ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN 2024: Do You Value Speed or Affordability?

ExpressVPN offers powerful features, but PureVPN is more affordable. We’ll help you determine which one is right for you.
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Best for speedy performance

4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On ExpressVPN's website

VPN
ExpressVPN
Save 49% (3 months free)
  • Hides intrusive display ads when browsing the web, improving page speed and easing data usage on mobile
  • Privacy and safety benefits of a VPN with best-in-class encryption and innovative server technology in 105 countries
  • Enjoy no activity logs, malicious sites and trackers protection, and more on up to 8 devices
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost

Best for the budget-conscious

4.1
Editorial Rating
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On PureVPN's website

VPN
PureVPN
81% off with + 4 months extra
  • Vast global network of 6,000+ optimized VPN servers in over 65 countries with smart server selection for the fastest connection
  • Turn any network private, protect apps separately, privately share files, and more with an ultra-fast 20Gbps connection
  • Fly past location restrictions and VPN blockers on up to 10 devices
  • Drastically lower internet speeds

Are you in the market for a virtual private network (VPN) but stuck between ExpressVPN and PureVPN? ExpressVPN offers excellent performance, servers in 105 countries, and good customer service. However, it’s one of the pricier options on the market. On the other hand, PureVPN is more affordable, but the experience suffers a bit compared to ExpressVPN.  

In this review, we’ll compare ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN for pricing, features, speed, and more.

In this article
ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN at a glance
ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: prices
ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: features
ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: internet speeds
ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: compatibility and customer support
ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN FAQs
ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: Which is better?

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN at a glance

On the surface, ExpressVPN and PureVPN are relatively similar. In fact, looking at the table below, the biggest difference would seem to be the price — PureVPN is quite a bit more affordable (or it can be, depending on the plan you choose).

  • ExpressVPN: Best for speedy performance
  • PureVPN: Best for the budget-conscious

How do ExpressVPN and PureVPN compare?


ExpressVPN

PureVPN
Price From $6.67/mo (billed annually) From $1.96/mo
Max # of connected devices 8 10
24/7 customer support
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
# of servers Servers in 105 countries 6,000+ servers in 65+ countries
VPN protocol Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2 OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPsec/IKEv2
No-logs policy No logs No logs
Unblocks Netflix?
Learn more Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

Read PureVPN Review

For the starting plans, PureVPN runs several dollars cheaper than ExpressVPN. PureVPN also works on more simultaneous devices — 10, compared to eight for ExpressVPN. However, ExpressVPN differentiates itself in a few key areas: namely, performance, ease of use, and customer service.

Overall, both VPN providers are quite good, so the choice likely comes down to how important the price is. If you need the cheapest option, go for PureVPN. If you can pay a little more each month, though, you may have a better experience with ExpressVPN.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: prices


ExpressVPN

PureVPN
Our Pick
Price range $6.67–$12.95/mo $1.96-$20.95/mo
Best value plan 12-month plan for $6.67/mo (billed annually) 24-month plan for $1.96/mo
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days Yes — 31 days
Learn more Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

Read PureVPN Review

ExpressVPN prices range from $6.67–$12.95/mo, with the best deal being the 12-month plan for $6.67/mo (billed annually). This is definitely not the most affordable VPN on the market, but you do get a lot for your money. Whether it’s enough to be worth the increased price, of course, is up to the individual.

Compared to ExpressVPN, PureVPN is much more affordable, with prices dipping as low as $1.96/mo. Granted, this does require a two-year plan, but many people won’t have an issue with that. This makes PureVPN a great option if you’re looking to save money on a VPN.

It’s worth noting that PureVPN has multiple tiers of plans in addition to multiple subscription lengths — if you want a password manager, end-to-end file encryption, and a personal privacy manager, you’ll need to pay a bit more. PureVPN also offers add-ons for port forwarding and dedicated IP, so there are several ways you can customize your subscription.

While neither VPN offers a free plan, ExpressVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, while PureVPN one-ups with a 31-day money-back guarantee. This gives you ample time to test out the VPN and decide if it’ll work for you.

