NordVPN Review: Affordable, Safe & Great Privacy!

19-Sep-2019

NordVPN is a VPN provider that focuses on the privacy of its users. This is evidenced, among other things, by the fact that they have their headquarters in Panama. In addition, it is indicated that no user logs are kept. This is underlined by the fact that you do not have to provide any personal data when registering your NordVPN account if you do not want to. Please read NordVPN's full review below to find out if this VPN is right for you. With the help of our experience with NordVPN you will get a clear picture of this VPN service.

NordVPN review, our experience: Affordable & Safe & Great privacy!

NordVPN servers

NordVPN has more than 5500 servers available in 59 countries around the world to which you can connect as a customer. The service has expanded considerably in recent years in terms of number of servers and locations. Below you can also see a screenshot of the software with an overview of locations where NordVPN has a server. This is again beneficial for the speed of the connection. NordVPN also has VPN servers in quite a few countries on these continents. This means that you can see geographically blocked content from many different countries.

Dedicated IP-address

With this VPN provider you have the possibility of attaching a dedicated IP address to your VPN connection. With a dedicated IP address (also called dedicated IP address) you can choose to always use a fixed IP address for the outside world when using a VPN. This can be interesting in the following cases, for example, it will cost you $70 per year (converted approximately €63) at the time of writing.

Using NordVPN

As indicated, good software is available for all known operating systems. Installing NordVPN on your computer or smartphone is very easy to do. The use of the software is then, even easier. Many people wonder how safe NordVPN really is. When installing and using NordVPN, it is really impossible for hackers and malicious persons to eavesdrop on your browsing data. And the software itself is very trustworthy. NordVPN's software is more comprehensive than most other VPN services. Besides the standard functionality for choosing a server, there are many options for the demanding user. But even without changing the settings the VPN client works perfectly.

Operating Systems: Windows and Mac computers

You can easily see how heavily each server is loaded and what the ping to that server is. For example, if you want to use an American server for your VPN connection you will know exactly which one is the fastest and the settings are clear and extensive. There is plenty to set up for those who want to. You can easily enable or disable various options in the settings. You can also switch between the UDP or TCP protocol. And you can also choose to use so called obfuscated servers. These are servers that are present for locations where VPN's are trying to be banned. This is ideal if, for example, you want to use a VPN in China.

Mobile apps for iOS and Android

Also for Android and iPhone there are easy apps with which you can use and set up the NordVPN. They are very similar to the software that is also available for Windows and MacOS but below you can see a screenshot of the NordVPN on an android device. For example, the app also works on an Android TV, which is of course very handy. On the iPhone it looks about the same. For an iPad the same applies as for the iOS app. Setting up NordVPN on iPads and Android tablets is also very easy, below you will find another screenshot of NordVPN on Android. This way you get a reasonable idea of the features that the mobile apps have. You also see how the Smart play technology works in the app.

NordVPN on Linux

NordVPN has created software for the Linux distributions Ubuntu and Debian. The software can be downloaded as .deb and installed. After installation you can easily connect through the application to the servers available at NordVPN. A disadvantage for some might be that this application only works from the command line. There is also a clear and easy to use description on the NordVPN website on how to add VPN connections to Linux distribution. This is done in a few simple steps and then you can connect from the visual environment to a VPN server of your choice.

Chrome extension and Firefox addon

NordVPN also has a chrome VPN extension and Firefox addon that allows you to run all your surfing behavior through a VPN server. If you have a subscription with NordVPN you can easily use the more than 5100 servers that NordVPN has made available in more than 61 countries with this extension and addon. Our experiences with the browser add on and extension are very positive. The browser functions work ideally when you want to watch a broadcast on RTL XL on your holiday for example. You simply click on a Dutch server in your browser and connect, from then on you can just see all the available broadcasts. Our experience with the NordVPN Chrome and Firefox extension and add-on is very good.

NordVPN router

NordVPN is easy to use with routers that have an OpenVPN client option. You can find extensive manuals for different types of routers on NordVPN's website. The manual can even be followed by people who are not so technically proficient, the manual is very user friendly. We followed the manual for this NordVPN review and it was really good to use, as it was quite detailed. There is also an extensive manual on how to set up NordVPN on routers with the DD-WRT firmware. This is an open-source firmware that can be installed on many different routers. The advantage of setting up a VPN on a router is that it allows all equipment to connect to the internet via a VPN. For example, you can use your Chromecast and Apple TV via a NordVPN connection when setting up a VPN connection on your router.

Automatic connection

The software of NordVPN, both for smartphones and for the personal computers, has a built in user-friendliness that really appeals to us. Certainly because in our opinion this is also a security option, as you can set the connection to the VPN server to be made automatically when the computer starts up. To do this the NordVPN program has to be started when the computer or smartphone starts up. This is a setting which can be found in the settings menu. Also the option for automatic connection must be checked in the NordVPN software. This way you can be sure that you have a VPN connection at all times.

