NordVPN vs. PIA: 10 Rounds, 1 Winner!

nordvpn vs piaDeciding which VPN to get for your personal or business needs can turn into a challenging thing, especially if you narrow down your options to only two.

If you have NordVPN and PIA tabs open in your browser and can’t decide which one is better, you are at the right place.

After extensive testing, I might be able to answer the “Is NordVPN better than PIA?” question for you. Sit tight, as I compare these two VPNs in 10 important categories.

Speed Test and Performance

To make the speed test results reliable, I decided to test both VPNs on a 30 Mbps connection. NordVPN delivered consistent speeds averaging at 27.90 Mbps across different servers.

PIA, on the other hand, was considerably slower. PIA delivered an average speed of 21.40 Mbps.

While the difference is significant in favor of NordVPN, both VPNs delivered consistent speeds. And PIA’s speed is well above the industry average.

In this round of Private Internet Access vs. NordVPN, NordVPN is unquestionably the winner.

Features

There is a reason why NordVPN and PIA are considered some of the best VPN service providers.

They both offer many features to make the use of the VPN easy, secure, and reliable.

The NordVPN network is huge, and it consists of more than 5,500 servers with access points in 60 countries.

PIA’s network is also large, and it consists of more than 3,300 servers placed in 32 countries.

nordvpn

The NordVPN feature list goes like this:

  • 256-bit AES, IKEv2/IPSec, and OpenVPN
  • CyberSec
  • Double VPN
  • No-logging policy
  • Kill switch
  • DNS/IP leak protection
  • Onion Over VPN
  • P2P support
  • Dedicated IP address
  • Easy to use
  • VPN app

Download NordVPN   

PIA’s list of features includes:

pia vpn

  • Secure VPN Account
  • Encrypted Wi-Fi
  • P2P Support
  • 256-bit AES, PPTP, OpenVPN, and L2TP/IPsec
  • Support for 10 devices
  • Blocks ads, trackers, and malware
  • Multiple VPN gateways
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • SOCKS5 Proxy
  • No-logging policy
  • Instant setup
  • VPN app
  • Easy to use         

Download PIA

Features that are unique to NordVPN include:

  • DoubleVPN the technology that routes user data through 2 VPN servers, thus making it more secure and virtually impossible to hack;
  • Onion over VPN support for TOR browser for users who want even more security;
  • CyberSec efficient tool designed to block ads, trackers and online malware;
  • Dedicated IP address.

PIA, on the other hand, offers SOCKS5, which allows users to connect to PIA VPN servers via proxy and support for 10 simultaneous connections.

Security: Encryption & Protocols

NordVPN and PIA both take user security and privacy very seriously.

These VPNs have state of the art encryption and protocols to keep their user’s authentication data and data, in general, safe and secure.

Nord VPN encryption diagram

I have tested NordVPN and PIA for IP and DNS leaks. During testing, I was unable to detect any IP or DNS leaks. Both VPNs have tight security in place.

When it comes to security features, NordVPN and PIA have a few of them in common, but there are also features unique to each.

Both providers have a 256-bit AES encryption, which is the industry standard.

They also feature OpenVPN tunneling protocols, IP/DNS leak protection, and a kill switch.

Privacy & Logging Policy

Nord VPN no-log service

PIA and NordVPN have strict no-logging policies. These two VPN providers don’t track, record, or store user information, traffic, and IP addresses.

Compatibility

NordVPN and PIA are, without a doubt, some of the best VPN service providers. Both VPNs offer extensive support for popular devices and platforms.

Device/Platform NordVPN PIA VPN

Android

iOS

macOS

Windows

Chrome

Firefox

Opera

Android TV

Routers

As you can see, both VPNs have support for popular browsers, platforms, and devices.

It’s important to mention, that they are also in the list of the best VPN providers for Android.

They can even be installed on a router and provide umbrella protection to your home or business internet connection.

PIA is a winner in this category as it offers one more browser extension than NordVPN.

Torrenting

Since many users enjoy torrenting every once in a while, I decided to compare NordVPN and PIA’s ability to unblock torrenting sites and provide additional security while downloading torrents.

So, is NordVPN good for torrenting?

NordVPN and PIA have an extensive list of P2P-enabled servers for seamless torrenting sites unblocking and safe torrent downloads.

PIA even features post-forwarding technology to deliver ultra-fast torrent downloading speeds.

But, I find it important to point out that PIA is under US jurisdiction.

PIA has to comply with DMCA notices and disclose user information if the authorities come with a warrant.

Meanwhile, NordVPN is a Panama-based company and is not under any obligation whatsoever to comply with such notices.

Netflix

My comparison would not be complete without answering, “Does NordVPN work with Netflix?”.

I’ve found that NordVPN has no problem bypassing Netflix geo-restrictions. I’ve managed to unblock Netflix with NordVPN on every server that I tried.

PIA is not as efficient as NordVPN when it comes to unblocking Netflix in terms of consistency.

During testing, I wasn’t able to unblock Netflix on all PIA servers. Some worked, while others didn’t.

Customer Support

Both NordVPN and PIA provide great support to their users. They offer plenty of actionable and insightful tutorials on installing, setting up, and using their VPN services and apps.

Also, both feature extensive FAQs on their websites, and users can consult them at any time to resolve any possible issues.

NordVPN is known for its delightful customer support across different channels.

While PIA offers email as a form of directly contacting their support agents, NordVPN has a live chat feature, which makes their customer support more accessible and responsive.

Pricing and Plans

Both NordVPN and PIA have refund policies in place. NordVPN has a 30-day refund policy, while PIA only has a 7-day money-back guarantee.

Pricing / Subscription Plans

NordVPN

PIA

1-month plan $11.95 billed every month

1-month plan $6.95 billed every month

6-month plan – none

6-month plan $35.95 billed every 6 months

1-year plan $83.88 billed every year

1-year plan $39.95 billed every year

2-year plan $119.76 billed every 2 years

2-year plan – none

3-year plan $125.64 billed every 3 years + 3 months free

3-year plan – none

The cost of PIA subscription plans is considerably lower than NordVPN.

The only time they come close is with NordVPN’s 3-year plan if you are willing to make a 3-year-long commitment.

Jurisdiction

NordVPN is based in Panama, a country considered to be a safe haven in terms of user information safety.

PIA is based in the US, which raises certain concerns in regard to DMCA notices.

The company has to comply with them because it falls under US jurisdiction.

Can PIA be trusted?

Their 10-years long history without a single incident is there to assure customers that PIA is trustworthy and safe to use.

Final Verdict

Is NordVPN better than Pia?

Let’s quickly review the pros and cons of both VPN service providers before I deliver the final verdict.

NordVPN:

Unblocks Netflix

Fast speed

Good customer support

Military-grade security

Somewhat more expensive than other options

Lack of some browser extensions

PIA:

Affordable prices

Good speed

Many configuration options

Unblocks Netflix

No live chat

7-day money-back guarantee

 

After 10 rounds, I have to admit that NordVPN definitely came out as a winner of the NordVPN vs. PIA match.

The differences are subtle, so I recommend them both. They offer plenty of features, great security, and the ability to bypass geo-restrictions.

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