OverviewsPrivacy Tools

NordVPN (Overview)

We think anyone that wants more than ‘Basic’ privacy needs a VPN, so certain sites you visit won’t know your IP address (and therefore location), your internet provider or WiFI service won’t know every site you visit or connect to, and so all the content you send and receive is protected while travelling into and out of your computer. 

Not everyone needs all of these features, and most people don’t need them all of the time. But almost everyone needs some of them occasionally. 

Choosing the right VPN can be complicated, because there are a lot of things to consider including the features, the company, the usability, the price, and the fit between all of those and your needs.

We like NordVPN a lot, as it’s got great features, is easy enough for non-technical users, and has features and attributes that even hardcore privacy fanatics will love.

NordVPN – Features and Benefits

NordVPN is a robust VPN that offers a number of secure and convenient features for beginners and experts alike. Because VPNs require additional scrutiny compared to other privacy and security tools, we like what NordVPN offers in terms of security, function, and ease.

No logs or data capturing

When it comes to privacy, a VPN is only as good as the logs it keeps. If a VPN is keeping logs, then you have to trust that it’s keeping your data secure and not selling or sharing it depending on who’s asking or buying. An even better alternative is to choose a VPN that doesn’t keep logs. NordVPN says they don’t and it’s backed by an independent auditor.

No government influence

NordVPN isn’t based in the EU or the US (they’re based in Panama) so they aren’t subject to law enforcement requests for data. And because they don’t keep logs, there would be no information to share if some government or organization asked for it.

Great for streaming

NordVPN has servers in 59 countries and has optimized its servers for streaming capabilities. That means you can access shows and other entertainment as if you were in a different country and you shouldn’t experience any throttling, slowdown, or interruptions as you stream.

Multi-device and app support

NordVPN supports up to 6 devices on a single account and has browser extensions available for Chrome and Firefox. Supported devices include iOS, MacOS, Android, and Windows across desktops, laptops, or tablets, 

P2P sharing available

Some VPNs don’t allow P2P file sharing – NordVPN does. If that’s a reason why you want to use a VPN, NordVPN helps.

Additional blocking and security

NordVPN also has a CyberSec tool that blocks malicious sites and ads on your devices while also preventing your device from being used to carry out attacks in case it gets infected.

For the experts

Depending on what you’re doing online, you may want a little extra protection and security. While these features aren’t on by default as they may interrupt your normal internet experience, you can turn them on at your leisure and whenever you need it. This includes the Kill Switch, which will turn off your connection if a VPN tunnel is unavailable. This ensures none of your information is accidentally leaked (though it will cut off access to the internet).

You can also access the internet via Onion over VPN, which routes your traffic through the onion network, providing even more privacy than just using a VPN (or just going through an onion network without a VPN).

You can also set your router up with NordVPN, which would make your entire network protected by NordVPN and let you connect to the network securely with any number of devices. If you connected your router to NordVPN in this way, it only counts as one of your allotted six devices.

Life with NordVPN

NordVPN is extremely easy to use and set-up. You can download it from an app store or install it on your computer right from their website. Once you install it and sign into your account (or create one if you haven’t), you’re ready to start using it.

To quickly use the internet with NordVPN turned on, you can choose the Quick Connect option, which will connect you to one of NordVPN’s servers based on speed and traffic.

However, you have a variety of locations to choose from if you’re looking for servers in a specific country. You can also “favorite” regions so NordVPN will try to connect to those servers whenever possible. You can also set NordVPN to connect automatically as soon as it launches or when it detects that you’ve connected to an unsecured or untrusted WiFi network.

NordVPN has a lot of features and advanced settings that you may or may not find useful. If you’re new to VPNs, we recommend just opting for the quick connect option and then toggling with any advanced settings as the use case arises – whether you need additional protection, want to share files via P2P, or if you want to specify where and what kind of VPN you want to use.

Pricing

Unlike some of the other tools we’ve featured on the site before, there is no free option or tier for NordVPN. There’s just a single tier with different pricing options – whatever option you choose won’t affect your NordVPN experience. Here are the current pricing options (available at the time of writing)

While you achieve greater savings for a longer commitment, you will be charged for the entire duration of the subscription. For example, if you choose the 3-year plan, you’ll be billed for the entire three years: $125.64. However, you can choose a month-to-month option for $11.95 a month. However, we recommend a longer subscription if possible as it does save money in the long term.

If you’re on the fence as to whether or not you should make this kind of financial commitment, NordVPN offers a 30-day money back guarantee. If you’re not happy or are reconsidering the subscription, you can get a refund within 30 days.

Why NordVPN?

NordVPN is one of the most respected VPN providers on the market and while their options and features may seem a little overwhelming to people newer to VPNs, we consider it a sign of their expertise and commitment to privacy and security. We also appreciate that they vary their default features by what most people will find most useful, leaving the more extreme security and privacy features as options available whenever the need arises.

NordVPN also offers an encrypted file storage service and a password manager to round out its privacy and security solutions. 

Photo by Petter Lagson on Unsplash

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