ProtonVPN vs. ExpressVPN | 100% Honest Comparison (2020)

ProtonVPN and ExpressVPN Icons
ProtonVPN vs. ExpressVPN

When it comes to VPN, there are no compromises. A VPN is essential, but getting the best VPN is challenging. The post will take a look at ProtonVPN vs ExpressVPN in 2020. ProtonVPN is from ProtonMail emailing service, which promises the encrypted transfer of emails, while ExpressVPN is famous for its great features.

Starting with platforms, we will go through some essential tests which one must pass to prove itself. So, without wasting your time, let’s jump right into it.

Table of contents

Platforms

Not all VPN clients support all the devices. The table below covers the combined platforms and check marks on supported platforms.

PlatformProtonVPNExpressVPN
Windows✔️✔️
macOS✔️✔️
Linux✔️✔️
iOS/iPad✔️✔️
Android✔️✔️
Windows Phone✔️
Blackberry✔️
Apple TV✔️
Amazon Fire TV✔️
Samsung Smart TV✔️
Kindle Fire✔️
Playstation 3 & 4✔️
Xbox✔️
Nintendo Switch✔️
Nook✔️
Chrome extension✔️
Firefox extension✔️
Safari extension✔️
Router✔️

Winner: The winner of this round is ExpressVPN. It supports over 15 platforms. On top of that, you have an option to set up a router which enables VPN on every device connected via that router. Learn how does ExpressVPN router work.

Score: ProtonVPN: 0 and ExpressVPN: 1

Servers

ProtonVPN offers over 1,019 servers in 51 countries, including Australia, UK, USA, Canada, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Iceland, and more. ExpressVPN offers over 3,000 servers in 94 nations, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, UK, USA, Croatia, Ireland, Japan, India, and many more.

Compared to ExpressVPN, which uses IPSec/IKEv2 only on iOS devices, ProtonVPN uses IPSec/IKEv2 on all the platforms. Here is the table covering all the supported states. The blue colour indicates that the competitor isn’t available in that nation.

ProtonVPNExpress VPN
Argentina, Australia, Austria

Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria

Canada, Costa Rica, Czechia

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

Germany, Greece

Hong Kong

Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy

Japan

Korea

Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg

Malaysia, Mexico, Moldava

Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway

Poland, Portugal

Romania, Russian Federation

Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Taiwan, Turkey

Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia
Australia, Austria, AzerbaijanBahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam,
BulgariaCambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica
Croatia, Cyprus, CzechiaDenmarkEcuador, Egypt, EstoniaFinland, FranceGeorgia, Germany, Greece, GuatemalaHong Kong, Hungary

Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man
Israel, Italy

Japan, Jersey

Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan

Laos, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg

Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Moldova
Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar

Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway

Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland
Portugal

Romania

Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa
South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland

Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey

Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan

Venezuela, Vietnam

Interested in the full server list? Check out the full list of ProtonVPN and ExpressVPN.

Winner: ExpressVPN | Score: ProtonVPN: 0 and ExpressVPN: 2

Read: Surfshark vs. ProtonVPN | The Ultimate Honest Comparison

ProtonVPN Secure Core

Secure Core is a feature of ProtonVPN which allows extended security by transferring the traffic to one of the servers in Switzerland, Sweden, or Iceland and then sending and receiving the data from the user-selected server. The user will also get the location of the desired server. The feature is available in Plus and Visionary plans.

In the tests, I found that the Secure Core feature slows down the speed as you are connected to two servers. Depending on your region the server location may be far making compromising the speed. I believe people living in Europe are likely to get the best speed on Secure Core.

Speed tests

To find the fastest VPN provider, I took a few speed tests on the same network. How did I choose the servers? Well, both offer an option to connect to the fastest/smart server, so I selected the fastest server. Let’s take a look at the results.

Screenshots of ProtonVPN vs ExpressVPN Speed Tests
ProtonVPN vs ExpressVPN Speed Tests

Both perform very well on the optimal server. ExpressVPN went below 40 Mbps, and on average its speed was a little bit lower than ProtonVPN, but on a fast speed network, this should not be an issue.

Winner: ProtonVPN | Score: ProtonVPN: 1 and ExpressVPN: 2



Location test

Location is the most basic requirement, and even a free VPN should be able to pass that. I tested both on four servers in different cities. Here is the comparison table. The table shows ✔️ if the VPN passed the location test.

ServerProtonVPNExpressVPN
Sydney, Australia✔️✔️
Mumbai, India✔️✔️
Dallas, USA✔️✔️
Helsinki, Finland✔️✔️

Winner: Tie | Score: ProtonVPN: 2 and ExpressVPN: 3

Related: Safe Watch for Popcorn Time | Review, Tests and Download

DNS leak test

Although, both services do mention that they are DNS leak-free, but to accept that fact fully, I took the DNS leak test on dnsleaktest.com. Wondering what DNS leak is?

Screenshots of ProtonVPN vs ExpressVPN DNS Leak Tests
ProtonVPN vs ExpressVPN – DNS Leak Tests

Connecting to a server in Canada showed one IP Address and the server location in ProtonVPN, whereas there were two IP Addresses while testing ExpressVPN. Should you be worried? No, because both the servers are ExpressVPN’s and the location for both was also the same.

Winner: Tie | Score: ProtonVPN: 3 and ExpressVPN: 4

P2P test

The last test in ProtonVPN vs. ExpressVPN is the peer-to-peer (P2P) test. One of the important topics of VPN is P2P. P2P is a type of technology which is used in torrent downloading. Some VPN clients support, and some don’t. While testing P2P on ProtonVPN, the download started within a fraction of seconds on the Plus servers.

ExpressVPN, on the other hand, was not as excited as ProtonVPN. I had to try a couple of servers to get the downloading started.

Winner: ProtonVPN | Score: ProtonVPN: 4 and ExpressVPN: 4

Other features

ProtonVPNExpressVPN
  • Uses AES-256 encryption level
  • Log free service
  • See load on each server
  • Separates basic and plus servers 👇
  • Swiss-based
  • Uses AES-256 encryption level
  • Log free service

Winner: ProtonVPN | Score: ProtonVPN: 5 and ExpressVPN: 4

Pricing

Pricing changes everything as at the end, a user looks for cost-effective software. The table compares both and features each plan offers. The mentioned prices are as of 20th Aug 2020. ProtonVPN also comes with a free plan, which provides slow speed and servers in three countries.

Pricing - ProtonVPN vs ExpressVPN
Pricing – ProtonVPN vs ExpressVPN

Which one is for you?

Overall, I believe I would go with ProtonVPN. While testing, the service was flawless. I encountered a couple of issues with ExpressVPN mentioned in the P2P test section. ProtonVPN is cost-effective, and the plus plan would be the perfect choice for a severe VPN user. In this comparison, the final score is 5 against 4.


Recommended choice

ProtonVPN


Try

Both offer a 7-day free trial. With ProtonVPN, no matter which subscription you select, you will get 7-day free access to all the features.


Conclusion

The comparison of ProtonVPN vs. ExpressVPN covered the basic features of both. If you think something is missing or needs an update, please send me a message or comment down below. Thanks for having a read and have a nice day.

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