2020 was the year that the already enormous remote workforce took flight due to the coronavirus pandemic. And, in a not-so-surprising turn of events, that trend will continue into 2021 and beyond. As businesses work on perfecting their remote teams and cybersecurity and privacy threats continue to loom in the background, virtual private network protection is an imperative tool to keep your organization safe. It’s especially the perfect fit for small to midsize businesses.
Your VPN takes on an important role for your business especially as it increases its remote workstyle. This added layer of security and can create efficiencies for your employees without risking the security of your network. The result is increased productivity, easier communication with remote employees, and the ability to safely combine efforts among project members. Choosing the right VPN vendor is the key to accomplishing these goals.
Small and midsize businesses are making the move to add VPNs to the mix as a layer of protection in an unpredictable world. Cybercrime, as we know it, is not going anywhere, and it’s only becoming more of a threat. The Herjavic Group predicts a price tag globally of $6 trillion in 2021. The threat is even more poignant for small businesses who report being targeted at a rate of nearly 43%, as outlined in a recent Verizon report. All of this has led small- and mid-sized business demand to a feverpitch for security tools like VPN services.
Is 2021 the year that you finally lockdown the perfect VPN for your organization? We’ve singled out two of the most popular VPN vendors, ExpressVPN and NordVPN, to do a comprehensive comparison to help you select the one that will fit your unique needs. Let’s explore the ins and outs, pros and cons, and the nuts and bolts of these two VPN vendors.
What You Need To Know About ExpressVPN and NordVPN Before You Choose
If you are about to commit to a VPN for your small business needs, it’s important to weigh the right factors. You’ll save on costs if you commit to a year-long subscription versus a month-to-month plan. We recommend focusing on three key criteria: speed, security, and price. Using these criteria, we’ve compared popular VPN providers, ExpressVPN and NordVPN. Here is how they stack up.
- NordVPN is the VPN that wins the speed test. It’s easy for companies to claim they are the best, but in the case of NordVPN, they have a test to prove it. The popular VPN vendor hired an independent IT security institute (AV-TEST) to compare the speeds of the top VPNs in the industry. NordVPN, as the test results demonstrated, is the fastest VPN out there. NordVPN was the clear winner in the test that measured download and upload performance in all three major world regions. So there’s that to consider.
- NordVPN is the VPN that wins on price. Discounts abound for both products and the prices are not too far apart. All things being equal, price of course becomes a key factor. And, NordVPN is cheaper. During the promotional offer period, the prices of both tools can be close to equal. Also worth noting, both VPN vendors offer a 30-day money-back guarantee that from all accounts seems to be ironclad.
- When it comes to security, it might be a draw. Security, of course, is an essential factor when choosing your VPN. ExpressVPN and NordVPN both use the industry-standard AES-256 encryption, backed up by Perfect Forward Secrecy, which changes keys frequently.
- Servers - ExpressVPN owns all its own DNS servers, which is excellent in terms of optimizing control and security. ExpressVPN offers a functional kill switch, split tunneling, and a multitude of other interesting security-related features. The in-house servers give them a leg up in this comparison because it allows them to assure you that no data is ever stored, supporting their no-logging policy.
- Security Features - NordVPN, on the other hand, delivers many interesting features such as Double VPN and Onion over VPN that ExpressVPN doesn't offer. If those features are important to you, you might call NordVPN as the winner.
Still undecided? Here are more points of difference:
- If you are using a torrenting client - ExpressVPN is rated slightly higher with its easy-to-use split tunneling function. You can whitelist normal traffic and only encrypt the P2P traffic from the torrenting client.
- If you are using Windows - NordVPN offers a flawless integration with all Windows operating systems — Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP. Even with older PCs, it offers SmartPlay technology that can enhance streaming capability.
- If you are using Android - NordVPN has an Android app that is simple, easy to use, and consistently performs well in the Android environment.
- If you are using Mac - NordVPN allows you to customize the protocol with two macOS clients. One uses IKEv2 protocol, recommended for general VPN, and the other uses OpenVPN, better for accessing content.
- If you are using IOS - NordVPN wins here with its clean and easy-to-use iOS app with Siri integration.
- If you are focused on US-based content - ExpressVPN is your choice for accessing US-based content because it allows you to to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming sites around the world including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO GO.
Making the Right VPN Choice
ExpressVPN and NordVPN are solid VPN choices for the added layer of security your small or midsize business needs. Both VPN vendors receive high marks from tech reviewers and customers alike. They rank well for breadth of features, customer service, and the aforementioned features (speed, price, and security). Your business requirements, your budget for 2021 and beyond as well as your goals are the unknown variables that will help you make the decision that works best for your business. The truth is, you can’t go wrong with either provider.