Which is a better VPN overall, between ExpressVPN and SaferVPN?
While ExpressVPN is a great VPN for faster internet connection speeds, SaferVPN is rather average when it comes to their internet speeds.
But how do these two VPNs compare along other lines like their streaming capabilities as well as torrenting support? In this ExpressVPN vs SaferVPN comparison in 2020, we are going to look at the pros and cons of these two VPNs.
We’ll compare them along the lines of their internet speeds, ability to unblock geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix as well as other advanced security features like adblocking.
I hope that by the end of this SaferVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison, you’ll be able to make a choice of the better VPN for you between the two.
So let’s get to it.
ExpressVPN is a popular VPN service provider based in the British Virgin Islands that provides you with fast and secure access to the internet.
It is quite an old name in the industry as it was founded way back in 2009.
Check out my detailed review of ExpressVPN.
SaferVPN, on the other hand, is a VPN company based in Seattle that enables you to access the internet securely, though at not so fast speeds.
The actual location of SaferVPN is rather not clear to me as some sites mention that this VPN is headquartered in Israel.
Here is my unbiased SaferVPN review.
How many servers do both SaferVPN and ExpressVPN have?
Usually, you’d expect that the older a VPN company is, the more servers they should have.
More servers also make it easy when you are switching servers or looking for a server to connect to in a particular country of choice.
ExpressVPN currently has more than 3,000 VPN servers that are spread out over 94 countries.
SaferVPN, on the other hand, has 1,300 servers located in 50 different countries spread across the globe.
If you are looking for a VPN with a large collection of servers and that cover a wider geographical region, then you should opt for ExpressVPN.
How does ExpressVPN compare with SaferVPN when it comes to streaming?
Streaming geo-restricted content on entertainment platforms like Netflix is a popular activity among VPN users.
It, therefore, means that a lot of people are looking for VPNs that can unblock the most streaming platforms, and in different countries.
ExpressVPN works with Netflix. So you’ll be able to unblock Netflix for different countries like the US, UK, Japan, Germany and Brazil among others. In fact, it is for this reason that it stands out as one of the best VPNs for Netflix.
In addition to Netflix, their servers are also very well capable of unblocking Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Go and BBC iPlayer.
SaferVPN, on the other hand, is also able to unblock Netflix.
However, their streaming is limited to their dedicated streaming servers that are based in the United States and the United Kingdom.
So you’ll only be able to stream Netflix for both the US and UK, as well as Hulu using their US servers.
My attempts to stream Amazon Prime and BBC iPlayer we unsuccessful as my IP was blocked.
Overall, ExpressVPN comes out as a better VPN for streaming compared to SaferVPN by far.
I started by mentioning that internet speeds were a distinguishing factor between these two VPNs.
If you are particularly interested in a VPN for streaming, then you want to be very careful to ensure you only purchase a VPN that is fast enough.
The faster the connection speeds, the better the streaming experience that you should expect to have. Interestingly, all VPNs claim that their VPN is the fastest.
So I tested these two VPNs by connecting to three of their servers based in the US, UK and Hong Kong.
I then measured their before and after download and upload speeds.
ExpressVPN delivered great download speeds, that were 87% of average on my initial speeds before connecting to their servers.
SaferVPN, on the other hand, had download speeds that were only 75%, on average, of my before speeds. In fact, since it had a download speed that is less than 80% of my before speeds, I consider it to have rather average speeds.
Again, ExpressVPN wins when it comes to speed tests in this SaferVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison.
Which one between SaferVPN and ExpressVPN has better support for torrenting?
In order to torrent safely, you need to ensure that the VPN that you use does not keep any activity logs.
This is because activities like torrenting are controversial and some countries completely ban such activities… that means that you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law if you are caught torrenting.
ExpressVPN, fortunately, has great torrenting support as all their servers are optimized for P2P file sharing.
So you don’t need to connect to any special servers to start torrenting. And since they do not keep any activity logs, they are great for private and anonymous torrenting.
SaferVPN, unfortunately, does not support any king of torrenting activities.
In addition to the fact that none of their servers are P2P optimized, they particularly discourage the use of their servers for torrenting activities on their website.
As we’ll also discover, their user logs policy does not inspire much confidence… so you might wanna stay away from this VPN if you are privacy-conscious.
