VPN use is widespread around the globe, and none more so than Australia. With many Australians travelling who want their favourite shows from Downunder or to keep connections secure and retain online privacy using unsecured public Wi-Fi connections.
Besides, you may wish to hide online activities from your ISP and hackers or use the best VPNs for streaming blocked content.
Here, you can go through this in-depth NordVPN Australia review where each section is covered in detail.
Updated for this year, all the new updates are included as there are many changes.
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Quick Guide to NordVPN
Here you can see an overview of what you will find if you try NordVPN. It offers very strong privacy and security features coupled with great speeds, reliability, instant connections, and six simultaneous connections.
There are secure apps with no data leaks and all supported on the extensive and secure server network.
NordVPN now has a good customer support and works with Netflix and many other streaming services.
All users are guaranteed their privacy as Nord is a verified zero log VPN provider by external audit. The company is based in a country high privacy jurisdiction in Panama.
There is more below the surface as the VPN comes with recent upgrades to help keep it at the top of the pile. You also have a chance to test this using the 30-day money-back guarantee.
|2-Year plan||$3.71 per month||Billed as $89 for first 2-years|
|1-Year plan||$4.92 per month||Billed as $59 for the first year|
|1 Month plan||$11.95 per month||Billed $11.95 per month|
NordVPN offers three plans allowing you to choose your time to commit. The longer you sign up, the better the discount, though all features are the same.
Its one-month plan is close to other top-rated VPN providers and is not what you’d want to pay. The 2-year plan is where it stands out, offering great value for money. (Find the Best VPN Australia)
You still have extensive server coverage, and more control over specialty servers at a great price. While it does take a long-term service to get the affordability, you can use the 30-day money back guarantee to test everything.
The refund is risk-free, yet some VPN’s NordVPN wishes to address problems before giving customers their money back.
NordVPN doesn’t offer a free trial, and the closest you have to this is the 30-day money-back guarantee.
When you come to sign up for NordVPN, you can see two other services available. NordPass and NordLocker.
NordPass has become a leading Password manager that uses much of the technology that goes into NordVPN. Selecting this with the VPN means you can get a 50% discount and brings the cost down to $2.49 per month rather than $4.99 per month.
Second is the NordLocker service. NordLocker uses the same encryption as the VPN to secure your files. You just drag and drop them into the app, and you instantly secure them from anyone else apart from you.
It is possible to read and work on your files directly inside the locker instead of encrypting and decrypting them each time. Besides this, you get 10Gb of cloud storage, and thus, you can access your files from anywhere.
Like NordPass, there is a charge, and this also comes with a 70% discount at $1.49 per month rather than $4.99 per month.
Not everyone will wish to pay for such features, yet couple these with the 2-year plan, and it makes for a very secure package that can care for all your data and keep you private.
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NordVPN’s OpenVPN clients are secure with an AES-256 bit GCM cipher and HMAC SHA256 hash authentication.
NordVPN uses three types of security protocols, which are all top choices: OpenVPN UDP/TCP and IKEv2/IPSec. Add to this the new NordLynx Protocol which will most likely be sued by the majority of users.
OpenVPN UDP used to be the most secure protocol available, and the default option for NordVPN’s apps. However, you can choose other protocols depending on your needs or set the clients to automatic and let Nord make the decisions for you.
Also, NordVPN uses Perfect Forward Secrecy via a DHE-4096 key exchange. AES-256 bit GCM cipher can also be used for traffic encryption for the IPSec/IKEv2 protocol.
Besides OpenVPN and IPSec/IKEv2, NordVPN now supports the new WireGuard VPN protocol in all of the VPN apps. NordVPN’s privacy-focused version of WireGuard called NordLynx. Users still have the choice of changing VPN protocols in the Settings: (Read NordVPN Vs Avast Secureline)
Perfect forward secrecy, or PFS, gives you a new key at every log on. So, you essentially act as a new user each time. Any data or activity from previous sessions are completely wiped and unrelated. It also means if your internet connection is compromised, there’s nothing to expose you.
You won’t find any DNS links as all DNS requests are made on a NordVPN server.
NordVPN offers a decent line-up of secure client apps for all major operating systems and devices:
- Mac OS
- Android and iOS (mobile)
- Android TV
Here are key findings of reviewing NordVPN clients:
Full of features: The apps are full of features, including specialty servers, leak protection, and startup or connection settings.
Ease of use: Every user, old or new should find NordVPN clients user-friendly and easy to use
Secure: Besides strong encryption, NordVPN secures data using a kill switch to block traffic if the VPN connection drops.
User Experience: In most occasions, users have a great experience using this VPN. Behind the scenes, it is faultless, yet the apps can be a bit niggly to use.
