NordVPN is one of the most commonly heard names among the VPN users in the cyberspace.
It consists of more than 5000 servers located in 62 different countries and so one of the largest VPN service provider on the globe today.
It is a first security based VPN service provider which is focused on providing security and privacy to your data while providing several other excellent features for your ease use.
NordVPN has a right mix of servers located across the globe covering the US, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and even in few countries of Africa.
That way it covers more or less every nook and corner of the world, providing you security and privacy but without compromising on the network speed.
With NordVPN in place, you can securely watch Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC, Kodi, Hulu, and what not even while you are on the move.
“Are you guessing we are recommending NordVPN?”
Kind of, but then instead of recommending, we want to empower you with all the knowledge and information related with NordVPN so that you can decide on your own.
So, why NordVPN?
Let’s see why NordVPN is one of the leading choices of customers today and why you should trust them. But before we delve deeper, let’s quickly look at some of the NordVPN’s important features which differentiates them from the crowd.
- Being based in Panama, NordVPN falls under the country’s jurisdiction, and Panama has no data retention laws.
- A strict no logs policy.
- Military-grade AES-256-CBC encryption and a variety of protocols to choose from OpenVPN (UDP and TCP), PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, IKEv2/IPSec.
- Risk-free 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Unlimited bandwidth and data.
- +5000 servers located in 62 countries and growing.
- Fast speed servers that are also reliable and consistent.
- Multiple ways to contact 24/7 customer support (live chat, email, ticket system).
- A CyberSec feature that blocks dangerous websites and lets users avoid annoying ads.
- An automatic kill switch (can kill individual processes or kill whole internet connection).
- 6 simultaneous connections.
- P2P friendly.
- Works in countries (China, the Middle East countries) where internet access is restricted and strong censorship is in place.
- Double encryption to ensure top-level privacy and security.
Our Research – 8 Most significant factors
The research team at stemjar has evaluated NordVPN based on following 8 most important factors for choosing any VPN service. Here are those.
NordVPN hardly cuts your internet speed, and so you will get an on par speed with your non-VPN internet connection speeds. It has thousands of servers worldwide.
Hence, it has more bandwidth and better speeds for all the users by distributing loads efficiently across the network.
Hence, regarding speed, we found it to be relatively easy to find a fast server in your region with NordVPN’s large network.
Some of the speed tests done by independent reviewers found out a speed of ~75Mbps while using a network of 100Mbps. That’s just one test case.
But NordVPN software selects the best server on its own for its users and so promises to give you the best of the network speed.
Overall, NordVPN users have no complaints of any dip in the internet speed in general.
- Number of servers – ★★★★★
- Widespread presence across the globe –★★★★★
In fact, internet speed will primarily depend on the type of network connection you have rather the VPN service you choose.
After all, you can not blame NordVPN for a poor internet experience if your network keeps dropping your data packets.
2. Does NordVPN work with Netflix and other Geo-restricted websites?
Accessing geo-blocked content, notably Netflix and BBC iPlayer is a challenge especially you are on the move.
Luckily, VPNs are an answer to this. NordVPN, in particular, has been quite successful in providing access to geo-blocked content of Netflix through its VPN servers.
Netflix identifies the incoming requests using the IP address of the requesters, and that’s where VPN can workaround it. For example, in case you are sitting in Australia and wants Netflix US to be streamed, you can connect to US-based VPN servers and enjoy your US-based shows.
“But do you think Netflix is not smart enough to catch this?”
Offcourse they are. Netflix can also identify the IP addresses of VPN servers, and so it could be possible that sometimes even using a VPN cannot help unblock Netflix.
In the case, you should keep trying different VPN servers to make it work. It is a cat and mouse game. Interesting.. Isn’t it?
NordVPN have an upper hand in accessing geo centric content of Netflix and others because of their high number of VPN servers. Besides, NordVPN’s wide range of encryption mechanism along with security and privacy tricks can help you bypass these restrictions.
3. VPN Servers
In network domain, distance does matter. It’s a common understanding that the closer one is from the VPN server, better would be the connection speed and stability.
And so to achieve this, VPN service provider should provide several VPN servers across the globe to cater to the world market.
In this regard, NordVPN has the edge over others. With 5238 servers spread across 62 countries, NordVPN is one of the leading VPN service providers having a presence in almost every corner of the globe.
With servers in Asia, America, Europe, Australia, Africa, and even smaller countries like Turkey, Serbia, and others, NordVPN ensured to come closer to every individual in the world.
They also help you to find out which NordVPN server is the best for you to access. Of course, you have a choice to choose which VPN server you want to use.
This would be especially important if you are planning to use Netflix etc. as their content is restricted by location.
4. Security and Privacy
NordVPN uses military-grade encryption using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256 bit-keys. It supports OpenVPN and the most common protocol called IKEv2/IPSec.
The most crucial part of NordVPN security is the use of IKEv2/IPsec and especially use of NGE (Next Generation Encryption) in IKEv2/IPsec.
It encrypts traffic by employing high-level cryptographic algorithms and keys. Remember that IKEv2/IPsec is the default protocol in the apps for macOS and iOS.
It is important to note that NordVPN apps for Windows and Android use AES-256-CBC encryption with a 2048-bit key.
Besides, the older and less secure VPN tunneling protocols like PPTP and L2TP are also supported.
Our rating – Top security features
- Military Grade encryption –★★★★★
- Double VPN-★★★★☆
- Strict No Log Policy –★★★★★
- Automatic Kill Switch-★★★★★
- DNS Leak Protection-★★★★★
- CyberSecurity to block ads and malware –★★★★☆
“Double VPN ensures your online activity goes through two servers via a VPN tunnel. First, you establish your connection with the first server, which passes all information to some other server in a different location. Thereafter, the information reaches the destination, providing double encryption.”
In fact, NordVPN was also used by the U.S. government to secure classified information and to protect national security data.
Also In November 2018, NordVPN became the first official cybersecurity partner of Liverpool F.C.
So, if NSA, US Govt and Liverpool FC can trust NordVPN, then why should not you.
Strict no logging policy
We want to emphasize here that NordVPN complies with no logging policy, which means none of your data is logged on their servers.
Use of encryption and VPN tunnel ensures that even your ISP cannot see your data. For the same reason, anyone on the network with malicious intent as well cannot put a hand on your data.
But, along with no logging policy in place, your data is not only completely secure, uninterpretable by anyone else and also not at all logged.
And it is made possible by operating under the jurisdiction of Panama which allow them to guarantee no logs policy.
They do capture some data which is limited to payment, server maintenance, and maybe a few other things, which is a basic minimum for supporting the VPN services.
“Isn’t it sounding complete privacy?”
5. User friendliness – Works flawlessly on Android/ iOS/ Mac/ Windows and even Linux
Here is a product which works flawlessly on varieties of the platform.
NordVPN has designed desktop applications for all the commonly used OS like Windows, macOS, and Linux as well as have mobile apps for Android, Mac, and iOS.
Recently, in June 2018, NordVPN also launched an application for Android TV and Apple TV.
Our research also suggested that you can configure some of the routers to use NordVPN.
That means all the devices on the network supported by the router are fully protected and can take all benefits of the router without even installing it.
“Isn’t that a cool feature!!”
Our rating – Top flexibility features
- P2P Support –★★★★★
- Availability on Windows/Mac/Linux –★★★★★
- Availability as apps on Apple, Android –★★★★☆
- VPN support for the router –★★★★★
- Support for Kindle, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC, Kodi –★★★★★
- Extension for browsers like Chrome and Firefox –★★★★★
- Support for six devices with a single account –★★★★★
In case you are still not satisfied with the flexibility that has been stated above, encrypted proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers are also available.
We have not found such an extension for internet explorer or other browsers, but it is unlikely that you would be fond of these browsers.
You can secure up to 6 devices with a single NordVPN account – be it computers, smartphones, routers and more.
That brings flexibility and portability in your life, which is a great need of today.
You are either at home, in the office and on the go or computers, mobile or tablets, NordVPN is there for you.
6. Customer Support
NordVPN has provided a very user-friendly Help Desk. They rely on the customers to explore it and go through setup tutorials to find all answers.
But if you still have questions, you can contact NordVPN support team via email @ email@example.com or create a support ticket.
You are likely to get a quick reply, but then the SLA is upto 48 hours.
Our rating – Top customer support features
- Email Support/Logging Support Ticket –★★★★★
- Self Help Tutorials –★★★★★
- Customer care support –★★★★☆
We don’t see a customer care number, and that’s why this is the only area where we could not rate NordVPN highly.
7. Pricing Options
NordVPN has a very tempting price plan. If you are opting for a 3-year deal, the monthly cost will come down to just $2.99 per month. Isn’t that cool?
- Monthly – $11.95/Monthly– Billed every month
- 1-Year – $6.99/Monthly – Billed every year (41% off with this Link)
- 2-Years – $3.99/Monthly –Billed every 2 years (66% off with this Link)
- 3-Years – $2.99/Monthly –Billed every 3 years (75% off with this Link)
But in case you don’t want to commit to a 3-year deal, you have the option to opt for a monthly plan for $11.95 or a yearly plan for $6.99 and a 2-year plan for $3.99.
Additionally, it also provides a 30-day money back guarantee as well.
