NordVPN Review 2021

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From $3,49 a month
7-day money-back guarantee
Pros:
  • Protection for 6 devices with a single account
  • Award-winning 24/7 customer support
  • 5700+ servers in 60 countries
  • Ultra-fast servers for P2P sharing
  • Double VPN for double encryption
  • No-log policy
Cons:
  • NordVPN doesn’t offer a free trial or plan
  • Some client UI issues
Top 5 Best VPN Apps

NordVPN remains at the top of VPN providers in almost every respect: Over 5,000 servers, almost 60 countries and complete security make the company based in Panama number one.

The streaming of US Netflix, and media libraries works smoothly and in top quality, and there is hardly any loss in speed when uploading and downloading. With many features, it stands out from the competition, including CyberSec, many special servers and complete transparency with regard to user data. In terms of price, it only gets really cheap from a long contract term of three years, but the security and additional functions more than make up for the few dollars.

NordVPN in the test: What does the VPN service offer?

NordVPN was founded in 2012 and is registered in Panama. In summary, the VPN service NordVPN offers the following features:

  • Platforms: Is available as an app for almost all common devices: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and Fire TV Stick. NordVPN is available as a browser extension for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.
  • Server: Has 5,307 servers in 59 countries (as of December 2019). The number of servers and country selection is excellent compared to other providers!
  • Devices: Up to six devices are supported simultaneously.
  • Data volume: The amount of data available is not limited .
  • Netflix: At the time of testing, NordVPN had 1567 servers in the USA, some of which were optimized for fast streaming for US Netflix. It worked smoothly and quickly .
  • P2P: Allows P2P and torrenting. There are separate servers for the former.
  • Free version: The service does not offer a free version – but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee.
  • Desktop / Mobile: The mobile version of NordVPN has the same setting options as the apps for PC and Mac.

How secure is the provider?

After the company granted a hack attack on a VPN server in a data center in Finland in mid-October 2019 , the class leader was criticized. But there was something good about the vulnerability that has since been fixed. According to NordVPN, all servers were checked for any weaknesses and the contract with the operator of the data center was terminated. The connections are encrypted with the secure standard AES-256 .

NordVPN uses OpenVPN for the security protocols , but IKEv2 / IPSec are also used. A kill switch is built in, but must first be activated in the settings. If it is activated, it disconnects automatically so that unencrypted data is not sent over the Internet line in the event of problems. In addition to the emergency stop switch, it also offers a special app kill switch that terminates certain applications if the secure connection fails.

When it comes to possible security leaks, NordVPN did not compromise: Whether DNS leak , IPv6 leak or WebRTC leak test – NordVPN passed each of the tests with flying colors.

A big plus is the in-house CyberSec function . If this is switched on, the user is protected from advertising, malware and phishing. In addition, NordVPN trumps with special servers: There are dedicated IP servers with which the user receives his own IP that is not shared with other VPN users.

In addition, it offers a multi-hop-Procedure (“Double VPN”) with which your data traffic is encrypted twice. In the process, also known as a VPN cascade, the data is not only passed through one, but through two VPN servers. No sender and destination are known on any VPN server. Even if log files were created, no conclusions could be drawn about certain data transfers. This is particularly important in countries like China, more on that below. The provider also has special servers for the use of TOR and P2P in the program.

What about the security of user data?

NordVPN promises a no-log policy , i.e. no user data is saved. If you want to be completely on the safe side, you should create a disposable email address. In addition, it does not create any logs of the online activities, i.e. it does not save any connections, information, bandwidth used or IP addresses. In addition, NordVPN is very open about what data they know about users, which can be found on the manufacturer’s website .

Homepage of NordVPN © NordVPN
There is a large number of servers, and there is also a large number of special servers for optimal security.

Speed:

The speed of the providers was put through its paces in the test laboratory: the download and upload speeds as well as the ping were measured with two different VPN servers over a period of 24 hours. Two German servers were selected as the location, as they would have to deliver the best thermal values ​​due to their geographical proximity.

In the long-term test, NordVPN got top scores: The download speed only slowed down by 1.6 percent, when uploading to a server by one percent. The second IP reported no loss in upload. Online gamers will also enjoy it, the ping is minimal at 12 and 13 milliseconds, respectively. With this, NordVPN earned a “very good” in the speed test.

