NordVPN Review and VPN test: mini price, maxi security

NORDVPN

You can know that it is a virtual private network (VPN), but chances are you are using very few. What’s certain is that you really need to equip your VPN devices. Because at the end of the day, you can find everything as well as your own Internet connection.

Today, we are proud of the NordVPN case, which offers excellent protection of private life and first-order customer service. In this opinion NordVPN, we will examine more closely this VPN provider based in Panama, which has existed since 2012 and which provides VPN protection for a large number of users thanks to a complete compatibility (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android , etc.).

If you use the Internet for your affairs, your personal finances, your leisure or your purchases, you endanger your personal information and those of your family, as well as those of your company. Internet users face a growing vagueness of criminals and governmental bodies of trust that seek to access all that concerns you. This is where the VPN (Virtual Private Network or English Private Network in English) applications come from, as NordVPN.

NordVPN introduction
© NordVPN

What is NordVPN?

Debut this NordVPN opinion with a successive presentation of the service. This VPN provider offers security and flexibility online to all users using their data and their real IP address at the end of indiscreet registers. The service offers an encrypted connection, which makes it almost impossible for cybercriminals and your Internet access provider to see the data that your computer (or any other device connected to the Internet) sends and receives.

In addition to data encryption, NordVPN also offers the ability to access Web sites and services that may not normally be available in your region due to governmental restrictions on geographic content or restrictions imposed by the diffuser.

Visit NordVPN

NordVPN is based and operates under the jurisdiction of the countries of Panama. There are no mandatory laws on data protection in Panama, as the service does not have to store the connection journals, which is an excellent sales argument for any VPN provider.

In addition, the supplier claims that, whether it is a tribunal or a governmental body, they can push to produce a client’s online activity journals, they could not provide them, even if they wanted. Simply because there are no journals to produce. They simply do not exist. Confidentiality is the major advantage of a VPN no-log.

Operation NordVPN
© NordVPN

The service offers applications for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android. Users of Chrome OS, Windows Phone, Linux and Raspberry Pi can use the service via custom parameters. DD-WRT and Tomato compatible router users, as well as some storage peripherals connected to the network, can also access the service.

NordVPN offers the OpenVPN protocol on most current devices, as well as PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) and L2TP / IPsec. For a while now, users may also have recourse to NordLynx, the new NordVPN in-house protocol. The technology of this protocol repairs WireGuard speed without the confidentiality issues we know about.

What does all this mean for you, VPN user? This simply means that the NordVPN service offers excellent protection for you and your data.

NordVPN has 5448 servers stationed in 59 countries at the time of writing of this NordVPN opinion (2021).

NordVPN offers users the ability to disguise their virtual IP address using the Internet. To do this, the service achieves the Internet traffic of a user through its own NordVPN servers, giving the impression that the user’s connection provides one of the many NordVPN IP addresses.

In addition to their true Internet address, users can then connect to Internet sites and other Web services that would not normally be available due to government restrictions or content restrictions.

In addition to disseminating IP addresses, NordVPN also encrypts the data of its users, protectors as well as indiscreet regards or government enthusiasts too enthusiastic.

File sharing P2P (Torrents)

NordVPN allows the use of P2P and BitTorrent connections on its network, but only on servers specifically reserved for this effect (more than 4,700). The connection to a server that is not marked as intended for P2P usage will train traffic management to P2P servers located in Canada and the Netherlands.

In our opinion, dedicated servers are a real advantage to optimize your connection and benefit from the best possible speed.

The NordVPN website

The NordVPN Web site is above average compared to other industry Web sites. Functions, prices, server information, tools, help and account information are all available on the home page.

Applications-NordVPN

The Web site is well presented and most of the information is easy to find. The site functionality section provides a good overview of VPN technology, service provider service and Advantages of a VPN.

NordVPN often offers codes or promotions to test its service, if it is not directly registered on the site, a small search in our Bons Plans section will allow you to find your happiness. Also think about promotions on the occasion of “Black Friday”.

Installation of NordVPN

This NordVPN opinion will not be complete without mentioning the installation of the software. NordVPN offers applications for Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. They also offer tutorials on how to configure the service on other devices, including Chrome OS, Windows Phone, Linux and Raspberry Pi devices. The service also works with DD-WRT routers and various network storage devices.

NordVPN can also be installed directly on the Smart TV Android or the Amazon Fire TV Stick, which is very practical for streaming on the big screen. You will not be disappointed because it is a des best VPN for Smart TV.

The game consoles and streaming box will work with the NordVPN service. However, they can not be connected directly and must rather obtain their connection via a compatible router or an Internet connection shared by a computer connected to NordVPN.

The Windows and macOS applications are available directly on the NordVPN site, while the iOS and Android applications are available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store respectively.

Installation of the application on a mobile device

Installing the NordVPN application on iPhone, for example, follows the routine routine consistent with visiting the iOS App Store to download and install the application. The download takes only about a minute, after which it installs automatically and is ready to be launched on the icon.

The application is used for the first time to connect to a VPN server, it requires the permission to install a certificate to allow confidence in the NordVPN service. You must enter the password for your device or use your digital device via Touch ID to authorize the installation of the certificate.

The installation of the Android version is also fast and easy, with a visit to the Google Play store to download and install the application.

NordVPN is available on a very large number of support. By coupling its multi-platform compatibility to 6 simultaneous connections included in each account, it allows you to have a 360 ° experience on many devices. The installation of the application takes place generally via the App stores (Android Play, App Store, etc.) or by direct download on its site.

Features and utilization

Once the installation is complete on your computer or smartphone, it is sufficient to launch the NordVPN application and enter the login combination and password created during your registration to the service.

The application requires permission to install a help application, which makes the use of the VPN service a little easier, as it allows the application to have a quick access icon in the menu bar of the office, offers rapid and easy control of VPN connections.

The NordVPN application presents a clear interface, displaying a caricature map of available server locations. Users can click on the represented locations to connect immediately to a NordVPN server. Users can also quickly connect to a server by clicking on the “Country list” in the application window, which displays a list of countries with available servers.

Application-NordVPN-macOs
NordVPN application interface on macOS

Users can define which server as “Favorites” by clicking on a number next to the name of the server in the list. It is practical to save the servers that are particularly reliable, for quick access from the list of “Favorite Servers” of the application.

The NordVPN service also offers some additional connection options that are rare among other VPN providers that we will just see in this NordVPN opinion.

The service allows users to connect up to 6 devices under a single account. However, if you connect multiple peripherals to the same server, you must choose different protocols for VPN connections. This means that 5 devices can be connected to a single server. The other device can connect to a different server. That said, with more than 5,400 servers available, this situation does not risk arriving.

The company proposes to put in place a router with their services, which does not count for a single connection, but allows multiple connections.

Visit NordVPN

Double VPN

NordVPN has a “Double VPN” connection where the user’s data is sent via 2 VPN servers before reaching its destination. The company claims that Double VPN offers encryption, security and improved anonymity.

Double-VPN-NordVPN
© NordVPN

NordVPN has at its disposal more than 90 “Double VPN” servers. We have tried the United States / Canada and United Kingdom / UK options and we have found that this slowdown has significantly increased our connection – always usable, but significantly more slow. The results are well understood variables according to your base connection and the charge of the servers.

In our opinion, this option is ideal for Internet users who need enhanced anonymity, especially those who live in countries where online surveillance is current money.

Onion Over VPN

NordVPN says that their Onion Over VPN connection option enables top-level confidentiality and security. A client connects to a NordVPN server, which then tracks all traffic through a Tor network. The traffic was aborted in the NordVPN layer then sent to the Tor network.

This allows access to the “.onion” web sites, which are available only through the Tor network. The service recommends prudence during access to using Onion Over VPN, in the name of various supportive activities for those the darknet network is known.

Obfusque servers

All good VPN service offers you an encrypted connection. But this latter is recognizable by your Internet access provider. It will not show your activities online but it will be safe to use a VPN. In some countries, the connection may be blocked when the operator detects that the traffic is from a VPN. This is to avoid this genre of situations that NordVPN offers obscure (or obscure) servers.

There are around 150 obfuscated servers. Thanks to them, the data packets are modified and scrambled so that ISPs identify the traffic as normal. This feature is especially useful for those who need to bypass blockages or who live in highly restricted areas.

Dedicated IP servers

Dedicated IP servers provide users with their own IP address. They will be the only ones to use. The company offers dedicated IP addresses in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands and France. In either of these countries, a dedicated IP carries an additional price of $ 70 per year.

Once a customer signs up for the NordVPN Dedicated IP option, they become the only customer using that particular IP address. This makes a Dedicated IP Server a great option for customers who need a static, constant IP address to access certain networks, databases, servers, and other online services.

In short, NordVPN apps are easy and quick to install. In our opinion, this VPN is suitable for everyone. Connecting to a VPN server is just a few clicks away, and you are quickly connected. The application has minimal impact on system resources. The app offers a quick way to connect to “favorite” VPN servers and access the Tor network. With “Double VPN” protection, special servers, and even the ability to use dedicated IP addresses for an additional fee, NordVPN has some great features.

CyberSec

CyberSec is another option that the NordVPN application integrates. Concretely, it is a powerful all-in-one tool capable of blocking advertisements and preventing phishing attempts. CyberSec can also detect sites hosting malware and DDoS attacks. Even if this functionality does not replace an antivirus, it is already very useful to increase its protection on the net.

Connection quality and speed

Let’s continue this NordVPN review by looking at its speed. When we test a VPN provider , we do the following to test the quality of the connection. We test ping times, as well as download and upload speeds via the Speedtest site. We do this so that our normal internet connection becomes a benchmark.

We then perform the same tests using a VPN connection in the United States and then a VPN connection in the United Kingdom. All connections are made by selecting the name of the country and allowing the VPN provider to select the server.

When it comes to Internet connections, “Faster is always better”. But it is also an undeniable fact that you will experience a loss of speed when using a VPN connection.

When we look at the results of our speed tests, we find that in general, the further away you are from a VPN server, the higher the ping and the slower the measured download and upload speeds. But, how does this affect your internet usage?

When it comes to pinging, the lower they are, the better your internet experience. You won’t notice that your daily usage is greatly affected by higher pings, but if you play resource-intensive shooter games like Call of Duty then you will be knocked out before you can turn around and shoot if your pings get too high. students.

The number of downloads and uploads on most VPN servers will be lower than what you measure with a direct connection. The numbers shown in my testing for US and UK VPN connections via NordVPN do not show an unacceptable drop in both sets of measurements.

The number of downloads and uploads on most VPN servers will be lower than what you measure with a direct connection. The numbers shown in my testing for US and UK VPN connections via NordVPN do not show an unacceptable drop in both sets of measurements.

The connection quality of a VPN server can be affected by a number of factors. Server loads can drastically affect the quality of the connection. The higher the number of users connected to a VPN server, the less responsive it will be.

Many VPN providers can help you avoid this problem by providing you with a “Best Connection” option, which connects you to the most efficient server in the service at that time. If security is all you need, this option is always the one you should at least try.

VPN protocols can also slow down a connection. Popular modern protocols, such as the 256-bit encrypted OpenVPN option, are very efficient. However, as a general rule, the better the encryption, the slower the connection. But also keep in mind that the slight performance penalty for better encryption is a small price to pay for protecting your personal data.

Last but not least, remember that any internet connection is only as fast as the slowest point on the course. Any “sub-optimal” connection point anywhere between you and the VPN server will slow operations.

When testing a new VPN provider, we try to include all the usual online activities that a user may subject their VPN connection to. This includes video streaming, gaming, usual web browsing, email, and document editing. So we do all these tasks through the US, UK and French VPN connections.

Youtube

YouTube performed well, with no visible issues on connections in the US and UK. We were able to play full screen HD videos, which streamed over both connections.

Netflix

It is impossible to form an opinion on NordVPN without testing its compatibility with the largest SVoD platform. So we visited the Netflix website while connected through a US NordVPN server on our computer and tried to watch a video. Although this passed, the quality was far from excellent.

Buffering of the video took longer than usual, and the video itself was affected by pixelation, noise, and a general “blur” appearance, which is common when trying to view videos over a slow connection.

