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NordVPN vs Bitdefender VPN – is there anything to compare between these two services? The former is arguably the best VPN that money can buy. Meanwhile, the latter seems like a neat bonus when purchasing a separate cybersecurity product. While a VPN is always recommended, not every service is equal.
To find out just how good (or bad) Bitdefender VPN is, we’ll compare it against the titan of the VPN industry – NordVPN. That way, we’ll get a clear picture of what’s missing from this provider.
NordVPN vs Bitdefender VPN comparison highlights
|“Best for” nominee||Best overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China, Fastest VPN||N/A|
|Price starts from||$3.30/month||$2.49/month|
|Review||NordVPN review||Bitdefender VPN review|
In terms of speed, there’s no contest here. NordVPN is hailed as the fastest VPN available, thanks to the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. It is based on WireGuard but has improved upon it substantially.
Meanwhile, Bitdefender VPN doesn’t have a comparably fast tunneling protocol. You can alternate between OpenVPN, Hydra, and IKEv2 to see which is optimal for your device. While Hydra is quite fast, it’s still nowhere near the performance of NordLynx.
To make the best possible decision when buying a VPN, check the performance of some of the best providers by using our VPN speed test.
|All physical servers||Yes||No|
|Owns all servers||No||No|
NordVPN has an impressive network of 5100+ servers across 60+ countries. Furthermore, most of the servers are utilizing RAM-only technology, which means that no data is stored on hard drives. Plus, there are no virtual servers, which results in better overall performance since all hardware is located in their respective countries.
On the other hand, Bitdefender VPN has 1300+ servers in 25+ countries. It’s unclear whether the network uses any unique technology for added security, such as RAM-only servers. Plus, there’s no information about who has ownership over the hardware. We will assume that the provider is renting these servers from data centers, which is a fairly common practice but has some drawbacks. For example, such a method runs the risk of the servers getting seized by authorities or intercepted by third parties.
|Free version||N/A||200MB daily data limit and no server selection|
|Payment options||Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay||Credit card, PayPal, bank transfer|
The two services have some similarities when it comes to pricing. First off, both offer a 7-day free trial. However, the NordVPN trial is available on the Google Play Store, while you can grab the Bitdefender VPN trial practically anywhere. Additionally, both have a 30-day money-back guarantee on their pricing plans.
Even though Bitdefender VPN has fewer payment options and shorter subscription plans, it still wins in this category for being significantly cheaper.
NordVPN has three different subscription plans:
As is common in the VPN industry, the short-term monthly plan costs the full price. Meanwhile, the long-term plans are discounted up to 72%. Plus, the lengthiest two-year plan also comes with three additional months for free.
NordVPN also has more payment options to choose from, including anonymous payment options in the form of cryptocurrencies. Additionally, there are various NordVPN coupons available that you can redeem for a lower VPN price.
Bitdefender VPN pricing
Bitdefender VPN keeps it simple and gives you a choice between two pricing options:
- $6.99/month for a monthly plan
- $2.49/month for an annual plan
The short-term plan isn’t costly, while the annual subscription has a 40% discount. Furthermore, payment options are sparse and only include credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfers.
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||IKEv2, OpenVPN, Hotspot Shield’s Hydra|
|DNS and IP leaks||No leaks||No leaks|
|Security features||Double VPN, Onion over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling||Split tunneling, auto-connect|
In terms of security, Bitdefender VPN pales in comparison with NordVPN. Although both utilize military-grade AES-256 encryption and have kill switches, that’s as far as similarities go. Split tunneling is also a common feature, yet with Bitdefender VPN you can only choose which websites should circumvent the VPN connection. Meanwhile, NordVPN has an impressive selection of security benefits, making it the winner in this category.
NordVPN security features
NordVPN is hailed as the best VPN overall, and for good reasons too. It performs exceptionally well on many fronts, including digital security. Naturally, this performance wouldn’t be possible without a backbone of excellent features:
- CyberSec. This feature blocks ads and prevents you from entering malicious domains used for phishing and malware.
- Double VPN (Multihop). By utilizing this feature, you can route your connection through two different VPN servers. Although performance will take a hit, this will improve your security and privacy significantly.
- Onion over VPN (Tor over VPN). These servers are optimized specifically for browsing the dark web with the Tor Browser.
- Obfuscated Servers (Stealth VPN). When connected to these, you’ll have an easier time getting around online censorship measures, such as DPI (Deep Packet Inspection).
- Split tunneling. Available on Windows and Android, split tunneling allows you to select which apps should go through the VPN tunnel while other apps connect directly.
- SOCKS5 proxy. It allows you to secure your torrent client with a proxy and hide your real IP address without a VPN connection.
- DNS and IPv6 leak protection. NordVPN is entirely leak-proof and won’t expose your IP address or DNS requests when connected to its servers.
- SmartPlay. This feature allows you to enjoy the benefits of Smart DNS without the hassle of setting it up on your devices.
- Dedicated IP. You can get a dedicated IP address that is available exclusively to you and won’t be shared with anyone for an added price. With it, you can avoid issues that arise from constant IP switching. Plus, it’s also great for streaming.
- RAM-only servers. Standard NordVPN servers are using RAM-only technology. It means that no data is stored on hard drives, and RAM (Random-access memory) is used instead. Therefore, any operational data gets wiped as soon as the servers are restarted or shut down.
- NordLynx. Based on WireGuard, this proprietary VPN tunneling protocol is insanely fast and gives NordVPN the title of the fastest VPN provider.
Bitdefender VPN security features
Bitdefender VPN doesn’t come even close to what its competitor offers in terms of security features.
