NordVPN Review

Our rating
Security Read more toggle icon
70%
Features Read more toggle icon
80%
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In this PrivacySharks review of NordVPN, you'll find everything you want to know about this popular provider and more.

The server network is of a decent size, with server locations in optimal countries around the world. Perfect for streaming, you can use NordVPN to access censored content like never before.

If you're worried about third-parties spying on your data, then you needn't worry any longer with NordVPN. The provider uses military-grade encryption and offers users a wide variety of secure protocols to make their connection safer.

There are plenty of interesting features that come as part of the NordVPN service. The NordVPN subscription plans are fairly priced, and each comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, should you decide that the NordVPN service is not for you.

All in all, we feel that NordVPN is deserving of its stellar reputation: the provider knows what it is doing, and does it well.

  • pro icon Fast connection
  • pro icon Zero-log policy
  • pro icon More than 5000 worldwide servers
  • con icon Few payment options
  • con icon Split tunneling unavaible
  • con icon 6 Devices Maximum
Price Starting At: 3.15 $ / monthly 50.15 $ / annually
For New Users: 30 days free trial + 30-day money-back guarantee
Number of servers: 5400+
General information
Max Speed: 115000 Mbps
Type of IP offered: Dedicated
Simultaneous connections / Users: 6
Number of Netflix Libraries: 7
Information sharing: None
OS support: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Boxee Box, Chromecast, ChromeOS, FireOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Roku, Windows
Router support: Asus, DD-WRT, Netduma, Sabai, Tomato
VPN Promotion: Get VPN from NordVPN for 3.15$ per month
Capabilities
Unlimited Bandwidthcross iconKill Switchcross iconSplit Tunnelingcross iconZero Data Loggingcross iconFree Version / Trialcross iconMobile Appcross iconBrowser Extentioncross iconNetflix Approvedcross iconFirestick Compatiblecross icon
Payment options
  • AmazonPay
  • American Express
  • Bitcoin
  • Dankort
  • Discover
  • Ethereum
  • Mastercard
  • Mastercard Debit
  • Ripple
  • Visa
  • Visa Debit
  • Visa Electron
Geolocations available
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

NordVPN Security

70%

NordVPN has a policy of ultimate security that promises to keep your connection secure through using next-generation encryption. NordVPN offers advanced encryption standard, AES with 256-bit keys, a virtually unbreakable level of encryption that would take a supercomputer to break. Even unprotected wi-fi networks become safe. Here at PrivacySharks, we feel that’s a thing of beauty.

NordVPN has a no logs policy, so it won’t track, collect, or share any of your private online surfing user data. There’s virtually no way for them to sell your user data to any third party – it won’t have anything to sell to a third party, pretty much.

The automatic kill switch gives you privacy and keeps you secure even when your VPN connection drops for a second. NordVPN uses encryption on your online traffic which then routes via a VPN tunnel that hides your IP address and shields your private data from any third party. The connection remains closed until a VPN tunnel is restored or until you disable the kill switch.

This is an extra layer of security that ensures the privacy of your data in case of accidental exposure. PrivacySharks feels that the best VPN providers offer true security when you connect to a public or private network, as you connect to a server of the VPN providers. They should ensure an extra layer of security for when the VPN connection drops, so the kill switch is a must-have to give your data leak-protection security.

NordVPN offers you the Double VPN service feature. Your browsing data isn't sent through just one VPN server, but two.

NordVPN’s ultimate privacy weapon of choice is Onion over VPN. With this NordVPN service feature, you get the benefits of the Onion Network combined with the security of a VPN tunnel. The Onion Network is pretty much a web of volunteer-operated servers that serve as a virtual maze of servers and effectively ensures the privacy and security of your data.

The key factor in this Onion over VPN feature is the fact that you get to use a trusted IP address and a trusted network of servers to build the layers of your security. You get the anonymity of the onion concept with the security layer from NordVPN.

NordVPN CyberSec is another layer of internet security that Nord offers its users as a service feature. It effectively blocks malaware and phishing attacks, insuring your online security. Disappointingly, CyberSec doesn’t block ads in the NordVPN app for Android from the Google Play Store, though it does keep you from accessing malicious sites.

A significant aspect of your online security with NordVPN is the ability to get help and support from the customer service team, on call 24/7. NordVPN offers you a vast library of helpful articles in the Help Center. You can search for the topic you’re looking for and see what’s on file to help you.

