If you’re looking at VPNs, you’ve likely heard of at least one of these two names before. NordVPN and ExpressVPN are the two biggest VPN providers on the global market and are renowned for their premium quality and rapid speeds.
As the world becomes an increasingly digital place, internet security is of the utmost importance, and tools to protect your privacy become more vital every day. Enter VPNs, an easy way to hide from prying eyes and keep personal details hidden when surfing the web.
With this article, we’re going to compare NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN to decide which service offers the best quality of all and which is worth your dime.
|Number of Devices||5||6|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Encryption||256-bit AES||256-bit AES|
|Live Support||Yes (24/7)||Yes (24/7)|
|Logging||Strict no-logging||Strict no-logging|
What is NordVPN?
NordVPN is the first example of a VPN provider becoming a downright household name. With its massive advertising budget, it has swept the world by storm, quickly becoming the single most commonly-used VPN app worldwide.
As you’ll notice, NordVPN’s software goes for an excellent minimalistic design, bringing a blend of easy user accessibility and efficient manoeuvring to get to where you need. It runs beautifully on all devices and is nearly identical across different platforms, with all the same features.
This is a rarity for most services but is extremely handy for switching between devices freely without having to memorize a different interface for each one. It makes the process of using the VPN with different devices completely stress-free.
You can freely swap between any server that NordVPN has available at any time. In case you’re new to VPNs, Nord has the fastest and most reliable server for your location selected by default as a way to recommend it to you if you’re not sure which server to pick. It also comes loaded with any number of useful features you might need, such as split-tunnelling, killswitch, etc.
In testing, we were all but certain that NordVPN’s speeds would be lightning-fast. Even still, they managed to surprise us. Simply by the way a VPN works, they are almost always expected to drop your internet speed by at least a small margin. A VPN’s speed decides how much that margin really is.
We tested on a connection that clocked in at about 100 Mbps without any VPN enabled. Upon enabling Nord on the quickest server it could find for us, we ran the test again. NordVPN managed to pull a stable 94 Mbps, less than a 10% drop in speed.
That kind of speed is unheard of for most services, which tend to range commonly around a 50%-30% drop at best. Not just this, but NordVPN also offers alternative connection methods, such as Nord’s WireGuard protocol service, NordLynx. When testing with NordLynx, the speeds were even more impressive, clocking in at a consistent 98 Mbps, and in some cases, even going higher than our original speeds.
It’s safe to say that NordVPN is one of, if not the single fastest service currently on the market. Even if you somehow manage to find a location that isn’t near one of NordVPN’s 5000+ dedicated servers, testing at further locations never dropped our speeds below 90 Mbps.
NordVPN User Feedback
On Reddit, real-life users of Nord sing its praises more than any other provider. Its reputation is supported by trusted experts and hobbyists alike who have used the service for years.
Whether you’re brand new to the VPN world, or an experienced veteran, you’ll find it hard to come across a better all-purpose VPN than Nord.
You can download NordVPN here.
What is ExpressVPN?
ExpressVPN is a revered service that is commonly known as the fastest VPN available. It offers some genuinely great features, such as highly secure torrenting support and well-optimized software for all major devices. It has a large number of servers spanning almost 100 countries, meaning there are few places in the world where you’d be hard-pressed to find a close, quick connection.
Its software is extremely easy to use with quick drop-down menus and easy-to-navigate settings. It has one of the lowest learning curves of any software we’ve tested, meaning you should be able to navigate and customize the VPN like a pro within a matter of minutes after purchase. It performs so well that you could leave ExpressVPN running and not even notice it as you go about your business.
Like everything else about the software, switching servers is fast, fluid, and reliable. We never had a single crash or ‘infinite loading cycle’ like with certain services. However, should the need ever arise, the instant killswitch works perfectly, as well as any other feature you could want from a VPN (except for, curiously, an adblocker).
One of ExpressVPN’s claims to fame is being the fastest there is. While it might dominate most other services, does it really compare to what NordVPN is capable of? We tested it on the same 100 Mbps speed in order to find out.
First, we tested its speeds with the recommended server for the fastest connection. After a few tests, we found ExpressVPN to hold a consistent speed of about 92 Mbps. That’s less than a 10% drop, which is excellent for any service! However, it doesn’t beat Nord’s lightning-fast speeds.
Finally, we tried using further servers. We were pleasantly surprised to see that even using servers on the other side of the world from us didn’t drop ExpressVPN’s speeds to anything lower than 85 Mbps. Once again, astounding speeds for any premium service, but just below Nord.
ExpressVPN User Feedback
Similar to Nord, ExpressVPN finds high praise on sites like Reddit, where users are willing to forgive the high price tag in exchange for a truly outstanding service.
It’s true, ExpressVPN has quite the hefty price tag to it (its cheapest plan coming out to a little under $100 a year), but if that doesn’t turn you away from wanting to give it a try, we guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
You can download ExpressVPN here.
Best VPN per category
|Best VPN for Windows||While ExpressVPN is without a doubt a high-quality service, NordVPN’s software and servers run so smoothly on Windows that it would be an outright crime to call it anything less than the single best Windows VPN available.|
|Best VPN for Mac||NordVPN’s highly optimized software and excellent reliability make it a perfect pick for Mac users. The ability to choose your protocol to find your best fit also makes it able to perform so much more smoothly on Mac devices than ExpressVPN can.|
|Best VPN for Android||Unfortunately for NordVPN, ExpressVPN’s speeds don’t falter over any of their devices, offering consistent speeds with mobile as well as desktop. NordVPN’s speeds hiccup slightly with Android devices, leaving ExpressVPN as the winner here.|
|Best VPN for iOS||Just like with Android, ExpressVPN wins with iOS devices as far as speed, stability, and consistency. While the features are nearly identical, NordVPN’s software and servers just seem to have the occasional struggle with iOS mobile devices.|
|Best VPN for Torrenting||ExpressVPN provides airtight security for P2P connections that is almost unbeatable. While NordVPN’s built-in protection comes close, it only allows P2P for specific servers, and none of its protocols offer the level of security and performance that ExpressVPN does for torrenting.|
|Best Overall VPN||While ExpressVPN has Nord beat in the mobile department, overall, NordVPN’s service is just too much to compete with on desktop devices. Its speeds, reliability, performance, and software features all trump what ExpressVPN can offer, even if by just a small margin.|
Overall, NordVPN seems to win this rivalry. However, it’s important to note that ExpressVPN has some strengths over Nord, such as its torrenting and mobile support. While Express has some excellent versatility in its functions, NordVPN has it beat as an overall VPN. Its reputation in the VPN community doesn’t just stem from its enormous advertising budget. It really does deserve its praise.
That said, we can’t stress enough how incredible both of these services are. Every VPN is tailored to different users, and if ExpressVPN looks as if it would better suit your interests, there’s a good chance it would. A large portion of it comes down to preference, and we can assure you that both of these providers get a thumbs up from us when it comes to their premium quality.