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NordVPN Review | Presentation, testing, opinions and pricing

NordVPN has only been on the market for a few years, but it has recently undergone rapid development. This VPN is hosted by a company situated in Panama where there are no data collection and storage laws. Nord VPN promotes the concept of an internet free from censorship and surveillance. Therefore, their service focuses on the protection of private information. However, they are also aware of the other things that their users want: speed and no logs. And that’s what they offer! Let’s take a more in-depth look at NordVPN’s test results.

NordVPN

NordVPN for maximum security, streaming and torrents

I was able to test a trial version of NordVPN. Of course, I had already heard about the services that this VPN offered, but I had never tested them out for myself. I will now give you my opinion about NordVPN. This company is registered in Panama, a fiscal paradise, but that’s not all it is. In fact, in Panama, companies are not legally required to record logs. Therefore, NordVPN is able to guarantee the security as well as the anonymity of its users.

And I really appreciate the fact that they seem to be very interested in cybersecurity, the respect of private information and the fight against censorship and mass surveillance. You can read their manifesto for more details.

Compared to previous versions, their software has taken great strides forward, as we will see below. In addition, NordVPN offers servers dedicated to particular activities, in order to improve the performance of specific tasks.

Nord is an appealing VPN for francophones since it has 2 servers in France, 2 servers in Switzerland and 11 servers in Canada. It should be mentioned that this VPN is ideal for watching Netflix, Canal+ or beIN Sports from abroad. Furthermore, the total lack of any form of record keeping on the part of this VPN provider, makes it an ideal companion for people who do P2P file sharing or who download torrents. In my opinion, NordVPN is clearly one of the best available VPNs.

Summary of Nord VPN’s test results

PROS:

  • Server for TOR navigation
  • Proxy HTTP included
  • Tor server
  • Integrated NAT firewall
  • DoubleVPN server
  • No logs
  • DdoS protected server
  • 6 multi-logins

CONS:

  • Manual configuration of PPTP/L2TP

NordVPN’s offering and pricing

At the moment, and as a special offer to pc4u.org’s visitors, NordVPN is offering a “buy 1 year get one free” promotion. Click here to check it out.

I don’t know how long this promotion will last, maybe a month, maybe longer.

NordVPN

NordVPN’s price is very competitive, especially when using 6 simultaneous connections. It only offers one subscription package which includes all of its features. The only thing that you can choose is how long you would like your subscription to last. Even if they only list the 3 plans mentioned above, they regularly have promotions. At the moment for example, they are offering a 2 year subscription at a price of 3 USD per month, making them the most affordable VPN on the market. Visit their site to make sure that you are getting the best deal. Be sure to pay attention to the pop ups!

If you only interested in subscribing for a month, NordVPN is not very economical. It is only their 1 year – or longer – subscriptions that make this VPN one of the most inexpensive on the market.

You can try NordVPN out for yourself risk-free for 30 days. In fact this provider has a satisfaction guaranteed or money back policy which is another point in its favor since a month-long trial will allow you to fully test out the system – you will not need to hurry, simply use it as you normally would.

My summary of NordVPN

NordVPN in practice

NordVPN and Netflix

Netflix works perfectly with NordVPN and you will be able to access Netflix’s full catalog: including programming from France, the USA, the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, and from many other countries as well.

If ever one of Netflix’s platforms were to cease to function with NordVPN – which could unfortunately happen – simply contact me and I will inform NordVPN of problem. Also, don’t hesitate to contact them directly because they know which servers work and which don’t! I also invite you to read my article regarding the best VPNs for Netflix streaming if you would like to learn more about which VPNs work with Netflix.

NordVPN and Canal+

NordVPN has no trouble streaming CANAL+ programming from abroad! At the moment, they have 19 servers located in France for watching Canal+ which are being underutilized. I have also been informed that, in case of heavy use – which does commonly occur, the number of servers is increased. I conducted a test from another continent with a ping of 222 ms and I can confirm that I was able to stream Canal+ live without any difficulty.

NordVPN

In any case, you can take advantage of their satisfaction guaranteed policy in order to test out the software for yourself. Try connecting to a French server – it doesn’t matter if you are located in France or abroad – in order to perform your own test. I recommend using NordVPN’s live chat to find out what servers work with Canal+, because testing all 19 servers could be somewhat laborious…I’m speaking from experience here!

NordVPN, Torrents and P2P

As was mentioned above, NordVPN allows P2P file sharing and torrent downloading, and even makes special servers available to their users for this specific purpose. In France alone, Nord VPN offers no fewer than 17 dedicated servers! And, given that no logs of any kind are kept, I highly recommend using this secure VPN for all your downloading activities.

The download speed via the OpenVPN protocol can sometimes be slower than you might like it to be. That is why I recommend that you manually configure a connection to the server using the PPTP protocol, however this could be a somewhat laborious process for less experienced users. This type of connection is allowed on the servers from the following countries: Brazil, Romania, Iceland, the Isle of Man, Israel, Russia, Sweden, Lithuania, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.

Detailed description of NordVPN’s features

Kill Switch

Given that NordVPN allows torrent downloading and that it protects the security and anonymity of its users, it could not do so without a Kill Switch feature. Especially since this type of downloading is illegal in certain countries. Therefore NordVPN makes a Kill Switch available to its users – the Kill Switch can even be configured (selective Kill Switch). This configurability makes it possible to individually list all of the programs which should not be allowed to connect to the internet if the connection to the VPN is lost.

NAT firewall

All of NordVPN’s servers are equipped with a NAT firewall for added security. There is nothing to configure on the client side, all you need to do is connect to a server. This firewall blocks all types of harmful connections, enabling you to take full advantage of this VPN’s services at all times.

