How to Configure NordVPN on Netgear Routers

NordVPN Netgear Router

Netgear is a very popular brand of router that is used by millions of people worldwide. In fact, they manufacture some of the best VPN routers.

Unlike Asus, however, Netgear routers do not support OpenVPN right out of the box. Without this OpenVPN support, Netgear routers cannot be used with NordVPN without some additional work being done first.

Check If Your Netgear Router Supports DD-WRT

If you have a Netgear router and want to use NordVPN with it, you may be able to depending on what type of Netgear router you have and whether you can “flash” it with DD-WRT firmware.

To find out whether or not your Netgear router is supported by DD-WRT, find out its model number and then cross-reference it with this list of routers.

Did you find your Netgear router on the list? Then let’s move on.

Flashing Your Netgear Router with DD-WRT

If your Netgear router is on this list, then this means you can “flash” it with DD-WRT and continue with this tutorial. If not, you will need to invest in a different router.

Installing (or “flashing”) DD-WRT onto your router is quite a technically-involved task. The developers of DD-WRT have created an in-depth guide to walk you through the process, though.

Follow this guide carefully. Once you have successfully flashed your router with DD-WRT, return here.

The main points of the DD-WRT installation guide are:

  1. You need to first do some research and make sure you select the correct firmware.First steps are often the most difficult. This is an extremely important step which they emphasize as well.
  2. They also mention that failure to do research and setting things wrong can brick your device (render it useless and unrepairable).
  3. Prepare to go offline! Your router is the connection to the internet. During the flashing process, the router will not function. This means printing the instructions or using your mobile connection to troubleshoot.
  4. Flashing through various methods. Usually the command line is the easiest but it is quite intimidating for those who have never typed a command line before.

Setting Up NordVPN With Your Netgear Router

When you have flashed your router with the DD-WRT firmware, you will be able to set up an OpenVPN connection to NordVPN.

The setup steps are as follows:

  1. Open the DD-WRT admin panel.
  2. Disable IPv6.
  3. Enable OpenVPN with NordVPN login credentials.
  4. Run scripts.
  5. Configure OpenVPN.
  6. Check that everything works.

Read the full DD-WRT Setup Guide for NordVPN to learn how to do the setup in a step-by-step format with pictures.

NordVPN on iOS and macOS

Apple devices may be renowned for being inherently more secure than other devices, but that does not make them invincible.

In fact, when it comes to the security of your privacy and personal data, you are no more secure as a user of Apple products than a user of Windows or Android products.

Why Use a VPN on macOS and iOS?

If you want to ensure your anonymity and privacy, the best and simplest way of doing this is by using a VPN. With one installed, you protect your personal data, IP address, and browsing activity, among other things, from everyone trying to eavesdrop on it.

These people can include the government and surveillance agencies, your ISP, malicious hackers, advertisers, and law enforcement agencies.

In addition, a VPN makes torrenting a lot safer and, by spoofing your location, enables you to bypass geo-blocked content on streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Apple TV. Content problems? We don’t have any.

These are just a few of many reasons why people use VPNs on macOS and iOS.

Choosing a VPN

Personally, we recommend NordVPN. It is this service that is going to be the focus of this tutorial. And since you’re reading this, it means it’s also on your list. If you would like to learn more about NordVPN and why we recommend it, check out our comprehensive review of the service.

While NordVPN is brilliant, it is not right for everybody.

NordVPN recognizes this, too. As this is the case, they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their subscriptions. This lets you try out the VPN risk-free and get your money back if you don’t like it.

There are plenty of other VPNs that you can subscribe to. Most of these have undergone our comprehensive review service and the results can be found on our website.

Installing NordVPN on macOS

NordVPN offers a native app for macOS which makes the installation and use a breeze.

Here’s how you can install it for yourself.

1. Subscribe to a NordVPN plan

To download, install, and use NordVPN, you need to be subscribed to one of their plans.

We recommend their 3-year plan for the best value (remember, their 30-day money-back guarantee applies to it so there is no risk) at $2.99 per month.

Once you have chosen a plan and paid for it, activate your account via email. You will then be able to login to the NordVPN UCP and download NordVPN’s macOS app.