If that’s not doing it for you, then give the NordVPN email support a shot. Describe your issue, details, and all relevant aspects in your email so you’re giving NordVPN customer service the chance to offer you the best possible solution. Still not doing it for you? You have another option: live chat.

Since NordVPN focuses on ensuring your security online and the security and privacy of your data and information, PrivacySharks feels that it passes our review with flying colors and qualifies as one of the best VPN providers.

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NordVPN Features

80%

Thanks to NordVPN's wide variety of server options, you can connect to any server from its 5500+ options from 59 countries. NordVPN works with multiple platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, and smart TV or router. You can cover up to 6 devices, and the router app will work the rest of the magic for any and all devices connected to it. A lot of coverage, right?

Using NordVPN should be very user-friendly, and it's also easy to get started. You just need to hit the Quick Connect button and this will connect you to the closest VPN server.

With NordVPN, you can block malicious websites through the advanced NordVPN CyberSec technology, which automatically blocks suspicious websites, thereby preventing malware from infecting your device.

With NordVPN you can also stream fast. The provider offers a “seamless online experience” through its NordLynx and optimized server network. NordLynx is Nord's proprietary protocol which offers high speeds and great privacy and security. It was tested “under field conditions”, the Nord blog says, and it was built with a user-friendly experience in mind.

NordVPN protects your IP address not just by encrypting data on its end, but also by masking your IP address and changing your IP address not just once, but twice. You can also get a dedicated IP address which only you will use through the VPNs. Double the masking, double the fun, in a sense - for sure double the security.

There’s also Peer-to-Peer or P2P support and torrenting support with NordVPN, as it allows you to share large files without issues through its hundreds of secure servers.

You get browser extensions too. And there are no bandwidth limits to slow you down either, allowing you to carry out your activities online as usual.

You also get 24/7 assistance through email and live chat customer support. Plus you get a 30-day money-back guarantee, which allows you to try out the VPN for a month.

Summary

4.3
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Is NordVPN Trustworthy?

In order to answer that question, PrivacySharks wants to review whether the VPN is trustworthy by and large, what NordVPN is and what it’s all about, and whether you should be using it.

Are VPNs Trustworthy?

As long as you’re using the services of a reputable VPN provider, then yes, VPNs are trustworthy. When you’re doing your online surfing you want your information and data to be safe, so using a VPN is just as significant as your antivirus software for your laptop, desktop, and any and all mobile devices.

If you want to become and remain anonymous online, then a VPN is the way to do it; more so if you consider what alternatives are out there, like the dark web. If you do use the dark web, you’re putting yourself at risk without VPN protection.

There are free VPN options out there, and then there are paid VPN options. Some VPN providers offer you some coverage with a free version of their paid or premium services. While some online protection for your data is much better than none at all, PrivacySharks feels that you should try to opt for the kind of protection you really need.

Considering the affordable prices many VPN providers like Nord VPN offer, it’s not really like you’re breaking the bank. And these paid services often come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. In some cases, this can be even more than 30 days, for example, 45. Why not give that a shot?

The other free VPN alternative may come from providers that don’t offer any kind of paid or premium service. Keep in mind that they’re giving you access to presumably multiple servers with many server locations and safe servers to boot. Who’s paying for all of that server juice? If you’re not paying for those services, then PrivacySharks encourages you to wonder how the provider is making its money.

Some VPN providers, especially free ones, can collect your data and information and then sell it to other third parties. In fact, if you read the terms of service and privacy policy of some providers, you’ll see it mentioned in black and white that you’re giving them the right to do so by using their services.

It’s kind of ironic that by trying to keep your data safe, you’re in fact actively putting it up for sale through a third party. Keep that in mind the next time you see anything online that’s free – it usually isn’t free, but “free”, meaning you pay for it somehow.

What is NordVPN?

NordVPN is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service provider based in Panama. Nord VPN has desktop and mobile apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, as well as an app for Android Smart TV. You can use the VPN on routers too, so NordVPN is pretty much a solid solution.

Why is NordVPN based in Panama? NordVPN is based in Panama because the country doesn’t have mandatory data retention laws. Panama is also not part of alliances that seek to gain access to user info and details.

NordVPN was established in 2012 and in 2016 it introduced Android and iOS mobile apps. Next came the NordVPN browser extensions for Google Chrome and later on, an app for Android Smart TVs. As of November 2020, NordVPN operates more than 5,500 servers in 59 countries, ensuring users enjoy great connection speed and privacy.

