NordVPN is perhaps one of the most popular services, known for its top-notch privacy features, powered by the latest VPN technology and encryption. Overall, it’s a privacy behemoth, well deservedly so.
Headquartered in Panama, this VPN offers the best speeds, unbreakable encryption, and great performance overall. With intuitive apps with top-notch features, it is an excellent choice worth considering in 2022.
However, let’s dig deeper with an in-depth NordVPN review and see whether it is worth getting over other top VPNs? For the sake of testing, I have been using this VPN service as my daily driver for over 4 weeks now, and there is nothing worth complaining about as it’s a powerhouse.
So, let us take a closer look at why it is worthy of recommendation on TheVPNExperts.
Key Findings From NordVPN Review
If you’re short on time, you can take a look at the key findings of our detailed review of NordVPN 2022.
|Servers||5200+ servers in 59+ countries|
|Streaming services||Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, HBO Max, and more|
|Torrenting support||Special P2P servers|
|Best features||CyberSec, Threat Protection, Dark Web Monitor, Meshnet|
|No-log policy||Yes (based in the safe jurisdiction of Panama)|
|Customer support||24/7 live chat support|
|Best Deal||$5.29/mo (Save 68%)|
NordVPN Speed Test Analysis
NordVPN’s speed is blazing fast, especially on NordLynx protocol. It’s an upgraded version of the WireGuard protocol used for fast-speed connections.
Although some servers take some time to establish a connection, NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs out there. Speed changes a lot when you connect to long-distance servers, so make sure to connect to nearby servers for fast speed.
I ran speed tests on a 100 Mbps connection, and the results were quite impressive. If you are short on time, you can see the speed test results in this table:
|Countries||Distance||Download Speed (Mbps)||Upload Speed (Mbps)||Ping|
|United Kingdom||677.04 km||79.82||62.93||189|
Speed on Short Distance Servers
While testing for this NordVPN review, I recorded my base connection speed in the Netherlands and got a download speed of 97.01 Mbps and an upload speed of 95.23 Mbps.
After using the Quick Connect feature of NordVPN, I got connected to the Germany server and saw a speed drop of just 16%, with a download speed of 85.31 Mbps, while the upload speed was 89.46 Mbps.
As you can tell, there was a slight decrease in speed. I recorded the same results on France, Sweden, and Hungary servers.
On NordVPN’s short-distance servers, I also played Garena Free Fire to see how much latency I will experience. After connecting to multiple servers in Europe, I noticed that my ping was never above 100 ms – which was great as there was no lag while gaming.
Overall, NordVPN offered a great gaming experience, and I would say it is one of the best VPNs for gaming in 2022.
Speed on Long Distance Servers
I also tested NordVPN’s long-distance servers and recorded good speeds overall. I first connected to the US server (New York) and got a download speed of 81.03 Mbps and an upload speed of 67.81 Mbps.
Despite a drop in speed, I could stream in Ultra HD without any issues, and it was fast enough to allow me to download torrents seamlessly within minutes. I could easily download a 500 MB file within 12 minutes.
That said, its speeds significantly dropped on its Australia server, which was the farthest away from my location. I recorded a download speed of 75.71 Mbps and an upload speed of 61.90 Mbps.
Even with the drop in speed, we did not experience any issues while streaming or browsing. So, overall, NordVPN does pretty well when it comes to fast connections.
NordVPN Passed DNS Leak Tests
NordVPN offers built-in IP/ DNS and WebRTC leak protection. It reroutes your traffic and DNS requests privately through its servers, so you can do anything you do online without worrying about your privacy.
To test its claims, I put the NordVPN leak feature to test by connecting to various locations. I ran tests through ipleak.net and was happy to see that my real IP address was not leaking.
I connected to NordVPN’s Australia server, and it masked my real IP address from the Netherlands. Here’s a screenshot of the test:
As you can tell from the test screenshot my real IP address was hidden, and it showed the IP address of the server I was connected to. It proves that NordVPN’s IP leak protection works.
Is NordVPN Good for Streaming? Works With Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and More
NordVPN is a solid choice for streaming, as it can unblock all main streaming platforms with ease. During testing for this NordVPN review, I could easily bypass geo-restrictions on my favorite streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+.
NordVPN’s focus on streaming is evident through its SmartPlay feature, which allows users to bypass geo-restrictions on streaming websites easily. The best thing is that this feature is enabled in all NordVPN apps automatically, so you don’t have to worry about its functionality.
