NordVPN is probably the most famous VPN service in the world. With their aggressive all-over-the-place marketing, they made sure everybody knew the name. But is NordVPN worth the fame? Let’s find out how much its performance lives up to the praise.
Before we dig deeper into the latest NordVPN features, here’s what you need to know about this highly popular VPN.
- NordVPN boasts a considerably vast network, with over 5,600 servers located in 60+ countries. It operates out of Panama, which is a haven for VPN users worrying about government interference.
- You can install NordVPN on devices that operate on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux. Downloads are also available for Chrome, Firefox, Android TVs, and a number of routers.
- Users can expect feature-packed software or app when they subscribe to NordVPN. But before you sign up for the service, check out this thorough review to be sure that NordVPN is living up to the hype.
Table of Contents
- What Is NordVPN According to NordVPN?
- What Do People Say About NordVPN?
- How Does NordVPN Work?
- Appealing NordVPN Benefits
- NordVPN Cons
- Do We Recommend NordVPN?
|✅ Military-grade security
✅ Absolute privacy
✅ Strict no logging policy
✅ Excellent torrenting and Netflix support
✅ Impressive connection speed
✅ Located in Panama
✅ Responsive customer support
✅ Affordable subscription plans
✅ Money-back guarantee
✅ Additional services for a small extra fee
|🛑 Misleading company information
🛑 No free trial
🛑 Some servers might be slow
What Is NordVPN According to NordVPN?
“The best online VPN service for speed and security” is the NordVPN’s slogan. The home page greets visitors with an offer to get 59% off NordVPN + 3 extra months. They also promise a 30-day money-back guarantee.
NordVPN promises features to protect users’ devices from ads, trackers, and malware with a secure internet access. The service is available on many platforms, including iOS and macOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and others.
According to NordVPN, they have 5600 servers in 60 countries, which is a great thing for a VPN service. The high amount of servers technically helps ensure a stable connection, as well as the ability to connect to any location you want.
NordVPN has monthly, yearly, and 2-year plans.
The cheapest you can get access to the VPN service is $3.99 per month (for a 2-year plan). If you want to try out NordVPN for one month only, the same standard plan will cost you $12.99.
There are Standard, Plus, and Complete plans. However, the Standard one will grant you full access to VPN and security services. The other two add NordPass and NordLocker to the bill, which are additional tools by the developer and have no influence on VPN stuff.
What Do People Say About NordVPN?
NordVPN’s website features testimonials from some of the most famous bloggers, including PewDiePie, Casey Neistat, and Philip DeFranco. PCMag, The Verge, and Forbes recommend the service in their articles.
On Trustpilot, NordVPN is rated “Excellent” with 4.4/5 stars. However, only 75% of users rate the app as high as 5, and 10% rated it 1/5.
On Capterra, NordVPN is rated 4.6/5.
How Does NordVPN Work?
The opening screen greets users with the world map and available NordVPN server locations marked on it. So you can just click where you want to be identified being at.
You can also choose from three default presets that allow you to get immediate access to specific websites or download locations.
There’s a whole separate module dedicated to online security at NordVPN. The “Threat protection” can be turned on to block ads and prevent malware from getting on your device. You can choose the “Lite version” to have this protection turned on each time you connect to any VPN server.
This feature allows you to route all your devices’ traffic through the one connected to VPN. Using Meshnet can help host a video-gaming party or simply protect your home network from privacy intrusions.
Dark Web Monitor
Although it has nothing to do with VPN, the Dark Web Monitor search for traces of your email address in dark web databases. It should let you know if your email is found there.
This tab is handy if you want to know how long you’ve been using VPN each day. You can also check your IP address from here.
In addition to some basic settings like launching NordVPN when your computer starts up, you can find a handful of useful stuff here:
- Automatically connect to VPN when using an untrusted Wi-Fi connection
- Use the kill switch with specific apps (it allows you to quit them automatically when the connection to VPN is lost)
- Set up DNS servers
Of course, you can choose Light or Dark themes.