Its servers, which adhere to the strict no logs policy, come with impressive speed test results, including a good download speed. The servers also have impressive streaming services capabilities for your Netflix needs, secure IP addresses, and live chat tech support that’s easy to use for customers that also get a 30-day money-back guarantee with their purchase of a plan.

At some point in 2019, it was rumored that NordVPN had received indications from Russian authorities to join a registry of banned websites sponsored by the state so Russian NordVPN users wouldn’t be able to get around the Russian state censorship. NordVPN would have had about a month to join and would then be banned if it didn’t comply. Nord VPN didn’t comply, so it shut down the Russian servers. Though NordVPN still operates in Russia, Russian users don’t have access to any local servers.

Later that year, NordVPN came up with a VPN service for businesses, NordVPN Teams. It was designed to provide access to work resources securely. Then NordVPN became one of the founding members of the “VPN Trust Initiative”, putting forward efforts in order to promote online security and more self-regulation and transparency in the industry.

How Does NordVPN Work?

NordVPN redirects its users’ internet traffic through remote servers run by the provider, in so doing hiding the user’s IP address and encrypting the data. For encryption, NordVPN uses the OpenVPN and Internet Key Exchange v2/IPsec technologies, meaning customers get top-level encryption.

NordVPN also offers specialty servers such as those dedicated to P2P or peer to peer file sharing, tracker specialty servers, double encryption, and connection through the Onion over VPN protocol. What more could you want for your desktop apps and mobile apps?

NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy. The no-logging policy feature means that when you connect to a server, your status remains anonymous with ease. When you use a VPN with this policy, your real IP address is safe.

NordVPN released NordLynx sometime in 2019 – a VPN protocol based on the WireGuard protocol which aims to offer more performance than the IPsec and OpenVPN split tunneling protocols. NordLynx performed well and yielded speed test results which were convincing enough to extend the use from Linux to a wider variety of options.

In the fall of 2019, there was a Twitter message which claimed a server breach of NordVPN revolving around a leaked private key. It was a cyberattack that gave the perpetrators the ability to intercept some info of NordVPN users. NordVPN confirmed that one of its Finland servers had been breached in the spring of 2018. There was an exploit that was the result of a vulnerability in a remote administration system and it affected security for a few months before being detected.

When NordVPN was informed of the situation, it terminated its contract with that administration service in Finland. NordVPN was criticized for failing to disclose the breach after the company became aware of it. In its defense, NordVPN claimed that it was going to disclose it after looking into it properly and resolving the issue.

In order to repair its reputation and regain the confidence of its users and potential users as a secure VPN solution, NordVPN launched a bug bounty program that offered monetary rewards for reporting critical issues with its services. There were additional issues reported, like a number of accounts being exposed at some point in the fall of 2019.

NordVPN is a good solution for bypassing state-level Internet censorship, including the Great Firewall in China, making it possible for use in China too.

Is NordVPN Safe?

At PrivacySharks, we feel that you deserve the best privacy and protection available from the best VPN provider out there. After we’ve gone through a review of its features and services, we feel that Nord VPN is a solid name on that list.

With Nord VPN’s strong level of encryption, a clear no-logs policy, a solid kill switch policy, and various dedicated services to cover all your needs, Nord VPN makes a strong case in its favor and passes our review with flying colors.

Is Nord VPN a perfect service? There’s no such thing. However, keeping in mind what we’ve learned during research for our NordVPN review, we like its services, policies, and prices. NordVPN also gives you a 30-day money-back guarantee to boot.

Should I Use NordVPN?

Is NordVPN the best VPN service for you? Let’s take a look at a few key features that Nord VPN has to offer and give you a NordVPN review of the features.

In short, NordVPN’s best features include encryption protocols, logs, and a kill switch. Other things to keep in mind when deciding whether the VPN is worth your money are the speed and streaming capabilities and the customer support.

What should you pay more attention to as far as the service of VPNs is concerned? Since PrivacySharks is all about your privacy and security online, we’ll try to answer that question and also review some key points you should keep in mind when you’re shopping around for VPNs.

NordVPN Encryption and Protocols

When you’re navigating online, you’re looking out through the window of your device, but PrivacySharks appreciates the fact that NordVPN makes it clear that such an open window means someone can also look at what you’re doing.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can track your online pursuits and sell that information to advertisers or any third party, as long as it’s within the terms and conditions, and it usually is part of the contract you agree to upon purchase. Always read the fine print before signing up.

Governments and authorities can ask for logs of your online surfing, and your ISP is going to be legally obligated to provide them, whether you like it or not. That’s both a good and a bad thing, depending on how a user chooses to use the internet connection.

