Impressively secure. NordVPN has something in its armory to further bolster your security, and that’s a kill switch. A kill switch is in place to prevent any data leaks in case the VPN connection drops.
NordVPN stands out here for actually having two kill switches. A general internet kill switch blocks all net access when you’re not connected to the VPN (this can easily be turned off if it’s inconvenient), while an app kill switch closes your chosen applications if the connection goes down.
NordVPN says the service blocks DNS leaks, too, and our checks with DNS Leak Test, IPLeak, and other sites confirmed this. Our DNS address was always the same as our IP address, with no DNS, WebRTC, or other leaks detected. So overall, security and privacy are tight. (For more details on services that deliver top-notch security, check out our roundup of the most secure VPN providers, where NordVPN ranks highly).
Has NordVPN ever had its own security breached?
The less positive news is that a NordVPN server was hacked back in 2018, and this, plus the company’s lack of transparency over the issue, has to be a concern. We see no evidence that there was any impact on customer privacy, though, and NordVPN has taken plenty of post-hack steps to try and restore confidence.
What did NordVPN do about the hack?
NordVPN updated its entire server network to run in RAM only, without disks, ensuring that even if someone hacked a server in the future, there would be no local files for them to inspect.
The company also invited security research group VerSprite to audit its apps, helping to identify and fix security issues. And a bug bounty program was introduced, giving an incentive for anyone to uncover and report security problems with the service.
Recently NordVPN joined Private Internet Access and ExpressVPN in having its Android app certified by the ioXt Alliance. The certification covers checks on cryptography, network security, software update procedures, and more, and NordVPN came out very well with maximum scores in every category.
Steps like these can’t entirely make up for NordVPN’s poor response to the 2018 hack, but they’re still hugely positive, and expose the company’s services to a level of scrutiny rarely seen anywhere else.
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