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ExpressVPN vs ProtonVPN 2021

We put these VPNs to the test to find out which is the best!

ProtonVPN is from the same entity also responsible for ProtonMail — a respected encrypted email service. Does this expertise carry over to their VPN? For the most part. ProtonVPN goes toe-to-toe with ExpressVPN in some key areas, but falls short in some others as well. It’s always tough to beat ExpressVPN in terms of speed, but what about others? More Info

How do these VPNs Compare?


ProtonVPN’s speeds are not the best, but still usually serviceable for streaming in most cases. On the other hand, ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN on the market, so there’s no contest here. If you want the best streaming speeds, and upload/download speeds, always go with ExpressVPN.

VPN vendor ExpressVPN ProtonVPN
Download speed reduction 18% (UK) 42% (UK)
Upload speed reduction 20% (FRA) 23% (FRA)
Ping time to google.com 24ms 333.63ms
Average time to connect (sec.) 11ms 11ms
Unblock successful for Netflix-logo Hulu-logo Kodi-logo Espn-logo Youtube-logo Bbc-logo Netflix-logo Youtube-logo Hulu-logo Kodi-logo
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Why Most Speed Tests are Pointless & How We Correctly Test VPN Speeds

Speed determines how fast content uploads, so if you're torrenting or streaming, you want the speed to be somewhat identical to your regular internet speed. Since a VPN encrypts your data, it usually takes a bit longer to send your data back and forth, which can slow down your connection. However, if your ISP deliberately slows down your connection (also known as throttling) a VPN might increase your internet speed. Testing a VPN is somewhat pointless because new servers pop up and affect speed. Your speed can also differ according to your location, so your speed test might not match ours. Having said that, we tested the speed in numerous locations to provide you with the average.


ExpressVPN currently has 148 server locations in 94 total countries around the world, which is definitely better than the 112 locations in just 14 countries that ProtonVPN has.

VPN vendor ExpressVPN ProtonVPN
Server Locations 148 800
Server Countries 94 50
IP Addresses 1500 698
Dynamic Server Switching
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The Big Mistake When Comparing Number of Servers and What to Really Look For

The ratio of servers to countries is an important factor to look at when choosing a VPN. Only paying attention to location or number of servers can get you in trouble. More servers generally means faster speeds, but if VPN X has a few more servers than VPN Y but twice as many users, VPN X will typically have slower speeds. Ideally, you want a VPN that has a lot of servers in every location. This way you won’t have to worry that server/country that you want will be overburdened and running slow


ExpressVPN backs up their stellar product with support on all levels, be it live chat, email help, or a large knowledge base and tutorials on their site. ProtonVPN currently lacks a live chat or any 24/7 support, but can be emailed for help. They have some decent help material on their site.

VPN vendor ExpressVPN ProtonVPN
Email Response Time 0.3 14
24/7 Support
Live Chat
Knowledge Base
Video Tutorials
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How We Test Customer Support and Why Should You Care

We personally test the customer support team of every VPN we review. This means asking technical question through the live chat feature (where applicable) and measuring the response time for email questions. Whether you need to connect to a specific server, change your security protocol, or configure a VPN on your router, finding a VPN with quality customer support should be important to you.

Ease of Use

ExpressVPN homepage screenshot
ExpressVPN is incredibly easy to download and set up and use on multiple devices. Once opened, the app will offer to connect you to a recommended server based on your location, but you can just as easily choose to connect to the location of your choice. If you wish to change from the automatic security protocol, simply click on the settings button and you’ll see the full list of protocols to choose from.

ExpressVPN can unblock content on most any streaming platform — another reason why it’s so popular.
Overall, we found ProtonVPN easy to use. Once you’ve signed up for an account, you can download the appropriate software based on your operating system. They have clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Depending on your subscription you may use this service on multiple devices. Set up is easy and only takes a few minutes.

Once loaded, you can choose which country to connect to, or you can select the quick connect feature. Typically, connecting to the server takes a few seconds, but if you choose a relatively full server, it may take longer. If you have a server that you want to connect to regularly, you can create a profile with that location and server information. Profiles appear on the quick connect dropdown list.




Visit ExpressVPN Website

Which VPN Will You Choose?

Both these VPNs use 256-bit encryption, so that’s a wash in that aspect. We liked how ProtonVPN only uses two versions of OpenVPN, and their re-routing Secure Core features, but the lack of server countries and slower speeds make ExpressVPN the clear winner here. More Info

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