NordVPN Review

Nord VPN is owned by Tefinkom co S.A. Tefinkom co S.A

Based in Panama
Price $2.99/mo
Servers 5100+ servers in 62 locations;
Logs No Logs
Multi Login 6 Devices
Refund 30 Days Money Back
Awards Best Overall and Customer Service 2019 award by bestvpn.com
Score 10
Recommended Yes (Editors’ Choice by PCMag.com and industry experts by CNet)
Website NordVPN.com

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Nord VPN is owned by Tefinkom co S.A. Tefinkom co S.A. is based in Panama where there are no mandatory data retention laws. NordVPN has been functioning in the IT security industry since 2008.

Nord VPN is a VPN provider with a well established VPN service and a global presence. The VPN service provider believes in top quality customer care and has designed its service so that old and new VPN users can use VPN easily. In our NordVPN review on VPNAdvise, we will cover pricing, server network, customer support, security and encryption, compatibility, installation guides and more.

Pros Cons
Fast speeds with 5100+ servers in 62 locations Haven’t found any yet.
Privacy – strict no logs of user activity
simultaneous connections
Streaming – unblocks Netflix, Hulu, etc.
Torrenting/P2P allowed
Built-in ad and malware blocking
Works in China (if the case)
Easy-to-use VPN apps
Specialty servers like Onion over VPN, Double VPN
24/7 live chat
30-day money-back guarantee

 

Pricing – How much does NordVPN cost?

NordVPN offers 4-plans, and each of them is quite affordable. The current pricing plans of NordVPN are listed below:

All of the above-mentioned plans except for the regular monthly plan comes with pretty hefty discounts.

NordVPN is extremely affordable, in fact, if you compare it to ExpressVPN, NordVPN cost is without a doubt a lot cheaper.

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Now granted, you can find cheaper options on the internet, however, pretty much no VPN provider in the industry is offering the same number of features and servers as NordVPN.

Personally, I recommend opting the 3-year NordVPN pricing plan. It’s much cheaper compared to other plans and I wouldn’t have to worry about my subscription expiring anytime soon.

 

Easy & secure payment options

NordVPN also offers some of the most flexible payment options I’ve ever seen.

Instead of just offering payment gate for a visa, MasterCard and PayPal, NordVPN goes to some great lengths at offering a wide range of diverse payment options, even including support for anonymous cryptocurrencies.

The supported NordVPN payment methods include:

  • Credit Cards
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • PaymentWall
  • WeChat Payments
  • Ali Pay
  • You can also make a payment through iTunes or Google Play.
  • Cash (For US residents) through Fry’s Electronics, Micro Center and others.
  • PayPal – Discontinued (Reason discussed below)

Why NordVPN discontinued PayPal?

Basically, NordVPN was too concerned about the growing number of security risks with PayPal and decided to end their long term partnership.

If you’re like millions of people who use PayPal for secure payments, you’ll be disappointed to see that NordVPN no longer support PayPal payments.

NordVPN Money Back Guarantee

Just like a lot of VPN providers there days, NordVPN offers a hassle-free full 30-day refund policy.

If you encounter any issues with NordVPN refund, you can go through their painless refund procedure and have your full subscription fee refunded within a week or so, at least that’s what I experienced.

According to one Reddit user, NordVPN not only responded to his refund request within 30 minutes but also refunded his money within a couple of days.

 

Security – Encryption & Features

NordVPN has all the right bells and whistles to help you browse the web safely and securely.

In a world where you’re never too far away from a cyber-attack, it seriously pays off to have a reliable VPN by your side with tons of security features.

If we talk about encryption, NordVPN uses 256-bit encryption, which is the strongest cipher in the industry. 256-bit encryption is overkill and has around 1.1×1077 possible combinations.

Unless anyone uses a supercomputer, your sensitive data cannot be decrypted.

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Malware Blocking (Securely Shop Online with NordVPN)

Did you know that there are on average 23 fake websites for every online retailer?

Luckily, NordVPN prevents your devices against phishing attempts from online hackers and cybercriminals.

But how?

There’s a feature called NordVPN CyberSec that block ads and malware.

CyberSec works as a malware and ad blocker which makes sure you are protected from inadvertently opening malicious sites and other cybersecurity dangers lurking around the web. It is a great tool to have to add an extra layer of security to your web presence.

