NordVPN Review

NordVPN

Updated 30Mar2018

Summary

For more information about NordVPN click here.

Features:

  • Strict no-log policy
  • Custom software for Windows, OS X, iOS and Android
  • Connect up to 6 devices with one account
  • P2P Friendly
  • No bandwidth limit
  • Pay using Bitcoin, PayPal, credit cards and more
  • >3200 servers in 60 countries (updated regularly)
  • Double VPN for increased anonymity
  • IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec security protocols offered
  • Internet Kill Switch
  • Encrypted Browser Extentions: Chrome and Firefox
  • Free proxy list (up to 3,000 free proxies)
  • Multiple device support: iPhone, iPad, routers, and more
  • Multiple OS support: Windows, iOS, OS X, Android, Linux, Blackberry and more
  • Shared IP (static/dynamic)
  • SmartPlay Feature: allowing access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and other streaming services
  • Dedicated IPS (special price)
  • Own DNS servers
  • Open VPN AES-256-SHA
  • IKEv2/IPsec (AES-256-GCM / SHA2-384 / PFS 3072-bit)
  • Unique Smart Play feature for added streaming connectivity
  • Customer Support (24/7) via ticket system, Facebook, Twitter or email
  • Adblocker CyberSec
  • Convenient server map and custom software

Customer Service

NordVPN offers quite a few different options in order to reach its customer service team. They have my favorite option: a live chat feature. I had a few questions for the customer service team and had all of them answered satisfactorily within a few minutes. I had made initial contact with the folks at NordVPN within a few seconds of using its live chat service. They also have a few other options for reaching out to them, including a ticket system and email services. I would have to imagine these would be a little bit slower. And then there were two I was particularly interested in: Facebook and Twitter. I inquired further about this with their customer service rep. He said you just need to go to either their Facebook page (here) or Twitter page (here) and send them a private message, post or tweet and you can get answers back in a short period of time. Their Facebook page says they usually respond within an hour. However, NordVPN’s customer service rep said their fastest response time will still come from the live chat option available on their website.

Pricing

NordVPN offers five pricing plans. It offers a standard monthly subscription at $11.95/month. There is no discount available at this pricing point. Its second plan is a semi-annual $42.00 recurring subscription which works out to $7.00/month. The semi-annual plan works out to a 41 percent savings versus the monthly plan rate. The third is a yearly plan billed annually at $69.00 per year, which works out to $5.75/month. This is a 52 percent savings as compared to the monthly subscription. The fourth option is a biennial (2 year) subscription that is billed biennially at $79.00 yielding a monthly rate of $3.29 which is a 72% reduction compared to the monthly recurring rate. The best rate is the fifth and final payment plan, a 3 year plan, which is billed at $99.00 or $2.75 per month. This represents a massive savings of 77% compared to the monthly rate.

NordVPN Payment Plan Chart

Plan

Price

Discount

Monthly Recurring Subscription

$11.95/month

None

Six Month Recurring Subscription

$7.00/month; $42.00 billed semi annually

41%

Annual Recurring Subscription

$5.75/month; $69.00 billed annually

52%

Biennial (2 Year) Recurring Subscription

$3.29/month; $79.00 billed biennially

72%

Triennial (3 Year) Recurring Subscription

$2.75/month; $99.00 bill triennially

77%

To Purchase NordVPN go here.

Refund Policy

NordVPN has a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can purchase its service and take it for a test drive for 30 days with no worries. What is really cool about NordVPN, though, is that it offers a three-day free trial. Details about this three-day free trial can be found here. One thing to be noted about its refund is if you have purchased its services through the Apple app store or Google Play, you cannot get a refund.

Free Trial Installation Guide Video

 

Payment

NordVPN has the following ways of paying for its service. You can make a payment with the three major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Payment can also be made using PayPal or Bitcoin. NordVPN offers the ability to pay with different gift cards. For instance, when I logged into its payment window it gave me the options of a few different stores’ gift cards. I could use Subway, CVS and a couple of others to pay for the service. According to the customer service agent I chatted with, there can be different stores’ gift cards available for use depending on where you are located. For me there was a total of seven alternative payment options including gift cards. Below is a screen shot showing some of the options available to me.

NordVPN has a couple of other payment options as well. You can use Neosurf or Mint, for example. If you purchase the app for your tablet or smart phone you can pay for the service either through iTunes or Google Play depending upon your device’s manufacturer.

Privacy

NordVPN’s service has over 3200 different servers in 60 countries. It has servers across the globe from the USA to the Netherlands, over to Singapore and back again. It has servers on every continent except for Antarctica for reasons that don’t need to be addressed. NordVPN has a few different categories of servers that are explained below.

