As VPN service goes, it is hard to miss the NordVPN.
Currently, NordVPN is among the top recommendations in the report for the best VPN services out there. It has earned the second position, just behind ExpressVPN and has significantly improved over the past year with updated VPN apps and faster speeds.
A Panama-registered service, NordVPN provides VPN products for over a million of customers. It has a diverse and large collection of servers, strong security practices and privacy, collection of advanced features and approachable clients for most major platforms. Also, it provides clients and instructions for a broad range of devices and operating systems with excellent support for international streaming services.
Usability and Features
With NordVPN, it is easy to choose your endpoint from a desktop client that also provides shortcuts to endpoints with particular security features including DDoS protection, double VPN, support for peer-to-peer torrenting or Onion routing through the Tor network.
Its advanced settings include options to automatically connect to a VPN when Windows start and a customized list of apps which you can apply a Kill Switch to, meaning that if your VPN connection drops, this app will not be able to receive or send any data through your standard internet connections, so you can stay secure.
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NordVPN scores well for its strong IKEv2/IPsec support which provides you with AES-256-GCM for encryption and supports forward secrecy to regularly change keys to ensure that even if an attacker did manage to penetrate a session, they will be locked out in the next one.
The OpenVPN apps have also been updated that gives the service a technical lead over most of the competition. Once you are connected, NordVPN also employs Onion over VPN that routes your traffic first through NordVPNs own network and directs it over the Onion network to its final destination. It not only makes it difficult for anyone to trace you but it can also be used without any setups or installations.
In addition, there’s the Double VPN system where your traffic can go to a single VPN server, re-encrypted and sent to a second NordVPN server before it is sent to its destination.
Although privacy is a top priority for VPNs, performance is also crucial.
Once online, NordVPN performed really well. Connection times are speedy, every server was in its advertised locations and latencies were minimal. And although speeds can be a bot variable in some location, you can find a fast server which will give you excellent speeds.
According to TrustedReview, UK HTTP download came in at 8.26MB/s and FTP at 9.37MB/s. Meanwhile, the Dutch endpoint was slow but still quite speedy than most at 7.96MB/s HTTP and 8.67/s through FTP. US speeds, however, are at 6.2 MB/s over HTTPS and 5.47 MB/s via FTP.
You can also review region-locked content on BBC iPlayer, Netflix US, and All 4 as well as Shudder’s US services and Crunchyroll.
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Plans, Pricing, and Billing
NordVPN features a simple and clear pricing structure with 4 straightforward plans.
You can go with the expensive 1-month plan of $11.95, or try the effective 1-year plant with $6.99 dollars a month and save up to 41%. Or drop lower with the 2-year plan and pay only $3.99 per month and a very appealing offer of $2.99 per month for the 3-year plan.
These are great prices that match most of the quality competition. However, it is not just outperforming premium services such as ExpressVPN, for example, the $8.32 for a 1-year plan, it is also closing on budget offerings like Private Internet Access with $3.49 for over 2 years and is cheaper if you choose the 3-year plan.
Each plan is also clearly described without the sneaky marketing tricks that you will often find online. There are no misleading headline rates, no discounts that disappear on renewal and no need to sign up for years in order to get what you are promised.
Also, there is no need to provide all personal info, since it only requires your email address. Even payment choices are better than other services with support for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through CoinPayments, PayPal, cards, as well as assorted other systems including SOFORT Banking, UnionPay, Alipay and more.
And if you are not sure whether NordVPN should work for you, it also offers a 7-day trial which is not easy to see from other services. Also, once you sign up with NordVPN, you are protected with its 30-day money back guarantee.
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NordVPN Pros and Cons
- User-friendly apps
- No logs
- Over 5,000 servers worldwide
- Live chat support
- P2P allowed
- International access to iPlayer, All 4, and Netflix
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Strong customer privacy stance
- To-over-VPN servers
- Double-hop VPN servers
- 7-day free trial and 30-day money back guarantee
- Clumsy map-based interface
- Some client UI issues
- Quite expensive than most rivals
The average individual would rather risk having no protection than dealing with complicated and frustrating security software. And this is where NordVPN succeeds— by making security tool simple but does not skimp on features.
The NordVPN offers the largest collection server we have seen yet and also offers a great stance in user privacy that collects only a bit of data and operating out of the legal jurisdiction of Panama. Taken together, such factors are more than enough to justify the relatively high monthly cost and still making it a smart choice!