In 2021, it is complex to browse the internet or watch TV and Youtube without hearing about NordVPN. This supplier is getting a lot of talk in France and elsewhere in the world. Does NordVPN deserve this notoriety? Is the product offered by the company up to scratch? Can you really trust this VPN to protect your internet connections? That’s what we’ll see in this review on NordVPN!
What is NordVPN? How do I install it?
NordVPN is a VPN provider that has established itself over the years as a benchmark in the market. It allows you, among other things, to hide your IP address, browse anonymously, bypass geo-restrictions and much more.
While this is initially related to the quality of its Virtual Private Network, the media investments (Youtube, TV commercials and even a partnership with the Liverpool football club) made by the company were very substantial and inevitably played into the company’s reputation. In particular, we have seen many partnerships forged with influencers from the gaming community, but not only. In France, its notoriety is extreme, far ahead of other suppliers of similar quality.
Before we get into the heart of our review on NordVPN, we’ll explain how to install the app to start using it and enjoy its benefits.
- Simplicity of use
- NordLynx Ultra Fast House Protocol
- Works with Netflix and torrents
- Quality customer support
- More than 5,100 servers worldwide
- Present in 59 countries
- Up to 6 simultaneous connections
- Double VPN function
- Rather a high price
- Operating problems (rare) on Windows
- Complex manual settings in censored countries (China, Russia)
How do I install the app?
If you want to install the app to make your own opinion on NordVPN, be aware that the whole process is very intuitive. You will quickly take control of this tool, whether you are an expert or a novice in the field.
Besides, no matter which device you want to install it on, there is a suitable version. NordVPN is available on iOS, Mac, Windows, but also on Android, for example. So be careful to download the version that matches the device on which you want to install it. Be aware that NordVPN even offers an app on Smart TV to enjoy the benefits of a VPN on your connected TV.
When it comes to configuration, all you have to do is let yourself be guided by following the different steps. For this NordVPN test, no need to go into detail because everything is well indicated. This is already a good point because it is not the case for all its competitors.
How do I use VPN?
Once you’ve installed it, you’ll be able to start taking control of the tool and take your opinion on NordVPN.
As you can see above, the app’s interface is very simplified, making it easy to grip. The connection is very intuitive, but let’s recap the steps:
- Open the app
- Choose the server you want to connect to depending on the country you want to access
- Press the connection button
and… It’s over! Your IP address and online activities are protected. If you don’t have specific territory in mind, you can use the Quick Connect connection button. In this case, the NordVPN algorithm will find the server optimized for you depending on your location and the load of the different servers nearby.
It’s as simple as that. In terms of the ergonomics of the application and interface, our opinion on NordVPN is more than positive.
Speed is paramount when we take our opinions on the main VPN suppliers. Indeed, many users want to protect their Internet-connected devices without ignoring the speed of connection since poor speed prevents access to content quickly and efficiently. However, immediacy is essential to navigating in 2021.
Test with VPN disabled (reference speed)
This first image corresponds to the results of the connection test without any VPN protection. As you can see, our connection is rather fast, which will make it easier for us to see any differences when the software is activated.
Testing with connected VPN in France
This test was carried out by choosing a server in France. As you can see, the connection has largely dropped, but that remains quite honourable. With such a speed, you can watch streaming content or download files, for example.
Testing with VPN connection to the US
Finally, here is a new test is done, this time with a server in the United States (in case you want to unblock American content, for example). Once again, there has been a big drop in connection quality, which is predictable given the geographical distance of the U.S. server.
If we compare these results to competitors, our opinion on NordVPN is pretty good: even in the most remote locations, you will have a speed more than enough to do everything you want! An excellent point for the supplier who passes the test, hands down.
NordVPN testing for streaming
More and more people are using tools to optimize their streaming activities. That’s why we couldn’t give a full review of NordVPN, let alone the features offered in this context.
If you’re a fan of streaming platforms like Netflix and enjoy watching movies and series, you’re going to be particularly interested in using a VPN. In fact, this tool allows you to access all your content wherever you are in the world and access all geo-blocked content. You’ll never run out of movies and series again.
Although NordVPN is not the best VPN for Netflix, it manages to access the platform and unlock several foreign bookstores. You will also be able to access all foreign countries’ content, such as foreign TV channels (exclusive series, sports, etc.).
It’s easy with NordVPN’s VPN: select the country, search for a server in that country and log in.
We also watched Amazon Prime Video and Disney with NordVPN, with no blocking during our test. On the other hand, NordVPN did not work for DAZN or RTL Play, a Belgian channel that blocks many VPNs.
When viewing, there is no interruption, and the loading speeds are rather correct. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the supplier’s trial period to test and make your own opinion on NordVPN. You won’t be disappointed, no matter what type of activity you prefer on the internet.
