NordVPN Review: Best VPN in 2023? [In-Depth Analysis]

8:30 AM, Mar 13, 2023
8:32 AM, Mar 13, 2023

Disclaimer: This material is partially funded by a sponsor. The sponsor is solely responsible for any ideas or opinions that do not represent those of WTVR.

Perhaps more people use NordVPN than any other virtual private network (VPN). Numerous positive user reviews emphasize the platform's superior speeds, online security features, streaming and torrenting options, and web surfing utilities, making it clear that you shouldn't ignore it.

When it comes to virtual private networks (VPNs), NordVPN is a top contender in 2023. This Panama-based VPN service uses its own NordLynx tunneling technique to provide lightning-fast connections. Complete anonymity is ensured by both unbreakable encryption and a no-logs policy that has been subjected to third-party auditing. Whether you're just starting out with VPNs or are already an expert, NordVPN's easy-to-use tools and wealth of advanced features, including Meshnet, make it a great choice.

Nonetheless, NordVPN reviews that it has a few known issues. Inconvenient bugs that appear after software upgrades are a prime example of what might cause user skepticism.

Let's go a little further into this NordVPN review and see how well it serves both novice and advanced VPN customers. How secure is NordVPN? How does it do when it comes to downloading and watching online videos?



Our Verdict – NordVPN Review

The fact that NordVPN's headquarters are in Panama, a country that is not a part of any international monitoring alliances, makes it a great option for anyone who is worried about their privacy online. Furthermore, NordVPN boasts some of the strongest privacy and security features, such as Double VPN and Onion Over VPN.

NordVPN Pros

  • Superb efficiency and velocity
  • Accessible on a wide variety of platforms, these applications are a breeze to use
  • Robust, third-party-verified safety measures
  • Allows access to several video-sharing sites normally blocked in your country
  • Fantastic round-the-clock assistance for customers
  • Communicates with 8,000 hosts in 100 data centers
  • Money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied within 30 days
  • Risk-free for 7 days

NordVPN Cons

  • The Linux client doesn't have a graphical user interface
  • There is no router software available
  • Pricey
  • The inability to effectively stop malware
  • Congested user experience at times

First of all, NordVPN is based in Panama, a privacy-friendly country that does not have any required data retention regulations and is not subject to the worldwide monitoring alliance known as the 14 Eyes. Since this is the case, Big Brother cannot stifle NordVPN's efforts to preserve people's privacy when using the service.

In the VPN industry, NordVPN stands with the most forward-thinking names. They regularly develop and release innovative security enhancements that greatly benefit the privacy of their users. Not only was NordVPN one of the first VPNs to provide support for Tor over VPN, but it has also been well-known for a long time for its Double VPN feature. (We'll cover it later.)

Having been that, NordVPN does have certain flaws. For one, it's not the most affordable VPN service, and the way it charges for its services might be puzzling to those who are new to virtual private networks. In any event, this review is all about NordVPN, and it is our responsibility to decide whether or not this VPN is worthwhile.



NordVPN Review at a Glance 

The combination of NordLynx faster speeds, P2P-optimized servers, and support for Bitcoin makes NordVPN an attractive service. Despite several drawbacks, like slower-than-average OpenVPN speeds and higher-than-average renewal fees, this is still a highly recommended VPN service.

While NordVPN's support for torrents is undeniably impressive, the service's many privacy-enhancing features are as impressive. Among the fastest VPNs we've tested, performance is solid, and we had no trouble accessing Netflix or any other restricted site.

When compared to other VPN services, NordVPN's mobile applications are superior. It's easy to go about and utilize the various programs, and the Windows client is typically fairly decent. If you're not too computer smart, don't worry; there are plenty of high-quality tutorials available to assist you set up the VPN, and the service also has excellent customer care.

It's also worth mentioning that NordVPN offers a generous 30-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked and an extensive server network to boot. With no questions asked, you may cancel within the first month for a full refund if you aren't completely satisfied.

In this sense, NordVPN is similar to a jack-of-all-trades tool: it does a little bit of everything well. While some competitors may provide greater performance in some areas, NordVPN will not lead you astray if you are looking for a service that is reliable across the board.

