NordVPN vs Private Internet Access (PIA) – Which VPN Reigns Supreme?

Table of Contents

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NordVPN-vs-Private-Internet-Access-PIA

The Importance of Online Privacy and Security

NordVPN and Private Internet Access are two of the most popular VPNs on the market. They both offer a variety of features and benefits, but there are some key differences between the two services. This article will compare NordVPN and PIA in terms of security, speed, features, and price to help you decide which VPN is right for you.

When it comes to reliable VPN solutions, NordVPN and Private Internet Access have emerged as popular options, offering high-speed encrypted Internet access and robust online security. In this comprehensive comparison, we'll assess these providers based on factors like pricing, server availability, device compatibility, and customer service.

Discover which VPN is the optimal choice for your specific needs as we delve into the details. Keep reading to make an informed decision and enjoy a secure online experience.

Feature Comparison: NordVPN vs. Private Internet Access (PIA)

Here are some additional features of NordVPN vs Private Internet Access (PIA) to add to the comparison table:

NordVPN vs Private Internet Access (PIA) to add to the comparison table:

FeatureNordVPNPrivate Internet Access
Security256-bit encryption, Double VPN, kill switch, DNS leak protection, ad blocker, malware blocker, Tor over VPN, CyberSec, Onion over VPN, Threat Protection, and Double NAT256-bit encryption, kill switch, DNS leak protection, ad blocker, malware blocker, P2P support, and WireGuard
SpeedFast speeds, especially on long-distance connectionsFast speeds
FeaturesSplit tunneling, dedicated IP address, obfuscated servers, P2P support, SOCKS5 proxy, and custom DNSSplit tunneling, ad blocker, malware blocker, P2P support, and port forwarding
PriceStarts at $3.49/monthStarts at $2.49/month
Number of servers5,500+ servers in 60 countries35,000+ servers in 78 countries
Simultaneous connections6 connections10 connections
Money-back guarantee30 days30 days
Privacy policyNo logs policyNo logs policy
Customer support24/7 live chat and email support24/7 live chat and email support
Extra featuresNordLynx, CyberSec, Onion over VPN, Threat Protection, and Double NATWireGuard, Tor over VPN, and P2P support
OverallBetter security, faster speeds, and a wider range of featuresBetter price and more simultaneous connections

These additional features provide more insights into the offerings of NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA). Remember to consider your specific requirements and priorities when comparing these features to make an informed decision.

Introduction of NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA)

When it comes to choosing a VPN service, there are plenty of options available. Two popular choices are NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA).

NordVPN boasts over 5,000 servers in 59 countries and offers features like Double VPN encryption, CyberSec for blocking ads and malware, and Onion Over VPN for accessing the dark web.

PIA has over 3,300 servers in 48 countries with features like MACE for blocking ads and trackers, split-tunneling for customizing which apps use the VPN connection, and SOCKS5 proxy for faster torrenting. Both services offer strong encryption protocols like OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec.

They also have a strict no-log policy in place, meaning they do not collect or store any user data. So which should you choose?

In this article, we will compare NordVPN vs PIA in terms of pricing plans, server locations/speed performance, features offered by both services, security protocols used, user interface design/ease of use, and overall effectiveness at providing online privacy protection. Stay tuned to learn which VPN service comes out on top!

SubscriptionNordVPNPrivate Internet Access
Monthly$3.49/month$2.49/month
1-year$4.99/month$3.99/month
2-year$3.99/month$2.99/month
3-year$3.49/month$2.49/month

Private Internet Access 83% oFF

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NordVPN vs PIA: High-Level Comparison

How Do the Pricing Plans Compare?

When it comes to choosing a VPN service, pricing is often a deciding factor. NordVPN offers three different pricing plans: monthly, annual, and bi-annual.

The monthly plan costs $11.95 per month, while the annual plan costs $4.92 per month and the bi-annual plan costs $3.71 per month. In comparison, Private Internet Access offers two different pricing plans: monthly and annual.

The monthly plan costs $9.95 per month, while the annual plan costs $3.33 per month. Overall, PIA is cheaper than NordVPN if you choose the annual plan, but if you're willing to commit to a longer subscription period, NordVPN's bi-annual plan offers excellent value for money.

Private Internet Access 83% oFF

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What Features Do They Offer?

Both NordVPN and PIA offer a range of features designed to enhance your online privacy and security. NordVPN's key features include Double VPN for added security (which routes your traffic through two different servers), CyberSec for blocking ads and malware, Onion Over VPN (for accessing the dark web), and an automatic kill switch that terminates your connection if your VPN drops unexpectedly.

PIA's key features include MACE for blocking ads and malware (similar to CyberSec), split-tunneling which allows you to choose which apps use the VPN connection and which do not, SOCKS5 proxy support for faster torrenting speeds, as well as an automatic kill switch that terminates your internet connection if the VPN connection fails. Overall both VPNs offer a good range of features but it comes down to personal preference when choosing between these two services.

How Many Server Locations Do They Have?

The number of servers available is another important factor when considering which VPN to choose. NordVPN has an impressive 5,000+ servers in 59 countries, including specialized servers optimized for different purposes such as P2P file sharing and streaming. Private Internet Access has more than 3,300 servers in 48 countries which is still an impressive number of servers that can easily meet the needs of most users.

How Does Speed Performance Compare?

When you use a VPN service your internet connection will be slowed down. However, the speed loss can vary depending on which provider you choose and where their servers are located. In our testing, NordVPN's speeds were consistently fast across all server locations we tested.

Although PIA was also fast enough to stream content without buffering, some servers struggled to keep up with higher bandwidth demands when transferring large files or during online gaming. Overall if speed is a big concern for you then NordVPN would be the better choice based on our experience testing both services.

NordVPN Features

A detailed explanation of Nord VPN's Double VPN feature for added security

NordVPN's Double VPN feature is an innovative security technology that encrypts your internet traffic not once, but twice. When you connect to a Double VPN server, your data is first encrypted with one set of keys and then sent to another VPN server where it is re-encrypted with a different set of keys.

This process offers an extra layer of protection for your online activity and ensures that even if one layer of encryption is compromised, your data remains secure.

Double VPN servers are located in strategic locations around the world, ensuring maximum coverage and accessibility. NordVPN uses AES-256-GCM encryption for its Double VPN servers which provides strong protection against brute-force attacks.

Private Internet Access 83% oFF

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Discussion on the CyberSec feature for blocking ads, malware, and phishing attempts

NordVPN's CyberSec feature is designed to offer an additional layer of protection against online threats such as ads, malware, and phishing attempts. It works by blocking malicious websites and ads before they can even reach your device.

By doing so, it helps keep you safe from various online threats while also improving your browsing experience by removing unwanted distractions. CyberSec also prevents you from accidentally visiting websites that may contain viruses or other malware which could harm your computer or compromise your personal data.

Explanation of the Onion Over VPN feature for accessing the dark web

For those who need to access the dark web securely and anonymously without any risk of being traced back to their real identity or location, NordVPN offers its Onion Over VPN feature. Onion Over VPN combines the benefits of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with the Tor network’s onion routing protocol. With this technology in place, users can access onion sites without having to download any additional software.

Instead, they simply connect to a NordVPN server and then log onto the Tor Network via the Onion browser. This feature not only provides a safe browsing experience, but it also ensures that your online activity remains completely anonymous.

Private Internet Access 83% oFF

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PIA Features

Explanation of PIA's MACE Feature

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a great VPN service for those who prioritize online privacy. One of the key features that set it apart from other VPNs is its MACE feature.

This feature blocks ad, trackers, and malware from being transmitted to and from your device. It's an excellent way to keep your online activity free from intrusive ads and malicious software.

But how does it work? When you connect to PIA's servers, all traffic between your device and the internet is routed through PIA's network.

The MACE feature scans this traffic for any signs of ads or trackers and removes them before they reach your device. This not only improves your online experience by reducing annoying pop-ups but also protects you against potential security threats.

Discussion on PIA's Split-tunneling Feature

Another great feature offered by PIA is its split-tunneling capability. This allows you to customize which apps use the VPN connection and which don't. For example, you may want to use the VPN connection for browsing the web anonymously but still allow certain apps to access your local network for improved speeds.

Split-tunneling can also be useful if you want to access content that may be blocked in your region. By selecting specific apps or websites to use the VPN connection, you can bypass geo-restrictions without affecting other applications on your device.

PIA makes it easy to enable split tunneling with its intuitive user interface. Simply select which apps or websites should use the VPN connection and which shouldn't, and PIA will take care of the rest.

Overview of PIA's SOCKS5 Proxy

Let's talk about PIA's SOCKS5 proxy feature. A proxy server acts as a middleman between your device and the internet.

When you send a request to access a website, it goes through the proxy server first. The server then forwards the request to the website on your behalf.

This can be useful for a number of reasons, including faster speeds. PIA's SOCKS5 proxy offers faster download speeds than traditional VPN connections.

It's especially useful for torrenting, as it allows you to download files at maximum speed while still masking your IP address and protecting your privacy. To use PIA's SOCKS5 proxy feature, simply set up the proxy settings in your torrent client or web browser.

PIA provides clear instructions on how to do this on their website. Private Internet Access offers some impressive features that make it an excellent choice for those who prioritize online privacy and security.

From its MACE feature that blocks ads and trackers to its split-tunneling capability that allows you to customize which apps use the VPN connection, PIA has everything you need to stay safe online. And with its SOCKS5 proxy feature for faster torrenting speeds, it's no wonder why so many users choose PIA as their go-to VPN service.

Private Internet Access 83% oFF

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Security Protocols

Encryption and Tunnelling Protocols

When it comes to online security, encryption is essential. NordVPN offers 256-bit AES encryption with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols for their desktop applications. Additionally, the service also offers L2TP/IPSec and SSTP protocols, which are available for Windows users.

PIA, on the other hand, has OpenVPN as its default protocol while also providing support for L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, and IPSec. Overall, both VPN services offer strong security protocols that ensure your online activities are safe from unauthorized access.

No-Log Policy

Another crucial factor in choosing a VPN is privacy. NordVPN claims to have a strict no-logs policy.

They do not collect or store any data related to the user's browsing history or connection details. Furthermore, they use RAM-based servers in their infrastructure that does not allow data retention.

PIA also has a no-logs policy in place that states they do not keep any logs of user activity. This means that whatever you do online remains completely anonymous when using their service.

It's worth noting that NordVPN had a high-profile data breach incident in 2018 where one of their servers was exploited by hackers resulting in some user data being exposed. However, since then they have taken significant measures to ensure such incidents don't happen again.

Winner: Tie

Both NordVPN and PIA offer solid encryption protocols and no-log policies ensuring their users' privacy and security online. While there may be slight differences in terms of the exact protocols used or implementation details between each service we can consider this round as tied overall.

User Interface & Ease-of-use

Clean Layouts & Easy Navigation

Both NordVPN and PIA offer easy-to-use interfaces that are user-friendly. NordVPN has a clean layout with tabs for server locations, settings, and support. The search function also helps you find servers quickly.

PIA's client has a similar layout with different tabs for different functionalities, including settings, account details, and support. One downside of the PIA interface is that it can be challenging to determine which server to connect to as they're listed by hostname instead of the country or city.

Installation & Setup

The installation process for both VPN services is relatively straightforward. You can download the clients from their respective websites, install them on your device and configure them in a matter of minutes. Connecting to either service takes just a few clicks, although NordVPN might have a slight edge here as they have an option for auto-connecting to the last used server upon startup.

Cross-Platform Compatibility

Both VPN services are compatible with most platforms – Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android – as well as major browsers (via browser extensions). NordVPN also supports Linux and has applications available for Amazon Fire Stick/TV devices while PIA offers dedicated applications for routers.

Winner: NordVPN

NordVPN's interface is more polished and intuitive compared to PIA's UI design. Its quick connectivity options coupled with automatic reconnection features on startup make it much easier for users who want seamless connections across various devices.

Private Internet Access 83% oFF

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User Interface & Ease-of-use

Comparison between NordVPN and PIA's user interface design

When it comes to user interface design, both NordVPN and PIA offer a user-friendly experience. However, NordVPN's interface is more modern and visually appealing. It has a sleek black theme with easy-to-find navigation buttons.

PIA's interface, on the other hand, feels dated with its grey color scheme and cluttered layout. NordVPN's map view is also more intuitive than PIA's server list view.

The map allows users to easily select a server location by clicking on the desired country or region. PIA requires users to scroll through a list of servers, which can be overwhelming for those unfamiliar with VPNs.

Discussion on ease-of-use with each service (installation process, connecting)

Both services have straightforward installation processes that are quick and easy to complete. NordVPN offers an automatic setup option for Windows and Mac users, while PIA provides detailed instructions for manual installation.

Connecting to NordVPN is simple thanks to its Quick Connect feature, which automatically connects the user to the nearest server location based on their current location. With PIA, users must manually choose a server from their selected list or map view.

In terms of overall ease of use during use, NordVPN is again slightly ahead with its minimal aesthetic design and reliable connections across devices. While we found that both services provided fast speeds during testing across all devices – Windows, Mac OS X, iPhone/iPad – we preferred using NordVPN for reliability in this area.

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FAQs

What is NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA)?

NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA) are both Virtual Private Network (VPN) services that provide online security, privacy, and anonymity for internet users.

How does NordVPN differ from Private Internet Access (PIA)?

While both NordVPN and PIA offer VPN services, there are a few key differences between them. NordVPN is known for its vast network of servers spread across various countries, offering high-speed connections and advanced security features. On the other hand, PIA focuses on providing robust privacy features, including a strict no-logs policy and encryption protocols.

Which VPN service is more suitable for accessing geo-restricted content?

Both NordVPN and PIA have the capability to bypass geo-restrictions and access content from different regions. However, NordVPN's extensive server network and specialized features, such as SmartPlay, make it a popular choice for streaming services and accessing geo-blocked content.

Are there any differences in terms of pricing and subscription plans?

NordVPN and PIA offer different pricing structures and subscription plans. NordVPN offers several subscription options with varying durations, and the pricing depends on the selected plan. PIA, on the other hand, provides a straightforward pricing model with competitive rates, including discounts for longer subscription periods.

How do NordVPN and PIA prioritize user privacy?

NordVPN and PIA both prioritize user privacy and employ various measures to ensure it. NordVPN is based in Panama, which has favorable privacy laws and no mandatory data retention policies. Additionally, NordVPN implements advanced security features like double VPN encryption and a strict no-logs policy. PIA, headquartered in the United States, follows a strict no-logs policy and offers features like VPN kill switch and DNS leak protection to enhance user privacy.

Can NordVPN and PIA be used on multiple devices simultaneously?

Yes, both NordVPN and PIA allow users to use their VPN service on multiple devices simultaneously. NordVPN offers support for up to six devices on a single account, while PIA allows users to connect up to ten devices at once.

Which VPN service provides better customer support?

NordVPN and PIA both offer reliable customer support, ensuring users can seek assistance whenever needed. NordVPN provides 24/7 live chat support, an extensive knowledge base, and a ticketing system for prompt responses. PIA offers 24/7 live chat support, an email ticketing system, and a comprehensive FAQ section to address common queries.

Do NordVPN and PIA offer a money-back guarantee?

Yes, both NordVPN and PIA offer a money-back guarantee to ensure customer satisfaction. NordVPN provides a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try their service risk-free. Similarly, PIA offers a 30-day refund policy if users are not satisfied with the VPN service.

Can NordVPN and PIA be used for torrenting and P2P file sharing?

Yes, both NordVPN and PIA allow torrenting and support P2P file sharing. They provide optimized servers for fast and secure torrenting experiences. NordVPN also offers additional features like SOCKS5 proxy and Onion Over VPN for enhanced anonymity while torrenting.

Are there any additional features that differentiate NordVPN and PIA?

Yes, NordVPN and PIA offer unique features that set them apart. NordVPN provides specialized servers for various purposes, such as obfuscated servers for bypassing strict online censorship and dedicated IP addresses for personalized VPN use. PIA offers MACE, an ad-blocking feature, and port forwarding for advanced users who require it.

Conclusion

Overall both VPNs perform relatively well but we prefer using NordVPN due to its Double VPN feature providing added security layers as well as CyberSec – blocking ads, malware & phishing attempts – when browsing online. Additionally, its onion over VPN feature provides access to the dark web with ease compared to PIA.

Private Internet Access 83% oFF

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Private Internet Access VPN privateinternetaccess.com

NordVPN is also more user-friendly, with a modern interface design and reliable connections. While PIA offers a strong service at a lower price point, NordVPN is worth the extra money for its added security features and ease of use.

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