Given the rising instances of cyber-attacks, increasing cyber-surveillance, and aggressive online tracking for data mining, it’s become challenging for the average internet user to maintain online privacy. Thankfully, numerous VPN service providers exist today that continue to advocate for the freedom of the internet. One such provider is NordVPN that continues to serve customers’ online privacy. This article presents a to-the-point review of NordVPN as per my hands-on experience.
A Little About NordVPN
NordVPN started as a standalone VPN service back in 2012. Since then, it has continued to grow exponentially to become one of today’s best virtual network providers.
The service is known for providing blazing fast speeds with top-notch security and privacy features to the customers.
The most attractive thing about NordVPN is that the parent firm – nordvpn s.a. (formerly, the Tefincom S.A.) – is based in Panama. It’s a region favorite among the privacy freaks as it has no mandatory data retention laws. This allows the VPN provider to operate in a user-friendly manner without having to log users’ data.
Besides, the service takes care of the overall security of its infrastructure even more. It also launched a dedicated bug bounty program for proactive identification and remediation of underlying security bugs.
Currently, the VPN boasts over 14 million users (as stated on its websites). Thanks to its diversified supports for all major devices, including mobile devices, desktops/laptops, Smart TVs, gaming consoles, routers, and more.
Review Of NordVPN Features
NordVPN offers numerous security features with all its dedicated apps to helps customers stay protected from online attacks throughout. Despite offering premium services, NordVPN doesn’t cost high and offers affordable pricing plans. You will even find NordVPN last offer here very attractive to subscribe to the service and test the VPN yourself. No need to worry about spending your bucks since the service offers a no-risk money-back guarantee.
If you’re curious to learn about this VPN, here’s a quick brief of some of the prominent features of NordVPN.
NordVPN ensures thorough data security at rest and in transit, as it implements AES 256-bit encryption.
Huge Network With Dedicated Servers
Currently, the provider boasts a network of over 5300 servers across 59 different countries. This includes a range of server locations from the more sought-after regions such as the United States (1970+ servers), the United Kingdom (440+ servers), and more. This gives users the liberty to connect to any of their favorite locations randomly. Else, users can also connect to a fast-speed server from one of their favorite countries/cities.
Besides, for those who want to connect to a fast-speed server with no location specification, NordVPN offers “Quick connect”. This feature automatically connects the user to a nearby server with the fastest speed in just one click.
Multiple VPN Protocols
NordVPN supports different VPN connection protocols to its users, including OpenVPN (TCP/UDP) and IKEv2/IPSec. While the service previously offered L2TP and PPTP protocols, it removed them in 2018 owing to the underlying security issues.
Whereas the provider launched its own spin-off of the Wireguard protocol known for its speed. Dubbed “NordLynx”, the protocol made it to the users’ apps in 2020 and has since been the default protocol. Undoubtedly, it ensures fast-speed connectivity; I never faced any lags while testing the VPN.
Nonetheless, users can still select their preferred protocol by disabling the “Choose a VPN protocol and server automatically” option.
Customizable Kill Switch
The best internet feature about NordVPN is its customizable two-way kill switch feature.
Users can choose to suspend internet traffic to a particular app when a VPN connection drops via the “App Kill Switch” option. Alternatively, the more privacy-savvy users can enable the “Internet Kill Switch” feature to suspend the entire internet traffic to and from their device when the VPN is turned off.
Like kill switch, another feature that NordVPN offer is to allow users to customize their VPN connectivity via split tunneling.
Again, the feature allows the users to select specific apps to work either with or without the VPN.
Ad and Malware Protection
NordVPN isn’t just about hiding one’s IP address. Rather the provider takes extra efforts to ensure a thoroughly protected experience online. For this, NordVPN combines with CyberSec – a dedicated adblocker and malware protection feature.
By default, this option is disabled. But users can always activate this option via Settings > General > CyberSec: block ads and malicious websites.
Unblocks Restricted Content
Perhaps, what triggered the rise in the use of VPNs isn’t only people’s concern about their online security, rather the ability of this tool to unblock restricted websites. From streaming media like Netflix to accessing local news from anywhere, VPNs help you break free of geo-restrictions.
Yet, one cannot really generalize this capability for all VPN services.
NordVPN, however, is different, rather exceptional. This service offers fast-speed servers running on stealth technology that bypasses VPN banning attempts. Also, the huge number of servers makes the tool resilient to resist any IP/server bans. Thus, what the users experience is a seamless browsing experience.
