NordVPN Review by our expert
Rating ?
5.0 / 5.0
Features 5.0 / 5.0
Ease of Use 5.0 / 5.0
Pricing 4.8 / 5.0
Reliability & Support 5.0 / 5.0

NordVPN is a great one-size-fits-all VPN that works seamlessly with iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad and Mac. You can connect up to 6 different devices simultaneously or run your wifi on an entirely secure network. Unlike other premium VPNs, you don't have to pay much to get high speed and security. NordVPN really speaks to its users; It’s an entire pa...

updated: Aug 16, 2018
NordVPN User Reviews
4.8
Benjo Silverio
Aug 16, 2018
  •  4
Great VPN

Military grade encryption, unmatched speed, and reputable name. There’s no bargain in selecting this VPN provider. This is by far the best VPN provider out there, and you’ll be getting your money’s worth by selecting this.


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    Justin
    Aug 10, 2018
    •  5
    Excellent Customer Support

    Something updated and I was unable to use the regular NordVPN on my Mac however I contacted customer support and they set me up with an alternative stable NordVPN app in less than five minutes. I also saw I had been double-billed, and the issue was resolved again two minutes after contacting them. I'm perhaps a bit crazy about customer service, but I expect a company to value their customers and work to make things right with them. NordVPN, in my experience, definitely value their customers, and they provide a good service with few issues. This is why I've stayed with them for several years now. Keep up the good work!


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      Gary G
      Aug 1, 2018
      •  3
      Great Speed, Easy Setup, Very Secure but...

      Previously used Express VPN which was terrific but I didn't like the high renewal cost. Tried Nord which was very close but frequent "access denied" blocked me from some sites. Going back to Express VPN.


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        Features Description
        Number of Server Locations (countries) 62
        Number of servers 4701
        Number of IP Addresses 2254
        Does VPN keep logs No
        Includes Kill Switch Yes
        Devices per license 6
        Ease of use - NordVPN 5.0 / 5.0

        NordVPN is really simple to install and download. The user-friendly website and app make it easy to choose a plan, pay for it, and get started.

        What I love about it:
        Does not take any effort to download and install
        OpenVPN is automatically configured
        Easy to choose servers in countries
        Recommends specialized servers depending on your needs.

        What I like less:
        Other security protocols need to be set up manually which can be tricky.
        Cannot identify the city of each server without external
        IP Address Tool.

        Download

        Watch the short video review and tutorial below of NordVPN
        Pricing 4.8 / 5.0
        1-Year Plan
        $6.99 /month
        6-Month Plan
        $9.00 /month
        1-Month Plan
        $11.95/month

        NordVPN accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Paypal, Bitcoin, and Paymentwall.

        The prices change on the length of the subscription, not the number of features. Notice: subscriptions are automatically renewed and you have to cancel or you will be charged again once your subscription runs out.

        The 30-day money-back guarantee means there's no reason not to test out NordVPN.

        Wait before you buy NordVPN. Their deals make it all the more worthwhile, so it’s best to wait until they have one. Check here for any new deals.

        Reliability & Support 5.0 / 5.0

        Support is one of the main areas where NordVPN shines above the competition. Chances are you will never contact their team, but if you do need to contact them, you’ll want a prompt reply.

        I wouldn’t waste my time on their forums, tutorials, or FAQs. NordVPN’s live chat is always available and it’s the best place to get answers. You can even visit their website and ask a question about VPNs, even if you don’t buy theirs.

        In regards to NordVPN’s refund, you can read how we tested it and see that they do indeed return the money to users with no questions asked.

         

        The Bottom Line
        Ariel Hochstadt
        (Ex-Google, International tech speaker)
        Second year in a row winning the Best VPN Award says it all!

        NordVPN has everything to offer. It’s a serious service, it's fast, it’s super secure, it has servers everywhere, and it’s very reasonably priced. While there are a few things we would like them to improve (I never liked the map view), if you want a reliable, trustworthy VPN without paying a lot of money, NordVPN is the way to go.

        NordVPN
        5.0 / 5.0
        Detailed expert review of NordVPN
        Ariel Hochstadt
        (Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

        NordVPN is surely the most popular VPN provider, but does this mean it is also the best one? What I saw is that they do not have one “killer feature,” but rather a combination of supreme security, careful attention to privacy, and a handy support that’s one click away.

        For this review, I tried to tackle NordVPN and find flaws in their product, but I’m not sure I succeeded. Sure, I found a few things I don’t like and a few improvements to offer, but the bottom line is that NordVPN offers what is probably the best VPN on the market at the moment.

        Update: NordVPN is currently offering a great deal that is definitely worth it.

        NordVPN is the leader when it comes to security. Its double VPN, strict no-logs policy, and Onion over VPN are features you won't find with many other VPNs.

        Of course, NordVPN has the regular features, too, like 2048-bit encryptiona kill-switchsecurity protocols (OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP/IPSec – although most have to be manually installed), and P2P.

        NordVPN says the company operates in Panama to keep you safe from prying eyes, but let’s be honest for a second. Do I really believe NordVPN has offices in Panama? Definitely not. (If you check all the VPNs out there, you’ll be amazed to see how many claim to be located on some small island.)

        This is one of the oldest tricks in the book. Many VPNs choose a country outside the “14 eyes countries” to register their company, but their headquarters are actually located somewhere else.

        Why do they do this? The main reason is so they can’t be forced to give user logs to governments. This way, NordVPN can clearly state they don’t keep any user logs (whereas other VPNs must keep some, due to local data retention laws in countries where they operate).

        When I checked their Android app and saw a company in the U.S. that is shown as the developer, I was worried about their jurisdiction:

        I approached NordVPN and asked about this so-called CloudVPN (not to confuse it with another VPN with a similar name). They explained they use this CloudVPN to register the Android and iOS apps as well as process payments from Paypal and others. I asked my contacts at Paypal about this, and they confirmed this is a legitimate and common practice for companies registered in exotic locations like Panama.

        At the end of the day, NordVPN refuses thousands of requests to deliver data on their users, which makes me sleep well at night.

        NordVPN’s speed deserves acknowledgment

        You would expect that running a speed test while using NordVPN would let you know if it is a fast VPN or not, but it actually can be quite misleading. (I’m not even going to mention the VPNs that manipulated the speed test websites by giving their servers higher priority.)

        Your internet connection speed when using a VPN depends on a number of things:

        1. Your server location. If you just want to hide your IP address, then connecting to a server that is closer to your location will provide a stronger connection than if you connect to one farther away.

        2. Which server you connect to. If you want to stream from a German TV site, you will need a server in Germany (preferably more than one). The speed of one server in France will not show you how fast your connection will be in Germany. Similarly, if you want to stream US Netflix, you need a server in America.

        3. What time you connect. Let’s say you connect to a server in the Netherlands while you are in Canada. You might find that in the evening your speed is really fast, while in the morning it’s much slower. Why does this happen? Because the morning, which is in the afternoon in the Netherlands, is high peak time for that server. Server speeds fluctuate throughout the day depending on the time and number of users.

        4. How many users are connected to the same server. If you connect to a server in the US (say, Los Angeles) where only a number of people are using that server, your speed will be faster than if you connect to a server in New York with twice as many users. The number of people using a server greatly influences its speed.

        It’s not worthwhile to show you my internet speed because my speed tests at any one time won’t add any value to you.

        What you should know, however, is that I constantly use many different VPNs. In the past, I would experience buffering with NordVPN and some slow connections, but recently, their speeds have been incredibly fast.

        This is probably because NordVPN drastically expanded their network of servers, especially with the US (860 servers).

        In April 2017, NordVPN’s website claimed they had 1,000 servers (a bit too round a number if you ask me). In September, that number jumped to 1,103 servers. By December, that number increased even further to 2,048 servers, and now that number is a whopping 4,000 servers! 

        This is a strong indication that they indeed put a lot of money and effort to grow their network and supply users with fast connections.

        NordVPN Security includes the “must have” and some “nice to have” features

        I tested NordVPN for IPV6, IPv4 and DNS leaks and could not find any leaks, even when trying to crash the app in an attempt to find some holes (you can read more on the subject here).

        It is important to note that their latest popular Chrome extension is not a standalone VPN. It is actually a proxy that allows you to quickly change your IP address from your browser. While this is not a security flaw, I would like to see them take the extra step and connect it to their full VPN app.

        NordVPN’s new CyberSec feature is an ad-blocker and malware detector that comes in handy while browsing the web. While this shows they are more advanced than any other VPN in that front, I don’t tend to use it on a regular basis because (in my opinion) it gives an alert when it should not. I’d turn it on if I’m super nervous about phishing or if I’m on my grandma’s PC, which keeps getting infected despite her anti-virus.

        Their double VPN feature (which encrypts your data twice!) is something they are very proud of. The idea behind it is that if one of their servers is under attack, this double VPN feature will add another layer of protection (think of a safe within a safe).

        Notice the CyberSec and Chrome Proxy were recently added in the past few months. When you buy a VPN subscription you want to know the VPN isn’t idle and that they improve their technology and service, which is definitely something Nord does.

        NordVPN unblocks Netflix

        NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that successfully bypasses Netflix's VPN block. NordVPN's website lists optimized servers that can connect you to Netflix and constantly updates it.

        I had no problem connecting to US Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and SlingTV from my Windows PC and iPad with NordVPN.

        Since NordvPN has more than 4,000 servers, it’s not a problem to connect to one in the US or UK and stream on these websites.

        NordVPN’s Android and iOS apps are almost as good as their PC

        NordVPN has platforms and apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and certain routers.

        You can also have up to 6 simultaneous connections, so you can use it on all of your devices at the same time.

        On the mobile app, you cannot connect to as many servers as on the computer platforms, but there are still over 1,600 servers available.

        The application also makes it easy to choose the right server for you. They will suggest a server based on your needs (streaming, security, torrenting, etc.), or you can choose one of your own from their drop-down menu.

        I’m still annoyed that you can't see the city or exact location of the server you connect to, but you can see the country, and hopefully, this is something Nord will improve on.

        In any case, if you want to save your time, first sign up online for NordVPN service and only later install the apps when you already have your login details.

