Choosing between VPNs can be a little tricky. Just head to their sales pages and you will be inundated with masses of statistics and technical jargon that, let’s be honest, means very little to most of us.
All you want is a VPN that can keep you and your personal data safe while you browse the web.
Many VPN websites tend to be pretty heavy on their technical terms but very light on explaining what these terms mean.
Therefore, many people fail to understand how a certain VPN service works but just choose it anyway without proper knowledge or research into it. If you go down this route, it could mean that you will miss out on certain features that would be extremely helpful and beneficial.
You could also overestimate the protection that the VPN’s default security settings provide meaning you are not as secure as you may have thought.
Two leading VPNs are ExpressVPN and PureVPN. ExpressVPN is actually currently rated as one of the top providers in the market. It combines many excellent features with an easy-to-use interface alongside top-quality security.
Therefore, you would think that PureVPN has its work cut out. But, this VPN provider also has a few surprises and features up its sleeve that could sway your decision in the end.
To help you decide which VPN is best for you, we have researched both EXpressVPN and PureVPN. Below is a complete breakdown of each feature these two VPNs offer as well as jargon-free explanations of what this all means for you.
We hope this will give you enough understanding so you can make an informed decision and decide which of these services will suit you best.
Pricing And Discounts
Many potential VPN users base their options on price alone. So, we thought that was a good place to start our ultimate guide and comparison.
Currently, ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive services on the market, especially for monthly subscribers. Compared with PureVPN, ExpressVPN is $2 more expensive at USD 12.95 per month.
However, neither provider really expects you to pay this full amount. This is because they both offer generous discounts for users who are happy to commit to longer subscriptions upfront.
Take ExpressVPN, for instance. This service provides 15 months of coverage for just $99.95. This effectively reduces its original monthly plan price by 49% working out at just $6.67 per month. However, this figure rises to $8.32 after 15 months as this is when you will be billed annually.
Then we have the annual plan of a PureVPN subscription at $49.95. This also rises but after the first 12 months to $69.95. But, if you’re willing to pay a little extra, you are able to get five years of coverage for $79. That’s a whopping 88% discount bringing your monthly fee down to only $1.32.
So, what about the perks of both VPNs? ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee while PureVPN offers the same but for 31 days. Therefore, whichever service you choose, you can try it out for the first month and then claim a refund if it wasn’t up to your standards.
On top of this, PureVPN also offers a seven-day trial account for just $0.99. Just be careful with this as it will automatically bill you for a full year of coverage if you do not cancel it in time.
If you sign up via their browser extension, PureVPN will then send you a temporary login for your seven-day free trial. And, best of all, no payment details are required.
So, due to more affordable price plans and the additional free trial, the first round will have to go to PureVPN.
PureVPN 1 - ExpressVPN 0.
The features of VPNs may be the most important factors, especially when we are considering the top dogs. A lack of features generally means a poor user experience, even if the core VPN is good.
So, with that in mind, let’s see how ExpressVPN and PureVPN fare against each other when we consider your privacy experience.
PureVPN has always been a feature-focused provider. Even though some of these features cost extra, your base subscription still offers a lot. As with any good VPN, the kill switch that blocks your internet connection if you lose connection to your remote server needs to be impressive.
The good news is that PureVPN’s kill switch is excellent and backed up further with a speed test and split tunneling. While the speed test is quite basic, it’s a welcome bonus. Split tunneling is a hugely exciting feature.
This allows you to target your VPN connection on a “per-app” basis. The only feature that PureVPN is lacking is app kill which allows you to run different apps quickly with a simple touch.
Paid features include DDoS protection, port forwarding, as well as a dedicated IP address. Each of these cost just one more dollar a month which is a pretty good rate.
However, we believe the DDoS should have been included for free. We understand charging for dedicated IP addresses and port forwarding but DDoS should always be an original, included feature.
Maybe the most impressive feature of PureVPN is its approach to the server connection process. This provides numerous modes that you can choose from when connecting to a server.
Yes, these modes can cause some hassle along the way but we love its “streaming” feature that allows users to connect to a server based on the website they are attempting to access.
PureVPN also includes browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox but these are mainly stripped back versions of the desktop app. Nevertheless, these browser extensions do come with WebRTC leak protection and a connection that is based on the website you’re using.
ExpressVPN is not as concerned with features as PureVPN. This service is focused more on getting you connected. Although you can play with quite a few VPN features, they are mostly reserved for other areas of the application.
This is to keep the user experience as easy and as enjoyable as possible.
When it comes to features, ExpressVPN matches PureVPN as it offers a kiss switch, a speed test, and split tunneling.
The kill switch is somewhat more unique, however, as it allows you to continue using devices, such as printers, while on your local network while your internet connection is blocked. As for its split tunneling, it’s quite basic.
We found the speed test to be robust. Rather than simply testing latency, as PureVPN does, ExpressVPN displays the latency as well as the download speeds of each of its locations. It also provides a speed index, noting how fast it is overall.
Even though this is only a slight difference, the more robust speed test of ExpressVPN sees it pull ahead of PureVPN.
ExpressVPN also provides a browser extension that offers a simpler way when connecting to a server. It also improves upon PureVPN’s implementation thanks to a privacy toolbox. This simply lets you fake your location, block WebRTC requests, and force HTTPS everywhere you browse.
So, due to its superior speed test, ExpressVPN wins this round.
PureVPN 1 - ExpressVPN 1.
Speed. Another significant factor in the race to the number one spot between the two VPNs.
To discover the speeds of ExpressVPN and PureVPN, we conducted speed tests on both as well as tests on multiple server locations using OpenVPN/UDP and AES-256. We used our unprotected speed to compare them to.
PureVPN was highly impressive during the last round of speed tests. Although it has several virtual servers, we could only test its physical servers to ensure it was all fair.
Our results showed that PureVPN kept up well when tunneling in the same country and only dropped slightly in speed when we headed abroad.
When unprotected in the U.S, its Ping was 7 with a download speed of 81.23 Mbps. Its upload speed was 21.06 Mbps. When abroad (Australia), the Ping went up to 225 with a download speed of 25.62 and an upload speed of 11.4 Mbps.
Its unprotected speed in the U.S was very fast and the overall variance was only small.
ExpressVPN is still the fastest service we have tested. Its speeds remain fast when close to home as well as abroad. Comparing its numbers, it’s certainly more consistent than PureVPN.
When unprotected at home in the U.S, its Ping was 9 with a download speed of 161.83 Mbps and a download speed of 10.22 Mbps. All the way in Japan, its Ping was 163 with a download speed of 100.82 Mbps and an uploading rate of 4.84 Mbps.
When we compare the average speeds, PureVPN hovered around 64% on its unprotected download speed, which is very good. ExpressVPN’s average was 78% and, although a close call, Express VPN is the fastest overall.
PureVPN 1 - ExpressVPN 2.
When considering pricing, features, and speeds, ExpressVPN comes out on top. We also studied the privacy/security settings of both and their ease of use. ExpressVPN came out top trumps on all but the pricing. If we were to choose a VPN provider, it would be ExpressVPN every time.