If you’ve decided to secure your Internet connection, preventing all prying eyes from invading your privacy and unveiling your online identity, it’s safe to say that you’ve searched for “the best VPN” or queried a similar phrase.
It’s inevitable that when you do that, a bunch of names will surely appear as your search results. One of these results is NordVPN.
At first, it sparked our curiosity, which coerced us into installing it on our computers and running a bunch of tests so that we could see for ourselves what’s the big fuss. Well, we did just that and wrote this review to point out the highlights of this privacy protection system.
Now if you’re worried that this read might take you a long time to go through with, you shouldn’t fret, since we’ve thought about everything and included a handy table of content, so you can jump straight to the part that interest you most and skip the “boring” sections.
- Behind the curtains
- Panama Jurisdiction
- Terms of service analysis
- A quick introduction to NordVPN
- Creating an account
- Downloading the app on your device
- Checking the installer for malware
- Installing the application
- Running NordVPN on your computer
- Settings that can be easily understood…
- …more advanced settings…
- …and settings you shouldn’t mess with
- iOS app overhaul
- Siri has a new task
- Changes to the widget
- Automatic VPN switch for WiFi
- Malware protection included
- Kill Switch, Torrenting, Split-Tunneling, and Tor
- Using NordVPN for online gaming
- Accessing restricted websites in China
- A list of server locations
- Versatile VPN solution
- Security test results
- Speed test results
- Subscription plan details
Behind the curtains
NordVPN is the company that owns the VPN service with the same name. The headquarters are located in Panama, mostly because the country doesn’t have any laws regarding mandatory data retention and isn’t a member of the Fourteen Eyes or the Five Eyes associations.
The idea behind this VPN service was born when four childhood friends, aiming to liberate the Internet, created a VPN server, shared it among their friends and continued their work, encouraged by the positive feedback they received.
Not much else can be said about the company since other pieces of information are not to be found easily. However, if you access their website, you’ll be able to find and read a manifesto, which explains their intentions of keeping the Internet a place that is secure and free of various regulations. This should be enough to convince you to at least give it a try and see if you can trust it in the long run, especially since nowadays more and more weird surveillance laws are discussed.
Starting with the beginning, using a VPN is totally legal in Panama, so we got that out of the way. The constitution of Panama holds the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press and the freedom of association safe, despite the ongoing, disturbing presence of corruption.
However, due to corruption, it sometimes happens that the government engages in some attempts to smother the critics of public officials and restrict or cut off entirely access to mobile and Internet in the most critical areas. There were some reports that claim that some email monitoring occurred and even some wiretapping, but the latter requires judicial oversight.
It’s worth mentioning that Panama is not a member of the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances so that the risk of your data reaching the hands of another member country’s government or intelligence agencies are slim to none.
Terms of service analysis
As we do with every service in our database, it’s time that we crack down on NordVPN’s Terms of Service documentation and give it a thorough read. The reason why we do this is that we understand how tedious reading such a document is and how almost none of the users actually give it any sort of importance.
Therefore, not only that we’ll give it a good read, but we’ll also extract the important stuff and bring it to you here, in an attempt to help you understand exactly what you are and aren’t supposed to do while using NordVPN’s service. Let’s begin, shall we?
