NordVPN Review : A VPN That You Can Trust
NordVPN needs absolutely no introduction in the VPN domain. It is one of the best options in the market; it provides a slick interface wrapped around several security features. In this NordVPN review, I will go through all the aspects of the VPN service. With more than 5100+ servers globally, it aims to deliver peak performance at all times.
A VPN essentially creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the server that's controlled by the VPN service. Hence, it ensures that no person, even in the same network, can take a look at the data that you are transmitting.
Table of Contents
NordVPN Review Summary
Ease of Use8.0/10
- Strict Zero Log Policy
- Supports P2P traffic
- Works in China
- Onion Over VPN
- Unblocks Popular Streaming Services
- Windows App lacks Protocol selection
- Overall interface can be simpler
- Bit pricey compared to similar services
NordVPN provides personal VPN solutions for desktop, mobile, and even for Android TV. It offers VPN products for over 12 million customers worldwide across a wide range of services. With more than 5100+ servers distributed across 60 countries, it's easy to see why NordVPN is a global name.
NordVPN supports up to six connections at a time. Hence, you can probably connect all your devices at one go. With OpenVPN support for better encryption and double data encryption, there's always something for everyone. Also, many NordVPN users have reported that the VPN features improve with each update. They also find their strict no-logs policy to be a significant attraction.
About the Company
Tefincom & Co developed NordVPN, and its initial release was in 2012. Seven years of experience it an established brand in the VPN market. This Panama-based service does not come under any data retention laws. Hence, a super delight to customers. It also does not participate in the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes Alliance, offering complete security and privacy to users.
The NordVPN website states that it was developed by four childhood friends, who released its first Android app in May 2016. Also, as of November 2018, NordVPN is the first official cybersecurity partner of Liverpool F. C.
NordVPN Review: Feature List
NordVPN has the following significant features,
- Double VPN
- Onion over VPN
- Dedicated IP
- Strict No Logs Policy
- Great Customer support
- Works in China
- A large number of server locations 5100+
- 62 Countries
- Malware protection
- Kill Switch
- Obfuscated servers
NordVPN Review: Getting Started
- NordVPN started with a simple Android app followed by an app for iOS. However, it currently caters to personal computers, smartphones, routers, and Smart TVs.
- Besides, you can use it on Android, Android TV, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows.
- I found the multi-platform support to be a great feature, especially with simultaneous connections on up to six devices.
How to Download NordVPN
- NordVPN offers secure download options.
- For Android can be installed directly from the Google Play store, while for iOS, you can install it from the Apple Store.
- For windows, you can download NordVPN from here. Click on the download button to get the setup file. Launch the setup file to install the VPN. Therefore, when the installation ends, your NordVPN is ready to use.
- I found the installation simple and straightforward to follow. Moreover, it was a three-click process, which makes it a delight to use.
NordVPN Review: Windows Application
A NordVPN subscription covers up to six devices. Their windows application is a delight to use, and I found it pretty easy to operate. It just requires you to open the app and log in after installation.
NordVPN Windows app Interface
On opening the app, you'll find a list of countries on the left panel. There are around 60 countries hosting VPN servers, and you can click on any of them to connect. Alternatively, you can hit the country button on the map to connect. The map layout may seem confusing to some users who prefer a simple list of countries. Hence, the interface can be a bit more straightforward. However, it's something that you get hold of with time.
The Quick Connect option automatically connects you to the fastest server available. It is a perfect option if you don't want to search through 62 countries and 5100+ servers to figure out which one works the best for you.
NordVPN has several settings. You can configure everything as per your needs. However, you can also leave them at the defaults in case you are not sure about what is best for you.
I found this feature a handy tool for all users who wish to browse safely. Enabling this capability ensures that you stay protected from intrusive ads, phishing links, and malware sites. CyberSec eliminates most of the threats that you come across while browsing on the internet and ensures maximum security.
It is off by default. The AutoConnect option allows you to connect automatically to a server when you launch the application. Hence, it saves your efforts. You can pre-configure the type of connection and server location that NordVPN connects to automatically.
Start NordVPN on startup
This feature is active by default. It ensures that NordVPN is up and ready to connect when your computer boots up. Hence, it saves you from the hassle of having to run it manually each time you turn on your system.
On enabling it, the option ensures that you are connected to the internet only when NordVPN is active. The minute your NordVPN connection drops, the connection to the internet is cut off. Hence, it ensures that you always stay anonymous.
This feature allows you to stay hidden from devices connected on your LAN. It limits access to devices like printers or other devices on your network. Hence, it boosts security against a network-based attack, which is a definite win.
App Kill Switch
It is a super useful feature offered by NordVPN. Although disabled by default, users can activate it to terminate specific applications in case of an unintended disconnection.
Hence, it ensures that the apps that transmit any sensitive information do not project valuable data onto a public network. In this way, your information is safe and your identity secure.
I found this feature immensely useful, particularly when I've paired with public WiFi when it comes to apps like Skype. The App Kill Switch made sure that the app does not run until you have connected the VPN.
Rather than a full-screen display, it displays the NordVPN icon in the Windows system tray.
This option allows Windows to notify you every time you connect or disconnect from a server.
These are some of the primary settings offered by NordVPN.
NordVPN Advanced Settings
The advanced settings section tweaks the way the technical aspect works. You should not make any changes in this section until you are sure that you know what you are doing.
