|3.0 / 5.0 User Ratings||57 |
Today we are going to dissect NordVPN in our review, to educate our readers about the services and the features it offers to its users – without any sugar-coats.
NordVPN claims to be the best VPN service when it comes to protecting users from hackers, surveillance agencies and malware while browsing the internet. However, we will only share our final verdict with you once we have thoroughly taken you through its services.
Where are the Servers of NordVPN Located?
The VPN servers play an integral role in establishing the utility of a VPN service. We have said it before and we will say it again: if you are to leave an impression on a general user, impress him with your server count and locations. Initially, we were a bit disappointed to see that NordVPN provides only 724 servers as of now, but then we looked at the countries where the servers are located.
The server locations are not as bad as we thought they were. NordVPN is offering its 724 servers in 57 countries, including the UK and US. What we liked the most about NordVPN is the fact that it offers a proper guide to its users to help them connect to their desired servers. For example, if you want DDoS Protection against hackers, NordVPN recommends you to connect to its Canadian server.
NordVPN provides 724 servers in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Lithuania, Russia, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Romania, Austria, Australia, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Isle of Man, Chile, Israel, New Zealand and Japan.
Having reviewed various VPN services in the past, we have always given priority to two particular features of a VPN service over others: the servers and the device compatibility, in that same order.
Offering support for Windows, iPhones, iPads, Mac and Android is pretty standard for VPN services, but NordVPN misses out on supporting Linux, Routers and Gaming Consoles in the devices it supports.
The mediocrity of device compatibility of NordVPN is beyond any explanation. We fail to understand why NordVPN is not working to extend its support to Xbox One, PS3 and SmartTV users. The current device compatibility suggests that it needs to upgrade its device support as soon as possible, if it is to stay in the VPN industry for the long haul.
Pricing Plans of NordVPN – Pocket Friendly!
This NordVPN review was designed to be critical. That is why we were poised to compare the price offerings with those dished out by other VPN services. The limited compatibility had left a bad taste in our mouth, but all of that changed when we saw those beautiful pricing plans that look like a Wal-Mart sale!
The pricing plans are simple, and easy to understand. For starters, they are offering a universal package for different prices, a common norm in the VPN industry.
The plans are clearly designed to cater to the needs of different users with different needs. So if you are interested in buying the monthly service, you can subscribe to the Monthly Package, which is available for $8/month. The Monthly Package is referred as “Simple” package by NordVPN.
The “Standard” package (the half-yearly plan), is available for subscription for $5/month. This package suits individuals who frequently travel to the countries where strict censorship policies are in place. NordVPN refers to the annual package as its “Best Offer”. You can get the subscription for as low as $4/month. With a subscription to the annual package, you get to save 50% of the original amount!
Bandwidth and Ping
What haunts internet users the most? No online security? Low speeds? High Pings? Honestly speaking, it all comes down to your needs and demands. A streaming lover may compromise on his online security for faster speeds, and a privacy enthusiast may compromise on high speeds for solid online security.
There is no denying that a VPN service reduces your internet speed and gives you high ping sometimes, but when it becomes a regular practice, it haunts users even more. We speed-tested the services of NordVPN before we wrote this review because we wanted to check if they had any limitations set on the allocation of bandwidth and if the pings reduced.
We are sharing the results before and after testing the speeds with our readers so they can get an idea of how fast their service is and how it can affect their internet speed. The picture we are sharing below was taken when NordVPN wasn’t connected. Although we would have liked a lower ping, you can see all three observations were pretty impressive.
Once we connected our device to NordVPN’s fastest server in the US, the speed was significantly reduced; upload speed hardly noticed any changes but the ping won the contest for us! Imagine getting 0 ping with a download speed of 85Mbps! Who wouldn’t want to watch TV shows and movies in high definition for hours and hours?!
How to Connect NordVPN on Windows
After signing up for the service, you can download the software for your Windows from the custom profile page. Once you have installed the VPN, open it up and enter the credentials assigned to you by NordVPN.
Click on “Log in”.
After you have successfully logged in, select your desired VPN server and click on “Connect”.
Wait for the connection to establish, once NordVPN is connected, you will be presented with this window.
See the “Settings” tab on the top? We clicked on it as well to explore the other options. Can’t say we were disappointed. Upon clicking the “Settings” tab, you can also find the App Kill Switch option that lets you kill all the activity on the other applications as well when your internet connection drops.
Protocol and Encryption Support
In times, where online privacy has become a subject of debate due to increasing online surveillance policies, NordVPN takes a solid stand and provides support of OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP and IPSec protocols.
All of these protocols are rock solid and keep your online traffic safe by tunneling them. The SSL based encryption support of 2048 is too good for the likes of hackers and online surveillance agencies to lay their eyes on your data. It makes your data complicated for the hackers, and also protects you when mass-surveillance laws are passed.
24/7 Available Customer Support
Okay, this is a tricky part. We’ll be very precise here. We liked their Customer Support for its excellent compliance and relevancy skills, but we absolutely hated it for its slow response. When we talked to one of their support technicians, we had no idea that it would literally take them ages to respond. When their representative finally joined the Chat session, we asked the reason for delay.
He responded by saying, “Your chat did not show up”.
That was not the kind of reply we were expecting, anyway. Once he joined the chat session, we decided to stress-test the support and grilled him. We kept asking him questions about the service and the guy at the other end was gentle and answered all our questions very calmly.
So while their Live Chat Customer Support is absolutely fine, their response time is not. They need to work on that before it begins to haunt them.
To make sure that users feel safe and secure, NordVPN offers Bitcoin, Web Money, Paypal, Paysera and Credit cards as payment modes to its users. The payment options are diverse and the users can easily opt for one of the options to pay their due invoices.
As far as the multi-logins are concerned, we think NordVPN is better than many of the VPN providers that are not even offering the multi-login option.
But when we compared it with others, it clearly let us down. With only two multi-logins, we feel that it needs to offer more login queries to its users.
We’ll be honest with all our readers here; we will vouch for any VPN provider that offers assistance for P2P traffic. Imagine downloading torrents without fearing the cops running after you for copyrights infringement cases. We tried the P2P service of NordVPN and were actually impressed that it offered us extra layer of security without causing any disturbance in the downloading speeds.
Every VPN provider (except for a few) has a no-logs policy in place. NordVPN claims that it does not record your online activities. With the aforementioned policy in place, you can surf the internet freely.
The Final Verdict
We mentioned in the start that we will give our final verdict when we have thoroughly reviewed NordVPN. We want to be very honest with all our readers here:
Pros: NordVPN needs to work on certain aspects like its device compatibility, customer support and the server count.
Cons: You can’t ignore its speed, low pings, multi-logins, protocol and encryption support.
It works fine, but as of now, to be the best in the VPN industry, NordVPN has a long way to go.