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ExpressVPN vs PureVPN: which is better in 2024

ExpressVPN vs PureVPN comparison

In this comparison, we’re pitting ExpressVPN vs PureVPN. Both providers are based in the British Virgin Islands, away from the Fourteen-eye alliance, which hails great news in terms of privacy. Moreover, each presents a robust toolkit of security features and geo-block circumvention abilities.

At first glance, it would appear that the services are going at it shoulder to shoulder, making it difficult to make a decision on which to choose. We are going to present an analytical comparison of ExpressVPN vs PureVPN to make it easier for you. The assessment is based on the criteria of pricing, privacy, security, servers, device compatibility, and more.

ExpressVPN vs PureVPN: specifications

⭐Our rating8.4 ⭐8.5 ⭐
💸Current offerGet ExpressVPN 49% OFF!Get PureVPN 82% OFF!
💰Price starts from$6.67/month$2.14/month
💳Money-back guarantee30 days30 days
📖No-logs policyCourt-proven and independently auditedIndependently-audited
🎮Simultaneous connections810
🌐ServersSeveral thousand6500+ servers in 71+ countries
🔒VPN protocolsLightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP, PPTPWireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP
🍿StreamingNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and moreNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more

Why choose ExpressVPN?

There are several reasons for choosing ExpressVPN:

  • Robust security features. ExpressVPN is famous for advanced protection. The Threat Manager feature protects your online activities from any malware. Additionally, you get split tunneling, a kill switch, stealth servers, and more.
  • Stellar performance. Thanks to its Lightway protocol, the VPN boasts blazing-fast performance whether you casually browse the web or stream your favorite show in HD.
  • Solid global coverage. ExpressVPN nets a few thousand servers in 94+ countries, which means no sluggish connection. Moreover, such extensive global distribution allows you to unblock much more exclusive content abroad.

Why choose PureVPN?

PureVPN’s appeal is based on several criteria:

  • Reliable provider. PureVPN introduced the recent quantum-safe encryption keys, which add the advantage of strengthened privacy and anonymity on all devices, including remote work, banking, and more. Thanks to this tool, you can stay ahead of quantum security threats.
  • Low-priced option. As providers go, PureVPN is on the cheaper side, though not at the cost of the service quality. It’s a universal VPN with capable security features, and solid global coverage, all for a reasonable price.
  • Media-oriented. PureVPN houses plenty of secure protocols and features for seamless torrenting and streaming. For this reason, many users hail this provider as one of the best for media consumption.

PureVPN vs ExpressVPN: pricing

Plans and paymentsExpressVPNPureVPN
Free trialNo7-day trial for $0.99
One month$12.95/month $10.95/month
Six months$9.99/monthNo
One year$6.67/month $6.24/month
Two yearsNo$2.14/month
Money-back guarantee30 days31 days
Payment optionsCredit card, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, Paymentwall (AliPay, UnionPay, and more)Credit card, PayPal, cryptocurrencies

Both VPNs use a fairly standard pricing plan and offer three different subscription options. Additionally, PureVPN has a 7-day trial for $0.99, while ExpressVPN lacks that.

Another similarity is that you can find VPN deals and coupon codes for either service.

On the other hand, ExpressVPN has a few anonymous payment options, while with PureVPN, you can only choose between a credit card and PayPal. Still, the win goes to PureVPN for being cheaper and offering a “free” trial.

ExpressVPN pricing

The three ExpressVPN pricing plans are as follows:

The longest one-year plan grants you a 49% discount, which isn’t a lot compared to most VPN providers. However, you can try getting a better deal by using various ExpressVPN coupons. Plus, in addition to credit cards and PayPal, you can also pay via Bitcoin or Paymentwall. Lastly, the service comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

PureVPN pricing

With PureVPN, you can pick between three subscription plans:

The most extended plan gives you a hefty 82% discount. If that’s not enough, you can also peruse all the other PureVPN coupon codes that are available.

However, keep in mind that some of the PureVPN features are only available as bonuses. For example, a dedicated IP or DDoS protection costs $0.99/month, while port forwarding costs $0.25/month. Plus, you can’t get both a dedicated IP and DDoS protection at the same time.

For more security features, you also can also make additional purchases for tools like PureKeep for $0.99, PurePrivacy for $2.49, and PureEncrypt, which costs $1.29. Though they cost extra, these are fine additions for elevated protection.

Besides that, the 7-day free trial actually costs $0.99 and will renew to a yearly plan if you don’t cancel on time. Finally, all plans come with a 31-day money-back guarantee and can be bought with a credit card or PayPal account.

Speed comparison

There are several fast VPNs out there, whose speed is exemplary. Speaking of performance, ExpressVPN is faster than PureVPN. However, this difference in performance is not particularly stark. The reason ExpressVPN displays an advantage is that it uses its proprietary Lightway tunneling protocol. While it’s similar to the WireGuard employed by PureVPN, it seems to work a little faster.

