Which is the better VPN? I’ll answer this question in detail, with facts and without any bias throughout this piece.
I’ve compared as many as 17 of the most important features for both VPNs. You’ll get a clear understanding of which VPN is the better choice for each feature.
Even if you aren’t very experienced with VPNs, this piece is for you. I’ve made sure you understand each feature and its importance for you before comparing them.
Let’s get started then?
NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN Quick Features Comparison
I have tested 17 features and writing below only the winner’s software that found best in specific categories. Some of you may be short on time, and I get that.
- No Log Policy: Tie
- Jurisdiction: NordVPN
- No of Countries and Servers: ExpressVPN
- Simultaneous Connections: NordVPN
- Split Tunnelling: NordVPN
- Meshnet: NordVPN
- Dark Web Monitor: NordVPN
- Threat Protection: NordVPN
- Netflix Libraries: NordVPN
- Dedicated IP: NordVPN
- Onion Over VPN: NordVPN
- Double VPN: NordVPN
- Obfuscated Servers: NordVPN
- Signup & Payment Anonymity: Tie
- 24X7 Live Chat: Tie
- Free Add-ons: NordVPN
- Pricing Plans & Refund: NordVPN
Overall winner: NordVPN! But hey, how do you know I’m not biased? Go through the fine-print on this comparison and you’ll see.
Independently Audited Logs
In my opinion, this is the most important feature you should pay attention to in any VPN.
All VPNs claim that they do not store logs. Obviously, they’ve been caught lying on multiple occasions.
If it’s “logs” you’re concerned about, you’ll get the same level of anonymity from both the VPNs.
Winner: Neither. It’s a draw.
ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN Jurisdiction
I’ll tell you why the jurisdiction matters.
Some countries have mandatory data retention policies. Even if the VPN company doesn’t want it, they must retain certain data about their customers.
Countries in the list include U.S., U.K., and now India, which recently mandated that all VPNs must store user data.
Now, a VPN must only adhere to the laws of a country where it either has physical servers and/or has offices.
This means a VPN from a less privacy-invasive country is a better option.
While BVI, too is a privacy-friendly country, Panama is just better. Panamanian laws are some of the best if you’re trying to be private, off the grid, and anonymous.
No. Of Countries and Servers
A VPN’s prime job is to let you connect to different countries and servers. Hence, the no. of available options obviously matters when we’re comparing NordVPN to ExpressVPN, eh?
ExpressVPN offers 90 countries to choose from. That’s a pretty big number. NordVPN on the other hand only offers 60 countries.
However, ExpressVPN has about 4000 servers, while NordVPN has about 5500+ servers. This impacts speed.
Winner: ExpressVPN is “no. of available countries” is counted, NordVPN if “no. Of servers” is counted.
So, how many devices can you connect to a single account on each VPN?
NordVPN allows 6 simultaneous connections while ExpressVPN is limited at 5.
This means you get 1 extra device/family member to use the VPN for free with Nord than ExpressVPN. Now, in my opinion, a single device doesn’t make a huge difference anyway.
Plus, I doubt you’ve got more than 5 devices that need protection at the same time. However, we’ve got to be unbiased and neutral. By that logic, NordVPN is obviously the better option.
At times, you may not want all your traffic to be routed over the VPN, right? This is true in cases when you’re playing games or connecting to services that require your original IP. address.
Split Tunnelling lets you choose which apps/connections should use the VPN and which should avoid it.
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer the feature.
Winner: Neither. It’s a draw.
This is one of the most advanced, unique and desirable features that I’ve ever seen any VPN offer.
This is a NordVPN-only feature. ExpressVPN doesn’t offer Meshnet.
One of the other Meshnet capabilities is traffic routing. You can make it so multiple devices use the same IP. address to access the internet.
You can connect as many as 50 devices! Connections are easy. You get a unique connection IP (not the same as your ISP IP) and a Nord name. Type these in, and you’re in! You can also invite members or vice-versa. That’s epic, isn’t it?
Dark Web Monitor
The dark web is where hacked databases are generally sold. Chances are, you’ve signed up at a harmless site (e.g. some eyewear site). Unfortunately, nothing on the web is “harmless”. If this eyewear site is hacked, your data gets hacked. You may have used the same I.D. and password on multiple other sites. This means all of those accounts are compromised as well.
That’s something the dark web monitor protects against. It scans the dark web to check if your account is put up for sale somewhere.
If such a leak is found, you’re notified, and you can change your credentials.
Again, this feature is completely missing from ExpressVPN and is exclusively available on NordVPN only.
It does exactly what you expect and then a bit more. Both VPN services offer threat protection; however, what you get slightly differs for each VPN.
With NordVPN, it’s basically an upgraded version of their “CyberSec” feature. It protects you from malware, trackers and even your downloaded files. If threats are found, they’re blocked automatically. It even has an in-built ad-blocker attached to the feature.
Now, ExpressVPN too offers similar features. It too blocks malicious websites, trackers keeping you safe.
