A VPN or virtual private network refers to a secure tunnel that connects your device and the internet. It creates an encrypted and secure tunnel over the Internet between your computer or mobile device, and the website or app that you want to access. Users have many options when it comes to choosing VPN servers with NordVPN and ExpressVPN considered as the two leaders in the market. The following is a NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison to show their comparative strengths and weaknesses.
The use of a VPN hides or masks your true location because your IP address is replaced with the address of the VPN server that you are connected with. A secure tunnel is created by redirecting your internet connection via a VPN server located in another country to mask your website or app and make it appear that you are a local visitor.
NordVPN is a VPN service provider based and registered in Panama. The company serves more than 12 million customers across its plethora of products in its attempt to become a privacy suit provider.
NordVPN offers more than 5,600 servers in 60 countries, which can be used for macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android, as well as for Android TV. NordVPN can be setup manually for NAS devices, wireless routers, and other platforms.
Panama, where NordVPN is headquartered, has no laws on mandatory data retention. NordVPN is not a participant in the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances. The company’s claim of not logging users’ data was found to be accurate by an independent audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
NordVPN has all the technical features you would expect from a VPN service provider, including OpenVPN support for high performance and strong encryption, a DNS leak protection and kill switch to keep your identity safe. It also offers not-so-common extras such as Onion support and double data encryption for extra security, and malware, ad, and phishing protection via NordVPN’s CyberSEc technology. Providing P2P support is a major plus in its offerings, and a clear no-logging policy and its Panama registration give above-average reassurance that your internet activities will not be seen by anyone else. Check out the full NordVPN review.
ExpressVPN is a virtual private network service operated by Express VPN International Ltd., a British Virgin Islands-registered company. ExpressVPN operates on a tough market with lots of competition around, but it knows exactly how to stand out from the crowd.
Express VPN offers a vast network that is made up of more than 3,000 servers spread out across 160 cities in 94 countries. While the US and Europe have the best coverage, ExpressVPN also has many locations in Asia and several countries that rarely appear elsewhere in the VPN service areas.
ExpressVPN platform support is another company highlight, providing apps for Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, Linux and other, a custom firmware for various types of routers, as well as detailed manual setup guides for Apple TV PlayStation, FireTV, Chromebook, Kindle Fire and more.
ExpressVPN offers valuable technical feature everywhere you look such as protection for your internet traffic by using its own DNS servers. Their high-end encryption technologies prevent even the most sophisticated attackers from snooping on your online activities. It offers a clever split-tunneling system that allows you to control which applications will use the VPN, and which will be routed through your regular internet connection, a very useful feature of finding apps that do not work with your VPN or running your VPN that noticeably slows things down.
NordVPN vs ExpressVPN - The Ultimate Comparison
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN seem to be two of the best VPN service providers that compete for attention in this highly-competitive market. When you research various VPN service providers, you need to consider a huge number of factor and features to list and rank.
We will feature a head-to-head comparison of NordVPN and ExpressVPN, two of the most popular VPN service providers today.
When choosing a VPN service provider, users are mainly concerned with their internet speed being slowed down by using the VPN. In most cases, internet speed is hardly affected by using the VPN. Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are in the top five fastest VPN providers.
The VPN speed is largely impacted by the number of servers a VPN provider has and the number of countries in which those VPN servers reside. NordVPN has almost 6,000 servers in more than 60 countries while ExpressVPN has more than 3,000 VPN servers spread out in 94 countries. But more than the number of servers, it is also important to look at the full list of servers and countries for each of the providers because some VPN protocols are in one country but not in another, which should impact your decision when choosing your VPN provider based on speed.
NordVPN showed excellent connection performance in its local U.S. connection, coming in at an average of 27.58 Mbps download speed, with ExpressVPN coming in just slightly slower at 21.10 Mbps download speed.
For international connection speeds – U.S. to the U.K. – both NordVPN and ExpressVPN showed high-speed connections when routed through the UK servers. NordVPN measured in at 25.6 Mbps download speed while ExpressVPN measured in at 11.65 Mbps download speed.
