In your VPN research, you’ve probably come across the name NordVPN – it’s one of the world’s most popular VPN providers, boasting over 8 million users.
Even beyond the VPN scene, NordVPN gets a lot of attention, with mentions on BBC, the Huffington Post, and even the Guardian – the outlet responsible for the publication of Edward Snowden’s leaked NSA documents, which brought digital privacy to the forefront of the public’s consciousness.
But it’s one thing to be the subject of media hype and another thing to live up to it. In our NordVPN review, we’ll take a close look at every aspect of this VPN provider and see if it’s earned its fame.
By the end of our review, you’ll know whether this service is right for you.
History of NordVPN
Let’s start with the basics – who owns NordVPN and where is NordVPN based?
The company’s “About Us” page states that it was started in 2012 by four friends who, after traveling the world and witnessing the extent of internet censorship in various countries, decided to take matters into their own hands. They christened their new VPN company NordVPN due to the values of confidence, innovation, and trust that they shared with Nordic cultures.
Though these friends don’t identify themselves by name, they do cite one of their major influences: Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, whose vision of a completely free and open internet NordVPN strives to uphold.
Usability: How to Use NordVPN
NordVPN’s website looks a lot like those of other popular VPN websites, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s intuitive and simple enough for tech newbies to easily peruse while still providing enough information for seasoned surfers to find it useful.
With that said, if you’re skilled in computing and networking, you won’t find anything too technical here. NordVPN doesn’t offer any whitepapers or advanced details regarding its software or processes. If you’d like to learn about the inner workings of the services you use, you’re likely to be underwhelmed.
All the usual suspects have their own NordVPN apps: Android and iOS users can download the NordVPN app from their respective app stores, while Windows and Mac users can get their apps from the NordVPN website. You can also download the Android app APK file from the website if you prefer to sideload your apps.
If you use an Android TV or an Amazon Fire TV Stick, you can get the NordVPN app on those devices as well. This makes it easy to access international streaming content on your TV.
NordVPN claims to offer a Linux app, but it’s actually a repository package with installation instructions rather than a program with a GUI. It won’t feature any buttons, maps or graphs, but it will enable you to use special NordVPN commands in the Terminal. If that’s not your cup of tea, you can configure a third-party desktop program, such as OAST, to handle your NordVPN connection from a Linux OS.
Browser extensions are available for Chrome and Firefox. Technically, these are encrypted proxies rather than VPNs – they only encrypt your browser traffic with TLS, but they do allow you to change your location and IP address, plus they’re handy for usage on work or school computers that don’t allow you to install standalone programs.
That’s it for official apps, but NordVPN does provide configuration guides for many other OSes and devices, including the DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT and Asus WRT router firmware; Synology and QNAP NAS systems; BlackBerry 10 mobile devices; and Raspberry Pi single-board computers.
NordVPN’s apps share the same overall appearance and functionality across both mobile and desktop platforms. The consistency is nice – you won’t experience a learning curve when switching devices and the design ties everything together quite comfortably.
Once you start up an app and log in, you’re greeted with a stylized world map that’s dotted with trees, boats, and pins. The pins denote server locations. And for ease of use, you can click or tap on them to trigger a NordVPN connection.
While the map is attractive and simple to control, the location pins can get a little crowded and hard to select if you’re zoomed out, particularly in server-dense regions like Europe. There are no country labels, either, so you’d do well to brush up on your geography before browsing it.
It’s more efficient, though admittedly not as visually appealing, to use the app’s server list rather than the map. The alphabetical list allows you to pick a country and see all the server locations within it. From there, you can choose where you want to connect to, though you’re not provided with statistics like server load to help you make your decision.
You’ll also find lists of NordVPN’s specialty servers, which are optimized for specific uses such as P2P/torrenting, dedicated IPs, Double VPN and Onion Over VPN (we’ll go over these features later on). These lists work in the same manner as the general server list: you can quickly connect to whichever server NordVPN deems the fastest, or you can browse and select one in a city of your choice.
When you find a server you like, you can add it to your favorites list for easy access in the future. Once you’re connected to a server, the app displays your status, your chosen location, your connection time and your public IP address.
Head over to the settings panel and you’ll see toggles for various configuration options such as running the VPN upon startup, connecting to a server automatically and enabling CyberSec, NordVPN’s ad and malware blocker (more on that later). On the desktop apps, you’ll also find options for LAN visibility, protocol usage, DNS switching, and multiple kill switches. The mobile apps are far more limited here due to slower development and OS restrictions.
Usability Score: 4 / 5
Overall, the NordVPN user experience is a positive one: the website and apps are easy on the eyes and not too tough on the noggin. It’s nice that the information provided by the website is so accessible to the lay user, but it would be even nicer if more detailed technical documentation was offered for transparency purposes.
Device support is pretty standard, though the browser extensions are a nifty bonus and the manual configuration guides, many of which were contributed by the NordVPN user community, are a thoughtful inclusion. Calling the Linux repository an “app” is a bit of a stretch, but it’s still more than many other providers offer; besides, Linux users tend to be pretty proficient with command lines anyway.
The apps themselves are snappy and smooth, but the map interface, though cute, can get clunky at times. NordVPN’s decision to not include server load and other details is a curious one and detracts slightly from the apps’ functionality, but the information it does provide is laid out well and easy to understand.
NordVPN Server Coverage
Servers and Locations
At the time of writing, NordVPN has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries. It’s an impressive collection, especially since all of NordVPN’s servers are dedicated rather than virtual.
Some VPN providers split a single physical server into several virtual ones for traffic management and to pad server numbers, with some even assigning their virtual servers different locations than their actual physical ones. Thankfully, NordVPN’s dedicated servers are all located where they claim to be.
Most of NordVPN’s servers are located in Europe and North America – this is pretty standard as far as VPNs go since these regions tend to have better internet connections and higher concentrations of VPN users. East Asia and Oceania are also well-represented in NordVPN’s server offerings.
On the other hand, it’s pretty slim pickings in Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. The less robust infrastructures and more restrictive governments in these regions probably make it much tougher for NordVPN to maintain servers there, so it’s an understandable deficit.
Many of NordVPN’s servers are specially configured to bypass VPN-detecting network and government firewalls, such as those implemented by China and Iran. These obfuscated servers work by disguising all traffic as HTTPS traffic, making it indistinguishable from regular web browsing and thus enabling you to circumvent VPN bans.
You can set the NordVPN app to use obfuscated servers by default or select them manually from the server list. Obfuscated servers are located in popular countries like the UK, the USA, Sweden, and Germany as well as in or near countries with strict censorship like Turkey, Hong Kong, the UAE, and Egypt.
Server Coverage Score: 5 / 5
Other providers may boast higher server numbers than NordVPN, but very few boast higher numbers of dedicated servers. Once a provider achieves adequate coverage, server quality matters more than quantity – dedicated servers are more reliable than virtual servers, and NordVPN has over 5,000 of the former and none of the latter.
Europe and North America host the lion’s share of NordVPN’s servers, which is standard for VPN providers. The selection of East Asian servers is quite impressive as well, but Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America are lacking – but again, this is pretty typical.
If you use European or North American servers, you should have no problem finding one with decent speeds, assuming you don’t rely on NordVPN’s Quick Connect server locator. If left to its own devices, the algorithm has a tendency to select the server with the lowest load, even if there’s another server available with a slightly higher (but still reasonably low) load and much higher speeds.
Before reviewing NordVPN’s server speeds, we should clarify one thing: VPN speeds are highly variable, and test results from others should be taken with a grain of salt. Depending on your location, your internet connection, server location, network load, and even the weather, your speeds will fluctuate; rather than looking at specific speed test results, it’s better to examine the bigger picture when determining a VPN’s speed.
Additionally, there’s no avoiding speed loss when you’re using a VPN – it simply comes with the territory. Encryption and re-routing takes time so the best way to minimize it is to choose a server close to your actual location.
With that said, NordVPN isn’t the fastest VPN out there, but it’s certainly above average – in fact, in a VPN speed comparison test conducted by Comparitech, it ranked third out of nearly two dozen providers. Its high number of servers plays a role here: more servers means a lower chance of any given one getting overloaded, which in turn means less congestion and higher speeds.
Servers in the UK and mainland Europe deliver consistently solid results, with download speeds dropping 1-10% for nearby users – if you have a 100Mbps base connection, you can expect speeds of 90Mbps or more from local servers. Speeds drop as distance increases, but European users are unlikely to see them fall below 30Mbps when using European servers; the same goes for North American users and servers as well.
Slowdowns are more prevalent when hopping the pond; Americans using European servers and vice versa are likely to encounter speed losses of up to 75%. It sounds high, but it’s fairly normal for such long-distance connections, and if you’re willing to do a little experimentation, you can easily beat this trend.
