I’ve been a paying customer of NordVPN now for approximately five years and quite frankly have no hesitation in recommending it. I’m currently using it on a couple of Windows machines and a couple of android devices.
In this NordVPN Review I look at the features and benefits of the product along with some of the extras and what the product will ultimately cost you.
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A number of recent high profile issues such as Facebook/Cambridge Analytica have made everyone more aware of online privacy. More and more people are trying to protect themselves from prying eyes.
This is made more difficult by our desire to use mobile devices which we then connect to ‘free’ wifi at the coffee shop, library, shopping centre or hotel.
How to protect yourself?
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is the answer. A VPN will encrypt your connection making it impossible for others to capture your data. For example, I used to use a VPN to connect to the servers of the company I previously worked for. This prevents sensitive company information from being compromised. Given that remote working is likely here to stay for a while this is going to be a necessary tool for those working from home. In this scenario you will probably be told which VPN software to use by the company you work for.
I won’t name names but I always found that particular VPN software, which was supplied by them, somewhat unreliable. Quite often it would refuse to connect to the company servers. The connection might drop several times in a work day.
For my own personal use I decided to give NordVPN a try. I have found it to be much more stable, often going for days without the connection dropping.
Why pick NordVPN?
For me it has 2 major selling points.
1. Kill switch. You can set up a list of applications that will be terminated in the event the VPN connection is lost. This should prevent any security breaches of sensitive information.
2. No logs. NordVPN has a no logs policy. This means they don’t record your activities eg the IP addresses that you connect to.
There are 2 sides to NordVPN’s kill switch. Firstly you can disable access to the internet until you are connected to the VPN. You can also create a list of applications that you want to shut down in the event that your encrypted connection is lost.
You will need to turn this on for windows or android but I believe it comes turned on for iOS.
No Logs Policy
NordVPN doesn’t retain any information about your internet usage which is sort of the whole point of using a VPN to protect your privacy.
The company is based in Panama so is not part of any intelligence gathering network such as 5 Eyes Alliance. If you use a VPN provider in the US or UK for example it might not be worth it given the amount of power now wielded by government agencies.
NordVPN uses 256 bit AES encryption. In effect this means that current supercomputers would take millions of years to be able to decrypt your data. If you want to find out more about 256 bit encryption you can take a look at this article.
NordVPN operates over 5000 servers in 59 countries so you shouldn’t have any problems finding a suitable server to connect to.
I can’t say I’ve experienced any significant speed issues myself although I haven’t done any specific testing. It depends to an extent on which server you are connecting to. For the fastest speed you will generally find that sticking to servers local to yourself will give you the best results although from stats I have seen the US servers do seem among the fastest. In fact you may even experience an increase in speed since many ISPs throttle your usage at certain times or when you are doing certain things that are bandwidth heavy. Many of the other reviews I’ve read have NordVPN as one of the faster services.
In addition to the usual help pages and email you have a live chat service should you run into problems.
Are VPNs Legal?
In general the more likely your need for a VPN due to censorship and restriction by the state, the more likely it is that state will have banned VPNs. Countries such as China, Russia, Turkey, UAE, North Korea and Iran either have outright bans or discourage their use. Primarily one assumes because they are trying to reduce avenues of dissent and access to western media sources.
Up to 2GB of encrypted cloud storage for free. A simple drag and drop interface allows you to encrypt files and then upload to the cloud. You can even grant access to other NordLocker users.
As the name suggests this routes your connection through 2 different VPN servers, making your data even more difficult to get at.
Onion over VPN
This allows you to connect to TOR (the onion router) with a VPN connection as well. While TOR will give you anonymity, NordVPN will give you security.
This feature blocks advertisements and also blocks sites known for phishing or other malware. Due to Google’s Play Store policies the NordVPN app for android can’t block ads but does block the other malicious sites.
Trustpilot currently rates NordVPN as a creditable 4.4 out of 5. With Google play store currently rating it at 4.2 out of 5. VPNmentor.com currently rates it No.1 out of 356 different VPNs!
At the time of this NordVPN Review (July 2020) they are currently doing a 2 year plan for £64.50 (£2.69 per month). This covers you for up to six devices. However you could install NordVPN on your router and that would only count as one device. This would have the added benefit of securing things like your smart tv or even your internet enabled fridge or washing machine!
As this product is one I’ve been using for 5 years, I am obviously happy with it. I can’t claim that I’ve spent loads of time using or testing other VPN’s. The only other VPN I have used over an extended period is one that I was obliged to use while working for a company and I found that at times that could be extremely unreliable, with drop outs occurring many times a day. For a different view on Nord VPN you could take a look at this reddit NordVPN review.
NordVPN Review: Conclusion
As a long term user of NordVPN I can’t speak highly enough about it. I suggest you give it a try. The 2 year plan also has a 30 day money back guarantee. NordVPN is a product that is definitely worth it.
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