ExpressVPN has already taken trophies in a few of our comparisons, beating NordVPN by a thin margin in our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN head-to-head and slapping IPVanish around in our ExpressVPN vs IPVanish match-up.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. ExpressVPN is one of the best VPN providers. That said, VyprVPN is no slouch and it hits ExpressVPN where it hurts: the price tag.
In this comparison of VyprVPN vs. ExpressVPN, we’re going to find out if you get what you pay for. There’s a lot of back and forth between the providers because they both offer excellent services, but only one can be the victor.
Much of this guide is based in the context of how these two providers compare. If you want to see how they stack up to the broader virtual private network market, make sure to read our VyprVPN review and ExpressVPN review.
Setting Up a Fight: VyprVPN vs. ExpressVPN
Our VPN reviews have a lot of criteria, which is important when evaluating a provider on its own. In a comparison, though, some sections don’t hold the same weight as others. Because of that, we’ve condensed the criteria in our reviews to five rounds.
We’ll still cover every aspect of the two providers, but the comparison will be more fair. After all, a win in device support isn’t as significant as a win in security.
VyprVPN and ExpressVPN will be battling in five rounds: features, pricing, ease of use, speed and security. Each will start with a brief description of what we’re looking for, followed by how well the competitors satisfy our criteria. At the end of each round, we’ll give our thoughts on how the two compare and declare a winner.
Ties aren’t out of the question, but we’ll try to be as definitive as possible. The provider that earns a win in three or more rounds will be crowned the champion.
We urge you to read through the rounds in their entirety, though. While you can skim to find the provider that wins in each category, you’ll miss our thought process behind the decisions. Some rounds, such as round 3, are largely based on personal preference, so you may disagree with us.
Because of that, we’ll try to highlight the pros and cons of each service during the round. When it comes time to declare a winner, though, we’ll take a definitive stance.
Features aren’t the most important thing when considering a VPN, but we’d be remiss not to highlight the unique offerings each provider brings to the table. We’re looking for a few standards, such as a killswitch, but everything else is icing on the proverbial cake.
We’ll also take a brief look at how well these providers can break into streaming services, such as Netflix.
VyprVPN has a relatively small server network, which we’ll talk more about in a later section. Despite that, you’ll see many different IP addresses. The service automatically cycles through around 200,000 IPs, meaning you’re at a lower risk of IP blacklisting.
The process happens in the background, so you can’t change how often IPs are cycled. IPVanish used to allow you to do this but, like VyprVPN, it now handles the dirty work behind a curtain (read our IPVanish review).
Outside of that, VyprVPN doesn’t have many features, but it does have a lot of settings. As long as you’re comfortable with a long series of menus, the service can be tweaked until it’s configured how you want it. Configuring is easy, too, which is uncommon among VPN applications.
While bits and bobs are mostly absent, VyprVPN isn’t lacking extras. Instead of focusing on flash, it focuses on security. It comes stock with a killswitch that has two modes. You can base the killswitch on your entire connection, severing your internet if you close the application or drop from the remote server, or specific applications.
Some providers don’t allow an app-specific killswitch — see our Goose VPN review for an example — so VyprVPN’s twist is welcome. It isn’t the only provider to offer such functionality, though, as you can see in our TorGuard review.
It’s unique in other areas, though. VyprVPN has a proprietary protocol based on OpenVPN. Chameleon, as it’s called, takes OpenVPN packets and scrambles them in hopes of bypassing deep packet inspection. That’s one of the reasons it earned a spot in our best VPN services for China guide.
If that was gibberish to you, make sure to read our guide to VPN security.
Plus, Golden Frog, the company behind VyprVPN, includes an encrypted messaging app called Cyphr. While the receiving user will also need to download the app, it’s a secure and free way to protect your texts. We even recommended it in our 99 free tools to protect your privacy guide.
Streaming performance was spotty. VyprVPN broke into U.S. Netflix, but failed in multiple European countries, including the UK. We were left with a bundle of proxy errors.
Like VyprVPN, ExpressVPN is barren on the surface. Digging into the trenches is a rewarding experience, though, because the provider offers quite a few tools to benchmark your connection. That said, it’s missing VyprVPN’s unique security offerings.
One of the best tools ExpressVPN has is the speed test, which will automatically gauge the relative latency and download speed of each of its servers based on your location. Astrill also has that functionality, as you can see in our Astrill review, but ExpressVPN’s tool is quicker and easier to use.
There’s also an IP address checker and DNS leak test in the application. While those tools are available online, having them in the application is a nice sanity check. Make sure to read our what are DNS leaks guide if you’re unaware of how important those tests are.
It includes a killswitch, too, but it’s a more traditional version that cuts your connection if you’re disconnected from the remote server. Even so, it’s enough for ExpressVPN to make an appearance in our best VPN for torrenting guide.
ExpressVPN has an edge over VyprVPN, though. It offers split tunneling, an uncommon feature among VPN providers (read our StrongVPN review for another VPN that has it). Split tunneling allows you to send certain applications through the VPN tunnel while sending others through your normal connection.
The feature is a small addition that seems irrelevant when you’re not using it, but can be a lifesaver if you need it. For example, you could use split tunneling to secure your normal web browsing while running an online backup at full speed. That, among other reasons, is why ExpressVPN ranked first in our best VPN for cloud storage guide.
ExpressVPN is also the best VPN for Netflix and the best VPN for BBC iPlayer. In our testing, it was able to beat the Netflix VPN ban, no matter where we connected. As the best VPN for streaming, ExpressVPN should be what you reach for, whether you’re enjoying content over Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video or Kodi.
Round One Thoughts
VyprVPN and ExpressVPN trade blows well and this section demonstrates that. Each brings unique features to the table while omitting others, leaving the decision to which set of features you like more.
ExpressVPN wins for us because it includes a speed test, split tunneling and Netflix support. While we’re not happy giving up the Chameleon protocol and app-specific killswitch, VyprVPN doesn’t feel as well-rounded in features.
ExpressVPN is one of the most expensive providers on the market and, while the service is worth it, your wallet will be lighter if you use it. Price isn’t the only factor when choosing a VPN, but it is an important one. We’re going to take a look at the cost of each provider, as well as their payment and refund options next.
VyprVPN has competitive pricing compared to ExpressVPN. It offers two plans and both of them have unlimited bandwidth. The only decisions you need to make are how many simultaneous connections you want and for how long.
1-year plan $ 5.00 / month
$60.00 billed every year
| VyprVPN Premium|
1-year plan $ 6.67 / month
$80.00 billed every year
The standard plan can be purchased monthly or annually and supports three connections. As expected, the monthly rate is bad, but the annual rate is excellent. You’ll save 50 percent on the monthly rate, which a much steeper discount than ExpressVPN offers.
If you need more connections for around the same price, make sure to read our CyberGhost review.
VyprVPN Premium is much the same, in that it’s an unlimited plan that you can purchase monthly or annually, but it adds two simultaneous connections. The monthly rate is a few dollars more, which is on par with ExpressVPN, and the annual rate provides a discount of almost 50 percent.
Beyond the connection bump, Premium includes the Chameleon protocol and VyprVPN Cloud. The latter allows you to control your own virtual VPN server, which is a unique, if unenticing, perk. Still, a year of service is a few dollars cheaper than NordVPN, which is already inexpensive (read our NordVPN review).
VyprVPN has a couple of problems, though. It doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee or long-term subscription. Instead, you get a three-day trial. You’ll still have to enter your payment information, but VyprVPN won’t charge you until the three days are up.
Plus, you can purchase, at most, a year upfront, which is disappointing. Perfect Privacy, for example, offers a biennial plan, as you can read in our Perfect Privacy review.
Perfect Privacy is one of the few providers that accepts cash as payment, too. Read our Mullvad review for another example. VyprVPN doesn’t take cash or cryptocurrency, so you’ll have to reveal your identity through payment details.
ExpressVPN has similar pricing to VyprVPN Premium, though it’s more expensive on the annual end. It also only includes three devices, with no option to purchase more. ExpressVPN is a great service, and it’s well aware of that, as its prices demonstrate.
6-months plan $ 9.99 / month
$59.95 billed every 6 month
Save 23 %
15-months plan $ 6.66 / month
$99.95 billed first 15 months
and 12 months thereafter
Save 49 %
Still, it’s not egregiously overpriced. The monthly rate is standard fare for VPNs in that it’s a low-value option and the annual plan will give you a slight discount. Compared to VyprVPN, though, the annual price is quite high. You’ll spend $20 more for two fewer devices.
ExpressVPN looks worse compared to other top-shelf providers. Private Internet Access, for example, offers two more devices for less than half the cost of ExpressVPN across the board, as you can see in our PIA review. That said, our ExpressVPN vs. PIA head-to-head shows that service falling flat in other areas.
That’s a theme we’ve seen a lot with ExpressVPN. Its prices are high, but you get what you pay for. PureVPN (read our PureVPN review), for example, is much cheaper, but when we matched PureVPN vs ExpressVPN, it wasn’t able to make the cut.
ExpressVPN also offers a generous money-back guarantee. You can try the service for 30 days without risking a dime.
This is a major edge when compared to VyprVPN.
That long refund window replaces a free trial or plan. The worst free VPN providers show that a free options often comes with unintended consequences, so we don’t mind ExpressVPN’s omission. You should be using Windscribe if you want a free VPN, anyway (read our Windscribe review).
Though it doesn’t accept cash as payment, ExpressVPN supports bitcoin, so you can pay anonymously.
Round Two Thoughts
VyprVPN is the cheaper provider, if you’re okay trimming the Chameleon protocol. If you can’t part with that feature, then it’s around the same price as ExpressVPN with a couple more connections.
That said, we’re willing to trade two connections for a longer refund window and the ability to pay with bitcoin. It’s a small difference, but an important one. If you’re undecided about which provider to go with, ExpressVPN makes a strong case with its risk-free money-back guarantee.
Ease of Use
VPNs often get a bad rep for being difficult to use — just look at our AirVPN review for an example — so usability is an important factor to consider. Now that we’ve looked at features, we’re going to go into the interface to see how well they are implemented and the process each VPN requires for connection.
If you just looked at screenshots of VyprVPN, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’d be difficult to use. That was our first impression, at least. Despite the outdated look, VyprVPN proves that a modern interface doesn’t always make for a more usable one. It surprised us with a wonderful user experience that even the top providers struggle to match.
Like ZenMate (read our ZenMate review), VyprVPN looks like a smartphone app. If you prefer a non-intrusive client, you’ll enjoy its user interface. If you want to expand the UI for more detail, you’re out of luck.
Even so, the small window conveys a lot of information. The bottom half has four sections that detail the, well, details of your connection. You can see how long you’ve been connected, your public IP address, the protocol you’re using and if the firewall in enabled.
Above that is a small, but useful, speed chart that shows your upload and download rates. At the top is a large blue button that will automatically connect you to the fastest server. If you’d rather select your own, and we recommend that you do, you can click the location marker next to the connect button.
Doing so will bring up a section window with four tabs. You can scroll through all the servers, sort by region, sort by favorites or search. There’s also several checkboxes to further refine your search. Each server has a star next to it for favoriting and a relative ping, which is useful to have.
VyprVPN’s strongest aspect is its options, though. You can open the settings menu by clicking the gear icon in the top right corner of the UI and selecting “options.”
There, it has controls for the killswitch, start-up settings, protocol, DNS and more. While most of this is standard fare, VyprVPN has a few small but notable additions. One such setting is to have VyprVPN automatically connect when using untrusted WiFi. You can specify a list of trusted networks, so it’ll only start when using networks that are not on the list.
