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Express VPN vs Nord VPN: A Detailed Comparison for Ultimate Online Security

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  • Post last modified:21 March 2024

Overview of ExpressVPN and NordVPN Features

When weighing your options for online privacy, the discussion of Express VPN vs Nord VPN often takes center stage. These two industry giants boast a lot of features, but deciphering which one will best suit your needs can be as tricky as finding a needle in a digital haystack.

Express VPN and NordVPN are celebrated for their robust security measures, expansive server networks, and dedicated support to keep your online activities secure and private. To kick off this comparison, let’s take a closer look at the features each VPN service provider brings to the table.

Starting with Express VPN, it’s known for its user-friendly interface and impressive speed. A key feature that many users appreciate is its built-in speed test that helps you find the fastest server for your needs. Some of the standout features include:

  • Split tunneling, which allows you to choose which apps use the VPN and which ones don’t.
  • VPN kill switch for maintaining privacy even if the connection drops unexpectedly.
  • TrustedServer technology that ensures all data is wiped with every server reboot.
  • No activity or connection logs for increased privacy.

On the flip side, Nord VPN shines with its double VPN feature, which routes your connection through two separate VPN servers, doubling the encryption. Additional features of NordVPN include:

  • CyberSec technology to block ads and malicious websites.
  • Automatic kill switch which offers an extra layer of protection.
  • Onion Over VPN for an extra layer of encryption and privacy.
  • Policy of no logs for true online anonymity.

Both VPNs offer multiple simultaneous connections – ExpressVPN provides 5, while NordVPN offers 6 – allowing you to protect various devices with a single subscription.

The Express VPN vs Nord VPN debate also extends into their supported protocols. ExpressVPN uses its proprietary Lightway protocol, promising faster speeds without sacrificing security, while NordVPN counters with its NordLynx protocol, developed around the WireGuard protocol, which likewise offers a blend of speed and security.

It’s a head-to-head race when assessing the main features of Express VPN vs Nord VPN. Both tools deliver a full suite of options that cater to different preferences and needs, from advanced security protocols to various server locations worldwide.

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Security and Encryption Technologies

The quest for digital security often brings us to the crux of the matter: Express VPN vs Nord VPN, and particularly, the scrutiny of their respective security and encryption technologies. It’s akin to comparing the armors of two knights before the joust; both sturdy, yet distinct.

Peeling back the layers of digital armor both these services provide starts with the encryption standards they employ. Express VPN leverages AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256-bit keys, often referred to as AES-256. It’s the same caliber of security used by governments and security experts around the globe to protect classified information.

NordVPN matches this, also utilizing AES-256 encryption, ensuring that data passing through its servers is equally impregnable. However, when the spotlight turns to the additional security protocols, each service distinguishes itself. NordVPN’s novel feature, the Double VPN, provides users with an added level of encryption by routing traffic through two separate VPN servers. This added tunneling effect might be overkill for everyday users but is certainly a welcome option for those with heightened security needs.

On the other hand, express vpn counters with its own proprietary protocol named Lightway. This protocol aims to provide a lighter and faster VPN experience without compromising on security. Its quick-connect ability poses a great perk for those who are on the move and need to maintain swift yet secure online activities.

Both VPNs come with their respective versions of a kill switch, which, in the event of an unexpected disconnection, protects your data from exposure. This security measure is crucial in keeping your information secure even when the VPN isn’t connected.

  • Security Features of ExpressVPN:
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Lightway protocol for speed and security
  • VPN Kill Switch
  • TrustedServer technology
  • Security Features of NordVPN:
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Double VPN (multi-hop)
  • NordLynx protocol based on WireGuard technology
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Onion Over VPN

Express VPN vs Nord VPN ultimately reveals that both providers take security seriously, employing industry-standard encryption and offering unique privacy features for diverse user needs. The decision frequently lands on which additional features resonate most with the user’s individual security requirements.

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Continuing our deep dive into the intricacies of Express VPN vs Nord VPN, we shift our focus to a frequently overlooked yet crucial aspect of VPN technology.