Once it has downloaded, head to your Downloads folder and launch the NordVPN.pkg file that has just been downloaded.

An installation window will then open and you will be walked through the NordVPN installation process. You don’t need to do anything; NordVPN does all the work for you.

2. Setting up the NordVPN app

Open your Launchpad and look for the NordVPN app icon. Double click it. A window will then appear asking you to give permission for NordVPN to install Helper, a tool that allows NordVPN to create a VPN tunnel.

This is a mandatory step; you must give it permission for NordVPN to work.

Simply enter your password and click ‘OK’. Once you have done this, authenticate with your NordVPN details.

Then you can log into NordVPN with details you signed up with.

3. Connecting to NordVPN

Once everything is installed and you have logged in, it is very easy to get connected to the NordVPN network and protect yourself. You can either use the “Quick Connect” function or choose a server yourself from the left-hand list.

Quick Connect is recommended by NordVPN because it automatically connects you to the best server for you based on “a complex formula with various server parameters” at that point in time.

Alternatively, click on the pin above a country to connect to the best server within that country or choose a specific server from the left-hand list by hovering over a country name and clicking the three dots (. . .).

You can also search for them.

There are also specialty servers that you can use that have specific functions and purposes.

You can learn more about these by reading the various articles that explain all of NordVPN’s special servers on our site—

4. Configuring your settings

If you so choose, you can configure the app’s settings to your liking. In the “Preferences” tab found in the bottom-left corner of the NordVPN app, you can change settings such as CyberSec and the NordVPN Kill Switch.

Auto Launch: Recommended—launches NordVPN when your computer starts. We recommend this option because you might forget to turn NordVPN on otherwise.

Connect on launch: Recommended—automatically connects when NordVPN starts.

CyberSec: Recommended—CyberSec blocks ads and protects against other threats.

Connection: UDP is faster whereas TCP is slower but more reliable.

Kill Switch: You must enable the kill switch. Without the kill switch turned on, you run the risk of having your data, information, and browsing activity exposed if your NordVPN connection drops (which does happen from time to time).

You can learn more about the NordVPN Kill Switch in our article covering it.

Installing NordVPN on iOS

Downloading and installing NordVPN on iOS is just as simple as it is for macOS devices. There’s a native app that can be set up and used in a matter of minutes, if that.

1. Head to the App Store and download NordVPN

You can find it by searching “nordvpn”—it is the first result.

Once it has downloaded, launch the app and sign in using your NordVPN email address and password. Once you sign in, tap “Agree & Continue”.

2. Allow NordVPN to create a new VPN profile

All you need to do is follow the steps, the app does all the legwork for you.

Without providing permission for NordVPN to do this, you will not be able to use the app or connect to any of their servers. Providing permission for NordVPN to add VPN configurations basically gives the app permission to manage your network activity.

3. Connect to NordVPN

That’s it! Once you have downloaded the app, signed in, and have provided NordVPN with the permissions it needs, you are good to go.

Just like on the desktop app, you can use “Quick Connect” to connect to your most optimum server. You can also filter servers by favorites, speciality servers (only P2P and Onion Over VPN are available on iOS at the time of writing) or search for specific ones.

By swiping from the bottom to the top of your screen, you can select specific countries. You can also tap on the pins hovering above each country to connect to the optimal server within that location.

When you click the three dots (. . .) next to a location, you see each server within that country and can choose which one to connect to. The app will also tell you your distance from the server and how full it is with a “Load…” percentage.

4. Configuring settings

The only settings you can choose with the NordVPN iOS app are CyberSec and the Kill Switch. The Kill Switch is enabled by default (leave it this way) and CyberSec is turned off.

We recommend enabling CyberSec.

Try Out NordVPN Today

As we mentioned above, you can try out NordVPN risk-free for 30 days thanks to their 30-day money-back guarantee. What have you got to lose?

After all, you need to be using a VPN service to protect yourself online. Today, the digital nature of our world means normal people such as you and I are susceptible to data theft, snooping, and other activities that could compromise us while online.

If you are going to use a VPN, you should be using the best one available. For macOS and iOS, the best VPN option is NordVPN alongside one or two other stand-out services.

