- 1 Company History
- 2 Pros & Cons
- 3 NordVPN synopsis
- 4 Safety Features
- 6 Setting Up Your NordVPN Account
- 7 Features and Benefits
- 7.1 P2P Sharing/Torrenting
- 7.2 Browser Extensions
- 7.3 Dark Web Monitor
- 7.4 Threat Protection
- 7.5 Nordpass Password Manager
- 7.6 Is NordVPN accessible in China?
- 7.7 How does NordVPN Stack Up Against ExpressVPN?
- 7.8 How does NordVPN compare with other VPN providers?
- 8 Servers
- 9 Monthly/Yearly Pricing
- 10 Customer Support
- 11 Final Thoughts
- 12 FAQ
- 12.0.1 Is NordVPN a trustworthy VPN provider?
- 12.0.2 Is NordVPN Russian?
- 12.0.3 Is NordVPN the best vpn for my needs?
- 12.0.4 Is NordVPN compatible with streaming services such as Prime Video?
- 12.0.5 Is NordVPN actually private?
- 12.0.6 Which operating systems does NordVPN support?
- 12.0.7 Does NordVPN support Tor?
- 13 Write your review below!
NordVPN Review: Does Its Low Cost Hide Flaws? We Find Out 
NordVPN is owned by Tefincom S.A., a company registered in Panama. It is, therefore, NOT subject to 14-eyes. Read NordVPN review to see the in-depth analysis.
Price Currency: $
Operating System: Windows
Application Category: Utility
If you’re looking at this NordVPN review intro, it’s going to say that NordVPN is “probably one of the best budget VPNs on the market.” So, how did we reach this conclusion and what makes NordVPN stand out in terms of value?
We looked at the main things that users would want to know about any virtual service network provider. We looked at its origins, history, jurisdictional coverage, its safety features, what devices are compatible, server network, pricing plans, and of course everyone’s favorite feature – streaming quality.
The results of our studies are also summarized in our ranking table, which is updated yearly.
NordVPN is owned by Tefincom S.A., a company registered in Panama. It is, therefore, subject to the data retention laws of that country. For the users, this also means that it’s not under the pesky and watchful eyes of a 14-eyes country.
Many VPN users are concerned about how much user information ISPs attempt to collect. With the intrusive nature of these agreements, it’s good to know that NordVPN is not under the jurisdiction of one of those countries with signal-sharing treaties.
Tefincom has also confirmed that they have not received any gag orders, warrants from organizations, or National Security letters.
But even with these assurances, the other good thing about NordVPN is their no logging policy.
NordVPN hit the news back in 2019 when their security breach was exposed to the public. Long story short, one of their leased servers in Finland had a leak in its remote management interface, and about 200 users that connected to that server could have been affected.
Not a big deal, you could say, but this incident prompted NordVPN to start implementing a more secure colocated diskless server infrastructure. It seems that the small security breach actually helped NordVPN move in the right direction.
Pros & Cons
|Compatibility with many streaming services||Only 60 countries|
|Fast NordLynx VPN protocol||Only six simultaneous connections|
|Dedicated IP option|
|Multihop and Split tunneling support|
|Servers and Locations||5.436 servers in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and Middle East regions|
|Customer Support||E-mail response ~30h/Live Chat (24/7)|
|Log Policy||no logging|
|Encryption Protocols||AES-256/IKEv2/IPsec/OpenVPN UDP & TCP/NordLynx (WireGuard)|
|Supported Platforms||MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Linux|
|Routers Supported||routers with OpenVPN support like Asus RT-AX86U, RT-AX88U, RT-AC5300|
|Split Tunneling||yes, app-based split tunneling, and inverse split tunneling|
|Kill Switch||yes, internet kill switch and app kill switch|
|Torrenting (P2P File Sharing)||PASSED (P2P torrent allowed)|
|Country of Registration||Panama|
|Dedicated IP||yes, additional cost|
|Price||from $4.19/mo up to $14.49/mo|
|Free trial/money-back guarantee||30-day money-back guarantee|
In its infrastructure NordVPN uses diskless servers as a tamper protection measure, so nothing is written to the disk. Also, NordVPN is in the process of transitioning from renting dedicated servers to using their own server hardware in colocated facilities.
Looking at NordVPN’s safety features, we first started with the site itself and how well-protected it is from viruses. In our test run on VirusTotal, no viruses were detected for any of the 66 tests.
So, on to the safety features that NordVPN provides to its users.
- Encryption protocols
Any noteworthy VPN must provide encryption for your online activities. NordVPN takes pride in its “military-grade encryption protocols.” More specifically, this refers to OpenVPN and Ikev2/IPsec VPN protocols.
OpenVPN is one of the most popular VPN security and privacy options, especially since it supports all operating systems. With Ikev2/IPsec, we get AES-256-GCM encryption, which is at the higher end of the spectrum for internet security and encryption.
NordVPN also supports NordLynx VPN protocol, their own implementation of WireGuard VPN protocol. NordLynx protocol is much faster than OpenVPN, significantly improving your VPN connection speeds.
- Data Logging
In its Policy Statement, NordVPN indicates that it does not log any form of data from a user in a session. And it has backed up this claim through an independent logging audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Zurich Switzerland conducted in November 2018.
(As a NordVPN subscriber, you can access this report.)
In case any of their servers are ever raided or breached, there is no stored user activity data at all.
- Kill Switches/Data Leaks
One of the things we often fear when using a VPN is that if we lose internet connectivity and then it’s restored, our IP address could be leaked. But NordVPN prevents this with two types of kill switches – one for the internet and another for apps. Should the VPN connection drop, the kill switch ensures that there aren’t any data leaks, DNS leaks, or IP leaks onto the internet.
The general Internet Kill Switch will not allow you to access the internet if NordVPN is off. This option is easily adjusted through an on/off option in Settings.
The App Kill Switch will kill specific applications if your VPN connection unexpectedly drops. You choose which applications you want to set for the app kill switch. Once set, the kill switch is automatic, so you won’t have to worry about your traffic leaking out by accident.
When our PC went to sleep, once powered on again, we couldn’t access the internet until the VPN was reactivated. Our IP address cannot leak due to a break in the VPN service. Or, if we tried to load a new website while switching between servers, our access to the internet was temporarily halted until a new server connection was established.
- HTTPS Protection (NordVPN’s CyberSec Feature)
Contrary to popular belief, not all HTTPS-encrypted sites are safe. There are, in fact, sites with SSL certificates that will infect users’ devices with malware, ransomware, viruses, and other threats. NordVPN’s CyberSec threat protection blocks users from unknowingly accessing these sites.
NordVPN’s proprietary CyberSec will also auto-protect users from ads and unsafe connections. It’s one of the first options you’re presented with when signing into your account. You can also adjust whether to keep this on or off in settings.
- Anti-DDoS Protection
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a concerted effort to flood your computer or website with more traffic than your system can manage, causing it to crash. This is often the case when you hear that a website was brought down by hackers. Hackers often use this tactic to divert attention while they do something else, such as steal data or install malicious software.
A VPN with anti-DDoS protection can prevent a similar incident from happening to you.
To ensure that all your traffic stays encrypted, you can use one of NordVPN’s DDoS-protected dedicated IPs. This means that all your website traffic goes through and is filtered by these special servers to hide your IP from attackers.
Plus, if you’re a heavy online gamer, then you really need a VPN to protect you from DDoS attacks when things get heated, and your opponent tries to play dirty.
Full version with comments:
Terms of Service
- This Agreement had no issues with grammar or spelling. A few stylistic notes were all we had regarding the structure of the agreement.
- The “Miscellaneous” section was the only substantive comment we had. NordVPN has its notice of updates to the Terms under the “Miscellaneous” section, where it traditionally would have its own section.
Setting Up Your NordVPN Account
So, now that we’ve got a handle on the secure VPN features in NordVPN, it’s time to see if it’s easy to set up.
- Compatible Devices & Supported Platforms
NordVPN is accessible on all major operating platforms and devices – Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and Linux. Since it uses OpenVPN, NordVPN can be used on other devices as well, namely routers. Their desktop and mobile apps for all these devices and platforms ensure that you won’t need any special configuration instructions to set up your NordVPN account.
Plus, you can also easily download it to your mobile device from Google Play or the Apple Store. And you can use up to 6 devices for simultaneous connections with NordVPN.
