NordVPN is one of the most heavily advertised VPN networks on the internet. Many websites give it exceptionally good reviews, and some even call it the best. My review is based on my experience using NordVPN in New Zealand. Since New Zealand is basically at the end of the world internet wise, performance on VPNs can be very different than a review done in the states.
You cannot try NordVPN’s service without giving your credit card information. They offer a 7-day free trial, but if you do not cancel before the end of the trial, you are automatically enrolled in a three-year subscription. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee which you can stack with the 7-day free trial.
This is the current pricing in January of 2019. NordVPN is always on sale, and the pricing does vary a little bit throughout the year. NordVPN does show up on some US-based cash back portals (I did not check the cash back portals from other countries).
Another way that you can save money is on the payment page, change the country to New Zealand or the US. NordVPN charges you VAT if you use many European countries as your base. I did not have a problem using a credit card that was from a different country than I selected.
Overall I would say that the pricing is average for a VPN. There are cheaper VPNs, and there are more expensive ones. If you signup for NordVPN one of the first things that I would do is disable automatic payments (instructions in the cancellation section). Often when it is renewal time you will be given bonus months or a discount if you do not renew right away. You can also use a shopping portal again if you manually sign up again, but cannot if you automatically renew.
|Mac||Windows||Android||iOS||Android TV||Roku||Browser Plugins|
NordVPN has many apps that give easy access instead of needing to configure your computer manually. This is a list of tutorials by NordVPN on how to get access to different devices. You can also install the VPN on your router.
NordVPN apps are easy to use. There are other VPN apps that I prefer the interface of, but it is nitpicking at that point. They are functional, and I never had one crash or require a restart of my computer.
You can use NordVPN on six devices at once. This is more devices than average for a VPN.
NordVPN has 5000+ servers in over 60 countries. They have ~20 servers that are located in New Zealand and about ~200 servers located in Australia. The load on these servers tends not to be very high, which allows for fast speed.
The speed test used USA servers. The reason I used USA servers was that they are ones that can be used for USA Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime video. Most other reviews that I have read have listed NordVPN as having really fast and reliable speeds. I did notice the really fast speeds, with multiple times having speeds almost as fast as my native speed. I also had times of really slow speeds. The speeds were so low at times that it was hard to browse the internet and impossible to stream video. This is an everyday occurrence, not just a one-off phenomenon. About a third of the times I wanted to stream videos there was either heavy buffering or I could not stream them at all. This is a major issue for me. I would not link NordVPN to a router in New Zealand because of the inconsistent speed.
Having really fast speeds at times does not make up for very slow speeds at other times. When I want to use my VPN, I want it to be functional. If you are using a VPN for security, NordVPN has always provided good speed for routers in New Zealand. The speed inconsistency I only noticed when using overseas servers.
|Windows/macOS||Mobile Devices App||FireTV App|
|Yes||Yes, not all servers||Rare|
I found that NordVPN delivered as promised for accessing Netflix for most devices. Using macOS I was always able to stream content and never came across an error. Using iOS devices, I was always able to access Netflix, even though they claim that you need to use specific servers to access Netflix. The FireTV app is where NordVPN did not work for me. I was only able to access Netflix once, all other times it came up detecting that I was using a VPN and blocked access. I have searched for specific VPNs on their list that they say work and none of them have worked.
NordVPN works well with Hulu on every device I have tried. It is a good service for streaming Hulu (when the speed is fast enough).
Amazon Prime Streaming
NordVPN claims to work with macOS and windows to give access to Amazon Prime Streaming. I found that it almost always works and if it does not, you can connect to another server that will work. NordVPN says that Amazon Prime is not supported on all other devices and I find that this correct. This is a big negative since I like to download Prime videos on my iPad to watch offline.
NordVPN has an app that can be found under the utility category. The app has the same speed limitations as the other versions of NordVPN, it is often too slow to stream videos. I only once was able to get the app to work with Netflix. The FireTV app does not support Amazon Prime Streaming. Hulu works well with the app when the speed is fast enough to support it.
Install on Router
Installing NordVPN on a router is not as simple as installing it on a computer. They do have guides for most routers that they support, but they do no support all routers. The easiest way to access the guide is to go to the help page and search for your router name. I found the guides to be very detailed and a high level of computer knowledge is not needed.
I would not recommend installing NordVPN on your router because of the frequent times of very low speeds.
How to Cancel NordVPN
This may seem like a strange section to be in a review, but some VPN companies make it very difficult to cancel. I found canceling to be rather straight forward. It does take 1-2 days after your request for the cancellation to go into effect.
- Login to NordVPN
- Go to “My Account”
- Under the “My Services” section, next to the blue “Change Plans” box, click the grey box with three dots
- Click the red letters that say “Cancel Automatic Payment” after you click the grey box
- Follow prompts to complete automatic payment cancellation
- Your “My Services” should look like this once automatic payments have been canceled
- Click the thought bubble in the lower right-hand corner of the screen
- The support screen will appear, click either chat or email at the bottom, I recommend using chat
- Ask chat to cancel your subscription. If you are canceling to get a refund, make sure to ask for a refund.
- Typically they will transfer you to the billing department, and it will take 1-2 days for the cancellation and refund to take effect.
I would not call NordVPN the best VPN in New Zealand like some other sites. NordVPN is not a great VPN choice for New Zealand due to issues with speed. If NordVPN was able to sort out the speed issues and provide consistent speed, my recommendation would change. NordVPN was the first VPN network that I tried when I moved to New Zealand, and I was not happy with it, which is what led to the original article on comparing VPNs. One positive about NordVPN is that they are more honest than many other VPN providers on what they can provide access to. Another positive is that it did provide access to Amazon Prime on desktop, which many streaming services do not.
Our guide to VPNs covers all of the VPNs which we have reviewed in New Zealand.