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Norton VPN vs NordVPN – these two services started as different standalone products but have since developed into well-known names in the cybersecurity industry. Norton was primarily an antivirus solution, while NordVPN began as a virtual private network. Nowadays, both companies offer numerous digital security products for consumers and businesses alike.
In this article, we’ll compare the VPN capabilities of each and see how they fare in various use cases, such as speed, streaming, torrenting, compatibility, and much more.
Norton VPN vs NordVPN 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||$3.33/month|
|Review||NordVPN review||Norton VPN review|
In terms of connection speed, the two VPNs are on opposite sides of the spectrum. NordVPN is one of the fastest VPN providers on the market with its proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol.
Meanwhile, Norton VPN uses OpenVPN and IPSec tunneling protocols for connectivity. Although they’re not terrible, they aren’t as fast or efficient as the latest tunneling protocols. Besides, WireGuard has been open-source for quite some time, so most VPNs should implement it as soon as possible.
To get the latest scoop on the performance of the most well-known VPN providers, check out the results of our VPN speed test.
|All physical servers||Yes||No|
|Owns all servers||No||No|
Norton VPN isn’t sharing much information about its server network, only the hardware numbers. As such, we can assume that everything is pretty standard if they don’t feel the need to brag about exceptional features. It has 2000+ servers across 30+ countries, uses virtual servers when necessary, and rents the server hardware from third-party vendors.
Meanwhile, NordVPN has no problem sharing the juicy details about its server fleet. It uses over 5100 servers across 60+ countries. Additionally, many of those servers use RAM-only technology, meaning that data isn’t stored on hard drives. This ensures that all information is wiped when servers are shut down or restarted. Additionally, all servers are dedicated to NordVPN and aren’t used for any other purpose.
Not only does NordVPN boast more impressive numbers than Norton VPN, but it also utilizes features that make the server fleet more effective and less vulnerable to interference.
|One month||$11.95/month||$4.99 /month|
|Payment options||Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPay||Credit card, PayPal, Google Pay|
With such a rift in quality between the two VPNs, it’s not surprising that pricing plans are also different. However, let’s begin with some common ground first.
For starters, Norton VPN and NordVPN are VPN services with free trials. Furthermore, both provide a money-back guarantee when buying a long-term plan. There’s also overlap in payment options, as you can use credit cards and Google Pay to pay for either service.
While Norton VPN offers cheaper short-term plans, longer commitments yield more significant discounts when choosing NordVPN. Plus, you will see that NordVPN brings much more to the table and is a more efficient service.
Norton VPN pricing
|1 device||5 devices||10 devices|
|Monthly cost||$4.99 /month||$7.99/month||$9.99/month|
Norton VPN offers six subscription options with various pricing plans. The key difference between all of them is the number of simultaneous connections you’re allowed to have. Unsurprisingly, annual plans are cheaper than monthly plans, but not by a large margin as you’d expect.
There’s also the option to grab a 7-day free trial, but it requires adding a valid payment method. Thankfully, Norton VPN provides a generous 60-day money-back guarantee when buying an annual subscription.
NordVPN follows a standard VPN pricing method and offers three subscription options:
- $11.95/month for a monthly subscription
- $4.92/month on a yearly subscription
- $3.30/month for a two-year plan
The two-year subscription grants the most significant 72% discount and comes with three bonus months for free. Alternatively, you can scour the web for NordVPN coupon codes in search of a better deal.
If you’re not ready to commit just yet, NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial that’s available on the Google Play Store. You’ll need an Android device, but once you’ve claimed the offer, there are no more restrictions, and you’re free to try out the service however you want.
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||OpenVPN, IPSec|
|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, Ad Tracker Blocking|
NordVPN’s superiority is clear from the number of bonus security features compared to Norton VPN. We’ll briefly cover these features further below.
Norton VPN security features
When looking at the settings menu of Norton VPN, you’ll stumble upon four different features:
- Auto-Connect. This self-explanatory feature ensures that a VPN connection is enabled as soon as you boot up your device or wake it from hibernation.
- Kill Switch. Any VPN enthusiast should know that a kill switch stops your internet when the VPN connection drops unexpectedly.
- Ad Tracker Blocking. Online ads and trackers pose significant privacy threats when browsing the web. As such, it’s great when a VPN blocks these measures.
- Split tunneling. Norton VPN allows you to select which apps should be excluded from the VPN tunnel.
What’s missing is the option to switch between different tunneling protocols when using the app. We’ve learned that OpenVPN is used on Windows, Android, and Mac devices. Meanwhile, iOS uses the IPSec tunneling protocol, which is outdated when compared to modern protocols like WireGuard and IKEv2.
NordVPN security features
NordVPN is one of the most secure VPN options on the market, thanks to its truckload of exceptional security and privacy features:
- CyberSec. This feature keeps malicious ads and trackers at bay while browsing the web with the VPN enabled.
- Double VPN. For greater security, NordVPN allows you to route your connection through two VPN servers. While performance will suffer, it will improve your safety significantly.
- Onion over VPN (Tor over VPN). NordVPN offers specialized servers that are optimized for use with the Tor Browser.
- Obfuscated Servers (Stealth VPN). These servers are essential to circumventing DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) when connecting to restrictive networks, for example, in authoritarian countries like China.
- Split tunneling. This feature is available on Android and Windows devices and allows you to customize your connection by selecting which apps should go through the VPN tunnel.
- SOCKS5 proxy. You can use this proxy to secure your torrent client without enabling a VPN connection.
- DNS and IPV6 leak protection. When connected with NordVPN, your real IP address is hidden, and your DNS requests aren’t visible to your ISP (Internet Service Provider).
