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NordVPN vs Private Internet Access Review

Should I choose NordVPN or Private Internet Access?

Last Updated on 25/04/2024

Private Internet Access (PIA) and NordVPN are two respected names in the VPN space, but in a features and usability showdown of NordVPN vs Private Internet Access, which comes out on top?

Well, while PIA has the best-priced plans and way, way more servers, NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs around and has built up an awesome, celebrity-endorsed reputation for itself in recent years. In this guide, we explore and reveal the key need-to-knows about both providers, helping you to decide whether NordVPN or Private Internet Access is right for you.

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The best VPN options compared

ExpressVPN
Recommended
Favicon
4.6/5
  • Wide server coverage and continuous expansion
  • Lightning-fast VPN speeds
  • Flexible pricing plans with a money-back guarantee
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Hulu
bbc_iplayer
from $8,32 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
+
Apps
Show less
CyberGhost
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.6/5
  • Robust server network
  • Fast WireGuard connections
  • Wide streaming compatibility
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $2,37 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
+
Apps
Show less
NordVPN
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Lightning-fast server speeds
  • Wide server coverage globally
  • Advanced security features
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $3,59 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
+
Apps
Show less
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $1,98 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Wide server network, extensive coverage
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Excellent streaming capabilities
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $2,49 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
Hide.me
6.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Top-rated VPN for privacy
  • Lightning-fast connection speeds
  • Innovative features for security
Data Logging
Yes
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Torrents
Netflix
bbc_iplayer
from $2,59 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
PureVPN
7.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Always-on auditing for transparency
  • AES-256 encryption and obfuscation
  • Competitive pricing and streaming
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Hulu
bbc_iplayer
from 2,04€ / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
ivacy VPN
8.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • High-speed streaming and browsing
  • Robust security and privacy
  • Affordable long-term plans
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $1,00 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
ProtonVPN
9.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Free version with excellent features
  • Extensive server network
  • Top-tier encryption and security
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $4,99 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
StrongVPN
10.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • User-friendly VPN for beginners
  • Strong privacy and security features
  • Access to 950 servers
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $3,97 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
Bitdefender
11.
Favicon
4.4/5
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Robust encryption and security
  • Impressive server network
Data Logging
Yes
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Torrents
from $2,50 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
PayPal
Bank Transfer
Visa
+
Show More
Atlas VPN
12.
Favicon
  • Impressive free VPN service
  • Solid security features
  • Optimized for streaming
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Hulu
bbc_iplayer
Best Alternative
ExpressVPN Go to ExpressVPN
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
JCB
+
Show More

VPN basics – what you need to know

For those of you new to the topic, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an important online privacy tool designed to help people thwart potential trackers and would-be hackers when using public Wi-Fi. The best VPN providers out there, like Nord and PIA, offer you the opportunity to connect to super-fast, ultra-secure servers all over the world, enabling you to:

  • Hide your browsing activity and identity.
  • Be in other locations and countries, IP address-wise.
  • Access blocked or region-specific content online.
NordVPNPrivate Internet Access
CompanyTefincom S.APrivate Internet Access, Inc
Web Sitenordvpn.comwww.privateinternetaccess.com
Customer SupportLive Chat, PhoneLive Chat, Email Support
Licence
Verified byn/an/a
Payment Methods
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
+
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Bonusfrom $3,59 / Monthfrom $1,98 / Month
VisitGo to NordVPN
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Private Internet Access
T&Cs apply, 18+

Which is better, NordVPN or Private Internet Access?

Having been founded in 2009 and 2012, respectively, PIA and NordVPN are two of the oldest and most-trusted VPNs around – the latter having even received prominent testimonials from PewDiePie and other internet personalities. But how do the two compare? Check out this handy table:

NordVPN Private Internet Access
Cost From $3.49 per month ($83.76 per year) for a two-year “Standard” plan From $2.03 per month ($79 per year) for a three-year plan
Special offers Save up to 63% as a new customer Get 3 months free and an 83% discount
Total number of servers 5,800 35,000
Total number of countries 60 85
Security protocols 256-bit AES encryption 256-bit AES encryption
OS compatibility Windows, Max, Linux, iOS, Android, Android TV Windows, Mac, Linus, iOS, Android
Simultaneous connections Six devices max Unlimited

A detailed comparison between NordVPN and Private Internet Access

We at Strafe.com absolutely love these two VPNs, but there’s so much to praise about each one that it’s difficult to declare an all-out winner. Ultimately, they both have their benefits and their inevitable downsides. So, here’s a category-by-category comparison to help you decide between the two.

Speed – which is fastest?

If you came here to hunt down the fastest VPN around, these two look pretty well matched-up on paper, advertising ultra-fast servers of up to 10Gbps that promise buffer-free streaming and lag-free online gaming.

