ExpressVPN doesn’t collect any personally-identifiable activity logs. Some connection data is kept including the date of the connection and your choice of server, but there is no record of your full IP address or online activity. Here’s all the information collected by ExpressVPN’s servers:
Dates when connected to the VPN service
Choice of VPN server location
Total amount of data transferred per day
That’s it. ExpressVPN maintains that this is the minimum amount of information required in order to keep the performance of its servers as strong as possible.
We spoke to Harold Li VP of ExpressVPN about the VPN’s data retention policy and this is what he told us:
“. . . we do not have a publicly stated data retention period for these types of data . . . duration of retention varies based on the type of data . . . we never collect nor retain any data that could link an individual customer with specific activity on the VPN network. Customers can also request for their data to be deleted at any time, in line with their rights under the GDPR.”
While it’s disappointing not to know exactly how long this data is retained, the most important thing is that it cannot be used to identify you or what you do online.
All that’s possible to reveal is that you have used ExpressVPN’s service at some point. This is totally anonymous, and about as close to zero-logs as you will find.
A 2018 report by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) questioned ExpressVPN in greater detail, and concluded that its servers were both “extremely difficult to compromise” and “limited in the amount of data that could be revealed” in the event that they were.
ExpressVPN’s logging policy was also put to the test in December 2017 when one of the service’s VPN servers was seized and inspected by Turkish authorities investigating the assassination of the Russian ambassador, Andrei Karlov. The investigators couldn’t find any customer connection logs.
It’s clear that ExpressVPN is a company with respect for user privacy, which means we can fully recommend it to anyone looking to use a VPN to protect their anonymity online. In short, your privacy is safe with ExpressVPN.
Who Owns ExpressVPN?
Very little is known about who owns ExpressVPN. The company behind the VPN service has made the decision to stay discreet and private in order to help keep itself and its users safe.
What is known publicly is that ExpressVPN was founded in 2009 and is operated by Express VPN International Ltd., which is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) – far outside the intrusive 14 Eyes surveillance alliance.
The BVI is an excellent choice of location for a privacy-minded VPN company because the country has full sovereignty over its own data regulations. This means that outside governments or agencies cannot force ExpressVPN to surrender information.
ExpressVPN International Ltd. is only incorporated in the BVI to benefit from the safeguards the legal jurisdiction brings. In reality, ExpressVPN is a big company with offices around the world.
We regularly reach out to the company’s staff to find out more about how it works, and we’ve also spoken with its Vice President, Harold Li, on a number of occasions.
While we wish that ExpressVPN would reveal more information about itself, we also understand that its private nature helps it maintain such a strong and safe VPN service. This is likely why the app continues to work in China, and the company has never complied with any data requests from national governments or authorities.
How Fast is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest VPN services we’ve tested, with an average download speed of over 85Mbps when connected to a nearby server. This works out as an average speed loss of just 7%, making ExpressVPN just as fast as (if not faster than) its big-name competitors like NordVPN.
It is also remarkably reliable and consistent when it comes to performance, whether you’re connecting to a nearby server or one on the other side of the world. We didn’t experience any disconnections and the client was quick to connect to our server of choice.
ExpressVPN’s speeds particularly shine on long-distance connections – it’s the best choice if you want to connect to a country far away from your real location. If you’re looking to stream HD video, torrent large files, or make the most of your high-speed internet connection, this is the VPN for you.
Works with US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney Plus
Streaming & P2P
ExpressVPN is our top choice VPN for Netflix, as well as other streaming services. It reliably works to unblock geo-restrictions on sites like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and YouTube with fast speeds and minimal buffering.
Our tests found that ExpressVPN easily unlocks US Netflix through almost all of its US-based VPN servers – New York was the only one that didn’t work.
While ExpressVPN doesn’t have servers dedicated to streaming, this isn’t an issue because the vast majority of its servers work with streaming sites.
The Isle of Man and Jersey servers still work well with UK Netflix in 2021, and most UK servers unlock BBC iPlayer (although this will only work if you’re located outside the UK). Our current preferred method to unblocking BBC iPlayer is to use ExpressVPN’s Chrome and Firefox browser extensions and connect to the Wembley server.
The list doesn’t stop there though – ExpressVPN unlocks a huge selection of popular Netflix libraries from around the world in a variety of different languages. Some of the most popular choices are: