Tell me this: What is the best way to judge a product? If your answer is “comparison with similar products” then congrats you are right. This is exactly what we are going to do in this article to see which one is the best.
There is a constant debate going on about the best VPN on the market. Some say it’s ExpressVPN while others bet their chips on PureVPN. To settle the matter once and for all we have put both of these products through their paces to see which one offers the best combination of speed, features, security, and affordability.
When we compared PureVPN vs ExpressVPN, we can definitely say that ExpressVPN offers the fastest speed for streaming, gaming, and torrenting, has strong and quick unblocking capabilities, provides excellent security features, a verified logging policy, offers a friendly user interface, and provides some other great benefits.
Let’s dig deeper into the comparison to find out what exactly makes these VPNs stand out from one another.
Quick Summary – The Clear Winner
The average attention span of adults falls somewhere between 10-20 minutes. And this makes us pretty sure that not all of you will read this article in its entirety. So here is a quick review of PureVPN vs ExpressVPN.
ExpressVPN is considered by many as the fastest VPN on the market and there is nothing that makes me doubt this. It is blazing fast, uses AES 256-bit encryption to encrypt the network traffic, and provides DNS leak protection. Couple this with its support for protocols like IKEv2 and it becomes a great option. Check our complete review of ExpressVPN to know more about this VPN.
PureVPN is for people who don’t want to be locked into yearly contracts. Suppose you are on such a guy and only want a VPN for a month then PureVPN is perfect for you as it doesn’t offer a yearly contract. Furthermore, It is awesome as far as streaming geo-blocked content is concerned. And with features like an internet kill switch, AES 256-bit encryption, and DNS leak protection you aren’t missing out on anything.
Got time and would like to read more? Then keep on reading as the following sections cover everything you need to know about these VPNs:
- Price Comparison
- Speed Tests
- User Interface
- Feature List
- Device Compatibility Comparison
- Unblocking Restricted Content
- Unblocking Geo-restrictions in China and Other Highly Restrictive Countries
- Torrent Comparison
- Performance on Different Servers
- Support for Different Protocols
- Logging Policy
- Ease of Signing Up
- Customer Service
So, let’s get started with an in-depth comparison:
1. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – Price Comparison
When it comes to choosing a product, a few factors are as important as pricing. So let’s see how these VPNs stack up against each other.
|7-day trial||Only for iOS & Android||$0.99/month|
|12 months||$6.67/month (49% off)||$3.24/month (70% off)|
|2-year||N/A||$2.05/month (84% off)|
The pricing situation is rather interesting. If you are after the cheapest per-month plan, then PureVPN is for you. At $2.05 per month you get 84% off with its 2 year plan. It is by far the cheapest option on the market.
ExpressVPN does not offer a 2 or a 3-year plan. This VPN is the cheapest at $6.67/mo (Save 49% and get 3 extra months FREE with 12-month plan). Its 6-month contract comes in at around $9.99/month.
Finally, VPNs cost the greatest when you choose them for 1 month and this holds true here. Owing to its state-of-the-art infrastructure and unmatched speed ExpressVPN costs $12.95/month. PureVPN is again the cheapest one here coming in at $10.95/month.
The Winner: PureVPN is the winner when it comes to pricing. They offer decent features at the most affordable price with their 2-year plan for $2.05/month.
2. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – Speed Tests
Before we move on to the actual tests here is what you need to understand:
No matter what VPN you choose your internet speed will take a hit.
Why? Well, there are several reasons:
- Establishing a connection to remote servers takes time
- Applying encryption to your internet traffic on both ways also takes its toll on the connection speed
- The actual quality of the servers a VPN service is using also determines the speed of your connection
Of course, establishing a VPN is an intricate process and as such there can be a lot of other hidden costs associated with the whole process. The bottom line is:
You are never going to get the full bandwidth of your internet connection.
With that out of the way here is how each of these VPNs performed in our testing.
To give you some context about the impact on speed each VPN will have, here are some stats about our internet connection.
The above numbers are the result of direct speed testing without connecting to a VPN service. As you can see our connection is a solid 10.10 Mbps with upload speed coming in at 10.23 Mbps. The latency is also pretty low at just a negligible 2ms.
ExpressVPN is the speed champion in our comparison. Take a look at the numbers yourself:
Establishing a connection to a US server only took about 183 ms which, for a VPN, is very respectable. The download speed, on the other hand, is astonishingly at 95% of the original. The upload speed stands at the same margin retaining 92% of the original speed. For a VPN, these are crazy good numbers.
