The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

NordVPN review: Privacy features put to the test

Verified by Molly Dyson

NordVPN review: One of the best VPNs for privacy

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are an essential tool for anyone who regularly browses the web. Some of the best VPNs provide encrypted servers, allowing users to keep their location, browsing habits and personal information away from prying eyes and third parties. 

NordVPN launched in 2012 to help combat internet censorship, content control and, in some countries, increasingly intrusive government surveillance. Nord has only expanded since its conception, now operating in more than 60 countries with over 5,900 ultra-fast servers. 

The service uses bank-grade Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit keys, also known as AES-256. Innovative features such as Meshnet, Dark Web Monitor and NordLocker allow for further levels of protection and convenience for users; Nord regularly notifies whenever user emails appear in credited leaks, blocks users from downloading potentially malicious files and offers a dedicated password manager for further peace of mind. 

NordVPN’s comprehensive package not only allows for online anonymity but also the ability to bypass censorship while still keeping personal information private. In this comprehensive review, we take a look at all these features and weigh them up against competing VPNs to determine if NordVPN is worth considering.

60-second review

Rating: ★★★★½

NordVPN is one of the best-known VPN providers. It’s made a name for itself delivering a robustly secure service, which regular VPN audits have independently verified. In addition to protecting your online activities, it has several extra features designed to cement online security further. These include double VPN, dark web scanning, and the innovative Meshnet, allowing the creation of a secure private network of devices located anywhere in the world. 

While NordVPN isn’t the cheapest provider, the additional features, trustworthy no-logs policy and rigorous security protocols make it a good choice for most users.

How we research and rate VPNs

100+
hours performance testing
500+
customer reviews read
100+
hours of research
25
competitors compared
4
vpn experts consulted

Our reviewers are dedicated to bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information so you can make an informed decision when it comes to buying a VPN. We will only recommend a VPN after hours of testing, extensive head-to-head feature comparisons, and after taking into account verified customer feedback and reviews, and the opinions of industry experts.

Our review scores are determined by the following categories:

  • Privacy and performance (30 per cent)
  • Features and functionality (30 per cent)
  • Reputation and credibility (25 per cent)
  • Plans and pricing/value (10 per cent)
  • Customer experience (5 per cent)

We research and test a total of 25 elements within these categories, including:

  • Number and location of servers
  • Streaming service accessibility
  • Security features such as AES-256
  • Performance (upload and download speeds, latency)
  • Value for money, guarantees and customer service
  • Independent server-site security audits

All of our VPN articles are verified by our in-house team of fact-checkers, so you can be assured our content is as accurate and up to date as possible. Read our article on how we review VPNs to find out more.

NordVPN overview

  • Lowest price: £2.49 per month for a 24-month subscription
  • Free version: No
  • Free trial: Seven-day trial for Android app users
  • Maximum number of connected devices: 6
  • Number of servers: 5,900+
  • VPN protocol(s): IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN, and NordLynx (WireGuard/ChaCha20 protocol)
  • No-log policy: Does not log user activity – independently verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland and Deloitte
  • Headquarters: Panama

Pros

5,500+ servers across 60 countries Independently audited security features AES-256 encryption 24/7 customer support

Cons

Above average renewal prices Basic browser extensions

How does NordVPN compare?

NordVPN is one of the most secure providers we’ve reviewed. It employs strong security measures, including one of the best encryption algorithms available to scramble your data; robust VPN tunnelling to hide your online presence; and double VPN servers that add another layer of encryption.

NordVPN has expanded beyond VPN protection by offering additional products. NordPass securely manages passwords; NordLocker stores your documents in an encrypted ‘vault’; and the unique Meshnet enables the creation of a secure private network for up to 60 devices located anywhere in the world. 

It also regularly releases third-party audits, establishing NordVPN as a site that takes privacy and security seriously. 

Our experts have compared NordVPN with other top providers to see which delivers the best protection and features.

VPN providerPriceFree version?Number of serversMaximum number of devicesNetflixBBC iPlayerDisney+AmazonHBO MaxAudit?
NordVPNFrom £2.49/mNo5,900+6Yes
ExpressVPNFrom £6.79/mNo3,000+5Yes
SurfsharkFrom £1.79/mNo3,200+UnlimitedYes
CyberGhostFrom £1.78/mNo9,7737Yes
Proton VPNFrom £4.26/mYes2,700+10Yes
Compare our top recommended providers
Best Overall
Get up to 67% off
Best Value
Get 79% off + 2 months free
Best All-rounder
3 months free on the 12 month plan
Best for Gaming
Get 82% off + 2 months extra

How much does NordVPN cost?

NordVPN offers several subscription tiers, with options to pay monthly, annually or for a two-year plan. The two-year NordVPN deal is the cheapest by a significant margin, coming in at £2.49 per month. It’s an overall discount of up to 70 per cent, while the provider will also throw in three extra months for free to sweeten the deal until 12 June 2024.

Users have the option to get a full refund within 30 days by contacting customer support. There’s also a seven-day free trial for Android if you download NordVPN from Google Play.

If you purchased NordVPN through Apple’s App Store, you must contact App Store support if a 30-day money-back guarantee is required.

Subscription termStandard planPlus planUltimate plan
Monthly£10.39 ($12.99) / month£11.19 ($14) / month£13.09 ($16.38) / month
12 months (+3 months free)£3.59 ($4.49) / month (£53.85/$67.36 up front for 15 months)£4.39 ($5.49) / month (£65.85/$82.37 up front for 15 months)£6.39 ($7.99) / month (£95.85/$119.89 up front for 15 months)
24 months (+3 months free)£2.49 ($3.11) / month (£67.23/$84.09 up front for 27 months)£3.19 ($3.99) / month (£86.13/$107.73 up front for 27 months)£5.19 ($6.49) / month (£140.13/$175.28 up front for 27 months)

Payment options

NordVPN has a variety of payment options, including cryptocurrency:

  • Credit/debit card
  • Direct debit
  • Paypal
  • Amazon Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • iTunes
  • Sofort
  • Cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, XRP and Ethereum 
  • In-store at Best Buy, Target, and other retail locations – payment in cash is accepted via this method

NordVPN features

NordVPN delivers a broad range of valuable features, including a few that are unique. It supports a number of VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and its own WireGuard-based NordLynx, which offer powerful encryption that’s well balanced with an impressively high-level performance. Domain Name System (DNS) leak protection and a robust kill switch, which blocks your internet access if the server connection drops, keep your identity safely hidden. 

Server access is granted through the above-industry-standard SHA-512 hash function (SHA stands for secure hashing algorithm). SHA-512 is considered more secure than the standard SHA-256 because it generates a larger hash value (512 bits compared with 256 bits for SHA-256). This scrambles your credentials into 512 meaningless binary digits, which are then compared to the cryptographic hashes generated when your account was created. Only if they match are you allowed in. 

NordVPN’s Threat Protection detects and blocks ads, phishing, and malware. It also regularly checks a database of known vulnerabilities to ensure your installed apps are not there and will notify you immediately if a vulnerable app is found on your computer.

It also boasts support for six simultaneous connections, with Meshnet allowing an encrypted network for up to 10 devices on your account and up to 50 external devices (provided they are also NordVPN users). Meshnet users can now send files to offline devices, with compatiblity with VPN connections over the OpenVPN protocol. Dark Web Monitor scans the internet for credential leaks; if one is found that is associated with your NordVPN email address, you are notified immediately.

With a responsive 24/7 support team, contactable via live chat or email, NordVPN offers a competitive service.

Server count and countries

NordVPN has more than 5,900 servers across 60 countries. While many providers rent their servers, NordVPN now owns, maintains and manages most of its servers, following a data breach at a third-party centre in 2018. It has a range of privacy-focused servers, enabling you to select the best one for your needs:

  • Double VPN: By sending your internet activity through two servers instead of one, your data is encrypted twice
  • Onion over VPN: The Onion Router (TOR) is a secure, encrypted protocol that ensures privacy for online data and communications. When connected to an Onion over VPN server, your internet traffic goes through a NordVPN server, passes through the Onion network, and only then reaches the internet
  • Obfuscated: These servers bypass the VPN-blocking firewalls that some countries and governments employ by using complex algorithms
  • Dedicated IP: Functioning like standard servers, the difference is you’re the only person who is able to access the IP address. These servers are only available if you purchase a dedicated IP address for an additional monthly cost 

NordVPN has recently replaced some 1Gbps servers with a number of 10Gbps servers, ready for the 5G service rollouts.

