ExpressVPN Review: Is It Worth Buying?

ExpressVPN is one of the most well-known VPNs on the market. Given its high cost, how does it perform in terms of performance and security? Is it worth buying?

After thoroughly evaluating ExpressVPN and other leading VPNs, I have reached a clear conclusion: ExpressVPN delivers excellent performance, but there are concerns about its security and the stability of its company operations. Additionally, with other equally impressive but more affordable options available, ExpressVPN is no longer the best choice.

Here, I recommend another very popular VPN – NordVPN. It can save you about half the cost while still meeting almost all your needs. Plus, you can take advantage of a 30-day money-back guarantee to ensure it’s right for you.

Why is ExpressVPN not worth purchasing?

1, NordVPN costs only half as much as ExpressVPN, yet its performance is comparable.

ExpressVPN is faster than NordVPN on nearby servers

To test NordVPN and ExpressVPN local speeds, we used the app’s automatic server selection feature. In NordVPN, this is called ‘Quick Connect’. In ExpressVPN, it’s named ‘Smart Location’.

The table below shows a comparison of NordVPN and ExpressVPN’s speed performance.

Local Download Speed95Mbps97Mbps
Average International Download Speed86Mbps85Mbps
Local Upload Speed94Mbps91Mbps
Ping8ms 8ms
Time to Connect3.6 seconds1.5 seconds
Fastest VPN ProtocolWireGuard (NordLynx)Lightway

We found that ExpressVPN’s speeds are slightly faster on local connections. When using it, our download speeds dropped by just 3% to 97Mbps. NordVPN caused our speeds to slow to 95Mbps, an 5% drop.

Both VPNs will be more than fast enough for almost every web activity. However, if you want the fastest raw download speed, ExpressVPN will perform better on nearby servers.

Upload speeds are important for nearby connections. You’re more likely to be connecting locally when using the VPN for activities like torrenting and secure video conferencing.

NordVPN’s upload speeds are faster than ExpressVPN’s. In our tests, we recorded an upload speed reduction of 6% with NordVPN, compared to 9% with ExpressVPN.

NordVPN is faster for long-distance connections

To stream geo-blocked video content in HD and 4K, a VPN needs to have fast download speeds on international connections.

We recorded ExpressVPN and NordVPN’s download speeds while connected to servers in four different continents from our test location in the US. Here’s a table showing our results:

Server LocationNordVPNExpressVPN

As you can see, NordVPN is faster than ExpressVPN on most international servers. Though the difference is not that stark, our content still loaded quicker and we didn’t experience any buffering.

With regards to network speed, the results may differ depending on each person’s broadband provider and geographical location. When you look at the reviews on some websites or read about the discussions of users on Reddit, you will see people with varying opinions about the speed. Some would say NordVPN is faster, while others would express that ExpressVPN is faster.

User discussion on Reddit
User discussion on Reddit

So the best way is to test it yourself using the VPN software’s 30-day money-back guarantee policy.

Recommendation: Unless you are in search of the fastest VPN, then speed should not be the sole factor affecting your decision-making since ExpressVPN and NordVPN have very little impact on the native network speed, and the effect is so small that you wouldn’t even notice the difference.

Both ExpressVPN and NordVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s a no-questions-asked policy, which essentially becomes a VPN free trial. You can make the most of the refund policy to effectively use ExpressVPN for free and use NordVPN for Free.

I suggest giving NordVPN a try first as it offers excellent service and is very cost-effective (at almost half the price of ExpressVPN). In comparison, ExpressVPN is indeed too expensive.

2, Privacy & Security – ExpressVPN raises concerns for many users.

When it comes to privacy and logs, NordVPN and ExpressVPN are great options. Both of these VPNs are verified as no logs VPNs.

However, ExpressVPN received criticism after being acquired by known malware distributor Kape Technologies in 2021. Kape previously made money through ad platforms. You can see a lot of criticism on Reddit with many people giving up using ExpressVPN because of this!

User discussion on Reddit
User discussion on Reddit

Even more concerning is that Kape seems to be experiencing operational issues. A few months ago, the company laid off a significant portion of its global workforce. Even ExpressVPN’s Chief Technology Officer for Privacy, Dan Gericke, announced his departure on LinkedIn.

