NordVPN Review for iOS and macOS – iPhone, iPad, and Mac

NordVPN Review for iOS and macOS – iPhone, iPad, and Mac

What’s the best way to tell if you’re being monitored while you’re on the internet? You’re on the internet. And let’s face it, you’re always on the internet. Someone is monitoring your online activities. It may be your Internet Service Provider or it may be the guy at the next table down at Starbucks, but someone is interested in your online antics.

Luckily, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can protect you from the prying eyes of outsiders. A VPN encrypts your internet connection, encasing it in a tunnel of protection.

In addition to keeping you undercover while connected, a VPN offers other ways to protect and enhance your online activities. A VPN has servers located around the globe, opening access to streaming services, gaming servers, websites, and other content and services that might normally be unavailable to you. A VPN can also prevent your ISP from throttling your connection or blocking your connection, simply because you’re engaging in peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing or other frowned upon activities.

The 5 top reasons to use a VPN are:

  1. Protect your online anonymity.
  2. Protect your information from hackers while using unsecured Wi-Fi.
  3. Provide access to your favorite U.S.-based streaming services, when you’re outside U.S. borders.
  4. Access content in other countries.
  5. Access content that may be blocked by your ISP, employers, school, or your government.


In this edition of MacTrast’s ongoing VPN review series, I’ll be reviewing NordVPN, which is arguably the most well-known and established VPN services in the industry today.

NordVPN delivers optimal protection for your online activities, offer the ability to share files, open access to Netflix and other services that might normally be blocked in your region, and keep your personal and business information safe from the prying eyes of others.

NordVPN provides excellent download speeds, making it an optimal choice for downloading large files, gaming, and streaming video. The provider’s banking industry-grade encryption and other security features provides top-notch protection while you’re online.



NordVPN offers app support for most major device platforms, as well as the Chrome and Firefox browser platforms.

Native app support consists of:

  • macOS
  • iOS
  • Windows
  • Android
  • Linux

The provider can also be manually setup on other devices, including Raspberry Pi, Blackberry, and numerous make and model routers.

Setting up your router to work with NordVPN will allow you to protect all of your connected devices, including the Apple TV, Roku, Smart TVs, game consoles, even Internet of Things devices like your smart refrigerator. It also allows you to connect more than the allowed simultaneous 6 devices. Pre-configured routers can be purchased from


When testing the NordVPN service, I used the latest versions of the provider’s macOS and iOS apps.


While you can select from a large number of VPN servers located around the globe, you can also use the app’s “Quick connect” feature to connect to a server in your country with a single click or tap.

The provider’s apps are easy to use, and didn’t put a heavy strain on either my Mac or iPhone system resources. In both cases, the app delivered fast, well-protected connections.

Connection Speeds

Speaking of connections, let me say upfront that you should never select a VPN provider on the basis of its connection speeds alone. That said, a fast connection speed certainly enhances most online activities.

All speed tests for this review were performed on my iPhone XS Max and my 2016 MacBook Pro. Both devices were connected to the internet via a 5 GHz Wi-Fi router that is connected to a gigabit fiber internet connection. Please keep in mind while reading the speed test results, that your results will vary, due to your ISP-provided connection speeds, your location, and the location of the VPN server you use.

To perform the speed tests, I use the Speedtest app. I first test the speed of my usual, unprotected connection speeds, then load the VPN provider’s app. I use the provider’s “Quick connect” feature, and then once more test the connection speeds.


My MacBook Pro-based tests showed results of 233 Mbps down and 78 Mbps up for my unprotected connection speeds, and 104 Mbps down and 66 Mbps up for my VPN protected connection speeds.


My iPhone testing resulted in unprotected connection speeds of 251 Mbps down and 92.7 Mbps up. My VPN protected speeds were 233 Mbps down and 27.5 Mbps up.

While NordVPN’s connection speeds are not the best in the industry, they are easily up to any of my favorite online activities, including streaming HD and 4K video, online gaming, file sharing, and working from home.

Global Server Network

A VPN provider’s global server network is an important factor to consider when mulling over a VPN provider. A large global server network provides access to global online resources that might normally be blocked in your area of the world, including Netflix in other countries, websites, and other resources.

While I imagine most of my readers are located in countries where the internet could be considered “open,” a VPN also provides a way for users in restrictive countries like China, Iran, and others, to access content the government may be blocking.

NordVPN’s server network is made up of nearly 5,500 VPN servers stationed in 59 countries around the globe.

