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ABOUT NORDVPN

NordVPN was established in 2012 by “four childhood friends”, as stated on its website.[2] Late in May 2016, it presented an Android app, followed by an iOS app in June the same year.[10] In October 2017, it launched a browser extension for Google Chrome.[11] In June 2018, the service launched an application for Android TV.[12]As of October 2019, NordVPN was operating more than 5,200 servers in 62 countries.[13]

In March 2019, it was reported that NordVPN received a directive from Russian authorities to join a state sponsored registry of banned websites, which would prevent Russian NordVPN users from circumventing Russian state censorship. NordVPN was reportedly given one month to comply, or face blocking by Russian authorities.[14] The provider declined to comply with the request and shut down its Russian servers on April 1. As a result, NordVPN still operates in Russia, but its Russian users have no access to local servers.[15]

In September 2019, NordVPN announced a VPN solution for business, called NordVPN Teams. It is aimed at small and medium businesses, remote teams and freelancers, who need to access work resources securely.[16]

In December 2019, NordVPN became one of the five founding members of the newly formed ‘VPN Trust Initiative’, promising to promote online security as well as more self-regulation and transparency in the industry.[17][18]

In August 2020, Troy Hunt, an Australian web security expert and founder of Have I Been Pwned?, announced a partnership with NordVPN as a strategic advisor. On his blog, Hunt described this role as “work with NordVPN on their tools and messaging with a view to helping them make a great product even better.”[19]

 

WHY USE VPN

To make your search for the best VPN provider a little easier, I will try to sum up some issues related to normal internet use and explain their importance  in relation to your safety.
First of all you don’t need to be doing illegal stuff on the internet to make you want a VPN, as ordinary users have an even greater risk surfing the internet as they are not always aware of the tricks being used to steal information.
If you’re using Wi-Fi which you probably will, you’re more exposed to the outside world then when using cable-network. Reading a simple online-newspaper which shows you advertisements between the lines always establishes a connection with your IP-address just in order to show the images. Reading your emails which many times include images and links transfer your IP-address to external servers filtering your behaviour. To put it simple ‘YOU’RE EXPOSED‘ to the world. For all doing the wrong-illegal stuff on internet like downloading films and music there’s a simple warning. Stop doing what you do..or get fined …or get a VPN to make yourself invisible to the outside world.

Being invisible, is what all VPN providers claim, but are you really safe and protected ? No way…check :

Any VPN which has its base location in the USA is not fully safe proof. They have to deal with severe law regulations regarding logging of users and their use of internet. So the first thing you need is a provider NOT LOGGING any IP or online activity! Simple and safe.

 

UNDERSTANDING PROXIES vs VPN vs TOR

Follow the link below to make the right decision, it’s important to understand the basic technical differences between the services

www.vpnmentor.com/blog/proxies-vs-vpn-understanding-the-difference/

HOW DOES VPN WORK

  1. When you connect to a virtual private network service, it authenticates your client with a VPN server.
  2. The server then applies an encryption protocol to all data you send and receive.
  3. The VPN service creates an encrypted “tunnel” over the internet. That secures the data traveling between you and your destination.
  4. To ensure each data packet stays secure, a VPN wraps it in an outer packet, which is then encrypted through encapsulation. That is the core element of the VPN tunnel, keeping the data safe during transfer.
  5. When the data arrives at the server, the outer packet is removed through a decryption process.

 

NORDVPN FEATURES

Stay safe – Secure internet: With NordVPN, all your internet data stays safe behind a wall of next-generation encryption.
Watch & download – Ultra-fast connection: You don’t need to sacrifice speed for better security. NordVPN gives you both.
Protect your data – Strict no-logs policy: We don’t track, collect, or share your private data. It’s none of our business.
Watch & download: Uninterrupted streaming – Bye-bye buffering. Enjoy your TV time anywhere, anytime, uninterrupted.
On any device: Privacy on the go – Protect your online life with one-click next-generation encryption for mobile.
Watch & download: VPN servers everywhere – Choose from 5400+ servers in 59 countries. Enjoy the internet with no limits or borders.
Stay safe: Obfuscated servers – Hide your internet traffic and VPN connection for maximum security.
Protect your data: Protect your data non-stop – Kill Switch will make sure your data will not be exposed. Not even for a brief moment.
Watch & download: Split tunneling support – Stream and share with VPN protection while still being able to surf local content.
Protect your data – Dedicated IP: Get a Dedicated IP address that will be used by a single person – you.
Protect your data – Mask your IP: Keep your browsing to yourself. Don’t let others track what you do online.
Watch & download – P2P welcome here: Share large files with no hassle thanks to hundreds of secure P2P servers.
Stay safe – Double protection: Change your IP twice and cover your web traffic with an extra layer of security.
On any device – Use with ease: It’s just a click. Using NordVPN is as simple and intuitive as making your morning coffee.
Protect your data- Onion Over VPN: Combine NordVPN encryption with the anonymity provided by The Onion Router.
Stay safe – Block malware and ads: Turn on CyberSec to avoid malware-hosting websites, annoying ads, and botnet control.
On any device – Browser extensions: Lightweight extensions for Chrome and Firefox will secure your browsing instantly.
Protect your data – No data leaks: To make sure your internet traffic is fully protected, take the DNS leak test.
Watch & download – Worldwide access: Enjoy instant secure access to hundreds of streaming websites worldwide.
Stay safe – Support 24/7: Have questions or need help with the NordVPN service? Our team of experts is here to help you.