When a connection to the UK Netflix website was used, the UK content was visible. But the quality was no better.

While trying to watch “Designated Survivor,” an ABC Network show available through Netflix UK, we were first told that we were using a proxy connection and were not allowed to view the selected episode. However, when we tried again later, the episode loaded and we got to see it. The experience was similar with other content. The viewing experience with the UK connection was similar to the US connection, where despite more than acceptable VPN connection speed, we experienced a long wait time for videos (buffering issue).

When the video started streaming, we were treated to pixelation and noise, as well as the aforementioned “blur”. As we watched the video for a few more minutes, the situation improved, providing a much sharper viewing experience, but less than HD. It is worth noting that VPN services and Netflix have engaged in a fierce battle over the past few years. VPNs are continually adding new IP addresses, while Netflix searches for new addresses in order to add them to their blocklists. This means that Netflix will usually turn out to be hit or miss.

When Netflix denies the request through a VPN server, choose another in the same country, it may enable streaming.

Hulu

Our Hulu experience was satisfactory with the UK VPN connection, HD video playback was a problem. However, when we tried to connect to Hulu through the US VPN connection, the site hardly loaded at first, but eventually we were able to view full screen HD video through the VPN connection.

Skype and FaceTime

We performed standard Skype calls tests, both audio and video, on US, UK and French connections. All three types of calls were answered, rang and presented themselves as if they had been made over an unrestricted Internet connection.

For FaceTime on Mac, it can be more complicated, because Apple requires a particular connection. But recently, the app available on the App Store uses the IKEv2 protocol as the default connection to VPN servers, which is no longer a problem.

Gaming

We have already mentioned previously in this NordVPN review that online gaming via a VPN could suffer from some problems, especially at the level of ping, which is essential for playing. Finally, the connections with the United States and the United Kingdom were more than up to the task, but we suggest that you test for 1 month for example, to try out the connections before taking out a subscription.

General Internet use

Using the NordVPN connection during our normal working day, we found the connections in France, US, and UK to be more than adequate for our needs. Despite many tasks, access to different sites and services, the connection was more than up to the challenge. We didn’t feel like we were slowed down in our working day.

Mobile app

The NordVPN app is a great way to protect your mobile device’s internet connection. It quickly establishes a connection and provides access to all types of connections that NordVPN offers its customers.

While connections in the US and UK offered much longer ping times and significantly slower download speeds, in both cases the connections were more than what we asked them to do.

By testing NordVPN on a mobile device, we were able to perform the usual tasks without a problem. Facebook, Twitter, Slack, Messenger, Whatapp, etc. – all without problem. Overall, NordVPN performed well on our smartphone.

Global server coverage

NordVPN offers 5,448 servers in 59 countries at the time of writing this NordVPN review. On its site, the provider even allows you to see more precisely the number of servers per country. Most of their VPN server centers are located in Europe. This could be seen as a plus for users located in other parts of the world, while Europeans might wish to look elsewhere for access to other services.

Overall, NordVPN offers decent global server coverage, although their coverage is concentrated in the European area of ​​the world.

Confidentiality, security and legal notices

Encryption levels vary depending on the type of connection and the application used. These include IKEv2 / IPsec, NordLynx, OpenVPN – 256 bit, L2TP / IPsec, PPTP and SSTP encryption.

The last 3 encryption levels above are not recommended by NordVPN for use with their service unless OpenVPN, NordLynx, or IKEv2 / IPsec simply does not work in your situation. NordVPN explains that L2TP / IPsec, PPTP, and SSTP are older encryption protocols, and they just don’t offer the best possible protection for your connection.

As mentioned at the start of our NordVPN review, the company is based in Panama City (Panama), and as such, it benefits from the lack of mandatory retention laws. NordVPN doesn’t have to store logs, which is a great working environment for a VPN provider and their customers.

As NordVPN says on its website:

“The moment a NordVPN.com user activates the NordVPN software, their internet data is encrypted. It becomes invisible to governments, ISPs, third party browsers and even NordVPN.com. Additionally, we have a strict no-logs policy when it comes to viewing user activity online: being based in Panama, which does not require data storage or reporting, we are allowed to opt-out. any third party request. Period.”