However, there are two fronts where NordVPN has a slight edge over ExpressVPN.
For starters, NordVPN threat manager works even if you aren’t connected to a VPN server. Yes, having the VPN app in the background is all that’s required. ExpressVPN threat manager on the other hand only works if you’re connected to a VPN server.
Winner: NordVPN because it works without requiring a VPN connection + is available on Android.
Unblock Netflix Libraries
Yes, this is a specific superpower that varies for each VPN.
Not all of you may be aware that your Netflix subscription DOES NOT get you 100% of the available content.
The twist is, not all VPNs are capable of bypassing Netflix VPN-detection. Yeah, they’ve got quite an advanced firewall there.
Fortunately, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are some of the few warriors who can break through.
Comparatively however, NordVPN is the clear winner as it’s capable of unblocking over 14 different Netflix regions. These include USA, U.K., Japan and many others. ExpressVPN on the other hand unblocks fewer Netflix regions.
Best Movies on Netflix All Times
Let’s first discuss why this is important? New IP. addresses aren’t always the better option, let me explain.
There are a few services/websites that only allow access from “recognized/trustworthy” IP. addresses.
E.g. if you connect to a Japanese server, from the U.S., chances are your U.S. bank may not allow you access. They’d suspect malicious activities which is natural.
This is when you need dedicated IP. addresses. These IP addresses are static, they do not change. You select a specific location and can use the location repeatedly.
Obviously, it still offers all the benefits of a VPN.
Unfortunately, ExpressVPN doesn’t offer dedicated IP. at all. NordVPN does offer dedicated IP. at an additional cost. I’m sure the winner is clear here, isn’t it?
Onion Over VPN
This is a feature that may be new to you. That’s understandable considering how it’s a feature that almost no other VPN offers except NordVPN.
What it does is, route your connection first via the VPN and then over the Tor network. This offers you the benefits of the VPN combined with that of the Tor network.
One of the primary benefits you get is the fact that your ISP won’t know you’re using the Tor network or browser. That’s a massive plus considering how some govt. flag you simply for using Tor.
It also masks your IP for the Tor entry node. This is the only node on the Tor network that has access to your real IP isn’t it?
Hence, the Onion over VPN server makes sure even the entry node doesn’t have access to your real IP. Just in case it’s a monitored node, you identity still remains safe.
Winner: Obviously, NordVPN as ExpressVPN entirely lacks the feature.
Let’s first discuss what this is and why it’s important?
You obviously know that a VPN changes your IP address. However, Double VPN is a feature that changes your IP address twice. Without doubt it provides double the benefits and protection, doesn’t it?
This may reduce speeds however is certainly desirable when you’d rather trade speed for security.
Winner: NordVPN. ExpressVPN doesn’t have a Double VPN feature.
When your internet connect to a VPN, your ISP can generally see that you’re using a VPN. Obviously, your new IP or web activities are completely hidden.
This is where obfuscated servers come to the rescue. They make your VPN connection invisible to your ISP.
This means, your ISP wouldn’t know that you’re using a VPN. This is extremely handy if you’re in very strict jurisdictions or your ISP just restricts VPN connections.
Again, Obfuscated servers are only available with NordVPN.
Signup & Payment Anonymity
Well, if your signup isn’t anonymous, no amount of anonymity would matter later, would it?
Now, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN allow signing up without sharing any personal or private details. No name, address or other details are required.
Winner: Tie, similar anonymity and payment options.
The support team matters as well, doesn’t it? Well, there’s not much difference here. These are both professional companies and hence you get the exact same thing.
They both offer 24X7 live-chat that’s responsive, very fast and helpful. I’ve never found massive differences in speed, attitude or the quality of information either.
Winner: Neither, it’s a draw.
Both VPNs offer you something extra for the money you pay.
NordVPN also offers you additional 1 T.B. cloud storage, 100% free. This is end-to-end encrypted.
Winner: NordVPN; ExpressVPN doesn’t offer the cloud storage add-on.
Pricing Plans & Refunds
I don’t generally make controversial statements, but please allow me this one time.
ExpressVPN is one of the most irrationally-priced VPNs I’ve ever crossed paths with.
Comparatively, ExpressVPN costs almost 3x the price of NordVPN. Ironically, it also offers almost 3x less features. That’s why I am not happy with the price that’s being demanded.
Both companies do offer a 30-day refund policy.
Winner: NordVPN by far. ExpressVPN offers way fewer features and is asking for 3x more.
Some other VPN Services That You Might Use!
2. SurfShark VPN
The clear answer is NordVPN. And no, I won’t sugercoat the facts. Out of 17 comparisons, ExpressVPN has won 1 (countries and servers). Even this isn’t a clear win (if we take the “no. of servers” into account).
Offering less features is acceptable, demanding 3x the price for lesser features isn’t, is it?
So in a nutshell, I’d say go with NordVPN. I’ve compared over 20 VPNs against Nord so far and it hasn’t lost a single battle. Obviously, you can try ExpressVPN as well, it’s definitely a good VPN on its own.