Is NordVPN Safe?

is nordvpn safe?

One of the biggest questions on anyone’s lips when looking for a VPN is one of safety—Is NordVPN safe? How can I be sure?

Today, we are going to look at NordVPN and go over what makes it one of the safest (and overall best) VPNs available anywhere on the market today. When assessing a VPN’s general safety and trust, the areas you should be looking at are—

  1. Cyber security around the VPN service itself (encryptions, protocols, overall quality)
  2. Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, Logging Policies
  3. The business behind the VPN—who they are, where they are located

Let’s dig deeper and look at each of these in turn.

NordVPN Security Features

NordVPN goes above and beyond when it comes to safety features within their VPN itself. Not only do all their servers have secure AES 256-bit encryption as standard and provide safe protocols including the industry-favored OpenVPN protocol, other safety features include—

A Kill Switch—this is a must-have security feature that completely terminates your internet connection if your NordVPN session drops (meaning if you lose connectivity with NordVPN). Without a kill switch, suddenly losing connection to a VPN server will expose your data and information; however, a kill switch prevents this by instantly halting all your internet traffic when a drop occurs.

CyberSec—this is NordVPN’s built-in anti-malware and ad blocking tool. It keeps a constantly-updated list of malicious websites and prevents you from visiting them when it is enabled and you are connected to a NordVPN server.

Double VPN Servers—Nord’s double VPN feature routes your traffic through two different servers for double encryption and maximum security. It does this without slowing you down, too!

Obfuscated Servers—these servers are specially designed to be used in a country with heavy censorship—e.g. such as China where VPNs are blocked—so that full and free internet access can be gained by users living under strict authoritarian regimes.

IP/DNS Leak Protection—one thing that can kill our would-be positive opinion about any VPN service is leaks of any kind. Both IP leaks and DNS leaks are security flaws that could potentially bring you harm. IP leaks would reveal your location and DNS leaks allows DNS requests to be revealed to your ISP and other third parties. NordVPN automatically protects against this and we have never come across leaks of any kind in all our time using their service daily. It definitely helped to keep the kill switch on at all times.

Terms, Policies, and Other Official Documents

It’s not just the VPN and features themselves that you need to be looking at to determine whether a VPN is secure. In fact, and we have seen it several times; an otherwise good VPN can be completely let down by a lax Privacy Policy or bad Terms of Service.

VPN providers are notorious for painting a pretty picture of their service with all its features, strong encryption, and seemingly strong stance again surveillance, only for their legal documents to expose the fact that they record your information and retain the right to disclose it to third-parties.

That’s not a good thing! What’s the point of a secure end-to-end VPN when your traffic is being monitored and recorded from within? It eliminates the point of using a VPN in the first place.

The thing is, anybody can access this information—it is always freely available on providers’ websites—it must be by law. Often, though, people choose not to look at these documents and this is when people get caught out.

With NordVPN, you don’t need to worry about any of this. Their Privacy and Logging Policies clearly state that—

  • They have a zero-logging policy. Absolutely nothing is collected activity-wise, not even information about the device you are using to use the VPN.
  • The only information collected is that required for providing their services to users, for example, your email address and payment method (handled and processed externally by third-party in some cases).
  • No information will ever be disclosed to authorities or government organizations if it is requested or there is an attempt to force NordVPN’s hand.
  • Other information that isn’t logged includes time stamps, bandwidth usage, traffic logs, or IP addresses.

They do, however, collect some technical information for service optimization—

  • Server load information (i.e. at what capacity is a server running)
  • Information from customer services encounters (i.e. tickets and live chat)
  • Cookies (Google Analytics cookies, affiliate cookies, and site cookies)

None of this can be used to personally identify you, connect you to NordVPN as a user of its services, or find out what you are doing while connected to NordVPN.

In short—you are perfectly safe, nothing is collected, and you can use NordVPN in complete confidence.

The Business Behind the VPN

It’s important to know who you’re dealing with.

In most cases, a VPN service is owned by a parent company and it is important to find out who this is, where it is registered, and what other services it is connected to, if any.

All you really need to watch out for here is that the company is legitimate, that they’ve not had bad press, and they are registered in an optimal location. An optimal location is any country that isn’t on this list—

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Australia

These countries are part of the “5 Eyes” alliance (the UKUSA Agreement). It is a multilateral agreement for cooperation and the sharing of intelligence and data. If a company is registered in a 5 Eyes country, any information obtained about it or its customers, including VPN usage data, can be shared with foreign governments to aid surveillance and bolster their monitoring efforts.  

There are 9 other third-party participants to this agreement (including France and Germany) and so it is sometimes referred to as “14 Eyes“.

So, what about NordVPN?

NordVPN’s parent company is Tefinkom & Co., S.A. based out of Panama where 5 Eyes does not apply. It is run by “nominee directors” meaning the true owners of NordVPN is not information that is publicly available.

NordVPN’s business practices are also clean. They haven’t helped any governments and they’ve gone as far as to invite third-party auditors to check over their policies.

Namely, PricewaterhouseCoopers—one of the biggest auditing firms in the world.

The audit conducted went over NordVPN’s privacy policy as well as their logging policy; the VPN architecture was thoroughly inspected to make sure that there were no issues on the tech-side.

Want to Try Out NordVPN?

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. This means you have 30 whole days to try out NordVPN and all its premium features without having to lose any money if you don’t like it.

While we are sure you’ll be impressed, getting a refund is as simple as sending an email—customer service is quick, and they will send your money back to your original payment method with no questions asked.

Want to learn more about NordVPN? Read our full NordVPN review.
You can sign up for NordVPN here.

Published by

Jamie Cambell

Ethical Hacker. Ph.D., M.S. in Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley. Technology enthusiast and also a part-time gamer. My goal is liberating the Internet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Exit mobile version