Jurisdiction: British Virgin Islands | Audit: by PwC | Apps for: Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone, Chromebook, Linux, Fire TV | Simultaneous connections: 5 | Browser Extensions: Chrome, Firefox, Edge | Advanced Features: Kill Switch, RAM-only servers (Trusted Server Technology), Split tunneling, Smart DNS
Total servers: 3,000+ Servers in 94 countries | Servers in New Zealand: Yes | Servers in Australia: Yes
ExpressVPN NZ Review
For Americans and Europeans, finding a functional and high-speed VPN server is usually a simple task. For Kiwis, it’s a bit more complicated. Few VPN providers offer servers in the country, so you have to do a bit more digging. ExpressVPN NZ offers servers in New Zealand as well as 93 other countries.
In this review, we’re offering much more than a review. We’re taking a comprehensive look at everything ExpressVPN NZ has to offer and how it can benefit Kiwis at home and abroad.
ExpressVPN is an industry-leading VPN provider that operates in 94 countries totaling 160+ locations worldwide. They might not have the largest server network compared to some other options, but their servers in NZ and close to the country make it an ideal option for Kiwis.
They offer a range of plans to appeal to people of all budgets and needs, and best of all, their plans are “duration-based,” which means that the features you receive don’t change based on the pricing package you choose. Instead, it’s one flat package that decreases or increases in price based on how far out you stretch the contract.
We find this pricing structure not only to be simpler but more rewarding for the user who may only need it for a short period but still needs all the necessary features.
Audits are a big factor to consider when choosing a VPN. No matter which one you look at, they’ll all claim to have a no-logging policy, no DNS leaks, and limited to no risk for the user. But, we should all understand that that’s never the case.
So, to build trust in the consumer, VPN providers will hire third-party companies to come in and try to hack the system. Here’s what we dug up on ExpressVPN.
They are looking to see if the VPN provider is being honest and following through on their promise. Following the audit, they received a seal of approval. Now, we won’t get too deep into it, but PwC confirmed that ExpressVPN:
- Does not collect logs of internet activity, browsing history, or traffic
- Uses RAM-only servers that reset with every reboot
- Only allows changes to code on a “branch-to-branch” basis
What all of this means is that they’re holding up their end of the bargain, and New Zealanders looking for a trustworthy VPN can use this one without having to worry about the company logging your browsing history or leaking your true IP address.
Features of ExpressVPN in NZ
There are certain features we always look for in the best VPNs, and in this ExpressVPN review NZ, we’re searching for features that apply to Kiwis. All of these features are important and essential to a high performing and private experience.
Have you ever gone to a restaurant specifically because they offer one thing on the menu? People choose ExpressVPN NZ simply because of this feature; this is their standout offering and the number one reason to go with this provider.
Their “TrustedServers” offer an independently audited technology that allows them to run the VPN using only RAM rather than storing data on a hard drive. This is so important for a few reasons.
All computers have methods of storing data. You have primary and secondary storage. Primary means that the computer will only retain the data for as long as it’s running. Secondary storage will hold that data until the means of storage is destroyed or lost.
An example of secondary storage is a USB drive. These are non-volatile, you can keep them forever, and the data will never get lost as long as you retain ownership of the USB.
On the other hand, primary storage is very volatile, expensive, and risky to use because you’re only holding that data as long as the computer is operating.
But, primary storage is also much faster because it uses RAM instead of a solid-state drive. Now let’s explain how this ties into ExpressVPN in NZ.
Their TrustedServer technology only reads the hard drive but never writes to it, which means there’s no risk for data corruption because there’s nothing on the hard drive. The entire software is reinstalled each time the server boots up, and it’s cleaned each time it shuts down.
When you’re dealing with cybersecurity, the less data you leave hanging around, the better off you’ll be. This feature is the number one reason why third-party auditors recommend ExpressVPN. It’s more of a challenge for the company to provide, but the benefits are clear for the end consumer.
A kill switch is a common feature among VPNs that kills your internet connection if you lose access to the VPN server. So, one of two scenarios can happen here.
Let’s say you’re sending private correspondence about customer payment information through an encrypted server. If you lose connection to the VPN, that customer data is no longer encrypted, which means that malicious attackers can now see that information and potentially steal it from you.
If the customer can trace the issue back to you and your company, you’re now at risk for a lawsuit, public smearing, or worse.
With an enabled kill switch, as soon as you lose connection to the VPN, you’ll lose connection to the internet as well, so you can no longer send information without knowing that you’ve lost your encrypted connection.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t often happen because VPNs are designed to prevent sudden drops. But, it can happen if there is a sudden spike in traffic on a congested server, so it’s something you’d want to keep on at all times.
Here’s another unique feature that we don’t see offered by all VPNs, and this is important for Kiwis looking to stream content inside or outside the country. In general, many streaming platforms and websites have DNS-blocking systems that can detect abnormalities in search traffic.
