NordVPN Review: Detailed Testing & Analysis (17 Pros and 3 Cons) – Updated April 2019

3
NordVPN
NordVPN
Overall Rating

Best For

  • Security
  • Cheap
  • Torrenting
  • KodiKodi
  • NetflixNetflix
  • HuluHulu

Supports

  • Streaming
  • iOS
  • Android
  • BBC iPlayerBBC iPlayer
  • Windows
  • Mac
$11.95
$2.99 Per Month

NordVPN might be considered a giant in the VPN industry, but it is important for us to know if it really delivers the value to its customers.

With so many sites recommending NordVPN, it is impossible to know the right information.

Not until I perform an in-depth NordVPN review with detailed testing and analysis.

The results will decide on their own if you want to purchase the VPN service or pass it on!

I reviewed NordVPN to find out:

  • Is NordVPNs double VPN encryption powerful?
  • Does it fall under 5 eyes,9 eyes and 14 eyes?
  • Does it unblock Netflix with all devices?
  • Is NordVPNs speed too slow?
  • Does NordVPN leak IP?
  • Is the price worth it?

You will find all these answers and more with screenshots and real-live images for the different tests I performed.

Let’s examine what I like and dislike about NordVPN.

Don’t want to read the whole review? Use filters instead……



NordVPN-review-infographic

+ What I liked about NordVPN

Liverpool FC Makes NordVPN their Cybersecurity Partner

Liverpool Football Club has announced that it has made the new global partnership with the leading cybersecurity company i.e. NordVPN.

NordVPN-Liverpool-FC-Cybercurity-Partner

The decision was made in the light of increasing importance of online safety and security.

NordVPN will now work with LFC to provide fans with online solutions across their devices. The idea is to protect their online supports present around the world.

NordVPN will protect their online security and identity when they access unsecured networks such as public Wi-Fi in stadiums, hotels, cafés, airports, etc.

Billy Hogan, LFC Director, and CCO said

“We’re delighted that NordVPN has become our first official cybersecurity partner. With so much information constantly shared online, we’re committed to introducing greater levels of protection to secure the confidential data of our fans”

NordVPN-LFC

The fun part is, you also get a chance to win tickets to LFC home games!

Jurisdiction (Panama is a ‘No Data Retention Law’ Country)

NordVPN is based in Panama, a country known for its beautiful islands, an abundance of mountains and rainforests, but most importantly a country having no data retention laws.

Panama-Jurisdictions-NordVPN-review

Panama does not fall under 5 eyes, 9 eyes, or even 14 eyes intelligence sharing countries. That means Panama is not liable to share users’ information to any other country if required.

Even though Panama does not fall under internet surveillance countries, but we do know that Panamanian Justice accused former President of Panama Ricardo Martinelli for abusing privacy rights by illegal wiretapping of more than 150 people.

On top of that, the Forum of Journalists conducted a poll in 2012 in search of freedom of speech for journalists in Panama.

It concluded that 82% of local journalists’ freedom of expression was restricted by threats from President Martinelli.

Despite the fact that President Martinelli no longer governs Panama, we are still unsure if there will be a violation of privacy and human rights again.

But still… Panama is the safest county in terms of online privacy having no data retention laws.

True No Logging Policy

In conjunction with NordVPN’s jurisdiction of operation, which by the way doesn’t fall under the 5 eyes and other surveillance alliances, their logging policy is pretty much spotless.

NordVPN legitimately doesn’t keep logs, in fact, it is clearly stated in their privacy policy.

NordVPN-Review-for-Privacy-Policy

Although their privacy policy did sound convincing, I decided to contact customer support to cross verify their claims.

NordVPN-live-chat-support

I have to admit after a quick chat with the customer support representative, I was convinced that they don’t keep any logs. By that, I mean usage or connection logs.

If you don’t know what connection and usage logs are, I highly suggest you check out my in-depth VPN logs research guide.

Anyways, the only things they do keep logs of our Email address, Payment data and server performance data to be exact.

Don’t worry though, this type of information is pretty standard and wouldn’t actually compromise your true identity.

Is NordVPN tracking users’ location through latitude and longitudes on Linux?

As per the comment of one NordVPN user on Reddit, the provider may access to your original location through latitudes and longitudes.

In case you use its Linux app, you can find an unusual file by the name of insights.dat in your NordVPN app data.

NordVPN-may-track your-original locations-with-Longitudes

In order to clear the air and discover the truth, I contacted its customer support and received the following response:

“We do not track or store any personally identifiable information. Upon connecting to a VPN server, our applications send a call to our API, which has access to a geo IP database for determining an approximate user location.

This is done so that the app could identify the best server for the user and connect to it. The location data is then stored locally, on the user’s device. We do not save this information anywhere else.

Without storing that information, the app would be unable to determine the best server in cases when the user is already connected to a VPN server.

If the user clicked ‘Quick connect’ while connected to a remote server, the app would choose where to connect from the server’s standing point, not from the customer’s perspective.

The folder that contains the location data can only be accessed with root privileges. We could use ping to determine the best server as well, which we did in the past.

However, pinging more than 5000 servers would take a lot of time and device resources.

The method we’re using right now doesn’t compromise users’ privacy and is a lot more efficient.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to ask”.

The above feedback from NordVPN suggests that they do not have any intentions regarding the users’ logging whatsoever.

When you connect to any NordVPN server, their API received a particular message instantly. They are bound to take this initiative as it helps the provider in identifying the best server location for the user.

Therefore, they are supposed to store users’ location data since they cannot determine the best servers for the users if they are connected to other VPN servers already.

Not to forget that NordVPN does not store users’ location data anywhere else other than their own devices.

However, the story does not end here.

The Reddit follower also indicated that you should use an OpenVPN client instead of using the company’s default client.

This is how you can tackle such situations proactively.

Encryption

NordVPN has 256-bit encryption, which is the strongest VPN encryption in the industry. But most importantly it has a Double VPN Encryption.

It means, NordVPN encrypts your internet traffic not once, but twice.

But… how is it different from other VPN providers that do not offer this feature?

To answer this, I must explain how a single VPN encryption and double VPN encryption works.

When you are connected to a single VPN encryption, it means your internet traffic travels through a remote VPN server.

Single-VPN-Encryption

It changes your IP address and encrypts all your data that are sent and received over the internet. Simple.

Double VPN encryption adds an extra layer of protection. It does everything that a single VPN encryption does, but the internet traffic passes through a second remote VPN server and gets encryption one more time.

Double-VPN-Encryption

One thing you must know is that this feature does not activate on itself. You will find a ‘Double VPN’ option in NordVPN app under ‘Specialty Server’ tab.

NordVPN-Dedicated-IP-Use

Once you click on it, NordVPN will find you the best server. At the bottom of the picture, you can see 2 VPN servers appearing i.e. Russia and Netherlands.

It means, first it connected to the Russian server, and from there it connected to Netherland server. See the difference?

This way, you reach the internet destination securely and privately.

Extremely Frugal price plans

Discounted plans:

NordVPN is extremely affordable, in fact, if you compare it to ExpressVPN, it’s without a doubt a lot cheaper (in a good way).

The plans are pretty straightforward and there is no flashy premium, elite or platinum kind of pricing plans. Instead, it just offers a simple 3 year, 2 years, 1 year and a regular 1-month plan.

Best of all:

All of the above-mentioned plans expect the regular monthly plan comes with pretty hefty discounts.

How much exactly.

Well, take a look at their plans below.

NordVPN-pricing-plans-and-discounts

Now granted, you’ll find cheaper options on the internet. However, rest assured, none of them can offer so many features and servers at such a frugal price point.

Personally, I’d go with the 3-year plan since its much cheaper, plus I wouldn’t have to worry about my subscription expiring anytime soon.

Overall, I believe NordVPN pricing plans leave little to be desired.

Business plans:

In addition to its conventional pricing plans, Nord also offers bespoke packages for small and medium-size businesses.

Availing this service is also super simple. You just need to inform the provider regarding the number of accounts you require. After doing so, you will receive a quote within 2 days.

Even though I have not used this service myself, I’m glad they’re at least offering one.

7-day NordVPN trial:

Before I started my review NordVPN, I actually got myself a 7-day NordVPN free trial just to get familiar with their service.

I was also quite impressed by the fact that they actually include all the premium features as well in the trial version.

Easy & secure payment options:

Nord also offers some of the most flexible payment options I’ve ever seen.

Instead of just offering payment gate for a visa, MasterCard and PayPal, NordVPN goes to some great lengths at offering a wide range of diverse payment options, even including support for anonymous cryptocurrencies.

  • Bitcoin
  • PaySera/WebMoney
  • Credit Card (via PayPal)
  • PayPal (See the best VPN services for PayPal here)
  • Sofort Banking
  • iDeal
  • ALIPAY
  • GiroPay
  • Ethereum
  • Ripple
  • Cash (For US residents)

NordVPN ditches PayPal following the partnership with Adyen

Nordvpn-paypal-issue

NordVPN hosts a variety of payment options. From crypto to credit cards, NordVPN basically supports them all.

This includes PayPal too. It’s all pretty standard, you head on over to their site, select a payment option and check out.

However, things have changed in the past few days.

You see, what many have failed to notice is their recent discontinuation of PayPal support.

Yup, that’s right, you can no longer purchase a NordVPN subscription through PayPal.

Now, there isn’t much available online regarding this sudden shift. Heck, I just found out about this issue through Twitter.

In response to a recent Tweet, NordVPN linked their official blog post explaining the reason behind ditching PayPal.

Here’s what went down:

Basically, they were too concerned about the growing number of security risks that they have finally discontinued their long term partnership with PayPal.

Instead of relying on PayPal, NordVPN has now shifted to a self-hosted payment processing solution. Doing so, NordVPN will manage all customer data and recurring subscriptions themselves.

So who are they substituting PayPal with?

Well from now on, instead of PayPal, Adyen will manage all of NordVPN’s secure transactions.

For those of you who don’t know, Adyen is among the world’s leading payment providers. Unlike PayPal, Adyen provides a self-hosted payment system.

According to NordVPN’s official’s blog post:

“The versatility that Adyen offers and its experience with markets all over the world will help us become even more flexible and better at pursuing our goals”.

Without a doubt, PayPal has always been a pretty viable payment option. Now only time will tell how Ayden ones up them.

What do you guys think about this sudden shift? Let me know in the comments.

Exceptional NordVPNs Specialty Server Types

While I was reviewing NordVPN, I can’t help looking at the abundance of features that I found under the ‘Specialty Server’ option located on the left menu of the app.

There are 5 types of servers available. Each server type is important depending upon its usage. made I will describe them one-by-one.

You will find the list below:

  • P2P
  • Dedicated IP
  • Double VPN
  • Onion Over VPN
  • Standard VPN Server
  • Obfuscated server

P2P servers

These servers are best for torrenting because they are optimized for P2P sharing. You get to choose from hundreds of servers.

While downloading torrent, which is a risky business in its own self, NordVPN has no bandwidth limits and would not log your internet activity.

I have discussed P2P servers in the torrenting section in detail.

Dedicated IP

This is your personal IP address given to you by NordVPN. It will never be shared with other NordVPN users and is yours to use all the way.

This feature costs extra other than the VPN account you purchase. NordVPN has dedicated IP address for only 4 countries i.e. UK, US, Netherlands, and Germany. It costs users $70/year for each country IP.

I have discussed how to setup NordVPN dedicated IP in this guide below in detail.

Double VPN

Double VPN encryption is double-layered protection by NordVPN where you connect to two different servers before reaching the internet.

For example, once you enable double VPN protection, it will route you to one country, then another country until you reach your destination.

I have discussed how to access double VPN encryption in the guide below in detail.

Onion Over VPN

When it says onion, you’re probably aware why NordVPN is giving its feature that name. That’s because onions have layers.

NordVPN tried to combine the feature of The Onion Router (Tor) and the VPN itself. The Onion Over VPN servers does the same work as Tot browser and more.

When you are using Tor, your ISP knows you are using Onion, though it will not know what you’re using it for. But Onion Over VPN will give you an extra layer of protection of having your online traffic protected with a VPN tunnel.

You can also connect to standard VPN server while using Tor browser and it will shield you from third-parties and even protect your online activity from being tracked by ISPs.

Standard VPN Servers

NordVPN has a huge server count currently standing at 5,254 servers and presence in 60 countries.

I find the addition of new servers every other week, which is impressive to say the least.

The greater number of servers meaning greater internet freedom. You get to access more websites that are located in a particular country/city region.

Obfuscated Servers

If you face heavy online restrictions in your country, only then you’re suggested to use one of Nord’s obfuscated servers.

A country like China where the cyber environment is extremely complicated, a VPN requires advanced methods to bypass their firewall.

This is where obfuscation comes to play. It involves high technological complexity also known as ‘Plan B mechanism’ that tries alternate ways to connect to a VPN when the standard method fails.

These servers, therefore, can bypass their network firewalls.

Be sure that they are only be used in a restrictive environment. In any other cases or countries, you’re good to use standard VPN servers or other specialty servers.

NordVPN Dedicated IP Address

NordVPN offers dedicated IP address for only 4 countries i.e.

  • US (LA and Dallas)
  • Germany (Frankfurt)
  • UK (London)
  • Netherlands (Amsterdam)

NordVPN-dedicated-IP-address

$70 is the annual price for NordVPNs dedicated IP address for any ONE of these countries. This makes it around $5.83/month for each IP.

It’s a lot! And, you will need a valid VPN account to avail this benefit.

But why is it necessary to get a dedicated IP address? And why it is so expensive?

Every time you connect to a VPN, your original IP address is replaced with a VPN IP, which is shared by all NordVPN users.

If you purchase dedicated IP, NordVPN will hand you a personal IP which will only belong to you.

Sometimes shared IP address may get blacklisted by websites, such as while accessing Netflix or any other website. It will give you access to sites that have IP limits.

To get NordVPN IP address, you need to subscribe to NordVPN. Once you have subscribed successfully, go to the same page you will see an option ‘Get Coupon’

Insert a code i.e. dedicatedip

NordVPN-dedicated-IP

The coupon code will turn green, which will mean that the code is accepted. Just check out by entering payment details.

Now you will have 2 NordVPN accounts. One for a VPN account and other for dedicated IP address.

Now open NordVPN app on your device and click on Dedicated IP address tab located on the left menu.

dedicated-IP-NordVPN

It will connect you to whichever country IP you have purchased.

To get more coupons, visit our NordVPN coupons guide.

Kill Switch

NordVPN-kill-switch-feature

The NordVPN Kill Switch feature worked flawlessly for me.

To test the kill switch feature, I simply closed one of the running NordVPN services from the task manager.

As soon as the error message showed up, I immediately noticed that my internet connection got disabled.

Nord-not-working-error-message

NordVPN-kill-switch-disables-internet

Compatibility

NordVPN is available in almost all devices that are frequently used by online users. These include Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, Android TV, Linux, and browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

NordVPN-Compatibility

You can download NordVPN app for some of these devices from below:

Windows App: NordVPN Windows Download or Windows Store

Android App: NordVPN APK Download or Google Play Store

iOS App: NordVPN App Store

Expert Customer Support

One of the biggest gripes I have with most VPN providers is with their customer support. Not only are they often time technically uneducated but also painstakingly slow.

Fortunately, I didn’t encounter any such issues with Nord.

NordVPN support can be contacted two ways, either through direct 24/7 NordVPN Chat or Email ticketing system.

NordVPN-Email-Ticketing-System

Either way, the support staff of the VPN is proficient and has firsthand knowledge of the brand.

Moreover, NordVPN chat support is actually 24/7. I tested in different instances of day and it was available every time.

Best of all:

Even if you ask a relatively technical question you’ll still get a human response as opposed to copying pasted answers.

NordVPN-customer-support

Overall I was extremely impressed by their customer support.

Malware Blocking (Securely Shop Online with NordVPN)

Did you know that there are on average 23 fake websites for every online retailer?

Luckily, NordVPN prevents your devices against phishing attempts from online hackers and cybercriminals.

But how?

There’s a feature called CyberSec that block ads and malware.

When the first time you access NordVPN, it asks whether to enable CyberSec feature. Always enable it to enhance your browsing experience.

CyberSec feature will block suspicious websites or any online retailer website that it believes can infect your device.

You would need to turn this feature ON, by going into Settings and scroll down to enable CyberSec.

CyberSec-NordVPN-Review

To conclude, it will give you 3 benefits:

  • Block dangerous websites
  • Avoid botnet control
  • Skip annoying ads

NordVPN Does Not Leak DNS

If your Domain Name Server (DNS) is leaking while you’re using a VPN, you are busted!

That is why I performed a DNS leak test on NordVPN and it passed with flying colors.

Here is what I did:

  • I visited DNS Leak Test website (without NordVPN)
  • Noted my Country and IP
  • Visited the website again to see whether it leaks my IP

My IP and Country (without NordVPN)

NordVPN-DNS-Leak-Test-without-VPN

My IP and Country (with NordVPN US server)

DNS-Leak-Test-with-NordVPN

NordVPN Does Not Leak IP

I applied the same process going into NordVPN IP Leak Test and I was fascinated to see my IP wasn’t leaking when connected to NordVPN.

I visited IP Leak Test website and checked on my IP.

My IP (without NordVPN)

IP-Leak-Test-without-NordVPN

My IP (with NordVPN US server)

NordVPN-IP-Leak-Test-with-VPN

NordVPN P2P review, Torrenting without a fear

In my experience reviewing VPN services for a living, I’ve often encountered services that don’t usually support P2P.

For instance, just at the top of my head, TunnelBear doesn’t support P2P at all. In fact, they use to have an entire landing page explaining why.

While it’s understandable why VPN providers don’t want to deal with intricate copyright issues, you’ve got to admit a VPN isn’t complete without P2P support.

Thankfully this isn’t the case with NordVPN. On the contrary, you’ll be glad to see there’s a dedicated option just for P2P in the NordVPN client.

NordVPN-P2P-Support

downloading-torrents-with-NordVPN

NordVPN in China: It Works!!!

For users in China, NordVPN came up with obfuscated servers.

Countries like China that has strict internet laws and regulations, the so-called Firewall of China, obfuscated servers work best.

Obfuscated server option is technically disabled in NordVPN app. To enable, you need to tap Settings and scroll down to click on Advanced Settings.

Enable obfuscated server option and return to servers tab on top.

NordVPN-review-for-China

Here you will find Obfuscated server appear in the left-side tab. Once you click on it, users in China can easily connect to the best server available.

For a detailed review, visit our guide NordVPN for China and unblock Chinese Firewall.

NordVPN Introduces Warrant Canary

NordVPN has introduced warrant canary which is a statement that is regularly published confirming that they have not received a secret warrant, gag order, subpoenas, or national security letters from the government.

In the US and other jurisdictions that fall under 5, 9, and 14 eyes countries, the government can serve ISPs, companies, and VPN service providers with secret warrants.

These warrants are designed to force companies to hand over any record or detail about a customer for investigation.

At the same time, companies are forbidden to inform users about such a request.

This is where a Warrant Canary comes in to play. NordVPN regularly published its statement on its website saying:

  • It did NOT receive National Security Letters
  • It did NOT receive gag orders
  • It did NOT receive any warrants

Once this statement disappears from its website, users will know that NordVPN is served with one of these. Since its inception, NordVPN hasn’t received any warrants.

Even if it did, NordVPN promises NEVER to hand over users’ data because they have none. They are based in Panama where gag orders and warrants are not legally possible.

Passed CDT Checklist

CDT is an organization that fights for global online civil liberties and human rights. It is a staunch advocate of a free and open internet.

It has created a checklist for online consumers in choosing the right VPN, to which it calls ‘signals of trustworthy VPNs’.

It has set out a few questions for all VPN service providers. If consumers could find reasonable answers to these questions related to NordVPN, then they should be satisfied with their security.

Here are some of the questions:

What is the public facing and full legal name of the VPN service and any parent or holding companies?

There were rumors that NordVPN was in fact owned by the Lithuania-based data-mining company called Tesonet.

The rumors were laid to rest when we dig deeper. NordVPN is indeed one of many Tesonet’s many partners. But does it make you worry about your data and online privacy?

It should Not!

Tesonet protected users’ privacy by registering the company in Panama (that doesn’t have data retention laws) where it is not legal to demand data by authorities.

The relationship between NordVPN and Tesonet doesn’t affect users, neither does it pose any concern.

Does the company, or other companies involved in the operation or ownership of the service, have any ownership in VPN review websites?

NordVPN doesn’t have any stake in a VPN review website, that’s for sure. But, it is hard to deny that NordVPN controversy with Trust Pilot was a hard pill to swallow.

NordVPN is accused of submitting fake reviews on Trustpilot. The review website then removed all the fake scores so their TrustScore fell down to 5 from 9.

What is the service’s business model (i.e., how does the VPN make money?

NordVPNs earn revenues from their sole business model i.e. from VPN subscriptions. NordVPN does not sell data to third-parties since they are based in Panama, that doesn’t require you to retain consumers’ data.

NordVPNs Non-Profit Organization Program

NordVPN helps the non-profit organization by giving them discounts on VPN subscription.

Even journalists and human rights advocates can apply for this offer. These individuals can ensure

  • Safely communication with their sources
  • Report the news without fear of being watched
  • Secure access to information

Let us check what non-profit organizations have to say about NordVPN.

Amnesty International, a global human rights movement of 7 Million + people…

“NordVPN is essential to Amnesty to ensure that employees are kept safe by offering a stable and high-grade VPN service that has global coverage.”

Guardian Angel, Children’s Charity based in NY City…

“NordVPN provides us with the privacy and security that we need to keep our programs discreet, and our program participants safe”

– Now for the things, I dislike about NordVPN

NordVPN Speed Test

Keeping your online privacy secure isn’t the only thing you want when using a VPN, but speed matters too.

The part that truly haunts VPN users, the dreaded speed drop.

Having said that:

I tested the speed of NordVPN on a long-distance server and short-distance server.

I will be displaying real live speed test results with you all below as I go along while testing.

Here are variables for the speed test:

  • Physical location: Netherlands
  • Internet speed (without NordVPN): 31 Mbps
  • Long-distance servers: the US and Australia
  • Short-distance servers: UK and Switzerland

Internet speed (Without NordVPN)

Speed-without-internet

Long-distance server:

United States- New York server (5.0 Mbps)

NordVPN-Speed-with-US-server

Distance from my destination: 7,457 Km

The decline in Speed: 84%

Australia – Sydney server (4.3 Mbps)

NordVPN-Speed-with-Aus-Server

Distance from my destination: 14,784 Km

The decline in Speed: 86%

Short-distance server:

The United Kingdom – London server (7.1 Mbps)

NordVPN-Speed-with-UK-server

Distance from my destination: 515 Km

The decline in Speed: 77%

Switzerland – Swiss server (2.9 Mbps)

NordVPN-Speed-with-Swiss-Server

Distance from my destination: 820 Km

The decline in Speed: 90%

What I Conclude with NordVPN Speed Test

I was disappointed with the speed results while knowing how much I was liking this VPN provider.

With 31 Mbps internet connection, I was only able to achieve a maximum of 7.1 Mbps of speed is not acceptable.

I was expecting poor results for long-distance servers for the US and Australia, but getting a 2.9 Mbps speed in Switzerland is not up to the standard.

NordVPN with Netflix (Only works in Windows & Mobile Apps)

NordVPN works with Netflix no doubt, but it does not work on Android-based boxes, TVs, and Fire TV/Stick devices.

I encountered this problem when I was done testing NordVPN Netflix on Windows and Mobile Apps. But when I tested it on Nvidia Shield, it would not work.

I checked it with their customer support and there they confirmed that NordVPN is currently not working with Netflix in Nvidia Shield and other devices I mentioned earlier.

nordvpn-not-working-with-netflix

NordVPN Trust Pilot Controversy

Trustpilot is a genuine and transparent consumer review website. On 6th August 2018, Trustpilot notices unusual activity under NordVPNs review panel.

NordVPN-review-Trustpilot

Upon further investigation, it found out that some users were submitting a fake review with a 5-star rating.

That, unfortunately, got linked with NordVPN since it was responsible for its review panel.

Trustpilot deleted all the fake reviews in reply and assured users that manipulation of reviews is a threat to their consumers and business.

Currently, its TrustScore has fallen to 5 from 9 with 339 reviews.

NordVPN-review-Trustpilot-score

Key Takeaways

Only after I conducted a detailed NordVPN review, I placed NordVPN at #3 position in our VPN table trailing behind PureVPN and Surfshark.

The most outstanding fact was its partnership with Liverpool FC, its malware blocking feature, and warrant canary. Pricing is good too.

Speed test was the only thing I could not comprehend. Besides that, all is good.

I would definitely recommend our readers to go for this VPN.

 

 

Shahmeer Baloch

Shahmeer Baloch

Author
Posts by Shahmeer Baloch

Shahmeer Baloch's Biography :


Shahmeer Baloch is a marketing professional-turned-tech writer who despite had a successful career at Evyap made a drastic change when his interest in technology and international cyber laws became evident. Baloch’s love for new technology is profound and well addressed. Loves to play tennis on weekends.


56 Responses to NordVPN Review: Detailed Testing & Analysis (17 Pros and 3 Cons) – Updated April 2019

  1. xcbk3 says:

    I don’t know how they did it but there is some huge conspiracy regarding NordVPN. Everyone gives them a 10/10 perfect score and offer coupons which makes it seem too good to be true, well it is. Have gigabit internet? not anymore you don’t. prepare to be limited to downloading at 1.5mbps across the board. this has nothing to do with traffic or server or locations, there is a straight up cap on speed. the congestion will factor into the stability of that “speed”, but it will inevitably fall thanks to the auto connect algorithm. anyone having too good of an experience will get bombarded with the next wave of people auto connecting, should your experience be too good.

    I never had this kind of experience, ever, with PIA. There were no hard caps on speeds and you could roulette yourself into actually getting on a good server which reflected your speed. My stupid self believed all the hype and ended up committing for 3 freakin years because it was only $99. Was such a terrible mistake.

  2. Raj says:

    I had my own doubts, but once the audit results came in I’m completely confident with their service again.

  3. Frede says:

    I like NordVPN app. Using it 3 years, they improved a lot of things here, add thousands of new servers all around the world, more useful features as cyber sec, smart play and created apps for streaming services.

    • Abdul Rehman says:

      Couldn’t have agreed more with you Frede.

  4. Nick M. says:

    The profile(?) page has abbreviations and esoteric terms, I am sure, are meaningless to the average user. The support page has a loop, so that if the question is not answered, loops back ad infinitum. Tried support; it has no intelligible way to add an ISP other than the few preferred. Much frustration trying to utilize the program, or, get help. The 24/7 support does not have chat, Email access, or, a phone number. How pray tell, does one use the VPN? My desktop has the NordVPN icon, but clicking on it does nothing. The tutorial, as they say in the vernacular, Sucks! There is no tutorial. If I can not use NordVPN, kindly refund my money, or, I will challenge the charge if it appears in my charge account. Nick M.

    • Abdul Rehman says:

      Hey Nick,
      Extremely sorry you had to face such issues. I have escalated your query to the concern department of NordVPN, they should get back to you soon.

  5. Hoffman says:

    Is it true that NordVPN unblocks Netflix USA? I am currently using PIA and its pretty bad with Netflix. I am thinking about switching over.

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi Hoffman,
      It is true. NordVPN is one of the few VPN service that works well with Netflix.

  6. Ryan says:

    When I connected to NordVPN UK server, it was showing me Malaysian server instead? How this possible?

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi Ryan,
      There must be a glitch in NordVPN’s tunneling system for this to happen. You should contact the support staff of NordVPN to sort this out.

      Cheers

  7. Arend says:

    Long time NordVPN user. My biggest problem with NordVPN is the lack of a good Linux client. Of course, setting up OpenVPN is not a big deal, but you will not benefit from dynamic server selection that picks a server that is not overloaded. It doesn’t look anything like that is on the roadmap so I am probably going to try ExpressVPN when my subscription expires. They seem to have solid Linux support.

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi Arend,
      Thanks for your valuable feedback. We agree with you. NordVPN being a top VPN provider should definitely have a Linux client.

    • Vendetta says:

      There is no almost Linux support. The link for CLI app reffers to nordvpn.0.0.1.deb package. When I found on their ftp ver 1.0.6.deb. The app is Command Line Interface only, automaticaly chooses your remote server if no params. My impression that it is very beginner stage made, like just to fill the gap. The Network-Manager OpenVPN plug-in drop list supports only about 40 servers, you need to choose from their 5000+ servers.
      NO GUI app for Linux !!!

      Android app is very low profile as well, no Kill Switch, sudden drops.

      My rating to NordVPN after 8 months of use is about 6/10, tried it on many devices and Op.Systems

      • Abdul Rehman says:

        Hey Vendetta,
        Thanks for pointing that out. I did got a chance to tryout their Linux app and you’re right, it is definitely not up to their standards. NordVPN should fix this issue ASAP.
        The Android app on the other hand worked great for me. Don’t know why you’re facing sudden drops. Just for reference, i use NordVPN on my galaxy S8+.

  8. Ronald Kelly says:

    Pros:
    -Netflix
    -price (if you buy on deal)
    -BBC iplayer
    -fast torrenting
    -lots servers
    -cyber-sec feature
    -browser extensions

    Cons:
    -doesn’t show location of servers (cities)
    -onion over vpn very slow

    Basically it is a VPN for everyday users, good for streaming. Not recommended if you want to do something fishy…

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi Ronald,
      Interesting points. NordVPN is the go-to VPN of everyday users.

  9. Paul Adler says:

    Wow, the comments here are really merciless. My experience however has been positive, so either these people here are shills or extremely unlucky. Furthermore webRTC leaks most likely mean you have some malware downloaded and has nothing to do with quality of service… IF you are already compromised before connecting to a server how in the world you could become secure after connecting?

    • Ghulman says:

      Hello Paul,
      Everyone has their preferences when it comes to VPNs. We are glad to know you had a positive experience with the service.

  10. Mario says:

    NordVPN’s connection used to break quite often (now it’s getting better), and this does not depend on the “PC-ability” of the user. I’ve also experienced blackouts lasting even days. And c’mon, their Windows client Sucks, looks like the work of a child. Their linux “client” is nothing else than openvpn, that you must install, configure and run by yourself. But this, being the work of someone else, at least works!!

    • Ghulman says:

      Hello Mario,
      Hope you are the satisfied with some of the updates NordVPN has brought to its system.

  11. Bridgewo says:

    Friendly customer care department and big advantage they have live chat available 24/7 because some main players have just tickets system and you have to wait for hours for a reply and then, again and again, tons of time for each reply. Speeds are just perfect near ISP. Of course it depends on how far away the nearest server but from over 1100 you could find the best for you. And it’s quite the only one which still works with US Netflix

    • Ghulman says:

      Hello Bridgewo,
      There is no doubt not Netflix accessibility is the biggest strength of NordVPN.

  12. Tony says:

    Between March and May this service was very good. June rolled around and something changed, the servers would just kill the data stream while remaining connected. sometimes it would take hours, other times minutes. some days the service is unusable as the loss of data stream would be so frequent nothing was usable. I have a ticket with Nord over 120 entries long, all I get is continuous change of techs who do not read the thread and request what has already been done. the replies from tech are now averaging over a week. between friends and family whom I recommended Nord to, 9 in all, we are all experiencing the same problem. this ranges from Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Ontario, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and West Virginia, and all but one have open tickets, Nord says I’m the only one with this problem.

    Really?? even when I send them the ticket numbers of the others they insist I’m the only one. I got a 3 day trial with HMA 2 weeks ago and did not have a single loss of the data stream. same with IPVanish last week, so the problem is with Nord AFAIC. Nord does not the will, or expertise to fix this and last week refused to refund the unused part of the 2 years I paid for. they have no phone number and refuse to call, so you are stuck with chats which lead to a waste of time, and their ticket system which they reply to when someone else in their tech team decides to reply (11 to date).

    I have access to 3 different isp services and public wifi, the data stream dies on all, and on all my devices, pc, ipad, iphone, android phone, android box, and xbox.

    I have been with 7 different VPN providers over the years, this one has to be the worst so far. I chose nord because they are away from the 14 eyes, and the 1 month I took before signing up for 2 years was flawless.

    • Ghulman says:

      Dear Tony,
      I am sorry you had such an unpleasant experience with NordVPN. I hope the company has reached out to you and fixed your issues.
      Regards

  13. presicl says:

    The correct coupon for 70% discount is
    ** 70offyear **

    • Ghulman says:

      Dear Tony,
      Thanks for the info.

      Cheers

  14. stupidcache says:

    You forgot to tell to the people that NORDVPN is not useful for watching netxflix in linux (almost you sacrifice A LOT performance using a stupid VM).

    Smart Play, not available in Linux, is secure proxy service that helps to overcome geographical restrictions put on by several websites. Smart Play re-routes the user’s requests through a server located at a place where access to such blocked websites is allowed. This makes the websites think the user is physically present in such place, thereby granting it the access.

    • Ghulman says:

      Thanks for the info stupidcache. We will look into that.

  15. Leek says:

    I am active NordVPN user and also their beta tester.
    So I can say, that those guys know what they are doing. Nord is really safe. Also they put huge effort on Netflix. I’ve tested several VPNS when was trying to access USA Netflix. Many of them say the work with Netflix, but in reality only Nord showed good result.

    • Ghulman says:

      Glad you had a good experience Leek.

  16. P.P says:

    Tor hides all your internet traffic by wrapping your connection into 3 different layers. It’s like an onion where these layers are stripped as they pass through each node. The only node where your browser activity is known is at the exit node. By adding a VPN to the framework and using Tor, you can hide your traffic from being read by anyone. With a Tor + VPN, you hide the traffic at the exit node as well, making it impossible (almost) for anyone to see what you are up to.

    • Ghulman says:

      Well explained P.P. It is true that Tor + VPN is a killer combination to acquire online privacy.

  17. kurtC says:

    Well, if you are worried that your VPN will read your internet traffic then you should change your VPN. That’s why there is a big deal about whether the VPN keeps logs or not, the payment method it offers (Bitcoin instead of credit card) so that no records can be linked back to you.
    Running a Tor locally through your VPN is some issues. For starters, you will be running the basic SSL connection with all its disadvantages and passing of keys. In addition to that, your entry point will be known as you will be running everything through the VPN and all your internet traffic from the laptop, PC, Smartphone and whatever will be passing through a single place, the VPN server. So it really doesn’t matter if you use a Tor or a VPN, your ISP will know that you are trying to hide your IP address and internet activities.
    On the other hand, using a double VPN makes much more sense. Well, if you don’t trust your VPN or the entry point of Tor, then using a double VPN can provide you some security. But, Tor doesn’t hide your traffic beyond the basic SSL and since your internet traffic is passing through multiple VPN servers, you are just creating a lot of latency for yourself. A better way protecting your traffic from being read by your VPN is connecting to your destination with SSL through the VPN.

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi kurtC,
      Thanks for your valuable feedback.

  18. osborn says:

    As much as I love Nord, you shouldn’t really be using their TOR VPN. It’s better to use their double VPN along with Tor, instead of just using TOR VPN. What Tor does is that it decrypts your VPN traffic and then encrypts it again before sending it over Tor network. Using a double VPN means you add more security and 2 hops before it reaches Tor.

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi osborn,
      You have a really valid point. Double does provide foolproof security.

  19. Normie says:

    I think their Tor VPN is really useful and I have been using it for a while. However, the lack of information and documentations available for servers is a bit irritating. I mean, it would be good that the pushed routes are a bit more concerned about the IP address of the destination server, instead of assuming that you want all your traffic to be pushed through 0.0.0.0/1 route and then to the outside.

    • Ghulman says:

      Hello Normie,
      NordVPN should definitely take your suggestions into considerations.
      Cheers

  20. jjones says:

    I have been using NordVPN on Linux and I am very happy with their service. They now offer VPN clients for Android and iOS devices as well but previously they only offered it on Windows. But won’t have any problems in using NordVPN on any device by using the .ovpn configuration file. I am using their service on Linux and really like it how they offer CA and TLS certificates for download separately along with .ovpn files. This makes it easier for me to configure the service with Linux Network Manager. However, one problem that I faced was that the zip file didn’t contain some of the servers they offered. If they can fix this then NordVPN is a top notch service.
    Their customer support is also very good and the encryption levels are also decent. They offer AES 256 encryption and RSA 4096 bit for key exchange, which is pretty good considering it’s the strongest encryption out there. If I am not wrong, they only offer TCP 443 and UDP 1194 ports but it also offers LZO Compression, which is a good sign. I only wish they also provided lower encryption keys for mobile devices so that the battery doesn’t run out quickly.
    The speeds are also decent but very inconsistent at times. Not all servers are quick at all times as some are fast but others are slow. Although they offer wide selection of servers, I really don’t think their servers are top notch. Their performance can be seen during the holiday season as during Christmas, there was immense load on servers and I got very slow speeds. However, it really depends on your connection as well. If you have a fast connection then it should not matter but if your internet connection isn’t lightening fast then you can face bottlenecks.
    NordVPN is pretty big on preserving its users privacy as they claim to keep no logs of your internet activities. This is a good sign and also that the company is based in Panama, making it free any kind of foreign jurisdiction. Also, they accept Bitcoin as payment which good for privacy. You can pay for their anonymously. One important note, NordVPN offers its own Tor over VPN service. Although having a double VPN does beef up your security but I wouldn’t advice to use the Tor VPN offered by Nord. This is because your internet traffic will be decrypted before sending it over Tor, so it kinds of defeats the purpose of having double security.

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi jjones,

      Thanks for telling us about your experience with NordVPN. You have laid out the merits of this VPN service pretty well.

      Cheers

  21. fnsm says:

    NordVPN ticks all the right boxes of being the best VPN. I am very happy with their service and would recommend it to anyone who is new to using a VPN.

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi fnsm,
      It is always good to hear from a satisfied VPN user. Glad that you are happy with the service.

  22. Manwithoutfear says:

    I recently bought NordVPN a week ago and the speeds are awesome. Previously I used PIA (Private Internet Access) for more than a year but there were many problems with it, and I really didn’t like their user interface, it was ugly to say the least.
    I selected NordVPN because it’s cheaper than PIA and it offers great servers options. I can connect to any location of my choice and access different streaming services. Like if you want to watch Netflix USA, there are servers available for that and you can enjoy your favorite shows and movies in high quality.
    The security and anonymity provided by NordVPN is also pretty good. The protocols allow me to switch between high security to high performance streaming. You can check out NordVPN using their 3 day free trial by contacting their customer support. If I remember correctly, I signed up for their service but didn’t pay yet. I then wrote an email to their customer support and they activated my 3 day free trial.

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi Manwithoutfear,
      Good to hear that NordVPN is meeting your expectations.

      Cheers!

  23. Yana says:

    Very bad service.
    See my conversation on customer service.

    Yana
    Hi. I want moneyback
    Brian в чате

    Brian
    Hello, may I ask what went wrong and why do you wish to cancel our service?

    Yana
    Slow program errors. IP addresses are in the blacklist. Once connected, you can identify my real ip on webrtc.
    overall I am very unhappy

    Brian
    WebRTC is a browser leak. You need to disable it on your browser: https://nordvpn.com/blog/important-notice-browser-security-hole-detected/

    May I ask what services you were unable to access?

    Yana
    I want moneyback
    I do not like your service as a whole

    Brian
    I see that you have paid via bitcoin, I am sorry, but payments via bitcoin is not refundable, please check our terms of service: https://nordvpn.com/terms-of-service/

    Yana
    wtf?
    why?!

    Brian
    This our policy, you agreed with our terms of service upon purchasing your account.

    Yana
    This is the most disgusting site vpn that I’ve ever met
    I will write reviews about you as the worst vpn provider.
    It’s outrageous!
    I will write about this in all forums and blogs!
    You stole my money!

    Brian
    We do not, our terms of service clearly states that we do not refund bitcoin.
    If you have any complaints, I would suggest to contact our sales team by email at support@nordvpn.com

    Yana
    Do you you have no right can decide to return the money or not!
    You provide a service – I pay the money.
    The service is not necessary – you return me the money!
    You illegally hold my money!
    You’ll soon see at each site where you are – a review of your service.

    Brian
    No, we don’t. Everything is legal. We provide money back guarantee for 30 days, however payments via bitcoin are not refundable. I can’t provide a refund against our ToS, however you can write a complaint to our sales team at support@nordvpn.com

    Yana
    You know yourself, what you say? You decide to return money or not for yourself! Unless it can be legally ?!
    Why do I have someone to complain and write email, to take my money! My money!

    Brian
    You paid your money for the service and agreed to the terms of service before making your payment.
    These terms are the same now as they were when you have purchased the subscription.

    Yana
    Your terms are illegal! Who gave you the right to make such rules? Do you think that strange incomprehensible rules like your site to be perceived above the law? What you are kind of nonsense? There is a law on consumer protection! And I do not care what you have there for the rules! You submit to this law!
    I do not care for your rules, when speech goes about the law. And the law requires you to give me back my money! No matter which way I paid for!

    • Ghulman says:

      Hi Yana,

      It is unfortunate that you didn’t like the service. However, most VPNs do not offer refunds for Bitcoin.

  24. Tovis says:

    I dont know how they can be most recommended logless VPN for god sick.
    – They leak your IPv6
    – No switch kill for internet connection
    — but worst of all THEY LEAK YOUR REAL IP—
    If you using Windows (7) like me you are fuck up.
    I was surfing all day and i normally do not turn off my PC but only switch it to sleep mode and even I set automatic reconnect and EVERY TIME i turn my PC into sleep mode and then woke up my PC their official application showed me that i am “CONNECTED” with green status but in real i was not connected and all of time i was surfing under MY REAL ADDRESS.

    • VPNRanks says:

      Sad to hear that!

      We recommend you to email them if you have any issues.

      Kind Regards,
      VPNRanks.com

    • theNPV says:

      As a comment below mentioned, you’re likely leaking WebRTC requests which is caused by the browser not by NordVpn.

      Signed up with a 70% discount and was super easy. The app is excellent and the speed is perfect.

      Anyone reading this, research some more yourself. Nord is solid.

  25. Charlie Marks says:

    I currently have Nordvpn installed.
    Although It is clearly stating that it is connected to Russia ISP 213.183.56.210
    It is is fact connecting to US 45.55.199.109 New York.

    Discvovered this when Amazon UK stated that it could not deliver to US.
    Checked ‘What is my ip address’, and yes it confirms New Youk.

    Very bad this, beware!

    • VPNRanks says:

      Hello Charlie,

      Thank you for your feedback.

      It is quite unfortunate that you face such issues with NordVPN.

      Why don’t you try emailing them.

      Kind Regards,
      VPNRanks.com

  26. Tech Advisor says:

    NORD is VERY unstable and slow. It is not unusual to have to reconnect 10 times a day, and has hour+ long blackout periods.

    The worst part is, to get a new connection; you often have to bounce from one location to another which is the antithesis of why we want VPN.

    They also are crooks who do not honor their word and give a refund.

    STAY AWAY, there are MUCH better service for close to the same price !!

    • Ghulman says:

      Tech Advisor,
      I am sorry you had a bad experience with the service. I hope you find a suitable alternative.

  27. Henry says:

    NordVPN
    claim to be offering 70%. On their registration form they enter the code “70off”
    automatically. I tried to register for what appears to be a great offer. After
    clicking register it simply says “ERROR Coupon code “70off” is not valid use a
    valid coupon only”. Its their own code, they inserted! I then had to suffer
    what they claim to be “customer service” having a futile discussion with this
    imbesile with a purile attitude and contradictory
    statements:

    *** Molly joined the chat ***

    (09:44:14)

    Molly: Hello. How may I help you today?

    (09:44:19)

    Visitor 39343896: Your site isn’t working properly

    (09:45:21)

    Visitor 39343896: I’m trying to sign up and your site
    is offering 70% off, its automatically putting that into the registration
    process with the code “70off”, but when I press register is say the
    coupon is not valid.

    (09:45:42)

    Visitor 39343896: Very frustrating when its my first
    experience of your service, not a great start

    (09:45:54)

    Molly: Yes, we are aware off this. Sale most likely ended and someone forgot
    to take the banner down. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    (09:46:10)

    Visitor 39343896: It says he sale doesn’t end for 3
    days!

    (09:46:13)

    Molly: You may email us at support@nordvpn.com and we might still offer you a
    dealbreaker like 70% discount.

    (09:47:08)

    Visitor 39343896: I’m expecting more seeing as its
    still on your site, I’m notifying you off the issue, its my first experience
    with you and I spent 5 minutes writing a message before you came online

    (09:47:25)

    Visitor 39343896: I don’t expect to take up more of
    my time when I can easily go to a competitor

    (09:48:22)

    Molly: We do not force our potential clients to choose 🙂

    (09:48:35)

    Molly: Sorry for the inconvenience.

    (09:49:09)

    Visitor 39343896: OK, if thats your attitude, I’ll
    happily post my review of my experience with NordVPN and take my business
    elsewhere

    (09:50:45)

    Molly: There is no attitude sir, we just do not force our potential customers
    to choose us by compromising their own decision.

    • Joseph Kerr says:

      You sound like a real douche. NordVPN is actually really stable and very easy to setup. If you’re leaking your real IP, then take two seconds to actually read up why and how to fix it. It has nothing to do with NordVPN, your system is most likely leaking WebRTC requests which you’d know you have to fix if you’d taken two seconds to research.

    • Jersey says:

      I’ve used NordVPN for 8 months and have no issues. The problems you’ve describe all sound like you have no idea how to use a PC, they are not NordVPN issues. You should simply stop using PCs since they’re obviously too hard for you to grasp. Use a public library from now on or ask someone to teach you PC basics.

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