There is no such thing as a perfect VPN, but it is clear that some VPNs are better than others. NordVPN is a great example of this. It comes out as a safe choice because it has great security features like DoubleVPN and Onion over VPN. You may already know this, but it’s hard to find those qualities. In this review, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about NordVPN and explain why it’s one of the best VPNs out there. NordVPN is probably the most popular VPN in the world.
With great reviews all over the web that talk about the platform’s fast speeds, online security tools, ability to watch and torrent, and web browsing tools, it’s clear that this is a product you should look into. In 2023, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs available. First of all, this VPN service has its own NordLynx tunneling technique, which ensures the fastest speeds. For total anonymity, there is unbreakable encryption and a no-logs policy that has been checked by a third party. Its easy-to-use apps are full of unique features, like free Meshnet, which makes NordVPN a great choice for both new and experienced users.
What is NordVPN?
NordVPN is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service that is well-known and trusted. It gives users online privacy, security, and anonymity by making a secure encrypted tunnel between their computer and the internet. The main goal of NordVPN is to protect users’ internet activities from cybercriminals, hackers, and data collection. Some of NordVPN’s best benefits are:
- Security and privacy: NordVPN protects its users’ internet traffic and data by using strong encryption methods like AES-256. This keeps unauthorized people from getting to their traffic and data. It also uses extra security features like Double VPN and Onion over VPN.
- Server Network: NordVPN has a huge network of computers in many different countries, so users can choose where they want to connect from for better privacy and access to content.
- No-Logs Policy: NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy that makes sure that user behavior and connection data are not stored or tracked.
- Kill Switch: A kill switch instantly cuts off the internet if the VPN connection drops. This keeps data from getting out that shouldn’t be public.
- Ad blocking and protection from malware: CyberSec, a feature of NordVPN, blocks ads and websites that are known to be harmful. This makes users safer and improves their viewing experience.
- Streaming and Content Access: NordVPN can unblock geo-restricted content on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and more. This lets users access content from different countries.
- Multiple Devices: Multiple computers, smartphones, tablets, and routers can all join to NordVPN at the same time.
- Apps that are easy to use: NordVPN has easy-to-use apps for many platforms, so users of all technical skills can use it.
- Customer Service: NordVPN’s customer service is available via live chat and email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Why Use NordVPN?
NordVPN is a great choice for anyone who wants to improve their online security, privacy, and access to the internet without any limits. NordVPN’s strong encryption protocols, like the industry-standard AES-256 encryption, keep your internet information private and safe from cyber threats, hackers, and possible data breaches. You can get around geo-restrictions by using a large network of servers in many different countries. This gives you access to a lot of material that wouldn’t normally be available in your area. Also, NordVPN’s strict policy of not keeping logs makes sure that your online actions stay private and can’t be tracked.
Adding features like the kill switch, which protects your data in case your VPN link drops, and CyberSec, which blocks ads and malware, makes your online security even better. With NordVPN’s easy-to-use apps and support for multiple devices, you can easily protect your digital life on all of your devices. Whether you’re a casual internet user worried about your online footprint or a frequent traveler who uses public Wi-Fi networks, NordVPN’s full set of features makes it an essential tool for keeping your online freedom and keeping prying eyes away from your online presence.
In the past few years, VPN price has become more complicated, and NordVPN is no different. The VPN has joined the trend by offering cheaper prices for the first few months of a subscription. After that, the prices go up sharply. There are three different ways to pay for NordVPN. You can sign up for a plan that gives you service for two years and costs $79, a plan that gives you service for one year and costs $60, or a plan that gives you service for one month and costs $12.
But after the first two years of service on the two-year plan and the first year of service on the monthly plan, the prices go up to $100 per year. We don’t think it’s a good idea to stick with one VPN provider for more than a year at a time, though, because the VPN business is always changing. The monthly plan stays at $12 per month for the first month and any extra months you use it. This comes out to $144 per year.
|Plan Duration||Monthly Cost||Total Cost|
You can’t pay for a NordVPN contract with PayPal, but you can use any major credit or debit card, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, or an ACH transfer. If you’d rather pay without being seen, you can use cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, tether, or dogecoin. It has also teamed up with a few shops, like Staples, BestBuy, and Walmart, where you can buy a VPN with cash.
