The internet, for all of its perks and all of the improvements that it has made on modern living – I don’t know about you, but I can scarcely remember what life was like before it – can also be a very dangerous place. There are malicious people who lurk in the digital world, waiting for your sensitive data to pop up so that they can exploit it. That means your credit card numbers, personal information, and other sensitive data can be seen by anyone tech-savvy enough to figure out how to access it.
Beyond that, though, it is not just malicious individuals who want to stalk you or rip you off that you have to be worried about when you’re online. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can also view your online activity. And many of them even go so far as to sell that data to third-party companies, making it easier for them to target you with advertisements … which we all know can be just as annoying as it is creepy.
Furthermore, the government, too, can (and does) frequently monitor citizen internet usage. Even if you do not have anything to hide, it can be unsettling to know that your personal information is being mined by governmental agencies. Plus, many governments even share that data internationally with other federal agencies via international organizations such as the shadowy international alliance known as “14 Eyes.”
What makes your online activity more or less vulnerable then? Well, if you find yourself using a public wifi connection, say, at the coffee shop or something like that, these networks are not very well protected. Thus, anyone else who is also connected to the public network in question can very easily track what you are doing.
People who travel frequently (precisely because they are often on unsecured internet networks) are also particularly at risk of having their information hacked or shared. The blunt truth, though, is that anyone who is not using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is risking having their information seen, shared, or sold. If you are a person who cares about privacy and/or personal security, it may be time to consider a VPN. And Nord VPN is one of the top privacy services available.
“Four childhood friends,” as it is put on the website, started Nord VPN in 2012. Nord went through their development backward when compared to how many tech startups approach development. What I mean by this is that they began with an app, and then grew and expanded from there.
In May 2016, Nord VPN released its Android app; its iOS app was released one month later. It wasn’t until October of 2017 that Nord VPN introduced a Google Chrome extension. By June of 2018, Nord VPN was operating in 62 countries, with more than 4,000 servers in their network.
As Nord VPN grew in popularity, repressive governments began to see potential in Nord VPN as an invaluable source of sensitive information. In March of 2019, for instance, Nord VPN received a directive from Russia demanding that Nord VPN be added to a list of banned websites. Doing so would effectively make it so that Nord VPN users in Russia would not be able to get around Russian state censorship laws.
Reportedly, Nord VPN was given one month to comply with the Russian directive. If they did not comply, the Russian authorities insisted that Nord VPN would be blocked from Russia entirely. Nord VPN, being a principled company, refused to cooperate with these Russian authorities. Instead, Nord simply shut down its local Russian servers. As of today, Russian citizens can still use Nord VPN, though they have no access to local servers.
When it comes to choosing a VPN, seeing as it, by necessity, gives at least one company a great deal of responsibility with how to handle your sensitive data, it is relieving to learn that Nord VPN will do the right thing with it, even when pressured by one of the most powerful governments in the world. That is exactly the level of integrity that you want from your VPN service provider.
The Nord VPN website, for starters, is very informative and easy to understand. For something that can be as complex and, thus, a little off putting for some, Nord VPN does a great job at explaining both what a VPN is, in general, as well as how Nord differentiates itself from other VPNs on the market.
It uses a healthy combination of text, graphics, and videos to boil down complex ideas and services into simplified ways that quickly and accessibly explain why you might benefit from a VPN. The site is clean, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing. A soft blue and white theme prop up minimalist and highly organized page layout for a look that is somehow fresh and comforting at the same time.
The Nord VPN website is a wonderful way to learn about privacy concerns, what VPNs are, and why you need one … and it will all be done in less than 5 minutes. Now that is an excellent site design if you ask me.
Well, there is not much in the way of actual content when it comes to Nord VPN. It is pretty straightforward … which is one of the things that makes Nord so great. When you download the app or the browser extension, all you have to worry about is clicking a button in order to activate or deactivate your VPN services. That’s it. That is the content of Nord. This is refreshing because online security software can often be very confusing, with far too many options and settings to worry about. I love this about Nord. Click a button, and you’re safe to browse privately!
Desktop and Mobile Experience
As I just said, the experience is just the clicking of a button. It’s the same on your laptop, CPU, or smartphone if you are using the app. It could not be any simpler. However, in terms of the actual browsing experience, some users might become frustrated with the fact that Nord VPN blocks potentially harmful sites. However, if this VPN deems a site to be unsafe, you are probably better off for not visiting it anyway. So, it’s likely for the better at the end of the day.
Pricing and Plans
Nord VPN offers a variety of payment options for you to choose from, none of which is unreasonable for the invaluable benefit of true online security. At any rate, here are the options that Nord VPN offers.
If you just want to try Nord VPN for one month and continue to pay as you go, you can choose the 1-month plan for $11.95; however, as you will see in a moment, there are plenty of other ways to make Nord even cheaper:
- The 1-year plan: $6.99/month (save 41%)
- The 2-year plan: $4.99/month (save 58%)
- The 3-year plan: $3.49/month (save 70%)
So, as you can see, Nord VPN is far from unaffordable, especially if you are willing to commit to online security. Oh, and all come with a 30-day money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied.
Suggestions that I have for Nord VPN
Honestly, I cannot think of a single thing, in terms of functionality of effectiveness, that I would like to see Nord do differently. It might just be the perfect VPN. A free trial of Nord VPN, however, couldn’t hurt (a free trial of any service never hurts, am I right?).
All in all, if you are even the slightest bit concerned that your data could be breached (and let’s face it, all of us should be … our data is breached on a daily basis!), Nord VPN is definitely something worth looking into. I love how principled the company is (another rare find). Nord is not going to sell your data out (they have already proven themselves of this time and time again). If you want a VPN that takes the complex process of securing your browsing data and sensitive information and makes it as easy as clicking a button, Nord VPN is the one for you.