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  • Get a dedicated VPN app and connect with a click.
  • Choose from different VPN protocols for the best speed and security.
  • Use NordVPN on multiple devices at the same time.
  • Install the NordVPN app to establish secure VPN connections.

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What is a VPN client?

VPN client software is an application that enables you to connect to a secure VPN server encrypting your data in the process

NordVPN’s VPN client is an application that enables you to connect to a secure VPN server, encrypting your data in the process. Once you download and install VPN client software, the NordVPN app will secure your device in just a few clicks. VPN client installation files can differ based on the operating systems you’re using. For example, the file will be .exe for the Windows operating system and .dmg for macOS. Get the VPN client for all major operating systems.

Technical specifications for VPN clients

Check out what your devices need to run NordVPN smoothly.

Technical VPN client requirements for Windows 7, 8.1, 10, 11 and other versions

Requirements for Windows VPN client

Application: Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (version 1607+), Windows 11;
OpenVPN client manual (the most recent version): Windows 7, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (version 1507+), Windows 11;
OpenVPN manual (older version): Windows XP, Windows Vista;
IKEv2 manual: Windows 7, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (version 1507+), Windows 11;
Not supported: Anything older than Windows XP.

Technical VPN client requirements for macOS 10.12+, 10.4+ and other versions

Requirements for macOS VPN client

IKE application: macOS 10.12+;
Website application (the most recent version): macOS 10.12+;
IKEv2 manual: macOS 10.12+;
OpenVPN client manual: macOS 10.4+;
Not supported: Anything older than macOS 10.4.

Technical VPN client requirements for different Linux kernel versions

Requirements for Linux VPN client

Supported architectures: aarch64, armv5, armv7, i386, and x86_64;
Minimal kernel version: 3.7.0 for aarch64, 3.2.0 for other architectures;
Required dependencies: procps, iproute2 / iproute, iptables, xsltproc, systemd.

Technical VPN client requirements for different iOS 9, 9+, iOS 11+ versions

Requirements for iOS VPN client

Application: iOS 11+;
OpenVPN client and IKEv2 manual: iOS 9+;
Not supported: Anything older than iOS 9.

Technical VPN client requirements for different Android 4.1+, 4.0.3, 6+ versions

Requirements for Android VPN client

Application: Android 6+;
OpenVPN client manual: Android 4.1+;
IKEv2 manual: Android 4.0.3+;
Not supported: Anything older than Android 4.0.3.

How does a VPN client work?

VPN client connection purpose explained in the diagram

VPN clients reroute your device’s data traffic through a secure VPN server, encrypting your connection and changing your IP address in the process. Here’s how it goes:

  • Once you connect to a VPN, it authenticates your client with a VPN server, which applies an encryption protocol.
  • From that moment on, all the data you send and receive is encrypted.
  • Your data travels through an encrypted “tunnel” created by the VPN service.
  • Once your data arrives at the VPN server, the encryption is removed, and the data is sent towards your desired destination — e.g., a website.

Free vs. paid VPN client

There are plenty of free VPNs available online — so why should you choose a paid one instead?

Free VPNs comparing with Paid VPN providers has many threats like data selling, heavy loads, weak network of servers

Most people turn to VPNs because they want to protect their privacy online. Unfortunately, by using free VPNs, you might be doing the opposite. Free VPN providers also have to make money. And they sometimes do it by selling their clients’ data or using their devices as exit nodes for paying users. Because of the heavy loads and a weak network of servers, free VPNs are also often unstable and may terminate your connection at any moment.

Paid VPN providers, like NordVPN, offer speed and security. Thousands of servers in all corners of the world guarantee that there’s always one close by — so you always get the best speed possible. Paid VPN clients are also more reliable when it comes to your privacy. With bulletproof encryption algorithms and extra features like Auto-connect and Kill Switch, NordVPN guards your data 24/7.

VPN client benefits

NordVPN client can offer many servers with the best VPN speed on the market

5400+ servers in 60 countries mean you’re sure to always find one nearby. More servers mean better speeds and a stable connection wherever you are. And combined with our revolutionary NordLynx VPN protocol, it guarantees the best VPN speeds on the market.

NordVPN uses the AES encryption algorithm to lock your data out of the sight of strangers

NordVPN uses the AES encryption algorithm to secure your data. How strong is it? No known practical attack can break it. NordVPN uses AES with 256-bit keys, which means there are 2^256 possible key combinations — so it’s virtually uncrackable.

NordVPN supports authentication apps and physical security keys also you can use multi-factor authentication for your VPN client account

You can use multi-factor authentication to secure your Nord Account. Add an additional layer of protection to your account, and no one will get in without your permission. NordVPN supports both authentication apps and physical security keys.

Use split tunneling for Android and Windows VPN client devices and exclude some apps from the encrypted VPN tunnel

Don’t want to encrypt all your traffic? Use split tunneling and select specific apps and URLs to exclude from the VPN tunnel. This way, you can use them with your real IP address while protecting all other online activities.

NordVPN software is the fastest VPN on the market based on AV-TEST tests

An independent IT security institute AV-TEST compared the speeds of the top VPNs in the industry. The result? NordVPN is the fastest VPN on the market — and has the data to prove it.

Easily set up an open-source OpenVPN client connection on your device

Should you configure your VPN manually?

Setting up the manual open-source code OpenVPN connection on your device manually can have a few benefits. For instance, you can tinker with more advanced settings according to your needs.

So, where should you start? Download the OpenVPN configuration files and follow our guides on how to set it up on your devices.

Having trouble with the manual setup? Contact our support for help!

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VPN solutions for business

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Frequently asked questions