Is NordVPN good? The answer lies behind a deep dive into every benefit of this provider. Learn everything about this VPN by reading our detailed NordVPN review.
Is NordVPN good? The answer lies behind a deep dive into every benefit of this provider. Learn everything about this VPN by reading our detailed NordVPN review.
Numerous online publications, brands, and even influencers claim that NordVPN is the best VPN on the market in 2023. Touted perks include ultra-fast speeds, impenetrable security, exceptional privacy, feature-rich apps, and many other outstanding benefits.
However, the provider is by no means perfect. Critics will point to drawbacks like the 6 simultaneous connection limit and the absence of a free plan. Moreover, some features might be missing on certain devices.
So how good is NordVPN really? We explore the countless aspects every customer is curious about in this NordVPN review. We’ll cover topics like connection speed, safety, streaming capabilities, technical features, and other relevant use cases.
|🖥️ Servers:||5800+ servers in 60 countries|
|📺 Streaming:||Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video and others|
|❔ Support:||24/7 live chat, Email|
|🛡️ Logs:||Independently-audited no-logs policy|
|💵 Price:||From $3.49/month|
|🏷️ Coupons:||NordVPN coupon 68% OFF|
|🆓 Free version or trial:||7-day free trial (requires Android)|
|What our experts like:||What our experts don’t like:|
|✅ Excellent security|
✅ Flawless privacy practices
✅ Fastest speeds
✅ Great server list (5800+ servers in 60 countries)
✅ Apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, etc.
✅ Great app design and website
✅ Fair price
✅ Awesome for Netflix
✅ Good for torrenting
✅ Great for China and other restricted countries
|❌ Only 6 simultaneous connections|
Since Reddit is the place where users turn to share their issues and reviews, we decided to see what they say about NordVPN.
NordVPN has one of the largest user bases compared to leading VPN providers. Unlike other VPNs offering additional features to attract new customers, NordVPN prioritizes advanced security.
This remains true when you look through NordVPN Reddit reviews. Long-time users report no issues with connection or IP leaking. The provider’s kill switch is reliable. Meanwhile, the proprietary NordLynx protocols deliver great speed.
One of the issues Reddit users encounter is the lack of a port forwarding feature. NordVPN states it has decided to forgo implementing this feature due to security risks. The provider says: “Blocking access to all ports except those that are essential for VPN functionality is part of how NordVPN keeps you secure.”
Since most of its servers are shared, apart from dedicated IPs, which come separately from the subscription plan, the provider can’t guarantee full security with the port forwarding feature. But does this mean NordVPN is bad for torrenting?
While the port forwarding feature may allow you to connect to more peers, it is not crucial. Instead, NordVPN offers P2P servers that are optimized for torrenting. These servers, paired with the provider’s advanced protocol selection, boost your speeds when downloading or uploading content online. As a result, most users don’t actually need a port forwarding feature.
Overall, many Reddit users agree that NordVPN is one of the most secure VPN providers on the market. It offers a wide range of features to cater to various needs and ensure comprehensive service. However, the provider prioritizes security over other benefits and is unwilling to compromise it.
|Benefits||Plus perks + 1 TB cloud storage, file encryption service||Standard perks + password manager, data breach scanner||VPN service, malware protection, tracker and ad blocker|
All NordVPN plans offer the same suite of core features (AES-256 encryption, NordLynx, OpenVPN, DNS leak protection, kill switch, etc.) and allow up to 6 simultaneous connections.
The Plus plan adds the NordPass password manager and a data breach scanner. In the meantime, the Complete option also includes 1 TB of encrypted cloud storage in the form of NordLocker.
The great thing about NordVPN is that you don’t have to settle for default prices if they seem too much. Instead, you can peruse the countless NordVPN coupon codes to snag impressive discounts up to 68% off. Plus, many deals include bonus subscription time at no extra cost.
NordVPN supports numerous payment methods to accommodate customers with various needs and priorities. For example, you can use anonymous payment methods to hide your identity during the transaction. The most apparent option is cryptocurrency payments via the CoinGate intermediary.
On the other hand, NordVPN also supports cash payments in particular retail stores across the US, the UK, Canada, and Germany. To be precise, you will find the NordVPN disk in BestBuy, Walmart, Ebuyer, NewEgg, Euronics, and more.
Meanwhile, most people will opt for conventional digital payment methods. You can pay with any major credit, debit, or prepaid card. Furthermore, you can use third-party options like Google Pay, PayPal, Direct Debit, AmazonPay, Apple Pay, Sofort, and Adyen.
You can try NordVPN risk-free by utilizing the 30-day money-back guarantee. A few things to be aware of is that you can’t get a NordVPN refund if you paid using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Another point is that purchases made through the Apple App Store can only be refunded by this store.
Overall, NordVPN’s cost may not be the lowest in the VPN market. That said, no other service offers as much value for money as you get by subscribing to this provider.
Unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t include a completely free version. However, it’s worth noting that some features, such as Meshnet, are available for free. Furthermore, interested users can get their hands on all other perks using the NordVPN 7-day free trial.
The special offer is exclusive to the Google Play Store, which means you need an Android device to acquire it. Once claimed, you can test the service on any other supported device.
|Average download speed||677 Mbps|
|Number of servers||5800+|
|Number of countries||60+|
|Dedicated IP addresses||$79/year, available in the US, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, France|
Our latest speed tests show that NordVPN is the fastest VPN on the market. That can be credited to the tunneling protocol called NordLynx, a proprietary version of WireGuard that improves upon its speeds and known privacy concerns. But how fast is NordVPN, exactly?
We started running our in-house connection speed testing tool to collect long-term data to answer this. The next step was installing NordVPN along with other providers in Germany, the UK, and the US.
Then we connected to VPN servers in those countries and checked the speeds daily. The results speak for themselves – none of the best VPN services could match NordVPN’s performance. In comparison, here are the results of other VPN providers from the last 7 days:
|Provider||Average download speed (7 days)|
|Surfshark VPN||612 Mbps|
|Download Speed||248 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||228 Mbps|
|Download Speed||562 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||469 Mbps|
|Download Speed||691 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||646 Mbps|
I also tested the connection speed with Netflix and other streaming services. It turns out it’s more than enough to watch in UHD (4K) without buffering. Of course, your location, ISP, and hardware will impact the results, but NordVPN is clearly the best option.
If you still have doubts, I suggest checking the results of NordVPN’s extensive speed test of tunneling protocols. It clearly shows that NordLynx increases performance by a significant margin.
What’s more, they asked AV-TEST, an independent IT company, to measure the speeds of the Top 7 VPN services. Unsurprisingly, NordVPN outdid all competitors.
Finally, NordVPN has started adding new 10 Gbps servers across the world that further improve the performance.
There are no doubts that NordVPN is among the most secure VPNs in 2023. That’s due to cutting-edge security and privacy features that are included in every plan. Here’s what you’ll get:
Most importantly, iIt’s safe enough to be favored by sensitive user groups, such as journalists and political activists, as well as those wanting to enjoy unblocked streaming content.
You may have seen that NordVPN has suffered a security breach back in 2019, which has allegedly put a stain on its previously spotless reputation. A hacker was able to break into the data center’s system and breach NordVPN’s server security. However, as it turned out, the incident happened on one server in Finland, and it wasn’t possible to reach any critical infrastructure from it, to begin with. NordVPN shut down the affected server and stopped using the Finnish data center in the aftermath.
The company has put some serious effort into increasing the security of all servers by announcing a bug bounty program. It also signed a partnership with VerSprite, a well-known cybersecurity consulting firm, for vendor risk assessments, comprehensive penetration testing, and examining intrusion handling.
NordVPN comes with AES-256 encryption, which banks and government institutions use to protect critical information. It is an extremely powerful cipher – so strong, in fact, a hacker trying to brute force their way in would need billions of years to break it.
Moreover, NordVPN is raising the bar with the SHA-512 hash function. Most competitors still use SHA-256, which is shorter and less complex. NordVPN, on the other hand, utilizes eight 64-bit words for encoding your credentials compared to eight 32-bit words. It significantly expands the number of possible combinations, making it harder to crack.
NordVPN supports the following tunneling protocols:
NordVPN offers the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol on major platforms. It’s a proprietary version of the next-gen WireGuard protocol that facilitates blistering speeds and even better security. Currently, NordLynx is the best option when choosing from all three.
OpenVPN is a reliable and time-tested choice that comes in two versions. TCP is more secure and stable, while UDP gives you better speeds. However, compared to NordLynx, it’s still far behind. Therefore, you should use OpenVPN only when there’s no better alternative.
