NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Our Take: Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are excellent choices for a VPN service. Ultimately, the right choice for you depends on how you plan to use a VPN, what features you value the most and how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re looking for a VPN service with thousands of servers, NordVPN is the best option. For users who are more interested in the number of countries served, ExpressVPN is your best bet.

Virtual private networks connect people to private networks even when they’re using public connections, improving data security, and enhancing each user’s privacy. Many companies offer VPN services, which can make it difficult to determine which service is the right one to meet your needs. We provide a breakdown of the key features of a VPN to help you understand how to assess each option. When you’re finished reading this overview, you’ll feel confident comparing NordVPN to ExpressVPN and making a decision regarding which one offers the right level of protection at the right price.

How We Evaluated NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Many companies offer VPNs with a variety of features, which can make it difficult for users without a lot of technical knowledge to choose the right one. We cut through the noise and evaluated both companies based on what’s most important. Keep in mind that the right VPN service for you depends on whether you need a VPN for work or personal use.

Common Features We Looked For

1. Security & Privacy

One of the main goals of using a VPN is to enhance your privacy and security. Therefore, a good VPN uses the latest security methods and the highest possible level of encryption. For example, the most reliable services use 256-bit AES with PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA512 encryption to protect each user’s personal data. A good VPN company should also have a no-log policy, which means that the company doesn’t save any of the data transmitted through its network. No-log policies give users an extra layer of security by keeping their browsing activities private. If someone does manage to intercept traffic from your network, they won’t know where you’re located or what information you’ve been sending to various websites.

2. Server Coverage

The best VPN services have many servers spread out across a wide coverage area. This coverage area should include multiple countries to give users as many options as possible. Having many servers also improves performance by distributing traffic evenly across the entire network, which can prevent the problems associated with having a slow connection.

3. Performance

Before choosing a VPN, users should check important performance-related features. For example, it’s important to know how many devices can be connected to the VPN at the same time, especially for users who want to connect with their laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Users should also check each VPN’s monthly data limit. A low limit can affect a user’s streaming capabilities, especially if multiple people are connected to the VPN at the same time.

4. Price

Most people don’t have an unlimited amount of money to spend on a VPN service, making it important to compare service plans and prices before making a decision. Although many companies offer their VPN services for a low monthly price, purchasing a multi-year plan can help users save even more money. Most companies offer substantial discounts to customers willing to make long-term commitments rather than paying for service on a monthly basis. Some companies even offer their services for free, but it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of a free plan.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN Comparison

We spent more than 10 hours comparing NordVPN and ExpressVPN to see how they compare with each other in terms of the four most important features. Below is the breakdown of this evaluation.

Security & Privacy

NordVPN has a variety of features designed to protect the security and privacy of its users. The company doesn’t keep a log of files downloaded, servers or IP addresses used, the time a user logs in/out or the duration of a user’s browsing session. This no-log policy prevents unauthorized access to sensitive data. NordVPN uses the 256-AES-GCM encryption protocol to protect private data from hackers. If a hacker tries to tamper with encrypted data, the application returns an error or refuses to return any data output. NordVPN also offers a kill switch, which immediately disables a system’s internet access if the VPN disconnects, protecting a user’s applications without closing them. Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN has a no-log policy, which means it doesn’t keep logs of user activity in its database. As a result, the service keeps each user’s browsing activity private, enhancing security and preventing unauthorized access to personal data. ExpressVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, which is similar to the 256-AES-GCM encryption used by NordVPN. This type of encryption uses a cipher key to encrypt source data into cipher text. One of the main benefits of 256-bit AES encryption is that it keeps data secure without slowing down data transfers. ExpressVPN also uses a kill switch to disable internet access if the VPN disconnects.

