NordVPN is a very popular VPN service with a large customer base. Although highly recommended for use on many websites, it is difficult to find honest information about this VPN provider .
In this new and updated NordVPN review, I made the service through extensive testing and made the test results independent.
- Is NordVPN still too slow?
- Is NordVPN secure (no leaks)?
- Can all functions work properly?
- Is this actually worth the money?
As you can see in all of the screenshots below, NordVPN has been extensively tested to answer all questions. Let us check the results now.
Although NordVPN has been a top recommendation since then, it is currently in the best VPN 2019 report on point 3 , followed by ExpressVPN (#1). However, for a full-featured VPN, NordVPN is one of the best value you can find when using a 75% discount coupon . Still, it has some drawbacks.
Advantages of NordVPN
- Powerful privacy features
- Secure application does not leak
- Preferential price (best value VPN)
- NordVPN’s large server network
- Great customer support
- Verified logless VPN provider
- NordVPN in Panama (Good Privacy Jurisdiction)
Disadvantages of NordVPN
- Variable speed (slower than some competitors)
- Mac OS OpenVPN app does not have an “Internet” kill switch
Other research results
- Can NordVPN work with Netflix?
- Is NordVPN good for Torre?
- Does NordVPN use a virtual server location?
- NordVPN private IP address option
- NordVPN router option
Advantages of NordVPN
The following are the advantages (advantages) of NordVPN.
1. Powerful privacy features
NordVPN provides some reliable features to enhance user privacy and security. Let’s take a look at some of these features.
NordVPN Cyber Sec
NordVPN Cyber Sec is a security feature that includes malicious website filters and advertising and tracking interceptors. I found it to work well in the tests, effectively blocking all ad domains on different sites I visited.
The other two VPN services that also offer similar functionality are:
- Perfect privacy – Perfect privacy provides TrackStop functionality to block VPN server-level advertising, tracking and malicious domains. It also has a parent filter and filter to block Google and social media domain tracking.
- VyprVPN – VyprVPN provides a malicious site filter that blocks dangerous domains, but it does not provide ad blocking.
In my basic test for this review, NordVPN’s Cyber Sec feature seems to be related to blocking ads.
Tor (onion) via VPN
Despite the shortcomings of the Tor network (ie slow speed and the possibility of IP address leakage), it can still be used in conjunction with a VPN for more privacy. But keep in mind that combining Tor and VPN may not be the best option due to shortcomings.
NordVPN provides three server locations for exiting the Tor (onion) network:
Unfortunately, I found the Onion-over-VPN server to be quite slow, but it was entirely due to the Tor network, which slowed everything by routing all traffic through three different relays.
Dual VPN (multi-hop)
Using multi-hop VPNs offers many advantages over standard VPN settings (single server). If you want to locate (monitor) the server, the multi-hop VPN configuration will add further protection by helping to hide incoming and/or outgoing traffic.
NordVPN currently offers 16 dual-hop VPN configurations and is listed on their website. For those who want a higher level of privacy and security, double encryption is a trade-off.
NordVPN kill switch
NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that offer two different types of termination switches. The kill switch is important because it blocks traffic when the VPN connection is down, protecting you from anonymization and normal traffic.
In the screenshot below, you can see two different kill switches:
- Internet Kill Switch – If the VPN connection is lost, all traffic will be blocked (recommended).
- Application Termination – If the VPN connection is lost, this will close the application but will not block any traffic.
If you are concerned about IP address leaks, it is best to use “Internet Kill Switch” as this will provide maximum protection and block non-VPN traffic through the firewall.
I tested the Internet Kill Switch and found that it effectively blocked traffic when there was no active connection to the VPN server.
(Note: However, the kill switch of the Mac OS OpenVPN client has a drawback, which we will cover in the Cons section below.)
You can find out more about the different features that NordVPN offers on its website here.
2. Secure application does not leak
Once again, NordVPN has made some outstanding improvements in privacy and security over the past year. Extensive testing did not reveal any leaks in the NordVPN Windows or Mac OS client.
I tested the Windows and Mac OS clients using basic VPN testing and ipleak.net site checking.
Overall, the test results are very good :
- No IPv4 leaks
- No IPv6 leaks
- No DNS leaks
No leaks – this is a test result that shows everything works fine with the NordVPN client (no leaks).
You can see in the image above that the NordVPN Netherlands server is providing me with an IPv4 address, blocking IPv6 and handling DNS requests. The result of the above WebRTC leak test is the local IP address (not a leak).
With the latest updates to this review, it is clear that NordVPN has made some significant security improvements through its Windows and Mac OS applications.
3. Preferential price (best value VPN)
NordVPN is one of the cheapest VPN services you’ll find (quality is still good). Now, NordVPN offers a three-year discount on the three-year plan . Although the duration must be long, the savings are really high, only $2.99 a month .
Here are the discounted prices for NordVPN:
- 3-year plan for $2.99 per month
- Two-year plan of $3.99 per month
- 1 year plan for $6.99 per month
- 1 month plan for $11.95 per month
You can use all major credit cards, Amazon Pay, Alipay, UnionPay, and even various cryptocurrency payments. However, one drawback is that NordVPN no longer supports PayPal payments.
NordVPN Refund Policy (30 days)
NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee and is very generous with the VPN standard. This is one of the best VPN trial windows you’ll find, as I explained in the VPN Guide for a free trial. I put their refund policy into practice and they quickly gave me a refund.
If you are hesitant about a two- or three-year subscription plan, NordVPN also offers a shorter subscription period, but they are more expensive.
4. NordVPN’s large server network
NordVPN has a large server network and currently includes approximately 5,200 servers in 60 countries .
In the past few years, NordVPN has continued to expand and update its server network to improve performance. This reduces congestion and speed for all users. You can view real-time bandwidth statistics for each server on the NordVPN website (see Servers in the top navigation menu).
Confusing Servers – NordVPN also has a nice line of obfuscated servers that automatically confuse (hide) all VPN traffic and look like regular HTTPS traffic. This is useful anywhere the VPN may be blocked, as described in the China Best VPN Guide.
5. Excellent customer support
NordVPN now offers 24/7 live chat support , and delegates are very helpful.
Chat support is available directly in the lower right corner of the NordVPN website .
I tested NordVPN chat support at several different times, asked them basic questions, and it didn’t have any problems.
In all my interactions with NordVPN support, it doesn’t take long to get in touch with the delegates (less than a minute). The support staff helped answer all my questions.
Support for some larger VPN providers may be affected. With NordVPN, support seems to be very good now.
6. NordVPN no log policy
Another important aspect of privacy and security is the logging strategy of NordVPN. As stated in our verified logless VPN guide, NordVPN is one of the few VPN services that have been verified as truly logless.
In November 2018, NordVPN conducted an audit to check all aspects of the service and validate the “no record” policy. The audit was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers in Zurich, Switzerland.
Unfortunately, audit firms are not allowed to publicly publish results, but existing NordVPN customers can view a full report of the NordVPN member area.
I got a copy of the review and checked the results of the survey. The following is a short summary I posted in the No-Log VPN Guide:
- NordVPN is audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG in Zurich, Switzerland, where it can fully inspect NordVPN servers, access employees, observe operations, and check configurations, databases, and any other relevant aspects of VPN services.
- The audit officially verified that NordVPN is a “no log service” and still complies with its policies.
- NordVPN does not store connection logs, IP addresses, traffic logs or any Internet activity information.
Although NordVPN does enforce connection restrictions (such as almost all VPNs), it does not contradict their strategy. The following is a further description of the NordVPN logging policy on its website:
NordVPN strictly keeps a record of your online activity. This means we don’t track the time or duration of any online sessions, nor do we record the IP addresses or servers we use, websites we visited, or downloaded files. In other words, your private and secure data is not recorded and collected at any time. Therefore, we are unable to provide any details about your online behavior, even if you request it yourself.
NordVPN is far from the jurisdiction of the European Union and the United States and does not require the collection of your personal data and information – this means that no content is recorded, monitored, stored, recorded or transmitted to third parties.
In general, if you are looking for a verified logless VPN provider, NordVPN is a good choice.
7. NordVPN in Panama (Good Privacy Jurisdiction)
Another advantage of NordVPN is that it is located in Panama. Panama is located outside of the 14-eye country and is an excellent privacy right.
As NordVPN explains on its website:
Our headquarters are located within the jurisdiction of Panama. There is no mandatory data retention method in Panama, so we do not need to store logs suitable for VPN providers.
In the past year, various accusations about NordVPN’s contact with other European countries have been explained in the NordVPN Tesonet article. However, what some people simply cannot understand is that almost every technology company employs people all over the world, including NordVPN. This fact is completely unrelated to the company’s official jurisdiction, which is based on the location of the business. This is a formal, legal name that determines the law of VPN operations.
Headquartered in Panama is indeed a good jurisdiction that gives NordVPN an edge over other VPN providers, as I explained in the comparison between NordVPN and private Internet access.
Disadvantages of NordVPN
Now let’s take a look at the shortcomings of NordVPN.
1. Variable speed (slower than some competitors)
The speed of NordVPN has improved significantly since I started testing many years ago. Still, the latest tests from this NordVPN review show that there is still room for improvement.
All speed tests for NordVPN are performed on a 160 Mbps connection using the 256-bit OpenVPN UDP protocol. I did not connect to any overloaded servers and used the NordVPN auto-connect feature, which selects the best server based on proximity and server load to provide performance in a given area.
First, I tested a server near Germany and it gave me 74 Mbps :
This is not terrible, but it is certainly not very good, especially compared to other VPNs, such as ExpressVPN , which gives me about 150 Mbps (basically maximizing my connection speed).
Next is the NordVPN Swiss server: 17 Mbps
Again, not the best speed.
I also did some testing on the NordVPN server in the UK , at a faster rate: 81 Mbps
If you need to provide a VPN for the UK, NordVPN will not be a bad choice.
For this review, I also tested many NordVPN servers in the US and Canada. The results are similar.
Here, I am testing the NordVPN server in New York and getting about 53 Mbps :
Using the NordVPN Chicago server is slightly less than 34 Mbps:
The speed of all the US servers I tested is usually within this range. I also tested some servers in Canada. This is Montreal ‘s NordVPN server with a speed of 62 Mbps :
In general, these speeds are not amazing, but they are not terrible. If you need a basic VPN to browse and stream Netflix, NordVPN is definitely enough.
I also tested the speed for multiple comparisons of NordVPN and ExpressVPN. ExpressVPN is among the best in all test locations.
2. Mac OS OpenVPN application does not have an “Internet” termination switch
Another disadvantage of NordVPN is that the Mac OS OpenVPN client does not have an “Internet” termination switch. However, as we explained above, Windows applications provide two types of termination switches, which is a good security feature.
However, with NordVPN’s Mac OS OpenVPN client, you only have the application level kill switch:
This is a drawback for Mac OS users who want a full Internet termination switch to block all traffic when the VPN connection is down. On the positive side, the Mac OS IKEv2 application does provide a complete ” Internet termination switch ” and “app kill switch.”
So if you are a Mac user and are looking for the best Mac OS VPN service, you may want to consider other options.
This is all I can find about NordVPN. In general, it is still a good choice for a low price.
Other research results
The following are other findings from the NordVPN review of my own tests.
Can NordVPN work with Netflix?
Yes, NordVPN continues to work well with Netflix, although most VPNs are blocked by services.
With NordVPN, you have full access to Netflix in the US, Netflix in the UK and some other regions. Considering server choice and performance, it is definitely a reliable Netflix VPN service.
In the best VPN for the Netflix guide, I ran NordVPN through a series of actual tests to see how it unlocked Netflix. Overall, NordVPN performed very well in these tests – both unlocking Netflix and providing me with the speed of HD streaming.
Below I use the NordVPN server in New York to stream Netflix from my location in Europe:
You can check the availability of Netflix for the area you want to use on the NordVPN website.
Is NordVPN good for Torre? (Yes)
Yes, NordVPN is a good choice because it is a proven, non-log VPN provider with no restrictions on Torre or P2P downloads.
When using NordVPN for hosting, be sure to enable the kill switch to protect you when the connection is lost. This will ensure that your real IP address remains secure. You can also find guides on the NordVPN website to show you how to set up NordVPN using uTorrent and BitTorrent clients.
Does NordVPN use a virtual server location?
For this NordVPN audit, I also checked many different servers to verify the real server location. Some VPNs use what they call “virtual server location.” An example of this is the location of the Singapore server to deceive Sri Lanka. This is easy for VPNs because they can declare any location they want for a range of IP addresses they purchase.
To check the virtual server location, you simply ping the server from different data centers around the world and triangulate the location – see the steps outlined in this guide.
I tested various NordVPN server locations around the world and checked everything. You can get the server URL from the NordVPN website (see ” Servers ” in the navigation menu ). NordVPN does not seem to use any virtual server locations.
All NordVPN servers appear to be in the ad slot (no virtual server location). This is indeed a benefit for NordVPN users, and some VPNs rely heavily on virtual locations such as PureVPN.
NordVPN private IP address
NordVPN also gives you the option to get a private IP address, which may be helpful in some use cases. They provide a dedicated IP address in the following locations:
- United States (Buffalo, Los Angeles, Dallas) – $70
- Germany (Frankfurt) – USD 70
- United Kingdom (London) – $70
- Netherlands (Amsterdam) – USD 70
The cost is one year access to dedicated/static IP. Despite the high cost, NordVPN is still one of the best VPNs for static IP. You can purchase a private IP address by contacting NordVPN support to arrange an IP location and add it to your account.
NordVPN router option
NordVPN is also a good VPN for use on routers. I tested many different VPN providers on various routers and organized an in-depth VPN router setup guide to answer most questions.
If you want to use NordVPN on your router, you basically have three different options:
- Get pre-configured routers from sockets like Sabai Technology or FlashRouters . These will be a bit expensive, but it can use NordVPN immediately and pre-configure the router firmware you need.
- Get support router VPN’s , the router can be used with VPN, without any flash. The best choice for routers that support VPN comes from Asus. Asus offers a number of routers that can easily load OpenVPN profiles (from any VPN provider) and get the job done in minutes.
- Refresh existing routers . This can be tricky and somewhat risky (making your router brick), so if you go along this path, you will need to be cautious. The difficulty depends on the router you are using.
Tip – When using NordVPN on a router, connect to the nearest server with the lightest load. Also, be sure to use a router with enough CPU to give you the speed you need – see the Best VPN Router Guide for a baseline guide.
NordVPN review conclusion
NordVPN is highly recommended based on the latest test results from this NordVPN review. It has made great progress last year , including:
- Hundreds of new servers have been added around the world
- Excellent security and privacy features (Cyber Sec, ad blocking, professional server)
- Better applications with greater security
NordVPN is currently ranked third in the Best VPN Service Report. It is still a good choice, second only to ExpressVPN (#1).
NordVPN is also one of the best values in the VPN industry, with a 75% discount now reducing the price to just $2.99 a month. With a 30-day money back guarantee, you can test your VPN without risk and see if it is right for you.
If you have used NordVPN, feel free to share your honest comments (good or bad) below.