When the first time you access NordVPN, it asks whether to enable CyberSec feature. Always enable it if you want to avoid getting bombarded by pesky adware and intrusive advertisement.

NordVPN Servers

Buffering is the ultimate buzzkill, so streaming or downloading files with a slow internet connection is not an option. No worries here! Choose from over 5500NordVPN servers in 60 countries and enjoy the fastest VPN experience.Having more servers means less load, and the wide variety of locations means there’s a higher chance you’ll find one nearby.

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There are 6 different types of specialty servers available in the NordVPN application. Below is the list of specialty servers that NordVPN offers:

  • Obfuscated server – Special servers to bypass powerful firewalls
  • NordVPN P2P – Optimized for torrenting
  • Dedicated IP – Single IP address for a single user
  • Double VPN – Double encryption for double privacy
  • Onion Over VPN – Combines the power of TOR and VPN
  • Standard VPN Server – Everyday secure servers for everyday use

Security – Is NordVPN Safe?

So far, NordVPN has defended its reputation as a solid choice for streaming and torrents. But private and secure browsing has always been this VPN’s forté.

In fact, NordVPN underwent an external audit from a Big Four accounting firm recently, and it confirmed VPN’s claims of privacy and security. We aren’t allowed to share the full report here, but NordVPN subscribers can access it from the Member Area on the website.

We take a closer look at NordVPN’s overall security below.

Does NordVPN Keep Logs?

No. NordVPN is officially registered in Panama – hardly the Silicon Valley, but a country with many other benefits.

For one, Panama is far away from the Fourteen Eyes surveillance. This is very important for privacy, as a VPN based in a Fourteen Eyes country is within reach of a massive spy network that’s known to gather and share all kinds of sensitive user data. This isn’t the case with NordVPN – a strong start.

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Moving on, Panama doesn’t have any invasive data retention laws. Normally, such legislation would require internet and VPN service providers to keep logs of their users’ online activity for set periods of time. NordVPN doesn’t have to comply with any of that, which makes it one of the few VPNs with a true zero-logs policy.

NordVPN P2P servers

One of the reasons why you’ll absolutely love NordVPN is because of the sheer number of P2P servers this provider offers.

Out of 5600+ servers, 4831 servers are optimized for torrenting. Literally, no other VPN provider in the industry is currently offering this many P2P servers.

Don’t believe me? You’re free to do your research.

In addition to a massive P2P server count, NordVPN has no annoying data limit or bandwidth restrictions that could throttle the speeds of your internet connection.

Double VPN

When you connect from your computer to a VPN server, your data is encrypted once along the path. Double VPN routes you through a second VPN server, which provides a second layer of encryption and hides your originating IP address from the second VPN server.

Onion Over VPN

You may have heard of TOR (for The Onion Router). While TOR routes data through multiple servers and encrypts it, the biggest benefit is that, to anyone trying to spy on packets, every TOR user looks the same. It’s a powerful boost to anonymity. Onion Over VPN is Nord’s method of allowing you to use all the benefits of TOR, but across your own VPN connection, as well. If you want anonymity, this is big.

Dedicated IP/Private IP

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If you don’t know what Private IP VPN is, it is basically a unique IP address assigned to a single user.

This is a premium feature and it will cost extra over the standard VPN account you purchase.

NordVPN currently offers dedicated IP’s for only 4 countries in the following locations:

  • United States – Los Angeles, Dallas, Matawan, and Buffalo
  • The United Kingdom – London
  • Netherlands – Amsterdam
  • Germany – Frankfurt

In order to avail NordVPN’s dedicated IP, you’ll need to have a valid VPN account.

Dedicate IPs are great for online gaming and for accessing popular VoD services like Netflix that are prone to blocking shared IPs.

Speed Test – How Fast is NordVPN?

All of the unblocking power in the world won’t mean anything if your VPN is sluggish and unstable. This is why it’s important to know what speeds you can expect from your service.

Before we tested NordVPN, we checked our connection without a VPN. Here are the benchmark results:

For our first test, we used NordVPN’s Quick connect feature, which automatically picks the optimal server based on your current location:

A decrease of 3.73% in download and 5.56% in upload is barely noticeable. We were very close to our original speeds, which is a great result.

