NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN – Tournament of Power and The Winner is…

Hamza Shahid November 12, 2018

Users regularly come across many review websites that list NordVPN and ExpressVPN as top providers in the marketplace. What happens if you put both VPNs against each other though? Is it possible to declare a winner among the two? Well, this NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN guide will give you all the juicy details. Reviewing both providers though, reminded us a lot about the fight between Goku and Jiren from Dragon Ball Super. It is definitely a tough competition!


Is NordVPN a Good Provider?

Over the years, I have reviewed hundreds of different providers. If there is one constant in the industry, it would be NordVPNs persistence to be the best. The VPN covers all bases, offering amazing speeds for unblocking, remarkable privacy for P2P, excellent security for identity protection, dedicated IPs for personal use, a huge server database. In short, NordVPN is a devoted warden of online privacy. You can always trust the service with its USPs, which set it apart from the competition.

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN


Does ExpressVPN Keep Logs?

ExpressVPN is a British Virgin Islands-based provider. As such, it is far away from the US and EU jurisdictions, which mandate data retention and government surveillance. This gives the provider complete liberty of hosting a ZERO logs policy (that has been verified). There was a case involving the assassination of the Russian Ambassador of Turkey. Authorities could not find any data, even after the seizing a server. The VPN does, however, store account info like name, email, and payment data.

Does ExpressVPN Keep Logs


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN Overview

Established in 2012 and based in Panama, NordVPN enjoys a strategic location, which promotes the right to user privacy. The VPN meets all facets of a highly secure provider. It allows users to unblock Netflix, engages in P2P/Torrenting, and even bypass geo-restrictions in countries with regressive laws. This includes China, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, UAE and more!

Created in 2009 and established at the British Virgin Islands, ExpressVPN is also a safe provider, as it is away from the Five and Fourteen Eyes Alliances (from US and EU jurisdictions). The provider is top-rated in terms of security/privacy offering a huge list of servers, a responsive 24/7 support team, 30-day money back guarantees, native apps for all platforms, and remarkable unblocking capabilities.

Panama-Based (outside US and EU Jurisdictions)Based in British Virgin Islands
2-Year Plan: $3.99/mo. (Billed $95.75)1 Year Plan: $8.32/mo. (Billed $99.95)
Encryption: Military Grade AES-256-CBCEncryption: AES-256-CBC with HMAC SHA-256
Total Servers: 5080 in 62 CountriesTotal Servers: 2,000+ Servers in 94+ Countries
Refund Guarantee: 30 DaysRefund Guarantee: 30-Days
P2P/Torrenting: YesP2P/Torrenting: Yes
Netflix Unblock: YesUS Netflix Unblock: Yes


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Connection Speed

To get a better idea about the performance of both providers, we performed a speed analysis. This involved testing the max upload and download bandwidths of NordVPN and ExpressVPN. The entire process consumed a good 5 hours. It entailed testing different servers in varied countries of both providers on a 50Mbps connection. We then came up with an average on the speeds.

If we talk about ExpressVPN, all servers delivered amazing performance. Albeit, those located far way had lesser speeds. The average though peaked at 45Mbps, indicating a loss of only 4%. For NordVPN, the results were quite similar. You receive good speeds for unblocking/streaming. The average speeds were 43Mbps, revealing a speed loss of only 5%. It is a tough competition, but ExpressVPN wins this one.

5% Speed Loss4% Speed Loss
Fast UnblockingInstant Streaming


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Pricing

When selecting a VPN provider, the pricing plays a major role in the decision-making process. The best services may be a little expensive, but you can always leverage amazing deals. For NordVPN, the monthly pricing starts at $11.95. This is quite expensive for many. However, you can always opt for their bi-annual subscription, which gives you an amazing 24% discount.

This lowers the monthly pricing all the way down to $9.00/mo. As a result, you only have to pay $54 for six-months. The longer the duration, the cheaper the pricing. If you go for the yearly, you receive a 41% discount. This means, you only pay $6.99 month. However, if you want the best value from NordVPN, go for their 2-year plan. It gives users a 66% discount, costing only $95.75 for 24-months!

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, tends to be a little more expensive than NordVPN. If you plan to subscribe to ExpressVPN, you will have three plans available: 1 month, 12-months, and 6-months. Users who go for the monthly package will have to pay $12.95. For those who go for the 6-months plan, you receive a 22% discount. This lowers the monthly pricing to $9.99, which totals to $59.95 biannually.

For the best value, users can go for the yearly package, which gives a massive 35% discount. This reduces the per month pricing to $8.32, which is billed $99.95 every 12-months. There is a deal available that gives you access to the VPN for 15 Months. It gives users the ability to save a massive 49%. The monthly pricing starts at $6.67, meaning you pay $99.95. NordVPN definitely tends to be more budget-friendly, offering a 2-year subscription for $95.75, for just $4 lesser.

Monthly Pricing: $11.95Monthly Pricing: $12.95
Bi-Annual Plan: $9.00/mo. (24% Discount) = $54Biannual Costs: $9.99/mo. (16% Discount) = $59.95
Yearly Costs: $6.99/mo.(41% Discount) = $83.881-Year Plan: $8.32/mo. (30% Discount) = 99.95
2-Year Plan: $3.99/mo. (66% Discount) = $95.7515-Months Special: $6.67/mo. (49% Discount) = $99.95
30 Days Money Back Guarantee Available30-Days Money Back Guarantee
3-Day Free Trial


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Privacy

Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer amazing privacy and security to users. They utilize some of the best and advanced technologies for keeping the identity of customers anonymous. NordVPN offers support for all protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, and IKEv2. For the data channel, the provider uses an AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication.

For its control channel, NordVPN utilizes the same ciphers and hash authentication above, with the inclusion of an RSA-2048. Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) is setup using the strong DHE-4096 key exchange. The VPNs iOS apps, on the other hand, use IKEv2 with an AES-256-GCM cipher and HMAC SHA2-384 data authentication. PFE is provided by a DHE-3075 exchange.

For users who sign up with ExpressVPN, you can expect the same strong security as NordVPN. The service supports OpenVPN, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec, and PPTP protocols. For security, you receive protection via AES-256-CBC and AES-256-GCM ciphers. The difference between the two is of something called “chosen ciphertext attacks”. AES-256-CBC uses a secure Message Authentication Code (MAC).

Conversely, AES-256-GCM has built-in authentication codes, which makes the process a whole lot faster! For added security, ExpressVPN utilizes Perfect Forward secrecy via the DH-2048 Diffie-Hellman key exchange. Since both providers successfully anonymize your IP address, revealing no WebRTC, DNS, or IPv6 leakages, it is tough to decide on a winner in the privacy segment. So, it is 2 points each for now!

Data encryption: AES-256-CBCData encryption: AES-256-CBC
Data authentication: SHA384Data authentication: HMAC SHA-256
Handshake: RSA-2048Handshake: RSA-384
CyberSec ProtocolSSTP Protocol
Onion Over VPNTor Over VPN
Automatic Kill SwitchNetwork Lock
Dedicated IPs AvailableDNS Leak Protection
Panama-Based (Strategic Location)British Virgin Islands (Strategic Location)


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Features

One of the things that set NordVPN and ExpressVPN apart from the competition is its huge features list. Both providers do extensive research into adding the best and most advanced technologies in their VPN apps. So, if we talk about features comparison, the results will be the same for both. You have all the essentials available, along with advanced features in NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

Ultimately, deciding the winner came down to a simple facet: simultaneous connections. Where the BVI-based provider only grants 3 multi-logins to its customers, NordVPN goes the extra mile in offering up to 6 simultaneous connections. For lesser the price than ExpressVPN, this feature definitely positions NordVPN higher. You can easily use the VPN on 6 different devices easily. Another point for NordVPN!

