NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Which One Is Best?

VPN Security

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Which One Is Best?

Though so much of modern life relies on internet connectivity, the world wide web can be a very shady place. There are now so many malicious actors who actively seek to penetrate your networks and access your data, that complacency online can no longer be an option.

That’s why more and more people are taking control of their security and privacy online by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that provides secure, fully encrypted connectivity. VPNs conceal who you are, where you go, and what you do online. In this article, we will compare two of the world’s VPN providers, NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN. Which one is best? Find out with this complete comparison. 

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Side-By-Side Comparison

Current releaseWindows: 7.5.4,
Mac: 7.17.1,
Android: 6.4.2 ,
iOS: 8.6.1,
Linux: 3.15.5
Windows: 4.1
Android: 6.7,
iOS: 11.28.0,
Linux: 1.4
Operating systemsWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, LinuxWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux
Country company registeredPanamaBritish Virgin Islands
Number of customers14 million3 million
Number of servers/countries with servers5000 in 60 countries3000+ in 94 countries
Encryption standardAES-256 encryptionAES-256 encryption
Data retention/logsNoNo
Number of devices per subscription6; Up to 60 devices via the Meshnet feature5
Streaming services unblockedNetflix US, iPlayer, HBO Max, Firestick, AppleTVNetflix, Disney+, iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime, DAZN
Money-back guaranteeYes. 30-dayYes. 30-day

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: What’s the Difference?

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are leading VPNs with millions of users around the world. They have pretty similar specifications and will unblock the leading streaming platforms so you can watch what you want too. Here is a closer look at these two companies, so you can assess which one will be a better fit for your needs:

Company Location and Servers

NordVPN is based in Panama which is advantageous if you are concerned about your privacy and data security. NordVPN operates out of Panama because there are no mandatory data retention laws there. In addition, you can use custom connectivity via over 5000 servers across 60 countries to optimize speeds and offer maximum bandwidth. 

British Virgin Islands-based ExpressVPN has over 3000 servers in 94 countries. It also is not subject to US data-retention laws and does not keep data logs. In particular, ExpressVPN is the #1 choice for business travelers to China. Because it has no servers within China, you can completely circumvent Chinese data-logging policies to guarantee snoop-free browsing.

Speed of Connectivity

ExpressVPN delivers fast, reliable connectivity due to the high number of countries where it has servers. Users report fast streaming speeds with zero buffering when streaming local and international content. Downloads, file sharing, virtualization, and video conferencing are also super-fast. Its average speed has been clocked at around 193 Mbps.

NordVPN also delivers comparable speed with consistent performance and minimal buffering or lag. Its average speed has been clocked at 196 Mbps, making it just slightly faster than ExpressVPN.

Security Standards

NordVPN and Express VPN use robust AES-256 encryption, with other leading security protocols, to secure your data. In addition, NordVPN has a proprietary high-speed VPN communication protocol, NordLynx, that features a double NAT (Network Address Translation) to route your data through two servers and encrypt it twice. Neither ExpressVPN nor NordVPN shows any IP or DNS address leakage in testing, meaning you can use them on your smartphone or with public Wi-Fi confidently. 

Unblocking the Content You Want

With such an extensive server network, NordVPN has no problem unblocking the leading streaming sites in the territory of your choice. Freely watch Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, and use media streaming devices like Firestick and AppleTV.

ExpressVPN’s expansive server locations also make it easy to unlock popular streaming platforms like Disney+, Netflix, and Hulu. Plus, you can access content libraries from multiple countries.

Connecting Devices 

NordVPN is very easy to set up and use on a wide range of devices, spanning all the leading operating systems. You can connect six devices directly or run NordVPN off your router to protect all transferred data. NordVPN also has a Meshnet feature that can support up to 60 devices linked on a secure private network for file sharing or remote work. If you run into problems, connecting devices NordVPN’s 24/7 live chat support can easily walk you through any setup problems.

ExpressVPN is more limited, only allowing you to connect up to 5 devices simultaneously. However, you can purchase a router with built-in ExpressVPN service when used with an active subscription.

