NordVPN vs PIA

NordVPN and Private Internet Access are two popular VPNs that can provide full anonymity to their users. But they offer different features and options. So, we did this NordVPN vs PIA review, comparing every detail of each software.

Security details

  • Located in Panama
  • Doesn't save logs
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Shared IPs
  • OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), SSTP, PPTP, L2TP/IPsec and IKEv2/IPsec
  • Located in USA
  • Doesn't save logs
  • AES 256 bit encryption
  • Shared IPs
  • OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), L2TP/IPSEC and PPTP
The basic security features are similar. They both offer a modern encryption and they don’t save logs. Also, they have OpenVPN protocol available, which is crucial to protect your connection.
 
Regarding the location of the company, NordVPN has a slight advantage. There are no laws in Panama related to data retention, so the government of that country won’t be asking for user info. Since PIA doesn’t save logs, the location is not very important. If a US government agency asks for user logs, they won’t have anything to give them. But still, being outside countries such as the USA offers an extra layer of security and peacefulness.

Extra Features

  • Kill Switch
  • DNS Leak Prevention
  • IPv6 Leak Prevention
  • Manual / Automatic server selection
  • Anti DDoS
  • Dedicated IP addresses
  • Double VPN
  • Onion over VPN
  • Server selection by purpose
  • Protection against malware, bots and ads
  • Kill Switch
  • DNS Leak Prevention
  • IPv6 Leak Prevention
  • Port Forwarding
  • Option to choose level of encryption
  • PIA MACE - Protection against ads, trackers and malware
One of the main differences we found in this NordVPN vs PIA VPN analysis was the extra features. Both offer the most important features, such as a DNS Leak Prevention and a Kill Switch. But NordVPN clearly went further when it comes to functionality and options. 
 
They have one more thing in common. They are two of the few VPNs in the market offering protection against malware, trackers and ads. This is a great detail for browsing the web with extra security. PIA was the pioneer, with their PIA MACE, but NordVPN included the CyberSec in one of their last updates. They have different names, but it’s basically the same thing.

Speed

  • 5% Speed Loss
  • 11% Speed Loss

The speed is very good in both VPN providers, but NordVPN wins this head to head as well. On average, we kept 95% of our Internet Speed with NordVPN servers, while PIA was able to provide 89%.

Those are great speeds, such high level of encryption usually has a higher impact on speed. The difference between both VPN providers was not huge, but it was quite visible.

Servers

  • Servers in 62 countries
  • 4900 Servers
  • Servers in 28 countries
  • 3100 Servers

Nord has servers in more countries and also a higher total of servers. Private Internet Access has many servers available, but the amount of locations doesn’t come close to NordVPN. We see this as a clear advantage for NordVPN. Chances are that every user will find good servers in countries close by. While with PIA, some users might struggle to find a server in the same region of the globe.

Torrenting and P2P

  • Torrent Friendly
  • Allows torrenting on servers located in 36 countries
  • Torrent Friendly
  • Allows torrenting on every server location (28 countries)
BitTorrent traffic is permitted with both providers. In the case of PIA, users can download torrents in all the servers. NordVPN opted to allow this kind of traffic is some server locations only. This is because they excluded countries where laws about torrenting are more strict. But there is a positive side of this decision. The servers in those 36 countries are optimized for torrenting, offering great speeds.
 
Again, the advantage goes to NordVPN. The number of countries where users can download torrents is still superior to the total amount of PIA’s server locations.

Compatibility

  • Compatible with major platforms and devices
  • 6 Simultaneous Connections
  • Compatible with major platforms and devices
  • 5 Simultaneous Connections
The two VPNs are compatible with almost every platform and device, such as windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, etc…
 
These providers offer more simultaneous connections than the majority of VPNs out there. Nord offers one more, but PIA has a very respectable number as well. These are enough connections at the same time for all your devices and even a couple members of the family.

Price

  • 1 month plan: 11.95$
  • 6 months plan: 9$/month
  • 1 year plan: 6.99$/month
  • 30 days money back guarantee
  • Current Discounts: 66% off for 2 year plans
  • 1 month plan: 6.95$
  • 2 months plan: 5.99$/month
  • 1 year plan: 3.33$/month
  • 7 days money back guarantee
  • Current Discounts: 58% off for 2 year plans

PIA is usually cheaper than NordVPN, with a very low prices for all of their plans. But at the moment NordVPN has a promotion for their 2-year plan that makes it quite competitive.

NordVPN vs PIA Conclusion

In the end, it’s not very hard to decide.  When compared side by side, NordVPN is superior in every area. That doesn’t mean that PIA isn’t a good service, because it is. But NordVPN went a bit further in every detail, such as features and speed. Having in mind that NordVPN is even cheaper, this one is a no brainer.