NORDVPN REVIEW

NordVPN – The Best Browsing, Torrenting & Netflix Streaming Solution

NordVPN is hands down one of the best VPN providers to provide excellent security, ease of use, and a wide server network to its users. When connecting to a VPN, NordVPN lets you choose a location and select a VPN based on your preference, be it streaming TV, anti-DDoS, ultra-secure privacy or anonymity. Learn more about its services in this comprehensive review of NordVPN.

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Quick Stats

12

Amount of Servers

5,000+ Servers

Logging Policy

No Logging

Amount of Locations

62 Countries

Special Features

Double VPN, CyberSec, Military-Grade Encryption, VPN-Over-Onion, Static IPs, Automatic Kill Switch, Hide IP Address, DNS Leak Protection, Bitcoin Payments

Amount of Concurrent Servers available

Up to 6 simultaneous connections

Streaming Services Available

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Kodi, HBO GO, HBO NOW, Vevo, Twitch, Spotify, etc.

Money Back Guarantee

30-day money-back guarantee

Best Price

$2.99 per month (long term plan)

Protection

Security is where NordVPN shines. It offers the best in encryption and protocols. It also allows you to choose from a variety of specialty servers. It even rivals ExpressVPN, thanks to NordVPN’s double-hop servers.

DoubleVPN

The double-hop encryption, also known as the DoubleVPN servers, is a unique feature that prevents others from cracking your tunnel. This is one of the main reasons why NordVPN is preferred by most users as it is capable of bypassing any Firewall, even the ones imposed by governments. It routes your traffic over a VPN after connecting to another one. This means even if a malicious entity somehow managed to track down one end of the VPN, they’d still have find the other one.

NordVPN is a very secure VPN provider. Many people end up using NordVPN for its incredible security, and CyberSec adds meaning to it. It comes free of charge and offers a lot of cool features.

Cybersec

CyberSec is a powerful add-on that allows you to block malware and adware. It can also detect phishing attacks and prevent all sorts of other cybercrime-related activities. Enabling this add-on means you’ll get an extra layer of protection while browsing on top of the protection that NordVPN offers. This is important for those who worry about hackers , and since it’s free, there’s no reason for us not to recommend it.

Although it’s not a complete replacement for good antivirus software, CyberSec is a very good addition to your cyber security arsenal.

AES

NordVPN uses 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This is the same level of protection that the US government use to secure their classified information. It’s also been used by the NSA to protect national security data which needs topnotch protection.

OpenVPN

OpenVPN is widely recommended for everyone, which is why many of NordVPN’s rivals as well as NordVPN itself use the OpenVPN protocol. It’s an open-source protocol, meaning its speed and reliability have been thoroughly tested and improved across the board.

Additionally, IKEv2/IPsec protocols are made avialable for iOS and macOS. Although it has some speed advantages, it isn’t quite as secure as OpenVPN. This would be more suitable for
streaming purposes.

Access Onion-Over-VPN

NordVPN has the ability to connect to The Onion Router. The Onion Router (Tor) is a free software designed to let anonymous people communicate by the direction of internet traffic using a huge overlay network. This hides the user’s location which makes it difficult for anyone wanting to trace the internet activity.

Normally an Onion browser is required to be able to access this. But NordVPN itself has Onion-Over-VPN servers. So you don’t need to have an Onion browser if you have NordVPN. So a simple click over Onion in the specialty servers’ tab on the left should do the trick. What this does is add more layers of encryption and security in addition to those provided by NordVPN or Onion independently. It provides the highest level of anonymity available with the caveat that it will dramatically slow down your internet connection. If absolute bulletproof anonymity is what you are after then this option is for you.

NordVPN Kill Switch

NordVPN boasts a Kill Switch that doesn’t let you access the internet when your VPN fails. You’ll get access once NordVPN is engaged. You can also set NordVPN to launch at startup so that you don’t have to worry about it.

NordVPN offers a more conventional Kill Switch for specific apps and programs. It’s great for torrent users as it allows you to stream or check your email when the VPN fails.

NordVPN No-log Policy

Another remarkable feature of NordVPN’s privacy and security is its logging policy. NordVPN is one of the rarer VPN services with a proper no logging policy. NordVPN was reviewed by a well-known “Big 4” accounting firm to verify its “no logs” feature this November. Sadly, the “Big 4” firm hasn’t released the results publicly, but the existing customers of NordVPN can take a look at the report in the NordVPN members’ area. We obtained a full copy of the report and went through the findings. Here’s a summary of what was found.

  • NordVPN was reviewed by a well-known “Big 4” accounting firms. They had full access to observe operations, question employees, inspect NordVPN’s servers, and examine configurations as well as databases.
  • NordVPN was certified to be a “no-log” service” on November 1, 2018.
  • No connection logs, traffic logs, IP addresses, or any internet activity information are stored by NordVPN.

Even though NordVPN limits your connections (like most other VPNs), this does not compromise its “no logs” policy.

Rating: NordVPN easily gets a solid 5/5 in this sector.

Stability

NordVPN is one of the simplest VPNs out there. It provides easy installation and takes no time to set up and run. It’s also fully responsive, stable, and reliable. NordVPN has various interesting and useful features that offer its users tons of flexibility and customization.

NordVPN and Torrenting

NordVPN’s specialty servers are aimed at very specific types of internet behavior like gaming (dedicated IP servers) and torrenting (P2P servers). Other server types aimed at combating specific threats like governmental snooping and DDoS attack are also interesting for its target audience. NordVPN gives you the option to get a dedicated IP address in the following locations:

  • United States (Los Angeles, Dallas, Buffalo)
  • United Kingdom (London)
  • Germany (Frankfurt)
  • Netherlands (Amsterdam)
  • NordVPN is also known to be one of the best VPNs for a static IP. So, if you decide to purchase a dedicated IP address, you can visit their website to arrange the IP location.
    As mentioned above, Onion-over-VPN will give you access to the internet using a VPN while using Tor to access deep web among other things. Also, DoubleVPN servers will route your traffic over a VPN after connecting to another one to give you more privacy.Streaming with NordVPN (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon)

    Besides all the security and privacy features, NordVPN also happens to be good at cracking geoblocks. During our testing, we were able to access multiple streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer.

    NordVPN continues to surprise everyone with its support for Netflix streaming, even though most VPN providers are being blocked by the service. It lets you get full access to the American and UK Netflix as well as other regions’. NordVPN is a solid choice for Netflix VPN given the good performance and server selection.
    NordVPN has always been the best VPN for Netflix and BBC iPlayer, and the way we see it now, the team behind the service hasn’t disappointed its users. NordVPN will let you stream almost anything available to stream.

    Rating: We give NordVPN 5/5 score for having stable performance in both torrenting and streaming.

    Ease of use

    NordVPN scores well in this sector. It’s easy to use when it comes to installation and setting things up. It requires you to first sign up for an account. You can easily do that from their website to complete the signup process with your email address. When you enter your email address, you will be asked to choose a payment method. You can decide a 1-month, 1-year, and a 2-year plan (which comes at a relatively low-cost).

    Once you’re signed up, you’ll get a verification email with a link which will lead you to the password creation page. NordVPN doesn’t keep any information about you besides your email address and payment method. But it’s recommended to set a strong password for your account just to make sure no one else can access it.

    Rating: 5/5 for easy installation.

    Speed

    NordVPN has exceeded our expectations with its outstanding performance test results. Both download and upload speeds were consistently fast and stable across all the major locations worldwide.

    NordVPN was given the Speedtest Recommended badge as a proof of its fast connection speeds by Ookla. Ookla is the creator of Speedtest and leads the world in internet speed analysis. So, to test out the efficiency of NordVPN’s speed and how good it is at securing your traffic, we’ve gone through a number of speed tests on different servers across US, UK, EU, and Asia.

    Unlike any other VPN, NordVPN absolutely kills it on local connections with a stunning average speed of 296Mbps on a good broadband connection. But for this test, we used a 100Mbps Cable Connection. The following benchmark was tested without NordVPN to ensure the connection speed.

    US servers

    Now, this is something to talk about. While some of the best VPNs out there managed to achieve an average download speed of 70Mbps on a 100Mbps cable connection, NordVPN came out with a whopping 84.42Mbps, and 79.12Mbps average download and upload speeds on the US server.

