NordVPN, established in 2012, has emerged as one of the leading VPN service providers in the market. With a strong focus on security and privacy, NordVPN offers features such as AES-256 encryption, a variety of VPN protocols, a kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a strict no-logs policy.
NordVPN is developed by Nord Security (Nordsec Ltd), a company that creates cybersecurity software, and was initially supported by the Lithuanian startup accelerator and business incubator Tesonet.
NordVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Panama, and benefits from favorable privacy laws. NordVPN operates an extensive server network with over 5500 servers across 60 countries worldwide. In this comprehensive review, we will examine NordVPN’s performance, features, and whether it lives up to the hype it has generated.
Security and encryption
NordVPN takes security seriously, which is evident from its use of next-generation encryption techniques. The service relies on the AES-256-GCM encryption algorithm with a 4096-bit DH key, offering military-grade protection for its users’ sensitive data. This level of encryption is considered virtually uncrackable, providing a strong defense against potential attackers.
The primary purpose of using a VPN is to ensure the privacy and security of your online activities. NordVPN excels in this regard by encrypting all online traffic to scramble the data, keeping it private and secure. The combination of encryption, IP masking, and a strict no-logs policy makes NordVPN one of the most secure VPN options available.
Over the years, NordVPN has built a solid reputation through hard work and diligence, constantly striving to improve its users’ online experience by making it as private and secure as possible. The company’s encryption standards are on par with other top VPNs in the market.
NordVPN also employs Perfect Forward Secrecy, which means that even if an encryption key were to be compromised, past session data would remain secure. For OpenVPN and IKEv2 connections, NordVPN uses a 4096-bit key, further reinforcing the service’s commitment to safeguarding its users’ data.
To provide a comprehensive understanding of NordVPN’s security offerings, we will discuss its key features, including the kill switch, split tunneling, and DNS leak protection.
The kill switch is an essential security feature in any VPN, and NordVPN does not disappoint in this regard. In the event of a VPN connection dropping unexpectedly, the kill switch automatically terminates your internet connection to prevent your IP address and sensitive data from being exposed. This added layer of protection ensures that your privacy remains intact even during connection disruptions.
Split tunneling is a convenient feature that allows users to choose which apps should use the VPN connection and which should access the internet directly. This offers flexibility in managing your internet traffic based on your specific needs. For instance, you can route your streaming app through the VPN for accessing geo-restricted content while keeping your local browsing separate. NordVPN makes configuring split tunneling simple, giving users control over their online activities.
DNS Leak Protection
DNS leaks can compromise a VPN user’s privacy by exposing their browsing history to third parties. NordVPN addresses this concern by providing DNS leak protection to ensure that your DNS queries are securely routed through the VPN, rather than being exposed to your ISP or other external parties. To verify the effectiveness of this feature, you can run DNS leak tests, which consistently show that NordVPN successfully prevents any leaks.
Additional Security Features
NordVPN offers a range of other security features to enhance user privacy and protect against potential threats. These include:
- Threat Protection: This cybersecurity feature comes with powerful anti-malware capabilities, enabling NordVPN to block malware, trackers, ads, and malicious websites for a safer browsing experience.
- Double-Hop VPN Connections: NordVPN allows users to route their traffic through two VPN servers, adding an extra layer of security and making it more challenging for third parties to trace online activities.
- Obfuscated Servers: These servers enable users to bypass VPN blocking measures and maintain a secure connection even in regions with strict online censorship.
- Tor-over-VPN: NordVPN provides access to the Onion network (Tor) through its VPN servers, offering an additional layer of anonymity and privacy.
- NordLynx Protocol: NordVPN’s proprietary WireGuard-based NordLynx encryption protocol includes a double NAT system on top of the standard encryption, further enhancing security.
- Double VPN: This feature routes your traffic through two VPN servers instead of one, adding an extra layer of encryption and making it even more difficult for third parties to trace your online activities.
- Onion over VPN: NordVPN allows users to access the Onion network (also known as the Tor network) through its VPN servers, providing additional anonymity and privacy.
- CyberSec: This built-in feature blocks ads, trackers, and known malicious websites, ensuring a safer browsing experience.
