NordVPN Review (Full Analysis)

NordVPN Review (Full Analysis)

NordVPN is one of the most prestigious and well-reviewed virtual private networks in the world. Its developer Tefincom & Co has one of the largest network infrastructures globally, with more than 5,000 servers in 59 countries and quite affordable prices for those users who want to give their connections a higher level of security and anonymity.

We will carry out a complete analysis of the services available from NordVPN in a standard plan, focusing especially on how it affects network speed, possibilities, and how to access Netflix American and other services from our country. Pay attention, because it may be the option you are looking for entertainment or work, so let’s get started!

Before we begin, we appreciate the trust NordVPN has placed in us by providing us with temporary access to their services for this article.

What is a VPN

For those who are not yet familiar with this concept, we are going to explain in a simple way what a VPN service consists of.

Virtual Private Network consists of a local area network or LAN that extends beyond the physical boundaries of an edition or venue. It is a means by which it is possible to extend or extend an internal network to the domains of a WAN network such as the Internet. In this way, we can interconnect ourselves and geographically separated subnets as if it were a local network.

This is possible thanks to the interconnection of the nodes through a kind of secure tunnel (hence the widely used term tunneling ) that transports the information encrypted and out of the access of malicious programs and hackers. Although the information travels through a public network such as the Internet, it is protected in encrypted packets and usually anonymously thanks to protocols such as OpenVPN and others based on TLS/SSL.

VPN networks can be created individually, by companies themselves for their workers, or made available as a paid service. This last case will be that of NordVPN, in which a company provides the user with a global VPN network with its own servers, communication protocol, and various services through a user account upon payment. For this, we only have to have an application with which to access their servers to enter their network.

Why is it necessary and what advantages does it give?

When we connect to a VPN like NordVPN, our equipment, or rather the router, acquires a different public IP address from our Internet provider. This IP is provided by the server itself, wherever it is so that in this way we can virtually locate ourselves in the country where it is located.

This gives us certain advantages that will be very interesting for those users who work from different places while traveling, to access multimedia content from other countries or simply to browse anonymously and more securely. We will only need an Internet connection, which can be through a router, or simply a data rate on our smartphone.

Let’s see what advantages it can give us as users:

  • Access to geo-blocked content in our country: This will be the main reason why users decide to hire a paid VPN. In this way, the geographical barrier of the country where we are is eliminated, accessing content from foreign channels such as ESPN, CNN, Netflix, Disney Plus, etc. Not all countries see the same, there will be Netflix content that can only be seen in the US, and by virtually locating ourselves there, we would be one more American. It will be very interesting for China since it is a country with a lot of restrictions, and TOP companies like NordVPN have more ability to bypass these blocks.
  • Add security to our connection: this option will be the most useful in general for any user, especially for those who use telecommuting often. Many companies have their own VPNs for their workers, but if we are freelancers or free agents, a VPN of this type will be safe for our data. This could apply to both wired networks, and Wi-Fi in public establishments, such as 4G or 5G modems.
  • Data encryption and confidentiality: this is achieved by adding an extra encryption layer to the connection and data packets, using protocols such as L2TP, IKEv2, or OpenVPN, being one of the most used. The companies themselves usually have their own, in the case of NordVPN, it will be NordLynx.
  • Access streaming and torrent downloads: Another reason to use paid VPN networks is to bypass the blocks that some countries have on accessing P2P content. It also adds that extra security layer to the already-mentioned connection. In some cases, like the one we are analyzing today, the Onion Router also has services to browse the network anonymously.
  • Have extra services according to the company: especially companies with paid VPNs have a series of extras such as ad blockers, malware, and other applications to protect files and a secure password store. We will see later that these options are integrated into NordVPN.

NordVPN: the best-valued worldwide

NordVPN is one of those services that provide a VPN connection to virtually anywhere on the planet. The company has servers in the main countries of the world and on all continents. They are especially concentrated in Europe and the US, forming a network of around 5,500 servers.

We will see during the article that it is one of the easiest services to use with services aimed at all types of users, whether or not they know about networks. The only drawback that we can put in this aspect is that the applications are not in Spanish, but we can always use their website that does support our language.

Registration and fees

The modality of services is through registration and payment of a monthly fee. We currently have four plans available, always with one especially attractive if we click on the offer that is generated when we access the website.

These plans change depending on the length of the contract, which ranges from a single month to three years. The longer, the cheaper it will be per month, and the three-year one will always be the key for users who intend to use it continuously with 3.11 euros per month. It also has the advantage that it supports reimbursement with 30 days of testing, so it would not make sense to contract, for example, the 10-euro one-month plan, nor the 2-year plan for which we are paying almost the same as with the 3 years old

Obviously, it is designed to contract the service for the longest possible time, and in this case, the truth is that it is the option with the most advantages, since the others do not allow a trial period, so to speak.

Unlike other companies, NordVPN offers a full pack of services in all plans, while other companies activate or limit browsing depending on the contracted plan.

We will only have to pay an extra cost if we intend to obtain a dedicated IP in the VPN so that it is always the same. This will be useful, for example, to enter a server in the VPN, or access a host always with the same IP regardless of the server against which it has been connected.

Available Features and Compatibility

NordVPN makes it very clear in its 

features section all the functions it offers, which are not a few of course.

In general terms, we could summarize them in all the advantages discussed in the previous sections. For example, access to content from another country, protection of information, or having the service 24/7 without limitation of bandwidth. But some more specific ones that should be noted will be the following:

  • Wide compatibility and several simultaneous devices: with a single account we can connect to the network with up to 6 different devices. It seems obvious, but in other companies, it is a limitation imposed according to the contracted rate. It is compatible with virtually any platform: Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, ChromeOS, iOS, Android TV, and even Synology NAS and Raspberry Pi.
  • We can use your own client software or a generic one like OpenVPN: This is a great advantage for Linux distributions or open-source software. It also has an application on Google Play and an extension for Google Chrome and Firefox.
  • It is one of the fastest services: The quality of the infrastructure matters, and we will see later in the tests that NordVPN has practically no influence on our bandwidth. Not at least on a discrete connection of about 40 or 50 Mbps.
  • We can connect to the server we choose: an automatic connection mode to the fastest server is available, but it is possible to choose a specific one within the destination country. The connection stability also turns out to be fantastic.
  • Data Privacy – This is off the shelf, but NordVPN guarantees not to track or share our data. The Kill Switch function allows masking all the information from point to point, and in the same way, we can mask the IP address with the Block WebRTC function.
  • Onion Over VPN function: It even implements an encryption mode combined with The Onion Router for anonymous browsing, although this one consumes more bandwidth and is less stable.
  • Use of first-level protocols: in automatic mode, it uses the OpenVPN protocol, which is based on TLS/SSL to be one of the most secure, and available in TCP and UDP. But additionally, the company has its own protocol called NordLynx, less known and therefore more resistant to attacks.

Other extra functions with independent applications:

  • WordPress: it is a password management application that allows you to safely memorize the passwords that you use on the computer. This feature is free.
  • NordLocker: if we have especially sensitive files, it is another independent application capable of creating folders protected by encryption.
  • CyberSec: the last interesting function allows us to block ads and malware and phishing attacks on the sites we browse. This option is available in client applications.

Installation and App

After registering and activating the NordVPN account, we will access a web section, especially for members where we can certainly do little.

They have made it so easy that we only have the option to extend our plan and obtain a dedicated IP address on the main panel. At the same end, a download section is allocated for the platform on which we operate, and the option to change the password.

We start by installing the extension for our browser, which we will access directly from the NordVPN page. We immediately sign in and are presented with a button to make a quick connection. This will be done to the fastest and closest server that we have in our location.

But below we can access the entire list of countries, select the one we want, and once again access a specific server. The system is very well designed, and all the servers we have tested are up and running.

It should be said that with this extension, only our browser will connect to the VPN network in all the tabs that we open on it. It is a useful way to isolate the browser’s connection to the rest of the computer, or another browser, which will continue to use the normal network. As configuration options, we have Block WebRTC and CyberSec explained before.

The application interface for Windows is similar, although this time the entire computer will be connected to the VPN network, all browsers, P2P applications, and others that require Internet access.

Its interface goes a step further and gives us a world map with the countries where there are designated servers. If we click on the ellipsis of anyone, all the available servers will appear. The default application connects to the fastest server in the chosen country.

Extra functions are added such as obtaining a dedicated IP, Double VPN function, Onion Over Router, and an optimized connection for P2P downloads. In the configuration section, there are also more configuration parameters available, for example, to select the communication protocol, connection when starting Windows, Kill Switch, personalized DNS, LAN invisibility, and of course access to our account.

We’ve also tested the Android app, though it’s pretty much identical to the one used on Windows. With it, we can encrypt all incoming and outgoing connections from the terminal with NordVPN. In fact, the options will be practically the same, with the corresponding map and list of countries.

In general, this is what NordVPN has to offer us in terms of options and configuration. The truth is that the company has optimized and lightened the interface as much as possible to provide instant access from any platform, and this is very good in terms of comfort and ease of use.

