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NordVPN vs. Norton VPN—Which One Should You Choose?

Ashley Ferraro, Product
Jun 12, 2024
 • 
10
 Min Read

With 31% of global Internet users turning to VPNs for enhanced online security, most service providers have improved their offerings to meet growing user demands. NordVPN and Norton VPN are two major players in this arena, each with unique features and benefits. Still, figuring out which one works better for your specific needs requires a deeper analysis. 

This NordVPN vs. Norton VPN comparison will evaluate their privacy and security features, speed, performance, and overall user experience. If you’re left concerned about the safety of your sensitive details, this article will also introduce an effective method for safeguarding your financial data online.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is accurate as of April 2024, and the products’ features may change with time.

NordVPN vs. Norton VPN—Head-to-Head Comparison

A photo of a laptop and smartphone on top of a white table, both showing VPN interfaces
Source: Stefan Coders

NordVPN and Norton VPN have plenty to offer to meet different users’ needs. Here are five points of comparison we’ll use to examine them:

  1. Privacy and security features
  2. Speed and performance
  3. Global server network
  4. Device compatibility
  5. User interface

Privacy and Security Features

NordVPN and Norton VPN offer robust security features to protect user data. Both services use AES-256[1][2], a high-level encryption standard used by governments and militaries. NordVPN also offers ChaCha20, a newer and possibly faster encryption standard. 

The VPNs also support multiple VPN protocols, which can be useful in case one is underperforming or blocked by a specific website. Norton VPN uses IPsec and WireGuard, and OpenVPN on Android, while NordVPN employs OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, and its own custom protocol built around WireGuard, NordLynx. 

Here’s a breakdown of the main security and privacy features both VPNs offer:

Kill Switch If a VPN connection drops, this feature automatically disconnects the user from the internet, preventing exposure of their IP address and other sensitive data.
Ad Tracker Blocking Both VPNs have a feature that blocks ads and trackers, enhancing user privacy and improving the browsing experience.
Split Tunneling Users can choose which part of their traffic is sent through a VPN and which through a regular network.
Automatic Connection Whenever a user starts their device or connects to an unsecured Wi-Fi network, the VPN automatically activates, reducing the risk of data exposure.

NordVPN also offers advanced security features, such as Double VPN, which routes users’ traffic through two VPN servers, and Onion Over VPN, which sends traffic over the Onion Network and the VPN server[3]

It also includes Meshnet, a feature that allows remote access to user devices similar to a local area network, and a dedicated IP, which allows users to always have the same IP address. 

Speed and Performance

Both NordVPN and Norton VPN offer comparable download speeds. A third-party test[4] found that NordVPN slowed down their internet speed by just under 6%, while Norton VPN slowed it down by close to 10%. 

The upload speed test showed that NordVPN slowed down upload speeds by slightly over 4%, while Norton VPN slowed upload speed by almost 88%. However, some slowdowns are a necessary tradeoff when using VPNs, and users can try changing protocols and connecting to different servers to optimize their internet speed. 

Global Server Network

NordVPN has a vast network, with over 6,300 servers across 111 countries[5]. The extensive network allows the service to provide reliable and fast connections to its users.

Norton VPN has a smaller network, with an undisclosed number of servers in 29 countries[6]. While this is a decent number, it might limit users' options, especially those looking to connect to less common locations.

Device Compatibility

NordVPN offers broader compatibility, making it a more versatile choice for users with diverse device environments. The VPN service supports routers, streaming devices, gaming consoles, and various Linux distributions[7]. With NordVPN, users can protect more devices simultaneously, especially with router support.

Norton VPN supports Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and routers[2]. It lacks support for Linux and some streaming devices.

User Interface

Both NordVPN and Norton VPN offer user-friendly interfaces. Both VPNs have sleek designs and quick connect buttons, making them easy to use. NordVPN presents a map-based interface, enabling users to select servers visually, while Norton VPN’s straightforward navigation makes it suitable for beginners.

Norton VPN vs. NordVPN—Are There Better Choices?

A wallpaper of a blue shield with a lock symbol on a mesh background
Source: TheDigitalArtist

NordVPN and Norton VPN are excellent choices that can bring a lot of value to their users. They also offer additional value through different bundles—users can buy Norton VPN as a standalone solution or as part of the Norton 360 suite, which includes various security tools such as antivirus, firewall, and password manager. NordVPN offers a password manager and even encrypted storage with some of its plans. 

