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NordVPN Review – Is it truly reliable?

On top of the basic protection, NordVPN provides a little bit of everything. It has a big and diversified collection of servers, as well as a strong group of rarely seen tools and strict privacy and security policies. It also makes use of the most up-to-date WireGuard technology. NordVPN, which is based in Panama and has over 14 million members worldwide, is an immensely popular VPN service. The company emphasizes its features, and there are lots to discover. Our NordVPN review is as follows:

Pros: 

  • WireGuard VPN technology is used;
  • Multihop, split-tunneling, and Tor connections available;
  • There are numerous server locations;
  • Customer privacy is taken seriously; and
  • Simple to use.

Cons: 

  • Slightly higher priced; and
  • The interface might be a little cramped at times.
nordVPn review

Features

NordVPN includes OpenVPN support, NordVPN’s WireGuard-based NordLynx for strong encryption and great speed, a kill switch, and DNS (Domain Name System) leak prevention to secure your identity.

Double data encryption and Onion support for extra security, as well as malware, ad, and phishing protection with NordVPN’s CyberSec technology are not-so-common features. in VPN’s Peer 2 Peer support is a big benefit and NordVPN’s Panama registration and clear no-logging policy offer you a lot of confidence that your online activity won’t be seen by anyone else.

A unique Pause feature allows you to stop the VPN connection and have the client reconnect automatically after a preset number of minutes.

You’ll realize how beneficial that could be if you’ve ever manually disconnected from a VPN to complete some local task and then forgotten to reconnect.

If you’re overwhelmed by the number of features available, or if you run into any unexpected issues, NordVPN’s 24/7 support team is there to help you via email or live chat.

Pricing

NordVPN has three major plans: (i) monthly billed accounts are $11.95; (ii) yearly plans are currently $4.92 per month; and (iii) and a two-year plan is $3.71 per month. However, the company keeps offering new discounts all the time. Although be careful of the small print. Both the one-year and two-year agreements come with an introductory discount, and both renew as a normal yearly plan, which costs $8.25 per month. On the NordVPN website, you can see these and other renewal fees.

  • Value for money?

On the face, sure, at least for the first year, but bargain hunters can find better offers elsewhere than NordVPN. For example, Private Internet Access’ yearly subscription is only $3.33 per month, while Ivacy’s five-year plan is only $1.33 per month (with an upfront deposit of $80).

Still, it isn’t the most costly VPN on the market, and we believe NordVPN is reasonably priced for what you get.

  • Does it have a free trial?

Long ago, the company offered a service-wide free trial, however, it was stopped owing to misuse.

However, new Android and iOS users get seven days of free app access. If you sign up, NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee provides you with plenty of opportunities to see how the service works.

Security and Privacy

The support for encryption technologies is at the core of all VPNs’ privacy value. NordVPN gets high marks for its strong AES-256-GCM encryption and perfect forward secrecy, which uses 4096-bit Diffie-Hellman to change keys on a regular basis, ensuring that even if an attacker breaks into one session, they’ll be locked out of the next.

Once you’re connected, NordVPN has a few more tricks to help you protect your privacy. Onion over VPN, for example, routes your traffic through NordVPN’s own network before routing it through the Onion network and on to its final destination.

This double layer of obfuscation slows down the service a little, but it also makes it incredibly difficult for anyone to track down your actions. To make this work, you don’t need to know or understand anything about Onion at all. There’s nothing to install or set up, simply connect your client to one of NordVPN’s Onion over VPN routers, and the system will take care of the rest.

NordVPN also provides a Double VPN system (for Windows, Mac, and Android), which encrypts your traffic before sending it to a second NordVPN server, where it is re-encrypted and sent to its final destination.

Extremely secure. NordVPN includes a kill switch in its armory to further enhance your security. If the VPN connection fails, a kill switch is activated to avoid data leaks.

