NordVPN: Most trusted VPN of 2023
The Internet and the digital world are the dreams of the century. Everything is connected, and everyone has eyes and ears everywhere in the world. But every coin has two sides, and thus come the vulnerabilities of the Internet, or the dark side of the Internet.
From cybercrimes like hacking, phishing, and exploiting data to tracking and restricting freedom, all these activities are just making the Internet an unsafe place.
So, in the world of the Internet, where privacy is turning into an illusion, a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is one of the security tools that can save our privacy. It shields our data through tunneling and keeps the data encrypted to make sure no third party or even the government can peek into our internet lives.
NordVPN is among the top VPNs in the world, with a massive user base of over 14 million users. This is a huge number in the industry, and the reason is the quality of service Nord provides to its customers
For Readers In A Hurry, Here Is A Quick Take:
NordVPN is the top VPN with the highest user base in the industry. NordVPN is not only famous more being the first VPN to actually work on privacy, but also to take serious actions and leak the industry with safe parameters.
NordVPN among all the VPNs offers the most advanced features including Meshnet, Dark Web monitor, Smart Play, and many more. With its in-house protocol NordLynx, NordVPN is also among the fastest and most secure VPNs in the industry. It is an all-in-one VPN suitable for all needs, whether for streaming, torrenting, surfing the web, or bypassing firewalls, NordVPN is one hell of a choice.
Though NordVPN once did have a leak, like the scars on a warrior, they just made it strong. NordVPN now has bounty programs and committees with regular audits to check their systems. NordVPN has definitely risen to the position and has maintained it for so long.
Tons of features
Best overall VPN
One of the fastest VPN
Has a leak in 2018
Expensive than average VPNs
Offers fewer Special features
NordVPN is a versatile VPN that caters to all your needs, whether it's for work or leisure. It provides excellent safety features and top-of-the-line capabilities that make it stand out from the rest. So why has NordVPN remained a popular choice among users for all these years? Let's explore the reasons.
Fastest Protocol and military-based encryption
NordVPN offers three different types of VPN protocols to choose from depending on your needs and preferences: OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, and NordLynx. OpenVPN is a popular open-source protocol that provides a high level of security and flexibility. It is compatible and supports both TCP and UDP. IKEv2/IPSec is another secure protocol that is known for its stability and fast connection speeds, which are usually better for short distances like iOS and Android. The real and fastest is however NordLynx.
NordLynx is an exciting addition to NordVPN's protocol options, which are based on the cutting-edge WireGuard protocol. WireGuard is known for its speed and efficiency, and NordLynx takes this one step further by incorporating a double NAT system that helps to further enhance privacy and security. This combination of WireGuard and double NAT makes NordLynx one of the fastest and most secure VPN protocols available today.
NordVPN encrypts data using AES (Advanced Encryption Standard), which is the same encryption technique employed by the military and other organizations to safeguard sensitive information. AES employs 256-bit keys. Your online actions will stay secret and secure thanks to this level of encryption, which is practically impenetrable. Further enhancing security, NordVPN employs Perfect Forward Secrecy, which creates a unique encryption key for every session.
Large server network
NordVPN boasts an impressive server network, with over 5500 servers located in 59 countries. While the number of countries may be lower than some other VPN providers, NordVPN's server count is among the highest in the industry. Additionally, users have the ability to select servers from specific cities in the US, France, Germany, and Canada, providing further options for customization.
Due to NordVPN's focus on having its own servers for greater anonymity, the server locations may not be as dispersed as with some other VPNs, like Surfshark, which has servers in 100+ countries. Placing servers close to users with this tactic makes sure that connections will be faster and more dependable.
Moreover, NordVPN employs RAM-only servers, which do not have any storage or disk to house user data. For individuals who value their privacy, this is excellent news because it prevents NordVPN from recording any user behavior on those servers.
NordVPN has also started building a network of colocated servers owned exclusively by NordVPN staff, which are already up and running in Finland. This is great and helps with trusting a VPN. Colocated servers are fully owned, maintained, and managed by NordVPN, which guarantees that the company stays in control of its configuration and security. These servers are provided the facilities for storing the servers, along with a continuous power supply, stable internet connectivity, and strict security.
This is a great step for NordVPN, especially after the 2018 leak incident, which happened due to the negligence of a third party. These servers are not under any jurisdiction, and no third party can interfere with them.
Bare metal servers
NordVPN uses only physical servers, also known as "bare-metal servers," which are fully owned and operated by NordVPN. This provides consumers with improved security and obfuscation because the servers are actually present where they are indicated to be. Some VPNs may employ virtual servers, but NordVPN is dedicated to using only physical servers for its network.
