NordVPN is one of the hottest VPN services, excelling in aspects such as security, privacy, and connection speed. It currently has more or less than 12 million users, making it one of the most trusted brands considering it has already been around for a decade.
Of course, like any other, NordVPN isn’t a perfect VPN service. Hence, the question is, does it live up to the hype? Will it still be worth availing of it, or should you move on to the newer/different brands? Let’s find out in this detailed NordVPN review.
NordVPN is a popular VPN service that was first founded in 2012. The goal of the founders, or the current heads of Nord Security, revolves around providing a trustworthy platform to online users and making NordVPN an all-in-one tool for those who want to make the most out of the world wide web (WWW).
Aside from safeguarding your privacy by keeping ISPs and advertisers from tracking you, NordVPN offers much more. Utilizing the powerful WireGuard VPN technology, it provides split-tunneling, Tor, and multi-hop connections. In addition, it has over 5000 servers worldwide across diverse geographical locations (over 60 countries) and allows multiple simultaneous connections.
While it may have an occasionally cramped interface depending on your device and be in the higher price range of VPNs, it makes up for this with a robust stance on customer privacy, ease of use, and unmatched streaming performance. For only $11.99 each month, you can get started today.
What is more, NordVPN has already achieved the title of being “one of the safest VPNs” because of the advanced security features that come with it, such as the no-logs policy and fool-proof encryption. It also doesn’t fail in meeting the high standards of users when it comes to speed, considering that its latest average connection speed comes up to around 369 Mbps.
Average connectivity download speed of 369 MB per second and an average upload speed of around 200 MB per second. Some users even report the max speed capacity to reach about 500 MB per second.
NordVPN allows accessing streaming content that might not be available in your country or during travel. In this regard, NordVPN is one of the best services providing access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, DAZN Canada, SlingTV, and more.
Tor Anonymization Network
NordVPN provides access to the Tor anonymization network that uses hundreds of thousands of exit nodes to completely disguise your IP address giving you access to otherwise inaccessible websites.
Multi-hop connections refer to as a DoubleVPN feature routing your connection past a second server rather than one. That results in twice as much protection compared to a regular VPN connection.
|Logging Policy||No Logs Policy|
|IP Addresses||More than 5,372|
|Compatibility with Other Streaming Devices||Yes (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, DAZN Canada)|
|Available in China||Yes|
|Available in India||Yes|
|Support||24/7 Live Chat|
|Free Trial||Yes (7 days for mobile annual plans, 30 days for regular PC download)|
|Availability of Discounted Annual Plan||Yes|
|Money-Back Guarantee||Yes (100% money-back guarantee for the first 30 days)|
|App Version||Yes (Android, iOS)|
|Desktop Version||Yes (Windows, Linux, Mac)|
With the world so interconnected and so many people working from home nowadays, VPNs have incredible pressure to keep up with demand. However, even before this current crunch, using VPNs would drop your web browsing performance regarding upload and download speeds. Therefore, using a VPN will slow down your online web performance.
Nevertheless, when Nord Security said that NordVPN is one of the top-performing VPN services when talking about speed, they were not bluffing.
NordVPN does better than most VPNs, which is likely due to its numerous servers and robust systems. As a result, NordVPN will typically reduce your download speeds by 28.7 percent and upload speeds by 24.2 percent. In addition, online gamers will be happy to learn that they will experience virtually zero latency while online, thanks to their vast server collection.
Additionally, they provide users with a free, open-source tool that allows measuring the speeds experienced while using the private internet access servers.
With an average connectivity download speed of 369 MB per second and an average upload speed of around 200 MB per second, you can expect this service to provide you with a one-of-a-kind experience.
Some users even report the max speed capacity to reach about 500 MB per second. This is primarily the case for those already working with an equally fast base internet connection.
This kind of intense speed will already let you in on exclusive online activities, such as 4K video streaming, smooth online gameplays, and an even more efficient torrenting. Overall, with NordVPN, you won’t have to worry about speed disruptions anymore.
The incredibly fast connection speed that a VPN service offers won’t make any sense if you can’t use it.
An essential feature of VPNs is to allow users to access streaming content that might not be available in their own country or during travel. NordVPN will let you access numerous streaming platforms no matter where you are located. In this regard, NordVPN is one of the best services, allowing you to access sites such as:
- Netflix (Japan, Australia, UK, South Korea, Brazil)
- Amazon Prime,
- HBO Max,
- Disney Plus,
- BBC iPlayer,
- DAZN Canada,
- and more.
NordVPN is one of the very few VPN service providers that give justice to both streaming versatility and connection speed. This also serves as one of its main advantages over other services.
