NordVPN Review 2022: crypto security and plenty of servers

NordVPN - cover

NordVPN is considered one of the best VPNs in the industry. In fact, NordVPN became the market leader during the year 2019. In part, this is due to efforts to promote their services on major social media such as YouTube. Chances are, you’ve come across a NordVPN-sponsored video in the past year.

The company is a subsidiary of Tefinkom & Co., with the parent company’s headquarters in Panama, NordVPN and its users enjoy an unparalleled high level of freedom regarding internet legislation. Based in Panama, NordVPN has no obligation to share data between the “14 Eyes” alliance.

NordVPN was established in 2008 and the company has been working hard to prove itself as a reliable and fast VPN provider with high privacy standards ever since. NordVPN even went further and managed to bypass Netflix’s VPN defences so that its users can experience all the possibilities of a proxy network while still being able to watch American Netflix. 

In this review, we’ll discuss NordVPN’s speed, security, ease of use, server networking, and additional features like its password manager, NordPass, and its secure cloud storage, NordLocker.

NordVPN: Quick points

Pros

  • No-log policy
  • Strong encryption
  • Clean and simple user interface
  • Affordable price
  • Dedicated P2P, torrent and Tor servers
  • Dual VPN Connection
  • Dedicated IP

Cons

  • Security incident with Finnish server in 2018

NordVPN does not keep any logs. This is very good if you value your privacy. NordVPN also has servers that work with American Netflix. NordVPN is fast, has military-grade encryption levels, servers all over the world, and is reasonably priced.

You can read our full NordVPN review, or try it straight away through the button below.

Speed ​​– Is NordVPN fast?

Speed ​​is crucial for a good VPN. You don’t want a very slow internet connection when using a VPN. We tested NordVPN on multiple devices for a considerable amount of time to gauge speed. The possible loss of connection speed was tested on speedtest.net. You can see our conclusion below:

  • NordVPN is very fast
  • Speed ​​tests show a decrease in speed, but speeds remain high
  • During daily use, there is no noticeable difference in speed, not even during gameplay
  • NordVPN automatically connects to the fastest possible server available
  • Downloading P2P was very easy with NordVPN

NordVPN speed test results

NordVPN’s exceptional performance surprised us greatly. In our previous review, NordVPN’s speed didn’t compare to any other premium VPN provider. It was clear to us that this has changed. We have tested both NordVPN servers in our country and in the United States. Please note that your speed with NordVPN may vary depending on your internet speed and your location.

Speed ​​without a VPN (speedtest.net):

These were the speed test results on our network without a VPN. We will use these results as a reference and compare with the other results.

Speed ​​with a local server (speedtest.net):

These are the results of the speed test on our network connected to the NordVPN server closest to our city. They indicate a decrease in download and upload speeds, but in fact, these variations are negligible considering the overall speed.

Speed ​​with a US server (speedtest.net):

The above results demonstrate the speed achieved when connecting to the fastest server in the US. The upload speed, in particular, showed a significant decrease. However, as download speed is most important to most VPN users and was the least affected, we can still consider NordVPN’s performance to be excellent. But remember that we test based in the Netherlands. So if you are in the US, your results will be much better when connecting to a US server.

Speed ​​in daily use

Is NordVPN fast for everyday use? The answer is a big “yes”. During our testing period, we performed various day-to-day activities, browsing common websites, heavy games and downloads. Downloads, both by P2p and by dedicated platforms such as Steam, showed great speed. After these tests, we can safely say that there is no noticeable difference in speed with NordVPN and a connection without any VPN.

Most current VPN providers connect you to the fastest server available at a specific location, and NordVPN is no different. This system, combined with the wide availability of NordVPN servers, guarantees a stable and fast connection.

Security – Is NordVPN secure?

Another important part of our VPN review process is checking the provider’s security and privacy policies. Undoubtedly, this is NordVPN’s strong point. As stated earlier, NordVPN’s headquarters are in Panama. Below, you will find out why this is an advantage of this company. Additionally, let’s explore the protocols NordVPN supports, their logging policy, and the kill switch they offer.

Below you can read our conclusion on NordVPN security:

  • NordVPN’s headquarters are located in Panama
  • NordVPN offers strong 256-bit AES encryption
  • NordVPN supports several encryption protocols: OpenVPN TCP/UDP, IKEv2/IPSec and NordLynx
  • The company has a strict no-registration policy
  • You can use kill switch option for more protection
  • You only need an email address and password to create a NordVPN account

protocols

NordVPN has military-grade encryption levels. Most notably, they use encryption AES 256-bit data. This, along with its well-protected servers and excellent firewall, makes NordVPN’s security very solid.

In addition, they also support several renowned VPN protocols :

  • IKEv2/IPsec
  • OpenVPN TCP
  • OpenVPNUDP
  • NordLynx (based on Wireguard, with NAT for added security)

Fast and popular, the IKEAv2 encryption protocol uses IPSec for secure, high-quality encryption. The OpenVPN (TCP or UDP) is generally considered the most secure protocol. Therefore, we recommend using this protocol.

Recently, NordVPN added a new protocol to its portfolio, called NordLynx. This protocol, developed by NordVPN, is based on the efficient, fast and relatively new Wireguard protocol, and it looks quite promising. NordVPN combined Wireguard with its “custom dual network address translation (NAT) system” to address the issues pointed out by critics regarding Wireguard

Thus, NordVPN claims to have created a fast and secure encryption protocol. However, NordLynx is still under development, and we cannot yet draw definitive conclusions about this protocol.

The above options show that NordVPN focuses on security and privacy-oriented encryption protocols.

Records and privacy policy

NordVPN - nolog

As mentioned earlier, NordVPN is based in Panama. This country has great privacy laws, which do not oblige NordVPN to keep records on its users. There aren’t many providers like Nord that can truly claim that they don’t store user logs.

To ensure its no-logs policy and prevent hacker attacks, NordVPN operates on diskless RAM servers that do not hold any kind of confidential information. In case of hacking, there won’t be any kind of data or configuration files, so nothing to steal.

In addition, NordVPN also supports obfsproxy. This technique (Tor) is used to prevent Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), which allows the use of VPNs to not be revealed. That is, it allows users from countries like China and Turkey, where the use of VPNS is prohibited, to be able to use VPNs. NordVPN also offers IP leak protection.

Finnish server hacked

In 2019, NordVPN revealed that one of NordVPN’s Finnish servers had been hacked the year before. An unauthorized person gained access to the server’s proprietary database system.

While it was a serious issue and a big shock to everyone, NordVPN handled the situation well. No personal data or customer records were leaked as the provider does not store records. The affected server is no longer used, and NordVPN has terminated its contract with the data centre.

Since this security breach, NordVPN has done everything in its power to optimize your security. No other servers were affected. Anyway, the provider has been checking and auditing their servers constantly. In addition, they plan a full infrastructure audit and a re-audit of their anti-logging policy.

Additionally, NordVPN has joined the VPN Trust Initiative (VTI) as well as other popular providers such as Surfshark and ExpressVPN. NordVPN has also started a program that offers a bounty to anyone who finds bugs, motivating “good” hackers to look for flaws in NordVPN’s system, so they can be fixed.

Today, NordVPN uses servers with RAM memory, without disks, and it has raised the security standards of its server providers. Lastly, they are building their own network of servers, exclusively owned by NordVPN. All these actions show efforts to keep your users safe.

Despite this unfortunate episode, NordVPN remains one of the most secure Premium VPNs on the market. Its location and no-logs policy shows that NordVPN will continue to keep your personal data safe and protect your privacy.

Kill Switch (off button)

As extra protection, NordVPN also offers a Kill Switch option. This option is very similar to the kill switches of other VPN services. It ensures that no personal data is leaked in case the connection to the VPN server temporarily drops. Instead, your connection is completely blocked until the VPN connection is re-established.

Furthermore, NordVPN allows you to put some apps and programs on a special kill switch app list. In this way, these specific apps will be closed if the connection to the VPN is lost, which is very useful.

Example: if you always use the same browser for private activities, but use another one for daily browsing, you can add the first browser to the kill switch list. In this way, the first browser will be terminated as soon as the secure connection to the VPN drops, while the other browser continues to operate. You will have full control over what you can and cannot do until your VPN connection is re-established. In other words, the kill switch is extremely useful and safe.

What information does NordVPN need?

NordVPN - info

To create a NordVPN account, you just need an email and a password. You can even use a “disposable” email if you want to remain more anonymous. They don’t ask for information like phone number or address.

NordVPN also offers the option to pay with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins. This way, you can remain completely anonymous when creating your NordVPN account. However, if you choose any other form of payment, you will have to provide some of your personal information to NordVPN, such as your bank account number.

Ease of Use – Is NordVPN easy to use?

NordVPN tries to keep its programs and apps as simple as possible, but without sacrificing features and settings. They’ve created a perfectly balanced look that’s also user-friendly.

Below, you’ll learn more about NordVPN’s ease of use. In addition, we will also talk about the design of the apps and the different payment methods available.

  • NordVPN website is clear and uncluttered
  • NordVPN software is easy to install on most operating systems and devices
  • NordVPN has a large database of FAQs and manuals
  • The software looks clean and works very intuitively.
  • You can pay for a NordVPN plan with a credit card, cryptocurrencies or other options
  • NordVPN customer support is easy to reach and responds quickly

The NordVPN website

NordVPN has a simple and clean website. They use muted colours and provide enough information to the user. This combination makes it one of the best VPN sites on the web.

The personal account page is also very clear. All essential information is in the “dashboard” tab.

Installing NordVPN

Installing NordVPN is easy. From your account page, you can download programs and apps for most operating systems. You can also download the Nord installer on your device. In this way, you will only need to login and start using the service. For phones and tablets, you can download the NordVPN app directly from your app store. 

These days, even kids can download a VPN. All major VPN providers have specific apps and programs that are easy to install for all types of devices. NordVPN is no exception. Also, they have extensions for Chrome, Brave and Firefox.

NordVPN - apps

However, if you encounter any issues and are unable to install NordVPN, just check the company’s website. There, they provide manuals for installing the company’s programs and apps, among others. In addition, you can also find a guide on how to set up NordVPN to watch Netflix or ask a question if you have any questions.

NordVPN Looks and Ease of Use

The program for Windows and Mac has a wide variety of choices and installation options.

NordVPN’s software is functional and beautiful. In the app, there are different ways to select a server. First, you can choose your server location on a world map. Second, you can also select your server based on specific features like P2P downloading and watching Netflix. You can find these special servers under the “specialized servers” tab. Another option is to decide a server that is the fastest for your location via fast connection. You can also create a server list based on the country you want to stream from.

The app is stable and fast. It would be nice if the service had a speed test, so you could find the fastest server yourself. However, this feature is not much needed, as NordVPN itself can find the fast servers for you.

NordVPN - servers

In addition to the world map, you can also select your server from an alphabetical server list. If you select the country, you can choose one of the servers in that country. This way, you can manually select another server if you are blocked by some website or streaming service. The server list also shows the distance between your location and the server. In addition, they also tell you whether the server is being used by many people or not.

The NordVPN iOS app is also easy to use and has stable connections. During installation, you will need to allow the app access to your device. The app will be able to manage connections for you. Connecting to a VPN server will be quick and easy. In this app, you can also select the type of VPN server you want to use, and NordVPN will connect you to the fastest server that suits your needs.

There is virtually no difference between the mobile app and the desktop program offered by NordVPN. Both are functional, easy to use and visually alike. This gives NordVPN a distinctive look, which is very user-friendly.

NordVPN and Linux

More and more people are starting to use paid VPNs with Linux Distros. NordVPN realized this and created a variety of tutorials teaching you how to use NordVPN servers with your Linux terminal. In addition, they also trained their team to resolve any problems or questions that Linux users may have.

NordVPN’s servers can be installed on Debian, Fedora and openSUSE distros. It is also possible to connect to NordVPN servers with QubesOS and RHEL. This means that your operating system will probably be able to operate on one of your servers. Unfortunately, there’s no UI-based app for Linux, so you’ll need to configure it from the terminal. However, this is no problem for the most fanatical Linux fans.

No matter what system you use, you will first need to download files from NordVPN’s servers. They are available in .deb and .rpm formats. You can install by clicking to download and run through a package manager or by running the command in the terminal. You’ll also find some step-by-step guides for each distro on the NordVPN website.

In conclusion, it is also possible to change DNS servers on Linux to NordVPN DNS servers if you are concerned about DNS leaks.

Pricing and payment options

NordVPN has a subscription package with different prices depending on the duration of your plan. This means that if you choose a subscription for a longer period, the monthly fee will be lowered. All plans offer access to over 5500 servers worldwide and with just one subscription, you can connect up to six devices at the same time. Finally, all subscription plans offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Check out the subscription plans offered below:

NordVPN prices
  • 1 Month Plan: With this plan, you will have NordVPN services for one month. This plan is ideal for anyone who wants to try this VPN. You can subscribe to this plan for $11.95 per month.
  • 1 Year Plan: With this plan, you will be able to use NordVPN’s services for 12 months. You can subscribe to this plan for just $4.92 per month.
  • 2-year plan: To enjoy NordVPN protection for longer, you can subscribe to the 24-month plan. This subscription costs $3.71 per month.

NordVPN offers several payment options. You can pay for the subscription by credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer or UnionPay. Finally, they also have the option to pay with different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple and Monero. These options are especially interesting if you want to remain (almost) completely anonymous

Customer service

NordVPN has great customer service. If you don’t find the answer to your question in the company’s website database, you can contact them via email or chat. In this way, you will always be able to receive a quick answer to all your questions. To use the chat, you will need to enter your name and email address. This is to prevent malicious people and spammers from abusing these options.

Answers to most questions can be found on the FAQ page. When we tested the support, we noticed that it is possible to get a response via chat in just one minute. Previously, we spoke to some employees who were not very knowledgeable about all aspects of the service. 

For example, one of the agents we spoke with was unaware of the service NordVPN offers for businesses. This wasn’t an issue in our last test, but we’d like to mention it. The knowledge of the attendants about the services can still vary.

Overall, we were very pleased with NordVPN’s customer service. It is straightforward to contact them, and they offer immediate assistance.

NordVPN server network

Below you can read our conclusion about the NordVPN server network.

  • NordVPN currently has over 5500 servers in 59 countries.
  • You can get a dedicated IP address on a limited number of server locations.
  • NordVPN offers different specialized servers for extra protection, using Netflix and downloading via P2P networks.

NordVPN currently has thousands of servers in 59 countries. Unlike many other VPN providers, NordVPN’s servers are not all created equal.

There are some specialized servers that offer a double VPN connection to ensure more robust security. These servers create a connection between servers in two different countries close to your VPN server connection.

Another type of server you can choose from is “Onion over VPN” servers, which provide additional protection against DDoS attacks. With these servers, you get Tor-like protection without having to use the Tor browser.

In addition, NordVPN has servers created especially for Netflix and P2P traffic. They also offer dedicated IP servers for anyone who wants to have a static IP address. NordVPN’s server network is ideal for unblocking any restricted content online.

Number of servers and location

NordVPN has over 5500 servers spread across 59 countries. You can find the company’s servers in the following countries:

  • America: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico and the United States
  • Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Moldova, Countries Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom
  • Asia/Pacific: Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam
  • Africa, Middle East and India: India, Israel, South Africa, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates

Dedicated IP address

NordVPN - dedicated IP

NordVPN has a dedicated IP service. That means you can get dedicated IP addresses along with your NordVPN subscription. All NordVPN Dedicated IPs work with the OpenVPN protocol and cost $70 per year. You can use your dedicated IPs on up to two devices at the same time.

Would you like to get a dedicated IP with NordVPN? Then, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new NordVPN account (along with the regular account you already have).
  2. Choose a payment method.
  3. Click on the text “Have a coupon?” on the payment page and add the NordVPN coupon code “norddedicatedip”. You will now automatically receive a discount on your subscription by paying $70 per year.
  4. Complete the remaining steps in the process.
  5. Contact the NordVPN team via live chat or email and ask for your dedicated IP address.

At the time of writing, they only offer IP addresses on servers in the following server locations:

  • USA
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands
  • France

NordVPN Options

After evaluating the speed, security, ease of use, and network of NordVPN servers, we are now going to talk about some of the additional options they offer. Below, you’ll learn about those extra options that make NordVPN special.

NordVPN and Netflix

NordVPN - robot

With NordVPN, you can access your Netflix account, as well as your subscriptions with many other streaming services. Also, accessing American Netflix is straightforward. Smartplay feature makes it easy to use streaming from different countries. Just connect to the server of a certain country, for example, the United States, to have access to American Netflix content. 

Some content is specific to US and UK Netflix, meaning you will not have access to the content, for example if you are in Japan or Germany. However, with a VPN like NordVPN, you can pretend to be in the United States and thus gain access to this content.

We tested it from the Netherlands, and we were able to use Netflix without any problems. Depending on your location, you may experience some lag. If that happens, you can try different servers and see if it improves.

Netflix works hard to prevent VPNs from helping us change IP addresses. Over the past few months, we’ve noticed that Netflix sometimes notices that we’re using a proxy or VPN when we’re trying to use their services with NordVPN. 

However, when we chose another server in the NordVPN app, we were able to use streaming. Sometimes simply refreshing the page a few times can help. This can be a little irritating, but it’s certainly not the end of the world.

NordVPN and Torrents

NordVPN also has special servers for torrenting. These P2P servers allow downloading and uploading of torrents. With NordVPN’s intuitive software, you can select one of these servers and start torrenting securely and anonymously. Since most NordVPN servers are fast, the download is superfast.

