Without much hesitation, it could be said that ExpressVPN and NordVPN are the champions of the VPN industry. Both of these VPN solutions offer great value and plenty of highly advanced options. However, this is also what makes it hard to choose between the two. So, we are going to help you with this by comparing these two providers. Welcome to our ExpressVPN Vs NordVPN comparison!
When we reviewed ExpressVPN, it was hard to imagine another VPN service rising to the same levels. ExpressVPN is user-friendly in the extreme, polished from top to bottom, and offers exceptional customer service. Then, we reviewed NordVPN, and suddenly we were torn. NordVPN goes toe-to-toe with ExpressVPN in usability but also offers a wider range of features to customize and enhance your VPN experience.
First, here’s a breakdown of the most important aspects of ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Take a look at the following table to compare their biggest features.
|Device Support||Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Routers, Browser Extensions.||Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Routers, Browser Extensions.|
|Prominent Features||Split-tunneling; Kill-switch; Tough Encryption; Privacy Protection.||CyberSec shield; Double encryption; Skill-switch.|
|Server Network||2,000+ servers in 90+ countries.||5,000+ servers in 60+ countries.|
|Logging Policy||Strict no-logs policy.||Strict no-logs policy.|
|Encryption||AES-256; OpenVPN; IKEv2; L2TP; SSTP; PPTP.||AES-256; OpenVPN; IKEv2/IPsec.|
|Privacy||Zero-knowledge DNS.||DNS leak protection.|
|Speed||Above average; Can unblock throttled connections.||Average; Some throttling can occur.|
|Number of Devices||Up to 3 devices.||Up to 6 devices.|
Next, take a look at the final scores from our reviews of these two VPN providers. Then, keep on reading to dive deep into the specifics.
|Installation & Setup||10/10||10/10|
|Prominent (Unique) Features||10/10||8/10|
|Ease of Use||9/10||9/10|
|Security & Privacy||10/10||10/10|
We had no choice but to create the ultimate head-to-head to find out which VPN deserves to sit on the throne. So, keep on reading our ExpressVPN Vs NordVPN comparison.
ExpressVPN Vs NordVPN: Head-To-Head Comparison
Just like in our reviews of these two VPN giants, we’ll be taking a look at every important aspect of using a VPN service. This means starting with a list of supported devices, prominent features, and installation, up to performance and customer service.
Depending on how many devices you want to connect to the Web, you need to be careful when picking a provider. Lucky for you, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN deliver what their promise.
- ExpressVPN: This VPN provider is based on the OpenVPN protocol, which ensures broad system compatibility. You can count on a wide range of native apps that can be installed on all popular desktop and mobile operating systems. There are also apps for Linux and even Blackberry. Of course, OpenVPN ensures that ExpressVPN can be installed even on VPN-compatible routers.
- NordVPN: When it comes to supported devices, NordVPN does not disappoint. It offers highly polished apps for every popular platform out there. And since OpenVPN is present, you can even install in on your router. Needless to say, there aren’t any bundled applications and the entire installation process is quite simple.
Winner: It’s hard to pick a winner in this category since both of these VPNs are present on pretty much any platform. If we really want to nitpick, we’d go with ExpressVPN since it brings hugely helpful installation guides on its official website.
Installation & Setup
Next, let’s take a look at how easy it is to install these VPN clients. After all, you want to begin using a secure connection without any hassle.
- ExpressVPN: After signing up for a new ExpressVPN account, you can proceed to download the app. It doesn’t contain any bloatware and takes very little hard drive space. You can install and begin using the application in less than a few minutes. The same applies to desktop and mobile devices. It’s also worth noting that ExpressVPN comes with numerous helpful guides that show how to install this VPN on a wide range of devices, including routers.
- NordVPN: Just like its biggest competitor, NordVPN brings a highly polished installation method. The installation file is quite small so you don’t have to have a fast Web connection. Aside from desktop and mobile devices, NordVPN can be installed on compatible routers. However, we feel that this VPN provider should have invested more time in coming up with instructions and tutorials. Some of those are quite basic, making you turn to their support team for answers.