If you don’t let NordVPN choose your server for you, speedy intercontinental connections can be found with a bit of trial and error. Speed drops can be reduced down to 10-40% – a 70Mbps UK connection, for example, can get speeds of 60Mbps from US servers on the east coast, which is more than fast enough for HD video streaming.
Speeds do slow to a crawl on certain servers, particularly those in Southeast Asia and Africa. It’s rare for any provider to achieve speeds greater than 10Mbps or so in those areas, so this isn’t indicative of any defect on NordVPN’s part.
As a rule of thumb, you can anticipate that using a nearby server (wherever you are) will result in speed losses of 15% or less while using a more distant server in North America, Europe, Australia or East Asia could decrease your speeds by up to 75%, although you’ll more likely see decreases in the 20-40% range.
Servers in other regions reduce speeds by 80% or more, but should still be adequate for basic web browsing.
As the battle between VPNs and geo-restrictive streaming sites wages on, it’s getting harder and harder to access international content even with a solid VPN. Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other sites don’t just ban known VPN IP addresses; they scan all requests using deep packet inspection (DPI) to identify new VPN IPs via metadata and DNS information.
NordVPN attempts to get around this with its SmartPlay feature, which is an always-on Smart DNS service that allows you to evade aggressive DPI from streaming sites.
NordVPN doesn’t reveal much about how SmartPlay works, but it’s effective: servers in the USA, the UK, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, France, Australia, and Italy can all access their respective versions of Netflix. BBC iPlayer works on all of NordVPN’s UK servers, while Amazon Prime Video is available to servers in the USA, the UK, and Germany.
Detailed guides for connecting to these and other streaming sites are available in the NordVPN support base. The company also encourages users to reach out to it if they need help getting a streaming site to work – a nice change from other providers who don’t offer any streaming assistance.
Performance Score: 4 / 5
Once you’re on the right server, speeds are fantastic; gone are the days when VPNs were barely better than dial-up. With a solid base connection, a local server can easily return speeds of 100Mbps or more, making it nearly indistinguishable from a non-VPN connection.
NordVPN’s high international speeds are a boon for streamers, who have more options here than on just about any other provider we’ve seen. Most VPN providers, even the top ones, struggle to evade detection by Netflix and other sites, leaving you spending more time switching servers than actually watching anything.
The USA and the UK may be the most popular Netflix locations, but NordVPN opens up a ton of others with its SmartPlay feature. So many VPNs claim to be great for streaming, but NordVPN has the features to back up its promises.
While it’s always been possible for you to configure your own Smart DNS for use with a VPN, it can be a bit of a chore, so it’s nice that NordVPN takes care of it for you right off the bat. It’s also nice that NordVPN provides streaming guides and individual support for finding servers that work with your preferred streaming sites.
One notable feature that’s strangely missing from NordVPN is split tunneling, which allows you to direct some traffic (such as your browser) through the VPN while simultaneously allowing other traffic (such as an online game) to use your base internet connection to enhance speed and performance. Most other VPNs of NordVPN’s price and caliber offer this feature, so it’s a bit disappointing to see it absent here; we hope it’ll be added in the future.
NordVPN Security Features
#1 – VPN Protocols
Your VPN protocol dictates the inner workings of your VPN connection – the speed, the required resources, the encryption strength, and the overall security. Depending on your device, you’ll be able to choose between two different protocols when using NordVPN: OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec.
Of note is the fact that, unlike many other VPNs, NordVPN does not support the PPTP protocol. PPTP is widely considered to be poorly secured and outdated, but its fast speeds and low resource requirements make it useful for those with bad connections, old hardware or a need for maximum speed; if you use PPTP, NordVPN isn’t for you.
OpenVPN is an open-source VPN protocol that’s widely considered the best you can use these days. Fast, secure and actively developed, t’s supported by most modern devices and is NordVPN’s default protocol.
Though most OS developers support OpenVPN, Apple is a notable holdout; iOS and MacOS don’t have native OpenVPN support, and Apple’s app policies have made it difficult for VPN providers to include the protocol in their apps. Both NordVPN’s iOS app and its macOS app, however, do allow you to use OpenVPN without any extra software or configuration – a unique feature that’s great for Apple users who don’t want to miss out on OpenVPN’s numerous benefits.
NordVPN’s implementation of OpenVPN utilizes AES-256 encryption for a balance of speed and security. You can choose whether to run it over UDP (for greater speeds) or TCP (for greater reliability, lower detectability and fewer dropped packets).
