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Review: Is NordVPN only good against spying?
Thinking about getting NordVPN but haven’t decided if it’s worth it? Lets read this review, which includes our video review and NordVPN test, as well as a guide on how to get the cheapest and fastest VPN. What can this virtual private network do? You can find out in this article.
NordVPN is a virtual private network (VPN) provider. This company was founded in 2012 as a project of friends who wanted to fight together for internet freedom. The primary goals were to circumvent censorship in various countries around the world and prevent government control of the content consumed. And so the first VPN server was created, but it was only for a few friends. However, 4 years later, the first Android app was created and with it, the popularity of this brand and this VPN provider started to grow.
What is NordVPN today?
First of all, it’s a large VPN provider with over 5,000 servers worldwide. The number of servers is constantly changing, so one day they have 5400 servers available and then maybe 5100. Slightly more important is the number of countries (locations) in which these servers are located. NordVPN has servers in 69 countries and covers every continent. However, due to various government regulations, Russia and China are missing. For example, Russia wanted NordVPN to censor sites banned by the state. Of course, the company didn’t like that, so it withdrew from Russia for that reason. However, users there still use NordVPN, but without the option of using Russian servers. NordVPN is available for Windows, Linux, Android, iOS and macOS, as well as Xbox, PlayStation and other devices.
NordVPN offers many of the security features you’d expect from a VPN app. We will discuss these features later in this review.
Why use NordVPN?
1. Privacy, protection from Big Brother and circumventing censorship
VPNs are mainly used to increase internet privacy. The moment you connect to a VPN, you won’t be recognized by ad services, Google, Facebook and other spies on the internet, but you can’t even be tracked by your ISP or the government. You actually become an anonymous internet user. Once connected to a VPN, you can browse any website, but no one can trace it.
So if you’re in Russia, for example, and you want to watch a censored website, you connect to a VPN to bypass the censorship. But watch out! If you log into your Facebook account, for example, Facebook will know exactly who you are at that moment. And so do other services where you have accounts and log in.
2. Bypassing geolocation on streaming services
We’re not going to kid ourselves, but this is probably one of the biggest reasons people get VPNs these days. With a VPN login, you can choose which server to connect to from the available sites. When you connect to the server, you become a visitor for Internet services from the country where the server is located. So if you connect to a server in the USA, you are a visitor from America for all websites and services in the world. Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube, the BBC and others block broadcasts to foreign countries due to copyright issues. A VPN is a way to bypass this blocking and watch the shows you love.
3. Downloading from the Internet
Downloading anything from the Internet that is somehow subject to copyright is never completely safe, because government agencies and copyright enforcers have eyes everywhere. In particular, using torrent and P2P networks has big risks, because you download and share content directly with others. And you can’t do that. If you are using a regular internet connection, you can easily be tracked down and summoned by any authority. Once connected to the VPN, you are anonymous and therefore undetectable. But I’m not responsible for that.
There are more ways to use a virtual private network. Sometimes they can be used to save money on flights and hotel bookings, and they are also used for secure communication with the company intranet.
TipFind out how VPNs work in our Best VPNs article, where we also show you alternative VPN providers.
What features does NordVPN have?
The most important feature of NordVPN, or any virtual private network for that matter, is that you can browse the internet safely and privately without anyone online watching you and recording what you’re browsing. At best, this is only done by advertising services and other spies, but also by internet service providers. Unfortunately, in some countries, this is what the local government does. This means expect the VPN to change and hide your real IP address. Most people who travel a lot around the world have their own VPN so they can use it to access the uncensored internet.
With NordVPN, I have to highlight simplicity as one of the most important features. Compared to CyberGhost VPN, NordVPN is much easier to use. CyberGhost has a fairly simple and intuitive app, but I find NordVPN to be much simpler but retaining all the features. So thumbs up here.
2. Use on multiple devices
NordVPN has apps for different operating systems and devices. As I wrote in the introduction, the apps are available for Windows, Linux, Android, iOS and macOS, but also for Xbox, PlayStation, Android TV and other devices.
