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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: 2024

Table of Contents
    Editor's Note: Transparency and impartiality are important to us when bringing you our best selection of VPNs. Some of the industry-leading products on our list, including Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company. The VPNs we choose are derived from a thorough testing process.

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Kelvin Kiogora
    Kelvin Kiogora

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Most reviewers will tell you it’s hard to pick a winner between ExpressVPN and NordVPN. And for the most part, I agree — you can’t really go wrong with either of these industry-leading VPNs. But make no mistake, there are important differences between them.

    I tested both VPNs for speed, streaming, torrenting, gaming, customer support, and more. I carefully compared their plans and pricing, including hidden costs. I also considered each VPN’s privacy policy and looked into the way they’ve handled user data in the past.

    My honest recommendation? Both VPNs are fast, easy to use, and can access most streaming platforms. But if you care about your online privacy, ExpressVPN is your best option. NordVPN isn’t a bad alternative by any means. Still, it has servers in fewer countries worldwide, it’s less reliable for streaming, and it recently made questionable changes to its privacy policy.

    Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free

    Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

    ExpressVPN NordVPN
    Overall Rating Our Score: 9.9/10

    www.ExpressVPN.com

    Our Score: 9.4/10

    www.NordVPN.com

    💲Lowest Monthly Price $6.67/month with 3 months of service free on a 1-year plan $6.39/month only on your first 2-year subscription
    🗓️Price on Renewal $99.95 per year $99.48 per year (subject to change)
    🤑Coupons ExpressVPN 49% Off (12-month plan) NordVPN 72% Off (24-month plan)
    💸Money Back Guarantee 30 days 30 days
    📺Streaming & Unblocking Can access Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and more Can access most streaming platforms but might experience delays
    🌍VPN Servers 105 countries with 3,000 servers 111 countries with 6,420 servers
    Speed 7% speed drop, ideal for 4K streaming 8% speed drop connected to nearby servers
    🎮Gaming Performance Optimal speed and ping Low ping rate on servers close by, but struggles over long distances
    ‍🧑‍🤝‍🧑 P2P Support Yes, on all servers Only specific servers are optimized for torrenting
    🔐Security Protocols Lightway, OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2, and IPSec/L2TP NordLynx (WireGuard), OpenVPN, IPSec/IKEv2, and IPSec/L2TP
    🔌Kill Switch Yes Yes
    IP/DNS Leak Protection Yes Yes
    🏢Based in Country British Virgin Islands Panama
    ⚠️ Does VPN Keep Logs No Maybe
    Works in China Yes No
    #️⃣ Number of Device Connections 8 10
    💻Device Compatibility Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Plus, a native app for routers Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge
    🔧Customer Support 24/7 live chat, knowledge base, FAQs, and email 24/7 live chat, knowledge base, FAQs, and email

    See More ExpressVPN Features

    Streaming and Netflix Access — ExpressVPN Wins by a Narrow Margin

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are both reliable options for streaming shows and movies. However, NordVPN had some issues with Netflix US in the past, and there were also a few occasions when some servers couldn’t access other sites, including Amazon Prime Video and Max.

    That said, after asking customer service for a list of working servers, I managed to get around these issues. Whenever I used a recommended server, I had no problem with access.

    Streaming Platform ExpressVPN NordVPN
    Netflix ✅ Yes, including popular Netflix libraries like the US, UK, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland ☑️ Yes, but not as reliable for some libraries
    Disney+ ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    ESPN ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    HBO Max ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Hulu ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Sky ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Amazon Prime Video ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    BBC iPlayer ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    ABC ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    CBS ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    NBC ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    ITVX ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Channel 4 ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    YouTube TV ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Sling TV ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    DAZN ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    VUDU ✅ Yes ✅ Yes

    While both VPNs can access most streaming platforms and are fast enough to allow HD (and even 4K) streaming, ExpressVPN gave me the best speed. I could watch over 20 Netflix regions without annoying interruptions or buffering.

    Screenshot of ExpressVPN unblocking Netflix US using a New York serverI had no problem watching the latest Netflix US releases while traveling — shows loaded immediately

    NordVPN’s streaming speeds were more inconsistent as I encountered some buffering on long-distance servers. This never happened with ExpressVPN. Plus, there were a few more instances where I couldn’t bypass geoblocks with NordVPN.

    Screenshot of NordVPN streaming Netflix NCIS while connected to a US serverI watched NCIS on Netflix US, but it took a few seconds to load

    Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer smart DNS solutions that allow you to stream on devices incompatible with VPNs. Smart DNS services bypass geoblocks by hiding your real location, but differ from a VPN in that it doesn’t encrypt your traffic.

    ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature works on LG TVs, Apple TV, Playstation, routers, Amazon Fire TV, Nintendo Switch, and more. What I find immensely helpful is that ExpressVPN has step-by-step instructions that walk you through the smart DNS setup for each of these devices.

    NordVPN offers the same smart DNS functionality as ExpressVPN’s Mediastreamer. However, there seem to only be setup guides for LG and Apple TVs. There are just 2 DNS server addresses for all other devices (so I had to figure out how to set NordVPN’s smart DNS up myself).

    NordVPN does have another feature called SmartPlay, which gives you smart DNS functionality plus VPN encryption. But this feature only works through the NordVPN app, so if your device isn’t compatible with VPNs in the first place, you’d still have to go through the regular smart DNS setup.

    Winner
    Both VPNs are excellent for streaming 4K quality content buffer-free. However, ExpressVPN is my top choice, with slightly faster speeds for watching your favorite TV shows, movies, and live sports in UHD without delays. Plus, its MediaStreamer feature lets you stream US and UK content on all your devices, including Xbox and Amazon Fire TV.

    Server Network — ExpressVPN Is Available in More Countries

    ExpressVPN NordVPN
    Total countries with servers 105 111
    Number of Servers 3,000+ 6,420
    Virtual server locations Yes No
    Specialty servers No Yes

    While it’s true that NordVPN has more servers, these are mostly restricted to Europe and North America. On the other hand, ExpressVPN has better global coverage, with servers in Europe and North America in addition to South America, mainland Asia, and Africa.

    If you’re in one of the regions covered by NordVPN and you only want access to a few popular streaming libraries like Netflix US and UK, then this won’t make a difference for you. But if you live in one of the 34 countries only covered by ExpressVPN, or if you want access to a broader range of local content and services, ExpressVPN is the only reliable option.

    Specific countries’ local laws make it unsafe or illegal to operate VPN servers within its borders, for example in India, Turkey, and the UAE. Virtual servers are a good solution to this. They are physically located in a more secure region, but still give you an IP from the country so you can access local sites. ExpressVPN operates virtual servers for some of these places, including India and Pakistan, but NordVPN does not.

    Some reviewers will tell you that more servers means less overcrowding and faster speeds, but this is a sweeping statement not reflected in speed tests. As you’ll see below, ExpressVPN was actually slightly faster in our tests compared to NordVPN.

    Winner
    NordVPN's network is mainly limited to Europe and North America. ExpressVPN's servers are distributed worldwide in 105 countries, so you won't have a problem finding one to access the content you need.

    Speed — ExpressVPN Is Slightly Faster than NordVPN

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are two of the fastest VPNs on the market, but I was determined to pick a winner. I tested servers in various locations around the world, including the US, UK, and Australia.

    My average download speed without a VPN was 112.71Mbps, and my average upload speed without a VPN was 15.03Mbps. I got the best results using each VPN’s proprietary protocol — ExpressVPN’s Lightway and NordVPN’s NordLynx.

    Both VPNs are super fast — with speed drops so low you won’t even notice them. Generally, you can expect a VPN to slow you down by about 20%, so these results are excellent. However, ExpressVPN was a little faster, making it my go-to for streaming and torrenting.

    Speed Tests ExpressVPN Average Download Speed NordVPN Average Download Speed ExpressVPN Average Upload Speed NordVPN Average Upload Speed
    Connected to a UK server (local) 105.03Mbps 100.03Mbps 14Mbps 14.08Mbps
    Connected to a US server (5,000km+ away) 102.88Mbps 97.81Mbps 14.16Mbps 9.99Mbps
    Connected to an Australian server (17,000km away) 77.19Mbps 70.81Mbps 10.79Mbps 8.11Mbps
    Winner - draw
    /
    Both VPNs' download speeds exceeded the 25 Mbps needed for UHD streaming. Keep in mind, however, that ExpressVPN consistently provides faster download and upload speeds. The difference was too small to pick a definitive winner, but it was there.

    Gaming — ExpressVPN Is Excellent for Gaming Without Lag

    Unlike average download and upload speed, with gaming, you want a low ping, ideally below 100ms. I conducted tests on a few fast-paced online shooter games, and I didn’t experience any lag with ExpressVPN.

    However, with both VPNs, the ping rate on long-distance servers (like Japan) is too high for online games.

