NordVPN Review: Is It Worth It?

Kenny Trinh Updated on September 16, 2020
NordVPN

We are pretty sure that you’ve heard or read about NordVPN, they are one of the well-known VPN service providers that offers premium VPN service. NordVPN is one of the best VPNs available today, you can use it for bypassing geo-blocking restrictions and safe internet usage. But the question is NordVPN worth it? In terms of privacy, security, features, and pricing, we’ll talk about that as we go on this review of NordVPN.

NordVPN is one of the most trustworthy VPN service providers and they’ve been in the VPN business for quite some time now, they have fast and secured network servers all around the world. Whether you’re torrenting, streaming, or need double security, NordVPN offers a good way to maintain your privacy.

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NordVPN

How Fast Is NordVPN

Recently, NordVPN launched a proprietary VPN protocol called NordLynx that vastly improved its servers speed. It uses a secure protocol that is an extension of Wireguard, this protocol is newer and more efficient than OpenVPN and IKEv2. As a result of this new protocol that they launched, NordVPN tops the list of most fastest VPNs. NordVPN is fast enough to stream any video in 4K resolution, live stream in HD, and participate in high-quality video conferencing.

Based on the speed test that we did on multiple servers like America, Europe, and Asia, the average speed of VPN connection is 112Mbps which users with average internet connections cannot notice the difference. If you are using a really fast connection like 100Mbps or more then the average speed per day may be noticeable but to sum it up. NordVPN is a really fast VPN and you can’t have any problem playing fast-paced online games especially in countries where the game server is nearest.

How Secure is NordVPN

Providing safe and secure private browsing is the main objective of NordVPN, after all the main purpose of VPNs is to keep you safe online. Here’s what we know about NordVPN encryption level, kill switch, and leak protection.

The encryption type that NordVPN uses is AES 256-bit algorithm that is one of the most secure encryption available to hide your data. This encryption algorithm is so complex and very hard to decode that even government agencies use this encryption to hide their top secrets, there are an infinite number of codes that this encryption uses to make sure no one gets hold of your data.

The secured AES 256-bit encryption is combined with a 2048-bit DH key, SHA2-384 authentication, and perfect forward secrecy. These security features are responsible for encrypting and decrypting the data that comes from your devices, they make sure your data successfully arrives at correct servers and is not compromised by hackers. Now let’s talk about what they do.

The perfect forward secrecy (FPS) is the one that assigns you a new key every time you log on to NordVPN. Basically, it makes sure that you are like a new user every time you use the VPN. It also makes sure that no data is saved from your previous session and everything wiped completely without a trace, no personal data, no online activities, in short nothing to be retrieved.

Talking about security protocol, NordVPN uses two types of security protocols. The OpenVPN UDP/TCP and IKEv2/IPSec, OpenVPN is the most secure protocol available and is used by NordVPN in the majority of its apps. You can choose between these two protocols depending on your needs but this is quite difficult to understand even for advanced users, so we suggest to use the default protocol since it is secure enough and would likely meet your security needs.

Kill Switch

Kill switch is one of the best security features for any VPN, it blocks the traffic leaving your device in case your connection form server is compromised or disconnected, in this way you are secure from DNS requests and IP leaks.

Kill switch is one of the best security features for any VPN, it blocks the traffic leaving your device in case your connection form server is compromised or disconnected, in this way you are secure from DNS requests and IP leaks.

NordVPN has a kill switch feature that adds up to its security,it is available for mobile and desktop. But take note that it is not automatically turned on in PC and Android devices so you need to go to settings and turn it on to get maximum security. Other than that it is on by default on iOS.

There are also other features that this switch offers, this extension allows you to block certain apps while staying connected or block them as you are disconnected from the VPN until your connection is restored. This is a great feature for those who are torrenting as it shuts down your P2P traffic immediately to protect your IP from leaks. Compared to other VPN services only the NordVPN offers this flexible feature so this is an extra point for NordVPN.

Split Tunneling

NordVPN offers split tunneling on mobile but you can still use the same feature on desktop by adding the browser extension. Split Tunneling is a feature basically used to split your data encryption, you can encrypt your browser activities while using the local IPaddress on other activities.

You can add the apps and sites where you want to be encrypted, this feature allows you to bypass and be safe from certain websites that are restricted to your countries. 

Leak Protection

One of the most important security features for a VPN is the leak protection as it keeps you protected from accidental exposure, so when using a VPN it must protect you from leaks that could expose your location and IP address from your ISP and hackers. It also protects you from tracking spies that can detect your real location and IP.

NordVPN offers DNS and IP leak protection that ensures to stop any accidental exposure caused by software faults and browser security flaws. NordVPN can successfully block IPv6, IPv6 isn’t usually protected when using VPN which makes you exposed but NordVPN is able to block it to keep you anonymous and secure wherever you connect regardless of what device you’re using.

Double Encryption

NordVPN takes security very seriously than other VPN vendors on the market, they offer double VPN encryption, double VPN encryption doubles your security as it routes your traffic through two servers rather than one. That means tracing your online activities is harder than ever since there is no single line of traffic and your traffic bounces from server to server in different locations.

Shared IP Addresses

Another great advantage of using NordVPN is that it uses a shared IP address, it means that if you connect to a specific server you share the same IP address as every other user that is connected to the specific server.

Another great advantage of using NordVPN is that it uses a shared IP address, it means that if you connect to a specific server you share the same IP address as every other user that is connected to the specific server. Making it very difficult to trace individually since you all used the same IP address, this feature is not present to other VPN vendors so this gives you an extra reason to choose NordVPN.

Obfuscated Servers

Obfuscated server offers extra privacy and uses algorithms to hide the fast that you are using a VPN and makes it appear that you are doing just regular internet activity. NordVPN uses obfuscated servers that are specifically designed for countries that have heavy digital censorship that makes it difficult to use VPN, by using obfuscated server not only your internet traffic and location is hidden it also hides your VPN activity so make it looks like a legit browsing activity.

This feature is particularly helpful for places or countries that impose geo-blocks and other restrictions since it can bypass those and lets you avoid government surveillance.

Doesn’t Use Virtual Server

Plethora of VPN service providers uses virtual server locations, meaning the actual physical location of servers your connection to is not actually in the country that you are connecting to. NordVPN doesn’t use any virtual servers so you can trust your connection to be routed to the country you intend to connect to.

Bonus Features Of NordVPN

NordLocker

One neat feature of NordVPN is the NordLocker that lets you upload your files to the cloud safely, it encrypts your files before uploading them to the cloud. Of Course you can share the file to people with no NordLocker as it can be decrypted by authorized persons you put on, but it is safe to assume that your files are safe from any hack attempts because the file is protected and can’t be read by hackers.

Ad Blocker

Not all ads are safe so VPNs that offer ad blocking have a plus points for us, NordVPN offers ad blocking features that keeps you safe from online profiling, phishing scams, and trackers. It also blocks the annoying pop up ads and banners that tend to slow a webpage loading time, it also has malware protection so in case you accidentally clicked any malicious links it can counter any attack.

NordVPN Compatibility, Apps, and Extension

NordVPN is compatible with all major devices like Android, Windows, and iOS, now let’s talk about using NordVPN in different platforms like Android and iOS and vice versa.

Using the app on both iOS and Android is very easy, you just need to install the app in the Apps store of Google pay and sign in your credentials, you can connect to your desired server right away. You can also use the  Quick connect feature that automatically selects the best server and saves you time in manually choosing a server.

NordVPN has a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome which is usable in both desktop and mobile. You can install this add ons to your browser to encrypt your browser activity, this is where the split tunneling feature comes in where you can encrypt the browser activities and use your real IP on other stuff. Don’t forget to turn on the adblock on browser extensions it is called Cyber Sec.

NordVPN has an app that is compatible with VPN-compatible routers, by installing the app on the router you can easily protect every device that is connected to your network. This means you can use NordVPN on wi-fi access devices like consoles and other devices which does not usually support VPN.

Number Of Servers And Locations

The fast and secure service of NordVPN is widely accepted by its millions of users around the globe and to satisfy each and every user they have 5,400+ servers that are located in 62 countries. Majority of its servers are located in the US, they have more than 1.600 server count and they have servers even in regions that have a strict cybersecurity protocol like Turkey and UAE. There are plenty of servers in Asia too, like China and other nearby countries which makes it one of the top VPN choices for Asian people.

Pricing

NordVPN offers different types of packages that includes, one month, six months, and one year subscription. The one month subscription is offered for $11.95 with a 30-day money back guarantee offer, meaning if you don’t like the service you can have your money back without any question. The six months subscription is priced $9 per month while the one year subscription is priced for $3.71 per month. Yep, you can save a few more dollars if you choose the longer subscription, the 30-day trial is there to help you decide whether it meets your expectations and go on for a premium subscription.

You can use the VPN for 6 devices simultaneously and it is compatible with the router so you can use it to protect everyone that connects to the router. They offer 24/7 support if any issues arise, they have many payment options including Paypal, AmazonPay, SoFort, prepaid cards, credit cards, cryptocurrencies, iTunes, Google pay, and many more.

Competitors

There are many known VPN service providers available in the market like ExpressVPN, SurfShar, CyberGhost, Private Internet Access and many more and most of them can compete with NordVPN in terms of security, fast servers and price. So what makes NordVPN a wise choice between this plethora of VPN choices? The answer is simple, the commitment of NordVPN to keep you safe and to offer a fast, secure, and robust server has been enjoyed by its users for 8 years since it was established in 2012.

Conclusion

Based on our NordVPN review, we can attest that NordVPN is worth it. With all the security measures and useful features that it offers, NordVPN is surely one of the most trusted and one of the most secure VPN service providers in the market.

So, is NordVPN worth it? Definitely, if you need a trusted, fast and secured VPN that will keep you safe online. But of course a free trial would give you a hint so make sure to take advantage of that!

Kenny Trinh
Article by:
Building his first desktop at the age of 10, start coding at 14 years old, Kenny knows a thing or two when it comes to finding a good laptop and he aims to share everything he knows. Current go-to laptop: Apple Macbook Air 2019.

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