NordVPN vs ExpressVPN
NordVPN and ExpressVPN are arguably the two most prominent VPN services available. While both are quite reliable in virtually all categories, there are certain areas where one is better than the other. This comparison article attempts to put the two services head to head so that you can decide which one suits you more.
NordVPN comes out on top if you’re looking for a well-priced VPN that offers great speed, particularly for gaming.
However ExpressVPN has a very strong offering, particularly in terms of streaming and torrenting – but be prepared to pay top dollar for ExpressVPN.
|Encryption||AES-256 with 4096-bit DH key|
AES-256 with 4096-bit RSA key
Average Server Speed
|115 Mbps||200 Mbps|
|24/7 live chat and email|
24/7 live chat, email, and phone
|Free Trial||No||7 days|
|Pricing||Starts at $3.71/month|
Starts at $8.32/month
Money Back Guarantee
|30 days||30 days|
NordVPN vs ExpressVPN - Full Comparison
There’s no disputing the fact that NordVPN and ExpressVPN are the fastest amongst all VPN services, but which of the two is faster? To answer this question, we’ve conducted some tests using a 600MB connection in the US.
NordVPN displayed an impressive performance, with variable results ranging between 125 and 300MB. ExpressVPN also displayed a solid performance that ranges between 198 and 250MB. To test their performance further we tested both on a UK connection, and their numbers were pretty much the same.
Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer simultaneous connections, which allows you to hook up multiple devices to your VPN network at the same time. It’s great if you want to have multiple people on the plan, or just have a few different devices!
If we’re judging this round based on speed alone, NordVPN is the clear winner. However, when it comes to consistency we feel like ExpressVPN has the upper hand. This isn’t to say that NordVPN isn’t consistent, just that over time through our testing ExpressVPN was able to maintain faster speeds for longer periods of time.
Here’s where Express VPN gains a bit of an edge. They prioritize split tunneling and a self-hosted DNS.
The split tunneling allows you to maintain some normal ISP connectivity, which obscures the fact that you’re using a VPN to block certain traffic.
Importantly, DNS leaks are one of the weak points for a VPN construction.
Express VPN not only blocks such leaks, but it also has a website that runs tests to make sure that it’s working properly.
ExpressVPN is the more secure choice, running all servers in RAM-disk mode, which makes sure that no servers store any data for any amount of time.
While NordVPN is scaling to meet this demand, you can get the functionality immediately with ExpressVPN.
Standard VPN Features
Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer a variety of other features, like torrent servers, double encryption, and logless browsing.
They don’t store data, and they use obfuscated servers to get around certain geological constraints. Furthermore, both systems have a kill switch feature, which prevents data from leaking through if the VPN goes down, but the internet is still up.
When it comes to watching geo-blocked content on streaming websites, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are extremely reliable. However, if you take the consistency factor into consideration, it’s easy to see why a lot of people prefer ExpressVPN when it comes to streaming.
Not only that, but ExpressVPN is a lot easier to use for streaming. You simply select a location and hit ‘Connect.’ Granted, NordVPN has a greater number of servers, ExpressVPN flaunts a better range, as it has locations in over 30 more countries than Nord.
Worth noting that in our test, both of the services allowed us to watch without buffering problems. ExpressVPN seemed to get through right away, while with NordVPN we had to contact customer support on one occasion when trying to access content that is location blocked. This shouldn’t impact your experience but something we flagged in our testing.
Once again, both services are amongst the very best when it comes to torrenting, as they both flaunt remarkable P2P support. However, ExpressVPN is the victor, in our opinion, because all of its servers flaunt full P2P support, while some NordVPN servers aren’t suitable for torrenting.
There’s another side to this argument, though, since NordVPN offers faster torrenting speeds than ExpressVPN. So if you champion speed the most, NordVPN is your go-to choice.
Keep in mind that both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer excellent leak protection. To add, both services utilize a kill switch to protect your traffic. In other words, you don’t have to worry about your location or IP address being revealed while torrenting, and if the connection drops, the kill switch will be activated to keep sensitive information protected.
NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial on limited devices, whereas ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free trial period on any device. Both services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, though, so you can still give ExpressVPN a try, and if you’re not satisfied, you can have your money back.
So now that you have an idea of what both services have to offer, it’s time to consider the cost. If you decide to go for a monthly payment plan, ExpressVPN will cost you more than NordVPN. The former will cost you $12.95/m, whereas the latter will cost you $11.95/m.
If you go for the 6-month payment plan, ExpressVPN will still cost you more than NordVPN, as it’s priced at $9.99/m, whereas the latter is priced at $9.00/m. ExpressVPN’s longest payment plan, which is the 1-year plan, will set you back $6.67/m, whereas NordVPN’s longest payment plan, which is the 2-year plan, will set you back $3.71/m. As clear from the numbers, NordVPN is the cheaper service.
both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have a live chat feature and super responsive customer service. Usually this is one of the most key features for users who are not so tech- savvy and run into problems. Hat tip to both providers here.
Pros & Cons of NordVPN
Pros & Cons of ExpressVPN
In summary, NordVPN is the victor as far as speed, gaming, and pricing, whereas ExpressVPN is the clear winner when it comes to streaming, torrenting, and overall value for the money.
Do we have a winner? Not really.
ExpressVPN and NordVPN both offer genuinely impressive speed and privacy for your internet connection.
And the money-back guarantee makes them easy options to run with and at least test out.
Ultimately your expectations of price versus services are going to tip the scale.
NordVPN really does target less the tech-savvy I-just-want-to-jump-right-in internet user who want to protect their privacy but maybe don’t want to know the finer details, just that they’re protected. And NordVPN is great at doing that.
If you’re approaching this from a security standpoint then go with ExpressVPN. Pay a little more for the split tunneling and DNS leak protection – you’ll have greater peace of mind.
Both these services get a huge thumbs up from us and that’s probably why they’re two of the more popular options on the market right now. Choose either and you won’t go far wrong.