Founded in 2012 by Lithuanian businessman Tom Okman, NordVPN is one of the most popular VPN services today for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, Linux, and Android TV users. NordVPN is maintained by Nord Security, which creates cybersecurity tools and software. The company has offices in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Panama, and Lithuania. Nord Security operates under Panama's jurisdiction because this country doesn’t require VPN operators to store their clients’ data. Plus, Panama is not a part of the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances, which includes countries that share intelligence with each other.
But is NordVPN safe? Is NordVPN good for protecting your data? You can find all the answers you need in this NordVPN Canada review.
NordVPN has grown tremendously over the past few years since it began in 2012. The company has
improved upon what worked for them and removed what many thought were the service’s drawbacks back
Today, NordVPN comes highly recommended owing to it being easy to use, with more than enough features
to even make tech-savvy users happy. That said it hadn’t lost focus of its piracy and security roots
but built on it.
During this NordVPN review on Windows PC, Linux, Android, Mac, etc. we discovered that they added a
bunch of new highly secure servers raising the number to a staggering 5500+ in over 59 countries or
location. Many of these servers have been optimized for speed and encryption across all devices.
However, the question we get asked a lot by many people who have not used NordVPN or who were not
happy with other similar services is, does it offer enough?
While most reviews make it appear as though NordVPN is the ultimate answer to your privacy and
security, we know from experience that all services have drawbacks and we will highlight those in
this NordVPN review. We also know that no service is perfect.
However you’ll always want to choose a service that offers the protection you want, and obviously you
don’t care about the drawbacks that don’t bother you. That’s precisely why we have put together this
ultimate ‘no holds barred review.’ If you are on the fence, this review should help you get on
either side, though make sure to read through to the end.
We found during the NordVPN review that it offers a load of features which is one of its strongest
pros. However, they do claim to provide the most security with encryption and privacy compared to
That’s why we put NordVPN through a battery of tests and here are a couple of pros we thought were
A No-Logging Policy That’s Actually Explained
Why in the world would you want to use a VPN if they too like your ISP kept a library of
logs? After all, you don’t want to end up being in a position where the authorities in
Canada for instance subpoena NordVPN’s logs and present them as a case for a warrant to
arrest you. The good news is that NordVPN does not keep any records.
On the website, NordVPN clearly states that no logs are maintained, stored or collected.
However, like all good VPN services to keep their service live and well they have to monitor
something which in their case is service performance, payment data, and email addresses.
What NordVPN monitors is for the most part just a regular bunch of stuff which all other VPN
services are logging whether they tell you or not. Also, because NordVPN’s payment processor
isn’t tied to the main company, there is no way of tracing any payment back directly to you.
Though you still have the option of using Bitcoins which will further anonymize your
Works Flawlessly for Torrenting and Netflix Streaming
Now here is where there is an advantage for NordVPN for all devices and their ever-large
selection of servers. Out of all the servers, there are around 25% in our experience that
works perfectly for torrenting and bypassing the nasty geo-restriction to access Netflix to
stream American content amongst other things.
For this NordVPN review, we tested it across almost every American server and found that the
majority don’t work with Netflix, but those that do work perfectly. That’s because Netflix
actively cracks down on IP addresses it suspects belongs to VPNs.
We had better luck, i.e. more servers offered excellent torrent downloading speeds. On
average our speeds were excellent regardless of what file we were downloading so as long as
they were enough seeders. That’s because they have special P2P Servers with an excellent
rating! These are primarily designed to handle torrenting activities while keeping your IP
address and other information private. You can find all the specialty P2P servers via the
One nifty little trick to avoid wasting time and effort, trying every server if you want to
access Netflix is to contact customer support. The support guys there helped us find the
right server, though we tried each one anyway just because we had to for this review.
Fast and Consistent Speed
One of the hallmarks of a high rating VPN service is the fact that the speed is consistent
and fast. You never want to end up using a service where every minute your speed dips by 75%
and then goes up by another 50%, so on and so forth. While VPNs by their very nature will
throttle your internet speed, the really good ones like NordVPN don’t reduce your speed by a
After hours of testing the speed using various servers and services, we found that NordVPN in
our experience offered some of the best speeds. We connected to the US, EU, Asian and a
couple of servers in the UK.
