NordVPN Review: A Safe and Reliable VPN with Outstanding Encryption

9.4
Ranked 2nd out of 376 VPNs

Updated on: May 18, 2021

NordVPN is consistently one of the top VPN choices on anyone’s list. With its outstanding encryption, fast speed, and competitive price, NordVPN seems to check off every box and outperform almost all of its competition.

For this review, we tested all of NordVPN’s most crucial features to see just how it stacks up in the world of virtual private networks. What exactly makes it stand out? Is there any downside?

Keep on reading for a comprehensive NordVPN review that will help determine whether using NordVPN is the right choice for you, and why.

NordVPN Quick Overview

Here is a quick overview of some of the notable features of NordVPN:

  • Speed: NordVPN offers a consistently fast, reliable VPN connection.
  • Privacy and Security: NordVPN’s advanced AES 256-bit encryption, double VPN, onion over VPN, and other top security measures make it one of the top VPNs around.
  • Streaming: NordVPN can effortlessly unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming sites.
  • Bypassing geo-blocks: NordVPN can break through the toughest geo-blocks, including those in China.
  • Ease of Use: NordVPN is user-friendly, intuitive, and takes only a few minutes to set up.
  • Support: NordVPN offers 24/7 live-chat customer service, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.

What We Analyzed in NordVPN

Going into this review, I already knew that NordVPN was one of the most secure, reliable, and reputable VPNs on the market.

To get a more comprehensive picture of NordVPN’s strengths, and any possible drawbacks, my team and I set out to more closely evaluate NordVPN, taking into consideration a broader spectrum of features that determine the quality of any effective VPN: speed, privacy, security, streaming capability, compatibility, price, ease of use, and support.

Keep reading as we review NordVPN.

NordVPN Speed

The first feature that I wanted to review was NordVPN’s speed.

If you are planning to use a VPN of any sort, it is because you are trying to access a service that you cannot adequately access without the use of a VPN. So, why would you want to add a connection that significantly slows your streaming/gaming/torrenting/browsing?

Here’s the thing: Most VPNs will slow you to some extent, simply due to the extra step they take to encrypt your connection, making sure that all of your data and online activity is safe and secure.

But, in some cases, using a VPN may actually speed up your internet. In certain cases, because a VPN encrypts your traffic, your internet service provider cannot see what you are doing, and, therefore, cannot throttle (slow) your activity.

One thing’s for sure – the faster the connection, the better.

With NordVPN’s Quick Connect feature, you are automatically connected to the fastest server available. However, if you need to choose a server in a particular region in order to get around geo-blocks, you’ll need to manually choose a server – not simply use Quick Connect. We tested servers using Quick connect, and using the manual selection tool.

When assessing the speed of NordVPN, here are the key functions we observed:

  • Download Speed – How quickly can you load a page (in Mbps). A higher number equals a faster connection speed. This is an especially important number if you are looking to stream, game, or download large files online.
  • Ping – This measures the round-trip time it takes for messages sent from their original location to get to their destination, and then back to the host. A lower number (measured in milliseconds) means a faster connection.
  • Upload Speed – This measures how fast you can send data to others. The higher this number (in Mbps) the faster the upload speed.

Testing Speeds with Servers Close-By

Again, it is important to have reasonable expectations before beginning any VPN speed tests. It is good to remember that using a VPN will almost always give you some decrease in connection speeds; The question is, how much of a decrease.

Here are the results when I put NordVPN’s internet speed to the test:

My starting download speed in my office in the UK, without the use of a VPN connection, was 76.74Mbps. Using Nord’s Quick Connect, I was automatically connected to the fastest local server that was closest to my home. My downloads sped up to 82.73Mbps. – a 7.82% increase!

Next, I opted out of using Quick Connect and connected to a local server to calculate the effect.

My speed without Quick Connect was also faster than the pre-VPN speed. My start speed was 77.81 Mbps, and my speed, again, increased to 78.4Mbps, an increase of 0.76 % after connecting to one of the regular local servers.

Testing Speeds with Long-Distance Servers

NordVPN’s speed test results were pretty darn good when connected to local servers, but what about their long-distance servers?

I tested out Nord’s long-distance servers by connecting to a server in the United States. I had a feeling that, even though this connection was long-distance, my speeds would be pretty fast, since Nord has over 1,900 servers in the US alone.

