Last updated: 3 Dec 2020 | Reading time: 6 minutes
When it comes to VPN, there are no compromises. VPN is essential, but getting the best VPN is challenging. The post will take a look at two popular VPN clients ProtonVPN and ExpressVPN. ProtonVPN is from ProtonMail emailing service, which promises the secured and fast VPN, while ExpressVPN is famous for its great features.
So, ProtonVPN or ExpressVPN? The blog post explores the two and covers ProtonVPN vs. ExpressVPN (2020).
Table of contents
- Quick comparison
- Speed tests
- Location test
- DNS leak test
- P2P test
- Other features
- Which one is for you?
Quick ProtonVPN vs. ExpressVPN comparison
|No, of countries||54||ProtonVPN|
|Speed test in Mbps||D: 45| U: 31||D: 42 | U: 30|
|DNS leak test||✔||✔|
|P2P test||✔ (better than ExpressVPN)||✔|
|Max devices||Plan dependent||5 at a time|
|Free plan||✔||❌ but free trial|
Not all VPN clients support all the devices. The table below covers the combined platforms and which service supports what platforms.
|Amazon Fire TV||❌||✔️|
|Samsung Smart TV||❌||✔️|
|Playstation 3 & 4||❌||✔️|
Winner: ExpressVPN | Score: ProtonVPN: 0 | ExpressVPN: 1
ProtonVPN offers over 1,101 servers in 54 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, and India.
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.
|Argentina, Australia, Austria|
Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria
Canada, Costa Rica, Czechia
Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy
Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg
Malaysia, Mexico, Moldava
Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway
Romania, Russian Federation
Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa
Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States
|Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia|
Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan
Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam,
Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica
Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong 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, UzbekistanVenezuela, Vietnam
Winner: ExpressVPN | Score: ProtonVPN: 0 and ExpressVPN: 2
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 at different locations. I believe people living in Europe are likely to get the best speed on Secure Core because all the three Secure Core supported countries are in Europe.
To find the fastest VPN provider, I took a few speed tests. 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.
Both perform very well on the optimal server. ExpressVPN went below 40 Mbps, and on average, the 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 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, including Sydney, Dallas, and Helsinki. The video above shows for one of the servers.
Winner: Tie | Score: ProtonVPN: 2 and ExpressVPN: 3
DNS leak test
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. But, I should mention that jumping from one IP to another might compromise the internet speed a bit.
Winner: Tie | Score: ProtonVPN: 3 and ExpressVPN: 4
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
Winner: ProtonVPN | Score: ProtonVPN: 5 and ExpressVPN: 4
Pricing changes everything as at the end. 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.
Which one is for you?
Overall, 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.
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.
The comparison of ProtonVPN vs. ExpressVPN covered the essential 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.