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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

NordVPN vs Private Internet Access 2024

Table of Contents
    Editor's Note: Transparency and impartiality are important to us when bringing you our best selection of VPNs. Some of the industry-leading products on our list, including Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company. The VPNs we choose are derived from a thorough testing process.

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Keira Waddell
    Keira Waddell

    Senior Writer

    Both Private Internet Access (PIA) and NordVPN are trusted names in the industry. PIA has been on the scene for over a decade, and while NordVPN hasn’t been around as long, it quickly gained a huge user base. However, you’ll find a lot of conflicting views online about these 2 top VPNs, and there are some big differences between them.

    To ease the confusion, I compared PIA and NordVPN side-by-side, testing their speeds, streaming abilities, torrenting, gaming, customer support, and tons more features. I also inspected their privacy policies thoroughly to find out about their data-handling practices.

    Both of these VPNs are trustworthy, fast, safe, and easy for anyone to use. However, if you want more value for money, PIA is the best choice. Its huge server network, unlimited devices, and robust security features make this VPN stand out. Saying that, NordVPN isn’t a bad choice by any means, but it does have some downsides. Read on to find out more about my testing experience.

    Short on Time? Here Are My Key Findings

    Private Internet Access NordVPN
    Overall Rating Rated 9.5/10

    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

    Rated 9.4/10

    www.nordvpn.com

    💲 Lowest Monthly Price $2.19/month with 2 year plan + 2 months free $5.99/month with 2-year plan + 3 months free
    🗓️ Price on Renewal $56.94 per year
    (subject to change)
    $99.48 per year
    (subject to change)
    🤑 Coupons Private Internet Access 82% Off (2 years + 2 months free) NordVPN 74% Off (2 years + 3 months free)
    💸 Money-Back Guarantee 30 days 30 days
    📺 Streaming Works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more Works with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Max, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more
    🌍 VPN Servers 91 countries with 29,650 servers 111 countries with 6,376 servers
    Speed 9% speed drop (local server average), 37% speed drop (long-distance average) 5% speed drop (local server average), 21% speed drop (long-distance average)
    🎮 Gaming Performance Low ping rate on servers close by (21 ms average), but struggles over long distances 13 ms average on nearby servers, but struggles over long distances
    🧑‍🤝‍🧑 P2P Support Yes, on all servers Specific servers optimized for P2P
    🔐 Security Protocols WireGuard, OpenVPN, IPSec NordLynx, OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), IKEv2/IPsec
    🔌 Kill Switch Yes Yes
    IP/DNS Leak Protection Yes Yes
    🏢 Based in Country United States Panama
    ⚠️ Does VPN Keep Logs No No
    Works in China Maybe No
    #️⃣ Number of Device Connections Unlimited 10
    💻 Device Compatibility Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, routers, and more

    Plus, manual router installation

    Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and more

    Plus, extensive support for routers

    🔧 Customer Support 24/7 live chat, knowledge base, FAQs, and email 24/7 live chat, knowledge base, FAQs, and email
    Best alternative to Private Internet Access

    Our Score: 9.9

    No matter your reason for needing a VPN, ExpressVPN will have you covered. It beats its competitors in almost every category — it’s committed to privacy, has the fastest speeds, and has robust security features. Plus, its apps are easy to use on every device.

    Streaming — NordVPN Wins by a Narrow Margin

    Important: These VPNs can theoretically connect you to a server in a different location, allowing you to stream content that’s not available in your region. Be aware that doing so goes against most streaming platforms’ terms of use and could constitute copyright infringement. My team and I don’t condone breaking laws or regulations, so please use a VPN responsibly.

    PIA and NordVPN both perform well with different streaming platforms. Even though NordVPN doesn’t have streaming servers, its NordLynx protocol gave me slightly faster speeds.

    PIA has specialized streaming servers in the UK, the US (East and West coasts), Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Australia, and Japan. When my international team and I tested these connections, they worked well with most streaming platforms licensed for our respective regions. However, I noticed more lagging when I connected to the faraway US West server (over 3,500km from my US location).

