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Although Apple computers have good security, they aren’t immune to cybersecurity attacks. In this light, a virtual private network (VPN) is an important tool for many Mac users.
Some of the best Mac VPNs help lessen the risk of security breaches, disguise your online activity, and hide your IP address, allowing you to protect your privacy online at all times. If you’re someone who sends or receives sensitive information online, a reliable VPN is essential.
While there are hundreds of Mac VPN software programs on the market, the fact is that some perform better than others. In today’s review, we’re looking at one of the better-known names in the industry, NordVPN, to help you decide if it’s worth the hype and the right VPN for you.
Before we begin:
If you’re looking for a versatile VPN with global reach and first-class software, MacKeeper’s Private Connect VPN should be at the top of your list. This VPN solution has all the market-leading features you could want: strong security, a fast, stable connection, and over 300 server locations in 50 countries.
With MacKeeper, setting up a VPN has never been easier. Simply:
- Download MacKeeper and open the app.
- Select the Private Connect option from the left sidebar.
- Choose a VPN service location from the list and click Turn on.
- After a few moments, you’ll receive a notification confirming your VPN connection.
What is NordVPN
If you’ve been browsing for different VPN options for your Mac, you may have stumbled across NordVPN. As one of the longest-running VPN providers, it stands out as one of the top-rated VPNs and has earned numerous praise in the tech industry for its robust range of security measures.
The app offers consistently fast speeds and a plethora of servers for hassle-free streaming. Plus, the added benefits of built-in antivirus, ad and malware blockers, and password management. To top it off, all NordVPN apps are designed to be beginner-friendly, with 24/7 live customer support readily available.
Is NordVPN legit
NordVPN is totally reliable and trustworthy. The application has continuously received reviews from some of the leading tech experts. Their strict no-log policy has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and their security services have been tested by an independent cybersecurity firm to ensure full trust and transparency for its users.
What type of VPN is NordVPN
To support customers’ needs, NordVPN uses some of the best VPN protocols for speed and security encryption. OpenVPN is for those looking for strong encryption. NordLynx for high-speed downloads and online gaming, and an older protocol, IKEv2/IPSec, is also available.
How does NordVPN work
VPN apps keep your online actions and personal information safe by sending them through special secure servers. This way, nobody else, like hackers or the government, can see what you're doing on the internet.
NordVPN does this by enveloping your online activity with a layer of extremely versatile encryption and hiding information about your virtual location. This keeps you invisible to hackers, ISPs, and government agencies who are lurking through the internet.
Hint from our team:
Besides keeping you safe in cyberspace, a VPN can also make your connection to public Wi-Fi safer. Coming across the fix this connection isn’t private error message on public Wi-Fi is a warning that the network you’re trying to connect to has possible security concerns.
If the Wi-Fi privacy warning pops up on your Mac, it's likely your connection isn’t encrypted or has been set up by a hacker. Our advice is to use a VPN to prevent the risk of your data getting stolen if you’re using public Wi-Fi.
NordVPN features and tools
In addition to offering your standard VPN services, NordVPN also provides extra features to enhance your online experience.
Here are the NordVPN features that work to protect your digital identity:
- Privacy and security
- IP Location
- Additional security features
- Supported VPN protocol
- No bandwidth throttling
- Customer support
- VPN connection monitoring
NordVPN uses a robust encryption algorithm called Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES-256, to create a “tunnel” that connects your Mac computer to the internet through a remote service. AES is approved worldwide by government bodies, cybersecurity experts, and even NASA, so rest assured that your data is safe.
2. Privacy and security
NordVPN has gone beyond the regular VPN protocol, offering extra products like NordPass to securely manage your passwords and NordLocker to store your documents in an encrypted "vault." It also has a Domain Name System (DNS) leak protection and a kill switch to block your internet access if you serve drops to ensure your identity stays hidden.
Meshnet allows you to connect multiple devices worldwide to one virtual network. It offers easy, direct communication between devices, no matter where they are. It also makes it possible to access resources on other people’s devices for personal or business use.
4. IP location
With NordVPN, you can set up a dedicated IP location that isn’t shared with other users. This allows you to prevent unwarranted access to your systems, protecting your data and other critical assets. This feature also prevents you from sharing your IP address with potential email spammers and gives you greater control over remote work.
5. Additional security features
NordVPN’s other security features include threat protection. This protects you from online threats like trackers and malware by identifying and blocking them before they can harm your device. It also blocks unwanted ads and prevents you from landing on malicious websites.
6. Supported VPN protocols
NordVPN offers three protocols for users to choose from, including NordLynx for speed and gaming, industry-standard OpenVPN that works seamlessly across multiple devices, and IKEv2/IPsec for fast mobile-friendly connections.
