NordVPN ( which annoyingly hides this discount page ) is one of the most popular names on the market. It makes some serious claims – like “the best VPN service provider of 2020”.
But good marketing isn’t always for good services. So we put NordVPN to the test, to see if it can prove our words true and to see if the rumors are true.
At first glance, this Panama-based VPN seems to encompass just about everything. It has a huge network of more than 5,390 servers in 61 countries, with special categories for streaming, torrenting, and added security.
Protection is also very good, thanks to strong 256-bit encryption and the combination of highly secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN and IKEv2 / IPSec). It’s all wrapped up in intuitive applications that look and feel good.
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We are off to a great start here, but there’s still much to discuss.
In this review, we will look at all the important details that make or break a VPN. Stay to find out if NordVPN deserves its reputation , or if it’s just another instance of a form that is slick but the content is slick.
NordVPN – Are Rumors True?
Rumors have recently risen around NordVPN.
If you previously signed up for NordVPN via PayPal, you might have noticed something strange . Instead of Tefincom & Co SA – the Panama company behind NordVPN – the seller is listed as CloudVPN, Inc.
CloudVPN is also shown as the developer for NordVPN’s Android app on Google Play:
CloudVPN is a US registered company. Why is NordVPN using an American company for PayPal transactions, and why is it still doing the same for its Android version? More importantly, does this affect users’ privacy in any way?
After all, Panama is a paradise for privacy. America? Not much.
We only have to find the answers to these important questions. When we asked NordVPN customer support if CloudVPN, Inc. had any impact on the VPN service itself, here’s what they said:
As it turns out, CloudVPN is simply the payment receiver for NordVPN, and there is no way to associate with this service other than that. Thanks, Mark!
We continue to learn that payments forwarded to Panama are often flagged as suspicious. The same goes for Panama apps seeking approval on the Google Play Store. As it turns out, partnering with another company to process payments is common for VPN providers in unfamiliar locations, and it is necessary for the VPN itself to be delivered without encountering problems. try.
As you can see from its App Store page, NordVPN lists Tefincom & Co SA wherever possible :
So, is this acceptable or alarming red? Here’s what we got out of all of this
In short, don’t worry! NordVPN is safe to use and is honest about its Panama headquarters.
Streaming – Does NordVPN Work for Netflix?
Fortunately, NordVPN is not on that list. In fact, it is one of the best VPNs to bypass Netflix’s stringent new detection measures .
In our tests, NordVPN worked flawlessly with Netflix categories in the US, UK, Canada, France, Japan, and Brazil . This is a huge advantage over many other VPN services, usually only able to access one or two regional versions of Netflix – and often malfunctions in the middle.
NordVPN proves itself to be a great choice for streaming thanks to its exclusive SmartPlay DNS feature .
In short, SmartPlay is integrated into all of NordVPN’s servers , and helps you a lot in overcoming geographic restrictions. It is up and running automatically , so you don’t need to set up any advanced settings – just connecting to a server is enough.
Live Streaming Support
NordVPN also makes many efforts to provide hassle-free information on how to stream your favorite content. In the FAQ section, you’ll find server guides and recommendations for Netflix and other popular streams like Hulu, BBC, and Amazon Prime Video.
We didn’t need any additional support, as this VPN worked effortlessly in all of our tests. However, it is great to see NordVPN always behind its products in a willingness to help.
We will cover NordVPN’s overall support shortly. But first, let’s talk about speed
Speed Test – How Fast Is NordVPN?
All the unblocking power in the world makes no sense if your VPN is slow and unstable. This is why it’s important to know the speed you can expect from your service .
Before testing NordVPN, we tested our connection without having a VPN enabled. Here are our standard results:
For the first test, we used NordVPN’s Quick Connect feature, which automatically chooses the optimal server based on your current location:
The 3.73% drop at download and 5.56% at upload was barely noticeable . We were very close to our initial speeds, which is a great result.
After a promising start, we went on to test the “fastest” server in the US recommended by this VPN application:
This is a sharp decline, respectively 75.35% and 86.27% when downloading and uploading . Since our tests were based on Europe, we were prepared for such a result – but in the end, we weren’t satisfied.
We don’t like automated server recommendations – they can be easy to use, but sometimes they favor lower server loads over server performance. This is why we decided to test another server in the US, which was manually selected:
As you can see, these results are much more impressive. We chose a server with a slightly higher load (around 40%), but it paid off with great speeds and lower ping .
The UK’s fastest server (again picked by app) did a lot better:
A 9.46% drop down on downloads means we’re fine in “lightning-fast” territory, and our upload speeds have even increased slightly! Here’s what we want to see.
In the end, we tested a server in Australia just to have enough numbers. The results were unexpected:
Not bad considering our test site was very far away. As expected, uploads take a big hit, but overall speeds are still enough for hassle-free streaming and other bandwidth-heavy activities.
