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ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: 2023

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor

    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 able to 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 around the world, it’s less reliable for streaming, and it recently made some questionable changes to its privacy policy. Find out more below.

    Try ExpressVPN Risk-Free

    Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

    ExpressVPN NordVPN
    ⭐ Overall Rating Rated: 9.9/10
    www.ExpressVPN.com
    Rated: 9.9/10
    www.NordVPN.com
    💲 Lowest Monthly Price $6.67/month with 3 months of service free on a 1-year plan $3.49/month only on your first 2-year subscription
    🗓️ Price on Renewal $99.95 per year $99.48 per year
    🤑 Coupons ExpressVPN 49% Off (15-month plan) NordVPN 45% Off (20-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 94 countries with 3,000 servers 60 countries with 5,384 servers
    ⚡ Speed 2% speed drop, ideal for 4K streaming 14% speed drop
    🎮 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 Yes
    #️⃣ Number of Device Connections 5 6
    💻 Device Compatibility Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, 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 unblocking platforms. However, NordVPN used to have issues unblocking Netflix US in the past, and there were also a few occasions when some servers wouldn’t unblock specific sites, such as Amazon Prime Video and HBO 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

    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 access 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 serverWith NordVPN, I could continue watching NCIS on Netflix US without buffering

    Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN also offer smart DNS solutions that allow you to stream global content on devices incompatible with VPNs. Smart DNS services bypass geoblocks by hiding your real location but differ from a VPN in that your traffic won’t be encrypted.

    ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature works across various devices that aren’t compatible with VPNs. What I find immensely helpful are the step-by-step instructions that walk you through the smart DNS setup for numerous devices like LG TVs, Apple TV, Playstation, routers, Windows, Amazon Fire TV, Nintendo Switch, and more.

    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 it 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.
    Visit ExpressVPN >

    Server Network — ExpressVPN Is Available in 50% More Countries

    ExpressVPN NordVPN
    Total countries with servers 94 60
    Number of Servers 3,000+ 5,384

    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.

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

    Winner
    ExpressVPN's servers are distributed worldwide in 94 countries, so you won't have a problem finding one to access the content you need. NordVPN's network is mainly limited to Europe and North America.
    Visit ExpressVPN >

    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 Hong Kong.

    My average download speed without a VPN was 55.06 Mbps, and my average upload speed without a VPN was 71.73 Mbps. I got the best results using each VPN’s proprietary protocol — ExpressVPN’s Lightway and NordVPN’s NordLynx.

    Screenshot of ExpressVPN speed test using Lightway ProtocolI experienced only a 1.4% speed drop when using ExpressVPN’s best server option and Lightway protocol Screenshot of NordVPN speed test using NordLynx ProtocolNordVPN’s best server option with NordLynx did not disappoint — my speed was reduced by only 14.43%

    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 US server 53.30 Mbps 41.39 Mbps 83.44 Mbps 56.29 Mbps
    Connected to a UK server 58.20 Mbps 47.62 Mbps 50.24 Mbps 73.29 Mbps
    Connected to a Hong Kong server 55.34 Mbps 55.56 Mbps 82.19 Mbps 68.49 Mbps
    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 Lag-Free Gaming

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

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

    ExpressVPN (Lightway) NordVPN (NordLynx)
    Quick Connect 61 ms 12 ms
    Connected to a US server 107 ms 295 ms
    Connected to a UK server 50 ms 147 ms
    Connected to a Hong Kong server 270 338

    While its best server option gave the lowest ping at 12 ms, NordVPN didn’t fare well on UK 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 serverEnjoy first-person shooter games with a lower ping when using ExpressVPN
    Winner
    With low ping rates on local servers and US and UK locations, ExpressVPN is great for fast-paced shooter games. Even though NordVPN’s Quick Connect option recorded the fastest gaming speed, it didn’t do very well when choosing a server in another country.
    Visit ExpressVPN >

    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 (VPN traffic appearing as normal traffic) 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 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 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 CyberSec. It blocks annoying ads and warns you if you try to access a malware-ridden site. ExpressVPN recently released a new 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 and a Dark Web Monitor that continuously scans sites on the dark web for your personal information, so it doesn't get exploited.

    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.
    Visit NordVPN >

    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 has 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.

