NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN

NordVPN and ExpressVPN are two of the biggest names in the consumer VPN space, well established and popular. Yet if we had to choose, which would it be?

Comparing NordVPN with ExpressVPN is something most of us will do. These are two of the biggest names in the consumer VPN space, well established and popular. Yet if we had to choose, which would it be?

Let’s take a closer look at these two side-by-side.

A Quick Comparison

FeaturesNordVPNExpressVPN
Year Established20122009
HeadquartersPanamaBritish Virgin Islands
Lowest Price$3.99/mo$6.67/mo
Availability
Server Locations60 countries94 countries
Number of Servers5,000+3,000+
Protocol AvailableOpenVPN, NordLynx, IKEv2
(macOS and iOS only)
Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2,
L2TP/IPSec
P2P SupportYes (Selected Servers)Yes
Security
Server ObfuscationYesYes
Split TunnelingYesYes
Multi-HopYesNo
Kill SwitchYesYes
Speed (Singapore Server)
Ping7ms8ms
Download Speed507.77 Mbps487.28 Mbps
Upload Speed484.89 Mbps468.66 Mbps

About NordVPN

NordVPN is one of my favorite brands, and I’ve used them since 2019. The company’s headquarters is in Panama, an excellent location as far as data privacy is concerned. Since its establishment, NordVPN has continued to grow its product capabilities at an astounding rate.

About ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN came across my radar when I first started exploring these services. They’re one of the earlier prime VPN service providers in the market, available since 2009. Since then, they’ve slowly but steadily improved the product as new technologies become available.

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Pricing

NordVPN Pricing
NordVPN is much cheaper ($3.99/mo vs ExpressVPN $6.67/mo) when you subscribe for 2 years > Click here to order NordVPN.

Since the early days, ExpressVPN has always maintained one of the highest prices among consumer-grade VPN services. A one-month subscription to their service costs $12,95, but the price drops to $6.67 if you sign up for the 15-month (12 + 3 Free) package.

Comparatively, NordVPN came out with guns blazing and offered a competitive product for a fraction of the price. You can get a single month for $11.99. However, that price drops massively to a mere $3.99/mo if you sign on for two years.

Verdict: NordVPN wins

The winner in the price war between the two is NordVPN.

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Availability

ExpressVPN servers
ExpressVPN fields more than 3,000 servers across 94 countries around the globe.

Each VPN’s number of servers and locations will usually change over time. For example, NordVPN’s server count has expanded massively to over 5,000. However, their coverage seems to have somewhat plateaued at 60 countries.

ExpressVPN never grew its server count and coverage significantly. It sticks to 3,000 servers across 94 countries. To date, it’s remained somewhat passive. Yet, given the stability of their service performance, I can understand the reluctance to expand for no real reason.

Verdict: Tie

Unless you need a VPN access point in a specific location, the availability of access points doesn’t mean much. These brands both do well, given their generally broad coverage area.

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Security

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer an extremely secure service. For instance, they go the extra mile and operate RAM-only servers. This move ensures they can erase data quickly at the pull of a plug.

ExpressVPN and NordVPN were both reluctant to adopt WireGuard verbatim. This decision came about due to some deficiencies in the protocol’s security. Ultimately, NordVPN released a modified version called NordLynx.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, released a new high-performance protocol named Lightway. Unfortunately, they’ve not been overly transparent about Lightway. The protocol performance is suspiciously similar to WireGuard.

Verdict: NordVPN wins

Regarding security, I prefer NordVPN due to the greater transparency they’ve approached the matter of protocol.

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Speed

NordVPN Speed Tests
NordVPN Speed Tests: Download 507.077 Mbps, Upload 484.89 Mbps (see actual result here).
ExpressVPN Speed Tests
ExpressVPN Speed Tests: Download 487.28 Mbps, Upload 468.66 Mbps (see actual result here).

Although some say they want security and privacy, speed is fundamental in a VPN service. The most secure VPN is useless if it slows your browsing to a crawl. Thankfully, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN showcase astounding performance with their newest protocols.

If security and privacy are your main objectives, connect to a nearby server, and you’ll hardly notice a VPN is running.

Latest NordVPN & ExpressVPN Speed Tests

Realizing the seriousness of VPN performance evaluation, we set up an Automated Speed Test System to evaluate various VPN service speed performance regularly (see all test results here). Below are the latest speed test results for ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

NordVPN Speed Test Summary

  • Singapore : Average Upload: 1.31 Gbps / Average Download: 1.50 Gbps
  • United States : Average Upload: 1.04 Gbps / Average Download: 1.19 Gbps
  • United Kingdom : Average Upload: 1.11 Gbps / Average Download: 1.34 Gbps

Daily Test Results

TestSingaporeUnited StatesUnited Kingdom
1 Download: 771.84 Mbps
Upload: 655.88 Mbps
Download: 970.83 Mbps
Upload: 1.22 Gbps
Download: -
Upload: -
2 Download: 1.94 Gbps
Upload: 1.74 Gbps
Download: 1.44 Gbps
Upload: 1.39 Gbps
Download: -
Upload: -
3 Download: 1.98 Gbps
Upload: 1.74 Gbps
Download: 1.34 Gbps
Upload: 1.29 Gbps
Download: -
Upload: -
4 Download: 1.47 Gbps
Upload: 1.73 Gbps
Download: 314.90 Mbps
Upload: 611.91 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
5 Download: 2.00 Gbps
Upload: 1.74 Gbps
Download: 1.12 Gbps
Upload: 269.98 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
6 Download: 1.86 Gbps
Upload: 1.75 Gbps
Download: 886.84 Mbps
Upload: 1.04 Gbps
Download: -
Upload: -
7 Download: 2.09 Gbps
Upload: 1.73 Gbps
Download: 1.21 Gbps
Upload: 892.34 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
8 Download: 771.62 Mbps
Upload: 770.90 Mbps
Download: 1.04 Gbps
Upload: 928.74 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
9 Download: 1.90 Gbps
Upload: 1.75 Gbps
Download: 1.16 Gbps
Upload: 1.03 Gbps
Download: -
Upload: -
10 Download: 1.99 Gbps
Upload: 1.72 Gbps
Download: 1.14 Gbps
Upload: 1.26 Gbps
Download: -
Upload: -
11 Download: 1.43 Gbps
Upload: 1.08 Gbps
Download: 1.28 Gbps
Upload: 1.04 Gbps
Download: 1.26 Gbps
Upload: 1.04 Gbps
12 Download: 1.36 Gbps
Upload: 1.06 Gbps
Download: 1.16 Gbps
Upload: 1.17 Gbps
Download: 1.38 Gbps
Upload: 1.18 Gbps
13 Download: 1.40 Gbps
Upload: 1.07 Gbps
Download: 1.27 Gbps
Upload: 1.22 Gbps
Download: 1.44 Gbps
Upload: 1.04 Gbps
14 Download: 1.32 Gbps
Upload: 1.01 Gbps
Download: 1.41 Gbps
Upload: 1.08 Gbps
Download: 1.34 Gbps
Upload: 1.07 Gbps
15 Download: 1.27 Gbps
Upload: 1.13 Gbps
Download: 1.44 Gbps
Upload: 1.01 Gbps
Download: 1.43 Gbps
Upload: 1.17 Gbps
16 Download: 1.30 Gbps
Upload: 1.13 Gbps
Download: 1.42 Gbps
Upload: 1.13 Gbps
Download: 1.30 Gbps
Upload: 1.18 Gbps
17 Download: 1.39 Gbps
Upload: 1.10 Gbps
Download: 1.36 Gbps
Upload: 1.02 Gbps
Download: 1.34 Gbps
Upload: 1.04 Gbps
18 Download: 1.42 Gbps
Upload: 1.16 Gbps
Download: 1.31 Gbps
Upload: 1.06 Gbps
Download: 1.32 Gbps
Upload: 1.16 Gbps
19 Download: 1.24 Gbps
Upload: 1.09 Gbps
Download: 1.31 Gbps
Upload: 1.09 Gbps
Download: 1.32 Gbps
Upload: 1.14 Gbps
20 Download: 1.24 Gbps
Upload: 1.10 Gbps
Download: 1.35 Gbps
Upload: 1.16 Gbps
Download: 1.26 Gbps
Upload: 1.13 Gbps
TestSingaporeUnited StatesUnited Kingdom

Read our full NordVPN review.

