A Service Ranked as “The People’s Choice”
|Price||$2.99/month ($107.55 for 3-Years)|
|Bypasses China Firewall||Yes|
NordVPN is an all-rounder and I highly recommend using it. The VPN service defends you against prying eyes, offers great digital privacy, allows for secure torrenting, and unblocking of VoDs like Netflix US and BBC iPlayer UK, all for a price tag of $2.99!
With the largest server network (5,700+ in 60 countries), NordVPN utilizes the OpenVPN protocol with AES-256-bit, and even uses obfuscation for access in banned countries like China, hence why it ranks 2nd in our recommended lists!
In this NordVPN review, I’ll conduct several tests on the provider, analyze their service offerings, and give you details regarding their security, transparency, pricing, servers, performance, compatibility, and support.
Latest Insights about Nord VPN
- It is highly unfortunate, but NordVPN joins the likes of other top providers, terminating the seven-day free trial it offers to users , amidst widespread abuse.
- From December 1st onward, the provider discontinued their support for L2TP/IPSec and PPTP connections. This change will not necessarily affect users though.
- On March 23rd, NordVPN received a letter from a Russian national media regulator, Roskomnadzor, leading to the provider removing its Russian server listing.
- NordVPN Windows application contains the NanoBot Trojan from Antiy-AVL, raising alarms on the credibility and safety of their software (issue rectified).
- At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019, one of the world’s leading technology conferences, NordVPN won the award for the Best Customer Service and Best VPN overall.
An Analysis of NordVPN’s Security
NordVPN is a secure VPN based in Panama, Central America.
Panama is a great location for a VPN to be based in as the Central American nation has friendly data privacy laws and its not a part of any data sharing alliance like 5 or 9 Eyes.
Due to this, it can be assumed safely and with confidence that Panamanian authorities will not send a data gag order to NordVPN and even if, in a rare occurrence, it does receive such an order, NordVPN doesn’t need to comply with it, thanks to virtually zero data retention laws in the country.
During our survey involving the laws around data retention in different locations around the world, we found that being based in the wrong jurisdiction can increase the risk to the data that goes through a VPN’s servers.
Does NordVPN Log your Data?
No! NordVPN does not log session/connection data. It stays true to its promise of keeping zero logs. In fact, they are one of the only providers in the marketplace currently, who have been verified by a 3rd party audit firm. This guarantees that they do not track your activity online.
They directly state that “NordVPN strictly keeps no logs of your activity online. That means we do not track the time or duration of an online session, and neither do we keep logs of IP addresses or servers used, websites visited or files downloaded.”
This zero-logs policy followed by NordVPN is exemplary as a wide majority of VPNs in the industry do keep them, as we found out in our comprehensive survey of the logging policies of over 100+ providers currently operating in the industry.
NordVPN is one of the safest VPNs out there according to this important privacy metric, and if you want to subscribe to a safe provider, this one can probably be the end of your search.
NordVPN is a breath of fresh air, in comparison to many providers in the marketplace claim that they follow a “No Logs” policy. However, when confronted by Government agencies, the reality becomes known.
Examples include IPVanish and PureVPN, both of which cooperated upon being given legal notice of seizing their servers.
NordVPN Protocols Information
NordVPN supports PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2, and OpenVPN. By default, the Windows client uses OpenVPN, while Mac and iOS counterparts use the secure IKEv2.
Users have the option of choosing between TCP and UDP protocols in Windows and Android apps. Encryption is offered via AES-256-CBC ciphers with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication.
What Encryption Does NordVPN Use?
NordVPN uses AES-256-CBC with an RSA-2048 handshake for the control channel. AES-256-CBC ciphers with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication for the data channel.
Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) is provided by a DHE-4096 key exchange. Mac apps use IKEv2 with Cisco’s Next Generation Encryption (NGE) protocol, while iOS apps utilize AES-256-GCM ciphers with HMAC SHA2384 for data authentication.
What are the Benefits of NordVPN?
There are seven benefits of using NordVPN, which is among the very few providers, that work hard on the creation of new technologies/features to increase anonymity online on public Wi-Fi, blocking annoying ads, and even bypassing VPN bans.
1. Obfuscated Servers – Countries like UAE, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Russia, and China impose highly strict internet laws. In some cases, there may even be legal consequences for accessing “foreign” apps/services. For people living in such countries, NordVPN offers Obfuscated Servers, designed to offer maximum anonymity for bypassing the toughest of firewalls around the world.
2. DNS Leak Protection – The last thing you need when using a VPN is your DNS leaking, as that would reveal your real identity. This can be quite alarming, especially if you are indulging in activities like P2P/Torrenting or streaming pirated content, in a country with tough copyright infringement laws. The DNS leak protection feature, guarantees you stay anonymous online!
