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NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: which VPN should you get?

NordVPN and ExpressVPN stand as major contenders in the VPN industry, well-known for their services. Choosing between these two reputable VPN providers can be a challenge, as each has its strengths and features that may cater to specific needs.

Both VPNs implement advanced security measures. NordVPN offers a unique Meshnet feature that provides secure access to other devices, while ExpressVPN includes a password manager to prevent data breaches. Yet, NordVPN is nearly half the price of ExpressVPN, and it also provides you with faster connection speeds.

In this comparison, we'll delve into the key differences and unique attributes of NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Our aim is to provide you with valuable insights so you can make an informed decision that suits your requirements. We've thoroughly analyzed both services, conducting in-house tests, evaluating features and streaming capabilities, assessing speed performance, and other benchmarks.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

⭐ Rating:
🥇 Overall rank:#1 out of #40#6 out of #40
🖥️ Servers:5,800+ servers in 60 countries3,000+ servers in 94 countries
📖 No logs policy:No logsNo logs
💵 Pricing:From $3.19/monthFrom $6.67/month
🔥 Coupons:NordVPN coupon 68% OFFExpressVPN coupon 49% OFF
🔒 VPN protocols:OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard (NordLynx)Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreNetflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS
📥 Simultaneous connections:68
💁🏻 Support:Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chatKnowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN share several common features that are essential for VPN services. Both offer strong encryption protocols to ensure the security and privacy of users' data. They also have a strict no-logs policy, meaning they don't keep any records of their users' online activities. Additionally, both VPN providers have user-friendly apps compatible with various devices and operating systems.

NordVPN's strengths are its affordable pricing and the inclusion of additional features like antivirus protection and data breach monitoring. This gives users an added layer of security beyond the standard VPN services.

On the other hand, ExpressVPN stands out for its extensive server network and broad range of server locations. This diversity allows users to access content from various regions and bypass geo-restrictions effectively.

In short, NordVPN is a more cost-effective option with added security features, while ExpressVPN offers a wider variety of server locations for users who prioritize accessing content from different countries.

Plans and pricing

Both providers have 3 different plans to offer, yet, the pricing, the amount you save, and the maximum contract length differ significantly. However, you can try each of them risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantees both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer.

Free planNoNo
Cheapest monthly price$3.19/month$6.67/month
Highest monthly price$12.99
1-year plan$4.99/month$6.67/month
2-year plan$3.19/month
Best dealGet NordVPN for 68% off + 3 months free
Get ExpressVPN for 49% off

ExpressVPN is the pricier option unless you choose a monthly subscription. In this case, it beats NordVPN with the monthly subscription price starting at $12.95/month. However, the longer plans aren’t that much cheaper. Six-month subscription will cost $9.99/month and the longest one-year-long subscription will be $6.67/month.

In contrast, NordVPN offers some great deals with longer subscriptions. The monthly plan bill would come to $12.99/month, but the year-long plan would be only $4.99/month. The best deal comes with the longest two-year plan which would cost you only $3.19/month.

Additionally, not only is NordVPN way cheaper than ExpressVPN, but you can also claim NordVPN’s 7-day free trial on the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, neither of the providers have a free trial for the desktop apps. Luckily, you can get a free trial using an Android device and share the connection to other devices, too.

Further, NordVPN subscription covers up to 6 simultaneous device connections, while ExpressVPN allows up to 8. While the difference isn’t that major, it’s still a win for the former.

These providers offer several payment options. NordVPN accepts credit cards, PayPal (in particular regions), AmazonPay, Sofort, prepaid cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and cryptocurrencies. ExpressVPN allows payments with a credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin, and other options like UnionPay but doesn't work with AmazonPay (whereas NordVPN accepts this method).

Payment methodNordVPNExpressVPN
Credit card
Apple Pay
Google Pay
Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others)
Wrapping up
Overall, NordVPN is a much cheaper option than ExpressVPN. Comparing each of their best deals, NordVPN would cost you only $3.19/month, while ExpressVPN would be $6.67/month.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: which one is more secure?

RAM servers
Outside of the 14-Eyes Alliance
No-logs policyAuditedAudited
Kill switch
Ad blocker
DNS leak protection

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer top-notch security and privacy. Neither of them is based in a country that is a part of the 14-Eyes Alliance group. Additionally, both provide AES-256 data encryption and industry-standard tunneling protocols OpenVPN and IKEv2. NordLynx and Lightway, the updated tunneling protocols with implemented XChaCha20 from each of the platforms, should be even more secure than the rest.