    Streaming Platform Private Internet Access NordVPN
    Netflix ✅ Yes, including popular Netflix
    libraries like the US, UK, Canada,
    Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland
    ✅ Yes, including popular Netflix
    libraries like the US, UK, Canada,
    Japan, South Korea, and Switzerland
    Disney+ ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    ESPN ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    HBO Max ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Hulu ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    Sky ⛔ No ⛔ No
    Amazon Prime Video ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    BBC iPlayer ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    ABC ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    CBS ✅ Yes ✅ Yes
    NBC ✅ Yes ✅ Yes

    Both VPNs provide reliable and stable connections that work with tons of global streaming platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Max, and more.

    Screenshot of PIA streaming Max on its US East Streaming serverI watched Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake lag-free and only had to wait 3 seconds for the videos to load

    My global team and I tested PIA with the Netflix library in each of our regions. We confirmed that PIA works with 15+ Netflix libraries (including the US, UK, Japan, Canada, and other great libraries). NordVPN showed similar results.

    Screenshot of NordVPN accessing US Netflix and streaming BakuganDuring my tests in the States, every US sever I tried with NordVPN let me stream US Netflix with zero buffering or lag

    While PIA and NordVPN are solid choices for streaming, there are limitations. For example, neither VPN worked with Sky Go (but not many VPNs do). However, I was impressed that NordVPN worked with DAZN in the US, which most VPNs aren’t compatible with.

    Winner
    PIA and NordVPN performed similarly in terms of reliability with popular streaming platforms, but NordVPN’s faster speeds give it the edge.

    Server Network — PIA Has One of the Biggest Server Networks of Any VPN

    PIA NordVPN
    Total Countries With Servers 91 111
    Number of Servers 29,650 6,376

    PIA is a clear winner due to its huge number of servers. It has over 6 times as many servers as NordVPN. But NordVPN has servers in more countries than PIA. A larger server network means that no matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to find a server nearby, ensuring fast speeds.

    What’s particularly impressive is PIA's US server network. It offers 53 US locations — at least one in every state. This makes it a great choice for people traveling to or living in the US since you’ll always be able to connect to a server nearby. It also has optimized streaming servers in 9 locations, and all its servers are P2P-optimized.

    That said, NordVPN does have a variety of specialty servers, like Double VPN, Dedicated IP, P2P, Onion Over VPN, and Obfuscated servers. Many VPNs offer some of these, but it’s rare to come across a VPN that offers so many server types.

    Winner
    While NordVPN offers a variety of specialty servers, PIA's extensive server network remains a compelling advantage.

    Speed — NordVPN’s Proprietary NordLynx Protocol Delivers the Fastest Speeds

    Our UK-based speed tester ran tests on both VPNs several times throughout the day, and they found that NordVPN offered the best speeds in this comparison thanks to its proprietary NordLynx protocol. This protocol is built around the lightweight and speedy WireGuard protocol.

    While PIA was also fast (especially on nearby servers), its speeds on long-distance servers were pretty inconsistent.

    Screenshot of PIA's speed test results on its French serverThe speed only dropped by 9% when our UK tester connected to its server in France

    Our tester reported that they never had speeds lower than 44.1 Mbps with PIA. However, this is a 61% drop from the base speed, so it’s a more noticeable drop if you have lower speeds. On the other hand, NordVPN proved really fast, even over long distances.

    Screenshot of NordVPN's US speed testsNordVPN’s US server only dropped our UK-based tester's speeds by 5%, which is really impressive considering the distance

    Speed Tests PIA Average Download Speed NordVPN Average Download Speed PIA Average Upload Speed NordVPN Average Upload Speed
    Connected to a US server 66.99 Mbps 94.90 Mbps 13.88 Mbps 13.32 Mbps
    Connected to a UK server 106.04 Mbps 109.04 Mbps 13.37 Mbps 15.1 Mbps
    Connected to a Japan server 84.20 Mbps 77.97 Mbps 12.02 Mbps 6.76 Mbps
    Winner
    NordVPN won the speed category, hands down. Our UK-based tester's speed never dropped more than 33%, compared to 61% with PIA.

    Gaming — NordVPN Had Slightly Lower Latency for Seamless Gameplay

    NordVPN also takes the prize when it comes to gaming, thanks to its low ping rate. A ping of up to 100 ms is acceptable for smooth gaming.

    Although, even NordVPN had a rate of 89 ms on its New York server, which, although still playable, wouldn’t be ideal for fast-paced shooter games. However, I haven’t come across a VPN that delivers a lower ping on servers more than 5,000km away, so it’s still impressive.

    PIA (WireGuard) NordVPN (NordLynx)
    Quick Connect 9 ms 7 ms
    Connected to a US server 98 ms 89 ms
    Connected to a UK server 9 ms 7 ms
    Connected to a Japan server 267 ms 259 ms

    There wasn’t a huge difference between NordVPN and PIA, though. PIA’s latency was only slightly higher during the speed tests.

    Screenshot of NordVPN's France server while gaming with zero laggingOur UK-based tester reported that the Rise of Empires: Ice and Fire gameplay on the France server was smooth

    Winner
    NordVPN stands out as the top pick for gaming with its low ping rates.

    Torrenting — PIA Has a Vast Server Network of P2P-Optimized Servers

    Both VPNs are a great choice for torrenting, but PIA has the edge. Its huge server network meant that I had no issues downloading multiple public domain files. It also offers port forwarding, which increases the number of seeders and gives you faster downloads. However, I was a little disappointed that port forwarding isn’t available on its US servers.

    Using its London server, I was able to download a copyright-free 1.1GB file in less than 8 minutes.

    On the other hand, NordVPN has almost 5,000 P2P-optimized servers, and it offers great speeds that let you download files quickly.

    Please be aware that the team and I do not condone using a VPN to download illegal content. Downloading copyrighted material is illegal in nearly every jurisdiction. Before you torrent, check the laws in your region and make sure the files you intend to download are in the public domain or copyright-free.

    Winner
    Although both VPNs deliver fast speeds and offer tons of servers that support P2P, PIA’s large server network and port forwarding place it on top.

    Security — PIA Has Tons of Customizable Security Features

    PIA has a comprehensive range of customizable security features that let you tailor your VPN connection to your needs. You can choose between AES 256- and 128-bit encryption with the OpenVPN protocol. The latter is slightly less secure but gives you faster speeds, making it ideal for gaming or streaming.

    However, NordVPN doesn’t fall far behind in terms of security. Its proprietary NordLynx protocol, based on WireGurd, uses Double NAT technology, giving every user a unique IP.

    Security Feature PIA NordVPN
    Encryption level AES-128-GCM, AES-256-GCM, SHA256 authentication, 4096-bit DH key AES-256-GCM with 4096-bit DH key, SHA-512 HMAC authentication
    Kill switch All operating systems, with an advanced option All operating systems
    DNS/IP leak protection Yes Yes
    Protocols WireGuard, OpenVPN (UDP and TCP, 128 and 256-bit encryption), IPsec (iOS only) OpenVPN UDP, OpenVPN TCP, IPSec/IKEv2, and NordLynx (based on WireGuard)
    Split tunneling Yes (not macOS) Yes (not macOS)
    Private DNS servers Yes Yes
    Tor Over VPN servers No Yes
    RAM-only servers wipe data Yes Yes
    Ad & malware blocker Yes Yes
    Double hop servers Yes Yes
    Dedicated IP addresses Yes Yes
    Obfuscation technology Yes Yes

    Screenshot of PIA's protocol settings showing the protocol and customizable encryption settingsPIA’s settings are accessible in another window, so you’re not bombarded with features on the home view

    Each has its own tracker and malware prevention, but they work differently. PIA has MACE is enabled with one click and works in the background to prevent malicious sites and links from infecting your devices. NordVPN’s Threat Protection can be customized to protect you even when the VPN is disconnected — it also shows which threats it’s blocked.

