NordVPN Review: Is it the Best VPN of 2020?

NordVPN is a global VPN leader with a host of bulletproof safety features and excellent geo-unblocking capabilities. And because of its massive server fleet, NordVPN is considered to be one of the best all-around tools for online privacy and security. Let’s see if it actually does live up to its promises.

In this post, we’re going to put NordVPN to the test to see if it really is a top contender for the #1 VPN spot. We’re going to test if NordVPN is safe to use if it can unblock Netflix and other streaming services if it has improved on its average speeds, and if it’s worth the price tag.

NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN provider with over 5,200 servers in more than 50 countries all over the world. Placing security and privacy as its main selling points, NordVPN is preferred by sensitive user groups, such as journalists and political activists, as well as those wanting to enjoy unblocked streaming content. NordVPN offers military-grade encryption, which is used by banks, the military, and many government institutions.

AES-256 is an extremely strong cipher – in fact, it’s so strong that a hacker using a brute-force attack would need billions of years to break it. NordVPN now only supports Open VPN UDP, Open VPN TCP, and IKEv2/IPsec protocols. L2TP/IPsec and PPTP are no longer supported, but that’s actually OK. That’s because OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec are industry standards and will cover most, if not all of your needs.A small number of users may find the unsupported L2TP/IPsec and PPTP inconvenience, but the other 99% will be happier with the more secure protocol options. Another great security feature of NordVPN is that it offers not only a standard internet kill switch but also an app kill switch. A kill switch helps you stay secure by shutting off the internet connection if the VPN stops working. That way your real IP address won’t be unintentionally revealed.

When you’re using the internet, NordVPN will shut off the connection if it stops working suddenly. However, with the app kill switch, it will also shut off certain apps if NordVPN suddenly stops working. But take note that NordVPN’s kill switches are not turned on by default. To turn them on, you’ll have to click the small Servers tab in the top-right corner. There you’ll find all the important settings. You can turn on one or both kill switches.

For the app kill switch, you’ll also need to add the apps that you want the kill switch to apply to. In our tests, we found NordVPN’s kill switches to be very effective every time. When we tried to interrupt the VPN connection on several occasions, the internet or app was shut down every time.NordVPN also has no IP or DNS leaks. This means your identity won’t leak via your IP address, and your online activities won’t show via your DNS requests. When we ran our DNS and IP leak tests, we were connected to a French server and assigned a French IP address. Then we checked whether our IP address or DNS queries were leaking. And here are the results. This is the same NordVPN-given IP address, meaning there is no IP leak.

As we’ve mentioned, NordVPN is based in Panama. It is owned by Tefincom S.A. This is important because VPN service providers operate according to the laws of the country they’re based in.And Panama doesn’t require companies to collect and store their users’ data, which is a great thing for user privacy. The country also doesn’t belong to any far-reaching intelligence alliances like the 5 Eyes global surveillance group.This allows NordVPN to have a real no-logging policy, meaning they know very little about you.

Now, if we’re going to check NordVPN’s Privacy Policy, you can see that they’re very clear about their commitment to keeping no logs on their users. Nevertheless, they take it a step further than most providers on the market. Because it’s virtually impossible for users to see what happens behind closed doors, NordVPN decided to prove their no-logs policy and ordered an independent audit. This no-logs audit was performed by the world-renowned accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, who found no discrepancies between NordVPN’s no-logs policy and what they do in practice. The list of other security features in the NordVPN suite is also very impressive – Double VPN, Onion over VPN, CyberSec, free SOCKS5 proxy, obfuscated servers and invisibility on LAN. By meeting the significant security and privacy needs of people in high-stakes situations (think dissidents in totalitarian regimes)NordVPN provides an answer for any everyday issue as well.

Whether it’s anonymous torrenting you’re interested in or secure public Wi-Fi use, these features have got you covered. Just recently, NordVPN became the first major VPN to securely implement WireGuard when they launched NordLynx. This is especially exciting because WireGuard is a super-secure protocol that has major performance benefits over other protocols. To make this possible, NordVPN had to solve a privacy issue. WireGuard can’t dynamically assign IP addresses to everyone connected to the server. Therefore, the server must contain a local static IP address table to know where internet packets are traveling from and to whom they should return. It means that the real IP address of a user must be linked to an internal IP address assigned by the VPN. NordLynx fixes the issue by developing a double Native Address Translation system, allowing the VPN to establish a secure connection without logging any identifiable details.

At the moment, NordVPN is already available on the Linux version of NordVPN. Now, when it comes to anonymous purchase, NordVPN is one of the few VPN providers that give users this option. When you sign up for NordVPN, you won’t need to include any personally identifiable information, such as your name, address, or contact details. The only thing you’ll need is an email address, which can be a throwaway account. Similarly, you can buy the subscription using a variety of options, including anonymous payment methods like cryptocurrencies. Now that we’ve covered NordVPN’s host of privacy and security features, let’s put to the test it’s speed. In the past, NordVPN had some issues with the speed of its servers. Well, not anymore.Our latest speed test has shown that NordVPN clearly is one of the fastest VPNs on the market.

First, we tested our baseline connection speed without a VPN connection. As you can see here, our download speed is at 121Mbps and our upload speed is at 187. Then we connected to a series of NordVPN servers in different parts of the world and ran the same test. Here’s our result for the UK and here’s another one with a server connection in Israel. We also ran some tests with servers in Germany, the USA, and Australia. To give some context for these results, we can say that the connection speed in each location is enough to stream in HD without buffering issues. Also, one thing to notice is that the speeds drop the further the server is from our location in Europe. Simply put, NordVPN’s speeds are among the best and should be enough for most users.

In terms of device compatibility, NordVPN supports a wide range of devices, so they most likely support yours. NordVPNhas apps for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, and Android TV, plus extensions for Chrome and Firefox. With one subscription, you can use NordVPN on up to 6devices at the same time. This is actually a pretty good deal, which means you can use one subscription to cover your entire household. Now when it comes to ease of use, NordVPN’s apps are pretty uniform across the different platforms, with a simple and easy to use interface. For their desktop apps for Windows and Mac, both have a pretty similar interface and feature set.

BothNordVPN for Mac and NordVPN for Windows offer AES-256 encryption, the CyberSec suite of features, a kill switch, and much more. When you launch the app, you’ll see a world map with server locations. You can either manually choose the country you want to connect to or click the Quick connect button. There also an option to search for a specific server by city. On the top of the screen, you’ll see a button for the Settings menu, where you can control all the security features, notifications, auto-connect settings, and more. We advise you to go over these settings because some of the defaults are not ideal for maximum security. NordVPN for Linux will require a bit more work to set up, as is common for Linux clients. While it isn’t as visual as the Mac and Windows versions, it offers the same options, just with command lines.

For mobile, NordVPN’s apps for Android and iOS also offer a great experience. In fact, we can say that Nord VPN for iOS and Android offer a level of security comparable to the desktop clients. And as you can see here, NordVPN’s iOS app has a kill switch integrated into it. For Android users, you’ll have to find the Always-on VPN option in your phone settings. There are fewer tunneling protocols available on these apps, but the ones that are still there are some of the safest. NordVPN’s mobile apps can be found on the Apple App Store and GooglePlay. There’s also an APK file available if you want to download and install theAndroid app manually. As we’ve mentioned, NordVPN also has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox. These are listed as proxy extensions, but they will help you to change your IP address, protect your communications, and also block ads and trackers.

Aside from desktop and mobile, NordVPN also supports AndroidTVdevices, so if your smart TV uses Android as its OS, you can use the VPN service. But do note that it’s very possible that you won’t find your platform natively supported by NordVPN. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use NordVPNon your platform. You can still access NordVPN services by using freeware OpenVPN apps. In that way, you’ll be able to install NordVPN on your router, if it supports OpenVPN. You’ll also be able to use the SmartDNS tool – although it doesn’t come with encryption. Most of us use a VPN for the sole purpose of unblocking geo-limited streaming content.

NordVPN has proven successful, time and time again, at unblocking Netflix USA from anywhere in the world. In our tests, Netflix wasn’t blocked on any of the US servers that we’ve tried – and that quite a stunning achievement. The situation was just as good in any other popular Netflix locations – Japan, UK, Germany, Netherlands. Only several of the Nord VPN servers we tried were blocked, but there were always more in the same country we could try. If you prefer other streaming platforms than Netflix, such as HBO, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and others, NordVPN will be able to help you as well. With a little setup, you can also use NordVPN on streaming services like Kodi. There’s no custom app, but with a few steps, you can set it enjoy it to your heart’s content – safely and privately.

NordVPN also supports torrenting. It even has dedicated, optimized P2P/torrenting servers in more than 40 countries with great encryption, good speeds, and unlimited bandwidth. Torrenting and using BitTorrent-based streaming apps (such as Kodi or popcorn Time) can be risky, but luckily NordVPN meets all of the criteria for being a great torrenting VPN. Additionally, NordVPN is one of the few VPN services that offer a free SOCKS5 proxy. This is a convenient way to protect yourself from those situations when you load up your torrent client but forget to turn on your VPN.

Finally, NordVPN doesn’t keep your personally identifiable information and thus can’t be compelled to hand it over to the authorities. When it comes to customer support, NordVPN has many options available to help answer most or all of your questions. They have 24/7live chat support, e-mail, FAQs, and tutorials. One way to access chat is to visit the Help page, type “chat” in the search box, and press Enter. A window will appear right below the box, which will display a chat icon in its bottom-right corner. We found that the support agents are top-notch, very responsive, and knowledgeable. If the issue is too complex to solve during a chat session, you can expect an answer via email within hours. Their FAQ and Tutorials on their website are also detailed and cover the most common issues.

Considering all of the features available, which is considerably top-tier, NordVPN is very cheap. Here are the available subscription options and their prices. What’s good to note is that all NordVPN pricing plans offer the same suite of features like the AES-256encryption, DNS leak protection, app, and internet kill switch, as well as up to 6 simultaneous connections. There are anonymous payment options available, such as crypto, for those concerned about privacy. If you’re getting buyer’s remorse, NordVPNalso offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This comes with no strings attached and no small print.

The only thing to be aware of is that you can get a refund if you paid in Bitcoin or something similar. Looking at it, the cost may not be the lowest on the market. But no other VPN offers as much value for the money. So, should you get NordVPN? Well, it’s an absolute yes from us! It’s definitely one of the best VPNs on the market right now, and in many ways, it’s the VPN global leader. NordVPN has faultless privacy and security features, with industry-leading encryption and protocols. Its servers are capable of getting around Netflix and other streaming blocks, and it’s P2P optimized servers is good news for torrenters!

Unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t offer the best speeds that we’ve seen for other VPNs, and it also doesn’t offer native support for routers. Nonetheless, its strong customer support can help any user get what they need from this VPN provider. If you want an industry-leading VPN for entertainment, security, privacy, or all of the above, you absolutely can’t wrong with NordVPN. We hope this video helped you figure out if NordVPN is the perfect VPN service provider for you.

Let us know in the comments section below what you think of NordVPN. Have you tried it yet? What features do you like the best? We’d love to hear what you’ve got to say.

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