NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN

If you’re shopping for a Virtual Private Network (VPN), you’ll probably start to notice a pattern pretty quickly. The same words and phrases appear all over the place, with providers bragging about their “military-grade encryption”, “no-logs policy”, and “leak prevention”. The problem is that they rarely explain what exactly any of this means or, more importantly, why you should care.

We don’t think that you should have to spend hours researching computer networking just to understand what you’re paying for. That’s why we’ve put two leading VPNs, NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN, to the test.

Can’t choose between NordVPN or Norton Secure VPN?

If you’re having trouble deciding which of these providers to use, we’d suggest starting with NordVPN. It’s fast, highly reputable, and offers some of the most comprehensive security we’ve seen. Not only that, but it’s currently offering long-term plans at a steep discount.

After extensive research, we’ve created an at-a-glance comparison of these services. Not only that, but we’ll be explaining what each feature does and what popular pieces of jargon mean as we go. Which is better: NordVPN or Norton Secure VPN? Read on to find out.

Summary: NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN

NordVPN

  • Thousands of fast, reliable servers
  • Ideal for secure streaming
  • Proven no-logs policy
  • Supports a wide range of devices
  • Fully audited network, apps, and policies

Norton Secure VPN

  • Decent speeds
  • Lengthy guarantee period
  • Very user-friendly
  • Makes it easy to get help
  • Torrent-optimized servers

NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN pricing

No valueNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comnorton.com
Subscription periodsOne month, one year, two yearsOne month, one year
Special offer63% discount on the 2-year plan40 percent off one-year plans (10 devices)
Highest price per month$12.99$9.99
Lowest monthly cost$3.09$2.49
One year price$59.88$39.99
Money-back guarantee30 days60 days
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$2.49
Save 40%: Pay $29.99 first year

NordVPN’s monthly plan costs a flat fee of $11.99 USD (GBP £9.69), which is a little above average. Norton Secure VPN, however, has three different price points depending on whether you’d like to secure one, five, or 10 devices. These cost $4.99 (£4.03), $7.99 (£6.46), and $9.99 (£8.07) per month, respectively.

Norton remains cheaper over longer periods of time, but only if you want to protect five devices or fewer. Its two cheapest plans cost $29.99 (£24.24) and $39.99 (£32.32), while its 10-device annual plan is $59.99 (£48.48). NordVPN just manages to squeeze in underneath this price point. It offers one year of coverage for $59.88, a whole 11 cents cheaper. You could also sign up for two years of coverage for $107.73 (£87.09), which will score you a 63 percent discount and three extra months free. This effectively reduces the average monthly price to just $3.99 (£3.23).

These services both come with a money-back guarantee. This is great because it means that once you’ve signed up, you can try the VPN out and cancel for a full refund if it’s not a good fit. NordVPN offers a 30-day guarantee while Norton Secure VPN has a 60-day guarantee. What’s more, Norton’s VPN is included in a package called Norton 360 which includes various other tools such as a password manager and antivirus. Norton 360 has a 14-day free trial and while you have to provide payment info to use it, you can easily cancel online.

BEST DEAL FOR NORDVPN:Get up to 63 percent off with NordVPN’s two-year subscription.

BEST DEAL FOR NORTON SECURE VPN:Cover your devices from $3.99 (GBP £3.23) per month with Norton Secure VPN’s one-year plan.

NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN features

No valueNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comnorton.com
Simultaneous Connections1010 (depending on the plan)
Devices SupportedWindows, MacOS, iOS, Android, LinuxWindows, macOS, Android, iOS
Manual install devicesSelect routersNone
Free extrasAd-blocking, Dark Web Monitor, MeshNet, malware-scanning, automatic wifi protection, browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and FirefoxAd and tracker blocking
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$2.49
Save 40%: Pay $29.99 first year

Regardless of your chosen subscription, NordVPN lets you secure six devices at once. Norton Secure VPN can protect up to 10 (on its most expensive plan), but doesn’t work with as many different operating systems. You’ll be able to install Norton’s VPN on iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows devices, but there’s no support for Linux systems or wireless routers.

NordVPN actually excels in this area. It has apps for all major platforms and can be manually installed on many others. You can even install it on your router, which lets you secure every device on your home network while still only counting as one connection. Further, this VPN has extensions that can secure traffic from several major browsers. Remember, though: these only encrypt your browser traffic and not data from any of your other apps.

