Is Nordvpn good? NordVPN packs high-level protection and other privacy features into a smart client, backed by the latest VPN technology. It’s a private juggernaut, at a high price.
Price of US $ 11.95
- It uses WireGuard VPN technology
- Multihop, split-tunneling, and Tor connectivity
- Multiple server locations
- Strong customer privacy
- Easy to use
- It’s expensive
- Occasionally a dense interface at times
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A VPN can protect your web traffic from being seen by your ISP while making it more difficult for testers and advertisers to track you online. Unlike many VPN services, NordVPN offers a bit of everything beyond that basic protection. It has a large and varied collection of servers, impressive weapons of rare tools, and strict privacy and security procedures. It also uses the latest WireGuard technology. Despite its high cost, it is still impressive.
How Much Does NordVPN Cost?
NordVPN costs $ 11.95 per month or $ 99 per year. The company calculates its annual plan at a discounted price of $ 59 but will pay $ 99 if the subscription comes to renew. NordVPN sometimes offers other programs at different presentation rates. For example, you can now get a $ 99 two-year subscription that will return to the $ 99 annual subscription when it comes to renewal. We are not fans of this kind of climb hiding in good writing.
You can pay with credit cards, various anonymous secret money, PayPal, and other online payment methods. VPN companies often offer promotions, so you may see a different price when you go to check. At the time of writing, the average cost of a VPN service we reviewed would be $ 10.05 per month and $ 69.10 per year. This puts NordVPN on the expensive side.
While it may be tempting to do so, we recommend that you do not immediately start long-term plans. Instead, use the free version or temporary subscription to check out the VPN in your home area. Although all free VPNs are limited, ProtonVPN is the only one we have tested that does not limit the number of free subscribers that can use it. NordVPN has suspended its offer of free trials, saying scammers were taking advantage of it.
You can get a higher VPN subscription at a lower cost. The winning Mullvad VPN Selection of Editors, for example, is 5EU ($ 5.73 USD at the time of writing), and the top choice ProtonVPN has the same features (but with fewer servers) for only $ 10 per month. At $ 29.99 per year, Kaspersky Secure Connection VPN and Ivacy VPN are noted for having a low annual fee for any free VPN we have tested.
What Do You Get for Your Money?
For your $ 11.95 per month, you can use up to six devices at once on NordVPN. Most VPN services also limit you to five such connections, but that is starting to change. Avira Phantom VPN, IPVanish VPN, Editor’s Choice winner Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN allow an unlimited number of devices to connect simultaneously.
NordVPN offers one subscription extension: IP addresses standing at $ 5.83 per month ($ 69.96 per year). You can choose an address from France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, or the United States. A fixed IP address can help prevent your VPN connection from being blocked, especially if you are always connected in the same location.
One of the best features of NordVPN is the variety of additional tools it provides to improve your privacy. NordVPN, ProtonVPN, and VPNArea are the only three VPN companies we have tested that offer direct access to the anonymous Tor network. This makes it even harder to track your connection, and allows you to access hidden websites, albeit at a much slower pace. However, you can access Tor for free.
NordVPN also supports multi-hop connections, calling it Double VPN. This sends your connection to a second VPN server instead of a single server. That way, if one leg of the connection is compromised in some way, you can be sure that your connection is still secure.
The new NordVPN feature splits the tunnel. This allows you to determine which applications are moving their traffic through a VPN connection and which are running transparently. NordVPN takes an interesting approach with this feature, allowing you to require or deny VPN connections for applications. NordVPN and ProtonVPN are among the very few products that offer a split tunnel, Tor access via a VPN server, and multi-hop communication.
Many VPN companies have begun to increase their offerings in addition to VPN protection, and NordVPN is also different. For extra money, you can protect your passwords with the NordPass password manager. You can also encrypt your files with NordLocker.
Although useful, a VPN cannot protect against all illnesses. We strongly recommend that you enable two-factor authentication where possible, create more complex and unique passwords for each site and service with a password manager and use antivirus software.
What VPN Protocols Does NordVPN Offer?
NordVPN uses NordLynx (WireGuard implementation) automatically in its Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows operating systems. OpenVPN is available on all such platforms as a backup. IKEv2 is only available for iOS and macOS apps.
OpenVPN and IKEv2 have long been the golden standards for VPNs, but WireGuard is becoming increasingly popular. It’s easy to see why: like OpenVPN, WireGuard is open source, but it uses new encryption techniques and produces better speeds.
NordVPN’s Servers and Server Locations
NordVPN has servers in 59 countries and offers a wide variety of great features for its servers. However, some VPN companies are overcoming it. ExpressVPN, for example, covers 94 countries.
Lots of NordVPN servers in the US and UK, which is rare for VPN companies. However, NordVPN also has a large mix of servers worldwide, many in Asia, South America, and Europe, with a few in India and the Middle East. The company currently offers one location in Africa (South Africa), a continent that is overlooked by other VPN services.
Significantly, NordVPN provides servers in Hong Kong, Turkey, and Vietnam, all of which have Internet restrictions. Note that we do not make any recommendation that the VPN override government research, because the sources for the malware are very high.
In total, the NordVPN collection adds 5,600 servers but the CyberGhost network of about 7,500 servers earns a package. Additional servers do not really mean better service, but having more options often helps. Chances are you will find one near you, and the one closest to you is less likely to be arrested by too many users.
As for the equipment itself, NordVPN has recently added a few 10Gbps servers to its fleet, replacing 1Gbps devices. The company says the effort will help handle the increase in data coming as the 5G service is widely distributed. We are interested in seeing how this grows.
One common topic that comes up when calculating VPN vehicles is virtual servers and virtual environments. Visual servers are software-defined servers, and a few can be hosted on a single machine. The virtual server is a server set up to appear outside of the actual location. And it’s not a problem by nature, but we prefer companies to be open about their infrastructure. A NordVPN representative told us that all its servers were dedicated, and there were no visible areas. That means the servers are literally located where they say they are, which is what we want to see.
NordVPN works to move all of its servers to a centralized location, which means it will eventually own all of its infrastructures. The first of its fully managed server collection recently arrived online in Finland. Some companies may already be proud of having their own servers, but none are as large as NordVPN.
The company also recently completed the switch to disk-free servers. This is a step against resistance; nothing is written on disk, so nothing can be found on hosting servers. ExpressVPN and a few other companies also use this method.
Your Privacy With NordVPN
NordVPN is installed and operated under the legal authority of Panama (the company has other offices elsewhere), where there are no laws requiring the company to store data at any time. The company said that if it had not been summoned, it would have responded only to a court order or a subpoena issued by a Panamanian court.
NordVPN does not make it easy to find the name of its parent company, or information on business leadership, on its website. A company representative told me it belonged to nordvpn s.a. (formerly Tefincom S.A.). NordVPN does not issue explicit reports about law enforcement information requests but maintains a warranty document stating that it has not received National Security warrants, gag orders, or government guarantees.
Breach and Beyond
In October 2019, it emerged that the attacker had remotely accessed one of the NordVPN servers. NordVPN says there is no evidence that the attacker found something significant. We discuss the attacks, and the consequences, in more detail in the article on violations. The company has since invested a lot of time and money in streamlining its systems and processes, including moving to its own set of servers and disk-free servers.
NordVPN has joined many other VPN companies to form a trading group called the VPN Trust Initiative. The purpose of the Initiative is, among other things, to set standards in the industry, which bring some clarity to this uncertain world. We are looking forward to what this organization has achieved, but it has been very quiet so far. The company also built a NordVPN advisory board.
NordVPN has also launched a bug-bounty program, paying monetary rewards to researchers who find errors in its system. These programs aim to provide a better incentive to detect and fix bugs, rather than risk being exploited. In October 2021, NordVPN announced in a press release to increase its top payment to $ 50,000 or more for critical bugs, further promoting moral disclosure. That is a good thing, as there is real pressure to exploit or sell new risks.
PriceWaterhouseCooper has completed two NordVPN tests since 2018. Significantly, it included a test of NordVPN server infrastructure and concluded that the company actually lived up to its claims of non-disclosure of user data or information. NordVPN also released the results from multiple test login tests for its client software by VerSprite. In a press conference, NordVPN said no significant risks were identified, and the minimum risk was reduced. An audit is an incomplete tool, but a measure of accountability that we appreciate.
Hands On With NordVPN for Windows
To test NordVPN on Windows, we used Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon) using the latest version of Windows 10, but the NordVPN app is much better, regardless of the platform you use. The Windows client appears to be compatible with NordVPN mobile applications, with a blue monochrome map as its focus. It’s a little fun, with submarines and sea cartoons, but it’s also an easy way to choose the server you want. It is much more advanced than TunnelBear, although this one has a unique NordVPN charm.
We love this NordVPN app looking for a middle ground between fine control and setup and easily forgotten. You can switch servers by clicking a location on the map, or you can use the search bar at the top of the screen — if your geographical skills are lacking like mine. You can connect to the fastest server, the fastest server in a particular country, or a specific server. The app displays each load, guiding you to load-free options. This is good for ruining your site and allows you to hunt around when the server is blocked. Our only complaint? It is all done with a series of small drop-down menus. I would like the app to take some of the houses for sale to protect our poor eyes.
The NordVPN Kill Switch app shuts down Internet access for certain programs if your computer is disconnected from the VPN. This is a useful safety measure.
Another useful feature is the option to pause your connection. This disconnects you from the VPN connection and reconnects you at a later time. There are many cases where VPN disconnection is the only option, and the option to pause saves you from having to reconnect.
In addition to such tactics, NordVPN integrates CyberSec, which aims to block malicious sites, ads, and botnet controls. According to the NordVPN site, this is similar to a list of DNS blocks, although we have not yet tested the functionality of these features.
Netflix is very effective in blocking VPN access, but a new trend has arisen where Netflix does not directly block VPNs, instead of limiting visitors to Netflix Original programs. This is because a VPN can be used to track locations and access content restricted to specific local regions. While exploring NordVPN, we were only able to access Netflix Originals while connected to a US server. That’s amazing, considering that we were able to broadcast licensed Netflix shows from Canada and the UK in our previous tests. But the battle between Netflix and VPNs continues, and the results may change day by day.
Another concern is that your VPN may be leaking your real IP address or DNS information. In the test, NordVPN successfully changed our IP address and hid our ISP information. DNS leak detection tool has shown that the server we are connected to did not leak our DNS information.
Speed and Performance
If you use a VPN, it will affect your web browsing performance. To get a sense of how great a VPN is, we run a series of speed tests using the Ookla Speedtest tool. We explain our approach and our clip-on How We Test VPNs.
In 2021, we found that NordVPN reduced download results by 28.7 percent and that it downloaded download results by 24.2 percent. It had no significant effect on latency — perhaps the result of its large collection of servers.
Hands On With NordVPN for MacOS
When testing the NOSVPN macOS VPN client, we used MacBook Air (M1, 2020) using OS Big Sur version 11.2.2, and the NordVPN operating system worked well. The whimsical map in the macOS app looks like a mobile version of the app but has a bright background instead of a black one.
The NOSVPN macOS app is notable for its simplicity. After signing in and agreeing to grant access to your Apple Keychain, you can instantly connect to any of the many NordVPN servers worldwide. If you want more control over your experience, you can scroll through the list of countries on the left side of the app window, select a country, and then open the drop-down menu that displays a list of all servers in it. country. It’s easy to just pick a location on the map and use the VPN server available there, but it helps that the macOS version gives you a choice when it comes to servers. Not so with the iPhone version, which we are currently testing.
Like the iOS app, the macOS app does not seem to leak your real DNS information. We tested this with a server in Sweden by visiting the DNS Leak Test site and using its Extended Test tool and found no leaks.
The speed and performance of both were very good with the two servers we tried while testing. We were able to browse Weverse and stream BTS videos and other content without interruption. Videos uploaded less than they do on our normal home connection but other than that, we noticed a slight difference in our online experience when using NordVPN for macOS.
