NordVPN is the world’s favorite VPN service that has some of the best reviews across the web. The virtual private network helps protect your internet connection and privacy online by creating an encrypted tunnel for your data. This helps protect your identity by hiding your IP address and lets you use your home or public networks safely. No one likes to be watched and tracked, and this is why NordVPN is a great tool to enhance your privacy.
The VPN service is provided by Nordsec Ltd, and it has applications for Microsoft Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, macOS, and Android TV. It can also be used to set up wireless routers, NAS devices, and various other platforms.
NordVPN operates in the jurisdiction of Panama, and this country has no mandated data retention laws. It is also not part of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing alliances, so your data cannot be accessed by any government. Its in-house-built NordLynx tunneling protocol guarantees speed. The unbreakable encryption and independently audited logs policy further give it complete anonymity. Its intuitive apps have some unique features that help power beginners and advanced users. Let us dig a bit further and know about NordVPN and what it offers.
NordVPN Review Reddit
U/islander37- “I have had NordVPN for 5 years running now, and I have tried others such as WeVPN (just does not work right for me, and ExpressVPN is too expensive, in my opinion); Nord just works. Everything about the company seems to work for my needs. No company is perfect; Nord had the hack they fixed it. The open-source thing to me is not that big of a deal, and I do trust them. They have their warrant canary security info updated daily on their page as well, and they are very transparent”.
U/SpaceTraveller64- “Privacy on the internet is important, and so is NordVPN!”
U/NudePengium69- “A lot. And what’s worse is that they are starting to get past adblockers and other lines of defense and monitoring your internet activity. That’s why I use NordVPN to keep my browsing safe and secure. It even gives me access to Netflix shows that would be otherwise unavailable in my country”.
U/asianabsinthe- “With NordVPN, you can anonymously browse the internet without giving up your location, like this guy failed to do”.
How to Download NordVPN?
There are two simple ways you can download the NordVPN application for your device. It can be done via the app store or the official NordVPN website. There are two options, as some countries restrict access to app stores. Therefore, the only way to get access to NordVPN is to get an APK file. Here is a guide on how you can do this below:
- Go to the NordVPN website or select it from the app store if available and select the button to get it.
- Select your subscription plan
- Fill in your email details
- Download the NordVPN app on the devices where you want to use it.
- Install the app
NordVPN is easily available on Google Play, Apple app store, and other application stores that are available for mobile, desktop, and streaming devices.
How to use NordVPN?
NordVPN is the top VPN app in the market today. The process of setting it up is smooth, and it is well-versed for beginners as well as advanced users. If you are having any issues, you can contact the customer support team. Follow the steps below to start using NordVPN.
- Log in to your NordVPN account after installation
- Head over to the settings section
- Ensure that NordLynx tunneling protocol and the kill switch feature is enabled
- Navigate over to the main page
- Select the country you prefer and connect to the server
1. Ease of Use
NordVPN has a range of clients and manual setups, and all this is very simple, as we’ve spoken about above. The NordVPN apps for different devices work differently, with Windows being the best suited for it. You can, however, feel safe that your data is always protected and secure. It is a great choice for beginners and power users. Here, everything can be done without any issues.
Once you have created your account and installed your client, you can easily connect to various servers on NordVPN’s network. The connection is securely encrypted, which makes your traffic unreadable to external watchers. NordVPN makes use of the AES-256-CBC cipher, which is the gold standard in the VPN market. Apart from this, it uses the ChaCha20 protocol that guarantees superior privacy and security.
The platform gives users access to the server using the SHA-512 function. This helps scramble your credentials using 512 binary digits, which are meaningless chunks of data. They are compared to the cryptographic hashes generated and stored on their servers when users create your account.
If both match, then you can come in. This hash is beyond the VPN market standard. Most competing VPN providers utilize the SHA-256 hash. NordVPN, thereby pushes the boundaries of what is possible, giving users better safety and security. All of this makes it difficult for anyone to get into your data.
3. Tunneling Protocols
The data on NordVPN is transferred from the VPN server to your devices utilizing tunneling protocols. It supports three options.
- OpenVPN (UDP/TCP)- It is an open-source VPN protocol that is used by major VPN providers. The protocols are secure and work on multiple platforms. You can select from the safer TCP or its faster UDP method. This is available for all NordVPN clients.
- KEv2/IPsec- This is best for mobile devices and is less intensive on the CPU. It is great for establishing a reconnection that makes it ideal for a seamless switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data. The feature is available for iOS, Linux, Windows, and macOS.
- WireGuard (NordLynx)- NordVPN’s custom take on next-gen WireGuard VPN technology is this feature. It is an upgrade on older protocols having superior options for both speed and security. The feature is available for all NordVPN clients.
4. Colocated Servers
VPN services today are using rented servers that they are offering their customers. This means that they only manage it by installing customer software, so some control is owned by third-party data centers. Nearly all the servers offered by NordVPN are owned and maintained by the platform. This reduces the risk of data breaches from external sources. Further, all its servers are stored in RAM, which means all data gets wiped off every time a server is restarted, and there are no disk drivers, so there is no permanent data saved.
5. Kill Switch
The products on NordVPN are pretty good, but some may run into issues as nothing is perfect. That is why it has a kill switch built into its apps. The Kill Switch will disable all internet access if the client detects that you are not connected to the VPN. This prevents you from unknowingly sending traffic through unencrypted networks that may compromise your privacy.
On iOS and macOS apps downloaded from the APP store, the system has a kill switch enabled by default in the client. You won’t see an icon on these devices; however, it will kill your connection if the VPN drops. On sideload apps downloaded on Windows and macOS, you can configure this switch on a per-app basis. Android and Linux allow you to only enable a system-wide kill switch.
6. Threat Protection
NordVPN ensures that your data and device will be safer than ever before. It works by blocking a range of threats as listed below:
- Malicious website- If you visit an infected website that can infest your website, you’ll be protected using the Threat Protection feature.
- Trackers- NordVPN doesn’t allow websites to collect your information, your IP address, and your browsing habits.
- Dangerous files- When you download a file under 20 MB, Threat Protection will check the file for viruses and malware, just like an antivirus tool.
- Online ads- If you are tired of a ton of ads whenever you visit a webpage, then this feature will ensure that this isn’t a problem anymore.
7. Speed and Performance
NordVPN has blazing speeds and is very fast. This is true if you are making use of the NordLynx protocol developed by NordVPN. It is an upgrade on the WireGuard protocol that ensures that you get great speed and security.
There are some speed drops in certain countries that may affect your device’s performance. However, to get the best possible speeds, you can connect to servers that are closest to your location. Overall, NordVPN is a speed demon thanks to its versatile NordLynx technology. However, its other tunneling protocols also give outstanding speed.
SmartPlay is a great NordVPN feature that helps you seamlessly secure access to all kinds of content. It is directly implemented in the apps, so there is no requirement to set up, update, or activate it. All you require is to connect to the right VPN server to get all the benefits of the smart DNS while you are shielded by VPN encryption. If you are looking to use VPN for streaming media, then NordVPN has you covered.
9. Specialty Servers
NordVPN can be optimized to deliver the best experience with its server. The tool offers a solid list of specialty servers. Some of these servers are chosen with the right tunneling protocol.
- Dedicated IP servers- NordVPN encrypts your connection and routes through the remote server. It assigns you an IP address that is not shared with another user. This is great to stay anonymous and have other use cases.
2. Business VPN- The Business VPN creates a tunnel between your organization’s resources and the employees accessing it. The users connected to the VPN servers can access company resources using this network.
3. Double VPN servers- Double VPN is an advanced VPN security that efficiently routes traffic through two VPN servers instead of one. This helps you encrypt your data twice.
3. Obfuscated servers- The servers are great if you only want extreme censorship. Obfuscated servers scramble your VPN traffic to look like regular HTTPS. Governments that block VPNs rely on traffic analysis. However, obfuscated VPNs can easily solve this problem.
4. P2P servers- P2P servers are best when used to download files using torrents. They are also great for any type of P2P traffic.
5. Onion over VPN servers- The servers combine the Tot network to create a strong connection. You can pass the traffic through the VPN server and it goes through at least 2 Tor nodes. This helps add a layer of misdirection, making it to trace any online activity.
10. Split Tunneling
Split tunneling is an advanced feature offered by NordVPN, which lets you select which apps require protection and which can access the internet directly. The first group benefits from the safety to create a strong tunnel for your VPN, while the second group can enjoy the fast speed to access local services.
This feature is currently available for Windows, Android, and Android TV NordVPN apps. Sadly, Mac, Linux, and iOS don’t have it. However, with continuous support, you can expect it to be available in the future.
Meshnet offers a simple and safe way to access other devices. Also known as a P2P connection, the feature allows you to connect devices no matter where in the world they are. Once it is set up, Meshnet acts like a secure LAN to connect devices directly. This is great for activities that require high speed, advanced security, and lower latency. It allows users to link up to 60 devices, with 10 devices of their own and 50 others, by sending invites. Finally, you need to know that you don’t require a NordVPN subscription plan, as this feature comes completely free.
Presets is the latest feature added to NordVPN that you can easily customize to infinity. The Preset helps combine custom VPN connection settings with shortcuts to apps or websites. This provides secure, VPN-protected access to your online services directly from the app. If you are using different types of VPN servers, then this feature is made for you. There are some pre-made presets to make the process easier and simple. However, the feature is currently available only on macOS.
13. Pausing and Auto-Connect
The auto-connect feature is great to make sure you get the most security of the NordVPN account. This saves you plenty of time which you would spend clicking around if you want to start your device and go online. However, if you want to access certain apps without a VPN connection, then it has a pause feature. The pause feature is ripe for error as you may forget to turn your VPN, exposing your IP.
14. Servers and Locations
NordVPN is truly a global VPN player and has over 5000 servers that are distributed across 60 countries. The list of servers around the world will increase over time. As for locations, Europe, Asia, and the Americas are the continents having the best coverage. If you want to connect to any of these continents, you will have a wealth of options to choose from. As for the servers, they all run on RAM, which means it is deleted with every single reboot.
