NordVPN Vs PureVPN | A head to head comparison

Picking a VPN can be difficult because of the sheer number of services available. Even after finding services that you like the sound of, choosing between them can be a headache. At ProPrivacy, we have come up with the perfect solution to this problem. Our NordVPN VS PureVPN Article pit two big hitters against one another in a head-to-head battle.

Both NordVPN and PureVPN have a great reputation. They are both considered superb value for money, and they are known for providing excellent levels of privacy and unblocking capabilities to their users. That said, these market-leading VPNs do have some key differences – and you may prefer one over the other. In this article, we will explain exactly which service is better.

 

Quick Answer

If you are looking for a quick answer, this section is for you. Our experts have tested these two prominent VPNs by comparing them in 11 important categories. Our results conclusively prove that one of these VPNs is better for most people's needs. As a result, you can feel confident picking one over the other. 

With that said, it is worth noting that there are some key differences between these two providers. Depending on why you want a VPN, one of these two providers may be better for you personally. So please read the entire article if you have the time!

Taking everything into account, however, our VPN experts have concluded that NordVPN is better for most people. NordVPN has a better feature set, it provides more consistent speeds across its network, it has stronger encryption, and can unblock more sought after streaming services and libraries.

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Pricing

NordVPN PureVPN
Cryptocurrency
Amex
Visa/MasterCard
PayPal

The cost of a VPN can be a deciding for many consumers. However, when it comes to VPN services, you usually get what you pay for. Thus, there is a danger that by going for a cheaper service you will end up with an inferior product.

That said, there are also expensive VPNs on the market that fail to deliver the necessary features you would expect from the best VPN services. So, it is important to consider VPNs on a case-by-case basis by looking closely at their attributes – no matter the costs involved.

The good news is that both NordVPN and PureVPN are considered market-leading services. This means that we can compare them on prices directly, without concern over the quality of the product itself.

To start with, they both accept PayPal, Amex, and debit card payments. However, only NordVPN accepts Bitcoin payments, which may interest those seeking more anonymity.

Where prices are concerned, the services are pretty similar. A single month subscription to NordVPN will cost you $11.95. The same subscription with PureVPN is a dollar less at $10.95. Paying for a one-year contract reduces the cost substantially with both services. NordVPN will cost the equivalent of $4.92 per month, whereas PureVPN costs just $4.16.

Finally, NordVPN can be purchased with a two-year subscription at a cost of $3.71 per month. This same two-year plan costs just $69.95 with PureVPN, which works out at $2.90 per month. Thus, we must conclude that PureVPN is the cheaper VPN

Winner: PureVPN

Try PureVPN now!

Features

NordVPN PureVPN
Server Locations 59 countries 141 countries
Simultaneous connections 6 10
Total servers 5492 4000
Split Tunneling

A VPN's feature set will determine how useful and versatile that service is. The good news is that both of these services have all the essential features you would expect to get with a premium VPN. 

NordVPN has servers in 59 countries, whereas PureVPN has servers in a whopping 141 countries. However, please remember that NordVPN's servers are all bare metal, whereas PureVPN uses virtual instances and SmartDNS routing to provide some of its IP addresses, which is not as secure in terms of privacy.

PureVPN permits 10 simultaneous connections, which is slightly more generous than NordVPN (which only allows subscribers to use the VPN on six devices at the same time).

Split tunneling is available with PureVPN on Windows and Android, but not macOS or iOS. NordVPN provides split tunneling only on Android. Port forwarding is available with PureVPN on any platform, but it is an optional add on that you will need to pay extra for ($0.99 per month). This feature is not currently available with NordVPN. 

With NordVPN, obfuscation is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. This is splendid news for anybody living in a country where VPNs traffic is blocked or subjected to throttling. This feature is unfortunately not available with PureVPN.

Need a dedicated IP address?

PureVPN subscribers can get a dedicated IP address for their sole use if they want to. This will cost you an additional $3.99 per month. NordVPN also sells dedicated IPs, however, they cost $70 per year (which is the equivalent of $5.80 per month) and you do have to commit for a year to rent one.

