A VPN can be a useful tool for internet users interested in online privacy or in masking the country in which they live. VPN services encrypt your private data and can hide your physical location while you browse the web.
As a result, other people on your network can't view or steal your information. VPNs are also popular with those who wish to access services, such as streaming content providers, that may block access to certain content, depending on the country in which your IP address suggests you live.
However, the FTC warns that not every VPN service is trustworthy or effective. That's why you should always check a VPN service's reviews — from both experts like Money and users on sites such as TrustPilot — and what permissions you'll need to grant it before downloading.
With 14 million users worldwide, NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services around. See if it's the right fit for you by reading this NordVPN review.
A VPN service with fast speeds
VPNs all tend to slow down your internet connection to some degree, since they add extra steps for your data to clear in order to fulfill their promise of increased security and privacy. NordVPN describes itself as the best VPN service on the market for fast speeds. That boast is borne out by multiple independent tests.
NordVPN pros and cons
- Faster internet connection than most services
- Has a double VPN feature
- NordVPN free trial is for Android users only
Fast internet connection
As when a VPN is not in use, the faster a device receives data when connected to VPN service, the faster websites and videos load when browsing the internet, resulting in a better user experience. In evaluations by AV-TEST, a reputed third-party tester, NordVPN was nearly twice as fast as the next-fastest VPN provider evaluated, PrivateVPN.
Has a double encryption feature
NordVPN is among the select VPN services that offers the option for double encryption, which is accomplished by routing your traffic through two VPN servers instead of one. Dubbed Double VPN by NordVPN, this feature slows internet speeds when it’s activated and isn’t needed by all users. But this might be a valuable feature if you work in journalism or political activism or if you happen to be in a country that heavily censors internet activity.
The NordVPN free trial is for Android users only
The only way to try NordVPN without paying anything upfront is to download the Android version from the Google Play store. After 7 days, Google will prompt you to choose a plan, or the app will expire. Otherwise, subscribers for any platforms who pay for NordVPN can receive your money back if they cancel within 30 days.
Below are details on the different plans offered by NordVPN.
NordVPN's Standard plan comes with the following features:
- Secure, high-speed VPN
- Malware protection
- Tracker and ad blocker
The Plus plan comes with all the features available on the Standard plan, plus:
- Cross-platform password manager
- Data breach scanner
The Complete plan offers all the features of Standard and Plus, as well as:
- 1 TB cloud storage
- Next-generation file encryption
Ultimate VPN plan
With the Ultimate plan, you get everything available on Standard, Plus and Complete, plus:
- A personal data removal tool
NordVPN claims its Complete plan is its most popular offering.
Below are NordVPN's prices as of July 2023 for month-by-month service and one- and two-year plans. For the year-plus plans, we have listed the discounted price, which tends to be fairly stable, along with the list price, which is seldom used —a widespread pricing practice for VPN services. All plans auto-renew. The 1- and 2-year plans can be refunded only within 30 days of purchasing the plan.
|Month-to-month||1-year subscription (list price)||2-year subscription|
|Standard||$12.99||$59.88 ($99.40)||$83.76 ($198.76)|
|$71.88 ($126.96)||$107.76 ($253.92)|
|Complete||$14.99||$83.88 ($198.84)||$131.76 ($397.68)|
|Ultimate||$16.49||$8.49 ($276.72)||$167.76 ($553.44)|
NordVPN financial stability
Nord Security, the owner of NordVPN, doesn't disclose its financials on its website, but the company announced its valuation of $1.6 billion via a press release in April 2022. According to this 2022 press release, Nord Security raised $100 million in a recent round of funding. While these numbers are no guarantee of NordVPN continuing to stay in business for as long as your plan runs, it suggests the company has managed to attract investors in the past. NordVPN was launched in 2012.
NordVPN is available in all 50 U.S. states and across the globe, even in countries that impose internet censorship. However, users in those countries must configure their operating systems in order to access services. This might involve connecting to obfuscated servers to hide VPN service usage. As of July 2023, NordVPN says it is experiencing connectivity issues in China because the government blocked its server configurations for applications and manual connections.
You can contact NordVPN through live chat or email a support representative at firstname.lastname@example.org. The company promises to respond to emails within 48 hours and some reviewers report instant responses to their chat requests.
Like many VPN providers, NordVPN has a help center and FAQ section on its website. Both provide detailed information about how to use services such as torrenting and malware protection. You can also learn how to use the NordVPN Chrome extension and connect the service to different devices such as an Amazon Firestick.
NordVPN provides detailed instructions on how to set up and use its services on its FAQs page under "NordVPN setup tutorials." Generally, customers appear to commend NordVPN for being intuitive and easy to use.
NordVPN customer satisfaction
Online feedback from verified customers is overwhelmingly positive for NordVPN. Many customers praise NordVPN for facing minimal issues and the company's reasonable pricing. For the most part, customers either have little trouble using the app or are able to get help from support if they are confused about anything. Many positive reviewers report that they feel safer online when they use NordVPN.
However, while some reviews praise NordVPN's customer service, other reviews cite it as one of the company's biggest shortcomings, which suggests that users' customer service experiences depend on the representative who's contacted them and the depth of their issue. Some dissatisfied reviewers report issues with the app not working or working poorly after updates. A few customers have claimed that NordVPN suddenly disabled or closed their accounts. without explanation.
What is NordVPN?
Is NordVPN free?
How many devices can I connect to NordVPN?
Secures up to six devices
One NordVPN subscription protects up to six devices. For example, if you own a laptop, smartphone and tablet, you can use NordVPN on all three devices and still have room for three more.
Protects unlimited devices when you connect NordVPN to your router
If you connect NordVPN to a router, you can protect any device that's connected to your network. For instance, if you run a small business and all your employees use the same internet connection, one NordVPN subscription can protect every one of your employees' internet activities. Not only that, because your router only counts as one device, you would still have five other devices to protect within your office space.
Connecting NordVPN to your router requires you to log into your router, configure it and test it, which can take some time. However, this process might be worth the effort if you want to increase the number of devices you can use with NordVPN.
Is NordVPN safe?
How much is NordVPN?
Is NordVPN good?
How do you cancel NordVPN?
How do you use NordVPN?
How we evaluated NordVPN
Money considered these factors for this NordVPN review:
- Plan features
- NordVPN's pricing information
- Money-back guarantee information
- Online, third-party reviews of NordVPN's service and customer support
- Accessibility and ease of use
- Service terms and conditions
Summary of Money's NordVPN review
NordVPN is one of the best VPNs on the market. This service offers faster speeds than any other VPN. In addition it offers industry-standard features including protection for up to six devices and protection for unlimited devices when you connect NordVPN to a router. The company pages not to track your internet activity – and, by implication, not to sell it to others.
Despite these selling points, be aware that you cannot get a free trial for NordVPN unless you sign up for its service via Google Play on an Android device.
Those pluses do come at a price, though. There are less expensive VPN services than NordVPN on the market.