NordVPN Reviews in 2021 – Works On All Streaming Sites but is it Good ? Is it Fast ?

VPN is software that you can install on your device that provides a “tunnel” for the encrypted transmission of data, making your traffic more secure and giving you a higher level of VPN privacy on the Internet. More details on how VPNs work can be found here – remember that VPNs not only provide security and anonymity, but also allow you to access geo-blocked content through servers in different countries and much more.

Are you busy at the moment? Here are the important insights

  • Unblocks over 400 streaming services, including Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Sky Go were the two sites that it did not unblock.
  • Provides a money-back guarantee for 30 days: NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that allows you to test its services for free.
  • Quick access to local and worldwide servers: Although it is quicker on local servers, it is still fast enough for seamless streaming, gaming, and torrenting on foreign servers.
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, and other operating systems: NordVPN may also be installed on a router to secure all of your devices at the same time.
  • It only takes a few minutes to install and configure: Its programs are extremely simple to use, even for inexperienced users.
  • Optimized P2P servers make torrenting simple: Although I’ve tested other VPNs that are simpler to use for torrenting, I had no problems using NordVPN with uTorrent, Bittorrent, Popcorn Time, and other torrenting-based services.
  • Comprehensive security and privacy features: You’ll stay secure and anonymous online with AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, split tunneling, and a strict no-logs policy.

NordVPN is a VPN cloud security service that encrypts all internet traffic to protect confidential business data and sensitive customer information from third parties. With NordVPN, users can protect their business from the risks of using public Wi-Fi hotspots. Whether employees are connecting from a hotel or a local coffee shop, NordVPN ensures their data is not decrypted by third parties.

NordVPN allows users to work from anywhere in the world and enjoy a network free of geo-blocked content. Users can access all the websites and services they use at home, from messaging apps to media streaming.

About the Company

  • Company  NordVPN
  • Founded – 2012
  • Country – Panama

OverView

Features Data

Over All Rank

#2

Usability

Very Easy to Use

Log Files

Strict No Logging Policy

Locations

59 Countries, 5200+Servers

Support

Live Chat (24/7)

Torrenting

P2P and Torrenting Allowed

Netflix

Unblock Netflix USA

Encryption/Protocol

256-bit AES/OpenVPN, IPSec and IKEv2

Cost

$3.71/Month

NordVPN Usability and Specifications

  • Apps available for – iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, Mac
  • Browser Plugins – Chrome, Firefox, Safari
  • Devices – Router, Android-based TVs
  • Encryption – IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN
  • Streaming and P2P allow

What's New with NordVPN?

We last looked at NordVPN a while back, but the company has been very, very busy. The fast, WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol now offers near-perfect connection times and faster download speeds for all platforms.

Infrastructure improvements include higher security standards for data centers used by NordVPN and audits to confirm compliance. All servers are now RAM-based diskless systems with no persistent local storage, and a second audit by Swiss PWC confirmed NordVPN log-free operation.

Applications on all platforms can now connect automatically when accessing unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Switching servers is as easy as selecting a new location (without having to close an existing connection first), and all apps are now better able to choose the fastest available server.

There are also platform-specific improvements, from Dark Mode on iOS and reduced battery consumption on Mac to split tunnels in TV mode on Android and a smarter kill switch on Windows. That’s an impressive list of improvements, especially since NordVPN had so many features before. We’ll go into more detail about some of these later in the review.

Monthly Yearly Bi-Yearly

Price/Month

$11.95
$6.99
$4.99

Total Bill

$11.95
$83.88
$95.75

Billing Cycle

1 Month
12 Months
24 Months

Money-Back Guarantee

30-Day
30-Day
30-Day

Having just tested ExpressVPN, the cheapest provider at $6.67, I was shocked at NordVPN’s insane $2.75 per month for a 3-year contract plan (the 3-year plan has been discontinued) $4.99 per month for a 2-year contract plan. At the same amount for 1 month and 1 year term, both cost almost the same, but NordVPN 2-year plan is just amazing for the money.

Think of it this way – they have a 30-day money back guarantee and offer dirt cheap rates for long-term plans – it’s perfect for the consumer conscious. If you look at their one-year plan, the total price is $83.88. If you can add just $12 more and drive for two years, why not?

Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a “but” here – NordVPN also charges Value Added Tax (VAT) depending on which country you’re from. Not everyone has to pay VAT, but some can charge up to 20% extra.

Server Locations

NordVPN offers 5,343 VPN servers, each with its own unique IP address. This is the most servers supplied by a VPN after Private Internet Access and CyberGhost. The selection of 60 nations isn’t the most extensive we’ve seen, but it’s plenty for the majority of people.

The VPN’s server network includes prominent locations such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada. It also serves nations that are less frequent, such as Argentina and Vietnam.

There are also several options throughout Europe, North and South America, and Asia-Pacific. NordVPN provides the least coverage in Africa and the Middle East.

There are a lot of city-level servers

NordVPN provides great city-level server options in five countries:

  • Australia (5 Locations, more than 200 servers)
  • Canada (3 Locations, more than 300 servers)
  • Germany (2 Locations, more than 200 servers)
  • India (2 Locations, more than 20 servers)
  • United States (15 Locations, 1,600+ servers)

Users in these countries can connect to a server near their location for quicker connections and access to local or state-specific content. This is useful in the United States to avoid blackouts during sporting events.

NordVPN also offers a dedicated IP address service for clients who wish to use the same VPN IP address for an extended length of time. This function is not as private as utilizing VPN IP addresses, which are shared by several users at the same time.

NordVPN Security

Here are the Encryption Details

  • 256-bit AES channel encryption
  • SHA384 authentication
  • 3072-bit DHE-RSA key exchange
  • Perfect forward secrecy

If none of that matters to you, don’t worry – NordVPN’s encryption meets military-grade standards and goes above and beyond the average user’s security needs.

At the time of writing, NordVPN is switching to a RAM-only diskless server. The VPN server application – in fact, the entire server operating system – exists only in temporary memory (RAM). This means that data is not stored permanently on the server. So if the server is seized or hacked by the authorities, nothing will ever be on it. RAM-only servers are an emerging trend, originally introduced by ExpressVPN, but gaining market share with some of the leading providers.

Applications don’t leak DNS or IP traffic when they connect. However, while testing the desktop application, I found a persistent IPv6 WebRTC leak. Here are the side-by-side test results.

As you can see, my real IPv6 address became visible when I connected to the VPN via WebRTC. This indicates a persistent IPv6 WebRTC leak.

What does it mean?

Well, most people don’t have IPv6 at home, but a lot of people do. If you’re not sure, google “What is my IPv6 address?”

Most websites don’t use WebRTC, a protocol used primarily for voice-over-IP communications, including browser-based Skype, Discord, and Google Hangouts.

So most people don’t have IPv6, and most websites don’t use WebRTC, but the fact that the leak persists – and keeps happening – is a bit worrying. This can be used by websites to expose my real IP address to see if I’m using a VPN if I happen to have an IPv6 connection.

In terms of disconnections, Nord is fortunately inadequate, and NordVPN works for my needs. I can choose between an all-or-nothing kill switch that completely disconnects the Internet connection when the VPN connection is lost, or an application-specific kill switch that lets me choose which programs to protect.

NordVPN recently added a security feature called WifiSec. When this feature is enabled, the app automatically starts a VPN connection when I connect to a new Wi-Fi network. I can set it to automatically connect to Nord on both secure and insecure wifi networks. on mobile, I can choose to trigger the automatic connection on mobile, wifi, or both.

NordVPN is in the early stages of setting up colocation servers. Most VPNs simply rent servers in data centers around the world. NordVPN says it is currently creating servers that are wholly owned, maintained and managed by NordVPN, although they will still be in third-party data centers. This gives NordVPN greater control over the configuration and security of each server, while the data center provides power, Internet connectivity and physical security. Migration to colocation servers has already begun in Finland, and NordVPN hopes to migrate more parts of its network in the coming months.

Double VPN connections and onion over VPN

NordVPN provides two types of VPN connections to make your online experience more secure and anonymous: Double VPN connections and Onion over VPN connections. The first choice is self-explanatory: you will be connected to two VPN servers at the same time, and your traffic will pass through both of them, making determining the origin of your data traffic even more difficult (you). While this option is excellent for privacy, we do not advocate utilizing it for streaming or downloading. After all, routing your traffic through two separate VPN servers might significantly slow down your connection.

The second option: Onion over VPN links you to a NordVPN server, after which your data will be routed through three Tor network nodes (as is typical). This implies that authorities or other parties attempting to eavesdrop on you online will most likely be unable to identify the VPN server through which your traffic traveled. This is fantastic for those who are concerned that their VPN service, even if they are extremely trustworthy and have a no-logs policy, such as NordVPN, may, in rare circumstances, reveal information about its customers to authorities or other parties. The Onion over VPN functionality of NordVPN makes this nearly impossible.

Furthermore, the fact that this function initially connects you to a VPN server adds an extra degree of security in the (very unlikely) case that your Tor entry node, or any other node(s) you’re utilizing, has been hacked. This feature may appear to be overkill for most, but it may be beneficial to true privacy lovers.

NordVPN offers a variety of options for its customer support, including 24/7 live chat, email support, and an extensive database of user-submitted issues that can be searched. When we wanted to dive into the details of the data they log, we navigated to their privacy policy and read it for ourselves on their FAQ page. While it would be ideal for a VPN to have a phone line to talk to a person, we feel NordVPN has some good resources.

Does NordVPN Carry Logs?

NordVPN claims that it does not collect logs of user activity. This is clearly stated in the anti-logging policy.

“Nord guarantees that the NordVPN service has a strict no-logging policy, which means that your Internet activity…… will not be monitored, recorded, logged, stored, or shared with third parties. We do not store connection timestamps, bandwidth used, traffic logs, IP addresses or browsing data. Nordic also claims that it does not collect session logs, while many VPNs do and still claim to be “non-logging”.

So, naughty stuff, but can we believe it?

Well, it goes back to auditing. PwC took a closer look at NordVPN’s servers and compared them to the provider’s stated policies. While we can’t reproduce the results here, NordVPN’s test operators and users can view the results of the audit online and found “no evidence that [NordVPN] violated its zero logging commitment in any way.”

Shared Listening

Shared tunneling lets you decide which applications should send traffic through a VPN tunnel and which should not. This option must be supported separately. It can be useful in certain situations, such as for applications that need a strong connection but do not require additional security. In this case, we often talk about gaming applications. It is good to know that NordVPN does not support shared tunnels.

DNS Leak Test Tool Results

A serious concern for many VPN users is that DNS information or IP addresses are actually leaked. Therefore, it is important to always test for it. The best way to do this is to use a so-called DNS leak test tool. NordVPN is subjected to this test. During the test, the ISP information is hidden and the IP address is changed by NordVPN. The DNS leak test tool shows that the server that establishes the connection does not leak DNS information.

Depending on the state of your internet connection and whether your ISP limits traffic, you may be able to get faster internet speeds and lower pings when using it for gaming. this may require some experimentation, and speed tests on different servers may depend on how busy they are. However, the results of the speed test will give you the information you need.

The benefits of security also apply to gaming. If you log into a gaming service and actively send data back and forth, your data is not as safe as if you use a VPN. You can fall victim to DDOS attacks, malware, and other attacks.

It Works with Netflix and Many Other Streaming Services

As with all my VPN tests, I put NordVPN through a series of tests to see how it works with Netflix and other streaming services.

I used NordVPN’s servers in the US to access my US Netflix account. As you can see here, everything worked without any problems.

The screenshot above shows me streaming a Netflix movie with the NordVPN app connected in the background. NordVPN performed well in all tests. It shares Netflix smoothly and offers fast speeds for HD streaming without interruptions.

With NordVPN, you have full access to the following Netflix regions.

Other streaming services – NordVPN also works with other streaming services like Hulu, Amazon Prime, DAZN, and more.

This is also a great VPN for Disney+, which offers rich content from 10 different regional libraries. According to the latest test results, NordVPN is one of only two VPNs that work with BBC iPlayer (ExpressVPN is no longer available).

Note: If you have problems getting Netflix to work with NordVPN, simply request support. A live chat representative will tell you exactly which servers to use.

A couple of things went wrong with the speed test. First, since NordVPN didn’t tell me where the servers were located, I couldn’t test the “closest” server to get the best-case scenario like I usually do with US server tests. It’s entirely possible that they have faster servers somewhere along the way, but since they seem to focus on quantity of servers rather than quality, it’s impossible to tell without testing all 300+ US export nodes at once.

I’ve rarely seen speeds this slow on desktops. On mobile, speeds vary widely, but are never really impressive.

The servers in Hong Kong and Australia are very unreliable as tests often stall and never finish. Part of the slow speed may be due to the strong and sophisticated level of encryption (AES-256) and protocol used (TCP). Note that this is not necessarily an indication of the server’s performance, but rather that the user is not getting enough information about the server details when connecting manually.

