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CNN  — 

Of all the Virtual Private Networks available, NordVPN has been a mainstay for many of us. This user-friendly VPN is available for a variety of devices, like phones, tablets, computers and browsers. And right now, CNN readers can get one-year access for just $59, thanks to our exclusive deal with Nord.

The benefits of a VPN are numerous but mainly center around protecting your internet activity and data from prying eyes. NordVPN provides a simple, yet effective way to keep your information safe while using the internet.

What is a VPN?

In this brief guide, we'll go into detail about how a VPN works as well as how it keeps your information private.

If you haven’t read our guide on what a VPN is and what it can do for you, we recommend you check it out. To sum things up, a VPN will create a connection between your computer and a server. When you use the internet, your actions will be routed through this server via an encrypted tunnel. While your data is encrypted, the information is scrambled and cannot be read. A VPN will also hide your IP address, which can be used to identify your network.

Aside from protecting your information, a VPN can be useful in viewing content that is otherwise blocked in your country. Perhaps there’s a movie you want to see, but it’s only available in another country. A VPN can let you connect to a server that’s based in a country where it isn’t blocked. With Nord, you can toggle obfuscated servers in the settings if you fall under this category.

Intro to NordVPN

NordVPN gives you access to a plethora of servers and a quick connect function.

NordVPN isn’t a newcomer to the VPN space and delivers on the value promise. Your account gives you access to a VPN on up to six devices. Nord is also supported on an impressive variety of operating systems, including Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, iPadOS and Linux. You can even put it on your Android TV, Chrome browser and Firefox browser.

It couldn’t be simpler to connect to a VPN server with Nord. Like other VPNs, all you have to do is click or tap Quick Connect. This will automatically connect you to the best server available for you. Connecting doesn’t take more than 10 seconds, and once you’re on, you’re protected. Whether you’re at home or on public Wi-Fi, you can feel secure about your data and internet activity. And with over 5,600 servers in 59 countries, there are plenty of options. If you’re looking to link up with a server from a specific country, chances are there are at least a few available.

It is worth noting that connecting to a VPN can have an effect on your internet speed at times. This is especially the case if you connect to a distant server, a server that is experiencing heavy usage or if you use a more advanced connection.

For example, we tested our connection on a day and time with a lighter load and found our internet speed wasn’t affected. But on another day during a time when there was heavy usage, we found our connection to be slower.

Fortunately, NordVPN not only has an abundance of servers, but they’re also fast. And when we said NordVPN will choose the best server for you, we meant it. Quick Connect automatically finds the server with which you’ll have the fastest connection.

Features and settings

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NordVPN isn’t limited to the standard VPN service. In fact, it offers several specialty servers that provide even greater data protection. These are geared toward purposes that require a higher level of discretion, such as protecting the identity of confidential individuals or sources. On the computer version, these are: Double VPN, Onion Over VPN and Peer to Peer (P2P).

  • Double VPN, as the name implies, links you to an additional server. This both double-encrypts your data and hides your IP address under an additional layer of protection.
  • Onion Over VPN connects you to a Nord server, then a network of servers after that, which provides more layers of encryption for your data and more thoroughly hides your IP.
  • P2P allows users on the network to help each other download files. Naturally, the more servers you’re connected to, the more latency there will be. Most users will be plenty protected by a single VPN layer.

NordVPN also comes with a number of helpful settings. You can set up a kill switch, for example, which will sever your connection to the internet when/if your VPN isn’t on. You can also choose whether to auto-connect upon starting the app, and whether it opens when your computer starts up. Then there is the obfuscated servers option we touched upon earlier. This feature is designed to overcome internet censorship — most users will not find much use for it, but it’s a handy option.

Outside of a computer, your options are more limited. The options for specialty servers varied on the iPhone we used to test Nord. However, you still have access to a wide array of servers and countries. The in-browser version is even simpler, but make no mistake, it’s still awesome to have an extension for your browser in the first place.

Bottom line

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There are a lot of VPNs, but NordVPN has established itself as one of the best. It’s fast, full of options and offers a great server selection. Plus, it’s user-friendly. Anyone can use this service, even if they don’t know much about computers. And our exclusive deal with Nord certainly sweetens the pot.

It’s never been a better time to pick up NordVPN. Buy it here to take advantage of our exclusive deal and start taking your internet security seriously.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed price at the time of publication.