While both providers are very secure, NordVPN holds a slight advantage because of its extra features (CyberSec, Double VPN, Onion Over VPN), so it wins this round.

Wrapping up
Overall, NordVPN is more secure than ExpressVPN. While both VPN providers have very similar security features, NordVPN throws in a few additional ones to the mix.


NordVPN is registered in Panama, while ExpressVPN is located in the British Virgin Islands. Neither of these countries has data retention laws, which means the VPNs can have a trustworthy no-logging policy.

Besides, neither of them belongs to the 14-Eyes intelligence alliance. So there’s no need to worry that the government is requesting the ISP to collect and provide data about the users’ activity online.


NordVPN and ExpressVPN have had their strict no-logs policy independently audited by PwC, a global accounting company. However, ExpressVPN collects some usage information, like successful VPN connections and the aggregate sum of transferred data. It’s mainly used to improve the service, and if you're worried, you can opt out. NordVPN has proven to be trustworthy regarding this question with multiple audits under its hood.

Speed comparison: ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

We compared the speed test results of ExpressVPN and NordVPN using the available high-speed tunneling protocols – NordLynx and Lightway.

The numbers below are average download and upload speeds from different countries – the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, France, and Japan. It’s worth mentioning that the distance to the server location has a major impact on the results.

NordVPN’s NordLynx and ExpressVPN’s Lightway are two different protocols – but it makes sense to compare them side-by-side. They’re both high-speed, next-generation protocols, built for advanced privacy and performance. Developed internally by the providers themselves, they represent the best each provider has to offer, performing significantly better than older OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols.

Data period: 09.13 - 09.27
Download retention
24% (238 Mbit/s) 10% (100 Mbit/s)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
55% (533 Mbit/s) 10% (100 Mbit/s)
Canada Canada
47% (454 Mbit/s) 18% (171 Mbit/s)
Germany Germany
69% (661 Mbit/s) 19% (187 Mbit/s)
France France
89% (855 Mbit/s) 24% (235 Mbit/s)
Japan Japan
48% (460 Mbit/s) 14% (141 Mbit/s)
Upload retention
22% (219 Mbit/s) 12% (114 Mbit/s)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
46% (446 Mbit/s) 15% (144 Mbit/s)
Canada Canada
45% (432 Mbit/s) 22% (208 Mbit/s)
Germany Germany
64% (619 Mbit/s) 23% (224 Mbit/s)
France France
80% (768 Mbit/s) 31% (299 Mbit/s)
Japan Japan
44% (428 Mbit/s) 20% (189 Mbit/s)
Download/Upload baseline speed - 1000 Mbit/s
See live VPN provider data on our VPN speed test tool

From the download speed results, it is clear that the faster and better performance comes with NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol. On the other hand, there’s a fairer fight when it comes to the upload speeds – here, ExpressVPN does overshadow NordVPN in several server locations. Even so, taking everything into account, NordVPN is the clear winner of the download and upload speed comparison.

However, you shouldn’t expect the exact same results, because your internet connection differs from ours during the testing period, as well these numbers can change daily. So regard this data as the approximate possible results.

Additionally, we’ve tested these two VPN providers' ping results. Here are the results we've got.

NordVPN (NordLynx)ExpressVPN (Lightway)
The UK~ 65 ms~ 73 ms
The US~ 202 ms~ 213 ms
Japan~ 442 ms~ 426 ms

Just like with the download and upload speed results, NordVPN comes out as the better choice than ExpressVPN. With the former, you’ll experience fewer lags, however, ExpressVPN's performance wasn't too bad in comparison. With Japan location, ExpressVPN even provided better results, however, overall, NordVPN took the crown here as well.

So, regarding download speeds, both providers are almost the same. However, NordVPN takes the lead with upload speeds. Besides, NordVPN is a more efficient VPN than ExpressVPN as its NordLynx performance is better regarding both download and upload speeds.

Wrapping up
NordVPN is ultimately a faster VPN, but ExpressVPN comes pretty close. NordVPN’s own NordLynx technology offers the best overall performance across the board – giving this provider the edge in terms of speed.