By offering these advanced security features, NordVPN solidifies its position as a robust and reliable VPN solution for users seeking comprehensive online protection.
To back up its no-logs claim, NordVPN has undergone three independent assurance engagements, with the most recent audit conducted by Deloitte, one of the “Big Four” auditing firms. These audits serve to verify NordVPN’s adherence to its no-logs policy and provide users with the assurance that their data is not being tracked or stored.
NordVPN’s no-logs policy is a prominent feature that the company takes pride in, as highlighted in its Terms of Service. This strong commitment to user privacy sets NordVPN apart from many other VPN providers in the market and reinforces its position as a reliable choice for those who prioritize online privacy.
NordVPN recognizes the importance of transparency and user trust when it comes to privacy and security. To provide extra assurance to their users, NordVPN publishes a warrant canary, which is a statement confirming that they have not received a secret warrant and have not been prohibited from reporting it. This canary statement is updated daily to ensure its relevance and accuracy.
Although NordVPN is based in Panama, a jurisdiction where data retention is not required and gag orders are not legally possible, they go the extra mile by publishing their own warrant canary. The purpose of this canary is to affirm NordVPN’s commitment to user privacy and to give users peace of mind that their data is secure.
The warrant canary statement by NordVPN affirms the following:
- Full control of infrastructure: NordVPN maintains complete control over its infrastructure and does not willingly disclose any user data or provide access to user traffic to any third party.
- No collection of user traffic logs: NordVPN does not collect user traffic logs and has never been compelled to do so by any third party.
- Non-disclosure of private keys or user information: NordVPN has not disclosed any private keys or any information of its users, and they have not been forced to modify their system to allow access or data leakage to any third party.
As of the specified date (2023-05-12), NordVPN confirms that they have not received any National Security letters, gag orders, or warrants from any government organization.
NordVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Panama and will only comply with requests from foreign governments and law enforcement agencies if these requests are delivered in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. NordVPN remains fully committed to their zero-logs policy, ensuring users’ ultimate privacy and security by not logging their activity unless ordered by a court through an appropriate and legal process.
By offering a high-quality VPN service, NordVPN aims to enhance users’ online privacy and security. Users can download the NordVPN app today and take advantage of NordVPN coupons to get the best deal possible while enjoying a more secure online experience.
NordVPN boasts an extensive server network, providing users with a wide range of options for secure and private browsing. With over 5,600 servers spread across 59 countries, NordVPN offers one of the most expansive server networks in the industry.
To cater to the diverse needs of its users, NordVPN provides virtual locations in 59 countries and more than 100 cities. This feature makes NordVPN an excellent choice for travelers who seek access to content from various regions around the world.
One notable advantage of NordVPN is that it allows users to manually select their preferred server. This premium facility sets NordVPN apart from other VPN providers, as not all VPNs offer users this level of control over their server selection.
NordVPN’s server network includes a variety of server types tailored to meet specific requirements. In addition to regular servers, they offer specialized servers designed for unique purposes. These specialized servers include static IP servers, which provide users with a dedicated IP address, and double VPN servers, which route internet traffic through two separate VPN servers for an added layer of encryption. NordVPN also offers Tor servers for users who want to access the Tor network while using a VPN, as well as P2P servers optimized for file-sharing activities.
By optimizing their servers for specific purposes, NordVPN ensures that users can enjoy fast and reliable connections tailored to their specific needs. Whether it’s secure torrenting or accessing the Tor network, NordVPN’s server network provides the necessary infrastructure to support these activities.
Overall, NordVPN’s extensive server network, combined with its virtual location offerings and premium server selection feature, positions it as a top choice for users seeking a versatile and reliable VPN solution.
When it comes to connection speed, NordVPN delivers impressive performance, as evidenced by real-world testing. In one test conducted on a 100 Mbps connection, NordVPN achieved a blazing-fast downloading speed of 96.92 Mbps, showcasing its ability to maintain high speeds even while connected to the VPN. This result highlights the efficiency and reliability of NordVPN’s infrastructure.
