NordVPN vs Private Internet Access vs 2018

After comparing these VPNs, we have a winner!

 
 

Which VPN is better?

Daniel Krohn
Technical writer, ex-robot manual creator gone privacy enthusiast/VPN expert
To the casual eye, two big players like NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA) may seem very much the same. For instance, both providers have been leading the market for years and offer unlimited bandwidth, browser proxy extensions, DNS leak protection, a kill switch, and ad/malware protection. In addition, they both follow a strict no logging policy, though NordVPN has an advantage since – unlike the US-based PIA – it is based in Panama, which does not fall under US jurisdiction laws. Upon taking a deeper look, NordVPN and Private Internet Access are competitively different. Even though NordVPN accepts various payment methods, Private Internet Access is more diverse and offers gift cards. Moreover, NordVPN comes with flashy discounts and attractive price plans, but Private Internet Access offers steady, cheap plans. Although, PIA only offer a 7-day money-back guarantee, whereas NordVPN offers 30 days.
NordVPN’s Tor over VPN server and double encryption (Double VPN) for extra security make it a better VPN for censored countries, like China (even though PIA does allow users to connect to the Tor Network with their VPN). Both VPNs offer a lot of simultaneous connections (5 for PIA and 6 for Nord), and both have thousands of servers to connect to. Understandably, PIA has more servers (3000+) compared to NordVPN’s (2500), but since NordVPN can connect to Netflix and other streaming sites with high speed, it makes it more valuable.
 
Rating
Features
  • 5.0
  • 4.7
Pricing
  • 4.8
  • 4.6
Ease of Use
  • 5.0
  • 4.7
Reliability & Support
  • 5.0
  • 4.7
 

Reviews

Review by our expert

Ariel Hochstadt
Ex-Google, International tech speaker
  • 4.9

NordVPN is surely the most popular VPN provider, but does this mean it is also the best one? What I saw is that they do not have one “killer feature,” but rather a combination of supreme security, careful attention to privacy, and a handy support that’s one click away. For this review, I tried to tackle NordVPN and find flaws in their product, but I’m not sure I succeeded. Sure, I found a few t

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Latest positive user review
Jamie Edwards
  • 5.0
One of the few providers that isn't based in USA I was looking for a vpn service that would be based somewhere outside the USA and glad that Nord crossed my path as they're in panama. If you want to get a vpn mainly for protecting your data - Nord is the right choice. They aren't lying about not keeping any logs and you get additional security features like kill-switch, cybersec..
Latest negative user review
Stephan Zuber
  • 1.0
375 Mbps reduced to 12 Mbps Great in the first 30 days then extreme bandwidth issues after committing to the 2-year plan. Technical support is largely scripted within a 'defer and delay' paradigm. Bandwidth degraded to 12Mbps (of 375Mbps). Same 'troubleshooting' approach on each of my 3 interactions with their 'technical support'. Strict adherence to a 'no problem on our side' mentality. These guys will send you on every fool's errand in their playbook until you accept the bandwidth capping or leave. Switched to ExpressVPN and have not looked back.
Review by our expert

Sarit Newman
Content Manager & Internet Security Writer
  • 4.6

PIA is one of the most popular VPNs out there, but it’s not because of advertising. Released in 2010, PIA has grown users through word of mouth and recommendations. And, while they are based in the USA (which we’re usually wary of), they have proven twice that they do not maintain user logs. Although you’re not going to get too many extra features, and PIA isn’t the best when it comes to streaming

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Latest positive user review
BobS
  • 5.0
Private Internet I have been using it for 3 years and it works great on 5 computers Recommend to anyone that want security and easy to connect to servers or use auto connect I wish they had a lifetime subscription like other vpns
Latest negative user review
Alex
  • 1.0
Slow speeds on and off Load of rubbish, join NordVPN. The speed issues are so bad, less than a third of the speed i get without VPN makes it useless. Just getting worse not better. Submit slow speed complaints and it does not help, just milking all the people that join up.
Latest positive user review
Jamie Edwards
  • 5.0
One of the few providers that isn't based in USA I was looking for a vpn service that would be based somewhere outside the USA and glad that Nord crossed my path as they're in panama. If you want to get a vpn mainly for protecting your data - Nord is the right choice. They aren't lying about not keeping any logs and you get additional security features like kill-switch, cybersec..
BobS
  • 5.0
Private Internet I have been using it for 3 years and it works great on 5 computers Recommend to anyone that want security and easy to connect to servers or use auto connect I wish they had a lifetime subscription like other vpns
Latest negative user review
Stephan Zuber
  • 1.0
375 Mbps reduced to 12 Mbps Great in the first 30 days then extreme bandwidth issues after committing to the 2-year plan. Technical support is largely scripted within a 'defer and delay' paradigm. Bandwidth degraded to 12Mbps (of 375Mbps). Same 'troubleshooting' approach on each of my 3 interactions with their 'technical support'. Strict adherence to a 'no problem on our side' mentality. These guys will send you on every fool's errand in their playbook until you accept the bandwidth capping or leave. Switched to ExpressVPN and have not looked back.
Alex
  • 1.0
Slow speeds on and off Load of rubbish, join NordVPN. The speed issues are so bad, less than a third of the speed i get without VPN makes it useless. Just getting worse not better. Submit slow speed complaints and it does not help, just milking all the people that join up.
 

Pricing

Starting price $2.75/ month $2.91/ month
Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 7
Devices per license 6 5
See plans & pricing See Plans See Plans
 

Best VPNs by category

Best VPNs Overall width="172" width="172" In addition to having servers in 61 countries, NordVPN also has a world class 24/7 support channel and is widely considered as the best for bypassing VPN blocks and geo-restrictions worldwide. PIA competes by providing strong encryption and very reliable servers in 28 countries.
Best VPNs for Torrents width="172" width="172" NordVPN permits torrenting and P2P only on some of its servers, however, Private Internet Access allows P2P activities and torrenting on all servers.
Best VPNs for Windows width="172" width="172" Both VPNs are good for Windows when it comes to encryption. However, for streaming, NordVPN gives you a secure and buffer-free streaming experience.
Best VPNs for Android width="172" width="172" NordVPN offers Android users some extra security features such as DoubleVPN, anti-DDoS, and a unique Cybersec feature that blocks malware & ads and also improves mobile data speed and consumption rate. PIA also has an Android app that’s easy to setup and use with very strong encryption.
Best VPNs for MAC width="172" width="172" If you’re concerned about all-round privacy, security and anonymity, NordVPN has a dedicated Mac app that offers users with very strong encryption and some unique cyber security features. PIA on the other hand offers Mac users pretty fast servers and strong encryption.
Best VPNs for iOS width="172" width="172" NordVPN has a very user-friendly iOS app with strong security protocols and access to its 24/7 live support. From having a beautiful user interface to having advanced features such as a kill switch, PIA offers a very reliable VPN for Android devices.
Best VPNs for USA width="172" width="172" Private Internet Access is based in the US giving it advantage over NordVPN when it comes to unblocking content in USA, but less advantage in terms of privacy since USA is part of the Five-Eyes. On the other hand, if you want to ensure that none of your online activities will fall under US jurisdiction, NordVPN is based in Panama and has plenty of servers in the US which work well with Netflix.
 

 The Bottom Line

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

Both VPNs are very similar, but it’s NordVPN’s world class 24/7 live support and additional cybersecurity features that makes it the clear winner. It also offers far more server locations and allows users connect up to 6 simultaneous connections per subscription. Furthermore, NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee which is far more than what PIA offers. If you need a rock solid VPN that looks after not just your privacy but also your security, choose NordVPN. More Info