Nord VPN is based in and operates under the jurisdiction of Panama. Roberto Vega Senior Support Manager for Nord VPN explains how their VPN service and encryption works:
For OpenVPN protocol we allow peers to authenticate each other using username and password, certificates, or a pre-shared secret key. When used in a multi-client server configuration, it allows the server to launch an authentication certificate for every user using certificate authority and signature. It uses the OpenSSL encryption library broadly as well as TLSv1/SSLv3 protocols and consists of many control and security features.
Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) use cryptography to secure connections over the Internet. Both protocols use a “handshake” authentication method that involves a negotiation of network parameters between server machines and the client. An authentication process involving certificates is used in order to initiate connection successfully. Certificates as cryptographic keys and they are stored on the client and the server.
NordVPN offers a multihop (Double VPN) option. Double VPN fixed routes are added often. The two hop VPN routes are static and are not user configurable. You cannot choose an entry and exit point, like you can with the IVPN service.
Once you sign up for the service, you will log into your account and download the VPN software for your device. Notice below NordVPN offers support for a wide array of devices, operating systems, routers, and cell phones which includes: All Windows operating systems from Windows XP and up, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iPhones, iPads, Rasberry Pi, DD-WRT and Tomato routers:
Countries and Servers
NordVPN currently has 26 countries of VPN servers exit points for you to choose from. The countries include: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy,Japan, Lativa, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the USA.
The options of your VPN route can be selected from the VPN software once installed. Hovering your mouse over the server list (server image) will show which servers support P2P, dedicated Netflix streaming servers, servers for various country specific news and TV channels etc. Connection speeds are also shown allowing you to choose the fastest servers for your region.
TOR over VPN
Nord has the option of using TOR over VPN:
Our unique Tor over VPN solution sends encrypted traffic over the Tor network. From there, it goes on a convoluted trip around the world, making it impossible to trace back to the source. And because there are no logs, there’s no record on our end. Want even more? Use our custom-designed DoubleVPN with Tor over VPN for double-encrypted, multi-hop, maximum protection.
Basically your NordVPN endpoint accesses the TOR network. Your TOR access point would only see the NordVPN IP. This option a significantly slows browsing speeds compared to using a direct VPN tunnel, however this does offer a unique level of security on top of VPN.
A TOR over VPN route would look like this:
Setting up the Software – Adding Programs to Protect
Once you download the windows software to install, make sure you install with administrator rights by right clicking the .exe and run as administrator. The OpenVPN Tun/Tap driver will usually require elevated permissions to install, depending on your windows configuration.
Once you have it installed and opened, click on settings. For NordVPN you will have to add processes and software on your computer you wish to have protected if the VPN service fails or suddenly quits. This assures no running process or selected software will not leak information over an unsecured connection if NordVPN were to quit. Click Settings:
Click on Running Processes you will see a list of the current running processes on your PC. Add the processes you want to protect from leakage by clicking on the green + icons to the right of the listed processes. (You can also browse for a particular processes on your PC in the file directory if it is not currently running):
NordVPN does not monitor, store or record logs for any VPN user. We do not store connection time stamps, used bandwidth, traffic logs, IP addresses.We do not get related in any form of censorship, give away your personal information to any third party. We do not fulfill any information request unless it comes with a court order of competent jurisdiction. NordVPN does not keep or store any logs about its users. However, we need to keep some information about the users:
-User e-mail – to send the latest NordVPN news and to retrieve a lost password.
-Username – it is necessary to make a VPN connection.
-Payment information – we store billing information in case of a refund request.
DMCA, Bittorrent, and subpoenas
When questioning a NordVPN representative about what information would they provide if being served with a DMCA subpoena for user information, their response was this:
Our special server configuration allows us to do not log anything because all data goes to /dev/null directory which is like a black hole in the server. All datacenters have an ability (if they have configured their service in that way) to see the requests sent from the server to the website and the other way round. However, it is not possible for them to see the content of those requests. Nevertheless it could not be associated with the respective user.
We will answer the DMCA claim and if needed will take down the server for an hour or so, however these cases are rare since not all servers / countries we provide have P2P enabled.
At the moment you can torrent by connecting to Netherlands / Sweden / New Zealand / Luxembourg / Germany #5-65 / US #16. 23, #25-300 servers. These P2P servers change somewhat often but are visible to users when hovering the mouse over the server list in the VPN software.
iPhone & Android Configuration
Securing your iPhone and Android with NordVPN is fairly simple. iPhone does have an app which uses the less secure L2TP protocol. You can use openVPN on iPhone and Android with some fairly simple configurations. Having VPN on your mobile device will encrypt your data traffic streams and hide your phone’s IP. First of course you need to setup your NordVPN account.
List of NordVPN Features
A list of NordVPN’s features includes:
- Strict no log policy
- Connect 6 devices at the same time
- SSL-based 2048-bit encryption
- Use VPN with iPhone, iPad, Android, router, Windows mobile
- Firewall pass-through
- Support (24/7) via live chat, email, and Facebook
- Servers in 28 countries and growing regularly
- Encrypted chat
- OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP, IPSec protocols
- Secret notes
- OpenVPN on SSL ports
- Convenient server map & custom software
- Free proxy list and up to 3000 free proxies
- Tor over VPN server
- Supports Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Linux, and Android
- Double VPN for increased anonymity
- Shared IP (static/dynamic) and Dedicated IP
- Web proxy extension for Google Chrome
- Pay using Bitcoin, PayPal, Paysera, Webmoney, or credit card
- Custom software for Windows and OS X
- iPhone & iPad apps, Android app coming soon
- Own DNS servers
NordVPN has many useful features and excellent support. I was able to reach support chat almost instantaneously, which is available 24hours a day.
The cost is significantly less than IVPN and NordVPN has more servers to choose from. While NordVPN offers offers more connection options, the user has to configure the desktop client more than IVPN client requires,
particularly adding processes to protect if the VPN service fails or is abruptly stopped. IVPN automatically protects all processes. Nord VPN has recently changed its settings option to block all outbound traffic on VPN failure. This is a good fix, protecting your privacy if and when your VPN connection goes down. (updated 10/1/2017).
NordVPN takes your privacy serious and offers its users a system which enhances users privacy and protection while online. If you are looking for a reputable VPN service NordVPN is worthy of your consideration.
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