Hackers can use exploits to breach connections or networks which aren’t secured enough or at all, and use whatever information they gain access to in various potentially nefarious ways.

In order to make sure that while you’re looking out of the window of your device there’s no one looking in, what you need is an encrypted VPN tunnel.

Why is Your Information Potentially Vulnerable?

By connecting to the internet, you leave a digital footprint with everything you do. That footprint of your online traffic is left on record for your internet service provider (ISP) and it becomes part of the information that it logs regarding your IP addresses.

The internet works by your device sending DNS requests to reach an address or a site, and it directs you to it. So your ISP knows at all times what you’re doing online.

Because your ISP has your online footprint and you’ve signed a contract or adhered to its terms and conditions of service, it can use that information it gathers, as it has disclaimed to you that it might via your contract. That can mean selling the information to any third parties or sharing it with third parties such as authorities under certain legal obligations and conditions.

But if you use a VPN, that footprint becomes untraceable and not logged.

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) such as NordVPN directs your online traffic through the VPN tunnel, an encrypted connection between your devices and the web. The VPN tunnel encrypts your information and also conceals IP addresses and your location.

While there’s no such thing as invisible footprints when it comes to online traffic, there is such a thing as untraceable footprints because they won’t be linked back to you – that’s what VPNs do for you, and what NordVPN can do.

Encryption and the Online World

The device of your choice (which can be a laptop or desktop computer, a smartphone, tablet, iPad, and so on) connects to the VPN server via an encrypted VPN tunnel.

The information sent through the connection gets split into packets, is encapsulated through encryption, and then goes through the encrypted VPN tunnel or double VPN tunnels, since NordVPN has to offer that feature as well.

The requested traffic or information arrives at your VPN server, the encapsulation gets removed and you gain access to the information within through a decryption process. NordVPN has the key to that encryption, and it doesn’t go anywhere else.

Third parties that don’t own the key to the encryption process can’t decipher anything that’s going on. NordVPN doesn’t keep logs of it either.

As you do your online browsing, you’re in fact carrying it out via your Nord VPN server and from the VPNs server location, via the assigned IP address. All of that information then changes with a new connection, making your online footprint untraceable to the outside observer. NordVPN that can trace it, doesn’t keep a record of it.

There are various things you want to keep private, no matter how you choose to use the internet. Think you have nothing to hide? What about your passwords, usernames, search history, private conversations or file storage access, your online banking logins and details, and much more? Just think about how much of your day-to-day life unfolds online. Would you really want to give free access to all of that to anyone, even though you’re not doing anything wrong?

In an ideal world, we would trust authorities and ISPs, but the online world is so much larger than that. You can’t possibly trust the whole world wide web, can you? Whether we like it or not, there are cyber criminals out there looking to exploit vulnerabilities in order to gain a thing or two from your information.

Maybe it’s unlikely that you’ll become a victim of a cybercrime, but it’s not impossible. Why not protect yourself, just in case? Nord VPN encryption offers you that extra layer of safety online, and there’s no such thing as too much protection.

NordVPN Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

What is AES? In short, it’s an encryption standard that is widely used and approved. PrivacySharks is going to review that notion in more detail below. The important thing to know is that NordVPN uses AES encryption with 256-bit keys, which pretty much means top-tier encryption from Nord VPN.

What is AES?

What’s encryption, to begin with? Encryption builds a tunnel for your information that is secure as it connects your device to the internet via the VPN server. What makes the tunnel secure is the fact that it’s protected with the Advanced Encryption Standard, and in the case of NordVPN, it’s AES-256, which is one of the best encryption algorithms out there.

This standard makes your VPN connection secure because in order to break this level of encryption you’d need the key, and it can be any one of 2 at the 256 power of potential options.

What Encryption Protocols Does NordVPN Use?

NordVPN doesn’t just use the AES-256 encryption standard, because NordVPN takes extra precautions. Nord goes that extra mile because it’s focused on giving you more, so NordVPN came up with a combination of tools to use, adding to the AES-256. You can get more protection if you add to that either the IKEv2/IPsec or OpenVPN encryption protocols.

What’s IKEv2/IPsec?

Nord VPN’s Internet protocol security (IPsec) works with the newest version of the Internet Key Exchange (IKEv2) so you get more security, stability, and speed. IKEv2/IPsec uses complex cryptographic algorithms and keys that give it a super high degree of safety.

