NordVPN Review 2024: Is it Still the Best VPN?
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Is NordVPN reliable? Many consider it one of the top virtual private networks (VPNs) presently accessible. It boasts impressive speeds, dependable security measures, and a wide range of streaming and torrenting options that users have highly praised.
This VPN service, based in Panama, utilizes NordLynx tunneling technology to ensure lightning-fast connections and complete anonymity with unbreakable encryption. Additionally, they have undergone third-party audits to guarantee a no-logs policy.
Even if you’re new to VPNs, NordVPN’s user-friendly tools and Meshnet features make it an excellent choice. However, occasional bugs may arise after software updates that could raise concerns for some users.
Taking a closer look at this review of NordVPN will help us determine its suitability for both newcomers and experienced VPN users. What can we say about the level of protection offered by NordVPN? How well does it handle downloading and streaming videos online?
To discover the answers to these questions, continue reading!
Our Verdict – NordVPN Review
Because NordVPN is based in Panama, a nation not part of any global surveillance coalitions, it’s an ideal selection for those concerned about internet confidentiality. Moreover, NordVPN offers some of the most robust privacy and security functions, like Double VPN and Onion Over VPN.
- Exceptional productivity and speed
- These applications are user-friendly and can be utilized on many different operating systems
- Thoroughly verified security protocols that an independent entity has tested
- Provides the ability to visit video-sharing websites that are generally not available in the user’s country
- Outstanding customer service is available 24 hours a day
- Has the ability to exchange messages with 8,000 different machines located in 100 various data centers
- A refund is available within 30 days if the customer is not happy with the product
- A seven-day trial period of no risk
- The Linux version does not have a user-friendly graphical interface
- No router program is accessible
- The inability to effectively stop malware
- An overcrowded user experience on occasion
To begin with, NordVPN is situated in Panama, an ideal place for privacy since it has no data retention regulations and is not part of the 14 Eyes alliance. This means that Big Brother will not be able to interfere with NordVPN’s attempts to keep its clients’ data confidential.
NordVPN is one of the most innovative companies within the VPN business. They often introduce new security measures which significantly increase users’ privacy. NordVPN was one of the first VPNs to offer Tor over VPN reviews and has been renowned for its Double VPN feature for a while. (We will go into it in detail later on.)
Although NordVPN has a few drawbacks, it’s not the most budget-friendly VPN service and could be complicated to understand for those unfamiliar with virtual private networks. Ultimately, this review concerns NordVPN; our task is to determine if this VPN is worth it.
NordVPN Review at a Glance
NordVPN is an appealing service due to its NordLynx high speed, P2P-enhanced servers, and Bitcoin support. Despite some cons, such as slower OpenVPN speeds and higher renewal charges, it’s still a highly suggested VPN service.
When asked if NordVPN is good, its torrenting support is outstanding, and its many privacy-improving components are just as remarkable.
It’s one of the fastest VPNs we have tried. Its performance is good, and we had no issues accessing Netflix or any other restricted website.
The mobile applications NordVPN provides are much better than those of other VPN services. Utilizing and accessing the various programs is effortless, and the Windows client works well.
If you’re not tech-savvy, have no fear; helpful tutorials will guide you through setting up the VPN and the excellent customer service.
Moreover, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee where you can get a refund without any questions asked if you’re unsatisfied. It also has a vast server network.
Therefore, NordVPN is like a multi-purpose tool: it does most tasks well. A few of its competitors may have more advanced features in some areas, but NordVPN will be satisfied if you’re looking for a reliable service to do it all.
Who NordVPN is Best For
NordVPN is an excellent choice for anyone who values online security and privacy. It’s especially beneficial for
- Internet users who want to protect their online activities from cyber threats such as hackers, identity theft, and phishing
- Individuals who use public Wi-Fi networks frequently and need a secure VPN to prevent eavesdropping and data theft
- Users who want to access content that may be restricted in their region, such as streaming services or social media platforms
- People who are concerned about their online privacy and want to keep their browsing history and personal information private
- Businesses and organizations that need to secure their online communications and data from unauthorized access
NordVPN has three basic plans, known as “Standard,” “Plus,” and “Complete,” and the cost of each of these plans depends on the chosen length of membership.
