NordVPN Review – The Best So Far

Updated: January 7, 2019
by Ray Alexander

In my NordVPN review, I will explain why I think it's one of the best and how you can use this service. NordVPN is very popular and often appears within the 10 best VPN services. It seems easy to install, fast, secure and reasonably priced. Now I have the pleasure of using it myself - some new features have been added recently. I'd like to share my experience and thoughts with you. 

NordVPN Review

NordVPN Overview

NordVPN has been in operation since 2012, the number of servers is 5,200+ over 60 countries as of 2022. When I first reviewed this service back in 2018, there were 3,500 servers, so you see how the number has grown since, and it is still growing. But of course, it's not the number of service that counts, "thousands" are more than enough. It's the remarkable quality of it. P2P allowed, double-encryption at no extra charge, and one account can connect up to 6 devices at the same time.

NordVPN is operated in Panama, outside the "Fourteen Eyes Countries" means outside the intelligence's surveillance, so your privacy is guaranteed.

The price starts from $2.99 per month (3-year deal) with 30-days money back guarantee.


NordVPN Installation

I'm a Mac and iPhone user. On both devices, installing NordVPN was just as easy as installing any other apps. Click "Download" in the NordVPN website and it would automatically open App Store. It's ready to download for free.

Alternatively, you can search to find "Nord" in your App store and click "Get" (download it for free) - that's how I did with my iPhone.

Enter your email address and password (that you would have set when you created your account), and it's ready to connect to any desired server. Your account will always be active in the app so you don't have to log in each time. But if you're worried about the security, you can simply log out after use.

Security Features

#1 Military-Grade Encryption

  • NordVPN uses AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) with 256 bit-keys.
  • IKEv2/IPsec protocol as a default in the NordVPN apps for iOS and macOS.
  • Open VPN is used by default for Windows, also macOS, and Android - uses AES-256-CBC with a 2048-bit DH key.

#2 NordVPN CyberSec Technology

  • Blocks dangerous websites: your access to sites known for hosting malware, trackers, spyware and other malicious software will automatically be blocked.
  • Secured from participating in DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks even if it is already infected with malware.
  • Hides advertising materials such as unwanated popups, autoplay video ads the moment you enter a website.

#3 Double-VPN

  • Mixed connection between UDP and TCP.
  • You can choose from several Double VPN combinations, including Canada-US, Netherlands-Russia, Sweden-Netherlands, UK-France, UK-Netherlands, and Taiwan-Hong Kong.

Privacy Features

#1 Strict No Logs Policy

NordVPN Installation
  • NordVPN strictly keeps no logs of IP address, servers you've used, websites visited or files downloaded, time or duration of any online session. Nord is not able to provide any details about your behaviour online, even if you requested yourself.
  • Based away from the US and EU jurisdiction and is not required to collect your personal data and information, i.e. nothing's recorded, monitored, stored, or passed to third parties.
  • In addition to the conventional payment methods (e.g. credit cards, PayPal), Nord offers other alternative payment options, including Bitcoins.

#2 Kill Switch Technology

Two versions of the Kill Switch feature in NordVPN applications:

  1. Windows and macOS versions allow to specify which applications should be shut down if the VPN connection drops out. That prevents the applications from sending unprotected traffic to the web. In the near future, Nord will be able to terminate the Internet connection on the system level instead of shutting down the apps.
  2. Android and iOS versions disable the system-wide Internet access in case the VPN connection suddenly disconnects in order to protect all active apps without terminating them.

#3 Onion Over VPN

Onion over VPN first goes through one of Nord servers, then goes through the Onion network before it reaches the Internet.

With NordVPN's Onion over VPN servers you are not required to download the Onion browser, nor any additional applications. All you need to do is connect to the Onion over VPN server so all your Internet traffic will be routed through the Onion network.

NordVPN Chrome Extension

NordVPN Chrome Extension

#4 Proxy Extensions for Chrome and Firefox

As well as Nord's VPN software, you can simply use Chrome or Firefox browser extensions (currently desktop only, not on mobile device).

The proxy extension is very light and fast; you can jump back and forth between different locations in seconds, though it does not allow you to choose a particular server within a selected country. I'm fairly a light VPN user myself and actually prefer to use an extension because it's quick and easy.