    Threat Protection and MACE also work as ad blockers. Both blockers successfully prevented banner ads on sites like Forbes.com and CNN.com. This can also contribute to your devices’ security, as some ads are ridden with malware.

    Screenshot of PIA's MACE blocking ads on CNN.comThe ad box was replaced with a CNN headlines video when MACE was enabled

    Winner
    Both of these services provide strong security features, but when it comes to taking charge of your connections and tailoring your security settings, PIA is the superior choice.

    Privacy — NordVPN’s Privacy-Friendly Jurisdiction Keeps Your Data Safe

    I trust both VPNs with my data since they adhere to strong no-logs policies. PIA’s policy has even been proven in court. It was asked by authorities on 2 separate occasions to hand over user data, but it had nothing to share — so you know PIA’s no-logs claims are true.

    Both VPNs have undergone third-party audits that have proven their claims (both were conducted by Deloitte). In each case, it found that neither VPN stores any personally identifiable data on its servers. Plus, they both use RAM-only servers, which ensure your data is deleted from its servers after each session.

    However, with NordVPN’s headquarters in Panama, it beats PIA, which is based in the US (part of the data-sharing 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance). This means that governments part of the alliance can demand user data, and it would have to comply. However, it doesn’t worry me too much since it doesn’t store data anyway.

    PIA and NordVPN accept crypto payments if you want to sign up anonymously. PIA accepts BitPay, and NordVPN accepts CoinGate. Just bear in mind that your plan won’t auto-renew if you use this method.

    Winner
    With its headquarters in privacy-friendly Panama, NordVPN marginally secures the lead in this category.

    Works in China — PIA Might Work

    NordVPN doesn't work in China, but PIA's customer support reported that it might work, but it's not guaranteed. China has been strengthening its nationwide censorship network known as the Great Firewall, making it harder for any VPN to work there reliably.

    We keep up with any updates about this, and we regularly update our list of the best VPNs for China.

    Note that non-government-approved VPNs are illegal in China. However, there haven't been any publicly recorded cases of tourists being penalized for using one there. In any case, we don't condone using a VPN illegally, and we urge you to comply with local laws and regulations to avoid any trouble.

    Winner
    PIA is the winner here because it might work in China, but it's still not guaranteed due to the country's tough firewall.

    Installation & Ease of Use — PIA’s Simple Interface Is Easy to Navigate

    Both VPNs are quick to set up and easy to use, so I’d recommend either to a beginner. I was able to download and set up each VPN in under 3 minutes. The apps are really similar across different devices (whether you use macOS, Windows, Android, or iOS). So you don’t have to spend time getting used to them every time you want to use the VPNs on another device.

    Despite PIA’s feature-packed app, it's easy to navigate, and I appreciate that you can minimize the view so you’re not overwhelmed with features. The minimal view displays a large connect button showing your IP address and the server you’re connected to.

    Screenshot of PIA's popout windows showing the server list and Quick SettingsClicking the downward arrow lets you access Quick Settings, where you can enable various security settings

    NordVPN’s app is a little busy with the map and the server list both on the home view. I’d also prefer if the specialized servers were more obvious to find rather than having to scroll through the server list to find them. That said, it doesn’t offer as many customization options as PIA, so it’s a little less overwhelming if you’re a VPN newbie.

    Screenshot of NordVPN's Windows app Home screen, highlighting the specialty servers in the server list

    Winner
    PIA’s minimized option puts it ahead in this category. It took a little longer to get used to NordVPN’s apps, but once you do, you can take full advantage of its intuitive features.