Supports Gaming, Torrenting, And Tor
Gaming, torrenting, and using the Tor browser are the three main activities that require security with speedy connections. While VPNs may grant security, slow speed is an issue that VPN users commonly face.
NordVPN addresses this problem by offering fast-speed RAM servers. Thus, regardless of the location, you would seldom face speed lags as far as you have a good base speed.
Besides, NordVPN also supports these activities by offering specialty servers for torrenting (P2P) and Tor (Onion Over VPN).
According to the intended user activity, clicking on any of these options lets the VPN automatically connect to a fast-speed server that can manage the task.
Obfuscated Servers For Regions Like China
NordVPN is one of the few VPNs of today that continue to facilitate users in regions like China and Russia. The service applies a dedicated “Obfuscated Server” technology that scrambles the data packets from the users’ internet traffic. Thus, it becomes almost impossible for the authorities to detect VPN usage.
While this feature is disabled by default, users can activate it as required via Settings > Advanced > Obfuscated servers (OpenVPN (TCP)). However, remember to turn off the automatic protocol setting and have OpenVPN (TCP) running on the VPN client to enable this feature.
Another feature worth mentioning in this NordVPN review is the double encryption feature – the Double VPN.
As the name implies, enabling this feature reroutes the users’ traffic twice through two different server locations. This makes the data more secure and difficult to intercept. (This feature also works on OpenVPN (TCP) protocol only.)
Other Worthy Features
- Custom DNS
- SmartPlay feature for streaming
- Dedicated IP address servers
- IP/DNS leak protection
- Customizable auto-connect option to stay anonymous online
- Trusted network feature to automatically disable VPNs when connected to the networks you trust
- Invisibility on LAN to stay private from other local network connections
- 6 simultaneous device connections
- Supports Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire devices, Smart TV, routers. It also offers browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome
- 24/7 customer support via live chat and emails
NordVPN Installation And Setup Review
Configuring NordVPN on your device is very easy. All it takes is registering with the service. After that, download the respective VPN client on the device. The setup downloads within few minutes. Clicking on it starts the installation on its own.
It might take a couple of minutes to install the app.
After it completes, it might ask you to restart your computer.
Once done, click on the app to log in. This will open the NordVPN website on your web browser window, where you’d enter your account credentials. This might be inconvenient for first-time users.
After signing in, you can return to the VPN app to start the connection.
NordVPN Working And Speed Test Review
To test the VPN myself before writing this NordVPN review, I downloaded the app, connected to a US server, and started browsing. Indeed, I experienced fast connectivity. (In fact, I observed a marginal improvement, hinting my ISP was throttling my connection at that time).
I then streamed Crackle (typically available in the US), and it streamed amazingly well. No lags or buffering whatsoever.
After that, I switched servers to Italy and tested Rai TV. Again, I faced no buffering issues or interruptions while streaming.
Review Of NordVPN Pros and Cons
In all, NordVPN serves its customers pretty well concerning online security, anonymity, and evading geo-restrictions. After testing the app, it’s clear that the provider is true to its words concerning the features it offers. It does offer fast speeds (even faster than the base speed in my case), supports seamless streaming, torrenting (as I could download a couple of torrents within minutes), and other activities.
The only problem I found with the app was the redirection to the browser when a user logs in to the VPN. This might be a bit confusing for the novices. Also, this could have been integrated into the app only, without involving the browser.
Pricing And Subscription Plans
NordVPN offers different subscription plans for users to choose from depending upon their VPN requirements. These include a monthly, yearly, and bi-yearly subscription plan.
All of these plans offer the same features and are secured with a no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee.
While the service already offers affordable pricing plans, you can save more money if you subscribe now via the Find NordVPN last offer here to get up to a 72% discount with free 3 months of use.
What Bunny Rating Does NordVPN Earn
Given its outstanding features, customizable privacy options, tremendous security, and blazing fast speed, NordVPN safely earns 4.5 bunnies.
VPNs no more remain a luxury for cybersecurity experts. Rather, in today’s restrictive online environment with continuous cyber threats, having a robust VPN is necessary for every internet user.
In such situations, NordVPN comes in as a saviour for users globally, providing them with the freedom of the internet they deserve, from robust security to affordable privacy, NordVPN exhibits all must-haves for a resilient VPN.