NordVPN Full Review
Unblocking streaming platforms
NordVPN Speed and Perfomances
We have checked a large number of servers around the world (see how we perform our tests).
In each case, we tried to confirm whether the server was up and running and how long it would take us to connect, before running ping tests to check for latency issues.
Next, we checked the geolocation to confirm that the server matched the chosen location.
Once connected, we have carried out performance tests which have shown excellent results..
The connection to the NordVPN’s servers was always fast. There was nothing wrong with the latency time and every server was in the advertised location.
We performed the speed tests using Netflix’s Fast.com, Open Speed Test and the Ookla speed test to verify performance.
The results have been impressive. NordVPN offers very high top speeds, showing above average results and apart from a few servers in Indonesia and Thailand has matched the benchmark in the field which is Expressvpn.
NordVPN : unblocking Netflix and other streaming platforms
The ability to unlock and access sites using a geographical blocking system such as Netflix for example, is a key advantage for any VPN service.
Netflix is usually the biggest challenge, and many VPN can’t unlock it at all. But again, NordVPN had no problems, allowing us to connect with every server we tested.
BBC iPlayer is also a real challenge, as the service tries to block some proxy and VPN servers. Here too NordVPN passed the blocking with no problem.
In all cases, streaming showed no weakness, we could watch all our programs in replay and live in hd quality without suffering from untimely slowdowns as it is too often the case with other VPN.
NordVPN obfuscated servers
An obfuscated server is a VPN server that hides the fact that your connection is routed through a VPN.
These specific servers are very useful to bypass any geographic blocks set up by TV networks and streaming providers.
Indeed, if they are unable to know your IP address and therefore your real geographical location, they can occasionally detect that you are using a VPN to access to their services.
NordVPN’s obfuscated servers will modify your data packets to make it more difficult for them to detect you and override the tools designed to block traffic from VPN servers.
NordVPN with Torrent
Although Torrents are not supported on all servers, NordVPN provides hundreds of P2P compatible servers in the US, UK, and many other places around the world. Wherever you are, there should be a suitable server nearby.
VPNs that only support torrent networks on certain servers can be difficult to use. Typical example: you connect to a server, you launch your torrent client and find that it is not working or badly.
But NordVPN has thought of everything. If it detects P2P activity, it will automatically redirect your connection to a torrent-compatible server.
NordVPN doesn’t enforce a bandwidth cap, so in theory you can download as much as you want.
Besides its torrent support, NordVPN has many other features that could make it an excellent choice for network enthusiasts:
- A strict no-data retention policy.
- Several layers of DNS.
- Protection against traffic leaks (Kill Switch).
- Onion Over VPN to connect through the tor network.
It’s a complete package, although, if you’re a torrent fan, ExpressVPN is also worth considering. The key features are similar, and while ExpressVPN doesn’t offer as many extras (no Double VPN, for example), it supports P2P technology on all of its servers.
The main features of NordVPN
If you activate Kill Switch, it will constantly monitor your connection for any change in status or IP address. If it sees a change (for example, your VPN connection fails or disconnects), it will instantly shut down your device or prevent the specified apps from connecting to the internet (torrent client for example) until the VPN connection is restored. or you closed the VPN app.
NordVPN Threat Protection
Since its creation, NordVPN has not stopped innovating and improving its VPN to make it one of the best providers on the market to date.
NordVPN now integrates to its product (at no extra cost), the Threat Protection feature which aims to protect you against the multiple threats inherent to the internet.
Malware is a group of malicious software that infects your devices (PC, Smartphone, tablet) in order to steal your personal data such as passwords, get money from you, take control of your computer, etc.
Infections can be completely transparent, when you visit a website or open an email attachment.
NordVPN’s anti-malware protects you in two ways:
By blocking websites containing malware.
By analyzing the files you download to detect and block any malware that may be present.
When you go online, you are automatically exposed to an exponential number of trackers that collect all sorts of data about your online activities.
The purpose of trackers is to create your digital profile and then send you ads based on your interests.
NordVPN’s anti-tracker identifies and blocks a large number of trackers to preserve your personal data and protect your online identity.
If the anti-tracker prevents the collection of your activities on the Internet, the advertising blocker will prevent the appearance of intrusive advertisements, such as pop-ups that cover the whole screen, the one that is embedded in the videos…
Threat Protection will provide you with a weekly report on trackers, ads and malware blocked during your Internet navigations.