        • 4000 Servers in over 60 Countries
        • 2048-bit SSL Encryption
        • No Logging Policy
        • Double VPN and Tor VPN Connections
        • VPN Gateways Tuned for Streaming Media
        • Get started with NordVPN now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 6
        VPN Plans: www.nordvpn.com
        Ariel Hochstadt
        (Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

        If you like watching live video streaming and downloading torrents, NordVPN is a great one-size-fits-all VPN that secures your connection with powerful tools and blazing speed. Unlike other premium VPNs, you don't have to pay that much to get high speeds and security.

        NordVPN swears not to keep any logs, to encrypt exchanges in 2048 bits, to have their own DNS servers in order to prevent leakage, and to have a " kill switch" to stop some applications in case of accidental disconnection.

        Nord Settings                            NordVPN Protection Settings

        Some of their servers are also equipped with dual VPN.

        Regarding the non-retention of logs, we just have to take their word for it. Even though their support rep was rather convincing, I cannot confirm nor deny this conclusively. Please consider that I cannot confirm with any VPN providers, as there is no standard test for this.

        The same goes for the claim of 2048-bit encryption. To check this, I would have to intercept the data exchanged, particularly during the key exchange phase. It would require too many resources for the context of this article. The same for their double VPN capability, since they would have to give me access to the configuration of their servers.

        However, thanks to our tool, which shows you if any information is leaking from your connection, I can confirm that my identity was properly hidden and that there were no DNS leaks during the test.

        I also found that the "kill switch" was operational during testing.

        I am convinced that NordVPN protects you very well, and this is the main feature that you look for in a VPN.

        NordVPN protects you almost too well, because a 2048-bit encryption is much too sophisticated for the decryption capabilities that we have today.

        In 2010, researchers cracked a 768-bit key, and it took deep pockets (an INRIA research institute French equivalent to 425 quad-core PC for one year). It is expected that 2096-bit encryption will not be cracked by brute force before 2030. There is an emerging technology, quantum computing, which should eventually have the ability to crack just about anything. It is, however, still in its infancy, and bears a complexity that goes far beyond the limits of my understanding. To be sure, this technology will not be available to everyone when it is first released, mostly due to its costly nature. To my knowledge, it is far from operational. The Chinese just announced their launch of a quantum communication satellite, which is a huge breakthrough. They also have goals for 2030.

        The encryption efforts are dependent on the value of data that is being protected, and the NSA does not disclose its actual capabilities; I personally feel, however, adequately protected with 256-bit encryption since the efforts to crack my exchanges would be disproportionately large compared to the secrets I want to keep. And what about the practical use of a 2048-bit dual VPN, except for the purposes of a great marketing stunt? Personally, I do not see the usefulness, but maybe it has more use than I give it credit for.

        You would likely think that if it can do more, it could do less. That would be true if there was no impact on speed. Unfortunately, this is not the case! The more sophisticated the encryption protocol is, the more the speed tends to deteriorate. As for the double-VPN, the velocity drops beyond what is acceptable.

        Everything is relative, however; The US Navy has developed a very low frequency communication system that allows it to send instructions to their submarines without requiring them to come to the surface. It is exceedingly slow, taking several minutes to send a message about the size of a mobile phone text message, but it is justified by the security it affords. They must avoid the disclosure of their submarine’s locations any price.

        I am not a spy, nor would I involve myself in crime or terrorism. I also do not live in a country that jails its citizens just for their ideas; I simply want to protect my privacy, and a 256-bit encryption (OpenVPN) seems adequate to me. Every individual should evaluate their encryption needs according to their own requirements.

        The quality of protection is one of the hallmarks of NordVPN. It protects us far beyond our current needs.

        BUGS

        Beware of bugs. They are not blockers, but they are present.

        Nord Devices Bug

        Here is the first of them. The contract with Nord gives us the right to connect up to six devices at once behind the VPN. Not having a large family, I doubt I will need the ability to connect this many devices at once.

        In the top right of the app, you can see the number of connected devices. The problem is that I only had one computer connected at the time of this screen shot. The counter is inaccurate, and because of this, I might find myself abroad, denied connection because the number of devices has falsely reached its maximum.

        The support tells me that it is just a visual bug, that they are fixing it, and that it has no negative effect on the number of devices that I can connect.

        One last little bug: I managed to crash the application. Do not ask me how I did it. I was already disconnected, so it did not affect the safety. I was about to close the application when I saw the following message:

        Nord Crash Bug

        There are people who can crash their equipment just by looking at it. I had that reputation long ago. It looks like it might be coming back!

        None of the bugs that I showed you are really causes for concern, as they do not affect the quality of service. This is more of an attempt for us to prove you that we are not just reciting the operator's brochure to give you our opinion, as some of our competitors seem to do.

        Our promise is to do our best and most honest review, so you can know what to expect and not to expect with NordVPN.

        Besides, we did not inform NordVPN of our intentions when we purchased our subscription, and I kept them in the dark until the tests were completed. This was obviously to prevent any possibility of biased treatment.

        STABILITY

        NordVPN for PC is suitably stable. During my tests, I was disconnected only twice while I was sleeping, and according to my settings, the service did not reconnect automatically.

        The good news is that my protection remained active. What I did not want to show to my internet service provider had been properly hidden, as I had programmed it to do.

        I did have some problems with the Android app, particularly with connecting, which was sometimes difficult. This, however, should not deter most people.

        In light of my tests, I consider the service to be stable (at least on PC), and compliant with my security requirements.

        USE

        In this section, I would like to discuss three items:

        1. How to choose the server with the fastest speed.
        2. How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs.
        3. How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country.

        How to choose the server with the fastest speed

        With NordVPN, to determine the best server to connect to, you must choose one that is compatible with the activities you are performing, connect to it, determine its speed, and if necessary, repeat the process with another server until you are satisfied.

        I consider this process to be very inefficient, as there is no function for automatically measuring the server’s performances based on the type of server you are looking for. Some operators offer this service, but not most. However, considering the discrepancy speeds of NordVPN’s servers, it is be called for.

        Speaking of which, the application also lacks a dropdown list allowing users to choose a protocol, which is especially important if 256-bit encryption is preferred.

        How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs

        This is not, strictly speaking, a NordVPN bug, but there are IPs, already given to others, resulting in rejection by some servers. This is due to the fact that users had connected to the same IP, and the website had blocked them in the past.

        Nord IP Detection

        Here is, for instance, what happens when you try to access a site named cpasbien with an IP that they have blocked.

        The workaround for this is to use a different server, whose IP is not forbidden. NordVPN has some servers that give you a dedicated IP. It would actually be better for all servers to have this feature by default, or alternatively, to have the possibility for each server to choose an IP in a scrolling list.

        How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country

        When I travel, I sometimes want to watch TV programs in my native language, but for copyright reasons, broadcasting is not allowed outside of the country in which it is normal broadcast.

        If you connect normally (without a VPN), the streaming is rejected. This is called geo-blocking, and a VPN is the right tool to get around this.

        In theory, it should be sufficient to connect to a server in the country where you are allowed to watch the program (with a suitably fast connection) with NordVPN, thereby fooling the target site into believing that you are in the same country, even though you are, in fact, relaxing under a coconut tree with a mojito in your right hand, holding a straw between the toes of your left foot.

        If you succeed doing that, please send us the pictures!

        Unfortunately, this theory does not always work in the real world because the assigned IP might be recognized by the content provider as a VPN IP. This problem arises with virtually all VPN operators and not just with NordVPN. Users are, for example, running into issues with Netflix when using certain VPN servers.

        Nord Netflix ErrorGeographical blocking despite the selection of a server in the appropriate country

        To fix this issue, you need to choose another server in the same geographical area, which in turn assigns you a different IP, one that is accepted by the sites broadcasting the programs that you want to watch.

        In France, NordVPN has 130 servers, so there should be at least one that is accepted by the TV sites you want to watch. Belgium, however, has only 48 servers.

        Therefore, we recommend, as long as your money-back guarantee is valid, that you ensure that the sites displaying your favorite programs are accessible from NordVPN’s servers. Otherwise you might end up traveling, without being able to watch the latest episode of Dallas that you love so much!

        Having the ability to choose multiple IPs in every server would be a pretty nice feature.

        To summarize, I think that NORDVPN has still some work to do in giving their users all the desired features. They do, however, provide as good an experience as any other VPN out there in this regard.

        SPEED

        For most of our speed tests, we use the site Speedtest by Ookla. This is an extremely serious site, but unfortunately, we cannot ignore the temptation that VPN vendors may have to increase the priority of speed when they detect a flow for measuring it. This is not to say that the VPN operators cheat, but I posit that they might be tempted to do so.

        I tested from my baseline of about 20Mbps download and a ping of 15ms, not particularly slow nor particularly fast either. These performance specs are stable and guaranteed by my Internet service provider. I also tested not only the regular VPNs, but also some of the “niche” ones, like Ultra Fast TV, Tor and DoubleVPN. Here are the results.

        Speed Test- Baseline
        My connection without VPN.

        Speed Test- US #1 Speed Test- UK Server Automatic                       US Server #1                        UK- automatic

        Speed Test- Romania Automatic Speed Test- Russia Automatic                       Romania- Auto                       Russia- Auto

        Speed Test- Dedicated IP- Germany #70 Speed Test- Ultra Fast TV                        Ultra fast TV               Dedicated IP- Germany #70

        Speed Test- Double VPN- Russia - Netherlands Speed Test- Double VPN- UK - Netherlands             Double- UK - Netherlands  Double- Russia - Netherlands

        Speed Test- P2P- Sweden #12 Speed Test- P2P- US #305                    P2P- Sweden #12                     P2P- US #305

        As you can see, the results vary considerably, and I suspect that if I were to do these tests on a different day, or simply at different times of the day, I would get different results. No matter how fast or reliable the connection is with a VPN provider, this kind of fluctuation is somewhat inevitable. I also suspect that this difference in performance is due to NordVPN servers not being dedicated, and their bandwidth not being contractually guaranteed (this type of contract is more expensive).