For those looking for a VPN for torrenting, NordVPN integrates very well with BitTorrent’s proxy setup, and it offers Socks5 servers for location spoofing and greater privacy protection when downloading publicly-owned files.

A controversial topic that is often mentioned when counting server numbers is virtual servers and locations. Virtual servers require multiple links that must work together cohesively, and there can be discrepancies between the VPN server’s physical location and its IP address. Although not inherently problematic, some providers have been accused of a lack of transparency regarding their infrastructure. NordVPN’s servers are all dedicated and in the physical locations listed. 

In 2020, NordVPN made the switch to RAM-only servers, meaning no user data is written to disk, and nothing is gained by seizing servers. While it is not the only provider to do this, it adds to the company’s protection measure arsenal.

No-log policy and headquarters

Connect to a VPN server, and you can shield your internet traffic from your internet service provider (ISP). Although your online activities are hidden from others, they are visible to the VPN provider. This makes it crucial to know what, if any, data the provider stores. 

A no-log VPN doesn’t collect details relating to traffic passing through its servers. However, servers in some countries are bound by strict laws forcing them to store some data. To avoid this, no-log VPNs should operate in locations without data retention laws, such as Panama, where NordVPN has its headquarters.

NordVPN has a stringent and highly visible no-log policy, which PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland and Deloitte have independently verified in 2018, 2020 and 2023. It was the first major VPN provider to submit its no-log practices for auditing and have its claims verified. All it retains is the username and time of the last session, but this is deleted after 15 minutes.

Kill switch

A kill switch is an essential tool for keeping your online data safe. It’s designed to monitor your remote server connection constantly. If ever that connection drops unexpectedly, the kill switch instantly blocks internet access for your device, securing your data and preventing exposure. 

NordVPN employs two kill switches. For Windows, you can either disable full internet access or specify which applications should be blocked if the connection to a NordVPN server drops. The full disable option is advised unless you know exactly which apps are running on your device. 

The company’s Linux, Android, iOS and macOS apps have an integrated kill switch that, if your connection drops, prompts a system-wide lockdown. Using the OpenVPN protocol on your Mac allows you to specify which apps you wish to shut. For Android 7 and later, you’ll need to enable the kill switch in ‘settings’.

Split tunnelling

Split tunnelling is an advanced VPN feature that maintains two connections simultaneously, enabling the user to select which apps are protected and which access the internet directly. Under the app’s settings menu, you can specify which apps you want to protect.

Inverse split tunnelling encrypts your whole connection by default, with only trusted apps allowed to access the internet directly; this is the safest option for split tunnelling. 

There are multiple reasons to use split tunnelling. It enables you to surf at leisure while ensuring sensitive data remains hidden. Connecting to a VPN can lock you out of some countries’ websites, but by employing split tunnelling, you can browse sites knowing that your private information is secure on the other connection. 

NordVPN split tunnelling is available on Windows 8.1 onwards, while inverse split tunnelling is used with Android, Android TV, Windows 8.1 and later apps.

Encryption and privacy

When you’re on the internet, every activity you carry out goes through your ISP. For example, if you want to visit a particular website, your request is sent to the ISP, which directs you to your destination. This information can be sold to advertisers, accessed by hackers, or handed over to the authorities. 

VPN encryption prevents any third parties from accessing your data by scrambling it. A VPN tunnel between your device and your destination encrypts and shields your data and internet activity, allowing your online presence to be completely hidden. 

NordVPN uses AES with 256-bit keys – an advanced level of encryption that is approved by governments, cybersecurity experts, cryptography enthusiasts, and the National Security Agency. According to NordVPN, no encryption is unbreakable, given time, but, in theory, it could take billions of years or technology that doesn’t exist yet to crack AES-256.

NordVPN has created its data tunnel using three different security protocols: 

  • IKEv2/IPsec: Operating with the most advanced version of Internet Key Exchange (IKEv2), based on internet protocol security (IPsec), which enhances security speed and stability, and employs powerful keys and cryptographic algorithms
  • OpenVPN: This versatile security protocol uses an open source code, allowing it to constantly improve. Guaranteeing the safety of your most sensitive data, NordVPN utilises the AES-256 encryption algorithm with a 4096-bit DH key
  • NordLynx: Combining WireGuard protocol with NordVPN’s innovative double Network Address Translation (NAT) system allows a super-fast secure connection with no identifiable data stored. According to independent tests by AV-TEST, NordVPN is nearly twice as fast as its competition.

