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NordVPN vs PIA

NordVPN vs PIA

Finding a VPN provider nowadays is challenging due to the many options available, each of which appears to offer a unique set of features that appear to be appealing. 

In terms of virtual private network (VPN) service providers, NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA) are two of the most well-known names in the industry, with both receiving overwhelmingly excellent reviews from their respective customer bases. 

A decision on which provider to select should only be made after thoroughly evaluating the features and performance of the two options accessible to the customer. 

Therefore, making a fair and unbiased comparison between NordVPN and PIA is necessary to assess each service's pros and disadvantages accurately. 

This will be our guide for making the ultimate option between the two service providers.


NordVPN is a virtual private network (VPN) service provider based in Panama with over 12 million customers worldwide. 

A wide selection of products is available required by users who wish to maintain their privacy while using the internet. 

NordVPN has more than 5,000 servers in 59 countries, according to the company. The service is compatible with Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android devices, and Android television. 

In addition, NordVPN may be configured manually on various platforms, including NAS devices, wireless routers, and other networking equipment. 

See the full NordVPN review for more information.

NordVPN software
NordVPN logo in white color
Overall Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Visit NordVPN

Private Internet Access

Personal Internet Access is a personal virtual private network (VPN) service provider that supports a variety of VPN technologies, including OpenVPN, SOCKS5, and L2TP/IPsec, among others. 

It features specific programs for Mac, Windows, iOS, Android users and a web-based interface. In many cases, users appreciate that PIA does not store logs of their activities. 

In addition, their SOCKS5 proxy is a fantastic tool for streaming video and audio. 

Private Internet Access is a good choice if you're searching for a no-frills VPN service that gets the job done. Plus, they have 30000 servers!

See the complete Private Internet Access review for more information.

PIA new horizontal logo
Overall Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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NordVPN vs Private Internet Access - The Ultimate Comparison

Speed Test

VPN services are primarily concerned about their internet connection speed being hindered when using the VPN. In general, utilizing a VPN has only a minor impact on internet speed. 

Private Internet Access and NordVPN are two of the fastest VPN services available. The number of servers a provider has and the number of countries where those VPN servers are located significantly impact VPN speed. 

Private Internet Access offers roughly 30000 servers in 75 countries, whereas NordVPN has over 5,000 servers in more than 59 countries. Because of its proximity to servers in the United States and Europe, NordVPN functions exceptionally effectively. 

In terms of local connections, NordVPN performed admirably, with an average download speed of 27.58 Mbps. In addition, NordVPN had a download speed of 25.6 Mbps for international connections. 

The speed of PIA was not comparable to that of NordVPN. PIA has an average download speed of 19.5 Mbps and an upload speed of 9.85 Mbps using a 50 Mbps connection in Los Angeles, California.

NordVPN is the winner in this round.


Both NordVPN and PIA offer various features that put them on top of the VPN providers ranking.

NordVPN offers various security and privacy features for different types of users, as follows:

  • Double-VPN servers which encrypt your traffic two times over two VPN servers.
  • Tor-over-VPN servers encrypt your traffic via the VPN, then encrypt it over the Tor network.
  • Leak protection settings and a skill switch for traffic and applications via the firewall.
  • CyberSec feature to block domains for ads, malware, and tracing.
  • Obfuscated servers to hide VPN traffic as regular HTTPS encryption, which is useful when you need a VPN for China or any other country that block VPNs.
  • Full access to Netflix and other streaming services.

PIA offers a good lineup of features that include:

  • Basic leak protection settings
  • Different encryption settings
  • PIA MACE, an ad blocker

PIA is an excellent basic VPN, although it lacks in the features department. PIA, on the other hand, is dependable and consistent. 

Keep in mind that there is no perfect solution that fits all of the criteria of individual customers or business types of varied sizes and industries. 

One VPN service may excel in a small number of apps or be tailored to a specific industry, but nothing in the level of perfection applies to everyone or anything.

The clear winner in this category is NordVPN.


NordVPN's server network speeds aren't always consistent. Several connections were fast and stable, but some servers, particularly those in the United States, had inconsistent speeds. In a nutshell, the speeds are unreliable.

NordVPN's VPN apps are snappy and feature-rich, making it simple to customize settings and preferences. The apps, however, are not without flaws or problems. However, they are the mild varieties that you would rarely come across. 

