NordVPN Review

NordVPN has recently refreshed its Windows client, adding some new features. This makes it far easier to pick from regional endpoints than before. It's also recently ceased operations in Russia, highlighting its commitment to user privacy.

Verdict

NordVPN is a solid all-round VPN provider, offering fast connection speeds, app-specific kill switches, and excellent security credentials.

Pros

  • Wide range of privacy and security features
  • Over 5000 servers worldwide
  • Large number of endpoint countries
  • Clear, audited no-logging policy
  • Provides international access to Netflix, All 4, and iPlayer

Cons

  • More expensive than many rivals

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £51.85
  • £8.96 per month
  • Connect up to six devices
  • £62.93 per year
  • Supports OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec
  • £71.83 per two years
  • Clients for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
  • £80.63 per three years
  • Clear information on connecting other devices without dedicated clients

What is NordVPN?

NordVPN’s virtual private network service provides clients and instructions for a wide range of operating systems and devices, with excellent support for international video streaming services.

Related: Best VPN

NordVPN – Features and usability

It’s easy to choose your endpoint from the desktop client, which also provides shortcuts to endpoints with specific extra security features, including double VPN, DDoS protection, Onion routing via the Tor network or support for peer-to-peer torrenting.

Its advanced settings include an option to automatically connect to a VPN when Windows starts and a customisable list of applications that you can apply a Kill Switch to. This means that, if your VPN connection drops, the applications won’t send or receive any data via your standard internet connection, helping to keep you secure.

NordVPN has one of the best-value subscriptions around. Two years works out at £55.75, or £2.32 per month, while its annual and monthly subscriptions are about median for the industry. A three-day free trial is available so you can ensure that it provides all the services you need before you commit for an extended period, and those in search of extra anonymity can pay in Bitcoin.

The service is owned by TelFinCom, headquartered in Panama. The country has no data retention legislation in force and NordVPN itself has a no-logging policy.

  • Read our view on the free version of NordVPN in our Best free VPN roundup

NordVPN desktop client

NordVPN – Performance

In general, NordVPNs transfer speed tests were a little slower than usual, but were usually just above average for a very high-performing group test. UK HTTP downloads came in at 8.26MB/sec (66.08Mbps) and FTP at 9.37MB/sec (74.96Mbps).

Our Dutch endpoint test results were unexpectedly slow – but still quite nippy in practice – at 7.96MB/sec (63.68Mbps) over HTTP and 8.67MB/sec (69.36Mbps) via FTP. US speeds exceeded previous tests at 6.2MB/sec (49.6Mbps) over HTTP and 5.47MB/sec (43.76Mbps) over FTP.

As usual, NordVPN excelled in our streaming tests. We were able to view region-locked content on Netflix US, BBC iPlayer and, unusually, All 4, as well as Crunchyroll and Shudder’s US services. It has a huge number of servers in 62 different countries, which doubtless helps its IP addresses keep off streaming industry blacklists.

Related: What is a VPN?

Why buy NordVPN?

NordVPN performs consistently well in our tests, with an excellent range of features at low to middling cost, depending on which subscription you opt for. It’s one of the few VPN providers to consistently go undetected by both US Netflix and BBC iPlayer, making it a great option for those who want to watch region-shifted streaming content.

Related: best free VPN

Owned by Panama-based TelFinCom, NordVPN has, at the time of testing, 5125 active servers in countries ranging from the UK, USA and most of the EU to less commonplace endpoints in Egypt, Vietnam, Taiwan and New Zealand. However, it’s recently shut down its Russian endpoint servers since its no-logging policy was in violation of Russian legislation.

NordVPN is one of the few virtual private network providers to have been audited to confirm its claim that it stores no personally identifiable information about its users.

Panama has no data retention legislation in force and NordVPN itself has a no-logging policy. NordVPN says that it runs services in restrictive countries such as the UAE and Singapore, by fully configuring the servers it rents from local ISPs itself.

Buy Now: NordVPN

Verdict

If you’re a streaming media enthusiast, NordVPN provides a combination of features and pretty quick download speeds, as well as offering excellent security credentials. It’s a great option if you’re after a best-of-all-worlds VPN.

The most privacy-conscious may prefer to choose a service that’s been shown in court to keep no logs, such as ExpressVPN or Private Internet Access, while those in search of speed could do better with KeepSolid VPN Unlimited.

Score


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