So, you’ve narrowed your potential future VPN down to just two choices?
Then you’ll be happy to know that both NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA) are great products. Of course, because of this, deciding between the two can be quite a challenge!
If you are struggling to make a final decision, then please take a look at our article to find out which is better VPN out of NordVPN vs PIA.
NordVPN Top Features
- Servers in 57 countries
- Protocols: OpenVPN, SSTP, IKEv2/IPSec, PPTP, IKEv2/IPSec
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- 256-bit encryption
- Double data encryption
- Can use with P2P
- Kill Switch
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Unlimited Speed
PIA Top Features
- Servers in 25 countries
- Protocols: OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
- Up to 5 simultaneous connections
- 256-bit encryption
- Ad, tracker, malware blocker
- Can use with P2P
- Kill Switch
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Unlimited speed
NordVPN vs PIA: Features In Common
Both these VPNs offer all the features you need to ensure that your data will stay secure and your browsing private.
OpenVPN and Encryption
NordVPN and PIA both allow you to choose from a range of different VPN protocols including OpenVPN, which is generally considered the best one. As well as this, they both give you the option to choose extra strong 256-bit encryption.
Basically, whatever protocol or encryption level you need, both these VPNs should have you covered.
No Logs Policy
If there is one way to completely kill the privacy benefits of a VPN, it is by using one that takes logs. Luckily for users of NordVPN and PIA, neither of these VPNs take any kind of log.
This means there will be no record of the websites you visit, the things you download, how much you use the VPN, or even when you connected. Choosing a VPN, like one of these, that doesn’t log your data is one of the best ways to improve the privacy of your connection.
A kill switch is useful because should the connection to your VPN server drop, the kill switch will completely cut your internet connection. This means that you will never accidentally connect to a website without the protection of a VPN.
A SOCKS5 proxy gives you some of the benefits of a VPN but without the slowdown generally associated with using one. This is because a SOCKS5 server does not encrypt your data.
Of course, the downside to this is that while you will be more anonymous than when you normally browse the net, the lack of encryption means your connection won’t be anywhere near as secure as when using a VPN.
Multi-Device Simultaneous Connections
PIA allows five and NordVPN allows a massive six simultaneous VPN connections. This means that with just one account you can use your VPN on all your devices or even share the account with your household to keep everyone safe.
In a world where people often have numerous devices that connect to the internet, allowing multiple simultaneous connections is the best way to keep all your devices safe.
Unlimited Data Transfers
Both these VPNs offer unlimited data transfers. This means that even if you are streaming video or downloading big files you will never reach the limit when using these VPNs.
Differences Between NordVPN and Private Internet Access
NordVPN Exclusive Features That We Like
One feature that is pretty exclusive to NordVPN is the fact that they double encrypt your connection. While normally when you connect to a VPN your connection will go through one VPN server, NordVPN’s double PVN feature sends your VPN through two separate VPNs in two different locations, encrypting your data each time.
While it isn’t currently available with every location, and the extra distance/encryption will probably slow down your connection quite a bit, for anyone who wants the most secure/private connection this could be the way to go.
6 Concurrent Connections
While PIA and some other VPN providers offer 5 (or sometimes only 3) concurrent connections, NordVPN give you the ability to use a massive six connections at the same time.
This means that you, or people in your family, could securely connect to a VPN on two laptops, a desktop, two smartphones, and a tablet all at the same time.
While many VPNs offer a money-back guarantee, it can be a bit of hassle to pay for the VPN in advance and then get your money back if you don’t like the service. Because of this, NordVPN offer a completely free 3-day trial.
During this trial, you can use the VPN as you would normally without having to pay a cent. This will allow you to check all the important details such as speed, server choice, and get used to the app before you make the choice to pay for the VPN.
PIA Exclusive Features That We Like
PIA ensure that you are always protected from malicious outside connections by using a NAT firewall.
Normally, when you connect to a VPN you tunnel straight through your router which means you lose the firewall benefits associated with this. However, because they provide a NAT firewall, when you browse the internet with PIA you still get all the benefits of a firewall.
PIA is one of the cheapest fully featured VPNs around. It can be bought on a month-by-month basis for only $6.95 and on a yearly basis for as little as $3.33 per month (correct as of publishing).
This makes it a great VPN for anyone out there who is trying to save a bit of money. As well as this, they also offer a seven-day money back guarantee if you don’t like their service.
Having a selection of servers is one of the most important features a VPN can offer. Of the two VPNs we are looking at today, NordVPN has significantly more servers locations. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it is better as servers are only useful if you actually use them!
Let’s take a look at why you might need servers in different locations.
Unblocking Geo-restricted Content
If you want to use a VPN to unblock geo-restricted content or avoid censorship, then it is obviously crucial that your VPN providers have servers in the locations you need.
The easiest way to check if this is the case is by simply going onto the VPN website and checking out the list of their server locations.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a load of different server locations. In fact, if you are unblocking geo-restricted content, you likely only need to unblock content from a couple of different countries. This means that the overall number isn’t necessarily the most important thing.
One thing that you should look out for, is that a VPN provider has numerous locations in a certain country. This means that should one location in the country that you need be overly congested, you can easily move to a different server location within the same country.
Both NordVPN and PIA have multiple server locations in some of the most popular countries.
Ensure You Have A Server Close To Your Physical Location
We touched on this before but when you use a VPN, the further your data has to travel, the more it can slow your connection down. Because of this, ensuring that your VPN provider has a server nearby, or even within your country, can mean that you get a much quicker connection.
Once again, to check the available VPN locations, simply check out the websites of each VPN provider.
Now on to speed tests, the best way to see if a VPN is quicker than another!
Well, actually, this is probably not the case.
When you connect to a VPN there are a ton of different variables that can all affect the final speeds you get when you connect to a VPN. Things such as the congestion on the server, your physical distance from the server, which server you use, your internet speed, the level of encryption you use, and the protocol you use can all affect your final speed.
Because of this, we believe that doing a speed test could show one VPN to be faster than another, without really taking into consideration the fact that all of our readers may not experience the same results. Therefore, we have decided against doing a speed test.
NordVPN vs PIA: Conclusion
Remember, if you are still unsure about which VPN to sign up for, both offer money back guarantees meaning you can try them out and if they aren’t for you get your money straight back.
Once you have signed up for one of these VPNs, or if you already have experience with on of them, please let us know what you thought in the comments section below.