Our research found that several other VPN providers, including ExpressVPN, Surfshark, VPNSecure and CyberGhost, also use AES-256 encryption. However, the comprehensive package of extra features could give NordVPN the edge, depending on what you’re looking for in a VPN.

Other features

NordVPN has moved beyond VPN to offer several other features. Depending on the payment package selected, you may be charged extra for these features. 

Threat Protection

Originally rolled out as CyberSec, NordVPN’s security solution is now called Threat Protection. Designed to protect against online cyber threats, such as trackers and malware, it identifies threats before downloading any files, and blocks them before they infect your device. 

Threat Protection also blocks intrusive ads and prevents you from landing on a malicious website. 

Even when not connected to a VPN, by activating the NordVPN app, Threat Protection still provides advanced protection against unknown threats and online attacks. There’s no additional cost for Threat Protection. 

Meshnet

Meshnet allows you to access devices over encrypted private tunnels, but unlike a VPN, you don’t connect to a server but to other devices anywhere in the world. Powered by NordLynx with enhanced privacy solutions, device connections via Meshnet enjoy top-grade security protection.

Meshnet is designed for safe file sharing and gaining access to files stored on remote devices, work collaboration, and multiplayer gaming. Linking up to 60 devices (10 on your account, plus 50 external devices), each has a unique Meshnet IP address that is only used for this purpose. 

Meshnet is available for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux in the NordVPN apps.

Dark Web Monitoring

The dark web is a heavily encrypted part of the internet that has gained notoriety for being a mysterious domain inhabited by criminals and hackers. However, many users head to this region for beneficial reasons too. Whistleblowers, citizens needing to circumvent government censorship, or academics wanting to access prohibited papers are just a few reasons why users may access the dark web. 

There’s a good chance that some of your personal information is already on the dark web. Data breaches from corporations leak millions of user profiles every year, which can quickly fall into the wrong hands.  

NordVPN’s Dark Web Monitoring service uses advanced cybersecurity to scan dark web forums and sites for your credentials continually. If any personal data has leaked into the dark web, you’ll be alerted so you can take steps to lock down the vulnerable account. 

Dark Web Monitoring provides 24/7 protection for as long as it’s enabled, alerting you when there is a leak but otherwise scanning quietly in the background.

NordVPN performance test results

The best way to find out how a VPN affects a user’s internet speed is to test it. 

There are three main components to consider when testing internet speed, with or without a VPN: download speed, upload speed and latency (ping).

  • Download speed: The rate at which digital data is transferred from the internet to your device.
  • Upload speed: The rate that data is transferred from your device to the internet. 
  • Latency (ping): The time it takes for a set of data to be transmitted to a server on the internet and back to your device again. 

Our researchers thoroughly tested NordVPN to establish how using the service affected internet download and upload speeds. First, we tested the speeds without the VPN to obtain a baseline with which to calculate the degradation between the speeds with and without NordVPN. Then we moved on to test speeds from the UK to servers on other continents. Our reviewers used the Ookla Speedtest for this research.

NordVPN review speed test without VPN
Speed test result without NordVPN activated. This is our base line. The numbers along the bottom of the image are the ping (latency) in milliseconds and the amount of data downloaded (green) and uploaded (purple) during the test, measured in megabytes.
Download speed (Mbps)Upload speed (Mbps)Latency (ping)Percentage of base download speedPercentage of base upload speed
No VPN37.459.389ms
UK to UK35.948.9513ms95%95%
UK to US35.978.9191ms96%94%
UK to Aus31.928.28253ms85%88%

Throughout our NordVPN tests, download speed was the area we expected to be the most negatively affected by using a VPN. A download speed should be above 25 Mbps to provide a good internet experience, although this does depend on the use – gamers often demand speeds of 50 Mbps and above, for example.

The UK to UK degradation was 5 per cent, but our researchers were surprised to see that the download speed from the UK to the US was slightly faster, showing a degradation of only 4 per cent. NordVPN has servers in 15 US cities, and you can select which server you wish to be connected to. The default setting appears to pick the one closest to your current physical location, which in this case was on the East coast and offered pretty decent download speeds of 35.97 Mbps. 