NordVPN Key Features Table
NordVPN has a lot of features that make it a complete option for people who want the best online security, privacy, and access to content from anywhere in the world.
|Server Network||5500+ servers in 60+ countries, offering diverse global coverage.|
|Security Protocols||Advanced encryption with AES-256, multiple VPN protocols, and Double VPN for added security.|
|Privacy||Strict no-logs policy ensures user data is not stored or monitored.|
|Kill Switch||Automatic internet disconnection if VPN connection drops, preventing data exposure.|
|Onion Over VPN||Route traffic through the Tor network for enhanced privacy and anonymity.|
|CyberSec||Blocks ads, malware, and phishing attempts for a safer browsing experience.|
|Streaming Support||Easily access geo-blocked content on platforms like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and more.|
|Simultaneous Devices||Connect multiple devices simultaneously, including computers, phones, and routers.|
|User-Friendly Apps||Intuitive apps for various platforms, ensuring easy setup and usage.|
|24/7 Customer Support||Assistance available via live chat and email for any inquiries or issues.|
NordVPN: Server Network
NordVPN has more than 5,700 computers in 60 different countries. This gives you a lot of choices no matter where you are in the world. The servers are spread out fairly around the world, so you can always find one that is close to you for the best speeds. NordVPN also has a number of specialized servers, such as P2P servers for sharing files, double VPN servers for extra security, and onion over VPN servers for reaching the Tor network.
All of the computers are owned and run by NordVPN, so they are not shared with anyone else. This makes sure that your information is always safe. NordVPN also uses a number of security methods, such as OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and WireGuard. All of these protocols are very safe and will keep prying eyes away from your info. In general, NordVPN has one of the best server networks in the game. It is big, quick, safe, and dependable. NordVPN is a great choice if you want a VPN with a large network of servers.
NordVPN: Kill Switch
Even though NordVPN’s goods are pretty good, the company knows that they are not perfect. Because of this, it put a kill switch in its apps. For VPNs to be quiet, they need a kill switch. Apps with a “kill switch” can cut off your device’s internet link if the VPN connection drops. This gives you better protection. Why is that so important? When you use a VPN to browse, all of your data is safe and private. But as soon as the connection ends, the cloak that hides your data is gone. Not only does this make your ISP able to see what sites you visit in the future, but it could also show what sites you visited before you had a VPN.
|Kill Switch Feature||Description|
|Kill Switch||Automatically disconnects internet if VPN connection drops, ensuring data privacy.|
|Purpose||Prevents data leakage and exposure when VPN connection is unstable.|
|Activation Options||Can be set to activate on specific apps or system-wide.|
|Platforms Supported||Available on NordVPN apps for various devices.|
|Importance||Essential for maintaining data security while using VPN, particularly on public networks.|
With a kill switch, all data from your device stops as soon as the VPN is connected. You actually get cut off from the internet so that neither you nor your computer can send anything over the web without security. When we were looking into online privacy as part of our study, the kill switch came in handy. We used NordVPN because we didn’t want Big Brother to find out that we were looking around, but NordVPN ran out of time. We were lucky that the kill switch went off. If we had kept surfing, our Internet service provider would have seen what we were doing.
NordVPN: Security and Privacy
All VPNs are good for privacy because they support security technologies. NordVPN does well in this category because it uses strong AES-256-GCM encryption and provides perfect forward secrecy to change keys regularly (this time using 4096-bit Diffie-Hellman). This means that even if an attacker breaks into one session, they won’t be able to get into the next one.
Once you’re linked, NordVPN uses its own private DNS to make sure no one else can see what you do on the internet. Its apps also protect you from DNS leaks to make sure that everything you do online is safe.
|Security and Privacy Features||Description|
|Encryption||Utilizes AES-256 encryption, industry-standard for top security.|
|Protocols||Supports OpenVPN, NordLynx (WireGuard-based), IKEv2/IPsec.|
|Double VPN||Routes traffic through two servers for enhanced anonymity.|
|Onion over VPN||Adds a layer of privacy by routing traffic through the Tor network.|
|No-Logs Policy||Strict no-logs policy ensures user activity isn’t tracked.|
|CyberSec||Blocks ads, malware, and malicious websites for safer browsing.|
|DNS Leak Protection||Prevents DNS queries from leaking, enhancing privacy.|
NordVPN also has a Double VPN system that works on Windows, Mac, and Android. With this system, your traffic goes to one VPN server, is re-encrypted, and then sent to a second NordVPN server before going to its final location. If you want to be as anonymous as possible on the internet, this extra layer of safety makes it even harder for anyone to track your actions back to you.