My starting speed was 77.56Mbps, and, as I suspected, my speed went up (when connecting to NordVPN’s US server) to 82.21Mbps. – a 6% increase. My ping went up also, though, from 14 with the use of a VPN in the UK, to 80 with a VPN connection in the US.

Last, I tested speeds on a server in Australia. The speeds decreased by 18%, leaving me with a speed of 63.6 Mbps – still plenty of speed for my downloads. It was great to see that, while connecting from across the globe, the speeds for my streaming and browsing remained stable. The ping went up quite a bit, however, to 387 Mbps, which did affect my gaming speeds, with some noted lagging.

All in all, if your starting speeds are good, even a significant decrease in speed when connecting with a VPN should still allow you plenty of speed to do all the things you want to do, like watching Netflix, or vegging on the couch while gaming all day.

Speed Test Conclusion

After evaluating my NordVPN speed test results, I can confirm that NordVPN has proven to be one of the absolute fastest services on the market.

When connecting to servers locally, and also in the United States, my speeds actually went up! After connecting to a server on the other side of the globe, my speed only decreased nominally, and this speed loss did not have any significant effect on my online experience.

All in all, we found that NordVPN’s speeds were reliably fast; There were never any sudden dips or service interruptions, and it proved itself up to the task.

Privacy

All VPNs claim to keep you private, but how do you know if they are really true to their word, or just if they just have a great sales pitch?

Simply looking at a VPN’s location can tell you a lot about it where it stands in terms of privacy.

NordVPN is based in Panama, a privacy-friendly locale outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance – a huge western alliance that exchanges sensitive information and uses mass surveillance. Even if a VPN has a no-logging policy, if it is based in one of the countries in this alliance, that would raise red flags in terms of user privacy.

Panama does not have any invasive data retention laws, so NordVPN users can breathe a little easier knowing they can hold Nord to the highest standard of privacy.

No-Logs Policy

If you are not using a virtual private network when connecting to the internet, all of your online activity passes through your internet service provider (ISP), letting it see and track your online profile, and potentially pass it on to third parties.

If you choose to subscribe to a VPN for a secure online connection, you are giving your VPN power to potentially see and track your virtual footprint; so when it comes to VPN customer privacy, no amount of logging should be an acceptable amount of logging.

NordVPN has a strict, verified no-log policy – It does not store DNS queries, connection timestamps, bandwidth usage, user data, IP addresses, or any other information about you. With absolutely zero data stored, there is no possibility that it will share your private information with a third party. Period.

Their no logging policy, along with the fact that NordVPN is based outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes-Alliance, lets us breathe easy knowing that there is no worry that NordVPN will ever compromise any customer privacy.

Does it Have a Built-in Ad-Blocker?

Yes! NordVPN’s CyberSec suite provides built-in ad-blocking, malware defense, and protection from phishing scams. After testing this blocker for an entire afternoon, I did not encounter any annoying ads, even when I was surfing ad-heavy sites like YouTube.

The full CyberSec feature is available on the NordVPN apps for Windows, iOS, macOS, and Linux.

Due to Google’s policies, CyberSec does not block ads in the NordVPN app for Android downloaded from the Google Play Store. It does, however, keep protecting you from accessing malicious sites.

Security

Every VPN out there will claim to make your internet connection and browsing experience more safe and secure, but unless you have the know-how to dig deeper, you are just taking them at their word.

Privacy and security should be a top priority of every VPN provider, because one of the main purposes of a VPN is to ensure your security online.

Our security review of NordVPN focused on its level of encryption, IP leak protection, VPN protocols, and enhanced security features.

NordVPN employs AES 256-bit military-grade encryption to secure your data. AES 256-bit encryption uses asymmetric key encryption, which means that the same key is applied for both encryption and decryption. This is an even more advanced level of encryption than the AES 128-bit encryption, and the 128-bit encryption has never been (and is not even close to ever being) cracked. So, even though 128-bit encryption is more than safe enough to use, it is nice to know that NordVPN holds itself to the absolute highest standard around.

This encryption is coupled with the SHA2-382 authentication, 2048-bit DH key, as well as PFS (perfect forward secrecy). Perfect Forward Secrecy gives you a unique key within every NordVPN login, so your user activity and identity are refreshed every time you log on, and all of the information from your previous session is completely erased and irrelevant to the following session. If, for some reason, your online session is ever compromised, there isn’t any personal data or internet activity there to be exposed.

