NovaVPN is a formidable contender for one of the best new VPN products, offering some of the most common features with payment plans for all types of needs.
NovaVPN can be installed on phones, tablets, or computers running Windows, Mac/iOS, and Android. It’s nothing special, but NovaVPN does cover the essentials and provides the same 256-bit encryption and security across the board.
With six simultaneous connections and unlimited server switching between special servers for P2P usage and people from Asia, NovaVPN is an affordable solution to problems of a geo-blocking nature such as trying to access Netflix US from China or Qatar – yes, NovaVPN focuses on both ends of the spectrum.
While the countries available may be low in number, each country has multiple servers and each serves a uniquely dedicated purpose.
NovaVPN also comes with some fun features (kill-switch and double VPN) and, instead of creating a service as-is that isn’t for everyone, seems to pay attention to the needs of its users.
Security and privacy
NovaVPN, as opposed to other VPNs that might not see the use of employing multiple protocols, allows both OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec connections, each encrypted according to the 256-bit SSL method and AES-256 with RSA-4096 respectively.
While this may be indecipherable to those who are unfamiliar with the more technical aspects of VPNs, it simply translates to what is essentially a military-grade level of protection and security. OpenVPN is an industry standard, for the moment considered unassailable even by means of hacking using brute force.
While L2TP/IPSec is an older set of protocols, far less safe as compared to OpenVPN, it’s better suited for countries where it’s harder to unblock streaming sites and censored resources, so it has that going for it.
NovaVPN also pays attention to IPv6 and DNS leaks, with NovaVPN using its own encrypted and dedicated DNS on all its servers, ensuring your requests aren’t intercepted or transferred to someone you wouldn’t want.
There’s also a kill switch, so if you feel your connection is compromised, you can disconnect immediately and at no point will your identity be left out.
NovaVPN has an FAQ question that, while bringing up the topic of jurisdiction, is empty. However, press releases place NovaVPN as being based in Belize, a country in Central America with no data retention or anti-privacy laws.
This is, of course, commendable and ideal.
Speed and performance?
With NovaVPN, our average loss wasn’t more than 50% of the original, which is a relief given that NovaVPN is a good option for streaming.
The upload speeds were left virtually unscathed (with a 1:8 ratio of speed retention) while download speeds took a bigger hit, but still good enough to continue doing what you were doing. With an average of 7-8 servers in 7 countries (a total of 50+ servers), and up to 80 IPs available at a given time, a key factor in this is that NovaVPN truly uses its own servers, instead of relying on a VPN reseller.
More of what we consider when thinking of a VPN’s speeds will be covered in the sections below that discuss NovaVPN’s utility for torrenting and streaming Netflix.
Ease of use and multiplatform support
NovaVPN, unfortunately, doesn’t let you download the app before you sign up with a plan.
The Windows and Mac applications are directly downloadable from the website, and the mobile apps can be downloaded through the official Play and App Stores. However, there’s still no free version or plan, except a free trial on the iOS app.
The Windows app offers the kill switch, which is absent from the other versions. The other versions offer both a Smart Reconnect and Always On option, ideal for mobile phones. In the desktop version, these are consolidated into an “Auto Connect” option.
All apps share a good common feature: letting the service choose what server is best for you.
NovaVPN for Netflix
NovaVPN is a good choice for Netflix, keeping in mind the speeds offered and the various forms of encryption and protection (SSL, OpenVPN) that can protect your passwords from being stolen over shared public wifi.
NovaVPN will basically both encrypt your connection and make it digitally anonymous and movable, allowing you to be able to switch regions on your own Netflix account, wherever you are.
Since the DNS protection works, your actual IP address is also kept invisible from the network. This keeps your account from getting flagged by Netflix for proxy usage, and it’s presenting you as genuinely being from the location you choose.
We were also able to sidestep the geo-blocks on Hulu, Kodi, Amazon Fire TV, Spotify, and HBO.
NovaVPN for torrents
NovaVPN is great for torrents, not in that all their servers allow P2P, but that they have servers with multiple IPs specifically put aside for recommended use if you wish to download torrents.
In fact, NovaVPN goes a step further with facilitating torrent download. Let’s say you’re trying to download a torrent on a server that doesn’t allow BitTorrent. NovaVPN will automatically assign you a new IP from a server that supports torrents.
At the time of writing, we were presented with the option of connecting to eight different servers with 64 IPs, each for P2P usage, and all well under a 40% server load whenever we checked throughout the day.
Is NovaVPN good for users in China?
With no logging or DNS leaks, good speeds, and no limits on switching between servers, their usability with the Chinese internet is one of NovaVPN’s true achievements.
NovaVPN allows users in China to surpass the Great Firewall through their unique VPN over HTTPS option (only on the Windows version, however).
While we would recommend using a VPN with a bigger focus on anti-censorship and what some might call “revolutionary” acts, NovaVPN works like a charm to unblock regional restrictions on resources like Wikipedia and content such as YouTube.
For added discretion, this option is not available publicly and can only be activated by sending a request through their ticketed support.
While support is speedy and responded with detailed help on any issue we had (including being unable to stream a region-free Netflix at first), there is ultimately no live support option. The only option you have is through the standard ‘helpdesk’ through a support ticket system.
NovaVPN offers 3 payment plans which charge by duration, not data: Medium, Heavy, and Super Heavy (monthly, half-year, and yearly payment, respectively). While the payments are secured, they’re only done through three methods on the website: VISA, MasterCard, and Maestro.
If you calculate the cost per month of each plan, you can get it for $10 dollars a month at most and less than five bucks a month if you choose to get billed annually (in which case you also get the peace of mind of making a one-time payment).
At the time of writing, we also found a special offer – around $2/month, with a 7-day money back guarantee. However, there’s no mention of how long that will last, or if it’s a limited-time offer for new subscribers.
NovaVPN is an adequately-priced modern VPN that allows you to browse unencumbered by data throttling, speed lags, and blockades placed on content in your region. For the price, there might be better VPNs out there, but few services would be able to match their actual features to NovaVPN.