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ExpressVPN features: What extras can you get and are they worth it?

Verified by Nick Jones

These days, choosing a virtual private network (VPN) goes beyond merely looking at privacy protection. It also involves considering a range of additional extras and services that can significantly enhance the user’s online security and experience. 

These extras include advanced security features, efficient performance controls and other value-added services. Ranked among the best VPN providers, ExpressVPN stands out for its exceptional suite of additional offerings, improving the average VPN experience. 

This article aims to offer an objective presentation and evaluation of ExpressVPN’s extras, providing a comprehensive understanding of its features and services. We will explore how additional features and services may enhance security, privacy, and versatility for users.

Understanding ExpressVPN’s features

ExpressVPN offers features designed to enhance the standard VPN experience by offering advanced security, privacy, and performance. 

The privacy-enhancing features ExpressVPN brings to users include:

  • Split tunnelling
  • Network Lock
  • A variety of connection protocols, including their proprietary Lightway
  • Dynamic IP addresses

These functionalities ensure greater control over your VPN usage, increased security, and optimised performance based on your needs.

In addition, ExpressVPN provides convenient browser extensions for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox for secure browsing directly from your browser. It also supports unrestricted torrenting activities, making content access and downloads seamless.

Beyond the standard services, ExpressVPN has rolled out additional offerings, such as:

  • Volume licensing subscriptions, ideal for businesses requiring multiple VPN licences
  • Aircove, the first Wi-fi 6 router with a built-in VPN, providing a workaround for the standard five- or eight-device limit imposed by most ExpressVPN subscriptions
  • Threat manager, available on iOS, Mac, Linux, and Aircove router to enhance VPN use by blocking device communication with tracking or harmful third parties, thus improving privacy control and data protection
  • Private DNS, operated on every ExpressVPN server, which safeguards all DNS requests automatically without third-party exposure
  • Lightway protocol, a proprietary development for improved speed, lower battery use, and easy maintenance 
  • Built-in speed test and WebRTC leak test to facilitate checking the performance and safety of VPN connection

Exploring ExpressVPN’s features

Let’s explore ExpressVPN’s functionalities individually, explaining the most relevant terms and features.

Split tunnelling 

ExpressVPN offers split tunnelling across all supported devices and operating systems, except for iOS and macOS 11 and above. This feature allows users to decide which traffic uses the VPN and which goes directly through the open network. 

split tunnelling settings
You can secure individual apps or apply a general rule with specific exceptions.

Kill switch 

The Network Lock, ExpressVPN’s version of a kill switch, helps maintain privacy and security.

kill switch settings

If the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, Network Lock temporarily halts all online activity, preventing potential IP address and data exposure until the connection is re-established.

Dynamic IP addresses

ExpressVPN enhances user privacy by regularly rotating IP addresses. It does not offer dedicated or static IPs. When connected, you’re assigned the best available IP, which may be new or previously used. This rotation approach boosts online anonymity. 

ExpressVPN’s protocols

Like the most secure VPN services, ExpressVPN employs AES-256 encryption, a leading industry standard also used by the US government, to ensure the secure transmission of your data. Along with this unbreachable encryption, ExpressVPN offers a variety of VPN protocols, allowing users to select the option that best fits their needs. 

expressvpn protocol

Let’s look at the connection protocols supported by ExpressVPN.

Lightway 

Developed by ExpressVPN, Lightway is designed for a fast, smooth, and secure VPN experience. By using wolfSSL cryptography, Lightway offers robust security. It supports UDP and TCP protocols, making it versatile for various networks. ExpressVPN recommends trying Lightway first due to its efficiency and rapid connectivity.

OpenVPN 

OpenVPN, a highly configurable open-source protocol, can camouflage itself as regular internet traffic, bypassing filters and firewalls. It’s suitable for sensitive environments and allows users to switch between UDP, favouring speed, and TCP, emphasising reliability.

IKEv2 

Renowned for its speed, IKEv2 is ideal for mobile devices. However, its strict licensing makes auditing less configurable and more challenging. Despite these limitations, IKEv2 is often employed when the protocol selection is set to “Automatic” in ExpressVPN’s apps.

