NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Which VPN Should You Choose?

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If you’re shopping for an enterprise VPN, there’s a good chance NordVPN and ExpressVPN are on your list. Both vendors offer competitive VPN solutions that enable you and your employees to use the internet while maintaining privacy. However, each option offers its own advantages over competitors. To determine which VPN is the best choice for you, it’s important to compare each vendor in terms of what’s most important to you and your business.

Some of the top considerations to keep in mind when comparing NordVPN and ExpressVPN include:

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Which has stronger privacy and security?

Privacy and security are the biggest reasons you want to use a VPN in the first place, and each VPN provider approaches these factors a bit differently. They both use Perfect Forward Secrecy, which automatically changes encryption keys on a recurring basis to prevent data from being decrypted if other components of the key exchange are compromised. However, this is effectively where the privacy and security similarities end.

The most notable difference between NordVPN and ExpressVPN is each vendor’s logging policy. NordVPN does not store any data whatsoever—a claim that has been confirmed by independent auditors. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, does collect some data from its users according to its website. This data includes:

  • App and app versions successfully activated
  • Dates (but not times) when collected to the VPN service
  • Choice of VPN server location
  • Total amount of data transferred per day

Thankfully, ExpressVPN doesn’t log sensitive details like IP addresses, browsing history, traffic destination/metadata, or DNS queries. Although the information it does collect is purportedly only used for troubleshooting and software development, it’s easier to have confidence in a VPN provider’s privacy and security claims if it doesn’t log any data in the first place.

Related: VPN Security Risks: Best Practices for 2021

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Which has faster performance?

Using a VPN can sometimes slow down internet speeds because all incoming and outgoing data has to be encrypted and decrypted. The exact speed depends on your proximity to a VPN server, how much capacity that server has, and the protocol it uses to encrypt your data. In general, VPN providers that have a larger number of servers in more locations offer better connection performance. If you don’t travel often, though, server locations might not be as impactful as server volume.

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN use proprietary encryption protocols. ExpressVPN developed its Lightway protocol to be equal parts fast, secure, and reliable, but you can also choose from L2TP, OpenVPN, or IKEv2 protocols if you don’t want to use Lightway. Similarly, NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol is based on WireGuard, but with better privacy. If you’re more comfortable with IKEv2/IPSec or OpenVPN, however, you can choose from those protocols as well.

If you do a lot of international traveling, ExpressVPN offers an impressive 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries, whereas NordVPN has servers in only 60 countries by comparison. However, NordVPN offers almost double the number of servers compared to ExpressVPN—5,866 versus a vague 3,000+. This means you’ll likely have a better chance of finding a nearby server in those 60 countries with NordVPN and a faster connection speed as a result.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Which has better device support?

Compatibility is another critical consideration when shopping for a VPN—your VPN will only be as effective as the devices you’re able to connect. For this reason, you should look for a solution that will support all of the devices you and your employees use currently as well as those you may use in the future.

NordVPN offers desktop apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chromebook computers, plus mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. There are browser extensions for Chrome, Edge and Firefox browsers only, so you might be out of luck if you prefer to use Safari or a different open source browser. However, NordVPN supports a wide range of miscellaneous devices, including smart TVs, gaming consoles, and tablets.

Screenshot of NordVPN interface for macOS.
Source: NordVPN

Similarly, ExpressVPN natively supports all of the same operating systems and browsers as NordVPN, plus Microsoft Edge and a wider range of smart TVs and gaming consoles. What’s most impressive about ExpressVPN, however, is its support for VPN routers. As smart home and other internet-connected devices become more commonplace (even in office settings), having a VPN connection on the router-level is the only way to ensure all of your online activity is private and secure. It’s also a more convenient and cost-effective way to manage your VPN-connected devices.

Screenshot of ExpressVPN router configuration panel for macOS.
Source: ExpressVPN

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: What’s the difference in cost?

Unlike ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers enterprise-specific pricing and features through its NordLayer platform. There are three editions to choose from:

  • NordVPN Standard: starting at $3.79/user/month; includes malware protection
  • NordVPN Plus: starting at $4.59/user/month; adds breach scanning and password manager
  • NordVPN Complete: starting at $5.79/user/month; adds 1TB cloud storage and advanced encryption
  • NordLayer: pricing ranges from $8/user/month to $14/user/month, billed annually, plus custom pricing plans too. Features range from 100Mbps performance for Lite and Core pricing levels up to 16Gbps performance with cloud firewall and device posture security for the Premium solution.

ExpressVPN doesn’t make its volume licensing rates readily available, so it’s difficult to compare costs directly. For individual subscriptions, there are three pricing options available:

  • 1 month: $12.95/month
  • 6 months: $9.99/month
  • 12 months: $8.32/month

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN: Which has better customer support?

If for some reason the VPN you choose isn’t working properly at any point, it’s important that the VPN provider has clear support channels in place to address your issue. ExpressVPN and NordVPN both offer the same support methods for their customers: self-service troubleshooting documentation, setup and configuration tutorials, live chat, and email ticketing.

However, only NordVPN offers 24/7 phone support to its Enterprise customers. ExpressVPN customers won’t be able to reach the support team over the phone, so sometimes there can be a delay in response.

Choosing the right VPN

NordVPN and ExpressVPN are strong competitors in the VPN market. If you want a solution that won’t log any of your data, has a whopping server volume, and has business-friendly pricing, NordVPN might be the best choice for you. If you do a lot of international travel or want router-level VPN protection, ExpressVPN is likely the better option. To compare these solutions and more, check out our list of Best Enterprise VPN Solutions.

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