|Back to Review|| |
|Price starts from||$2.99||$8.32|
|Devices per license||6||3|
|Privacy and security features||OpenVPN, 256-bit AES encryption||256-bit SSL encryption|
|Torrenting, Netflix, HBO|
|Money Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Setup time||4 minutes||5 minutes|
|Number of servers||5,700||2,000+|
|Payment Methods||PayPal, Visa/Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Bitcoin, Webmoney, Alipay||Paypal, Visa/Mastercard, American Express, Bitcoin, JCB|
|Usability and Support||24/7 Live Chat, Email, Knowledge base, Video Tutorials||24/7/365 Live Chat, Email, Knowledge base, Video Tutorials|
|Best For||Privacy, Travel, Streaming, Sports||Privacy, Travel, Streaming, Sports|
|Platforms||Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, IOS||Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, IOS|
|Visit Site||Visit Site|
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Our detailed comparison
Modern information technology development resulted in a strong need for information security in all spheres of people’s lives. Internet is the insecure network; therefore, the ways of the sensitive data protection appeared subsequently.
VPN is a technology, which unites the entrusted networks and users through open networks which do not have much trust. This technology gained wide distribution among not only technical specialists but also among ordinary users who also need to protect the information.
Experts in the field of VPN technologies use the technical concepts mainly, such as “the algorithm of cryptographic transformation,” “tunneling,” “server certificates,” etc. But this terminology will say nothing to the users. They are more interested in a bit different interpretation of questions – how many years it is possible not to worry for the safety of the information? Will the network protected by the VPN work more slowly?
Nevertheless, in our review, we will consider all possible aspects which can be of high interest for the users. It is necessary to estimate all possibilities of each of VPN services, namely, ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
So, we will pay attention to the following criteria:
- Speed (to check it, we conducted some tests, connecting to spots in various regions)
- Features (each VPN has its unique features, making the service more specific)
- Security and reliability (an essential component for protection from DNS and IP leaks)
- Netflix and other streaming services (we checked, how both VPNs work with streaming services)
- Torrenting (BitTorrent, uTorrent)
- Logging policy and jurisdiction (do the services keeps users logs?)
- Supported devices and simultaneous connections
- Pricing and plans
- Free versions and trial versions of each of the services
- Payment methods and money-back guarantee.
Let’s start our contest where we will choose the VPN, that guarantees the highest level of protection and the best experience of its usage.
Speed: Express vs NordVPN
Probably, VPN speed is the primary question we have to answer in our review. We exactly know what some additional applications can decrease the Internet connection speed. To compare ExpressVPN and NordVPN speeds, we conducted several tests. We chose the servers in the same regions to connect to ensure the most reliable results. To test both our VPN services, we used the SpeedTest website. We used the 256-bit OpenVPN UDP protocol and tried not to pick some overloaded servers.
Notably, NordVPN has one of the most extensive server networks among other VPNs. It has about 5,200 servers in 60 countries, while ExpressVPN has 3000 or a bit more. You may wonder, we mentioned this fact here? The more significant number of services provides more opportunities for a fast connection because the distance to the server influences the connection speed significantly. So, you will get better results, if the server of your connection not very far from your location.
For ExpressVPN and NordVPN testing, we chose the United States, United Kingdom, and Singapore. We thought Singapore would be the most challenging server to connect because of its remoteness. However, when we connected it, we recorded the impressive result in case of ExpressVPN:
For NordVPN, the numbers were the following:
The next server we tested with NordVPN was New York that provided us with 91.75 Mbps download speed. Ping in this region, as you can see – 51 Ms.
As for ExpressVPN, we got the following numbers.
After connection to the UK server, NordVPN demonstrated the following results: ping Ms is 30, download is 81.20
ExpressVPN provided us with such numbers:
Verdict: it is obvious that ExpressVPN is a winner here.
Features: ExpressVPN vs NordVPN
It is a common practice when the VPN services add some features to their main range of functions to make the programs more useful and usable. Thus, VPNs become a new product with an impressive set of opportunities with increased security possibilities. Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN can be classed as such providers.
