Nord Security and Kaspersky Lab are well-established names in the cybersecurity industry with various products available to the public. Both brands have made VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) for online security and privacy. However, the two companies are on opposite sides in terms of reputation due to recent events.
In particular, Kaspersky is in hot water because of its jurisdiction in Russia and alleged ties to the FSB (Federal Security Service). It’s unclear how deep the connections between the Russian government and Kaspersky Lab are, but keep in mind that the Kremlin blocks foreign VPNs.
Meanwhile, NordVPN is a top-notch provider with a flawless reputation and reliable performance. To illustrate just how amazing it is, we’ll compare NordVPN vs Kaspersky VPN in several categories, such as speed, security, privacy, and more.
NordVPN vs Kaspersky VPN comparison highlights
|“Best for” nominee||Best overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China||N/A|
|Price starts from||$3.29/month||$2.49/month|
Connectivity is the backbone of any VPN since it influences all other aspects of the product. It will either run smoothly in the background without notice or frustrate you incessantly with extensive load times and stuttering videos.
NordVPN is arguably the fastest VPN provider, thanks to its proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. It’s based on the open-source WireGuard protocol, which is currently the de facto standard when aiming for blazing-fast connections.
With Kaspersky VPN, your tunneling protocol depends on your device. Windows and Mac users facilitate connections with Hotspot Shields’ Hydra protocol, while Android and iOS platforms use the age-old OpenVPN.
Although the Hydra protocol is pretty swift, its absence from mobile devices means that Kaspersky VPN can’t provide consistently fast connections across the board, unlike its competitor. As such, the first point goes to NordVPN.
For more information about the recent performance of some of the best-known providers, visit our VPN speed test.
|All physical servers||Yes||No|
|Owns all servers||No||No|
Having a wide-reaching server network is crucial for two reasons. First, connecting to servers near your actual location improves performance tremendously. And secondly, a diverse selection of geographical regions unlocks more foreign content that’s normally unavailable in your home country.
NordVPN is responsible for 5400+ servers in 60+ countries. No locations are virtual, meaning all hardware is located in the same region that you’re connecting to. Additionally, privacy is guaranteed thanks to most servers utilizing RAM-only technology to prevent data storage on hard drives.
Kaspersky VPN users can select from 2000+ servers in 30+ countries. Besides the proprietary tunneling protocol, the service also makes use of Hotspot Shield’s server infrastructure. This could result in faster connectivity, but renting hardware from third parties is not ideal.
|Free trial||7-days on the Google Play Store||N/A|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Payment options||Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay, cash||Credit card|
The two services are following the typical VPN pricing structure that includes a fully-priced monthly subscription and discounted long-term plans. Furthermore, both provide a 30-day money-back guarantee on all purchases, giving users plenty of time to get a refund.
The lengthiest subscription with Kaspersky VPN is an annual one, while NordVPN offers a two-year plan. Still, the former is cheaper and even provides a free version with a 200MB daily data limit. Further details will follow, but overall, Kaspersky VPN is the more affordable option.
NordVPN customers can pick from three different pricing plans:
- $11.99/month when paying each month
- $4.99/month when paying annually
- $3.29/month when paying every two years
The most extended plan provides a 60% discount. Potential buyers can also browse the net for various NordVPN coupons which grant alternative deals. Of course, there’s also the option to take the service for a spin without spending any money by claiming the 7-day NordVPN free trial on the Google Play Store.
Besides the virtual private network service, users can supplement a subscription with a dedicated IP option. It grants one exclusive IP address from five countries (USA, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands) and costs $89.00/year.
Once your shopping cart is filled, you can complete the transaction using various payment methods, including credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and ACH transfer. Alternatively, you can opt for an anonymous option via cryptocurrencies or cash at a retail store.
Kaspersky VPN pricing
With Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection, there are two pricing alternatives:
- $4.99/month when paying monthly
- $2.49/month when paying annually
As you can see, the annual option grants savings up to 50%. And since the company offers a bunch of different security tools, it’s possible to find various bundles with different deals. Naturally, there’s also the method of utilizing VPN discount codes.
Eager users can get a hands-on approach with the product before committing by utilizing the Kaspersky VPN’s free version. Unsurprisingly, it comes with annoying limitations as well, such as the 200MB daily data cap and the inability to select server locations.
If you’ve grown tired of the restrictive free plan, you may upgrade to a premium version by paying via credit card.
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, IKEv2||OpenVPN, Hydra, IKEv2, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec|
|Security features||Double VPN, Onion over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, split tunneling||Kill switch, Smart Protection|
Since Kaspersky Lab is mostly known as a cybersecurity company, it’s surprising that the VPN includes very little in terms of bonus security. It has the basics covered, such as military-grade encryption and a dependable kill switch. However, additional protection against ads or malware is unavailable.
On the flip side, NordVPN doesn’t hold back and adds as many extra features as possible. It provides crucial protection for web browsing, torrenting, and keeping your IP address well-hidden. As such, it wins on the security front.
NordVPN security features
NordVPN users gain an expansive arsenal of features for protection against various online threats. We’ll mention a few below, but the full set can be found by reading our NordVPN review.
- Obfuscated servers. Circumventing online censorship requires specialized technology that can deal with DPI (Deep Packet Inspection). NordVPN users can enable this option from the settings menu
- Split tunneling. Split tunneling allows you to choose which applications should go through the VPN tunnel or ignore it. Available on Windows, Android, and Android TV.
- Double VPN. Redirecting your web traffic through multiple VPN servers grants greater security and nullifies the risk of IP or DNS leaks. Keep in mind that performance can plummet significantly with this feature.
- Onion over VPN. NordVPN provides servers that are integrated with the Tor Network. Using them grants exceptional privacy and easy access to the Tor Browser.
- SOCKS5 proxy. Torrenting fans have the option to avoid a VPN connection and use a SOCKS5 proxy for hiding their IP address. Then there’s no encryption and potentially faster download times.
Kaspersky VPN security features
Kaspersky VPN is pretty barebones on the security front. It appears that customers will have to buy separate products if they need well-rounded security. And don’t forget to read our full Kaspersky VPN review to find out more about it.
- Smart Protection. This feature ensures that Kaspersky VPN runs when you’re connecting to potentially dangerous public Wi-Fi.
- Kill switch. Most VPN users know that a kill switch shuts off your web connection if the virtual private network fails. It’s worth mentioning that this feature is unavailable on Kaspersky VPN’s free version.
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy|
|Anonymous payment||Cryptocurrencies, cash||No|
The two providers are on opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of privacy. NordVPN is superior in every aspect, and so we’ll start with it.
For starters, NordVPN is located in privacy-ensuring Panama. The country is away from the Five Eyes alliance and doesn’t bend the knee to government overreach. Additionally, the service went through multiple independent no-logs policy audits to prove that user confidentiality is of the utmost importance. To further illustrate this, customers can pay for a VPN anonymously using various cryptocurrencies or even cash.
With Kaspersky VPN, it’s difficult to overlook the numerous red flags. Firstly, the provider is based in Russia, a warmongering dictatorship notorious for online censorship and surveillance. Additionally, the country blocks VPNs that aren’t approved by the government. That leads to believe that Kaspersky VPN is in cahoots with the Kremlin.
Additionally, all Kaspersky Lab software is prohibited from use in US government institutions since 2017. This is because of alleged confidential data theft from an NSA contractor via antivirus software. Unsurprisingly, the company denies any ties with the Russian government and foul play.
And this isn’t even the full extent of the faults with Kaspersky Lab. Suffice it to say, we don’t consider their products adequate in the privacy department.
|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|
A versatile VPN is usable in many scenarios and with practically any device from your household. NordVPN fits this description perfectly, while Kaspersky VPN is left in the dust.
NordVPN customers are blessed with dedicated apps for the most popular and widely-used platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android). Additionally, home-entertainment devices like Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick are also compatible with the service.