FAQ Section:

What type of encryption do ExpressVPN and NordVPN use?
Both leverage the military-grade AES-256 encryption, which ensures that your data is secure from any brute-force attempts at decryption.

Can the VPN protections be bypassed?
While it’s theoretically possible to breach VPN security, the resources required make it an unfeasible task for nearly all attackers. The combination of encryption and other security features used by both VPN services means that your online activities remain confidential.

Is the use of Double VPN or ExpressVPN’s Lightway necessary for everyday browsing?
For most users, the standard security provided by either VPN service is sufficient for everyday browsing. Additional features like Double VPN or Lightway can provide an extra layer of security for those desiring or requiring it.

What makes ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology significant?
ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology ensures that all servers operate on RAM, meaning all data is wiped with each reboot. This practice reduces the risk of data storage and enhances users’ privacy.

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Privacy Policies: Data Logging and Anonymity

Privacy is paramount in the realm of virtual private networks, and the comparison between express vpn and Nord VPN on their respective privacy policies is a topic that warrants meticulous examination. Both companies have gone to great lengths to establish stringent privacy policies that reassure users of their commitment to data security and anonymity.

Starting with express vpn, one of its most heralded privacy features is its affirmed no-logs policy. The company is headquartered in the British Virgin Islands, which benefits from a lack of mandatory data retention laws. This locale allows express vpn to adhere to a strict policy where no activity or connection logs are stored, thereby offering users a layer of privacy that’s hard to penetrate.

  • Zero-knowledge DNS
  • No activity or connection logs
  • Private, encrypted DNS on every server
  • Network Lock kill switch prevents IP leakage if the VPN disconnects

NordVPN, on the other hand, is incorporated in Panama, another jurisdiction well-regarded for its absence of surveillance-sharing agreements and data retention laws. Like its competitor, NordVPN also has a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that user information and internet activity remain elusive to prying eyes. They have also passed independent audits to validate their no-logs claims, offering further assurance to their user base.

The privacy features of NordVPN include:

  • Double VPN for twice-encrypted privacy
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Onion Over VPN for enhanced anonymity
  • No logging of user data or activity

Both services also offer DNS leak protection, ensuring your internet traffic and queries are not accidentally exposed to your ISP. These privacy protections are central to maintaining user anonymity and are powerful selling points in the Express VPN vs Nord VPN debate.

The assurance that these VPNs will keep your data secure even in the event of network issues or sudden dropouts is a key factor in choosing a VPN provider. With both providers offering reliable kill switches, users can breathe a bit easier knowing their data won’t be inadvertently leaked.

FAQ Section:

Do express vpn and NordVPN keep logs of their users’ internet activities?
No, both express vpn and NordVPN claim to have a no-logs policy, meaning they do not keep track of your internet activities or connection logs.

How do both VPNs ensure data is not logged?
express vpn operates on RAM servers which are wiped with every reboot, and NordVPN has passed independent audits confirming their no-logs policy.

Is there a legal requirement for these VPNs to store data?
Both companies are based in jurisdictions without mandatory data retention laws (the British Virgin Islands and Panama, respectively), which reduces the likelihood of legal compulsion to retain or share user data.

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VPN Server Networks and Distribution

Shifting gears in our exploration of Express VPN vs Nord VPN, it’s time to venture into the vast and varied landscapes of server networks and distribution. A VPN’s ability to offer a wide range of locations translates to more options for users to skirt geo-restrictions, achieve better connection speeds, and enjoy local content from around the globe.

ExpressVPN Server Network and Distribution:

  • Over 3,000 servers spanning 94 countries and 160 locations
  • Widespread global presence, including regions often overlooked by other VPN providers
  • All servers are RAM-only, which means all data is wiped upon reboot
  • Private, encrypted DNS on every server, which enhances security and performance

ExpressVPN’s server network stands out not only for its size but also for its wide geographic spread. This vast presence empowers users to connect to even the most remote regions, which is a boon for those seeking new content or looking to bypass stringent geo-blocks. With greater server options, users are also likely to find a server closer to their actual location, which can help reduce latency and increase connection speed.

