Get the most out of NordVPN’s VPN client

One of the VPN providers that I use on a regular basis is NordVPN. Is is popular provider that is offering an excellent service for a reasonable price if you pay annually.

While there are certainly cheaper providers out there, I found NordVPN to be one of the best choices when it comes to VPN networks.

Obviously, you may have different priorities than I have, but the service offers all the features that I require. The servers are fast -- I get full throughput on my 50 Mbit connection, there are not any limitations or quotas in regards to the connection, DNS leak protection, a no logging policy, kill switch, and what NordVPN calls double data encryption.

Double-encryption makes use of VPN server pairs that your traffic gets routed through. So, instead of just one VPN server that your device connects directly to, the connection would flow through a second VPN server.

You can download and run the company's VPN client which I do. While it works fine out of the box, you can get more out of the client if you modify its settings. This guide looks at those settings, and offers recommendations.

NordVNP's VPN client settings

nordvpn client settings

You open the settings with a click on the settings link in the client's main interface after start. It loads the screen that you see above.

The following items there are of special interest:

  1. DNS Leak protection -- This prevents DNS leaks.
  2. DNS Servers -- You may add your own custom DNS servers if you set DNS leak protection. Note that custom servers are usually better than the Internet provider's DNS servers.
  3. Smart-Play -- This is a secure proxy that helps bypass geographical restrictions by websites around the world. The feature routes the user request through a server that is located in a place where access to the content is allowed.
  4. Auto connect to -- If you have a favorite server that you connect to at all times, you may select it from the list to have the client auto-connect to that server on start.
  5. Process kill list -- All processes that you add to the kill list are terminated when the VPN connection drops. Add P2P clients, or chat or messaging software to the list for instance.

You may also configure the NordVPN client to start with Windows. This, in combination with auto-connect, will establish a VPN connection on start of the operating system.

It is highly recommended to enable DNS leak protection, and select a custom DNS provider. It does not have to be Google, and it is just an example and not the provider that I'm using (Google's public DNS servers are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.).

Smart Play may be useful if you access streaming services and other services that block access based location, and auto-connect is useful if you connect to the same server all the time, or switch servers only occasionally.

Process kill list may be useful if you want to make sure that programs don't leak information about your "real" IP if the VPN connection drops.

Now Read: All Private Internet Access settings explained

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Get the most out of NordVPN's VPN client
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Find out how to get the most of the software client that the virtual private network provider NordVPN offers for the Windows operating system.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Get the most out of NordVPN’s VPN client

  1. Hanainen February 23, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    1. Its speed is too slow.
    2. Its website is full of tracking 3rd party companies.
    3. The kill switch isn't very effective. It should be simple like killing all connections once there is a problem with the connection.

    Only the good thing i can say about them is their location, thats all.

    • Jilano February 24, 2017 at 11:08 am #

      Do you happen to have any alternative to NordVPN? Maybe VyprVPN (https://www.goldenfrog.com/FR/en/vyprvpn)?

      I have also heard of Freedom-IP (https://freedom-ip.com/en/home), but I haven't found many reviews online.

      • Karol February 24, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

        There are tens (if not hundreds) of VPN providers to choose from, even outside of spying eyes (like USA based Express VPN)

        not saying that NordVPN is bad or anything... just make sure it's in romania/switzerland or holland...

    • Anon February 24, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

      You're right, the only thing going for it is the location. BUT who cares about location when everything else sucks with the product!?
      NordVPN is garbage. It has IP leaks, slow speeds, awful reliability, and the kill switch sucks. It's on the VPN Warning List.

      • Martin Brinkmann February 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

        Can you please provide some sort of proof for what you are saying? I never experienced issues with the service, speed is great, and I checked using various services that check for leaks and none were found.

      • Anon February 24, 2017 at 4:17 pm #

        @ Martin Brinkmann (because the website does not allow me to reply to your comment) Also, I'm not sure how you tested it, but you should have found IPv6 and WebRTC leaks (if using Firefox).

        Example 1: https://www.bestvpn.com/nordvpn-review/
        "IPv6 leaks are a major issue, however, and support was a massive fail when I needed it. It also seems to be rather over-subscribed, which leads to performance issues."

        Example 2: https://vpnreporter.com/nordvpn-review/
        "My review identified many problems: continuous IPv6 leaks, WebRTC leaks, poor features, fluctuating speeds, bad reliability, and very mediocre support.

      • Martin Brinkmann February 24, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

        I don't use WebRTC, and don't have any IPv6 leaks when I connect to NordVPN. If you know of a particular test that the authors ran, let me know and I run it as well.

        As I said, I ran several fingerprinting and leak tests, and none came up with something. I have to admit that I disable WebRTC, at least the IP leaking part of it, in all browsers that I use. Not sure how many VPN services do support WebRTC leak protection out of the box.

      • Karol February 24, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

        @Anon

        vpnreporter.com is NSA funded USA based website dropping the dirt on any VPN based company which doesn't like to fund their pockets to be 'bestVPN'... in other words, do not 'affiliates' with them

        but yes, they are the only one true, honest, God know what else...

        the only truth it provides is that sometimes it's better to NOT have VPN than to have dodgy one... your security and privacy is 10 times better by just ISP spying on you (which is at least company you can sue and contact) than some dodgy VPN provider

      • Karol February 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

        @Martin

        for you and any other friend out there willing to research for honest VPN (if such exists), check out this project
        https://thatoneprivacysite.net/about/

        NordVPN review
        https://thatoneprivacysite.net/2016/09/03/nordvpn-review/

        just so you're aware, most of those 'bestVPN' or 'vpnreporter' websites are nothing else just marketing of particular VPN services like perfectprivacy etc...

        good hunt

      • Anon February 24, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

        @ Karol
        Interesting. Do you have any sources for your claims that the NSA is secretly funding VPN review websites? Just curious where you got that info. thanks

      • Andres March 1, 2017 at 10:42 am #

        Bullshit. IPv6 is not leaking on any device. Speed is good and I haven't been disconnected once in two days. It seems that you are one of those bastards promoting your own company.

    • IssNess April 27, 2017 at 10:17 am #

      1. They have added lot of new servers recently so the speeds are really nice now, can't agree with your opinion now. Personally i got about 50 Mbps so i'm fine.
      2. Don't pay much attention they are tracking how their are doing with let it be GA
      3. Agree about network level kill switch on all os, however on iOS it works perfect.

  2. Tau February 24, 2017 at 1:36 am #

    I used it for some time and didn't regret it. Registered outside of the 14-eyes and with many servers to choose from. The windows client was pretty stable, most of the time, and there should be a new one currently in beta. Worth a mention it's possible to test it 3 days for free sending them a mail, and there's usually a discount.

  3. pd February 24, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    Heading typos: should be NordVPN not NordVNP.

  4. Karol February 24, 2017 at 11:28 am #

    LEDE + OpenVPN based provider (express vpn?) on router

    not sure why one would choose any other combination... i.e. installing VPN on 20 home devices....

  5. duangkamolmildlove February 26, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

    Thanks for the share , NordVpn is best vpn in the world and i wish to use it once.

  6. Xircal February 28, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

    NordVPN is one of number reviewed by https://www.privacytools.io/ which are located outside the US and therefore not subject to NSA surveillance.

    But as Hanainen remarked (first post in this list) there are eight (ad)trackers on their site which isn't very encouraging.

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