NordVPN For Mac Review
For people who spend a good chunk of their day online, It is in their best interest to use a VPN or a Virtual Private Network.
It protects the users’ privacy by encrypting the connection between the device and server. This stops anyone snooping around to know what you are up to.
There are tons of free VPN services, but they all have their limitations. If you are looking for all the perks and features, NordVPN for Mac could be the right service for you. This VPN service offers its consumers a little bit of everything.
They offer their services for most major platforms. They do not compromise their security as they currently have the latest WireGuard technology, a large number of cool tools, a massive number of servers, and much more.
Mac is known to be safer than Windows, but the computer still needs an extra layer of protection while you surf the web, and this is where NordVPN for Mac comes in. So let’s start with the basics:
There are two different scenarios to look at when it comes to what NordVPN on Mac can do for you, and it depends on the network you use; it’s either a trusted one like the one in your home or a public one i.e., a café with free WiFi.
While using your computer at home, you are less likely to be phished by a hacker because you own the network hardware. But a VPN could be crucial in keeping your data private. Your Internet Service Provider, ISP, can track everything you do online and gather data about you.
This customized data on you could be sold to another company. This means not only are they making money from charging internet fees, but they are also profiting from selling your data. So a VPN here could protect you by preventing your ISP from monitoring your web traffic.
Using a public network is a whole different story. For example, let’s say you connect to Macdonalds_free WiFi; there is no guarantee that this network officially belongs to them. There is also the matter of your internet traffic being watched and possibly being hacked or phished online. A VPN will create encryption between the computer you use and a server controlled by the VPN service.
More popular uses for NordVPN for Mac are:
- Unblocking geo-restricted content: Some streaming services only offer programs in particular regions and countries, like Netflix and the BBC iPlayer. NordVPN allows you to appear in their part of the world, giving you the chance to access new content. It could go against the terms of service, but there have been no reports of any accounts being suspended from a VPN so far.
- Gaming: NordVPN has specialized gaming features; VPNs usually slow down your internet connection but being one of the fastest services on the market, you could enjoy your gaming securely with no lagging.
- Torrenting: This is the most popular demand when it comes to why people use a VPN. NordVPN allows torrenting and supports it in many of its features, so you can rest assured that your privacy will not be breached.
5/9/14 Eyes Alliance
NordVPN is based in Panama, and this is important because it means it is in a country outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This gives them a legal advantage if they want to protect their consumers’ privacy from anyone looking to collect data about their surfing activity and identity.
The alliance is a collective agreement that obligates the 14 countries to share any information freely that has been collected and analyzed by them. These countries include the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Netherlands, France, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, and Italy.
The ability to share all intelligence makes basing a VPN in one of those countries a risk; since NordVPN is in Panama, the rules do not apply to them, and the country has no policy on mandatory data retention.
NordVPN has a no-log policy, so they will not collect or log any information that goes through their networks. They do not save any of your personal information, the subjects you search for, and what you download. So you are protected from everybody, including your VPN service provider.
NordVPN is the first VPN service to be audited on its no-log policy. It was done by a swiss company PwC to guarantee their customers that they are holding on to their policy.
They were last checked in July 2020, and no evidence was found of them keeping records. The only data monitored by them is their server’s performance to help improve connections and the email you used when you signed up.
Since this is a NordVPN Mac review, it is worth mentioning that when you install the app on your macOS, you are forwarded to a button that says “Accept all and continue.” Pressing on it switches on anonymous data collection. If you don’t pay attention to it, you will press on it without realizing its implication. This could be turned off, but it seems like they are pushing people towards accepting it.
NordVPN justifies this move by insisting that the data collected is only used to report crashes and other performance problems. Therefore, they do not identify the information collected.
NordVPN also offers “Speciality servers” that are available on the regular version of the app with specific features. For example, the “Double VPN” feature provides you with extra security by routing your traffic through two servers.
Another one is “Obfuscated” this is put to bypass firewall restrictions, making it an excellent tool for breaking through countries with restricted access.
“Onion over VPN” is a feature that allows your connection to pass through one of the NordVPN servers, then routes it to the Onion network before it gets to the internet. You could do this without opening a separate browser.
For an extra few dollars on your subscription, you can purchase an IP address, which will activate the dedicated IP address feature.
On the separate NordVPN iKE app, you can find the P2P server, which is used to download torrent files and other P2P uses.
An added feature is CyberSec, which protects your identity and data online by blocking ads, pop-ups, and suspicious sites that try to steal your data or insert malware on your Mac. This feature isn’t seen on many VPN services and is an excellent addition to the app. Therefore, making NordVPN for Mac surfing experience much more enjoyable.
Amount of servers
The number of servers a VPN service owns plays an essential role in how fast your internet will run while the VPN is on. So it is vital to take a look at how many servers are provided because the more they own, the easier it would be to switch between them without a problem.
Multiple servers mean that users will be spread between different servers, so they don’t end up using the same resources simultaneously. So NordVPN can make each server provide the best performance while browsing the internet. So you won’t have to worry about a sudden drop in your internet speed.
As of September 2021, NordVPN owns 5263 servers distributed in 60 countries. Giving you thousands of options to spoof your location, and the odds of having another server near you are greater. This is important when it comes to your browsing speed, as the closer you are to the server, the faster it is.
Most of the NordVPNs servers are located in the UK and the US, but others are put in different regions. However, they offer servers in unusual locations like South Africa; Africa is a region ignored by most VPN services. They also cover some in South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
NordVPN has servers in countries that have restrictive internet laws like Turkey and Hong Kong. Connecting to one of these servers won’t guarantee your ability to bypass censorship, but it offers a limited amount of privacy when you are in that country.
