NordVPN Help Center
One place for all the information you need

Windows PC setup

Updated

You can connect a Windows PC to NordVPN using a variety of connection methods.

Click on one of the connection methods below to read more:

NordVPN application - recommended

The NordVPN native application is the recommended option for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC. It is designed with user experience in mind - having easy access to a variety of popular service features, like Double VPN or Superfast TV servers and automated Kill-Switch. The OpenVPN protocol, one of the best VPN protocols out there, is set-up on the application by default.

Download here: nordvpn.com/download/

Installation & connection guide is available here:
https://support.nordvpn.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001210645

Close ↑

OpenVPN GUI application

The OpenVPN GUI application is one of the alternative options for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC.  If you prefer a manual connection and tinkering with open-source software, this is a good option to connect to NordVPN.  That said, it lacks the additional features of the NordVPN native app, but still uses the same VPN protocol - the OpenVPN protocol. It's also a bit more complicated to set up - please see additional guides below for set-up assistance.

Download links, installation & connection guide are available here:
https://support.nordvpn.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001204249

Close ↑

IKEv2/IPsec

The IKEv2/IPsec connection method is one of the alternative options for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC. This connection method is preferred by privacy enthusiasts, as IKEv2/IPsec security protocol is currently one of the most advanced in the market. Having said that, this manual set-up lacks the additional features of the native NordVPN app and it is a bit more complicated to set up.

What makes this connection method so unique is that the only file that needs to be downloaded and installed is the NordVPN digital certificate. Windows provides the connection application itself - it's built right into Windows.

Certificate download link and connection guide are available here:
https://support.nordvpn.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001221425

Close ↑

L2TP/IPsec
Please Note: Although technically you can use the L2TP / PPTP protocols, they have serious security flaws. Whenever possible, we recommend choosing OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec instead.

The L2TP/IPsec connection method is one of the alternative options for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC. It lacks the additional features of the NordVPN app, and, more importantly, uses a different VPN protocol - L2TP in conjunction with the IPsec protocol.

This connection method is less secure than the methods listed above, since it's a much older protocol.

Connection guide is available here:
https://support.nordvpn.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001222765

Close ↑

PPTP
Please Note: Although technically you can use the L2TP / PPTP protocols, they have serious security flaws. Whenever possible, we recommend choosing OpenVPN or IKEv2/IPSec instead.

The PPTP connection method is one of the alternative options for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC. It lacks the additional features of the NordVPN app, and, more importantly, uses a different VPN protocol - the PPTP protocol.

This connection method is the oldest and least secure VPN protocol - however the weak encryption does provide a fast connection speed.

Connection guide is available here:
https://support.nordvpn.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001223145

Close ↑

SSTP

The SSTP connection method is one of the alternative options for connecting to NordVPN servers on your Windows PC. Although many Windows customers prefer it due to its integration with Windows operating system and better stability than any other protocol , it does lack the additional features of the NordVPN native app, and, more importantly, uses a different VPN protocol - the SSTP protocol, which is not independently audited.

This protocol is integrated with the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and operates via the TCP 443 port, therefore it's great for penetrating firewalls.

A smaller set of VPN servers may be available for this protocol.

Connection guide is available here:
https://support.nordvpn.com/hc/en-us/articles/115001284665

Close ↑