Winner: Once again, picking a clear winner is quite hard. However, we have to say that both ExpressVPN and NordVPN bring equally simple installation. Even complete newbies won’t have a hard time.
Our next category of the ExpressVPN Vs NordVPN comparison contains the most prominent features. Take a look.
- ExpressVPN: The best thing we can say about ExpressVPN is that it just works. It is rock-solid, reliable, and nails the fundamentals. Aside from that, you’ll get to use a highly polished kill-switch as well as all currently available VPN protocols. And when it comes to the most advanced features, ExpressVPN brings split-tunneling. Where this VPN truly shines is the way it lets you handle these features. It’s not overly simple but even inexperienced users will be able to dive into advanced security-related technologies.
- NordVPN: NordVPN, on the other hand, is almost overflowing with features. We’ve talked about the Kill Switch, Double VPN, and Onion servers but that’s just the start. There are special obfuscation servers, anti-DDoS servers, a paid option for dedicated IP servers. However, NordVPN might be overly simple for experienced users as it tends to oversimplify things.
Winner: In case you want just the right balance of simplicity and complexity, you need to go for ExpressVPN. If you really don’t care about advanced features and the ability to fine-tune them, NordVPN is a good option.
Ease of Use
Both VPNs have exceptional user interfaces, and they cater to almost every type of device under the sun. They’ve both invested a lot of time into refining their designs and making sure the experience is consistent across all clients and even their websites.
- ExpressVPN: This provider has a simple and elegant design, with no clutter to speak of. The main screen has a big, bold power button that will connect to a Smart Location. With a single click or tap of that power button, you can connect to the web anonymously, without needing to mess around in settings or have a deeper knowledge. If you do choose to pick your own server location, there is a short list of recommended servers to try, or the full list of ExpressVPN’s global army of servers. There’s no immediate way to know what server to choose, but you can run a speed test (it will take about five minutes) on all the servers to determine the fastest options. And finally, ExpressVPN is limited to just three simultaneous connections, although their router client will protect every device connected to it.
- NordVPN: This VPN greets you with a stylishly designed map of the world and a connection wizard that will find the best server for your specific need (like P2P or security). We absolutely adore how NordVPN organizes its servers into types and countries. It is always happy to make life simple by connecting you to the best server, but it also gives you the freedom to click on a country or type and get an overview of those available servers. You’ll find distance and server load to help you make the perfect manual choice. NordVPN allows double the amount of simultaneous connections (six), so you should be able to install it on pretty much every device that you own. And have a slot or two available for your friends.
Winner: Both VPNs offer exceptional ease of use, but ExpressVPN digs beneath the surface level to provide a richer experience. They are both exceptional, but ExpressVPN edges it. The only downside that it provider 3 simultaneous connections.
Knowing the number of servers you’ll have at your disposal is a good thing. However, you also need to know in what way these servers are distributed. To check other options, take a look at our article on VPNs with the highest number of servers.
- ExpressVPN: This provider manages a network of over 2,000 servers spread across 90+ countries. This is more than enough to meet your every need. Also, you get to test the speed of each server and pick the one with the best result. This translates to a pleasurable media streaming experience and can be especially helpful if you want to download large files.
- NordVPN: Without any doubt, NordVPN is the most powerful VPN in terms of servers. It has more than 5,000 servers spread across the globe. Interestingly enough, this doesn’t translate to a throttle-free experience. Since double-encryption is involved, you’ll be using two secure servers at any moment. Therefore, some throttling is still present.
Winner: Even though it doesn’t have as many as NordVPN has, ExpressVPN should meet your every need. Having 2,000+ highly optimized servers in all the strategic places is the way to go, especially if you’re getting a flawless performance.
Security and privacy are great but not when they come at the cost of speed. If you’re going to connect to servers on the other side of the world, you’re going to experience slower speeds, but a great VPN will minimize the slowdown. To check out other options, here’s our overview of the fastest VPN providers.