NordVPN does not record any user’s online activity. The only information they keep about their users is their email address (used to connect to the VPN, as well as for marketing and troubleshooting purposes) and billing information (used for refund procedures).

NordVPN apps do not “normally” work from restrictive countries like China, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. However, they say that a manual VPN configuration of the L2TP protocol with some specific parameters will allow connection to services in those countries. The NordVPN support team will help you set up this system if needed. Note that it is preferable to do this BEFORE going to one of these “restrictive countries”, at the risk of not having access to the supplier’s site or to the registration page.

Finally, NordVPN accepts cryptocurrency as a payment method for VPN subscriptions. It’s a must have for any user genuinely interested in protecting their privacy online.

NordVPN subscription options and prices

Now let’s see in this NordVPN review the different formulas and prices of the provider. NordVPN offers a variety of subscription options. The options include a 1 month plan, a 1 year plan, and a 2 year plan.

The subscription conditions and costs are as follows (2021):

  • 1 month package – € 10.16 per month
  • 1 year plan – € 4.18 per month, billed € 50.15 the first year
  • 2-year plan – € 2.80 per month, billed € 75.65 for the first two years

As you can see above, it’s only when you’re ready to commit to a minimum of one year that you start to see a reasonable level of pricing. For example, the two-year offer currently saves 72%. The flat rate of € 10.16 per month for the service is a bit high compared to its competitors.

The entire subscription and payment procedure is done via a secure HTTPS connection. The company accepts MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover, PayPal, AliPay, Union Pay, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, as well as some cryptocurrencies.

IOS and Android users can enroll on their devices through in-app purchases, which are handled by Apple’s iTunes and Google Play respectively, and will be charged to the user’s payment method in their record. . However, we do not recommend it because the refund conditions are stricter and the warranty period is shorter. Subscription on the official website of the supplier is much simpler.

Note that the service accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin . It is a truly anonymous payment option available on the web, and helps protect payment details from prying eyes.

Is the NordVPN plan cancellable?

Before subscribing to one of NordVPN’s packages, it is important to note that you will have the right to withdraw within 30 days of your purchase. Indeed, thanks to the Satisfied or Reimbursed mention of its offers, users have the possibility of being reimbursed in full for their purchase. All you have to do is contact customer support to explain and meet the 30-day deadline.

After this period, the package will be cancellable (you will cancel the recurring payment) but not refundable.

In conclusion, the service offers a 30-day money-back guarantee “for accounts in good standing”. However, users who purchased the service through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store cannot get a refund.

Client service

NordVPN is another VPN provider that seems to be walking the proverbial tightrope between excellent customer service and cost containment. So the only two ways of customer support are online chat and an online form to contact support service.

We have dealt with receptive people. We sent a request for information on how to get FaceTime to work with the Mac app through the contact form on a Wednesday morning, and within minutes we received a response asking for more information and offering me a list of ‘steps to try to make this system work.

We also used the online chat option to ask a question about a feature that was on the website, but that we couldn’t find any other information about. The friendly correspondent instantly replied that the specific functionality we requested had been included on all of their servers, and was no longer specific to only certain servers.

The vendor also offers an excellent knowledge base for getting started and troubleshooting, which is a great resource for hobbyists, especially as the pages are translated into French and illustrated with screenshots.

In short, NordVPN offers great customer support with quick responses, online chat, and an extensive knowledge base.

Conclusion of this NordVPN review

NordVPN is a quality provider that does everything to protect the privacy and anonymity of its users, including offering more than 5,000 servers in 60 countries around the world. Double VPN or Onion Over VPN dedicated servers on the TOR network are also very useful to meet all the needs of Internet users.

The application is very quick to install and use thanks to a pleasant interface, without frills and translated into French. NordVPN’s prices are average. The 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee is a real plus for a risk-free purchase. Without a doubt, NordVPN is one of our favorite VPN providers because of its undeniable qualities.

The only elements that tarnish our NordVPN review concern the somewhat disappointing connection speed for some countries as well as the streaming experience which is not always reliable.