    ExpressVPN (Lightway) NordVPN (NordLynx)
    Quick Connect to a nearby server 9ms 10ms
    Connected to a France server 16ms 25ms
    Connected to a US server 97ms 154ms
    Connected to a Japan server 257ms 266ms

    While its best server option gave the lowest ping at 10ms, NordVPN didn’t fare well on US servers, creating delays while trying to play Counter-Strike. With ExpressVPN, I got the best performance with smoother frames.

    Screenshot playing Counter-Strike lag-free when connected to a ExpressVPN serverI enjoyed first-person shooter games with a lower ping when using ExpressVPN

    Winner
    With low ping rates on local servers and France and US locations, ExpressVPN is great for fast-paced shooter games. Even though NordVPN’s French and UK servers had low ping, it didn’t do very well when choosing a server in another country.

    Torrenting — ExpressVPN Gives You Faster Downloads

    Both VPNs have excellent P2P support, but ExpressVPN’s faster speeds make it the better option for torrenting. I tested this by torrenting the same 2.56GB file using both VPNs. With ExpressVPN, the download took just under 4 minutes, while it took about 6 and a half minutes with NordVPN.

    ExpressVPN supports P2P file sharing on all servers. This makes it a good option when you want to torrent from a server that’s close to you, regardless of where you are.

    Unlike ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers specialized P2P servers in 50+ countries. It claims that these servers give you faster speeds for torrenting, but in my tests, ExpressVPN’s regular servers were slightly faster.

    Both VPNs keep your torrenting activities anonymous, since they have a kill switch that halts your connection in case you’re accidentally disconnected from the VPN. They also have IP and DNS leak protection so that peers can’t see your real IP and your ISP can’t throttle your speed for torrenting.

    ExpressVPN supports port forwarding, which helps improve your torrenting speeds. It does this by directing your torrenting traffic to a specific device on your internal network. This feature isn’t available on NordVPN.

    NordVPN offers a free SOCKS5 proxy, which isn’t available on ExpressVPN. This feature masks your IP while giving your fast torrenting speeds. However, SOCKS5 doesn’t encrypt your traffic, so it’s less secure than using a VPN.

    Winner
    While both VPNs provide high-level protection while torrenting, ExpressVPN comes out on top because it’s slightly faster. Its P2P-friendly worldwide network of servers outperform NordVPN’s specialized P2P servers.

    Security — NordVPN Comes Out On Top With More Features

    NordVPN takes the lead here with its specialized security servers, an ad and malware blocker, and dedicated IP addresses, which ExpressVPN lacks. However, ExpressVPN is still a robust service that will protect your data from snoops and hackers.

    Security Feature ExpressVPN NordVPN
    Encryption level AES-256-GCM with 4096-bit DH key, SHA-512 HMAC authentication AES-256-GCM with 4096-bit DH key, SHA2-384 HMAC authentication
    Kill Switch All operating systems. Use Lightway protocol when activating it on iOS All operating systems
    DNS/IP Leak Protection Yes Yes
    Protocols OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, IPSec/IKEv2, and IPSec/L2TP, and Lightway (own proprietary protocol) OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, IPSec/IKEv2, IPSec/L2TP, and NordLynx (WireGuard)
    Split Tunneling Yes Yes
    Private DNS servers Yes Yes
    Tor Over VPN servers Yes Yes
    RAM-only servers wipes data Yes Yes
    Ad & malware blocker No, but has a “Threat Manager” feature Yes
    Double hop servers No Yes
    Dedicated IP addresses No Yes
    Obfuscation technology Yes Yes

    In addition to standard protocols like OpenVPN, IP/Sec, L2TP, and IKEv2, ExpressVPN and NordVPN have a modern protocol unique to them. NordVPN's NordLynx protocol is based on WireGuard, whereas ExpressVPN's Lightway uses a similarly efficient encryption library.

    Both protocols are a significant upgrade to OpenVPN, and both gave me almost similar results in terms of speed. That said, Lightway has a slight advantage in that its lightweight code is designed to consume less battery on mobile devices.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN use AES-256-bit encryption, the highest encryption standard used by leading security agencies. However, ExpressVPN's encryption key is longer (4,096 bits vs. 2,048 bits), making it even harder to crack. Another feature I liked is that ExpressVPN has a brief description of each protocol in the security settings, whereas NordVPN doesn't. This is most helpful when choosing a protocol.

    Screenshot of ExpressVPN's security protocolsWith ExpressVPN, you can easily choose your level of protection — each security protocol provides a quick definition

    Regarding server security, NordVPN offers Double Hop, redirecting your internet traffic through 2 servers instead of 1 to increase your encryption. However, both VPNs offer Onion Over VPN — using the Tor network to provide multiple layers of encryption. Either of these server options is excellent for protecting sensitive data but will significantly slow your speeds.