NordVPN is the clear winner in this category.
VPN users always check for the features offered by a VPN provider, comparing the same with what other providers offer before deciding on which service to sign up with.
NordVPN offers the following features:
ExpressVPN, on the other hand, has the following features:
It is important to keep in mind that there is no ideal solution that can meet all the requirements of individual needs or different business types with various sizes that belong to different industries. One VPN provider may excel exclusively in small set applications or may be created with one industry in mind, but nothing applies to everybody or everything in the level of excellence.
NordVPN and ExpressVPN are both winners here.
When testing out NordVPN, several errors and connection problems occurred, although the problem does not occur regularly. The problem happened with some servers and regions. But no matter how rare the problem occurs, it is still annoying to get an error message asking you to try again.
ExpressVPN is better than NordVPN in terms of reliability. The server networks work well, with no bugs, connection errors, or failures. It seems that everything works with ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN is the clear winner in terms of reliability.
VPN security is an important issue when choosing a VPN provider. People use a VPN to maintain their online security, but not all VPNs are safe to use. Some might even jeopardize your security as they violate your online privacy instead of ensuring it.
NordVPN has invested heavily in security by employing industry-standard encryption algorithms to ensure safe browsing for their users. The following are some of the security features of NordVPN:
- Kill switch – NordVPN automatically kills connection when your connectivity drops, terminating programs or blocking your device from accessing the internet.
- DNS leak protection – NordVPN protects you against leaks and negate such leaks.
- Onion over VPN – It is an extra layer of protection, wherein NordVPN gives you the ability to route your traffic through their VPN and send it later to the Onion Router.
- SmartPlay – This ensures that you can access more than 400 geo-restricted streaming services.
- Double data protection – Your connection is chained through two VPN, which means your data is encrypted twice to the DoubleVPN feature.
- OpenVPN – OpenVPN comes with 256-AES-CBC with 2048bit Diffie-Hellman key.
ExpressVPN has many features that work towards maintaining its users’ security. The following are some of the features that work towards securing internet connection:
- Split tunneling – This feature gives users more control over re-routed data. Users can select the traffic they want to re-rout, giving them a level of security without compromising their local network access or internet speeds.
- Encryptions – Express VPN uses AES-256 encryptions, which is the same as the encryption adopted by the US government.
- IP masking – ExpressVPN hides your IP address and provides you with a shared IP based on the server that you connect to.
- Zero-knowledge DNS – ExpressVPN users are safe from censorship, DNS filtering, phishing, and other manipulations.
NordVPN is the winner in terms of VPN security.
NordVPN is a no-logs provider, having completed a full audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers which verified its no-logs policy. NordVPN does not store IP addresses, traffic logs, connection logs, or other information on a user’s internet activity.
NordVPN limits users to six connections per subscription, with no mechanism in place to verify the user’s account and ensure the device connection limit is not being exceeded. NordVPN is based away and US and EU jurisdictions and is not required to collect users’ data and information, which simply means that nothing is monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or passed to third parties.
ExpressVPN has no activity logs and no connections from its users. ExpressVPN does not see or record the websites that you visit. It does not keep a log of the contents and destination of user’s traffic. It runs it private, zero-knowledge DNS on each of its many VPN servers for additional privacy and anonymity. ExpressVPN does not log IP address sources, connection timestamps, session duration, or the ExpressVPN address that your computer uses when you connect to the VPN.
There is no clear-cut winner here as both NordVPN and ExpressVPN have no-logs policy.
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Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are based in good privacy jurisdictions.
NordVPN is based in Panama, which is not a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes surveillance groups. Panama is generally regarded as a good offshore jurisdiction that is safe from US and European influence.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands are also regarded as a good jurisdiction because it is not a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes surveillance groups. BVI is an independent country that has its own legal and judicial system.
