NordVPN Review

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NordVPN

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Product Name: NordVPN

Offer price: 3.49

Currency: $

Availability: OnlineOnly

Overall
4.7









  • Price









  • Service









  • Apps









  • Speed









  • Policy









Summary

.

Pros

  • Fully audited no-log policy.
  • Excellent apps for all devices.
  • Amazon Fire TV support.
  • Unblocks most TV services.
  • Super fast speeds.
  • Selection of speciality servers.

Cons

  • Amazon Prime is hit and miss.

NordVPN has firmly set itself amongst the leaders in the VPN industry, and over the last few years, you’ll have seen them everywhere, from TV adverts to sponsoring huge sports teams and on the channels of plenty of Youtubers.

It is one of the most high-profile VPNs around. But is NordVPN any good?

That is the question that I will be looking to answer in this detailed and comprehensive VPN review.

They’ve been one of my favourites over the past few years and I’ve been regularly testing them for the past 11 years.

I’ve been checking them out for 2024 to see if they still deserve the reputation they’ve become known for.

I have put together this comprehensive NordVPN review to show you what this VPN has to offer, taking a close look at everything they have available.

To discuss their customer support, and many of their stand-out features such as split tunneling, their built-in kill switch, and the excellent network of NordVPN servers, but more on all that later.

Let’s get to the VPN review.

1. Service

Speeds

Download speed

NordVPN has been consistently offering some of the fastest download speeds of all VPN services in recent years, and last year I commended them on the continued improvements to their VPN connection speeds.

Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve been speed-testing their VPN connections while using it for a variety of purposes.

I have put download speed and upload speed to the test on everything from general web browsing and video streaming on sites like YouTube to gaming and streaming in Ultra HD on our Fire TV Stick via Netflix, which needs a good download speed.

My speed tests were all done via a Wi-Fi connection, and I found no internet speed issues when carrying out any of these kinds of tasks. For your everyday usage, you should suffer no download or upload speed problems.

For my speed test, I use a typical UK residential internet connection and downloaded an uncompressed test file. This is exactly the same kind of connection you will have at home.

The connection speed achieved without using a VPN was: 447.4 Mbps.

Choosing a random selection of servers, I achieved the following speeds:

  • UK – 314.6 Mbps
  • France – 220 Mbps
  • Netherlands – 222.6 Mbps
  • Switzerland – 210.5 Mbps
  • Sweden – 261.8 Mbps
  • New York, US – 196.8 Mbps
  • Australia – 119.7 Mbps

As the speed tests show, even at a distance, decent internet traffic speeds can be achieved down a Nord VPN tunnel. These speeds would be a more than fast enough speed to stream high-quality video content from across the globe without issues.

However, I noticed slower overall speeds compared to our most recent tests.

It is worth noting that with any VPN service, there will be some slight download and upload speed loss from your regular internet speed when you connect to a VPN server, but that is the cost of privacy and it will vary depending on which VPN protocol you use as well as other factors.

Overall, I found NordVPN’s download speed test results are certainly up there with the very best VPNs; the upload speeds are equally good.

If I compare them with other provider’s they’re some of the best. NordVPN’s UK server achieved a speed of 314.6 Mbps, compared against ExpressVPN’s 361.4 Mbps. That’s 13% slower.

However, if we compared that to ZoogVPN’s 299 Mbps for their UK server it’s 5% faster.

Servers slightly further afield faired worse with NordVPN’s Netherland results of 222.6 Mbps being poor in comparison to ExpressVPN which achieved speeds of 368.3 Mbps. Over 39% slower, not great.

Logging

When you are looking at a VPN, it is important to ensure they have a strict no-logs policy and pledge to collect zero user data. This means no third parties can snoop on your internet activity.

Like most VPN companies, NordVPN claims to have a no-logging policy, meaning they don’t store any logs of what you do while connected to their VPN and so protect user data.

In 2018, NordVPN had its service audited to prove its no-logging policy claims. Few VPNs had taken this step at the time, and still not many have.

NordVPN published the results and data of this audit to their customer base. While it hasn’t been shared publicly, it is available to all current and future Nord VPN users. Our team here at VPNCompare has seen it, and other security industry experts around the world have cast their eyes on it too.

The consensus is that although the audit doesn’t go into great detail, you can trust NordVPN’s ‘no-log’ claims, so your privacy and your data is in good hands. Your ISP won’t know what you are doing or be able to see any of your traffic logs or data content and this VPN protection is dependable.