        I was particularly impressed with my connection speed during my first “Double VPN” test, as I was expecting the speed to be slower. As you may know, as a general rule, the more encryption you have, the slower the speed. I was even able to stream Netflix, almost, with waiting for buffering with the Double VPN connection.

        Another point worth mentioning is that the connection that Nord automatically chooses for you for a particular country is not always the best or fastest. It appears that it is sometimes worth testing a few connections (of which there are many, to say the least), instead of taking the easy way and just letting the program decide for you. This is a bit of a disappointment, but certainly not a deal breaker.

        Overall, the connections they offer are very fast and certainly can handle whatever you can throw at them. I especially appreciate the selection of “special purpose servers” they provide.

        • 4000 Servers in over 60 Countries
        • 2048-bit SSL Encryption
        • No Logging Policy
        • Double VPN and Tor VPN Connections
        • VPN Gateways Tuned for Streaming Media
        • Get started with NordVPN now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 6
        VPN Plans: www.nordvpn.com
        Ariel Hochstadt
        (Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

        The NordVPN Desktop app secures your connections with powerful tools and blazing speed. Unlike other premium VPNs, you don't have to pay that much to get high speeds and security.

        It’s no big secret that NordVPN is reputed as the best VPN out there. It has excellent reviews nicely placed on their homepage, and all from very happy customers, as well as links to articles by bigwig industry publications like PC Mag, Forbes etc. I wanted to figure out what all the fuss was about, so took it upon myself to do my own audit.

        NordVPN really speaks to its users; It’s an entire package of unbeatable specs - like 2048-bit encryption, “double VPN,” and 4,000 servers in 60 countries to choose from - that pretty much places it at the top of the market. I really like how the site outlines the top 12 reasons why it’s the best VPN out there. From “lightning speed” and no logs to an “automatic kill switch,” the site had me convinced just from its homepage. When I tried it for myself, it was smack on accurate with all its promises. Exceptionally fast and secure, and with an easy to use interface – even for dummy users like me – I would have to admit, NordVPN gives you a good run for your money.

        Under the support section, they have some handy tutorials for users with virtually any operating system (including iOS and Android). I followed the Mac tutorials – complete with screen grabs and easy instructions; making my experience really easy and educational at the same time.

        Their pricing plan did have me a bit dubious. I didn’t want to commit to a whole year – which is 52% less than signing up for one month – as my general rule of thumb is to sign up for any online services one month at a time. After all, you never know if a better option might appear on the market. Thus, I chose the one-month plan at $11.95, which is more expensive than some other VPN options, but as I have learned, you get what you pay for, and in this case you get a lot.

        Right now, Nord is running two specials for 72% off 2-year subscriptions and 66.5% off 1-year subscriptions.  Click here to take advantage of them . For the 1-year coupon, apply the code 70off at checkout to take advantage of the deal. And if you have any trouble applying the code, see our post Applying Tricky Nord Codes.

        NordVPN swears not to keep any logs, to encrypt exchanges in 2048 bits, to have their own DNS servers in order to prevent leakage, and to have a " kill switch" to stop some applications in case of accidental disconnection.

        Nord Settings                            NordVPN Protection Settings

        Some of their servers are also equipped with dual VPN.

        Regarding the non-retention of logs, we just have to take their word for it, because although their support rep was rather convincing, I could not neither confirm nor deny this conclusively. Please consider that I cannot confirm with any VPN providers, as there is no standard test for this.

        The same goes for the claim of 2048-bit encryption. To check this, I would have to intercept the data exchanged, particularly during the key exchange phase. It would require too many resources for the context of this article. The same for their double VPN capability, since they would have to give me access to the configuration of their servers.

        However, thanks to our tool, which shows you if any information is leaking from your connection, I can confirm that my identity was properly hidden and that there were no DNS leaks during the test.

        I also found that the "kill switch" was operational during testing.

        I am convinced that NordVPN protects you very well, and this is the main feature that you look for in a VPN.

        NordVPN protects you almost too well, because a 2048-bit encryption is much too sophisticated for the decryption capabilities that we have today.

        In 2010, researchers cracked a 768-bit key, and it took deep pockets (an INRIA research institute French equivalent to 425 quad-core PC for one year). It is expected that 2096-bit encryption will not be cracked by brute force before 2030. There is an emerging technology, quantum computing, which should eventually have the ability to crack just about anything. It is, however, still in its infancy, and bears a complexity that goes far beyond the limits of my understanding. To be sure, this technology will not be available to everyone when it is first released, mostly due to its costly nature. To my knowledge, it is far from operational. The Chinese just announced their launch of a quantum communication satellite, which is a huge breakthrough. They also have goals for 2030.

        The encryption efforts are dependent on the value of data that is being protected, and the NSA does not disclose its actual capabilities; I personally feel, however, adequately protected with 256-bit encryption since the efforts to crack my exchanges would be disproportionately large compared to the secrets I want to keep. And what about the practical use of a 2048-bit dual VPN, except for the purposes of a great marketing stunt? Personally, I do not see the usefulness, but maybe it has more use than I give it credit for.

        You would likely think that if it can do more, it could do less. That would be true if there was no impact on speed. Unfortunately, this is not the case! The more sophisticated the encryption protocol is, the more the speed tends to deteriorate. As for the double-VPN, the velocity drops beyond what is acceptable.

        Everything is relative, however; The US Navy has developed a very low frequency communication system that allows it to send instructions to their submarines without requiring them to come to the surface. It is exceedingly slow, taking several minutes to send a message about the size of a mobile phone text message, but it is justified by the security it affords. They must avoid the disclosure of their submarine’s locations any price.

        I am not a spy, nor would I involve myself in crime or terrorism. I also do not live in a country that jails its citizens just for their ideas; I simply want to protect my privacy, and a 256-bit encryption (OpenVPN) seems adequate to me. Every individual should evaluate their encryption needs according to their own requirements.

        The quality of protection is one of the hallmarks of NordVPN. It protects us far beyond our current needs.

        BUGS

        Beware of bugs. They are not blockers, but they are present.

        Nord Devices Bug

        Here is the first of them. The contract with Nord gives us the right to connect up to six devices at once behind the VPN. Not having a large family, I doubt I will need the ability to connect this many devices at once.

        In the top right of the app, you can see the number of connected devices. The problem is that I only had one computer connected at the time of this screen shot. The counter is inaccurate, and because of this, I might find myself abroad, denied connection because the number of devices has falsely reached its maximum.

        The support tells me that it is just a visual bug, that they are fixing it, and that it has no negative effect on the number of devices that I can connect.

        One last little bug: I managed to crash the application. Do not ask me how I did it. I was already disconnected, so it did not affect the safety. I was about to close the application when I saw the following message:

        Nord Crash Bug

        There are people who can crash their equipment just by looking at it. I had that reputation long ago. It looks like it might be coming back!

        None of the bugs that I showed you are really causes for concern, as they do not affect the quality of service. This is more of an attempt for us to prove you that we are not just reciting the operator's brochure to give you our opinion, as some of our competitors seem to do.

        Our promise is to do our best and most honest review, so you can know what to expect and not to expect with NordVPN.

        Besides, we did not inform NordVPN of our intentions when we purchased our subscription, and I kept them in the dark until the tests were completed. This was obviously to prevent any possibility of biased treatment.

        STABILITY

        NordVPN for PC is suitably stable. During my tests, I was disconnected only twice while I was sleeping, and according to my settings, the service did not reconnect automatically.

        The good news is that my protection remained active. What I did not want to show to my internet service provider had been properly hidden, as I had programmed it to do.

        I did have some problems with the Android app, particularly with connecting, which was sometimes difficult. This, however, should not deter most people.

        In light of my tests, I consider the service to be stable (at least on PC), and compliant with my security requirements.

        USE
        In this section, I would like to discuss three items:

        1. How to choose the server with the fastest speed.
        2. How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs.
        3. How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country.

        How to choose the server with the fastest speed

        With NordVPN, to determine the best server to connect to, you must choose one that is compatible with the activities you are performing, connect to it, determine its speed, and if necessary, repeat the process with another server until you are satisfied.

        I consider this process to be very inefficient, as there is no function for automatically measuring the server’s performances based on the type of server you are looking for. Some operators offer this service, but not most. However, considering the discrepancy speeds of NordVPN’s servers, it is be called for.

        Speaking of which, the application also lacks a dropdown list allowing users to choose a protocol, which is especially important if 256-bit encryption is preferred.

        How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs

        This is not, strictly speaking, a NordVPN bug, but there are IPs, already given to others, resulting in rejection by some servers. This is due to the fact that users had connected to the same IP, and the website had blocked them in the past.

        Nord IP Detection

        Here is, for instance, what happens when you try to access a site named cpasbien with an IP that they have blocked.

        The workaround for this is to use a different server, whose IP is not forbidden. NordVPN has some servers that give you a dedicated IP. It would actually be better for all servers to have this feature by default, or alternatively, to have the possibility for each server to choose an IP in a scrolling list.

        How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country

        When I travel, I sometimes want to watch TV programs in my native language, but for copyright reasons, broadcasting is not allowed outside of the country in which it is normal broadcast.

        If you connect normally (without a VPN), the streaming is rejected. This is called geo-blocking, and a VPN is the right tool to get around this.

        In theory, it should be sufficient to connect to a server in the country where you are allowed to watch the program (with a suitably fast connection) with NordVPN, thereby fooling the target site into believing that you are in the same country, even though you are, in fact, relaxing under a coconut tree with a mojito in your right hand, holding a straw between the toes of your left foot.

        If you succeed doing that, please send us the pictures!

        Unfortunately, this theory does not always work in the real world because the assigned IP might be recognized by the content provider as a VPN IP. This problem arises with virtually all VPN operators and not just with NordVPN. Users are, for example, running into issues with Netflix when using certain VPN servers.

        Nord Netflix ErrorGeographical blocking despite the selection of a server in the appropriate country

        To fix this issue, you need to choose another server in the same geographical area, which in turn assigns you a different IP, one that is accepted by the sites broadcasting the programs that you want to watch.

        In France, NordVPN has four servers. Of the four, there should be at least one that is accepted by the TV sites you want to watch. Belgium, however, has only one server. The same goes for Denmark, Bulgaria and a handful others.