The length of service includes one month, one year, and two years, and the longer you commit to one of these plans, the more money you can save.
To better understand what to anticipate in terms of cost, compare the monthly and yearly prices.
- The Standard: $4.49/month (1-year plan) and $11.99/month (1-month plan)
- The Plus: $5.49/month (1-year plan) and $12.99 (1-month plan)
- The Complete: $6.79/month (1-year plan) and $14.29 (1-month plan)
According to NordVPN reviews, committing to the Full plan for two years is a perfect choice if you’re searching for the most excellent blend of benefits and cost. There are various payment options: credit cards, Amazon Pay, Sofort, PayPal, ACH, and prepaid cards.
Additionally, Apple Pay or Google Pay can be used for checkout. The most privacy-aware buyers can also purchase in-store or online with cryptocurrency.
NordVPN Reviews Additional Offerings
NordVPN offers a VPN service, a password manager (NordPass), and a file-encrypting storage service (NordLocker) as part of its subscription package.
The Standard plan ($11.99/month or $67.35/year) provides just the VPN security, with the cost rising to $99.48/year after the first year.
The Plus tier offers data breach detection similar to HaveIBeenPwned, in addition to the NordPass password manager, and costs $12.99 per month (or $82.35 for the first year and subsequently $126.96 per year).
The Complete plan comes with one terabyte of secure cloud storage and is priced at $14.29 per month (or $101.85 for the first year, followed by $198.84 per year).
Customers can also purchase a two-year NordVPN subscription for $99.63, $126.63, or $161.73, respectively, for the Standard, Plus, or Complete packages. All of these subscriptions are renewable annually at the original prices.
NordVPN Reviews Features
In this article, we’ll give you an in-depth look at why we think NordVPN is one of the best VPNs we’ve tried and the features that make it stand out.
One of the Largest Server Networks
NordVPN is renowned for its vast and reliable network of servers, with more than 5,500 individual servers located in 59 countries around the world. To get the best speeds from your VPN, it’s essential to select a provider that has servers based in the area where you will be using the VPN.
Even though the number of countries represented is only a fraction of the nearly 200 nations, there’s a range of the best VPNs for travelers that offer a broad selection of server locations and connection speeds.
Despite its broad influence, NordVPN is located in Panama, which does not have ties to the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes surveillance unions.
International surveillance alliances are what they are – organizations that can access and share data from VPN users if the company’s headquarters are located in a nation where this is allowed by law.
Law enforcement can request a customer’s IP address in the context of a criminal inquiry. We don’t encourage wrongdoers, but it’s a significant warning sign if the government can get to a VPN user’s data without limitations.
This is why we suggest NordVPN – they don’t have any governmental agencies that can access the data.
We tested NordVPN to ensure it possessed the critical component of a VPN: a kill switch. During a storm, when our VPN connection faltered while downloading something substantial, the kill switch kicked in and shut down the download and all our apps on our mobile devices.
If this hadn’t happened, our ISP could have observed what we were doing online. We understand that if the VPN ceases, so does our access to the internet for our safety.
It was irritating having to start the download again, but we place our privacy above all else.
NordVPN made torrenting effortless and convenient thanks to its speedy download speed. We could watch as much as we wanted on the Internet thanks to the service.
We were very impressed with the Netflix viewing experience, and it was all possible because NordVPN has so many servers in multiple countries. We could access content from Netflix libraries in other countries simply by switching locations.
You can connect to any of their servers after signing up for NordVPN and downloading the software. With the encryption in use, outside listeners to the connection won’t be able to comprehend the data being sent.
