Ranking highly on our list of the best VPN services, NordVPN is undoubtedly one of the most competent VPNs around. It's renowned for being a highly sophisticated provider, adequately meeting the needs of advanced and novice users. Headquartered in Panama, a country outside the infamous "14 Eyes Alliance" jurisdiction, this provider protects online privacy without any external interference. This is why NordVPN is among the best for high-end privacy.
This VPN also guarantees digital security by featuring the AES-256-CBC cipher and ChaCha20 protocol encryption. This solid encryption, combined with an externally-audited no-logs policy, ensures true anonymity. Nonetheless, there have been some problematic situations with security and privacy.
Although an isolated case, NordVPN was hacked in 2018, with the hacker gaining access to the VPN's Finland-based data centers. However, NordVPN's solid team quickly repelled the attack, and no personal data leaked.
In terms of performance, it features a NordLynx protocol guaranteeing stable connections and top speed for gaming, streaming, and torrenting. In truth, this VPN checks most of the right boxes, making it a near-perfect VPN provider. But is NordVPN right for you?
That's one of the many questions our hands-on NordVPN review will answer. Before we delve deeper, let's check some of the basic facts about this VPN provider.
|Logs||No logs (independently audited)|
|Servers||5,400+ servers in 60 countries|
|Supported Devices||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, routers, and browsers|
|Features||Kill Switch, split tunneling, private DNS, and plenty more|
|Protocols||NordLynx, IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN|
|Supports||Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, torrenting, gaming, and more|
|Customer Support||Email, 24/7 live chat, tutorials, and FAQs|
|Live Deal||63% OFF (2-year plan) + 3 Extra Months|
|Our Score||9.2 out of 10|
This NordVPN review will take a closer look at each aspect of the provider. We'll discuss if it is legal and safe, how it works, how to set up its software, as well as its pricing, value, and more. To learn more about our VPN testing processes, please read our guide on how we review VPNs.
You will also learn what's new in NordVPN. The provider keeps innovating at a rapid pace, delivering new and improved features across all devices. So, we're making sure to keep this review up-to-date at all times, making it easier for you to make up your mind about NordVPN.
And now, let's jump right in!
- Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
- Supported Platforms & Devices
- Installation & Initial Configuration
- Prominent Features
- Server Count & Infrastructure
- UI/UX Design & Ease of Use
- Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support
- Security & Privacy
- Speed & Performance
- Customer Support
- NordVPN Comparison with Other VPN Providers
- Final Thoughts - Is NordVPN Worth It?
Background, Jurisdiction & Reputation
NordVPN has had certain problems in the past. However, the fact is that this VPN remains one of the most transparent and user-friendly VPNs out there. Our Score: 8.5/10
When choosing a VPN, you must know whether you can trust it. One of the best ways to find a trustworthy VPN is to check its background. You'll want to know about its jurisdiction as well as if there were any problematic data leaks in the past.
Where Is NordVPN Based?
NordVPN is based in Panama (the company behind NordVPN is called 'Nord Security - NordSec Ltd' / previously known as 'Tefincom S.A.'). This was a good choice as this country has no data retention laws that could force VPNs into collecting your private data.
Also, Panama is not a member of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance, a group of countries with mandatory data retention laws and aggressive mass surveillance operations.
It should be noted that certain rumors were circulating about this VPN a while back. According to those, NordVPN was owned by a company called Tesonet, based in Lithuania. Even though a connection exists between NordVPN and Tesonet (both of those brands come from the same team), there's nothing malicious in that connection.
In October 2021, NordVPN's parent company (Nord Security) acquired Atlas VPN, a relatively new VPN service known for offering a free tier. In February 2022, Nord Security merged with Surfshark, another well-known VPN service. That means NordVPN's parent company has close business relations with Atlas VPN and Surfshark, but that's where any connections between those VPNs end.
More precisely, NordVPN, Atlas VPN, and Surfshark have their own development paths and product roadmaps. They target different types of users and customers, and there's no data sharing involved between those brands.
If you'd like to take a much deeper dive into NordVPN's business structure and relations to other cybersecurity companies, we have a guide answering the question of who owns NordVPN.
Did NordVPN Leak Personal Data in the Past?
No, NordVPN has never leaked personal data in the past. It has a strict no-logs policy, and it promises not to collect your personal data. You'll be happy to know that NordVPN looks to be sticking to that promise by employing strict protocols that prevent any kind of unauthorized access to their servers.
Still, that doesn't mean there weren't any problematic situations in this VPN's past.
In September 2018, it was revealed that NordVPN had contained a privilege escalation bug that (in theory) could have exposed some of the user data (which didn't happen). However, this bug was fixed before the report became public.