7. No bandwidth throttling
Another one of NordVPN’s winning features is its unlimited bandwidth policy. Using a VPN itself can sometimes slow down your internet speed, but with the NordLynx protocol, users can browse, stream, and download without any data limits or hitches. Their no-data cap is a big plus for anyone looking for total online freedom.
8. Customer support
Though the application itself is user-friendly, NordVPN does offer 24/7 live chat support for its users. Whether it’s a general inquiry or a VPN connection issue, one of the customer support specialists will be able to find a solution to your problem.
9. VPN connection monitoring
NordVPN uses strict privacy policies when it comes to user data, making it one of the safest and most secure VPN services available. With its enhanced security features, it offers you the certainty that your Mac is safe from the prying eyes of hackers.
While NordVPN is an excellent VPN service, it's not perfect. Some of these issues you may face are:
- No internet access once connected to a VPN server
- Doesn’t work after an update
- Slow internet speed (depends on the distance between your device and the server)
- May block access to certain websites that you trust.
Benefits of NordVPN
With the digital age rapidly evolving, questions like “Do I need a VPN?” and “Why should I use a VPN at home?” have become more frequent. A VPN should be the cornerstone of your internet security, and while NordVPN safeguards your online identity, the application also offers other long-term benefits:
- Remote access to your home network when traveling
- Stop malware, web trackers, and other internet threats
- NordVPN allows for Netflix and torrenting use
- Safe Public Wi-Fi usage
How safe is NordVPN
NordVPN offers three types of subscription options, each varying in price depending on the plan’s length and bundle.
How much does NordVPN cost per month
If you’re not ready to commit to a year-long VPN subscription, NordVPN does offer 1-month subscription options.
At $12.99, you can purchase their Standard Plan. The cheapest option available, this plan includes all the basic VPN features and threat protection:
- Next-generation Encryption
- Threat Protection
- Dark Web Monitor
- Automatic Kill Switch
- Streaming Support
- Dedicated IP address
- Browser proxy extensions
- 24/7 customer support
For $1 more, at $13.99 a month, you can purchase the NordVPN Plus plan. On top of the market-ready NordVPN, you also get Nord’s password manager with a data breach scanner, NordPass.
But for just $14.99 a month, you can subscribe to NordVPN’s Complete Plan. This deal features NordVPN, NordPass, and NordLocker, a cloud backup that encrypts every file stored in it. The complete plan also includes 1 TB of encrypted cloud storage.
How much does NordVPN cost per year
With NordVPN, you get more of your money’s worth if you sign up for a longer subscription period.
The one-year Standard Plan costs $67.35, but it breaks down to roughly $4.99/per month per year. That’s $8 cheaper than the monthly rate of the same plan.
If you choose the two-year Standard Plan you pay $3.79/month per two years, saving you at least $200 throughout your subscription.
The Plus Plan costs $82.35 for one year and $129.33 for two years, which comes down to 5.79/month per year, or $4.59/month per two years.
The Complete Plan costs $97.35 for one year and $156.33 for two, with a breakdown of $6.99/month per year, or $5.79/month per two years.
That said, you can only pay monthly with NordVPN’s one-month plan. All one-year and two-year subscriptions must be fully paid upfront. However, Nord does offer three months free for their yearly plans.
How to use NordVPN
NordVPN is one of the most popular VPNs available, and it's also easy to download, install, and set up on your Mac. It’s beginner-friendly, and you can complete the process in a few minutes:
- Go to their website and click the Get NordVPN button found in the top-right corner of the site. You can also download the app directly from the Apple App Store.
- From there, choose one of the plans that best fits your needs and budget.
- Create your account, select a payment method, and fill in the necessary details.
- You should now be able to access your NordVPN dashboard. Click Download Apps and find Download NordVPN for macOS.
- Once the application has finished downloading and installing, click Open to launch it.
- Following the privacy agreement pop-ups and specific permissions, you should be logged in to the NordVPN app for macOS.
- Click the Quick Connect button on the top right-hand corner to connect to the nearest/fastest NordVPN server.
Is NordVPN worth it
Regardless of what you’re using a VPN for—Wi-Fi privacy or streaming geo-blocked content—there are numerous motivations to use a VPN on a Mac. So if you’re looking for a reliable VPN service that’s versatile and flexible, NordVPN might be right up your alley.
But is NordVPN the only good option? No. There are other premium VPNs, like MacKeeper, that offer Mac users a secure and safe VPN solution without the heavy price tag.
MacKeeper’s Private Connect VPN offers a one-size-fits-all solution for anyone looking to protect their digital footprint, with pricing to fit any budget. The app also offers a range of security options and real-time protection against viruses and malware, making it one of the best NordVPN alternatives available.
Price starts at $10.95/month