NordVPN Server Network and Distribution:

  • A network of over 5,400 servers located in 59 countries
  • Specialized servers for P2P, Double VPN, and Onion Over VPN
  • An emphasis on both physical and virtual server locations for broader coverage
  • Uses an assortment of server types to manage load and optimize user experience

NordVPN boasts a larger server count, and its optimized server types are a distinctive feature that caters to various user experiences. For instance, P2P-dedicated servers allow for seamless torrenting, whereas Double VPN servers add an extra layer of encryption for heightened security. While it operates in fewer countries than ExpressVPN, its server strategy is crafted to provide reliable and specialized services across its network.

Express VPN and NordVPN both prioritize coverage and server availability, which is evident in their extensive networks. This infrastructure is pivotal for a responsive and flexible VPN experience, showcasing both providers’ dedication to offering users a wealth of connection possibilities.

When engaging in the Express VPN vs Nord VPN discussion, it’s critical to consider how a VPN’s server network can meet your individual needs, whether you’re aiming for full-throttled streaming, rigorous online gaming, or secure browsing while on public Wi-Fi networks.

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FAQ Section:
How do server networks affect VPN performance?
A vast and well-distributed server network can significantly reduce latency, increase speeds, and provide more options to bypass regional restrictions.

Can users choose specific countries or cities within the server networks of ExpressVPN or NordVPN?
Yes, both Express VPN and NordVPN offer the capability to select servers from specific countries and often from specific cities within those countries.

What is the advantage of servers that are RAM-only?
RAM-only servers, as provided by Express VPN, ensure that all data is wiped after each reboot, leading to a higher level of security as no information is stored on a hard drive.

Do the number of servers matter when choosing a VPN service?
Yes, the number of servers can affect a VPN’s reliability and speed. A higher number of servers can mean less congestion and better load management, which translates to better performance for the user.

Speed and Performance Benchmarks

When you’re choosing a VPN, speed is often just as important as security. After all, no one wants to trading their internet agility for privacy. This premise leads us directly into the Express VPN vs Nord VPN race for the title of speediest VPN provider – a facet that’s key for power-users and casual browsers alike.

Speed and performance are influenced by a variety of factors, from server load to the distance between you and the server you’re connected to. Both Express VPN and Nord VPN claim to offer blazing-fast speeds, but how do they actually stack up when put to the test?

To give you an idea of what you’re signing up for with these providers, let’s dive into some speed and performance benchmarks which can reveal startling insights into the user experience.

  • Server Locations: Closer servers generally mean faster speeds, and here Express VPN’s broad network of 94 countries may offer an edge, providing users with a better chance of connecting to a nearby server.
  • VPN Protocols: The proprietary Lightway protocol of Express VPN and the NordLynx protocol of Nord VPN are both designed with speed and performance in mind, which should theoretically offer similar high-speed experiences.
  • Load Balancing: Both services implement load balancing on their servers to ensure no single server is overloaded, which can help maintain optimal speed across their networks.
  • Independent Testing: Third-party speed tests generally show that both services offer superior speeds, but these can vary depending on the time of day, server, and the specific locations tested.

In practice, the Express VPN vs Nord VPN speed comparison tends to be a tight one, as both offer high-performance options that cater well to demanding tasks like streaming HD videos or participating in online gaming. Anecdotal evidence from users suggests that while both VPNs provide satisfactory speed, some report that express vpn edges out with slightly faster speeds in certain scenarios. However, these differences are often minimal and can be subjective based on users’ individual experiences.

For a numbers-driven approach, you can find a plethora of speed test results and comparisons online, with many favoring one or the other by narrow margins. A key takeaway is that both Express VPN and Nord VPN are more than capable of handling everyday online activities without significant slowdowns.

It’s worth noting that external factors like your internet service provider, the time of day, and even the device you’re using can influence these performance benchmarks. Therefore, it’s advisable to run personal speed tests using both VPNs to determine which one performs best for your specific situation.