Privacy and security at NordVPN

Privacy has a very high priority at NordVPN, this is reflected by a number of facts. NordVPN does not keep any logs at all, they have zero logging policy as it is called. No connection and no usage logs. What is even more good for privacy is that when subscribing to the service you do not have to fill in any personal data. An email address and password is in fact sufficient. Because Bitcoin is available as a payment method you can also pay anonymously. In combination with an anonymous payment address you can use the VPN connection anonymously, as well as the fact that the service is located in Panama. This also indicates that they take the privacy of their customers very seriously. The fact that they are outside the jurisdiction of the United States and Europe, makes NordVPN an ideal choice.

NordVPN is also very good at technology and encryption. For example, OpenVPN is available on all servers with 2048 bit SSL encryption, OpenVPN is NordVPN's standard choice for Windows and Android. Apart from this, IKEv2IPSec is offered. These are standard used for MacOS and iOS. If you want the other protocol than the one available in the app of your operating system, there is a clear and easy explanation on the NordVPN website to select the one you want. As of now, NordVPN has stopped offering the PPTP and L2TPIPSec protocols. These are simply outdated and can no longer provide the security that a VPN service is supposed to provide. In addition, NordVPN has two other features that distinguish it from other VPN providers in terms of privacy. For example, they support dual VPN connections and VPN over TOR connections. You can read exactly what this means below.

VPN about TOR

For true maximum security, NordVPN servers combine VPN with tor. Your data comes and goes from the VPN server. The VPN server itself uses the tor network, also called the onion network, for that purpose. The combination of these 2 anonymous networks provide the best security for anonymous surfing, but a disadvantage of this connection is that it is very slow. The onion network is a lot slower than the normal internet.

Dual VPN connection

In practice this means that your internet traffic is sent to a VPN server, then the data is sent to another server and only then to the website. The idea of this is that your privacy is even better protected. In addition, the traffic between the servers and the traffic between your computer and server are mixed tcp and udp connections. For this NordVPN review we have of course tested this double VPN feature. Our experiences with the double VPN connection of NordVPN are surprisingly good. We had expected a big delay but actually it was not that bad. While surfing you do not notice that a double VPN connection is being used.

Killswitch

NordVPN's software and apps also have a kill switch function. This is a function that ensures that Internet traffic is blocked when the VPN connection is lost. In this way no potentially sensitive data is sent and received in an insecure way. A kill switch function is a requirement for any VPN service that takes itself seriously. On Windows and Mac computers it is possible to set a kill switch per application or an overall one. On these operating systems it is therefore possible, for example, to stop internet traffic from your browser if the VPN connection is lost. On MacOS and Windows it is also possible to block all internet traffic when the VPN connection is lost. On Android and iOS it is only possible to stop all internet traffic when the internet connection is lost. This prevents accidental leakage of unencrypted data.

Ads and malware blocker Cybersec

NordVPN has also recently built an ad and malware blocker into their software for Windows and MacOS. With Cybersec enabled, NordVPN ensures that dangerous websites and websites that display advertisements and collect data are automatically blocked. We have tested this feature and experience shows that this Cybersec feature does a good job.

NordVPN server hacked

On 20 October 2019 it was announced that a VPN server of NordVPN in Finland had been hacked. The hack took place in March 2018, a while ago. The hack was also resolved fairly quickly at that time and so to date no new security risks have been discovered. The hackers had gained access to this Finnish VPN server and subsequently reported this to NordVPN. The access was gained by exploiting a weakness in the "remote management system". According to NordVPN, this is due to an insecure system of the hosting provider. Nevertheless, a hacked VPN server is of course a very bad thing. In theory, hackers can execute a man in the middle attack. Also in theory it would be possible that they could simply access your data. Now this would have only been the case if you were using that NordVPN server at the time of the hack. In addition, NordVPN declares to have closed the leak by now.

Speed and stability

In addition to being secure, a VPN service must of course always work quickly. In this review we have tested the connections extensively. We did this by connecting to a server in the neighborhood, Amsterdam in this case. Streaming HD movies was easy, the connection was fast enough. Also, downloading was quick and smooth. The speed we achieved during the test was 132.3 Mbps. This is a good speed for a VPN connection. With some VPN services the connections are really slow, but with NordVPN the connection does not seem to be slow. Also, in terms of stability we are very pleased. We have been online for 6 hours with the service and no time did we get disconnected. In our experience, a VPN connection with NordVPN is very reliable.

Torrent and Popcorn Time with NordVPN

NordVPN allows you to download with the Bittorrent protocol. Torrenting with NordVPN is therefore perfectly possible and allowed. The advantage of downloading torrents via a VPN connection is that your IP address is hidden from other parties. This is becoming more and more important because there are already IP addresses of people who download illegal content. Because Popcorn Time also uses the Bittorrent network, NordVPN is very suitable for streaming movies via Popcorn Time. Also, for people who use Popcorn Time to stream series and movies, a VPN connection is the solution to avoid fines. The service even supports the use of socks5. This is a proxy that can be used in many torrent clients. With the right settings the socks5 proxy from NordVPN allows you to download torrents anonymously, of course the IP is not visible to others. All in all NordVPN has proven to be an excellent torrenting VPN during our review period.

Kodi with NordVPN

If you want to use Kodi via a VPN connection it is easy to do so with all VPN services that OpenVPN offers as a protocol. This is the case with NordVPN, which can be used in combination with Kodi. To help you, NordVPN has a Kodi tutorial on the website. This tutorial is easy to follow. In this manner, it is easy to set up Kodi in such a way that there is always a VPN connection when you want to stream content in Kodi. This means that you can stream anonymously and also view geographically blocked content via Kodi.

Netflix and NordVPN

During our tests, NordVPN has proven to be able to bypass the VPN blockades of Netflix. At the time of writing this review, watching Netflix through a VPN connection of NordVPN works just fine. We have tested this regularly for a long time and it worked all the time. With a connection to an American NordVPN server we have been able to enjoy the American Netflix for the past few weeks. On the NordVPN website you can easily find which servers you should choose to look at the Netflix offer of a specific country. The fact that you can use NordVPN to bypass the geographical blockade of Netflix will be a big plus for those who also want to use the VPN to watch series and movies.

Smartplay-technologie

This allows you to easily select which content you want to watch. Think for example of Hulu, Netflix, HBO, NBC sports, Youtube and much more. NordVPN provides an encrypted connection to an alternative DNS. This makes it look as if you are logging in from the DNS server. The Smartplay technology is in fact a SMART DNS function.

Costs for NordVPN

The price that you pay for a subscription with this provider is, in our opinion, very good. Actually there are 4 different subscriptions offered; a monthly subscription, an annual subscription, a two-year subscription and a three-year subscription. Compared to other VPN providers, the price of NordVPN is average, but for what they offer it is a very good price. NordVPN is ranked 3rd in our list of best VPNs. But the number 1 ExpressVPN, is almost twice as expensive. NordVPN's price/quality ratio is perhaps the best of all VPN providers in our opinion. If you want to buy an affordable good VPN NordVPN is a good choice! This is only valid if you take out a 2 year subscription directly, which is available exclusively through the links on our website. A 1 year subscription costs $6.99 per month whereas a monthly subscription costs as much as $11.95 per month. These are quite high prices, so we recommend people who are looking for a good VPN to choose the 2 year or 3 year subscription, which costs $4.99 and $3.49 per month respectively. The prices on the NordVPN website are in Euro's. If you are looking for a cheaper provider we can recommend Surfshark, Private Internet Access or CyberGhost. These are VPN providers that are cheaper, but offer the same quality as NordVPN. A disadvantage is only that they are headquartered in the United States. If you want to cancel NordVPN after a while you can easily do so via the website. After logging in you can simply cancel your account settings on the website. We have also tested this in our experience and it was really easy to cancel our subscription at NordVPN. They don't make it difficult for you like other parties when you try to stop a subscription.

NordVPN trial, 30 days money back guarantee

At NordVPN it is possible to ask for a refund within 30 days if you don't like the VPN service for whatever reason. It is however necessary to fill in and give your payment details before you can test the service. We have tried to make sure that NordVPN easily refunds your money when you ask for it. So it turns out that NordVPN does indeed fulfill their agreement and refunds the promised refund without asking any further questions. 30 Days we find, is an extensive time to test the service, this trial period of NordVPN is a plus in this review. This is more than enough time to test the VPN connections.

Service from NordVPN

The NordVPN website is to a large extent also available in Dutch. In this way they try to serve the Dutch market well and there is also a customer service in English, 247, that you can reach. They are available via chat and via email. In our review period we once had a question about setting up the VPN connection on a smart TV. After asking the question we were adequately helped within 5 minutes by a NordVPN customer service employee. The customer service experience of NordVPN really seems to be in order.

Conclusion after our NordVPN usage experiences

NordVPN is a perfect option for those who like to protect their own privacy. Registering here as a customer allows you to browse, watch or download content anonymously. Due to the fact that no logs are kept, certain uses cannot be linked to you, the user. In addition, they offer the possibility to use TOR over VPN and also the option to use a double-VPN. In terms of security and privacy, the rating of this VPN service is really excellent. NordVPN also works well, when you want to watch Netflix. This is a great advantage for people who want to see Netflix content from other countries. The pricing of NordVPN is also average. For the 4 euros you pay per month you have a lot of possibilities compared to other providers, including 6 simultaneous connections with 1 account. During our review this came in handy, as we have been able to test multiple devices at the same time. The stability of the service has improved, according to our experience with NordVPN. Also, other people seem to have very good experiences with NordVPN. The connections are very fast and stable. They say they are constantly expanding their server park so that the big question can be answered.

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