    On the other hand, 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. NordVPN accepts payments in 8 cryptocurrencies, whereas ExpressVPN only accepts payments in 2.

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

    Works in China — ExpressVPN Is The More Reliable Choice

    Both VPNs work in China, but ExpressVPN is more consistent when unblocking 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.

    Another drawback of NordVPN is that it requires you to manually configure it to work in China. I had to contact customer service for configuration instructions, which involved turning off the CyberSec feature and disabling location services. All of this was rather frustrating and time-consuming.

    Winner
    ExpressVPN is the preferred VPN for China as it leaves less room for error and doesn’t require manual configuration.
    Visit ExpressVPN >

    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 the countries ExpressVPN is located in. 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.

    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.

    The mobile app displays the server list and the preference tabs at the bottom, with the map at the top. Both app versions have a quick connect button that automatically connects you to the best available server.

    Screenshot of NordVPN's interface with a world map of serversNordVPN’s visually appealing world map allows you to click on a marker to connect to a server in that location

    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.

    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. For emails, ExpressVPN took 1 hour and 53 minutes to respond to my email about installing MediaStreamer. In contrast, NordVPN took 3 hours and 37 minutes to reply to my email about customizing servers for China.

    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, such as 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.
    • Server networks — VPNs with extensive server networks worldwide are preferable because they give you more ways to get around geo-restrictions. Plus, servers are less likely to become overcrowded, resulting in faster 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Matthew Amos
    Matthew Amos

    Senior Editor

    10.0/10

    ExpressVPN is one of the safest, fastest VPNs around, but the one drawback has always been the price. It often offers discounts that make it more affordable, but there are other decent VPNs offering similar security features for much cheaper. So, do you really need to pay so much for a VPN as good as ExpressVPN? To find the answer, I performed extensive tests on desktop and mobile devices run...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    T
    Trygve
    10.0/10
    Fantastic VPN

    I have just started using ExpressVPN and I must say that I was very impressed by how user-friendly it ... was and how easy it was to set up on the different devices I have at home. I also tested their customer service with chat and they were quick to respond and I got good help. I can recommend this productMore

    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 Kristina Perunicic
    Kristina Perunicic

    Managing Editor

    10.0/10

    On the surface, NordVPN looks like a really impressive service. It claims to have a huge global server network, the ability to unblock tons of streaming platforms, and iron-clad security and privacy features. Plus, you can get it all for just $3.49/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...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    J
    John Hoy
    10.0/10
    Best documentation was easy to understand

    I came from Surfshark which never worked correctly. I had to run from the browser extension with supp... ort telling me it was my network that was causing the problem. That was rubbish. I set Nord up and had it running in a short time from the documentation. I only had to ask support about accessing more servers than just the one I saw. Great product.More

    Latest negative user review
    D
    Dax
    6.0/10
    Average service, some nice features, rubbish support

    Basic features work really well. Basically. I liked the feature that when Nord crashes (as it seems to...  do monthly) it will shut other apps so they aren't exposed. My subscription is based in Australia. Found downloads peak at about 1-1.5Mb/s, which is ok as long as you aren't playing online games. Don't go for the frills (though hard not to when they gamify them). I canceled my subscription because I added the Kill switch and then MFA. Nek Minnit I can't even log in. No way to remove the Kill switch without logging in. Uninstalled, reinstalled no joy. Went to the help page, and it redirected me to up my subscription as the only solution. No chatbot where I am. and I don't have an email app so couldn't email help. After a couple of hours of mucking around. Gave up and went to a competitor. Note: if I hadn't played with the security settings, I would still be with Nord. But if I can't log in, it's a dead service to me.More

    Pricing

    ExpressVPN NordVPN
    Starting Price $6.67/month $3.49/month
    Price (On Renewal) $99.95 per year $99.48 per year
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 days 30 days
    Number of devices per license 5 6
    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 under 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. If you sign 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.

    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.
    Visit ExpressVPN >

    Best VPN by category

    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.

    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.

    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.

    ExpressVPN comes out on top with its newly launched 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.

    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.

    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.

    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 HBO Max.

    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 bypass the toughest geoblocks make it the ultimate winner. Plus, it comes with 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. Just keep in mind that its prices triple after the first two years, and its no-logging policy is not nearly as 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 access Netflix US 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 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 a 49% off a long-term ExpressVPN subscription, plus 3 months free.