NordVPN stands out in this category since it has two kill switches. NordVPN claims to block DNS leaks as well, and our tests with DNS Leak Test, IPLeak, and other sites confirm this claim.

nordVPN review

Logging Policy

NordVPN claims that it follows a strict “no logs” policy. Other VPNs say something similar, although the company’s privacy policy is more clear than most, stating:

“Nord guarantees a strict no-logs policy for NordVPN Services, meaning that your internet activity… is not monitored, recorded, logged, stored or passed to any third party. We do not store connection time stamps, used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses or browsing data.”

A VPN can say whatever it wants on its own website, but unlike the majority of its competitors, you don’t have to accept NordVPN’s claims. Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) was hired by NordVPN in 2020 to conduct a second independent audit of its infrastructure and services, as well as to ensure that its logging policy description is accurate.

Customers and trial users of NordVPN may check it out, and we applaud the firm for taking this move. As a result, NordVPN has significantly more evidence to back up its claims of no-logging than most other VPN services.

Servers and Server Locations

NordVPN has servers in 59 countries and offers a wide geographic range of servers. Other VPN providers, however, surpass it. ExpressVPN, for instance, has 94 countries covered.

The majority of NordVPN’s servers are located in the United States and the United Kingdom, which is usual for VPN providers. NordVPN, on the other hand, provides a varied set of servers throughout the world, with several in Asia, South America, and Europe, as well as a few in India and the Middle East. Currently, the company only has one location in Africa (South Africa), an area that is mostly ignored by other VPN providers. NordVPN has a total of 5,600 servers in its network. Only CyberGhost’s network of 6,800 servers has more servers. More servers may not always imply greater service, but having a variety of alternatives is always beneficial. You’ll be more likely to discover one near you, and the one you do find will be less likely to be overcrowded.

nordVPN review

Netflix and streaming

Any VPN service’s ability to access geo-blocked websites is a significant benefit. Although NordVPN does not claim to unblock any specific website or service, it lets you “maintain access to your favorite websites and entertainment material, and forget about censorship” sounds promising to us.

The only way to truly know is to put NordVPN’s capabilities to the test, and we began our assessment of its capabilities in this regard by attempting to access BBC iPlayer material. We’ve had issues in the past with NordVPN unblocking the service, but not this time, and NordVPN got us in with all three of our test servers. In previous reviews, we had trouble accessing Amazon Prime Video, but it appears like NordVPN has made progress again, as we were able to access US-only material from three US servers.

Netflix has lately ramped up its anti-VPN technology, and we discovered that NordVPN was unable to access the US library. In our tests, however, we attempted to connect to a number of regional servers, and NordVPN was able to unblock the UK library with ease. In any case, things can change in a matter of days, so regular Netflix viewing might return at any point.

At the very least, we were able to access Disney Plus using NordVPN’s US, UK, and Australian servers. 

Speed

While privacy is usually the most important feature of a VPN, performance is just as significant. Unbreakable encryption isn’t nearly as appealing if it slows down your internet, which is why we put every VPN we review through rigorous performance tests.

In both the UK and the US, OpenVPN results were about 180-190Mbps on average. If you really must use OpenVPN, maybe because it’s your only option for setting up a router, ExpressVPN, Hide.me, HideMyAss, ProtonVPN, and a few others have achieved speeds of 300Mbps or more.

Download speeds increased to 480-660Mbps in the US and 760-880Mbps in the UK after switching to NordVPN’s own NordLynx protocol. In recent testing, NordVPN was ranked with the fastest speed providers, including CyberGhost (760-770Mbps), IPVanish (750-900Mbps), and Mozilla/Mullvad (750-900Mbps) (750-850Mbps).

nordVPN review

NordVPN is a remarkable VPN service with exceptional speed, a plethora of features, and a solid no-logging policy. Although it is not the cheapest VPN in the market, the features it offers make the price well worth it. The company has lately made a number of welcome upgrades and enhancements, and it’s now a polished and professional service that will provide good results for the vast majority of users.

If you liked this article, do check out ‘6 things we love about NordVPN‘.

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