Winner: PureVPN is definitely the winner in the price arena. The provider offers significantly cheaper plans than ExpressVPN (and many other competitors, as well). PureVPN also technically has a longer free trial period, even if just by a day.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: features

Feature
ExpressVPN
Best Features

PureVPN
Number of servers Unknown number of servers in 105 countries 6,000+ servers in 65+ countries
No-logs policy No logs No logs
VPN headquarters British Virgin Islands British Virgin Islands
Encryption AES-256 AES-256
VPN protocol Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2 OpenVPN, IPsec/IKEv2, WireGuard
Kill switch
Split tunneling
Netflix support
Torrenting support
Learn more Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

Read PureVPN Review

Both providers offer a similar security feature set. Each has strong AES-256 encryption, a kill switch, and split tunneling. They even have their headquarters in the same country — the British Virgin Islands.

You can find the ExpressVPN kill switch feature under the Options menu and in the General tab. You can turn it on in the Network Lock section.

Finally, each provider has a no-logs policy that’s been audited by independent companies. Neither provider showed any WebRTC leaks, and each successfully masked our IP address during DNS leak testing.

One of the most notable differences is their server networks. PureVPN boasts over 6,000 servers in over 65+ countries. ExpressVPN doesn’t advertise how many servers it has, but it has them in 105 countries — significantly more than PureVPN. This could be important if you need to make it look like you’re in a specific country.

The VPN protocols are the other major difference. We’ll touch on this more later, but ExpressVPN performs quite a bit better than PureVPN in our speed tests, and some of this performance may be due to its custom Lightway protocol. Lightway was created for a faster and more secure experience. PureVPN offers OpenVPN, IPsec/IKEv2, and WireGuard, which are all still strong protocols.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: streaming support

Platform
ExpressVPN

PureVPN
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
HBO Max
Learn more Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

Read PureVPN Review

Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN support streaming from essentially all of the major platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. We had no real issues with either in testing — the only notable thing was that Netflix took a couple of minutes to load on ExpressVPN’s Toronto servers.

Major differences here will come down to performance. We’ll touch on this more in the next section, but suffice it to say that ExpressVPN tends to have much better speeds than PureVPN, which could make a difference when streaming in HD or (especially) 4K.

ExpressVPN says it works with Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and other streaming services.

Winner: Tie. Both VPNs offer many of the same features and support almost any streaming service. ExpressVPN may have a slight edge for better performance, but either should get the job done.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: internet speeds

Because of how VPNs work (routing your traffic through extra servers, potentially far from your physical location), they tend to impact your internet performance. This generally takes the form of reduced speeds, and the difference can range from barely noticeable to dramatic.

For these reasons, we put every VPN we review through a series of performance tests to check how it affects internet speed. This consists of running a speed test on our plain, unsecured connection and then running the same test connected to various VPN servers in different locations.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN download speeds

Server location
ExpressVPN
Our Pick

PureVPN
US 98% slower 86% slower
UK 83% slower 161% slower
AU 39% slower 98% slower
Learn more Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

Read PureVPN Review

ExpressVPN is the clear winner here, with noticeably better performance — particularly with the U.K. and Australian servers. ExpressVPN's slowest speeds on the U.S. server may have been a fluke, considering that the U.S. server was much closer to our location. That's the one area where PureVPN outperformed ExpressVPN.

However, PureVPN actually failed our speed tests due to its drastic performance reductions across the board, with especially bad performance in the U.K.

Winner: ExpressVPN performed much better in our testing, especially in terms of raw speed. The two performed similarly from a latency standpoint.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: compatibility and customer support


ExpressVPN
Our Pick

PureVPN
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Router
Smart devices
Browser extensions Chrome, Firefox, Edge Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Opera, and more
24/7 live chat
Customer support options Live chat, email, online guides Live chat, email, physical mail, online guides
Learn more Get ExpressVPN

Read ExpressVPN Review

Read PureVPN Review

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: compatibility

ExpressVPN and PureVPN both support basically every device and operating system you can imagine, from basic Windows computers and Chromebooks, to mobile apps for iOS and Android, to routers and a slew of smart devices. If you have a device, we’re confident you’ll be able to use one of these VPNs on it.

As for ease of use, we didn’t have major problems with either provider. They both feature clean interfaces and clearly indicate whether the VPN is connected or not. Of course, nothing is perfect — although we had a handful of relatively minor issues with each provider, we did find that ExpressVPN offered a smoother overall experience.

