Based in Panama, NordVPN is a popular option for today’s VPN users. It’s also received its fair share of praise from experts in the field. After running it through its paces, it’s easy to see why.
Not only is NordVPN one of the few VPNs left to provide access to US Netflix via VPN from anywhere in the world, but it’s easy to use and loaded with features experienced users can’t help but love.
It isn’t perfect, but NordVPN checks most of the boxes and is right up there with some of the best VPNs in the business. In this NordVPN review, we’ll have a look at why.
NordVPN utilizes several specialized servers, including P2P servers designed to handle file-sharing traffic. In fact, if a file-sharing program is opened and run on a non-P2P server, NordVPN will automatically transfer you to one of its dedicated P2P options.
In addition to P2P servers, NordVPN also has three servers dedicated to nothing but TOR, allowing users to enjoy both the anonymity of a TOR network and a VPN. Best of all, there’s no need to use the dedicated TOR browser. Just connect to one of NordVPN’s Onion over VPN servers and you’ll automatically connect to the TOR network.
Anti-DDoS and Double VPN servers are available as well. Anti-DDoS servers have “advanced stability checking systems,” allowing them to offer a more stable connection. Double VPNs, meanwhile, provide added anonymity by routing traffic through not one but two servers in two locations, such as Taiwan and Hong Kong or Canada and the US.
If you live in a country where VPNs aren’t allowed, NordVPN also provides access to obfuscated servers, which are easier to connect to. Of course, there are dedicated IP servers as well. If you go this route, you’ll gain access to your very own IP address.
One final great feature of NordVPN is its CyberSec server-level antivirus system and built-in ad blocker, giving VPN users even more security, privacy, and peace of mind.
NordVPN at a Glance
• Location – Panama
• # of servers – Over 3,000
• # of server countries – 59
• VPN protocol – OpenVPN
• Encryption – AES-256-CBC
• P2P allowed – Yes
• Netflix Access – Yes
• Cost – $5.75/month with annual billing
Speed Test – How Fast is NordVPN?
We have speed tested NordVPN from Sydney Australia. We took a benchmark speed so that we could compare the results. We took 3 speed tests for benchmark, Australia, UK and USA so that we could get an average Mbps speed.
|Upload Mbps||Download Mbps|
The results from NordVPN were excellent. As expected the country with the smallest speed reduction was Australia. We would expect to see this as we are reviewing NordVPN from Australia.
There was a drop off in both upload and download speed for both UK and USA results, however considering there physical distance from Australia this result is more than acceptable. For example to stream Netflix in 4k you will require an internet speed greater than 25 Mbps.
When you first connect to NordVPN, you’ll be shown a map of the world with a marker in each country its servers are located. There are thousands of servers and nearly 60 different countries to choose from around the world. You just click on the marker for a particular country and NordVPN will connect you automatically.
If you’re not a fan of the map approach, you can also select the “List” option on the top left corner. When you do so, a panel will slide out from the right showing all of NordVPN’s location options in alphabetical order.
If you want to take advantage of features like P2P, dedicated IP servers, double VPN, Onion over VPN, and Anti-DDoS, you can do so here as well.
Some people could care less about server location. If you’re one of them and simply need solid VPN performance, a Connection Wizard is also available to make things easier. Just click the “Connection Wizard” button and you’ll be connected to the server nearest you.
Of course, if you want greater control over your servers and to really dig deep into NordVPN, you can do that too. Just click the “Servers” tab on the top menu. When you do, you’ll see a list similar to the one before. However, this time there will be a hamburger menu icon next to each country name.
You can click on any country you want and select a specific server from NordVPN’s expansive network. When you click on a server, you’ll see how far away it is as well as its current load. The latter is especially important if you’re at all worried about connection and load times.
If you’re a power user, you’ll find all of the standard VPN features in the “Settings” menu. One particularly useful feature is the kill switch, which will automatically terminate your connection should your NordVPN connection drop.
Another neat feature is the auto-connect option, which as its name suggests, automatically connects to a server when you want to go online. This is nice if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of choosing a server and other options.
Can I put NordVPN on my router?
Yes, you can install NordVPN on your router. The advantage of installing it on your router is every single device that connects to your internet connection will now be secured by a VPN.
Installing on your router will give you a number of advantages. You will have always on security and privacy across all of your devices. One of the major advantages is that it will give devices protection that don’t support VPN connections on their own.
Finally the biggest advantage is that installing on your router only counts as installing NordVPN on one device. You can normally connect 6 devices per account but by installing on your router you can connect as many as you like.
NordVPN provides a tutorial to help you set your router up correctly https://nordvpn.com/tutorials/
How can I speed up NordVPN?
There are a number of different techniques that you can try to speed up your NordVPN connection. Follow this list and you should see a speed increase.
- Change the server to the closest one to your physical location. This will help increase your speed. Obviously it doesn’t help if you are using your VPN account to connect to a different country.
- Restart your computer and internet connection. It’s an old classic but you would be amazed how often this will improve your speed.
- If you are using NordVPN to download anything that requires a P2P connection make sure that you have selected a P2P speciality server from NordVPN’s server menu.
Does NordVPN slow Internet?
Sending your internet traffic through a VPN can definitely influence the speed of your connection. This is particularly true if you are using a VPN to connect to a country that is a long distance away from your physical location.
Here are some of the factors that will affect speed.
- Location – The further you physically located from a server the slower the connection will be. This is why it’s important to select the closest server to your location. NordVPN offer 5845 servers in 59 countries so it should be easy to pick a local server.
- Server Load – The busier a server the slower the service. You can see a NordVPN’s server load by clicking the three dots next to a countries name when selecting a server. Try and pick the server with the least server load.
- Encryption Level – The higher the encryption level the slower the connection. NordVPN offer military grade AES-256 encryption. This may make it slightly slower then some of it’s competitors but it does make it more secure.
- Internet Speed – A faster internet connection pre-VPN will lead to a faster internet connection post-VPN. We recommend testing your speed connection at https://www.speedtest.net/
Does NordVPN Have an Adblocker?
Yes, NordVPN offers an Adblocker when you purchase and download from the official website. The technology is called Cybersec and it has a number of protective features. These include:
- Blocking suspicious websites to reduce the chance of your computer getting a malware infection
- Blocks all mobile adverts
- Hides pop up, auto play, and other adverts during desktop browsing
Does NordVPN Work in China?
Yes, unlike a large number of other VPNs NordVPN does work in China. It uses a number of techniques to attempt to bypass the great firewall of China. Firstly it doesn’t have any servers physically located in China. This allows it to remove the risk of any government interference in it’s operations.
Secondly it offers a service called obfuscated servers. This allows helps it disguise a users traffic and therefore avoid the firewall.
Is NordVPN legal?
NordVPN is legal in most countries around the world with the exception of North Korea, Iraq and Belarus. Laws focus less on the VPN and more on what you are using the VPN to do. For example whilst it’s perfectly legal to use a VPN it is still illegal to use it to do the following:
- Illegal file sharing
- Cyber bullying or stalking
- Illegal activity on the dark web
So if you are using NordVPN for every day legal activities you won’t have a problem at all.
Security – Is NordVPN Safe?
NordVPN uses military grade 256 bit encryption to ensure your security.
NordVPN uses a kill switch to ensure that if your VPN server drops out it blocks your device from accessing websites. It does this until a secure connection has been re-established to protect your browsing data.
Does NordVPN Keep Logs?
NordVPN states it follows a strict no logs policy, so it doesn’t keep logs of any user activity. The popular Panama-based VPN provider also says it doesn’t track users.
However, according to its Terms of Service, it does in fact use tracking cookies in order to “analyze trends, administer the site, track user movements, and gather demographic information about our use base as a whole.”
Does NordVPN hide your IP address?
Yes NordVPN does hide your IP address. When you connect to a server using NordVPN a tunnel is established. This tunnel routes all of your internet traffic through the server that you have connected to. Your IP address will change to the IP address of the server that you are connected to.
Can police track NordVPN?
NordVPN uses a no log policy. This means that your incoming, IP address, connection date and duration, amount of data transferred and sites visited are not recorded. This means there is no data for the police to request.
NordVPN have based themselves in Panama which is outside of European and US jurisdiction. Even if your data was logged the police cannot force NordVPN to provide it to them.
Streaming – Does NordVPN Work with Netflix?
Through effort and some trickery, NordVPN is one of the few VPNs able to consistently work around Netflix’s VPN-blocking filters. In fact, while Hulu can only be accessed with servers within a specific range, NordVPN users can access Netflix from any US server.
The VPN provider has several support pages dedicated to the topic and clearly explains how to access Netflix and Hulu with its servers. While NordVPN’s Netflix workarounds change from time to time, its support pages should help you troubleshoot any issues.
Using BitTorrent or P2P with NordVPN
NordVPN supports all BitTorrent and P2P services. It has specific P2P optimised servers that can ensure you receive maximum performance.
Is NordVPN Good for Torrenting?
Yes, NordVPN is great for torrenting. They go above and beyond other providers in this space. NordVPN offer the ability to select servers that have been optimised specifically for P2P.
NordVPN is based in Panama, this means that the US and European governments cannot influence them to co operate with the government.
Is NordVPN Right for You?
NordVPN is a strong VPN that takes the privacy of its users and the performance of its servers seriously. It has a user-friendly interface, strict no logs policy, and is one of the few VPNs today able to provide consistent access to US Netflix when overseas.
If you’re looking for ultimate security and privacy, there are a few other options that may be better in this regard than NordVPN. However, if you’re reading this NordVPN review to find a VPN with a good amount of privacy protections, a range of servers and features, and access to US-based Netflix and other streaming services, NordVPN might be a perfect fit.
Does NordVPN Have a Free Version?
Whilst NordVPN doesn’t have a free version it does allow you to have a 30 day money back guarantee. This gives you the peace of mind that if you try it and don’t like it you can get your money back.
NordVPN’s Refund Policy
NordVPN offer a 30 day money back guarantee policy for all subscription bought from the official site. If you have bought from Apples App store please appy to them for a refund.
Check out our other VPN Reviews