Features overview

Split tunneling✅ Yes (Android, Android TV, Windows)✅ Yes (Windows, macOS, Android, routers)
RAM-only servers✅ Yes✅ Yes (TrustedServer)
Stealth VPN✅ Yes✅ Yes
Smart DNS✅ Yes (SmartPlay)✅ Yes (MediaStreamer)
Specialty servers✅ Yes (Double VPN, obfuscated, P2P, Onion over servers)✅ Yes (obfuscated servers)
Web filters✅ Yes (Threat Protection)✅ Yes (Threat Manager)
Breach checker✅ Yes (Dark Web Monitor)✅ Yes (Keys)

Both contestants have quite a few features to offer. However, NordVPN simply has more of them. See the feature comparison below to learn if ExpressVPN lacks something you would definitely need.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling is a great feature that allows users to choose which apps will use VPN and which ones will connect directly. It's very convenient when you, for example, want to watch Netflix US and at the same time be able to read localized news portals. Both services have it, but ExpressVPN offers more compatibility.

Split tunneling on ExpressVPN settings

In this case, you can either include or exclude the listed apps from using the VPN. NordVPN works in a similar fashion but supports Windows and Android only. In the meantime, ExpressVPN allows split tunneling on Mac (up to macOS 10.15) as well.

Smart DNS

This feature is beneficial for users looking to use a VPN for video streaming platforms. First, it unblocks Netflix and other platforms without traffic encryption or sending the connection through a VPN server, which means much better speeds. Second, it works on several devices that don't support VPN connections, such as some smart TVs and game consoles.

ExpressVPN calls it MediaStreamer and we had it up and running on PC. However, it didn't work on our Xbox, so you may want to install it on your router instead.

NordVPN's version is named SmartDNS, and it also supports a bunch of media devices. Also, there’s a SmartPlay technology to ensure better streaming access on all servers.

The key difference from ExpressVPN is that the MediaStreamer is integrated into the VPN, but also works outside it (it's not merely a Smart DNS feature). This means you will have more choice in how you use it.

RAM-only servers

ExpressVPN was probably the first provider to switch to RAM-only servers back in 2019, naming the feature TrustedServer. That's a big improvement from a security standpoint because all data is wiped out after a reboot. Furthermore, each time the latest software is installed and the owner knows what exactly is running. In contrast, traditional servers rely on updating the old configuration, which is more vulnerable.

nordvpn servers map view

In 2020, NordVPN also moved on to RAM-only servers, partially owned and controlled by the company. Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have fully migrated to RAM-only systems, where nothing is stored locally, and your information is wiped out automatically, keeping it entirely safe.

Stealth VPN

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer a feature called Stealth VPN, which serves as an excellent solution for maintaining a connection even when faced with network restrictions or Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) measures, particularly in countries like China where internet access is heavily censored.

NordVPN's version of Stealth VPN is known by obfuscated servers, and they are accessible on all OpenVPN protocol connections. By selecting these servers from the specialty Servers list, NordVPN automatically establishes a connection that disguises your traffic as regular HTTPS traffic. This clever obfuscation allows users to bypass censorship and access blocked content seamlessly.

On the other hand, ExpressVPN also provides its Stealth VPN capability, which operates smoothly within the application. If the app detects the need to evade DPI or similar restrictions, it activates the Stealth VPN function without any manual configuration required.

NordVPN's exclusive features

NordVPN offers a wide range of extra features to enhance online security and privacy. These include:

  • Threat Protection. Built-in ad blocker and automatic tracker blocker to prevent exposure to malicious websites and protect private information from data collectors. There’s also a download scanner (built-in in Threat Protection) for files under 150 MB to check for malware before downloading.
  • Dark Web Monitor. It checks for personal information on criminal databases and allows proactive action.
  • Meshnet. This functionality enables secure connections between up to 60 devices, perfect for virtual LAN parties, remote file access, and collaboration.
  • Double VPN. This feature is for extra protection by routing through two VPN servers.
  • Onion Over VPN (Tor over VPN) to pass traffic through NordVPN servers and at least three Tor nodes.
  • SOCKS5 proxy for torrenters to ensure traffic remains hidden.
  • Dedicated IP servers for users seeking a consistent IP address for specific purposes.

For more information about NordVPN's features, visit our NordVPN review.

ExpressVPN's exclusive features

ExpressVPN also offers several valuable extra features to enhance online security and user convenience:

  • Threat Manager. ExpressVPN's Threat Manager is a powerful feature designed to proactively identify and block potential threats. It safeguards users from accessing malicious websites and protects against cyberattacks, ensuring a secure online experience.
  • Router applet. With the router applet, ExpressVPN offers a convenient solution to set up the VPN directly on your router. By doing so, all connected devices in your home or office network can benefit from the VPN's encryption and privacy features, enhancing overall security.
  • Password manager. ExpressVPN includes a password manager to help users maintain strong and unique passwords for their various online accounts. This feature ensures that your credentials are securely stored and readily available when needed, promoting better account protection.

For more in-depth details about ExpressVPN’s features, read our ExpressVPN review.

