ExpressVPN Review: The Most Secure New Zealand VPN Provider?

We started using ExpressVPN last year and can now confirm it's one of the most reliable, feature rich VPN providers out there. 

Over the years we've reviewed many providers in New Zealand and while they are far from the cheapest, they are well established in this crowded market. 

There's many mixed reviews out there, ultimately most negative reviews recommend an alternative such as PureVPN so can you really judge those reviews as or are they designed to entice you to sign up with another provider instead? 

After 6 months of use, we finally decided to write about our ExpressVPN experience and document our findings, providing the best and most up to date New Zealand review you'll find out there, period. 

ExpressVPN New Zealand Review

  • 3,000 Servers in 94 Countries
  • Unlocks Netflix USA
  • Fastest, most secure provider

Full Disclosure

Back in June 2019, I purchased an ExpressVPN subscription using my own money. I chose the 1 year, $99.95 plan. For the last 6 months I've been testing this VPN provider out on all my devices and services. 


This is my full, honest and unbiased experience with ExpressVPN. 

How Much Does ExpressVPN Cost?

Unlike most providers, the pricing on the Express website hasn't changed much in the last few years. They have a fairly stock standard pricing model. 

They offer a monthly plan that costs $12.95. You can also purchase 6 months for $9.99 per month or 12 months for $8.32 per month. The yearly plan gives you a huge saving of $55.45. 

ExpressVPN definitely doesn't offer the cheapest plans on the market, but they do claim to offer one of the fastest, most secure services, and that comes at a cost. 

You might find special offers such as 15 months for the price of 12, when using their official website. There is no special links required to get this deal. 


Does ExpressVPN Offer Free Trials?

It's rare to find a VPN offering free trials these days so you won't find a free trial with ExpressVPN either. Most people using free trials have no intention of actually becoming premium members and will jump from one service to another. 

You do get a full 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee should you be unhappy with the service provided from them. 

Some other reviews mention that ExpressVPN offers a free trial, but after much research I was unable to find any reliable information on this topic. 


What Countries Does ExpressVPN Support?

ExpressVPN is one of the largest VPN providers on the planet in terms of servers, but they only offer coverage for 95 countries which is a lot less than PureVPN's 145

However they offer a large number of countries that MOST people actually need. 

ExpressVPN does not offer any Russian or Chinese servers which is disappointing. 

As of right now there is servers in 6 continents around the world with a total of 3,000+ servers online at any one time. 


Does ExpressVPN Work In China?

ExpressVPN does not have servers in China which would have allowed anyone outside of China to connect and catch-up on local content back home. There are very few providers, if any, that offer servers in China. 

But if you're travelling in China and can't access sites due to the great firewall, then you'll be pleased to note ExpressVPN works and isn't blocked in China right now. 

We recently took a 7 day trip from Beijing to Chengdu and we were able to unlock Facebook, Youtube and Spotify on our smartphone using the Express platform. 


What App Platforms Are Supported?

Whatever device you're using, you'll be pleased to know there's an app for you. Express offers software that can be downloaded for free and installed quickly. 

Some of the most popular platforms include:

  • Windows 7,8,10, Mac OS
  • Android, iOS, Huawei OS
  • Chrome, Firefox Browsers
  • Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Kodi
  • Blackberry, Windows Phone
  • Routers, Linux, DD-WRT Applet. 

How ExpressVPN Works?

You'll be required to install a custom software program on your device which can be enabled or disabled instantly. Once enabled, the software encrypts the connection between your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the outside world. 

Your ISP can no longer track what you do on your device when a VPN is running. This is why most people purchase such a service, to remain anonymous online.

Once connected you can choose from one of 3,000 servers located across 95+ countries worldwide. With one click you can change your geo-graphical location to one of these countries and appear like a local.

Want to watch BBC iPlayer in the UK, you can switch to the UK. Then change your Netflix subscription to USA? Well changing to a USA server, you can, instantly. 


Does ExpressVPN Keep Logs?

According to ExpressVPN they don't keep any logs on what their users get up to. They have chosen to register their company in British Virgin Islands which is out of reach from the "14 Eyes' countries. 

