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NordVPN logo, horizontal.png
Developer(s)Tefincom & Co., S.A.[1]
Initial release2012; 7 years ago (2012)[2]
Stable releaseAndroid 4.3.1 (November 18, 2019; 4 days ago (2019-11-18)[3]) [±]

iOS 5.0.9 (November 21, 2019; 1 day ago (2019-11-21)[4]) [±]
macOS 5.1.5 (November 21, 2019; 1 day ago (2019-11-21)[5]) [±]
Windows 6.25.19 (November 21, 2019; 1 day ago (2019-11-21)) [±]

Linux 3.4.0 (October 21, 2019; 32 days ago (2019-10-21)) [±]
Operating system
TypeVirtual private network service

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.[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 by 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 June 2018, NordVPN was operating more than 4,000 servers in 62 countries.[9]

In 2017, NordVPN launched obfuscated servers for VPN access under heavy Internet restrictions.[citation needed] These servers allow accessing the service in countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China.[13] Although the Chinese government has been attempting to restrict encrypted communications for years, millions of people still rely on various VPN services to bypass China's censorship system, known as the Great Firewall.[14][15][16] In October 2019, after the Government of Hong Kong enacted an anti-mask law in response to the mass demonstrations against China's increasing influence over city affairs, LIHKG, the online platform for the protesters, urged people to download VPNs for bypassing potential internet shutdowns.[17] On October 7, NordVPN reportedly became the fifth most downloaded mobile app in Hong Kong.[18]

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.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

On October 21, 2019, a security researcher disclosed on Twitter a server breach of NordVPN involving a leaked private key.[22][23][24] 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.[25] In response, NordVPN confirmed that one of its servers based in Finland was breached in March 2018.[26][27] 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.[26] According to NordVPN, the data center disclosed the breach to NordVPN on April 13, 2019, and NordVPN ended its relationship with the data center.[27] Security researchers and media outlets criticized NordVPN for failing to promptly disclose the breach after the company became aware of it.[24][23][28] NordVPN stated that the company initially planned to disclose the breach after it completed its internal audits.[24] On October 29, 2019, NordVPN announced additional audits and a bug bounty program.[29]

Approximately 2,000 usernames and passwords of NordVPN accounts were leaked in credential stuffing attacks that were reported on November 1, 2019.[30][31]


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.[32] For encryption, NordVPN uses the OpenVPN and Internet Key Exchange v2/IPsec technologies in its applications.[33] 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]

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.[34]

In November 2018, NordVPN claimed that its no-log policy was verified through an audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG.[35][36]

In July 2019, NordVPN released NordLynx[37], a new VPN tool based on the experimental WireGuard protocol, which aims for better performance than the IPsec and OpenVPN tunneling protocols.[38] 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."[39]


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.[40] In a mixed review published by Tom's Guide in June 2017, the reviewer criticized the service for being slower and more expensive than the competition, concluding that “NordVPN is neither good or bad”.[41] 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.[41] The company has since updated the Terms, explicitly mentioning Panama as its country of jurisdiction.[42]

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 (November 18, 2019). "NordVPN - Fast & Secure VPN". Google Play. Google. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  4. ^ NordVPN (November 21, 2019). "VPN: Fast & Unlimited NordVPN". App Store. Apple. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  5. ^ NordVPN (November 21, 2019). "VPN by NordVPN - Web Security". Mac App Store. Apple. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  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. ^ a b 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. ^ Marshall, Adam. "The best VPN for China 2019". TechRadar. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  14. ^ Arthur, Charles (December 14, 2012). "China tightens 'Great Firewall' Internet control with new technology". The Guardian. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  15. ^ Bloomberg News (July 10, 2017). "China Tells Carriers to Block Access to Personal VPNs by February". Bloomberg. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  16. ^ Haas, Benjamin (July 11, 2017). "China moves to block Internet VPNs from 2018". The Guardian. Retrieved February 27, 2018.
  17. ^ Li, Jane (October 4, 2019). "Hong Kong fears internet shutdown after emergency powers are used to ban face masks". Quartz. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  18. ^ Hao, Nicole (October 7, 2019). "Hong Kong Senior Official: Government Could Ban Internet in Efforts to Stop Protests". The Epoch Times. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  19. ^ "Russia Threatens to Block Popular VPN Services to Prevent Website Access". Reuters. March 29, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019 – via The Moscow Times.
  20. ^ Bozovic, Novak (March 30, 2019). "Russian VPN Ban – What Happens Next? Can VPNs Be Fully & Completely Blocked in Russia?". Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  21. ^ Spadafora, Anthony (September 12, 2019). "NordVPN Teams is a VPN solution for businesses". TechRadar. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Turton, William (October 21, 2019). "After Twitter Allegations, Nord VPN Discloses 2018 Breach". Bloomberg. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Whittaker, Zack (October 21, 2019). "NordVPN confirms it was hacked". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ a b Kastrenakes, Jacob (October 21, 2019). "NordVPN reveals server breach that could have let attacker monitor traffic". The Verge. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  27. ^ a b "Why the NordVPN network is safe after a third-party provider breach". NordVPN. October 21, 2019. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
  28. ^ Eddy, Max (October 23, 2019). "NordVPN and TorGuard VPN Breaches: What You Need to Know". PC Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  29. ^ Kan, Michael (October 29, 2019). "NordVPN Beefs Up Security With Audit, Bug Bounty Program". PC Magazine. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  30. ^ Goodin, Dan (November 1, 2019). "NordVPN users' passwords exposed in mass credential-stuffing attacks". Ars Technica. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  31. ^ Al-Heeti, Abrar (November 1, 2019). "NordVPN user accounts compromised and passwords exposed, report says". CNET. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  32. ^ TJ, McCue (June 20, 2019). "How Does A VPN Work?". Forbes. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  33. ^ Athow, Desire (July 26, 2018). "How to choose a security protocol in the NordVPN Windows and Android apps". TechRadar. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ Eddy, Max (October 23, 2019). "NordVPN". PCMag UK. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ Eddy, Max (August 14, 2019). "The VPN Industry Is on the Cusp of a Major Breakthrough". PCMag. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  38. ^ Preneel, Bart; Vercauteren, Frederik (eds.). Applied Cryptography and Network Security. Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-93387-0. Archived from the original on 18 February 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  39. ^ Orphanides, K.G (October 19, 2019). "Cloudflare with Warp review: faster browsing, but not a real VPN". Wired UK. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  40. ^ Gewirtz, David (March 22, 2019). "The Best VPN services for 2019". CNET. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  41. ^ a b Nadel, Brian (April 10, 2018). "NordVPN Review: Easy But Slow". Tom's Guide. Archived from the original on April 14, 2018.
  42. ^ NordVPN (May 31, 2018). "Terms of Service". Retrieved June 4, 2018.

External links[edit]