There are two types of protocols that NordVPN uses to ensure your security: IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN UDP/TCP. The most secure of the options is OpenVPN UDP, offering significantly faster speeds than TCP. This protocol is the default setting for many of the NordVPN apps.

On macOS and iOS devices, NordVPN chooses IKEv2/IPSec as the automatic protocol setting, but users are welcome to opt for and switch to OpenVPN. When connecting to Nord with Android or Windows, users only have the option to use OpenVPN. This is a slight mark against NordVPN, since this choice of protocols is not uniform across platforms. Android Lives Matter, too!

IP & DNS Leak Protection

Leak protection is another feature that you should evaluate seriously before choosing among different VPN services. While VPNs are very reliable, every so often software faults or security flaws can leak your DNS requests and IP addresses, making your location and online activity visible to hackers, spies, or your internet service provider (ISP).

NordVPN offers DNS and IP leak protection to help prevent any of this potentially damaging exposure. I performed a leak test using ipleak.net on both my Windows and Mac devices on both US and UK servers, and I didn’t detect any leaks while connected to NordVPN.

I can definitively say, leak test after leak test, that the NordVPN service takes your anonymity very seriously. Nord works hard to offer you secure service, wherever you connect, across platforms and devices.

Kill Switch

Like any good VPN, Nord offers users a kill switch feature.

A kill switch ensures that any traffic on your device is blocked on the off-chance that your VPN connection drops or is ever interrupted, preventing any IP address or DNS leaks.

NordVPN provides a kill switch for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android users, but there are some differences in how it functions, depending on your device. On iOS mobile devices, the kill switch is enabled automatically. On Android devices, and on any desktop connection, you have to manually enable it before you are fully protected. For users who do not realize how important a kill switch is, this might be a bit of a drawback, because they may never think to enable it. Once again – Android Lives Matter, too! Get with the program, NordVPN. (Spoken like a proud Android owner.)

A cool feature of this Nord kill switch is that it offers a kill switch extension. This way, you can actually control which of the apps you want to block, and which will not be blocked in the event of a dropped internet connection. This is a great feature to have when torrenting, since any P2P traffic can be immediately stopped to safeguard you from any IP leaks, while your regular browsing can continue as normal.

This kill switch extension seems to be unique to NordVPN, and it is definitely a nod to Nord as far as security goes.

Split Tunneling 

A VPN tunnel encrypts all of your online traffic, but there are certain situations in which you might not want your traffic to be encrypted, like if you are trying to access local services that only allow browsers in your region to have access.

With split tunneling, you can create exceptions and access certain apps or sites without a VPN. This lets you do things like stream the otherwise geo-blocked US Netflix library, while accessing all of your local UK sites that may block non-local traffic.

NordVPN doesn’t offer the split tunneling feature for desktop users, but its extensions for Firefox and Chrome can serve a similar function. It is important to remember, though, that if you choose to download the NordVPN add-ons, only the browser traffic will be encrypted. Any other apps will still only be using your local, non-encrypted IP address, making it almost exactly like split tunneling.

NordVPN service does offer a split tunneling option specifically for mobile devices. While the default setting routes apps through your VPN, you can manually opt to enable split tunneling and add to the list of Trusted Apps so only some are sent through the VPN and given a new, foreign IP address.

tried using the split tunneling option on my mobile device and was happy (but not surprised) to see that it worked well. I successfully used certain apps with my actual IP address, while using others with my encrypted IP.

I assume that at some point Nord will enable split tunneling for desktops without the need for an extension, but for now, the extensions work great.

Double Encryption

The Double VPN feature is an advanced security measure that routes your online traffic through a double layer of VPN servers, encrypting your data twice, making it more difficult to track your activity.

With Double VPN, your traffic hops between servers in multiple locations. Traffic is first encrypted on your device, and then redirected to a remote VPN server. It reaches the server and leaves it encrypted one more time. The encrypted traffic then passes through a second VPN server, where it gets decrypted. All of this happens quite quickly, and your data reaches its destination securely and privately.

Double VPN offers an even higher level of online anonymity and security than single encryption. This feature, in practicality, would be beneficial to someone like a journalist who needs to protect his sources, or for someone trying to evade government surveillance.