Hands On With NordVPN for iPhone
The NordVPN iPhone app has blue and green design features and a funny world map like the Windows version. The app displays a black header when the VPN is disconnected, and a bright green header when the VPN is connected. The iOS version of the service does not give you much control over the optional server, but it eliminates the small drop-down menus available in the Windows version. Just select a country, and NordVPN will get you the fastest server.
In the Settings menu, you can select the VPN protocol, find the automatic connection options, and set your VPN profile. There is also a “Tools” menu; which allows you to open an ad blocker and malware; “Dark Web Monitor” that tells you whether information related to your email address is included in Black Web leaks; and Siri shortcuts to connect. and cut through your voice.
We detected DNS leaks using two different VPN servers; one in Denmark and one in the United States, and according to DNSLeakTest.com, no server has generated DNS leaks. We found NordVPN speed is good, without taking a few seconds to find the server at first. While connected to a server in Denmark, we were able to stream YouTube videos without interruption or slow motion.
NordVPN recently launched the Dark Web Monitor, a feature that scans black cats that trade stolen information. This is similar to data monitoring services such as the Google Password Check Tool or Mozilla Firefox Monitor. If NordVPN gets hit; you get an alert and may continuously change your password on the affected service. Currently, Dark Web Monitor is only available on iOS; although we are told it will be coming to other platforms soon. Dark Web Monitor only looks at the information associated with the email address you used to sign up for NordVPN; which limits the extent of this protection. When we open Dark Web Monitor; it shows us situations where personal usernames or passwords are included in the disposal of broken data.
Hands On With NordVPN for Android
NordVPN Android app provides a gray header when the VPN is disconnected, and a light green theme to indicate that the VPN is connected. When it comes to features, that’s where NordVPN really shines. The Android version of the app offers partition, Kill Switch, theft protection, Dark Web Monitor; and lets you create custom DNS settings.
The Android app gives you more options when it comes to servers than the iPhone app; but not as much freedom as the Windows version. You can select the city where your VPN server is located, but there is no list of servers to choose from. NordVPN will connect you to the fastest server in that city.
Using Samsung A71 5G running Android 10; we detected DNS leaks using the DNS Test Tool while connected to a VPN server in Melbourne, Australia. The server did not retrieve our DNS information and successfully concealed our real IP address.
While connected to a server in Melbourne; we were able to play YouTube videos and stream live videos from Twitch. tv, but both sites took a few seconds to upload, and the video was a bit pixelated and not the best quality. However, that only makes sense when you consider the factors involved.
NordVPN on Other Platforms
NordVPN also supports Linux. You can also configure other routers to connect via NordVPN. Doing so provides coverage for all devices on your network; including smart home devices that can use the VPN on their own.
NordVPN also provides plug-ins for Firefox and Chrome. Like all proxy browser plugins, NordVPN plugins only protect the traffic of those browsers.
NordVPN recently launched the Dark Web Monitor, a feature that scans black cats that trade stolen information. If NordVPN gets hit; you get an alert and may continuously change your password on the affected service. Currently, Dark Web Monitor is only available on iOS; although we are told it will be coming to other platforms soon. Dark Web Monitor only looks at the information associated with the email address you used to sign up for NordVPN; which limits the extent of this protection. We look forward to exploring this feature in the future.
An Excellent VPN
NordVPN is facing the toughest competition the industry has ever seen. Services such as Winner Selection Editor Mullvad VPN; and IVPN significantly reduced NordVPN in value, while ProtonVPN offers all the same features for a small fee. The Surfshark VPN also does not limit the number of simultaneous connections, and the TunnelBear VPN has the most accessible VPN we have ever seen.
What has always been the strength of NordVPN; however, is that it offers all the best features of the competition in one package. It directs a large network of servers around the world and does all of that while delivering advanced user information. The company is also reaping the benefits of incorporating new technologies like WireGuard into its core products. With all that, NordVPN is still an excellent product and continues to be the winner of Select Editors.