NordVPN is a titan in the VPN market and borders on a household name. Odds are, if you’re here reading this, you’ve already heard of NordVPN, and for good reason. As we stated in our NordVPN review, it has almost everything, from tons of features to top-notch security to competitive pricing.
VyprVPN, on the other hand, might be one of the more under-appreciated VPNs. In our VyprVPN review, we talked about how we loved some of the features, especially the Chameleon protocol.
With NordVPN making waves in the world of cybersecurity — and seemingly being in some potential hacking trouble — we thought it was an opportune time to compare the two in this VyprVPN vs. NordVPN battle.
Setting Up a Fight: VyprVPN vs. NordVPN
As with any competition, we need to lay down the rules first. We use a five-round structure to compare the two VPNs in a series of categories, starting with features, then moving on to pricing, ease of use, speed and, finally, security.
We’ll start each round by outlining what it is we’re looking for, then look at how each VPN does in that category. After looking at each VPN, we’ll briefly draw some conclusions and declare a winner for the round.
Winning a round earns that VPN a point, while a tie gives a point to each VPN. Whichever has the most points at the end is declared the winner.
- : PayPal, Credit card, UnionPay
- : 30
- : Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, UnionPay, Crypto Currencies, PayPal (via Paddle)
- : 6
Not many people would dispute that features are one of the most important aspects of any software, especially when comparing two VPNs head to head.
The bare minimum we expect to see from each VPN in this section is a kill switch and some way to configure the VPN to connect automatically on startup. Aside from this, things like ad-blockers and visual options — such as a dark mode and split-tunneling — are common and welcome additions.
While most VPNs have the settings menu broken down into tabs, VyprVPN has a single settings page with all the options laid out. At the top of the settings menu is public WiFi protection, which lets you define a list of trusted networks and automatically connects you to the VPN if you’re using an untrusted one.
The public WiFi option is the first setting for both the mobile and desktop application, but things differ from here. The second setting that the mobile application offers is labeled as “connection per app,” which is a form of split tunneling.
This lets users select which apps on their phone use the VPN’s secure connection, and which ones use a standard, unprotected connection. Surprisingly, split tunneling has not made it to the desktop client yet. For those who are interested in a VPN with desktop split-tunneling capabilities, be sure to read our ExpressVPN review.
The second item on the desktop client, and the third on mobile, is the kill switch, which itself has a couple of suboptions, such as whether the kill switch persists even if you close the application. Below this are the protocol options, which we’ll dive into more in the “security” section.
What is worth noting here, though, is that one of the protocols offered by VyprVPN is a proprietary protocol called “Chameleon,” which is designed to offer secure and fast performance, while also masking your internet traffic so that websites and servers cannot tell that you are using a VPN.
The next few settings are DNS options, automatic reconnect and startup options. All of these work in a run-of-the-mill manner and help improve security.
Finally, VyprVPN also lets desktop users choose which TAP adapter the VPN uses, but this is more of a troubleshooting feature and typically shouldn’t be changed.
As we’ve seen in the past, such as with our ProtonVPN vs. NordVPN matchup, NordVPN does an excellent job of delivering on the most critical features.
For starters, NordVPN offers not one, but two types of kill switches. The first is a standard kill switch that cuts off internet traffic if the VPN loses its connection. The second kill switch works by ending any programs you add to the list if the VPN unexpectedly drops its connection.
Likewise, the auto-connect options are also very well fleshed out, with a tab dedicated entirely to this. You can tell NordVPN to connect when the app starts or when you’re on an unsecure network, which is a great way to avoid the dangers of public WiFi.
On top of that, NordVPN lets you choose which location to automatically connect to. If your VPN needs are not necessarily location-specific, you can also just pick your preferred region.
Aside from these key features, NordVPN also includes an ad-blocker called CyberSec, which also helps protect against phishing attacks and malware by blocking the sites these threats come from.
There are also a few odds and ends throughout the settings, such as some typical DNS options and invisibility on LAN to further improve security on public WiFi.
Round One Thoughts
NordVPN has a firm grasp on the basics and covers the most critical features more thoroughly than any other provider we can think of. Although VyprVPN can’t say the same, it does still have a kill switch and auto-connect options.
VyprVPN offers things that NordVPN doesn’t, such as split tunneling on mobile devices and the Chameleon protocol. However, NordVPN has features that VyprVPN doesn’t, as well, with its CyberSec ad-blocker.
