NordVPN Review – Top Best and Trusted VPN Service is The solution for secure browsing, writing passwords, sharing moments & downloading files.
NordVPN looks like a really impressive service. It claims to have a huge global server network, the ability to unblock tons of streaming platforms, and iron-clad security and privacy features. Plus, you can get it all for just $3.19/month. That all sounds great, but is there a catch?
Overall, NordVPN is a fast, safe, and reliable VPN. I got superfast speeds on nearby and long-distance servers. Plus, I was able to unblock an impressive number of geoblocked streaming platforms. NordVPN also has world-class security and privacy features and it’s backed by a legit 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it out without risk.
- Fast speeds on local and international servers. It was super fast in most locations. However, its long-distance servers weren’t great for gaming.
- Strong security and privacy features. With AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and a strict no-logs policy, you can trust NordVPN to keep you safe and to be responsible with your data.
- Optimized P2P servers make it good for torrenting. While I’ve tested other VPNs that are easier for torrenting and have entire P2P server networks, I didn’t have issues using uTorrent, BitTorrent, Popcorn Time, and other websites.
- Easy to install and configure. Its apps are really simple to navigate, even for beginners.
- Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. While it’s not the cheapest VPN, NordVPN lets you try its features free for 30 days with its money-back guarantee.
- Easy access to global streaming platforms. I was able to access 30+ streaming sites with NordVPN, including 15+ Netflix libraries, Hulu, and HBO Max.
- Couldn’t unblock Amazon Prime Video or Sky Go. I also had a couple of issues with Disney+ and Hulu on certain servers. See the full results of all the streaming platforms I tested here.
- Long connection times on some servers. I had to force quit the app and re-attempt to connect on some US and Canadian servers.
- High renewal prices. NordVPN offers good value, but its price rises significantly after the initial 2-year subscription period is over.
Streaming — Easy Access to 30+ Streaming Sites, Including Netflix and Hulu
NordVPN is excellent for streaming. Although it doesn’t have streaming-optimized servers, its proprietary NordLynx protocol can bypass the geo-restrictions of most major streaming platforms.
Streaming is also made easy with SmartPlay, a unique feature that combines a smart DNS service with the VPN, making it easy to bypass blocks on streaming platforms. Plus, it has fast speeds to prevent buffering.
The only platform I couldn’t unblock with NordVPN was Sky Go. I also had trouble accessing Amazon Prime Video, but I found a working server with the help of a support agent.
I tested 40+ servers and managed to unblock the following platforms:
|Amazon Prime Video
|Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar
|Globo and Globo Sportv
|ESPN and ESPN+
Unblocked: 15 Netflix Libraries
NordVPN can successfully unblock 15+ Netflix libraries, including the US, and UK. Canada, and Japan. I tested a US server and got instant access to the US Netflix library, where I watched Shameless without lag. My connection remained stable no matter how far the server was from my location
Next, I connected to the Tokyo server, which also unblocked Netflix Japan on the first attempt. Considering it’s over 9,000 km from my location, I was impressed by its speed. I could watch Minimal Diner on Netflix Japan in HD with minimal lag.
The quickest US server gave me instant access to Disney+ and let me watch Inside Out in HD without buffering. I experienced no slowdown while watching Inside Out on Disney+ US
I could also watch Disney+ with servers in the UK, Canada, Italy, and Australia. I had to wait a few minutes for the platform to load with the Australian server, but I could stream smoothly once it did.
Accessing Hulu is easy with NordVPN’s huge US network. I tested a few servers across the US, and each gave me easy access to the platform. The New York server offered fast speeds, so I could watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Hulu without interruptions. The video loaded instantly, and the quality remained the same while watching
NordVPN also works with Hulu Japan. Both the Tokyo and Osaka servers unblocked the platform instantly, but I had to wait a few minutes for some videos to load. This is normal considering the distance, though.
Unblocked: BBC iPlayer
NordVPN also works with BBC iPlayer, but it didn’t give me access right away. I first connected to the fastest UK server, but I received a message that the content wasn’t available in my region.The video quality was the same as with my non-VPN connection
However, after switching to the London server, I managed to unblock BBC iPlayer and stream at high speeds.
Also Unblocked: Max, Amazon Prime Video, ITV, ESPN+, and Others
NordVPN can also reliably unblock ITV. The London and Glasgow servers gave me easy access and fast speeds for HD streaming.
I also had no issues unblocking Max — each of the US servers I tried worked perfectly with the platform. I noticed some lagging on the Los Angeles connection, but I could stream without interruptions after switching to the fastest US server.
NordVPN also gave me access to Amazon Prime Video, but it took a few attempts. I first tried unblocking the US library from my browser without success. I then downloaded the Prime Video app on my Windows PC and connected to a US server. I got access right away and could watch Jurassic World Dominion without a problem.
If you’re a sports fan, you can also use NordVPN to watch ESPN+ and DAZN. Live NBA games on ESPN+ loaded in less than 10 seconds, and the video quality never dropped below HD while streaming. I originally got blocked from DAZN, but switching from Google Chrome to Opera helped me get access to the platform. I used the fastest US server and could watch live and on-demand games lag-free.