        Therefore, we recommend, as long as your money-back guarantee is valid, that you ensure that the sites displaying your favorite programs are accessible from NordVPN’s servers. Otherwise you might end up traveling, without being able to watch the latest episode of Dallas that you love so much!

        Having the ability to choose multiple IPs in every server would be a pretty nice feature.

        To summarize, I think that NORDVPN has still some work to do in giving their users all the desired features. They do, however, provide as good an experience as any other VPN out there in this regard.

        SPEED

        For most of our speed tests, we use the site Speedtest by Ookla. This is an extremely serious site, but unfortunately, we cannot ignore the temptation that VPN vendors may have to increase the priority of speed when they detect a flow for measuring it. This is not to say that the VPN operators cheat, but I posit that they might be tempted to do so.

        I tested from my baseline of about 20Mbps download and a ping of 15ms, not particularly slow nor particularly fast either. These performance specs are stable and guaranteed by my Internet service provider. I also tested not only the regular VPNs, but also some of the “niche” ones, like Ultra Fast TV, Tor and DoubleVPN. Here are the results.

        Speed Test- Baseline
        My connection without VPN.

        Speed Test- US #1 Speed Test- UK Server Automatic US Server #1 UK- automatic

        Speed Test- Romania Automatic Speed Test- Russia Automatic Romania- Auto Russia- Auto

        Speed Test- Dedicated IP- Germany #70 Speed Test- Ultra Fast TV Ultra fast TV Dedicated IP- Germany #70

        Speed Test- Double VPN- Russia - Netherlands Speed Test- Double VPN- UK - Netherlands Double- UK - Netherlands Double- Russia - Netherlands

        Speed Test- P2P- Sweden #12 Speed Test- P2P- US #305 P2P- Sweden #12 P2P- US #305

        As you can see, the results vary considerably, and I suspect that if I were to do these tests on a different day, or simply at different times of the day, I would get different results. No matter how fast or reliable the connection is with a VPN provider, this kind of fluctuation is somewhat inevitable. I also suspect that this difference in performance is due to NordVPN servers not being dedicated, and their bandwidth not being contractually guaranteed (this type of contract is more expensive).

        I was particularly impressed with my connection speed during my first “Double VPN” test, as I was expecting the speed to be slower. As you may know, as a general rule, the more encryption you have, the slower the speed. I was even able to stream Netflix, almost, with waiting for buffering with the Double VPN connection.

        Another point worth mentioning is that the connection that Nord automatically chooses for you for a particular country is not always the best or fastest. It appears that it is sometimes worth testing a few connections (of which there are many, to say the least), instead of taking the easy way and just letting the program decide for you. This is a bit of a disappointment, but certainly not a deal breaker.

        Overall, the connections they offer are very fast and certainly can handle whatever you can throw at them. I especially appreciate the selection of “special purpose servers” they provide.

        • 4000 Servers in over 60 Countries
        • 2048-bit SSL Encryption
        • No Logging Policy
        • Double VPN and Tor VPN Connections
        • VPN Gateways Tuned for Streaming Media
        • Get started with NordVPN now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 6
        VPN Plans: www.nordvpn.com
        Ariel Hochstadt
        (Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

        NordVPN is a great one-size-fits-all VPN that works seamlessly with Android devices as well as a range of up to 6 other devices simultaneously. Unlike other premium VPNs, you don't have to pay much to get high speed and security.

        NordVPN really speaks to its users; It’s an entire package of unbeatable specs - like 2048-bit encryption, “double VPN,” and 1000 servers in 57 countries to choose from - that pretty much places it at the top of the market. I really like how the site outlines the top 12 reasons why it’s the best VPN out there. From “lightning speed” and no logs to an “automatic kill switch,” the site had me convinced just from its homepage. When I tried it for myself, it was smack on accurate with all its promises. Exceptionally fast and secure, and with an easy to use interface – even for dummy users like me – I would have to admit, NordVPN gives you a good run for your money.

        Under the support section, they have some handy tutorials for users with virtually any operating system (including iOS and Android). I followed the Mac tutorials – complete with screen grabs and easy instructions; making my experience really easy and educational at the same time.

        Their pricing plan did have me a bit dubious. I didn’t want to commit to a whole year – which is 52% less than signing up for one month – as my general rule of thumb is to sign up for any online services one month at a time. After all, you never know if a better option might appear on the market. Thus, I chose the one-month plan at $11.95, which is more expensive than some other VPN options, but as I have learned, you get what you pay for, and in this case you get a lot.

        Right now, Nord is running two specials for 72% off 2-year subscriptions and 66.5% off 1-year subscriptions. Click here to take advantage of them . For the 1-year coupon, apply the code 70off at checkout to take advantage of the deal. And if you have any trouble applying the code, see our post Applying Tricky Nord Codes.

        PROTECTION

        NordVPN swears not to keep any logs, to encrypt exchanges in 2048 bits, to have their own DNS servers in order to prevent leakage, and to have a " kill switch" to stop some applications in case of accidental disconnection.

        Nord Settings NordVPN Protection Settings

        Some of their servers are also equipped with dual VPN.

        Regarding the non-retention of logs, we just have to take their word for it, because although their support rep was rather convincing, I could not neither confirm nor deny this conclusively. Please consider that I cannot confirm with any VPN providers, as there is no standard test for this.

        The same goes for the claim of 2048-bit encryption. To check this, I would have to intercept the data exchanged, particularly during the key exchange phase. It would require too many resources for the context of this article. The same for their double VPN capability, since they would have to give me access to the configuration of their servers.

        However, thanks to our tool, which shows you if any information is leaking from your connection, I can confirm that my identity was properly hidden and that there were no DNS leaks during the test.

        I also found that the "kill switch" was operational during testing.

        I am convinced that NordVPN protects you very well, and this is the main feature that you look for in a VPN.

        NordVPN protects you almost too well, because a 2048-bit encryption is much too sophisticated for the decryption capabilities that we have today.

        In 2010, researchers cracked a 768-bit key, and it took deep pockets (an INRIA research institute French equivalent to 425 quad-core PC for one year). It is expected that 2096-bit encryption will not be cracked by brute force before 2030. There is an emerging technology, quantum computing, which should eventually have the ability to crack just about anything. It is, however, still in its infancy, and bears a complexity that goes far beyond the limits of my understanding. To be sure, this technology will not be available to everyone when it is first released, mostly due to its costly nature. To my knowledge, it is far from operational. The Chinese just announced their launch of a quantum communication satellite, which is a huge breakthrough. They also have goals for 2030.

        The encryption efforts are dependent on the value of data that is being protected, and the NSA does not disclose its actual capabilities; I personally feel, however, adequately protected with 256-bit encryption since the efforts to crack my exchanges would be disproportionately large compared to the secrets I want to keep. And what about the practical use of a 2048-bit dual VPN, except for the purposes of a great marketing stunt? Personally, I do not see the usefulness, but maybe it has more use than I give it credit for.

        You would likely think that if it can do more, it could do less. That would be true if there was no impact on speed. Unfortunately, this is not the case! The more sophisticated the encryption protocol is, the more the speed tends to deteriorate. As for the double-VPN, the velocity drops beyond what is acceptable.

        Everything is relative, however; The US Navy has developed a very low frequency communication system that allows it to send instructions to their submarines without requiring them to come to the surface. It is exceedingly slow, taking several minutes to send a message about the size of a mobile phone text message, but it is justified by the security it affords. They must avoid the disclosure of their submarine’s locations any price.

        I am not a spy, nor would I involve myself in crime or terrorism. I also do not live in a country that jails its citizens just for their ideas; I simply want to protect my privacy, and a 256-bit encryption (OpenVPN) seems adequate to me. Every individual should evaluate their encryption needs according to their own requirements.

        The quality of protection is one of the hallmarks of NordVPN. It protects us far beyond our current needs.

        BUGS

        Beware of bugs. They are not blockers, but they are present.

        Nord Devices Bug

        Here is the first of them. The contract with Nord gives us the right to connect up to six devices at once behind the VPN. Not having a large family, I doubt I will need the ability to connect this many devices at once.

        In the top right of the app, you can see the number of connected devices. The problem is that I only had one computer connected at the time of this screen shot. The counter is inaccurate, and because of this, I might find myself abroad, denied connection because the number of devices has falsely reached its maximum.

        The support tells me that it is just a visual bug, that they are fixing it, and that it has no negative effect on the number of devices that I can connect.

        One last little bug: I managed to crash the application. Do not ask me how I did it. I was already disconnected, so it did not affect the safety. I was about to close the application when I saw the following message:

        Nord Crash Bug

        There are people who can crash their equipment just by looking at it. I had that reputation long ago. It looks like it might be coming back!

        None of the bugs that I showed you are really causes for concern, as they do not affect the quality of service. This is more of an attempt for us to prove you that we are not just reciting the operator's brochure to give you our opinion, as some of our competitors seem to do.

        Our promise is to do our best and most honest review, so you can know what to expect and not to expect with NordVPN.

        Besides, we did not inform NordVPN of our intentions when we purchased our subscription, and I kept them in the dark until the tests were completed. This was obviously to prevent any possibility of biased treatment.

        STABILITY

        NordVPN for PC is suitably stable. During my tests, I was disconnected only twice while I was sleeping, and according to my settings, the service did not reconnect automatically.

        The good news is that my protection remained active. What I did not want to show to my internet service provider had been properly hidden, as I had programmed it to do.

        I did have some problems with the Android app, particularly with connecting, which was sometimes difficult. This, however, should not deter most people.

        In light of my tests, I consider the service to be stable (at least on PC), and compliant with my security requirements.

        USE

        In this section, I would like to discuss three items:

        1. How to choose the server with the fastest speed.
        2. How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs.
        3. How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country.

        How to choose the server with the fastest speed

        With NordVPN, to determine the best server to connect to, you must choose one that is compatible with the activities you are performing, connect to it, determine its speed, and if necessary, repeat the process with another server until you are satisfied.

        I consider this process to be very inefficient, as there is no function for automatically measuring the server’s performances based on the type of server you are looking for. Some operators offer this service, but not most. However, considering the discrepancy speeds of NordVPN’s servers, it is be called for.

