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NordVPN review

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2 Year of NordVPN from $2.99/mo
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NordVPN Servers

5,600+ servers in 84 locations across 59 countries

NordVPN Pros

  • Among the fastest VPNs
  • Tons of features
  • Diskless RAM-only server infrastructure
  • Solid encryption

NordVPN Cons

  • No transparency reports
  • Only six simultaneous connections allowed

NordVPN, a prominent player in the virtual private network industry, excels in delivering a comprehensive service that meets customers’ expectations. With impressive speed, a wide range of useful features, and user-friendly interface, NordVPN stands out as a top choice. It operates from a jurisdiction that prioritizes privacy, providing users with peace of mind. NordVPN offers all the essential security and privacy features one would expect from a high-quality VPN, along with additional features like double-hop VPN and Onion over VPN for enhanced protection. Despite not being the most inexpensive option available, NordVPN offers great value for its capabilities and affordability.

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  • Average speed loss of 13% in summer 2024 speed tests
  • Number of servers: 5,400+
  • Number of server locations: 59

Our speed tests were conducted across various locations, including New York, the UK, Australia, France, Germany, and Singapore, using the OpenVPN protocol. NordVPN exhibited remarkable consistency in its speed performance throughout the testing process. In New York, despite being the closest server to our physical location, the average speed reached 343.12 Mbps. Surprisingly, faster average speeds were achieved when connecting to servers located much farther away, such as those in the UK (351.41 Mbps) and Europe (345.70 Mbps). It is worth noting that New York experiences heavy VPN traffic, which may have slightly impacted the speeds. Unfortunately, NordVPN does not provide real-time server load information, making it impossible to manually connect to the least loaded server for potential speed improvements. Servers in Australia and Singapore, as expected, had relatively slower average speeds at 260.81 Mbps and 305.34 Mbps, respectively.

While NordVPN’s network boasts over 5,400 servers in 59 server locations, it falls behind other leading providers such as ExpressVPN and Surfshark in terms of server coverage. Expanding the server network can enhance speed performance by providing users with servers closer to their physical locations and reducing server load.

Additionally, we tested NordLynx, NordVPN’s proprietary WireGuard-based protocol, which the company claims to be its fastest protocol. However, the speeds achieved through NordLynx were approximately 50 Mbps slower across all locations compared to OpenVPN. As OpenVPN is widely regarded as the standard-bearer of VPN protocols, offering a good balance of speed and security, the higher speeds observed with OpenVPN were a pleasant surprise.

In conclusion, NordVPN has made considerable strides in improving its speed performance, delivering consistent and reliable speeds throughout testing. While the network of servers and server locations could be expanded further, NordVPN remains a strong contender in the VPN market, offering a reliable balance of speed and security.

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  • Price: $79 for the first two years or $60 for the first year (then $100 per year afterwards) or $12 a month
  • Available payment options: Credit/Debit Card, AmazonPay, Google Pay, ACH Transfer, Cryptocurrency, Cash (via retail store)
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 days
  • Apps available on: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Android TV, Fire TV

NordVPN offers lower introductory prices that increase significantly after the initial subscription term. They have three pricing options: a two-year plan for $79, a yearly plan for $60, and a monthly plan for $12.

However, the prices for subsequent years rise to $100 annually for the two-year and yearly plans. It’s advisable not to commit to a provider for more than a year due to the rapidly changing VPN industry. Payments can be made with major credit/debit cards, AmazonPay, Google Pay, ACH transfer, or cryptocurrencies.

NordVPN also accepts cash payments at select retail stores like Staples, BestBuy, and Walmart.

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Security and privacy

  • Encryption: AES-256 encryption
  • Protocol: NordLynx(WireGuard), OpenVPN(TCP & UDP)
  • Kill Switch: Yes
  • Other feature: multi-hop, Split tunneling, Dark Web Monitor, Meshnet, SOCKS5 proxy

NordVPN has established itself as a trusted choice for users with sensitive needs, including journalists, political activists, and individuals seeking access to unrestricted streaming content.

In 2019, NordVPN experienced a security breach that drew attention and raised concerns about its reputation. However, it’s important to note that the breach affected only one server in Finland, and it did not provide access to critical infrastructure. NordVPN promptly addressed the issue by shutting down the compromised server and discontinuing its use of the Finnish data center.

Since the incident, NordVPN has taken significant steps to enhance its overall security. They have implemented a bug bounty program, encouraging ethical hackers to identify vulnerabilities and report them for rewards. Additionally, NordVPN has partnered with VerSprite, a reputable cybersecurity consulting firm, to conduct vendor risk assessments, comprehensive penetration testing, and intrusion handling evaluations.

By actively engaging in these security measures and collaborating with experts, NordVPN demonstrates its commitment to addressing vulnerabilities, strengthening server security, and maintaining the trust of its user base.

Overall, despite the security breach in 2019, NordVPN has taken proactive steps to improve its security practices, making it a reliable choice for users who prioritize privacy and seek unrestricted access to online content.

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We had no issues unblocking streaming sites like Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video when connected to NordVPN’s US servers.

Streaming PlatformWorks with NordVPN
Amazon Prime VideoYes
BBC iPlayerYes
Channel 4Yes
Hotstar IndiaNo
Netflix USYes
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NordVPN currently has 5800+ servers in 60+ countries. Most of them are in North America and Europe, but you’ll find plenty of options in other continents, too.

LocationNumber of countriesServers
The Americas5+2,600+
Africa, the Middle East, and India5+120+
Asia Pacific10+600+

NordVPN ensures the security and reliability of its server infrastructure through several key measures. Firstly, all of NordVPN’s servers are physical, meaning that the hardware is physically located in the country where users want to connect. This ensures that users’ data is routed through the intended geographic location and IP address.

Additionally, NordVPN’s server fleet operates on a RAM-only configuration, with no data storage on hard drives. This means that when a server is rebooted or shut down, all data is instantly wiped, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or tampering with user information in data centers.

To enhance performance, NordVPN is upgrading its servers from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps. Currently, over 20% of the server fleet operates at 10 Gbps speeds, available in select locations such as the US (New York, Seattle, Miami, Atlanta), the UK (London), and Japan (Tokyo). New locations are regularly added to accommodate increased traffic, especially with the growing adoption of 5G technology.

Furthermore, NordVPN is expanding its range of self-owned servers. While third-party data centers typically handle most of the VPN server fleet, NordVPN recognizes the potential risks associated with this arrangement. In response, the company is actively acquiring and managing its own servers to ensure greater control and security over its infrastructure. This initiative was prompted by a security breach in 2018 when one of NordVPN’s servers in a colocation center was compromised, leading the company to seek a safer solution.

Overall, NordVPN prioritizes the physical location of servers, utilizes RAM-only configurations, upgrades server speeds, and extends the ownership of its server infrastructure to enhance security, privacy, and performance for its users.

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Is it worth getting NordVPN?

NordVPN stands out as a leading VPN provider due to its exceptional performance and continuous improvement efforts. With years of experience in the industry, NordVPN has honed its product to excel in various areas, including content unblocking, circumventing censorship, and ensuring complete user anonymity.

What sets NordVPN apart is its commitment to innovation, introducing proprietary features like NordLynx and Meshnet. These cutting-edge technologies provide unique advantages that are not available with other VPN services.

Despite its high-quality offerings, NordVPN remains affordable, making it accessible to a wide range of users. To address any skepticism, NordVPN offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee and a 7-day free trial, allowing users to experience the best VPN on the market firsthand.

Don’t hesitate to try NordVPN and discover the pinnacle of performance and security in the VPN industry.

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