ExpressVPN vs PureVPN

ExpressVPN and PureVPN are two reputable brands at the very top of the highly-competitive VPN market. Both brands claim to be among the fastest, more secure, and most reliable VPN services available.

To help you decide which VPN provider is right for you, we’re putting ExpressVPN and PureVPN head to head. 

Pricing

 

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

1-month plan

$12.95 per month

$10.95 per month

6-month plan

$59.99 (equivalent to $9.99 per month)

N/A

1-year plan

$99.95 (equivalent to $8.32 per month)

$69.95 (equivalent to $5.83 per month)

2-year plan

N/A

$79.95 (equivalent to $3.33 per month)

Refund period

30 days

31 days

When assessing pricing, we consider both cost and flexibility.


Both brands have flexible payment options. ExpressVPN offers one-month, six-month, and one-year plans. PureVPN offers one-month, one-year, and two-year plans.


If you’re worried about committing to one of these longer plans, remember that both brands offer a money-back guarantee (30 days for ExpressVPN, 31 days for PureVPN) across all plans.


Cost-wise PureVPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN across all plans. This difference isn’t huge on the monthly plan. But over longer subscription periods, PureVPN offers huge discounts.


PureVPN


PureVPN is the cheaper of the two VPNs. The really good value deals are available on the long-term one and two-year plans. 

Features

 

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Connections

5

5

VPN apps — operating systems      

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, various routers including ASUS, Linksys, and Netgear models.

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire.

Browser extensions

Chrome, Firefox, Safari.

Chrome, Firefox.

Manual install on routers

Yes

Yes

Split tunneling

Yes

Yes

Bonuses

Speed Test

Free anti-malware and ad blocking software.

ExpressVPN and PureVPN both allow 5 simultaneous connections, allowing you to access a VPN across up to 5 desktop and mobile devices on one account.


ExpressVPN and PureVPN offer native desktop and mobile apps. These apps work perfectly on every platform. Both companies offer browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. Mac users should note that ExpressVPN has a Safari extension, whereas PureVPN does not.


Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN offer split tunneling. This lets you split your network traffic, so that some apps automatically bypass the VPN. This means that, for example, you can stream HD video at high speed via your regular connection, while privately browsing the internet via your VPN.


PureVPN provides a free anti-malware and ad blocker product. It works better than many of the free antivirus products available online, but can’t compete with the best premium cybersecurity products.


ExpressVPN includes a built-in speed test, which allows you to check your upload and download speeds. This can be helpful when hunting for a server that is suitable for streaming HD video or torrenting. 

ExpressVPN


ExpressVPN wins our “Features” category due to its easy-to-use router apps, split tunneling feature, and Safari extension. 

Security

 

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Protocols

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2  L2TP/IPSec, PTPP.

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP

Data/control-channel encryption

AES-256-CBC, RSA-4096

AES-256-CBC, RSA-2048 

Killswitch

Yes

Yes

Both VPNs offer a broad range of different VPN protocols. Notably, however, PureVPN offers SSTP — a somewhat outdated protocol that is not recommended for secure and private internet use. Both brands provide “military-grade” AES-256 data encryption on the OpenVPN protocol.


ExpressVPN offers a higher grade of control channel encryption. This means is can protect certain connection data better than PureVPN. PureVPN’s RSA-2048 algorithm is still highly secure, but ExpressVPN’s RSA-4096 algorithm is almost certainly impenetrable.


Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN provide a “killswitch.” This feature will cut your internet connection if your VPN drops out, ensuring that you don’t accidentally switch over to your regular ISP and expose your online activity.


PureVPN’s security was called into question in March 2018 when hackers discovered they could access IP address data on the company’s servers. As far as we know, ExpressVPN has never suffered a data breach.

ExpressVPN


Due to its ultra high-grade control channel encryption and flawless data protection record, ExpressVPN beats PureVPN in terms of security.

