If you’re VPN shopping, chances are you’ve encountered ExpressVPN and NordVPN. These are two of the most popular and highly-rated VPNs on the market.
What are some of their similarities?
While they both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and they both perform well when unblocking restricted content, such as in streaming devices, they do have different features.
Choosing the right VPN for you will depend on many factors.
Table of Contents
What Is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is a VPN offered by ExpressVPN International Ltd, which is based in the British Virgin Islands.
It’s a security and privacy tool that works to enhance people’s safety online by encrypting their web traffic and hiding users’ IP addresses.
What Is NordVPN?
NordVPN is also a high-quality VPN that encrypts web traffic and hides users’ IP addresses, but it’s located in Panama.
This country doesn’t have mandatory data retention laws. NordVPN is owned by NordSec.
What Are Their Features?
A VPN will make you more anonymous online, but it can do a lot more than that! Let’s take a look at the best features available from ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
ExpressVPN At A Glance
- Hides your IP address.
- Has easy-to-use apps that are available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux, Android, routers, smart TVs, and gaming consoles.
- Offers 24-hour live chat support.
- Uses private and encrypted DNS on every server.
- Has VPN split tunneling, to let you direct some web traffic through a VPN and let the rest access the internet directly.
- Supports five devices simultaneously.
- Has a kill switch available to protect your data if you lose connection to the VPN.
- Owns its own protocol, Lightway, which’s faster than other protocols.
- Not governed by data-retention laws.
- Offers 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN At A Glance
- Has a no-logs policy.
- Supports up to six devices simultaneously.
- Uses obfuscated servers to hide your IP address.
- Has a kill switch to protect your data if you lose connection to the VPN.
- Supports split tunneling.
- Gives users dedicated IP addresses.
- Offers a double layer of encryption.
- Has a CyberSec feature to block ads and malware-hosting websites.
- Offers Onion-over-VPN to protect your data. The web traffic moves through the NordVPN server and then through the Onion network.
- Offers 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Which One Should You Choose?
It’s clear to see from the previous section that both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have excellent features, some of which are the same.
This is why people might battle to know which VPN to choose. So, let’s start our comparison of these two VPN giants by comparing them in different categories.
When it comes to coverage, NordVPN allows you to connect up to six devices simultaneously.
That’s above the average amount offered by VPNs, which is five. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, makes it possible to connect to five devices.
Both VPNs give you various platforms and devices that you can connect them to.
For example, ExpressVPN is compatible with iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, Amazon Fire, and some routers.
By comparison, NordVPN is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, and Linux.
Concerning country coverage, ExpressVPN is available in 94 countries, while NordVPN is available in 59.
NordVPN, however, does offer a greater number of servers – it uses more than 5,200 servers while ExpressVPN only has around 3,000.
Bypassing Geo-Restricted Content
If you want to access content that’s been restricted to a certain geographical region, such as in the case of Netflix, then you’ll find that both ExpressVPN and NordVPN work well in this regard.
You will be able to access overseas content with both of them. But, it’s worth noting that if you want to use a service such as BBC iPlayer, then you should use NordVPN. It has been more reliable for this service.
It’s also important to consider tunneling when choosing a VPN. If you want to use a VPN to unblock geographically-blocked content, it must have server access in the region where you want to tunnel.
For example, if you want to watch a video online that’s only available to audiences in Korea, your VPN needs to have a server in that country that you can use to tunnel in by spoofing a Korean IP address.
With NordVPN, you have tunneling support through 59 countries, but ExpressVPN offers greater coverage – 94 countries.
Obviously, one of the most important features to look for in a VPN is security. Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer similar features, such as a Kill Switch.
This essentially shuts down your web pages if your connection to the VPN has been interrupted, therefore preventing your data from being exposed.
Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer AES encryption in the form of a 256-bit key. This is considered to be the gold standard of encryption.
Another similarity is that both of these VPNs give you multiple protocols to bolster the security of your web traffic.
When it comes to security, there’s no doubt that both VPNs give you top-notch service.
Both of these VPNs have their own protocols. ExpressVPN has Lightway, while NordVPN has NordLynx.
Let’s see what they’re both about.
- Lightway makes your VPN work faster and more reliably. It’s also light, meaning that it won’t use as much battery life on your device.
- NordLynx is based on the WireGuard protocol, which is a popular protocol that’s focused on speed. But, NordLynx works to make your VPN experience fast as well as safe. It, therefore, fills in security flaws that are present in WireGuard.
In tests, Lightway had faster speeds, and this was found to be especially the case when it came to U.S. server connections – it offered 630Mbps download speed at its peak!
On the subject of VPN speed, it’s important to remember that VPNs usually cause your browsing speed to decrease.
But 2020 speed tests found that ExpressVPN caused less than 52 percent of an overall loss of speed for users, while NordVPN resulted in a speed loss of 53 percent.
They’re really close in this regard and both will be effective at preventing lagging and other delays.
When it comes to securing of your online information, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have excellent features in place.
For starters, they are both located in parts of the world where they don’t have to hand over user data to authorities.
ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands, and there are no data retention laws there. Similarly, NordVPN is in Panama.
Although the country has been forced to hand over data to U.S. authorities in the past, NordVPN doesn’t have servers in its home location, and this means it doesn’t have to comply with the government (via Comparitech).
What about data logging? This is an important element of privacy when using a VPN because while some VPNs will say they don’t log any user data, often this is not really the case.
The good news is that NordVPN won’t keep any logs about their uses at all.
As for ExpressVPN, it will store some data, such as the date of your connections, how much data was transferred, and your account ID.