- First thing’s first, the Terms of Service document has a “Last updated” date that points to August 13, 2019, so you might want to keep an eye on this date, as it might be a helpful indicator that changes have occurred and the moment when said changes become effective;
- It goes without saying that, like other similar services’, NordVPN’s Terms of Service are actually a binding legal agreement between you and the NordVPN company;
- If you visit the website, register for the service as well as install and/or use the NordVPN service on any device, you agree to the terms of the agreement and agree to be bound by the terms;
- If you use NordVPN’s services as an organization, you agree to the terms on behalf of said organization and are authorized to act on behalf of the said organization as well as commit to the agreement in the name of the organization;
- Even though the purpose of the NordVPN service is to create a private, secure environment for your connection, NordVPN does not condone using its service in any unlawful manner;
- You must agree not to violate the law of any jurisdiction that you might be originating from and any other applicable law whatsoever;
- It is your responsibility to know and understand any laws related to any jurisdiction that concerns you, your use of NordVPN’s service and your actions;
- NordVPN guarantees that your activities while connected to their service will not be monitored, logged, recorded, stored or passed to any third party since their service is provided by an automated process;
- No connection timestamps, information related to your session, traffic logs, amount of used bandwidth, IP addresses or other similar data are stored by NordVPN;
- In order to limit the number of simultaneous connections, the timestamp and username of your last session status are kept by an algorithm, but only while the sessions is active. After the session is terminated, the data is wiped within 15 minutes;
- Only a minimal amount of payment information is processed through NordVPN’s payment service providers and the partners that are authorized to provide their payment processing services;
- You understand that NordVPN reserves its right to modify the content of the Terms of Service document at any time and that it’s your responsibility to check the current document periodically;
- If you keep using the service after the modifications become effective, it will automatically be seen as your acceptance and agreement to them;
- You understand that you are using the NordVPN services at your own risk and that the services might be modified, interrupted, updated or suspended at any time without any prior notice and without any liability;
- NordVPN shall not be liable for monetary or non-monetary losses except for what you payed for the service;
- You are not allowed to engage in any unlawful, illicit, fraudulent or criminal activities while you’re connected to the service;
- Since your activity is not monitored in any way while you’re using NordVPN’s services, if you are caught in another way (some other customer would notify the company of your actions, for instance), your account might be suspended or terminated altogether;
- The license that NordVPN grants to you allows you to download and use the services and gives you no proprietary right over them;
- You are not allowed to use NordVPN’s services if you are a minor (i.e. under 18 years old), a competitor of its business, if your account has been suspended or if you are prohibited to access the services;
- You can claim a refund but only within 30 days of your purchase of the NordVPN service. No refunds will be issued for accounts that were terminated as a result of a Terms of Service violation;
- You are not allowed to engage in any hacking activity such as port scanning, spamming, scanning for open proxies, sending unsolicited emails, messages or content while connected to NordVPN;
- You are not allowed to engage in any fraudulent activities such as credit card fraud, cloaking, extortion, blackmailing, but also rape, murder, stolen credit cards selling and other questionable activities;
- You are not allowed to exploit children in any way, including by digital content;
- You are not allowed to distribute materials that might damage other devices such as viruses, malware, spyware, trojans, bots and the such;
- You are not allowed to exploit NordVPN’s services in any way;
- You are not allowed to engage in any form of unsolicited communication such as pyramid schemes, chain letters, spamming and the such;
- You are not allowed to perform any action that might damage the NordVPN services;
- You are not allowed to copy or reproduce in any manner the NordVPN services;
- You are not allowed to distribute materials that might contain or incite to violence, hatred, bigotry, and the such;
- You are not allowed to even attempt to gain unauthorized access to NordVPN’s services, network, user accounts or computer systems that are connected to NordVPN;
- You are not allowed to use NordVPN for any military purposes such as weapon development, cyber-warfare, production, design or manufacture of missiles, biological, nuclear or chemical weapons;
- You are not allowed to infringe or circumvent the terms;
Well, we think we did a pretty good job, even though the content of this section is huge, we’ve tried and probably succeeded to narrow it down to its essentials.
Since there are two agreements that you are subject to while using NordVPN’s services, we’ve decided to include both on our list and into our review, and yes, we’ll be giving this one (i.e. the PrivacyPolicy) the same treatment as the Terms of Service received.
Meaning that we’ll give it a thorough read and let you know what should concern you most in this situation. Usually, it’s about collected data, not-collected data and what happens with your data. Pretty simple, right? Let’s begin.
First thing’s first, you should know right from the start that NordVPN embraces a no-logging policy, as you can see in the following excerpt:
“NordVPN guarantees a strict no-logs policy for NordVPN services, meaning that your activities using NordVPN Services are provided by automated technical process, are not monitored, recorded, logged, stored or passed to any third party. We do not store connection time stamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses or other data. From the moment a NordVPN.com user turns on the NordVPN.com software, their Internet data becomes encrypted. Any online traffic coming from user’s device is no longer visible to ISP, third-party snoopers or cyber criminals. Further, NordVPN have a strict no logs policy when it comes to seeing user activity online: NordVPN is based in Panama, which does not require data storage.”