NordVPN also works with routers, making it easy to protect your entire wifi network and all devices connected to it that do not natively support VPNs. Just make sure that your router has built-in support for OpenVPN, and you can use it with NordVPN. Using NordVPN with your router counts as connecting one device.
- Setting up your account
Setting up your NordVPN account is quite simple. All you need to do is go to the website and click download. Once downloaded, you run the auto set-up and installation of the app following very straightforward instructions.
Now, once the app is installed, you’ll get two options – to sign up as a new user or sign in. As a new user, once you click that section, it will ask you to choose your pricing package and payment options.
If you’ve already signed up for a paid package, then simply sign in with your NordVPN credentials.
Once signed in, you’ll be greeted by a simple and intuitive home screen.
It gives you a visual representation of the server locations across the world as well as a menu screen to the left to choose specific types of servers and locations. The Settings option is at the top of the screen which gives you more choices for servers and types of connection applications like kill switches.
- Connecting to a server
Once logged in, we tried accessing a server in Australia since we needed to research something in that country. You can navigate the map to select Australia or use the easily accessible list of countries to the left of the screen.
Usually, when we connect using our free VPN service, we have to exit the Chrome browser and then reopen it for the VPN location to pick up. Or start another browser (sometimes in Private mode) for the browser to connect to the VPN in the country selected.
We did not have to do this with NordVPN.
It immediately connected to the server in Australia, and we got a notification from our email service provider about unusual sign-in activity…from Australia… showing an Australian IP address.
This just goes to show why using a quality VPN service matters.
- Server options
Now, one of the areas in which NordVPN distinguishes itself from other players in the VPN market is through the number and variety of servers it offers. Its network boasts more than 5000 VPN servers in 60+ countries worldwide.
For general use, when you just want to protect your identity and systems online, there are standard servers and servers with double VPN (multihop VPN).
Then, it gets more technical, as they also offer the following:
- Onion over VPN
- Dedicated IP servers
- P2P servers
- Obfuscated servers
Double VPN, Dedicated IP, and obfuscated servers are only available through their OpenVPN apps. So, if you live in a country with restricted internet access and you want to bypass network firewalls, then you definitely want to use an obfuscated server. (They do tell you, however, that the obfuscated server option may result in a slower connection).
Double VPN (multihop VPN) effectively doubles your security by connecting you through two VPNs.
NordVPN’s app features a nice way to define split tunneling for running applications. You can route some apps through the VPN, or bypass the VPN for others, as you need.
When choosing a server, you can select your preferred server option from the menu to the left of the app.
Now, for each location – unless they only have one server – you can either choose to go with the fastest region and the fastest service (which is what it defaults to). Or, if you want to be a bit more technical with your connections, you can select the region you want and a specific server within that region. That gives you more control over where you connect and how.
You may also set up a default auto-connect option for a preferred gateway and/or region when the app starts. This is a handy feature for frequent travelers.
Features and Benefits
Streaming Services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Kodi, etc.)
So, not to go on about other VPN services we use, but we couldn’t access Amazon prime services when we were outside the US. But, with NordVPN connected, we had no issue connecting, streaming, and watching movies and tv shows on Amazon Prime.
The same goes for Netflix.
While VPNs aren’t illegal or banned outright by them, Netflix and other streaming services actively work to limit, if not block, these services from allowing users across their geo-restrictive firewalls. And in fact, some VPN services will not even mention access to geo-blocked content such as Netflix because their services cannot access them.
But, Netflix worked with NordVPN. We tried three servers, one in the UK and the United States to stream The End of the F***ing World. We also tried Netflix Japan to watch Terrace House: Opening New Doors; they all streamed without problems.
In addition to Netflix and Amazon Prime, NordVPN supports other streaming services like Hulu and even BBC iPlayer. It was also extremely useful for the Kodi media player (also if you need to connect to devices like Raspberry Pi). And we didn’t find any significant lag that could have ruined our viewing experience when streaming videos online.
NordVPN works on all connected devices, like PlayStation, Xbox, Kindle Fire, Firestick, Chromebook, Chromecast, and many more. You can install NordVPN on these platforms, or use NordVPN on your router for all your devices.
