Shopping for a VPN can be a daunting experience thanks to the sheer number of technical terms and specifications that get thrown around. In fact, unless you have a strong background in computer networking, it’s likely that there are a few of your VPN’s features you don’t fully understand. Don’t worry: that’s why we’re here.
Below, we’ve examined NordVPN and VyprVPN in extreme detail. You’ll notice that we have presented our findings side-by-side; this is so that you can see exactly what each service offers at a glance. Of course, we’ll also let you know what each feature does, and more importantly, how it will affect your internet usage. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Pricing and discounts
|Subscription periods||One month||One month|
|One year||One year|
|Two years||Two years|
|Special offer||Save 70% on three-year plans||80% discount on your two-year subscription|
|Highest price per month||$11.95||$12.95|
|Lowest price per month||$3.49||$2.50|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
We’ll start by addressing the elephant in the room: at $11.95 and $12.95 USD per month, NordVPN and VyprVPN are among the most expensive VPNs for short-term subscribers. However, given how steep the discounts are on longer plans, it seems that these services are primarily targeting people who want long-term coverage at a low price.
For instance, a three-year NordVPN subscription costs $125.64 ($3.49 per month). This is less than a third of the price you’d pay for the same length of time on the monthly plan ($430.20). VyprVPN drops its price even lower; it’s only $45 per year or $60 for a two-year subscription. As such, despite having a high monthly price, these two services are actually some of the most affordable on the market, provided you’re willing to commit to a year or more upfront.
Both NordVPN and VyprVPN include a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means that you can try either service out and get your money back if they’re not a good fit. Additionally, VyprVPN offers a three-day free trial, provided you sign up through the Android or iOS app. You should note that you will have to provide your payment details before the trial begins, though.
Best Deal for NordVPN:Cut the price of your three-year subscription by 70%.
Best Deal for VyprVPN:Save 80% by choosing VyprVPN’s two-year plan.
|Operating system apps||Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android||Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android|
|Manual install devices||Internet routers||Internet routers, Linux systems|
|Split tunneling||Android and iOS only||Android and MacOS only|
|Free extras||Automatic wifi protection, ad-blocking, malware-scanning, browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox||Automatic wifi protection|
VyprVPN provides easy-to-use apps for all of the major platforms, while NordVPN goes further and offers a command line-based installer for Linux systems as well as browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. It’s important to note that these extensions only encrypt browser traffic, though, and don’t secure any of your other applications.
Both services allow you to connect automatically when using an unsecured wireless network but once again, NordVPN goes the extra mile with its built-in malware-scanner and ad-blocker. Further, NordVPN allows you to connect up to six devices at once, whereas VyprVPN has a five-connection limit.
|Netflix||10+ libraries including Netflix US, UK, Canada, Japan, and Mexico||Netflix US and Australia|
|Amazon Prime Video||US, UK||US, UK, Germany|
NordVPN excels at unblocking geo-restricted streaming platforms. In fact, it was able to handle any challenge we threw at it, including notoriously stubborn services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. It’s also worth noting that every server is capable of unblocking Netflix. If you attempt to access a regional library that NordVPN can’t unblock, the site will simply redirect to Netflix US.
VyprVPN puts up a decent fight here, though. This VPN unblocks plenty of popular services including ITV Hub, ABC, and Amazon Prime Video. It also usually unblocks BBC iPlayer, although at the time of testing, it was inaccessible, likely due to a VPN-detection update of some kind. To its credit, VyprVPN’s status log shows that it usually resolves such issues in a matter of days.
There are very few VPNs that reliably work in China these days, but NordVPN and VyprVPN both manage to bypass the government’s internet restrictions.
To browse the internet freely in China, NordVPN users have to use special, privacy-optimized servers. To make these visible, go into the settings menu, click Advanced, and select Obfuscated servers. A list of obfuscated servers will now appear on the home screen. Once connected, you should be able to visit previously inaccessible websites and services.
VyprVPN users simply have to change their connection protocol to beat Chinese internet blocking. To do this, click on the Customize button in the bottom-left of your app and look at the Protocol option. If it says “Chameleon 256-bit encryption,” you’re good to go. If not, just click the button and select the correct option in the list that appears.
