NordVPN streams US Netflix
NordVPN is an excellent choice for streaming Netflix and other content platforms. Streaming speeds are fast and the VPN always works with video libraries around the world. It also has a Fire TV Stick app, and Smart DNS support for PS4 and Smart TVs.
NordVPN is a top VPN for streaming Netflix. It always works, it’s fast, and you can stream Netflix on Fire TV devices and Smart TVs.
We tested over 100 US NordVPN servers, and all worked with American Netflix. We repeat these tests daily to ensure the VPN is always capable of beating the website’s VPN blocks.
There are no dedicated streaming servers in the app because NordVPN’s SmartPlay does the hard work for you.
Choose any US server and it will stream US Netflix content. This removes any complexity and means you can connect to a single server to unblock a range of streaming platforms.
NordVPN currently works with 20 different Netflix regions, including the UK, Japan, Brazil, India, and South Korea. We were able to watch each library in HD.
If you want the very best Netflix VPN, read our latest ExpressVPN review.
NordVPN Works with Many Streaming Services
Here are some of the streaming services NordVPN works with:
- BBC iPlayer
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Max
- DAZN Canada
One of the VPN’s highlights is how easily it works with BBC iPlayer. Only a few VPNs work with the BBC’s video service, and NordVPN does it with ease.
How Does NordVPN Compare to Other Streaming VPNs?
In the table below, you can see all the relevant raw data we’ve collected from the best streaming VPNs during our latest tests.
This includes information about streaming ability, speed performance, and streaming device compatibility.
NordVPN is extremely fast and consistent
Speed & Reliability
NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs across the globe. We recorded fast speeds on both nearby and far-away servers. Our download speeds were an impressive 94Mbps when connected to nearby VPN servers and as quick as 74Mbps internationally.
The VPN’s connections are fast and stable enough for high-quality video streaming as well as smooth torrenting and web browsing.
Here are the results we recorded when connecting to nearby NordVPN servers:
Local Speed Test results before using NordVPN:
- Download Speed: 94Mbps
- Upload Speed: 99Mbps
- Ping: 4ms
Local Speed Test results with NordVPN:
Download speed loss when NordVPN is running: 1%
As you can see, NordVPN’s short-distance speed test results were very impressive: just a 1% decrease in our download speeds and 5% in uploads. This is perfect for buffer-free Netflix streaming and fast torrent downloads.
Ping times are also fairly low, for playing online games with minimal lag, as long as you connect to a server close by.
Worldwide Speed Test Results
Once we tested local speeds, we looked into how well NordVPN performed over longer distances. These results were just as impressive, particularly connecting to a US-based server.
Here are our latest long-distance speed test results:
- USA (New York):
- Download: 74Mbps (21% slower)
- Upload: 43Mbps (57% slower)
- Germany (Berlin):
- Download: 83Mbps (12% slower)
- Upload: 94Mbps (5% slower)
- Download: 63Mbps (33% slower)
- Upload: 21Mbps (79% slower)
- Australia (Sydney):
- Download: 56Mbps (40% slower)
- Upload: 29Mbps (71% slower)
Even in locations as far as Australia, NordVPN maintains incredibly fast speeds – well above what we typically see from other VPNs.
Connect to NordVPN using the NordLynx protocol to get the fastest speeds.
NordVPN’s Speeds Versus Other Top VPNs
The graph below compares NordVPN’s internet speed loss to other popular VPNs. This speed data is taken from our custom-built automated VPN speed test tool.
The tests run every six hours, and the connection is capped at 100Mbps to recreate a typical home internet environment.
As the graph above shows, NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs available right now.
In our latest short-distance tests, the VPN reached a peak top speed of 92Mbps.
What’s most impressive is how fast and reliable NordVPN’s speeds have been over the last eight weeks. Other top VPNs, like IPVanish and Private Internet Access, were far less consistent.
What’s important for unblocking video content from abroad is how a VPN performs on international connections. NordVPN is currently the fastest VPN connecting to far-away locations, too.
Connecting from New York to London, NordVPN’s speed peaked at 85Mbps and fell to 81Mbps at its lowest point. Again, this beats competitors like PIA VPN, whose speeds ranged between 40Mbps and 78Mbps.
NordVPN is a verified no-logs VPN
Logging Policy & Jurisdiction
NordVPN is a safe VPN with a verified no-logs policy and a privacy-first jurisdiction. It’s not possible to link your web activity back to you, making the VPN a great choice for users seeking online privacy.
In fact, NordVPN is one of only a few VPNs to have had its no-logs policy audited by a third-party company. It has been audited twice by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), in 2018 and in 2020.
Both audits officially confirmed NordVPN’s no-log claims.
The audits also verified the VPN doesn’t store the user’s IP addresses, connection logs, or browsing activity.
This makes NordVPN one of the most private and trusted VPNs available.
Some pieces of information are collected when you sign up for an account, though. Mainly your email address and payment data, which is common practice among VPN services.
For maximum privacy, you can sign up with a brand new email address and pay with cryptocurrency.
No logs of User Web Activity
Regardless, NordVPN can’t link any of your online activities to you as an individual. Nor can it disclose that information to any third parties.
The service only knows that you have an account, but not what you’ve done online while using the VPN.
NordVPN does monitor server loads in order to maintain optimal performance and to recommend the fastest (often nearest) servers.
This information is aggregated across all users and can’t be used to personally identify you. Many private VPNs do this.
The VPN service’s Terms of Service state that: “To limit the number of simultaneous sessions of an active user, an algorithm keeps their username and the timestamp of the last session status while the session is active.”
We wanted to find out how that would affect user privacy, so we got in touch with NordVPN and a representative demonstrated how the algorithm works using the following diagram:
The data is hashed using different dynamic components, and temporarily held in separate and standalone databases around the world. It’s then deleted 15 minutes after the end of the session.
Based on how the data is hashed and then wiped, we’re confident your web information can’t be traced back to you.
Where Is NordVPN Based?
NordVPN is owned by NordVPN S.A. and it operates under the legal jurisdiction of Panama, which is excellent for privacy.
Panama doesn’t require VPN companies to log or report any of their data. Nor is it part of any agreements that compel it to share information with other countries. Panama is a ‘privacy haven’ and a great VPN jurisdiction.
Being based in Panama gives NordVPN the power to deny any data requests from foreign governments and law enforcement agencies.
The company also publishes a daily warrant canary letting users know it hasn’t received National Security Letters, gag orders, or warrants from any government agency.
NordVPN is great value for money
Price & Value for Money
NordVPN is cheaper than many fully-featured VPN services, including its main rival ExpressVPN. The monthly plan costs $11.95, which is rather expensive. However, NordVPN’s two-year deal lowers the monthly price to a much more affordable $3.30.
NordVPN Pricing Options
NordVPN offers three different subscription plans, although they all include the same features.
US$11.95/moBilled $11.95 every month
US$4.92/moBilled $59 the first 12 months, renews at full price
US$3.30/moBilled $89 the first 2 years, renews for 1-year terms at full price
All plans have 30-day money-back guarantee
The two-year deal represents great value, considering you can use NordVPN on up to six devices at once. But, you will have to pay the full subscription of $89.00 upfront.
Payment & Refund Options
Here’s a full list of payment methods that NordVPN accepts:
Sadly, NordVPN has stopped accepting PayPal and replaced it with Adyen.
Is There a Free Version of NordVPN?
Unlike TunnelBear, ProtonVPN, and other ‘freemium’ VPNs, NordVPN has never offered a completely free VPN service.
However, you can get a seven-day 100% free trial on mobile (iOS and Android) devices.
Theoretically, you can use NordVPN for longer at zero cost by taking advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee.
It’s a risk-free refund promise, so cancel your subscription within 30 days and you’ll receive your refund within 10 business days. To know more, read our guide on how to get a NordVPN free trial.
Good Torrenting Capabilities
NordVPN allows torrenting on over 85% of its 5,208 servers. Its P2P-optimized servers recorded a fast average bitrate of 10.8 MiB/s in our tests. That said, torrenting is blocked on servers in fourteen countries, so there are more suitable P2P VPNs available
NordVPN is a good VPN for torrenting, with thousands of fast servers optimized for P2P traffic.
In our most recent P2P speed tests, NordVPN registered an average bitrate of 10.8MiB/s. That’s faster than CyberGhost (6.5MiB/s) and TunnelBear (4.8MiB/s), but slower than ExpressVPN (13.2MiB/s) and IPVanish (15.6MiB/s).
We also like NordVPN’s range of advanced security settings, such as the VPN kill switch, which keeps your IP address concealed if your VPN connection cuts out.
NordVPN’s no-logs policy is also ideal for anonymous file-sharing.
You can torrent while connected to almost every country on the server list. These optimized servers are easy to find – they are listed under ‘Specialty Servers’ in the app settings.
However, NordVPN doesn’t allow P2P traffic in the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
If you try to torrent on a VPN server that doesn’t support P2P, the VPN app will re-route traffic through a dedicated server in Canada or the Netherlands.
The apps detect P2P traffic using a “special algorithm” that NordVPN assured us doesn’t defy its no-logs policy. This is likely a real-time analysis tool that detects traffic, but doesn’t store that data.
Torrenting with NordVPN’s SOCKS5 Proxy
NordVPN also provides a SOCKS5 proxy, which can be used with torrent clients like BitTorrent.
It’s faster than a VPN, but it’s not as secure. A SOCKS5 proxy spoofs your IP address, but it won’t encrypt your traffic, which puts your online privacy and security at risk.
No Port Forwarding Available
NordVPN doesn’t have a port forwarding option, which speeds up P2P file uploads (or ‘seeding’) considerably.
If you’re a regular seeder, we recommend your read our updated Private Internet Access review, instead.
NordVPN has 5,208 VPN servers in 60 countries
NordVPN provides 5,208 VPN servers, with each one assigning a static IP address. After Private Internet Access and CyberGhost, this is the highest number of servers offered by a VPN. The choice of 60 countries isn’t the widest range we’ve seen, but it’s still enough to satisfy most users.
The VPN’s server network covers popular countries like the UK, US, Australia, and Canada. It also serves less common countries such as Argentina and Vietnam.
There’s also plenty of choice in Europe, North and South America, and Asia-Pacific. Africa and the Middle East are the least served by NordVPN.
Many City-level Servers
NordVPN gives its users excellent city-level server choices in five countries:
- Australia (five locations, 200+ servers)
- Canada (three locations, 300+ servers)
- Germany (two locations, 200+ servers)
- India (two locations, 20+ servers)
- The US (15 locations, 1,600+ servers)
Users in these countries can connect to a server close to their physical location, for faster speeds and access to city or state-specific content. In the United States, this is useful to bypass sports blackouts.
NordVPN also provides a dedicated IP address service for customers who want to stick with one VPN IP address for long periods of time. This feature costs extra and it’s not as private as using VPN IP addresses, which are shared by many users at any one time.
NordVPN’s network consists of physical, bare-metal servers, none of which are virtual.
All its VPN servers are in fact physically located where you expect them to be. This is rare, as many VPN services have at least a small percentage of virtual servers, which are not physically located in the country where their IP address is registered.
NordVPN is also working on building a network of self-owned servers. Owning servers is ideal for security and gives a VPN company full control over its physical infrastructure.
The 2018 security incident proved that relying on a third-parties to provide VPN servers can lead to security vulnerabilities.
For the time being, NordVPN still rents some servers, but it says it’s keeping data center providers to even higher standards than before to prevent more security issues.
Also, the VPN service recently started rolling out 10Gbps servers. This is an upgrade from the 1Gbps servers most VPNs operate. This will help make NordVPN even faster for people on 500Mbps (or faster) connections.
NordVPN is safe and private
Security & Features
Despite a well-publicized server breach in 2018, NordVPN has since introduced very strong security and encryption measures. NordVPN uses the most secure VPN protocols, it operates RAM-only servers, and it’s taken steps to own the entire network. You can trust NordVPN to keep your data private and secure.
Protocols & Encryption
NordVPN uses the best protocols and encryption ciphers available to protect your personal data from snoopers and hackers.
All apps use NordLynx by default, which is NordVPN’s own VPN protocol built on top of WireGuard.
The main benefit of NordLynx is that it is incredibly fast. In fact, the results from our WireGuard vs OpenVPN speed tests have been impressive.
We found that NordLynx is consistently faster than OpenVPN, particularly on long-distance connections. This is useful when streaming geo-restricted content from abroad in HD and 4K.
NordVPN encrypts traffic using the AES-256-GCM cipher with a 2048-bit DH key.
IP and DNS Leak Test Results
When you use a VPN, all your internet traffic should flow through a secure, encrypted VPN tunnel.
Sometimes bits of personal data like your IP address can leak out, though. That’s why we run regular tests checking for IP and DNS leaks that can expose your private information.
When we tested NordVPN, we found no leaks whatsoever. It comes as no surprise because NordVPN runs its own DNS servers, and goes to great lengths to protect your online data.
This screenshot above shows the results of our leak test when connected to NordVPN’s Windows app. We can confirm the MacOS, Android, and iOS apps are also leak-proof.
Additional Security Features
One of the most important features of the NordVPN apps, the kill switch shields your true IP address in the event of a connection drop.
NordVPN actually provides two types of kill switch: an internet kill switch and an app kill switch.
The internet kill switch works by blocking your device’s connection to the internet if the VPN connection drops suddenly. The app kill switch – available on Windows and MacOS – lets you apply kill switch protection to selected apps only.
We recommend using the system-wide internet kill switch for added security, especially if you’re torrenting files.
Also known as multi-hop, this routes your internet traffic through two different servers, and encrypts it twice to provide extra privacy. It slows down connections considerably, so only use it if you need the highest levels of privacy.
Onion over VPN:
This allows you to route traffic securely through the Tor network to mask VPN traffic in high-censorship countries. Like Double VPN, Onion over VPN can be slow due to the multiple layers of encryption.
With this feature, you can can choose which apps to route inside and outside of the VPN tunnel. This is useful for apps that require your true IP address, like online banking or smart home devices.
Invisibility on LAN:
Another useful feature, this option makes you invisible on your local network. Disable this if you need to access devices on your local network, like a wireless printer.
CyberSec is a comprehensive security tool that blocks ads, protects against malware, and prevents DDoS attacks.
After testing it, we found that CyberSec effectively blocks annoying ads. It also removes ads on YouTube.
However, NordVPN’s malware blocker isn’t as good as standalone anti-malware software. It only blocks malicious sites that are already on the database, but in reality, new threats are popping up all the time.
According to AV-Test’s 2018 report, NordVPN’s app didn’t detect any of the 49 phishing or malware websites visited during its tests. On the other hand, Hotspot Shield’s malware blocker, detected 15, while F-Secure Freedome’s tool picked up on 31.
NordVPN Server Hack
In October 2019 it emerged that one of NordVPN’s Finland servers had been breached.
Poorly-configured security on the server’s remote management system allowed the hacker to breach it, view the file system and, theoretically, retrieve any data stored on it.
NordVPN informed us it wasn’t aware of the incident until 13 April 2019, when it was shown a dark web post of the hackers responsible bragging about it, dated March 2018.
At this point, the company took the server out of service and ‘shredded’ (securely wiped all data) it. It also terminated its contract with the third-party server provider, Creanova.
NordVPN stresses three important facts about the hack:
- No user credentials were affected. In other words, no one’s privacy or anonymity was compromised.
- There are no signs that user traffic was monitored. No user-sensitive data could be read from the server itself, either, as NordVPN is a no-logs service. This means the server contained no information regarding user data or browsing activity.
- The VPN tunnel was not compromised. This means that the service as a whole still worked as intended.
