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Who Owns NordVPN? Can You Really Trust This VPN?

Written by Novak Bozovic
Last updated May 25, 2024

NordVPN is among the most popular VPNs on today's global market, which tells a lot right off the bat. However, before signing up for any VPN, it's crucial to know a thing or two about its transparency. That said, NordVPN is going through regular audits to prove that it has nothing to hide.

More importantly, the same applies to NordVPN's ownership, which is easy to track and verify online. Transparency goes a long way in the world of commercial VPN services, and as you're about to find out, NordVPN is among the rare VPNs to deserve your trust.

In this article, we'll talk about who owns NordVPN, who its founders are, which country it comes from, whether it has any ties to China, whether it owns other VPN brands, and we'll also discuss NordVPN's privacy and security practices. We'll also go over some of the controveries from NordVPN's past and answer whether it deserves you trust.

Who Are the Founders of NordVPN?

The founders of NordVPN are Tom OkmanEimantas Sabaliauskas, and Jonas Karklys. If you click on the provided links, you’ll get to their LinkedIn profiles and see that they're NordVPN's owners. 

NordVPN's founders reportedly reviewed 34 various projects and ideas before the VPN provider became a reality, testing the waters with computer games, Web hosting solutions, and more. In 2012, NordVPN started its life after Okman contributed to the development, managing to reduce the travel time of TCP packets, making him the inventor of this data transmission protocol.

However, that wasn't the first digital product that came from the minds of NordVPN's owners, Tom Okman and Eimantas Sabaliauskas, who founded Tesonet in 2008. Today, Tesonet still exists and acts as "an incubator, a venture builder, and a digital frontier specializing in all things IT." On top of that, that company has 3,000+ employees, and it's either a creator or investor in "over 30 various global products and projects."

Who Owns NordVPN?

NordVPN is currently owned by 'nordvpn S.A.' - and the NordVPN ownership is under Nord Security (NordSec Ltd.), which is in charge of brands like NordVPN, NordLayer, NordPass, NordStellar, and NordLocker.

If you take a look at NordSecurity's site, you’ll see that NordVPN is explicitly mentioned there, making numerous direct links between this business entity and the VPN service. As you can see, this VPN provider has nothing to hide.

In fact, it's quite rare to see a VPN that hides nothing about its ownership hierarchy. And since it goes through regular independent audits, we can say that NordVPN deserves your trust.

Where Is NordVPN Located?

As per the latest official information, NordVPN's country of origin is Panama. That's not a coincidence, as this country is known for its privacy-friendly laws.

More precisely, Panama allows NordVPN to operate without collecting sensitive information. This provider does not log your browsing history, traffic information, or IP addresses used to access the Internet or its services. That means that individual IP addresses can't be connected to a specific user based on data that NordVPN processes.

However, like any other business entity, NordVPN is obliged to process legal requests recognized by the laws of the Republic of Panama. In most cases, individual IPs can't be linked to specific users, meaning that NordVPN gives you complete privacy on the Web. Of course, government agencies might be able to force the provider to log and reveal your data if you find yourself under criminal investigation.

You can also read online about a company called Tefincom, which has ties to NordVPN. If we check Tefincom’s registry information, we'll see that the company was incorporated in 2016 in Panama. Marios Papaloizou, Alesia Kabanova, and Alina Gatsaniuk are among the people in charge.

However, other documents reveal that Tefincom’s address is in Cyprus and that it has two employees only, with the person in charge being Marios Papaloizou. So, does NordVPN come from Panama, Cyprus, or perhaps from Lithuania, where NordSec’s offices are found?

Well, as per NordVPN’s legal documents, NordVPN was incorporated in Panama, its attorneys and registered directors are located in Cyprus, and its team is from Lithuania, where most of its employees work on a daily basis.

The Truth About NordVPN's Ownership by China

Despite some rumors circulating on the Internet, NordVPN is not owned by a Chinese company. More precisely, this VPN provider has no ties to China. It was developed by a Lithuanian company (Nord Security), and its parent company (nordvpn S.A.) is registered in Panama.