You don’t need to, and you really shouldn’t, utilize this double encryption VPN connection for everyday ordinary internet activity, as its extra step of encryption will actually make your speeds slower.

If you are browsing the Tor network, you do not need double encryption, because NordVPN offers Onion over Tor for this, which will route your traffic through one VPN server and then send it to the Onion network.

NordLocker

NordLocker is a NordVPN add-on feature that costs $1.49/month (with the latest promo). This feature provides a secure cloud where you can store up to 10GB of your data, encrypted.

If you want to use this feature for free, you can try it out with up to 3GB of cloud data storage for Windows or macOS High Sierra (10.13) or higher.

Using NordLocker ensures that all of your files are protected by bulletproof encryption. This app can be installed on all of your computers so you can access your encrypted files whenever you want. Only your master password can decrypt the files in NordLocker.

Server Network & Locations

NordVPN has over 5,400 high-speed VPN servers, and over 59 server locations around the world. Among these thousands of servers, over 1,900 are in the United States alone. There are also servers in regions that are restricted, like the UAE and Turkey. No matter where you’re using NordVPN, you should always be able to connect to a NordVPN server near you.

Server Security Technology

While it’s most common for VPN servers to run on RAM, until recently NordVPN was using hard drive as its form of storage. This meant that its data was kept on its hard drive, and then manually erased. RAM is a more secure technology, as it is not even capable of storing data, so this method makes more sense for those who are worried about privacy.

When I explored this issue, I found out that NordVPN just finished upgrading its entire infrastructure to RAM servers. Now, all of NordVPN’s regular servers are RAM-based, which means that no information is stored locally. Kudos to you, Nord!

Virtual Servers

NordVPN does not use any virtual VPN servers. All of Nord’s servers are dedicated, which means they are physically located where they claim to be. A benefit of this is that you always know exactly where your connection is routed, and are able to verify that it is actually in the country you desire.

Obfuscated Servers

Obfuscated servers use special algorithms to hide the fact that a user is connecting with a VPN or Tor, and make this traffic appear like regular internet browsing activity.

Nord’s obfuscated servers help you get around restrictions in regions with heavy censorship, like China, Turkey, or the United Arab Emirates. When you use one of the NordVPN obfuscated servers, your internet traffic, location, and VPN activity are all hidden.

IP Types

NordVPN has a leg-up on all of its competitors in terms of security with its shared IPs on all servers. Connecting to any server, you are sharing the same address as all users connected to the same server, making it nearly impossible, if not impossible, to tell you apart from other users, since all of you are identical.

Nord VPN does offer dedicated IP addresses for a fee of $70 per year. Unlike a shared IP, this VPN service assigns you a unique IP that is solely for your account, making it less likely to be blacklisted from certain websites.

Neither Surfshark nor ExpressVPN services offer you dedicated IP addresses.

If you choose to get one of NordVPN’s dedicated IP addresses, you can choose from locations in the US, UK, Netherlands, Germany, or France.

Streaming

The question that most VPN users want answered: Will this VPN unblock different Netflix services? With NordVPN, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.

NordVPN has a SmartPlay feature designed to get through those tough geo-restrictions while also maintaining your security. I was able to access Netflix on all of the dozens of US servers I tested. On each server, any content I tried to watch was available in HD, and there was never any frustrating buffering or lag.

I tested Netflix in Canada, the UK, and Japan, and in each country, NordVPN was able to successfully access my streaming services on the first try.

NordVPN is also effectively and consistently able to unblock Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO GO, Hotstar, and more popular streaming services, in HD, with no trouble.

Streaming is not only used for watching movies and TV, though. NordVPN is also reliably able to unblock the Facebook site, Youtube site, Instagram, and more website destinations that may be restricted in certain areas, including countries with strong censorship in place, like China.

Torrenting

While NordVPN doesn’t offer P2P support for torrenting on all of its servers (like ExpressVPN and Surfshark do), it does have hundreds of peer-2-peer optimized servers for easy torrenting, all of which offer unlimited data and no bandwidth cap. Some VPNs will cap your monthly network bandwidth and only allow you to download a certain amount of data, but Nord does not. With NordVPN, you can indulge in as much online content as you want, with no impact on internet speed.

NordVPN works with uTorrent, BitTorrent, and all popular torrenting platforms.