    Reliability & Support — PIA Connects You To a Live Agent Straight Away

    Customer Support Features PIA NordVPN
    24/7 Live chat Yes, responds immediately Yes, responds within 2 minutes, but you have to go through a chatbot first
    Email support Yes, via a form on the site Yes
    Phone support No No
    Step-by-step setup guides Yes Yes
    Searchable knowledge base Yes Yes
    Exhaustive FAQ section Yes Yes

    I found it easier to get answers to my queries with PIA since it let me speak to a live agent straight away. With NordVPN, I had to go through an annoying chatbot before speaking to an agent.

    Plus, I could access PIA’s chat support through its website by clicking the widget at the right-hand bottom of the webpage. With NordVPN, I had to log in to my account to access the live support.

    Winner
    PIA wins this round hands-down thanks to its instantaneous live chat support.

    Tips on Choosing Between NordVPN and Private Internet Access

    During my tests, I carefully analyzed several aspects of each VPN. Here's an overview of the key criteria I used when comparing these VPNs:

    • Smooth streaming — Fast and reliable connections are crucial for those who want to use a VPN for streaming. In our tests, both PIA and NordVPN worked well with most major streaming platforms.
    • Fast speeds — Great speeds are necessary for smooth browsing and streaming. NordVPN wins marginally in this category, offering consistently fast speeds, which is great for gaming, streaming, and torrenting.
    • Server networks — Vast server networks usually provide stable, less-crowded connections for enjoying online content. PIA has one of the most impressive server networks, with over 29,650 servers.
    • Robust security features — Strong security features are vital for keeping your data private. Both PIA and NordVPN offer strong encryption, a kill switch, IP/DNS leak protection, and multiple secure protocols, ensuring a high level of security.
    • Strong privacy practices — Opt for a VPN with a firm commitment to user privacy. NordVPN's headquarters is in privacy-friendly Panama. PIA's location is in the US, which is in the data-sharing 5 Eyes Alliance.
    • Easy to use — A user-friendly interface ensures a quick and easy connection. Both PIA and NordVPN are great for both VPN beginners and experienced users.
    • Trustworthy money-back guarantee — A reliable refund guarantee allows you to try a VPN risk-free. In my experience, both PIA and NordVPN promptly processed full refunds with no complications.

    NordVPN vs. Private Internet Access — Reddit Opinions

    There are conflicting reviews about Private Internet Access and NordVPN on Reddit. Multiple threads concern PIA’s privacy standards, with questions arising about its jurisdiction and ownership.

    However, after some digging, I found there is nothing to be concerned about. PIA has undergone security audits that assure users it doesn’t collect any data. Its no-logs policy has even been proven in court.

    On the other hand, there are some threads concerning NordVPN’s performance going downhill. Contributors have claimed that it no longer works with some major streaming platforms. However, it didn’t take long to realize these claims don’t hold true. The team and I found NordVPN to be consistent and reliable with almost every platform we tested.

    Our Score

    Features 9.4/10
    Pricing 7.5/10
    Ease of Use 10.0/10
    Reliability & Support 10.0/10
    Features 9.5/10
    Pricing 9.5/10
    Ease of Use 9.6/10
    Reliability & Support 9.8/10

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Angela Jovanoska
    Angela Jovanoska

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Our Score: 9.4/10

    On the surface, NordVPN looks like a really impressive service. It claims to have a huge global server network, a speedy and reliable connection, and iron-clad security and privacy features. Plus, you can get it all for just $5.99/month. That all sounds great, but is there a catch? To find out, I did an in-depth analysis of NordVPN. I tested its speeds and how well it performs when you’re str...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    2
    210493Lu
    10.0/10
    The Best of The Best

    I simply tested all VPNs looking for cutting-edge online security, I tested the most expensive and the...  most talked about virtual anonymity, none made me as happy as NordVPN, it stands out for several reasons that the much more expensive ones it doesn't have, its double encryption, dedicated IPs, onion VPN, makes NordVPN unique, with almost 6,000 servers around the world and 12 million customers like me, you can see that NordVPN is not playing games with its customers and their online security , it always innovates to keep you more secure day after day, for a fair price in the long term and without sacrificing the speed of your connection, recently Nord is developing a new VPN protocol, Nordlynx a version still under construction derived from the Wireguard protocol, if you want to have a VPN of last security that think how it will make you more secure in the next month NordVPN is the right choice, I am completely thankful for being a customer and for finding what to me is the perfect VPN.More

    Latest negative user review
    S
    SAM
    2.0/10
    BUYER BEWARE!