We will also add that NordVPN doesn't offer servers in China, which is most probably a precautionary measure to avoid data logging. However, if you're an Internet user in China, you'll be happy to know that you can use NordVPN in China to open up your access to the Web.

NordVPN offers servers in 111 countries. That means Chinese users can use all of those servers to unblock the Web, browse as if they're abroad, and reach beyond the Great Firewall of China.

NordVPN's Merger with Surfshark

In 2022, Surfshark announced its merger with NordVPN's home company, NordSecurity. The deal went through after months of discussions, with the final decision set for NordVPN and Surfshark to remain two separate VPN providers in the future.

Even though Surfshark is now part of NordSecurity, its home company remains in the Netherlands. The two VPNs underwent zero changes. Their Terms of Service and Privacy Policy remained the same, and the only goal was to "reach mutual goals while keeping the autonomy of operations," as explained by the companies' representatives.

NordVPN and Surfshark probably exchange some technologies in the background, which could help them develop new features and stay competitive in today's harsh VPN market. Their ownerships are separate, so you can think of them as two independent VPN companies.

NordVPN's Privacy and Security Practices

NordVPN employs a strict no-logs policy, which means that the VPN provider doesn't log any information that could point to your online whereabouts.

Through its software, NordVPN collects anonymized information only. That data shows how some of its features are used, which helps NordVPN's developers resolve bugs and implement new solutions. This VPN doesn't collect your IP address, and it knows nothing about what you do on the Web.

To further cement its position as a transparent VPN, NordVPN undergoes regular audits. The first ones were done in 2018 and 2020 by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland. Then, VerSprite audited NordVPN in 2021, and Deloitte reviewed the VPN in 2022 and 2023, showing that NordVPN sticks to its no-logs claims.

Controversies and Challenges Faced by NordVPN

In 2018, NordVPN experienced a data breach on its Finland-based server due to poor configuration on a third-party data center's part. Even though a single server was attacked through TLS keys, no user traffic was monitored in any way.

As soon as the affected server was identified, it was brought offline, even before NordVPN was notified of the incident. As per NordVPN's report, as soon as the provider learned about the breach, the server and the contract with the third-party data center were terminated by the owner of NordVPN.

Not long after, NordVPN inspected its entire server network to ensure that the same vulnerability wasn't found elsewhere. It also underwent a range of independent audits, launched a bug bounty program, switched to a collocated network, and remained one of the most trustworthy and transparent VPNs.

Can You Trust NordVPN With Your Sensitive Data?

Yes, you can definitely trust NordVPN to keep your data safe. After all, it's one of the most feature-rich providers that's not afraid of being transparent about its policies and infrastructure. Still, it's essential to set your expectations right and use VPNs only for legitimate purposes. 

Keep in mind that NordVPN isn’t an "indie" VPN service created by a two-person team. It is a product of a major corporation with over 15 million customers. Even though its legal background might sound intimidating, that also means NordVPN comes from a legitimate company and is well aware of its promises, which are directly related to its profits and long-term business goals. 

We'll again remind you that NordVPN has been audited by reputable third-party cyber-sec companies, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte, which are known are strict auditors. So, if there's any VPN that truly respects your privacy, that would be NordVPN.

Final Thoughts

NordVPN's ownership is a testament to the provider's credibility. Based in Panama, following a strict no-logs policy, and ready to undergo independent audits, NordVPN proves its dedication to Internet privacy and security. It's one of the most transparent VPNs overall, which makes it worth your trust, time, and money.

NordVPN comes with our strong recommendation, and not just because of its transparency. This is also one of the fastest VPN providers, with the ability to unblock any website or digital service. It has servers in 111 countries, high-end protocols, anti-tracking tools, and even an anti-malware component, all of which are more than good reasons to sign up.

That's all for our explanation of the owner of NordVPN. If you have anything to share, please do so via the comments section below. Lastly, thanks for reading!

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