Blocked By: Sky Go
The only platform I couldn’t unblock with NordVPN was Sky Go. Sky Go has one of the toughest geo-restrictions of any streaming platform
I tried all its UK server locations, including London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Manchester, but none of them worked with Sky Go. After failing to resolve the issue myself, I decided to reach out to a support representative through the 24/7 live chat.
The live chat agent gave me a few troubleshooting tips, like trying a different server or protocol, but none of them worked. This isn’t a huge issue, as Sky Go has very tough geo-restrictions that only a few VPNs can get past.
Overall, I was impressed by NordVPN’s streaming abilities. It successfully unblocked almost all platforms I tried and got consistently fast speeds for smooth streaming.
Speed — Impressive Speeds on Local and International Servers
NordVPN offers very fast speeds on most servers. Considering it’s normal for a VPN to drop your speeds by at least 20%, I was impressed by how fast it is, especially on some of the longer-distance servers.
Here is what I focused on while testing NordVPN’s speeds:
- Download speed refers to the time it takes to download data, such as images, music, and video from the internet to your device. It’s measured in Mbps (megabits per second).
- Upload speed is the time it takes for data to travel between your computer and the internet. It can affect how long it takes to upload a video from your computer to the internet. It’s also measured in Mbps.
- Ping refers to how long it takes for data to travel back and forth between your device and the game server. The lower the ping the better speeds for gaming you will get. Ping is measured in milliseconds (ms).
We measured NordVPN’s speeds over the course of a few months from the same location in the UK. All the tests were conducted using NordLynx, as it offers the fastest speeds. In the chart below, you can see the average speeds reached by each server. Download speeds dropped an average of 4% on nearby locations and 22% on long-distance servers
These are some of the best VPN speeds in the industry. On nearby servers, it’s barely noticeable you’re using a VPN, as they’re nearly identical to the baseline connection. Speeds on some of the long-distance locations, like Australia, are particularly impressive, and far better than what some other VPNs have to offer (many VPNs drop your speeds by over 50% at those distances).
The following results show baseline speeds without the VPN connected:
No VPN (London, UK)
I measured NordVPN’s nearby server speeds were measured using the NordLynx protocol and the “Quick Connect” option (which automatically connects you to the server with the fastest speeds for your location). The server I tested was located in London, and speeds were almost as fast as our base connection.
|101.14 (7% drop)
|14.27 (7% drop)
The next speed test shows results from France, a nearby country. Surprisingly, speeds were even faster than the ones from within the same base country (the UK).
|104.57 (4% drop)
|14.5 (5% drop)
Next, we tested a couple of other servers in nearby countries (Germany and Poland) and had identical results. In both cases, speeds never dropped by more than 4%. The Paris server was even faster than the UK server, where our tests were conducted
With that in mind, it’s safe to say you’ll get excellent speeds if you use NordVPN’s nearby locations for streaming or browsing, even if your base speeds aren’t as fast as our tester’s.
As expected, NordVPN’s speeds dropped more the further away the server was, but were still very fast. For instance, I was impressed by the results on servers in the US. There was an average speed loss of only 10% on the New York and Los Angeles servers, which is above average compared to most VPNs.
Here are the speed results of the New York and Los Angeles servers, respectively.
New York, United States
|100.49 (7% drop)
|10 (35% drop)
Los Angeles, New York
|93.3 (14% drop)
Then, servers in more distant locations were tested, such as Canada, Brazil, Singapore, Japan, and Australia. NordVPN was surprisingly fast on faraway servers, with speeds never dropping by more than 36%
The Brazil and Japan servers dropped speeds by only 21% and 35%, respectively. The biggest loss was on the Australia server, where speeds only reached 69.11 Mbps (36% speed loss). Many VPNs drop your speeds by half at distances of over 15,000 km, so this is still really impressive.
Overall, NordVPN offers excellent speeds. Even if you have lower base speeds, you won’t encounter speed losses that are too significant, so you’ll most likely still be able to stream and torrent without any lags or interruptions.
Gaming — Low Ping on Nearby Servers For Lag-Free Gameplay
NordVPN is a good VPN for gaming. It allowed me to play without lag on all nearby servers and some long-distance ones. Naturally, the ping increased the further away the server was from my location.
To test how the VPN performs, I played Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on my Windows PC while connected to the optimal server for my location. It didn’t take more than a few seconds for the game to start, and my ping remained consistently below 60 ms.
Then, I connected manually to a server in Germany and got nearly identical results. All my commands registered immediately, so there was zero lag. I used the NordLynx protocol while playing CS: GO for the best speeds
A ping rate under 100 ms is usually considered optimal for gaming, so these are excellent results. In comparison, I got a ping of 50 ms with no VPN connected, so there wasn’t any noticeable difference in gameplay when I played with NordVPN.
