VPN software includes features like location and device coverage, security, and ad-blocking. In today’s digital world, small businesses without a technology-enabled approach to VPN connections are falling behind.
This article will discuss the differences between two of the largest players in this space: NordVPN and ExpressVPN. We’ll discuss the notable strengths and weaknesses of each tool, and provide recommendations for who each tool will suit best.
All of our recommendations are based on research, product demos with the software companies, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing VPN software. More details regarding our research process can be found on our VPN category page.
NordVPN & ExpressVPN Comparison Summary
NordVPN was given a score of 94 due to its usability, advanced features, and wide server coverage. ExpressVPN was rated slightly higher only due to its affordability when compared to NordVPN. Feature-wise, both solutions are very similar.
In terms of pricing, NordVPN starts at $11.95 for one month, while ExpressVPN starts at $12.95 for one month. ExpressVPN is more affordable than NordVPN if users are purchasing yearly plans.
Both solutions offer the standard features found across VPN tools. These include robust server and country coverage, advanced security, and additional features such as split tunneling. NordVPN does, however, offer dedicated IP support, which ExpressVPN doesn’t.
Overall, both solutions are advanced and capable for small businesses in need of robust VPN software. In fact, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN ranked in the upper percentile of our VPN software category. If you’re in need of VPN software for a year or two, we recommend ExpressVPN due to its affordability. However, NordVPN offers dedicated IP support if this is important for you.
Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:
- You need a dedicated IP
- You’re in need of VPN software for only a month
- You prefer more server coverage over countries
- You in need of VPN software for a year or two
- You’re in need of more countries rather than servers
- You are not in need of server coverage
Table of Contents
- NordVPN & ExpressVPN Comparison Summary
- NordVPN & ExpressVPN Price Comparison
- NordVPN & ExpressVPN Top Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
NordVPN & ExpressVPN Price Comparison
Overall, NordVPN and ExpressVPN are similarly priced. Both solutions are more affordable the longer the plan duration is.
NordVPN Pricing Details
NordVPN is less affordable than competitors. You have three pricing options. Users can pay $11.95 for one month, $143.40 for a year, or $286.80 for two years.
As of December 2021, NordVPN offers discounts for their yearly and two year plans, charging $59.00 and $79.00 respectively. NordVPN does not offer a free plan.
ExpressVPN Pricing Details
ExpressVPN is a relatively less affordable solution than competitors. There are three pricing options. Users can pay $12.95 for one month, $59.95 for six months, or $99.95 for a full year.
ExpressVPN does not offer a free plan.
NordVPN & ExpressVPN Feature Comparison
Overall, NordVPN and ExpressVPN have a similar breadth of features. NordVPN comes with slightly more device support, as well as dedicated IP support.
|Multiple device support||Yes||Yes|
|Dedicated IP support||Yes||No|
Location & Device Coverage
Both NordVPN and ExpressVPN offer similar location and device coverage. ExpressVPN offers location coverage for up to 94 countries. You can choose from 160 servers. Compare this with NordVPN, which offers over 5,000 servers in 60 countries.
NordVPN offers support for up to 6 devices at once, while ExpressVPN supports 5 devices. Both solutions offer support for the following range or devices and operating systems:
- Apple TV
- Fire TV
- Nintendo Switch
NordVPN and ExpressVPN both offer the standard security measures most VPN software solutions offer. ExpressVPN does come with more transparency about its security protocols on its website, but NordVPN still offers top-level security for its customers.
Both solutions offer high strength encryption with AES-256, as well as IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN encryption protocols.
NordVPN and ExpressVPN also both offer a kill switch like many other VPN software solutions do. This can be automatically set up in their respective preferences.
NordVPN, unlike ExpressVPN, offers a unique feature entitled NordLynx. NordLynx is built around the WireGuard VPN protocol, which is essentially a standard protocol known for its speed. WireGuard, however, can potentially compromise privacy. NordLynx works to essentially make this protocol rely on a no-logs privacy model.
NordVPN comes with two advanced features: Split tunneling and dedicated IPs. ExpressVPN only comes with split tunneling.
With split tunneling, you can route select devices and applications through NordVPN’s encrypted servers and allow others to use your local IP. This has several use cases:
- Stream foreign films while using web services from local IP addresses
- Download applications without slowing down general web activity
- Access network printers while surfing the internet through VPN
ExpressVPN allows you to leverage split tunneling in two ways. You can split tunnel applications and devices with the normal method, protecting all connected devices except those specifically excluded. Conversely, you can leverage inverse split tunneling, which protects only your selected devices and applications, letting everything else connect to ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN does not come with dedicated IP support like NordVPN. Do note, however, that purchasing a dedicated IP with NordVPN costs $70.
Overall, if you are a small business or individual in need of powerful and user-friendly VPN software, both NordVPN and ExpressVPN will suit your needs. Because both solutions are similar feature-wise, we ultimately recommend ExpressVPN due to its relative affordability. However, if you’re in need of higher device support and dedicated IPs, go with NordVPN