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NordVPN Review

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

NordVPN strikes a great balance between privacy and speed to be become of the very best VPNs around.

What we like
  • Fast speeds - 74Mbps 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 62 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 a huge number of location it’s sure to satisfy 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 the same features, meaning you can focus on the price – the longer you sign up for, the less you pay per month.

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. The free trial gives you full access to the service for seven days but it does ask for payment details, meaning if you don’t cancel within the week you’ll be automatically upgraded to the annual plan.

The money-back period is generous, although it’s not as hassle-free as the no-questions-asked policy of ExpressVPN, for example. You’ll have to go through a troubleshooting process with a customer support agent before you get your refund, and you won’t receive a refund if you have violated the terms of service.

Take note that gift card purchases via the App Store or iTunes are not eligible for refunds.

Payment Options

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

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:73.71 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:24.60 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:142 ms
  • Download Speed Average:266.62 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:172.29 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:289.42 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:73.31 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:300.72 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:173.76 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:225.38 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:137.22 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:4 ms
  • Download Speed Average:264.41 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:168.35 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:3 ms
  • Download Speed Average:212.13 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:112.60 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:4 ms
  • Download Speed Average:280.50 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:188.59 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:91.23 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:30.85 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:97 ms
  • Download Speed Average:169.05 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:53.64 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:2 ms
  • Download Speed Average:133.61 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:50.70 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:16 ms
  • Download Speed Average:26.18 Mbps
    Upload Speed Average:4.63 Mbps
    Ping Time Average:126 ms

NordVPN is very fast, especially on local connections, the best of which reached a phenomenal average speed of 301Mbps.

Average download speeds from UK to US were 50Mbps – enough to handle anything across multiple devices.

Some more distant connections were brilliant, such as San Francisco to Sydney (49Mbps), but others were much slower, particularly connecting out from Australia and Canada.

Latency was also very low at only 2ms for users in Amsterdam and Tokyo and 3ms in Paris, making NordVPN a brilliant choice for streamers and gamers.

Average local upload speeds of over 106Mbps are some of the fastest we’ve seen in our tests, making NordVPN very attractive for P2P users. Local connections in London, Amsterdam and Paris 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

62Countries62Countries
90+Cities90+Cities
5,200+IP Addresses5,200+IP Addresses

NordVPN’s server network is neither vastly expansive nor constrictively small. 62 countries provides enough of a choice that you won’t struggle to find a suitable location, but equally there are providers out offering a great deal more – HideMyAss!, for example, has over 190 countries.

NordVPN operates a very large number of individual servers at just over 5,200. Your excitement should be dampened by the relatively limited number of IP addresses on offer, compared to rival networks, though.

A recent software update has introduced the option to drill down to city level in a handful of popular countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the US.

You can find the complete list of NordVPN server locations by country and purpose on its website below.

Platforms & Devices

Apps

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

NordVPN offers a decent range of custom apps for various devices including Microsoft Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and Linux. It’s also very easy to install it at router level, covering your whole network of devices at once.

Browser Extensions

Chrome LogoChrome
Firefox LogoFirefox

NordVPN also offers proxy extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. The add-ons for Chrome and Firefox are super easy to download and add to your browser, but some manual configuration is required for Safari.

They all feature a WebRTC Leak Blocker – an extremely useful tool to prevent your true IP address being exposed.

While these encrypt browser traffic, they aren’t true VPN extensions nor do they offer the same features as the desktop client. They’re definitely a useful bonus feature, though.

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

NordVPN’s set-up guides are super easy to follow and include helpful screenshots to give you a better idea of what you should be doing.

Streaming & Torrenting

NordVPN is one of our top choices for reliable access to all major streaming services. Throughout all our regular re-tests we are yet to experience any issues with accessing Netflix whatsoever.

All you need to do is connect to the general US server location – no need to select a specific city-level server as it automatically chooses the best one for you. Watching BBC iPlayer is just as easy through its UK servers.

Subscribers have also commented on how well it works with Hulu, HBO, Sky and Now TV, too.

It’s a good choice for Kodi users and torrenters as P2P traffic is permitted on a large number of servers, massively reducing the risk of slow speeds or congestion.

Encryption & Security

NordVPN is super-secure and privacy-focused. You only get one protocol on the desktop app by default, OpenVPN, but it’s our protocol of choice. Others can be manually installed if you want them, which is a nice option for power users.

We love the VPN kill switch feature which terminates your internet connection if the VPN connection is interrupted, preventing your true IP address from being exposed. NordVPN also operate its own DNS servers to ensure that your traffic is never routed through third-party servers, keeping it protected at all times.

Protection against DNS and WebRTC (through the browser extensions) leaks is also a big bonus and not something we see too often.

For an extra layer of privacy it also offers Double VPN or Tor over VPN, providing you with an extra layer of encryption for when you are dealing with more sensitive information.

Protocol
  • IKEv2/IPSec
  • L2TP/IPSec
  • OpenVPN (TCP/UDP)
  • PPTP
  • SSTP
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. If that’s the case, you will need to go through some more complex manual set-up to use the L2TP protocol.

It’s also worth noting that this is the only way to access obfuscation on iOS.

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

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

Privacy

Logging Policy

NordVPN operates with strictly zero-logs, which it sets out in one of the most simple and concise privacy policies we’ve seen.

From the moment you connect to any of its servers your device is no longer visible to your ISP, third-party snoopers or cyber criminals. Most importantly none of your activity is monitored, logged or passed on to third parties.

The only thing NordVPN monitors is its server loads, which is essential to maintain its excellent levels of performance. It also uses this information in order to recommend you the best server based on your needs and location.

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

NordVPN’s range of custom apps provide users of all platforms with a slick, simple experience, and feature nice little touches that sets the service apart from other providers.

Additional options can be found in the settings menu, with even more advanced settings tucked away at the bottom – we love that the app prompts you not to change these unless you know what you’re doing.

The mobile apps are slick and include some great privacy extras that protect you against DNS leaks, malware, phishing attempts, and DDoS attacks. Manual configuration of other devices is kept simple and comes with comprehensive tutorials.

Getting Started

Installation and set-up are super-smooth and done in a matter of minutes, making it easy even if you have never downloaded a VPN before. Whatever platform you’re using, the NordVPN website provides a series of comprehensive set-up guides for lots of different devices.

The process is as simple as downloading the relevant software from the site and following the prompts given to you by the installation wizard. Should you get stuck, you can always refer to the comprehensive support section, which makes it really easy to find out what to do next.

  • 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, covering a variety of potential issues and providing a range of possible solutions should any problems arise.

We would like to see faster responses to customer support emails, which can be slow, but the quality of the answers makes up for it.

The Bottom Line

What we like
  • Reliable, fast performance with speeds of up to 301Mbps
  • 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 62 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 322 reviews

  1. 5 star
     0% 
    (248)
  2. 4 star
     0% 
    (67)
  3. 3 star
     0% 
    (4)
  4. 2 star
     0% 
    (2)
  5. 1 star
     0% 
    (1)

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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 322 Reviews
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  1.  100% 

    Much easier

    For me everything became much easier when I started using Nordvpn, especially watching Youtube. So now I do not have any problems watching videos that are not available in my country.

  2.  80% 

    Great VPN But Slow At Start

    Nord VPN Has great features but in the desktop version it start very slow some times it takes about 3 minute to open the app and unlike express vpn it doesnt offer any speed or ping test

  3.  100% 

    Loyal customer

    I do not understand a lot about VPNs, but if it unblocks pages and apps that I want to reach it is perfect for me. And Nordvpn does that, so I am loyal customer for more than a year.

See all 322 NordVPN user reviews