Considering how fast technology develops, NordVPN wants to stay ahead of the game so it uses Next Generation Encryption (NGE) with IKEv2/IPsec. That way, Nord’s tools stay very adaptable and on top of everything going on tech-wise, so when there’s more to give the NordVPN customers, it’ll have more than enough on offer.

Here at PrivacySharks, we like providers that are determined to stay on top of their game. As long as they’re striving for more, the users are getting more in terms of services.

What’s OpenVPN?

The OpenVPN protocol is a very versatile security protocol, which you can use both for UDP and TCP ports to ensure safe browsing, gaming, and streaming. It guarantees protection for your information and footprint, and NordVPN uses AES-256-GCM encryption algorithm with a 4096-bit DH key.

Keep in mind that OpenVPN is an open-source code, meaning it’s freely available for review and modification at any point in time. Since there is an unlimited number of testers pointing out vulnerabilities and offering bug reports, this security protocol is always improving by leaps and bounds and is very transparent at all times.

NordLynx Protocol

Wireguard® is at the cutting edge of VPN security, NordVPN says. It’s a very fast protocol that uses complex cryptology and employs some 4000 lines of code which makes it easy to use, audit, and debug.

Since the NordVPN Wireguard wouldn’t ensure complete user privacy on its own, NordVPN came up with a double NAT (Network Address Translation) system to use as its backbone, which makes up NordLynx. The NAT allows the secure NordVPN connection you’re looking for without logging any identifiable information on the VPN’s server.

NordLynx is the solution that NordVPN came up with so you get an encryption protocol built specifically to give you high-speed connections. A VPN does take up a small portion of your bandwidth by its nature, but NordLynx looks to avoid that. What makes it so fast? It’s built around the WireGuard NordVPN protocol, which NordVPN says is the fastest protocol available.

The idea is that you get security which has ease of use and efficiency while also giving you plenty of options. NordLynx is available on all major platforms, just like NordVPN. To top that off, users of NordVPN on the iOS and macOS platforms can choose between adding the IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN protocols. For the Windows, Android, and Linux NordVPN users, there’s the OpenVPN option only.

Can You Bypass Encryption with NordVPN?

The number one liability when it comes to NordVPN is human error. You might be connecting to some network while you have your NordVPN desktop apps or mobile apps deactivated, or you only turn them on after you get connected to an internet network.

That means you’ve allowed yourself to become vulnerable, even for a few seconds, until you turn on your protective app. So, make sure to always have your NordVPN protection on. That way you can allow it to work for you and simply forget about it,

Other than that, the only way you’re going to be vulnerable is if NordVPN encounters a major security breach itself, which can happen in theory, though in practice its whole job is to prevent that.

NordVPN Double VPN

NordVPN offers Double VPN, Nord’s protection feature which routes your online traffic through not just one, but two VPN servers and encrypts your information and traffic twice. This is also called VPN servers chaining.

Your online traffic gets encrypted on your device first, then routed to the first remote NordVPN server. Then, the encrypted online footprint goes through another NordVPN server and gets decrypted. That’s when your data reaches your intended online destination in a secure and private manner.

Why Double VPN?

Your information and online footprint are protected with two layers of encryption. That makes it twice as difficult for your information to get tracked. The protocols used are mixed between UDP and TCP, so you get increased protection for your online pursuits.

Since your real IP addresses get changed when passing through the first NordVPN servers, the second one won’t even have any information about you. Your online footprint remains unknown even to your ISP. The only thing it’ll know will be the fact that you’re using NordVPN.

Why Double Encryption?

There are situations in which you could really use a higher level of online protection and privacy, and double encryption offers you just that. Here at PrivacySharks, we want you to have all the online protection you could possibly need.

You might have a greater need for keeping your online footprint private in a few different scenarios like if you’re a journalist or political activist, NordVPN emphasizes, if you’re trying to avoid surveillance by government or authorities or if you need to protect your sources and pursuits.

NordVPN Double VPN is Not Necessarily a Must

If you’re looking to keep third parties from being able to track your IP or maybe need to access the internet securely, the standard layer of NordVPN connection is all you need.

Keep in mind that the NordVPN Double VPN could potentially slow down your connection a bit. Since your online traffic goes through two NordVPN servers instead of just one, which does improve your online safety, it also slows down the speed of the process a little bit.

If you’re a Tor user, NordVPN has to offer the Onion Over VPN solution that routes your online traffic through a VPN server and then sends it out to the Onion network.

Does NordVPN Have a No-Logging Policy?

