The best VPN for your security| NordVPN review
VPNs can help protect your internet traffic from tracking by advertisers and spies. NordVPN provides more than just basic protection, unlike most VPN services. NordVPN has a wide range of servers and an impressive array of rarely found tools. It also adheres to strong privacy and security policies. It also employs the most recent WireGuard technology. It is a high-end product that still impresses despite its high price. We awarded it our Editors’ Choice award.
What is the NordVPN Price?
NordVPN is $11.95 per month or $99 per Year. NordVPN offers an annual plan for $59 at a discount, but the renewal fee will be $99 NordVPN may offer other plans with different introductory rates. For example, you can get a $99 2-year subscription, automatically revert to a $99 monthly subscription upon renewal. This kind of hidden increase is not something we like.
Our Experts Tested 19 Products This Year in the VPN Category
Credit cards, anonymous cryptocurrencies, and PayPal are all options for payment. VPN companies often offer discounts, so be aware that you might see a slightly different price when you check out. The average price for a VPN service reviewed is $10.05 per month or $69.10 per annum. NordVPN is on the expensive side.
While it may be tempting to sign up for long-term plans, we do not recommend doing so. You can test the VPN at home with a trial version or a shorter-term subscription. All free VPNs come with limitations. However, ProtonVPN is our only tested one that does not limit the data access of its subscribers. NordVPN’s free trial has been discontinued. It claimed that scammers were taking advantage.
Pros and cons of NordVPN
- Outstanding performance
- Intuitive apps for most devices
- Solid security features that can be independently verified
- Unblock streaming sites
- Great customer support
- Affordable price
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Linux clients do not have a graphic interface
- No router app
Nord VPN Best alternative Altas VPN
Atlas VPN is a capable VPN service that offers an all-around good service at some of the lowest costs in the market.
The service supports the speedy WireGuard Protocol, as an example. In addition, the software is available that works on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, as well as an emergency kill switch that protects your device if the VPN is lost and allows the use of unlimited concurrent connections.
A SafeSwap feature will change your IP address regularly as long as you’re connected to that server. This is thus increasing your privacy.
Additional features include ad and malware blockers, and data breach monitoring alerts you when some of your private data are discovered in the shadow web.
- Atlas VPN subscription options:39 Month Plan cost $1.39 for each month ($54.21 total cost)
The Atlas VPN network may be less than most, with 700 servers distributed in 27 nations. However, it’s enough for many users, but P2P is available across the globe.
The most exciting news occurred in October 2022 when Nord Security (the company behind the innovative NordVPN) announced that it had acquired Atlas VPN. This tells you, by itself, it’s clear that Atlas doesn’t simply another anonymous VPN provider. There’s quality to it, something worth purchasing. Even though Atlas VPN will continue as an independent company, it will benefit in the future from Nord Security’s expertise and knowledge.
Does NordVPN work in China?
To determine if NordVPN is available in China, I’ve reached out to an agent for customer support. I’ve learned that NordVPN works within China. However, for most operating systems, you’ll need to set it up manually. Also, if you’re planning to travel to a foreign country, you’ll not be able to utilize their convenient clients.
The process can belong. However, it is primarily comprised of the installation of NordVPN settings files. This is our guide on
Which protocol does NordVPN VPN offer?
NordVPN makes use of NordLynx (an application of WireGuard) as a default feature within the Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows applications. OpenVPN is also available for all these platforms as a backup. IKEv2 is available on iOS and macOS applications only.
OpenVPN and IKEv2 have been for a long time the standard for VPNs; however, WireGuard has become increasingly well-known. It’s clear why: similar to OpenVPN, WireGuard is open source, but it utilizes modern encryption techniques and delivers faster speeds.
NordVPN’s Locations and Servers
NordVPN boasts servers in 66 countries and provides good geographic diversity. Still, other VPN companies outshine it. ExpressVPN, for example, covers 94 countries.
The majority of NordVPN’s servers are located in its home countries of the US in the US and UK, and the UK, which isn’t typical for VPN businesses. But, NordVPN also has a large number of servers across the globe, including a large number located in Asia, South America, and Europe and a few located in India as well as also in the Middle East. Furthermore, it currently provides one server located in Africa (South Africa), an area that is not covered by other VPN services.
