NordVPN for Torrenting
During the past couple of years, NordVPN has been making a lot of changes and upgrades. They added a new look, new security features and new servers. As a consequence of that fast growth, there’s still a lot of outdated online information that gives a wrong image of what this service really is at this moment. Because of their continuous improvements, they deserve a fair and up to date analysis. So we made an updated NordVPN review, where we discuss all the improvements and the details about the security and speed they offer.
Safety and Privacy
The company is based in Panama, outside the range of the biggest monitoring sharks, such as the USA and EU. The US data retention and EU DRD laws have no effect at all in Panama. Therefore, NordVPN doesn’t have to comply with the requests of any of those governments. This gives the user an extra dose of tranquility.
They don’t log any user activity. This means that even if any government agency asks them for any kind of info, they have nothing to show. We have to confess that their attitude towards this subject puts a smile on our faces:
“NordVPN never logs where you go on the Internet. If anyone asks, the best we can do is shrug our shoulders. And we like it that way”.
The encryption changes according to each protocol. For OpenVPN, they have an impressive encryption of AES-256-CBC with a 2048 bit strength SSL key. L2TP uses AES-256bit encryption and PPTP uses MPPE-128bit encryption.
Another very important detail is the fact that NordVPN uses shared IP addresses. This means all the users share the same IPs, which is a great extra layer of security. In other words, one IP cannot be associated with a single individual.
The most important feature in this menu is the Kill Switch (especially if you want to download torrents without risks). This tool interrupts the internet connection in case the VPN stops working for some reason. That way your real IP is not shown during the time the VPN is offline. The one we saw with this provider is a bit different, and it happens to be our favorite Kill Switch among all the VPNs we tested. The difference is that you can choose what applications you want to stop in case the VPN connection is interrupted. You can add the programs you want by clicking “Add more applications”. Have a look at the following image:
For the kill switch test, we selected the program uTorrent to stop working immediately if there is a problem with our VPN connection. That way, if the VPN stops working, uTorrent will be automatically stopped before our real IP is exposed. And you can choose how many apps you want to stop with this feature. Although this software never disconnected during our tests, it’s always good to have this option activated.
You can read a bit more about this subject in the article we wrote about the Kill Switch.
In the end of the menu, you can see the option “Show advanced Settings”. There you will find some more features, such as choosing the protocol, DNS Leak Protection and Custom DNS. All the recommended advanced settings are already selected by default, we don’t advise changing them.
Their DNS leak protection is a useful tool, it’s designed to make sure that there are no DNS leaks at all. We tested several times and we never had a DNS leak. NordVPN has its own private servers, which are selected by default when the user downloads the software, and we recommend using them.
Besides the main security features we discussed, some servers come with a few nice extras, such as:
- Dedicated IP addresses
- IPv6 leak prevention
- Anti DDoS
- Tor over VPN
- Double VPN
DNS Leak test: Thanks to the DNS Leak Prevention tool, there weren’t any leaks in our tests. Everything came out clean, as expected.
IP Test: In every test, the detected IP was always the one from the VPN, and not our real one.
Torrent address detection test: When torrenting with NordVPN, our real IP address was never exposed. The IP detected came from the country we selected in the VPN software.
This is one of the main things they improved. In the past, they were a bit slow, but they clearly worked on that. We got the following results:
Torrent Speed Tests
The speed is clearly a big improvement on their software. We are very happy to have these new speed results in our review. They are among the fastest speeds we ever saw in a VPN.
NordVPN has more than 1000 servers, distributed in in 58 countries, and on many of those servers, torrenting is allowed. On some servers, located in countries where policies regarding file sharing are very strict, this option is excluded. The good news is that the servers where they allow it are completely optimized for torrenting, and they can achieve very fast speeds. This is actually one of their biggest updates, they added a lot of servers optimized for P2P. They also added new server locations, increasing significantly the number of countries where users can connect to download torrents. Now there are plenty of servers in all continents. Users in every country of the world will find good options nearby.
As you know, this is a review of NordVPN for torrenting purposes only. And because of that, we are not going to talk about all the servers available. Therefore, we will only focus on the ones that allow P2P. The following are the current server locations where users can connect for file sharing:
To avoid any confusion, we just want to make clear that you don’t have to be in any of those countries. Those are the countries you can connect to, in order to have an IP from that place. It’s actually better to connect to a different country from yours. In case someone tries to follow your activity, they would have to go through different jurisdictions, which would be extremely hard. It’s an extra layer of security.
The VPN software is compatible with the major Operating Systems and devices, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, and Android.
We have also tested the applications for Android and iOS and we were very impressed. It was very easy to install, you just have to download and install it automatically, like a normal application. We also liked that the same Windows features are present in these applications. You can read more information about the Android application here. If you have iOS, you can access more information here.
They allow 6 simultaneous connections, the highest number we saw. This is useful if you want to connect all your devices, or even for other members of the family or friends who you trust.
Like most VPN providers, the longer you subscribe, the cheaper you pay. Their annual prices are quite low, with a discount of 52% on the original price, which is a rare thing in this market. If we have in consideration the quality and speed of NordVPN, $5.75 is quite cheap.
They offer a 30 day money back guarantee policy. The users have plenty of time to test the service and make their decision on whether to continue or to get their money back. The most common payment options are available, such as PayPal, Credit Card, and Bitcoin.
What we liked about NordVPN
• They don’t keep any logs
• Location in Panama (Outside US and EU)
• Unbreakable AES-256-CBC encryption
• A modern and customized Kill Switch
• DNS Leak Protection
• Many P2P optimized servers
• Option to let the software choose the best server
• 6 simultaneous connections
• Shared IP addresses
• 30 days money back guarantee
• Regular software updates
What could be improved
Our previous suggestions were introduced in the last updates, especially regarding the number of servers for P2P. They increased them, and now there are many options to connect to. But like everything else, there’s always something that can be perfected. For now, this is our suggestion:
- Adding a couple of P2P optimized servers in Africa, because there are no servers there for this end. Adding a few would be nice for the users in that continent.
This was the biggest surprise in our extensive testing. The Internet has quite a lot of outdated information about this VPN. Even our NordVPN review would be out of date in a couple of months if we didn’t update it on a weekly basis. This is because they are always improving, adding new servers and features at a fast pace.
They really got better in the last couple of years. Now they offer a great service with a combination of features that we didn’t see in the majority of VPNs. The strongest points are a customized Kill Switch, DNS leak protection and a lot of optimized servers for torrenting. Considering the quality they offer, they are definitely a very affordable VPN provider.