NordVPN Threat Protection Review 2024: Is It Your All-In-One Security Solution?

A multifaceted solution, NordVPN Threat Protection offers a seamless blend of antivirus, ad blocking, and real-time safeguards to fortify your online privacy and security.
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN Threat Protection's website

Ad Blocker
NordVPN Threat Protection
Save up to 74% + 3 months free
  • Stops intrusive ads before they can even load, improving browsing experience and speed
  • Identifies malware-ridden files and protects against visiting malicious websites
  • Encrypts your data and blocks third-party trackers for increased security and privacy
  • Lacks a dedicated firewall
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NordVPN is widely renowned for its outstanding features, formidable security protocols, and fair pricing. But does NordVPN's Threat Protection, an integrated ad and malware blocker, live up to the high standards set by the brand itself?

After testing NordVPN Threat Protection (previously called CyberSec), we found it to provide comprehensive protection against ads, trackers, and malicious downloads based on its near-perfect results. From its function and compatibility to pricing and support, we leave no stone unturned to help you decipher if NordVPN's Threat Protection is indeed a worthy addition to your digital defense arsenal. 

  • Comprehensive cyber protection that includes VPN and antivirus
  • Ad and tracker blocking capability
  • Supports multiple systems and up to 10 devices
  • Lacks a dedicated firewall
  • Bundled protection costs more than a standalone ad blocker

Enjoy Privacy and Security Even When Not Connected to a VPN
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN Threat Protection's website
Ad Blocker
NordVPN Threat Protection
Save up to 74% + 3 months free
  • Stops intrusive ads before they can even load, improving browsing experience and speed
  • Identifies malware-ridden files and protects against visiting malicious websites
  • Encrypts your data and blocks third-party trackers for increased security and privacy
  • Lacks a dedicated firewall

Threat Protection comes with NordVPN, one of the best virtual private networks (VPNs) we can recommend. We especially like how easy it is to use the NordVPN app to connect to a server and hide your IP address — plus it offers more advanced security features like a double VPN and dark web monitoring. Read more in our NordVPN review.

In this article
Our experience
Prices and subscriptions
Test results
Customer support
How to use
Bottom line: Is NordVPN Threat Protection good?

NordVPN Threat Protection overview

Max # of devices supported 10
Malware scans Yes
Firewall No
Phishing protection Yes
Ad blocker Yes
Ads blocked on Forbes 14
Adblock Tester score 93/100
Cover Your Tracks score 2/3
Can You Block It score 2/3
Does it block YouTube ads? Yes
Whitelisting available Yes
Blacklisting available Yes
Compatibility Threat Protection: Windows, macOS
Threat Protection Lite: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Edge
Price $3.09–$15.99/mo
Learn more Get NordVPN Threat Protection

All About Cookies Rating
Editorial Rating
"NordVPN Threat Protection stands out as an excellent choice if you're looking for a well-rounded, user-friendly, and reliable online protection suite. With its inclusive ad blocking and antivirus functionalities, it adds an extra layer of safety to your online browsing and data. We found this all-in-one security suite easy to set up and highly effective at blocking ads, trackers, and malicious files and sites."

Our experience

We found NordVPN Threat Protection’s setup process to be smooth and straightforward. It was easy to enable, merely requiring us to navigate to the settings section of the NordVPN app and activate Threat Protection with a simple toggle. We appreciated the user-friendly nature of this setup, which eliminated the need for advanced technical expertise.

As we started using Threat Protection, the real-time protection capabilities quickly proved their worth, alerting us to potential threats during our online interactions.

NordVPN Threat Detection spotted and blocked a potentially malicious file.

We found the interface intuitive, presenting a clear overview of the detected threats, blocked ads, and trackers. While there were some initial challenges in understanding the whitelisting and blacklisting processes, the learning curve was relatively manageable.

Prices and subscriptions

NordVPN Threat Protection is available with any NordVPN subscription. NordVPN plans, Standard, Plus, and Complete, start at $12.99/mo for the monthly plan and go as low as $3.09/mo (billed every two years) for a two-year commitment. 

If you're looking for the most simple cybersecurity, the NordVPN Standard plan provides just the VPN and Threat Protection. NordVPN Plus comes with those features, plus a password manager and a data breach scanner. Finally, NordVPN Ultimate is the most comprehensive tier, with all the previously mentioned features plus cloud storage and insurance coverage for identity theft and cyber extortion.

Once you select a NordVPN tier, you'll just need to determine whether you want to commit to a monthly, annual, or biennial plan. You can find the cost breakdown in the table below.

