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 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 jur...

updated: Feb 15, 2019
NordVPN User Reviews
4.8
Peter TT
Feb 15, 2019
  •  4
Security & streaming

I used to think I didn't need a VPN and got it only to be able to stream some stuff, but I stuck with it for security reasons and now I am excited about it. It has a few issues with getting blocked by sites (Amazon) but if you roll servers, you will definitely find one that works well. Congrats to Nord for keeping up the good work.


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    Bill P.
    Feb 12, 2019
    •  5
    Simply the best

    I can't talk for every Nordvpn client, but for me, this provider is just simply the best. It is one of the most important security apps on my phone and laptop. Worth investing in if you are concerned about online safety.


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      Les
      Jan 31, 2019
      •  5
      Excellent !

      I do not know if this is the best deal one can get - but I am sure it is pretty damn close. Extremely easy to use interface, for starters. But lots of options available for someone who knows what he is doing too. When I had some problem - the customer support was available immediately online - no waiting, no BS, problem solved. Speed - I am on wireless high speed connection, so it is hard to judge, because speed generally varies a lot. But no problem with streaming movies, no unexpected cut-outs or delays. I do not care if there is a slow-down or how much of it, as long as everything works - and it works. And - the price for a 3-year deal can't be beaten. This is one happy cookie here, for sure :) I would give it 6 stars instead of 5, alas - only 5 are available.


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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 apps make it easy to choose a plan, pay for it, and get started.

        What I love about it:
        - Effortless download and installation
        - OpenVPN is automatically configured
        - Easy to choose servers in different countries
        - The app recommends specialized servers suited to your needs

        What I don’t like as much:
        - Other security protocols need to be set up manually, which can be tricky.
        - I'm not crazy about the map interface, but maybe it's just me - many users seem to like it.

        Download

        Watch the short video review and tutorial below of NordVPN
        Pricing 4.8 / 5.0
        3-Year Plan
        $2.99 /month
        1-Year Plan
        $6.99 /month
        1-Month Plan
        $11.95/month

        NordVPN offers a choice of payment methods, including popular credit cards Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. You can also use payment platforms like Alipay, WebMoney, and Yandex, and cryptocurrencies (including Bitcoin). If you are in the US, you can also pay in cash at a few dozen different locations.

        The prices change according to subscription length, not the number of features. Keep in mind that the plans renew automatically, so you have to cancel manually or you will be charged again once your subscription runs out.

        The 30-day money-back guarantee means you can try out NordVPN risk-free.

        Reliability & Support 5.0 / 5.0

        Customer support is one of the main areas where NordVPN really outshines the competition. Chances are you will never need to contact their team, but if you do, you can count on a prompt, friendly reply.

        While the NordVPN website offers an excellent FAQ section and a wealth of guides and step-by-step tutorials, the live chat is always available and it's the best place to get a quick answer. You can even ask them general questions about VPNs, even if you don't end up buying theirs.

        We tested NordVPN’s refund policy and found that they do indeed return users' money as promised.

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

        NordVPN is one VPN that has it all. It's fast and super secure, it can unblock almost anything on the web, it has servers all over the world, and it's very reasonably priced. While there are a few things we would like them to improve – if you're looking for a reliable, trustworthy and affordable VPN, NordVPN is the way to go.

        NordVPN
        5.0 / 5.0
        Detailed expert review of NordVPN
        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 5,000+ servers in 60+ 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 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.

        • Fast speeds with 5000+ servers in 62 locations
        • Privacy - no logs of user activity
        • Six simultaneous connections
        • Streaming – unblocks Netflix, Hulu, etc.
        • Built-in ad and malware blocking
        • Works in China
        • Specialty servers like P2P, Onion over VPN, Double VPN
        • 24/7 live chat
        • Get started with NordVPN now
        Money Back Guarantee (Days): 30
        Mobile app:
        Devices per license: 6
        VPN Plans: www.nordvpn.com
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