As of 2021, ExpressVPN vs NordVPN is probably the two most well-known and reputable VPN services on the market. However, choosing one for another isn’t that easy. At first glance, they look pretty much similar.
After testing the speed, Netflix availability, torrenting/P2P, customer support, usability, and vulnerabilities, we found out that there are some differences. There’s also a big difference in their subscription cost which indicates towards NordVPN as the more affordable option but let’s take a more in-depth look.
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Plans, Pricing, and Trials
ExpressVPN opens with a one-month plan priced at $12.95, and that’s knocked down to $9.99 a month if you opt for a six-month program. NordVPN only offers one plan lasting under a year, which is one month for $11.95 or $9.00/pm if you sign up for half a year.
However, everything starts to get quite a bit cheaper if you sign up for longer. ExpressVPN’s cheapest is the year-long plan, which currently offers three extra months free, bringing the monthly cost down to only $6.67.
The star of the show is NordVPN’s two-year plan, though, which is currently being offered at only $3.71 a month. That’s excellent value, so long as you don’t mind committing that little bit longer.
Both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Privacy
NordVPN and ExpressVPN both tote impressive privacy credentials. Both offer Whole Forward Secrecy, meaning that even if one session is compromised, your next will be protected again through the use of a different key.
Both also require to block DNS leaks, and our tests backed this up. However, ExpressVPN runs its own zero-knowledge, 256-bit encrypted DNS on everything its servers. Keeping that sort of work under its roof is a good sign.
NordVPN offers some excellent features like Onion over VPN and a double VPN system, but unfortunately, the 2018 server hack still leaves a bit of a sour taste.
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Performance
Now onto something that you’ll notice day-to-day. The performance of a VPN is crucial – if your connection is lessened to a crawl, there’s not much point in being connected at all.
From our 75Mb UK test line, ExpressVPN saw only a 5-6% reduction in speeds, while NordVPN fared slightly worse with cuts of 6-8%. Both very respectable figures, though.
On our 600Mb US test line, ExpressVPN averaged 200-250Mb, with the lowest figure of 157Mb. While NordVPN peaked at 300Mb, we experienced more fluctuation in connection speed, with it bottoming out at 125Mb.
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Streaming
A primary reason many might consider getting a VPN is to access geo-blocked streaming services. If that’s you, this is a crucial comparison in making your choice.
ExpressVPN explicitly states which websites it can unblock for you – a bold move as these services are continually battling to restrict VPN access. However, ExpressVPN backs these claims up, unblocking every one of our tested Netflix servers, YouTube, and the notoriously tricky BBC iPlayer.
NordVPN doesn’t explicitly require to unblock any specific sites, although it does imply that it’ll give you access to ‘entertainment content’. That being said, it successfully freed every Netflix location we tried, and YouTube too.
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Support
Even experts can have difficulties with VPNs – there’s a lot to go wrong – so having an effective support service can mean the difference between solving an issue in minutes and never using an application again.
ExpressVPN’s list of troubleshooting guides is long and simple to navigate. There’s very little jargon, and it will show to be useful to even the greenest VPN user.
Although NordVPN’s list of advice articles is long, it’s not nearly as simple to work with. However, once you find what you’re looking for, the information is well-presented and useful.
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Which One is Reliable to Use?
It was a tough battle, and scalps were taken on both sides. However, as the dust settles, it’s easy to see why ExpressVPN pips Nord in our guide to the overall most reliable VPN services.
A worthy contender, NordVPN is a powerful service that offers a lot that others don’t, but for us, ExpressVPN is on balance the healthier choice. You can sign up for ExpressVPN by directing it to its website.
With great apps, strong privacy, excellent unblocking capabilities, and an unfailing commitment to making everything as easy as possible to use, ExpressVPN is a full, polished package – and is definitely worth the small extra cost if you can afford it.
Both NordVPN and Express VPN are highly recommended, but ultimately we think ExpressVPN is the better option. ExpressVPN wins this comparison against NordVPN thanks to a flawless security record, high speeds, and excellent compatibility with popular streaming services.
NordVPN is still a perfect choice for those who want a VPN with a lower monthly cost. The larger number of server locations available with ExpressVPN may mean that you would need to choose this service over NordVPN if the countries that you want to appear to be in aren’t on the NordVPN server list.