• No. of servers: 5,475
  • No. of countries : 59
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Android TV, PlayStation, Xbox, Fire Stick, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, or on a router.
  • Additional features: Split-tunneling Kill switch CyberSec Double VPN Dedicated IP Onion over VPN
  • Customer Service: 24/7 customer support

2021 NordVPN Review [Features, Pricing, Pros, & Cons]

  • No. of servers: 5,475
  • No. of countries : 59
  • Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Android TV, PlayStation, Xbox, Fire Stick, Chromecast, Nintendo Switch, Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, or on a router.
  • Additional features: Split-tunneling Kill switch CyberSec Double VPN Dedicated IP Onion over VPN
  • Customer Service: 24/7 customer support

Best For

NordVPN is extremely easy to set up and use

STRENGTHS

  • Advanced security features and top-of-the-line protocols and technologies
  • Works in heavily restricted regions, such as China and the UAE
  • A huge number of servers in a large number of locations across the globe
  • Available on a large number of platforms

WEAKNESSES

  • Slightly more expensive than the average VPN
  • Occasional issues with the interface and functionality

Using the internet for everything from buying and banking to entertainment is becoming an unavoidable part of daily life. But have you considered that every time you use an online service, it puts your privacy and personal information at risk? A virtual private network service like NordVPN can help protect you from both active and passive threats online.

In this NordVPN review, we’ll dissect this popular VPN service in detail to help you decide whether it’s worth it for you.

To do that, we’ll look at:

  • An overview of NordVPN
  • How it works
  • Pricing plans
  • Who it’s best for
  • Customer reviews
  • Pros and cons
  • Alternatives
  • FAQs

NordVPN Overview

NordVPN was launched in 2012 and has become a household name as a VPN tool for anyone. NordVPN is based in Panama, away from the prying scrutiny of the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes Alliances. These are international agreements between various countries to share intelligence, which may include the browsing activities of everyday internet users.

Over the years, it has released versions for a larger number of devices and has even produced other tools, such as a password manager and a secure file storage solution. Today, many consider NordVPN one of the best VPN services around for the reasons you’ll see below.

Ease-of-use

As part of our NordVPN review, we also installed and used it to understand the user experience.

NordVPN is extremely easy to set up and use. For desktop, once you’ve purchased it online, you can log into your account and download the app. After a standard installation during which you mostly click “Next”, you can log into the app and start using the VPN.

The dashboard is very simple. There is a world map to the right and a number of locations on the left. To connect, you can simply select a VPN server location to connect to or click “Quick Connect” for the fastest option. To stop using the VPN, just click “Disconnect” in the lefthand corner. That’s all you need to know!

The mobile apps are even simpler to use and can be installed straight from their respective app marketplaces.

NordVPN Features 

Despite being a straightforward VPN tool to use, NordVPN comes with a ton of features to improve security. Here are all the most important ones we identified in our review of NordVPN:

Double VPN.

NordVPN routes your VPN through an intermediary server that encrypts it for a second time. This encrypts your traffic twice, making it harder to intercept and decrypt.

Splittunneling feature.

This allows you to set certain apps to use the VPN connection and others to bypass it. This is useful if you want to have simultaneous connections by streaming or browsing for a certain location using the VPN but also use a normal connection with your current location.

Servers.

NordVPN uses over 5,400 servers in 59 locations all over the globe. This not only gives you access to a large number of location-specific connections but also improves NordVPN’s speed.

CyberSec.

This feature is similar to web protection tools you would get with anti-virus software. It protects you by blocking ads, malware, DDoS, and suspicious websites.

Kill Switch.

As soon as your VPN connection ends or is dropped, NordVPN will automatically delete all your activity and data, so that it’s not vulnerable even for a moment.

Mobile Apps.

Native apps for NordVPN can be downloaded on almost any platform, including Windows, Linux, or macOS computers, Android or iOS devices, Android TV, and even on Chrome, Firefox, or other browsers via extensions.

Strict no-logs policy.

NordVPN won’t save your browsing activity or information after your session. This prevents your data from being leaked sometime in the future.

Performance.

NordVPN’s speed has received a lot of acclaim from users and experts. It was the first VPN to receive a recommendation badge from Speedtest by Ookla. With over 5,400 servers in over 59 locations worldwide, you are also bound to find one that’s close to your location and offers the best speed possible.

