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NordVPN review

Last updated on 03/12/2019 by Melvyn and co.

Snapshot

NordVPN is one of the best and most popular VPN providers out there. It strikes the perfect balance for privacy concerned users and those looking for lightning fast speeds. It’s great for unblocking content such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer and also supports P2P and torrenting. Add to this its no logs policy and impeccable security, Nord sure does tick all the boxes!
Compatible with
Apple(Logo)(2)
Windows(Logo)(3)
Android(Logo)(2)
Linux(Logo)(2)
Rating

Our score:

4.9

4.9/5
Pricing

Price from:

$3.49

per month

Pros
  • Super-fast, reliable servers with up to 265Mbps download speeds
  • Extremely user-friendly applications on all devices
  • Kill switch, DNS leak protection, 256-bit AES encryption
  • Access to over 5,100+ servers spanning 60 countries
  • Unblocks Netflix, BBC iPlayer and all other popular streaming sites
  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting permitted
  • Double VPN security feature for extra protection
  • One of the best value VPNs available
Cons
  • Alternative security protocols need manual configuration
  • Speeds can be compromised on some distant connections
  • Server in Finland hacked in 2019

Introduction

NordVPN, offering ‘the internet with no borders’, is one of the best and most popular VPNs on the market. It’s a great choice for users all over the globe offering the very best in privacy protection along with great speeds from its expansive worldwide server network. Packed with some of best and most advanced security features available, users can feel totally reassured whilst using this no log provider. It also performs exceptionally well for those wishing to unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming sources, as well as being a logical choice for P2P and torrenting users.

In the unlikely event you will need customer support, their award-winning team are always on hand 24/7, but with their apps being really user friendly, you should be good to go from the off without the need for wasted time on live chat.

Within minutes of ‘playing’, it was clear to us why NordVPN is regarded as one of the strongest and best value VPN solutions out there with its high speeds, reliability and abundance of top-notch features. They offer a full 30-day money back guarantee as well as a free trial period so you can be sure NordVPN is the right choice for your needs.

Pricing

NordVPN offers some great deals on its longer-term plans making it one of the best value options available. You can choose to commit to monthly or yearly (1, 2 or 3) plans. 3-year plans represent the best value for money and are currently on special offer of 70% off when purchased through our website. You try before you buy with a free 24-hour trial on offer, and all plans come with a full 30-day money back guarantee.

For payment, NordVPN currently accepts a wide range of options including most major debit and credit cards (including American Express), Amazon Pay, as well as Alipay and UnionPay for users in China. If you’re looking for additional anonymity, they also accept Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple cryptocurrencies.

It’s worth knowing that NordVPN process payments via CloudVPN (located in the USA). We are confident that as NordVPN explains, this is only to facilitate payment acceptance due to the complexities of overseas payments reaching Panama.

1 month plan

$ 11
95
per month
  • Billed $11.95 every month

1 year plan

$ 6
99
per month
  • Billed $83.88 every year
SAVE 41%

2 year plan

$ 4
99
per month
  • Billed $119.76 every 2 years
SAVE 58%

3 year plan

$ 3
49
per month
  • Billed $125.64 every 3 years
SAVE 70%

Features

NordVPN is full to the brim with ace features and we can assure you it more than meets the needs for the vast majority of its users.

You can stream and browse content without limitations including US Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, live sporting events and other popular streaming sources. And with a huge network of 5,100+ servers located in 60 countries, users anywhere on the globe can benefit from their industry leading speeds.

Underpinned by military grade encryption robustly hiding your IP address, it keeps you and your online activity safe and private. Add to this its no log policy, its market leading when it comes to security.

Finally, another feature we love is the ability to save your ‘favourite’ servers on the various apps. A great time saving feature when you’ve found your perfect host!

Platforms and devices

NordVPN allows you to simultaneously protect 6 devices with one account, meaning you and your home can be fully protected at all times. NordVPN works with pretty much any device that connects to the internet so you can truly protect your online profile and activity.

Their user-friendly apps can be installed on macOS, Windows & Linux operating systems as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. If using a Fire TV (Amazon Firestick) or Kodi is your thing… they’ve got you covered too, as well as Chrome and Firefox browser users. It’s also easy enough to configure your home router and protect your entire wi-fi network with a NordVPN.

Streaming

Nord is an ideal choice if you want to use a VPN for streaming as it’s fast and reliable, providing speeds more than capable of delivering uninterrupted HD content. You can unblock Netflix, BBC iPlayer and other popular streaming services with ease. A great deal of Netflix content is geo-restricted to the US and of course BBC iPlayer can only be viewed in the UK. NordVPN will effectively lift any blocks on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, HBO, Hulu, ESPN and many more.

The app will also automatically direct its user to the best servers for Netflix etc making streaming with NordVPN really straight forward. You can also use NordVPN with Kodi via its Android application which can be installed directly onto your android device or Amazon Firestick.

It must be noted that not all the UK servers we tested unblocked BBC iPlayer, but you are very unlikely to stumble across many providers that offer 100% success. And we did still get online within seconds of changing!

Torrenting​

NordVPN is great choice for users who want protection from a VPN whilst torrenting and is superb for both speed and privacy. NordVPN unblocks all restricted torrenting websites, prevents your ISP from tracking your activity via encryption, and stops them from ‘bandwidth throttling’ (drastically reducing or cutting your internet speed) limiting your ability to successfully P2P transfer. Stay safe online and remember, you should always use a secure VPN when torrenting! 

