NordVPN stands out for its blazing-fast speed, rock-solid security features, and exceptional streaming and torrenting capabilities. If you're all about web browsing tools, this covers you, too. Simply put, NordVPN is a must-see.
NordLynx Protocol: This is NordVPN's tunneling protocol. NordLynx is all about giving you the fastest VPN experience possible. Forget lag or buffering; NordLynx is engineered for speed.
Top-Notch Encryption & No-Logs Policy: NordVPN isn't just fast; it's also a fortress. It uses advanced encryption techniques, ensuring that your data stays private. Plus, they have an independently audited no-logs policy. This means they don't track or store your online activities. Full stop.
User-Friendly Apps with Unique Features: Whether you're a VPN newbie or a seasoned pro, NordVPN's apps are intuitive and have features. One such feature is the free Meshnet, which adds another layer of security.
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NordVPN ranks as a speed demon, especially when you're hooked up via their homegrown NordLynx protocol. This protocol is NordVPN's turbocharged version of the already fast WireGuard protocol. So, you're getting both speed and security in one package.
Against its closest competitor, Surfshark, NordVPN still holds its ground with a consistent 92% speed retention rate, while Surfshark is nipping at its heels with 87%. The speed you get is largely thanks to NordLynx technology, top-notch server infrastructure, and a worldwide server network.
NordVPN isn't a one-trick pony. It offers a variety of tunneling protocols, each with its speed profile:
Heads up: If you plan to upload large files, your best bets are NordLynx and OpenVPN (UDP), which only reduce upload speeds by as low as 13%.
We ran tests on a MacBook Pro and an Acer Aspire running Windows 10.
No DNS leaks here! NordVPN successfully hides your DNS when connected, so your IP address stays undercover. As for WebRTC tests, NordVPN passed on Windows and Mac. Your private IP addresses are safe.
When you're paying for a top-notch service like NordVPN, you expect a matching level of customer support. Good news: NordVPN delivers.
24/7 Live Chat and Email are the show-stealers here. Got a question at 2 a.m.? No problem, hop onto live chat, and you’ll get an answer in minutes. The agents know their stuff, so you're in good hands.
They’ll follow up with you through email for more complicated issues that can’t be resolved over chat. The best part? You don't need to be registered to access live chat, making it super accessible.
NordVPN is not just about encrypting your data. It's jam-packed with many features to protect you from various online threats. Let's dive in.
NordVPN provides main tunneling protocols:
Tip: Watch out for DNS leaks if you’re manually setting up NordVPN on Windows. Use NordVPN's DNS servers to stay safe.
Unlike most providers, NordVPN owns and maintains over 5,800 servers. This minimizes the risk of data breaches. All data is stored in RAM, which wipes clean upon server restarts.
Comparison with Other Providers:
Platform Availability: System-wide kill switch defaults on iOS and macOS apps from the App Store. On Windows and macOS (sideload), configure per app. Linux and Android only have a system-wide option.
NordVPN's Threat Protection blocks:
Availability: Works on all NordVPN apps and as a standalone app on Android and iOS—browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari.
Meshnet is a P2P secure connection between devices.
NordVPN isn't just your run-of-the-mill VPN; it's packed with features that take your online experience to the next level. Let's dig in:
SmartPlay is your ticket to an uninterrupted streaming experience. Going for Netflix or Hulu? This feature kicks in automatically when you're using NordVPN to access streaming platforms. Say goodbye to geo-restrictions.
If you have a specific task in mind—like streaming, torrenting, or dodging censorship—you'll love Specialty Servers. These come in different flavors:
Want a static IP? Dedicated IP servers let you have an IP just for you. Handy if you need a consistent IP for tasks that don't require anonymity.
Also known as multi-hop servers, Double VPN routes your data through not one but two NordVPN servers. It's like a double layer of security, ideal for the privacy-conscious.
Into torrents or other P2P activities? P2P Servers are optimized for any type of peer-to-peer traffic, making your downloads smoother.
Split Tunneling lets you pick and choose which apps use the VPN and which don’t. Super helpful if you want your browser to utilize the VPN but not your local file-sharing app.
Tired of manual setup every time you go online? Auto-Connect keeps you connected to a VPN automatically. If you want to use an app that hates VPNs, pause this feature.
Presets are your shortcut to custom VPN settings. Tailor your VPN experience right from the app's main screen.
Incogni is your shield against data brokers. This feature can erase data—like your name, email, and location—from data broker databases upon request.
NordVPN operates out of Panama—a country that doesn't enforce data retention laws. This is a big deal because it means any government agency has to deal with a Panamanian court if it wants your usage logs. The bottom line: NordVPN isn't legally required to store user data, making it a safer option than VPNs located in Five Eyes countries or other jurisdictions with invasive privacy laws.