On the other hand, Private Internet Access proved to be extremely dependable. The connection was simple to set up, and the speeds were fairly consistent. 

However, it should be noted that PIA's performance is not among the fastest of the VPN companies evaluated. In addition, the PIA apps did not appear to be as well-designed as NordVPN's. 

Even from an aesthetic standpoint, PIA isn't particularly striking. It's just a basic client that lives on your taskbar. In addition, using the PIA app to connect to a server takes a little longer than using the NordVPN apps.

Private Internet Access came on top of NordVPN in the reliability category, making it the clear-cut winner.


NordVPN has made a significant investment in security by employing industry-standard encryption methods that allow users to browse safely. 

As previously said, NordVPN boasts excellent security features such as Tor-over-VPN servers and double-VPN servers, both of which give a high level of security by encrypting your data twice. In addition, NordVPN also provides two types of kill switches:

  • Internet kill switch that blocks all internet traffic when the VPN connection drops.
  • App-level kill switch that closes any app when the VPN connection drops.

Private Internet Access also has a good kill switch and leak protection features. However, it does not offer any double-encryption options offered by NordVPN. 

PIA does not offer many extra features. It only offers a basic ad, malware, and tracker blocker to keep your security while you are online. Both NordVPN and PIA offers the following security features:

  • AES-256 encryption
  • OpenVPN tunneling protocols
  • IP/DNS leak protection
  • Browser extension
  • P2P support
  • Kill switch

In the security category, NordVPN is the winner.

In the security category, NordVPN is the winner.

Logging Policies

Both NordVPN and Private Internet Access' logging policies have been confirmed through real-world testing, and both are good logging alternatives. 

A thorough third-party audit was used to assess and verify NordVPN's privacy policy. The audit revealed that NordVPN's no logs claims were verified to be authentic and accurate. 

NordVPN's app also has strong leak protection settings and advanced privacy features, including double-hop VPN servers, Tor-over-VPN servers, and obfuscated servers. 

In addition, no timestamps, IP addresses, or bandwidth logs are kept by NordVPN, ensuring that no authority can compromise a user's privacy. On the following occasions, Private Internet Access was confirmed to be a no-logs VPN provider:

  • PIA was subpoenaed in 2016 to provide data logs for a criminal case. Their records showed that there are no data logs and they could only provide the IP addresses of their servers with no customer data.
  • In June 2018, PIA's logs were again tested and verified with a criminal case in court.

The type of information kept by PIA is not disclosed on its privacy policy page. However, it has never been engaged in any data-breach scandals, making it one of the providers that users can rely on.

Both NordVPN and PIA are winners in this category.


NordVPN is based in Panama, where privacy rules allow users to maintain their anonymity. In addition, NordVPN has a no-logs policy that appears to respect client privacy while providing a wealth of useful services.

Because Panama's ISPs are not obliged by any data retention rules, NordVPN's service is a superior option because the provider will hold no information about you. 

Because of the Five Eyes guide, PIA's headquarters are in the United States, which is the worst conceivable location for a VPN provider. 

If you are a user who is concerned about the security of your online activity, PIA's location should serve as a warning to stay away from this service provider.

NordVPN is the clear winner in this category.

Streaming Capabilities (Netflix, Hulu, etc.)

Netflix streaming is one of the most common reasons why people use VPN. However, if you want to unblock US Netflix and access a broader catalog of shows, you'll have to choose between NordVPN and Private Internet Access. 

While connecting to a VPN to stream, Netflix is usually hit-or-miss; several VPN services constantly work with Netflix. Specific VPNs set aside resources to obtain and maintain Netflix-friendly IP addresses. 

NordVPN is compatible with multiple Netflix locations worldwide and other streaming services. In addition, NordVPN effortlessly unblocks Netflix, allowing you to stream in high definition. 

When using Private Internet Access servers to access Netflix, you'll see the dreaded proxy error notice "Whoops, something went wrong... "A proxy has been found." 

The reason for this is that Netflix had blocked PIA. As a result, Netflix is nearly never able to work with PIA. PIA may unblock Netflix on occasion, but don't count on it.

NordVPN is the more reliable option to stream Netflix, making it the clear winner.

Torrenting & File Sharing

Both NordVPN and Private Internet Access provide excellent torrenting services. PIA offers port forwarding, while NordVPN does not, which is significant. 

