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NordVPN Review 2022

Update: November 29, 2022
Highlights
  • Excellent protection and a large network of servers
  • Nice and pleasing application
  • No logs
Score
9.3

Our NordVPN score

  • Speed
    9.0
  • Safety
    9.5
  • User-friendliness
    9.5
  • Servers
    9.0

NordVPN Review (2022): No-Log, Great Encryption, and Fast!

NordVPN is a renowned VPN provider out of Panama that launched way back in 2012. NordVPN is arguably the best VPN in the market right now, thanks to its affordable pricing and extensive feature set.

Panama doesn’t have mandatory data retention laws, so NordVPN doesn’t have to keep any logs. Apart from that, NordVPN offers a diverse choice of servers and an array of tools that you can use to improve your online privacy and security.

Its robust encryption, excellent speeds, and reliable connectivity have made it a global favorite. We tested NordVPN’s features, general performance, streaming capabilities, and much more.

Read all about the results of our hands-on testing circuit in our full NordVPN review below.


NordVPN: A Short Review

ProsCons
Solid security packageTheir WireGuard version (NordLynx) is custom-built, thus less transparent
Strict no-logging policy (very good privacy settings)Web-based login instead of in-app login
Great speeds & performanceThe NordVPN app should be available in more languages
Special P2P and Tor VPN servers
Servers with double encryption (multi-hop)
Works with Netflix and other streaming platforms
Dedicated IPs are available
Affordable
30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN is owned by Nord Security, which operates out of Lithuania. Tefincom S.A, which owns the US trademark for NordVPN, is based in Panama. Tefincom owns the NordVPN brand, which protects NordVPN users from government oversight.

It’s worth noting that Nord Security operates out of Lithuania, a country that is bound to Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLAT) with the United States. NordVPN’s owners claim that the treaty has no effect on the way they treat data.

With the company’s headquarters in Panama, NordVPN and its user base enjoy a high level of freedom regarding internet legislation. Its registration in Panama also means that NordVPN is not susceptible to data-sharing across the “14 Eyes” alliance.

Can NordVPN keep your data safe? Well, yes. For starters, NordVPN does not keep any logs. That’s a good thing to hear if you value your privacy. NordVPN also has servers that work with several streaming platforms.

NordVPN is fast, has military-grade encryption (AES 256-bit), offers servers all over the world, and is reasonably priced. You can read much more about it in our comprehensive NordVPN review below.

Specifications NordVPN
Operating systems
  • Windows
  • ,
  • Mac
  • ,
  • iOS
  • ,
  • Android
  • ,
  • Linux
Simultaneous connections
  • 6
Torrents
  • Torrenting allowed
Netflix
  • Works with Netflix
Logs policy
  • Zero logs
Protocols
  • OpenVPN
  • ,
  • IKEv2
  • ,
  • Wireguard
Payment methods
  • Other
  • ,
  • Credit card
  • ,
  • Cryptocurrency
Money-back guarantee
  • Yes
Works with
  • Netflix
  • HBO
  • Torrent
  • Gaming
  • BBC
  • Disney+
  • Kodi

Speed – How Fast is NordVPN?

Score scale 9/10

Speed is very important for a good VPN connection. The fastest VPNs out there manage to encrypt your traffic without causing huge speed drops.

So, it was the first thing we checked for our NordVPN review. We tested NordVPN on a variety of devices to gauge its speeds and gave it a 9/10 for performance.

Here are the results:

  • NordVPN is really fast.
  • During daily use, there is no noticeable difference in speed, not even while gaming.

Speed test results for NordVPN

We started off by measuring our connection speed without a VPN. We then compared it to test results obtained on local and faraway servers.

This allowed us to gauge the impact of distance and encryption on our performance. We tested NordVPN from our headquarters in The Netherlands using NordLynx (their fastest VPN protocol).

Since the overall performance hinges on your location and starting speed, your results might differ. So, you should view the table below as an indicator of potential speeds. With all that out of the way, here’s how NordVPN performed during our testing circuit:

ServerDownload (Mbps)Upload (Mbps)Ping (MS)
No VPN94.494.522
Fastest server87.5490.665
The Netherlands90.6990.616
Germany (Frankfurt)90.8390.549
The UK (London)90.6190.7111
The US (New York)90.3389.3189
The US (Los Angeles)83.4490.34146
Canada (Montreal)88.1490.4398
Brasil (Sao Paulo)73.2586.37194
South Africa (Johannesburg)70.843.21192
Japan (Tokyo)69.1590.69228
Australia (Perth)68.490.69280

As you can see, NordLynx’s reputation is well-deserved. NordVPN provided us with excellent speeds, even on distant servers. Naturally, as the ping went up, the speeds started dropping, but it was nothing drastic or debilitating.

It’s interesting that NordVPN’s automatic pick was actually slower than a random server in The Netherlands. We were also surprised to see our upload getting completely nuked in Johannesburg.

During our NordVPN testing, we didn’t experience any lag or VPN connection drops. Even with higher pings, everything felt smooth and snappy. Connecting to any server (even the distant options) took us mere seconds.

With all that in mind, we can conclude that NordVPN is an excellent option if your VPN usage hinges on speed. This includes downloads, online gaming, and streaming in full HD.

However, if your internet is slower, you might experience some upload lag (for example, during video calls or streaming on Twitch).

NordVPN speeds during daily use

NordVPN is definitely as fast as you’d expect! You won’t even know it’s there during regular low-impact browsing. Downloading torrents and games from Steam were also remarkably fast.

We played Diablo 2 in an eight-player party and everything went smoothly and without run-ending lag. Finally, we watched plenty of shows on Netflix and a ton of YouTube shorts with zero problems.

Having said that, if you prefer bandwidth-hungry multiplayer games, we recommend choosing servers closer to you. Also, if you’re using a browser with boosted privacy, the extra encryption can drop your speed a bit further.


Safety – How Secure is NordVPN?

Score scale 9.5/10

Another essential part of our NordVPN review process is checking its safety and privacy policies. This is where NordVPN feels right at home. Its encryption, IP masking, and logging policy are all beyond solid. That’s why we gave it a 9.5/10.

That’s an impressive score. So, what does the software offer exactly? Here’s NordVPN’s safety configuration in a nutshell:

  • NordVPN supports excellent VPN protocols: OpenVPN, NordLynx, and IKEv2/IPSec.
  • It’s headquartered in Panama and implements a strict no-logging policy.
  • It comes with an automatic kill switch.
  • It offers various connection modes (Onion over VPN and double VPN).
  • It further boosts your cybersecurity with its new Threat Protection feature.
  • You only need an email address and password to create a NordVPN account

NordVPN protocols

The overall flexibility of your VPN largely depends on its list of VPN protocols. They ensure reliable performance, help you deal with online censorship, and unblock services like Netflix US, for example.

With that in mind, here’s a full list of NordVPN’s connection protocols:

  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP): The most popular VPN tunnel out there, thanks to its excellent speed/security ratio. It will meet the needs of most VPN users. UDP connection is faster but easily blocked. TCP is slower but more resilient to obstacles like the Chinese Firewall, for example.
  • NordLynx: NordVPN’s proprietary protocol is based on WireGuard. NordLynx fixes WireGuard’s privacy issues with its “custom double Network Address Translation (NAT) system.” Its small code base makes it less vulnerable to hack attacks than OpenVPN.
  • IKEv2/IPSec: This protocol is in the middle of the road between OpenVPN and NordLynx. Mobile users and frequent travelers love it because of its reconnection capabilities. It allows you to switch between networks without ever dropping your connection. However, it makes you vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. In our opinion, both OpenVPN and NordLynx are superior options for most users.

Screenshot of NordVPN, protocols

NordVPN encrypts your traffic with AES-256 cipher, also known as “military-grade encryption.” It’s one of the safest encryption methods we have today, and it’s also used by banks, hospitals, and other institutions.

Note that IKEv2/IPSec has to be set up manually. In other words, it’s not on the list of the available protocols. If you’re doing it on Windows, the system will also downgrade your encryption to the weaker 3DES-CBC cipher.

Additionally, this protocol requires you to add the certificate to the Trusted Root Authorities, which could expose you to the aforementioned man-in-the-middle attacks.

With all that in mind, we recommend using IKEv2/IPSec only if you absolutely have no other alternatives. If you’re not well-versed in VPN protocols, you can let NordVPN’s client pick one automatically.

It will usually be NordLynx since this is their safest and fastest option. You can also let the client pick the optimal server for you. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the fastest location, as shown in our speed test.

Logging and privacy

As mentioned earler in our NordVPN review, the brand is registered in Panama. The absence of any mandatory data retention laws allows it to maintain a strict no-logging policy. Panama is also outside of the notorious 14 Eyes alliance.

In May 2022, NordVPN also started switching to diskless (or RAM-only) servers. This means that user data can’t be stored server-side since there’s no hard drive to record it. All information is deleted with every server reset.

This is an impressive configuration but let’s take a look at NordVPN’s actual logging policy. Here’s the user data recorded by the company:

  • Personal info: Email address, billing information, country details (for VAT calculation purposes)
  • Technical info: NordVPN will collect your IP address and device info when you’re using their website or contacting customer support (including their chatbot). This data is gathered to provide the requested service but also to prevent fraud, DDoS attacks, and similar hacking attempts. Naturally, the information is deleted on each server reset.

We usually frown upon recording user IP addresses, but NordVPN doesn’t keep any activity logs (the sites you visit, for example). So, there’s no chance of tracing your online traffic back to your device or you as an individual.

In our NordVPN review, we can safely say that NordVPN is incredibly secure and will allow you to protect your identity and remain anonymous.

NordVPN will keep your billing info for 10 years after your last transaction. Your email will be kept for one year after you end your subscription. You also have certain rights regarding your personal data.

At any time, you can request access, deletion, or rectification. You can also request a copy of the collected data (portability), object to data processing, withdraw previously given consent, or lodge a complaint.

Screenshot of NordVPN, Advanced settings

Finally, NordVPN also supports obfsproxy. This (Tor) technique prevents Deep Packet Inspection and is generally known as “VPN obfuscation.”

Most users won’t need this feature, but for people in countries like China and Turkey, it might be the only way to get their VPN to work. NordVPN also offers additional protection against IP leaks.

Finnish NordVPN server hacked

In 2019, the company revealed that one of NordVPN’s Finnish servers had been hacked the previous year. An unauthorized person managed to get access to the system of the data center that owned the server.

Although this was a serious issue and came as a real shock, NordVPN handled the situation well. No personal data or customer logs were leaked since the provider doesn’t keep any logs. The affected server is no longer in use and NordVPN ended its contract with the data center.

Since the hack, NordVPN has done everything in its power to increase its security. None of their other servers were affected. Regardless, the provider has been checking and auditing its servers closely.

In July 2020, NordVPN announced that PricewaterhouseCoopers AG completed another full infrastructure audit confirming the NordVPN no-logs policy.

Moreover, NordVPN has joined the VPN Trust Initiative along with other well-regarded providers such as Surfshark and ExpressVPN. NordVPN also started a bug bounty program, encouraging ethical “white hat” hackers to search for bugs in NordVPN’s system, which further boosts NordVPN’s security.

Finally, they’re building their own network of servers, exclusively owned by NordVPN. All of this shows how seriously they take the safety and security of their customers.

Despite the hack, NordVPN remains one of the safest premium VPN services on the market. Their location and strong no-log policy prove that NordVPN will keep your personal data safe and protect your privacy.

Kill switch

If your VPN connection drops for whatever reason, a kill switch will cut your internet connection to prevent potential data leaks. NordVPN apps for desktop platforms come with two automatic kill switches:

  • Internet kill switch: It blocks your internet completely when you’re not connected to NordVPN. It’s a similar solution to ProtonVPN’s permanent (system-wide) kill switch.
  • App kill switch: This failsafe will close certain apps when your VPN drops the connection. Simply add chosen apps to the list and they won’t be able to access the internet without VPN protection.