    UK servers

    The results on UK servers were also very good. We got 72.24Mbps of average download speed which is pretty good for a six thousand mile journey.

    EU servers

    NordVPN doesn’t hold back when it comes to distant connections. While other VPNs may slow down, NordVPN gave us an average download speed of 68.42Mbps and 61.53Mbps upload speed on EU connections.

    Asian servers

    US to Asia connection using NordVPN was surprisingly good. Even the latency speed was remarkably low. We got 45.24Mbps download speed, and the upload speed was also stable on the Asian servers.

    As we can see, NordVPN is a brilliant choice for both gamers and streamers as it provides such low latency and connects fairly quickly compared to other VPNs. It takes around 10 seconds on average to connect. Once connected, NordVPN gives a rock-solid performance with barely any speed fluctuation and connection drops.

    Rating: NordVPN performs surprisingly well at times, but can be slow as well. It depends on the server you select. We give it 4/5.

    Available Locations

    NordVPN leads the market in the server network department. NordVPN service brags of 5130 servers located in 62 countries.This makes NordVPN significantly better than other VPNs. Larger countries offer a greater number of locations. It works according to a principle opposite to that of VyprVPN. However, you need to put in a tad bit of guesswork to determine your exact location.

    Most of its servers are concentrated in the US and the UK. It even has servers in Turkey, Russia, and Hong Kong, all of which have stringent, suppressive internet policies. It can set up new servers too on the basis of need. More diverse locations give you more random options for spoofing your location. More servers result in lesser number of people connected to the same server, which in turn means a greater share of the bandwidth for each person on the network.
    It’s undoubtedly one of the best networks to exist. It owns servers on every continent, obviously except Antarctica. Not to mention, representation of Latin America however is not up to the mark and Africa is condensed to just South Africa. You may think the same to be true for Asia too, at first glance. But, most of the Asian countries have almost a hundred servers each, notably Japan.

    All the offered servers are actually “dedicated.” It means that the servers are physical machines that are there where they are advertised to be. Virtual servers are not employed by NordVPN. And that’s a fact made evident through our tests.

    As a result, it’s very probable for NordVPN to own a physical server somewhere near you. This implies that you will mostly have a pretty speedy connection whatever may be your location. Its widespread network is one of the prime reasons why NordVPN is a reliable option among gamers as its ping time is y very low.

    Another most noteworthy feature of its network is its server location in China. That translates to anybody being able to bypass the censorship imposed by the Chinese government by connecting to a server that’s located anywhere outside China. It’s a crucial feature since China’s Great Firewall greatly limits websites that can be reached from within the country.
    However, only Windows users can access these features. The company is working on extending to other platforms. It will be interesting to see China’s solution to combat usage of VPN.
    Another great feature of NordVPN is that it offers an array of specialized servers. These specialized servers include those for BitTorrent traffic. Other VPN services provide options to solve some particular problems. But, NordVPN goes the extra mile by uniquely offering features like double encryption, anti-DDoS servers, and ability to connect to Tor anonymization network.

    Rating: Compared to other VPNs, NordVPN has the highest server count. Although, it could benefit from some transparency. It gets 4.5/5.

    Platforms and devices

    When it comes to installing a VPN on different platforms and devices, NordVPN has support for all of them with native apps. An unprotected device can leak your personal data. Therefore, it’s important that you choose the perfect VPN that can protect all your devices at the same time. Here’s a list of platforms that explains which devices are compatible with NordVPN.

    NordVPN Platform Compatibility

    12

    Other Devices

    Raspberry Pi, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV devices

    Routers

    DD-WRT, ASUS, and Tomato routers

    Browsers

    Chrome and Firefox

    Mobile

    Android, iOS, and Windows

    Desktop

    Windows, Linux, MacOS, and Chromebooks

    It’s pretty clear that NordVPN has support for a wide variety of platforms and devices. Although, it’s important to note that NordVPN can also be used on devices that aren’t mentioned in the table only if they support the OpenVPN protocol.

