ExpressVPN is an option you should strongly consider if you’re looking for a VPN provider that offers fast connection speeds, great privacy protections and tip-top customer support.
If you’re into P2P file sharing, you’ll be interested in the provider’s global support for BitTorrenting. One glaring drawback for value-minded customers may be the provider’s high cost of admission.
PureVPN will entice internet users in need of a VPN provider that offers above-average connection speeds and comprehensive global server coverage, all of which are available at a reasonable price.
However, connection speeds pale a bit when compared to their head-to-head competitor’s speeds, and their BitTorrent support isn’t as wide-ranging when compared to ExpressVPN’s coverage.
How to Choose a VPN
It’s important to carefully research the features of any VPN provider you’re considering. There are several important categories and features to take under advisement.
In this article, I’ll be conducting a one-on-one comparison of 2 popular VPN providers: PureVPN and ExpressVPN.
I’ll cover each consideration you should be looking at and share with you how well both providers perform in that particular category.
For each category, I will declare a winner and keep track of the total points for each provider over all of the categories.
At the end of the article, I’ll declare an overall winner, based upon accumulated points. By then, you should have enough information at hand to make an informed decision as to which VPN provider is the best choice for your particular needs.
No matter what your favorite online activity, a fast connection can only make it more efficient and more enjoyable. (Well, concerning bill payment, more efficient, but probably not more enjoyable.)
That’s why VPN connection speeds are more important than ever when considering which VPN provider is right for you.
For our tests, Pixel Privacy uses Speedtest.net to test VPN-provided connection speeds. The speed tests are performed as follows:
- We use a gigabit Ethernet connection based in North America.
- We test each VPN by connecting to servers in 3 different locations – the United Kingdom, the United States and Hong Kong – at 3 different times of day, for 3 days.
- We use the Windows version of both providers’ apps for testing, which is configured to connect via the OpenVPN protocol over UDP.
Average Connection Speeds
PureVPN delivers an average protected download speed of 36.81 Mbps.
Speeds like that can easily handle most of your favorite online activities. The only activity I can think of that those speeds might not be up to is viewing 4K video. Check with your favorite streaming provider to find out what their bandwidth requirements are.
Meanwhile, ExpressVPN’s average protected download speed of 106.78 Mbps is easily up to any of your favorite online pastimes. These speeds provide optimal bandwidth for 4K video, file downloads and online gaming.
Keep in mind that the connection speeds you experience will likely be different from ours, depending mostly on your ISP-supplied connection speeds.
These 2 providers sit at opposite ends of the spectrum. While PureVPN is a somewhat budget-priced option, ExpressVPN is one of the more premium-priced VPN providers around today.
PureVPN will prove attractive if you’re looking for a low-priced way to protect your online activities without breaking the bank.
While ExpressVPN is priced much higher than its competitor, if you’re willing to pay a little more for top-notch service in every service category, you’ll receive an excellent return on investment.
When considering a VPN provider’s pricing, don’t automatically opt for the lower-priced provider. Take into consideration the level of service offered by each provider. Then, you’ll be able to decide which provider offers the best return on your investment.
I don’t list exact prices in my articles, as VPN providers change their pricing and offer special deals on a regular basis, so any specific prices could become outdated. Be sure to visit each provider’s website for their latest pricing.
Protecting your online privacy is one of the most important reasons to use a Virtual Private Network. An efficient VPN protects your online activities from prying eyes and keeps no records of your online activities.
For those users with a particularly private bent, look for a provider that accepts cryptocurrency or even merchant gift card balances as payment.
ExpressVPN is based in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands, where the government has no regulations requiring VPNs to retain user logs of any kind. Therefore, the provider follows a strict “no-logs” policy. They also accept Bitcoin as payment.
PureVPN is based in Hong Kong, which, despite being a Chinese possession, still respects an internet user’s privacy, requiring no logs of any kind to be kept. PureVPN takes advantage of that lack of regulations, keeping no server logs of any kind. While they do not offer a cryptocurrency payment option, they do accept merchant gift card balances.
Adding another layer of privacy, PureVPN owns and operates its entire global server network, ensuring third-party operators never have access to your personal data.
