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NordVPN Review & Test (2023 Update): 10 Pros & 3 Cons

By Tibor Moes / January 2023 / Rating 5 of 5

NordVPN Review & Test (2023 Update): 10 Pros & 3 Cons

NordVPN Review & Test (2023)

NordVPN is the most advanced VPN that you can buy. 

It uses the best privacy technology, it’s ultra-fast, it works with all streaming services, and it allows torrenting. On top of that, PwC, a leading accounting firm, has independently audited and verified its no-logs policy.

Its beautiful and intuitive design makes it an excellent VPN for beginners. While its advanced features, like Double VPN and Onion over VPN, make it the perfect option for even the most demanding users, like journalists and activists in censored countries.

We highly recommend NordVPN. 

NordVPN Pros:

  • Privacy Technology. NordVPN applies the best privacy technology in all areas: RAM servers, Double VPN, NordLynx, AES-256, and more.
  • Intuitive Design. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But we believe that NordVPN has the most beautifully designed apps in the industry.
  • No-Log Policy. NordVPN does not track what you do online. PwC, a leading accounting firm, has independently audited the privacy policy.
  • Works with all Streaming Services. NordVPN works with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, Apply TV, and more.
  • Allows Torrenting. NordVPN allows torrenting on most of its servers and has dedicated P2P servers for extra high speeds while torrenting.
  • 5,600 Servers in 59 Countries. NordVPN has physical servers in 59 countries that are being upgraded to RAM servers.
  • 6 Simultaneous Connections. Protect 6 devices at once, or install NordVPN on your router to protect all your IoT devices.
  • Cheaper than Premium Rivals. NordVPN is significantly more affordable than other premium rivals, like ExpressVPN and Hotspot Shield.
  • Onion over VPN. NordVPN gives you access to the Dark Web without you having to download the Tor browser (The Onion Router).
  • Constant Innovation. NordVPN is constantly improving and expanding its security features, such as Threat Protection and Meshnet.

NordVPN Cons:

  • No app on Linux. NordVPN does not have an app for Linux. Instead, you need to use the terminal. Although some might like it that way.
  • Inconsistent in China. NordVPN works in China on some operating systems. But its Windows app hasn’t worked for some time.
  • Cheaper Alternatives. Although they are less advanced than NordVPN, there are cheaper alternatives, like CyberGhost and Surfshark.

NordVPN’s price varies by region. Click the button to see it in yours.

NordVPN Specifications
Rating
5.0 ★★★★★
Streaming
Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Hulu, HBO, Apple, BBC, and more
Torrenting (P2P)
Torrenting Allowed
Logging
No Logs
Operating Systems
Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux
Servers & Countries
5,600+ Servers in 59 countries
Simultaneous Connections
6
Price for 1 Month
$ 11.99
Price for 1 Year
$ 59.88
Payment Method
Credit Card, Cryptocurrency, PayPal, AmazonPay, Sofort, Prepaid Card, iTunes, Google Pay and more
Money-Back Guarantee
30 Days
NordVPN Logging policy: Does NordVPN keep logs?

Logging policy: Does NordVPN keep logs?

No, NordVPN does not keep logs of your online activities. Instead, it has a clear no-log policy, which means that your browsing history is never monitored. What you do online is your business. And yours alone.

Why is logging important?

When you surf the web, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can track your online activities and sell that data. However, when you use a VPN, your ISP can’t do that anymore.

But when your data flows through the VPN servers, your VPN provider could spy on you as your ISP did. And some free VPN services do. 

That’s why it’s essential to read your VPN service’s log and privacy policies. NordVPN’s privacy policy clearly states what it tracks:

What does NordVPN log?

  • Email address to create your account.
  • Payment information to provide the subscription.
  • Country details to pay VAT in the appropriate country.

What does NordVPN not log?

  • Browsing history.
  • Traffic Information.
  • IP addresses.

Note: NordVPN does not log your IP address when you access the internet via their VPN servers. However, NordVPN does log your IP address and device data (operating system and browser) when you contact their support via the chatbot or when you access their website.

This type of data collection sounds bad, but it’s a standard part of web analytics, and every VPN provider does it. What matters is that this data is not connected to what you do online. After all, NordVPN does not monitor your browsing history and online activity.

Is NordVPN trustworthy?