Since NordVPN has a strict no-logging policy, and is located in a privacy-friendly location, your torrenting activities cannot be shared with anyone, and are never stored.

To sum it up, its multi-layered DNS and leak protection, ability to pay with cryptocurrencies, and extra privacy features make NordVPN a great choice for torrenting.

Compatibility

As far as compatibility, NordVPN works seamlessly with Android, Windows, iOS, and all major devices, so you should never have any trouble connecting, no matter which device you prefer.

NordVPN

iOS & Android VPN Apps

If you are trying to set up NordVPN on your mobile device, all you have to do is download the app from the App Store or Play Store, and open NordVPN on your device. You can go into the NordVPN settings to turn on more features, like the Kill Switch, or to switch protocols.

If you want to use NordVPN Quick Connect, you can click their “Quick connect” button and the NordVPN app will find the best server for you. You are also able to choose servers manually by clicking on a country pin in a country in which you would like to connect, or scroll down the server list and pick your connection location of choice.

Though the NordVPN user interface is pretty uniform across mobile platforms, there are some slight variations. There are more choices for different security protocols on the iOS app. On Android, you are limited to OpenVPN; iOS users are given the choice between IKEv2 (which is the default option) and OpenVPN.

The specialty servers on NordVPN also vary between Android and iOS platforms. The Android app lets you choose Double VPN, P2P, obfuscated, and dedicated IP servers; On iOS you are limited to P2P and Onion Over VPN. But it is important to note that most VPNs don’t give you the option for Tor on your mobile apps, so NordVPN still has a leg up on other VPN services.

Both Android and iOS apps include certain commonalities, like Cybersec, split tunneling, and options to automatically reconnect.

You can connect up to six devices with one NordVPN account. While there are dedicated NordVPN apps for the most popular operating system options, some gadgets will need to be configured manually. If this is difficult to navigate, NordVPN 24/7 customer service can walk you through the process.

Router app

NordVPN offers you the opportunity to connect its VPN to your routers with its router app. Installing the VPN on your router will protect every device that is connected to your wifi, even if they don’t usually support VPN software – including TVs, game consoles, mobile devices, or tablets. A really awesome benefit to this is that, once connected to the router, all of the (unlimited number of) devices on your wifi will be connected to your VPN as only one user, so you still have 5 more users who can technically connect to your NordVPN account.

To use NordVPN with your router, you can select your specific “router” from the drop-down menu on the NordVPN website, and it will walk you through the simple steps of installation.

Number of Simultaneous Device Connections

NordVPN allows you up to 6 simultaneous connections on one NordVPN account, which is 1 more than its competitor, ExpressVPN.

But, if you install the VPN app on your router, you can connect an unlimited number of devices to your router, as the router is considered a single device. So, if you install NordVPN on your household router, everyone who connects to your wifi is protected, and you still have 5 more devices that you are able to connect.

Compared to its top competitors, NordVPN is in the middle of the list in this category with 6 simultaneous connections. ExpressVPN allows 5; and Surfshark allows more, with unlimited simultaneous connections – so NordVPN is smack in 2nd place.

Fortunately, for most people, 6 connections are still plenty, especially since you can connect NordVPN to your router, as well. If you opt to use all 6 connections, you can do this without ever noticing any speed loss.

Extensions

Browser extensions are available on NordVPN for both Firefox and Chrome, both on mobile and desktop. Most other VPNs do not offer mobile browser extensions, which makes NordVPN stand out. Another great perk of NordVPN is that it allows you to access any of its thousands of servers in 60 countries.

NordVPN doesn’t offer the split tunneling feature for desktop users, but you can use its browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox to serve this function. It is important to remember, though, that if you download these add-ons, only browser traffic is encrypted. Apps outside your browser will still use your local IP address, making it almost exactly like split tunneling. If you are looking for the absolute best, most broad security, it’s best to go with the NordVPN app instead of this add-on.

NordVPN’s Block WebRTC gives you enhanced protection against leaks that can unmask your hidden IP address. Unlike the kill switch, which you have to enable manually, this feature is pre-enabled in the application settings. It is a really important service that gives you added protection in the case of potentially damaging leaks that could compromise your private IP address.

Transport Layer Security (TLS v1.2) gives another layer of security to your connection, even if you visit websites that are insecure (non HTTPs). This ensures that your traffic is always private and anonymous.