Some devices, such as BlackBerry phones and DrayTek routers, don’t support OpenVPN; Apple devices don’t support it out of the box and can experience issues with third-party workarounds. For these reasons, NordVPN also supports the IKEv2/IPsec protocol, which is the default option for the iOS and macOS apps and an available option for all others.
Like OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec uses AES-256 encryption; it also uses Perfect Forward Secrecy to prevent the encryption from being cracked in the future.
Unlike OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec only uses UDP, not TCP. This means that while it can be slightly faster than OpenVPN, it’s also more detectable; OpenVPN over TCP looks just like regular web traffic, while IKEv2/IPsec over UDP can be identified as VPN traffic by a network administrator and blocked.
#2 – Double VPN
The protection provided by a VPN should be perfectly adequate for most people, but if you’re extremely concerned with your internet privacy and data security, NordVPN’s unique Double VPN feature may be of use to you. Rather than just encrypting and rerouting your traffic once, Double VPN repeats the process, sending your request through two servers and encrypting it with separate keys at each one.
In the unlikely event that your VPN traffic is compromised, Double VPN requires the attacker to decrypt it twice, which could literally take billions of years. Since it’s sent through two servers of your choice, it’s virtually impossible to trace it back to its origin.
Activists, journalists and others who are subjected to government surveillance will get a little more peace of mind from the extra layer of protection provided by Double VPN, but it’s probably not necessary for the average user. The main reason for this is speed loss: one VPN slows you down as it is, but throw another one into the mix and you’re looking at long waiting times no matter which servers you choose.
Still, it’s always good to have options, and should you ever find yourself in need of some extra security, Double VPN will certainly provide you with it.
#3 – CyberSec
Ads and malware have been the bane of our existence since the first time we used the internet; not to put words in your mouth, but we’re guessing you’re not fond of them, either. Ad-blocking browser extensions and malware detectors can manage many of these nuisances, but depending on your device and software, you may not be able to use them all the time.
NordVPN’s CyberSec feature is an all-in-one ad and malware blocker that protects all of your apps, not just your browser. It checks every site against a blacklist of sites known for phishing, spyware, and malware before loading it, keeping you safe from viruses and trackers.
The ad blocker works in a similar manner, scanning pages for advertiser and tracker URLs and preventing their associated content from loading. Additionally, CyberSec can detect and block attempts to rope your computer into a botnet for the purpose of performing DDoS attacks.
CyberSec won’t replace your full-featured malware detector and works best in conjunction with another ad blocker such as uBlock Origin or Privacy Badger, but it’s a helpful feature nonetheless, particularly for mobile devices with limited ad- and malware-blocking options. Android users should note that Google prevents Play Store apps from including ad blockers, so you’ll have to download the APK from NordVPN’s website and sideload it in order to use the adblocker.
#4 – Onion Over VPN
If you’re not familiar with Tor and Onion sites, here’s how they work: you connect to a random node that acts as a proxy, then your traffic is routed through several other nodes and encrypted at each one (like layers of an onion, hence the name). It’s a bit like a VPN but with several random servers to pass through; these servers are run by volunteers from around the world.
Tor is a great privacy tool, but it’s got a couple of pitfalls. Network administrators, ISPs and governments can easily identify Tor traffic, though not its contents; and volunteer servers could be run by anybody. Even if your data is encrypted, you probably don’t want your data in the hands of a random person halfway around the world.
NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature gives you all the benefits of the Onion network without requiring you to download Tor, reveal your activities, or put your trust in anonymous servers. Traffic goes through the normal NordVPN encryption and rerouting before being sent through the Onion network – no snoopers can see what you’re doing, and no Onion servers can see who you are.
Because it involves so many relays, the Onion network is slow, so you should anticipate longer-than-normal loading times when using this feature. Onion Over VPN servers are only available in the Netherlands and Switzerland, so connections may be even slower if you’re not in Europe.
But speed is a small sacrifice for the added privacy you get with Onion Over VPN, making it an appealing feature for activists and others who need the extra security. And if you’re into the dark web, Onion Over VPN makes it incredibly easy to browse the other side of the internet.
#5 – Kill Switch
An unfortunate reality of VPNs is that sometimes your connection flakes out, leaving you to browse on your regular, unencrypted network. When this happens, you might not notice until you’ve already sent some sensitive emails or submitted credit card details – tasks that require more security than a bare-bones internet connection can provide.
