ExpressVPN for Torrenting

ExpressVPN was created with the goal of keeping users safe from governments, hackers and ISPs. It didn’t take them a long time to be at the top of the market. It has the right tools for torrenting, and that caught our attention. So we decided to have a closer look and test this VPN software thoroughly.

Safety and Privacy

The fact that the company is located outside the US and the European Union is very important. These are the big monitoring sharks. Because they are in the British Virgin Islands, the EU and USA data retention laws are not applicable. That way, even if a government agency asks for user information, they don’t have to obey.
 
ExpressVPN has a zero log policy. This is the key factor to look for in a VPN service, especially for torrent users. For obvious reasons, you don’t want your activity logs saved. It would kill the whole principle of being anonymous. As every provider that we recommend, this VPN service does not keep your logs. They are very clear about this in their Terms of Use.
 
They use the highest level of encryption available, a 256-bit AES encryption. And they allow the main protocols: OpenVPN, L2TP, PPTP and SSTP. OpenVPN is the default and we recommend to leave it like that, because it’s the safest protocol.
 
ExpressVPN uses shared IPs, which is a great advantage. This means that thousands of users share the same IP. Therefore, one IP address cannot identify a single person.

The User Interface

The fact that the software is so easy to use is a big plus for them. Even VPN beginners will have no problem managing all the options. From the main window, the user can connect/disconnect and also access all the settings.

As you can see, there is a new tool on the left called Smart location. When you press that button, the software suggests the best server for you. This suggestion depends on the latency, download speed and distance of each user. Keep in mind that this server recommendation will be different for every user.

Features and Settings

One of the things that make ExpressVPN stand out from the crowd is the fact that they listen to their users. There are regular software updates that can have a huge impact on the user experience. Let’s analyze the most important features of ExpressVPN, which are located in “General” and “Advanced“:

The Kill Switch

This tool is of extreme importance in a VPN software. If something goes wrong and the VPN connection stops drops, the Kill Switch stops your Internet connection. This avoids that your real IP is exposed and your data visible while the VPN is not working. This is the kind of tool that should always be enabled, especially when you are downloading files via BitTorrent.

The DNS Leak Prevention

This feature prevents DNS leaks that can compromise the user’s anonymity. The goal is simple, it prevents the DNS requests to be made through the ISP servers. To do so, top VPN providers make sure that those requests go through their own private DNS servers.

 

Windows users often have this issue, and most of the times they don’t even realize it. The problem is that Windows uses the default settings. In other words, it sends the DNS requests through the ISP servers, even when using a VPN. We advise keeping this useful feature turned on at all times, to avoid any risks of leaking your real IP.

IPV6 Leak protection

This is another important feature that we recommend to activate. It’s actually one of their newest tools, included in their last update. Basically, it ensures that there is no IPv6 traffic going outside the VPN tunnel.

Built-in Speed Test

Another interesting tool is the built-in speed test, which is located in the main menu. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a speed test of every server, allowing you to see the speed of each server and select your favorite. This feature can be very useful for the “old school” VPN users who don’t like the automatic selection of servers.

Servers

There are more than 2000 servers, in 148 cities, in 94 countries (and they add new ones frequently). ExpressVPN allows torrenting on every server. This makes it very simple for users in every country to find and connect to servers nearby, and enjoy fast speeds. You can see the full list of ExpressVPN servers here.

Compatibility

The software has a high device compatibility when compared to many providers. The most common platforms are available, like Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and Linux. We tested the mobile apps, and they were efficient and straightforward. You can check more info on both Android and iOS apps.

You can have 3 simultaneous connections, which is enough to cover every device of the average user. For example, a desktop, laptop and mobile can be used simultaneously with the same account.

Security Tests

DNS Leak Test: ExpressVPN passed every DNS test. We didn’t register a single leak.

IP Test: Our real IP was always hidden in our tests. The detection tools we used saw the IP that the VPN assigned to our connection.

Torrent address detection test: When we downloaded torrent files, there was no leak of our IP. The country and IP address detected were the ones provided by the VPN.

Speed tests

The speed is clearly one of the areas where ExpressVPN invests the most. They keep developing the speed of their servers and, as a result of that, this was one of the fastest VPNs we tested. Here’s what we’ve got in our tests:

speed without a vpn connection
Without VPN
download speed test with ExpressVPN
Connected to ExpressVPN (OpenVPN protocol)

Torrent Speed Test

torrenting test without a vpn
Without VPN
torrent speed test with ExpressVPN
Connected to ExpressVPN (OpenVPN protocol)

Price

Like most VPNs, the 1-year subscription package is cheaper. But unlike the majority, ExpressVPN has a money back guarantee policy of 30 days, with no questions asked. This means that from the moment of buying the VPN, the users have 30 days to test the software and make a decision.

In our opinion, the annual subscription has a fair price. Considering the quality of the service, $8.32 per month is not expensive. There are several payment methods available, including Bitcoin, PayPal and credit card.

What we like about ExpressVPN

  • No logs are kept
  • Location in the British Virgin Islands (outside US and EU)
  • Great 256-bit encryption
  • Shared IPs
  • Kill Switch
  • DNS Leak Prevention
  • IPv6 Leak Detection
  • Speed Test feature
  • Smart location
  • Impressive number of server locations
  • Money back guarantee of 30 days 

What could be improved

The requests from users (like us) are very important for the future updates of ExpressVPN. As we mentioned before, they do listen what their users have to say. Having that in mind, this is the improvement that we would like to see in the next update:

  •  Although 3 simultaneous connections are enough to cover a few devices, it would be nice to have a couple more.

Conclusion

This service includes every detail that a good VPN should provide: no logging, unbreakable encryption and great speeds. Besides that, they have a very impressive number of server locations and must have features that increase security. After testing ExpressVPN, it was very clear that it’s an excellent choice for torrenting with peace of mind.