ExpressVPN vs PureVPN

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Security researcher
Last updated: November 28, 2020
ExpressVPN vs PureVPN

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We’ll save you the trouble of figuring out which one is the winner of ExpressVPN vs PureVPN: ExpressVPN is better in all areas except pricing.

Don’t believe us? Here’s the point-by-point breakdown.

Security and anonymity

ExpressVPN is hardened steel. You can’t chip it, bend it, or stop it. Great encryption, no DNS or IP leaks, a battle-tested zero logs policy – all of this makes this VPN one of the very best tools for those in need of maximum security.

PureVPN also has good encryption, but that’s where the similarities end. PureVPN leaks like a sieve, lies about having a no-logging policy and cooperates with law enforcement.

The two could not be more dissimilar.

Speed and performance

Everyone and their mother claims to have the fastest VPN on the planet. Companies tend to get away with it too because speeds differ from one location to the next.

The general consensus is that ExpressVPN is among the fastest VPNs on the market. With 3000+ servers across 90 countries, that’s not so hard to believe.

PureVPN allegedly has 2000+ servers spread out over 140+ countries. We say “allegedly” because there are reports about some of these servers being virtual rather than physical.

Regardless of what the reality is, PureVPN seems to be pretty fast. Just not as fast as ExpressVPN. For more details, check out our in-house speed test results below.

ExpressVPN vs PureVPN: 14-Day Speed Average

More live data from our VPN Speed Test tool
ExpressVPN PureVPN
USA server
Download Speed 141 Mbps 64 Mbps
Upload Speed 240 Mbps 203 Mbps
UK server
Download Speed 111 Mbps 74 Mbps
Upload Speed 245 Mbps 266 Mbps
Germany server
Download Speed 193 Mbps 172 Mbps
Upload Speed 312 Mbps 497 Mbps

Ease of use

All ExpressVPN apps are business over pleasure – they’re simplistic and focused on functionality, with not much visual information lying around. Basic yet powerful is the motto. PureVPN is also simplistic but it looks and feels very unprofessional, crude, even ugly.

In terms of customer support, both VPNs are responsive and helpful. ExpressVPN offers better self-help resources but, overall, both seem alright.

Torrenting and P2P

Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN will let you use torrents and both will feel almost as fast as your regular connection. Unfortunately for PureVPN, speed isn’t the only concern for torrent users.

Security and the VPN company’s stance towards cooperation with law enforcement are very important factors. In that sense, ExpressVPN wins by a wide margin.

Netflix and China

Ah, Netflix – the bane of VPNs. This one’s simple – PureVPN claims you can use it to stream Netflix US content, but in reality, you can do so only with atrociously diminished speeds. ExpressVPN claims the same, but in their case, it’s actually true.

Straightforward, right?

Compatibility

Both VPNs have custom apps for all the main platforms, plus browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and a router app.

ExpressVPN additionally has a Linux app, whereas PureVPN has a Kodi Add-on and TV apps. We reckon they’re equal.

Pricing

ExpressVPN is unashamedly one of the most expensive products on the market. You can get it for a period of 1 month ($12.95), 6 months ($9.99 a month billed every 6 months), and, currently, 12 months ($8.32 a month billed first 12 months). PureVPN is a hell of a lot cheaper: 1 month ($10.95), 6 months ( $8.33 a month billed every 6 months), or 12 months ($4.16 a month billed every 12 months).

But here’s the thing, if you’re on a budget, there are other cheap VPNs with significantly stronger features.

PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – which is better?

The ExpressVPN vs PureVPN battle comes to an end and we are ready to declare the winner.

As we said in the very beginning – ExpressVPN wins this battle by a landslide. PureVPN is a mediocre product known for the shady business practices of its parent company.

If you’re not into ExpressVPN, there are still much better choices than PureVPN.

Read our full reviews:

ExpressVPN Review

PureVPN Review

Top VPN providers
NordVPN
9.6 / 10
30-day money-back guarantee
Military grade encryption
Friendly support
Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Excellent performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

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12 comments
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  1. Cal

    I remember when I was using PureVPN and wanted to connect to it one day and had serious issues for a few hours. And that’s not all that wasn’t working with Pure. They’re a bad service and I wouldn’t use them ever again.


  2. Gerry

    ExpressVPN will probably win most battles pretty clearly. Whether it’s on android or PC or Mac, Express does a good job. Their pricing is a bit steep but then again, they do have the quality behind them.


  3. Mariano

    As a Kodi streamer, I will most likely avoid purevpn based on its speed. I usually tend to install apps that require a focus on speed. Thanls for the needed insight in this article!


  4. Julius Tan

    I would definitely go for ExpressVPN as the apps support android. Even the routers are pretty reliable and there are no issues to connect to my phone so far.


    1. Kevin Marlowe

      Hi Julius,

      Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN has an OpenVPN based app for Android. It’s true though, that ExpressVPN is better with routers because of the custom app, although you can successfully use both to connect at the router level.


  5. Tusta

    PureVPN: that name should mean something but it sure doesn’t. This VPN is bad and not worth the money in my opinion. I tried it and I would never go back. ExpressVPN is 3 or 4 leagues above this. I used Express with Openvpn and things worked out great. The setup is easy and the speed is very good. Overall, Express VPN might be the best VPN I’ve used so far. If security and anonymity are important to you then you should use this and stay safe. It costs a bit more than most VPNs because it is of high quality and that will be easily seen once you use it.


  6. Paul

    With all the VPN’s out now, I would definitely say expressvpn is the best out of the few I have tried.
    I like the fact that the company is out of the country, so the united states government cannot easily get their hands on them and information of users.
    Purevpn frequently loses internet connection and have to manually change a server to get it to work again. Also uses 40% of my battery in 10 hours of usage, consuming more than other heavily used apps on my phone and when I had a chat with their customer support concerning the intermittent disconnection, I couldn’t get a solution after paying for 6 months. Have never had any issue using express vpn


  7. Aliceinthewonderland89

    It looks like PureVPN lacks a lot of basic necessities that any VPN provider should offer, and therefore ExpressVPN is a clear winner.


  8. Sanelma Lehtomäki

    I’m thankful I read this review because it’s a reminder you can’t take a VPN’s hype at face value. You need to talk to users and rely on reviews like this. Any VPN that cooperates with law enforcement is useless. PureVPN= Pure virtual police nosiness. If you use PureVPN, you’re a fool.


  9. La Ophelia

    Both VPN have user friendly app and good at providing anonymity. Main concern with PureVPN is it’s approach to privacy means that its users may not be as anonymous as they think they are. ExpressVPN scores with its strict no logging policy, privacy and security features, and greater number of servers. It also supports P2P / torrenting across all its servers as well as offering the faster and more stable connection ensures that it is the winner.


  10. Tom Boxhall

    I read nothing but bad things about PureVPN online, and the fact that’s cheaper than most VPNs out there shouldn’t make it an option for anyone. I would go without a VPN rather than getting PureVPN.


  11. Ružica Petrović

    This comparison has really been helpful for me. I have come across many other websites comparing the two VPNs, but nothing as detailed and comprehensive as this. I’ve been looking to choose a VPN to use with torrenting, and I got my answer!

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