NordVPN service offers a complete solution with the basic VPN features you should expect from a quality provider, complemented with a couple of neat innovative features. The first of these is NordVPN’s unique double data encryption. This is an AES-256-CBC type protection that is applied twice onto the data from two different server nodes. To quote the official website, they like to think of it “as a heavy-duty crosscut shredder with a magical Reverse button”. NordVPN is a P2P-friendly service, and boasts an automatic kill switch with easy configuration options helping you to disable any software, services in case your VPN connection temporarily drops.
Talking about the latter, it is a well-established, sophisticated look. Once the page loads in, you are presented with a background corresponding to the country you connect from, welcoming you. The general atmosphere is centered on providing as much information as possible, with cues in reach on the top and the bottom of the main page, too, where even instructive tutorials are offered. Their FAQ is extensive and dives deeply into specifics where necessary, whilst still having general information available. We got the impression of a well-established company and product.
The recently renewed client also sports a simple yet informative look. The interface is user-friendly, and you can even set what purpose you wish to use the VPN for, which would automatically set the most preferable options. And since NordVPN runs operations from Panama, “there are no mandatory data retention laws” as they state in their privacy policies. This is true, and the service would actually be more different had it been in France, or the US where it would have to act under more strict laws. Our impression was that this relative freedom is present in every aspect of NordVPN.
NordVPN has servers in more than 47 different countries, backed up by 550 international servers, which is a pretty impressive number.. The full server list includes some exotic locations as well, for example South Africa, New Zealand, South Korea, India and Hong Kong. Multiple types of IP addresses are available: dedicated, static and dynamic.
Although in the past NordVPN operated with a fairly slow connection speed, they stepped up their game since then. Now they have servers in Canada, Germany and other major cities that run on 1 Gbps line, ensuring that users won’t feel held back by the VPN protection, even if they have a fast network. NordVPN’s advancements were confirmed during our speed test. We’ve chosen Germany, USA, Egypt and Hong Kong as our destinations. We conducted our research in the afternoon, but encountered surprisingly low traffic. With Germany and the USA the connection was stable, and the ping remained low enough. This was expected, as NordVPN ensured the best servers there. However, we were highly surprised with the superb run with Egypt, where the connection speed was on pair with Germany. Our only letdown was Hong Kong. Even though the traffic was above 60%, the ping was horrifyingly low, and the connection speed remained below our expectations. Still, the overall results were satisfying, and NordVPN deserves the praise for maintaining a high pace.
Next to their outstanding desktop clients, apps and overall clear and straightforward service, this is where NordVPN really shines. Several protocols are implemented within their service to ensure your hidden presence. Their own double data encryption is a testament to this; as stated earlier, this is an AES-256-CBC type protection that is applied twice onto the data from two different server nodes. Further contributing to the safe side of things is NordVPN’s strict no log policy, complete with Tor, designed against online data collectors and locators.
OS, Device Support
There is a wide selection of devices that NordVPN supports. For desktop computers and laptops, both Windows, Mac OSX as well as Linux are on the table. Chrome OS is also supported for use with PPTP, while the above are doable on L2TP and OpenVPN, too. There is just one exception: if you use Linux, L2TP privacy settings are not possible. All of them require clients to use VPN services. This is common ground though, and a slight strength of NordVPN comes from their selection of device support: Android and iOS smartphones and tablets are available on PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN, DD-WRT, Raspberry Pi and Tomato on OpenVPN, Synology on PPTP and OpenVPN, Windows Phone on L2TP and even DD-WRT routers are compatible. For the latter four devices however, no native apps are available currently; they require manual setup by following the appropriate tutorials that are provided.
The OS clients work on the same basis. One of the eye catchers in the settings of NordVPN’s desktop client is the process kill list: any application added onto that list, either by browsing or currently running processes, will be terminated once you finished your VPN connection. We would also like to note that the environment is user-friendly even here: encouraging you to read their blog (in which there are a good number of useful tips), and offering help both in and outside the client. All of these are presented in a sophisticated, polished manner that’s also easy on the eye.
On of the main focal points of service is easy access, and the pricing structure of NordVPN helps facilitating this by being similarly simple. There are three packages available for purchase, with each offering the same, unlimited access and high-security privacy. The difference is in the recurrence of payments: investing into more time costs less. The Simple package costs $8 per month; the Standard one fares at $5 per month for every 6 months, and the Best Offer plan comes at the price of $4 per month over the course of one year. Thus, you can actually halve your payments, provided you plan on using your VPN over a long period of time.
In case you feel uncommitted at first, you can still rely on NordVPN’s protection for a limited time. The 3-day trial period entitles you to enjoy all the benefits the service can offer, without an initial payment. Interestingly, this offer isn’t displayed upfront, and you need to inform the customer support to request it. Besides the free trial, NordVPN also presents a 30-day full money-back guarantee. This is available for only account in good standing. Though not the most extensive, several bank cards, credit cards are supported as the main payment method. Bitcoin, Paysera, WebMoney, PayPal and Paymentwall are supported next to the popular MasterCard and Visa duo.
NordVPN is active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest, with their own blog also running. Private contact is possible on each of these, but the preferred forms of help are e-mail – either privately or by submitting a support ticket on the official website – and the live chat. The latter especially showed quick response and assistance and also a detailed guide on how to get signed for a free trial, which was one of our subjects of interest. They deserve praise in this matter; we found their service to be adequate.
With a well designed website, great customer service, a good number of devices supported and the ease of the desktop client, NordVPN have their strengths. They work hard to innovate their service, thus improving the overall quality and eliminating flaws. They made sure to keep up with the high connection speed people nowadays have. They have a solid and well-spread presence in the world, including servers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. NordVPN heavily emphasizes the pleasant user-experience with renewed client software. For those, who seek a VPN as mean to bypass regional restrictions, the service presents up-to-date solutions, like advanced proxies against the Great Chinese Firewall, or the steady workaround for Netflix. NordVPN is both a protector and a liberator, and they definitely worth your coin.
- No log policy
- P2P support
- Polished appearance
- Unique security features
- Easy setup and usage
- Great customer support
- Speed problems
- Incomplete software selection
- Modest countries list