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Exploring NordVPN extras: What can you get and are they worth it?

Verified by Molly Dyson

NordVPN is one of the best VPNs out there, and it’s not hard to see why. While most leading VPN providers share the same level of basic encryption and server-hopping functionality, NordVPN is one provider that offers a huge range of add-on features – giving you a variety of ways to enhance the security, privacy, and overall convenience built into your VPN.

In this article, we’ll run you through the NordVPN extras you should know about before picking the right VPN for you – going over the convenience of its proprietary Meshnet network, the benefits of a password manager, and more.

Understanding NordVPN’s extras

So, what are NordVPN’s additional extras? These are features that usually aren’t part of a basic VPN subscription, and are either exclusive to NordVPN or one of the provider’s higher payment tiers – so it’s possible to get by without using them, though they’ll no doubt enhance the VPN experience for those wanting to make the most of NordVPN’s feature set.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll consider ‘extras’ to be anything other than the basic functions of a VPN – encrypting your data, letting you connect to private server locations worldwide, and keeping your own device’s IP address hidden from view. But if you’re unsure on any terminology used in this article, be sure to check out our guide to the most important VPN definitions.

Exploring NordVPN’s additional features

There are a few key NordVPN extras worth discussing. For one, there’s Meshnet, a secure network you can use to connect remote devices together – allowing you to easily transfer files, access data, or route traffic through a specific device’s location, even if you’re on the other side of the world. Even better, this is a free feature; you don’t need a VPN subscription to use it.

Several NordVPN extras focus on added security, such as the Double VPN function, which goes through the regular encryption process twice over and hides your IP address behind two VPN servers rather than the standard one; it may slow down your internet speeds a little, but it ensures your security is even more watertight. Onion Over VPN is another ‘double’ security feature, connecting you to a VPN before opening the anonymous Tor browser, and ensuring multiple layers of privacy as you navigate the web – you can check out our combined Tor and VPN guide for more information there.

You can also connect to an ‘obfuscated’ server while using the OpenVPN protocol – not only concealing your activity and identity, but also the fact you’re using a VPN, helping to bypass blocks in your region or for specific online services.

If you’re willing to pay extra, you can add a dedicated IP address at checkout for an added £2.99 per month; this is a great help for accessing corporate servers or banking systems that require an authorised IP, and ensures you aren’t lumped in with other users’ online activity on a shared IP.

Uncovering NordVPN’s additional services

For dedicated VPN users, there are a host of additional Nord apps and services to consider. NordLocker is a service for encrypted cloud storage, making sure your local files are backed up in a secure fashion and accessible from any device using NordVPN. Even better, it uses ‘zero-knowledge’ encryption to ensure even NordVPN doesn’t have the encryption key for your data.

For businesses, NordLayer (formerly ‘NordVPN Teams’) creates a secure VPN server for employees – both protecting company data from cyber threats and ensuring an increasingly remote workforce can collectively access company intranets with ease. Both of these services are standalone applications with their own subscription fees. 

The NordPass password manager application – which securely stores, shares, and autofills personal details across all your devices – is included as part of the NordVPN Plus plan, alongside a data breach scanner that scans the web for leaked personal details (email addresses, passwords, IP addresses, and credit card details) and a complex password generator. The Complete plan, meanwhile, throws in both NordPass and NordLocker in one single subscription.

Assessing the benefits of NordVPN extras

There are many great VPN providers out there these days, and increasingly it’s the VPN extras that help a service stand out. While a standard encrypted connection and server-hopping capability will be enough for most to ensure a base level of privacy and security, for others, NordVPN extras can provide an extra layer of protection and convenience. If your VPN usage goes beyond casual web surfing – handling sensitive business information, for example, or reporting on repressive government policy in your region – then you can use all the added protections you can get.

NordVPN’s additional extras get more useful the more devices you use, too. If you use a medley of connected devices – smartphones, laptops, work PCs, and tablets – then services like NordPass and NordLocker could be a huge benefit. On the other hand, if you only need a VPN for a specific device or browser, you may want to check out our best VPN for Chrome or best VPN for Fire Stick guides.

NordVPN’s extras versus competitors

NordVPN Surfshark ExpressVPN CyberGhost
Double VPN
Onion over VPN
Dedicated IP
Password manager
Meshnet
Business plan

Are NordVPN’s extras worth it?