        Speaking of which, the application also lacks a dropdown list allowing users to choose a protocol, which is especially important if 256-bit encryption is preferred.

        How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs

        This is not, strictly speaking, a NordVPN bug, but there are IPs, already given to others, resulting in rejection by some servers. This is due to the fact that users had connected to the same IP, and the website had blocked them in the past.

        Nord IP Detection

        Here is, for instance, what happens when you try to access a site named cpasbien with an IP that they have blocked.

        The workaround for this is to use a different server, whose IP is not forbidden. NordVPN has some servers that give you a dedicated IP. It would actually be better for all servers to have this feature by default, or alternatively, to have the possibility for each server to choose an IP in a scrolling list.

        How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country

        When I travel, I sometimes want to watch TV programs in my native language, but for copyright reasons, broadcasting is not allowed outside of the country in which it is normal broadcast.

        If you connect normally (without a VPN), the streaming is rejected. This is called geo-blocking, and a VPN is the right tool to get around this.

        In theory, it should be sufficient to connect to a server in the country where you are allowed to watch the program (with a suitably fast connection) with NordVPN, thereby fooling the target site into believing that you are in the same country, even though you are, in fact, relaxing under a coconut tree with a mojito in your right hand, holding a straw between the toes of your left foot.

        If you succeed doing that, please send us the pictures!

        Unfortunately, this theory does not always work in the real world because the assigned IP might be recognized by the content provider as a VPN IP. This problem arises with virtually all VPN operators and not just with NordVPN. Users are, for example, running into issues with Netflix when using certain VPN servers.

        Nord Netflix ErrorGeographical blocking despite the selection of a server in the appropriate country

        To fix this issue, you need to choose another server in the same geographical area, which in turn assigns you a different IP, one that is accepted by the sites broadcasting the programs that you want to watch.

        In France, NordVPN has four servers. Of the four, there should be at least one that is accepted by the TV sites you want to watch. Belgium, however, has only one server. The same goes for Denmark, Bulgaria and a handful others.

        Therefore, we recommend, as long as your money-back guarantee is valid, that you ensure that the sites displaying your favorite programs are accessible from NordVPN’s servers. Otherwise you might end up traveling, without being able to watch the latest episode of Dallas that you love so much!

        Having the ability to choose multiple IPs in every server would be a pretty nice feature.

        To summarize, I think that NORDVPN has still some work to do in giving their users all the desired features. They do, however, provide as good an experience as any other VPN out there in this regard.

        SPEED

        For most of our speed tests, we use the site Speedtest by Ookla. This is an extremely serious site, but unfortunately, we cannot ignore the temptation that VPN vendors may have to increase the priority of speed when they detect a flow for measuring it. This is not to say that the VPN operators cheat, but I posit that they might be tempted to do so.

        I tested from my baseline of about 20Mbps download and a ping of 15ms, not particularly slow nor particularly fast either. These performance specs are stable and guaranteed by my Internet service provider. I also tested not only the regular VPNs, but also some of the “niche” ones, like Ultra Fast TV, Tor and DoubleVPN. Here are the results.

        Speed Test- Baseline
        My connection without VPN.

        Speed Test- US #1 Speed Test- UK Server Automatic US Server #1 UK- automatic

        Speed Test- Romania Automatic Speed Test- Russia Automatic Romania- Auto Russia- Auto

        Speed Test- Dedicated IP- Germany #70 Speed Test- Ultra Fast TV Ultra fast TV Dedicated IP- Germany #70

        Speed Test- Double VPN- Russia - Netherlands Speed Test- Double VPN- UK - Netherlands Double- UK - Netherlands Double- Russia - Netherlands

        Speed Test- P2P- Sweden #12 Speed Test- P2P- US #305 P2P- Sweden #12 P2P- US #305

        As you can see, the results vary considerably, and I suspect that if I were to do these tests on a different day, or simply at different times of the day, I would get different results. No matter how fast or reliable the connection is with a VPN provider, this kind of fluctuation is somewhat inevitable. I also suspect that this difference in performance is due to NordVPN servers not being dedicated, and their bandwidth not being contractually guaranteed (this type of contract is more expensive).

        I was particularly impressed with my connection speed during my first “Double VPN” test, as I was expecting the speed to be slower. As you may know, as a general rule, the more encryption you have, the slower the speed. I was even able to stream Netflix, almost, with waiting for buffering with the Double VPN connection.

        Another point worth mentioning is that the connection that Nord automatically chooses for you for a particular country is not always the best or fastest. It appears that it is sometimes worth testing a few connections (of which there are many, to say the least), instead of taking the easy way and just letting the program decide for you. This is a bit of a disappointment, but certainly not a deal breaker.

        Overall, the connections they offer are very fast and certainly can handle whatever you can throw at them. I especially appreciate the selection of “special purpose servers” they provide.

        • 4000 Servers in over 60 Countries
        • 2048-bit SSL Encryption
        • No Logging Policy
        • Double VPN and Tor VPN Connections
        • VPN Gateways Tuned for Streaming Media
        • Get started with NordVPN now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 6
        VPN Plans: www.nordvpn.com
        Ariel Hochstadt
        (Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

        NordVPN is a great one-size-fits-all VPN that works seamlessly with iOS and MacOS devices. So, it doesn't matter if you're using an iPad or MacBook or both, NordVPN works on all of them. And, with up to six simultaneous connections and the ability to run the VPN on a router, you can use the VPN on all of your devices without a problem. The best part? Unlike other premium VPNs, NordVPn is super affordable, and you don't have to pay much to get high speed and security.

        NordVPN really speaks to its users; It’s an entire package of unbeatable specs - like 2048-bit encryption, “double VPN,” and 1000 servers in 57 countries to choose from - that pretty much places it at the top of the market. From “lightning speed” and no logs to an “automatic kill switch,” NordVPN it pretty convincing from the homepage. Exceptionally fast and secure, and with an easy to use interface, NordVPN gives you a good run for your money.

        Under the support section, they have some handy tutorials for users with virtually any operating system (including iOS and Android). They are super helpful and guide you on installing and running the VPN.

        You would think that such a high-functioning VPN would cost a lot, but NordVPN knows how important it is to be affordable. They constantly have incredible deals and coupons to save you up to 77%!

        Right now, Nord is running two specials for 72% off 2-year subscriptions and 66.5% off 1-year subscriptions. Click here to take advantage of them . For the 1-year coupon, apply the code 70off at checkout to take advantage of the deal. And if you have any trouble applying the code, see our post Applying Tricky Nord Codes.

        PROTECTION

        NordVPN swears not to keep any logs, to encrypt exchanges in 2048 bits, to have their own DNS servers in order to prevent leakage and to have a " kill switch" to stop some applications in case of accidental disconnection.

        Nord Settings NordVPN Protection Settings

        Some of their servers are also equipped with dual VPN.

        Regarding the non-retention of logs, we just have to take their word for it, because although their support rep was rather convincing, I could not neither confirm nor deny this conclusively. Please consider that I cannot confirm with any VPN providers, as there is no standard test for this.

        The same goes for the claim of 2048-bit encryption. To check this, I would have to intercept the data exchanged, particularly during the key exchange phase. It would require too many resources for the context of this article. The same for their double VPN capability, since they would have to give me access to the configuration of their servers.

        However, thanks to our tool, which shows you if any information is leaking from your connection, I can confirm that my identity was properly hidden and that there were no DNS leaks during the test.

        I also found that the "kill switch" was operational during testing.

        I am convinced that NordVPN protects you very well, and this is the main feature that you look for in a VPN.

        NordVPN protects you almost too well, because a 2048-bit encryption is much too sophisticated for the decryption capabilities that we have today.

        In 2010, researchers cracked a 768-bit key, and it took deep pockets (an INRIA research institute French equivalent to 425 quad-core PC for one year). It is expected that 2096-bit encryption will not be cracked by brute force before 2030. There is an emerging technology, quantum computing, which should eventually have the ability to crack just about anything. It is, however, still in its infancy, and bears a complexity that goes far beyond the limits of my understanding. To be sure, this technology will not be available to everyone when it is first released, mostly due to its costly nature. To my knowledge, it is far from operational. The Chinese just announced their launch of a quantum communication satellite, which is a huge breakthrough. They also have goals for 2030.

        The encryption efforts are dependent on the value of data that is being protected, and the NSA does not disclose its actual capabilities; I personally feel, however, adequately protected with 256-bit encryption since the efforts to crack my exchanges would be disproportionately large compared to the secrets I want to keep. And what about the practical use of a 2048-bit dual VPN, except for the purposes of a great marketing stunt? Personally, I do not see the usefulness, but maybe it has more use than I give it credit for.

        You would likely think that if it can do more, it could do less. That would be true if there was no impact on speed. Unfortunately, this is not the case! The more sophisticated the encryption protocol is, the more the speed tends to deteriorate. As for the double-VPN, the velocity drops beyond what is acceptable.

        Everything is relative, however; The US Navy has developed a very low frequency communication system that allows it to send instructions to their submarines without requiring them to come to the surface. It is exceedingly slow, taking several minutes to send a message about the size of a mobile phone text message, but it is justified by the security it affords. They must avoid the disclosure of their submarine’s locations any price.

        I am not a spy, nor would I involve myself in crime or terrorism. I also do not live in a country that jails its citizens just for their ideas; I simply want to protect my privacy, and a 256-bit encryption (OpenVPN) seems adequate to me. Every individual should evaluate their encryption needs according to their own requirements.

        The quality of protection is one of the hallmarks of NordVPN. It protects us far beyond our current needs.

        BUGS

        Beware of bugs. They are not blockers, but they are present.

        Nord Devices Bug

        Here is the first of them. The contract with Nord gives us the right to connect up to six devices at once behind the VPN. Not having a large family, I doubt I will need the ability to connect this many devices at once.

        In the top right of the app, you can see the number of connected devices. The problem is that I only had one computer connected at the time of this screen shot. The counter is inaccurate, and because of this, I might find myself abroad, denied connection because the number of devices has falsely reached its maximum.

        The support tells me that it is just a visual bug, that they are fixing it, and that it has no negative effect on the number of devices that I can connect.

        One last little bug: I managed to crash the application. Do not ask me how I did it. I was already disconnected, so it did not affect the safety. I was about to close the application when I saw the following message:

        Nord Crash Bug

        There are people who can crash their equipment just by looking at it. I had that reputation long ago. It looks like it might be coming back!

        None of the bugs that I showed you are really causes for concern, as they do not affect the quality of service. This is more of an attempt for us to prove you that we are not just reciting the operator's brochure to give you our opinion, as some of our competitors seem to do.

        Our promise is to do our best and most honest review, so you can know what to expect and not to expect with NordVPN.

        Besides, we did not inform NordVPN of our intentions when we purchased our subscription, and I kept them in the dark until the tests were completed. This was obviously to prevent any possibility of biased treatment.

        STABILITY

        NordVPN for PC is suitably stable. During my tests, I was disconnected only twice while I was sleeping, and according to my settings, the service did not reconnect automatically.

        The good news is that my protection remained active. What I did not want to show to my internet service provider had been properly hidden, as I had programmed it to do.

        I did have some problems with the Android app, particularly with connecting, which was sometimes difficult. This, however, should not deter most people.

        In light of my tests, I consider the service to be stable (at least on PC), and compliant with my security requirements.

        USE

        In this section, I would like to discuss three items:

        1. How to choose the server with the fastest speed.
        2. How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs.
        3. How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country.

        How to choose the server with the fastest speed

        With NordVPN, to determine the best server to connect to, you must choose one that is compatible with the activities you are performing, connect to it, determine its speed, and if necessary, repeat the process with another server until you are satisfied.

        I consider this process to be very inefficient, as there is no function for automatically measuring the server’s performances based on the type of server you are looking for. Some operators offer this service, but not most. However, considering the discrepancy speeds of NordVPN’s servers, it is be called for.

        Speaking of which, the application also lacks a dropdown list allowing users to choose a protocol, which is especially important if 256-bit encryption is preferred.

        How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs

        This is not, strictly speaking, a NordVPN bug, but there are IPs, already given to others, resulting in rejection by some servers. This is due to the fact that users had connected to the same IP, and the website had blocked them in the past.

        Nord IP Detection

        Here is, for instance, what happens when you try to access a site named cpasbien with an IP that they have blocked.

        The workaround for this is to use a different server, whose IP is not forbidden. NordVPN has some servers that give you a dedicated IP. It would actually be better for all servers to have this feature by default, or alternatively, to have the possibility for each server to choose an IP in a scrolling list.

        How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country

        When I travel, I sometimes want to watch TV programs in my native language, but for copyright reasons, broadcasting is not allowed outside of the country in which it is normal broadcast.

        If you connect normally (without a VPN), the streaming is rejected. This is called geo-blocking, and a VPN is the right tool to get around this.

        In theory, it should be sufficient to connect to a server in the country where you are allowed to watch the program (with a suitably fast connection) with NordVPN, thereby fooling the target site into believing that you are in the same country, even though you are, in fact, relaxing under a coconut tree with a mojito in your right hand, holding a straw between the toes of your left foot.

        If you succeed doing that, please send us the pictures!

        Unfortunately, this theory does not always work in the real world because the assigned IP might be recognized by the content provider as a VPN IP. This problem arises with virtually all VPN operators and not just with NordVPN. Users are, for example, running into issues with Netflix when using certain VPN servers.

        Nord Netflix ErrorGeographical blocking despite the selection of a server in the appropriate country

        To fix this issue, you need to choose another server in the same geographical area, which in turn assigns you a different IP, one that is accepted by the sites broadcasting the programs that you want to watch.

        In France, NordVPN has four servers. Of the four, there should be at least one that is accepted by the TV sites you want to watch. Belgium, however, has only one server. The same goes for Denmark, Bulgaria and a handful others.

        Therefore, we recommend, as long as your money-back guarantee is valid, that you ensure that the sites displaying your favorite programs are accessible from NordVPN’s servers. Otherwise you might end up traveling, without being able to watch the latest episode of Dallas that you love so much!

        Having the ability to choose multiple IPs in every server would be a pretty nice feature.

        To summarize, I think that NORDVPN has still some work to do in giving their users all the desired features. They do, however, provide as good an experience as any other VPN out there in this regard.

        SPEED

        For most of our speed tests, we use the site Speedtest by Ookla. This is an extremely serious site, but unfortunately, we cannot ignore the temptation that VPN vendors may have to increase the priority of speed when they detect a flow for measuring it. This is not to say that the VPN operators cheat, but I posit that they might be tempted to do so.

        I tested from my baseline of about 20Mbps download and a ping of 15ms, not particularly slow nor particularly fast either. These performance specs are stable and guaranteed by my Internet service provider. I also tested not only the regular VPNs, but also some of the “niche” ones, like Ultra Fast TV, Tor and DoubleVPN. Here are the results.

        Speed Test- Baseline
        My connection without VPN.

        Speed Test- US #1 Speed Test- UK Server Automatic US Server #1 UK- automatic

        Speed Test- Romania Automatic Speed Test- Russia Automatic Romania- Auto Russia- Auto

        Speed Test- Dedicated IP- Germany #70 Speed Test- Ultra Fast TV Ultra fast TV Dedicated IP- Germany #70

        Speed Test- Double VPN- Russia - Netherlands Speed Test- Double VPN- UK - Netherlands Double- UK - Netherlands Double- Russia - Netherlands

        Speed Test- P2P- Sweden #12 Speed Test- P2P- US #305 P2P- Sweden #12 P2P- US #305

        As you can see, the results vary considerably, and I suspect that if I were to do these tests on a different day, or simply at different times of the day, I would get different results. No matter how fast or reliable the connection is with a VPN provider, this kind of fluctuation is somewhat inevitable. I also suspect that this difference in performance is due to NordVPN servers not being dedicated, and their bandwidth not being contractually guaranteed (this type of contract is more expensive).

        I was particularly impressed with my connection speed during my first “Double VPN” test, as I was expecting the speed to be slower. As you may know, as a general rule, the more encryption you have, the slower the speed. I was even able to stream Netflix, almost, with waiting for buffering with the Double VPN connection.

        Another point worth mentioning is that the connection that Nord automatically chooses for you for a particular country is not always the best or fastest. It appears that it is sometimes worth testing a few connections (of which there are many, to say the least), instead of taking the easy way and just letting the program decide for you. This is a bit of a disappointment, but certainly not a deal breaker.

        Overall, the connections they offer are very fast and certainly can handle whatever you can throw at them. I especially appreciate the selection of “special purpose servers” they provide.

        • 4000 Servers in over 60 Countries
        • 2048-bit SSL Encryption
        • No Logging Policy
        • Double VPN and Tor VPN Connections
        • VPN Gateways Tuned for Streaming Media
        • Get started with NordVPN now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 6
        VPN Plans: www.nordvpn.com
        Ariel Hochstadt
        (Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

        NordVPN is a great one-size-fits-all VPN that works seamlessly with iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad and Mac. You can connect up to 6 different devices simultaneously or run your wifi on an entirely secure network. Unlike other premium VPNs, you don't have to pay much to get high speed and security.

        NordVPN really speaks to its users; It’s an entire package of unbeatable specs - like 2048-bit encryption, “double VPN,” and 1000 servers in 57 countries to choose from - that pretty much places it at the top of the market. I really like how the site outlines the top 12 reasons why it’s the best VPN out there. From “lightning speed” and no logs to an “automatic kill switch,” the site had me convinced just from its homepage. When I tried it for myself, it was smack on accurate with all its promises. Exceptionally fast and secure, and with an easy to use interface – even for dummy users like me – I would have to admit, NordVPN gives you a good run for your money.

        Under the support section, they have some handy tutorials for users with virtually any operating system (including iOS and Android). I followed the Mac tutorials – complete with screen grabs and easy instructions; making my experience really easy and educational at the same time.

        Their pricing plan did have me a bit dubious. I didn’t want to commit to a whole year – which is 52% less than signing up for one month – as my general rule of thumb is to sign up for any online services one month at a time. After all, you never know if a better option might appear on the market. Thus, I chose the one-month plan at $11.95, which is more expensive than some other VPN options, but as I have learned, you get what you pay for, and in this case you get a lot.

        Right now, Nord is running two specials for 72% off 2-year subscriptions and 66.5% off 1-year subscriptions. Click here to take advantage of them . For the 1-year coupon, apply the code 70off at checkout to take advantage of the deal. And if you have any trouble applying the code, see our post Applying Tricky Nord Codes.

        PROTECTION

        NordVPN swears not to keep any logs, to encrypt exchanges in 2048 bits, to have their own DNS servers in order to prevent leakage, and to have a " kill switch" to stop some applications in case of accidental disconnection.

        Nord Settings NordVPN Protection Settings

        Some of their servers are also equipped with dual VPN.

        Regarding the non-retention of logs, we just have to take their word for it, because although their support rep was rather convincing, I could not neither confirm nor deny this conclusively. Please consider that I cannot confirm with any VPN providers, as there is no standard test for this.

        The same goes for the claim of 2048-bit encryption. To check this, I would have to intercept the data exchanged, particularly during the key exchange phase. It would require too many resources for the context of this article. The same for their double VPN capability, since they would have to give me access to the configuration of their servers.

        However, thanks to our tool, which shows you if any information is leaking from your connection, I can confirm that my identity was properly hidden and that there were no DNS leaks during the test.

        I also found that the "kill switch" was operational during testing.

        I am convinced that NordVPN protects you very well, and this is the main feature that you look for in a VPN.

        NordVPN protects you almost too well, because a 2048-bit encryption is much too sophisticated for the decryption capabilities that we have today.

        In 2010, researchers cracked a 768-bit key, and it took deep pockets (an INRIA research institute French equivalent to 425 quad-core PC for one year). It is expected that 2096-bit encryption will not be cracked by brute force before 2030. There is an emerging technology, quantum computing, which should eventually have the ability to crack just about anything. It is, however, still in its infancy, and bears a complexity that goes far beyond the limits of my understanding. To be sure, this technology will not be available to everyone when it is first released, mostly due to its costly nature. To my knowledge, it is far from operational. The Chinese just announced their launch of a quantum communication satellite, which is a huge breakthrough. They also have goals for 2030.