Speed

NordVPN excels when it comes to speed and will match and beat most competitors in its way! Their user-friendly app will automatically suggest the quickest and least congested servers based on your location, ensuring optimum speeds are delivered.

Local speeds will generally give the best performance as your proximity to the server will also aid speed results. That said, impressive numbers of 226Mbps locally and worldwide averages at 69Mbps mean NordVPN is lighting quick. Of course, far reaching connections will suffer significant speed reductions, but even linking the UK to the USA, it delivered some very promising results more than capable of streaming HD content or torrenting.

Security

NordVPN claims to be ‘the world’s most secure VPN’. Whether it is or isn’t may be up for debate… but what is certain is Nord offers some of the very best and most comprehensive privacy features for its users and scores extremely highly for this reason.

At a basic level. It uses OpenVPN protocol by default which is our preferred choice. You can also switch to IKEv2 if preferred, but this will require additional setup more suited to advanced users (unless you are using a macOS or iOS). It also deploys industry standard AES-256 encryption with additional authentication ensuring your true IP address remains fully concealed.

Additional security features come as standard with the likes of a VPN kill switch, IPv4 and IPv6 DNS leak protection, first-party DNS and WebRTC leak blocking. These features are crucial and guarantee safety in the event your NordVPN loses connection.

Users with greater privacy concerns can use the awesome security feature ‘double VPN’ allowing you to connect and tunnel via 2 VPN servers at the same time which encrypts activity twice reaching any internet destination fully protected and in total privacy.

Additionally, NordVPN users can benefit from ‘Tor over VPN’, or as Nord call it, ‘Onion over VPN’. Without getting too technical, this allows you to benefit from the anonymity of a Tor browser with the additional layer and security from a VPN allowing you to roam the internet in full privacy.

Nord also let users deploy ‘CyberSec’ which prevents access to known dangerous websites that may contain malware, spyware, trackers or other harmful software, as well as the additional benefit of preventing unwanted pop-ups or video ads.

Moving away from the security overview, it’s worth us bringing up that NordVPN hit the news in October 2019 after it confirmed speculation that a VPN server based in Finland and hosted by third party company Creanova was hacked. It emerged that poorly configured security on that specific server allowed a hacker to gain access and view certain system data. The incident actually took place in March 2018 and as soon as Nord were aware, they immediately shut down all servers hosted by Creanova and terminated their contract. NordVPN stresses that despite the hack, they offer reassurance that no individual users credentials were affected, that there are no signs that user traffic was monitored, and finally, the VPN tunnel was not compromised.

We are fully satisfied that despite the initial headlines, NordVPN have taken robust measures to ensure that this type of incident wont happen again in the future. The blame and responsibility of this incident is firmly sat with their 3rd party provider. However… it is the responsibility of NordVPN to rigorously audit any third party run servers and ensure they are fully secure at all times to protect their users.

We believe that NordVPN are still an extremely secure and private service and this is simply an unfortunate incident on their otherwise impeccable security record. The company have taken major steps to ensure they are not vulnerable to similar attacks from hackers going forward and we want to reassure users that NordVPN is still one of the most secure and all round best VPN choices out there.

Applications

The NordVPN app is one of the best and most user friendly we have tested. Despite having some of the most advanced security features, it’s extremely accessible to new users and really easy to navigate.

The app can be downloaded on a whole host of popular devices such as iOS, Windows and Android, and works perfectly on the Amazon Firestick or Android TV.

Customer service

NordVPN’s website is packed with useful tips, information and guides to get the most out of your VPN. There is also plenty of troubleshooting guides should you encounter any problems although it’s very unlikely you will!

Their standout quality is their award winning 24/7 support via online chat and email. We have tested both with some unusual and difficult queries. Despite some mixed reports (which seem a little out of date now) Nord’s customer service responded very quickly and answered all our questions.

Log policy

“We don’t track, collect, or share your private data. It’s none of our business.” Nord adopt a strict no log policy and offer major reassurance that this has been independently verified by 4 external auditors. NordVPN are transparent with users about the minimal data they collect which is only the ‘timestamp of the last session status’ and ‘deletes the data automatically within 15 after you disconnect’.

We are happy to agree with NordVPN that they are a no log VPN and if any authority requested a user’s online activity history, we’re 100% confident that NordVPN have no data to hand over. You can also pay for NordVPN using cryptocurrencies (one of the few who allow this) if you want to withhold your payment information.

Jurisdiction

A major plus for NordVPN over its closest rivals is its location – the highly privacy friendly Panama. There is therefore no legal reach of the USA or EU, and they can reject any data request from third parties, guaranteeing no online activity can be traced back to any individual user.

The verdict

NordVPN is clearly a top choice for anyone looking to purchase a VPN. It’s a total all-rounder and perfectly balances user’s privacy, speed and reliability without any compromises. You receive total online freedom and privacy protection, and we can see why it’s risen to be such a major player.

Their infrastructure is second to none and their very well-designed apps take any complexity out of VPNs for the less advanced users.

Whether you’re looking to stream and unblock great geo-restricted content such as the US Netflix store or BBC iPlayer, simply browse the web securely, or take part in P2P file sharing, you won’t be disappointed.

Nord is one of the best on the market and Melvyn and the team at comparemyvpn.com have no hesitation in recommending NordVPN to our users!

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