You can have 6 simultaneous connections on each account and can include computers, laptops, phones, tablets, or others. You can even configure NordVPN on certain routers for unlimited connections.
This lets you secure Wi-Fi-only devices connecting via your router or games consoles, smart TVs and streaming media players and watch Netflix where you are more comfortable.
NordVPN CyberSec blocks trackers, ads, and malware domains. It works well in testing by effectively blocking all ads/tracking domains across various sites. You can activate CyberSec from inside the VPN clients.
Using this feature, you can obtain the following benefits:
More privacy: More advanced tracking tools record your online activities to make up your online data profile. Blocking ads with CyberSec is vital for privacy.
More security: Online ads are usually through third-party domains, and can often be malicious. Such malicious domains use ads to attack and infect devices. CyberSec protects using a real-time threat list to base its blocks.
Faster page loading: Ads eat up bandwidth and slow down page load times. Particularly on mobile devices. Blocking ads improves performance and conserves mobile data.
Privacy and Security
You can even find many have headquarters in a country, which is part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This leaves risks of exposure to the government.
Should your VPN not protect you from ads or tracking, you are exposed in all areas and can reveal your identity and location.
NordVPN is registered in Panama, and far outside any Fourteen Eyes Surveillance, which is vital for privacy. Any VPN in such areas and a governments spy network can gather and share all kinds of sensitive user data. Panama doesn’t possess invasive data retention laws.
NordVPN is also going through some upgrades such as the following:
Nord is joining the ranks of a few others that have undergone a full third-party security audit.
Nord’s used VerSprite, a leading security research group; if this wasn’t enough, they also launched a bug bounty program where they reward anyone who finds any bugs.
NordVPN’s security upgrades also comprise a full infrastructure audit. This includes infrastructure hardware, VPN software, backend hardware architecture, and source code, along with internal procedures.
NordVPN now follows suit and all their servers run in RAM-disk mode where there are no hard drives used to write user data. At each re-boot, all user data is wiped with nothing remaining on the server.
NordVPN completed this transition in September 2020, and now all servers run in RAM-disk mode.
NordVPN ensures NordLynx keeps user privacy and do this with a double NAT (Network Address Translation) system with NordLynx.
The double NAT system allows the service to establish a secure VPN connection without needing to store identifiable data on servers. Dynamic local IP addresses are assigned only in active sessions.
NordVPN uses shared IP addresses on servers, which offers a security advantage. When you connect to a server, you share the IP address with users connected on the same server. This makes it difficult to locate you as one IP cannot be traced to one person.
Another privacy feature from NordVPN is its obfuscated servers. These are for locations with heavy digital censorship that make it hard to use a VPN.
Using obfuscated servers hides internet traffic and location, but also you are using a VPN. In countries such as China, Turkey, and the UAE, this helps bypass geo-blocks and avoid government surveillance. (Learn How To Watch Hotstar In Australia)
Virtual Server Locations can be used, yet Nord doesn’t use any virtual server locations, and all locations are physical. In some instance, companies use these virtual services to get a connection into a country that has either poor connections or access is blocked.
Also, some VPN providers use a virtual server to make out their network is more extensive than it is, and if this is the case, you can lose a considerable amount of connection speeds.
Static or Dedicated IP Addresses?
You can purchase a static IP address along with your VPN subscription. With a static IP address, you’ll use this IP address each time you connect to the VPN.
Such offerings have benefits such as accessing streaming services from another country, even when NordVPN’s public IP addresses are blocked. If you have a unique IP address, streaming services won’t flag you as using a VPN.
NordVPN is one of the few VPNs who offer two kinds of kill switches. A kill switch feature is vital as it stops traffic if you lose your VPN connection, and you have data leaks such as if you were torrenting.
Internet Kill Switch: Blocks all traffic if the VPN connection drops using a firewall.
App Kill Switch: Closes applications if your VPN connection drops, but won’t block traffic.
To stop IP address leaks, it is best to use “Internet Kill Switch” as it blocks non-VPN traffic via the firewall, and you won’t need to enable the App kill switch.
When you look at the kill switch, you’ll discover it’s automatically enabled on mobiles, yet it’s off by default on the desktop apps.
So, to have full security, you’ll need to dive in the settings and enable it. One other thing to note is that iOS has it automatically enabled where Android is the same as a desktop, and you have to allow it to.
In testing, there were no IP or DNS leaks. It offers full DNS leak protection for IPv4 and 6.
Tor: The VPN provider was one of the first to allow Onion over VPN if you want to remain even more anonymous. Onion Over VPN uses the Tor browser. While very secure, it will be slower when browsing because of the extra hops it needs to pass through.
Ease of Use
Signing up for NordVPN is painless, as they don’t even ask for all your personal information.
NordVPN just needs an active email address.
With the payment’s options, and especially the crypto offerings, you can sign up and be totally anonymous by using a burner email.
NordVPN makes it very easy to sign up.
- Navigate to the site and click the “Get NordVPN” button.
- On the next page, select your plan (2-year is the best value deal)
- Here you are taken to the payment page, and where you add your email address
- Select payment method – if you choose a credit card, you do have all your personal details for that card to enter.
- Click continue to finish, and the app will start to download
- Check your email, and you will have received a confirmation email.
- Verify your email address, and then set your password.
- You can now install the client on your device and then log in to the app or onto the NordVPN website.
Once on the site, you can do many things such as change your plan, change your password or download more apps, etc.
Setup and User Interface
Setup is a breeze and takes a few seconds. Once you log in, you get to see the familiar interface. It is minimalistic and all based around a map showing you where the VPN locations are located.
On the top you have ‘Servers’ and also ‘Settings.’ From here you have a range of settings you can toggle on or off such as CyberSec, Auto-connect to a specific server, start Nord on device startup and enable your kill switch.
The map looks kind of groovy, yet it can make it challenging to pick the server you want. You first need to find the area on the map and zoom in until you clearly see the server pin.
Once you have this, to connect to a server in the NordVPN Windows client, you use the list on a separate page or left click on the location you just found. It is much easier to use the list as you get to see which are the speciality servers such as the P2p servers and the Double VPN servers for more security.
You can find the Android app has millions of downloads from the Google Play Store and an overall rating of around 4.5, which is better than most VPN services on the app store.
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NordVPN offers browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. You can use these on desktop or mobile. There are no limits on servers you can access so that you can use the full 5,500 servers in 59 countries.
Install the lightweight addons to your browser and encrypt just your browser traffic, and as such, they work like a split tunneling feature, and all other connections outside your browser retain your real IP address. Split tunnelling is one standalone feature the VPN doesn’t have.
NordVPN adds leak protection with the Block WebRTC feature. It’s automatically enabled and protects you from accidental leaks as web browsers are known for causing WebRTC leaks. You can also use the ad blocker, Cyber Sec, with the browser extensions
Performance and Servers
NordVPN has one of the most extensive server networks of any. It boasts 5,500 servers across 59 countries; with this, you can expect performance to be among some of the best.
We are running countless speed tests on NordVPN, across all the included protocols. Tests were also run at times of the day when it was quiet, busy and running speed tests to servers around the world.
Overall, the NordVPN speed test results were among some of the best.
For the best performance, NordLynx was used as it is the best of all now. Then, we tested different server locations.
A NordVPN server in Seattle gave 445 Mbps from a 480 Mbps connection. This is a great VPN speed test result as it shows this new protocol is much faster than OpenVPN and not too far from baseline speeds.
A NordVPN server in Los Angeles gave just over 300 Mbps; it is easy to see why it ranks among the fastest VPN’s on the market. United Kingdom speeds saw another slight drop at just below 300 Mbps.
However, it was the long-distance servers to the Asia-Pacific region; there were several issues. Even with the NordVPN best server, and the number of servers NordVPN has, it wasn’t enough to improve on speeds from this region.
We also tested double VPN servers, and you can expect a speed test to come back with far slower download speed which it does yet they are still decent in populated regions.
You can’t speak of performance without including reliability and how it carries out server connections.
- Reliability: NordVPN is very reliable, and aside from servers in some Asia Pacific regions, the server speeds are consistently fast and have very little dropped connections.
- Connections: When using the newer WireGuard VPN protocol, NordVPN was fast at establishing a connection. Compare this to OpenVPN, and you will find NordVPN slow to connect. WireGuard makes switching VPN servers all the more accessible.
With the latest speed tests for this review, you can find NordVPN offers fast, consistent, and reliable speeds based on the Nord VPN location. Move to remote regions, and it fares like other leading VPN service providers.
You will find more than half the 5,500 servers are in the US and a majority around Europe.
Two final areas left to last are that of streaming and torrenting. No review would be complete without looking at these areas considering why most people use a VPN.
Netflix’s tough geo-blocks prevent many VPNs from accessing the service. To help, NordVPN uses the SmartPlay feature specifically designed to bypass geo-blocks and keep you secure. It combines DNS with VPN technology to evade blocks. Across many US servers, it was possible to get into Netflix. (Learn How to Get American Netflix in Australia)
In the same way, accessing the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands Netflix libraries was similarly easy. While Netflix has some tough restrictions, Netflix isn’t the only streamer in town.
