NordVPN does not fall under 5-9-14 eyes jurisdiction, but recently confirmed they got hacked (back in March 2018). Subsequently, the provider is not recommended, as they violated GDPR’s data breach policy and prove to be an unsecure service!
As a small overview on their offerings, NordVPN starts at $3.49/mo. on a 3-year plan, and comes equipped with features like Double VPN, Kill Switch, and 6 multi-logins, 24/7 live chat support and more.
The Panamanian-based provider is compatible with almost all famous platforms and devices. These include Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Google Chrome, Mozilla, and even on FireTV devices.
It even has more than 5600+ servers in 60 countries, offering commendable performance. On a 100Mbps connection, you will get to enjoy average speeds of 80Mbps in download and 56Mbps in the upload.
|Price||$3.49/mo. ($125.64 for 3-Years)|
|Bypasses China Firewall||Yes|
Is NordVPN Really Private?
NordVPN is a secure VPN based in Panama, Central America. This gives it an upperhand to most providers, as the location has friendly data privacy laws and its not a part of any data sharing alliance like 5 or 9 Eyes.
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 varies depending on the protocol you choose on each app.
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.
Is NordVPN a Zero Log VPN?
Yes, NordVPN does not log session/connection data, staying true to its premise of unmatched privacy. In fact, they are one of the only providers in the marketplace currently, who have been verified by a 3rd party audit firm.
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.
When confronted by Government agencies, the reality comes to light. We’ve already seen plenty of examples like what happened with IPVanish and PureVPN.
However, NordVPN’s logging policy is a breath of fresh air, in comparison to these providers, staying true to their promise, and revealing no info, despite seizing of their servers.
Does NordVPN Leak Your DNS/WebRTC/IP?
NordVPN is free from all leaks. How do I know this? I tested the NordVPN 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. 126.96.36.199.
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: 188.8.131.52.
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: 184.108.40.206 and the DNS server too: 220.127.116.11!
NordVPN Undergoes an App Security Audit
NordVPN is among the few providers in the marketplace that does not mind putting their apps and VPN capabilities to the test by undergoing a thorough audit process.
As of October 9, 2019, the service has officially released information regarding their third-party application penetration test, with the results confirming Nord’s promise to zero logs and maximum anonymity.
NordVPN Server List
NordVPN now has over 5,600 servers in 60 countries worldwide. This is one of the key USPs of NordVPN. You can never get tired of trying out different NordVPN servers for China, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime.
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.
If you are still confused about which server to connect to, NordVPN provides further assistance. You have access to a recommendation tool that uses smart algorithms for finding the best server.
It may also cross your mind whether or not NordVPN bypasses the GFW in China. So, I digged a little into the capabilities and found out that you do have 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 using NordVPN.
This is because of NordVPN’s China servers list that includes obfuscated locations, making encrypted traffic look “unencrypted”, preventing DPIs from identifying the VPN.
Speed Testing: How Fast is NordVPN?
NordVPN speed tests 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.
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:
|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.
The provider was even awarded the “First Oakla Speedtest Recommended Badge” on October 11, 2018, to which the Press Officer at NordVPN, Laura Tyrell did have a few things to say…
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.
Despite receiving this award, 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 is to switch the protocol to TCP.
NordVPN Torrenting: Best Servers with Great Speed
You can torrent safely with NordVPN, which boasts the largest network of 4,900 P2P-specific servers, which deliver an amazing average speed of 80Mbps in downloads.
While torrents are not supported on all servers, NordVPN torrenting servers are available 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 “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 finalize the settings by entering your NordVPN credentials. This ensures that whenever you download torrents, NordVPN automatically uses the P2P servers you have added, along with the SOCKS5 proxy!
Unblock and Watch Netflix US with NordVPN
Yes, NordVPN does work on Netflix using these best servers that unblock the VoD. I got these by contacting their support team and approaching them with questions on unblocking Netflix using NordVPN’s fastest servers.
#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.
I have tested these different servers from above out multiple times, and I was successfully able to stream on Netflix US, UK, and JP, which host the largest libraries.
So, how do you 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.
For instance, “The Walking Dead” is only available on the US version of Netflix. However, I successfully managed to unlock the TV show and stream it smoothly with server #3038!
How Do Customers of NordVPN Receive Support?
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, which you can use for more specific information.
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.
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.
How Much Does a NordVPN Subscription Cost?
NordVPN offers four different tiers in subscriptions. You can opt for their monthly plan at $11.95, 1-year plan at $6.99/mo., 2-year plan at $4.9/mo., or the best value $3.49/mo. (based on your budgetary requirements).
The cost per month 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.
I would only advise signing up for the monthly, if you want a VPN for a short time. Users who rely on Cheapest VPNs for their work or accessing their home network from varied locations should opt for plans with a longer duration.
The yearly costs only $6.99/mo., totaling to $83.33 price per year, giving you a 41% discount to leverage. The 2-year plan further reduces the monthly pricing to $4.99, which is billed $119.76 every 24-months. You receive an amazing 58% discount.
For the best value, however, I advise going for the 3-year deal that starts at $3.49 per month. This means, you only pay $125.64 for 36 months!
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.
People Also Ask
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!
Does NordVPN Not have a 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 .
Why is Amazon & IMDB Impossible to Access with NordVPN?
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.
How to Fix the 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.
How to Fix the 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:
As an all-rounder VPN, it is tough to come up with a suitable alternative for Nord. However, if naming a few are necessary, I would recommend going for ExpressVPN first ($8.32/mo. on a 1-year plan).
However, since that may be too expensive for many, I suggest signing up for the universal yet budget-friendly BVI-based, Surfshark that starts at a minimal of $1.99/mo. on a 2-year plan.
Do I Recommend NordVPN?
No, NordVPN is not recommended. It got hacked 1.5 years ago and did not bother informing its users, until they started facing allegations on Twitter, following a marketing mishap.
If you are in search of an all-rounder service that offers the right features at a reasonable price, but is free from any such incidents, sign up with Surfshark. You can get a plan for $1.99 from here.