ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: The Ultimate Comparison

ExpressVPN v NordVPN

There are just two VPNs that have managed to maintain a place in our Editor’s Pick top three over the past few years; ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

In our research and tests, these two VPNs are consistently among the best-performing providers for online privacy, streaming, unblocking censored content, and just about everything else.

Everyone in the team rates NordVPN or ExpressVPN exceptionally highly.

But, one question we get asked all the time is, which is best?

Is it NordVPN or Express VPN?

This is something that divides opinion. Some of our team rate ExpressVPN as the best VPN on the market right now. Others prefer NordVPN. Some can see the plus side of both and simply can’t make up their mind. So, we decided to settle the debate once and for all.

In this article, we will pit ExpressVPN against NordVPN in a direct comparison that covers all the main criteria people look for in a VPN.

We will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both providers and seek to reach a definitive conclusion about which VPN is best.

This is a VPNCompare exclusive, the ultimate comparison between the two top-performing VPNs on the market right now: ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

The comparison criteria

Before we reveal the results of our comparison, a little about the methodology.

We have identified no fewer than 15 key criteria that we use in our reviews and other guides to define what is and isn’t a good VPN.

Those criteria are:

  1. Encryption
  2. Security
  3. Data logging and privacy
  4. Jurisdiction
  5. Servers
  6. Speeds
  7. Reliability
  8. VPN Apps
  9. Features
  10. Concurrent connections
  11. Netflix & Streaming services
  12. Torrenting
  13. Price
  14. Payments & Refunds
  15. Value

For each of these criteria, we have examined in detail how ExpressVPN and NordVPN perform.

We have compared and contrasted the two and reached an informed conclusion about which is the winner in each category.

At the end of this Ultimate NordVPN and ExpressVPN Comparison, we will reveal which VPN has won the most categories and is therefore judged to be the winner.

In a rush?

You can skip straight to the results if you can’t wait.

But before we get there, let’s examine how Express VPN and NordVPN perform in more detail.

1. Encryption

As security is the most critical feature for most VPN users, we will begin with encryption.

Both NordVPN and Express VPN employ extremely robust encryption to protect their users’ data.

ExpressVPN encrypts its user data with a 256-bit AES cypher. This is often referred to in marketing terms as “military-grade encryption” and has never, to the best of our knowledge, been successfully cracked.

They also claim to use an SHA-512 hash authentication and a 4096-bit RSA key exchange which is impressive.

ExpressVPN encryption

NordVPN also uses a 256-bit AES cypher to encrypt its data. They only deploy an SHA-256 hash authentication but also use a 4096-bit RSA key exchange.

While their hash authentication is not as strong as ExpressVPN, this is a relatively trivial difference.

NordVPN encryption

Both still offer hugely powerful encryption that is generally accepted as being unbreakable and is certainly more than sufficient to keep all their user’s data secure.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

Winner: Express VPN

It is a close-run thing, but ExpressVPN just shades this category.

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2. Security

Encryption is the most high-profile security feature for any VPN provider, but it is far from the only one.

So, how do ExpressVPN and NordVPN compare when it comes to other security features?


Both NordVPN and Express VPN offer users the option of choosing from multiple VPN protocols.

Both use the OpenVPN protocol as standard on most devices, with both UDP and TCP OpenVPN protocol options available.

They both also have the option of IPSec/IKEv2 and IPSec/L2TP available too, with iOS apps often defaulting to these as they work more smoothly on iPhone’s and iPads.

The only difference between ExpressVPN and NordVPN comes in the form of newer VPN protocols.

NordVPN has already adopted the WireGuard protocol. This is now available across their range of apps, including their Windows operating system and Linux apps plus others.

NordVPN wireguard

ExpressVPN has shunned WireGuard and instead announced its own next-generation VPN protocol called Lightway. Lightway performs well and, in our tests, was equally as good as WireGuard.

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN have an eye on the future. NordVPN is as close as any provider now in making WireGuard the default VPN protocol across all their VPN infrastructure.

But ExpressVPN’s Lightway could end up trumping them completely as it has fitted very smoothly and effectively into the ExpressVPN app on multiple devices already.

If you require any information on setting these protocols up on any of the VPN apps, you can contact the NordVPN to ExpressVPN customer support teams, both of which will be more than happy to help out.

Leak Protection

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN perform well on leak protection.

Both offer a very effective kill switch, DNS leak protection, and dedicated IP address leak prevention (for both IPv4 and IPv6) on their desktop clients.

ExpressVPN kill switch

In reviewing ExpressVPN and NordVPN, we tested all of these security features and found they all performed well and effectively safeguarded users from any data leaks, threats to DNS requests, attempts at Deep Packet Inspection.

Overall they did an excellent job of keeping all your data being sent though VPN connections safe.

Again, both the ExpressVPN or NordVPN customer service teams will be able to help you if you require any additional information on these security features.

Server Security

ExpressVPN currently runs all its servers in RAM-disk mode. This Ram only servers feature means no VPN server on its server networks can physically store any user data and also offers a higher level of security.

NordVPN has recently switched over to RAM only servers across its entire network too.

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer private DNS servers across a range of server location options too.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

Winner: ExpressVPN

Another comparison that is so close you can barely split the two with a hair. But because of ExpressVPN’s earlier adoption of RAM mode plus other features, we are giving this one to them.

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3. Data logging and privacy

Alongside security, the ability of a VPN to protect users’ online privacy is a fundamental feature. This is where no logs policies come in.

No NordVPN and ExpressVPN comparison would be complete without taking a look at this critical issue.

ExpressVPN has a clear and categorical no-logs policy. Its privacy policy clearly and unequivocally states that ExpressVPN stores no activity logs and no logs connection timestamps from users.

This policy has been verified in an independent audit carried out by the renowned accountancy firm PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC).

It was further reinforced in the case of Andrey Karlov, a legal investigation in which Turkish authorities attempted to force ExpressVPN to reveal user data.

When ExpressVPN refused to comply, the Turkish authorities seized their servers but found them to contain no ExpressVPN logs or any useful data on user activity.

This means your private information such as your source IP address, geolocation data, site data, stays secure with you and only you.

ExpressVPN log text

NordVPN also states clearly in its privacy policy that it has a strict no-logs policy, meaning that it collects absolutely no user data.

Its website states that “We do not store connection timestamps, session information, used bandwidth, data transferred, IP addresses, or other data. Nothing to store – nothing to share with anyone.”

Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN doesn’t expect you just to take their word for this. They have also had their no user logs policy confirmed by an independent audit. Theirs was also carried out by PWC in Zurich, Switzerland.

NordVPN no log

Unfortunately, NordVPN did suffer an embarrassing security incident at the end of 2019, where one of the encryption keys for a single VPN server was leaked.

This has led some to distrust the company. But they have gone above and beyond what is expected to ensure this issue can never happen again and to reassure users.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

Winner: ExpressVPN

Both companies are practically neck and neck here. However, due to ExpressVPN’s tested no-log policy and the 2019 faux pas on NordVPN’s side, it’s a win for ExpressVPN this time too.

4. Jurisdiction

Newcomers to the VPN market might wonder why it really matters what jurisdiction a VPN is operating in. But actually, the local laws that a VPN operates under can play a big part in influencing how secure and private the service they operate can be.

ExpressVPN is based offshore in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Despite the name, the BVI operates as a completely independent country with its own legal code and laws, which is fortunate, as there are no data retention laws.

The BVI has some of the most robust privacy protections in the world, which is one of the reasons why a lot of different banks and financial institutions have operations based there.

For a VPN, it is ideal as it gives the provider complete discretion over how to protect its user’s data, allowing ExpressVPN to implement some of the most comprehensive privacy protections of any provider.

NordVPN is based in Panama, another independent offshore jurisdiction which also has solid privacy laws and gives NordVPN the power to offer robust protections for all its users.

Neither the BVI nor Panama are part of the so-called Five Eyes surveillance groups of countries or wider ‘14-eyes‘ which share surveillance information between them and tend to have laws which undermine the ability of online companies to offer absolute privacy to their users.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

Winner: Draw

The British Virgin Islands and Panama are among the top countries in the world for privacy protection, so this category is a draw. NordVPN and ExpressVPN cannot be split on this one.

