In this NordVPN review, we will cover NordVPN’s software, VPN speed, price, VPN free trial, customer services etc. This NordVPN review was based on our real VPN testings done in China. Therefore, it will help to answer this question: does NordVPN work well in China?
- Fast speed, reliable connections.
- Website has Chinese version.
- 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Windows software offers obfuscation option to bypass China’s VPN blocking
- While working well on Windows, for Mac users in China, a third party software is needed to get NordVPN working.
Starting Price: $3.29/mo
Free Trial: 30-day money-back
Simultaneous Connections: 6 devices (if not connected to the same server with the same protocol)
NordVPN is a well-known VPN provider with a large number of world-wide customers. It has received many very good reviews, including those from authority sources such as PC Magazine.
NordVPN for China
Since 2017, NordVPN started to put more efforts in getting its VPN service working well in China. To better serve VPN users in China, NordVPN’s websites includes a Chinese version to make it easy for Chinese people to sign up. For VPN payment, NordVPN accepts Alipay and UnionPay, which are popular payment methods for people in China (It also accepts bitcoin, which can be used world-wide).
One big problem for using VPN in China is that not only the so-call Great Firewall of China blocks websites, it also blocks VPN services. As a result, many popular VPN services don’t work in China at all. NordVPN’s main domain nordvpn.com is currently blocked in China. However, you can access NordVPN using its alternative domain nord-cn.org to access NordVPN from China.
To bypass China’s VPN blocking, NordVPN recently started offering a VPN obfuscation option, which will make your VPN traffic less likely to be detected and blocked by China’s Great Firewall. VPN obfuscation currently works very well on its Windows software. However, its Mac software still doesn’t support obfuscation. As a matter of fact, NordVPN’s Mac software currently doesn’t work in China. Mac users need to use a third party VPN software called Tunnelblick to get NordVPN working on their Macs. We were told by NordVPN that they had been working very hard to get their Mac software working in China (with obfuscation added as well).
NordVPN has VPN servers at 1000+ word-wide locations in 59 different countries. NordVPN offers unlimited bandwidth, unlimited server switches and unlimited speed. It supports multiple VPN protocols, including IKEv2/IPsec, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and SSTP.
NordVPN’s users can connect from computers (Mac, PC and Linux), tablets and smartphones using their software or apps. In terms of simultaneous connections (or sometimes called multi-logins), NordVPN allows users to connect from up to 6 devices at the same time. Note that there’s a limitation on this: You can’t connect to the same VPN server using the same VPN protocol with more than 1 device. But you can bypass this restriction by letting different devices connect to different servers or using different VPN protocols.
In addition, NordVPN has a no-logs policy so your internet activities won’t be logged. P2P is allowed by NordVPN, so you can use it for torrenting and other types of P2P file sharing.
NordVPN’s Price & Free Trial
NordVPN offers 3 different plans: $11.95/month if you pay month by month; $7.00/month if you pay every 6 months and $5.75/month if you pay every 12 months. For making payment, in addition to standard methods such as Paypal and credit card, NordVPN also accepts UnionPay and AliPay, which is convenient for people in China.
NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing customers to try out their VPN services essentially for free for up to 30 days. This is indeed quite generous.
NordVPN’s VPN Software and VPN Apps
NordVPN provides custom VPN software and VPN apps for many different platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi, DD-WRT router and Tomato router etc. Below is a screenshot of NordVPN’s download page:
Based on our testings, the best way to use NordVPN in China is to use its Windows software. That’s because NordVPN’s Windows software includes a obfuscation option, which is necessary in China in order to hide VPN traffic and avoid the Great Firewall’s VPN blocking.
Below are some screenshots of NordVPN’s Windows software. As you can see, under the “Servers” section, it allows users to select different VPN servers from different world-wide VPN locations. Also, you can choose to connect to an obfuscation server in addition to the VPN server, which we highly recommend for users in China. Under the “Settings” section, you can turn on/off features such as auto connect, kill switch etc.
We also tried NordVPN’s Mac software. However, we found NordVPN’s Mac software doesn’t work well in China. Not only it doesn’t come with the obfuscation feature, we couldn’t even log in to our account. We were told by NordVPN that in order to use NordVPN on a Mac computer in China, we should instead use a third-party OpenVPN software called Tunnelblick. We installed Tunnelblick and then downloaded NordVPN’s configuration files and eventually got NordVPN working on our Mac. According to NordVPN, they have been working hard to improve their Mac software and in the near future we should see its Mac software (with added obfuscation option) working in China.
NordVPN also provides free VPN apps for Android and iOS. Users can download those apps in iOS’s app store or Android’s Play Store by searching with the keyword “NordVPN”.
NordVPN’s Connections & Speed Test
Is NordVPN stable enough and fast enough to be used in China? For this test, we used a Windows 10 computer from Shanghai, China. Our ISP is China Telecom. Without VPN, we could get a download speed of around 27 Mb/s. Below is the SpeedTest.net test result without connecting to VPN. Please note: this speed only reflects the speed when visiting local websites within China. International speed would be much lower than that. We show this result only to give you a rough idea about how fast our current ISP is:
Then we used NordVPN’s Windows 10 desktop client to connect to one of their Hong Kong servers. We got a download speed of 19.79 Mb/s, which is very fast. The SpeedTest.net testing result is shown below.
Also, we found NordVPN has been quite stable during our tests using a Windows 10 PC.
NordVPN’s Customer Support
When you visit NordVPN’s website, you can see a “Support” button on the bottom-right corner. That’s the place to get in touch with NordVPN’s customer support. When seeking help, you will be asked to type in your question first and you will be presented automatically with an answer if anything is found. Otherwise, you will be connected to a live chat section with a real human being to address your question. We tried NordVPN’s live chat support and the response speed was very fast and we were able to get an answer almost immediately.
NordVPN Review Conclusion
NordVPN is a popular VPN provider with world-wide customers and good reviews. Recently they started paying more attention to serving VPN users in China. If you use a Windows computer in China, NordVPN is a good choice because its Windows software comes with an obfuscation feature to bypass China’s VPN blocking and its VPN connection is very fast and quite stable in China. However, for Mac users, NordVPN’s Mac software still doesn’t work in China yet and you need to use a third party software to get NordVPN working on your Mac. We were told NordVPN is working hard on their new Mac software and let’s hope it will be shipped soon.
If you are looking for a reliable VPN services to be used in China, Please make sure to read our list of Best VPNs for China.