Every VPN will slow you down in some way. So does NordVPN– but not by much . Our tests have shown that a reliable service offers fast and stable servers . Even if you don’t like the fast connectivity features, it’s easy to find a suitable high-speed location.
If you want to go fast, NordVPN will happily provide some great speeds.
Is NordVPN Good for Torrent Downloads?
NordVPN has dedicated P2P servers. You can access them easily from the tab inside the app. There are over 4,600 servers in 46 countries designed specifically for torrenting .
You can quickly get the best P2P server right from the VPN interface, but you can also use the neat server recommendation tool , found on the NordVPN website:
The good news for torrent lovers doesn’t stop here. NordVPN also offers SOCKS5 proxies – you can easily set up your torrent client with one and enjoy even faster speeds. While the SOCKS5 proxy is not fully encrypted, it still provides security through additional authentication, which is considered enough for secure and private torrenting.
Overall, NordVPN offers special P2P support and various features for smooth, secure torrent downloads . This, plus its great speeds , makes it one of the best VPNs for torrenting we have reviewed.
Security – Is NordVPN Safe?
So far, NordVPN has defended its reputation as a reliable option for streaming and downloading torrents. But private and secure browsing has always been this VPN’s forte .
In fact, NordVPN recently underwent an outside audit from the Big Four accounting firm and it confirmed this VPN’s privacy and security statements . We are not authorized to share the full report here, but NordVPN subscribers can access it from the Member Area on the website.
We will take a closer look at the overall security of NordVPN below.
Does NordVPN Keep Logs?
Is not. NordVPN is officially registered in Panama – not Silicon Valley, but a country with many other interests.
First, Panama was far from the supervision of the Fourteen Eyes alliance . This is crucial for privacy, as a VPN based in a fourteen-eyed Alliance country will be within reach of a giant spy network known to collect and share all kinds of data. whether the user is sensitive. This doesn’t apply to NordVPN – a solid start .
Continuing, Panama does not have any infringing data retention laws . Usually, those laws require internet service providers and VPNs to keep logs of users’ online activities for specified periods. NordVPN doesn’t have to comply with any of those laws , making it one of the few VPNs with a true policy of not keeping logs .
Note, however, that NordVPN will keep a record of your email address and billing data if you choose to purchase a subscription in the traditional way . This is common for every VPN service. You can avoid sharing too much by using a private email and buying with cryptocurrency, NordVPN offers it as a payment method .
Does NordVPN have an Ad Blocker?
NordVPN claims to provide additional malware protection and ad blocking by its own CyberSec suite . It’s built-in and takes just one click to pop up – but is it effective?
Definitely. During our two-hour test, we encountered no annoying pop-ups and enjoyed a completely ad-free experience. We may even skip YouTube ads entirely!
CyberSec is a great addition, but it’s just one of NordVPN’s extensive security features.
Remember the dedicated servers we mentioned earlier? Besides streaming and torrenting, these servers also offer advanced protection.
Dual VPN servers follow their names. By routing your data through two VPN servers at the same time, you benefit from dual data encryption . While most users won’t need this for their torrent or Netflix sessions, it will be appreciated by those looking for an extra layer of protection.
Let’s talk about the disconnection feature – an essential part of the arsenal of any trusted VPNs. Here, you get not just one, but two of them.
In addition to the regular disconnect feature , which suspends all internet traffic if this VPN stops working properly, you also get a separate tool for specific applications:
The disconnect feature of the NordVPN application makes it easy to browse the web and add to programs
Other great security features you’ll find at NordVPN include:
- DNS leak protection with advanced user custom DNS settings
- Stealth LAN settings , help hide your device on local networks
- Automatically connect to really get protection from VPN in one click
- Onion Over VPN servers , designed to provide an extra layer of protection while using Tor
- Easily switch between OpenVPN TCP and UDP protocols
- Dedicated IP servers , useful if you need a static IP address for banking and other purposes
Last but not least, NordVPN offers exceptional scrambling servers . They are extremely helpful if you’re in a country with heavy online censorship and restrictions. Which brings us to the next discussion topic …
Is NordVPN Effective in China?
Thanks to the additional shuffle and bulletproof encryption (to be added soon), NordVPN is one of the best services you can take with you to China .
It takes a lot for a VPN to bypass the Great Firewall, and even leading providers can struggle to accomplish this task. However, NordVPN has repeatedly proven itself as a reliable option for China – just remember to install this VPN before coming here, otherwise you may have trouble accessing the website and downloading software. .
NordVPN’s shuffled servers also work in other tough regions like Iran, Qatar, and the UAE . You may run into problems – after all, no VPN is 100% effective in such problems. However, you will be hard-pressed to find a more reliable service to stealth.
Value for money – Is it worth the price?
NordVPN is an impressive all-in-one VPN. It fully covers every aspect of a premium service, but that means it’s expensive too. Right?
Wrong! Compared to other top rated VPN providers, NordVPN’s monthly subscription is similar – a bit expensive. However, it really stands out with annual plans and beyond, thanks to the occasional huge discounts .
Considering the great value it offers, NordVPN is actually very reasonably priced. Even users on a tight budget can easily buy it. Undoubtedly, NordVPN currently offers the best value in the market – especially if you are hunting for a long-term service.
Furthermore, you have a great chance to test all the best of this VPN – for free!
Does NordVPN have a Free Version?
NordVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, but it does come with a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can take advantage of to test this service, risk-free. We think it’s better than a free version.
Free VPNs have the obvious advantage of being free of money, but you’ll often have to trade off with a different “money” in the long run. Whether it’s poor performance, limited bandwidth, or – worst of all – your privacy, you always end up paying for something.
‘A secure VPN needs money to maintain its infrastructure and provide excellent, phased services.
With NordVPN, you have a whole month to review everything about it. Best of all, you’ll have access to all the servers and features – a huge plus over many other VPNs.
You can cancel at any time during the trial period and get a full refund.
This is what we want to see with all the premium VPN providers. Well done, NordVPN!
NordVPN Refund Policy
After signing up for NordVPN, you are still safe by the 30-day money-back guarantee for complete satisfaction:
NordVPN claims that a troubleshooting attempt will be made, but if you are not satisfied with the result, you will definitely get a refund after you cancel your account. Don’t worry – we have it tested already .
Note that the 30-day money-back guarantee does not extend to purchases made directly through Apple’s App Store or authorized resellers . In such cases, you will need to contact the store where you purchased it and ask that place for a refund
Is NordVPN Compatible With My Devices?
When NordVPN says it has a “VPN for all your devices”, it’s no joke:
If you are running one of the major platforms / browsers on your device, you will be able to enjoy one of the great NordVPN apps . Currently, they are available on Windows , macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV.
Extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers are included as well , but keep in mind that these are proxies, not official VPNs.
That’s not all – advanced users also have plenty of options for manual configuration. From Windows XP and BlackBerry devices to the plethora of router firmware, Raspberry Pi and even pfSense , is pretty massive.
NordVPN also allows six concurrent connections , enough for small businesses, people with multiple devices, or the whole family.
Encryption of NordVPN
Strong encryption is another aspect that separates a great VPN from the average VPN. And NordVPN is definitely in the “great” category .
You’ll enjoy bulletproof AES-256-CBC encryption with the OpenVPN protocol – one of the most powerful combinations available today. Users on Mac and iOS receive AES-256-CGM encryption with IKEv2 / IPSec , which also offers exceptional security.
NordVPN also implements Perfect Forward Secrets , which means unique session keys for even better security and stronger encryption. This is achieved with 2048-bit Diffie-Hellman keys for OpenVPN , and Diffie-Hellman 3072 bits for IKEv2 / IPSec .
On the other side of VPN protocols, NordVPN recently stopped supporting outdated alternative protocols like PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP / IPSec . To be honest, OpenVPN and IKev2 / IPSec are all you will need, but more variety is always welcome.
Overall, NordVPN’s encoding is best described in one word – perfect .
NordVPN Customer Service
Customer support quality is an accurate way to determine if a VPN provider truly values you as a customer.
Typically for a premium service, NordVPN offers live chat 24/7 and a ticketing system alongside a comprehensive knowledge base with payment information, connectivity and general information. There is also a FAQ section , available from the bottom right button on the Contact Us page :
Help is easily found on the website and within the app , which is another plus. That shows that NordVPN is always present and ready to answer questions – which is normal, but unfortunately turns into a “feature”.
We tested the live chat system to see if it was as useful and responsive as many others said. We wanted to ask for more information about the SmartPlay feature, and within seconds of entering the question, we were connected to a friendly customer support representative:
We didn’t expect a detailed response from a quick chat, so what we got was more than acceptable. More importantly, Jack is quick, friendly and knowledgeable – certainly deserving of praise.
For more technical questions, we recommend sending NordVPN an email . Response times are quick, and you can get better insights that way.
In the end, we left the conversation feeling satisfied. NordVPN really provides real-time 24/7 support and it is one of the best on the market .
So far, we’ve looked at everything you need to know about NordVPN, except for one thing – how it feels in practical testing .
We started on the NordVPN website , which was organized and polished to perfection . Here, you’ll find useful information about features, servers and pricing, as well as a server recommendation tool and extensive knowledge base:
We started on the NordVPN website , which was organized and polished to perfection . Here, you’ll find useful information about features, serveerver recommendation tool and extensive knowledge base:
After registering, we were able to immediately download the software for testing on Windows. Just a moment later, we have taken a close look at everything this VPN app has to offer:
We have no problems with NordVPN’s clean and user-friendly interface. Switching servers and browsing dedicated tabs is smooth and easy – good news for beginners.
Most settings are turned on / off with just one click, with a simple slider to show the change:
Scrolling down we find the advanced settings . Here, you can enable special scrambling servers, set up your custom DNS address, and switch between OpenVPN TCP / UDP:
If you want to keep things small, you can also manage NordVPN from the minimized app in the system tray . It allows for easy connection and shows recently used servers – not too helpful, but not bad with it either:
To make sure we are browsing the web securely and privately, we also checked for leaks . After choosing a random server in Germany, we ran a test:
The results did not disappoint. NordVPN is not quite easy to use, but it hasn’t leaked at all.
Overall, NordVPN offers a great user experience . It doesn’t matter if you’re a VPN novice or a seasoned veteran – you’ll find everything you need with ease.
Do we recommend NordVPN? Sure.
It is our top rated VPN for a reason. There are actually a couple of reasons.
It offers great encryption and consistent protocols.
It has a legitimate no-logs policy , confirmed by an external audit.
It is the perfect choice for streaming Netflix (and much more) without any restrictions.
It supports torrent downloads and provides excellent speeds .
All of the above makes NordVPN the ultimate all-in-one service . If you need a full-blown VPN, you won’t find a service that is more value-for-money than that.
However, NordVPN is not the best in everything, even if it gets very close.
If speed is your top priority (and you’re not afraid to pay extra), consider ExpressVPN- the fastest VPN we’ve reviewed.
And for an even cheaper VPN with a lot to offer, consider Surfshark- a new VPN provider that often offers some great deals that fit the budget.
Downloading, installing and configuring NordVPN is extremely easy. After you purchase a package and create an account, just click “Download”. It will start the quick installation process. Once the app opens, all you need to do is press “Quick Connect” or choose a server to secure your connection. You will be protected within minutes.
Unified visual interface across all supported platforms. Beginners will find it easy to use, while advanced users can access and configure their settings in no effort.
Things we like:
- Plug-and-play VPN applications
- Quick connect feature for one-click protection
- Well organized server list with over 5,400 servers
- Dedicated tabs for dedicated servers
Things we don’t like:
- We dislike the kind of map interface with location pin buttons. Europe is very crowded and difficult to navigate.
NordVPN offers a comprehensive range of subscriptions. As well as the three packages listed above, they also recently introduced a 2-year package.
3-year plan: $ 3.49 / month (payment $ 125.64 every 3 years – 70% discount)
2-year subscription : $ 4.99 / month (payment of $ 119.76 per 2 years – 58% off)
1-year plan: $ 6.99 / month (paid $ 83.88 per year – 41% off)
1-month subscription: $ 11.95 / month (base price paid monthly – no discount)
Prices vary with the term of your subscription, but you get the same features with all plans. NordVPN also offers great discounts on one-year and longer packages. The three-year option is the cheapest in the long run. Priced under $ 4 / month for a long-term plan, NordVPN is one of the most affordable options we’ve tested.
NordVPN accepts many different payment methods. These include popular credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) and other platforms like Alipay, GiroPay, SOFORT, iDeal. You can also purchase NordVPN anonymously with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
IMPORTANT: You cannot purchase NordVPN with PayPal.
NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Upon reviewing the company’s refund policy , we received our refund in a hassle-free few days.
Customer support is one of the key areas where NordVPN truly outperforms its competition. You will probably never need to contact their team, but if you do, you can be confident that you will receive a quick, friendly response.
NordVPN offers the following support options:
- 24 hour live chat – it’s perfect for instant support and get quick answers to any VPN related questions.
- Email support – when testing NordVPN customer service , we received a response within 24 hours.
- The NordVPN Help Center and Frequently Asked Questions – The NordVPN knowledge base includes frequently asked questions, tutorials, and categories filled with useful general information.
The NordVPN website is available in 20 different languages. However, it is worth noting that their “Help” entry is only available in English.
Simply put, it is well worth the money
NordVPN won our Best VPN Award for the second time this year. This is enough to tell you about the quality of this service. If not, here’s the facts: NordVPN is fast and super secure, it can unblock almost anything on the internet, it has servers around the world, and it’s very affordable. Its main downside is that you cannot pay with PayPal. You will not find a reputable, reliable and more affordable VPN. NordVPN isn’t perfect – but it’s very close.
- The speed is faster with more than 5390 servers in 62 locations
- Private – no logs of user activity are saved
- Six simultaneous connections
- Stream – unblock Netflix, Hulu, etc.
- Integrated ad and malware blocking
- Efficiency in China
- Dedicated servers like P2P, Onion over VPN, Dual VPN
- Live chat 24/7
- Get started with NordVP