Screenshot of NordVPN, Kill switch

You can access the kill switch settings through the menu option by the same name. Note that the NordVPN kill switch is not activated automatically when you download the app. You’ll have to find it in your client and activate it manually.

Onion over VPN and Double VPN

Double VPN (or multi-hop) simply routes your traffic through two VPN servers instead of one. Naturally, double encryption will make everything much safer and harder to attack. It can even help you bypass geo-restrictions and censorship in countries like Russia, for example.

Having said that, encrypting your traffic twice will severely impact your speed. So, we don’t recommend using this feature unless you absolutely have to. This especially goes for hardcore gamers who want smooth and lag-free sessions.

Onion over VPN combines the advantages of an Onion router with some extra VPN security. Your traffic can enter the Onion network through a random relay anywhere in the world. Every point of connection is encrypted, making it very difficult to pinpoint the origin of your traffic.

However, since onion servers are volunteer-operated, anyone can run one. That’s why you need a VPN to hide your real IP from the entry node. So, even if someone is monitoring big chunks of the Onion network, they won’t be able to trace your traffic back to you.

Threat Protection feature

Threat Protection is NordVPN’s additional security feature that blocks malicious ads and protects you against malware, phishing, and other online threats.

This nifty tool also keeps you safe from DDoS attacks. Finally, it deals with online trackers, allowing you to surf the internet without leaving a trace.

Every week, Threat Protection will generate your seven-day protection summary. The idea is to put you in control of your digital hygiene.  It lists all the blocked ads, malicious websites, malware, and trackers. By analyzing this report you can learn which sites and behaviors to avoid in the future.

Note: This feature used to be called CyberSec. NordVPN has since expanded this tool and renamed it Threat Protection.

Does NordVPN leak your data?

During our testing for this NordVPN review, we didn’t experience any dangerous data leaks. Our ipleak.net report showed zero WebRTC and DNS leaks.

Screenshot of NordVPN IP leak test

The IP address checker on our site was also only able to pick up the IP assigned by NordVPN. We didn’t expect anything less from NordVPN, which is known as the safest VPN service out there.

The company prevents DNS leaks by operating proprietary DNS servers. Your DNS queries will travel through the encrypted tunnel and resolve on the VPN server you’re currently connected to. So, you don’t have to worry about your private data getting into the wrong hands.

What information does NordVPN need?

NordVPN only requires your email address during registration. Naturally, you’ll also have to provide your billing info if you wish to buy a subscription.

You can boost your anonymity by using a disposable email without any personal data. NordVPN also supports crypto payments, which can keep you (almost) completely anonymous.

Screenshot of NordVPN, Create an account

You can also sign up with your Google or Apple account, but we never recommend using other services to create VPN accounts. You’d just be sharing personal information you don’t have to.


Usability – How User-Friendly is NordVPN?

Score scale 9.5/10

NordVPN manages to stay beginner-friendly without sacrificing any advanced options. As such, it can cater to both VPN beginners and power users alike. With that in mind, we gave it a 9.5/10 for user-friendliness.

Here’s a brief overview of our conclusions regarding the usability of Nord’s website and VPN apps:

  • NordVPN’s website is clear and organized.
  • The installation process is quick and effortless.
  • The apps are simple and easy to use.
  • Nord offers a business-grade VPN called NordLayer.
  • You can use additional security tools (NordPass and NordLocker).
  • Meshnet allows remote access to devices via encrypted tunnels.
  • NordVPN supports all major payment methods.
  • Customer support is easy to reach and gets back to you quickly.

NordVPN’s website and installation process

NordVPN has a very simple and clear website. Clicking the “Log in” button in the top-right corner allows you to create an account or log in if you already have one. The homepage is quite informative, outlining some of the most important aspects of NordVPN.

Screenshot of NordVPN, website page

After logging in, you’ll gain access to your personal dashboard. Here, you can inspect your account, explore other Nord services, and download software for your devices. You can also use the live chat option to ask for help.

Screenshot of NordVPN, personal dashboard

Installing NordVPN is a piece of cake. The company offers native apps for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and AndroidTV. You can also download secure browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

Apart from the natively supported platforms, you can also set up NordVPN on your Firestick, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, Chromecast, Kindle Fire, and Oculus Quest.

Screenshot of NordVPN, supported platforms

For this NordVPN review, we primarily tested their Windows client. Here are all the steps you’ll go through during its setup:

  1. Go to NordVPN’s official website.
  2. Click on “Log in” in the top-right corner.
  3. Sign up with your chosen credentials.
  4. Download the installation file from your personal dashboard.
  5. Click on the downloaded file to start the installation.
  6. Follow the instructions.

After you install NordVPN on your device, you can send “invitation emails” to other devices you wish to protect. For example, you can send an email to your partner, they can open it on their phone, click on the link, and download NordVPN for Android or iOS.

The best part? You can do this directly from your NordVPN client.

Screenshot of NordVPN, account info

Note that the setup wizard will prompt you to install Nord’s free password manager called NordPass. You can decide whether you need such a tool or not. We’ll talk about this app some more down below.

Screenshot of NordVPN, Nordpass offer

You can install NordVPN on up to six devices. Six simultaneous connections will be more than enough for most users, including the ones looking to protect their entire households.

NordVPN’s appearance and ease of use

NordVPN’s mobile and desktop apps are simple and easy to navigate. They manage to stay beginner-friendly while offering plenty of advanced options for power users.

The main window features a prominent world map with the available server locations. You can also pick a server from the list on the left, which includes specialty servers as well.

The “Quick Connect” button will let the client pick the server automatically. Alternatively, you can use the search bar to find the server you need and click on it to connect.

Screenshot of NordVPN, Client disconnected

Screenshot of NordVPN, Client connected

The Settings menu in the bottom-left corner opens up a whole slew of extra options:

  • General: Inspect the app version, launch at startup, launch minimized, show status notifications, pick a language, enable CyberSec

Screenshot of NordVPN, General settings

  • Auto-connect: Enable Wi-Fi auto-connect, pick a protocol, choose a server for auto-connection, create a list of trusted Wi-Fi networks
  • Kill switch: Enable internet/app kill switch, create a list of controlled apps
  • Split tunneling: enable split tunneling, include/exclude specific apps
  • Advanced: Create a custom DNS, use obfuscation, enable LAN invisibility, allow remote access, run diagnostics, send feedback to the company
  • Dark web monitor: Enable this option to monitor the dark web for leaked info linked with your email address.

Screenshot of NordVPN, Dark Web monitoring

NordVPN’s website can be viewed in 20+ languages, but its client support only seven. We would like to see more translations added in the future.

The NordVPN iOS app is also easy to use and creates a stable connection. Do not forget to allow the app to gain access to your device, however. The app can manage the connections for you.

Connecting to a VPN server will be quick and easy. Select the type of server you want to connect with, and NordVPN will do the rest. It’s very nifty.

NordVPN iPhone Screenshots

There is little to no difference between the mobile app and the desktop app that NordVPN offers. Both are intuitive, user-friendly, and present all options without cluttering the screen. During our NordVPN review, we really liked how the company has kept its interface simple, yet functional.

NordVPN and Linux

More and more people are starting to use paid VPNs on Linux distros. NordVPN has realized this and put in the extra effort to create a clear and concise guide on how to use its VPN on Linux. Their support staff is also well-versed to answer any Linux-related questions.

NordVPN servers can be installed for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and other distros. It’s also possible to use NordVPN on QubesOS, CentOS, OpenSUSE, and RHEL.

This means your system will most likely be able to run on their servers. Server management must be done through the terminal, however. Of course, most Linux fans won’t mind this at all.

No matter what system you use, you’ll first have to download the NordVPN servers repository. They are available in .deb and .rpm format.

You can install them by either clicking the download and running it through a package manner or via commands in the terminal. You’ll also find step-by-step guides for each of the distros on the NordVPN website.

Finally, it’s also possible to easily change the DNS servers in Linux to NordVPN DNS servers in case you’re worried about any DNS leaks.

NordLayer: NordVPN for Businesses

Apart from their regular VPN service for private use, NordVPN also has a specific service for businesses called NordLayer.

With NordLayer, you will get priority support and a dedicated account manager. Moreover, the administration is very easy and you can apply for a dedicated IP for all your accounts.

This package makes it extremely attractive for businesses to start using a VPN to protect their data. You can get the NordVPN safety standard for all the devices in your office!

Screenshot of NordVPN, Nordlayer servers

Most VPNs are now starting this option, but many consider NordVPN to be the pioneer. We tried it out during the course of our NordVPN review, and are happy to report that NordLayer works flawlessly.

NordLocker: Secured Cloud Storage

NordLocker functions similarly to Dropbox. It’s cloud storage that you can use to share files with other people. One of the added benefits of NordLocker is that you can also use it as an encrypted storage locker.

At the moment you get 3GB completely free of charge. If you need more space, you can pick one of the two premium packages:

  • 500 GB: $2.99/month
  • 2 TB: $6.99/month

All three options come with unlimited end-to-end encryption. However, premium ones have 24/7 priority support while the free version only gets email support.

Nord also offers business-grade packages for NordLocker. Apart from the aforementioned features, they also come with an admin panel for access control, secure file management, private sharing, and access on any platform. The pricing goes as follows:

  • Business 500 GB: $8.99 per user/month
  • Business Plus 2 TB: $14.99 per user/month
  • Custom plan: A package tailored to your business

Interested in NordLocker? You can add it at checkout when purchasing NordVPN, or get it standalone from NordLocker’s website by clicking on the button below.

Visit NordLocker

NordPass: Password Manager

NordPass is a feature-packed password manager that will bring your password protection to a whole new level. With this tool, you can:

  • Use the password generator to create stronger passwords
  • Save unlimited passwords + enable autosave & autofill
  • Import & export passwords
  • Keep notes and credit cards
  • Fill forms with personal info
  • Sync passwords, notes, and credit cards across devices
  • Share items with people you trust
  • Replace old, weak, and reused passwords
  • Scan the internet for data leaks involving your passwords

NordPass comes with a 30-day free trial, which is more than enough to test it and see if it works for you. After your trial expires, you can keep using the limited free version.

If you want more features, you can go for one of the two premium subscriptions, both of which now have up to 50% off for Black Friday:

Premium plan:

  • $1.49/month for the two-year plan
  • $1.99/month for the one-year plan
  • $4.99/month for the monthly plan

Family plan (six users):

  • $2.79/month for the two-year plan
  • $3.69/month for the one-year plan
  • $6.99/month for the monthly plan

Screenshot of NordVPN, NordPass pricing

NordPass is also available to companies and the pricing goes as follows:

NordPass Business (price per user):

  • $2.56/month for the two-year plan
  • $3.21/month for the one-year plan

Want to try out NordPass? You can add it to your cart when getting a subscription to NordVPN, or you can click the button below to visit the NordPass website and get it separately from NordVPN’s other tools.

Visit NordPass

Meshnet

Meshnet is a recently added feature that grants you remote access to other devices around the world. It still uses encrypted tunnels but instead of connecting you to a VPN server, it establishes a point-to-point connection between two devices.

It’s a feature similar to what Radmin VPN tried to accomplish. Some of Meshnet’s benefits include:

  • Hosting and joining virtual LAN parties: This is especially useful for lovers of online multiplayer games. Now, you can use Meshnet to create virtual encrypted LAN connections with other players around the globe.
  • Access files stored on remote devices: With Meshnet, you can remotely access files stored on your devices. Whether it’s your home or business computer, all you need is a phone with an internet connection and you can access their shared files no matter where you are.
  • Share your files securely: You can share files with your colleagues or share your projects for others to see on your local web server.
  • Route your online traffic: Meshnet allows you to route your traffic through another machine. This means that you can access the internet under that other machine’s IP address.

Note that you can’t add people to your Meshnet network without their consent. You’ll have to send them an invitation and wait for their response.

Screenshot of NordVPN, Meshnet Invite

Meshnet allows you to link up to 10 devices that you own and 50 external devices. All devices under the same NordVPN account are linked automatically.

Pricing and payment methods

NordVPN is not the cheapest VPN service out there, but it’s definitely one of the most affordable, given its current setup. Every purchase also comes with a full 30-day money-back guarantee, which is more than enough to test the software and see if it works for you.

Here are the NordVPN premium packages available at the time of writing, listed according to the length of the chosen subscription:

Standard:

  • Two years: $2.99/month
  • One year: $4.49/month
  • One month: $11.99

Plus:

  • Two years: $3.99/month
  • One year: $5.49/month
  • One month: $12.99

Complete:

  • Two years: $5.29/month
  • One year: $6.79/month
  • One month: $14.29

Screenshot of NordVPN, pricing plans

On top of these prices, NordVPN gives users an extra three months for free with each two-year and one-year subscription as part of their Black Friday sale.

NordVPN offers several different payment options. You can pay for your subscription with your credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, or UnionPay.

Finally, they also have the option of paying with different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, and Monero. These options are especially nice if you want to stay (almost) completely anonymous.

How can I get NordVPN for free?

NordVPN is a premium VPN provider and well worth its affordable price. However, if you want to get NordVPN for free, you can take advantage of its 30-day risk-free trial!

To do this, sign up for a plan on the NordVPN website as usual and pay the respective amount. Then, if you’re not satisfied with the service, you can cancel your subscription anytime within 30 days for a full refund. Essentially, this reduces the NordVPN cost to zero.

Unfortunately, you can’t get NordVPN for free, but it still offers the best price-to-value ratio out there. However, if you do want to try NordVPN for free, just use their money-back guarantee to claim a refund.

For some more detailed instructions on how to do this, you can read this step-by-step plan to use NordVPN for free.

After our research for this NordVPN review was done, we had no problems getting a full refund in just a couple of days.

Customer service

NordVPN provides excellent customer service. The website features a rich knowledge base, packed with tutorials, FAQs, troubleshooting manuals, and everything else you can imagine. If you can’t find your answers there, you can use their live chat option as well.

Note that you’ll first have to go through the NordVPN chatbot, which is not very helpful. It can provide you with some simple answers but can’t solve any complex problems.

Screenshot of NordVPN, Chatbox

However, you can request communication with a live agent as well. Simply type “live agent” or something along those lines, and the chatbot will queue you in. Note that you’ll have to provide a valid email address before talking to a support agent.

During our research for this NordVPN review, we got our answers from the live support team in minutes. They were very knowledgeable and ready to help. If the live chat is unavailable for whatever reason, you can also contact the support team via email.

All in all, we were happy with NordVPN’s customer service. They are easy to reach and will help you out immediately.


Server Network – Can NordVPN Unblock the Internet?

Score scale 9/10

When it comes to VPN server networks, the bigger the better is our golden rule. Having more servers at your disposal increases your chances of dealing with online censorship, getting better speeds, and unblocking geo-restricted services.

Apart from its “regular” servers, NordVPN also provides users with options specialized for Netflix, P2P traffic, and more. NordVPN’s network earned it a 9/10.

Points to keep in mind here:

  • NordVPN currently has 5500+ servers across 59 countries.
  • NordVPN works with Netflix US.
  • It allows torrenting (and has specialized P2P servers).
  • You can get a dedicated IP address on a limited amount of server locations.

Number of servers and locations

NordVPN currently has 5500+ servers spread across 60 countries. You can find their servers in the following countries.

NordVPN Servers Worldwide

  • America: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States.
  • Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Moldova, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom.
  • Asia-Pacific: Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Africa, The Middle East, and India: India, Israel, South Africa, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Bonus tip: NordVPN offers a huge number of manually selectable servers

The following might have gone unnoticed by many users, but NordVPN allows its members to manually choose from a large selection of servers within many represented countries.

This really sets it apart, even from some premium providers which only allow you to choose from a few servers in every region/country, or don’t even allow for manual server selection at all.

Moreover, the sheer choice of servers makes NordVPN even better for streaming and accessing geographically blocked content. If one server doesn’t work with your stream, or isn’t fast enough, you simply choose another. Different locations have tens to even hundreds of available servers!

To do this, simply scroll down within the smaller grey portion on the left side of the NordVPN interface. You’ll now see a long list of countries with their corresponding flags.

Simply hover over one of these countries until an ellipsis appears next to it. By clicking on these you can manually select a server.

It’s probably no surprise that NordVPN has a huge number of servers in the US, but even in a relatively small country like the Netherlands NordVPN has tons of servers, as you can see below!

NordVPN interface Dutch servers

This can be useful for things like using NordVPN with Netflix, as it will bypass regional restrictions.

NordVPN and streaming (Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, BBC iPlayer)

NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature combines the agility of SmartDNS with the protection of a VPN. This allows it to unblock various streaming services anywhere in the world.

During our testing for this NordVPN review, we were able to unblock Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and many other platforms.

PlatformCan NordVPN unblock it?
Netflix
Disney Plus
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Prime Video

Based on these results, we can say that Nord is definitely one of the best VPNs for Netflix out there. We enjoyed lag-free streams in full HD, no matter which regional version we tested. As mentioned, NordVPN dished out plenty of speed to ensure a seamless streaming experience.

With Netflix doubling down on its VPN filtering, the list of VPNs that can unblock it grows smaller by the day. NordVPN is one of the rare streaming powerhouses that can still reliably access Netflix US.

NordVPN and torrents

NordVPN is a perfect tool for passionate torrenters who can’t imagine their day without firing up uTorrent. Apart from allowing torrenting, Nord also offers specialized P2P servers. You can expect great speeds without any throttling.

This menu allows you to pick specific countries and individual servers located there. We especially like the server load indicators, which should prevent lag due to server crowding. If you just want raw speed, we recommend picking the “fastest” option in both fields.