Nord guarantees a strict no-logs policy for NordVPN Services, meaning that your internet activity while using NordVPN Services is not monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or passed to any third party.
What They Do Collect: Crash error reports and app diagnostics. Don't like it? You can opt out anytime from their client.
No-Logs Policy: Audited three times—in 2018, 2020, and early 2023 by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG and Deloitte. All confirm NordVPN's privacy claims.
App Security: In 2019, cybersecurity firm VerSprite tested NordVPN's apps and infrastructure. All discovered bugs were fixed before the report even went public.
Ongoing Improvements: They actively seek out vulnerabilities by offering bug bounties on their HackerOne page.
NordVPN is among the elite few with ioXt-certified mobile apps. This isn't just a fancy sticker—it's an assurance that the app meets rigorous security standards.
Previously, this certification was only for IoT devices. Now, only a handful of VPNs can boast this credential.
|Installation & Setup
|Two distinct apps
|Open source, terminal-based
|Good User Experience
|Chrome & Firefox Support
|Difficult, Advanced Setup
The app supports two types of split tunneling and two kinds of kill switches. It's not just about keeping you safe; it's about giving you options to tailor your experience. You get "invisibility on LAN," auto-connect, and a pause feature. The speeds are fast enough that you will get IKEv2.
UI Perks: Choose countries via a clickable map or a sidebar list. Hover over a country, click the three dots, and you can even pick a specific server.
It’s a mixed bag for macOS, mainly because of Apple's strict App Store policies. So, NordVPN has two different apps for macOS users—one from the App Store and another from their website (sideload version).
App Store Version: Supports OpenVPN and NordLynx, and a kill switch is enabled by default.
Sideload Version: Only OpenVPN, but usually has more recent updates.
Despite the confusion, both apps have a similar look and feel, making them a strong contender for Mac VPNs.
Linux users, get ready for some terminal action. You won't find any graphical interface here. The highlight? The Linux app is open source. You can tweak it to your heart's content.
Availability: Debian and RPM packages are downloadable, covering distributions like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Fedora.
Advanced Users: You'll need to visit NordVPN's website for server switching guides, but you get DNS leak protection and fast NordLynx protocol.
The Android app offers split tunneling, a configurable kill switch, and even Dark Web monitoring. It has passed full ioXt certification, ensuring high-security standards.
The iOS app is visually similar to Android but misses out on split tunneling and a configurable kill switch. On the plus side, it offers Favorites tab and Recent Connections, making it easier to connect to your go-to servers.
Browser extensions are your quick fix for secure browsing without the heavy lifting of a full VPN client. While they only secure browser traffic, they offer some nifty features. You get WebRTC blocking to prevent IP leaks and Threat Protection Lite for added security against phishing and malware.
The standout feature is the Bypass List, which functions like split tunneling but just for your browser. You can specify which websites to route outside the VPN, giving you more control over your web activity.
Setting up NordVPN on a router isn't a walk in the park. It requires some tech savviness and the willingness to dig into advanced settings. But once it's up, you get a constant, always-on VPN shield for every connected device — your smartphone, gaming console, or smart TV.
NordVPN is compatible with routers that support OpenVPN or have NordLynx integrated. This gives you the flexibility to choose a protocol based on your needs. They also offer detailed installation guides for popular brands like Asus, D-Link, Linksys, and Netgear, so you're not left in the dark.
NordVPN keeps it simple with three core plans: Standard, Plus, and Complete. Your price depends on how long you're willing to commit: 1 month, 1 year, or 2 years.
Go for the Complete plan if you want the full suite of Nord products. This bundle packs a secure VPN, a cross-platform password manager, and 1 TB of encrypted cloud storage. It's the ultimate fortress for your digital life.
The longer you commit, the more you save. The 2-year subscription of the Complete plan is the star deal at $4.99/month, cheaper than the 1-year rate!
|VPN with 6 simultaneous connections
|Tracker and ad blocker
|Cross-platform password manager
|Data breach scanner
|1 TB of encrypted cloud storage
You've got options: Credit cards, AmazonPay, Sofort, PayPal, ACH Transfer, prepaid cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. For the privacy-focused, you can pay with cryptocurrencies or buy from retail stores.
NordVPN already offers competitive pricing, but you can check out our post on NordVPN coupons for additional discounts.
You can snag a free 7-day trial of NordVPN, but it's a workaround. First, download the NordVPN app on an Android device without a NordVPN account. Then, activate the free trial. You can use these login credentials on other devices, too.
After the 7 days, you'll roll into a paid plan. But don't sweat it — there's a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you've got a full 37 days to give NordVPN a thorough test.