To access Netflix, for example, you will follow these steps:
- Launch NordVPN on your chosen device
- Select the country or server location of the stream you’re targeting
- Connect to the appropriate server
- Launch Netflix, and it should work just as though you were in the server geolocation.
NordVPN has approximately 5,372 servers around 60 countries moreover 90 cities. Each VPN server has a bespoke IP address, which means it’s less likely to encounter server traffic, bugs, and annoyingly slow connectivity speeds.
This gives them a highly competitive geographic diversity level. Although the bulk of these servers will be found in the United Kingdom and the United States, you will also find considerable numbers in South America, Europe, Asia, India, and the Middle East. You will even find some in South Africa, which have been mainly ignored by other VPN companies in the past.
Many people wonder about the presence and availability of VPNs in countries with restrictive internet policies, such as Turkey, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and parts of India. The answer is yes; NordVPN does have private internet access servers in these countries. While a country like China has its infamous Great Firewall preventing access to various websites and blocking many VPNs, NordVPN is not among them. With NordVPN, you can access all restricted websites in mainland China.
NordVPN, to keep up with its clients’ increasing need for speedy internet access, is introducing 10Gbps (Gigabytes per second) servers to its fleet to replace the current 1Gbps servers currently in use. This will allow them to keep pace with the expected bandwidth requirements with the upcoming 5G rollout.
For reference, below are the locations of NordVPN’s servers.
NordVPN in America and Oceania:
- Costa Rica
- United States
NordVPN in Europe:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- United Kingdom
NordVPN in Asia:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Korea
NordVPN in Africa, the Middle East, and India:
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates
As you can see, NordVPN maintains its versatility even when it comes to server locations. It caters to popular countries, such as the US and the UK. At the same time, it’s also available in relatively minor and hard-to-access countries, such as India, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Security is one of the best factors of NordVPN. It’s known for being one of the safest and most secure VPN services, giving it a good reputation.
First off, NordVPN uses a no-logs policy. It also uses a third-party auditing system. This means that it won’t collect personal information and unnecessary data, and you can rest assured that your browsing history and online activities stay private.
NordVPN uses NordLynx for its Android, macOS, iOS, and Windows applications. This implements IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN, and WireGuard. In addition, NordVPN’s AES-256 encryption system further safeguards these. If this isn’t enough yet, you can also expect more security-focused features, such as the Kill Switch, Two-Type Leak Blocking, and First-Party DNS.
Note, though, that NordVPN was the talk of the town back in 2018 because of a security attack that they went through. Still, this is the first and only security-related issue tied to them. They have made a lot of improvements since then, so there is little to no chance for it to happen again.
Several features make NordVPN one of the most effective private internet access providers. They include:
Tor Anonymization Network
NordVPN is a powerhouse when it comes to its privacy protocols, with various tools and protocols designed to provide you with the maximum protection possible. One feature is access to the Tor anonymization network. It uses hundreds of thousands of exit nodes to completely disguise your IP address, making it impossible to trace your activity and giving you access to otherwise inaccessible websites. However, the tor network will significantly reduce your speeds.
It also has a split tunneling feature, which allows you to designate the applications you want to channel through your VPN and which you will qualify to pass through on your clear bandwidth. NordVPN makes this selection as easy for users as possible by simply giving you the option to forbid or require VPN usage for the apps on your device. Even the most inexperienced users will have no trouble navigating these settings.
You will also enjoy their multi-hop connections, which it refers to as a DoubleVPN feature. This route your connection past a second server rather than one, meaning that if one server is compromised and potentially leaking information, the second one will ensure you remain secure. As a result, you will have twice as much protection compared to a regular VPN connection.
If you want the more accessible version of NordVPN, you can always turn to its native app version. It’s available on both Android and iOS.
To download, you can simply go to your local app store. Thus, if you have an Android, you need to go to Google Play and look up “NordVPN.” On the other hand, if you have an iOS, you need to look up the application on the App Store.
The download itself is free, so you don’t have to worry about being required to pay additional fees. Just note that the availability of features, layout, and smoothness of use will depend on your mobile processing system’s version.
Torrenting is a great way to access hard-to-get content, but some VPNs do not allow it, and others will force you to deal with slow download speeds, spotty availability, and possible address exposure, which might lead to fines or arrest.
Torrenting is mostly allowed by NordVPN. Of course, it will still depend on the actual server you’re using, but you can rest assured that at least 85% of the servers permit a smooth and speedy torrenting. What is more, servers are also powered by P2P systems. Currently, you can expect the minimum speed to go around 300 MB per second.