NordVPN assures that it has complete control over the configuration and security of the servers by using bare-metal servers, which is not always achievable with virtual servers. Virtual servers are essentially machine servers that may not actually be where they are listed as being located, which can compromise security and privacy.
NordVPN is known for its no-logs policy, which has been verified and audited by third-party companies. The policy ensures that NordVPN doesn't keep any user activity or personal information, thus guaranteeing users' privacy. This approach is a result of the 2018 data breach, which NordVPN has since taken significant steps to overcome. We will discuss it at length.
Additionally, NordVPN now uses diskless or RAM-only servers, which have no storage capacity and can't store user activity data. Since 2022, NordVPN has implemented this technology to guarantee even more privacy to its users.
NordVPN collects basic user information like email and payment details, which are common practices in the industry. However, this information is only shared with third-party support centers and payment companies. To further enhance privacy, NordVPN also accepts cryptocurrency payments.
NordVPN uses technology that stores necessary information for only 15 minutes after disconnection. This information includes incoming and outgoing IP addresses, connection date and duration, amount of data transferred, and VPN servers used. The stored information helps identify server loads and quickly connect to nearby servers for faster connection speeds.
NordVPN has also been audited by third parties more than twice, which is one of the best practices to verify privacy policies. This might not be a perfect tool, but it is what we can trust. NordVPN passed both tests. https://nordvpn.com/blog/nordvpn-audit/.
NordVPN offers a range of specialty servers that cater to the specific needs and requirements of its users.
Double VPN servers: Double VPN servers encrypt and route user traffic through two different servers, adding an extra layer of security. These servers are highly recommended for individuals who are at risk, such as political activists or journalists working in sensitive locations.
Onion Over VPN: Another specialty server offered by NordVPN is the Onion Over VPN server. This server works just like a standard VPN server, but it also routes traffic through the Onion network, adding another layer of security and anonymity. NordVPN is among the few VPNs that work perfectly with the TOR browser.
Obfuscated Servers: For individuals looking to bypass restrictions in countries with heavy censorship like China, NordVPN offers obfuscated servers that "hide" the fact that a person is even using a VPN. These servers work even in countries where VPNs are restricted and allow users to access content that might otherwise be unavailable due to firewalls or other restrictions.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) servers: NordVPN offers peer-to-peer (P2P) optimized servers that are quick and secure for individuals wishing to engage in P2P file sharing. P2P is utilized for torrenting, one of the key goals of a VPN, which allows for quick and safe torrenting.
Dedicated IP address: NordVPN also provides dedicated IP addresses for those who require an added layer of secrecy and anonymity. These unique IP addresses can be purchased separately and are useful for websites like banking or others where you cannot consistently utilize different IP addresses. the proper regulations. If law enforcement authorities have proper orders from the Panama court and the provider's appeal is denied, NordVPN will have to start keeping the activity logs of the particular user. However, Nord
VPN clarified that this is nothing new and that all other VPNs would do the same.
Meshnet is a new feature by NordVPN that allows users to access devices or encrypted private tunnels. Recently, in 2023, Nord made Meshnet a completely free feature that will work without any subscription. You can send files, use your network’s devices as servers, and enjoy many other benefits for free now. This was an excellent decision as it completed the need for apps that transfer big files and data securely.
It's powered by NordLynx, which is NordVPN's more secure adaptation of the WireGuard VPN protocol. Meshnet lets users connect to other devices directly, without going through a VPN server. All traffic on Meslaw Enforcement is encrypted, just like when connected to a VPN server. This opens up many new usage possibilities, including LAN gaming parties, file sharing, or remote device access.
To use Meshnet, users can add up to 10 devices of their own under the same account and up to 50 external devices via invitations. Meshnet is available on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android, and Linux. While traffic routing is currently available on Windows and Linux devices, all other devices can connect to a Windows or Linux computer to route the traffic.
For each device, NordVPN assigns a special IP address that works only with Meshnet, which is different from the IP address assigned by the ISP or NordVPN when connecting to a VPN server. Additionally, NordVPN generates a unique Nord name for each device in case users need something that's easier to type, say, and remember.
To protect against unauthorized access, device pairings have to be authorized by users. Recently, I've heard a unique name used for these connections. Alternatively, each device is assigned a unique IP address by NordVPN (not to be confused with an ISP's IP address)
Kill Switch is one of the most important features and though most of the VPNs offer a kill switch, Nord has an exceptionally quick and one of the best Kill Switch features. It acts as a safeguard for users when their connection drops or leaks. A Kill Switch is essential as it immediately terminates the connection, thus ensuring users' privacy. NordVPN offers two types of Kill Switches. The first one shuts down the internet connection completely, while the second one is only available for Windows and Mac users, where they can choose which applications to shut down to secure their privacy.