With all of this taken into consideration, both VPNs offer compelling features that the other lacks, making this first round too close to call. Both receive a point for this round, as determining which VPN offers the “better” features depends on the user’s needs.
When comparing two VPNs, one usually becomes the clear budget-friendly choice, while the other is the true top-shelf option. As we saw in the first round, however, today’s matchup is shaping up a bit differently.
Since both providers offer a comparable level of features, the one with the better pricing ends up with a true advantage, rather than just being the lesser but cheaper of the two options.
In this round, we not only look at the cost of each VPN, but also at things like payment options, refund periods and the presence or lack of a free trial to determine which VPN offers the better value.
VyprVPN presents customers with a choice of two plans. The basic plan allows for up to three simultaneous connections and comes with unlimited bandwidth. The “premium” plan increases the number of connections to five and also bundles in a couple of notable extra features.
For starters, the proprietary Chameleon protocol can only be used by premium users, which we’ll look at in more detail in the “security” section. The other thing a premium subscription gets you is access to the VyprVPN cloud.
This is not a stand-alone cloud storage solution, but is instead a VPN optimized for accessing cloud storage. Most personal users won’t have much need for this, but it can help keep data secure in a small business setting. It is also integrated with several major cloud-storage providers, including Amazon Web Services and DigitalOcean.
Both the standard and premium plans are available as either a monthly or annual subscription. The monthly pricing is about average for the standard and a few bucks more for the premium, while the annual option brings the price down considerably and makes for a tempting value.
Until very recently, VyprVPN had a three-day free trial, but this has been phased out. Instead, VyprVPN now has a [ulr id=8429 text=”30-day money-back guarantee”] that lets users try the service in a risk-free manner, in case it isn’t what you’re looking for.
Finally, VyprVPN accepts most major forms of payment, including credit and debit card, PayPal and UnionPay. That said, it does not accept cryptocurrency or bitcoin.
As we touched on in our NordVPN vs. CyberGhost comparison, NordVPN’s pricing might not look too appealing at first glance, but it actually offers an excellent deal on long-term subscriptions.
Unlike VyprVPN, NordVPN only offers one plan, but it provides four different subscription time frames. NordVPN’s monthly pricing sits right between VyprVPN’s standard and premium plans.
The one-year plan brings the price down significantly, but at this rate, it is more expensive annually than VyprVPN. The two-year plan brings the price down to the same level as VyprVPN’s standard annual plan, and NordVPN’s three-year option beats out VyprVPN on all fronts, sitting at half the price of VyperVPN’s premium annual plan.
On top of this, NordVPN gives users a maximum of six simultaneous connections, doubling what VyprVPN’s standard plan offers. Just like it’s competitor, NordVPN lacks any kind of free trial but does give users 30 days to get a refund if the service is not to their liking. For those who are interested in trying a VPN for free, be sure to check out our best free VPN services roundup.
As for payment methods, NordPVN accepts credit cards, UnionPay, Amazon Pay and several cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin. Unfortunately, NordVPN does not accept PayPal.
Round Two Thoughts
Much like the first round, each VPN has something the other doesn’t. VyprVPN has better pricing in the short term and accepts PayPal, while NordVPN does not. Conversely, NordVPN takes bitcoin and beats out VyprVPN in long-term pricing.
While neither beats the pricing of CyberGhost, which you can read about in our CyberGhost review, the deciding factor was NordVPN’s higher connection limit. To match it, you’d need two of VyprVPN’s basic plans, making NordVPN a much better value.
3. Ease of Use
In round three, we delve into the somewhat subjective realm of user experience. We’ll primarily look at the layout of each VPN, seeing how easy or difficult it is to perform basic tasks, such as changing servers or simply connecting to the VPN.
We also give the settings menus a careful examination to see if things are easy to find and understand. All this gives a clear idea of what kind of user each VPN is geared toward.
While some VPNs might pile on the technical jargon and features to appeal to power users, others might opt for a simpler layout to give users a more laid-back experience.
VyprVPN has a very basic home screen that is practically identical in layout and appearance across all of its mobile and desktop clients. There is a large shield icon that indicates whether or not you are connected to the VPN, as well as text that also shows your connection status.