3. Automatic Kill Switch – Almost all NordVPN clients come equipped with the Kill Switch feature. This highly responsive and proactive tool automatically kills your internet, if your VPN disconnects. As such, programs will no longer be able to access the internet. This saves your real IP from leaking, which could result in your ISP finding out what you are up to!
4. DoubleVPN – This feature is for the more paranoid-minded fellas out there. Particularly those who are worried about their online privacy, while indulging in torrenting or streaming pirated content. The DoubleVPN feature routes your internet through two different secure servers around the world before reaching the end destination, guaranteeing complete cloaking!
5. Onion Over VPN – This is another great feature for leveraging extra protection online. It is mostly used by individuals, who have a desire to visit the dark web or TOR network. NordVPN is one of the only few providers in the marketplace to offer support for Tor. It enables users to route their traffic first through their VPN and then send it to the Onion Router!
6. SmartPlay – As the name implies, the SmartPlay technology from NordVPN is particularly for streaming maniacs. This feature enables users from around the world to access more than 400 ge0-restricted streaming services. Names include hit VoDs like BBC iPlayer, Pandora, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV, Hotstar, and various others.
7. CyberSec – The internet is loaded with tricky websites, ads, and software that have the main purpose of infecting your PC, laptop, or smartphone. Clicking on a shady link can result in the loss of all your crucial data. NordVPN’s CyberSec feature prevents this from happening by offering malware protection and blocking ads/trackers!
Does NordVPN Leak Your WebRTC/DNS/IP?
NordVPN is free from all leaks. How do I know this? I tested the same Netflix server #3038 above on 3 different sites to check for IP or DNS leak issues.
WebRTC Leak Test
I first decided to use https://browserleaks.com/ for conducting a thorough WebRTC leak test. As you can see below, there were no errors found. My original IPv4 and IPv6 address are both invisible, displaying the IP address given by NordVPN i.e. 184.108.40.206.
DNS Leak Test
For my second test, I used the infamous Perfect Privacy DNS Leak Test to double-check the results above. As you can see below, nothing reveals your true identity or location. Only a single DNS server was detected using the IP: 220.127.116.11.
Complete Privacy Analysis
Since I am quite paranoid about my privacy, I decided to conduct another test. This time from the famous IPLeak.net website. The results showed that the VPN was successful in hiding our true location. The public IP is the same: 18.104.22.168 and the DNS server too: 22.214.171.124!
NordVPN Windows Client: 2 Trojans Detected
For the latest in NordVPN, my fellow analyst at BestVPN.co recently discovered vulnerabilities in the Windows Client, after conducting a malware/virus test.
The results showed that the application uses a NanoBot Trojan from Antiy-AVL, raising alarms on their credibility and safety. Trojan viruses can prove extremely harmful to your data.
Upon contacting their support department with the findings, NordVPN claimed that the “VirusTotal” test was a false positive, and that all VPNs are identified as malicious by anti-virus programs.
However, it would be unfair to take their word at face value, and so the customer support representative stated that he would be creating a ticket directed to seniors in the brand.
I am still awaiting on their complete response regarding the issue and hope NordVPN provides our analysts with enough proof to ensure that their Windows client is safe for netizens around the world.
NordVPN and its Affiliation with CloudVPN – Are the Rumors True?
NordVPN is currently under attack for hearsay of ties to a Lithuanian data-mining company, known as Tesonet. This is because all payments for the service are handled by CloudVPN, which has links to the Lithuanian company.
I approached NordVPN to give a proper reason for this “betrayal of trust”. As I believed, they were based in Panama and run by Tefincom co S.A. They responded to me immediately with some interesting insights, which you can read below:
Being based in Panama has a downside. It complicates our ability to sign our apps, place them in stores and process our payments.
Therefore, we’ve established a proxy based in the US, which in a nutshell acts only as our payment processor and has nothing to do with the actual service…
Banks are suspicious towards transactions made to Panama and tend to complicate or terminate such payments. It’s a simple and common practice.
It’s not a third party company, it’s under our control, and we use it to process our payments. In short – we handle payments ourselves, just through another company”
How Much Does NordVPN Cost? Subscriptions Offered:
The provider has a clear and simple pricing structure with four varied plans:
- Monthly Plan – Costs Around $11.95
- 1-Year Plan – $6.99/mo. (Billed $83.88) – 41% Discount
- 2-Year Plan – $3.99/mo. (Billed $95.75) – 66% Discount
- 3-Year Plan – $2.99/mo. (Billed $107.55) – 75% Discount
Personally, I believe NordVPN is the best service in the marketplace of privacy tools as of recent.
Even so, it manages to be quite friendly on the pockets, as you can see above.
In-depth Information on the Pricing:
The monthly plan starts at a high $11.95. This is a trick used by many providers in the marketplace so that other plans with longer durations look more convincing. As such, I would advise to only sign up for the monthly, if you only plan on using the VPN for a short time.
