NordVPN Review: Fast and Feature-Rich

The reliable features and incredible server speeds set NordVPN apart.

 

 

Pros

  • Great set of features
  • Outstanding speed
  • No-logs policy
  • Attractive and intuitive interface

Cons

  • Expensive

Our Verdict:

NordVPN offers a plethora of features. There are plenty of country/region connections available – all of which seem to be compatible with Netflix – built-in antivirus and ad-blocking features, and some of the fastest server speeds. It also offers multi-hop connections, P2P file sharing, and split tunneling. It’s pricey, but you get a lot of value for your money.

NordVPN Overview:

  • P2P allowed: Yes, on dedicated servers
  • Simultaneous connections: Up to six
  • Headquarters: Panama
  • Number of servers: 5000+
  • Number of countries: 60+
  • Pricing: $12.99 per month or $100.56 for two years

NordVPN is one of the most renowned VPNs, boasting a massive user base. This trusted premium service is known for its excellent speed, extensive server range, and impressive security features. To be more than just a VPN, the service has expanded into a larger umbrella organization called Nord Security, offering additional services such as the NordPass password manager, NordLocker for secure file storage, as well as NordLayer and NordWL for business tools.

Note: Refer to our Best VPN Overview for more information on competing products, VPN needs, and product recommendations.

NordVPN: Features and Services

Now, let’s start by stating that NordVPN is one of the largest and most financially robust VPNs out there. With over 14 million users, it’s just a part of the Nord Security large enterprise conglomerate. As expected, it boasts all the features users would expect from a top-tier VPN service and more.

The VPN itself is supported by most major platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, etc. It also allows simultaneous connections to six devices, which, while decent, isn’t particularly exceptional. Honestly, large VPN services like NordVPN can’t allow unlimited device connections like some competitors, which is a bit disappointing.

Its customer support services are available 24/7 via chat or email, and if you encounter trouble and prefer to troubleshoot yourself, its website hosts a rich blog and FAQ section.

In the fiercely competitive market, what ultimately makes NordVPN stand out from its competitors is its ongoing growth and optimization.

NordVPN-Interface-photo

NordVPN boasts a clean and user-friendly interface.


When you first open NordVPN on Windows, you’ll encounter a minimalist and user-friendly interface. The left sidebar features quick links to VPN, Threat Protection, Onion Over VPN, and Dark Web Monitoring. At the bottom, you have interface options for Contact Us, Personalized Security Score, and Settings. The rest of the application window is filled with a world map where you can drag and select specific countries/regions and servers to connect to VPN. There’s also a small box containing quick connection options – allowing you to automatically connect to the fastest available server, along with a history of the five most recently connected servers for reference.

NordVPN-Settings-Menu-Photo

The “Settings” menu in NordVPN offers a plethora of customization options for advanced users.


Upon delving into the “Settings” menu, you’ll discover numerous options tailored for advanced users, including the Kill Switch and App Kill Switch. The latter prevents any application from accessing the internet if the active VPN connection is disconnected, while the former performs this action for the entire PC.

There are also options for Split Tunneling and Auto Connect. Split Tunneling allows you to choose which applications you specifically want to run through the VPN connection and which ones you don’t. This is particularly useful if you want to browse the internet protected by VPN while simultaneously gaming without potential extra latency due to the active VPN connection.

Auto Connect is a fantastic feature and a standard configuration for most VPN services. However, what sets NordVPN’s Auto Connect feature apart is the ability to customize the connections themselves. For instance, you can automatically connect to double VPN or specific countries/regions. You can also choose whether to connect upon application startup or only on “unsafe networks.”

NordVPN-Threat-Protection-menu-photo-1

NordVPN incorporates useful security features such as ad blocking and malware protection.


Returning to the main menu, you’ll be able to explore additional features included in your NordVPN subscription. Under the Threat Protection menu, you can choose to enable Nord’s CyberSec, which offers real-time protection against malware and trackers, as well as ad blocking and file download protection.

NordVPN has also recently upgraded its service to provide Meshnet. Meshnet is supported through NordLynx (NordVPN’s WireGuard VPN protocol version), allowing you to connect to another device instead of a VPN server, thus routing online traffic through another computer. Device pairing requires authorization from all parties involved, and once connected, the traffic between devices remains encrypted. This is a highly unique feature that enables users to collaborate through remote file sharing, revive old-fashioned LAN gatherings, or even allow users to connect to the internet from different locations via a home computer.

NordVPN: Performance

NordVPN-Website-photo

NordVPN’s website claims to have the fastest VPN service.


During our testing process, we rated the connection speeds of NordVPN servers in five different countries globally and compared them to our baseline internet speeds. NordVPN’s server speeds performed excellently. We observed an impressive average speed of 73% for basic download speeds and 80% for basic upload speeds. This easily makes it the fastest VPN in terms of average connection speeds among those we tested.

With these speeds, users can easily stream HD videos or play games on almost any NordVPN server without any issues—of course, depending on their own home internet speeds. However, please note that this is a single experience on a limited number of machines, and your experience may vary.


NordVPN also claims compatibility with Netflix, and we found that to be true for all the servers we tested. However, encountering issues with streaming services even when using top-tier VPNs is not uncommon. This is due to the ongoing cat-and-mouse game between Netflix’s anti-VPN enforcement efforts and VPN service providers attempting to circumvent blocks.

NordVPN: Security and Privacy

During our review process, we found NordVPN to be committed to respecting user privacy. Only an email address is required even during the signup process. Service fees can be paid through credit cards, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, or various cryptocurrencies, ensuring another level of anonymity.

As the company is headquartered in Panama, it is not subject to mandatory data retention laws or other internet surveillance regulations. Additionally, NordVPN states that it has a “strict no-logs policy,” meaning it does not store timestamps, browsing data, bandwidth usage, traffic logs, IP addresses, or any other personally identifiable information of users. This no-logs policy has been independently audited three times—once in 2018, again in 2020, and most recently in January 2023.

NordVPN uses standard AES encryption with 256-bit keys. A few years ago, it also joined the trend of implementing diskless production servers to enhance security. Diskless servers do not store any information at all. They are controlled and booted remotely from another server, so everything runs in RAM. This process makes it extremely difficult to extract any user data from these servers.

NordVPN-Internet-Protocol-menu-options-photo

NordVPN offers IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, and NordLynx protocol options.


The service provides three internet protocols: IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, and NordLynx (NordVPN’s proprietary version of the WireGuard VPN protocol). NordVPN recommends NordLynx as the preferred protocol due to its potential for better speed and security.

Since the 2018 hack of NordVPN, a lot of effort has been put into rebuilding user trust, and we are pleased to see all the significant progress it has made. Independent audits of its no-logs policy, implementation of diskless servers, and increased overall transparency in the company’s structure have all played extremely positive roles in promoting privacy and restoring trust among users.

Should you use NordVPN?

NordVPN remains an excellent service and continues to get better with each new feature added. There’s no denying that the VPN comes at a premium price. However, with such a rich feature set, NordVPN users undoubtedly get their money’s worth.

In a fiercely competitive market, what ultimately sets NordVPN apart from its competitors is its continuous growth and optimization. It keeps upgrading its security features and incorporating new technologies like Meshnet and NordLynx. If you add this ongoing improvement to a service already boasting stable speeds, admirable security features, and compatibility with Netflix, then NordVPN stands as one of the top choices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *