10 Best NordVPN Features and Settings for a Great VPN Experience
GT Partner Team
NordVPN is one of the well-known VPN service providers in the market today that offers stronger encryption mechanisms and a wide network of servers. However, those are not the only features that make it unique. It packs several interesting capabilities and settings that certainly help boost the VPN experience.
So, if you are using a NordVPN plan or planning to get one, here are the best features and settings of NordVPN that will help you get the most out of it.
As it's going to be a long one, let's jump straight in.
1. Get Dedicated IP
Shared IP addresses are one of the building blocks of a VPN service. Whenever you connect to a remote server, the system assigns you a random shared IP address. That said, it's harder to track your online movements when you are on a shared IP address.
However, it also has its share of downsides. For one, using a shared IP address often causes websites to trigger CAPTCHA authentication. While it takes only a couple of seconds to fill them out (and prove that you are not a robot), it can be quite annoying in the long run.
NordVPN solves this issue with its dedicated IP feature. When you enable the dedicated IP option, NordVPN assigns a (dedicated) IP to your system and uses the same virtual location. At the same time, your online data remains encrypted.
The best part is that you can choose when to use the dedicated IP. A simple click on the left panel connects you to a dedicated IP.
For now, NordVPN provides dedicated IP addresses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and France.
2. Take Advantage of the Double VPN Feature
By default, most VPN services encrypt your data once and then send it to a VPN server where it gets decrypted.
However, if you enable the Double VPN feature in NordVPN, your data is routed through two encryption tunnels before it reaches the internet. One of the tunnels is between your device and a remote VPN server, and the other tunnel is between the first VPN server and the second remote VPN server.
It's the second remove VPN server that decrypts the data. In short, your IP gets masked twice, and it's harder for trackers to trace your whereabouts.
Enabling the Double VPN feature is a child's play. If you want the app to pick up a country and server for you, click on the Double VPN option on the left menu.
Alternatively, you can also pick a specific country and server as per your preference. For that, click on the three-dot menu next to the Double VPN option, and take a pick from the menu.
Quite naturally, the double encryption layer will slow down the service. But on the upside, no one will be able to trace your movements.
3. Block Shady Websites
It would not be wrong to say that the internet plays host to thousands of phishing domains and shady sites. The irony is that most these sites look so genuine that it's easy to get fooled.
NordVPN protects you from such scams with its CyberSec feature. When enabled, it blocks websites that host malicious content and keeps you safe from them. Besides that, it also takes care of autoplaying ads and pop-up ads on some sites.
To access the settings, click on the cog-shaped icon at the top ribbon.
Once in, head over to General and toggle the switch for CyberSec.
This feature is available on the NordVPN app for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux.
4. Check out NordLynx
Another interesting feature of NordVPN is NordLynx. With it, you can get a taste of high internet speed over VPN. NordLynx is a VPN tunneling solution built around the WireGuard VPN protocol for speed benefits without jeopardizing your privacy.
For those uninitiated, WireGuard protocol is open-source and is highly reputed in the VPN industry. Compared to the conventional standards like OpenVPN and IPSec, WireGuard is both fast and light. At the same time, it's privacy-oriented and establishes a secure VPN connection without logging identifiable information at the server level.
NordLynx is not enabled by default. You will have to activate it manually. To do so, head over to Settings > Auto-connect, and toggle the switch for 'Choose a VPN protocol'.
Next, click on the drop-down for VPN Protocol and select NordLynx from the menu. Simple, right?
Did You Know: WireGuard has approximately 4000 lines of code.
5. Onion Over VPN
Another benefit of using NordVPN is that it lets you connect directly to the Onion network without the Tor browser. Yes, you read that right.
With NordVPN, you do not need a dedicated browser to access the Onion network. Instead, you need to click on the Onion Over VPN option and the app will take care of the rest. Cool, I must say.
So, what goes on behind the scenes? When you click on the said option, the internet traffic goes through one of the remote VPN servers, and then it is routed through the Onion network before it reaches the internet.
That provides you with an additional layer of security. Plus, it makes it a lot harder for trackers and hackers to trace you and steal your information.
To access Onion Over VPN, click on the option on the left menu, and select the necessary option.
Note: This feature is not available for NordVPN for macOS.
6. Auto-Connect to Trusted Wi-Fi Networks
If you regularly access the same Wi-Fi network for work or entertainment, you can add the said network under the Trusted Wi-Fi Network. That means you don't want to use VPN services on that particular network.
That will prevent the system from auto-connecting to a VPN whenever you connect to the said trusted network. Instead, you will be connected over the conventional Wi-Fi network.
For that, head over to Setting > Auto-connect, and check the Wi-Fi name on the menu.
All you need to do is click on the Trust this network button.
7. Enable Kill Switch
If you have used a free VPN service before, you must have come across connection drops. It can be either due to server overload or some other issue. Usually, the connection defaults back to the one provided by your local internet provider. In such circumstances, your data is left exposed. Kill Switch helps to prevent just that.
When enabled, the connection to the internet is immediately cut off as soon as your computer disconnects from the VPN. That way, your data, and privacy remain secure.
In NordVPN, Kill Switch is not enabled by default. For enabling it, head over to the settings page and toggle the switch for Internet Kill Switch.
NordVPN also bundles a handy little feature named App Kill Switch. When enabled, this feature closes a few specific apps when your computer disconnects from the VPN.
For instance, if you have added Netflix to this list, the app will automatically close when the VPN disconnects.
Note: The internet kill switch feature is not available for NordVPN for macOS.
8. A Wide Network of Servers
NordVPN has a huge network of servers around the world. There are more than five thousand servers in more than 60 countries around the world. That gives you the advantage of bypassing country restrictions like a pro. So, whether it's accessing the geo-locked content of a country or accessing your region's content while you are traveling, the benefits are many.
The good thing about NordVPN is that its app presents all the servers in a simple and easy-to-understand way. You simply need to pick up a country from the list and connect to it. Yep, it's that simple.
You can also mark a few servers as your favorite, thus letting you select and connect to them quickly.
The fact that you can use the service on 6 devices on a single NordVPN account is the cherry on top. That gives you the flexibility and doesn't tie you down to a single device or system.
9. Access Netflix Titles from Across the World
You might already know that Netflix is known for blocking VPN services aggressively. That means you won't be able to access titles that are not available in your region, even though you are connected to a remote server.
With NordVPN, it's not the scene. It's one of the few VPN services that let you unblock and stream Netflix. The only thing which you have to keep in mind is to log in to Netflix before connecting to a remote server as Netflix tends to show an error page when you try to login from a different locale.
10. No Logging Policy
Last but not least, NordVPN has a strict no-logging policy, meaning none of your activities are monitored or recorded. Neither does it keeps a record of your connection logs (connection date, duration, data transferred, etc) or your activity logs. But how do you verify the claims?
Well, the company got PricewaterhouseCoopers, an independent auditor, to perform security audits on their no-log policy to support the above claim. And in late 2018, they announced that they had passed the test.
Surf the Internet Without Being Monitored
NordVPN surely makes your online adventures safer, thanks to its 256-bit AES encryption and no-logging policy. And the straightforward interface surely adds to the experience.
The monthly plan for NordVPN starts at $11.95, while a yearly plan will set you back by $6.99 per month.
However, if you are planning to save a few bucks, you can check our exclusive deal, which will get you a 70% discount on a 3-year NordVPN plan and you'll get to enjoy it at $3.49 per month. And if you are not satisfied with the service, you can opt for the 30-day money-back guarantee service.