Screenshot of NordVPN, p2p servers

We recommend using NordVPN’s internet kill switch to ensure safe and anonymous downloads. Losing VPN protection and leaking your real IP in the middle of a download is a risk we’re not willing to take.

NordVPN is, without a doubt, one of the best VPNs for torrenting out there. However, we never recommend or condone illegal downloads. Content piracy can lead to some serious legal problems, including fines and even jail time in some countries.

Dedicated IP address

NordVPN has a dedicated IP service. This means you can get dedicated IP addresses alongside your NordVPN subscription. NordVPN’s dedicated IPs all work with the OpenVPN protocol and cost $70 a year. You can use their dedicated IPs on up to two devices at the same time.

To get a dedicated IP with NordVPN, just follow these steps:

  1. Create a new account on the NordVPN website (alongside the normal account you already own).
  2. Choose a payment method.
  3. Click the text “Got a coupon?” on the payment page and add the NordVPN coupon code “norddedicatedip”. You’ll now automatically get a discount on your subscription, making the payment $70 a year.
  4. Complete the remaining steps of the process.
  5. Contact the NordVPN team via live chat or email and ask them to give you your dedicated IP address.

At the moment of writing, they only offer IP addresses on servers in the following server locations:

  • The U.S.
  • Germany
  • The U.K.
  • The Netherlands
  • France

It’s important to understand that this will increase your overall NordVPN cost on a yearly basis.


Merger with Surfshark

In 2022, Nord Security, which owns NordVPN, merged with Surfshark. The merger was confirmed and announced by both parties. Both Surfshark and NordVPN reiterated that the two VPNs would operate independently.

Both companies also stated that the merger would have no impact on the way they process user data. According to the press release, the merger would allow both parties to share technical knowledge and focus more on market diversification.


Our Experience With NordVPN

So what is NordVPN all about? As you might have figured out during our NordVPN review, we like this provider very much. Their no-logs policy is solid, and their extensive selection of servers makes it very attractive for any user.

Moreover, the VPN is ideal for people who want to stay anonymous online. NordVPN has lots of extra options to improve your online safety which definitely makes them the safest premium VPN service.

It comes with many options to make your internet experience the best one, allowing you to unblock international libraries of different streaming services. They provide this awesome service for a more than reasonable price, which truly makes it one of our favorites.


NordVPN: A Quick Comparison

Compared to other VPNs, NordVPN does quite well. Not only is NordVPN decently priced, but it’s also one of the better VPNs on the market, period. If you want to find out how good NordVPN is in comparison with other top VPNs, take a look at the articles below:

NordVPN Review: Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for a quick answer to your question about NordVPN? Have a look at our FAQ below. Click on a question to see the answer.

No, unfortunately, NordVPN does not offer a free version. However, NordVPN does have a 30-day money-back guarantee which allows you to try it out for 30 days. Also, free VPNs are not always suitable compared to paid VPN options. Free VPNs often have a data or speed limit, which makes them less suitable for streaming for example. Still want to try out a free VPN? Then take a look at our article: the best free VPNs.

NordVPN is one of the very best VPNs when it comes to security. This provider uses OpenVPN, among other VPN protocols. According to many cybersecurity experts, this encryption protocol is the most secure VPN protocol at this moment. Furthermore, NordVPN’s no-log logging policy provides the highest level of privacy. Lastly, NordVPN offers several extra safety features, such as a kill switch, double VPN connections and Onion over Tor.

NordVPN works well with Netflix and allows you to watch Netflix content from several countries. As such you can use NordVPN to watch the US version of Netflix when you’re abroad for business or leisure, or to get access to the Italian version of Netflix, for instance.

If you do, for whatever reason, encounter a problem with accessing Netflix, you can try to connect to a different server, contact NordVPN’s customer support or try an obfuscated server or dedicated IP-address.

You most definitely can. In fact, NordVPN offers special P2P servers, optimized for peer to peer traffic, for this very purpose. You’ll find these in the main menu of the NordVPN app (on the left).

Yes, NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses in the following countries: the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. In order to get a dedicated IP, you’ll have to create a new account with a special coupon code, then contact the NordVPN support team to activate your dedicated IP.

NordVPN is a very affordable VPN provider, especially if you take the excellent quality and many extra features they offer into account. The cheapest NordVPN subscription is the 2-year plan that costs just $2.98 a month. A 1-year plan costs $4.99 dollars a month, while the monthly plan is pricier at $11.99.

NordVPN costs $11.99 per month if you choose to pay on a monthly basis.

NordVPN is a very affordable service, given its portfolio of excellent features. If you wish to go on a month-to-month basis, the subscription will cost you $11.99 per month. However, you can save quite a bit by going for a longer subscription.

NordVPN’s 1-year plan costs $4.99 per month. Its 2-year option is even cheaper, sitting at only $2.98 per month. So, if you’re planning on using NordVPN long-term, you can save hundreds of dollars by going with its 2-year package.

What Our Experts Have to Say

“Perfect for privacy, works with American Netflix and fast servers.”
Our Score
9.3
David Janssen
David Janssen
We have always had a soft spot for NordVPN. Their encryption, user-friendliness, and price have always been of a great standard. In earlier years their biggest downside was speed. The speed of the connection in Western Europe couldn’t be compared to the speed they offered users in the U.S. However, NordVPN has invested a lot in their server network over the last few years. This resulted in the great speeds we experienced in our latest tests. Now, NordVPN most definitely deserves its place among the greatest VPN providers.
We have always had a soft spot for NordVPN. Their encryption, user-friendliness, and price have always been of a great standard. In earlier years their biggest downside was speed. The speed of the connection in Western Europe couldn’t be compared to the speed they offered users in the U.S. However, NordVPN has invested a lot in their server network over the last few years. This resulted in the great speeds we experienced in our latest tests. Now, NordVPN most definitely deserves its place among the greatest VPN providers.
Tove Marks
Tove Marks
The look of the NordVPN software really speaks to me because it is calm and very clear. Without a doubt their price is perhaps their biggest plus. It truly is one of the cheaper premium VPN services on the market. Personally I might not delve into all their additional safety options but it is nice to know they are there if I ever were to need them. I would definitely recommend NordVPN.
The look of the NordVPN software really speaks to me because it is calm and very clear. Without a doubt their price is perhaps their biggest plus. It truly is one of the cheaper premium VPN services on the market. Personally I might not delve into all their additional safety options but it is nice to know they are there if I ever were to need them. I would definitely recommend NordVPN.
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  1. I’ve tried to use Nord VPN twice in the last 5 years in China, it’s never worked. Maybe it performs well in other places but it’s useless in China.

    • Hi Toby! We’re sorry to hear that. Did you use the obfsproxy feature offered by NordVPN? You can find this under the “Advanced” tab in your NordVPN settings. If this doesn’t work, NordVPN’s support team should be able to help you out. It’s also best to install the app before you’re within the country’s borders, if that’s an option that’s available to you.

  2. I am paying for a two year subscription but have had to uninstall the program. It is unusable on windows. No matter what I try – short of becoming a software engineer or something, I can’t have nord VPN and the internet simultaneously. Kind of defeats the purpose.

    • That’s really unfortunate, and definitely not how it’s supposed to work. Many of our colleagues use NordVPN on their Windows computers on the daily and haven’t run into any issues. It sounds like you might be dealing with a specific (likely solvable) problem. Have you tried contacting NordVPN’s support team? Their 24/7 live chat should be able to help you out with any issues you run into.

  3. The pricing is very misleading for Australian customers. Although there is no mention that the price shown is in USD, and that there is a note stating: “Payments are charged in AUD. Payment provider fees may apply. Plan automatically renews until cancelled.”, the fact is that your credit card will be charged in AUD, but the actual price shown is in USD. To me this seems like a bit of a fraud. So my $86.86 transaction really turned out to be a $120.38 transaction. Honestly, I probably would have been happy paying the $120, but to be deceived like this makes you feel like the whole operation is dodgy.

    • Hi Paul! We’re sorry to hear this. It’s definitely unpleasant when you think you paid one amount for a service, but it turned out to be much higher. When we visit the payment page, we do see the prices mentioned in “US$” right now, also from an Australian IP address. It seems like NordVPN might have already tackled this issue and adjusted it, so no other users suffer the same confusion. We hope you’re able to enjoy your subscription regardless!

    • My plan (I’m in Canada) was automatically renewed about two weeks before expiry. Apparently, automatic renewal in is their terms of service agreement. They actually quoted me the part where it said that. However, I did get them to cancel the automatic renewal “feature”. (I couldn’t find where to do it.)
      And yes, I’m pretty sure it was in USD converted to $CDN on my credit card bill (I just checked..it was)

      • Hi Lloyd!
        We’re glad Nord’s customer support was able to help you turn off auto renewal in the end. It is a bit hidden, indeed. If you log in on your account on their website, you can find it under the “Billing” section by going to “Subscriptions”. There, you can easily turn this option off.
        As a general tip, we’d advise anyone who doesn’t want to deal with any kind of automatically recurring payment to turn off auto renewal from the very start. The company will usually contact you automatically if your service is about to run out, and then you can actively decide whether you’d like another year (or two, or three) of the same service.

  4. I bought the subscription last year and ended up not useable for me. I thought I canceled but apparently not. Anyway, I was charged $99 a few days ago via PayPal. I immediately emailed paddle.net and asked the subscription to be canceled and my money to be refunded. They canceled it but was told that I cannot get a refund because they have a 30 day refund only from the ORIGINAL subscription policy. Really???

    • We’re sorry that happened to you! It might be worth checking whether your subscription was renewed at the VPN itself, or at Paddle, which is essentially a third-party. It might be worth contacting NordVPN’s customer service support if it’s the first. Perhaps they can help you out, although they, too, might consider the first 30 days of the original subscription period the official money-back guarantee.

  5. Just purchased a premium membership from NordVPN. While processing my payment a NordPASS membership was added to the bill without my doing anything to add this. So an extra $35 showed up on my bill. Incredibly deceiving and dishonest.

    I have asked for a full reimbursement.

  6. NordVPN plays fast and loose with their provided software, provides ineffective customer support and their system has cost me several hours of lost work due to hanging and killing the Internet connection randomly, requiring a reboot.

    I have a large LAN system (for a home system) and when I signed on I installed NordVPN on my bastion firewall server and my Android Pixel 3 smartphone. All was well.

    Then NordVPN “upgraded” their system causing my router to be non-functional, leading me to install ‘apps’ on devices on my LAN (4). Installing their ‘app’ on my Linux workstation was problematic, required several hours but a particularly helpful NordVPN CS got it running. Then they updated their Linux ‘app’ (3.0 ⇾ 3.1), and the Linux system started failing frequently, usually while doing something requiring Internet connectivity. That makes it a prime target for deprecation.

    As it stands now my rating would be “User-friendliness 1.5” and because failing while connected “Servers 1.0”.

    After today’s repeated fiasco, I believe I’ll wait a few months before trying again.

    Doing ‘alpha’ testing in a production environment reaches the foolhardy status

    • Our experiences with NordVPN so far have been pleasant, however, we’re sorry to hear that yours hasn’t. Hopefully NordVPN fixes your troubles soon enough, and, if not, maybe compensate you in some other form or manner. If you still want to try out another VPN, maybe you could try FastestVPN or our top 5 VPN page for some suggestions, thanks for letting us know about your experience with NordVPN!

  7. I Purchased nordvpn because one site that I accessed required this vpn in order to receive some of their content. After activating nordvpn, I noticed that the site stated that I did not have the vpn. I contacted nordvpn who said that they would get back to me. This continued for several days, and nordvpn reply only concerned buffering and disconnections.
    I am done. I need a refund.

    • Sorry to hear your experience with NordVPN wasn’t satisfactory. If you would like to get a refund, you’ll have to contact NordVPN on their website.