As one of the best P2P-friendly VPNs available today, NordVPN solves these problems with a robust private internet access server network and fast download speeds. In addition, it is incredibly secure and offers a highly effective kill switch just in case of any address leakage. You can also use their SOCKS5 proxy service for torrenting.
For reference, here are the countries with servers that don’t permit torrenting:
- Costa Rica
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- ..among others.
The servers in the said countries cannot shoulder P2P traffic. This is the main reason behind their inability to process torrenting.
The company has an active online customer support service portal with a thorough troubleshooting guide that will help you get everything set up and running as it should. While many users addressing personal troubles prefer doing so via email or telephone, general community engagement occurs on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others.
NordVPN’s customer support is considered one of the most reliable in the VPN field. Most users testified that they are equipped with a responsive and knowledgeable support team.
That said, the support service is available 24/7 and can be contacted through various methods. These include a one-on-one live chat and the classic old email support.
There are also readily interactive automated chatbots on the site. If your concern doesn’t include payments and mainly lies in the how-tos of the service, then this will be a good go-to solution.
Responses are generally provided immediately, so there’s absolutely no need to worry about giving up on the VPN service and losing money because of a seemingly unsolvable issue.
China and India are the two countries with the most inaccessible online services. It’s the mixture of strict online legal policies, a comparatively weaker connection to the world wide web or internet, and the lack of availability of western digital products.
Now, going back to NordVPN, users residing in China and India will be glad to know that they won’t have to take extra measures to get their hands on this VPN. It’s readily available for the said countries, surrounded by fast and optimized servers.
NordVPN legally operates under the jurisdiction of Panama. This is where it was incorporated and where the company’s headquarters are located, although they have offices worldwide. Panamanian laws do not require companies to retain data for any period, which is a critical quality where VPNs are concerned. Therefore, they do not log session information, connection time stamps, bandwidth, IP addresses, browsing information, or traffic logs.
According to NordVPN spokespeople, the company does not profit from the sale of user data as its revenue is derived entirely from user subscription fees. However, combined with Panama’s resistance to third-party audits, their no-log policy makes it an ideal place to set up a VPN service.
A single registered NordVPN account can only handle a maximum of six simultaneous connections. This means that you can connect your phone, digital TV, iPad, laptop, etc., or even include a few loved ones or roommates. It is probably enough for those who don’t have high requirements for their VPN service. However, this can be a disadvantage to users who are availing of NordVPN to boost the status of their hobby or work.
The only issue here is it can be hard to connect to TVs and Fire Sticks because of the lack of versatile device compatibility. So far, users have only had a positive experience when using Android TVs. On the other hand, Smart TVs were the main targets of system issues and bugs.
However, you can set up NordVPN for smart devices without internet capabilities using a router that you can set up to connect to the net via NordVPN, covering all your devices, including Firesticks, Smart TVs, etc.
Nevertheless, the good thing is that NordVPN has an unlimited data cap. This greatly compensates for the limited device connections that the service can handle.
You won’t have to worry about NordVPN not functioning well on your devices. It provides extensions compatible with most browsers on the market today, including but not limited to Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Opera, Maxthon, and Brave.
Therefore, if your device can’t handle a full-on VPN application system, you can always turn to browser extensions.
As discussed, NordVPN comes with many notable features that focus on various aspects, such as security, privacy, speed, ease of use, and continuous system improvement.
NordVPN provides several convenient tools and products beyond basic security and anonymity. One of these is the NordPass Password Manager, which will help you keep your passwords more secure.
They also offer NordLocker, which allows you to encrypt your data and make it hard for people with unauthorized access to decrypt and make sense of your data.
Of course, you will need to pay extra to access these services, but their charges are typically minuscule.
Besides that, to give you a gist of what you can expect, here’s a list that you can refer to:
- Threat Protection
- Ad Blocker
- Malware Blocker
- Cookie Tracker
- Obfuscated Server Systems
- Multi-Factor Authentication
- Split Tunneling
- IP Masking
- DNS Leak Test
- Dark Web Monitor
- Private DNS Feature
Most of these have just been recently added by Nord Security, which vouches that the service is continuously improving. It’s also a way for the brand to let customers and consumers know that they listen to feedback.
NordPass uses the XChaCha20 as an encrypting/decrypting algorithm.
The XChaCha20 is considered a future, high-level encryption algorithm. Tech Giants from Silicon Valley start implementing this algorithm very often.
NordPass uses it to encrypt its users’ vaults. It supports two different lengths of keys, with the 256-bit encryption being the strongest. The XChaCha20 algorithm is one of the most secure encryption algorithms available.