It’s certainly possible that ExpressVPN (or other Kape-owned VPNs like CyberGhost and PIA) will suffer a noticeable blow to quality, especially with the engineering and QA departments have been hit heavily. However, all we can do for now is wait and see.

In summary, it is currently not recommended to purchase VPN from Kape. The reason is very simple, if there are more trustworthy options out there, why settle for one that may be risky?

Try NordVPN Now >>

30-day money-back guarantee, no-questions-asked policy >>

3, Price – Equally excellent, why spend twice as much money?

ExpressVPN and NordVPN are currently the top VPNs in the market and display great qualities. There is not much difference when it comes to their functions which is why there is no need to pay nearly double the price for this.

According to my testing, NordVPN offers better security and has its own advantages in terms of speed, unless NordVPN does not support the country you’re in or after the trial period you find that it does not perform well due to your location, otherwise there is no reason to choose ExpressVPN.

If you are really still on the fence, keep in mind that ExpressVPN and NordVPN both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Therefore you could purchase both VPNs, test each service for a few weeks, and then cancel the one you don’t want for a full refund.

Get the current maximum discount on two VPNs through my link.

Try NordVPN Now – Get 72% Off + 3 Months FREE >> (The promotion ends today.)

Try ExpressVPN Now – Get 49% Off + 3 Months FREE >>

4, NordVPN offers More servers and More server locations

Specialty ServersYesNo

NordVPN clearly has ExpressVPN beat in the server category. In comparison to ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers:

  • More servers
  • More server locations
  • Many specialty servers

In terms of the geographic server locations, NordVPN has a slight edge with 111 country locations, while ExpressVPN has locations in 105 countries.

5, Security & Technical  – NordVPN is marginally more secure than ExpressVPN

The table below shows a comparison of NordVPN and ExpressVPN’s encryption and security features.

VPN ProtocolsWireGuard & OpenVPNLightway & OpenVPN
Encryption CipherAES-256 & ChaCha20AES-256 & wolfSSL
Kill SwitchYesYes
Leak ProtectionYesYes
First-Party DNSYesYes
Open-Source AppsNoBrowser Extension Only
Colocated ServersYesNo

Our research found that NordVPN is marginally more secure than ExpressVPN. NordVPN uses reputable encryption ciphers and protocols, like WireGuard and ChaCha20, while ExpressVPN uses proprietary alternatives. We found that ExpressVPN’s macOS client will leak your true IP address when changing server locations.

Conclusion: NordVPN wins in 2024

While we like and recommend both of these VPN services, we believe that NordVPN is the better option. It has made massive progress over the past few years and has overtaken ExpressVPN in most categories, especially in the areas of performance, privacy, and streaming.

It is for all of these reasons and more that we consider NordVPN to be the best all-around VPN service and give it our top recommendation.

At the end of the day, either of these two VPNs may be the best service for you. It all depends on your needs and uses for the VPN. Whichever service you decide to go for, be sure to get the best price via the discounts below:

Whichever service you decide to go for, be sure to get the best price via the discounts below:

NordVPN’s Cyber Deal is live:

Get 72% Off NordVPN plus an extra 3 months FREE below:

Try NordVPN Now >>

30-day money-back guarantee, no-questions-asked policy >>

And now for ExpressVPN.

Right now, 49% off is the best deal you can get on ExpressVPN. Even with the discount, ExpressVPN is still much more expensive than NordVPN — about double the price.

If you are really still on the fence, keep in mind that ExpressVPN and NordVPN both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Therefore you could purchase both VPNs, test each service for a few weeks, and then cancel the one you don’t want for a full refund.

ExpressVPN Coupon

SAVE: 49% + 3 months free

(Coupon is applied automatically; 30 day money-back guarantee.)

15 thoughts on “ExpressVPN Review: Is It Worth Buying?”

  1. Express good, I even got their router. They have servers in over 90 countries so I rarely can’t find a server of where I wanna see content from.

