NordVPN vs. PIA – Which One is Better Among the Two?

Obaid Chawla September 26, 2018

NordVPN and Private Internet Access are highly renowned and well-received VPN services in the industry at the moment, but how do they fare when pitted against one another, feature for feature?

To find out exactly that, we have compiled this comprehensive comparison review of NordVPN vs PIA, in which we will pit them against each other on metrics like Privacy, Features, Pricing Plans, Netflix Unblocking, Torrenting Support and more to find out which one is exactly the BestVPN that you should go for!

For a more full-fledged, individual analysis on these services, you can visit our blog for NordVPN Review and PIA Review.

NordVPN vs PIA

 

Nordvpn vs Private Internet Access Overview

NordVPN and Private Internet Access (PIA) are two distinct VPN services which are currently operating at the top tier in the VPN industry but there are many differences between these two. Here is a short comparison between them

 

NordVPN

Here is a short overview of NordVPN and the features it currently offers. For a more comprehensive analysis of the service, you can check this full NordVPN review here.

Nordvpn vs Private Internet Access

 

  1. Total Number of Servers: 5157
  2. Number of countries in which servers are located: 62
  3. Protocols Supported: OpenVPN, IKev2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP
  4. Military Grade AES 256 encryption: Yes
  5. Number of Simultaneous Connections: 6
  6. Logging Policy: Keeps Zero Logs
  7. Dedicated VPN Clients available: Yes
  8. Live chat support available: No
  9. Lowest Pricing Per Month: $3.99 (2 Year Plan)
  10. Refund period: 30 Days
  11. Free Zero Commitment Trial Available: Yes (for 3 Days)
  12. Netflix Unblocking Capabilities: Yes
  13. BBC iPlayer Unblocking Capabilities: Yes
  14. Extra Security Features Available: Yes
  15. Kill Switch: Yes
  16. Torrenting Supported: Yes
  17. Jurisdiction: Panama

 

PrivateInternetAccess

Here is a short overview of PrivateInternetAccess compared on the same metrics as NordVPN. For a more comprehensive analysis of the service, you can check this full PrivateInternetAccess review here.

PIA VPN

  1. Total Number of Servers: 3152
  2. Number of countries in which servers are located: 33
  3. Protocols Supported: OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP
  4. Military Grade AES 256 encryption: Yes
  5. Number of Simultaneous Connections: 5
  6. Logging Policy: Keeps Zero Logs
  7. Dedicated VPN Clients available: Yes
  8. Live chat support available: No
  9. Lowest Pricing Per Month: $2.91 (2 Year Plan)
  10. Refund period: 7 Days
  11. Free Zero Commitment Trial Available: No
  12. Netflix Unblocking Capabilities: Yes
  13. BBC iPlayer Unblocking Capabilities: Yes
  14. Extra Security Features Available: No
  15. Kill Switch: No
  16. Torrenting Supported: Yes
  17. Jurisdiction: USA

 

Nordvpn vs PIA: Servers

When it comes down to connection speeds, PIA is partially better than NordVPN and that’s because all of its servers deliver consistent performance.

NordVPN Servers

NordVPN is faster than PIA on most of its USA and UK servers but is quite slow on its servers in the Middle East and South America. We value consistency a lot more than higher speeds on some and lower speeds on the rest, so here we declare PIA to be the winner when it comes to connection speeds.

PIA Servers

 

Nordvpn vs PIA: Pricing

In the pricing comparison, PIA’s pricing is a lot cheaper than NordVPN’s. Here are PIA’s Pricing Plans:

PIA Pricing

  1. Monthly Subscription: $6.95 billed once
  2. Yearly Subscription: $3.33/month ($39.95 billed once)
  3. Two Yearly Subscription: $2.91/month ($69.95 billed once)

As you can see here, all of PIA’s plans are incredibly affordable and never do they cross the $7/month range, which makes it a service that can appeal to a much more wider spectrum of users than NordVPN, whose pricing plans are as follow:

Nordvpn Pricing

  1. Monthly Subscription: $11.95 billed once
  2. Half Yearly Subscription: $9.00/month ($54.00 billed once)
  3. Yearly Subscription: $6.99/month ($83.88 billed once)

Apart from this, NordVPN also offers a 2 yearly plan at $3.99/month, but even that’s $1 higher than PIA’s comparative plan.

Yes, NordVPN offers many more servers, more simultaneous connections, supports more protocols, offers more security features like Onion over VPN and Double VPN, we prefer those VPNs who remain within the reach of consumers with a budget.

NordVPN is great if you have a better budget and you can go for it definitely if you want to pay extra and have access to all of those features.

 

Nordvpn vs Private Internet Access: Privacy

As far as protecting user privacy is concerned, we would rate NordVPN higher here and that’s because of two main things. Firstly, NordVPN is located in Panama, which is a data-friendly jurisdiction while PIA is located in the US which we don’t really see as a preferable VPN location.

The US has many data retention laws which can make users really unsafe but Panama doesn’t have any such legal data retention laws for VPNs to follow.

Secondly, NordVPN offers extra security features like DoubleVPN and Onion over VPN, both of which increase the options which users have access to with regards to protecting their anonymity online.

NordVPN vs PIA Privacy

While both of them have military grade encryption and support the OpenVPN protocol, these two facets mentioned here definitely do make a difference when it comes to protecting user privacy and anonymity online.