To see how the VPN performed at longer distances, I first tried the New York server. My ping rate never dropped below the 75 ms mark, and I experienced no considerable slowdown. It did, however, take longer (around 4 minutes) for the game to load. As expected, there was some lagging with the Los Angeles server, but the game was still playable.
Sadly, that wasn’t the case with even longer-distance servers. I experienced significant lagging on the Japan connection, so playing a fast-paced game like CS: GO was hardly an enjoyable experience (I got killed off a few times because I couldn’t respond fast enough to other players). The Australia server gave me a ping rate of around 200 ms, so it was impossible to play at those distances.
Overall, NordVPN is a solid VPN for gaming, as long as you stick to servers that aren’t too far from your location. Luckily, the VPN operates a huge server network worldwide, so finding an optimal server for lag-free gaming shouldn’t be a problem.
Server Network — Large Server Network and Specialty Servers Available
NordVPN has good global coverage, with 5,863 servers in 60 countries. Most servers are in Europe and North America, with strong representation in the UK and the USA (there are thousands of servers spread across 15 cities in the US). However, smaller European countries like Andorra and Liechtenstein, as well as less popular VPN locations such as China, Russia, and Pakistan, lack server support.
Almost all of NordVPN’s servers are colocated (owned and maintained by its staff). The only exceptions are its remote locations. This is a much safer alternative than simply renting their VPN servers. Plus, it uses RAM-only servers (volatile memory), which means your data isn’t written to memory like it is on traditional hard drive servers. You can also connect to the fastest server for your location with “Quick Connect”
While virtual servers are common among VPNs, especially in countries where VPNs are banned, NordVPN operates exclusively physical servers. Virtual servers can sometimes provide better performance when they are closer to the user's physical location than the country they wish to connect to, so it would be nice to have this option.
Aside from its regular connections, NordVPN also offers specialty security servers, such as Double VPN, P2P optimized, Obfuscated, and Onion over VPN servers. It also offers dedicated IP addresses, but they are not included in its regular subscription plans.
P2P Optimized Servers
Unfortunately, it doesn’t support torrenting on all servers, but NordVPN has an optimized server network for P2P sharing. P2P servers are available in 50+ countries worldwide
Obfuscated servers hide your VPN traffic and make it look like you’re using normal internet traffic. These servers let you use NordVPN in restrictive countries like China and Russia, as well as on restricted networks like at work, school, or on public WiFi.
You can only use NordVPN’s obfuscated servers with the OpenVPN (TCP) protocol. If you’re not seeing the obfuscated server option in the main dashboard, simply change the protocol in your VPN’s settings, and you’ll see them listed under Specialty Servers. Click on the dropdown menu to choose a specific country to connect to
Onion Over VPN Servers
When visiting the Dark Web, you need an extra layer of protection. If your ISP knows you’re accessing the Dark Web, they could alert the authorities or flag your traffic as suspicious. This can put you in a tough spot if something bad happens. NordVPN’s Onion over VPN servers prevents your ISP from seeing that you’re using Tor.
Instead, all your ISP can see is that you’re using a VPN. Only NordVPN will know that you’re using Dark Web — but since it doesn’t keep any logs and all of your data is wiped from the servers with every reboot, this won’t affect your privacy.
NordVPN’s Onion over VPN servers have the added benefit of allowing you to access .onion websites from any browser. This saves you the trouble of downloading and using the Tor or Onion browser.
Double VPN Servers
These servers are also known as multi-hop servers. When you use NordVPN’s Double VPN servers, your traffic goes through two servers. So, you’ll get an extra layer of encryption, which makes your data nigh uncrackable. These servers are available on Windows, macOS, and iOS. These will slow down your speeds significantly, so I don’t recommend them for everyday use
Even though it can boost your security, it’s not recommended for everyday use, torrenting, or streaming because it will slow your speeds down. If you just want to browse, stream, or torrent, it’s best to have it off.
I tested the speeds to see what kind of results I would get. It wasn’t as bad as I expected (after all, my traffic had to run through two different servers), but I still wouldn’t recommend it. A 54% drop can be really huge for someone with lower download speeds.
Security — Military Grade Encryption and No DNS Leaks
NordVPN gives you all of the security essentials, plus more. This includes military-grade encryption, strong protection against IP/DNS leaks, a powerful malware blocker, and a highly customizable kill switch. It also uses multi-factor authentication so you can safeguard your NordVPN account from unauthorized logins.
There are also several reputable protocols to choose from, including NordLynx, which is NordVPN’s very own proprietary protocol. For added protection, NordVPN lets you connect to its double VPN servers that route your traffic through an additional VPN server.
Overall, security is one of NordVPN’s strongest sides. It outperforms most other VPNs in this category, and it’s hard to think of any security feature that’s missing.
Military-Grade Encryption and 3 Secure Protocols
NordVPN has AES 256-bit encryption, which is a standard in the industry and used by governments and banks. This encryption is so hard to crack through with brute force attacks, it would take hackers billions of years to get through it.
