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NordVPN Review (2021): Is it Worth the Hype?

NordVPN is an amazing all-around service that manages to stick to the basics without feeling too simplistic. It's got power, it's got speed, and it's got customizability, making it a superb choice for just about everyone.

Rating

Rating

Price

$11.95/mo

Pros

  • Unblocks Netflix
  • No logs
  • Excellent software design with smart apps cater to both VPN newbies and power users
  • Specialized servers that provide double encryption and anti DDoS
  • Great speeds
  • Live chat support
  • Great price

Cons

  • No label on streaming servers
  • Kill switch on Android not available.

Most of us have heard of NordVPN by now. Whether it’s been through word of mouth or through sponsored ads (usually on a super cool YouTube video or podcast), the NordVPN brand name is out there, and it tends to be top of the list when you think VPN. 

Chances are you have probably been thinking about VPNs lately. Previously, they were only considered useful for those who travel internationally or process sensitive data. Now, many different types of internet users benefit from VPN services. 

So, how well does NordVPN deliver on its near–household name status? Is it a service truly worthy of buzz? That’s exactly what this NordVPN review will set out to discover. Read on as we review download speeds, software installations, mobile app quality, customer support, and more.

NordVPN Review

NordVPN Overview

There’s a lot more to NordVPN’s popularity than smart advertising. The size of its network is definitely worth writing home about: at the time of publication, it consists of 5,151 servers in 60 different countries. Such a variety opens up plenty of options for fast connections and region-free internet surfing. 

Other popular features of NordVPN include: 

  • Easy-to-use software for smartphones, desktops, and tablets
  • Unlimited server switching and up to five simultaneous device connections
  • Unlimited bandwidth and no restrictions on torrent or P2P downloads
  • The low-priced subscription plans are some of the best in the business

Installing NordVPN: A Quick and Easy Experience

Getting started with NordVPN is painless and straightforward. Once you’ve created your account, you can switch over to the downloads screen where everything you need is laid out in a tidy grid. All major operating systems and device platforms are supported, often with both custom software and OpenVPN support. If you need alternate setup files or want to use L2TP protocols, you can download the configurations right away.

Platforms supported by NordVPN:

  • Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP (custom app, OpenVPN GUI)
  • MacOS (custom app, Tunnelblick)
  • Linux (.ovpn config file)
  • Android (Google Play custom app, .apk download, OpenVPN)
  • iOS (app store download, OpenVPN)
  • Router (DD-WRT, Tomato)
  • RaspberryPi (.ovpn config file)

Android and iOS users can access the NordVPN app for their device through Google Play and the iTunes App Store respectively. Android users also get a standalone .apk file to download and install manually.

Using NordVPN

NordVPN has one of the most attractive interfaces around. When you log in, the first thing you see is a fun animated map with pins showing the locations of all the NordVPN servers. You can click a pin to connect to the fastest server in the country or scroll around and browse the submarines and ships floating in the pale blue ocean. Your choice!

NordVPN review 2021

A quick-connect option is available as soon as you boot up NordVPN. You can also switch over to the server tab for complete control of where you connect. This sleek section lists the company’s network alphabetically by country, making it easy if you have a specific location in mind. (We’re looking at you, VPN users who are just in this game to use international streaming services).

Clicking a list item automatically connects you to the fastest server in the area, but you can also hover the cursor and choose the menu icon for more details. Interestingly, NordVPN is one of the only VPNs that gives a precise mile/kilometer count of how far you are to the server.

At the top of the server tab are NordVPN’s unique server offerings, including specialty servers like anti-DDoS, dedicated IPs, double VPN, onion over VPN, and P2P-tuned. We’ll discuss these in more detail below, but it’s great having these at the top of the list as power users will be making frequent use of them.

When you’re connected, the NordVPN software shows a big white and green power button slid to the “on” position. Just below it shows your new IP and displays the country you’re connected to. We can’t find information on the specific city location of each server, but when it comes down to it, that doesn’t really matter. NordVPN makes it extremely easy to get the fastest connection every time you log in, and that’s what’s important.

