If you are someone who values online privacy, a virtual private network (VPN) can be the solution you’re seeking. It can also be beneficial for small businesses that want to protect their work documents or for frequent travelers who connect to public Wi-Fi networks. NordVPN and Private Internet Access are two very popular VPNs that offer users fast encrypted internet access and online security. In this comparison, we will evaluate these companies based on factors such as price, servers, device compatibility, and customer service. Continue reading to discover which VPN is the most suitable option for you. NordVPN Vs. Private Internet Access NordVPN is more expensive compared to Private Internet Access. In terms of similarities, both companies provide round-the-clock customer service, utilize the same encryption method (AES with 256-bit keys), and are compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Additionally, NordVPN is also compatible with Android TV.
NordVPN vs. Private Internet Access
NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA) are both VPNs that offer advanced protection features and have large server networks. They also provide a variety of tunneling protocols and are compatible with numerous streaming sites. After conducting our tests, it is evident that NordVPN has a slight advantage over PIA. Although Private Internet Access does offer more affordable subscription plans, NordVPN offers better value for money due to its strong security package, high-speed performance, and overall superior features. In this comparison between PIA and NordVPN, we will guide you through various aspects such as security, speed, streaming capabilities, torrenting support, and other categories in order to assist you in making the best choice for your needs.
NordVPN vs. PIA Reputable Providers
NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA) are both ranked among our top 10 VPNs. Although they are both reputable providers, they differ slightly in terms of pricing and features. PIA offers a lower annual price, while both companies offer monthly and yearly payment options. Additionally, PIA provides a significant discount for their three-year plan, while NordVPN offers a similar discount for their two-year plan.
PIA vs NordVPN Key Data
NordVPN is a far better choice than PIA due to its streaming capabilities and excellent performance. It offers an ultra-fast proprietary NordLynx protocol and unblocks virtually any platform we’ve tested. PIA, on the other hand, has a much bigger server fleet and more simultaneous connections (10 compared to NordVPN’s 6).
Both providers offer similar apps and are easy to use. PIA is priced at $2.11/month, making it cheaper than NordVPN, which starts at $2.99/month. This price difference may be appealing to individuals looking for a budget-friendly premium VPN option. On the other hand, NordVPN provides better value for money with its incredibly fast speeds, a range of helpful security features, and impressive ability to unblock restricted content and streaming platforms. Ultimately, due to its extensive list of features, NordVPN emerges as the winner.
PIA vs NordVPN Connections & Support
|NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|🥇 Overall rank:||#1 out of #42||#14 out of #42|
|🖥️ Servers:||5,800+ servers in 60 countries||30,000+ servers in 84 countries|
|📖 No logs policy:||No logs||No logs|
|💵 Pricing:||From $2.99/month||From $2.11/month|
|🔥 Coupons:||NordVPN coupon 69% OFF||PIA coupon 82% OFF|
|🔒 VPN protocols:||OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard (NordLynx)||Wireguard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec|
|🍿 Streaming services:||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and more||Netflix, YouTube, Hulu|
|🖥️ Platforms:||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Brave, Edge, Opera|
|📥 Simultaneous connections:||6||Unlimited|
|💁🏻 Support:||Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chat||Knowledge base, tickets, live chat|
Streaming Performance On Netflix And More
When it comes to unlocking streaming services, NordVPN outperforms PIA. For example, NordVPN effortlessly accessed multiple libraries on Netflix, including the US and UK. On the other hand, PIA had a harder time accessing these libraries. While US Netflix worked on PIA, it was slow and had poor video quality. PIA did manage to unlock Hulu though. After downloading PIA, we were able to easily access the platform using any US server. Additionally, unlocking YouTube with PIA was more challenging but still possible. However, PIA’s luck ran out after that. We couldn’t access BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Disney Plus, or Amazon Prime Video with PIA. In contrast, NordVPN had few to no issues bypassing restrictions on any of these sites.