While NordVPN won’t highlight it on their main pages, they do offer excellent peer-to-peer support through numerous servers across the world. So, when you need to access peer-to-peer traffic, make sure you’re connected to a P2P server. This is quickly done by adjusting your server preferences on the left in the NordVPN display. If you try to access P2P content on a standard server, the system will also automatically re-route you to a P2P server.
So, to test out its torrenting capabilities, we tried downloading Chaplin’s Gold Rush, and, again, we can say – it worked.
Their torrenting download speeds are in line with industry averages – sometimes better – through their dedicated P2P servers. The no logs policy, DNS and traffic leak protection, and options to pay using cryptocurrency make this VPN a preferred solution for P2P use.
Server speed tests
We didn’t find accessing sites much slower than normal, so we put it to the test using NordVPN servers located in the UK, the USA, and Hong Kong. Here are the results of some of our tests through Speedtest by Ookla.
NordVPN performs well in terms of speed and certainly manages to keep the mbps at a reasonable level without too much loss from a variety of locations around the world. Whether we tested servers in the UK, the US or in Hong Kong, the results were fairly solid throughout and marked the company out as a strong performer.
The verdict? Connection speed fluctuates, and as you can see from our VPN Testing ranking table, their speeds are below average compared to other VPN service providers. But, the server speeds aren’t slow enough to substantially impact your online surfing and streaming activities.
Plus, you have the option of selecting the fastest server available in your preferred location.
NordVPN offers VPN proxy extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox browsers. These browser extensions are particularly useful as they encrypts your browser’s traffic, keeping your data private.
Essentially the NordVPN browser extensions serve as a lightweight version of a VPN app but with some useful extra features thrown in for good measure in order improve your browsing experience. These features include Threat Protection Lite for blocking ads and dangerous links. However, it should be noted that the extensions only secure browser traffic, letting other apps and services on your device use your real IP to access local content. The extension offers Split Tunneling that allows you to split your traffic through different URLs and domains.
Dark Web Monitor
NordVPN has an innovative Dark Web Monitoring feature which scans the Dark Web for leaks of your email and flags it up if your address or other credentials are found on their crawl. This is designed to keep your information safe from the Wild West of the Dark Web and to alert you if your security has been breached and somehow ended up online.
NordVPN offers a feature called Threat Protection that blocks malicious ads and trackers, identifies malware-ridden files, and warns users of dodgy websites. This feature helps users flag up spyware, stalkerware or other internet nasties.
NordVPN offers two types of Threat Protection: Threat Protection and Threat Protection Lite.
The former offers protection from internet threats even when you aren’t connected to a NordVPN server. Meanwhile Threat Protection Lite blocks ads and malicious websites when you are connected to a VPN. It is available not only on Windows, macOS, and your favorite browsers but also on your Android phone or iPhone.
NordVPN works hard to prevent leaking and other vulnerabilities that could see user’s safety or privacy compromised. For instance, the service offers DNS leak protection which routes your internet traffic through a VPN tunnel rather than your ISPs usual DNS servers. They also offer a test to see if your VPN is working correctly (to prevent any additional leaks that may expose your IP address).
Nordpass Password Manager
Nordpass is a password manager that is designed to generate, store and autofill your passwords online. This is a good idea because it allows you to keep all of your password data in one place and also to avoid the trap of using the same password for multiple websites. Basically, it prioritizes both security and convenience. When using Nordpass you’ll have just one master password that will act as a key to all your other passwords, making things simple and secure.
Is NordVPN accessible in China?
Unfortunately NordVPN is not available in China through traditional methods. This is due to restrictions put in place by the Chinese government designed to make it difficult for VPN providers to provide services. In order to use NordVPN in China, users must manually connect via IKEv2, which is a secure protocol that is difficult to detect. Meanwhile, it is important to remember to sign up for NordVPN before traveling to China as it is often difficult or impossible to visit the company’s website while in China itself.
How does NordVPN Stack Up Against ExpressVPN?
Let’s be fair, both ExpressVPN and NordVPN are highly respected VPN services and you can’t go too wrong with either one. Both offer to help you protect your privacy and security online and can be used to get around those pesky geo restrictions you may encounter when trying to stream content from abroad. They both also have similarities in terms of features, for instance, they both have a kill switch feature that stops internet traffic if the VPN connection drops. However, there are a number of differences between the two. For instance, ExpressVPN has servers in more countries than NordVPN but NordVPN has a larger network overall with around 5,000 servers in 60 countries. Which provider you choose will ultimately come down to your own personal tastes and usage needs.
