ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: The Ultimate Showdown of the Giants (Updated 2020)

last updated: 17 December 2019 written by: Sebastian Petrosi

This time we have thought to bring the head to head comparison of two of the best VPN services. So, here is our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN showdown, where both the providers will be compared in terms of performance, security, features, price, servers, locations and everything else.

While we try our best to bring you the substantial reviews of various VPN services which helps you make your choice as per your needs and priorities.

Get ready for this ultimate showdown where only one will be victorious. If you want to read more reviews, then head on to our VPN Reviews page.

The aim of this is certainly not to determine the superiority of one over the other. It is merely a comparison based on facts.

The choices of the users between ExpressVPN vs NordVPN is certainly going to be based on their preferences, however we just want to help users see how these two services are in comparison with each other. Do keep in mind that both, ExpressVPN and NordVPN, are two of the best and most regarded services in the industry today.

We have divided the comparison between several parts including

  1. Performance and Speed
  2. Streaming and Unblocking
  3. P2P and Torrenting
  4. Price and Features
  5. Apps and Functionality
  6. Security and Protocols
  7. Privacy and Logging Policy
  8. Servers and Locations.

So on the basis of these the final verdict will be based on the finals points at the end. Let the fight begin!

ExpressVPN vs NordVPN: Performance and Speed

The first matchup is to determine the performance and speed of NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Here’re the speed test results we found.

ExpressVPNUpload: 9.52 MbpsUpload: 8.62 MbpsUpload: 6.34 Mbps
Download: 58.62 MbpsDownload: 51.91 MbpsDownload: 39.21 Mbps
Ping: 15 msPing: 59 msPing: 174 ms
NordVPNUpload: 9.43 MbpsUpload: 7.67 MbpsUpload: 5.53 Mbps
Download: 58.84 MbpsDownload: 49.49 MbpsDownload: 32.24 Mbps
Ping: 16 msPing: 64 msPing: 197 ms

The table shows that the difference certainly is not too much, however, ExpressVPN provided slightly better speeds than NordVPN. If we consider the overall average then both the providers gave better speeds than the average.

In addition, the connection reliability and time to connect for the both the providers were also impressive as we did not have any disconnection issues and connecting to any server of our choice was quick. We used OpenVPN for all the tests.

So, the scores in the first round of ExpressVPN vs NordVPN are:

ExpressVPN: 9
NordVPN: 8

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Streaming and Unblocking

When it comes to VPNs, another significant thing is the power of unblocking sites which are geo blocked or censored in certain locations. So, in our analysis of ExpressVPN vs NordVPN regarding the power to unblock sites and services, mainly streaming related, here’s what are the results.

NetflixUS, Canada, UK, GermanyUS, Canada, France, India, UK
HuluUS, JapanUS, Japan
Sky GoYesYes
Amazon Prime VideoYesYes
BBC iPlayerYesYes
Channel 4YesYes

So, it shows that the both of the services are quite good when it comes to unblock the heck out of any major streaming service from any location. In addition to the unblocking powers, the smoothness in the streaming experience is really important for which both the services proved to be incredible.

We experienced minimal buffering issues and since the speed of both the services are impressive, the overall streaming experience also was pretty good. So, now is the scoring time and we gave the following to these services.

ExpressVPN: 10
NordVPN: 9

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Expressvpn vs NordVPN: P2P and Torrenting

The third round is about peer to peer file-sharing and torrenting which is another super common purpose of using a VPN. Both, ExpressVPN and NordVPN, supports torrenting. However, NordVPN does not allow torrenting on all the servers.

NordVPN has limited servers which are optimized for p2p file sharing and are placed only in limited countries where torrenting and P2P is allowed. On the other hand, ExpressVPN allows torrenting on all the servers it offers so the users can download torrents on any of the servers.

So, only because of the fact that NordVPN allows torrenting on limited servers, it is not as preferable as ExpressVPN is and our scoring for both are:

ExpressVPN: 10
NordVPN: 8

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Price and Features

When it comes to the price and features, both these services are expensive and filled with amazing features. However, if these two are compared on pricing, here’s what you get.

