NordVPN is a VPN provider based in Panama, putting it outside of the reach of anti-privacy regulators in the US and the EU. For this and many other reasons, NordVPN is the ideal choice for those for whom privacy and security are their top concerns. NordVPN offers a number of advanced privacy features that similarly-priced competitors cannot match. Despite this high level of privacy, the service does not compromise on speed, with excellent upload and download times across all servers. NordVPN’s Netflix capabilities are therefore excellent, and it supports many other streaming services. NordVPN offers a wide selection of servers in different countries, and its customer service team is friendly and helpful, if sometimes a little slow.
NordVPN trial with a money-back guarantee
Professional-grade security features
Consistently high speeds
The “Smart Play” feature, which makes the streaming experience seamless
Excellent discount if you buy the 2-year deal
Limited number of IP addresses available
Slow response to email inquiries
NordVPN servers offer high-speed connections across the gamut of server locations. This provider excels at consistency. All of its servers are extremely fast, although perhaps a little slower than some of the very best performing individual servers of rival providers. This small point is, however, vastly outweighed by the benefits of flexibility that come with consistent performance across all servers.
NordVPN is excellent for streaming, regardless of which server you choose. This VPN has a ping time of only 5 ms, which combined with high bandwidth means that you can stream anything without having to worry about constant buffering.
They also offer an interesting feature called “Smart Play” as a convenient alternative to regular VPN unblocking of streaming services. Smart Play is a secure proxy service that automatically reroutes your request through a server located in a country where the content you’re trying to access is available. The service automatically selects the best available option, decreasing the number of steps you need to go through to get to the content you want.
NordVPN’s speed, combined with this feature, makes it one of the best VPNs for Netflix, in addition to many other streaming services.
This VPN is great for gamers, thanks to its low latency. NordVPN allows P2P file sharing, and the killswitch, which disconnects the applications of your choosing if the VPN connection drops, is a crucial feature for torrenters. If you change servers frequently on your NordVPN login, you may get a little frustrated, as NordVPN’s average of 13 seconds to connect to a server is on the higher end of the spectrum.
Privacy is where NordVPN truly excels. First of all, NordVPN’s parent company is based in Panama, which means it is safe from the reach of privacy-unfriendly government agencies in the United States and Europe. Using the VPN leaves absolutely no traces: none of your browsing activity is logged, which is a feature NordVPN shares with other providers. Where it distinguishes itself, however, is that is does not even log your connection metadata, like time of connection or how long you were connected for.
With your NordVPN login, you can connect via Open VPN, or through any of the standard protocols. NordVPN offers a number of advanced features absent from its competitors’ offerings. It supports Obfusproxy, which obfuscates traffic and renders in unrecognizable. It has a “Double VPN” feature, which sends your online activity through a series of connected VPN servers. This makes it even more difficult for hackers to track you.
NordVPN uses bank-grade AES-246 encryption. It uses its own in-house DNS servers for added privacy, and includes robust anti-DNS leaking features. Because even the strongest VPN connections can sometimes drop, it also has a killswitch, which automatically turns off selected apps (on the desktop versions of the application) or the entire connection (on iOS and Android), preventing malicious third parties from accessing your data when it is vulnerable.
You can pay for your NordVPN download with Bitcoin, PayPal, or with an in-house anonymous payment method, an essential option for those in sensitive situations who can’t afford to expose their true identities.
NordVPN has an impressive 1106 servers in 61 locations worldwide. A large pool of servers in multiple locations means that you will not be sharing the same server with too many other users. This ensures high speeds at all times. The only downside is that NordVPN offers only 2,000 IP addresses, a limited selection compared to some of its competitors.
Perhaps most usefully, NordVPN servers are organized by purpose as well as location. You can select servers that are specifically optimized for the “Double VPN” feature, browsing over the Tor network, and accessing anti-DDOS and obfuscation capabilities, among others. Dynamic server switching allows you to easily move between different servers in the same location, which improves performance.
A wide range of server locations is particularly important if you want to stream content from a variety of different countries. This VPN works with Netflix through the US server, BBC iPlayer through the UK server, and numerous other local streaming services, like Foxtel and Stan in Australia. NordVPN’s “Smart Play” feature has unblocked over 150 streaming services thus far, with more to come.
NordVPN offers a number of different options for getting support. There’s a ‘Getting Started Guide’ as well as a comprehensive Knowledge Base, covering a wide range of topics, like how to unblock Netflix. The guides are targeted at everyone, from the absolute beginner to the power user.
A customer support representative generally responds immediately or within a couple of minutes to live chat enquiries. Getting a response via email, however, can take a couple of days, as NordVPN’s support team is backlogged due to their popularity.
A NordVPN download costs $11.95 a month, which is on the higher side. Their six month deal is $7 a month, and $5.75 a month if you sign up for a full year. For a limited time, NordVPN is offering a whopping 72% off, if you sign up for two years upfront. That comes to a miniscule $3.29 a month, excellent value for one of the highest quality VPNs available on the market.
NordVPN is unmatched when it comes to privacy features. If you work or live in a sensitive environment where privacy is crucial to your safety, or even if you’re just an ordinary person who cares about the security of your data online, this VPN is the right choice for you.