If you are dissatisfied, you can always ask for a refund. It’s a no-brainer.

Sign Up Here

Getting Started with NordVPN: How to Set Up and Use NordVPN

NordVPN is a leading service that is trusted by millions of people around the world to protect them online (and offline too with NordLocker).

There are lots and lots of reasons why this is the case and if you would like to learn more about NordVPN as a service, read our comprehensive review where we dive deep into their claims, the service’s features, and decide whether NordVPN is worth using.

In this guide, we are going to cover the creation of a NordVPN account and how you can start using it yourself.

We are using Windows 10 to do this, however, the instructions are transferable to other desktop devices and NordVPN’s range of native apps, e.g. for smartphones, make set-up and installation a breeze.

Why Should I Use NordVPN? What Does It Do?

With privacy concerns taking center-stage on the internet today, everybody should be using a VPN, especially if you are a regular user of public networks that are inherently insecure.

In short, a VPN works by hiding your real IP address and encrypting your internet traffic so that your ISP, hackers, and other third-parties such as snoopers and government agencies cannot see what you are doing.

Using a VPN, you can also benefit from—

  • Spoofing your location by connecting to other countries;
  • Protecting your entire home network with router installation;
  • Bypassing region-locked content on streaming services like Netflix;
  • Accessing websites that may be blocked or censored by your home country; and
  • Safely browsing the deep web,

amongst other things.

To ensure your privacy is never compromised, however, you need to use a VPN that’s tried, tested, and proven to be a good one.

That’s where NordVPN comes in.

Creating a NordVPN Account

Unlike some other VPN services, you need to create an account to use NordVPN. Registering is simple and takes a few minutes. You need to have an email address and payment method handy. You’re covered by a 30-day refund in case you’re wondering.

1. Choose a NordVPN subscription

There are four different plans available with NordVPN. Unfortunately, they no longer offer a lifetime subscription.

We recommend choosing their 3-year plan for maximum savings. $2.99 per month (billed as a single payment of $107.55) is an absolute steal for a level of service as high as NordVPN’s.

Again, all payments are backed by their 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you are dissatisfied with NordVPN for whatever reason, simply contact customer support and request a refund within 30 days.

There are no strings or usage limits attached to the NordVPN money-back guarantee.

2. Enter your email address

We recommend using an email address that you have full and routine access to. This is the email address that will be associated with your account for both customer support and password recovery purposes.

If you do not want to use your real, personal email address then create a throwaway that you can access as and when needed.

3. Enter your billing information

Using a throwaway email address is encouraged to protect your identity. You can even pay for your NordVPN subscription with cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin.)

NordVPN does not process payments via PayPal. You have a choice between credit/debit card, cryptocurrencies, Alipay, and a few other international payment methods.

Once you have entered your details and pressed ‘Continue’, you will be billed straight away, and your account will be created.

4. Activate your account via email

You will receive an email requiring you to activate your account before you can log in to NordVPN using your details. This is why it is important to use an email address to which you have access.

Simply click the link in the email—your account will be activated and you will automatically be redirected to NordVPN’s download page.

How to Set Up NordVPN

Once you have created and activated your account, it is time to install the software. We recommend installing on a desktop computer before any other device so you can get a feeling for how everything works.

Of course, setting up NordVPN on your smartphone is probably easier.

1. From the NordVPN download page, select your device

Since we are installing NordVPN onto a Windows machine, we’ll select the Windows option.

There are also options available for other supported devices such as macOS, Linux, and iOS.

Once you have selected your device’s download file, the download will begin. The download file is only 18 MB in size so it shouldn’t take a long time to download. This, of course, depends on your internet speeds.

When it has finished downloading, launch the installation wizard by clicking the .exe file from within your browser.

2. Wait for NordVPN to install

Again, this shouldn’t take too long. As if by magic, the NordVPN installation wizard will do all the work for you.

3. When NordVPN has finished installing, the main interface will load

It looks exactly like this—

You are now ready to start using NordVPN. Have an explore of all the different servers, locations, and features in ‘Settings’. We are going to go over these in detail below.

4. First of all, connect to a server

You can do this by either

  • clicking the ‘balloon’ icon above each country or
  • selecting one from the left-hand menu.