Wrapping up
Overall, while both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer essential security features, we have to declare NordVPN as the winner. That’s because NordVPN provides exclusive protection features, including Threat Protection, SOCKS5, and others, securing you from virtually all corners.

Server locations

Countries (total)6094
Virtual locationsNoYes
Specialty serversYes (Double VPN, obfuscated, P2P, Onion over servers)No

Both of the providers have different strengths. While NordVPN has more servers, around 5,800 servers in 60 countries, ExpressVPN overshadows with global coverage – 3,000+ servers in an impressive 94 locations.

A large number of servers ensures fast and stable connection, but wide location coverage is necessary to bypass geo-restrictions. For instance, ExpressVPN offers virtual servers in India, helping to unblock local content. Meanwhile, NordVPN only offers servers around India.

Overall, both of these two services will provide you with a large number of servers in globally varied location coverage. But ExpressVPN has an edge over NordVPN because it offers servers in India, Bolivia, Pakistan, and other countries.

Wrapping up
NordVPN has more servers, but ExpressVPN offers more global locations. While it all depends on your needs, ExpressVPN has a wider variety of countries. So, if you’re looking for location servers that are rare to find, such as Bolivia or India, ExpressVPN is a no-brainer.

China and countries with restricted internet access

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN bypass the Great Firewall and work in China. The two are among some of the most reliable services for countries where internet access is restricted. However, the method that each uses for handling VPN bans is different.

ExpressVPN doesn't offer an option to turn on Stealth VPN. Instead, this feature engages automatically whenever it sees that you'll have to deal with DPI. Unfortunately, this works only if you set your tunneling protocol to automatic.

On the flip side, NordVPN has specialty Obfuscated servers for tearing down digital borders. These servers are made specifically for curbing DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) and other censorship measures. One drawback is that connection speeds may dip severely.

Finally, NordVPN has a slight edge because of its other handy features. One is Double VPN which uses two servers instead of one for added protection. The other is Onion Over VPN which adds Tor relays on top of your encrypted VPN connection. Overall, NordVPN is ranked as the top VPN for China on our list.

Wrapping up
While NordVPN and ExpressVPN work in places where internet access is restricted, the former offers more tools for tackling the problem, making it the better overall VPN for China.

Streaming and Netflix performance

Both VPN providers are excellent choices for streaming. They unblock not only Netflix US but other libraries as well. For example, we managed to unblock more than 20 Netflix libraries with NordVPN and about the same number with ExpressVPN. The same can be said about BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and other streaming services.

However, NordVPN was slightly better at bypassing tough geo-restrictions (blacklists of streaming services). Consequently, NordVPN is our top VPN for Netflix. Although, both providers enabled us to access the famously well-secured Japanese Netflix.

Netflix✅ Yes (Most popular country libraries: US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan)✅ Yes (Most popular country libraries: US, UK, Canada, Germany, Japan)
Amazon Prime Video✅ Yes✅ Yes
Hulu✅ Yes✅ Yes
Max✅ Yes✅ Yes
Disney+✅ Yes✅ Yes
BBC iPlayer✅ Yes✅ Yes

And we also liked that ExpressVPN and NordVPN allow streaming on all servers. So when you decide to watch your favorite show, you don't need to switch servers first. Most importantly, the speeds should be enough for HD or even 4K video quality.

Smart DNS support is another great option that both providers have. This feature allows unblocking streaming platforms on smart TVs, game consoles, and other media devices without the VPN app.

Bbecause both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are great for streaming, it’s a tie. Although NordVPN can bypass some tougher restrictions, both providers are capable of unblocking the most popular streaming services. They also both include the Smart DNS feature and let you stream content in the best video quality.

Wrapping up
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are great options for streaming VPNs. They have powerful unblocking and streaming capabilities on various devices – starting from your mobile to smart TV.

Torrenting and P2P

Once again, it's hard to declare a winner in this category. Both contestants offer great speeds and a wide range of servers to choose from. While NordVPN has almost twice as many of them, P2P is allowed on specialized servers only.

In the meantime, ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all servers. Furthermore, this VPN is available in 94 countries compared to NordVPN's 60. While with NordVPN location coverage, you're likely to find a nearby server no matter where you're located, ExpressVPN guarantees fast connections to hard-to-find locations like India or Belarus.

Contrary to NordVPN, ExpressVPN doesn't have a free SOCKS5 proxy. On the other hand, you can get split tunneling feature, which is available on Windows, Mac, and Android and lets you select the apps which you want to be VPN-secured. NordVPN also has this feature but doesn't support it on Mac.