While it won’t stop websites from storing your cookies, there are other solutions to this type of data problem.

To reassure NordVPN users and subscribers, it became one of the very few VPN companies to redo its no logs audit a second time. This second audit tested NordVPN and its no user logs claims thoroughly and found NordVPN trustworthy when it comes to online privacy.

At the start of 2023, NordVPN published the results of a third major audit and this was followed up with a full audit at the start of 2024.

Based on the continual audits and results of them I am confident that NordVPN’s no-user logs policy is more comprehensive and robust than most other VPNs.

If you compare this to other providers, ExpressVPN has carried out extensive audits of their logging policy, but competitor Surfshark hasn’t audited their no-logging policy but only some of their apps and other specific features of their service.

Simultaneous Connections

NordVPN offers all users the ability to connect up to six devices at the same time.

This simultaneous connections policy allows you to connect to a server on all of your devices at the same time. You can download the NordVPN app onto more devices if you wish but not connect them all together.

Six simultaneous connections is a decent amount of devices and NordVPN compares reasonably well to its rivals. However, it’s not the highest number available in the industry and it’s a number that hasn’t changed for some years.

There are some VPNs that offer more. There is even a growing number that offers unlimited simultaneous connections.

But to be honest, six is more than enough for the overwhelming majority of NordVPN users, allowing you to use multiple devices at once while connected to the NordVPN client.

In Comparison:

  • ExpressVPN – 8 connections
  • Surfshark – Unlimited connections
  • IPVanish – Unlimited Connections
  • VyprVPN – 5 connections

Jurisdiction

NordVPN’s is headquartered in Panama, which makes them an ‘off-shore’ VPN provider.

I like this as it means they’re not part of ‘5-eyes’ security network and not subject to any overbearing local data retention laws.

The Five-eyes network is a group of western nations that work together to share intelligence. There are also further groups known as ‘9-eyes’ and even ’14-eyes’ which include an even wider range of countries.

But their structure is a little more complex than it used to be, especially since Nord Security, NordVPN’s parent company, merged with rival VPN Surfshark.

This deal created a new company called Cyberspace which will be based out of the Netherlands. As European countries go, the Netherlands is pretty strong on privacy laws. But it doesn’t compare to Panama.

The Netherlands is a member of the EU and has close links to five eyes countries, none of which is good for online privacy.

Nord Security have been at pains to stress that NordVPN and Surfshark continue to operate as individual VPNs and they have also emphasised that NordVPN will still under the jurisdiction of Panama, not the Netherlands.

So far, I have seen no reason to question any of these claims. But we will continue to keep a watchful eye to ensure that Nord Security remain as good as their word.

In comparison with other providers you’ll find them located in the following regions:

In Comparison:

  • ExpressVPN – British Virgin Islands
  • Surfshark – Netherlands
  • IPVanish – United States
  • VyprVPN – United States
  • CyberGhost VPN – Romania

Learn More

Check out our detailed 14-eyes guide to learn more about this surveillance network.

Customer Service

Getting help from NordVPN support can be done via their website. Their ‘Help’ section on the site contains a large range of user-friendly, clearly worded guides and information to assist you in helping yourself.

A recent feature that’s an addition to the NordVPN customer support is a ‘chatbot’. It’s similar to live customer chat support but you’re not actually speaking to anyone.

I tested this out and the flow and answers are relatively good and the Nord VPN support chatbot can answer a lot of questions.

NordVPN Chatbot

However, it’s always good to speak to actual customer support agents, and more often than not, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops first. This can be a bit frustrating but I’ve found it quite common in customer relations these days, and NordVPN is not alone in using chat bots.

You can get to speak to a real person if your question hasn’t already been answered by using their 24/7 live chat support, which is staffed by actual human beings. So, if you want to ask ‘Is NordVPN down’ or another question the chatbot doesn’t understand, you can still do so.

I found when using it, the live chat support on the NordVPN site is fast, friendly, and effective and kudos to the NordVPN team for that. It is a great bonus feature for NordVPN users.

You can also email the NordVPN tech support directly via a contact email address which is a nice touch. Any time over the years I’ve needed to reach out by email I’ve received a response within a few hours.

2. Server Locations

Server locations

At current count, NordVPN’s servers span some 67 countries with an eye-watering 6,138 individual servers giving you plenty of options to disguise your IP Address, giving you private internet access. This is an increase of some 700 servers over the past year and they’ve added an extra seven countries.

The NordVPN server base covers most locations across the world and apart from Africa, which does have minimal coverage in the South, there aren’t many gaps across their network.