NordVPN And Private Internet Access Plateform Wise Available Streaming
|Platform||NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|Netflix||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Amazon Prime Video||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|YouTube||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Hulu||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|HBO Max||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Disney+||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|BBC iPlayer||✅ Yes||❌ No|
How NordVPN and Private Internet Access Compatibility Stack Up
|NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|Price||INR 4739.80 ($56.94) for the first two years and two months, then per year after that||INR 4984.53 ($59.88) per year for the first year; INR 8280.91 ($99.48) thereafter|
|Encryption||AES with 256-bit keys||AES with 256-bit keys|
|Free Trial Period||30 days||30 days|
|OS Compatibility||Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Android TV||Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux|
|Dedicated IP Add-On||$5.83 per month or $70 per year||$5 per month or $60 per year|
|Max No. of Devices||6||10|
|Total Number of Servers||5,000+||30,000+|
24/7 Customer Service
Private Internet Access is considerably cheaper than NordVPN. As far as similarities, both companies offer 24/7 customer service, both have the same encryption (AES with 256-bit keys) and both are compatible with Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux, while NordVPN is also compatible with Android TV.
PIA allows connection to ten devices, whereas NordVPN has a maximum limit of six. Private Internet Access also boasts a significantly larger number of servers, surpassing all other VPNs that we have tested. Although NordVPN still offers a substantial number of servers at 5,500, Private Internet Access clearly stands out as the superior choice in this regard.
Private Internet Access has server locations in 78 countries, while NordVPN has 60 server locations. Instead of focusing on the number, it is advisable to check which countries have server locations that align with your VPN connection plans. To verify if NordVPN server locations match yours, you can visit the company’s website.
Dedicated IP Cost
Both VPNs provide the opportunity to have a dedicated IP for an extra cost. This allows you to access networks that have IP restrictions while also keeping your identity hidden. PIA has a slightly better deal in this area, with prices of INR 416.21 ($5) per month or INR 4994.52 ($60) per year, compared to INR 485.30 ($5.83) per month or INR 5826.94 ($70) per year.
When you subscribe to PIA’s three-year plan, you gain access to Boxcryptor, a secure software that safeguards sensitive files on cloud storage platforms. By doing so, you can ensure the privacy of the files stored in the cloud. NordVPN also provides a similar service called NordLocker Premium, which allows you to encrypt up to 500 GB of cloud files. This service incurs an additional cost of INR 665.10 ($7.99) per month. Alternatively, if you opt for the annual plan, it amounts to INR 332.14 ($3.99) per month.
NordVPN VS PIA Better Comparison
NordVPN outperforms PIA when it comes to accessing various Netflix libraries. Our tests revealed that although PIA was able to unblock Netflix US, there were several streaming issues such as laggy video quality and lack of full HD resolution, which were not present with NordVPN. Moreover, PIA failed to unblock BBC iPlayer, whereas NordVPN effortlessly achieved this.
NordVPN, being the top-rated VPN for Netflix, had no problems with accessing the streaming platform. It successfully unblocked not only the US library but also libraries in other countries such as the UK, Japan, and France. The streaming quality remained consistently high without any issues of lagging or buffering.
Plans and Pricing
Private Internet Access VPN is relatively cheaper than NordVPN. Of course, the longer you subscribe, the better the savings will be. So the final price difference isn’t that big.
It is clear that the monthly pricing plans offered by both providers are not cost-effective. If you are looking to use a VPN for just one month, it is advisable to opt for a long-term plan instead. By doing so, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee before the initial month comes to an end.
The pricing for yearly subscriptions is significantly more advantageous. NordVPN offers a 2-year subscription at a rate of $2.99 per month, and PIA also provides a 2-year subscription at a rate of $2.11 per month.
Both providers offer various payment options including credit cards, PayPal, Amazon Pay, and several cryptocurrency options. However, NordVPN goes a step further by accepting Sofort, prepaid cards, Apple Pay, and Google Play as well. Despite this advantage, it is still not enough to surpass PIA in terms of affordability.
Subscriptions Duration Wise Price
|Plan||NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
NordVPN vs. PIA: which is more secure?