DNS Leak ProtectionAutomatic Kill Switch
DoubleVPN ServiceAnti-DDoS Attacks
IPV6 Leak ProtectionDNS Leak Protection
Automatic Server SelectionManual/Auto Server Connect
Ad/Tracker BlockerSOCKS5 Proxy Available
SOCKS5 Proxy AvailableBrowser Extensions Available
6 Simultaneous Connections3 Simultaneous Connections
Browser Proxy ExtensionsSplit Tunneling Feature


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Torrenting and P2P

Like we said earlier, NordVPN and ExpressVPN are two hit services of the marketplace. As such, they possess the same traits more or less, especially in terms of unblocking, privacy, and even P2P/torrenting. If you take a look at the features listing for P2P/file sharing entirely, you will notice both services offer the same privacy tools. This leaves determining the winner again from one aspect entirely.

For P2P/Torrenting, this involves having a higher ratio of servers that are available for downloading torrents from around the world. NordVPN, despite offering a huge 5100+ servers in 62+ countries, only has P2P friendly servers in 28 countries. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, goes the extra mile offering servers in 36 countries worldwide. The competition is close, with ExpressVPN winning this one. However, we are still at a tie, as both providers have scored 3 points.

Port ForwardingPort Forwarding
SOCKS5 ProxyPort Selection
Multiple GatewaysSOCKS5 Proxy
P2P Friendly Servers (28 Countries)P2P Friendly Servers (36 Countries)


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Netflix and China

We analyzed the performance of both providers for Netflix and China to get a better idea on their unblocking capabilities. The results we received were again quite shocking. Where NordVPN offers what they call “Obfuscated Servers” for bypassing “The Great Firewall”, ExpressVPN provides users with something similar. They call it “Stealth Servers”, which easily bypass geo-restrictions in tough countries.

Both providers even offer a DoubleVPN feature. This allows users to connect to two different servers for anonymizing their identity completely. The end result of our analysis proves that both providers have the capability of unblocking American Netflix and bypassing geo-restrictions in China. Therefore, we are at another cliffhanger! It is now 4 points for each provider.

Obfuscated Servers (Bypass the Great Firewall)Stealth Servers (Bypass the Great Firewall)
DoubleVPN for Maximum AnonymitySplit Tunneling Available
Unblocks American NetflixUnblocks American Netflix


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Device Support

It is getting kind of repetitive talking about NordVPN and ExpressVPN, because both providers are doing great in almost all aspects. If you check out their downloads page, you will find apps for desktop PCs and laptops using Windows, Mac, or Linux. Then, you have smartphones apps available for Android and iOS and browser extensions for Mozilla and Chrome.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about both VPNs is that they offer pre-configured Flash Routers, which allow users to impose security/privacy on the entire home network. This not only keeps your family secure while on the internet, but also guarantees you steer clear from hefty DMCA notices when streaming

Native Apps for Windows, Mac, LinuxNative Apps for Windows, Mac, Linux
Smartphone Apps for Android and iOSSmartphone Apps for Android and iOS
Browser Extensions for Mozilla, ChromeBrowser Extensions for Mozilla, Chrome
Custom Flash Routers with NordVPN Built-InPre-configured ExpressVPN Flash Routers


NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN: Who is the Winner??

We told you earlier that this review reminded us a lot about Goku’s and Jiren’s faceoff in the Tournament of Power. You probably get the gist why! Despite Goku going MASTERED ULTRA INSTINCT (NordVPN), he was still finding it difficult to keep up Full-power Jiren (ExpressVPN) – because they were equally matched opponents. Same is the case with this battle between NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

Hamza Shahid

Hamza Shahid's Biography :

Hamza Shahid is a tech-geek, who adores creativity and innovation. When he is not watching TV and stuffing munchies, he loves sharing his expert knowledge regarding the latest trends in user privacy and copyright infringement. Apart from writing blogs/articles on cyber laws and political affairs, Hamza takes a keen interest in writing detailed VPN reviews. On the sidelines, he is an avid car-enthusiast and music-addict.

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