You can select between TCP and UDP protocol. However, there is no option to select the VPN encryption protocol like IKEv2, OpenVPN, or Shadowsocks.
NordVPN implements OpenVPN for Windows. On macOS, Android, and Linux, you can also select IKEv2.
You can add your own ISP's DNS servers or use NordVPN's servers. To make sure that there is no privacy leak, I suggest the use of NordVPN's DNS servers.
If you are in a location where the ISP blocks VPNs, this option helps you. However, please note that using this method, you will receive a slow connection speed.
NordVPN Review: Speed Test
VPN speeds are a major deciding factor when it comes to choosing the ideal service. You should always expect some speed loss. Also, it is a fact that the best speeds come from servers located closest to you. Performance is critical, and having super encryption doesn't do wonders if it reduces your connection to a crawling mess.
NordVPN is one of the superior VPN service that offer brilliant speeds. In my tests I was primarily using US & UK servers. My Speed test results are given below:
At the time of the test my original ISP speed was 180 Mbps.
NordVPN United States Server Speed
NordVPN United United Kingdom Speed
I have made several tests across the day and found that the speeds are consistent.
NordVPN Ultra HD content Streaming
Referring to my speed test results above, I was able to stream 4k contents with ease. I was able to stream YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime UHD 4k Titles without any issues. Hence, if you are able to stream 4k video content with your original ISP, you can do so with NordVPN as well.
What Can NordVPN Unlock
NordVPN fares well in this department. They aim to be the ultimate gateway to secure browsing without any restrictions. Hence, it enables you to bypass certain geographic restrictions placed on you, or limits set by governments, companies, or institutions.
While writing this NordVPN review, I was able to access:
- HBO GO
- Flickr (Blocked by specific organizations on their network)
- Torrent & P2P traffic
NordVPN Review: How Secure is it?
The sole motive of a VPN is to ensure privacy and security, which is a crucial factor for users deciding on their VPN. So how secure is NordVPN?
NordVPN Encryption Protocol Review
NordVPN has strong IKev2/IPsec support, which gives AES 256 GCM for encryption. It ensures that attackers are locked out of a session even if they manage to get access to one session.
NordVPN IP & DNS Leak Tests
I have done a lot of tests in order to find leaks. However, all the tests show that there is no DNS or IP leak using NordVPN.
Onion Over VPN
NordVPN's Onion over VPN option is particularly useful. It redirects the amount of traffic over NordVPN and then further routes everything through the Onion network on to its final destination. While this double layer could slow it down a fair bit, it makes it impossible for anyone to track your IP.
Besides, you need not bother with the technical aspects of any of this. Simple installation does everything for you and takes care of all the technical details. It doesn't even slow you down as much as you might expect, and the technology is there if you ever need to use it.
The Kill Switch
The dual kill switch, one for the network and another for apps, works extra hard to ensure zero information leaks. My tests with DNS Leak Test and IP Leak also came clean, with no compromises detected.
Strict Zero Log Policy
NordVPN defines very clearly that they do not maintain any logs of your activity. NordVPN has no logs for your online activity. It means that they do not track time, session, or even your IP address.
NordVPN Privacy Audit
An independent audit by Price Waterhouse Cooper conducted in 2018 - 2019 verified that the no-log policy holds. Hence, NordVPN is one of the VPN company to have enough evidence to back up this claim.
Also, NordVPN does not have to adhere to any data retention laws in its base country. Panama is not a member of the four eyes or fourteen eyes alliances, which means that your data and identity are safe.
NordVPN Review: Customer Support
Official Website Guides
The FAQ pages offer advice for most of the common problems encountered by users. While NodeVPN doesn't tell you precisely what help and services they offer, it's quite easy to navigate. I found their tutorials pretty helpful, and this should be sufficient to guide users with their installation stage.
Live Chat & Email Support
Their live chat support is quite helpful, and you get a response within approximately 30 seconds, leaving you with clear and concise instructions.
Want to report a complicated issue? You can send them an email with all the details. They reply quickly enough and give detailed instructions on how to best deal with the situation.
Their customer support is therefore pretty good and adds value to the NordVPN package.
NordVPN Review: Is it Worth the Price?
NordVPN has four significant plans that you can use:
1 Year Plan
$5 mo - 58% Savings
2 Years Plan
$3.99 mo - 66% Savings
3 Years Plan
$2.99 mo - 75% Savings
While these are in the mid-price range as far as VPNs are concerned, they do work out well. All the features NordVPN offers are definitely worth the price, and its performance is truly amazing.
The 3-year plan is the most profitable one, as the price comes up to just 2.99 dollars a month, which is exceptionally reasonable.
NordVPN offers a 7-day free service. Hence, if you have any doubts, you should try the service first.
With CyberSec features and premium service, NordVPN is worth checking out. It comes with one-size-fits-all plans and includes all the significant features and functionalities. Therefore, all these features compel me to recommend NordVPN.
NordVPN is a great product, and its easy-to-use interface makes it quite a delight. The interface may confuse new users with a map view. However, the server list and the server search feature makes it easy.
In conclusion to my NordVPN review, I found that it certainly is an overall reliable product and is worth your money.
You could always try it out and make use of their 30 days refund policy. So, if the product doesn't work out for you, there is no problem in switching to other solutions. However, I believe it is unlikely that you will face any issues with NordVPN.