When we speak of the VPN industry, two biggies top the rankings -NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Though these two are amazing choices, and they are the top VPN providers, it becomes a tough task to select one of the two options. This review will bring out the attributes of each VPN provider and the tasks each one is best suited for. Read through the review to know more about these two leading VPN providers
If you are unable to choose between NordVPN and ExpressVPN, it is recommended that users who do not mind paying a bit more can opt for ExpressVPN which is amongst the best VPN providers. The cost per month is a bit higher, but with the current promotions on, you could get it at a reduced cost. ExpressVPN is much faster when compared with NordVPN. It comes with top-level security and is compatible with a wide variety of streaming services.
NordVPN is a great option if you have a lower budget, and this works quite well with its promotional deal that offers a heavy discount. It is compatible with a lot of streaming services, it has strong security features and has above average speeds
ExpressVPn Vs NordVPN 2020| Side By Side Comparison
1) NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: The Speed test
Both ExpressVPN and NordVPNnow offer great speeds. While traditionally, ExpressVPN has been the leader when it comes to performance, in the 2020 speed tests, NordVPN topped the latest round, just by a fraction.
(I) Controlling variables:
For the comparison in this segment, the OpenVPN protocol having AES-256 encryption was used on the same operating system as well as the computer. For testing, the baseline speed was around 160 Mbps, and the physical location was in Germany. Furthermore, overloaded servers were not used, however, the VPN app was allowed to automatically choose the best server for the given region/country. In the initial round, speed tests were run for ExpressVPN as well as NordVPN and the nearby servers were in Europe (which is close to the physical location). The results are as follows:
(i) Germany :
ExpressVPN server: 144 Mbps
NordVPN server: 149 Mbps
You can see, in Germany ExpressVPN as well as NordVPN have fast speeds, though NordVPN has a little edge over ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN server: 146 Mbps
NordVPN server: 150 Mbps
The speeds of both are very similar.
ExpressVPN server: 145 Mbps
NordVPN server: 150 Mbps
Overall both the VPNs have amazing speed tests! Each VPN was almost close to the baseline speed.
(II) Long-distance speed test
Multiple speed tests over a long-distance were run with the servers being in Canada and the United States. The results were quite similar.
US (in New York)
ExpressVPN server: 140 Mbps
NordVPN server: 148 Mbps
Tests were conducted in many other server locations of the US and the results were quite similar. Both ExpressVPN, as well as NordVPN, are good options in case you require a VPN in the USA.
The servers were also tested in Toronto, Canada. The results were quite close for both the servers
Overall, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN servers offered excellent speeds. Though there was a tie in this category, NordVPN was a better performer than ExpressVPN by a slight margin.
The Winner when it comes to speed is: NordVPN
Note: The two VPNs topped when it came to speed in contrast to various VPN services offered. In a comparison between NordVPN and PIA, NordVPN topped the test. In the comparison between ExpressVPN and IPVanish, ExpressVPN topped the test.
2. Which One Is More Reliable?
Both ExpressVPN, as well as NordVPN, are great options when it comes to reliability. Let us have a look at NordVPN first.
NordVPN provides excellent reliability in the areas mentioned below:
– Applications: There are no crashes or bugs and the apps function well.
– Servers: There were no issues to be reported and the servers are quite fast and reliable.
– Connections: The connections were fast to connect and stable.
Just like NordVPN, even ExpressVPN performs well when it comes to reliability. ExpressVPN has been one of the very reliable VPNs available.
– Applications: The apps are quite smooth and very easy to use. There are no bugs, crashes, or issues.
– Servers: The servers performed well and were reliable.
– Connections: The connections were stable and could be established very fast.
Traditionally, ExpressVPN has always been the winner when it comes to reliability, however, right now, even NordVPN is a great performer. So both NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN, provide great reliability.
Reliability Winner: There is a Tie between the two VPNs.
3. NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: The Battle Of APPs
In this category, the design, as well as the usability of VPN apps, is considered (i.e. user experience).