As mentioned above, NordVPN provides its users with obfuscated servers, and they are designed to bypass firewalls which could come in handy within China.
NordVPN is supported on several devices, including iOS, Windows, Android, and Amazon Fire TV. They also have browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
When using the NordVPN app on a mobile device, you don’t get the option to pick a specific server within a country; they will automatically do it for you depending on which one they choose is the fastest.
NordVPN for Mac has an advantage. Mac users have in their version a feature that isn’t available for Windows users. If you have the app open, a NordVPN icon stays while you are surfing, allowing you to jump through different servers quickly.
There is a limit to the number of active connections at one time; NordVPN only allows six. That being said, you can install the app on many different devices with no restrictions.
There is also a preference menu available on NordVPN for Mac. The Auto-connect allows you to automatically connect back to a default server you choose when you use an unprotected network. Just remember to flag your home WiFi as a trusted network, so it doesn’t remain constantly connected.
NordVPN for Mac has three defaults available Speed, Downloads, and Browsing. So if you are not trying to appear in a specific country, this is an excellent feature.
NordVPN constantly updates its security when L2TP/IPsec and PPTP were deemed no longer secure; NordVPN was among the first to remove it from their service and switch to a safer protocol.
NordVPN is one of the fastest VPNs on the market because of the recently designed WireGuard that is developed to improve speed while remaining secure. They rebranded this protocol NordLynx.
This protocol is only available on the NordVPN iKE Mac app, and this is a separate app then the NordVPN for Mac. This is one of the main differences between NordVPN vs NordVPN iKE app. This protocol is ideal when you are streaming and downloading files. Downloading speeds with WireGuard can go over 1.5 Gbps.
They offer two other protocols as well OpenVPN and ikeV2/IPsec, which use military-grade encryption.
OpenVPN is slower than WireGuard, but it is adaptable to different uses and uses strong algorithm encryption and ciphers. They put this protocol to work with AES-256-CBC accompanied with 2048-bit DH Key.
The latter protocol is also considered one of the best secure protocols, and NordVPN uses encryption AES-256-GCM with SHA2-384. They combine this with Perfect Forward Secrecy using 3072-bit DH Keys.
These are highly secure protocols, but you will notice a drop in the internet speed, so you will notice some problems while streaming and downloading.
That being said, NordVPN has won awards for being the fastest VPN on the market.
NordVPN has your security in mind which is why, like many other providers, they have a kill switch. A feature that automatically disconnects the device you are using if your VPN connection cuts off. A kill switch will guarantee that your IP address and other sensitive information will be safe if the VPN stops.
The kill switch feature works while you are connected to the web. It constantly monitors your connection, blocks access to the internet, identifies any problems, and connects you back once it is deemed safe.
Another feature NordVPN has is the “Pause” option; this disconnects you from the VPN and reconnects you after the set period you choose. It is handy when you need to disconnect temporarily from the VPN and don’t want to forget to reconnect.
There is a difference between NordVPN vs NordVPN iKE; in the iKE version, the kill switch is turned on by default.
To choose specific apps to be cut off if the connection is lost, you must connect to the OpenVPN version.
NordVPN has created a well-rounded service by having an excellent support center. You can start with their “Help Center,” where you will get a list of general issues you usually encounter. For example, I put in “how to use a NordVPN on a specific device” in the chatbot and was followed up by the device options, which directed me to a tutorial that answered my question. They added a link to troubleshooting as well.
The Help Center could be accessed from the bottom of the page or the Help link on the top. In addition, this page has several FAQs and other organized categories that might help you answer your question.
If not, then they offer a 24/7 live chat service. This often starts with a chatbot but request live support, and it will guide you to a live agent; all you have to do is decide which category you need help with.
If none of the above work, then there is one more way to get help, and that is through their dedicated email address, “support @nordvpn.com.”
NordVPN does not offer a free version or a free trial. However, they have a 30-day-money-back guarantee which is not entirely free as you have to pay for it, and if you decide you’re not satisfied with their services, you can request a refund before the 30 days are over.
They do have discounts throughout the year; as of this month, September 2020, they have 58% off the one-year plan and 69% off the two-year plan, which does make their prices competitive. The prices after the discount make them a major competitor in the VPN service providers market. They are reasonably priced, secure, have many servers/locations, have smooth performance, support most devices, and have customized features.
For all the youngsters out there, you are in luck NordVPN offers a youth discount valid for students, apprentices, and any 18 to 26 year old out there. This deal gives you an additional 15% discount to keep your internet safe and secure.
|Plans||1-month plan||1-year plan||2-year plan|
|Discount price||N/A||$59.00 ($4.92/month)||$99.00 ($4.13/month)|
NordVPN accepts several payment methods such as:
- Credit card
- Direct debit
- Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple)
- Amazon Pay
- Google Pay
Mac computers have a higher level of security than Windows, but this is entirely separate from what the functions of a VPN can do for you. So your online activity is never safe, even on a Mac; using NordVPN for Mac will protect your privacy and security.
They currently have two different apps, Nordvpn ike Mac and Nordvpn for Mac which supports two different features. NordVPN fully supports the apps, and they both work on Big Sur.
There are tons of other VPNs on the market, so the competition is tight, and NordVPN seems to be at the top of their game with their prices, security, features, servers/locations, and customer support.
Give NordVPN for Mac a try!