NordVPN full review
Panama-based NordVPN is a popular choice among VPN users . NordVPN succeeds despite the competition thanks to its clever mix of a classic VPN for the general public and a more specialist service for a more discerning public. Several VPN providers offer a great price tag but don’t offer VPN packages that will please both Generals (+ BitTorrent Users + First-Time Users) and Experts users:
General features of NordVPN:
Pricing: NordVPN has just one plan. It costs $11.95 per month. The one-year plan costs an effective $5.75 a month. If you’re lucky, you’ll also get some special deals. For example, I was offered a Special 3-Year Deal for $107.55
NordVPN is a no-logs VPN provider based in Panama, outside of the regular US and European jurisdiction. Based in Panama, it's great for privacy because this country has no data retention laws.
Protocols: NordVPN supports a total of 2 protocols, including OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec. Currently, the Windows client support OpenVPN by default. OpenVPN traffic is 256-bit AES encrypted and uses 2,048-bit SSL keys.
Proxy Extensions for Chrome and Firefox: Just like the NordVPN application, the Proxy extension will connect to the VPN server. But since the extension lives inside your browser, it will only encrypt traffic in and out of your browser, not the whole computer. The extension comes with two additional features:
WebRTC blocking -- enabled by default. It prevents IP address leaks by WebRTC in the web browser.
CyberSec -- disabled by default. The feature protects against many forms of advertising, malware, phishing, DDOS attacks and other unwanted threats when enabled.
SmartDNS service "Smart-Play" - Smart-Play re-routes the user’s requests through a server located at a place where access to such blocked websites is allowed. It is enabled in all NordVPN apps by defaul, so you can enjoy safe streaming experience (over 150 streaming services) with no buffering, bandwidth throttling or slow connections speeds.
Socks5 proxies - The Socks5 proxy is particularly useful to downloaders who only wish to proxy their torrent clients. The quantity of SOCKS5 servers offered by NordVPN is impressive.
VPN servers: Servers in 61 countries optimized for specific purposes: Obfuscated servers, Standard VPN, double VPN, Tor over VPN, P2P, and dedicated IP6 simultaneous connections
NordVPN supports Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS and Android VPN apps. The app looks great in Windows, and even novice users will find it easy. You can select a VPN server on how you would use it: Some VPN servers are optimized for P2P, while others are optimized for other VPN uses (if you want you can connect to a certain single server in a certain country). In the settings menu, you have some basic features: DNS leak protection and an internet kill switch are both included in the app.
Customers can pay with a credit card, PayPal, Bitcoin. Additional payment methods are available through NordVPN’s payment partner, Paymentwall. Bitcoin is great for anonymous payment.
Functionality of NordVPN
NordVPN is a good option for anyone who wants to use a VPN to:
Download Torrent - NordVPN is "Torrent-Friendly":
NordVPN allows P2P traffic on certain servers. The server list that allows it: Romania, Russia, Sweden, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Canada. Personally i always choose Netherland server for the torrenting purposes as Netherland does not have strict rules against torrenting. If you choose P2P button in your software, you'll be automatically connected to the best server for torrenting.
Kill switch. NordVPN includes an Application Kill-switch (prevent IP leaks if the VPN disconnects)
NordVPN has a strict zero logs policy.
NordVPN uses shared IP addresses. This has one advantage: More advanced anonymity since hundreds of users use the same server which adds to the difficulty of linking your internet session and your ISP IP.
You also get Socks5 proxy service included with your account, which works great with all major torrent clients. In case it cuts out, your ISP IP is never exposed since the programme cannot connect if the proxy is inactive - the main selling point of SOCKS5!
Protect identity and keep data and activities secure when using public Wi-Fi. When you connect to a wifi hotspot in the street, at the library, in a hotel, a restaurant or the airport, or to any other public network, the security and confidentiality of your data are seriously threatened. This is why you need a VPN like NordVPN which has a series of tools and protocols (IKEv2) that guarantee perfectly secure usage of wifi or mobile networks. Thanks to its connection programmes (Windows - Mac - Linux) and its apps (iOS – Android) you only need to connect to NordVPN servers and the secure function will launch.
Streaming or Watch Netflix- I was pleased to note that BBC iPlayer also worked when connected to a UK server. And You can still use NordVPN to unblock US Netflix thanks to its Smart Play Technology. There's no guarantee how long that will last because Netflix works hard to block VPN services.
Privacy: NordVPN protects your privacy and prevents others from monitoring and controlling your online communications and browsing activity. NordVPN is a no-log VPN based in Panama, a "Privacy-Friendly" country.
NordVPN is a great VPN for beginners but it also has some nice features for experts users. The most interesting of the options:
- Double VPN . Double VPN allows you to put an intermediate server between your network and the final server. This feature will enhance the privacy level by doubling the encryption.
- IKEv2 - IkeV2 is easily the least known protocol and the most underrated. As well as its excellent encryption level, the protocol provides MOBIKE option. By using an IKEv2 protocol the user can lose their connection and reconnect (even to a different access point) without losing their VPN connection! This makes IKEv2 a great choice for users who regularly moves from one wireless hotspot to another
- IP dedicated For a $70.00 fee (The price is for one year), NordVPN also offers a unique static (dedicated) IP in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, or the United States. You can request NordVPN through 'Contact Us' form for a dedicated IP address. A dedicated VPN service means the IP address you use is dedicated to only you, and no other user can have your IP address. Ideal for websites, which require you log in from the same IP address every time (e.g. Paypal). Of course, you need to have a valid VPN account to benefit from the dedicated IP (dedicated IP will not work without a valid VPN account).
- Obfuscated servers : Obfuscation allows you to make your OpenVPN traffic look like a non-OpenVPN traffic, so that your VPN connection is no longer blocked at governmental or local level. So NordVPN is fully functional and works in China
- TOR over VPN – this is the most original and the major advantage of the this VPN. Through NordVPN you can access the TOR network with the Netherlands and Switzerland VPN servers. After this first layer of encryption your ISP has no idea you are using TOR. In your software simply select a server as an entry point to the Tor network and click connect.
Then launch your normal browser (Usually, the Onion network can only be accessed with the Onion browser, while with NordVPN’s Onion over VPN servers you don’t need to download it).
The data flow would look like this. You -> VPN -> TOR -> Internet/Darknet. With Onion over NordVPN you will access to a very controversial part of the internet. Apart from surfing securely and anonymously on the traditional and classic network (clearweb), Tor also proposes a selection of hidden services (deepweb) for its users, sites with addresses with the suffix “.onion” which are only accessible through Tor.