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In this review, I compare NordVPN vs VPN Unlimited on a number of key aspects that are important to VPN users. These include security, privacy, speed, price, P2P, streaming, and more. The winner in each category is presented at the end of the article, before the final verdict.
NordVPN is praised for its performance, ease of use, and customer support, among many other things. In the meantime, VPN Unlimited is known for the number of supported devices and reasonable pricing, which includes a lifetime option. But which one of them is truly better in 2021?
Overall I feel that, based on general brand reputation, NordVPN seems to be the better tool. In the rest of this review, I will take a closer look to see if it wins over VPN Unlimited in every category.
|“Best for” winner||Best overall, Best for Netflix, Best for P2P, Best for China, Fastest VPN||N/A|
|“Best for” nominee||N/A|
|Price starts from||$3.30/month||$4.99/month|
|Review||NordVPN review||VPN Unlimited review|
Speed and servers
We are yet to add VPN Unlimited to our in-house speed test. Therefore, I used the old speedtest.net method from our location in Europe. My baseline download speed was 303 Mbps.
Then, I connected to three locations in different contents. Based on that data, I also added the average speed of each provider in the table below.
|United Kingdom||252 Mbps||94 Mbps|
|United States||213 Mbps||158 Mbps|
|New Zealand||177 Mbps||146 Mbps|
|Average||214 Mbps||133 Mbps|
Both VPNs are really fast, thanks to the WireGuard protocol (NordVPN uses its in-house version NordLynx). But as expected, NordVPN, our fastest service, has a significant advantage. The average drop-off for VPN Unlimited was 56% percent, while the winner of this round devoured only 29% of the baseline connection.
|Physical servers||All||Not all|
|Owns all servers||Some||No|
|P2P servers||Not all||Not all|
NordVPN’s server numbers are much more impressive. However, as we’ve seen from the speed results above, quality infrastructure can beat quantity nearly every time.
And this time, it’s not that time because VPN Unlimited loses in the quality area as well. Not all of their servers are physical, they don’t own them, and neither of them runs on RAM. These factors are important not only to performance but security as well.
Finally, both providers have truly global coverage. Therefore, you should be able to find a fast server wherever you may be.
Pricing and plans
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
VPN Unlimited uses a pretty unique pricing – it offers a Lifetime plan. If you really like the service, this can be a great investment, provided that the company won’t go bankrupt in the upcoming two years. The plans above are for five devices, but VPN Unlimted has options with ten as well.
The monthly and annual prices are somewhat similar, but if you choose NordVPN, take the two-year plan. This way, you’ll save the most unless you need a VPN for a brief time only.
Both services have 30-day money-back guarantees, which should be more than enough to test things out. For those who aren’t eager to enter payment details, let alone pay for something, VPN Unlimited has a 7-day free trial.
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2||WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2|
|Kill switch||App-level and connection-level||Yes|
|IP and DNS leaks||No||No|
|Security features||Double VPN, Onion over VPN, CyberSec, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, Split tunneling||KeepSolid Wise, DNS Firewall, Split tunneling|
NordVPN and VPN Unlimed offer great protection, thanks to military-grade encryption, the latest tunneling protocols, and no leaks. The former has a slight advantage when talking about kill switches because it can work either on the app or connection level.
Unfortunately for VPN Unlimited, they lose this battle because of the lack of security features. While three options don’t sound that bad, only Stealth VPN (KeepSolid Wise) is the only one available for all subscribers. The malware blocker named DNS Firewall costs extra, and split tunneling is Android-only.
In the meantime, NordVPN offers all that plus SOCKS5 proxy, Onion over VPN, and Double VPN. The last two also make it a better option for China. Its split tunneling additionally works on Windows.
|Logging||Independently-audited no-logs policy||More than minimal|
Privacy is where VPN Unlimited collapses like a rag. To start with, it’s located in the US, which is a central Five Eyes country. Furthermore, this provider clearly states that it logs more than it’s needed, and all automatically logged data can be linked with a session.