Using the Quick Connect feature will automatically detect and connect you to the fastest server to save you the trouble of finding it yourself. With NordVPN, you should have no trouble streaming shows, even in HD, as long as you have a fast enough internet connection.

Connections also usually aren’t significantly slower, even if you’re connecting to a server across the globe. This makes NordVPN the best VPN service for streaming.

Security and Safety.

NordVPN comes with a number of security features that ensure your connection is as safe as possible, that your data or activity doesn’t get leaked, and that your user privacy is protected.

None of your data or activity is stored or logged by NordVPN as a matter of policy. And, a built-in kill switch deletes any session information the moment you disconnect from the VPN. Furthermore, NordVPN doesn’t use any third-party servers to prevent DNS leaks. According to NordVPN reviews, it’s simply one of the safest options around.

As well as masking your IP and covering your location using obfuscated servers like any other VPN, NordVPN also uses double encryption to secure your traffic even further against anyone looking to intercept and decrypt it.

As a final security measure, CyberSec protects you while browsing with many of the same capabilities as an anti-virus.

Customer Service

NordVPN’s customer support can be reached via live chat or you can submit a ticket via email. Going the first route, you will first need to go through the chatbot but will be connected to an agent if it can’t solve your problem. Connecting via live chat may take a couple of minutes, and you can switch to email at any time.

Going the second route, you will first need to see if there is an existing help resource that solves your issue after which you will be given the opportunity to contact support. In customer NordVPN.com reviews, the support service is often one of the highlights. NordVPN’s support staff is generally friendly, helpful, and capable enough to solve most issues.

Protocols

If you’re wondering “is NordVPN safe?”, you can rest assured that NordVPN uses a number of top industry protocols in order to secure its VPN connection:

  • OpenVPN: A robust and mature open-source VPN protocol used by most VPNs for strong and reliable connections. NordVPN uses AES-256-GCM with a 4096-bit DH key on the OpenVPN stack.
  • IKEv2/IPsec: NordVPN uses NGE (Next Generation Encryption) in IKEv2/IPsec for strong cryptographic algorithms and keys, combined with SHA2-384, PFS (Perfect Forwarding Secrecy), and 3072-bit Diffie-Hellman keys.
  • NordLynx: This is NordVPN’s in-house tunneling protocol that’s used by them as well as many other top VPNs built around the WireGuard protocol (considered the safest and fastest VPN protocol, but still highly experimental).

How Does NordVPN Work?

NordVPN works similarly to most other consumer VPNs. It uses a network of servers in locations all across the globe. You can connect to any of these servers from any location in the world through a VPN.

Using this technique, NordVPN does two important things. Firstly, it secures your connection by encrypting the traffic from and to your computer. This prevents it from being intercepted by someone that can then see your activity, log-in details, and location. It does this using the technologies and protocols described above.

Secondly, it masks your location so that it appears that you’re connecting from the area where the server you are connected to is located. This stops others from tracking your location. This second feature can also be used to access region-locked sites by connecting to a server that’s in that region.

NordVPN Pricing Plans

The good news is that you get all the features, capabilities, and the same level of privacy, security, and performance for a single NordVPN price. All you need to choose between is what type of billing suits you best and whether you’d rather pay more upfront but save over time or vice versa.

1-month plan 1-year plan 2-year plan
Per month $11.95 $4.92 $3.71
Per year $143.40 $59.00 $44.50 (billed $89 for 2 years)
Savings 0% 58% 68%

What is NordVPN Best For?

Here are the top reasons you might want to use these services according to our NordVPN.com review:

  • Streaming high-quality shows
  • Avoiding country restrictions or geoblocking websites
  • Torrenting or using P2P sharing
  • Shielding your identity, activity, and location online
  • Protecting yourself from malware, malicious websites, ads, or other intrusions while browsing
  • Keeping you safe on public Wi-Fi networks
  • Use on all of your devices to secure your connections

How to install NordVPN

As part of our review of NordVPN, we’ve installed the software to check just how easy it is. There aren’t many steps to it, so it’s mostly the same process no matter whether you install it for macOS and Windows or Android and iOS devices.

Here are the steps for installing NordVPN on Windows:

  1. Go to NordVPN.com and click the “Get NordVPN” button.
  2. On the next page, choose the pricing plan that suits you best from the three options. Scroll down to see whether NordVPN automatically included any of their other products and select/deselect them according to what you want.
  3. Click “Continue to Payment” at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Review your order, make sure the correct country is selected, add your account details, and provide your payment information. You can change your preferred payment option from the top left of the page.
  5. Complete the payment and you’ll see an option to download NordVPN, so click the button.
  6. Run the NordVPNSetup.exe installation file.
  7. Go through the installation as prompted, you can keep all the default configuration settings.
  8. In the end, you should be given the option to immediately run the app, so take that option and log in with your account details from above. That’s it, you have now installed and can run the app and use all the NordVPN features.

NordVPN Customer Reviews

Unfortunately, there is no BBB profile for NordVPN, although it has been in the business since 2012. However, they have an excellent rating of 4.2/5 on Trustpilot from over 5,500 NordVPN customer reviews. In general, most of the highly positive reviews are regarding NordVPN’s customer service which users say are helpful, quick to respond, and knowledgeable.

On the other hand, the negative reviews of NordVPN usually point to issues with launching the app, connecting to the VPN services, or with billing. That said, these are in a minority.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the most important pros and cons we identified in our review of NordVPN:

Pros

  • A huge number of servers in a large number of locations across the globe
  • Advanced security features and top-of-the-line protocols and technologies
  • Works in heavily restricted regions, such as China and the UAE
  • Available on a large number of platforms

Cons

  • Occasional issues with the interface and functionality
  • Slightly more expensive than the average VPN

Alternatives

Here are some of the top NordVPN competitors for you to consider if you’re looking for a new VPN service:

Surfshark vs NordVPN

With 3,200 servers in over 63 locations, Surfshark has fewer servers but is spread over a wider geographical region. It uses many of the same protocols and security measures as NordVPN and its CleanWeb feature (just like NordVPN’s CyberSec) can protect you from other threats. Surfshark’s camouflage mode can hide your VPN usage even from your ISP. The pricing is similar with Surfshark being slightly more in the short-term but cheaper on a 3-year plan.

You can read our full Surfshark review here.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a slightly more expensive option than NordVPN, but has servers in 94 countries globally and is available on an even wider range of devices, such as a Nintendo Switch. ExpressVPN also features split-tunneling and a kill switch and uses top protocols and encryption techniques. ExpressVPN doesn’t feature multihop or double encryption but is nonetheless a secure and easy-to-use VPN.

Avast SecureLine VPN vs NordVPN

Avast is originally an anti-virus developer that now also offers a VPN product. It’s easily one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, starting at only around $4 month-to-month. Avast SecureLine isn’t available on as many different types of devices, but you can install the app on up to 10 devices with a single account. It has 700 servers in 34 countries and uses 256-bit AES encryption.

Wrap Up

To conclude our NordVPN review, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular and reliable VPNs on the market. NordVPN outdoes many of its peers in terms of advanced connection security, its adherance to top-industry standards, and performance all over the globe while still coming at a competitive price.

NordVPN is the best VPN service for those who want to stream high-quality content with some of the highest connection speeds on the market. However, everyone who needs a VPN will benefit from using NordVPN.

FAQ

Is Nord VPN worth the money?

Yes! First of all, NordVPN is similarly priced to most of its competitors, and cheaper than most on a monthly subscription. While there are more affordable services, they often can’t match NordVPN in terms of performance, security, and advanced features.

Is NordVPN trustworthy?

Yes! NordVPN is registered outside of the jurisdictions of the Five Eyes and Fourteen Eyes Alliances. It has a track record of putting consumers’ privacy above anti-privacy laws. In its history, there have been almost no security incidents, and NordVPN uses some of the best security and protocols available.

Is NordVPN good for Netflix?

Yes! You shouldn’t have any trouble streaming HD shows thanks to its speed and the fact that it’s got servers all over the globe. When writing our NordVPN review, we tried it with Netflix as well. NordVPN can be used to subscribe to Netflix if it’s not available in your country. It can also be used to access country-specific libraries.

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