NordVPN doesn’t track, collect, or share any of your private information or online traffic.

Is a VPN Logging Policy that Important?

If you’re surfing the web without using the services of VPNs, your online traffic footprint goes through your internet service provider (ISP). Your ISP can log everything you do online, track your online footprint, and then share it with third parties at its discretion as long as it’s part of your contract or its terms of service. It will also share it with authorities, should they be legally obliged to.

When you use VPNs to connect to the internet through their servers, your ISP won’t be able to see what you’re up to online anymore. But keep in mind that your VPN provider is able to see that, as long as you’re using its services. That’s why it’s so important to know just what kind of logs – meaning what kind of details about you and your online pursuits – that VPNs provider keeps.

Things to Keep in Mind

If you’re looking around to get the services of a VPN because you want to secure your online protection, take a look at the options and keep these things in mind:

• What sort of information does the service gather about its users and its online activities?

• What sort of tracking tools or external support do the service providers use?

• In what country does the service provider operate and what sort of national and local legal requirements do they have to observe when it comes to collecting user information?

• What sort of payment options do the VPN service providers accept and how much of the user’s identity and information do they require?

Examples of Logs

When we talk about logging your personal data, we are talking about things like:

– Incoming and outgoing IPs addresses

– Connection date and duration

– Amount of data transferred

– VPN servers used

– Websites visited

– Files downloaded

– Software used

There’s a lot of sensitive personal information that can be included in your usage logs. VPN providers shouldn’t be collecting any of that information, and if you run into one that does, you should steer clear of their service.

Make sure to read up on what sort of information your VPN does collect and how they store it. Otherwise you might be paying for a service to keep your information protected only to have it collected and sold or shared.

Is NordVPN a Good Option?

1. No logs of your online footprint with NordVPN

NordVPN states that it doesn’t store connection timestamps, session information, used bandwidth, traffic data, IPs addresses, or other information.

2. Independent audits confirm NordVPN has a valid no-log VPN policy

NordVPN invited one of the Big 4 auditing firms (PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Zurich, Switzerland) to audit its no-logging claims. The report concluded that its policy description is fair and accurate.

3. NordVPN is based away from the EU and US jurisdictions

Because NordVPN is based in Panama, it doesn’t have the legal obligation to collect your personal information and online footprint.

4. NordVPN accepts payments in cryptocurrencies

You can sign up and pay for NordVPN without leaving any trace of who you are by using cryptocurrencies. You still get the 30-day money-back guarantee with it, too.

5. NordVPN has special features for extra privacy

If you want more layers to feel secure, make the most of the NordVPN privacy-focused VPN solutions like the double VPN or Onion over VPN.

What is a VPN Kill Switch?

A VPN kill switch works by monitoring your connection to the VPN servers at all times. If that connection drops for whatever reason, the kill switch goes into action by blocking your device (or apps you’ve specified) from accessing the web. The kill switch is the final line of defense that secures your private information and online footprint from getting accidentally exposed.

Keep in mind that the internet connection will stay blocked until the VPN connection is restored. Keeping the kill switch enabled doesn’t impact your connection quality at all. If you’re someone who lives and works in a country rife with censorship, have a job or hobby that involves the need to keep your browsing data private and secure at all times, then it’s a good idea to always keep your kill switch enabled. If your freedom or personal security could depend on keeping your online footprint and information secret, then play it safe.

If your work or other pursuits involve dealing with sensitive or classified information, then you should always have the kill switch on. In doing so, you protect yourself against data leaks and unexpected connection interruptions that could trigger vulnerabilities.

Moreover, if you need protection online for your peace of mind you should keep the kill switch activated. Stuff like passwords, social media accounts, and online traffic will always be protected.

The NordVPN Kill Switch

When we’re talking about VPN, the kill switch is a bit like the final defense mechanism. What it does is it becomes active if you get disconnected from one of NordVPN’s servers in some unexpected manner.

How this works is that the NordVPN app detects the fact that the VPN connection was lost, so it instantly blocks your device from surfing the internet. As a result, your internet connection stays blocked either until you disable the kill switch yourself, or until the secure connection tunnel is re-established.

Why Do VPNs Disconnect?

NordVPN states that if you’re using its services, then the probability of a connection failure is low. If a connection drops, the issue might not even be on Nord’s end. Here’s why your VPN may connection may be interrupted.