SmartPlay automatically reroutes your traffic through an appropriate server, meaning you can access dozens of streaming services easily. Here are the services that I tested with NordVPN:
|Streaming Service||Successfully Unblocked|
|Netflix||Netflix US, UK, Canada, Australia, Canada, Japan, Netherlands, India, and more|
|Amazon Prime Video||✔️|
Let’s take a look at how this VPN works with various streaming services.
Streaming Netflix with NordVPN
NordVPN for Netflix is perfect as it is capable of unblocking various regional libraries of it without any hiccups. During testing, the US and UK libraries unblocked easily, within seconds, and I could even unblock the Japanese library which is always a hassle to unblock with most VPNs.
The loading time depends upon the region you are trying to unblock, but NordVPN did pretty well. After testing various regions, NordVPN allowed me to stream 21 regional libraries, making it one of the best VPNs for Netflix in 2022.
Streaming Hulu with NordVPN
NordVPN successfully unblocked Hulu, and I did not experience any geo-location error while streaming. Using NordVPN with Hulu was an enjoyable experience as I could watch Deep Water without any buffering.
The video resolution remained consistent at 1080p, and overall, I really enjoyed streaming with NordVPN.
Streaming HBO Max with NordVPN
Next up, I tried streaming HBO Max. As expected, NordVPN worked with HBO Max easily. The loading time was really quick, and not once did I get the geo-location error. After testing, it became one of my top recommendations to watch HBO Max outside the US.
The video quality was not as good as I got on Netflix and Hulu, but a few minutes into the video, I could stream in 1080p. And I did not even have to pause the video for loading.
Streaming Disney+ with NordVPN
NordVPN does pretty well when trying to unblock Disney+. On its US server, I could easily access the entire Marvel catalog on Disney Plus without any issues.
It allowed me to stream Obi-Wan Kenobi and Ms. Marvel in high definition with no stutters and the load times were insanely fast.
Overall, NordVPN is a solid choice for streaming. It is an excellent streaming VPN that always performs reliably well when it comes to bypassing geo-blocks and giving access to restricted content.
Is NordVPN Good for Torrenting?
NordVPN is a great choice for downloading torrents, as it offers some of the best features for safe and private torrenting. It even offers servers intended specifically for P2P.
On NordVPN’s app, you can find specialized P2P servers (4861 in total) across the world that offer a fast and reliable torrenting performance.
The P2P server option is available on the main app interface to make sure you connect to an appropriate server. If, however, you have not connected to a P2P server, NordVPN will automatically change your server connection while torrenting.
This is a lifesaver as torrenting is prohibited in most countries, like Germany, Japan, and Italy.
In addition to that, NordVPN offers a kill switch, IP leak protection, unlimited bandwidth, and a no-log policy to make sure you can download torrents securely.
NordVPN Servers and Locations
If we talk about VPN servers, NordVPN has a large network. In total, there are 5200+ servers in 59+ countries. This is a massive increase from 2018 when NordVPN only offered around 3300 servers.
NordVPN servers are located in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the rest of the world. You can even go through NordVPN’s server location page to see the cities where servers are offered.
As a result of a recent law in India, VPN companies are not mandated to collect user data. That is why, after ExpressVPN, NordVPN has also removed physical servers from India as of June 26, 2022.
NordVPN Servers Hacked
Although NordVPN’s servers are safe now and the service provider did recently remove its physical server from India due to privacy concerns, it was not the case a few years back.
Allow me to explain!
According to some major revelations on Twitter, NordVPN confirmed that it was hit by a security breach in March 2018. According to NordVPN, only a single server in Finland was compromised.
The data breach happened because of poor configuration by a third-party data center and NordVPN was not notified about it. The provider was notified about the breach in 2019. Taking proactive measures, it not only took down the server but also began an immediate audit of its entire server network. As a result, NordVPN is among the most secure VPNs in the industry right now.
NordVPN Teams – Business VPN
Apart from the regular VPN, NordVPN also offers services for businesses called NordVPN Teams (also called NordLayer). It’s an easy solution for businesses of all sizes.
NordVPN Teams allows users to quickly deploy private gateways with dedicated IPs with various authentication options like 2FA, SSO, and biometrics.
Overall, NordVPN teams is a great business VPN capable of offering VPN-based network security solutions for businesses of all levels – from startups to big corporations with multiple networks.
There are three options available with NordVPN Teams: Basic ($9/month per user), Advanced ($11/month per user), and the quote-based Enterprise plan, which enables customers to connect up to six devices to their VPNs at once.
With NodLayer’s zero-trust-based identity validation, protected site-to-site remote access, and file-sharing capabilities, businesses can operate from anywhere. IT administrators have the resources to monitor network activities and guarantee their safety at the same time. Overall, I definitely think a lot of business owners would love this option. It is affordable and offers reliable security.
