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VPN security: Are VPNs safe and secure?

Reliable VPNs deliver robust online security and give you more digital privacy.

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A woman uses a VPN to secure the internet connection on her phone.

What is VPN security?

A VPN (virtual private network) is an internet security service that enhances your online safety and privacy by encrypting your data and hiding your IP address. While antivirus software defends your device from threats, a VPN secures your internet connection from the moment you connect to a VPN server. Your data becomes unreadable to snoopers, hackers, and internet service providers.

A reliable VPN hides your IP address for more online privacy.

How secure is a VPN?

Whether a VPN is secure depends on your chosen provider. Reliable VPNs use strong protocols and don’t track or sell your browsing data to third parties. However, cheap or free VPN services often cut corners to profit at any cost. They have poor security infrastructures, bombard you with ads, and may even sell your data to advertisers.

While a VPN gives you a secure connection and hides your IP for more privacy, it typically can’t prevent cookie tracking, viruses, or malware infections. That said, VPN providers like NordVPN offer additional cybersecurity features like Threat Protection that do more to keep you safe. Additionally, NordVPN is trusted by millions of users, including cybersecurity experts, worldwide — so you know you’re in good hands.

What features make a safe and secure VPN?

Here are the most important security features a reliable VPN provider must have.

A man uses a VPN on his phone to encrypt his internet traffic on the go.

Robust data encryption

VPN encryption creates a secure “tunnel” that connects your computer to the internet through a remote server. The “tunnel” is protected with something called Advanced Encryption Standard, or AES-256, one of the best encryption algorithms available. What makes it so great? For one, it’s used to defend several government organizations around the world and is highly recommended by several cybersecurity experts.

A man uses a VPN that doesn’t collect, sell, or track his online activity.

No data tracking

What you do online is your business. That’s why picking a VPN that will keep your browsing activities private is crucial. NordVPN doesn’t collect, sell, or track your browsing data – ever. Reclaim your online privacy and security without worrying about snoopers.

A woman uses a VPN on several devices to hide her IP address.

No IP address leaks

One of the main benefits of a VPN service is that it hides your real IP address to give you more online privacy. If a VPN provider were to leak your IP, it would defeat the purpose of using a VPN in the first place. Leaks can happen due to two internet protocols, IPv4 and IPv6, and their incompatibility. To prevent that, NordVPN disables most IPv6 traffic to ensure user traffic is secure.

A man uses NordVPN on his phone to prevent DNS leaks.

No DNS leaks

DNS servers change the plain text url like “” into an IP address. So even if your IP stays hidden, your DNS could still reveal your location. A good VPN will take extra steps to prevent this from happening. To prevent a DNS leak, NordVPN only uses DNS servers operated by NordVPN. Try a VPN test to make sure it’s working ok.

A woman uses NordVPN’s Kill Switch feature to keep her connections safe at all times.

Kill Switch

Kill Switch is another way to ensure your data stays safe at all times. If you’re doing something highly confidential online (like handling classified information) and your VPN connection drops, exposing your data, you could be in real trouble. A VPN kill switch instantly blocks your device from accessing the internet in these cases. Your internet connection will stay blocked until you disconnect from the server manually or if the VPN connection comes back on.

A woman secures her NordVPN account with multi-factor authentication.

Multi-factor authentication

If the VPN provider of your choice has multi-factor authentication, you know it cares about user security. No one is completely immune to phishing or malware – that’s why extra caution can go a long way to protect your data. Enable it and enjoy the benefits of multi-factor authentication. It will protect your account even if your password gets leaked.

Is NordVPN safe?

NordVPN is a secure and reliable VPN provider trusted by millions of users worldwide. Let’s look at what makes NordVPN so valued and the security features it offers.

NordVPN uses secure VPN protocols to deliver high speeds and reliable security.
NordVPN’s Threat Protection blocks malicious websites, ads, and trackers.
The Dark Web Monitor feature alerts you if NordVPN finds your credentials on the dark web.
Split tunneling lets you decide which apps need VPN protection and which don’t.
Auto-connect turns on your VPN protection without you having to think about it.
Obfuscated servers hide the fact that you’re using NordVPN.
A man uses a double VPN server to encrypt his data twice.
A woman enjoys the benefits of a VPN and the Onion network with Onion Over VPN.
A woman uses NordVPN’s browser extension for lightweight VPN proxy protection.

Why do you need a secure VPN?

Online privacy, security, freedom, and so much more.

A secure VPN gives you more online privacy.
A reliable VPN keeps your online activity safe from cybercriminals.
With over 5,800 VPN servers, NordVPN lets you experience online freedom.
NordVPN blocks intrusive ads and annoying pop-ups for smoother browsing.
A man chooses a reliable, paid VPN for his devices to avoid security issues.

What are some VPN security issues and threats?

VPN security issues typically come with cheap or free VPNs. While paid VPNs provide reliable services they charge customers for, free VPNs have to make money in other ways. Some of them collect your data and sell it to third-party advertisers, while others skimp on ensuring secure and functioning infrastructure. This way, they’re prone to IP, DNS, or WebRTC leaks.

Frequently asked questions

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