Unstable internet connection

Since you’re accessing your VPN through your internet connection, any disruptions will cause interruptions to your connection to the NordVPN server. There are various factors like weak Wi-Fi signal or frequent timeouts and disconnections that can lead to VPN connection failures.

If your device bounces between Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile internet connections, then chances are your VPN is going to disconnect.

Software and devices

If you’re using a firewall or antivirus, it could block the NordVPN app from establishing a VPN tunnel. You can fix that by adding NordVPN to the list of exceptions of your firewall or antivirus.

Keep in mind that if your device has auto-updates switched on, it could reboot and end up not being protected by the VPN as a result.

Servers or network failures

NordVPN is a pretty reliable option among VPN alternatives. NordVPN rarely suffers from server timeouts and failures, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t ever happen.

NordVPN has a wide variety of options, with more than 5500 servers in more than 59 countries. Those servers are located in secure locations and get constant supervision. But that doesn’t make them infallible. Since servers have physical components they need in order to function properly and physical components can become damaged or experience malfunctions, there could be an odd disconnection because of such issues.

In short, you can’t know for sure what and how could possibly go wrong, or when. So just to be sure that you’re covered at all times, PrivacySharks encourages you to keep the auto kill switch enabled.

What Makes NordVPN the Best?

No buffering

It’s highly annoying when a video buffers out of the blue and takes forever to load. If that’s happening continuously, then you’re probably dealing with bandwidth throttling, which purposefully slows down your connection. You can get over that issue by using a VPN, and NordVPN prevents bandwidth throttling from your ISP.

Unlimited streaming

You’ll be able to access content when you’re traveling, without losing access to your favorite platforms. Your beloved movies and TV shows aren’t going anywhere, even though you are.

You can stream without annoying interruptions, thanks to the fast NordVPN connection speeds and unlimited bandwidth. NordVPN strives to give you the best possible VPN experience you can get.

Fast speeds

When you’re connected to NordVPN, online traffic is directed through your NordVPN secure encrypted tunnel. That can cause some loss of connection speed, under certain circumstances.

More often than not, you won’t notice slow speeds with NordVPN. If you’re using NordVPN to cover your streaming or peer-to-peer file sharing needs in a secure manner, then you’re looking to get the best possible speed. But what influences that?

• Your ISP internet speed

• Encryption quality

• VPN servers distance

• How busy the VPN servers are

• What securities protocols are in effect

• Active firewalls and antivirus software

Such factors can lead to slow internet connections, hiccups while surfing the web, streaming or downloading media. How can you do your part to prevent that?

How to Prevent Slow VPN Connections

Choose servers wisely

When you’re looking to choose your VPN provider, choose one with as wide a server range as possible. More servers mean more power juice and having to choose from plenty of server locations means you can find a server that’s closer to your actual location – that’s going to serve you better.

Servers locations matter

When choosing your servers, keep in mind that the further away from your actual location those servers are, the tougher it is for them to perform at an optimal level. It’s not a must to choose the closest possible location to yours, but closer is better than further away.

Avoid crowded servers

If you’re noticing very popular servers, meaning they’ve got plenty of users using them a lot, it makes sense that those servers are going to perform less than those that are freer. With the NordVPN Quick Connect you can easily choose other options from similar or the same location and give those servers a shot. You get connected to the best options from the servers available with NordVPN.

A multitude of servers

NordVPN has a vast network of servers in multiple locations but gives users more server options in more ways. More servers mean more surfing freedom and faster connections. To get even more freedom than that, give the NordVPN option of Obfuscated Servers a try.

Obfuscated servers have the ability to bypass internet restrictions like network firewalls. Obfuscated Servers are a recommended option for accessing content online in restricted countries.

Does NordVPN Work with Netflix?

If you want to access more content on Netflix, but find that you can only view the library for your country, then you should use NordVPN.  If you want to get secure access to Netflix, you can use any of the specified NordVPN servers in order to connect to Netflix. NordVPN recommends using servers that are closest to your actual location so you get the best speed and stability of the connection.

Fortunately, NordVPN can unblock many Netflix libraries in countries worldwide including the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, India, Brazil, South Korea, and Finland.

If you’re using Android and iOS devices, you can also quickly connect to the servers you need. Just look for instructions on that on the NordVPN site. When it comes to other devices, NordVPN urges you to remember that only US, CA, UK, FR, IT, DE, JP, AU, NL, and ES regions are supported on Android boxes, FireTV, and Smart TV devices.

Does NordVPN Work with BBC iPlayer?

