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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. One month plans start at US$11.99. 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.
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
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 for NordVPN in Australia 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
Number of VPN servers
|View Plans||US$3.29/mth US$78.96 2-year plan for new visitors||5,224
|View Plans||US$4.99/mth US$59.88 1-year plan||60+
|View Plans||AU$3.39/mth AU$81.36 2-year plan||3,200+|
|View Plans||AU$2.89/mth $75.14 2-year plan||28,429|
|View Plans||US$3.99/mth US47.89 1-year plan||1,600+|
|View Plans||US$8.32/mth US$99.84 1-year plan||3,000+|
|View Plans||AU$11.99/mth AU$143.88 1-year plan||1,800+|
|View Plans||AU$3.19/mth AU$124.41 3-year plan||6,000+|
|View Plans||US$1.38/mth US$49.99 3-year plan||500+|
|View Plans||US$1.99/mth US$53.95 2-year plan||6500+
|View Plans||AU$4.99/mth AU$59.99 1-year plan||3000|
|View Plans||US$3.33/mth US$120 3-year plan||500+|
|View Plans||US$4.08/mth US$49 1-year plan||187|
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 TV
- Raspberry Pi
- Kindle Fire
- 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.
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
|AU VPN||76.54Mbps (~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
|Stan (including Stan Sport)||Yes||Fast|
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
Netflix US 4K (25Mbps)
Hulu 4K (16Mbps)
BBC iPlayer (24Mbps)
|NBN 12||11.72Mbps||10.19Mbps (US), 8.09Mbps (UK)||Too slow||Too slow||Too slow|
|NBN 25||24.42Mbps||21.24Mbps (US), 16.85Mbps (UK)||Too slow||1 stream||Too slow|
|NBN 50||48.84Mbps||42.49Mbps (US), 33.7Mbps (UK)||1 stream||2 streams||1 stream|
|NBN 100||97.68Mbps||84.98Mbps (US), 67.4Mbps (UK)||3 streams||5 streams||2 streams|
|NBN 250||244.2Mbps||212.45Mbps (US), 168.5Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||13 streams||7 streams|
|NBN 500||488.4Mbps||424.9Mbps (US), 337Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||26 streams||14 streams|
|NBN 1000||976.8Mbps||849.82Mbps (US), 673.99Mbps (UK)||4+ streams||53 streams||28 streams|
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.
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.