So, in case of unfortunate circumstances where you don’t want to continue beyond a month, you will still have peace of mind of getting your money back.
With attention to benefits and convenience that NordVPN provides, we, at stemjar, don’t expect such a situation to arise.
After all, who does not want security and privacy while being on the internet where cybercriminals are all sniffing around. And that also at such a throwaway price!!
Our rating – Top pricing features
- Varied Monthly/Yearly/Long Term Payment options –★★★★☆
- 30- Day Money back guarantee –★★★★☆
- 7 Days Free Trial –★★★★★
- Payment Method – Use of Crypto Currencies –★★★★★
And now the exciting part.
If you’re still not sure whether NordVPN is right for you, the company also offers a free 7-day trial, without any payment details required.
But I bet it is not easy to spot this link from the NordVPN website and so Kudos to Stemjar team to find it out.
8. What do others say about NordVPN?
Let’s hear what others say and rate NordVPN.
One of the oldest but highly renowned computer magazine of the united states, PCMagazine, has rated NordVPN 5 out of 5 and praised them as a robust Virtual Private network provider with a massive collection of features.
They also praised NordVPN for its portability and flexibility for its presence for all widely used operating systems and mobile platforms.
Availability of NordVPN as a slick client as well as a plugin to your browser got a special mention.
Another prominent American media website, CNET, also gave NordVPN a 5 out of 5 ratings in their January 2018 review while referring to its dedicated IP option and six simultaneous connections.
- PC magazine –★★★★★
- CNET –★★★★★
Such higher rating by independent reviewers from tech world and also on apple store and google play by consumers like “you” itself speak volumes of value provided by NordVPN, its acceptance and its leadership in VPN area.
Cons of NordVPN
It must be sounding to you that NordVPN is kind of flawless with several important features. Offcourse yes, but as nothing is perfect in this world, NordVPN is not an exception. Let’s discuss the relatively weak face of NordVPN.
As discussed earlier, NordVPN does offer 24×7 customer support, and there are different ways you can seek support.
In fact, their website also provides useful self-help guide to help you resolve some of the common issues, especially related to setup and configuration.
But the primary con of NordVPN’s customer support is the lack of phone support. After all, it is helpful at times to have personal support by talking to a human customer representative.
But other than this, you can rely on NordVPN support system for any quick help you need.
Besides live chat, online ticketing system, and email support, you can even reach out to them via their twitter or facebook account.
We will leave upto you to decide whether phone support is really needed or not. But if you ask us, this is not a substantial factor to overshadow the several other benefits that NordVPN has to offer.
Stemjar research team could not find any other cons which is worth mentioning. We could find some independent reviewers complaining about maps based complex GUI or even relatively high cost for month to month users. But then our research team do not stand with these comments.
A quick recap on why to use VPN
If you are new to VPN and still wondering whether to use it or not, you should first understand what is VPN and what are its advantages and why you should choose one?
Or just review following two very compelling reasons for using a VPN before deciding to use it.
1. Security and Privacy
Have you ever come across a free public Wi-Fi hotspot or a free internet connection? In all probability, the answer will always be Yes.
But do you know that such free wifi connection is insecure and there is a high chance of data theft? Nonetheless, there could be prying eyes peeping into your so-called “Private” data.
Now, imagine a secure encrypted tunnel going through this public network for online traffic to flow. Nobody can get their hands on your data and also can not see it.
This secure tunnel is provided by VPN, which will keep your data safe and away from cybercrooks. Even your ISP cannot get hold of your data.
2. Enjoy the Internet with no restrictions
You may have faced certain situations when you are denied access to certain websites, especially you are on the move.
This is because of the geo-restrictions that certain companies place on their sites. Typical examples are Netflix, BitTorrent, etc.
A VPN can enable you to get past of such restrictions easily as it makes the whole connection appear from a VPN server that could be placed anywhere in this world.
For all the parameters that we evaluated, NordVPN stands on top or one of the top VPN service providers in the world. Privacy, Security, and speed are the primary parameters to choose a VPN, and NordVPN is excellent on all those.
It is a robust VPN with a vast collection of features but surprisingly presented as a very lightweight client that secures all your online activities.
NordVPN is available on all emerging operating system and available as an option for your Android as well as Apple mobile.
The icing on the cake is its availability for Apple TV, Android TV, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC, and what not.
With more than 5000 secure servers located in more than 60 countries, NordVPN has come a long way to provide secure VPN services.
Some of the top exciting features are six simultaneous connections, P2P allowed a plug-in for your browser, ad and web threats blockers, etc.
Earning a rare 5-star rating by several technical reviewers along with ours, it’s undoubtedly our top pick for VPNs.
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