To be precise, ExpressVPN demonstrates a slight edge over the download and upload speeds in European servers like Germany and the UK. In the meantime, PureVPN has the upper hand when it comes to US servers, but the difference isn’t something to write home about.

To conclude, PureVPN doesn’t facilitate the same level of performance, although it doesn’t really lag behind ExpressVPN that much.

ExpressVPN vs PureVPN: which is more secure?

ExpressVPNPureVPN
EncryptionAES-256AES-256
HashSHA-512SHA-384
JurisdictionThe British Virgin IslandsThe British Virgin Islands
LoggingCourt-proven and independently-audited no-logs policyIndependently-audited no-logs policy
Kill switchYesYes
Leak protectionDNS, IPv6, WebRTCDNS, IPv6, WebRTC
RAM serversYesNo

Like most VPNs that take your security seriously, ExpressVPN and PureVPN are equipped with AES-256 encryption, kill switches, and high-quality leak protection. Common tunneling protocols include OpenVPN and IKEv2. Furthermore, both offer split tunneling and port forwarding features.

Overall, ExpressVPN is the more secure option as it brings more to the table.

Privacy

Both providers have an exciting history in the privacy department. Furthermore, they are based outside the reach of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance and have been audited by third parties. One of the major differences between these VPNs is RAM-only servers. ExpressVPN is confirmed to have RAM-only servers, while PureVPN, unfortunately, doesn’t.

Another important point is anonymous payment. Again, ExpressVPN offers Bitcoin as a confidential means of paying. However, PureVPN supports several cryptocurrencies via CoinGate. In the end, ExpressVPN has better privacy practices and scores another point.

Logging

A no-logs policy is a cornerstone when we’re dealing with VPNs and privacy. Luckily, both services have independently-audited no-logs policies. However, ExpressVPN’s case has been audited by PwC and Cure53. Because of that, the VPN provider gets extra kudos.

PureVPN, on the other hand, has had two independent audits undertaken by KPMG. The results in the cases of both VPNs have shown that they remain consistent with the no-logs policy. It’s really great news for those who value their privacy and confidentiality since you get these with both.

Servers location

Server specificationExpressVPNPureVPN
ServersUndefined6500+
Countries105+71+
All physical serversNoNo
Owns all serversNoNo

PureVPN has 6500+ servers across 71+ countries, while ExpressVPN has several thousand in  105+ countries. At first glance, it seems that PureVPN is in the lead but plenty of its servers and locations are virtual.

Also, ExpressVPN has one crucial upside – RAM-only servers. Such servers guarantee that any potential browsing data logs are wiped whenever the servers are restarted.

Other than that, both providers use virtual servers to some extent and don’t own their entire server network. In the case of ExpressVPN, some servers are physical and some virtual. With greater global distribution and RAM-only servers in its arsenal, ExpressVPN wins this category.

Features

FeaturesExpressVPNPureVPN
Smart DNSMediaStreamerNo
Ad & malware blockerThreat Manager (iOS, Mac, Linux)No
Split tunnelingYesYes
Specialized serversYesYes

Additional features can be crucial when picking a VPN as they increase the service’s functionality tenfold at times. In this regard, ExpressVPN steals the spotlight. The provider offers an extensive suite of VPN tools, while PureVPN offers a more basic set. However, that seems fair, considering that the latter is much cheaper.

Smart DNS

This is a hefty tool that allows users to access remote streaming libraries on devices that don’t support VPNs natively. PureVPN, unfortunately, lacks this feature. On the other hand, its competitor satisfies users with the MediaStreamer tool, which helps effectively bypass geo-blocks on devices that don’t support VPN.

Although Smart DNS isn’t exactly as secure as VPN, the feature assists strongly in building a seamless streaming experience. It’s an essential tool to take into consideration when purchasing a VPN if you’re a fan of media.

Ad & malware blocker

Moving toward the security department, it’s important that a VPN should have an ad & malware blocker. While ads may appear annoying, they also collect user data, which in turn, can be sold to third parties. And, of course, malware is one of the least desirable catches to get.

Sadly, PureVPN doesn’t offer such a tool. It’s a shame since ExpressVPN comes in clutch with the Threat Manager tool. It’s available on iOS, Mac, and Linux, so Windows and Android users are left a little bit dangling. Additionally, Threat Manager blocks malware but not ads, so it’s not a completely comprehensive feature either.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling is a perfect tool for those willing to sacrifice partial encryption to increase VPN speed. This tool allows you to encrypt certain websites and applications while leaving the rest unencrypted for better control.

PureVPN supports the split tunneling feature on Windows and Android devices, but the lack of support for Apple devices is quite a drawback. The tool grants a rather simple whitelisting option to choose which apps should be connected to a VPN.