Both NordVPN and PIA are reputable VPN services that employ robust AES encryption. NordVPN utilizes the AES-256-CBC cipher in conjunction with the SHA-512 hash function. PIA offers a wider selection, allowing users to switch between the default AES-128-CBC with SHA-1 configuration and the stronger AES-256-CBC with SHA-256 option. It is advisable to avoid using PIA’s default setting. Although AES-128-CBC is still considered a secure cipher against attackers, the use of SHA-1 as a hash function is not optimal. SHA-1 has been around for 26 years and has been prohibited by federal agencies for use with classified documents since 2010. If you are utilizing Private Internet Access, it is recommended to stick with the stronger configuration that employs AES-256-CBC with SHA-256.
|NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|Encryption||AES-256 or ChaCha20Poly1305||AES-128 or AES-256|
|Hash||SHA-512||SHA1 and SHA2|
|Member of the Five Eyes Alliance?||No||Yes|
|No-logs policy||Audited||Audited and court-proven|
The cryptographic functions performed by the hardware components used for your connection are equally important. This is why it is crucial for the server network to have a strong foundation. Both Private Internet Access and NordVPN have made the necessary efforts to convert all of their servers to operate on RAM-only. These servers utilize virtual hard drives instead of physical ones to store user data. It is a requirement for the servers to generate logs as part of their design. However, these logs are erased with each reboot.
Panama, where NordVPN is located, is considered a privacy-friendly jurisdiction and is not part of the global surveillance alliance. This is advantageous because it means that Panama cannot be influenced or pressured by external forces. In order to obtain someone’s data, a warrant issued by the Panamanian courts would always be required. In contrast, if the government wanted access to Private Internet Access (PIA), they would not face these same obstacles. PIA is based in the United States, placing the service provider within the Five Eyes network. Furthermore, there are domestic laws such as the reauthorized Patriot Act that are fully applicable and pose a threat to your privacy. However, PIA addresses these risks by utilizing RAM-only servers and having an audited no-logs policy.
Service Improving With Data Collection
NordVPN vs PIA: Speed & Blazing Fast Performance
The speed of your VPN will depend on the speed of your original internet connection. Therefore, if your initial internet connection is slow, you should not expect the VPN to provide blazing-fast performance. This is because your data is encrypted and takes a detour through a VPN server before reaching your device. As a result, your device may experience a slight slowdown, although it should not be noticeable. Both NordVPN and PIA utilize WireGuard, which is currently considered one of the fastest tunneling protocols available. However, Nord Security’s product uses a modified version called NordLynx, which offers even better performance. To obtain some concrete numbers, we conducted speed tests comparing PIA and NordVPN and calculated the average results from various locations. Baseline speed test results show a download speed of 452Mbps and an upload speed of 461Mbps.
Upload & Download Speeds
|NordVPN (NordLynx)||Private Internet Access (WireGuard)|
|Arg. Download speed||315 Mbps||293.5 Mbps|
|Arg. Upload speed||278.6 Mbps||266 Mbps|
NordVPN’s NordLynx protocol demonstrated higher average download and upload speeds compared to PIA’s WireGuard protocol. NordVPN’s custom protocol maintained 70% of the initial download speed and 65% of the upload speed. In contrast, PIA’s WireGuard protocol retained 65% and 59% of the download and upload speeds respectively. Although both providers offer stable and fast connections, NordVPN remains the faster choice.
|NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|Split tunneling||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Smart DNS||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|RAM-only servers||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Meshnet||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Traffic obfuscation||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Specialty servers||✅ Yes||❌ No|
|Web filters||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
Both services offer the split tunneling feature, and it is implemented in a similar manner. You have the option to use the VPN with specific apps or exclude those that require a direct connection. As a result, you have complete flexibility to personalize your connection according to your preferences.
Bypass VPN Function
In our testing, we discovered that in the case of PIA, the Bypass VPN option did not consistently function as intended. Conversely, NordVPN had no difficulties with this feature when it came to websites and applications. PIA’s split tunneling feature on mobile is a more streamlined version of its desktop counterpart. This means that you can utilize split tunneling for particular applications but not for websites. Similarly, NordVPN also adopts this approach by allowing users to exclude specific apps.
|NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
Clearly, Private Internet Access has a significantly higher number of servers compared to NordVPN, with 30,000+ and 5,800+ respectively. Furthermore, both providers have made substantial efforts to enhance the security of their infrastructure. By utilizing RAM-only servers, all user data is wiped clean after each reboot, ensuring that no unauthorized access can occur. Additionally, it should be mentioned that NordVPN offers a range of specialized servers such as Tor over VPN for enhanced security and P2P servers specifically designed for torrenting.
