NordVPN vs PureVPN

NordVPN and PureVPN are two of the best VPN providers on the market. And the VPN market is highly competitive, with top brands all fighting to provide the fastest speeds, the most reliable connection, and the most effective security features.

Choosing a VPN provider can be daunting. It’s important to learn as much as you can about a VPN service —  and the company behind it — before you start routing all your internet traffic through its servers.

We put NordVPN and PureVPN head to head, to help you decide between these great products. This article will reveal which brand is best.

Pricing

 

NordVPN

PureVPN

1-month plan

$11.95 per month

$10.95 per month

1-year plan

$83.88 (equivalent to $6.99 per month)

$69.95 (equivalent to $5.83 per month)

2-year plan

$119.76 (equivalent to $4.99 per month)

$79.95 (equivalent to $3.33 per month)

3-year plan

$125.64 (equivalent to $3.49 per month)

N/A

Refund period

30 days

31 days

PureVPN is cheaper than NordVPN across all plans.

Both brands offer steep discounts for those who are willing to pay up-front for long-term subscriptions. Even on its three-year plan, however, NordVPN can’t beat the value offered by PureVPN on its two-year plan.

Those big discounts do require you to sign up to some pretty long subscription periods. But remember — NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, and PureVPN has a 31-day money-back guarantee. There’s no risk involved in trying either product for the first month.

PureVPN


Both these VPN services provide excellent value for money, but PureVPN is cheaper and offers better discounts on its long-term plans.

Features

 

NordVPN

PureVPN

Connections

6

5

VPN apps — operating systems

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire.

Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire.

Browser extensions

Chrome, Firefox.

Chrome, Firefox.

Manual install on routers

Yes

Yes

Split tunneling

No

No

Bonuses

CyberSec (anti-malware and ad blocker software)

Free anti-malware and ad-blocking software.

Although it’s more expensive, NordVPN offers more simultaneous connections. Users can enjoy up to six simultaneous connections on NordVPN, whereas PureVPN only allows users to connect up to five devices.

NordVPN and PureVPN both offer a great range of desktop and mobile apps. Both brands’ apps are very user-friendly and practically bug-free. There are Chrome and Firefox extensions available for both NordVPN and PureVPN, but neither company provides a Safari extension.

PureVPN allows “split tunneling,” so you can use your VPN connection and regular internet connection simultaneously across different apps. NordVPN and PureVPN both include free anti-malware/ad-blocker software, which is a nice bonus. 

PureVPN


There’s very little difference between these two brands in terms of features. However, PureVPN wins the round — purely because it allows split tunneling, whereas NordVPN does not..

Security

 

NordVPN

PureVPN

Protocols

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP

OpenVPN with TCP/UDP, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP

Data/control-channel encryption

AES-256-CBC, RSA-2048 

AES-256-CBC, RSA-2048 

Killswitch

Yes

Yes

Both VPNs let users access a variety of VPN protocols, which provide different speeds and privacy levels. PureVPN offers access to a greater number of protocols — but some of these, namely PPTP and SSTP, are practically obsolete. Both NordVPN and PureVPN provide bullet-proof 256-bit encryption.

Both providers encrypt their “control channel,” which transmits potentially-revealing authentication data, to RSA 2048. This is fine, but it’s worth noting that other VPN providers, such as ExpressVPN, use a higher standard of control channel encryption — RSA 4096.

Both VPN products feature a “killswitch,” which will terminate your connection to the internet if your VPN connection drops. This stops you from accidentally exposing your online activity.

Neither brand has a perfect security record. In March 2018, IP address data was accessed on the PureVPN’s servers by a “white hat” hacker. In 2019, NordVPN suffered a high-profile breach when a hacker was able to access “true” user IP addresses on a server in Finland.

Tie


Both PureVPN and NordVPN are secure. However, at the top VPN market, customers expect the best possible encryption standards at every step, along with perfect reputations for protecting user data. Unfortunately, neither NordVPN or PureVPN are quite able to provide this.

Speed & servers

 

NordVPN

PureVPN

Servers

Over 5200

Over 2100

Countries

58

140+

Both NordVPN and PureVPN are very fast  We’re not going to declare one or the other to be the fastest because it’s just not that simple — dIfferent people will experience different speeds depending on their location and several other factors.

It’s more appropriate to measure the number of servers available with each brand. This can be an indicator of how likely the average person is to achieve fast speeds via the VPN — the closer a user is to a VPN server, the faster their connection should be.

NordVPN has over 5200 servers — more than double the amount of PureVPN. This means users in regions such as the United States or the United Kingdom are likely to have plenty of VPN servers nearby.

However, PureVPN offers servers across over 140 countries, which is nearly three times as many as NordVPN. This means that users in remote countries may want to check out PureVPN, as it might be able to provide a server closer to where they live.

NordVPN


NordVPN wins our “Speed & Servers” category because of the huge number of servers it offers. However, PureVPN is worth considering if you require a broader selection of virtual locations.

Privacy

NordVPN

PureVPN

Logging policy

None

None

User info required

Email address

Email address

Crypto payments accepted

Yes

Yes

Home jurisdiction

Panama

Hong Kong

We’ve looked at security, which concerns how well these brands keep your data safe. But remember — even if a VPN provider can protect your data from hackers and accidental data breaches, you also have to trust them not to intentionally share it.

VPNs should be able to provide some degree of anonymity. NordVPN and PureVPN both require you to provide only an email address at signup. It’s possible to pay for either service via Bitcoin, which reduces the possibility that you’ll be identified.

As far as we know, NordVPN does not log user data. This brand prides itself on privacy and has submitted to independent audits of its data protection practices.

PureVPN also claims to have a “no logs” policy. There was an incident in 2017, however, where PureVPN allegedly handed over user data to the FBI. This user data was later used as evidence in a criminal trial.

NordVPN is based in Panama. This is a privacy-respecting country that does not require private companies to keep records of their customers’ online activities. Therefore, you shouldn’t have to worry about NordVPN handing over your data to the state.

PureVPN is based in Hong Kong. Hong Kong also does not currently have any mandatory data retention laws. However, it is clear that Chinese influence is growing in Hong Kong, and so PureVPN may face an uncertain future in that region.

NordVPN


NordVPN is the clear winner of this round — the company has never compromised its users’ trust, and it is based in a country where mandatory data retention laws are unlikely to come into effect in the foreseeable future.

Content unblocking

 

NordVPN

PureVPN

Netflix

Yes

Yes

BBC

Yes

No

Amazon Prime Video

Yes

Yes

Hulu

Yes

Yes

A VPN lets you connect to servers all around the world, meaning that you can fool websites and online services into believing that you are physically located in another country. This means that you can, in theory, access any of the online content that is available to people in that country.


However, no VPN provider can guarantee uninterrupted access to any content in any country. They are restricted by the locations of their servers, and by the amount of work they’re willing to put in to try to get around streaming services’ attempts to block them.


NordVPN and PureVPN are both excellent at unblocking geo-restricted content. However, NordVPN is better, as it can consistently unblock a broader variety of content in a larger number of regions. PureVPN has some difficulties accessing certain services such as BBC iPlayer. 

NordVPN


NordVPN better at unblocking geo-restricted content, and so it’s a great option for fans of foreign TV shows — or those who have moved away from their home country. 

Our pick

NordVPN


NordVPN is the clear winner compared with PureVPN. While NordVPN is not perfect, it’s a truly excellent VPN provider, with an untarnished record on user privacy, excellent download speeds, and a huge number of servers.


However, PureVPN is still a great product. It’s one of the best value VPN providers available. If you’re simply looking for a low-cost VPN that does everything it should do, PureVPN is definitely worthy of your consideration.


You can try both of these VPN products with no risk attached — both NordVPN and PureVPN offer can a no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee period of 30 days and 31 days respectively.

Alex Grant
 

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