- Split tunneling. Typically, this feature allows you to select which apps should go through the VPN tunnel. However, on Bitdefender, you can only pick which websites should bypass the VPN connection.
- Auto-connect. Bitdefender VPN allows you to choose under what circumstances the VPN software should connect automatically. Choices include P2P apps, connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi, and on start-up.
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||Minimal logging|
Once again, NordVPN takes the lead by having better privacy practices than its competitor. Firstly, it’s located in Panama, a haven for privacy enthusiasts. Secondly, it had its no-logs policy audited by a third party to ensure the safe handling of data. And finally, there is the option to pay using cryptocurrencies to preserve your anonymity even further.
|Major dedicated apps||Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android||Windows, Mac, iOS, Android|
|Other dedicated apps||Android TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick||N/A|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||N/A|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewalls, NAS||N/A|
Unfortunately, Bitdefender VPN is performing especially badly in the device compatibility category. It only has apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. There’s no mention of alternative platform support or even of a possibility for manual configuration. As such, the ten device connection limit seems redundant unless you want to share the account with multiple people.
On the other hand, NordVPN is essentially the industry standard of what a valuable VPN service should look like. It has dedicated apps for the mainstream platforms, including Linux. Additionally, it has dedicated apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Furthermore, browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox.
Most importantly, you can manually configure your router with a VPN and reap the benefits of this service on practically any device. That way, you can enjoy more than the typical six-device connection limitation, as a NordVPN configured router still counts as one connection.
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||Yes|
You can breathe a sigh of relief if you’re tired of seeing Bitdefender VPN get crushed in this comparison. While it won’t win in this category either, it’s not as underwhelming as before.
Firstly, it can unlock Netflix US – one of the most sought-after libraries for VPN users. Additionally, it’s capable of unblocking other libraries too, such as the UK, Canada, and Australia.
Sadly, other platforms, for example, BBC iPlayer, put up too much of a fight for Bitdefender VPN. Plus, the lack of support for various streaming devices is a severe hindrance for this provider.
On the other hand, NordVPN is the best VPN for streaming. It can effortlessly unblock Netflix US, UK, Japan, and much more. Furthermore, you can easily use this provider to unlock other streaming services as well. And with the addition of SmartPlay, enjoying your favorite shows and movies is possible on practically any device.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||P2P servers||All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||No|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Android, Windows)||Yes (for web pages)|
When it comes to torrenting, only one VPN is viable when comparing NordVPN vs Bitdefender VPN. Unsurprisingly, the winning service is NordVPN. It has dedicated P2P servers for optimal downloads, a SOCKS5 proxy to secure your torrent client, and even split tunneling on Android and Windows devices. It only lacks port forwarding until perfection, but the ridiculous download speed more than makes up for it.
Meanwhile, Bitdefender VPN does not restrict P2P traffic but doesn’t offer features to facilitate it either. For example, there are no SOCKS5 proxy or port forwarding features. Furthermore, split tunneling is only applicable for websites, not apps. At least the VPN has the option to start up automatically when P2P applications are booted up. However, it won’t be considered a top VPN for torrenting any time soon.
|Works in China||Yes||No|
|Stealth VPN||Obfuscated Servers||No|
|Tor over VPN||Onion over VPN||No|
NordVPN once again knocks it out of the park while Bitdefender underperforms. This time, the category is unblocking online censorship in countries like China.
What makes NordVPN an excellent VPN for China is the abundance of features against censorship. Obfuscated Servers are a perfect way to get around Deep Packet Inspection in authoritarian countries like China and Russia. Meanwhile, Double VPN gives extra security if you participate in sensitive activities that could get you prosecuted. And Onion over VPN is great for adding an extra layer of protection when using the Tor Browser.
Bitdefender VPN doesn’t have any similar features, and thus we cannot recommend it for circumventing the Great Firewall of China.
Shockingly, Bitdefender VPN managed to net another victory. This time, it wins in the customer support category. While both VPNs have the essential means of assistance you’d expect (24/7 live chat, email communication, and an extensive knowledge base), NordVPN lacks the phone communication option. Meanwhile, Bitdefender VPN manages to fill in this gap and allow its customers to call a real person.
Best VPN by category
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||7 out of 9||7 out of 9|
NordVPN vs Bitdefender VPN – which is better?
It should come as no surprise that NordVPN was the winner of this comparison. What is surprising is that a weak service like Bitdefender VPN managed to score two points. However, it’s natural for subpar services to be cheaper than the best VPN options. As for customer support, Bitdefender gains the advantage by being a massive corporation with hundreds of employees.
In any case, choose Bitdefender VPN if your budget is tight. And for every other scenario – go with the king in the North – NordVPN!
Do you agree with our assessment of NordVPN vs Bitdefender VPN? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Is Bitdefender VPN better than NordVPN?
No, Bitdefender VPN is far from NordVPN in terms of quality. It’s slower, has fewer servers to choose from, has fewer features, and has an unverified no-logs policy.
Can you get Bitdefender VPN as a standalone app?
A free Bitdefender VPN is included with every security solution. However, it has a 200 MB daily traffic limit and doesn’t allow you to choose servers. Meanwhile, the premium VPN version has no limitations and allows you to choose from all server locations.
How much does Bitdefender VPN cost?
Bitdefender VPN costs $6.99/month on a monthly plan or $2.49/month on an annual subscription.
Is NordVPN really the best VPN?
According to our research, NordVPN is the best VPN. It’s affordable, wicked-fast, packed with security features, and offers excellent privacy.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.