If you are looking for a VPN to protect your privacy and expand your access to online services around the globe, Panama-based NordVPN is worth considering. This VPN is owned and operated by Tefincom S.A. Since 2012, the company has provided its VPN services to more than 200,000 people in countries throughout the world. On the topic of its name, NordVPN states it was “inspired by the Nordic ideals which signify the confidence, trust, freedom, and innovation.”
NordVPN Quick Facts:
- 726 servers located in 57 countries
- No bandwidth restrictions
- Up to 3,000 free proxies available
- Double VPN for double security
- IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec security protocols
- Free IPs are shared, but dedicated IPs are available for a fee
- 24/7 customer support
NordVPN Pricing Structure
NordVPN offers three different pricing plans, all based on the length of time you are willing to commit to when you make your payment:
- Simple: 1 month subscription, $11.95/month
- Standard: 6 month subscription, $7/month
- Best Offer: 1 year subscription, $5.75/month
The “Best Offer” plan lets you save 52% over the Simple plan rate.
Aside from the length of the subscription, there is no difference from one plan to the next. Each one offers you the full NordVPN package. This is great, since a lot of VPNs offer only the minimum features if you are paying the minimum price. NordVPN is simply interested in getting you to make a long-term commitment. For the very reasonable price of $5.75, you are looking at a great deal on a one-year subscription. If you are not sure yet, you can start with one month just to check out the features for yourself.
Core Features of NordVPN
Let’s check out some of the key features of NordVPN in detail now.
Security and Privacy Features
When you open a connection through NordVPN, a tunnel is created to ensure your privacy. All of the data which goes through the tunnel is encrypted to 2048 bits, a high standard which does not disrupt performance on older devices. Security protocols used by NordVPN include IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, and IPSec.
Additional security features include Tor and Double VPN. Tor offers an extra layer of encryption for your data. Double VPN offers even more encryption redundancy to make sure your data stays safe.
NordVPN has a policy never to keep logs of customer activity, a further guarantee on your privacy. This is very important, because a lot of other VPN companies claim they don’t keep logs, but they actually do. What they mean is that they do not log what you look at, but they still keep session logs recording your IP address and other key information. NordVPN neither logs what you are looking at nor maintains session logs. This is because the company operates in Panama, where no data retention laws exist for VPN providers. That simply is not the case in many other countries.
NordVPN Servers and Their Locations
When you are surfing the web through NordVPN, you can choose from 726 servers in 57 countries. NordVPN has servers on every continent except Antarctica.
Because NordVPN IP addresses are shared, there are approximately as many IP addresses as there are servers.
If you are interested, there is an option to purchase a dedicated IP in the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, or Germany for $70 per year.
Supported Operating Systems and Devices
You can use NordVPN on your laptop or desktop, iPhone, iPad, or other mobile device. You can even use it on your game console or router. Supported operating systems include Windows, iOS, OS X, Android, Blackberry, and Linux. You may connect up to six devices on a single account.
NordVPN Speed, Bandwidth, and Stability
NordVPN has no limits on bandwidth which is fantastic, but where speed and stability are concerned, there are some issues. While NordVPN takes security very seriously, extra features such as the “Double VPN” do have some drawbacks when it comes to speed and connectivity.
Upload and download speeds on NordVPN really suffer as a result of these extra security features. How badly they suffer seems to depend on the server that you choose. Some servers are very reliable and fast, while others are not. If you do find a reliable server, you should have no problem streaming 4K video. But you may need to hunt around to identify one.
If speed is very important to you in a VPN, NordVPN probably should not be your top choice. If on the other hand security is, the sacrifice in speed may be worth it.
NordVPN offers a very short free trial—just three days. This is not fantastic, but you should be able to try out NordVPN for a lot of different applications within that three-day period. To sign up for the free trial, you need to select a payment plan/tier, register an account, choose Bitcoin as your payment method, and then click on “Buy Now.” But instead of paying, you visit https://nordvpn.com/free-trial to activate the trial.
Along with Bitcoin, other payment methods include PayPal, Braintree (credit card), and Paymentwall.
NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee. Note however that if you buy NordVPN services through Google Play Store or Apple App Store, you will not be eligible for a refund.
You can reach customer service for NordVPN through a number of different channels: email, Twitter, Facebook, the website’s ticketing system, or live chat.
I did have an opportunity to test out customer service. I was connected with an agent within seconds of opening the live chat window. After I was greeted, I asked a question about IP addresses. Initially the customer service agent misunderstood my question, and gave me a form answer about servers. I rephrased my question, wondering if I would get a repeat of the same form answer. I was pleasantly surprised when the agent correctly interpreted the question the second time and gave me a thorough and considered response about the IP addresses and their relation to the number of servers.
So customer service for NordVPN is definitely fast, friendly, and knowledgeable. Not every VPN can boast any of these, let alone all three.
- Top notch security features including Tor and Double VPN encrypt your data with extra layers of redundancy to ensure that your data remains private.
- NordVPN is serious about their no-log policy. Unlike a lot of other VPNs which supposedly “do not keep logs,” NordVPN really doesn’t. Thanks to the company’s location in Panama, your sessions are totally confidential.
- There are an abundance of servers, IP addresses, countries, and proxies at your fingertips. There is plenty of geographical diversity since there are servers on every continent except for Antarctica.
- Most operating systems and devices are supported.
- Pricing is very reasonable, and all features are available at every level. If you need to use a VPN on a regular basis, there really is no reason not to go with the one-year subscription and save some serious money.
- There are no restrictions on your bandwidth usage (perfect for streaming).
- P2P applications are allowed on NordVPN. Many other companies forbid P2P.
- The NordVPN website is easy to navigate and offers an abundance of information on all the features, particularly the different encryption methods which are offered.
- Customer service is excellent. It would be nice if a telephone number were available, but it is not uncommon for phone support to be absent with a VPN. At least I would feel confident if I had to turn to the live chat team for a fast answer.
- All those extra security features come at a real cost in terms of speed (not so great for streaming).
- The IP addresses are shared at every account tier, unless you are willing to pay extra for a dedicated IP (at least the option exists).
- Not all the servers are reliable.
- The free trial for NordVPN only lasts 3 days.
Conclusion: NordVPN Offers Ironclad Security Features
Is NordVPN a solid, reliable, trustworthy service? Judging by the company’s strong reputation and stellar features and pricing, yes. Is NordVPN the right service for you? That all depends on what you are looking for in a VPN. If your priority is speed, we recommend that you look elsewhere (see our full list of recommended VPNs). If however your top concern is security and privacy, you will find that NordVPN goes the extra mile to protect your data and your anonymity, which could make the service an ideal choice.