NordVPN is arguably the best VPN you can buy right now. It comes with bulletproof security and privacy, excellent geo-unblocking capabilities, and the fastest speeds on the market – all for a fair price.
NordVPN is arguably the best VPN you can buy right now. It comes with bulletproof security and privacy, excellent geo-unblocking capabilities, and the fastest speeds on the market – all for a fair price.
NordVPN is known as one of the top, if not the top, VPN providers. To find out where it stands in 2022, I decided to do this in-depth NordVPN review and see what’s behind the curtain of reputation. With so many threats to online privacy and clampdowns on streaming services, I want to make sure this provider can live up to its promises by answering these questions:
Spoiler alert: the answer to all these questions is “absolutely yes.” But if you want more details, continue reading this NordVPN review.
|Rank||#1 out of 231 providers|
|Support||24/7 live chat, Email|
|Free version or trial||7-day free trial (requires Android)|
To settle the price question first, I’ve learned that NordVPN offers an excellent price-to-feature ratio. It becomes apparent when you choose long-term plans. At the moment, you can get NordVPN for $3.29/month with 68% off.
For a top-tier product, NordVPN is very cheap. Below are the available subscription options and their prices.
|Standard – 1 month||$11.99/month|
|Standard – 1 year||$4.99/month ($59.88 for a year)|
|Standard – 2 years||$3.29/month ($78.96 for two years)|
|Plus – 1 month||$12.69/month|
|Plus – 1 year||$5.69/month ($68.28 for a year)|
|Plus – 2 years||$3.99/month ($95.76 for two years)|
|Complete – 1 month||$13.99/month|
|Complete – 1 year||$6.99/month ($83.88 for a year)|
|Complete – 2 years||$5.29/month ($126.96 for two years)|
All NordVPN plans offer the same suite of core features (AES-256 encryption, NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, DNS leak protection, kill switch, etc.) and allow up to 6 simultaneous connections.
The Plus plan adds a NordPass password manager and a data breach scanner. In the meantime, the Complete option also includes 1 TB worth of encrypted cloud storage in the form of NordLocker.
Naturally, it’s also possible to come across holiday promotions throughout the year with better prices. Special NordVPN coupon codes are also available and include bigger discounts than usual.
Let’s put this in perspective. IPVanish, one of the best VPNs, costs only $3.99/month – you get a nice set of features, plus an antivirus. But compared to NordVPN, it’s much slower and isn’t quite as strong at bypassing geo-blocks. Even our favorite Atlas VPN, the cheapest VPN coming at only $1.99/month, can’t hold a candle to the powerhouse that is NordVPN.
Anonymous payment options are available, such as crypto or cash, for those concerned about privacy. However, you can also pay using these options, though keep in mind the selection varies from country to country:
Unfortunately, NordVPN no longer accepts PayPal payments. Users who wish to continue their subscription purchase through it need to use an alternative payment processor called Paddle.
You can try NordVPN risk-free by utilizing the 30-day money-back guarantee. It comes with no strings attached and no fine print. A few things to be aware of is that you can’t get a NordVPN refund if you paid in Bitcoin or similar currencies. Another point is that purchases made through the Apple App Store can only be refunded by this store.
There’s also a 7-day free trial on Android if you download NordVPN from the Google Play Store. Be aware that it does require you to enter payment details first. After that, you can use it on any supported device to test the services.
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’re getting by subscribing to this provider.
NordVPN doesn’t have a free version, and that’s completely understandable. Running a service that has to provide optimal performance for a growing user base whilst keeping up with VPN server blocking measures is highly costly. It doesn’t mean you can’t use NordVPN for free for a certain time, though.
There’s a particular workaround for those who don’t want to commit just yet. You can get NordVPN for free for over a month by combining the 7-day free trial and the 30-day money-back guarantee. Here’s how it works.