NordVPN: Software Settings

If you opt to use NordVPN’s custom desktop software, you’re in for a treat. Not only is it well designed and extremely easy to use but it’s also got a ton of useful options you can dig into for deep customization. By default, you’ll be able to take a look at your account details and a system connects log, as well as being able to scroll through a handful of basic software options. The kill switch toggle is here (and off by default), as are things like automatic updates and the option for NordVPN’s smart reconnect feature. 

This smart reconnect feature, known as auto-connect, is here to save even the most forgetful of us. Auto-connect works by automatically connecting each user to their VPN every time a WiFi connection is formed. All you have to do is set up auto-connect once and it’ll have your back from then on out. Users can choose whether they want the feature to be activated only on WiFi networks, only on unsecured networks, or at all times. 

Though humans are creatures of habit, even the most habitual among us can forget about certain tasks. Unfortunately, forgetting to connect to your VPN can leave you open to security vulnerabilities. Much like forgetting to lock your car or house, all it takes is one instance for something to go wrong, so enabling this auto-connect feature is definitely worthwhile. 

And the customizable settings don’t end here. Scroll down to the bottom of the “general” section and you’ll see a link labeled “advanced options.” Click it then click the “I know what I am doing” warning to get access to the real goodies. Here, you can toggle the server list and map tabs, which is a great way to change the experience if you’re setting up NordVPN for a friend who isn’t as computer savvy. With both of these off, only the automatic quick connection option will be available, making it laughably easy to log in and start using the secure VPN with the best connection. 

Security Options

A couple of security options are just below the advanced settings, including custom configurations in case you don’t want to use NordVPN’s servers. The first is a simple toggle between TCP and UDP protocols. Think of VPN protocol as a rule list that tells your VPN how to route your data from your device to your VPN server. Protocols help VPNs maintain a safe connection at all times.

TCP, which stands for transmission control protocol, is the most common kind of connection used in VPNs. TCP protocols are used to move data between your computer, tablet, and phone, etc. and the internet. It works by establishing a connection between these two mediums and maintaining it for the whole time that data is being transferred.

UDP, on the other hand, does not work by establishing a connection between the two areas that it’s transferring information between. UDP, or user datagram protocol, is therefore a lot faster than TCP, but it does mean that data can sometimes get lost while it’s traveling through at super speed. 

If ISP throttling or government-level censorship is a problem in your area, NordVPN offers an “obfuscated servers” switch that lets you blast through firewalls and access the open internet no matter where you travel. It can slow your speed down significantly, although slow access is better than no access.

Mobile VPN Apps

The biggest challenge when creating mobile apps is finding the perfect balance between convenience and a wealth of features. It’s rarely easy to use something as intricate as a VPN while you fumble through menu items on a small touch screen. Nonetheless, NordVPN did an incredible job with its mobile software. We thoroughly tested the Android app and loved everything we encountered.

Most of the desktop software’s main features made the transition to mobile. As soon as you start the app, you’ll see Nord’s map, complete with the entire server network laid out with pins on each country. Tap one to bring up a small menu that lets you automatically connect to the fastest server. You can also take a look at the individual nodes within the country, presenting a list that’s sortable by distance, load, alphabetical order, or recommended.

If looking at a map isn’t your thing, NordVPN’s app also features a full server list that you can browse through at your leisure. The specialty servers are at the top with things like double VPN, anti-DDoS, and so on, with the rest of the countries listed alphabetically. You won’t have any sorting options here, but along with the map, you’ll be able to find what you need without any hassle.

Of course, you can skip all of this list-browsing and map-surfing if you like. The bottom of the app features a big “quick connect” button that you can tap to instantly join the fastest VPN server available. It turns green when you’re connected and also serves as a disconnect toggle, making it easy to know your status as well as changing it at a glance.

Options in the mobile app are similar to the desktop software but stripped down to the basics. CyberSec is available on Android (see below for more info), which is extremely useful if you’re traveling or do a lot of surfing on your phone. You can also turn on obfuscated servers, switch between TCP and UDP, and change auto-connect actions. Everything you need to enjoy a solid VPN experience is available just one or two taps away.

NordVPN’s Server Network

One of the clear advantages of using NordVPN is its impressive network of servers. The list is constantly expanding, but at the time of our review, it included 5,151 servers in 60 different countries, representing every continent except Antarctica. The three best-covered areas are North America, Europe, and Asia, including Hong Kong and Japan. You’ll also find locations in spots like Iceland, South Africa, Russia, New Zealand, and India. The vast number of nodes makes it super easy to find a reliable connection no matter where you live.