Although NordVPN is our number one VPN for torrenting, at this point we have to call it a draw.

Wrapping up
NordVPN and ExpressVPN are great options for torrenting. Both of these providers support torrenting on all of their servers, have great download speeds, and have a large server fleet. However, ExpressVPN has a wider location coverage, which can benefit torrenting.

Apps, interface, and ease of use

Supported OSWindows, macOS, Linux (no GUI), Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux (no GUI), Android, iOS
Other software and devicesAndroid TV, Fire, Roku, Kodi devices, Apple TV, and moreAndroid TV, Fire devices, routers, Apple TV, Roku, PlayStation, XBox devices, and more
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox, EdgeChrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi
Simultaneous connections68
Usability levelEasy to set upEasy to set up

Customers of either VPN will have no trouble securing every device in their households. You'll find apps for all major platforms plus browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Yet ExpressVPN has one client that NordVPN misses, and that's a router applet.

While you can manually configure the latter to work with the most popular router brands, it's still not as convenient as just downloading and installing the service right away. Finally, the difference in simultaneous connections is negligible, especially when you can remove the limit by installing the VPN on a router.

Wrapping up
In this round, we have to declare ExpressVPN as the winner as it exceeded NordVPN in terms of compatibility. The latter doesn’t offer a router applet, while ExpressVPN does. This makes it more convenient and lets every user on the same network use the VPN simultaneously.

Desktop apps

While NordVPN and ExpressVPN Windows and Mac apps are easy to install and use, they offer a totally different approach. The former has a small mobile-like screen with a huge Connect button, and the latter works best in a maximized window where you can see the map with available server locations. Both styles have their pros and cons, so it'll be up to you to decide which one you fancy more.

nordvpn desktop app view

Interestingly, NordVPN has two apps for macOS. The one available on the Apple Store is "the right one" as it supports all tunneling protocols, including NordLynx. The version from the provider's website is more of a sideload that supports OpenVPN only but has more features.

ExpressVPN’s main window is pretty small and pretty much has one big button to connect. Using the Shortcuts feature, you can add up to five links to the websites you usually launch after connecting to a VPN. This feature is available on Android as well.

expressvpn desktop app

Meanwhile, NordVPN offers a similar feature called Presets. It lets you add up to six links or apps, as well as set your preferred tunneling protocol and server. However, this feature is available only on macOS.

When it comes to Linux, neither provider has a GUI. You control everything using command lines instead. NordVPN supports Debian, Ubuntu, Rasberry Pi computers, Elementary OS, and Linux Mint, while ExpressVPN supports Debian, RedHat, and Arch-based distros. Moreover, NordVPN's Linux app is open source.

Mobile apps

Android and iOS clients look pretty much the same – dashboards display the current location you're connected to and the menus are set on the bottom of the screen. At the same time, they are also quite similar to their desktop counterparts. However, there are some features not available on Windows and Mac.

NordVPN's Android app doesn't have a kill switch of its own. Therefore, you'll need to use the native Always-on VPN setting. In contrast, you can't turn off the iOS kill switch.

nordvpn android interface view

In the case of ExpressVPN, the Android version is superior to the iOS. It has split tunneling and a kill switch, two of the essential features.

expressvpn mobile interface view

Moreover, there's Protection Summary on ExpressVPN's app informing when the IP is hidden and the Data Breach Alert that notifies if your email has been found in a leak. It's worth mentioning that both providers are one of the best VPNs for iPhone currently on the market.

Simultaneous connections

Simultaneous connections is a crucial feature allowing you to protect multiple devices under a single subscription. NordVPN and ExpressVPN both offer this convenience.

NordVPN provides up to 6 simultaneous connections, while ExpressVPN allows 5 connections. This means that you can secure your laptop, smartphone, and smart home devices all at once. For instance, you can use a single NordVPN account to protect your smartphones, tablets, and laptops simultaneously.

ExpressVPN's 5 connections, on the other hand, can cover your work laptop, personal phone, and smart TV at the same time, ensuring comprehensive privacy across your devices. The more connections the VPN offers – the better. You can make good use of it while traveling and sharing it with your family and friends.

Customer support

24/7 live chat


Phone line
Guides or articles


Express VPN and NordVPN offer quality customer support. To start with, both have a 24/7 live chat. The waiting times are short at the worst of times, and support representatives are polite and knowledgeable.

nordvpn expressvpn live chat

Additionally, both providers have email support. If the issue is more complex, solving it via live chat might be impossible. In any case, we don't recall waiting for more than a few hours before getting an email reply.

