NordVPN Review

5 (100%) 2 votes

Dubbed as “the world’s most advanced VPN,” NordVPN is a VPN service operated by a company based in Panama. On its App Store and Play Store pages, NordVPN is touted as the best VPN app for iPhones and iPads. It is  great choice for those who want to ensure safe use of public Wi-Fi stations, especially as they access sensitive web services such as online banking and emails.

NordVPN Overview

a Panamanian VPN service provider, NordVPN is owned and operated by Tefincom co S.A. It has been in the business since 2012 established with the goal of building “technology that could liberate the internet.” The company is now a trusted online security solutions provider and has been recognized by a number of tech sites for its reliable privacy and security solutions. Proof of this dependability is NordVPN’s 200,000-strong global customer base. The company maintains around 700 servers in more than 50 countries in different parts of the world including Africa, Australia, Austria,  Brazil, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Russia, South Africa, Poland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Luxembourg, Singapore, Russia, Sweden, United King, United States, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany, and New Zealand.

Three-Day Free Trial and Long Money Back Guarantee

Here’s good news for those who are looking for a VPN solution with a free trial period. NordVPN offers a 3-day free trial period. This is a true free trial unlike those “trial periods” advertised by other VPN companies that are actually just money back guarantee periods. To avail of this free trial period, you have to go through the ordering process and choose Bitcoin as the payment method (without making a payment). You then have to go to the Free Trial page to activate your free trial period.

In addition to this trial period, NordVPN also offers a 30-day money back guarantee. This is a notably long money back guarantee period. Other leading VPN providers only offer around 5 to 7 days. However, this money back offer is not applicable for purchases made through the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. No refund may be given if you buy NordVPN’s service through these channels. Also, we couldn’t ascertain if there will be no problems getting a refund. This is not a no-questions-asked money back guarantee so you will have to justify why you want to get a refund. Being unsatisfied with the slow connection is not going to be enough. There’s nothing clear cut mentioned on the NordVPN website regarding the justifiable reasons for asking for a refund but we would assume it should something as serious as a buggy software, being unable to connect through most of the servers, having significant speed reductions (50% or more).

NordVPN Setup and Interface

Although the way NordVPN is set up is no longer similar to how it was done before, using the NordVPN client is still a quick and easy process. You will have to download the installer that matches your device and operating system. This is a .exe file for Windows or a .dmg file for Mac OS X. Before, you don’t have to install anything. The file you download used to be a portable application. Clicking on it immediately opens the client without asking you to install something.

The installation and setting up process, however is still simple. Just follow what you see on the prompts. You might be asked to install some supplementary software but there’s nothing to worry. Just proceed with the installation until you have everything done. If you need a guide, the Download section of the NordVPN website has Learn More buttons that will lead you to information and tutorials to help you set things up correctly.

When it comes to the NordVPN client interface, there’s nothing to complain. It’s similar to most other VPN clients. It’s simple and intuitive. We did not encounter problems with it. Connecting to a server takes a few seconds but it’s not that different from how it works with other VPN solutions.

NordVPN comes with an automatic kill switch feature. This feature allows you to specify which applications or programs should be automatically stopped in case your NordVPN tunnel is temporarily disconnected. This ensures that your device will not be sending out or accepting data without VPN protection.

NordVPN Security

NordVPN guarantees complete security for its users. As mentioned on its homepage, all data are protected using 2048-bit SSL encryption. It also supports other protocols including AES 256, L2TP/IPSEC, 2048-bit SSL for OpenVPN, and MPPE-128 bit for PPTP.  NordVPN laos supports TOR and SOCKS.

What stands out in NordVPN’s security system, however, is its so-called double data encryption. This system sends internet traffic through a couple of VPN servers. It involves two encryption processes to ensure the highest level of security and privacy. Take note though that this double data encryption feature is not something you can switch on or off on the NordVPN client. You get to use this by choosing a double VPN server. If you go to NordVPN’s Servers page, you will find servers grouped in different categories, on top of which is the group of Double VPN servers.

Privacy

NordVPN guarantees customer privacy with its zero logs policy. The company maintains that the IP addresses, bandwidth usage, timestamps, and other online activity details of customers are not being monitored or recorded. Just like other VPN companies, NordVPN may have to submit whatever information it has about it customers if compelled by a court order. The good thing about this VPN service provider is that it is based in Panama so it can be considered a good option for EU and US customers who want to have the assurance that their details will not be compulsorily handed over by the VPN service provider.

NordVPN Speed

In terms of speed, there’s nothing much complain about with NordVPN. You can expect minimal speed reductions caused by NordVPN’s encryption. If you have tried faster VPN services, though, you will probably notice that NordVPN’s connections appear to be slower. You can test this by comparing your usual browsing or media consumption activities with or without NordVPN. If you were able to watch online videos without the buffer pauses before using NordVPN, most of the time you will likely have the same pause-free video streaming as you use it. However, if you are using a sub 1 Mbps connection, you may notice the reduction in your internet connection speed. These instances of noticeable speed decreases are mostly due to the server used. If you encounter something like this, just switch to another proxy server until you can find something good enough.

