NordVPN Review – Privacy, Extreme Security and Low Cost


Summary

Our Verdict

NordVPN


With a massive number of servers and countries, great apps and keen pricing, NordVPN ticks all the boxes as a VPN that’s both accessible and trustworthy.

 
Overall 93%
Content
Usability
Value

The explosion in popularity of VPNs in recent years has seen quite a few new names appear offering VPN services and promising the world (literally!). But there’s a lot more to a good VPN than just a flashy web site, some visually appealing apps and the ability to connect via various countries.

NordVPN Facts

  • Free trial available: No
  • Price: from $2.99 USD per month
  • Countries supported: 60
  • Number of servers: 5800+
  • Supports: PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Android TV

NordVPN Review for Australia

Starting back in 2012, NordVPN is a seasoned veteran in the fast moving world of VPNs, earning themselves a stellar reputation in that time. So much so, they’re regularly at or near the top of “best VPN” lists for some excellent reasons.

What Makes NordVPN Unique?

The first and foremost priority for NordVPN is security and trust, and they manage to deliver on both. Located in the Central American country of Panama – a country that has no data retention laws (unlike Australia) and is not a part of the security and spying alliances run by the world’s superpowers. The company states that they do not keep logs of user activity or user data, something that’s been independently verified as accurate. If privacy is your main concern, then NordVPN is, right out of the gate, one to put at the top of your list.

But what about usability? It’s one thing to have a secure VPN service available but leaving the end-user to wade through arcane setup instructions. We’ve used more than one low-cost VPN that requires the user to download separate configuration files for each server in each country they want to connect to. Forcing the user to then manually reconfigure the VPN software every time they want to connect to a different location (a usability nightmare).

Thankfully, there’s no such issue with NordVPN – a broad range of platforms is supported by apps that make the process of setting up and connecting simple, quick and easy. Whether you’re using a Windows or Mac computer, an iOS or Android phone or tablet, or even an Android TV device or a computer running Linux, NordVPN makes setup easy to understand. If you want to connect to a server in California, you just browse to California on the map and pick a server from its actual physical location.

What Else Does NordVPN Offer?

If you want to get into the power-user territory, you can set NordVPN up on your home router directly. This means that literally, everything you do online will go through the VPN no matter which device you’re using. A fantastic choice for game consoles and non-Android smart TVs – but it does come with a “gotcha”. The router has to support OpenVPN, which narrows down the choice a bit. Nord recommends using an Asus brand router for this – and it’s a solid recommendation.

Having high-quality mobile apps is crucial, too – because it lets you bring your VPN with you when you’re out and about. The genuine risks of connecting to public “free” wi-fi can be eliminated by connecting via NordVPN on your mobile device.

Can NordVPN Get Around Geoblocking?

A unique feature included with your NordVPN service is what they call SmartPlay. If you spend any time at all streaming video from countries outside Australia, you’ll love it. Basically, it’s similar to a “smart DNS” service but running securely over your VPN connection. Enabled by default, SmartPlay unblocks access to, according to Nord, over 150 services around the world. From the global Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to BBC iPlayer and more, it’s a continually maintained, no-hassle solution for getting around geoblocking. Nord’s server connections are usually extremely fast – well above the average for a VPN, and plenty fast enough for seamless, high quality video streaming. On top of that, you can also have 6 simultaneous connections with 100% privacy, leaving behind no logs of user activity.

Nord VPN Offers the Best of Internet Without Borders

Access your favourite streaming sites and get the best content without any Australian restrictions with Nord VPN. Get secure browsing for as low as $2.99/mth USD on a 3-year plan or $11.95/mth USD on a monthly basis.

How Many Countries and Servers are Supported?

The crucial thing about any VPN in terms of flexibility is the number of countries that are supported and the number of servers available in total. The more servers there are, the easier it is to find one that’s not congested or one that’s closer to the physical destination you want to connect with.

Exact numbers aren’t reported by Nord – and we haven’t laboriously counted – but they state they have over 5800 servers across the globe, in 60 different countries, which includes China. That’s plenty of flexibility right there, giving you complete control over where you connect to any time you want.

And remember, if all you’re after in a session is security and privacy, you can connect through a server right near you – so having a wide range of locations and a large server pool makes staying secure that much easier.

How Much Does NordVPN Cost?

Probably the best thing about NordVPN is the pricing – it can be incredibly cheap if you opt to go with one of the longer-term plans. Of course, there’s a one-month plan available if you just want to give them a road test or use them for a short period. Plus a money-back guarantee is on offer if you’re not happy with the service. Furthermore, the monthly price drops drastically if you choose a 1-year, 2-year or 3-year plan. Prices are (in US Dollars):

Plan Cost
Monthly $11.99/month
1-Year $6.99/month ($83.88 upfront)
2-Year $3.99/month ($95.75 upfront)
3-Year $2.99/month ($107.55 upfront)

As you can see, the 3-year plan is only a touch more expensive than the annual one – so if you can afford the one-off cost, that one’s easily the option to go for. You can use NordVPN on up to six devices at the same time on the one account, making it superb value. For more inquiries, you can directly call their 24/7 live chat on their website.

The Pros and Cons

The Good

  • Excellent, easy to use apps
  • Huge number of servers and countries
  • Geo-unblocking included
  • Secure and private – no logs kept
  • Fast speeds with 5100+ servers in 62 locations
  • Built-in ad and malware blocking

The Gotchas

  • Best price requires paying for three years upfront
  • Finding the fastest servers can be hit and miss
  • On-router support for OpenVPN only

Summary: Superb Security, Excellent Features

By combining military-grade security with easy-to-use software and features, NordVPN is not just another VPN but one that you can use for pretty much everything that’s connected to the internet in your life. NordVPN is the perfect choice for both experienced users and complete VPN novices. And you opt for the longest subscription, and it also happens to be a genuine bargain. Highly recommended.