NordVPN Review, Coupon Code & Free Trial

The VPN industry is one that’s growing by the day. More services are appearing to provide security and privacy to internet users. Among them is NordVPN, which has become a household name thanks to its broad advertising campaigns.

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In this NordVPN review, we’ll talk about everything the VPN offers. However, if you’re in a rush and want to give it a shot already, we have coupon codes below. On top of that, we’ve listed instructions on how to try the VPN without risks.

For those who don’t know, NordVPN is a VPN service provider that was established in 2012 by four childhood friends. It’s extremely popular among casual users and enthusiasts alike. Many have heralded it as the best that’s currently available on the market.

Check out the table below to know what we think are the main selling points and downsides of NordVPN:

Pros Cons
Fast connection speeds Experienced a security breach in 2018
Zero leaks identified More expensive than most competitors
A massive server network
Takes cryptocurrencies as payment
Bypasses the geoblocks of most websites
Superb privacy and security features

Features

Let’s now move forward and get a complete overview of what NordVPN has to offer:

  logo nordvpn
NordVPN
Logging Policy  No Logging
Jurisdiction  Panama
Encryption AES-256
SHA-256 Hash Authentication
4096-bit RSA Key Exchange
RSA-2048
Protocols  OpenVPN UDP
OpenVPN TCP
IPSec/IKEv2
IPSec/L2TP
WireGuard
Ad and malware blockers Yes
Kill switch Yes
Leak Tests No Leaks Found
Speed Tests Fast
Torrenting & P2P Yes (Optimized P2P Servers)
Streaming Netflix
Amazon Prime
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Firestick
Roku (Via Router)
Kodi
Apple TV (Via Router)
Android TV
Gaming Windows
Android
iOS
Xbox One (Via DNS or Router)
PS4 (Via DNS or Router)
Nintendo Switch (Via DNS or Router)
Compatibility Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Chromebook
Chrome
Firefox
Tor
Selected Routers
Simultaneous Connections 6
Servers 5161
China Yes
Split Tunneling Yes (For Android and Browser Extensions)
Additional Features Double VPN
Onion over VPN
Prices

$11.95/Month
$4.92/Month (1-Year)
$3.71/Month (2-Years)

Special Offer: 68% off for a 2-year plan; 58% off for a 1-year plan

Our Rating 4.7
Website www.nordvpn.com

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Privacy & Security

Privacy and security are the most important things a VPN must provide. Because of that, it’ll be the first thing we shall discuss.

Before going into the specifics, we must discuss the security breach that affected NordVPN way back in 2018. One third-party server in Finland got hacked. An expired private key got exposed, making it possible for the attacker to create his own fake server.

Fortunately, no private user information got stolen. Nevertheless, the damage was done, and the service’s reputation was tarnished. Since then, it has been striving to regain the public’s trust by establishing a bug bounty program, among other things.

Where is NordVPN Based & Who Owns It?

NordVPN is based in the small nation of Panama, located in Central America. There, it remains distant from the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes Alliance. As such, no restrictive copyright and privacy laws hinder any of its affairs.

The owner of the VPN is Tenoset, a company that operates web data extraction products under the OxyLabs brand. OxyLabs is huge, with it controlling a residential proxy network boasting 10 million residential IP addresses from more than 180 countries and territories.

Encryption & Protocols Used

You’ll be happy to know that NordVPN adheres to the most robust encryption standards. It uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption. Partnering that is SHA-256 hash authentication along with a 4096-bit RSA key exchange.

When it comes to protocols, the service supports OpenVPN (UCP & TDP) and IPSec (LT2P & IKEv2). Furthermore, it also has recently begun supporting WireGuard. This is great since the protocol is the newest and best you can utilize.

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NordVPN Leak Test

Leaks occur when a VPN fails to mask your IP address. When that happens, you’re put at risk as anyone shall be able to track your online activities and pinpoint them to you. Thus, your service must be 100% leak-proof. 

NordVPN claims to have zero leaks. To determine if that is true, I conducted some tests using IPLeak.net. Before seeing if the VPN is capable, I first ran a test without any VPN running to know if the testing software is working.

ip leak test - no vpn
IP Leak Test – No VPN

My real IP address was exposed, proving that IPLeak.net was functional.

The next step was to connect to NordVPN’s server in Hong Kong, which is the closest major server to my present location.