FAQ Section:

How significant is the impact of a VPN on internet speed?
The impact can vary, but a good VPN should have minimal effect on your speed. Both Express VPN and Nord VPN have technologies in place to offer fast connections.

Should I expect different speeds from different VPN servers?
Yes, distances from servers, the physical location, and server load can all affect your connection speed. Both VPNs allow users to choose from a variety of servers based on their needs.

Do Express VPN and Nord VPN allow torrenting on their servers?
Yes, both VPNs have P2P-friendly servers that are optimized for torrenting.

Can using a VPN improve my gaming latency?
It’s possible. Connecting to a VPN server closer to the gaming server can sometimes reduce latency. Both Express VPN and Nord VPN have large server networks that gamers may find beneficial.

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Streaming and Torrenting Capabilities

Continuing our deep dive into the intricacies of Express VPN vs Nord VPN, let’s navigate through their utility in the realms of streaming and torrenting, which are common activities for many VPN users.

It’s no secret that streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have stringent geo-blocks in place. Hence, the ability to bypass geo-restrictions and unlock a world of content is a significant consideration when choosing a VPN. Enhancing your viewing experience while maintaining your security could be summed up as the aim here.

Express VPN and Streaming:

  • Consistently bypasses geo-restrictions of top streaming services.
  • Stream buffer-free with high-speed connections.
  • Offers a MediaStreamer feature that allows streaming on devices that do not natively support VPN.

NordVPN and Streaming:

  • Regularly unblocks various regional libraries of popular streaming platforms.
  • SmartPlay technology ensures a smooth streaming experience.
  • Known for its stability and minimal buffering issues.

Express VPN boasts a standout feature identified as MediaStreamer, which is particularly beneficial for those who utilize devices like Smart TVs or gaming consoles for their viewing pleasures. MediaStreamer simplifies the process of accessing a richer variety of content without the need for complex installations.

On the other hand, NordVPN’s SmartPlay technology is built into the service, combining DNS with VPN technology to effortlessly bypass geo-restrictions. SmartPlay automatically comes into play when required, providing users with a seamless viewing experience across their favorite platforms.

Torrenting is yet another digital frontier where VPNs prove their worth. Both providers understand this and have geared their services to accommodate P2P file-sharing— a need for many around the globe.

Express VPN and Torrenting:

  • All servers are P2P-friendly and there are no bandwidth restrictions, guaranteeing a smooth torrenting experience.
  • Powerful encryption protects your activity, ensuring that your downloads remain private.

NordVPN and Torrenting:

  • Dedicated P2P servers are optimized for high-speed file-sharing.
  • Has a clear stance on P2P support across a vast number of servers, paired with strong security measures.

Both VPNs have taken distinctive approaches to torrenting, with NordVPN offering specialized P2P servers and express vpn supporting P2P on all of its servers. This means that no matter where you connect, you’re ready to engage in secure and limitless torrenting—a feature cherished by many enthusiastic torrent users.

The undeniable prowess of these VPN services in the arenas of streaming and torrenting can sway users toward one or the other. Your personal preference, whether it’s for specific streaming services or efficient torrenting, could indeed inform your choice in the Express VPN vs Nord VPN discussion.

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FAQ Section:

Which VPN is better for streaming, ExpressVPN or NordVPN?
Both VPNs are adept at streaming; ExpressVPN offers a slightly wider range of server locations and the unique MediaStreamer feature, while NordVPN’s SmartPlay tech optimizes streaming.

Can I use these VPNs to watch Netflix in different countries?
Yes, Express VPN and NordVPN can both bypass geo-restrictions, giving you access to Netflix libraries from various countries.

Are ExpressVPN and NordVPN good for torrenting?
Yes, they both provide solid options for torrenting, with dedicated servers and good speeds. ExpressVPN supports P2P on all servers, while NordVPN has specific P2P-optimized servers.

Do these VPNs offer unlimited bandwidth for streaming and torrenting?
Absolutely, both companies feature unlimited bandwidth, meaning you can stream and torrent as much as you like without worrying about hitting a data cap.