The latency, often called ping or lag, is the measure, in milliseconds, of how long it takes for data to travel to a destination and back. It’s one of the leading indicators of network performance quality. A latency of more than 150ms generates a noticeable lag, which could negatively impact gameplay, streaming, graphics, etc. A latency of below 50ms is considered best for optimal performance. 

Our UK to UK tests showed a latency of 13ms as opposed to 9ms without any VPN. Using NordVPN would seem to make very little difference to the speed or performance of your device if you’re in the UK and connecting to a VPN server also located in the UK. However, from the perspective of security and online privacy, the advanced encryption offered by NordVPN could provide peace of mind, especially with cybercrime on the rise.

NordVPN speed test UK to UK
Speed test result when connected to a NordVPN UK server from the UK.

The UK to US connection also showed a latency of 91ms, compared with 9ms for no VPN. Depending on the reason for being online, this level of latency could affect your activities. 

NordVPN speed test UK to US
Speed test result when connected to a NordVPN US server from the UK.

Connecting to a server in Australia produced download speeds that were 10 per cent slower than a UK to UK connection, while upload times were 7 per cent slower – meaning the connection was better than expected, considering the distance. These speeds won’t necessarily cause an issue with online activity. However, the latency of 253ms is 162ms greater than the lag from the UK to the US, and would undoubtedly negatively impact traffic, making streaming, video communication or gaming troublesome. 

NordVPN speed test UK to Australia
Speed test result when connected to a NordVPN Australian server from the UK.

The results of our NordVPN testing show that the provider delivers a reliably fast service, even when the server is located on the other side of the world. However, the high latency when connecting to servers in Australia is likely to have detrimental effects online.

WebRTC leak test

Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) is an open-source technology that enables real-time communications between web browsers without the need for an intermediate server. Recognised for its ability to speed up and enhance video and audio chats, it has many other applications, including data transfer. Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Safari and Mozilla Firefox support WebRTC technology. 

It has many advantages for the user. By reducing the lag time for video and audio chats, it’s an excellent choice for webinars and professional gamers, while the super-fast sharing capabilities make it ideal for collaborative projects where large files need to be shared. Being an open-source project, WebRTC is continually improving and expanding its capabilities.

WebRTC, however, is vulnerable. For it to work effectively, the devices communicating need to know each other’s IP addresses, and this IP visibility can be a big privacy issue. If you use a browser with WebRTC enabled, even with a VPN, your IP address could be leaked. Performing a WebRTC leak test is simple and the best way to enact leak prevention.

Our researchers conducted various WebRTC leak tests, both with and without using NordVPN. Without the VPN, our IPs were exposed; but by going through NordVPN, our IP addresses were hidden, with no leaks detected. NordVPN successfully passed multiple WebRTC leak tests.

Breaches and audits

In 2018, it was widely publicised that NordVPN had a security breach. The attack affected a single VPN server in Finland and was the result of a compromised data centre account – not an account managed by NordVPN itself. According to NordVPN, its servers were not compromised, and as the attack didn’t touch its central infrastructure, the hacker had no access to any user credentials or data. 

As a result of this breach, NordVPN moved to managing its own servers, removing the need for third-party involvement. 

NordVPN is very transparent regarding its no-log policy, security measures and privacy procedures. This has resulted in the company requesting a number of independent audits to establish that its claims are reliable and trustworthy. In fact, it was the first major VPN to do this. 

PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland was engaged to conduct thorough examinations in 2018 and again in 2020, establishing that there were no deficiencies in NordVPN’s no-log policy and that no logs were kept. 

In 2023, another independent no-logs audit was successfully passed, with the industry-leading auditing firm Deloitte concluding that NordVPN doesn’t record or store any user activity logs.

Compatibility and apps

NordVPN apps offer broad scoping compatibilities across a range of devices: 

  • Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (version 1607 or later), and Windows 11
  • MacOS
  • Linux aarch64, armv5, armv7, i386, and x86_64. Minimal kernel version: 3.7.0 for aarch64 and 3.2.0 for other architectures
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick
  • Android TV
  • Xbox
  • PlayStation
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Oculus Quest
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Chromebook
  • Chromecast
  • Kindle Fire

NordVPN is available to download on mobile devices using:

  • iOS
  • Android 7.0 or later

NordVPN provides browser extensions for:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge

Desktop app

It’s super easy to download and install NordVPN’s desktop app. It’s also quick and simple to set up an account. Once in, the home screen is sleek, easy to read and very user-friendly. 

An onboarding wizard is a valuable option, particularly if you’re new to VPNs, and provides opportunities to customise your settings to suit. For example, you can define the circumstances in which NordVPN will connect automatically or how you want the kill switch to function. You can also make the kill switch app-specific, which appears to be a feature unique to NordVPN.  

There’s a prompt to download NordPass, NordLocker, and the relevant browser extension – our researchers used several browsers during our tests. 

A map displays NordVPN’s server locations (simply click on them to connect), while a drop-down menu provides an alphabetical list. If you select a country, you are automatically connected to the most appropriate server (although, you can override this function), while ‘quick connect’ will connect you to the nearest VPN.

The app doesn’t include a list of all NordVPN servers, but if you want to connect to one specific server, type the country followed by a hash and the server number – eg, United States #8877.

NordVPN desktop app home page
The NordVPN desktop app home page showing whether you are connected and which servers are available.

NordVPN’s speciality servers can be employed for specific tasks – P2P, Double VPN, Tor, dedicated IPs and more – and with the Meshnet feature, you can connect to a specified device, such as your home PC, while you’re away.

NordVPN desktop app showing connection
The NordVPN desktop app showing the various types of speciality servers available.

A pause option allows you to disconnect from the VPN temporarily. This is useful if you need to use a non-VPN-compatible website quickly. Once finished, you can click resume, or you’ll be reconnected automatically, preventing you from being exposed long-term. 

NordVPN desktop app pause function
The NordVPN desktop app has a pause feature that allows you to temporarily turn off the VPN connection.

Our researchers found NordVPN easy to use, with concise, intuitive navigation and clear signalling. There’s plenty of scope for customisation, allowing robust control over your online visibility.

Mobile app

NordVPN mobile app screenshot
The NordVPN mobile app.

Similar to NordVPN’s desktop app, the mobile versions have a clean, uncluttered appearance that’s so important for smaller screens. Clearly marked menus make navigating the app organic, enabling you to quickly create a customised VPN. 

You can connect to a server manually and automatically – as with the desktop version – or by asking Siri. 

Overall, NordVPN provides users with a good desktop and mobile experience, allowing safe and secure browsing at home or on the move. The crisp responsiveness enables rapid disconnect and reconnect when necessary, while the choice of speciality servers provides robust online security. In fact, our researchers found NordVPN to have the best overall mobile VPN app, and they also named it the best VPN for iPhone and best VPN for Android, as well as the best VPN for PC. It was the fastest VPN for Mac in our testing, it provides a decent VPN app for Firestick, and it’s one of the best VPNs for Chrome thanks to its intuitive browser extension. 

Router compatibility

NordVPN can be run through a compatible router, allowing all the devices on your network to connect automatically to the VPN, eliminating the need to connect manually and removing any security or privacy issues. With a NordVPN account, you can connect up to six devices, but with the service installed on your router, you can cover as many devices as your network will. This includes game consoles and TVs.  

Whilst some routers won’t support VPNs, below are several suggestions that will support OpenVPN:

  • EdgeRouter and Ubiquiti
  • GL.iNet
  • Netduma
  • Netgear
  • MikroTik
  • Peplink/Pepwave
  • Linksys WRT 3200 ACM
  • Asus RT-AC86U
  • Teltonika RUTX11
  • Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200

Customer support

NordVPN has several options for contacting its customer support team. 

Live chat is available 24/7, and although initially you’re put through to a chatbot, you can bypass that to talk to a customer support member. Our researchers found the chatbot helpful for simple queries, with a broad range of answers and suggestions. For more complex issues, NordVPN’s customer support personnel were friendly, and could provide a good level of help and guidance. 

For less pressing matters, email NordVPN at support@nordvpn.com, and customer support will get back to you in around an hour during weekdays, or the following Monday morning if it’s a weekend.  

NordVPN also provides an exceptionally comprehensive help centre, with easy to understand answers to the many questions that are most commonly asked.

What do customers say?

  • Trustpilot: 4.2 (28,677 reviews)
  • Apple App store: 4.7 (6,600 reviews)
  • Google Play: 4.5 (825,000 reviews)

Customer scores on Trustpilot, Apple App Store and Google Play are all above four stars (out of five), putting it in Trustpilot’s “great” category. On all three platforms, NordVPN’s customer support team responds promptly with solutions for negative reviews, suggesting that it takes its users’ concerns very seriously. 