    On top of that, both VPNs have obfuscated servers that make your VPN traffic appear as regular traffic, preventing detection by Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Not only is this great for efficiently bypassing tough geo-restrictions, but it provides increased online anonymity.

    You can switch on NordVPN’s obfuscated servers under settings by clicking ‘Auto-connect’ and choosing ‘Obfuscated servers’ from the ‘Custom’ drop-down list. Just make sure the OpenVPN protocol is selected. ExpressVPN will automatically turn on obfuscation when detecting DPIs — you don’t need to do anything.

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN run their entire networks with RAM-based servers, which wipe all server data after every reboot. This feature is known as TrustedServer technology on ExpressVPN, while NordVPN doesn’t give it a name. The security benefit is that it won’t store your data for long periods, making it more challenging for third parties to get hold of it.

    Your data won’t be exposed accidentally, either, as ExpressVPN and NordVPN have a kill switch and DNS/IP leak protection. The kill switch cuts your internet connection if your VPN drops, while the DNS/IP leak protection prevents third parties from obtaining your DNS requests and real location (IP address). However, NordVPN gives you a choice of 2 kill switches, one for specific apps or one for your entire device.

    A key feature of NordVPN that ExpressVPN lacks is its ad and malware blocker called Threat Protection. It blocks annoying ads and warns you if you try to access a malware-ridden site. ExpressVPN has a feature called Threat Manager that stops you from communicating with malicious tracking sites, but it won’t block ads or malware.

    Additionally, NordVPN has a download scanner that automatically checks downloaded files for malware. There’s also a Dark Web Monitor that continuously scans sites on the dark web for your personal information and warns you if there’s a leak.

    Screenshot of NordVPN's security settingsNordVPN offers you a variety of security settings to help keep you safe online wherever you travel

    You can also set both ExpressVPN and NordVPN to automatically start up and connect to a server when you turn on your device, meaning it stays protected the whole time. They also stop repeated data from creating patterns by regularly scrambling encryption packets during the encryption process.

    Winner
    Both VPNs will keep you safe online and are excellent for protecting your privacy. However, NordVPN offers more security features, such as an ad blocker and Double VPN. Plus, NordVPN has dedicated IP addresses for secure access to your remote business network.

    Privacy — ExpressVPN Protects Users’ Privacy, NordVPN Isn’t Sure

    Until recently, I'd have said both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are reliable services that maintain your online privacy at all costs. After all, both are based in privacy-friendly jurisdictions and have strict no-logs policies audited by independent PwC.

    However, NordVPN recently made some troubling changes to its privacy policy. Before, it claimed never to store or share user data with authorities. Now it's changed its tune to say it will both log and share data with foreign governments, so long as the requests abide by international laws and regulations. This is despite the fact that NordVPN is based in Panama, outside the intelligence-sharing pact of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.

    ExpressVPN NordVPN
    Jurisdiction British Virgin Islands Panama
    Based in a 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances country No No
    Data logging Independently-audited no logs policy Independently-audited no logs policy
    Independent auditing firms KPMG, Cure53, and PwC Switzerland Deloitte and PwC Switzerland
    Information required for sign-up Email Email
    Anonymous payments Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and USD stablecoins (USDC, BUSD, PAX and GUSD) Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP

    ExpressVPN has never given its users cause for concern. Based in the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN continues to maintain a clear no-logs policy that states it will never collect or store private user information.

    Even when its servers were seized by the Turkish government a few years back, officials found no data whatsoever, further proving that ExpressVPN stays true to its no-logs policy.

    You’ll need to provide your name, email address, and payment method when signing up for either service. If you’re concerned about providing your email address, you can use a throwaway email for additional privacy. Anonymous payment methods are available on both services, too, as they accept cryptocurrency payments.

    Winner
    ExpressVPN is the better option for privacy, since NordVPN now has a fairly ambiguous approach to logging and sharing user data.

    Works in China — ExpressVPN Is the Only Reliable Choice

    NordVPN no longer works in China. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, is consistently able to unblock sites like Facebook, Google, and YouTube. It even provides an alternative website for users in China since the main ExpressVPN website is blocked over there. That said, I strongly recommend downloading and installing your VPN before arriving in China to stay safe.

    My team and I also found ExpressVPN to work in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, and the UAE. Although these governments (China included) ban many VPNs, they generally go after the technology, not individual users. Still, I strongly advise you to familiarize yourself with a country's laws before using a VPN so you don't accidentally break any rules or regulations.