However, users who rely on Cheapest vpn for their work or accessing their home network from varied locations should opt for plans with a longer duration. The 1-year plan costs only $6.99 per month, totaling to $83.33, giving you a 41% discount to leverage.
The 2-year plan further reduces the monthly pricing to $3.99, which is billed $95.75 every 24-months. You receive an amazing 66% discount. For the best value, however, I advise going for the 3-year deal that starts at $2.99 per month. This means, you only pay $107.55 for 36 months!
What Payment Methods Does NordVPN Support?
NordVPN supports quite a lot of payment options, which include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover for recurrent subscriptions.
If you want a more direct form of payment, users also have AliPay, Union Pay, Yandex, GiroPay, Sofort, and Web Money available with NordVPN.
Smartphone users can even sign up through their dedicated app stores. Google Play and iTunes both support in-app purchases. In short, the choices are plenty!
NordVPN has recently removed PayPal as a payment option. I contacted their support regarding a reason for the removal, and they responded by saying:
“Unfortunately, right now payments via PayPal are unavailable. In general, we are having an ideological dispute over how things should be handled, and our vision of cooperation clearly differ. You can purchase our service by credit card or through any other payment method available. We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
Does NordVPN Have a Free Trial?
NordVPN did indeed offer a 7-day free trial for the privacy-conscious, but amidst widespread abuse has discontinued it. Not many providers in the marketplace offer free trials. Even if they do, it is usually a sham in the form of a money back guarantee.
NordVPN for one, stayed true to its promise of satisfying the needs of prospects and users. Sadly, people taking advantage of the trial has led to the end of this incentive, which is quite a shocker in the VPN industry.
Is There a Money Back Guarantee Available?
Yes! NordVPN exists as one of those rare providers in the marketplace that offers both: a free trial and convincing 30-day money back guarantee. Throughout my experience of reviewing varied providers, I have never witnessed a service with such a successful refund policy.
Unlike other providers, they actually give your money back, if you are not satisfied with their service. Of course, there are some cases where it takes longer to get a refund. In comparison to other providers though, NordVPN tends to be the most proactive in handling money backs.
How Do I Get My Money Back from NordVPN?
If you wish to claim a refund, do so within 30 days following your purchase. Remember though that subscriptions purchased via iTunes are subject to the native app stores’ refund policies. Also, the provider does not give refunds for StackSocial, Amazon, and BestBuy.
So, how does one ask for a refund from NordVPN? Well, the process is incredibly simple. Just contact their customer support team, requesting a money back.
What Countries Does NordVPN Have Servers In?
NordVPN now has over 5,590 servers in 60 countries worldwide. This is one of the key USPs of NordVPN, which help it gain an edge in the marketplace. You can never get tired of trying out different servers for torrenting or unblocking VoD services, like Netflix!
In fact, most NordVPN clients will provide you with the ability to select specific servers for your needs. Users have explicit choices for Anti-DDoS Protection, Dedicated IPs, Double VPN, Onion over VPN, and P2P/File sharing. This makes the selection process way easier and convenient.
However, if you are still confused about which server to connect to, NordVPN provides further assistance. As you can see below, you have access to a recommendation tool that uses smart algorithms for finding the best server. I really adore the provider for its out-of-the-box thinking!
How Fast is NordVPN?
|Download||91.71 Mbits/s||83.96 Mbits/s||75.81 Mbits/s||65.98 Mbits/s||82.55 Mbits/s||80.00 Mbits/s|
|Upload||60.63 Mbits/s||49.99 Mbits/s||50.19 Mbits/s||59.88 Mbits/s||62.72 Mbits/s||56.68 Mbits/s|
|Ping||128 ms||92 ms||117 ms||99 ms||55 ms||98.2 ms|
NordVPN may be famous for its privacy, but it has actually improved significantly in areas of performance too. The provider manages to deliver quite the amazing speeds, while providing users with uncrackable encryption.
To give you a more accurate representation on the performance, I performed a thorough speed test on servers in the US, UK, Australia, Germany, and France on a high-speed 100Mbps connection:
NordVPN Speed Test
The speed tests above reveal amazing performance with download speeds touching 80.00 Mbps on average and upload at 56.68 Mbps. The speed loss is quite less, in comparison to other providers in the marketplace, including names like VyprVPN (Performance-focused service).
In light of Nord VPN speeds, it has even been awarded the “First Oakla Speedtest Recommended Badge”. This ultimately proves how famous the Panama-based provider is getting, despite some allegations claiming they are not a secure service.
The Press Officer at NordVPN, Laura Tyrell said, “We’re honored to receive the Speedtest Recommended badge from Ookla. “This badge proves our continued effort to provide a cost-effective, well thought-out and fast VPN service. Over the years, NordVPN has become a leading online security solution with more than 8 million users worldwide.”
