NordVPN

An easy-to-use VPN with loads of features and good user support

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Our Verdict

NordVPN offers solid performance as well as loads of extra features including a kill switch and encryption support. However, its customer support certainly has room for improvement and a live chat feature would be a welcome addition.

Pros

  • 62+ countries
  • Good performance
  • Unblocks Netflix
  • Free trial and money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Some client interface issues
  • No live chat support

NordVPN is a Panama-based service that provides VPN products to over a million customers. This VPN is feature packed and offers 4,900+ servers in 62 countries. 

Users can also get apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. NordVPN also supports six simultaneous connections so that you can take advantage of the service across all of your devices.

The platform includes all of the technical features you’d expect including OpenVPN support for strong encryption and high performance, DNS leak protection to keep your identity safe and a kill switch in case your connection is interrupted. 

NordVPN also packs in a great deal of extras such as double data encryption and Onion support for added security.

The company’s clear logging policy ensures that your activities on the Internet won’t be visible to anyone else and because NordVPN is based in Panama, the government will have a hard time snooping on you as well.

NordVPN’s 24/7 support is there to help you if you’re overloaded with its features or run into any problems while getting your VPN setup. The service is fairly priced and a 3-day trial with no payment details required gives you an opportunity to see if this is the VPN for you.

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Plans and pricing

NordVPN offers three straightforward plans to suit the needs of all users. The monthly plan costs $11.95 per month and is the company’s most expensive plan. However, when you sign up for a six month plan your monthly price goes down to $9.00 and if you choose a one year plan it goes down even further to just $6.99 saving you almost half the price.

NordVPN clearly describes each plan it offers and the company is sincere with its customers. During the signup process, new users don’t even have to provide their personal information as the service just requires an email address. When it comes to payment options, NordVPN accepts cards, PayPal and even Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for those who wish to further protect their identities.

The company also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so that its customers can ensure the service meets their needs completely.

Privacy

NordVPN takes its customers privacy very seriously and employs a number of technologies to protect its users online.

The service offers support for encryption technologies and scores well with its AES-256-CBC support using a 2048-bit Diffie-Hellman key. While not as powerful as RSA, NordVPN offers more than enough encryption power for most situations.

The company even has a Double VPN system which routes your traffic through one VPN server and then re-encrypts it to send it to a second NordVPN server before reaching its destination. This feature is available right from within NordVPN’s apps and no additional setup is required.

NordVPN also sets itself apart from the competition by offering not one but two kill switches. The first one is a general Internet kill switch that blocks all access to the web when you’re not connected to the VPN (which can be turned off) and the second is an app kill switch that closes certain application if your connection goes down.

Logging

Like other VPNs, NordVPN has a ‘no logs’ policy but the company provides a clear definition of its policy on its site, saying:

"NordVPN strictly keeps no logs of your activity online. That means we do not track the time or duration of any online session, and neither do we keep logs of IP addresses or servers used, websites visited or files downloaded."

Performance

Although privacy features are generally the top priority for a VPN, performance is also important as a secure connection with slow speeds will make it frustrating for customers to use the service. Thankfully NordVPN performed well in all of our tests with speedy connection times, minimal latency and every server was in its advertised location.

Security

When you connect to a NordVPN server, you’re automatically benefiting from the company’s CyberSec feature which blocks ads, phishing and malware sites and prevents malware on your system from accessing known ‘command and control’ servers.

While its a nice feature to have, CyberSec comes with its own issues and NordVPN users have complained that it sometimes blocks legitimate sites. To get around this though, you can easily turn off the feature and use specialist URL filters and an ad blocker to achieve the same effect.

Client setup

Once you sign up for NordVPN, you’re prompted to download a client to run the VPN on your system. As we mentioned earlier, the service supports all major platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and even Linux so that no matter what OS you’re using, you can connect with this VPN.

The company provides over 80 tutorials on how to manually setup the service on non mainstream platforms and devices such as routers, Raspberry Pi, Chrome OS, NAS devices and more.

NordVPN even offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox so that you can quickly and easily connect to your VPN without even opening another app.

Support

For first time VPN users, setting up the service can be quite daunting. However, NordVPN provides a great deal of help via its support website. Articles are sorted into sensible categories and a search box allows you to find articles by keyword.

If you’re unable to solve a problem on your own, you can contact NordVPN by email but the website warns the company has a response time of ‘up to 48 hours’. However, this seems like a worse case scenario and the inquiries we made at night were promptly answered the following morning.

Final verdict

NordVPN is an easy-to-use service that simplifies the process of connecting to a VPN and finding the right server for your needs using its map-based interface. 

We did experience occasional connection issues but for overall, this VPN will suit the needs of most users across a wide variety of devices and operating systems.

The Verdict

4

out of 5

NordVPN

NordVPN offers solid performance as well as loads of extra features including a kill switch and encryption support. However, its customer support certainly has room for improvement and a live chat feature would be a welcome addition.