So you can access IP addresses from all over the world and switch servers at your leisure.

NordVPN Server selectionSelecting a server is easy via their map view.

With so many NordVPN servers on offer, server load is never an issue. They also operate proprietary DNS servers which helps protect against DNS leaks too.

I’ve found this useful when I don’t want a certain web address leaking to my ISP.

There is even a whole host of ‘Speciality Servers’ which include options like ‘Double-Hop‘, that allow you to send your data through two different locations.

I personally found the double-hop VPN servers to have an additional benefit. They’re lesser used which means services like streaming sites are less likely to have blocked their IP addresses.

If you’re after accessing a certain site or app and you usually find VPN services blocked, give their double-hop servers a whirl – but don’t tell everyone and we’ll keep this secret between us.

They also offer Obfuscated, and NordVPN P2P servers. Although I would note that these options are limited to specific areas.

If you want a VPN service provider with a large server network and a large IP address offering, then my opinion is NordVPN is a great choice for you.

In Comparison:

  • ExpressVPN – 105 countries
  • Surfshark – 100 countries
  • IPVanish – 52 countries
  • VyprVPN – 64 countries
  • CyberGhost VPN – 100 countries

When I quizzed NordVPN the confirmed it does not use virtual servers.

Many VPNs make use of what is called ‘Virtual Locations’ to boost the number of locations offered without having to physically locate servers in different countries.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with virtual locations, it’s often a sneaky way of increasing server location numbers. But it can, in certain circumstances, have unintended consequences depending on your usage.

Virtual servers sit on other servers and can adversely affect the connection speeds on those servers too.

As Nord doesn’t make use of them, you have nothing to worry about.

If you value your privacy and you want an added layer of security to protect your data then NordVPN’s double-hop servers or what they call ‘Double VPN’ give you that added protection.

Usually, when you connect to any VPN, you connect to just one server.

By utilising this feature, NordVPN forwards your connection from the initial server you connect to through a second VPN server that is usually located in a different country. That’s two servers for double the protection.

For example, if you connect to their United Kingdom ‘Double VPN’ server, it will automatically forward your connection to the Netherlands. This means your data goes from yourself to their UK servers, onto their Netherlands server and then out to the wider internet.

At the time of writing, double-VPN connections are available in Canada, France, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the USA.

I’ve found when using this feature my connection is slower but the privacy benefit outweighs and it’s useful if you need it.

As I said earlier in the review I’ve found that using double-hop servers you can often unblock certain services like streaming sites because most users haven’t used the IP address available.

NordVPN does not work if you are in China in a conventional manner. If you try and use the NordVPN app inside China, you will not be able to get a connection.

They do offer manual installation guides that allow you to set up the NordVPN app behind the Great Firewall. These are available in a variety of languages, including Chinese and English.

But in our own on-the-ground testing, we found the VPN to either not work at all or work so slowly and unreliably that it can’t be used effectively.

I do not recommend using NordVPN if you live in or plan to travel to China. (Check out our list of VPNs that do work in China)

Yes, as part of their ‘Speciality Servers’, NordVPN offers a range of server locations that have dedicated IP addresses.

What this means is you can be connected and reconnect and get the same IP Address each time.

Although this is less secure from a privacy perspective, it does offer some advantages depending on your type of usage.

These IP addresses are only available in a handful of locations which is another drawback (albeit minor), including France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom and the USA.

This is not to be confused with NordVPN’s separate ‘Static IP Address’ offering, which costs $70 per year on top of your subscription and provides an IP Address used only by yourself.

Being able to buy static IP Addresses is another nice feature that not all VPNs have.

In addition to the double hop servers and dedicated IP servers that we have already discussed, NordVPN does also offer a few other speciality servers worth mentioning. These include:

Obfuscated servers

NordVPN’s obfuscated servers are specialised servers that hide the fact that you’re using a VPN to reroute your internet data and getting private internet access.

They are designed to help you access services which attempt to block VPN users or access NordVPN in countries where VPN use is heavily restricted.

If you use these servers, the only way to tell you are connected to a VPN is by individually analysing your data packets. This only happens in a few places, like China, meaning that NordVPN’s obfuscated server provision works really well in a lot of places.

NordVPN offers obfuscated server options in the following countries:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • UAE
  • UK
  • USA

Onion over VPN

NordVPN’s Onion over VPN server options reroutes your data through both a NordVPN server and the Tor network.

For those not familiar with the Tor network, it is an alternative online privacy and security tool which is also the main way of accessing the ‘Dark web’.

Tor on its own has some flaws, and most experts recommend using a VPN along with Tor to cover these. For privacy-conscious users, mixing both networks is also a terrific belt-and-braces approach to online privacy.

These servers are not the fastest since Tor involves bouncing your data around at least three different servers (or nodes) in addition to your VPN’s server.

However, it does offer robust privacy protections and will also provide as safe a method as possible to access the dark web.

NordVPN currently offers Onion over VPN servers in Switzerland and the Netherlands.

P2P servers

P2P servers are quite simply servers that are optimised for users of P2P services such as BitTorrent. More on this is below.

NordVPN has P2P server locations in a wide range of countries, including the UK and the USA.

Most of their servers are optimised for P2P usage.

3. Security and Safety

Protocols & Encryption

Protocols and encryption

NordVPN currently supports the Wireguard, OpenVPN protocol and IKEv2/IPSec VPN protocols.

Wireguard is available via what they call NordLynx. A little confusing I found when most providers simply call it Wireguard.

If you want to be able to access protocols such as PPTP, L2TP and SSTP then you’re out of luck. NordVPN hasn’t supported these for quite some time and you’ll need to look elsewhere if you need them.

Across the majority of platforms, NordVPN makes use of OpenVPN using AES 256-bit encryption. AES 256-bit encryption is considered to be ‘military-grade’ encryption and is, therefore, extremely robust.

While I’m not a fan of the term ‘military-grade’ it does show you how strong this encryption is.

Authentication is handled with a 2048-bit RSA key. While this isn’t right at the top of the scale, it is industry standard and a more than acceptable level of security and is more than enough to protect your data.

Some apps make use of or allow the use of the IKEv2/IPsec protocol. As this is known to be unbreakable at this point, it means your connection is secure. It is a combination of cyphers, including perfect forward secrecy and a few others.

In 2019 NordVPN suffered a security breach on one of its servers, and while it is claimed no customer data was accessed, it has impacted some users’ trust in the VPN.

The incident affected just one server in Finland but could have potentially let a nefarious hacker decrypt user traffic and data passing through the server or inject malicious content into any plain text transmissions (essentially connections not using HTTPS).

While there was no evidence to suggest this happened, it proved to be a bit of a public relations disaster for NordVPN despite no user data being affected.

After the incident, NordVPN recommitted itself to improving security across NordVPN services by implementing a number of security features and systems. They took robust measures that went well beyond what was needed, and most industry experts were reassured.

In the past 5 years, there have been no further known security lapses so my personal opinion is that you can disregard the issue from 2019.

NordVPN is one of the VPN service providers that allow Torrenting and P2P traffic which is excellent as it is vital to use a VPN when torrenting, and finding a VPN provider that offers P2P support is crucial.

However, you’ll need to be aware that torrent support is only officially available on some of NordVPN’s servers which are flagged with ‘P2P’.

To be fair to NordVPN, these P2P servers are available in a huge range of allowable locations. There are currently no fewer than 4,707 P2P optimised servers which make up the vast majority of its server network.

In a Reddit thread a couple of years back, some users claimed the service was slow when torrenting [1].

This is far from a universal view and as we said earlier, NordVPN offers some superb speeds and when I’ve tested them I’ve certainly experienced it, but you may want to bear this in mind when testing NordVPN within their 30-day guarantee.

4. Apps

Apps

Mobile Apps

NordVPN supports an easy to use Android app and also has a dedicated Apple iOS app too. You can install both NordVPN apps from the Google play store or the Apple app store.

The Android and iOS apps still feature the easy-to-use interface that the original NordVPN iOS app and Android app sported, but the use of space has been improved, allowing for quicker connection.

I found the layout is now more intuitive, which allowed me to get connected to the servers with ease.

The one-click connect feature is especially pleasing and you’ll appreciate this quick connection when using their apps.

NordVPN Android

The upper portion of the app allows you to select a server on a map view while the bottom section allows for connection to your favourite servers, speciality servers or by expanding an individual country list that can be searched for quick usage.

I personally like the map view, some apps have done away with this which I feel is a shame. Thankfully though if you prefer a country list selection then this is also available for you too.

It’s neat that individual servers are also able to be connected to and added to favourites for later use.

Behind the scenes, NordVPN’s ‘Threat Protection’ feature can be enabled, allowing protection from malware and other nasties on your mobile devices, plus some additional options such as using Obfuscated Servers or using TCP rather than UDP for OpenVPN.