    Winner
    ExpressVPN reliably works in China and provides a mirror site, so you can download it while in the country.

    Installation & Ease of Use — The Winner Depends on Personal Preference

    ExpressVPN's mobile and desktop apps are lightweight and intuitive. The main interface has a large on/off button to quickly connect to a server for instant protection.

    Clicking on the Selected Location button opens a separate window with a list of recommended servers and the option to see all available server locations. There's also a Smart Location tab that shows the best server available and a Recent Location tab that displays your most recently used server.

    Screenshot of ExpressVPN's easy-to-use interfaceExpressVPN makes it easy to locate and connect to the best server for streaming or safe browsing

    The hamburger icon on the top gives you access to settings. Click the gear icon for more advanced features, like enabling/disabling the kill switch, changing security protocols, enabling Threat Manager, and managing account settings. You’ll also notice the ExpressVPN app is available in 16 languages.

    ExpressVPN’s mobile apps are just as user-friendly. The power button connects you to your selected server in a single click, while the server list is accessed the same way as on the desktop app. Clicking on the Options tab leads you to the settings page.

    screenshot of 3 different screens on ExpressVPN's Android appExpressVPN's mobile app even shows you the amount of time you've used it each week

    NordVPN’s app conveniently displays a world map with markers for each server location. If you click on the marker, it will connect you to a server in that area. On the left of the desktop app, you will see the full server list and 3 preference tabs, which take you to different settings.

    Screenshot of NordVPN's interface with a world map of serversIt’s easy to connect to a server with NordVPN’s app

    The mobile app displays the server list and the preference tabs at the bottom, with the map at the top. Desktop and mobile apps have a quick connect button that automatically connects you to the best available server. However, I didn’t like that you have to go through multiple screens to the settings page.

    screenshots of the home page and server list on NordVPN's Android appUse te icons at the bottom of the screen to access other features and settings

    Settings-wise, NordVPN lets you combine custom VPN settings with different shortcuts. For example, you can set a shortcut for speeds and settings for your preferred protocol, server location, and server type. You can also turn on the Dark Web Monitor that scans for leaked data on the dark web and see statistics for your VPN use.

    NordVPN also has an additional feature that ExpressVPN lacks called Meshnet, which allows you to access your devices remotely. It functions like a secure LAN, so you can share files and play multiplayer games.

    Both VPNs are compatible with all major operating systems, which include Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux. Installing the apps on my MacBook Pro took around 30 seconds and a little under 20 on my smartphone, meaning there wasn't a clear winner for installation. You can manually install them on routers, although ExpressVPN has a custom router app that makes protecting all your WiFi-connected devices much easier.

    Winner - draw
    /
    Both VPNs are quick to set up and beginner-friendly. However, I did find it a bit more complicated to change settings and activate certain features with NordVPN. Also, ExpressVPN was much easier to install and use on routers.

    Reliability & Support — Great Customer Service Provided by Both VPNs

    Customer Support Features ExpressVPN NordVPN
    24/7 Live chat Yes, responds immediately Yes, but limits my question to less than 40 words
    Email support Yes Yes
    Phone support No No
    Step-by-step setup guides Yes, with video tutorials Yes, with video tutorials
    Searchable knowledge base Yes Yes
    Exhaustive FAQ section Yes Yes

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN have plenty of customer support agents who are knowledgeable and easy to get hold of. You can go to either site and use the 24/7 live chat to get immediate assistance. It’s also possible to ask questions by sending an email or support ticket, and the replies are generally prompt. Another option is to check out the very detailed FAQ sections, blogs, video guides, or how-to pages on both sites.

    Both sites took less than a minute to reply to my questions on live chat, and I found the agents to be friendly and experienced. However, when I emailed ExpressVPN for assistance installing MediaStreamer, it took them 1 hour and 53 minutes to reply. On the other hand, it took NordVPN 3 hours and 37 minutes to respond to my email about getting a dedicated IP address.

    Winner - draw
    /
    Both VPNs have 24/7 live chat support, an extensive searchable knowledge base with step-by-step video installation guides, and took less than 4 hours to respond via email, so this section is a tie.