NordPass uses the XChaCha20 encryption combined with Argon2 key derivation to encrypt the vault where the passwords are stored to ensure first-rate security.
NordPass – Secure way to remember passwords – check how it works by clicking this link.
NordLocker is an encrypted type of cloud storage that secures your files in an easy-to-use way.
With an encrypted cloud, you are the only owner of the data and nobody can have access to them. What is more, your files are backed up, synced, and protected from data loss, or any cybercriminal that would like to steal it.
Additionally, you can access your files regardless of your current location.
The easiest way to access an important file. Log into your account and use the NordLocker app to decrypt and get access to your content.
Secure, sync, and share your files instantly – Check how it works by clicking this link.
Setting NordVPN up and installing it into your device is a piece of cake. It’s like adding a new game or application to your phone since the link and instructions are readily available on either Nord Security’s site or the app store.
That said, you won’t have to work with professionals just to get your hands on NordVPN and its features.
Troubleshooting guides are readily available on NordVPN’s site. You can find them on the supports page. You can also learn more under the FAQs section, which is just on the same page as the former.
Either way, you can rest assured that complete tutorials and learning resources are already provided. As long as you’re willing to browse through articles and read their content, you won’t have any issues throughout your subscription.
NordVPN is available in three plans. All of them offer the same features. The only thing that differed was the period of validity.
Starting off, the regular plan costs $11.99 per month. This is good if you want to test the waters first or if you’re not yet ready for a long-term commitment to the service.
The 1-year plan costs $4.99 a month. This means that you will be paying around $99.48 a year. However, the first year will only total about $59.88 as a discount.
Lastly, the 2-year plan costs $3.29 per month. Similar to the 1-year plan, the corresponding rate is $99.48 a year. However, you will get a discount for the first two years. During this period, you will only be charged $78.96 a year.
They only offer you a single add-on subscription. These are static IP addresses that will cost you an additional $5.83 each month or $69.96 each year. You will be able to choose addresses based in Germany, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, or the Netherlands. Static addresses effectively minimize the risk of having your VPN connection blocked or flagged, especially if you regularly connect to servers in the same region.
A 30-day money-back guarantee is available for all users, no matter the reason. Because of this, you can have the assurance that if ever NordVPN doesn’t cater to your needs and taste, you can get your money back and look into other brands.
As with anything else in the world, NordVPN is not perfect. Some of the trouble areas associated with this otherwise premium private internet access service are:
- OpenVPN Configuration Settings: Users who prefer using the OpenVPN protocol rather than the L2PT protocol might have trouble making the conversion. You might be required to download the server list and select your chosen server out of a list of 8,000 configuration files.
- Premium Pricing: Compared to many VPNs on the market today, NordVPN can be considered a relatively pricey product, which is compounded by the fact that they do not offer a freemium service or a trial period.
- Torrenting Selectivity: According to some reports, torrenting is only supported in selected servers in certain countries worldwide, which might disappoint torrenting lovers.
- Occasionally Cramped Interface: On some devices, the vast array of features and tools the service implements may make it challenging to navigate through them all due to a lack of space on your display.
- Compatibility with Paypal payments is a little inefficient, sometimes impossible.
- Complicated renewal rates
Other than these, you can expect the VPN to be worth it. It has one of the most remarkable offers when talking about VPN services, so it’s just right that you include this in your must-get list.
When it comes to Virtual Private Networks, the most important things to consider are value, ease of use, and commitment to privacy. On all these points, NordVPN excels better than most services out there today. It’s also one of the top-rated ones in terms of security and speed. This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a VPN that allows you to torrent, stream, browse, and surf wherever you are. You’ll have to pay a bit more compared to other VPNs, but it’s worth the price tag.
Of course, the said VPN service can still be better. They can start with providing options for unlimited device connections, for instance. However, even without this, NordVPN is actually good on its own. You’ll find this useful because of its versatile functions, whether you’re a beginner looking for a VPN for personal use or an expert who uses the tool for profit.
We can finish our review by stating that NordVPN truly lives up to the hype it’s getting. Considering its features, offered security and privacy level, as well as its pricing plans, we can definitely say that its popularity will not die out soon.
What is the experience that helps me provide solutions
Hi! I’m Magic, software, hardware, and test engineer with experience of 25+ years in military systems.
During years of work on multiple projects, I noticed that most people struggle with technical questions, and sometimes finding correct answers is impossible on the congested internet. Therefore, I started providing my experience online by researching products and services to help everybody who seeks my help.
Would you be interested in learning more about my findings on VPN services? If yes, please continue reading, and I thank you if you find it helpful and wish to support me by following one of the links.
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