Server Types

Double VPN – your connection goes through two VPN servers before it goes out onto the internet.

Onion over VPN – your connection goes through NordVPN’s server and then onto the Onion router (TOR) and then onto the internet.

Ultra Fast TV – servers for online streaming.

Anti-DDoS – used for a less interrupted connection.

Dedicated IP Servers – Servers with a consistently dedicated IP address.

Standard Server – Regular VPN server.

P2P – allows for peer-to-peer traffic to occur. There won’t be any rerouting of traffic into NordVPN’s P2P blackhole if you’re using torrent client or any other P2P options.

NordVPN uses the industry standard AES 256-bit encryption for its VPN service. It uses the following security protocols: IKEv2/IPsec, Open VPN, PPTP, L2TP and IP Sec. In keeping with the privacy theme, NordVPN has a strict no-log policy. It doesn’t track you or keep logs of your surfing habits. You can also have up to six devices connected under one account. This will allow you to have your smart phone, tablet, PC and laptop all protected at the same time under one account.

Speed Test

We did some speed tests using the following three websites: www.speedtest.net, www.speedtest.org and www.speakeasy.net/speedtest. We used each website to do a pre- and post-NordVPN launch to see how it slowed down the download and upload speeds. We found the following results: www.speedtest.net showed NordVPN slowed the download speed by 0.30Mb/s and the upload speed by 0.09Mb/s, www.speedtest.org recorded no decrease in download speeds and actually had an upload speed increase of 0.16Mb/s and www.speakeasy.net/speedtest slowed the download speed by 0.31Mb/s and the upload speed by 0.07Mb/s. The average download speed decrease was 0.22Mb/s and the average upload speed decrease was 0.01Mb/s.

Speedtest Images

Speedtest.net – Before

Speedtest.net – After

Speedtest.org – Before

Speedtest.org – After

Speakeasy.net/speedtest – Before

Speakeasy.net/speedtest – After

Speed Test Results Chart

Speed Test Review Video

 

For more information about NordVPN click here.

IP Location

The IP location test is done to show whether or not the servers selected once NordVPN was activated all show broadcasting from the same location. We used www.iplocation.net which is an aggregate site which uses five other sites to show IP locations. The five other sites are www.ip2location.net, www.ipinfo.io, www.eurekapi.com, www.db-ip.com and www.maxmind.com. We selected four different locations to test. We started off in Albania, then moved over to India, then down to Australia and finally ended up in Canada. The Albanian, Indian and Canadian servers all showed consistent locations among the five websites. The Australian servers showed four of the five server broadcasting from Australia with one server broadcasting from the United Kingdom. Below are screen shots of each of the locations.

IP Location Images

Albania

India

Australia

Canada

IP Location Video Review

Server List Complaint

One thing I did not like about NordVPN is the lack of specific location selection in the server selection. It is done by country only — it doesn’t allow you to get more specific than that. You can choose any country where NordVPN has servers — which to its credit is quite large — but you can’t go to smaller subnational divisions such as the city or state level in the USA, for example, or the provincial level in Canada. You have to pick a server and see where it is located after it is connected by using a website like www.iplocation.net. As shown below, both Australia and the United Kingdom have many different servers throughout their respective countries. In some cases like Thailand, as shown below, there is only one server so it isn’t applicable.

Server List

Australia Server List

 

United Kingdom Server List

Thailand Server List

Platforms Supported

NordVPN offers VPN protection for the following operating systems: Windows, iOS, Android, OS X and Linux (although it doesn’t list Linux on its features page). It also supports devices such as your iPad, iPhone, routers, different game consoles and more.

DNS Leak Test

The domain name system (DNS) is the process by which website addresses such as www.safesecuresurfing.com are translated into the internet protocol which allows computers to speak to one another. A DNS leak is a flaw within the system which reveals your true IP location to the servers you are broadcasting from, compromising your privacy in the process. So when we are testing NordVPN’s servers for a DNS leak we want to be sure there is only one server being broadcast. We used three websites to show if we have a DNS leak before and after the servers are launched. We used www.dnsleaktest.com, www.dnsleak.com and www.dns-leak.com to compare and contrast the results.

NordVPN passed the DNS leak test with no troubles as all. All three websites showed that before NordVPN server was launched there were multiple leaks occurring but after the three websites had been launched there were no leaks. This is shown in the chart below.

DNS Leak Test Chart

DNS Leak Test Images

dnsleaktest.com – Before

dnsleaktest.com – After

dnsleak.com – Before

dnsleak.com – After

dns-leak.com – Before

dns-leak.com – After

DNS Leak Test Video

For more information about NordVPN click here.

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