Most users should use a complete kill switch to protect their privacy, as it is much safer and can protect them instantly, especially when bypassing censorship. The Kill Switch can also help users avoid potential legal and security problems in countries where VPNs are illegal. By using the Kill Switch feature, users can enjoy the benefits of NordVPN without worrying about any security issues.
VPN Split Tunneling
Split Tunneling is a fantastic feature that NordVPN offers for Android and Windows customers who wish to control which apps require VPN security and which may just surf the internet. Users can select the apps they wish to use with a VPN and those they don't in this way.
The first group of apps will enjoy quicker speed and access to local services where users require their true IP address. This group may contain websites and apps for banking. The second or remaining group will benefit from the VPN's security and a separate IP address, which will slow it down a little. Only apps for Windows, Android, and Android TV allow split tunneling.
NordVPN provides its users with a security feature called Threat Protection, designed to defend against online trackers and malware. It comes in two versions: Threat Protection and Threat Protection Lite. The initial iteration of Threat Protection is available even when users are not connected to a VPN. This version prevents harmful websites, blocks ads, and trackers, and checks all downloaded files for malware.
Previously known as CyberSec, Threat Protection has been upgraded to include a powerful anti-malware tool that scans downloaded files for malware, similar to an antivirus. It also blocks intrusive ads, trackers, and malicious websites to ensure safer browsing.
Threat Protection is available on Windows and macOS and provides threat prevention even when the device is not connected to a VPN server. It scans suspicious files for malware during download and blocks ads, trackers, and malicious websites.
In contrast, Threat Protection Lite works only when connected to a VPN and is available on mobile devices (Android and iOS) and other platforms (Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge).
It blocks ads and malicious websites to ensure safer browsing. However, in our tests, this feature did not prove to be an effective ad blocker and only detected 26% of malware. It did not stop ads on YouTube either. Therefore, we always advise our audience to use good anti-virus software on their devices, especially Windows and Android devices. VPNs are not meant for this, as it is there that we need a good one.
How Threat Protection Works: Threat Prevention protects users from internet dangers including malware, trackers, and invasive ads. It operates by checking downloaded files for harmful software, banning nefarious websites, and preventing third-party trackers from obtaining personal data. Even when a user isn't connected to a VPN server, Threat Prevention is constantly on and filters invasive ads, which can be bothersome and even harmful.
Tor Over VPN
Another great feature offered by NordVPN is Tor over VPN. Tor, or The Onion Router, is a network of virtual tunnels that allows users to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. However, ISPs know when users connect to Tor, which can be troubling for journalists, political activists in censored regions, travelers, and residents of autocratic regimes.
By using NordVPN, users can prevent this issue, as it does not require any special connection and completely hides the user's access to Tor and any other activity. Tor over a VPN provides an extra layer of security and privacy, especially for those who are concerned about their online safety.
Dark Web Monitor
NordVPN offers a unique feature called "Dark Web Monitor." This feature continuously scans dark web forums and sites for credentials associated with the user's NordVPN email address. Users only have to activate it once, and then NordVPN will keep an eye on their account. If NordVPN finds something that relates to the user's email, it will alert them so that they can take measures to protect their account.
This is similar to Have I Been Pwned? In 2020, Troy Hunt, a web security legend and the creator of haveibeenpwned.com joined the Nord Security advisory board of independent experts.
To protect their privacy, we recommend that users change their passwords and turn on multi-factor authentication as soon as possible. This feature provides extra security to NordVPN users and shows how committed NordVPN is to their privacy and security.
SmartPlay is a neat feature offered by NordVPN that helps you access a wide range of online content securely. Unlike other VPN services, there's no need to manually set it up, update it, or activate it. You just have to connect to the right VPN server, and the rest is taken care of automatically.
SmartPlay works by combining the best of both worlds: smart DNS technology and top-notch VPN security. When you try to access blocked content, SmartPlay switches your DNS servers, allowing you to bypass DNS blocking. But it also does much more than that: it cloaks your IP address and encrypts your online traffic, ensuring your privacy and security while streaming your favorite movies or TV shows from anywhere in the world. All you have to do is connect to NordVPN and enjoy the benefits of smart DNS technology without any additional hassle.
NordVPN has a handy feature that automatically selects the best server for you, which is particularly helpful when you don't have a specific server preference. It analyzes the available servers and picks the one with the lowest latency and best connection, ensuring a seamless VPN experience.
One of the limitations of NordVPN is that it only allows a maximum of six connections at a time. While this can be sufficient for individual use, it may not be ideal for households with several members who want to use the VPN simultaneously. Other VPN providers, such as Surfshark, offer unlimited simultaneous connections, which may be more convenient for families or larger groups.