IP Leak Test - Hong Kong
IP Leak Test – Hong Kong

As I expected, my IP address was hidden by the service without difficulty. Despite that, I wasn’t fully convinced, so I transferred to another server. This time, I chose one located in the United States as it’s very geographically distant. 

IP Leak Test - US
IP Leak Test – US

My second test was successful once again. Consequently, I can firmly state that NordVPN does provide complete leak protection. With it, my identity will remain hidden whenever I browse the internet.

Does NordVPN Keep Logs?

Nope. On its website, NordVPN says that it doesn’t track, collect, or store your private data. To prove this, the service had itself subjected to multiple audits by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC Switzerland). Each time, it passed with flying colors, showing that it’s trustworthy. 

It’s important to note that the VPN does not run its servers in RAM-disk mode. Hence, it can store logs if it wanted to. Luckily, a plan to ditch hard drives for RAM across its entire network has already been announced.

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Does NordVPN Have A Kill Switch?

Yes. NordVPN has a kill switch on its Windows, Android, iOS, and macOS apps.

A kill switch is necessary because it automatically blocks your device from accessing the internet when the VPN connection drops suddenly. With it comes the insurance that your data remains safe and encrypted. You will find this feature useful if you have a bad ISP or live in an area that experiences frequent power outages.

Does NordVPN Have an Ad and Malware Blocker?

Of course! NordVPN’s ad and malware blocker is called CyberSec. Its full version is available on iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux. To enable it, simply head over to the settings of the service’s applications on the aforementioned platforms.

NordVPN CyberSec Ad Blocker
NordVPN CyberSec Ad Blocker

The blocker is another feature that takes your online security and privacy to the next level.

NordVPN CyberSec Malware Blocker
NordVPN CyberSec Malware Blocker

It keeps you away from websites that host phishing scams and malware. Additionally, it also blocks out annoying pop-up advertisements and prevents your device from participating in DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks.

Is NordVPN Safe?

Yes. NordVPN is safe to use despite the hacking incident that affected it in 2018.

The service has been making an effort to regain its users’ trust. It implemented a bug bounty program and has declared plans to shift to a RAM-disk server network. Moreover, it already supports WireGuard while most competitors don’t yet.

Also, note that NordVPN has excellent encryption and a decent adblocker. Besides that, its no logs policy has independently been audited. Finally, there’s a kill switch on most platforms.

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Speed Test

Reddit posts have been unanimous in saying that NordVPN is the fastest VPN service provider that you can get. To see if this was true, I ran a few tests while connected to different servers. 

Below are the results. Let’s start by looking at my base connection: 

Speed Test - No VPN
Speed Test – No VPN

Here’s how NordVPN’s server in Singapore altered my connection: 

Speed Test - Singapore
Speed Test – Singapore

Now, this is how things changed after my move to the VPN’s US server:

Speed Test - US
Speed Test – US

The results of my tests were surprising. Although both NordVPN servers did well, the one in the US did better than the one in Singapore, which is closer. While downloading wasn’t as quick, upload speeds were superior. To add to that, the ping took a lesser hit. 

How Fast is NordVPN?

I agree with what everyone is saying. NordVPN has great speed capabilities and is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a fast VPN service. 

It outperforms other speedy competitors like Surfshark and ExpressVPN. The server you use doesn’t matter as you’ll not be limited. After all, the service has unlimited bandwidth, which means that it doesn’t put a cap on how much data you use.

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Torrenting & P2P

NordVPN actively encourages torrenting on all its servers. It is compatible with popular torrent clients like Vuze, BitTorrent, uTorrent, and qBittorrent. Unfortunately, the VPN’s entire network isn’t P2P-enabled. As a workaround, a P2P button that automatically pairs you with an optimized server can be found on its apps.

I had to know if NordVPN could keep me safe when I torrent, so I ran tests using IPLeak.net once again. Below are my results with no VPN activated: 

Torrenting Leak Test - No VPN
Torrenting Leak Test – No VPN

These are the results after I linked up to the service’s server in Hong Kong:

Torrenting Leak Test - Hong Kong
Torrenting Leak Test – Hong Kong

Last but not least are the results following my connection to NordVPN’s US server:

Torrenting Leak Test - US
Torrenting Leak Test – US

My tests yielded satisfying results as my real IP address wasn’t detected by the testing software while using either server. As such, the VPN has proven that it’s a suitable service for all my torrenting needs.

Is NordVPN Good for Torrenting?

Yes. I think NordVPN is good for torrenting. Although not all its servers are P2P enabled, it’s still beyond competent in getting the job done. Using it, you’ll remain anonymous thanks to the many security features that it boasts.