How Can I Speed Up NordVPN?
In addition to using servers in close proximity, NordVPN estimated that its users do suffer a speed loss of 30% when using OpenVPN UDP protocol. An instant solution for an increase in speed would be to switch the protocol to TCP.
Is it Safe to Torrent with NordVPN?
Yes, you can torrent safely with NordVPN, which boasts the largest network of 5,590 servers. While torrents are not supported on all servers, NordVPN torrenting offers a special listing of P2P servers in 28 countries overall.
You can find them in the specialty servers menu. For added security when downloading torrents, NordVPN even provides a SOCKS5 proxy. This protocol allows only authorized users to access a server, keeping your identity hidden.
If you are using UTorrent, go to “Options” and then “Preferences”. Go to the connection menu and choose the type “SOCKS5 proxy” on the Proxy Server selection. Add a relevant server address by selecting a recommended P2P server from NordVPN here.
Enter “1080” for the Port Type, and then finalize the settings by entering your NordVPN username and password. This ensures that whenever you download torrents, NordVPN automatically uses the P2P servers you have added, along with the SOCKS5 proxy!
Does NordVPN work on Netflix?
Yes NordVPN does work on Netflix using these servers that unblock the VoD. I contacted their support team and approached them with questions on unblocking Netflix using NordVPN fastest servers.
They replied to me immediately with a listing, which means NordVPN exists as one of the only few providers that provide unrestricted and hassle-free access to Netflix, without any buffering/streaming errors.
In fact, I have tested the provider multiple times by checking different servers out, and each time I was able to stream on Netflix US, UK, and JP, which host the largest libraries.
How do I get American Netflix with NordVPN?
After you establish a connection to any of the these servers, simply head to the Netflix website. You will notice a change in the overall categories and listing.
#3038, 2352-2367, 2340-2347, 2332-2335, 2320-2327, 2312-2315, 2228-2307, 2216-2223, 2096-2203, 2052-2087, 2042-2045, 2010-2037, 1906-2005, 1862-1901, 1806-1857, 1754-1801, 1734-1749, 1709-1732, 1692-1707, 1676-1687, 1652-1659, 1640-1643, 1616-1635, 1580-1607, 1560-1575, 1520-1539, 1500-1515, 1492-1495, 1470-1487, 1422-1429, 1410-1417, 1402-1405, 1366-1373, 1358-1361, 1322-1346, 1297-1312, 1276-1283, 1260-1271, 1248-1255, 1236-1239, 1170-1195, 1146-1165, 2404-2411, 2452-2480, 1118-1141, 1054-1113, 1046-1049, 1027-1036, 1016-1020, 1008-1011, 976-999, 968-971, 956-959, 940-947, 932-935, 896-899, 856-883, 841-851, 829-836, 801-824, 769-780, 714-741, 707-710, 689-702, 679-684, 645-664, US621-640, 577-617 on mobile devices.
For instance, “The Walking Dead” is only available on the US version of Netflix. I successfully managed to unlock the TV show and stream it smoothly with NordVPN!
Does NordVPN Still Work in China?
Yes, NordVPN does bypass “The Great Firewall”. Unlike other providers, it even has a dedicated Chinese website that is accessible for individuals in the country. Expats, on the other hand, usually install the app before landing in mainland China. Regardless, you can feel assured to receive complete support in the country.
As part of the country’s plan for 2019, the Chinese Government decided to impose new regulations on internet censorship. They ordered a sweeping crackdown against all VPNs and other methods to bypass geo-restrictions. They even blocked 3,000 foreign websites!
The city of Chongqing published a notice last March, specifying fines as much as 15,000 yuan for using a VPN. The only demographic allowed to use VPNs are those belonging to the corporate sector, which has been verified and complies with the laws of the Chinese Government.
Meanwhile, “foreign” VPNs have been removed the iTunes store in China, while Google services are completely banned! This is where NordVPN comes in, announcing in late June 2017 that their apps have the ability oto unblockwebsites from within and outside of China!
What are NordVPN obfuscated servers?
NordVPN obfuscated servers make encrypted traffic look “unencrypted”, preventing DPIs from identifying the VPN. They do so by making your VPN traffic appear as standard HTTPS.
The VPN successfully bypasses “The Great Firewall” in China, but in circumstances it does not, you can toggle on the the obfuscation option in the settings of most NordVPN clients.
Obfuscated servers of NordVPN are only available on Windows and Android devices. Follow the steps from my guide on obfuscation to activate the feature (on Windows).
Devices Supported by the Provider
For further assistance, NordVPN even provides a list of 80+ tutorials on how to setup NordVPN manually on a multitude of devices.
This includes coverage of numerous platforms and device types like FlashRouters, Raspberry Pi, NAS devices and more.
To give you a better idea regarding NordVPN apps, I have conducted a thorough analysis below.
Desktop and Laptop Apps!
For desktop PCs and laptops, NordVPN provides apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The clients for Mac and Windows are quite similar in terms of overall appearance and features.
They are also quite easy to download, install, and configure. Linux users, on the other hand, have to install NordVPN manually through “coding”.
There is no GUI available for Linux. As such, users will either have to connect to servers via adding codes in the terminal or through the “Network Manager”.
Regardless, you receive top performance and reliability on the platform, similar to client versions of Windows and Mac.
NordVPN for Windows
The Windows app launches by displaying its many server locations on a dynamic map. You can find a suitable location by hitting the left click and dragging to pan around or spinning the mouse wheel to zoom. Hovering your mouse over a highlighted location will reveal the name.
I did find this impressive initially, but soon realized I suck at identifying locations from a map. Luckily, NordVPN does have an alphabetically sorted list of countries on the left. Scroll to the country you need, select the server, and hit the connect button!
The Windows client also offers a separate “Specialty” panel, where you can choose servers for specific tasks: P2P/file sharing, accessing a dedicated IP, DoubleVPN, or Onion over VPN. This makes it easier to access servers based on your needs, which you can then add to “Favorites”.
If you click on “Settings”, you gain access to a list of features like CyberSec, Internet Kill Switch, Invisibility on LAN. You can even decide whether or not you want the VPN to “Auto Connect” or launch on system startup. I really love this simple listing of configurations!
NordVPN Mac Review
At first glance, the NordVPN Mac application looks/feels identical to its Windows. It uses the same cartoon submarines and ships in the design, along with the standard blue color. However, it is only when you explore the macOS version completely, do you find a few unique flourishes.
The only problem is that some features are not that visible to users. You can only view the Tor via VPN, double encryption, and streaming specialized servers by applying specific filters to the list view or clicking at “options” on the bottom of the search screen.
Server load information is also unavailable in the VPN client. As a positive though, the MAC version does give users the ability to select which applications the “Network Lock” affects. There are some hits and misses, but the NordVPN Mac app remains amazing to use as always!
NordVPN Android Review
As an Android user myself, I have tested plenty of different VPN services for my own needs. These include free and premium services like NordVPN. Where most VPNs would give connectivity issues after a few days, the Panamanian-based provider remained consistent.
The app would rarely ever disconnect or cause internet-related issues. For this reason, I guess NordVPN Android also tends to be the most popular. It has an impressive rating of 4.4 on Google Play with more than five million downloads to its name.
Bear in mind that ExpressVPN, their top competitor only manages 4.1. As a result, NordVPN getting a rating of 4.4 is quite an achievement. It is justified too, especially if you look at the app, which is quite easy to use and configure.
Albeit, I did find it difficult to find their conventional countries list. It was only later that I realized I had to swipe up to get access to the list of countries. Some UI improvements are definitely required!
If you click on the “Gear” icon, you will gain access to the “My Account & Settings” menu. Here you have available all the features offered by NordVPN.
Most would be toggled “off”, if you have just installed the application. So, do take the time out to activate features like CyberSec and Obfuscated Servers.
The Network Lock or Kill Switch feature is activated automatically, so you will not find an option for it. Other configurations include the “Use TCP” option.
If you are tech-savvy, you might know how important such a feature is. The OpenVPN TCP protocol is designed for high reliability, as it includes error correction, known as a “stateful” protocol.
In addition to this, VPNs that use the TCP protocol can bypass the strictest corporate firewalls. This is why it is a preferred option for many, who particularly indulge in unblocking VoDs like Netflix.
As usual with smartphone apps, the NordVPN for Android client also has fewer settings than its desktop counterparts. For instance, you do not get any server load information, and there is no option to choose your own DNS server or use a dedicated IP.
VPN for iPhone/iPad
The NordVPN for iOS app is available on iTunes for downloading and installing. I faced no issues getting the app on both: iPhone or iPad devices. Just go to the store, hit the install button, open the app, and connect to any server of your choice.
When you open the NordVPN iOS app, you will be faced with the same map interface as other clients. The only difference is that the iOS developers have worked harder on making the map easier to use and navigate for server selection.
Zooming and zooming out is quite fast and the app is overall quite responsive, rarely every lagging or getting stuck. This is a great plus, considering most iOS users face issues with dedicated VPN apps.
If you look at the bottom of the app, the panel introduces you options like “Quick Connect” and “Countries”. This is better than the Android version too, which requires a swipe up for accessing the complete listing of servers available.
As another plus, the best VPN for iOS app also exists as the only version that displays servers by “Region”. This means, you can directly choose a US server in Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and many other cities.
I do expect that NordVPN implements the same “Region” listing in other app clients too. It is a great improvement for the overall user-interface, which may help increase their likeability among users even more. Ease-of-use always ranks high!
