Over recent years, VPN software has gone from something that only corporations and nerds used, to be a widely accepted tool for online privacy and data encryption. The rise in demand has led to a variety of available services, ranging in the strength of security, supported platforms and ease of use. In their most basic form, VPN services allow users to shield their data shared through public networks from cyber threats, ensure their online activity remains private and help bypass geographic content restrictions online. VPN creates encrypted ‘tunnels’ between users’ computers and the Internet, delivering robust protection from a variety of online threats.
NordVPN takes the basic VPN service to the next level by adding extra layers of functionality and presenting outstanding usability. Its numerous features include a vast network of servers optimized for specific purposes, a double encryption option, an automatic kill switch in case of connection interruptions, and a CyberSec feature for blocking ads and malware. On top of that, NordVPN has an uncompromising no-logs policy, facilitated by being located in Panama, which has no mandatory data retention laws.
Installation & Interface
After you create an account, the further setup is a straightforward download-and-install procedure. The company’s website provides a thorough list of download links and tutorials for all supported platforms and devices – Windows, Android, iOS, Mac, Chrome OS.
The NordVPN client for Windows is an uncluttered, lightweight application that lets you choose servers by country or by a specification. After selecting a suitable server, you can simply click the button at the top of the screen to connect. Overall, it’s an excellent client for new VPN users who need security and privacy without elaborate settings and configurations.
Servers & Locations
NordVPN has servers in 59 countries around the world. Among others, the server sites include the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Russia, South Africa and Singapore.
Depending on your needs, you can go for P2P-optimized servers for safe file sharing, Double VPN or Onion connections for enhanced privacy, Anti DDoS servers to avoid denial-of-service attacks, or simply any regular server to encrypt your communications, hide your IP address, and prevent third parties from tracking your online activity.
Security & Privacy
NordVPN keeps no logs of general service usage or individual sessions. The only data NordVPN collects about users is their username, email address, and payment information. By using a temporary email address and a payment method like Bitcoin, which NordVPN accepts, in combination with the Onion Over VPN and double encryption options, even the most security-conscious users can feel entirely safe.
Speaking of security, NordVPN employs the OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec encryption protocols. OpenVPN is the default option in NordVPN’s Windows and Android apps, OVPN they use AES-256-GCM encryption algorithm with a 4096-bit DH key, set as default for iOS and Mac OS apps. It uses the Perfect Forward Secrecy system, which produces a unique private encryption key for each session.
In addition, the NordVPN service prevents unencrypted requests from DNS servers with a special DNS leak resolver feature, which makes sure all queries are secure and protected.
Features in a nutshell
- 5693 servers in 59 countries (updated weekly)
- No data logging
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- CyberSec adblock
- Automatic kill switch
- Ultra-secure encryption (OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec protocols)
- NordVPN uses AES with 256-bit keys, which is recommended by the NSA for securing classified information, including the TOP SECRET level.
- Compatible with most operating systems, including Windows, macOS, iOS and Android
- P2P sharing allowed
- Double data encryption for increased anonymity
- Onion over VPN servers
- 24/7 customer support
- Accepts major credit cards and Bitcoin
- Dedicated IPs available on request
- 30-day money-back guarantee
Website & Support
NordVPN has a modern and well laid out site, which provides a lot of information on product features, pricing plans, servers and privacy-related news. Highlight features include a few advanced options such as the CyberSec feature, which allows blocking intrusive ads and malware-infected sites, and a proxy extension for Chrome to enhance browsing with no location-specific restrictions.
The company offers customer support via email, a ticket submission system, and a 24/7 live chat. The Tutorials section of the site provides guidelines on setting up the service on a variety of platforms, and the Help section covers frequently asked questions and other handy information.
A one-year subscription to NordVPN costs $69, which is only $5.75 per month – one of the best deals on the market, taking into account the extra security features and high usability. Monthly payments are more expensive at $11.95 per month, but there is also a reasonable middle ground option of a 6-month subscription for $42 ($7 per month).
All plans offer unlimited bandwidth on up to 6 devices, including computers, smartphones, tablets, and even routers. If you secure your home router, it covers all devices that are connected to it, freeing up the remaining five slots for other locations. You can have all that for as low as $5.75 per month. You can buy this VPN here on NordVPN.com.
To wrap up the review, we are really impressed with the efficiency and capabilities of NordVPN’s service. Simple enough for beginners and offering plenty of powerful features for the most security-conscious customers, it is definitely one of the best VPN products on the market.