ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

A very closely run race and a rare occurrence where both VPN providers come out with glowing reviews and you can be sure of your choice in either. In short, go with ExpressVPN if you’re looking for extra tech features and a little more security. Go with NordVPN on price and ease of use.

Trevor Akinde, Author

Riley Marsden, Chief Editor


ExpressVPN is a sleek, popular VPN solution that prioritizes excellent service and a variety of powerful security tools. NordVPN, on the other hand, brands itself a bit more for the everyday web user. But beneath the logos and websiteswhat’s the real difference between Express VPN and NordVPN.

ExpressVPN and NordVPN both have the basic functionalities of a VPN – they disguise your IP address so you can browse the web without leaving a trace.

When it comes to pitting Express VPN vs. NordVPN, you want to know which VPN provides you the best value for your money. So we’re going to see how these two compare. 


Both Express VPN and NordVPN are known for having server networks all over the world that prevent your internet speeds from dropping when you slap on the VPN.

Speed tests on the connection speed of both networks show that you’ll get great speeds, no matter who you go with.

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer simultaneous connections, which allows you to hook up multiple devices to your VPN network at the same time. It’s great if you want to have multiple people on the plan, or just have a few different devices!


NordVPN has a more complicated user interface, and while they allow you to pick a server somewhere in the world, it’s a bit clunkier. ExpressVPN has a cleaner design and gets you privacy with less clutter.
Split Tunneling

Here’s where Express VPN begins to gain a bit of an edge. They prioritize split tunneling and a self-hosted DNS.

The split tunneling allows you to maintain some normal ISP connectivity, which obscures the fact that you’re using a VPN to block certain traffic.

Importantly, DNS leaks are one of the weak points for a VPN construction.

Express VPN not only blocks such leaks, but it also has a website that runs tests to make sure that it’s working properly!

RAM-disk Mode

ExpressVPN is the more secure choice, running all servers in RAM-disk mode, which makes sure that no servers store any data for any amount of time.

While NordVPN is scaling to meet this demand, you can get the functionality immediately with ExpressVPN.

Basic VPN Features

Both Express VPN and NordVPN offer a variety of other features, like torrent servers, double encryption, and logless browsing.

They don’t store data, and they use obfuscated servers to get around certain geological constraints. Furthermore, both systems have a kill switch feature, which prevents data from leaking through if the VPN goes down, but the internet is still up.

Streaming and Gaming

Whether you’re in the British Virgin Islands or Hong Kong, you’re probably looking for a VPN that can support higher-data activities like streaming and gaming.

With streaming, especially, there are certain kinds of content on Netflix that can only be accessed if you block your location and sign in to a different location. You can find great new content by doing this!

Both Express VPN and NordVPN have speeds that support streaming, and both of them work well for Netflix and gaming.

It’s a tie in this category.

Both of the services allow you to watch without buffering problems. Express VPN tends to get through right away, while NordVPN users may have to go to customer support to get through if you’re trying to access content that is location blocked. Either way, you’ll get a great streaming experience.

Customer Service and Pricing

NordVPN and ExpressVPN both have excellent customer services.

VPN services are critical to web privacy, and if your connection speed drops, it’s as bad as losing wifi for many people!

Thankfully, both Express VPN and NordVPN have a live chat feature and super responsive customer service. Usually this is one of the most key features for users who are not so tech- savvy and run into problems. Hat tip to both providers here.

Pricing per month is where NordVPN regains ground on ExpressVPN.

While ExpressVPN has a few extra features, it’s price-point is that bit further north of NordVPN.

So if cost is your thing, NordVPN is the cheaper option and still carries great service. Even the 15-month plan that ExpressVPN carries won’t get you down to the multi-year NordVPN plans. That’s the kind of difference we’re talking about here.

Pros and Cons


The Verdict

Do we have a winner? Kind of, but not really.

Express VPN and NordVPN both offer genuinely impressive speed and privacy for your internet connection.

And the money-back guarantee makes them easy options to run with and at least test out.

Ultimately your expectations of price versus services are going to tip the scale.

NordVPN really does target less the tech-savvy I-just-want-to-jump-right-in internet user who want to protect their privacy but maybe don’t want to know the finer details, just that they’re protected. And NordVPN is great at doing that.

If you’re approaching this from a security standpoint then go with ExpressVPN. Pay a little more for the split tunneling and DNS leak protection – you’ll have greater peace of mind. 

Both these services get a huge thumbs up from us and that’s probably why they’re two of the more popular options on the market right now. Choose either and you won’t go far wrong.