Cyber Sec, NordVPN’s malware and ad-blocker, can also be used with your browser extensions. This saves you from a lot of annoying pop-ups and potentially damaging malware.

Bypassing Geo-blocks and Great Firewall of China

Finding a VPN that is able to work in China is not easy. The surveillance and government oversight in China are so strict that most VPNs just aren’t strong enough or adequately persistent to get around them.

Because of Nord’s obfuscated servers and strong encryption, it is among the very best at battling China’s restrictions and coming out on top.

NordVPN’s obfuscated servers ram through the fortified Firewall of China. Its servers encrypt your online traffic, and, even more amazingly, completely conceal your VPN use. If the Firewall can’t tell that you are connected to a VPN, it can’t block you, so you can slip entirely under the radar while surfing your favorite site.

NordVPN is so sure of its capabilities in China that it guarantees access to any site you are trying to reach from Chinese soil. When testing out NordVPN in China for this review, I did not encounter any restrictions or geo-blocks, so, thus far, they are backing up their claim!

NordVPN doesn’t actually have servers within China (a common misconception), but it does have quite enough of a selection of servers in the vicinity (such as Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.) Any of these servers will let you access Chinese TV or popular domestic sites.

If China is not the heavily-restricted country you are interested in breaking into, NordVPN can also help you access other more heavily censored places, like the UAE or Iran, using their obfuscated servers.

It is really important to note that you should install NordVPN on your device prior to your trip.

Comparing NordVPN to Closest Competitors

We can’t do a thorough review of NordVPN without comparing its cost to competing VPN providers – ExpressVPN and Surfshark.

ExpressVPN
$6.67 /month
NordVPN
$9.67 /month
Surfshark
$12.87 /month

Pricing

Compared to its rival VPN companies, NordVPN is right in the middle of the pack.

For a monthly subscription, here is the breakdown of prices for ExpressVPN, NordVPN, and Surfshark:

  • ExpressVPN– $6.67/month for 24 months plus 3 months free
  • NordVPN – $3. 71/month for 24 months plus 4 months free
  • Surfshark – $2.21/month for 24 months

If you are looking for a budget VPN, NordVPN is definitely among the cheapest of the bunch, with new deals advertised all the time.

Also note: You will pay more if you are looking for a shorter-term subscription.

User-Friendliness

The setup for NordVPN’s desktop and mobile apps is really easy, with only a few user-friendly steps to follow before you are connected to your server. The whole NordVPN installation process, start to finish, took me only a few minutes.

If you want to find a secure server without having to do any choosing, you can use the NordVPN Quick Connect feature, which will find the best one for you, automatically. You also have the choice of manually selecting a NordVPN server from the list of countries, which is also simple to do.

If you come across a server that consistently works for you, you can add the server to your favorites list, ensuring that you can access it quickly next time you log on.

If you go into the NordVPN settings, you can opt to customize your personal settings – such as the kill switch or CyberSec – by switching them on or off.

Even though NordVPN’s apps are easy to use, they are still advanced, impressive, and full of features that every VPN user wants to see. You can personalize the NordVPN settings to change the level of privacy or security, and to enhance the user experience.

One thing that seems a little strange is that you need to formally disconnect from the NordVPN server in order to log off. If you simply shut the app, it won’t disconnect you. This is a little annoying, but it can also be really helpful if you accidentally close the app and didn’t intend to disconnect from the server.

Reliability

After all of the experience I have had using NordVPN, in addition to all of the extensive testing I performed, I can attest to the fact that NordVPN consistently delivers solid, reliable performance, whether you are using NordVPN to access a blocked site, stream your shows, torrent, or keep your online footprint completely private.

NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN and Surfshark, will successfully and reliably unblock multiple Netflix libraries, as well as many other popular streaming services.

The NordVPN server connection speeds are super-fast; NordVPN security offers top-notch protection; and it is seriously easy to install NordVPN, even if you are new to the VPN world.

The mark of a true VPN giant – NordVPN, as well as ExpressVPN and Surfshark, can and will reliably get through the geo-blocks in China.

Support 

It is important with any VPN service to know that there is adequate support available to customers. If you’re having any trouble using NordVPN, this VPN service provides 24/7 live support and a responsive ticketing system. The chatbot is useful for simple questions concerning the best server locations, NordVPN setup, or account cancellation.