Beyond that, it is worth noting that NordVPN has some unusual features that PureVPN does not have. This includes Double Hop VPN connections, Tor over VPN, Smart DNS, and DNS-based malware protection. These aren't VPN essentials, per se, but they may come in handy to some users. 

Finally, NordVPN has now introduced its NordLynx VPN protocol, which can provide even faster speeds than PureVPN! The new protocol is based on WireGuard, which means that it is highly secure, it leverages obfuscation by default, and it will be ideal for anybody looking for the fastest speeds possible (for gaming, streaming, etc). Wireguard (and NordLynx) are not available with PureVPN.

Winner: It's a draw

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Routers Supported

NordVPN PureVPN
pfSense
OpenWRT
AsusWRT
Router Support
DD-WRT
Tomato

Both NordVPN and PureVPN provide a simultaneous connection allowance that lets subscribers install and use the VPN on either six (NordVPN) or 10 devices (PureVPN). If you own a large number of devices – or you want to ensure that your entire family is being protected by the VPN at all times – you may want to connect to the VPN directly on your router. 

Connecting to a VPN on your router prevents you from needing to connect each device individually. This ensures that all Smart TVs, laptops, phones, desktop computers, games consoles, VR headsets, and IoT devices in your home are automatically being routed via the VPN. Not only that, but you are officially only using one of your allocated connections, which ensures you have plenty left for mobile devices looking to connect on public WiFi.

NordVPN can be installed on a huge number of different router models and firmware types, and the firm provides superb resources on its website, including individual guides for almost all routers. 

PureVPN is one of the few VPNs that actually provides as much router functionality as NordVPN. The service can be installed on just about any router type you can think of, and the firm provides detailed guides for setting-up those routers on its website.

Looking for a VPN router?

Both NordVPN and PureVPN can be purchased pre-flashed on a selection of routers available from FlashRouters.

Check out FlashRouters!

Winner: It's a draw

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Unblocking

NordVPN PureVPN
Netflix
iPlayer
Amazon Prime
Disney+
Hulu

Although privacy is often considered the primary reason for getting a VPN, many consumers actually want a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions. Unfortunately, not every VPN is able to unblock every popular international streaming platform. 

The table above reveals that NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that can provide access to Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. It also works with Sling TV, AT&T TV, YouTube TV, ABC and NBC – to name a few.

PureVPN is also a good option for unblocking content. It is known to unblock Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. In addition, it provides access to temporary dedicated IPs that consumers can use by contacting the live chat support. This will let you access a particular international TV station during a large sports competition, for example. 

Winner: It's a draw

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Netflix libraries

NordVPN PureVPN
USA
UK
Canada
Japan
France
Germany
Number of Netflix libraries 14 countries 12 countries

Most people want to unblock US Netflix because it contains more movies and TV shows than any other international Netflix catalog. However, as StreamCatcher proves, there are plenty of reasons to unblock other international Netflix catalogs too.

When it comes to unblocking Netflix, NordVPN is a little better because it provides access to 14 catalogs, including Canada, Japan, the UK, and the USA.

Admittedly, PureVPN also provides access to 12 Netflix catalogs, which is much more than the majority of its competitors. Thus, it is a close race and both services are fantastic, but Nord just pips the post.

Winner: NordVPN

Try NordVPN now!

Torrenting

NordVPN PureVPN
Obfuscation (stealth)
Kill Switch
Port forwarding
Port selection
Torrenting Allowed?
Dedicated Servers?

Being able to torrent with absolute privacy is a primary concern for many VPN users. The good news is that both NordVPN and PureVPN permit torrenting on a choice of servers.

NordVPN clearly highlights torrent-friendly servers in its client and it offers a wide choice of global locations to help people gain the best speeds possible. NordVPN also has a method for recommending a P2P server to each user, depending on where they are located, which is a nice addition.

