Last updated on November 23rd, 2019 at 08:00 am
Using a VPN is not just a trend these days but it is a necessity, looking at the cyber attacks that users face while browsing the internet. The Internet is a wide web which makes you prone to attacks by malware and viruses if you are not protected. VPN is a leading service that ensures your protection from such threats. In simple words, Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a private network service which encrypts your data through a safe tunnel which is protected by prying eyes of hackers, Internet Service Providers, Government surveillance etc. A good VPN also provides you a clean interface blocking irritating ads and marketing websites and makes your browsing experience simple and clean.
NordVPN is a leading VPN service provider, which is quite popular for its added features and improvements it keeps on doing to its service to make its service one of the best in the race. NordVPN encrypts data with industry-level encryption which is used by top security agencies worldwide. It allows compatibility with various popular devices and operating systems.
Having checked the speed and performance of its servers it can be said that NordVPN lives up to its expectations and we would definitely recommend you to use it. It has a vast number of servers which offer great speed and performance worldwide. You can also choose specific protocols which offer different features according to your need.
- Related: ExpressVPN latest Review [Updated]
NordVPN Review 2020
NordVPN offers its vast number of features for all three plans billed monthly, yearly and for two years. Comparing it with other popular VPN services it is costly. You can have a look at other VPN who offer a lot of features but for a low price. But if you wish to purchase it, which you can consider looking at its latest features, it is very easy to install and set up. You simply need to choose your desired plan, create a NordVPN account and make the payment. You can make payment through Paypal, Credit Cards such as Visa, Mastercard etc. You can also make payment using cryptocurrencies and various other payment methods. You also get a 30 Days money back guarantee, if in case you are not satisfied by its performance and features. The 3 plans offered by NordVPN are listed below:
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- 1 Month Plan – Billed for $11.95 per month
- 1 Year Plan – Billed for $69 for a year in total and pay $5.75 per month
- 2 Year Plan – Billed for $79 for 2 years in total and pay $3.29 per month
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NordVPN offers a vast number of Servers
A Virtual Private Network uses its servers to allow a private and safe connection to its users. NordVPN has a large network of servers but the number of countries it has its servers in is comparatively low then other leading VPN services such as ExpressVPN. NordVPN has 4581 servers in 62 countries. NordVPN has 4581 servers in total distributed in the following regions:
- The United States of America – 2117 servers
- Europe – 2062 servers
- Asia Pacific – 373 servers
- Africa, the Middle East, and India – 54 servers
NordVPN uses its smart algorithm with which you get options that best suit your need, in the case of speed, privacy, and security. NordVPN also offers a set of specialty server types, from which you get to set server preference according to your choice. Following are the type of servers you can choose from:-
- Dedicated IP servers: In case of regular VPN users, they are provided with an IP address which is replaced with an original IP address of users to hide their information and make them anonymous for others. This assigned IP address by VPN is shared by different users who can be assessing that server of that location but in case of dedicated IP servers, NordVPN provides its users with a unique IP address which is not shared by anyone and is used explicitly by that user alone by adding an extra fee to the user. Dedicated IP servers work only with OpenVPN protocols and are currently offered by NordVPN in the United States (Buffalo, Los Angeles, Dallas, Matawan), Germany (Frankfurt), United Kingdom (London), Netherlands (Amsterdam). One major benefit of using a dedicated IP server is that a shared IP address can easily be blacklisted while accessing region-restricted content but that is not the case with Dedicated IP address which is a single unique IP address and its chances of getting blacklisted are very low.
- Double VPN servers: Opting for Double VPN server in NordVPN is completely free of cost. But it is only recommended if you are looking for a very high level of security. Using Double VPN server surely slows down the speed but again it is used when security is the main preference. Using Double VPN server is like using two servers at a time which means that first your IP address and related information goes through the encrypted tunnel of one server and then the new IP address generated by the new server is again diverted through next server where it is changed into another new IP address. This means that you are getting double security at a time and the second server has no clue of the original information as it is encrypted by the first server. There are a number of server combinations available from which you can choose from such as, UK-France, Taiwan-Hong Kong etc.
- Obfuscated Servers: With the increasing privacy that VPN provides to users over there information, there are many government agencies and companies which want to restrict this and try to block or blacklist IP address as soon as they find that they are being used by VPN users. Though this update is not found in Windows, NordVPN is trying to make it available for Mac users too. Obfuscated servers disguise VPN address and they are visible as ordinary HTTPS traffic, which allows its users to bypass strict restrictions that few countries implement on their servers. This feature is basically designed to get through the restrictions of countries that strictly control all the online content that is being available to its citizens.
- Onion Over VPN Servers: Using Onion Network with VPN adds to the privacy and online security. Using the Onion Router (Tor) alone can leave loopholes to your security. In some restricted countries, using Tor is not legal and there are various government networks and ISP that can be set to trace the user using it which makes it risky in censored countries. When a user uses Onion Over NordVPN, then he gets double protection as the Internet service provider cannot detect the Tor network and the users IP address is also protected after all the traffic exits through the Tor network. This is recommended for those who set security and privacy as there first preference.
- P2P Servers: P2P servers are the servers connected with pear-to-pear traffic. NordVPN gives its users options from a wide range of servers optimized for P2P. P2P is basically designed to make sharing of information through files convenient for users. It acts as an open-source network in which you get free access to information and you can add files yourself for others to use on various platforms and of high capacity (large size files). Using a P2P set no Bandwidth limit for your data offers great speed for downloads with securing your identity.
Let’s take a look at NordVPNs security
The major purpose of using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is to safeguard the user’s security and privacy. Whether you are using a public Wi-fi in the airport, metro station, cafe house etc, your VPN service ensures that you are safe from prying eyes of hackers. Adding to it, you are able to anonymously browse the internet, which means you cannot be tracked. Your internet traffic is encrypted with a high level of security which makes it impossible for cybercriminals to decrypt or decode. The security protocols and encryption types are discussed below:-
- High Level of Encryption: NordVPN is among the top rated VPN services which provide high-end encryption. NordVPN has 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption which is also used by the best security and government agencies to safeguard the valuable data. If a VPN service is using AES 256-bit encryption it means that the user’s data is sent through an encrypted tunnel which uses 2^256 coding combinations to make it impossible for anyone to decode. We highly recommend you to choose VPN service which offers 256-bit AES encryption specifically.
- NordVPN Security Protocols: NordVPN automatically selects protocols for the user according to speed and privacy settings. You can also manually choose the protocol you want to use according to your preference. NordVPN offers IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN as the major security protocols. IKEv2/IPsec – NordVPN offers IKEv2/IPsec as default protocol for NordVPN apps for iOS and macOS. IKEv2 stands for Internet Key Exchange Version 2 and IPsec stands for Internet Protocol Security. These are two protocols used as a single combination by NordVPN add to security, speed, and privacy of users. This combination is among the best for using a VPN service. When a connection to the internet is lost while using this protocol, the user is automatically connected again when the connection is received back without any need to reconnect or do any extra efforts. You can easily switch between networks while using this protocol combination. But it has one drawback, as it is the latest feature that is used by fewer, it supports fewer platforms then the popular L2TP/IPsec combination. But it is better and safer than any other combination as for now. Another Protocol offered by NordVPN is OpenVPN. OpenVPN is the most used protocol by leading VPN services. OpenVPN uses open-source network as the name suggests and works with both TCP and UDP ports for transmission. It is compatible with Android and iOS and is therefore used by a lot of users. It is also capable of bypassing firewalls. Other protocols offered by NordVPN are PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) and L2TP/IPsec (Layer-to-Tunneling-Protocol/Internet Protocol Security). PPTP is the basic and very first protocol which was used by VPN services. Its advantage is its speed and its disadvantage is that it is less secure as compared to other protocols so it is not recommended for users for general use. Talking about the L2TP/IPsec protocol, it is recommended for those users for whom security is a major preference then speed as it encrypts the data twice, which slows down the speed. L2TP used along with IPsec gives it a major advantage as it offers maximum security to users together. If IKEv2/IPsec is not supported by devices and servers of users then only NordVPN recommends the L2TP/IPsec protocol because when comparing it with IKEv2/IPsec, it is definitely not what we would recommend you to use. It depends upon the user preference and the devices that which VPN protocol can be used and which is the best among the choices.