In April 2019, there were reports of strange behavior related to NordVPN's data flow through the VPN's servers. However, the official explanation soon followed - saying that was caused by NordVPN's anti-censorship mechanism (nothing suspicious, once again).
We've also learned that NordVPN was hacked in 2018 after an unknown hacker managed to access one of the VPN's Finland-based data centers. As NordVPN explained, this was an isolated case that didn't endanger any personal information.
Is NordVPN Safe and Legal to Use?
Yes, NordVPN is safe and legal because it uses industry-standard encryption and VPN tunnels to protect you from hackers and snooping government organizations.
It uses the AES-256-CBC cipher encryption, which the government uses and is the gold standard in the industry. The VPN provider also features three tunneling protocols: OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2/IPsec to best suit user preference and device compatibility.
Supported Platforms & Devices
NordVPN covers pretty much any popular and less popular platform out there. You can always count on using a native application offered by this VPN. Our Score: 10/10
When you decide to use a VPN, you'll want one that protects all your devices. That's because using a single unprotected device poses a risk of leaking your personal data. So, here’s a table explaining which devices are natively supported by this VPN.
|Desktop Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS.|
|Mobile Platforms||Android, iOS.|
|Web Browsers||Chrome, Firefox, Edge.|
|Routers||DD-WRT, Tomato, and other routers.|
|Other Devices||Android TV, Amazon Fire TV.|
It’s clear that NordVPN brings wide compatibility with many platforms and devices. What’s also important to note is that you can use NordVPN on devices not mentioned in the table above – as long as those devices support the OpenVPN protocol.
In those cases, you would need to set up NordVPN manually. In general, that's not an overly complicated procedure. You can always rely on NordVPN's customer support for any assistance.
Of course, you can always go for a capable VPN router. Aside from DD-WRT and Tomato, this VPN can be installed on any router that supports OpenVPN. This is how you can protect all your devices at once without having native clients installed.
On top of that, installing NordVPN on your router takes a single "slot" of your subscription, no matter how many devices you connect to your router.
Installation & Initial Configuration
Downloading, installing, and configuring NordVPN doesn’t require you to have any technical knowledge. The entire process is very user-centric and intuitive. Our Score: 10/10
In this section of our NordVPN review, we'll provide you with a brief explanation of how the VPN provider works, as well as how to get started using it. So, keep reading!
How Does NordVPN Work?
Like every other VPN provider, NordVPN establishes an encrypted tunnel over the Internet for your data. This way, it changes your IP address and keeps your data safe between you and your destination. As such, no private external party or government can track your online activities.
With NordVPN's ability to mask your current location and online activities, you can access geo-restricted content and stream your favorite shows from anywhere in the world.
As a consumer-focused VPN provider, it offers highly intuitive apps across all devices, ensuring an easy and stress-free user experience. With just a few clicks, the service takes care of all the technical hassle of providing solid security and privacy, excellent speed and performance, and easy access to geo-restricted content.
How to Download and Use NordVPN?
Downloading and installing the NordVPN app is a straightforward process. There are two ways to get the app: via the official website or the app store.
We recommend downloading from the official website, given its simple interface and ease of use. Aside from that, some countries restrict downloading the app on app stores, so your best bet is the official website.
Here's a simple step-by-step approach to setting up NordVPN:
- Subscribe to NordVPN using your favorite Web browser.
- Then, return to NordVPN's website and click "Download VPN."
- Download the installation file and install the app.
- Launch NordVPN and log-in using your credentials (you'll do that via your browser).
- Go into NordVPN's settings (bottom-left corner).
- Activate the "Kill Switch" and "Threat Protection" features.
- Return to NordVPN's home screen and pick any server.
- Wait until your session is established. That's it!
In the guide above, we advised you to enable NordVPN's kill switch, which allows you to add a list of apps that will be forced to quit if your VPN connection drops. That way, those apps won't leak your sensitive information, as their access to the Web will be disabled.
Also, NordVPN's "Threat Protection" is a very handy feature that comes included with your subscription. You can use it to block malicious sites, stop Web tracking, block ads, and more.
To learn more about setting up this VPN across a range of supported devices, check our central guide on how to set up NordVPN.
It took years for NordVPN to build its offer. Today, aside from the standard set of options, this VPN offers highly advanced and unique features and tools. Our Score: 9/10
In this segment, we look at a set of standard and advanced features that VPNs typically offer. Speaking of NordVPN’s features, you’ll find plenty of options here.
Here's an overview of what to expect.
- DNS and IPv6 Leak Protection: This feature prevents your IP address and DNS requests from being exposed to third parties. It works by blocking your IPv6 interface and routing all your IPv4 traffic through NordVPN's encrypted tunnel and DNS servers. This way, you can enjoy online privacy without worrying about third parties spying on your every move.