Speed & servers

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Servers

Over 3000

Over 2000

Countries

94

140+

Both companies claim to be the fastest VPN service. Who’s right? It’s actually hard to say. There are multiple factors that determine how fast your VPN connection will be. It depends where you are, which server you’re connected to, and how fast your regular broadband speed is.


It’s true that ExpressVPN and PureVPN are two of the fastest VPN providers. Because they’re both at the very top of the market in terms of speed, it’s too simplistic to say that one is faster than the other “overall.” 


PureVPN has servers across more countries worldwide than ExpressVPN. More countries means a broader range of online content. If you live in a remote location, it also means there’s a greater likelihood that a PureVPN server is nearby. However, ExpressVPN has a higher number of servers overall, meaning that you’re more likely to find one that works for you.

Tie


In terms of fast speeds and high availability of servers, it’s too close to decide who fares better out of ExpressVPN and PureVPN. Both of these VPNs offer fast upload and download speeds and a great range of server locations.

Privacy

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Logs policy

Logs certain data about the apps you use and the servers you connect to

None

User info required

Email address

Email address

Crypto payments accepted

Yes

Yes

Home jurisdiction

British Virgin Islands (BVI)

Hong Kong

VPN users expect total privacy — both from their ISP and from state interference. But using a VPN means putting a lot of trust in the VPN provider, which could — in theory — view all the network traffic passing through its servers.


Neither ExpressVPN nor PureVPN maintains activity or connection logs. This means that they don’t store data about individual users’ online activity, IP address, or connection history.


PureVPN has a “no logs” policy. It claims not to keep any records of user activity. However, in 2017. data from PureVPN was used as evidence in a cyberstalking case — throwing doubt on PureVPN’s Privacy Policy (which the company has since updated).


ExpressVPN collects “aggregate data” about app versions, user IDs, and some broad data about server connections. ExpressVPN states that it anonymizes this data.


Both companies require an email address in order to create an account. Both brands accept anonymous cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. PureVPN also accepts a wide range of alternative anonymous cryptocurrencies.


ExpressVPN is based in British Virgin Islands (BVI) and PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. Neither of these jurisdictions requires either service to retain user data, and neither is part of the “Five Eyes” or “Fourteen Eyes” data-sharing arrangements. However, PureVPN users might be uneasy about the growing Chinese in Hong Kong.

ExpressVPN


Both VPN providers offer a high level of user privacy, however ExpressVPN wins this round due to its perfect track record and its base in the privacy-respecting British Virgin Islands.

Content unblocking

ExpressVPN

PureVPN

Netflix

Yes

Yes

BBC

Yes

No

Amazon Prime Video

Yes

Yes

Hulu

Yes

Yes

A VPN lets you set a “virtual” location by connecting to servers around the world. This allows users to access streaming services, and other online content, that would otherwise be unavailable in their region. 


Some streaming services, such as Netflix, are constantly battling against VPN users “spoofing” their location. They can attempt to block incoming connections from the most popular VPN providers. This means you can never be quite certain if Netflix or other websites will be available via your VPN.


While ExpressVPN and PureVPN both have great unblocking capabilities. However, when it comes to accessing geo-restricted content, ExpressVPN is easily one of the best VPN providers. PureVPN can struggle to access content on certain streaming services such as BBC iPlayer. 

ExpressVPN


When it comes to allowing users to access geo-restricted content, ExpressVPN is the best of the best, and can reliably unblock pretty much whatever you want to watch.

Our pick

ExpressVPN


There’s a lot to love about ExpressVPN and PureVPN. They’re both fast, reliable, and secure VPN services that are well worth paying for.


PureVPN is the cheaper of the two services and offers fantastic discounts on longer-term plans. It also offers servers in a wider range of countries, and — on a good day — it can easily match ExpressVPN in terms of speed.


However — ExpressVPN has ultra-secure control channel encryption, a great range of user-friendly apps, and a flawless, data leak-free security record. 


That means  ExpressVPN beats PureVPN in our head-to-head.


Remember that both VPN providers offer a risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee (or 31 days in the case of PureVPN), so you can try both services and see which one you like best.
Alex Grant
 

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