If you can’t get an adequate answer from the chatbot, you can easily start a live chat to access quick and professional support representatives. Every time I have utilized Nord’s live-chat feature, the NordVPN representative has been courteous, knowledgeable, and available within seconds.

If you are not in the mood to talk to a representative, there are a lot of FAQs on the NordVPN site that I found very helpful. Also on the site is an entire tutorial section to help you with setting up the app on whichever device you have.

If you are not content with your NordVPN service, NordVPN – as well as its top competitors, ExpressVPN and Surfshark – offers a 30-day money-back guarantee policy.

ExpressVPN and Surfshark also offer 24/7 live-chat customer support, on par with NordVPN in this aspect.

FAQs

Is NordVPN really that good?

In short: Yes. NordVPN is fast, reliable, and super secure. It can unblock almost any site on the internet, helping you access loads of restricted content and streaming services.

NordVPN has thousands of servers all over the world, secured with double VPN and special security features, which cater to subscribers from all over the globe. After completing all of my speed tests, I can attest to the fact that their download speed results were commendable.

With all of NordVPN’s impressive services, NordVPN still manages to be reasonably priced and full of incredible features.

Is NordVPN banned in China?

While NordVPN will work in China, the NordVPN website is currently blocked in China. Because of this, we strongly recommend subscribing to and installing the NordVPN service before you travel to the country. This will allow you to use the VPN in China without being blocked.

How much does NordVPN cost?

When signing up for NordVPN, you are confronted with a variety of plan options, all with varying price points. The prices are, as expected, lower on their longer-term plans.

NordVPN’s prices start at just over 3 dollars a month, which is less than the price of a single cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Here is the breakdown:

$3.71/month for 2 years +4 months free

$4.92/month for 1 year

$11.95/month for monthly plans

NordVPN offers three different plans on its site, so you can choose how long you want to commit and how much you are willing to spend.

Nord’s best deal comes with its 2-year plan, with features like the ad blocker, onion over VPN, double encryption, broad server coverage, access to Netflix libraries, specialty servers, great customer support, and more, for only $3.71/month, plus 4 months free.

For the amazing value it offers, NordVPN is actually priced very reasonably. Even if you’re on a budget, Nord is easily affordable. Without a doubt, NordVPN currently offers the best value on the market, especially if you’re hunting for long-term service with access to premium features. You also have an opportunity to test NordVPN, with no strings attached, with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

While NordVPN no longer accepts PayPal payments, you can pay with a credit card or cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, AliPay, WeChat Payments, iTunes, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and UnionPay.

How can I get NordVPN for free?

There is no free trial option for NordVPN, but there is a pretty simple hack if you only need to use NordVPN for a short period of time.

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. You need to pay, but you can get a full refund at any point within the first 30 days of subscribing.

Bear in mind, they will not issue refunds for purchases made through Apple’s App Store. You can, however, contact Apple support directly for a refund if you wish to cancel your NordVPN subscription within the 30-day period.

How do I choose the best NordVPN server?

How you choose the best server will depend on your personal needs. Do you use your VPN mainly for Netflix? Or do you use it for secure browsing? How about gaming?

First, it is important to remember that the closer you are to any server, the faster your connection speed will be. The reverse is also true. If you connect to a server from a very far distance, your connection will very likely slow down more significantly.

In testing out a multitude of servers for this NordVPN review, I discovered that no matter how far away you are from whichever server you choose, you will have great speeds with NordVPN.

When choosing the best NordVPN server, it is important to take into consideration which sites you regularly try to access. If you like to watch Netflix UK, a British server is best. If Netflix US is your destination, a US server is the only one that will grant you access.

If you are just trying to get fast speeds and secure browsing, a great option is to use Quick Connect, which will find you the best-suited server closest to you in seconds, automatically.

What is NordLocker?

NordLocker is an encryption tool that adds another level of security to safeguard your data. This app (available for both macOS and Windows) secures the files stored on your computer or cloud with end-to-end encryption so that you can be sure that no one will access your data without your permission.

If you want to share files securely via NordLocker, end-to-end encryption will make sure that only the intended recipient will be able to access them. You can exchange keys by granting a person permission to access your “locker.” To do that, right-click on one of your local lockers and select “Share Locker.” Then, enter the recipient’s email address and click “Add.”

