NordVPN reviews 2020
NordVPN wraps a slick client around a strong collection of security features and an enormous network of servers. It’s an excellent VPN that’s working hard to rebuild its reputation after a breach.
Multihop and Tor connections.
Easy to use.
Allows up to six simultaneous connections.
Numerous server locations.
Blocks ads, other web threats.
Strong customer privacy stance.
On paper it’s hard to beat a VPN service like NordVPN. It has a large and diverse collection of servers, an impressive arsenal of rarely seen tools, strong privacy and security practices, and approachable clients for every major platform. After a data breach, the company says it stepped up its security game, putting it in a good position for the future. Its challenge now is rebuilding trust, which takes longer than setting up new servers. Still, it’s an excellent service, and one that performed well in our testing.
The average price for a VPN service is about $10.10 per month and $73.05 per year, putting a NordVPN subscription well above most other VPN services. Some VPNs cost significantly less. Kaspersky Secure Connection, for instance, is just $4.99 per month. Windscribe VPN, alternatively, lets you build your own plan to fit your budget.
You can use up to six devices simultaneously on NordVPN, though there are some limitations concerning connecting multiple devices to the same server at the same time. Most VPN services limit you to five simultaneous connections, but that’s starting to change. Avira Phantom VPN, Encrypt.me VPN, Surfshark VPN, and Windscribe VPN allow an unlimited number of devices. Most services let you add more device slots to your subscription for a fee, but NordVPN does not give you that option.
One of the perks of using a VPN is that your actual IP address is hidden from the outside world. Some people may also want a static IP address, which NordVPN can provide for $5.83 per month ($69.96 per year). NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses in France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
There are several ways to establish a VPN connection, and my preference is for services that use the OpenVPN protocol, which is open source and therefore has been thoroughly examined for potential problems. NordVPN supports OpenVPN and my second-best choice, IKEv2/IPSec, on all platforms.
The new hotness in the world of VPN protocols is WireGuard. This technology is still under development, but NordVPN is already tinkering with the technology. I’ve done some limited testing of NordVPN’s Linux implementation of WireGuard and the results were, frankly, astounding. A company representative informs me that WireGuard is now available in the company’s iPhone app, too.
NordVPN Servers and Server Locations
Part of what you’re paying for when you buy a VPN subscription is access the company’s network of VPN servers. The best services offer lots of server locations, giving you many options for spoofing your location and improving the odds that there will be a server near your actual, physical location. That’s important, because the closer you are to the VPN server you’re using, the better performance you’re likely to experience.
NordVPN lets you select one from a list of 59 countries. The bulk of NordVPN’s servers are in the US and the UK, which is not unusual for VPN companies. However, NordVPN also has a good mix of servers the world over, covering several locations across Asia, Central and South America, Central and Eastern Europe, and a handful in India and the Middle East. The company currently offers one location in Africa (South Africa), a region ignored by most other VPN services.
Streaming – Does NordVPN Work With Netflix?
Yes. Netflix’s tough geoblocks stop many VPNs from accessing the service, but not NordVPN. It has a SmartPlay feature that’s specifically designed to bypass geoblocks and keep you secure at the same time. It combines DNS with VPN technology to easily evade blocks, but always maintain your security. I put it to the test to see how easily I could access Netflix US.
I tested 133 NordVPN US servers, including the fastest US server, and I was able to get onto Netflix with every single one. The streaming quality was ultra HD, and there was no buffering or lag.
I then headed over to Netflix Australia, Canada, and the Netherlands, and I had no problems there, either. I finished my tests by trying to access the Brazilian and German libraries. No matter which library I tried, my streaming stayed consistent and in ultra HD quality—even when I switched between servers in the same location.
One thing’s for sure: NordVPN’s SmartPlay feature really does work. It flies past geoblocks with ease and guarantees fast, high-quality streaming whether you’re connecting to a server nearby or on the other side of the world. In fact, NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for bypassing Netflix’s strict detection measures—it consistently outperforms other vendors in our tests.
I also tried NordVPN with other streaming platforms:
- BBC iPlayer: It has some of the toughest geoblocks, but NordVPN easily knocks them down.
- Hulu: Yes, I had no problem accessing Hulu.
- ESPN: You can stream your favorite sports, too—NordVPN can access ESPN.
- Amazon Prime Video: Yes.
- HBO GO: Yes, you can stream HBO GO with NordVPN.
- Hotstar: Yes, all your Bollywood movies are ready to stream.
Social media at the top of your list? NordVPN can unblock Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.
Is NordVPN Good for Torrenting?
NordVPN has over 5390 P2P-optimized servers. You can access them easily from the sidebar in the app, which saves you the time of visiting its website to find out which servers you can use for P2P activity. Each server offers unlimited bandwidth and data, so you can send and share as many files as you’d like, without eating away at a restrictive data allowance. There’s a strict no-logs policy, too, so none of your torrenting activity is retained.
You aren’t restricted to just one torrent client, either. NordVPN works with all popular torrenting platforms, including uTorrent, BitTorrent, and Vuze. I’ve tested them all, using a number of different NordVPN servers. NordVPN’s speeds were faster than my standard connections and I was easily able to bypass my ISP’s throttling.
NordVPN offers another neat feature for quickly finding an ideal server. You can use the server recommendation tool on the website. Just select your location and a server protocol, and NordVPN will suggest the best.