NordVPN vs Private Internet Access – Which Should You Choose?
NordVPN vs Private Internet Access – Which Should You Choose?
Choosing a VPN service can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a lot of technical
knowledge. After all, with so many different companies offering VPN services in Canada, how do you compare all
of them and choose the best option for you? Well, we’re here to help you find a reliable, high-quality VPN.
On this page, we compare two popular VPN companies – Nord VPN and PIA (also known as Private Internet Access).
So, PIA vs Nord VPN: which is better? After reading our comparison, you will have a clear picture of the differences between these companies.
PIA vs Nord VPN Canada Overview
PIA and Nord VPN are two of the most well-known and highly ranked VPN companies available on the Canadian
market today, and this is backed up by their excellent reviews and ratings on the Google Play Store and
the Apple App Store. Interestingly, the two companies have identical rankings on both platforms. The only
difference is in the number of reviews. For example, PIA and Nord VPN both have a 4.7 rating on the Apple
App Store, though PIA has over 90 000 ratings, while NordVPN has over 4 000. Meanwhile, Google Play Store
users have rated both apps at 4.5, with PIA receiving over 60 000 ratings and Nord VPN getting over 600 000.
Best VPN Canada’s team of VPN experts has carefully considered all aspects of the two companies and
assigned a rating of 98.6 to Nord VPN and 96.5 to PIA.
Both companies have been on the market for over 10 years, with Nord VPN founded in 2012 and PIA in 2010.
Nord VPN is based in Panama, which is not part of the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes intelligence
sharing alliances, meaning that the service doesn’t have to comply with any other jurisdiction’s surveillance
laws. However, PIA is based in Denver in the USA. The USA is part of all three intelligence sharing alliances,
which means that the VPN service may be required to collect and store some data about its users.
Now, let’s get into a technical assessment of the two VPN service providers. As of 2023, Nord VPN has more than 5,700 servers in over 60 countries. In contrast, PIA uses more than 35,000 servers in over 84 countries. One Nord VPN account can be used on up to 6 devices simultaneously, while PIA users can have unlimited parallel devices connected to one account.
PIA and Nord VPN can both be used on devices running iOS, Mac, Linux, Windows, and Android operating systems. Both companies have developed dedicated browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers. In addition to this, NordVPN offers an Edge browser extension, while PIA has an extension for Opera. VPN users can also utilize both services on Android TV, Apple TV, and most internet routers.
Most people use VPNs to keep their data secure, and PIA and Nord VPN each have robust encryption and security capabilities. Both services use OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and SmartDNS. In addition to this, Nord VPN implements L2TP/IPSec, SmartPlay, and SSTP encryption, while PIA implements WireGuard and Shadowsocks. Both PIA and Nord VPN have a no-logs policy to keep their users’ data private as much as possible, even though PIA is located in the USA, which is part of three intelligence sharing alliances.
The two VPN providers also have excellent customer service through email, live chat, and FAQs. Additionally, PIA has a help desk for customers.
When it comes to security and other technical features, both PIA and Nord VPN offer similar services. Specifically, both VPN services include built-in ad blocking capabilities, automatic kill switches, dedicated IPs, double VPN services, Onion Over VPN (Tor), P2P, VPN split tunneling, and port forwarding. Plus, both companies provide services in China, which is good news for Canadians who do a lot of traveling to that country.
There are only a few differences between the service profiles offered by PIA and Nord VPN. The first difference is that Nord VPN has obfuscated servers, and PIA does not. Obfuscated servers allow users to disguise the fact that they are utilizing a VPN. This feature can be useful if you want to use a VPN in a place that prohibits them.
Another difference is that unlike NordVPN, PIA offers dedicated IPs at an additional cost. Finally, PIA’s VPN split tunneling feature is unavailable on iOS devices.
PIA and Nord VPN have very different pricing structures. PIA only offers one plan to all users, while Nord VPN customers can choose from three plan options: Standard, Plus, and Complete. All of these plans include the VPN service itself, an ad tracker and blocker, and a malware protection system. However, more expensive options also include additional features. For instance, the Plus plan also includes a data breach scanner and a password manager, while Complete plan users can also access 1 TB of encrypted cloud storage on top of all other features described above.
The table below compares the pricing of the NordVPN Standard plan to PIA’s only plan. As you can see, if you purchase a longer service period upfront, you will be able to save a significant amount of money in the long run regardless of the VPN provider you choose.
If you select one of NordVPN’s 1-month plans, you will pay $12.99 for the Standard plan, $13.99 for the Plus plan, or $14.99 for the Complete plan. A 1-year subscription will cost $4.49 per month for the Standard plan, $5.49 per month for the Plus plan, or $6.49 per month for the Complete plan. 2-year plans offered by NordVPN are even cheaper. For example, you can get the Standard plan for $2.99 per month, the Plus plan for $3.99 per month, or the Complete plan for $4.99 per month.
Meanwhile, a 1-month plan from PIA costs $11.99, and there is only one type of plan available. But if you increase the subscription period to 6 months, you will only pay $7.50 per month. At the same time, you can save 82% off the initial per-month cost by going with the 2-year plan, which will come out to just $2.19 per month plus 2 free months. PIA also offers dedicated IPs, which can be purchased at an additional price for a period of 1 month or 6 months, or 2 years. A 1-month subscription costs $5, a 6-month subscription costs $25.50, which comes out to $4.25 per month, and a 2-year subscription costs $60 or $2.50 per month.
Both NordVPN and PIA accept a variety of payment methods, including most major credit and debit cards as well as cryptocurrency. And if you want to request a refund, you can do so within 30 days of signing up for either service.
After conducting a thorough comparison of PIA and Nord VPN, we can conclude that both companies are very close in terms of the features they offer, their prices, and reputation. This is good news for customers, as it means that you will be getting a high-quality service regardless of the provider you choose.
However, if we had to pick a favorite, we would probably go with Nord VPN. While PIA has a significantly larger number of servers, it is based in the United States. The company is very transparent about how they handle user data, but some people may still not be comfortable with the jurisdiction this VPN falls under, since the US is part of multiple intelligence-sharing alliances. Either way, if you’re still not 100% sure about your selection of a VPN service, you can read our reviews of other Canadian VPNs or check out our comparison of Express VPN vs Nord VPN.