If that wasn’t enough, NordVPN also works with the Onion over VPN protocol. This encrypts your data and sends it through a NordVPN server first, then to the Tor network, where it goes through three randomly chosen Tor nodes before reaching its destination.
NordVPN: Speed and Performance
NordVPN is one of the VPNs with the fastest speeds. In our tests, connecting to a NordVPN server slowed down download speeds by an average of 10%. This is a lot better than most VPNs, which can slow down your internet link by up to 50%.
NordVPN has fast speeds because of a number of things, including the fact that it uses the new and highly optimized VPN technology NordLynx. NordVPN also has a big network of servers, so you can always find one that is close to you and has good speeds.
|Server location||Download speed||Upload speed|
|New York, USA||95.2||40.8|
In addition to being fast, NordVPN also does well in many other ways. It has a network of more than 5,000 computers in 60 countries. This means that you should be able to find a computer close to where you are, which will help speed things up. NordVPN also has a good reputation for security, thanks to features like 256-bit encryption and a tight policy of not keeping logs.
NordVPN: Streaming and Torrenting
NordVPN doesn’t say that it can open any specific website or service, but claims that you can “keep access to your favorite websites and entertainment content, and forget about censorship” sound good to us. The first thing we did to test this was try to watch US-only Netflix shows from the UK. It worked great, and all three of our test computers were able to get in. NordVPN worked just as well with Netflix in Australia, Canada, Japan, and the UK as it did with Netflix in the US.
|Streaming Support||NordVPN can unblock geo-restricted content on popular streaming platforms, such as Netflix.|
|Server Selection||Specialized servers optimized for streaming ensure reliable access to content libraries.|
|Speed and Quality||NordVPN’s fast servers contribute to smooth streaming without buffering or quality loss.|
|Torrenting Support||NordVPN allows P2P traffic on specific servers, ensuring secure and anonymous torrenting.|
|No Bandwidth Caps||Unlimited bandwidth means you can enjoy streaming and torrenting without data restrictions.|
NordVPN does have hundreds of sites that work with P2P in the US, UK, and many other places around the world. You should always be close to a good service, no matter where you are. It can be annoying to use VPNs that only support P2P on some servers, especially if you link to a server that doesn’t support P2P, open your torrent client, and find that it doesn’t work. The Windows app for NordVPN, on the other hand, has a list of P2P servers where you can easily choose the country you want.
We linked to three different countries and tried to download torrents to see if NordVPN supported P2P. In each case, we were able to connect and download files as predicted, with no problems with performance or anything else. In addition to supporting P2P directly, NordVPN has a number of other features that could make it a good choice for people who use pirates. It has a strong policy of not keeping logs, which can be checked by an audit. It also has multiple layers of DNS and traffic leak protection, accepts Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment, and has extra privacy features like Double VPN and Onion over VPN.
After making an account and installing your client, you can join to any server on NordVPN’s network. This connection is encrypted, which means that your data can’t be read from the outside. For this, NordVPN uses the AES-256-CBC cipher, which is still the best VPN encryption method. NordLynx also uses the ChaCha20 protocol, which gives you even more protection and security.
With the help of the SHA-512 hash function, you’ll be able to get into the computer. It scrambles your credentials into 512 binary numbers, which are meaningless chunks of data to anyone who isn’t in on the secret. These are then compared to the cryptographic hashes that were made and kept on their servers when you made your account. If they match, you can get in.
This hash goes above and beyond what a VPN industry norm is. SHA-256 is used by many VPN services that compete with each other. So, NordVPN is really pushing the limits of what can be done here. The SHA-512 function is more secure and gives its users much better safety. It is also much harder to break into for anyone who wants to get in.