The ExpressVPN app is minimal and quite clean. The server switch is a one-tap switch which is easy and quick. But, the section “Current Location” can be clicked to get the complete server list. You can modify the Settings easily within the app. The apps of
ExpressVPN stands out as they are quite minimal, clean, and easy to use and doesn’t appear to be overcrowded. The Server selection as well as preferences open via a pop-up. This ensures your main desktop application is quite simple. The server selection in ExpressVPN is minimized when it isn’t used, which ensures the app is clean and small.
In comparison with the ExpressVPN apps, the apps of NordVPN are quite large and more clunky. It can be a bit annoying as it occupies a lot of space on the desktop too. The reason why the clients of NordVPN are large is that their server selection incorporates a global map that utilizes a lot of space.
Meanwhile, it’s redundant as servers can be selected with individual countries located on the apps left side too.
VPN App Winner: The winner in this category is ExpressVPN
4.NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Key Features & Benefits
ExpressVPN, as well as NordVPN, have some great features which are suitable for different users.
ExpressVPN has a unique feature which is that it provides the option of split-tunneling. This option enables routing of specific apps via an encrypted VPN, whereas other apps are routed through the regular internet connection which is unencrypted. Though this feature is even offered by ProtonVPN, it is not a very common feature.
Other features of ExpressVPN are:
(i) A Secure and self-hosted DNS which safeguards against DNS leaks as well as any third-party DNS snooping
(ii) Obfuscation features related to network restrictions as well as VPN blocking
(iii) It supports Smart TVs along with gaming systems (via the smart DNS feature MediaStreamer)
(iv) It has browser extensions that have cleared the third-party audit. It also has the HTTPS Everywhere (which is available for Chrome and Firefox)
(v) All the servers are run in a RAM-disk mode, instead of hard drives. So it becomes impossible to store logs or data physically on the servers. It also improves security.
(vi) In terms of obfuscation, it has many obfuscated servers, which are quite useful when you make use of a VPN for a place like China or in any other restricted network.
NordVPN also has some great features to offer. They are:
(i) They have specialty servers which suit different use cases:
– The Double-VPN servers are those where the traffic gets encrypted over two distinct hops
– The P2P servers which are perfect for torrenting
– The Obfuscated servers for use of VPN in areas where traffic is blocked, like China
The servers function at great speeds without any issues in connection.
(ii) NordVPN offers a feature of ad-blocking called CyberSec. This feature gives you basic protection against tracking, advertising, as well as malware domains.
Features winner: There is a tie in this category as both the VPN providers are really good.
5. NordVPN Vs. ExpressVPN: Security & encryption
ExpressVPN, as well as NordVPN, make use of very strong encryption standards.
ExpressVPN: The Data is encrypted using the AES-256 cipher, the RSA key exchange of 4096-bit, and the SHA-512 hash authentication.
NordVPN: The Data here is also encrypted using the AES-256 cipher, the hash authentication SHA-256, and the RSA key exchange of 4096-bit
NordVPN as well as ExpressVPN offer the same encryption levels and are very secure. There is a slight difference in the hash authentication, but this is quite trivial because both give you high-security levels which is great.
(ii) VPN protocols
Both NordVPN as well as ExpressVPN support the major VPN protocols.
ExpressVPN: OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IPSec/L2TP, and IPSec/IKEv2,
NordVPN: OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP,IPSec/L2TP, IPSec/IKEv2, and WireGuard
The difference between the two is NordVPN, at present, supports the VPN protocol- WireGuard. Wireguard is quite a new VPN protocol that has upgraded security along with faster speeds, though it has a few privacy drawbacks. NordVPN supports WireGuard at present, on the Linux operating systems via the feature – “NordLynx”.
(iii) Server security
ExpressVPN tops in server security. At present all the servers of ExpressVPN run in the RAM-disk mode, which is a TrustedServer feature. It offers higher security and ensures that the servers cannot store any data physically.
NordVPN is following the example of ExpressVPN and plans have been announced to roll out the RAM-disk servers all through their network. But, this is not complete yet and is an ongoing process.
(iv) Leak protection
Both NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN, perform well when it comes to leaking protection. The NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN desktop clients both, offer the following:
– Protection against IP address leak (for IPv4 as well as IPv6)
– Protection against DNS leak
– Kill switch that blocks traffic in case there is a drop in the VPN connection
Security Winner: When it comes to security, ExpressVPN is a winner due to server security.
6. NordVPN Vs. ExpressVPN: Logs and Privacy
In terms of privacy and logs, both NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN, are good options. These two VPNs are the “verified no logs VPNs”.
NordVPN: logging policy
NordVPN has a no-logs policy. They don’t store session information, connection timestamps, used bandwidth, IP addresses, traffic data, or any other data. they do not store anything nor do they share anything.
Verification: The logging claims of NordVPN were verified when their servers, staff, and VPN infrastructure, were voluntarily submitted by them to a third-party audit for verification of their logging policies. This audit was conducted by PWC AG, Zurich in Switzerland.
ExpressVPN: logging policy
ExpressVPN has a very clear policy of no logs. They do not store any activity logs or even connection logs from users. This means that ExpressVPN will neither see nor will it record the websites you visit. They do not log the contents or destination of your traffic. They run their very own private and zero-knowledge DNS for additional privacy and anonymity on all VPN servers. ExpressVPN does not log the connection timestamps, source IP address, session duration, or even ExpressVPN IP address which is assumed by your computer when it connects to the VPN.
Verification: ExpressVPN’s policies have been tested and verified when Turkish authorities had initially attempted to force ExpressVPN to present the data. This did not work, which is when the ExpressVPN servers were seized by the Turkish police, however, they could not procure any data because there were no logs.
ExpressVPN has also got an audit done by a third-party. It was conducted by PWC and they verified that the policy of no-logs and all the privacy protection measures were in place.
Logs winner: There is a Tie between the two.
7. NordVPN Vs. ExpressVPN: Jurisdictions
Both NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN, are based in some really good privacy jurisdictions.
NordVPN ( Panama)
Panama isn’t a member of 14 Eyes countries. Generally, it is considered to be a great offshore jurisdiction, which is quite safe from the US as well as European influence.
ExpressVPN (British Virgin Islands)
The British Virgin Islands is also a good jurisdiction. It isn’t a member of any of the Eyes surveillance groups (5/9/14). It is an independent and free country, having its very own legal system, despite having historical ties with Britain. A few new VPNs, like Surfshark, are incorporating the BVI due to this reason.
Both Panama, as well as the British Virgin Islands, are quite strong in terms of privacy protections, thereby making them quite popular locations for various businesses as well as banking which demand privacy.
Jurisdiction winner: There is a Tie between the two.
8. NordVPN Vs. ExpressVPN: Torrenting tests
NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN, are great options when it comes to torrenting. When you look out for the best VPN in terms of torrenting, you have to consider two things:
Speeds: NordVPN as well as ExpressVPN offer excellent speeds. This is crucial when you torrent huge files and it ensures you have the fastest speed.
Leak protection: ExpressVPN as well as NordVPN offer great leak protection. They incorporate a kill switch in their VPN apps that protect the traffic. This keeps the IP address along with location secure when the files are torrented. In case there is a drop in the VPN connection if the kill switch is activated you will be protected.
Torrenting winner: There is a Tie between the two.
9. NordVPN Vs. ExpressVPN: Netflix
ExpressVPN: It provides 24/7 access along with fast speed for streaming (zero buffering).
NordVPN – NordVPN performs well with Netflix. However, NordVPN gets blocked frequently in contrast to ExpressVPN. To resolve this issue, you have to chat with NordVPN support who will let you the servers that work with Netflix. NordVPN has plenty of servers that work well with Netflix.