Highest Price
Lowest Price
1-Year Price
Money-Back Guarantee
30 days30 days

In addition to this, the main features can be compared in the following manner.

Simultaneous Connections
Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Tomato routers, Amazon FireWindows, macOS, iOS, Android
Manual Setup
Set-top boxesLinux, routers, and set-top boxes
Split Tunneling
Free Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and SafariFree Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Malware blocker

So it clearly shows that ExpressVPN is more expensive than NordVPN but it also offers more features than NordVPN. On these basis, it is going be a tie in scoring.

ExpressVPN: 7
NordVPN: 8

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Expressvpn vs NordVPN: Apps and Functionality

When we talk about the best VPN apps, both of these providers come among the top ones. From UI to functionality and integrations of features, both providers have always kept the users really amused. The apps of both providers are nicely optimized for each of the major platforms. Also, in terms of performance, the apps are really impressive be it on mobile or computer.

NordVPN only offers apps for Android, Mac, iOS, and Windows, on the other hand, ExpressVPN additionally offers apps for Linux, Tomato routers and Amazon Fire. These additional apps gives a little edge to ExpressVPN in the battle. The design and performance of all the apps are incredible. So, our scoring for this is:

ExpressVPN: 10
NordVPN: 9

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Security and Protocols

Now let’s look at these two in the battle ground of security. Both the providers uses AES encryption with a 256-bit key which is quite popular and considered as the military grade encryption. Please do not confuse common with not good as it is commonly used by most of the services who need encryption because it is that good.

In addition to encryption, both the services offers multiple VPN protocols which include all the major ones. ExpressVPN offers OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, and PPTP. NordVPN offers OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, and PPTP. Also, for OpenVPN control channel encryption, ExpressVPN uses RSA-4096 and NordVPN uses RSA-2048. So, with all these facts, it is certain that both of these services are quite reliable when it comes to security.

ExpressVPN: 9
NordVPN: 9

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Privacy and Logging Policy

When it comes to privacy and the logs policy of the VPN providers, many users find it extremely significant in making a decision. What matter a lot is the fact that where the provider has headquartered in. ExpressVPN is based in British Virgin Island which is a part of 14 eyes countries while NordVPN is based in Panama which is not one of the 14 eyes.

In addition, ExpressVPN seems to keep some connection logs in the name of improving services. NordVPN claims not to keep any connection logs. Both the providers do not keep any activity logs and do not get any personal information from the users, except for the email address. Also, both allows anonymous payment methods as well.

British Virgin IslandsPanama
Connection logs
Activity logs
User details
Email addressEmail address
Anonymous payments
Bitcoin, MintBitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash,
Ripple, Gridcoin, Dash, and Monero

So, this shows that the winner of this is NordVPN because of the fact that it does not even keep any connection logs and it is not based in one of the 14 eyes.

ExpressVPN: 7
NordVPN: 8

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Servers and Locations

ExpressVPN and NordVPN, both have a large network of servers across borders which helps users get access to majority of the content. However, comparing the two unveiled that NordVPN offers a lot more servers than ExpressVPN, but the locations or available countries are offered more by ExpressVPN.


So, in this battle, it is a tie between the two.

ExpressVPN: 9
NordVPN: 9

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The Final Deduction

Here’s what the numbers look like in the battle of ExpressVPN vs NordVPN

Performance and Speed98
Streaming and Unblocking109
P2P and Torrenting108
Price and Features88
Apps and Functionality109
Security and Protocols99
Privacy and Logging Policy78
Servers and Locations99
Total (80)7268

So our winner is ExpressVPN and you have seen why it is the case, hope you like to sign up ExpressVPN. However, the victory is not with a long margin, still a win is a win. When compared with the price NordVPN is much cheaper and provides almost the same quality of service like ExpressVPN.


At the end of the day it all depends on how much you can afford to pay for a VPN service. If you got deep pockets then go for ExpressVPN but if you have a tight budget like me then go for NordVPN. We will leave the decision to you. But before you do we would suggest that you try both of these VPN providers out first. NordVPN offers a 7 days NordVPN Free Trial along with 30 days money back guarantee and ExpressVPN also offers a 30 days risk free money back guarantee.