5. Servers

Most VPN providers pride themselves on offering the broadest range of server locations possible while maintaining a fast speed.

We have argued before that this is not hugely important to most VPN users who tend only to use local servers or those in a handful of popular locations like the USA and the UK.

But the number of servers does matter, as the more servers a VPN has, the less pressure there will be on individual servers to support multiple users.

So, it is still worth seeing how ExpressVPN and NordVPN stack up.

ExpressVPN currently offers more than 3,000 servers based in 160 VPN server locations and 94 different countries around the world.

The NordVPN server network currently consists of a much larger number of servers, over 5,264 servers in 59 countries across the globe.

So, NordVPN has more servers overall, but the ExpressVPN server range is located in a wider range of countries. But there is a catch to this.

ExpressVPN servers

ExpressVPN does admit to using virtual server locations.

Virtual server locations are servers that are not actually physically located in a country but are set up to appear as if they are. Virtual VPN servers are an easy way to expand your server network, but they can have an adverse effect on certain users.

If a virtual location is set up on a UK-based server, anyone using that server for its original location could experience slow download and upload speeds.

Virtual servers are generally seen as a secondary alternative to physical VPN servers actually located in a country.

ExpressVPN admits it uses them, but their use is limited, and there is a clear list available on their website. This transparency is welcome, but this is one VPN feature found on ExpressVPN that they would probably be better off without.

As far as we are aware, NordVPN does not use virtual servers. They do not make mention of them on their site.

One thing NordVPN does have is a range of specialist servers. This includes double-hop servers, which reroute traffic through not one but two servers in different countries.

This offers enhanced security features and privacy protections but does come at the expense of a little bit of speed.

They also have VPN servers that are optimised for P2P users and are ideal for torrenting and also a set of obfuscated servers which are specially designed to work in countries like Communist China where VPN traffic is often blocked.

ExpressVPN does not offer all of these specialist servers, but it does have a set of obfuscated servers that can also be used inside countries like Communist China. Both VPNs allow all users to access all servers, and you can switch servers easily on the apps of both providers too.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

Winner: NordVPN

Another close contest, but ExpressVPN’s use of virtual servers and a smaller server network means NordVPN’s server network wins this one.

6. Speeds

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are well-renowned for their consistently fast internet VPN connection speed.

This wasn’t always the case. There was a time when NordVPN was known for being quite slow, providing you with less than the desired speeds.

But, they have invested heavily in their server infrastructure, and the result is that their connection speed has increased and placed them up there with the very best.

But which has the VPN service with the fastest speed?

It is difficult to put a hair between them in many speed tests, but it is the purpose of this guide to identify the fastest, so we will do our best.

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and most reliable providers on the market right now. They have offered lightning-speed connections for a while now and remain one of the fastest providers out there for desktop and mobile devices.

In our recent review, we put ExpressVPN through short distance and long-distance speed tests by downloading a test file on a UK residential connection. The regular speed used for this test was 480.2 Mbps.

We downloaded the file using a selection of ExpressVPN’s high-speed servers with the following speed test results:

  • UK – 361.4 Mbps
  • Netherlands – 368.3 Mbps
  • Switzerland – 362 Mbps
  • Sweden – 322.5 Mbps
  • France – 372.4 Mbps
  • New York, US – 204.7 Mbps
  • Australia – 75 Mbps

As you can see, the impact of ExpressVPN on download speeds was minimal. We also ran tests involving streaming services, internet browsing, and online gaming, and all worked without any problem at all across all of the servers.

We also tested the internet speed of this VPN company across the full range of desktop and mobile devices, including Windows desktop, Windows phone, Android smartphone, iOS and macOS devices and even the Amazon Fire TV Stick. Each performed flawlessly, and we were very impressed.

NordVPN offers speeds that have been really impressive of late too, and in our most recent review, we ran the same test as ExpressVPN to see how different servers performed.

Our standard UK residential internet connection speed without using a VPN client measured at 321.1 Mbps ahead of this test.

With NordVPN we achieved the following speeds:

  • UK – 302.4 Mbps
  • France – 294.6 Mbps
  • Netherlands – 297.6 Mbps
  • Switzerland – 318.5 Mbps
  • Sweden – 272.2 Mbps
  • New York, US – 179.1 Mbps
  • Australia – 158.7 Mbps

Like ExpressVPN, all of these speeds were very impressive, and the consistency of the speeds was also good.

You will notice that all of our NordVPN servers performed slightly better than ExpressVPN in these speed tests, with servers located further away doing especially well.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

Winner: NordVPN

The data gives us little choice but to award this category to NordVPN as well.

But it is a fine margin, and the truth is that both of these VPNs offer exceptional speeds, and we wouldn’t expect users to have any complaints about either.

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7. Reliability

Reliability is very much a subjective issue. All service providers have problems from time to time, and VPN services are no different.

For this category, we can only report on the experience of ourselves and our team, as well as the feedback we have had from readers over the ten years we’ve been operational and testing VPN services on multiple operating systems.

We cannot guarantee you won’t have a different experience, but our usage tells us that the overwhelming majority of users share our views on this issue.

ExpressVPN is one of the most consistently reliable VPN services we have ever tested.

We commended them on the consistency of their speeds in the previous section. Some VPNs can have issues with connectivity, but this has never been a problem with ExpressVPN, regardless of which operating system and which version of the ExpressVPN app you are using.

It establishes connections to all its overseas and UK server options quickly, and these connections are almost always stable, with drop-outs extremely rare and all servers appearing to work to a similarly high standard.

We have tested all of the ExpressVPN apps on different types of internet connections all over the world while doing a range of everyday online tasks.

They have always worked smoothly and easily with crashes, bugs, and other issues a sporadic phenomenon.

NordVPN too offers fast and stable connections across its entire server network. This might be a slightly more recent phenomenon for them, but there is no questioning the quality of their service right now.

Before their recent revamp, the NordVPN apps were not as reliable as those of ExpressVPN. But the recent update it has received has improved it to no end, and these days NordVPN offers an excellent user experience regardless of which operating systems you are using.

We have experienced a few issues with their iOS app connection dropping out and needing to log back into our account to get back online. But this is an occasional problem and easily overcome.

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

Winner: ExpressVPN

Another close call between two excellent and consistent VPNs, but ExpressVPN just edges this category at the moment.

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8. VPN Apps

As we have just touched on NordVPN and ExpressVPN apps in the previous section, let’s take a closer look at how ExpressVPN and NordVPN perform in this area.

An app analysis could form the basis of a lengthy thesis, so for this guide, we will be focusing primarily on usability and appearance.

It is generally agreed that less is more when it comes to a VPN app, so the minimalist design employed by ExpressVPN’s apps is a popular one.

The home screen features a large central button which shows your connection status and allows you to connect or disconnect from their service easily.

Below are the details of your active server, revealing not just the country but also the location within that country. Clicking on this allows you to choose a new server from their list.

Underneath are two clear buttons that allow you to switch to either your most recent server or the server that ExpressVPN recommends will be the fastest for your current location.

This is all most users need and while there are other settings and features available through the ExpressVPN apps, they are all organised neatly in the menu which can be accessed via the top left-hand corner of the home page.

ExpressVPN windows laptop

All of ExpressVPN’s apps are easy to use and offer a similar style which means if you are using ExpressVPN across different devices, you don’t have to learn your way around a whole host of different apps to ensure private internet access.

Unlike many VPNs, ExpressVPN also offers a decent selection of router app options for the majority of routers able to support VPN apps. These avoid the need to manually configure a VPN on your router.

NordVPN apps are less minimalistic but are just as easy to use, including NordVPN’s mobile apps.

All of their apps are built around a world map with pins in all the countries where Nord VPN has servers. Users just have to navigate around the map and choose the pin for their chosen country to connect to the fastest available server automatically.

The NordVPN app can display your favourite servers on the map for ease of access, and a button at the top allows you to choose from a server list instead if you prefer.

Unfortunately, they don’t break down servers by locations, only countries, and you have to dig around a little more to find this, which some users may not like as much.

NordVPN Android

There are several features available on most NordVPN apps, but again these are hidden away in the top left corner of the screen, and many users will not need to use them at all. The most important ones, like the kill switch, are enabled by default.

