|Back to Review|| |
|Price starts from||$2.99||$6.67|
|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||5,154||2,000+|
|Number of IP Addresses||-||-|
|Does VPN keep logs|
|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 is the most versatile, flexible, and robust Virtual Private Network on the market right now. NordVPN, in turn, is one of the most secure and least expensive ones. Both VPNs are very private (and located outside of the 14-Eyes alliance), fast, offer 30-day MBG (Money-Back Guarantee), and have stellar reputations. At the same time, there are many differences between the two, and in this review, we’ll talk about their strong and weak sides.
To put it simply, ExpressVPN is an excellent choice if you value functionality and speed above everything else. NordVPN is much better regarding security and affordability. Let us discuss prices, privacy, performance, torrenting, streaming, ease of use, and other vital aspects of a VPN so that we can create a clear picture in our heads. It is up to you to decide which service suits you best; our task is to provide you with as many relevant details as possible.
Just like most top-10 providers, NordVPN offers a 30-day MBG (Money-Back Guarantee). It means you can get a refund during those 30 days. Plus, there’s also a 7-day free trial.
ExpressVPN is also good for a 30-day MBG. Sadly, you won’t get a free trial with it, which is a big turn-off for many potential clients. NordVPN is capable of protecting up to 6 simultaneous connections; ExpressVPN, in its turn, can only protect up to 3 devices at the same time.
With Nord, you can get a 24-months package for the price of a 15-months Express package. The monthly plan is also a bit cheaper, not to mention that with the 2-/3-year subscription plans, you’ll get to save a significant amount of money. Therefore, if you’re ready to commit and win in the long run, then the choice is obvious.
Privacy & Security
As we’ve already mentioned, NordVPN is considered to be among the top-3 most secure and private VPNs. But what about ExpressVPN, you might ask – can it compete with its rival in that regard? NordVPN’s HQ is located in Panama; the ExpressVPN HQ is in the BVI (British Virgin Islands). Both are outside of any surveillance alliances and value the privacy of their customers.
Furthermore, the two companies follow the zero-logs policy, meaning they don’t keep any connection/IP logs. You won’t find any “shady” points in their logging policies: everything is open and transparent.
NordVPN does keep payment data, but you can always use Bitcoins to pay for the subscription plans. ExpressVPN logs the exact amount of data transferred within a day. Don’t worry – none of that will hurt you in any way.
Security-wise, it is tough to single out the winner, as both providers are doing a fantastic job of protecting our devices and data. AES 256-bit encryption (the most advanced encryption to date), OpenVPN, and IKEv2, among other protocols, will be at your disposal no matter which service you choose.
It is clear that NordVPN has more special features than ExpressVPN. Split Tunneling is the only feature it lacks, but with it, you’ll get CyberSec and an impressive line-up of servers. ExpressVPN still looks quite strong though, especially compared to most rivals on the market.
Servers Network and Speed
When it comes to server’s network, NordVPN has always been among the leaders. The company gives access to 5100 servers around the globe, which is very hard to compete with. ExpressVPN offers less than half of that – 2000+ servers.
Speaking of the number of locations, the picture is the opposite. While NordVPN has servers in 62 countries, ExpressVPN is present in 94 countries (and 148 locations).
Until recently, NordVPN wasn’t very competitive in speed and connection stability. These days, it is on par with the likes of IPVanish and even Cyberghost.
Our team put NordVPN and ExpressVPN through a series of tests to determine which one is faster. The download, upload speeds, and ping were carefully measured, and all tests were run from the European office. Let’s take a look at the test results:
NordVPN European Server:
- Download: 80 Mb
- Upload: 9.4 Mb
- Ping: 36ms
NordVPN American (US) server:
- Download: 55 Mb
- Upload: 7.3 Mb
- Ping: 170ms
ExpressVPN European Server:
- Download: 95 Mb
- Upload: 8.4 Mb
- Ping: 23ms
ExpressVPN US server:
- Download: 78 Mb
- Upload: 7 Mb
- Ping: 116ms
The biggest problem with NordVPN is its lack of performance stability. While it does have 2.5 times more servers, it lags behind ExpressVPN in terms of consistency. The occasional download drops below 10 megabytes will cause you a lot of inconveniences, especially if you’re a fan of torrenting. With ExpressVPN, you’ll never experience any significant drops in performance.
Torrenting and Streaming
If you’re looking for a decent VPN that will be equally good for downloading torrents and accessing streaming services, these two are excellent choices. Both providers come packed with P2P servers that were explicitly designed for the task of sharing data with various users around the globe. Throttling isn’t something any of the VPNs are known for. But, as we just discussed, connection stability isn’t NordVPN’s strongest suit.
It’s still quite alright; yet, it can’t compete with ExpressVPN in that regard. For getting access to geo-restricted content on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and other platforms, you won’t go wrong with either provider. ExpressVPN and NordVPN are some of the few providers on the market that still have successful “workarounds” for the most popular streaming services.
We tested each VPN several times, and they never failed at accessing blocked content. Popcorn Time is also compatible with both VPNs. So, while for torrenting, ExpressVPN is a better pick (as it is faster and more reliable), for streaming, even occasional drops below 10mb, like we discussed earlier, won’t have a significant negative effect.
NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Ease of Use
Excellent usability is something you’ll find in both VPNs. They’ve been around for a very long time, and the respective teams managed to create near-perfect apps and clients for each product. First of all, it needs to be said that ExpressVPN is available on Win, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers. The same goes for NordVPN. Plus, each provider offers extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
As for the user interfaces, they are very similar in terms of usability, ease of navigation, and features. Every single important menu is on the dashboard, and it won’t take you more than a couple of clicks to access the server menu and pick the desired location. It takes approximately the same amount of time to choose a plan, download, and install the VPNs (4-5 minutes).
As industry-leading services, ExpressVPN and NordVPN are doing everything in their power to satisfy the clients. On the official websites, you’ll find not only email support, extensive Knowledge Bases, and helpful video-tutorials, but also 24/7 support via live chat. This is the fastest way to get an answer, and both companies impressed us by their professionalism and quick responses. Note: most VPNs don’t have a live chat.
The somewhat outdated ticket submission form is also available, and you can still use it. But, in our experience, those emails take longer to respond, while in the live chat, you can solve an issue within minutes, if not seconds. Thus, there is no obvious winner in this comparison, as the users will get the same set of tools and the same level of expertise by addressing the respective customer support teams.
Summing up, it is hard to pick a winner, as it all comes down to your personal preferences. ExpressVPN is a fast, incredibly stable, reliable, and feature-packed service. NordVPN, in turn, is a lot more affordable and offers a 7-day trial. Plus, it has more useful special features. For downloading torrents, streaming, and enjoying fast connection speeds, ExpressVPN is the indisputable champion.
On the other hand, customer support, ease of use, privacy and security are the same. After all, we believe that NordVPN lags a bit behind its rival and is #2 in this competition.