NordVPN sets the standard for how VPN services should operate. It has impressive features such as adequate security and privacy practices, an extensive array of servers, a great set of advanced features, and much more. Although its subscription might appear to be a bit pricey, it is a good value for money for users.
What Is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an efficient way of protecting your online privacy, and at the same time secure your data security. Essentially it blocks your Internet service provider (ISP) from monitoring your web traffic. What’s more, it stops individual malicious operators from gaining access to your private information. A VPN serves as a secure tunnel through which you can access the Internet with your device anonymously.
Apart from granting you anonymity, a virtual private network also helps you to surf the internet more securely, gain access to restricted/blocked/foreign websites, and lots more. Of all the VPNs currently in the market, NordVPN is one of the best that guarantees you consistent, top-notch service.
NordVPN Pricing and Features
NordVPN is available on four pricing packages:
- The single monthly package goes for $11.95
- Annual fee package goes $83.88
- Two years package goes for $95.75
- Three years package goes for $107.55
Payment can be made via different payment options such as; debit and credit cards, PayPal, crypto-currencies, and lots more. Should you not like the service NordVPN provides, there is a 30-day money back guarantee policy you can employ.
Mind you, NordVPN’s monthly subscription fee is a bit higher than the average monthly subscription fee for some of the best VPN providers, but that can be justified in a way as in comparison to other providers, NordVPN offers more features and applications.
NordVPN offers a three days free trial, but this offer is a bit less generous than what other service offers. There are a couple of limitations imposed on NordVPN for users, just like other service providers do.
Firstly, users can only use six devices at a time, and there are also certain restrictions that come with connecting several devices to a specific server. Notwithstanding, this is still more than what is provided by most VPN services, but considerably less than what others give. Some VPN providers don’t restrict the number of devices you can connect at a single time.
When you use a VPN, it hides your real IP address from your ISPs. Many see this feature as a disadvantage, while others welcome it with open arms. If you are the former, and you would like your own static IP address, then you can get it from NordVPN for a monthly fee of $5.83, or a yearly fee of $69.96. You can get IP addresses of the US, UK, Germany, and Netherlands with NordVPN.
Establishing a VPN can be done in a variety of ways, but we prefer services that employ OpenVPN. An OpenVPN is an open source, means the source has been properly checked for any issues or complications. It has great speed when it comes to establishing/re-establishing connections. On all platforms, NordVPN supports both IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN. Another impressive feature of NordVPN is that it employs the use of OpenVPN on iPhone, which is very rare.
VPN Servers and Server Locations
When you buy a VPN package from any service provider, part of your payment is actually to use the company’s VPN Servers. Top VPN service providers have several server locations scattered across the world, affording users the ability to change, their location as they please, and increasing the likelihood that there is a server close to where users reside. This is particularly important as the closer you are to a server; the higher your VPN will perform.
With NordVPN, you can choose from as many as 62 countries. NordVPN has the majority of its servers in the UK, and the US, as you would expect from most VPN services providers. But NordVPN takes it up another level by having servers in Africa (which for some strange reasons most top VPN service providers ignore), the Middle East, Asia, Europe, as well as, Central and South America.
NordVPN’s spread across the globe is an exemplary one, and with 5293 servers to its name, it is really one of the largest service providers in the market.
The number of servers a service has is a good indication of how popular it is because often VPN service providers will only erect new servers when there is demand for it. One thing a large number of servers ensures is that there is an equal distribution of resources, and overcrowding is reduced. With the large number of servers NordVPN has, there is little or no chance that will encounter any crowd problems.
In times past, servers have always been seen as a physical object that computers connect to, but over time, through technological advancement, virtual servers now exist. You can have scenarios where a single physical server hosts a large number of virtual servers.
Many VPNs utilize virtual servers to meet up with a large number of users in their services. However, some VPNs set their virtual servers to follow a country different from the one the physical server is stationed. It is not as if virtual servers are bad, but they do come with certain perks most notably in regards to speed.