When considering which VPN is right for you, be careful not to concentrate on any one service category. Instead, look for a provider that offers the best overall performance in all of the categories.
In this section, I’ll take a close look at the features that both providers offer, and reveal each provider’s level of performance in that category.
ExpressVPN uses military-grade AES-256 (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. VPN protocols available in the provider’s apps include OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec.
PureVPN also uses military-grade AES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, L2TP, PPTP and IKEv2 protocols.
While PureVPN may offer more protocols, both providers offer the most secure protocols, such as OpenVPN and L2TP, so we’ll call it a tie.
ExpressVPNAES-256 with OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSecVisit Site
PureVPNAES-256 encryption, using OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, L2TP, PPTP and IKEv2Visit Site
Most VPN providers allow more than one connection to their servers on the same set of login credentials.
This “simultaneous connections” allowance offers added flexibility for VPN usage by groups such as small businesses or large families. The larger the allowance, the better the flexibility.
BitTorrent/P2P file sharing is arguably one of the most popular (and one of the most controversial) online activities today. Laws vary country by country, so P2P file sharing can be legal, illegal or simply frowned upon, depending on your location.
P2P file sharing has numerous legal uses. For instance, some companies use the technology to share files among their personnel.
However, it can also be used to share copyrighted files, including pirated versions of movies, music and applications.
No matter what you share via P2P, there’s a possibility that your Internet Service Provider might throttle or even entirely block your file sharing activity. The best way to prevent your ISP from detecting your torrenting is to use a VPN.
ExpressVPN allows P2P file-sharing activity on all of the servers in its global network. The provider even offers a uTorrent how-to guide on their website. The guide provides tips on how to best use the ExpressVPN service with the popular torrenting application.
PureVPN supports P2P file sharing in over 86 countries.
Both providers keep no server logs whatsoever, meaning your torrenting activities are safe from exposure, no matter which provider you choose.
Global Server Coverage
When considering any VPN provider, always take note of their global server coverage. The more countries in which a provider locates their servers, the better access you’ll have to geo-blocked content.
Plus, take note of server numbers. More servers means there’s less of a chance of connection congestion as a provider adds customers.
ExpressVPN has over 3,000+ servers located in 94 countries around the globe.
PureVPN has over 2,000 servers spread among 140+ countries.
You’d likely be hard-pressed to name an electronic device you use daily that’s not connected to the internet. (Your calculator doesn’t count.) That makes multi-platform support an important consideration when deciding on a VPN provider.
PureVPN offers native apps for the macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV platforms. A PureVPN applet is compatible with DD-WRT routers, and support is also available for other routers. Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are available.
ExpressVPN provides native app support for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Nook and Amazon Fire devices. They also provide browser extensions for the Chrome and Firefox platforms, as well as a custom app for select routers and setup instructions for other popular routers.
Both providers offer ready-to-go, plug-and-play routers through FlashRouters.com.
Multi-Platform Support Winner: Dead heat.
While most top VPN providers offer easy-to-use and reliable apps and services, Murphy and his law are always lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike when the time is right.
That’s when reliable customer support will be most appreciated.
ExpressVPN support options include 24/7 live support chat, email support and a searchable troubleshooting and support database.
PureVPN also provides around-the-clock support, with 24/7 live support chat, a trouble ticket tracking system and a searchable support library.
And The Winner Is…
Both of the VPN providers in our one-on-one playoff deliver excellent protection for your online activities. However, the whole idea of a head-to-head matchup is to declare a winner, so…
ExpressVPN is the overall winner this time around, just nosing out PureVPN at the finish line. The provider scored best in the connection speed and BitTorrent categories, but also scored well in all other categories.
Meanwhile, PureVPN scored best in the pricing and global server coverage columns. It should be noted that the provider performed well even in the 2 categories it lost in. It was its loss in the connection speeds category that lost the battle for PureVPN, as connection speeds are critical for a VPN.
The providers tied in the encryption, simultaneous connections, multi-platform support, privacy and customer support head-to-head faceoffs.
After making your VPN buying decision, install the app on all of your compatible devices and enable the VPN protection whenever you go online. A VPN is a valuable and reliable tool to protect you from the perils of online life.