In the same vein, ExpressVPN’s split tunneling isn’t supported on macOS 11 and later versions. However, it works perfectly on Windows, Android, and the ExpressVPN router app. The feature offers more functionality (3 options regarding VPN connection distribution) than its counterpart’s split tunneling.

Specialized servers

ExpressVPN and PureVPN net specialty servers suitable for specific purposes, though the latter provider seems to offer just a tad more. Some servers enhance your security further, while others may provide increased performance.

ExpressVPN includes:

  • Stealth VPN. This feature enables you to bypass heavily-censored blocks. Such servers are often used in China, UAE, Iran, and other surveillance-loving countries.
  • P2P servers. ExpressVPN supports unrestricted torrenting and P2P file-sharing across all of its servers. Plus, you can connect to specialized P2P servers.

PureVPN includes:

  • Dedicated IP. A Dedicated IP address is a kind of address that’s designed for individual use, which is perfect for top-grade security and speed. PureVPN offers Dedicated IPs in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Singapore, and Malta.
  • Obfuscated servers. PureVPN’s obfuscated servers work a little differently, as they are enabled the moment you connect to any VPN server. This gives you an opportunity to get around internet censorship measures, such as DPI (Deep Packet Inspection).
  • P2P servers. Although PureVPN does not allow torrenting on every server, there are selected servers optimized for P2P filesharing.

Other noteworthy features

There are a couple more features that are beneficial, especially in deciding the ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN battle in the security category. For instance, both VPN providers offer a port forwarding option. This tool makes it easier to establish connections to your network remotely and is important for seeding torrents. However, unlike its counterpart, PureVPN requires a small fee for this one

On the other hand, ExpressVPN offers the ExpressVPN Keys tool, which in essence, is a password manager. It’s a perfect feature if you have many accounts and want to secure all of them, as it stores all the login information. Moreover, this feature doesn’t require any extra charge.

Netflix and streaming comparison

Streaming platformExpressVPNPureVPN
Netflix USYesYes
Other Netflix librariesYesYes
Amazon PrimeYesNo
HuluYesYes
HBO MaxYesNo
Disney+YesNo
BBC iPlayerYesYes
YouTubeTVYesYes

Clearly, ExpressVPN deserves its spot among the best VPNs for streaming, while PureVPN has room for improvement. In particular, PureVPN lacks a Smart DNS feature, which is especially important for users who want to stream and get around geographical restrictions on devices that don’t support VPN software, such as game consoles or smart TVs.

However, PureVPN is still regarded as one of the best VPNs suited for media consumption, streaming including. It’s just best if you use it on a PC or mobile device. Meanwhile, ExpressVPN is too expensive compared to the rest of the providers on the list. However, the MediaStreamer feature makes it a better option than PureVPN.

Device compatibility

Device supportExpressVPNPureVPN
Major dedicated appsWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, AndroidWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
Other dedicated appsFire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Chromebook, Routers, Kindle Fire, Nook HDFire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV, Kodi add-on, DD-WRT applet
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox, EdgeChrome, Firefox, Edge (beta)
Manual setupChromecast, Nvidia Shield,Router, QNAP, Synology, OpenELEC, Raspberry Pi, Chromebook
Simultaneous devices510

Both VPNs have dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. Additional applications are also available for Android TV and Amazon Fire OS. Furthermore, both have browser extensions available for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Naturally, setting up a router with a VPN is also possible with both services but ExpressVPN has a dedicated app for that.

Desktop applications

ExpressVPN and PureVPN have dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Although both services favor Windows applications, their macOS counters have a solid interface. PureVPN offers an intuitive and user-friendly interface with all the necessary information centered. Navigation is easy, kudos for a simple yet pleasant appearance.

PureVPN desktop application

For Windows and macOS, ExpressVPN employs a rather minimalistic design, focusing on clarity and straight-to-the-point navigation. However, the interface displays a split tunneling feature, which, sadly, is unavailable on macOS 11 and newer versions. Otherwise, the desktop app interface is intuitive and perfectly accommodated for both the tech-savvy and VPN newbies.

ExpressVPN interface on Windows app

Linux users can rejoice that both VPN providers support this operating system and offer a streamlined graphical user interface. In short, you’ll have access to a clean, user-friendly desktop app no matter which provider you choose or which PC operating system you are using.

Mobile applications

PureVPN demonstrates a headstrong start when it comes to mobile app design as they remain as intuitive and easy-to-use. However, iOS users do lose the split tunneling feature, but that is relatively common among VPNs. Luckily, though, both iOS and Android folk can pick different server modes and network types for their connection.

