NordVPN, is based in Panama, making it the best option for the privacy concerned users, as Panama isn’t a member of the international surveillance alliances. A top choice for many, NordVPN is a very reliable option with numerous features that meet most of our standards for a high-quality VPN. In this review, we’ve described how NordVPN works on Windows and Macs. NordVPN Bitcoin support, NordLynx accelerated speeds, Netflix Streaming and P2P optimized servers make it a great VPN.
NordVPN At A Glance
- Number of servers: 5400+
- Number of countries: 59
- Platforms supported: Firefox, Chrome, Windows, Android, Mac, iOS, android TV, fire TV, Linux, and Xbox & PlayStation.
- Simultaneous connections: Six
- Split tunneling: Only on Android and browser extensions
- Kill switch: Yes
- Supported protocols: NordLynx (WireGuard), OpenVPN, SSTP, IPSec/IKEv2
- Country of registration: Panama
- Support: Articles, email, 24/7 live chat
NordVPN Pros and Cons
Here is a quick overview of NordVPN best and worst qualities.
- Strong advanced encryption standards – NordVPN uses strong encryption standards – 256-bit encryption, a gold standard.
- Multiple devices – With NordVPN, Users are allowed to connect up to 6 devices
- Based in Panama – Panama isn’t a member of surveillance alliances, which means NordVPN will never be forced to share user data with the government.
- Minimal data logging – It only tracks some basic information like customer service interactions, payment information, and email.
- Static IP addresses: Your IP address always remains the same every time you connect to the VPN. However, it’s also shared with other NordVPN users, which makes it harder to track.
- No split tunneling – We could not utilize NordVPN and the public network simultaneously
- Customer service – Although it was comforting to find NordVPN offering customer support through email support and live chat, we wished they could offer support via telephone.
We named NordVPN one of the best VPNs out there, but here, we are going to take you through everything about NordVPN. We’ll also explain to you why we think NordVPN is an excellent option.
With over 5,000 servers in 81 locations, it’s great that you would never have to look far to find a server that you can use. To us, slow Internet speeds are a thing of the past. In simpler terms, the closer you are to the server, the faster your Internet speed. Therefore, whether you are at home in New York or traveling across the globe with your friends, you can rest assured that you would always be covered.
Although NordVPN operates across the globe, it’s headquartered in Panama. This is a plus because Panama doesn’t fall inside the jurisdiction of 14 Eyes, Nine Eyes, and Five Eyes. As a result, NordVPN cannot be forced to share data with the UK, US, Canada, or France.
Will NordVPN Log My Data?
When we choose not to use a VPN, our web traffic goes directly to the Internet Service Provider (ISP). This means the Internet Service Provider can access all our online activity and can share the information with government agencies, advertisers, and or any other third party. However, when we use a VPN to connect to the Internet, our ISP cannot access our activities, but the VPN can. So, it’s always important to check out to ensure the VPN you have chosen doesn’t log more data than they need to.
Fortunately, NordVPN doesn’t log users’ IP addresses, software used, files downloaded, amount of data transferred, time spent on a VPN or the websites visited. However, like any other service provider, NordVPN logs some basic information, including customer service information, payment data, and email address. This information is necessary and normal for the company to maintain a user account. NordVPN accepts payments via bitcoin, which is widely known for maximum anonymity for those who don’t want to share their banking details. With bitcoin, no information can be tracked, making it almost impossible to identify you. NordVPN also takes note of how customers use their website to help improve the user experience.
Does NordVPN Have A Kill Switch?
You might think that a VPN doesn’t need a kill switch, but it’s without a doubt one of the most effective ways to remain secure. A kill switch blocks any traffic leaving a device if your Internet connection is disconnected or compromised. This automatically stops your IP address and DNS requests from being leaked. The kill switch is available for android, iOS, macOS, and windows. But there are notable differences with regards to how it works. Although it’s automatically activated on mobile devices, desktop users will have to turn it on manually. Furthermore, it’s only automatically enabled on iOS, but not android.
NordVPN doesn’t offer split tunneling for desktops. However, you can still use Firefox and chrome browser extensions to do the same thing. When a VPN offers split tunneling, users are allowed to use both the public and private networks simultaneously. If you download a browser extension add-on, it’s only the browser web traffic that is encrypted. This means apps outside the web browser will still be using your local IP address.
Data encryption refers to a situation where data is changed in such a way that authorized users can only access it. This is the main reason why we chose to use VPNs. Fortunately, NordVPN has impressive encryption standards. The company uses IPSec and IKEv2 to ensure user connection is protected even when the connection drops. IPSec improves security further by encrypting the data packet. NordVPN employs advanced encryption standards with 256-bit keys. This is the same encryption standard used by cybersecurity experts and governments across the globe.
Can I Use NordVPN for Streaming?
A VPN’s streaming performance has, over the years, become increasingly important. NordVPN ensures its users can easily access both local titles and other geo-blocked streaming services. To start with, NordVPN streaming speed as a Netflix VPN is outstanding. In our tests, we could unlock the service pretty quickly and on all servers that we tried. Even Disney+, with their Netflix matching VPN detection, could not stop us from unblocking the service from the US, Australian, and UK servers. We were able to access other streaming services, including Hulu, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and Hotstar.
Can I use NordVPN For Torrenting?
NordVPN boasts of having numerous P2P optimized servers. You can easily access them from the app’s sidebar. This means you don’t have to visit their site to find the servers that you can utilize for P2P activity. Every server offers unlimited data and bandwidth. NordVPN works perfectly with all the best torrenting platforms, including BitTorrent, Vuze, and uTorrent.
NordVPN supports a few security protocols to offer an excellent VPN service. It uses NordLynx (WireGuard) in its windows, macOS, iOS, and Android apps. Also, NordVPN is available on all these platforms as a backup. On the other hand, IKEv2 is only available for macOS and iOS apps. It also supports OpenVPN, an open-source protocol, which means it has been carefully evaluated for potential issues.
NordLynx is the newest default protocol on most NordVPN apps, even though you still get an option to choose from IKEv2 and OpenVPN. While these are always good options, NordLynx offers double the speed. The purpose and security of these protocols vary, but so are the customer needs and preferences. We strongly recommend that you take a closer look at the best and worst qualities of each protocol.
OpenVPN is robust and mature open-source software that allows NordVPN to offer a secure and reliable VPN service. This is a multipurpose protocol that can be utilized on both UDP and TCP ports. Moreover, it supports a wide range of ciphers and robust encryption algorithms to ensure your data is always protected.
IKEv2/IPSec notably boosts security and improves user privacy by using cryptographic keys and algorithms. NordVPN uses the Next Generation Encryption (NGE) in IKEv2/IPSec. IPSec uses a strong Advanced Encryption standard – 256 to secure data transferred from the client to the server. The protocol provides users with speed, stability, and security. It’s for this reason why NordVPN strongly recommends this protocol. It’s used in NordVPN apps for macOS and iOS.
NordVPN highly recommends this protocol. Wireguard is a relatively new, yet one of the fastest tunneling protocols out there. It uses high-end cryptography that by far outshines the current protocols, IPSec/IKEv2 and OpenVPN. Nevertheless, it’s still in the early developmental stages, which means VPN providers should lookout for new solutions such as NordLynx by NordVPN to help overcome WireGuard’s weaknesses.
How Fast Is NordVPN?
Although security and privacy features are usually the top priority for VPNs, performance shouldn’t be overlooked. We tested the VPN on our US and UK Internet connections. Both test lines averaged at about 600Mbps. NordVPN averaged around 6 seconds to connect to the server. While this isn’t the fastest, it’s reasonable.
Using the OpenVPN to connect to the UK server, TestMy.net and Ookla’s SpeedTest indicated that the average speed ranged between 140Mbps and 160Mbps. Although this isn’t outstanding, it’s something we can work with. On the US line, the OpenVPN speeds averaged at about 75Mbps to 100Mbps, not as impressive as the results we had in our last review.
One of the first things that every potential customer wants to know is the price of a product or service, so here is everything you need to know about the NordVPN subscription. NordVPN Pricing Structure is relatively straightforward; you get the same perks with any subscription plan. However, the price changes depending on the length of the contract. They offer four subscription options ranging between one month and two years.
With a one-month plan starting at $11.95, NordVPN seems average when it comes to a short-term contract. Nevertheless, as it’s the case with other VPN, there is a notable decline in prices if you make long-term commitments. You only pay $9 per month for the six-month plan.Sign up for one year, and the price goes down to only $6.58 per month. As if that’s not enough, choose a two-year plan, and the price drops to $3.71 per month. This is a massive 69% discount from what you pay for the monthly package.
As you can see, the best savings come with a long-term plan. With the 30-day money back guarantee, you have enough time to decide whether NordVPN is the right service for you. But if you are really cautious, we recommend the one-month plan to try the service and then commit for longer after you know this is the right service for you.
NordVPN Customer Support
If you need help or anything goes wrong, NordVPN offers a few customer support options. Your first stop should be the knowledgebase that comprises many articles on a wide range of topics. The search box allows users to find content by a specific keyword easily.
Customer Support Features
NordVPN offers different customer support options, including in-depth knowledgebase, email support, and 24/7 live chat. You can use the knowledgebase to find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. All you have to do is enter a specific keyword in the search box to find all relevant answers.
Nevertheless, most people prefer to use live chat, which is available 24/7. The chatbox also works as a chatbot where you can find specific information. However, if you still want to speak to a real customer support agent that is also possible. In our experience, the support operators have been professional and friendly and have helped resolve complex issues within minutes.
Customer Support Rating
The NordVPN app has a 3.6 rating on Amazon out of more than 600 customer reviews. A closer look at the breakdown of the customer support ratings, we found 40% of users gave NordVPN five stars, and only 35% gave one star.I tried out NordVPN chat support several times, and it worked perfectly without any issues. I was connected to friendly support staff within two minutes.
I then looked at the user comments that referred explicitly to customer support. Half came up positive, and only 14 came up negative. This sounds great because it was only ten negative customer support reviews out of 600. To a larger extent, many customers who had a negative experience had problems that the customer service couldn’t resolve.
NordVPN offers a wide range of payment options, including iTunes, google play, Amazon Pay, UnionPay, PayPal, prepaid card, and credit card. Also, users concerned about their privacy will be glad to find that NordVPN accepts cryptocurrency payments through CoinPayments and accepts payments via Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monero, Bitcoin Cash, and more.
How To Cancel NordVPN?
NordVPN allows its customers to cancel subscriptions at any time they want. All you have to do is log in to your account, head to the Dashboard tab, click on the “change plan” button and select “Cancel Automatic Payments.” Next contact customer support through email or live chat, cancel your subscription and possibly request a refund.
NordVPN App – What to Expect?
Since it’s highly likely you own a smartphone, you will need a good app for that. NordVPN is fully compatible with all popular devices, including iOS, windows, and android. However, we noted a few differences between android and iOS apps, even though these differences are mainly because of iOS limitations rather than NordVPN.
Android and iOS Apps
Setting NordVPN on a mobile device is a one-click installation process. After the app has been installed, all you have to do is login and activate the ad blocker, and then you can get started. While the interface is the same on both android and iOS apps, we found significant differences during our tests. For example, the iOS VPN app has extra options for security protocols. Android users only have the option of using OpenVPN, whereas iOS users can either use IKEv2 or OpenVPN.
Also, the specialty servers are different. Android users can access dedicated IP servers, double VPN, obfuscated, and P2P servers. However, iOS users can only use P2P and Onion Over VPN. This is primarily because of Apple’s security standards regulating what users can and cannot do. But we expected NordVPN to minimize these inconsistencies – particularly Onion Over VPN for android devices.
NordVPN vs. PureVPN
If you’ve come across any of the most popular VPNs, it’s highly likely you are familiar with PureVPN. Let’s see exactly how NordVPN compares to one of the best VPNs out there. First, let’s take a closer look at the number of servers. While in real life more does not necessarily mean better, it really does when it comes to VPN servers. NordVPN has over 5400 servers in 81 locations. By comparison, PureVPN has more than 6,500 servers in 140 locations.
Let’s get into what the two VPN share in common. Both NordVPN and PureVPN have an outstanding no-data logging policy. NordVPN and PureVPN are both based in countries that are not part of the international surveillance alliance. Moreover, both VPN have a network lock feature/kill switch feature. Not to forget that both have servers for Netflix streaming and P2P torrenting. Both VPN give users the option of getting a dedicated IP address.
The only big difference is with regards to split tunneling. With PureVPN, split tunneling is available on both windows and android. But NordVPN doesn’t offer split tunneling. Also, with NordVPN, users get the same IP address each time. At the same time, PureVPN gives users a dynamic IP address, which means users get a new IP address every time they access the VPN.
PureVPN and NordVPN are quite similar in price. NordVPN is slightly costly if you consider the monthly costs. PureVPN’s monthly plan goes for $10.95, whereas NordVPN’s monthly subscription starts at $11.95. But then PureVPN is slightly cheaper when you look at long-term commitments ($3.33 vs. $3.71). Overall, PureVPN and NordVPN have very similar features and an almost identical price structure. The primary determinant will be whether you prefer NordVPN’s large number of servers or if you value split tunneling offered by PureVPN.
Final Verdict – Is NordVPN a Good Choice?
NordVPN is a multipurpose option with top-notch digital security software and a global reach. We were happy that they are based in Panama because this means we don’t have to worry about the possibility of a government forcing them to share our data. Also, we loved the fact that we enjoyed a flawless experience streaming from the most popular platforms, including Netflix, Hulu, ESPN, Amazon Prime Video, HBO GO, and HotStar. Finally, NordVPN passed all our security and speed tests, making us confident that our privacy was well protected. However, if you are looking for split tunneling, you may have to keep looking because NordVPN doesn’t have this.
Is NordVPN Safe?
Is NordVPN Free?
Does NordVPN work for Netflix?
Does NordVPN work for Torrenting?
How can I contact customer support?
Will NordVPN log my data?
They claim to offer a no logs VPN service. This means NordVPN doesn’t store or record IP addresses, traffic data, bandwidth usage, session information, or connection stamps.