A kill switch helps you stay secure by shutting off the internet connection if the VPN stops working. This way, your actual IP address won’t be unintentionally revealed to third parties.
However, the app kill switch will disconnect only certain apps in case of a VPN failure. For example, if you were using one browser for online banking, the connection would shut down, but you will still be able to browse and watch YouTube on the other without a VPN.
NordVPN offers not only a standard internet kill switch but also an app kill switch. The kill switches are not turned on by default. To do so, you’ll have to click the small Settings cogwheel in the bottom-left corner.
You can turn on one or both kill switches. For the app kill switch, you’ll have to add the apps that will use it, like a torrenting client, or any streaming service mobile app.
I should note that the kill switch works differently on Android and iOS platforms. The former has a native always-on VPN feature which is essentially NordVPN’s Internet Kill Switch for mobile. The latter works in the same fashion, but you can’t toggle it. On the other hand, even some well-known VPNs don’t offer a kill switch for iOS at all.
I found that NordVPN’s kill switches are effective every time in my tests. When I tried to interrupt the VPN connection on several occasions, it immediately shut down the internet traffic or app.
NordVPN has IP and DNS leak protection. It means your identity won’t leak via your IP address, and your online activities won’t show via your DNS requests.
Of course, the only way to be sure is to run DNS and IP leak tests. Therefore, I connected to a French server and was assigned the IP address 18.104.22.168. Then I checked whether our IP address or DNS queries were leaking – here are the results on ipleak.net:
This is the NordVPN-given IP address, meaning there is no IP leak.
This is the IP address of a NordVPN DNS server in Paris, France. As you can see, the two IP addresses are connected. This means that there are no DNS leaks.
Threat Protection is the latest NordVPN feature set to replace CyberSec. A Lite version is available on iOS, Android, and browser extensions. Meanwhile, Windows and Mac devices can utilize the feature to its full extent. It offers protection against ads, malware, and trackers. Crucially, it works even when you’re disconnected from a VPN server.
The feature is split into two parts for covering specific cybersecurity fronts.
As you can imagine, the Lite version isn’t as robust as the full-fledged version and has some downsides. For example, it works via DNS filtering and is only active when you’re connected to a VPN tunnel.
NordVPN is owned by Nordvpn s.a. – a company based in privacy-friendly Panama, a country that doesn’t impose data retention laws. It is crucial because VPN companies operate according to the laws of the country they’re based in and must cooperate with issued government requests.
Panama also doesn’t belong to any far-reaching intelligence alliances like the Five Eyes global surveillance group. That allows NordVPN to have an honest no-logs policy, meaning they know very little about you and your internet activity.
Even if NordVPN gets served an information request by law enforcement, local or international, users will know about it through the real-time warrant canary. Found at the bottom of the Security Efforts page, it indicates whether the provider received any National Security letters, gag orders, or warrants from any government organization.
Nord guarantees a strict no-logs policy for NordVPN Services, meaning that your internet activity while using NordVPN Services is not monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or passed to any third party. We do not store used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses, or browsing data. From the moment a NordVPN user connects to one of our VPN servers, their internet data becomes encrypted.
However, they take it a step further than anyone else on the market. Because users can’t see what happens behind closed doors, NordVPN decided to prove its no-logs policy and ordered an independent audit.
The world-renowned accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland (PwC), performed this audit and found no discrepancies between the no-logs policy and what the company does in practice. As a result, NordVPN is one of the few services with an independently-audited no-logs policy.
In 2020, NordVPN repeated the audit by expanding the scope. It included interviews with employees, technical log inspections, and more. The special server types, including Obfuscated, P2P, and Double VPN, were tested as well. Still, PwC came to the same conclusion – their no-logs claims can be mistrusted in no way, shape, or form.
In 2022, NordVPN invited Deloitte to perform a third audit. Again, the company performed interviews and structure inspections alongside tests of some features like obfuscated servers. And for the third time, NordVPN’s no-logs claims were proven to be true.
NordVPN’s mobile apps for Android and iPhone have ioXt certificates. These apps had to pass meticulous security and privacy checks to comply with the rigid standards. It turns out that NordVPN managed to achieve the best possible score in such categories as Proven Cryptography, Secured Interfaces, and Verified Software.
