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NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Before you commit to any Virtual Private Network (VPN), you have to keep in mind three factors: security, speed, and price. ExpressVPN and NordVPN are one of the best VPNs out there because of their excellent performance. 

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are located in countries where gambling laws are very strict. They are both great for torrenting and using Netflix when traveling to other countries.

 

NordVPN-ExpressVPN

 

You cannot lose with either of the two, but we’ll be discussing how they compare to help you choose the right VPN for you.   

ExpressVPN NordVPN
Simultaneous connections 5 6
Operating System (OS) apps Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Amazon fires, and certain routers  Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Amazon Fire
Manual install devices Select routers, and set-top boxes  Linux, select routers, and set-top boxes 
Split Tunneling Yes No
Free extras Extension for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari Extension for Firefox and Chrome. Also, Malware blocker

 

Speed of NordVPN & ExpressVPN

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are fast. Although for a long time, ExpressVPN has been the best in terms of performance, NordVPN has recently posted one of the best speed tests.

Here are speed comparison tests for NordVPN and ExpressVPN conducted from Germany.

Nearby servers:

ExpressVPN server based in Germany – 144 Mbps 

NordVPN server based in Germany – 149 Mbps 

As you can see, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have great speeds, but NordVPN is a bit faster. Now let’s see how they compared in Switzerland servers.

ExpressVPN server in Switzerland – 146 Mbps

NordVPN server in Switzerland – 150 Mbps

The speed tests were still amazing for the two VPNs. 

Far away servers:

These are results for long-distance speed tests. They were pretty much the same as speed tests for near servers.

ExpressVPN server in New York, US – 140 Mbps

NordVPN server in New York, US – 148 Mbps

Servers in other states revealed the same results. The two VPNs are great options for the US. The next test is for servers in Canada.

ExpressVPN server based in Toronto, Canada – 145 Mbps

NordVPN server based in Toronto, Canada – 147 Mbps 

Here, you can see, the results are very similar.

For all server locations, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN posted outstanding speeds. Although it was basically a tie for this category, NordVPN had a slight edge. So, the winner is NordVPN. 

 

Reliability of NordVPN & ExpressVPN

When it comes to reliability, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN make wonderful choices. 

Let’s start with NordVPN. 

 

NordVPN

NordVPN is a reliable VPN network with applications that work perfectly without crushing or bug issues. The servers are also fast and reliable, and connections are stable as well.

In previous tests, NordVPN did not fare too well when it came to reliability, but the latest tests have revealed significant improvements.

 

ExpressVPN

Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN offers exceptional reliability. For a long time, it has remained one of the most reliable VPNs. 

Applications run smoothly, it’s easy to use, and you will not experience any bugs or crashes. In addition, all servers offer excellent performance, making it a reliable option. 

Also, connections are always stable and establish connections quickly. Although ExpressVPN has always been the most reliable, NordVPN is not doing badly either. Both of them offer excellent reliability. So, it is a tie in this category.

 

NordVPN & ExpressVPN Apps 

Here, we’ll be discussing the usability of the VPN apps. 

We’ll start with Express VPN. 

 

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ExpressVPN App

ExpressVPN has a simple and clear interface. The one-tap switch is convenient and easy, and you can also access a full list of servers by clicking on “Current Location.” You can also modify the settings on the app easily.  

One of the most interesting things about the ExpressVPN app is that it has an easy-to-use interface, and it is not cluttered. Selected servers and other preferences are accessed through a pop-up window. This way, the main desktop application remains simple.  

 

NordVPN App

Unlike ExpresVPN, NordVPN has a larger and somehow bulky app. To some users, this is a bit annoying as it takes up more space on their desktop.

One of the reasons why the NordVPN app is large is because it has a global map for server selection. For this reason, the app uses a larger space. On the left side of the app is a list of individual countries. This makes the app somewhat redundant when compared to ExpressVPN where serer selection can be minimized when not in use. 

So, ExpressVPN outshines NordVPN in this category again. 

 

Features 

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have great features to suit different users. 

 

Features of ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN has unique features, including the split-tunneling option, which allows you to route certain apps via the encrypted VPN while routing other apps through the regular internet connection (unencrypted). This is a feature that you will find on very few VPNs.

Other features of ExpressVPN include:

Self-hosted secure DNS – Prevents DNS leaks and DNS cache snooping 

Obfuscation – Bypass VPN blocking and network restriction 

Support for gaming systems and smart TVs – Via MediaStreamer smart DNS 

RAM-disk mode- All servers are run on RAM-disk mode, thus preventing the storage of logs and data on the servers. 

ExpressVPN also has several obfuscated servers, which are particularly useful for people who are using a VPN for China. 