Server Coverage

NordVPN has more than 5,100 servers in 59 countries, ensuring excellent server coverage for users all over the world. With so many servers in so many countries, NordVPN is able to optimize the performance of its VPN and ensure the speedy transfer of data across the network, even if a user in one country decides to connect to a server in another country. Having so many servers also makes it easier for users to access streaming services that provide access to region-restricted content. For example, using a server located in Australia makes it easier to access content developed for an Australian audience. ExpressVPN doesn’t have nearly as many servers as NordVPN, but it does have coverage in more countries — 160 servers in 94 countries, to be exact. This high level of coverage makes it possible to provide users with reliable performance and consistent transfer speeds. Like NordVPN, ExpressVPN makes it easier for users to access region-restricted content, especially when they’re traveling. If someone from the United States visits Ireland for example, he can connect to a U.S. server to watch content on his favorite streaming services. Connecting to a server in a different country also enhances privacy by concealing the origin of the connection.

Performance

NordVPN has several useful features that result in a high level of performance. Users can connect to up to six devices at a time, making the service ideal for families or roommates who want to connect to the internet via desktop or laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices. NordVPN doesn’t have a data limit, ensuring that users can use their favorite services as much as they want. There’s also no cap on transfer speeds, ensuring that data transfers are completed quickly. Although speeds are a little slower when connected to a VPN, NordVPN performed well in tests, with speeds dropping by less than 10%. ExpressVPN is similar to NordVPN in terms of its performance, with several features available to give users the freedom and flexibility they need when browsing the web. Although ExpressVPN has a slightly lower device limit (up to five devices connected at a time) than NordVPN, the limit shouldn’t be an issue for individual users or small groups. ExpressVPN also has no data cap, ensuring that users can do as much browsing and downloading as they want each month. What makes ExpressVPN different from other VPN services is that it prevents internet service providers from throttling VPN traffic, ensuring consistent speeds.

Price

NordVPN has a monthly plan and discounted plans for users willing to pay up front for a year or more of service. The regular plan costs $11.99 billed on a monthly basis. Users can cancel the monthly plan at any time. For one year of service, users pay a discounted price of $6.99 per month, which is paid up front in a single payment. The discounts get better as the subscription term gets longer, with the two-year plan costing $4.99 per month (billed every two years) and the three-year plan costing $3.49 per month (billed every three years). Unlike NordVPN, Express VPN doesn’t offer a two-year or three-year plan. Instead, the company offers its services on a one-month, six-month, and one-year basis. The base plan costs $12.95 per month and is billed once per month. For users willing to pay up front for several months’ worth of service, ExpressVPN offers discounted rates. The six-month plan averages out to $9.99 per month, billed once at the beginning of the six-month term. At an average of $8.32 per month, billed once at the beginning of the term, the one-year plan is the best deal for users who plan to use a VPN service for at least a year.

Pricing Comparison
NordVPNExpressVPN
1-month plan$11.99 per month$12.95 per month
6-month planN/A$9.99 per month
1-year plan$6.99 per month (billed annually)$8.32 per month
2-year plan$4.99 per month (billed every two years)N/A
3-year plan$3.49 per month (billed every three years)N/A

Overview: NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN Comparison Table

Both VPNs enhance security and give users extra privacy, but as with any service, what matters most to someone else may not be that important to you. Below is a comparison table outlining the main features of the VPN service provided by each company.

NordVPn vs ExpressVPN Compared
NordVPNExpressVPN
Free TrialNoYes
Customer Support24/7 Live Chat24/7 Live Chat
Platform/Browser CompatibilityChrome, FirefoxChrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi
Server Coverage5100+ servers in 59 countries160 servers in 94 countries
Number of Devices65
No-log PolicyNo-log PolicyNo-log Policy
TorrentingYesNo
Streaming ServicesNetflix, Hulu, BBC, YouTube, Prime Video, Kodi, HBO, Disney, Showtime, etc.Netflix, Hulu, BBC, YouTube, Prime Video, Kodi, HBO, Disney, Showtime, etc.
Security EncryptionAES-256-GCM256-bit AES
Kill SwitchYesYes