Data you willingly provide to them:
- Your email address – required as part of your registration and lets NordVPN communicate with you, but can also retrieve your lost password and be used to establish a VPN connection;
- Your payment data – you can use conventional methods such as credit cards, but also cryptocurrency;
Technical information NordVPN collects:
- Server load information – in order to recommend the most suitable server to the customers, the server performance is monitored;
- Customer service information – user communications and inquiries through the Contact Us and Community Area pages are stored by NordVPN;
- Cookies – Google Analytics for website improvement and statistical assessment, affiliate cookies, and website personalization cookies;
You should know that NordVPN stores your personal data for the whole period when you’re using the NordVPN services and also for two years after your last use of the app and/or the services.
A quick introduction to NordVPN
Okay, we covered company information and all the important things regarding the logging policy. Now it’s time to show you a little bit of NordVPN’s magic.
First thing first, NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services as of today. As you probably already know, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and, as its name clearly indicates, it’s an effective way of covering your tracks – or erasing them altogether – when you decide to surf the world wide web.
All the user’s Internet traffic is routed through a server that is run by the service, thus masking the user’s IP address successfully while also encrypting any incoming or outgoing bits of data.
In the applications, encryption is possible thanks to the OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec protocols, but L2TP and PPTP protocols can also be used after configuring them manually. NordVPN makes use of the NGE (Next Generation Encryption) technology with the IKEv2/IPsec protocol (the default encryption protocol for iOS and macOS devices).
The AES-256-GCM algorithm is used to encrypt your data, but it is also combined with the SHA2-384 one for data integrity and the 3072-bit Diffie Hellmann keys PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) so that data containers are virtually airtight.
Among the tools that NordVPN has developed, you can find applications for Windows and macOS, but also mobile apps that were developed for Android and iOS and even an application that works on Android TVs. Extensions for the Firefox and Chrome browsers can be downloaded and used as well.
Regarding the subscription limitations, users are only allowed to use the registered service on a maximum of six devices simultaneously, no matter if it’s computers, laptops, Android TVs or handheld devices we’re talking about.
Creating an account
The best part about this is that you don’t need to create an account and sign in to it so you can access these applications, compared to other VPN service providers who turn it into a mandatory task. Furthermore, if you scroll down, each page comes with a brief guide informing you about the installation and usage of NordVPN on the target device.
If, however, you decide to create an account for NordVPN, you can access the downloads section directly from the dashboard of your profile. So, in order to create an account, you must take the following steps:
- Navigate to NordVPN;
- Click on the Pricing button;
- Choose a plan from the corresponding menu;
- Type your email address in the “Step 2″ section;
- Choose a payment method by clicking the corresponding radio button;
- Select your country from the combo menu;
- Type your payment details in the designated fields;
- Hit the “Continue” button once you’re done;
- Confirm the payment;
That’s it! Not only have you created a NordVPN account, but you’re also the proud owner of a subscription plan for the service.
The dashboard enables you to access some services such as viewing the auditors’ report on NordVPN, buy a subscription plan or extend your current one, download browser proxy extensions and buy a dedicated IP address plan, which is separate from the standard VPN plans.
Next, to the dashboard, you’ll notice the “Downloads” and “Change Password” sections, both of which are self-explanatory. Accessing the “Downloads“ section lets you download NordVPN for various platforms, including Windows, Android, macOS, iOS, Android TV and Linux, retrieve web browser extensions and even read tutorials on how to use NordVPN on Raspberry Pi, Synology, NAS or various routers or NAS devices.
Downloading the app on your device
Perhaps NordVPN has one of the easiest to access download sections, where you can access the setup packages for various devices, depending on your needs. All you have to do is buy a subscription plan from here, click the “VPN Apps” (on the homepage) button at the top of the page after reaching their website.
From here you’ll be able to view a collection of device names, organized in a toolbar at the upper part of the window, and clicking any of these titles will provide you with download options according to your selection. For instance, the Windows section only has one download option that lets you retrieve the installer executable on your computer, but the Android section has two options: getting the app from Google Play or downloading the APK file to your phone or computer.