For most people, ExpressVPN couldn't really care what you use their service for and they definitely won't be tracking what you're watching online 😉 but some people get concerned when they are potentially doing illegal things with their VPN.

ExpressVPN does not and will never log your IP address from source or VPN, browsing history, traffic destination or metadata or DNS queries. 

They are fully transparent about the data they collect which includes apps and app versions of their software activated, dates when connected to the VPN service, choice of VPN server location and total amount of bandwidth (in MB's) used per day.

Express makes it clear that they do not collect or store activity logs or connection logs from their users. This includes the use of timestamps, session duration, source IP's or ExpressVPN IP addresses that your computer assumes when using a VPN.

Independent audit professionals from PwC exhaustively examined their code and interviewed their team members in order to confirm whether their VPN servers were in compliance with their privacy policy, including the policy of not collecting activity logs or connection logs and concluded that they were doing so correctly. 


How Many Devices Are Supported?

When I purchased my subscription to their service you could have 5 devices. And over the last few months I tried to break ExpressVPN by maxing out the connections on all five of my devices. Needless to say I failed.

And that means Express can easily handle whatever you want to throw at it, whether that's intensive streaming using a Australian server while hardcore gaming in New Zealand on another device. 

While some companies offer up to 20 simultaneous streams, most of us simply don't have the need for that many licenses. 5 is definitely a good size limit. 


Does ExpressVPN Unlock Netflix USA?

One of the most important questions most people ask when choosing a VPN provider is whether they can unlock Netflix USA's catalogue on their own account.

A few years ago, Netflix went nuts in their attempt to block VPN providers from offering their customers a way to unlock content that should in theory be geo-blocked. But VPN providers are always one step ahead. 

Accessing Netflix USA via ExpressVPN was initally a difficult process and most old reviews need to be updated. It's now possible to login to your account and choose 'netflix usa' from the quick launch menu or simply connect to any US server. 

This will allow you to access Netflix USA content from New Zealand by simply using your existing account, no skills needed. 

I can confirm after months of use that Express works with Netflix USA.


What Sites Can ExpressVPN Unlock?

You'll be pleased to know that Express can unlock content blocked in over 95 countries within seconds using the quick selector for changing countries. 

We've actually provided guides on specifically unlocking the most common platforms such as BBC iPlayer, Channel 4, Ten Play Australia, Kayo Sports, Now TV and more. 

They can unlock any content that is geo-blocked by IP. Unfortunately if you need a local credit card number to sign up, its unlikely you'll be able to unlock the site. 


Does ExpressVPN Leak DNS Records?

By default ExpressVPN uses built-in DNS Leak Protection which can be enabled or disabled depending on your individual circumstances. 

If it's enabled, your DNS queries are handled by the DNS servers provided by ExpressVPN rather than your local internet providers, ensuring your real identity can't be compromised even if DNS requests are sent outside the encrypted tunnel.

But does Express live up to it's word or do they still leak records? The first thing you should do when testing is to visit the DNS Leak Test. I did this many times over the previous six months and there was no issues at any time. 

Some reviewers claim they were leaking records but I can't say I agree, it could be a whole range of different factors such as their own improperly configured network.


Does ExpressVPN Offer Port Forwarding?

Port forwarding is another feature that most standard users probably don't need to consider but Expressvpn does not offer port forwarding.

If you want to access an internet-connected device from anywhere in the world while using your VPN then you'll need port forwarding. 

Imagine you want to access your smart CCTV cameras while on holiday and you're using your VPN, without this service you won't be able to access the IP and port. 

Unfortunately you'll need to setup remote router access which requires flashing your router with the ExpressVPN firmware if you want this functionality. 


ExpressVPN Pros

1. Supports Major Protocols

ExpressVPN offers all major protocols including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP and IKEV2. If all this sounds confusing to you then you don't need to worry. 

You can simply use the standard VPN applications. However advanced users that want to get the benefits from security and speed should use OpenVPN. 


2. Industry Standard 256-bit Encryption

ExpressVPN uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256 bit keys also known as AES-256. It's a pretty standard offering from most of the major VPN providers. 