Below this is a field that shows which location is currently selected, and by clicking this you can open the list of available locations. The list is alphabetized by default, showing the flag of each location next to the name, and has a search bar at the top.
The list of locations can also be sorted by speed or region, and each position shows the ping time next to the name. The final feature on the client’s homepage is a large button at the bottom that connects to the selected location.
Unlike most software, the three-line “hamburger icon” in the top-left corner does not open up the settings, but instead gives you a few useful links to the VyprVPN website, including account management and support.
The settings are in the bottom-left corner under a tab that is labeled “customize.” When you click on an option, each has its own subpage that does a good job of explaining what exactly it does.
Almost anyone — even first-time VPN users — can go into the settings menu of VyprVPN and have a solid grasp of what each option does. The only real complaint we have with VyprVPN is the interface’s sheer amount of searing white.
This is especially noticeable on mobile, where opening up the app at night greets the user with the luminosity of several suns. A night mode for desktop and mobile clients would be an excellent addition.
NordVPN’s client is much more visually engaging than VyprVPN’s. Rather than a plain white background with a list of servers and a large connect button, NordVPN’s interface focuses around a pleasing and easy-to-use map.
On the desktop client, most of the right side of the window is taken up by a world map, which has location bubbles dispersed across the globe. Each one represents a location you can connect to, and clicking a bubble connects you to a server in that location (read our guide to why NordVPN is not connecting if you have trouble).
If this is too flashy for you, there is still the option of using a list of servers, which is situated on the left side of the screen. Like VyprVPN, the list is alphabetized and shows the flag of each country next to the name.
However, NordVPN’s server list does not show the ping time of each location. It does show your five most recently used locations at the top, though, as well as some specialty options, such as dedicated IP servers and P2P servers (read our piece on NordVPN and torrenting).
A cog icon in the top-right corner opens up the settings menu, which is subdivided into four tabs. The first tab is general settings and includes things such as the kill switches and CyberSec ad-blocker. Each of these options has a line of text underneath that does a good job of describing what each thing does.
The second tab is for auto-connect settings and lets you choose when and where NordVPN will automatically connect. Third is the advanced settings tab, which houses only four items, including DNS and protocol settings. These are not explained as clearly as the general settings, but it is implied that these are only to be used by somewhat “advanced” users.
Finally, the fourth tab is the account tab, which offers a few details about your subscription. Much like VyprVPN, NordVPN is overall user-friendly and easy to grasp, but it uses a lot of white and light blue without any night mode.
Round Three Thoughts
Both VyprVPN and NordVPN have solid clients that give users a streamlined experience that is accessible to practically anyone, including people who aren’t familiar with VPNs. Yet again, this round is very hard to score.
At the end of the day, NordVPN takes another slight edge in this round because it gives users a bit more choice in how to use the interface. You can use a simple list, just like you can with VyprVPN. However, NordVPN’s client also has a large map element that offers a much more visually appealing way to find server locations.
In round four, we move away from the subjective world of user interfaces and enter the realm of hard data. To assess and compare the speeds of each VPN, we start by taking a baseline measurement of our internet speeds without using a VPN.
After we get this control measurement, we test each VPN in five predetermined locations. By comparing these speeds, we can get a clear idea of which provider has the faster network.
VyprVPN has never blown us away when it comes to speeds. In fact, if you look at our fastest VPN roundup, we included it as a dishonorable mention due to its unimpressive performance. For a VPN priced comparably to the top dogs on the market, the results we see from VyprVPN simply do not cut it.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
The nearest server to us in the U.S. performed decently, but it still lost more than two-thirds of our bandwidth. Germany also stood out for performing particularly well, with even higher speeds than the nearby U.S. server.
However, the UK, Japan, and Brazil servers all performed pretty woefully on paper. That said, these servers all still functioned surprisingly well in practice. Even the slowest servers, Japan and Brazil, loaded HD videos without any real delay, and browsing the web on these servers still felt responsive.
While these locations were serviceable for things like web browsing, don’t expect to be quickly downloading large files or updates using VyprVPN.
When testing NordVPN’s speed in the past — such as in our NordVPN vs. IPVanish article — we’ve remarked on how NordVPN often leaves us scratching our heads with the results we get. This can be seen, yet again, in our results.
|Location:||Ping (ms)||Download (Mbps)||Upload (Mbps)|
|United Kingdom #201||153||34.78||6.06|
|Double VPN (U.S. to Canada #4)||79||20.48||8.64|
Every location performed very well except one: the UK. While every server was giving us about two-thirds of our baseline bandwidth, the UK was giving us effectively no internet. These results were from server #914, which was automatically chosen for us when we connected to the UK.
