2023 NordVPN Review: Still the Best in the Industry?

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN providers that has been established all the way back in 2012. This top VPN service continues to expand every year, with over 14 million subscribers globally and includes one of the industry’s largest infrastructures.

The tool provides its customers with many different modern technologies and services, such as its own NordLynx tunneling protocol and a Mesh network. With an enormous infrastructure and a high-performance server park, it proves to be one of the most complete solutions, but also one of the most affordable for all sorts of audiences. The service focuses on the development of breakthrough technology such as the development of an in-house security protocol based on WireGuard, a Mesh network permitting a decentralized VPN, and complete cyber anti-threat security.

Following the laws of Panama, the follows a rigorous policy of not collecting or disclosing its customers’ data. Regular audits are undertaken by trustworthy independent agencies to confirm that NordVPN has a trustworthy security infrastructure and a zero-log policy. All of this contributes to its position as one of the finest VPNs on the market.


How Does the NordVPN Infrastructure Work?

NordVPN 2023

NordVPN is one of the major VPN service providers at the moment, with over 5,602 servers distributed in 59 countries on five continents. 70% of these are 10 Gb/s servers established in 2022 and spread around Europe, Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, and Africa. The tool owns more than 230 servers in France, 190 servers in Australia, 440 servers in the United Kingdom, and 1,970+ servers in the United States.

NordVPN is one of the major VPN service providers at the moment, with over 5,602 servers distributed in 59 countries on five continents.

Aside from ordinary equipment, the VPN tool offers a wide variety of servers specialized to particular types of uses, including P2P, Onion Over VPN (connection to the Tor network), Double VPN (traffic that is routed through two VPNs), as welk as obfuscation (bypassing VPN blocks in repressive countries).

What sets NordVPN apart from most other providers on the market is the fact that it actually owns its servers and doesn’t just rent them from network providers. This comes after NordVPN was embroiled in a hacking controversy in March 2018 while renting servers from third-party data centers. Their facilities at a Finnish data center were breached, revealing the information they had. The service provider, who had forgotten to alert NordVPN at the time, quickly fixed the issue, prompting NordVPN to undertake some major security upgrades due to this. Some of these include:

  • Ownership of the servers
  • Automatic Data deletion for each device
  • A Bug Bounty Program
  • Regular security and infrastructure audits

Is there a free NordVPN version?

You should keep in mind that NordVPN is a paid VPN service and not a free one. There are no free trials, light versions, or demo versions with restricted capabilities. However, all of its products have a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you can try the service worry free. Simply cancel your NordVPN subscription before the end of this period bycontacting the VPN’s technical support service if you have any issues with the tool.


What is the price of NordVPN?

You will have a few options when it comes to subscription options with NordVPN. The Standard package which includes a VPN, antivirus features, and ad blocker costs €11.99 if you go for a monthly plan, making it one of the more expensive VPNs at the moment. The annual plan is less expensive, ranging from €4.99 for one year to €3.49 for two years subscription.

NordVPN also offers a Plus plan for €12.99 a month, which includes the features in the Standard plan as well as access to the NordPass password manager and a Data Breach Scanner. The 2 plan costs €107.76 and the 1-year plan costs €71.88.

There is also a Complete plan with advanced features and 1TB of secured online storage from NordLocker which will cost you €14.49 per month. The 1-year subscription comes down to €89.88, and €143.76 for two years.

Each subscription plan includes a simultaneous connection on up to 6 devices at the same time. Another great feature is that NordVPN accepts cryptocurrency payments (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple) to ensure its consumers’ total privacy and anonymity.


How to get started with NordVPN

You can get started by downloading the NordVPN software to your device, launching the installation file, and following the instructions presented on the screen. Once the procedure is completed, you will be asked to access your account or to subscribe to one of the available plans.

After you log in to your account you will get cross-platform compatibility for all of your devices using Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. In addition, you can get VPN support for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge extensions, as well as an Android TV app and the Amazon Fire TV app.