In addition, it uses Perfect Forward Secrecy, which means that your encryption key changes regularly. So, even if a hacker grabs the key and accesses your data, it limits how much of your information they can access.
When it comes to security protocols, NordVPN offers three secure options:
- NordLynx protocol — Based on WireGuard, this speed-boosting protocol is set as the default on NordVPN’s apps. Since WireGuard isn’t the safest protocol yet, NordVPN combines it with double NAT, which ensures that no identifying data ends up on the server. It’s available on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS.
- OpenVPN protocol — You can choose between UDP and TCP versions. UDP is the faster one, so it’s good for streaming, but the TCP version is more secure. It’s available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- IKEv2/IPSec protocol —This protocol is good for boosting security and privacy, and it’s available on Apple devices. It’s also good for mobile devices using a 3G or 4G LTE connection because it’s quicker at restoring dropped connections.
The Windows app supports the NordLynx, OpenVPN (UDP), and OpenVPN (TCP) protocols
Strong Leak Protection and Advanced Kill Switch
NordVPN offers full protection against DNS, WebRTC, and IP leaks. Your DNS requests can be used by your ISP to snoop on your browsing activity, so it’s essential for a VPN provider to keep them private.
Thankfully, NordVPN runs its own DNS servers, which ensures strong DNS leak protection and privacy. The best part is that this feature is turned on by default, so there’s no need to change any settings to stay safe. I felt confident that no-one could snoop on my connection while I was using NordVPN
I tested 10+ of its servers across the globe with ipleak.net, and I never experienced any data leaks. With each test, the site only showed the IP address and DNS server that I was connected to with NordVPN, while my real IP address and location remained hidden.
NordVPN’s kill switch ensures your personal info and data won’t be revealed, even if your VPN connection drops. On Windows and macOS, NordVPN has two different kill switch options.
- Internet Kill Switch will completely shut down your internet access when you’re not connected to the VPN or if your connection drops. It’s available with every NordVPN app except the macOS OpenVPN client (you need to use its IKEv2 client, which has both types of switches). This is great for added security when you’re torrenting or using Tor.
- App Kill Switch allows you to choose which apps will get closed if your connection fails. So, for example, you can choose to shut down Google Chrome or a different browser but not your other apps. This is available on Windows and Mac OS. It’s good to use when you’re streaming, so the streaming platform won’t detect that you’re using a VPN and block you.
Like with most other VPNs, the kill switch option is not on by default, so you have to manually enable it when you download the VPN app. But, you only have to toggle it on once. The app kill switch option is only available on Windows and macOS
Once I turned on the internet kill switch, I got temporarily disconnected from the internet every time I switched servers.
The kill switch function is available on all NordVPN apps, including Windows, Mac, Linux Android, and iOS. To activate it on Android, you need to enable the “Always On VPN” and “Block Connections Without VPN” options in the device’s settings
With the split tunneling feature, you’ll be able to choose which apps you want (and don’t want) to use through your NordVPN connection. It’s useful when you need to access certain websites with your real IP address (like sensitive business files, bank accounts, smart home devices, etc.). For example, I use it to access my bank account on my regular traffic while streaming shows on HBO Max.
This option is available on Windows and Android (Android TV as well). To turn this on, just go to settings and press the toggle button. Then, pick what apps should use a VPN connection. Since it doesn’t encrypt unnecessary traffic, split tunneling also helps prevent speed loss
If you turn this setting off, all of your traffic will be routed through NordVPN. The same thing happens if you get a NordVPN extension — essentially, you’ll only protect your browser, but not all of the traffic traveling from your device. You can also select which websites can bypass the VPN connection.
NordVPN’s Threat Protection will protect you against ads, malware, and trackers while browsing. Plus, it detects malware on any files downloaded. Threat Protection is available on the Windows and Mac apps, and you can also get it as a separate product, no active VPN subscription is required.
What’s particularly impressive about this feature is that it works continuously, even when the VPN is disconnected.
I tested Threat Protection on my Windows PC and was impressed by the results. It effectively blocked all ads on YouTube and most banner and pop-up ads on sites like Forbes and Daily Mail. I also tried visiting a few known malicious websites, but Threat Protection stopped me every time.
This only applies to the Windows and Mac apps, though. On Android, iOS, and Linux devices, the feature is called Threat Protection Lite, and it only works when you connect to a VPN server. Also, Threat Protection Lite doesn’t delete malware from downloaded files.
Meshnet is one of NordVPN’s most unique features. It allows you to connect different devices all over the world through encrypted private tunnels. Powered through NordVPN’s NordLynx technology, it works as a virtual encrypted LAN to connect your devices. For example, you could easily access files from a friend in another country, and the connection between your 2 devices would be secure.
You can also funnel traffic from 2 devices through one IP address. This gives you access to additional residential IPs. You’ll typically be using data center IPs with a VPN, which are more likely to get banned than home addresses (residential IPs). So, this function can be helpful for streaming. For example, you could connect to a family member’s IP in the US to access US Netflix.
However, I recommend sticking to the VPN’s servers more often than not because connections like this won’t be encrypted, leaving the data on your devices vulnerable.
