Even if you’re not doing anything illegal, it doesn’t feel right to let the govt. snoop around on your internet activities, or control what you can or can’t see, that’s where this NordVPN review comes to the rescue.
I’m pretty sure you know what a VPN is, or why you need one, but how do you actually choose a VPN or label it better than other VPN services? How do you know that any particular VPN will be best suited for your needs? Because the level of privacy or anonymity a deep/dark web user needs differs quite a bit from the general users who simply need to “hide their IP addresses”.
I’ve been with NordVPN for nearly 3 years now, but to not make this NordVPN review subjective, I’ll transparently audit its most important features including:
- Available countries.
- Connection Protocols
- Logs Policy
- Other Advanced features.
- And Pricing.
And then, once you’ve gone through this NordVPN review and know what’s being offered you can decide for yourselves if it’s capable of securing you on the Deep/Dark web, or maybe not?
NordVPN Review: What can NordVPN do for You?
Before getting into the technicalities of this NordVPN review, here’s what the VPN can do for you on the very surface level:
- Mask your IP address (obviously), so that any and all activities conducted by you on the Internet can’t be linked back to you, ever. Hence the clearnet and/or the Deep/Dark websites you visit which already are routed via various nodes (thanks to Tor) get an additional, impregnable layer of security and invisibility.
- Unblock Restricted Websites: Websites including Google, Facebook, Netflix and even some onion (dark web) sites are banned in quite a few countries and/or regions, well it only takes couple seconds to unblock them with NordVPN.
- Prevent Hacking Attempts: Your internet can be hacked quite easily, especially when you’re using a public WiFi, or are posting without adequate protection on dark web forums or chatrooms, NordVPN prevents that from happening.
- Download Torrents and other Content.
In a nutshell, yeah a VPN is pretty important not just to be anonymous and keep your privacy safe, but also to get that liberty and freedom which you deserve when on the Internet.
So here’s the NordVPN review right from the basic to the very advanced features of it.
User interface is how the software feels like when used. Is it easy to understand, or are the buttons and options confusing?
Here’s what the NordVPN welcome dashboard looks like once you login, doesn’t seem confusing to me, does it to you?
Connecting is as easy and fast as simply clicking once on the “Power” button on the top-centre of the screen.
You can choose one of the many available countries to connect to by simply clicking on the map pointers displayed on the page.
And you can access the “Settings” simply by clicking on the Settings button on the top-bar. No rocket-science required, even on your first day with the VPN you can start using it without problems.
62 Countries and 4000+ Servers
One of the reasons Nord has been my weapon of choice against censorship, anti-privacy laws and shield on the Dark web is its extensive, nearly unbeatable number of available countries when compared to other VPNs.
It provides a list of as many as 62 countries for us to choose from. That means you aren’t limited to just a handful of countries, but can choose the IP address of just about any country on the planet.
So when ordering something on an underground marketplace, or maybe selling something over there, you can literally bounce your IP off over 60 countries and there’s no way it’d be linked back to you.
Additionally, most countries have multiple IPs for you to choose from, so you don’t need to connect to the same IP even if you connect to the same country and can rather keep bouncing between cities and IPs of your choice! Some countries have over 100 individual IPs and I say that’s commendable.
Also, it has installed over 4000 servers for its services worldwide. Why they matter to you? Well because without adequate number of servers, you’d be experiencing painfully slow speeds and bandwidth throttling, two of the problems that just don’t exist with NordVPN.
And it becomes doubly important because the Dark web is on the Onion network and can be accessed only via Tor, which already is slow, hence if the VPN doesn’t have enough number of servers it won’t be able to provide you with the kind of speed you need.
It probably is the only VPN in the industry that provides “Speciality servers”. Meaning you may not always know which servers are the best for your current needs. And hence, you can choose from its speciality servers for particular needs which offer:
- Double VPN
- Dedicated IP
- Onion over VPN etc
The “Onion Over VPN” is of special importance here, it makes sure that your traffic is encrypted even after the Exit-node of Tor while accessing deep/dark web sites (which doesn’t happen if you don’t have a VPN, or Onion over VPN feature on your VPN).
Secondly, quite a few countries know Tor to be the Dark Web’s ally and hence have banned use of Tor in the countries altogether, with the Onion over VPN feature, your ISP never knows of your Tor use and hence the restrictions don’t apply to you.
Connection Protocols define how secure your connection with the VPN is and how well your traffic is encrypted.
NordVPN offers as many as 4 connection protocols, I’ll explain the significance of each individually so worry not:
OpenVPN is generally the most secure connection protocol available, it’s open-source and pretty secure. It makes use of TCP and UDP connection types. TCP is slower but more reliable, while UDP is faster but less reliable. You can set which type to use simply by clicking on one of the types from the settings!
L2TP is an older connection protocol, to be used only where no other connection protocol is supported or available. Comes in handy when using a VPN on older hardware.
It makes use of shared secret keys to connect to the destination, which makes it prone to being intercepted mid-way. In a nutshell, use only when you absolutely need a VPN and no other protocol can be employed. It’s not the best for Deep web users, but well that’s the reason why NordVPN has 3 more!
PPTP stands for Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol and is the oldest protocols of all the others listed above. Obviously security isn’t its strongest suits, but support is. Meaning it can be used on systems as old as Windows97. Hence, should be used when you’re using your grandparent’s computers and security isn’t much of an issue.
IKEv2/IPSec is one of the most secure connection protocols that you can use with NordVPN. It uses extremely secure encryption and ciphers including AES-256-GEM along with SHA2-384 (in case you know what they mean) to encrypt your traffic.