Whichever service you choose, you’ll have to install the app before arriving in China. This is because, at the moment, the government is blocking their websites. VyprVPN does have a couple of mirror sites that are currently accessible in China, but these could be blocked at any time and should not be relied upon.
|Automatic setup wizard||MacOS, Linux, Windows, Android, iOS||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS|
|Main location selection||List-based/Map-based||List-based|
|Extra settings pages||Yes||Yes|
Setup and interface
These VPNs have clearly put a lot of effort into making their apps as user-friendly as possible. VyprVPN’s desktop app has a simplistic design, with a quick-connect button on the home screen and links to the settings page and server list at the bottom. The settings menu is fairly sparse, but we liked that it was possible to sort servers by speed, country, and even region.
NordVPN’s main page has both a map and a list of servers down the left-hand side, as well as a quick-connect button. We’d recommend using the list, since the map markers are often very close to one another, meaning you have to zoom all the way in to find a specific country in areas like Europe. On the plus side, you can choose P2P and obfuscated servers right from the main screen, ensuring you never have to compromise security for convenience.
Often, VPNs offer stripped down functionality in their mobile apps. We were pleased to see that VyprVPN’s mobile app not only does everything that the desktop version does, it even adds a new feature: “Connection per app,” more commonly known as “split tunneling.” This lets you choose specific apps to bypass the VPN, for instance, if you’re on a slow connection and only want to secure traffic from your messaging app or browser.
NordVPN’s mobile app is almost identical to the desktop version, although it shifts the server list downwards, meaning the map takes up the majority of the screen. You can still scroll to access a server list, though, and specialty servers are in their own category right at the top. All of the main security features are present too, including a kill switch, malware-scanner, and even split tunneling, which isn’t available in the desktop apps.
Servers and performance
It’s interesting to see the different approaches that these services have taken towards their networks. For instance, NordVPN has many times more servers than VyprVPN, yet it covers fewer countries. However, as VyprVPN doesn’t reveal how many of its servers are in each location, we have no way of knowing how heavily it favors high-traffic areas like the US, or how reliable the speeds will be during peak times in smaller countries.
VyprVPN is slightly faster, with an average speed of about 35Mbps compared to NordVPN’s 18Mbps. This means that while either service is fast enough for live HD streaming, NordVPN might struggle when it comes to 4K video, or if there are multiple people all trying to stream whilst connected.
Take a look below to find out where exactly these VPNs have servers:
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||✔|
|United Arab Emirates||✔||✔|
There are a couple of points of interest here. Firstly, VyprVPN has servers in places no other major provider does, like the Marshall Islands (estimated population 58,000). Second, it also offers servers in countries with severe internet censorship and a history of human rights abuses (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Russia). So how can it maintain its network in such far-flung locations whilst claiming to offer complete privacy? The answer is simple: by using virtual servers.
Essentially, virtual servers provide you with an IP address in a particular country, without actually being in that country. This means that VyprVPN isn’t required to abide by regional laws and can safely offer servers in such places without worrying about the government interfering. Also, virtual servers are much less expensive to run, so they’re ideal for very remote places or areas where it’s too dangerous to have a physical server.
So what’s the problem? The only real issue is that your server may actually be in a country with stricter data-retention or surveillance laws, and may not be as secure as the others. However, VyprVPN maintains a no-logging policy so even though we don’t know for sure which of its servers are virtual, there’s no risk.
|VPN protocols||OpenVPN||OpenVPN, IKEv2, Chameleon|
|OpenVPN data encryption||AES-256||SHA-256|
|OpenVPN control channel encryption||RSA-4096||RSA-2048|
|App security||Kill switch in all apps||Kill switch in all apps except iOS|
|DNS status||Private DNS||Private DNS|
Both NordVPN and VyprVPN can connect via OpenVPN protocols (TCP and UDP). However, VyprVPN also lets you use IKEv2 (which is faster) and its own proprietary Chameleon protocol (which is more secure). Although NordVPN does technically allow IKEv2 connections, you have to set these up manually.
These two services use different kinds of encryption, but they’re both considered effectively impossible to crack, so there’s nothing to worry about on that front. NordVPN does have 4096-bit RSA keys, which provide a little more security than VyprVPN’s 2048-bit keys. Both NordVPN and VyprVPN come with a kill switch. This immediately stops sending data whenever you lose your connection to the VPN. While this is available in all versions of NordVPN (except Android, which has a similar feature built-in), VyprVPN doesn’t provide this functionality on iOS. Additionally, NordVPN allows you to specify which apps to block when you lose your connection. This is particularly useful for making sure large downloads aren’t interrupted, so long as you don’t mind continuing on an unencrypted connection.