3. Private Zero-Knowledge DNS

ExpressVPN runs it's own DNS on every server that they configure that does not track or monitor any activity logs or connection logs. There's also no DNS blocking and all connections offer 256-bit encryption. 

Many VPN providers like to use third-party DNS which doesn't actually offer the same level of encryption or tunnelling protocols. As a result you'll be vulnerable to manipulation. Express uses their own DNS on every server so you're fully secure.


4. Amazing Features

ExpressVPN offers a range of advanced features such as their kill switch which keeps your data safe even if your VPN connection happens to drop, by blocking all your internet traffic instantly, until the issue is resolved. 

Additionally they offer support for all major protocols as I mentioned earlier, as well as split tunnelling, Zero knowledge DNS and more.

They also offer split tunnelling which is a nice new feature as well as NAT firewall support. These features can help to make your VPN experience much better! 


5. High Level of Support

The main standout feature is their extensive knowledge-base and documentation which can help solve most of your queries. 

ExpressVPN offers round the clock support and given their large user base you'd probably expect as much. When I first started using Express I tested out their live chat to see how fast someone would respond. 

Within 60 seconds I was connected to Harry, one of their support reps. Like many large providers most of the responses did seem to be a copy and paste job.

However when asking if the support rep was a real person I was delighted to get a genuine response back within 20 seconds confirming they were.

I asked if they could provide the DNS Leak Test that I mentioned earlier and within 45 seconds I had a response directing me to the online test. 

While the support is definitely not personalised, it is very reassuring that they respond quickly via live chat. 

You can now log a ticket through your account or via email. 


6. 4/4 Netflix Servers Worked!

Personally I think it's a little unfair in other reviews where they claim the Netflix servers weren't working. Over the years, I've experienced outages with all Netflix servers on all providers at some point. It's a game of cat and mouse.  

After three months of testing, I can confirm that Netflix was working 100% of the time using the following servers. ExpressVPN have definitely got the most reliable Netflix servers out there. 

  • United States: WORKED
  • Canada: WORKED
  • Australia: WORKED
  • United Kingdom: WORKED.

A large number of other providers struggle to get any coverage with Netflix so it's amazing to see four out of four servers working perfectly fine. 


Do I Recommend ExpressVPN? 

Yes, I'm a firm believer that ExpressVPN  is one of the best VPN providers available in New Zealand. While not the cheapest, they offer the best encryption, speed and Netflix unlocking capabilities.

They offer a range of payment options from standard credit/debit cards, through to Paypal, Alipay and even Bitcoin. 

They swiftly unlock Netflix content while providing access to 95+ countries from around the world. Their level of support is great, as you'd expect!


Best ExpressVPN Alternative? 

While you can tell I'm a raver about ExpressVPN you might be curious what I think is the next best VPN provider and I have to say it's PureVPN. They offer the best pricing, most countries and unique features such as torrenting support. 

purevpn review nz
  • Supports over 145 countries
  • Works flawlessly w/ Netflix
  • High level of support.

Best ExpressVPN Coupon Discount Codes

Believe it or not, there are actually no ExpressVPN coupon discount codes available. That's because the best price is actually on the website itself.

Any website claiming to offer the best coupon codes is lieing in your face and simply wants to steal an affiliate commission for that sale. You only have to look on Google to see what I mean.

If you're looking for expressvpn promo codes, special offers or deals again there's nothing published online that isn't available already on the website. 


How to cancel ExpressVPN?

You might wish to cancel your ExpressVPN services. If so and you're within your 30 day money back guarantee period, you simply need to log a ticket via your account. You will need to mention why you're requesting a refund, after all feedback helps them improve their services for future customers. 

If you're outside your money back guarantee period, you won't be able to get a refund and your billing will end on your next cycle. ExpressVPN do not automatically rebill clients. 

Alternatively you can cancel your billing agreement by using the link in your 'My Account' which is accessible via the official website. 

Contrary to other reviews, getting a refund or cancelling is not difficult and is actually very straight forward and simple.