No-Nonsense NordVPN Review: Unfiltered Real Time Insights

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Shigraf aijaz

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21min read

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NordVPN is a remarkable VPN that promises the best privacy, security, and reliable online browsing, downloading, and streaming experience. We liked the seamless performance given by the VPN during gaming. However, the VPN does need to polish its performance with Netflix. While we found most of the servers working, changing Netflix regions wasn't as smooth as we would have liked. Here is our final rating on the VPN:



Encryption Type

Third-Party Audit

Log Policy


Smart DNS



Dedicated IP


Double VPN

Ad blocker

Malware Blocker

Password Manager


Gaming Support

Torrent Support

Streaming Supports



Free Version





14 million





30-day money-back guarantee


Best For Streaming

Secure up to 6 devices



Selecting a VPN can be hard; numerous internet services claim to be the best, but how many are legit? NordVPN is a well-known VPN service popular for its unique features. It is a Panama-based VPN launched in 2012. 

NordVPN is owned by Nord Security, a cybersecurity software developing company. We were impressed by its intuitive app design and security features. Besides, the VPN is great for beginners. It has numerous global servers and obfuscation tools to help maintain users’ anonymity.  

However, aside from high encryption and fast protocols, which are major pros of NordVPN, some users have complained that the VPN lags a lot. New updates seem to bring more glitches. To check these claims, we have reviewed NordVPN. Keep reading further to know if the VPN is worth trying. 

Who owns NordVPN?

The VPN was first formed in 2012 and is co-owned by three childhood friends, Tom Okman, Eimantas Sabaliauskas, and Jonas Karklys. Unlike other VPN providers, NordVPN mentions its founders very vaguely on its website. 

As per the website, NordVPN’s parent company is Nord Security LTD which is based in the UK. The company was previously known as NordSec, which is also the name of the  Nordic Conference on Secure IT Systems and has been in use since 1996. The company changed its name to Nord Security after 2020 and has several other products, including NordPass, NordLocker, NordVPN Teams, and Nord WL. 

But NordSec or Nord Security is not the only name that often comes up when searching for the parent company of NordVPN. Tefincom S.A. has long since been known as the Panama-Based owner of NordVPN. However, the Dun & Bradstreet record of the firm lists its address as Cyprus instead of Panama. In act according to Okman, in an interview

“NordVPN is a leading VPN service provider in the world. Its brand is owned by Tefincom — a company based and operating under the jurisdiction of Panama.”

This confusion is because Tefincom owns the US trademark, registration number 5299477, for NordVPN. Although the term NordVPN first came into filing on September 30, 2012, the trademark wasn’t filed till October 3, 2016, and was registered on October 3, 2017. Moreover, Tefincom was registered in Panama on April 29, 2016, while its directors are from Cyprus. 

To cut a long story short, while NordVPN is part of Nord Security, the Parent company of the VPN provider is Tefincom, a Panama-based firm. The country is chosen because it is privacy friendly and ideal for VPN operation. 

Is NordVPN worth getting?

The need for a secure VPN increases with the increasing rate of cybercrimes and data breaches. 

VPN uses high encryption cipher with fast protocols to protect users’ devices from malware and prevent data leaks. However, no matter what a VPN promises, even the strongest, most secure VPN can get hacked. 

Privacy concerns regarding NordVPN arose after the 2018 data breach, The infamous data breaching accident when a non-authorized third party accessed NordVPN’s servers. This review will help you understand what NordVPN offers and what the service has been doing to increase its transparency. 

  • Online privacy: it offers military-level AES-256-bit encryption with secure tunneling protocols like Nordlynx. 
  • Safe jurisdiction: the VPN is located in Panama, which is safe from all data retention laws and eye alliances. 
  • Audited no-log policy: it follows a strict no-log policy and is audited by an independent franchise. The policy ensures that the VPN keeps no tabs on its customers. 
  • Streaming: the VPN offers obfuscating servers, fast speed, and unblocks all major streaming platforms, including Netflix US. 
  • Torrenting and P2P: NordVPN offers features like split tunneling and P2P servers to help in fast downloading and torrenting. 
  • Gaming: it provides fast speed and low ping time, which is essential for gaming. 
  • Onion over VPN: it works well with the Tor browser and protects digital privacy. 

The following review includes in-depth research about VPNs from various online forums and customer feedback. Moreover, we have performed a series of tests and used the VPN for months to have written this review. This review will consist of our personal experience with the VPN. Keep reading to know more!