NordVPN is undoubtedly a good VPN service for P2P traffic. Therefore, it is widely used by people who want to avoid fines for illegal downloads.

CyberSec

CyberSec is an additional option offered by NordVPN that blocks ads and protects you from malware, phishing and other cyber threats. This outstanding NordVPN security feature ensures that your device cannot be used in DDoS attacks or infected with malware. NordVPN really cares about your online safety.

The NordVPN extension for Chrome, Firefox and Brave

NordVPN has an intuitive extension for Chrome, Firefox and Brave. This extension basically enables HTTPS for most websites and secures traffic with CyberSec feature.

NordVPN Teams – VPN for Business

In addition to its regular VPN service for private use, NordVPN also has a business-specific service called NordVPN Teams. With NordVPN Teams, you’ll get priority support and a dedicated account manager. Also, administration is effortless, and you can request a dedicated IP for all your accounts. This package makes it extremely attractive for companies to start using a VPN to protect their data. You can get NordVPN security standard for every device in your office!

NordLocker – Secure Cloud Storage

NordVPN has its own secure cloud storage called NordLocker. NordLocker works similarly to Dropbox in the sense that it’s cloud storage that you can use to share files with others. One of the added benefits of NordLocker is that you can also use it as an encrypted storage locker. 

Everything in NordLocker is encrypted, and you can even use NordLocker to store encrypted copies of your other files. You currently get 3 GB if you use NordLocker for free, but you can upgrade to 500 GB if you use NordLocker premium.

Interested in NordLocker? You can add NordLocker at checkout when purchasing NordVPN, or you can get it standalone by going to the NordLocker website by clicking the button below.

NordPass – password manager

NordVPN also has its own password manager, NordPass. This password manager is easy to use and provides users with a simple tool to manage and control their passwords. NordPass can also be used to generate secure passwords, so you don’t have to use the same password on different websites.

Want to try NordPass? You can add it to your cart when you get a NordVPN subscription, or you can click the button below to visit the NordPass website and get it separately from NordVPN’s other tools.

Conclusion – Our NordVPN Experience

Overall, we really like NordVPN. Its no-logs policy is solid and its wide selection of servers makes it very attractive to any user. Also, the VPN is perfect for being completely anonymous online. NordVPN has many extra options to improve your online security, which definitely makes them the most secure premium VPN service. 

Furthermore, it comes with several options to make your internet experience even better, allowing you to unlock the libraries of different streaming services. They offer this remarkable service for a more than reasonable price, which really makes it one of our favourites.

NordVPN compared

Compared to other VPNs, NordVPN does very well. NordVPN is not only decently priced, but it is also one of the best VPNs, period. If you want to find out how good NordVPN is compared to other top VPNs, take a look at the articles below:

NordVPN vs. ExpressVPN
NordVPN vs CyberGhost
NordVPN vs. Surfshark

NordVPN: Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for a quick answer to your NordVPN question? Take a quick look below. Your question might be in our NordVPN FAQ! Click on one of the questions to see the answer.

No, unfortunately NordVPN does not offer a free version. However, NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try the service for 30 days.

Also, free VPNs don’t always compare to paid VPN options. Generally, free VPNs have data and/or speed limits, not being the best option for watching streaming, for example.

Still want to try a free VPN? Then check out our article: The Best Free VPNs. Where we talk about the best free VPNs.

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs when it comes to security. This provider only uses OpenVPN TCP and OpenVPN UDP. According to several cybersecurity experts, these encryption protocols are the most secure VPN protocols today. 

In addition, NordVPN’s anti-logging policy provides the highest level of privacy. Lastly, NordVPN offers a number of extra security features such as the kill switch, dual VPN connection, and Onion over Tor.

NordVPN works well with Netflix and allows you to watch content from multiple countries on Netflix. So, you can use NordVPN to watch the American version of Netflix when you are abroad for work or pleasure, or watch the Italian version of Netflix, for example.

But in case you encounter any problem accessing Netflix for whatever reason, you can try connecting to another server, contact NordVPN support, try some hidden server or a dedicated IP address.

For sure. In fact, NordVPN offers unique P2P servers, optimized for peer-to-peer traffic, for this purpose. You’ll find these servers in the NordVPN app’s main menu (on the left).

Yes, NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses in the following countries: United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands and France. To get a dedicated IP, you will have to create a new account with a special coupon code and then contact the NordVPN support team to activate your dedicated IP.

NordVPN is a pretty affordable VPN provider, especially considering the quality and amount of extra features on offer. You can subscribe to NordVPN for as little as $3.29 per month.