        The encryption efforts are dependent on the value of data that is being protected, and the NSA does not disclose its actual capabilities; I personally feel, however, adequately protected with 256-bit encryption since the efforts to crack my exchanges would be disproportionately large compared to the secrets I want to keep. And what about the practical use of a 2048-bit dual VPN, except for the purposes of a great marketing stunt? Personally, I do not see the usefulness, but maybe it has more use than I give it credit for.

        You would likely think that if it can do more, it could do less. That would be true if there was no impact on speed. Unfortunately, this is not the case! The more sophisticated the encryption protocol is, the more the speed tends to deteriorate. As for the double-VPN, the velocity drops beyond what is acceptable.

        Everything is relative, however; The US Navy has developed a very low frequency communication system that allows it to send instructions to their submarines without requiring them to come to the surface. It is exceedingly slow, taking several minutes to send a message about the size of a mobile phone text message, but it is justified by the security it affords. They must avoid the disclosure of their submarine’s locations any price.

        I am not a spy, nor would I involve myself in crime or terrorism. I also do not live in a country that jails its citizens just for their ideas; I simply want to protect my privacy, and a 256-bit encryption (OpenVPN) seems adequate to me. Every individual should evaluate their encryption needs according to their own requirements.

        The quality of protection is one of the hallmarks of NordVPN. It protects us far beyond our current needs.

        BUGS

        Beware of bugs. They are not blockers, but they are present.

        Nord Devices Bug

        Here is the first of them. The contract with Nord gives us the right to connect up to six devices at once behind the VPN. Not having a large family, I doubt I will need the ability to connect this many devices at once.

        In the top right of the app, you can see the number of connected devices. The problem is that I only had one computer connected at the time of this screen shot. The counter is inaccurate, and because of this, I might find myself abroad, denied connection because the number of devices has falsely reached its maximum.

        The support tells me that it is just a visual bug, that they are fixing it, and that it has no negative effect on the number of devices that I can connect.

        One last little bug: I managed to crash the application. Do not ask me how I did it. I was already disconnected, so it did not affect the safety. I was about to close the application when I saw the following message:

        Nord Crash Bug

        There are people who can crash their equipment just by looking at it. I had that reputation long ago. It looks like it might be coming back!

        None of the bugs that I showed you are really causes for concern, as they do not affect the quality of service. This is more of an attempt for us to prove you that we are not just reciting the operator's brochure to give you our opinion, as some of our competitors seem to do.

        Our promise is to do our best and most honest review, so you can know what to expect and not to expect with NordVPN.

        Besides, we did not inform NordVPN of our intentions when we purchased our subscription, and I kept them in the dark until the tests were completed. This was obviously to prevent any possibility of biased treatment.

        STABILITY

        NordVPN for PC is suitably stable. During my tests, I was disconnected only twice while I was sleeping, and according to my settings, the service did not reconnect automatically.

        The good news is that my protection remained active. What I did not want to show to my internet service provider had been properly hidden, as I had programmed it to do.

        I did have some problems with the Android app, particularly with connecting, which was sometimes difficult. This, however, should not deter most people.

        In light of my tests, I consider the service to be stable (at least on PC), and compliant with my security requirements.

        USE

        In this section, I would like to discuss three items:

        1. How to choose the server with the fastest speed.
        2. How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs.
        3. How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country.

        How to choose the server with the fastest speed

        With NordVPN, to determine the best server to connect to, you must choose one that is compatible with the activities you are performing, connect to it, determine its speed, and if necessary, repeat the process with another server until you are satisfied.

        I consider this process to be very inefficient, as there is no function for automatically measuring the server’s performances based on the type of server you are looking for. Some operators offer this service, but not most. However, considering the discrepancy speeds of NordVPN’s servers, it is be called for.

        Speaking of which, the application also lacks a dropdown list allowing users to choose a protocol, which is especially important if 256-bit encryption is preferred.

        How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs

        This is not, strictly speaking, a NordVPN bug, but there are IPs, already given to others, resulting in rejection by some servers. This is due to the fact that users had connected to the same IP, and the website had blocked them in the past.

        Nord IP Detection

        Here is, for instance, what happens when you try to access a site named cpasbien with an IP that they have blocked.

        The workaround for this is to use a different server, whose IP is not forbidden. NordVPN has some servers that give you a dedicated IP. It would actually be better for all servers to have this feature by default, or alternatively, to have the possibility for each server to choose an IP in a scrolling list.

        How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country

        When I travel, I sometimes want to watch TV programs in my native language, but for copyright reasons, broadcasting is not allowed outside of the country in which it is normal broadcast.

        If you connect normally (without a VPN), the streaming is rejected. This is called geo-blocking, and a VPN is the right tool to get around this.

        In theory, it should be sufficient to connect to a server in the country where you are allowed to watch the program (with a suitably fast connection) with NordVPN, thereby fooling the target site into believing that you are in the same country, even though you are, in fact, relaxing under a coconut tree with a mojito in your right hand, holding a straw between the toes of your left foot.

        If you succeed doing that, please send us the pictures!

        Unfortunately, this theory does not always work in the real world because the assigned IP might be recognized by the content provider as a VPN IP. This problem arises with virtually all VPN operators and not just with NordVPN. Users are, for example, running into issues with Netflix when using certain VPN servers.

        Nord Netflix ErrorGeographical blocking despite the selection of a server in the appropriate country

        To fix this issue, you need to choose another server in the same geographical area, which in turn assigns you a different IP, one that is accepted by the sites broadcasting the programs that you want to watch.

        In France, NordVPN has four servers. Of the four, there should be at least one that is accepted by the TV sites you want to watch. Belgium, however, has only one server. The same goes for Denmark, Bulgaria and a handful others.

        Therefore, we recommend, as long as your money-back guarantee is valid, that you ensure that the sites displaying your favorite programs are accessible from NordVPN’s servers. Otherwise you might end up traveling, without being able to watch the latest episode of Dallas that you love so much!

        Having the ability to choose multiple IPs in every server would be a pretty nice feature.

        To summarize, I think that NORDVPN has still some work to do in giving their users all the desired features. They do, however, provide as good an experience as any other VPN out there in this regard.

        SPEED

        For most of our speed tests, we use the site Speedtest by Ookla. This is an extremely serious site, but unfortunately, we cannot ignore the temptation that VPN vendors may have to increase the priority of speed when they detect a flow for measuring it. This is not to say that the VPN operators cheat, but I posit that they might be tempted to do so.

        I tested from my baseline of about 20Mbps download and a ping of 15ms, not particularly slow nor particularly fast either. These performance specs are stable and guaranteed by my Internet service provider. I also tested not only the regular VPNs, but also some of the “niche” ones, like Ultra Fast TV, Tor and DoubleVPN. Here are the results.

        Speed Test- Baseline
        My connection without VPN.

        Speed Test- US #1 Speed Test- UK Server Automatic US Server #1 UK- automatic

        Speed Test- Romania Automatic Speed Test- Russia Automatic Romania- Auto Russia- Auto

        Speed Test- Dedicated IP- Germany #70 Speed Test- Ultra Fast TV Ultra fast TV Dedicated IP- Germany #70

        Speed Test- Double VPN- Russia - Netherlands Speed Test- Double VPN- UK - Netherlands Double- UK - Netherlands Double- Russia - Netherlands

        Speed Test- P2P- Sweden #12 Speed Test- P2P- US #305 P2P- Sweden #12 P2P- US #305

        As you can see, the results vary considerably, and I suspect that if I were to do these tests on a different day, or simply at different times of the day, I would get different results. No matter how fast or reliable the connection is with a VPN provider, this kind of fluctuation is somewhat inevitable. I also suspect that this difference in performance is due to NordVPN servers not being dedicated, and their bandwidth not being contractually guaranteed (this type of contract is more expensive).

        I was particularly impressed with my connection speed during my first “Double VPN” test, as I was expecting the speed to be slower. As you may know, as a general rule, the more encryption you have, the slower the speed. I was even able to stream Netflix, almost, with waiting for buffering with the Double VPN connection.

        Another point worth mentioning is that the connection that Nord automatically chooses for you for a particular country is not always the best or fastest. It appears that it is sometimes worth testing a few connections (of which there are many, to say the least), instead of taking the easy way and just letting the program decide for you. This is a bit of a disappointment, but certainly not a deal breaker.

        Overall, the connections they offer are very fast and certainly can handle whatever you can throw at them. I especially appreciate the selection of “special purpose servers” they provide.

        • 4000 Servers in over 60 Countries
        • 2048-bit SSL Encryption
        • No Logging Policy
        • Double VPN and Tor VPN Connections
        • VPN Gateways Tuned for Streaming Media
        • Get started with NordVPN now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 6
        VPN Plans: www.nordvpn.com
        Ariel Hochstadt
        (Ex-Google, International tech speaker)

        NordVPN users in the states enjoy ultra fast TV streaming while securing their privacy at all times. It's a great one-size-fits-all VPN that secures your connection with powerful tools and blazing speed, and unlike other premium VPNs, you don't have to pay much to get high speed and security.

        Operating under the jurisdiction of Panama, NordVPN has a network of 1000 servers located in 57 countries. Their VPN servers support a number of configurations for encryption and specific uses like file sharing and streaming media. They offer regular VPN connections with strong encryption options such as 2048 bit SSL for the OpenVPN protocol or AES-256 bit encryption for the L2TP protocol. If you need more security, then you can connect to their Double VPN server where traffic is routed through two servers and encrypted with two layers of AES-256-CBC encryption. The OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP with IPSec protocols are supported on all their servers. The service supports up to 6 simultaneous connections so you can connect all of your devices.

        PROTECTION

        NordVPN swears not to keep any logs, to encrypt exchanges in 2048 bits, to have their own DNS servers in order to prevent leakage, and to have a " kill switch" to stop some applications in case of accidental disconnection.

        Nord Settings NordVPN Protection Settings

        Some of their servers are also equipped with dual VPN.

        Regarding the non-retention of logs, we just have to take their word for it, because although their support rep was rather convincing, I could not neither confirm nor deny this conclusively. Please consider that I cannot confirm with any VPN providers, as there is no standard test for this.