Don’t forget to check out NordVPN’s website, which contains different tutorials to assist you in configuring the VPN on all supported platforms, including various types of game consoles such as Xbox, PlayStation, Oculus, Switch, Internet boxes, routers like Asus and/or DD-WRT, Tomato, Padavan, OpenWRT, Merlin compatible equipment), NAS (Synology, Qnap), Raspberry Pi, Chromebook, and even Kindle Fire!

For assistance or if you have any questions about the VPN applications or device security, contact the friendlyNordVPN technical support team which will quickly answer all of your questions.

NordVPN Features

VPN Setup and Dashboard

To make this review, we checked the PC version of NordVPN. It includes a modern and simple design with a contemporary dark and light mode, making it easy to use for all types of users. In the main screen of the dashboard, you will see a map that shows which cities host the accessible servers. You can click on one of the interactive dots in order to start a server connection.

On the left, you will find a floating module that includes an immediate connection button to the quickest server, as well as shortcuts to the most recently used ones. The IP symbol displays the user’s IP address in real-time, and the VPN status is clearly displayed: not connected, or connected. When connected, the button will display in green, and red when not connected.

By clicking the arrow to the right of the NordVPN website’s recent locations bar, a menu appears displaying the following options:

  • Specialized Servers List
  • Mesh Menu
  • List of the countries available
  • A Search bar

The sidebar on the far left of the screen will give you access to:

  • Additional features
  • support contact form,
  • security settings.

You will also be able to access all information and extra features relevant to your subscription plan. From your account menu, you can:

  • Account Management,
  • Available Apps
  • Connected Devices Lists
  • Support

Location Selection

It is really easy to start your connection using NordVPN. You can either trust the VPN and its automated connection module which connects you to the quickest server to obtain the finest services at any given moment or choose a server from the thousands of available options worldwide.

NordVPN also allows you to tailor your connections for certain purposes by using specialized servers. To download torrent files and enjoy enough bandwidth, it is better to use a connection point listed in the menu Specialized servers -P2P. Connecting to obfuscated, Tor-enabled or Double VPN works in the same way. Those who have subscribed to a dedicated IP address (a personal IP address) will discover in the menu a list of servers organized by a country that accepts this sort of address.

Once you are connected, you can easily pick a new country/city on the map or from the list of possible locations.NordVPN instantly connects to the new server, with no need for manual disconnection/reconnection. As a security precaution, the session is momentarily halted during the transition to avoid any privacy leaks outside of the VPN tunneling.

What is the NordVPN Security Protocol, Encryption, and Mesh Network

NordVPN provide a 256-bit AES encryption, as well as the following protocols: OpenVPN TCP/UDP (for all platforms, including Android and iOS) and IKEv2 (macOS and iOS only). However, unlike the majority of other VPN services, NordVPN does not include WireGuard. Instead, you can choose NordLynx, which is based on a WireGuard that features modern technologies intended to strengthen the security your data identification. This is because NordVPN feels that WireGuard cannot provide total anonymity, since your identity might be retained on the servers and linked to an internal IP address supplied by the VPN.

NordVPN provide a 256-bit AES encryption, as well as the following protocols: OpenVPN TCP/UDP (for all platforms, including Android and iOS) and IKEv2.

As a result, the in-house protocol effort tries to solve this privacy problem while keeping WireGuard’s remarkable speed. NordVPN’s approach is based on WireGuard but includes a dual NAT (Network Address Translation) mechanism that permits VPN connections without retaining identifying data on the server, possibly risking Internet users’ anonymity.

NordVPN says that their approach is quicker and more stable than the usual IKEv2 and OpenVPN by design. It is hard to verify the degree of security since the firm has not revealed its sources. However, our performance tests confirm its stunning speeds.

We should not forget to mention that NordVPN recently released Mesh Network, a service based on its proprietary protocol. It operates like a decentralized VPN, allowing you to connect to another device that is also using the VPN service, instead of a simple server. NordLynx has used AES-256 to protect and encrypt this service and computers, cellphones, and other devices can use the IP address of the device processing their traffic. The feature can be used both locally and remotely and allows you to connect 10 devices to the master NordVPN account and up to 50 endpoints to third-party NordVPN accounts.