SpeedTest – NordVPN – Desktop

Location Trial Latency Download Speed Upload Speed

NoVPN

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

8ms

9ms

8ms

97.28 Mbps

97.97 Mbps

97.53 Mbps

11.24 Mbps

11.91 Mbps

11.91 Mbps

US

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

138ms

144ms

136ms

139ms

5.33 Mbps

5.28 Mbps

5.07 Mbps

5.23 Mbps

2.77 Mbps

2.69 Mbps

2.71 Mbps

2.72 Mbps

UK

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

325ms

312ms

312ms

316ms

2.33 Mbps

2.00 Mbps

1.81 Mbps

2.05 Mbps

0.91 Mbps

0.50 Mbps

1.04 Mbps

0.82 Mbps

Hong Kong

Trial 1

Trial 2

 Trial 3

Average

400ms

368ms

365ms

378ms

0.00 Mbps

2.08 Mbps

1.99 Mbps

1.36 Mbps

0.00 Mbps

0.00 Mbps

1.01 Mbps

0.34 Mbps

Australia

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

422ms

432ms

449ms

434ms

1.53 Mbps

0.00 Mbps

1.46 Mbps

1.00 Mbps

0.30 Mbps

0.00 Mbps

0.37 Mbps

0.22 Mbps

SpeedTest – NordVPN – Mobile

Location Trial Latency Download Speed Upload Speed

NoVPN

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

12ms

8ms

12ms

74.99 Mbps

75.30 Mbps

74.12 Mbps

14.52 Mbps

14.32 Mbps

14.49 Mbps

US

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

128ms

138ms

126ms

131ms

4.08 Mbps

4.15 Mbps

23.31 Mbps

10.51 Mbps

6.87 Mbps

7.63 Mbps

7.01 Mbps

7.17 Mbps

UK

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

299ms

354ms

395ms

349ms

1.89 Mbps

5.99 Mbps

1.78 Mbps

3.22 Mbps

2.21 Mbps

3.72 Mbps

3.03 Mbps

2.99 Mbps

Hong Kong

Trial 1

Trial 2

 Trial 3

Average

369ms

365ms

364ms

366ms

1.63 Mbps

10.32 Mbps

8.40 Mbps

6.78 Mbps

2.14 Mbps

2.76Mbps

2.56 Mbps

2.49 Mbps

Australia

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Average

405ms

407ms

590ms

467ms

1.41 Mbps

1.47 Mbps

3.34 Mbps

2.07 Mbps

1.86 Mbps

1.72 Mbps

1.11 Mbps

1.56 Mbps

NordVPN Installation

The service is available for most devices and operating systems. Apps are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, with Android TV recently added to NordVPN’s list of supported platforms. Browser extensions are also available for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers, and all apps and extensions are easy to download and install.

It also provides installation instructions to set up the service directly on various Wi-Fi routers and Linux systems. There are no instructions for installing NordVPN on consoles, so you may need to look for another VPN if that’s what you need. All links and instructions can be found here, and iOS and Android apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, respectively. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at the Windows and Android apps.

Apps

NordVPN’s apps have the same basic look and functionality on both desktop and mobile devices. That’s a nice argument, because switching devices won’t need any learning curve.

When you launch an app and log in, you’re met by a stylised global map filled with trees, boats, and pins (which represent server locations!). You may activate the NordVPN connection by clicking or tapping on them for convenience.

The location pins might become cluttered and difficult to choose, especially in server-heavy countries like Europe. You can utilize the app’s server list in this scenario. The alphabetical list allows you to select a nation and view all of its server locations.

There are also lists of NordVPN’s speciality servers, which are geared for certain applications such as dedicated IPs, Double VPN, P2P/ Torrenting, and Onion Over VPN.

Once you’ve discovered an acceptable server, you may save it to your favorites list for future use. When you connect to a server, the app displays your connection status, selected location, connection time, and public IP address.

When you go to the settings tab, you’ll find various setup options, such as automatically connecting to a server, starting the VPN upon startup, and enabling CyberSec, NordVPN’s ad and malware blocker. Protocol use, LAN visibility, DNS switching, and numerous kill switches are all included in the desktop programs. Mobile applications, on the other hand, are considerably more constrained owing to operating system constraints and slower development.

Additional NordVPN Benefits

Nord Locker Premium is a premium locker system

This function allows you to encrypt data locally on your computer or in a secure cloud of up to 10 GB. It’s an intriguing feature, but I’m not sure it’s worth the $4.99 per month NordVPN charges. Your computer most certainly already has the capability of encrypting information on its own, and storage prices are quite inexpensive nowadays.