    Tips on Choosing Between ExpressVPN and NordVPN

    With many factors to compare, choosing between ExpressVPN and NordVPN isn't straightforward. Much of it is based on personal preference and what you want to use the VPN for. However, below are the criteria I used when comparing these 2 services. Feel free to use it to aid your decision-making:

    • Bypassing geoblocks. This is especially important when traveling abroad and needing to access your subscriptions. I tested both VPNs with several popular streaming sites and services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.
    • Fast speeds. All VPNs will reduce your speeds because of the extra encryption and longer distances between you and the VPN server. But with a good VPN, you shouldn't notice any delays. ExpressVPN was slightly faster than NordVPN.
    • Server networks. Choose a VPN with servers in the countries with the content you need and locations nearby for the best speeds.
    • Robust security features. Besides AES 256-bit encryption, a world-class VPN should have a kill switch, advanced security protocols, and DNS/IP leak protection to keep you safe online. Both protect your online privacy, but NordVPN has some additional security features.
    • Respectable privacy practices. A trustworthy VPN should adhere to a strict no-logs policy so you have peace of mind that your personal information won't be collected or shared.
    • P2P support. If you frequently torrent, look for a VPN that supports P2P file sharing. Both VPNs have torrenting support, ensuring faster and more reliable downloads while keeping your activities anonymous.
    • Works in restricted countries. If you’re traveling to China, Turkey, the UAE, or similar, you need a VPN that reliably works under the radar. Only ExpressVPN can consistently access your international accounts while visiting restrictive countries.
    • Easy to use. Make sure the VPN you choose has apps for your favorite devices that are straightforward to install and use. Also, have a look at how accessible the security settings are.
    • Trustworthy money-back guarantee. On top of affordable pricing plans, a reputable VPN should have a money-back guarantee that lets you get your money back if you change your mind. ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer a 30-day money-back period.

    ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN — Reddit Opinions

    When evaluating ExpressVPN and NordVPN, gathering insights from other users with hands-on experience with both VPNs is crucial. With its vast user base and active communities dedicated to technology and privacy, Reddit provides an ideal environment to explore the opinions and experiences of VPN users.

    While there aren’t lots of posts comparing the two VPNs, it’s clear that most Reddit users prefer ExpressVPN over NordVPN.

    Screenshot of Reddit users reviewing ExpressVPNMany Reddit users have tested both VPNs

    According to some Reddit users, ExpressVPN has better and more consistent speeds, especially on mobile, and is also more reliable for streaming.

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Keira Waddell
    Keira Waddell

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.9/10

    ExpressVPN is one of the most popular and trusted names in the industry. It’s known for being one of the safest, fastest VPNs around, so I wanted to see if it can live up to these claims. It’s not the cheapest VPN, but it often offers discounts that make it a better value for the money. Other decent VPNs offer similar security features for much cheaper. So, do you really need to pay that muc...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    J
    JKJHB
    8.0/10
    jhJ JJ

    I've been an ExpressVPN customer since 2017 and it's been great: quickly connects to a nearby server i... n the Wash DC region, embedded shortcuts to apps I want to use while using VPN, disconnects quickly, has the kill switch feature which is necessary these days, and has a fine mobile app which works well on my Android phones and tablets. However, I was just notified that the annual price is jumping from $99 to $117 upon the next renewal, so it's time to see how the others compare within VPN Mentor.More

    Latest negative user review
    C
    Charli
    6.0/10
    Ok, but expensive

    Seems ok, but I wouldn't say it's worth $20AUD a month. That's steep if you live in a backwater like A... ustralia, where the currency is not valuable. Easy enough to set up - you don't need to be Einstein - but unless you're a tech nerd who can take a look under the bonnet, you'll just have to trust what they say about their product. It frequently drops out without the slightest warning, often when it's the only thing online at the time - despite fast and flawless fiber internet, rendering expression entirely useless UNLESS you have it sitting on your desktop where you can keep an eagle eye on it to actually see it when it drops out so you can kick it back into service again (it doesn't do it by itself), which seems to defeat its purpose, so I'm taking away 2 stars for that. Support is good and they do get back to you as fast as they can.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Keira Waddell
    Keira Waddell

    Senior Writer

    Our Score: 9.4/10

    On the surface, NordVPN looks like a really impressive service. It claims to have a huge global server network, a speedy and reliable connection, and iron-clad security and privacy features. Plus, you can get it all for just $6.39/month. That all sounds great, but is there a catch? To find out, I did an in-depth analysis of NordVPN. I tested its speeds and how well it performs when you’re str...

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    Latest positive user review
    2
    210493Lu
    10.0/10
    The Best of The Best

    I simply tested all VPNs looking for cutting-edge online security, I tested the most expensive and the...  most talked about virtual anonymity, none made me as happy as NordVPN, it stands out for several reasons that the much more expensive ones it doesn't have, its double encryption, dedicated IPs, onion VPN, makes NordVPN unique, with almost 6,000 servers around the world and 12 million customers like me, you can see that NordVPN is not playing games with its customers and their online security , it always innovates to keep you more secure day after day, for a fair price in the long term and without sacrificing the speed of your connection, recently Nord is developing a new VPN protocol, Nordlynx a version still under construction derived from the Wireguard protocol, if you want to have a VPN of last security that think how it will make you more secure in the next month NordVPN is the right choice, I am completely thankful for being a customer and for finding what to me is the perfect VPN.More

    Latest negative user review
    S
    SAM
    2.0/10
    BUYER BEWARE!

