Strong security feature set • Fast! • Easy to use • Good for torrenting and Netflix

Technically didn’t fully pass a

If you’re looking for a fast, secure, and reasonably priced tool for surfing the web, NordVPN is for you.

If you’re someone who wants to keep their online privacy intact, you’ve probably heard of VPNs before. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that protects your privacy by running your device’s connection through the VPN vendor’s server instead of directly connecting it to the server relative to your search.

With so many VPNs currently in the market, you’d be hard pressed to find the “right” one. Most, if not all, promise to protect your privacy and keep you feeling secure while surfing the web. So, how do you find the best VPN for you? Not all VPNs are created equal and some will be more suited to your purposes than others.

However, there are some VPNs that just seem to be great overall. NordVPN is one of those.

NordVPN is currently one of the best VPNs of 2018. It provides top-of-the-line privacy features that ensure peace of mind while browsing the internet. Not only that, it also provides other services along with the impressive privacy feature set. All of this, plush lightning-quick download speeds and a reasonable price, makes NordVPN one of the top contenders for best VPN of 2018.

One of the most secure VPNs

A VPN’s first function is to secure your online privacy. If your VPN fails in this category, you’re better off not using it at all instead of wasting your hard-earned money for something that is basically useless.

The first thing you look at are the VPN’s security features. 

NordVPN uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256 bit-keys. This is the “military-grade” encryption used by the NSA to protect the national security of the United States of America. If you’re looking for the best encryption standard in wide use today, this is it. 

NordVPN couples its military-grade encryption with two recommended protocols:

  1. IKEv2/IPsec: Highly recommended by NordVPN, this protocol encrypts your data using high-level cryptographic algorithms and keys together with Next Generation Encryption (NGE). Simply put, not even the strongest computers can crack this protocol.

  2. OpenVPN: This protocol is older but still popular for its versatility. You can use it for both TCP and UDP ports. The TCP port is trusty for surfing the web while the UDP port is better for online gaming and live streaming.   

Another key feature NordVPN has is CyberSec. This feature automatically blocks sketchy websites to protect your computer from malware and other threats. It also blocks those annoying ads that keep popping up while you’re browsing.

After that, NordVPN adds another layer of protection via its Double VPN feature, which encrypts your data not once, but twice! That may seem like overkill, but if you’re in a country with strict internet regulations, you may think it’s well worth the effort. 

Even with all that, NordVPN gives you yet another layer of security by having a built-in kill switch. A kill switch is a feature that protects your internet traffic from prying eyes in the event of an interruption of your internet connection. This is a key feature in any VPN, and I was glad to find it in NordVPN.

Another thing to check when it comes to security is a VPN’s logging policy. If a VPN logs your information, that information becomes susceptible to the whims of whoever can get them — including third-party companies that may buy that information for their own purposes. Hence, there is a need to inspect the fine print of a VPN’s terms of service.

But, when I read through NordVPN’s logging policy, I was happy to find that it doesn’t keep any logging information.

With all that said, an important aspect that can curb a VPN’s security is whether or not it leaks your DNS (Domain Name Servers) information. 

Every time you search for something on the web, your browser sends a request to a DNS server (through your ISP) which then connects your request to the right destination. Needless to say, your ISP can monitor any URLs you searched through it. A VPN hides this information by sending your browser’s request through an anonymous DNS server. 

Many VPNs out there actually leak your DNS information, thereby defeating the purpose. This is why I was ecstatic to find that NordVPN didn’t leak my DNS information after extensive testing.  

DNS leak test 1:

DNS leak test 2:

DNS leak test 3:

DNS leak test 4:

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m putting this next part in even though it shouldn’t be a problem. When I ran the NordVPN installer through a test of malware, two of the many scans came up positive for viruses. Now, these are in all likelihood false positives, especially when you look at all the tests (65, to be exact) that gave the file a completely clean bill of health.

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I don’t see this as a problem at all, since these are almost certainly normal and harmless items that were misidentified as malicious, but if you want to be very strict, the file technically didn’t fully pass a test for malware. Again, this doesn’t mean the VPN contains malware, just that it didn’t score perfectly on the test.

The last factor to consider for a VPN’s security is the location of the company itself. This is important because a VPN may fall under any of the countries included in the five-eyes, nine-eyes, or 14-eyes jurisdiction. 

Being in any of these jurisdictions means that the government where your VPN is situated can compel your VPN to surrender any of the data it has collected, including your personal information.

This isn’t a problem with NordVPN, though. It’s located in Panama, which is outside any of the above-mentioned jurisdictions. This final aspect makes NordVPN truly one of the most secure VPNs today.

NordVPN is definitely one of the best VPNs when it comes to security.

Easy to use while being one of the fastest VPNs

So, how does this secure VPN rate on ease of use and performance?

First, it was really easy to install. It took just a few clicks to find the installer and start the VPN. 

The app itself has a nice-looking interface and connects you to the service with just a single click. It also provides you all the account and setting options you need with just one button:

Now, using a VPN will slow down your internet speed. This is due to several factors, including the physical distance of your browser to the VPN server or the amount of active users of that VPN at the time. That said, NordVPN is definitely one of the fastest VPNs out there. 

Here are the benchmarks during my tests:

US Server
Ping: 101ms
Download: 56 Mbps
Upload: 29 Mbps

EU Server
Ping: 37ms
Download: 74 Mbps
Upload: 48 Mbps

Asia Server
Ping: 211ms
Download: 12 Mbps
Upload: 5 Mbps

The great speed results are probably due to the large amount of servers that NordVPN has all around the world — which are currently at over 4,407 servers in 62 countries!

Another good thing about NordVPN’s performance is that you can connect up to six devices with a single user account. 

This is especially great when I found out that I could use NordVPN on virtually any device, including desktop computers, personal laptops, smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, routers, Android TV, or any device that has an operational system.

The last thing about performance I have to talk about is the fact that NordVPN lets you torrent and access Netflix.

Torrenting is slowly becoming a rare commodity among VPNs these days mainly due to the recent crackdowns on torrenting sites that several governments around the world have done. 

Add to that the fact that Netflix has been making its service inaccessible to some VPN users in many countries (even to paying users who just want to get what they paid for while traveling abroad) and you’ve got a large demand for both these services. 

Which is why it’s so great to know that NordVPN allows you to both torrent and access Netflix (exception: It won’t work if you use its Canadian server)

It’s a surprisingly cheap VPN

The final thing that really sold me on NordVPN was its pricing. 

The service has four pricing plans you can choose from:

  • $11.95 per month for a monthly plan.

  • $5.75 per month for a yearly plan.

  • $3.29 per month for a 2-year plan.

  • $2.75 per month for a 3-year plan.

If you want the best bang for your buck, you just can’t get any better than its three-year plan that lets you save 77% off the monthly plan.

Final thoughts

All in all, I think NordVPN is great, and I can recommend it to anyone looking for a good VPN. 

With its attention focused primarily on security, you can sleep better knowing that your online activities are protected from hackers, spammers, or spies with strong military-grade encryption.

But, as if being a secure VPN just wasn’t enough, NordVPN has kick-ass internet speeds plus the ability to torrent and access Netflix (so you can actually make full use of those speedy connections) and having an easy-to-use app to boot!

All the above features taken together surely warrant a high rank among most VPNs in my book. Hence, I can confidently say that pairing them with a $2.75 per month price tag for a three-year plan makes the most sense since you’ll be getting all of the above features for the least amount of cash. 

NordVPN is truly a heavyweight contender for the title of “best” VPN.

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