Key Features of NordVPN
NordVPN offers tons of features to users and is a popular name in the industry known for its advanced encryption and security. On that note, here are a few features of NordVPN that deserve the spotlight:
- Next-generation encryption
- Secure NordVPN protocols
- Threat Protection
- Double VPN and Onion Over VPN
- Dark Web Monitor
- Automatic Kill Switch
- Split Tunneling
- Dedicated IP address
- Pausing and Auto-connect
1. Next-generation Encryption
NordVPN offers one of the safest encryption ciphers. It uses an AES 256-CBC cipher that is one of the best in the industry right now. On top of that, NordLynx uses the ChaCha20 protocol with SHA-512 for authentication.
It scrambles your credentials into 512 digits, looking like chunks of data to outside users. This is what sets NordVPN apart, as most VPN providers are still using the 256-SHA hash function.
2. Secure NordVPN Protocols
NordVPN offers secure tunneling protocols that users can choose from. You get the following three options:
- OpenVPN (UDP/ TCP) – an open-source VPN protocol that works on multiple platforms offering great speed and all-around security.
- IKEv2 – best for mobile devices, as it’s less CPU intensive and ideal for switching between cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
- NordLynx (WireGuard) – the proprietary protocol of NordVPN, based on WireGuard. This next-gen technology is an upgraded protocol that offers the best results in terms of speed and security.
3. Threat Protection
NordVPN recently introduced its Threat Protection feature that makes your device more secure by blocking the following threats:
- Malicious websites
- Dangerous files and apps
Currently, the feature is enabled in all NordVPN apps, and you can manually enable it on browser extensions as well. What I love about Threat Protection is that it keeps working in the background, even if you are not connected to a VPN server.
NordVPN’s CyberSec feature acts as an adblocker. It’s an in-built technology that is designed to block dangerous websites, prevent botnet, and allows you to skip annoying ads and side banners.
I manually tested the CyberSec feature on Facebook, Info blogs, YouTube, Instagram, and Spotify. I discovered that CyberSec blocked almost 50% of the ads but failed at blocking YouTube ads.
5. DoubleVPN and Onion Over VPN
Double VPN, aka MultiHop servers, combines two VPN servers to make a single connection. To reach its final destination, your traffic passes through two separate servers for maximum privacy and security.
NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN servers combine Tor Network with VPN to create a Tor-VPN connection for users who want maximum security.
If you connect to these servers, your internet traffic first passes through the VPN and then goes through a minimum of 3 Tor notes – making it harder to track your online activity.
6. Dark Web Monitor
Dark Web Monitor, as the same suggests, warns you if your personal data is vulnerable or is leaked online. It checks dark web marketplaces to get the information associated with the email address that you have used to create an account.
If the email has been compromised, it will alert your right away. If everything is good, NordVPN will notify you that your data is safe. But if your email has ended up in the dark web market, you will get notified. This feature is available on Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.
7. Automatic Kill Switch
NordVPN offers an effective kill switch that makes sure your data remains hidden at all times, even in case of a VPN connection drop. The internet kill switch feature automatically disables your internet access on any device you use if your VPN connection abruptly drops.
A kill switch protects against potential IP and DNS leaks. On iOS and macOS apps, the kill switch feature is enabled by default, as you won’t see the icon. On Android and Linux, you can manually enable the kill switch from Settings.
8. Split Tunneling
NordVPN’s split tunneling feature lets you choose the apps and websites that you want to access outside the VPN tunnel. You can configure it to enable or disable the VPN for specific apps and websites.
For example, you can add your mobile banking apps and websites to your customized split tunneling list, so whenever you are using a VPN, these apps will be opened outside the tunnel. It comes in handy because banking apps question your security if your IP address keeps changing.
This feature is not available on Mac, iOS, and Linux, which is a bummer. However, with a spike in demand, you should expect to see it soon.
SmartPlay is a streaming-dedicated feature enabled in all NordVPN apps by default. It allows you to bypass streaming media blocks online and geo-restrictions, giving you unrestricted access.
Another amazing thing is that you can even use this technology on devices that don’t natively support VPNs. For example, if you have set up NordVPN on your Smart TV or gaming console using Smart DNS, you will be able to access NordVPN’s SmartPlay technology.
Meshnet allows you to use NordVPN to establish a secure connection between your device and other devices. The private connection links multiple devices together, allowing you access to files and other media from devices without any security leaks.
Another cool thing is that Meshnet routes your traffic through multiple devices, so you can browse by using the IP address of another machine. It allows you to link 60 devices – 10 of your own and 50 others.