The Android app allows you to switch between OpenVPN in UDP or TCP mode or use NordLynx which employs Wireguard. Personally I made use of Wireguard most of the time.

Both the Android and iOS apps are some of the best I’ve seen from a VPN provider and will allow you to use them with ease, even if you’re beginner Android or iOS users.

They also include many of the features of the desktop apps, such as split tunneling, which is not always the case with other VPNs.

In comparison to apps from other VPN providers they’re as easy to use and there’s nothing about them that would make me overly prefer another leading provider’s apps.

The apps can be found either in the app store or via the NordVPN site.

Desktop Apps

Just like the NordVPN mobile apps, the desktop apps available include a Windows app and Mac OS.

The app supports a simple map design plus a side panel has been added to allow a quick selection of individual countries, servers and speciality servers. These include P2P-specific servers, Tor over VPN, and Double VPN.

This is a nice addition to the macOS and Windows app and makes selecting a VPN server, whatever way you prefer, much easier and without the need to search through multiple screens. Connection is now a quick and effortless affair and you can set up auto connect too.

NordVPN Windows app

NordVPN Windows app.

I also found in my testing that NordVPN works well with Windows 11 and prior versions such as Windows 10 so there’s no issues there.

NordVPN on Windows 11

NordVPN on Windows 11.

In the Settings area, you’ll find extensive features, including split tunneling which will allow you to play around if you’re that way inclined.

The NordVPN CyberSec is present across all of their apps and there’s also a smart individual kill switch in case your VPN connection drops.

You can also set up split tunneling to allow certain sites to bypass the VPN. I personally found this really useful for banking apps which can sometimes throw up issues when connecting from unknown locations.

Advanced features allow you to switch between the TCP and UDP protocol, specific dedicated DNS servers, use Obsfucated Servers and run a diagnostics tool.

For me there are a lot of options that I won’t make use of daily but for you that’s beneficial because it allows you to customise your experience.

NordVPN Windows settings

NordVPN settings.

All good providers should offer a kill switch and NordVPN’s kill switch feature will cut your connection to the internet if your VPN connection drops, preventing any leaks that your Internet Service Provider may intercept (such as DNS leaks).

There is also a specific DNS leak test tool to help you to ensure your DNS leak protection is in place.

Again, the usual selection of auto connect on boot options is available too.

Just like the mobile app, the Mac and Windows client is one of the better ones I’ve seen. It has been well designed for several years but the little interface tweaks that have been made in recent years have made the user experience that little bit more pleasant.

To get the desktop app, go to the NordVPN website and follow the instructions.

Other Apps

On top of the mobile and desktop apps, NordVPN also offers apps for the Linux operating system, Android TV and an Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick app.

I thought that their Amazon app is nicely laid out and simple to use across the big screen.

It also has the added benefit that you can unblock many of the Amazon apps such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and others, really expanding the use of your Fire TV / Stick / Cube regardless of where you (the user) are in the world.

You can find all of these apps on the NordVPN site or via your app store.

NordVPN Fire TV app

NordVPN doesn’t directly offer any apps for routers.

However, they do offer an extensive set-up guide section for a wide variety of routers.

Due to them dropping support for both PPTP and L2TP in recent years, it means the majority of regular routers are no longer able to be configured to work with the NordVPN service.

NordVPN does have a deal with Flashrouters if you’re after buying a dedicated router that supports their VPN, although this will require an additional hardware purchase.

Nord also offers Onion Over VPN, which is a special feature of theirs that gives you all the advantages of an Onion router, but with the security of a VPN tunnel.

It’s also possible to buy the cost-effective InvizBox 2 router configured to work with NordVPN which is another worthwhile consideration if you’re after protecting your entire home or small office network.

Manually installing NordVPN on a router is not too bad and the tutorials that they offer on their website are simple to follow. But most other VPNs do now offer support for at least some popular VPN-enabled routers without the need for this and we would ideally like to see NordVPN following their lead.

I’d like to see NordVPN expand their VPN router support, especially as other providers like ExpressVPN are now offering their own router.

NordVPN supports browsers with extensions for Firefox, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge.

This allows you to access a lightweight protected connection via your browser only. It’s useful if you want to disguise your location to the websites you’re visiting while retaining your regular internet connection for the rest of the tasks you carry out on your desktop, for example.

NordVPN browser extensions

Although I’m not a huge fan of using a browser extension, they do serve a purpose for some users in certain circumstances so it’s pleasing to see them supported.