While NordVPN may not market itself as a streaming VPN, it is still one of the top VPN options for streaming content. With access to many Netflix libraries, including those in the US, UK, Japan, etc., users can easily stream from over eight different libraries in Ultra High Definition (UHD).
BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime NordVPN also stream BBC iPlayer with ease, and while it streams Amazon Prime, not all servers are compatible with the streaming service. Users may need to try different servers to find one that works for Amazon Prime. BBC iPlayer is only available in the UK, so it is best to use a UK server for this service.
Disney+: Since August 2021, NordVPN has sadly been unable to stream Disney+. Those trying to watch Disney+ content are inconvenienced, though it is unclear if this is because Disney servers have changed.
Speed: Domestically and Internationally
NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market, providing users with lightning-fast speeds for all their online activities. We conduct regular speed tests to ensure that our users always have the best possible experience while using our service. Our tests show that NordVPN consistently delivers high speeds both domestically and internationally.
When it comes to domestic speeds, NordVPN performs exceptionally well, with very little impact on connection speeds. This means that users can enjoy fast and reliable internet speeds while browsing or streaming within their own country.
In international tests, NordVPN also holds its own, with impressive speeds that make it a great option for users who need to connect to servers in other countries. In one recent test conducted in New York, NordVPN was able to achieve download speeds of over 100 Mbps and upload speeds of over 40 Mbps when connecting to servers in Europe and Asia.
To ensure accurate and reliable speed tests, NordVPN uses a team of experts who run tests in multiple locations and under different conditions. They measure not only the speed but also the latency, or the time it takes for data to travel between the user's device and the VPN server. This comprehensive approach ensures that users get the most accurate representation of NordVPN's speed and performance.
Speed test results 2023:
NordVPN offers 24/7 customer support via live chat or email, with a team of experienced support agents ready to assist users with any issues or concerns. Additionally, the NordVPN website also features a blog and FAQ section, providing users with a wealth of information and resources to help them get the most out of their VPN service.
We put NordVPN's customer support to the test and were impressed with the results. When we reached out to their support team via live chat, we received quick and helpful responses from knowledgeable agents. Their replies were prompt and to the point, and we felt confident that our concerns were being addressed by professionals. We appreciated the efficient and friendly service we received, and it definitely gave us peace of mind knowing that we could reach out to their support team whenever we needed to.
2018 Nord Security Breach
In 2018, there was a security breach at NordVPN that exposed some users' data. The company blamed a third-party data center provider for the breach, while the provider blamed NordVPN for failing to secure the server. The breach went unnoticed for several months until a hacker bragged about it on a public forum.
though there were no data leaks, and even promptly revoked the affected SSL/TLS certificates and implemented additional security measures. However, as a security company, we think about exploiting them. After this, many other VPNs started their bounty programs
NordVPN, like any other VPN, offers multiple plans, including 1-month, 1-year, and 2-year options. The monthly plan starts at $11.99, and it's generally more expensive to encourage users to commit to longer plans. However, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you're interested in trying the VPN, it may be more cost-effective to start with a longer-term plan. If you end up not liking the service, you can request a refund instead of wasting money on monthly fees.
For those looking for a longer commitment, the 1-year (+3 months) subscription comes with a 45% discount, totaling $67.35 or $4.49 per month. The 2-year (+3 months) subscription is currently the best value deal, offering 63% off at a total cost of $80.73 for two years, or $2.99 per month.
While NordVPN may seem expensive at first glance, when you consider the features and services provided, it's actually a good value. With its speedy VPN, large server fleet, extensive features, and live chat customer support, NordVPN offers more than 90% of other VPNs on the market. Moreover, NordVPN has gained the trust of many users over the years, making it a reliable choice. In short, if you're looking for a high-quality VPN, NordVPN is definitely worth considering
In conclusion, NordVPN is a superb VPN service that offers top-notch security, performance, and privacy features. With more than 14 million users, it is a great option for anyone who wants to access geo-restricted websites, stream material from several areas, and browse the internet anonymously. One of the most flexible VPN services available today, NordVPN offers users a wide selection of alternatives with more than 5,400 servers spread throughout 59 countries.
Moreover, NordVPN offers its users cutting-edge security tools, including double VPN, Onion over VPN, and CyberSec. One of the nicest features offered by any VPN on the market is this one. Additionally, it strictly enforces a no-logging policy, guaranteeing the privacy of your online activity.
Also, NordVPN offers one of the best customer services, including a live chat function that is available around the clock and helps users handle any problems they may experience. All things considered, NordVPN is a fantastic option for anybody seeking a dependable VPN service that provides a great balance of security, speed, and privacy features.