VPN Showdown: NordVPN vs. PrivateVPNLast Updated:
NordVPN and PrivateVPN are both excellent options if you’re looking for fast and reliable VPN. With impressive speeds and uptime, not to mention true zero logs policies, you can’t go wrong with either one. But which of the two offers the better value, overall? Read on to find out!
A Look at Both VPN Providers
Launched in 2008, NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN provider owned and operated by Tefincom co SA. With a decade of experience under its belt, it has continuously proven itself as a highly competent player in the VPN industry. Thanks to a vast, highly optimized, global server network, best-of-class security, and a true zero logs policy, NordVPN enjoys countless praise from many satisfied VPN users.
Sweden-based PrivateVPN, also launched in 2008, is owned and operated by Privat Kommunikation Sverige AB. They score high among many users as well, thanks to fast servers, impressive uptime, plenty of encryption options, and a true zero logs policy.
Below is a quick comparative overview of both VPN providers’ strengths and weaknesses:
|Pros||– 4,000+ servers||– 56 locations|
|– 62 locations||– Unlimited bandwidth|
|– Unlimited bandwidth||– Excellent security, zero logs policy|
|– Tight security, zero logs policy||– Works on P2P and Netflix|
|– Unrestricted P2P and Netflix||– 6 simultaneous connections|
|– Connect up to 6 devices at the same time||– Free trial & 30-day money-back guarantee|
|– Free trial & 30-day money-back guarantee|
|Cons||– Month-to-month plan is pricey. Longer subscription terms are cheaper though.||– Small server network.|
|– Some refunds may take longer to process.||– No live support.|
|– Not-so-user-friendly free trial process.||– Inconvenient free trial process.|
Servers and Locations
NordVPN and PrivateVPN both offer excellent server geo-diversity, with presence in 62 and 56 locations, respectively. However, with 4,350 servers (and counting) in their repertoire, NordVPN has a clear advantage when it comes to network size. PrivateVPN’s measly 100+ servers pale in comparison.
To put it simply, the more server options available worldwide, the easier it will be to find optimal connections wherever you are. While 100 is a pretty decent network size on its own, a larger network will always be more favorable. At least PrivateVPN offers strong geo-diversity.
Check out a brief comparison of the available server locations below (take note that this isn’t the full list):
|Bosnia & Herzegovina||✓|
When it comes to affordability, PrivateVPN blows NordVPN out of the water. That is, as far as the month-to-month pricing goes. The former will only cost you $7.67/mo., while the latter will cost you a rather hefty $11.95/mo.
NordVPN, however, becomes the more “bang for the buck” option if you go for longer subscription terms. Their 1-Year plan only goes for $5.75/mo., while the 2-Year plan goes for the low, low price of $3.29/mo. Even better, if you manage to catch the special limited-time promo, you can get 3 whole years for the ridiculously low price of $2.75/mo.!
To be fair, PrivateVPN’s monthly prices do go down if you choose longer subscription terms, but you’ll be paying a bit more compared to NordVPN. Check out the comparison below to get a better idea:
|3 Months||–||$5.25/mo. ($15.75 billed every 3 mos.)|
|1 Year||$5.75/mo. ($69 billed every year)||–|
|1 Year + 1 Month||–||$4.20/mo. ($50.40 billed every year)|
|2 Years||$3.29/mo. ($79 billed every 2 years)||–|
|3 Years (limited-time promo)||$2.75/mo. ($99 billed every 3 years)||–|
As you can see, you can get a longer subscription at NordVPN at almost the same price than a 3-month subscription at PrivateVPN. That’s not even counting the very affordable 2-year or 3-year plans! If you need VPN for longer periods, NordVPN is the clear winner.
But don’t count out PrivateVPN just yet! If you don’t see yourself using VPN for more than a year, then their prices are quite reasonable. It depends on your preference, really.
