Whether you want to connect to the Wi-Fi network in your local coffee shop or traveling abroad on business or leisure, the easiest and best way to protect your online privacy and anonymity is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Among the many VPN service providers available on the market, finding the one that best suits your needs could be a daunting task. NordVPN is known to be one of the best VPN services, here’s why.
Founded in 2012 by a group of friends, NordVPN, like any other brand, had very humble beginnings. Sticking to their core value, to liberate the internet, the company soon gained a lot of positive feedback, and now serves more than a million users all around the world.
Is My Privacy Protected with NordVPN?
If privacy is your main concern and the reason behind using a VPN service, then NordVPN is certainly one of the top VPN service providers you can rely on to protect your online privacy. The company states that their top priority is “customer data security”. Since the company is based in Panama, where no data reporting or storage is required, you are guaranteed their no logs policy, which typically means that your online activities are “not monitored, recorded, logged, stored or passed to any third party”.
Similar to other VPN service providers, NordVPN asks for certain basic information from its users, such as your email address and payment data, the use of which is quite straightforward. Other than that, the company doesn’t share users’ data to third parties or authorities.
NordVPN also offers an automatic kill switch, which helps protect your online traffic even when your VPN connection suddenly drops.
The company has gone a step further and provides other privacy features, such as Browser Proxy Extensions and Onion Over VPN as well. The former feature is where NordVPN offers encrypted browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome to secure your online activities and IP address. With the latter feature, the company ensures maximum privacy and security for its users at all times.
Suffice to say that the level of privacy offered by NordVPN is as high as you would ever want from a reliable VPN service provider.
How Much is NordVPN? Is There a Free Trial?
NordVPN offers three different price plans: a monthly plan where you will be billed $11.95 on a monthly basis, a yearly plan where you will be billed $69 annually ($5.75 per month) helping you save 52%, and a 2-year plan where you will be charged $79 for the whole period ($3.29 per month) with savings of 73%. Come to think of it, the pricing is quite affordable when compared to other VPN services that typically charge more for similar plans.
Before you pay for a subscription with NordVPN, you can choose to sign up for a 3-day free trial to use the services of the VPN and access the internet with complete privacy and security. To avail this offer, you only need to provide your email address and no payment information. From the many VPN providers we have reviewed so far, most services we came across only offered a 24-hour free trial. The fact that NordVPN gives you 3 days to test their services is quite attractive.
In addition to the free trial, the company also offers a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can check the effectiveness of the services and cancel your subscription if you are not satisfied. Keep in mind though that the company does not refund those who purchase the service via Apple App Store.
And when it comes to payment methods, NordVPN accepts all major credit and debit cards, in addition to PayPal, Bitcoins, Paymentwall, WebMoney, and more.
NordVPN also offers its services to businesses, but they do not list pricing plans for them on their website; instead, users are required to contact NordVPN for best offers.
NordVPN Speed Test
“Lightning speed” and “blazing speed” are the terms used by NordVPN to refer to their speed. Is it really the case? Well, according to the many speed tests conducted and the various reviews by users, it can be said that NordVPN delivers improved download and upload speeds, and happens to be a top contender in terms of this aspect.
Of course, your connection speed could be influenced by a lot of different factors, including the speed of your internet, your choice of protocol, encryption level, distance of your server, etc. However, the company mentions that their network is monitored 24/7 to make sure that they are not the cause of the discrepancies in speed.
NordVPN allows you to use P2P applications for torrent downloads and other file shares, and also offers great streaming capabilities, connection speed and DNS lookup time.
How is Customer Service at NordVPN?
One thing about NordVPN that bugs us is that there is no mention of a 24/7 customer support on their site, but the company does mention that it provides help “all day, every day” through their live chat facility. Be aware that it does take some time (usually, a few minutes) for their representative to connect with us through their live chat.
You can contact NordVPN’s customer service team via email or by filling out their Contact Us form. The former has a response time of 72 hours and the latter 48 hours. The company does have a dedicated Help Center, where you can find answers to questions on different categories, such as Billing, Connectivity, and more.
For business users, NordVPN does mention that it provides 24/7 personal help.
With 3,290 servers scattered across 60 countries, NordVPN has one of the vastest VPN server networks in the industry today. What’s even greater is that the service allows you to choose from a variety of specialty server types, which include: dedicated IP servers, anti DDoS servers, double VPN servers, P2P servers, Onion over VPN servers, and obfuscated servers.
Getting started or signing up with NordVPN is easy and straightforward. All you need to do is choose a subscription plan that seems best for you, create a secure account by providing just your email address, and select a preferred payment method. And of course, NordVPN supports all the prominent VPN protocols – OpenVPN, PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP/IPsec.
The range of features offered by NordVPN, for both home and business users, is superb. The company offers amazing privacy, security, and other general features for home users, some of which include:
- Double VPN: A security feature where the VPN creates double encryption to provide users with an additional layer of privacy and security online.
- Browser Proxy Extensions: Proxy extensions for Firefox and Chrome, for a more secure and open internet connection.
- SmartPlay: A default technology implemented in all NordVPN apps, which enables you to stream your favorite websites without any connection, buffering, or other issues.
- Multiple Devices: Allows you to connect and protect up to 6 devices with a single NordVPN account.
For business users, NordVPN provides features like: double data encryption, automatic kill switch, cross-platform service for all devices, dedicated business VPN servers, and more.
Is NordVPN Safe?
The security features offered by NordVPN are top notch. Firstly, the service uses military-grade encryption, which is Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256 bit-keys. The company also recommends the selection of two security protocols for strong encryption: OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec. Based on your security status and connection speed, your encryption settings will be automatically chosen by the NordVPN app you use.
NordVPN also offers a feature called CyberSec technology, which is designed to prevent cyber threats from infecting your device, by blocking suspicious websites automatically. In addition, as discussed earlier, there is also the Double VPN feature, which utilizes double encryption to provide you with an additional layer of security and privacy.
Furthermore, NordVPN also provides the DNS leak protection feature to ensure that all your valuable data remains protected at all times. This feature is implemented on all NordVPN apps, including iOS, Mac OS, Android, and Windows.
NordVPN is one strong VPN service provider with an exceptional list of privacy, security, and additional features, easy to use interface, good customer support, and reasonable pricing. It is one of the very few VPN services that we would recommend for use by both home and business users, and we can confidently say that this VPN will retain its top spot for a long time to come.