Private Internet Access Vs. NordVPN

Private Internet Access Vs. NordVPN

More and more organizations continue to embrace remote work, with 72 percent saying they plan to implement permanent remote work, according to a 2022 Buffer State of Remote Work report.

While this is a good thing, it presents a security challenge to keep sensitive documents and data secure as their employees collaborate online. That’s where VPNs come in. A virtual private network not only protects your online privacy but also your online security.

Private Internet Access (PIA) and NordVPN are two of the most popular VPN providers in the market today. Both offer robust security features and a wide network of servers, but they also have some key differences that set them apart.

We’ve prepared a detailed comparison of Private Internet Access vs. NordVPN to help you decide the best fit for your needs.

NordVPN: A Brief Explanation


NordVPN is based in Panama, a country that advocates zero data retention laws. It has over 5400 servers in 60 countries and is known for some of the most advanced features a VPN service has to offer.

NordVPN is an excellent VPN choice for those who stream a lot since it unblocks more content platforms compared to PIA. It’s also fast and outputs a more reliable performance than PIA.

Private Internet Access: A Brief Explanation


PIA VPN service is headquartered in the US and this has been a major concern for most users given the country’s privacy laws and a member of the Five Eyes. It has the largest server locations than any other VPN, so you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of IP addresses from dozens of countries or cities.

If you’re looking for a VPN with affordable pricing, PIA is a great choice to consider.

NordVPN VS PIA: Feature Highlights

NordVPN and Private Internet Access are highly rated VPNs, each excelling at specific features.

Here’s how they stack up against each other:

Features NordVPN Private Internet Access
OS Compatibility Android, Android TV, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux
Simultaneous Connections Supported 6 10


Maximum Number of Devices Allowed Per Subscription 6 Unlimited
Number of Servers 5,000+ Unclear
Server Locations 60 countries 83 countries
VPN Protocols OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPsec
No Logs Policy No logs Independently audited

Private Internet Access Vs. NordVPN: Side-by-Side Comparison

Here’s a closer look at the features, performance, and functionality of these VPN services

NordVPN Vs. PIA: Security Protocols and Encryption Methods

Security is the topmost priority when choosing a VPN to protect against cybersecurity threats. Both NordVPN and PIA use WireGuard and OpenVPN, the world’s fastest and most secure VPN protocols.

Private Internet Access Vs.NordVPN

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key security differences and similarities between both:

NordVPN Security Features:

Meshnet: It’s a new feature that provides users a convenient way to connect to remote devices to collaborate on projects, host a LAN party, and access remote documents.

Threat Protection: NordVPN’s CyberSec has been upgraded to Threat Protection, which is more powerful at neutralizing cyber threats to keep your browsing safe and secure. The feature also blocks intrusive ads and trackers. With Threat Protection, you don’t have to be connected to a VPN server. It works on Windows and macOS, blocking ads and trackers and scanning files for malware during downloads.

Private Internet Access Vs.NordVPN

Dedicated IP. A dedicated IP address is exclusive to your account and provides secure access to sensitive systems. It gives admins more control compared to shared IPs.

Dark Web Monitor. You can’t possibly check every data dump for leaks manually. NordVPN provides a solution for this via its dark web monitor feature that notifies you when your credentials have been compromised.

Onion over VPN. The dark web is a dangerous place to visit without sufficient protection. NordVPN combines Onion over VPN servers and Tor Network to give you unrivaled security.

Obfuscated servers. This helps you get around online censorship in heavy-surveillance countries like China.

DNS leak test. Allows you to test for DNS leaks to ensure you’re fully protected.

MFA protection. NordVPN supports multi-factor authentication to keep your account safe.

Private Internet Access Security Features:

PIA MACE. This security feature blocks unwanted content, including ads, malware, and trackers.

Private Internet Access vs NordVPN

Multi-Hop and Obfuscation. PIA combines Stealth VPN and Double VPN to deal with online censorship, VPN blocking, and surveillance.

Connection Automation. Sometimes one can forget to turn on the VPN while browsing. This feature prevents that from happening.

As you can see, NordVPN takes the upper hand when it comes to security features. The two VPNs also share some common security features:

Kill Switch. This protects your IP address if the VPN connection fails. NordVPN’s kill switch is automatically enabled and invisible, while PIA gives you the option to turn the feature on and off in the iOS app. What’s more, NordVPN offers an app-specific kill switch, as well as an internet kill switch, meaning it blocks everything, unlike PIA which only features an internet kill switch.

IP and DNS leak protection. Both VPNs do an excellent job of protecting your IP or DNS from leaking.

Split tunneling. Both VPNs allow users to customize which apps or IP addresses bypass the VPN tunnel.

AES-256 encryption. Both VPNs use the standard gold encryption method, which provides the best balance between performance and security. Both allow you to use WireGuard or OpenVPN on all devices.

It’s also worth noting that one NordVPN account secures up to six devices simultaneously, while one PIA account protects up to 10 devices at the same time. This might be useful for people with multiple devices that need protection.

NordVPN Vs. PIA: Speed and Performance

After security, of course, you want to know how fast and reliable a VPN is. NordVPN and PIA are among the fastest VPNs out there. Both utilize WireGuard and are fast enough to support gaming and even streaming.

However, NordVPN uses an advanced version of the WireGuard tunneling protocol called NordLynx, which has better performance and faster connections. In addition, NordVPN has better download and upload speed, especially on shorter-distance connections.

Both NordVPN and PIA have minimal latency when it comes to gaming, although PIA is better when playing fast-paced PC games like Fortnite.


If you stream a lot, NordVPN would be a better choice because it gives you access to multiple libraries across the US and UK. Some of the libraries it unblocks include:

  • Netflix
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Disney+
  • Amazon Prime Video
  • BBC iPlayer

While NordVPN doesn’t have dedicated servers for streaming, its SmartPlay feature makes it easy to unblock Netflix using any of its US servers. Furthermore, NordVPN offers apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick, when you want to use your laptop to watch TV. However, some users have complained of Nord VPN slow connections when streaming, but this could be related to individual internet speeds.

Private Internet Access, on the other hand, offers dedicated servers for streaming in countries like the US, UK, Japan, Sweden, and Italy, but isn’t as reliable as using NordVPN. Likewise, it doesn’t come with an Android TV or Fire TV app. On the brighter side, it fills that gap with its Smart DNS, which can unblock content for any app.

NordVPN Vs. PIA: Server Network

Another crucial aspect when comparing NordVPN vs PIA is the number of servers they offer. Generally, a VPN with an expansive server network is better. For starters, there will be less congestion on each server, meaning faster performance. Plus, more country variety means you’re more likely to connect to a server that’s closer to you.

Here’s a summary of the total number of server locations for NordVPN and PIA worldwide, as of January 2023:

  NordVPN Private Internet Access
servers 5506 Unclear – servers across the globe
countries 60 84
virtual locations Yes Yes
RAM-only servers Yes Yes
specialty servers Yes No

PIA has a more extensive server network, with servers in more than 84 countries, including in all 50 US states. The exact number of servers isn’t clear, but statistics indicate they could be over 30,000.
Both VPNs use RAM-only architecture, where all your session data is deleted on each reboot. This increases data security since no data is stored on hard drives.

If you don’t find these two VPNs interesting, we recommend checking out Outbyte VPN. It’s a great VPN alternative with servers in over 80 locations and 48 countries. The VPN uses military-grade encryption that guarantees a safe and secure browsing or online shopping.

NordVPN Vs. PIA: Logging Policy

The thing about VPNs is that they can collect large amounts of data about you. Therefore, you need a trustworthy service that you can use to access sensitive and confidential information, like when making online payments. That’s why it’s important to compare their logging policies and privacy practices.

Both VPNs don’t retain user data

You can trust NordVPN and PIA with your data since they support strong privacy protection. The fact that they use RAM-only servers is reassuring because it means they don’t log user activities. PIA has never had any known security vulnerabilities and has had its no-logs privacy verified in multiple court cases in the US.

Likewise, NordVPN has had its no-logs policy audited twice by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), which confirmed that the service provider doesn’t store users’ browsing activities or IP addresses.

NordVPN is based in Panama

NordVPN is Panama-based, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction with zero data retention laws. That means it doesn’t partner with any international intelligence-sharing alliances. In other words, any organization incorporated in Panama won’t be subjected to collecting any user data. NordVPN also supports anonymous payment methods.

PIA is based in the US

In contrast, PIA has its headquarters in the USA, which is part of the Five Eyes countries. While concerning, PIA has a strict no-logs policy. It doesn’t collect any user information and therefore doesn’t have any logs to provide when needed by the authorities.

What’s more, PIA makes it even more private by allowing users to sign up anonymously via gift cards or cryptocurrencies.

NordVPN Vs. PIA: Ease of Use and Platform Support

When choosing a VPN, you want one that offers a user-friendly interface and a smooth user experience. Both NordVPN and PIA don’t disappoint when it comes to user interface and ease of use. However, NordVPN is easier to use as it auto-selects the best settings and server locations for you.

You can even select a specific server. For example, you can type the country in the search bar and add a hashtag to find specific servers. NordVPN’s desktop UI includes a clickable map with the list of countries in the left sidebar.

Private Internet Access vs NordVPN

PIA’s interface is designed for advanced users and has more configuration settings and other elements on the screen. It displays information about data usage, the type of connection used, encryption port and protocols, as well as authentication cipher.

Both VPNs support a wide range of platforms.

Here’s a summarized view:

  NordVPN Private Internet Access
Supported Operating System macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS
Other supported software and devices Kindle Fire, Chromecast, Chromebook, Xbox, Firestick, Android TV Smart TV, Gaming consoles, routers
Browser Extensions Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Opera
Number of simultaneous connections 6 10

As for mobile apps, the services take inspiration from their desktop apps. Whether you use your VPN on iOS or Android, you can access and configure the settings the same way you do on the desktop app.

NordVPN Vs. PIA: Price, Pros & Cons

When buying a VPN, another crucial factor to consider is the price and value, and how it fits into your budget. PIA is a more affordable option on all the plans. But is it the best value for money? We’ll let you be the judge.

Here’s a summary of their prices:

Nord VPN Price:

Price Pros Cons
Monthly plan: $14.49/month High download and upload speeds Costly than most VPNs

Fewer server networks than PIA

1-year plan: $7.49/month ($89.88 for the first year) currently at a 54% discount. Normal pricing is $198.84 for the first year.


Uses RAM-only modules to prevent data collection

Has a kill switch to protect your IP address

More advanced security features

Based in a privacy-friendly region


Cost for dedicated IP address is higher

Not so reliable for bypassing censorship

2-year plan: $5.99/month ($143.76 for the first two years) currently discounted at 63%. Normal pricing is $397.68 for the first two years Offers mobile apps for android and iOS

Excellent customer support

Ideal for streaming



All plans offer a free 30-day trial period that you can cancel anytime with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Private Internet Access Price:

Price Pros Cons
1 Month plan: $11.95/month Ideal for bypassing censorship

More affordable than competitors

Slow customer service

Chatbots aren’t so reliable

  Offers a larger server network than most VPNs Headquartered in the US, a member of the Five Eyes countries
1 Year plan: $3.33/month ($39.95 per year) currently discounted at 72%. Normal pricing is $143.40 Uses RAM-only modules

Has a kill switch to protect your IP address

3 Years + 3 Months plan: $2.03/month ($79 per three years) currently discounted at 83%. Normal pricing is $466.05


Offers an email breach scanner that checks if your email address has been compromised  

You also get a 30-day free trial period with a 30-day money-back guarantee. PIA also offers a 7-day free trial for its iOS and Android apps.

NordVPN Vs. PIA: Customer Support

We can’t compare Nord VPN vs. PIA without mentioning their customer services. Both offer 24/7 live chat to get your queries answered fast. However, NordVPN has better customer support, plus their chatbots respond instantly and accurately, compared to PIA’s chatbots.

In comparison, PIA’s live chat has a queue, which can take several minutes.

Both services offer email support and online resources.

Private Internet Access Vs. NordVPN: Which Is Better?

Both NordVPN and PIA are excellent VPN providers with robust security features and a commitment to privacy. That said, NordVPN shines in many aspects, including advanced security features, connection speed, and a user-friendly interface.

PIA, on the other hand, offers a higher number of servers worldwide is more reliable when trying to bypass censorship in countries like China and Russia. It’s also more affordable than NordVPN.

Ultimately, your choice between NordVPN and Private Internet Access will boil down to specific business or personal preferences. Both come highly recommended by security experts.

Choose NordVPN if you’re looking for a VPN that:

  • has a friendly user interface and is easy to setup and use
  • supports fast internet speeds
  • offers secure access to remote documents and a convenient way to connect to remote devices for secure collaboration
  • can stream various services, like Netflix, Hulu, HBO+, etc.

Choose Private Internet Access if you’re looking for a VPN that:

  • has an expansive network coverage
  • is affordable
  • can unblock content in countries like China
Give us some love and rate our post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments