NordVPN Review

Editor choice NordVPN Review
9.8 Total Score

$3.29 $11.95

Buy for best price
  • Fastest speeds from any location
  • Most reliable access to sites, apps, & services everywhere
  • Ultra secure & private
  • Free built-in Smart DNS, and special servers for different uses
  • Highest critic and user reviews
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Overview

NordVPN sets the standard in the VPN industry and comes in as our all-around favorite. NordVPN is the ideal VPN for anyone looking to stream content or use the internet privately. Its blazing fast speeds, global access to all the best sites and apps, 100% anonymous web browsing, and steal-of-a-deal price make it one of the most popular VPN services out there. NordVPN is super easy to install and to use. Streamers love the top speeds (NordVPN is the fastest of all the VPNs we’ve tested) and built-in Smart DNS. NordVPN’s apps, available for all devices, are stellar. Encryption is state-of-the-art. NordVPN blocks annoying online ads and malware. Users can choose from a multitude of server locations around the globe. NordVPN’s reliability and performance are rock-solid, and not diminished by the emphasis on security. The $3.29/month limited-time offer is one of the best deals you’ll find — especially on a premium service like NordVPN.

9.8 Total Score
Outstanding!

NordVPN is our #1 rated VPN, with its blazing fast speeds, instant access to all popular sites and apps, military-grade security and privacy, and peak performance and reliability.

Speed & Performance
10
Unblock Content
10
Security & Privacy
10
Server Locations
9.4
Ease Of Use
9.8
Customer Support
9.8
Value For Money
10
PROS
  • Fastest speeds from any location
  • Most reliable access to sites, apps, & services everywhere
  • Ultra secure & private
  • Free built-in Smart DNS, and special servers for different uses
  • Highest critic and user reviews
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
CONS
  • No servers in some minor countries
  • Alternate security protocols require manual setup (for advanced users)

Speed & Performance: 10

NordVPN consistently ranks as the fastest VPN in our speed tests — even beating rival ExpressVPN, which focuses on speed as its main selling point. NordVPN’s unbeaten speeds make it the best VPN for streaming, including in HD.

While delivering super-fast speeds, NordVPN’s performance and reliability are excellent. In all our testing — and personal use — we have never had a performance issue. No matter what you use it for, you won’t have to worry about dropped connections, buffering, or other hassles present with lesser-quality VPNs. The only drawback we found was the patience required if you change servers frequently, as it often takes upwards of 5 seconds to get connected.

Unblock Content: 10

NordVPN works to unblock popular sites, apps, and services around the world, from wherever you happen to be located. It is tested and working with Kodi, HBO, Showtime, Twitter, Facebook, Google/Gmail, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and many, many more. NordVPN is also one of the few VPNs that works well to unblock Netflix. It’s also great for accessing gaming and torrenting.

One of the best features for streamers is NordVPN’s built-in Smart DNS, called Smart-Play. Smart-Play uses a quick auto-connect feature to give users access to all the most popular sites/channels without the hassle of changing server settings. Just turn on Smart-Play and you can simultaneously unblock content on all the best sites around the world. With other VPNs, you have to change your server location every time you want to access a site in a different region. Smart-Play is a huge time- and frustration-saver, especially if you like to do a lot of switching between sites/channels.

NordVPN is our #1 best VPN for Kodi. You can unblock Kodi add-ons and content sources around the world with NordVPN. This opens up a lot more great Kodi TV to stream, all while staying anonymous and secure.

Security & Privacy: 10

Users looking for maximum security and privacy will appreciate NordVPN’s dedication to providing military-grade encryption, without sacrificing speed. NordVPN is incorporated in Panama, so out of reach of US/EU regulation, and has a strict zero-log policy. NordVPN doesn’t use any third-party servers, unlike some other VPNs. Other standard security/privacy features include dedicated double VPN servers, an automatic kill switch, special Tor servers, anti-DDOS servers, and DNS and IPv6 leak protection. NordVPN also has an excellent built-in feature to block online ads, malware and tracking.

Server Locations: 9.4

NordVPN’s server selection is organized by purpose as well as location, a valuable feature for users. For example, from the US or UK, you can choose a server specifically optimized for high-speed TV streaming. NordVPN is unique in that it has special servers optimized for different uses. There are dedicated servers for streaming, anti-DDOS, Tor, double VPN, and dedicated IP. The most popular server locations have dozens of options. You cannot, however, select a particular city to connect to, which may inconvenience some advanced users (though most people will never need this feature).

Ease Of Use: 9.8

NordVPN is widely know as one of the easiest VPNs to install and use, even if you’re starting with zero experience. The NordVPN apps are very intuitive. They don’t get in their own way with lots of unnecessary flash like some other VPN apps (HideMyAss! for example). The fact that servers are organized by purpose as well as region is a big plus. A convenient server capacity bar makes it easy to pick the best server for your needs. And if you don’t want or need to bother choosing manually, the NordVPN apps will automatically select the fastest server when you choose a country.

IP address, location, and server load are all nicely visible once you’re connected. Of all the VPNs we’ve tested, we find changing servers to be the easiest with NordVPN. Installation and set-up are very fast and easy. The settings options available are straightforward, yet still allow custom configuration. You can toggle DNS leak protection and OpenVPN protocol, and create an application kill list to kick in if your internet goes out and you lose your connection. If you have difficulty accessing your favorite entertainment service, NordVPN’s patented Smart-Play feature is a huge perk and will save streamers a lot of hassle.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Apps for all devices are extremely easy to use, even for beginners
  • Smart-Play feature saves time and hassle for streamers
  • Great balance between configurability and convenience

WHAT WE LIKE LESS

  • Users who want a protocol other than OpenVPN must do manual setup
  • Can’t connect to a particular city without some extra setup

Advanced users may find the manual nature of using other protocols with NordVPN to be a downside. For example, some protocols, including PPTP, SSTP, and L2TP/IPsec, need to be configured outside the app. NordVPN provides nice tutorials, but most beginners will find them too technical. The workaround for connecting to a server in a particular city also is fiddly, involving the use of online tools like iplocation.net. But since the majority of users won’t be bothered by these issues at all, NordVPN scores very highly here.

Customer Support: 9.8

NordVPN has excellent customer support should you ever needed. You can get help via 24/7 live chat or email. The quality and speed of service are both very high. (In the past, NordVPN struggled to provide quick response times, but have now corrected this.) Plus, NordVPN has one of the best help sections on their website. There’s a great set of resources available, including excellent tutorials and video how-tos. It’s well-organized and very thorough.

Value For Money: 10

NordVPN is a premium service at a bargain price. You won’t find a better bang for your buck. And they stand behind their service with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

WHAT WE LIKE

  • Very affordable longer plans
  • Use up to 6 devices at once — most generous among VPNs
  • Free, built-in Smart DNS for streamers
  • Excellent features like server optimization and kill list

WHAT WE LIKE LESS

  • Manual alternative security protocols
  • Difficulty choosing a specific city
NordVPN

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$3.29 $11.95

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