Both NordVPN and Proton VPN are respected and widely-used VPN providers. But which one offers more value for its users?
In my comparison, I’ll discuss topics such as security, privacy, apps, ease of use, pricing, and more. No time to read an entire article? No worries – below, you’ll find a summary table.
|Our rating||9.6 ⭐||8.5 ⭐|
|Current offer||Get NordVPN 68% OFF!||Get Proton VPN 50% OFF!|
|Price starts from||$2.99/month||$3.99/month|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Servers||5500+ servers in 59+ countries||1700+ servers in 66+ countries|
|VPN protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2, Stealth|
|Streaming||Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more||Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more|
As you can tell, NordVPN looks better when I compare both providers side by side. Continue reading to see what makes NordVPN the winner.
Security of Proton VPN vs NordVPN
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, Stealth|
|Security features||Double VPN, Onion over VPN, Threat Protection, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers||Netshield, Tor over VPN, Secure Core|
When it comes to security, NordVPN vs Proton VPN are similarly placed. Both providers employ military-grade AES-256 encryption and have a powerful kill switch. In case of NordVPN, you get two – one works on an app-level and the other on the whole connection.
What about IP and DNS leaks? To see how both providers do in this department, I ran an online test:
First, I connected to a Proton VPN DE server. In the picture above you can see that my IP address shows a German location, meaning there is no leak.
The same case was with NordVPN:
Both Proton VPN and NordVPN offer strong bonus features, such as integration with the Tor network (Onion over VPN or Tor over VPN), and a stealth mode. NordVPN’s Double VPN option (in the picture below) lets you chain VPN servers. Proton VPN has a similar feature in Secure Core, which funnels traffic through servers in privacy-friendly countries (such as Switzerland or Iceland).
NordVPN, though, goes the extra mile by providing its users with its propriety WireGuard implementation called NordLynx. With it, you’ll enjoy the best speeds without sacrificing security. Proton VPN’s WireGuard is great, but it cannot compete with NordLynx.
Both providers offer Stealth VPN technologies for curbing VPN restrictions and online censorship. With NordVPN, the feature is called obfuscated servers, while Proton VPN refers to it as the Stealth Protocol.
However, the thing that pushes NordVPN over the finish line is the inclusion of antivirus capabilities with the Threat protection feature. It blocks malicious ads, online trackers, viruses, and malware.
Privacy of Proton VPN vs NordVPN
|Logging||Zero logs (independently audited)||Zero logs (independently audited)|
|Anonymous payment||Cryptocurrencies, cash||Cryptocurrencies, cash|
Both providers are based in privacy-friendly locations, that are not part of the Five Eyes alliance. NordVPN has had its zero-logs policy audited by third-party auditors in 2018. Meanwhile, Proton VPN has built a lot of trust in that regard with their long-standing ProtonMail product.
Lastly, I’m glad that both providers offer an anonymous payment option using cryptocurrencies and cash. While Proton VPN accepts Bitcoin only, that’s a minor nuisance if you’re really seeking for a way to leave a minimal trace.
Despite the minor differences, both providers are winners in this round.
NordVPN vs Proton VPN speed and performance
|Average speed||132 Mbps||47.4 Mbps|
|Germany server||252 Mbps (17% drop-off)||106 Mbps (65% drop-off)|
|US server||213 Mbps (29% drop-off)||85 Mbps (72% drop-off)|
|Germany server||87 Mbps (72% drop-off)||65 Mbps (78% drop-off)|
|US server||88 Mbps (71% drop-off)||22 Mbps (93% drop-off)|
|Germany server||46 ms||39 ms|
|US server||136 ms||167 ms|
NordVPN is much faster than Proton VPN. The latter’s 1700+ servers in 66+ countries are put to shame by NordVPN’s ever-expanding list of 5500+ servers spanning over 59+ countries worldwide.
On average, NordVPN, our fastest VPN provider, will give you two times the speed that Proton VPN does, but some of the Swiss VPN’s servers can be up to six times slower than those of NordVPN.
To see how great both providers are in terms of speed, I tested their speeds online using a server in the US. Before connecting to a VPN provider, my download speeds were 106 Mbps and my upload speeds were 105 Mpbs.
After connecting to the US server with my NordVPN account I got the following results: download 252 Mbps and upload 87 Mbps.
Once connecting to the US server with my Proton VPN account I got the following results: download 26 Mbps and upload 34 Mbps.
The difference is quite striking, and NordVPN is yet again number one.
For more accurate and up-to-date results, be sure to take a look at our own VPN speed test.
Proton VPN and NordPVN apps: ease of use and support
|Major apps||Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android||Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android|
|Other apps||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV||Android TV, Chromebook|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Brave, Edge, Firefox||N/A|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewalls, NAS, Roku||Routers|
|Simultaneous devices||6||1 (free plan) & 10 (Plus plan)|
|Customer support||24/7 live chat, email, FAQ, tutorials||Live chat, email, knowledge base|
In terms of apps and ease of use, both providers look great. Both VPNs offer apps for all major platforms, while the specific details differ a bit. Unfortunately, Proton VPN doesn’t offer any browser extensions.
Proton VPN ease of use and customer support
Here’s a peek at the user interface of the Proton VPN Windows app:
It is simple, straight to the point, and provides some extra information about your connectivity.
Proton VPN has an additional dedicated app for Android TV and Chromebook. Naturally, manual configuration is possible on routers. This way, you can protect any device that’s connected to your local network.
The number of simultaneous connections depends on your subscription plan. The free plan allows one connection, while the premium Plus plan allows a whopping 10 connections.
