Written by 2:29 am Comparison

Astrill vs ExpressVPN: 9 Areas Where ExpressVPN Wins

In hurry? Here’s a 1-Minute Summary

  • Netflix: ExpressVPN unblocked it on the first try, Astrill VPN on the second try.
  • Speed: Both fast with closest servers, ExpressVPN stays fast with farthest servers.
  • Privacy: ExpressVPN proved to not share users’ information. Astrill keeps logs during active sessions.
  • Coverage: ExpressVPN offers a larger server network.
  • Torrenting: Both fast for speed. ExpressVPN better for privacy.
  • Security: Astrill leaked my real identity, while ExpressVPN has no leaks.
  • Usability: ExpressVPN is easier to understand at the first glance.
  • Customer Support: Both have fast and reliable support.
  • Price: ExpressVPN is cheaper and offers better value for your money.
  • Free trial: Astrill offers a 7-days free trial that requires an email address and phone number.
  • Refund: ExpressVPN offers a proven 30-days money-back guarantee, while Astrill offers no refund.
  • Avast VPN vs ExpressVPN China: Both works great in China, but Astrill is slightly better, because it is its specialty, and sometimes it offers dedicated Chinese IP addresses which ExpressVPN don’t.
  • Who do I recommend? : Overall, ExpressVPN. For China, Astrill, only if privacy is not a concern.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Who is really offering privacy?


LOCATION AND JURISDICTION

  • Astrill VPN

Astrill Systems Corp founded Astrill VPN in 2009. This company is registered in Seychelles, an east-Africa privacy-friendly country outside the 5, 9, or 15 Eyes alliances.

  • ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is also founded in 2009, by Express VPN International Ltd, a company that is registered in the British Virgin Islands, which is also a privacy-friendly country outside the 5, 9, or 14 Eyes alliances. But it remains a British overseas territory, one of the 5-Eyes countries.

LOGS:

  • Astrill VPN

Even though Astrill tries to be straightforward in her privacy policy about what information they log and what they do with it, I don’t feel safe about my privacy with them.

First of all, they may ask you about your phone number and address (depending on your payment method).

Astrill vs ExpressVPN

Astrill vs ExpressVPN

Second, during your active session, they collect your real IP address. Yes, they remove it once disconnected, but why you get it in the first place.

The third thing that concern me and they didn’t discuss in their privacy policy page is that they create a device fingerprint.

Device fingerprint is the information like the OS version, monitor resolution, hardware, browser version, language ….

How I found this?

A user on the internet shared that when he tried to get the free trial using a phone number and an email address that he never used before, he was asked to upgrade his account because he already benefited from the free trial.

When he asked Astrill support, they replied at him saying that a device fingerprint was formed and stored for situations like this.

 

  • ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN’s privacy policy is also straightforward about what they collect and what they do not.

Comparing the two privacy policies, I clearly see that the ExpressVPN collect less information about me.

More than that, the history is also reassuring us about ExpressVPN, because when the Turkish authorities tried to find user information on one of ExpressVPN’s servers in 2017, they were unable because simply there is no stored information. And that is due to TrustedServer technology used, which allows servers to run on RAM and not on SSDs for example.

 

ExpressVPN is the winner for privacy, due to her lack of information that she stores and her past testified in her favor

 


Who Can Unlock Netflix?


Netflix is what VPNs struggle the most to unblock.

  • Astrill VPN

Because it’s not yet available for me in Morocco, when I try to access the kids-show Shaun the Sheep: Adventures from Mossy Bottom, all I get is this reminder page.

I tested unblocking it the first time using the “Los Angeles A” server, but I didn’t succeed.

But directly after I tried using the next server which is “Los Angeles B”, the page started showing me the play button.

 

  • ExpressVPN

 

No, buffering (due to the fastness, it was hard for me to take this exact starting screenshot)

With ExpressVPN updating its 3000+ servers constantly, I’ve succeeded in unblocking Netflix US, UK, Canada, France, and Germany from the first try.

 

Both options work, but the winner is ExpressVPN because he succeeded from the first try.

 


Who is the fastest


Speed is one of the major things to look at because if a VPN decrease your internet speed too much, you will be incapable of watching videos without buffering.

CLOSEST VPN SERVER

  • Astrill (Spain ~ 600 miles away from me):

Before using Astrill VPN:

After using Astrill VPN:

– A 2% decrease in download speed is a good result.

– A ping of 42 after connecting to a VPN is good for gaming.

 

  • ExpressVPN (Portugal ~ 500 miles away from me):

Before using ExpressVPN:

After using ExpressVPN:

– A 7% decrease in download speed is a good result.

– A ping of 26 after connecting to ExpressVPN is good for gaming.

 

FARTHEST VPN SERVER

(Australia ~ 10 000 miles away from me)

  • Astrill:

Before using Astrill VPN:

After using Astrill VPN:

– A 74% decrease in download speed is considered very bad.

– A ping of 337 after connecting to Astrill is very bad for gaming.

 

  • ExpressVPN:

Before using ExpressVPN:

After using ExpressVPN:

– A 13% decrease in download speed is considered good.

– A ping of 262 after connecting to ExpressVPN is also very bad for gaming.

 

ExpressVPN is the winner, because he stayed fast also when connected to the farthest server.

 

 


Who has the most coverage?


  • ASTRILL:

Astrill offers a non-disclosed servers number in 109 cities across 60 countries.

Internet users shared on the internet that they have 365 servers. Even if it’s not the exact number, I feel that it’s closer to the truth, because if Astill has a bigger servers number it would be promoting it.

The majority of Astrill’s servers are concentric in:

  • USA
  • Europe
  • Asia

Astrill is limited in servers in:

  • Africa: 2 locations
  • Australia: 5 locations

 

Another plus is that Astrill offers sometimes the ability to get a Chinese IP address from outside China.

This is very useful if you are Chinese abroad and you want to watch local services like TV.Sohu.com, CNTV.cn, V.Baidu.com, Video.sina.com.cn, V.qq.com, Tudou.com, IQiYi.com, Youku.com, etc.

 

  • EXPRESSVPN

ExpressVPN offers 3000+ servers in 160 cities across 60 countries.

The majority of ExpressVPN’s servers are concentric in:

  • USA
  • Europe
  • Asia

ExpressVPN is limited in servers in :

  • Africa: 4 locations
  • Australia: 5 locations

 

Unfortunately, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer the ability to get a Chinese IP address from outside China.

 

ExpressVPN is the winner because it offers more server locations.

 


Who is the Safest VPN provider?


VPN safety is linked to how much security is implemented in order to keep my data safe.

 

  • PROTOCOLS:

Astrill offers 4 protocols (OpenWeb, StealthVPN, Wireguard, and OpenVPN).

ExpressVPN offers 6 protocols (Lightway, OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, IPsec, IKEv2, and PPTP).

Both companies have developed their own protocol to bypass countries’ censorship.

Astrill has StealthVPN and ExpressVPN has Lightway.

It’s hard to compare protocols because available protocols depend on the used device/system and the location.

 

  • ENCRYPTION: 

Encryption is what makes your data useless if it falls into the hands of other parties.

Both companies offer the high-standard encryption AES-256, used by banks and governments.

 

  • DNS LEAK TEST:

This is the part that will make the difference clearer between these two VPNs.

With Astrill, my real identity (IP address, approximate location) was leaking to the web tool Perfect Privacy.

This is only happening when I’m connected using OpenVPN, StealthVPN, or WireGuard protocol (3 out of the 4 available protocols).

Openweb protocol

Openweb protocol

OpenVPN protocol

OpenVPN protocol

StealthVPN protocol

StealthVPN protocol

Wireguard protocol

Wireguard protocol

The same thing happens when I’m using another leaking test website (DNSleaktest.com).

 

I’ve tested ExpressVPN leaks using 4 different leaking test web tools (IPLeak.net, Perfect-Privacy.com, BrowserLeaks, IPX.ac).

IPLeak.net: Passed

Perfect-Privacy.com: Passed

 

BrowserLeaks: Passed

IPX.ac: Passed

Astrill vs ExpressVPN

As you see from the photos above, ExpressVPN didn’t leak my approximate location or IP address.

 

  • KILL-SWITCH/APP GUARD:

Kill-switch is what blocks your real information from leaking when your internet reconnects and your VPN still try to connect you to a server.

Even though some VPNs don’t have it, I see it as a required security feature in every VPN software.

Fortunately, both of our competitors have it.

At the time of writing this review, I didn’t test yet the reliability of these kill-switches.

 

ExpressVPN is the safest VPN because Astrill leaked my real information.

 

 


Who Is the Best for Torrenting


Fortunately, both VPNs support torrenting.

SPEED:

For speed, both have excellent speeds, Astrill has only 10% and ExpressVPN only 16% of internet speed decrease.

 

PRIVACY:

The first thing to mention is that the kill-switch feature is by default disabled on Astrill and enabled on ExpressVPN. 

That means if I started torrenting directly after installing Astrill, my real identity will be exposed.

ExpressVPN is the best for torrenting.

 


Usability:


In a nutshell, Astrill requires some trial and error at first, ExpressVPN is directly easy to use and to understand.

What I prefer in ExpressVPN/hate in Astrill:

  • Getting a notification on my Mac every time I got connected or disconnected from a server. Not available in Astrill.

  • Choosing a server from the dropdown list is harder with Astrill because the window size is small.

 

What I prefer in Astrill/hate in ExpressVPN:

  • If I hover with my mouse over a feature, I get a short explanation.

 


Customer Support


I’ve tested the customer support of our competitors and both of them are very good.

ASTRILL:

Astrill has a 24/7 live chat that joined the conversation after only 15 seconds of me waiting.

It offers also a ticket system that replied to me after only 18 minutes.

There are FAQsvideo tutorials, and manuals if you want to know how to do something.

astrill vs expressvpn china

EXPRESSVPN:

I’ve used ExpressVPN’s 24/7 live chat multiple times, and every time the agent joins the conversation very fast (under 15 seconds).

They have also a ticket system, video tutorials, instructions, and troubleshooting guides.

 


Prices, Free Trial, and Refund


PRICE:

Astrill offer 3 plans :

  • The monthly plan at $20
  • The semi-annually at $90 ($15/month)
  • The annually at $120 ($10/month)

ExpressVPN offer also 3 plans :

  1. The monthly plan at $12.95
  2. The semi-annually at $59.95 ($9.99/month)
  3. The annually at $99.95 ($8.32/month).

Other than this, if you use my affiliate link, I will get a commission and you will be gifted 3 months for free if you opt for the 1-year plan.

Both options are above average, but between these two, ExpressVPN offers the best value for your money.

 

FREE TRIAL:

Astrill offers a 7-days free trial that does not require your credit card, does not have any data limit but some servers like the Chinese ones are not included.

ExpressVPN does not offer a free trial.

 

REFUND:

Astrill does not offer a full or partial refund.

With ExpressVPN, all subscriptions are guaranteed with a 30-days money-back guarantee that I’ve tested and it’s working for sure.

Even though they state in their refund policy that they will not ask me any questions, it’s not the case because they did, but directly after resending them the same request, they inform me that they forwarded it to the billing team.

Even though ExpressVPN does not offer a free trial, it wins this competition.

 


Astrill VPN vs ExpressVPN: The Winner Is …


ExpressVPN.

Definitely, I will recommend ExpressVPN.

 

 

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