Server Locations

Below is a list of available countries where servers are located, and the number of servers in each bracket - as of March 2018. Obviously the number is growing continuously.

The Americas · 1443 servers

  • United States (1156)
  • Canada (251)
  • Brazil (10)
  • Mexico (10)
  • Costa Rica (7)
  • Argentina (5)
  • Chile (4)

Europe · 1726 servers

  • United Kingdom (427)
  • Netherlands (243)
  • Germany (195)
  • France (122)
  • Sweden (106)
  • Denmark (63)
  • Switzerland (63)
  • Belgium (56)
  • Norway (51)
  • Spain (40)
  • Italy (38)
  • Finland (33)
  • Austria (30)

  • Czech Republic (30)
  • Luxembourg (30)
  • Romania (24)
  • Poland (22)
  • Russia (16)
  • Estonia (13)
  • Hungary (13)
  • Portugal (13)
  • Bulgaria (12)
  • Croatia (12)
  • Ireland (12)
  • Latvia (11)
  • Iceland (10)
  • Albania (5)
  • Azerbaijan (4)
  • Bosnia and
  • Herzegovina (4)
  • Georgia (4)
  • Macedonia (4)
  • Moldova (4)
  • Slovenia (4)
  • Ukraine (4)
  • Cyprus (3)
  • Greece (3)
  • Serbia (2)

Asia Pacific · 305 servers

  • Australia (157)
  • Singapore (43)
  • Japan (33)
  • Hong Kong (32)
  • New Zealand (19)
  • Taiwan (7)
  • Indonesia (4)
  • Malaysia (4)
  • South Korea (3)
  • Vietnam (2)
  • Thailand (1)

Africa, the Middle East and India · 43 servers

  • India (10)
  • South Africa (10)
  • Turkey (9)
  • Israel (8)
  • United Arab Emirates (4)
  • Egypt (2)
NordVPN Speed

The Speed

I have seen a couple of users elsewhere complaining about the slow speed. But recently NordVPN has improved the speed along with new feature upgrades such as CyberSec Technology and the increase of the server locations.

The speed depends how many users are connected to the same server at a time. I've tried almost all the countries myself and have actually never experienced any inconveniences. I particularly try US servers at different times throughout the day, and actually find the connection incredibly fast.

As far as the speed is concerned, I can watch Netflix, YouTube and other streaming videos with no or very little buffering, both on my Mac with home wifi and iPhone with 4G connection.


1-month plan


  • Save 0%
  • $11.95 billed every month

1-year plan


  • Save 41%
  • $83.88 billed every year

3-year plan


  • Save 75%
  • $107.55 billed every 3 years

2-year plan


  • Save 66%
  • $95.75 billed every 2 years

All the price plans include 30-days money back guarantee. NordVPN advises me that the most popular plan among the users is 3-year plan, which is a super-competitive price. 

Since Nord has been pretty reputable for the past few years, I would recommend 2-year plan. Though we'll never know what better service providers might or might not appear in the next 2 years.

NordVPN Review Summary

I have reviewed quite a few VPN service providers so far, and NordVPN is my most favourite by mile for all-round reasons such as;

  • Extra security with 2048-bit encryption, kill-switch, no-log policy 
  • Netflix and torrenting allowd
  • The speed
  • Great price
  • Super-easy intallation
  • Chrome/Firefox extensions as a handy option
  • Up to 6 devices can be connected simultaneously

About the author 

Ray Alexander

ASD. Recovering alcoholic. LGBTQ+ advocate. Semi-retired. 15+ years of web-designing experience. 10+ years affiliate marketing. Ex-accountant. I'm nice and real. Ask me if you need any help in starting up your home business.

Thank you for your Comments!

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  1. Hey, yeah it’s the best one without a doubt.
    I’ve used a few others in the past & auto shutoff it good sometimes but gets annoying when you upload something & gets disconnected especially a weak wifi area. Never happens with the Nord my def favorite.

    1. Hi Vincent, thanks for sharing your experience, I think I know what you mean, some other cheap VPN services cut you off all of a sudden when you’re in the middle of something. No I’ve never experienced such inconveniences with the Nord, which is good. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Thank you so much,
    I have also been doing some research on Cybersecurity and VPNs for a little while now. After testing NordVPN from every angle, this post is really great and resourceful.

  3. After 3 yrs of using Nord vpn I decided to buy a 3 year contract for $2.29 p/m. It’s a very good bargain cos I never ever had a problem with this vpn service. This is the best.
    The only thing is if they offer any cheaper option in the next 3 years maybe I will regret but its 1/2 the price of a cup of coffee I still think it was a wise decision. Thanks

  4. Hi I used to use NordVPN I don’t need it now I moved to California but when I was in Singapore it was my essential item and it worked perfectly. With usability, customer support and also the stability I would say NordVPN is my no. 1 recommendation.

  5. I use goose vpn because I travel a lot to Spanish countries but I don’t speak Spanish. Nord VPN used to be good but now it’s too expensive for me. i only need it about once a day. i think goose is Dutch company I recommend it because only 2.99 per month no monthly fee is needed.

    1. Hi Markie, I too use Goose VPN because it doesn’t require a monthly contract. I think it’s one of the handiest VPN services around. Not as many server locations as Nord and it doesn’t have a phone app though. NordVPN is definitely superior though as you say, it’s pricier. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Great info i have ever read before. thanks for this, i regularly following you. never used vpn but when i do i will try nord vpn.

  7. NordVPN support has exceeded my expectation. One day my iPhone app suddenly stopped working. I contacted the support, they were extremely helpful. To this day I don’t know what they did in the end, but I just followed what they told me to do. It was more than removing the app and reinstalling it. Some setting changes that I had to make. It is working fine now. Faster than ever.

    1. Hi Lenny, it’s great to hear that. Once you start using it you don’t really need to contact the support unless something goes wrong. But when something like that happens which is beyond the technical knowledge for ordinary folks like us, that kind of in-depth support will be appreciated. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. I first knew about NordVPN 3, 4 years ago and subscribed.
    I wasn’t happy with their support and I complained. They apologized and they were very nice to me.
    Then I came back to NordVPN when they offered a discount.
    Since then I am very happy.

  9. Hi, I just cancelled NordVPN and went for Goose VPN. I would have preferred Nord to be perfectly honest with you, because there are so many servers and it masks the information so well. Goose is definitely cheaper but not many servers. I log on twice in the same evening and sometimes I get the same IP address which is worrying. But at least I can cancel on a monthly basis with this one. I will reconsider NordVPN in the next few months. Thanks.

    1. Hi Martin, I quite like Goose VPN but as you say, it doesn’t have as many server locations and not many servers at each location. Nord is a little pricier but with literally thousands of servers, your Id will be masked so well. Thanks for comment.

  10. I agree with you, Ray. I was in Beijing for 2 weeks last year and NordVPN worked perfectly for me. I don’t know if it’s still the case though, China does everything to block access to the rest of the world. I also use Nord every day to watch Netflix, CNN plus all others from the USA. I recommend it.

  11. Hi, Ray. I’ve been using NordVPN for many years now. It’s not the cheapest but it’s one of the most reliable. I agree with what you say, Ray. I cannot remember how many years plan I have right now, but when it expires I have no hesitation but to renew with Nord again. Great service.

  12. Yep. Best one so far. I’ve been a Nord customer since early 2016. Have tried a few others but not as good. I like the one without having to set up on the Mac settings.

  13. One thing I was not happy with Nordvpn was the support service was not so friendly. It took too long to answer as if I was left deliberately waiting but they did what I requested so it’s ok. In the end they asked me anything else I can do for you, but if I asked they would make me wait for another hour, why do they ask? Overall my experience with Nordvpn was good so it’s forgiven.

  14. Hi, there may be hundreds of servers but every time I connect it connects to very similar ip address for example to USA I always get connected to somewhere starting 102. I have to go to settings and choose anther server every time. Otherwise its ok. Acceptable for me.

    1. Hi Olu, unfortunately that’s happened to me a few times too. I normally go straight to the settings and choose whichever that’s least crowded. Connect it, then check the IP address. If it says somewhere odd (Chile, Romania, etc) even though I selected a server in the US, I’ll try another server again. That’s really odd, isn’t it. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  15. As a light user I don’t need half as many of features that Nord provides. I was using Nord for a while but since you recommended Goose vpn I switched it. I’m happy with it. No yearly contract, only for $2.99 per month every month by Paypal. It’s good enough for me.