- ExpressVPN: There are two ways to connect to a remote server via ExpressVPN. You can run a speed test and then connect to a server manually. Or, you can let the application decide which server works the best in any given moment. As a result, you’ll experience throttle-free Web browsing and media streaming. In case you have a fast connection, to begin with, 4K streaming is not an unreachable dream.
- NordVPN: This VPN prioritized security of performance (speed). By default, you’ll get to use double-encryption that will keep your data 110% safe. However, this setup might be on overkill for average home users. And as a result, some throttling will happen. Still, you need to know that NordVPN ranks high when it comes to speed tests.
Winner: When it comes to performance and speed, our ExpressVPN Vs NordVPN comparison shows that it hard to choose between the two – if you’re an average user who just wants to browse the Web. For more demanding uses, like media streaming, the choice is clear – and that’s ExpressVPN.
Security & Privacy
Privacy and security are the main reasons why people turn to VPNs. Thankfully you can rest easy knowing that by using ExpressVPN or NordVPN, you are in safe hands.
- ExpressVPN: Aside from the standard VPN features, ExpressVPN has a very powerful Kill-Switch that prevent data leaks when your VPN connection drops. Then, you can utilize different VPN protocols, depending on if you want to prioritize speed or security. And finally, you should know that ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Isles – so you have laws protecting your private information.
- NordVPN: The flagship feature of NordVPN is double encryption, which is something you won’t find elsewhere. This means that you shouldn’t have any concerns when it comes to privacy. However, there is one small mark against NordVPN – the Kill Switch doesn’t disconnect your network connection. Instead, it shuts down applications at your choosing. Having our browser shut down every time we disconnected from the VPN was not fun. Luckily, the development team is working on a solution.
Winner: Once again, ExpressVPN is one step ahead of its biggest competitor. Even though both of these will keep you safe and sound online, ExpressVPN wins this round.
We were very impressed by the levels of support that both VPNs offer to subscribers. No matter which one to pick, you’ll receive answers to your question. The only difference here is how long you’ll need to wait to get an answer.
- ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN was lightning fast in responding via live chat (which is 24/7) and via form submission on their website. You may not even need to talk to anyone because their website contains plenty of tutorials and guides to help you set up, resolve, and explain just about everything related to the service.
- NordVPN: As good as ExpressVPN’s live chat was, we were even more impressed with NordVPN. Their support members were just as fast and we didn’t feel like they were reading from a script. However, responses to our form submissions took much longer (six hours versus ExpressVPN’s one hour) during our testing period. They also have a great support section on the website, but it’s not quite as comprehensive.
Winner: When you get stuck and need a hand, ExpressVPN is doing the most to help you get back on track.
ExpressVPN and NordVPN are maybe two of the more expensive VPN offerings, but having spent a lot of time with both, we feel that they are worth every penny.
- ExpressVPN: At the moment, the most affordable plan of this VPN provider will cost you $99.95 per year. For that money, you will receive full protection without any caveats. This means having access to 24/7 customer support and using the application without any bandwidth limitations. ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and you can use it on up to three devices at the same time.
- NordVPN: This provider’s most affordable plan is priced at $69.00 per year. On occasion, there are special deals that bring two-year and even three-year subscriptions. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee and you can connect up to 6 accounts at the same time.
Winner: It is clear that NordVPN is the more affordable option here. So, if you have a certain budget and don’t want to go over it, this VPN will most probably meet your needs.
ExpressVPN Vs NordVPN: Which One to Pick?
ExpressVPN and NordVPN are, in our opinion, the best of the best. You can’t go wrong with whichever choice you make, but there can be only one winner, and that is ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN has the looks of a champion and delivers the anonymity and security that you’d want from a quality VPN service. It’s just as easy to use as NordVPN (newbie-friendly) but also offers deeper functionality for those who want a bit more control over their VPN. Even though NordVPN is more affordable, it doesn’t really offer the same level of service or functionality as ExpressVPN does. So, go ahead and sign-up for ExpressVPN today. You won’t regret it!
Dear readers, that would be all when it comes to our ExpressVPN Vs NordVPN comparison. In case you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below. We’ll do our best to respond to your question in a timely manner.