VPN providers make a lot of claims. But only when these claims are independently investigated can we be sure they are true. Luckily, NordVPN was audited 3 times:

  • 2018: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), an accounting and consultancy firm, audited NordVPN’s no-logs policy by inspecting their technical logs.
  • 2019: VerSprite, a cybersecurity consultancy firm, performed a penetration test to identify vulnerabilities that could cause IP leaks. As a result, one high-severity vulnerability was discovered and patched.
  • 2020: PwC audited NordVPN’s no-logs policy again and was asked to inspect the server configuration, including those of specialized servers like the obfuscated, P2P, and Double VPN servers.
  • 2022: Deloitte audited NordVPN’s no-logs policy through employee interviews and the inspection of their server configuration, technical logs, and server infrastructure.

In short: NordVPN is committed to your privacy. It does not monitor your online activities and frequently undergoes independent audits to improve its security standards. So yes, we believe that NordVPN is trustworthy.

NordVPN Ownership: Who owns NordVPN?

Ownership: Who owns NordVPN?

Tom Okman, Eimantas Sabaliauskas, and Jonas Karklys from Lithuania are the co-founders and owners of Nord Security, which owns and operates NordVPN, NordPass, NordLocker, and NordLayer.

Nord Security merged with Surfshark in 2022 to form Cyberspace BV in the Netherlands. This is just a holding company. The people in the previous paragraph, and perhaps a few investors, are still the owners.

People often think NordVPN is a Panamanian company. That’s not true. Tefincom SA from Panama is just a holding company for the trademarks of NordVPN and NordLynx. The owners live and work in Lithuania.

Why is ownership important?

Companies are registered in countries. And countries can have data retention laws or be part of surveillance alliances like the 5, 9, and 14 Eyes.

For instance, if a company is registered in the USA, it can get subpoenas by law enforcement agencies that order it to hand over its traffic data.

This is less likely to happen when a VPN provider is registered in a less scrutinizing country, like Panama. But it’s not a bulletproof solution.

Where is NordVPN based?

In 2012, Tom Okman, Eimantas Sabaliauskas, and Jonas Karklys started Nord Security in Lithuania, where the men are from. Back then, the company was called NordSec.

In 2016, they created a separate company in Panama, Tefincom SA, to house the US trademark for NordVPN. Officially this was done for privacy reasons, as Panama has no data retention laws.

In 2022, Nord Security merged with Surfshark, creating the Dutch holding company Cyberspace BV. However, the VPN providers state that the Dutch firm will only act as a holding company and that the VPN services will remain separate businesses with their own infrastructure.

NordVPN states on its website that it is based and operated from Panama. We believe that this is an exaggeration. The holding company for their trademark is registered in Panama, and perhaps they have some support staff there too.

But all the people in leadership positions are based in Lithuania. And most of the current open positions in the company are for teams in Lithuania, Poland, and Germany. So we think it’s a safe assumption that most of the work is done in Lithuania.

Does the Panamanian company protect your data from the law?

VPN companies are not above the law, which NordVPN itself clearly states. So, if a company wants a large user base in the United States or the EU, it cannot ignore its rules. Even if it registers its trademark in Panama.

Therefore, take the Panamanian residency with a grain of salt. There is some extra protection through the complex international corporate structure. But it doesn’t guarantee perfect privacy from US or EU governmental agencies.

Instead, VPN users should focus on the no-logs policy and NordVPN’s transition to RAM servers (which can’t store data). NordVPN doesn’t track what you do online. So you’re anonymous. And that’s what matters.

NordVPN Security Features: Is NordVPN secure?

Security Features: Is NordVPN secure?

Yes, NordVPN is highly secure. Thanks to its advanced features, like the Kill Switch, Double VPN, Onion over VPN, Threat Detection, RAM servers, and NordLynx protocol, it is one of the most secure VPNs you can buy.

Servers – Where are NordVPN’s servers located?

NordVPN has 5,600+ servers in 59 countries, spanning the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East. In addition, users can select their server on a city level in the USA, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia.

NordVPN does not use virtual servers, meaning all servers are physically located within the country.

Specialty servers

NordVPN operates several specialty servers:

  • P2P: VPN Servers that are optimized to share files smoothly and quickly via torrenting networks.
  • Obfuscated: Servers that mask your VPN usage by changing the way the data packets look. This helps circumvent restrictions in censored countries like China, Turkey, Russia, and the UAE. These countries often block VPN traffic. But the obfuscated servers make it look like regular HTTPS data.
  • Double VPN: Instead of routing your data through one VPN server, your data is routed through two VPN servers. This doubles encryption and IP protection. It is also known as multi-hop, layered VPN, or VPN chaining.
  • Dedicated IP: Some networks are IP-restricted, meaning only specific IP addresses are granted access. As NordVPN servers constantly change their IP addresses, this can be complicated. So NordVPN gives you the option to select a sever with a static IP address.
  • Onion over VPN: When you connect to an Onion over VPN server, you can access the Onion Network without the need to download the Tor browser (The Onion Router). This is not just for convenience. It also protects you from compromised Onion servers.

