Go farther with the #1 trusted VPN.

The VPN that just works

The VPN that just works

Go further with the #1 trusted leader in VPN

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Go farther with the #1 Trusted VPN.
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Secure access, worldwide

Connect reliably from anywhere, to anywhere. Our network of high-speed servers across 94 countries puts you in control.

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Just one click to a safer internet

Going online doesn’t have to mean being exposed. Whether you’re shopping from your desk or just connecting at a cafe, keep your personal information more private and secure.

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Use on any device

Phone, tablet, computer, router—no matter where you are or what devices you’re using, a single ExpressVPN subscription has got you covered.

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See all apps >

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Stronger data protection

Take charge of your online privacy and security with best-in-class encryption.

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Works seamlessly everywhere

Experience the internet the way it’s meant to be. On the go, or on your couch.

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Lightning-quick connectivity

Our VPN network is built for speed, powered by next-generation technology.

Ultra-fast servers in 94 countries

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What people are saying about ExpressVPN

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Trustpilot logo.

Excellent—Rated 4.7 out of 5


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App Store logo.

Rated 4.7 out of 5

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Great app, use it constantly to protect my devices when travelling abroad for work and a fair price.
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I’m a long time user for this VPN service, started in 2016 and it’s been working wonders.
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Got an account with @expressvpn yesterday. Great decision for traveling out of the country!
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I love express, in terms of security, speed and everything 👍
Jon Narong avatar.
@ExpressVPN has truly been indispensable while working remote.
 ExpressVPN’s performance is great. Consistently good speeds.
ExpressVPN’s performance is great. Consistently good speeds.
The best offshore VPN for privacy.
The best offshore VPN for privacy.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN service we’ve tested.
ExpressVPN is the best VPN service we’ve tested.
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Live, 24-hour customer support

Real support from real people. We’re available through instant live chat and email to help you set up and troubleshoot.

30 days money back guarantee.

30-day money-back guarantee

Our VPN is easy to use. So is our guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, we’ll refund your payment. No hassle, no risk.

What is a VPN?

What is a VPN?

VPN, or virtual private network, is a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. VPNs protect you from snooping, interference, and censorship.

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Consumers use VPNs to stay secure and keep their online activity private.

Companies use VPNs to connect far-flung employees as if they were all using the same local network at a central office, but with fewer benefits for individuals than a personal VPN.

Benefits and advantages of VPN

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Change your location

A VPN changes your IP address, which is a unique number that identifies you and where you are in the world. A new IP address makes it much harder to determine your identity and real location, so you can browse online with greater anonymity.

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Protect your privacy

Changing your IP address with a VPN helps shield your identity from websites, apps, and services that want to track you. Good VPNs also prevent your internet provider, mobile carrier, and anyone else who may be listening from seeing your activity, thanks to a layer of strong encryption.

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Increase your security

Using a VPN protects you from security breaches in many forms, including packet sniffing, rogue Wi-Fi networks, and man-in-the-middle attacks. Travelers, remote workers, and all kinds of on-the-go individuals use a VPN whenever they’re on an untrusted network like free public Wi-Fi.

When should I use a VPN?

If privacy is important to you, you should use a VPN every time you connect to the internet. A VPN app runs in the background of your device so it won’t get in the way while you use other apps and browse the internet. And you’ll have peace of mind knowing your privacy is always protected.

But here are some situations in which a VPN is especially useful:

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While traveling

Exploring the world doesn’t mean you have to change the way you use the internet. A VPN lets you use the internet as if you were still in your home country, no matter how far you travel.

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While having fun

A VPN lets you enjoy the sites and services you like without ISP throttling that could detract from your experience or outright blocking by your ISP or local Wi-Fi network.

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While on public Wi-Fi

Connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots like those in cafes, airports, and parks could leave your private information vulnerable. Using a VPN on your devices keeps you safe with strong encryption.

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While gaming

Using a VPN unlocks games, maps, skins, and other add-ons that might be restricted on your network. It also shields you from DDoS attacks and reduces ping and overall lag.

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While file-sharing

P2P file sharing usually means that strangers can see your IP address and possibly track your downloads. A VPN keeps your IP address private, letting you download with increased anonymity.

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While shopping

Some online stores show different prices to people in different countries. With a VPN, you can find the best deals in the world no matter where you’re shopping from.

How does a VPN work?

To understand how a VPN works, it helps to first understand how your internet connection works without one.