In particular, we had issues with PureVPN’s account creation, which required us to reset our password multiple times. We also found that pricing pages were confusingly inconsistent during signup.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: customer support

As far as customer support, both providers offer a similar experience. This includes 24/7 live chat and email but no phone support — unfortunately, par for the course with VPNs. That said, we tried the live chats for both providers in our testing and found them to be helpful, if a little slow.

Both providers also have comprehensive knowledge bases where you can find articles and guides on nearly any topic. Of the two, we find ExpressVPN’s site a little friendlier and more modern-looking, but either one will get the job done.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: payment options

The way you pay for your VPN subscription matters more than you might think. Since these services are all about preserving privacy online, using a method that can be easily tied back to you may defeat the purpose. This is especially true in regions where using a VPN is frowned upon or banned.

Both ExpressVPN and PureVPN offer multiple ways to pay for their service, including standards like debit, major credit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrency. However, ExpressVPN accepts a lot more methods overall, including a ton of niche credit cards and direct debit options, which may be handy for some users.

ExpressVPN payment options

  • Prepaid/debit cards
  • Credit cards
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay
  • Klarna
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Many more

PureVPN payment options

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • PayPal
  • Paymentwall
  • Coingate (and other electronic wallets)

Winner: The two providers offer a similar overall customer service experience — somewhat slow but helpful and friendly. ExpressVPN offers a broader selection of payment methods, so we’ll give it the nod there.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN FAQs


+

Is ExpressVPN legal in the US?

As a whole, VPNs are legal in the U.S. In fact, they’re legal in most of the world, apart from a handful of countries that bar them.


+

Is PureVPN reputable?

Yes, PureVPN has been around for a number of years and offers a dependable service. The only major gripe is that it used to be headquartered in Hong Kong, which was a potential privacy issue. However, it moved to the British Virgin Islands a few years ago — a much more neutral territory.


+

Is ExpressVPN blocked by Netflix?

Netflix generally attempts to block all VPNs, so it’s sort of a game of cat and mouse for them to keep ahead. At the moment, ExpressVPN is working fine with Netflix, but that can change — usually temporarily.


+

Which is better, NordVPN or PureVPN?

Overall, NordVPN is the better option. It tends to be faster and more consistent than PureVPN. Check out our full comparison for more details.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN: Which is better?

ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs available. It offers a fantastic experience with great performance, servers in a ton of countries, and solid customer service. However, PureVPN is quite a bit more affordable, which may be appealing to some.

Ultimately, though, we have to give the nod to ExpressVPN as the better of the two. The faster performance and other niceties add up to a great VPN experience.

ExpressVPN vs. PureVPN alternatives

If neither of these providers does it for you, don’t worry — there are plenty of alternatives on the market. Some of our favorite VPN services are CyberGhost, NordVPN, and Surfshark.

  • CyberGhost: CyberGhost is one of the most affordable and beginner-friendly VPNs on the market. It has servers optimized for streaming, torrenting, gaming, and more in various regions.

    Get CyberGhost | Read Our CyberGhost Review

  • NordVPN: NordVPN is a slightly more expensive option than CyberGhost, but it offers excellent performance, works with tons of streaming providers, and has a strong reputation as a top-tier VPN.

    Get NordVPN | Read Our NordVPN Review

  • Surfshark: Surfshark is a powerful VPN that offers unlimited simultaneous connections, making it a great option for users who have a lot of devices under one roof.

    Get Surfshark | Read Our Surfshark Review

Extensive Server Network Provides Protection Wherever You Go
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On ExpressVPN's website
VPN
ExpressVPN
Save 49% (3 months free)
  • Hides intrusive display ads when browsing the web, improving page speed and easing data usage on mobile
  • Privacy and safety benefits of a VPN with best-in-class encryption and innovative server technology in 105 countries
  • Enjoy no activity logs, malicious sites and trackers protection, and more on up to 8 devices
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost
Author Details
Dave Schafer is a freelance writer with a passion for making technical concepts easy for anyone to understand. He’s been covering the world of gadgets, tech, and the internet for nearly 10 years, and his writing has been featured in a variety of print and digital publications. When he’s not writing, Dave can be found playing guitar or camping with his family and golden retriever, Rosie.