NordVPN Review: Offers Good Speed and Security But Has a Minor Snag
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Thanks to its fast, secure, and incredibly easy-to-use platform, NordVPN is one of the most popular choices among internet users in the world of virtual private networks.
In essence, NordVPN is a virtual private network that is known world-over for its promise to protect and safeguard user privacy online.
By default, the NordVPN uses the industry 256-bit AES encryption standard and OpenVPN tunneling protocol.
Their server locations are worth-praising, with over 5,400 worldwide servers spread across 59 countries making accessing blocked websites and popular streaming services a walk in the park.
According to the extensive NordVPN review we conducted, Netflix streaming responded well, with over 90 percent of NordVPN servers tested. This is the highest percentage not only me but also all other VPN reviewers at PrivacySavvy have ever recorded.
Notably, it is not a perfect virtual private network by any means, but NordVPN is a service provider worth trying out following its broad enchantments.
When you first fire up the VPN, you will be confronted with a world map showing you all the countries where NordVPN has servers.
Upon clicking on a particular server or country, the map zooms in automatically, allowing you to have a better look while choosing among the many servers. NordVPN servers are spread all over the world in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.
Enough of the glimpse of this VPN provider, how about a detailed NordVPN review? That is more desirable here as you are deciding to spend your hard-earned bucks on a VPN.
From its geoblocking ability to the speed and security measures, you’ll get to know all about NordVPN in this extensive review. Let’s dive in.
Recently, rumors have been surrounding NordVPN security surfaced, with industry players questioning the security of the company after word came out that it was hacked.
In effect, NordVPN confirmed they were hacked after rumors of the data breach surfaced to the public domain.
VPN service providers are notoriously a significant target of cybercrime as hackers know they carry sensitive user information and data that can be used for various purposes.
Advertising companies are one of the primary beneficiaries of such information, where they buy the data to influence internet users with target advertisements.
According to information available on our desk, NordVPN was exposed to hackers after its expired internal private key got exposed, leaving the company’s servers vulnerable to attacks.
Even though NordVPN does not keep any logs, the data breach was a point of concern that hackers can infiltrate the security of the company to access some user data.
According to an official statement made by NordVPN in regards to the data breach,
The server itself does not contain any user information or data thanks to our no-logs policy. None of our apps transfer user-created information for authentication, so there is no way we compromised our client’s usernames and passwords.
Does NordVPN Support Streaming and Netflix in Particular?
It is a tough decision to make whether keeping your browsing activities safe and secure or unblocking streaming sites is the most pressing reason for using a VPN.
Either way, many would agree unblocking streaming sites is one of the top needs for users around the world today.
According to my tests, NordVPN fulfills its promise of unblocking Netflix in every part of the world, with results showing success rates in Australia, the UK, Canada, USA, Netherlands, India, China (for that you need to have NordVPN installed on your device before entering China) and Japan.
Not to mention, I could access Netflix libraries of other countries such as German and Brazilian without any lagging or buffering issues. Also, during my NordVPN review, Netflix videos kept streaming in ultra HD quality throughout all the tests.
Concerning servers, I tested over 130 US servers only (let alone other countries), and not a single NordVPN server disappointed me while testing it for Netflix streaming.
Other Streaming Support
NordVPN goes the extra mile to provide its users additional information on how to stream their preferred content without hassle.
NordVPN unblocks all the popular streaming websites including ABC iView, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Notably, there are many other streaming sites NordVPN unblocks, not limited to the ones mentioned.
Under the NordVPN frequently asked questions section, instructions and server information are available for Netflix and other popular streams such as BBC, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu to name a few.
How is NordVPN in Terms of Speed?
When it comes to speed, NordVPN ranks slightly lower than other top VPN service providers such as ExpressVPN.
Not to undermine it, NordVPN is fast enough to stream videos in 1080 quality dimensions on most servers but struggles with 4k ultra-HD streams sometimes.
According to tests we conducted on a 50Mbps connection network, most servers managed to reach an average speed of 40Mbps while using NordVPN. The only exception we noticed was with the Malaysian server.
- Malaysia Server: – Download Speed of 10.98 Mbps and 16.58 Mbps
- Africa Server: – Download Speed of 39.7Mbps and Upload Speed of 2.73 Mbps
- Australia Server: – Download Speed of 40.00 Mbps and Upload Speed of 14.17 Mbps
- Europe Server: – Download Speed of 40.95 Mbps and Upload Speed of 3.5Mbps
- N. America Server: – Downloads Speed of 39.44 Mbps and Upload Speed of 3.32 Mbps
Does NordVPN Allow Torrenting?
In brief, yes, NordVPN allows file sharing and torrenting.
NordVPN has dedicated peer-to-peer servers that allow unlimited filesharing capabilities over BitTorrent or any other protocol. One of the advantages of NordVPN is that it has designated specific servers for torrenting to allow seamless and safe torrenting.
NordVPN security features are airtight, and its platform does not store any logs. Based in Panama, a country that does not have any legal data retention regulations, NordVPN has no business caring what you are torrenting while connected to the VPN.
The provider has an in-built kill switch feature in its Windows, iOS, and macOS applications, enabling the feature to cut off internet connection whenever a VPN connection gets lost.
How is NordVPN in Terms of Security?
NordVPN offers optimal protection to its users, protecting them from prying eyes who wish to access any of their online records.
Security is one of the main issues if not the primary issue users want to know concerning a virtual private network.
NordVPN does not require users to enter their email addresses to log in their accounts, and as noted earlier, they do not capture any logs or user information.
The VPN provider protects a user’s internet connection using its military-class encryption protocol, which prevents third-parties from accessing user information.
Some of the security protocols used by NordVPN include IKEv2 and OpenVPN. The VPN protocol used by NordVPN depends on the device being used by the user.
Although, both IKEv2 and OpenVPN do an excellent job of safeguarding user privacy, IKEv2 is mostly recommended due to its speed attributes.
NordVPN also accepts cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin in its payment options, further allowing users to go completely anonymous while using disposable email addresses while paying.
Does NordVPN Block Online Advertisements?
Most of the time, online advertisements usually spoil the user’s browsing experience. The ads clutter large parts of the website being visited, slowing downloading speeds, and some are a source of malware and viruses.
Hence the need to ensure your VPN has the ad blocker capability in-built.
Concerning the question of whether NordVPN has an adblocker, the answer is a definite yes as the VPN provides adblocking and extra security protection using its CyberSec suite.
The CyberSec suite allows the VPN to block advertisements and safeguard users from malware attacks during browsing sessions efficiently.
Is NordVPN Available in China?
Yes, NordVPN is one of the top VPNs for China. Not many VPN service providers have managed to achieve this feat of bypassing the great firewall of China, but NordVPN has proven its grit.
Due to its widespread global servers, NordVPN also works in other tough regions such as the UAE, Iran, and Qatar.
Coming back to China, I would advise you to download NordVPN before you arrive there. Even though the provider has an accessible China website, but as China constantly keeps on cracking VPNs down, you cannot tell what may happen at any time.
Does NordVPN Offer Value for Money?
Like other premium VPN service providers, NordVPN is a bit pricey (considering you have to pay every month), but it gives its users value for their money.
Users are encouraged to commit to a lengthy subscription with the VPN service to save up some bucks.
NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to all its subscribers who fail to get value for their money, which means you can try it risk-free.
Regarding the payment methods NordVPN supports, while the provider no longer allows PayPal, you can pay using a credit card, AliPay, iTunes, cryptocurrency including Bitcoin, Google Pay, UnionPay, and Amazon Pay.
Does NordVPN Offer a Free Version?
At present, NordVPN does not offer users a trial version.
Practically, to me, that is not a con as a safe and secure premium VPN such as NordVPN requires money to maintain its services and its outstanding infrastructure.
Does NordVPN Have a Refund Policy?
As noted above, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its subscription plans allowing users to try its services risk-free.
If you wish to cancel your NordVPN subscription and get your refund, don’t worry, we will assist you in getting your money back following its 30-day money-back guarantee program.
Just a disclaimer, I alongside the cybersecurity team at PrivacySavvy tried out NordVPN’s refund policy using all its subscription plans, and we can guarantee you that their refund policy works as we received our full refund.
We are content with NordVPN services in regards to honoring their refund policy and their 30-day money-back guarantee program.
How to Cancel your NordVPN Subscription
Unlike many other virtual private networks, NordVPN offers its users a simple way of canceling their subscription using the ‘Cancel my subscription’ button available in all accounts.
Subscribers who wish to cancel their NordVPN subscription should first of all sign-in to their account using their login details and scroll to the bottom of the welcome page and select the ‘cancel automatic payments’ option.
You will be prompted to confirm your activity. After confirming, you will be given a range of options asking you why you want to cancel your subscription, select the one that best fits your situation, and then continue with the cancelation process.
After finishing this process, your account will be disabled but not canceled, so you will need to contact customer services by clicking on the blue speech button at the bottom of the screen. You can either choose to live chat with the customer care representatives or email.
Once you have been connected to a customer care representative, you will be required to explain your reasons for canceling your subscription.
Understandably, the customer care representative will also try to convince you to stay by asking if they can rectify something to keep you as they hate to see you go.
After submitting your reasons to them, they readily agree to cancel your subscription without much hassle and kickstart the process of compensating.
The compensation process should take about one or two working days to complete without any problems. It took about 29 hours for me to get a refund after I requested it.
As a word of advice, once you receive your refund, cancel your recurring payments through your financial service provider or your bank, too. This is to ensure no further payments are made to NordVPN without your knowledge.
Is NordVPN Compatible with My Device?
NordVPN allows up to six devices to connect to its platform at the same time using one account. Devices that run on Windows, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and iOS are all compatible with NordVPN.
The VPN also offers encryption proxy extensions for Firefox and Chrome browsers, further safeguarding user browsing experience.
One of the influential points of NordVPN in the VPN market is its military-like encryption protocol that goes above and beyond an average user’s security needs.
NordVPN’s encryption specification include:
- 256-bit AES channel encryption
- Perfect forward secrecy
- SHA384 authentication
- 3072-bit DHE-RSA key exchange
NordVPN offers its subscribers world-class 24/7 customer support service via live chat, email, and a searchable support library.
Notably, in 2018, the virtual private network service provider was accorded the prestigious ‘Best Customer Service 2018’ award during the BestVPN.com annual event.
Subscribers can chat with a customer care representative using the floating button situated at the bottom right side of the homepage at any time of the day.
Users can also contact them through the Help Center page, where they have ready representatives on guard to help subscribers of any problem or challenge they might be facing.
When you send them an email, the customer support team takes a maximum of 24-hours to respond to your request while a live chat provides live assistance.
The live customer support service usually asks users some basic questions such as the area of concern before redirecting you to an agent.
NordVPN also has a Contact Us page where you can find the company information in case you would like to contact them in other situations. The provider has listed specific email addresses for business clients, affiliate partnerships, the press, and the VPN business inquiries.
According to research, NordVPN has always received rave reviews for its excellent service and user experience.
And that stands true as per the extensive NordVPN review I conducted. The provider boasts good speeds and is incredibly easy to use.
By default, their VPN apps use OpenVPN tunneling protocol and the industry-standard 256-bit AES encryption, which gives complete peace of mind to privacy savvy users like me.
Also, the NordVPN server park is huge, with 5400+ servers across 59 countries around the world. All that makes this VPN provider very user-friendly.
In this time of increasing cyber crimes and data breach, NordVPN is one of the VPN service providers I can recommend without any second thoughts.
Providing its users with the best security measures present in the market, NordVPN goes a long way to safeguard and protect user privacy and anonymity while surfing the internet.
Also, thanks to its 24/7 customer support service, users are guaranteed to feel protected during their digital walk with NordVPN.
The only thing I didn’t find super-cool about the provider during my extensive NordVPN review is the fact that its app interfaces are not the best compared to other top rivals. But overall, it provides excellent value for your money.