NordVPN as well as ExpressVPN support many Netflix regions worldwide. For instance, you can get connected to Canada Netflix, Australia Netflix, UK Netflix, German Netflix, etc. All you need to do is choose the servers in these specific countries.
Other streaming services:
NordVPN and ExpressVPN function well with different streaming services. They can be used to stream Amazon Prime, Hulu, iPlayer, BBC, and many more. In case of issues related to blocks, connect to chat support and they will assist you and let you the server which has to be used.
Netflix winner: ExpressVPN emerges a winner in this category.
10. NordVPN Vs. ExpressVPN: The Pricing Battle
When it comes to pricing, NordVPN is a winner as it has the cheapest rates.
Mentioned below is a brief breakdown:
- Monthly Plan: It is available at $11.95/month
- Year Plan: It is available at $6.99/month
- Year Plan: It is available at $4.99/month
- Year Plan: It is available at $3.49/month
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- Monthly Plan: It is available at $12.95/month
- 6-Month Plan: It is available at $9.99/month
- 15-Month Plan: It is available at $6.67/month
- 3-Year Plan: There is no plan
NordVPN definitely has a very cheap price – the three-year plan comes at a discounted rate of $3.49 a month. However, a lot of risks are involved when you sign up for three years with any VPN. At present, NordVPN is the top best cheap VPN that provides high-quality services at affordable prices.
ExpressVPN has no free trials, and they do not have a three-year plan. The 15-month plan offers a good discount though. Even in temporary sales, the pricing of ExpressVPN is consistent.
Cost winner: Yes, NordVPN is a winner with its cheap rates offered in the 3-year plan.
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11. NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Payment & Money Back Guarantee
ExpressVPN supports many payment options, inclusive of major credit cards, Bitcoin, PayPal, and many payment processors.
All you have to do is enter your valid email address along with payment details in ExpressVPN.
NordVPN supports a lot of payment options, however, the difference is that it does not support PayPal. Since January 2019, PayPal isn’t a payment option in NordVPN. This definitely is a big drawback, as PayPal is favorable to a buyer in case of any dispute.
So, NordVPN does not support PayPal (in the US), there are major payment options that can be used as cryptocurrencies. Also, it accepts a lot more in cryptocurrencies than that accepted by ExpressVPN, which takes just Bitcoin.
Note: Occasionally, NordVPN also offers discounts as well as special packages.
ExpressVPN and NordVPN give a money-back guarantee of 30 days.
Payment and Refund winner: This category is a tie, as ExpressVPN has the PayPal option and NordVPN accepts a lot more of cryptocurrencies. Also, both offer a money-back guarantee of 30 days.
12. NordVPN Vs ExpressVPN: Value For Money
So which of the two VPNs give you value for money? This can be tough, as both the VPNs are excellent choices to select from.
Though NordVPN might give you a cheap price on a monthly basis, there is the need to take the 3-year plan. Yes, it is a good value scheme, however, you must be ready to commit for 3 years.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN is expensive, however, it comes with a three months free offer provided with their annual subscription ( A 3-month free coupon is available for the same).
On examining the rates of a 1-year plan, ExpressVPN is actually cheaper than NordVPN. Check it out:
NordVPN will cost you $6.99/month, whereas ExpressVPN will cost you $6.67/month (on using the discount coupon)
So, the prices are almost similar.
Value winner: ExpressVPN, as well as NordVPN, are strong performers in almost every category. When it comes to value for money, both are exceptional VPNs and hence there is a tie.
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Conclusion: ExpressVPN Vs NordVPN 2020 | Which One To Choose?
Yes, NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN, are amongst the best VPNs that you could get. The choice of VPN will depend on your requirements, and how you use the service. Both have excellent security measures, great pricing, and also a good refund policy.
In case you are uncertain, you could get yourself both these VPNs, test their services for a couple of weeks each, and once you decide on the service, you could cancel the other service and get a full refund.