After reading my guide dedicated to the best VPNs, you understood the importance of adopting such a solution, that is, to have a “tunnel” thanks to which to protect your online activities by hiding them from potential attackers and isp tracking, also having the possibility to bypass censorship and regional restrictions. You have therefore considered registering with NordVPN, one of the most famous and used VPN services in the world (also thanks to its advanced connection encryption system and the fact that it does not record any user activity) but, before taking this step, you would like some more information about it. To be exact, you’d love to know how NordVPN works, how much it costs, and you’d like to have an opinion on the performance of its servers. That’s the way it is. Then I am happy to inform you that you are in the right place!
What you are going to read is my NordVPN review: a post in which I will explain to you how the service works on all the leading platforms on which it is available (PC, Mac, Android, and iOS/iPadOS); I will tell you its prices and tell you my impressions about the performance of the (very numerous) VPN servers it offers. I had the opportunity to test the service for everyday online browsing (to keep my activities protected and encrypted even under public Wi-Fi networks), for streaming video content, exchanging files on P2P networks (e.g., BitTorrent), and browsing via Onion protocol (the one used by the Tor anonymous navigation system).
I mean, if you still have any doubts about NordVPN, read on, and I’m sure you’ll be able to dispel it. I will first show you the devices compatible with NordVPN, the prices of the various plans available, and the service client’s operation on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS/iPad. Finally, I will tell you how to access the NordVPN Official Help Center, which is active 24/7 and allows you to brilliantly resolve any doubts and problems related to the operation of the VPN. Have a good read!
One of NordVPN’s main strengths, in addition to security, speed, and ease of use, is the fact that you can use it on virtually any existing device or operating system.
With NordVPN, you can safely browse not only from your PC but also from smartphones and tablets. In addition, you can configure the service on Smart TVs equipped with Android TV, on NAS, Raspberry Pi, and other devices, including routers, to protect navigation even on those devices that do not have VPN support example, some Smart TVs or Apple TV.
Going into more detail, NordVPN is compatible with computers equipped with Windows (starting with Windows 7 with dedicated application, on previous versions via OpenVPN client), macOS, and Linux (on distros such as Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, and OpenSuse). In addition, it is distributed in the form of an extension for Chrome and Firefox browsers.
However, in the mobile field, I point out the availability of the NordVPN app for Android and iOS/iPad.
For the rest, you can find the list of NordVPN-compatible devices and their configuration instructions (which I will also give you a practical demonstration of in a moment) on the official website of the service.
Before getting into the heart of this review, I feel like I should also take an overview of NordVPN’s pricing. The service offers different solutions, suitable for all needs and all budgets: below, I list them in detail.
- NordVPN for 2 or 3 years (depending on the promo in progress) — is the most convenient plan. It costs less than 3 euros/month (billed annually) and allows you to take advantage of NordVPN on all supported devices for 2 or 3 years (depending on the current promo).
- NordVPN for two years — costs 2.97 euros/month (billed annually) and allows you to take advantage of NordVPN on all supported devices for two years.
- NordVPN for one year — costs 3.93 euros/month (billed annually) and allows you to take advantage of NordVPN on all supported devices for one year.
- NordVPN for one month — costs 9.56 euros and allows you to take advantage of NordVPN on all supported devices for one month.
Offers allow you to use NordVPN on six devices simultaneously and include a 30-day satisfied or refunded warranty. They can also have extras, such as months of using the NordLocker application for file encryption and the WordPress password manager.
To purchase one of the available plans, all you have to do is click on it, enter your email address in the form proposed to you, choose a payment method and enter the respective data in the fields located below. Everything is done in a few seconds and in a highly safe way.
Accepted payment methods are the most diverse: card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Cryptocurrencies, Alipay, etc. For more information, see nordvpn’s official website.
If you are not a private customer but a business user, know that NordVPN has plans also dedicated to your needs: for all the details, check out this other page of the NordVPN website.
NordVPN Server and Performance
Other critical elements in choosing a VPN are the number of servers available and their performance, on which the navigation speed experienced by the end-user depends.
Well, NordVPN can count on an extensive range of servers scattered in every corner of the world, some of which even specialize in particular activities such as streaming, the use of the anonymous Onion network (the one used for the Tor network), and the exchange of files on P2P circuits, such as the BitTorrent network.
As for performance, we are talking about really, very high numbers. You need to know that NordVPN uses several 10Gbps servers, which can guarantee much better performance than those of 1Gbps (however very valid) used so far. As already mentioned, faster data transfer by servers means faster navigation speed for the end-user. More info here.
SupposeSuppose you don’t want to rely only on Nord VPN’s official statements. In that case, I’ll point out the test performed by the independent site AV-Test.org (one of the most famous in comparing products intended for cybersecurity), which proclaimed NordVPN as the fastest VPN on the market. Here you will also find a YouTube video related to the test.
Another thing that contributes to the speed — but also the safety of NordVPN — is the adoption of NordLynx. It is a technology based on the latest generation WireGuard protocol, which cancan ensure better performance than the classic IPsec and OpenVPN protocols and uses state-of-the-art encryption technology.
In order not to push me into boring technical explanations, I tell you that the download and upload speeds reached with NordLynx can even be double those obtained with OpenVPN and IKEv2 (when the distance between the VPN server and the content server is not more than a few thousand kilometers). Still, even in situations of greater distance, the performance of this protocol remains optimal. This is because NordVPN follows the development of this technology closely and adopts it, along with the others, to provide better and better performance and security to its users. For more details on this, read the official website.
How NordVPN works
At this point, I’d say you’re ready to take action and find out how NordVPN works in detail. Below, I’ll show you all the steps you need to take to take advantage of the service on computers, smartphones, and tablets and show you some of its most essential features. Have a good read!
How to use NordVPN on PC
If you want to use NordVPN on your PC and use the Windows operating system, the first step you need to take is to connect to the service’s official website and click on the Download button.
When the download is complete, open the .exe file, and in the window that opens, click the Yes button. Wait, then, for all program files to load and finish the setup, first clicking Next and then Install and Finish.
If you use a Mac instead, you can pick NordVPN directly from the Mac App Store, visiting the link I just provided you, clicking on the Get/Install button, and, if necessary, enter the password of your Apple ID.
At this point, to operate NordVPN and start browsing online securely from your computer, you need to start the software you just installed and click on the Sign up as a new user button if you have not yet registered a NordVPN account and subscribed to one of the available plans, or fill out the login form with your account data and click on the Sign In button, if you have already purchased a NordVPN plan and created your account.
In the case of creating an account, after choosing the plan that best suits you, you must enter your email address in the appropriate field, choose a payment method and enter the respective data in the areas located below.
Once you log in to the NordVPN client, you’ll be asked if you want to turn on CyberSec: a tool that automatically blocks potentially dangerous/annoying items in web browsing and inhibits access to suspicious websites and those that are already known to host malware, spyware, and trackers of various kinds.
In addition, CyberSec prevents your device from being involved in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in which computers infected with malware are used, without your knowledge, to carry out cyberattacks over the Internet. It works even though the malware has already infected your PC; in fact, it detects and stops any communication between the device and the server on the network made up of the attackers. More info here.
Once you’ve made your choice, you can start protecting your connection by simply clicking on the nationality of the server you want to connect to in the NordVPN sidebar and waiting for the PROTECTED entry to appear in the program window.
Alternatively, in the Speciality servers section of the list of servers, you can also find servers dedicated to P2P tasks, navigation via Onion protocol (the one used by the Tor system), and some servers with dedicated IP.
By double-clicking a type of server or a country among those available, NordVPN will automatically use the fastest server. If you want to customize your choice, click the … button next to the type of server you want to take advantage of and select, from the Country and Server menus, the options of your choice, after which click on the Connect button.
Connection protection works in all web browsing browsers and all applications running on your computer. All the servers I tested turned out to be highly reliable and with a more than good browsing speed. The performance related to video streaming also seemed excellent to me and allowed me to access the foreign catalogs of platforms that offer different content in Italy. The same applies to P2P servers, through which I was able to exchange files on peer-to-peer networks, such as BitTorrent, securely and at a reasonable speed.
Once you’ve completed your online browsing session, to turn off the VPN, all you have to do is open the NordVPN client again and click on the Disconnect button, bottom right. Alternatively, you can right-click the NordVPN icon in the notification area (next to your Windows clock) and move the lever in the tile that you’re being offered to OFF.
You can also reactivate the connection from the same tile or connect to a VPN server among the most recently used ones (which you will find listed under Recent links). Convenient, right?
To adjust the NordVPN settings, click on the gear icon located at the top right in the program’s main window.
This will open the window with all the NordVPN settings: in the General section, there are levers to turn functions such as CyberSec on/off, the Internet Kill Switch (to stop the connection when the VPN is not active), the Kill Switch App (to automatically close some applications when the link to the VPN falls) and notifications; In the Auto-Connect section, you’re going to have settings to turn on the automatic connection to VPN servers when you start the NordVPN client or connect to an unsafe network.
The Advanced section offers the ability to enable custom DNS and the obfuscated servers feature (NordVPN in restricted locations). At the same time, in My account, there is account data in use, with the ability to change the password.
All settings take immediate effect, so move the various levers as you like, and you’re done.
How to use NordVPN on smartphones and tablets
As mentioned above, NordVPN can also protect online browsing on smartphones and tablets, all very quickly and without having to face complicated configurations. Just install the NordVPN app for Android or iOS/iPadOS, log in to your account (or create one), and you are done in a few taps.
Going into more detail, if you want to download the NordVPN app for Android, open the Play Store (the icon of the colorful ▶- a symbol that is located on the home screen or in the app drawer), search nordvpn within the latter, and tap first on the application icon (in the search results) and then on the Install button, to start downloading and automatically installing the app.
If you’re using your iPhone or iPad, instead, open the App Store (the stylized “A” icon on the home screen), select the Search tab (bottom right) and download NordVPN, searching for the application in the appropriate text field, selecting it from the search results, and pressing the Get button. You may be asked to verify your identity using your Face ID, Touch ID, or Apple ID password.
When successfully installed, launch the NordVPN app and press the login button to access your account. If you don’t have a NordVPN account yet, press on the SIGNUP button instead, then on Agree & Continue, and fill out the form that’s offered to you with an email and password to use to access the service. You can choose the plan to subscribe to and, in some cases, activate a free trial of a few days.
Once logged in, you can protect your browsing on your smartphone or tablet by simply pressing the QUICK CONNECT button: this way, NordVPN will automatically choose the fastest VPN server and connect to it. On iOS/iPadOS, you will need to authorize the installation of the NordVPN VPN profile the first time you click.
If you want to “manually” choose the VPN server to connect to, scroll down the menu and press on one of the available countries or the Speciality Servers item to see the list of VPN servers optimized for specific tasks (e.g., P2P). Alternatively, you can press on the Search entry and manually search for the servers you want to connect to.
By selecting a country or server type from the Speciality Servers list, NordVPN will automatically connect to the fastest server. To choose the server you want to use yourself, press the (…) button and select one of the many offered options. If you wish, you can also create a list of favorite servers by pressing on the heart icon next to the name of the servers you’re interested in. Convenient, right?
Now all you have to do is open your favorite apps, such as your online browsing browser or streaming services apps, and use them usually while being protected by NordVPN VPN. I have experienced excellent performance in all scenarios with, of course, some slight difference between one server and another, but there are so many to choose from that this is not a problem!
To disconnect from a server and stop browsing under VPN, open the NordVPN app and press the Disconnect button. To adjust the app settings, press on the adjustment bar icon (top right): this will open a screen through which you can set the automatic connection to the VPN when the app starts, activate the CyberSec service, log out, etc.
For more information
This NordVPN review of mine intrigued you, but would you like to have more information about it before starting using the service? No problem.
The first thing I recommend you do, in this case, is to consult the NordVPN support center, where information articles are available about every aspect of the service. To use it, all you have to do is choose a topic from the menu below ( FAQ for answers to FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, General info to receive general information, Billing for payment information, or Connectivity for connectivity information) or search, via the right bar at the top.
If you then need direct assistance from NordVPN, you can take advantage of official support, which is available 24/7. Going into more detail, you can connect to this page and choose whether to access the live chat service or send an email to NordVPN customer care, which in this case will answer you within 24 hours.
Finally, for more details on the subscriptions available, including the one for two years that allows you to save 68% compared to the monthly one, you can consult the appropriate page on the NordVPN website.