NordVPN Customer Support

The NordVPN’s live chat technical support service is available around the clock, every day of the year. The staff working at this company provides exceptional customer service in a matter of minutes. No matter what time of the day is, you can get quick and efficient support and answer to all of your questions.

How Fast Are the NordVPN Server Speeds

To wrap up this NordVPN review, we ran different speed tests on different devices using different types of connections. We gathered different readings at different times and in different locations.

What we discovered, is that apart from the predicted changes in ping across the different destinations, the results are outstanding. In France and the United Kingdom, download rates are reaching 500Mb/s, while upload speeds are about 300Mb/s. These speeds enable you to browse the web, stream broadcast materials, play online games, and/or download files without latency. The findings are similarly astounding in other locations such as the United States and Japan, with upload and download rates topping 250 Mb/s.

We can conclude that the NordVPN server connections are reliable and constant, bringing you some of the best speeds available currently on the market.


NordVPN Security Assesment

DNS leaks, Data breaches, and More

To detect DNS breaches, we used a DNS leak check software. We checked for any data leaks and possible security breaches. We performed these checks together with our speed tests and discovered no oddities. We can now confirm that in terms of personal and identity information, NordVPN proves to be a reliable VPN security provider that always protects your personal details.

NordVPN’s Privacy Policies, Audit, and Headquarters

NordVPN claims to have a tight “zero log” policy and is situated in Panama, a country free of data protection regulations or invasive partnerships (such as the 5, 9, 14 Eyes Alliances, the European legislation, etc.). NordVPN assures that no information about its customers is collected, including browsing history, searches, traffic destination, session length, IP address, or bandwidth use.

Like the majority of other VPN services, NordVPN stores the user’s email address, username, payment information, and certain non-personal metadata to ensure the service runs effectively.

NordVPN claims to have a tight “zero log” policy and is situated in Panama, a country free of data protection regulations or invasive partnerships

As previously stated, NordVPN has acknowledged to a March 2018 data breach on a server located in a Finnish data center. To reassure their customers, NordVPN engaged a cybersecurity company to verify its complete hardware and software infrastructure, and it has since had its VPN service certified on a yearly basis by independent businesses.


NordVPN Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Go Performance

We found no dedicated streaming servers in the special server list, however usually simply choosing the fastest server in the desired geographic is enough to unblock geographically restricted content from streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Pandora, YouTube, HBO, Hulu, and others. Streaming is possible on all devices and the speeds are excellent, so that you can watch your favorite shows at all times without any interruptions.


NordVPN for torrenting

NordVPN is without a doubt one of the best VPNs for torrenting, with thousands of servers that are particularly optimized for peer-to-peer networking. The download speeds are more than enough when you are connected to the fastest suggested location.


NordVPN for iPhone and Android

NordVPN has taken a special effort in developing its mobile applications, which offer a similar interface and options as its desktop version.

The NordVPN mobile dashboard has an interactive map with a list of all accessible countries, access to the special servers (P2P, Tor, Double VPN), as well as access to the Routing menu. You can easily find your session information, Dark Web monitoring data, and the device’s security rating. NordVPN also includes integrations with OpenVPN and NordLynx, making this one of the best VPN tools for smartphones at the moment.


Other important NordVPN features

NordVPN supports split tunneling and includes a kill switch that disables incoming and outgoing internet connections in the case of a service failure. You may also choose which App Kill Switch should be utilized. The two tools may be used separately, independently of each other.

The higher plans include NordPass, which is a password manager that will safely store all of your passwords, and NordLocker, which is a secure cloud. NordVPN also offers an Anti-Threat Protection feature, as well as a Dark Web monitoring tool to improve the security of your personal data by blocking intrusive ads, online tracking tools, malicious websites, and others.


Our Final Thoughts on NordVPN

NordVPN remains at the top of the list of the best VPN services available at the moment. It offers a complete VPN service that brings you fast and interrupted browsing, playing, streaming, and more with thousands of available servers worldwide.

The company makes no compromises in terms of security and safeguarding the its customers’ data. It utilizes the newest security technologies, personal servers, and monthly audits to bring you the most secure VPN service at the moment.

