Virtual Private Network
NordVPN is for sure the best VPN you can buy right now. It comes with bulletproof security and privacy, excellent geo-unblocking capabilities, and the fastest speeds on the market – all for a low price.
NordVPN is known as one of the top, and best VPN providers. With so many threats to online privacy and clampdowns on streaming services.
what is Virtual Private Network?
A virtual private network, or VPN, is an encrypted connection over the Internet from a device to a network. The encrypted connection helps ensure that sensitive data is safely transmitted. It prevents unauthorized people from eavesdropping on the traffic and allows the user to conduct work remotely.
NordVPN is a Virtual Private Server service provided by company Nordsec Ltd. with applications for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Android TV. NordVPN lets you do what you normally do on the internet, but with more privacy. You can browse, download, and stream all you want.
NordVPN plans and pricing
For a top-tier VPN product, NordVPN is very cheap. Below are the available subscription options and their prices. All NordVPN plans offer the same suite of core features (AES-256 encryption, NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, DNS leak protection, kill switch, etc.) and allow up to 6 simultaneous connections.
Anonymous payment options are available, such as crypto or cash, for those concerned about privacy. However, you can also pay using conventional payment methods, though keep in mind the selection varies from country to country:
- Any major credit card
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
- ACH Transfer (Plaid)
- Direct Debit
- Prepaid cards
You can try NordVPN risk-free by utilizing the 30-day money-back guarantee. It comes with no strings attached and no fine print. A few things to be aware of is that you can’t get a NordVPN refund if you paid in Bitcoin or similar currencies. Another point is that purchases made through the Apple App Store can only be refunded by this store.
Our latest speed tests show that NordVPN is the fastest VPN on the market. That can be credited to the new tunneling protocol called NordLynx, a proprietary version of WireGuard that improves upon its speeds and known privacy concerns. But how fast is NordVPN, exactly?
We started running our in-house connection speed testing tool to collect long-term data to answer this. The next step was installing NordVPN along with other providers in Germany, the UK, and the US.
Then we connected to VPN servers in those countries and checked the speeds daily. The results speak of themselves – none of the best VPN services could match NordVPN’s performance.
In comparison, here are the results of other VPN providers from the last 7 days:
|Provider||Average download speed (7 days)|
|Surfshark VPN||873 Mbps|
NordVPN 14-Day Speed Average
03.14 – 03.28
|Download Speed||1,021 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||884 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,525 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,306 Mbps|
|Download Speed||1,428 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||1,291 Mbps|
In addition to the standard ones, there are also specialty servers optimized for addressing particular user needs. NordVPN allows you to choose from:
- Dedicated IP servers – for users who bought a dedicated IP address
- Double VPN servers – for multi-hop fans who want to send their connection via two servers for double the encryption and extra security
- Obfuscated servers – when you’re in a country with restricted internet access
- Onion over VPN servers – when you want to combine a VPN with the Tor Network
P2P servers – optimized for torrenting, no bandwidth limits, and no ISP throttling
Not all server types are available in every country, so you should check for the latest coverage updates on their website.
Security and privacy
Many VPN services claim to provide utmost anonymity on the internet, but few can back it up with evidence and appropriate tools. Well, NordVPN is one of a handful of secure VPNs that actually can by having these security and privacy features:
- Industry-standard encryption
- Latest tunneling protocols
- Kill switch
- Minimal logging
- Privacy-friendly jurisdiction
Is NordVPN really safe to use? Yes, NordVPN is one of the safest providers in the market. It utilizes AES-256 encryption, RAM-only servers where data is constantly wiped, and plenty of protocols to keep you hidden.
It’s safe enough to be favored by sensitive user groups, such as journalists and political activists, as well as those wanting to enjoy unblocked streaming content.
You may have seen that NordVPN has suffered a security breach back in 2019, which has allegedly put a stain on its previously spotless reputation. A hacker was able to break into the data center’s system and breach NordVPN’s server security.
However, as it turned out, the incident happened on one server in Finland, and it wasn’t possible to reach any critical infrastructure from it, to begin with. NordVPN shut down the affected server and stopped using the Finnish data center in the aftermath.
The company has put some serious effort into increasing the security of all servers by announcing a bug bounty program. It also signed a partnership with VerSprite, a well-known cybersecurity consulting firm, for vendor risk assessments, comprehensive penetration testing, and examining intrusion handling.
NordVPN comes with industry-standard AES-256 encryption, which banks and government institutions use to protect critical information. It is an extremely powerful cipher – so strong, in fact, a hacker trying to brute force attack their way in (where they try many combinations to crack encryption keys) would need billions of years to break it.
Moreover, NordVPN is raising the bar with the SHA-512 hash function. Most competitors still use SHA-256, which is shorter and less complex. NordVPN, on the other hand, utilizes eight 64-bit words for encoding your credentials compared to eight 32-bit words. It significantly expands the number of possible combinations, making it harder to crack.
NordVPN supports the following tunneling protocols:
- NordLynx (WireGuard)
- OpenVPN (TCP and UDP)
NordVPN offers the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol on major platforms. It’s a proprietary version of the next-gen WireGuard protocol that facilitates blistering speeds and even better security. Currently, NordLynx is the best option when choosing from all three.
OpenVPN is a reliable and time-tested choice that comes in two versions. TCP is more secure and stable, while UDP gives you better speeds. However, compared to NordLynx, it’s still far behind. Therefore, you should use OpenVPN only when there’s no better alternative.
