ExpressVPN is so easy to use that it’s hard to go wrong. Its apps are among the best in the industry – they’re easy to set up, intuitive and well-designed.
It took us less than five minutes to install each VPN application for our tests. Chose your subscription plan, create an account, and enter your payment details.
After you’ve subscribed, you’ll receive a confirmation email with an activation code and a link to the installation guide for your device.
Once you’ve installed the application, the ExpressVPN home screen is simply a big on/off button and a list of VPN servers.
You can also customize your experience by adjusting the advanced settings in each app. These are labeled and explained in plain language, so you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.
Here’s a summary of the differences between ExpressVPN’s applications for each device:
Let’s take a closer look at each application and the key differences between them:
ExpressVPN’s Windows 10 Client
The Windows app is the most complete out of ExpressVPN’s applications. It’s very easy to use despite having all the tools and features an advanced VPN user could need.
Click on the server you have selected, and a second window with a server list will open next to it. Don’t miss the two tabs at the top: ‘Recommended’ is selected by default, but it doesn’t reveal the whole server list. Click ‘All Locations’ to see the full list, or use the search bar to find a specific location.
Other important features are the kill switch (called ‘Network Lock’ under the ‘General settings’ tab) and the protocol selection tab. From here you can select your preferred VPN protocol, or leave it set to ‘Automatic.’
ExpressVPN’s Mac Client
ExpressVPN’s macOS app is practically identical to the Windows version. Many VPN services release subpar Mac apps compared to their flagship Windows app, but that’s not the case here.
The only issue for Mac users is that there’s no extension for Safari yet.
ExpressVPN’s iOS App
ExpressVPN for iPhone and iPad is even more simplified than the desktop version.
It looks largely the same, however once you dive into the settings menu you’ll notice there’s not much there.
You have the option to choose between OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, and a toggle for whether or not the VPN automatically reconnects if it loses connection. There’s also a button to reset the VPN configuration, if the app stops working.
It’s obvious ExpressVPN decided to make its iOS app more streamlined and lightweight for mobile. But, it would be good to see some of desktop features on the iOS app, too. The kill switch is the most notable absence of all.
ExpressVPN’s Android App
The Android app has the exact same home screen as the iOS app, but there are a few differences between the two applications.
The main difference is the inclusion of a kill switch. With this feature enabled, you can use your smartphone safely with the confidence that your IP address will remain hidden if your VPN connection ever drops.
You’ll find the kill switch under Settings > Network Protection > Block internet when unable to connect or reconnect to VPN.
The other useful feature on Android, that’s missing on iOS, is split-tunneling. Because the Android platform is more flexible, ExpressVPN was able to introduce this feature, which lets you choose which apps (if any) should not use the VPN connection.
ExpressVPN’s Linux Client
Despite having great apps for every other platform, ExpressVPN’s Linux app is disappointing.
In fact, ExpressVPN doesn’t even have a true app for Linux. There’s no GUI (graphical user interface), meaning that it runs straight from the console.
Linux users are likely used to this, and a little more tech-savvy than many ExpressVPN users, but it’s still an oversight.
Once you’ve installed ExpressVPN using standard Linux console commands, you can connect to the recommended server, or see a full list of servers along with the console commands required to connect to them.
You can also toggle the Network Lock (the kill switch), change protocol, and instruct the client to auto-connect on startup.