If you’ve been on the internet for any amount of time by now, you’ve likely heard the name of one of the biggest VPNs currently available on the market: NordVPN. With a massive marketing budget, NordVPN has spread its name to every corner of the internet and has quickly grown to become one of the most prominent VPN providers available. However, its mass popularity has made people start to wonder; is it worth all the commotion, or is it just great marketing on a mediocre product? That’s what we’re here to answer today with this article.
Today, we’re going to take a look at features from NordVPN service and determine how much value you get out of each in comparison to other typical high-end VPNs. We’ll also be looking at reviews and comments from Redditors who actually use this service frequently.
Why Reddit, you ask? Well, for those who don’t know, Reddit is a platform where people of a particular interest can join a “subreddit” of that topic (say, VPNs, for example). This subreddit is filled with hobbyists and experts alike who have an interest in the subject. Many of these threads are filled with people who have used this product regularly and share their opinions with their fellow users.
While this isn’t quite regulated on a comment-by-comment basis, these posts are organized by showing you the highest and most upvoted comments, the ones that people agree with the most. This way, you aren’t inclined to listen to a particularly outlandish, unpopular opinion on a subject that most others with expertise would never agree with.
Real people with real opinions who have regularly used the product that we’ll be looking at. So should you download NordVPN, and is it worth the hype?
NordVPN is a name that has flooded the mainstream due to its abundance of sponsorships, ads, and marketing. But what about the service itself? Does the VPN hold up to all this buzz? Well, not only is it a big name, but it’s also consistently rated amongst the top providers on the market. That’s not enough for us. We want specifics. We’re going to take a look at some of the main features of this service and see what the meat of NordVPN really has to offer.
First thing’s first, it’s important to know how a VPN’s speed works. Essentially, this comes down to a couple of factors, and the two most important of which are the number/location of servers and protocol type.
Let’s start with servers. Servers are vital because it determines how close the nearest one is to you that you can connect to. If a VPN service offers servers in two different locations, that won’t necessarily be a huge issue as long as one of those locations just so happens to be incredibly close to you. However, for everyone who isn’t so lucky, their internet speed will drop drastically trying to reach one of those two locations. Since most VPNs can’t just get away with having two locations, the more servers they have in their library, the more likely they are to be able to give you a close server and quick speeds.
NordVPN offers over 5,000 servers that span over 60 countries to choose from. With this many options, you’re almost guaranteed to be able to find one within close range of where you’re trying to connect from.
So what’s the second factor? It all comes down to the protocol. Essentially, a VPN’s protocol determines how data and information pass through your connection. It decides how every part of your data will be encrypted and then moved along this connection from point A to point B. The problem, of course, is that it’s a bit of a trade-off.
With more encryption comes more security and a much lower chance of your data being readable by any third parties. However, it also means slower speeds, as the encryption process can strain your connection quite severely. So, where does NordVPN lie on this scale? While NordVPN has always been one of the faster VPNs on the market, they’ve taken things to a whole new level with their latest custom protocol: NordLynx.
NordLynx, according to NordVPN, was built around the WireGuard protocol that they are famous for using. WireGuard is already one of the fastest VPN protocols on the market, but with NordLynx, things get even more impressive.
Like with user Rich73 here, countless users are reporting unimaginable speeds while using NordLynx. The reports range anywhere from a 10-20% drop in speed (which is incredibly small for most VPNs) to some speed tests actually showing that using NordLynx gave them a faster connection.
This new service isn’t just built for speed, either. The data encryption is still very much there and conducted testing has shown that this new protocol is absolutely secure. So, what’s the downside?
There… really doesn’t seem to be one.
From what we can tell, this new protocol seems to be a significant step forward in the world of VPN services and a massive win for NordVPN. When it comes to speed, NordVPN is doing it right.
There are two factors to look at here. The first is encryption. How well is your data encrypted when you connect to NordVPN’s servers, and would it be readable/decipherable by a third party if they got their hands on it? The short answer is no. No, it wouldn’t.
NordVPN’s protocols all use AES-256-GCM encryption to scramble the data into unreadable mush when you connect to their servers. Those letters and numbers might be a confusing mess, but just know that it’s the same confusing mess that banks, militaries, and governments use. While this is standard for most VPNs, there’s a reason they all use it. It works.