How does NordVPN compare with other VPN providers?
Both NordVPN and Surfshark are respected VPNs within the industry. Both cover the basics or protecting your privacy and security online, while also allowing you to stream TV and other streaming content from outside your jurisdiction. However, there are some differences
NordVPN has over 5,
Unfortunately NordVPN is not available in China through traditional methods. This is due to restrictions put in place by the Chinese government designed to make it difficult for VPN providers to provide services. However, there are a few ways that users can gain access to NordVPN within China. One way is to manually connect via IKEv2, which is a000 servers in more than 60 countries worldwide. NordVPN offers servers optimized for specific purposes, such as P2P sharing or connecting from countries with internet restrictions. NordVPN’s innovative algorithm automatically selects the fastest VPN server based on your location and unique requirements.
Here are some of the countries where NordVPN has servers:
Nord VPN has servers in the Netherlands which can be used to benefit from Dutch / EU privacy laws or even just for catching up on Dutch TV and streaming from abroad.
The company also has over 240 servers dotted across Germany, including in Frankfurt and Berlin. Again, these can be used to benefit from local privacy laws within the EU or for watching the latest entertainment, streaming, and news from Germany.
Meanwhile, the folks at NordVPN haven’t forgotten about Canadians (or wannabe Canadians) as they have placed servers there which will allow you to check in with home (if that home is Canada) from anywhere in the world.
So, with all the services and options offered by NordVPN, is NordVPN expensive? No, it is actually one of the most competitively priced VPN services on the market.
NordVPN offers three very simple and easy-to-use monthly payment plans with discounted annual packages. So, whereas a single month will cost you $11.99, a 1-year plan is $4.99 per month giving you 42% savings. A 2-year plan (24 months) is priced at $4.19 per month. So, the longer you commit to using NordVPN, the cheaper the cost of the package.
So how much is it on monthly basis?
Here are their current subscription plans:
- Monthly plan Standard $11.99, Plus $12.99, Complete $14.49
- 1-year plan Standard $4.99, Plus $5.99, Complete $7.49
- 2-year plan Standard $4.19, Plus $5.19, Complete $6.69
With their current special giveaway campaign, all two-year plan customers win three months or one year of extra subscription time in a random selection process.
Is there a free version of NordVPN?
As one of the most popular VPN providers, NordVPN does not offer a free trial of their VPN in the traditional sense. The issue with most free trials is that they limit the bandwidth, and server location, or you’re given some with other restrictions so you can’t even test out the service properly.
But what you can do with NordVPN is to sign up for the service and you will have 30 days within which to test it. If you are not satisfied within those 30 days, you are free to cancel. This way, using the 30-day money-back guarantee, you can test all the features of the VPN at its full capacity.
- Payment methods
NordVPN accepts various payment methods, such as major credit cards via Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and Apple Pay, among others. Those who wish to pay via Paypal can also do so as the company allows this through payment processer, Paddle.
- How to cancel NordVPN subscription
Canceling your recurring (monthly) subscription with NordVPN is simple. Login to your NordAccount, and open the Billing section. Click on the Subscriptions tab, and then click on Manage next to Auto-Renewal. Select the Cancel auto-renewal option.
Another area in which NordVPN excels is in its customer service support. They offer live chat support, and you can also email them. Though they are occasionally amongst some of the slowest service providers to respond, when they do, it’s with accurate information.
They have an extensive Help Center on their website to cover a variety of frequently asked questions about NordVPN. The FAQ section helps resolve standard issues such as system setup, connection issues, and technical information.
- Are users happy with the VPN?
Since our happiness with the app doesn’t mean everyone’s happy, we took a quick look at the reviews. The NordVPN app had a 4.4 user rating in the Google Play store from over 650,000 reviews. It also has a 4.7 rating in the Apple Store from over 35,000 reviews.
While there are a few areas in which Nord VPN could improve, overall, we are pleased with the service and features they offer.
Does NordVPN offer value for money?