IKEv2/IPSec is available on all major platforms except Android and Windows. Mobile users like this protocol because of its ability to maintain a VPN connection while switching from cellular to Wi-Fi. Even though it’s faster than OpenVPN, it cannot compete with NordLynx.
L2TP/IPsec and PPTP are no longer supported. It’s great that NordVPN doesn’t offer them as these protocols are outdated in terms of security and performance. Alarmingly, some VPNs still use them – avoid these at any cost.
NordVPN kill switch
A kill switch helps you stay secure by shutting off the internet connection if the VPN stops working. This way, your actual IP address won’t be unintentionally revealed to third parties.
NordVPN will shut off the internet if the connection drops or the client suddenly stops working. However, the app kill switch will disconnect only certain apps in case of a VPN failure. For example, if you were using one browser for online banking, the connection would shut down, but you will still be able to browse and watch YouTube on the other without a VPN.
This VPN offers not only a standard internet kill switch but also an app kill switch. The kill switches are not turned on by default. To do so, you’ll have to click the small Settings cogwheel in the bottom-left corner.
You can turn on one or both kill switches. For the app kill switch, you’ll have to add the apps that will use it, like a torrenting client, or any streaming service mobile app.
I should note that the kill switch works differently on Android and iOS platforms. The former has a native Always-on VPN feature which is essentially NordVPN’s Internet Kill Switch for mobile. The latter works in the same fashion, but you can’t toggle it. On the other hand, even some well-known VPNs don’t offer a kill switch for iOS at all.
I found that NordVPN’s kill switches are effective every time in my tests. When I tried to interrupt the VPN connection on several occasions, it immediately shut down the internet traffic or app.
Unblock Netflix with NordVPN
In short, NordVPN is the best VPN for Netflix. It has proven successful, time and time again, at unblocking Netflix US from anywhere. Netflix was available on every US server I tried in my tests – that’s quite a stunning achievement.
Unblock HBO Max with NordVPN
NordVPN doesn’t disappoint as an excellent VPN for HBO Max, either. Getting access to the US version of HBO Max proved to be a bit tricky at first, though, as not all servers could unblock it. So, if you want to watch United States-only content, you might have to work for it unless you get lucky on the first try.
Unblock Hulu with NordVPN
NordVPN is the perfect VPN for Hulu as well – I could easily access it no matter which US server I connected to (and I’ve tried a dozen). The whole experience was extra smooth, and I didn’t have any of the usual streaming troubles, like constant buffering or sudden quality drops.
Does NordVPN unblock Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and other platforms?
In addition to Netflix, NordVPN also unblocks Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and many more streaming websites. Online TV channels aren’t off the table either, especially of the US kind, as NBC, CBS, ESPN, YouTube TV, and plenty others become available in a few clicks.
Is NordVPN safe for torrenting?
NordVPN is the best VPN for torrenting. It even has P2P-optimized servers in more than 50 countries, along with industry-leading encryption and unlimited bandwidth. Thanks to NordLynx, a proprietary WireGuard tunneling protocol, you will enjoy the best possible P2P-sharing speeds that’ll help you finish all downloads in no time!
NordVPN device support
This provider supports a wide range of desktop and mobile devices. It has apps for Windows 11, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Amazon Fire TV, and Android TV, plus browser extensions for Chrome, Brave, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge. Best of all, one NordVPN account allows using this VPN on up to 6 devices at the same time.
The NordVPN apps are pretty uniform across the different platforms, with a simple interface that’s easy to use. They get bug fixes and updates regularly, minimizing the risk of someone exploiting any kind of vulnerability.
In 2019, a major NordVPN app security audit was performed by VerSprite, a risk-based consulting firm specializing in software vulnerabilities. Multiple penetration tests were done to identify weak spots, and no critical-level vulnerabilities were found.
There were several lesser ones, but NordVPN promptly patched them, and the auditors tested them again. VerSprite repeated the app audit in 2021, and NordVPN passed it with flying colors.
You can also manually set up NordVPN on a router. It negates the limit of simultaneous connections and allows you to protect devices without VPN apps, such as Apple TV or Roku. Then you have the SmartPlay feature, which combines the unblocking capabilities of Smart DNS with encryption. This way, you can connect various smart TVs and game consoles.
Desktop apps: Windows
You’ll see a world map with server locations when you launch the Windows app. You can manually choose the country you want to connect to or click the Quick connect button in the top left.
Conclusion: should you get NordVPN?
Yes, according to espnhost, you should get NordVPN. It’s one of the best VPNs on the market right now and the global leader in security, privacy, and reliability. Additionally, it’s the fastest VPN service in 2023, thanks to the in-house NordLynx tunneling protocol.
This provider is in an excellent position to retain its independently-audited no-logs policy because it’s based in privacy-friendly Panama. Plus, it offers enough privacy even for journalists and political activists to spread their messages without additional risks.
Another laudable aspect of NordVPN is its faultless privacy and security features, boosted by industry-leading encryption. The kill switch is reliable, and Threat Protection blocks ads and malware from infecting your device. What’s more, Obfuscated servers let you use NordVPN in China and other internet-restricting countries.
On the entertainment side, this VPN can quickly & easily get around Netflix and other streaming platform blocks. Torrenting enthusiasts aren’t forgotten either – while it works on all servers, the best downloading performance is reserved for P2P-optimized servers. You can connect to 60+ servers in 60 countries and torrent without fear.