NordVPN

NordVPN serves over eight million people, but how much does it cost?

  • Torrenting available through uTorrent
  • Based in Panama, which has no mandatory data retention law
  • One of the most popular VPNs with over eight million users
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VPNs are perfect if you need to access the Internet safely and privately from any network. NordVPN in particular was founded on the belief that the Internet can be more private, and the company is dedicated to making that vision a reality. Below, we’ll go through our take on their features, subscription options, and whether we think it’s a worthy VPN for you.

NordVPN Logo

Favorite Features

When it comes to NordVPN, there’s a lot to like. We’ve rounded up the highlights below.

  • Global coverage: NordVPN has 5,420 servers operating in more than 50 countries. That means that we had a good chance of being close to a server, and thus, having great Internet speed, no matter where our travels took us.
  • Connect up to six devices at the same time: We multitasked on all our devices without restraint.
NordVPN connected
NordVPN connected
  • Strong encryption: NordVPN used AES-256 encryption, which is what the NSA recommends.1
  • Minimal logging: NordVPN did not collect data like our IP address, the servers we used, the websites we visited, or the files we downloaded. And, because they’re based in Panama, which is not part of any international surveillance alliances like Five Eyes,2 Nine Eyes, or Fourteen Eyes, they really mean it. They even had themselves audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, who confirmed their policy description was fair and accurate.
NordVPN Logging Policy
NordVPN Logging Policy
  • Ultra-fast streaming: There’s no throttling or monthly caps on network bandwidth, so we could binge-watch our favorite shows with no restraint.
  • Automatic kill switch: If our VPN connection accidentally dropped due to something like an unstable Internet connection or a server failure, the kill switch activated and blocked our device from accessing an insecure Internet.
  • A dedicated IP: We got our very own unique IP address from NordVPN, ensuring secure and convenient online payments and sparing us from having to complete CAPTCHAs. We also avoided getting put on blacklists; that can sometimes happen when we share IPs with people we don’t know who might be up to no good.
  • P2P sharing is allowed: We shared data within our team quickly and directly. However, when we opted to do this, we saw each others’ IP addresses, so that’s something to keep in mind.
  • Double VPN: Our activity was hidden by not just one, but two servers. This concept, known as VPN server chaining or multi-hop, enhanced our security, protected our IP addresses, and completely hid where we went on the Internet from everyone, even our Internet Service Provider.
NordVPN CyberSec
NordVPN CyberSec
  • NordVPN cybersec: This advanced security measure blocked websites that had reputations for hosting malware or phishing attacks, so we felt protected from online attacks.
  • 24/7 Customer support: We didn’t run into any issues when we used NordVPN, but their customer support line was always available via their robust help center archive, email support, and live chat features.
NordVPN Customer Support
NordVPN Customer Support

Pro Tip: Pay attention to where a VPN is based. NordVPN is based in Panama, so it isn’t a member of any international surveillance alliances like Five Eyes and can’t be forced to share your data with the government legally.

Can I Try NordVPN for Free?

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, while they don’t offer a traditional free trial period like many other free VPNs, we still got the chance to give it a try with no risk. However, it’s worth mentioning that our cards were charged right away. That being said, the free-trial period is completely risk-free, so we would have been allowed to cancel for any reason, even if we just felt like it! However, we were so impressed by NordVPN’s offerings that we never really considered that. If we had felt differently, all we would have done was contact customer support to get our cancellation started.

Watch Out: While NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, they can’t issue refunds if something is purchased on Apple’s App Store as opposed to their website. However, if we wanted our money back, we did have the option of getting in touch with App Store support directly.

Subscription Information

We know price is a major decision-making factor in choosing a VPN, so we’ve laid it all out for you. The NordVPN options are pretty straightforward; we would get all the same features regardless of what plan we went with, so the only difference was the length of time we subscribed for. NordVPN gave us three options, ranging from one month all the way up to two years, with a sliding scale for cost. The low-commitment month-to-month option is $11.95 billed monthly. If we signed on for two years and spent $89.04 up front, that would come to only $3.71 a month. That’s pretty affordable, and considering the breadth of features provided, we’d be happy to sign on for a longer-term commitment.

Be sure to read NordVPN’s deals before clicking purchase to stretch your dollar the most.

1 Month6 Months2 Years
Monthly Rate$11.95$9.00$3.71
Yearly Rate$143.40$54.00$44.52
Total Amount Billed$11.95$54.00$89.04

There is also a 15 percent student discount available for the three-year plan through Student Beans and Youth Discount, which reach students worldwide, and Descuento Estudiante, available for EU and South American students in particular. However, our college days are behind us, so we were unable to take advantage, but we’re always looking for ways to help the students out there in their relentless pursuit of knowledge and privacy.