Trustpilot reviews are generally positive, with 82 per cent awarding four or five stars. Many customers mention the performance, attentive customer service and how accessible it is for tech novices.

icons8-review-96

“I’ve been using NordVPN for a number of years now and have not had any incidents so far. Nord gives you complete anonymity while using your devices and stands guard on the web.”

 

“I find NordVPN really easy to use and I wouldn’t describe myself as any sort of computer expert. I like the thought that I am protected whilst online, whether browsing or doing online banking. I have never had any problems with NordVPN or any of its functions. It always connects easily and fast. I would happily recommend NordVPN to anyone who needs a good reliable VPN.”

Several reviews on Google Play mention unstable performance and issues with the servers disconnecting. The rating for the Google TV version of the NordVPN app on Google Play sits at 3.1 stars out of five, with most reviews commenting on poor performance and issues connecting to Google TV or Chromecast devices. 

However, a majority of customers have given the NordVPN app four or five stars on the Google Play platform.

icons8-review-96

“[The app] used to work great for me, which is why I paid for three years, but [it’s] not so good recently. Specifically, the auto connect and disconnect [feature has not been good]. One of the big reasons I got Nord was because you can set it to connect on wifi, and disconnect for mobile, [but] that feature seems to be completely broken now and I have to manually disconnect it when I leave a wifi connection. It either doesn’t disconnect, or goes to ‘attempting to connect’ and kills your mobile connection or the performance of it.”

NordVPN has the highest customer rating on the Apple App Store, with a majority of the reviews being positive. The small number of reviews that are negative are promptly addressed, with advice and solutions being offered by customer support personnel.

icons8-review-96

“I love having the extra security, as I have a lot of sensitive material on my desktop, iPads and phones. The only issue I do have with the app is in order to access some accounts or other apps, I have to pause the VPN service. So I have opened my material and other accounts up to have it hacked while accessing other important and needed programmes and information. Besides that hiccup, I am satisfied with the app and I am happy I got the two-year subscription.”

Independent Advisor’s verdict

NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs, and it’s easy to see why. 

Employing robust, military-grade AES-256 encryption allows the user to surf and stream in complete privacy. Although other VPNs use the same encryption, having headquarters in Panama – a country with no legal requirement to retain or relinquish user data – means NordVPN won’t face demands for its users’ credentials. Which makes it even more attractive as a VPN provider. 

NordVPN led the way with regular independent audits to verify its stringent no-log policy. The results of its third such audit have just been published, repeating the findings of the previous two that no data is collected or retained by NordVPN. This level of reassurance and transparency is another reason why so many users choose NordVPN. 

Moving beyond VPN services, NordVPN provides a broad range of user services, often utilising highly advanced, innovative technology. These include Meshnet, Dark Web Monitor, NordLynx, and Threat Protection. Whilst NordVPN isn’t the cheapest provider around, these extra features make the price worthwhile. 

NordVPN offers a polished, professional performance that delivers great results, and provides users with online anonymity without compromising their experience.  

Overall score: ★★★★½

Score breakdown

Reputation★★★★½
Privacy★★★★★
Performance and features★★★★½
Plans and pricing value★★★★
Customer experience★★★★
Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.79 /Month
£6.79 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.26 /Month
£4.26 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.60 /Month
£4.60 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £2.92 /Month
£2.92 /Month

The data in this review is reported from a neutral stance and should be used for informational purposes only. We review VPN services from the perspective of:

  • The quality of the product based on the security it affords the user
  • User experience of the application(s)
  • Level and quality of customer service

Independent Advisor does not endorse the streaming of content from regions other than where the subscription is held, nor does it endorse the downloading or consumption of illegally pirated content.

Katharine Allison

Energy Saving Writer

As Independent Advisor’s energy saving expert, Katharine, a keen advocate for sustainability, is an authority on solar panels, double glazing, and cutting-edge renewable energy technologies. Her dedication merges with a commitment to enlighten and steer readers toward embracing eco-friendly solutions and the latest trends in sustainability.

With over 10 years of experience, she has worked with some of the UK’s leading companies and publications, including the Federation of Master Builders, Architectural Digest, and Denon Construction. 

Katharine is particularly passionate about consumer causes and animal welfare and has art, philosophy, and psychology degrees. She lives with her sled dogs in East Sussex.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.