User Experience and Software Interface

Moving along in the competition of Express VPN vs Nord VPN, let’s touch upon the everyday user’s experience and the nuances of the software interface each service offers. After all, a VPN should not only be robust under the hood but also user-friendly and intuitive in operation.

It’s imperative that VPN interfaces are navigable and understandable by the layperson, and this is where Express VPN has often been lauded. Its applications for every major system, from Windows to iOS, feature a clean, minimalistic design that even first-time VPN users find a breeze to maneuver. The one-click connection philosophy streamlines the process of securing your online activities.

The strong points of the Express VPN Software Interface:

  • One-click connect feature makes it accessible for all users.
  • User-friendly design across all platforms and devices.
  • Integrated Speed Test tool to locate the fastest servers.
  • Customizable settings for advanced users who wish to tinker.

In contrast, while Nord VPN boasts a similarly user-friendly interface, its approach involves a map-centric design that allows users to visually select their desired server location. Some find this to be a more engaging experience, while others might prefer the more list-oriented layout that Express VPN provides.

Nord VPN Software Interface highlights:

  • Interactive world map for server selection.
  • Clean and modern app design.
  • Specialized server category lists (P2P, Onion over VPN, etc.).
  • Feature reach for both novices and tech-savvy individuals alike.

Beyond the basics of connectivity, these applications also offer features like split-tunneling, where you can designate which apps go through the VPN tunnel and which don’t. This is particularly useful if you’d like to access both local and international services at the same time. Both Express VPN and Nord VPN include this feature but implement it slightly differently to suit their interface styles.

The choice between Express VPN vs Nord VPN may also depend on personal taste regarding customer support directly from the apps. Both offer live chat features, but express vpn’s support is often highlighted for its responsiveness and helpfulness, which can be a deciding factor for users seeking quick solutions.

FAQ Section:

Which VPN has easier software for beginners?
Both VPNs are designed to be user-friendly, but Express VPN is often noted for its simple, one-click connection making it very beginner-friendly.

Can the interfaces of these VPNs be customized?
Yes, both Express VPN and Nord VPN allow users to customize settings to suit their preferences, though Nord VPN offers a bit more customization through its specialized servers.

How does split-tunneling work on these VPNs?
Split-tunneling allows you to select apps that will use the VPN while others use your local network. Both VPNs offer this feature, so you can enjoy both international and local content simultaneously.

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Pricing and Subscription Plans

In the ongoing debate over Express VPN vs Nord VPN, a significant factor that users must consider is the pricing and subscription plans offered by each VPN provider. It’s one of the ultimate make-or-break factors when users decide which virtual private shield to employ for their online activities. So, let’s dive into the financial particulars of Express VPN and NordVPN to see how they stack up in terms of value for your hard-earned money.

  • Express VPN Pricing Plans: Known for its premium service, express vpn offers a straightforward pricing structure with three options: a single month, six-month, and a 12-month subscription plan. Typically, the longer the commitment, the more cost-effective the monthly rate, with the annual plan usually offering the best value.
    • Monthly Plan: Recommended for those testing the waters or needing a VPN for a short-term requirement.
    • Six-month Plan: A middle ground for users looking for a balance between commitment and savings.
    • Annual Plan: The best per-month rate for long-term users, usually accompanied by additional months for free on promotional offers.
  • NordVPN Pricing Tiers: NordVPN also presents users with multiple subscription options that are incentivized to reward longer subscription durations. They offer a monthly plan, a one-year plan, and a two-year plan, the latter typically being the most economical in terms of monthly costs.
    • Monthly Plan: For those needing immediate, short-term VPN protection without a lengthy commitment.
    • One-Year Plan: A balance between affordability and commitment duration.
    • Two-Year Plan: Typically the choice for committed users looking for the maximum savings over time.

Both VPN providers occasionally run special promotions and discounts, especially during holiday seasons or special events, allowing users to lock in even lower rates for their subscription plans. It’s worth noting that both services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, providing a risk-free way to try out their services and determine whether they meet your expectations before fully committing.