  16. I used Nord vpn for a few years but, because it’s not the cheapest I decided to shop around else where. I chose Ivacy vpn and regretted it. I just saw your Ivacy review and I agree. Live chat is friendly but they don’t solve the problem. I wish I had gone back to Nord vpn.

    One thing I noticed about Nord vpn is there are so many servers but sometimes they indicate wrong locations. I connect it to Texas in USA and when I check where is my ip? and it will say Chile and so on. But that is okay because there are so many servers I can reconnect. I would give Nord 9 out of 10.

    1. Hi Ankit, thank you for sharing your experiences. I think I’ve encountered the same sort of problem with other VPN services too – thought I was connecting to USA but all came out in a foreign language in browser (not with Nord though). It makes me realize if you intend to specify your country it’s crucial that you double check before accessing anywhere. Sorry to hear about Ivacy – unfortunately I have to agree, they’re not very good!

  17. Hi Ray, I have read a lot of reviews of NordVPN and you are one of those who recommend it. I just would like to ask, would you say it’s safe to take up 3 years of service? Given that there may be better VPN services coming up in the future, I wonder if it’s worth taking a risk. Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Hi Norman, to answer your question, although I thoroughly recommend NordVPN right now, you never know what’s changing in 2-3 years time, so I wouldn’t pay for 3 years all at once. I like shopping around every year. But it’s all up to you. Nord has been steadily popular for so many years, I assume the 3-year contract may be worth the money, I cannot promise anything on their behalf. Thanks for your comment!

  18. Hi, I have used NordVPN before, I’m using ExpressVPN now and it’s as good. When I bought it I took advantage of the 1/2 price discount offer unfortunately it’s not available. When this contract with EVPN ends next year I intend to go back to Nord. Love the blazing speed and powerful connection.

  19. I agree with you that NordVPN is one of the most reliable VPN services that I have ever tried. I use browser extension, app and iPhone app. They all work very well, secure to mask information as well as accessing other countries (various Google in other languages) & they can work simultaneously. I value the service and am continuing to use it.

  20. I’m using NordVPN right now because in my country there is a lot of restrictions.
    I travel a lot as well. and I need a VPN to connect me as if I’m in the USA at all times.
    NordVPN serves very well.
    Only features that I don’t need is so many countries.
    I only need English speaking countries so others to me are wasting.
    But I cannot complain.
    Also NordVPN support is very helpful and friendly.

    1. Hi Yiching, thanks for sharing your experience with NordVPN. VPN services usually have servers all across the world for every possible convenience. Understandably many migrants want to access their home country’s service such as TV streaming, so there must be a lot of demand. Just like yourself, I rarely need to access to servers in non-English speaking countries either. But I’m glad to hear that you’re happy with Nord. Thanks for your comment!

  21. Hi, I started using NordVPN a month ago. List of server location is so big, but what I like about is how many % is currently used (full) for each server, I always check it and choose one that’s less crowded. I have had no problem connecting so far. I am very happy. Thank you.

  22. Hi, NordVPN was recommended to me by some deep web sites and they said it was the best in terms of masking ip address. I never intend to access illegal sites or anything that needs to be hidden. But I think I trust what deep website users say. I will use your link when I sign up with Nord soon. Thanks.

  23. I am totally happy with NordVPN.
    In fact i am using it right now and the speed is amazing.
    You only need to instal it once on your PC or Mac (I am using Mac) and you don’t have to log in each time.
    You can also use NordVPN on your smartphone and you don’t have to log in each time. I use it very frequently, on a daily basis. I have never had any problems connecting it.
    I don’t use it to watch Netflix but I use to watch streaming videos very often.
    I am more than happy and will continue to use NordVPN for a while.
    Thank you for your review.

  24. Nord is okay, I used to use it for 3 years. A lot of the servers were blocked by link tracking systems and I couldn’t view some make-money-online kind of websites. Why was it, I don’t know. But I was having to change the server multiple times before I could see some particular sites. Apart from that, good connection. I was happy.

    1. Hi Sam, I know what you mean. Link tracking systems like Clickmagick allow users to block VPNs. Because they’re often used by traffic sellers, whose job is to send real visitors to their customers’ websites. They need to filter out visitors who mask their country of origin. I think that’s the reason you couldn’t see some sites using VPN. It happens not just with Nord but with any VPN connections. Good to know that you were happy with NordVPN. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  25. I am still undecided as to which VPN I should buy but NordVPN is top of the list right now. It seems to have a good reputation and overall good connectivity and speed. Thank you for your review.