Where there is good, there are a few negatives about the iOS app too. For instance, the specialty server listing in this version is shorter than Windows and Android counterparts.
Users only have the option of selecting servers that support Onion over VPN or P2P/File Sharing. There are no DoubleVPN or Dedicated IP server listings available, like on the Windows client.
At the same time, users have been restricted access to several NordVPN features, like the malicious IP filtering CyberSec, the TCP or UDP protocol control, Obfuscated Servers (for bypassing restrictions in countries like China), and auto-connection.
However, this has nothing to do with the VPNs capability. The iTunes security model places strict limits on what varied apps can do. Similar to how Google Chrome is cracking down against VPN apps adding ad/tracker blockers on their clients, as it goes against their policies.
When it comes to using a VPN service, most users want native apps for all devices. This includes browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. With NordVPN, you have dedicated extensions available for both browsers.
These clients are generally very easy to use and allow for instant unblocking of geo-restricted websites. In terms of appearance, NordVPN utilizes the same design and styling for both Chrome and Mozilla, which is quite simplistic.
You are greeted by a screen that gives you two options: Quick Connection (the VPN will select the best server for you based on your location) and Connects to a specific country. Users can choose either option according to their convenience.
Once connected, you will receive the same level of unblocking capabilities as any other proxy service. Just remember that you cannot unblock VoDs, as these clients only maintain encryption within your browser and not the entire network!
Unlike other browser extensions that reduce their server listings, NordVPN maintains a strong database of locations.
Similar to any other app of theirs, you have access to servers in 62 countries. This makes it convenient to unblock websites anywhere in the world, or gain location-specific results on apps.
If I compare the extension to other counterparts, you can see the “map” is missing, and all countries are listed in alphabetic order.
This is quite relieving and a refreshing change. For configurations, you can find a “Gear” icon on the top right corner. Upon clicking it, you will gain access to this menu (pic on the right).
Here you have the ability of activating NordVPN’s features like Block WebRTC and CyberSec (ad blocker and malware protection). The addition of tools is another plus for Nord.
NordVPN App Problems and their Solutions
I recently conducted a survey with VPN customers regarding common issues they face with app clients. The results we received were quite enlightening, enabling us to get a better idea regarding different VPN errors and finding their proper solutions.
For NordVPN, a few prominent issues experienced by users include:
No Linux Kill Switch
Linux users often complain about NordVPN not having a kill switch and suffering with DNS leak issues. Now, if you are a Linux user, you probably know that NordVPN runs using OpenVPN.
As such, you do not have access to an interface. Users rely on coding for installing the app or fixing other issues. If you want to fix the Kill Switch issue, you will need to setup a UFW firewall to block all connections, except those from the VPN.
You can use this helpful guide to create a VPN Kill Switch. For those wanting to follow the easy process, we have simply added the codes below that you will need to add:
# Disable ufw and reset all rules to defaults
sudo ufw disable
sudo ufw reset
# Set the default rules to deny everything
sudo ufw default deny incoming
sudo ufw default deny outgoing
# Allow in/out on the local private network
sudo ufw allow in to 192.168.1.0/24
sudo ufw allow out to 192.168.1.0/24
# Allow traffic out on the VPN tunnel adapter (tun0)
sudo ufw allow out on tun0 from any to any
# Allow UDP traffic out to the VPN server so VPN client can connect
sudo ufw allow out to X.X.X.X port 1194 proto udp
# Enable ufw. Try to hit anything. It should fail while the VPN is down.
sudo ufw enable
When writing the code on your own, do remember to change your local network (192.168.x.x) to the correct values. Also, do not forget on updating the X.X.X.X to the VPN server you are using. The VPN IP will be available in the .ovpn file you are using. Moreover, change the VPN adaptor to “tun0”.
For the DNS leak issue, NordVPN users will have to update the .ovpn file by installing the “openvpn-systemd-resolved”. Enter “sudo apt install openvpn-systemd-resolved” into the Terminal and then add the following lines to your .ovpn file:
dhcp-option DOMAIN-ROUTE .
Amazon & IMDB Almost Impossible to Access
Some NordVPN users reported that they were facing troubles when trying to access Amazon or IMDB (owned by Amazon).
Browsers would time out trying to access them, which is quite disappointing to say the least. Especially when considering that NordVPN is one of the best in the industry.
We tried this ourselves and experienced the same issue. Amazon or IMDB are only accessible after turning off the VPN. This is quite tricky, but we were able to find a solution.
It comes in the form of changing your protocol. While we are unsure why this issue is exactly happening, shifting to L2TP/IPSec was able to successfully unblock Amazon, IMDB, and even Prime Video!
No Internet Connectivity when using NordVPN
Some Comcast users reported that using NordVPN would lead to complete internet disconnection, regardless of what device they use it on. .This was quite surprising considering, we use Comcast ourselves and have not experienced any issue with NordVPN.