    BUYER BEWARE! If you purchase NordVPN, it will throttle your interned speed/connectivity by 50%, like ... it did to mine. I pay $100/month to get speeds of nearly 600mbs. With NordVPN turned on, my speeds decrease to 250mbs. Nord’s “customer support” is useless and unprofessional, and, after nearly 3 weeks of endless “try this, try that”, they were unable to resolve the issue and blamed it on everything under the sun except their product, when it is OBVIOUS that, since I have zero speed issues with Nord turned off, and ONLY experience the issues with Nord turned on, it is NordVPN that is causing the issue. When I asked them for a refund of my one year subscription paid in advance and in good faith, they refused, and have now decided to ignore me. So, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. Their VPN will devastate your internet speeds, their “support” is ridiculous, they are in denial, and they will not refund your money, even if their product is a failure…More

    Pricing

    ExpressVPN NordVPN
    Starting Price $6.67/month $6.39/month
    Price (On Renewal) $99.95 per year $99.48 per year
    Available Plans 1 month, 6 months, 1 year Standard, Advanced, Basic
    1 month, 1 year, 2 years
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 days 30 days
    Free Trial No 7-day free trial on Android
    Special Offer Up to 49% off on the long-term plan and 3 months of free service Up to 72% off on the long-term plan and 3 months of free service
    Number of devices per license 8 10
    Payment Options Credit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, cryptocurrency, UnionPay, Mint, Sofort, and more Credit card, PayPal, Google Pay, cryptocurrency, AmazonPay, Sofort, and more
    Router Setup (for Unlimited Devices) Easy setup with dedicated app Manual setup
    See Plans See Plans

    NordVPN seems cheaper than ExpressVPN, but you must check the fine print. To renew a 2-year plan, you should expect to pay almost triple the original price to continue using your NordVPN subscription. For an annual plan, the renewal fee is just over double the original price (which is still quite a lot).

    So while you might enjoy savings on your initial subscription, NordVPN is not the cheapest long-term option.

    Screenshot emphasizing NordVPN's subscription costs increasing after the first 2 yearsNordVPN plans are more expensive in the long run

    On the other hand, ExpressVPN's plans have no subsequent price hikes— what you see is what you get. I signed up for the 12-month plan as a new customer, you even get 3 months free.

    You can try NordVPN and ExpressVPN confidently since both come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    The refund process for both VPNs is straightforward. To cancel ExpressVPN, simply log into your account, contact customer support via the 24/7 live chat, and claim a refund. The whole cancelation and refund approval process takes about 10 minutes. The customer rep said I’d get my money back within 5-7 business days, but I got it after 2 days.

    Claiming a NordVPN refund is equally easy. Log into your account, find the live chat button, and request a refund. You can also cancel via email, though the approval might take longer. It took me just 4 days to see the money in my bank account, but it could take up to 10 business days.

    Winner
    If you’re planning to invest in a VPN long-term, ExpressVPN is a safer option since you know it won’t hike prices on renewal. That said, if you only want a VPN for a short period, then NordVPN might be a better solution.

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    ExpressVPN is better thanks to its global server network, speed, and privacy policy. It was faster and more consistent across all our tests and is the top choice for high-performance and overall reliability.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    ExpressVPN is best for torrenting because of its slightly faster download speeds, and all its servers are P2P optimized. However, both VPNs offer an easy-to-use split tunneling function that allows you to whitelist regular traffic and only encrypt the P2P traffic coming in and out of your torrenting client.

    Best VPN for Windows

    NordVPN is better because of its flawless integrations with all Windows operating systems — Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. You can even use the Double Hop feature. And its SmartPlay technology enhances the streaming capability for older and slower PCs, so content streams are always fast and smooth.

    Best VPN for Android

    ExpressVPN comes out on top with its robust security features for Android. Protection Summary provides another layer of encrypted protection by letting you know when your IP address is safeguarded by the VPN. While the Security Assistant provides recommendations on how you can better protect your online privacy. I especially like Data Breach Alert, which notifies you as soon as your email address is associated with a known data breach.