  2. Nord’s been hella reliable so far. Been using it for a year now and the dedicated IP has made things so much better since its way faster than using a shared IP.

  3. I haven’t ever used ExpressVPN, but I get about the same speed with or without NordVPN. I get 200-250 mbps which is about what I can expect.

  4. I use expressvpn. So far no complaints. A lot of people will tell you that expressvpn is owned by a super evil company and who knows, maybe they are right! But I use it mostly to prevent MITM attacks and because it’s cool to have nice things.

    Anyways, if you are extremely paranoid I’d recommend nordvpn. If you are a non tech savvy user, expressvpn offers a router so you can protect all your devices.

  5. Had both. Nord login is kind of crappy. Connection wise I get 200Mbps tops over VPN. Good enough for my use case. Express VPN is far too limited compared to nord & I actually get an inferior service. Nord 2 year on discount worked out to be same cost as ExpressVPN 1 year.

  6. ExpressVPN is a shady company.
    They will automatically re-new your subscription without any notification whatsoever.

  7. Never used express as nord has always been cheaper and much better deal. I have had zero issues with it apart from a slow/sluggish app. Nordlynx is actually very reliable and fast for me and for my use case. I don’t watch Netflix or any other streaming service with nord anymore so can’t comment on that.

  8. Express is great, genuinely so damn fast compared to other VPNs I’ve used. It’s the one that’s worked best for me in terms of gaming and streaming.

  9. I can only comment on ExpressVPN. I got ExpressVPN so I can stream US content from Asia in particular, access YouTube TV. Installing ExpressVPN onto my Amazon Firestick was money. I was always able to access Youtube TV from South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Philippines, and Japan on my Firestick. I couldn’t get Youtube TV to work on my iPhone when abroad because Youtube TV uses your GPS location too when it can. Thankfully, Firestick doesn’t have GPS so I was able to access Youtube TV.
    Now that I’m back in the US, I’m trying to use ExpressVPN to access different Netflix content for other countries because other countries have some shows available that the US doesn’t. I’ve noticed that from the US, Netflix tends to stop my streams pretty often because it detects I’m using a VPN. For this reason, I’m going to check out NordVPN because it’s so cheap right now.
    ExpressVPN monthly, I was paying $12.95 per month, but it’s so good, I just renewed a yearly subscription for $100 a year and right now NordVPN has a sale for 69% off, the price is only half of ExpressVPN’s…. why not?

  10. Idk, I use Express because Nord has been inconsistent in its performance. It made my browsing and streaming way too laggy.

  11. Not a fan of express. Had it for a month. Had a bunch of my shit hacked into by Russians. My steam was hacked into and people bought a buncha games. Assholes.

    • Hey, I am having the exact same problem. How are you able to confirm the fault is with express?

      The kicker is that my account was deleted without my knowledge and they are not even giving me the balance period back. They are saying they might refund by escalating to the Billing Team but nothing concrete yet

  12. I have used both but prefer Nord of the two. ExpressVPN had more consistent speed across different servers but consistently slow-ish. They say they dont throttle but I doubt it. Nord has fast and slow servers so I just pick the fast one. Also ExpressVPN’s browser extension isnt standalone which didnt made any sense. They also cost more. But I felt Express had less server blocked by services like netflix and such.

  13. Little late to the party, but I had ExpressVPN for several months and after a while, it just stopped working entirely.

    I thought I had cancelled the service when the program stopped working for me, but I then later noticed that I was still being billed. I went through the process of cancelling again to find out that their cancellation process was quite convoluted, where you effectively have to cancel the service twice in a row in order to confirm your cancellation.
    I would go so far as to say it was a predatory process.

    So I’ve been turned off of ExpressVPN for their cancellation process alone, aside from the program itself ceasing to function for me. And yes, I updated, reinstalled, etc. Only thing I didn’t do was take the time to talk to their CS cause I cba when “cancel” was an “easy” option. Shame the option didn’t actually work or I may have tried them again later.

    • Same. I used it for years and over the last 4 months it randomly stops working for approximately 45 seconds, and then starts again. It was happening every 15 minutes or so. I switched to Virtual Shield and that was a mistake. Now I’m going to try Nord.


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