Does it work with Netflix?

If you want to access a really large range of series, new blockbusters and exciting documentaries, you usually have to cross over to the USA. US-Netflix mostly offers the latest films on a streaming platform well before the international release. But does Netflix run with the VPN servers from Nord? Only 1,567 servers were in the US ready time of the test, so is every third server in the United States. The American Netflix program started without any problems in the test.

In contrast to other providers, the servers are not recognized as a proxy thanks to the integrated Smart DNS function (“SmartPlay”), so relaxed viewing is possible from anywhere in the world. Hardly loading times and Super quality makes binge watching a real treat. If you want to access the Netflix media library from abroad, NordVPN is at the forefront.

NordVPN in the test: the new old number 1?  The user can personalize his preferences in the settings, including the CyberSec function, which protects against advertising and malware.  © NordVPN
The user can personalize his preferences in the settings, including the CyberSec function, which protects against advertising and malware.

Limitless: Avoid geoblocking with NordVPN

VPN services are particularly useful when traveling abroad , and even a must in countries with highly regulated Internet. For some time now, the People’s Republic of China has emerged as a negative example. With the ” Great Firewall of China “, the government has cut connections to sites and services that are the epitome of the worldwide network: including Wikipedia, WhatsApp and Google.

NordVPN states that the VPN service can be used in China without any problems. However, for such a scenario, users should use the “Obfuscated” servers provided for this purpose, which are slower but much more secure. But bypassing geoblocking , it is not only western sites that can be accessed; foreign online shops can also be conveniently accessed via VPN. This has the advantage that there are usually cheaper prices or goods that are not available in most countries. When traveling by air, it is usually worth taking a look at prices and availability. 

NordVPN in the test: the new old number 1?  The mobile version of NordVPN offers all functions of the desktop app and is very user-friendly.  © NordVPN
The mobile version offers all functions of the desktop app and is very user-friendly.

Set up and use NordVPN

Downloading NordVPN is quick and easy: download the app from the website or in the app store and install it in seconds. After logging in to NordVPN, you are ready to go: Operation is self-explanatory and simple , the user interface is very appealing. In addition, good servers can be saved in their own favorites list and individualization options such as kill switches, security protocols, DNS or CyberSec can be easily changed via the settings.

The app versions for iPhone, iPad and Android differ only minimally from the desktop version. After logging in, the user encounters the usual user interface on the world map and is free to choose a server. Even security protocols can be chosen freely, which was not always possible in the respective mobile variants of the competition. Other additional functions such as ad blockers, tracking and phishing protection are also included. It is the best app version of the tested VPN providers so far. A total of 6 devices per license can be activated and used in simultaneous operation. 

How trustworthy is NordVPN?

NordVPN is located here for precisely these reasons. A suitable choice, as the provider eludes the keen eyes of the surveillance alliance “14 Eyes”. The data stored by NordVPN is stored on the website. This makes NordVPN much more transparent than many other providers.

NordVPN in the test: the new old number one?  With NordVPN individual servers can be selected precisely - not a standard among the providers tested.  © NordVPN
With NordVPN individual servers can be selected precisely – not a standard among the providers tested.

What does NordVPN cost?

NordVPN makes no frills with different subscription models that offer different services. When booking, users get all the benefits of NordVPN, but the service becomes much cheaper if the contract is longer. There are four models to choose from, with which the VPN can be used on up to six devices simultaneously:

  • If you subscribe monthly , you pay 10.87 euros.
  • With a contract period of 1 year , the monthly price already drops to 6.36 euros (76.33 euros annually).
  • 2-year subscription from NordVPN costs 4.54 euros per month (54.49 euros per year).
  • It gets really cheap from a term of 3 years : then NordVPN costs 3.17 euros per month (38.11 euros annually).

However, the actual costs can often be much lower since NordVPN often offers special offers. A 30-day money back guarantee is included with all models. NordVPN’s payment options are also wide-ranging: in addition to standards such as credit card or PayPal, Amazon Pay, Unionpay and Alipay are also available. If you want to remain anonymous yourself when you subscribe, you can bet on different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

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