Both NordVPN and PIA support peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, which means you can download torrent files using either provider. However, there is a distinction between the two when it comes to their servers. PIA does not have separate servers for P2P and non-P2P activities, so it doesn’t matter which server you connect to. On the other hand, NordVPN does offer specialized servers specifically for torrenting. While technically you can use any server for this purpose, if P2P traffic is detected while connected to NordVPN, you will be automatically redirected to a P2P server.
Complimentary SOCKS5 Proxies
In addition, both providers offer complimentary SOCKS5 proxies. While this is a less secure choice, it significantly improves speed when necessary. It can be customized on torrent clients to direct your downloads through an intermediate server. However, unlike the VPN app, it does not encrypt your connection. Furthermore, as previously stated, PIA provides port forwarding, which is beneficial if you are behind a firewall. This frequently leads to problems with seeding torrents, which is crucial if you need to maintain a specific download/upload ratio.
Platforms, interface, and ease of use
|NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|Supported OS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS|
|Other software and devices||Kodi, Android TVs, Fire devices||Android TVs, Fire devices|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Opera||Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Opera|
|Usability level||Easy to use||Easy to use|
No matter which device you depend on to complete your daily tasks, NordVPN and PIA are likely to offer applications for all of them. Both providers are compatible with different operating systems (OS), browsers, and other software. Additionally, NordVPN allows up to 6 simultaneous connections, while PIA allows unlimited simultaneous connections. This means you can connect all of your devices to just one account. When it comes to applications, both providers guarantee a seamless and easy experience, catering even to individuals who have never used a VPN before.
Both NordVPN and Private Internet Access provide excellent customer support options. If you require human assistance, you can reach out to either provider via email or a 24/7 live chat. Additionally, both services offer tutorials and FAQs for those who prefer to troubleshoot issues on their own. However, our experience with NordVPN’s customer support was more pleasant. We contacted their team for assistance with unblocking the geo-restricted Netflix UK library after installing NordVPN. The agents were courteous and efficiently resolved any minor issues that arose while using the app. On the other hand, when we asked PIA’s customer support how to fix the WireGuard connection issue, their agent suggested reinstalling the app in Safe Mode with Networking. Unfortunately, this solution caused problems with my network card and did not resolve the issue.
|NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|24/7 live chat||✅||✅|
|Guides or articles||✅||✅|
What is the difference between NordVPN vs Private Internet Access?
Private Internet Access and NordVPN both offer extensive server fleets, policies that are friendly towards torrenting, and user-friendly interfaces. However, when it comes to the value provided by their features, NordVPN stands out. The primary distinction between NordVPN and Private Internet Access is that NordVPN offers better value for money, faster speeds than PIA, and a wider range of security features. Additionally, NordVPN surpasses Private Internet Access in its ability to unblock restricted content on popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Max, and more.
Another differentiation lies in their base countries. NordVPN is based in Panama, which is known for its privacy-friendly jurisdiction. On the other hand, Private Internet Access is based in the USA, which belongs to intelligence alliances such as 5-Eye, 9-Eye, and 14-Eyes. This raises concerns regarding the privacy of PIA’s users. Overall, the main difference between PIA and NordVPN is that NordVPN emerges as the superior choice due to its excellent value for money, blazing-fast speeds, and top-notch privacy and security measures.
Which is better: NordVPN or Private Internet Access?
While both VPN services, NordVPN and Private Internet Access, are secure, NordVPN surpasses Private Internet Access in several aspects such as speeds, features, protection, and streaming capabilities. NordVPN delivers significantly faster speeds, especially with its NordLynx feature, and has the ability to unblock a wider range of streaming platforms like BBC iPlayer and Disney+. Additionally, NordVPN utilizes specialized servers and is based in a more privacy-friendly location (Panama) compared to Private Internet Access which is based in the United States. On the other hand, Private Internet Access boasts a larger server fleet with over 30,000 servers compared to NordVPN’s 5,800 servers. It also offers features like port forwarding. However, even with its overall lower price point, Private Internet Access fails to match the price-to-value ratio offered by NordVPN.
