After years of foolishly running my online business via public WiFi, I decided to start using a VPN to secure my communications (and access a bit of out of market sporting events while traveling).
But I found out that finding the right VPN to suit my needs was a bit complicated. There’s no such thing as a general “best” VPN – instead, they all have to make tradeoffs that fit many but not all needs. ExpressVPN and VyprVPN were two that I looked at closely.
I reviewed ExpressVPN here and reviewed VyprVPN here. I combined my notes from those posts to write this ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN post around the most common VPN considerations. You can skip to my conclusion here.
But first, here’s a bit of background.
ExpressVPN is perhaps one of the best known VPN providers. The company has been around since 2009 and has grown significantly since. It currently boasts 145 server locations spread across 94 countries, with over 1,000 servers in total. They are based in the British Virgin Islands.
VyprVPN was founded in 2010 under the umbrella company Golden Frog. It’s based in Switzerland, a country that has advantageous privacy laws for internet users. It includes a worldwide server network, robust encryption practices, proprietary software, and excellent customer service.
They both have advantages & disadvantages in my experience. This ExpressVPN vs. VyprVPN comparison will look at each based on pricing, features, performance, usability, customer service, and market focus.
Disclosure – I receive referral fees from companies mentioned on this website. All opinions and data are based on my experience as a paying customer performing independent research.
Comparing VyprVPN and ExpressVPN is a bit tricky due to how they structure their plans.
With ExpressVPN, you pick a plan time period, and you get access to their full feature set in a single bundle.
On the flip side, VyprVPN has a “Pro” and a “Premium” level. With the “Premium” plan, you get an additional 2 connections and access to a proprietary protocol that makes it more likely to access major streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, etc. For this comparison, I’ll look at the “Pro” level, since it’s nearly comparable to ExpressVPN’s plans.
Remember that paying for six months or a year up front almost always nets you a lower monthly cost than paying for a single month at a time when it comes to VPNs.
|Subscription||ExpressVPN||VyprVPN Pro||VyprVPN Premium|
* Note that the prices in the table are per monthly prices when you sign up for the entire subscription period.
As you can see above, even VyprVPN’s Premium plan is cheaper than ExpressVPN’s single plan.
The yearly cost for VyprVPN Premium is roughly $80.00 compared to roughly $100.00 for the ExpressVPN plan.
VyprVPN Pro runs for roughly $60.00 / year.
Both providers accept major credit/debit cards as well as PayPal for payment. However, only ExpressVPN offers a range of payment options including BitCoin and international payment processors.
VyprVPN offers a 3-day free trial. While ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, they do offer a 30-day money back guarantee for their plan.
For pricing, VyprVPN is cheaper and has a free trial. Unless you are looking to pay anonymously with BitCoin, they have the edge on pricing.
Features and Customization
Both ExpressVPN and VyprVPN come with an impressive array of features that balance the control needs of advanced users with the convenience needs of beginners.
These features include everything you’d expect from two top-level VPN providers, including strong security and customization features.
Here are a few of the features that both VPN providers share:
- AES 256-Bit Encryption
- Internet kill switch
- DNS leak protection
- Ability to access geo-blocked content
- Simultaneous device support
- Mobile device compatibility
One significant difference between the two providers is that ExpressVPN allows P2P filesharing (on some servers) while VyprVPN doesn’t.
In fact, VyprVPN is explicitly against sharing and torrenting (other than legal content). You should scratch this option immediately if that’s your intended use of a VPN.
Another negative of VyprVPN is in user logs. Though it’s not exactly uncommon among VPN providers, VyprVPN keeps user connection logs for up to 30 days.
However, the company does state they have a strict no usage logs policy. Whatever the case, VyprVPN might not be the best bet for privacy fanatics (although average users should be okay).
ExpressVPN also logs some user information. Their logs are very minimal (time stamps and bandwidth levels) and are aggregated for all users for the most privacy. They log that aggregated metadata to balance their network while also providing higher levels of privacy than other providers.
In ExpressVPN’s words:
“We never keep traffic logs, and we also don’t keep any logs that might enable someone to match an IP and timestamp back to a user. We work entirely on the basis of shared IPs, meaning that a single IP does not track back to an individual user.”
Caveat – Note that no VPN is 100% secure. Your traffic is still routing through a company. Any company can go out of business or go rogue. If you are trying to avoid your American ISP – then you are simply replacing distrust of Comcast/Charter with the trust of your VPN. If you are a political activist where trust is a life or death situation, you need to be using something like Tor. This is a segue to ExpressVPN’s / VyprVPN’s unique features, but the point remains using a VPN does not instantly create security/privacy. That is something you do via aligning company incentives (ie, paying for companies who maintain security) & being proactive.
So how do ExpressVPN and VyprVPN rank as far as security goes overall?
Both take your safety, security, and privacy very seriously. Their top-tier security and encryption standards attest to this.
VyprVPN is based out of Switzerland. The country is known for its relatively relaxed online privacy laws.
Something to take note of is that Golden Frog, VyprVPN’s parent company, is partially centered in the United States.
An additional VyprVPN security feature is their protocol options (OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, and Chameleon).
OpenVPN is always a good (err, mostly necessary) protocol option for average users. Chameleon, created by VyprVPN, is another excellent choice as it eliminates deep packet inspection and helps mask traffic.
ExpressVPN, on the other hand, is based out of the British Virgin Islands.
Though the British Virgin Islands don’t have any data retention laws, they’re still a British overseas territory.
The risk is probably minimal, but the United Kingdom could, in theory, pressure businesses in the British Virgin Islands to hand over data records.
ExpressVPN features OpenVPN protocol with 256-Bit encryption with an RSA-4096 handshake and SHA-512 HMAC hash authentication.
Another cool security aspect of ExpressVPN is its. onion Tor web address. Type in http://expressobutiolem.onion/ to your Tor browser to sign up and download the service, even if VPNs are restricted in your area.
Finally, both VPN providers offer simultaneous connections. ExpressVPN gives you up to three simultaneous connections. VyprVPN Pro gives you three as well and VyprVPN Premium offers up to five.
They offer some customization options within their respective apps without overwhelming complexity. Here’s ExpressVPN’s options screen –
Here’s VyprVPN’s options screen –
None of the features discussed above make or break their service. You should consider them all based on your individual needs and preferences, especially regarding your desired level of privacy.
Performance and Speed
A VPN will inherently limit some Internet speeds since it serves as a literal Internet middle-man. However, a good VPN will minimize this speed loss with a wide server selection spread across geographic locations that are either near to the connecting user or located in target connection country (to access geo-restricted content).
Both ExpressVPN and VyprVPN do well with both server locations and server diversity. Here’s VyprVPN’s server map.
And ExpressVPN’s location list.
ExpressVPN has a slight edge in servers with 145 cities in 94 countries, making it one of the most extensive VPN networks around.
But both do very well on performance. Here’s my baseline Internet speeds in Atlanta, Georgia, USA –
Here’s VyprVPN’s speed test –
And here’s ExpressVPN’s test –
The speeds are probably not quite fast enough to meet either company’s claim that they’re the fastest VPN in the world. But you can also see that they are very fast with at least 80% of non-VPN bandwidth.
One slight difference between the two is that ExpressVPN encourages you to let them automatically connect to the best connection via “smart location”.
VyprVPN takes the transparency route with showing real time speeds for all connections within their app.
Overall, if you are looking for the fastest performance, then VyprVPN will likely win. If you are looking for more raw number of countries, then ExpressVPN will likely win (though both are adding more every day).
Both ExpressVPN and VyprVPN get very high marks in the usability department. Each company puts a lot of emphasis on making the entire process of using their services as simple and straightforward as possible.
Quick and easy sign-up, an intuitive user interface, and excellent customer support mean that either provider is a good option for VPN beginners. Here’s ExpressVPN’s signup screen –
And VyprVPN’s signup screen –
Signing up for either service requires only an email address. Once you sign up and pay, you can download the VPN client for your preferred device. Both services are compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Linux.
The user interface for each service is slightly different but equally intuitive. Everything is laid out nicely so you can select and connect to servers with ease.
Also of note is that both VPN websites are clean and streamlined. It’s easy to find the information you need as well as to download the individual clients.
It’s honestly hard to pick a clear winner as far as usability goes, so we’re going to declare this one a tie.
Customer support is one of those factors that’s hard to rank, no matter the company or industry. Everyone will have different experiences when contacting a VPN provider. What we can say for sure is that both companies prioritize customer service.
ExpressVPN is a particularly customer-focused VPN provider. Their 24/7 live customer support is just the tip of the iceberg for what they offer. Though they don’t offer live phone support, their live chat support is superb. All representatives are friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. And if a front-line representative can’t answer your question – they’ll point you towards a staff member that can. They even have service diagnostics built into their app.
In addition to 24/7 live chat support, ExpressVPN also offers a ticketed email support line as well as countless resources on their website. Check out their FAQ or help section before contacting a representative – you’ll more than likely find the answer to your question there.
The customer support you get from VyprVPN is similarly solid. They offer 24/7 live chat support as well as email support. Other options to contact them are through their online contact form or through their version of the in-app help form.
Like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN provides an extensive FAQ, troubleshooting guide, and user manual. Chances are you’ll find the info you need from these resources.
No matter which of these two VPN providers you end up choosing, you’ll be set with support.
The target audience of ExpressVPN and VyprVPN are very similar.
It’s clear both providers intend to provide a customer-friendly service that beginners can use with ease. At the same time, both services pack in a handful of more complex features for more advanced VPN users.
It’s also clear that both services are intended to be used for several different applications, instead of just one. Either provider is a great choice for those that want to stay secure in a public Wi-Fi, access geo-blocked content, or stream entertainment content like Netflix or Hulu. They both value a balance between performance and security with VyprVPN biased slightly more toward performance and ExpressVPN biased slightly more to privacy.
We mentioned it above, but it’s worth pointing out again – VyprVPN doesn’t allow P2P sharing unless it’s of legal content.
Those planning to file share or torrent are much better off going with ExpressVPN.
Other Factors to Consider
ExpressVPN and VyprVPN honestly don’t have a lot of differences.
Though things are set up differently, the result is much the same. Both provide stellar security, usability, and overall performance.
So, which one should you go with? Here are a few other factors to think about while making your decision:
- ExpressVPN has more servers (located in more countries), allowing for more consistent high speeds (even though they’re not the fastest of all).
- ExpressVPN keeps more minimal connection logs, although their location in the British Virgin Islands is cause for minor concern.
- VyperVPN has nearly flawless encryption. It’s Chameleon Technology scrambles packet metadata to give you access to restrictive networks while maintaining the utmost security.
Conclusion: ExpressVPN vs VyprVPN
ExpressVPN or VyprVPN are solid choices for a convenient, balanced VPN for everyday use.
If you are – wanting more payment options; wanting torrenting options; wanting more country server options and/or want fewer saved logs then go sign up with ExpressVPN here.
If you are – wanting maximum performance; more encryption options and/or better annual pricing then go sign up for VyprVPN here.
Either way – kudos on securing your digital life and be sure to actively and consistently use your VPN :)