It’s worth noting that while NordVPN is known for its speed, there can be a slight drop in performance depending on the specific circumstances. For example, when connected to the closest available server using OpenVPN UDP, users can expect an approximate 30% decrease in speed. While this reduction is relatively minor, it’s important to consider the distance between the user and the server when assessing speed performance.
Streaming and torrenting with NordVPN
NordVPN is a popular choice among streaming enthusiasts, thanks to its impressive ability to unblock a wide range of popular streaming platforms. Some of the services supported by NordVPN include BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney Plus, Netflix, HBO Max, ESPN+, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and many others. With NordVPN, users can enjoy their favorite content from around the world without worrying about geo-restrictions.
As a NordVPN user, I have tested the service extensively and found it to be very effective in providing access to content on various streaming platforms. One of the standout features that sets NordVPN apart from other VPNs is SmartPlay.
SmartPlay is an innovative technology that combines the best aspects of VPN and Smart DNS technologies. This feature is built into all NordVPN apps, ensuring seamless and secure access to geo-restricted content on streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and more. With SmartPlay, users can enjoy local connection speeds while streaming content exclusive to other regions, providing a smooth and uninterrupted streaming experience.
I have personally used NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature and found it to be highly effective. For instance, when traveling abroad, I wanted to continue watching a US-exclusive show on Netflix without compromising my connection speed. SmartPlay made it possible for me to maintain fast streaming speeds while accessing the US content library, providing the best of both worlds.
In conclusion, NordVPN is an excellent choice for streaming enthusiasts looking to unblock various streaming platforms and enjoy a seamless viewing experience. The SmartPlay feature further enhances NordVPN’s streaming capabilities, making it a top choice for users seeking a reliable and high-quality VPN for streaming purposes.
Overall, I was impressed by NordVPN’s features and I was really curious to find out how it will do from the torrenting perspective.
NordVPN offers an extensive network of P2P-optimized servers, which are specifically configured for smooth and efficient torrenting. These servers ensure faster download speeds and an enhanced overall experience for users.
With its wide server network and the WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol, NordVPN consistently delivers fast download speeds, making it ideal for torrenting. P2P-optimized servers contribute to its excellent performance in this regard.
Compatibility with Popular Torrent Clients
NordVPN works seamlessly with popular torrent clients such as BitTorrent, uTorrent, and qBittorrent, thanks to its P2P-optimized servers and support for the SOCKS5 proxy. This ensures a hassle-free torrenting experience across various platforms and clients.
In conclusion, NordVPN’s key features make it an outstanding choice for users looking to enhance their torrenting experience while maintaining privacy and security. Its compatibility with popular torrent clients, P2P-optimized servers, and commitment to user satisfaction set it apart as a top VPN service for torrenting enthusiasts.
Ease of Use and Compatibility
Similar to other VPN services on the market, NordVPN doesn’t disappoint with its user-friendly interface either. The VPN service designed to be simple, fast, and intuitive, allowing users with varying levels of technical expertise to take full advantage of its features.
I’ve tested NordVPN on macOS, Windows, and iOS however it is also compatible with plethora of other platforms:
- Android TV
In addition to the above-mentioned operating systems, NordVPN can be used with other devices, including:
- Nintendo Switch
- Fire TV Stick
- Raspberry Pi
NordVPN’s support for these devices enables users to enhance their online privacy, security, and access to geo-restricted content across a diverse range of platforms. This broad compatibility ensures that NordVPN is a versatile and comprehensive solution for anyone looking to enjoy the benefits of a VPN, regardless of their preferred device or platform.
Pricing and plans
NordVPN offers a variety of plans to cater to different user needs and budgets. The pricing structure and features of their Complete, Plus, and Standard plans are as follows:
- Complete Plan:
- Monthly cost: $6.69
- Includes 3 extra months
- Total cost for the first 2 years: Normal price: $447.39, Discounted price: $180.63
- Features: Secure, high-speed VPN, malware protection, tracker and ad blocker, cross-platform password manager, data breach scanner, and 1 TB cloud storage.
- Plus Plan:
- Monthly cost: $5.19
- Includes 3 extra months
- Total cost for the first 2 years: Normal price$285.66, Discounted price: $140.13
- Features: Secure, high-speed VPN, malware protection, tracker and ad blocker, and cross-platform password manager.
- Standard Plan:
- Monthly cost: $3.99
- Includes 3 extra months
- Total cost for the first 2 years: Normal price $223.83, Discounted price: $107.73
- Features: Secure, high-speed VPN.
In summary, the Complete plan offers the most comprehensive package, with additional features like a data breach scanner and 1 TB cloud storage. The Plus plan includes essential features such as malware protection and a password manager, while the Standard plan provides a basic, cost-effective VPN service. The choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget.
|Plan||Monthly Cost||Total Cost (First 2 Years)||Features|
|Complete||$6.69||$180.63||Secure VPN, malware protection, ad blocker, password manager, data breach scanner, 1 TB storage|
|Plus||$5.19||$140.13||Secure VPN, malware protection, ad blocker, password manager|
Free trials and money-back guarantees
While NordVPN does not offer a free trial for purchases made on its website, it does provide a 30-day money-back guarantee for customers to try out the service. As stated in NordVPN’s Terms of Service, every customer is eligible for a refund, as long as their initial payment is not older than 30 days.
For Android users, a free trial is available when downloading the VPN for Android app from Google Play. This trial is organized by Google Play and follows its Terms of Service. It’s important to note that NordVPN only allows one free trial per customer. To ensure you’re not charged for the free Android trial, make sure to log into your NordVPN account when ordering a subscription and cancel the trial on Google Play before it expires.
NordVPN offers excellent customer support through multiple channels. They provide assistance via live chat and email, ensuring that users can quickly find help when they need it.
What truly stands out about NordVPN’s customer support is their availability. Their staff is on hand 24/7 to address any issues or answer questions users may have. This commitment to customer satisfaction ensures that users can enjoy a seamless and worry-free experience with the service.
I reached out to NordVPN’s customer support through their live chat feature and was promptly connected to a friendly and knowledgeable representative. They quickly identified the issue and provided me with a solution, allowing me to continue using the VPN without any further problems.
In addition to their responsive live chat and email support, NordVPN also offers a wealth of resources on their website, such as detailed tutorials and a comprehensive FAQ section. These resources are designed to help users find answers to common questions and troubleshoot issues on their own.
In conclusion, NordVPN’s customer support is top-notch, with multiple contact methods, 24/7 availability, and a robust knowledge base on their website. My personal experience with their support team has been nothing short of exemplary, making it easy for me to recommend NordVPN as a reliable and customer-centric VPN service.
Pros and cons
Like any VPN service, NordVPN has its share of pros and cons. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision about whether NordVPN is the right choice for your needs. Here’s a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of NordVPN:
|Top-notch privacy and security||Static IP addresses|
|Kill switch||Extra programs installation|
|Double VPN||Limited server network|
|Simultaneous connections||Slow connection speeds (in some cases)|
|Fast speed performance|
- Top-notch privacy and security: NordVPN offers robust encryption and a strict no-logs policy, ensuring that your data remains private and secure.
- Kill switch: This feature prevents privacy compromise by automatically disconnecting your device from the internet if the VPN connection is lost.
- Double VPN: NordVPN provides an added layer of security by allowing you to route your traffic through two VPN servers, further enhancing privacy.
- Simultaneous connections: With NordVPN, you can connect up to six devices at the same time, making it a convenient choice for users with multiple devices.
- Fast speed performance: NordVPN offers impressive connection speeds, making it an excellent option for streaming, gaming, and other data-intensive activities.
- Static IP addresses: NordVPN uses static IP addresses, which can be less versatile than dynamic IP addresses in certain situations.
- Extra programs installation: Some users might find the need to install additional software to use certain features of NordVPN.
- Limited server network: Although NordVPN has a vast number of servers, its network is not as extensive as some other top VPN providers.
- Slow connection speeds (in some cases): While NordVPN generally offers fast speeds, users may occasionally experience slower connections due to factors such as server load or location.
Despite these drawbacks, NordVPN is widely regarded as a top-tier VPN provider, offering user-friendly applications, 24/7 customer service, and a secure browsing experience. Considering the pros and cons, NordVPN remains a solid choice for anyone seeking a reliable and feature-rich VPN service.