 

Features of NordVPN 

NordVPN also has some amazing features. One of those features is the specialty servers that can be used in different cases, including:

  • Double-VPN servers 
  • P2P servers 
  • Obfuscated servers

The double-VPN servers perform well even with traffic encrypted across two different servers. Also, P2P servers have great speeds and no connection-related issues. 

In addition, NordVPN comes with an ad-blocking feature known as CyberSec, which provides basic level protection against tracking, ads, and malware domains. 

Generally, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have excellent features, so it is a tie in this category.

 

Security and Encryption 

Although both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer excellent security and encryption, one of them does better than the other. 

 

Encryption 

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN use strong encryption standards. 

ExpressVPN – Encrypts data with a 4096-bit RSA key exchanger, SHA-512 has authentication and AES-256 cipher.

NordVPN – Encrypts data with 4096-bit, SHA-256 has authentication and AES-256-GCM cipher. 

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are secure and offer the same level of encryption. 

 

VPN Protocols

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN support all the main protocols. 

ExpressVPN – OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IPSec/L2TP, IPSec/IKev2

NordVPN – OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IPSec/L2TP, IPSec/IKev2 and WireGuard.

As you can see, the difference between the two VPNs is NordVPN supports WireGuard. This is an open-source communication protocol that comes with advanced security and improved speeds. However, it has some privacy issues. 

 

Server Security 

When it comes to server security, ExpressVPN outshines NordVPN. 

All ExpressVPN servers are run in a RAM-disk mode in the VPN’s network. The RAM-disk mode has a high level of security and ensures servers don’t store any data physically

NordVPN has not been left behind, either. It has revealed a plan to use RAM-disk servers on all its networks. However, this has not been completed. 

 

Leak Protection 

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer excellent leak protection. Desktop clients for both VPNs offer:

  • IP address leak protection for both IPv6 and IPv4
  • Kill switch 
  • DNS leak protection 

Both VPNs do not have any leaks. 

In the category of security, ExpressVPN is the winner.

 

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Price 

There is no much difference between ExpressVPN and NordVPN when it comes to price. But we have a winner in this category.

If you are on a budget, then neither of the VPN’s monthly plan will work for you as they are quite expensive. Bargain hunters should consider long term subscriptions. 

NordVPN offers some fantastic deals on its 2- and 3-year plans. These plans are 58% and 70% cheaper, respectively than the monthly plans. In addition, you get to save 70% on your NordVPN subscription with coupon codes.

For users who don’t want to commit right away, NordVPN has many testing opportunities with its 30-day money-back guaranteed.

You would expect ExpressVPN to have some good offers as well, but that not the case. ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, but have few and costly plans. The current annual subscription of the VPN is 19% more expensive when compared to the NordVPN equivalent. 

Luckily, you can receive a discount of 49% on ExpressVPN. Still, that is not enough to outshine the three-year deal offered by NordVPN. 

 

Compatibility 

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are compatible with many platforms, including all major Operating Systems and Routers. 

 

Windows 

Windows is the most popular Operating System (OS), and as you may have already guessed, Windows is covered by both ExpressVPN and NordVPN. You can run either of the two VPNs from any version of Windows. 

ExpressVPN is compatible with all versions of Windows, but NordVPN support starts from Windows 7. Older versions will require manual configuration. If your computer is running Windows Vista or XP, you will have to update it, and if that’s not an option for you, you may want to stick with ExpressVPN. 

 

Mac 

You can install ExpressVPN apps on macOS Snow Leopard (10.6) or newer versions. Again, ExpressVPN seems to be more flexible here than NordVPN, which can only run on macOS Yosemite (10.10)

 

Android 

Both VPN apps also work on the Android platform, with wide support even for older versions. The apps are also compatible with Android TV. 

 

iOS

Both VPN apps have dedicated apps for the iPad and iPhone. As you might expect, ExpressVPN takes the lead for older versions, with compatibility starting from iOS 8.0. For NordVPN, you will need iOS 9.0 or higher. 

 

Linux 

NordVPN app for Linux offering is based on Debian distros, although you can also run it on Ubuntu. ExpressVPN is more versatile, with support for CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, Raspbian, and Fedora.

 

Routers 

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN excel in this category, with great tutorials for a range of firmware. In addition, you receive a pre-flashed router configured with either of the two VPNs from the box. 

For users who would like to set up the VPN router themselves, ExpressVPN provides an app for certain Netgear, Linksys, and Asus routers. With the right model, this VPN can be a better option than NordVPN, which has a dedicated router app of its own. 

 

Conclusion

Let’s now summarize the article by stating the winners for the various categories:

Category Winner
Speed NordVPN
Reliability Tie 
VPN apps ExpressVPN 
Features Tie
Security ExpressVPN 
Price NordVPN
Compatibility ExpressVPN
Overall winner ExpressVPN

As you can see, the difference between NordVPN and ExpressVPN is minor. There were several ties, and others were very close. This is the reason why the two VPNs take the two spots as the best VPNs. 

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