In addition to general purpose VPN servers to protect your everyday online activities, NordVPN also offers servers that provide enhanced protection for your P2P activities, dedicated IP servers (for an additional fee), and Double VPN and obfuscated servers that provide additional protection and help hide your VPN usage, respectively.

Access to Netflix and Other Streaming Providers

NordVPN delivers reliable access to streaming services in a number of countries, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and many others.

I tested Netflix in the United States, the United Kingdom, and a a number of other countries, and enjoyed a reliable connection to all of the countries I tested. BBC iPlayer and Hulu content was also a sure bet.

In all cases, NordVPN delivered reliable streams, with little to no waiting, even for 4K content.

However, it should be noted that since the provider doesn’t offer streaming-specific servers like CyberGhost and some other providers do. So, you may have to try a few servers before gaining access in various countries.

Torrenting (P2P File Sharing)

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing is one of the most popular activities on the internet today. At the same time, the practice is frowned upon by many parties.

While P2P technology in itself is legal, and is used by both individuals and companies to share files, it can also be used to share copyrighted files, such as games, movies, TV shows, music, and other types of content.

The illegal use of P2P to share copyrighted materials has led content owners – such as record companies, movie studios, and game publishers – to force ISPs to block or severely throttle P2P activity on their networks.

Luckily, since a VPN protects your online activities under a layer of encryption, it makes an excellent way to hide your P2P activity.

NordVPN doesn’t allow P2P activity on all of their servers. However, it does offer a list of P2P servers to quickly hide your file sharing.

Encryption, Privacy & Other Protection

NordVPN protects their customers’ internet connections using banking-grade encryption. That encryption forms a protective tunnel around your online activity, hiding your online activities from prying eyes.

In addition, optional kill switch protection can be applied for individual apps, ensuring their data and activity isn’t exposed. The provider also offers IPv6 and DNS leak protection, and can also block ads and malware.

A strict no-logs policy on all NordVPN servers means there are no server logs to expose your activities while your connected to the provider’s servers. Plus, your payment information can be kept completely private by using Bitcoin to pay for your subscription.

Customer Support

Around-the clock customer support is available form NordVPN, thanks to 24/7 live support agent chat, a searchable support library, and a support ticket submission system. The provider’s support agents were quick to respond to all of my questions, providing accurate and helpful answers. The provider’s support library was also a wealth of welcome information.


While the provider’s monthly pricing is some of the highest in the industry, it drops considerably when you opt for a 1-year, 2-year, or even 3-year subscription.


If you opt to pay month-to-month, you’ll pay $11.95 per month. A 1-year subscription drops the price down to $6.99 per month ($83.88 per year), a 2-year subscription goes for $4.99 per month ($119.76 every 2-years), and a 3-year commitment will score a $3.40 per month cost ($125.64 every 3 years).

  • 1 Month Plan at $11.95/mo
  • 1 Year Plan at $6.99/mo
  • 2 Year Plan at $4.99/mo
  • 3 Year Plan at $3.40/mo

Official pricing is here on the NordVPN site but Mactrast currently has an exclusive 1 year plan for only $5/mo through the store here.

Pros & Cons


  • 4K-capable download speeds
  • Supports most popular device platforms
  • 24/7 support
  • Excellent Privacy and Security
  • Unblocks many popular streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon


  • Doesn’t allow P2P activity on all servers
  • Doesn’t offer streaming enhanced servers


NordVPN is an attractive option for users looking for reliable VPN protection and that don’t mind committing to a longer subscription term to save considerable cash.

The provider delivers excellent protection for your internet activities, while also offering above average connection speeds.

Users with multiple devices will appreciate the provider’s excellent multi-platform app support, as well as the service’s generous 6 simultaneous device connection allowance.

Users looking for extra protection will do well to investigate the provider’s Double VPN and obfuscated servers, which do an excellent job of hiding a users online activities as well as their VPN activities.

If you’re in the market for a VPN provider that does a good job of protecting your online activities form prying eyes, and offers reliable access to streaming services and hides your P2P activity, give NordVPN a try.

Score: 9.1/10



Pricing Varies

Connection Speed


Customer Support


Unlocking Streaming Content


Network of Servers





  • 4K-capable download speeds
  • Supports most popular device platforms
  • 24/7 support
  • Excellent Privacy and Security
  • Unblocks many popular streaming services


  • Doesn’t allow P2P activity on all servers
  • Doesn’t offer streaming enhanced servers