What do users on Trustpilot think about NordVPN?
Taking into account user reviews on Trustpilot, it’s clear that NordVPN has both satisfied customers and those who have experienced issues. Here’s a breakdown of the positive and negative feedback from Trustpilot users:
Many users on Trustpilot express gratitude and satisfaction with NordVPN’s service. They often praise its performance, specifically its fast connection speeds, reliable servers, and robust security features. Users also appreciate NordVPN’s user-friendly applications, which make it easy for them to set up and navigate the service.
Another aspect that receives positive feedback is NordVPN’s customer support. Satisfied customers describe the support team as responsive, helpful, and knowledgeable, contributing to an overall positive experience with the VPN service.
However, some users on Trustpilot have reported issues with NordVPN. Common concerns include difficulties with refunds, billing problems, and connection issues, such as slow speeds or trouble connecting to certain servers. These negative experiences can impact users’ trust and satisfaction with the service.
Additionally, some users mention poor customer service, which contrasts with the positive experiences reported by others. These inconsistencies may indicate that the quality of customer support varies depending on the specific issue and support representative.
In summary, while many Trustpilot users praise NordVPN for its performance and customer support, others have encountered issues with refunds, billing, connections, and customer service. As with any VPN provider, potential users should consider both the positive and negative feedback when deciding whether NordVPN is the right choice for their needs.
|Area||Positive Feedback||Negative Feedback|
|Performance||Fast connection speeds, reliable servers||Slow speeds, connection issues|
|Customer Support||Responsive, helpful, and knowledgeable||Inconsistencies in support quality|
|User Experience||User-friendly applications, easy setup|
|Billing and Refunds||Difficulties with refunds, billing problems|
Alternatives to NordVPN
While NordVPN is an excellent choice for many users, you might want to consider some alternatives. The most recommended VPNs comparable to NordVPN are:
- NordVPN is better in terms of pricing, offering more affordable plans compared to ExpressVPN.
- NordVPN has a larger server network with over 5,100 servers compared to ExpressVPN’s 3,000+ servers.
- ExpressVPN is better in terms of connection speeds, often outperforming NordVPN in speed tests.
- ExpressVPN offers a more extensive range of supported devices and platforms.
- NordVPN offers more server locations, while Surfshark has a smaller server network.
- NordVPN has a longer track record and a more established reputation in the VPN industry.
- Surfshark is better in terms of pricing, offering more budget-friendly plans than NordVPN.
- Surfshark allows unlimited simultaneous connections, while NordVPN limits users to six devices.
- NordVPN is better in terms of security features and overall privacy, with a more robust no-logs policy.
- NordVPN has a more extensive server network and generally faster connection speeds.
- CyberGhost offers a more user-friendly interface, making it better for beginners.
- CyberGhost has a longer money-back guarantee period of 45 days, compared to NordVPN’s 30-day policy.
- Private Internet Access (PIA):
- NordVPN has a better reputation for privacy, with a strict no-logs policy and being based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
- NordVPN has a larger server network, offering more options for users to connect.
- PIA offers more affordable plans, making it a better choice for users on a budget.
- PIA has more customization options for advanced users who want more control over their VPN settings.
- NordVPN has a larger server network and a more established reputation for security and privacy.
- NordVPN offers better unblocking capabilities for streaming platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.
- IPVanish offers more simultaneous connections, allowing up to 10 devices compared to NordVPN’s six devices.
- IPVanish has slightly faster connection speeds in some cases, depending on the server location and user’s proximity.
In conclusion, NordVPN stands out as a powerful and reliable VPN service, offering a wide range of features that cater to various user needs. Its ability to unblock popular streaming platforms, support for P2P file-sharing, and robust security measures make it an excellent choice for users who value privacy and online freedom.
While some competitors may excel in specific areas, such as connection speeds or more budget-friendly pricing, NordVPN remains a top contender in the industry, thanks to its extensive server network, strong focus on security, and user-friendly interface. Based on our comprehensive review, NordVPN is highly recommended for anyone seeking a reliable and high-quality VPN solution for their online activities.