NordVPN’s Specialized Servers

The most unique feature of NordVPN’s network is its selection of specialized servers. These offer everything from double encryption to increased anonymity, all without having to configure or download separate software. If your daily activities require special consideration, all you have to do is click and connect to one of these nodes. We’ll take a closer look at the different server types below, performing a series of speed tests on each one to see how well they measure up.

Onion over VPN

Onion over VPN is an incredible privacy and anonymity feature that NordVPN builds into its server network and software. The onion network, made popular by services such as Tor, is a method of wrapping data in multiple layers of encryption and passing it through a series of servers to boost anonymity. It’s essentially like stuffing a letter inside an addressed envelope, putting that envelope inside another addressed envelope… You get the picture. Each recipient opens one envelope and mails the letter to the next location. By the time it reaches its destination, nobody knows where it came from, and finding out would be near impossible.

NordVPN’s onion over VPN servers are located in Sweden, the Netherlands, and Latvia. Perhaps not the most convenient of locations for many users, especially if you live in the U.S., but in our experience, they worked without too much slowdown. We ran speed tests on the best onion over VPN server followed by a standard server in the same area. The onion connection averaged just under 7 mb/s, while the standard one was barely shy of 10 mb/s. Onion networks are notoriously slow, which could account for all of the differences above. Speed shouldn’t be your main concern if you’re looking to use these onion servers, of course, but it’s nice to know that NordVPN can keep up.

Anti-DDos

If you do a lot of online gaming, you know what a DDoS attack is. And maybe, if you’re lucky (or, er, unlucky), you’ve been the victim of a DDoS attack yourself before. If that’s the case, you’ll understand how important an anti-DDoS server is.

DDoS stands for direct denial of service. It’s a crude method of bombarding a user’s connection with an overwhelming amount of useless data and requests. This causes an extreme slowdown and often kills a gamer’s connection, forcing them to drop out of the game or lose the match. DDoS attacks are also used on websites to force them to shut down. It’s a nasty method that’s a little too easy to pull off, but that’s where NordVPN’s specialized servers come into play.

Anti-DDoS servers are hardened against these attacks, making them perfect for online gaming. There are several nodes in the U.S. along with a few in Canada, Germany, and Italy, which covers a good chunk of the world (sorry, Southeast Asia).

We ran speed tests while connected to the closest anti-DDoS server followed by a standard NordVPN server at approximately the same distance. The DDoS connection averaged at just over 19 mb/s, while the standard was around 24 mb/s. Given other variables involved in speed testing, it’s pretty safe to say that the DDoS servers can keep up with a normal VPN connection.

Double VPN

128-bit AES encryption is incredibly tough and would take a state-of-the-art computer millions of years to crack. 256-bit AES encryption, which is what NordVPN and most other VPNs use, is exponentially stronger. 

With double VPN, your data is encrypted locally then passes through two servers where it is encrypted again. If you’re at all concerned about sensitive data being stolen or checked by third parties, double VPN should put those worries to rest in an instant. Nord offers a wide selection of these servers with nodes in Switzerland, Russia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Canada, and the U.S.

Encryption naturally slows down internet connections by a large percent, so double encryption should be even slower. We ran multiple speed tests while connected to Nord’s double VPN servers followed by standard Nord servers at approximately the same distance. The double VPN average was a tidy 7.75 mb/s with the regular server at 17.8 mb/s, which is about what we expected. Just like the onion option above, if you’re shooting for double encryption, speed shouldn’t be your top concern.

P2P (Peer to Peer)

P2P networks are a hot topic among VPN fans. By their nature, they divulge location and IP details with each peer they connect to, which makes using a VPN extremely important when downloading from these services. Unfortunately, a number of VPNs block or severely restrict P2P connections, as they slurp up a ton of bandwidth and can slow the entire network down. NordVPN has a neat solution to this conundrum: allow P2P connections but only on dedicated, finely tuned servers designed to handle the load.

