To better understand NordVPN, its offerings, services, etc., one needs to first know what exactly a VPN is. A virtual private network (VPN) gives you complete online privacy and anonymity by creating a private network from a public internet connection. VPNs mask your internet protocol (IP) address so that your online actions are virtually untraceable. They are primarily used to access region-restricted content. If you live in a country with restrictions on what can be viewed on the internet, a VPN can help you bypass them.
As an example, let’s say that you currently live in the UK and would like to watch a TV show only available in the US. You see a message reading, “This video is not available in your country.” You think that this is the end and give up on the TV show you craved to watch. This is where the use of a VPN service, such as NordVPN, comes into play. You could use your VPN to access a server based in the US and connect to it, allowing you to view that TV show. It does this by hiding your actual IP address from the UK, showing the VPN server’s IP, which is from the US. This is known as bypassing geographical restrictions, which is just one of the many benefits of a VPN.
What does NordVPN offer?
NordVPN offers one of the fastest connection speeds of any VPN service out there. NordVPN does not track, collect, or share your private data, including any of the websites you might choose to visit. It uses a highly advanced AES-256 encryption that will block tracking cookies and make it extremely difficult for websites to track your location.
A NordVPN subscription allows connectivity access to 5400+ servers in over 50 countries. They do not place any bandwidth limitations or censor any content. NordVPN also provides CyberSec, which blocks malware-hosting websites as well as ads and botnet controls. A browser extension is also provided in your subscription for ease of use if you do not want to install the complete desktop client.
How Much Does NordVPN Cost?
Monthly prices vary from $8 to $13 per month, while yearly plans often go for $6-7 per month. Currently, NordVPN’s 1-year plan costs $4.92 per month, while the 2-year plan is only $3.71 per month. All subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee; if you are not satisfied with their service, a refund will be made.
Payment is possible via credit card, debit card, PayPal, various cryptocurrency methods, and other online payment services. NordVPN often provides discounts to allow more digital citizens a chance at taking back their internet privacy, so you may see a lower price than described above when going to check out.
What VPN Protocols are offered?
NordVPN uses NordLynx (an implementation of WireGuard) by default in its iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS app. OpenVPN is also available on all those platforms as a backup. IKEv2 is available for iOS and macOS apps only.
OpenVPN and IKEv2 have long been the gold standards for VPNs, but WireGuard is increasingly popular. It’s easy to see why: like OpenVPN, WireGuard is open source, but it uses newer encryption techniques and yields better speeds.
Why do you need a VPN?
Surfing the web or transacting on an unsecured Wi-Fi network means you could be exposing your private information and browsing habits. That’s why a VPN should be a must for anyone concerned about their online security and privacy.
Think about all the times you’ve been on the go, reading emails while in line at the coffee shop, or checking your bank account while waiting at the doctor’s office. Unless you were logged into a private Wi-Fi network that requires a password, any data transmitted during your online session could be vulnerable to eavesdropping by strangers using the same network.
The encryption and anonymity that a VPN provides help protect your online activities: sending emails, shopping online, or paying bills. VPNs also help keep your web browsing anonymous.
Our use cases for NordVPN were to mainly prevent others from “grabbing” our IP addresses (via tools like Grabify) and as an added measure to protect our online privacy. It would be best if you tried to keep the VPN client running all the time to guarantee that no one can “grab” your IP address or your sensitive personal information/data.
We also use NordVPN when we want to pretend to be a new user on our website. We do this for testing purposes, and it honestly helps a lot. Without a VPN, we wouldn’t be able to do this as quickly and effectively. We also loved the six simultaneous connections feature, which means you only need one account, and you get to use it on up to 6 devices. This is perfect if you want to purchase one account and use it for your entire family!
Speed and Performance
Aside from the generally known fact that VPNs reduce internet speed, NordVPN provides optimal speed for fast download and web browsing. To help you visualize the impact of a VPN, we conducted several speed tests via the popular Speedtest by Ookla tool.
NordVPN also has no buffering, no throttling, and no bandwidth limits, which is impressive! NordVPN also lets you bypass ISP (Internet Service Provider) throttling!
Here is a short video that compares the internet speeds with and without VPN for Mobile Devices:
If you do not have time for the video, here is an image that compares the internet speeds:
If you didn’t already know, all VPNs reduce internet speeds as your data first has to go through a server. NordVPN usually took around 2-4 Mbps for download speeds and approximately 1-2 Mbps for upload speeds in my tests.
You should consider using NordVPN even if you don’t think you need it! It is essential to invest in a VPN service if you use public Wi-Fi frequently, such as in coffee shops! You should also get NordVPN if you want to watch movies/TV shows that are only available in other countries. If you live in a country with restrictions on what can be viewed on the internet, you can use a VPN service such as NordVPN to bypass those restrictions.