It’s easy to use the Meshnet feature. All you have to do is enable it on your device and link a new device by sending an invitation. You’ll send this link through an email. This will send them a special IP address assigned to the device you installed the NordVPN app on.
Once you’re linked up, you can use Meshnet for sharing files, streaming, and gaming. You can connect up to 6 devices to NordVPN, which will automatically be linked with Meshnet once it’s enabled. In addition, you can connect up to 50 external devices with Meshnet. I really like this feature, and it makes NordVPN stand out.
Dark Web Monitor
This is another unique feature — NordVPN’s Dark Web Monitor detects if your email address appears on a leaked database on the dark web.
It’s available on macOS, Windows, Android, and iOS, and it’s simple to set up — you can enable it with a single click. The tool runs quietly in the background, and you don’t need to be connected to the VPN for it to work. On desktop, Dark Web Monitor is readily available in the left-hand side menu
I enabled it on my Windows PC and was immediately notified that there were no leaks associated with my email address on the dark web.
Incogni is a bonus security feature that you can only get for an extra fee on top of your regular NordVPN subscription. It’s a data removal service that sends that contacts various data brokers that likely have your personal information, such as your email, phone number, and location, and asks them to remove it from their database.
Privacy — A Strict No-Logs Policy and a Privacy-Friendly Location
NordVPN claims it keeps no logs, and this has been proven true several times with audits by independent organizations like Deloitte. It’s also based in Panama, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction that’s outside the reach of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance.
Does NordVPN Keep Logs? No, but It May Oblige Legal Requests
NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy — it collects no personal information that can be used to identify you, like your IP address, or traffic and connection logs. It only retains information needed to create your account, like your email address, subscription data, and billing information.
This isn’t a huge deal, as you can always use a burner email address and pay with cryptocurrency if you want to remain completely anonymous.
However, it’s now changed the wording to imply that it will comply with data requests made by law enforcement only if they’re in line with the regulations of the jurisdiction in which it operates. Thankfully, it’s based in Panama, so it’s not obliged to store logs of user data
The company has since clarified that the wording was misinterpreted and that even though it stores no user data, it would have no other option if required to do so by law. Luckily, it’s been proven that NordVPN doesn’t log vital information, like your IP address or online activity, so it doesn’t have much to share.
Still, this raises the question of how dedicated the VPN truly is to protecting user privacy.
Was NordVPN Audited? Yes
In December 2022, NordVPN’s no logs policy was audited for the third time. The audit was performed by Deloitte, an independent security organization, and it proved that NordVPN really stands by its no-logs claims — it doesn’t monitor user activity or store any personally identifiable information on its servers.
Based in Panama
One of the great things about NordVPN is its location. It’s owned by Tefincom S.A and its headquarters are in Panama which is based outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This Alliance is an organization of countries and governments that have intrusive data retention policies, and it includes countries like the US, UK, Australia, Canada, etc. Since Panama is not a part of it, it doesn’t have to share your information with others.
As a bonus, NordVPN publishes a warrant canary on a daily basis. This means that it shares any requests for user information it gets from governments and companies, such as gag orders, warrants, etc.
Does NordVPN Work in China? It Might
NordVPN can bypass the Great Firewall of China only if you configure it correctly. It didn’t use to work in China in the past, but after contacting its support team, I learned that’s no longer the case.
The live chat agent informed me that I needed to set up a manual IKEv2 connection to use the VPN in China and sent me a comprehensive guide on the topic. Plus, they sent me a list of servers that work best for bypassing China’s government restrictions. I also learned that this method doesn’t currently work on Windows devices, but its team is currently working on a solution to fix this. NordVPN’s support agent gave me a few troubleshooting tips on how to use the VPN in China
China has one of the toughest internet restrictions of any country, so it’s a huge plus that NordVPN is now able to get around them.
NordVPN doesn’t currently have any servers in China, so you still won’t be able to access content that’s geo-restricted to China from another location.
Please bear in mind that most VPNs are banned in China and other countries with strict censorship. The vpnMentor team and I don’t condone using VPNs illegally, so you should always read up on your local law and use VPNs responsibly.
Torrenting — P2P Optimized Servers Allow Fast and Safe Torrenting
NordVPN doesn’t allow torrenting on all its servers, but it has dedicated servers for P2P sharing that are built for fast speeds and strong security. These servers are easily accessible from the Specialty Servers section in the main interface. They are located in 50+ countries worldwide, so you have a lot of options to choose from to torrent safely and anonymously.
Plus, the VPN will automatically connect you to one of these servers if it detects P2P traffic, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally using a regular server while torrenting.
To test how these servers perform, I first connected to the fasted P2P server for my location. Then, I started downloading Carnival of Souls (copyright-free) on qBittorrent. The 1.16 GB file took less than 12 minutes to download. This is impressive, and no different from the time it usually takes for me to download a 1 GB file without a VPN connection. NordVPN will automatically find the fastest P2P server for you based on your location
Next, I connected to a P2P-optimized server in the US, as I wanted to see how the VPN holds up when torrenting over long distances. It didn’t take more than 5 minutes to download It’s a Wonderful Life (700MB).
