NordVPN

8.3

Overall Score

4 User Reviews

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NordVPN has been in business since 2008, but only been providing VPN services since 2012.  The company is reasonably priced and offers their customers different lengths of contracts, with substantial discounts for longer terms.  The company is based in Panama and does not keep logs on their users' online behaviors.  The company operates over 530 servers in over 40 countries.

The Good

  • Free trial
  • Price
  • Encryption type
  • Speed
  • Customer support
  • Extra features
Free Trial

NordVPN offers a 3-day full-featured free trial to new customers. However, prospective customers must request the free trial, as it is not automatic. The process is simple, and can be completed without using any billing information.

To receive a free trial from NordVPN, customers must:

  • Register for an account and select any payment plan
  • Select Bitcoin as the preferred payment gateway without making a payment
  • Send an email to [email protected] with the registered email account requesting a free trial

Upon approval of the free trial, a representative of NordVPN will send a free trial account confirmation message with details and instructions. Since there is no billing information required when registering for a free trial, there is no risk for those wanting to sample NordVPN.

Free trials may be upgraded at the end of the trial by signing into the account and changing the customer's billing information. NordVPN accepts PayPal, BitCoin, BrainTree (credit card) and Paymentwall for payments.

Price

Customers may select one of three billing terms with NordVPN.

  • Simple - monthly plan - $11.95/month
  • Standard - 6 month plan - $7/month - $42 billed every 6 months
  • Best Offer - annual plan - $5.74/month - $69 billed every 12 months
Encryption Type

NordVPN uses SSL-based 2048-bit encryption as well as OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec protocols. Each of these methods is at the current cutting edge of security and offers their customers a level of protection which is far superior to standard ISP connections. Adding to NordVPN's commitment to keep their customers' data safe is their use of a Double VPN. Simply put, a double VPN puts data and traffic through another server for increased anonymity. Up to six devices may be connected to the VPN, but there are a few limitations when attempting to connect to the same server.

 Speed

The average speed which the Review Team received for NordVPN was 28.4 Mbps for downloads and 3.1 Mbps uploads. There are many factors which can affect a VPN's speed, which include the speed of the user's ISP, distance from server, and security of the connection. Clearly, a slower ISP will not perform well with an VPN. VPNs cannot compensate for a sub-standard speed from an ISP. Users should select a server which is the closest to them geographically for the best performance. Adding to reasons which NordVPN has some slower speeds than some other VPN providers is their Double VPN. Simply put, users sacrifice some speed for the added encryption of a second VPN tunnel.

In the everyday practice, there is very little noticeable slowdown reported by most internet users. The lag is negligible and speeds are calculated per second. Users need not worry that their connection with NordVPN will take them to the days of dial-up speeds.

Using the same criteria, the Review Team ran a test of the average speed for uploads and downloads for ISPs in the United States. The average download speed for the last 250 tests for the entire US was 20.8 Mbps and average upload speed was 5.2 Mbps. Users are advised to check their own ISP speed to determine what their actual speed is and make decisions accordingly.

 Customer Support

NordVPN's customer support is available via online form submission, direct email, social media, and live chat. Those inquiring about billing (via the online form) receive a response within 24 hours, while other issues may take longer. The online chat and social media assistance are both very helpful for those with more urgent concerns. NordVPN operates a comprehensive knowledge base with many articles designed to help their customers find answers to most questions quickly and easily.

Extra features

Each of NordVPN's 530+ servers are automatically protected with a firewall to protect their customers. Additionally, the company features a KillSwitch which automatically shuts off internet traffic in the rare event that a server goes down, keeping users safe. It is important to note that this KillSwitch only works on Windows and MAC connection, not those being used by other devices.

The Bad

  • Transparency
Transparency

NordVPN is highly transparent in some areas, and less so in others. The Review Team was surprised at how well-hidden the information about the company's trial period actually was online. The only mention of a free trial is a single sentence buried in the company's FAQ. When asked about the free trial, representatives were very helpful and shared step-by-step instructions about how to properly set up a free trial. This does not coincide with the apparent hiding of the free trial, however, and is puzzling.

The Bottom Line

NordVPN is a solid choice for customers looking to enhance their online privacy with a Virtual Private Network. The company offers competitive pricing, a free trial, discounts for longer service contracts, and extra features such as firewalls and their KillSwitch. Their security is solid, with the addition of Double VPN for added encryption. Customer support is easily contacted, and helpful, so customers may receive the added confidence that technical issues will be quickly resolved.

While there is some slowdowns when using NordVPN, the real-life applications and results are truly negligible. Users usually do not report significant slowdowns using NordVPN. The Review Team notes that the company doesn't openly advertise their free trial and that customers must request the trial.

The Review Team is confident in recommending NordVPN based upon the many benefits to using their service, secure connections, and superior customer service. The company offers much to be desired in a provider of VPN services.

User Reviews

2.7

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  • 10

    Andrew

    September 28th, 2017

    Awesome VPN, easy to install. Helped me while traveling in Asia. No FB, IG or YouTube restrictions. Very good service!

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  • 0

    Will

    September 5th, 2017

    Horrible coverage. This service leaked and wouldn't keep me protected. I switched from express to nord for the savings. Biggest mistake.

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  • 1

    Tony

    August 19th, 2017 New York, NY

    Between March and May this service was very good. June rolled around and something changed, the servers would just kill the data stream while remaining connected. sometimes it would take hours, other times minutes. some days the service is unusable as the loss of data stream would be so frequent nothing was usable. I have a ticket with Nord over 120 entries long, all I get is continuous change of techs who do not read the thread and request what has already been done. the replies from tech are now averaging over a week. between friends and family whom I recommended Nord to, 9 in all, we are all experiencing the same problem. this ranges from Toronto, Hamilton, Niagara Ontario, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and West Virginia, and all but one have open tickets, Nord says I’m the only one with this problem. Really?? even when I send them the ticket numbers of the others they insist I’m the only one. I got a 3 day trial with HMA 2 weeks ago and did not have a single loss of the data stream. same with IPVanish last week, so the problem is with Nord AFAIC. Nord does not the will, or expertise to fix this and last week refused to refund the unused part of the 2 years I paid for. they have no phone number and refuse to call, so you are stuck with chats which lead to a waste of time, and their ticket system which they reply to when someone else in their tech team decides to reply (11 to date). I have access to 3 different isp services and public wifi, the data stream dies on all, and on all my devices, pc, ipad, iphone, android phone, android box, and xbox. I have been with 7 different VPN providers over the years, this one has to be the worst so far. I chose nord because they are away from the 14 eyes, and the 1 month I took before signing up for 2 years was flawless.

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  • 10

    Devon

    February 1st, 2017

    A rare service that sticks up to their promises. After Netflix announced that they are going after VPN companies allowing to bypass georestrictions in order to access their full content, NordVPN stood up. Countless times Netflix tried to block Nord's servers, but they always came up with a swift resolution. I am more than happy with the quality they provide and will keep recommending the service to everyone.

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