NordVPN Review

goovpn nordvpn review

Our Verdict

Overall Rating: 9.4/10


Ranked #2 out of 65 VPNs

 in this in-depth NordVPN review earned an impressive 9.4/10 rating in our evaluations. This VPN stands out for its versatility, particularly in terms of speed and effectively circumventing geo-restrictions on various streaming platforms. While it may have fewer server locations compared to its rivals and may seem somewhat less user-friendly, these drawbacks are balanced by its budget-friendly pricing.

NordVPN Review Category Ratings
Streaming 9.8/10
Privacy & Logging 8.8/10
Server Locations 9.6/10
Security & Features 9.9/10
Customer Support 9.7/10
Torrenting 9.0/10
Speed 9.7/10
Bypassing Censorship 6.7/10
Ease of Use 9.5/10
Price & Value 8.5/10
NordVPN Pros & Cons
Since its inception in 2012, NordVPN has risen to become the most renowned VPN service. Headquartered in Panama, it boasts a high level of trust and serves over 14 million paying customers globally. NordVPN is under the umbrella of Nord Security, the same entity that owns Atlas VPN and shares a holding company with Surfshark. Despite these connections, each VPN service operates independently. In recent times, NordVPN has diversified its offerings to include other cybersecurity tools such as a file encryption feature and a secure password manager. However, in this NordVPN review, we will exclusively focus on the features included in the VPN subscription.

Who Should Get NordVPN?

Choose NordVPN if:

  •  Access to Geo-Blocked Streaming Services: NordVPN seamlessly works with 12 Netflix libraries, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more, ensuring you can enjoy your favorite content without restrictions.
  • Comprehensive VPN Functionality: NordVPN goes beyond standard VPN services by offering a range of additional technical features. These include an ad and malware blocker, the capability to establish your own NordVPN server, and Onion over VPN for enhanced privacy.

  • Fast Internet Speeds: Utilizing NordLynx, its WireGuard-based protocol, NordVPN delivers rapid download speeds across its entire server network. Even when connecting to a nearby server, the speed loss is minimal, at just 2%.

Avoid NordVPN if:

  • You’re New to VPNs: NordVPN’s extensive functionality may be overwhelming for VPN beginners who are unfamiliar with VPN apps.
  • You Need IP Addresses from Many Countries: NordVPN has servers in fewer countries compared to other leading VPNs. If you require access to servers in popular locations like Russia and India, alternative VPN services may better suit your needs
  • You Plan to Install VPN on Your Internet Router: NordVPN lacks a dedicated app for routers, making it challenging to modify settings and switch server locations if you intend to install the VPN on your internet router.

For a more comprehensive evaluation, you can compare NordVPN with other VPNs in different sections of this review.


NordVPN Key Data

Data Cap
Download Speed
Logging Policy
No Identifying Data
Data Leaks
Panama (Privacy Haven)
IP Addresses
Countries with Servers
US Netflix
Simultaneous Connections
Works In China
24/7 Live Chat
Cheapest Price
$3.29/mo over 2 years
Free Trial
7 Days (Payment Info Required)
Money-Back Guarantee
30-day Money-Back Guarantee


Seamless Compatibility with US Netflix and Other Streaming Platforms

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Rating 9.8/10

NordVPN excelled in our streaming tests by effectively unblocking Netflix, HBO Max, and various other popular streaming platforms. It consistently delivered high-quality HD to 4K video streaming of geo-blocked content. Additionally, NordVPN offers user-friendly access with its Fire TV Stick app and Smart DNS feature, making it compatible with a diverse range of streaming devices.

Ranked #2 out of 65 VPNs for Streaming

Here’s a list showing some of the most popular streaming services that NordVPN can access:

Streaming Platform
Works with NordVPN
Amazon Prime Video
BBC iPlayer
Channel 4
Hotstar India
Netflix US

NordVPN and various VPN review sites attribute NordVPN’s exceptional streaming performance to its proprietary SmartPlay feature. This feature adeptly switches between DNS servers when accessing geo-blocked content.

It’s worth noting, though, that this functionality is not exclusive to NordVPN. All leading VPNs for streaming, such as Windscribe and PrivateVPN, employ a similar DNS-based approach to access streaming services. In some cases, these alternatives may even demonstrate a higher success rate across a variety of content platforms.

Continue reading for detailed insights into our NordVPN streaming tests.

Reliably Streams 12 Netflix Libraries

Presently, NordVPN stands out as one of the premier VPNs for Netflix. In our extensive testing spanning the last three months, NordVPN consistently demonstrated the ability to access the US content library. This represents a notable enhancement from our prior experiences, during which Netflix frequently blocked NordVPN’s IP addresses.

Through our hands-on analysis, we discovered a distinctive feature in NordVPN’s approach. Unlike its competitors like ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN, NordVPN automatically directs you to a server compatible with US Netflix. This eliminates the need for users to spend time searching for a functional server, streamlining the experience.

NordVPN works reliably with US Netflix.

Additionally, we conducted tests on NordVPN servers in 60 countries to assess their capability to access popular Netflix libraries.

In over 80% of our tests, NordVPN successfully unblocked nearly all of the most widely used Netflix libraries. This level of reliability surpasses that of many other VPNs subjected to our testing. For detailed information on NordVPN’s reliability rates with each Netflix library, refer to the table below:

Netflix Library
Unblocks Region
South Korea

Regrettably, NordVPN is presently unable to access Netflix Canada. We hope for a resolution to this issue in the future, especially considering that other top VPNs like ExpressVPN and Proton VPN have the capability to access it.

Works with US Streaming Services

NordVPN stands out as one of the top VPNs for accessing HBO Max, Hulu, YouTube TV, Peacock, and all other US-based streaming websites from locations abroad.

Our initial server attempt proved successful with each platform. Additionally, NordVPN provides multiple servers across 16 US cities, offering users alternative options in case of any issues.

During our testing, connecting to a US NordVPN server from Europe consistently resulted in instant video loading in 1080p (Full HD). The performance was comparable to our home non-VPN connection, ensuring a seamless streaming experience.

NordVPN can bypass HBO Max’s geo-blocks

Unlike Surfshark, NordVPN does not include a fake GPS feature for Android. Consequently, we encountered difficulty bypassing location checks on our Android phone, preventing us from streaming blackout games on NBA League Pass or

Unrestricted Access to BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and Other UK Streaming Services

In extensive testing spanning years, NordVPN has consistently proven to be our top choice for BBC iPlayer. Effectively bypassing geo-blocks on the platform, NordVPN, especially when utilizing NordLynx and connecting to a UK server from the US, delivered a seamless streaming experience with no buffering. Videos displayed at the maximum resolution, underscoring NordVPN’s reliability for accessing BBC iPlayer content

NordVPN is one of the most reliable VPNs for streaming BBC iPlayer.

Notably, NordVPN demonstrated the ability to stream BBC content seamlessly on all of its UK servers. This sets it apart from other prominent VPNs, such as ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access, where we had to reach out to customer support to identify a compatible server.

NordVPN also successfully unblocked Channel 4, ITVX, and every other streaming service that mandates a UK IP address when accessed from overseas. Remarkably, our speeds remained sufficiently high to stream live Premier League games on platforms like Now and Sky Go without encountering any issues.

Works Well with Kodi

NordVPN proves to be a favorable option for concealing your Kodi activity from your ISP, owing to its impressive streaming capabilities and commitment to a private logging policy.

NordVPN compatibility with all popular Kodi boxes, facilitated by dedicated Fire TV and Android TV apps, enhances the user experience. Testing on an Nvidia Shield, we successfully accessed well-known geo-restricted Kodi add-ons, such as Adult Swim, without experiencing any error messages or detecting data leaks. NordVPN’s seamless integration with Kodi makes it a reliable choice for users seeking privacy and unrestricted streaming.

NordVPN proves to be a favorable option for concealing your Kodi activity from your ISP, owing to its impressive streaming capabilities and commitment to a private logging policy. Its compatibility with all popular Kodi boxes, facilitated by dedicated Fire TV and Android TV apps, enhances the user experience. Testing on an Nvidia Shield, we successfully accessed well-known geo-restricted Kodi add-ons, such as Adult Swim, without experiencing any error messages or detecting data leaks. NordVPN's seamless integration with Kodi makes it a reliable choice for users seeking privacy and unrestricted streaming.


A Safe Choice for Torrenting

Rating 9.0/10

NordVPN allows torrenting on a substantial majority of its extensive network, covering over 85% of its 5,754 servers. Remarkably, even without port forwarding, it delivers an impressive average download bitrate of 9.8 MiB/s on our 10 MiB/s connection. While torrenting is restricted on servers in 14 countries, this limitation is unlikely to significantly impact your overall experience.

Ranked #8 out of 65 VPNs for Torrenting

Here’s an overview showing how NordVPN performed in our torrenting tests:

Torrenting Attribute
Average Download Bitrate
No. of P2P Servers
Logging Policy
No Identifying Data
Kill Switch
Port Forwarding

NordVPN is fully compatible with popular torrent clients such as uTorrent, qBittorrent, and Vuze. We confirmed its functionality with magnet links, enabling instant initiation of torrent file downloads.

The robust security features of NordVPN, including the kill switch and the secure NordLynx protocol, effectively conceal your torrenting activity. Notably, its commitment to a private logging policy ensures that NordVPN has never relayed DMCA requests to its users.

While torrenting is restricted on servers in 14 countries, including Argentina, Israel, and South Korea, NordVPN automatically reroutes P2P traffic through dedicated servers in Canada or the Netherlands. This rerouting minimizes any impact on speed. To connect to one of these servers, simply select “P2P” from the top of the server list in the VPN app.

NordVPN includes servers optimized for torrenting activity.

In the table below, you can compare how fast NordVPN could download a 20GB torrent versus other VPNs:

VPN Service
Download Bitrate
Time To Download 20GB Torrent File
32 minutes
34 minutes
32 minutes
81 minutes

NordVPN consistently outperforms many of its competitors in file downloads. To enhance its performance further, it would be beneficial for NordVPN to incorporate port forwarding. This advanced P2P feature is known to significantly improve torrent download speeds and is already offered by some other VPNs, including Proton VPN and PIA. Integrating port forwarding would be a valuable addition to NordVPN’s already impressive array of features.