Last but not least comes the knowledge base. Here you'll find FAQs, setup guides, and much more. Kudos to ExpressVPN for adding French, Dutch, Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese translations.

Wrapping up
NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer solid customer support. There are various communication channels and guides to provide all the help and information needed. Therefore, they are equal in this regard.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison with other VPN providers

NordVPNExpressVPNSurfsharkAtlas VPNIPVanish
BrandSurfsharkVPN comparison table logo NEWlogoIPVanish
Starting price$3.19/month$6.67/month$2.30/month$1.82/month$2.99/month
LoggingNo logs, independently auditedNo logs, independently auditedNo logs, independently auditedNo logs, not auditedNo logs, independently audited
Base countryPanamaBritish Virgin IslandsThe Netherlands (part of 9-Eyes)
United States (part of 5-Eyes)United States
Servers5,800+ servers in 60 countries3,000+ servers in 94 countries3,200+ servers in 100 countries1,000+ servers in 42 countries2,200+ servers in 52 countries
Simultaneous connections68UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
ReviewNordVPN reviewExpressVPN reviewSurfshark VPN reviewAtlas VPN reviewIPVanish review

When comparing NordVPN and ExpressVPN with other market-leading providers, NordVPN stands out with its vast server network, boasting 5,000+ servers, surpassing ExpressVPN's 3,000+ servers and other providers’ networks. However, ExpressVPN takes the lead in server locations with 90, significantly more than NordVPN's 60, making it an advantageous choice for users looking to connect to various countries.

On the other hand, Surfshark impresses with its unlimited simultaneous connections, setting it apart from its competitors, as the contenders – NordVPN offers up to 6 and ExpressVPN up to 5 connections. Atlas VPN, on the other hand, is known for its free version and unlimited simultaneous connections, making it a budget-friendly option for casual users.

IPVanish prides itself on its self-owned and operated servers, giving users more control over their data security. In contrast, NordVPN and ExpressVPN have undergone independent security audits, adding an extra layer of transparency and trustworthiness.

Ultimately, the best choice among these providers depends on individual preferences, such as server coverage, simultaneous connections, budget, and security features.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Reddit opinions

Reddit users generally praise both NordVPN and ExpressVPN for their strong performance and reliable services. While ExpressVPN has a slightly smaller server network with over 3,000 servers, it still provides a good range of options for users. However, some users find ExpressVPN to be expensive compared to NordVPN.

opinion about expressvpn on reddit

On the other hand, NordVPN receives appreciation for its affordability, extensive server network (5,000+ servers), and additional features. Many users prefer NordVPN due to its competitive pricing and value for money:

opinion about nordvpn on reddit

In terms of country coverage, ExpressVPN is regarded well due a broader range of server locations, which can be advantageous for users looking to connect to specific countries. However, NordVPN's vast server network ensures that it still offers reliable and fast connections to various locations around the globe.

Video review: NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Check out the showdown of the two rivals in this video review of NordVPN vs ExpressVPN. We'll dive deep into their features, performance, and everything that sets them apart.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN – which one wins?

Server locations
Ease of use
Customer support

NordVPN is undeniably the better option when pitted against ExpressVPN. It’s swift, provides numerous security features, has a comprehensive server network, and is significantly cheaper than ExpressVPN.

However, NordVPN is not that far ahead of ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN more compatibility and wider location coverage with servers in India, Pakistan, Belarus, and other coveted regions.

If you are still wondering which VPN is best for you, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee that gives you a chance to try them out.

Comparison methodology: NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN

Here’s a brief overview of the criteria by which we compared NordVPN vs ExpressVPN. Both providers were thoroughly tested in each category to determine which was superior.

  • Pricing options. Subscription prices are a hot topic for potential VPN customers and need a thorough comparison. That means diving deeper beyond costs and analyzing free trials, payment methods, discounts, and other benefits.
  • Security features. VPNs are categorized as cybersecurity tools, but their effectiveness varies greatly and depends on the underlying features.
  • Connection speed. Your upload and download speeds while connected to a VPN will depend on your specific circumstances and the technology the provider has implemented.
  • Servers. There’s much to cover regarding VPN server networks, such as the number of hardware, country variety, underlying technology, etc.
  • Censorship. Virtual private networks are commonly used to bypass mass surveillance and censorship in totalitarian countries like China.
  • Streaming capabilities. We checked how well the VPNs unlock geographically restricted movies and TV shows on various streaming services. Naturally, we also checked if the video quality didn’t take a nosedive when connecting to far-away regions.
  • Torrenting. Some networks and even ISPs restrict P2P traffic. Meanwhile, a well-equipped VPN can remove these limitations or, at the very least, improve your anonymity while torrenting.
  • Interface and ease of use. A good VPN should be understandable and easy for anyone, regardless of technical aptitude.
  • Customer support. You’ll need plenty of customer support options to get immediate help whenever an insurmountable obstacle gets in your way.
  • Exclusive features. VPNs can have many extras for improving user convenience and other aspects of the overall experience.
4.9 /5
Special deal
-68% OFF
4.7 /5
Special deal
-82% OFF
4.3 /5
Special deal
-49% OFF