We saw the most significant drop in speed when connecting to Asian servers. Being in Canada
means that those are some of the furthest servers. However, our speed dipped by just under
25%. The fastest speeds were observed when connected to US servers which throttled our
internet speed by only around 7%.
All things considered, these are amongst some of the fastest VPN speeds we’ve seen on Chrome
or any other browser for that matter.
Secure IP and DNS
We know of many VPN services that promise excellent security but when tested had leaking IP
or DNS. That’s why we just had to test NordVPN for leaks to make sure that they were making
good on their promise of security.
We connected to a server in the US using Chrome and then used three different websites to
check for leaks.
• Perfect-Privacy.com DNS & IP leak test
Our testing shows that there are no leaks which is excellent news and the use of OpenVPN
further solidifies the needed protection. Anyone who wants to use an OpenVPN service and
values their security should always check for DNS leaks.
NordVPN’s service isn’t without its fair share of faults. That said you would have to put up with the
bad along with the good. Though it is always worth knowing what drawbacks to expect when using the
Not Very Transparent
One of the issues we uncovered during our investigation is the fact that NordVPN is directly
linked to a company called CloudVPN Inc. Why is that important? Well even though NordVPN is
based in Panama with a no-logging policy, CloudVPN Inc is based in the US. So, it in a way
contradicts what is stated on the website.
In our opinion, it does not mean that they aren’t private. When asked NordVPN stated that
CloudVPN Inc is only used to process payments apparently because the authorities are
suspicious about payments sent to Panama.
We think that is a good explanation but should be something that’s stated on the website.
Also, what needs to be stated if US law has any influence on NordVPN through CloudVPN? Since
these terms aren’t clear, we tend to think it is a con.
Takes 30 Days to Process a Refund
We expect that any company that wants to build a solid reputation would process refunds
within hours if not a couple of days. Unfortunately, NordVPN does not seem too bothered
about its reputation as it takes around 30 days for them to process refunds, and its not
stated in the terms.
While the company taking 30 days to process a refund isn’t exactly a deal-breaker, it isn’t
exactly something most people like us are going to appreciate. Many services we’ve reviewed
in the past process refunds within just 7 days. That said most people in our opinion
wouldn’t feel the need to get a refund.
Check out NordVPN’s features.
Privacy and Security-Oriented
Perhaps the of the best features in our opinion is NordVPN’s array of privacy and
security tools. You have the optional ad-blocker, a kill switch that will disable your
internet when you aren’t connected to the VPN, and also your computer is invisible to
all the others on the local network.
It is also possible to choose between various protocols like TCP and UDP. More advanced
users will appreciate the fact that a custom DNS can be used alongside an obfuscated
server and kill switch, which is perfect for people in countries or locations where VPNs
NordVPN has arguably the most extensive set of features in the industry with most of the
privacy and security-oriented ones like the kill switch.
However, before turning on and off any features, we strongly advise that you refer to
NordVPN’s customer support just so that you don’t accidentally tweak things in a way
that slows down your internet or causes it to stop working.
That said if you aren’t an advanced user there is no need to tweak any of the settings as
the software comes ready to work out of the box.
App Kill Feature
One of the things we missed early when using NordVPN was the split tunneling feature
which allows you to send specific types of traffic through the VPN while all other
traffic uses regular internet. Most VPNs we’ve reviewed have this feature, but NordVPN
Fortunately, though App Kill does that but in a slightly different way.App Kill is not
commonly found with most VPN services despite the traffic being encrypted. How it works
is that NordVPN will cut the connection to apps which you choose when the VPN fails,
while the internet runs as normal.
Take for instance you want to backup all your data to the cloud while sending files to an
office college securely or browsing the web securely or perhaps even streaming Netflix.
If the VPN fails, for some reason the connection to your colleague will be cut.
The upside to this is that none of your chat or files end up going through unencrypted.
So, you can be sure of security.
NordVPN’s Own Cybersec
When this feature is enabled, NordVPN will automatically block malicious or suspicious
websites which reduces if not eliminates cyber threats that can breach your privacy and
infect your device. Plus, it also works as a great ads blocker which means you are saved
from having those ungodly advertisements sucking your internet bandwidth.