Who NordVPN is Best For

NordVPN is an excellent choice for anyone who values their online security and privacy. It's especially suitable for:

  1. People who frequently use public Wi-Fi networks: NordVPN encrypts your internet traffic, protecting your sensitive information from potential hackers when you're connected to public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  2. Streaming enthusiasts: With NordVPN, you can access popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime from anywhere in the world, thanks to its large network of servers optimized for streaming.
  3. Torrenting and P2P file sharing: NordVPN allows P2P traffic on its servers and has dedicated servers optimized for fast and secure torrenting.
  4. Online gamers: NordVPN's servers are optimized for gaming, offering faster speeds and lower latency, reducing lag and improving your gaming experience.
  5. People living in countries with strict online censorship: NordVPN can help you bypass geo-restrictions and access censored content in countries like China, Iran, and Russia, where internet freedom is limited.

NordVPN Price

Neither the cost nor the availability of NordVPN's plans are complicated. There are just three primary options, and they are called "Standard," "Plus," and "Complete." Pricing varies based on the length of your membership. Optional lengths of service include one month, one year, and two years.

You should also know that the longer you commit to the plan, the more money you will save. Just compare the annual and monthly costs to get an idea of what to expect to pay:

  • The Standard: $4.49/month (1-year plan) and $11.99/month (1-month plan)
  • The Plus: $5.49/month (1-year plan) and $12.99 (1-month plan)
  • The Complete: $6.79/month (1-year plan) and $14.29 (1-month plan)

The ideal alternative, as recommended by NordVPN reviews, is a two-year commitment to the Complete plan if you're looking for the finest combination of features and cost.

Several different methods of payment are available. Credit cards, Amazon Pay, Sofort, PayPal, ACH, and prepaid cards are all accepted methods of payment. If you like, you may also use Apple Pay or Google Pay. The most privacy-conscious shoppers may also make purchases in-store or online using cryptocurrency.



NordVPN Additional Offerings

Along with VPN service, NordVPN also provides a password manager (NordPass) and a file-encrypting storage service (NordLocker). These extras are now available as part of a VPN subscription from NordVPN. 

The Standard plan ($11.99/month or $67.35/year) offers VPN security alone and costs $99.48/year afterwards. The Plus tier costs $12.99 per month (or $82.35 for the first year, and subsequently $126.96 per year), and it includes data breach detection similar to HaveIBeenPwned in addition to the NordPass password manager. 

The Complete plan includes 1 terabyte of secure cloud storage for $14.29 per month (or $101.85 for the first year, followed by $198.84 per year). Alternatively, you may sign up for a two-year subscription to NordVPN for $99.63, $126.63, or $161.73, respectively, for the Standard, Plus, or Complete packages. All of these are renewable on a yearly basis at the standard prices.



NordVPN Review Features

Is NordVPN good? Here, we'll not only explain why we consider NordVPN to be one of the best VPNs we've tested, but also walk you through all of the features that helped it earn that distinction.

One of the Largest Server Networks

While VPN service providers' server counts tend to fluctuate often, NordVPN has a big and stable network of servers. To sum it up, NordVPN has over 5,500 individual servers spread over 59 different countries. In order to get the greatest VPN speeds possible, it is important to choose a VPN service that has servers in the area where you will be utilizing it.

Of fact, only a fraction of the world's almost 200 nations can be represented by 59. We have compiled a list of the top VPNs for travel, all of them providing a wide variety of server locations and connection speeds to accommodate regular travelers. Is NordVPN good? It is one of the top-rated VPNs for travel.

Panama-based VPN

Despite its global reach, NordVPN is headquartered in Panama. To our benefit, Panama is not subject to the surveillance agreements known as the Five Eyes, the Nine Eyes, or the 14 Eyes.

For the benefit of VPN neophytes everywhere, international surveillance alliances are exactly what they sound like. Data collected from VPN users may be subject to disclosure if the company's headquarters are located in a country where such information is legally required to be shared with the government. 

VPN providers may be required by law enforcement to provide customer IP addresses in connection with criminal investigations. While we do not support cybercriminals, it raises major red flags if the government has unfettered access to VPN user records. This is exactly why we recommend NordVPN reviews. There are no governmental agencies with the authority to accomplish it.

Kill Switch

As with every VPN we test, we made sure NordVPN has a kill switch, an essential feature. The kill switch saved us when our VPN connection briefly went down while downloading a large file during a storm.

The kill switch immediately terminated our download and closed all of our mobile applications. Our ISP would have been able to monitor our online activity if that hadn't happened. For our own security, we know that if the VPN connection stops, so does our internet access. Although it was annoying at the time (we had to start the download again), we place privacy above everything else.



Data Usage

Torrenting is a breeze with NordVPN, another one of our go-to VPNs, thanks to the service's lightning-fast download speeds. We were able to watch as much as we desired on the internet because of NordVPN. The highlight was undoubtedly the Netflix viewing. Because NordVPN has so many servers in various countries, we were able to access content from Netflix libraries in other nations by switching our area.


After signing up with NordVPN and downloading the software, you may connect to any of their servers. Because of the encryption used, anybody listening in on this connection will be unable to decipher your communications. Here, the industry-standard AES-256-CBC cryptography is put to use by NordVPN. Because NordLynx employs the ChaCha20 protocol, your anonymity and security are further enhanced.

Using the SHA-512 hash algorithm, you will be granted access to the server. Your credentials are transformed into a string of 512 binary digits that are unintelligible to anybody except you. When you enter them, they are checked against the cryptographic hashes you created and saved on their servers during account creation.

This hash exceeds what is considered to be the minimum security requirement for a VPN. VPN 

services that employ SHA-256 are many. Therefore, NordVPN is doing some groundbreaking work in this area. The SHA-512 function provides increased protection for its users and is more difficult to breach.

Threat Protection

Your smartphone will be more secure than ever with NordVPN. Threat Protection is responsible for this functionality. The following types of attacks are stopped by this system:

  • Dangerous online content. You won't have to worry about inadvertently exposing your device to viruses by visiting a malicious website.
  • Promotions on the internet. Are you sick of being bombarded with advertising everytime you try to access your favorite websites? Well, worry no more, since this issue will be eliminated with Threat Protection.
  • Trackers. Your IP address and browsing history are only two pieces of data that may be gathered by websites using trackers. Thankfully, they won't be able to bypass NordVPN's protections in the future.
  • Records of potential danger. Threat Protection will act as a virtual antivirus, checking any executable files you download that are less than 20 megabytes for malicious software.

This function is now available across all NordVPN apps. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Safari all have the option to activate it, however.

It's quite helpful because once Threat Protection is on, it continues to operate automatically without requiring you to connect to a VPN server.

Dark Web Monitor

This eerie safety measure alerts you about potential risks to the confidentiality of your personal information. Your email address will be looked up in dark web markets and pastebins. If it ends up there, hackers may have found their way into the services you've been using.

If you use the same password for many sites, hackers will soon have access to your account on many services. If your email address is sold on a dark web marketplace, NordVPN will let you know. The function is compatible with all major operating systems.




With its headquarters in Panama, a country known for its respect for user anonymity, NordVPN is a great option. A government that wants access to your activity records would have to go via a court in Panama. Since there are no regulations requiring the storage of user information, NordVPN may safely operate in Panama. It is thus crucial to choose a VPN service provider that is not based in a Five Eyes nation or other potentially intrusive jurisdiction.

According to NordVPN's privacy policy, even if a warrant were to be issued and a server seized, the government would find no logs of customer activity. According to their policy, your online activities while using NordVPN services will not be watched, recorded, tracked, kept, or passed along to any third parties.

Their applications simply gather diagnostic information and information about crashes. Let's say you decide you absolutely cannot accept this. If that's the case, their client makes it simple to withdraw consent for anonymous app use at any moment. It's not a deal breaker, however.

Security and Privacy Audits

If you were reading the preceding part and thought, "Well, that's all very good, but how can I know that all these promises mean anything?" then you are at the right place. To do so, NordVPN contracted with the auditing firm PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers).

PwC, which is one of the Big Four accounting companies, was placed #5 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies last year. NordVPN's no-logs policy has passed two audits in 2018 and 2020, both of which confirmed the validity of the company's assertions of user anonymity.

NordVPN also conducts its own app security checks. VerSprite, a cybersecurity advisory firm, subjected its systems and applications to a battery of penetration tests this year. Here is where you can read the whole report on the NordVPN review. Even before the report was made public, every flaw had a fix implemented.

They are currently working on making their service better. Thus they are rewarding users who test it and report issues with rewards on their HackerOne website. Is NordVPN good? Therefore, NordVPN is acting responsibly as a supplier of cybersecurity goods.



ioXt certification

The mobile applications offered by NordVPN are among the few in the industry that has been approved by ioXt. This verifies that they are up to date with the latest security protocols. Not to mention the fact that to apply, applicants must first pass stringent tests of the privacy policy of the service as well as the safety of the applications.

Summarized below are the most important results:

NordVPN achieved a perfect 100% across the board, including a perfect 100% on the top-tier (level 4) vulnerability reporting program. It offers a public research awards program and accepts entries from the general public. They scored a level 4 even in password security. It's not just about authentication, however. All sensitive transactions made over an app's API will need re-authentication. The whole report from the certifying body is available for your perusal.

