In this article, ExpressVPN is squaring up against VyprVPN. If you check out our VyprVPN review, you’ll see that it has a strong foundation to be one of the top contenders in the VPN market, but it lost a lot of points over specific issues, such as an outdated client and poor customer service.
We’re going to run the VPNs through our testing to see just how well ExpressVPN holds up when compared to another solid service.
Setting up a Fight: ExpressVPN vs. VyprVPN
As with any one-on-one competition, there needs to be established rules to determine a fair winner. In our VPN reviews, we look at nine categories to give a holistic view of a VPN service. We investigate things from every angle, including customer support and streaming performance.
In direct match-ups, though, we narrow that to only five categories. That means things such as privacy, though addressed on their own in dedicated reviews, will be consolidated into other sections.
The five rounds are features, pricing, ease of use, speed and security. We’ll look at the providers individually in each section, then compare what the VPNs offer and choose a winner. A point is given for each section that a VPN wins, and the one with the most points will be the overall winner.
- Payment methods: PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, SOFORT, AliPay, UnionPay, iDeal, WebMoney
- Simultaneous connections: 5
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Can access Netflix US
- Allows torrenting
- No-logging policy
- Payment methods: PayPal, Credit card, UnionPay
- Simultaneous connections: 30
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Can access Netflix US
- Allows torrenting
- No-logging policy
One of the most important things to examine with any software are the features that are built in. Certain features are essential for VPNs, so any VPN without them will automatically lose points.
The major feature we look for is a killswitch because it’s critical for ensuring security. DNS options are nice to see, too. We also look at which devices the VPN can be installed on. Aside from these, additional features can only help the VPN in our eyes.
ExpressVPN does a good job of offering a streamlined experience on the surface, allowing those who want a plug-and-play solution to use it as such. That said, when you open the options menu, an impressive set of features reveals itself.
There are many protocol options, which we’ll look at more in the “security and privacy” section. There are also several start-up options, including launching the client on start-up and connecting to the last location used automatically.
There’s a kill switch , which is essential for security, and you can allow or prevent other devices from connecting to your computer while the VPN is on. That’s useful for preventing other computers from tapping into yours if you’re on public WiFi and makes it easy to switch the setting back when you get home to let printers and other devices communicate with your machine.
Additionally, ExpressVPN has a great split tunneling feature. It lets you choose which programs on your computer use the VPN’s secure connection and which ones use the faster unprotected connection. It’s a rare feature that offers a lot of functionality (check out our StrongVPN review for one other provider that has it).
The client also allows you to use ExpressVPN’s DNS servers, which prevents your information from slipping through the cracks and ending up in your internet service provider’s DNS.
ExpressVPN supports a lot of devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. On top of that, the VPN can be set up on your router so that every device in your home is protected from the moment it connects to the internet. ExpressVPN also has browser extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, as well as apps for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.
VyprVPN supports a handful of protocol options, including its own unique Chameleon protocol, which is based on OpenVPN and specialized for masking the fact that it is a VPN connection. That helps when accessing geoblocked content, such as BBC iPlayer.
VyprVPN can be configured to automatically connect on Windows start-up and includes a kill switch, which, as mentioned, is essential for any VPN to be considered secure. You can also tell VyprVPN to automatically reconnect the VPN if the connection is lost.
You can set up trusted and untrusted networks, too, which allows you to, for example, not use the VPN while at home but automatically connect to the VPN when on public WiFi. VyprVPN also lets you use its DNS server or a third-party DNS of your choice.
Finally, VyprVPN offers solid coverage for all major devices, including Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It can also be configured on routers to protect all the devices in your home and some smart TVs.
Round One Thoughts
Though VyprVPN offers more features than many of the VPNs on the market, it can’t compete with the wealth of features ExpressVPN offers. ExpressVPN has split tunneling, which is rare and very useful for many people, and supports more operating systems and hardware than any VPN we’ve seen.
Pricing is one of the more straightforward categories to score. Practically everything is objective and things can be compared on even footing easily.
That said, pricing is important to many people. Nobody wants to spend their money on something that isn’t worth it. An affordable VPN can make up points here if it’s lacking in other areas.
ExpressVPN’s pricing is steep compared to most options, but it doesn’t tread into downright overpriced territory like Hide.me, which you can read more about in our Hide.me review. It sits at what we consider a fair price point given that it’s arguably the best VPN on the market.
ExpressVPN only offers one plan, and it comes with just five connections. The only way to add more connections is to get a second account, which is more of a hassle than it should be to increase the number of devices you can use.
The monthly pricing is rough, but it’s about on par with what should be expected from a top-of-the-line competitor like ExpressVPN. The six-month and 15-month pricing is more favorable, but still not as strong as CyberGhost’s, which has huge discounts for long-term sign-ups. You can read more about that in our CyberGhost review.
You can pay with a credit card, PayPal, bitcoin and a handful of more obscure options, such as Sofort and Mint. Bitcoin payment is great for those looking to maximize their anonymity and is becoming harder to find with VPN providers.
Finally, though ExpressVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, it provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.
VyprVPN has a two-tiered plan where you’re given the option to get a more basic package or a Premium package. The Premium package is priced the same as ExpressVPN, but big discounts can be had by going for a yearly plan.
Unlike ExpressVPN, the basic plan has three connections. It also lacks the Chameleon protocol, which we’ll look at a bit more in the “security and privacy” section. VyprVPN accepts credit cards and PayPal, but it doesn’t take bitcoin or any other obscure form of payment.
Though VyprVPN offers a form of free trial, it’s deceiving. The three-day trial still requires you to enter your payment information as though you were purchasing a plan. It then waits three days to charge you and begin your service. A truly free trial would be nice to see, such as the ones in our free VPN services roundup.
Round Two Thoughts
As we noted, ExpressVPN is feature-rich and streamlined for an excellent user experience. For those reasons, it can get away with more when it comes to price.
That said, because this is the pricing section, VyprVPN takes the win here. It offers plans with more connections and better pricing in the long run. It also offers a form of free trial, and though it may be a stretch to call it that, it’s still better than what ExpressVPN gives you.
If you really feel the need to pay with bitcoin, however, then ExpressVPN is your only option between these two.
3. Ease of Use
The “ease of use” section is, as you might imagine, the most subjective. We still think it’s important to address, though, because your interactions with the VPN will make or break the experience.
We’re going to give you a clear idea of what it’s like to use each VPN and how the client runs and feels. We’ll tie that into which kind of user it seems to be aimed at, if any, and choose the winner based on which client offers the better overall user experience.
ExpressVPN has a stripped-down website, but it gets right to the point and shows you where you need to be in an effective manner. There’s live chat in the bottom right, and it’s easy to sign up or log in.
Upon opening the client, you’re greeted with a sleek interface that has minimal clutter. There’s a huge power button in the middle of the client that connects you to the VPN when pressed and the selected server is shown below it.
Clicking the current server opens a window that shows all the server options. They’re well organized and can be searched manually. Additionally, they can be sorted by region or you can automatically connect to the location that ExpressVPN deems best.
The three horizontal lines in the top left open the menu that shows the massive feature set we discussed earlier. Its menus have a pristine look to them and fit the aesthetic of the client.
The overall experience with ExpressVPN is streamlined and the software looks nice. The only thing is that in a dark room or on bright monitors, there’s a lot of white, which can be searing. A night mode, such as the one Private Internet Access has, would be an excellent addition (read our Private Internet Access review).
VyprVPN has a comparable website layout to ExpressVPN’s, and many other VPN providers for that matter. Several high contrast brightly colored buttons funnel you to where you need to go to make an account and finding what you’re looking for is easy. Also like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN has a live chat feature in the bottom right in case you need help.
As for the client, things are more cluttered. The button to start a connection sits at the top of the screen and the location bubble next to it lets you change where you connect to. Below that is a graph that shows the speed of incoming and outgoing connections. Even further down it shows you the IP address, connection time, protocol and firewall status.
Though the list of locations and settings menus are comparable in layout to ExpressVPN’s client, VyprVPN doesn’t look as refined. The server list is more messy and the settings menu has a dated grey tone reminiscent of much older software.
Round Three Thoughts
Though VyprVPN has a respectable client with a nice layout, the sleek design ExpressVPN has achieved is hard to beat. It does a great job of only showing you what you need and presenting things in a pleasing manner.
Both put a minimal-looking interface front and center and hide their features under the hood, but ExpressVPN pulls it off better. The graph and dated aesthetic of VyprVPN make using it feel stuffy and clinical while ExpressVPN feels much more like using something sleek and modern.
Speed, like price, is an empirical matter. Our testing is done in two parts. The first part is collecting the raw speed data that shows the sustained connection speeds and ping times that can be expected from each provider.