- BBC iPlayer: The UK iPlayer service can be as challenging as Netflix, though it wasn’t an issue for NordVPN. (Learn how to access BBC iPlayer Australia)
- Hulu: Hulu was accessed and all those Hulu Originals to rival the best Netflix has to offer. (Learn How to Watch Hulu in Australia)
- ESPN: Sports are easy to access on ESPN if you find you are tired of binge-watching on Netflix.
- Amazon Prime Video: Yes.
- HBO Max: You can stream HBO Max
- Hotstar: Bring on Koffee with Karan, and all the best Hotstar has to offer.
Thanks to NordVPN being highly secure, you can select the ideal VPN server for torrenting, although you won’t see them advertising the fact, they allow P2P file sharing on quite a few hundred of their servers.
Throughout running the speed test, much of the excellent performance could be down to the new WireGuard protocol. It was found to be over 50% faster in server connections in specific scenarios and connection speeds. I
If OpenVPN was being tested, then the results and outcome of this review could be very different.
NordVPN offers 24/7 live chat customer support with representatives who are helpful.
Chat customer support is available through the NordVPN website to the bottom-right corner. You don’t need to log in and just click the chat icon, and you’ll be connected with a representative.
In most instances, you can be connected in less than a minute, and support staff are helpful in answering questions. NordVPN handles all support in-house and has numerous trained technicians. (Learn How To Watch EPL In Australia)
Is NordVPN legal in Australia?
NordVPN is 100% legal inside Australia. No VPN is illegal, yet it is the activities you undertake that can land you in trouble when using NordVPN.
Is NordVPN still hacked?
Since the incident in 2019, there have been no more security breaches. Besides, it was the fault of a third-party company rather than anything NordVPN did or didn’t do.
Is NordVPN free?
It isn’t a free VPN, and it is instead a premium VPN that requires payment. You do, however, get great value for money from the VPN company.
Is NordVPN trustworthy?
You can trust this VPN provider as it is among the top few VPN services that now have their systems audited to prove they are trustworthy.
Is NordVPN good in Australia?
It is a very good option for Australia. It offers plenty of speed, it keeps you safe with the auto connect feature on unknown WIFI and has great unblocking potential.
Can you be tracked using NordVPN?
One of the main ways to be tracked is through DNS leaks. NordVPN uses its own DNS servers as more steps to ensure there are no leaks on a user’s internet connection.
How much is NordVPN in Australia?
The monthly rate is USD $13.95 in USD as there is a 10% VAT added to the rate of $11.95. The two-year plan costs $97.90, with the inclusion of 10% vat.
Is NordVPN worth the money?
Yes, it is well worth the money so long as you decide you want to commit for two years to get the full value.
Is NordVPN better than Norton?
Norton has fast servers, yet it comes from an Antivirus company, and thus lacks experience. Neither does it support torrenting. NordVPN is a dedicated VPN service and allows torrenting and much more. NordVPN is far better than Norton.
Is NordVPN really free?
No, it isn’t a free service. You can, however, use it for a month for free using the money-back guarantee.
Can you use NordVPN in Australia?
Yes, you can use NordVPN in Australia, you can use it in 59 countries where it has a server presence.
Is NordVPN really anonymous?
No VPN is 100% anonymous, yet NordVPN goes way beyond to make users as anonymous as possible. If you ask who owns NordVPN, you will find the parent company Tefincom & Co comes from Panama and isn’t under any 5/9/14 eyes jurisdiction.
How much is Nord VPN per month?
USD $13.95 per month inclusive of 10% VAT. $11.95 without VAT
Should I leave NordVPN on all the time?
Yes, you should keep it on most of the time as this can keep you safe from hackers, data breaches, leaks, and intrusive snoopers like your ISP. With data retention at 2-years in Australia, you are better not giving anything away that the government could find interesting.
Is This VPN Service for You?
NordVPN is suitable for a large number of individuals, and on the other side, it could be too much for some as they don’t require as much from a VPN.
There is little doubt; it is among the best VPN group offering a decent set of simultaneous connections. It rises near the top of any speed test and has a quick connect feature to boost protection without intervention.
Besides this, if you have a movie-loving home, the ease it can unblock Netflix and offer enough speed to stream in HD, then it could be suitable.
If you are conscious of security and want double VPN and want a secure server, then it also has you covered. NordVPN caters for a broad demographic from experienced users to the new.
There are 24/7 live chat support and detailed help on the website. However, at the end of the day, you can find much of this with other leading VPNs, although there are not too many in this group that offers the content level that NordVPN offers.
Alternatives to NordVPN