NordVPN has many P2P-enabled servers that allow users to access torrenting websites that have been prohibited and securely download torrents. 

NordVPN features a system-wide kill switch available in the NordVPN Windows client to ensure that your IP address does not leak during torrenting. This prevents authorities working to combat copyright infringement from being tipped off. 

NordVPN permits P2P traffic, but only on a limited number of servers. The good news is that NordVPN currently has 5000 P2P servers in 59 countries around the globe. In addition, port forwarding is a feature of Private Internet Access that allows users to maximize their torrenting rates.

From the settings, you may enable port forwarding, which will link you to a server that supports it. However, this feature is not available on all PIA servers. Torrenting is allowed on all Private Internet Access servers.

For bit Torrenting support, NordVPN is the winner.

Pricing & Plans

Both NordVPN and Private Internet Access offer VPN services at low prices.

NordVPN pricing:

  • Monthly plan – $11.95 per month
  • 1-Year plan – $6.99 per month
  • 2-Year plan – $4.99 per month
  • 3-Year plan – $3.49 per month

The problem with NordVPN's pricing is that you have to sign up for a three-year subscription to get the low monthly fee of $3.49. 

NordVPN software

Prices for Private Internet Access have recently increased. The business justified the price hike by offering ten connections per subscription and improving its VPN apps. The current PIA prices are as follows:

  • Monthly plan – $9.95 per month
  • Two-year plan – $3.49 per month
  • Yearly plan – $5.99 per month

PIA suffers from the same flaw as NordVPN. To get the low monthly fee of $3.49, you must sign up for a three-year subscription.

PIA Pricing
Both NordVPN and PIA are winners. It is a tie.

Refunds Policy

Before signing up for a service, users always think about the company's refund policy. Between the two companies, NordVPN has the best refund policy. 

NordVPN accepts various payment methods, including Visa, MasterCard, Alipay, Discover, cryptocurrency, and other payment methods, except PayPal, which the firm recently discontinued. NordVPN discontinued the PayPal option in January of this year. 

Many VPN users consider this a significant disadvantage, as they prefer to pay with PayPal. Private Internet Access allows credit cards, PayPal, bitcoin, and other primary payment methods. In addition, NordVPN and Private Internet Access both provide a 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN offers a 30-day trial, but Private Internet Access only offers a seven-day trial. Before agreeing to refund your cash, NordVPN will fix any issues first. 

If you are not entirely pleased with the Private Internet Access service, you will receive a refund within seven days.

There is no clear winner here as there is a tie.

Value for Money

Users consider the value of their money before signing up for a VPN service. While pricing is a significant concern, other aspects must also be considered. 

Even if a VPN provider provides a low-cost service, it will be inconvenient if the service does not perform as planned. NordVPN is a better deal than PIA because it is less expensive and has more features. 

NordVPN provides more advanced privacy and security features than Private Internet Access, a considerably larger server network, two types of kill switches, and 24/7 live chat help, whereas PIA only offers ticket assistance. 

With its 24/7 live chat, NordVPN stands out in customer service. PIA does not offer live chat help, and their email response time is slow. Therefore, it is advantageous when a VPN company provides live chat help via its website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Private Internet Access is situated in the United States, where Five Eyes has jurisdiction, a severe disadvantage that significantly reduces its worth.

NordVPN is the winner in this category.

Conclusion (Overall Winner)

Although NordVPN and Private Internet Access provide excellent ways to safeguard your internet connection and personal information from prying eyes, only one VPN provider in the NordVPN vs. Private Internet Access debate can be regarded the best. 

In terms of security, both VPN companies performed admirably. However, private Internet Access does not have a global server network and does not offer live chat customer service. Therefore, between the two VPN providers, NordVPN is the superior option. 

NordVPN comes out on top because it offers excellent privacy safeguards, an extensive range of streaming options, fantastic multi-platform support, exceptional customer service, excellent BitTorrent support, and comprehensive worldwide server coverage.

The Future of Online Security
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By: Michael Miller
Michael is the CEO of VPN Online, one of the fastest-growing media companies in the cyber-security space. VPN Online was started in 2019 after Michael consulted with many Fortune 500 companies and saw the lack of understanding about cybersecurity many of their employees had.