Whether you’re looking for Netflix and chilling out without geo-restrictions or beefing up your security on a public network, there’s no shortage of VPN options available. However, organizations often need more from their VPNs, like more features and security options. For businesses looking for a VPN network access solution, NordLayer VPN is worth a look. Formerly known as NordVPN Teams, this tool is ideal for organizations of all sizes.
What is NordLayer
While NordLayer provides a suite of VPN features, it is essentially an enterprise VPN manager. Administrators can use VPN to manage VPN configurations within a team instead of having individuals configure their own private network. With NordLayer you can manage all VPNs in a team and easily add/remove users.
NordLayer is the professional version of the consumer NordVPN.
Available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux, NordLayer sends an email to users, allowing them to download the app and install the VPN. Once on board, the VPN provides over 30 server locations worldwide, along with features like malware blocking, a kill switch, auto-connect, and AES-256 encryption on all data transactions.
Since NordLayer works on six devices at once, team members can install it on their professional hardware.
To make the service more streamlined for corporate customers, there is centralized billing. This means that only one administrator can receive one invoice, regardless of the number of users using the VPN. NordLayer also supports transferable licenses, allowing you to easily switch team members.
To ensure security during the registration and login process, NordLayer offers two-factor authentication. There are two login options, a traditional single sign-on username and password combination of OneLogin, Microsoft Azure, Google, or Okta.
NordLayer provides a significant number of customization options. For example, it is possible to create and deploy a dedicated server on a private gateway. You can also create VPN groups by separating gateways between teams. So, if you want a separate VPN gateway for your sales and another for developers, you can separate them.
As mentioned, NordLayer allows users to connect up to six devices to their VPN. Instead of having to log in on each device, the VPN supports smart remote access to enable seamless communication and connection between devices.
How much does NordLayer cost?
There are many business-centric VPNs out there that complicate tiered pricing and various packages. One of the best things about NordLayer is that it keeps its pricing model simple. This makes it easy to choose the exact package you need. NordLayer is also a rare enterprise VPN that allows a single user to purchase a plan instead of imposing a minimum number of users.
You can choose between only two packages:
- Basic: Costs $9 per user each month, or $7 per month if you pay for a full year. This plan includes the full VPN along with the main dashboard and management features, 24/7 live support, single sign-on, and two-factor authentication.
- Advanced: Costs $11 per user each month, or $9 on the annual payment plan. Provides all basic plan features plus priority support, biometric login support, dedicated account manager, purchasable dedicated servers ($40-$50 per month), IP allowlists, and access smart remote.
It seems to me that NordLayer has a good pricing model and falls into the “affordable” bracket. Not least because of the ability to start with a single user. For example, the similarly priced Perimeter 81 VPN platform lets you start with at least five users. Of course, it’s worth comparing VPNs to find a service that offers the best combination of price and features for you.
At the heart of the NordLayer experience is the central web dashboard, which serves as the hub for the entire VPN and feature set. Here you can manage all aspects of the platform including your network, users, etc.
NordLayer makes it easy to send invitations to team members. Paste their email in the text box and click the button to send the invitation. You can also send multiple invitations at once by pasting multiple emails into the box. You are free to customize your VPN groups however you want with the advanced plan, such as custom gateways and permissions.
With the basic plan, there are fewer tools, but even here the dashboard lets you send invitations, remove access, track them, and more. Settings are also located in this hub, although you’ll find more granular controls on other VPN providers. With NordLayer, the limited options include choosing a login method (email/password or SSO), automatic updates, and biometrics (advanced only).
Compared to other VPNs, user monitoring features are limited. In fact, you will only be able to see the last time a team member logged in and what device they used. We would prefer NordLayer to provide more metrics such as time user/device connected to VPN, IP location, browser, OS, etc.
Although it may seem like a lot to ask, other VPNs such as Perimeter 81 provide this data. Of course, this type of functionality has its share of compromises. For example, Perimeter 81 is extremely difficult to use and sometimes too complex. Certainly, if you prefer to streamline the output and management of your VPN in an organization, NordLayer is the best choice.
NordVPN is known as one of the best private network solutions, so you can expect NordLayer, which is based on NordVPN, to offer a similar experience. In terms of performance, NordLayer has traditionally performed well in all benchmarking applications.
In my research, the consensus is that NordLayer is comfortable with performance rates of 200-300 Mbps. If you’re unfamiliar with VPN performance, this is enough to cover most tasks. Of course, there are enterprise users who need more performance than that. NordLayer is currently implementing the new NordLynx VPN protocol that underpins NordVPN as of 2022.
Without getting technical, this new protocol dramatically increases performance capabilities, with speeds of up to over 800 Mbps.
NordLayer Customer Support
NordLayer provides a solid level of support. If you want general information about the service, the Web Knowledge Base is the place to start. While the standard NordVPN provides a more comprehensive base of information, you can still find basic details on setting up NordLayer and troubleshooting common issues.
The small size of the knowledge base may be due to the fact that the NordLayer team is always available to help you. The company provides 24/7 support for basic and advanced pricing tiers.
NordLayer is a hassle-free business VPN service that delivers a top-notch experience without overcomplicating usability. Of course, there are business VPNs out there that will grab your attention with a host of features. If you need unlimited features, NordLayer might not be for you. However, if you want an affordable way to seamlessly use a VPN in your organization, NordLayer is worth a look.