NordVPN subscription + Threat Protection cost

Plan Monthly Plan 1-Year Plan 2-Year Plan Learn more
Standard $12.99/mo $4.59/mo (billed annually) $3.09/mo (billed every two years) View Plan
Plus $13.99/mo $5.49/mo (billed annually) $3.99/mo (billed every two years) View Plan
Complete $15.99/mo $7.49/mo (billed annually) $5.99/mo (billed every two years) View Plan

NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, providing you with a risk-free opportunity to try out its service. However, please note that a true "free trial" option isn’t available.

Should you get NordVPN for Threat Protection?

In our opinion, yes. NordVPN and Threat Protection are worth the cost since both provide security features that help secure your internet connection and keep your online activities safe from prying eyes — even those of your internet service provider (ISP) and hackers.

NordVPN is also one of our top-recommended VPN services. It uses AES-256 encryption and its own NordLynx protocol, which is based on WireGuard, along with OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPsec. We’re also impressed by the large number of NordVPN server locations (6,200+ servers in 111 countries) and the ability to unblock streaming services.

The VPN app also comes with specialty servers, including:

  • Obfuscated servers using OpenVPN (TCP)
  • Onion over VPN
  • Double VPN
  • P2P
  • Dedicated IP

You also get additional security features, including:

  • Meshnet
  • Dark web monitor
  • Kill switch
  • Split tunneling
  • Smart DNS

NordVPN is based in Panama and has a verified no-logs policy. This makes it an excellent choice for anyone who needs internet access but lives in a country with censorship rules, like China, or for those with a need to protect their personal data.

Read Our NordVPN Review

Nord Security also has a well-rated password manager called NordPass. Find out what we liked and disliked about it in our full NordPass review. And if NordPass’s secure storage isn’t enough, check out our NordLocker review to find out if it’s the right encrypted storage service for you.


With NordVPN Threat Protection, you get web protection, file protection, and vulnerability detection

  • Malware blocker
  • Web tracker blocker
  • Ad blocker
  • URL trimmer
  • Cloud-based threat detection

NordVPN Threat Protection equips you with antivirus and ad-blocking features. This powerful duo works in tandem to keep you safe from malware, ads, trackers, and phishing attacks.

A stand-out feature is real-time protection, which provides vigilant monitoring of downloaded files and immediate action against suspicious activities. However, the absence of a standalone firewall might be a point of contention for some since that could require relying on separate antivirus software or existing firewall solutions.

The NordVPN Threat Protection dashboard is intuitive and easy to use.

NordVPN Threat Protection vs. Threat Protection Lite

NordVPN offers two variations of its cybersecurity solution: Threat Protection and Threat Protection Lite.

Threat Protection has a comprehensive feature set that includes malware scanning, phishing protection, tracker blocking, and ad blocking. It's available on Nord's desktop apps for Windows and macOS, and it doesn’t require a VPN connection.

In contrast, Threat Protection Lite focuses primarily on blocking ads and malicious sites, but it can’t scan for malware during downloads as Threat Protection does. It's compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. Additionally, it has extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. A significant difference is that a VPN connection is required to use Threat Protection Lite.

The NordVPN app lets you toggle Threat Protection or Threat Protection Lite on or off.

Threat Protection vs. Threat Protection Lite compared

Feature Threat Protection Threat Protection Lite
Scans downloaded files for malware
Blocks ads
Blocks trackers
Blocks malicious websites
VPN connection required
Compatibility Windows, macOSWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Edge

Don't see the Threat Protection shield in your NordVPN app?

You may need to uninstall NordVPN and reinstall it from the official website. If you downloaded the VPN from an app store, it may not come with Threat Protection — but you'll still have access to Threat Protection Lite.

Phishing protection

NordVPN's Threat Protection also incorporates anti-phishing features. With the malicious URL blocker, Threat Protection will scan URLs and block access to any sites it finds malicious. During our tests, we found it adept at identifying and blocking phishing attempts, adding a critical layer of protection to your browsing.

The setup process is fairly straightforward, requiring minimal technical knowledge. However, it could benefit from more granular control options, like allowing you to fine-tune your level of protection.


Unlike some antivirus products, NordVPN's Threat Protection doesn’t offer a standalone firewall. Instead, it complements your existing firewall setup, enhancing overall security. During our tests, we found no issues, and NordVPN Threat Protection worked seamlessly with popular firewalls.

Real-time protection

Another noteworthy feature of NordVPN's Threat Protection is its real-time protection capability. This feature keeps tabs on your online activities, including web browsing, emails, and app interactions. If it detects suspicious activity, it immediately alerts you.

Threat Protection can shield you from a variety of malware threats, including Trojans, ransomware, and spyware. Our testing revealed no hitches with the real-time protection as it easily deleted harmful files.

