We’ve compared the two services based on a few key factors that people focus on when choosing a VPN provider. Once you’re done with this review, you’ll have no trouble deciding which service is better for your needs. In this ExpressVPN vs PureVPN comparison, we will look at various aspects of these two reputable VPN providers to see which one stands out the most in its respective field. As we said, both are excellent providers, and both excel in certain areas.
PureVPN is one of the cheapest VPN out there, yet it offers the functionality of almost any other premium option. It is also compatible with multiple platforms and has an excellent Google Chrome extension. PureVPN is aimed at casual users who want to stream and browse geo-restricted content.
ExpressVPN is a well-known VPN provider. It is “the best offshore VPN for privacy and unblocking.” With servers in over 94 countries, ExperssVPN offers superior infrastructure over its competitors.
Main differences between ExpressVPN and PureVPN
- PureVPN is cheaper than ExpressVPN: The latter is priced a few dollars higher than the former.
- ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which gives them a “no logging” policy that is good for privacy compared to PureVPN, which is based in Hong Kong. Although PureVPN promises its users that it offers a high level of privacy, there are still cases where the government can hack the VPN and still see the search history of a person’s IP address.
- PureVPN has an advantage over ExpressVPN because PureVPN has more protocols that are available in more countries than ExpressVPN. Not to mention that PureVPN has more servers than ExpressVPN.
- ExpressVPN is faster compared to PureVPN, which is an important aspect, especially when it comes to watching and downloading online movies. Most business people like ExpressVPN because of its speed, even if they have to spend a little more money than others.
A VPN service is only worth its price if it offers features that help customers ensure their anonymity or increase their security level. We went through a few services to compare how they compare to each other. Here’s what we found.
- Protocols: The more protocols a provider offers, the better its encryption quality. Both providers offer PPTP, OpenVPN, SSTP and L2TP, but PureVPN goes a step further and offers IKEv2
- Streaming capabilities: ExpressVPN used to be the only company that could guarantee unlimited access to Netflix in the US, but recently PureVPN has caught up to them in this regard.
- Payment options: You can pay for both services using a variety of methods, including PayPal, Bitcoin, or one of the many credit card services available worldwide. Both services also accept anonymous payments, so you don’t have to reveal your identity when paying.
- Mobile app: Running either of the provider’s software on your Android, iOS or Windows smartphone should be easy since they both have versions that run on such.
- Browser support: ExpressVPN is said to work a bit better with Chrome extensions, but PureVPN works well with Firefox and Chrome extensions.
- Speed: ExpressVPN is undoubtedly better when it comes to connectivity speed, performing 6.5% better than PureVPN. This is especially worthwhile when you have a slow internet connection.
Using a VPN always has an impact on the speed of your internet connection. After all, a VPN has a lot of work to do to encrypt and decrypt messages, and it adds an extra destination (the VPN server) in the middle of the connection. But with the best VPNs, this speed disadvantage is minimal.
Note: PureVPN was tested with its standard OpenVPN implementation. expressVPN was tested with its new Lightway protocol, which is generally faster than its OpenVPN implementation. Currently, PureVPN does not support WireGuard, Lightway, or any of the newer (faster) VPN protocols.
US server speeds
We initially tested both services with their US servers.
PureVPN server in the USA: 59Mbps(On average).
This is not a very good result considering that we tested with a 500 Mbps connection. Now let’s see if ExpressVPN is faster than PureVPN in this location.
ExpressVPN server in Seattle, USA: 136 Mbps(On average).
While certainly much better than PureVPN, 136 Mbps on a 500 Mbps connection is still not amazing. We’ve seen download speeds double and triple those of VPNs using the WireGuard protocol.
UK server speeds
We then ran a long-haul test connecting to a server in the UK. Were the results any different?
PureVPN server in the UK: 18 Mbps(On average).
That’s even slower than before. If you need a fast UK VPN server, PureVPN is not a good choice.
This is ExpressVPN’s server in the UK: 235 Mbps(On average).
That’s not a bad result, especially since it’s much better than the speeds we got when we tested closer to the US servers. And in this test, it was almost 15 times faster than PureVPN!
Note: While ExpressVPN is much faster than PureVPN, it’s still not the fastest VPN we tested – that honor goes to NordVPN, which uses the WireGuard protocol.
Winner for speed test: ExpressVPN
Email and Ticket System
Average Response Time
1 hour, 30 Minutes
Knowledge Base and Video Guides
Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN make it easy to get help when you need it. Both have a searchable knowledge base, 24/7 live chat support, and a YouTube channel full of video tutorials. Let’s say you don’t have access to live chat. Maybe you just arrived in China and can’t access your VPN’s website. In this case, email support is your best bet. We emailed ExpressVPN and PureVPN three questions to see how quickly they responded, how informative their answers were, and how useful email support was compared to live chat.
As you can see, the average response time was faster for ExpressVPN. The average response time for ExpressVPN was faster than for PureVPN, but the average response time for PureVPN was particularly slow, dragging it down. It’s important to note that response times can be affected by a number of factors, including when you ask your question, current support needs, and the number of help desk staff. This means that you may receive a faster response to your question than we do.
Both services respond with pre-written and tailored answers, often with links to existing help articles. Importantly, we are never disappointed; in fact, the answers encourage us to send more information if we have further questions.
Winner for Customer Support: ExpressVPN
PureVPN has an amazing list of servers in different countries – 140 to be exact – which is one of its main advantages over ExpressVPN. However, Express is nothing to scoff at either, offering servers in 94 countries with a total of 148 servers.
Winner for server: PureVPN
Security and Privacy
Regardless of price or features, a VPN is worthless if security and privacy aren’t up to snuff. In this roundup, we’ll compare PureVPN and ExpressVPN’s privacy policies and the security options each app offers.
PureVPN sets an “automatic” protocol by default when the app launches, which it claims offers the best balance between speed and security. This automatic protocol is vague, as PureVPN can use anything from PPTP to OpenVPN, depending on your internet connection. We recommend switching to OpenVPN right away (read our VPN protocol analysis to learn why).
OpenVPN works with AES-256, which is the strongest encryption you’ll see in our guide. To make sure the security measures are as good as they look, we put PureVPN through a series of DNS leak tests, as well as checking for IP and WebRTC leaks.
As for privacy, PureVPN keeps basic connection logs, including the time you connected and the ISP you used. Your original IP address, the IP address of your destination, the exact time you connected, and your activity are not monitored or logged.
ExpressVPN offers the gold standard in VPN security: OpenVPN with AES-256. As with PureVPN, there are other protocol options, including L2TP, PPTP and SSTP, but OpenVPN is used by default. Encryption is locked as with most VPNs, but if you don’t mind digging around in the OpenVPN profile, you can configure it.
There is also an automatic option that you should change as well (especially if you are traveling to Middle Earth – read our guide on how to use ExpressVPN in China). When I ran ExpressVPN through the same leak test series, everything was clean. There are still a few virtual server seats, but fewer than with PureVPN.
Since you don’t have to log in locally, you don’t have to share your data with ExpressVPN. Even if you do, your data is in safe hands because ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which has some of the best privacy laws in the world.
Winner for Security and Privacy: ExpressVPN
Unblock Streaming and Bittorrent
BitTorrent/P2P file sharing is probably one of the most popular (and controversial) online activities today. Laws vary from country to country, so P2P file sharing can be legal, illegal or simply banned depending on where you live.
P2P file sharing has many legal uses. For example, some companies use the technology to share files between employees.
ExpressVPN allows P2P file sharing activities on all servers in its global network, and the provider even offers a uTorrent guide on its website. The guide provides tips on how to best use ExpressVPN with popular torrent applications.
PureVPN supports P2P file sharing in over 86 countries. Both providers do not keep server logs, which means that your torrent activities are safe no matter which provider you choose.
Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN can unblock all popular VoDs on the market. Previously, PureVPN did not offer consistent performance.
However, they are now the only provider on the market that can unlock streaming platforms like Netflix and BBC iPlayer directly through a browser extension.
ExpressVPN will also unlock these platforms, but some servers may not be able to bypass geo-restrictions, so multiple servers will need to be tested.
It’s common to have multiple Internet devices at home or in the office. From smart TVs, Windows PCs, MacBooks, Android devices to iPhones. With a VPN, you can secure them all.
So, an ideal VPN should be compatible with your devices so that you don’t have to buy a different service for each device. Considering the cost of a single VPN account, you definitely don’t want to spend more money to secure each device.
PureVPN desktop interface feels cluttered, especially when tapping menu buttons. However, the mobile version of the provider is well organized, allowing users to easily navigate between menu items. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, maintains a consistent interface across all platforms. It has an intuitive and uncluttered layout.
Winner for Multi-Platform: ExpressVPN
Pricing is probably the most important thing when choosing a VPN. Therefore, a good service but not a competitive price is not desirable. Fortunately, ExpressVPN and PureVPN are priced within the reach of the average consumer.
The pricing structure for both services can be found in the table below.
|Provider||1 Month||6 Months||1 Years||2 Years|
As you can see, PureVPN is cheaper than its competitors. In addition to its cheaper price, it also has a favorable trial period and a longer money-back guarantee. This makes it the winner of this round.
Winner for Pricing: PureVPN
Payments Methods and Refund Policy
Both of them offer flexible payment options. You can use PayPal, Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency to subscribe to their monthly or annual offers. So, there is no clear winner, just a blind draw.
ExpressVPN and PureVPN are trusted VPN providers and you don’t have to worry about putting your card details at risk. I prefer PayPal because it’s a better payment option for me and super secure.
PureVPN Payment Options
PayPal is the best option for subscribing to monthly offers. However, I always use Visa when I shop online. Depending on which country you live in, you should choose the right payment method.
How to Pay for ExpressVPN
Like PureVPN, ExpressVPN also offers seamless payment options. I still recommend using your PayPal account to subscribe to a monthly plan if you have one.
Both PureVPN and ExpressVPN offer free trials to help you decide whether or not to subscribe to their services. If you are not satisfied with ExpressVPN or PureVPN after one month, you can get a full refund. All you have to do is explain why you are not satisfied with their VPN service, and you will be eligible for a refund.
ExpressVPN only offers a one-day money back guarantee, while PureVPN offers a 31-day money back guarantee. This means you can browse the Netflix library and access geographically restricted sites for a full day without having your subscription stopped or cancelled. Numbers are important to all of us! If this is your first time using a VPN, you should choose PureVPN. More days means more time to explore the VPN’s features and options.
Winner PaymentMethods & Refund Policy: ExpressVPN
Another convenient way to use a VPN is through a browser extension. This allows you to connect and disconnect from the VPN directly through your web browser, so you don’t have to open the software when you want to connect.
ExpressVPN offers plugins for three different browsers – Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari – and you can clearly tell when you’re connected by the icon in the toolbar, and you can select the server of any country you want to connect to.
PureVPN also comes with browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome to make it easier to use. You can connect to a specific country or select an optimized server to connect to a specific website. For example, there is an option for Netflix USA that lets you select a connection to a server that is suitable for accessing Netflix USA. Other available sites include YouTube US, Amazon Prime US and UK, BBC iPlayer and Spotify US. This is really convenient for users who want to access these streaming sites with minimal effort.
Winner for Browser extension: ExpressVPN
Pros and Cons for ExpressVPN
- Super-fast downloads and uploads across all jurisdictions
- Regularly ranked among the top VPN
- Uses advanced encryption technology and has a strict no-logging policy
- Unblocks Netflix, YouTube and other streaming services worldwide
- Great customer support
- Supports only 3 devices
- The company is not transparent, it is anonymous and does not provide contact information of the owner
Pros and Cons for PureVPN
- Fast and secure
- Hundreds of servers in over 140 countries provide diversity
- Great Customer supports
- Unblocks streaming sites
- Some services are unavailable
- Some features freeze periodically
The world of VPNs is literally filled with hundreds of providers promising the best service at the most attractive prices, but many tend to live up to their proclamations, and you could end up looking foolish after investing in one of them. With ExpressVPN and PureVPN, however, there’s no cheating.
The former is aimed at most casual users, and while it has its own decent security features, it still doesn’t compare to the extensive features of the latter. And although ExpressVPN’s network has more servers, it still covers fewer countries than its rival. On the other hand, PureVPN is cheaper for both long and short packages.