Common questions about these specialty servers:

  • Does NordVPN work in China? Unfortunately, NordVPN is not the ideal VPN for China. On Android, it has launched a custom app for users in China, which works. However, on Mac, Linux, and iOS, you’ll need to configure the apps manually. And the Windows app has connection issues, even after manual configuration.
  • Is NordVPN safe for torrenting? Yes, NordVPN is an excellent choice for torrenting thanks to its P2P servers, kill switch, and no-log policy.

Colocated servers

Most VPN providers don’t own their servers. Instead, they rent servers from third parties and install custom software on them. However, after a breach of a third-party server in Finland in 2018, NordVPN decided to change this.

In September 2020, it started to switch from third-party servers to fully-owned and managed servers. This will give it complete control of the configuration and security.

RAM servers

NordVPN has also started to upgrade its infrastructure to RAM servers. These servers have no hard drive, which means that nothing can be stored locally and that all the data is erased when the server loses power. For instance, when the server is restarted, shut down, or physically seized.

NordVPN wants to use this technology to control its entire server network from a central point. Not even the operating system will be stored on the server itself. Instead, all the required software will be controlled and steered from its headquarters.

DNS servers

Like a house has geographical coordinates that we simplify with an address, a website has an IP address that we simplify with a domain name. For instance, when you type in “softwarelab.org,” you’re taken to 165.227.148.211.

This translation from domain to IP is done by DNS servers. And the owner of the DNS server, usually your ISP, can see every website the DNS servers look up. So it has a very accurate version of your browser history.

Luckily, NordVPN uses its own DNS servers. This allows all your DNS queries to stay in the encrypted VPN tunnel and hidden from your ISP.

Kill switch

When you disconnect from the VPN or the VPN connection suddenly fails, the kill switch will disable your internet access.

This optional feature protects your data and IP address from leaking onto the web outside of the encrypted VPN tunnel.

NordVPN offers three types of kill switches, but not on all devices:

  • Internet kill switch: It disables the internet connection for all apps when the link to the VPN server is lost. It is available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux. But note that on iOS, you can’t turn the kill switch on or off in the menu, like on the other operating systems.
  • App kill switch: It works like the internet kill switch, but only disables the internet connection for specific apps, which you can pre-select (e.g. Google Chrome). It is only available on Windows.
  • Kill switch (advanced): It works like the internet kill switch, but adds a security layer against rare and specific IP leaks. It is separate from the standard kill switch because it can interfere with other apps. It is only available on macOS and could be a temporary Mac-specific fix.

Split tunneling

Split tunneling allows you to select which apps enter the internet through the VPN tunnel and which connect directly without encryption.

You can set it up in two ways:

  • Disable it for specific apps: When the VPN is on, certain apps bypass the VPN tunnel and enter the web unencrypted.
  • Enable it for specific apps: When the VPN is off, certain apps will pass through the VPN tunnel and enter the web encrypted.

The feature is available on Windows, Android, and browser extensions. But not on macOS, iOS or Linux.

Threat Protection

NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature combines an ad-blocker, an anti-tracker, and an online antivirus program.

On Windows, it has the most extensive feature set:

  • Block ads: It disables pop-ups and classic banner ads, but does not stop YouTube from playing ads before a video.
  • Block web trackers: It blocks third-party tracking cookies from your browser, but allows first-party tracking cookies to be installed.
  • Block malicious websites: It scans a website’s URL against a blacklist of URLs known for malware and phishing. If the URL is on the blacklist, the website won’t be allowed to open. This happens in real time.
  • Remove tracking parameters: It should remove parameters related to web analytics and marketing from a URL (e.g. utm_source=X). But it did very little in our test. As digital entrepreneurs ourselves, we wonder if it’s wise to remove these parameters. A big part of the web needs them.
  • Check files for threats: It will scan every file you download. Until it has finished scanning the file, you won’t be able to open it. It is an effective online antivirus scanner, but will not scan files that are already on your PC.
  • Deep-scan files for threats: It will upload software to a sandbox in the cloud where the program is executed to see if it’s safe. This only works for executable files, not photos, videos, or documents. By default, this option is turned off.
  • DNS filtering: Similar to the feature that blocks malicious websites. Only in this case, it happens at the DNS level. By default, this option is turned off.

Threat Protection on Windows only works with NordLynx and OpenVPN (UTP). So if you want to use OpenVPN (TCP), you’ll have to turn it off.

On the other operating systems, only Threat Protection Lite is available. This is the DNS filtering approach to blocking malicious websites and ads.

Dark web monitor

NordVPN’s dark web monitor checks whether your email address is being traded on marketplaces across the dark web. Although this is a nice feature, the dark web monitor by Norton checks for significantly more information, including credit card details, home addresses, social security data, and more.

NordVPN could easily expand this feature to search for more information. However, VPN customers tend to be nervous about providing personal data to their VPN providers. So this might be as good as it gets.

Auto-connect

We love auto-connect. It’s straightforward: The VPN automatically connects when you access the internet. And you can choose whether it should select the fastest VPN server or whether it should select a specialty server like Double VPN or Dedicated IP.

Optionally, you can add trusted Wi-Fi networks on which the auto-connect feature is disabled. For instance, if you don’t want the VPN to auto-connect when you’re home, you add your home Wi-Fi network to the list of trusted Wi-Fi networks.

Pause

Another simple but handy feature is Pause. Sometimes, you want to disable your VPN connection. For instance, to access a network that needs to see your real IP address. But if you’re like many people, you can easily forget to turn the VPN on again afterward.

Pause solves this. You can pause the VPN connection for 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or an hour. After which, it will automatically turn on again.

Meshnet

Meshnet allows you to create your own encrypted network of devices. It’s similar to creating an encrypted connection with a VPN server, only now you make that connection with another device that you, a friend, or a colleague owns. You could use it to:

  • Play multi-player games on a virtual and encrypted LAN party.
  • Access another device remotely and securely.
  • Share a local development server with colleagues.

Security score

Security score is an excellent feature to get the most VPN protection out of your NordVPN app. It shows you the crucial features and whether you have already activated them. Once you activate each, your score increases. The features noted in the score are:

  • Connect to VPN
  • Quick Connect
  • Internet Kill Switch
  • Threat Protection
  • Dark Web Monitor
  • Multi-Factor Authentication

SmartPlay

A VPN hides your IP address. This allows you to, for instance, access Netflix shows from the United States, even though you’re abroad. And Smart DNS technology avoids DNS blocks by switching your DNS server.

NordVPN’s SmartPlay combines these features to hide your IP and change your DNS server when needed. This allows you the greatest chance of unblocking foreign streaming services while remaining anonymous.

If this sounds too technical, don’t worry. It is fully automatic, and there is nothing to choose, tweak or install. It’s all done for you in the background.

Encryption standard

NordVPN uses the latest and greatest encryption standard: AES-256. There is no publicly known computer capable of breaking it.

Tunneling Protocols – What VPN protocols does NordVPN support?

NordVPN supports the following VPN protocols:

  • NordLynx: This is NordVPN’s proprietary version of WireGuard, the newest, lightest, and fastest VPN protocol. It is available on all devices.
  • OpenVPN (UDP/TCP): This is arguably the most trusted VPN protocol and comes in UDP (faster) and TCP (safer) versions. It’s used by most VPN providers thanks to its open-source nature. It’s available on all devices.
  • IKEv2: Some argue that it’s less secure than WireGuard and OpenVPN. But it’s very good at re-establishing a VPN connection, for instance, when your switch networks from mobile to Wi-Fi. It’s available on macOS and iOS.

We wouldn’t be surprised if NordLynx became the default on all devices.

NordVPN Streaming test: Is NordVPN good for streaming?

Streaming test: Is NordVPN good for streaming?

Yes, NordVPN is an excellent VPN for streaming. It worked with every streaming service in our test: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, and Apple TV.

Does NordVPN work with Netflix?

Yes, NordVPN works with Netflix. In contrast to most VPNs, not only does it unblock Netflix on its servers in the USA, but also in Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Australia, and the UK.

Does NordVPN work with Amazon Prime Video?

Yes, NordVPN works with Amazon Prime Video.

Does NordVPN work with Disney+?

Yes, NordVPN works with Disney+.

Does NordVPN work with Hulu?

Yes, NordVPN works with Hulu.

Does NordVPN work with HBO Max?

Yes, NordVPN works with HBO Max.

Does NordVPN work with Apple TV?

Yes, NordVPN works with Apple TV.