They both have a considerable network of specialized servers, Kill Switch feature, double encryption option, and protection from DNS leaks. What is more critical, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN strictly adheres to the zero-logs policy. It means that the services do not record the users’ activity or data.
Let’s take a closer look at the features both VPNs have for our better experience.
NordVPN has several effective solutions:
- OpenVPN, PTPP, L2TP, IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols
- CyberSec – an ad- and malware blocker
- customizable Kill Switch feature
- logs-free policy
- simultaneous connections to 6 devices
- Additional servers for better privacy protection (Double VPN, TOR-over-VPN, anti-DDoS, P2P)
- Hidden servers that mask VPN traffic, transforming it into HTTPS encryption.
In turn, ExpressVPN can provide us with the following features:
- Support in chat and by mail 24/7
- anonymous web-surfing
- IP-address hiding
- logs-free policy
- advanced leak protection for IPv4 and IPv6 leaks, as well as DNS and WebRTC leaks
- Open-source browser extensions with HTTPS
- AES 256-bit, split-tunneling, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPsec, Kill Switch
- 5 simultaneous connections
So, as we can see, both VPNs are quite comparable, considering their features. Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN stick to the free-logs policy. They also provide great security features, additional protocols for better protection. So, we cannot choose the unconditional winner here, because both providers have a decent set of features.
Security & Reliability: ExpressVPN vs NordVPN
Why do we need to check such parameter like security and reliability? If you want to watch videos, to stream or to play games, you can pick the ultrafast servers, to use P2P networks, or reliable double enciphering, anti-DDoS servers preventing the attacks, or just ordinary servers for the IP address hiding, enciphering of communications and protection against tracking online activity. Both VPN providers can guarantee you high-level security.
First, let’s take a look at the opportunities ExpressVPN has. First, this VPN provides a unique feature of “TrustedServer.” It was designed to erase all the data in case of reboot or VPN disconnecting. It is necessary to ensure free-logs policy keeping and guaranteeing the ultimate protection.
Moreover, as we mentioned before, ExpressVPN also provides such additional means for security like AES 256-bit, split-tunneling, Kill Switch feature, IP, and DNS leak protection. All this set makes this offer a reliable service to use.
Our mission was to conduct tests considering possible leaks, and we got the expected result: not a single leak was detected for the entire testing period. ExpressVPN hides any IP brilliantly during your usage. So, it displays the IP-address of the server you connected to.
If to speak about NordVPN uses OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec encryption protocols, which are the most efficient in the case of online safety. Also, it offers so-called military encryption, that implies 2048-bit SSL enciphering for the best security level. These protocols are built-in in Android and Windows apps.
At the same time, IKEv2/IPsec protocol is set as default in iOS and Mac OS apps. Besides, NordVPN uses 3072-bit enciphering the Perfect Forward Secrecy system, which generates a unique confidential encryption key of encryption for each session.
In the case of NordVPN, no leaks were detected too. We tested 32 servers in 17 countries, and all IP numbers we checked were detected as the ones belonging to NordVPN. Great results!
So, again, both providers are secure enough. No winner. These providers are both great options.
Netflix and Other Streaming Services
ExpressVPN is the definite winner in this category because this service provides access to streaming platforms all over the world. The use is quite simple: you only need to connect to the server of the country where you want to avoid the restrictions.
ExpressVPN helped us to log in to more than 25 streaming services without any problems, including the most popular ones such as Netflix, Kodi, Firestick. We also managed to access BBC iPlayer and Hotstar, Hulu and even local broadcasts. Besides, ExpressVPN avoids online games blocking, which gives many new opportunities.
In turn, NordVPN, despite all its benefits considering streaming, has some shortcomings, in comparison to ExpressVPN. First, let’s talk about the advantages. NordVPN utilizes smart DNS technology, which is quite helpful for streaming. It is ideal for streaming of content blocked on a geo-location.
NordVPN Smart DNS uses the encrypted proxy connection and does not demand additional control. It is compatible with all devices s where NordVPN is installed. According to NordVPN, users can access more than 150 streaming services via NordVPN SmartPlay. They are Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ABC Go, Zattoo, Cartoon Network, Shudder, WeTv.com, Telemundo, VH1, Vevo and many others.
