NordVPN Alternative – Best Options (2021)

NordVPN alternative

While NordVPN deserves the many plaudits it receives, there are certainly alternatives out there ranging from budget specialists to feature-heavy behemoths vying for your attention. This is especially true if you haven’t received either the service you were expecting or wanted, the price is too high or you want a different set of features to choose from. 

No one VPN can be the best overall, so we decided to round up a list of alternatives to NordVPN in a number of different categories.  

So, depending on your requirements, needs, or budget, you have the best alternative in each category to choose from.

Let’s dive in. 

In our recent blog posts, we likened NordVPN and ExpressVPN to two tigers battling it out for market supremacy and it’s an apt description. Both are industry leaders and for good reason, sporting excellent features, customer service, privacy, and apps.

However,  ExpressVPN comes out on top in a few key areas including accessing geo-blocked content, support, and functionality. For streaming content unavailable in your country such as accessing the US Netflix or the latest Anime, ExpressVPN reigns supreme over all VPNs, NordVPN included. So, if this is something you’ll be doing a lot of, considering ExpressVPN is a must.

The support available with ExpressVPN is also second to none with a wide and varied range of articles, FAQs, and blogs for the beginner user to the advanced. While NordVPN has a great selection in its own right, ExpressVPNs simple and easy to access support section comes out on top.

Finally, both the android and iOS apps offered by ExpressVPN are nicer to use and more stable than NordVPNs counterparts but we’ll get into the specifics on those shortly.  

Free Alternative to NordVPN - ProtonVPN

We’ve covered ProtonVPN extensively in our review and single it out as the best free VPN available today so it should come as no surprise it’s our top pick for a free alternative to NordVPN.  

While there are a handful of other great free alternatives out there including Windscribe and TunnelBear, neither of these comes with unlimited data and that’s something that no other ‘free’ VPN offers. Both are limited by either a daily or monthly data cap whereas you can use ProtonVPN for as long as you want, completely free of charge. 

And yes, there are plenty of other ‘free’ options out there but none come with the reputability that these providers bring to the table.  Any VPN that offers a free version without offering a paid model should be avoided at all costs.  

And, although NordVPN does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, for a free VPN that will stay free for as long as you need it to, ProtonVPN is the best alternative available.  

Best Budget alternative to NordVPN - Surfshark

While NordVPN isn’t obscenely priced, there are plenty of other budget alternatives out there that are more than up to the task of providing everything you need from a VPN, not least of all Surfshark

At almost half the price of NordVPN (£2.84 per month), Surfshark (£1.80 per month) has firmly raised the bar in terms of what you can expect at their price point. 

As well as offering a multitude of features, server options, and applications, Surfshark also offers unlimited device connections which only a handful of other VPN providers offer (which also includes NordVPN), and is why it’s our best pick for a budget alternative to NordVPN 

NordVPN has an excellent torrenting arsenal with a host of P2P servers available but ExpressVPN supports P2P sharing on all of its servers. It’s a small distinction but if you torrent or seed regularly then it may be something to consider. 

Other than the availability of their P2P servers, there isn’t much to separate the two.  

With fantastic mobile apps for both Android and iOS, there aren’t many better alternatives out there. Again, this is where ExpressVPN pulls ahead slightly as its mobile offerings are marginally better. 

For a simple guide, just looking at the play store ratings you can see ExpressVPNs app is slightly higher rated than NordVPNs. What makes them better? ExpressVPNs apps are easier to use, have more languages available than NordVPN, and have shown to be quicker for more users. 

With the addition of ExpressVPNs own signature protocol Lightway, you can expect their apps and overall performance to increase in the future.  

With the same similarities as the Android alternative we just discussed, the same can be said for an iOS alternative. With a simple but functional interface, on all devices including iPad, iPhone, and iMac, making it just as easy to connect as it is to dive into the advanced features. 

Rounded off by a great live chat and online support section to answer any queries or questions you may have makes ExpressVPN (again) our best alternative for iOS.   

Again, NordVPN has a great Mac app and is undoubtedly a great option but ExpressVPN utilises an excellent iOS app as discussed as well as a best-in-class Safari browser extension so you get the ultimate Mac VPN experience. 

For the more advanced users, ExpressVPN also offers plenty of advanced features, such as setting up a wireless hotspot for local devices, as well as in-depth tutorials to walk you through them.    

Best alternative for speed - Hotspot Shield / ExpressVPN

For a faster alternative to NordVPN, there are 2 options to choose from. Hotspot Shield and (you guessed it) ExpressVPN. And while VPN performance is entirely subjective based on things like location, location to the server, and your internet service provider among other things, both Hotspot Shield and ExpressVPN are leading the way in terms of overall performance. Don’t just take our word for it, leading publications (other than our great selves) including CompareittechTom’s Guide, and TechRadar all rank Hotspot Shield and ExpressVPN as the fastest alternatives to NordVPN 

Best alternative for security - ProtonVPN

We mentioned ProtonVPN earlier as the best free alternative to NordVPN but they are also the best alternative pick for security and privacy. A variety of advanced privacy tools and an excellent, ethical stance on personal data almost make ProtonVPN a clear favourite for an alternative to NordVPN

We say almost as both ExpressVPN as a paid provider and TunnelBear as a free VPN come close with their own privacy tools and audits but ProtonVPN just edges the competition.  

Summary

It won’t come as a surprise that ExpressVPN has shown to be a better alternative to NordVPN in a number of areas but for issues like budget and speed there are definitely others to consider.