NordVPN

Unbiased Review and Comparison of May 2018

Visit NordVPN Website
Total Score: 9.3
Rate it!(4553)
  • Poor(132)
  • Average(322)
  • Good(97)
  • Great(5445)
  • Excellent(577)

Highlights

blueOKicon Huge network of global servers
blueOKicon Reliable access to lots of sites
blueOKicon Servers specially optimized for fast streaming and more

Rating for ExpressVPN

  • Privacy
    9.6
  • Speed
    10
  • Location
    8.5
  • Usability
    9.0
  • Support
    8.9
  • Value
    9.5

Recommended for

  • Privacy
    With no logging, double VPN and Tor over VPM options, privacy is not something you need to worry about. It even has a kill switch!
  • Streaming
    There are specially optimized servers with options to stream from dozens of locations across lots of websites.
  • Access & Travel
    With its private and reliable servers, you can travel will NordVPN and access websites anywhere.

Summary

If you are looking for a great all-round VPN and are happy to pay for it, NordVPN is definitely one we would recommend. It has a great, solid design with strong security, high levels of privacy, great customer service and you can easily access a large number of key websites. It is an intuitive and no-fuss VPN solution with which you can get going in a matter of minutes.

Top NordVPN plans for May 2018

  • 1 Month
    $11.95
    per month
    blueOKiconServers across 60 countries
    blueOKiconLive chat support 24/7
    blueOKicon6 simultaneous connections
    VIEW PLAN
    SAVE
    0%
  • 3 Years
    $11.95
    $2.75
    per month
    blueOKiconServers across 60 countries
    blueOKiconLive chat support 24/7
    blueOKicon6 simultaneous connections
    VIEW PLAN
    SAVE
    77%
  • 1 Year
    $11.95
    $5.75
    per month
    blueOKiconServers across 60 countries
    blueOKiconLive chat support 24/7
    blueOKicon6 simultaneous connections
    VIEW PLAN
    SAVE
    52%
1 Month
$11.95
per month
blueOKiconServers across 60 countries
blueOKiconLive chat support 24/7
blueOKicon6 simultaneous connections
VIEW PLAN
SAVE
0%
3 Years
$11.95
$2.75
per month
blueOKiconServers across 60 countries
blueOKiconLive chat support 24/7
blueOKicon6 simultaneous connections
VIEW PLAN
SAVE
77%
1 Year
$11.95
$5.75
per month
blueOKiconServers across 60 countries
blueOKiconLive chat support 24/7
blueOKicon6 simultaneous connections
VIEW PLAN
SAVE
52%

NordVPN Overview

NordVPN is based in Panama, a place which is particularly friendly when it comes to privacy; you're safe from the prying eyes of the government here. It is a VPN which is pretty strong all-round, where great emphasis is placed on the security features of the VPN. These security features do not come at the expensive of any speed, reliability or performance. In addition to this, the price is super reasonable and is lightyears ahead many competitors. With all this being said, there is a limited number of security protocols and these aren't the easiest to access; they require configuration on part of the user which can be quite complex.
In spite of this, NordVPN offers a competitive price point and a great value for money. With key locations in many popular countries such as the US, UK and Germany, the choice of servers is very broad and they all have high speeds which are consistent and reliable. NordVPN is very easy to use and can be installed in a matter of minutes – it is a painless and reliable VPN solution.
When it comes to privacy and security, NordVPN really stands high above its competitors. NordVPN operates a 'zero log policy' which means that nothing you do is logged, tracked or saved. Plus, the company is incorporated in Panama which is beyond the reach of any European or US legal jurisdictions. We would love to give NordVPN a score of 10 on the security front, but its mobile app lets itself down in that it does not have all the same powerful privacy options as its desktop counterpart.
  • About NordVPN

    Parent Company: Tefincom co S.A.
    Country of Incorporation: Panama
    Founded: 2008
    Simultaneous Connections: 6
    Refund Policy: 30 days
    Platforms: Windows, Mac, iOS, Linux and Android

Privacy

As we have already mentioned, NordVPN really shines when it comes to privacy. They are based in Panama which is beyond the prying eyes of US and European governments and they are not required by law to collect any of your personal information. As a result of this, they are proud to operate a strict and no-nonsense zero-logging policy, so even if a third-party government entity requested to see your information, NordVPN would have nothing to show them; they hold no data at all. NordVPN is proud to say that they prioritize the privacy of their customers over everything else.
NordVPN also offers what is known as a 'kill switch' and DNS / IPv6 leak protection, so even if your VPN connection was to unexpectedly drop, your IP address will never be exposed. If you are looking for even more layers of advanced privacy, you can take advantage of their Tor over VPN or Double VPN features, something which is useful if you are dealing with sensitive information.
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FeatureNordVPNExpressVPN IPVanish
Open VPN (Auto)
question
Is the selection between Open VPN, UDP or TCP automatic?
less blueOKicon less
Open VPN (UDP/TCP)
question
Can you manually choose between Open VPN, UDP or TCP?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
PPTP
question
Does this app have PPTP VPN protocol?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
SSTP
question
Does this app have SSTP VPN protocol?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
L2TP/IPSec
question
Does this app have L2TP/IPSec protocol?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
IKEv2
question
Does this app have IKEv2 protocol?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Supports TCP Port 443
question
Does the VPN support secure TCP Port 443 which is used on secure HTTPS traffic?
less blueOKicon less
Supports Multihop
question
This technology passes your internet traffic through multiple servers to make you harder to track
blueOKicon less blueOKicon
Permits P2P
question
Is this VPN compatible with P2P and other torrenting applications?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Strongest encryption
question
What is the highest level of encryption that this VPN service have?
AES - 256AES - 256AES - 256
First party DNS servers
question
Does the VPN service pass your traffic through their own DNS servers or use third party ones?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
DNS Leak Blocking
question
Does the VPN service include tech that blocks DNS leaks?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Killswitch
question
In the event of the VPN losing its connection, does the VPN cut off all internet traffic?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Accepts cryptocurrency
question
Does this VPN accept subscription payment with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Accepts Paypal
question
Does this VPN accept PayPal payments for its subscription?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Activity logging
question
Are your online activity logs and browsing history being saved or used by the VPN?
less less less
Connection logging
question
Are your connection logs being kept and monitored by this VPN?
less blueOKicon less
Tor over VPN server
question
Is this VPN have features that have been tailored to work with the TOR browser?
blueOKicon less blueOKicon

What does this table mean?

This is where choosing a VPN provider gets a little bit technical. You don't need to know your Multihop from your Obfsproxy; the main thing to know is that as many ticks as possible in the first seven rows means that there will be a lot more options when it comes to security protocols.
This means that should you run into issues with streaming, you can connect to something else to fix them.
Score: 9.6

Speed & Performance

NordVPN consistently delivers high speeds across the board, in all server locations and countries. In terms of its speed, they are some of the best you will ever see with a VPN and they are extremely reliable, no matter which country you are connecting to. You can always be certain that you will be able to stream and buffer HD video and download tons of files without running into any issues or having your connection slow down.
This strong performance is also bolstered by low latency, meaning that NordVPN is one of the best choices for serious gamers.
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FeatureNordVPNExpressVPNIPVanish
Avg global DL speed
question
This is a rolling average of the download speed accummulated over all the server locations we have tested
69.9860.3045.70
Avg global UL speed
question
This is a rolling average of the upload speed accummulated over all the server locations we have tested
41.3124.5668.75
Ping time
question
This refers to the shortest latency recorded in our tests. Shorter ping times indicate higher performance
2ms2ms2ms
Unlimited bandwidth
question
This indicates if the VPN has a cap on the bandwidth usage
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Average time to connect
question
This measures how long it takes to connect with a server location.
10s8s10s

What does this table mean?

Speed is very important when it comes to choosing a VPN and the faster a VPN is, the closer the speed will match your home network.
Ping means how quickly data is received, so a low ping means that data is received more quickly and so you will have a faster experience.
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Server LocationDownload Speed (Mbps)Upload Speed (Mbps)
australiaAustralia86.4396.03
GermanyGermany175.28160.96
UKUK409.36239.12
USAUSA170.29148.14
SingaporeSingapore212.52188.32
NetherlandsNetherlands244.10345.42
FranceFrance205.28127.30
CanadaCanada133.5076.61
JapanJapan147.1126.10

How we get these VPN speed data?

blueOKicon We test the performance of all our featured VPNs continuously and ensure our data is current.
blueOKicon For this provider, we use the Ookla speed test tool together with our fibre-optic line in London.
blueOKicon Our basic download speed is 80Mbps, upload speed 90Mbps and ping 3ms. Results are from London to the listed locations.
blueOKicon Our tests give you an idea of the range of connection speeds.
Score: 10

