Skip to content
Home » Best VPN Services » NordLayer vs NordVPN

NordLayer vs NordVPN

NordLayer and NordVPN are two cybersecurity services provided by Nord Security, but they cater to different needs and have distinct features. Here’s a detailed comparison of the two services:



NordLayer is a cloud-based network access security solution designed specifically for small to medium-sized businesses. It acts as a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) that brings together widely used business applications under one management platform. The key focus areas for NordLayer are:

  1. Network access control and security
  2. Data protection
  3. Threat prevention
  4. Access management
  5. Compliance

By taking care of these aspects, NordLayer aims to simplify secure access for distributed workforces in modern dynamic business environments.


NordLayer comes packed with features that enable businesses to secure network access, prevent threats, control user permissions, and maintain compliance standards.

SASE Infrastructure

NordLayer allows businesses to set up a complete SASE infrastructure with just a few clicks. This includes secure web gateways, cloud firewalls, CASB, SWG, and more. The NordLayer nodes provide an all-in-one solution for comprehensive network security.

Site-to-Site VPN

Businesses can establish secure encrypted connections between branches, offices, or infrastructure using NordLayer’s site-to-site VPN feature. This removes the need for dedicated MPLS networks.

SWG Browser Extensions

NordLayer offers inline SWG browser extensions that protect access to SaaS applications like G Suite, Office 365, Salesforce, and more. This prevents malware, phishing, and data exfiltration.

DPI Lite

The DPI Lite feature provides basic traffic inspection capabilities that can detect suspicious patterns in network traffic along with malicious payloads.

Control Panel

A unified control panel allows IT admins to configure policies, manage network security, control access, set up VPNs, and more from a centralized interface.

Batch Permissions & Access

IT admins can configure permissions and access controls in batches using NordLayer’s group management capabilities. This removes the need to set up policies individually.

External Integrations

NordLayer integrates with existing network and security infrastructure like Active Directory, SIEM, proxies, and more. This allows for consolidated control and monitoring.


The System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) integration enables automatic user provisioning and deprovisioning.

Multi-User Management

NordLayer supports multiple user accounts with granular access control policies. Admins can allow, deny, or limit user-based access to applications, websites, and network resources.



NordVPN is a consumer VPN service focused on providing online privacy, anonymity, and security for regular internet users. It aims to hide users’ digital footprints, changing how they connect to the internet for an enhanced browsing experience.

  1. Online anonymity
  2. Encrypted connections
  3. Access restriction bypass
  4. Censorship circumvention
  5. Secure browsing

Essentially, NordVPN intends to make general purpose internet usage safer.


NordVPN offers a wide array of features that enhance online privacy, allow bypassing of geographic restrictions, and provide smooth access to restricted/censored content & websites.

50+ Server Locations

With over 50 server locations worldwide, NordVPN allows users to mask their location and bypass region-based censorship or content restrictions.

Virtual Shared Gateways

The shared-IP virtual gatways assign users a shared IP to access geo-restricted platforms privately and securely.

Virtual Private Gateways

For greater anonymity, users can utilize virtual private gateways that assign a unique IP address not shared with anyone else.

Tunnel Encryption

NordVPN secures user traffic via industry-standard tunnel encryption protocols for private hassle-free browsing.

Kill Switch

The kill switch feature blocks all internet access when the VPN connection drops unexpectedly, preventing IP leaks.

Apps for All Devices

Apps across Windows, Mac, iOS, Android & Linux ensure users stay securely connected on the go across all devices.

NordLynx Tunneling

NordVPN’s own cutting-edge NordLynx protocol is optimized for speed, privacy, and cybersecurity when browsing.

Malware Filters

Integrated malware and ad filters provide another layer of protection against viruses, spyware, ads, and more.

Smart Play

Smart Play offers smoother access to geo-restricted streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu etc.

Onion over VPN

Onion over VPN routes traffic through both the NordVPN servers and the Tor network for maximum anonymity.

Double VPN

Double VPN chains user connection through two separate VPN servers for stronger encryption & greater obscurity.

API Access

NordVPN provides an API for automated secure connectivity along with cybersecurity integrations.

Main Differences

While NordVPN and NordLayer come from the same provider, they differ significantly in their target audience, core capabilities, and use cases.

Target Audience

NordLayer is designed exclusively with small & medium businesses in mind. NordVPN on the other hand targets regular consumers and home users.

Features & Capabilities

NordLayer focuses on all-round network access control, while NordVPN specializes in anonymous browsing, geo-unblocking, and censorship circumvention.

Use Cases

NordVPN is used by consumers for protected browsing, entertainment, and basic privacy. NordLayer secures corporate networks and connects remote workforces.

To summarize, NordVPN fulfills personal privacy and security needs for everyday internet users. NordLayer takes that protection to the business world while also managing network infrastructure.

While both offer cybersecurity, their specialized capabilities cater to very different audiences. NordVPN gives power users greater freedom and flexibility online. NordLayer lets companies securely embrace cloud transformation.

NordLayer’s Business-centric Security

As mentioned earlier, NordLayer aims to provide integrated network access security tailored for modern businesses, especially small and medium setups.

Let’s go deeper into some of its standout business-centric capabilities:

Unified Access Control

NordLayer consolidates multiple network and security functionalities like SWG, DLP, CASB, malware scanning, and more under one umbrella.

Admins get centralized control and oversight for users across devices, locations, and connection types. Granular policies control access to specific applications, websites, and data resources.

Cloud-powered Security

The NordLayer nodes form a global cloud-based security network that provides consistent protection to dynamic modern networks.

As companies embrace cloud platforms and SaaS apps, NordLayer secures access via nearest nodes – wherever employees are located.

Lower OPEX

NordLayer reduces operational overhead for security workflows by removing the need for specialized security infrastructure. Its SASE approach integrates functionality like CASB and sandboxing without additional components.

Business Continuity

Site-to-site VPN connectivity ensures location-distributed workforces stay securely connected for uninterrupted operations. Multi-region nodes prevent concentration risks that disrupt workflows.

Regulatory Compliance

Granular logging, data policies, endpoint control, and next-gen threat prevention capabilities help businesses comply with regulations like PCI, DSS, HIPAA etc.

Scalability On Demand

NordLayer allows scaling security capabilities up or down easily depending on evolving business needs. Extra capacity gets deployed instantly without lengthy procurement cycles.

As evident, NordLayer provides comprehensive business-first network security without requiring expert IT skills or dedicated infrastructure.

NordVPN’s Specialized Privacy Tools

On the other hand, NordVPN delivers specialized capabilities that enhance user privacy across the internet. Beyond basic VPN tunnel encryption, it packs unique features that offer greater flexibility:

Onion Over VPN

This optional feature routes traffic through both the NordVPN servers as well as the Onion network, making it near impossible to trace activity back to a user. The encryption layers ensure maximum anonymity.

Obfuscated Servers

Obfuscated servers allow users in restrictive regions to effectively mask VPN traffic, bypassing firewalls and other countermeasures that blacklist forbidden connections.

Multi-hop Connections

Multi-hop routes user traffic through not one but two or more consecutive VPN servers for stronger anonymity. It ensures there are multiple encrypted tunnels for traffic tracing resistance.


The TOR over VPN feature forwards VPN traffic into the TOR network for an additional anonymity layer. It provides deeper privacy when accessing .onion domains on the dark web.


Specialized obfuscated servers combined with high-grade encryption protocols allow NordVPN users to bypass state-level censorship and access restricted content.

Peer-to-Peer Support

Most VPNs block P2P traffic and torrent transfers. NordVPN accommodates suchneeds with dedicated P2P servers in countries with flexible policies.

Browser Extensions

The NordVPN browser extensions route web traffic through the encrypted tunnel automatically. This prevents data leaks stemming from web exposures.

As evident, NordVPN goes well beyond basic VPN access to provide hardened anonymity tools for those seeking absolute privacy. Even advanced adversaries would hit extreme difficulty in trying to trace typical NordVPN protected traffic flows.

Which One Should You Choose?

So between NordLayer and NordVPN, which one is right for you? Here’s a quick recap:

NordLayer If:

  • You manage IT or network security for a small/medium business
  • Looking to consolidate security controls
  • Need to support a distributed/remote workforce
  • Have multi-cloud/SaaS environments to protect
  • Struggle with access management complexity
  • Need simplified regulatory compliance

NordVPN If:

  • You’re a regular home internet/computer user
  • Want enhanced privacy when browsing the internet
  • Need to access geo-restricted streaming content
  • Required to overcome censorship or restrictions
  • Engage in P2P transfers or torrenting
  • Use dark web markets and .onion sites

Final Takeaway

NordLayer secures corporate infrastructure and access in the cloud transformation era. NordVPN satisfies personal preferences for privacy when enjoying entertainment or exploring sensitive topics online.

While their technology base is similar, intended use cases vary vastly. NordLayer enables businesses to adopt modern IT with confidence. NordVPN empowers users to take control of their digital independence.

So pick NordLayer for simplified IT security, and NordVPN for unlimited digital freedom!