Browser extensions

ExpressVPN offers browser extensions, a convenient feature for secure web browsing on laptops or desktops. These extensions, available as dedicated VPNs for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, allow users to quickly connect to the service, ensuring online protection right from their browser. 

Torrenting

As one of the best VPNs for torrenting, ExpressVPN provides an unrestricted internet experience that supports seamless file downloads and sharing via BitTorrent. It enables users to access and download content without any limitations or obstacles.

Uncovering ExpressVPN’s additional services

In addition to the features above, ExpressVPN provides advanced services to enhance online safety and operational efficiency.

ExpressVPN’s volume licensing subscriptions

ExpressVPN offers volume licensing subscriptions for businesses and large teams requiring company-wide access to VPN services. It eliminates the need for individual sign-ups by allowing multiple licences, ranging from five to over 50, to be managed under one account. 

However, details on the cost savings are not readily provided. So, if you’re interested in this option, you need to contact the ExpressVPN support team for pricing information.

Aircove: ExpressVPN’s VPN-enabled router

ExpressVPN also offers Aircove, a unique router with a built-in VPN. Priced at around £295 (excluding the cost of the ongoing ExpressVPN subscription), this Wi-Fi 6 router promises to secure a wide range of devices, including those that traditionally don’t support VPN software. 

It offers additional benefits, though these come at an extra cost compared to a standard ExpressVPN subscription, as you’ll need to invest up front in buying the equipment. Aircove provides customisable VPN settings and stable speed performance. It also ensures advanced protection through streamlined threat management, parental controls, ad blocker, and device manager. 

Aircove also offers a way around the five- or eight-device limit typically imposed on ExpressVPN subscriptions, extending protection to all devices connected to it.

Assessing the benefits of ExpressVPN extras

Overall, ExpressVPN’s extras offer a tangible enhancement to your VPN experience, striking a fine balance between enhanced security, privacy, performance, and versatility.

Enhanced security and privacy

ExpressVPN’s rotation of IP addresses and Network Lock feature offer heightened security, minimising the risk of identity and data exposure. 

Additionally, the Aircove router protects all connected devices, even those typically incompatible with VPN software. This ensures a wider range of devices are secured.

Optimal performance and versatility

Split tunnelling and protocol choices amplify ExpressVPN’s performance and versatility. These features allow you to allocate bandwidth effectively and select protocols as per your needs. 

The volume licensing subscriptions and Aircove router further extend this versatility, making ExpressVPN suitable for large teams and users with multiple devices.

In addition, ExpressVPN brings the same robustness of privacy to its dedicated smart TV app, as seen on desktop and mobile. It’s compatible with Fire Stick and offers an impressive network of more than 3,000 servers located in close to 100 countries. This makes ExpressVPN one of the best VPNs for Fire Stick, particularly when it comes to geo-unblocking content. 

Determining the value: Are ExpressVPN extras worth it?

Assessing ExpressVPN pricing

ExpressVPN’s pricing sits slightly above the industry average, with its most affordable plan at £5.35 per month when purchased for a year. Comparatively, other VPN services offer yearly subscriptions of around £3.93 per month. ExpressVPN does provide a discount for longer-term commitments; a 12-month plan currently includes three extra months.

Length of contract 1 Month 6 Months 12 Months
Monthly rate £10.38/m £8.01/m £5.35/m
Total amount billed £10.38/m £48.04 up front £80.10 up front

Weighing the extras against the price

When determining the cost-to-benefit ratio, it’s crucial to consider the features ExpressVPN offers. These include split tunnelling, rotating IP addresses, multiple protocol choices, a unique kill switch, and seamless torrenting support.

Let’s summarise how ExpressVPN compares to its main competitors (NordVPN and Surfshark) in terms of features and functionalities.