Both providers support split tunneling, which allows you to say which apps can pass through the VPN. You might use this to access local and foreign services simultaneously, or to maximize the download speeds of certain apps. NordVPN also offers a huge range of additional features including MeshNet (which lets you securely access your devices on other networks) and dark web monitoring that’ll let you know if any of your credentials are leaked. There’s also a Smart DNS feature that can help you access US-only services on devices that don’t normally support VPN apps, like Smart TVs.

Streaming and Netflix comparison

No valueNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comnorton.com
Unblocks Hulu
Unblocks Sky Go
Unblocks Prime Video
Unblocks BBC iPlayer
Unblocks ABC
Unblocks CBS
Unblocks NBC
Unblocks ITV
Unblocks Channel 4
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$2.49
Save 40%: Pay $29.99 first year

Most major streaming services are regionally restricted. This means that they either display different content from one region to another or that you can only use the service in a specific country. However, our team was able to securely access just about every service we tested using NordVPN, including several Netflix libraries.

Norton Secure VPN put in a strong performance here too. While it wasn’t able to stream Netflix, ITV, or ABC, it could access Prime Video, which is certainly unusual. You’d think that if it could beat Amazon’s restrictions, avoiding detection on other sites would be trivial, but apparently not.

All things considered, we would strongly recommend opting for NordVPN if you are looking for a streaming VPN. It works with a much wider set of popular platforms and has a larger server network to give you access to TV streams located in more countries.

Which of these VPNs work in China?

If you’re visiting China, you’ll likely notice that some of your favorite websites are inaccessible. That’s because the government blocks access to all kinds of content using a collection of web-filtering tools known as the Great Firewall. However, you can access sites that are blocked in China using the right VPN. This is easier said than done; most VPN websites are themselves inaccessible and the Great Firewall blocks uncloaked VPN traffic.

Norton Secure VPN, for instance, simply won’t work in China. NordVPN users can browse the web as normal, though. While any server should work, NordVPN operates obfuscated servers designed to keep you browsing freely, even if the Great Firewall is updated during your stay. Just be sure to install the app ahead of time, and to make a copy of its manual setup instructions just in case you run into any problems.

Setup and interface

No valueNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comnorton.com
Automatic setup wizardLinux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, AndroidWindows, MacOS, Android, iOS
Main location selectionMap-based/List-basedList-based
Extra settings pages
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$2.49
Save 40%: Pay $29.99 first year

NordVPN’s mobile and desktop apps are actually fairly similar, so no matter which platform you prefer, you’ll have a consistent experience. The home screen features a one-click connection button, plus a list of servers, including some designed for torrenting and bypassing censorship. The menus are well-organized, with settings broken up into different tabs. Best of all, each option comes with a short description of what it does. Desktop versions have one significant difference, though: they include a security score page that explains how to better protect your system (for instance, by enabling the built-in kill switch).

Nordvpn server page

Norton Secure VPN has a pretty simplistic design. That said, its appearance will be different depending on whether you have the standalone desktop app, the mobile app, or the version included with Norton 360. No matter which you’re using, you can connect using a single click, and settings are only ever a menu away. We liked that all versions included a way to check your IP address, since the user often has to rely on third-party tools for this.

Norton Secure VPN selecting region

Servers and performance

No valueNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comnorton.com
Server countries11129
Total number of servers6,000+Undisclosed
Mobile-friendly
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$2.49
Save 40%: Pay $29.99 first year

We can’t really compare the size of these providers’ networks as Norton doesn’t publically say how many servers it has around the world. We do know that NordVPN operates roughly 5,400, giving it one of the largest networks around.

Additionally, NordVPN has servers in more than 60 countries. By contrast, Norton Secure VPN only offers 29 locations, which is well below what we’d expect to see from a paid provider. This should be fine if you’re just looking to use servers in common locations like the US, France, or UK. However, if you need an IP address from somewhere like Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, or Cyprus, NordVPN is the better option.

Notably, each provider has P2P-optimized servers, with NordVPN also offering obfuscated and Tor over VPN servers for added privacy. Norton used to have streaming-optimized servers too but these have been removed, unfortunately.

Take a look below to see where NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN have servers:

NordVPNNorton Secure VPN
Albania
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Bulgaria
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Mexico
Moldova
Netherlands
New Zealand
North Macedonia
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Ukraine
Vietnam

Security

No valueNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comnorton.com
VPN protocolsOpenVPN, NordLynxOpenVPN and IKev2
OpenVPN data encryption256-bit AESAES-256
OpenVPN control channel encryptionRSA-4096Unknown
Kill Switch
Private DNS servers
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$2.49
Save 40%: Pay $29.99 first year

Both of these providers use 256-bit AES encryption and private DNS servers to hide your activities from snoopers. This is currently considered uncrackable, so there’s nothing to worry about from a privacy perspective.

