NordVPN Review

Raymond Kenney

Speed
Bypass Geo-blocks
Security & Encryption
Torrenting
Support
Compatibility
Price
Refund Policy

Summary

NordVPN is an excellent choice for all your streaming, gaming, torrenting, and security needs. It is also cheaper than it’s competitors and risk free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

4.9

NordVPN claims to be one of the best VPN providers on the market. They offer strong encryption, high speed, unblocking streaming content, and some additional features. While other VPN products may offer similar features, NordVPN outperforms it’s competitors in quality, consistency, and pricing.

Assessing the quality of a VPN relies mostly on three major areas:

  • Streaming restricted content (bypassing geo-blocks)
  • Security features and strength of encryption techniques.
  • Gaming performance in terms of stability of the connection, low ping, and bypassing geo-blocks or regional bans as well.

NordVPN is the #1 VPN brand globally with over a million users. In this review I will put the service to the test to determine if it’s as good as advertised.

Streaming with NordVPN

NordVPN Supports All Streaming Services
NordVPN Supports All Streaming Services

NordVPN works flawlessly with Netflix US or any other Netflix region you can think off. Streaming at Ultra HD quality, I had no issues accessing all the Netflix regions including US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Mexico. Streaming Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, ESPN+, and Hotstar was a seamless one click process as well.

I was impressed by the streaming quality as well as the consistency. Although I tested multiple streaming services, on different servers, I did not encounter any errors. There was no buffering or lag during all the tests.

The combination of DNS and VPN provide a stable performance. On the other hand, many competitor VPNs rely solely on VPN IPs to unblock geo-restricted content. The DNS + VPN method is much harder for streaming services to block. Therefore making NordVPN a superior product for all your streaming needs.

Speed

NordVPN has a reputation for being one of the fastest VPN products money can buy. I tested multiple servers, and the quick connect feature, where the quick connect feature sends you to the most optimal server for your location. Download speeds actually increased bypassing my ISP’s throttling. NordVPN gave my download speed a boost, whereas all other VPNs slowed it down.

I was able to stream Ultra HD Netflix US, play Call of Duty Warzone, and download files with a decent ping and no lag at all.

Speed test results listed below:

Speed Test Before
Before connecting to NordVPN
Speed Test After
After connecting to NordVPN
Long Distance Speed Test
Long distance speed test

Does NordVPN Allow Anonymous Torrenting?

NordVPN offers full peer-to-peer support, with 5390 servers specifically optimized for P2P activities. While some VPN products limit torrenting ability by setting bandwidth thresholds, NordVPN does no such thing. Unlimited bandwidth, all you can download buffet.

Operating from Panama, the world’s privacy haven, a strict no-logs policy is in place to keep your torrenting anonymous. While all major torrent clients are supported, I only tested uTorrent, and BitTorrent. In both cases I was able to get high download speeds.

Additionally, you can use the server recommendation tool to find the closest server to your location, and torrent away.

What Security Features Does NordVPN offer?

Security and online anonymity is what NordVPN prides itself on. As they should, a VPN’s main purpose is to obscure the identity and activity of the user. However, NordVPN offers additional security features, giving it an edge over the competition. Such features include the kill switch, military grade encryption, and leak protection.

NordVPN applies AES 256-bit encryption to secure user data. Which is the most effective encryption method available today. Moreover, the encryption is combined with a 2048-bit DH key, and SHA2-384 authentication. Effectively, this combination checks if the data transferred was manipulated in any way.

The use of forward secrecy essentially means that you are treated as a new user every time you log in. Therefore your online activity is completely wiped out after every session.

The VPN protocols supported by NordVPN are:

  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (UDP/TCP)

Kill Switch

The kill switch feature is a great way to ensure anonymity. It stops all data from leaving the device if the you drop the connection or it becomes compromised. The feature is available on both Mobile and Desktop apps.

As an addition to the kill switch feature. NordVPN developed a new option, where you can choose which apps to block when a connection is compromised. Which allows you to stay online while blocking critical apps from revealing your identity. Although most VPNs have a kill switch, none that I tested have the additional control feature. The NordVPN kill switch feature is in a league of its own.

Leak Protection

DNS requests and IP addresses can be leaked through browser security errors, or software bugs. Which makes your data vulnerable to hackers, and ISPs. NordVPN offers leak protection for both DNS, and IP leaks. Testing the feature revealed that it does work as intended on all devices. No DNS or IP leaks were detected, and IPv6 was successfully blocked. It is crucial that your VPN blocks IPv6, as some websites you visit may use it leaving your identity exposed by way of your IPv6 address.

NordLocker

Do you wish to upload data to the cloud securely? NordVPN has a great feature just for that purpose. NordLocker encrypts your data before uploading it. However, the only way to decrypt the data on the other end, is also via NordLocker. As the icing on the cake, you get 5GB free data when you sign up.