When deciding in the Express VPN vs Nord VPN battle, it’s not just the sticker price that matters. You’ll need to consider the range of features offered within each plan and assess whether their cost corresponds to the value you’re getting. For example, express vpn’s plan includes their proprietary Lightway protocol, renowned for its speed, whereas NordVPN offers additional security measures like Double VPN and Onion Over VPN.

FAQ Section:

Which VPN offers the best value for money?
This can vary based on individual needs. If you prioritize speed and a wider range of server locations, Express VPN might be the preferred option. If you’re after additional security features like Double VPN, then NordVPN could offer better value.

Do either Express VPN or NordVPN offer free trials?
Neither typically offers a free trial, but both VPN providers have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which allows users to test the services and opt out if not satisfied within that period.

Can I switch plans or cancel at any time?
Yes, both VPNs allow you to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel your services. However, you’ll need to adhere to the conditions of the subscription plan you signed up for to avoid penalties or fees.

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Deciphering the complex landscape of Express VPN vs Nord VPN includes understanding their pricing structures and how they might fit with your budget and needs. The final choice should balance cost against the suite of services and perks each provides, ensuring that whatever your decision, it is informed and best tailored to your preferences in online security and capabilities.

Customer Support and Service Reliability

When it comes to customer support and service reliability in the vigorous face-off between express vpn and Nord VPN, users demand not only a robust security solution but also an assurance that they will receive assistance whenever needed. Much like a safety net, the customer support structure and service reliability are the final elements that instill user confidence in their chosen VPN provider.

The importance of having a knowledgeable and accessible support team cannot be overstressed. Imagine facing a connection issue right before an important video conference or when you’re about to stream a live sports event. That’s when responsive customer support becomes crucial. Both express vpn and Nord VPN understand this and have structured their customer service to meet high expectations.

express vpn is often celebrated for its around-the-clock live chat support, reputed for fast response times and constructive assistance. The VPN provider appears to be well-prepared to resolve issues ranging from troubleshooting technical glitches to providing advice on server selection. User forums are rife with testimonials about ExpressVPN’s reliable and courteous support staff, who are seen as a beacon of reassurance in the murky waters of cyberspace.

Nord VPN, on the other hand, also provides 24/7 live chat support, ensuring users are never left in the lurch. NordVPN places a strong emphasis on the competence of its support team and offers various channels of support including email, a comprehensive FAQs section, and detailed guides for self-help solutions. Customers seem to appreciate the breadth of resources available which allows them to quickly seek out information and solutions.

In terms of service reliability, an uninterrupted VPN service is non-negotiable. Both VPNs boast impressive uptime statistics and have systems in place to rapidly address and fix outages. Server reliability is a key component of their service, and it’s not just about availability—it’s also about consistent performance. Both VPNs continuously monitor their server networks to ensure that users experience minimal latency and ample bandwidth.

  • ExpressVPN: Dedication to a high-quality user experience with robust support and dependable server uptime.
  • NordVPN: Offers an extensive knowledge base, alongside reliable support and a strong emphasis on maintaining performance across its server network.

Ultimately, in the express vpn vs nord vpn equilibrium, both contenders place a significant emphasis on customer satisfaction with their reliable customer service teams and consistently operational networks. Whether one trumps the other can largely depend on personal experiences, but it is clear that both take the ‘service’ part of VPN service very seriously.

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FAQ Section:

What does customer service provide for VPN users?
Customer service provides essential support for technical issues, billing inquiries, and general questions, ensuring that users have a seamless experience.

Can I expect 24/7 customer support from both express vpn and NordVPN?
Yes, both offer 24/7 customer support through various channels, including live chat and email, catering to users in different time zones.

How does one measure service reliability for a VPN?
Service reliability can be measured by uptime statistics, server performance, connection stability, and how swiftly the provider can address service disruptions.

What resources are available if I want to solve VPN issues on my own?
Both express vpn and NordVPN offer extensive knowledge bases, guides, and FAQs on their websites to help users troubleshoot and solve common issues independently.

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