As public concern about internet privacy violation intensifies, more and more people are considering using a VPN service to protect themselves from prying eyes and ears.
But with so many options to choose from, it’s hard to decide which service will fulfill all the necessary privacy needs.
Taking multiple points into consideration, NordVPN is able to serve all sorts of functions in high demand for users—and it remains reliable in doing so.
Overview of the NordVPN service
One of the most crucial aspects of a reliable Virtual Private Network service is the location of its headquarters, and what governmental power has the ability to oversee its operations.
That being said, NordVPN has an excellent location in Panama, a country that is not under either U.S. or E.U. jurisdiction and, as such, does not fall under their privacy laws.
Another point that should make NordVPN an attractive choice for any user, especially casual ones, is its price range. There are three payment plans that depend on the length of time the person plans to use the service.
There’s a one-month plan, which costs $11.95, as well as a six-month plan, priced at $42 or $7 per month. But the most affordable option is the $69 one-year plan, setting the user back only $5.75 per month.
All plans come with all the features unlocked, including but not limited to six simultaneous connections, a kill switch for apps, and server optimization. Bear in mind that despite its relatively low price compared to competitors, NordVPN does not skim on features aimed at security or connection quality.
And for anyone extra concerned about anonymity in the process of selecting a VPN, it’s possible to pay for NordVPN with Bitcoin. This means that, theoretically, one can erase the evidence of having purchased and used a VPN service to hide their internet usage.
The whole point of using a VPN service is to enhance one’s privacy while surfing the internet. The most common uses of a Virtual Private Network service is either to hide internet usage from an internet service provider or to access sites or parts of the internet that are otherwise blocked.
In the first case, the biggest problem is that while a VPN hides the internet usage from one’s ISP, its provider still holds usage information logs, which can be accessed by anybody with the proper authorization. This rarely fixes the privacy problem and instead just shifts the blame from one big company to another.
In this case even if proper authorization is shown, one will not be able to access the logs because there are no logs to be accessed.
Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is location, which we mentioned before. U.S.-based VPN service providers are the least reliable ones, since U.S. privacy protection laws are lenient at best.
NordVPN is a Panama-based company which means U.S. federal laws do not apply to its services. As such, it is much better at keeping users’ data protected.
Lastly, NordVPN has several privacy protection features present in the software, which makes it less susceptible to accidental information leaks.
One of the more important features is the automatic kill switch. No Virtual Private Network service can guarantee 100 percent reliable connection, and having a VPN connection break during use causes the connection to be visible to anyone who’s trying to spy on it.
To prevent this, NordVPN will shut down the user’s internet connection if the VPN connection breaks for any reason. This prevents the user from unknowingly surfing the internet unprotected, all the while leaking their connection information.
When looking at the connection speed that Virtual Private Network offers, it’s important to note the internet connection speed that one has in the first place. Having a VPN that offers fast connection speeds has no effect if the internet connection can’t keep up.
On the other hand, a slow VPN connection can cause a lot of problems for users who rely on internet speed. Mainly gamers and people who want to use Netflix or Torrent will find that NordVPN offers an extremely strong connection speed with great stability and very rare disconnections.
But taking into consideration a download speed of over 46 Mbps, an upload speed of over 36 Mbps and a stable ping of 5ms, a connection time that is slightly longer than that of its competitors can be neglected in most cases.
And to top it all off, NordVPN offers one of the most stable connections that a Virtual Private Network service can offer. This is especially important for people who use Netflix and Torrent often and need to have a constant connection to a VPN in order to be able to access blocked content without exposing their identity.
Server location and density
Server location is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing a VPN for one’s needs. It does not matter which purpose the Virtual Private Network serves, more servers located in different places is always better.
NordVPN has servers in 61 locations, offering a grand total of 1074 different servers all over the world. Most servers are located in usage hotspots like the U.S., the U.K. and larger E.U. countries like Germany and the Netherlands.
This means that people looking to access geo-blocked content can freely do so, just by selecting a server located in a specific country.
While there is no option to select a specific city, one can sort the available servers by which is used most.
NordVPN lets users choose between use-specific servers, meaning that there are dedicated servers for ultra-fast TV, or Tor usage in conjunction with a Virtual Private Network or even double VPN usage. There are even dedicated DDoS protected servers to choose from.
Another downside, albeit inconsequential for most users, is the fact that NordVPN’s IP range is somewhat smaller than that of its competitors. This means that the number of IP addresses that can be used by its customers is smaller—2,000 specific IP addresses to be exact.
Ease of use
NordVPN’s application has one of the easiest setup processes out of any VPN service. This allows it to be extremely user-friendly even for people who are using a VPN software for the first time.
The user interface is very well constructed and takes a minimum amount of time to get acclimated to.
All servers are grouped by region, purpose, speed or load. There is a small bar which tells how many people are using a particular server currently, as well as its maximum connection speed.
For those who do not want to manually compare the server loads and connection speeds they provide, there is a button for automatically choosing a server that offers the optimal balance of load and connection speeds.
There is also an option for configuring the server search, as well as other configurations like DNS leak protection and a list for manual configuration of a kill switch depending on the application being used. All settings and configurations are easily understandable and reachable.
There are some cases where configuration outside of the application will be necessary, which could be fixed, as such configurations are rarely suited for beginners. For example, choosing a server in a specific city is done by selecting a server and then using online tools to check its location.
These are, however, minor inconveniences in the worst case scenario and will most likely not affect the ease of use for a casual user.
When it comes to customer support, there are two things that one needs to take into consideration: the speed and the quality of the support they are getting.
Quality-wise, NordVPN tops the charts, mainly due to the comprehensive knowledge base on its website covering all of the software’s features. There are both written and video guides and tutorials on setting up specific parts of the VPN.
And in case something is not working like it’s supposed to, users can always contact a member of customer support over live chat or email. The fact that most of NordVPN’s features are straightforward and easy to set up makes its customer support that much more precise.
On the other hand, the NordVPN customer support team’s speed of response is something they could work on. This is mainly due to the fact that they have expanded quickly in a short period of time and seem to currently lack the customer support staff headcount proportional to the number of users they’re serving.
Their email response time is at most 46 hours, but it rarely takes more than a day to get a reply.
There are many factors that make up a good VPN service, including reliability, security, speed, price, comfort of use, and many other things.
While many Virtual Private Network providers tend to focus on one thing while letting the others fall short of their users’ expectations, NordVPN has made sure to raise all of their features to a commendable level.
This makes NordVPN one of the best all-around VPN services on the internet, and at an incredibly affordable price compared to its many competitors.