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Nord VPN vs Norton VPN

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Introduction

Virtual private networks (VPNs) have become essential tools in the quest to protect one’s privacy and security online. By encrypting internet traffic and routing it through remote servers, VPNs allow users to hide their IP addresses, location data, and online activities from cybercriminals, surveillance, and other threats.

With many VPN services on the market, it can be tough deciding which one best suits your needs. Two of the most prominent names in consumer VPN services are NordVPN and Norton VPN. But how do they stack up when it comes to features, security protections, network speeds, compatibility, pricing, and overall value? Let’s evaluate them side-by-side.

NordVPN Overview

NordVPN rightfully earns recognition as an industry leader in the VPN space. It consistently ranks near the top of lists of the best VPNs thanks to its emphasis on advanced security combined with excellent network performance.

NordVPN utilizes military-grade AES-256 encryption to secure user traffic along with support for VPN protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard, and NordLynx to enable fast and stable connections. Privacy assurances come from its independently audited no-logs policy and Panama-based jurisdiction outside intrusive surveillance alliances.

Several features provide additional security layers in NordVPN like an automatic kill switch to block internet access if the VPN connection fails, cybersecurity malware blocking, IP and DNS leak prevention, and Onion Over VPN encryption routing traffic through the Tor network. Unique aspects like NordVPN Teams cater towards business customers as well.

Boasting over 5,500 worldwide servers across 59 countries, few VPNs can compete with NordVPN’s massive server infrastructure and equally impressive speeds. Tests confirm impressive results – average download speeds exceeding 70Mbps on nearby servers using NordLynx or WireGuard protocols and strong performance across short and long-distance connections alike.

NordVPN apps support all major platforms like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. Configuration files even allow manual router-based setup. Six devices can use the VPN simultaneously per Nord account. For power users desiring advanced privacy tools and blazing fast speeds from anywhere, NordVPN satisfies those demands at competitive pricing scaled to individual needs.

Norton VPN Overview

Symantec’s Norton brand brings over three decades of cybersecurity expertise to its Norton VPN product. Bundled with premium Norton 360 plans or available separately, Norton VPN focuses strongly on core security foundations you’d anticipate from such an established name.

Like NordVPN, Norton VPN relies on industry standard 256-bit AES encryption for securing traffic between devices and its VPN servers. Support currently includes only the OpenVPN protocol, however. On the privacy front, Norton VPN follows essential no-logging principles to prevent activity monitoring or tracking. IPv6 and DNS leak protection works to block identifying connection data exposures too.

Independent speed tests reveal fairly capable but not standout performance for the Norton VPN network. Download speeds average less than 30Mbps while streaming/torrenting accessibility sees mixed results compared to NordVPN’s level of platform support. This speed and compatibility disparity largely owes to Norton’s much smaller server network footprint – just over 200 VPN servers currently concentrated in North America and Europe.

The Norton VPN platform catalogue covers Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices currently. Browser extensions provide quick access to VPN protection when web surfing on desktop devices. Simultaneous connections allow for securing 2 devices per Norton VPN subscription, with 5 device subscriptions offered at an added cost.

Effective monthly pricing can range from $7.99 initially down to $2 if signing up for longer 2-5 year subscription terms. Bundling with Norton 360 suites adds even more potential value for those invested fully in Norton products. But standalone only subscribers have fewer devices covered under default Norton VPN plans.

Compare Security & Privacy Technology

When evaluating virtual private networks, the underlying technology used to encrypt and secure user traffic remains paramount. Both NordVPN and Norton VPN deliver industry standard 256-bit AES encryption to start. However, NordVPN supports additional protocols (OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard) considered newer and more advanced versus Norton’s lone reliance on OpenVPN currently.

From network architecture to hosted server locations, NordVPN distributed model and Panama jurisdiction steer clear of mandatory data sharing alliances followed by many tech companies hosting infrastructure within countries party to intelligence sharing agreements. Norton’s ownership by US-based company NortonLifeLock could increase obligated government disclosure risks by comparison.

Both firms rightly emphasize no-logging policies for user activity tracking, but NordVPN undergoes independent audits to verify its internal controls around protecting customer data. Norton VPN otherwise lacks third-party validation testing to confirm its systems avoid recording user logs or any session metadata. If provable, externally validated privacy assurances hold importance, NordVPN therefore pulls ahead.