This certificate was only just recently implemented for use with VPN software. Until recently, it has only been available on IoT gadgets. Because of the recent shift, only a select few VPN providers can brag about having it. Among the best VPN services, NordVPN is right at the top.


With Meshnet, you can connect up to 60 distant computers (running Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, or Android) into a single, encrypted network.

With Meshnet, you may create a private network that connects as many as 60 separate devices

For instance, you might use Meshnet to get into your home computer from work without worrying about compromising your security. Alternatively, you might use it for LAN gaming, file sharing, secure project collaboration at work, and much more.

The most up-to-date Windows app sports a slick new user experience (much more about that later).

Functionality for voice commands on Android (just ask Google Assistant to launch NordVPN and connect, and you'll be online in seconds) and improved in-app debugging tools for iOS are two examples of recent small but welcome changes to the mobile experience.



Does NordVPN Offer a Good Level of Privacy?

Every virtual private network (VPNprivacy )'s benefits stem from its ability to use encryption. With NordVPN's AES-256-GCM encryption and perfect forward secrecy (using 4096-bit Diffie-Hellman this time), you can rest assured that even if an attacker breaks into one session, they will be unable to access subsequent ones.

When you connect to NordVPN, it employs a dedicated private DNS server to ensure that no one can track what sites you visit online. As an added layer of security, its applications prevent DNS leaks.

You may use the Double VPN method that NordVPN provides (for Windows, Mac, and Android) to have your traffic secured by one server, re-encrypted by another, and then sent on its merry way. If you're seeking the highest degree of privacy possible online, this additional shield makes it harder to attribute your actions to you.

And if that weren't enough, Onion over VPN is also supported by NordVPN. This encrypts your data as it travels across a NordVPN server and then onto the Tor network, it will pass through a total of three Tor nodes at random on its way to its final destination. This is as private as the internet gets, but it won't come cheap. Is NordVPN good for Tor users who need to hop between multiple servers, considering that it would greatly reduce the network's already sluggish performance?



Is NordVPN Safe?

Extremely safe. The kill switch is another tool in NordVPN's arsenal designed to protect your online safety. In case the VPN connection suddenly breaks, a kill switch will immediately cut off all network traffic.

In this regard, NordVPN distinguishes itself from the others since it offers not one but two kill switches. An application kill switch will shut just the apps you choose if the VPN connection drops, while a general internet kill switch would prevent all internet access while you're not connected to the VPN (this may be turned off if inconvenient).

Our tests using DNS Leak Test, IPLeak, and others corroborated NordVPN's claims that their service prevents DNS leaks. No DNS, WebRTC, or other leaks were found, and our DNS address always matched our IP address. 

Thus, both security and privacy are effectively enforced. (For more information on services that guarantee top-notch security, see our compilation of the best secure VPN providers, in which NordVPN features prominently).

Can NordVPN be hacked?

In 2018, hackers compromised one of NordVPN's servers (a VPN server, not anything holding account information). The firm didn't come clean about it right away, and it took a lot of heat once the attack was revealed. However, it has subsequently done a lot to win back customers' trust.

The whole network of servers used by NordVPN has been changed to operate in RAM only, with no disks, so that in the future, even if a server were to be hacked, the intruder would have no access to any local data on the server.

VerSprite, a security research firm, was brought in to do an audit of the company's applications in order to assist find and patch any vulnerabilities. In addition, a bug bounty program was launched to incentivize users to find and disclose vulnerabilities in the service.

An Android app from NordVPN, like those from Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN, has been certified by the ioXt Alliance. The certification process examines several aspects of NordVPN's security, including encryption, network security, software update processes, and more.

These kinds of measures won't make up for NordVPN's slow reaction to the 2018 incident, but they're a significant step in the right direction and will put products offered by the business under a degree of scrutiny not seen very often.

Alternatives to NordVPN


For the reasons stated, we have ranked these services equally at the top. Both are based in offshore locations, far from the range of intelligence-sharing contracts, and both state that they are immune to any "backdoors" that may be ordered to attempt to access user data. 

When it comes to protecting private information, NordVPN, which uses the widely used OpenVPN protocol, is unrivaled. Some users may feel more at ease knowing that ExpressVPN has developed its own technologies and procedures.

ExpressVPN claims a dynamic IP address is more secure. However, the company does not provide this option despite its convenience. As an added bonus, NordVPN also includes a password manager and access to cloud storage.