Category Wise Benifits
|Ease of use||✅||✅|
If you are searching for a fast-speed VPN for everyday use, Private Internet Access is an excellent option. It has been ranked as the top virtual private network on our list of the 10 best VPNs in 2023. In contrast, NordVPN’s NordLayer service is ideal for ensuring the privacy of large teams. Considering that PIA does not go through third-party reviews, it would be wise to choose NordVPN instead if privacy is your primary concern when selecting a VPN.
Frequently Asked Questions
How secure are VPNs?
NordVPN and Private Internet Access both offer top-notch AES 256-bit encryption, which is widely used by governments and armed forces globally to safeguard confidential data. Additionally, both VPNs come with a kill switch feature that automatically severs your internet connection when your device isn’t connected to the VPN. While Private Internet Access boasts an integrated ad-blocker known as PIA MACE, which prevents malicious ads, scripts, and trackers from loading, NordVPN provides NordLayer, a service dedicated to preserving online privacy for companies and businesses.
Are there any VPNs that are less expensive than NordVPN and Private Internet Access?
While Hotspot Shield is one example of a free VPN, we suggest opting for a paid solution due to the lower security and abundance of advertisements that come with free VPNs. However, if budget constraints are a concern, there are numerous affordable VPN options available.
How do I connect to a VPN?
The method of connecting to a VPN differs based on the device and operating system you are using. In general, you will be required to download the app or software provided by the VPN, input your username and password, and choose a server. For more in-depth guidance, please refer to the VPN’s website or get in touch with their customer service team.
Is Private Internet Access better than NordVPN?
NordVPN wins in speed tests with an average download speed of 235 and an average upload speed of 186. In comparison, Private Internet Access had an average download speed of 124 and an average upload speed of 154. In either case, you’ll be able to perform multiple online activities simultaneously.
Is NordVPN faster than PIA?
Indeed, NordVPN provides superior download speeds when utilizing NordLynx and OpenVPN UDP protocols. Particularly, the speeds achieved with NordLynx are highly impressive, allowing users to retain approximately 80% of their original speed on average.
Is PIA still a good VPN?
Is PIA secure? PIA is a secure VPN provider, however, it wouldn’t top our most secure VPNs list. This VPN has customizable encryption levels and works on RAM-only servers, but is based in a privacy-unfriendly jurisdiction.
Based on Reddit, who wins NordVPN vs PIA comparison?
NordVPN: Uses a modified version of WireGuard called NordLynx, which showed faster download and upload speed averages than PIA’s WireGuard protocol. PIA: Uses WireGuard protocol, which is fast but slightly slower than NordVPN’s NordLynx. Winner: NordVPN, for its superior speed performance.
Is NordVPN better than PIA?
Yes, according to our internal testing, NordVPN is superior to PIA as a VPN. NordVPN provides significantly faster connection speeds, resulting in an enhanced browsing experience and the ability to effortlessly access various streaming websites. Furthermore, NordVPN offers a comprehensive and robust security features package that guarantees the safeguarding of your data and device.
How do PIA and NordVPN compare with ExpressVPN?
All three of these providers are top-tier VPNs; however, NordVPN stands out as the superior choice. PIA, NordVPN, and ExpressVPN all provide exceptional security features, reliable torrenting options, and the ability to unblock various streaming sites. When comparing NordVPN and ExpressVPN in terms of value for money, they have similar speed results and streaming capabilities. Nevertheless, NordVPN remains the best choice overall.
NordVPN is the only VPN more secure than ExpressVPN, due to its comprehensive cybersecurity suite. The most secure settings aren’t selected by default in PIA, though, so we recommend changing them to OpenVPN UDP, AES-256-GCM, and RSA-2048 in the encryption settings menu. The PIA encryption settings menu.