That was the focus of this VPN review – to determine how well NordVPN helps us face everyday online threats and some not-so-common ones, and whether it is good value for money. We wanted to see if their services matched up with their marketing and whether we could feel a measure of safety browsing online with NordVPN as our backup.
VPNs like NordVPN are in high demand. Tracking, online monitoring, hacking, identity theft, inability to access resources from certain jurisdictions – users face these concerns every day at an ever-increasing rate. Having a reliable tool like NordVPN on our side to watch over our online privacy and overcome various geo-restrictions just felt good.
Based on our review, NordVPN is excellent for privacy, hiding your IP, online gaming, and torrenting. Plus, it also provides unblocking for Netflix and other streaming services. While not the fastest VPN in terms of speed, it is amongst the best, which makes the service suitable for streaming movies and TV shows.
Our results have squarely placed NordVPN as one of the best budget VPN services available today. So, while we can’t tell you which VPN to choose, we can tell you that this one offers very good value for money.
The company has a good grasp of the privacy and security issues online users face and provides various solutions to tackle them. Plus, you can easily give the paid version of NordVPN a try. With a 30-day money-back guarantee, if you’re not satisfied, you can cancel your subscription and get your money back.
So, take it for a spin, and you’ll see exactly what we’ve talked about and why we’ve ranked NordVPN as one of the best.
VPN test and share with us your own experience with NordVPN.
Is NordVPN a trustworthy VPN provider?
NordVPN is generally seen as a reliable and trustworthy VPN provider. NordVPN has a strong focus on product development, security features, and customer service and when a third-party data center breach that occurred in 2018, the company stated that no user data was compromised during this incident and the firm has since said that they have taken steps to improve their security following this event. This points to the fact that NordVPN is indeed a trustworthy VPN provider.
Is NordVPN Russian?
NordVPN is not a Russian company. In fact things are so frosty between NordVPN and Russia in recent years, the firm received a letter from the Russian national media regulator, demanding that NordVPN makes changes to its service that would directly affect users’ privacy. Rather than comply with the request, NordVPN went on to shut down all of its Russian servers.
Is NordVPN the best vpn for my needs?
Choosing the right VPN can be a difficult task and that is why we try to provide detailed and comprehensive reviews that cover all of the aspects that you may be wondering about. NordVPN has many plus points including the number of servers available, a wide array of protocols (including their own NordLynx protocol), and their quick connect functionality. There are manyVPN options out there including Cyberghost, IPVanish, and of course, NordVPN. NordVPN provides an effective service with user friendly apps and in many cases a NordVPN user would be a happy one. But ultimately, which VPN you choose will come down to your individual needs in finding an effective cybersecurity solution.
Is NordVPN compatible with streaming services such as Prime Video?
NordVPN works well at getting around those cumbersome geo restrictions put in place by many streaming providers such as Netflix of Hulu. However, in the specific case of Prime Video, Amazon ties your region to your billing address and card details rather than your IP address and so it wouldn’t matter where you were accessing the website from, you’d still get your regular region.
Is NordVPN actually private?
NordVPN claims to provide security and privacy on the web. However, NordVPN acknowledges that it cannot secure data willingly surrendered to a third party. Even large and trustworthy corporations can be hacked into. A VPN is not a cure-all but is the simplest and most powerful way to help maintain online privacy and security. It is impossible to grant absolute anonymity online, but NordVPN does everything it can.
Which operating systems does NordVPN support?
The good news is that NordVPN supports a wide range of operating systems including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS and Linux. One feature that makes it unusual in the VPN market is that it also supports Android TV. NordVPN can also be installed on your router, which is a pretty snazzy feature as it allows you to protect every device in your home without the need to install the NordVPN individually on each device. Meanwhile, unlike some other VPN providers NordVPN can be used with gaming consoles such as Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
Does NordVPN support Tor?
If you’re a fan of Tor then NordVPN has got you covered. The company offers a service called Onion Over VPN, which allows users to experience an extra layer of security alongside the protections of a regular VPN. It is simple and easy to use from inside the app by selecting ‘Onion Over VPN ‘ from the ‘Speciality Servers’ section.
Write your review below!
If your NordVPN is not working, read the following articles: NordVPN failed to connect, NordVPN background process not running