ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN: Which One to Choose in 2023?
VPNs are essential for online security, but with so many names on the market, it's hard to know which suits you better. You have probably heard of ExpressVPN. This provider has a broad user base around the world. But how does it weigh up against Astrill VPN, which is commonly used in China? You're about to find out.
When comparing ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN, it's clear that ExpressVPN is a better choice. Based on our test results, ExpressVPN takes the crown for excellent streaming capabilities, ease of use, and security. Additionally, it's twice as cheap as Astrill VPN and provides a larger variety of server locations around the globe.
While the winner of the ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN battle is clear, we invite you to read the complete comparison to find out more about both providers.
ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN
We tested providers' streaming capabilities, pricing, security, speed, features, servers, torrenting, ease of use, and customer support. Based on all results, ExpressVPN beats Astrill VPN in almost all categories. ExpressVPN is much better for streaming and offers enhanced security. It is cheaper, easy to use, and delivers a larger server location count.
|🥇 Overall rank:||#6 out of #42||#29 out of #42|
|🖥️ Servers:||3,000 + servers in 105 countries||3,000 + servers in 57 countries|
|📖 No logs policy:||No logs||No logs|
|💵 Price:||From $6.67/month||From $12.50/month|
|🔥 Coupons:||ExpressVPN coupon 49% OFF + 3 months FREE!||Astrill VPN coupon 50% OFF|
|🔒 VPN protocols:||Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, StealthVPN, OpenWeb|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|📥 Simultaneous connections:||8||5|
|💁🏻 Support:||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat|
Netflix and streaming performance
|Netflix||✅ Yes (US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan, and others)||✅ Yes (US)|
|BBC iPlayer||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|YouTube||✅ Yes||❌ No|
Our tests confirm ExpressVPN's reputation — it can unblock all the main streaming platforms. We can't say the same for Astrill VPN, which showed a subpar performance.
ExpressVPN works well with Netflix libraries. It is also perfect for BBC iPlayer and YouTube. We tested it on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max to see what else it could do. Unsurprisingly, it has unblocked all these platforms, making it an ideal VPN for entertainment.
Unfortunately, we don't have much praise to give to Astrill VPN. The VPN is a great choice for Netflix US and nothing else, so you'll miss out on many other geo-restricted libraries and platforms. Astrill VPN failed miserably, trying to unblock BBC iPlayer and YouTube.
Plans & pricing
|Check latest discounts||Check latest discounts|
Placed side by side with Astrill VPN, ExpressVPN seems like a bargain. Even though, in comparison with top VPNs, ExpressVPN is pricey, it is almost twice as cheap as Astrill VPN. The latter option is notorious for its hefty price tag, which is hardly justifiable.
Both providers offer a similar pricing scheme – subscriptions differ only by duration. You can opt-in for one month, six months, or a year. Regardless of your choice, both providers will deliver five simultaneous connections.
The logic here is simple – the shorter the duration of your subscription, the more you are expected to pay. Thus, monthly subscriptions are the most expensive. ExpressVPN will charge you $12.95/month. Meanwhile, Astrill VPN doubles the price to $25/month.
The price goes down with a 6-month subscription. ExpressVPN lowers it to $9.99/month, which results in $59.94 for the whole period. With Astrill VPN, expect to pay $100, which is $16.67/month.
If you choose a one-year plan, ExpressVPN will charge you $6.67/month or $80.04 annually. Its counterpart charges $150 a year, or $12.50/month.
Keep in mind that both providers charge for the whole subscription period. And only one of them — ExpressVPN — offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can get it even cheaper with our ExpressVPN coupons.
ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN: which is more secure?
|Encryption||AES 256-GCM and ChaCha20||AES-256-CBC|
|Outside 14-eyes Alliance?||Yes||Yes|
|No-logs policy||Audited||Not audited|
|DNS leak protection||Yes||Yes|
If you’re particularly worried about your online privacy, ExpressVPN is a better choice for you. Not to say that Astrill VPN is not secure. The provider offers a decent level of security. However, ExpressVPN takes it up a notch with RAM-only servers and an audited no-logs policy.