Ultimately, the best VPN for a user depends on their specific needs and circumstances. Other VPN services that might be a good alternative include: 

Security Concerns VPN Cannot Help You With

A photo of a black combination lock on top of payment cards, which are placed on a laptop keyboard
Source: TheDigitalWay

While VPNs enhance online security, they do not provide 100% protection from all online threats. You could still be exposed to various risks, from accessing websites through unsecured connections to downloading malware that hijacks your system. It's crucial to be cautious when providing sensitive information online, use antivirus software, and employ secure password managers.

Virtual cards should be another critical component of your online security toolkit. These cards mask your actual card details with unique numbers at checkout. Even if a potentially unauthorized third party gained access to your virtual card, they would not be able to see your actual payment card or bank account information. 

Some of the bigger banks offer virtual cards for their customers. However, if you want to get a specialized service with robust security and advanced card settings, you should consider a comprehensive virtual card provider like Privacy.

A photo of a person’s hand holding a payment card, with images on an e-commerce site displayed on a laptop
Source: StockSnap

Protect Your Financial Details With Privacy Virtual Cards

Privacy Cards come with a unique 16-digit card number, CVV, and expiration date, and you can use them instead of your actual payment card. When you make a purchase, you can provide your virtual card details to the merchant. At the same time, Privacy will charge your linked funding source—either a debit card or a bank account. Your real financial information is protected by Privacy and never revealed to the merchant.

Privacy uses bank-grade security measures to protect your information, including:

  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption—Privacy uses the highest encryption standard to safeguard your data. 
  • PCI-DSS compliance—Privacy adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), a set of robust guidelines designed to ensure that organizations that process or store credit card details observe the highest level of information security.
  • 2FA (two-factor authentication) support—Privacy users enjoy various options for two-factor authentication. 

Privacy also boosts your account security by supporting several methods of two-factor authentication and giving you real-time notifications whenever your card is used. 

Privacy Card Types and Features

Privacy offers two types of virtual cards:

  1. Single-Use Cards—These cards become inactive shortly after use, meaning that they cannot be used by potential hackers. You can use these cards when making one-off purchases from websites you may not fully trust.
  2. Merchant-Locked Cards—These cards are “locked” to the first merchant they’re used at. They are a great option for subscriptions like Dropbox, PlayStation®Plus, YouTube Premium, and Tinder Gold.

Privacy also offers card controls, such as setting spending limits and pausing/closing virtual cards. Pausing or closing your cards may help you reduce the risk of accidental charges while going through the process of stopping a subscription. If you set a limit on your Privacy Card, Privacy will decline any charge that goes above the limit, protecting you from unexpected charges. 

Convenience Features

Privacy offers convenience features that make it easier for you to manage your online transactions:

  • Mobile app—Privacy’s mobile app, available for both iOS and Android, makes creating and managing virtual cards directly from your phone seamless.
  • Browser extension—Privacy offers a browser extension for Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari (including Safari for iOS). It lets you easily create and fill in virtual card details at checkout.
  • 1Password integration—With Privacy and 1Password, you can securely store your virtual card details in your 1Password vault, providing an extra layer of security.
  • Shared Cards—Privacy allows you to share your virtual cards with your family members or employees, which can be useful for managing family subscriptions or keeping business costs under control.

How To Get a Privacy Virtual Card

All you have to do to get started with Privacy is:

  1. Register
  2. Fill out the required details to verify your identity
  3. Connect a funding source
  4. Request your first virtual card

Privacy offers three monthly plans to choose from. Here’s a breakdown of each plan:

Plan Price What It Offers
Personal Free for domestic purchases
  • Access to 12 virtual cards per month

  • Browser extension

  • Mobile app

  • All card controls

Pro $10/month
  • All Personal plan features

  • Up to 36 virtual cards per month

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Shared Cards

  • Priority support

Premium $25/month
  • All Pro plan features

  • Access to 60 virtual cards per month

Privacy Virtual Cards can be used at most vendors and websites that accept Visa® or Mastercard®, providing a secure and flexible payment method for your online transactions.

References

[1] NordVPN. https://nordvpn.com/features/next-generation-encryption/, sourced April 8, 2024
[2] Norton. https://us.norton.com/products/norton-secure-vpn, sourced April 8, 2024
[3] NordVPN. https://nordvpn.com/features/, sourced April 8, 2024
[4] Security.org, https://www.security.org/vpn/speed-test/, sourced May 26, 2024
[5] NordVPN. https://nordvpn.com/servers/, sourced April 8, 2024
[6] Norton Community. https://community.norton.com/en/forums/available-norton-vpn-regions, sourced April 8, 2024
[7] NordVPN. https://nordvpn.com/features/vpn-for-multiple-devices/, sourced April 8, 2024

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