NordVPN has been making a lot of waves. Being the Panama-based VPN that it is, it has been in the security industry for over a decade now. With its powerful features and intuitive interface, there is none like NordVPN out there. While most VPNs out there only give users the option to hide their IP addresses, NordVPN gives them the option to choose a VPN protocol themselves based on their needs, whether those needs are for Torrenting or Netflix streaming. With a software such as this, people are bound to get curious about every individual feature it has, which is why this detailed review now exists.

Pricing Plans and Packages

Although NordVPN gives you a 30-day money back guarantee, it also gives you a 7-day mobile trial and a 3-day free desktop trial. This is a great deal for users who find it difficult to make a choice without trying a service first. This VPN accepts major payment options such as debit/credit cards and PayPal. But since these payment options are not entirely anonymous, NordVPN now accepts Bitcoin as a viable payment option so users retain their real identity.

Following are other payment options that NordVPN now accepts from you.

  • Union Pay
  • Web Money
  • SOFORT BANKING
  • Giropay
  • ALIPAY

Here is a list of packages you choose from.

  1. 30-Day Plan $11.95
  1. 6-Monthly Plan $9.00 charged monthly, $71.70 charged over 6 months

With the current 24% discount, you save $17.7

  1. Annual Plan $6.99 charged monthly, $143.40 charged over a year

With the current 41% discount, you save $59.52

Getting Started

Setting up NordVPN is a fairly simple process. All you require is an email address. However, for anonymity purposes, you can easily use a disposable email address. After signing up, you will have to download the VPN client. Check your inbox to find a confirmation email from NordVPN which will also contain some useful article links to clear up any confusions you might have. This can come in handy in the future, so we suggest you start the email.

Supported Operating Systems

  • MacOS
  • Windows
  • Android
  • iOS
  • Backberry 10
  • Linux
  • Routers
  • Chromium
  • NAS Systems

Apart from all of these supported platforms, NordVPN also gives you browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox for added security against DNS and IP leaks.

Top Features

Even though NordVPN charges users less than its competition, it doesn’t compromise when it comes to its features. In fact, NordVPN stands out by offering you amazing features without having to spend too much money like other VPNs. Following are some of them.

  • Access to geographically restricted content
  • IP hiding
  • Kill Switch
  • DoubleVPN
  • Several simultaneous connections for all of your family members

NordVPN offers clients not only for Windows devices but also for iOS devices, Mac and Android phones. Each of these clients come with their very own tutorials that explain to what all of their functions are. NordVPN supports over 40 different kinds of mobile phones which not only includes mobile operating systems and RaspberryPis, but also routers.

Smart Pay

If the sole reason why you use a VPN is to access geographically restricted content from streaming services such as Netflix, BBC, Pandora, and Amazon Prime, then the Smart Pay feature offered by NordVPN will give you the opportunity to access more than 400 of these streaming services so that you and your friends can binge-watch in peace.

Tor Network

NordVPN gives you the option to combine Tor Network along with the VPN services it already offers you for added protection online. Although you can use Tor browser without a VPN, we don’t recommend that you use one without the other for security purposes.

Kill Switch

The disadvantage to using just any VPN is that they don’t notify you when the connection is lost, which could put you at potential risk of data and IP leaks. When you use NordVPN and the connection is lost, the VPN implements an immediate Kill Switch on your connection, preventing any data leakage from the apps that you use.

DNS Leak Protection

When you manually set up a VPN connection, you become more vulnerable in the face of potential DNS Leaks. NordVPN has security measures put into place to immediately counter such leaks and protect your identity.

The primary reason why people use VPN software is for privacy. This is the main feature that anyone in the market for a VPN looks out for, because what else is a VPN good for? Clients want to retain their anonymity so that their browsing activity is safely hidden from ISPs. Let us discuss some of the features that make NordVPN worthy of so much praise in the market.

Web Tracking (Military Grade Encryption)

Though NordVPN does make use of more than one website tracker, they go unnoticed due to their seamlessness. A notable fact is that NordVPN has absolutely no ties with either Google Analytics or Facebook, companies that are well-known for their data retention practices against user consent.

Privacy and Security

NordVPN uses the standard AES-256-bit encryption long with 2,084-bit SSL keys. You won’t have to manually turn on DNS leaks protection as that option is automatically toggled on in the client. Along with the VPN itself, you also get Tor Over VPN which reroutes your data through several nodes and onion websites in order to ensure your anonymity.

However, there is a downside to the use of Tor network. While it does a great job of hiding your identity, it may slow down your device somewhat. Another downside is that Tor keeps changing your exit node to hide your IP address which might not always be convenient for use.

Jurisdiction

Since NordVPN originates from Panama which has a zero government surveillance system in place along with uncensored internet access policy, you are in the clear. This VPN does not monitor your activity in any way or keep any logs of what you do online in order to sell it to third-party. Panama is well out of the jurisdiction of organizations well known for surveilling on citizens without consent such as NSA and GCHQ. This is the single most convincing factor that makes NordVPN such a viable VPN option, and why this VPN has made such a name for itself.

Customer Support Features

While most VPNs will get back to you with an answer to your queries in one or two working days during business hours, NordVPN offers you round the clock customer support that functions with the ticket system. This system is also utilized by major websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and email. You can always make use of the live chat feature if your query is urgent and time sensitive.

Live Chat and Email Support

In the past, NordVPN’s quality was not up to the standards of users. However, in recent years, NordVPN has struck back with better quality than ever before. In the year 2018 alone, this VPN won the Best Customer Service Award simply because it offers you the most detailed and helpful answers to the queries you have, whether they are sent through live chat feature or through emails.

Knowledgebase

Often it happens that the live chat feature is not enough and users might feel like the query they have is far too complicated to be put into words. In cases such as these, NordVPN has it’s own extensive list of articles and queries posted and answered by users on a singular directory. This directory called Knowledgebase can be accessed by all users.

Zero Logging Policies

There are several VPNs out there that log user activity without their knowledge o consent. If you look at their fine print, such as their terms and conditions, you’ll find several loopholes. However, in the case of NordVPN, it has made very clear that it monitors you to some extent but it is for quality assurance purposes only. Following is the type of information NordVPN has clarified it keeps.

  • Payment data
  • Email addresses
  • Service performance data to recommend the right servers for your connections

However, this is only regular information that shouldn’t be the cause of worry for users. This in no way relates to what users browse for or download online. What they do in their time is for them to know only.

Speed Tests

When features tell a different story, speed tests tell another which is why this is a difficult section of this post.  A VPN could have the best of features and still lack in terms of performance, which would render all of its amazing features virtually useless to the user.

For quite a while now, NordVPN has been tested by its main competition in the market which is ExpressVPN, another noteworthy VPN. However, in the year 2018, NordVPN scored much higher than ExpressVPN, putting it in its place.

The internet connection speed used for the test was 100 Mbps. Without a cable internet connection or VPN, following we’re the results.

Internet Speed Test Without VPN

Most VPNs in the market managed to score the download speed of 70 Mbps, however, NordVPN managed to score 74.15 Mbps, as you can see below.

Internet Speed Test With NordVPN

All in all, we gathered that 2018 was the year of NordVPN as it shone and stood out in every way possible for users. Mostly, because it beat ExpressVPN by 4 points!

No IP or DNS Leaks

Whenever we take on the task to review a particular VPN for you guys, we make sure we run a series of tests to see whether or not a VPN qualifies to be in our top list. The tests that we ran analyzed if there were any IP or DNS leaks through NordVPN’s servers. However, you can run these tests yourself on any VPN that you are vetting to see if it suits your need. Following are some essential leak test websites.

  1. net
  2. com for WebRTC leak test
  3. ax
  4. Perfec-Privacy.com for DNS and IP Leak test

Our tests revealed that with the help of NordVPN’s Kill Switch feature, no data either DNS or IP address related was leaked while using the internet.

Do You Need NordVPN?

We definitely have to say that we fully recommend you use NordVPN for all of your security needs. Though it might have some flaws, as all VPNs trying to make a place for themselves in the market do, it provides you with quality services at a cheap and affordable rate. It is secure and yet fast. Unlike most VPNs, setting up NordVPN is not complicated in any way and it’s easy to use interface allows for a first time VPN user to get started with many conveniences.

Conclusion

However, while we are discussing the good, we must also discuss the bad. Not every server offered by NordVPN is to be trusted to unlock geo-restricted content all over the world. Out of the 3350 servers offered, only a few are capable of unlocking Netflix for you. So it would really be a matter of how much patience, time and dedication you have to accomplish this feat. But other than that, as far as your identity is concerned, NordVPN does a great job of securing your real IP address, location, identity and browsing history not only from government agencies but also from malicious hackers all over the world looking to make a quick buck over someone’s personal data.

Hudson

Hudson is currently an editor at Hudson Rhine. She also holds a degree in Computer Science from Bridgewater College. She loves to write about software and tech shaping the future. She lives in Virginia with her parents.

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