It’s undoubtedly something users should take advantage of because all tools and features are available with the trial version. There are no data caps, limited server choices, or fewer simultaneous connections. You can readily secure up to 6 devices and use NordVPN to the fullest.
|Average download speed||1,152 Mbps|
|Number of servers||5500+|
|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 new 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 of 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||910 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,509 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,414 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,088 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||932 Mbps|
|Download Speed||684 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,614 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.
The NordVPN server list is one of the best in the industry. It allows the company to provide truly global coverage and reliable connections worldwide. Even if you don’t have a particular location in mind, NordVPN can automatically select the best server for you based on distance and load.
At the moment, NordVPN has 5500+ servers in 60+ countries. While most of them are in North America and Europe, other regions have options as well.
NordVPN uses only bare-metal servers. This means that the servers are physically in the country you want to connect to. In contrast, virtual servers can be located in another region, which decreases performance. These can be categorized as:
Furthermore, all Standard servers are RAM-only, meaning they cannot store any information for a prolonged period. Once the server reboots or shuts down, all data is wiped instantly. This technology dramatically reduces the chance of someone tampering with user information on the data center premises.
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, which the provider fully controls. 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.
NordVPN has a global server fleet, covering all continents except Antarctica. Most of them are in North America and Europe, but other regions haven’t been forgotten. Below is the list of servers according to location.
|Location||Number of countries||Countries||Servers|
|The Americas||5+||Argentina, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, the United States||2,500+|
|Europe||35+||Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom||2,200+|
|Africa, the Middle East, and India||5+||India, Israel, South Africa, Turkey, United Arab Emirates||100+|
|Asia Pacific||10+||Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam||600+|
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.
Many VPN services claim to provide utmost anonymity on the internet, but few can back it up with evidence and appropriate tools. Well, NordVPN is one of a handful that actually can by having these security and privacy features:
Is NordVPN really safe to use? Yes, NordVPN is one of the safest providers in the market. It utilizes AES-256 encryption, RAM-only standard servers where data is constantly wiped, and plenty of protocols to keep you hidden.
It’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 military-grade AES-256 encryption, which banks and government institutions use to protect their internet traffic. It is an extremely powerful cipher – so strong, in fact, a hacker trying to brute force attack their way in (where they try many combinations to crack encryption keys) 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.
IKEv2/IPSec is available on all major platforms except Android and Windows. Mobile users like this protocol because of its ability to maintain a VPN connection while switching from cellular to Wi-Fi. Even though it’s faster than OpenVPN, it cannot compete with NordLynx.
L2TP/IPsec and PPTP are no longer supported. It’s great that NordVPN doesn’t offer them as these protocols are outdated in terms of security and performance. Alarmingly, some VPNs still use them – avoid these at any cost.
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.
NordVPN will shut off the internet if the connection drops or the client stops working suddenly. 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.
This VPN 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 top-right 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 126.96.36.199. Then I checked whether our IP address or DNS queries were leaking – here are the results:
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 and Android, and a Beta version is being rolled out to Windows and Mac. It offers protection against ads, malware, and trackers. Interestingly, it works even when you’re disconnected from a VPN server.
NordVPN’s Threat Protection will prevent you from visiting risky websites by showing a warning first. Moreover, this tool scans all the files you download and immediately deletes the harmful ones. Also, both malicious and intrusive ads will be blocked even before they load, improving loading times.
Finally, Threat Protection gives you extra privacy by blocking website trackers. These follow you from site to site, collecting data about your habits and preferences. As a result, you may see higher prices or new personalized ads.
This feature also gives a weekly summary of blocked ads, trackers, and dangerous files. Threat Protection works with Chrome, Brave, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.
NordVPN is owned by nordvpn s.a. – a company based in privacy-friendly Panama, a small country in Central America that doesn’t require VPN companies to collect data on their users. It is crucial because VPN service providers operate according to the laws of the country they’re based and must cooperate with government requests if they are issued.
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.
NordVPN 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 connection time stamps, used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses or browsing data.
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 conclusions – their no-logs claims can be mistrusted in no way, shape, or form.
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. Read ioXt’s report on NordVPN here.
The list of security features in the NordVPN suite is very impressive:
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 two times 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 a pretty unique feature. It checks if your email associated with the NordVPN 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 three nodes. This way, it becomes extremely tough to track you back, although that also reduces connection speed significantly.
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 stream videos without VPN protection. It also lets you connect to your office network from home and still browse the web as if you weren’t connected to your workplace.
SOCKS5 proxy works somewhat similar to split tunneling. It allows you to use NordVPN for torrenting only. You can configure uTorrent or any other client to use the VPN server and leave the rest of your connection as it is so you can access local content unavailable in other countries.
Meshnet is another unique feature. It 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, Meshnet 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.
Perhaps most importantly, the WireGuard’s code is easy to audit because it has only 4,000 lines. Compare this with IPsec’s 400,000 lines of code, or OpenVPN+OpenSSL’s 600,000 lines. Bigger code means a bigger chance of someone finding an exploitable flaw.
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.
NordVPN is one of a few providers that gives users anonymous purchase options. Not only does it support multiple cryptocurrencies, but it allows you to sign up without any personally identifiable information, such as your name, address, or contact details, too. You’ll only need an email address, which can be a throwaway account.
You can buy NordVPN using the following main anonymous purchase options via CoinGate:
Keep in mind these aren’t the only cryptocurrency options on Coingate. Users can also complete their purchase with LiteCoin, Bitcoin Cash, Binance USD, BitTorrent, Dogecoin, and many more currencies.
Last but not least comes the option to pay for NordVPN in cash by getting a subscription box at your local store. These include Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Amazon, among others. NordVPN security boxes are available in the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany.
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.
NordLayer is essentially a business version of NordVPN. No matter how good the latter is, it’s still aimed toward personal use and limited account sharing. In the meantime, NordLayer supports thousands of accounts and offers an easy way to manage their access. With more than 15 million users, this business VPN continues its painless growth.
NordPass is a highly-touted password manager for keeping your most important data secure. At the same time, it releases you from the burden of remembering all passwords or using the same ones on different accounts. Included in the Plus plan, NordPass supports multiple devices and works even when you’re offline. It also makes sharing passwords not only easy but safe as well.
NordLocker is a great way to encrypt files and store them on your device or back them up on a secure cloud. The Complete NordVPN pricing pan includes 1 TB of storage and 24/7 priority support. There are also customized options for businesses, including Windows and macOS users. And just like NordPass, NordLocker allows sharing data hassle-free without ever losing control.
NordWL is for those who want to start their own VPN. It’s a set of tools, know-how, and infrastructure, including a dedicated manager for keeping things running smoothly. You’ll be able to create your own templates and browser extensions while tracking growth on an easy-to-use control panel. Finally, NordWL gives you well-documented development kits (SDKs) and modifiable APIs.
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 VPN market portion.
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:
|Hulu + Live TV||🎬Available|
|Amazon Prime Video||🎬Available|
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 and game consoles, including Roku.
Alternatively, use the SmartPlay feature, which combines Smart DNS and VPN protection. It will also help combat bandwidth throttling which ISPs often use. Finally, using SmartPlay can be easier than manually configuring your router and streaming device, depending on your skill level.
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. While I haven’t tested other countries, I’m pretty sure there shouldn’t be any problem accessing their local Netflix versions.
NordVPN doesn’t disappoint as an excellent VPN for HBO Max, either. Getting access to the US version of HBO Max proved to be 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.
Accessing HBO Max in other countries where it’s available was far easier. I was able to get through on the first try in Brazil, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Poland, and a couple more regions. Everything is instantly available in the local language, and there were no issues with quickly loading the website or streaming videos lag-free.
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. I had this issue with DAZN, for instance – I couldn’t get through to the US version, but UK servers worked just fine. Nonetheless, 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 military-grade 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!
Torrenting and using BitTorrent-based streaming apps (such as Kodi or Popcorn Time) can be risky. Luckily, this service meets all the criteria for being a privacy-first torrenting VPN. It has an independently-audited no-logs policy, no leaks, and a reliable kill switch that works either on the app or connection level (just don’t forget to turn it on!).
Additionally, NordVPN is one of the few VPN services that offer a free SOCKS5 proxy. It is convenient for protecting yourself from those situations when you load up your torrent client but forget to turn on your VPN. You can set up a SOCKS5 proxy on all popular P2P clients, such as uTorrent, BitTorrent, Vuze, or Deluge.
Finally, the NordVPN support page even has answers to the most pressing questions. Those who want to learn more about torrenting with this provider or find instructions on setting up its SOCKS5 proxy on the P2P client can find everything there.
Want a deeper dive into NordVPN or Nord Security overall? Check out some of our videos about the ultimate cybersecurity tool in 2022 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. People also often ask how many devices does NordVPN allow simultaneously. The answer is that you can use 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.
In 2019, a major NordVPN app security audit was performed by VerSprite, a risk-based consulting firm specializing in software vulnerabilities. Multiple penetration tests were done to identify weak spots, and no critical-level vulnerabilities were found.
There were several lesser ones, but NordVPN promptly patched them, and the auditors tested them again. VerSprite repeated the app audit in 2021, and NordVPN passed it with flying colors.
You can also manually set up NordVPN on a router. It negates the limit of simultaneous connections and allows you to protect even more devices, such as Apple TV or Roku. Then you have the SmartPlay feature, which combines the unblocking capabilities of Smart DNS with VPN protection. 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 below the center.
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 top-right 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. While you can manually set up IKEv2/IPSec, it’s not worth the trouble while you have the option to use industry-leading speeds. Besides, NordVPN’s obfuscated servers work with OpenVPN (TCP) only.
Now are some of the latest updates for the NordVPN Windows version:
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, OpenVPN TCP/UDP, and IKEv2/IPSec 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.
Here are the key NordVPN for Mac updates:
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.
Let’s check what’s new in NordVPN for Linux:
Android and iOS apps work great on mobile and are extra easy to use. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that the NordVPN 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.
Both Android and iOS apps look and work pretty similarly. With the advent of Dark Mode, you can make them fit your smartphone’s theme. Other shared aspects include:
To use NordVPN on your mobile device, you either press Quick Connect for the best server or choose one yourself. You scroll the alphabetical list or click one of the dots on your map with the latter. The only minor difference is that the iOS app doesn’t show which tunneling protocol you are using. Here are some of the other divergences I’ve noticed:
|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, IKEv2|
You can find the mobile apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play. There’s also an APK file available if you want to download and install the Android app manually.
Let’s see what the latest additions to NordVPN for Android are:
In the meantime, the iOS app now has:
NordVPN has browser extensions for Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Edge. These are listed as proxy extensions, but they 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 – NordVPN’s browser extensions for Edge, Firefox, and Chrome come 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’s 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 answer most or all of your questions. Your support options include:
I tested NordVPN’s 24/7 live chat and found the waiting times to be less than a minute most of the time. All agents were polite and resourceful. And should you contact customer support via email, expect an answer on the same day.
One way to access live chat is to visit the NordVPN website and click on the Support widget button at the bottom-right of your screen. A window will appear with a search box, FAQ, and an option to go to live chat. Here you might also get a chatbot instead, which will allow you to contact a live person anyway.
I found that live chat support agents are top-notch, very responsive, and knowledgeable. I had to wait a few minutes at most before an agent was assigned. The response times were even shorter, and I had to wait longer only if the question was more complex. If the issue is too difficult to solve during a chat session, expect an answer via email within hours.