The second involves using the VPN to see how it performs when the rubber meets the road to make sure that the numbers on paper carry over to real-world performance.
Looking at the table below, it’s apparent that ExpressVPN is consistent in download speeds from server to server. Every server is within one megabit per second in download speed and only loses a small portion of our unprotected speed.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|Smart location-Kansas City||44||105.49||7.94|
Upload speeds were similar for the most part, with Japan and Hong Kong noticeably lacking in that regard, likely because of the massive distance. That distance is also what causes the higher ping times for those servers, but that’s unavoidable.
In practice, ExpressVPN is just as fast as it looks on paper. Things load almost instantly, so it’s easy to forget you even have a VPN on. Videos load at full resolution and don’t lag or buffer and websites feel responsive. Its performance is what earned ExpressVPN the top spot on our fastest VPN list.
On paper, VyprVPN performs well but not as consistently as ExpressVPN. Its upload speeds are a strong point and even beat ExpressVPN in some cases, and several of the servers keep up with download speeds, but locations such as the UK and Hong Kong are lacking.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|Unprotected (St. Louis)||9||178.04||10.41|
VyprVPN and ExpressVPN trade blows when it comes to ping times, making it hard to say which would be a better VPN for gaming.
VyprVPN was noticeably more sluggish in use than the numbers suggest. Things took an extra second or so to load and the connection was often unstable for about 30 seconds after the VPN connected.
Round Four Thoughts
ExpressVPN is the clear winner on paper, offering not only high download speeds but consistent speeds, to boot. Though VyprVPN’s performance is nothing to sneeze at, as we keep saying, it can’t compete with the top dog in the game.
ExpressVPN also had excellent performance browsing the web, while VyprVPN struggled at times.
5. Security and Privacy
Arguably the most important feature of any VPN is the level of security and privacy it provides. In this section, we’ll look at how secure the service’s software is, as well as how the company operates and how well it respects its users privacy.
We’ll also look at which protocols and encryption methods are used, in addition to checking for things such as DNS leaks to determine how secure the service is.
ExpressVPN uses OpenVPN by default for its protocol and pairs it with AES 256-bit encryption. That’s the best case scenario for security and offers good speed, as well. ExpressVPN also supports SSTP, L2TP and PPTP. You can learn more about what all that means in our VPN protocol breakdown. Plus, there’s the new ExpressVPN Lightway protocol.
All it needs from you to make an account is an email address, and it’s easy enough to set up a throwaway email. If you pay with bitcoin, your paper trail is effectively non-existent, too, making ExpressVPN one of, if not the most, private VPN on the market.
Like ExpressVPN, VyprVPN uses OpenVPN paired with AES 256-bit by default. That’s top-of-the-line protection and offers secure browsing, regardless of who’s trying to spy on your connection. As you can read in our description of encryption, AES-256 is almost impossible to crack within a human lifetime.
VyprVPN also offers L2TP and PPTP protocols, as well as a proprietary option called Chameleon, which is a custom version of OpenVPN designed to get around VPN detection systems, such as those used by Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
As for privacy, VyprVPN does it right by keeping things short and sweet. It has a no-logging policy and is independently audited to verify that claim. It contracted Leviathan Security to audit its record keeping and test the VPN for vulnerabilities. VyprVPN passed the audit with a few minor security issues, which it quickly resolved.
Round Five Thoughts
Both providers offer OpenVPN and 256-bit AES encryption, which is what we look for in terms of security. There were no detectable DNS leaks from either competitor and both offer a handful of other protocol options.
Furthermore, both have solid privacy policies that include no logging. Though VyprVPN was tested by a third-party auditor, ExpressVPN offers cryptocurrency as a payment method, which makes it hard to determine a winner. In regards to security and privacy, VyprVPN and ExpressVPN are at the top of the game, so this final round ends in a tie.
6. Final Thoughts
The final score comes in at three points for ExpressVPN, one point for VyprVPN and one tie. As we anticipated, VyprVPN put up a respectable fight in all categories and its performance is nothing to sneeze at.
That said, ExpressVPN is the leading service on the market for good reason. It has consistent and reliable speeds, a well-designed client and features that are hard to find elsewhere, such as split tunneling.
At the end of the day ExpressVPN gets our strong recommendation. If you have experience with VyprVPN or ExpressVPN, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below. As always, thanks for reading.