The ioXt certificate guarantees that NordVPN maintains and updates its software, has a patch policy and runs a bug bounty program. Additionally, iOS and Android apps secure the user’s IP, don’t log sensitive data, enforce a solid server-side password policy, and detect credential-guessing attacks.
Like with the WireGuard protocol implementation, NordVPN is the pioneer of internet security once again. Therefore, its users can expect to benefit from the industry’s latest technologies and solutions.
The list of security features in the NordVPN suite is awe-inspiring:
By meeting people’s significant security and privacy needs in high-stakes situations (think dissidents in totalitarian regimes), this service provides an answer for any everyday issue. Whether it’s anonymous torrenting or secure public Wi-Fi use, these features got you covered.
Double VPN, also known as multi-hop, is a feature that lets you connect to not one but two VPN servers. As a result, your traffic is encrypted twice for even better security and privacy. However, it only works with the OpenVPN protocol and significantly impacts performance.
Obfuscated servers, or Stealth VPN, is a feature for countries with restricted internet access. Many of them detect VPN traffic using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and block it right away. When you turn on Obfuscated servers, you can even bypass the Great Firewall of China.
Dark Web Monitor is an essential feature for any netizen. It checks if your email associated with the NordVPN log in account has ended up on a database with leaked data. If it does, you’ll get notified on your app. In such a case, you should immediately change the password of the compromised account, which can be anything from a Facebook login to your mailbox.
Invisibility on LAN is beneficial when you don’t want your device to be visible on your local area network. It doesn’t make much sense when you’re at home, but turning it on while on public Wi-Fi is a good idea. If you can’t be seen on LAN, it’s much harder for malicious actors to gain access to your device.
Onion over VPN, or Tor over VPN, is a connection mode where you combine NordVPN with the Tor network. First, you establish a VPN connection and then launch the Tor browser that further sends the traffic via multiple nodes. This way, it becomes extremely tough to track you back, although that also significantly reduces connection speed.
Split tunneling is a great feature when you want to protect only some parts of your connection. For example, you may want to turn on split tunneling for torrenting and streaming videos without VPN protection.
SOCKS5 proxy is an alternative to a VPN connection for torrent clients and web browsers. It utilizes a proxy to mask your IP address during specific activities related to the app you configure with the proxy. However, it lacks the much-needed encryption of a standard VPN connection.
Meshnet allows you to connect to devices directly through encrypted private tunnels and is handy for several things, from easy file sharing to even gaming. You can also use internet traffic routing to access the web under a different machine’s IP address. Plus, the NordVPN Meshnet feature is powered by NordLynx for utmost security.
NordVPN announced its proprietary NordLynx protocol at the end of July 2019, becoming the first major VPN to implement WireGuard. WireGuard is a super-secure tunneling protocol with significant performance benefits over other protocols. In April 2020, NordLynx became available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
To make NordLynx possible, they had to solve a privacy issue:
[WireGuard] can’t dynamically assign IP addresses to everyone connected to a server. Therefore, the server must contain a local static IP address table to know where internet packets are traveling from and to whom they should return. It means that the real IP address of a user must be linked to an internal IP address assigned by the VPN.
NordLynx fixes this WireGuard issue by developing a double NAT (Native Address Translation) system, allowing the VPN to establish a secure connection without logging any identifiable details.
Security and privacy aside, NordLynx provides significantly better speeds than OpenVPN or IKEv2 tunneling protocols. NordVPN ran more than 8,000 tests by following four different scenarios to confirm the results. Our speed test further asserts NordLynx as the ultimate protocol.
|Nord Security product||What does it do?|
|NordLayer||VPN for business purposes|
|NordWL||Toolkit for creating a VPN|
If you want to stay safe online, using only a VPN is not enough. Even though NordVPN encrypts your traffic and hides your real IP address, there are many other ways third parties can tamper with your data. For this reason, Nord Security offers NordLayer, NordPass, NordLocker, and NordWL.
In October 2021, Nord Security acquired Atlas VPN, a freemium entry-level service. In February 2022, the company announced a merger with the well-known Surfshark VPN. Together with NordVPN, these products now take up a significant portion of the VPN market.