In addition, NordVPN offers servers in Hong Kong, Turkey, and Vietnam with a strict internet policy. We don’t offer any specific recommendations for a VPN to circumvent government censorship, as the risks of doing it wrong are too high.
In total, NordVPN’s network totals 5,600 servers. CyberGhost’s network of around 7,500 servers tops the list. The presence of more servers doesn’t necessarily guarantee more reliable services, but having many options can be beneficial. It’s easier to locate one close to you, and the one close to your location is more likely not to get overloaded by too many users.
One subject that is often brought to mind when analyzing VPN fleets concerns virtual servers as well as virtual locations. Virtual servers are servers that are defined by software and are hosted on one machine. Virtual servers are server that has been configured to appear on a different location different from where it’s physically situated.
This isn’t necessarily a problem, but we do prefer for companies to have a clear understanding of their infrastructure. For instance, the NordVPN representative informed us that all the servers it has been dedicated to and that none of them are virtual. This implies it is physically located exactly where they say they are, which we’d like to know.
NordVPN is shifting all the servers it hosts to shared servers, which means it’ll eventually own the entire physical infrastructure. The first fully-owned server cluster was launched in Finland. Many other companies are already boasting of having their own servers, but none of them are as massive as NordVPN.
The company has also completed the transition to servers with no disks. This is a security measure that blocks tampering that does not write anything to disk. Therefore no information can be retrieved from the seizing of servers. ExpressVPN and other companies employ this method.
Privacy With NordVPN.
NordVPN is registered and operates within the legal authority that is Panama (the company also has offices in other countries), in which no laws are required to store the data at any point. The company claims that should it ever be subpoenaed. It will only be able to respond to an order from a court or a subpoena issued by the Panamanian court.
NordVPN isn’t easy to locate information about its corporate parent or any information regarding the company’s leadership through its site. A company representative informed me that it was controlled by nordvpn s.a. (formerly Tefincom S.A.). Furthermore,
NordVPN does not issue transparent reports on requests for information made by police. However, it maintains a warrant canary which indicates that it hasn’t had the requisite National Security Letters, gag orders, or warrants issued by the government.
That’s good. An audit conducted by a third party recently confirmed this. An employee from NordVPN confirmed to me the firm doesn’t earn a profit from selling customer data. Furthermore, NordVPN does not earn revenue from other sources than subscriptions to customers.
Breach and Beyond
In October of this year, it was revealed that an attacker was able to remotely access the servers of NordVPN. NordVPN states that it has no proof that an attacker accessed any significant information. The attack is discussed and its ramifications more in-depth in a feature piece on the hack. It has poured considerable time and resources into securing its methods and procedures, which includes the changes to its clusters of servers and diskless servers.
NordVPN joined forces with different VPN companies to create a VPN Trust Initiative trade group. The goal of the initiative, in addition to other goals, is to establish standards for the industry and bring some clarity to this murky world. We’re looking forward to the results of this initiative. However, it’s been largely unassuming to date. NordVPN has also established an advisory committee for NordVPN.
NordVPN has also introduced an initiative to pay cash rewards to those who discover problems with its system. These programs are intended to give more incentive for identifying and fixing bugs rather than vulnerabilities being exploited.
In the month of October in 2022, NordVPN released a statement stating that they had increased the top amount of payouts to $50,000 or greater for bugs that are critical which will further boost ethical disclosures. This is good news since there’s a real need to make use of or sell new weaknesses.
Nord VPN for Windows
To test NordVPN for testing on Windows, We used the Intel NUC Kit NUC8i7BEH (Bean Canyon) that was running the most recent version of Windows 10, but NordVPN’s app is fantastic regardless of the operating system you’re using.
The Windows client looks and feels like the NordVPN mobile applications and features an all-blue monochrome map as the main center. It’s fun with boats and submarines in cartoon-like seas, but it’s also a convenient option to select the VPN server you’d like to use. It’s more refined than, for instance, TunnelBear, though the one has a charm that NordVPN isn’t able to match.