NordVPN also offers several features that ensure your personal data will stay safe and private while torrenting. These include an advanced kill switch that will protect you from any accidental leaks. Plus, it has strong IP/DNS leak protection and is based in a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
The only thing I didn’t like is that NordVPN doesn’t support port forwarding. This feature can help your torrenting client get the necessary data packets to connect directly to incoming connections from other clients, which can otherwise get blocked by your router. This can greatly improve speeds, but it’s not considered safe, so it’s not offered by many VPNs.
My team and I don’t condone any illegal activities. Remember that most content that’s available to torrent is protected by copyright, so it’s illegal to download. You should always check the laws and regulations of your country before using NordVPN for torrenting, and make sure the content you want to download is in the public domain.
Installation & Apps
Installation & Apps — Easy to Use and Compatible With Most Devices
NordVPN is easy to install and set up, on both desktop and mobile. After installing the VPN on my Windows PC, I was instantly connected to a server with the Quick Connect option. Manually searching for servers is easy with the search box and is made even simpler by the map interface, where all the countries the VPN has servers in are marked with dots.
You can connect to a server with a single click, and all your most recent locations are clearly visible underneath the Connect button. A unique feature is Pause, which lets you disconnect from the VPN for a set amount of time. It’s useful when you want to turn off the VPN temporarily, and you want to make sure you don’t forget to turn it back on again.
Its Specialty Servers are visible as soon as you open the app, and each server group has its own Quick Connect option, so you don’t have to manually look for the server with the best speeds. This is particularly useful with its P2P-optimized servers. Finding your preferred server is easy with the map interface
All the features are easily accessible and easy to find. From the left-hand side menu, you can access Threat Protection, Dark Web Monitor, and Meshnet. Everything else, like its security protocols and kill switch, is easily accessible from the Settings menu.
The VPN comes ready to use, so there’s no special setup required. Simply connect to your preferred server, and you can begin using it.
My only complaint about NordVPN’s app is that it sometimes takes too long to connect to servers, especially at longer distances. For instance, I had to wait up to 4 minutes to connect to the Australian server. Occasionally, I even had to force quit the app and try again, before I was finally able to establish a connection.
Setup & Installation — Takes Minutes to Install and Configure
It’s really easy to get NordVPN up and running. Installing and setting up the VPN on my Windows PC didn’t take more than 5 minutes.
After downloading the Windows app, I waited a couple of seconds for it to install on my PC and was then prompted to log in. Clicking Log In opens a separate webpage, where you need to enter your credentials. Then, the app opens again, and you can start using NordVPN.
Installation is the same across all devices, whether you’re using the VPN on Windows, Max, Linux, Android, or iOS.
Quick Guide: How to Set Up NordVPN is 3 Easy Steps
- Sign up for NordVPN on its official site. Select one of its subscription plans and enter your payment info. All plans come with a tried and tested 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try NordVPN risk-free.
- Download the app on your device. NordVPN has dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. You just need to download the app and log in to your account.
- Connect to a server. Start streaming, browsing, and torrenting safely with NordVPN.
NordVPN has a dedicated app for every major OS, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Plus, it has a native app for Firestick and Fire TV and is compatible with the majority of routers. This means you can use it on any device connected to your home WiFi network.
Desktop — Apps For Windows, macOS, and Linux
NordVPN’s desktop apps are simple to use and intuitive. The Windows and Mac apps have almost identical interfaces but come with a few differences feature-wise. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that split tunneling isn’t available on Mac — it can only be accessed on the Windows and Android apps.
Also, the Presets feature is exclusive to the Mac app. This is a recently added feature that lets you create your own custom VPN settings and access them from the app’s main interface. You can choose the VPN protocol, server, and country you want to connect to and activate or disable certain features. There’s even an option to add shortcuts to different apps for easy access.
What’s interesting about the Mac app is that there are two versions available, depending on whether you download it from the App Store or NordVPN’s official site. The latter only supports the OpenVPN protocol and is known as the sideload version. It does, however, offer Threat Protection, while the App Store version only supports Threat Protection Lite. Presets is available on both versions, though.
This can be a bit confusing for Mac users, so I would like to see NordVPN stick to only one Mac app in the future.
NordVPN also offers a dedicated Linux app, but, unlike some VPNs that offer a full GUI for Linux, its Linux app is command-based.
My only problem with NordVPN’s desktop apps is that they’re a bit bulky, and take up a large portion of your screen. It’s a bit annoying that you can’t shrink them down unless you want to minimize them completely.
Android and iPhone (iOS)
NordVPN’s Android and iOS are visually similar, and both have a simple and lightweight design. Just like with desktop apps, there’s a map interface that lets you connect to servers with a single click. Features like Quick Connect and the Pause function are also available.
