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NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Which one is best?

Which VPN reigns supreme? Dive into our NordVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison to find out.
By
March 31, 2023
ExpressVPN app stock photos 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Regarding virtual private networks (VPNs), NordVPN and ExpressVPN are two of the most reputable options for users seeking enhanced online security, especially when using public Wi-Fi or managing online accounts. Both VPNs offer high-speed, encrypted internet access through thousands of global servers. However, choosing between them can be tricky since they have unique features and benefits. In this NordVPN vs ExpressVPN showdown, we’ll compare pricing, features, locations, security, and speed to help you decide which VPN best fits your home or business.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: How do they compare?

NordVPN and ExpressVPN are well-established VPN providers known for their robust security, impressive speeds, and extensive global server networks. While they share many similarities, they also have distinct differences that set them apart.

Here’s a quick look at how each VPN service compares:

NordVPNExpressVPN
Monthly price
NordVPN
$12.99/month
ExpressVPN
$12.95/month
Encryption
NordVPN
AES with 256-bit keys
ExpressVPN
AES with 256-bit keys
Free trial
NordVPN
30 days
ExpressVPN
30 days
Compatibility
NordVPN
Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Android TV, Firetvstick, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch
ExpressVPN
Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, LG TV, Samsung TV, Apple TV, Firetvstick, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch
Dedicated IP
NordVPN
$5.83 (monthly) or $70 (annually)
ExpressVPN
None offered
Max no. of devices
NordVPN
6
ExpressVPN
5
Server locations
NordVPN
60+
ExpressVPN
160
Customer support
NordVPN
24/7
ExpressVPN
24/7

Pricing

NordVPN Standard

  • One month: $12.99/month
  • One year: $4.59/month + 3 extra months
  • Two years: $3.29/month + 3 extra months

NordVPN Plus

  • One month: $14.19/month
  • One year: $5.79/month + 3 extra months
  • Two years: $4.49/month + 3 extra months

NordVPN Complete

  • One month: $15.69/month
  • One year: $7.29/month + 3 extra months
  • Two years: $5.99/month + 3 extra months

ExpressVPN

  • One month: $12.95/month
  • Six months: $9.99/month
  • One year: $8.32/month

NordVPN offers various subscription plans, with longer terms providing better value. They offer three tiers of plans: Standard, Plus, and Complete. The standard program includes the VPN, malware protection, tracker, and ad blocker. The Plus plan adds a cross-platform password manager and a data breach scanner. The Complete plan includes all of the above and 1TB of cloud storage and file encryption. Express VPN has a single subscription option with a password manager, with discounts for longer commitments.

Pros and cons

NordVPN

Pros:

  • Large server network with over 5,400 servers in 59 countries
  • Strong security features, including double VPN and CyberSec
  • Affordable long-term plans
  • No data logging

Cons:

  • Slightly slower speeds compared to ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN

Pros:

  • More than 3,000 servers across 94 countries
  • Exceptional speeds
  • Split tunneling on both desktop and mobile clients
  • TrustedServer technology for increased security

Cons:

  • More expensive than NordVPN
  • Limited simultaneous connections (only five devices)

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN have their unique pros and cons. NordVPN’s advantages include a more extensive server network, affordable long-term plans, robust security features like double VPN and CyberSec, split tunneling, and no data logging. However, its drawbacks consist of slightly slower speeds. On the other hand, ExpressVPN boasts exceptional speeds, more server locations, and split tunneling on desktop and mobile clients. Its disadvantages include higher pricing and a limit of five simultaneous connections.

Features

NordVPN and ExpressVPN are both popular VPNs with similar encryption and trial periods. NordVPN offers stronger encryption options, including double VPN and Tor over VPN, while Express VPN offers only AES-256 encryption. NordVPN also has a strict no-logs policy and a kill switch to protect user privacy if the VPN connection drops. Express VPN has an equally robust no-logs policy and a kill switch, but their split tunneling feature is available on more platforms to allow users to choose which apps and websites use the VPN and which do not. NordVPN supports up to six devices, while ExpressVPN supports five and has a higher server count.

Locations

NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer extensive coverage, ensuring users can connect to various countries worldwide. NordVPN’s 5,000+ servers span 60 countries, including popular locations like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and countries across Europe and Asia. ExpressVPN, with its 3,000+ servers, covers a more diverse range of 94 countries, encompassing not only popular locations like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia but also extending to regions in Africa, South America, and the Middle East.

While both providers ensure a broad selection of countries for users to connect to, ExpressVPN’s wider geographical reach may cater to those seeking more varied or specific international connections. Of course, server availability can change over time, so we recommend checking NordVPN’s server locator or ExpressVPN’s server locator to see if they cater to the exact location you’re looking for.

Security

NordVPN and ExpressVPN prioritize security, offering AES-256 encryption, a choice of security protocols, and strict no-logs policies. NordVPN features a double VPN and CyberSec, which writes encrypted data to the hard drive. At the same time, ExpressVPN utilizes TrustedServer technology, which ensures servers run only on RAM and are wiped clean with every reboot.

Both VPNs also offer protection against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which commonly target gamers by overloading their servers. Additionally, NordVPN provides a malware/ad blocker, while Express VPN does not. However, ExpressVPN provides Onion over VPN servers, a feature not available with NordVPN. Ultimately, both providers prioritize security but offer slightly different features to cater to user preferences.

Speed

LocationNordVPNExpressVPN
Location
USA
NordVPN
418 Mbps
ExpressVPN
306 Mbps
Location
UK
NordVPN
255 Mbps
ExpressVPN
304 Mbps
Location
Japan
NordVPN
527 Mbps
ExpressVPN
247 Mbps

You can see the results of some speed comparisons in a few countries above. Both VPN providers perform well, offering consistently low ping, and have hardly any latency while gaming. Either way, both ExpressVPN, and NordVPN provide fast and reliable connections that can keep up with domestic internet speeds, making them suitable choices for various online activities.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Which one is best for you?

Each VPN service has distinct pros and cons that cater to user preferences and requirements. NordVPN offers more affordable pricing, making it the better choice for budget-conscious users. NordVPN offers additional features such as a dedicated IP, a VPN for business purposes, and a malware/ad blocker.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, has a more significant number of server locations, which may be more suitable for users who require connections from specific countries. Its TrustedServer technology also provides a slight edge in privacy. But ultimately, both providers offer top-notch security, reliability, and performance, ensuring a secure online experience.

Which VPN would you buy?

11 votes
See price at NordVPN
NordVPN
25%off
NordVPN
Over 5000 servers in 60 countries
Built-in virus protection
See price at ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN
48%off
ExpressVPN
Super-fast speed
Over 3,000 global servers
No-logging policy

FAQs

Neither ExpressVPN nor NordVPN is universally better, as the optimal choice depends on individual needs, such as budget, desired server locations, and specific features.

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are excellent choices for streaming, offering fast speeds and access to geo-restricted content.

NordVPN and ExpressVPN have comparable speeds, with both providing fast connections suitable for various online activities. While ExpressVPN is known for its consistently fast speeds, we found NordVPN to be faster in certain regions.

Yes, NordVPn supports up to six devices, while ExpressVPN supports up to five. Both VPNs support various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux.