Proton VPN vs. NordVPN 2024: Nord Offers More for the Price

If you’re looking for a virtual private network, check out Proton VPN and NordVPN to see which one will be best for you.
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Best for a Free Plan

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Proton VPN's website

Proton VPN
  • Easy to use
  • A strict no-logs policy that’s been tested in court
  • More expensive than NordVPN, Surfshark, and CyberGhost

Best All-Inclusive Paid Plan

4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN's website

VPN
NordVPN
Up to 66% off 2-year plans + 3 months extra
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices
  • Too many confusing plans

If you’re looking for a virtual private network (VPN), you’ll likely want to consider Proton VPN and NordVPN as options. Both Proton VPN and NordVPN are committed to privacy with their strict no-logs policies, privacy-friendly headquarters, and additional security features like double VPN servers. They each also have thousands of VPN servers to choose from and a few extra features that make them more appealing than just your standard VPN.

However, NordVPN offers more affordable pricing and a higher number of servers. On the other hand, Proton VPN has a free plan and more server countries available. We'll go over what you should consider choosing between NordVPN and Proton VPN.

In this article
Proton VPN vs. NordVPN at a glance
Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: prices
Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: features
Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: internet speeds
Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: compatibility and customer support
Proton VPN vs. NordVPN FAQs
Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: which is better?

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN at a glance

Proton VPN and NordVPN share a lot of similarities, but they have key differences when it comes to server network and pricing. For instance, NordVPN has a larger server network with more than 6,300 server locations throughout the world, while Proton VPN only boasts 4,400. 

Server locations may be important if you’re looking to stream Netflix from a variety of locations or if you need to connect to different countries for privacy. NordVPN offers servers in 111 countries, while Proton offers servers in 91 countries.  

How do Proton VPN and NordVPN compare?


Proton VPN

NordVPN
Our Pick
Price From $4.99/mo From $3.99/mo
Max # of simultaneous connections 10 10
24/7 customer support
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
# of servers 4,400+ in 91 countries 6,300+ in 111 countries
VPN protocol OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, Stealth NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
No-logs policy No logs No logs
Unblocks Netflix?
Get Proton VPN

Read Proton VPN Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

Proton VPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free version of its VPN. However, the free version comes with very limited features, including server locations in only three countries and no streaming support. NordVPN doesn't offer a free plan, but it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you purchase the VPN and don’t like it.

Proton VPN 

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: prices


Our Pick
Price range $4.99–$9.99/mo $3.99–$15.99/mo
Best value plan 2-year plan for $4.99/mo 2-year plan for $3.99/mo
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days Yes — 30 days
Get Proton VPN

Read Proton VPN Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

If you’re considering either of these VPN providers, you can rest assured that both offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you want to try them risk-free. Proton VPN also has a free plan that has limited features, but it could be the right plan based on your needs. 

Reviewed by Andrew Adams
“Proton VPN also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a free version of its VPN. However, the free version comes with very limited features, including server locations in only three countries, and it doesn't support streaming. NordVPN doesn't offer a free account, but it does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee in case you purchase the VPN and don’t like it.”

NordVPN and Proton VPN also offer different subscription tiers so that you can select the tier that suits you best. Proton VPN’s highest tier, Proton Unlimited, offers all of its additional features, such as Proton Mail, which allows you to send encrypted emails; Proton Drive, which allows you to store documents in an encrypted place; and Proton Calendar, which is an encrypted calendar feature. If you’re only looking for a VPN and don’t need any of these extra features, you can opt for Proton’s VPN Plus subscription.

NordVPN’s pricing tiers are a little bit different, but with each tier, you gain access to additional features such as an encrypted drive, password manager, and a data breach scanner. NordVPN’s Standard subscription includes the VPN, malware protection, and a tracker and ad blocker. NordVPN’s Plus and Complete plans add extra features on top of the VPN services included in the Standard plan, such as cloud storage and file encryption. 

When you compare the two VPNs, NordVPN’s Standard plan is the best deal. You get everything you need in a VPN, and the cost is much lower if you’re willing to commit to a two-year plan.

Winner: NordVPN offers the best pricing for a VPN if you’re willing to commit to two years with the service. You can score a two-year plan for only $3.99/mo. With Proton VPN, you’ll be spending $4.99/mo for a two-year commitment.

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: features

Feature
Our Pick
Number of servers 4,400+ servers in 91 countries 6,300+ servers in 111 countries
No-logs policy No logs No logs
VPN headquarters Geneva, Switzerland Panama
Encryption AES-256 or ChaCha20 AES-256
VPN protocol OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, Stealth IKEv2, OpenVPN, NordLynx
Kill switch
Split tunneling Windows and Android only
Netflix support
Torrenting support
Get Proton VPN

Read Proton VPN Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

These two VPNs have a lot of security features in common. They each use similar encryption and VPN protocols, which means your online activities will be protected with either option. 

To really pick the right VPN for you, it's important to understand how you'll use the VPN. If you’re traveling abroad and want to access Netflix and other streaming services, both Proton VPN and NordVPN will work well.

Of you need VPN servers in a specific country or region, you may want to go with NordVPN, which has servers in 20 more countries than Proton VPN. We do like that both VPN services offer specialty servers, including double VPN servers, obfuscated servers, dedicated IP servers, and more.

On the other hand, Proton VPN doesn't offer split tunneling on all devices. It's only available on Windows and Android, so if you’re looking for split tunneling with a Mac, you’ll want to use NordVPN. 

Another difference is that ProtonVPN offers port forwarding while NordVPN doesn't. Port forwarding allows you to route connections through Proton VPN’s firewall. This is useful for torrenting and improving gaming performance.

Proton VPN's port forwarding feature allows certain apps or software to bypass the VPN firewall and connect through an open port. It could speed up your torrenting or gaming, but also poses a security risk.

If you’re concerned about overall privacy, each VPN has a no-logs policy. They both also recently went through an audit to ensure their no-logs policy is true. In 2023, Proton VPN initiated an audit with Securitum. The security audit didn't find any concerns with Proton VPN’s no-log policy. In 2023, NordVPN hired Deloitte to look into the strength of its no-logs policy. Deloitte didn't find any instances where NordVPN’s no-logs policy was compromised.

Both Proton VPN and NordVPN offer an ad blocker with additional capabilities. Threat Protection can block ads, trackers, and malware, and even scan for malware and NetShield has the same functionality. 

A screenshot of the NordVPN threat protection feature, which blocks ads, trackers, malicious files and malicious sites.

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: streaming support

Platform
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
HBO Max
Get Proton VPN

Read Proton VPN Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

You won’t have to worry about accessing your favorite shows while using NordVPN or Proton VPN. We tested both of them out with the most popular streaming platforms, and we were able to access each service, including Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and HBO Max.

NordVPN successfully unblocked Netflix libraries in Australia, the U.K., and Canada for us.

One thing we did notice when testing is that your streaming provider may not recognize your device while using the VPN. This may require you to complete two-factor authentication. If you’re traveling and won’t be able to receive a text message, you may want to turn off or change your 2FA before leaving the country.

Winner: Each VPN offers a variety of features that benefit the user. At the end of the day, NordVPN offers the most basic standard plan with all the basic VPN features. You can upgrade for additional features but it’s not necessary. Compared to Proton VPN, you can get more for less with Nord’s plan.

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: internet speeds

One important part of using a VPN is making sure that your VPN connection doesn’t drastically affect the overall speed of your internet. We tested both NordVPN and Proton VPN in several server locations, including the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN download speeds

Our Pick
US 17% slower 9.1% slower
UK 22% slower 0.03% faster
AU 33% slower 14.9% slower
Get Proton VPN

Read Proton VPN Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

Both VPNs had minimal impact on our internet speeds. However, Nord took the lead, even increasing our speed in the U.K. by a fraction of a percentage. Although Proton decreased our speeds with each location, it's important to note that speeds can slow down the further a VPN server is from your location. 

Winner: It was a pretty even tie when it came to overall speed between NordVPN and Proton VPN. However, when it came to latency, NordVPN was much more efficient than Proton.