  8. I am running an ASUS AC5300 router. I was thinking about connecting the router to NordVPN that way all my clients connected to the router go through the VPN. I am wondering about the speed for all connected clients. I would like to know if you have configured a router this way.

  9. Used Nordvpn on Win 10 for over a year during which time the app & support has always been inconsistent & unreliable. Initial auto-connect randomly doesn’t work requiring turning off auto-connect, blocking internet without Nord & other settings leaving my data vulnerable while connecting to the internet, logging into Nord & turning on. A few weeks ago the program wouldn’t update. Per support’s instructions I deleted the program & reinstalled via a link they provided because the website download didn’t work. It still didn’t update until a few days later a message said to update. The new version 6.38.15.0 will not auto-connect at all. Their current recommendation seems to verify what I’ve always experienced: it doesn’t work at all with the new version. How can I trust that the program protects my data as it does in your review. I realize my experience is different from the review.

    Email support has been useless in my experience. On 8-2-21 I found on the website to TRY the following settings which seem to verify they don’t work. Turn off ‘Auto-connect on app launch’ & off on ‘Auto-connect on unsecured Wi-Fi”. Disable the Choose a VPN protocol and server automatically option. Select the OpenVPN (UDP) or OpenVPN (TCP) protocol.

    Can I trust my personal data & patient medical records with NordVPN?

    • Our experience with NordVPN has been mostly positive, so we would trust them with our data. However, we do realize not everyone has the same experience with a VPN for various reasons. If you’re not 100% sure NordVPN is for you, maybe one of the other VPNs we have in our top 5 VPNs is better suited for your needs.

  10. very user-friendly app that does not require much of a knowledge to use, especially on my smartphone. I usually keep it on at all times as I wander a lot and use it only on my computer to access websites that would be locked. It’s a nice compromise for the price of the product with all the feature included, really cant complain about it.

  11. As the title says, it’s a great tool for accessing Netflix catalogs. I remember when we could travel back then that I was using it mainly for that. Like I was going overseas to Europe and was always interested by watching their Netflix, it was so different from ours. Apart from that, I didn’t use the VPN much, thanks Miss Rona… because I would have loved to explore the features they have… From my experience, I really liked it and can’t wait to explore it more.

  12. I bought NordVPN few weeks ago before realizing I don’t need much of a VPN so I contacted the support to ask for a refund as it was not yet 30 days after the purchase. The person who replied to me was kind enough and everything went smooth. It was a good but short experience. One sure thing, if I need a VPN in the future, I know which one I will choose.

  13. We’ve been using nordvpn for few years and everything was fine until we recently renewed with a discounted 2 year offer. Things worked fine for a few weeks then suddenly we were disconnected for no reason. We tried everything to reconnect but couldn’t even login to nord account. We had this problem on multiple devices. Nothing worked no matter what we tried. We tried support for help but no joy. We wanted refund but they said after 30 days they don’t refund. They took our money, gave vpn for few weeks then disconnected! Very dodgy! I don’t recommend nordvpn. We feel disappointed and conned.

    • We’re sorry to hear that, after being able to use NordVPN without problems for a few years, for some reason it doesn’t seem to work as well anymore. We’re pretty sure NordVPN already tried to solve it, but did you perhaps try to change the protocol to OpenVPN? NordVPN recently switched to WireGuard (NordLynx) and made it its default protocol. This might cause a problem for some people. Hopefully, it does end up being resolved by Nord, whether that’s through a refund or a working VPN.

  14. What are your takes on Nord’s latest update that changes the log in method? You don’t log in directly within the app. It makes you go through a browser then back to the app. I’m seeing a lot of complaints about difficulty connecting and undermining security.

    • We’ve recently updated our review and put some of our thoughts on this in the “What information does NordVPN Need?” section. We asked NordVPN about it and they say it will help with security, because they only have to protect one point of access. However, we have also read that quite a lot of users aren’t as happy with the change and making valid points. The most important one being: because it’s on a webpage, it’s easy for countries and ISPs to block access to NordVPN. They simply have to block the login page or site altogether. Most users seem to not have any problems with the new login, but for other users it makes NordVPN unusable.

      It seems good in theory, but in practice, there are a lot of issues that still need to be fixed. So, all in all, it has potential, but at the moment it isn’t great because of the usability and security issues.

  15. This review will be some kind of feedback after few months of using Nord VPN. I like to read lots of different reviews on a product before getting it, and it took me some time to read reviews about this provider. I decided to go for it simply because they were running a sale and didn’t want to miss it. One sure thing, I don’t regret going for Nord VPN as it has met my expectations. To be honest, this VPN review represents the most what it is in reality with many key points like servers wise or the simple interface (yes I hate when it is difficult to use).

    Regarding my use, I mainly turn it ON it at home to bypass some geo-blocked movies but it happens that I keep it ON with my phone while I hang out with family & friends. Until now, everything has been pretty easy and smooth.

  16. I have always been used to torrent until the day I received a notice telling me to stop or it could be the fine. I didn’t want to stop I had to find a way, well I guess I found it with NordVPN! Honestly, it’s been few years and I never received any notice. The best is to check if the server is not leaking and so far it never happened. The reason why I choose them is mainly because they are no-logs, that was my nr. 1 reason.

  17. Have been using Hola for years to unblock certain sites and video streams, but recently someone warned me that it may not be the best or safest VPN to use. I’m thinking about giving NordVPN a try. They show TV ads about Nordvpn in my country and that made me curious. They seem to be getting pretty good reviews. I am just interested in unblocking content, is it still worth dropping Hola and trying out NordVPN just for that purpose?

    • HolaVPN and NordVPN have very different philosophies when it comes to protecting and safeguarding users. Hola prioritizes paying users at the expense of free users, while NordVPN is a premium provider that takes security and privacy seriously for all its users.

      • So with the current political climate some of us are more concerned about our privacy, especially with big government allying with corporations. Does this review still hold up

        • We update our VPN reviews monthly to ensure that we give people the most up-to-date information available. Our most recent update was about a week ago, so the review should still be up-to-date.

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