 

Nordvpn vs PIA: Features

Most Features offered by almost all VPNs are quite generic and common like high server counts, servers in different locations worldwide, simultaneous connections etc. but some features require much more effort on part of the VPN and allow it to provide the user with much more usability and anonymity than its peers.

In the feature comparison between these two VPNs, we will take into consideration the extra security features offered by NordVPN as the rest of the features offered by them are quite the same.

NordVPN offers Double VPN and Onion over VPN, which if you are familiar with, can allow a user to enhance its security to even higher levels than afforded by conventional VPN security apparatus like military-grade encryption and OpenVPN protocol.

Double VPN gives a user a double hop on VPN servers, which implies that your connection will be routed over two VPN servers instead of the usual one, making it even harder for snoopers to detect your activity.

Onion over VPN is another great security feature that allows the user to acquire security under the Onion routing system, which is highly similar to what the popular Tor browser uses in its security infrastructure.

NordVPN is the winner in this category on account of these security features and also because its other features are much more generous than PIA like more simultaneous connections, more VPN clients and more servers in more locations.

PIA also doesn’t have a kill switch which is absolutely essential if your connection drops, so PIA loses some points here as well.

NordVPN vs PIA Features

 

Nordvpn vs Private Internet Access: Torrenting and P2P

Torrenting and P2P are two of the most important activities that people deploy VPN for. That’s because ISPs and Copyright Trolls are usually against these activities as this can sometimes involve sharing files that might fall in the copyright grey area.

VPNs hide user’s real IP address and their internet activities providing ample support for Torrenting and P2P users. And while conventional VPN servers are good enough to do to the job, we prefer those VPNs that offer dedicate VPN servers as they are much faster and more optimized for such activities than conventional servers.

NordVPN offers a lot more dedicated P2P servers than PIA, and it even has a top grade app exactly for notifying a user as to which such VPN server is best suited to its geographical location.

NordVPN vs PIA Torrenting and P2P Servers

 

PIA does have its own dedicated P2P servers but they are a lot less in number than what NordVPN offers.

So our verdict here is that NordVPN Torrenting is better suited for you if you are considering a VPN subscription for Torrenting and P2P activities.

 

Nordvpn vs PIA: Netflix and China

We really rate those VPNs a lot higher than offer unblocking capabilities especially when it comes to bypassing the geo-restrictions on Netflix US and can overcome the Great Firewall in China.

That’s because doing both of these feats requires the VPN to be a top grade in both its infrastructure and performance.

So now coming back, while both of them i.e. NordVPN and PIA, can offer you these capabilities, we would pick out PIA for Netflix and NordVPN for bypassing the Chinese Firewall.

We have reasons for it. So first, lets come to PIA. It’s extremely fast on Netflix and other such streaming sites like Hulu that few VPNs can even come close to its zero-buffering experience.

Now for NordVPN, its server infrastructure allows it places a lot more servers around China i.e. in places like Hong Kong and Singapore (More than a 100 servers in just these two locations combined) than PIA, which allows it to provide the user with a higher degree of anonymity to the user.

When we compare these two services on these two metrics, we would determine that it’s a draw between the two.

 

NordVPN vs PIA Reddit

When we checked Reddit for the comparison between these two services on the basis of actual user reviews, we found NordVPN to be the most dominant VPN here i.e. it is preferred by a higher number of users, which is obvious, given that it is a bigger service and is used by a higher number of users.

PIA does have its followers but this thread, where these comments have been culled from were highly in favor of NordVPN.

 

Nordvpn vs Private Internet Access Conclusion

When it comes to declaring a winner between these two, highly regarded VPN services, we believe NordVPN is the clear winner here, even though it is sketchy in some of metrics on which this comparison was based like the fluctuating server speeds.

Mostly, the presence of a kill switch, the more robust, additional security features and the greater ability to bypass the Chinese Firewall were the biggest influencers in us declaring NordVPN as a better VPN than PIA.

PIA is good and is still a top-tier VPN service but it needs to work on many of the facets we’ve pointed out here if it wants to compete with much larger service providers like NordVPN.

We try our hardest to keep our reviews and comparisons non-biased, so if any of our analysis in this guide do not seem valuable to you and if you differ with any of them, we would strongly recommend that you comment with your own analysis in the comments below, so that we can have a meaningful conversation.

If your analysis is logical and you are able to convince us, we will definitely change that part of the review because in the end, its all about adding and providing value to the VPN community.

Obaid Chawla

Obaid Chawla's Biography :

Obaid Chawla is a innovation buff with a propensity to debate hard. He has a deep interest in how humans can push things forward in the fourth and final Industrial Revolution and loves covering every single development that takes place! He's also freelancing in making new friends and communities!

2 Responses to NordVPN vs. PIA – Which One is Better Among the Two?

  1. Amy Adams

    Giving PIAVPN and PureVPN a go right now and gonna say PureVPN is pretty much good and I love their app also.

    • Bestvpn.co

      Hi there Amy, thanks for commenting here. We’re quite happy to learn that users are testing services themselves, so that they are completely sure about receiving top privacy. PureVPN has been through its ups and downs, but has considerably improved over the past year, increasing their server ratio, adding new advanced features. PIA, conversely, does manage to do well but for a service that has been in the marketplace for a long time – still falls short in some aspects. Nevertheless, after you complete your analysis. Do give us your opinion here. It’s always good to learn more about user experiences! 🙂

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