Bitdefender vs. ExpressVPN Comparison Review
Now that you know a thing or two about Bitdefender and ExpressVPN, let's get to the main agenda of the day. How does Bitdefender compare to ExpressVPN? Let's find out.
You will agree with me that the VPN industry is flooded. There are trusted brands with a good reputation and recognition alongside some crooked companies that are not worth your time. That said, you first need to ensure that the VPN you are buying is trusted. In this first round, check out how the two brands rank regarding brand trust.
Bitdefender is a trusted brand that has been at the forefront in matters of cybersecurity. Established in November 2001, the company is owned by a Romanian cybersecurity technology company and is best known for its antivirus software.
It’s not as popular in the industry as its main focus is not VPNs. All said and done, it’s a worthy brand that shouldn’t miss out on your wishlist. We checked the online review sites and other publications, and we are glad it’s a favorite for the average internet user with the antivirus.
However, it doesn’t get so much praise from the techies as its features are basic. On Trustpilot, Bitdefender has a rating of 3.9/5 after 6400 reviews.
ExpressVPN, on the other hand, is a trusted brand in the VPN industry. It is owned by Kape Technologies, a company that has flourished in the industry. This is the same company behind other top-rated VPNs, including CyberGhost, Zenmate, and Private Internet Access (PIA).
Even though it’s not the best VPN brand on the market, ExpressVPN is high up the ladder. We also checked what the consumers and experts say about this VPN, and we are glad it has a solid reputation.
On Trustpilot, ExpressVPN commands a 4.7/5 rating after over 10500 reviews.
The second important aspect to assess is the supported devices., Before buying a VPN, make sure it is compatible with all your devices, be it your work PC, mobile, or router. This is because some VPNs are custom-tailored for specific devices only. Besides compatibility, check the maximum number of devices you can connect simultaneously. So, how does Bitdefender stack up against ExpressVPN?
Bitdefender was originally an antivirus software that offered protection on PCs and mobile devices only. Bitdefender VPN is not different; it is compatible with PCs (Windows and macOS) and mobile devices (iOS and Android) only.
Well, this is such a letdown considering the applications of VPNs go beyond online security and privacy. Today, users want stealth on their routers, TVs, and gaming consoles. The good thing is that Bitdefender can support up to 10 simultaneous connections.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN offers an all-round product that offers protection for all connected devices. To start, it is compatible with PCs (Windows, macOS, and Linux) and mobile devices (Android and iOS).
Besides PCs and mobile devices, ExpressVPN is compatible with routers, smart TVs, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Sticks, Kodi, Roku TV, PlayStation, xBox, Nintendo Wii, Raspberry pie, and so on. On the downside, ExpressVPN can support up to 5 simultaneous connections.
Bitdefender has excellent usability. Getting started is pretty straightforward. The first step is to purchase a plan. Go to the order page, select a plan, and complete the purchase.
The next step is downloading Bitdefender, signing in, connecting to a preferred server, and you are good to go. The interface is very intuitive, and so is the navigation.
As for ExpressVPN, the process can be tricky when configuring TVs, routers, and consoles. But for PCs and mobile devices, you can get protection in minutes. Here again, you need to get a plan to get started. Click ‘Get Started’ to head to the order page.
Complete the payment and download ExpressVPN. Sign in, select a server, and that’s it. The user interface looks clunky at first, but you should get used to it in a few days.
4. Security (Encryption Technology)
VPNs work by encrypting data into a secret code to hide the actual meaning of the data. There are several encryption technologies with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256-bit as the industry standard. The best VPN should have this as the minimum as it’s a state-of-the-art encryption technology resistant to any form of brute force attack.
Bitdefender free and Premium VPN use AES 256-bit encryption so you can be sure all your activity and data are safe. AES-256 bit is so secure that it would take the fastest computers millions of years to perform a successful brute force attack on AES 256-bit systems.