NordVPN: Browser Extension
NordVPN does have browser extensions, which can be helpful if all you want to do is protect your computer. If you’re not connected and notice you need to unblock a website, for example, you usually have to stop, find and open the NordVPN app, find and look through the list of countries, click your preferred option, wait to see if you’re connected, and then switch back to your browser.
With NordVPN’s proxy extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, you can choose a VPN server, connect to it, and disconnect from it right from the browser window. The interface for the extension gets rid of the map in favor of a single panel with only four suggested locations, a Quick Connect button to connect you to the fastest, and a Search option that only lets you find a specific country. You can’t choose a city, region, or server.
|Chrome||NordVPN||Hides your IP address, encrypts your traffic, and blocks ads and trackers.|
|Firefox||NordVPN||Same features as the Chrome extension.|
|Edge||NordVPN||Same features as the Chrome extension.|
|Opera||NordVPN||Same features as the Chrome extension.|
|Safari||NordVPN (beta)||Hides your IP address and encrypts your traffic.|
There are settings that let you stop WebRTC leaks in Chrome, which reduces privacy risks, or turn on Threat Protection Lite’s protection against ads, malware, and phishing. A bonus function called Split Tunneling lets you turn off the VPN for certain websites. Those websites will see your real IP address and location instead of the IP of the VPN server.
You won’t be blown away by the number of features, but the app is quick and simple to use. You can connect with just a few clicks, and since this is just a proxy that protects browser data, the connection time is almost instant. We looked at NordVPN’s add-ons for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. VPN features can sometimes be different between browser apps, but they’re almost always the same, and once you know how to use one, you’ll have no trouble with the others.
NordVPN: Customer Support
The first place a customer can go for help with NordVPN is its support page. There are many different categories for the articles, and a search box lets you find material by keyword. The site isn’t quite as well put together as we’d like. If you go to ExpressVPN’s support site, for example, you’ll see choices like “Get instructions,” “Troubleshoot now,” and “Contact support.” These give you very clear directions on what to do next. At NordVPN, there are parts called “FAQ,” “General Information,” “Billing,” and “Connectivity,” and it can be a little harder to find the information you need.
|Support Options||Description||Hours of Operation|
|Live chat||Chat with a NordVPN agent in real time. Available 24/7.||24/7|
|Email support||Send an email to NordVPN’s support team. Response time typically within 24 hours.||Monday-Friday: 9am-6pm (EST)|
|Knowledgebase||NordVPN’s knowledgebase has articles on a variety of topics, including troubleshooting, billing, and account management.||24/7|
|FAQ||NordVPN’s FAQ section has answers to frequently asked questions.||24/7|
Once you get to the tutorials and guides, though, there is a lot to like here. There is a lot of setup and troubleshooting help that is detailed but easy to follow. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, a good robot can help you right away and in ways that might surprise you. You can download individual OpenVPN setup files from NordVPN’s website, but not the whole set. We asked the chatbot, “Where can I download all the OVPN files?” After clicking a suggested link for “OpenVPN configuration files,” the bot gave us a link to “all zipped OVPN configuration files.” That’s how help should work.
If the bot can’t help you, NordVPN also has live chat support with real people available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ve found this to be very helpful. We asked a simple question, and a support worker answered us in a friendly way within a few minutes. You can also get help by email. We found that replies took hours, not minutes, but that’s about the same as with many other VPNs, and NordVPN’s answers were usually correct and detailed enough to solve our problem.
NordVPN: Pros and Cons
NordVPN is a great VPN with a large network of servers and strong security features. It’s a bit pricey, but you can try it risk-free because you can get your money back in 30 days.
- Eliminates ISP bandwidth throttling
- Multi-hop, split tunneling, and Tor connections
- Effective kill switch
- Unblocks Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney Plus
- Lackluster malware-blocking results
- Limited utility of free Meshnet traffic routing
NordVPN is an appealing VPN service because it works well, has a lot of features, and has a no-logging audit that makes you feel safe. It’s not the cheapest VPN, and the app screens have a few small problems. But the company has made a lot of nice changes lately, and all in all, it’s a polished, professional service that will work well for most people.