If you happen to download torrents in P2P, then fear not: the provider is also compatible with these activities thanks to its P2P servers.
Safety is THE most important point that we have analyzed from different angles to give a real opinion on NordVPN in 2021. Indeed, we must not lose sight of the fact that this parameter will determine, for the most part, the quality or not of a Virtual Private Network.
So what can you expect from this supplier?
To protect your data online, a VPN uses several encryption methods when you go online. With NordVPN, this is the latest AES 256-bit encryption.
Various protocols are also proposed so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs: the latest, NordLynx, the home protocol developed by NordVPN that has enormous potential. Based on the WireGuard protocol, it combines speed and safety for optimal performance. There is also the IKEv2/IPSec protocol and the OpenVPN UDP/TCP.
Security is also guaranteed by anonymity. To do this, NordVPN servers hide your IP address as soon as you activate it. Thus, none of the sites visited will be able to trace back to you or determine your physical location. But is your IP really well protected? To be sure, we have conducted several tests on potential network leaks.
We then activated our VPN to ensure that the IP has changed and no DNS leak. Here is the result:
As you can see in the image above, the IP address has been changed to appear in New York (which makes sense because it is an American server chosen). Also, no problem leaking IP, DNS or WebRTC to be identified since all the information is the same. This point is very reassuring; otherwise, there would be a big problem protecting your data.
If you still have any doubts about this review on NordVPN, please note that the provider has equipped its application with the Kill Switch, an essential feature that acts as an emergency stop button. Explanations: If your NordVPN connection ever comes to a standstill, your traffic will be automatically shut down in the process, even if the interruption lasts a few seconds. This ensures that your data, whether your IP address or your internet activities, is not leaked.
However, during our NordVPN test, we noted that its Kill Switch was a bit fickle; that is, it struggled to reconnect automatically once it returned to normal. So you can continue your activities thinking that the VPN protects you when it is not.
We would also like to highlight the security breach that the provider encountered in 2018 following a hack of one of its Finnish data centres. Even if the case showed that the provider had nothing to complain about, it is understandable that some users are wary of entrusting their web data to it.
Good news for all those who questioned the logging policy of this provider: they are not kept. Our opinion on NordVPN could not have been as good otherwise. As I said, safety is paramount. We cannot advise you to choose a provider that keeps users’ log logs because it would put your privacy at risk.
As proof of its reliability, NordVPN had its services audited by PwC in 2019 and 2020. As a result, they confirmed that no logs were registered on the supplier’s servers during these audits. Despite the recent “hack” of the Finnish server, there is no risk to your data since no trace is kept.
Does circumventing censorship work?
Many users discovered the existence of VPNs when they prepared their trip to a censored country. This is the case, for example, of China, Iran or Russia.
You’re reading this review on NordVPN because you’re going to China? Be aware that you should not have a problem on the spot: many Internet users use this VPN every day to access their favourite platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Gmail… You’ll be able to unlock everything without any worries with this provider, thanks to its Obfuscated servers optimized for regions restricting Internet access. This will inevitably reduce the number of servers available, but it is the only way to access your usual content.
However, sometimes its servers are not enough to thwart censorship. For example, in the United Arab Emirates, the NordVPN connection struggles to function properly. We recommend ExpressVPN (in our list of the best VPNs)that works perfectly.
In this case, technical adjustments are required to operate NordVPN. To do this, you will have to go to his help centre and follow the directions. The tutorials are available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOs and Linux platforms. If you have connection problems despite the manipulations, do not hesitate to click the company’s customer service directly. As you will see right after, it is very efficient. Counsellors will be able to provide you with all the additional information.
The network of servers and country coverage
With more than 5400 servers in 59 countries worldwide, our review of NordVPN could hardly be better. If you choose this provider, it is one of the widest networks on the market available to you. This amount ensures optimal throughput by avoiding saturated servers if the different customers have all grouped them on a single server. Besides, its international presence allows you to simulate various locations and access more content.
Where NordVPN stands out is in terms of the functions of each server. The provider does not simply offer standard servers and offers others tailored to the needs of each user. Thus, we find:
- P2P-optimized servers to secure torrent sharing
- Obfuscated servers to avoid being blocked in countries with strong online restrictions
- Double VPN servers that double encryption for further protection
- dedicated IP servers for people who have paid for this optional service
If you are looking to access a particular country or have a specific need, please visit the supplier’s website and the dedicated page directly. You’ll find accurate information about the servers available and which ones to choose from depending on your online activity.
NordVPN customer support test
Customer service is paramount for a software provider because it allows you to see if the company really considers the concerns of its customers. To give you an opinion on NordVPN as comprehensive as possible, we have put its assistance to the test by contacting technical support.