Both jurisdictions – Panama and the British Virgin Islands – have in place strong privacy protections, which make them popular location for banking and other businesses that require privacy.
Streaming Capabilities (Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
The Netflix VPN ban means not all VPNs can reliably work with Netflix. Fortunately, NordVPN and ExpressVPN do not have any problems accessing Netflix.
ExpressVPN works very well with Netflix with 24/7 access and high streaming speeds. Most users find no issues streaming Netflix using ExpressVPN. When your server gets blocked from Netflix, all you have to do is connect to a different server in the US and you will get through. You may also ask customer support which server to use.
NordVPN also does well with Netflix, although not as good service you can get from ExpressVPN. NordVPN gets more blocked frequently with Netflix but as with ExpressVPN, there are always other servers that are available to get through.
In terms of streaming Netflix and other services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, or BBC iPlayer, ExpressVPN is hard to beat. ExpressVPN continues to work with these streaming services even when other VPNs are getting blocked.
Both are winners in this category.
Torrenting & File Sharing
NordVPN and ExpressVPN possess almost the same traits in terms of privacy, unblocking, and P2P torrenting. Both VPN providers offer the same privacy tools.
NordVPN torrenting only has P2P friendly servers in 28 countries despite having more than 5000 servers in more than 62 countries. On the other hand, ExpressVPN offers servers in 36 countries worldwide.
ExpressVPN has the best VPN for torrenting because of the following:
- ExpressVPN offers excellent speeds throughout the server network, which works best for large torrent files.
- The secure apps of ExpressVPN have advanced leak protection – Network Lock – which is crucial for media companies that actively monitor torrent swarms.
NordVPN, on the other hand, has the kill switch is helpful with security when downloading via torrents.
The competition is close with NordVPN slightly better than ExpressVPN, making it the winner in this category.
Pricing & Plans
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, ExpressVPN offers three months free when you sign for a one-year term. If you will sign up long-term, NordVPN is better than ExpressVPN because it allows you to save as much as 75% when you sign up for a three-year plan.
- Monthly plan – $11.95 per month
- 1-Year plan – $6.99 per month
- 2-Year plan – $4.99 per month
- 3-Year plan – $3.49 per month
- Monthly plan – $12.95 per month
- 6-Month plan – $9.99 per month
- 15-Month plan – $6.67 per month
- 3-Year plan – No such offer
NordVPN is the winner in the price category.
NordVPN supports many payment options such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Alipay, cryptocurrencies, and others, except for PayPal. NordVPN stopped supporting PayPal option beginning January 2019, which is a big drawback because many users favor its use, especially when there is a transaction dispute.
ExpressVPN supports many payment options such as the major credit cards, Bitcoin, PayPal, and other payment processors. The PayPal option is a great advantage because of its popularity with the users.
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee but ExpressVPN refunds payment with no questions asked. NordVPN, on the other hand, will try first to resolve the issue before agreeing to refund your payment.
ExpressVPN is the winner here because of its slight edge over NordVPN in terms of PayPal support.
Value for Money
When signing up for a VPN service, it is always important to consider the value for your money. However, while the price is an important consideration, other factors must be weighed also. Even if the price of a service is cheap, it will still be frustrating if it does not work right or fast enough as expected.
NordVPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN but it does not offer the same value and quality of service as what ExpressVPN offers. ExpressVPN works well, with excellent performance and features, which shows that it has better value than NordVPN.
Winner in this category is the ExpressVPN.
Conclusion (Overall Winner)
NordVPN is better than ExpressVPN in more categories, which makes it the clear winner as to the best VPN provider to choose. However, the choice of the best VPN provider will depend on what the user needs. Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer good VPN service and are considered to be the best providers in the market. It cannot be denied that one may be better than the other in one area but lagging in another.
If deciding on which is the best of the two is difficult, remember that both of them offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can try each and cancel your subscription within 30 days if you are not satisfied with the service. This head-to-head ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison is based on our own experiences. Your mileage may vary.
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