Built-in ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN Aircove Wi-Fi 6 Router
  • Built-in VPN when used with an active ExpressVPN subscription (sold separately)
  • Connect to multiple VPN locations simultaneously
  • When the VPN is in use, enjoy speeds of up to 180 Mbps for multiple devices at once
  • ExpressVPN protection 24/7 for any connected device
  • Covers up to 1,600 sq. ft.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/27/2023 08:44 pm GMT


NordVPN offers several price packages, ranging from monthly to two-yearly subscriptions. It is cheaper than ExpressVPN and delivers great value due to its quality of service, consistent performance, and the number and types of devices you can connect.  As of this writing, a standard one-year subscription can be purchased for $69.99.

ExpressVPN can be pricey, but there are steep price drops for 6-month and annual subscriptions. A 30-day money-back guarantee covers all subscriptions. You can choose from a variety of payment methods including anonymous Bitcoin payments. Currently, a standard one-year subscription is $99.84.

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a network arrangement that creates a secure and private connection between a device and the network it exchanges data with. VPNs can be set up between devices, personal or local networks, and the internet.

VPN technology was created by Microsoft in the mid-1990s. It has since been developed to allow users to send data across public networks as if a device was connected directly via an ultra-secure and private connection. Many, but not all, VPNs use encryption with the AES-256 encryption standard used by the U.S. Government.

Need-to-Know Benefits of VPNs

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is becoming indispensable for safeguarding the access to information and freedom of expression the internet provides. Here are the three major benefits of using a VPN for your browsing: 

1. VPNs Provide the Security You Need to Browse the Internet

VPNs use end-to-end encryption to create a secure channel that shields the information transferred. The nature and extent of the encryption depend on the proprietary protocol (AES, OpenVPN) of the VPN you choose. 

2. VPNs Safeguard Your Privacy

These private, controlled networks protect your identity and data from the snoops and data logging that are increasingly part of routine internet use. The best VPNs are adept at concealing your IP address. They do this by routing your data through servers in data centers across the globe, making you untraceable.

3. A VPN Can Overcome Censorship

The internet is the ultimate decentralized network and with a VPN you can keep it that way. By routing your traffic in a variety of ways, VPNs bypass local or regionally imposed blocks. Make geo-blocking a thing of the past by using a VPN to beat restrictions. 

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: 5 Must-Know Facts

  • British company Kape Technologies, owned by the Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi, acquired ExpressVPN in September 2021. 
  • NordVPN is a Lithuanian company that was started in 2012 by the Lithuanian tech entrepreneur Tomas Okmanas and friends.
  • ExpressVPN is the top choice for travelers to China, as you can completely circumvent Chinese data-logging policies since there are no servers there.
  • NordVPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN, but both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • NordVPN has a browser extension for Google Chrome.

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Final Thoughts

Express VPN is extremely popular right now, especially for travelers due to the large number of countries where its servers are located. It is also known for high-speed, buffer-free streaming. 

However, NordVPN is a much better value for money. NordVPN has put a lot of money into developing proprietary technologies that go above and beyond. Not only will NordVPN keep a large number of devices secure, but its quality of service and consistent performance ensure it comes out ahead in this comparison.

  1. ExpressVPN Aircove Wi-Fi 6 Router
    • Built-in VPN when used with an active ExpressVPN subscription (sold separately)
    • Connect to multiple VPN locations simultaneously
    • When the VPN is in use, enjoy speeds of up to 180 Mbps for multiple devices at once
    • ExpressVPN protection 24/7 for any connected device
    • Covers up to 1,600 sq. ft.
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    11/27/2023 08:44 pm GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a VPN kill switch?

A VPN kill switch is a safeguarding mechanism that will automatically disconnect your device from the internet if the VPN connection drops for any reason. This prevents you from sending or receiving data via an unsecured channel where your device could be identified. Most VPNs enable a kill switch by default.

What is a no-log VPN?

A no-log VPN is a virtual private network provider that does not collect any information about the data that is transmitted through its secure network connection. It is the best choice for maximum privacy online.

What is OpenVPN?

OpenVPN is an open-source VPN networking protocol that has been adopted and developed by many private VPN service providers. It can be used to create private and secure point-to-point or site-to-site links for data transfer in a variety of settings.

What is an IP leak?

An IP leak is where a user’s true IP address becomes exposed while using a VPN. If this happens a VPN should activate its kill switch and drop the connection to prevent a real IPv4 address from being known.

How do VPNs unblock streaming sites?

VPNs allow you to unblock restricted content in streaming sites by masking your true IP address and location. For example, if you want to watch UK content on iPlayer but are located in the USA, a VPN can mask your American IP address with a British one so that you can access content that would normally be restricted for non-UK residents.

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