Expressvpn Speed Test Summary

  • Singapore : Average Upload: 326.02 Mbps / Average Download: 448.24 Mbps
  • United States : Average Upload: 157.04 Mbps / Average Download: 212.65 Mbps
  • United Kingdom : Average Upload: 306.71 Mbps / Average Download: 439.21 Mbps

Daily Test Results

TestSingaporeUnited StatesUnited Kingdom
1 Download: 583.29 Mbps
Upload: 336.19 Mbps
Download: 202.71 Mbps
Upload: 176.31 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
2 Download: 603.69 Mbps
Upload: 341.27 Mbps
Download: 170.38 Mbps
Upload: 158.98 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
3 Download: 342.62 Mbps
Upload: 351.77 Mbps
Download: 192.61 Mbps
Upload: 188.92 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
4 Download: 554.04 Mbps
Upload: 338.62 Mbps
Download: 190.76 Mbps
Upload: 218.04 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
5 Download: 561.35 Mbps
Upload: 342.94 Mbps
Download: 191.38 Mbps
Upload: 208.24 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
6 Download: 443.61 Mbps
Upload: 338.01 Mbps
Download: 197.44 Mbps
Upload: 185.50 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
7 Download: 258.74 Mbps
Upload: 277.87 Mbps
Download: 203.74 Mbps
Upload: 222.55 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
8 Download: 479.14 Mbps
Upload: 343.75 Mbps
Download: 155.91 Mbps
Upload: 147.36 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
9 Download: 423.44 Mbps
Upload: 304.98 Mbps
Download: 163.97 Mbps
Upload: 163.09 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
10 Download: 521.04 Mbps
Upload: 328.18 Mbps
Download: 189.27 Mbps
Upload: 208.42 Mbps
Download: -
Upload: -
11 Download: 535.67 Mbps
Upload: 359.01 Mbps
Download: 255.49 Mbps
Upload: 112.01 Mbps
Download: 444.79 Mbps
Upload: 299.85 Mbps
12 Download: 512.59 Mbps
Upload: 354.48 Mbps
Download: 252.65 Mbps
Upload: 72.04 Mbps
Download: 459.82 Mbps
Upload: 283.96 Mbps
13 Download: 506.61 Mbps
Upload: 359.14 Mbps
Download: 188.50 Mbps
Upload: 231.62 Mbps
Download: 415.44 Mbps
Upload: 316.33 Mbps
14 Download: 302.14 Mbps
Upload: 313.75 Mbps
Download: 274.52 Mbps
Upload: 107.58 Mbps
Download: 432.64 Mbps
Upload: 319.59 Mbps
15 Download: 298.17 Mbps
Upload: 312.22 Mbps
Download: 245.58 Mbps
Upload: 157.30 Mbps
Download: 445.46 Mbps
Upload: 327.36 Mbps
16 Download: 329.21 Mbps
Upload: 317.89 Mbps
Download: 182.36 Mbps
Upload: 215.57 Mbps
Download: 410.21 Mbps
Upload: 308.85 Mbps
17 Download: 480.13 Mbps
Upload: 298.93 Mbps
Download: 259.27 Mbps
Upload: 131.93 Mbps
Download: 468.53 Mbps
Upload: 329.96 Mbps
18 Download: 495.26 Mbps
Upload: 295.23 Mbps
Download: 200.87 Mbps
Upload: 131.38 Mbps
Download: 438.67 Mbps
Upload: 283.57 Mbps
19 Download: 330.40 Mbps
Upload: 308.30 Mbps
Download: 262.75 Mbps
Upload: 12.20 Mbps
Download: 408.67 Mbps
Upload: 282.83 Mbps
20 Download: 403.71 Mbps
Upload: 297.85 Mbps
Download: 272.84 Mbps
Upload: 91.72 Mbps
Download: 467.87 Mbps
Upload: 314.76 Mbps
TestSingaporeUnited StatesUnited Kingdom

Read our full ExpressVPN review.

Verdict: Tie

Draw. Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer excellent speed.

Final Thoughts on the NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN Comparison

I like both VPN service providers, but ExpressVPN’s prices always turned me off. While I maintain an account with them, it’s mainly due to work since I test and review multiple VPN servicess. In honesty, I prefer the NordVPN experience.