The NordVPN apps are a larger file than the ExpressVPN apps and will take up more space on your device, but the difference is minimal. They do also offer a decent range of router app options.

In terms of usability, NordVPN is simple to navigate, and feedback from our readers suggests that while some prefer the ExpressVPN model, others find the map approach much faster and very easy to use.

Both apps can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and the Apple App store, as well as the NordVPN and ExpressVPN websites.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Winner: Draw

This category is a matter of personal preference, and our team and our readers are divided on their preferences, so we will call this one a draw.

Both VPNs offer apps that cover all of the popular mediums, including; Windows desktop client, Android apps, a range of router app options, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Mac Operating System, Linux, Fire TV, and others.

9. Features

Lots of users don’t bother with extra security features on a VPN. They just connect up to server locations of their choice and then get on with their online tasks.

This is fine, but if you are one of those people who like to optimise their VPN performance and play around with the extras, the range of features a provider offers might be the decisive factor for you.

ExpressVPN might have a minimalist and simple app design, but there are still plenty of features hiding under the bonnet.

One particularly popular one is their split tunneling feature.

Split tunneling allows you to choose which apps you route through your ExpressVPN server location and which you don’t. Not every VPN offers a split tunneling feature, which is odd as our feedback suggests a significant number of users really appreciate split tunneling.

Split tunneling can also help speed up VPN connection as it protects fewer apps and there is less encrypted data. So, if you only want to protect a certain app, split tunneling is the feature to use.

Other features that ExpressVPN supports include speciality servers, like obfuscated servers to enable users in places like Communist China to use their site, IPv6 and DNS Leaks Protection, and ExpressVPN’s speciality servers also have MediaStreamer smart DNS feature, which helps users on Smart TVs and games consoles to connect.

In our most recent review, we highlighted their ‘Smart Location’ feature, which helps users pick the best server for them. We found it generally outperformed our own selection, and user feedback on this tool has been extremely positive.

ExpressVPN also boasts the standard kill switch feature that prevents data from being leaked if your VPN connection drops and protects your data and the real IP address from exposure. But in addition, there is also a Network Protection tool too.

This acts like a kill switch but still allows you to remain connected to your local networks. All of this forms part of ExpressVPN’s threat manager feature.

At the moment, ExpressVPN doesn’t have the option of a double VPN. However, you may see the VPN provider add the option of a double VPN in the future.

Nord VPN does not lack additional features either. Firstly, there is its range of specialist servers which we mentioned earlier in this guide.

NordVPN features

NordVPN offers a double VPN service; their double VPN (double hop) servers which reroute internet traffic through two VPN servers for additional online security, that’s 2x IP address changes.

They also offer special optimised P2P servers on many server locations for users who enjoy torrenting and also obfuscated servers for countries like China.

They also have the standard kill switch protection too.

NordVPN has recently added a new ad-blocking feature called CyberSec, which offers a basic level of protection against advertising, tracking, and malware domains. NordVPN also offers a range of additional services, including a dark web monitor and encrypted cloud storage.

When it comes to a split tunneling feature, NordVPN supports split tunneling on Chrome, Mozilla, and their desktop and mobile apps.

In addition, NordVPN recently rolled out their WireGuard tool, NordLynx, across all their apps.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Winner: Draw

While ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer very different special features, both have plenty to choose from, so the choice is really down to which you think you are likely to use more. We will call this category a draw.

10. Concurrent connections

Everyone goes online using all sorts of different devices these days, and you really need the protections offered by a VPN on all of them.

This is why it is standard practice for all VPNs these days to allow users to install and connect to their service using several devices simultaneously.

This also allows families to share accounts without having to cough up for a connection for everyone.

There has been a growing competition between VPN providers over how many simultaneous connections they can offer their users.

So, how do ExpressVPN and NordVPN compare?

ExpressVPN offers its users 5 connections at once with every account. This is more than enough for most users, but obviously, if you have a large family and want to share your subscription, you may need more.

NordVPN’s standard offer to all users is 6 simultaneous connections with every account. This is one more than ExpressVPN and, again, usually sufficient for most users.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Winner: NordVPN

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer enough connections for the vast majority of users, but with one more, NordVPN wins this category.

