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 at a Glance:
• Location – Panama
• # of servers – Over 3,000
• # of server countries – 58
• VPN protocol – OpenVPN
• Encryption – AES-256-CBC
• P2P allowed – Yes
• Netflix Access – Yes
• Cost – $5.75/month with annual billing
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.
NordVPN Servers and Features
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.
Trust, Anonymity, and Privacy
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.”
To protect its users, NordVPN only requires an email address and password during the account creation process. You can also pay via PayPal, credit card, or Bitcoin; the latter being as anonymous as paying with cash.
On the downside, the general lack of information about the company and its employees is a little troubling. In fact, the only NordVPN employees we know about are in the PR and marketing departments.
While the company says it’s a security firm and doesn’t disclose the identities of management and staff for privacy reasons, it would be nice to know a little more about the people behind the company you’re placing your trust with.
In terms of speed and performance, NordVPN doesn’t disappoint. In every country tested, its speeds were more than acceptable for just about every task, including video streaming in 1080p.
While some VPNs focus more on privacy protection and less on performance, and it shows in their connection times, it’s clear NordVPN focuses on both.
NordVPN and 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.
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.