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NordVPN Review

NordVPN – has acquired the title of the most powerful VPN service in the world. It is safe and secure, has a verified no-logging policy and encryption technology that features the highest standard. The company ensures fast speeds while the array of advanced features such as double VPN, split tunneling, and protection against IP leaking, serve as a pledge for NordVPN’s power.

Thanks to as many as 6300 premium fast servers of NordVPN across 111 countries, quick and secure streaming is guaranteed regardless of your location and the internet destination you want to reach. The diversity of server locations is optimized to cater to users’ requirements.

NordVPN is effective in unblocking such world-known channels as BBC iPlayer and US Netflix. Furthermore, it allows the user to torrent files on most servers completely anonymously. All this is delivered at competitive prices which makes the VPN an excellent choice for most users. I have conducted an in-depth investigation of the platform and am ready now to share the results with you through this unbiased review.

NordVPN
  • Free one-page website builder;
  • Ready-to-use sites in 5 minutes;
  • Good for various website types.

Pros of NordVPN

There are several main features that distinguish NordVPN from other popular VPN services. Along with user-friendliness, simplicity and strong security features, users value the service for the following reasons:

  • Strong Security Protocols: The VPN system pays special attention to security features, offering AES-256 encryption (this is actually the standard encryption needed for safe data preservation and storage) as well as security protocols like OpenVPN and NordLynx that also guarantee fast and safe VPN connections;
  • Several Connections: With NordVPN, you can secure up to 10 devices using one account only. This is applicable for all operating systems and browsers. You just need to install the VPN on your home router to protect the entire network;
  • Double VPN: The feature allows routing your traffic through 2 VPN servers instead of 1. This is how it becomes possible to add an extra layer of protection by double data encryption;
  • CyberSec Feature: The system automatically blocks websites known for phishing, hosting malware and other malicious activity. It can also be used as an ad blocker tool to boost browsing speed by getting rid of unneeded advertisements.
  • Automatic Kill Switch: This is an advanced security-related feature that does not allow for your data exposure in case of VPN connection issues. If this happens, the system will automatically cut off the internet access until the connection is restored;
  • Dedicated IP: NordVPN users can choose a dedicated IP address if they need a static IP address to access particular servers and databases.

Cons of NordVPN

When adopting the decision to choose NordVPN, awareness of its drawbacks may also be essential. This is especially true when it comes to security and privacy concerns. Take your time to explore the available VPN cons below:

  • Changing Connection Speeds: NordVPN is generally known for ensuring fast connection speeds. However, users occasionally report variability issues, which mostly depends on the server location and current traffic;
  • No Router App: The use of the VPN implies router connection yet the service itself fails to provide a dedicated router app. This may pose problems during the set up process for those users who intend to activate the VPN directly from a router to secure all home devices from one account;
  • Inconsistent Pricing Approach: The service occasionally allows getting a plan at discounted prices that are available on long-term subscriptions only – either annual or 2-year. This does not appeal to users who do not wish to invest in long-term plans yet would like to get a discount.

Features and Tools

NordVPN stands out for its user-friendly interface and simplicity of use

NordVPN stands out for its user-friendly interface and simplicity of use. Despite this, however, it comes richly packed with premium features that make the overall service hard to beat. The company provides a user with an encrypted and secure tunnel to ensure free and seamless traffic flow. The company ensures that no third parties can ever get their hands on the user’s online data, detect their location or IP address thanks to the features described here.

Easy VPN Set Up

Setting up NordVPN is super-easy for everyone – you can actually do that with just a few clicks. Depending on the operating system your device runs on, the installation process may differ slightly. In the support section, you will find detailed instructions for each OS supported.

To get started, you just need to pick a subscription, sign up, add the required account details such as contacts and log-in data and insert payment information. Make the payment, following the directions and proceed to the download/installation process.

Run the app once it is successfully downloaded on your device and log in with the account details you used when setting it. Now you can already use all the features that NordVPN provides.

The dashboard of a NordVPN account is very clear and simple. Opening it, you will see a world map and a number of locations that indicate the servers of the company. You can choose the preferred location manually or hit “Quick Connect” to conduct it all quickly. And when you want to terminate the session, click “Disconnect”. Find it in the left-hand corner of the dashboard.

Double VPN

This is an advanced VPN security feature thus encrypting the data twice

This is an advanced VPN security feature aimed at routing a user’s internet traffic through not one but two VPN servers, thus encrypting the data twice. Otherwise, the feature is referred to as VPN server chaining. The principle of its working is as follows:

  1. After the traffic gets encrypted on the PC or any other device you are using to access the internet, it is redirected to a remote VPN server.
  2. Here it is re-encrypted.
  3. Afterward, the traffic passes through another VPN to be decrypted.
  4. As a result, the desired internet destination is reached with complete privacy and security guaranteed.

Double VPN comes with several benefits. First of all, thanks to the extra layer of protection, no criminals can decipher your data. Secondly, even the second VPN server is not aware of your actual IP address when it passes through the first VPN server. And finally, the final destination is kept secret from everyone including your Internet service provider though they detect that you’re using a VPN server.

Onion Over VPN

NordVPN’s Onion Over tool provides the highest level of security of internet browsing even in high-censorship countries. There are three basic reasons why this feature will be of utmost usefulness despite slowing down conditioned by the multiple layers of encryption. The reasons involve simplicity of use (to route through the Onion network you perform only one click), complete privacy from both local authorities and ISP, and maximum level of encryption.

Strict No-Log Privacy

Nord VPN doesn’t collect any personal data

The primary purpose of connecting to a VPN server is to hide your traffic from your internet provider and any third parties. Obviously, the VPN server does, but as long as the company guarantees no logging, your complete anonymity in internet browsing is ensured. NordVPN is incorporated in Panama, hence it doesn’t have to obey any data retention laws. It doesn’t collect any personal data. You can browse the internet as much as you wish, watch streams, play games all in thorough privacy.

Furthermore, this was the first company in the industry to submit its VPN no-logs practices to independent reviews as proof it works completely transparently with its clients.

Split Tunneling

Thanks to this feature, you can choose which part of your online traffic should be protected by the VPN server and which should bypass it. It is especially convenient when you need to establish simultaneous connections by browsing for a certain location with the VPN and use the normal connection with your current location. For instance, you can set the NordVPN on Google Chrome, while leaving out another browser, such as Firefox or Microsoft Edge for local browsing. Just remember to use the VPN whenever you handle sensitive information.

Next-Generation Encryption

NordVPN uses the cutting-edge A-256 encryption that keeps your online data safe even when connecting to the public Wi-Fi. This lets you feel sure that your website info won’t be disclosed to the third parties.

Streaming and Torrenting Support

With NordVPN, you can stream media from popular services like Netflix, Hulu etc., bypassing geo-restrictions with ease. It also comes with P2P support for torrenting, ensuring optimized servers for this purpose.

Kill Switch

This is an extra layer of protection since it shields the true IP address in case the VPN connection drops on your device. The company offers two forms of this feature including an App Kill Switch and an Internet Kill Switch. The latter blocks the connection to the internet if the VPN connection drops, while the primary one is created exceptionally for macOS and Windows apps. Thanks to the immediate termination of the session, you are not vulnerable even for a second.

CyberSec

This is an advanced technology by NordVPN that significantly enhances the privacy and security of the user by blocking sites reported as scam phishing and malware-hosting sources. However, only those sites fall on the Cybersec’s radar, which are already included in the database while new threats are left untracked until they are reported about.

Furthermore, the CyberSec ad blocker removes those annoying ads that pop up when you browse the internet, not only improving but also speeding up the session.

NordVPN’s CyberSec feature also aims to prevent a user’s device from joining a botnet zombie army. Even if DDoS malware has already infected your device, the tool will detect and terminate the communication between it and the Command and Control server of the botnet.

Malware Protection

NordVPN makes it possible to enjoy a higher level of security due to its advanced Threat Protection feature. It allows scanning downloads for potential malware, hide unneeded advertisements, block trackers and complet other actions to safeguard your device from all possible scams.

High Operation Speed

Both users and experts have acclaimed the high speed of NordVPN. Apparently, it was the first to get a recommendation badge from such a reputable service as Speedtest by Ookla. Thanks to the Quick Connect feature, every user’s IP is automatically detected and connected to the closest server to ensure maximum speed of browsing. Generally, connections with NordVPN servers aren’t slow, either even if it is located across the globe.

During a VPN speed test, three criteria matter the most – the download speed, the upload speed and the ping. The download speed shows how fast you receive data from a server. For instance, for HD streaming, you need only 5 Mbps while for 4k streaming 25 Mbps are required.

Upload speed indicates the speed at which data is sent to the server, while ping shows the time required to travel to and from the device. The latter is especially essential for gaming. With NordVPN streaming shows for hours with no buffering or lag is guaranteed just as performing quality video calls and playing games online.

DNS Leak Test

When a device runs on Windows or the user sets up the VPN manually, the system might revert to the default DNS servers, thus informing the internet service provider about the internet browsing. As a rule, the user doesn’t even know about this leak. The only way to avoid this is to deal with a VPN service that provides DNS leak protection. When you use the services of NordVPN, your device will exploit only those servers which belong to the company. Hence, you can be 100% sure your information won’t leak and be available to third parties. Furthermore, if you run a test and detect any information leak, NordVPN will solve the issue immediately.

Multiple Devices

NordVPN allows simultaneous connection to multiple devices on one account

When you choose NordVPN as your VPN provider, you don’t have to worry whether your device runs on Android, iOS, Windows, or Linux. NordVPN works perfectly on all of them. The company ensures simultaneous connections of up to six devices on one account irrespective of the operating system they run on. Moreover, you can connect to a router thus securing all the devices connected to the network.

Safety

NordVPN is definitely worth trusting when it comes to the safety

The legal jurisdiction of NordVPN is in Panama which is a perfect location for a VPN since Panama’s government always advocates for online freedom and cybersecurity. They are against collecting users’ internet browsing data, hence don’t demand it from VPN services based in Panama. That’s why NordVPN’s no-log policy is supported by the jurisdiction. It’s true that several years ago the company suffered a breach in their system due to renting servers from other companies. But now, it has a huge network of physical, bare-metal servers located where they are expected to be. Today NordVPN is definitely worth trusting when it comes to the safety aspect.

As mentioned above, NordVPN delivers exceptionally strong encryption. The use of AES with 256-bit keys ensures premium security. This is an encryption standard for governments and cybersecurity experts. Secure connections to servers, meanwhile, are conducted through different industry-leading protocols to ensure a secure VPN connection. These are:

  • OpenVPN: The open-source VPN protocol provides credible and strong connections. As for NordVPN, the company uses Aes-256-bit on the OpenVPN stack.
  • IKEv2/IPsec: Thanks to the Next Generation Encryption that NordVPN uses in IKEv2/IPsec, strong cryptographic algorithms and keys are provided.
  • NordLynx: NordVPN features an in-house tunneling protocol named NordLynx. It is known as the fastest VPN protocol and is still in the experimental phase.

Customer Support

NordVPN - Customer Support

Regardless of the intuitive nature of NordVPN, users still sometimes encounter problems, especially in terms of billing. To solve these issues, they start looking for customer support options the service offers. Thankfully, NordVPN grants access to help guides, FAQs, tutorials and other resources that help install VPN on various devices and use it to the advantage. Other support options include:

  • 24/7 Live Chat Support. NordVPN allows asking questions around-the-clock in the live chat accessible directly on the site. Just type in your question or describe the problem to connect with knowledgeable support assistants who can help troubleshoot issues and are ready to guide you through all the steps of the setup process;
  • Email Support. If your question is not urgent and you do not need immediate feedback, you can connect with the support team via email. Generally, you will get a response within a few hours, which is also quite fast. Email support is helpful for handling complex issues that may require detailed explanations or extra documentation;
  • Extensive Knowledge Base. Along with guides, FAQs and tutorials, NordVPN knowledge base grants access to the terms and rules of working with the service. This helps users self-diagnose and solve common problems, set up VPN configurations and address other service-related issues;
  • Social Media. NordVPN ensures a presence on several social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter etc.) where they publish updates, informational content and offer direct customer service.

As for phone support, NordVPN does not currently offer it. However, the available options are enough to help you with troubleshooting.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, NordVPN will nicely surprise you. Despite the quality level of services offered, the company requires quite affordable costs. Depending on the term you acquire a VPN plan for, the prices will differ. Here are the available groups of subscriptions:

2-year plans:

  • Basic – priced at $3.69 per month, it offers a 50% discount + 3 extra months of VPN use;
  • Plus – priced at $4.69 per month, it offers a 55% discount + 3 extra months of VPN use;
  • Complete – priced at $5.69 per month, it offers a 65% discount + 3 extra months of VPN use.

1-year plans:

  • Basic – priced at $4.59 per month, it offers a 38% discount + 3 extra months of VPN use;
  • Plus – priced at $5.49 per month, it offers a 48% discount + 3 extra months of VPN use;
  • Complete – priced at $6.49 per month, it offers a 60% discount + 3 extra months of VPN use.

Monthly plans:

  • Basic – priced at $12.99 per month;
  • Plus – priced at $13.99 per month;
  • Complete – priced at $14.99 per month, it offers a 60% discount + 3 extra months of VPN use.

Whichever plan you choose, you get a 30-day trial period during which you can request a full refund if you find the quality of the VPN service you get doesn’t meet your expectations.

Conclusion

To conclude the review on one of the most powerful VPN providers in the market, NordVPN, I can’t but admit that the service exceeds all expectations in terms of quality and pricing. It outdoes many competitors with its advanced connection security, premium performance and an abundance of premium features all provided at competitive costs. If you want to stream premium-quality content at the highest possible speeds, while being sure your browsing sessions are completely private and secured, NordVPN is an excellent variant.