VPN software includes features like location and device coverage, security, and ad-blocking. In today’s digital world, small businesses without a technology-enabled approach to VPN connections are falling behind.
This article will discuss the differences between two of the largest players in this space: NordVPN and Private Internet Access. We’ll discuss the notable strengths and weaknesses of each tool, and provide recommendations for who each tool will suit best.
All of our recommendations are based on research, product demos with the software companies, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing VPN software. More details regarding our research process can be found on our VPN category page.
NordVPN & Private Internet Access Comparison Summary
NordVPN was given a score of 94 due to its usability, advanced features, and wide server coverage. Private Internet Access was given a score of 90 primarily due to its lack of game system support and its optimization skewing heavily towards the United States.
In terms of pricing, NordVPN starts at $11.95 for one month, while Private Internet Access starts at $9.95 for one month. Both solutions do not offer a free plan. They do, however, become more affordable depending on subscription length.
Both solutions offer the standard features found across VPN tools. These include robust server and country coverage, advanced security, and additional features such as split tunneling and dedicated IPs.
Overall, both solutions are advanced and capable for small businesses in need of robust VPN software. In fact, both NordVPN and Private Internet Access ranked in the upper percentile of our VPN software category. If you’re in need of VPN software for more than a year, we recommend Private Internet Access due to its affordability. NordVPN does, however, offer more global optimization.
Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:
- You need a dedicated IP
- You’re in need of VPN software for only a month
- You prefer more server coverage over countries
- You need VPN software for two or three years
- You need VPN support for up to 10 devices at once
- You’re in need of robust security options
Table of Contents
- NordVPN & Private Internet Access Comparison Summary
- NordVPN & Private Internet Access Price Comparison
- NordVPN & Private Internet Access Top Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
NordVPN & Private Internet Access Price Comparison
Overall, Private Internet Access is more affordable than NordVPN. This is especially true for longer subscription lengths.
NordVPN Pricing Details
NordVPN is less affordable than its competitors. You have three pricing options. Users can pay $11.95 for one month, $143.40 for a year, or $286.80 for two years.
As of December 2021, NordVPN offers discounts for their yearly and two year plans, charging $59.00 and $79.00 respectively. NordVPN does not offer a free plan.
Private Internet Access Pricing Details
Private Internet Access is relatively affordable when compared to alternatives. You have three pricing options. Users can pay $9.95 for one month, $119.40 for a year, or $388.05 for three years.
As of December 2021, Private Internet Access offers discounts for their yearly and three-year plans, charging $39.95 and $79.00 respectively. Private Internet Access does not offer a free plan.
NordVPN & Private Internet Access Feature Comparison
Overall, NordVPN and Private Internet Access have a similar breadth of features. NordVPN comes with greater global optimization. Private Internet Access, however, comes with more flexible security features.
|Feature||NordVPN||Private Internet Access|
|Multiple device support||Yes||Yes|
|Dedicated IP support||Yes||Yes|
Location & Device Coverage
NordVPN comes with far more servers than Private Internet Access. Private Internet Access offers 104 server locations in 78 countries. Compare this with NordVPN, which offers over 5,000 servers in 60 countries.
NordVPN offers support for up to 6 devices at once, while Private Internet Access supports 10 devices. Both solutions offer support for the following range of devices and operating systems:
- Apple TV
- Fire TV
Note that NordVPN offers additional support for Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch consoles, while Private Internet Access does not.
NordVPN and Private Internet Access both offer the standard security measures most VPN software solutions offer. Private Internet Access does come with more flexibility in its security options, however. Still, NordVPN offers top-level security for its customers.
Both solutions offer high-strength encryption with AES-256, as well as IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN encryption protocols. Private Internet Access allows users to tweak settings. For instance, they can choose AES-128, as well as choosing UDP over OpenVPN. We generally recommend most users keep these encryption settings as their defaults.
NordVPN and Private Internet Access also both offer a kill switch like many other VPN software solutions do. This can be automatically set up in their respective preferences.
NordVPN’s most unique security feature is its NordLynx technology. NordLynx is built around the WireGuard VPN protocol, which is essentially a standard protocol known for its speed. WireGuard, however, can potentially compromise privacy. NordLynx works to essentially make this protocol rely on a no-logs privacy model.
NordVPN and Private Internet Access come with three advanced features: Split tunneling, dedicated IPs, and ad-blocking.
With split tunneling, you can route select devices and applications through NordVPN’s encrypted servers and allow others to use your local IP. This has several use cases:
- Stream foreign films while using web services from local IP addresses
- Download applications without slowing down general web activity
- Access network printers while surfing the internet through VPN
Both NordVPN and Private Internet Access come with proprietary ad-blocker solutions. Users can leverage these features to block ads and protect themselves from trackers and malware.
Both solutions come with dedicated IP support. Do note, however, that purchasing a dedicated IP with NordVPN costs $70. Prices for Private Internet Access can range from $5 a month, to one-time payments of $51 and $135, depending on your payment plan.
Overall, if you are a small business or individual in need of powerful and user-friendly VPN software, both NordVPN and Private Internet Access will suit your needs. Private Internet Access is wholly more affordable. However, if you’re in need of VPN software outside of the US, or are looking to use VPN software on your game consoles, go with NordVPN.