We believe that no matter of your preferences, this VPN will be a perfect match for anyone looking to use torrents, stream, or anything else.


The answers to your most burning questions about NordVPN

Is there a free service with NordVPN?

We should advise that the NordVPN tool does not come cheap, which is understandable because of the great features it offers. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for each plan, like most other VPNs at the moment. This allows you to use all of NordVPN’s services and try the different servers, and walk back with your money if you are not satisfied with the service.

Is NordVPN logging any information?

NordVPN is exempt from the US Patriot Act and other privacy legislation and alliances since it is located in Panama. As a result, NordVPN follows a strict “zero log” privacy policy and claims that it does not collect any information and logs, such as visited sites, session length, IP address, and others.

Only data relevant to the user’s account is retained to ensure the service’s efficient performance. NordVPN’s service is frequently examined by independent organizations, that have repeatedly shown that the service satisfies all industryrequirements.

Does NordVPN unblock streaming sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+?

NordVPN is the best VPN for ensuring continuous interrupted access to streaming services. With thousands of available servers globally, the tool has one of the largest infrastructures on the market and provides fast connections perfect for streaming.

Unlike competing VPNs, NordVPN does not have specific streaming servers, however, picking the fastest server in the proper geographical area is enough to avoid geographical restrictions on your favorite shows.

What is the best way to contact NordVPN service?

NordVPN goes out of its way to give great technical help with live chat support accessible on its website 24/7. You will get your questions answered in a matter of minutes at any time of the day!

What is the cancellation or unsubscription process for NordVPN?

The quickest way to cancel your subscription plan is to contact NordVPN’s live chat support. You may also access your account via the dashboard and choose the cancellation option from the right-hand menu under the “Billing” option. This will take you to an online form where you may cancel your NordVPN membership.

After you’ve finished filling out the form on the screen, click the “Submit” button. Following that, you will get an email confirming the cancellation of your subscription.

How to download NordVPN on iOS and Android devices?

You can download the NordVPN mobile apps from the Google Play or Apple App Stores, or via the online dashboard of your user account (“Downloads/Mobile Apps”).

Once the installation is complete, you need to enter your login to connect to the VPN. Before you can make your first connection, you will be prompted to approve the VPN configuration on the system. To connect to the quickest server, just click the “Quick Connect” button, or choose your preferred location from the map.

How to set up NordVPN on Chromecast?

Bypass Geo-restrictions on your TV by installing NordVPN on your Chromecast device. The VPN installation varies according to the Chromecast device. If your device supports Google TV, you may access the Play Store and download the VPN software. Other versions might require the installation of the VPN on a compatible router or PC. You can check the user manuals on NordVPN for more information.

How can I get NordVPN to work on my Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Switch?

There is no specialized VPN software for gaming consoles. In order to run NordVPN on an Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo Switch, you will need to set up the VPN on a router that supports the console. You can then connect your gaming console and choose your favorite VPN server. You can also connect the console via a PC.

How does the NordVPN Chrome addon work?

NordVPN offers a web extension for Google Chrome browsers. To access the VPN, go to the Chrome Web Store or the NordVPN dashboard and select the Add Extension option. After the successful installation, you will see the NordVPN logo in the right side of your browser’s search bar. Simply click on the logo when you want to log in or start a connection. You will then be able to mask your IP address, enter restricted sites, secure your communications, browsing, and more.

How do you install NordVPN on your router?

Installing NordVPN on a router encrypts all devices connected to it. This approach allows VPN access on old TV boxes, game consoles, and Apple TV devices that do not support VPN.

However, you must first check that your ISP’s Internet box supports VPN.

How can I set up NordVPN on my Android TV?

NordVPN has a Google TV-specific app available. It is compatible with TVs equipped

Yes, NordVPN offers a Google TV app. It is compatible with Google TV-enabled TVs as well as Android boxes with Play Store access. It is available via the VPN’s website or the Google Play Store.

Connect to the service using your login credentials after installing the app (email address and password). The app’s user interface is simple and uncomplicated, and it was built to interact with the TV box remote control.

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