After a promising start, we went on to test the “fastest” US server recommended by the VPN app:

This was a big drop, amounting to a 75.35% and 86.27% decrease in download and upload, respectively. Since our tests were based out of Europe, we were prepared for such a result – but in the end, we weren’t satisfied.

We aren’t big fans of automatic server suggestions – they may be easy to use, but sometimes they put low server loads over server performance. This is why we decided to test another US server, chosen manually:

As you can see, these results are much more impressive. We picked a server with a slightly higher load (around 40%), but it paid off with great speeds and lower ping.

The fastest UK server (again selected by the app) performed much better:

Not bad at all, considering our test location is very far away. Upload suffered a major hit, as expected, but the overall speeds were still enough for hassle-free streaming and other bandwidth-heavy activities.

Speed Test Server Baseline download speed without VPN (higher is better) Ping speed without VPN (lower is better) Time to connect to VPN Download speed with VPN (higher is better) Ping speed with VPN (lower is better) Leaks
Chicago – Comcast 188.67Mbps 71ms 19 sec 43.14Mbps 61 ms None
Stockholm, Sweden – Datacom 361.70Mbps 195ms 15 sec 15.97Mbps 217ms None
Moscow, Russia – Rostelecom 11.99Mbps 220ms 15 sec 23.77Mbps 217ms None
Taipei, Taiwan – NCIC Telecom 82.45Mbps 175ms 18.99 sec 18.65Mbps 160ms None
Perth, Australia – Telstra 123Mbps 217ms 16 sec 16.64Mbps 242ms None
Hyderabad, India – Excitel 338.25Mbps 243ms 17 sec 1.44Mbps 326ms Maybe

 

NordVPN Streaming – Does it work with Netflix?

Yes, NordVPN can unblock Netflix, however, it only works on mobile and Windows apps. currently, it doesn’t work with Android-based boxes, TVs, and Fire TV/Stick devices.

The ability to access geoblocked websites is a key advantage of any VPN service. NordVPN doesn’t explicitly claim to unblock any particular website or service, but statements that it allows you to “keep access to your favorite websites and entertainment content, and forget about censorship” sound good to us.

Measuring a VPN’s unblocking abilities is a challenge, especially when it has a network as large as NordVPN, but we’ve developed an automated test program to help. This can cycle through as many server files as we give it, and we then check whether that location gives us access to US Netflix, US YouTube or (for UK locations) BBC iPlayer.

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Torrents

VPNs generally don’t shout about their P2P support, and NordVPN is no exception. Although the company claims to be the ‘Best VPN for P2P’, the front page of the website no longer mentions its P2P status at all.

Torrents aren’t supported on all servers, but the company doesn’t restrict you to a couple of options in Amsterdam, either. NordVPN provides hundreds of P2P-friendly servers in the US, UK, and many other locations around the globe. Wherever you are, there should be a suitable server nearby.

Compatibility – Apps and supported devices

NordVPN is compatible with almost every device you can imagine. You can use it on iOS, Mac, Windows, Android, Linux, browser and on a bunch of the other devices. Their Windows app has considerably improved since the release of their new updated app.

The same is true for its browser extension and offers another convenient method to protect your browsing sessions. The usability of NordVPN apps is outstanding and the apps are extremely simple and easy to use.

It is pretty much self-explanatory when it comes to changing basic settings and making a connection to servers of your choice. As such, no user should have trouble figuring out how to use NordVPN. In addition to offering support of mobile and desktops, NordVPN is also compatible with certain routers. However, the setup process can get a little too technical.

NordVPN Customer Support

One of the biggest gripes I have with most VPN providers is with customer service. Not only are they often time technically uneducated but also painstakingly slow. Fortunately, I didn’t encounter any such issues with Nord. NordVPN support can be contacted in two ways, either through direct Nord VPN live chat or Email ticketing system.

Either way, the support staff of the VPN is proficient and has firsthand knowledge of the brand. Moreover, NordVPN chat support is actually 24/7. I tested in different instances of day and it was available every time.

5-Star VPN

In my experience, the average person would rather risk having no protection than deal with frustrating security software. That’s why NordVPN succeeds: It makes using a security tool simple, and doesn’t skimp on the features. The company offers the largest server collection we’ve yet seen, and also has an excellent stance on user privacy, collecting very little data and operating out of the legal jurisdiction of Panama.

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