Whether you want to protect your Mac from online threats or just bypass geo-blocking for more content, a VPN might be exactly what you need. And, one of the best VPNs in the field is ExpressVPN. But, is it worth the price? Read on to know the answer in our Express VPN for Mac review.
ExpressVPN Servers and Server Locations
One of the main reasons to pay for a VPN subscription is the ability to access multiple VPN servers. Generally speaking, it’s good to have a diverse distribution of servers. This will ensure that you’ll be able to find a suitable one and likely get better Internet speed, no matter where you are. Plus, it also gives you more options for spoofing your location.
In reality, ExpressVPN offers up to 3,000 VPN servers and 160 server locations across 94 countries. Among the top-rated VPNs available, ExpressVPN offers the best balance of hardware and virtual servers. Not to mention its huge server collection, one of the best we’ve ever seen!
Besides, ExpressVPN also shines in geographic diversity, with excellent coverage across Africa and South America, which are often underserved or ignored by other VPN companies. Furthermore, ExpressVPN also maintains servers for some countries with repressive internet policies like Turkey.
Well, we’re happy to say that ExpressVPN does a really good job when it comes to protecting customer privacy and securing its data. This is one of the few companies that is clear about the limits of its data gathering.
The company doesn’t store user activity log, originating IP address, or the VPN IP you connect with. However, ExpressVPN still collects some information like the aggregate amount of data transferred or the amount of successful connections that have been made.
Additionally, ExpressVPN uses a cryptographic key scheme that selects unique keys for each server, making it much harder for attackers to impersonate.
Here are the best features that comes with ExpressVPN you might like.
Multiple VPN Connections
In the past, users were limited to only 3 connections from different devices at the same time. Now, we’re glad that ExpressVPN has increased it to 5 connections. That means with only 1 purchase, your entire family can use ExpressVPN. In comparison, top VPNs like NordVPN and CyberGhost also offer around six connections.
Alternatively, you can go for an ExpressVPN-support router, thanks to a partnership between ExpressVPN and FlashRouters. Or, just follow ExpressVPN’s instructions and install it on the router yourself.
The benefit here is that your router can protect every device on your network, including those that can’t even run the VPN on their own. Moreover, ExpressVPN also creates an app to make this experience more convenient for you.
VPN Protocols for Mac
Thanks to the new OpenVPN-support feature, ExpressVPN is now optimized for the Mac. Meanwhile, other developers don’t even bother about this because Apple requires lots of additional steps to go through OpenVPN.
On top of that, ExpressVPN also supports the IKEv1/2 protocols on iOS and the older L2TP protocol on macOS. In addition, the company has begun a public beta of its own Lightway VPN protocol recently.
Streaming media is incredibly important for consumers, but streaming services like Netflix will sometimes block your access when you use a VPN. This is often in order to protect distribution agreements for streaming companies.
Fortunately, I was able to connect to Netflix while ExpressVPN was in use. Keep in mind that you may find yourself blocked, however since VPNs and Netflix are in an ongoing arms race over access.
Speed and Performance
It is common knowledge that running a VPN might slow your internet connection. Well, while it is true that using a VPN does increase latency and reduce upload/download speeds, it’s usually not something to be bothered with.
To get to know what impacts ExpressVPN has on your internet, we ran a couple of tests using Ookla Speedtest tool. As a result, ExpressVPN performed pretty well, increasing latency by only 65.2%. However, the results also indicated that ExpressVPN decreased download speed test scores by 71.8% and upload speed test scores by 76.3%.
Overall, we believe the VPN features and overall value are far more important than speed. So, don’t judge a VPN entirely on these results.
Pros & Cons
Price is perhaps the main thing that makes you consider to use ExpressVPN or not.
An ExpressVPN subscription costs $12.95/month, $9.99/month for a six-month plan, or $8.32/month for a 12-month plan. Also, with a year plan, you will get 3 months extra for free.
However, this is still something to consider, especially when you compare it to other services. For instance, NordVPN currently costs just $3.71/month. Therefore, if you don’t value the level of protection offered by ExpressVPN, then it might be not worth paying extra for it.
On the other hand, if you want to give it a try, then we suggest starting with a free trial or a short-term subscription to test out the VPN with all sites and services you need.
The Bottom Line
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice for Mac or Apple devices in general. Plus, this VPN also has plug-ins available for browsers, including Safari and Chrome.
Overall, ExpressVPN is a perfect tool for online security. Its small reliance on virtual servers and emphasis on secure hardware set it apart from other VPN services. Not to mention its strong commitment to its customer’s privacy and security. Despite that, there are still some services like ProtonVPN or TunnelBear that offer a lot more for less.
Let us know if you have any questions about our ExpressVPN for Mac review in the comments!
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