NordVPN Speed test: How fast is NordVPN?

Speed test: How fast is NordVPN?

NordVPN is ultra-fast. In our test, the encrypted VPN connection caused only a 5% slowdown in our download speed. This is a great result. And it makes NordVPN more than quick enough for online gaming, HD streaming, and downloading huge files. 

How do we run a speed test?

Unless you have a 1 Gbps (Gigabyte per second) internet connection, you’ll never be able to test the speed limits of a VPN service. This is because the connections to their server parks allow for far higher download speeds than the Wi-Fi network at your office or home does.

Instead, you can test the slowdown caused by routing your data through the encrypted VPN tunnel. And depending on the VPN technology and protocol used, this slowdown can be limited or severe. We have done exactly that from a WeWork in Cologne, Germany.

  • We tested our internet download speed 3 times on Fast.com and 3 times on SpeedTest.net. Then averaged the results to get our base speed.
  • We then connected to a local VPN server and repeated the test on every protocol: OpenVPN (UDP), OpenVPN (TCP), NordLynx, and IKEv2.

These are the results, ordered by download speed:

OpenVPN (UDP)

  • Download speed without a VPN connection: 144.2 Mbps
  • Download speed on a local VPN connection: 137.8 Mbps
  • Slowdown: 4.4%

NordLynx (WireGuard)

  • Download speed without a VPN connection: 144.2 Mbps
  • Download speed on a local VPN connection: 126.8 Mbps
  • Slowdown: 12.0%

IKEv2

  • Download speed without a VPN connection: 144.2 Mbps
  • Download speed on a local VPN connection: 125.8 Mbps
  • Slowdown: 12.7%

OpenVPN (TCP)

  • Download speed without a VPN connection: 144.2 Mbps
  • Download speed on a local VPN connection: 105.5 Mbps
  • Slowdown: 26.8%

Conclusions of the NordVPN speed test

We measured a 137.8 Mbps download speed while connected to a local VPN server via the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol. This was a 4.4% slowdown to the original 144.2 Mbps download speed, which is considered very little in the world of VPNs.

However, we were surprised that NordLynx was slower than OpenVPN (UDP). NordLynx is the custom VPN protocol of NordVPN, built on the lightweight WireGuard protocol. It is often called the fastest VPN protocol. Although its 12.0% slowdown wasn’t a lot, OpenVPN (UDP) was quicker.

That said, take speed tests with a grain of salt. Several temporary factors can influence their results, such as the server load. The most important conclusion is that NordVPN is a high-speed VPN.

NordVPN Leak test: How secure is NordVPN?

Leak test: How secure is NordVPN?

NordVPN is 100% secure, as it did not leak our IP address in any of our leak tests (IP, DNS, and WebRTC).

What is an IP leak?

When you surf the web via a secure VPN connection, the websites and apps you visit should see the VPN server’s IP address rather than your own. This is what makes you anonymous online. However, sometimes your originating IP address can be leaked.

This could happen because the VPN provider doesn’t use its own DNS servers or because of a WebRTC leak in your browser.

We tested for potential IP, DNS and WebRTC leaks via browserleaks.com. Our originating IP was from Cologne, Germany. And our VPN server was located in the Netherlands. So whenever the test results showed a Dutch IP address (see the image above), NordVPN had no leaks.

These were the results:

IP leak test

NordVPN did not leak our IP address in the IP leak test.

DNS leak test

NordVPN did not leak our IP address in the DNS leak test.

WebRTC leak test

NordVPN did not leak our IP address in the WebRTC leak test.

If you are nervous about this type of leak, you can install NordVPN’s browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. These have a feature called “block WebRTC,” which blocks the Javascript-reliant communication protocol prone to IP leaks.

NordVPN Price comparison: How much is NordVPN?

Price comparison: How much is NordVPN?

When you choose NordVPN’s 2-year plan, without the cloud backup or password manager, it costs $ 3.09 or € 2.99 per month. That makes it $ 37.08 or € 35.88 per year. This is above CyberGhost, Surfshark, and IPVanish, but significantly under Hotspot Shield and ExpressVPN.

Price comparison

In the table below, you can compare NordVPN’s prices to its most important competitors in USD. We chose to show the yearly price rather than the monthly price, which we believe is more helpful to most people. We ranked the VPN on the lower 1-year price.

These prices change over time and sometimes vary from country to country. So we always recommend visiting NordVPN to see the latest price in your region.

Payment methods

NordVPN accepts a wide range of payment methods, including anonymous ones like PrePaid cards.