To prevent this, NordVPN offers not one but two kill switches. The first works much like a typical VPN kill switch, disabling your entire internet connection when you’re disconnected from a VPN server, while the second allows you to specify certain apps to kill in the event of a disconnect.
The system-wide kill switch should suffice for most users, while advanced users can take advantage of the full control afforded by the app kill switch. For example, you may exempt your FTP program from the kill switch if you’re transferring large non-sensitive files, or you might remove your streaming music player from the kill list, so your playback isn’t interrupted.
Security Features Score: 5 / 5
NordVPN has a lot going for it in the security department. It handles basic security functions well and adds a few unique features to the mix; the result is a VPN with solid protection that’s versatile enough for all types of users.
While it could be argued that its limited selection of VPN protocols is unnecessarily narrow, the two that it does use are among the best in terms of speed and security. Notable absence PPTP may have the widest compatibility of any protocol, but its lack of security puts it at odds with the purpose of a VPN, so we can’t say it’s a must-have feature; perhaps as fewer VPN providers support it, more OS developers will implement native support for other protocols.
Double VPN and Onion Over VPN both give you the option of adding another layer (or, in Onion Over VPN’s case, multiple layers) of security to your already-locked-down VPN connection. The majority of users won’t need these features, but they’ll probably be indispensable for those who do, such as journalists with confidential sources and activists under surveillance by the government.
Other providers offer malware protection and ad blocking, but NordVPN’s CyberSec combines them into a fairly robust all-in-one virtual pest controller. Although it performs its functions well, it simply can’t contend with standalone malware detectors and ad blockers, and we hope that it doesn’t lull users into a false sense of security and cause them to rely on it solely.
Kill switches aren’t unique to NordVPN, but their double-pronged approach sets them apart from the competition. If you’re a power user who runs lots of apps at once, the app-specific kill switch will probably save you a lot of frustration in the event of a dropped connection.
DNS and IP leaks are bad news for VPN users and usually occur when a manually-configured VPN isn’t set up properly, but NordVPN uses its own internal protections to prevent these hidden vulnerabilities from leaking your information. It’s refreshing to see a provider being proactive about these leaks, as most simply pass the responsibility on to the user.
NordVPN Privacy and Policies
NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, which has no data retention laws and thus enables NordVPN to adhere to its no-logs policy (see the next section for more on that). Though Panama is an ally of the United States, it has not been shown to participate in any surveillance or data-sharing activities with any country, and it’s famously protective of both business and personal information.
However, there has been a bit of controversy regarding NordVPN’s location and overall transparency. The company’s website is registered to a WHOIS middleman in Luxembourg while payments and mobile apps are handled by an American company called CloudVPN. Combined with a lack of information about the company’s founders, corporate offices and employees, these disparate locations have raised suspicions in some users.
NordVPN has explained that many payment platforms and financial institutions block Panamanian transactions, so it uses the American CloudVPN company as a payment processor – because Panama is often used as a tax haven and a home base for scammers, this decision makes sense. The company does appear to be legitimately owned by a Panamanian holding company as well.
We do wish there was more information available regarding the founders and employees, both for transparency reasons and because it’s always nice to put a face to the company, but we also understand NordVPN’s desire for its own privacy – it’s a VPN company, after all.
NordVPN can’t see and doesn’t store any information regarding your location, IP address, web traffic, servers used or downloads. This was confirmed in a 2018 independent audit by Pricewaterhouse Cooper, one of the world’s largest accounting firms; the full audit report isn’t yet available publicly but can be viewed by NordVPN users.
Certain information is stored for reasonable timeframes and purposes: email addresses are used for logging in, the timestamp of your last session status is stored for 15 minutes to prevent you from exceeding the connection limit, minimal payment information is stored for refund purposes and customer service chats and emails are stored for reference for two years (or until you request their deletion).
If you so desire, you can use an anonymous email address and cryptocurrency to completely eliminate the personally-identifying information stored by NordVPN.
Torrent Policy (P2P File Sharing)
NordVPN does permit torrenting, but it’s restricted to certain P2P servers. There are hundreds of these servers located all over the world, so you won’t need to worry about all the P2P servers being overloaded by torrenters.