NordVPN claims that the hack was the fault of Creanova, and Creanova blames NordVPN for being careless with its security.
Ultimately, it’s NordVPN’s responsibility to regularly check the security of its servers. What matters even more is how the company responded to the hack – and it responded badly.
The long delay informing the public about the incident was a big disappointment at the time.
Stronger Security Initiatives
The VPN service has since made concrete strides towards preventing another hack from taking place.
Here’s what NordVPN has implemented since the server breach:
- Partnership with cybersecurity consulting firm VerSprite to carry out penetration tests and make NordVPN safer than ever before.
- Bug bounty program to reward those that successfully identify vulnerabilities in Nord’s code.
- Infrastructure security audit and vendor security assessment to prevent a similar breach occurring again.
- A network of colocated servers exclusively owned by NordVPN to avoid any vulnerabilities caused by third-party providers.
- Diskless RAM servers. This means that if someone seizes a server they are effectively seizing an empty piece of hardware with no user data or configuration files on it.
Ironically, NordVPN is now more secure than ever. It will take some time for it to fully rebuild its reputation, though.
Work in China on Windows & Android
NordVPN is a reliable VPN for bypassing China’s strict censorship. While connected to NordVPN, we were able to stream YouTube videos, browse Instagram, and send messages using WhatsApp. However, this functionality is not available on the iOS or MacOS apps.
Unlike many other VPN review websites, we manually test VPNs in China to guarantee they actually work.
Lately NordVPN has been working well in China, as the screenshot below proves:
Dedicated App for China
NordVPN even comes equipped with a custom app for bypassing Chinese web censorship, but this app is only available for Windows and Android.
Once you’ve installed this version of the app, make sure NordLynx is enabled and CyberSec is disabled. Then, connect to a server using ‘Quick Connect’.
If you’re a Mac, iOS, or Linux user, you’ll have to manually set up the VPN on your device. NordVPN’s tutorials aren’t difficult to follow, but it’s not an ideal solution.
Sensibly, NordVPN doesn’t have servers in China, but you can connect to nearby servers in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, and Thailand for faster speeds.
The NordVPN website is blocked in China and cannot be accessed without a VPN. Make sure to download the NordVPN app before entering China.
User-friendly apps for all devices and platforms
Platforms & Devices
NordVPN has a range of user-friendly native VPN apps for all major operating systems, including desktop, mobile, and TV devices. You can use NordVPN on six of these devices at once, which is slightly above the industry average.
NordVPN’s apps are all easy to set up and simple to use, with clean, intuitive interfaces.
You can buy a multi-device subscription directly from NordVPN’s website, where you’ll find download files for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and Linux. You’ll also find links to the Google Play, App Store, and Amazon stores for Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV respectively.
Just be aware that you won’t benefit from NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee if you buy a plan through the App Store, but you will get a 7-day free trial.
You can maximize NordVPN’s allowed simultaneous connections by installing NordVPN on your home router. This will protect everything connected to it while only counting as one device.
Games Consoles & Streaming Devices
NordVPN’s Smart DNS Tool
NordVPN’s Smart DNS feature easily unblocks US Netflix. We also streamed Hulu, and Disney+ on our Apple TV without issues.
For gamers, Smart DNS is a great solution to connect your games console to a VPN server. You can find out how to use NordVPN on PS4 here.
Smart DNS is rare, even among top VPN services. We’re pleased to see that NordVPN has added it. That said, NordVPN’s Smart DNS tool is not perfect.
The biggest drawback is that Smart DNS doesn’t encrypt traffic, leaving your activity on that device exposed. Only use this feature to unblock video content, where encryption is not as necessary as highly-sensitive tasks.
VPN Router Setup
If you want to secure all the devices in your home, you can install NordVPN on your home router.
Not many routers are compatible, so we recommend buying a pre-flashed one. It’s a little expensive, but worth it if you want all (most) devices to use an encrypted VPN connection.
Amazon Fire TV Stick & Fire TV
NordVPN provides a fully-featured app for Amazon Fire TV Stick and Android TV, letting you unblock Netflix and Hulu directly on your TV.
The app is one of the most functional we’ve seen for Fire TV and Smart TVs. It includes split tunneling, protocol choice, a design tailored for TVs, and the kill switch is enabled by default.
You can also connect to NordVPN’s P2P-optimized servers from within the app, making it compatible with many Kodi add-ons.
But, the app unblocks fewer Netflix libraries than the mobile and desktop software. It only streams 18 Netflix libraries compared to the usual 20. It still works with popular libraries like Netflix US, UK, Canada, Japan, and France, though.
To date, the Chrome extension counts over 800,000 installs, and the Firefox add-on over 80,000.
These browser add-ons are similar to the desktop and mobile apps, but there’s one crucial difference: the browser extensions are proxies rather than true VPNs.
Proxy extensions only encrypt your browser traffic, leaving email apps or torrent clients unprotected.
While you can access the same countries available on the main VPN apps, you can’t drill down to city level, or make use of the specialty servers.
How to Use NordVPN’s Browser Extensions
It couldn’t be easier to set up NordVPN’s browser extensions. Just go to the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox store and install the add-on on your browser.
Once you’ve logged on you can choose a server and connect.
Both extensions include an ad-blocker and a in-built WebRTC leak blocker, to prevent IP location leaks. Both features are in the settings menu, in the top right corner.
Helpful 24/7 live chat support
NordVPN's customer service is one of the best. You have a range of support options, including an automated chatbot, 24/7 live chat, or email. We've found NordVPN's support agents are more knowledgeable than those from other VPN services.
|24/7 Live chat support||Yes|
Live chat support can be initiated from the bottom-right corner of the website. You’ll be initially greeted by the ‘NordVPN chatbot’, an automated chat agent that will attempt to answer your query.
We typically find chatbots, like Windscribe’s Garry, to be unhelpful and a waste of time. However, NordVPN’s automated agent is helpful and very good at interpreting questions.
The automated agent has a distinct advantage over human support, too. All replies were instantaneous, so we weren’t left waiting too long for an answer.
Well-informed Support Agents
For those times when you do need human support, just type “get me a human” and you’ll be passed on to a member of NordVPN’s customer service team.
Like most other top VPNs, NordVPN offers 24/7 live chat. Its support agents are very helpful and resolved our issues promptly.
In addition, NordVPN offers a large knowledge base with guides covering FAQs, device setup, and connectivity troubleshooting.
NordVPN Video Tutorials
Ease of Use
NordVPN offers the ideal balance of technical complexity and ease of use. Its apps include a lot of extra features while remaining intuitive enough for beginners. The only downside is its map interface. We'd prefer a simple server list.
How to Connect to a Server with NordVPN
How to Change Settings in NordVPN
The videos above show you how easy it is to use the NordVPN desktop client and the mobile application.
To install the apps on your device(s), download them directly from the website or the relevant app store.
NordVPN Review Summary
The Bottom Line
We recommend NordVPN as one of the fastest, safest, and overall best VPN services. If you want a quality budget VPN, then NordVPN is worth getting.
The VPN service secures your internet traffic with AES-256 encryption and safeguards your data with its verified no-logs policy.
Also, NordVPN unblocks US Netflix effortlessly, lets you torrent privately, and it bypasses geographic restrictions in over 50 countries.
Its user-friendly, feature-packed apps also make it ideal for both VPN beginners and experienced users.
All in all, NordVPN comes a close second to ExpressVPN, with one main advantage — it’s more affordable.
How Does NordVPN Compare to Other VPNs?
Here’s a table comparing NordVPN to two popular alternative VPN services, ExpressVPN and Surfshark.
Additional research by Luke Williams
Alternatives to NordVPN
ExpressVPN is our top-rated VPN, as it provides an ever-so-slightly better overall experience than NordVPN — but it's very close. Read ExpressVPN review
Surfshark is a great budget VPN, popular with streaming fans. It's cheaper than NordVPN, it unblocks 31 different Netflix libraries, and there are no connection limits. Read Surfshark review