Fast Speeds, Regardless of Server Location

Rating 9.7/10

Utilizing its NordLynx protocol, NordVPN consistently demonstrated rapid connection speeds across all tested servers. On our 100Mbps baseline connection, we recorded an impressive average download speed of 95Mbps when connected to a nearby server. Even for international connections, the speeds remained swift, reaching as high as 90Mbps. This showcases NordVPN’s capability to maintain high-performance levels for users, both locally and globally.

Ranked #5 out of 65 VPNs for Speed

Here’s a table showing NordVPN’s speed test results:

No VPN (New York) US (New York) Canada (Toronto) US (Los Angeles) UK (London) Germany (Berlin) Brazil (São Paulo) Japan (Tokyo) South Africa (Johannesburg) Australia (Sydney)
Server Location
Download Speed
Upload Speed

Even in distant locations such as Australia, NordVPN consistently maintained remarkably fast speeds, surpassing the performance levels typically observed with other VPNs.


This exceptional speed performance by NordVPN can be attributed to its extensive server network, surpassing that of other VPNs. Moreover, the automatic connection to less-congested servers ensures the prevention of server overload, resulting in sustained high-speed performance.


Refer to the chart below to observe a comparative analysis of NordVPN’s local and average international download speeds in contrast to other leading VPNs:

These results affirm that NordVPN stands out as one of the fastest VPNs available. Its speed is more than sufficient for streaming content from international libraries, swiftly downloading torrent files, and engaging in general web browsing activities.

Low Latency for Lag-Free Gaming

NordVPN consistently maintains a low ping rate across its server network. When connected to a nearby server, we recorded an impressively low ping of just 8ms, positioning it as one of the top VPNs for gaming.

During gameplay, especially in fast-paced games such as CS:GO, we experienced no noticeable lag or performance issues. While the ping was understandably higher when accessing gaming lobbies in Brazil, at 119ms, it still remained low enough to ensure a smooth gaming experience.

Our ping never exceeds 8ms on NordVPN servers.
Our ping never exceeds 8ms on NordVPN servers.

The commendably low latency of NordVPN can be attributed to its NordLynx protocol, which is built on WireGuard. WireGuard is designed to optimize data transmission, effectively reducing the time it takes to send packets between your device and the VPN server. This technological foundation contributes to NordVPN’s capability to provide minimal latency, enhancing the overall performance for users.

Price & Value

Excellent Value on Most Subscription Plans

Rating 8.5/10

NordVPN provides excellent value given the quality of its product. Priced at $3.29 per month on a two-year plan, it stands at less than half the cost of its primary competitor, ExpressVPN. However, we advise against opting for the annual plan, as the fees see a significant increase after the initial payment period. Looking ahead, an extension of its free trial to include desktop and iOS platforms would be a welcomed improvement.

Ranked #7 out of 65 VPNs for Price & Value

Here are NordVPN’s different pricing plans:


Billed $11.99 each month

12 Months
Save 39%
Billed $59.88 the first 12 months, $99.48 every year thereafter
Save 39%
2 Year
Save 60%
Billed $78.96 the first 2 years, $99.48 every year thereafter
Save 60%

The two-year NordVPN plan offers excellent value, allowing usage on up to six devices simultaneously and providing access to numerous advanced features. The upfront cost is $78.96, with a slight increase to $99.48 after the initial subscription period.

On the other hand, the one-year plan at $55.98 renews at a significantly higher rate of $99.48. This renewal price is almost identical to its closest rival, ExpressVPN, and is 66% more expensive than Surfshark.

For a detailed comparison of NordVPN’s initial subscription prices and renewal rates with other VPNs, refer to the table below: 

VPN Service
Initial Annual
Subscription Price
Renewal Annual
Subscription Price

Overall, NordVPN remains a worthwhile investment on both its monthly and two-year plans. However, if you’re considering an annual subscription, we recommend choosing ExpressVPN, our top-ranked VPN, for an enhanced experience.

NordVPN Free Trial

To access a seven-day NordVPN free trial, download its Android app and sign up for an annual subscription. After registration, you can log in to your account on any other devices. While its main competitors, including ExpressVPN, PIA, and Surfshark, offer free trials on both iOS and Android, NordVPN currently provides this option exclusively on Android, and there is a desire for a future update to extend this to iOS.

For an equivalent of a 30-day NordVPN free trial on every platform, you can utilize the service’s money-back guarantee. It’s a no-questions-asked refund policy, ensuring a full refund if you cancel your subscription within 30 days.

If you’re seeking a completely free VPN service, a noteworthy alternative to NordVPN is Atlas VPN. Owned by Nord Security, Atlas VPN comes with a 5GB monthly data cap but does not require any payment information. It stands as one of the best free VPNs suitable for various online activities.

Payment & Refund Options

Here’s a full list of payment methods that NordVPN accepts:

NordVPN has stopped accepting PayPal. However, it may offer additional region-specific payment methods depending on where you are in the world.


Privacy & Logging Policy

Doesn’t Log Any User Information

Rating 8.8/10

NordVPN is a reliable VPN service with a foundation in Panama, a jurisdiction without data retention laws. The service maintains a no-logs policy, ensuring that it does not store any data that could connect your web activity to your identity. While its privacy policy has undergone an audit, it has not been tested through a court case or law enforcement request, underscoring its commitment to user privacy.

Ranked #15 out of 65 VPNs for Privacy & Logging Policy

Here’s a summary of the user data that NordVPN logs:

Data Type
Logged by NordVPN
Account Information
Browsing Activity
Date of Last Connection
Device Information
DNS Queries
Individual Bandwidth Usage
Individual Connection Timestamps
Number of Simultaneous Connections
Originating IP Address
VPN Server IP
VPN Server Location

Despite promoting itself as a “true no-logs VPN,” NordVPN does retain a small amount of user data. Specifically, it logs the username and a connection timestamp for 15 minutes after a session concludes. It’s essential to note that this information cannot be used by any third party to link your online activities to you as an individual. NordVPN’s privacy policy has undergone three audits, the most recent being in January 2023, confirming that no personally identifiable information is retained.

While NordVPN could enhance transparency by publishing reports similar to Surfshark and Windscribe, which allow users to assess the effectiveness of its privacy policy against law enforcement and court requests, it currently remains unclear whether the policy has been tested in real-world scenarios, such as a court case—a factor considered more trustworthy than third-party audits.

NordVPN has clarified its stance on logging, stating that it may start logging the activity of a user under criminal investigation. However, as long as NordVPN’s warrant canary remains untriggered, users can be assured that no information has been logged.

Based in a Private Jurisdiction

NordVPN is based in Panama, a jurisdiction known for its privacy-friendly environment and lack of affiliation with international surveillance alliances. Panama boasts robust data privacy protection laws, enabling NordVPN to retain only minimal user data without being susceptible to government interference.

While the parent company, Cyberspace, is registered in the Netherlands, after contacting NordVPN, a representative clarified that this registration does not impact NordVPN’s jurisdiction in Panama. The VPN service continues to operate in Panama and benefits from its privacy-friendly legal framework.

Dedicated IP Feature Is a Privacy Concern

NordVPN offers a dedicated IP feature for an extra $3.89 per month. However, it comes with a notable privacy concern since the dedicated IP address is directly linked to your NordVPN account.

In the event of law enforcement suspecting criminal activity associated with a dedicated IP address, NordVPN would be obligated to provide the user’s full details. Consequently, the dedicated IP feature does not provide any privacy advantages over a regular ISP connection.

NordVPN’s dedicated IP address is linked to user accounts.

Several other VPNs, such as CyberGhost and PIA, have tackled this issue by implementing a token-based system. Essentially, this system prevents the VPN service from connecting the dedicated IP address directly to the user’s account.

Given NordVPN’s established reputation as a privacy-focused VPN, it is expected that the company will address this vulnerability promptly, especially now that it has been brought to its attention. However, as of now, it is strongly recommended to avoid using NordVPN’s dedicated IP feature due to the privacy concerns associated with it.

Server Locations

IP Addresses Available from 60 Countries

Rating 9.6/10

While NordVPN boasts the fifth-largest server network in terms of server count, it offers IP addresses from only 60 countries. Although this is still a respectable number, it falls behind our top 10 rated VPN services and is 40% less than what Surfshark provides.

Ranked #6 out of 65 VPNs for Server Locations






IP Addresses

With NordVPN, you can connect to servers in these regions:

Number of Countries
South America
North America

Using NordVPN allows you to browse as if you’re situated in popular countries such as the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. These locations even include city-level servers, providing the option to connect to a specific city within the country.

However, the table above illustrates limited options for users in South America and Africa. Notably, obtaining an IP address from many other sought-after locations, like Egypt or Russia, is not possible with NordVPN.

In comparison, while NordVPN offers servers in 60 countries, Surfshark extends its reach to 100 countries, and ExpressVPN to 106 countries.

NordVPN’s relatively few server locations result from its use of physically located servers in each country, as opposed to virtual server locations. While this approach provides the advantage of knowing the precise location of the connected server, there is a preference for NordVPN to offer a broader range of countries through virtual server locations.

Security & Technical Features

Best-in-Class Security Features

Rating 9.9/10

Our tests demonstrated that NordVPN stands out as a highly secure VPN service, offering more technical features than most alternatives. It secures web traffic through the use of WireGuard and ChaCha20 encryption. Additionally, it employs colocated diskless servers to prevent unauthorized access to its network. Overall, NordVPN can be relied upon to safeguard your online activity and protect against third-party monitoring.