VPNs can grant users the ability to bypass censorship imposed by the government, by connecting to a VPN server in a different country. But extra care has to be taken when attempting to circumvent such censorship as a lot can go wrong. NordVPN has some hidden servers that can be accessed within China.
For countries like Vietnam, Russia, Turkey, Russia, and Vietnam which have some restrictive policies when it comes to Internet usage, NordVPN offers specific servers in such countries. Now, these servers will not help you bypass any censorship, but they guarantee you a certain level of privacy when you browse in the countries above.
One of the most impressive features that NordVPN offers is the different array of servers it provides including connecting to Tor anonymization network, double encryption and so much more. NordVPN also provides some distinct servers can bypass ISPs or government that restrict VPN usage.
NordVPN and your privacy
A VPN gains as much insight as your ISP does in regards to your browsing and online activities. If it so wishes, it can analyze all of the information going through its system, and with this it can even sell you out to a neutral party if it so desired, making it easy to remove your anonymity online. Because of this, it is essential that you go through the T&Cs of your VPN subscription before you purchase.
NordVPN insists that it doesn’t pilfer user’s data and sell and that its only means of revenue is strict via subscription packages customers buy.
As a way to highlight its transparency and commitment in preserving user data, NordVPN announced back in 2018 that it had passed an external audit of its no-log policy carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the top auditing firms. This goes to show how serious NordVPN takes its user’s security and privacy. The entire report of the audit is available.
Overall, NordVPN’s stance on consumer privacy and security is commendable. However, it is a bit difficult to give them a full endorsement as it is impossible to tell what is in there hardware structure, and code. The same can be said about any other, VPN service. Before you go about using any VPN, you have to be sure that you are comfortable with them gaining access to your online data, and logs.
Handy Apps with NordVPN
Most VPN services come with helpful apps to make your user experience enjoyable. NordVPN is no exception. It provides a great user experience with the apps it offers, irrespective of the medium you employ it. There are lots of similarities between the mobile design feature and that of Windows client. You would notice a blue map on the user interface, with ships and submarines scattered around.
Selecting a server is quite easy. All you need to do is locate the quick connect option at the top of the screen or allow the system tray to pick the server NordVPN feels will serve you best (this is usually the VPN server closest to you, and that means it would most likely be the fastest). This serves as an excellent option for people who are not conversant with VPN services. To change servers, use the search bar to find your required server, or simply click on the map on the screen. You will notice NordVPN’s distinct servers at the top, making it easy for you to access them. There is also a kill switch that allows you to restrict access of certain applications to the internet should you lose your VPN connection.
NordVPN offers you the option to identify specific servers in certain regions and see the loads currently on them. This feature allows you to find servers that will give you a more robust performance.
NordVPN does a great job of changing your IP address and hiding your ISP information. NordVPN prides itself in consumer security and privacy, and thus it doesn’t leak any information to any third-party.
Speed and Performance
The use of VPN usually affects browsing speed and performance. NordVPN actually does remarkably well when it comes to its speed of delivery and performance; this is mainly down to the large servers it has scattered around the world.
NordVPN has zero effect on latency, and overall download and upload speeds reduced by 82.6% and 77.7% respectively. Mind you, there are other VPNs that provide more speed than NordVPN, but then again they have a significant effect on latency, along with other complications.
You should note that when it comes to selecting a VPN, speed is not the only factor you should consider; user-friendliness, customer security and privacy, value, essential features, and accessibility are some of the factors you should look out for.
If you were to ask around, you would notice most people would rather go about their online activities without any form of protection or anonymity than have to face the complications that come with security software. This is where NordVPN really excels. It gives users a simple and easy-to-use security tool, with straightforward features. What makes NordVPN so impressive is the large array of servers it has, its admirable stance on customer security and privacy, 30 days money back guarantee, and a host of other eye-catching features.
The combination of all of these features shows that when you subscribe to any of NordVPN’s packages, you are getting value for your money. NordVPN is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and efficient VPN to use