By clicking a ‘balloon’ icon, NordVPN will connect you to the most optimum server within that country and we recommend letting NordVPN do this for you.

If, however, you want to choose your own server within a specific country, you can easily do this by hovering over a country in the left-hand menu and click the three dots (. . .) to open the server selector.

The percentage value refers to how much of the server’s resources are currently being used.

Setting and Picking the Right Features

NordVPN isn’t a leading VPN just because it is fast, secure, and easy to use, it is their range of additional features that make the service what it is. Just look at all your options in the ‘Settings’ area of the app—

Let’s look at some of these in more detail!


CyberSec is NordVPN’s anti-malware and ad-blocking feature that steps in automatically when a malicious website is detected. NordVPN will block your connection to said malicious website that may be hiding malware, adware, or other nasty surprises. It blocks annoying ads, too!

CyberSec is kept constantly updated with the latest threats and is constantly scanning the internet for new, dangerous websites.


Want to automatically connect to NordVPN when your computer starts (or re-connect if your connection drops)? Enable this setting to ensure you are always connected to NordVPN and don’t accidentally browse unconnected. You can choose where you want to connect to, too.

You may not want to auto-connect all the time, but most people do leave it on.

Internet Kill Switch

You absolutely must have this one enabled. A kill switch steps in and ‘kills’ your internet connection when your connection to NordVPN drops. Connection drops can and will happen no matter how good the VPN that you are using is, and it is important to have something to protect you if this happens.

Without a kill switch, your internet connection will remain active even if your VPN connection drops. This can expose your real IP address, location, and browsing activity to anyone or anything that is watching.

App Kill Switch

This works in the same way as the Internet Kill Switch, however, it applies to apps of your choosing (e.g. Skype, Google Chrome) rather than your internet connection as a whole.

If you want total control of your VPN, this is the feature to use.


You can choose whether to use the OpenVPN tunneling protocol either over UDP or TCP.

UDP provides faster speeds and is better for activities such as streaming, however, UDP does not guarantee packet delivery so it can sometimes be less reliable. On the other hand, TCP is more reliable as it guarantees the delivery of packets, but this can result in slower speeds.

Personally, we recommend UDP.

NordVPN Server Types

NordVPN has 6 different server types that you can choose from within the app.

1. Dedicated IP Servers

With NordVPN, you can purchase your own dedicated IP for the Windows, Android, Linux, and macOS versions of NordVPN. Read more about NordVPN Dedicated IP Servers.

2. Double VPN Servers

Want ultimate privacy? Double VPN Servers route your traffic through two different servers on Windows, Android, Linux, and macOS for double the privacy and encryption. Read more about NordVPN Double VPN Servers.

3. Obfuscated Servers

Designed for users in censorship-heavy countries such as China, Obfuscated Servers can bypass government-operated firewalls. Read more about NordVPN Obfuscated Servers.

4. Onion Over VPN Servers

These servers route your traffic through the NordVPN server network first and then through the Tor Onion network. Read more about Onion Over VPN Servers.

5. P2P Servers

Torrent a lot or participate in P2P activities? Read more about NordVPN P2P Servers that are specially optimized to deliver the very best speeds, safety, and stability for data-heavy torrenting activities.

6. Standard VPN Servers

Your regular day-to-day VPN server—strong encryption, fast speeds, and lots of choice around the world.

You may be able to bypass geo-blocks without obfuscation, meaning services like Netflix may simply work without any further configuration.

Try Out NordVPN Risk-Free

You can try out NordVPN risk-free by taking advantage of their 30-day money-back guarantee. It applies to all NordVPN’s plans and if you are unsatisfied, simply ask for your money back within 30 days for a full refund, no strings attached.

Sign Up Here

NordVPN Android App & APK

Your Android smartphone may be very different to your laptop or PC but that doesn’t mean you are safe from hackers or that you can’t be spied on.

Meaning, you will have to take some precautions to protect your Android device.

This is why it is always a good idea to subscribe to a good VPN service that natively supports Android smartphones (and other Android devices such as tablets, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Kodi) to protect yourself while you are online.

NordVPN is one of these services and if you want to learn why they are one of the best (even the best VPN for iOS as well), check out our comprehensive NordVPN review.

