The bottom line is this:
Getting a cracked or stolen version of NordVPN is worse for you than having no VPN at all.
Read on to find out why.
How to get NordVPN for free
There are two ways to access some form of NordVPN for free or at a too-good-to-be-true discount, and both are a bad deal:
If you’re here, chances are you’ve been looking for a NordVPN crack. Well, before you go ahead and download it, check out what our security analysts found inside some of these “cracked” copies of NordVPN:
- Root access viruses/malware: Reputable websites don’t host stolen, cracked copies of NordVPN or other software if they can help it. Instead, you’ll be downloading a file from some anonymous mirror or server, or from a link someone gave you on a forum. This is the perfect way to deliver a virus.
Once you’re downloading a file from random online sources, there’s very little that’ll help you (click here to learn about different hacking methods). Even antivirus software can’t identify 100% of viruses (especially if the hacker wrote their own unique virus). If antiviruses recognize the threat, you may be reassured by the file hoster: “It’s just a false positive because of how the crack works, don’t worry, it’s not a virus.” Sure. You know what they say – there’s a sucker born every minute! Malware can be very damaging to your system – click here to find out about the different types.
- Adware: If you’re lucky, you’ll download some adware instead of a virus. Instead of stealing your identity, they’ll simply fill your computer with ads. Some adware injects ads into your browser and every site you visit, while other adware programs can inject ads into your entire device. Imagine getting annoying pop-ups on your desktop! These types of programs also usually slow down your computer.
- Random software: This find was actually a puzzling one for our security analysts. They found some cracked NordVPN downloads that sent them clean versions of other programs when they were downloaded. One NordVPN crack download actually sent them Adobe Flash Player. Why!?
Remember, here’s why you should never get a cracked copy of NordVPN:
A cracked NordVPN will leave you with less security, privacy, and functionality than if you didn’t download any VPN at all. You aren’t downloading NordVPN, you’re downloading malicious software that was designed to be used against you.
Stolen NordVPN accounts for sale
There are unscrupulous vendors online selling NordVPN subscriptions for 1, 2 or 3 years for far less than our already low prices. It might sound like a good deal, but you’re actually not buying anything at all. Let me explain:
It’s true that the accounts are legitimate, but they’re owned by NordVPN users using weak passwords that have been leaked from other websites. When someone uses the same weak password for all of their online accounts and one of those accounts get hacked through a website breach, they put all of their other accounts at risk. They are not the result of a hack or breach in NordVPN's service. We can protect our users from external threats, but we can’t protect them from their own weak passwords if they've reused them elsewhere.
Here’s how hackers steal NordVPN accounts to sell:
- Hack an insecure website to form a password database or buy one from another hacker online;
- Test the logins you’ve collected on a number of online service accounts (Netflix, Amazon, Spotify, NordVPN, etc.) until you find one that works;
- Sell the username and password online while you pretend that you’re providing a legitimate account.
That’s what you’re buying – but what’s the problem?
- You don’t know how long the account will work. You aren’t forming a new subscription, you’re simply intruding upon someone else’s already-active subscription. If you paid the hacker for a 3-year subscription and find that there are only 2 years and 3 months left, tough luck – the hacker already has your money. Go ahead and ask for a refund. We’ll wait.
- You can lose the account at any time. When you pay for the account, all you get are its current username and password. Most vendors will warn you that you shouldn’t change these. That’s because if you do, you’ll also make it impossible for the actual owner to connect. They will then be able to restore access to their account by contacting customer support, changing their password and rendering your purchase useless. You are completely at their mercy. The account is yours to use only as long as the real owner doesn’t change the password.
- You won’t be able to use as many devices on it. Each NordVPN account supports up to six devices, but things can get crowded when there’s more than one user on an account.
Here’s what happens when the shared account you’ve bought fills up: If you get locked out, you’ll simply have to wait until the legitimate user disconnects a device so you can connect. If you lock out the user, they will realize that something is wrong and may be prompted to change their password, thereby ending your almost-free ride.
All of this is assuming that the account has only been sold once, which is highly unlikely since we’re talking about online thieves and scammers comfortable with making money at other people’s expense. You’ll probably be sharing that account with other gullible buyers, making connection problems quite frequent.
Is using NordVPN cracked accounts illegal?
Just like buying a stolen car would get you in trouble, the same applies to cracked accounts. If somebody has paid for NordVPN subscription and you’re using it without their consent — you’re committing a fraud. However, sometimes people have no idea that they’re buying stolen accounts and hackers use their naivete to make money.
While you should avoid using cracked accounts for legal reasons, this could also expose you to privacy and security risks.
What are your alternatives?
- Use a free VPN. We don’t usually recommend free VPNs, and there are a few good reasons why. However, if you were about to choose between a cracked NordVPN download and a stolen NordVPN account, then one of our free competitors is honestly a much better idea! With that being said, here are the major drawbacks to most free VPNs:
- You are the product, not the customer. They are still businesses that have to make money, and if you aren’t paying them, someone else is. Some track you and sell your data to third parties, while others inject ads into your browser. The shadiest free VPNs have been caught selling user bandwidth, sharing your connection with major corporations. That makes these services less secure and less private.
- Poor service quality. The best free VPNs are the ones that will constantly bug you to upgrade to a paid service. In this case, it simply means that you’ll suffer from severe limitations on the functionality of your service. They might throttle internet speeds, limit usage to a certain amount of time or data per month, or cut other important features to convince you to pay up.
- Poor infrastructure. Free VPNs will often have a harder time supporting the sort of infrastructure, advanced features, and support staff that paid premium VPNs support. You get what you paid for!
- Get NordVPN. If your heart is set on NordVPN’s premium service, let’s make a deal: you can try a VPN risk-free for 30 days. Give us a month to win you over to the light side!
Take your privacy into your own hands.
Stay safe with the world’s leading VPN.