Value for Money
Summary : Nord VPN is a quality VPN provider with a respectable feature set.
NordVPN is a newcomer on the VPN service provider market. Based in Panama, the company prides itself on its protection of user privacy. Despite the fact that performance can be lacking at times, and the fact that the pricing plans are at the higher end of the spectrum, NordVPN provides a no logs policy and has exceptional encryption.
If you are looking for a VPN, chances are that your security and anonymity are important to you. NordVPN promises both. Because NordVPN is such a new service, its occasional difficulties can be ignored based on the strength of its security. If you don’t mind sticking with the company while they work out their bugs, we recommend giving NordVPN a try.
Like some other VPN service providers, NordVPN offers a single package with discounts offered for bulk purchases. While you can pay monthly, you will realize a cost savings when you purchase several months, or even a year’s worth, of service.
The prices for NordVPN are listed in Euros, so we suggest that you check out the current exchange rate before committing to your purchase. Currently, a monthly subscription will cost you approximately $11.00.
For the cost of your subscription, you are given access to VPN servers spread across 12 countries. The servers are located mainly in Europe, but are also found in Hong Kong and the US. Servers use all of the common protocols: PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN. You can connect to NordVPN using proxy settings if you do not want to route your entire connection through your chosen server.
Like many of the other service providers, NordVPN allows you to connect two devices simultaneously. This means that you can protect your security on both your computer and mobile device without having to disconnect from one.
NordVPN supports BitTorrent which is good news for customers wanting to utilize P2P filesharing. If you require a static IP address, NordVPN will sort one out for you, releasing you from their standard of dynamic IPs.
Customer support is available to consumers via Live Chat or email. We tested out both services and were pleased. Answers given on Live Chat were quick and helpful. Responses to our emails were sent in a timely manner and answered our questions.
Privacy and Security
NordVPN offers an amazing level of security, particularly for such a new provider. The OpenVPN encryption is given to subscribers by way of 256-bit AES encryption, the same utilized by the United States government. 128-bit PPTP and 256-bit L2TP encryption are also available, but we always suggest using the higher 256-bit AES offering.
Because the company is based in Panama, it takes full advantage of not having to keep logs of its users’ activity. Panama has absolutely no laws regarding data retention, meaning that NordVPN is not required to keep track of what you are doing while connected to their servers. The company accepts Bitcoin as a payment option, allowing you to pay for the service anonymously.
If we were to only discuss NordVPN in terms of privacy and security, we would call the software flawless.
The NordVPN Website
We enjoy the layout of the NordVPN website. All of the information that you need to make your decision about the service is clearly laid out and easy to find. In addition to the basic information that most providers include on their website, NordVPN offers information about the company, tutorials, a knowledge base, and a simple FAQ. We do warn that the information in the knowledge base is a bit lacking, but it can only get better as the company grows.
If you are interested in seeing which servers are running or accepting new connections, you can do this from the website. This is not a service that many VPN companies provide.
Signing up with NordVPN took no effort. We were only asked to provide a username and email address. As soon as we completed the registration process, we were sent an email to confirm our account details. As soon as our payment went through, our account was up and running.
We chose to download the Windows client. We discovered that the client is not as richly developed as others but, again, this is a new provider with room to grow. We simply followed prompts to install the software and an icon appeared on our task bar. There is very little to be done that can tweak the software, meaning that it is ready to use as soon as it is installed.
Aside from PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP for Windows, NordVPN supports OSX (PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP) and Linux (OpenVPN and PPTP). Generic open source OpenVPN is used for OSX and Linux.
Currently, only PPTP and L2TP support are available for Android and iOS. If you like, you can use OpenVPN configuration files with OpenVPN Connect for iOS and OpenVPN for Android.
What we like about NordVPN:
- The lack of logging
- The ability to use Bitcoin
- 256-bit OpenVPN encryption
- P2P availability
What we don’t like about NordVPN:
- The inability to customize software
- The inability to connect to some servers at various times
- The price is a bit high
In general, we would recommend NordVPN to any consumer that is willing to get in on the ground floor with a VPN client. The company is new and we have faith that it will only improve over time. The software currently available is basic, but the security offered to subscribers is exceptional. Customer support is strong, and the VPN client is easy to use. We are excited to see how this company evolves.