PureVPN has unreal latency. It connected to the remote server almost instantaneously.
While the latency is excellent the download and upload speeds have taken a pretty substantial hit. The download speed retained almost 70% of the original connection speed but the upload fell flat on its face losing more than 65%. These are not good numbers.
The Winner: Based on solid download and upload speed, ExpressVPN is our clear winner here.
3. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN – User Interface
A piece of software is as good as its user interface. It doesn’t matter whether the VPN has all the features or not if the user doesn’t know how to use it. So here we take a look at the UIs to see if anyone can pick them up and use the services.
ExpressVPN has a clean UI. Upon opening the app you are presented with a button that lets you toggle the connection On and Off. The server you are connected to is mentioned just below this button. You can also change which server you want to connect to by clicking on the 3 dots in the same box.
Once in the server panel, you can scroll or search the server you want to connect to either by name or by entering the location.
Finally, press the hamburger menu located in the top left corner of the main screen to go the settings menu where you can choose the protocol, toggle the kill switch, and a whole lot more.
All in all, using ExpressVPN is quite straightforward.
PureVPN is the simplest out of these 2. It doesn’t enforce complex settings on you if you don’t want. Once you enter the app, it presents you with a screen with a home screen that displays your status.
It shows you whether you are connected or not, the mode you are in, and the options to go to the main dashboard.
If you want to change the mode, click on the Change Mode under the mode indicator. Then click on the option that best describes your use case. For instance, if you are going to stream click on streaming and it will set up everything for you.
The main dashboard has also grouped various settings in the left panel.
The setting panel on the left of this dashboard groups various options which you can explore by selecting the type of options you want to see.
In short, PureVPN has something for everyone. It can be as simple and as complex as you like. It all depends on how you use it.
The Winner: Both of these VPNs have a neat app, however, ExpressVPN stood out due to its modern design and interface.
4. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN – Feature List
Let us take a look at what features both of these VPNs boast.
|No Logs Policy||✓||✓|
|Automatic Kill Switch||✓||✓|
|DNS Leak Protection||✓||✓|
|Onion Over VPN||✓|
|Multi-logins||5 Devices||10 Devices|
Aside from a healthy feature set, the other important thing is the widespread availability of servers. All of these VPN services have thousands of servers located on every continent. So finding a server to connect should not be a problem. Let us see some numbers:
The more servers a VPN has in its arsenal, the more flexible it is while dealing with the problems of its users.
One thing that needs to be mentioned here is the P2P support. Even though the VPN services have matured the P2P support is still a hit or a miss. PureVPN doesn’t support P2P while ExpressVPN doesn’t support P2P on most of its servers.
Long story short, although both of these VPNs support the majority of features some features are still kind of in the air.
The Winner: There are countless features offered by both of these VPNs, however, ExpressVPN offers a better list of features at a lower price.
5. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – Device Compatibility Comparison
VPNs offer apps for different devices and operating systems. Though, some offer better compatibility than others. Here is a brief comparison of these two VPNs and their device compatibility.
|Amazon Fire TV||✔️||✔️|
|Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Safari||Chrome, Firefox|
ExpressVPN Device Compatibility
ExpressVPN is also one of the few VPNs that offer a browser extension for Safari browsers. You can also use it on Apple TV, Roku, and gaming consoles.
What we liked about ExpressVPN is that its apps are similar across all platforms with all the advanced features. It also supports up to 5 simultaneous device connections on a single account.
PureVPN Device Compatibility
PureVPN offers intuitive apps across all platforms. In comparison to ExpressVPN, its apps are a bit too plain, but it is great for beginners.
One thing that we did not like about PureVPN was that all its apps offer different functionality. For example, its Android app is the most feature-rich, while its macOS app only supports two tunneling protocols.
Moreover, PureVPN’s Linux app functions through the Command Line Interface, so it might be a bit too advanced for novices. Overall, it is not bad as you can connect 10 simultaneous devices, making PureVPN a great choice for a large household.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner here with feature-rich apps across all platforms and support for unlimited simultaneous connections on a single account.
6. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN – Unblocking Restricted Content
When it comes to unblocking sites like Netflix US or Amazon Prime, both the VPNs do a pretty amazing job. Once connected to the server of your choice, you will experience no hiccups in streaming whatsoever.
Here are a few pictures of us streaming Netflix while connected to a VPN:
Overall, we’d say that Express VPN provided the best unblocking and streaming experience for websites like Netflix US, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. The streaming was lightning fast and we faced no problems in connecting to a New York server.
PureVPN performed fine as well. The connection speed did take a hit for sure and the streaming experience could certainly have been better. However, PureVPN was able to unblock Netflix US and other streaming services and seems to be a fine option for the price.
The Winner: In our unblocking sites comparison, ExpressVPN outperformed the competition because of its lightning-fast speed and excellent server infrastructure.
7. Unblocking Geo-restrictions in China and Other Highly Restrictive Countries
VPN usage is quite common in China, but not many VPNs can bypass the Great Firewall of China and government censorship. Therefore, we decided to check if these VPNs are a good fit for China.
Does ExpressVPN work in China?
Yes, ExpressVPN does work in China. Under the hood, it offers advanced unblocking technology and obfuscation protocols that can easily bypass the Great Firewall, along with government-imposed censorship and restrictions.
ExpressVPN’s Live Chat support also confirmed that it is currently working in Mainland China. Therefore, you can access any website you want in China, without facing any restrictions.
Does PureVPN work in China?
Yes, PureVPN does work in China as it supports the SSTP tunneling protocol that can help Chinese users bypass internet restrictions imposed by Great Firewall.
There is no obfuscation feature, so you might face issues from time to time. Also, you might want to manually set up the VPN in China, because the PureVPN app might be blocked in some countries.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner here because they offer obfuscation technology and the ability to bypass anti-VPN mechanisms undetected.
8. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – Torrent Comparison
Torrenting falls in the grey area in most locations, therefore, a lot of users use a VPN for torrenting. Therefore, we compared the two providers to see how well they perform while torrenting.
Is ExpressVPN Good for Torrenting?
Yes, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for torrenting, as it supports P2P traffic on all of its servers, so you can expect fast connection speeds.
It gave us a download speed of 9.25 MB/s on uTorrent. If you download torrents with a good seed/peer ratio, you can expect even better speeds. During our tests, we could torrent a large file of 1GB within 12 minutes which was great.
It offers a proprietary Lightway protocol, that offers fast download speed, without any bandwidth limitation, or lag. You get fast speed without compromising on security. It also offers port forwarding.
Is PureVPN Good for Torrenting?
PureVPN offers excellent support for P2P. There are dedicated P2P servers in 30 countries, that are clearly marked in the VPN app. When it comes to speed, PureVPN was the slowest as compared to its competitors, as it gave a max speed of 4.15 MB/s.
It even offers port forwarding to help you connect to more peers and increase your speed while maintaining security. However, unlike ExpressVPN which includes this feature on all plans, PureVPN has this feature as an add-on.
The Winner: ExpressVPN is the winner when it comes to torrenting. It supports P2P traffic on all its servers, with fast-speed connections and port forwarding.
9. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN – Performance on Different Servers
Both the VPNs performed admirably when connected to different servers. The performance was, for the most part, the same as our testing indicated earlier. And this includes the overall performance ranking as well. PureVPN was the worse performer here. However, it is still a capable VPN for streaming.
The Winner: ExpressVPN was by far the best performing of the 2 no matter which server we connected to.
10. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – Support for Different Protocols
Every VPN supports a different subset of security protocols. There is no VPN that supports all of them. Here is a quick overview of the different security protocols and the levels of security they provide.
|PPTP||Fast||Poor||Medium||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
|IPSec||Medium||Good||Good||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
|L2TP/IPSec||Medium||Medium||Good||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
|IKEv2/IPSec||Fast||Good||Good||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
|OpenVPN TCP||Medium||Good||Good||Medium||Good||Most OS and devices|
|OpenVPN UDP||Fast||Good||Medium||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
|WireGuard||Fast||Good||Poor||Medium||Medium||Android, Linux, iOS, and Mac|
The following table shows the VPNs under discussion in comparison to the protocols they support.
|Wireguard||Not offered||Not offered|
|Shadowsocks||Not offered||Not offered|
As you can see in the table above, ExpressVPN and PureVPN support the majority of the security protocols.
ExpressVPN uses different protocols depending on the conditions and the use case. As always you can choose to use a different one. ExpressVPN cannot use Wireguard at the moment but the developers say that they are looking into it.
Finally, PureVPN can also use all of the above except Wireguard and Shadowsocks. So, you are covered should you choose to go with PureVPN.
The Winner: For us, the winner is ExpressVPN, as it offers strong infrastructure
11. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN – Logging Policy
Most users opt for a VPN service to acquire online privacy and anonymity. However, a provider that logs user data and has invasive privacy policies beat the purpose of a VPN.
Therefore, we have compared ExpressVPN and PureVPN to see what kind of information these providers store.
ExpressVPN Logging Policy
ExpressVPN is a trustworthy, no-logs VPN that does not store any personally identifiable user data. The provider is based in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly location and it does not store users’ IP addresses, browsing histories, etc.
Furthermore, the provider has been audited by PwC. In addition to that, ExpressVPN’s servers are RAM-based so they cannot store data on them, and every data is wiped with every single reboot.
Moreover, the company claimed to have a “no-logs” policy, but in 2017, PureVPN aided the FBI in the arrest of a cyberstalker by handing over his logging data.
The Winner: Both of these providers are based in the British Virgin Islands, but ExpressVPN is the winner here. It not only offers a trustworthy no-log policy but has also been audited multiple times, proving its claims. PureVPN, on the other hand, has had a history of logging user data and helping the FBI in an arrest of a cyberstalker
12. ExpressVPN vs PureVPN – Ease of Signing Up
Both of these VPNs support the same standard ways of signing up for the service. You have your usual email and credit card options. Aside from this ExpressVPN also support varied payment options like Bitcoins and UnionPay.
It is interesting to note that all of these VPN services offer a money-back guarantee. And while we are on the subject of payment options, sadly PureVPN does not support any cryptocurrency which is a shame considering the rise of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The Winner: Again, the winner is ExpressVPN, because of the variety of payment methods it offers.
13. PureVPN vs ExpressVPN Customer Service
All the features and pricing aside, customer service sets a quality business and a mediocre one apart. If a business can’t provide satisfactory after-sales services, there is a pretty slim chance that it will succeed.
|Mode of Support||ExpressVPN||PureVPN|
|Dedicated “Help/Support” tab||✓|
ExpressVPN has excellent after-sale services. It offers the option to chat live with one of its customer sales representatives. Additionally, ExpressVPN has a separate help center or tab on their website.
As far as the quality of customer service is concerned, ExpressVPN is excellent. The live chat quickly connects you to one of its representatives which helps immensely in troubleshooting issues.
PureVPN is also a solid performer but lags behind the competition in some areas.
These areas include delayed response, long wait times, and overall subpar experience.
All in all, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with any of the VPNs when it comes to their customer service. It all comes down to personal preference.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is ExpressVPN better than PureVPN and Surfshark?
- Is ExpressVPN faster than PureVPN and Surfshark?
- Which is better for privacy, ExpressVPN, PureVPN, or Surfshark?
- Do ExpressVPN, PureVPN or Surfshark offer any deals?
Is ExpressVPN better than PureVPN?
Yes, ExpressVPN is better than PureVPN in terms of performance. If you don’t mind spending a little extra then ExpressVPN is a great choice. It is an all-rounder VPN that offers the fastest speed, excellent security, privacy, strong unblocking capabilities, and amazing apps among other benefits.
Is ExpressVPN faster than PureVPN?
Yes, according to our tests, ExpressVPN is faster than PureVPN. Thanks to its Lightway protocol, ExpressVPN offers the best download and upload speed, with zero-bandwidth throttling.
Which is better for privacy, ExpressVPN or PureVPN?
ExpressVPN is better for privacy. This VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, with it logging policies being audited multiple times by third-party auditors. It has no history of divulging user information like PureVPN.
Do ExpressVPN or PureVPN offer any deals?
Yes, ExpressVPN and PureVPN offer amazing deals on their plans. ExpressVPN is offering a 49% discount with 3 months free on its 12-month plan. PureVPN is currently offering 82% off on its two-year plan.
More VPN Comparisons:
You can view our other VPN comparisons:
- ExpressVPN vs Avast SecureLine
- Cyberghost vs NordVPN
- ExpressVPN vs Surfshark
- ExpressVPN vs NordVPN
- NordVPN vs Surfshark
- Surfshark vs IPVanish
After such a detailed comparison of PureVPN vs ExpressVPN, we feel that there is no true winner here. No one VPN exists that does everything perfectly. But there are use cases that you can use to decide what VPN you want to shell out your cash for.
If you are looking for unmatched speed and don’t mind paying a little extra, choose ExpressVPN.