A kill switch is included in both apps but it’s not customizable like on the desktop version, so you can’t choose to disable only specific apps when the VPN connection fails. Just like the Mac app, NordVPN’s iOS app doesn’t support split tunneling.
Both of NordVPN’s mobile apps are ioXt-certified, so you can rest assured they comply with the highest privacy and security standards. To get certified, NordVPN underwent a rigorous testing process. It scored the highest marks in various areas, including password management, vulnerability reporting program, proven cryptography, and others.
NordVPN also offers a 7-day free trial on the Android app, but that’s not available on iOS. Download the Android app from Google Play to be able to try NordVPN for free
Browser Extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge
NordVPN has browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. You can access its entire server network via the extensions, plus some useful features like Quick Connect and Pause. There’s also an Auto Connect feature that, when enabled, automatically connects you to a VPN server as soon as you launch the browser.
With split tunneling available, you can add sites that you want to exclude from the VPN connection. Threat Protection Lite is also available, so you’ll stay safe from ads and malware while browsing. Plus, there’s an option to block the WebRTC protocol, which will ensure your real IP address doesn’t get exposed while using the VPN extension.
Apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku TV, Chromecast, etc
NordVPN has a native app for Amazon Fire Stick, so it’s easy to install it on your Firestick and Fire TV devices. All you need to do is download the app from the Amazon App Store and log in to your account. You can also use the VPN on your Android TV with the dedicated Android app.
There’s no NordVPN app for Roku and Apple TV, as they don’t support VPN apps, but you can still use the VPN on these devices by configuring it to your router or through its smart DNS service.
Apps for Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, etc
You can set up NordVPN on devices that aren’t compatible with VPNs, like gaming consoles, with its Smart DNS service. This feature doesn’t encrypt your internet traffic like a regular VPN connection does. It only provides access to streaming content, so you shouldn’t use it for anything other than that.
Setting up NordVPN’s Smart DNS service is really easy. You can access step-by-step tutorials on its official website, and you can always reach out to a support representative via its 24/7 live chat if you need assistance during setup.
NordVPN is compatible with most routers, including Asus, DD-WRT, Mikrotik, TP-Link, Tomato, and many others. Configuring NordVPN on your router will allow you to use the VPN on any device connected to your home WiFi network. This will also allow you to use the VPN on as many devices as you like.
Setup is made easy with comprehensive guides available on its site. Plus, customer support is available 24/7 if you need help. Installing NordVPN on my TP-Link router didn’t take more than 10 minutes.
Simultaneous Device Connections
You can connect up to 6 devices simultaneously to your NordVPN account. I tested this out by installing NordVPN on my Android phone, Windows desktop, Linux laptop, MacBook desktop, and Samsung TV. Even with all of these devices using the connection at once, I still didn’t notice any drop in speed.
For expanded device coverage, it is possible to install the VPN directly on your router. By doing so, your entire network will benefit from VPN protection. It's important to note that not all routers are compatible with VPNs, so be sure to select a router that supports this feature. Additionally, it is worth considering that you may encounter limitations when attempting to install a VPN if you are using an ISP modem.
As a side note: I’ve used other top VPNs that offer more device connections — For example, it’s common for many top VPNs to offer 10 device connections and some VPNs won’t limit you at all (like Surfshark and IPVanish). So if you have a big family or just a ton of devices and don’t want the hassle of setting it up on your router, there might be better options for you.
2-years + 3 months free plan standard
$ 3.19per month
1-year plan standard
$ 4.99per month
Monthly plan standard
$ 12.99per month
Pricing — Good Value and a Trustworthy Money-Back Guarantee
NordVPN is reasonably priced and offers 3 plans to choose from. With the Standard plan, you get just the VPN, while the Plus plan also comes with the secure password manager (NordPass). The Complete plan is the most expensive and with both NordPass and includes 1 TB of encrypted cloud storage (NordLocker).
You can get a monthly, yearly, or 2-year subscription, with the longest plan offering the best value long-term. Be warned, though: you can only get the two-year plan once. After it expires, the longest subscription you can renew with is the annual plan, which is priced similarly to the two-year plan, but only for a year.
As with most VPNs, the monthly plan is quite expensive, so I don’t recommend it unless you’re looking for a short-term service.
There are also a few ways you can get NordVPN for a cheaper price. For instance, there are discounts for all students who are 18-26 years old. Plus, you can use coupons for special monthly deals, and even get a month of free service if you refer a friend. There are also discounts that happen throughout the year, especially on special dates like Black Friday.
NordVPN accepts several payment methods, including all major credit and debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB), Google Pay, and PayPal. It also accepts payments through third parties, like AmazonPay, Sofort, prepaid cards, iTunes, and gift cards. If you’re privacy conscious, you can use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Monera, and Dash.
If you’re not sure whether it is the right VPN service for you, you can try NordVPN completely risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you change your mind, you can get a full refund.
To test NordVPN’s money-back guarantee, I purchased its monthly plan. Then, I asked for a refund via the 24/7 live chat. The support agent first asked why I wanted a refund and reminded me that I could try the service without risk for longer. Then, they proceeded with my request. I got a full refund 5 days later.