- Threat Protection: This is a recently introduced feature that blocks ads and trackers. However, it also has a useful anti-virus component, as it scans executable files for malware. The scanning works independently from the VPN, which means you're not required to connect to VPN servers.
- High-End Data Encryption: NordVPN protects your online traffic from prying eyes through advanced encryption standards (AES) with 256-bit keys, which are virtually impossible to crack. An encrypted connection also ensures you’re privately browsing the Web without worrying about hackers, ISPs, or government agencies snooping on your data.
- SmartDNS: With this feature, you can stream restricted content from any device that supports custom DNS settings. It keeps your connection fast and secure by changing your DNS settings only. The other benefit is that you can use this VPN to stream from different platforms simultaneously without switching servers or regions.
- Kill Switch: NordVPN's kill switch is a built-in feature that protects your data from leaking if your VPN connection drops. It blocks your device's Web access until the VPN is restored. You don't need to activate it, as it’s ‘on’ by default. The service also offers an advanced kill switch that you can enable manually for extra security against rare IP leaks. This feature is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- Private DNS: This option lets you securely browse the Web using NordVPN's DNS servers. It does that by encrypting all your DNS requests. Using this, you can also access any site without censorship or interference. Private DNS is ‘on’ by default on all NordVPN apps, but you can also set it up manually if you wish to do so.
- Split Tunneling: With split tunneling, you can decide which apps use NordVPN and which don't. You can also mark your apps as 'trusted' and see who else is on the same connection. This feature is only for Android, Android TV, and Windows devices. The macOS and Linux apps don't have it yet.
- VPN Protocol: This VPN offers a variety of protocols for secure connections. Depending on your device and preference, you can select from OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2/IPsec. Each protocol has its own advantages and disadvantages. For instance, OpenVPN is an open-source protocol that is widely compatible and customizable. NordLynx is NordVPN's own version of WireGuard, which is fast and lightweight. IKEv2 is another speedy protocol that’s ideal for mobile devices.
- Meshnet: By using Meshnet, you can create a secure network with other NordVPN users. This feature lets you share files, play games, and access content remotely. It does that by connecting your devices directly through encrypted tunnels and giving them special IP addresses. To join a Meshnet, you only need an active subscription and invitation. You can access this feature on Windows, Linux, and macOS devices.
- Dark Web Monitor: This cybersecurity feature lets you scan the dark web for any credential leaks associated with your NordVPN email address and notifies you of potential threats. It runs in the background and requires no configuration. The Dark Web Monitor feature is available on macOS, iOS, Windows, and Android apps.
- Dedicated IP: You can get a dedicated IP address from NordVPN that belongs to one of these countries: the US, Canada, Japan, the UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. It costs $8.99 per month if you have NordVPN’s monthly plan, and you can buy it after you sign up for the VPN.
- Double VPN: This is an advanced security feature that routes traffic through two VPN servers instead of one, encrypting your data and hiding your IP address twice. As you can expect, with this optional feature turned on, no one can track what you do online. It’s available on Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Windows apps.
- Specialized Servers: NordVPN has specialized servers for different needs. You can use these to bypass restrictions, torrent faster, and access the Tor network. You can turn it on in its app under the ‘Specialty Servers’ section. The feature is available on Android, macOS, iOS, Linux, and Windows apps.
Server Count & Infrastructure
NordVPN comes with a trove of servers spread across the entire planet - and it often expands that network in a rapid manner. Our Score: 9/10
NordVPN is one of the VPNs with the most significant number of servers. To discover more information, check out the table found below.
|Number of Servers||5,400+|
|Number of Locations||N/A|
|Number of Countries||60|
|Specific Cities Selection||NO|
As you can tell, the number of NordVPN servers is astounding. With more than 5,400 servers, NordVPN is among the VPNs with the most servers. However, we don’t have precise information on where those servers are located, nor can we pick a specific city to connect to. The only option where that is present is among NordVPN servers from the USA.
Having this many servers is a good thing. In theory, this means you’ll hardly connect to an overcrowded server that throttles the speed of your Web connection. However, this doesn’t mean that VPNs with 500 or 1,000 servers won’t perform as fluidly as NordVPN.
What we’re saying is – even though having plenty of servers is a nice thing, this shouldn't be the most important aspect of choosing a VPN.
Does NordVPN Use Virtual Server Locations?
No, NordVPN doesn't use virtual servers. In other words, this VPN's entire server network is based on physical servers spread across the entire world.
In general, having virtual VPN locations at your disposal isn't a major downside. This especially goes for VPNs that are transparent about their server networks. Still, NordVPN is one step ahead by ensuring that its servers are actually found in the "end" locations.