Checking the installer for malware
It should be a habit to you to perform checks for everything that gets into your system, mainly because such crafty attacks have been developed lately that even trusted sources (such as NordVPN) could be subjected to them without them even knowing (or you, for that matter).
Some providers offer you hashes for the files they make available on their website so that you can check against the hashes of the document you just downloaded. If they match, it’s a go, if they don’t, then something fishy must’ve happened.
However, in case they don’t, you could at least run a security check by uploading the file on VirusTotal and performing a scan there. They provide you with several antivirus engines, so the chances for anything shady going on within the document are pretty slim. That doesn’t mean the results from VirusTotal are 100% trustworthy since there are 0-day malware codes that need some time out there before they get spotted by antivirus software, but it’s still better than nothing.
You can check our scanning results by accessing this page.
Installing the application
As usual, we’re going to discuss the setup process before going deeper into the service’s core. Long story short, NordVPN can be installed easily. Now for the long part: after you download the application on the target computer (we’re talking about installing the VPN on a Windows computer, whether it’s a desktop or laptop), merely launching the executable gets half of the job done.
The other half consists of you deciding where you want its files to reside after the setup process has been completed. That’s it. The application will also install and configure a NordVPN TAP driver on your computer, to ensure that your device can be properly connected to their servers. However, the TAP driver installation process is almost invisible and there’s no menu, dialog or prompt that you can interact with during its setup.
After the application has been successfully installed on your PC, you are asked to type your credentials in the dedicated fields so that NordVPN can be activated and its features fully unlocked for you.
Running NordVPN on your computer
If you made it until here, then it means you can start using the VPN service as you wish. Naturally, NordVPN has a quick connection mode that chooses the best server for you based on your location and its speed, so that your connection wouldn’t get dramatically affected in a negative way by the server it connects you to.
However, there are also multiple features that you can make use of if you want to take control of the VPN and what server it connects you to. There’s a dedicated page on the main window where you can access a couple of categories: “Specialty servers” and “All countries.”
Depending on your current needs, you might either choose to connect to a server that’s highly proficient on P2P operations such as file transfers, a “Double VPN” and a server that gives you a dedicated IP or directly connect to a standard VPN server by choosing a country.
If you don’t care about location and want the fastest server that’s also secure, simply slide the large power button on the main window, and the app will automatically connect you to the closest and fastest server.
The button also works to disconnect and connect you from and to a server, so if you recently disconnected using the power button, clicking it again will reconnect you to the previous server.
Settings that can be easily understood…
Unlike other similar tools, NordVPN tends to its novice users by not overcomplicating things and keeping the interface as simple and fresh as possible. If you thought the “Map” section of the main window was simple, wait till you see what the “Settings” menu has in store for you.
Upon accessing the “Settings” menu you’ll surely notice that it’s split into two categories, the “General” tab and the “My Account” one. Unless you want to see account details, we’ll focus more on the “General” category, since it’s more interesting to interact with.
At the top of the screen, you have information regarding the version of the app, and you’re also able to update it from there if there’s a newer version available on the market. Next, you can enable or disable a “CyberSec” feature that is meant to avoid advertisements and protect you against various malware, phishing, and other cybernetic threats. This very function can also be enabled once you run the app for the first time, as you’ll be prompted to choose between enabling it or not.
The application can be used to connect to a certain service or country automatically upon launching it. So you can either choose a country from the list or one of the special servers that we discussed earlier. NordVPN can be set to start automatically whenever Windows starts so that you don’t have to spend precious time looking around for it on your PC each time you boot into Windows.
…more advanced settings…
Scrolling down the “General” section of the “Settings” menu brings us to more and more advanced features of this application. One of the most interesting features must be the “Internet Kill Switch,” which enables you to access the Internet only when you’re connected to the VPN service. This makes sure that if the connection suddenly drops, your identity won’t be revealed to the ISP or other malevolent users who might be trying to spy on you.
Another feature that can come in handy is the “Invisibility on LAN” that is pretty much self-explanatory and does exactly what it says it does: turns your computer invisible to other devices on the local area network (LAN). The “App Kill Switch” can be extremely useful as it can immediately kill certain applications if the VPN connection suddenly drops. For instance, you can kill the torrent or Tor client if the VPN connection suddenly drops, which also helps your online identity remain private to third-parties.
The list of basic settings ends with a couple of features that can be toggled – notifications and “start minimized.” The former enables or disables notifications whenever connecting or disconnecting to and from NordVPN while the latter starts the application in the System Tray.
…and settings you shouldn’t mess with
Okay, the title is a bit scary, but if you have zero previous experience with VPN apps, you shouldn’t be tampering with these parameters, as the application also advises you when you try to access them.
Bringing the menu into view can be done by clicking the “Open Advanced Settings” hyperlink and confirming that you know what you’re doing. Once you’ve done this, you are free to enhance or break your application as you see fit.
Here you can choose between TCP and UDP protocols by clicking the desired radio button, enable the use of custom DNS servers (and also add other DNS servers to your liking), toggle obfuscated servers and run a diagnostics tool. Obfuscated servers enable users to make use of NordVPN’s capabilities from locations that are restricted. However, this feature can slow down the Internet connection’s speed.
That concludes the whole configuring and operating the menus of the NordVPN chapter. If you have any difficulty locating one or more components mentioned in this section of the review, feel free to access the screenshots gallery and take a look around.
iOS app overhaul
Recently, one of NordVPN’s apps, the iOS application to be more precise, has received an overhaul, and it’s not an interface-related update, but one that has additional features in store.
Siri has a new task
Most VPN users rely on their trustworthy fingers to connect to and disconnect from the privacy of the tunnels that their providers offer them. However, NordVPN has recently made it possible to use your voice when using its iOS app by integrating it with Shortcuts (you may know it as Siri).
So apparently it’s no longer necessary to search for the app, launch it and click the connection button. Instead, you could just ask Siri to do it for you by using an appropriate phrase like “Siri, secure my connection” or “Siri, connect to NordVPN” or something like that. It’s worth mentioning that for now, only connecting and disconnecting is possible via Siri, but reportedly more similar voice commands will become available in the future.
Changes to the widget
NordVPN’s iOS app had a widget for a while, but its functionality was limited to only connecting to the VPN and disconnecting from it quickly, right from your iOS device’s lock screen.
However, now you can do more with the widget since shortcuts to your recent connections have been implemented and are available directly on your lock screen. All you have to do is just swipe till you find the connection you’re looking for, tap it and that’s it; you’re connected to the server of your choice.
Automatic VPN switch for WiFi
If you’re always on the go, you’re probably familiar with public WiFi networks and might have at least a basic understanding of how connecting to insecure networks like these can lead to private data leaks if you’re not careful to connect to the VPN before accessing them. However, you might forget to do that sometimes and that critical timeframe might be more than enough for someone to sneak up on you.
NordVPN has implemented an automatic VPN switch in their iOS app for scenarios like the one above, so you don’t have to manually connect to the VPN each time you switch networks. All you have to do is head to the “Settings” menu, in the “Auto-Connect” section and configure it as you wish. You can choose to keep the VPN on at all times, connect to it only when using WiFi or enable it for untrusted networks, depending on your needs.
Malware protection included
In case you’re afraid that you might land someplace that overflows with malware, you’ll be glad to hear that CyberSec was implemented on NordVPN’s iOS app. CyberSec, which stands for Cyber Security, is a handy feature that prevents the above event from occurring in various ways.
For once, it blocks your access to any site that’s been blacklisted for hosting malware, malicious software, trackers, spyware, you know, the sorts. Also, it protects your phone against DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks and ensures you won’t end up in a “botnet zombie army.” All you have to do is locate the feature in the “Settings” menu and flip its switch.
Kill Switch, Torrenting, Split-Tunneling, and Tor
In terms of Torrenting, NordVPN does not impose any restrictions on your, which means that you are free to download as much as you want using your favorite P2P sharing apps. Not only that, but you even get access to specialized P2P servers. These are designed to maximize torrent download speeds, which should allow you to make good use of your regular bandwidth, without suffering any major losses in this regard.
There is also a kill switch that can be activated, and we do recommend you keep it enabled at all times. In case you are not familiar with what a kill switch does, then you should know that it’s the only thing that can keep you from being exposed in case the VPN server goes down while you are using it. In essence, your whole connection is automatically terminated when that happens, which prevents your real identity from being leaked in case of a malfunction. The only downside is that you will lose all connectivity until a successful reconnect attempt, but it’s a small price to pay in exchange for security and privacy.
Tor is also supported by NordVPN, although there are no specialized servers for this purpose. However, keep in mind that using both Tor and a VPN at the same time takes a significant toll on your connection, mainly because your traffic has to be rerouted at least two times in the process. Granted, this makes you next to impossible to track, but you also lose a lot of speed and latency in the trade-off.
Lastly, NordVPN does not offer a split-tunneling feature, unfortunately. In short, this means that you cannot white-list certain apps and allow them to bypass the VPN app, which can cause latency issues if you are trying to play online games and you need a good ping in order to remain competitive. On the other hand, NordVPN is constantly being improved, so perhaps a split-tunneling feature is going to be available sometime in the future.
Using NordVPN for online gaming
One of the most annoying things about VPNs is that they have to run in the background at all times in order to keep you truly safe, which can interfere with your other activities sometimes. This includes your ability to play online games at an acceptable latency, given the fact that your regular connection needs to be rerouted through a different server, which increases input lag and your ping.
In the case of NordVPN, things are not so bleak, however. Thus, you can definitely enjoy some online games while the app is running in the background, but it depends on the location you are connected to. Our tests show that pings can be pretty high if you are geographically far away from the chosen server, which obviously has a negative impact on your gaming experience as well.
Accessing restricted websites in China
The good news is that NordVPN is a good choice for Chinese citizens as well, given the fact that it manages to work as intended even under China’s harsh censorship. In fact, you can even get the native app to work, which is not something many VPNs are capable of, given the fact that China has managed to poison most VPN-related DNS servers.
In addition, the service also comes with a few other useful tools that come in handy, such as obfuscated servers, which are designed especially for getting past strict firewalls. However, it’s worth pointing out that enabling this feature usually takes a significant toll on your connection. Naturally, the extra lag is definitely worth it under the circumstances.
Lastly, it’s highly recommended that you use the built-in kill switch feature, given the fact that you are far more likely to lose server connection under the circumstances, which would leave you exposed.
A list of server locations
The servers are organized by region and country as follows:
|Location||Number of servers||Obfuscated||P2P||Double VPN||Dedicated IP|
|The United Kingdom||613 servers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Netherlands||273 servers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Czech Republic||55 servers||No||Yes||No||No|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||4 servers||No||Yes||No||No|
|North Macedonia||2 servers||No||Yes||No||No|
|Location||Number of servers||Obfuscated||P2P||Double VPN||Dedicated IP|
|Hong Kong||66 servers||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|New Zealand||40 servers||No||Yes||No||No|
|South Korea||10 servers||No||No||No||No|
|Location||Number of servers||Obfuscated||P2P||Double VPN||Dedicated IP|
|United States||1675 servers||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Costa Rica||5 servers||No||Yes||No||No|
|Location||Number of servers||Obfuscated||P2P||Double VPN||Dedicated IP|
|South Africa||43 servers||No||Yes||No||No|
|United Arab Emirates||20 servers||Yes||No||No||No|
NordVPN provides you with a total of 5669 servers in 58 countries. The countries have been sorted by the number of servers NordVPN owns in each of them. It is also worth noting that some servers provide users with all the features (P2P, Double VPN, Dedicated IP, Onion Over VPN and Obfuscated servers), some offer only some of them, while others have one or no additional supported features.
Versatile VPN solution
One of the most interesting aspects of a VPN has to be the number of services it can unlock, next to its overall speed and security-oriented features.
We’re happy to let you know that NordVPN is an excellent choice for a wide variety of activities, ranging from streaming, enjoying multimedia content, playing online games and accessing restricted services to even sharing files through P2P services such as torrenting.
You can also rest assured that your Tor anonymity won’t get randomly exposed and you won’t be targeted by DDoS attacks since its special servers provide you with added protection against them.
Some of the services we attempted to access through NordVPN’s servers include but are not limited to Facebook, Twitter, vk.com, Google+, Amazon Prime, Instagram, Kik, Snapchat, Telegram, some Google services that are generally unavailable, Netflix and Spotify. We didn’t encounter any trouble whenever we tried accessing and using them.