ExpressVPN and Astrill VPN employ the highest-level AES 256 encryption. However, ExpressVPN has the advantage of a more secure AES 256-GCM cipher and SHA-512 hash function to secure your authentication.
Other security measures both providers employ are a kill switch and DNS leak protection. These tools are made to secure your IP address and other data during challenging situations, such as when your connection drops.
Yet, when it comes to data logging, ExpressVPN takes the crown. As we already mentioned, it employs RAM-only servers, making data logging impossible. On top of that, it has independently audited a no-logs policy. The same can't be said about Astrill VPN. Not only does the provider lacks RAM-only servers, but it has yet to undergo independent audits.
Both ExpressVPN and Astrill VPN offer a standard security measure — encrypted servers. However, ExpressVPN has the advantage of RAM-only servers.
These types of servers don’t use hard drives to store data. As a result, all information, such as usage logs, is wiped out when servers reboot. By making all of its servers RAM-only, ExpressVPN guarantees complete anonymity and data security for its users. Unfortunately, Astrill VPN doesn't offer this feature.
Apart from RAM-only servers, providers employ encryption to secure users’ privacy. The method of choice for both providers is the AES encryption protocol. It is known for providing excellent security without compromising speed.
ExpressVPN uses the AES 256-GCM cipher, which is deemed more secure than Astrill’s AES-256-CBC. However, both are virtually impenetrable and provide adequate security.
On top of that, ExpressVPN provides an additional encryption method with its proprietary Lightway protocol — ChaCha20/Poly1305. This method is more suitable for lower-powered routers or entry-level mobile devices since it improves their performance.
When it comes to logging, both ExpressVPN and Astrill VPN promise not to collect your data. The only data ExpressVPN collects is usage information, like successful VPN connections, yet you have the opt-out options. Similarly, Astrill VPN collects some anonymized data, which is used to optimize servers.
But how well do these providers stay true to their claims? ExpressVPN is based in a privacy-friendly country — the British Virgin Islands. Thus, it’s not required to retain any user data. It also has a bulletproof no-logs policy that has been independently audited.
Astrill VPN is also registered in a country with no data retention laws — Seychelles. However, the provider has no published third-party audit reports, which means that the trustworthiness of its no-logs policy is not yet verified. However, our research found no tangible proof of any previous incidents.
Speed comparison: ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN
|ExpressVPN (Lightway)||Astrill VPN (OpenWeb)|
|The US (download/upload)||237 Mbps/ 222 Mbps||299Mbps /32Mbps|
|The UK (download/upload)||251 Mbps/ 225 Mbps||290Mbps/302Mbps|
|Canada (download/upload)||227 Mbps/ 215 Mbps||289Mbps/208Mbps|
|Germany (download/upload)||257 Mbps/ 265 Mbps||295Mbps/200Mbps|
It appears that Astrill VPN is relentless in trying to speed up its service. As a result, the provider offers several protocol options: OpenVPN, OpenWeb, StealthVPN, and WireGuard. We were pleasantly surprised by OpenWeb's lightning-fast speed. During our tests, OpenWeb reduced download speed by 3% on average. Meanwhile, upload speeds suffered much more — 46%.
Yet ExpressVPN is not that far behind. This provider comes with three protocols: Lightway, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. The best one is ExpressVPN's proprietary protocol Lightway, that's made to be secure and fast. During the tests, the average download speed drop was 34%. Yet the upload speed was worse. ExpressVPN retained around 49% of upload speed on average.
This head-to-head challenge provided similar results. Both ExpressVPN and Astrill VPN operate at a similar speed. Nonetheless, Astrill VPN is faster, especially when it comes to download speeds.
ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN features
Comparing what ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN brings to the table is a tough task. Both come with various features that benefit the users in different ways. For instance, ExpressVPN offers SmartDNS to improve streaming performance. Meanwhile, Astrill VPN natively supports deep web domains, allowing you to access these websites without a Tor browser.
It’s also clear that both providers care about their users' safety and aim to make VPN use as convenient as possible. So, they both have implemented tools such as split tunneling, router support, and a kill switch. These features help users customize their VPNs while staying safe during challenging situations.
Since both providers offer a wide range of features, we decided to declare a draw for this round. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one of these features benefits you the most.
Split tunneling allows you to choose which internet traffic is routed through the VPN and which is not. The feature works with domain names, IP addresses, and specific applications. It increases your privacy and security while maintaining good internet speed since only the necessary traffic is sent through the VPN.
ExpressVPN has split tunneling available for Android, Windows, and older macOS versions. We found the feature to be efficient and customizable.
Astrill VPN has a feature called Smart mode, which excludes local websites from the VPN tunnel. But if you need more customization, the provider also offers an Application filter, which works like a typical split tunneling feature. Both of these features work well and are available for most operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android, except for iOS.
Exclusive to ExpressVPN, the MediaStreamer, also known as the SmartDNS feature, is a technology that allows bypassing geo-restrictions. It reroutes your DNS queries through a server in a different location, making it look like you are accessing the website from a different location.
The feature is an excellent solution for devices that do not support a VPN connection. So, you'll be able to stream geo-restricted content on your smart TV freely. However, keep in mind that MediaStreamer only works with US libraries.
Most VPNs can be set up on a router, and ExpressVPN, as well as Astrill VPN, are no exceptions. Yet, they both approach router setup in different ways.
ExpressVPN has created a router applet that makes the typical setup process much less complicated. Even better, you can connect to different servers on different devices simultaneously.
Astrill calls the feature VPN sharing. It allows you to easily transfer the VPN connection to devices that generally couldn't use them, including your router. The process is also quite simple. Just toggle the feature in the settings.
There’s no decent VPN that doesn't offer a kill switch. This failsafe mechanism prevents your IP and other data leaks when the connection between the VPN server and your device is disrupted. Luckily, both ExpressVPN and Astrill VPN come with one.
ExpressVPN calls it the Network Lock. It is easy to use and works efficiently. The feature is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. Yet, iOS will have to do without the kill switch.
During our tests, Astrill's kill switch did not leak the IP data at any point. This efficient feature is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Deep web support
If you need to browse the deep web but want to avoid going through the trouble of downloading the Tor browser, Astrill VPN has you covered. It's one of the few providers that natively support deep web domains. Astrill VPN is a safe and convenient alternative to the Tor browser.
Unlike Astrill VPN, ExpressVPN doesn't offer this feature. So if you’re a frequent dark web visitor, Astrill VPN may be more useful.
|Americas||15 countries||5 countries|
|Europe||47 countries||36 countries|
|Asia Pacific||26 countries||11 countries|
|The Middle East and Africa||5 countries||5 countries|
When it comes to the server fleet, ExpressVPN is particularly secretive. The last time we checked, the provider boasted over 3,000 servers worldwide. Currently, the number of servers is not available, but the provider has disclosed that it offers servers in 105 countries.
With the majority of ExpressVPN’s servers in Europe, a handful in the Americas and Asia, and one of the largest numbers in the middle east and Africa, it's clear that you will be able to find a location to connect to.
Now, Astrill VPN boasts ~3,000 servers across 57 countries. While the number is solid, it doesn't compare to what ExpressVPN offers.
One thing to note — the service is widely used in China. This means that your IP may end up being flagged as Chinese by Google. So, don't get surprised if you start seeing localized Chinese pages.
If you're looking for a good torrenting VPN, Astrill VPN is a great choice. The provider offers servers that are compatible with P2P traffic. Not only do they work with plenty of torrenting platforms, but they also come with excellent speed. During our tests, Astrill VPN topped around 20MB/s (160mbps).
Meanwhile, ExpressVPN is a solid option for torrenting too, but not as good as Astrill VPN. The provider also allows P2P connections on all of its servers, but the speed could have been better. During our tests, the speed was 6-15 MB/s (48-120 Mbps) and prone to fluctuations.
Platforms, interface and ease of use
|Supported OS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Other software and devices||Android TV, Kindle Fire, Chromebook||–|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Vivaldi||–|
ExpressVPN is an excellent choice when you need excellent cross-platform support and a simple setup. The provider delivers compatibility on all major operating systems and devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Kindle Fire, , and router. On top of that, the apps it offers are easy to use and efficient.
Additionally, ExpressVPN has several browser extensions — Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi as well as five simultaneous connections.
Astrill VPN lags behind ExpressVPN. The provider offers lesser device compatibility and no browser extensions. While the provider is compatible with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and routers, it may not work with Kindle Fire or Chromebook. It also doesn't offer any browser extensions.
The best part is that Astrill VPN also comes with five simultaneous connections allowing you to use the VPN on all your devices or share it with your family. However, you may need more usability and user-friendliness.
ExpressVPN offers an intuitive Windows application that is easy to set up and navigate.
The macOS version is very much the same. The UI is simple and easy on the eyes. Even as a first-time user, you should manage to set it up and running swiftly.
Astrill VPN may seem luxurious judging from the price, but its UI does meet the expectations. The design seems outdated and lacks user-friendliness. However, it lets you tweak many settings, making the VPN customizable according to your needs. But if you're new to the virtual private network game, this may only seem intimidating.
When it comes to Astrill's macOS app, the situation is similar. The app is just as unintuitive. What's worse is that it even lacks some features, such as split tunneling.
ExpressVPN mobile apps are very similar to their desktop counterparts. The overall design is user-friendly and responsive. You'll find that most of the layout is identical, such as the country selection tab.
Yet, when we compared Android and iOS apps, we noticed that Android is better equipped with features. Unlike the iOS app, the Android version has a kill switch, split tunneling, and shortcuts.
Now, Astrill VPN has a great Android app, which is refreshing compared to its other apps. The UI seems well-designed and easy to navigate. The only drawback is that it lacks features like OpenVPN tunneling protocol and no kill switch.
However, the situation with iOS could be better. The app doesn't much apart from OpenVPN protocol support. The design could be more pleasant when compared with the Android app.
|24/7 live chat||✅||✅|
|Guides or articles||✅||✅|
Both providers don't cut any corners when it comes to customer support. The service they provide is efficient and helpful. It's hard to see which provider has the edge. Both ExpressVPN and Astrill VPN offer fairly solid customer service. The only difference — ExpressVPN doesn't offer a phone line option.
The first thing to notice about both providers is the extensive knowledge base. You'll find setup manuals, FAQs, video tutorials, and more.
Yet, if you need help sorting out the issue, you can easily contact customer support. Reach out through the live chat or drop them an email — you'll get the response in no time. Both providers respond to queries in a timely manner.
Our experience showed that both providers offer reliable and quick response customer support. There's only one difference — Astrill VPN supports the phone line customer support option, while ExpressVPN does not. Thus, Astrill VPN wins this round.
ExpressVPN vs Astrill VPN – which one wins?
|Ease of use||✅||❌|
Our tests results show that ExpressVPN is a winner today, as it is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and secure VPN.
The provider offers excellent speed, a wide range of features, and efficient protection for your data. It boasts a strict, independently audited no-logs policy to guarantee your privacy.
Other than that, the provider is especially useful for streaming — it flawlessly unblocks all major streaming platforms. Paired with ease of use and great price — ExpressVPN is undeniably superior to Astrill VPN.
Astrill VPN has only excelled in three categories — torrenting, speed and customer support. It demonstrated impressive download speed and delivered more support options. It does match up with ExpressVPN in terms of features but lacks server locations. It also failed miserably when we tested it on several streaming platforms, making it a bad choice for entertainment purposes.
More VPN comparisons:
Which is better, Astrill VPN or ExpressVPN?
According to our tests, is a better provider than Astrill VPN. ExpressVPN comes with greater streaming service unblocking capabilities as well as excellent speed. Additionally, it has almost twice as many server locations and boasts a lower price.
Which one is better for streaming - Astrill VPN or ExpressVPN?
Our test results show is much better than Astrill VPN for streaming. ExpressVPN can unblock Netflix libraries, as well as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max. Meanwhile, Astrill VPN unblocked only Netflix US.