However, upon digging into the matter, we learned that the problem is not only evident with the Panamanian-based providers. After the repealing of Net Neutrality laws, many users reported troubles connecting to a VPN, particularly those on Comcast and XFINITY.
A simple changing of the protocol, encryption and servers should fix the issue. However, if the problem persists for you, consider updating your home routers’ firmware.
NordVPN Background Process is not Running (Error)
This is a problem I myself encounter a lot when using NordVPN. It gets a little irritating, cause the app will not work properly, without clicking on the “Start Process” button in green.
My question is, why does NordVPN not do activate the background process itself? Is it necessary for me to click on “Start Process” each time and enter my admin username and password?
Clicking on the button usually will fix the issue. However, sometimes I need to do it several times before I can finally gain access to the VPN connection menu.
Other times, clicking on the green button fails on fixing the error. If you are facing the same trouble, you need to perform a few additional steps. It involves clearing the application cache. You can do this by following the steps below:
- Close the NordVPN Application
- Launch the task manager (ctrl+alt+del)
- Click on the “Details” tab, next to “Services”
- Find all the processes running by NordVPN
- Right-click and select the “End Process Tree” option.
- You have to do this for both “NordVPN.exe” and the “nordvpn-service.exe” processes
- Close the “Task Manager” and press the “Windows + R” keys to open up the “Run” menu
- Type in: %localappdata% next to the “Open” button and hit “Ok”!
- This will launch the file manager, redirecting you to the Local App Data folder.
- You will see several different folders of various software installed on your computer.
- Right-click on the NordVPN folder and Hit the delete button.
- Restart your PC and launch the NordVPN app to fix the issue.
Fatal: All TAP-Windows Error
While using NordVPN, I also encountered another weird error. The Windows client would not connect to any server and display the “Fatal: All TAP-Windows adapters on this system are currently in use”.
Naturally, I decided to go to “Network Connections” and check if other TAP-Drivers were active. None were, so that means it was a problem with the NordVPN TAP Driver.
Usually restarting the TAP adapter helps to fix the issue. All you have to do is right click under the connect name called TAP-NordVPN Windows Adapter v9. Disable and enable it again.
Once done, you will be able to access all NordVPN servers again. However, if the issue does not get resolved, try reinstalling your TAP drivers. You can download them here:
NordVPN Multilingual Support
As another positive, NordVPN offers multilingual support on its website for helping prospects from different countries navigate. You have a total of 20 languages to choose from.
To access this multilingual support, simply scroll down to the bottom of the page. On the right corner, you will see a language option, click on it and select the correct one for you!
How Do Customers of NordVPN Receive Support?
I have witnessed the digital revolution happening in front of me. ICQ, AIM, MSN, Yahoo! Pager, ah the good old days! Then I saw social media take over. Platforms like MySpace, Orkut, and AOL Chat Rooms were the in thing. Soon enough, internet presence started spreading in various avenues.
Video streaming platforms, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools, and related websites started taking over, ultimately leading to where we are today. Throughout these years though, I have noticed that the support I have received from a myriad of services, literally sucks!
Late responses, insufficient support mediums, distasteful experiences are still common. NordVPN however successfully managed to change my opinion about online customer support. They have a variety of mediums for you to receive expert assistance.
If you click on the “Help” tab on the homepage, you will be redirected to the above page. Here you have a search bar available. This enables users to type in relevant queries and receive answers within seconds, ridding you the hassle of exploring different support categories.
However, if you cannot find a relevant answer, you have a category listing too. These include support for users who are just “Getting Started” with NordVPN. Then you can have separate categories for Billing, Connectivity, and General Info about the Panamanian-provider.
You also have a knowledgebase available that is loaded with useful FAQs and their answers. For expert assistance, NordVPN even offers a 24/7 Live Chat support. They are highly responsive and proactive and give replies within seconds of making queries.
For instance, when I was testing the service for VoD unblocking, I approached their live chat. I told the representative “Christian” that I needed info about working servers for bypassing geo-restrictions on Netflix. I received a response within 2 minutes!
The reply from NordVPN was comprehensive and provided us with more answers than we even asked for. The servers mentioned in the reply worked perfectly well for what they were supposed to do i.e. unblock Netflix US
As a result, you can feel assured to receive instant support from NordVPN at all times. This ensures you get the best value for your money, instead of relying on providers that make you wait days.
Money Backs Can Take an Additional 30 Days (NordVPN Refund Policy)
I mentioned earlier that NordVPN has one of the most successful refund policies. They actually fulfill on their promise, if you submit an appeal for a money back within 30-days. However, the catch is that plenty of users report getting their refund incredibly LATE.
From the day of submitting your refund request, it will take an additional 30 days for the provider to return the amount. Other VPNs in the marketplace that offer refunds have a minimum waiting period of 7-days. So, NordVPN should definitely work on improving this aspect!
Although, I do feel the service offers enough features and awesome reliability. From unblocking VoDs, accessing websites in China, keeping you anonymous while torrenting, NordVPN is perfect in all facets. As a result, you may not even have to request for a refund.
NordVPN Not Connecting
Some users report receiving a “Connection Timed Out” error with the NordVPN Windows client. This is quite a simple problem, so do not panic. To begin with, start by disabling IPv6, as it is quite useless anyway. Once done, go the “Adapter Options”, and you will notice that the TAP-Driver Network option shows a “Disconnected” sign. Disable and re-enable. Then connect to any server. The error will go away!
How Secure is NordVPN?
When you factor in features like Obfuscated Servers, Onion over VPN, DoubleVPN, and Dedicated IPs, no other VPN service comes close to offering security and anonymity like NordVPN. Add this to its strong encryption of AES-256-CBC ciphers with HMAC SHA256 hash authentication, users can remain completely satisfied about their identity remaining hidden online with NordVPN.
Is NordVPN’s Customer Service Any Good?
NordVPN has one of the most responsive and reliable customer support systems in the marketplace of VPNs. Users receive round-the-clock live chat support and have a ticket submission system for more detailed technical problems and issues. For all questions I had, the live chat support would usually give me a reply within 2 to 5 minutes with relevant answers and links to tutorials/guides.
Can You Use NordVPN on Android TVs or Firestick Devices?
Yes, you can most certainly use NordVPN on Android TVs and Firestick Devices. In fact, the provider is one the only in the marketplace that actually offers a dedicated app for Android TVs. Users of Firestick however have to rely on the “Downloader” application. Regardless, if you require assistance for setting up NordVPN, you can follow our comprehensive Android TV and Firestick setup guides!
Regular Updates about NordVPN
VPN apps like NordVPN are constantly adopting new strategies to increase their user base. Not to mention, they also have a lot of input to give customers about their service.
This includes talking about the latest updates, achievements, discontinuations, and various other aspects surrounding the online privacy and security industry.
So, I decided why not keep track of all the changes with NordVPN through a dedicated listing. You can learn about the latest updates from the Panamanian-based provider below:
NordVPN Removes Free Trial Amidst Widespread Abuse
It is highly unfortunate, but NordVPN joins the likes of other top providers, terminating the seven-day free trial it offers to users around the world.
A spokesperson revealed that they had to take this action, due to the widespread abuse of its service by scammers, which adversely affected their infrastructure.
The news comes days after UK’s advertising industry, ASA banned NordVPN’s advert about public Wi-Fi in the country, saying that the situation is exaggerated.
NordVPN does still offer a 30-day money back guarantee, but reading this news is definitely a great shocker to the VPN industry, as more and more continue to remove their free trials.
NordVPN Stops Supporting L2TP/IPSec and PPTP Connections
In this fast-paced digital world, it is only wise for brands in the cybersecurity industry to blow away the cobwebs, and breathe new life into their product.
From December 1st onwards, the provider discontinued their support for L2TP/IPSec and PPTP connections. This change will not necessarily affect you.
Unless of course, you configure your own VPN connections manually via built-in or third-party VPN clients. So, what is the replacement for these protocols?
Well, NordVPN has delved into the new WireGuard protocol already, similar to ExpressVPN and other providers. Expect to see a beta version soon on selective app versions.
NordVPN Shuts Down its Russian Servers
12 days ago (March 23rd), NordVPN received a letter from a Russian national media regulator, Roskomnadzor, demanding certain privacy-invading changes from the provider.
The letter gave the service 30 days to provide the Russian Government access to their dedicated servers in the country to prevent users from viewing blacklisted content.
This request/demand directly posed a threat to the online freedom of netizens in Russia. As such, NordVPN refused to lend a hand of cooperation, as that would mean violating the service agreement made with customers.
In light of this incident, NordVPN will now be discontinuing their servers in the country, as they do not want to support any content filters that would require monitoring of their users.
NordVPN Wins Best VPN Award at CES 2019
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2019, one of the world’s leading technology conferences, NordVPN won the award for the Best Customer Service and Best VPN overall.
It was accredited and given by the infamous review website bestvpn.com and just reflects on the effort put in by the Panamanian-based provider on sticking to their promises.
In a statement from their website, NordVPN says they were very proud of receiving such high honors, and thank all their customers for supporting their product.
Is NordVPN Recommended?
Yes, NordVPN is definitely recommended.
NordVPN proves its worth by delivering excellent results, in aspects of unblocking streaming sites, p2p/file sharing, bypassing geo-restrictions, and digital privacy.
I highly recommend NordVPN, if you are in search of a top VPN service that offers the right features. You can get a plan for $2.99 from here.