In total, PureVPN permits torrenting with servers located in 80 countries around the world, but this does not include any servers in the USA or the UK. NordVPN on the other hand, has P2P servers in the USA which many consumers located there may like the sound of (for getting the best speeds possible). 

Perhaps the only other real difference between these two popular services is that PureVPN can provide a port forwarding extra, which is available for $0.99 per month. This is a useful add-on that some torrenters may want to use to get better speeds – as well as to ensure that they maintain the best possible download to upload ratio. 

Winner: It's a draw

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Setup & Usability

NordVPN PureVPN
Windows
iOS
Android
Linux
macOS

Both NordVPN and PureVPN have custom apps that are available for all popular platforms. Mobile apps can be accessed either on the Google Play Store or the Apple App store depending on the version you need. The apps download quickly, no matter which specific platform you use, and they install without fuss. 

Unfortunately, neither service has a full GUI VPN app for Linux. However, both providers have guides for setting up the VPN using the command-line interface on various Linux distributions. And, they both provide access to .ovpn files on their website – so you can connect using a third party OpenVPN client if you want to. Thus, it is possible to use either service on Linux – with our recommended encryption protocol. 

Choosing between these two services in terms of ease of use is very hard because both services have outstanding apps that are extremely easy to use. Neither app is cluttered or hard to understand, and each clearly explains the primary features so that even beginners can start using the VPN right away.

Winner: It's a draw

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Mobile features

Both of these VPN providers have custom mobile apps for Android and iOS. These are available in the usual app stores and will install with ease.

PureVPN provides OpenVPN TCP, OpenVPN UDP, and IKEv2 encryption on both iOS and Android, which is great. Unfortunately, PureVPN does not have a kill-switch in its mobile apps. This is a highly useful feature that ensures you do not leak any unencrypted data to your local network administrator, ISP, or government.

The NordVPN app for Android provides OpenVPN encryption, while it's iOS app provides the choice of either OpenVPN or IKEv2. NordVPN also provides its double VPN encryption option on Android, which is good news for those who want to take extra precautions. Plus, NordVPN has a kill-switch on iOS and guides for setting up NordVPN to work with the system level Android kill-switch (the iOS kill-switch is enabled by default and can't be switched off).

Winner: NordVPN

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Performance & Speed

How fast a VPN can perform will affect how useful he VPN is when it comes to streaming n HD, video conferencing, playing online games, and doing other data intensive tasks.

Both of these services are consistently inside the top 5 fastest VPNs in the world.

NordVPN and PureVPN are tested three times a day using our scientific server-based system. We test OpenVPN UDP for consistency. Our results revealed that both services provide lightning-fast connections right across their server networks. This means that both services are ideal for consumers who need the very fastest VPN connection speeds available to them.

However, close analysis reveals that NordVPN is a little more consistent throughout its network, whereas PureVPN's averages that pushed up due to the exceptional performance of its US servers. 

Thus, if you want fast speeds no matter where you happen to connect, we would generally favor NordVPN.

Winner: NordVPN

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Security

Technical security can make or break a VPN's service. Thus, which security features are available, and how those features are implemented is one of the most important factors when deciding whether a VPN is suitable for data privacy purposes. So, how do these VPNs compare?

NordVPN PureVPN
OpenVPN
WireGuard
AES-256
L2TP/IPsec
SSTP
IKEv2
RSA-2048
WebRTC leak protection
PPTP
RSA-4096
Shadowsocks
Bare Metal Servers?
IPv6 leak protection
Self-hosted DNS

Both NordVPN and PureVPN provide OpenVPN connections on all platforms. This is great, because OpenVPN is recognized as the most secure VPN encryption protocol currently available on the market. 

NordVPN implements its encryption with a AES-256-CBC cipher and HMAC SHA256 hash for authentication. The handshake is provided using RSA-2048, and Perfect Forward Secrecy is achieved using a DHE-4096 key exchange. This is highly secure implementation of OpenVPN. And it is worth noting that IKEv2 (available in iOS) is also implemented to extremely secure standards.

PureVPN implements its OpenVPN encryption using a AES-256-CBC cipher and HMAC SHA1 hash authentication (on the data channel). However, the control channel implements an RSA-2048 handshake encryption and HMAC SHA384 hash authentication. Which ensures that the protocol is secure. DHE is used for Perfect Forward Secrecy.

Overall, this makes PureVPN's encryption secure. However, it is not as strong as Nord VPN. For obfuscation purposes, PureVPN provides the ability to select TCP over post 443, which will disguise OpenVPN as regular HTTPS traffic. However, NordVPN provides fully obfuscated connections using XOR.

Where DNS queries are concerned, NordVPN completely self-hosts all DNS requests. PureVPN proxies DNS requests – which, although private, is not quite as secure as NordVPN's methodology.

It is also worth noting that NordVPN suffered no DNS leaks or WebRTC leaks during our tests. PureVPN, on the other hand, suffered IPv6 IP and WebRTC leaks, so if you do have an IPv6 connection you will need to revert back to IPv4 manually to use the service securely.

Winner: NordVPN

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Privacy

NordVPN PureVPN
Independently audited?
Jurisdiction Panama Hong Kong
Anonymous payment options?
User details required for sign up?
Logs Connections
Logs Traffic
Logs Timestamps
Logs Bandwidth
Logs IP Address
Logs Aggregated or Anonymized Data

Where a VPN provider is based can affect the privacy that the VPN is able to provide. Some jurisdictions have mandatory data retention directives that could affect VPNs. This means that the VPN could potentially be subjected to warrants and gag orders that force it to start logging data.

The good news is that both NordVPN and PureVPN are based in locations that are generally thought to be good for privacy. That said, due to the introduction of China's new National Security Law for Hong Kong, it seems fair to say that the city has become a less favorable location for a VPN to be based.

NordVPN by contrast is based in Panama, a location that remains well out of reach of invasive governments and their legal powers. This makes us favor this provider in terms of privacy.

The good news is that both VPNs have secure no-logs privacy policies.

This ensures they never log their user's activities while connected to the VPN. And, NordVPN is in the process of moving over to RAM-based diskless servers, which will make their service even more secure.

NordVPN has also invested in a third party audit with the company PricewaterhouseCoopers, which ensures that their infrastructure and policies are being adhered to the letter. This adds trust in its service and ensures that consumers know the VPN is always providing the data privacy it is supposed to.

Winner: NordVPN

Try NordVPN now!

Customer service

NordVPN PureVPN
24-hour support
Money-back guarantee length 30 days 31 days
Free trial Yes - 7 Days No
Live chat
Money-back Guarantee

Both NordVPN and PureVPN are exceptional when it comes to customer service. Both have 24/7 live chat support on their website that allows subscribers to ask questions and be forwarded onto guides that will help them with the issues they are having. 

In addition, both services have a large knowledge base of articles and guides on their website that will allow customers to get help installing the VPN or using the software on a wide range of platforms. 

Both services have a month-long money-back guarantee (with PureVPN it is actually one day longer at 31 days). This allows customers to trial the VPN risk-free if they want to. 

Winner: It's a draw

Try NordVPN now!

Try PureVPN now!

Conclusion

In this article we compared two highly recommended VPNs= providers to find out which service comes out on top. While it was an extremely close race, it seems clear that NordVPN is the winner.

Nord was slightly more reliable and consistent across its entire network. It implements encryption more robustly, and it provides a kill-switch on more platforms. It also suffers no IPv6 leaks, which will need to be handled manually to ensure that PureVPN is working properly.

With that said, PureVPN is a superb service that is a great option for consumers looking to unblock content cheaply. However, if privacy and security are important to you, NordVPN is the best option.

NordVPN is a fantastic all-rounder that keeps pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a world-class VPN, and it has many additional features planned in its roadmap, which makes it a great service to invest in the long term.

Outright Winner: NordVPN

Try NordVPN for yourself!

If you are considering other VPNs, then check out our other vs pages to see how Nord and Express fair against different providers.

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

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