NordVPN utilizes the industry-standard AES-256-CBC cryptography, and NordLynx takes advantage of the ChaCha20 protocol to give more anonymity and security.
The SHA-512 hash algorithm is employed to grant access to the server. When signing in, your credentials are transformed into 512 binary digits that are indecipherable to anyone else.
These digits are then compared to the cryptographic hashes you set up and stored on the company’s servers during account registration.
SHA-512 surpasses what is typically considered the essential security requirement for a VPN. Many VPN services use the SHA-256 algorithm, making NordVPN a leader in the field by using an even more secure SHA-512 function to give their clients enhanced protection.
With NordVPN, your smartphone will be more protected than ever before. Threat Protection is responsible for this increase in security, and it’s capable of blocking a variety of different attacks, such as:
- You can avoid potential risks to your computer by preventing websites that could contain hazardous material.
- Tired of seeing countless ads when you go to your preferred websites? No need to fret anymore, as Threat Protection will end this problem.
- Your IP address and the sites you have visited are only two pieces of information that can be collected by websites that use trackers. Fortunately, NordVPN will ensure these trackers will not be able to bypass its security measures in the future.
- Threat Protection will serve like a virtual antivirus and scan any executable files smaller than 20 megabytes you download for any possible malicious content.
NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature can now be accessed on all the company’s apps, including those for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari. This service is quite advantageous, as it works automatically without establishing a VPN connection once activated.
Dark Web Monitor
This strange safety precaution will warn you about any possible risks to the security of your private data. Your email address will be looked up in dark web markets and paste bins. In case it’s found there, hackers may have infiltrated the services you have been utilizing.
Hackers can soon access your account on multiple services if the same password is used for many websites. If your email address is available on a dark web marketplace, NordVPN will immediately notify you. The feature is compatible with all primary operating systems.
Based in Panama, an area that highly respects user privacy, NordVPN is a great choice. A court in Panama must be involved to obtain data on a customer’s activity.
Since no regulations require user information storage, NordVPN can legally operate in Panama. Therefore, it’s essential to pick a VPN service provider not situated in a Five Eyes nation or a jurisdiction that may be intrusive.
Their policy also states that your online activities while using the NordVPN services will not be watched, documented, trailed, retained, or shared with third parties.
Their programs merely accumulate diagnostic data and details about crashes. If this is unacceptable, their client enables you to revoke consent for anonymization.
Their applications simply gather diagnostic information and information about crashes. You decide you absolutely cannot accept this. If that’s the case, their client makes it simple to withdraw consent for anonymous app use at any moment. It’s not a deal breaker, however.
Security and Privacy Audits
If you were reading the preceding section and wondering if NordVPN’s promises are valuable, you’re in the right place. To prove this, NordVPN commissioned the accounting company PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).
PwC, one of the Big Four accounting firms, was ranked #5 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies last year. NordVPN’s no-logs policy has been successfully audited twice in 2018 and 2020, confirming the company’s statement that users remain anonymous.
In addition, NordVPN also undertakes its security checks. VerSprite, a cybersecurity advisory company, tested and examined its systems and applications this year. Before the report was released, all vulnerabilities had already been fixed.
NordVPN is proactively trying to improve the quality of its service by providing incentives to users who test the product and bring any potential problems to their attention via their HackerOne website. As a result, they display responsible behavior as a provider of security services.
The assessment results were impressive; NordVPN achieved a 100% score in all areas, including the top-tier vulnerability reporting program. Moreover, they grant a public research awards program and allow entries from the public.
Even their password security achieved a level four ranking. Also, there’s a requirement for re-authentication of all sensitive transactions made through the application’s API. The entire report from the certifying body is accessible to the public.
This authentication document has only recently been implemented for use in VPN applications. It was only available for Internet of Things (IoT) devices before this shift.
Due to the change, only a limited number of VPN providers can claim to possess it. NordVPN is one of the finest VPN services, and it’s positioned at the top.
Meshnet allows you to construct a safe and secure network connected to up to 60 distinct computers, including those running on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, or Android. It offers a safe way to access your home computer from work or to enjoy LAN gaming, file sharing, secure project collaboration, and more.
Moreover, the Windows application has been updated with a modern user interface, and the Android app enables voice commands to connect. At the same time, the iOS version has been tweaked with advanced in-app debugging tools.
Does NordVPN Offer a Good Level of Privacy?
The advantages of virtual private networks (VPNs) come from their capacity to utilize encryption. With NordVPN’s AES-256-GCM encryption and perfect forward secrecy (using a 4096-bit Diffie-Hellman this time), If an attacker compromises one session, they cannot access the others.
Once you connect to NordVPN, it runs a specialized private DNS server to ensure nobody can follow what sites you’re browsing online. To add another layer of security, its applications stop DNS leaks.
You can use the Double VPN method that NordVPN offers (for Windows, Mac, and Android) to have your traffic protected by one server, re-encrypted by another, and sent on its way.
The best option for protecting your anonymity when using the internet is the additional layer of security that makes it more difficult to link your actions to you directly.
Furthermore, NordVPN offers Onion over VPN support. This service encrypts the data as it goes through a NordVPN server, and then through the Tor network, it will cross three random Tor nodes to reach the final destination.
This is the most secure way to use the internet, but it won’t be a bargain. The already slow Tor’s performance will be substantially decreased due to having to go through multiple servers.
Is NordVPN Safe?
NordVPN is an exceptionally safe option due to the presence of a kill switch, which offers protection in the event of a broken VPN connection. This switch immediately cuts off all online traffic.
Additionally, NordVPN has two kill switches – one which closes down only the chosen applications when the VPN connection is lost, and the other stops all internet access.
Tests conducted by DNS Leak Test, IPLeak, etc., demonstrate that NordVPN does not allow for any DNS, WebRTC, or other leaks, and the DNS address always coincides with the IP address.
This demonstrates that both safety and confidentiality are preserved. Check out our roundup of the most reliable safe VPN companies, in which NordVPN has a prominent position, for further information about virtual private networks (VPNs) that provide top-tier protection.
Read: Best Nevada VPN
Can NordVPN be Hacked?
In 2018, one of NordVPN’s servers (not one with account information) was infiltrated by hackers. Because the corporation was so sluggish in informing the general public about the assault, it came under a great deal of scrutiny when it was finally revealed.
However, NordVPN has made a significant number of changes in order to regain its consumers’ trust.
The entire system of NordVPN servers is now based on Random Access Memory, with no disks, meaning that, even if a server were to be hacked in the future, the intruder would have no access to any stored data.
VerSprite, a security research firm, was asked to review and audit NordVPN’s applications to detect and patch any potential security flaws. Additionally, the organization launched a bug bounty program to motivate third-party users to identify and report any vulnerabilities in the service.
It seems unlikely that the installation of these measures would be sufficient to compensate for NordVPN’s tardy reaction to the events that transpired in 2018.
However, this is a significant step forward and will force the company’s products and services to undergo scrutiny that’s seldom encountered.
Alternatives to NordVPN
We have placed these two services on the same level because of the mentioned causes. They are both based outside of the boundaries of intelligence contracts, and they have declared that they are immune to any type of backdoor that could be used to try to get access to user information.
Regarding protecting confidential data, NordVPN is unrivaled as it uses the well-known OpenVPN protocol. Some customers may feel more secure knowing ExpressVPN has built its technologies and systems.
ExpressVPN claims that dynamic IP addresses are more secure, even though they do not offer this service despite its advantages. As an extra benefit, NordVPN provides a password manager and access to cloud storage.
Both of these services are fast enough for streaming and file transfers, but NordVPN is the fastest VPN, thanks to its vast network of servers (totaling 5,000+).
IPVanish VPN is the most cost-effective choice regarding the cost and features it offers, providing the required level of protection and privacy customers need. This VPN masks your IP address, thus allowing you to stay anonymous while using it.
NordVPN is ideal for dealing with sensitive data or operating in a high-risk environment. This VPN has provided free or heavily discounted services in emergency circumstances to people like democracy activists and journalists based in countries like Belarus and Hong Kong, courtesy of its vast global network of servers.
Both services have no-logging, kill switch, split tunneling, and leak prevention features. NordVPN, located in Panama, is not subject to the jurisdiction of either US or European courts or the intelligence-sharing agreement of the Five, Nine, and 14 Eyes.
NordVPN includes services such as dedicated IP and antivirus security but must be purchased separately.
IPVanish is more generous in terms of its six simultaneous connections. However, NordVPN is the better option for streamers as it allows them to access streaming services anywhere.
NordVPN Review – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who Owns NordVPN?
There needs to be more openness regarding the physical location and the company’s personnel. The NordVPN brand name is the property of Tefincom S.A.
Furthermore, it’s one of the companies that come under the umbrella of NordSec, which also incorporates NordLocker, NordPass, and NordVPN Teams (a business-oriented VPN).
The offices of the security and privacy enterprise NordSec can be found in the United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Cyprus (CY), Lithuania (LT), Switzerland (CH), and Panama (PAN).
Can You Try NordVPN for Free?
We clarified in the article that although there’s no free trial, NordVPN does provide a money-back guarantee. Customers can cancel their subscription within the first 30 days of their membership and receive a full refund should they be unsatisfied with the service for any reason.
Is NordVPN Good for Online Gaming?
There are better options than utilizing a virtual private network (VPN) for online gaming, as it could impede your connection speed and consume some of your bandwidth (as we discovered in our NordVPN speed testing).
It could even result in more latency (although the exact amount of lagging may vary substantially based on the placement of your VPN server and the game server).
The additional latency will be annoying if you often play games requiring quick responses, like first-person shooters.
However, suppose the “internet winds” are blowing in the right direction, and the server positions are advantageous. In that case, you may not detect any difference between other games and those who are more casual gamers.
While a VPN could improve your security from the unlikely possibility of being attacked by DDoS attacks and allow you to access gaming content in locations otherwise blocked, it won’t be of much help when playing games.
Does NordVPN Slow Down Your Internet Connection?
When utilizing a Virtual Private Network, even NordVPN, there’s always a tiny lag as the data is encrypted and transferred through the VPN passage. Even though there’s some change, it’s often insignificant.
Our most recent performance testing uncovered that, when NordVPN was used, users experienced a decrease in speed ranging from 6% to 8%, which is typical for VPN services. Most regular online activities should not be affected by this.
Will NordVPN Drain My Laptop or Phone Battery?
Considering NordVPN is a program that runs on your device, it will consume some of your system’s resources, which may reduce your portable device’s battery life.
Despite a few older complaints, NordVPN should not be any more draining on your battery life than any other VPN program.
Does NordVPN Work in China?
The business claims that its service will operate in China. By downloading one of the NordVPN programs, you can connect to any server, and if you’re in China, you can get even better results by activating the Obfuscated Servers feature.
Bottom Line on NordVPN Review
NordVPN stands out as a leading provider in the VPN market. It has undergone a thorough third-party audit and offers top-notch AES-256 encryption along with the NordLynx protocol.
This makes it an excellent choice for bypassing censorship while traveling to regions with limited internet access.
With NordVPN, you get great value for your money. They offer dedicated clients for Windows and Android and additional bonuses tailored explicitly for Apple users. Regardless of which operating system you use, NordVPN has got you covered.
As someone experienced in this field, I highly recommend NordVPN’s services. It’s guaranteed to fulfill all your VPN requirements. Is NordVPN reliable? Absolutely!