    NordVPN also works on routers that support OpenVPN installation, aside from DD-WRT, Asus, and Tomato routers. This way you can protect all your devices at once and not worry about having native clients installed.

    And lastly, there’s support for 6 simultaneous connections in NordVPN which is decent. Pro tip: You can install the VPN on your router and have as many devices as you want to be connected to it and NordVPN will still count it as a single device.

    Rating: NordVPN gets a solid 5/5 score here for having support for platforms and devices of all sorts.

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    Jurisdiction

    The best way to find trustworthy VPNs is by doing background research as it’s important for you to know if you can trust the VPN provider you’re choosing. It’s also important to know about its jurisdiction and whether it had any problematic data leaks in the past.

    NordVPN decided to base its operations in Panama, and it was a good choice. The 14 Eyes Alliance is a group of countries that have data retention laws. Thankfully, Panama isn’t a part of this group, meaning it doesn’t have any data retention laws. Therefore, your private data will remain private as the country won’t force NordVPN to collect your private data.
    It’s not that easy to find out more inside information about NordVPN. This applies to the majority of other VPN providers as well. Finding their direct phone numbers, addresses is close to impossible, and this is a good thing. In the world of VPN, secrecy is imperative.

    Although, a few months back there were certain rumors floating around the web regarding NordVPN. According to the rumors, a company based in Lithuania called Tesonet is the owner of NordVPN. Also, there were rumors about HolaVPN being the owner of NordVPN. However, NordVPN, being one the most trusted and reliable VPN providers in the world, was very quick to react to the said allegations. Just recently, it completed its first independent audit to reassure its safety and security to its users. It also rejected having any connection to Tesonet.

    As mentioned above in the article, NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy. This means none of your data will be leaked to the public/government. On top of that, NordVPN employs strong security protocols to prevent unauthorized access to their servers.

    A few months ago, a privilege escalation bug was found in NordVPN which could expose some of your data. However, this issue has been fixed right away even before the report went public. This shows that NordVPN has a strong team behind resolving its bugs and other technical problems.

    Rating: 5/5 for being based in Panama and having no connection to the 14 Eyes Alliance.

    Great VPN

    ProsCons
    Fast speeds with less speed fluctuationSlow speeds in Malaysia region
    Top notch security and privacyOpenVPN configuration is not user-friendly
    Supports iPhone, iPad, Game Consoles, Routers, and moreTorrenting is supported only on some servers
    Works great with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
    Excellent price offers with a 75% discount (3-year deal)

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    Bottom Line

    ProsCons
    • Automatic kill switch
    • Super-fast speeds
    • Best for Netflix US, Hulu, Sky
    • Optimized for torrents
    • Strict zero logs policy
    • OpenVPN, L2TP/ PPTP protocols
    • 7 simultaneous connections
    • Advanced 254-bit AES encryption
    • Excellent DNS and IP leak protection
    • Over 3000  servers globally
    • Supports BitCoin payment
    • Reliable 24/7 live chat support
    • 45-day money back guarantee
    • Offers a 1-day free trial
    • Nothing noteworthy

    An average person would rather have no protection than deal with unfriendly security software. This is why NordVPN succeeds. NordVPN makes using a VPN tool so easy that anyone with basic internet browsing knowledge can get started with this VPN in no time flat. It offers everything you’d expect in a VPN and more. With its specialized servers for VPN-Over-Tor and double-hop encryption, NordVPN is standing out against its rivals.

    NordVPN also receives continued server upgrades. This makes NordVPN a very robust VPN service amongst its peers. The ad blocking and network protection features push the VPN’s abilities even further. NordVPN takes an incredible stance on its user privacy. It only collects the data necessary to function and operates out of the legal jurisdiction of Panama.

    Having said that, all these fantastic features, functionalities, security and privacy options are more than enough to justify the stability and reliability of this VPN. NordVPN is a solid choice for keeping private data safe and secure while at the same time having a high-speed internet connection while browsing the web. We highly recommend NordVPN.

Disclosure
The VPN Guru is an independent review site. In order to pay fund ourselves, we do receive affiliate compensation for clicking on our links. Note that this does not affect our reviews. It may, however, impact the location and/or prominence of the placement of location on where the VPN’s appear on the site.