Also, we've mentioned NordVPN's colocated server network at the beginning of this review. Soon enough, this VPN will own its entire server network as opposed to renting individual servers. This is a major benefit (especially when compared to its competitors) as that gives NordVPN a better chance of creating an incredibly safe and privacy-respecting environment.
UI/UX Design & Ease of Use
Despite a few awkward things, NordVPN is generally very easy to use. It comes with a user-centric UI across all of its apps. Our Score: 9/10
In this segment of our NordVPN review, we'll take a look at the VPN's apps for desktop and mobile platforms. And since Web browser extensions are on offer as well, we'll explain what you can expect from NordVPN in that aspect as well.
How Well Does NordVPN Work on Desktop Platforms?
As you can see from the images in this segment, NordVPN is actually a very simple application. The home screen consists of a large interactive map, which you can use to quickly connect to any NordVPN server.
Alternatively, you can check the left-hand side of NordVPN's UI. This is where you'll find the full list of servers, including NordVPN's specialized servers such as - Dedicated IP, Double VPN, Obfuscated, Onion Over VPN, and P2P. Keep in mind the full list of specialized servers appears only when using the OpenVPN protocol.
Before you click on any country's name from the left-placed list, you can take your time to pick a server manually. Hover over any country's name, and you'll see a 'three dots' icon on the right. Click on that icon, and a menu will appear. Then, pick a server from this menu and connect to it.
To dive deeper into what NordVPN offers, you can check its settings. To access that side of the VPN, click on the 'Settings' icon, visible in the bottom-left corner. We've tested NordVPN on a macOS computer, so here's what the VPN allowed us to customize:
- General: This is where you can instruct NordVPN to auto-launch on system startup. Other than that, you can choose a different VPN protocol and decide whether to send crash reports.
- Auto-Connect: NordVPN lets you set how the VPN behaves when connecting to trusted and untrusted Wi-Fi networks. This is how you can set the VPN to auto-connect on public Wi-Fi networks.
- Presets: NordVPN gives you three customizable presets (you can add more), accessible via its home screen. You can set a custom protocol and pick a server. That way, you can optimize NordVPN for speed, downloading files, or Web browsing.
- Threat Protection: As mentioned previously, NordVPN's Threat Protection helps you to block ads and trackers. It also scans the files you download, acting as an anti-virus.
- Statistics: As you start to use NordVPN, the application will collect information about how much time you've spent connected to its servers (this is locally stored information). You can check the status of your active session, your "streak," and similar types of information.
- Dark Web Monitor: Yes, you read that right! NordVPN checks your email address for leaks that might have happened on the Dark Web. In general, this seems like a handy feature to have.
- Kill Switch: In case NordVPN's secure connection drops, you can set a list of apps that will be shut down automatically. This is how you can prevent your data from leaking.
- Appearance: This VPN offers a dark version of its interface, which is a welcome thing to see. You can also decide where to see NordVPN's icon (in your dock or menu bar).
- Other Apps: This is a marketing-related tab. Here, you'll find a selection of NordVPN's siblings, letting you learn more about apps such as NordPass, NordLocker, and NordLayer.
- Account: Finally, this is where you can review your account's details, your active services, check when your subscription is due to expire, and similar.
How Well Does NordVPN Work on Mobile Platforms?
NordVPN has done a wonderful job of creating a uniform user experience. That means you can count on the same set of UI design principles across all its apps. This is something we don't often see these days, and it puts NordVPN ahead of its competition.
On iOS, the NordVPN app is a joy to use. The app's home screen shows a list of servers, along with an interactive map. Tap on any country using this map, or select a server manually - and you'll be connected in an instant.
At the bottom of the screen, you can check detailed information about the currently active VPN session, along with a button that takes you to the app's settings (where you can change the VPN protocol and more).
When it comes to Android, you'll see practically the same home screen as on iOS. This includes an interactive map, along with a list of all NordVPN's servers below (including specialty servers as well). The 'Settings' icon is found in the top-left corner.
Speaking of NordVPN's settings on iOS and Android, know that there's plenty to fine-tune. So, here's an overview of what to expect.
- Threat Protection - Lite (Android & iOS): As mentioned earlier, this is NordVPN's ad-blocking and anti-malware tool. This is where you can enable it, making your private data safer online.
- Allow Local Network Discovery (Android): If you'd like to allow your local devices to be easily discoverable (like your TV or printer), this is where you can enable that option.
- Split Tunneling (Android): NordVPN offers split tunneling on Android, allowing you to set the apps that will continue to use your "regular" Internet connection.
- Auto-Connect (Android & iOS): You can set NordVPN to auto-connect to a server on all Wi-Fi networks or only on specific networks. This feature can be disabled as well.