These are the accepted payment methods: Credit Card, Cryptocurrency, PayPal, AmazonPay, Sofort, Prepaid Card, iTunes, Google Pay, and more.

CyberGhost
Surfshark
IPVanish
NordVPN
Hotspot Shield
ExpressVPN
Price for 1 Year
$47.64
$47.88
$47.89
$59.88
$95.88
$99.84
NordVPN for Windows review and test (2023)

NordVPN for Windows review and test (2023)

NordVPN is easily one of the best VPNs for Windows. Of all of the NordVPN apps, it has the most security features. On top of that, its design is both intuitive and beautiful. We highly recommend it.

Design

NordVPN’s design on Windows is excellent. Top-left you can hit the Quick Connect button (or Pause, if you’re already connected), and under it, you can dive into the server list. This list covers both the server locations and the specialty servers.

And, of course, the beautifully designed world map allows you to select a VPN server in your country or city of choice. It’s all straightforward to use and looks very premium compared to other VPN services.

Features

As with most cybersecurity software, NordVPN’s app for Windows has the most security features. We’ll list them here below but look at the “features” section of this review for an explanation of what they are.

  • Servers in 59 countries
  • Dedicated IP servers
  • Double VPN servers
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Onion over VPN servers
  • P2P servers
  • Auto Launch
  • Auto Connect
  • Kill Switch
  • Threat Protection (the full version, exclusive to Windows)
  • Meshnet
  • Dark Web Monitor
  • Split Tunneling
  • Security Score

Unique to Windows

There are a few unique settings that are only found on Windows:

  • Diagnostics: Allow NordVPN to run diagnostics of your PC.
  • Invisible on LAN: Hide your device on a Local Area Network (LAN).
  • Remote Access: Give other devices remote access to this PC.
  • App Kill Switch: Select apps to quit when not connected to the VPN.

We believe that NordVPN is easily one of the best VPNs for Windows.

NordVPN for Mac review and test (2023)

NordVPN for Mac review and test (2023)

NordVPN for Mac is equally beautiful as it is powerful. Although it misses a few features compared to the Windows app, the most important ones, like Auto Connect, the Kill Switch, and the Speciality Servers, are all available. It is an excellent VPN for Mac.

Two apps

To keep macOS malware-free, Apple is very picky about the apps it allows into its app store. And once an app has been allowed in the app store, its updates are thoroughly tested before they are released.

Instead of waiting for this approval process, NordVPN lets you download the latest version of its macOS app straight from its website. In comparison, the version in the app store gets updated once Apple has finished inspecting it.

This is a bit confusing, but it gives you two options:

  • Download the app from NordVPN’s website for the latest version.
  • Download the app from the app store for Apple’s seal of approval.

Design

NordVPN’s app for macOS is even more beautiful than the one for Windows. The world map already looks gorgeous in the classic white-and-blue, but it really shines once you activate the dark mode. It’s something special.

Features

Although less complete than NordVPN’s app for Windows, the version for macOS includes all the most important features:

  • Servers in 59 countries
  • Dedicated IP servers
  • Double VPN servers
  • Obfuscated servers
  • Onion over VPN servers
  • P2P servers
  • Auto Launch
  • Auto Connect
  • Kill Switch
  • Threat Protection Lite (not the full version)
  • Meshnet
  • Dark Web Monitor

For a complete description of their functionality, look at this review’s “features” section.

We believe that NordVPN is easily one of the best VPNs for Mac.

NordVPN for Android review and test (2023)

NordVPN for Android review and test (2023)

NordVPN for Android is beautifully designed and feels far more premium than most other VPNs. Feature-wise, the Android app is very complete and even has a few unique features. But it lacks the Dedicated IP Servers and Obfuscated Servers, which are exclusive to Windows and Mac.

Design

NordVPN for Android looks excellent and very similar to its sister for iOS. Especially in the dark mode setting, it looks very cool.

Features

Most of the features from the desktop apps have made their way to the Android app. We’ll mention all of them below. For a complete description of their functionality, read this review’s “features” section.

  • Servers in 59 countries
  • Double VPN servers
  • Onion over VPN servers
  • P2P servers
  • Auto Launch
  • Split Tunneling
  • Kill Switch
  • Threat Protection (the full version, exclusive to Windows)
  • Meshnet
  • Dark Web Monitor
  • Security score

Unique to Android

There are even a few features unique to the Android app:

  • Local Network Discovery: Enables access to Printers, TVs, and more.
  • Metered Connection: Gives you more control over your data usage.
  • Tapjacking Protection: Warns you of malicious screen overlays.