If you connect to NordVPN while using P2P software, you’ll automatically be redirected to one of its P2P servers. You can also manually select these nodes if you know you’re going to be downloading. NordVPN has dozens of these servers throughout the U.S., Canada, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, and many others. It’s a solid distribution that should serve most users with a reliable connection.

Speed is extremely important when it comes to P2P. We tested servers in a few different locations to make sure their speeds were steady and reliable, always with good results. Speed tests from the closest servers to our physical location averaged 12.2 mb/s while standard NordVPN servers at a comparable distance were 20.64 mb/s.

Dedicated IP Address

When you connect to a virtual private network, you’re automatically assigned a non-local IP address that is shared with other users. There are a lot of advantages to using a shared IP, including increased anonymity. 

Anyone using the IP address can cause trouble for everyone, however. If someone gets the IP banned from a site, everyone who connects using that IP will also be banned. This can be a real problem on active VPNs with thousands of users, which is why NordVPN created a workaround.

Dedicated IP address servers give you a chance to stick with the same IP across all of your internet activity. You’ll still gain the anonymity features from using a VPN but won’t have to deal with random people getting your IP banned. You’ll also be able to use sites and networks that demand a stable IP address, and you won’t have to re-verify your identity on financial sites that require it each time your IP changes.

Feeling a bit confused? Think of a dedicated IP as being your own private little slice of the internet — it will belong to one website hosting account and nobody else. The main benefit of this is that website owners can restrict access to sensitive areas to only their dedicated IP address. 

Usually, when you hop on an IP from a VPN, you are sharing that IP address with other users. While this isn’t inherently bad — in fact, it is actually the exact purpose of a VPN because it ensures anonymity — it might not be as secure as some business owners would hope for. By relying on a dedicated IP address, business owners can safely whitelist their own IP without worrying about anyone else possibly getting in through this pathway. 

Anyone can connect to the dedicated IP servers, but they won’t gain the benefits of a stable IP unless they order one through NordVPN. Dedicated IPs aren’t part of the standard service plans, though. You’ll need to contact NordVPN support and pay a yearly fee of $70 to get things set up. Once you do, you’ll be able to use servers in the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK with your own stable and anonymous IP address.

READER DEAL: Get a huge 68% discount for the yearly plan – that calculates to only $3.71/month

Testing NordVPN’s Speed 

Any VPN service you use will be a little slower than a basic, unsecured connection. Encryption overhead has a lot to do with this, as does the physical distance between you and the VPN’s servers. The quality of the company’s network is also a major factor, which is why you should always put a high priority on finding a VPN that cares about download and streaming speeds.

Our Methodology 

There are countless variables that come into play when you start testing internet speeds, including local hardware, server load, and ISP variance. You can even run the same tests at the same time on different days and get totally different results! 

To make sure our numbers are as reliable as possible, we deployed three tests throughout the day. Each one used a different method for recording speed. We tested our raw ISP speed first and then connected to the VPN and ran the same test, always using the closest server and the fastest protocols possible. For NordVPN this meant a standard server with obfuscation disabled running a UDP port, all configurable through the desktop software.

Here’s a quick overview of the tests we used.

  • VPN Speed Test #1: We downloaded a series of files ranging from 1 to 16 MB in size, all of which were served by a content delivery network that automatically detects and adjusts location.
  • VPN Speed Test #2: A ten-minute test where we downloaded a single 100 MB file from the same server once every 60 seconds.
  • VPN Speed Test #3: A quick speed test that connects to a single server to record the best upload and download speeds.

NordVPN Speed Test Results

NordVPN had some of the least variable results we’ve seen in our VPN tests, which is a good thing! Connecting to recommended servers consistently produced speeds between 70-86% of our ISP’s max, usually hitting closer to the higher end. The results of our tests are outlined below. Remember that the actual numbers will vary from person to person as well as time of day, which means your speeds could be vastly different.