If you’re wondering about it, yes, you can access the iPlayer using the NordVPN servers. In fact, BBC iPlayer is currently accessible on all devices with NordVPN’s UK servers. If you want to use the BBC iPlayer’s Downloads, try to connect to any one of the NordVPN UK servers.

You can also connect to servers for iPlayer on Android and iOS devices.

Does NordVPN Work on My Cell Phone?

Let’s face it, we use our cell phones for pretty much everything these days: we work with them, do our chatting and messaging and emailing, check our banking accounts and do our transactions, make travel plans, and other arrangements.

It’s more important than ever to have VPN protection on your phone as well as your other devices. Fortunately, NordVPN has apps for both Android and iOS operating systems.

Just think about all the networks your phone connects to on a daily basis: your home Wi-Fi, some local cafe or restaurant hotspot, or 4G. That’s more connections than you might imagine and you’re exposing yourself to many risks when switching to new networks.

If you want your online surfing to stay private when you’re doing the surfing from your computer, you definitely want to keep it private when it comes to your phone, right?

By using NordVPN for your mobile device, phone or tablet, the information is kept safe through its super secure protocols. And if you want more encryption, you can also use the Double VPN option too, as this feature is also available for mobile apps.

How Many Devices Can I Use NordVPN on?

With one NordVPN account, you can cover up 6 devices. NordVPN is compatible with operating systems like Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and the app works well on all of them.

If you have more than 6 devices then you can simply connect NordVPN to your router. Once your router is covered, then any and all devices connected to your home internet network will be protected by Nord.

So even though Nord technically only offers 6 simultaneous connections, Nord throws in protection for a seemingly endless number of devices through the router option. Here at PrivacySharks, we like that option a lot.

Getting VPN protection on all of your devices is as important as it is to get protection on each of them. As long as you want to keep your information secured and have decided that a VPN is the way to do it, review what device coverage providers offer and go with the one that gives you the most bang for your buck.

Does NordVPN Have Good Customer Support?

NordVPN’s customer support is there to help you all day, every day. NordVPN has three ways of offering support to its users: the Help Center, email support, and a 24/7 live chat.

The Help Center

The Help Center is a large database of helpful articles and posts, instructions, explanations, guides on how to do things and solve issues regarding all your VPN needs. The articles are organized by main topics and get constantly updated, so once you’ve reached a link for a particular topic, you can always bookmark it for future reference.

You can peruse the Help Center by searching for the topic you’re interested in or by searching for related keywords, so you get the best possible results on all fronts. Alternatively, you can browse through the topics and go by main categories. It also offers some popular questions and answers for them, for your convenience.

Email support

The NordVPN Help Center is pretty easy to navigate and make sense of, but if you’re looking for solutions for a particular problem, you might not be in the mindset to go browsing for answers and read up on them. Perhaps you’re not that tech-savvy yourself, and you’d like a clear and to-the-point solution. In this case, you can email the customer support team.

If you want to find the solution to your particular issue, reach out to them and make sure to aptly describe your situation, the circumstances surrounding your issue, and what your end goal is. They’ll get back to you within 24 hours with a detailed solution.

24/7 Live Chat

The third and quickest solution you can adopt is the live chat. If reading up on the issue or reaching out to email support isn’t the best solution for you, then you can chat with the customer support team in real-time.

Depending on the topic on which you need assistance, you’ll get assigned to a specialized agent so the troubleshooting will be fast, efficient, and resolve your issue, all smooth sailing.

NordVPN customer service gets pretty decent reviews, and when we tried it we were put through to an informative and helpful agent fairly quickly.

How Much is NordVPN?

NordVPN has a few plans on offer.

All subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The refund policy has no strings attached and gives you a month to make your mind up as to whether you want to continue using the VPN or not.

In Short

In this NordVPN review, we’ve covered pretty much all that NordVPN has to offer. So, is the provider worth your money? After researching the provider’s services, features, and prices, PrivacySharks feels that with such a wealth of protocols and focus on a quality VPN service, NordVPN is a great choice.

As well as solid customer support, easy-to-use apps and browser extensions, fast and no-throttle streaming support, strong encryption, double VPN protocols, and strict no-logging policy, NordVPN provides excellent value for money.

If you’re not convinced by NordVPN, then check out some of our other VPN reviews. You can find them on our website.

Author Cliff Durward

Hi, I'm Cliff. You can find me in Cleveland, Ohio with my wife and kids. I love cybersecurity! I've been writing about it for a decade now and have always loved the space. My favorite articles to write are how-to guides that...
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