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: compatibility and customer support

Our Pick
Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Router
Smart devices
Browser extensions Yes — Chrome, Firefox Yes — Chrome, Firefox
24/7 live chat
Customer support options Live chat, email, online guides Live chat, email, online guides
Get Proton VPN

Read Proton VPN Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

An easy-to-navigate interface is important when it comes to using a VPN. You want to know when you’re connected, it needs to be easy to switch VPN servers, and, overall, it should be an enjoyable user experience. Both NordVPN and Proton VPN had comparable experiences when it comes to the look and user experience of the interface.

From our experience, NordVPN and Proton VPN both worked in a similar fashion and each had a similar interface. Each VPN was simple when it came to switching to different server locations or turning on or off different features. When you compare the two based on compatibility, they both work with all of the popular devices out today.

One great feature of NordVPN is its Meshnet, which allows you to securely connect to other devices for additional privacy and security. This allows for file sharing, gaming, or accessing devices remotely. Meshnet acts as a local network for any device that's connectedd.

A screenshot of the NordVPN Meshnet feature, which links remote devices over an encrypted connection.

NordVPN offers 24/7 chat support, and the site has what appears to be a chatbot at the bottom of the screen. You'll need to ask the chatbot to speak with a representative in order to connect with an actual person, but they were quick and helpful once we were connected.

ProtonVPN does offer chat support , although it’s not 24/7. However, to use this, you have to sign in with your account credentials in order to make contact. While it’s not the end of the world, it was one more step to getting support. Once we signed in, we also were alerted that there were not any customer service agents available, and we had to fill out a form to get customer support.

Proton VPN's customer support options via live chat, email, or support form.

If you’re just looking for answers to frequently asked questions, both NordVPN and Proton VPN had extensive knowledge bases and online guides. Each VPN support forum was easy to navigate and full of information.

NordVPN vs. Proton VPN: payment options

You may not have considered how you’d pay for your VPN subscription, but if you’re concerned about government censorship or your overall internet privacy, you may want to pay for your VPN in a less traditional manner. Both VPNs offer the usual payment options, such as credit cards and PayPal. You may also pay with bitcoin if you’re using ProtonVPN or with cryptocurrency on NordVPN.

Proton VPN payment options

  • Credit or debit card
  • PayPal

NordVPN payment options

  • Credit card
  • PayPal
  • AmazonPay
  • Cryptocurrency

Winner: Nord wins for its 24/7 chat support as well as extensive payment options.

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN FAQs


+

Is there a Proton VPN Chrome extension?


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Is NordVPN faster than Proton VPN?

When compared to each other, NordVPN and Proton VPN both performed at similar speeds. However, Proton VPN significantly increased the latency of our internet connection.


+

Is Proton VPN trustworthy?

Yes, Proton VPN is trustworthy. To protect user privacy, they have a no-logs policy, which was recently audited in 2022 and included zero concerns from the audit company.


+

Can NordVPN be hacked?

Yes, any VPN can be hacked. NordVPN’s most recent hack was in 2018; however, NordVPN said that no user data was compromised.

Proton VPN vs. NordVPN: which is better?

There are many different types of VPNs available on the market today. Each offers a variety of features to help make your internet privacy more secure. We found both NordVPN and Proton VPN as great choices for any VPN user. To pick the best VPN for you, make sure you understand how you plan on using the VPN so you have the right tools to protect yourself.

Overall, after comparing NordVPN and Proton VPN, we thought that NordVPN offered a bit more for the price. With a two-year commitment, NordVPN is cheaper, offers more server locations, and doesn't jeopardize latency as much as ProtonVPN. NordVPN also offers upgradable plans that can include a password manager, dark web monitoring, and more to help keep you even more secure.

Customizable Coverage That is Simple to Use
4.9
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN's website
VPN
NordVPN
Up to 66% off 2-year plans + 3 months extra
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices
  • Too many confusing plans
Author Details
Andrew Strom Adams is a freelance writer focused on online privacy and digital security. He writes on various topics to help individuals protect themselves on the internet. Andrew has worked in legal marketing, technology, and startups. He has more than 12 years of experience in marketing and communications. He holds an M.B.A. from Westminster College and a B.A. in journalism from Oklahoma Baptist University. When he’s not writing, he’s playing with his two kids or watching reality TV.