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11. Netflix & Streaming services

As important as security and privacy are for many VPN users, there is no denying that a big reason a lot of people have a VPN is to unblock streaming platforms and access sites when they are travelling or working overseas.

There are dozens of streaming platforms these days, but the litmus test for most VPNs is Netflix.

A lot of people want to stream US Netflix outside the USA, but they have worked hard to try and stop VPNs from unblocking their service.

So, how do NordVPN and ExpressVPN perform?

ExpressVPN’s ability to unblock US Netflix from any location connected is exceptional.

We have tested it on numerous US servers with different IP addresses and never had a problem accessing streaming sites or streaming content. The feedback we have had from readers is much the same.

ExpressVPN is also able to unblock other Netflix regional services, including UK, Australian, and Canadian Netflix, by obtaining IP addresses from these countries.

As well as Netflix, ExpressVPN also works with most other streaming sites, including Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and even Amazon Prime, all of which scan IP addresses to determine whether you should get access to them.

If your connection speed isn’t great, ExpressVPN also offers a Smart DNS feature too. SmartDNS works like a VPN connection but without the encryption which frees up speed but at the cost of security. Using Smart DNS with split tunneling is an option for some people if needs be.

NordVPN, too, is extremely good at unblocking US Netflix by connecting to a NordVPN server and switching IP addresses. Again, it appears to work on every NordVPN US-based VPN server, and it also has no problem unblocking just about every other regional version of Netflix you’d care to mention too.

They’re not, however so good at unblocking other regions, so you’ll often find no matter which country you connect to, American Netflix is automatically offered.

It is also able to unblock BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime (although they do admit that they can only unblock the US, UK, and Japanese services), as well as every other online streaming platform we tested it on.

Like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offer a Smart DNS service too. Their Smart DNS service will also allow you to connect to a streaming platform like BBC iPlayer without encryption and so help if your speeds are down.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Winner: ExpressVPN

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are great at unblocking everything, the main ones being BBC iPlayer and Netflix. This is as tight as it gets, but we are going to say ExpressVPN just edges this one.

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12. Torrenting

When you use a torrenting site, your IP address, provided to you by your Internet Service Provider, is often left exposed. Your IP address is something that hackers and your Internet Service Provider can use to identify you, definitely not something you want.

Using a VPN is essential if you are a fan of torrenting; not only will it mask your IP address, but there are several key features most users will be looking for.

Can NordVPN and ExpressVPN manage to meet expectations?

ExpressVPN offers some of the fastest and most consistent speeds around, which makes it great for downloading BitTorrent files.

It can replace your own IP address with an ExpressVPN IP address, and it has the protection against leaks that torrent fans need too, including a dependable kill switch and trustworthy no-logging policies.

A lot of providers in the VPN industry direct torrent fans to specific, specialized servers that have been optimised for torrenting. Not so with ExpressVPN.

They allow torrenting across their entire VPN server network, so you can choose any VPN server you like and still torrent files with confidence.

NordVPN also ticks all the boxes for BitTorrent users. It has no-logging policies, a useful kill switch and other features to protect you against data leaks. Plus, NordVPN offers connection speeds that can even beat ExpressVPN.

However, NordVPN is one of those VPNs that encourages users to connect to certain servers which have been optimised for downloading BitTorrent files and P2P sharing.

There are a lot of these servers available, but it still doesn’t give users the same level of flexibility as ExpressVPN does.

However, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN provide a better torrenting option than the Tor Network. The Tor Network will slow things down making torrents take forever long. That is not the case with a VPN.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Winner: ExpressVPN

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are excellent stealth VPN services to use when downloading BitTorrent files but just because they allow it on every server, unlike NordVPN, making their VPN service easy to use for torrenting.

ExpressVPN is the winner here.

13. Price

It’s all very well talking about speeds, features, and encryption, but for a lot of people, the biggest single factor in their choice of VPN provider is the price.

No one wants to pay over the odds for anything, and while there are no VPNs out there that will cost you more than a few pounds a month, what is the price difference between NordVPN and ExpressVPN?

ExpressVPN has a reputation for being fairly expensive, and there is no denying that it does cost more than a lot of its direct competitors.