That means you can plop down at Starbucks and start browsing immediately, all while avoiding the dangers of public WiFi.
While VyprVPN proves a modern interface doesn’t make for a more usable one, ExpressVPN shows that you can pull off both. It has a simple UI, featuring three buttons that care only about getting you connected. You give up some of the configuration options of VyprVPN, but gain a more fluid user experience.
The large button in the center speaks for itself. Clicking or tapping it will automatically connect you. If you care about nothing more than securing your connection, that’s all you have to do. After a few seconds, the shield behind the button will light up green to indicate that you’re connected. That’s a much shorter period than it takes with VyprVPN.
ExpressVPN will automatically use one of its “smart” server locations. The AI-assisted selection usually does the job, but it isn’t optimal. During our review, we noticed it connecting to less-than-ideal servers, despite the fact that faster options were available.
Choosing a location is easy, so we recommend doing so. The “choose location” button in the bottom right of the UI will open a window with all the server locations. It can show recommended servers, recent servers or all servers, each with a star icon to favorite. While ExpressVPN doesn’t display the approximate speed of each server, you can run a speed test in the settings.
You can access the settings by clicking the three dashes in the top left of the interface. There, you can run a speed test, open the server menu, find support and configure ExpressVPN’s options.
The options are good, but not as advanced as VyprVPN’s. You get the essentials, including start-up settings, the killswitch and protocol, as well as split tunneling. ExpressVPN is one of the few providers that offer split tunneling and you can manage which apps connect through it in the options menu.
A “browsers” tab from which you can install ExpressVPN’s browser extension on Chrome or Firefox is also in the options window. Unlike other VPN browser extensions that only protect your browsing, ExpressVPN’s extension is another way to control the VPN.
Round Three Thoughts
As with our previous round, both VyprVPN and ExpressVPN have a lot going for them. Though VyprVPN’s interface looks dated, it’s usable, offering deep configuration that most other providers don’t have. On the other hand, ExpressVPN has a more streamlined approach that sacrifices a few less important options for a better user experience.
If ExpressVPN had left out anything major, this would be a different story. Given that it has a more attractive UI that manages similar levels of power, we have to give the win to ExpressVPN.
All VPNs eat some of your speed, so minimizing the decline is important. Some providers achieve that through suboptimal encryption, but ExpressVPN and VyprVPN use AES 256-bit. This match-up won’t come down to the security measures the competitors are using, but how well they’re optimizing their servers.
VyprVPN doesn’t have great speeds. We ran tests in five locations from a coworking space in Sarajevo, Bosnia using speedtest.net. Despite excellent unprotected results, VyprVPN was barely able to hold on to 20 percent of our speed.
|Location:||Ping (ms):||Download (Mbps):||Upload (Mbps):|
|New York City||261||10.21||2.17|
|San Francisco, CA||349||1.43||1.01|
Connecting to other European countries produced usable, if not exciting, results. Our upload speed mostly went to the wolves, but the download rate was enough to stream Netflix in high definition. Ping times were also much longer than expected.
Things got interesting when we moved across the Atlantic. The New York City result is about the same as the Athens one, even though the locations are thousands of miles apart. That said, Los Angeles was horrible, dropping our download speed to a little over 1 megabit per second.
What we can gather is that VyprVPN is sensitive to location, but that’s not the only factor at work. It seems like some servers are better optimized than others, so trying different options will benefit you.
ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN service we’ve tested, earning a 100 percent ranking in our review, which is no easy feat. Connecting to a server that’s close to you will maintain most of your speed, but ExpressVPN is unique in that it stays relatively fast over long distances.
|Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|Amsterdam, NL (2)||17||33.84||3.47|
|New York City||106||11.76||3.53|
Connecting to the Amsterdam server, where we ran our tests, gave up little speed. Upload speeds and latency mostly stayed the same and download speeds only dropped by a hair. Its impressive results earned ExpressVPN first place in our best VPN for gaming guide.
Going further yielded similar results, though, which is why ExpressVPN is such a great option. Tokyo was only slightly slower in the download and upload department, though still a risky choice for latency, and New York City maintained a usable connection for HD streaming on Netflix.
The only questionable result was Taichung, Taiwan, which looked bad compared to the other numbers ExpressVPN put up. While an outlier for ExpressVPN, the Taiwan location still looked good against VyprVPN.
Round Four Thoughts
Other rounds have been close, but this one is clear. ExpressVPN destroys VyprVPN in speed by maintaining most of our unprotected rate, even over long distances.
Security & Privacy
Arguably the most important part of any VPN, security separates the men from the boys when it comes to VPN providers. We’re looking at the level of encryption VyprVPN and ExpressVPN use on your connection, as well as their stances on privacy.
VyprVPN has a clear stance on privacy. There is no logging, all servers are peer-to-peer friendly and Golden Frog’s location in Switzerland gives us a comforting feeling. Though other providers have been proven false in their no-logs claims — read our HideMyAss review for an example — we’re inclined to believe VyprVPN.
Golden Frog was founded in protest of the U.S. National Security Agency and its privacy-unfriendly practices.
After witnessing the NSA spying on AT&T’s networks in San Francisco, Ron and Carolyn Yokubaitis filed a claim with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. It was ignored, forcing the two to depart from their home in Silicon Valley and establish a privacy-focused VPN abroad.
VyprVPN’s privacy is excellent, but so is its security. It supports the ever-popular OpenVPN protocol, which it uses by default with AES 256-bit. It also supports L2TP/IPSec and PPTP, but they are less secure options.
VyprVPN also provides its Chameleon protocol, which uses OpenVPN, but scrambles the packets. That helps bypass deep packet inspection and is a major selling point if you’re trying to tunnel in a particularly risky location.
All in all, VyprVPN is one of the most secure providers on the market. We have a few issues, such as the fact that you can’t pay with bitcoin and you have to enter your postal code and name when you sign up, but, overall, we like what it offers.
ExpressVPN has some of the best security around. Like VyprVPN, it uses OpenVPN with AES 256-bit after securing your connection with an RSA-4096 handshake. It also makes several OpenVPN configuration files available, meaning you can dig in and mess with different aspects of its security.
Besides OpenVPN, it supports L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and SSTP. Most will use the “automatic” setting default, which means an OpenVPN connection. If you need the other protocols, they’re there, but we recommend leaving ExpressVPN as it’s set.
The privacy is excellent, too. ExpressVPN is a no-logs service, meaning nothing is kept on file, not even temporarily. That is backed by its location in the British Virgin Islands, which has some of the best privacy laws in the world. Even if someone came knocking — though nobody would — ExpressVPN would have nothing but blank hard drives to hand over.
In those areas, it’s on par with VyprVPN, but it has a slight edge during sign-up. ExpressVPN allows you to pay with cryptocurrency and only requires an email address and password. Assuming you use a burner email, ExpressVPN has an anonymous sign-up process, which is not the case with VyprVPN.
Round Five Thoughts
We’re here to split hairs. If we do so in this round, ExpressVPN has an edge with anonymous sign-up and support for bitcoin. Either way, though, you’ll be protected. VyprVPN and ExpressVPN are using industry-standard encryption with a clear dedication to privacy.
While ExpressVPN takes a win in this round, it could go either way.
Based on our findings, you do get what you pay for. ExpressVPN won every round, which isn’t an easy feat given how much VyprVPN has to offer. Outside of speed, it won on thin margins, so don’t discount our silver medalist.
VyprVPN excels because of its unique protocol, abundance of options and lower price. If you’re willing to sacrifice speeds and a more modern interface, it isn’t a bad choice. ExpressVPN gives you all of that and more, though.
What do you think? Do you agree that ExpressVPN is the better option? Let us know in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.