Appealing NordVPN Benefits
There are sound reasons why NordVPN has an impressive reputation among the public. Here are the areas where NordVPN shines in an exemplary manner.
Nothing matters if you’re getting second-tier security from a VPN. NordVPN has proven that the built-in security features offer more than above-average protection compared to its competitors.
For a start, NordVPN employs AES-256-bit encryption to keep data safe from hackers and other eavesdropping parties on the internet. Literally, the AES-256 cannot be broken, not unless you’re talking about a lifespan averaging billions of years.
You don’t have to worry about which protocol to use. NordVPN will automatically choose the best protocol based on your device. By default, OpenVPN goes with Windows, and IKEv2/IPSec is selected when you use NordVPN for iOS or Mac.
Both protocols are inherently secure, and you have the option of switching from one to the other.
It's assuring that NordVPN is staying ahead of the threats with military-grade security. But if that’s not good enough, you can enable the DoubleVPN feature on NordVPN.
Instead of one VPN server, the data from your device passes through two VPN servers and is encrypted twice before reaching the internet.
However, the downside of double encryption is the increased latency in speed. Double VPN is ideal for sending strictly confidential information but not for streaming content on the internet. So you can keep it turned off for daily browsing.
Onion Over VPN
The Tor network has always been a haven for political journalists or individuals who wished for total anonymity.
NordVPN offers an additional layer of security with the Onion Over VPN feature. When activated, your device is instantly connected to the Tor network without the need for an Onion browser.
Privacy is always a debatable issue where VPN providers are concerned. Some VPNs suffer from DNS leakage, while others may have dubious logging policies.
NordVPN has an enviable reputation of being an impenetrable fortress where privacy is concerned.
There are no reports indicating that NordVPN has suffered from DNS leaks. It is inherently built to prevent such issues, especially when you’re connecting or disconnecting from the VPN servers.
Strict No Logging Policy
Sometimes, your privacy can be compromised if a VPN has been secretly logging your usage data. NordVPN has a clearly defined no-logging policy, and it has been audited by the Big 4 to ensure that it’s holding on to its words, or rather, policy.
Rather than an ambiguous policy, NordVPN has clearly mentioned that it does not collect or store these pieces of information from users:
- Connection timestamps
- Session information
- Used bandwidth
- Traffic logs
- IP addresses
- Other data that may infringe your privacy
NordVPN does, however, store minimal data that is used to improve your experience of its service. On its website, it explicitly mentions storing the following user data:
- Email address
- Payment data
- A timestamp of last session status
- Customer service information
If you’re worried about an identity leak via payment data, you can also opt to pay with cryptocurrencies.
Excellent Torrenting and Netflix Support
NordVPN does not condone the shady aspect of torrenting but recognizes that P2P is useful when it comes to transferring large files within organizations.
It has hundreds of dedicated P2P servers that you can safely use to avoid any potential speed throttling by the ISP. What’s important is that these servers use the top-notch encryption that we’ve mentioned and protects your privacy at all costs.
Netflix users can benefit from NordVPN, which allows you to access geo-restricted contents when you’re abroad.
While Netflix has been aggressively blocking VPNs from accessing its content, NordVPN has managed to stay ahead.
Seamless access to Netflix is a huge thumbs up for NordVPN. Some VPNs that claim to be Netflix-friendly have only a handful of servers working. With NordVPN, the chances of connecting to a blocked server are slim.
But what makes NordVPN impressive is its ability to escape the highly restrictive censorship from countries like China, which many VPNs fail to do.
This is thanks to hundreds of obfuscated servers that are customized to bypass strict censorship set by certain countries.
Impressive Connection Speed
Being connected to a VPN means introducing a layer of servers between your device and the Internet. Theoretically, there will be a drop in connection speed, but depending on the VPN, the speed reduction may be insignificant.
NordVPN boasts over 5,600 servers around the world. Technically, each server will experience lesser load and result in high connection speeds as the number of users spread out over them.
We’ve found that NordVPN’s connection speed is one of the fastest and has no issues in streaming videos or general browsing experience.
Netflix has stated explicitly that at least 5 Mbps of download speed is required to stream HD-quality movies. NordVPN consistently delivers above-average speed for streaming.
Located in Panama
You may not be aware, but in some countries, the government has the authority to request any data retained by a VPN provider.
It’s important to note that despite NordVPN’s no-logging policy, it still retains basic user information to facilitate access to the service.
NordVPN is registered in Panama. Panama does not have any legislation that requires NordVPN to retain or submit any user data.
Panama is also not one of the Five-Eyes, Nine-Eyes, and Fourteen-Eyes alliance where countries share intelligence information and privacy is almost non-existent.
You’ll find statements stating that NordVPN falls under Panama jurisdiction in the Privacy section or Terms of Service.
You don’t want a nightmarish experience of navigating through mazes of buttons or getting lost in the payment process.
Not if you’re using NordVPN.
The development team has done a brilliant job to ensure minimal user interaction is needed to establish a secure VPN connection.
A list of the VPN servers and unique features such as DoubleVPN, Onion Over VPN and Automatic Kill Switch are easily accessible.
You don’t have to be technically inclined to start using NordVPN.
Responsive Customer Support
NordVPN is available on major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. The apps and software specifically developed for these platforms are done with user-intuitiveness in mind.
After installation, you’ll have no issue choosing and connecting to a server. However, there are occasions where you may be stuck, whether technically or other areas of the service.
Thankfully, NordVPN has an excellent customer support team. If you need urgent help, there’s a 24/7 live chat. Someone will always be there to assist you.
Of course, if you prefer conventional communication, you can submit a support ticket and check your email for follow-ups.
Alternatively, you may find the answer to your queries in NordVPN’s extensive knowledgebase. It covers basically every topic that is related to using the VPN service.
NordVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, but it has a 30-day money-back guarantee regardless of the plan that you choose.
We feel that having a reasonable refund period while providing full access to new subscribers is a sign of the confidence that NordVPN has in their product.
With 30 days, you’ll have ample time to try out all the features in NordVPN before deciding if it’s the right VPN for you.
Do take note that for NordVPN purchased on the App Store, you’ll need to contact the App Store to request a refund.
Is NordVPN as perfect as it seems? We decided to dig deeper, hoping to uncover any flaws that may escape the sight of regular users. This is what we found:
Misleading Company Information
NordVPN claims that it operates from Panama, but CloudVPN Inc. used to be listed as the developer in Playstore a couple of years ago, and it’s a company that is based in the US.
Currently, the location is set to the Republic of Panama in Google Play.
However, the developer company name is “Nord Security”, but in the Mac App Store it’s “Nordvpn S.A.”
Interestingly, two years ago, the developer of NordVPN in App Store was “Tefinkom & CO S.A”
No free trial
Another notable disadvantage of using NordVPN is that you can’t try any features without adding your credit card info first.
Surely with the money-back guarantee it’s not that big of a deal. But still adds a bit of friction the first time you use NordVPN.
Some servers might be slow
According to feedback online, some of NordVPN servers appear to work slower than expected. For example, here Daren Low claims that servers in Malasia are quite slow.
Also, according to Security.org, not all servers allow limitless torrenting.
Although these issues might not appear all the time and depend on your location, ISP, and router capabilities, they do exist. So keep in mind that NordVPN may not work 100% correctly for all your tasks.
Do We Recommend NordVPN?
Yes, we do! We can’t seem to find anything seriously wrong with NordVPN. It has all the fundamentals a VPN should have. NordVPN will do a great job of keeping you safe and anonymous on the Internet.
With a decent connection speed, you’ll also enjoy streaming and file-sharing. NordVPN is also a must-have when you’re travelling to countries like China as it allows you to bypass strict internet censorship.
Besides that, you’ll have responsive customer support that has your back 24/7. Of course, there’s little chance that you’ll be knocking on support for connecting to the VPN as NordVPN is intuitively designed.
All these are hallmarks of a top-notch VPN, and you’ll have access at a reasonably low price. On top of that, a 30-day money-back guarantee will allow you to try out NordVPN without worries.