NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services offered to customers. It’s also one of the more complicated services to use, largely due to its integrated nature. In the following tutorial, we’ll discuss what NordVPN does and doesn’t do, as well as the various settings that you can modify to get the most out of your purchase.
NordVPN Does And Doesn’t Do
To start, NordVPN does a lot. For one thing, it provides secure, encrypted connections to customers. It also keeps no log of its users’ activities, which is something that more and more VPN services are choosing to do these days.
However, NordVPN doesn’t just keep no logs. The company also collects a ton of data about the activities of its users. In fact, NordVPN is one of the few services that actually collects and stores information about the websites that its users visit. This is what causes a lot of the confusion surrounding what NordVPN actually does, because when you first set up the service, you’re presented with a long list of apps, games, and tools that the company recommends its users install on their smartphones. If you click on any of these items, you’ll be taken to a website where you can learn more about the app or game.
The thing is, many of these apps and games are completely unrelated to what NordVPN does. For example, the VPN service does not keep any log of your Netflix binging, it merely connects you to the Netflix servers, allowing you to watch their content as if you were in the United States (or any other country that has an active Netflix presence.) The collection of apps and games that NordVPN recommends its users install is called the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) Suite, and it’s a collection of more than a dozen different apps, games, and tools that have nothing to do with each other.
This is one of the major downsides to using NordVPN. Not only do you have all of this extra junk cluttering up your phone, but some of the recommended apps and games are complete time wasters. Even if you don’t plan on using any of the included tools or apps, it’s still a good idea to buy NordVPN and throw away the rest of the recommended junk.
Basic And Advanced Settings
If you’re looking for a simple VPN service, then NordVPN probably isn’t for you. The company has designed their product specifically for professionals with advanced knowledge of software and networking, and they’ve made the settings as complex as possible in order to prevent consumer-grade users from having any luck with the service. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an IT expert to use NordVPN. It’s actually quite easy to set up and use.
However, if you’re looking for a VPN that’s a little more straightforward, then you should probably check out ExpressVPN. They’re one of the most popular VPN services out there, and they keep things simple. The downside is that ExpressVPN doesn’t provide any advanced security features.
NordVPN has clearly designed their product with security in mind. Not only do they provide a strong encryption algorithm (AES-256), but they also have various security-related options, like perfect forward secrecy (PFS) and double encryption. If you’re looking for a VPN that provides the most security features, then NordVPN is the way to go.
Configuring NordVPN Is Complicated
Configuring NordVPN is incredibly complex. The company has tried to make the process as easy as possible, with automated options that they think will make it simpler for their users. Unfortunately, none of these automated options are suitable for advanced users, as they don’t allow you to choose the security settings in advance. There are four main steps to properly configuring a NordVPN account:
- Step one: Setting up the server
- Step two: Generating a key
- Step three: Configuring the VPN client on your device
- Step four: Testing your connection
If you’re just getting started with VPNs, then the first step will be the most complicated one. You’ll have to choose a country, region, and city from a drop-down menu. Then, you’ll have to input the server’s IP address manually (which can be a little tricky if you’re not used to dealing with servers and networking.) From there, you’ll have to enter the VPN configuration details, like the username and password. You’ll also need to set a static IP address for your server, as well as activate the TCP/IP protocol on your router. This is more than enough to confuse a VPN newbie.
Some people actually like this complexity, because it means that only people with advanced knowledge can configure the VPN properly. However, this should never be the case, as the settings should be easy enough to configure for anyone.
The VPN Connection Is Very Slow
One of the biggest problems with NordVPN is that the VPN connection is extremely slow. Not only is it slow compared to the speed of your home internet connection, but it’s also very unpredictable. You’ll frequently find yourself connecting to the VPN, waiting for the connection to establish, only to find that it’s taking a very long time. This is mostly due to the encryption process. Since the company has to decrypt all of your data before they can send it to the server, the connection is extremely slow.
It would be one thing if the connection was slow because the company’s servers were busy or overloaded, but it usually isn’t. The servers are absolutely not busy, and the connection doesn’t establish immediately after you connect to the VPN. It takes some time for the encryption to complete, during which, you’re completely offline. This means that your connection will frequently be unstable and slow, adding an extra layer of complexity to your day.
All of this being said, NordVPN is still a very popular service, largely because it’s one of the few services that provide a true native Windows application (as opposed to a third-party client.) This makes it much simpler to use, as you don’t have to worry about installing yet another application on your phone (and possibly loosing access to your data because of a malfunctioning app.)
With all of the competition in the VPN space becoming more and more aggressive, it’s good to see a company devoted to providing quality products and services to their customers.