Dedicated IP address

If you require a dedicated IP address, NordVPN can provide you with one, for a price. One you have paid the additional fees, you will obtain an IP address on one of NordVPN’s dedicated servers. At the present time, NordVPN has dedicated servers located in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada.

I would just like to remind you that a dedicated IP address translates into a faster connection speed, more bandwidth and a better overall online experience. NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for gamers – one of its major advantages (along with its NAT firewall, mentioned above).

Tips from the Masked Tester

Having a static IP address is a good thing, but it does imply loosing a measure of your anonymity…In fact, since you will be the only person using the address, it will be easier for someone to track your online activity than if you were to use an IP address shared by thousands of other users…Nevertheless, your real IP address will remain masked behind the static IP that NordVPN will assign you, so there’s no real reason to worry.

Double VPN

If you are looking for increased encryption of your data, DoubleVPN connections are available among this VPN provider’s servers. These are multi-hop networks which have been preconfigured to make them easier to use.

NordVPN

Just like with the other multi-hop VPNs reviewed by PC4U.ORG, users will first connect to an Austrian server, then to a server in Holland before connecting to the internet. This connection uses dual AES-256 bit (the same as used by the NSA) encryption in order to provide optimal security. Of course this extra security has a negative impact on connection speed…you can’t get something for nothing!

Onion Over VPN

Tor is a free program and an open network that helps you defend yourself against traffic analysis – a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential commercial activities as well as State security. For more information visit www.torproject.org.

This technology is available on three of OpenVPN’s servers based in Latvia, Holland and Sweden. When using this type of connection, data is first encrypted by NordVPN. Then, the encrypted packets transit through several Tor nodes before arriving at their destination. The same thing applies to received data.

NordVPN

This is the ideal solution for navigating the deep web. Obviously, this kind of navigation will not be very fast, but it will be extremely secure.

Protection against DNS leaks

For several years now, NordVPN has had protection against IPv4 DNS leaks in place. Recently, they have added protection against IPv6 DNS leaks to their arsenal. In order to take advantage of this protection, be sure to update your client to the latest version, because if you use an older version, you will have to manually deactivate IPv6.

Anti DDoS servers

For gamers, NordVPN offers special servers with DDoS protection. These servers ensure uninterrupted connection thanks to their advanced stabilization system – making these servers ideal for gaming under optimal conditions.

Ultra Fast servers

Until recently, NordVPN offered “Ultra Fast” servers, specially configured for streaming HD content. However, this category of server has disappeared. But, this does not mean that NordVPN’s servers have gotten any slower; indeed now ALL United States and United Kingdom based servers are ULTRA FAST!

NordVPN’s PC client

A straightforward and easy-to-use interface

Nord VPN did a good job designing its Windows client. When you launch the program, you will see a very nice stylized map which lists all of NordVPN’s servers. If you click the on/off button, the client will connect you directly to the fastest available server. Every pushpin represents a country and, if you click one of them, the software will connect you directly to a server in the corresponding country. It is also possible to connect exclusively via OpenVPN – currently the best VPN protocol.

NordVPN

To access the servers with specific functionalities, you will need to click on the “Servers” tab. There you will find all of the different types of servers that we spoke about earlier: P2P, Onion over VPN, Double VPN and Anti DDoS. This is followed by a list of the so-called standard servers – sorted by country. Just a reminder: all the servers located in the USA and the UK are now Ultra Fast and suitable for streaming.

NordVPN

For each category and/or country, the client software gives you the possibility of inspecting the server’s load and distance! The French servers are generally under reasonably low load and have good performance.

NordVPN

Limited, but essential options

NordVPN is more of an every man’s VPN than a VPN geared towards geeks. Indeed, there are very few options available on the “Settings” tab. The most important of these settings are for enabling/disabling: automatic updates, automatic connection to a preferred server, launching the client at Windows startup and the Kill Switch. NordVPN’s latest innovation is called CyberSec which is a new form of protection against invasive advertisements, malware and botnets. This kind of protection is always useful, so be sure to activate this option!

NordVPN

NordVPN

You can also access the advanced settings in the “Settings” tab, but NordVPN’s client software does not many advanced options either. You are only able to select the protocol to be used (UDP for faster speed, TCP for increased security) and to adjust the DNS server settings – in case you don’t want to use your ISP’s DNS. In addition, if you travel in countries where censorship is a real concern, you can choose to enable servers specifically designed to get around this type of limitation – Obfuscated Servers – which will then appear in the list of servers.

NordVPN’s other applications

Nord VPN makes a version of its client available for every type of platform. The PC and Mac clients are quite similar, as are the mobile clients for Android and iOS.

NordVPN for Mac OS

NordVPN

NordVPN

NordVPN for Android

NordVPNNordVPN

NordVPN for iOS

NordVPN offers a single application for both iPhone and iPad.

NordVPNNordVPN

Conclusion

In conclusion, NordVPN is perfect for users looking for a simple way to surf securely and to access geographically restricted content such as “Canal+” or “TF1 Vidéo”. It used to be the case that you required a certain amount of technical know-how in order to manually configure NordVPN on mobile devices, but that was before. Now, with NordVPN’s native apps for Android and iOS, this is no longer a concern and you can easily use the OpenVPN protocol on you mobile devices.

For users seeking a VPN to download torrents, using NordVPN can be a bit more laborious since you will be required to manually configure the PPTP and L2TP protocols (which is not complicated, but can be a little daunting the first time that you do it).

Lastly, NordVPN is the best solution if you are looking for a VPN that does not keep any logs and that has specialized servers for increased security (namely Onion + Double VPN).

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