We like the fact that NordVPN’s application strives to find a balance between precise control and set-and-forget ease of use. It is possible to change servers by clicking on a specific location in the maps or making use of the search bar near the bottom of your screen in case your geographical abilities aren’t as good as mine.
It is possible to connect with the most efficient server, the fastest server in a specific region, or even one specific server. The app displays a load of each by pointing you towards a lighter alternative.
This can be useful in creating fake locations as well as allowing you to look around in the event that the server is not available. Our only gripe? It’s all done via the use of small dropdown menus. I’d like to see the app take up some additional space so that we don’t have to look at our eyes.
The NordVPN application Kill Switch blocks connectivity to the Internet for certain applications if your computer becomes disconnected from the VPN. This is a helpful security measure.
Another useful feature is the option to deactivate your connection. This will disconnect your connection from VPN and reconnect you when you select a time interval. There are many situations when disconnecting from the VPN can be the sole choice, and the pause option helps you avoid the hassle of remembering to connect.
Alongside these tricks, NordVPN includes CyberSec, which blocks harmful websites advertising, as well as botnet control. According to the site of NordVPN, it is a DNS blocklist. However, we haven’t evaluated the effectiveness of these tools.
Nord VPN Speed and Performance
When you connect to the VPN is a good idea to consider your performance when you browse the Internet. To be able to gauge the effect a VPN has, we run an array of tests of speed using our Ookla Speedtest software. The method we use is explained in our post on the way we test VPNs.
In 2022 we observed that NordVPN reduced the speed of download tests by 28.7 percent and decreased results from tests of upload speed by 24.2 percent. But, it didn’t have any apparent effect on latency, probably due to its huge number of servers.
In the past, we’ve conducted tests on VPNs swiftly to determine the clear winner of the most efficient VPN. This Year, we’re using an ongoing model to provide more current results due to the limited availability to our PCMag Labs testing facility due to the continuing COVID-19 epidemic. Also, like many others, we’re all working at home more often than ever before. Below is a chart that illustrates the most recent results.
There’s a complete description of our speed tests results for the most speedy VPNs on our page. However, speed shouldn’t be the sole factor you consider when choosing a VPN. Quality, user-friendliness, and a dedication to privacy are the most important considerations.
NordVPN is, however, of the opinion that testing VPN speed is vital and has made an open-source tool that anyone can use to do it. We aren’t in agreement with the entire view of NordVPN regarding speed testing and prefer a more realistic method. But, the industry desperately required this type of effort to establish a standard and simplify VPN tests. We’re happy about the opportunity to invest.
macOS for NordVPN
In trying out our macOS VPN client of NordVPN, We used a MacBook Air (M1 2021) with OS Big Sur version 11.2.2. The NordVPN app worked excellently. The fun map in the macOS app is similar to the mobile version of the app. However, it’s got a lighter background instead of a dark background.
NordVPN’s macOS app is notable for its ease of use. After you log in and have agreed to allow access to your Apple Keychain, it is possible to connect quickly for any of NordVPN’s servers throughout the world.
If you’d like a little more control over the experience, scroll through the list of nations that appear on the left of the window in the app and select a country, then click on an option that opens an entire list of the servers that are located in the country you’ve chosen.
It’s certainly easier to simply pick a place on the map and connect to the VPN server that is located in that location, but it’s nice to know that the macOS version offers the option of choosing servers. It’s not the same with the iPhone version that we’re testing right now.
Similar to the iOS application. However, the macOS application doesn’t seem to leak your real DNS details. We tested this with an account in Sweden by going to the DNS Leak Test site and using the Extended Test tool, and we couldn’t find any leaks.
Performance and speed were outstanding on the two server options we tested when conducting tests. We were able to navigate Reverse or stream BTS videos as well as other content with no interruptions. The videos were a little slower than they would with our standard home network. However, we noticed no difference in our internet experience connecting to NordVPN on macOS.
iPhone used for Nord VPN
NordVPN’s iPhone application has the same design elements in green and blue and a wacky world map that is similar to that of the Windows version. The app displays a black background when the VPN is disconnected and a bright, green banner in the event that the VPN is in use.
