The ExpressVPN vs. NordVPN debate continues to rage online. We list both of these services on our best VPN list. Naturally, a compare and contrast narrative has erupted, whether fair or forced. That's just business.
Its obvious that both of these VPN services are top of their class. Meaning, if you already purchased one of these and want to confirm you didn't make a mistake, you're absolutely fine. But if you haven't purchased your VPN yet and you're in the NordVPN vs. EspressVPN rabbit hole, allow me to help you out.
Country of Origin
NordVPN is based in Panama, a country which does not particpate in the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances. This helps insulate NordVPN and it's customer base (potentially you) from litigation activities such as subpoenas.
Likewise, ExpressVPN resides in the British Virgin Islands and enjoys similar insulation as NordVPN, with the exception that it must comply with subpoenas originating from the British Virgin Islands.
What's all this mean?
In the end, this is a relative tie. While we prefer Switzerland as a primary residence for a VPN, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are well-insulated from international legal scrutinies. This means you're safe to use them.
Also, it all comes down to privacy. Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN have no logs policies. So in reality, even if a government agency forced their hand, they'd have nothing to turn over.
Kill Switch: NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN
If you aren't sure why you'd need a kill switch, please read over my what is a kill switch guide. If you don't feel like reading that right now, I understand, just know that you do need one. When a VPN's server goes down (things happen, nothing online is perfect), your kill switch shuts off your Internet connection until you either connect to a new VPN server, or restart your computer. This prevents your IP and current browsing history from being quickly exposed to your ISP, or hackers.
Most top VPN services have a kill switch, though in most cases you need to enable it.
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN have a kill switch. So in either case, you're good.
Customer Service: ExpressVPN or NordVPN?
You hope to not need customer service after signing up for your VPN. But you know how it goes, right? Sometimes, we need customer service to work out a kink or two.
Both ExpressVPn and NordVPN have 24/7 customer service. In both cases, the live chat is 24 hours, but you can also send in support tickets which are quickly answered.
So far, it probably feels as though these two VPN giants are equals. Well, that's mostly the case, but let's look over some more primetime details.
On average, you can get NordVPN at around $3.71 per month under a 2-year plan. At ExpressVPN, you will pay $8.32 per month for a year deal.
And finally, we have a clear winner.
When it comes to NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN prices, NordVPN is by far and away the winner.
NordVPN's price undercuts a lot of top-in-class VPN services, so ExpressVPN shouldn't feel too bad here. But it's also a major reason that NordVPN eats up so much marketplace. Price is very important, particularly when all other things are equal.
Now, we must ask, why is NordVPN that much cheaper?
Countries and Servers
ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries, while NordVPN has 5,100 servers in 59 countries. It cost less to operate servers in less countries.
Is the country disparity between NordVPN and ExpressVPN meaningful?
It might be. If you want to unblock content in a particular country that NordVPN lacks coverage in, you can't do anything about it. But if not, then you'd be overpaying to pay more to ExpressVPN for a handful of extra countries you'll never have use for.
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN unblock streaming in most any place you'd reasonably need. You'll have no issue unblocking Netflix players worldwide with either VPN. This is a definite tie. But again, what did you expect from two of the top VPNs in the world?
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN are perennial top VPN contenders. In either case, you can't go wrong. But I feel that NordVPN's pricing model is a bit difficult to beat. If you are OK with a 2-year deal, paying under $4 is a steal for one of the best VPN services around.