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Streaming

Lots of people download VPNs just to access the foreign libraries of streaming services. For that reason, this category is a crucial one in our NordVPN review.

Some have gone as far as to declare that NordVPN is a media-oriented service. It’s said to consistently bypass the geoblocks of most sites. In addition, the VPN can stream in full resolution without buffering thanks to its quickness. 

Does NordVPN Work with Netflix?

NordVPN prides itself in being able to unlock 7 Netflix libraries. To see what it can do, I watched Deadpool using its server in the UK. Below are the results: 

Netflix UK Test
Netflix UK Test

My next course of action was to stream Spotlight while connected to a US server: 

Netflix US Test
Netflix US Test

NordVPN’s UK server disappointed me. It couldn’t access that title that I wanted to view. With that being said, the VPN did somewhat redeem itself. After all, its US server did stream my movie of choice without issues.

I have to say that NordVPN can indeed work with Netflix. However, the VPN doesn’t have the 100% success rate that many say it does.

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Does NordVPN Work with Amazon Prime?

Amazon Prime is my second favorite streaming service next to Netflix. Because of that, it’s a must that NordVPN works with it flawlessly. To check if it does, I streamed The Avengers while paired to its US server:

Amazon Prime Test
Amazon Prime Test

The VPN did wonderfully during my test. The movie loaded quickly, and the quality was immaculate. Hence, I have concluded that NordVPN does work for streaming with Amazon Prime.

Does NordVPN Work on Firestick?

I had to see how NordVPN would fare on my Firestick. Hence, I tested it out by connecting to a US server and watching a YouTube video that’s not available in my country. Here’s the result:

Firestick Test
Firestick Test

The video loaded in high quality without any problems. Due to that, I can confirm that NordVPN does work with Firestick. In fact, it’s an excellent service to use on the device.

Is NordVPN Good for Streaming?

Yes. NordVPN is a good VPN for streaming. From my tests, I can confirm that the service is fast and great at unblocking the geoblocks of streaming websites and devices. If you prioritize media consumption, you won’t go wrong when you select NordVPN.

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Gaming

For some time, professionals have been declaring that NordVPN is the best VPN for gamers like myself. The VPN is said to provide a topnotch experience that gives its users a competitive edge. Each of its servers safeguards your data without trading-off connection speeds. 

It doesn’t matter what platform your use. NordVPN works alongside mobile devices, personal computers, and consoles. While it lacks native apps for PS4, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch, you may utilize the VPN on them via DNS or router.

The only way to tell if NordVPN was suitable for gaming was to test it. To do so, I played a few matches on Call of Duty Mobile

At first, there were issues with lagging that frustrated me. Fortunately, things evened out after some time, and I was able to play smoothly. In fact, the VPN did so well that I forgot that I was using it. My mind only realized that it was still connected long after my play session. 

Gaming Test
Gaming Test

Since my experience while gaming with NordVPN was great, I’d have to recommend it to any gamer that’s looking for a VPN. It surely won’t disappoint and will meet your needs.

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Compatibility

Your VPN has to be suitable with all your gadgets; otherwise, you won’t get to use it. The makers of NordVPN understand this, which is why they’ve made it compatible with as many operating systems and browsers as possible. They have also made it work on smart TVs and many routers.

Operating Systems

It’s possible to use NordVPN on all major operating systems. The VPN has apps that can be installed on Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Chromebook OS, and Linux. Each of which is user-friendly and light on memory.

Browsers

There are browser extensions available for Google Chrome and Firefox. However, you should note that they don’t offer as much security as NordVPN’s apps. Still, they’re an excellent option for those that simply wish to stay protected while surfing the web.

Besides what’s stated, NordVPN can also be used over the Tor Browser. It even has a feature called Onion Over VPN. You can use it to further increase your security when accessing the said browser.

Routers

Setting up a VPN on a router is usually a technical process not everyone can do. Thankfully, NordVPN has simplified things. It partnered with FlashRouters to provide everyone with pre-configured routers for an easy out-of-the-box experience.

