NordVPN vs Private Internet Access vs 2017

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

 
 

Which VPN is better?

Technical writer, ex-robot manual creator gone privacy enthusiast/VPN expert
Both NordVPN and PIA have a lot going for them. Both have strict no-logging policies, and both offer many forms of payment (including Bitcoin), though PIA offers many widely popular forms of payment, such as Amazon Checkout and even gift cards. In the simultaneous connection department, NordVPN comes out ahead by 1 (it allows 6 over PIA’s 5). Nord also has additional server configurations such as Double VPN and Tor-over-VPN. PIA does not work well with Netflix, whereas NordVPN has dedicated servers called Ultra-fast TV, which usually are successful at staying under Netflix’s radar. As far as speed goes, unless you are running an exceptionally fast connection to begin with, the difference is negligible but good for both. Nord, with its built-in obfuscation devices, works very well in China, whereas PIA is more likely to be blocked. Finally, PIA normally comes out ahead in terms of price-point - though many find that NordVPN’s options make it worth the extra few dollars but Nord has a great coupon, making the prices just about the same.
 
Rating
Features
  • 4.9
  • 4.5
Pricing
  • 5.0
  • 4.9
Ease of Use
  • 5.0
  • 4.3
Reliability & Support
  • 4.9
  • 4.4
 

Reviews

Expert Review

Daniel Krohn
Technical writer, ex-robot manual creator gone privacy enthusiast/VPN expert
  • 4.9

It’s no big secret that NordVPN is reputed as the best VPN out there. It has excellent reviews nicely propped on the homepage from very happy customers, as well as links to articles by big wig industry publications like PC Mag, Forbes etc. You get the point. I wanted to figure out what all the fuss was about, so I took it upon myself to do my own audit: NordVPN really speaks to its users. It

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Latest positive user review
Anonymously
  • 5.0
Switch to NordVPN I used another very good rated on this site VPN service, but after trying NordVPN I was impressed! I got even better speed, possibility to watch Netflix and other streaming services, use P2P and their price is unbeatable! 3 bucks per month!
Latest negative user review
Darren
  • 1.0
I rated Nord VPN and they downgraded me NordVPN is not one of the big players in the VPN world and I'm all about supporting the smaller companies, but my connection regularly drops out without warning (despite me selecting the option to be notified when the connection drops out, which by the way is as useless as a paper airplane to fly to the moon). I initially rated NordVPN 3/5 stars none the less, however, since doing so, NordVPN has decided that I am now running a "test version" of the app and now I cannot rate the app which I find very suspicious. I'm not saying don't buy this VPN, but I have to say I have lost trust in this company and now rate it a 1/5 stars accordingly. sorry.
Expert Review

Ariel Hochstadt
Ex-Google, International tech speaker
  • 4.5

Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the most affordable VPN service providers on the market. The online privacy provider boasts over 3,000 servers, spread across 37 locations, in 25 countries. PIA is a service provider based in the USA with ties to London-based Trust Media Inc. While this isn't bad, it is important to note that both the USA and UK are part of the "Five Eyes" countries. It offe

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Latest positive user review
Wayne Harvey
  • 5.0
Secure and fast Have been with PIA for a couple years now and am extremely happy with the service. I get speeds of around 95-97% of my connection speed total which is excellent. Have maybe 1 or 2 dropouts per year so stability is really good.
Latest negative user review
Merith12
  • 1.0
Hopeless on MAC if it crashes, poor customer service I bought a subscription to this VPN program as I thought it had good reviews. Well, not from me. After about a month, my MAC was pestered by a dialogue box that could not be removed and said 'Networksetup is trying to modify the system network configuration' Enter your password to allow this. Well you can put in your password 100 times, it will not go away. Wrote to support and had to wait 6 days to get an answer by Tom W. The idea was to remove the app and make changes to the terminal prompts. The app was however not removable, no matter how many times I closed the app, made sure it did not startup nothing could be done. My advise: stay away from this one, app is no good and support is hopeless.
Latest positive user review
Anonymously
  • 5.0
Switch to NordVPN I used another very good rated on this site VPN service, but after trying NordVPN I was impressed! I got even better speed, possibility to watch Netflix and other streaming services, use P2P and their price is unbeatable! 3 bucks per month!
Wayne Harvey
  • 5.0
Secure and fast Have been with PIA for a couple years now and am extremely happy with the service. I get speeds of around 95-97% of my connection speed total which is excellent. Have maybe 1 or 2 dropouts per year so stability is really good.
Latest negative user review
Darren
  • 1.0
I rated Nord VPN and they downgraded me NordVPN is not one of the big players in the VPN world and I'm all about supporting the smaller companies, but my connection regularly drops out without warning (despite me selecting the option to be notified when the connection drops out, which by the way is as useless as a paper airplane to fly to the moon). I initially rated NordVPN 3/5 stars none the less, however, since doing so, NordVPN has decided that I am now running a "test version" of the app and now I cannot rate the app which I find very suspicious. I'm not saying don't buy this VPN, but I have to say I have lost trust in this company and now rate it a 1/5 stars accordingly. sorry.
Merith12
  • 1.0
Hopeless on MAC if it crashes, poor customer service I bought a subscription to this VPN program as I thought it had good reviews. Well, not from me. After about a month, my MAC was pestered by a dialogue box that could not be removed and said 'Networksetup is trying to modify the system network configuration' Enter your password to allow this. Well you can put in your password 100 times, it will not go away. Wrote to support and had to wait 6 days to get an answer by Tom W. The idea was to remove the app and make changes to the terminal prompts. The app was however not removable, no matter how many times I closed the app, made sure it did not startup nothing could be done. My advise: stay away from this one, app is no good and support is hopeless.
 

Pricing

Starting price $3.29/ month $3.33/ month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 7
Devices per license 6 5
See plans & pricing See Plans See Plans
 
 

 The Bottom Line

Daniel Krohn
Technical writer, ex-robot manual creator gone privacy enthusiast/VPN expert

While we would comfortably recommend both NordVPN and PIA to any of our users, NordVPN clearly comes out ahead in our analysis and we could not recommend them more highly. PIA offers very good value, especially for their more-than-fair price. NordVPN, however, offers more options, such as specialty servers and the option of a private IP in the US & UK; all at a marginally higher price. For some, PIA is a great option, while others want a little more from their VPN. For them, there is NordVPN. More Info