With the wide variety of pricing options, NordVPN certainly offers great value, beating many of its competitors. ExpressVPN’s costs start at $8 a month, and IPVanish’s costs start at $6 a month. We were also impressed with the many features the NordVPN service offers. Each subscription includes:

NordVPN Speed Test Brussles
NordVPN Speed Test Brussles
  • Speedy Internet with no throttling or bandwidth limits
  • 256-bit AES encryption3
  • Will not log IP addresses, servers used, websites visited, or the files downloaded
  • Ability to stream
  • Protection of mobile devices
  • 5,420 servers in 59 countries
  • Coverage of six devices at once
  • Apps that are compatible with devices from Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Android TV, Firefox, Chrome and Linux
NordVPN App
NordVPN App
  • Automatic kill switch
  • Dedicated IP address
  • P2P sharing
  • Ability to mask our IP addresses
  • Double VPN hides activity behind not just one, but two encrypted servers
  • Onion Over VPN offers an additional step to protect ourselves from surveillance and censorship by anonymizing activity after NordVPN encrypts
  • traffic
  • Enhanced security to block ads, suspicious sites, and malware
  • Browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox
  • Worldwide access
  • 24/7 customer support
NordVPN Support
NordVPN Support

Payment Options

NordVPN accepts Visa, American Express, Discover, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, and UnionPay.

How Can I Cancel?

We weren’t tempted to cancel our subscription, but if we had been, we could have cancelled NordVPN through their website. First, we would have signed into our account, gone to our Dashboard tab, clicked the hamburger button (that small, three horizontal line menu symbol) next to “change plan,” and cancelled automatic payments. Then, we would need to contact customer support (we can talk to them via email or live chat) to cancel the account overall. We would have also made sure we got a confirmation email, of course.

Server Locations

NordVPN’s 5,420 servers are spread across more than 50 countries. We always look for the location of VPN servers, because it means that we have the option of accessing the Internet from each country as if we were really there. The more servers, the better chance we have of never running into slow Internet speeds, which is our personal nightmare. NordVPN has servers in:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Argentina
  • Mexico
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Australia
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Denmark
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Norway
  • Belgium
  • Poland
  • Ireland
  • Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • Portugal
  • Finland
  • Ukraine
  • Serbia
  • Hungary
  • Luxembourg
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria
  • Greece
  • Latvia
  • Estonia
  • Slovakia
  • Iceland
  • Albania
  • Cyprus
  • Croatia
  • Slovenia
  • Moldova
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • North Macedonia
  • South Africa
  • India
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Israel
  • Turkey
  • Australia
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Vietnam
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
NordVPN Speed Test South Africa
NordVPN Speed Test South Africa

In Summary

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs, and with good reason. NordVPN’s sprawling server locations meant that we could get a fast, secure Internet connection no matter what globe-trotting adventures we found ourselves on. The combination of AES-256 encryption, double-VPN and personalized unique IP address meant that NordVPN accomplished exactly what VPNs are meant to do: use the Internet securely. With a variety of pricing options, it’s also one of the cheaper options out there, especially if you are down for a longer-term commitment. We really love that NordVPN is based in Panama, because it completely puts our minds at rest that there’s zero chance for our browsing data to be shared with the federal government. See our full NordVPN review for a more in-depth look at its benefits.

NordVPN Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is NordVPN safe?

    Yes, NordVPN is very safe. It used AES-256 encryption, a high industry standard, and hid our activity behind a double VPN. A double VPN, also known as severe chaining or multi-hop, protects our IP address by encrypting web activity twice as opposed to once. It ensures that our Internet activity is hidden from everyone, even our Internet Service Provider. On top of that, NordVPN does not log data like our IP addresses, the websites we visited, downloaded files, or the servers we used. It’s also headquartered in Panama, a country that is not part of any international surveillance alliances like Five Eyes, protecting our data from the federal government. A NordVPN subscription also included a NordVPN cybersec feature, an advanced security measure that protected us from websites that host malware or phishing attacks. Lastly, we got our own unique IP address. This protected us from “bad neighbors” who we might have been sharing a non-unique IP address with.

  • Is NordVPN free?

    No, NordVPN is not free. The most cost-effective pricing option is $3.49 for a three-year commitment. We could have also subscribed to the service for $4.99 a month for two years, or $6.99 a month for one year. If we wanted to purchase the service on a month-to-month, it would have cost us $11.95 per month. If we were students, we also would have gotten a 15% discount for the three-year option only. Additionally, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and will refund customers within this time period without question.

  • Does NordVPN keep logs?

    NordVPN keeps some logs. While it does not track when we used their VPN, how long we used it for, our IP addresses, the servers we used, the websites we visited, or the files we downloaded while connected, it does keep track of our email addresses, payment data, the timestamps of our last sessions, customer service information, and how we used the NordVPN site.

  • Is NordVPN good for torrenting?

    Yes, NordVPN allows for torrenting, and we were able to access Netflix as well.

  • Does NordVPN have a kill switch?

    Yes, NordVPN has a kill switch that is always switched on. In the iOS app, the kill switch disabled Internet access for the whole system, not just shut down applications.

Citations
  1. NSA. (2018). Data at Rest Capability Package. nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/resources/everyone/csfc/capability-packages/dar-cp.pdf

  2. Business Leader. (2019). Five Eyes Alliance: Everything You Need to Know.
    businessleader.co.uk/five-eyes-alliance-everything-you-need-to-know/73523/

  3. New York Times. (2000). Technology; U.S. Selects a New Encryption Technique.
    nytimes.com/2000/10/03/business/technology-us-selects-a-new-encryption-technique.html