As one of the leading virtual security brands worldwide, Nord Security is broadening its’ horizons through NordLabs. Firstly, this opens up a wider space for NordVPN’s team of engineers and developers to experiment with new ideas and emerging technologies. As for the users, it’s essentially an early-access platform to test experimental products and innovations.
The first two projects – Sonar and Pixray – are packed into the September 2023 launch window and are aimed at modern AI implementations. Any NordVPN users can join the waitlist to take a look and try out the newest developments in the digital security field.
NordVPN currently has 5800+ servers in 60+ countries. Most of them are in North America and Europe, but you’ll find plenty of options in other continents, too.
|Location||Number of countries||Servers|
|Africa, the Middle East, and India||5+||100+|
All NordVPN servers are physical. This means that the hardware is located in the country you want to connect to. In contrast, virtual servers can be located anywhere while having different IP address configurations.
Another vital aspect is that the entire NordVPN server fleet is RAM-only, meaning hard drives aren’t used for any data storage. Once the server reboots or shuts down, all data is wiped instantly. This technology dramatically reduces the chance of someone tampering with user information in data centers.
NordVPN is also switching 1 Gbps servers to new 10 Gbps. Currently, more than 20% of the server fleet uses 10 Gbps, available in the US (New York, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta), the UK (London), and Japan (Tokyo). New locations are being added every other week, so this provider will be ready to handle increased traffic with the advent of 5G.
Last but not least, NordVPN is extending the range of self-owned servers. Third-party data centers take care of the VPN server fleet most of the time, but that comes with its own risks. Back in 2018, one of NordVPN’s servers in a colocation center was breached. It didn’t have any valuable data, but this event prompted the provider to look for a safer solution.
In addition to the standard ones, there are also specialty servers optimized for addressing particular user needs. NordVPN allows you to choose from:
Not all server types are available in every country, so you should check for the latest coverage updates on their website.
NordVPN is an easy-to-use VPN solution regardless of your technical prowess. It’s no surprise that the service is well-received by millions of users worldwide. This ease of use can be attributed to the service’s powerful and convenient app, which was streamlined to near perfection over the years.
But first, you’ll need to download and install NordVPN on your device before taking advantage of its countless benefits. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.
The process of downloading and installing NordVPN depends on a few factors. Namely, your device and its operating system. Thankfully, the differences aren’t drastic and can be summarized in one guide.
You can easily establish a VPN connection on the NordVPN app using the Quick Connect button. It will swiftly choose an optimal server near your location for maximum speeds. Alternatively, you can use the world map or the search bar to find a specific country.
On the other hand, you should consider peeking at and customizing your settings first. This process includes enabling the kill switch, picking a tunneling protocol, adjusting auto-connect preferences, and other critical details for the best experience.
Follow the steps below to set up the most well-rounded version of NordVPN.
NordVPN is the best VPN for streaming. It unblocks multiple services from all over the world and provides excellent speeds. That means you’ll be able to watch your favorite TV shows and movies in UHD (4K) without buffering. Here’s the list of content platforms available with NordVPN in 2022 from anywhere:
|Amazon Prime Video||✅|
What’s more, NordVPN has apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick if you want to watch your favorite movies or shows on a big screen. And if you configure it on a router, you can use its unblocking capabilities on a wide variety of smart TVs, game consoles, and streaming boxes like Roku.
It’s worth mentioning that the NordVPN app includes SmartPlay, which is a combination of Smart DNS and a VPN connection, for reliable access to foreign content. In short, it allows the service to bypass IP and DNS blocking simultaneously to curb geo-blocking. Plus, you can enable regular Smart DNS to unlock cinema on various devices without VPN app support.
So, here are a few streaming services that you canaccess globally with NordVPN:
In short, NordVPN is the best VPN for Netflix. It has proven successful, time and time again, at unblocking Netflix US from anywhere. Netflix was available on every US server I tried in my tests – that’s quite a stunning achievement.
The situation was just as good in other popular locations. I was able to access Netflix libraries in Japan, the UK, Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands. A few servers I tried were blocked, but there were always more in the same country that worked.
NordVPN doesn’t disappoint as an excellent VPN for Max, either. Access to the US-exclusive streaming service proved a bit tricky at first, though, as not all servers could unblock it. So, if you want to watch United-States-only content, you might have to work for it unless you get lucky on the first try.