In terms of customer support, Proton VPN is a bit behind. You get the typical means of communication, such as email and a knowledge base on the website, but the live chat is for paid users only and is not available 24/7.
NordVPN ease of use and customer support
And here’s what the NordVPN Windows interface looks like:
It is much simpler and easier to use but provides less information about your current connection.
When it comes to additional dedicated apps, NordVPN goes the extra mile by providing apps for Android TV and Amazon FireOS (Fire Stick and FireTV). Furthermore, there are browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. Manual configuration is available for routers, firewalls, and NAS (Network Access Storage). Finally, six simultaneous connections are possible with all subscription plans.
NordVPN is way ahead of most VPN services in terms of customer support. Communication options include:
- 24/7 live chat
- Knowledge base
- Video tutorials
Essentially, the 24/7 live chat option is what tips the scales in NordVPN’s favor.
Torrenting and P2P with NordVPN and Proton VPN
|Allowed on||Select servers||Select servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||No|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows and Android)||Yes (Windows and Android)|
|Port forwarding||No||Yes (Windows)|
Both services are good choices for P2P, but NordVPN is simply the best VPN for torrenting.
Firstly, it’s about the speed – NordVPN is many times faster than Proton VPN. This will be particularly important with a weak connection: Proton VPN can make torrenting excruciatingly slow unless your base connection is amazing.
Both services have a split tunneling feature, which means you can use your VPN connection only for the torrenting app, but that will only solve the speed reduction for your other online activities.
NordVPN has none of these issues – its server base is huge and the speeds are amazing. Additionally, it offers a free SOCKS5 proxy you can set up directly on your torrent client. On the other hand, Proton VPN has port forwarding which is essential if you’re behind a firewall.
Netflix and other streaming platforms
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||Yes|
Looking at the table, you might guess that both providers work more or less the same when it comes to Netflix. However, there’s something to consider when choosing Proton VPN.
It is true that you can stream with Proton VPN (American and other Netflix libraries) but it offers fewer servers that can unblock content platforms. For example, there are none in South Korea or Czechia, even though these countries have an extensive catalog of movies and TV shows.
On the other hand, NordVPN is our top VPN for streaming. NordVPN’s superior download speeds make a substantial difference, especially if you want to watch HD and Ultra HD content. It also has plenty of streaming-optimized servers to choose from, offering great unblocking capabilities.
China and other restricted countries
|Works in China||Yes||Unstable|
|Stealth VPN||Yes (Obfuscated servers)||No|
|Tor over VPN||Yes (Onion over VPN)||Yes|
For those traveling behind the Great Firewall of China, we do not recommend Proton VPN. While its great security features make Proton VPN a good choice for your safety, the lack of a stealth mode means your traffic can be blocked.
Secondly, there’s again the issue of speed – Proton VPN has few servers in Asia, which means it won’t offer great performance even if does work.
NordVPN, on the other hand, is one of the few VPN services that work reliably in China. Its Obfuscated Servers feature means the service can’t be stopped by Deep Packet Inspection or other common VPN blocking means. It’s also very fast and has top-notch security features.
Likewise, NordVPN is better equipped to protect those who travel in other censorious countries as well, including Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and any other region that might restrict or monitor internet access.
Pricing of NordVPN and Proton VPN
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
|Free trial||7 days (requires Android)||No|
Save for the monthly deal, NordVPN offers lower prices, especially when you opt for the two-year plan. However, Proton VPN has a very good free version, which you can use without the fear of running out of data. Therefore, this round is also a tie.
NordVPN has a typical pricing plan in the VPN industry. It comes with three subscription plans:
- $11.99/month for one month
- $4.99/month for one year
- $2.99/month for two years
However, this is only for the first month, year, or two years. After the initial period is over, the price actually increases. To be precise, the plan simply switches to the monthly price, which will cost you $119 annually. The logic is that the first deal was just a temporary promo.
The pricing may also differ if you got a subscription bundled with a different Nord Security product, but that’s a whole different story. Alternatively, you can also get a better deal when opting for a NordVPN coupon code.
Besides that, NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial (requires Android). Once claimed, it can be used on other devices too. Furthermore, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans.
Proton VPN pricing
Proton VPN has simplified its pricing strategy and now has a free and Plus plan. The latter is available for one month up to two years:
- Monthly – $9.99/month
- Annual – $3.99/month
- Bi-annual – $3.99/month
Each plan has different benefits and needs to be paid for one year in advance. Of course, there’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN vs Proton VPN video reviews
NordVPN vs Proton VPN – which is better?
|Speed and performance||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Apps and ease of use||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Torrenting and P2P||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||6 out of 8||0 out of 8|
In spite of facing a strong competitor, NordVPN is the true winner in this competition. Its security and privacy features are unbeatable, it works great with Netflix and torrenting, and it’s easy to use.
Even though NordVPN is a little bit more expensive, the features it provides are worth the price.
Is Proton VPN a good VPN?
Yes, Proton VPN is a good VPN. It has an excellent free plan, but also a solid premium option. This VPN is based in Switzerland and has an independently-audited no-logs policy, as well as a wide range of security features.
Is the free plan of Proton VPN limited in any way?
The free plan of Proton VPN does not have any data limits. However, the connection speed is not as fast as the premium plans. Also, you won’t be able to torrent or unblock streaming platforms, such as Netflix.
Is using a VPN legal?
Yes, using a VPN is perfectly legal. It is an essential security feature used by many people and businesses around the world. However, some countries prohibit or restrict VPN use.
Is NordVPN worth it in 2022?
NordVPN is totally worth it in 2022. It uses military-grade encryption, has the fastest connection speeds with NordLynx, allows torrenting, and unlocks streaming platforms without costing an arm and a leg.