PureVPN interface on iOS app

Meanwhile, ExpressVPN made sure that Android users enjoy the same type of interface as Windows users do. It’s a solid choice considering that the design is intuitive and compact. Interestingly, the iOS app cuts out a kill switch, split tunneling options, and customizable shortcuts. Much more than the PureVPN iOS version.

ExpressVPN interface on Android app

Otherwise, both VPNs did a splendid job at accommodating the applications for mobile users, though hurting iOS users a little. PureVPN wins this round, though by a close margin.

Torrenting

P2P specificationsExpressVPNPureVPN
Allowed onAll serversSelected servers
Free SOCKS5 proxyNoNo
Split tunnelingYesYes (Windows, Android)
Port forwardingYesYes

In terms of torrenting, ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN gets pretty intriguing as they appear on par. The one downside of PureVPN is that it doesn’t allow torrenting on all servers. Also, it allows split tunneling on Windows and Android only.

Otherwise, both VPN options are pretty good as they work in most countries and come with the port forwarding feature. While PureVPN might be a good option for a download or two, ExpressVPN is the best VPN for torrenting.

China

SpecificationsExpressVPNPureVPN
Works in ChinaYesYes
Stealth VPNYes (Stealth servers)Yes
Tor over VPNNoNo

If you’re planning a holiday in China, you are right to keep an eye out for the best VPNs for China. Regarding access to restricted countries, ExpressVPN offers Stealth servers, which are pretty reliable against the online censorship measures of the regime.

Meanwhile, PureVPN lacks Tor over VPN. On the other hand, the less-common SSTP tunneling protocol is relatively effective against the Great Firewall of China.

Customer support

Support optionsExpressVPNPureVPN
24/7 live chat✅Yes✅Yes
Phone LineNoNo
Email ✅Yes✅Yes
Knowledgebase✅Yes✅Yes

Thankfully, both VPNs provide excellent customer support around the clock. Whether you prefer 24/7 live chat or email communication – ExpressVPN and PureVPN have you covered. Plus, their support pages are pretty extensive and have neatly categorized guides for many use-cases.

ExpressVPN vs PureVPN – which is better?

CategoryExpressVPN🥇PureVPN🥈
PricingLosesWins✔️
SpeedWins✔️Loses
SecurityWins✔️Loses
ServersWins✔️Loses
FeaturesWins✔️Loses
StreamingWins✔️Loses
Device compatibilityLosesWins✔️
TorrentingWins✔️Loses
ChinaTie🤝Tie🤝
Customer supportTie🤝Tie🤝
Total wins6 out of 102 out of 10

The conclusion of the ExpressVPN vs PureVPN battle is upon us, and we can declare a winner. ExpressVPN wins by a small margin. Although it’s pricier, it performs better, offers more security features, a more reliable privacy policy, and a better experience when streaming.

Meanwhile, PureVPN has the benefit of being cheap and allowing more simultaneous connections. Furthermore, both providers have excellent customer service, but ExpressVPN is more reliable in censorship-heavy countries, such as China.

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FAQ

Is PureVPN better than ExpressVPN?

No, PureVPN is not better than ExpressVPN. Although cheaper, it lacks any stand-out features that would make it an above-average VPN. Meanwhile, ExpressVPN is faster, has a proprietary tunneling protocol, RAM-only servers, and better privacy.

Does ExpressVPN work in China?

Yes, ExpressVPN works in China. You even don’t have to do anything because Stealth Servers are turned on whenever a VPN detects the presence of Deep Packet Inspection.

Is PureVPN any good?

PureVPN is a fairly standard VPN. It’s reasonably priced, has good server coverage, which spans several dozens of countries. Moreover, the VPN has a decent amount of security features, though some may come at an additional small cost.

Which is better for torrenting: ExpressVPN or PureVPN?

ExpressVPN is a better VPN for torrenting. Although it has half as many servers as PureVPN servers as PureVPN, the size is still impressive. Plus, its global coverage of 94 countries and P2P communication support on all servers. However, PureVPN is a more cost-effective option for torrent downloads.

Is PureVPN free to use?

No, PureVPN is not free to use. However, it has a 7-day “free” trial for $0.99 and a 31-day money-back guarantee.

Is ExpressVPN or PureVPN better for gaming?

ExpressVPN is better for gaming than PureVPN. The former facilitates great download and upload speed thanks to its vast global distribution and Lightway protocol. The VPN secures low ping and latency in most cases, deeming it a solid service for gaming.

12 comments
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  1. Cal October 30, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    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 October 28, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    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 September 20, 2019 at 3:54 am

    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 August 21, 2019 at 4:50 am

    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 August 23, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      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 August 20, 2019 at 8:45 pm

    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 August 6, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    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 May 21, 2019 at 10:05 am

    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 April 3, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    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 February 17, 2019 at 6:02 am

    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 February 9, 2019 at 10:53 pm

    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 January 6, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    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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