NordVPN is one of the behemoths in the VPN industry. Whether you look at it from a useability point of view, performance, or product depth. They are simply that good. Of course, they too have been feeling the heat on their butts as more competitors emerge.
Because of that, NordVPN has been going all gung-ho about product development. With the introduction of products like NordPass and NordLocker, it appears that they are fully determined to venture into a broader cybersecurity front.
Still, it isn’t all honey and roses with them and you’ll find they have their share of quirks as well. Some of them I really dislike, but let’s take a closer look first.
|Platform Support||Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Android TV, Router, NAS|
|Browser Extensions||Chrome, Firefox|
|Number of Servers||5,300+|
|Works in China||If You’re Lucky|
The Pros of Using NordVPN
1. Really Keeps You Safe and Anonymous
NordVPN offers much in the way of security and privacy features. On one side, they have the typical no-logs policy, 256-bit AES encryption, plus other bells and whistles. On the other, they’ve gone a step further and gotten themselves audited.
Part of this stemmed from a compromised server in the past, but honestly, it was an isolated incident. Since then, NordVPN has voluntarily undergone third-party audits twice and come out smelling like roses.
Take this how you will, but frankly, everyone fucks up from time to time. It’s only how badly they fucked up that makes the difference and how willing they are to make positive changes after the incident. I think what NordVPN did was a plus in my book.
2. Broad Range of Related Products
Even if you only need one, it’s good to have options from the same service provider. NordVPN has steadily been bringing new products into their stable. These include a password manager, business VPN solution, and a file encryption tool.
As you can see, all of this shit is very security and privacy oriented which doesn’t detract them from their main objective. If you’re going to do something, stay focused, at least that’s what I always say.
3. Speeds Are Good in General
If you’re anywhere else in the world, NordVPN typically offers good, stable speeds. I’ve done comprehensive speed tests with them and they have not given significant problems to date. For China usage however, it’s a different story (read my comments under the ‘dislike’ section).
Still, if you’re looking for a VPN that works in China, chances are you’re someone who’s mobile. As a whole, NordVPN can serve those needs. I have no doubt that they’re working on the China issue as well, just have a bit of patience.
NordLynx has shown fantastic speeds so far, but to give other providers an even playing field, I’m testing on the basis of OpenVPN at the moment. It’s widely available, so everyone has the same option.
|1||90% (9/10)||San Jose, US||188.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|2||90% (9/10)||Duluth, US||235.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|3||100% (10/10)||Atlanta, US||215.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|4||89% (8/9)||Tokyo, JP||73.30 ms||18.75 MBps||2.37 MBps|
|5||86% (6/7)||Duluth, US||243.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|6||100% (5/5)||Duluth, US||220.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|7||50% (2/4)||0.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|8||75% (3/4)||0.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|9||100% (7/7)||US||190.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|10||90% (9/10)||US||188.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|11||90% (9/10)||Seattle, US||194.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|12||88% (7/8)||US||193.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|13||90% (9/10)||US||241.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|14||100% (4/4)||Atlanta, US||255.00 ms||0 Bps||0 Bps|
|Average||88.36%||228.84 ms||3.67 MBps||1.65 MBps|
4. It’s Easy to Use
As with most other top-flight VPN services, the NordVPN app interface is very intuitive. In fact, NordVPN is more outstanding than most – so simple that a child might use it I would say. You look at a map and click a pin to indicate where you want to connect. It’s as simple as that.
If you are having problems despite how straightforward the map may be, their customer service responds quickly and efficiently. Their site has a chatbot that helps you work with a knowledge base and if that fails, you can request to speak with a real person. It works, I tried it.
5. Plays Well With Others
Some VPNs may work fine in the core sense of the word. They allow you to connect to sites easily and offer decent speeds and the rest of all that stuff. However, I’ve noticed that more than a handful of them actually have some system conflicts.
This doesn’t mean that they crash, but somehow, other digitally connected applications may have problems. One usual victim is Microsoft’s stable of products like Office and OneDrive. So far I’ve noted no such irregularities with NordVPN.
The Cons of Using NordVPN
1. Connections from China are Iffy
While many VPN providers dither about implementing WireGuard, NordVPN took the bull by the horns. They looked at it, gave grunts of dissatisfaction, then modified an adaptation that runs faster than buffalo racer Srinivas Gowda.
Sadly, that doesn’t seem to have done wonders for those in China. Although our recent test data shows that it manages to succeed in many connections, we weren’t able to actually do shit. That means the connection was essentially useless.
Important note: We are double checking NordVPN’s performance from China just to verify these details. Don’t sell them short too quickly.
2. Prices Have Shot Up Significantly
Over the short span of only around a year and a half, the prices NordVPN used to offer have gone up quite a bit. From an initially acceptable $2.99 per month, they are now selling it for close to five bucks.
I fully understand that someone has to pay the bills, but an increase of almost 50% still really hurts. On the bright side (for me), I signed on when it was still cheap, and I get to renew at those prices too. If you don’t get on board now, don’t come crying to me later!
The Final 2-Cents
Overall NordVPN still makes an outstanding choice when it comes to a service provider. We’ll update you for sure when details become clearer on its China status. For now though, if you’re looking for a good service provider this might be a good one to consider.
A final note on its rising prices – I’m not sure if they intend to keep allowing customers to renew at the original prices they bought in with. It would be very unusual if they did, but of course, very welcome.