VPNs provide an extra layer of security, but they can also slow down your internet connection. That is a dealbreaker for businesses that rely on fast internet to do their work. When reviewing VPN providers for performance, we looked at several factors that impact the speed of the VPN connection, including the number of servers and their locations, the ability to handle simultaneous connections, and the protocols they use to provide safe and secure coverage. ExpressVPN met or exceeded our expectations in all these areas, making it our best pick for performance.
Editor's score: 8.4/10
Test after test has proven that ExpressVPN lives up to its hype when it comes to speed, with a vast network of VPN servers partly to thank. It has more than 3,000 servers in 160 locations, spanning 94 countries. ExpressVPN has a big presence in the U.S. and Europe, which will give you the best connections, as well as servers in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. ExpressVPN isn't the only VPN provider with a large network of servers, but what makes it stand out is its Smart Location technology. With this feature, the VPN software automatically selects the best VPN server location based on download speed, latency and distance. It takes the guesswork out of making sure your VPN is performing optimally.
Its technology designed around performance doesn't end there. ExpressVPN's in-house Lightway protocol boasts speeds over 500 Mbps. This vendor is an outlier in that regard; most VPN vendors rely on existing protocols instead of developing in-house ones. To us, that demonstrates ExpressVPN's commitment to performance.
Among the tools included in ExpressVPN are Threat Manager and Parallel Connections. Enabled by its innovative in-house VPN protocol, the features improve user experience and privacy protection for users. Threat Manager is a DNS-based traffic blocker and protects against apps, trackers and malware. The new privacy feature shields users’ traffic from third-party listeners and blocks traffic to malicious third parties. Parallel Connections, only available on iOS at the moment, shifts ExpressVPN’s previous process of establishing connections. Instead of testing in succession, Parallel Connections tests all possible methods simultaneously.
Express VPN recently launched MediaStreamer to improve users’ streaming experiences. You can use MediaStreamer on devices that don’t support the Express VPN app, such as smart TVs. The feature helps increase users’ streaming quality with faster speed connections, delivered through a simpler technology than a VPN. For business users, this feature may be helpful for accessing and sharing useful, relevant streamed content with clients and employees in other countries.
ExpressVPN stands out from its rivals in performance. It has the network might, the innovative technology, and a commitment to ensuring the best possible connections, earning our best pick for performance.