NordVPN vs Private Internet Access

written by

Jack Foster

last updated

July 22, 2020

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Before we discuss the specifics of NordVPN and Private Internet Access features, products and services we’ll need to know exactly what we’re comparing. If you’re stuck between choosing Private Internet Access and NordVPN, then this article will provide you with the hard facts that will help you to make your decision. 

The following 10 areas of service will be analysed from each VPN provider to ensure that we get all of the facts about each VPN provider. Because no two VPNs are alike, and each cater to different needs. We’ll be looking at the following features to make a comparison:

  1. Connection Speed
  2. Pricing Comparison 
  3. Privacy Comparison 
  4. International Server Coverage
  5. Multi-platform support
  6. Netflix Unblocking
  7. Customer Support
  8. Encryption Protocols
  9. Number of Simultaneous Connections
  10. P2P/ BitTorrent Support

All 10 areas will be scrutinized in an unbias manner so that you can make the best choice of VPN for your needs. Then at the end of the article, I’ll mark the providers and give them a score out of 10 – to find out the overall winner. 

Let’s get started with the detailed NordVPN vs Private Internet Access comparison.

1. Connection Speed Comparison

Private Internet Access is a cheap VPN provider that offers blazingly fast connection speeds. The speed of your VPN provider will differ depending on your ISP. Additionally, the speed can vary depending on what you are trying to access and if you are using the most optimized server for you. This is normally a server that is closest to your physical location. 

We have found that PIA is more than three times as fast as NordVPN. 

Speed is often something that can be really frustrating when it comes to VPNs. So if you’re looking for a fast VPN, then PIA is a great option.

BEST VPN FOR SPEED: Private Internet Access

Visit NordVPN

Pricing Comparison

The price is often a deciding factor when it comes to selecting the best VPN to suit your needs. However, you also need to understand what you get for that price. I often find that a money-back guarantee period can be a make or break when it comes to the money piece. If you decide to take the plunge, then it’s good to know that you have a way out for a decent amount of time. 

I’ve compared the (lowest) starting price for each of the providers

  • Private Internet Access – $3.33 per month (7-day money-back guarantee)
  • NordVPN –  $3.49 per month (No free trial/ 30-day money-back guarantee)

As you can see there is not much in it, you save a meagre 16 cents per month ($1.92 per year) if you choose Private Internet Access. Both of the VPN providers lack a free trial, therefore the duration of the money-back guarantee is important. I’d opt for NordVPN in this case, as you know you can opt-out for a full 30-days after you opt-in. 

Whereas with Private Internet Access you have just 7 days to decide whether they are the right VPN provider for you. 

BEST VPN BY PRICE/ MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: NordVPN

Privacy Comparison

Privacy is one of the main reasons that people decide to get a VPN. Sensitive information, for example – your bank details, can be intercepted and stolen by hackers. You’ll want your VPN to adhere to the following three points, to ensure the highest level of privacy:

  1. Location (outwith the 14 eyes)
  2. Strict no-logs policy
  3. Accept anonymous payments (like Bitcoin)

1.Location

It is easy to see at first glance that NordVPN is the clear winner in this sub-category. As the locations of each company are as follows:

  • NordVPN – Panama
  • Private Internet Access – USA

Ideally, you don’t want to choose a VPN that is in the US due to international privacy laws. Legally intelligence agencies can request logs and the provider must comply. This can put you at risk, especially if you are investing in a VPN specifically for your privacy.

2.No Logs Policy

Both Private Internet Access and NordVPN abide by a strict no-logs policy. However Private Internet Access is located in the US, so if they have any traces of your activity, they’ll need to hand it over if requested. NordVPN, on the other hand, doesn’t have to do this as they are based in Panama.

3.Accepting Anonymous Payments

Accepting Bitcoin (or not) might seem trivial, but it’s a key factor in protecting your online privacy. Paying with Bitcoin means that nobody can find out that you bought a VPN, which protects your online footprint and creates no paper trail.