Previously, HBO Max was also available in other regions like Brazil and Europe, and NordVPN had no issue unlocking those versions. However, the renewed Max service is once again strictly exclusive to the US, leaving customers strapped for choice. But no need to fret because the service is slated to reach wider audiences in the coming years.
NordVPN is the perfect VPN for Hulu as well – I could easily access it no matter which US server I connected to (and I’ve tried a dozen). The whole experience was extra smooth, and I didn’t have any of the usual streaming troubles, like constant buffering or sudden quality drops.
If you want to dive into Hulu’s extensive library outside the US, NordVPN is your best bet. Unless your internet network itself isn’t pretty good, you should be able to watch everything in crisp 1080p glory.
In addition to Netflix, NordVPN also unblocks Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and many more streaming websites. Online TV channels aren’t off the table either, especially of the US kind, as NBC, CBS, ESPN, YouTube TV, and plenty others become available in a few clicks.
Buffering time will mostly depend on the distance to the VPN server. But if you have a decent internet connection, watching in HD or 4K is entirely possible. Whether I tuned in to catch up on some shows on iPlayer or the latest NBA match on ESPN, lag never plagued my viewing experience.
Once again, if you fail to unblock a particular platform, try a few other servers first. NordVPN is unbeatable when it comes to streaming at home and on the go.
NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting. It even has P2P-optimized servers in more than 50 countries, along with industry-leading encryption and unlimited bandwidth. Thanks to NordLynx, a proprietary WireGuard tunneling protocol, you will enjoy the best possible P2P-sharing speeds that’ll help you finish all downloads in no time!
As you know, torrenting and using P2P-based streaming apps (such as Stremio) can be risky due to copyright infringement. Luckily, NordVPN meets all the criteria for being a privacy-first torrenting VPN. It has an independently-audited zero-logs policy, no leaks, and a reliable kill switch that works on the app or connection level (just don’t forget to turn it on!).
Another crucial aspect that sets NordVPN apart from other providers is that it doesn’t impose P2P traffic restrictions in server locations where torrenting is illegal. That means it will guarantee excellent connection speeds and security in regions known for handing out fines to torrenters.
Want a deeper dive into NordVPN? Check out some of our videos about the ultimate cybersecurity tool in 2023 by clicking the links below!
This provider supports a wide range of desktop and mobile devices. It has apps for Windows 11, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV, plus browser extensions for Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Best of all, one NordVPN account allows using this VPN on up to 6 devices at the same time.
The NordVPN apps are pretty uniform across the different platforms, with a simple interface that’s easy to use. They get bug fixes and updates regularly, minimizing the risk of someone exploiting any kind of vulnerability.
You can also manually set up NordVPN on a router. It negates the limit of simultaneous connections and allows you to protect devices without VPN apps, such as Apple TV or Roku. Then you have the SmartPlay feature, which combines the unblocking capabilities of Smart DNS with encryption. This way, you can connect various smart TVs and game consoles.
You’ll see a world map with server locations when you launch the Windows app. You can manually choose the country you want to connect to or click the Quick connect button in the top left.
Some countries even have an option to search for specific city-level servers, and the map contains markers for separate cities. That’s great when dealing with big countries like the US or Australia because connecting to New York instead of Los Angeles can have a noticeable impact on your speed and latency.
Now, let’s get more into the nitty-gritty stuff the NordVPN for Windows app offers.
You’ll see a cogwheel for the Settings menu on the bottom-left of the screen, where you can control all the security features, notifications, auto-connect settings, and more. I advise you to go over these settings because some defaults are not ideal for maximum security.
For example, you may want to turn on NordVPN when using public Wi-Fi automatically. Alternatively, you can choose trusted Wi-Fi networks that will block the auto-connect.
Other notable inclusions in the Settings menu are:
The available tunneling protocols are NordLynx and OpenVPN TCP/UDP. Additionally, NordVPN’s obfuscated servers work with OpenVPN (TCP) only.
Desktop apps: macOS
NordVPN actually has two macOS apps. While both offer the same core features, they differ from each other in several ways as well.
The App Store version, pictured above, requires 10.12 or later firmware. It comes with NordLynx, and OpenVPN TCP/UDP protocols and has a connection-level kill switch that you cannot turn off. The only specialty servers available here are the P2P ones, and the app still offers CyberSec.