With that being said, you can manually install NordVPN on routers that support OpenVPN as a “Client” as opposed to a “Server”. The steps on how to get the job done can be seen in the support section of the VPN’s website. Guides for setting up are available for the following: 

  • ASUS WRT
  • ASUS Merlin
  • DD-WRT
  • GI.iNET
  • Mikrotik
  • NetDUMA
  • OPNsense
  • OpenWRT
  • Padavan
  • Portal
  • Sabai
  • Tomato
  • pfSense

Once you’ve installed NordVPN on your router, I suggest that you create a strong password. I know that it’s not easy to remember such a thing. Thankfully, NordVPN’s developers have created a password manager under the same Nord brand. It’s free and easy to use, which makes it suitable for everyone.

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Simultaneous Connections

The wide compatibility of NordVPN would be useless if it didn’t permit for many simultaneous connections. Furthermore, it wouldn’t give you great value for your money. Lastly, the VPN would not be the best choice if you’ve got a large family that needs protection.

In this regard, NordVPN allows for up to six simultaneous connections. While that seems a good deal, you should know that other services allow for more. Examples of which include Surfshark and IPVanish. Both let you connect an unlimited number of gadgets at the same time under just one account.

Servers

NordVPN is massive. It has a network of over 5000 servers in 62 countries and territories across the world. You can even find servers in regions where VPNs are illegal, and the web is highly restricted, like the UAE and Turkey.

NordVPN Servers
NordVPN Servers

As stated earlier, NordVPN has yet to start using RAM storage. However, its servers have a nice set of security features. 

For starters, they all utilize shared IP addresses that help you blend in wherever place you are connected to. Besides that, there are obfuscated servers that ensure your traffic, activity, and location remains hidden. 

Aside from security, NordVPN also has P2P enabled servers that are dedicated to torrenting. To connect to them, just click on the “P2P” button on the VPN’s app, and you’ll instantly get paired with the best nearest server.

China

Does NordVPN Work in China?

Yes. NordVPN is one of the few services that can dependably bypass the Great Firewall of China. Thanks to its use of obfuscated servers, it makes it hard for Chinese authorities to know that you’re using a VPN.

I should note that NordVPN doesn’t have a 100% success rate in the country. The VPN does sometimes fail. Still, if ever you’re not able to get around the censorship measures, all that’s needed is to move to another server.

You’re probably wondering how to use NordVPN in China. The answer is easy. Just download it before going there and continue using NordVPN as you normally would. 

Is that legal? Yes. There are no laws there that make it illegal to use a VPN. In fact, the government has a list of approved VPN services that citizens can use for certain purposes.

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Interface & Usability

NordVPN’s native applications are great for anyone like me that’s fond of geography. Aside from a list, you may pick servers using an interactive map. Besides that, there’s the option to simply type in the location of the server that you wish to use on a search bar.

NordVPN Interface
NordVPN Interface

To access the VPN’s settings, click on the gear icon on the upper right corner. Everything from the kill switch to the automatic launching of the app can be tinkered with. You can even make your own custom DNS address.

I must say that NordVPN’s apps are wonderful. They’ve got simple interfaces that even the most novice of users may get comfortable with. In addition, their aesthetics are pleasing to the eyes, making them so much more inviting to use.

Does NordVPN Have Split Tunneling?

Yes. NordVPN has split tunneling. Sadly, it is only available on the VPN’s Android app and its browser extensions.

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Additional Features

NordVPN has few additional features when compared to other VPNs. What’s great, though, is that all these features are free. You won’t have to pay an additional fee on top of a subscription to use them.

As mentioned earlier, NordVPN has something called Onion Over VPN. It’s an awesome tool that’s geared towards Tor users. With it, you’ll benefit from all of the VPN’s security features while using the browser. If anything, it’s most useful for those trying to access the restricted parts of the internet.

One other extra feature present is Double VPN. Using it, you can route your web traffic through two servers and make it harder for you to be detected. You’ll find this feature handy when you’re trying to access the mainstream internet in places where censorship is rampant.

Customer Support

Good customer service is something that all reputable VPN providers must have. Without it, they’ll quickly gain a bad reputation. Fortunately, my experience with NordVPN has been nothing but good. Only a few competitors could match it.

I contacted live chat support, asking if NordVPN already had support for IPv6. To my surprise, a representative immediately attended to me. 

She was cordial and detailed in answering my question. It was evident that she was trained as she knew what she was talking about. And if you’re wondering, no, NordVPN doesn’t support IPv6 and won’t until next year.

To get a full overview of what NordVPN offers regarding customer support, look at the table below:

  NordVPN
Live Chat Yes
Email Support Yes
Phone Support No
Ticket Support Yes
Video Tutorials  Yes
Online Knowledge Base Yes
Average Response Time 3 Hours

Unfortunately, there’s no phone support available. Still, you can contact NordVPN in more than enough ways. If you’re not feeling sociable, the VPN is one of the few that’s got a large online knowledge base. To add to that, it also has step-by-step video guides available.