To get a more realistic idea of NordVPN vs Private Internet Access speeds, we ran a couple of tests on each provider via a few US, UK, Australian and Asian servers and landed the following real-world averages:

NordVPN Private Internet Access
Average download 319 Mbps 266 Mbps
Average upload 238 Mbps 151 Mbps

We found that NordVPN’s NordLynx and OpenVPN UDP tech tend to offer marginally faster speeds in most everyday situations, but it’s worth noting that PIA generally offers far greater support for online P2P file-sharing and can sometimes perform faster in torrenting scenarios.

Price – which is cheapest? 

When it comes to NordVPN vs Private Internet Access on price, the latter for sure offers the cheapest up-front plans, starting from just $2.03 a month against Nord’s $3.49. That said, PIA offers only three different plan options overall, while Nord allows bargain-hunters to save cash by choosing between Standard, Plus, Complete and Ultimate plans.

But hold up. Doesn’t that mean that only those who are willing to pay for a $6.99 Ultimate package will get to take advantage of NordVPN’s best features? Well, yes, unfortunately – which is why PIA is still the best choice for budget-conscious buyers. That said, Nord’s top-end plans bundle together some seriously good extras, including 1TB cloud storage, a cross-platform password manager and a personal data removal tool.

NordVPN
4.5/5
from $3,59 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to NordVPN
NordVPN Highlights
Private Internet Access
4.5/5
from $1,98 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access Highlights
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service

Security – which is safest? 

Both companies have collocated RAM-only servers and process your data and traffic through 256-bit, AES-encrypted tunnels – a level of encryption that the guys at NordVPN like to claim matches that used by major world governments and militaries. So yeah, both these VPNs are pretty damn impenetrable.

It’s worth noting whether you choose NordVPN or Private Internet Access, both providers offer their own dedicated IP address add-ons for extra security, though you’ll need to fork out an extra $5 (or, in Nord’s case, $5.83) monthly to unlock this feature.

Servers – which has more?

PIA offers a truly dizzying number of servers, billed at 35,000 in total. So, if server choice and flexibility is your top priority in the NordVPN vs Private Internet Access debate, this is probably going to be the VPN for you.

Remote workers who connect frequently to the US will also be happy to know that PIA has ultra-safe servers in all 50 US states, plus in 84 other countries. NordVPN, meanwhile, will grant you access to just 60 different locations in total, though their coverage is broader and generally better in some of the regions that PIA overlooks – and don’t forget that connection speeds are generally a tad quicker, too.

Functionality and compatibility – who’s the most user-friendly?

Both Nord and Private Internet Access VPN have worked long and hard on user-friendliness here, though we tend to prefer the hover-and-click world map the former uses to enable you to quickly select servers in the countries of your choice.

NordVPN is also a little easier to hook up to Android TV devices and set-top boxes if you’ll be using your VPN primarily for streaming. That said, there’s a level of customisation with the PIA interface that Nord simply can’t match – and PIA will let you connect an unlimited number of devices at once, too, while Nord only allows for six simultaneous connections.

Overall verdict – is NordVPN better than Private Internet Access?

This is a difficult question for us, or anyone else to answer – hence why the “should I pick NordVPN or Private Internet Access?” debate has raged on for so long in various online forums. Like many of life’s decisions, this is going to be a personal one, and you should go with whatever your gut tells you.

Both VPNs offer incredibly fast, super-safe and highly-regarded software that definitely won’t disappoint. That said, it’s pretty clear that PIA offers the most budget-friendly plans and the best value packages in terms of features-for-money, particularly if you want a tonne of different server options. Conversely, NordVPN is easier to use, much faster in everyday situations and offers a greater range of more flexible price packages.

More great VPN providers

ExpressVPN
1.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $8,32 / Month
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
CyberGhost
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $2,37 / Month
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
NordVPN
3.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $3,59 / Month
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $1,98 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $2,49 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+

NordVPN vs Private Internet Access FAQ

⏱️ Who would win in a NordVPN vs Private Internet Access speed test?

Both NordVPN and Private Internet Access are razor-sharp in terms of connection speeds, but which one has the faster average upload and download speeds? Find out with Strafe.com now.

📁 Which VPN is best for torrenting and file sharing?

While some VPNs offer exceptional support for P2P file sharing and torrenting, others are more geared toward streamers or more casual users. Compare the best torrenting VPNs with Strafe.com today.

🤔 Which good VPN is cheapest?

The best budget VPN should really be fast, reliable and, above all else, secure. You can use our expert reviews and at-a-glance comparisons to get an idea of which VPNs are currently offering the best package deals.

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