It’s true that the iOS application does not give users the same freedom over what server you select. However, it eliminates the tiny dropdown menus you’ll find for version Windows version. Instead, you select the country, and NordVPN determines the most efficient server available for you.
You can select your VPN protocol in the settings menu. You can locate auto-connect options and configure a VPN profile. There’s an additional “Tools” menu that lets you turn on an ad-blocker and malware blocker, as well as a “Dark Web Monitor” which will tell you whether information associated with your email address is found as part of Dark Web leaks, and Siri shortcuts to allow you to connect and disconnect using your voice.
We checked for DNS leaks with two distinct VPN servers: one in Denmark and one in the United States, and according to DNSLeakTest.com, both servers produced DNS leaks. We found that NordVPN’s speeds were good, and it took only just a few seconds to locate an available server. When connected to a server located in Denmark, we were able to stream YouTube videos with no delay or interruption.
NordVPN recently released Dark Web Monitor. The Dark Web Monitor examines dark web repositories which deal in stolen login details. It’s similar to monitoring tools for data, such as Google’s Password Checkup tool or Mozilla’s Firefox Monitor.
If NordVPN detects a problem, the user will receive an alert and will proactively change your password in that service. Dark Web Monitor is currently only available for iOS, but we’re informed it will be coming to other platforms shortly.
It is currently only available on iOS. Dark Web Monitor only looks at the credentials of the email address used to sign-up for NordVPN and thus limiting the security’s capabilities. We turned to the Dark Web Monitor. It did reveal instances where usernames or passwords were found in the data dumps of breached users.
Android for Nord VPN
NordVPN’s Android application shows an uncolored header in the event that the VPN is disconnected, and it displays a bright green icon to indicate it’s a sign that the VPN is in connection. In terms of capabilities, this is the area where NordVPN excels.
Its Android version of this app includes split-tunneling as well as a Kill Switch, tap jacking security. And it also has the Dark Web Monitor, and it lets you make a customized DNS configuration.
The Android app offers some more options for VPN servers than the iPhone app but doesn’t give you nearly as much choice as it does in the Windows version. You can pick the city in which the VPN server is situated; however, there isn’t a selection of servers to select from. NordVPN can connect to the most efficient service within the city you choose.
Utilizing a Samsung A71 5G running Android 10, We examined DNS leaks with DNS Leak Test Tool. DNS leak test tool when connected to a VPN server located in Melbourne, Australia. The server didn’t leak our DNS data and also successfully concealed our real IP address.
When connecting to our server from Melbourne, we could play YouTube videos as well as stream live videos on Twitch. TV, but both websites took a couple of seconds to load, and the videos were a bit blurred and of poor quality. This is perfectly normal given how far distances are involved.
Is NordVPN Safe?
NordVPN has been rated as among the most secure VPN service providers. Security-grade encryption and secure tunneling protocols guarantee that your data is secure and that RAM powers NordVPN’s standard servers.
These servers prove to be very helpful to use as a VPN because the information is erased every time the service is restarted. As a result, there’s no data that anyone can take. Many NordVPN servers make use of this kind of technology.
After creating an account on NordVPN and installing the client, you can join any server within NordVPN’s network. The connection is secure, and your information isn’t accessible to anyone other than you. To do this, NordVPN uses the AES-256-CBC encryption, which is still the most secure option within the VPN market.
Then you’ll gain an access point to the servers via the hash function SHA-512. It converts your password into 512 binary numbers that, to the uninitiated, is nothing but a jumble of data. Then, they are compared to the cryptographic hashes created by their server while you created your account. Finally, if they are in line, you will be logged in.
The hash used is far beyond the VPN commercial typical. Many competing VPN providers utilize the SHA-256 algorithm. Therefore, NordVPN is challenging the norm in terms of what’s feasible. Its SHA-512 functionality is far more complex in its algorithm, provides much greater security for its users, and is much harder to break for anyone trying to gain access.