        The same goes for the claim of 2048-bit encryption. To check this, I would have to intercept the data exchanged, particularly during the key exchange phase. It would require too many resources for the context of this article. The same for their double VPN capability, since they would have to give me access to the configuration of their servers.

        However, thanks to our tool, which shows you if any information is leaking from your connection, I can confirm that my identity was properly hidden and that there were no DNS leaks during the test.

        I also found that the "kill switch" was operational during testing.

        I am convinced that NordVPN protects you very well, and this is the main feature that you look for in a VPN.

        NordVPN protects you almost too well, because a 2048-bit encryption is much too sophisticated for the decryption capabilities that we have today.

        In 2010, researchers cracked a 768-bit key, and it took deep pockets (an INRIA research institute French equivalent to 425 quad-core PC for one year). It is expected that 2096-bit encryption will not be cracked by brute force before 2030. There is an emerging technology, quantum computing, which should eventually have the ability to crack just about anything. It is, however, still in its infancy, and bears a complexity that goes far beyond the limits of my understanding. To be sure, this technology will not be available to everyone when it is first released, mostly due to its costly nature. To my knowledge, it is far from operational. The Chinese just announced their launch of a quantum communication satellite, which is a huge breakthrough. They also have goals for 2030.

        The encryption efforts are dependent on the value of data that is being protected, and the NSA does not disclose its actual capabilities; I personally feel, however, adequately protected with 256-bit encryption since the efforts to crack my exchanges would be disproportionately large compared to the secrets I want to keep. And what about the practical use of a 2048-bit dual VPN, except for the purposes of a great marketing stunt? Personally, I do not see the usefulness, but maybe it has more use than I give it credit for.

        You would likely think that if it can do more, it could do less. That would be true if there was no impact on speed. Unfortunately, this is not the case! The more sophisticated the encryption protocol is, the more the speed tends to deteriorate. As for the double-VPN, the velocity drops beyond what is acceptable.

        Everything is relative, however; The US Navy has developed a very low frequency communication system that allows it to send instructions to their submarines without requiring them to come to the surface. It is exceedingly slow, taking several minutes to send a message about the size of a mobile phone text message, but it is justified by the security it affords. They must avoid the disclosure of their submarine’s locations any price.

        I am not a spy, nor would I involve myself in crime or terrorism. I also do not live in a country that jails its citizens just for their ideas; I simply want to protect my privacy, and a 256-bit encryption (OpenVPN) seems adequate to me. Every individual should evaluate their encryption needs according to their own requirements.

        The quality of protection is one of the hallmarks of NordVPN. It protects us far beyond our current needs.

        BUGS

        Beware of bugs. They are not blockers, but they are present.

        Nord Devices Bug

        Here is the first of them. The contract with Nord gives us the right to connect up to six devices at once behind the VPN. Not having a large family, I doubt I will need the ability to connect this many devices at once.

        In the top right of the app, you can see the number of connected devices. The problem is that I only had one computer connected at the time of this screen shot. The counter is inaccurate, and because of this, I might find myself abroad, denied connection because the number of devices has falsely reached its maximum.

        The support tells me that it is just a visual bug, that they are fixing it, and that it has no negative effect on the number of devices that I can connect.

        One last little bug: I managed to crash the application. Do not ask me how I did it. I was already disconnected, so it did not affect the safety. I was about to close the application when I saw the following message:

        Nord Crash Bug

        There are people who can crash their equipment just by looking at it. I had that reputation long ago. It looks like it might be coming back!

        None of the bugs that I showed you are really causes for concern, as they do not affect the quality of service. This is more of an attempt for us to prove you that we are not just reciting the operator's brochure to give you our opinion, as some of our competitors seem to do.

        Our promise is to do our best and most honest review, so you can know what to expect and not to expect with NordVPN.

        Besides, we did not inform NordVPN of our intentions when we purchased our subscription, and I kept them in the dark until the tests were completed. This was obviously to prevent any possibility of biased treatment.

        STABILITY

        NordVPN for PC is suitably stable. During my tests, I was disconnected only twice while I was sleeping, and according to my settings, the service did not reconnect automatically.

        The good news is that my protection remained active. What I did not want to show to my internet service provider had been properly hidden, as I had programmed it to do.

        I did have some problems with the Android app, particularly with connecting, which was sometimes difficult. This, however, should not deter most people.

        In light of my tests, I consider the service to be stable (at least on PC), and compliant with my security requirements.

        USE

        In this section, I would like to discuss three items:

        1. How to choose the server with the fastest speed.
        2. How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs.
        3. How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country.

        How to choose the server with the fastest speed

        With NordVPN, to determine the best server to connect to, you must choose one that is compatible with the activities you are performing, connect to it, determine its speed, and if necessary, repeat the process with another server until you are satisfied.

        I consider this process to be very inefficient, as there is no function for automatically measuring the server’s performances based on the type of server you are looking for. Some operators offer this service, but not most. However, considering the discrepancy speeds of NordVPN’s servers, it is be called for.

        Speaking of which, the application also lacks a dropdown list allowing users to choose a protocol, which is especially important if 256-bit encryption is preferred.

        How to avoid being rejected by websites that ban some IPs

        This is not, strictly speaking, a NordVPN bug, but there are IPs, already given to others, resulting in rejection by some servers. This is due to the fact that users had connected to the same IP, and the website had blocked them in the past.

        Nord IP Detection

        Here is, for instance, what happens when you try to access a site named cpasbien with an IP that they have blocked.

        The workaround for this is to use a different server, whose IP is not forbidden. NordVPN has some servers that give you a dedicated IP. It would actually be better for all servers to have this feature by default, or alternatively, to have the possibility for each server to choose an IP in a scrolling list.

        How to prevent sites from refusing to stream broadcasts due to geographic blocking, despite choosing a server in what should be a suitable country

        When I travel, I sometimes want to watch TV programs in my native language, but for copyright reasons, broadcasting is not allowed outside of the country in which it is normal broadcast.

        If you connect normally (without a VPN), the streaming is rejected. This is called geo-blocking, and a VPN is the right tool to get around this.

        In theory, it should be sufficient to connect to a server in the country where you are allowed to watch the program (with a suitably fast connection) with NordVPN, thereby fooling the target site into believing that you are in the same country, even though you are, in fact, relaxing under a coconut tree with a mojito in your right hand, holding a straw between the toes of your left foot.

        If you succeed doing that, please send us the pictures!

        Unfortunately, this theory does not always work in the real world because the assigned IP might be recognized by the content provider as a VPN IP. This problem arises with virtually all VPN operators and not just with NordVPN. Users are, for example, running into issues with Netflix when using certain VPN servers.

        Nord Netflix ErrorGeographical blocking despite the selection of a server in the appropriate country

        To fix this issue, you need to choose another server in the same geographical area, which in turn assigns you a different IP, one that is accepted by the sites broadcasting the programs that you want to watch.

        In France, NordVPN has four servers. Of the four, there should be at least one that is accepted by the TV sites you want to watch. Belgium, however, has only one server. The same goes for Denmark, Bulgaria and a handful others.

        Therefore, we recommend, as long as your money-back guarantee is valid, that you ensure that the sites displaying your favorite programs are accessible from NordVPN’s servers. Otherwise you might end up traveling, without being able to watch the latest episode of Dallas that you love so much!

        Having the ability to choose multiple IPs in every server would be a pretty nice feature.

        To summarize, I think that NORDVPN has still some work to do in giving their users all the desired features. They do, however, provide as good an experience as any other VPN out there in this regard.

        SPEED

        For most of our speed tests, we use the site Speedtest by Ookla. This is an extremely serious site, but unfortunately, we cannot ignore the temptation that VPN vendors may have to increase the priority of speed when they detect a flow for measuring it. This is not to say that the VPN operators cheat, but I posit that they might be tempted to do so.

        I tested from my baseline of about 20Mbps download and a ping of 15ms, not particularly slow nor particularly fast either. These performance specs are stable and guaranteed by my Internet service provider. I also tested not only the regular VPNs, but also some of the “niche” ones, like Ultra Fast TV, Tor and DoubleVPN. Here are the results.

        Speed Test- Baseline
        My connection without VPN.

        Speed Test- US #1 Speed Test- UK Server Automatic US Server #1 UK- automatic

        Speed Test- Romania Automatic Speed Test- Russia Automatic Romania- Auto Russia- Auto

        Speed Test- Dedicated IP- Germany #70 Speed Test- Ultra Fast TV Ultra fast TV Dedicated IP- Germany #70

        Speed Test- Double VPN- Russia - Netherlands Speed Test- Double VPN- UK - Netherlands Double- UK - Netherlands Double- Russia - Netherlands

        Speed Test- P2P- Sweden #12 Speed Test- P2P- US #305 P2P- Sweden #12 P2P- US #305

        As you can see, the results vary considerably, and I suspect that if I were to do these tests on a different day, or simply at different times of the day, I would get different results. No matter how fast or reliable the connection is with a VPN provider, this kind of fluctuation is somewhat inevitable. I also suspect that this difference in performance is due to NordVPN servers not being dedicated, and their bandwidth not being contractually guaranteed (this type of contract is more expensive).

        I was particularly impressed with my connection speed during my first “Double VPN” test, as I was expecting the speed to be slower. As you may know, as a general rule, the more encryption you have, the slower the speed. I was even able to stream Netflix, almost, with waiting for buffering with the Double VPN connection.

        Another point worth mentioning is that the connection that Nord automatically chooses for you for a particular country is not always the best or fastest. It appears that it is sometimes worth testing a few connections (of which there are many, to say the least), instead of taking the easy way and just letting the program decide for you. This is a bit of a disappointment, but certainly not a deal breaker.

        Overall, the connections they offer are very fast and certainly can handle whatever you can throw at them. I especially appreciate the selection of “special purpose servers” they provide.

        • 4000 Servers in over 60 Countries
        • 2048-bit SSL Encryption
        • No Logging Policy
        • Double VPN and Tor VPN Connections
        • VPN Gateways Tuned for Streaming Media
        • Get started with NordVPN now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 6
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