As expected, ExpressVPN also uses AES 256-bit to secure your data. This is the same military-grade encryption that Bitdefender and other top-rated VPNs use. It’s hard to come by a VPN that’s still on AES 128-bit encryption.
5. Security (VPN Protocols)
VPN protocols are also vital in the discussion of a VPN's security. For starters, VPN protocols, also referred to as tunneling methods, are the rules set to determine how your traffic is routed between the device and the VPN servers. There are different protocols, each tailored for a specific purpose. That means the more protocols a VPN supports, the better the versatility.
One factor that makes Bitdefender so basic is that it supports just one VPN protocol, Catapult Hydra. Yes, it’s fast, but it can’t be compared to the standard protocols.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN is a versatile VPN that deploys 8 different protocols, namely, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP, IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, IPSec, and Lightway. The first seven are popular protocols but the last, Lightway, is ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol based on WireGuard that enhances speeds.
The security of a VPN goes beyond encryption technology and tunneling methods. Here are several extras that take security to the next level. In this segment, find out what security extras these VPNs tag along.
Unfortunately, Bitdefender Premium is not well endowed when it comes to security extras.
One of its features is an internet kill switch, a must-have feature. It comes in handy when the VPN connection drops as it instantly stops your internet connection.
This way, none of your data will leak. This is the only worthy security extra worth mentioning.
ExpressVPN, on the other hand, packs a lot. First is the internet kill switch (Network Lock Switch) that also stops your internet connection immediately after the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
This VPN further enhances airtight security with WebRTC and DNS leak protection so none of your identifiable information and other data can leak. Third is Split Tunneling, which lets you decide which traffic to route via the VPN and which traffic not to.
Last is the encryption of all servers’ private DNS, thus preventing DNS request leaks. Interestingly, this VPN doesn’t have dedicated IPs. Instead, it rotates IPs.
7. Privacy & Confidentiality (Jurisdiction)
Countries have varying approaches to online privacy. Some respect and strive to protect citizens' privacy, while others don't value privacy. Besides, there are surveillance organizations such as the 5, 9, and 14-Eyes, whose member states collaborate by sharing information where necessary. Such countries are not favorable for VPNs as providers have an obligation to share users' data when the authorities come knocking. When selecting a VPN, the rule of thumb is to go for a VPN located in a jurisdiction that is privacy-friendly and one that is not part of any of the global surveillance organizations.
Bitdefender is located in Bucharest, Romania, a country known for its privacy-friendly stand. Romania is not part of any of the surveillance alliances. Consequently, Bitdefender is not obligated to collaborate in case any 5/9/14-Eyes member states seek information regarding the VPN’s users.
Just like Bitdefender, ExpressVPN is also based in a privacy-friendly country – the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The BVI is a privacy-friendly jurisdiction and is not a member of any global surveillance organizations. You can be rest assured that your data is safe.
8. Privacy & Confidentiality (Log Policy)
Many VPNs out there claim they don't keep any logs of users; activity. However, some providers have been caught pants down logging users' activity. This should be a big scare now that if the VPNs log your activity, you may not be anonymous in the long run. In this second segment, let's analyze the logging policies of the two VPNs in this comparison review.
On the other hand, ExpressVPN has a credible 100% no-log policy. The company reiterates that it doesn’t collect personally identifiable data, including connection and disconnection timestamps, browsing history, assigned IPs, and original IPs.
9. Server Network and Distribution
Servers play a crucial role in the performance of VPNs.They act as bridges where data is encrypted. When selecting a VPN, the focus should be on a provider with the highest number of servers spread in many locations across the globe. Besides the number of servers, it's also critical to assess the servers' specialization. So, which VPN wins this round in terms of the server network and distribution?
Bitdefender may be an average VPN provider but boasts a vast server network. As of 2022, the VPN’s infrastructure boasts over 4000 servers.
But then, these servers can’t match the servers that the likes of NordVPN, PureVPN, and CyberGhost boast. They are basic servers that offer average speeds and security.