Cybersec also works to prevent your website from becoming a willing participant in a
botnet attack. A botnet attack or DDoS is a denial of service attack which is launched
via infected computers.
So, if your computer is infected with malware, it could be used as one of the many
computers for a DDoS attack. The feature prevents this from happening by detecting
unusual communication between various compromised assets and cuts it off which prevents
your device from joining the zombie army.
The Cybersec feature was introduced by NordVPN a while back and has since then become
increasingly effective. We find this feature to be amongst the best and perhaps only
second to their VPN service.
During our testing, the blocking worked flawlessly for most websites as it pulls URLs
from a database of blacklisted websites. Though with new malicious websites popping up
almost every day, you are still bound to run into malicious websites that the feature
does not block.
In our experience, unless you are out there seeking these malicious websites, the chances
of running into them are reduced. But even if you do, Cybersec has you covered 90%
percent of the time. So, if you’re just into streaming Netflix and just general browsing
Cybersec has you more than covered.
Sure! CyberSec and app kill are very useful in our opinion but so are NordVPN’s growing
list of specialty servers. NordVPN currently includes a list of four types of servers,
Dedicated IP, Double VPN, Onion over VPN and P2P. Most people are already familiar with
P2P or peer-to-peer servers which are ideally suited for torrenting. The same goes for
ones that offer a dedicated IP. Though we think that the Onion and Double VPN servers
are very interesting.Double VPN servers are going to be of particular interest for
people living in Canada because it uses what’s called a “double-hop.” The so-called
‘double-hop’ was introduced very early on by Windscribe and works by connecting you to
two different servers.
Your traffic bounces off one and goes through the next. If anything it doubles your
security level. Apart from Canada, it is a hit feature for people in China where VPNs
are all but banned!Onion over VPN is a slightly different take on the above. It works by
connecting you to a Tor network but via a VPN connection. Tor has a couple of downsides
which include exposing your real IP address to the nodes you’re connecting through.
But when you are using a VPN to connect to the Onion network, your real IP is unknown and
you’re truly anonymous.Additionally, you can also use obfuscated servers to be
anonymous. Now without going into much detail, these servers effectively help you bypass
stringent censorship, usually state-sponsored.
When each packet of data is scrambled as it is sent, the chances of anybody else in
Canada or even China for that matter finding out you’re using a VPN is next to zero!
NordVPN Pricing & Plans
NordVPN is without a doubt slightly more expensive than many other VPNs on the plant.
However, it is still very well priced. But how much will a subscription set us back? The good news is
that there is are no hidden costs as the pricing is laid out in a simple manner.
The Monthly Plan costs $11.99 a month or $143.4 per year
The 1-Year Plan + 3 months FREE Costs $4.49 a month or $67.35 for the first year
The 2-Year Plan + 3 months FREE Costs $2.99 a month or $80.73 for the first 2 years
Now the speed of your internet connection matters. You don’t want to be stuck at the waiting screen
as Netflix attempts to load. That’s why the faster your NordVPN speed is, the better. As a resident
of Canada, the speeds we experienced were excellent on the whole. Though we can safely say that it
will be around the same for everyone.
To understand what causes speed throttling it is essential to know that your internet’s traffic is
routed through a VPN server. The further that sever is from you the longer it takes for that
information to be relayed back and forth (which is technically referred to as latency).
For instance, a resident of Canada connecting to a server in the US will experience a lower latency.
However, the NordVPN speed of the VPN server also plays a significant role in how fast things work.
To measure just how much NordVPN speed was throttling our internet we connected to servers in the US,
Europe, and Asia. We then ran speed tests 3x times and averaged out the speeds we got, compared that
to our original internet speed and calculated a percentage value to make things simple.
We found that when connected to US servers our internet speed took a 7% hit. When connected to
servers in Asia it dipped to around 25% on average.
When connected to servers in Europe, i.e. Finland, the UK, France, and Germany we saw around a 20%
loss in internet speeds. The fastest Asian servers were in Japan and Singapore for us. Though your
mileage may vary.
As of January 2019, there are now well over 5500 VPN servers with many of them being high-speed,
highly secure servers. While we would assume that all servers available to us would work, the fact
is that all services have a specific failure rate and NordVPN is no exception.
To test the failure rate, we meticulously connected to each one of these servers and noted which ones
didn’t connect or gave us an error. It is a mundane and highly unrewarding task, but someone has to
Our report shows that there is a 2% failure rate. Yes! That’s just 2% percent of the servers gave us
some error or refused to connect. That’s excellent! Compared to the competition.
It is also important to note that it isn’t always the servers’ fault, sometimes it can be our
internet connection and software conflicts that prevent servers from connecting.
Does NordVPN Work With Netflix?
One of the key advantages of using the best VPN like NordVPN is the fact that you can access
otherwise geo-restricted websites like Netflix.
However, while unblocking US and UK versions of YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and even Hulu are relatively
easy, Netflix can be a challenge for most VPN services.
We were able to unblock YouTube with ease, while BBC iPlayer was relatively more difficult since they
make an effort to block some suspicious IP addresses.
However, NordVPN was able to get us past those restrictions. Once we got to Netflix, this was a
little more challenging than something we expected.
That said after a couple of attempts connecting to a few different servers we were able to start
streaming via Netflix.
So, Yes! If Netflix streaming is your thing back here in Canada or any other country in the world,
then NordVPN should be your tool of choice to unblock it with relative ease.
NordVPN Privacy & Logs
NordVPN’s claim of having a strict ‘no logging’ policy is pretty standard across the industry. We
know of nearly a dozen services that make the same claim. So, what interests us is how does NordVPN
According to its website, NordVPN has no logs of online activity by its users. So, they don’t track
the time or the length of a session. They also don’t have records of the IP addresses of uses so;
all things equal they shouldn’t know for instance that you are accessing the service from Canada and
were streaming the American version of Netflix.
NordVPN goes on to state that not only do they not maintain logs of general internet activities but
also session logging such as incoming IP address when connected to the service.
In our experience, most services that state they don’t have a logging policy have one which they
Information like messages you send to customer service, payment information, and email addresses are
all on record.
Though as a user you can eliminate even this type of storage of your information by creating an email
address just to use NordVPN and use Bitcoin for payment.While there have been some recent rumors of
NordVPN being owned by a data mining company, and them using technology similar to Hola to resell
users’ bandwidth it is by and large unsubstantiated.
When asked NordVPN stated that they were hiring the largest professional service business to
independently audit their business. At the end of the day, that the firm’s findings will work to
substantiate NordVPN’s claims of maintaining zero logs!
NordVPN support is solid, and despite being in Canada, we had no issue with getting in touch with the
right guys to answer our questions. However, before you do anything else, NordVPN support has an
extensive knowledge base, which requires you to type in your question into the search bar to get the
answer.We were able to find answers to most questions via the search bar. The answers were well
explained for the most part.Now if the search bar isn’t working for you or your answer isn’t in
their knowledge base you can always contact a NordVPN support person via Live Chat. Just click the
“Contact Us” link in the footer.
We have run into a mediocre live chat with other so-called best VPN services in the past, and NordVPN
isn’t one of them. The person on the other end of the chat session answered all our questions.We
also tried email support. Sent the same questions via email and got a response within a few
hours.Overall the support is second to none and amongst the best if not the best if you ask us!
Even though the generous NordVPN policy isn’t necessarily a scam or another bait and grab scheme like
some of its competition, it does take 30 days for the company to process a refund. Sure, that isn’t
going to be a deal breaker for most people, but it’s something to keep in mind.
Is NordVPN Recommended?
Yes, we would recommend it hands down. Regardless of if you are living in Canada or any other country
for that matter, NordVPN is safe, secure, and highly reliable with great speeds. It is also
available for Windows, Android, Linux, iOS, Mac and a load of other devices.
We found its performance to be consistent throughout our entire time reviewing it. That said the
slightly higher price and their slow refund process are the only two things weighing down the
service in our opinion. But despite these cons, we’d recommend this best VPN to anyone and everyone!
If you are still looking for a good VPN, you can look at our recommended list of VPN services for the Canada here.