Later, we tested it again and were connected to server #1386, and this time the speeds were much better with a mere 81ms ping time and 154.21 Mbps download speeds. From what we can tell, this has something to do with the way NordVPN assigns you to a server when you choose a location.
This is easily remedied by disconnecting from the server and simply reconnecting to a new one, but it is an inconvenience. Once you get a working server, speeds are excellent, though not quite what ExpressVPN manages (read our ExpressVPN vs NordVPN piece). However, NordVPN does take longer to connect. VyprVPN only takes a second or two to connect, while NordVPN takes up to around 15 seconds.
Round Four Thoughts
Despite its inconsistent performance consistently marring our testing, NordVPN offers much better performance than VyprVPN in terms of speeds. Although NordVPN does take longer to connect, once it does, it’s easy to forget you’re using a VPN.
VyprVPN can take an extra moment to load web pages when on the slower servers, while NordVPN remains responsive as long as you are connected to a server that is working properly.
5. Security and Privacy
Technically, NordVPN has already secured the win in this matchup with four points. However, the final round is what many people consider the most important factor: security.
In this round, we look at what protocols and encryption each VPN uses, and what kind of track record they have with leaks or other lapses in security.
Additionally, we comb through each VPN’s privacy policies to see if anything sneaky might be hidden in the fine print. We try to see if any unnecessary information is being collected and determine what that information is being used for.
VyprVPN offers more options than most for protocol and encryption. L2TP/IPsec can be used, along with 256-bit encryption, or you can choose to use OpenVPN with either 160-bit or 256-bit encryption.
Out of these options, we suggest that people stick to OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption for the best security, but those who are curious to learn more can check out our VPN protocol breakdown. On top of these options, VyprVPN also includes a proprietary protocol called Chameleon.
Chameleon is a modified version of OpenVPN that helps mask your internet traffic so that websites or firewalls cannot tell that you are using a VPN. This is great for accessing geoblocked content and even makes VyprVPN one of the best VPN services for China (though NordVPN works in China, too).
As for privacy, VyprVPN has a concise policy that does a good job of clearly outlining what information is not collected. Its zero-log policy is sound, which means that VyprVPN does not log any DNS requests, IP addresses, traffic logs or any other kind of identifying information.
VyprVPN is audited by a third-party company to ensure that all of these zero-log claims are upheld. The only identifying information that is gathered is what is required for payment. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided, either, as VyprVPN does not accept any form of cryptocurrency.
NordVPN offers fewer options than VyprVPN for configuring the security of your connection. The only choice you are given is OpenVPN with AES-256 encryption, which, as we mentioned with VyprVPN, is exactly what we urge people to use.
Although this combo does offer solid security, NordVPN has very recently had a major security breach. A vulnerability in NordVPN’s servers allowed for a man-in-the-middle attack to take place, where a third party could have intercepted private information from someone thinking they were connected to NordVPN’s network.
NordVPN has one of the most concise and easy-to-understand privacy policies of any VPN provider. The VPN does not collect any identifying information and, thanks to NordVPN accepting bitcoin, you don’t even need to give any identifying information to pay for your subscription.
The only information that is logged is the VPN server load and some information that is gathered from cookies on the website. This information is used for maintaining the website and network, and it is an inescapable practice.
Round Five Thoughts
Both of these VPNs offer the golden standard for security, OpenVPN with AES-256. VyprVPN goes above and beyond, though, and offers its proprietary Chameleon protocol to help further keep your privacy secure.
6. The Verdict
Although NordVPN is the victor on paper, with a total of four points to VyprVPN’s two, it seems like a bit of a hollow victory. Without the guarantee of security, it’s unlikely many will find NordVPN to still be an attractive option.
Once a company’s track record is marked with a breach like the one NordVPN has suffered, it’s hard for people to forget. VyprVPN seems to offer an edge when it comes to security and holds its own overall, but it ultimately loses out to NordVPN’s superior pricing and performance.
If you have experience with either of these VPNs, we would love to hear your take in the comments section below. As always, thanks for reading.