If the service is still restricted to you or the website becomes unavailable all of a sudden, try clearing the cache and cookies before trying to access it again through the VPN server of your choice. Also, we advise you to use the incognito mode for whatever browser you’re currently using and, if possible, try making use of the VPN extension.
Security test results
If you’ve already read the article regarding the testing procedures, you probably understand what we’re about to do. Most of the tests we run on our computer are focused on security, but the speed and overall reliability are also very important.
During our tests, we check for leaks that might occur whenever we use the VPN service. Since the whole purpose of VPN providers is to protect your privacy against the prying eyes of various malevolent users or even your Internet Service Provider (ISP), leaking information is absolutely not wanted whenever you use one to connect to the Internet.
As a conclusion, all of the security tests for NordVPN came out negative, with no major data being leaked. We mention this ‘major data’ aspect because there were some details that were displayed as they were (without a mask), but we’ve decided that they shouldn’t be considered leaks since they can’t be used to identify any user. NordVPN is a secure VPN. Do we recommend it? Absolutely.
Speed test results
Now for the speed test. You have to understand that we can’t possibly test for each server in the world, but we chose one server for each region (not country) and ran a speed test on fast.com. The results are as follows:
|Location||Internet Speed||Latency||Upload Speed||Downloaded||Uploaded|
|USA||190 Mbps||190 ms||235 ms||21 Mbps||350 MB||30 MB|
|Belgium||230 Mbps||156 ms||233 ms||23 Mbps||520 MB||70 MB|
|Brazil||160 Mbps||437 ms||541 ms||8.5 Mbps||400 MB||30 MB|
|Hong Kong||81 Mbps||546 ms||558 ms||4.6 Mbps||190 MB||20 MB|
|South Africa||150 Mbps||522 ms||525 ms||21 Mbps||300 MB||50 MB|
|Australia||3.7 Mbps||1.5 s||1.5 s||12 Mbps||20 MB||30 MB|
As you can see, the speed test results are remarkable, we’ve reached high connection speeds even for servers that were further away from our location or ones located in countries that are not exactly popular for their lightning-fast connection speeds.
This concludes the security and speed tests section of our review. Security-wise, NordVPN can be a trustworthy assistant to protect your online privacy, while also providing you with high connection speeds to ensure that your favorite content gets to you as quickly as possible.
Subscription plan details
NordVPN used to provide you with a 3-day trial so that you can try its features before actually making the commitment of purchasing a subscription. However, in light of recent events, they had to retract their trial and strictly rely on a paid subscription plan.
As a result, you can’t benefit from the trial version anymore, but you can choose from these three different plans:
|Plan type||1 Month Plan||1 Year Plan||2 Year Plan||3 Year Plan|
$83.88 every year
$119.76 every 2 years
$125.64 billed every 3 years
|Features||Access 5,669 servers worldwide
Connect 6 devices at the same time
30-day money-back guarantee
On the bright side, the company provides you with a 30-day money-back guarantee, in case you’re not satisfied with NordVPN’s features.
You can choose to pay the subscription plan by using your PayPal account, a Credit Card, cryptocurrencies and other methods of payment as well. Among the supported cards, you can find VISA, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. Therefore you have a wide range of possibilities regarding subscription payments, compared to other services who only accept cryptocurrency or credit cards as methods of payment.
To wrap things up, we think that NordVPN is a reliable VPN provider that can offer you the online privacy you deserve without compromises. It unlocks several services that are otherwise not available to everyone and the speed of their servers is nothing short of amazing.
Installing and configuring the application on the target computer can be simply done by virtually anyone, but some of its settings are more delicate and should be handled only by professionals. You have to purchase a subscription plan in order to use this service and in case you change your mind, you can have your money back since you’re covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Do we recommend NordVPN? Yes. The quality-price ratio looks pretty good, even more so if you plan on purchasing a larger subscription plan.
+ No security issues; (5)
+ No-log policy, trustworthy company; (5)
+ Wide and varied server network; (5)
+ Easy to install, even by rookies; (5)
+ High connection speed values; (5)
– No split-tunneling feature; (4)
NordVPN receives a 4.83/5 rating.