The best price currently available for ExpressVPN at the time of writing is their one-year plan. This comes with an additional three months of free coverage and costs $6.67 per month in pounds.

Other available packages are a six-month deal for $9.99 a month or a one-month contract for $12.95.

ExpressVPN NordVPN prices

In contrast, NordVPN has long been known for being one of the most affordable premium VPNs on the market.

Their best current offer is a 2-year deal which is currently available for an incredible $2.99 per month for their basic VPN service or $5.29 if you want all their extra tools as well.

Their one-year plan is just $4.49 a month, while their one-month contract will set you back $11.99.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Winner: NordVPN

No matter how long you want to sign up for, NordVPN is always cheaper than ExpressVPN, and their 2-year deal is one of the most economical of any VPN currently available. NordVPN is the clear winner here.

Fast, reliable servers, strong encryption, great features, and brilliant customer service, all for the price of a cup of coffee. Between NordVPN and ExpressVPN, NordVPN wins this one hands down.

14. Payments & Refunds

NordVPN might be cheaper, but how about the payment methods and refund options that these two VPNs offer their customers?

ExpressVPN accepts payment using a wide variety of methods, including all the major credit cards, PayPal, and a vast range of other online payment methods.

For those who want a more anonymous account, Bitcoin payments are also permitted, and the only information you need to share to open an account is a valid email address and your chosen payment method. They aren’t so good if you want to use other popular online payment services however.

ExpressVPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to all its customers, which means you risk nothing by signing up, as you can claim everything back within that period if you aren’t completely satisfied.

Something their customer support would be more than happy to help with any information you need or questions you have.

NordVPN also lets users pay in a variety of different ways. All major credit cards are welcome, as are Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and a variety of major cryptocurrencies. You can also set up a direct debit.

Unfortunately, they are no longer accepting payment via PayPal.

There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee for all new subscribers making a NordVPN subscription a risk-free option, too, and they also have great customer service with live chat customer support that can provide you with any information you need.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Winner: ExpressVPN

While both VPNs have a money-back guarantee (30 days) and great customer support with live chat, NordVPN misses out due to its lack of PayPal support. I’m not a fan of Paypal but like it or not, it’s still one of the most widely used payment methods.

NordVPN not accepting it is a serious disadvantage.

15. Value

Value is a very subjective measurement and is dependent on what you are looking for from your VPN and which of these two great providers ticks the right boxes for you.

For the purposes of this guide, we are simply going to compare whether ExpressVPN or NordVPN offers the best value for money to their subscribers.

ExpressVPN does cost a little more than NordVPN, but there is no denying it is one of the finest stealth VPN services on the market right now.

It has won many of the categories in this guide, and feedback from customers suggests a considerable level of satisfaction. There is no doubt ExpressVPN offers superb value for money.

But if there is any VPN that runs ExpressVPN close across the huge range of categories we have deployed in this comparison, it is NordVPN. It has also won its fair share of categories and those it has lost have all been close-run things.

But when it comes to price, NordVPN is the clear winner. Their two and three-year deals require users to commit to a longer subscription, but they also make a premium VPN available at a truly budget price.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

Winner: NorVPN

It’s a very close competition almost to the point you’re unable to distinguish.

However, NordVPN just pips this one and would be our recommended choice.

Conclusion: ExpressVPN

We have dug down deep into both ExpressVPN and NordVPN to compare these two outstanding VPN providers across 15 of the most important categories that you should be considering when choosing a VPN.

ExpressVPN came out on top when comparing security, encryption, reliability, online streaming from Netflix, torrenting and more.

NordVPN bested them for servers, speeds, simultaneous connections and price.

We were unable to separate NordVPN and ExpressVPN in some categories.

With eight won categories for ExpressVPN, four for NordVPN and three drawn, it was a close contest.

Overall, ExpressVPN is our winner.

But the message that we hope most of our readers will take away is that these are two exceptional VPNs. Both offer a fantastic level of service and rightly have great customer satisfaction ratings.

Ultimately, the decision about which of these two VPN providers is right for you is a subjective one, and we hope this comprehensive guide will help you to make an informed decision.

Whichever of the two products you ultimately choose, we are confident you won’t regret it.


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Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 7 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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