In the world of online security and privacy, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) have become essential tools for individuals and businesses alike. With an ever-growing number of VPN providers on the market, it can be challenging to determine which one best suits your needs. In this expert comparison, we’ll examine two prominent VPN services: OpenVPN and ExpressVPN. Both offer robust security features, but they differ significantly in various aspects. Let’s dive into the details and help you make an informed choice.
OpenVPN stands out as a VPN protocol rather than a complete VPN service. It’s known for its exceptional security features, utilizing the TCP port and offering additional security extras. One significant advantage of OpenVPN is its flexibility in terms of device connections—it doesn’t impose any limits in this regard. However, it’s worth noting that OpenVPN is primarily designed for PCs and mobile devices, running on platforms like Windows, macOS, and Linux, with dedicated apps for iOS and Android. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support other devices like routers, smart TVs, or gaming consoles.
In contrast, ExpressVPN is a full-featured VPN service that offers comprehensive protection for a wide range of devices. It caters to users with diverse needs, supporting platforms such as Windows, macOS, Chromebook PCs, and browser extensions for popular web browsers. Moreover, ExpressVPN provides dedicated mobile apps for both iOS and Android devices. What sets it apart is its compatibility with various other devices, including routers, Kindle Fire, PlayStation, Xbox, and smart TVs. However, it’s essential to note that ExpressVPN allows a maximum of 5 simultaneous connections. If you need to protect more devices, you can do so by configuring a router with ExpressVPN.
OpenVPN’s usability might be a bit challenging for beginners. Setting up and using OpenVPN involves manual configuration steps. Users must download, install, and launch the client software, and then import their profiles to connect to servers. This process can be daunting for newcomers who are not tech-savvy.
ExpressVPN, on the other hand, offers a user-friendly experience. It’s designed to be intuitive and hassle-free. Users simply need to choose a plan, make the payment, download the app, sign in, and start using the service. Its user-friendly apps are easy to navigate, making it accessible even for those new to VPN technology.
Security (Encryption Technology)
Both OpenVPN and ExpressVPN are committed to providing top-notch data security. They rely on AES 256-bit encryption, which is considered one of the most secure encryption standards available today. This level of encryption ensures that your data remains private and secure, making it nearly impossible for anyone to breach the encryption and access your information.
Server Network and Distribution
OpenVPN differs significantly from ExpressVPN in this regard. OpenVPN is primarily a protocol rather than a VPN service. As such, it doesn’t operate its own servers. Users who choose OpenVPN must obtain servers from the OpenVPN community or rely on third-party VPN providers that support the OpenVPN protocol.
ExpressVPN boasts a vast network of over 3,000 highly specialized servers spread across more than 94 countries worldwide. This extensive server network ensures optimal performance and reliability. One notable feature of ExpressVPN’s servers is that they are RAM-only based, providing an extra layer of security. Each server also comes with its private DNS for enhanced protection.
Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming
OpenVPN’s capabilities in unblocking streaming sites depend on the specific servers users select. This makes it less consistent in providing reliable access to streaming content. While it can support torrenting and P2P sharing, the performance may vary based on server selection. Additionally, OpenVPN’s gaming capabilities are somewhat limited due to potential speed issues.
OpenVPN speed tests confirm that it may not always provide the fastest performance for streaming or gaming, depending on server availability.
ExpressVPN excels in the areas of streaming, torrenting, and gaming. It consistently unblocks popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, and more, offering uninterrupted access to your favorite content. Additionally, ExpressVPN provides high-speed torrenting with P2P-friendly servers, making it an excellent choice for those who engage in file sharing. Gamers will appreciate ExpressVPN’s low pings and reliable performance, ensuring smooth gaming experiences.
OpenVPN offers a range of customer support options, including live chat and an AI chatbot for instant assistance. Additionally, users can access guides, tutorials, and an FAQ section for additional support and information.
ExpressVPN also provides robust customer support. It offers 24/7 live chat support, ensuring that users can get help whenever they need it. In addition to live chat, ExpressVPN offers detailed guides, tutorials, and an FAQ section to assist users with any questions or issues they may encounter.
Plans, Pricing, Free Trials, and Payment Options
OpenVPN primarily serves as an open-source platform and offers enterprise products as paid plans, including Access Server and OpenVPN Cloud. Pricing may vary depending on the specific services and features you require, making it suitable for businesses and organizations with varying needs.
ExpressVPN does not offer a free version, but it provides a 30-day money-back guarantee. The service offers three distinct plans, allowing users to choose the one that best fits their needs. Payment options include credit cards, PayPal, and even the option for anonymous payments using Bitcoin, ensuring privacy-conscious users have a secure way to subscribe.
In conclusion, both OpenVPN and ExpressVPN are formidable options in the VPN landscape, each with its unique strengths and weaknesses. OpenVPN shines in terms of flexibility and robust security, making it an excellent choice for those who prioritize control and customization. ExpressVPN, on the other hand, excels in ease of use, compatibility with various devices, and consistently reliable performance for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.