So, are NordVPN extras worth it? Some NordVPN extras are included as part of the Standard subscription plan – such as Double VPN, Onion over VPN, or obfuscated servers – so there’s little reason not to use them (or try them) once you’ve subscribed. Either way, many users will be content with the basics of VPN protection without paid-for extras, which cater for more specialised functions.

For one, a dedicated IP address (£2.99/m) can double your monthly price if you’re on a long-term plan, and will only be useful for specific customers who need a consistent IP for connecting to finance institutions or corporate intranets – don’t up your cost unnecessarily if that isn’t the case.

If you are interested in the conveniences of a NordPass password manager but don’t need a VPN, you can buy it as a standalone service for £1.19 per month (for a two-year plan) – and it’s technically cheaper to get it separately, rather than bundled in with NordVPN Plus. NordVPN Complete, meanwhile, throws in NordPass and NordLocker alongside the benefits of a VPN, and offers a good discount on all three services combined. 

Generally, all these services are pretty affordable when bought on a two-year payment plan, coming in at under £5 a month for a feature-packed NordVPN Complete plan, though this is paid up front in a lump sum and changes after the two-year mark, when your monthly costs will suddenly double – so this is something to keep in mind.

User experiences and testimonials

The NordPass password manager sees broadly positive user reviews on the Apple App Store, though NordLocker’s encrypted storage service doesn’t go down with users nearly as well – with many citing crashes and slow upload speeds for files. 

NordPass: “Great way to manage your password [and] streamline your daily life.”

  • Jonmc89, via Apple App Store

NordLocker: “Ridiculously slow uploading and downloading of files! Makes it completely useless. [I] will be asking for a refund.”

  • QPRandy, via Apple App Store

Encryption does impact speeds, so we wouldn’t come to NordLocker for a fast way to move around files – Meshnet would be better for that – but the 30-day money-back guarantee for personal subscriptions means it may be worth trying out yourself. 

NordLayer’s business VPN has a smaller pool of users, as a more niche use case; reviews we’ve seen cite some recurring login issues, though it has a 4.5 out of five-star rating on the Google Play Store overall.

NordLayer: “I sometimes experience login issues with ‘something went wrong’ error messages. These are fixed after killing and restarting. Overall [it’s] good!”

  • Jogilein, via Google Play Store

Summary

NordVPN extras have the potential to supercharge the level of security, privacy, and convenience of your VPN – or even offer you encrypted services that don’t rely on a standard VPN subscription.

If you’re set on the cheapest NordVPN pricing plan, there’s still a host of add-on functionality, like Double VPN, obfuscated servers, or the innovative Meshnet network – so even if you’re on a budget, you don’t need to miss out.

Anyone looking for more fully-fledged NordVPN services, meanwhile, has the choice of a dedicated IP, NordPass password manager, encrypted NordLocker cloud storage, and more to consider paying for.

Frequently asked questions about NordVPN extras

While the base NordVPN experience will be enough for many, there are a host of optional extras for those after added security, storage, or connectivity options for their devices – like Meshnet, Double VPN, or a dedicated data breach scanner to check if your passwords or financial details have been compromised. An Onion over VPN option offers a secure way to connect to the Tor privacy browser too.

Some NordVPN extras are included in the cheapest Standard plan – like the Meshnet device network or Double VPN. Others will require a pricier subscription plan to unlock. The Plus plan throws in a cross-platform password manager (for securely storing login details across any device running NordVPN) and data breach scanner, while the Complete plan offers 1TB cloud storage and even higher levels of file encryption.

Most users will get by fine with a basic VPN offering, but the extras will suit anyone looking for an ironclad security experience, and the ability to share passwords or files between devices with ease. As ever, it depends on your budget, and the increased costs will be easier to absorb if you commit to a discounted, two-year plan instead of subscribing monthly.

It’s worth noting that ExpressVPN throws in a password manager with its one-size-fits-all subscription – though it’s a little pricier than NordVPN’s Standard plan, and lacks most of the other NordVPN extras mentioned here.

NordVPN can run on six of your devices simultaneously, all of which can make use of any NordVPN extras included in your plan.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month
henry st leger

Henry St Leger

Consumer Tech and Software

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former news and features Editor at TechRadar, where he specialised in consumer technology, software, and home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, soundbars, and smart speakers.

He has been writing about technology and related topics for over six years. His work for the Independent Advisor focuses on cyber security and internet-connected software including VPNs.

Henry has written for a wide number of prominent websites including NBC News, Healthline, The Times, Edge, T3, iMore, and GamesRadar.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.