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NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN: which VPN is better?


NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN are two widely-known VPN providers. Both have their ways of ensuring online anonymity and security. They offer such features as a kill switch, split tunneling, and an ad blocker.

But what differences do they have? And which one of them is the better VPN choice? Read this comparison of NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN to find out which VPN is better in terms of speed, features, security, and prices. You’ll also learn which is more suitable for torrenting, streaming, and more!

NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN

NordVPNNorton VPN
⭐ Rating:
4.9
4
🥇 Overall rank:#1 out of #29#10 out of #29
🖥️ Servers:5400+ servers in 60 countries1000+ servers in 30 countries
📖 No logs policy:No logsNo logs
💵 Pricing:from $3.29/monthFrom $2.49/month
🔥 Coupons:NordVPN coupon 60% OFFNorton VPN coupon 50% OFF
🔒 VPN protocols:OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, WireGuard (NordLynx)OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec
🍿 Streaming services:Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and moreBBC iPlayer, HBO
🖥️ Platforms:Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, FirefoxWindows, macOS, Android and iOS
📥 Simultaneous connections:610
💁🏻 Support:Knowledge base, FAQs, email, 24/7 live chatLive chat, 24/7 phone support, FAQ

Speed performance: NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN

Despite your Internet speed, one of the factors that plays a big role in VPN performance is tunneling protocols. So, naturally, I tested the protocols of each provider to measure their speed.

It’s usual for the top VPNs of the market to implement one of the fastest protocols available today – WireGuard. But it’s not the case with the VPNs of this comparison – while Norton VPN doesn’t have WireGuard, NordVPN offers their own speedy version of this protocol called NordLynx.

  • Baseline: 1 ms/300 Mbps download/300 Mbps upload

First of all, I tested the NordLynx protocol which is the fastest one that NordVPN offers. The average download speed drop was only around 17%, while the average upload speed drop was 38%. These are remarkable speeds that not many VPN providers can offer.

NordLynx/WireGuardNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
Download average259 Mbpsn/a
Upload average186 Mbpsn/a

Moving on, with the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol, Norton Secure VPN performed better than NordVPN. The average download and upload speed drops were around 32% and 37% respectively. Even though the results are very good, the NordLynx protocol is just faster. As for NordVPN, the results of OpenVPN (UDP) were not great. The average download and upload speed drops were 34% and 77.2% respectively. This demonstrates that Norton Secure VPN is faster with this protocol.

OpenVPN (UDP)NordVPNNorton Secure VPN
Download average197.2 Mbps202.22 Mbps
Upload average68.4 Mbps
189.29 Mbps

Considering that OpenVPN (TCP) is more security-oriented than its UDP variation, it’s no surprise that the speed is affected much more. Drops of average download and upload speeds of NordVPN were 89% and 91% respectively. While NordVPN has relatively low speeds, Norton Secure VPN doesn’t offer this protocol at all.

OpenVPN (TCP)NordVPNNorton Secure VPN
Download average32.5 Mbpsn/a
Upload average27.5 Mbps
n/a

Another protocol that both VPN providers offer is IKEv2. The further away the server you connect to is from you, the slower this protocol will be. This explains NordVPN’s large average upload speed drop (83%). As for Norton Secure VPN, results are quite impressive, with drops of average download and upload speeds being 31% and 57% correspondingly. However, it’s worth noting that the IKEv2 protocol on Norton Secure VPN is only available on macOS.

IKEv2NordVPNNorton Secure VPN
Download average237 Mbps207.6 Mbps
Upload average50.6 Mbps
127.97 Mbps

When looking for better speeds, NordVPN has more protocols to choose from. Its NordLynx protocol was the fastest one of all the protocols that I’ve tested. Meanwhile, Norton Secure VPN is missing OpenVPN (TCP) and the most important – WireGuard – protocol. Therefore, NordLynx helped NordVPN skyrocket and win this round.