Privacy and Security- Does NordVPN keep you secure?

While looking for a VPN, the first thing that comes to our minds is security. Fortunately, NordVPN does not disappoint when it comes to security or privacy. The VPN offers unique privacy features that help maintain your online security. Some of the prominent security features of NordVPN are;

  • Kill Switch: Prevents IP leaks during sudden connection drops. 
  • Meshnet: By activating the meshnet, you can connect different devices to the VPN.  
  • Threat protection: By blocking ads and trackers and protecting against malware. 
  • Dark web monitoring: will alert you if your information is leaked on the dark web. 
  • Double VPN: Increases your security by encrypting your data twice.
  • Dedicated IP: With dedicated IP only, you can access the IP, preventing IP blocks and ensuring more security.
  • DNS Leak protection: prevents your DNS from leaking.  
  • Obfuscating servers: Helps bypass VPN blocks and firewalls. 
  • Onion over VPN: Perform safe browsing while using an onion network—no need for a separate browser.

These features by NordVPN help ensure ultimate privacy and security for its users. 

NordVPN Jurisdiction- Is it safe?

A VPN’s jurisdiction plays an important role in its privacy policy. If the headquarters are located in a country like the US, part of the 14 eyes alliance. The state government can ask the VPN service to share its users’ details anytime for security or other purposes.

NordVPN is located in the safe jurisdiction of Panama, which is free from all data retention laws. Besides, Panama is outside the fourteen-eye surveillance making it a safe and privacy-friendly location. So, if you are looking for a privacy-safe VPN, NordVPN might be the right choice. 

Log policy- Can I trust NordVPN?

NordVPN promises a strict no-logs policy. On top of that, NordVPN has changed to diskless (or RAM-only) servers, assuring that users’ data cannot be saved on the VPN’s servers. Besides, the VPN was audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland in 2020, further amplifying its no-log policy. 

We looked into the VPN’s no-log policy, and this is what we found. The VPN saves the following information;

  • Personal info: billing information, Email address, and country details. 
  • Technical info: it collects your IP address and device information for when you are contacting customer support. 

The thought of your IP address being collected by the VPN may make you uneasy, but the sole reason is to prevent hacking and provide a better experience. NordVPN does not save or track your online activity, so there is no need to worry. Besides, the VPN will keep your billing information for 10 years, and your email will be kept for one year. In short, NordVPN is serious about its user’s privacy and always takes new initiatives to maximize it. 

Past Records of NordVPN 

In 2018, NordVPN was hacked, and an unauthorized third-party got access to the security key of Nord. NordVPN went to Twitter to address this issue, and that’s how users learned about this mishap. 

Even though this was a serious issue, no customer information or IP address was leaked. It’s safe to say Nord worked professionally and handled this matter well. With the access of the security key, the hacker could access and decrypt users’ data for at least 30 days. The security key is valid for 7 months, and the hackers could easily make the data travel through other servers without no one knowing. 

However, after the hacking incident, NordVPN went through an audit by  PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland to further intensify Nord’s no-log policy. This was a way to ensure users that their data was safe with NordVPN. 

What encryption does it use? 

Encryption is an essential feature of every VPN; it helps in protecting users’ data and ensures secure browsing. High Encryption prevents hackers from snooping on users’ activity. The higher the encryption is, the more safe your data will be. Higher Encryption of AES-256-bit is considered to be the most secure encryption algorithm. 

NordVPN certainly did not disappoint us regarding Encryption; the VPN uses robust Encryption of the AES-256-bit algorithm used by the government and other cybersecurity experts. Moreover, The VPN uses the ChaCha20 protocol, ensuring maximum privacy. 

Besides, the SHA-512 hash function helps scramble your credentials into binary digits to protect your data. And while the other VPN services use SHA-256, NordVPN is leading with the SHA-512 hash. 

Are NordVPN protocols secure? 

Nord provides fast speed and security with the help of its encryption ciphers and protocols. These protocols help develop strong and secure encryption tunnels through which your data is passed. NordVPN offers the following protocols;

  • OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) – an open-source VPN that offers fast and reliable speed for streaming. It is also preferable for gaming; the UDP is more secure, and the TCP is faster.
  • IKEv2/IPsec – it helps re-establish connections between cellular data and wifi. 
  • WireGuard (NordLynx) – next-generation protocols that use wireguard technology to provide fast speed and robust security. 

However, one issue we faced was that as we tried to manually set up the VPN on Windows, the IKEv2 leaked the DNS address. Make sure to use the proprietary DNS server to prevent DNS leaks. 

How good is NordVPN for streaming?

VPNs are important for streaming, not only because of security but also to prevent other streaming issues like ISP throttling. Moreover, Online streaming can be dangerous, as some sites use pirated content, and some are greedy to steal users’ personal information. NordVPN promises to offer the ultimate online streaming experience. Some of its key features are;

  • Smart DNS: It works by changing your DNS server and helps in unblocking geo-blocks. 
  • Many servers: 5200+ servers, ensure fast speed and quick connections. 
  • Netflix: US, UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany, France, Japan, Netherlands, Amsterdam, Italy.
  • Hulu: US, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia.
  • BBCiPlayer: UK Servers # 1840-1847, 1850-1863, 1865, 1869, 1873, 1875-1878, 1880-1881, 1900-1901, 1903-1904, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1919-1920.
  • Disney+: US, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK, France, Finland, Brazil, Turkey. 
  • Paramount: US, Canada, Ireland, UK, Australia. 

NordVPN is all set to offer the best streaming experience to users. Here is what we experienced while accessing popular streaming sites; 

Does NordVPN work with Netflix US? 

NordVPN worked exceptionally well with Netflix. The VPN was fast, and we could easily access Netflix US compared to other VPN services. Moreover, the loading speed depends on your internet. It will take no time to open Netflix if you have a stable internet connection. At the time, NordVPN could unblock 21 Netflix libraries, including Netflix Japan, US, and UK.  

Setting up NordVPN for Netflix is pretty easy; I had to launch the NordVPN app and click on quick connect. The VPN automatically connected me to the fastest server in the US, although I turned on the Kill Switch to prevent IP leaks while streaming. The overall experience was smooth; the SmartPlay was automatically enabled, which helped in bypassing geo-blocks. It’s safe to say that NordVPN is the best choice for streaming Netflix. 

How I set up NordVPN for Netflix;

  1. Subscribe to NordVPN and review the payment plan.
  2. Turn on the kill switch to prevent IP leaks while streaming. 
  3. Click on quick connect or manually select a server. 
  4. Open the Netflix app or open the site on your browser. 
  5. Start streaming. 

Now you can easily access Netflix and bypass all geo-blocks.

How reliable is NordVPN with BBCiPlayer 

Users can easily access BBCiPlayer with NordVPN. The VPN works smoothly; if you face any difficulty accessing BBC try switching to a different server. The resolution remained unchanged; we didn’t experience ISP throttling or buffering. 

Similar to Netflix, setting up NordVPN for BBC iPlayer is very convenient. The app can be easily downloaded on any device. Moreover, I used the TCP protocol for fast speed and the kill switch to maximize my privacy. Besides, the smartplay was enabled automatically, and the streaming-optimized servers helped the whole process. There was no need for additional features as the VPN unblocked BBC rather quickly and easily. 

How I set up  NordVPN for BBCiPlayer;

  1. Subscribe to NordVPN and review the payment plan.
  2. Turn on the kill switch to prevent IP leaks while streaming. 
  3. Connect to the Nordlynx protocol for fast speed. 
  4. Click on quick connect or manually select a server. 
  5. Open BBCiPlayer and Start streaming. 

You can now access BBC iPlayer from anywhere now!

Does NordVPN work well with Hulu?

Using Hulu with NordVPN is similar to using Hulu with no VPN. The picture quality was excellent. Moreover, the loading speed was quick, and we were impressed. NordVPN can access various Hulu libraries, including the US, Japan, Netherlands, South Africa, Germany, New Zealand, and Australia. 

Watching Hulu with NordVPN is simple. Log in with your credentials and choose a server that works best with the service. If you face any difficulty, try switching between servers for fast speed. Besides, the streaming service loaded pretty quickly, and there was no long-term waiting. In short, using Hulu with NordVPN is the same as using Hulu with no VPN. 

How I set up  NordVPN for Hulu;

  1. Subscribe to NordVPN and review the payment plan.
  2. Turn on the kill switch to prevent IP leaks while streaming. 
  3. Connect to the Nordlynx protocol for fast speed. 
  4. Click on quick connect or manually select a server. 
  5. Open Hulu and Start streaming.

After following these steps, you can unblock Hulu outside the US.

Can I use Disney + with NordVPN?

NordVPN worked smoothly with Disney+. There were no lags or buffering, and the speed was amazing. In addition, the streaming quality was great, and most of NordVPN’s servers worked with the streaming service. 

The process is very easy if you plan to stream Disney plus with NordVPN. We only had to log in to the NordVPN app, and the quick connect feature linked us to the best server nearby. Thanks to NordVPN’s geo-blocking capabilities, unblocking Disney plus was easier than we thought. We used the kill switch to prevent IP leaks, and the rest of the streaming experience was seamless. 

How to set up  NordVPN for Disney +;

  1. Subscribe to NordVPN and review the payment plan.
  2. Turn on the kill switch to prevent IP leaks while streaming. 
  3. Connect to the Nordlynx protocol for fast speed. 
  4. Click on quick connect or manually select a server. 
  5. Open Disney + and Start streaming. 

Streaming sports on NordVPN with Paramount

If you are looking for a VPN to access Paramount, NordVPN has set the bar too high. It was like a breeze when we used NordVPN to unlock Paramount. The picture quality was the same, and the homepage loaded within seconds.  

Even After all the rumors of paramount blocking VPNs, NordVPN certainly did not disappoint us. We used the UDP protocol for extra security and bypassed Pramaount’s VPN blocks easily. Streaming was fast, and we experienced no lags at all. We recommend using a kill switch to prevent IP leaks and protect your device. Otherwise, NordVPN is the best choice for unblocking Paramount. 

How I set up  NordVPN for Paramount;

  1. Subscribe to NordVPN and review the payment plan.
  2. Turn on the kill switch to prevent IP leaks while streaming. 
  3. Connect to the Nordlynx protocol for fast speed. 
  4. Click on quick connect or manually select a server. 
  5. Open Paramount and Start streaming.

Now you can unblock Pramout with ease!


If you are facing issues with connecting to NordVPN, try these methods; 

  • Clear your browser’s cache.
  • Reinstall the app. 
  • Restart the NordVPN app.
  • Restart your device.
  • Try connecting through the NordVPN browser extensions for Chrome, Brave, Firefox, or Edge.

If you can’t access streaming sites even after trying these methods, contact customer service ASAP.

Torrenting with NordVPN

We all know the risks related to torrenting and P2P sharing. Hackers can easily track your activity and snoop on your data. To ensure safe torrenting, a VPN is mandatory. NordVPN claims to be the best and offers various features for torrenting, such as:

  • Socks5 Proxy: It allows location spoofing that increases privacy while torrenting. 
  • Specialized P2P servers: It offers specialized servers that support P2P sharing. 
  • Split tunneling: You can choose which data gets encrypted and which travels on open networks.

While setting up NordVPN for torrenting, we used the SOCKS5 proxy server to increase your privacy and prevent data leaks. Moreover, in the direction on NordVPN’s FAQ section, the VPN recommends to ” type “1080”  In “Port and make sure the following boxes are checked:

  • Authentication
  • Use proxy for hostname lookups
  • Use proxy for peer-to-peer connections
  • Disable all local DNS lookups
  • Disable features that leak identifying information
  • Disable connections unsupported by the proxy

After that, Enter your NordVPN username and password in the authentication fields and click “OK.” 

NordVPN is a good choice for torrenting but is not the best. The VPN kept making errors, and finding a server supporting torrenting took many tries. However, the torrenting experience was not as satisfying as we thought. 

Is NordVPN a good choice for gamers?

Gaming is an addiction, and many users try to find the best VPN for gaming. Some games are geo-blocked, and in some cases, ISP throttling spoils gaming; that’s when a VPN comes into action. NordVPN stood out in streaming and did well in torrenting as well. Now it was time to see if the VPN service was as good for gaming also. The VPN offers the following gaming features;

  • VPN protocols: Fast protocols ensure fast gaming, which prevents lags and ensures a smooth gaming experience.
  • Split tunneling: You can select which app data is encrypted while others travel through a regular network during gaming. 

If you want to use NordVPN for gaming, remember to use UDP and TCP protocols, as these protocols ensure fast speed and low ping time while gaming.

Moreover, your router must be compatible with a VPN. We used the split tunneling feature while gaming to increase the gaming speed. Make sure your NordVPN app is updated regularly for better performance. Even after all this, the results weren’t as satisfactory. The VPN worked well with some games like CS and Dota. 

However, while playing Valorant, we experienced a few lags. Overall, the VPN is a good option for gaming. It works with PlayStations, Roku, Nintendo, XBOX, and firestick.

NordVPN support with Tor.

Tor browser is not safe alone; a VPN must be used while accessing Tor browsers. However, there is a debate about using onion over VPN or tor before VPN. The answer is simple: when you connect to Tor before connecting to a VPN,  it is hard to set up, making your traffic visible to the VPN.

Conversely, using onion over VPN is comparatively easy to set up and more secure. The VPN will now see encrypted traffic, and your privacy will remain intact. That’s why we recommend using Onion over VPN to increase privacy, and that’s what we did.  NordVPN offers the following features for Tor Browsing;

  • Onion over VPN: Your internet traffic is routed through various volunteer-operated servers, which makes tracking your activity harder. 
  • Split tunneling: You can select which app data is encrypted while others travel through a regular network for extra security. 

NordVPN works great while accessing Tor Browser, the onion over VPN features efficiently protected the IP and prevented leaks. Just log in to NordVPN’s app and select a server. Now connect to the onion over VPN from the special server category. Some servers didn’t work with Tor, while the others worked, the speed was slow. We had to wait a few minutes to connect to a server.

Pricing and Money back guarantee 

NordVPN offers a 30 days money back guarantee along with three different subscription plans. The pricing is as follows;

Duration StandardPlusComplete
1 month$11.99$12.99$14.49
1 year $4.99$5.99$7.49
2 years$4.19$5.19$6.69

Payment methods;

  • credit cards,
  • Cryptocurrencies,
  • Amazon Pay,
  • Google Pay,
  • Apple Pay,
  • Paypal,
  • Sofort.

However, purchasing the NordVPN app through the Apple app store won’t be eligible for a refund

Customer support – Is NorVPN friendly?

NordVPN offers various ways of customer service, such as live chat, email, and help center. If you face any issues with NordVPN, you can either live chat with their customer support or email them. Another way is to read the listed question in Nord’s help center. The help center has the following categories, FAQs, billing, general info, and connectivity. Customer support is available 24/7 and is overall very efficient. 

We tried to reach NordVPN’s live chat and were fairly impressed. It was clear that the answers were automated. I didn’t receive any answer to my question about which protocol unblocks Netflix. However, it provided me with a list of Netflix libraries NordVPN unblocks.

It is better to ask questions with keywords of what you are looking for; this will make the process easier. 

Overall, the whole experience was great, and if you are looking for quick and easy answers to your queries, live chat will be very helpful.

Pros and cons- a distinct analysis of NordVPN. 

If you are looking for a complete VPN package, NordVPN might be the right choice. However, if you still have doubts about NordVPN, here is a quick overview. 

These are a few things to remember before selecting NordVPN as your VPN. 

Strong security: it offers AES-256-bit encryption with security protocols that ensure robust security.No router applet: there is no router applet which makes connecting the router to VPN harder.
Built-in Tor over VPN feature: you can use the Tor browser safely with the Onion over VPN feature. No, kill switch on the Android app: the VPN lacks a kill switch feature for the Android app. 
Independently audited no-logs policy: the VPN keeps no logs of user activity, promising maximum security. No-call customer service: users can’t call customer service and can only contact through live chat or email. 
Fast connection speeds: the Nordlynx, UDP, and TCP protocols ensure fast speed with no lags. More glitches: new updates makes the app more glitchy and forcibly log customer out. 
30-day money-back guarantee: it offers 24/7 customer support and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Kill switch: it prevents IP leaks during connection drops making NordVPN ideal for gaming and streaming. 
Smartplay: a smart DNS feature of NordVPN that helps bypass geo-restrictions. 
Streaming features: NordVPN bypasses geo-blocks with obfuscating servers and prevents ISP throttling, which makes streaming easy. 
Large server network: a large number of servers helps in fast connections. 

Final Words 

NordVPN is a well-known VPN service that offers fast speed and robust security. We were glad as the VPN’s headquarters are in Panama, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.

Moreover, We were able to torrent with NordVPN smoothly, and the streaming experience was another victory. However, the service lacks features like Android’s router appellate and kill switch. But other than that, overall, NordVPN is worth a try!


NordVPN is among the most trusted VPNs on the market, with an audited no-log policy and headquarters in Panama. The VPN keeps no logs and can be trusted completely. 

NordVPN is a safe service and does not sell your data. It has a no-log policy which is independently audited, ensuring maximum security. 

It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, and users can get a full refund if they are unsatisfied with the service. 

Netflix is not free with NordVPN, although you can unblock different Netflix libraries with NordVPN. 

NordVPN claims to be working in China and has servers located near China. 

Shigraf aijaz

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