The easiest and most direct way to do this is through live chat. To do this, you will have to go to the provider’s official website and click on the conversation bubble at the screen’s bottom right. A chat window will open, and you can write your message. For our part, we then asked them a question about their 30-day period satisfied or refunded. Here’s part of the discussion:
As you can see, advisors are responsive and try to do their best to resolve your problem and respond to your request. However, the response time may vary depending on the period, which is why NordVPN customer support does not exceed that of ExpressVPN that we have already told you about and touted.
If your request doesn’t require an immediate response, you can also send an email to the NordVPN teams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, it should be noted that these two options are not the only means to obtain information about NordVPN. Before contacting a real counsellor, it is advisable to take a tour of his help centre. It is continent:
- Detailed installation tutorials with step-by-step screenshots for a smooth setup
- an intelligently designed FAQ that lists the various recurring questions of users
- many articles about VPN service, billing or connectivity issues
There is nothing to say at the NordVPN customer support level, which is very efficient. The brand does its best to accompany its customers in all circumstances. This is a good point in this review of NordVPN. Special mention for his answers in French is scarce. Well done!
Offers and pricing
It is impossible to complete this NordVPN notice without mentioning its rates. Price is an item to consider upfront to make sure the subscription fits into your budget. Currently, the supplier offers three packages:
- 1 month at 9.56
- 1 year at 3.93 euros per month
- 2 years at 2.97 euros per month (currently reduced by -68%)
It’s up to you to choose your offer based on the length of time you want to commit. Knowing, of course, that the longer the contractual period, the more advantageous the rates will be. So, we advise you to opt for the 2-year solution if you are looking for a Virtual Private Network in the long term and want the best price.
The advantage with NordVPN is that all offers are eligible for a refund guarantee valid for 30 days after the subscription. If you are not satisfied, you can be reimbursed in full unconditionally.
Note that when you sign up, you’ll also be able to add NordLocker, a cloud-based on file encryption system, or WordPress, a state-of-the-art password manager, for a few extra euros. These are two software programs signed by NordVPN to strengthen the security system for users. There is a free version if you want to test these tools before you go shopping.
Therefore, our opinion on NordVPN pricing is quite positive – although it is true that you will be able to find cheaper at other competitors. As such, since the price is an important criterion, you should not only consider that element when choosing your protection on the Internet. It is better to pay a few euros more and benefit from a quality service and optimal security like NordVPN offers.
Finally, you might as well take the 2-year subscription right away: you’ll have a lower monthly cost and still be able to end your commitment if it doesn’t finally suit you after your 30-day NordVPN test.
Many VPN providers offer additional features to differentiate yourself and optimize your day-to-day browsing. This is also the case with NordVPN. Let’s see what you can enjoy with an account at NordVPN.
The number of simultaneous connections
With a single subscription purchased from the NordVPN website, you will be able to install and secure up to 6 devices simultaneously. This makes it easy to protect all of your devices – even those of your family and loved ones.
And if the six simultaneous connections in your account aren’t enough, it’s possible to manually set up the VPN on your router to protect all the devices connected to it over Wi-Fi. The handling is quite technical, so feel free to refer to the NordVPN installation guide.
When you want to use VPN software, it must be available on the frequently used platforms. Otherwise, you may well have paid your subscription for nothing. Fortunately, the NordVPN app covers the main operating systems (Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux and Fire TV) and multiple media since it is available on computer, tablet, smartphone, Android Smart TV and connected box.
NordVPN also offers extensions on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox to optimize your usage. In fact, you will be able to better target the VPN connection by activating it only for your browser, for example.
Double VPN servers
The normal operation of a VPN means that your connection passes through an intermediary server connecting your device to the Internet. This server directly changes your IP address and allows you to be anonymous on the net. WithNordVPN’s Double VPN servers, you can double this protection: instead of just one, two servers protect your IP address and encrypt your information. This option is perfect for activities that require a higher level of security, such as anonymous browsing in highly censored countries.
This feature is not present in all competitors, so it’s important to note that this is a fundamental element for “risky” activities.
Beware, with the Double VPN, you may experience more or less significant speed losses. Thus, this feature should only be used in particular cases where the need for anonymity and security is very advanced.
If you don’t like intrusive ads, you should like CyberSec. The latter allows you to block ads and activate very easily on the NordVPN app’s Settings. The feature is also supposed to protect you from malware and phishing attempts. That said, our experience has been inconclusive, so CyberSec is no substitute for an anti-virus.
You will understand: our opinion on NordVPN is very positive. Whether it’s security, functionality or customer service, you’ll have access to a quality tool to help you protect all your devices daily.
This is a big yes for this supplier, which is definitely among the biggest on the market. Be careful, however, not to rest on its laurels because some competitors like ExpressVPN now offer even more efficient solutions with breakneck connection speeds at beautiful prices!
If you ever read this NordVPN test, you still have questions, would like to have a particular item deepened or written an opinion on one of its competitors, please let us know.