- VPN Protocol (Android & iOS): On Android and iOS, you can choose from OpenVPN and NordLynx. The iOS app also supports the IKEv2 protocol.
- Custom DNS & "Tapjacking" Protection (Android): These features are reserved for Android only. You get to set a custom DNS server address, as well as allow NordVPN to protect you against "tapjacking." These are malicious screen overlays that trick you into triggering an unintended action.
All in all, NordVPN's Android and iOS apps are hugely polished and incredibly capable. We highly recommend using them.
How Well Do NordVPN's Web Browser Extensions Work?
NordVPN offers Web browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge (and other related Web browsers based on Google's Chromium and Mozilla's Gecko). We're happy to report that Nord's Web browser extensions have been recently overhauled, so here's what to expect.
Once you log in to your account, NordVPN's extension will show an interface letting you connect to a server automatically or manually. If you click on 'Quick Connect,' the browser extension will pick the closest server based on your physical location, which should provide you with the fastest possible speed.
To dive deeper, click on the Settings icon in the bottom-left corner. You'll get to block WebRTC leaks, enable NordVPN's ad-blocking feature, and manage your list of websites that can bypass Nord's proxy (split tunneling).
Keep in mind that NordVPN's Web browser extensions don't provide the same security level as the VPN's native apps. Using the app, you get a range of ultra-secure protocols and high-end encryption. And using the extension, your HTTPS traffic will be encrypted via the "Transport Layer Security" (TLS 1.2) protocol, which means we're talking about a proxy (not a VPN) here.
Still, it's good to know that NordVPN's extensions look and work great - especially if you need fast performance, better overall protection for your data, or to eliminate ads.
Media Streaming, Torrenting, and Gaming Support
NordVPN lets you stream and torrent on most servers. It can also be used as a reliable VPN for online gaming. Our Score: 9/10
One of the main reasons people use VPNs is to access content online, whether it’s streaming, downloading torrents, or playing games. But not all VPNs can deliver a smooth and satisfying experience for these activities. Let’s see how NordVPN performs in terms of streaming, torrenting, and gaming.
|Amazon Prime Video||YES|
|Torrenting (P2P) Support||YES|
Up until a couple of months ago, NordVPN used to present a half-baked solution for streaming. Even though it worked with Netflix and similar services, you had to try your luck by connecting to a bunch of servers manually, as not many of them worked for streaming.
Even though NordVPN still doesn't offer dedicated servers for media streaming, this process is much smoother than before. Simply connect to a server in a specific country (based on which streaming platform you'd like to unblock), and that's about it.
As such, we can now recommend NordVPN for media streaming. It's capable of unblocking just about any platform out there. And on top of that, the process of unblocking websites has become quite streamlined. Still, we hope to see NordVPN evolve this feature in the future, perhaps by offering specialized servers for streaming, making it easier to know which services are supported from the get-go.
And lastly, know that NordVPN supports torrenting – but not via regular servers. For this purpose, you’ll need to connect to a specialized P2P server. However, you'll be happy to know that NordVPN's P2P servers are spread throughout the world.
Is NordVPN Good for Streaming?
Yes, NordVPN is an excellent VPN provider for streaming, as it offers fast speeds, a wide array of server locations, and SmartPlay technology that allows you to access geo-locked content easily.
Here’re some of the most notable US-based streaming platforms this VPN unblocks.
|Sling TV||ESPN+||Fubo TV|
NordVPN dominates other VPNs for international and non-US streaming platforms, too. Here’s what you can expect.
|BBC iPlayer (UK)||ITVX (UK)||CBC (Canada)|
|RaiPlay (Italy)||9NOW Live (Australia)||RTE (Spain)|
|Zattoo (Germany)||GloboPlay (Brazil)||DSTV (S. Africa)|
NordVPN has improved its streaming capabilities in the past few months. Before, you had to manually connect to different servers to find one that worked with Netflix and other platforms. Now, you can simply choose a server in the country of your desired streaming service and enjoy unblocked content.
This makes NordVPN a reliable choice for media streaming, as it can access almost any platform you want. However, it’d be nice if NordVPN offered dedicated streaming servers in the future, so you could easily see which services are available without trial and error.
Moreover, NordVPN uses SmartPlay technology to enhance your streaming experience. This technology combines the security of a VPN and the flexibility of SmartDNS to provide smooth and fast streaming.
Is NordVPN Good for Torrenting?
Yes, NordVPN is a great choice for torrenting, thanks to its servers that support P2P traffic. You can find them under 'Specialty Servers,' and they’re available in almost every country on the list.
If you connect to a non-P2P server, the app automatically redirects your traffic to a dedicated server in Canada or the Netherlands. This way, your IP address stays hidden, and your privacy is protected. Let’s not forget that the service follows a strict no-logs policy, which means it doesn't spy on your torrents.
