● Key facts:
● NordVPN has a user base of 14 million.
● NordVPN is a product from Nord Security.
● Nord Security’s other products include NordPass (password manager), NordLocker (file encryption and storing tool), NordLayer (business VPN) and NordWL (toolkit for building VPN products).
● NordVPN operates under the jurisdiction of Panama, where there are no data retention laws.
● 1 month, 1 year and 2 year plans.
● At the moment, a 1 month subscription costs 11.99$.
● 1 year subscription comes in at a 39% discount at a total of 59.88$ or 4.99$ per month.
● 2 year subscription is currently the best value deal, with 62% off (83.43$ for two years or 3.09$ per month). Purchasing a 2 year subscription also gets users additional 3 months for free!
● There’s also a 30 day risk-free full refund.
● Currently, a bundle deal is also available.
● Users are able to purchase NordVPN + NordPass or NordVPN + NordPass + NordLocker bundles at a discounted price.
NordVPN + NordPass Pricing:
● 2 years for 107.73$ (3.99$per month at a discount of 62%)
Purchasing a 2 year subscription also gets users additional 3 months for free!
● 1 year for 70.68$ (5.89$ per month at a discount of 44%)
● 1 month for 12.89$
NordVPN + NordPass + NordLocker Pricing:
● 2 years for 142.83 $ (5.29$ per month at a discount of 68%)
Purchasing a 2 year subscription also gets users additional 3 months for free!
● 1 year for 86.28$ (7.19$ per month at a discount of 56%)
● 1 month for 14.19$
● At the moment NordVPN offers 5400+ servers in 59 countries.
● These include the most popular locations: The United States, Germany, Japan, The United Kingdom and others.
● The user is able to select a server from a number of specific cities in the US, France, Germany, India, France and Canada.
● NordVPN also offers a number of specialty servers:
● Double VPN servers encrypt and send user traffic through two servers, adding an extra layer of security. Recommended for political activists, journalists working in hot spots etc.;
● Onion Over VPN works as a standard server, however, traffic is also then routed through the Onion network as well, again, adding an extra layer of security;
● Obfuscated servers “hide” the fact that a person is using a VPN, which can otherwise be identified. These servers work even in countries where VPNs are heavily restricted and allow to bypass such restrictions as firewalls;
● P2P (Peer-to-Peer) servers are optimized for fast and secure file sharing;
● Dedicated IPs are not servers per se, but rather individual IPs that do what regular servers do: encrypt traffic and hide the user’s real identity. Dedicated IPs are usually not available to all clients of a VPN provider, but rather one person or a small group of people that buy them.
● NordVPN uses AES encryption standard with 256-bit keys, which is impossible to decrypt.
● NordVPN also offers three different types of VPN protocols:
● NordLynx (an adaptation of the WireGuard VPN protocol with a double NAT (Network Address Translation, which negates the possible WireGuard downside of privacy risks).
● Servers in RAM. As of September 2020, the entire NordVPN server structure is running on diskless RAM servers which means that no data is stored locally.
● Colocated servers. Regarding server infrastructure, NordVPN has also started to build a network of colocated servers owned exclusively by NordVPN where only NordVPN staff can access them.
● NordVPN also offers a Kill Switch feature, which cuts off the internet entirely, in case the connection between the device and NordVPN’s server goes down.
● NordVPN is a twice audited no-logs service.
● Additional features:
● NordVPN offers Split Tunneling for Android and Windows devices. It allows redirecting only a portion of the traffic (eg. an app) through a VPN server, while the rest of it is not routed via a server.
● NordVPN’s CyberSec is a technology that blocks ads and access to malicious websites. Fully available on iOS, Mac, Windows, and Linux, malicious websites are blocked on Android.
● Dark Web monitor scans the dark web for credentials associated with the user’s email address.
● NordVPN Presets function combines custom VPN settings (such as server selection) with shortcuts to apps or websites.
● NordVPN offers MFA for account protection, it’s also possible to access NordAccount with Google credentials.
● SmartPlay is a combination of VPN and Smart DNS features, which allows accessing content securely.
● NordVPN apps automatically choose the fastest server in a selected country.
● One NordVPN account can secure up to 6 devices and is supported on Android, iOS, Linux, Windows, Mac, Android TV, browser extension and others. NordVPN can also be used to secure the home router, this way securing all devices connected to the home Wi-Fi.
● Threat protection:
● Threat Protection is a new feature by NordVPN, which provides an additional layer of security and is essentially a step beyond VPN protection.
● Threat Protection is meant to provide safer browsing by blocking malicious websites, ads, and trackers, as well as identifying files infected with malware.
● A NordVPN blogpost about Threat Protection can be found here.
● Meshnet is a new feature by NordVPN that lets users access devices or encrypted private tunnels.
● Instead of connecting to a VPN server, users can connect to other devices no matter where they are.
● All traffic on Meshnet is encrypted, just like when connected to a VPN server.
● Meshnet is powered by NordLynx – our more secure and enhanced adaptation of the WireGuard VPN protocol.
● This opens up many new usage possibilities, including Lan gaming parties, file sharing or remote device access.
● A NordVPN blogpost about Meshnet can be found here.
● Customer support:
● NordVPN offers 24/7 customer support.
● Users can reach out via chat or email.
● Background information:
● In 2019, NordVPN became one of the founding members of the VPN Trust Initiative (VTI). VTI aims to establish an industry-wide quality standard for all VPN services and educate the public about VPNs' security benefits.
● In 2020 Troy Hunt, a web security legend and the creator of haveibeenpwned.com joined the Nord Security advisory board of independent experts.
● In 2021, on International VPN day (August 19th), NordVPN launched the National Privacy Test which is meant to educate internet users on possible online threats and raise cybersecurity awareness.
How does Threat Protection work:
● Malware Blocking. Threat Protection prevents users from accidentally visiting malicious websites, and scans downloaded files for Malware, deleting dangerous ones before they can do any damage.
● Threat Protection runs deep scans on all executable files that are up to 20MB in size. It does not scan files that might contain personal information, such as PDFs or .DOCXs.
● Some files in flash drives can be scanned for Windows users, if they’re downloaded from the internet, for example.
● Trackers. Threat Protection blocks third-party trackers, which collect private information.
● Ads. Threat Protection blocks intrusive ads, such as pop-ups, which can not only be annoying, but dangerous too, as some can contain malware.
● Always protected. Once set up, Threat Protection is always on, regardless of whether the user has a VPN connection on.
How does Meshnet work:
● In essence, Meshnet allows users to route their online traffic through another machine.
● Users can add 10 devices of their own (under the same account) + 50 external devices (via invitations).
● Meshnet is available on Mac, iOS, Windows, Android and Linux.
● At the moment, traffic routing is available on Windows and Linux devices, however, all other devices can connect to a Windows/Linux computer to route the traffic through.
● To protect against unauthorized access, device pairings have to be authorized by users.
● For this, each Nord account is given a unique name, used for these connections.
● Alternatively, each device is assigned a unique IP address by NordVPN (not to be confused with ISP IP address).