Features ExpressVPN NordVPN Surfshark
Lowest price £5.35/m for 15 months £2.79/m for 24 months £1.82/m for 26 months
Split tunnelling Yes Yes Yes (Bypasser)
Kill switch Yes Yes Yes
Rotating IPs Yes No Yes
Dedicated IPs No Yes Yes
Protocols Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2 IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN and NordLynx WireGuard, OpenVPN and IKEv2
Proprietary protocol Yes (Lighway) Yes (NordLynx) No
Browser extensions Chrome, Safari, Firefox Chrome, Edge, Firefox Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Unlimited torrenting Yes Yes Yes
Team plans Yes Yes Yes
VPN-ready router Yes (additional cost) No (compatible with other routers) No
Private DNS Yes Yes Yes
Threat manager Yes Threat Protection Yes
Built-in speed test Yes Yes Yes (on Windows app)
Built-in WebRTC leak test Yes Yes Yes

Note that the value actually depends on how accurately the service and features meet your individual needs and preferences. If you prioritise advanced reliability, security, and versatility in your VPN experience, ExpressVPN’s extras are worth every penny.

Final takeaways

ExpressVPN offers a variety of additional features to enhance your VPN experience. These include advanced security measures like:

  • Split tunnelling 
  • Kill switch 
  • Rotating IP addresses

ExpressVPN also provides multiple VPN protocols, including their own Lightway, to ensure optimal performance and versatility.

In addition, ExpressVPN provides supplementary services such as volume licensing subscriptions for businesses and a unique VPN-enabled router, Aircove. While these services add to the cost, they offer increased convenience and extended functionality, particularly for businesses and tech-savvy users.

To sum up, with its advanced extras, ExpressVPN stands out as a robust, reliable, and versatile player in the VPN space. If the cost aligns with your budget and the extras fit your needs, this expansive and feature-rich VPN is an investment that could well be worth making to secure and enhance your online experience.

Frequently asked questions about ExpressVPN extras

ExpressVPN extras are additional features and services designed to augment your VPN experience. They enhance your online safety, ensure optimal VPN performance, and provide greater control over your internet use.

ExpressVPN’s extras include split tunnelling, a kill switch known as Network Lock, rotating IP addresses for increased privacy, robust connection protocols, and unrestricted torrenting support.

ExpressVPN also offers supplementary services like volume licensing subscriptions and a VPN-enabled router known as Aircove.

ExpressVPN extras enhance your VPN experience by offering:

  • Control over your data transmission with split tunnelling 
  • Enhanced security with Network Lock 
  • Increased privacy with rotating IP addresses 
  • Versatile connection options with the three protocols supported 

No, the ExpressVPN extras are included in the standard subscription plan. However, ExpressVPN does offer supplementary services such as volume licensing subscriptions for businesses and the Aircove router, which can be purchased separately.

Yes, you can use ExpressVPN extras on multiple devices. The additional features, such as Threat Manager, private DNS, and Lightway protocol, are accessible on any device where the VPN is installed. Note that split tunnelling is not available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch as iOS doesn’t support this feature.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.79 /Month
£6.79 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.26 /Month
£4.26 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.60 /Month
£4.60 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £2.92 /Month
£2.92 /Month

Mariana is an experienced technology writer specialising in web and internet technology. She writes about cyber security, including VPN; web development; and software engineering. She has been writing since 2006 and held a position of English lecturer at Technical University of Varna in Bulgaria until 2022, working in a variety of educational fields.

For the Independent Advisor, Mariana writes about the usefulness of VPNs and how people can protect themselves and their data online.

Nick Jones

Editor in Chief

Nick Jones is a highly experienced consumer journalist and editor, who has been writing and producing content for print and online media for over 25 years.

He has worked at some of the UK’s leading publishers including Future Publishing, Highbury Entertainment, and Imagine Publishing, with publications as diverse as Homebuilding & Renovating, TechRadar, and Creative Bloq, writing and editing content for audiences whose interests include history, computing, gaming, films, and science. He’s also produced a number of podcasts in the technology, science, gaming, and true crime genres.

Nick has also enjoyed a highly successful career in content marketing, working in a variety of topics such as health, technology, and finance, with market-leading global companies including Cisco, Pfizer, Santander, and Virgin Media.

Now the Editor-in-Chief of the Independent Advisor, Nick is involved in all aspects of the site’s content, where his expertise in finance, technology, and home products informs every article that’s published on-site. He takes a hands-on approach with our VPN content, penning a number of the articles himself, and verifying that everything we publish in this topic is accurate.

Whatever the area of interest he’s worked in, Nick has always been a consumer champion, helping people find the best deals and give them the information they need to make an informed buying decision.