NordVPN Review

Almost all NordVPN reviews find it hard to find full detailed information regarding this second best VPN for Australia, but that aside, we will take a look at what has changed and see if they have improved since the last spate of reviews.

With extensive testing, it would be good to see whether it still deserves a place at the top, or this was based on the previous set of rankings.

nordvpn australia

Overall Rank:Rated 2nd out of 74 VPNs
Usability:5/5
Locations:4870 servers in 60 countries
Logging files:No logs are being permanently stored
Netflix:Supports Netflix
Torrenting:Allows Torrenting
Speed test:Above average speeds
Jurisdiction:Panama - Outside 5-eyes but payments pass through the USA
Encryption:OpenVPN, IPSec, PPTP & L2TP

Privacy and Security

Location

While the company is based in Panama and out of any 5-eyes jurisdiction, which is a good thing. When signing up, payments are passed through CloudVPN Inc which is located in the USA and does fall under 5-eyes jurisdiction.

The company states this is merely to allow for a faster payment process because of banks not being over keen on making payments to Panama. It can make sense, but it is still something to ponder over if you are concerned about privacy.

Kill Switch

NordVPN has updated its apps with an improved firewall-based kill switch which automatically kills any software traffic should your VPN drop its connection.

The apps also offer a rule-based kill switch (legacy kill switch) which will force-close any open apps if the connection is lost.

NordVPN now includes a new feature (CyberSec) and can block malicious sites, ad blocker and tracking blocker.

Encryption

This VPN service uses OpenVPN and comes with 256-AES-CBC with a 2048bit Diffie-Hellman key. On iOS and MacOS clients, you’re encrypted via an IKEv2/IPsec protocol; AES-256-GCM and a 3072bit DH key.

NordVPN also provides a double protection feature which relays data through two VPN servers, and the second server being unaware of your real IP address. But, this comes with slow connection speeds due to extra processing.

Onion over VPN is also supported which can offer even more protection, but again this can seriously hit your connection speeds due to the nature of the Tor network.

Performance

Speed Test

In earlier reviews, the speeds of NordVPN were not the best, but since then things appear to have improved. With a 100 Mbps connection, you can see the results as follows:

Base Speed without VPN running – 100 MbpsNordVPN speed test
The speed with NordVPN running – 74.15 Mbps

The following tests were all conducted from a European destination and results could differ from NordVPN Australia locations:

  • US Server: 56 Mbps
  • UK Server: 94.63 M
  • European Server: 74 Mbps
  • Asia Server: 12 Mbps

With this, a few tests were run on specific servers which you can see here:

  • New York: 3.87 Mbps
  • Second US Server: 65 Mbps

As you can see, there is a considerable variation so you might need to manually change servers to obtain the best speeds.

Devices

NordVPN has dedicated apps for the following platforms:

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Android
  • Linux
  • iPhone and iPad (iOS)
  • Various routers

The company also provides detailed tutorials on how to connect to other devices and goes as far as the Raspberry Pi’s.

Customer Service

Customer support can be contacted through live chat, or via their support email. It is only recently they have added 24/7 live chat support, but their replies on occasion might be copy and paste responses.

If you select the email option for a more detailed inquiry, or the live chat operative couldn’t assist, you will find you are passed to another member of the support staff.

In testing, the live chat was above average in their response times which is an improvement.

If you have any problems accessing Netflix, there are specific routers which are up and working, and these are:

  • United States (3)
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands

Servers known to be blocked for US Netflix access is the Canadian server. Customer support can always assist if you find you still can’t connect via the above know working servers. The question is though, are the US Netflix VPN Australia users going to use have decent speeds, or would this drop?

Torrenting and P2P file sharing are well supported, and some NordVPN servers have the sole purpose of being a torrent downloader server, and these can be selected via the app.

NordVPN for torrenting

Pricing/Deals

NordVPN’s pricing is extremely simple and straightforward with no plans, just varying lock-in periods.

  • Monthly: $11.95 per month
  • 12-Month Plan: $6.99 per month (billed as $83.88 per year)
  • 2- Year Plan: $4.99 per month (billed as $119.76 every 2 years)
  • 3- Year Plan: $3.49 per month (billed as $$125.64 every 3 years)

You can buy NordVPN anonymously with bitcoin as well as PayPal, Credit Cards or other means. Once you’ve paid, you have immediate access, and you can make your NordVPN download.

One thing NordVPN does do compared to other top VPN services is to offer a NordVPN free trial which is currently 3 days. It might not seem a lot, but at least you can get a good feel for the service.

There are many sites which offer NordVPN coupons, but not all are legitimate, and many are only affiliate links.

You should also check the small print because with some VPN’s the 30-day money back guarantee is only if you purchase direct.

Cons

Speeds can still be inconsistent, and these are from tests conducted in vastly populated regions.

There have been reports the 30-day money back guarantee can take almost 30 days to process which is pretty dire considering some offer no quibble and immediate return of funds. Others can take up to 7-days maximum.

There is also still the niggling concern, they are connected to an American company, and although they give a reason for doing this, it could even mean they have user data.

Final Verdict

NordVPN has improved quite a lot, and it is good to see they are striving to reach the top spot. However, for them to be the best Australian VPN, they still need to address their speeds.

When you compare NordVPN Vs. ExpressVPN their speeds at the top end are a little slower, but consistency is way down.

Value wise, they offer excellent protection and are easy to use, couple this with the short NordVPN trial version, and it might sway you.

However prices are very similar to the market leader, and with that, you are sure to get consistent speeds.