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NordVPN Review

Callum Tennent
By Callum TennentUpdated
Our Score9.6
User Rating
 94% 
(477 User Reviews)

Striking a great balance between privacy and speed, NordVPN is one of the very best VPNs.

What we like
  • Fast speeds - 66Mbps global average
  • High speed access to Netflix, iPlayer and more
  • P2P and torrenting permitted on many servers
  • Easy-to-use apps. Simple set-up on all devices
  • 5,000+ secure servers in 60 countries

NordVPN is, quite simply, one of the very best VPNs we’ve tested – subscribe with confidence, knowing that it’s almost certain to meet your needs.

With zero user logs and the fastest speeds we’ve tested in many locations it’s sure to please both the privacy-focused and those who want outright speeds.

It provides reliable access to Netflix and BBC iPlayer and the recently redesigned apps look great, whatever platform you use it on.

Pricing & Deals

Each plan across the NordVPN range offers exactly the same features.

A single month package is quite pricey at $11.95, but drops by almost half to $6.99 for annual plans.

You can find the best value at $3.99 per month over two years, for a 66% saving. It’s also currently running a special offer which saves you a massive 75%, working out at $2.99 a month for three years.

NordVPN Coupon

NordVPN Pricing & Deals

Best Value Deal
3 Years
US$2.99/mo
Save 75%
Billed $107.55 every 3 years
2 Years
US$3.99/mo
Save 66%
Billed $95.75 every 2 years
12 Months
US$6.99/mo
Save 41%
Billed $83.88 every 12 months
1 Month
US$11.95/mo
Billed $11.95 every month
Get NordVPN30-day money-back guarantee

NordVPN offers a free trial as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee, although you’ll have to go through a troubleshooting process with a customer support agent before you get your refund.

Payment Options

NordVPN accepts many different payment methods including most major credit and debit cards, a few cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and lots of international options like Alipay, UnionPay, and WebMoney.

It recently made the decision to stop accepting PayPal, moving to a similar service called Adyen which it claims offers a greater level of privacy for customers due to its self-contained nature.

Speed & Reliability

NordVPN produced absolutely outstanding results in all of our performance tests. Both upload and download speeds were consistently fast and reliable across all locations worldwide.

NordVPN Performance Data

Select location:
  • Download Speed Average:66.21 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:26.59 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:134 ms
  • Download Speed Average:125.46 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:100.87 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:4 ms
  • Download Speed Average:120.60 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:64.56 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:117.58 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:93.67 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:125.30 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:94.79 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:180.75 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:126.30 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:6 ms
  • Download Speed Average:117.07 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:87.57 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:8 ms
  • Download Speed Average:130.12 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:105.33 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:104.68 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:76.25 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:117.69 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:39.30 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:4 ms
  • Download Speed Average:170.82 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:124.30 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:1 ms
  • Download Speed Average:56.56 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:14.46 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:56 ms

NordVPN is very fast, especially on local connections, the best of which reached a phenomenal average speed of 181Mbps.

Average download speeds from UK to US were 95Mbps – enough to handle anything across multiple devices.

Some more distant connections were brilliant, such as San Francisco to Sydney (42Mbps), but others were much slower, particularly connecting out from Australia and Canada.

Latency was also very low at only 1ms for users in Toronto and 2ms in Frankfurt, making NordVPN a brilliant choice for streamers and gamers.

Average local upload speeds of over 84Mbps are some of the fastest we’ve seen in our tests, making NordVPN very attractive for P2P users. Local connections in Paris, Singapore and Toronto even tested significantly higher than that.

While a handful of other VPN providers may offer higher speeds on individual servers, NordVPN remains one of our absolute top picks as it delivers such well-balanced performance without asking you to make sacrifices in other areas to obtain it.

To find out more about how we test speeds please read How We Review VPNs.

Features

Server Locations

60Countries60Countries
90+Cities90+Cities
5,000+IP Addresses5,000+IP Addresses

The 60 countries within NordVPN’s network isn’t an excessive amount, but it should almost certainly ensure an option near you.

Over 5,000 servers is a fantastic number, with each server given a static IP address – this means greater privacy, albeit with the slight chance of slowdown should any one server get too busy.

There’s city-level choices in six different countries, too, including the US and UK.

Platforms & Devices

Apps

Windows LogoWindows
Mac LogoMac
iOS LogoiOS
Android LogoAndroid
Linux LogoLinux
Router LogoRouter

All the major operating systems are covered (yes, even Linux) and, in the unlikely event that you’re left wanting, router installation is supported, too.

Browser Extensions

Chrome LogoChrome
Firefox LogoFirefox

There’s proxy extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. They’ll encrypt your browser traffic, but protection ends there – we’d suggest you use them in conjunction with the main program.

Their in-built WebRTC leak blocker is an extremely useful bonus.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

AppleTV LogoAppleTV
Amazon Fire TV LogoAmazon Fire TV
Chromecast LogoChromecast
Nintendo LogoNintendo
PlayStation LogoPlayStation
Roku LogoRoku
Xbox LogoXbox

NordVPN has an Android TV app, meaning you can use it with devices such as Android TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick without any manual configuration.

In fact, NordVPN is one of our top picks for the popular streaming device. If you own one and want to find out more, take a look at our roundup of the Best VPN for Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick.

If you want to cover your other streaming devices or games consoles, though, you’ll need to install it at router level.

Streaming & Torrenting

In all our time testing we’ve never once found an issue with accessing streaming services through NordVPN.

You don’t even need to worry about what server to pick, as it will automatically find the best option for you. US options work reliably with Netflix and the UK options all deliver access to BBC iPlayer – no mean feat judging by how many other providers struggle with it.