NordVPN uses an Obfsproxy-based cloaking mechanism that reshapes your data, hiding the telltale signs of encrypted traffic that some networks use to block VPN users. VyprVPN, on the other hand, uses a cloaking feature built into the Chameleon protocol. It’s understandably reluctant to share any details as to how Chameleon works, but we can assume it conceals your activities in a similar way.
|User details for signup||Email address||Email address|
|Anonymous payment options||Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum||None|
Both of these services rate very highly when it comes to privacy. NordVPN is based in Panama, which has no mandatory data-retention laws, while VyprVPN operates out of Switzerland, a country with some of the strongest privacy laws in the world.
Neither VPN stores any logs at all, although NordVPN has a slight advantage in this category as it allows users to sign up anonymously by paying in cryptocurrency. This service currently accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.
|Dedicated IP address possible||Yes, for an additional fee||No|
NordVPN and VyprVPN allocate IP addresses in different ways. For example, NordVPN uses shared allocation, which means that the same IP address is shared between several users. This helps add another layer of obfuscation to your activities since it’s effectively impossible to tell who accessed what.
VyprVPN, on the other hand, ensures that each user has their own IP address. This approach makes it harder for geo-restricted services to blacklist all of a VPN’s IP addresses and effectively restrict access.
NordVPN allows you to pay $5.83 extra each month to get a static IP address that’s unique to you. However, these addresses can only be in the UK, the US, France, the Netherlands, or Germany. It is technically possible to get a static IP address with VyprVPN, but you have to set it up manually using VyprVPN Cloud and an existing cloud server or virtual machine; for most people, this will be more hassle than it’s worth.
|Average email response time||1 hour, 8 minutes||17 hours, 58 minutes|
|Searchable knowledge base||Yes||Yes|
Here’s the good news: if you’re with either of these providers and are having trouble, you can get help in seconds via 24/7 live chat. Additionally, both VPNs offer searchable knowledge bases, email support, and a ticket system for more complex issues. NordVPN even has video guides on its YouTube channel (VyprVPN has a channel too but it only has ads for the service).
Of course, it’s not good to be too reliant on live chat. After all, it could go offline, or you might be somewhere like China, where the service is unreachable. We tested out the email support for these services by sending each of them three questions and recording their responses. Here are the results:
|Question||Initial response time||Number of emails||Question answered|
|How do I set this VPN up for use in China?||3 hours||1||Yes|
|Does NordVPN support PPTP connections?||8 minutes||1||Yes|
|Is this service fast enough for 4K streaming?||16 minutes||1||Yes|
|Question||Initial response time||Number of emails||Question answered|
|How do I set this VPN up for use in China?||9 minutes||1||Yes|
|Does VyprVPN support PPTP connections?||5 hours, 35 mins||2||Yes|
|Is this service fast enough for 4K streaming?||48 hours, 12 minutes||2||Yes|
NordVPN’s response time was extremely quick, although, to its credit, VyprVPN replied fairly promptly to the majority of our questions. Overall, we were satisfied with the quality of the answers support provided. We particularly liked that both services provided detailed guides to using their apps in China.
There was one minor issue, though: if you send a question from an email address that isn’t linked to an existing VyprVPN account, you’ll receive an automated message pressing you to sign up. To actually receive an answer to your initial question, you have to reply to this email.
There’s certainly a lot to like about VyprVPN: it’s fast, capable of unblocking a wide range of geo-restricted services, and most importantly, it takes user privacy seriously. These characteristics alone would put it ahead of many other VPNs, but when you consider how wide its network is, the fact that it works in China, and how little it costs, it’s hard not to be impressed.
However, NordVPN is the better choice for most people. First, it unblocks far more services and has more servers overall, so it’s ideal for streaming. Further, NordVPN has a wider range of supported platforms and more advanced security features and allows you to easily obtain a static IP address if you want one. Simply, it’s a highly-versatile, low-cost VPN that’s a great choice for anyone looking to torrent, stream, or browse securely across all of their devices.
Best Deal for NordVPN:Cut the price of your three-year subscription by 70%.