You can also test NordVPN’s Android app for free for 7 days, but this is not available on any other device.
Reliability and Support — Friendly and Informative Support, but Response Times Can Be Slow
NordVPN has multiple support options, including a chatbot, 24/7 live chat, email, and a Help Center.
I found the 24/7 live chat the most useful, as it allowed me to reach out to a support agent whenever I had a question or needed help with the VPN. When you first open the live chat, you are greeted by an AI chatbot that answers some of the most commonly asked questions regarding NordVPN.
If the chatbot isn’t of any help, you can simply ask to speak agent, and you’ll be connected immediately. The only information you need to provide is a viable email address. Plus, the live chat can be used by anyone — you don’t need to have an active NordVPN subscription to speak to a support agent.The live chat agent cleared up the difference between the App Store and the website Mac app
NordVPN’s support staff is friendly and informative, and always gave me detailed answers to any question I asked. The only remark I have is that it sometimes takes too long to get a response, up to 5 minutes. On a few occasions, I was transferred to a different agent because the response took too long. This isn’t a huge deal, though, as, in the end, I always got help with the issue at hand.
For less urgent issues, NordVPN offers easy-to-understand guides on its side, and you can also send an email. When I contacted support via email and got an answer the next business day.
The Bottom Line
Final Verdict — A Fast and Extremely Secure VPN
NordVPN has plenty to offer, from fast speeds, to optimized servers and the ability to bypass geoblocks on streaming platforms like Netflix and HBO Max. It offers excellent security features like AES 256-bit encryption and a strict no-logs policy to keep you safe online.
It’s also easy to use, has an intuitive app interface, and is compatible with a wide range of devices. And when it comes to support, NordVPN is quick to respond with helpful and friendly answers.
Its biggest downfalls for me were the long connection times and that it’s slightly more complicated to use for torrenting than other VPNs. It’s also unfortunate that it’s unable to unblock Amazon Prime Video and Sky Go. On top of that, I had difficulty finding the right servers for gaming.
However, despite these slight downsides, NordVPN is great value for money.
- Fast speeds with 5,863 servers in 60 countries
- Privacy – no logs of user activity
- 6 simultaneous connections
- Streaming – unblocks Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu, etc.
- Built-in ad and malware blocking
- Specialty servers like P2P, Onion over VPN, Double VPN
- 24/7 live chat
FAQs on NordVPN
Is there a NordVPN free trial?
NordVPN offers a 7-day free trial on Android, but only if you download the app via Google Play, not its official website. There’s no free trial on other platforms, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee with all its plans, so you can try it risk-free.
You’ll get a much better impression of how the VPN works with its money-back guarantee, as it lasts much longer (VPN test results can fluctuate significantly over time). Plus, you’ll be able to try NordVPN on all your devices, instead of just your Android device. NordVPN’s 30-day money-back guarantee is also completely risk-free — when I tested it I got my money back in 5 days without questions asked.
Is NordVPN fast?
Yes, NordVPN offers great speeds. This is mainly thanks to its proprietary NordLynx protocol that’s based on WireGurad, the fastest VPN protocol today. I got consistently fast speeds with NordVPN, with both nearby and long-distance servers.
When connected to a server in Australia, which is the furthest from their location, their connection speeds never dropped by more than 36%. This is impressive, as many VPNs drop speeds by over half at those distances.
Is NordVPN good for streaming?
Yes, NordVPN is one of the best streaming VPNs I’ve tested. It can access 15+ Netflix libraries, including the UK, US, Canada, and Japan, and other major streaming platforms, like Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max. During my tests, I got access to most platforms instantly and had excellent speeds for streaming without lags.
The only platform I couldn’t access with NordVPN is Sky Go, but this didn’t surprise me, as Sky Go has some of the toughest geo-restrictions of any platform.
Does NordVPN work with Fire TV Stick?
Yes, NordVPN has a native app for Fire TV Stick (2nd and 3rd Generation, or 4K) that you can download from the Amazon App Store. Once you download the client and log in, you can find the server in the country you need and connect.
Thanks to its large server network, you can easily unblock Hulu, Disney+, Max, and dozens more. Plus, you can watch live TV streaming platforms.
Is NordVPN safe?
Yes, NordVPN is one of the safest VPNs around. It encrypts your traffic with military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and offers advanced security features like double VPN and a highly customizable kill switch. Plus, it runs its own private DNS servers, so it has strong protection against DNS/IP leaks.
NordVPN also offers a powerful ad and malware blocker called Threat Protection, that will ensure you stay safe from annoying and malicious files while browsing. Threat Protection works continuously, even when you’re not connected to a VPN server.
Finally, NordVPN has a strict no-logs policy that has been proven by audits several times and is based in Panama, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction outside of any surveillance alliances.
Are NordVPN Reddit reviews positive?
Yes, most NordVPN user reviews on Reddit are positive. Users are impressed with its strong security and fast speeds.