Create a safe online environment for browsing by enabling CyberSec by NordVPN
Whenever we log into websites which are used particularly for marketing content, we come across a lot of pop-ups and ads featuring on our screen again and again. This is quite annoying for users. CyberSec is a new additional feature added by NordVPN for its users to disable all the marketing content which annoys us. This is an optional feature and has to be enabled in the setting section if you want to enjoy its benefits. It has other benefits, such as blocking access to any potential website which can affect our system with virus and malware attacks. It also protects our system from hacks by cybercriminals. The working of CyberSec is easy to understand. When a user searches a website, the browser asks DNS server for access, when we are using CyberSec, the website we have searched is looked upon for malicious content or viruses from the list of unsecured websites, and if it is safe it is allowed access but if not then access is denied but in any case if you still wish to reach the website you need to disable the CyberSec feature. We have explained in detail about its features below:-
- Disables the irritating ads: We regularly search for a lot of content on the internet, and because of it most of the advertising websites we happen to have viewed enables ads and irritating pop-ups on our screen when are very difficult to ignore. This also ads load on our data and affects speed for browsing. When we use the CyberSec feature, all these ads and marketing content gets automatically blocked and we can enjoy a clean browsing session.
- Prevent Botnet Control: Let’s make it easy to understand. A group of devices connected to the internet which are affected by malware and are controlled by a host without the knowledge of the owner of the device is called a Botnet control. The devices being controlled by hackers are referred to as bot and the attackers are referred to as Bot Masters. The bots are used for man criminal activities such as theft of information, spreading virus, etc. Using a CyberSec mechanism disables all these activities even when a system is already affected by a virus. When CyberSec detects any such activity it immediately disconnects the connection between the ‘Command and Control” server of botnets and your device. This saves you from any further attack or leak of information. This is really a great feature added by NordVPN as detecting Botnet is very difficult as they run without information of users.
- Protection against virus, malware, cyber-attack: NordVPN is equipped with CyberSec to protect users against websites containing malware, spyware, viruses etc. It completely blocks the virus attacks by cutting the connection completely with the websites as soon as it finds out the threat.
NordVPN No Logs Policy
Benefits of NordVPNs Automatic Kill Switch
Drop in internet connection is a common issue that most of us face even if we are connected to the fastest service providers, but we cannot say that it is same for anyone and how frequently it happens. The kill switch technology saves the users if in case the connection is lost while browsing the internet and using NordVPN. In general, case, if internet connection fails the user’s information and activity log is instantly public to Internet Service Provider or comes under governmental surveillance while using a VPN (which does not provide Kill switch feature). What happens is that all the traffic which was earlier encrypted through a tunnel after connection lost automatically connects directly to ISP and is not encrypted. This happens without the information of the user. While the user thinks that he is safe while he is using a VPN, what actually is happening in the background is that he can be easily tracked down by ISP or by government agencies having strict rules for watching censored content. NordVPN offers the kill switch feature in macOS and Windows Operating System. In case of a connection drop out, the user is instantly cut off from any connectivity to the unprotected server. There are two ways you can choose. You can either choose to disconnect the connection to the device at once when connection drops or you can choose to disconnect certain chosen apps when connection falls. the choice is yours according to your preference. This protects the user’s privacy until a secure VPN connection is restored.
Connect 6 Devices at a time with NordVPN
With the leading advancements in technology, the behavior pattern of the users has also been changed. Earlier one user was limited to one device at a time, but now users access multiple devices at a time such as phones, laptops, tablets etc. and a user wants all its information in the devices to stay safe while using the internet. This is what most VPN services do not offer. Some of the best VPN services are limited to 3-4 connections at a time but NordVPN offers 6 simultaneous connections at a time with one account. But one thing you need to understand is that you have to use different protocols while connecting to the same server, which means that using on server and 4 different protocols you can connect your 4 devices at a time and using another server and 2 different protocols you can connect your remaining 2 devices. But in general use users connect to 3-4 devices at a time so connecting 6 devices is a leisure but is not frequently used. NordVPN supports all major devices and operating systems such as Android, Windows, macOS, Firefox, Android TV, Chrome, iOS, iPhone, iPad.