On the off chance you have a device that’s isn’t directly supported by NordVPN, you can manually configure a router with a VPN connection. Then connect the device into the router network and enjoy the benefits of a virtual private network. Lastly, one NordVPN subscription allows you to facilitate six VPN connections simultaneously.
Kaspersky VPN is severely lacking in this area and only has apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. Besides that, customers can use one account to secure five different devices.
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||Yes|
Besides privacy, users often purchase a VPN for unlocking bonus TV shows and movies on geo-restricted streaming platforms. Changing your Netflix region is a great way to explore the full potential of your subscription.
NordVPN is the best VPN for streaming for a variety of reasons. First off, it’s wicked-fast and has no trouble loading UHD video content without buffering. Additionally, the vast server network enables users to access content from anywhere globally. Besides Netflix, the VPN works wonderfully with platforms like BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Disney+, and many more.
On the flip side, Kaspersky VPN can be used with a handful of Netflix libraries, such as the US or the UK. However, it struggled with alternative platforms. Plus, the lack of apps for home-entertainment devices makes it a poor choice for streaming.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||All servers||All servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||No|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows, Android, Android TV)||No|
Thankfully, both providers have zero restrictions on P2P traffic and enable it in all server locations. Of course, NordVPN comes out on top once again, thanks to the abundance of bonus bells and whistles.
As mentioned earlier, NordVPN customers have the option to utilize a SOCKS5 proxy to secure their torrenting activities. Alternatively, split tunneling can be enabled if you want the VPN connection to run exclusively for a particular app, for example, your torrent client. The only thing that could be considered lacking is the absence of port forwarding. Luckily, you can peruse our list of best torrenting VPNs and pick one with it.
It should go without saying that Kaspersky VPN is not recommended for torrenting due to its alleged ties with the Russian government.
|Works in China||Yes||No|
|Stealth VPN||Yes (Obfuscated Servers)||No|
|Tor over VPN||Yes (Onion over VPN)||No|
Circumventing online censorship with a VPN is a delicate game of cat and mouse since both parties are trying to outplay each other. NordVPN takes this game seriously and provides numerous options for dealing with obstacles like the Great Firewall of China. Meanwhile, Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection concedes from the start and clearly states that it doesn’t work in countries where VPN technology is restricted.
However, no VPN is 100% reliable as the CCP works diligently to block any means of avoiding surveillance and censorship. The best way to improve your chances in the region is to arm yourself with multiple VPNs for China. Naturally, you also need to install the software before entry as VPN websites are blocked in China.
|24/7 live chat||Yes||Yes|
Shockingly, we come across an area where Kaspersky VPN is superior to NordVPN. It’s in the realm of customer support since the company has an unfathomable selection of options for reaching out.
Possible methods include 24/7 live chat, reading FAQs, consulting video guides, asking the community, and even a phone line. NordVPN is almost on par except that it lacks a phone line.
Best VPN by category
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||7 out of 9||2 out of 9|
NordVPN vs Kaspersky VPN – which is better?
It wasn’t a complete landslide, but NordVPN easily topped Kaspersky VPN Secure Connection in this comparison. The Panama-based provider is superior in every conceivable way except price and customer support. Meanwhile, the Russian service has too few perks and a questionable history to be worth considering. And if you’re eyeing it because of the price, consider other cheap VPN services instead.
Is Kaspersky VPN better than NordVPN?
No, Kaspersky is far behind NordVPN in terms of quality. It’s based in Russia, has no independent no-logs policy audits, few dedicated apps, and a tiny selection of security features. NordVPN is an improvement in all of these areas and more.
Is Kaspersky VPN any good?
Kaspersky VPN is below average as a VPN and not worth considering as there are plenty of better options out there. It has military-grade encryption and a kill switch, but otherwise, nothing noteworthy except a questionable reputation.
Is it legal to use a VPN?
Yes, it’s perfectly legal to use a VPN in most parts of the world. However, some countries restrict VPN usage because of their ability to circumvent online censorship and hide from surveillance.
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.