Oftentimes, the blockers can detect when someone is using a VPN, and they’ll ultimately block access to the entire server, which reduces the number of servers available since New Zealanders don’t usually have a lot of options anyway.
When a VPN offers a private DNS, it means they host their own domain name service on each one of their servers. This means that the server doesn’t have to resort back to the DNS directory to convert web names to IPs.
This not only makes it easier to bypass geo-restrictions, but it also closes the door on a big security loophole. Public DNS servers often gather information about users, and even if you’re using a VPN, this will still happen.
By having a private DNS for each server, it means that you’ll never have to use the public DNS, which adds another layer of security and privacy.
Split tunneling is like a “get out of jail free card” in Monopoly. When you’re using a VPN, you might need certain websites to bypass the encrypted tunnel because you won’t be able to access them otherwise.
For example, if you’re a Kiwi living in Europe for whatever reason, you might need to access certain banking websites from back home. A lot of these sites put special blocks on VPN users because they feel there’s a certain security risk there, and there probably is.
So, you’d have to allow yourself access to the banking website without the VPN. But, you can’t do this without turning off your VPN, which now opens up Pandora’s Box, and you might as well let everyone in because you’re incredibly vulnerable.
When a VPN offers split tunneling, you can allow certain sites without turning off the VPN completely.
You can also access local networks while browsing the web as you normally would. This will help you keep up to date with the local programming you’re used to while living somewhere else in the world. This is also useful for Americans or Europeans currently living in New Zealand.
Built-In Speed Test
Speed is obviously important because it’s generally assumed that you’ll experience slower browsing speeds when you’re using a VPN. You’re creating an extra step that wasn’t there before and a whole bunch of hoops for you to jump through when connecting to every website, so it’s naturally going to be slower, right?
While that’s sort of true and unavoidable, it’s still nice to know how fast the connection is, and ExpressVPN makes it easy for you with a built-in speed test so you can compare the speeds of different servers and locations. You’ll also be able to determine if your server speed is fast enough to do things like stream and play video games.
Now that you understand the features of ExpressVPN VPN NZ, we need to figure out what devices you need it for and how you’ll get it up and running. Most VPN providers claim that their software will work on all devices, but this isn’t always true. Or, it’s half true.
That’s the case with ExpressVPN. While you technically can use it on almost anything, there are special configurations you’ll need to follow, and most people don’t have the technical knowledge to know how to do this.
You’ll want to look towards the number of “native apps” that the VPN provides. These are apps that don’t require any special installation or technical prowess to get working. You simply install the app, turn it on, and you’re good to go.
Native apps allow you to protect your entire device no matter where you are, what you’re doing, or how you’re doing it. They’re better than browser extensions and much easier to get going than manual setups.
ExpressVPN in NZ has native apps for:
- Kindle Fire
This is a lot of devices and a pretty impressive list compared to some others. There aren’t a lot of VPN providers that offer native apps for Kindle Fire and Chromebook. Now, let’s be clear, so you don’t confuse this.
Many VPNs will say that they work for Kindle Fire, Chromebook, Roku, and Routers, but they don’t have native apps for them, which means you need to manually set them up.
Manual Setup Guides
Speaking on setting up manually, let’s talk about this for a minute. ExpressVPN offers support for various additional devices if you can get them working, and they’re compatible with VPNs.
This is a comprehensive list, and we’re not saying that your device will work with ExpressVPN, but it might.
Try it with:
- Smart TV
- Apple TV
- Roku TV
- Nvidia Shield
- Gaming Consoles
Many SmartTVs should work with ExpressVPN because they’re pretty app-friendly, and they make it easy for you to configure extensions. It’s best if the TV is Android-based because they seem to work better, and Samsung SmartTVs don’t work at all with any VPN providers.
When it comes to Apple, Firestick, and Roku, the main reason you’d want to use a VPN for these is to bypass geo-restrictions. When you’re in NZ or outside the county, you might want to watch certain content that you can’t get because of your location.
It’s not always that someone is trying to do something illegal or “wrong,” but they’re simply trying to watch titles that don’t exist in that country’s library. By signing into a New Zealand server from outside the country, you can then view the country’s content because the Smart TV or streaming device believes that you’re in New Zealand.
To understand how browser extensions work, you need to understand what they don’t work for. So, if everything you do revolves around an internet browser, you won’t need a VPN because the browser extension will work just fine.
But, what you don’t realize is that everything you do on the computer gathers information about you and your habits. Every time you update the computer, it’s sending data to the developers about you to put together a better action plan and future updates. For some, this isn’t a big deal; for others, it’s a huge deal.
A browser extension will not protect you from this where a VPN would. ExpressVPN offers extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
That said, Chrome is still the most used browser, so most people should have what they need. Essentially, the only time you would use a browser extension VPN over the full product is if you’re looking for light protection against internet traffic monitoring. Still, you don’t want anything too overbearing that may slow down your connection.
ExpressVPN has a large network of servers. Is it the biggest we’ve ever seen? No, it’s absolutely not, but 3000 servers are nothing to turn a blind eye on. It’s one of the largest networks, and their detailed list of servers includes New Zealand, Indonesia, Australia, Japan, and a variety of countries throughout the Middle East and Africa.
They offer a diverse portfolio of servers, which is important for a few reasons. First, being located in New Zealand limits you immediately because many VPN providers don’t have any servers in NZ or even near the country. That means that you’ll have to connect to a server that’s far away, which can result in slower speeds and more issues.
Something else we like about their server list is that they support multiple protocols in each location. This includes OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPsec, which are the most popular protocols. It’s important because you’ll have options in terms of speed and security, which will help more Kiwis get what they’re looking for out of this VPN.
ExpressVPN NZ Servers
The most important aspect of this ExpressVPN New Zealand guide is finding a solid connection in the country, right? One of the best things about ExpressVPN is the fact that they offer multiple protocols in the country, this isn’t something we see from a lot of other VPNs, and it’s quite unique.
If you’re in NZ, you can connect using the following protocols:
- OpenVPN UDP
- OpenVPN TCP
ExpressVPN NZ Streaming
If you’re outside the country trying to stream content from within, good luck. The same goes for foreigners inside NZ, trying to stream content from their country as well. But, with ExpressVPN, it’s possible.
It’s a great choice for streaming content from NetFlix, Hulu, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, and an array of other streaming services. It may also be compatible with some local streaming services that aren’t as popular as the big names.
ExpressVPN can even cast and mirror content. Now, it’s worth mentioning that ExpressVPN does allow you to stream from all the popular platforms in New Zealand, but this feature is pretty common across most VPN providers. Do keep in mind that the lack of server locations in New Zealand could become a problem if streaming providers catch on.
ExpressVPN NZ Torrenting
Torrenting is another big reason why people turn towards VPNs. Some offer dedicated P2P servers, which make torrenting much easier. Unfortunately, ExpressVPN does not offer this, which is a double edged sword. It improves the server’s overall speed, but it makes it more challenging to find one that offers torrenting.
ExpressVPN is a solid option if torrenting is your main purchasing factor. We would put it in our top five choices for torrenting.
Alternatives to ExpressVPN
One of the best ways to tell how well a VPN performs is to compare it to some competitors. There aren’t that many providers that offer servers in New Zealand, so your options are limited. In many cases, less is more because you can cut through all the crap and get down to the ones that work. Let’s take a look:
Surfshark hasn’t been in the game for as long as some others, and it’s a smaller company with fewer servers, so it’s a nice comparison to see if less is more.
They hold jurisdiction in the British Virgin Islands as well, which is a nice location because they have a lot of laws and guidelines in place that protect the end consumer. In terms of logging, Surfshark doesn’t appear to collect any information that they could use to identify you. If anything, they just gather performance information to make updates to their product.
The main thing we want to point out is that Surfshark also has RAM-only servers, which we guess isn’t as unique as we thought. They also have something called camouflage mode, which is useful if you’re trying to access the content inside or outside the country. It helps the streaming platform or site not identify the fact that you’re using a VPN.
NordVPN is the huge name you’re likely familiar with. This company is responsible for some of the most popular cybersecurity and anti-virus products on the market. Nord has jurisdiction in Panama, which is ideal because they’re required to ask permission to do certain things with your data.
That said, big companies like this are smart, so they can easily get people to agree to things without them knowing it. Keep in mind that it’s up to you to understand what you agree to when you check that little box.
PwC also audited Nord, and everything checked out okay. The auditor has confirmed time and time again that Nord’s no-logging policy is honest, and they’re transparent about their intentions.
As for features, Nod doesn’t have anything that stands out in comparison to ExpressVPN. Their offerings are somewhat standard. They offer something called Double VPN, which is nothing more than another layer of security that also improves overall speeds.
Free Trial and Pricing
ExpressVPN does offer a free trial, but it’s only available through the mobile app versions of the software. You can get it for iOS and Android once you download the native apps and then sign up for a free trial account.
We noticed that when you’re on a free trial, you can only use that account for the mobile version. So, there are no loopholes here. It’s pretty disappointing because a lot of Kiwis will want a free trial so they can test it out on desktop as well.
Like most other providers, they also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. There is one way to work around this and get the VPN for free if you’re only traveling for a short period of time. If you’re going on holiday in another country, you could download the VPN and then cancel it once you get back home.
As mentioned, their pricing structure is favorable because the only difference from package to package is the contract’s length. Keep in mind that prices frequently change, so you’ll want to check out their order page to see the current cost.
At the time of writing:
12 Months – 11.84$/8.32US per month
6 Months – 14.22$/9.99US per month
1 Month – 18.43$/12.95US per month
So, what do you think? Do you feel that ExpressVPN provides a nice union between speed, security, and affordability? We think it does. ExpressVPN NZ checks most of our boxes. They provide a highly secure service, exceptional features, fast performance, and broad compatibility for people on many different platforms to use.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding ExpressVPN in New Zealand.