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Developer(s)Tefincom & Co., S.A.[1]
Initial releaseFebruary 13, 2012; 9 years ago (February 13, 2012)[2]
Stable releaseAndroid 5.0.5 (January 28, 2021; 28 days ago (2021-01-28)[3]) [±]

iOS 6.7.0 (February 17, 2021; 8 days ago (2021-02-17)[4]) [±]
macOS 6.0.3 (February 17, 2021; 8 days ago (2021-02-17)[5]) [±]
Windows 6.34.5 (February 8, 2021; 17 days ago (2021-02-08)) [±]

Linux 3.8.10 (January 12, 2021; 44 days ago (2021-01-12)) [±]
Operating system
TypeVirtual private network
LicenseCommercial proprietary software

NordVPN is a 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.[6][7] Manual setup is available for wireless routers, NAS devices and other platforms.[8]

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.[9]


NordVPN was established in 2012 by "four childhood friends", as stated on its website.[2] Late in May 2016, it presented an Android app, followed by an iOS app in June the same year.[10] In October 2017, it launched a browser extension for Google Chrome.[11] In June 2018, the service launched an application for Android TV.[12] As of October 2019, NordVPN was operating more than 5,200 servers in 62 countries.[13]

In March 2019, it was reported that NordVPN received a directive from Russian authorities to join a state sponsored registry of banned websites, which would prevent Russian NordVPN users from circumventing Russian state censorship. NordVPN was reportedly given one month to comply, or face blocking by Russian authorities.[14] The provider declined to comply with the request and shut down its Russian servers on April 1. As a result, NordVPN still operates in Russia, but its Russian users have no access to local servers.[15]

In September 2019, NordVPN announced a VPN solution for business, called NordVPN Teams. It is aimed at small and medium businesses, remote teams and freelancers, who need to access work resources securely.[16]

In December 2019, NordVPN became one of the five founding members of the newly formed 'VPN Trust Initiative', promising to promote online security as well as more self-regulation and transparency in the industry.[17][18]

In August 2020, Troy Hunt, an Australian web security expert and founder of Have I Been Pwned?, announced a partnership with NordVPN as a strategic advisor. On his blog, Hunt described this role as "work with NordVPN on their tools and messaging with a view to helping them make a great product even better."[19]


NordVPN routes all users' internet traffic through a remote server run by the service, thereby hiding their IP address and encrypting all incoming and outgoing data.[20] For encryption, NordVPN uses the OpenVPN and Internet Key Exchange v2/IPsec technologies in its applications.[21] Besides general-use VPN servers, the provider offers servers for specific purposes, including P2P sharing, double encryption, and connection to the Tor anonymity network.[1] NordVPN offers three subscription plans: monthly, yearly and bi-yearly. It is not possible to cancel a subscription through the web interface.

At one time NordVPN used L2TP/IPSec and Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) connections for routers, but these were later removed, as they were largely obsolete and insecure.

NordVPN has desktop applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as mobile apps for Android and iOS and Android TV app. Subscribers also get access to encrypted proxy extensions for Chrome and Firefox browsers.[22] Subscribers can connect up to 6 devices simultaneously.[23]

In November 2018, NordVPN claimed that its no-log policy was verified through an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG.[24][25]

In July 2019, NordVPN released NordLynx,[26] a new VPN tool based on the experimental WireGuard protocol, which aims for better performance than the IPsec and OpenVPN tunneling protocols.[27] NordLynx is available to Linux users and, according to tests performed by Wired UK, produces "speed boosts of hundreds of MB/s under some conditions."[28]

In April 2020, NordVPN announced a gradual roll-out of the WireGuard-based NordLynx protocol on all its platforms.[29] The wider implementation was preceded by a total of 256,886 tests, which included 47 virtual machines on nine different providers, in 19 cities, and eight countries. The tests showed higher average download and upload speeds than both OpenVPN and IKEv2. [30]

In November 2020, NordVPN launched a feature that scans the dark web to determine if a user's personal credentials have been exposed. When the Dark Web Monitor feature finds any leaked credentials, it sends a real-time alert, prompting the user to change the affected passwords. [31]

In December 2020, NordVPN started a network-wide rollout of 10Gbps servers, upgrading from the earlier 1Gbps standard. The company's servers in Amsterdam and Tokyo were the first to support 10Gbps, and by December 21, 2020, over 20% of the company's network had been upgraded.[32][33]

Security issues and controversies[edit]