NordVPN : NordLynx Protocol
The NordLynx protocol is a technology built around the WireGuard protocol by NordVPN.
The first of the improvements made by this protocol is its capacity to offer users lightning-fast Internet connection speeds, without jeopardizing the security of the encryption. Your data will travel quickly to NordVPN’s servers, remaining fully encrypted as it travels.
The second improvement is the simplicity and lightweight of its code in the manner of ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol. This makes the maintenance and upgrade of the NordVPN applications much easier to achieve.
- NordVPN is not subject to the European Union or the United States‘s juridiction, its head office in Panama is not part of the alliance of the 14 eyes (see article) and is therefore not legally bound to collect your personal information.
- NordVPN does not keep any records of your online activities (nothing to store and therefore nothing to share).
- Accepts payments by cryptocurrency. You can pay without leaving any trace of your identity.
- Inspections of all technical logs.
- Inspections of server configurations.
- Anonymous interviews with the employees.
- PWC's experts also checked if the service was really using the configurations they had examined.
Since this second audit was intended to be more thorough than the previous one, PwC expanded the scope of its analysis to include the various types of specialized servers that were not tested in the previous audit. This included P2P servers, Dual VPN, and even Obfuscated servers offered by the provider to circumvent VPN bans.
The process lasted for 8 days, from May 20 to May 28, 2020, during which time PWC Switzerland had access to all NordVPN facilities and services without restriction.
The final report of PwC's audit was conclusive, stating that it found no evidence that NordVPN was in any way not complying with its privacy and data retention policy.
Ease of use
NordVPN is very easy to use and to configure, their application is very intuitive. Everything is done with a simple click.
Here is an illustrated example to choose a french server :
You select the country of your choice (here France). Then, you let Nordvpn determine the fastest server for you or you choose our server manually.
The application also offers special servers suitable for different tasks:
- P2P access
- Using Onion over VPN
- Double encryption (Double VPN)
- Dedicated IP address
You can, for example, click P2P to let the software choose the fastest P2P server, or browse all servers and choose one manually. You can also add any server to your favorites list with a single click.
Changing servers is also very easy. If you’re already signed in, you don’t have to close the connection before you can open a new one. Just click on any server and the client will automatically disconnect and reconnect to the new chosen server.
Finally, let us specify that NordVPN’s mobile applications are just as intuitive and work perfectly well, on Android as well as on iOS, android tv etc …
NordVPN Compatible Devices
NordVPN supports Android, Chrome, Firefox, iOS, Linux, Mac OS and Windows, “smart tv”, Amazon fire devices etc.
Additionally, you can also configure certain routers to connect through NordVPN which will allow you to connect all devices on your network, including smart home devices that cannot connect to a VPN on their own.
Technical support of NordVPN
Although very simple to use, NordVPN provides you with many tutorials on its website. NordVPN has an excellent technical service, very responsive and efficient, it is available 24/7 via instant messaging.
It is also possible to contact them by e-mail, but the time of response will be much longer.
NordVPN : Prices and Payment Methods
You can choose between 3 subscription periods, all with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
The payment methods are multiple and include cryptocurrencies.
Final verdict on NordVPN
Performing in all areas, NordVPN is the main challenger to ExpressVPN.
NordVPN offers many technologies and features, such as dual VPN, dedicated IP, or direct connection to the Tor network.
Geographical unblocking of streaming platforms such as Netflix, Prive Video, Hulu, HBO, Disney+ … is done without problems, thanks to obfuscated servers that work very well to hide the use of a VPN server.
Torrent downloaders will appreciate the dedicated servers that offer excellent speeds.
We also particularly appreciated the ease of use of the applications offered by NordVPN, very functional and intuitive, novices will not have any trouble to use them.
- Multi-platforms Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, smart tv…
- Easy to use
- Automatic Kill Switch function
- Simultaneous connection to 6 devices
- No data collection
- Accepts Bitcoin payments
- Works very well with Netflix.
- Very good server performance.
- Perfectly anonymous and fast torrent.
- Based outside the 5, 9 & 14 eyes alliance jurisdictions
- The fee for a one-month subscription.