What did we find from DNS Leak Test?
Domain Name System abbreviated as DNS is a system through which all the domain names we search for are translated into IP address which leads the users to the information they are searching for as all the traffic is routed through the DNS server. It is done because we cannot remember all the numbers and IP address and it will become difficult for users if we search the web with IP address rather then domain names. So this is actually done to make things simple. When we are using a VPN server, it is required that all our traffic is routed through that server of the VPN which ensures our privacy and secrecy but in some cases rather than using the VPN server all our traffic is routed through the default DNS server, which is known as DNS leak. While the user is ensured that his information is perfectly safe, what happens in the background is that all the activity is recorded by the DNS server or the ISP who are linked with it. This is a major threat in terms of privacy and security leak of users. We have tested NordVPN for DNS leak and for so far the results are negative. Every time we tested through different devices and in none of the tests our real IP address or location was seen. thus we can say that NordVPN is absolutely safe in terms of DNS leak in our NordVPN review test. You can easily check for yourself by taking the DNS Leak Test to ensure that your information is safe.
Avoid Bandwidth Throttling and enjoy fast streaming for Netflix, Hulu etc
You must have faced slow download speeds and video streaming speeds for particular websites or at particular times of the day, this is due to the fact that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is keeping a check on your activities and ISP can be controlling the speed of your browsing activities this is known as Bandwidth throttling. Using NordVPN lets you avoid Bandwidth throttling as all your traffic goes through an encrypted tunnel through VPN protected servers and your ISP cannot control the speed. You can enjoy your favorite shows on Netflix, Hulu etc. Using NordVPN you can easily access any of the servers listed below:-
- Netflix US
- Netflix Canada
- Netflix Japan
- Netflix Netherlands
SmartPlay with NordVPN
NordVPN is popular for adding the latest features to its gallery and SmartPlay is among them. SmartPlay is inbuilt in the default setting for all the devices using the NordVPN app. It allows the users to view all the censored content and unblock websites which are not allowed by the countries censor board. It is a great feature added by NordVPN which makes things quite simple for its users. NordVPN is continuously improvising its features and is a growing service which you can give a try.
Enjoy high speed with NordVPN
It is often seen that when we use a VPN while browsing the internet, our browsing speed is seen to slow down when compared to regular browsing session without using VPN and being directly connected to the ISP. This can be due to the protocols that we have selected for browsing according to our preference. If we prefer speed to security we can choose the fastest protocol like PPTP but if we prefer security and privacy over speed we will definitely compromise with speed using the double security servers which encrypt our data twice in order to make it absolutely safe. NordVPN also has a great advantage if your ISP controls your speed and slows it for a session of browsing you can ditch that by activating NordVPN which encrypts data through the private server and makes it impossible for decoding so that ISP cannot control your speeds which leads to high speeds for browsing. So it depends upon different factors but using a VPN service has a great advantage then being unsafe while connecting to the internet.
Speed Test for NordVPN
Before NordVPN speed test
Speed test after Switching NordVPN
Does NordVPN really offer 24/7 Customer Support?
When using a VPN for the first time there are a lot of small problems that we encounter like which VPN to choose from, how to set up or choose protocols or which servers to connect to while streaming Netflix. In that case, every user wants an instant support to resolve these small issues. Taking about Netflix, it offers us three type of support for our queries and each of them is responsive in there own way.
- Connect through Live Chat (for instant support use live chat )
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org (for specific details choose email, but it can take time to respond back)
- Make use of the Contact form (send your queries through the contact form, this can also take some time to respond back, go for it if you are not in a hurry for an instant response).
Do we recommend NordVPN?
Yes! we recommend NordVPN to our readers. As one of the top rated VPN with cheaper in price when compared to its competitors. After reading this NordVPN review, we hope you are quite satisfied with NordVPN features. Don’t forget to take advantage of a 77% discount for this month.