Locations

Unlike some VPNs, NordVPN has a varied selection of servers which are organised by both location and purpose. If you want to choose between a UK, US or Canadian server you can, but you can also choose a US-based server which has been specially optimized for streaming TV ultra-fast! Other NordVPN sever optimizations include anti-DDOS attacks, Tor over VPN and dedicated IP.
The most popular NordVPN locations have dozens of options. For example, the UK alone has over 300 NordVPN servers. It's always good news to see such a large selection of countries covered, because it means that, no matter where you are, you will never be too far from one of NordVPN's servers. You cannot select specific cities, though, which is the only drawback, but you can work around this.
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FeatureNordVPNExpressVPNIPVanish
Server locations
question
This is the total number of server locations the VPN has available
6114881
Servers
question
This is the total number of servers the VPN has available
3,500+2,000+1,000+
IP addresses
question
This the total amount of unique IP addresses the VPN has available
3,500+20,000+40,000+
Dynamic server switching
question
This indicates whether or not the VPN has a feature that automatically switches you to a faster server within the same server location
blueOKicon less blueOKicon

What does this table mean?

When there are more servers available, speeds will be faster because there is lower congestion. Think of it like a highway; the more lanes there are the faster you can drive down it. It is the same principle here.
A larger amount of servers means less people are connecting to the same one.
Score: 8.5

Usability

  • What we like

    blueOKiconServers are user-friendly and well organized
    blueOKiconGood balance between configurability and convenience which satisfies both advanced and non-advanced users
    blueOKiconStreamers will love the SmartPlay feature
  • What we like less

    blueOKiconTo identify a VPN's city, you need to use third-party tools
    blueOKiconNordVPN can be quite tricky for beginners as it requires manual input
If you are looking for a slick experience, look no further than NordVPN. Servers are organized by function and purpose, in addition to region, which makes it so easy to pick the server which is right for your needs and, should your needs change, the next best server is just a click away.
If you're not too bothered about comparing ping times, you can just select a country and let NordVPN do all the work of finding the best and least populated server. When you are connected, you can easily see your location, server load and IP address. If you're not happy, you can easily change servers. Additionally, you can install NordVPN and get going in a matter of minutes.
NordVPN's settings are simple and straightforward, but you still have a degree of control. For instance, you can toggle DNS leak protection and create a custom list of applications to kill using the kill switch should your connection drop. In addition to this, SmartPlay is a new and unique feature which can help you find entertainment services.
NordVPN loses points because it is necessary for you to manually use other protocols Protocols such as L2TP, IPSec and SSTP require manual configuration which can be tricky for beginners.
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Device/OS/BrowserNordVPNExpressVPN IPVanish
WindowsWindows blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
WindowsMac blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
LinuxLinux Manual blueOKicon Manual
iOSiOS blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
AndroidAndroid blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
RouterRouter Manual blueOKicon Manual
Games consolesGames consoles less Manual less
Fire TV StickFire TV Stick Manual blueOKicon Manual
Chrome extensionChrome extension blueOKicon blueOKicon less
Games consolesFirefox extension blueOKicon blueOKicon less
Games consolesSafari (for mac) extension Manual blueOKicon less

What does this table mean?

Here, you can check whether NordVPN will work with your device or operating system. If you've got an iPad or iPhone, look at iOS. If you're using a non-Apple device, look at Android.
'Manual' means you can connect, but the process is more involved process which requires more user-input.
Score: 9.0

Customer Support

NordVPN has lots of resources on its website, including set-up tutorials covering all devices. It is organized and easy to navigate; you will easily be able to find what you are looking for using the search feature.
Its troubleshooting guides are helpful too, covering lots of issues and providing a comprehensive range of solutions. If you can't find an answer on the website, you can take advantage of the live chat feature or send customer support an email.
Responses to chat and email can be a bit slow, though, and this is the only downside.
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FeatureNordVPNExpressVPNIPVanish
Support quality
question
This is a measure of the overall quality of the VPN's customer service
9.2105.5
24/7 support
question
Does this VPN offer round the clock support?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Live chat
question
Does this VPN have representatives available for live chat?
blueOKicon blueOKicon less
Knowledge base
question
Are there detailed how-to videos and tutorial available online or within the VPN apps?
blueOKicon blueOKicon blueOKicon
Video tutorials
question
Does this VPN have tutorial videos available to show users how to use the software?
blueOKicon blueOKicon less

What does this table mean?

Using VPNs are generally simple, but it helps to know that you are going to be looked after if you do need a helping hand.
Having access to a knowledgebase of detailed tutorials and information is great, but live chat is much better all-in-all!
Score: 8.9

Value for money

  • What we like

    blueOKiconLong-term plans are a steal
    blueOKicon6 simultaneous connections
    blueOKiconGreat server optimizations
  • What we like less

    blueOKiconManual alternative security protocols
    blueOKiconThe best servers can be very populated
Score: 9.5
Table of Content
Privacy Speed Locations Usability Support Value
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