NORDVPN INTERFACE and PREFS

NordVPN looks and settings are all bundled in one nicely designed interface. Its layout is adapting to the later MacOs systems like Catalina and Big Sur. Its plain without distracting colors or advertisements.

All settings are available, like the Kill Switch, and Open VPN protocols. The Cybersec is a bonus as it blocks advertisements and detects malware, very useful for your browse experience.
So NordVPN offers top protection and privacy is guaranteed by its strict No-Log policy, and a variety of additional protocols to use. Its one of the best I’ve seen yet.

Log files are available:

Screen Shot 2021 02 28 at 20.10.20

 

LEAK TESTS

I know, they claim to have no DNS leaks which we just take for granted but like to check if their claim holds. Our testing was done on:

The results were all positive and No leaks were found. Just check the results below.

CleanShot 2021 03 04 at 20.03.42@2x 1

 

VPN SPEED

Beside provided security we also want to have great surfing speed making our internet browsing a solid performer . The first image below shows a Speedtest without VPN, where the second image shows the Up- and Download speeds inMbps with NordVPN connected. You will notice a huge drop in speed by at least 50%. Still not noticeble while surfing, but downloads will have impact due to speed drop.

CleanShot 2021 03 04 at 19.38.45@2x 1 CleanShot 2021 03 04 at 19.39.40@2x 1

 

So we do have to deal with a drop in speed of 50% but still browsing is safe and smooth. We’re running this on WiFi on our iMacs and you might get different results depending of your location and internet provider. We use a Fibreglass connection allowing speed to 1000Mbps.

The protocols to use are IKEv2, OpenVPN (UDP and TCP) and NordLynx**.

*

WireGuard® is an extremely simple yet fast and modern VPN that utilizes state-of-the-art cryptography. It aims to be faster, simpler, leaner, and more useful than IPsec, while avoiding the massive headache. It intends to be considerably more performant than OpenVPN.

**

NordLynx is built on the WireGuard protocol, which is widely considered the fastest protocol available but does have some security issues to do with user anonymity. NordLynx sidesteps WireGuard’s flaws by combining it with NordVPN’s proprietary state-of-the-art security to get the best of both.

NordLynx rivals the best protocols in terms of speed and is equally fast on desktop applications and mobile devices, while OpenVPN and IKEv2 are better suited to specific devices. Either way, you just can’t go wrong with NordVPN.

 

CUSTOMER SUPPORT from NordVPN

NordVPN offers a first line of customer support with its support website. Articles are sorted into multiple categories, and a search box allows you to find your subject by keyword.

NordVPN website, shows the sections ‘FAQ’, ‘General Info’, ‘Billing’ and ‘Connectivity’, and it might take some try and error to find the details we were after.

If you can’t find the answers or files you’re after, a chatbot offers some intelligent help. If you need Open VPN files the bot presented an ‘OpenVPN configuration files’ link. So that’s rather clever for a bot.

If the bot can’t help you and I guess it sometimes won’t as it keeps asking stuff you don’t want, NordVPN also offers 24/7 live chat support, will respond after about 5-10 minutes. Email support is also available to put your question in case of needed support.

 

VERDICT

NordVPN is a great VPN provider with 5472 NordVPN servers in 59 countries worldwide, and an excellent no-logging audit. It’s not the fastest, or the most powerful VPN, but NordVPN provides true safety and its features are without doubt among the best available. Overall, it’s a polished and professional service which will deliver very good results for any user. The NordLynx protocol addition is a true bonus for those looking for upgraded speed.

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