Ranked #1 out of 65 VPNs for Security & Technical Features

In the table below, you can see which encryption ciphers, connection protocols, and additional security features NordVPN uses:

Available in NordVPN
Available in NordVPN
Available in NordVPN
DNS Leak Blocking
First-party DNS
IPv6 Leak Blocking
Supports TCP Port 443
VPN Kill Switch
WebRTC Leak Blocking
Advanced Features
Available in NordVPN
Ad Blocker
Dedicated IP
Double VPN
Smart DNS
Split Tunneling
Static IP
Tor over VPN Server
Tracker Blocker

Remarkably, NordVPN proactively engages in regular independent security audits and maintains a bug bounty program. These measures are implemented to ensure the correct execution of security features in its apps. This proactive approach allows the VPN to identify and address any potential security vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by malicious actors.

For a detailed analysis and insights into NordVPN’s security and technical features, please refer to the following sections.

Uses Safe & Open-Sourced Tunneling Protocols

NordVPN employs cutting-edge VPN protocols to safeguard your personal data from third parties.

By default, all of NordVPN’s software utilizes NordLynx, which is essentially WireGuard with the addition of double NAT. While this isn’t unique among VPNs that leverage WireGuard, NordVPN has chosen to brand it as NordLynx in an effort to differentiate itself.

WireGuard stands out as our preferred VPN protocol due to its open-source nature and widespread use. This choice makes NordVPN’s security protocols more trusted in comparison to ExpressVPN, its top competitor, which uses an exclusive protocol instead of WireGuard.

Secure Encryption Prevents Third-Party Monitoring

NordVPN ensures the security of traffic through the implementation of trusted encryption algorithms. The VPN employs ChaCha20 to encrypt the traffic within its VPN tunnel and establishes the connection with a 2048-bit DH key.

To validate the efficacy of this encryption, we conducted an analysis of the packets passing through our network using Wireshark. As depicted in the screenshot below, NordVPN’s encryption resulted in our internet traffic being displayed as random text, effectively preventing any third party from monitoring our online activity.

NordVPN kept our internet traffic private and secure.

Strong Server Security Prevents Unauthorized Access

After a minor server vulnerability in 2018, NordVPN has significantly bolstered its server security, surpassing many other VPNs in this aspect.

In contrast to the prevailing practice among other VPNs, which typically rent servers from third-party data centers, NordVPN takes a distinctive approach. More than 10% of its servers are colocated, meaning they are owned by NordVPN itself, ensuring exclusive access and mitigating vulnerabilities associated with third-party providers.

NordVPN has committed to colocating all 5,754 of its servers in the future, underlining its commitment to server security and user privacy.

Furthermore, NordVPN exclusively employs diskless VPN servers. These servers lack any storage devices, making it nearly impossible for a third party to extract user data from the server. This additional layer of security enhances the overall protection of user information.

Kill Switch Stops Data Leaks

In our tests, NordVPN effectively prevented our IP address from leaking both when our connection dropped and when we switched between server locations.

NordVPN passed all of our kill switch tests by concealing our IP address.

Unusually, NordVPN offers two distinct types of VPN kill switch: an internet kill switch and an app kill switch.

The internet kill switch functions by blocking your device’s internet connection if the VPN connection drops unexpectedly. On the other hand, the app kill switch, available on Windows and macOS only, allows you to apply kill switch protection to specific apps of your choice.

For enhanced security, especially during activities like torrenting files, we recommend utilizing the system-wide internet kill switch.

Multi-Hop Servers Provide Double Encryption

NordVPN stands out as one of the few VPNs that offer a multi-hop feature. Unlike a standard VPN connection, this feature routes your internet traffic through two separate VPN servers, encrypting the traffic twice.

This heightened level of network security makes it more challenging for attackers to track your traffic and identify your real IP address.

In our tests, NordVPN exhibited the best multi-hop feature among VPNs. It is compatible with WireGuard and, unlike Proton VPN, not only routes the traffic through an additional location but also encrypts it twice.

To enable this feature, locate the ‘Specialty servers’ option in the app’s server list and select Double VPN.

NordVPN’s multi-hop servers are easy to discover.

However, we would appreciate it if NordVPN could expand its offering of multi-hop servers to cover more locations. Currently, they are limited to just nine countries, all in either Asia, North America, or Western Europe. Expanding this range would enhance performance for users in other regions.

Threat Protection Blocks Malicious Websites & Ads

NordVPN’s Threat Protection feature proves to be one of the most effective VPN ad and malware blockers in our experience. Based on our research, Threat Protection successfully blocked 60% of ads and 66% of analytic trackers. The chart below illustrates our findings:

NordVPN blocks the majority of ads and analytic trackers.

An ad blocker enhances security by mitigating the risk associated with malicious ads that can be used to infect your device with malware. Threat Protection, by preventing the loading of most ads, reduces the likelihood of your device being compromised.

Additionally, on Windows and Mac, Threat Protection has the capability to scan files for malware before they are downloaded. In our testing, the feature correctly identified all tested unsafe files as malware.

Meshnet Allows You to Get Another IP Address for Free

Meshnet is a distinctive feature of NordVPN, available for free, that enables you to route internet traffic through a regular internet-connected device, such as a laptop, instead of a VPN server.

While NordVPN primarily promotes Meshnet as a tool for file-sharing and LAN gaming, which are niche applications, we recommend utilizing Meshnet as a means to obtain a residential IP address at no cost.

If you are abroad, connecting to your home PC through Meshnet allows you to obtain your regular ISP IP address. This enables you to access your local streaming services from anywhere. In our experience, using Meshnet allowed us to access geo-blocked streaming services more frequently than when using a standard VPN server.

We got a residential IP address for free using Meshnet.

Technical Features We’d Like to See

NordVPN includes more extra technical features than almost every other VPN service. But here are some features we’d like the VPN to add in a future update:

NordVPN incorporates several advanced features to bolster network security:

  • IPv6 addresses: Similar to Atlas VPN, NordVPN uses IPv6 addresses to channel all traffic through the VPN tunnel, reducing the likelihood of IPv6 leaks more effectively than basic IPv6 leak blocking.

GPS spoofing: Comparable to Surfshark, NordVPN employs GPS spoofing to obscure not only your IP address but also your GPS location. This added layer of obfuscation makes it more challenging for apps to pinpoint your precise location.

Open-sourced apps:  Similar to Proton VPN, NordVPN provides open-sourced apps, enhancing transparency and security by allowing all users to scrutinize the VPN’s code.

In summary, NordVPN is a comprehensive VPN solution that enhances network security across various dimensions. Given its consistent efforts to improve its product over the years, we anticipate that NordVPN will likely incorporate the mentioned features sooner rather than later.

Bypassing Web Censorship

Works in China on Android, iPhone & Mac

Rating 6.7/10

NordVPN may encounter difficulties in functioning on Windows devices within China. However, its Mac, iOS, and Android apps remain operational. During our testing while connected to NordVPN on macOS, we successfully streamed YouTube videos, browsed Instagram, and sent messages using WhatsApp while in China.

Ranked #30 out of 65 VPNs for Bypassing Web Censorship

In contrast to other VPN review websites, we conduct firsthand tests of VPNs in China instead of relying on second-hand information.

While NordVPN has acknowledged issues with its Windows app and expressed intentions to address them “as soon as possible,” the Windows app has been non-functional in China since March 2022. Nevertheless, we have consistently managed to bypass the country’s restrictions using NordVPN on our Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

NordVPN unblocks websites in China on some devices.

Setting up NordVPN on Mac and iOS in China involves a complex process, as the regular app cannot be used. Instead, users must manually configure the VPN by installing a root certificate.

When the server being used becomes ineffective, users must reach out to NordVPN’s customer support to obtain new server credentials. This process, including entering the updated credentials with each connection, often extended beyond 15 minutes.

While it’s commendable that NordVPN maintains compatibility with these devices in China, the user experience is suboptimal. Other VPN services in the same price range offer a more straightforward approach, allowing users to connect from China using their regular applications.

For a broader context, here’s how NordVPN’s performance in China compares to similarly-priced VPN services:

VPN Service
China Uptime
(12 Months)
Compatible with
Every Device

As evident from the comparison, there are more effective options than NordVPN for regular connections from China. Other VPN services provide better accessibility to blocked websites and apps, often across a broader range of devices.

Device & OS Compatibility

Apps for All Popular Devices & Platforms

NordVPN offers apps for desktop, mobile, and Fire TV platforms, extending its usability to devices that typically do not support VPNs, such as Smart TVs, through its Smart DNS feature. Compatibility can be expanded to include Roku and Chromecast by installing NordVPN on a router. The service permits simultaneous use on up to six devices, slightly exceeding the average allowance.

Supported on:

NordVPN offers dedicated applications for the following platforms and devices:

Regrettably, in contrast to ExpressVPN, NordVPN lacks a dedicated app for routers, requiring users to install it manually for router compatibility.

Games Consoles & Streaming Devices

NordVPN can be utilized on PS5 and other compatible devices either through its Smart DNS functionality or by manually installing it on a router.

Browser Extensions

NordVPN has extensions for these web browsers:

Six Simultaneous Connections

NordVPN permits usage on up to six devices simultaneously, slightly surpassing the industry standard of five. However, some competitors like Surfshark offer unlimited device connections.

To overcome the limitation on simultaneous connections and secure all devices within your household, consider installing the VPN directly on your home router.

Ease of Use

Simple Enough Interface for Most Users

Rating 9.5/10

NordVPN achieves a commendable balance between user-friendliness and technical sophistication. Its applications incorporate numerous additional features without posing a steep learning curve. However, a notable drawback is the use of unlabeled buttons for activating most features, creating uncertainty about how to enable them. Additionally, the interface displays inconsistencies across devices, potentially causing confusion when transitioning between platforms.

Ranked #3 out of 65 VPNs for Ease of Use

To initiate NordVPN usage, simply visit its website and click on ‘Get NordVPN‘ to create an account. Subsequently, download the appropriate software tailored to your device.

However, NordVPN provides a below-average onboarding experience. In contrast to most other VPNs, it lacks a tutorial guiding users on how to utilize the app’s features upon the first opening.

Despite a December 2022 refresh for all its apps, we found the older interface preferable as it had fewer settings concealed behind unlabeled buttons.

Throughout its apps, NordVPN integrates several features intended to enhance usability and convenience. A brief overview of these features and their impact on the app’s usability is provided below:

  • Auto-connect initiates a VPN connection automatically whenever you connect to WiFi, providing the benefits of NordVPN without the need to open the app. This is particularly useful for encrypting traffic but may not be necessary for accessing geo-blocked sites.
  • The Pausing feature allows you to temporarily disconnect from NordVPN for 5, 30, or 60 minutes. While we didn’t find this feature useful for any specific purpose, some users may appreciate its flexibility. Alternatively, the dedicated button on the home screen could be reconsidered for removal.
  • Presets enable the creation of a customized shortcut on the app’s home screen, allowing users to select a server location, VPN protocol, and specify a website to open automatically. This proves time-saving, especially when connecting to a specific server for purposes like accessing Japanese Netflix.
  • Split Tunneling lets you choose which apps route through the VPN tunnel and which do not. This is valuable for maintaining compatibility with apps that require your true IP address, such as smart home devices, without the need to disconnect from the VPN.

Here’s a more detailed overview of our experience using NordVPN on different devices and operating systems:

Desktop & Laptop (Windows & Mac)

NordVPN offers user-friendly applications for both Windows and Mac platforms. Although the versions share a similar appearance, the Mac version stands out due to a minor but significant difference.

On macOS, the full server list is consistently visible in alphabetical order, providing convenient access. In contrast, the Windows app requires users to click a drop-down icon and navigate through a lengthy list that starts with specialty and Meshnet servers. This can be frustrating, especially for those who frequently change server locations. As a result, NordVPN’s Windows app may offer a slower experience compared to competitors like ExpressVPN.

NordVPN’s Mac app (bottom) is more user-friendly than its Windows app (top).

Both the Windows and Mac desktop clients of NordVPN face a common issue related to the minimum window size, primarily due to the inclusion of the server map. This design choice makes it challenging to use other applications alongside NordVPN on a 13-inch Lenovo ThinkPad or MacBook Pro, as the window size is too large. Users may find it preferable if the window could be collapsed to a single column, akin to the design of Proton VPN.

Another notable concern is the use of undescriptive icons for various features within the app, such as server options and Threat Protection. Users must hover over each icon to understand its purpose, which can be less intuitive. On a positive note, NordVPN recently introduced a dark mode to its Windows app, although this feature is not available on Mac, and it would be beneficial if the app could automatically match system settings.

Mobile (iPhone & Android)

NordVPN’s mobile apps offer a more user-friendly experience compared to its desktop clients. The home screen prominently features a ‘Quick Connect’ button, facilitating straightforward connections to the fastest server. This layout is consistent across both iOS and Android platforms.

A notable improvement in the mobile apps is the ability to scroll through the full list of countries, providing easier access to the desired IP address. Unlike the Windows app, users don’t have to tap to reveal additional server locations, streamlining the user experience.

NordVPN’s iOS app (left) is almost identical to the Android software (right).

The app’s bottom tabs facilitate easy navigation between VPN, Meshnet, Statistics, and Profile sections. However, the Statistics feature may not be as useful for some users, and the ability to customize tabs based on individual preferences would be appreciated.

On NordVPN’s Android app, the kill switch setup is somewhat cumbersome. Enabling it requires navigating to Settings > Wireless and networks > More > VPN > Always on VPN. A more straightforward toggle within the app’s settings would be preferable.

Linux App

NordVPN still does not offer a graphical user interface (GUI) app for Linux. It’s controlled solely via the Linux command line interface (CLI), making it difficult to use.

NordVPN’s Linux CLI app needs a lot of work.

The Linux command-line interface (CLI) for NordVPN is relatively user-friendly compared to other Linux CLI VPNs. It provides clear commands for control, access to advanced features, and the convenience of logging in via a browser link instead of manually entering account details into the Terminal.

However, considering NordVPN’s scale and reputation, users expect a more polished experience. The absence of a dedicated Linux graphical user interface (GUI) app, similar to those available for Windows and macOS, is a notable drawback. The introduction of a proper Linux GUI app would likely enhance user experience and accessibility.

Amazon Fire TV & Android TV

NordVPN offers user-friendly and fully-featured apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV. However, the TV app has a different look compared to other NordVPN apps, which may require users to familiarize themselves with its layout.

Unlike other NordVPN apps, the TV app lacks a map interface. Instead, users need to scroll through a horizontal list to select the server location. This process can be time-consuming when using a TV remote, and an option to search for the country name would be a welcome addition.

Improvements could be made to the placement and visibility of the ‘Disconnect’ button on the home screen. Currently, disconnecting from the VPN server requires scrolling to the far left, and a more prominently placed button or a standard ‘Off’ button would enhance user convenience.

NordVPN’s Fire TV app is optimized for larger screens.

Despite the mentioned drawbacks, NordVPN’s TV apps are still considered easier to use compared to its competitors. ExpressVPN and PrivateVPN, for example, have not updated their user interfaces for larger screen sizes, making them less visually appealing and potentially more challenging to navigate.

Browser Extensions

NordVPN’s browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox are straightforward to set up and use. Unlike the regular desktop apps with a map interface, the extensions allow you to quickly search for server locations. This alternative approach was found to be more user-friendly and efficient compared to using the Windows or Mac app.