Multi-file download (Test #1):

Highest recorded ISP speed: 15.42 mb/s

Highest recorded NordVPN speed: 12.9 mb/s

100 MB repeated download (Test #2):

Local ISP – 6.12 mb/s (low) – 7.56 mb/s (high) – 7.73 mb/s average

NordVPN- 3.91 mb/s (low) – 6.32 mb/s (high) – 5.45 mb/s average

Single burst test (Test #3):

Best ISP speed (single server): 41.21 mb/s download, 5.82 mb/s upload

Best NordVPN speed (single server): 35.8 mb/s download, 5.52 mb/s upload

NordVPN delivered excellent speeds across the board. Following the software’s connection recommendations will always give you fast downloads, and even if you need to switch to another country, you’re not likely to be disappointed with the speed.

When it comes to internet speed, most of us have a low tolerance for slowness. Unfortunately, with any VPN, speed is going to be impacted, and not for the better either. However, if your VPN is doing its job properly, you don’t need to worry about this decrease. It’s expected that a VPN will naturally require more time than a regular internet connection because it’s adding a few extra steps to your connection. 

You can expect your VPN speed to fluctuate based on the distance to the server, the number of users that are currently on a given server, and the level of encryption (a very secure encryption level will be a bit slower but it’s a fair price to pay).

Plus, don’t forget that the speeds offered by your ISP (internet service provider) will always affect your overall speeds, VPN or not. If you’re upgrading to a fancy new VPN, it might also be time to upgrade to a fancy new internet package. 

Speed test for servers in Switzerland. Great speeds!

Security

Keeping your data and identity safe is what a VPN is built to do. In fact, security is likely the number #1 reason that a user would turn to a VPN in the first place. So it wouldn’t make much sense if a VPN didn’t deliver excellent security measures. 

While its security features aren’t always shouted about from the rooftops, NordVPN is one of the best services for anyone who needs reliable privacy. Let’s take a closer look at NordVPN’s security features and privacy policies to see how hard the VPN works to protect your anonymity. 

Logging Policy

Online privacy is built upon a VPN’s logging policy. User activity that’s recorded and kept in logs can help improve the network and provide better service, but it can also be used to track customers by matching their accounts to traffic activity.

NordVPN has one of the most comprehensive zero-logging policies in the VPN marketplace. Of the five main areas, Nord specifically states it doesn’t keep logs in four. The only unknown is whether or not it stores DNS request information. Even if it does, the fact that no other information is retained means your data is incredibly safe — arguably safer than any other VPN around.

NordVPN’s Jurisdiction

An often-overlooked feature of a VPN service is where the company is legally registered. Every entity is bound by the laws of the country it resides in. If a VPN is in a region with poor privacy regulations or strict data retention policies, your own privacy could be in danger. Some governments even have regulations in place that allow agencies to take data from VPNs without notifying customers.

Another consideration in the jurisdiction debate is the Five, Nine, and Fourteen Eyes surveillance agreements. Many countries in the western world, including the UK, the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, and Germany, share information with each other to circumvent domestic privacy laws. If a Canadian agency wanted information on its own citizens, for example, it could simply “borrow” data legally requested by a cooperating government. An ideal situation is to use a VPN registered in a country with no ties to any of the Fourteen Eyes governments.

NordVPN’s jurisdiction is Panama, a country with no affiliation to any of the nations in the Five, Nine, or Fourteen Eyes agreements. Nearly all data requests and takedown orders will not apply to NordVPN, its servers, or its customers. In the event a subpoena is issued by a Panamanian court, NordVPN would theoretically be required to provide the requested information. However, thanks to an incredibly comprehensive zero-logging policy, none of that information would be available.

Bug Bounty Program

As part of its commitment to security, NordVPN also offers a bug bounty program, a concept that you might already be familiar with if you frequent other tech-focused websites or products. With the bug bounty program, any NordVPN user is able to point out possible security vulnerabilities in exchange for compensation. This program is available across all Nord products, not just the VPN. 

This is a great way to ensure that bugs and other vulnerabilities are picked up as soon as possible. Entrusting the hands of it userbase is a smart idea as it would be difficult for even the most robust of internal teams to keep up with omnipresent surveillance. 

DNS Leak Tests

DNS servers are sets of non-local computers that hold a database of public IP addresses and their associated hostnames. It’s easy for us to remember words like google.com or addictivetips.com, but in order to connect to a website, you need to know its IP. 

Each time you type a URL into your browser, a DNS server matches the address with the correct IP. This makes it easier for us to use the internet, as without DNS servers, we’d have to memorize a ton of random numbers just to check our email.