11. Dedicated IP address
NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses for users who want risk-free online protection and anonymity. It gives you a static IP address that only you can use – making it an ideal solution for businesses and corporate users.
NordVPN provides dedicated IP addresses in five locations: US, UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. You can get NordVPN’s dedicated IP address for $70/year.
12. Pausing and Auto-connect
VPN auto-connect feature allows you to enable the app to connect automatically to trusted networks. You can create a list of trusted networks and choose a server country that you want to connect to.
When you connect to a public Wi-Fi or an unsecured network, NordVPN will automatically connect to the server chosen by you.
Similarly, there’s a pause option as well that allows you to pause the VPN connection for a set time, after which it automatically reconnects.
Presets is another recently added feature by NordVPN that allows you to customize VPN settings. It allows you to build your own preferred type of VPN connection with different options available.
You can choose your recommend country for different services or websites you use with NordVPN and then have one-click access to the server. For now, it is only available on macOS.
For example, to create a preset for streaming Hulu, you can choose your recommended country as the United States.
NordVPN is based in the privacy-friendly jurisdiction of Panama – not part of the Five Eyes Alliance. The country has no mandatory data retention laws for ISPs and VPNs. Therefore, NordVPN does not keep any data of its users.
Nord guarantees a strict no-log policy for NordVPN Services, meaning that your internet activity while using NordVPN Services is not monitored, recorded, logged, stored or passed to any third party.
The only data NordVPN collects are data related to apps like crash reports and application diagnostic data. If you want to opt-out of it, you can contact NordVPN support anytime.
NordVPN has undergone two separate audits performed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Switzerland. During the audit, PWC had full access to NordVPN’s servers, employees, operations, configurations, databases, and any other relevant information.
The audit verified NordvPN’s “no-log policy” and further stated:
“NordVPN strictly keeps no logs of your activity online. That means we do not track the time or duration of any online session, and neither do we keep logs of IP addresses or servers used, websites visited or files downloaded. In other words, none of your private and secure data is logged and gathered at any time. As a result, we are not able to provide any details about your behavior online, even if you request it yourself.”
NordVPN Apps Compatibility
NordVPN has a wide range of native apps for devices along with a manual configuration available as well. You can use easily download NordVPN app on your device via the app store, or get it from its official website. Here’s my experience with NordVPN on different devices:
|Windows||Easy-to-use app with great features|
|iOS||Great app interface|
|Android||Solid app with plenty of features|
|Mac||Two different app versions|
|Browser||Lightweight, simple VPN extension|
|Firestick||Great compatible app|
|Android TV||Easy selection of servers|
NordVPN for Windows and macOS
NordVPN’s desktop apps are great and feature-rich. The Windows and macOS versions are quite similar with a map interface. You can either choose the server location from the sidebar, or you can click on the map to connect.
NordVPN Windows and macOS apps have all the advanced features such as kill switch, split tunneling, CyberSec, auto-connect, and pause.
The tunneling protocols offered for desktop users range from NordLynx to OpenVPN and IKEv2. Your recent connections appear at the top of the server sidebar in case you want to use them again.
Overall, NordVPN is easily one of the best VPNs for Windows and macOS devices, with a strong native app for both platforms.
NordVPN for Android and iOS
For Android and iOS, NordVPN offers a simple and clean app interface. The Android app has a map/server list hybrid interface – you can choose the server from the map, or you can scroll through the server country list.
It offers all the desktop features such as P2P servers, Onion Over VPN, and Double VPN. There is a Dark Web Monitor feature as well that checks whether your data is leaked online or not.
Apart from that, Android users get to choose from various protocols, along with split tunneling, kill switch, and auto-connect features as well – making it one of the best VPNs for Android.
Visually, NordVPN’s iOS app looks quite similar to the Android app, with a hybrid interface and quick connect option. It also features a kill switch and Dark Web Monitoring.
The only difference is that the iOS app has a favorites tab along with recent connections. I really love, how the app follows the theme of your iPhone. If you have the Dark Mode on, the NordVPN app will have a dark theme and vice versa.
A real bummer is that the iOS app does not offer split tunneling, so all your data is encrypted on the device. Other than that, there are various protocols to choose from, with advanced features such as DoubleVPN and Onion Over VPN.
NordVPN’s Browser Extensions
NordVPN has browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, which is great for users who want a more lightweight solution. If you have an older device that does not have a NordVPN app, you can install the browser extension and continue using the VPN easily.
This is a great choice for users who are using Windows XP, or macOS 9 or earlier. However, keep in mind that a browser extension only encrypts your browser traffic. If you use other apps, for example, Netflix, it is going to remain unencrypted.
Another recent feature in the NordVPN browser extension is the Bypass List. It allows you to exclude specific websites from passing through the VPN tunnel – in other words, it’s split tunneling for websites.
NordVPN’s Router App
NordVPN is one of the few VPNs that offer a dedicated app for routers. It is a simple way to use a VPN on devices that don’t have native support for it like Smart TVs, gaming consoles, etc.
However, you can only set up NordVPN on routers that support the OpenVPN protocol. Depending upon the brand of your router, the installation process is different. But, NordVPN offers in-depth installation guides for Asus, Linksys, Netgear, and D-Link routers.
I was able to configure NordVPN on my Asus RT-AC51U router within a few minutes. For the server of my choice, I just had to download the OpenVPN client configuration files for the server I wanted to connect and that was it.
Does NordVPN Work in China?
Yes, NordVPN’s obfuscated servers are its biggest arsenal when it comes to heavily censored countries like China. With servers in nearby regions like Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore, NordVPN is a great choice for users in China.
However, like most VPNs and software, you will have to manually set it up before traveling to China. I also confirmed with their customer support that NordVPN does indeed work in China.
NordVPN Pricing and Refund
NordVPN does not have any complex pricing plans, as there are three options available for users – a 1-month plan, 1-year, and 2-year option.
Here are the prices of each plan:
As for payment options, NordVPN offers a variety of options for users. You will find the usual options of credit cards, PayPal, AmazonPay, prepaid cards, and Sofort. There is also an option to pay using iTunes or Google Play.
For those who want anonymity, you can also pay for NordVPN using cryptocurrency.
If you want maximum savings, you can definitely opt for its long-term plan and get the complete package at a great price.
Can I Get NordVPN for Free?
Yes, you can get NordVPN for free, as it offers a 7-day free trial for Android and iOS devices. To get the free trial, simply download the app on your device, and you will automatically get initiated to your 7-day free trial.
You will have 7-days to use the service risk-free, and then you can choose if you want to continue or not. After the free trial ends, your normal plan will start. Luckily, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can cancel your account and ask for a refund within 30 days. I’ve talked about the refund policies of different VPNs in a separate blog. Perhaps you might want to check that out.
NordVPN Customer Support
NordVPN offers strong customer support with a variety of options. Their webpage has guides, an FAQ section, in-depth tutorials, and videos to help you get started.
|24/7 live chat||✔️|
When you visit live chat support, you will automatically get redirected to the Chatbot, and if that does not solve your problem, you will be redirected to a live customer support agent.
This is something that I personally did not like as it wastes a lot of time. Other VPNs like ExpressVPN has customer support agents in their live chat section, so you get instant help whenever needed. On NordVPN, the Chatbot could not understand my query and asked for my email address before redirecting me to an agent.
Still, the support team responds within a few minutes, so that’s good. Overall, NordVPN’s customer support is great, as it’s available 24/7, and the agents are very friendly.
Best Alternatives to NordVPN
NordVPN is a premium VPN that gives tough competition to its rivals. It is perfect in every way, and there’s nothing to complain about.
However, if you are looking for something different, you can check my user reviews of the following best VPNs in the industry right now:
You can also check out my ExpressVPN vs NordVPN vs PureVPN comparison to see how NordVPN performs fairs against other VPN behemoths in the industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is NordVPN safe and secure?
Yes, NordVPN is as safe as it can get. It uses military-grade encryption with secure tunneling protocols for data protection. Plus, you can connect to any server you like without any issues.
Is NordVPN any good and worth getting?
Yes, NordVPN is one of the leading VPNs on the market for a reason. It stands out as a highly secure and trustworthy option to protect your online privacy and security. NordVPN offers servers in more than 59 countries and uses some of the best encryption on the market.
Is NordVPN trustworthy?
Yes, NordVPN is a trustworthy, reliable, and safe choice for helping you increase your online security. Its robust encryption, fast-speed connections, and a variety of top-notch security features make sure you can relax while browsing the web.
Can I cancel NordVPN anytime?
Yes, you can cancel NordVPN anytime. But if you wish to claim a refund, make sure to cancel within 30 days of your purchase. There is no refund for recurring subscription payments even if you cancel your account.
Do I Recommend NordVPN?
NordVPN is perfect in every way and an excellent VPN that combines speed with security and performance. With an independent audit and a trustworthy jurisdiction, there are not many VPNs that can beat this reliable VPN when it comes to privacy.
After a detailed review, I definitely recommend NordVPN as it offers a great deal of value with a great app interface. No matter why you need a VPN, you will not be disappointed with this VPN.