More VPN comparisons



prefix 1 year ago
Express VPN is owned now by KAPE and they have a history of chicanery. Nord wins hands down KAPE cannot be trusted.
prefix 1 year ago
I prefer Expressvpn to Nordvpn...
Both might be secured, I don't need other VPN...
It work freely on my phone with no issues
Anna Williams
prefix 1 year ago
HULU has blacklisted all USA vpns. I HAD to switch to Nordvpn and I am fully satisfied as a result of this change. It is much easier to cast from my computer onto the tv and I don't get that annoying ''hulu is not available in your country'' message. I HAD been using expressvpn up until this point, but all of a sudden it stopped me from using HULU, which is the main reason for my using a vpn in the first place. So I switched.
prefix 2 years ago
I see Nordvpn is faster than expressvpn in all protocols except openvpn. What is open vpn for? I never happen to connect to it.
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
OpenVPN is a relatively old tunneling protocol, dating back to 2001. Since it's open-source, it soon became the most popular option. But now, VPN companies are switching to WireGuard due to its speed and virtually the same level of security. Therefore, you should use OpenVPN only when WireGuard isn't available.
prefix 2 years ago
Hi! If Smart DNS masks that I’m using a vpn, can I somehow use it on my PS3 (without having to install vpn on a router)? Whether it’s Nordvpn (smartplay) or expressvpn (media streamer), thanks:)
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hi, Smart DNS works with most consoles, including PS3. Smart DNS is not a VPN, it doesn’t encrypt your connection. Its main benefit is avoiding geo-blocking on devices that don’t support VPN. Good luck!
hand en toich
prefix 2 years ago
I like how you compare nordvpn and expressvpn. They are big competitors and I can clearly see why. I can’t decide, so I’ll try both and see which interface I like better.
prefix 2 years ago
looking at lightway vs nordlynx the download speed difference is really significant with nordvpn being on top of their game but other protocols are pretty similar and openvpn is better with expressvpn. which protocol is more important though?
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Dear Ping, both Lightway and NordLynx are the most important protocols, compared to OpenVPN and the rest.
prefix 2 years ago
Does the NordVPN app for the Firestick have a KillSwitch Option. I’ve read there’s one built in but would like some confirmation on if its true
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hey, ike. A kill switch is integrated into the Fire Stick itself. It starts working as soon as you connect to NordVPN. To make sure that the kill switch is set as “always-on,” go to Settings > Connections > More connection settings > VPN and enable if needed.
Janet Kiser
prefix 2 years ago
I’ve had Express VPN for a while, and it seemed to work well – until it didn’t. OF COURSE, the first day of my vacation, my iPhone stops working. I stop by the AT&T store to troubleshoot. They see nothing. When I get home, I go to an Apple store, they replace everything except the screen and the camera – but one hour later, once again, I can’t access apps or email. My last shot was online troubleshooting with Apple. An hour in, the tech asked me if I had VPN. I said yes – and he asked me to turn it off. I did … and VOILE! I had access to my apps and email again! I then started troubleshooting with Express VPN, and along the 5th or 6th email I decided that the effort was more than the value. So I’ve removed Express VPN. We have our own home network, so I have to wonder, is any VPN worth it? (I currently use NordPass as my password protector so I was thinking about trying Nord VPN.) Bottom line, is there one out there which is less likely to affect performance than others???
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Dear Ms. Kiser,
Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about your issues with ExpressVPN, but I can assure you that’s not something that happens occasionally. In any case, if you’ve decided to try NordVPN, you’d have trouble finding a VPN with better performance. And since you already have NordPass, chances are you’re entitled to a better deal.
prefix 2 years ago
My personal experience is that NordVPN is definitely the way to go. I used to install it with OpenVPN on the Router when installing VPNs on Routers were just not practical because of the speed limitations. Now with NordLynx which is built around WireGuard, the speed limitation is almost entirely negligible. The other issues were access to certain websites, which NordVPN has also taken care of. I will now install NordLynx on my ASUS router and test access to different banks, etc… since I did have trouble with that before.
prefix 2 years ago
I need to be able to use a “China” server as i need to use Chinese websites. Any of those has that?
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hello, Alex. Unfortunately, no. In your case, I’d recommend either CyberGhost or Hotspot Shield. Good luck!
prefix 2 years ago