    BUYER BEWARE! If you purchase NordVPN, it will throttle your interned speed/connectivity by 50%, like ... it did to mine. I pay $100/month to get speeds of nearly 600mbs. With NordVPN turned on, my speeds decrease to 250mbs. Nord’s “customer support” is useless and unprofessional, and, after nearly 3 weeks of endless “try this, try that”, they were unable to resolve the issue and blamed it on everything under the sun except their product, when it is OBVIOUS that, since I have zero speed issues with Nord turned off, and ONLY experience the issues with Nord turned on, it is NordVPN that is causing the issue. When I asked them for a refund of my one year subscription paid in advance and in good faith, they refused, and have now decided to ignore me. So, YOU’VE BEEN WARNED. Their VPN will devastate your internet speeds, their “support” is ridiculous, they are in denial, and they will not refund your money, even if their product is a failure…More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Angela Jovanoska
    Angela Jovanoska

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    Our Score: 9.5/10

    Private Internet Access has one of the cheapest VPN subscriptions available — you can sign up for as little as $2.19/month. With such a low price, I wondered whether PIA could really stand out against its higher-priced competitors. It’s been around for 10+ years, so it could be one of the best-value VPNs out there. I decided to find out just how good it is by looking into the company’s lo...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    E
    Ez
    10.0/10
    Best VPN Out on The Market

    I like PIA VPN the best for the following reasons: ● It's a reliable and trustworthy policy; they don... 't record anything harmful to you; strict no logs. ● I've been using it for one month and there are specific times when it speeds up my internet speed (varies by internet) ● It's a distinctive feature of DIP (dedicated IP) - I think not many popular VPNs have this feature, I also purchased this feature to avoid getting the captcha verification and it never showed up ever since. It's only been a month using this VPN but as I gain more experience with this client, I'm pretty sure I will find more good features and utilize them. Thanks for having read my review:)More

    Latest negative user review
    M
    Mike Johnson
    2.0/10
    PIA no longer works on Amazon Fire devices.

    I have used PIA for several years with no issues. Currently, amazon fire devices can no longer sign i... n to the account. Used on 3 TVs with 3 different fire devices with the same result. There is no way to resolve the issue.More

    Pricing

    PIA NordVPN
    Starting Price $2.19/month $5.99/month
    Price (On Renewal) $56.94 per year
    (subject to change)
    $99.48 per year
    (subject to change)
    Money-Back Guarantee (Days) 30 days 30 days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited 10
    Router Setup (for Unlimited Devices) Easy setup, but supports fewer routers Easy setup and supports many popular routers

    With PIA’s wealth of features, huge server network, and unlimited device connections, it’s surprising that it’s the cheaper VPN. Both VPNs offer 3 different plan lengths. Plus, you can try PIA and NordVPN for free since they both offer a money-back guarantee.

    NordVPN also offers 3 different plan tiers. Standard comes with the VPN alone, Plus has the added secure password manager, and Complete offers 1 TB encrypted cloud storage on top of the previous plans.

    Winner
    PIA is a budget-friendly option, even with its extensive network and a broad range of customizable options. Its long-term plan is great value for money and one of the cheapest options on the market.

    Best VPN by Category

    Best VPN Overall

    PIA is the top overall VPN due to its robust security features and huge server network. Its consistent speeds and no-logs policy gives users peace of mind.