But for most users I would recommend that your use NordVPN through their dedicated app for your device. This will protect all of your data, not just your browser traffic.

NordVPN has a massive range of VPN apps and can be installed onto a huge number of devices.

This includes computer operating systems such as Linux, Chromecast, and Raspberry Pi.

You can also use NordVPN on various game consoles, including Xbox, Nintendo Switch. and Playstation. However there aren’t dedicated apps for these devices so if you’re not technically minded I feel you could struggle to set them up.

There is a dedicated VPN app for the Amazon Firestick which I’ve made extensive use of and found extremely useful for accessing streaming services on my TV.

Android TV, Chromecast devices and the Amazon Kindle Fire are supported too.

Manual installation guides can be found for other devices, too, so if I haven’t mentioned your device in this NordVPN review, take a look at their customer support, as it may well still be possible to download and use it.

The desktop apps stand out, and they’re some of the best designed compared to the competition.

I love the map view coupled with the country listing. This allows you to select a location either visually or by name.

Some providers have dropped the map view, and others haven’t implemented it well, but NordVPN has and I found it quick and easy to select the country I wanted.

NordVPN and ExpressVPN apps

The mobile apps also feature the map view, which can take up a lot of space on smaller screens. Although it’s well designed, I would much prefer a simple list view for smaller displays.

While the Fire TV apps are laid out well, they’re not the best designed I’ve seen, and I much prefer the simplicity of ExpressVPN’s Fire TV app, which keeps everything within a static screen.

NordVPN’s Fire TV app requires too much scrolling, the icons are relatively large, and all that scrolling and moving around can become tiresome for the eyes.

Yes, NordVPN does offer an Adblocker. It is included with a feature called ‘Threat Protection’.

Not only does this block adverts but it also protects against dangerous websites and malware and secures against your device being used as part of a botnet.

The feature doesn’t come enabled as standard so you’ll need to turn it on from the settings areas.

Although the adblocker isn’t as good as a dedicated ad-blocking app it does offer some respite from annoying advertising.

I personally don’t make use of in-built VPN ad-blockers due to their being other standalone options but if you’re trying to keep everything within one app then you may appreciate this option.

NordVPN is one of the most feature-heavy VPNs on the market. If you are looking for a VPN packed with all the bells and whistles, then NordVPN is definitely the one for you.

Just some of the main security and privacy features offered by NordVPN include:

Threat Protection

I have mentioned this above since it includes an adblocker tool but there is much more to this feature as well including malware protection, anti-tracker tools, and protection from infected files.

Kill switch

There is a simple one-click kill switch feature that you would expect with a VPN of NordVPN’s calibre. The kill switch will cut your internet connection automatically if your VPN connection fails for any reason.

A kill switch is an essential tool on all VPNs and the NordVPN kill switch does everything you need it to.

Private DNS

As well as an in-built DNS leak tester, NordVPN also offers a private DNS feature which can help to keep your online activity even more private.

Dark web monitoring

NordVPN has a dark web monitoring tool which periodically scans the dark web for your email address and essentially acts as a data breach scanner.

If it finds it there, it warns you that your data could have been hacked and leaked onto the dark web or being sold on malicious websites.

I’m are not aware of many other premium VPNs that offers a dark web monitor or this type of threat protection, so the NordVPN dark web monitor one really is unique to NordVPN.

Other Features

Among the myriad of other features that NordVPN offers are a password manager and encrypted cloud storage.

The password manager and cloud storage are not included in the standard NordVPN subscription and instead will cost a little more. But NordVPN bundles them all together and offers some great deals.

Again, I prefer a standalone password manager and cloud storage so they’re not personally features I make use of, but again, if you want to keep everything within on app then they could be for you.

5. Streaming

Streaming

NordVPN has an in-built feature it calls SmartPlay.

SmartPlay implements Smart DNS automatically, which helps you to unblock streaming services no matter where in the world you are.

NordVPN has integrated SmartPlay into all of its apps.

NordVPN claims it works automatically, so there is nothing that you need to do. According to them, with the help of SmartPlay, all you need to do is connect to the correct VPN server location, and you are good to go.

So, how does NordVPN perform at unblocking the most popular streaming services?

When it comes to unblocking Netflix, NordVPN really does excel.

When I tested I found that US Netflix is unblocked across the entire range of servers and I had no problems watching.

Most of the main VPN providers match this experience but some of the lesser ones can be hit and miss so it’s a definite bonus for NordVPN.

I liked this a lot because it allows you to connect to a local server and still gain access to the US Netflix catalogue of movies and TV shows which is a neat feature in itself.

What I feel is a negative however is if you’re trying to access a specific region and NordVPN doesn’t unblock it, you’ll be given the US Netflix service and this can be both confusing and time consuming.

NordVPN with Netflix

NordVPN works well with Netflix.

While some other Netflix regions are available, this ‘catch-all’ means many aren’t. But NordVPN has focused on keeping the most popular Netflix libraries accessible such as the UK and others, and in that regard, it performs exceedingly well.

K.G Orphanides of Wired said NordVPN was “the most reliable VPN for streaming Netflix” [2].

NordVPN worked well with BBC iPlayer and, in my tests, was accessible across a range of different devices.

I tested both in the UK and while travelling across Asia and even at distance I didn’t find any problems with speed or suffer buffering or playback issues on a residential connection.

If you’re using it on an Amazon Fire TV device, then you’ll need to access it via a browser like Firefox, as it won’t work directly with the app.

NordVPN isn’t alone in this regard and most other providers suffer this same fate.

But you should be able to unblock and enjoy BBC content from anywhere in the world if you are using NordVPN.

The Disney+ service has plenty to offer, and if you’re a Disney fan, then you’ll be pleased to know that, yes, this VPN does work with Disney+.

On the NordVPN website, they have a dedicated article on how to watch securely.

They claim to unblock 36 different regions which is impressive. I didn’t test them all because Disney Plus is much the same regardless of region bar a few differences.

However I did test all the main regions including the United States, Canada and United Kingdom and found them to be working without issue.

NordVPN states their service works with 14 different regions of Amazon Prime.

These include the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Australia and more.

My results were a little hit-and-miss testing the main regions and so I don’t recommend it as reliable enough for streaming Prime.

However, compared with other providers I’ve also found Amazon Prime difficult to access.

It doesn’t work at all on Fire TV devices which NordVPN clearly state in their guides.

Where to begin with this section? I could list them all, but we will just go so far as to say that streaming sites like ITVX, My5, 7Plus and a great many others work well with this service.

NordVPN offers much greater compatibility than many other VPN providers, and it would be far quicker for me to list the streaming services that it cannot unblock than the ones that it can.

6. Price

Prices and Plans

NordVPN’s price packages have got a little more complicated in recent times owing to the sheer volume of different features and services they now offer.

A NordVPN subscription ranges from 1 month to a lengthy 2 years. It’s worth considering these longer subscription periods because you’ll make the most significant savings.

But there are now also three different levels of subscription available. They are:

  • Standard – includes VPN, ad-blocker, and malware protection
  • Plus – All the above plus a password manager and data breach scanner
  • Complete – All the above plus 1TB of cloud storage too.

The current prices for these packages at the time of writing are as follows:

Standard:

  • 1-month: $12.99 per month (£10.12)
  • 1-year: $4.99 per month (£3.88)
  • 2-year: $3.42 per month (£2.66)

Plus

  • 1-month: $13.99 per month (£10.90)
  • 1-year: $5.99 per month (£4.66)
  • 2-year: $4.28 per month (£3.33)

Complete

  • 1-month: $14.99 per month (£11.68)
  • 1-year: $6.99 per month (£5.44)
  • 2-year: $5.13 per month (£3.99)

Across all packages the 1-month and 1-year subscription periods have all increased in price.

The only price reduction has been seen on the 2-year package. I don’t generally recommend subscribing to any service for more than 1 year at a time due to the potential for the quality to deteriorate.

However, if you’re after making the biggest saving then you’re pushed towards the 2-year package.

As you can see, it’s cheaper to subscribe to a NordVPN account for longer periods.

NordVPN did previously offer a 3-year plan which was popular and represented even better value for money. That is not available at the moment, but it may come back in the future.

Keep an eye out for special offers from this VPN as these can save you even more, both on a per-month basis and overall.

NordVPN like many other providers offerings discounts at holiday periods like Christmas, New Year, Halloween and more. If you’re after saving even more then you may want to wait until these periods.

My recommendation for the best combination of price and risk aversion is to take the 1-year VPN subscription package. It doesn’t lock you in for an overly long time but gives you a higher discount over paying monthly.

It’s worth noting if you’re in many countries, you will need to pay VAT or sales tax on top. The United States, however, has 0% sales tax.

Payment is accepted via Credit or Debit card, and a wide range of crypto-currencies using CoinPayments such as Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple.

It seems payments such as UnionPay, Google Pay, AmazonPay and Direct Debit have been removed, however they may still be available in some countries.

Paypal has now returned as a payment option and personally I’m pleased to see that as many of you will be using Paypal for payments.

They do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee as well. Should you change your mind after testing NordVPN yourself, you can get 100% of your money back from NordVPN with absolutely no questions asked.

7. Verdict

Verdict

NordVPN has, without question, been one of the leading VPN services in recent years, and with the additions they’ve made, it’s no wonder so many users rave about their service, leaving positive review after review.

This VPN service has loads to offer in terms of VPN protection, servers, connection points, apps and download speed making them one of our favourite providers of the year. On many counts, it blows other VPNs out of the water.

My speed tests have shown that they provide excellent download speed when connected to servers all over the globe, and you can establish a VPN connection quickly using “Quick Connect”. There won’t be a service that you can’t access because of speed issues.

The audited no-log policy plus their recent recommitment to the security of their service, is reassuring. With recent reassessments, the security blip of 2019 is now not concerning.

From my review, I like the recent improvements to their apps too. The macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS app are all easier to use and more intuitive for the features you need quick access to. Their Amazon Fire TV app is a massive bonus to the service, allowing you to unblock content and protect your privacy on a big screen.

NordVPN’s encryption is excellent and I appreciate them introducing WireGuard which not only speeds up their service but also adds an extra level of threat protection too.

It is packed with additional security features that I really like too, including excellent server security, obfuscated servers, colocated servers, perfect forward secrecy, multiple IP addresses, static IP addresses, a kill switch (including an individual app kill switch), split tunneling, and more so you will be very secure using this VPN.

The threat protection offered by NordVPN really is second to none and being based in Panama, a country with no mandatory data retention laws means you can be confident your data is secure too.

They even passed my leak tests, so you’ll be fully protected, being able to browse any website you want without worrying about DNS leaks and other data breaches.

No matter what your VPN usage is Nord delivers. It unblocks video content with ease from streaming services such as Netflix, Peacock, BBC, Disney+ and many others. In fact, when it comes to unblocking streaming platforms, NordVPN is right up there with the very best.

It did struggle with the likes of Amazon Prime but overall it gets a big thumbs up on the streaming stakes from me.

You’ll also be able to unblock website content from geo-restricted sites by using one of their many IP addresses and regardless of which of the multiple VPN servers they offer from locations around the world you choose to connect to.

Overall I feel NordVPN is definitely one of the best VPN choices for 2024. After testing their service for over 11 years they’ve continued to improve.

I’m not a huge fan of them branching out and making the subscription prices more complicated but it comes with the territory and many big VPN providers are doing the same.

Don’t forget they’ve got a huge 30-day money-back guarantee too, which gives you plenty of time to test their service, so if you’re not happy, all you have to do is contact their live chat customer support and get a full refund, with absolutely no questions asked.

Try them risk-free today!

30-day money-back guarantee

What do users think?

Now you know what I think, let’s take a look at what Trustpilot users think where NordVPN has a score of 4.2 out of 5.

Comparing to other providers, ExpressVPN has 4.5 out of 5, IPVanish has 4.2 out of 5, Surfshark has 4.4 out of 5 and CyberGhost VPN has 4.4 out of 5 currently.

Mark G said “I chose Nord VPN because it’s a VPN that actually works. I know this because I have tried many other VPN providers which paled by comparison and, quite frankly failed in regard to speed, security, stability, privacy.”

Al Forsyth said “Support asked me to change various settings but as they only seemed to email overnight that took forever and never did resolve the problem.”

Tom said “A warning to everyone who opts for the one month service, they will set up a auto-renew payment plan which will keep charging you for every month until you manually turn it off.”

David M. Shaffer said “The Team at NordVPN are consummate professionals! I don’t give five stars very often but here it is absolutely deserved. I have been a customer since 2015 if I’m not mistaken.” [3]

Sources

  1. Reddit | Is NordVPN a good choice for torrenting?
  2. Wired | NordVPN review
  3. TrustPilot | NordVPN

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Author: Christopher Seward

Having used the internet since 1994, Christopher launched one of the very first VPN comparison websites in 2013. An expert in the field his reviews, testing and knowledge have helped thousands of users get the correct VPN for their needs.

Comments

  1. Roger J

    I actually prefer nord over express even though people rave about express. Prefer their apps and their prices are unbeatable.

    • Christopher Seward

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. There’s definitely a split of users who prefer ExpressVPN or NordVPN over the other. Thankfully they’re two of the best.

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