First Look at ExpressVPN 5.0 for Windows

It may only be March, but the ExpressVPN development team has already packed in a full year of releases into the first quarter.  Since January they have launched new versions of the ExpressVPN apps for Windows and Mac.  Linux fans will be happy as well since ExpressVPN recently launched version 1.0 of their VPN client for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS.  Members have full access to all the new software.  Today we’re going to take a closer look at ExpressVPN 5.0 for Windows.  The new ExpressVPN 5.0 for Mac is very similar.  Want to test out the new apps for yourself?  I highly recommend ExpressVPN and am happy to share that you can sign up for unlimited VPN from just $8.32 a month during their current promotion.  All new members are covered by their 30 day money back guarantee so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

ExpressVPN 5.0 for Windows

Let’s jump right in to ExpressVPN 5.0 for Windows and take a look at the new interface.  As we mentioned earlier this month, we’re seeing easy of use as a trend in the latest VPN client updates.  So far this year we’ve seen new app releases from ExpressVPN and HideMyAss that take ease of use to another level.  Everyone will have their own opinion, but we like to see the simplified user interfaces.  It opens the service to a wider range of users.  For example, I feel comfortable recommending ExpressVPN to my parents now because I know they won’t be confused by the software.  That’s not the case with a lot of VPN providers.  We’ve tested plenty over the year’s that require a technical background to use.  Luckily that’s not the case with ExpressVPN.

The first set of screenshots above shows ExpressVPN 5.0 for Windows in action.  When you launch the app, it will recommend a server location.  In my case it recommended Chicago.  It couldn’t be any easier to encrypt your traffic.  Simply click the “Connect” button and wait a few seconds for the software to connect.  You’ll then be greeted by the picture on the right which shows a green locked symbol.  That’s how you know you’re protected.  That’s all there is to using the client for most users.  You don’t have to do anything else.  Of course you can always switch server locations.  Let’s tale a look at how to switch servers.

ExpressVPN location picker

The ExpressVPN 5.0 client for Windows and Mac has a built-in location picker.  Click on the three dot icon in the upper right hand corner of the client to open the menu and then select “location picker” to see the screen above.  You can use this screen to easily select any of the 100+ server locations that ExpressVPN offers.  You have some sorting option to simplify the process even more.  By default the client will recommend servers based on your current location.  You can also choose to sort the server location list by region or by country name.

ExpressVPN speed test

Want to find the fastest server location?  The new ExpressVPN 5.0 for Windows and Mac will help by testing the performance of each location.  You can use the speed test to find the best server by clicking on the “Run Test” button.  It will take 3-5 minutes for the test to complete.  I suggest you run a speed test the first time you launch the new client and then again if you connect from a different region.  As you can see their results will show a speed index, latency, and download speed.  I like the speed index as it gives you a good indication of the fastest server.  In the case of the speed index, the larger the number the faster you can expect the connection to be on that server.  As you can see Atlanta is my recommended server based on the speed index.

Power users will find some advanced features under the hood as well.  You can enable the network lock which acts as an Internet kill switch to help protect your privacy in case the VPN connection drops.  You can also launch ExpressVPN at launch and connect to the last location automatically.  I recommend you use the ExpressVPN DNS servers when connected which is the default setting.  This will help you avoid DNS leaks.  You can also switch between OpenVPN (UDP & TCP), L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and SSTP protocols.  We’ll be updating our ExpressVPN review later this week with a full rundown of the features in the new ExpressVPN 5.0 for Windows.  In the meantime sign up for an account from just $8.32 a month and test the new app for yourself.  Let us know what you think @VPNSP.  I think you’ll be quite impressed.