The second factor is logging. It essentially means that the VPN provider keeps a record of your usage of their service. This can range from simple connection logs that only tell the provider when the service was used, all the way to identifying logs like how you used the service and for what sites. While it’s really not too big of an issue for anyone who isn’t doing anything particularly shady with their VPN, it can become a concern in the event of a data leak or total breach of the company.
Luckily, though, NordVPN has a strict no-logging policy.
After several audits have confirmed their claims of a no-logging policy, we’re pretty comfortable in trusting NordVPN’s promise of zero records on their users. Anyone who uses their service should be safe, secure, and as close to invisible as you can be on the internet. Another win for NordVPN.
The price point of a VPN can make or break the deal for a new customer.
NordVPN’s initial price actually isn’t that bad. Right now, you can get your first month for $11.95 (pretty bad, but most VPN services don’t expect you to actually pay this rate), your first year for $59.00 ($4.92 a month), or your first two years for $99.00 ($4.13 a month). These are pretty standard prices for a premium VPN service. However, what NordVPN won’t tell you is that these prices do not last. They’re for your first plan purchase, not forever. After the initial plan expires, your prices are upped.
After your first plan expires, just a standard NordVPN plan will cost you $11.95 a month, $54.00 every six months ($9.00 a month), or $99.00 every twelve months ($8.25 a month). This actually makes NordVPN one of the most expensive VPNs on the market.
Obviously, this is a deal-breaker for many customers. Between some seriously absurd rates, as well as some sketchy attempts to hide these higher prices, this is a big smudge on NordVPN’s perfect appearance. While its features are undeniably some of the best on the market, many people just won’t be able to look past that intense price tag.
Here it is, our final trial. While all of these features so far have been well and good, we’re bringing the last torch down to NordVPN’s software. After all, what good is a VPN if you can’t use it? We felt it was appropriate to judge NordVPN’s custom application last and see if it lives up to the same level of quality as the VPN itself.
First thing’s first, let’s talk about ease of use. NordVPN’s minimalistic design for its interface does wonders for the software. It allows them to display a decent bit of information on any given screen without it seeming overwhelming. One of the least attractive things about a VPN can be when their software tries to overload your unsuspecting eyes with every server that you can choose all at once, sticking a college essay’s worth of words and numbers onto your screen.
NordVPN will never do that. All information is organized, pleasant to look at, and easily maneuverable. It also uses those trendy simple vector buttons and sliding switches for settings to give it that modern look.
NordVPN server connections
The more critical factor, however, is stability. We are happy to report that, yes, NordVPN’s quality delivers with its reliability. In testing, we had absolutely no problems with stuttering, crashing, etc. The program didn’t even so much as slow down other processes at all when it was opened. We didn’t even notice a momentary drop when connecting/disconnecting between servers, as most services suffer from. NordVPN’s program has some of the best stability that we’ve been able to find, definitely reflecting quality for that premium price.
Overall, NordVPN definitely wins in the software department.
At the start of all this, we asked the question, “is NordVPN worth it?” The short answer? Probably. The longer answer is this; it really depends on your unique priority if you’re looking for a VPN right now.
We can show you every single thing that Reddit has ever said about NordVPN, but that won’t matter if the service just doesn’t sound appealing to you. Just know this, Reddit seems to, overall, trust NordVPN more than they would trust a substantial majority of other services, which is impressive. Redditors are known to be quite picky about their VPN providers, so being considered the top dog of their picks is quite the honor.
NordVPN is one of, if not the highest quality VPN services available on the market. That’s not just advertising and marketing making it a big name. It really is worth its salt. It has more expansive and high-quality features than any other VPN service out there, high reliability, and incredible speeds. The issue that keeps so many people from trying it is, of course, that price tag. It is quite literally one of the most expensive products in this market. While that might not be an issue to many customers, there are definitely a fair few out there who just won’t or even can’t dish out that kind of money for a VPN.
However, those that do get to enjoy a genuinely fantastic product. And that’s why NordVPN is worth the hype.