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NordVPN vs ProtonVPN

Kelly Avatar By: Kelly | Last updated October 17, 2020

VPN puzzle pieces with a question mark.


Mr. Robot is an Emmy-award winner drama series that has been highly praised by the IT community for its accurate and realistic depiction of what a hacker really does. In season one of the series, the viewers caught a glimpse of an encrypted email service that was being used by its main character and it's called ProtonMail. 

ProtonMail is a real-life encrypted email service that was created by scientist and software developer at CERN. After the episode, the company reported a huge influx of new users. But what most people didn't know is that the company also has other security-based services called ProtonVPN.  

So for this article, we will take a look at just how good ProtonVPN really is? Should you use it or not? and more importantly, how does it stand up against the current leader of the industry, NordVPN. 

What is ProtonVPN

In 2014, a group of people at CERN (European Center for Nuclear Research) decided to start a crowdfunded project called ProtonMail to provide truly secure email service to provide better protection for activists and journalists. That project becomes a full-fledged company called Proton Technologies AG. 

The company then create ProtonVPN to further support the need for a secure connection for both its email users and the general public. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Proton Technologies AG takes full advantage of the country's strong privacy policy laws to further increase the security of its VPN service.  

What is NordVPN

Established in 2012, NordVPN is a Panama-based company that has been dominating the world of VPN for the past couple of years.  

Under Tefincom & Co., S.A, its parent company, NordVPN has continued to provide an open, private, and secure internet experience to its 14 million and growing number of users around the world. 

From acknowledging a server breach to declining direct order from the Russian government, NordVPN has proved time and again that they are willing to be transparent while upholding user's privacy above all else. So when it comes down to NordVPN Vs. ProtonVPN  we are going to have to dig deeply to see which service is best for you.

Features to consider for the competition
  •  Anonymity. We use VPN to conceal our personal information, so every VPN service out there must have the proper features, policies, and protocol to ensure the user's anonymity. 
  • Security and protection. In addition to our privacy, a VPN company must also make sure that we get a secure connection and proper protection while on the net. 
  • Price. What we look in this category is whether or not the company put a reasonable price tag for the features given to the users. Additional point if it's also affordable. 
  • Ease of use. From the user interface to how easy it is to use the software/app for regular people, this category is all about the user experience. 
  • Accessibility. We look at how easy it is for the users to access their preferred locations, which means the number of servers and countries. We also look at supported platforms and multi-device connections. 
  • Speed. Every VPN will decrease the base internet speed, the only concern is how much reduction are we experiencing while connected to the VPN networks. 
  • Torrent. Not all VPN allows P2P access through their network, so the availability of this option itself is a good point in and on itself. Even better if it could maintain a decent speed while at it. 
  • Support. We will face problems whenever we use a piece of software. Given that inevitability, we need to know how easy it is to contact the company's support team and how good is the documentation on the official website. 
Comparison between ProtonVPN and NordVPN
  • Anonymity. Between Nordvpn and ProtonVPN there is no difference in where they are based as they are both in a country with strict laws regarding the protection of individuals' privacy and they also put zero log policies in place. Both also have an added feature to strengthen your anonymity, like NordVPN's double VPN protocol and ProtonVPN's secure core servers. 
  • Security and protection. Both companies implement military-grade, AES 256-bit encryption, multiple data leaks protection, OpenVPN protocol, and kill switches. But as a company that emphasizes security and protection, ProtonVPN also implements the aforementioned Secure Core Servers feature.  
    No matter how strong the encryption is put on the connection, everything would be over once the server is compromised. With the secure core, however, ProtonVPN put a super secure, specialized servers in secret locations, one of which is a military bunker, a thousand miles beneath the Alps. 
  • Price. At the time of writing this article, NordVPN offers US$4.92 per month for its annual plan. While they don't have any free-trial program, they do have a 30-days money-back guarantee. ProtonVPN, however, offers a free VPN service with no limitation on speed and bandwidth.  
    It does only allow one device to connect from three available servers, but it is well-known for being one of the best, and most generous free VPN services in the market. For the premium plans, the base service is US$4 and the highest service cost US$24 with an additional connected devices, dedicated servers, and free premium ProtonMail account. 
  • Ease of use. Both VPN services are equal in this regard. NordVPN and ProtonVPN have a slick, modern, and straight forward design on their software and app. I'm sure even those who know next to nothing about VPN could easily use their software/app. 
  • Accessibility. With over 5300 servers in 59 countries that could simultaneously be accessed by six devices, NordVPN crush ProtonVPN's meager 1061 servers in 54 countries and the number of simultaneous connections that are based on the plan you choose. Both of them could be used in Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, IOS, some browser extensions, and routers. 
  • Speed. While both services offer unlimited speed and bandwidth, the sheer amounts of servers under NordVPN makes it so much faster than ProtonVPN, especially pronounce during downloads and uploads. 
  • Torrent. Both companies also have P2P protocols, but again, the speed is simply incomparable. NordVPN comfortably wins this category. 
  • Support. NordVPN and ProtonVPN are once again equal in this regard. Both companies have multiple ways to be contacted and both also provide extensive, helpful documentation on their website.