The sideload version, pictured above, is available on NordVPN’s website. It works with macOS 10.10 and 10.11 but offers only OpenVPN TCP/UDP. However, this app has more features:
NordVPN apps for Mac and Windows have a pretty similar interface and feature set. Both offer AES-256 encryption, the Threat Protection suite of features, a kill switch, etc. That being said, split tunneling is unavailable on macOS.
Both Mac versions also have a new feature named Presets. It allows you to create shortcuts to your favorite apps and sites that you launch after turning on the VPN. You can choose server, protocol, protection level, and up to 6 links for each preset.
NordVPN for Linux will require a bit more work to set up, as is typical for Linux clients. While it lacks the GUI (Graphical User Interface) of Mac and Windows versions, it offers the same features. The tricky part is that you have to do everything here with command lines via a terminal.
The NordVPN Linux app includes:
You can install .rep or .deb packages on most Linux distributions, such as Debian, openSUSE, or Fedora. A community-made port for Arch Linux is also available. Moreover, NordVPN’s website has installation guides and instructions for manual OpenVPN and IKEv2 connections.
The NordVPN Android app is pretty solid and grants many of the perks you need for on-the-go protection. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the mobile experience is pretty close to the desktop one. You’ll find most of the features available on Windows and Mac, plus some unique options.
Additionally, you’ll have no trouble navigating the user interface because it’s similar to the desktop version. Half of the screen is occupied by the world map, which you can expand for more straightforward navigation. Alternatively, you can shrink it and scroll through the country list and specialty server options. Unsurprisingly, you can skip all that and click the Quick Connect button to let NordVPN pick the most optimal server option for your current situation.
Key features are split between four aptly-named tabs at the bottom – Home, Meshnet, Notifications, and Profile. As the name suggests, Home is the main screen where customers choose their preferred server locations and enable the VPN connection.
As is tradition, the iOS app is quite different from the Android version regarding overall features. Look at the table below for a summary of the key differences.
|Kill switch||Have to manually enable it by selecting Always-on VPN||Integrated|
|Auto-connect||Always, On Wi-Fi and Ethernet, On mobile networks||Always, On Wi-Fi networks|
|Specialty servers||P2P, Onion Over VPN, Double VPN||P2P, Double VPN|
|Protocols||NordLynx, OpenVPN TCP/UDP||NordLynx, OpenVPN TCP/UDP|
As you can see, iPhone and iPad users will have an easier time enabling the kill switch because it’s integrated into the app. Furthermore, they have a Siri shortcut support. However, the absence of Onion over VPN servers, split tunneling, and tapjacking protection can be pretty detrimental in specific scenarios. Otherwise, the overall user interface and experience are similar to other operating systems.
NordVPN has browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. These are proxy servers that will help you change your IP address, protect your communications, and block ads and trackers. Browser add-ons are incredibly convenient when you need to quickly use a VPN on someone else’s device without installing the app.
Unlike NordVPN’s desktop and mobile apps, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browser extensions don’t have a server map. If you don’t want to use Quick Connect, you can use the A-Z country list or search for the right one. Additionally, you will see your most recent connections, allowing you to connect once more with a mere click.
Some VPN providers offer free browser extensions, which are more of a marketing trick. They usually provide only a few locations and no extra features, such as malware blockers. That’s not the case here – the NordVPN extension for Edge, Firefox, and Chrome comes with the complete server list, Threat Protection Lite, and WebRTC blocker.
Another neat feature found in NordVPN browser add-ons is split tunneling. It allows you to choose which websites will use a proxy connection and which ones will be loaded without using the extension. That is especially convenient if you want to browse two different versions of the same website for price comparison.
Like any extension, NordVPN proxy add-on protects only your browsing efforts. If you want to torrent safely or play video games without the risk of a DDoS attack, use one of the desktop or mobile apps. You can download the extension from the Chrome Web Store, Firefox Browser Add-ons page, and the Microsoft Edge Add-ons website, or find them on NordVPN’s Proxy Extension page.
This VPN has an app for Android TV devices. Therefore, if your smart TV uses Android as its OS, you can use the VPN service and its Custom DNS server. There’s also an app for Amazon Fire TV and Fire Stick. Here’s a tutorial on how to install NordVPN on your Amazon Fire device.