The most noticeable exclusions are the 2 other types of specialty servers: Dedicated IP and Obfuscated servers.

That said, we believe NordVPN belongs to the best VPNs for Android.

NordVPN for iOS review and test (2023)

NordVPN for iOS review and test (2023)

NordVPN for iOS is probably its most beautiful app. It’s something special. Although it misses 3 types of specialty servers (Dedicated IP, Obfuscated servers, and Onion over VPN), it’s impressive to see how complete the app is, given Apple’s restrictions on iOS.

Design

The app for iOS is the most beautiful one by NordVPN. We’re especially charmed by its dark mode, making the app feel expensive and premium.

Features

NordVPN for iOS misses a few features compared to the apps for other operating software. But for a VPN app on iOS, it is still very complete and covers everything you could need on your iPhone or iPad.

We list all the available features here, but you can read a description of what they do in this review’s “features” section.

  • Servers in 59 countries
  • Double VPN servers
  • P2P servers
  • Auto Connect
  • Kill Switch
  • Threat Protection Lite (not the full version)
  • Meshnet
  • Dark Web Monitor

The most noticeable exclusions are the 3 other types of specialty servers: Dedicated IP, Obfuscated servers, and Onion over VPN.

That said, we believe NordVPN belongs to the best VPN apps for iPhone.

NordVPN on other devices

NordVPN offers browser extensions for Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge, and apps for Android TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. If your router supports OpenVPN, it also works with NordVPN. But the easiest way to protect you entire home, is to buy a pre-configured router.

NordVPN for Linux

NordVPN doesn’t offer an app on Linux. So you’ll miss out on the famous world map interface and will have to work through the terminal. NordVPN sells this as: “No graphic distractions — only you, your commands, and your operating system.”

Luckily, some core features did make their way to Linux:

  • The NordLynx VPN protocol
  • The kill switch
  • The Threat Protection Lite blocks ads and dangerous websites

On NordVPN’s website, you can download .deb and .rpm packages for RHEL-based and Debian-based systems, covering:

  • Ubuntu
  • Debian
  • Elementary OS
  • Linux Mint
  • Fedora
  • RHEL
  • CentOS
  • Qubes OS
  • openSUSE

NordVPN covers all Linux distributions except TailOS, Arch, and TempleOS.

NordVPN’s browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge

NordVPN’s browser extensions are VPN proxies. This means they will secure the data that flows through your browser and change its IP address. But they will not protect online activities outside of the browser.

This is ideal if you only want your browser traffic to be encrypted, but keep let other apps on your device connect to the internet directly.

The browser extensions also include a few optional features:

  • Threat Protection Lite. You can block ads and prevent malicious websites, known for malware or phishing attacks, from opening.
  • IP leak protection. You can disable the WebRTC protocol, a JavaScript-based communication protocol, prone to IP address leaks.
  • Split tunneling. You can select websites that are allowed to bypass the secure VPN tunnel and connect directly with your device.

NordVPN for Android TV

NordVPN for Android works with Android TV, Chromecast, and Chromebook.

NordVPN for Amazon Fire TV Stick, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet

NordVPN for Amazon Fire products is impressive. It has a great design, kill switch, split tunneling, and allows you to choose the VPN protocol. And as it will enable you to select P2P optimized servers, it’s also excellent for Kodi.

NordVPN for Routers

The easiest way to protect all your IoT devices in your home or business is to install NordVPN on your router.

Whether your router is compatible will depend on the firmware or manufacturer. Routers and firmware that support NordVPN are listed below. Each of them has an installation guide on NordVPN’s website.

Firmware:

  • AsusWRT Merlin
  • DD-WRT
  • DrayTek Vigor
  • OpenWRT
  • OPNsense 19.1
  • Padavan
  • pfSense 2.4.4
  • pfSense 2.4.5
  • pfSense 2.5
  • Sabai
  • Tomato

Router:

  • EdgeRouter and Ubiquiti
  • GL.iNet
  • Netduma
  • Netgear
  • MikroTik
  • Peplink/Pepwave

If your router is not among the ones mentioned above, download the manual from the manufacturer’s website and see if your router supports the OpenVPN client. This is essential for configuration.

Alternatively, you can buy a pre-configured router to connect automatically to a VPN server. For instance, FlashRouters offers free VPN integration with compatible routers.