    Best VPN for Torrents

    PIA is the best choice for torrenting. Every server supports torrenting, and you can even adjust your encryption or enable port forwarding to get faster speeds.

    Best VPN for Windows

    PIA is the superior VPN for Windows. It offers a user-friendly app with tons of powerful features for PCs. Its kill switch and customizable security settings make it ideal for desktop users.

    Best VPN for Android

    PIA is great for Android. It has full support for Android 5.0 and up, and your subscription lets you protect an unlimited number of devices. You can also set the app to auto-connect to the VPN when it discovers an unsecured WiFi network.

    Best VPN for Mac

    NordVPN is better for Mac since you can customize the protocol to find the best for you. There's also a Presets feature that’s only available on Mac to pre-configure your connections and quickly launch websites and apps.

    Best VPN for iOS

    NordVPN wins this category. It has Siri integration to help you instantly connect to the app’s servers. It also has an iOS widget to connect in one click. And like the Android app, there’s a battery-saving dark mode.

    Best VPN for USA

    PIA is a better choice for US-based users, as it covers 53 US server locations. It also reliably works with popular US platforms, like Netflix US, Hulu, and Max.

    The Bottom Line

    Both PIA and NordVPN are trustworthy VPNs that offer great features. However, PIA came out on top after conducting all my tests. Its server network is unbeatable, it offers unlimited device connections, and it offers robust security features. Plus, it works reliably with popular streaming platforms and is fast and safe for torrenting.

    There were some categories where NordVPN emerged as the clear winner, though. NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol delivers some of the fastest speeds of all the VPNs we’ve tested. Plus, its privacy-friendly jurisdiction gives you peace of mind that your data will remain safe.

    Nevertheless, I recommend trying Private Internet Access for free, as it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    FAQ

    Is Private Internet Access better than NordVPN?

    Yes — overall, Private Internet Access (PIA) is better than NordVPN. It has more servers, offers unlimited simultaneous device connections, and has tons of robust security features.

    However, NordVPN’s advantage is that it has faster speeds over long distances. Still, PIA’s speeds are more than fast enough for UHD streaming, gaming, and torrenting large files quickly. You can try PIA risk-free for 30 days since it offers a trustworthy money-back guarantee guarantee.

    Is Private Internet Access faster than NordVPN?

    No, NordVPN proved faster in my tests. Over long distances, NordVPN was consistently faster than PIA. However, on nearby servers, both VPNs gave almost the same speeds. PIA’s speeds were more than fast enough to perform any task without interruptions, though. Plus, all its servers are P2P-optimized, so you can download large public domain files without major slowdowns.

    Are Private Internet Access and NordVPN better than ExpressVPN?

    Overall, ExpressVPN is better than both Private Internet Access (PIA) and NordVPN. All 3 VPNs are great choices in their own right, offering fast speeds, robust security features, and trustworthy privacy policies. However, ExpressVPN edges ahead in several aspects, including faster speeds and a solid commitment to user privacy.

    Ultimately, the choice between these VPNs depends on your needs. If you prioritize speed and reliability, ExpressVPN is the best option. NordVPN offers a good alternative if you're looking for a balance between performance and affordability, while PIA provides a budget-friendly yet feature-rich VPN service.

    Is NordVPN safer than Private Internet Access?

    Both NordVPN and Private Internet Access are safe and trustworthy VPNs. PIA has been around for over a decade and has built a solid reputation. Its no-logs policy has been audited and proven in court. However, it is based in the US, which is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. NordVPN is based in Privacy-friendly Panama, which has no data retention laws.

    Do Private Internet Access or NordVPN offer any deals?

    Both Private Internet Access and NordVPN offer deals regularly. To get the best savings on plans, check out the latest VPN coupons and discounts. Right now, you can get 82% off Private Internet Access and 3 months of service for free.

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    vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

    About the Author

    Keira is an experienced cybersecurity and tech writer dedicated to providing comprehensive insights on VPNs, online privacy, and internet censorship.