NordVPN Values Your Privacy

Some VPN products have privacy policies that store your online activity data. It may be a company policy, or a result of having headquarters in a non-privacy friendly country. Aside from the government’s prying eyes, you also have to worry about malware, ads, and trackers. NordVPN claims to solve all these privacy concerns, lets see how they hold up.

Does NordVPN Have a No-Logs Policy?

Although most VPN providers claim that they do not keep any logs. However, some are not as sincere or strict with the policy as they claim to be. On the other hand, NordVPN offers a true and proven no-logs policy. They do not collect or store any of your personal data or online activity. Basically, nothing that can identify your identity is stored anywhere.

In late 2018, we ordered an industry-first independent assurance engagement to verify our no-logs claim – a cornerstone of our privacy mission. But our commitment didn’t end there, which is why we recently ordered a second expanded third-party examination. What was true then is true now – we do not, nor will we ever, monitor your internet activity for any reason.

NordVPN

The audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG concluded that the VPN company is in strict compliance with its no-logs policy.

Does NordVPN have an Adblocker?

Everyone hates annoying popups, and phishing scams. That is why it is very important to have an adblocker feature in your VPN. It works great for blocking ads on YouTube, while concurrently providing additional security with the built in CyberSec suite.

Where is NordVPN Located?

NordVPN is based in Panama, the privacy haven. Panama is not subject to any data retention laws of the US and EU. Therefore governments cannot request the reveal of your online data or identity by NordVPN.

Servers

NordVPN prides itself on its global presence, with 5,800+ servers spread over 59 locations, and multiple options for every location. Although most servers are located in the US, you can find many options close to China, and other firewall restricted areas. The Chinese firewall presents a real challenge to VPNs, as it as very tough to crack. However, NordVPN works flawlessly in China as it does everywhere else.

Does NordVPN Provide Shared IPs?

Once you connect to a server, an IP address is assigned to you, one that you share with every other user connected to the same server. Such a configuration allows for better anonymity. That is because no one can identify which specific user performed which specific activity.

Does NordVPN Use Virtual Servers?

A common feature among VPN products is to use virtual server locations, where the actual location of the server is in another country. While many companies use this strategy as a workaround for countries with bad or high infrastructure cost. However, NordVPN does not use virutal servers, so you have nothing to worry about there.

Does NordVPN Offer Static IPs?

It’s the only VPN product that offers the option to purchase a static IP. There are many benefits for having a static IP, namely for streaming. Some streaming services continuously and aggressively block VPN IPs, for which a static IP is the perfect workaround. With one unique IP address assigned to you, streaming services will never flag your activity as suspicious. In short, you will never be blocked.

What Devices are Compatible with NordVPN?

NordVPN Supported Devices
NordVPN Supported Devices

They offer a user-friendly application on all major platforms including:

  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • iOS
  • Android
  • Android TV
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Routers

While all other VPNs are compatible with manual router setups. NordVPN is the only provider offering a router app that does it for you. Even though you are limited to only 6 devices at a time, with the VPN installed on your router, you can use an unlimited number of devices simultaneously.

Apps

The iOS and Android apps are easy to use. You just need to install the app, log in, select a location, and click connect. Even better, you can use the quick connect feature and automatically get the most optimal server for your location.

Browser Extensions

The browser extension is available on mobile and desktop through the Chrome, or Firefox browsers. Although almost all VPNs have browser extensions, none offer it on mobile, which gives this VPN an edge over its competitors.

Support

The company has a reputable support team with 24/7 live chat support. You can use the chatbot for basic information or contact support and receive a reply in a matter of minutes. An extensive knowledge base with guides and tutorials is available for basically everything. On top of that support agents are available to help with the most basic requests as well as complex issues. They are well staffed, as I did not notice any drawbacks in performance in peak times.

Pricing & Payment Methods

NordVPN Pricing Plans
NordVPN Pricing Plans

They offers the following 3 subscription packages with a 30-day money-back guarantee included:

  • Monthly plan at $11.95 per month
  • 1-year plan at $6.99 per month
  • 2-year plan at $3.71 per month

While these plans are somewhat fixed, keep an eye out for coupon codes and discounts as new offers and deals are released regularly.

They accept all major payment methods including the following:

  • Credit Card
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Paypal
  • AmazonPay
  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Sofort
  • Prepaid Cards
  • iTunes

Conclusion & special discount

Tested and working with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, HBO Max, HBO Go, HBO Now, ESPN+, Disney+, Fox, A&E, Adultswim, NFL Game Pass, MLB TV, NBA Leauge Pass, and Showtime. NordVPN can unblock everything!

NordVPN offers a high quality product at a reasonable price. Fast, secure, and a global network that can unblock anything makes NordVPN a great choice for streaming, gaming, torrenting, and security. That said, if you don’t like the product, or change your mind, you can cancel your subscription and get a full refund with their 30-day money-back guarantee.

About the Author

Raymond is the primary author for Anonymistic. He's a computer scientist with extensive experience in development and cyber-security. He's also a big Marvel fan and a competitive gamer.

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