ve probably seen their advertisements- – Protect all of your devices with just one click – -or watched your favorite YouTuber get paid to endorse their product. – ExpressVPN is the service for you.
And I’ll start by saying that I am not being paid for this video, as much as I wish I could pay my bills with video sponsorships, this is not it.
I do receive affiliate commissions, but I’d reserve judgment on that until you hear this entire review. Instead of listing off all the features and benefits of ExpressVPN, which I’m sure I’ll mention, to some degree, throughout this review, I’d rather focus on three simple questions. First, is it easy to set up and use? Is it trustworthy, secure service? And who, exactly, owns and operates ExpressVPN?
I’ve been able to find some interesting answers to these questions, so let’s dive in. If you haven’t seen it already, ExpressVPN rolled out a new design of their website and apps in January of 2021.
Ever since my time in China, where VPNs were critical to bypass internet censorship, my experience with their software has been overwhelmingly positive. They were the ones who pioneered that big, fat power button that made it ridiculously easy to connect. And as obvious as that may seem now, back in the day, most VPNs were designed to look like complex data monitoring systems.
Even with this new design, the power button remained central to the connection experience. And I feel like it takes a somewhat-complex security product and makes it accessible, whether you consider yourself tech savvy or not You get access to more servers than you’ll know what to do with, a nice built-in speed test, an industry-standard, 30-day money back guarantee, and for me here in Asia,
I can easily stream Netflix, Disney+, Pandora, and access any censored content with very few problems. Under the hood, they continue to offer standard security features, like a kill switch, which they call a network lock, IPv6 Leak Protection, RAM-based servers, encrypted DNS, and other more technical benefits that the average user will take advantage of, but might not fully understand.
And that’s okay. I mean, when it comes to the installation, setup, and use of the ExpressVPN app, really, on any device, I tend to rank them pretty high on the list. They strike a good balance between offering important advanced security features while also keeping the design simple enough for anybody to use. But ease-of-use is just one component of a virtual private network. It has to actually deliver on the promises of security and privacy, right? And this is where ExpressVPN, like pretty much every other company that operates a centralized private network, is reliant on building your trust. You have to trust that when they say they don’t log your data, they aren’t logging data.
You have to trust that ExpressVPN is not influenced by investors, Big Tech, or governments. You have to trust that ExpressVPN values your privacy as much as you do. And although ExpressVPN has given me no reason to think that any of these statements aren’t true, I can’t stand here and guarantee that that will always be the case. And keep this in mind, no matter which VPN you choose, you are putting your privacy and security into the hands of that company, and it’s up to you to decide whether you trust their motives. For example, when the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was assassinated back in 2017, ExpressVPN had one of their servers seized and authorities were unable to find anything, any logs, to add to their investigation.
This, of course, supports their claim that they don’t keep logs. And their track record is a reason why I’ve been using them for so many years. Also not to get too technical here, but I need to mention the VPN connection protocols that are available with ExpressVPN. Historically, the standard for VPNs has been the OpenVPN protocol, and ExpressVPN offers this as an option. But with the introduction of a more lightweight protocol, like WireGuard, which most VPN companies have started to adopt, ExpressVPN took a different approach.
They decided to develop their own WireGuard alternative they call Lightway. I’ve already done a video about the differences between Lightway, OpenVPN, and WireGuard that you can see here, if you’re interested.
But the bottom line is that while I’m optimistic about their new protocol, I’m hesitant to lend my full support until they fulfill their promise to make the core library open-sourced. Okay.
Now for my favorite question, who owns and runs ExpressVPN? This is important to me because, although I’m sure that I don’t understand the complexities and international pressures that come with running a VPN, I’m also not comfortable transmitting my most sensitive data through networks owned by an entity that I don’t know.
We’re starting to see a slight shift in the VPN industry toward a bit more transparency, but it’s ever so slight. There’s very little information publicly available about ExpressVPN, which is why it’s just been so much fun for me to try to recreate the history of this company based on hours and hours of research online.
Let’s start with ExpressVPN Co-founder Peter Burchhardt, the German-American entrepreneur, who graduated from the Wharton Business School, earned a few patents working for Microsoft in China, and even self-published a book about the fundamentals of building a successful startup.
He spent quite a bit of time in China, like I have, and speaks Mandarin, like I do. And one of my favorite projects I found of his was a business called Linden Alley, where people could order custom art from Chinese artists for cheap. Anyway, it wasn’t until he met fellow Wharton alum Dan Pomerantz, in 2009, that ExpressVPN was born.
Now, Dan is much harder to dig up information about so kudos to you, Dan. But together they entered the market at the perfect time with the perfect combination of good software and innovative marketing. And most people don’t know that they first registered the company in Florida, of all places, at least according to the early versions of their website’s terms of service. And they remained a US company until sometime in late 2014 or early 2015, I think.
Their network was, and to some degree I believe still is, based in Hong Kong, but the company, itself, has been registered in the British Virgin Islands for some time now. So what does that mean for us, the end-user?
Honestly, not a lot, I admit. I simply believe that the more we know about a company, the easier it will be to trust them, or at least hold them accountable, for how they manage that trust. Do I use ExpressVPN?
Yes, I have for at least 10 years now. Is it easy to install and to use on, pretty much, any device you have? Absolutely.
Yes. Is it one of the more expensive options on the market today? Yes, this is also true. So given what I’ve shared with you, it’s entirely up to you to decide whether ExpressVPN has earned your trust.
And if they have, and if this review’s been useful to you, please consider using the affiliate link I have in the description below, or, at the very least, giving this review a thumbs up. If not, no worries. I’m glad you’ve made it this far, and I hope you’re able to keep all things secured.