  • NordVPN – Accepts Bitcoin
  • Private Internet Access – Accepts Bitcoin

NordVPN is the winner in this category as they are based outwith the 14 eyes. All other features are the same as Private Internet Access.

BEST VPN FOR PRIVACY: NordVPN

International Server Coverage

Global Server Coverage is extremely important, especially to stream online content. You’ll need to partner with a VPN that has adequate coverage, especially when it comes to local servers. Each of the VPNs has a different number of servers in various international locations, so that is something to look out for. 

  • NordVPN – has 5700+ servers in 62 countries
  • Private Internet Access – has 3,390+ servers are located in 32 countries.
BEST VPN FOR INTERNATIONAL SERVICE COVERAGE: NordVPN

Multi-Platform Support

Ensuring that your VPN works on a wide variety of platforms is important, this is known as “Multi-Platform Support”. People have more and more devices, and you’ll want to make sure that your VPN will work on all of the devices that you currently own (or might own in the near future).  

NordVPN offers compatibility for the most platforms and is therefore the best choice in this category. 

BEST VPN FOR MULTI-PLATFORM SUPPORT: NordVPN

Netflix Unblocking

Just about everyone I know has a Netflix subscription, or very many streaming subscriptions. It is great to be able to access all of the Netflix content that you might want to watch. A lot of the content can be blocked due to your geographic location. Picking a VPN that unblocks Netflix is a great option.

  • Private Internet Access – Doesn’t unblock Netflix or stream any content for that matter.
  • NordVPN – on the other hand, does unblock Netflix and other platforms like  BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu
BEST VPN FOR NETFLIX UNBLOCKING: NordVPN

Customer Support

It is always best to be able to get in touch with any service provider, should you run into any difficulty. For this reason I feel that Customer support is a critical addition to this review. Here is a brief overview of how each provider stacks up in the area of customer service:

  • NordVPN – You can contact NordVPN 24/7 via email and live chat
  • Private Internet Access – PIA lacks a live chat, so you’ll need to wait around for them to get back to your support ticket
BEST VPN FOR CUSTOMER SUPPORT: NordVPN

Encryption Protocols

Both NordVPN and PIA have strong encryption protocols. They both use AES-256 protection through OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPSec. They both offer kill switch protection and DNS leak protection. 

NordVPN stands out for offering double encryption by using both VPN and Onion Over VPN.

BEST VPN FOR ENCRYPTION PROTOCOLS: NordVPN

Simultaneous Connections

“Simultaneous Connections” is the term used by VPNs for the number of devices that you can connect to one subscription. VPNs often limit the number of devices that you can install their software on with your subscription. A higher number of connections is good for businesses, families, and people with a large number of devices. Therefore comparing this metric is essential for this review.  

Let’s check how each provider compares when it comes to the number of devices that you can use on each subscription.

  • Private Internet Access – allows a generous 10 Simultaneous Connections, which is quite a lot more than most VPN companies out there. 
  • NordVPN – on the other hand, offers just 6 Simultaneous Connections. This is not bad, but Private Internet Access offers 4 more.
BEST VPN FOR SIMULTANEOUS CONNECTIONS: Private Internet Access

Visit Privateinternetaccess

P2P/ BitTorrent Support

Torrenting is one of the major reasons that people choose a VPN. One of the reasons for this is that you simply can’t torrent or P2P safely without a VPN. 

Both PIA and NordVPN are happy for you to torrent on their servers.

BEST VPN FOR BITTORRENT SUPPORT CONNECTIONS: tie

The Results

The final score was PIA 2: NordVPN 7. 

Both companies tied on the P2P/ torrenting question, but for most everything else NordVPN was a clear winner. PIA offer more simultaneous connections, so if that is a feature that you require – for example, you might need to secure 10 devices, then PIA could be the best option. PIA was also the hands-down winner for speed, which is something that a lot of people are looking for. It all depends on your own requirements. So which one will you choose?

OVERALL WINNER: NordVPN

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