While some providers offer the Smart DNS tool for connecting smart TVs, game consoles, and similar devices without encrypting their traffic, NordVPN has chosen another path. By combining VPN and Smart DNS, they’ve created SmartPlay – a tool that unblocks content and keeps you safe at the same time.
You can manually configure NordVPN on most routers. The majority of firmware supports the freeware OpenVPN client, but some use the IKEv2 tunnel. Additionally, if you have a Synology, QNAP, AsusTor, or Western Digital MyCloud NAS server, chances are it will work as well.
This service also works with OpenVPN open-source software. Of course, that means you won’t be able to use any other tunneling protocol, which is a pity given how fast NordLynx is. Finally, while NordVPN doesn’t have an app for Kodi, it works great with this media player.
NordVPN has excellent customer support that will swiftly answer any VPN-related questions you may have. Most importantly, the provider offers many communication options to accommodate various customer needs and preferences.
|Customer support option||Availability|
|24/7 live chat||✅|
|FAQ and written guides||✅|
The undisputed best way of receiving assistance is 24/7 live chat. It allows customers to explain the issue at their own pace while getting answers from experts quickly. We tested NordVPN’s customer support agents in this regard and found the results satisfactory.
It’s crucial to note that a chatbot greets you the first time you visit the NordVPN help page. This makes it easier to search through the trove of written guides that might be relevant to your issue. Naturally, if you can’t find a solution with its help, you can ask to connect with a human representative. And if the agent can’t resolve your problem during the chat session, you’ll receive follow-up communications via email.
The only drawback is that NordVPN doesn’t offer phone line customer support. But that’s not shocking because such a practice is rare in the VPN industry yet not completely unheard of. In any case, you won’t be left to fend for yourself when encountering issues while using NordVPN.
NordVPN is a leading VPN provider because it guarantees top quality in practically every category. The industry veteran spent years improving various aspects of its product through trial and error. For example, it performs exceptionally well regarding content unblocking, censorship circumvention, and keeping users completely anonymous.
At the same time, the service developed cutting-edge proprietary features like NordLynx and Meshnet for extraordinary perks no other VPN service can offer.
Best of all, NordVPN is pretty affordable, considering the many benefits it brings. The VPN even accommodates skeptics with its lengthy 30-day money-back guarantee and 7-day free trial. So don’t hesitate to try out the best VPN on the market and see what peak performance looks like.
Yes, NordVPN is trustworthy and safe to use. It upgraded its infrastructure with the latest technologies, making it one of the most secure VPNs available. Additionally, the impressive set of features protects against a wide array of online threats. Lastly, confidentiality is guaranteed when signing up using various anonymous payment methods.
Yes, NordVPN works with Netflix and easily changes your region to unlock exclusive foreign movies and TV shows. The service offers around 5800 servers in over 60 countries for accessing a wide range of cinema. Moreover, it ensures lag-free streaming with the wicked-fast NordLynx tunneling protocol.
NordVPN’s price ranges from $12.99/month up to a mere $3.49/month if you purchase the two-year plan using a NordVPN coupon code. Ultimately, the price depends on your chosen plan (Standard, Plus, Complete) and subscription duration (monthly, yearly, two years).
NordVPN is highly secure due to its abundance of top-notch security measures. The service encrypts connections with the impenetrable AES-256 cipher and prevents leaks using two kill switches. Furthermore, customers are protected against ads and malware with the unique Threat Protection feature. Plus, the service was audited multiple times to check for vulnerabilities.
Yes, NordVPN is legit and a worthwhile VPN service. It’s located in privacy-respecting Panama to ensure complete customer anonymity. It also boasts an independently-audited zero-logs policy for added reliability. Most importantly, users gain an impressive security arsenal without paying a fortune for the service.
Our research shows that NordVPN is better than ExpressVPN. It’s much cheaper and offers more in terms of performance, achieving some of the fastest speeds in the industry.
Yes, NordVPN is worth it, especially now with 68% off. You get the best speeds in the industry thanks to NordLynx, an expansive server fleet to connect to any country you need for an excellent streaming experience, and plenty of robust tools to keep you anonymous and secure anywhere you go.
No, according to our research, NordVPN is the best VPN overall. Subscription prices are affordable and even come with bonus perks if you can pay extra. Meanwhile, industry-leading connection speeds are conducted with the proprietary NordLynx tunneling protocol. Lastly, security and privacy are covered with an impressive arsenal of features.