The company’s TOS contains the standard piracy-prohibiting clauses found in pretty much every provider’s TOS; these are included for liability purposes, and the onus of enforcement is placed on the user. Because NordVPN can’t see or trace any of your traffic, it has no way of knowing if you’re torrenting copyrighted content, and any copyright violation warnings sent to NordVPN by enforcement agencies can’t be associated with or forwarded to you.
To advance its mission of providing the world with private, uncensored internet, NordVPN works with charities and those in need to provide them with free or discounted VPNs. Participants in the discount program include Amnesty International, the Guardian Angel Foundation and the Linux Professional Institute; the company welcomes new applicants as well.
Citizens of countries with extreme internet censorship, government surveillance targets, and others whose privacy is in danger can contact NordVPN to receive a free emergency VPN. We appreciate the company’s decision to offer this service; all too often, those who need a VPN the most are those who are least able to procure one.
Privacy and Policies Score: 4.5 / 5
Panama is a great place for all sorts of companies, especially VPN providers, so NordVPN provides a lot of legal security. We love the transparency provided by the independent audit – and the no-logs policy the audit confirms – but we do wish there was more transparency when it comes to NordVPN itself.
With that said, the charity and emergency VPN programs are admirable. Hopefully, more VPN providers follow in NordVPN’s footsteps and give back to the community in similar ways.
NordVPN Customer Service
NordVPN’s support article database is extensive and encompasses pretty much every aspect of the service, but if you need further assistance, you can reach out in two ways: 24/7 live chat and email support.
The live chat will get you a quick response, but as with most live chats, responses can be formulaic and nonspecific; it’s best used for simple clarifications and account issues. More technical queries can be sent to NordVPN’s customer service email and will be answered within 48 hours with more individualized assistance.
Customer Service Score: 4 / 5
There’s nothing particularly special about NordVPN’s customer service, but there’s nothing particularly negative about it either. It’s a pretty standard live chat and email support coupled with a sizable knowledge base for those who prefer self-help.
Pricing and Payment
There’s only one service tier offered by NordVPN: unlimited bandwidth, uncapped speeds, and up to six simultaneous connections. There isn’t any way to purchase additional connections; six is the maximum.
One month of service costs $11.95, which is on the pricey side, but heavy discounts are applied when you prepay. A year of service comes out to $6.99 a month, two years costs $4.99 a month and three years drops the price to just $3.49 a month.
No free trial is offered, but NordVPN does promise a full refund if you cancel your service within 30 days of signing up; the refund period is extended to 45 days if you choose the one-, two- or three-year plans.
If you need a dedicated static IP address for business, banking or other purposes, NordVPN offers them for an additional $5.83 per month. You can choose an IP address from Germany, the Netherlands, the UK or the USA depending on your needs.
NordVPN accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit and debit cards as well as Amazon Pay, AliPay, UnionPay, Giropay, Sofort and iDEAL. If you want to pay anonymously, NordVPN accepts three cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
Pricing Score: 3.75 / 5
This VPN is a little on the expensive side if you pay month-to-month, but the value rises significantly when you prepay for a year or more. The three-year plan, though costly upfront, works out to be one of the best VPN deals we’ve seen; you’d be hard-pressed to find a VPN with this many features for $3.49 a month.
Though payment options aren’t as plentiful as with other providers – gift cards and PayPal are notable absences – it’s always nice to see cryptocurrency offered as an accepted method. This enables you to sign up and pay for a NordVPN account totally anonymously, keeping with the spirit of the service itself.
Final Score: 4.3 / 5
Good-looking apps, generous server offerings, ingenious security features, protective privacy policies, hefty payment discounts and a charitable commitment to their cause – there’s a lot to like about NordVPN.
There’s always room for improvement, of course (corporate transparency, split tunneling support, and a more intelligent server selection algorithm are our top suggestions), but overall, NordVPN is one of the more impressive VPN providers out there. With features that appeal as much to casual streamers as they do to political activists, NordVPN is a VPN we feel confident in recommending to all types of internet users.
Got more VPN questions that need answering? Hopefully, these can help you out a bit!
Which VPNs Don’t Keep Logs?
It’s easy for a VPN provider to claim that they don’t keep logs, but it’s a lot harder to find one that sticks to its promise. Some providers, like NordVPN and VyprVPN, have undergone independent audits in order to prove that when they say no logs, they mean no logs.
What is a Multi-Hop VPN?
Double the servers, double the encryption, double the protection – so goes the reasoning behind multi-hop VPNs. By directing your traffic through multiple servers, you can make it even more difficult for snoopers and surveillance agencies to track you down.