Without a VPN

When you access a website without a VPN, you are being connected to that site through your internet service provider, or ISP. The ISP assigns you a unique IP address that can be used to identify you to the website. Because your ISP is handling and directing all your traffic, it can see which websites you visit. And your activity can be linked to you by that unique IP address.

With a VPN

When you connect to the internet with a VPN, the VPN app on your device (also called a VPN client) establishes a secure connection with a VPN server. Your traffic still passes through your ISP, but your ISP can no longer read it or see its final destination. The websites you visit can no longer see your original IP address, only the IP address of the VPN server, which is shared by many other users and changes regularly.

Disconnected

Connected

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Here are several key concepts related to VPN that will help you understand how a VPN works and the benefits it provides:

Proxying

The VPN server acts like a proxy, or stand-in, for your web activity: Instead of your real IP address and location, websites you visit will only see the IP address and location of the VPN server.

This makes you more anonymous on the internet.

Authentication

Establishing a secure connection is a tricky problem solved by clever mathematics in a process called authentication.

Once authenticated, the VPN client and VPN server can be sure they are talking to each other and no one else.

Tunneling

VPNs also protect the connection between client and server with tunneling and encryption.

Tunneling is a process by which each data packet is encapsulated inside another data packet. This makes it harder for third parties to read in transit.

Encryption

Data inside the tunnel is also encrypted in such a way that only the intended recipient can decrypt it. This keeps the contents of your internet traffic completely private. Even your internet service provider won’t see it.

Learn more about VPN encryption.

VPN protocols

VPN protocols are the methods by which your device connects to the VPN server. Some protocols are better for speed, some are better for security, and some simply work better under certain network conditions.

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Most VPNs use a standard set of protocols, but ExpressVPN built Lightway to outdo them all in speed, reliability, and security. Give it a try to see for yourself. Learn more about Lightway.

ExpressVPN automatically chooses the best protocol for your network, but you can also choose one manually.

Popular VPN protocols in use today include:

*Not supported by ExpressVPN.

Types of VPN

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Commercial VPN

A commercial VPN, also called a personal VPN or a consumer VPN, is a private service offered directly to individuals, usually for a fee.

ExpressVPN is such a VPN service because it directly caters to the privacy needs of its customers.

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Corporate VPN

A corporate VPN, also called a business VPN, allows an organization’s remote employees to connect securely to the internet as if they were physically present in the office.

Unlike commercial VPNs, however, corporate VPNs are meant to protect the privacy of the company and not necessarily the individual.

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Self-setup VPN

Some tech experts and DIY hobbyists choose to set up their own VPN using their own equipment.

Self-setup VPNs, however, do not provide the protection of shared IP addresses, server locations in multiple countries, or many other features enjoyed by commercial VPN users.

Alternatives to VPN

A VPN isn’t the only tool that can increase your privacy, security, and/or freedom online.

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Tor

Tor (short for The Onion Router) is a free network of servers, or “nodes,” that randomly route internet traffic between each other in order to obfuscate the origin of the data.

Using Tor can significantly increase your anonymity, and using Tor in conjunction with a VPN creates the best possible privacy protection.

The biggest drawback of Tor, however, is speed. Because your traffic is relayed through several hops, you will probably find it inconvenient to download or file-share with Tor.

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Proxy services

A proxy server is any intermediary between your device and the internet. Unlike a VPN, however, most “proxy services” you’ll find are quite slow and don’t offer any privacy or security benefits.

So-called “free proxy services” are especially dangerous, as many will find other ways to monetize your data, like selling it to third parties.

Neither Tor nor a proxy service can replace the benefits of a VPN. A trustworthy VPN is still the best privacy solution for most people.

FAQ

How do I choose a VPN?
Why should I pay for a VPN?
Are VPNs legal?
Can I use a VPN on mobile? Why would I want to?
Will a VPN slow down my internet?
Do VPNs drain battery?
Can you be tracked if you use a VPN?
Is using a VPN safe for online banking?
Should I leave my VPN on all the time?

How do I get and use a VPN?

Step 1

Sign up for ExpressVPN

Visit the order page and select the option that’s right for you. All of our plans are fully covered by our 30-day money-back guarantee.

Step 2

Download a VPN app

You’ll immediately be invited to download the app for the device you’re using. Getting apps for all your other devices is just as easy.

Step 3

Connect to a VPN server location

Simply hit the On Button, and you’ll be instantly connected to the best location for your connection. Or pick one from our global network.

30-day money-back guarantee