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Security

How to Enable & Disable NordVPN’s Obfuscated Servers – Covering Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS & Android!

Written by Novak Bozovic
Last updated May 27, 2024

Obfuscation is a handy tool if you need an "extra push" to unblock websites and hide your VPN traffic. That's because obfuscation uses smaller data packets, which makes it harder for anti-VPN systems to block your traffic. As such, obfuscation is crucial if you connect from a country with heavy Internet censorship and restrictions.

NordVPN offers obfuscation servers across all its supported platforms. A certain portion of its network is obfuscated, with specifically targeted locations. Accessing and using those servers is quite easy, and we're here to guide you through every step of the way.

In this guide, we'll show you how to enable and disable NordVPN's obfuscated servers, explain what they are and how they work, discuss who should use obfuscation, tell you where NordVPN offers such servers, and provide some troubleshooting steps.

What Are Obfuscated Servers?

Obfuscated servers are a special type of servers with additional obfuscation or data scrambling. As such, they are used for bypassing more rigorous Internet blocks and restrictions.

In case you didn’t know, your ISP can still see that you’re using a VPN – even though it can’t see the contents of your secure VPN tunnel (which means that your privacy is guaranteed). That is precisely where obfuscated servers come into play, as they change the way your Internet traffic is rerouted

In other words, obfuscated servers change your data packets. In turn, your ISP won’t have a way of knowing whether you use a VPN in the first place. Thanks to this double encryption, any VPN metadata will be hidden and concealed. As such, these servers are great for unblocking the Web in countries with firewall-based restrictions, as your Internet traffic will look like regular HTTPS traffic.

Why Should You Use Obfuscated Servers?

There are several reasons to use obfuscated servers - to bypass VPN blocks, to reach more restrictive geo-blocked services, to protect yourself online, and to avoid bandwidth throttling. Here's more info:

How to Enable & Disable NordVPN Obfuscated Servers

This VPN's obfuscated servers are available across all of its supported platforms. That means you can access them on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. We don't want to leave anyone out, so we'll cover all those platforms as follows. 

Windows 7 and 8.1

On Windows 7 and 8.1, you need to enable NordVPN's obfuscated servers using the app settings. These are the steps you need to take:

  1. Open NordVPN and visit the settings menu (gear icon in the top-right corner).
  2. Click 'Advanced' using the left-placed sidebar.
  3. On the right, flip the switch next to 'Obfuscated Servers (OpenVPN).'
    Enabling Obfuscated Servers Windows 7
  4. Return to NordVPN's home screen and pick any obfuscated server.

Windows 10 and 11

Modern versions of Windows support newer NordVPN app versions, and they come with a unique way to enable obfuscated servers. This is what you need to do:

  1. Launch NordVPN and click on 'More Connection Options.'
    More Connection Options Menu Item NordVPN on Windows
  2. Select 'Obfuscated Servers,' and a pop-up should appear on your screen.
    Obfuscated Servers NordVPN Windows
  3. When asked to use a different protocol, click 'Connect.'
  4. You can now start using obfuscated and other specialty servers.

macOS

You’ve most probably downloaded NordVPN from the Mac App Store. This version comes with IKEv2 set by default, and we need to change that to OpenVPN to enable obfuscated servers. Do the following:

  1. Open NordVPN and use the gear icon to visit its settings (bottom left corner).
  2. Click 'General' and find the 'VPN Protocol' item on the right.
  3. Switch to the OpenVPN UDP or TCP protocol.
    Changing Protocols NordVPN on Mac
  4. Return to NordVPN's home screen and check the left-placed sidebar.
  5. Scroll until you see 'Obfuscated Servers' and connect.

Linux

When it comes to Linux, there’s an easy way to enable or disable obfuscated servers in NordVPN. As you can already guess, this is done using a series of commands, as explained below. 

  1. First, use the 'nordvpn set technology openvpn' command.
  2. Switch to OpenVPN using 'nordvpn set protocol tcp' or 'nordvpn set protocol udp.'
  3. To enable obfuscated servers, use the 'nordvpn set obfuscate on' command.
  4. When ready to connect, use the 'nordvpn connect' command.

iOS

To enable NordVPN’s obfuscated servers on iOS, switch to the OpenVPN protocol (this VPN app uses its proprietary protocol by default). Follow these steps: 

  1. Open the NordVPN app and tap the 'Profile' icon in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Access the app settings by tapping on the gear icon (top-right corner).
  3. Pick 'Protocol' and switch to OpenVPN UDP or TCP.
    Enabling Obfuscated Servers iPhone
  4. Return to NordVPN's home screen and navigate to 'Specialty Servers.'
  5. Tap 'Obfuscated Servers' and pick a location.

Android

Let’s not forget our readers who are using NordVPN on Android. Here are the steps to enable or disable obfuscated servers in NordVPN on that mobile platform. 

  1. Open NordVPN and tap on 'Profile.'
  2. Navigate to Settings > VPN Protocol.
  3. Tap 'OpenVPN (UDP)' or 'OpenVPN (TCP).'
    Enabling Obfuscation on NordVPN Android
  4. Return to NordVPN's home screen and tap 'Specialty Servers.'
  5. Choose 'Obfuscated' and start your VPN session.

NordVPN Obfuscated Servers List

Out of the 6,300+ servers that NordVPN has in total, 105 are obfuscated and they're scattered across the entire world. Here are the locations of NordVPN's obfuscated servers:

Country Location Number of Servers
Canada Toronto 4
France Paris 6
Germany Frankfurt 7
Hong Kong Hong Kong 2
Italy Milan 2
Japan Tokyo 4
Netherlands Amsterdam 4
Poland Warsaw 4
Singapore Singapore 1
Spain Madrid 4
Sweden Stockholm 4
Switzerland Zurich 3
Turkey Istanbul 2
United Arab Emirates Dubai 4
United Kingdom London 6
United States Atlanta 2
United States Chicago 2
United States Los Angeles 22
United States Miami 5
United States New York 27

What to Do If NordVPN Obfuscated Servers Are Not Working?

Like other types of VPN servers, obfuscated servers can encounter temporary issues. So, if you have a hard time connecting to an obfuscated server, here are some tips and actions to try:

Final Thoughts

Thanks to NordVPN's obfuscated servers, you can rest assured that no one will see your VPN traffic. In other words, this feature will help you bypass even the most rigorous censorship measures, help you unblock new sites, and even bypass ISP throttling. The best thing is - NordVPN has obfuscated servers across many locations and these servers work on any device.

In terms of data security and protection, no other VPN can match NordVPN. Aside from obfuscation, you'll find a privacy-protecting kill switch, antimalware components, and anti-tracking tools that help you hide your VPN data.

That's all for our guide on NordVPN's obfuscation. If you have any questions for us, make sure to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!



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