    Best VPN for Mac

    ExpressVPN is better because you can customize the protocol to find which works best for you, including its proprietary Lightway protocol for superfast speeds. Also, there's a shortcut feature to quickly launch websites and apps whenever you connect. However, NordVPN does offer something similar called Presets.

    Best VPN for iOS

    NordVPN wins this category because its iOS app is clean, minimal, and designed for maximum ease. It includes Siri integration to help you instantly connect to one of the app’s 5507+ servers.

    Best VPN for USA

    ExpressVPN is more reliable for accessing American content with servers in over 23+ US locations. You’ll be able to bypass geo-restrictions on all popular US streaming sites worldwide, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Max.

    Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

    The Bottom Line

    Even though it’s slightly more expensive in the short term, ExpressVPN’s consistently fast speeds, reliable no-logs policy, and ability to work in China make it the ultimate winner. Plus, it has a 30-days money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN risk-free.

    NordVPN is still a good choice, especially if you’re not looking for a long-term solution. Remember that its prices triple after the first 2 years, and its no-logging policy is less reliable.

    FAQ

    Is ExpressVPN better than NordVPN?

    Yes, ExpressVPN is overall better than NordVPN. It has servers in more countries, slightly faster speeds, and a custom router app so you can easily protect all your WiFi-connected devices. Plus, ExpressVPN won't share your data with anyone, and you can use it in China without problems. Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $6.67/month a month.

    Is ExpressVPN faster than NordVPN?

    Yes, ExpressVPN is slightly faster than NordVPN — ideal for streaming and gaming. It also provides unlimited bandwidth, and all its servers are P2P optimized. So, you won't experience any slowdowns when downloading large files.

    Does ExpressVPN or NordVPN offer any deals?

    Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer deals on occasion. For the best savings, check out the latest VPN coupons and discounts. You can get 49% off on a long-term ExpressVPN subscription, plus 3 months free.

    What is the difference between ExpressVPN and NordVPN?

    ExpressVPN and NordVPN are two of the best VPNs in the market, but they have some key differences. First, ExpressVPN has servers across more countries and works in China. Both VPNs have excellent security, but NordVPN has more features. However, ExpressVPN offers better privacy since it doesn’t log or share any of your data, even when requested by governments.

    Overall, they are both highly reputable VPN providers, and ultimately, the best one for you depends on your specific needs and priorities.

    Do ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer a free trial?

    NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial, but it is only available on Android. If you want to try either VPN on any device, you can do so risk-free since NordVPN and ExpressVPN have reliable money-back guarantees.

    Which VPN works better for smart TV — ExpressVPN or NordVPN?

    ExpressVPN is the best option for your smart TV for several reasons. First, MediaStreamer makes ExpressVPN easier to set up on your smart TV than NordVPN. It also has native support for most routers, so you can use it on any WiFi-connected device, including smart TVs. Finally, ExpressVPN has slightly better speeds, crucial for uninterrupted UHD streaming.

    Is ExpressVPN better for accessing the dark web than NordVPN?

    No, NordVPN is better for accessing the dark web. While both support Tor over VPN, NordVPN has more advanced security features, such as Double VPN and ad and malware blocker. ExpressVPN lacks these features, which can help keep you safer on the dark web.

    Is ExpressVPN safer than NordVPN?

    Both VPNs are generally safe, but NordVPN offers more security features, including specialized security servers, double VPN, dedicated IP addresses, download scanning, and malware blocking. That said, ExpressVPN is a robust VPN that will protect your online privacy.

    Which VPN has the best no-logs policy — ExpressVPN or NordVPN?

    ExpressVPN has the best no-logs policy. While both VPNs claim they won’t log your data, NordVPN stated that it will log user data and share it with authorities if mandated by international laws and regulations. Therefore, ExpressVPN is your best bet if privacy is your biggest concern.

    Is ExpressVPN better than NordVPN for gaming?

    ExpressVPN is better than NordVPN when it comes to gaming for a couple of reasons. First, it generally has lower ping on most servers, which is crucial for gaming without lag. It also has servers in more countries, allowing you to access your games from anywhere when traveling.

    Which is easier to use — ExpressVPN or NordVPN?

    Both VPNs have intuitive apps that most people will find easy to navigate. However, ExpressVPN’s list-based interface is a bit easier to use compared to NordVPN’s map-based interface. Ultimately, however, determining which VPN is easier to use is a matter of personal preference.

    We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
    Learn more
    vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

    About the Author

    Kelvin is a writer and cyber-safety researcher at vpnMentor, whose expertise in the latest online security tools aids readers in keeping them safe from hackers and online snoops.