Other services by Nord Security

NordLocker – Secured Cloud Storage

NordLocker is encrypted cloud storage for your files, photos, videos, and more. It’s both easy-to-use and end-to-end encrypted.

It includes a zero-knowledge architecture, which means that Nord Security can’t know what you’re storing on their servers.

On top of that, it uses AES-256 encryption and multi-factor authentication to keep your files safe.

NordPass – Password Manager

NordPass is Nord Security’s password manager. It helps you create, store, manage, and auto-fill passwords.

No longer will you use the same password for all your accounts. Instead, you will use highly secure and unique passwords for each separate account.

And you don’t even need to remember them. They’re all locked away in a secure vault. So you only need to remember the master password.

NordLayer – Secure Remote Access for Businesses

NordLayer is a remote access solution for businesses. It allows them to give their employees secure access to their network.

With NordLayer, companies can transition to SASE, implement Zero Trust security measures, and comply with regulatory cybersecurity standards.

In simple terms: NordLayer helps companies adapt their cybersecurity to the era of remote work.

NordVPN customer support

NordVPN offers its customers support via live chat, email, and the help center. Their support team is fast, polite, and knowledgeable.

However, the best thing about Nord Security’s products is that they are so user-friendly that you will likely never need to speak to their support team.

NordVPN TrustPilot reviews

There are more than 22.500 reviews about NordVPN on TrustPilot. The average rating of these reviews is an impressive 4.5 out of 5.0.

Among the positive NordVPN reviews on TrustPilot, you’ll read about:

  • The fast and reliable download speeds.
  • The trust in the no logging policy.
  • The friendly and effective customer support team.
  • The swift refund process.
  • The easy installation process.

Among the negative NordVPN reviews on TrustPilot, you’ll read: about:

  • The slow download speeds.
  • The complex password-resetting process.
  • The expensive auto-renewal that is automatically turned on.

Overall, most NordVPN users seem to have had a great experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most frequently asked questions about NordVPN.

What is NordVPN?

NordVPN is one of the leading VPN providers. It helps users restore their online privacy and security with easy-to-use and beautifully-designed apps.

Is NordVPN free?

NordVPN is not for free. It is a paid VPN service that starts at $ 3.09 (or € 2.99) per month if you sign-up for a two-year contract.

Is NordVPN safe?

NordVPN is incredibly safe. It has the best privacy technology, like double VPN and RAM servers, and regularly goes through independent security audits.

Is NordVPN worth it?

Yes, NordVPN is worth it. It is not the cheapest VPN, but we consider it a good investment, given its premium-level protection.

How to use NordVPN?

NordVPN is very simple to use. Pay for the service, download the app, and click connect. That is all it takes to restore your privacy online.

How does NordVPN work?

NordVPN encrypts your internet connection and hides your IP address, which makes you anonymous online. It does this by routing your data through a VPN server before it reaches the web.

On how many devices can you install NordVPN?

You can install NordVPN on 6 devices at the same time. And if you install NordVPN on your router, you can protect an unlimited number of devices as long as they access the internet via the router.

How much is NordVPN per month?

NordVPN costs $ 3.09 per month in a two-year contract, $ 4.99 per month in a one-year contract, and $ 11.99 per month in a one-month contract.

How much does NordVPN cost after 2 years?

After two years, NordVPN will cost $ 4.98 per month, as it will renew without the initial discount. This does not include VAT, which depends on your country.

What are the cons of NordVPN?

NordVPN doesn’t have an app for Linux. Instead, you will need to use the terminal. And NordVPN is more expensive than some direct competitors, like CyberGhost and Surfshark. Finally, NordVPN’s Windows app doesn’t work in China.

Does NordVPN slow down internet speed?

Yes. Like every VPN, NordVPN slows down your internet speed. However, when we connected to a local server via the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol, that slowdown was only 4.4% in our test. Which is very little.

Does NordVPN sell your data?

No, NordVPN does not track what you do online. Therefore, it also has no data to sell. The company has already been audited twice on its privacy policy, achieving a perfect score both times.

Author: Tibor Moes

Author: Tibor Moes

Founder & Chief Editor at SoftwareLab

Tibor is a Dutch engineer and entrepreneur. He has tested security software since 2014.

Over the years, he has tested most leading antivirus software for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, as well as many VPN providers.

He uses Norton to protect his devices, CyberGhost for his privacy, and Dashlane for his passwords.

This website is hosted on a Digital Ocean server via Cloudways and is built with DIVI on WordPress.

You can find him on LinkedIn or contact him here.