I’m choosing between these two providers NordVPN vs ExpressVPN ios app and speed is the main issue. I heard NordVPN speed has been great since they implemented NordLynx, are there any more reasons to choose Nord over Express? (the price doesn’t matter).
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Good day, ANDREW. I’m afraid there aren’t many reasons to use NordVPN if the price is not a factor. I’d say that this service has more features and works more reliably in China. On the other hand, ExpressVPN supports more devices and even has a router app. If these arguments mean nothing to you, I’d suggest flipping a coin 🙂
Guadalupe F
prefix 2 years ago
There are not a lot of differences between nordvpn and expressvpn, as you have mentioned it’s nearly a draw, and I totaly agree. Can you please, explain me, how did you measure the speed, did you use ookla speed test, or you have your own create speed test software?
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hey, Guadalupe. Yes, we ran Ookla speed tests in different countries using different tunneling protocols.
prefix 2 years ago
I wonder who would be the winner in speed expressvpn vs nordvpn vs ipvanish. Ipvanish was my number 1 provider a couple of years ago, but recently I’ve using it for a while. Now, I see that everything changed, so I have no clue what provider to choose for streaming and torrenting next.
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hello, monty. I believe you should switch to either ExpressVPN or NordVPN because IPVanish cannot compare with those in the speed department. As for P2P and streaming, both contestants of this battle are equally great.
Edgar Aser
prefix 2 years ago
Kodi is amazing and the main point : it’s free! There are many apps that I want to install, but I’m afraid, that they might be dangerous. Which vpn for kodi nordvpn expressvpn or pia would be the best option here? It must have powerful security features, and completely block unwanted attackers. And also hide my activity from the government.
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hi, Edgar. Thanks for the comment. I’d say that you can choose either NordVPN or ExpressVPN, depending on your personal preference. They both offer everything that a good Kodi VPN needs.
prefix 2 years ago
I want to hide my Tor connection from my internet service provider and other third parties. I know, that even innocent browsing can cause trouble. Which one nordvpn or expressvpn for dark web is a better choice? I really don’t care about the price, so the only part I’m interested in is dns leak and privacy.
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hello Magnus,
Neither of these two had any DNS leak issues in the past. Additionally, their no-logs policies have been independently audited, and both are registered in privacy-friendly countries. The only advantage that NordVPN has is its Onion over VPN feature.
dice roll
prefix 2 years ago
Both vpns seem to be very reliable and worth trying . However, I have one question: which provider is the best : nordvpn vs expressvpn for hulu i want to try watching both Japan and US libraries.  
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Dear dice roll,
Both VPNs are really great for streaming, including Hulu. I suggest trying them both to see which works better. Just don’t forget that you’ll need a US credit card to subscribe to Hulu.
prefix 2 years ago
Why does expressvpn show less servers than nordvpn? I mean nord has 5,400+ while express has only 3,000+ , but if you look at the number of countries : nord 59 and express 94. How is that possible? I assumed that, the more countries the vpn covers the more servers it has. 
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Hello, Jay. Technically, you can have only one server per country and advertise yourself as a global service. In reality, the number of servers depends more on their quality and the number of users. Some VPNs invest more in the most popular destinations, such as the US, especially if the number of subscribers keeps rising. On the other hand, users will choose a VPN that has servers in their location and around.
prefix 2 years ago
Hey there! Wanted to say thank you for this detailed expressvpn vs nordvpn for beginners article. Very detailed, you managed to explain in a very simple and understandable language . I know, these two providers are the giants of VPN industry, and I am considering getting one of them. This article helped me to decide.
prefix 2 years ago
nordvpn vs expressvpn which is better for torrent? nordvpn has that super fast wireguard (nordlynx) protocol , however expressvpn also added new protocol (lightway). since it’s all new to me, i’m lost which one is faster and more suitable for torrenting.  
Mindaugas Jancis
prefix 2 years ago
Dear Tonio,
I’d say that in this case, everything depends on your needs. NordVPN is faster, but not by much. ExpressVPN offers servers in more countries, but will you ever use them? Finally, NordVPN has a SOCKS5 proxy, but ExpressVPN’s split tunneling can do the same job. However, I must point out that the former is considerably cheaper.
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