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NordVPN Review

Posted on  12 JAN 2020

NordVPN

NordVPN Review: Everything You Need to Know

NordVPN is consistently ranked as one of the best VPN services available for protecting one’s identity online.

With internet security concerns being at an all-time high, the company is trying to ramp up further market share by offering a complete suite of privacy services.

This is despite having been a victim of a server breach back in 2018. That incident has been widely covered in numerous stories and NordVPN reviews on the internet, so this review won’t go into detail about it.

Obviously, the company has recovered from any fallout that might have resulted when the hack was made public, as the service continues to enjoy an excellent rating when compared to its competitors.

But is NordVPN really as good as advertised? How does it stack up against other popular VPN services? In this NordVPN review, you will learn about some of its top features, pricing, and ease of use, as well as its pros and cons and why it is regarded as one of the best VPN services.

Before all that, for those of you who are new to the world of VPNs, here are a few words on what you need to know.

What is a VPN?

A virtual private network (VPN) is an encrypted network service that connects your computer to a server on said network. This encrypted pathway creates a cloak around your web traffic, keeping it from being exposed to public users and other users on the VPN.

In other words, no one else can have access to your web traffic, providing that the VPN works as how it should.

Why do you need a VPN?

The ability of VPNs to keep your web traffic and identity secure comes with several benefits. For starters, it prevents anyone with malicious intent from gaining access to your sensitive information, as well as prevents marketing companies from getting hold of your data via ISP monitoring or trackers.

It is a well-known fact that ISPs can monetize data you may share when you browse certain websites (browsing habits, filling out forms, etc.). Furthermore, many websites leave cookies on your devices that collect information about you. With a VPN, those cookies don’t end up on your machine.

In addition, the best VPN services can make it possible for you to gain access to websites and services that may be unavailable in your area for whatever reason. Netflix and Spotify, for instance, are not available in some regions.

Also, some countries such as China, Russia, and Turkey block certain content, making it necessary to use VPNs for people in those areas who may want to consume the blocked content.

NordVPN Features Review

In the case of NordVPN, it is a personal VPN service provider that does everything described above and then some. The company is based in Panama, a country that does not indulge in government surveillance of its citizens or censors internet traffic.

This gives NordVPN leeway to operate as it sees fit, which is to give users that freedom as well.

The company boasts a staggering fleet of 5,800 optimized servers located in 62 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

This broad footprint is one reason why NordVPN has been chosen by well over 12 million users since launching in 2012, and is a favorite for many security experts.

When it comes on to cost, some NordVPN reviews list the software among the most expensive VPN services. But its wide range of features and reputed reliability keeps users coming back.

So, what are the main features of NordVPN and why is it considered one of the best VPN services around?

NordVPN review Features 1 - best vpn service

IP Address Protection

The ability to switch IP addresses is an obvious feature for any VPN but it still deserves mention due to the stunning number of server locations available through NordVPN.

In addition, it is possible to get a static IP address if you prefer. However, that service comes at an additional cost of $5.83 monthly – billed at $69.96 per year – and is only available for IP addresses in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and the Netherlands.

Double VPN

With this feature, your online activity is routed through two servers instead of one, giving you double the protection. The two servers do not share any data about your IP address either, and the connection uses both TCP and UDP protocols for even deeper-level security.

This dual layer of encryption means that it is harder for hackers and other unwanted observers to gain any access to your web traffic. People who are recommended to use the Double VPN feature offered by NordVPN include journalists and government officials who handle extremely sensitive data.

NordVPN review Features 2 - best vpn service

Automatic Kill Switch

If you lose connection to the VPN server, for whatever reason, the automatic kill switch will block your connection to the internet until the connection is restored. This prevents any leaks that may occur if your device was to connect to your regular internet connection.

For power users, NordVPN even offers an option to select specific apps on your device for the automatic kill switch feature.

DNS Leak Protection

Even with some of the best VPN services, virtual servers are sometimes used along with physical servers. If the virtual servers connect with other networks outside of the private network, there is a risk of DNS leaks, especially if the VPN is not configured properly or if recent changes were made to the user’s system.

NordVPN assures against any form of DNS leaks when you try to connect to certain websites. They are able to guarantee this because all your traffic is routed entirely through NordVPN-operated servers.

Cybersec Technology

As it is aiming to provide a full suite of security features, NordVPN provides a cybersecurity option that blocks malicious websites that are known for phishing and other threats.

The Cybersec technology does this by checking the address of the website against a database of sites that are known for spyware, malware, and other malicious software. If there is a match, Cybersec automatically blocks your access.

Cybersec can also detect attempts to control your computer for participation in DDoS attacks. On top of that, it acts as an effective ad blocker, which improves your browsing experience by removing distracting content and assisting with the load speed of the website you are on.

Zero Logging

According to NordVPN, no data is ever stored relating to your browsing session using its VPN servers. This is important for users who want to ensure that their activities online cannot be traced back to them.

This no logs feature by NordVPN has actually been proven, as the company had its services audited by PriceWaterHouseCoopers in late 2018. That audit backed up the literature from the NordVPN privacy policy, which points out that

“NordVPN strictly keeps no logs of your activity online. That means we do not track the time or duration of any online session, and neither do we keep logs of IP addresses or servers used, websites visited or files downloaded. In other words, none of your private and secure data is logged and gathered at any time. As a result, we are not able to provide any details about your behavior online, even if you request it yourself.”

Website Unblocking

For people who want to access Netflix’s stunning library of audiovisual content, NordVPN has developed a reputation for making it possible. This is one reason why many NordVPN reviews recommend it for Netflix customers – because Netflix has become notorious for blocking other VPNs.

Users simply need to connect to a U.S. server location, plus NordVPN provides instructions on how to connect to Netflix. The service is not only effective in unblocking Netflix, it is also useful in getting around Hulu, BBC, and Amazon Prime Video streaming.

To enhance your streaming experience, NordVPN also offers SmartPlay technology, which allows access to content that may be restricted in the area you are living in or visiting.

Browser Extension

NordVPN also has a lightweight browser extension that works with both Google Chrome and Firefox. Once installed, it is pretty easy to turn on and secure traffic to webpages you visit on your Windows computer or Android device.

NordVPN Compatibility

NordVPN review Comatibility - best vpn service

As long as you are using a device with one of the popular operating systems, you will be able to install and run NordVPN apps. These include Windows, Android, iOS, MacOS, Linux, and Android TV.

For advanced users, it is also possible to manually configure NordVPN to run on lesser-known operating systems such as Blackberry OS, Raspberry Pi, and a number of router firmware.

What’s more, NordVPN allows connection of up to six simultaneous devices per customer, but if you are able to configure your specific router to run NordVPN, you can cover all the devices in your home, including those that are not able to connect to a VPN individually.

NordVPN Pricing Review

NordVPN review pricing - best vpn service

In recent times, NordVPN has restructured its subscription plans. According to some NordVPN reviews, these new prices have placed it among the most expensive VPN services around. The general sentiment, however, is that the prices are worth it for what you get.

There are several plans available to NordVPN users, with the least recommended being the $11.95 offer for a single month at a time. Next up is the 1-year plan, which goes for $6.99 monthly (billed yearly at $83.88), the 2-year plan for $4.99 monthly (billed at $119.76 every two years), and the 3-year plan, currently on offer for $3.49 (billed at $125.64 for every three years).

The last plan actually includes 3 free months, which some users might find pretty cool. Furthermore, while NordVPN no longer offers a free option, subscribers are able to get a full refund within 30 days if they are not satisfied with the service.

    Customer support

    When it comes on to helping users out who may have run into problems, NordVPN reviews have also ranked the company highly in this regard.

    To begin with, users can have questions and concerns quickly addressed via the company’s 24-7 live chat support. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The NordVPN support website provides a sizeable amount of information in the form of FAQs, set up information, and instructional material to help users who need help.

    In addition, there is also email support, although responses may take hours. While the site organization has taken some flak for not being very intuitive, it is possible to get the answers you need by using the right search terms around the different areas of the site.

      Pros and Cons – NordVPN Review

      There is no doubt that NordVPN is truly one of the best VPN services currently available on the market. But, as many NordVPN reviews have pointed out, it does have its high and low points.

        The pros of NordVPN

        Large platform: Over 5,800 servers in more than 60 countries ensures you can easily find a server location to suit your browsing needs.

        Specialized servers: NordVPN has different categories of servers to match the unique needs of customers. For example, there are specific P2P servers and those for file sharing.

        Ad-blocking feature: We all get annoyed by the plethora of ads some websites show us. NordVPN can eliminate these, improving your online experience.

        Multiple connections: You can have six simultaneous connections running at any given time. Power users can also configure certain supported routers to work with NordVPN, which opens the door for other devices in the home to be connected at the same time.

        Thorough privacy policy: NordVPN makes it clear that they are serious about protecting the identities and browsing habits of users, so you don’t have to worry while connecting to the internet.

        The cons of NordVPN

        Pricey: While it is certainly not the most expensive, there are other VPNs on the market that boast similar features but are cheaper.

        Connection restriction: If you are not knowledgeable about connecting NordVPN through the router, you will be stuck with the six simultaneous connections mentioned earlier. As pointed out in most NordVPN reviews, six should be fine for most households, but there can be a need for more in homes that have lots of kids and adults with multiple devices.

        Past breaches: Although NordVPN reported that it was hacked all the way back in 2018, the fact that it had a breach in the first place could be cause for concern for people who are sticklers for security.

          Conclusion

          NordVPN reviews consistently show NordVPN to be a favorable and preferred platform of choice for millions of people who want a simple-to-use VPN that works. With a raft of cutting edge and traditional features, as well as a strong privacy policy, NordVPN seems well worth the price and should be one of the first for options to consider if you are in the market for a reliable VPN service.

            Pros
            N

            Over 5,800 Servers in More Than 60 Countries

            N

            NordVPN Has Many Categories of Servers to Match Customers

            N

            Ad-blocking Feature

            N

            Multiple Connections

            N

            Thorough Privacy Policy

            Cons
            M

            Pricey

            M

            Connection Restriction

            M

            Past Breaches

            NordVPN

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