NordVPN Review (2020) – Is it safe & worth the price?

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
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  • Your online safety depends on using a VPN, so find all about one that serves over 14 million users.
  • We are talking about NordVPN. It combines a mix of advanced client-side features, so its leading position among VPN providers isn’t a surprise.  
  • The ever-changing VPN industry is challenging, so visit this VPN Tools & Guides section for more tips.
  • Bookmark our Apps and Software Review Hub if you need further guidance for making smart choices.
Find all about NordVPN

Using a VPN is the best way to ensure that your online activities aren’t monitored. As you most likely know, your traffic is routed through an encrypted tunnel to a server fully controlled by the VPN provider.

Since the traffic is exiting the VPN server, your computer shows up as having the IP address of the said server, masking your location, and keeping you safe from prying eyes and snooping Wi-Fi hotspots.

Moreover, a powerful VPN can help you enjoy streaming media or bypass geographic restrictions on your favorite website.

If you want to make the best choice, don’t hesitate to take a closer look at NordVPN. You’ve clearly come to the right place for that.

What is NordVPN?

NordVPN

Developed by Tefincom & Co., S.A., NordVPN is a feature-rich VPN provider that offers a robust collection of advanced client-side features, a slick interface, and unmatched security and encryption.

Transparency and innovation are both essential concepts when it comes to NordVPN. This VPN service excels at helping the VPN industry follow its course and mature robustly through the use of expert knowledge while serving over 14 million users worldwide.

That’s possible thanks to a network of 5500 servers in no less than 59 countries and the numbers are growing.

The server list has recently expanded and that’s good news for a VPN’s speed, as long as more servers lead to less crowding.

As for the wide variety of locations, this works in your favor as well. There’s simply a higher chance you’ll find one nearby.

How to use NordVPN?

There are various ways to connect to a NordVPN server. In fact, you can always do so with just a couple of clicks.

  1. Make a choice by using the map
make a choice by using the map

The quickest way to connect to a server is by using the map with all locations marked. All these countries include NordVPN servers, so make a choice right away by clicking on a location.

If necessary, move the map around by dragging it with your mouse button.

2. Pick a server from the list of countries

pick a server

If using the map isn’t your cup of tea, don’t hesitate to click on Countries in the top-left part of the interface.

You may now choose the desired country by simply clicking on its respective entry.

3. Select a server within the desired country

select a server within the desired country

You can use also use the attributes of a country of your choice as a filtered measure. They provide you with the following information: Region and Server.

4. Auto-connect on Wi-Fi

Auto-connect on Wi-Fi

In order to go one step further and skip the hassle of manually deciding for a country or a specific server, click Settings in the upper-left part of the app.

You simply need to look for the Auto-connect on Wi-Fi option and toggle the switch On.

5. Obfuscated servers (OpenVPN)

obfuscated servers

NordVPN’s obfuscated servers use special algorithms to appear that you perform regular Internet browsing activities, with no VPN involved whatsoever.

They are ideal for countries with restricted access, so feel free to go to Settings and locate the Obfuscated servers option.

Turn it on and simply click the On button in the upper part of the window to connect to an obfuscated NordVPN server.

After being successfully connected to a server, the bar at the top of the page should say that your status is Protected.

your status is Protected

At this point, your IP address cannot be tracked back to your identity and actual location. However, do note that your connection safety depends on the password you use.

As with all other online accounts, using a strong, unique password is extremely important.

How fast is NordVPN?

Let’s continue with the obvious question: is NordVPN fast? In September 2020, AV-TEST performed a thorough investigation of some popular VPN solutions and we’d like to tell you more about their results.

The chart representing the measured download performances in the US reveals that NordVPN is above the rest of the products, outperforming the second-placed VPN by more than a quarter of the download speed.

measured download performances
The average download speed in Mbps in the US for local VPN connections compared to the unencrypted connection and industry average

When it comes to the average US upload speed, NordVPN is again leading with approx. 320 Mbps, showing that NordVPN indeed provides the fastest VPN product in the market.

average US upload speed
The average upload speed in Mbps in the US for local VPN connections compared to the unencrypted connection and industry average

That’s possible thanks to the WireGuard-based protocol NordLynx, a technology that delivers incredibly fast downloads and near-instant connection times, without compromising your privacy.

All these make NordVPN the ideal choice for Netflix watchers all over the world. Just make sure to use the servers closest to your current location and you’ll also find this VPN’s speeds both consistent and reliable.

Therefore, yes, NordVPN is fast and recommended for streaming, torrenting, as well as normal browsing.

Is NordVPN safe?

You need to know from the start that NordVPN is a no-log service, therefore it will never track or share your private information when you’re connected to one of the VPN’s servers.

NordVPN takes the no-logs policy extremely seriously. They recently had PWC Switzerland audit them and it turned into a new validation that this service never puts users at risk.

At the moment, NordVPN utilizes the following VPN protocols:

  • OpenVPN – that’s a popular and extremely versatile protocol that can be used on both TCP and UDP ports; since it’s open-source, its code has been scrutinized for vulnerabilities
  • IKEv2/IPsec – all users’ details are kept protected since this protocol employs strong cryptographic algorithms and keys
  • WireGuard/NordLynx – that’s the latest protocol in the VPN industry; it’s free, open-source, and surprisingly fast

Moreover, NordVPN uses AES with 256-bit keys recommended by the NSA for securing classified data. So, NordVPN isn’t just our recommendation as the most reliable and modern VPN service, but we also rank it as being one that takes your privacy seriously.

After the passage of a new national security law affecting Hong Kong, let us remind you that countless VPNs announced their intention to remove their server presence from the city.

This wasn’t the case with NordVPN. Once again, the company addressed the problem with the utmost responsibility.

All NordVPN servers are either diskless or encrypted, so the users’ privacy is guaranteed even in the event of an unfortunate physical takeover.

No less important, in order to increase security, NordVPN has started running its first colocated servers, which are owned and maintained exclusively by NordVPN.

These servers from Finland are just a glimpse of what’s to come. This practice of housing privately-owned servers will continue and more of NordVPN’s servers will be under their ownership by the end of 2020.

What is CyberSec on NordVPN?

CyberSec

One key feature of NordVPN is CyberSec, which you will be prompted to add immediately after the install.

While it is optional, do consider that CyberSec is an advanced technology solution that can play a huge role in ensuring secure access to the network.

CyberSec can keep you safe from cyber threats since it compares websites you’re browsing with known blacklists and will block your access if a threat is already confirmed.  

Even more, your device won’t participate in DDoS attacks, even if malware has already begun to infect it. More precisely, it will eliminate connection and communication between the device you use and the control server of the botnet.

Finally, CyberSec is your chance to forget all about the annoying pop-ups and targeted ads that invade your screen.

Is NordVPN worth the price?

Users worldwide take advantage of the well-distributed NordVPN server fleet, strong privacy policy, and countless intuitive features. Chances are you look for these as well.

There are desktop applications for Windows, mac OS, and Linux waiting for you in French, German, and Spanish, along with mobile apps for both Android and iOS.

NordVPN also provides customer support assistance – in German and French as well – to answer all your questions regarding general information about the included features, billing, and connectivity.

A single subscription lets you use six devices simultaneously, including your smart TV and router, making it a good value for a household with lots of members and personal devices.

And if you’re disappointed with the service or if it simply doesn’t work for you, do keep in mind that you have up to 30 days to get your money back. That’s why NordVPN is a great choice.

NordVPN

NordVPN

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That’s what NordVPN is all about – a service with the fastest speeds and strong security; a chance to enjoy a newer, better VPN experience. Are you ready for the change as well?