Watch American Netflix with NordVPN and other uses

Once we have seen all the available options, it is time to give some practical examples and what better way to explain how to watch American Netflix with NordVPN.

The explanation will be quite simple since it is basically about connecting our equipment to a server in the United States and then accessing our user account on the platform on which we are connected.

The good thing about Netflix is ​​that our account will work in any country, and it will also allow us to consume content not only in our language or that of the account but in any other as long as we are physically in that country. This is easy with a VPN since the IP address means that we are identified in said territory.

Of course, we must take into account how and when to use an extension or application to connect. The most comfortable thing will always be to use the application, in order to direct all connections through the VPN. If we use a browser extension, remember that only that browser connects to the VPN.

That said, we just have to open the browser and enter the Netflix URL. Note the difference between both URLs in the images you see here. When we do not use the VPN, the Netflix Spain page will open with that “/e/”, while with the VPN it will be “us-es”, which means that it is the American page in Spanish. From here we just have to enter our credentials and see the content. The summary could be this:

  • Install NordVPN App and register with the account
  • Connect to the US or the country we want
  • Open the Netflix page in the browser or app
  • Make sure it is /us-es/ and enter the credentials

In this chaos, we do not need to create an account associated with the country, but it is something that does happen, for example, with Disney Plus. And know that you will not be able to see paid content from these platforms for free or pirated, so do not confuse a VPN with access of this type.

Impact on bandwidth and tests

Everyone should get the most out of their account, but in any case, an ever-present concern will be the influence that the VPN has on our connection.

NordVPN tests your VPN speed every 8 hours every day on servers in the US, Australia, and the UK. In this way, the company provides us with updated results and statistics every day so that we can see the status and quality of the service. You can see these results on the ProPrivacy site.

Being a connection against an external server, the path that the data must take is longer, and the encryption layer causes latency to increase and bandwidth to decrease. NordVPN is one of the best values precisely because it affects the connection speed very little. Is it true?

We have tested this service on an Internet connection of about 40 Mbps. We have repeated the tests connected without VPN and with VPN in Spain, the US, and Australia, doing a speed and ping test. For this, we have used the OpenVPN (UDP) protocol and later NordLynx.

Using our connection without VPN we have obtained around 40 Mbps downlink and 7.8 Mbps uplink, therefore being the reference values. The ping obtained is an average of 31 ms in 10 samples.

With the connection made using the OpenVPN UDP protocol in NordVPN, we have obtained excellent results in all three locations, never going below 30 Mbps downstream, although downstream the distance is noticeable a little more in the case of Australia.

When we use the NordLynx protocol, the connection performance goes up a little in all cases, approximately 1 or 2 Mbps, the same thing happens with latency. In this way, the reliability of NordVPN and the low extra consumption of bandwidth it makes is more than demonstrated. Great optimization job.

The ping for its part continues to be really good the closer we are to home, and in all cases in which NordLynx is used as the protocol, improving OpenVPN. Of course, the highest is that of Australia because it is the most distant location, while in the US it rises to approximately 220 ms. Higher latency affects streaming and live videos more than online games.

Conclusions about NordVPN

Having seen the service that NordVPN offers us in detail, we could say that so far, it is the best VPN we have tried, the one that affects network connections the least, and one of the easiest to use.

Easy use is one of the company’s commitments, a VPN that connects in a maximum of 3 clicks. In addition to the fast connection mode, we have available more than 5000 servers in 59 countries around the world to select the one we want. To this is added its compatibility with practically any platform, be it PC, Smartphone or SmartTV.

It has multiple extra services such as advertising and malware blocking, IP masking or connections optimized for P2P, simultaneous connection of up to 6 devices, and integration with The Onion Router to give more anonymity, although this has not worked too well for us.

Best paid VPNs in 2020 – streaming, P2P, and security

Where it does deliver is in bandwidth optimization, which stays about the same with and without VPN. Although of course, this will depend on the server, and our location and it will inevitably increase latency. Playing content from Netflix or another platform in 720p or 1080p will be done without problems, and depending on the country, we could bet on 4K.

Its great infrastructure makes it one of the best VPNs in the world, and one of the most effective bypassing blocks in countries as hermetic as Asia, to access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and all the blocked ones. Its advanced encryption system also makes it ideal for work.

NordVPN is a paid service that will currently be available for around 3.11 euros per month in Spain with a subscription for three years. It is the most advantageous option in the long run, always the only one with the possibility of a return in 30 days, and one of the most economical and complete on the market. If you are looking for a VPN, it is undoubtedly one of the best. Visit their website here


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