NordVPN vs ExpressVPN - Which service should you choose

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN differ in various aspects of their service, including price, features, security protocols, and more. It's important to know these differences before making your decision and subscribing to one of these services.

In this article, we have pitted these two services against each other to pinpoint the main differences, so you can easily choose the best VPN for you

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN - Which is best?

After testing these two VPNs, we have a winner. 

  1. ExpressVPN - It's better than NordVPN, because It's faster, it unblocks almost everything, has more server locations, and it's secure.
  2. NordVPN - Although it's second best to ExpressVPN, it has more features and it's the cheaper of the two.

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Which is cheaper?

Express Nord
1-Month Plan: $12.95  1-Month Plan: $11.95
6-Month Plan: $9.99 per month  6-Month Plan: Not available
1-Year Plan:  $8.32 per month  1-Year Plan: $6.99 per month
2-Year Plan: None  2-Year Plan: $3.99 per month 
3-Year Plan: None   3-Year Plan: $2.99 per month

NordVPN starts at just $2.99 per month, which is ludicrously cheap. To qualify for that bargain price, you will need to commit to a three-year subscription. However, doing so is an extremely good idea.

A subscription to ExpressVPN starts at $8.32 per month, which is almost triple what Nord charges. That ExpressVPN subscription plan is for a single year, and it costs a total of $99.95 which must be paid annually. NordVPN, on the other hand, costs $107 in total - billed once every three years. That means that for just 7 dollars more you get two extra years of VPN usage with NordVPN.

Result

NordVPN is 63% cheaper than ExpressVPN. This service becomes extremely cheap if you opt for a long-term contract.

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What service is faster?

This weeks Speed test data.

Having lightning-fast connection speeds is essential if you want a VPN for downloading or streaming in HD. We test all major VPNs 3 times a day, 7 days a week using our custom-built speed testing platform. This data is shown in the graph above.

The good news is that both NordVPN and ExpressVPN have consistently fast servers, perfect for streaming in HD.

Result

On average, ExpressVPN is around 21% faster than NordVPN. However, we test VPN speeds regularly to find out the fastest VPNs on the market, the data in the graph above is from this week's tests. As a result, this may show a different figure.

Which unblock streaming services?

Express Nord
 Netflix US: Yes  Netflix US: Yes
 BBC iPlayer: Yes  BBC iPlayer: Yes

Both services have servers located in the US that provide access to the largest Netflix catalog on earth. So if you want to watch more Netflix - you can opt for either service and you will be successful. 

Nord has the edge when it comes to unlocking regional libraries, so if you are looking to unlock other Netflix catalogs, NordVPN might be the better option.

Result

Both providers are capable of unblocking Netflix content from other regions. They will also let you unblock other popular streaming services, such as iPlayer, hulu, Amazon Prime and more. If you want a VPN to unblock more content, both of them will do the trick.

Which is better for torrenting?

Express Nord
 Yes - allows torrenting  Yes - allows torrenting

NordVPN specifically mentions torrenting and has servers that are labeled for P2P. ExpressVPN opts not to mention it at all and permits torrenting on all servers. Neither service provides port forwarding.

Result

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN permit downloading via P2P on all of their servers. They both also have excellent security features which are desired by torrent users, such as kill switches and no-logs policies.

Which has better customer support?

Express Nord
 Live chat: 24/7 Live chat: 24/7 
 Email support: 24/7 Email support: 24/7
 FAQs: Yes FAQs: Yes
 Guides: Yes Guides: Yes

NordVPN won the ProPrivacy 2020 Customer Service Awards, but the gap between these two providers has become much narrower in recent months. ExpressVPN and NordVPN have both proven themselves to be excellent at customer support. Not only do they have guides, blogs, and FAQs on their websites, but they also provide responsive live chat services that can help you solve any problem. 

Result

Both providers offer excellent 24/7 customer support in the form of a live chat on their website. They also offer users extensive guides so you to help you set up your VPN.

Which has more features?

Express Nord
No logs No logs
Money-back guarantee Money-back guarantee
DNS leak protection DNS leak protection
OpenVPN encryption OpenVPN encryption
Killswitch Killswitch
Obfuscated servers Obfuscated servers
Browser extensions Browser extensions
Apps for all platforms Apps for all platforms
Simultaneous connections: 5 Simultaneous connections: 6
Split tunneling Double-hop encryption
N/A  VPN into Tor

While both ExpressVPN and NordVPN share important features, NordVPN has some unusual features such as double-hop encryption and VPN into Tor. It also permits users to connect to the service with 6 devices as opposed to 5 with ExpressVPN.

Result

NordVPN has a larger set of features, including some rare ones that few VPNs provide such as dedicated IPs. However, both have excellent privacy features including Obfuscated servers also known as stealth servers, DNS leak protection, and military-grade OpenVPN encryption.

Which has more servers?

Express Nord
 94 countries  62 countries

To be fair, both have servers in all the most popular locations, so the added servers that ExpressVPN provides will probably only be of interest to extremely specific users. If that is you, opt for ExpressVPN!

Result

ExpressVPN has more servers than Nord, providing servers in 94+ countries, vs Nord VPNs who have servers in around 60 countries. Both providers have servers based in popular locations such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, and more. 

Which is easier to use?

Express Nord
Windows: Yes Windows: Yes
macOS: Yes macOS: Yes 
Android: Yes Android: Yes
iOS: Yes iOS: Yes
Chrome: Yes Chrome: Yes
Firefox: Yes Firefox: Yes

When it comes to user experience both these services have fantastic VPN software for all platforms. Both are easy to navigate and altering the settings is easy. We call it a draw.

Result

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN have custom VPN apps that are extremely easy to use. These apps are available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. Express also has a command-line Linux client.

Which is better for privacy and security?

Express Nord
 Cipher: AES-256-CBC   Cipher: AES-256-CBC 
 Handshake: RSA-3072   Handshake: RSA-2048 
 Auth: HMAC SHA-256   Auth: HMAC SHA-256 
 PFS: Yes  PFS: Yes

Both services have strong enough encryption to protect your data for a long time into the future (future-proof).

Result

ExpressVPN and NordVPN both offer industry-leading security and privacy features. However, NordVPN admitted to being hacked last year, which has been detrimental to its reputation of being a secure VPN service.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN - The winner

  1. ExpressVPN - It's better than NordVPN, because It's faster, it unblocks almost everything, has more server locations, and it's secure.
  2. NordVPN - Although it's second best to ExpressVPN, it has more features and it's the cheaper of the two.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

5 Comments

Arley Green
on November 15, 2019
Reply
NordVPN 6.25 Error Do I turn off the update ?
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Arley Green
on November 15, 2019
Reply
Hi Arley. You should contact NordVPN's 24/7 support for help with this.
Justice
on November 15, 2019
Reply
I asked NordVPN: The update was released on November 6th. As of November 12, the website still has an older version :) NordVPN 6.25 (latest) NordVPN 6.24 https://nordvpn.com/blog/nordvpn-windows-release-notes/ NordVPN's answer: Thank you for your letter. The recent update version 6.25 seems to have some functionality issues for some of our users, that is why we are currently working on a fix pack for this update, which should be available relatively soon. This is the reason we do not update our website with the most recent version of our application and are offering version 6.24. Let us know if you have any other questions. Best Regards, Customer Success Team
Mike
on August 18, 2019
Reply
ExpressVPN has SPLIT TUNNELING. NordVPN doesn't have one.
Doesnmatter
on August 7, 2019
Reply
You did not discuss ad-blocking, tracking and malware protection.
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