- SmartPlay. Typically known as Smart DNS, this feature lets you unblock geographically restricted content on devices that don’t support VPN software.
- Dedicated IP. Having a static IP address is beneficial in certain situations, such as streaming or playing online games. Therefore, NordVPN offers this feature that allows you to have exclusive access to an IP address in a remote location.
- RAM-only servers. Standard NordVPN servers are utilizing RAM-only server technology. That means that hard drives aren’t used to store data, and the hardware is using RAM (Random Access Memory) instead. Therefore, any information is lost when the servers are shut down.
- NordLynx. NordVPN wouldn’t be the fastest VPN without its proprietary tunneling protocol. It’s based on the open-source WireGuard protocol.
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||No-logs policy|
There’s plenty of contrast when comparing the privacy practices of Norton VPN vs NordVPN. First off, Norton VPN is based in the United States, a founding member of the Five Eyes alliance. Additionally, it doesn’t offer any anonymous payment methods to reduce the amount of data the provider gains.
On the other hand, NordVPN is located in privacy-respecting Panama. The country doesn’t have any data retention laws and typically doesn’t interfere with businesses. Furthermore, the VPN had its no-logs policy audited by a third party to confirm its claims. Finally, privacy enthusiasts can maintain confidentiality by utilizing cryptocurrencies to pay for the VPN anonymously.
|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|
|Simultaneous devices||6||1, 5 or 10|
Norton VPN disappoints once again by having abysmal device compatibility. It only has apps for the most popular operating systems (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android). Nowadays, customers need compatibility with an exceptional variety of platforms if they want 100% security. At the very least, a VPN needs to be configurable on routers. The only stand-out feature of Norton VPN is that you can choose between different pricing plans to secure a different number of devices (one, five, or ten).
Thankfully, NordVPN isn’t plagued by such issues and is compatible with a wide variety of devices, such as Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. You can also install a browser extension on Chrome and Firefox. And for full-fledged security at home, you can set up your router with a VPN and not be constrained by the six-device connection limit.
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||No|
Norton VPN is lagging behind NordVPN in the streaming category as well. It can occasionally unlock Netflix US content, but not much else. Other streaming platforms had no success as well. It appears that it wants to tackle Netflix but isn’t focusing anywhere else.
Meanwhile, NordVPN is hailed as the ultimate VPN for streaming. With SmartPlay, you’ll have no problem unblocking content on any streaming platform, for example, BBC iPlayer, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, and more. Plus, fast connection speeds ensure top-quality video and an absence of stuttering.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||P2P servers||No|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||No|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows, Android)||Yes|
When it comes to torrenting, Norton VPN has decided to throw in the towel. The VPN doesn’t tolerate any P2P traffic and lacks features to facilitate it. Therefore, there’s no chance for it to be nominated as a viable VPN for torrenting.
Unsurprisingly, NordVPN allows torrenting and even offers specialized P2P servers for optimal connectivity. Additionally, you can use a SOCKS5 proxy to protect your torrent client without a VPN connection. Alternatively, you can enable split tunneling when torrenting. The only thing lacking is port forwarding, which is important if torrent uploading is a priority for you.
|Works in China||Yes||No|
|Stealth VPN||Obfuscated Servers||No|
|Tor over VPN||Onion over VPN||No|
The absence of security features is once again haunting Norton VPN and making it look bad. Without Stealth VPN or any other comparable technology, the service is a lackluster VPN for China or other authoritarian countries.
NordVPN, on the other hand, offers multiple options for tearing down the Great Firewall of China. Obfuscated Servers can circumvent DPI and connect to western services in any region. Alternatively, you can use Onion over VPN servers to access the Tor network with an additional layer of security.
You may come across some obstacles when using a VPN. It could be compatibility issues or problems unlocking restricted content. Whatever the case, it’s good to have knowledgeable customer support agents available at all times.
Norton VPN has one upside over NordVPN in this category. While both have 24/7 live chat options and extensive guides online, only Norton VPN offers the ability to call via phone. Although it’s only for US customers, it’s a substantial bonus that puts the service slightly ahead in this category.
Best VPN by category
Here’s a quick summary of how the Norton VPN vs NordVPN comparison concluded.
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||8 out of 9||1 out of 9|
NordVPN was very close to earning a perfect victory in this matchup but we can see that even the best VPN services have room for improvement.
Norton VPN vs NordVPN – which is better?
This Norton vs NordVPN comparison concludes with NordVPN winning by a landslide. It’s superior in practically every regard, except it lacks a phone line for customer support.
By itself, Norton VPN doesn’t come close to the best VPN services in 2021. However, it’s not a bad addition to an existing antivirus package. With improved compatibility and better geo-unblocking performance, it might even be worth checking out. But right now, it’s way too expensive.
On the other hand, NordVPN is an excellent choice in any scenario and won’t leave you disappointed.
Would you ever choose Norton VPN over NordVPN? Share your hot takes in the comments section below!
Is NordVPN the same as Norton VPN?
While the names sound similar, NordVPN is not the same as Norton VPN. NordVPN is based in Panama and is one of the best VPNs for streaming, torrenting, and security. Meanwhile, Norton VPN is based in the US, doesn’t allow torrenting, has few features, and isn’t great for streaming.
What is better: NordVPN or Norton VPN?
NordVPN is significantly better than Norton VPN. It’s faster, has more features, has better device compatibility, and is cheaper when buying a long-term subscription.
Is Norton VPN a good VPN?
Norton VPN is below average when compared to other VPNs on the market. It doesn’t have any apps for streaming devices, lacks security features, and is overpriced.
Which VPN is the most secure?
The most secure VPN currently available is NordVPN. It’s based in Panama, has an audited no-logs policy, uses RAM-only servers, and utilizes secure tunneling protocols.
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.