However, it did not work with BBC iPlayer. One of the shortcomings of this function is that you cannot adjust Smart DNS NordVPN for work on devices which cannot start the VPN client: for example, smart TV, video game console or Roku.
To access streaming feature, you need to buy a subscription to ExpressVPN and NordVPN, select a server in the United States, and log into the Netflix account. ExpressVPN does not decrease the connection speed. At the same time, while testing NordVPN, we noticed a small speed drop.
Verdict: the winner here is ExpressVPN, without doubts.
Torrenting: ExpressVPN vs NordVPN
Torrenting allows access to some necessary content, which cannot be accessed in another way. Consequently, people use VPNs to ensure ones’ safety and protecting data while torrenting. Both providers we are reviewing have enough tools to guarantee the users the best experience while torrenting.
Let’s consider each provider and their torrenting opportunities in details.
First, what does ExpressVPN has for us? Without a doubt, ExpressVPN is the best option for torrenting due to its reliability and effective IP address hiding. This provider does not record users session logs, so it is possible to use torrents absolutely anonymously.
Thanks to the Network Lock function, VPN replaces your actual IP address with the one allowed in the application. If for some reason the connection is interrupted, Network Lock stops any outgoing traffic and ensure complete confidentiality. When you use uTorrent through ExpressVPN, there are no limits. You can download the necessary files and visit the sites you need. High speed, reliability, and secure data are provided.
In turn, NordVPN is also the right choice for working with uTorrent and BitTorrent torrent clients. Thanks to P2P protocol, it allows downloading and uploading files at a decent speed and without any limitation. It also does not record any logs, like ExpressVPN. While torrenting, you can be sure the Kill Switch feature will protect you if the connection drops.
It is possible to enjoy torrent downloads and streaming with no limits with the help of NordVPN and ExpressVPN. However, exceptional protection is what makes ExpressVPN stand out from the rest of the providers. Consequently, it is a leader in this category.
Logging Policy & Jurisdiction
We need a VPN service to allow nobody to trace our activity on the Internet. We want VPN to provide us the ultimate anonymity and opportunity to hide all possible data we do not want to share with hackers or government. So, in this case, the VPN services provide no-logs policy, which is quite necessary to ensure privacy on the Internet.
NordVPN headquarters located in Panama, and the company policy is not to store the users’ logs. In their website, NordVPN claims, “NordVPN does not trace, does not store and does not write down the log for any user of VPN. We do not store the communications given about time, the used frequencies, magazines of visits, the IP addresses.” Notably, NordVPN is also out of reach of CIA and 5 Eyes Alliance.
Panama is reliable in terms of Internet censorship and government shadowing. It is also out of the direct impact of NSA and GCHQ. The fact that this VPN provider is based in Panama and does not store the log makes it a good option for those who appreciate confidentiality.
In turn, ExpressVPN is located on the territory of the British Virgin Islands. It is also out of 5 Eyes Alliance and does not share the private information of users with the other sides.
ExpressVPN developers report: “We never store traffic logs, and we also do not maintain logs that could allow a mapping between IP, timestamp, and user. We work entirely based on shared IP addresses, which mean that one IP address will not lead back to a specific user.”
However, they allow some nuances:
“To improve the distribution of network resources, we record generalized data on the volumes of transmitted traffic and the choice of server location. This data does not help identify the user in the investigation. We can collect the following information: dates (not time) when connecting to our service, the choice of server location, and the total amount of data transferred per day.”
All this means that the service stores some logs; however, this information can in no way help identify a specific user. So, ExpressVPN can be trusted.
However, NordVPN is the winner this round due to its strict no-logs policy and jurisdiction.
One more important feature that needs to be considered is supported devices and simultaneous connections. Agree, every user has more than one gadget, so they require enough simultaneous connections and ultimate compatibility.
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are compatible with various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. NordVPN also supports AndroidTV. Besides, ExpressVPN provides opportunities for Kindle Fire, Nook HD, Surface RT, Apple TV, PlayStation, Xbox, game consoles, and Smart TVs.
Both for ExpressVPN and NordVPN, Chromebook and Wi-Fi routers can be easily adjusted manually. You can also use the client software of OpenVPN with open-source code on the platforms supporting it.
Within ExpressVPN subscription, you can use VPN services on 5 devices simultaneously. To connect more devices, you will be obliged to buy an additional subscription or use the VPN service on your router. If you choose NordVPN, you will have the opportunity to connect 6 various devices simultaneously.
Everything is effortless: download the application for routers or manually configure your router to work with ExpressVPN. The service provides detailed instructions. After that, you can watch streams on all of your connected devices, protect Internet browsing without any restrictions.
In case you need some light VPN versions, you can add NordVPN and ExpressVPN browser extensions to your browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.
Well, let’s conclude: both VPN services are excellent in this category. NordVPN even has a small advantage considering simultaneous connections. However, ExpressVPN provides more platforms it is compatible with, so, this provider wins.
Pricing & Plans
Every user seeks for a good efficient product and does not want to pay too much.
NordVPN and ExpressVPN have different plans and approaches to price policy. For instance, NordVPN has 4 plans – monthly and yearly plans. This service establishes quite a fair price:
- Monthly plan – $11.95 per month (or $143 per year);
- 1-Year plan – $6.99 per month (or $84 per year);
- 2-Year plan – $3.99 per month (or $48 per year);
- 3-Years plan – $2.99 per month (or $35.88 per year).
In turn, ExpressVPN offers 3 subscription plans:
- Monthly plan – $12.95 per month
- 6 months – $9.99 per month ($59.95, saving up to 23%)
- 1-year plan – $8.32 per month ($99.95, saving up to 35%)
ExpressVPN makes a generous offer after subscription and provides 24/7 online support, ultra-fast servers, free test access for iOS, and 30 free days of ExpressVPN use in case of registration with a friend.
Summing up, we see a winner clearly: NordVPN wins this round because of the reasonable price in terms of long use.
Free & Trial Versions
A free trial is a good option when you want to test the service and make the final decision. However, neither NordVPN nor ExpressVPN offer a free trial. Despite providing the users with free trial makes sense, we cannot name a winner here.
Payment Methods & Money Back Guarantee
The good news here: both VPN providers offer 30-day money-back guarantee. It means you can try the services risk-free during the 30 days, and ask for a full refund in case of bad impressions from these providers. So, during this period, you can contact the Support Team and cancel your subscription. After this, you will get your money back. Just do not forget to cancel your subscription auto-renewal.
Speaking about payment methods, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN provide users with various payment options to choose the most comfortable. These options include PayPal, credit cards in case of NordVPN.
ExpressVPN has a bit wider range of payments: There are many payment methods available in ExpressVPN: credit and debit cards, PayPal, UnionPay, WebMoney, GiroPay, AliPay, Yandex Money, SOFORT, iDeal, MINT, OneCard, Interac, as well as payment by Bitcoin. NordVPN also supports cryptocurrencies.
ExpressVPN is a winner in this round with a small advantage.
Well, one cannot deny that it was a tough fight. Both providers we reviewed are quite comparable, and the differences between them are rather insignificant for some critical decision. However, we identify the leader in this race: it is ExpressVPN.
First, it demonstrated significant results in the speed tests. Enabled ExpressVPN did not influence our system performance significantly. Also, it has a wide range of effective features, which ensure an additional level of protection, especially advanced leak protection for IPv4 and IPv6 leaks, as well as DNS and WebRTC leaks.
“TrustedServer” feature that erases data in case of reboot or VPN disconnecting, additional security means (AES 256-bit, split-tunneling, Kill Switch) makes this offer a reliable service to use.
If to speak about streaming and torrenting, ExpressVPN offers a big list of services it works with. The same story in case of supported devices – the number of platforms where ExpressVPN can be used is overwhelming. Wide variety of payment methods, money-back guarantee, all this makes this provider usable, risk-free, and useful for all purposes.