The access to streaming services doesn’t stop there. Paying users have also reported it works with:

  • Amazon Prime Video
  • Hulu
  • HBO
  • Sling TV
  • Sky
  • Now TV
  • PlayStation Vue

Torrenting isn’t permitted on every single server, but there’s still more than enough choice to keep keen seeders and Kodi streamers happy.

Encryption & Security

There’s only one choice of protocol by default, but it’s our personal favorite: OpenVPN, providing the perfect blend of performance and security.

You can also use IKEv2 if you like, but it requires an extra download and a lot of advanced setup.

The built-in kill switch protects your IP address in the event of a connection drop and NordVPN’s privately owned and operated DNS servers ensure end-to-end protection.

There’s Double VPN and Tor over VPN available for extra encryption, and we found it totally free from IP and DNS leaks.

Protocol
  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
Encryption
  • AES-256
Security
  • DNS Leak Blocking
  • First-party DNS
  • Supports TCP Port 443
  • VPN Kill Switch
  • WebRTC Leak Blocking
Advanced features
  • Double VPN
  • TOR via VPN Server

Bypassing Censorship

Since the VPN crackdown in China, NordVPN has become harder to recommend for residents or visitors.

Users have reported that the obfuscated servers sometimes work to beat the censors, but some have experienced occasional difficulties connecting to them.

It’s also worth noting that there are no obfuscated servers available on iOS, so iPhone users may struggle to connect from the country.

That’s just China, though – in other high censorship countries NordVPN remains a solid choice.

If you’re after a more reliable way to beat the censors, wherever you are, we would recommend you read our ExpressVPN review.

Privacy

Logging Policy

Here’s a comprehensive list of all the information collected by NordVPN:

  • Server loads

That is the full extent of it. Server loads are monitored to maintain optimal performance for users, and nothing else. Your privacy is upheld above all else.

Jurisdiction

NordVPN is under the legal jurisdiction of Panama, putting it beyond the reach of US and EU data retention laws. Panama does not require companies to store or report any of their data, nor is it part of any agreements that compel it to share information with other countries.

Being based in Panama gives Nord the power to deny any third party data requests, so there is absolutely no way that any of your online activity can be traced back to you.

Ease of Use

The NordVPN website has comprehensive setup guides for whatever platform you happen to be using, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever need them.

All its custom apps run smoothly and are almost entirely self-explanatory.

If you want to play around with advanced settings then you’re welcome to do that too – they’re clearly labelled and the app even warns you not to do so unless you know what you’re doing.

Getting Started

Installation and set-up are super-smooth and done in a matter of minutes, making it easy even if you’ve never downloaded a VPN before.

The process is as simple as downloading the relevant software from the site and following the prompts given to you by the installation wizard.

  • Installing software
  • How to use the app

Customer Support

NordVPN provides excellent quality customer support both through its extensive knowledge base and via online live chat.

Support agents respond quickly and are extremely friendly and helpful, managing to fix most of our issues within a couple of minutes.

Troubleshooting guides are incredibly useful, too, covering a variety of potential issues and providing a range of possible solutions

The Bottom Line

What we like
  • Reliable, fast performance with speeds of up to 181Mbps
  • Great choice for streaming, including access to Netflix
  • Really easy to use. Quick set-up on all devices
  • Good-sized global network - a choice of 60 countries
  • Extra privacy features such as Double VPN and Tor over VPN
What we like less
  • Alternative security protocols have to be manually configured
  • Browser extensions create proxy rather than VPN connections
  • Email support can be slow

NordVPN strikes a great balance between privacy and speed to set it apart as one of the very best VPN providers out there.

Commit to the longest plans and it also works out as one of the lowest priced. It’s very fast in most popular locations, with reliable access to major streaming services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer. Superb upload speeds make NordVPN a smart choice for heavy torrenters, too.

It’s private, too – a true zero logs service based in a friendly jurisdiction that comes with some heavy-duty security options that you won’t easily find elsewhere.


NordVPN User Reviews

 94% 
4.7 out of 5 stars

Based on 477 reviews

  1. 5 star
     0% 
    (349)
  2. 4 star
     0% 
    (110)
  3. 3 star
     0% 
    (9)
  4. 2 star
     0% 
    (5)
  5. 1 star
     0% 
    (4)

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Best Positive Review
 100% 

Nord is a top provider

Verified Purchase

In my opinion nord vpn is one of the best vpn providers in the market. They got a lot of servers, great speed and most importantly they work perfectly fine with hulu and netflix usa.

Best Critical Review
 60% 

Comforting

Verified Purchase

Installation worked well. Difficulties arise occasionally with connection issues. I find that disabling NordVPN will reconnect me. I then enable NordVPN. No feedback as to any unlawful events as I get with my ZoneAlarm Extreme Security. It would be handy to know how well I have been protected. Still, I have comfort in having something at work rather than nothing.

Showing 1-3 of 477 Reviews
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  1.  100% 

    Excellent

    Verified Purchase

    This is far the best vpn service I have used and highly recommended It’s easy and simple to use and also the emails received with help is off great assistance

  2.  100% 

    Great

    Verified Purchase

    I love it. Easy to use and reliable.

  3.  60% 

    Spotty p2p

    Verified Purchase

    Overall the number of servers and locations are good for many operations, but for p2p it's rough. Even using dedicated P2P servers, I get disconnects regularly, losing my connection. I've gotten them when using non p2p as well, but consistently when using p2p. After some minutes the connection just goes dead for about 10-30 sec. Enough to kill some transfers and affect browsing, requiring frequent log ins.

See all 477 NordVPN user reviews