NordVPN Threat Protection's settings allow you toggle on and off different levels of protection,

Tracker and ad blocker

Threat Protection is efficient when it comes to blocking ads and trackers. It allows for whitelisting and blacklisting, enabling you to tailor your protection as per your preferences. Furthermore, it keeps a count of blocked ads, providing you with a quantifiable measure of the protection it offers.

However, certain aspects could be confusing for novice users, particularly the blacklisting and whitelisting processes, which might require some research. During our testing, the settings for both blacklisting and whitelisting couldn’t be found in 10 minutes of searching, and even with some Google searches, they still evaded discovery. Upon further testing, we found that you can essentially whitelist certain websites by turning Threat Protection on and viewing the Web tab. Any blocked ads or websites appear here, and you can whitelist them by clicking the blue shield icon to the right of the site URL.

You can whitelist sites to see ads by clicking the blue shield icon in the Threat Protection dashboard, located under the Web tab.

Despite these minor learning curves, the ad and tracker blocker remains an integral and powerful part of NordVPN's Threat Protection.

NordVPN Threat Protection test results

In our commitment to provide you with reliable and objective data, we conducted rigorous tests on NordVPN Threat Protection. We used AdBlock Tester, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF’s) Cover Your Tracks tools, Can You Block It, and the European Institute for Computer Antivirus Research (EICAR) tests to test its ad blocking capabilities and antivirus effectiveness.

NordVPN Threat Protection ad blocker scores

AdBlock Tester Cover Your Tracks Can You Block It
Threat Protection score
93/100 2/3 2/3
Test results as of 04/24/2024.

We tested NordVPN Threat Protection’s ability to block ads and trackers using three key tools. The first is AdBlock Tester, a web tool designed to test how effectively an ad blocker can prevent common forms of online advertising like pop-ups and banner ads, as well as analytics tools and error monitoring. 

We were pleased to find that Threat Protection had nearly a perfect score for ad blocking, with some misses in the error monitoring category. 

NordVPN Threat Protection scored 93 out of 100 in the AdBlock Tester test.

The second tool is Cover Your Tracks, which assesses the degree to which a tool can prevent online tracking by third-party entities. 

We found that Threat Protection blocks tracking ads and invisible trackers. It was only docked points based on our fingerprint, which was found to be unique. Most of the ad blockers we've reviewed have received the same result, so you can feel good about Threat Protection's outcome. 

NordVPN Threat Protection Cover Your Tracks results
NordVPN Threat Protection Cover Your Tracks results

Can You Block It tests for ad blocker warnings, banner ads, and interstitial ads (or those pesky ads that pop up while the webpage loads). Because we still saw the interstitial ad, NordVPN Threat Protection scored a 2/3.

Does NordVPN Threat Protection block YouTube ads?

During our testing, we found that NordVPN Threat Protection blocks YouTube ads, and we've listed it as one of the best YouTube ad blockers.

NordVPN Threat Protection antivirus test results

Test NordVPN Threat Protection score
Malware detection Pass
Phishing detection Pass
Test results as of 04/24/2024.

When it comes to antivirus testing, we used the EICAR test files, which are standardized test files recognized by almost all antivirus programs. These files allow you to safely test the effectiveness of your antivirus software without risking exposure to actual malware.

NordVPN Threat Protection blocked all EICAR test files, meaning it provides comprehensive anti-malware protection.

In our tests, NordVPN Threat Protection passed both the malware and phishing detection EICAR tests. This indicates that the service reliably detects and neutralizes common types of online threats.

Customer support

NordVPN offers a variety of support channels for its customers, ensuring help is available whenever needed. This includes 24/7 live chat support, a resource we found quite responsive and effective in resolving queries related to Threat Protection. In our interactions with customer service representatives, we found them to be knowledgeable, patient, and keen on providing practical solutions.

Alongside real-time support, NordVPN provides a comprehensive knowledge base comprising guides, FAQs, and troubleshooting articles.

Specific to Threat Protection, NordVPN offers easy-to-follow online guides. These cover a broad spectrum of topics, from setup to dealing with potential issues. These guides are laid out in a user-friendly manner, using non-technical language that's easy to comprehend.

How to use NordVPN Threat Protection

Because Threat Protection is bundled with NordVPN, using the ad-blocking service can be a bit tricky. We weren't able to get Threat Protection to work in the browser for either Chrome or Edge on our PC. The only way to view whether the protection was actually working was through the app dashboard. In terms of usability, this is significantly less user-friendly than standalone ad blockers. 

NordVPN Threat Protection desktop app dashboard
NordVPN Threat Protection desktop app dashboard

A lot of customer feedback complains about the usability issues, and the workaround is cumbersome. To get Threat Protection to work on your browser, try following these steps:

  1. Shut down your laptop or computer.
  2. Unplug your device from the power source for a full minute. (Even when you shut your computer down, if it's plugged in, it may still pull residual power and keep systems running.)
  3. Restart everything slowly. Make sure all your launch processes have finished before opening up your browser.
  4. Only activate Threat Protection after you open your browser. 
  5. If it's still giving you problems, you may have to uninstall and reinstall NordVPN Threat Protection before switching to the Lite version.

NordVPN Threat Protection alternatives

While NordVPN Threat Protection offers comprehensive protection, there are other bundled services in the VPN, ad blocker, and antivirus landscape. Below are two top-tested alternatives:

Best For Best for blocking YouTube ads Best for blocking streaming ads
Price Starts at $1.99/mo (billed annually) Starts at $2.29/mo (billed biennially)
Free version?
Adblock Tester score 100/100 96/100
Cover Your Tracks score 2/3 0.5/3
Can You Block It score3/3 3/3
Blocks YouTube ads?
Compatibility Android, iOS, Chrome, Edge, Safari, Opera Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Edge, Firefox, FireTV
Learn more Get Total Adblock Get Surfshark CleanWeb

Total Adblock is dedicated to blocking ads across your browsing sessions, creating a smoother and faster internet experience. It also blocks trackers to maintain your privacy online. Although it doesn't include a VPN, its focus on ad blocking makes it a worthwhile consideration for those primarily seeking ad-free browsing. Plus, the premium plan includes the highly-rated antivirus software TotalAV

Surfshark CleanWeb pairs a powerful VPN with a built-in ad blocker in the Surfshark One security suite Starter plan. It helps to block malware, phishing attempts, and trackers while also ensuring a smoother browsing experience by reducing the number of ads you see. With affordable pricing and a user-friendly interface, it stands as a strong competitor to NordVPN Threat Protection.



Does NordVPN have an antivirus?

Yes, NordVPN's Threat Protection incorporates antivirus functionality, helping protect your devices against various online threats such as malware and phishing attempts.


Should I turn on Threat Protection on NordVPN?

If you're not currently using an ad blocker or an antivirus, then you should turn on Threat Protection on your NordVPN app. With Threat Protection, you can keep your device clean from ads, trackers, and malware. 


What’s the best antivirus to use with NordVPN?

NordVPN's Threat Protection offers built-in antivirus protection. However, if you're looking for third-party software, choices like Bitdefender, Norton 360, and TotalAV are popular due to their strong protection mechanisms and compatibility with VPNs.


NordVPN Threat Protection vs. antivirus: which is better?

NordVPN Threat Protection and standalone antivirus software serve slightly different purposes. NordVPN Threat Protection offers a multi-functional approach, providing VPN, ad blocker, and antivirus features.

In contrast, standalone antivirus software tends to focus more on comprehensive threat prevention and removal. The choice between the two depends on your specific needs, and it may be best to use both types of protection.


How do you disable NordVPN Threat Protection?

To disable NordVPN Threat Protection, you simply need to navigate to the Settings menu in your NordVPN application and toggle off the Threat Protection feature. However, doing so may reduce your protection against online threats.

Bottom line: Is NordVPN Threat Protection good?

When it comes to overall protection and cybersecurity, NordVPN Threat Protection proves to be a substantial contender. With its inclusive ad blocking and antivirus functionalities, it adds an extra layer of safety to your online browsing and data. NordVPN Threat Protection shines particularly with its real-time protection and phishing safeguards, adding a strong layer of proactive defense against online threats.

However, as with any product, it's not without its drawbacks. There are cheaper alternatives on the market, like Surfshark CleanWeb. If cost is a significant consideration for you and if you’re looking for highly specific or advanced antivirus features, Threat Protection might feel limited.

NordVPN Threat Protection stands out as an excellent choice for those looking for a well-rounded, user-friendly, and reliable online protection suite. The service combines essential cybersecurity features in one package, making it ideal for those who value convenience and comprehensive protection.

Enjoy Privacy and Security Even When Not Connected to a VPN
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN Threat Protection's website
Ad Blocker
NordVPN Threat Protection
Save up to 74% + 3 months free
  • Stops intrusive ads before they can even load, improving browsing experience and speed
  • Identifies malware-ridden files and protects against visiting malicious websites
  • Encrypts your data and blocks third-party trackers for increased security and privacy
  • Lacks a dedicated firewall
Author Details
Ryan Clancy is a freelance writer and blogger. With 5+ years of mechanical engineering experience, he's passionate about all things engineering and tech. He loves bringing engineering (especially mechanical) down to a level that everyone can understand.
Kate is an Editor at All About Cookies. She has 8+ years of digital publishing experience as a content manager, developmental editor, and curriculum writer. She leverages specializations in EdTech and educational publishing to create impactful, well-researched content that aids learners of all ages.