NordVPN touts “superfast servers everywhere” on its homepage. We’re not sure if we can agree with it. However, NordVPN is definitely signficantly faster than free VPNs.

Usability

We found no issues with NordVPN’s usability. It is an intuitive VPN solution. It shouldn’t be difficult using it even for those who are new to VPNs. Setting it up does not involve complex procedures. Just download and install the client and you’re good to go. NordVPN is a great solution for accessing websites that have been blocked in your country or region, securely accessing public Wi-Fi stations, and ensuring privacy when accessing websites. NordVPN is also a great VPN option for those who want to use P2P services as it does not impose speed limitations on P2P connections. NordVPN supports connections for up to devices per account. This should accommodate all of the most frequently used gadgets in a household.

Notable Features

NordVPN is one of the best VPN solutions at present. Its array of compelling features can be summarized as follows:

  • Double data encryption
  • Fast servers
  • Network of 768 servers (only 661 on the Servers page) in 57 countries in different parts of the world
  • No bandwidth limit
  • OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec, IPSec, L2TP, and PPTP security protocols
  • Easy to Use VPN client
  • No logs policy
  • Automatic kill switch
  • DNS Leak Resolver
  • Free proxy list with hp to 3,000 free proxies
  • Encrypted chat and secret notes
  • Web proxy extensions
  • Dedicated IP (customer needs to order this service first)
  • Smart play providing hassle-free quick access to favorite streaming websites
  • No throttling for P2P traffic
  • User-friendly mobile client
  • Compatible with The Onion Router
  • Support for multiple devices and operating systems
  • Support for bitcoin payment
  • 24/7 customer support

 

Compatible Devices

A multitude of devices are supported by NordVPN. These include smartphones, tablets, personal computers, laptops, as well as routers. There are clients for Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and routers. Just go to the NordVPN Help Center (link is near the upper right corner of the homepage). The operating system versions supported are as follows:

  • Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP
  • Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or newer
  • Android 4.0.3 or newer
  • iOS 9.0 or newer (works with iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch)

The recommended setup is for you to download the client for the device you want to use NordVPN with. All the download links and details you need to set your VPN connection up are provided under the Help page of the site. The mobile apps come with mostly good reviews and ratings so it’s safe to assume that they shouldn’t become a problem if you have them installed. Just be reminded that you may no longer be able to claim refunds if you pay for your NordVPN account through the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

If you want NordVPN for your home network and you have not purchased a router yet (or you want to upgrade to a new router), you may just buy NordVPN-ready routers. These routers are advertised as a great solution for small businesses and those who want to ensure non-stop data protection. Just go to the NordVPN Router Solution page (link is at the footer part of the site) to view the different routers available. Take note that clicking on a router on this page will take you to an external site that sells these NordVPN routers.

On the other hand, you may ditch the installation of the clients and just do manual configurations. The process can take time and may be complicated for some users but it’s not that extremely difficult to do. It’s something you would prefer if you already have a native and efficient VPN application in your device. Detailed guides on how to do manual configuration for different types of devices and operating systems are provided in the NordVPN website’s Help Center section.

Pricing, Promotions, and Checkout

NordVPN ise offered in one-month, 6-month, and one-year plans. The one-year plan provides the best value as it is offered for only $69 (or $5.75 per month) whereas the 6-month plan is available at $42 ($7 per month) and the one-month plan is priced at $11.95. These prices aren’t the cheapest among premium VPN’s but they’re not too expensive especially if you avail of the one-year plan.

NordVPN may offer special promotions every now and then. At the time we did this review, we were presented an offer to sign up for a two-year plan that comes with a special price of only $3.29 per month.

Additionally, NordVPN has affiliate and refer-a-friend programs that allow existing customers to earn some rewards for bringing in more paying NordVPN users.

Paying for a NordVPN account is a simple process. A number of payment methods are supported. These include credit cards, PayPal, Paymentwall (under the Other option), and Bitcoin. Just click on the payment method you want to display the payment form or to be directed to the site of the payment method you prefer. As mentioned, you can get a three-day free trial period through the bitcoin payment option.

NordVPN Support

If you have questions to or if you want to ask for technical support from NordVPN’s admin or support staff, just click on the Contact Us link (at the footer part of the site) to go to the page where you can find buttons to contact NordVPN via live chat or email (contact form). Before sending your question or request for assistance, though, be sure to go over the answers to frequently asked questions and tutorials under the NordVPN Help Desk and VPN Setup Information pages. The information you are looking for may have already been presented there. NordVPN provides 24/7 support.

You may also contact NordVPN through its official social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+). The links to these social media accounts/pages are presented near the bottom part of the Contact Us page.

Conclusion

NordVPN is arguably a great VPN solution for most users. It has a great level of security. The privacy of users is assured especially with the zero logs policy. It’s not one of the cheapest VPN services around but it’s great that it offers a truly free three-day trial period with which prospective customers can do a test run before deciding to subscribe. Also, the month-long money back guarantee period is definitely a plus. Also, NordVPN’s support team is relatively responsive and available 24/7 through the ticket system (the online form) and official social media accounts.

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