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Rakuten NordVPN

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I. Introduction

A. Explanation of Rakuten and its cashback promotions

Rakuten, previously known as Ebates, is one of the most popular cashback and coupon websites. It provides its members cashback on purchases made at over 3,500 partner stores. The cashback percentage can range from 1% to 20% depending on the store. Some popular stores that offer high cashback include AliExpress (15%), Walmart (6%), Finish Line (8%), and Macy’s (8%).

Rakuten’s model is simple – users sign up for a free account and access Rakuten through the website or browser extension before making a purchase at a partner store. Rakuten then gets paid an affiliate commission for referring the sale, a percentage of which gets passed on to the user as cashback. The cashback earnings can be redeemed for payments through PayPal or a check. Additionally, Rakuten frequently runs special promo deals and bonuses around the year-end holidays that can help maximize savings.

This makes Rakuten an excellent way to get additional discounts on already discounted deals on VPN services like NordVPN.

B. Overview of NordVPN and its features

NordVPN is one of the most popular virtual private network (VPN) providers in the market. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel for internet traffic between a user’s device and the VPN server, hiding the user’s IP address and allowing them to bypass geographic internet restrictions.

NordVPN offers over 5400 servers across 59 countries, supports 6 devices simultaneously, provides strong encryption, zero log policy, includes useful cybersecurity features, and is compatible across major platforms – Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, browsers, and even routers.

Some key features that make NordVPN stand out include:

  • NordLynx – NordVPN’s own WireGuard based VPN protocol that provides rapid connection speeds
  • Double VPN – routing the connection through two VPN servers for enhanced privacy
  • Onion over VPN – anonymous Tor overlay network access over VPN
  • CyberSec – blocking ads, trackers, and malicious sites
  • Multi-factor authentication – additional verification for account logins
  • Split Tunneling – flexibility to customize what traffic goes through the VPN tunnel

300 million users trust NordVPN, making it amongst the top tier of VPN services for individuals and businesses.

II. Using Rakuten for NordVPN Purchase

A. Personal experience of buying NordVPN through Rakuten’s cashback promotion

I signed up for a 3 year NordVPN subscription plan during Rakuten’s site-wide 12% cashback promo last October. The deal was offering a huge 70% off on the 3-year plan, bringing down the effective price to less than $3 per month.

Using Rakuten gave me the option of getting the already excellent promo price at NordVPN further lowered by 12% cashback.

The purchase process was very smooth. I simply:

  1. Accessed the Rakuten website and made sure I was logged into my account
  2. Clicked on the Shop Now button for NordVPN and was redirected to the nordvpn.com website
  3. Selected the 3 year subscription plan for $125.64 (already 70% off thanks to NordVPN’s promo) which was listed with 12% Cash Back from Rakuten
  4. Completed the purchase process on NordVPN
  5. Received a confirmation email from both NordVPN and Rakuten for the order and cashback earnings.

Within two days, Rakuten added the 12% cashback amount of $15.08 to my Rakuten account. I could immediately use it to shop again and save more or request a payout.

Getting quality VPN protection for my devices at such a low three year cost and getting $15 back was an absolute win.

B. Benefits of using Rakuten for purchasing NordVPN

There are significant savings to be unlocked when using Rakuten to buy discounted services like NordVPN. Some benefits include:

1. Maximize savings on already discounted deals: Services like NordVPN run some excellent promotional discount offers around the year that cuts costs by 50% to 70%. Using Rakuten provides users the ability to maximize savings by stacking store discounts with Rakuten cashback.

2. Instant and reliable cashback: Rakuten has a perfect track record of crediting confirmed cashback earnings to accounts within days of eligible purchases. There is no worrying about cashback validity or having to follow-up on missing payments.

3. Wide range of stores: Rakuten offers reliable cashback at over 2,500 stores spanning all categories – from popular retailers to insurance, travel bookings, rideshares, and more. NordVPN is one of the several digital services supported. Members can rely on Rakuten for most household purchases.

4. Prompt and on-time payouts: Unlike some cashback sites that impose extremely difficult payout requirements, Rakuten conveniently processes payment requests within 7-10 business days. Payouts can be received via Paypal or Check.

5. Generous signup bonuses: Rakuten provides new member bonuses up to $40 for signing up and making an initial qualifying purchase within limited time periods.

Rakuten takes cashback shopping convenience and reliability to the highest level. For purchases like recurring and discounted services such as NordVPN, the additional cash savings are truly the cherry on top.

III. NordVPN Features

A. High-quality VPN offering safety, speed, and multiple connection options

NordVPN rightfully claims its place among the top tier VPN services by offering users a virtual private network that provides exceptional online privacy, secures connections on public Wi-Fi, unblocks geo-restricted content, delivers blazing fast speeds, and offers maximum configurability for advanced users:

Safety

With internet privacy concerns and cybercrime at an all time high, NordVPN’s military grade encryption, zero log promise, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and secure protocols give users the assurance that their sensitive browsing data is protected from prying hackers and cybercriminals.

Speed

NordVPN owns one of the largest VPN server networks globally across 59 countries. Such extensive infrastructure helps it reliably achieve faster than average VPN speeds for all use cases – streaming, large downloads, gaming, voice/video calls etc. The company has also invested in developing NordLynx – their own custom VPN protocol based on WireGuard that provides a much smoother, low latency user experience.

Multiple Connection Options

Whether accessing NordVPN on mobile devices, laptops, or configure it once at the router level for all home devices – Nord supports remarkable 6 simultaneous connections as part of a single subscription. Such generous allowance and cross platform flexibility makes NordVPN a convenient choice for securing small home networks or teams.

B. Comparison with other VPN providers like PureVPN and ExpressVPN

The global virtual private network industry has expanded tremendously over the past few years with several providers vying for consumer and business users through an aggressive mix of pricing, features, performance claims, flashy marketing and brand building exercises. Companies try to differentiate themselves in areas like number of server locations, connection speeds, security mechanisms and bundled features.

In such a crowded market, NordVPN stands tall as one of the top three recommendations from experts and leading tech advisory websites like CNET, PCMag and Tom’s Guide. When comparing NordVPN with two other capable contenders – PureVPN and ExpressVPN, it becomes evident how NordVPN manages to score over them across various evaluation parameters.

Speed: All three providers generally offer good enough speeds for smooth streaming, downloads and browsing. But NordVPN’s large server fleet and custom VPN protocol gives it a slight edge in speed tests. Independent third party evaluations conducted by sites like speedtest.net have measured Nord delivering lower latency and lag.

Pricing: NordVPN has very competitive subscription plans across monthly, 1 year and longer 2-3 year durations. PureVPN tends to nudge ahead at the 1 year plan level in terms of absolute dollar savings, but lags behind Nord on the multi-year plans. ExpressVPN trails on pricing at all plan levels.

Security & Privacy: All three services provide standard security with AES-256 bit encryption and support major protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2 etc. And all claim zero logs. NordVPN however goes beyond the usual with additional verification option, dedicated IP, TOR over VPN capability and cybersecurity oriented features via CyberSec. Thereby giving it a slight privacy advantage.

Server locations: With servers in 59 countries, Nord matched PureVPN’s server count and access. ExpressVPN leads this segment with impressive presence in 94 countries. However, NordVPN’s servers are sufficiently spread globally across North America, Europe and critical Asian countries like India.

On aggregate, NordVPN balances an unmatched mix of speed, pricing, security and global presence. Making it objectively better than PureVPN and ExpressVPN as the go to personal and business VPN solution.

C. Details of NordVPN’s proprietary NordLynx protocol and its benefits for Viber users

One of the standout infrastructure developments from NordVPN in recent years has been the introduction of NordLynx. It is NordVPN’s own custom VPN protocol that uses the highly efficient WireGuard protocol as the base instead of standard protocols like OpenVPN or IPSec:

How it works

NordLynx leverages state of the art cryptography and latest VPN tunnel technology to create a much leaner, faster and more nimble connection between the users’ device and NordVPN server:

  • Uses ChaCha20 and X25519 for encryption and authentication versus older algorithms
  • Reduces handshake and rekeying steps drastically
  • Lowers packet overhead to bare minimum by removing unnecessary elements
  • Seamlessly falls back to TLS 1.3 encryption protocol when required

Benefits

Naturally, the leanness and efficiency designed into NordLynx provides NordVPN users several advantages:

  • Faster connection establishment with almost no perceivable lag
  • Quick recovery from intermittent connectivity loss because of swift reconnections
  • Greatly reduced battery drain and packet loss on mobile devices
  • Higher sustained speeds for downloading and streaming media
  • Smoother performance for gamers, traders and applications needing real-time responsiveness

Specific advantages for Viber users

Viber users making calls over NordLynx enabled NordVPN servers see call quality getting a strong boost thanks to:

  • Viber’s media quality detection algorithm senses the higher available bandwidth over NordLynx. So it automatically bumps up call resolution and bitrate in response.
  • With reduced latency, chances and duration of garbled sections, frozen video or out of sync audio drops drastically
  • Background processes and apps updating themselves rarely interfere with active Viber call thanks to abundant headroom for bandwidth.

Therefore, Viber users struggling with glitchy calls over VPN get an instant benefit by having NordVPN establish their secure connections using NordLynx protocol. Calls become far smoother.

IV. Comparison with Other VPN Providers

A. Comparison of NordVPN with PureVPN in terms of pricing, speed, server locations, security, privacy, and unblocking capabilities

NordVPN and PureVPN are two of the leading and widely used commercial VPN services. Both provide the usual gamut of VPN features – encryption, multiple protocols, network protection etc. But they differ in various aspects:

Pricing

In terms of subscription costs across monthly, 1 year and longer duration plans, PureVPN has generally lower rates. The gap between the two closes at 3 year subscription levels. But PureVPN still manages to undercut NordVPN with occasional promo discounts. However, PureVPN only permits a maximum 5 simultaneous connections on one account versus Nord’s higher 6 device limit.

Speed

On average speed performance for downloads, streaming etc – third party speed tests and analysis have found both PureVPN and NordVPN to offer good, usable speeds. In certain regions PureVPN does better. But NordVPN’s large server fleet and the acceleration boost from its proprietary NordLynx protocol gives it an edge overall.

Server Locations

NordVPN and PureVPN have impressive and identical presence in 59 countries currently. Covering all major regions – Americas, Europe, key Asian hubs etc. Allowing users to effectively bypass geo-blocks and access region restricted websites like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer.

Security & Privacy

Both utilize standard AES 256 bit encryption and provide users a selection of protocols like OpenVPN, IKEv2 etc. To further strengthen privacy, NordVPN offers additional hardening via dedicated IPs, kill switch, split tunneling, TOR over VPN access and also has independent audit confirming its strict no logs claim. Giving NordVPN a slight boost in security and anonymity.

Unblocking/Censorship circumvention

A common expectation from VPN users is having the ability to access internet sites and apps blocked in their country or region. Both PureVPN and NordVPN capably bypass typical geo-restrictions on entertainment sites like Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu Japan library etc. And also successfully work in censorship heavy countries like China and Russia to some extent. Once again Nord squeezes ahead owing to its obfuscated servers that better mask VPN traffic.

In summary, NordVPN matches or narrowly overtakes PureVPN on most parameters due to larger infrastructure investments and focus on optimizing speed and privacy. Making it a slightly better choice overall.

B. Brief overview of IPVanish and ExpressVPN for context

IPVanish

Owned by Mudhook Media, IPVanish is a decent VPN option for novices and experts alike. It checks all the boxes in terms of multi-platform clients, encryption, unlimited bandwidth, anonymous registration and permits simultaneous connections up to 10 devices.

Where IPVanish trails leaders like NordVPN is on size of server network (1500+ servers in 75 locations) resulting in occasional speed inconsistency, extent of country streaming library unblocking capability and lack of niche privacy features like TOR over VPN.

It tries to compensate through competitive pricing with steep 1 year plan discounts and bundling VPN along with encrypted backup and password management tools.

ExpressVPN

If there was an award for most prolific advertiser in the VPN space – ExpressVPN would win hands down! This British Virgin Islands headquartered company has managed to create top of the mind recall through aggressive social media campaigns, content marketing and search ads targeting shoppers actively comparing VPN providers.

And unlike most over hyped products that fail to impress – ExpressVPN largely lives up to expectations. It delivers well rounded performance across speed, reliability, apps and generous 30 day money back guarantee. The speeds are blazing fast thanks to wide network of 3000+ global servers. Media streaming site unblocking works flawlessly including niche ones like BBC iPlayer.

Where Express falters is on pricing with no multi-year discount plans available unlike NordVPN, PureVPN etc. Also has occasional issues in highly restrictive networks like China. But with best in class customer support over live chat, ExpressVPN remains top recommendation from many experts as a reliable premium VPN pick.

V. Conclusion

A. Summary of the benefits of using Rakuten for NordVPN purchase

Using cashback shopping portal Rakuten provides buyers multiple advantages when purchasing quality virtual private network access from leading provider NordVPN:

  • Stack store discounts with Rakuten cashback for maximizing savings
  • Realize additional cashback between 4% to 15% back reliably
  • Receive earnings payments conveniently via Paypal or Check
  • Avail generous signup bonuses in cashback value

Overall, the cashback from portals like Rakuten make useful add-on rebates for necessary expenses like NordVPN subscriptions – helping recoup part of the paid price.

B. Recap of NordVPN’s features and advantages

NordVPN rightfully deserves to be counted among the very top tier VPN services worldwide owing to an unmatched combination of strengths:

  • Owns one of the largest fleets with over 5400 VPN servers spread across 59 countries
  • Proprietary NordLynx VPN protocol offers rapid speeds for smoother gaming, downloads and video calls
  • Strong AES 256 encryption with added hardening possible via Double VPN, Onion network
  • Great unblocking capability for geo-restricted sites like Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ Hotstar
  • CybserSec feature blocks ads, trackers and malicious websites for safer browsing
  • Supports 6 devices simultaneously with apps available for all major platforms

With deep investments in privacy enhancing infrastructure and focus on network acceleration – NordVPN provides the dependable security and speed combo desired by most VPN subscribers.

C. Final thoughts on the suitability of NordVPN for different user preferences

NordVPN’s versatile set of features make it suitable for a wide spectrum of use cases. Users wanting:

  • Privacy first will appreciate NordVPN’s independently audited no logs claims, offshore jurisdiction, dedicated IPs and TOR over VPN support
  • Unblocking ability can reliably bypass common geo-blocks on entertainment sites and some state level censorship too
  • Performance focus will see benefits from widespread server locations, fast NordLynx protocol and CyberSec ad blocking
  • Affordability will find NordVPN’s longer 2-3 year plans competitive and chance to save even more by purchasing through cashback portal
  • Simplicity will like easy one-click connect clients for Windows, iOS, Chrome & Firefox with 24/7 live chat support

While every VPN provider caters well to some niches, NordVPN’s balanced capabilities for speed, privacy, unblocking, multi-platform support and competitive pricing puts it on the shortlist for consideration across user segments. Easily recommended as an “all rounder VPN”.

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