One of the most important tools in your cybersecurity toolbox is a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs hide your identity and protect your browsing history. NordVPN features make it one of the industry leaders in VPNs, with services that we personally love.
There’s a lot to like about NordVPN, for example, the company is based in Panama, which is outside of any surveillance countries. We also know that it has had a reputation for reliability in the past. Let’s find out the 6 features we love about NordVPN and what makes it stand out from other VPNs.
- Minimal Logging
When we don’t utilize a VPN, our online traffic goes through our Internet Service Provider (ISP). The supplier has access to all of our activities and can share our details with advertisers, government agencies, and other third parties. Our internet service provider can no longer observe our activity after we set up a VPN, only the VPN we set up has access to our data. As a result, the VPN must not log any more data than is required.
Fortunately, NordVPN with its features does not keep track of the websites we visited, the files we downloaded, the software we used, our IP addresses, the time we spent using the VPN, or the amount of bandwidth we consumed.
NordVPN, did, however, log certain information, such as the email addresses used to sign up, payment information, the timestamps of session statuses and customer support information, but this is common and required to keep individual accounts active. To optimize the user experience, the VPN keeps track of the NordVPN application is used.
2. Strong Encryption
Encryption protects our online activities by hiding data so that only authorized users can see what we’re doing. It’s a key NordVPN feature that has prompted us to utilize NordVPN, with it’s high standards.
NordVPN utilizes AES encryption with 256-bit keys, which is the same standard that governments and cybersecurity experts recommend. When we evaluated Surfshark, another highly rated VPN, we observed the same encryption standard, suggesting that it is what the leading VPNs use. Though you might feel secure using both Surfshark and NordVPN, you might find that SurfShark had fewer servers than NordVPN, resulting in somewhat slower connection times depending on your location.
3. Split Tunnelling
By default, NordVPN’s key feature is to automatically encrypt all of our internet data, and routes it via a secure VPN server, this is known as ‘full-tunnel mode’. Did you know, however, that NordVPN also offers split tunneling?
Split tunneling is a feature offered by NordVPN wherein your internet traffic is divided, while some of it is sent through an encrypted VPN tunnel, the other is routed through a separate tunnel on the open network. Typically, split tunneling will let you choose which applications to secure and which can connect normally.
We were able to route traffic to both the VPN server and a public Wi-Fi network at the same time by enabling split-tunnel mode in NordVPN’s settings page on both Windows laptops and Macbooks. Split tunneling is intended to allow us more control over our web browsing, but remember that full-tunnel encryption is always the safer option.
Since traffic must pass via an encryption server on top of a public network’s server, VPNs can slow down our internet speed. Regardless, we wanted to know how fast the internet was when we were connected, so we put NordVPN to the test. A MacBook Pro and an Acer Aspire 5 with Windows 10 were utilized.
Many factors influence the speed, including distance to the server, the device’s make and model, and operating system, so keep in mind that there are many factors at play in addition to the VPN. Although our Mac’s upload rates were slower than those of our Windows computer, Mac’s download speeds were still superior.
When we wanted to download a few files to share with our team, for example, our Mac completed the work in a matter of minutes.
Although NordVPN performed better on Windows, it was still a viable option on our Mac, making it a versatile choice regardless of device.
It’s also important to note that NordVPN employs the NordLynx protocol, which is a variant of the Wireguard VPN protocol. In download speed testing, Wireguard was 59 percent quicker than OpenVPN. It’s safe to say that the NordLynx protocol has enhanced NordVPN’s download speeds in recent years.
5. Kill Switch
NordVPN also included a kill switch, which is something we constantly look for in a VPN. When we were downloading a large file during a storm and our VPN connection went out, the kill switch came in helpful.
The kill switch instantly stopped our download and stopped our mobile apps. Our internet provider would have seen our online activities if it hadn’t done that. We can feel safe knowing that if our VPN connection goes down, our internet connection will go down as well, protecting our privacy.
6. Double VPN
In addition, NordVPN used a double VPN, which meant that our data was routed via numerous servers for extra levels of encryption. This concept, known as VPN server chaining or multi-hop, increased our security and ensured that no one knew what we were doing.
Even if a hacker were to get past one layer of encryption, the second layer of encryption would provide further security. Since most VPNs only utilize one server, we were delighted to see that our data was protected by two layers of encryption before reaching its final destination.
NordVPN also features a range of customer care options, including 24/7 live chat, email assistance, and a searchable database of user questions. NordVPN is a flexible VPN service with a worldwide reach and top-notch security software. We liked that it is based in Panama since it meant we didn’t have to worry about the government accessing our information. We were also relieved that torrenting was so simple. Finally, NordVPN performed itself flawlessly in all of our speed and security tests, giving us confidence that it could safeguard our privacy as we utilized the internet as we wished.
If you liked this article, do check out ‘NordVPN Review – Is it truly reliable?‘.