When you connect to the internet, you normally utilize your ISP’s DNS servers. It’s possible for a third party to see which DNS servers you’re using and trace that activity back to your location. When you connect through a VPN, however, you use their servers instead of your ISP’s. To make sure your device never defaults to local DNS servers, most VPN software comes with DNS leak protection which seals things shut so your true identity is never revealed.

NordVPN’s apps come with built-in DNS leak protection. The Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS versions even come with IPv6 leak protection, which is essentially future-proofing your online privacy for new devices and new IP addresses. We tested the leak protection through two different third-party services on desktop and mobile devices. Both times, the results showed no leaks, ensuring we were perfectly hidden.

Kill Switch Protection

In order to provide the security, privacy, and anonymity we desire, a VPN needs to be able to function like a gatekeeper for your entire internet connection. If anything slips through unencrypted, it could reveal personal information. In the case of accidental disconnects or even software failure, VPN apps are built with automatic kill switches that prevent your operating system from reconnecting without going through the VPN first. This means that you don’t have to worry about dangerous data getting through unencrypted if your VPN connection drops. 

NordVPN’s kill switch is turned off by default. As soon as you start the software, you should go to the settings and scroll to the item marked “kill switch.” Click the toggle on the right and you’ll be set. While you’re at it, make sure the “auto-connect” option is also turned on just for convenience. You can still manually disconnect from NordVPN with the kill switch active, but the moment something goes wrong, it will spring into action to keep you safe.

One interesting feature NordVPN includes in its desktop kill switches is the ability to choose specific programs to shut down in case of a disconnect. When we tried this feature, we found it a little too aggressive for our liking, but you might find that it suits your needs. Even if you manually disconnect from a NordVPN server, the kill switch instantly shuts down the programs added to the list. It’s an extreme measure that does good things for the privacy-conscious, but most users will get by fine with the default options.

We tested NordVPN’s kill switch by force-closing the connection using an external program. The moment we did, our internet connection was shut down, preventing any programs from making an external connection. Nord’s software didn’t seem to register the force-close, however. No notifications were provided and the green “on” button still showed an active connection. About 30 seconds later, the software quietly reconnected and our internet access was restored. No leaks occurred during this time.

Encryption and Security Protocols

NordVPN uses 256-bit AES encryption on all data, the industry standard that’s incredibly safe without being too sluggish. By default, the custom software uses the OpenVPN protocol connecting through the UDP port for optimal speed. There’s an added option you can turn on called “obfuscated servers” that makes it easier to connect to the internet in restricted locations, i.e. China, Turkey, Russia, and the UAE. All of these add up to stellar online security, and they’re handled in an easy to use, easy to understand way.

When downloading NordVPN you’ll be presented with a few options in addition to the custom software. It’s recommended that all users go with the custom app whenever possible. If you can’t, or if your needs are slightly different, Nord makes it easy to use alternative protocols, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

  • OpenVPN UDP – The fastest option with an excellent balance of security and speed. Available through the custom software and turned on by default.
  • OpenVPN TCP – A slightly slower alternative to UDP you can toggle from the custom software’s settings page.
  • L2TP & PPTP – Not as secure as OpenVPN, but useful for accessing the internet in restrictive areas. You can download .pbk files loaded with the configuration options you need to use these protocols, but it’s recommended you only try it if you know what you’re doing.
  • SSTP – Connects through the secure HTTPS port 443 to bypass censorship blocks. It’s slow and not very reliable and should only be a last resort.

Extra Security from NordVPN: CyberSec

A relatively new feature to the NordVPN experience is CyberSec, an optional security toggle for Windows, Android, and Mac. This helpful setting blocks ads and malware at the source, preventing things like flashing banners and dangerous content from ever reaching your computer. CyberSec works by matching URL requests with a real-time block list of malicious websites. NordVPN’s DNS servers will stop data from being transmitted to your device and deliver a warning message instead. If you want to visit the site anyway, you have to disable CyberSec from the software. It’s another excellent feature that’s perfect to set and forget for complete online security.

Using NordVPN in China

China’s Great Firewall prevents travelers and citizens from accessing thousands of websites. Using a VPN is the best way to break through this censorship filter. The Chinese government has an active program to block VPNs, however, which makes it tough to find a service that works on the mainland.