NordVPN also wins with another feature: MultiHop. While ExpressVPN encrypts your web traffic, it only does this once. By comparison, NordVPN does this twice with two servers.
This is what’s known as MultiHop. It’s beneficial because it means you’re getting two encrypted servers for even greater privacy and security.
Although you might not think about how user-friendly a VPN is when you first consider installing one on your device, this is important to make your experience of it so much better.
Generally, ExpressVPN has a better user experience because of how it offers a neat interface that has a simple list of locations, whereas NordVPN has a map design that can be less user-friendly, and this has been found to be the case, especially on mobile VPN apps.
On desktops, it works well but on smaller device screens it can feel a bit clumsy and awkward. By comparison, ExpressVPN’s apps are intuitive and work better on all devices.
It’s important to consider how helpful and supportive the VPN company is of whose services you’re using. If you run into trouble, you want to have help at hand and be able to find the information you need.
While both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have good live chat systems as well as reliable email responses, meaning you won’t have to wait a long time to get the answer you need, their support websites are a bit different.
If you need to find information, you might battle with NordVPN’s website. The information can sometimes be a bit confusing, whereas ExpressVPN keeps things simple and straightforward, without any jargon.
If you’re interested in torrenting, you’ll be glad to know that both of these VPNs support P2P file sharing. However, ExpressVPN seems to have a bit of an edge.
This is because it supports P2P on all of its servers. You also don’t have to worry about dealing with a data cap or bandwidth restrictions.
By comparison, you can’t use NordVPN on all its servers.
But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have features in place to make your experience smooth.
When you engage in torrenting, the VPN will detect it and move you over to a server that supports P2P automatically, which is a nice touch to make the process a bit more seamless.
Use In China
China heavily restricts people from using the internet, which is why some popular websites and apps are blocked there.
If you’re traveling to China, or other heavily restricted countries, you’ll need to make use of a VPN that ensures you’ll have access to the online content you need.
Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN give you access to that content and work well in China.
While you might’ve heard that ExpressVPN is blocked in China, it does offer alternative addresses for people to use in the country.
You should ensure that you install it on your devices before you enter the country because its website is blocked there
You should also follow this rule with every VPN to ensure your greater privacy once you’re in China.
Despite that, ExpressVPN uses obfuscation technology and it has strong encryption protocols, both of which means you can use the internet in China without a problem.
As for NordVPN, it also makes use of obfuscated servers to ensure you can use the internet in China. However, it’s been said that sometimes it battles to connect in some parts of the country.
To find out more about the top-quality VPNs to use in China, read our guide, “Best VPN For China: How To Bypass The Restrictions.”
Here you’ll find information pertaining to ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and other VPNs that work well to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
So, how much can you expect to pay for these VPN giants? With both of them, if you choose to sign up for longer service terms you’ll get better price deals. Let’s see what they offer.
ExpressVPN has a one-month plan that will cost you $12.95, but if you sign up for a six-month service you can save by only paying $9.99 per month.
By comparison, NordVPN has a plan that’s $4.92 per month if you sign up for a year, which is pretty neat.
If you sign up for a year’s service from ExpressVPN, you’ll have to pay $6.67 per month.
The best thing to do is try the service out to see if you like it – both ExpressVPN and NordVPN provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is great.
Which VPN Is The Best To Choose?
As we’ve seen in this guide, there are many great features on offer by both ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
This can make it difficult to know which one to choose.
As great as these VPN giants are, no VPN will be perfect. To help you choose the best VPN for your needs, let’s consider good reasons to choose ExpressVPN or NordVPN, as well as their respective drawbacks.
Good Reasons To Choose ExpressVPN:
- It has more server locations and this can help to make it faster.
- It’s got better apps as they’re more intuitive and user-friendly. If you’re going to be using the service on apps, then this should make you lean towards ExpressVPN.
- ExpressVPN will give you a new IP address whenever you connect to it, which helps to make you even more anonymous online.
ExpressVPN drawbacks to consider:
- ExpressVPN is a bit more expensive than competing VPNs on the market.
- It does log some user data, which might be a bit of a red flag for you.
Good Reasons To Choose NordVPN:
- If you want static IP addresses, NordVPN offers these to users.
- NordVPN makes use of double encryption. Your web traffic moves through a remote VPN server where it gets encrypted, then it moves through a second one where it gets encrypted again.
- NordVPN has a no-logging policy.
- It connects to six devices simultaneously.
NordVPN drawbacks to consider:
- This VPN’s information on its website can be a bit difficult to understand, which makes it lack a bit of user-friendliness.
- You can’t use P2P on all its servers.
- Its apps are not as intuitive as what you’ll experience with ExpressVPN
Why Do You Need a Dedicated IP Address?
There are benefits to using a dedicated IP address, such as that it’s less likely to get blacklisted from some websites.
Why Would You Need Split Tunneling?
You can benefit from split tunneling because it helps to conserve your bandwidth since not all web traffic is forced through a VPN server.
In addition, you can access multiple networks without having to connect and disconnect your VPN.
What’s The Benefit of Onion Over VPN?
By routing internet traffic through the Onion network, you don’t need to use extra apps. Your internet service provider will be able to detect that you’re using a VPN but it won’t be able to see that you’re using Tor.
If you want the best VPN, you should consider choosing between ExpressVPN and NordVPN.
In this guide, we’ve outlined their features, as well as pros and cons, so you can choose the best one for you depending on how you intend to use the VPN.
For example, when it comes to how many devices you want to connect simultaneously, VPN speeds, and other important factors.