NordVPN and AirVPN are virtual private network (VPN) service providers that strive to keep their users’ network private and secure. They create encrypted connections in which your internet traffic and communication are passed through securely.
Both of these services can be used as Site-to-Site VPNs or Remote Access VPNs. Additionally, they have desktop applications for Linux, MacOS, Windows, Mobile apps for iOS and Android. They can also be manually set up with wireless routers such as Tomato for the users’ pleasure.
When it comes to servers, they both have many located in different countries, though their numbers differ. They promise their users no-log policies, though AirVPN is based in a country within the 14 Eyes surveillance zone. Another great feature is that they can be used in China to bypass the Great Firewall, but both have to be installed when outside of China for them to be effective.
Both VPN service providers accept cryptocurrency payments, which is the newest mode of payment today. We are going to discuss AirVPN vs NordVPN in regard to security, pricing, connectivity, speed, support, torrenting and Netflix accessibility.
NordVPN is located and operated within the Panama jurisdiction, so therefore it’s outside the 14 Eyes surveillance alliance. AirVPN is based in Italy, a country that shares information with 13 other countries for data observation. In terms of encryption, NordVPN boasts great cryptographic keys and algorithms. It also makes use of Next Generation Encryption in IKEv2 (uncrackable even by the strongest computers), IPsec, as well as OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP. This upgrades it to an encryption of high military-grade standard. On the other hand, AirVPN only supports OpenVPN protocol on ports 443 TCP/UDP and 53 TCP/UDP, 80 TCP. It uses an AES and RSA encryption of 4096 bits, which conceals users IP address.
NordVPN has great features such as automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection and Tor over VPN. AirVPN on the other side is leak proof but lacks a built-in kill switch, which means that it won’t automatically disconnect a user from the internet if there is a drop in connection. It is clear that NordVPN stands out to be the better VPN between the two in regard to security, due to its location and strong encryption.
Speed and performance
NordVPN has more than 5,300+ servers in 60+ countries, including African nations such as Egypt and South Africa. It also has servers in places like Russia, Turkey and Hong Kong (China), where most VPNs are restricted.
On the other hand, AirVPN has just 250 servers in 20 countries globally. This number is quite substantial, but how can you compete with thousands of servers?
Although both VPNs can slow down your internet speed, NordVPN is quite fast and easy to connect to compared to AirVPN.
Ease of use and support
NordVPN has been ranked by PCMag’s editors as a 5-star winner when it comes to user experience. Its Windows app is easy to set up and use and has attractive looks. It is straightforward and its features are easily accessible.
Looking at AirVPN, it’s quite difficult to navigate. The Windows app is difficult to log into and one has to go back to the website, register and purchase a plan. AirVPN provides its clients excellent support using extensive forums that are a treasure trove of VPN-related knowledge. Customer support is always ready to deal with confidential details using their high technical knowledge. An email option is also available with a 24-hour response to queries.
NordVPN customer support is available 24/7 over the chat, email system, the help desk and set up tutorials.
Torrenting & P2P
Both AirVPN and NordVPN allow their users to torrent to their satisfaction. They have Peer-to-Peer servers that enable clients to reach torrent websites all over the globe safely and privately.
However, NordVPN has a favorable copyright protection stance and is generally more secure compared to AirVPN, due to its Panama location.
AirVPN has no in-built kill switch, which means leaks are a possibility. It is also slower than NordVPN when downloading content.
Netflix and other streaming services
NordVPN easily unlocks Netflix with high connection speeds, unlike AirVPN, which experiences hiccups at times due to Netflix staying a step or two ahead of most VPNs. The CyberSec feature of NordVPN is another major advantage, as it allows users to spot and block ads, malware and DDoS attacks.
Netflix is not the only streaming service that these VPNs unblock. Both allow access to Hulu and Amazon Prime as well. However, NordVPN is also able to unblock the BBC iPlayer, which AirVPN cannot do.
Usability in China and other restricted countries
Both NordVPN and AirVPN servers are reachable from China. Anybody within China can bypass governmental internet censorship using either tool.
NordVPN, is also available in other blocked countries like Saudi Arabia, Russia, France, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. AirVPN lacks servers in several Asian regions, as well as in South America and many other restricted countries. NordVPN offers its clients stealth protocols that conceal VPN traffic to act efficiently as HTTPS traffic, allowing it to fool Deep Packet Inspection. This makes it suitable to be used by journalists and political activists in restricted countries.
AirVPN relies on OpenVPN and lacks stealth protocols, making it a bit less reliable for high-security tasks.
Both VPNs support Android, Chrome, Windows, iOS, Linux, and macOS.
Today, clients want more services from VPNs. They do not just want VPNs to provide the ability to browse securely and anonymously, but also to access content streaming. In this case, users of either of the VPNs can also use wireless routers such as Tomato, Asus WRT, DD WRT and pfSense to supply coverage for other devices in their network. Such devices include Roku and FireTV.
NordVPN provides its clients with 3 pricing plans and a 30-day money back guarantee. This includes $2.99/month for a 3-year subscription, $3.99/month for a 2-year subscription, $6.99/month annually, and $11.95 per month. New clients are also awarded a 7-day free trial once they register and give credit card details.
AirVPN boasts 5 pricing tiers that are $1.14 for three days, $7.99 monthly, $5.71/month quarterly, and $5.14/month annually. They offer no free trials to their clients, nor a money-back guarantee, thus making NordVPN a better option.
On average, though a little bit pricey, NordVPN still stands out compared to AirVPN. It is a better deal for the money since it allows its clients to enjoy six simultaneous connections, while AirVPN offers only five per account.
NordVPN also offers a better feature set, overall. When it comes to payment options, both VPNs offer various payment options to their clients such as credit cards, PayPal, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Verdict: AirVPN or NordVPN?
NordVPN and AirVPN both have outstanding features, but based on our examination on the various factors, NordVPN clearly stands out that much more.
First, it connects easily with no problems in several restricted countries where AirVPN doesn’t, such as the Middle East. Furthermore, it has extended its services to African countries, including South Africa and Egypt.
NordVPN also has more well-distributed and dedicated servers globally compared to the latter for better overall service. The NordVPN CyberSec feature attracts new customers and assists in keeping the old ones. It blocks ads, keeps away malware, and averts activities such as DDoS available at the network level.
AirVPN lacks such advanced features and its clients are always bombarded with ads. The fact that AirVPN doesn’t offer a free trial and no money-back guarantee is also a turn off to most clients, thus making NordVPN a better alternative.
Read our NordVPN review
Read our AirVPN review