Netflix and streaming performance

PlatformNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
Netflix✅ Yes❌ No
DAZN✅ Yes❌ No
BBC iPlayer✅ Yes✅ Yes
YouTube✅ Yes✅ Yes
Hulu✅ Yes❌ No
HBO Max✅ Yes✅ Yes

Considering that NordVPN is one of the top VPN options for streaming, it’s no surprise that it lets you access more streaming services than Norton Secure VPN. When unblocking Netflix libraries with NordVPN, I experienced no buffering issues. The same situation was when trying to access such services as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and HBO. I even unblocked DAZN, which not many VPN providers can do.

Netflix wirh NordVPN

NordVPN’s advantage is that it offers an implemented SmartPlay feature that lets you easily access restricted content. You can even watch content on smart TVs, gaming consoles, Fire TV devices, and more. It’s also possible to unblock content on streaming devices that don’t support VPN services. So you can enjoy your favorite shows on whichever device connected to your network.

As for Norton Secure VPN, it can’t unblock as many streaming services as NordVPN, but it can access quite a few of them. While Netflix, DAZN, and Hulu are out of the question, you can successfully watch BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and HBO. It’s worth noting that Norton VPN does not have apps for most streaming devices, such as Kodi, Amazon Fire Stick, or Android TV. In some cases, like with Fire TV devices, you can try to sideload it.

If streaming geo-restricted content is one of your main reasons for getting a VPN, you should definitely look into NordVPN as it’s the winner of this round.

Torrenting

When it comes to Norton Secure VPN vs NordVPN in terms of torrenting, the latter is faster and more reliable. Let me explain why.

You see, with NordVPN, torrenting is not rocket science. You don’t have to manually look for the right servers for torrenting as you can find the P2P servers under the specialty servers section on the app. I’ve tested them, and let me tell you – they’re rewardingly fast. If you’re from a country that prohibits such activities, NordVPN won’t disappoint you.

NordVPN torrenting

As for Norton Secure VPN, while there are a few P2P servers available, they’re sadly very slow. I managed to download files much faster without this VPN than with it.

Norton Secure VPN sure isn’t the best choice for torrenting, so if that’s your main reason for getting a VPN, I’d recommend looking at NordVPN or other providers.

Features overview

Overviewing the features of NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN demonstrated that NordVPN is just more comprehensive. While both providers offer the split tunneling feature and an ad blocker, NordVPN has many more additionalities that are useful.

All that Norton Secure VPN gives you (despite the mutual features of both providers) is Wi-Fi Security. Meanwhile, with NordVPN, you get the best of both worlds – crucial security features and handy extras. They include dark web monitoring, SmartPlay, CyberSec, specialty servers, auto-connect, and pausing features.

Overall, it’s clear that NordVPN surpasses Norton Secure VPN by offering more valuable assets.

Split tunneling

Both providers offer the split tunneling feature. And if you don’t know what split tunneling is, to put it simply, it’s a tool that lets you choose which apps should use a VPN connection and which shouldn’t. The apps that will use a VPN will go through an encrypted tunnel from the moment you open them.

With NordVPN, you get this feature on Windows and Android. Yet, they are slightly different. On Windows, you can choose whether you want to “disable VPN for selected apps” or “enable VPN for selected apps”. This makes customizing easy when you want to change settings for one app only.

NordVPN split tunneling feature in-app

Meanwhile, on Android, you can make use of inverse split tunneling which means that you can only disable the VPN on specific apps. Unfortunately, this NordVPN feature is not yet available on such popular operating systems as macOS, iOS, or Linux.

Moving on, with Norton Secure VPN, you can also configure which apps you want to use a VPN connection. You can exclude individual apps from connecting to a VPN. This provider also offers split tunneling only on Windows and Android platforms.

Ad blocker

Another feature that both providers ensure with their VPN services is an ad blocker. The one NordVPN offers is called CyberSec. It uses proprietary DNS servers to filter out not only online ads but dangerous websites as well.

Nordvpn cybersec feature in-app

Norton has a similar feature as well, helping you eliminate pop-up ads, banners, and redirects which can make your browsing experience obtrusive. It also protects you from websites that can contain malware or other cyber infections.

Additional features

Both NordVPN and Norton offer fundamental features that each VPN should include, however, NordVPN is more versatile.