Both NordVPN and PrivateVPN offer lightning-fast servers and rock-solid uptime, though a wide range of users can get more mileage out of NordVPN. While PrivateVPN offers unlimited bandwidth; allows unrestricted use of P2P networks; circumvents censorship; works on Netflix and unblocks other geo-restricted content rather easily, you can do all of these and more at NordVPN. Plus, you get access to a much larger server network.
|Access Geo-Restricted Websites||✓||✓|
|Circumvent Internet Censorship||✓||✓|
|Unrestricted P2P File Sharing||✓||✓|
|Works on Netflix||✓||✓|
Another of NordVPN’s biggest advantages is their specialty servers. Optimized for specific purposes, these servers allow you to get the most out of whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish with a VPN. The servers they offer are as follows:
- Video Streaming: If you want a smoother experience when streaming content on, say, Netflix, these servers are optimized exactly for that purpose.
- P2P: For those who need to share files over P2P networks, choose these servers.
- DoubleVPN: These servers offer more security by encrypting connections twice. But be prepared for drastically reduced speeds.
- Onion over VPN: By routing your connection from the VPN to the Onion network, you get enhanced anonymity and privacy—at the cost of reduced speeds.
- Anti-DDoS: These servers offer more stable connections and are more resilient against DDoS attacks.
- Dedicated IP: If you don’t want to share an IP address with other NordVPN users, this allows you to get a dedicated IP that can only be used by you. This is great for mobile banking, as well as other IP-sensitive applications.
- Obfuscated: These servers allow you to circumvent heavy internet restrictions—great for those living in a country with strict internet censorship.
Both NordVPN and PrivateVPN encrypt connections using military-grade AES 256-bit technology, so your personal information is never at risk whenever connected to their VPNs. Both also offer DNS/IPv6 leak protection and an automatic kill switch feature. Even better, both also offer true zero logs policies, which means that both providers don’t keep records of your online activities.
NordVPN does offer slightly more security options though. The DoubleVPN, Onion over VPN, Anti-DDoS and Dedicated IP servers all offer enhanced security and/or privacy in one way or another, while their proprietary CyberSec feature can help block ads and harmful websites online.
When it comes to connection protocols, both VPNs also offer the same range of options. NordVPN and PrivateVPN users can take advantage of the following protocols: OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2/IPsec, L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP.
So, who wins this round? While both VPN providers are both plenty secure, NordVPN goes the extra mile by providing more options by way of the various specialty servers and CyberSec. PrivateVPN comes close, but NordVPN is the clear winner here.
Both NordVPN and PrivateVPN work on a wide range of devices and platforms. However, NordVPN clearly has the advantage here. Check out a comparison below:
|Linux||✓||✓ (via 3rd party software)|
Maximum Devices Supported
NordVPN allows users to connect a total of 6 devices simultaneously, but the caveat is that, if you need to connect to a single server, you can only connect one device to each connection protocol available. Not a huge deal—just something that some users may need to know before going in.
If you need to connect more than 6 devices at the same time, you can install NordVPN on a router—which registers as a single device—to bypass this limitation. Naturally, this also means that you can connect as many devices as you need to a single server using this method.
PrivateVPN also allows users to connect up to 6 devices simultaneously. Unlike NordVPN, however, you don’t need to stick to a 1-device-per-connection-protocol limit when connecting to a single server.
Another bit of good news: if you work with more than 6 devices or need to get the whole family on the VPN, you can install PrivateVPN on a supported router to bypass the 6-device limit.
It’s a very close match, but because they don’t impose a 3-device limit the way NordVPN does, this round goes to PrivateVPN.
When it comes to support, both NordVPN and PrivateVPN offer helpful FAQs, in-depth troubleshooting guides and comprehensive installation tutorials. PrivateVPN goes a step further and offers remote installation services to customers, which is perfect for those who aren’t tech-savvy.
If you have a problem that demands the attention of a live agent, both VPN providers offer live chat and email. It must be noted, however, that PrivateVPN’s live chat isn’t available 24/7, so if you happen to just miss them, you’ll have to send an email instead. The good news is that their agents are knowledgeable and accommodating.
While their live chat may not be available 24/7, PrivateVPN does go the extra mile by offering remote installation services. So, this round goes to them.
Overall Winner: NordVPN
Although it was an incredibly close match between NordVPN and PrivateVPN, the former clearly outshines the latter in several aspects. NordVPN offers more servers; more locations; more security options; and better platform compatibility. While the month-to-month subscription may be on the expensive side of the spectrum, NordVPN offers more bang for your buck—especially if you go for their longer subscription terms!