15. Dark Web Monitor
Dark web monitor is a great feature that warns you of any data vulnerabilities in your system. It checks all the dark web marketplaces and pastebins to find any data associated with your email address. If your email has ended up there, your services must most likely be breached by hackers. This feature is made available to Android, iOS, and macOS users.
The use of the same password in several places can compromise you on other platforms as well. The feature will notify you if your email has ever ended up in the dark web marketplace.
Before selecting a reliable VPN provider, it is important to check that they are not located in the Five Eyes or an invasive country. NordVPN is located in a privacy-friendly country, Panama. If a country wants access to your user logs, then they’ll have to contact the Panamanian court. Panama does not have data retention laws, so NordVPN is not entitled to store user data.
The only data the app collects is related to crash errors and application diagnostics. If you find that unacceptable, you can opt out of their anonymized app usage at any time from their client. This is hardly a dealbreaker for most users.
17. Security and Privacy Audits
NordVPN offers excellent security features, as we’ve discussed above. To ensure that security and privacy are kept safe, NordVPN has hired an independent agency, PwC, to perform audits on its platform. PwC is a reputable firm and is one of the big four accounting firms in America, so you can believe their claim.
NordVPN’s no logs policy was audited back in 2018 and 2020, and both times their privacy claims are valid. However, they also put themselves through app security audits. All bugs are patched if there are any issues found.
NordVPN is still trying to improve its services by offering bug bounties for testers that want to find bugs on the platform on their HackerOne page. This is how the platform is taking necessary steps towards transparency.
18. IoXT Certification
19. Browser Extension
NordVPN has a Firefox and Chrome browser extension if users prefer a lightweight solution. It is a great workaround for those that are using older systems that don’t have their own apps. Windows XP and maxOS 9 offer an easier way to install a browser extension compared to a manual connection. You have to keep in mind that an extension will only protect against browser traffic.
20. Customer Support
NordVPN comes with a variety of support options that are offered by a premium platform. Their support webpage has several guides, FAQs, and in-depth tutorials to answer most of your questions.
The tool has a chatbot that directs you and provides a solution to a common issue. However, if you want an advanced solution, you have access to its 24/7 live chat and email support. You will get answers to your queries within a short time. You can contact the support agents via live chat without registration. The accessibility and quality offered by the tool provide assistance and top quality to all users utilizing the VPN service.
NordVPN offers simple and elaborate pricing schemes and options. There are three main plans offered by the platform, and the price is based on the duration of the plan you choose. You can select from 3 durations: 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year options. The longer the plan, the better are the savings offered by it. So, the best is to select the 2-year plan for better savings. The 3 plans are:
1. Standard Plan
The Standard plan is the basic and starter plan offered by the platform, which is best suited for beginners. The plan is priced starting at $12.99 per month plus VAT.
Its features include:
- Secure, high-speed VPN access
- Malware protection
- Tracker and ad blocker
2. Plus Plan
The plan is designed to meet the requirement of moderate to advanced users requiring good speed and protection. Its price starts at $14.19 per month plus VAT. It offers all the features offered by the Standard plan plus:
- Cross-platform password manager
- Data Breach Scanner
3. Complete plan
The Complete plan is the top plan offered by NordVPN and has the best features. Its pricing starts at $15.69 plus VAT. It has all the features of the Plus plan, along with:
- 1 TB cloud storage
- Next-generation file encryption
For payment options, you can select from a few of them. You can select from the usual credit cards, PayPal, ACH transfer, AmazonPay, Sofort, and prepaid cards. There is also an option to select from Google Pay or iTunes. Finally, you can also buy the pay using cryptocurrency. All the plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee if you don’t like what they are offering.
NordVPN Pros and Cons
Is NordVPN Worth the Hype?
NordVPN is a great VPN provider that efficiently combines speed, function, and security to offer flawless performance. Its headquarters are located in Panama, which means your data cannot be accessed by the government and you can easily access the internet to restrictive countries or watch your different shows efficiently.
It boasts an independent audit and utilizes the secure AES-256 encryption and next-gen NordLynx protocol, giving it a great deal of value in terms of VPN functionality. Windows and Android users get access to the best clients; however, Apple users also have access to good features. In simple terms, no matter the platform you are using, your device will never be left out.
NordVPN Review FAQs
1. Is NordVPN a good VPN provider?
NordVPN is a great VPN provider that has its headquarters in Panama, which is not part of international surveillance alliances. It doesn’t track anything about the user’s web activity or IP address or encrypt them with AES-256. The VPN allows for Netflix as well as torrenting use. It has fast speeds and reliable performance.
2. How many devices can I use with NordVPN?
You can make use of the same NordVPN account for 6 devices at a time. If you set up NordVPN on your router, then you can use it across many devices as the router supports.
3. Can I cancel my NordVPN subscription anytime?
You can cancel your NordVPN recurring subscription or account anytime from the main screen of Nord Account.
4. Can I use NordVPN with Netflix?
NordVPN works efficiently with Netflix. You can utilize this tool to unblock additional libraries that have access to exclusive movies and TV series. In total, NordVPN allows you to choose from 15 Netflix libraries. You can easily set up SmartDNS to unblock them by installing VPN software.