NordVPN offers the unusual SmartPlay technology that is created to unblock geo-restricted content. You also get various specialty servers, such as P2P for torrenting, obfuscated servers to bypass censorship, and more.

You also get an auto-connect feature so that you don’t need to manually turn on your VPN each time you start your device. With it, there’s a pause button that allows you to set a time when you want the VPN to resume. Another benefit of NordVPN is that in case your data gets leaked on the dark web, it will alert you so that you can start taking security measures.

NordVPN dark web monitoring feature in-app

As for Norton Secure VPN, despite split tunneling and an ad blocker, you also get the Wi-Fi Security feature. If you connect to a network that isn’t secure, you’ll automatically be connected to the VPN.

NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN: which is more secure?

If there’s anything that a VPN must have, it’s top-notch security. And in terms of Norton Secure VPN vs NordVPN, the latter offers better protection.

What they have in common is the market-leading AES-256 encryption which is what makes your traffic unreachable for prying eyes. Both providers also offer strict no-logs policies.

However, what’s different is that NordVPN’s no-logs policy is audited, while Norton’s isn’t. On top of that, the country in which Norton is headquartered is the US, which isn’t considered a privacy-friendly location. NordVPN is based in Panama which doesn’t have strict data retention laws.

It’s clear that both VPN services come with great encryption and don’t keep logs, but Norton comes with a few flaws. They include not being audited and being based in a country where privacy isn’t the main concern. Since these factors are crucial for excellent security, NordVPN takes the win once again.

Infrastructure

It’s clear that ensuring great security is one of NordVPN’s top priorities. Almost every one of its servers runs on RAM, so the provider doesn’t use any hard drives (HDD).

This basically means that your data logs are instantly wiped out with every reboot. This is much safer than hard drives because RAM servers are less likely to experience data breaches.

While Norton Secure VPN doesn’t include RAM servers, they attempt to ensure a safer infrastructure. All servers are encrypted and require extra authentication for server reboots.

Privacy

I have to applaud both providers for using the widely praised and one of the strongest encryptions on the market – AES-256. It’s called military-grade encryption for a reason – it’s difficult to hack, making your data immune to breaches and protecting it from third-party peeks.

What’s different about these providers is their locations. NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, which doesn’t have any strict data retention laws. This makes the location very convenient for a VPN service.

As for Norton Secure VPN, it’s based in a less privacy-friendly location – the US. In fact, the country belongs to the 5-Eyes alliance, which makes it far from an ideal location for a VPN. However, Norton still ensures that it doesn’t keep logs of your online activity.

Logging

If a VPN doesn’t have a no-logs policy which legally promises to not store your data, then it’s just not worth your money. Luckily, that’s not the case with both Norton Secure VPN and NordVPN.

Starting from NordVPN, it has a policy that indicates that the provider doesn’t monitor or store your internet activity. And since NordVPN is located in Panama, the country's laws don’t obligate anyone to keep logs of your data. On top of that, the policy has been audited by the independent agency PricewaterhouseCoopers twice already. This shows that their privacy policy is credible.

Norton Secure VPN also provides its users with a no-logs policy. While the company is registered in the US, it promises that they don’t monitor or store your data. Yet, they collect subscriber information for communication purposes and data regarding what device you use. In addition, Norton’s policy hasn’t been audited either, so the company’s privacy promises leave some questionable gaps.

Plans and pricing

The comparison of NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN showed many differences in feature arrays and security which reflect in their pricing.

Since NordVPN is a more versatile service, it’s slightly more expensive. You can purchase a plan for one month, one year, or two years. Whichever period you choose, you’ll get yourself a VPN for a total of 6 devices.

As for Norton Secure VPN, I have to say, it has a bit more versatile plans. You can choose between a monthly or an annual plan for 1, 5, or even 10 devices. However, there are no subscriptions for two years.

PlanNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
One month$11.99, 6 devices$7.99, 5 devices
One year$4.99/month, 6 devices$3.33/month, 5 devices
Two years$3.29/month, 6 devices
Check pricingCheck pricing

Getting the monthly NordVPN subscription is pricey – you’d have to pay $11.99 each month. If you want to try the VPN out, I’d recommend getting a one or two-year subscription. Not only will you receive a free 7-day trial, but you’ll also get a 30-day money-back guarantee. So there are no instant commitments since you have 37 days to change your mind.

With Norton Secure VPN, you have many pricing options to choose from. For 5 devices, you can get the VPN for $3.33/month when purchasing the service for a year, making it the best deal as you pay only $10/year more than when getting an annual plan for 1 device.

To get the best value for your money, I’d advise looking into the two-year plan of NordVPN. You can get it for a similar price to Norton VPN’s one-year subscription and with more freebies included.

Overall, it’s clear that while Norton Secure VPN offers more plans with different simultaneous connection choices, NordVPN’s offers are more inclusive. While you might have to pay a little more than with Norton, you’ll get top-notch security and additional features.

Servers and locations

In terms of servers, both NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN have decent server fleets, with NordVPN offering more server locations. There are multiple reasons why it’s important for a VPN to have vast server choices. One of them is that if one server is overcrowded and affects your speed, you can switch to another one. And if you need a VPN for streaming, you might want more server locations to unblock geo-restricted content from various countries.

NordVPN offers 5400 servers in 60 locations which is a lot compared to other VPN providers. Regions like Europe and the Asia Pacific have the best coverage, with 36 and 11 server locations respectively. In addition, the Americas and Middle East & Africa include a few server locations as well, making NordVPN’s fleet very inclusive.

nordvpn map

Moving forward, it’s hard to tell how many servers Norton Secure VPN has. That’s because the company doesn’t share such information. All that we know is that Norton VPN offers servers in 30 locations including the US, the UK, Australia, Singapore, Brazil, and others.

Norton secure vpn country

It’s also worth mentioning that with Norton VPN, you can’t choose a specific server – you can only pick a specific country and it will automatically connect you to the fastest server.

On the other hand, NordVPN will let you pick the exact same server every time you connect to the VPN.

So when it comes to servers, NordVPN takes the lead. It has twice as many server locations as Norton Secure VPN and allows you to choose a specific server yourself.

Platforms, interface, and ease of use

Whichever provider you end up picking between, both of them offer apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The only difference is that Norton Secure VPN isn’t available for Linux users.

Despite that, the installation process of both NordVPN and Norton VPN is very quick and simple. Each VPN can be set up in minutes even by complete newbies. All you have to do is purchase the product, sign up, and install your VPN.

NordVPNNorton Secure VPN
Supported OSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Browser extensionsChrome, Firefox
Other devicesKodi, Android TVs, Fire TV devices
Simultaneous connections61, 5, or 10

Because NordVPN offers the SmartPlay technology feature that helps you stream your favorite shows, you can set it up on various streaming devices. This includes Kodi, Android TV, and Fire TV devices. Sadly, Norton Secure VPN doesn’t provide you with such pleasure.

A similar situation is with browser extensions. NordVPN offers add-ons on Chrome and Firefox. Meanwhile, Norton Secure VPN doesn’t have any extensions. That is, unless you buy its antivirus suite.

The only benefit that Norton Secure VPN has over NordVPN is that you can have up to 10 simultaneous connections depending on the plan you pick. With NordVPN, you can have 6, which is still a decent amount.

However, the number of simultaneous connections doesn’t mean much as NordVPN proved to offer immense value in many other spheres, including its SmartPlay technology, browser extensions, and other great freebies.

Desktop apps

Starting from desktop apps, the NordVPN Windows app is very simple to navigate. Once you launch the app, you can see all available servers on the left side of the screen. Even P2P, Double VPN, and other specialty servers are organized for you to find them easily. The Windows app users also get a kill switch, invisibility on LAN, split tunneling, auto-connect, and pausing.

Nordvpn interface windows app

The macOS version of NordVPN is a bit lighter and doesn’t involve as many features. Of course, rarely is a VPN for macOS inclusive because of Apple’s restrictions. While the split tunneling feature is missing, there’s still a kill switch. Yet, it only works on specific apps and there’s no option to disable it.

There are two desktop versions of Norton Secure VPN – a separate VPN app and one included in the antivirus suite. The Windows app includes the split tunneling feature and a kill switch. You can find all of the freebies by pressing the gear icon on the top left side of the screen.

Norton secure vpn interface in Windows app

As for the servers, you can find them in the dropdown menu straight on the main dashboard. The design is very minimalistic and I’m a fan of it – it’s super simple to find everything you need.

The macOS app is very similar to the one on Windows, yet it only offers an ad blocker. You guessed it – no kill switch, no split tunneling, nada. If you care about your online anonymity and want to be connected to a VPN at all times, the absence of a kill switch can be a huge drawback.

Mobile apps

Moving on to the mobile version, NordVPN has apps for Android and iOS. What’s interesting is that they are almost identical in terms of design. You can disconnect or pause the VPN, choose a server, or make use of the features in the settings.

Surprisingly, the iOS app has quite a few freebies included which isn’t common for VPNs on this platform. There’s a kill switch but it’s not customizable, meaning you can’t turn it off. On top of that, you get the Dark Web monitoring feature that checks for data leaks. The Threat Protection feature blocks malicious sites and ads.

nordvpn mobile app interface

The Android version, however, has better features, including a customizable kill switch and the split tunneling feature. What the Android app lacks and could make use of is dark web monitoring.

Norton Secure VPN has Android and iOS versions as well. The latter doesn’t have a kill switch or the split tunneling feature but does offer an auto-connect button. It automatically selects a server with the fastest speed.

norton secure vpn mobile app interface

As for the Android version, the interface is very similar to the iOS app. Yet, unlike with iOS, you get a variety of features, including the necessary kill switch and split tunneling. On top of that, you get to enjoy Norton VPN’s ad blocker and Wi-Fi Security feature.

Customer support

NordVPNNorton Secure VPN
24/7 live chat
✔️✔️
Email✔️
Phone line✔️
Guides or articles✔️✔️
FAQs✔️✔️

If there’s any aspect that NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN can really compete against each other, it’s certainly customer service. Both of them offer extensive support options.

I have to clap for both VPNs for providing a 24/7 live chat which is one of the most convenient ways to solve issues fast. While Norton doesn’t offer email support, it does have a phone number you can use which is what NordVPN lacks.

And if you like solving problems yourself, there are multiple guides, articles, and FAQs of both providers that include answers to various questions.

In this round of NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN, I can’t declare one winner as both providers have many support options to choose from. So this time I have to declare a tie.

Winner: Draw

NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN – which one wins?

CategoryNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
Speed✔️
Features✔️
Protection✔️
Streaming✔️
Torrenting✔️
Servers✔️
Price✔️
Ease of use✔️
Customer support✔️✔️

This comparison of Norton Secure VPN vs NordVPN shows that the winner is (drum roll, please) NordVPN!

With its vast tunneling protocol choice, including NordLynx, NordVPN ensures better speeds than the competitor. Plus, Norton VPN offers only fundamental features and doesn’t let you access much geo-restricted content. Meanwhile, NordVPN ensures additional freebies that add extra value to the user, including having dedicated apps for various streaming devices.

NordVPN is a better choice for torrenting as well – it has many P2P servers that ensure great speeds. It’s worth mentioning that NordVPN also offers twice as many locations as Norton Secure VPN.

As for prices, while NordVPN is more expensive, the value it offers for your money is much more promising. However, Norton Secure VPN does have more plans that you can choose from, depending on the period and available simultaneous connections.

It was a drawback for me that Norton VPN wasn’t compatible with any of the popular streaming devices and didn’t have any browser extensions. At the same time, NordVPN is supported on Kodi, Android TV, and Fire TV devices, and has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

In terms of customer support, both VPN providers offer extensive guides and articles, and you can reach them both in various ways, including the 24/7 live chat.

To conclude, Norton Secure VPN is a good choice when you need a VPN for fundamental protection. But, if you want a VPN that has extra features and is also capable of torrenting and streaming, you won’t be disappointed with NordVPN.

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