Overall, ExpressVPN is the VPN to use for torrenting here.
It has P2P servers as well as a strict zero-logs policy that will ensure that you are a complete ghost online.
Let’s now dive into the privacy policies of these two VPNs and establish what kind of logs they keep and what they don’t.
Just like I already mentioned, if you are keen on privacy online, stay away from any VPN that has no clear user logs policy… or any that states that they keep logs of your IP address, like HMA.
That being said, we are going to compare the privacy policies of these two VPNs to establish the one that keeps more logs as well as their jurisdiction to establish the one that is located in a privacy friendly country.
ExpressVPN is based in the BVI, which a great place to base a VPN company.
First is because this country does not have any mandatory data retention laws and also it is not a member of the 14 eyes countries surveillance alliance.
In addition to that, ExpressVPN does not keep activity logs that can be used to identify you.
Now, while this might concern you, an independent audit established that these logs are in an anonymized format and so cannot be used to link you to any particular activities on their servers.
SaferVPN, to begin with, is based in the United States which is not a privacy-friendly country for a VPN… or for anyone for that matter.
It is a founding member of the 14 eyes surveillance alliance of countries that spy on their citizens and then share their personal information amongst themselves.
There is no independent audit that has established that these logs are directly linked to your account or not… so assume they are.
Now that’s not great if you want to stay anonymous online.
Overall, if you want true privacy online then why take a risk?
Just go with a VPN that has been audited and proven to not keep user identifiable logs like ExpressVPN.
Encryption and Data Protection
If you’ve been around the internet for long enough they must have heard about encryption technologies and algorithms.
These are technologies that are used to obfuscate your data and make them unreadable to anyone but the intended device. This ensures that even if a malicious hacker hijacks your traffic and captures your data packets, they won’t be able to decrypt and see the actual information.
ExpressVPN and SaferVPN both use an AES 256-bit encryption technology that ensures that your information is secure.
So you are completely invisible to hackers, your ISP and the government.
In addition to that, these VPNs also employ the use of very secure VPN connection protocols to ensure that the communication between the VPN app and the VPN servers is not compromised.
ExpressVPN supports OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec connection protocols.
These are the most popular and most secure protocols in use today.
SaferVPN, on the flip side, supports a tad more protocols.
When using their apps, you’ll have an option of choosing among OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP and IKEv2 protocols.
Even though SaferVPN still supports it, protocols like PPTP have proven to be vulnerable to attacks in the past and should not be used unless you know what you are doing.
Overall, if you are looking for a VPN that supports more connection protocols then SaferVPN is the clear winner here.
Do you need to block ads on the websites that you visit?
Most websites are very aggressive with ads these days… this leads to a poor user experience.
You want to just turn off these ads because some of them, especially the videos ads, can quickly exhaust your internet bandwidth.
In fact, ad blockers is a feature that is common among most premium VPN apps today.
That being said, it is unfortunate that neither ExpressVPN nor SaferVPN support ad blockers.
So if you are looking for a VPN that will enable you to block ads, why not check out my list of the best VPNs for ad blockers here?
Do you want a VPN that provides you with a dedicated IP address for your personal use?
Often, a VPN will assign you an IP address that is shared with other VPN users and that randomly changes.
While this is good for anonymity online, as there will be hundreds of people on the same server at the same time as you, it increases the bad neighbour effect.
This is a situation where an IP has been abused by another user, hence blocked on certain sites.
So when you visit these websites you are presented with a form to fill to prove you are not a robot.
If you are sick of having to prove you are not a robot all the time, then your best option is to use a dedicated IP address that is only used by you.
But don’t forget that since a dedicated IP is linked to your account, any activities on these servers can be traced back to you.
That being said, neither SaferVPN nor ExpressVPN supports dedicated IPs.
If you need a VPN that will provide you with static or dedicated IPs, then check out this other article on the best VPNs for dedicated IPs.
An internet kill switch ensures that your real IP address never gets exposed on the internet at any time.
Any time that your VPN app disconnects from the server, the kill switch will turn off internet access for your entire device.
So if there were other applications accessing the internet at that time, they have to pause and wait until your VPN reconnects to the server to access the internet.