3. Fast VPN
AV-TEST (an independent organization that tests and evaluates antivirus and security software) has conducted various measurements and testing of VPNs. This test showed NordVPN to be the fastest VPN. More information on Technado. PrivateVPN and PureVPN both finished behind NordVPN. The popular ExpressVPN is only in 4th place. I have personally measured some connections in worse areas, like Turkey and Albania, where I expected the connection to be slow. How did it go? It was fast and with perfect latency (ping).
How much does NordVPN cost?
VPNs are relatively cheap services. Of course, everyone takes it differently. Virtual private network providers try to convince users to pay for a longer period of time. NordVPN is no exception, so if you’re looking for a cheap VPN, you’ve come to the right place.
However, it should be noted that the cheapest way to get a VPN is to pay upfront for a year or two. If you pay for two years, NordVPN will cost you 92 $, but if you subscribe for 1 year, this VPN will cost you 58 $. Here it is immediately obvious what is more profitable. In case of dissatisfaction, you don’t have to worry about your money because this company guarantees a 30-day refund period.
Regardless of the length of your subscription, you have all the features that NordVPN has. If you’re still wondering about the price, don’t forget that NordVPN includes the ability to use this VPN on 6 devices at once. When you split the price between family or split the VPN with a colleague or multiple colleagues, you have the cheapest VPN in the world.
VPN app for desktop and mobile
I mentioned above in the review that you can use NordVPN on 6 devices. What are the devices and operating systems?
You can install the NordVPN app on your Android devices like your mobile phone and tablet, but you can also install it on your Android TV. I have good news for Apple customers. NordVPN can also be used on iOS and macOS devices.
What about the desktop? Applications for Windows and Linux are also available. It’s more complicated on Linux because of the distributions, but everywhere here, this VPN is a no-brainer: Debian, Ubuntu, Elementary OS, Linux Mint, OpenSuse, Fedora, CentOS.
Is it true what they say about NordVPN?
Yes, it is. NordVPN has had one huge security flaw. In 2018, one of the servers in Finland was compromised, which allowed an attacker to access the log data of websites that users visited. This, of course, has terrified users around the world. Some people panicked and switched VPN providers, and started slandering NordVPN in online discussions for not being a secure VPN.
What was it really like?
There have indeed been data leaks. Society has been silent about this for quite a long time. And that was wrong. However, it was eventually revealed by that the attacker had obtained logs of the sites visited, but hadn’t accessed any usernames or passwords. Essentially, this means that the hacker had a large list of websites but was unable to connect them to any of the NordVPN users. In addition, these site logs were only from a limited period of time because NordVPN does not keep activity logs.
Pros and cons
|Pros (+)||Cons (-)|
|+ Possibility to connect up to 6 devices.||- Manual configuration for Linux|
|+ No Log policy.|
|+ Services for corporate customers.|
NordVPN is another virtual private network provider. Does it stand out? Probably by offering a number of servers and sites. According to the speed test, it also stands out in terms of speed. In our tests, we found NordVPN to be the fastest VPN. That’s fine and useful stuff.
I appreciate that the apps are really easy to use. I find the map in the app with the server locations a bit clunky, but that’s not something that would determine your choice of VPN.
NordVPN has all the essentials I’d expect: a kill switch, it doesn’t keep logs, it has dedicated servers for P2P, it has lots of servers around the world, it bypasses geoblocking, it changes IPs, it blocks ads and malware, and more.
Oh, and that security problem from last time. Well, yeah, that’s one thing that shouldn’t happen. It’s the kind of thing that when it happens, society shouldn’t fog around it. On the other hand, it’s also the thing that tested the security of this service – NordVPN. And what did it come down to? That it doesn’t really keep a record of activity, that an attacker couldn’t get to user data. Which has ultimately helped the service because it’s seen to be secure, so I keep using NordVPN.
Come read our regularly updated comparison of the best VPNs.