You can download the Android app by signing into your ExpressVPN account page and tapping on the “Set up ExpressVPN” button. This will open the link to its page on the Google Play store. Tap this. Once there, tap to install it and then open it on your Android device.
Setting Up the ExpressVPN Android App
Once the app opens, you will need to set up a few options before you can open it. The sign in screen will let you enter your account credentials (email address and password). Else you can initiate the 7-day free trial (for the mobile apps only) by providing an email address.
Then you will have to configure the VPN service by allowing it the permissions it needs to establish the ExpressVPN service on your Android tablet. Finally you can alternately decide to send crash reports, speed tests, connection status (success or failure), other aggregated data to the support team to help improve their network.
ExpressVPN App First Connection
After you have authenticated the app and set up its initial configuration options, it will open for the first time. The connection dashboard opens with hints to familiarize you with how easy it is to connect to the service. By default the smart location will be selected. This is the location that the app thinks is best for general surfing from where you are. It is determined using anonymous metrics like download speed, latency, and distance between your computer and their network server.
To make you first connection, tap on the “Off” connection toggle. When the connection completes, a green shield will encompass the “On” toggle. Since this is your first time connecting, the app prompts you that you are now secure.
ExpressVPN Android App Menu
Before we look at the app in action, let us look at the menu of features and options available to us for connecting and using the service. This menu is accessed by tapping on the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) in the upper left corner of the dashboard.
The ExpressVPN Android App Settings Menu
The first of these items is the “Settings” menu. It consists of three VPN settings and some about information. The settings are as follows:
- VPN protocol – defaults to automatic and you should leave it here unless you experience connection problems.
- UDP – is the OpenVPN that the app defaults to because it is the fastest
- TCP – is an error checking OpenVPN protocol that works better over long distances or weak networks.
- Auto startup – starts the app when you turn on your Android phone.
- Send ExpressVPN data – to help improve the service. This is non-personal aggregated data.
Other ExpressVPN Android App Menu Items
Their are also screens for your account info and to get help. The account screen has a link to refer friends. If they subscribe, both you and them get 30 free days of VPN access.
The help screen has a link to their support page on their website. You can also open a form to create a support ticket from this screen. The ticket will let you enter information about your issue or question and include diagnostics if it is a connection issue. You can then send it to the ExpressVPN support team. We received an answer to our question in about an hour.
Using the ExpressVPN Android App
Connecting to the “Smart location” is a good choice for general surfing as it provides good speed and stability. However, there are times when you might want to connect to a particular country to take advantage of a specific resource or service.
Choosing a New Connection Location
You can choose specific countries or cities to connect to by tapping on the “Choose location” button. This will open the list of locations screen. This screen has three tabs:
- Recommended – This contains the smart location and about nine other countries recommended for you by the app based on your location. Tapping on the arrow to the right of a country will expand it to city level. Tapping on the star to the right of the location will add it to your favorites list. A red star indicates that it is a favorite. You should favorite locations that you use regularly.
- All – is a complete list of all ExpressVPN network locations. It is organized by the following regions: Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa, Middle East, and India.
- Recent – is a list of recent connections followed by a list of favorite location. To connect to a location, simply tap on it as we did for UK-East London.
Location Search and Ping
Two other features that can make it easier for you to choose a location with good performance are search and ping. To use these, you must be disconnected from the ExpressVPN network. Tap on the toggle to disconnect if necessary. You will know you are disconnected because you will see both the “Smart location” and “Choose location” buttons.
An easier way to choose a location if you know the country that you want to connect to is to use the responsive search. Select the search icon and start typing in the location. As you type the list will filter bringing you location to the top. This works with both countries and cities.
The last feature we want to look at is the ping test. This test measures the time in milliseconds that it takes for a signal to go from your computer to the server that you are connected to. To run the test, tap on the speedometer icon in the upper left of the location screen. Lower numbers generally indicate faster locations. These are usually locations that are closer to you. The United States and Canada would be good choices for connections in this case.
You can see that the ExpressVPN app is easy to install and use. A single tap is all that is necessary for general surfing needs thanks to the “Smart location” feature. It uses the OpenVPN protocol for secure connections. No technical knowledge is necessary to use it to connect to the ExpressVPN network. It takes only a few taps to choose new locations. Using the ping and search features makes this process easier. A single tap will disconnect you. Nothing could be simpler.