If the person with whom you are intending to share your locker is a NordLocker subscriber, you can simply exchange keys. If they are new to Nordlocker, Nord will lead them through the account registration and help you with the key exchange.

Although this is an advanced level of security, in practice, it is a rather simple-to-use program, even for tech newbies; All you have to do to encrypt your files is drag and drop them into your Locker folder. Everything you drop into this locker is encrypted – from private pictures, to confidential files, to medical information…

No one will be able to access these files unless they have the master password.

What is Nordpass?

Nordpass is NordVPN’s password manager for individuals and businesses. Nordpass is encrypted with the XChaCha20 encryption algorithm, which is less vulnerable to certain types of cyberattacks than other types of encryption.

NordPass allows you to safely autofill passwords on trusted devices; share passwords with people; store your passwords securely, and protect all your passwords in a safe vault.

You can access a free version of Nordpass, or a premium version. The free version allows you to save unlimited passwords, and keep notes, information, and credit cards secure and synced across all your devices.

The paid version of Nordpass, which currently costs $2.49/month, allows you to do all the things available in the free version, plus enable 6 active devices, get secure item sharing, access trusted contacts, get assessments of your password health, and get access to a data-breach scanner.

This is a great version of a basic password manager. Its apps – desktop, mobile, and extensions – work well, and offer great, simple, secure password management.

Does NordVPN have good customer support?

Definitely. NordVPN offers a Help Center, featuring FAQ, general information, billing, and connectivity sections on its website, where you can find most of the answers to questions you may have about your Nord service.

If you want to contact NordVPN through email, you can send a support ticket and generally expect a reply within 24 hours.

If you do not want to wait to hear back from a customer care agent by email, you can get immediate gratification with its live-chat channel. The handful of times I have connected to this live-chat option, I have received replies from a customer representative instantly who was able to answer any basic or technical questions that I had, always in a polite and professional manner.

It does not offer phone support at this time, but who really picks up a phone to make a phone call these days anyway?

What payment methods does NordVPN accept?

If you are looking to subscribe to NordVPN, it is good to know that there are a variety of different avenues through which you can pay. Nord currently allows you to pay with a credit card, AmazonPay, Sofort, cryptocurrency, a prepaid card, through iTunes, and Google Play. You can check its website for any additional accepted methods or updates on changes in their acceptable modes of payment.

And remember – NordVPN gives you a 30-day money-back guarantee period, so if you are not happy with its service, you can easily contact Nord for a refund. Bear in mind that Nord won’t issue a refund if you purchased its app through the App Store, but you can contact the App Store support for a refund.

Conclusion

If you are planning to use a VPN, I don’t see how you could go wrong with NordVPN. It’s easy to see why, among all the VPN providers out there, Nord is consistently earning gold-metal status for its stellar service.

NordVPN has tons to offer, including dependable access to sites like US Netflix, UK Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more streaming services. It provides easy-to-use features, the highest level of encryption, a large global network, hundreds of P2P servers that provide great torrent support, and top-notch customer support.

NordVPN has super-tight security – from its strict no-logs policy, to its double encryption, all of which work hard at protecting your information and guaranteeing your anonymity and privacy online.

After my review, it’s no surprise to find that NordVPN racked up more than 118,000 review ratings in the App Store for a score of 4.6 out of 5; and 319,000 reviews in the Google Play Store for a 4.2 out of 5 rating.

All in all, NordVPN service earns star status for incredible quality at an affordable price.

If you are looking for a great VPN, you really can’t go wrong with NordVPN.

I hope you enjoyed my NordVPN review.

Take a look at the NordVPN website or more information on how to get started.

VPN service
Features
Best price
Score
Best Overall
  • Super fast.
  • Reliable & ultra-secure.
  • Great for HD/4K streaming.
  • Chrome, Firefox & Edge extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • Outstanding!
$12.95
$6.67 /mo
Save 49%
Best Value
  • Fast speeds.
  • Strong privacy & security.
  • Uninterrupted streaming.
  • Ad-blocker included.
  • Chrome & Firefox extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
$11.95
$3.71 /mo
Save 68%
Best Budget
  • Fast VPN streamlined for beginners.
  • Strong encryption & privacy features.
  • Chrome & Firefox extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
$12.95
$2.21 /mo
Save 83%
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