Additionally, NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN both block ads, trackers, and malware automatically. They can both be configured to connect automatically whenever you use an unsecured network. They also include a kill switch that stops sending data the moment your connection to the VPN drops, although NordVPN’s lets you stop sending data from specific apps.

There are a couple of significant differences too, though. For instance, Norton users can’t choose their protocol: they’ll use IKEv2 on iOS devices and OpenVPN on everything else. NordVPN, however, lets you swap between OpenVPN and NordLynx, its own custom protocol built on the fast, easily-audited WireGuard protocol. You can also prevent other resources on the network (such as printers) from communicating with your device, which closes down one avenue of attack entirely. Finally, NordVPN has special obfuscated servers that are designed to beat VPN-detection systems for free browsing and improved privacy.

Privacy

No valueNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comnorton.com
HQ base of operationPanamaUSA
Connection logs Some aggregated data
Activity logs
User details for signupEmail addressEmail address, billing details, phone number
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$2.49
Save 40%: Pay $29.99 first year

NordVPN follows a strict no-logging policy. This means that it can’t reveal any information about what you do online, since this simply isn’t recorded. It’s based in Panama too, so there’s not even any legal requirement to store user data. If you’re concerned about privacy, there are plenty of ways to pay anonymously. In fact, gift cards readily available in several major US stores.

This VPN does store the timestamp of your most recent connection and your username but this information is deleted 15 minutes after you disconnect. On mobile, NordVPN stores device identifiers for analytics and marketing purposes. These could be used to identify you over a long enough time. On the other hand, it’s easy to clear these (and NordVPN even explains how in its privacy policy).

Norton Secure VPN claims to be a no-logs provider but its own privacy policy directly contradicts this. To begin with, it collects quite a bit more data than we’d like. This includes the websites you visit, your IP address, unique license and installation identifiers, and information about how you use the service.

This is already more than enough info for someone to personally identify you. If Norton is really so confident of its no-logging claims, it should undergo an independent audit to prove it like NordVPN has.

NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN for Gaming

When it comes to gaming, both of these VPNs are excellent choices. They offer blazingly fast connection speeds, ensuring that your internet runs smoothly and minimizing lag.

In our tests, Norton VPN proved slightly faster, but it’s worth noting that NordVPN still delivers more than enough speed for most gaming needs. What sets NordVPN apart is its overall quality and affordability, making it a cost-effective option for gamers.

If you suspect that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is deliberately throttling your gaming connection, both of these VPNs can help you bypass bandwidth restrictions.

Norton Secure VPN has servers in 29 countries, which limits your options for accessing specific game servers or lobbies in different regions around the world. In contrast, NordVPN boasts servers in over 60 countries, providing you with a more extensive range of choices. This can be especially beneficial for accessing easier lobbies or game servers exclusive to specific regions.

NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN for Torrenting

Both of these VPNs officially support torrenting and have torrenting-optimized servers. It is important to note that various Norton Secure VPN users on Reddit have complained that launching their torrent client causes their VPN to disconnect. This raises some concerns about using Norton Secure VPN for torrenting.

NordVPN by contrast has no issues establishing P2P connections.

It is also worth noting that Norton has a single privacy policy for many of its services, lumping in its antivirus and other stuff with the VPN. That policy raises some concerns about the way VPN data is being processed. For these reasons, we tend to lean towards NordVPN for torrenting.

Customer service

No valueNordVPNNorton Secure VPN
WebsiteNordVPN.comnorton.com
24/7 live chat
Ticket support
Email support
Average email response time3 hours, 45 mins4 hours, 36 minutes
Searchable knowledge base
Phone support Yes (US only)
Video guides
Best deal (per month)$3.39
Up to 72% off + a Saily eSIM data gift
$2.49
Save 40%: Pay $29.99 first year

The less time you spend talking to customer support, the better. Luckily, both of these VPNs make it easy to get help. Usually, your best bet will be the 24/7 live chat service. However, you can submit a ticket for more technical problems instead if you’d prefer. NordVPN has a dedicated support email address and will even answer general queries from non-subscribers.

Norton Secure VPN’s ticket system is built into its live chat. While it doesn’t have email support, it does let you call an agent on the phone. Notably, there are local phone numbers for a large number of countries, so you won’t have to contend with international call charges.

NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN both offer a searchable knowledge base full of answers to common questions. Further, they each have their own YouTube channel with short video guides. That said, it’s a little difficult to find relevant videos on Norton’s channel because so many videos cater to other Norton products.

The winner: NordVPN

Norton Secure VPN is a solid general-purpose service, and it clearly designed with novices in mind. However, while it does a decent job with most tasks, it struggles to do any especially well. Its network is a decent size, for instance, but smaller than many of its rivals. Its streaming abilities are barely passable, though, and it doesn’t work at all with Netflix. Not only that, but its pricing scheme appears increasingly dated now that more providers are doing away with connection limits entirely.

For these reasons, NordVPN is the better option for most people. This service is similarly-priced, yet better for streaming, and significantly more privacy-focused. Further, unlike Norton Secure VPN, NordVPN works even in places with extreme online censorship and allows you to sign up anonymously. Whether you’re looking for something to keep you safe during day-to-day browsing or hoping to access the dark web securely, NordVPN is up to the task.

Methodology: How we compared NordVPN and Norton Secure VPN

It’s surprisingly difficult to get an accurate comparison of two different VPNs. That’s because services that seem similar at first glance are often very different under the hood. We decided to be as thorough as possible, breaking down everything that NordPVN and Norton VPN had to offer in the following categories:

  • Network and servers: Usually, we’ll start by seeing how many servers are available then consider the locations: are there any unusual places to choose from? Are there any that are physically in countries with repressive regimes? Could someone in a remote location find a server that’s relatively nearby? All of this impacts the user experience in different ways so it’s important to find out.
  • Performance: To get an accurate representation of a VPN’s speed, we have to test it multiple times before averaging the results. This method eliminates some of the inherent randomness of the internet and also allows us to see how quickly speeds begin to drop when someone chooses a more distant server.
  • Versatility: VPNs need to be able to do whatever you ask of them, whether it’s torrenting, gaming, or just securely accessing Netflix. Our team attempts all of this and more to try and find out just how reliable each VPN is for day-to-day tasks.
  • Security and privacy: Our next step is to see whether a provider can really keep your data safe. We do this by examining their supported protocols, encryption strength, and logging policies, as well as their audit histories, anonymous payment methods, and privision of safeguards like kill switches.
  • User-friendliness: Ideally, a VPN should be easy enough anyone to use. We value 24/7 customer support, descriptive settings menus, and quick-connection options, as well as high connection limits and a wide range of apps. Anything that makes things even easier, like task-specific servers, is a bonus.
  • Price: Pricing shouldn’t be the only thing you consider but there’s no denying it’s important. We’ll dig into each VPN’s refund policy, check for money-back guarantees, and see if there are any free trials available. If there’s a discount on offer, we’ll always let you know so that you pay as little as possible.

Looking to learn more about our process? Our VPN testing post breaks down how we put VPNs through their paces step-by-step.

Some of our other VPN comparisons:

NordVPN vs Norton Secure VPN: FAQs

Is Norton Secure VPN good for privacy?

Norton Secure VPN uses 256-bit AES encryption, which means your online activities can’t be read by anyone. However, there’s no way to sign up anonymously and despite what its website says, this VPN keeps detailed logs that could lead right back to you.

There are plenty of VPNs that can actually back up their no-logs claims. NordVPN, for instance, has undergone multiple independent audits, while Private Internet Access has proved its zero-logs policy in a courtroom. Some even allow you to sign up without providing your name, so there are lots of ways to keep your personal information hidden even during registration.

Can I get in trouble for using a VPN?

Believe it or not, VPNs are legal in most of the world. Even in places like China, they’re not banned outright; it’s just that the government has designated certain (likely less secure) providers that you’re allowed to use.

Disclaimer: Although we’ve spent hours researching this topic, we are not legal experts. As such, nothing we’ve said above should be taken as legal advice. We encourage you to consult local laws or perhaps even seek a professional’s opinion before attempting to use a VPN if you’re not sure whether they’re legal in your country.

Which has a higher connection limit: NordVPN or Norton VPN?

Norton Secure VPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections if you pick its most expensive plan. However, its low and mid-tier plans allow one and five connections, respectively — less than the standard six that NordVPN allows.

It’s also worth thinking about multi-platform support. Norton doesn’t work with Linux systems, for instance. Meanwhile, NordVPN has a dedicated app for Linux and can even be installed on a router. This would allow you to protect every device in your home while only counting as a single connection, effectively bypassing the six-device limit.