In laymen’s terms? Totally go for IKEv2/IPSec or OpenVPN when security is a priority, otherwise PPTP or L2TP can be used (with a lot of caution!) Let’s move on to some other features that the VPN offers in the next sections of this NordVPN review.
Other Advanced Features
NordVPN includes couple features which are exclusive to the VPN and offer a lot more privacy and control to the users which make it the perfect choice for users trying to access the Deep/Dark web and the next section of this NordVPN review is about.
Obfuscated Servers Available
One of the exclusives that NordVPN offers is its obfuscated servers. A VPN isn’t welcome everywhere and some countries (such as China, Saudi Arabia etc) actively prevent it from functioning.
That’s where the obfuscated servers are your guardian angels, you can simply enable the “Obfuscated servers” option from the settings and the censorship goes to its grave.
Fair warning though, even though NordVPN’s normal speed is more than satisfactory, when on these special servers you will experience slower speeds but “some internet is better than no internet” isn’t it?
They recently included CyberSEC feature on the VPN! It acts as an added layer of protection against Malware, Viruses, Phishing attacks etc.
It’s again one of the features which make NordVPN unique, no other VPN I’ve been with (and I’ve been with over 50 VPNs till date) offer similar features.
Basically whenever you visit a site if the site is known to contain content which may harm you in any way, CyberSEC kicks in and prevents the site from loading!
It too can be turned on in a single click from the Settings interface, again, no rocket-science required!
It’s not exactly “unique” per say and most other VPNs include it as well, it makes sure that your Internet is completely auto-disconnected if and when your VPN connection drops.
Because VPN connections can be unstable at times, this feature makes sure you accidently don’t expose your real IP address on the Internet and if you’re connected to the Internet, you’re for sure connected via the VPN.
No Logs Policy
Probably the most important feature when it comes to a VPN. No Logs Policy is what makes sure that the VPN doesn’t keep any logs of the IP addresses used by you, sites visited via the VPN or any other details.
Any VPN without the No Logs Policy is technically just a disaster waiting to happen. Well not NordVPN. It doesn’t keep any logs which can be linked back to you or identified with you making sure there’s absolutely no chance of any privacy leak, ever.
VPNs are often accused of reducing speed, and rightly so. Because of all the encryption and server switching your traffic goes through, it does suffer a speed loss.
And that’s true even in the case of NordVPN, but another truth associated with it is that NordVPN is by far the fastest VPN I’ve ever been with. Does it reduce speed? Yes it does. But the reduction is much lower than other VPNs.
Unlimited Speed and Bandwidth
Most other VPNs have a speed and bandwidth cap according to their plans, meaning how much bandwidth you can use, and at what speed is limited with them. That’s not so with NordVPN.
It provides absolutely unlimited speed and bandwidth, so you can use as much data as you want without having to worry about it being capped or you having to pay extra.
6 Simultaneous Connections
Most modern homes these days have atleast 3-4 devices. Would you have to buy NordVPN X 3 times if you have 3 devices? Nope.
Instead, you can use the same NordVPN account with as many as 6 devices simultaneously without paying a penny extra. This applies to all the plans regardless of their price.
So NordVPN is feature-rich, granted. But does it fit your pockets? Or does it extort a fortune? In my opinion, it’s dirt-cheap and to be honest I’d happily pay couple more bucks for the features being offered than the price being asked.
It has three pricing plans:
- 2-Year plan- $3.29/month.
- 1—Year plan- $5.75/month.
- 1-month plan- $11.95/month.
The features on all the plans are exactly the same, the pricing difference is only based on the duration of the package you purchase.
All the plans come with a 30-day money back guarantee. And speaking of anonymity, it supports Bitcoin, Ethereum as well as Ripple so you can make payments without divulging any private information at all, exactly what a dark web user needs isn’t it?
Although if you’re willing to use traditional methods, Paypal, Credit/Debit Cards and other payment gateways are supported as well.
How to Install NordVPN?
For the uninitiated, purchase and download NordVPN from the official website, and then double-click on the NordVPNSetup to initiate the installing process.
If your system displays a security warning, simply click on “Run”.
Then simply choose the location where you’d want the VPN to be installed and click on “Install”.
Done! It literally was a two-click process, you’d then be directly redirected to the login screen!
How to use NordVPN
It’s pretty much self-explanatory, fire up the VPN, login to your account and this is the screen you’ll be greeted with, you can either directly click on the “Power” button on the top-bar to connect to the best available server;
Or, you can click on any of those map-icons to start using the IP address of that country.
If you’re not good with maps, and can’t make out which countries those map-icons denote, you can click on “servers” from the top-bar to get a list of the countries rather than map-icons. Again, one-click is all that’s required to connect to that country.
It further provides the option to choose one of the many available servers in any specific country, simply click on the three horizontal lines near a country’s power-icon to get to the list.
Although if you’re a Dark/Deep web surfer, there’s every possibility you already knew how to use the VPN, this particular section of the NordVPN review is simply for those who’ve either never used a VPN altogether, or haven’t used Nord specifically.
Final Words on NordVPN Review
So that’s a wrap as far as this NordVPN review goes folks. I believe I’ve brought forward all the important privacy and security features that concern you before making a decision.
For me personally, the speed and cheap pricing plans are the biggest yes-factors, you may like them for their speciality servers, long list of available IPs or anything else, it’s more of a personal choice really.
Also, it’s probably the best VPN out there when it comes to deep/dark web users first because it doesn’t add to the speed lag which Tor already has, and secondly because it offers added security via the “Onion over VPN” feature.
Do let me know if this NordVPN review satisfied you, and also if you like the software as a VPN solution, or not? Do make use of the comment box, your feedback is appreciated.