For the strongest device-to-server encryption, widest protocol support, and demonstrated commitments to business practices and policies upholding user privacy before authorities, NordVPN rates as the more complete package over Norton VPN’s connected security offerings.

Network Performance & Speed Comparison

Once fundamental security measures prove reliable, a VPN’s effectiveness further depends on consistent server availability and connection speeds accommodating general web access, streaming, gaming and other use. By these measures, NordVPN simply operates in a different class than Norton VPN currently.

NordVPN’s network comprised of over 5,500 servers across 59 countries dwarfs Norton VPN’s footprint of 200+ servers in just a couple dozen regions. More server options not only increase chances to bypass regional blocking of sites but provide added bandwidth capacity and less congested resource allocation to users. These architectural differences manifest noticeably when comparing performance.

Independent speed tests show NordVPN averaging download speeds exceeding 70 Mbps on nearby servers utilizing its fastest WireGuard protocol. Netflix HD streaming, 4K video chat sessions, and large file downloads all maintain responsiveness thanks to Nord’s well-provisioned infrastructure. Norton VPN peaks around 25 Mbps down with greater inconsistency across locations and latency-sensitive applications.

Upload speeds follow a similar trajectory – NordVPN pushing 35 Mbps up on averages whereas Norton VPN trails well below at less than 15 Mbps up, likely reflecting congestion on its simple network. Speed gaps and server resource allotments between the two services remain consistently sizable.

Platform & Device Support Comparison

A quality VPN provider needs to make accessing its encrypted tunnel simple across the devices people own today from Windows and Mac computers to iPhones, Android tablets and more. NordVPN and Norton VPN share broad platform support but still diverge when inspecting device connection allowances.

In terms of native OS app support, NordVPN and Norton VPN both offer desktop clients for Windows and Mac devices alongside mobile apps spanning iOS and Android devices. NordVPN ups compatibility a further notch on Linux distro environments. Browser extensions are available from both to simplify activating protection while web surfing as well.

However, when it comes to number of simultaneous device connections allowed per account, NordVPN allows 6 devices while Norton VPN only enables 2 devices on standard plans. People managing VPN coverage across numerous smartphones, laptops, tablets and more for family members appreciate Nord’s significantly higher capacity.

For the widest range of apps tailoring the VPN experience to major computing platforms along with support for nearly triple the devices covered on a single account, NordVPN once again outclasses Norton VPN on flexibility and subscription plan value.

Pricing & Subscription Value Comparison

At the end of the day, most consumers weigh the affordability of a VPN’s asking price against its real-world performance and feature set. By such a total value analysis, NordVPN consistently delivers lasting savings and function versus Norton VPN’s sticker pricing.

NordVPN pricing starts at $11.95 monthly but swiftly drops to $4.92 monthly or $3.71 per month when billed over longer 1 to 2 year terms. Notably every Nord tier allows connecting 6 devices simultaneously – a subscription cap 3 times higher than Norton VPN’s standard 2 device plan limit. For multi-user savings across the household, NordVPN requires no extra charges.

Comparatively, standalone Norton VPN pricing also starts higher at $7.99 monthly, falling to $4.99 on year commitments or as low as $2 monthly on 5-year agreements, if practical. But restricting most users to only 2 device allotments per subscription leads to likely upgrade costs just to secure additional gadgets.

Factoring device connection limits affecting larger households, even when accounting for Norton’s cheapest extended terms, on a per protected device basis NordVPN either beats or at minimum matches Norton’s effective VPN access pricing with 3 times the network capacity. Combined with generally superior app platform support and vastly better speed performance stemming from its vastly bigger server infrastructure investments, NordVPN easily justifies its value versus any perceived cost savings from Norton VPN operated on a closed, underpowered network architecture limiting practical everyday utility for customers.

Conclusion – NordVPN Is the Clear Winning Choice

When objectively comparing all vital criteria ranging from security and privacy protections through network performance, access capacity and subscription value across devices, NordVPN consistently and comprehensively proves itself the superior VPN provider compared to Norton VPN.

Only in the realm of absolute base price does Norton seem more affordable on first glance. But those temporary long-term rate savings quickly require upgrade fees just to secure additional household devices as per user needs rise. And skimping on server infrastructure investments directly manifest in dramatically slower Norton VPN speeds impeding many popular streaming and web activities.

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