I’d have to say that NordVPN aces this part of our review. Its customer support is easy to contact and reliable. You’re guaranteed not to run into any issues if you have a question about the VPN.

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Price

A lot of VPNs are known for being affordable, but NordVPN isn’t one of them. The VPN has average prices when compared to others in the industry. To know how much each of its plans cost, refer to the table below:

  NordVPN
Subscription Lengths 1 Month ($11.95/Month)
  1 Year ($4.92/Month)
  2 Years ($3.71/Month)
   
Highest Price Per Month $11.95
Lowest Price Per Month $3.71
One Year Price $59.00
Special Offer 68% off for a 2-year plan;
58% off for a 1-year plan

As seen above, NordVPN has many plans available. The longer the subscription length, the less you’ll be paying. For that reason, I think it’s best if you make the investment and get the 3-year plan. You’ll most definitely be getting a wonderful bargain that you’re not going to regret.

Payment Options

Payment is easy because NordVPN has a plethora of payment options. Some of which allow you to remain anonymous. Here’s a full list of every way that you can pay NordVPN for a subscription: 

  1. Cash (via selected retail stores)
  2. Credit Card (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover, JCB)
  3. Debit Card
  4. Prepaid Cards
  5. PayPal
  6. AmazonPay
  7. Sofort
  8. iTunes
  9. Google Pay
  10. Grab Pay
  11. Union Pay
  12. BitCoin
  13. Etherium
  14. Ripple

NordVPN has made almost every payment option available. It even allows for cryptocurrencies, which gives you maximum anonymity. Hence, it is clear that the VPN has thought of everything to make it more convenient on your end. 

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Refund Policy & Money-Back Guarantee

The refund policy of NordVPN is explicitly stated on its website. You may avail of a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the VPN. However, that doesn’t apply to anyone that’s made a purchase using Apple’s App Store.

Deals, Coupon Code & Free Trial

NordVPN has a 7-day free trial that's only occasionally available on Android devices. Be that as it may, there’s still a way to try it without any risks. There's a 30-day NordVPN trial workaround. Just subscribe as you normally would then avail of its money-back guarantee. You’ll get a full refund as long as your account is in good standing.

We know that you’re hunting for a good deal. To help out, we’ve listed down all the coupons that are currently valid to use on the VPN. Just pick one below for a major discount:

Link Coupon Code
$3.71/mo for 2 years
$89.00 billed for the 1st 2 years
Discount Link (opens in a new tab)
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$3.56/mo for 2 years + 1 month FREE
$89.00 for the 1st 2 years
Discount Link (opens in a new tab)
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$3.71/mo for 2 years
$89.00 for the 1st 2 years
Discount Link (opens in a new tab)
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$4.92/mo for 1 year
$59.00 for the 1st year
Discount Link (opens in a new tab)
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Hopefully, you’ll find a use for one of these coupons that’ll help give you a better deal than what NordVPN already offers.

Verdict

Is NordVPN worth it?

Yes. NordVPN is definitely worth getting as it checks all the right boxes. The VPN has excellent privacy and security features that’ll only increase with time. After all, the plans to transition to RAM-disk and a fully enabled P2P network has been announced. Besides that, there’s also going to be support for IPv6 by next year.

In addition, NordVPN is really fast, making it ideal for gaming, streaming, and torrenting. While it can’t access some Netflix libraries, it’s still excellent for media consumption. You’ll be able to watch in full HD without buffering. 

Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that NordVPN has user-friendly apps. Even if you aren’t tech-savvy, picking out servers and adjusting the settings will be a breeze.

{If you're interested, you may check out our other posts comparing NordVPN versus other popular VPNs like Surfshark, ExpressVPN, PureVPN, VPN Unlimited, VyprVPN, PIA (Private Internet Access), CyberGhost, IPVanish, and Avast VPN.}

Finally, NordVPN works in China. It’s one of only a handful of VPNs that can do the task with dependable consistency. With it, accessing the global internet won’t be a problem when you’re ever in the heavily restricted country.

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About the author 

Kris Soliongco

Kris has two passions in life: writing and tech. He’s been building computers since he was eight years old and is very knowledgeable about online security. The first time he was exposed to VPNs was in 2016. Since then, he’s used a plethora of services and has gained much experience.

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