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ExpressVPN

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Introduction

Picking the perfect VPN for torrenting can be a daunting and confusing task. There are so many different VPN platforms out there … how are you supposed to know which one is better than the rest? Furthermore, how are we supposed to be able to discern whether one VPN is the best VPN for torrenting or not? If you are as confused as I was when I first started doing my research, well, you have come to the right place.

What’s in a name? – As far as marketability and branding is concerned, I’ll be honest, there are a handful of other VPNs that I have seen that stand out more prominently than Express. Obviously, a good VPN is about so much more than just branding and appearances. Still, though, I think there was something about the name and the branding of this software that is maybe too understated to stand out to me?

The name itself, “Express,” personally, makes me think of fast food or something being done quickly and, more often than not, sloppily. Pair this with a sort of cryptic and hard to discern logo (upon a few more looks, you realize that it is meant to be a “V” (for VPN) that is moving by speedily. Sure, I get the connotations of fast download speeds, high performance, etc. However, something about it being called “Express” made me second guess the quality of the product at first; until, that is, I took a closer look and saw how much people seem to love it.

Express VPN is, by far, one of the most critically acclaimed VPNs on the market. It has been given a ton of honors and accolades over the years. In 2020, for instance, Express VPN was named the Editor’s Choice by both Tech Radar and CNET. If you know anything about both or either of these publications, then you know how coveted an endorsement like this can be, seeing as these are arguably the 2 most influential tech publications in the world.

Is Express VPN’s critical acclaim truly warranted, though? Is Express the best VPN for torrenting, specifically? I would say that, yes, the hype is 100% lived up to. Whether Express is the best VPN for torrenting, however, is something that we are going to unpack throughout the rest of this review. I will look into the specifics of this software – its layout, design, usability, accessibility, number and quality of features, and how it stacks up against the competition – to find out, once and for all, if Express VPN is, in fact, the best VPN for torrenting.

The best place to start with companies such as this one, I think, is to take a look into its history. You can tell a lot about a software based on where it comes from, who started it, what kind of history of security, performance, and customer support it has had, etc. So, without further ado, let’s do a deep dive on Express and figure out if this is the right VPN for torrenting for you.

History

Express VPN actually has quite an interesting history. There are pivotal moments in the company’s background, too, that bolster claims that Express VPN is the most private, safest Virtual Private Network on the market.

In December of 2017, Express VPN made global news because of the role that it played in the investigation of the assassination of Russia’s Turkish ambassador, Andrei Karlov. Turkish authorities quickly seized an Express VPN server, claiming that it had been used to delete relevant information (potential evidence) from the alleged assassin’s Gmail and Facebook accounts.

However, Turkish investigators were unable to find any logs whatsoever that would aid their investigation. This, although unfortunate for the Turkish justice system, is great publicity for Express VPN, seeing as it verifies the company’s claims that they do not store or log any user activity. In an official statement that said, “while it’s unfortunate that security tools like VPNs can be abused for illicit purposes, they are critical for our safety and the preservation of our right to privacy online. Express VPN is fundamentally opposed to any efforts to install ‘backdoors’ or attempts by governments to otherwise undermine such technologies.”

A company that you can trust – It is rare that you come across a company with this much integrity. In another example of standing in solidarity with the people, Express VPN was the first to announce that Apple had sided with China in censoring their app (and others) from the Chinese Apple App Store. Later on, The New York Times and other journalistic outlets confirmed and reported the full story.

In response to being queried by US Senators, Apple admitted to removing 674 VPN apps from its App Store in China in 2017. They did so at the request of the Chinese government. So, if you want to entrust your data and privacy in a company that has proven its commitment to not logging data, is vocal about fighting for a freer and more private internet, and even occasionally acts as a whistle blower on matters of human rights violations like mass censorship, Express VPN is the way to go.

Design

Express VPN offers one of the most stripped-down and pared back interfaces that I have ever seen. Sure, VPNs in general tend to be a bit more barebones than most other apps (the essential functions are, by definition, more limited), but Express VPN takes this notion, from a design standpoint, to a whole new level.

There is not a single instance of excess on Express. All you are met with is an impeccably clean gray and white background, a connect and disconnect button, and the ability to choose your server from a conveniently located list right below the power button.

One thing that really separates Express VPN’s design from other VPNs that I have seen is the streamlined functionality. Once you connect to a server of your choosing, a customizable toolbar of apps appears. You can add and delete what apps show up here to your liking. When it comes to clever and intuitive design quirks, this is above and beyond if you ask me. I love how Express VPN doubles as a launchpad to your favorite websites and internet connected apps.

Content and Features

The praise for Express VPN doesn’t stop here. The more I learn about this service, the more I love it. Although it is often marketed more as a VPN for streaming movies and TV shows, I think that Express is particularly effective as a VPN for torrenting as well. Let’s take a closer look at all of the great features that Express can unlock for torrenting:

Hundreds of VPN Server Locations – Although Express may not offer the most VPN servers (some have thousands), you should fare well with this large network of 160 servers from 94 countries. Sure, it is always great to be able to have a wider range of servers to choose from, but, honestly, do you really think that you’ll need to oscillate between, say, 3 thousand of them? Realistically, probably not.

What Express lacks in server quantity, though, it makes up for in global spread. Unlock more of the internet with IP addresses located in a greater number of countries than most VPNs for torrenting. Bored of your usual Netflix milieu? Why not see what they have available on Netflix in Brazil? With one click you can hop halfway across the world.

Blazing fast download speeds – Express VPN earns its namesake with how fast your torrent downloads can be completed over its servers. As one of the fastest VPNs on the market, downloading or uploading large files is no problem. In fact, you won’t even notice you’re connected to a VPN at all most of the time (which is what you want).

Quickly optimize Express VPN for P2P file sharing, too, by running a speed test on a given server before you connect. This speed test function is novel to Express and, I think, extremely useful and convenient, especially for torrenting.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

One of my favorite aspects of this VPN is its cross-platform availability. Not only can you access this incredibly designed interface on PC, Mac, and Linux, but you can also use it on the go with its iOS and Android Apps (so long as you’re not in China).

Express also has the largest selection for Smart TV and consoles, too. Whether you have a Roku TV, Android TV, Fire, Google, Apple, PlayStation, or Xbox, you can keep your activity private and encrypted.

Pricings and Plans

The only thing that I don’t love about Express is how expensive it is compared to other VPNs (which can run as low as $2.30/month). Here’s what you’re looking at paying:

-12 Months: $8.32/month

-6 Months: $9.99/month

-1 Month: $12.95/month

Likes & Hates:
Great download speeds
Awesome interface
Accessible on almost every device
Proven no-log policy
Relatively expensive
No dedicated torrent servers