Pressing the Email Us button in the Contact Us page will open a window with supported email providers – pick one and ask what you need. Alternatively, you can also write to NordVPN’s support directly via [email protected] I was happy that they were ultimately able to solve every issue I had.
The FAQ and the knowledge base sections are detailed and cover the most common issues. The FAQ is divided into VPN setup tutorials and category questions. The former covers major platforms and other devices, while the FAQ itself has more than 20 entries.
When it comes to the rest of the knowledge base, it’s divided into three sections: General info, Billing, and Connectivity. General info covers the features and SmartPlay. The Billing section talks about payments and subscriptions. Finally, Connectivity has a dedicated section for all major platforms, plus SOCKS5 proxy, routers, and NAS devices.
Overall, there are more than 150 articles. So, you should be able to find answers to most questions in the unlikely scenario where live support goes down.
Yes, you should get NordVPN. It’s one of the best VPNs on the market right now and the global leader in security, privacy, and reliability. Additionally, it’s the fastest VPN service in 2022, thanks to the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol.
This provider is in an excellent position to retain its independently-audited no-logs policy because it’s based in privacy-friendly Panama. Plus, it offers enough privacy even for journalists and political activists to spread their messages without additional risks.
Another laudable aspect of NordVPN is its faultless privacy and security features, boosted by industry-leading encryption. The kill switch is reliable, and Threat Protection blocks ads and malware from infecting your device. What’s more, Obfuscated servers let you use NordVPN in China and other internet-restricting countries.
On the entertainment side, this VPN can quickly & easily get around Netflix and other streaming platform blocks. Torrenting enthusiasts aren’t forgotten either – while it works on all servers, the best downloading performance is reserved for P2P-optimized servers. You can connect to 60+ servers in 60 countries and torrent without fear.
While NordVPN doesn’t offer native router support, few other providers do. Besides, you can set it up manually by following step-by-step instructions found in the knowledge base. And if you have any questions, its strong & responsive customer support is ready to help you out 24/7.
To sum up, if you want an industry-leading VPN for entertainment, security, privacy, or all of the above, you absolutely can’t go wrong with NordVPN.
Yes, NordVPN is trustworthy and safe to use. It’s one of the most secure and private services available today. This provider has an independently-audited no-logs policy, military-grade encryption, and other necessary features to protect your personal data.
NordVPN is registered in Panama, a privacy-friendly country with no data retention laws. It’s far away from the Fourteen Eyes intelligence alliance members and does not require VPN providers to gather user information.
NordVPN allows six simultaneous connections per account. If you set it up on a router, you can protect any number of devices in your household connected to the secure network.
Our research shows that NordVPN is better than ExpressVPN. It’s much cheaper and offers more in terms of performance. What’s more, ExpressVPN was acquired by Kape Technologies, a company with a less than stellar reputation.
If you still have doubts, check our in-depth ExpressVPN vs NordVPN comparison.
Yes, NordVPN is more than 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.
While there is no free NordVPN version, there is a workaround viable for a limited time. You can combine the 7-day free trial (available via the Google Play Store) with the 30-day money-back guarantee to get over a month of free NordVPN usage. We’ve detailed how it works above.
Yes, NordVPN is excellent for streaming. It can bypass streaming platform restrictions on the first try in most cases, and the viewing experience doesn’t suffer from buffering or low video quality. You can easily stream from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and many more platforms.
Yes, NordVPN is excellent for torrenting. All servers allow it, and there are dedicated P2P servers you can connect to for the best performance. Additionally, you can benefit from a SOCKS5 proxy and protection against bandwidth throttling.
Yes, NordVPN unblocks Netflix in multiple countries, including the US, the UK, Australia, and Japan. It will also help you access other geo-locked platforms and their libraries, such as Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus.
Yes, NordVPN works in China. It can bypass the Great Firewall of China and avoid Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) thanks to its Obfuscated servers. NordVPN is also great against any type of surveillance, keeping you safe and anonymous online.