NordVPN provides excellent access to the open internet in places like China, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Of course, you’ll have to download NordVPN before you enter the country (the website is blocked by the Chinese government). As soon as you log in go to the settings page and turn on the “obfuscate server” option. This adds another layer of encryption to your data that prevents the Chinese firewalls from monitoring your activity. It’s quite a bit slower to use, but having full access is a precious thing in some parts of the world.

Netflix Availability

Netflix blocks access to almost every VPN service on the market. There aren’t any reliable workarounds, either, as Netflix is vigilant about filtering new IP ranges to keep video streams region locked. VPNs have a few methods they can deploy to fight back, but it’s always a game of cat and mouse with neither staying on top for long.

At the risk of sounding giddy, our tests with NordVPN’s Netflix access were amazing. We tried handfuls of servers around the world, including Canada, the U.S., Brazil, and Japan. Every single time NordVPN crossed the barrier and pulled through with a fast video stream. Speed varied depending on distance, but we never encountered the dreaded error message warning us to turn off our VPN. This could change at any time, but it does show that Nord is serious about providing reliable access to Netflix on all devices.

According to NordVPN’s data, Netflix is accessible in the U.S. for all customers. Mobile access to the same servers are somewhat restricted, however. If you have an Android TV box, smartphone, or other device, check NordVPN’s Netflix guide for information on how to connect.  As of 2021, most customers report that they are able to access other countries’ Netflix platforms with ease using NordVPN. 

NordVPN Customer Support

NordVPN has an incredible help center. It’s clean, easy to browse, easy to search, and is filled with guides and tutorials for just about every problem you can run into. The knowledge base covers countless frequently asked questions, and VPN set-up guides are right on the front to help you get started. If you can’t find a good answer, NordVPN also has a contact form you can use to submit a support ticket for an actual human to assist you 24/7. Response times are generally within a few hours.

NordVPN: Pricing and Plans

NordVPN is known for its incredibly affordable plans. Each one comes with all the features discussed above, including unlimited bandwidth, a complete lack of speed caps, full access to the entire server network, and much more. The only decision you have to make is how long you want to subscribe, as different plans offer different discounts depending on length.

All of NordVPN’s plans are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can cancel for any reason with no questions asked, which is perfect for trying the service out to see if the speed and security features are an ideal fit for you.

NordVPN review pricing

All of NordVPN’s plans are backed by a 30-day money back guarantee. You can cancel for any reason, no questions asked, which is perfect for trying the service out to see if the speed and security features are ideal for you.

Addictive Tips readers can get an exclusive deal with NordVPN. Sign up for a two-year contract and get an incredible 68% discount, just $3.71 a month! You’ll still be able to take advantage of the stellar money back guarantee, making this the best way to get started with a VPN, hands down.

NordVPN: What We Liked, What We Didn’t

We spent a lot of time with NordVPN, sorting through options screens, trying out versions of its software, connecting to different servers and testing their speeds. This gave us a great opportunity to become familiar with the service and how it fits into your day to day life. Below are a few of our final thoughts about NordVPN.

We liked…

  • Excellent software design that provides plenty of customizability with a sleek, attractive interface.
  • Specialized servers that provide double encryption and anti DDoS are simply amazing.
  • Mind-boggling server network with tons of locations to choose from.
  • Smart apps cater to both VPN newbies and power users alike.
  • Great speeds to a lot of major cities and countries worldwide.

We didn’t like…

  • P2P and torrent connections are limited to certain servers, which can affect your speeds if you’re not located near one of the nodes.

Is NordVPN Right for You?

NordVPN is an amazing all-around service that manages to stick to the basics without feeling too simplistic. It’s got power, it’s got speed, and it’s got customizability, making it a superb choice for just about everyone.

If you’re a heavy torrent or P2P user, you’ll want to try NordVPN for a few days to make sure you can get a reliable connection. Thankfully, the money-back guarantee makes that pretty easy to do. Everyone else should make sure to check out the specialized servers to see how much they can change your online experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with NordVPN’s speed and security on the first day. We certainly did!

 

How to get a FREE VPN for 30 days

If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. NordVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.

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