NordVPN is a personal virtual private network (VPN) service provider. It has desktop applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux, mobile apps for Android and iOS, as well as an application for Android TV. Manual setup is available for wireless routers, NAS devices and other platforms. In 2017, PC Magazine rated NordVPN as the year’s best VPN service.
NordVPN is based in Panama, as the country has no mandatory data retention laws and does not participate in the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances. An independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers has described the company’s claims of not logging users’ data as accurate.
In 2018, NordVPN became the first official cybersecurity partner of Liverpool F.C
NordVPN routes all user’s internet traffic through a remote server run by the service, this way hiding their IP address and encrypting all incoming and outgoing data. For encryption, NordVPN uses the OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec technologies in its applications.
NordVPN uses NGE (Next Generation Encryption) in IKEv2/IPsec, which is the default protocol in the apps for macOS and iOS. The ciphers used to generate Phase 1 keys are AES-256-GCM for encryption, coupled with SHA2-384 to ensure integrity, combined with PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy) using 3072-bit Diffie Hellmann keys. NordVPN apps for Windows and Android use AES-256-CBC encryption with a 2048-bit key.
NordVPN has desktop applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS. In June 2018, the service launched an application for Android TV. Subscribers also get access to encrypted proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers. Each subscriber is allowed to use the service on up to 6 devices at the same time.
Apart from the primary VPN functionalities, NordVPN also provides an optional feature called “CyberSec”, which checks websites’ DNS records in malware databases before allowing users to access them.
As of November 2018, NordVPN runs over 5,200 remote servers in 61 countries, with the largest numbers of servers located in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Australia, France and Sweden. Besides general-use VPN servers, the provider offers servers for specific purposes, including P2P sharing, double encryption, and connection to the Tor anonymity network.
In 2017, NordVPN launched obfuscated servers for VPN access under heavy Internet restrictions. These servers allow accessing the service in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and China. Although the Chinese government has been attempting to restrict encrypted communications for years, millions of people still rely on the technology to bypass China’s censorship system, known as the Great Firewall.