NordVPN’s Google Chrome browser extension is simple to use.

NordVPN’s browser extensions are designed for ease of use, with essential privacy-protecting features, such as WebRTC leak protection, enabled by default. This allows users to start using the extension immediately without dealing with complicated settings or customization options.

Customer Support

Helpful 24/7 Live Chat Support

Rating 9.7/10

NordVPN provides excellent customer service with various support options, including an automated chatbot, 24/7 live chat, email, and self-help guides. The support agents at NordVPN are found to be more knowledgeable than those from other VPN services. Additionally, it’s noteworthy that users don’t need to provide a valid email address to contact NordVPN for support.

Ranked #2 out of 65 VPNs for Customer Support

You can get support from NordVPN in the following ways:

Customer Support
Available in NordVPN
24/7 Email Support
24/7 Live Chat Support
Email Support via Online Form
Online Resources
Tutorial Videos

If you encounter issues while using NordVPN, you can rely on their excellent self-help resources, such as FAQs and video tutorials, which were effective in resolving over 90% of the problems encountered during VPN usage. NordVPN’s chatbot, an automated agent, proves to be helpful and efficient in interpreting questions. The chatbot responds instantly, making NordVPN’s support more efficient compared to VPNs that rely solely on human support. On average, users received answers from NordVPN in just 38 seconds, as opposed to 126 seconds with ExpressVPN and 297 seconds with Private Internet Access.

When we needed human assistance, NordVPN’s support team demonstrated a higher level of knowledge compared to typical VPN support staff. The agents were able to swiftly resolve technical issues, including identifying why our IP address differed from the selected country.

The Bottom Line

Is NordVPN Worth It?

NordVPN offers a comprehensive set of features at a competitive price, making it an excellent choice for many users. With fast connection speeds using NordLynx, top-notch security employing ChaCha20, and the ability to unblock popular streaming sites with SmartPlay, it caters to a broad audience.

For advanced users, NordVPN provides a range of technical features, including setting up encrypted tunnels with Meshnet, routing traffic through two encrypted servers using Double VPN, and protection against malware with Threat Protection.

However, the tradeoffs include less user-friendly apps compared to some competitors and limitations in obtaining IP addresses from certain popular locations due to its server network.

While we strongly recommend NordVPN as the second-best VPN overall in our testing methodology, it’s essential to explore alternatives if it doesn’t align with your specific preferences and needs.

Alternatives to NordVPN

ExpressVPN is the only VPN we rate more highly than NordVPN. ExpressVPN offers servers in 46 more countries than NordVPN and its apps are a lot easier to use.

Unlike NordVPN, ExpressVPN allows you to download torrent files on every server, rather than a limited selection. It’s also a much better option if you plan to install the VPN on a router because of its dedicated router app.

However, ExpressVPN is significantly more expensive, costing $6.67 per month compared to $3.29 with NordVPN. But this price gap narrows after the initial payment period.

Surfshark is the best alternative if you want a cheaper alternative to NordVPN. Surfshark costs just $2.21 on its two-year plan, 30% cheaper than NordVPN.

Like NordVPN, Surfshark is part of the Cyberspace company and is subject to regular security and privacy audits. As a result, both VPNs are equally as trustworthy.

However, Surfshark has slower internet speeds and lacks many of NordVPN’s advanced features, like Meshnet. It’s an inferior product overall, so we only recommend choosing Surfshark if you’re on a tight budget.

Comparison of the Best VPNs

The table below compares NordVPN to four other top VPN services.

ExpressVPN Review
NordVPN Review
PIA VPN Review
Surfshark Review
PrivateVPN Review
IPVanish Review
CyberGhost Review
atlasVPN Review
VyperVPN Review
PureVPN Review
Overall Rating
Download Speed
No. Netflix Regions
Not work
Not work
Logging Policy
No Identifying Data
No Identifying Data
No Logs
No Identifying Data
No Logs
No Logs
No Identifying Data
Some User Logs
Countries with
Cheapest Price
$6.67/mo over 15 months
$3.29/mo over 2 years
$2.03/mo over 26 months
$2.21/mo over 2 years
$2.00/mo over 3 years
$2.49/mo over 2 years
$2.03/mo over 2 years
$1.99/mo over 3 years
$5.00/mo over 12 months
$1.99/mo over 27 months
Free Trial
7 Days (Mobile Only)
7 Days (Android Only)
7 Days (Mobile Only)
7 Days (Mobile Only)
7 Days (Mobile Only)
1, 3 & 7 Days


3 Days (Mobile Only)

 7 days

Browser Extensions
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Chrome, Firefox
Chrome, Edge, Firefox
Who's It Best for?
Worldwide streamers
Security-focused users
Bargain hunters
Android users looking
to spoof GPS data
Beginners on a budget
Fire TV & Kodi streamers
Users who need the same
anonymous IP address
perfect for beginners
fast and secure VPN that
covers the basics well
good for casual users looking
for a cheap service
goovpn nordvpn review

Overall Rating: