NordVPN review Australia

A VPN that's built for first-time users and experienced users alike.

Review.org Recommended
Nord VPN
NordVPN
4.8 out of 5 stars
4.75
Price
$US11.99/mth
Servers
5,500+
Simultaneous connections
5
May 05, 2022
6 min read
Quick verdict: NordVPN review
There’s a reason NordVPN is the VPN by which all others are measured. It’s incredibly easy to use, has a good mix of countries and locations, and it just works. While it is unfortunately charged in US dollars and you only have six simultaneous connections (which might not be enough to cover all devices in the home), NordVPN is a faithful invisible background protector whether you’re browsing, using work apps, videoconferencing, or streaming content from geoblocked services.
Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Good balance of servers, countries, locations
Pro Bullet Incredibly easy to use
Pro Bullet Fast and secure
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Six simultaneous connections
Con Bullet Charged in US dollars
Con Bullet Windows software quirks

There are a lot of virtual private network (VPN) services out there, and even if you eliminate the fully free ones (you really should; VPN trials are the way to go) and shortlist the best premium VPN services, there are still at least a handful of options that are well worth considering.

And one of the contenders at the very top of that short list is NordVPN. It’s a great place to start for those intimidated by VPNs, and the more you’re willing to pay, the cheaper the monthly cost becomes.

NordVPN pricing and plans

Plan
Monthly price
Upfront payment
Detail
One-month NordVPN planUS$11.99US$11.99
One-year NordVPN planUS$4.99US$59.88
Two-year NordVPN planUS$3.99US$95.76

Data and pricing only accurate as of the last page update. Please see provider's website for the latest pricing

Compared to its competitors, NordVPN hangs around the middle for typical monthly pricing but, as is the trend, you can boost the overall value by paying upfront for longer than a month. While the usual monthly cost is US$11.99 per month, you can slash that to US$4.99 a month on a one-year plan (US$59.88 upfront cost) or cut it back further to US$3.99 a month on the two-year plan (US$95.76 upfront fee).

Note that these NordVPN plans have gone up by one to 28 cents since we first reviewed NordVPN in 2020, so buying in sooner means securing a better price for longer. On top of this, the annual and biennial plans have reduced initial pricing, which reverts to a US$99.48 annual fee for both options after that prepaid period has passed.

If you don’t mind paying more initially, NordVPN has one of the cheapest adjusted monthly fees on that two-year option in comparison to other VPN providers. Ultimately, price shouldn’t stop you from trying NordVPN because it’s a value-packed service, but you can take advantage of the 30-day money-back guarantee, then buy one of the longer-duration plans if you like it. If you don’t mind paying more initially, NordVPN has one of the cheapest adjusted monthly fees on that two-year option in comparison to other VPN providers.

Compare NordVPN prices to other VPN providers

Brand
Price
Number of VPN servers
Simultaneous connections
Details
Nord VPN

NordVPN

5,224
60 countries
6 Gold-standard user-friendliness
PrivadoVPN logo

PrivadoVPN

60+
47 countries
10 Free version offers 10GB every month
Surfshark

Surfshark

3,200+
65 countries

Unlimited

Unlimited device connections
Private Internet Access VPN

Private Internet Access

28,429
78
10Stack of servers
Ip VanishIPVanish
1,600+
52
Unlimited24/7 support
Express VPN Logo

ExpressVPN

3,000+
94
5 Helpful user video guides

Data effective of last page update. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Read more about our top picks for the best VPNs

Have a look at our list for what you should take into account whether you’re in the market for a new or replacement VPN service.

NordVPN connectivity and user experience

This is one of the highlights of using NordVPN. Of all the VPNs I’ve tested, NordVPN is the fastest to connect. Like any VPN, sign up for an account, download the software onto your PC (or app on a supported device), then use your NordVPN login details to connect. From here, NordVPN offers a user-friendly ‘Quick Connect’ button that will find the VPN server closest to your location and connect really, really fast. NordVPN is so quick to connect that music streaming rarely skips a beat.

Disconnecting is ever-so-slightly more painful in comparison to other VPNs that simply disconnect immediately. For NordVPN, hitting ‘Disconnect’ on the Windows software brings up four options: pause for five minutes, pause for 15 minutes, pause for an hour, or fully disconnect. Given how quickly NordVPN connects, this additional disconnection step feels more like an inconvenience than anything else. For context, in my years of using NordVPN, I haven’t ever found a practical use for any of the pause options.

At the time of updating this review, NordVPN offered 5,500+ servers in 60 countries and across 83 locations, and though NordVPN is very much in the top five for best VPN services, that server count is behind CyberGhost and PureVPN. It also has the lowest number of countries to connect to out of our top five VPNs.

There used to be some other annoying software quirks, but they’ve been ironed out with patches. NordVPN proves to be even more convenient in my Android and Android TV tests, where disconnecting is refreshingly a tap away.

NordVPN supported devices

A single NordVPN account is enough to cover six devices connected simultaneously. NordVPN is supported on the following devices:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Android TV
  • Firestick
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Chromebook
  • Chromecast
  • Kindle Fire
  • Linux
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Edge
  • NordVPN OpenVPN-compatible routers (supported models)

Note that if you have a router that supports NordVPN, whenever you connect to NordVPN via your router, all devices on your home network will be connected to the VPN. You can connect more than six devices this way—including Xbox, PlayStation and Switch consoles—but it also means that devices you may not want to have a VPN connection will be automatically connected, removing the flexibility to switch servers or disable/enable NordVPN on a per-device basis.

NordVPN speeds

Though a VPN can be used for any number of online activities, connecting to a server—even a nearby one—tends to result in slower download and upload speed as well as higher latency. Below is a table of the speeds I was able to achieve with a Superloop NBN 100/40Mbps FTTC connection in the afternoon while using NordVPN.

NordVPN server latency and speeds from Australia

VPN server
Download speed
Upload speed
Latency
No VPN87.3Mbps38.18Mbps4ms
AU VPN76.54Mbps (~12% slower)36.12Mbps (~5% slower)5ms (1ms slower)
US VPN (auto, fastest)75.64Mbps (~13% slower)31.71Mbps (~17% slower)155ms (151ms slower)
US VPN (manual, closest)62.69Mbps (~28% slower)32.63Mbps (~14% slower)186ms (182ms slower)
UK VPN (auto, fastest)59.91Mbps (~31% slower)33.57Mbps (~12% slower)251ms (247ms slower)

While upload speeds cop a decent hit on US servers, download speeds are still very, very useable for downloading larger files and streaming content across multiple devices (with an NBN 100 or above connection). The Australian speeds are acceptable for a VPN, and the minimal impact to latency and upload speed are particularly impressive. The US download speed for an automatic connection is great in the context of the Australian speeds, but it slowed for me when I tried to manually connect to a closer US west coast server. Still, upload speeds are great for US and UK connections.

NordVPN performance with popular streaming services

Streaming service
NordVPN compatibile?
Buffering speed
Netflix USYesFast
HBO MaxYesFast
HuluYesFast
PeacockYesFast
BBC iPlayerYesFast
KayoNoN/A
Stan (including Stan Sport)YesFast

As you can see from the table above, NordVPN is almost flawless when it comes to handling streaming services. Outside of Kayo, which is notoriously savvy at sniffing out VPNs, NordVPN was fast to access content libraries plus stream movies and TV shows from all our test streaming services. If you do want to stream Kayo, of the 15 VPNs I’ve reviewed, only Windscribe VPN, Hotspot Shield and ExpressVPN worked well with the sports streaming service.

The table below gives you an idea of how NordVPN might work with your NBN connection. It uses extrapolated speeds based on the current download speed averages from the latest ACCC NBN data (from participating NBN providers) to give you an idea of how the best-case 13% and 31% download speed changes for US and UK servers might impact your overall download speed when using NordVPN. The three columns on the right offer the number of simultaneous streams per connection. While Netflix has a maximum of four simultaneous streams per 4K account, Hulu and BBC iPlayer have options for unlimited streams. These numbers may become ridiculous with faster NBN plans, but it helps to highlight the difference in speed impact between slower and faster plans.

NordVPN speeds for 4K streaming services

NBN speed tier
Average NBN TEDS
NordVPN TEDS
Netflix US 4K (25Mbps)
Hulu 4K (16Mbps)
BBC iPlayer (24Mbps)
NBN 1211.72Mbps10.19Mbps (US), 8.09Mbps (UK)Too slowToo slowToo slow
NBN 2524.42Mbps21.24Mbps (US), 16.85Mbps (UK)Too slow1 streamToo slow
NBN 5048.84Mbps42.49Mbps (US), 33.7Mbps (UK)1 stream2 streams1 stream
NBN 10097.68Mbps84.98Mbps (US), 67.4Mbps (UK)3 streams5 streams2 streams
NBN 250244.2Mbps212.45Mbps (US), 168.5Mbps (UK)4+ streams13 streams7 streams
NBN 500488.4Mbps424.9Mbps (US), 337Mbps (UK)4+ streams26 streams14 streams
NBN 1000976.8Mbps849.82Mbps (US), 673.99Mbps (UK)4+ streams53 streams28 streams

NordVPN extras

There are some great perks that come with a NordVPN subscription. For starters, NordVPN has a zero-log policy, which means the VPN service doesn’t track, collect or share your data, and it uses RAM servers these days, which can’t store permanent data. If you want to get granular, you can also make use of NordVPN’s split tunnelling for app-based control. NordVPN also offers a Smart DNS service, which can be used to access is activated in the Nord Account dashboard and is a speedier workaround (compared to a VPN) for supported international streaming services.

NordVPN has also added malware blocking via a Threat Protection feature that’s disabled by default. We like this extra layer of security to a service that already boasts military-grade protection, and it’s a nice touch that you can see the threats it’s blocked once activated.

NordVPN vs ExpressVPN

One of the bigger VPN showdowns is between NordVPN and ExpressVPN. NordVPN has more servers (5,500+ vs 3,000+) but ExpressVPN has servers in 94 countries compared to NordVPN’s 60. Both VPNs share many of the extras, including 24-hour support, though NordVPN offers malware protection via Threat Protection. Speaking of support, ExpressVPN has a wealth of guides online and more supported devices (including video guides for how to configure individual devices).

NordVPN is faster to connect but ExpressVPN had consistently faster speeds once connected in our tests, plus disconnecting on ExpressVPN involves a single click rather than fumbling around with a drop-down menu. Picking a winner out of the two close-competing VPN services really depends on what you want. If you want a great price for lots of servers with fast and intuitive server connection, go with NordVPN. If you want fantastic support, servers in more countries and faster overall connection speeds, ExpressVPN is the better pick.

In terms of how we’ve scored them, though, NordVPN has an edge over ExpressVPN.

Should I buy NordVPN?

Yes, NordVPN is absolutely a worthy purchase, held back by a handful of quirks, none of which are deal breakers. Invest in the yearly or biennial plan to get the most value, then take advantage of an intuitive service that just works and is as great a fit for first-time VPN users as it is for more advanced VPN-ers.

NordVPN FAQs

There aren’t native VPN apps for modern gaming consoles, but that doesn’t mean you are unprotected. You can install NordVPN on your router instead, which protects all connected devices including game consoles. NordVPN has steps on how to do that.

The honest answer here is that most users will likely only connect using the server in their own country. In Australia, this might mean you connect to a server in Sydney and you are good to go. However, it is reassuring to know you could connect to any server for any reason. And, it means connecting will be reliable from anywhere.

No, NordVPN doesn’t have a zero-money trial available, but it does have a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can get a full refund within the first month if you don’t like the VPN service.

At the time of writing, the Australian dollar was around 74 cents compared to the US dollar. For NordVPN, this means it costs around $16.09 for the monthly plan, $80.36 for the annual plan and $128.51 for the biennial plan. Remember to factor in conversion fees if you use a credit card.
Using a VPN in Australia is legal, which means you’re free to use NordVPN whenever you’re online.
NordVPN is great for use with Netflix, whether you want to access international content like the US or UK Netflix library or if you forget to turn it off when you’re watching the Netflix Australian library. Either way, NordVPN is fast to load the Netflix library and play content.
Nathan Lawrence
Written by
Nathan Lawrence
Nathan Lawrence has been banging out passionate tech and gaming words for more than 11 years. These days, you can find his work on outlets like IGN, STACK, Fandom, Red Bull and AusGamers. Nathan adores PC gaming and the proof of his first-person-shooter prowess is at the top of a Battlefield V scoreboard.

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