It may be a genuine lifesaver for people who share a computer with others or frequently travel with a laptop containing sensitive documents.

Nord Pass Premium 

In my perspective, this add-on is a bit more value. Even if you take every security measure possible, if you use weak or repeated passwords, you are still susceptible. NordPass eliminates the need to memorize random sequences of letters and numbers by securely saving all of your passwords in one location.

NordPass also provides password-specific tools such as a password generator, a password health gauge that will inform you if you’re using any passwords that put you at danger, and a scanner to see whether your data has been compromised in any known data breaches. This, in my opinion, is definitely worth the extra $4.99 each month.

Months NordVPN + NordPass Premium NordVPN + NordLocker Premium NordVPN + Nord Pass + NordLocker

1 Month

$16.94
$16.94
$21.93

1 Year

$82.88
$76.88
$100.76

2 Years

$134.76
$134.76
$170.52

Pros and Cons for NordVPN

Pros
  1. Extensive network of servers (no virtual sites)
  2. Easy to use, supports all major platforms
  3. Advanced performance: High speeds, streaming sites available
  4. Strong privacy and security features
  5. Up to six devices can be connected simultaneously, including routers
  6. Excellent customer support
  7. Proven no-log VPN provider
Cons
  1. No split tunneling feature, does not allow simultaneous use of NordVPN and public network
  2. No refunds for Apple iTunes/app store purchases

Frequently Asked Question

How many devices can I connect to NordVPN with?
You have 6 simultaneous connections, but you can make them unlimited by installing a router first. This means that you can also connect WiFi devices, such as your smartphone. It’s compatible with a wide range of device platforms, including macOS, Windows, Chromebooks, iOS, Android, and more. It also works with browsers and routers.

Is there a free version of NordVPN?
No, NordVPN does not offer a free trial or free package. But once you see what it has to offer, I’m sure you won’t mind paying for a premium subscription. It’s affordable, so you can get the best premium features for a small monthly fee. Free versions of VPNs tend to be extremely limited, be it in terms of server networks, speeds, data limits or, even worse, security measures. It’s not worth the risk.

How many devices can I connect to with NordVPN?
You have 6 simultaneous connections, but you can make them unlimited by installing them on your router first. This means that you can also connect WiFi devices, such as your smartphone. It’s compatible with a wide range of device platforms, including macOS, Windows, Chromebooks, iOS, Anrdoid, and more. It also works with browsers and routers.

Which is the best NordVPN server?
The choice of server depends on many things. First of all, your location matters because the farther you are from the server, the more likely you are to experience speed drops. However, my speed tests have shown how fast NordVPN can be, even over long distances. 

You also need to consider what kind of sites you’re looking for. For example, if you want Netflix US, it’s best to go with US servers, as those are the only ones that can unlock that directory. I especially like the New York servers for Netflix US streaming. If you don’t want to bypass geo-blocking and just want to surf quickly and securely, you can simply use the quick connect feature of the NordVPN app. It will find the best servers for you, so you don’t have to do anything.

Should I keep my VPN on all the time?
You don’t have to keep your VPN on all the time, but it depends on where you are. If you are in a country with heavy digital restrictions, such as China, then I recommend leaving your VPN on, as you will need it for almost all of your online access. If you are concerned about your privacy and online security, leave it turned on as it will keep you anonymous and safe at all times. You can also use the app’s autostart feature to make NordVPN start automatically when you turn on your device. And you can also set it to connect to the server automatically.

Does my ISP care if I use a VPN?
Most ISPs don’t mind if you use a VPN. They will see that you are using a VPN, but they will not see your actual traffic. However, this is not the case everywhere. Countries like China ban VPNs, and if they see you trying to use one, they will block your internet access.

Fortunately, with VPNs like NordVPN, you can use stealth servers without being detected. Even if your ISP is bothered by your VPN usage, they won’t be able to see that you’re using a VPN because your VPN traffic is invisible.

Conclusion

NordVPN is one of the leading VPN providers with the best security. As you will see in NordVPN reviews, the reasons for its popularity are well founded. It is secure, fast, easy to use, and has some amazing features to ensure that your data and information is always protected. That’s why they’re at the top of our list of VPNs.

And with a customer support team like NordVPN, you’ll never feel alone when it comes to secure browsing. If you’re looking for a more affordable solution, I can fully recommend NordVPN.

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