No matter how fast the service, a secure VPN will always slow your VPN connection speeds. Combine that with the sluggish internet speed of most public Wi-Fi (when you need your VPN the most), and speed moves to the forefront as a crucial feature for many VPN shoppers.
Enter ExpressVPN. Offering more than 3,000-plus servers in 160 locations and 94 countries, this British Virgin Islands-based VPN provider might have fewer servers than NordVPN, but they’re in a greater number of countries. And they fly. In our most recent speed tests, ExpressVPN resulted in less than 52% overall loss of speed, narrowly edging ahead of NordVPN, with which we saw a 53% speed loss.
Read more: Special report: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
ExpressVPN muscled its way ahead of the VPN pack last year and has been hard to beat ever since, offering outstanding speeds and a reputation for reliability and security. Its easy-to-navigate interface makes it an apt choice for newcomers just learning about VPNs, and its multiplatform compatibility expands its value to a wide base of consumers. These factors more than justify ExpressVPN’s slightly higher-than-average prices, starting at about $7 a month (with three months free). It does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, and you can pay with credit card, PayPal or Bitcoin.
ExpressVPN only offers five simultaneous connections compared to NordVPN’s six, but it snagged a 4.5 out of 5 in our list of the best mobile VPN services for 2021 thanks in part to its wide hyper-flexible platform compatibility. Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox — if it’s something you surf on, ExpressVPN is probably going to work with it. By contrast, NordVPN doesn’t appear to have any gaming console apps.
The best part? ExpressVPN’s fast speeds don’t require the kinds of privacy sacrifices you often see with other stress-tested, high-speed VPNs. While the British Virgin Islands is a UK territory, it isn’t explicitly subject to UK data retention laws nor does it participate in intelligence-sharing agreements. Sure, its status as a UK territory gives us pause when considering the potential privacy exposure if political pressure is ever applied. But right now, we’re feeling the island breeze.