Why NordVPN is the Best for Android Devices

We’ll be the first to admit that our full-length NordVPN review is a long read. If you don’t have the time, here are a few key quick-fire things to know—

  • They offer over 5,000 servers in over 60 locations (the largest VPN network around);
  • NordVPN has tons of native apps for a range of devices plus router support;
  • With AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN, your traffic is 100% secure;
  • Specialty server types—e.g. P2P Servers—satisfy different types of VPN user;
  • Their zero-logs policy has been approved by an external PwC audit;
  • All their native apps (including the one for Android) are fast, easy to use, and have additional features;
  • NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans; and
  • Plans can be as cheap as $2.99 per month.

Impressed? So were we!

Your Choices for Using NordVPN with Android

Unlike iOS, Android users are not restricted to a pool of Apple devices.

Smartphones, tablets, TV boxes, and even refrigerators use it. It is the world’s most popular “mobile” operating system designed and developed by Google. As a result, you can protect a whole suite of devices with NordVPN’s Android support.

When it comes to installing Android on your devices you have two primary options. No you won’t need to install it on your fridge! However, phones, tablets, and other “portable” devices that you can use to browse the internet should all be protected with a VPN.

Native NordVPN Android Apps

On some Android devices, most notably smartphones, tablets, and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, you can install NordVPN’s Android native app directly from the Google Play Store. This is by far the easiest way to install NordVPN onto an Android device.

1. Head to the Google Play Store and install NordVPN then launch it

You can either sign up for an account through the app or purchase a subscription via another means and then log in.

If you choose to sign up through your Android device then it will use your Google Play Store payment details, this is something to keep in mind if you were thinking of using cryptocurrency payments for a more anonymous way of paying. We think signing up from a computer is a much better option.

2. Use the ‘Quick Connect’ option

Quick Connect chooses the best server for you based on several parameters and a “complex formula”. Unless you have a specific country in mind (i.e. the US because you want to stream Hulu or the US Netflix library) then you can just go ahead and use Quick Connect.

3. Trust NordVPN to use OpenVPN

As this will be your first time using NordVPN on your Android device, you will be greeted with a notice as soon as you try to connect. This is an Android security feature that prevents devices from controlling OpenVPN and thus your entire network traffic without permission.

Go ahead and check ‘I trust this application’ then tap ‘OK’ and ‘OK’ again. Instead of ‘Quick Connect’ you can also tap on the pins above a country to connect to the most optimum server within that country by clicking ‘Quick Connect’ or swipe up and choose a specific server.

That’s how easy it is to download, install, and use NordVPN on an Android device through the Google Play Store.

You can also modify some basic settings by tapping the cog wheel in the top-left corner of the screen.

There are also some advanced settings you can tinker with, if you already know what you’re doing.

NordVPN APK for Android

Not all Android devices, for example–Raspberry Pi devices, have access to Google Play. In such a scenario, you install NordVPN using the NordVPN APK file. An APK (Android Package) file is the file format used by the Android OS for the installation of apps.

Think of this as manually installing NordVPN.

1. Visit NordVPN on your Android web browser

Visit the main website and open the side menu in the top-right corner.

Then select ‘VPN Apps’ from the list.

Their site will detect that you are using an Android device and automatically recommend that you download the .apk file.

3. Download .apk

Tap ‘Download .apk’ below the big Google Play button.

Once it has downloaded, tap the NordVPN APK file in the status menu.

The installation process will begin once you tap ‘Install’.

Once it has installed, you can use NordVPN as normal as we did above. The main difference here is that you won’t be able to use your Google Play Store payment details to register.

Why NordVPN APK?

Due to Google Play Store policies, there’s only one major difference between NordVPN when it is downloaded from the official store vs. when it is installed using the APK file.

NordVPN CyberSec is a smart built-in ad blocker and anti-virus that provides extra protection when you are using your device. Due to Google’s policies, however, CyberSec does not block ads when NordVPN is downloaded from the Google Play Store.

CyberSec can block ads, meaning Google would lose out on ad revenue.

If you want NordVPN’s CyberSec feature to work as an ad blocker, you will need to install using the APK route. Additionally, if you are using a device that cannot access the play store then you have no choice—you will need to install NordVPN using the APK file.

Try NordVPN Today

As we said above, we highly recommend signing up for NordVPN through your internet browser on a laptop or PC first. This way, you’ll not only have an easier time registering, but also have the chance to use anonymous payment methods.

NordVPN offers 24/7 live chat too

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for first-time users, too. This means that you can try out NordVPN on Android and a range of other devices without risking a single cent. If you later decide that NordVPN isn’t right for you, it’ll be a breeze to get a refund.

Sign Up Here

NordVPN Double VPN

NordVPN is packed full of features and specialized server types, one of which is known as “Double VPN” that provides you with a doubled level of security by encrypting your traffic twice.

Double VPN isn’t something that many VPN providers offer, however, those that do proudly talk about it openly—and rightly so.

What is Double VPN?

And is it really all that important?

As you may have guessed from the name, double VPN (sometimes called “multihop”) is a feature that sends your traffic through two different VPN servers as it travels from your device to the internet.

By doing this, NordVPN increases your security and privacy two-fold.

When you opt to connect to NordVPN’s Double VPN servers, all the data you send and receive is encrypted twice during its journey. In addition to this, it will pass through two different servers and thus its original source will be hidden behind two different IP addresses.

It works like this—

  1. Your traffic is encrypted and travels from your device to a NordVPN server.
  2. It then travels to another NordVPN server and is encrypted again.
  3. It reaches its destination and is decrypted securely.

Since NordVPN’s double VPN feature sends your traffic through servers located in two different countries, it is nearly impossible to trace the origin of the traffic back to you; the second VPN server never sees your true IP address and has no idea where the traffic has come from initially. As far as trackers are aware, the second server is the original source of the traffic.

With NordVPN, however, this isn’t something you need to worry about since they operate a proven zero-logs policy. Still, it is worth mentioning as it applies to double VPN (or “VPN chaining”) in general.

How to Use NordVPN DoubleVPN

Unsurprisingly, it’s very easy to use.

All you need to do is either:

  1. Select ‘Double VPN’ from the left-hand column; or
  2. Hover over ‘Double VPN’, click the three dots (. . .) and choose a combination from the list.

As you can see, there are plenty of options. The benefit of the second option is that you can manually choose which two NordVPN locations your data is routed through. With the first option, however, you are automatically connected to (what NordVPN considers) the most optimum choice.

From here on in, you are all set.

Until you turn the NordVPN double VPN feature off, all your traffic will travel through two different encryption points. This leaves no way for your data to be compromised. Before you start using NordVPN Double VPN, you should probably weigh the pros and cons, though.

NordVPN Double VPN Pros and Cons

While double VPN is a great feature, it comes at a cost. Before you use it, you may want to weigh up some of the pros and cons.

Pro: When you use double VPN, it makes it virtually impossible for any of your activity to be traced back to you. This level of privacy cannot be achieved in any other way from a single VPN provider.

Pro: You will feel secure. The weight off your shoulders will allow you to breathe for a change.

Con: Whenever you use a VPN, you sacrifice some of your download and upload speeds. Unsurprisingly, when your data goes through two servers, you sacrifice even more.

Con: Double VPN servers can become heavily congested during peak times which has a negative impact on performance.

Who Should Be Using Double VPN?

This is a specialist server type for a specific type of end-user.

If you are simply streaming content online, there is absolutely no need to make use of double VPN. If, however, you are extremely privacy-conscious, are participating in some unscrupulous activity—we won’t ask!—, or are living in a country with heavy internet censorship, then there is clearly a better use case for it.

Additionally, while double the level of encryption sounds great, there’s not really any need to do this.

AES 256-bit encryption, the encryption NordVPN uses, is extremely secure and is, with present computing power, not possible to break. Data passing through a single VPN server encrypted once with AES 256-bit encryption is just as secure as data that is encrypted twice.

You should only use NordVPN Double VPN if you are extremely privacy-conscious and want complete anonymity—it is the fact that your IP address is hidden from the second VPN server that provides this, not the double encryption.

If you’re extra paranoid, you can even use NordVPN to make use of Onion Over VPN. It might take a minute to load a simple website, though.

If you want to try this feature out, sign up using the link below.

Sign Up Here

How to Set Up and Use NordVPN OpenVPN

With NordVPN, it is easy to create your own manual OpenVPN connection by using the open-source OpenVPN application. By doing this, though, you do not use the NordVPN native Windows app.

Sometimes, though, using the native NordVPN Windows app is not an ideal solution (even if it’s the best VPN).

This can either be because users have had trouble setting up and using the native app itself or because the user is technically adept and prefers to configure things manually.

Additionally, if you are configuring a VPN connection through your computer’s network settings or preferences, then you will need to configure some things manually.

It is very easy to do, though. Let’s find out how!

Getting Started With OpenVPN

Before we get going, there are a few things that you need to do to make this process a success.

1. Download the OpenVPN GUI

OpenVPN is an open-source commercial software released under the GNU General Public License. This is what makes it the safest tunneling protocol available; its source code is freely accessible and so any attempts to add in back doors or loopholes will immediately be found by its worldwide community of volunteer contributors.

The same can be said about the OpenVPN GUI—it is completely safe to download and install as it is the most widely used protocol. It takes a couple of seconds to download since it’s a tiny executable file. Once it has, click the .exe installer.

2. Go through the setup wizard

The setup wizard will walk you through the OpenVPN GUI installation. Again, this is a very quick process that requires minimal input on your part.

OpenVPN Config and Settings

When the installation is complete, we can start setting NordVPN up via the GUI. Don’t try to run or launch the OpenVPN GUI yet—it has not been configured and will not work.

1. Download NordVPN server files

The first thing we need to do is download NordVPN server configuration files.These files tell the OpenVPN app how to connect to the NordVPN network. You can set up as many NordVPN servers as you like—up to a maximum of 50—however, we recommend starting with one.

You can download configuration files from the NordVPN website.

For this tutorial, we are going to use NordVPN’s US server #3430 as this is the one the site recommended to us as the most optimal.

When you have settled on a server, click ‘Show available protocols’ and then download both OpenVPN configurations—OpenVPN TCP and OpenVPN UDP by clicking ‘Download config’.

2. Add them to OpenVPN’s config folder

Go to your downloads folder (or wherever your files download to) and copy both of these OpenVPN configuration files.

Once copied, paste them in the OpenVPN config folder. You can find this in one of two ways—

  1. Navigate to its installation location, likelyC:/Program Files/OpenVPN/Config
  2. Find the OpenVPN GUI shortcut on your desktop, right-click, and then click ‘Open file location’.

We used the second option as an example:

If you use the second option, you will end up in OpenVPN’s ‘bin’ folder, not the ‘config’ one. Make sure you back out of the ‘bin’ folder and head to the ‘config’ folder before you paste your two copied OpenVPN config files.

3. Block outside DNS

To prevent leaks, you may or may not need to manually add the line below to the .ovpnconfiguration files to prevent DNS leaks. We recommend doing this anyway.


To do this, simply right-click on your OpenVPN config files and open it with notepad or whichever word processor you use. Scroll to the bottom of the file and paste in the ‘block-outside-dns’ line above.

Do this for both OpenVPN config files.

4. Launch OpenVPN

Double click the OpenVPN GUI desktop shortcut to launch OpenVPN. The app may ask for administrative permissions, click ‘Yes’ because it needs these to function.

It will start running in your system tray (note: the program will launch without connecting) at the bottom-right of your taskbar. Right-click the OpenVPN GUI icon, hover over one of the servers, and then click ‘Connect’.

Enter your NordVPN login credentials and then press ‘OK’.

After a few seconds, the OpenVPN GUI will connect you to the NordVPN server you have chosen and the OpenVPN GUI window will disappear. In the system tray, the OpenVPN icon will turn green to indicate a successful connection.

That’s it—this is how you set up OpenVPN manually with NordVPN on a Windows device. The process of setting up OpenVPN for NordVPN is quite similar across all devices.

If you’re unsure about whether you set up OpenVPN correctly, then visit NordVPN. You’ll see on the top of the website which indicates that you’re “Protected” in green.

Try this feature out yourself.
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