Apart from that, NordVPN has a range of advanced security features that help with torrenting, such as a VPN kill switch that prevents your IP address from being exposed. You can also choose from different VPN protocols to optimize your connection’s speed and stability.
The other thing that’s truly helpful is NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy, which you can use with torrent clients like BitTorrent. However, we don't recommend using this feature, as it’s less secure than a VPN. A SOCKS5 proxy only changes your IP address, but it doesn't encrypt your traffic.
Is NordVPN Good for Gaming?
Yes, we believe that NordVPN is a great choice for gaming online. It has a large network of servers around the world and supports almost any device or platform. Also, it lets you customize your connection for gaming with different protocols and options.
In fact, NordVPN has many features for gamers. For example, it can block ads, malware, and other online threats that can affect your gaming performance and security. We know DDoS attacks can ruin gameplay, and in our experience, NordVPN is brilliant at saving you from them through its kill switch feature.
Apart from that, it can also help you access games that are restricted in your region through its SmartPlay feature and can automatically connect you to the best server for gaming.
Security & Privacy
Despite some 'risky' situations from its past, NordVPN is still a highly trustworthy VPN that respects and protects your personal data. Our Score: 9/10
Now, let’s talk about privacy and security – perhaps the most important aspect when choosing a VPN. We’re going to take a look at NordVPN’s encryption and logging policy, and we’ll test its claims as well.
NordVPN Protocols - Listed & Explained!
The table found below shows which protocols are found in each NordVPN app. So, we strongly recommend taking a look below before we discuss what each of those protocols brings.
It's worth highlighting that, in some cases, you can add new VPN protocols manually. For example, this is possible with the IKEv2 protocol on Windows and Linux. By installing this protocol manually, you can take advantage of it even if it's not offered natively.
Still, there's a reason why NordVPN offers a select range of protocols in each of its apps. Even though you can overcome that "limitation," you should do that only if you really know what you're doing. Otherwise, rely on NordVPN's built-in protocols.
OpenVPN is present across all of NordVPN's apps. This is a hugely powerful protocol that comes with strong encryption algorithms. NordVPN couples this protocol with AES-256-GCM (with a 4,096-bit DH key). This would mean that even if someone gets to your data, it would be impossible for them to actually "read" that data.
The IKEv2 protocol is found across Apple-made devices in this case, and it's used by default in NordVPN's apps for macOS and iOS. IKEv2 is considered one of the strongest protocols out there while also managing to provide reliable performance. NordVPN couples it with AES-256 encryption, which should provide the highest level of data protection.
NordLynx is NordVPN's spin on the WireGuard protocol. This is the newest VPN protocol available, boasting high-end security while providing incredibly fast performance. After extensive testing across several platforms, NordLynx became available in April 2020.
As NordVPN highlights, NordLynx is "modern, extremely fast, and insanely lean in architecture." It consists of only 4,000 lines of code, which makes it incredibly lightweight and flexible. Therefore, you get both protection and performance.
Does NordVPN Keep Logs?
NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy. This VPN does not keep any information related to your private data, online activity, or your Internet browsing history.
In other words, none of your personal information is stored on any of NordVPN’s thousands of servers. And to prove this, NordVPN went through many independent audits.
However, it's worth noting that NordVPN does collect some data. We're talking here about diagnostic files, anonymized telemetry data, your device's information, and device identifiers.
Even though all of those technical terms sound intimidating, there's nothing to be worried about. NordVPN collects anonymized data only, which helps the VPN service run better and resolve technical problems.
Does NordVPN Leak/Expose Your Personal Data?
To check for any data leaks, we've made several VPN connections using NordVPN and tested those VPN tunnels. As you can see from the images in this segment, no leaks were detected. Our 'true' IP address remained hidden and replaced by NordVPN's 'virtual' information.
Keep in mind that we've done extensive data leak tests covering IP, DNS, WebRTC, and geo-location data leaks. All of our data never left NordVPN's tunnel, and no leaks were detected. Therefore, we conclude that this VPN will keep you safe and protected online.
Speed & Performance
NordVPN is among the fastest VPNs. Streaming in 4K or downloading large files should not be a problem, even if you don’t have an ultra-fast baseline connection. Our Score: 9/10
Let's see how NordVPN affects our speed. Without a VPN session active in the background, we got 219.91 Mbps for downloads and 205.07 Mbps for uploads. Those are our baseline stats.
Now, we'll try different servers around the world and compare the numbers. VPNs usually slow down your Web traffic by making it take longer routes, so we want to check how well NordVPN handles this by testing both nearby and remote servers.
