NordVPN vs. Norton Secure VPN

Comparing NordVPN to Norton Secure VPN is sort of like comparing David and Goliath, but who’s who?

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Jan 13, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Jan 13, 2021

NordVPN

  • Torrenting available through uTorrent
  • Based in Panama, which has no mandatory data retention law
  • One of the most popular VPNs with over eight million users
Editor's Rating
9.3
/10

Norton Secure VPN

  • Flexible pricing structure
  • Trusted brand with unmatched customer support
  • Servers in 29 countries and 73 cities
Editor's Rating
8.0
/10

When it comes to privacy, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs you could choose, based in Panama and with a logging policy that doesn’t include traffic. Norton Secure VPN, on the other hand, is based in the U.S, with a logging policy that includes IP addresses (although they’re anonymized). Is comparing the two VPNs a zero-sum game? We put them head to head and found a few cases in which Norton actually surpasses Nord, believe it or not. Keep reading to find which VPN is better for your needs.

NordVPN CyberSec
NordVPN CyberSec

Why You Should Choose NordVPN

We’ll make things obvious: NordVPN is one of the best VPN contenders that we’ve tested, with a 9.5 out of 10 rating, while Norton Secure VPN came in at eight stars overall. The truth is that NordVPN will probably work better for most people, and here’s why.

  • Based in a non-member country: NordVPN is based in Panama, a non-member country to the surveillance alliances Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes. That means that our information won’t be shared with any government. Norton Secure VPN, on the other hand, is based in the U.S, a founding Five Eyes member. That means that they could be forced to hand the government our personal information, which we’d prefer they not.
  • No logging of IP addresses: NordVPN has a super-strict logging policy. They didn’t keep track of our IP addresses or anything we did online, for that matter. On the other hand, Norton Secure VPN logged a ton of our information, such as:
    • IP address (anonymized)
    • Geolocation (anonymized)
    • Aggregated bandwidth usage.

    For both their privacy jurisdiction and their logging policy, it’s clear that NordVPN is a much better VPN for privacy compared to Norton Secure VPN.

NordVPN No log policy
NordVPN No log policy
  • Kill switch on all devices: While Norton Secure VPN only had a kill switch on its Android app, all of NordVPN’s apps came with a kill switch. This meant that if the VPN disconnected, our web browsers and apps would have shut down with it to protect our data. Learn more in our NordVPN review or our Norton Secure VPN review.
  • Torrenting access: When we needed a VPN for torrenting, we had only NordVPN as an option, as Norton isn’t compatible.
  • More Netflix access: Sure, Netflix worked on some of Norton’s servers, but it wasn’t consistent. So when it was time to watch that final episode of The Office that we’ve been dreading, we chose NordVPN instead, as Netflix works more consistently on its over 5,000 servers. In fact, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for Netflix in general.
  • Faster on Macs: NordVPN only increased the latency on our Macbook Pro by 10 percent, which is relatively minimal considering that the industry average is over 30 percent. In contrast, Norton increased our latency by over 200 percent, so NordVPN is not only a better VPN for Mac but also a better VPN for gamers on Macs.
NordVPN Mac App Screenshot
NordVPN Mac App Screenshot
  • Compatible with Linux, Proxy, routers, and NAS: Norton Secure is pretty limited in terms of device compatibility, only working on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android devices. NordVPN adds compatibility for proxy servers, another way to change your IP address, routers, NAS, and Linux.

Pick One: There are advantages and disadvantages to using a proxy server over a VPN. Compare your options in our page on VPNs vs. proxy servers.

  • Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox: Some people may prefer to use a browser extension rather than an app, and if that’s the case, NordVPN is a better VPN for Chrome and Firefox, with a browser extension for each browser.
  • More affordable for two years: Although Norton comes out cheaper in its one month or one-year packages, NordVPN’s pricing really becomes affordable at the two-year commitment level. It costs only $89, which breaks down to $3.71 a month. And that’s for six devices, mind you!
  • Better iOS app: Let us be clear that the Norton Secure VPN & Proxy VPN iOS app isn’t bad at all, according to both our testing and its 4.1 rating. But at 4.6 out of five stars, the NordVPN iOS app takes the cake.
NordVPN App
NordVPN App

Why You Should Choose Norton Secure VPN

Although NordVPN is clearly the more established VPN, there are a few reasons why someone would prefer Norton Secure VPN; it all depends on what you want.

  • Faster on Windows: Need a VPN for Windows? When we ran both NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN on our Acer Aspire 5, Norton won by a long shot, although neither VPN performed well. While NordVPN had 3,100 percent more latency, Norton only had 1,075 percent more; hey, it’s not ideal, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Norton App Home Page
Norton App Home Page
  • Coverage for up to 10 devices: Although the prices for the Norton VPN differed based on the number of devices we could connect (while that number remained at six for all of NordVPN’s plans), we liked that we had the option to connect up to 10 devices. That makes Norton a better VPN for business, especially if you combine it with Norton’s antivirus software.
  • More affordable for one month or one year: Having name recognition comes with a price. Unlike Norton, NordVPN is one of the major companies increasing the VPN market overall, according to the numbers from Big Market Research.1 Unfortunately, that name recognition comes with higher prices than most (and the same is true for NordVPN’s biggest competitor, ExpressVPN). While we could get away with paying only $9.99 a month with Norton for up to 10 devices, with Nord, that costs $11.95 to cover four devices fewer. Unless you want to make a two-year commitment, Norton is cheaper than NordVPN.
VPN Maximum Number of Devices Length of Contract Total Amount Billed
Norton Secure VPN 1 1 Month $4.99
Norton Secure VPN 1 1 Year $49.99
Norton Secure VPN 5 1 Month $7.99
Norton Secure VPN 5 1 Year $79.99
Norton Secure VPN 10 1 Month $9.99
Norton Secure VPN 10 1 Year $59.99
NordVPN 6 1 Month $11.95
NordVPN 6 1 Year $59.00
NordVPN 6 2 Years $89.00

Save Money: If you have the patience to wait for the holidays to come round, then check out NordVPN’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. In 2020, offered up to 68 percent off two-year plans, up to 58 percent off one-year plans and more huge discounts.2

  • Support through Facebook, Twitter and phone: Unlike NordVPN, which only offers an online help center, live chat and 24/7 email, Norton let us contact their support team over the phone or even through Facebook or Twitter. We’re always on Twitter anyway, so getting help from Norton was super convenient for us, personally.
  • Longer money-back guarantee: We had 30 days to return NordVPN for a full refund, which is pretty typical of VPN companies. But Norton took that several steps further, doubling our money-back guarantee to a full 60 days. No rush!

Commonalities

Of course, there were some things that were similar between NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN, but to be honest, this list is the shortest of them all.

  • No DNS or WebRTC leaks: If you’ve ever read our VPN guide, then you probably already know the importance of checking for DNS and WebRTC leaks. While DNS leaks would mean that our Internet Service Provider (ISP) could see our web activities, WebRTC leaks would mean that they could see our private IP address. Using tools from ExpressVPN and DNSLeakTest.com, we put NordVPN and Norton VPN head to head. However, there were no leaks to speak of with either VPN, so it ended up being a toss-up.
  • Apps for Windows, Android, macOS and iOS: These are the basic operating systems that we expect every VPN to be compatible with, so it wasn’t a big shock that Nord and Norton checked this box.
  • Good Android apps: Both the NordVPN and the Norton Secure VPN— Security & Privacy WiFi Proxy Android apps had ratings of 4.2 in the Google Play store. Personally, we agreed with this consensus, as the apps worked without a hitch.

Recap

It’s no big surprise that we recommend NordVPN over Norton Secure VPN overall. It’s just simply better in terms of its privacy jurisdiction, logging policy, speeds on Mac, and other factors. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all VPN equivalent, so we’ve broken it down even further below.

Installing Norton
Installing Norton
NordVPN is better if you want:
  • More privacy: NordVPN won’t log your IP address, nor will it be forced to share it with scary international surveillance groups.
  • Fast Mac speeds: We saw less latency plus quicker download speeds with NordVPN.
  • Low two-year package: It pays to commit with NordVPN, and their two-year package only costs $3.71 a month.
  • Kill switches on all devices: NordVPN has back-up plans on more devices than just Androids.
  • Better access to Netflix: If you want to Netflix and chill, NordVPN is a safer bet.
  • A VPN that works with Linux, Proxy, routers, or NAS: This one’s a no-brainer if you want a VPN for these devices and servers.
  • Chrome and Firefox browser extensions: Norton, on the other hand, lacks browser extensions in general.
  • Better iOS app: For those that want a VPN for their iPhone, NordVPN’s iOS app is easier to use than Norton’s.
But Norton Secure VPN is better if you want:
  • Fast Windows speeds: Well, we should say faster, compared to NordVPN.
  • Low monthly or annual packages: Since Norton is such a huge company with VPNs only making up a tiny slice of their revenue pie, you can benefit from some low prices, especially when compared with NordVPN.
  • Coverage of up to 10 devices: With NordVPN, we were limited to six devices overall.
  • Support over Facebook, Twitter or Phone: Whatever floats your boat, Norton covers it in terms of customer support.
  • Longer money-back guarantee: We had 60 long days to test out the Norton Secure VPN and see if we liked it. If we didn’t, we could’ve returned it for a full refund, while we only got 30 days with NordVPN.

To compare other VPNs, read our VPN compare page. We test out each and every one of the VPNs on that list, so you’re sure to find one you like.

Citations
  1. The Courier. (2020). Virtual Private Network (VPN) Market Demand, Recent Share Estimation and Growth Prospects by Regions to 2025 : Microsoft, Cisco, Google.
    mccourier.com/virtual-private-network-vpn-market-demand-recent-share-estimation-and-growth-prospects-by-regions-to-2025-microsoft-cisco-google/

  2. Globe Newswire. (2020). NordVPN Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals (2020) Summarized by Retail Egg.
    globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/11/26/2134777/0/en/NordVPN-Black-Friday-Cyber-Monday-Deals-2020-Summarized-by-Retail-Egg.html