ExpressVPN also boasts a vast server network and has continued to expand its network. The company has over 3,000 servers spread at over 160 locations in 94 countries. While it has a smaller server network, ExpressVPN has invested in top-of-the-range servers.
Worth mentioning is TrustedServer, a technology with a suite of features that take security and privacy to the next level. In addition, there are RAM-only servers and virtual servers, among other features.
10. Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming
VPNs have dozens of applications. Besides beefing up online security and privacy, they come in handy in entertainment. Today, VPNs for Netflix have become popular as they unblock Netflix and other platforms with geo-restricted content. There are also VPNs for torrenting and P2P sharing, which facilitate file transfer without the risk of bandwidth throttling. Lastly, VPNs for gaming protect gamers from DDoS attacks and allow them to access gaming content and discounts not available in their region. But not all VPNs are good for streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
Bitdefender is not a reliable VPN for streaming. Whenever we tried streaming, Netflix banned the IP after a few minutes. It also failed to unblock BBC iPlayer and Hulu reliably.
Regarding P2P sharing, Bitdefender also performed dismally. The huge speed losses and not-so-tight security leave you vulnerable to slow torrents and bandwidth throttling.
Lastly, on gaming, Bitdefender can protect you from basic DDoS attacks but not serious attacks. But the good thing is you can use it to access gaming content such as maps and discounts not available in your region.
ExpressVPN is good for streaming. It unblocked several Netflix libraries and other streaming sites with geo-restricted content. Regarding torrenting and P2P sharing, it’s also a great deal.
We launched several torrenting sessions, and we are glad the speeds are favorable. In none of the sessions did we experience bandwidth throttling.
Regarding gaming, ExpressVPN’s state-of-the-art security covers you if a DDoS attack is launched. It also allows gamers to access geo-restricted gaming content and discounts.
The reliability of customer support is also an important consideration when selecting the best VPN provider. Newbies will definitely need help with the VPN's configuration or operation, while experts might have some billing issues they can't resolve. So, regardless of your experience with VPNs, customer support should be a priority.
Bitdefender, having been in business for over two decades, understands that customer support is integral to the success of any business. The company offers multichannel support on live chat, telephone, and email.
The best channel is the 24/7 live chat support, which offers instant solutions to most issues that users face. The telephone line and email are also resourceful but can’t be relied on always.
Besides the above channels, there are loads of other resources in the form of articles and videos that users can leverage.
One of the reasons for the success of ExpressVPN is its excellent customer support. Here again, users can take advantage of a 24/7 live chat that offers users immediate feedback on most non-technical issues.
The company has also provided an email address, but you shouldn’t expect immediate feedback. Besides the live chat and email, you can check out the detailed FAQ sections and knowledgebase.
12. Plans, Pricing, Free Trials, and Payment Options
In this last segment of this ExpressVPN vs. Bitdefender comparison review, let's look at the available plans, the pricing of the subscriptions, free trials, guarantees, and payment options. Definitely, you want an affordable VPN with flexible plans, moneyback guarantees, and convenient payment methods. So, who is the winner in this round?
Bitdefender is one of the free VPNs on the market. There is a free version, but it limits users to 200MB daily. There are two plans, a 1-month plan ($6.99 a month) and a 1-year plan ($2.49 a month.) A 30-day money-back guarantee covers both plans.
Before purchasing a plan, users can take advantage of a 7-day free trial with access to all the core features. The payment options include AMEX, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Wire Transfer.
ExpressVPN is a reliable VPN service, but the subscriptions are not pocket friendly. To start, there is no ExpressVPN free version though there’s a free trial. There are three plans. First is a 1-month plan ($12.95 a month), a 6-months plan ($9.99 a month), and a 1-year plan ($6.67 a month).
All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Regarding the payment options, the list includes Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, Discover, JCB, QIWI, GiroPay, and iDEAL. Interestingly, you can also make Bitcoin payments, which enhances your anonymity.