Is The NordVPN App Worth The Money?

Since the World Wide Web first came online in 1990 (via The History Channel), it's quickly become an integral part of everyday life. As such, millions of people submit their personal and private data online to access content and services, which can inadvertently put them in the path of scammers, viruses, and malware.

In 2005, Virtual Private Network (VPN) services entered the picture to provide internet users a safer way to work and input their personal data (via CactusVPN). In recent years, dozens of VPN services have become part of the online vernacular thanks to sponsorship deals with content creators, YouTube stars, and influencers. One you've probably heard the most is NordVPN — a VPN provider based in Panama that has over 14 million subscribers (via TechRadar).

NordVPN is a paid service that "protects your internet connection and privacy online" by creating "an encrypted tunnel for your data," which in turn "protects your online identity by hiding your IP address," as the provider writes on their website. But is NordVPN worth the money?

NordVPN's goal is to make the internet safer

Available on desktop, iOS, and Android, the NordVPN service and app can change how you spend hours on social media and the internet on all your devices. Founded in 2012 (via NordVPN's about page), the service was launched by childhood friends who noticed "growing internet censorship, content control, and intrusive government surveillance." As a result, they felt the need to create "an internet security tool" that was "easily accessible to everyone."

NordVPN offers a myriad of services via its subscription plans (via NordVPN's features page). This includes a Threat Protection Service that protects your internet usage from ads, trackers, and malware, in addition to secure and private access to the internet. As they write on their website, by using the service, no one can "get their hands on your online data, or find your real IP address and location." NordVPN also offers a faster, more stable internet speed thanks to its "unbeatable combination of bulletproof security, fast connection speed, and unlimited bandwidth," according to the site.

NordVPN offers many more services on its platform and regularly updates them to keep them fresh and secure. In addition, they regularly introduce new features, which add to the overall experience of feeling safe and secure while surfing the web.

NordVPN offers a variety of subscription options

There are three types of NordVPN subscriptions, each with three tiers that consist of a Complete, Plus, and Standard package (via NordVPN's price page). The Complete package includes additional services like a Cross-platform password manager, Data Breach Scanner, and 1TB encrypted cloud storage. However, the Plus package doesn't have cloud storage, while the standard doesn't include these extras at all.

Excluding offers and discounts, for the 2-year plan, you can expect to pay £358.29 ($410) upfront for the Complete tier, £228.96 ($262) for the Plus tier, and £177.93 ($203) for the Standard tier. If a 1-year plan suits you more, the Complete tier costs £159.24 ($182) up front, while the Plus and Standard tiers are £101.76 ($116) and £79.03 ($90). For a monthly subscription, you'll be paying £11.69 ($13) a month on the Complete tier, £10.60 ($12) a month on the Plus tier, and £9.99 ($11) on the Standard tier.

Whichever subscription you choose, you'll be given a 30-day money-back guarantee. This acts as NordVPN's free trial, as you'll get a full refund within that period if you're not satisfied with the service and decide to cancel.

The VPN provider has received dozens of positive reviews

NordVPN is ranked highly across tech sites, with giving the service a rating of 9.7 out of ten. They say that NordVPN "offers a one-size-fits-all solution for anyone looking to cover their digital footprint" and that its variety of subscription options "fits any budget."

Independent VPN review site Top10VPN gives the service an ever so slightly lower rating at 9.5 out of ten. Still, it does rank NordVPN 2nd out of its competitors, with the number one spot going to ExpressVPN. The review site notes that NordVPN offers a "safe and secure" service that boosts a "verified no-logs policy and encryption technology of the highest standard." They write that if you're after "a quality budget VPN," then NordVPN is certainly worth the money.

But for TechRadar Pro, NordVPN's prices could do with a bit of work — especially their "above average renewal prices." However, they highlight that NordVPN's mobile app is "better than you'll find with most VPN providers" and that if you're struggling to understand either the app or the website, they have a "great customer support team" on hand to help out.

NordVPN isn't the only VPN service on the internet

Like many services, NordVPN does have its competitors — mainly ExpressVPN and Surfshark. There are other VPN services out there, but you'll most likely have heard of these two in a similar way to NordVPN — i.e., through sponsorships of content creators.

ExpressVPN calls itself the "#1 trusted leader in VPN" and has three subscription plans to choose from. But unlike NordVPN, each plan "comes with access to all ExpressVPN apps and server locations," per their website. A 12-month plan costs $8.32 a month, a six-month plan is $9.99 a month, and a monthly subscription is $12.95. In addition, each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Like ExpressVPN, Surfshark has three subscription plans and is considered the cheapest of the three by technology news site ZDNet. A 24-month plan is $2.49 a month, a 12-month plan is $3.99 a month, and a 1-month plan is $12.95. All plans include Surfshark services like CleanWeb (which takes care of malicious ads and malware sites), MultiHop (connecting two servers at a time), and Bypasser (the ability to choose which apps and sites your VPN is active on).

While NordVPN isn't considered the cheapest option for a VPN service, it's worth the money in terms of speed, security, and unique features. But as ZDNet notes, a subscription with Surfshark "will save you about $30 over two years compared to NordVPN."