Even while both services are fast enough for streaming and file-sharing, NordVPN boasts the fastest VPN thanks to its extensive network of servers (5,000+ in total). Read this ExpressVPN review to find out more.




When comparing prices and features, IPVanish VPN comes out on top as the most cost-effective option while still providing the level of privacy and protection most customers want. 

You can maintain your anonymity while using it since your IP address will "disappear" when it is shared with other users. If you are handling sensitive information or working in a risky environment, however, NordVPN is the best option. 

It has provided democracy advocates and journalists in locations like Belarus and Hong Kong with free or heavily reduced VPN service in an emergency situation, thanks to its worldwide network of VPN servers.

There are several similarities between the two services, including their no-log policies, kill switches, split tunneling, and leak prevention. Since NordVPN is headquartered in Panama, it is not subject to the jurisdiction of U.S. or European courts or the intelligence-sharing agreements known as the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes. VPN provider IPVanish has its headquarters in the United States. NordVPN includes various extras, such as a dedicated IP and antivirus security, but these cost extra.

When compared to NordVPN's six simultaneous connections, IPVanish's offer is far more generous. However, NordVPN is the superior choice for viewers, since it allows users to access their preferred streaming services regardless of their physical location.



NordVPN Review – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Who owns NordVPN?

There seems to be a lack of transparency about the company's physical location and management team. The NordVPN name is a registered trademark of Tefincom S.A. Additionally, it is one of the businesses that fall under the banner of NordSec, which also includes NordLocker, NordPass, and NordVPN Teams (a business-focused VPN). Offices and operations for the security and privacy firm NordSec may be found in the United Kingdom (UK), United States (US), Cyprus (CY), Lithuania (LT), Switzerland (CH), and Panama (PAN).

Can you try NordVPN for free?

As we said in the article above, there is not exactly a free trial offered, but there is a money-back guarantee in the event that you are not satisfied. 

If you purchase a subscription plan from NordVPN and find that you are unhappy with the service for any reason during the first 30 days of your membership, you are free to terminate your membership at any time and get a full refund.

Is NordVPN good for online gaming?

A virtual private network (VPN) isn't ideal for online gaming since it might slow down your connection, steal some of your bandwidth (as we observed in our NordVPN speed testing), and perhaps increase your latency (though the exact amount of lag can vary considerably depending on the location of your VPN server and the location of the game server).

The extra latency will be frustrating if you play games often, especially those that need quick reflexes, such as first-person shooters. Yet, if the symbolic internet winds are blowing in the correct direction and server placements are beneficial, you may not notice any difference at all for other games and more casual gamers.

Although a VPN could improve your security against the (admittedly remote) possibility of being attacked by DDoS assaults and enable you to access gaming material in places where it is otherwise inaccessible, it won't assist you much when actually playing games.

Does NordVPN slow down your internet connection?

When using a VPN, even NordVPN, there is always some delay as the data is encrypted and sent across the VPN tunnel. Even when there is a difference, it is often quite little. Our most recent set of performance testing revealed that, while using NordVPN, users saw a reduction in speed of between 6% and 8%, which is standard for VPN services. Most common internet activities will likely go unaffected by this.

Will NordVPN drain my laptop or phone battery?

Inasmuch as NordVPN is a program that is being executed by your hardware, it will inevitably use part of your system's resources, which in turn will have an effect on the battery life of your portable device. NordVPN shouldn't be any more taxing on your battery life than any other VPN program, despite some old anecdotal complaints to the contrary.

Does NordVPN work in China?

The company says its service will work in China. Using one of the NordVPN applications, you may connect to any server, and if you're in China, you may get even better results by using the Obfuscated Servers function.

Bottom Line on NordVPN Review

When it comes to virtual private networks, NordVPN has no competition. It's been subjected to an impartial audit, provides AES-256 encryption, and employs the cutting-edge NordLynx protocol. It works well for unblocking Netflix and other websites while traveling to places with censored Internet.

In terms of virtual private network features, you are getting a lot for your money. The superior clients will be made available for Windows and Android. However, there are a lot of bonuses for Apple consumers as well. Your gadget won't feel left out regardless of the operating system you're on.

I can give this VPN service my highest recommendation. Whatever your VPN needs may be, you can be certain that NordVPN will meet them.



Related Articles

Best VPN Services

About Brand Spotlight

Brand Spotlight offers useful, valuable information from select sponsors on these pages. This content is not endorsed by this station.