In contrast, NordVPN is based in privacy-friendly Panama. It has a strict no-logs policy, which has been independently audited by PwC, a world-class accounting company. Lastly, this service offers to pay anonymously using cryptocurrencies.
VPN Unlimited also accepts anonymous payments, but there’s not much use in that when they’re logging so much.
Compatibility and ease of use
|Major apps||Windows, Android, Linux, macOS, iOS||Windows, Android, Linux, macOS, iOS|
|Other apps||Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV||Fire TV & Fire Stick|
|Browser extensions||Chrome, Firefox||Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge|
|Manual setup||Routers, firewalls, NAS||Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Kodi, routers, NAS|
|Simultaneous devices||6||5 or 10|
VPN Unlimited and NordVPN go hand-in-hand through the forest of Compatibility. Both have apps for major platforms (Linux included) plus Amazon Fire TV & Fire Stick. NordVPN also throws in the Android TV client.
Afterward, VPN Unlimited starts to gently pull NordVPN, taking the lead. The former offers browser extensions to Opera and Edge, which is a rare feat. Additionally, it supports more devices that can be configured manually. And if 5 devices aren’t enough for you, there’s an option that doubles the amount.
However, the situation balances out when the light shines on the shortcomings of VPN Unlimited’s macOS and iOS apps. It turns out, they have but a few features compared to Android and Windows. In the meantime, all NordVPN apps offer almost the same feature set.
Netflix and other streaming options
|Other Netflix libraries||Yes||Yes|
If we look at the table, both contestants seem to be great options for watching Netflix and other platforms. In fact, VPN Unlimited manages that just with a browser add-on.
In the meantime, NordVPN adds the Android TV client. But the real difference starts to appear when we move to the last row of the table.
VPN Unlimited and NordVPN offer Smart DNS, but the former charges extra. Also, it doesn’t say anything about supporting game consoles or smart TVs. Lastly, even though VPN Unlimited supports Kodi, its logging policies can run you into trouble.
Torrenting and P2P
|Allowed on||Select servers||Select servers|
|Free SOCKS5 proxy||Yes||No|
|Split tunneling||Yes (Windows, Android)||Yes (Android)|
NordVPN is better for P2P because of its speed and privacy. While I can’t call VPN Unlimited anything but fast, its download numbers are inferior. Most importantly, its jurisdiction and logging make it less than ideal, especially in countries where torrenting is illegal.
Besides, NordVPN has more P2P-oriented features. It gives you a free SOCKS5 proxy and split tunneling that works on Windows. Finally, there are way more severs to choose from, and their quality supersedes those of VPN Unlimited.
Once again, the table tells only part of the story. NordVPN has a 24/7 live chat, while VPN Unlimited doesn’t offer round-the-clock support. That’s a pity if you happen to be in the “wrong” timezone.
On the bright side, VPN Unlimited’s email support is pretty fast, claiming to answer any inquiry within an hour. NordVPN doesn’t make such bold claims, but in my experience, they write back the same day usually.
Both providers have extensive and well-structured knowledgebases. Chance are most of your answers lie there, and finding them is not that hard, especially with the Search function.
Winners by category
|Speed and servers||Wins✔️||Loses❌|
|Total wins||5 out of 8||0 out of 8|
Verdict: NordVPN vs VPN Unlimited
NordVPN easily wins this comparison, while VPN Unlimited fails to gain the upper-hand in any category. On the other hand, even tying with the #1 VPN not once but twice is a story on its own.
The prices section has no winner because I wasn’t trying to calculate some bang-for-the-buck ratio there. VPN Unlimited has a solid lifetime plan and a legit 7-day free trial, which is a legit answer to NordVPN’s two-year option.
Another tie in compatibility and ease of use takes into account that VPN Unlimited supports more devices and platforms. However, its macOS and iOS are so low on features that even powerful browser extensions were not enough to pull his off.
The rest is history. NordVPN is faster, has more servers, and their quality is superior. VPN Unlimited offers fewer security features and has privacy issues. That’s an automatic loss in the P2P category too.
Finally, VPN Unlimited lacks a 24/7 live chat, which is a staple of every top-notch provider.
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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.