Here's what we got during our tests of NordVPN’s performance:
- US Server: This server was far from our physical location, so we expected some speed loss. However, we were positively surprised by the result. Our download speed dropped from 219.91 Mbps to 166.12 Mbps. That's a 24% loss in speed, which means that the US server has a good connection and can handle long-distance traffic well.
- UK Server: The server from the UK was relatively close to us, so we hoped for a better performance. We were not disappointed. Our download speed decreased to 184.81 Mbps. That's a 16% loss in speed, which is reasonable.
- Canada Server: NordVPN’s Canada server was as far as the US server from us, so we expected a similar result. We were right. Our download speed fell from 219.91 Mbps to 163.63 Mbps. That's a 26% loss in speed.
- Singapore Server: Since this server was very far from us, we expected our Web speed to deteriorate rapidly. However, our speed dropped from 219.91 Mbps to 174.76 Mbps. That's a 21% loss in speed, suggesting that the Singapore server can manage long-distance traffic quite well.
- Australia Server: This server was also very far from us, so we expected a similar outcome as the Singapore server. Our download speed dipped to 155.12 Mbps. That's a 29% loss in speed, which is the lowest among all the servers we tested - but still more than fast enough, overall.
- Italy Server: The Italian server was another close one to us, so we hoped for a relatively good result. We were let down. Our download speed declined from 219.91 Mbps to 157.94 Mbps. That's a 28% loss in speed. Even though our Web connection speed remained fast enough, we expected a somewhat better result.
We're sure you'll need some help making sense of the numbers found above. For that purpose, we've created the following table, so check it out.
|Download Speed||Upload Speed||Speed Reduction|
|Baseline Data||219.91 Mbps||205.07 Mbps||0%|
|US||166.12 Mbps||1.73 Mbps||24%|
|UK||184.81 Mbps||5.30 Mbps||16%|
|Canada||163.63 Mbps||1.93 Mbps||26%|
|Singapore||174.76 Mbps||15.32 Mbps||21%|
|Australia||155.12 Mbps||0.92 Mbps||29%|
|Italy||157.94 Mbps||3.29 Mbps||28%|
Our tests show that NordVPN slowed down our Web connection by 24% on average. This puts it among the top VPN services in terms of speed. However, while your download speed will stay fast and steady, your upload speed might vary.
As you can see above, NordVPN's performance never dipped below 150 Mbps for us, which is more than enough to stream 4K videos on several devices simultaneously. So, if you have a speedy Web connection, NordVPN won't disappoint you.
NordVPN offers a complete range of customer support channels - so you can have all your questions answered promptly. Our Score: 10/10
If you take a look at older reviews of NordVPN still found online, you’ll see that many were complaining about this company’s lack of live chat and other types of customer support.
Well, that is no longer the case. NordVPN has upgraded its customer support system, and you can expect the following types of resources:
- Live Chat Support: You can talk to a real person via live chat from any page of NordVPN's website. We’ve tried this option a few times and managed to get someone to talk to us in a matter of minutes. The company’s representatives were quite helpful and polite.
- Email Correspondence: In case live chat is unavailable, you can send an email to the company. However, you can expect a reply to come within 48 hours. Therefore, live chat should always be your first choice, especially if you're in a rush to resolve your problem.
- Support Center: NordVPN has a dedicated support page on its website that acts as a troubleshooter. You can check out several support-related categories or use the built-in search option to find an answer to your problems.
- Tutorials: Lastly, there are comprehensive installation tutorials that take you through installing and using NordVPN on all of its supported platforms and devices.
NordVPN Not Connecting/Won't Connect?
We always recommend going straight to NordVPN's customer support in case of any questions. However, we're also here to provide some actionable tips. So, here's what to do when NordVPN fails to connect:
- Check Your Web Connection: Like every other VPN provider, NordVPN requires a stable Internet connection to function smoothly. So, before you do anything else, check if your Internet connection works properly using your Web browser.
- Switch to Another Server: Connecting to a traffic-congested server or a distant server often slows your connection. If you are having trouble connecting, try another server (one that's closer to your physical location) and check if the issue persists.
- Check Your Subscription: Verify if you still have an active subscription plan. If your plan has expired, you won't be able to connect or use any of Nord's services.
- Ensure There Are No Software Conflicts: Antivirus and antimalware software installed on your devices can be too protective and restrict the VPN service from working. To solve this issue, you can temporarily disable your antivirus/antimalware.
- Corrupted Adapters: If you use Windows, try restarting your device's TAP adapters. It's best to talk to NordVPN's support, as they can provide detailed steps on what needs to be done.
NordVPN is a high-priced VPN, but it gets much more affordable via its long-term plans. You'll also find highly attractive deals (with one being available right now). Our Score: 9/10
How Much Is NordVPN?
NordVPN's subscription plans start at $3.29/month and are tiered into 3 different options: Standard, Plus, and Complete. The pricing of each plan depends on the subscription duration you choose, and all plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Let's take a look at each plan:
- Standard: This plan offers 6 simultaneous connections, malware protection, an anti-tracker, and an ad blocker. Its monthly subscription plan costs $12.99/month, the 1-year plan costs $4.59/month, and the 2-year plan costs $3.29/month.
- Plus: If you subscribe to this plan, you will get very similar features set as the Standard plan. However, you’ll also get a premium password manager and a data breach scanner. The monthly subscription of the Plus plan costs $14.19/month, the 1-year plan costs $5.79/month, and the 2-year plan costs $4.49/month.
- Complete: Apart from the usual features that you get with the Standard and Plus plans, you get 1 TB of encrypted cloud storage. The monthly subscription plan costs $15.69/month, the 1-year plan costs $7.29/month, and the 2-year plan costs $5.99/month.
NordVPN's price varies depending on the plan and the subscription duration you choose. You can pay monthly or save up to 63% by opting for a 2-year plan. In terms of mode of payment, NordVPN allows you to use a credit card, crypto, or PayPal.
Is NordVPN Free?
No, NordVPN isn’t free because it’s a premium provider. However, If you want to try NordVPN for free, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial.
You'll need to provide your credit card details and pay for your chosen subscription, but you’ll have 30 days to change your mind and get your money back - without any questions asked.
Despite offering multiple paid plans, a NordVPN lifetime subscription doesn’t exist as it’s not sustainable for the brand. Offering it would mean selling the service for a low price and losing the regular income that’s needed to maintain the service.
Currently, the best deal you can get from NordVPN is the 2-year plan, which offers 3 extra months free for the Standard, Plus, and Complete plans, starting at $3.29 per month. Apart from that, it also gives you access to over 5,000 servers in 60 countries, as well as advanced security features and fast speeds.
NordVPN Comparison with Other VPN Providers
We've spent quite some time testing NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and CyberGhost. Therefore, we'd like to present a quick comparison of these three VPNs.
|Number of Servers||5,400+||3,000+||7,500+|
|Number of Countries||60||90+||90+|
|Number of Connections||6||5||7|
|Speed/Performance||ULTRA FAST||ULTRA FAST||FAST|
|Prime Video Support||YES||YES||YES|
Final Thoughts - Is NordVPN Worth It?
NordVPN is an excellent VPN provider at its core. Its array of servers across 60 countries, decent speed and performance, industry-standard tunneling protocol, and AES-256 encryption rank it among the best in the market. It’s not hard to see why millions love this VPN provider!
That said, whether you’re a regular or avid VPN user, NordVPN will meet your needs. Hence, we strongly recommend NordVPN.
- Polished UI and UX design.
- Army of servers.
- High-end VPN protocols.
- No personal data logging.
- Supports media streaming platforms.
- Suitable for torrenting.
- Affordable long-term plans.
- Incredibly helpful customer support.
- Customer-friendly money-back policy.
- Split tunneling only available on Android and Windows.
- Doesn't offer a dedicated router app.
- High-priced monthly subscription.
What Is NordVPN?
NordVPN is one of the best VPN providers in the market. It offers excellent privacy, security, and encryption features to users across the globe, allowing them to access various content worldwide without risking their anonymity.
Who Owns NordVPN?
NordVPN is the brainchild of Eimantas Sabaliauskas, Tom Okman, and Jonas Karklys. The VPN provider is registered under the parent company Nord Security (NordSec Ltd.), which is also in charge of brands like NordLocker, NordPass, Nord WL, and NordVPN Teams.
Is NordVPN Good?
Yes! NordVPN is a decent VPN provider, offering exceptional VPN tools and services that rival the best in the market.
Is NordVPN Legit?
How Many Servers Does NordVPN Have?
NordVPN boasts 5,400 servers across 60 countries.
How Fast Is NordVPN?
As per our hands-on tests, NordVPN is among the fastest VPNs on the market. It's great for streaming, gaming, torrenting, as well as any other bandwidth-hungry task.
How to Cancel a NordVPN Subscription?
Canceling your NordVPN subscription is straightforward. You'll have to visit the official site, log in and go to the billing section. Find the subscription tab and click on it. Next, you click on “Manage” and then on “Cancel Auto-renewal.”
Here's more info on how to cancel your NordVPN subscription.
Does NordVPN Work in China?
Yes, NordVPN works in China. It's actually one of the best options in terms of VPNs capable of going around the Great Firewall of China.
How Many Devices Can You Use with NordVPN?
You can use NordVPN on up to 6 devices at the same time with one account. However, if you need more devices covered, you can set up your router with NordVPN, which will protect all your devices at once.