In fact, if you are running a torrent client, you should always keep your kill switch on if you don’t want to get into trouble.
A VPN could disconnect from the server when you are switching servers or when your internet connection drops. Most people are caught during those few seconds when they let their guard down.
SaferVPN and ExpressVPN both have kill switches that help you ensure that you are always protected.
Once turned on, all your internet traffic will be encrypted and channelled through your VPN tunnel at all times. Here are some other VPNs with advanced internet kill switches.
There are some apps that will have a problem working normally with your VPN connection.
Take an example of your application that runs backups on the background. Such an app might be slowed down by your VPN connection due to the speed drops caused by VPN connections.
In order to remedy this, you need to whitelist certain apps and exclude them from your VPN tunnel.
This way their traffic is not encrypted and channelled through your VPN tunnel but is instead passed as usual through your internet service provider.
So how does ExpressVPN compare with SaferVPN in terms of their split tunnelling capabilities?
ExpressVPN has a split tunnel that enables you to split traffic on your device so that while some are directed through your ISP, some are channelled through your VPN.
SaferVPN, however, does not have a split tunnel at the time of writing this SaferVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison.
So if you are looking for a VPN that is great for split tunnelling then ExpressVPN is a clear winner here.
Works in China?
Are you frustrated with the internet access restrictions in China?
Even though it is a popular travel destination, China is a country where the government decides the sites that you have access to and the ones that you don’t.
An example on point are sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter that are completely blocked in China.
In order to access these sites in China, you need a VPN that is able to bypass the great firewall of China. This firewall has a DPI technology that is able to detect and block any kind of VPN traffic.
ExpressVPN is very well capable of bypassing China’s firewall and letting you access the internet in China without any problems.
You don’t even need to first connect to any special servers to do this… just connect to any of their servers and you are good to go.
SaferVPN, on the other hand, is completely blocked in China.
None of their servers can connect to access the internet in China, so you can’t use it to bypass the internet restrictions.
Clearly, therefore, if you are looking for a VPN for China then ExpressVPN is your option.
As we near the end of this SaferVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison, let’s look at their pricing plans to establish the cheaper VPN.
While you might want to save some bucks when purchasing a VPN, you should be keen to ensure you are not screwing over your privacy online to save a few bucks… not unless you don’t give a damn about privacy on the internet.
That being said, most VPNs will give you the best discounts on their longer plans.
ExpressVPN doesn’t seem to have huge cuts or discounts when it comes to their pricing. Their longest plan is the 1-year plan that costs you $ 8.32/month, billable upfront.
SaferVPN, on the flip side, is actually a cheap VPN as their 3 years plan only costs $ 2.50/month. As you can see, SaferVPN offers bigger savings compared to ExpressVPN.
So if all you care about are discounts, then knock yourself out.
Let’s finish the SaferVPN vs ExpressVPN comparison in 2020 by looking at the various payment options that each one supports.
If you don’t want to give a ton of personal identifiable information when signing up for a VPN, you should opt for payment options that collect as little information about you as possible.
Cryptocurrency payments or gift cards are such payments that do not require you to provide a billing address. This way, you don’t give up any personally identifiable information.
In fact, if you don’t want anyone to know who you are, you can sign up with a fake email address and then pay with some Bitcoins.
ExpressVPN accepts payments through credit cards, PayPal as well as crypto payments through currencies like Bitcoin.
SaferVPN, on the other hand, only supports credit and PayPal payments. Both payments methods keep your billing addresses and can always to used to identify you.
If you are looking for a VPN that works with Bitcoins the ExpressVPN is your option.
There you have it…
I hope that this ExpressVPN vs SaferVPN comparison has helped learn a ton about the pros and cons of these two VPNs.
Are you now ready to make a choice of the best VPN for you between ExpressVPN or SaferVPN?
Under no circumstance would I recommend that you purchase SaferVPN over ExpressVPN.
If you are willing to spend a little more for a very fast VPN that has the best streaming capabilities and has a strict zero-logs policy, then I recommend ExpressVPN.
However, if you are on a tight budget and can’t afford ExpressVPN, why not try out Surfshark… a BVI based VPN that is cheaper than SaferVPN but offers all the packs that ExpressVPN boasts of?
Have you used any of these VPNs before?
Please share your experience in the comments below.