On October 21, 2019, a security researcher disclosed on Twitter a server breach of NordVPN involving a leaked private key.[34][35][36] The cyberattack granted the attackers root access, which was used to generate an HTTPS certificate that enabled the attackers to perform man-in-the-middle attacks to intercept the communications of NordVPN users.[37] In response, NordVPN confirmed that one of its servers based in Finland was breached in March 2018.[38][39] The exploit was the result of a vulnerability in a contracted data center's remote administration system that affected the Finland server between January 31 and March 20, 2018.[38] According to NordVPN, the data center disclosed the breach to NordVPN on April 13, 2019, and NordVPN ended its relationship with the data center.[39] Security researchers and media outlets criticized NordVPN for failing to promptly disclose the breach after the company became aware of it.[36][35][40] NordVPN stated that the company initially planned to disclose the breach after it completed its internal audits.[36]

In October 2020, NordVPN started rolling out its first colocated servers in Finland to secure the hardware perimeter. The RAM-based servers are fully owned and operated by NordVPN in an attempt to keep full control.[41] [42]

On October 29, 2019, NordVPN announced additional audits and a bug bounty program.[43] The bug bounty was launched in December 2019, offering researchers monetary rewards for reporting critical flaws in the service.[44]

On November 1, 2019, in a separate incident, it was reported that approximately 2,000 usernames and passwords of NordVPN accounts were exposed through credential stuffing.[45][46]


In a February 2019 review by PC Magazine, NordVPN was praised for its strong security features and an "enormous network of servers", although its price tag was noted as expensive.[1] CNET's March 2019 review favorably noted NordVPN's six simultaneous connections and dedicated IP option.[47] In a positive review published by Tom's Guide in October 2019, the reviewer concluded that "NordVPN is affordable and offers all the features that even the hardcore VPN elitists will find suitable".[48] The reviewer also noted that its terms of service mention no country of jurisdiction, writing that the company could be more transparent about its ownership.[49] The company has since updated the Terms, explicitly mentioning Panama as its country of jurisdiction.[50] TechRadar recommended NordVPN for bypassing state-level Internet censorship, including the Great Firewall in China.[51]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Eddy, Max (February 28, 2019). "NordVPN". PC Magazine (British magazine). Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  2. ^ a b Nadel, Brian (April 10, 2018). "NordVPN Review: Easy But Slow". Tom's Guide. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  3. ^ NordVPN (January 28, 2021). "NordVPN - Fast & Secure VPN". Google Play. Google. Retrieved February 1, 2021.
  4. ^ NordVPN (February 17, 2021). "VPN: Fast & Unlimited NordVPN". App Store. Apple. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  5. ^ NordVPN (February 17, 2021). "VPN by NordVPN - Web Security". Mac App Store. Apple. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  6. ^ Schofield, Jack (November 24, 2016). "How can I protect myself from government snoopers?". The Guardian. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Caruana, Anthony (June 19, 2018). "NordVPN Launches Android TV App". Lifehacker Australia. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  8. ^ Tiwari, Aditya (October 29, 2017). "NordVPN In-Depth Review: A Reliable VPN For Security And Performance". Retrieved February 19, 2018.
  9. ^ Gewirtz, David (June 29, 2018). "Inside a VPN service: How NordVPN conducts the business of Internet privacy". ZDNet. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  10. ^ Vigliarolo, Brandon (July 1, 2016). "NordVPN offers powerful mobile VPN service and app, but there's Wi-Fi gotcha". Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  11. ^ Real, Mark (October 3, 2017). "NordVPN Launches Extension For Google Chrome Browser". Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  12. ^ Maxham, Alexander (June 19, 2018). "NordVPN Is Now Available On Android TV". Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  13. ^ Eddy, Max (October 23, 2019). "NordVPN Review". PC Magazine. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  14. ^ "Russia Threatens to Block Popular VPN Services to Prevent Website Access". Reuters. March 29, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019 – via The Moscow Times.
  15. ^ Bozovic, Novak (March 30, 2019). "Russian VPN Ban – What Happens Next? Can VPNs Be Fully & Completely Blocked in Russia?". Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  16. ^ Spadafora, Anthony (September 12, 2019). "NordVPN Teams is a VPN solution for businesses". TechRadar. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  17. ^ Bozovic, Novak (December 12, 2019). "Industry-Leading i2Coalition Launches 'VPN Trust Initiative' for Promoting Internet Safety". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  18. ^ Eddy, Max (December 19, 2019). "Can a New Alliance Help VPN Companies Prove Themselves Trustworthy". PCMag. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  19. ^ Troy, Hunt (August 7, 2020). "I'm Partnering with NordVPN as a Strategic Advisor". Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  20. ^ TJ, McCue (June 20, 2019). "How Does A VPN Work?". Forbes. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  21. ^ Athow, Desire (July 26, 2018). "How to choose a security protocol in the NordVPN Windows and Android apps". TechRadar. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  22. ^ Paul, Ian (July 6, 2017). "NordVPN review: A great choice for Netflix fans, but who's running the show?". PC World. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  23. ^ "NordVPN review: Still the best value for security and speed". Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  24. ^ Eddy, Max (October 23, 2019). "NordVPN". PCMag UK. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  25. ^ Orphanides, K. G. (May 10, 2019). "The best VPNs to keep your browsing safe and secure". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  26. ^ Eddy, Max (August 14, 2019). "The VPN Industry Is on the Cusp of a Major Breakthrough". PCMag. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  27. ^ Preneel, Bart; Vercauteren, Frederik, eds. (11 June 2018). Applied Cryptography and Network Security. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-93387-0. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  28. ^ Orphanides, K.G (October 19, 2019). "Cloudflare with Warp review: faster browsing, but not a real VPN". Wired UK. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  29. ^ Wagenseil, Paul (April 22, 2020). "NordVPN is about to get a lot faster — thanks to WireGuard". Tom's Guide. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  30. ^ Toulas, Bill (April 24, 2020). "NordVPN Implements NordLynx "WireGuard" on All Its Platforms". Retrieved April 27, 2020.
  31. ^ Ballard, Barclay (November 16, 2020). "NordVPN adds Dark Web credential monitor to protect your identity". TechRadar. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  32. ^ Harber-Lamond, Mo (December 25, 2020). "NordVPN begins worldwide speed upgrade with 10Gbps server rollout". Tom's Guide. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  33. ^ Spadafora, Anthony (December 22, 2020). "This VPN giant is getting a major speed upgrade". TechRadar. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  34. ^ Turton, William (October 21, 2019). "After Twitter Allegations, Nord VPN Discloses 2018 Breach". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  35. ^ a b Whittaker, Zack (October 21, 2019). "NordVPN confirms it was hacked". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  36. ^ a b c Hodge, Rae (November 1, 2019). "After the breach, Nord is asking people to trust its VPN again". CNET. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  37. ^ Goodin, Dan (October 21, 2019). "Hackers steal secret crypto keys for NordVPN. Here's what we know so far". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  38. ^ a b Kastrenakes, Jacob (October 21, 2019). "NordVPN reveals server breach that could have let attacker monitor traffic". The Verge. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  39. ^ a b "Why the NordVPN network is safe after a third-party provider breach". NordVPN. October 21, 2019. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  40. ^ Eddy, Max (October 23, 2019). "NordVPN and TorGuard VPN Breaches: What You Need to Know". PC Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  41. ^ Athow, Desire (October 6, 2020). "NordVPN unleashes colocated servers for greater security". TechRadar. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  42. ^ Nichols, Shaun (October 12, 2020). "One year after server hackers left NordVPN red-faced, firm's first colocated setup is online". The Register. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  43. ^ Kan, Michael (October 29, 2019). "NordVPN Beefs Up Security With Audit, Bug Bounty Program". PC Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  44. ^ Spadafora, Anthony (December 10, 2019). "NordVPN boosts security with new bug bounty program". TechRadar. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  45. ^ Goodin, Dan (November 1, 2019). "NordVPN users' passwords exposed in mass credential-stuffing attacks". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  46. ^ Al-Heeti, Abrar (November 1, 2019). "NordVPN user accounts compromised and passwords exposed, report says". CNET. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  47. ^ Gewirtz, David (March 22, 2019). "The Best VPN services for 2019". CNET. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  48. ^ Fadilpašić, Saed (October 15, 2019). NordVPN Review: Excellent Price/Quality Ratio. Tom's Guide. Retrieved: February 5, 2020.
  49. ^ Nadel, Brian (April 10, 2018). "NordVPN Review: Easy But Slow". Tom's Guide. Archived from the original on April 14, 2018.
  50. ^ NordVPN (May 31, 2018). "Terms of Service". Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  51. ^ Marshall, Adam. "The best VPN for China 2019". TechRadar. Retrieved July 15, 2019.

External links[edit]