NordVPN or ExpressVPN? Ask this question anyone in the VPN community and you’re bound to hear a contentious answer. For the past year, these two have been locked in a fierce struggle to be the best VPN of them all, one occasionally managing to inch past the other and come out on top, their victory to be reversed mere weeks or months later.

Today, however, we’ll be pitting the kings of VPN against each other in a different ring. This time, we won’t be delving into the technical details of their keyword search volume, Google Trends momentum, or app store statistics. This time, we’ll be comparing the fun factor.

As you’ve undoubtedly guessed from our headline, we’re here to bring you the VPN viral video battle of the year. We’re here find out which VPN was the most fun in 2018.

To test their viral marketing mettle, we decided to take a look at the five most popular online videos created or sponsored by ExpressVPN & NordVPN and compare the results. The rules are as simple as they can get: the VPN with the largest view count wins.

So, without further ado, let’s see who’s the viral video champion of 2018 – it’s showdown time.


Starting with the red corner, we have our #1 Best VPN for 2018 award winner – ExpressVPN. A true hard-hitter in the technical department, Express is no slouch with traditional marketing either. Boasting a university scholarship and a film festival sponsorship, this VPN heavyweight brings plenty of relevant(-ish) experience to the table.

But will it be enough to beat NordVPN in the viral video ring? Let’s see how viral ExpressVPN really is.

#5 – Aaron Marino tells guys how to avoid being caught watching porn

Damage: 219k views

Right off the bat, ExpressVPN comes out with a light “protect your browser history” jab to disorient the opponent. While the punch itself not that destructive, we can almost hear faint cheers from Express fans in the audience.

#4 – Imaqtpie invades bad junglers

Damage: 537k views

ExpressVPN’s next swing is powered by the legendary League of Legends streamer – Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana. Although the choice of the gaming personality is really solid, the view count of the video is, unfortunately, not K.O. material.

#3 – H3 podcast with creators of Jacksfilms and Internet Comment Etiquette

Damage: 690k views

Trying to extend its reach by sponsoring increasingly popular creators of long-form content, ExpressVPN partners with the H3 podcast to deliver a viral uppercut straight to the lower jaw of the competition. Once again, however, the punch only manages to graze the target, falling far short of even a million views.

#2 – Simple History’s lesson on the Great Emu War of 1932

Damage: 929k views

Taking a cue from military history, ExpressVPN tries to outflank the opponent by throwing an unexpected hook with a video on the Great Emu War, a conflict that concluded with Australia’s shameful defeat against the outnumbered and outgunned forces of the Emu birds. While the video packs quite a punch in terms of view count, calling it a viral knockdown would be a stretch.

#1 – ExpressVPN ad shows Todd’s mom reading his browser history

Damage: 1 Million views

As they say, “if you want something done well, do it yourself.” Which is advice that ExpressVPN seems to follow to the letter. Summoning a last-minute hail-mary, Express delivers their strongest online video punch of 2018 with a self-made ad that finally breaks the 1 Million view barrier.

Will it be enough to crush their arch nemesis, or was it barely a scratch against NordVPN’s viral marketing efforts?


In the blue corner, we have NordVPN – the proud contender for (and frequent holder of) the number one VPN spot. Having recently landed a partnership with one of the world’s top soccer clubs, Nord enters the ring with an air of unbridled marketing confidence.

Does it stand a chance against ExpressVPN’s greatest hits of 2018, however? Let’s see what Nord brings to the viral video fight.

#5 – Jacksfilms asks viewers where he should go on his honeymoon

Damage: 1.9 Million views

From the get-go, NordVPN delivers a brutal haymaker with a view count almost double compared to the opponent’s best attack and promptly introduces ExpressVPN’s marketing team to a world of pain.

Looks like Nord decided to bring a gun to a knife fight. And this, our dear reader, is only the beginning…

#4 – Cyanide&Happiness shows dad & son bonding over tentacle porn

Damage: 1.9 Million views

NordVPN continues the smackdown by throwing an edgy “protect your porn privacy” counterpunch straight to its competitor’s vitals with an expertly crafted Explosm video. Nord’s second strike is just as painful as the first, knocking ExpressVPN down on the ground and leaving it wallowing in agony.

#3 – Michael Reeves invents the world’s first race detecting toy

Damage: 3.5 Million views

Even with the eventual outcome of the fight all but decided, NordVPN proceeds to not pull any punches. Its third brain-shattering blow comes in the form of a toy called “Trigger Me Elmo” – a race detecting Muppet with the power of more than three million views.

#2 – ClayClaim builds a Floating Island from Fortnite

Damage: 4.3 Million

As if the deadly toy Muppet wasn’t enough, NordVPN dodges the opponent’s gamer marketing sponsorship swing and shows Express how it’s done by beating it senseless with a Fortnite clay island video. This should be the moment where ExpressVPN’s coach throws in the towel… but it isn’t.

#1 – Mark Rober makes a glitter bomb trap

Damage: 49 Million. FATALITY!

NordVPN finishes off ExpressVPN with its latest viral juggernaut powered by Mark Rober, and proceeds to annihilate any remaining signs of life in the Express marketing department by detonating a glitter bomb.

The winner of the showdown: NordVPN!

After witnessing this painfully one-sided beatdown, we can safely say that NordVPN scores a flawless victory in our viral video showdown. Sadly, it wasn’t even close.

While ExpressVPN seemingly plays it safe and tries to be visible where you’d expect them to be, NordVPN simply goes all out and reaps the benefits of not even trying to make sense with some of their sponsorships. And this approach seems to be working out really well for their market share.

That’s also considering the fact that NordVPN is overtaking ExpressVPN in our market share analysis in nearly every area.

We can only hope that the ExpressVPN team will up their viral game in 2019 – after all, the product is great. There’s no reason why the viral marketing shouldn’t be as well.