    1. Hi Chris, thanks for your comment. Nord is my No. 1 recommendation (as the title suggests!) I’ve used quite a few VPN services in the past few years but not once has NordVPN disappointed me in terms of connectivity, speed, server locations and ease of use!

  26. I agree with you, Ray. Nord VPN is the best one so far that I have ever tried. Only occasionally (once or twice every year) I find it hard to connect but otherwise it’s always been stable. I highly recommend it.

  27. I am a Nord user and am absolutely happy with it. I don’t live in the USA but normally connect myself to USA so that all the default sites come up in English, e.g. Amazon, Paypal, Google and so on. The speed is not super fast but acceptable. I use Chrome extension and find it so easy to connect. Comparing to other VPN I have used in the past, I agree Nord is the best. 10 out of 10.

    1. Hi Norman, thanks for sharing your experience. I agree with you, NordVPN is best so far in my opinion. The browser extension is easy to use, and also I find the iPhone app so quick and easy to connect. Many sites automatically redirect to the version available for the country of residence and countless times have I been redirected to after I typed in .com. The fact that it only takes a second to connect – not every VPN service offers this handiness.

  28. A friend of mine highly recommended this provider, and I can see why the number of servers is absurd and not to mention other features! Anyways thanks for a great article. Read many positive reviews, and here is yet another one convincing piece 🙂

    1. Hi Arisha, thanks for your comment. I quite enjoy accessing from various European countries and one thing I’m happy with is the speed of it. While I experience a slower loading when I access USA/Canadian servers often. But I’ve never experienced a downtime so far and am pretty happy with NordVPN. Thanks for your visit!

  29. Hey Ray good review. I use many cheap vpn services because I travel a lot and I don’t want any sites to be redirected, but I don’t care about security as much. Maybe I should. I’ve never used Nordvpn. I will try next time if I get a chance. Awesome page, good job, Ray. John

    1. Hi John, thanks for your comment. As long as you’re happy with your current VPN service and the fee you’re paying is reasonable, but if you get a chance to use NordVPN, do let me know of your experience. Thanks!

  30. I have started to understand how a vpn works and realize the way I’ve been browsing sites using public computers is wrong. I’m seriously looking into joining a vpn and your NordVPN review has helped me big time. Good work cheers

  31. Thanks so much for the tips, because I am looking for a vpn device I can use on my iphone when travelling.

    Can you please advice me how is it easy to change nordvpn locations in my phone because sometimes I experience that if my phone signal is weak, I change the location and it seems to improve the speed when I’m browsing.

    Can you also please advice do you have to change the iphone settings in order to enable nord vpn. Just in case I don’t like it and delete the app the last thing I will want is to screw up the setting.

    Otherwise I am so great full for your nordvpn revew as the best review. I will look forward to your answer.

    1. Hi Baruch, thanks for your comment/questions. I just deleted my NordVPN app from my iPhone and download it again to see if I experience any difficulties – there was none. Just like any other iPhone apps, you just download it and don’t have to change any other settings. You only need to log in once and your detail will be remembered, so you don’t have to enter your password every time.

      Changing the location is just as easy. Just turn off the location, find another location and flick the switch ‘on’, that’s all you have to do. You can either search for the country you want by typing in the first few letters, or you can find the location from the map. It should not take you a few seconds to find a desired location in NordVPN.

      Any more questions, don’t hesitate to get back to me any time. Thanks for your visit!

  32. VPN is important to me because I travel a lot. When I travelled in Indonesia, Thailand and Laos last year I had a lot of problems with the connection. Particularly in Laos. My VPN helped a lot. I have never used NordVPN. I will try next time. Thank you for your awesome review.


    1. Thanks Nicholas for sharing your experience. As you say, it’s almost essential to carry a VPN facility when you travel in and around China. I hope your experience with NordVPN will be a good one. Thanks for your visit!

  33. I’ve been using Nord VPN for a year now and I can honestly say the speed has improved dramatically… I remember a year ago I wasn’t entirely happy, maybe it was my cheap wi-fi connection that was sluggish anyway but couldn’t watch Netflix without buffering 4-5 times within 2 hours movie. That never happens now. Security I don’t worry much, but I know I should.

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