- User-friendly control panel
- Great speeds
- Team member management
- Military-grade encryption
- 24/7 customer support
- Premium security features
- Multiplatform apps
- Slightly pricey
- No servers in Africa and South America
From the creators of one of the most outstanding VPN services, NordVPN, comes an enterprise-level solution – NordLayer (previously NordVPN Teams). This service has high standards to meet but has all the necessary features to set itself apart from the competition. NordLayer is perfect for fully remote workforces that want a safe, efficient, and fast VPN. Employers can easily assign gateways with different servers to each team they create, using a single control panel that makes the overall experience intuitive and easy. With its headquarters in Panama and using powerful AES-256 military-grade encryption, NordLayer doesn’t shy away from providing complete protection and security for its clients. For anyone eager to try out this top-tier service, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all plans.
Nowadays, having a VPN service is necessary, especially if you’re a company with remote workers. NordLayer lives up to expectations, delivering well-rounded software with all the essential features. From the autostart option to the user-friendly control panel, NordLayer has it all covered. In addition, more expensive plans will unlock additional sets of features, such as dedicated servers and account management, and next-generation site-to-site tunneling.
Organization at Its Finest
If you’re looking for a VPN service that lets you easily assign and manage your team members’ connections, then NordLayer might be the right fit. Its centralized control panel is the perfect tool for creating and distributing teams to different servers using private gateways. These function as a customizable way of controlling your network and setting up virtual locations.
On top of this, the administrator dashboard allows you to check your team members’ login status and devices they’re using, as well as monitor server load. In case of personnel changes, you don’t need to worry about losing a user license, as NordLayer lets you transfer the old account to the new team member.
Desktop and Mobile Extensions
The desktop and mobile apps are lightweight and intuitive to use – when you open them, a list of available servers pops up, and you just need to click on the one you wish to connect to. That’s not all, as they also offer a choice between two protocols – OpenVPN and IKEv2 – as well as the ability to toggle the kill switch, auto-connect, and the ThreatBlock feature. Furthermore, you can set up a list of trusted Wi-Fi networks that may not need a VPN. There’s also the ‘smart access’ tab which allows connections between two endpoints when using the same server.
Being remarkably alike, the app’s mobile app differs from its desktop counterpart by automatically connecting to the nearest available server. Additionally, users can share diagnostics, which comes in handy when contacting customer support.
Currently, NordLayer falls short in its number of locations and servers. None of the 33 countries available are in Africa or South America, which is odd for a company headquartered in Central America. However, it includes less common options such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates, which is an excellent addition. As for servers, even though the exact quantity is undisclosed, we were told “it’s in the thousands” by the support team. Nevertheless, we expect both numbers to rise.
When it comes to testing servers’ speed across the different countries, the results are remarkable. We got the best results in Europe, where the ping was surprisingly low, and speeds were almost as high as they were with NordLayer turned off. Results were also impressive on more distant servers, where we didn’t notice any significant drop-off in speeds. Even in locations further away, like Hong Kong, speeds were more than decent, with ping increasing slightly. It seems that NordLayer provides a fast, stable, and consistent experience across the globe. Additionally, there were no problems regarding DNS leaks during the test.
Like fellow service NordVPN, NordLayer is tough to beat in privacy protection and overall security. For starters, it uses AES-256-bit encryption, the most unbreakable encryption method on the market. Although there aren’t many options to choose from for security protocols, those available are among the safest – OpenVPN (TCP and UDP) and IKEv2.
Being a cloud VPN, nothing gets stored physically, with customer data being RAM-only. According to NordLayer, they only keep track of necessary personal information such as IP and email addresses. The company also provides a hardware firewall and the option for dedicated servers with a fixed IP address for extra network security against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
On the user side, we recommend always turning on the kill switch and activating the two-factor authentication, biometrics verification, and single sign-on (SSO), since these features are great for further protecting your login data. Finally, you can enable ThreatBlock to automatically block harmful websites to avoid malware and other cyber threats.
OS, Device Support
NordLayer includes standard compatibility across all operating systems, as it runs on Windows 7 and macOS 10.13 onwards. Linux users are well covered, with the software working on anything from Ubuntu 18.04, Fedora 32, and Debian 9. As for mobile, customers with at least Android 5.0 or iOS 11.0 or later can install and use the app.
On the downside, there’s a lack of browser extensions, smart TV options, and most importantly, router support. For this reason, the number of devices that can use the software slightly decreases – something that makes sense considering Nordlayer is business-focused. However, NordLayer does allow up to six devices to be connected simultaneously to the same account.
Services tailored for businesses are often more expensive since they offer a more complete and secure package. This is the case for NordLayer, which is considerably more expensive than other VPN services, but the provider does offer all the essential features from the Basic plan upwards. Monthly subscriptions start at $9 per month per user, but you can save a couple of dollars a month if you opt for annual billing. This comes in at $84 ($7 per month per user), representing an impressive 22% discount.
The next tier – the Advanced plan – is $108 ($9 per month per user) and offers some extra features and prioritized customer support, as well as the chance to buy dedicated servers. Lastly, there is a Custom plan for larger businesses which can be designed with Nordlayer directly. You also get 24/7 premium support and next-generation site-to-site tunneling for added network security and privacy.
Unfortunately, there’s no free trial to test this VPN service, but the company provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for all plans. A great feature we’d like to highlight is NordLayer’s centralized billing, which lets you handle all expenses easily – you will only receive one invoice for all users. Payment methods include Visa, MasterCard, Bitcoin, and direct bank transfer.
You’d expect the technical support of such a reputable company to be outstanding, and the fact is that NordLayer delivers. In addition to the standard email option (by submitting a request), there is live chat available 24/7. The latter proved to be an excellent method to get in touch with NordLayer – even for non-customers – as we had all our questions answered quickly and courteously. Furthermore, the Advanced plan provides priority support with faster response times, while the Custom plan offers premium support, which guides customers directly to the technical team.
NordLayer also has an active blog and is present on Twitter and Facebook, even though these mainly function as business platforms. Its FAQ pages fall a little short, but this will likely improve with time.
NordLayer is a top-of-the-line enterprise VPN service. The high level of organization and customization is ideal for any company looking to boost its network security and data protection. However, its number of server locations is a letdown – especially compared to NordVPN – although we expect it to increase. NordLayer makes up for it with stable connections and fast speeds without DNS leaks. The centralized, user-friendly control panel allows managers to easily control the entire network system from one single dashboard, and its mobile and desktop apps are straightforward and intuitive to use. Considering this, we have no complaints about the price, even though it’s slightly higher than some competitors. The fact is that NordLayer shines as a B2B VPN service solution, with unbreakable encryption and excellent customer support.
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