NordLayer Review: Is It Worth It?

In this review of NordLayer, the focus is on evaluating the suitability of this B2B cybersecurity solution offered by Nord Security. The review takes an in-depth look at NordLayer's features, capabilities, and overall performance to determine its value for businesses seeking adaptable, scalable, and user-friendly network security solutions.

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Table Of Contents
    NordLayer Review

    About NordLayer

    NordLayer represents Nord Security's foray into the business security realm. Widely recognized as the creators of NordVPN, a globally trusted personal VPN service, Nord Security brings its expertise to bear in the form of NordLayer—a network access solution tailored to the requirements of contemporary businesses.

    In an era where traditional security setups often fall short in safeguarding against evolving threats beyond network perimeters, NordLayer emerges as a response to the pressing need for secure access to corporate networks. With a significant portion of the global workforce now operating remotely, NordLayer's cloud-based approach aligns perfectly with the evolving needs of organizations, providing a solution that integrates seamlessly with existing security infrastructure while addressing both long-term strategies and ad-hoc challenges.

    NordLayer is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes and work models, offering flexible and user-friendly network security solutions that uphold the exceptional standards set by NordVPN.

    The overarching goal is to simplify network security for organizations, streamline internet security, and modernize network and resource access. By prioritizing Security Service Edge (SSE) principles and embracing the Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) approach, NordLayer introduces Secure Web Gateway (SWG) and Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) solutions to deliver top-tier network security services.

    With its seamless integration into existing infrastructure, hardware-free design philosophy, and scalability at its core, NordLayer is ideally suited for agile businesses and distributed workforces. It adeptly accommodates varying growth rates and the ever-evolving cybersecurity needs of today's dynamic business landscape.


    NordLayer boasts a comprehensive suite of features that enhance network security and access control.

    Security Features

    • Network Security: NordLayer offers Virtual Private Gateways for Core, Premium, or Custom subscription plans, allowing organizations to set up dedicated server licenses. This enables IP allowlisting, network segmentation, and enhanced access control.
    • Fixed IP: Businesses can utilize fixed IPs to implement network access control effectively, manage user access permissions, and segment their networks securely.
    • IP Allowlisting: This feature empowers organizations to restrict system access to specific IP addresses, providing better control over remote access and enhanced cloud security.
    • Network Segmentation: NordLayer simplifies network segmentation by enabling organizations to categorize employees into different teams, each assigned a specific private gateway. This grants isolated access to pre-approved network areas.
    • Cloud Firewall: NordLayer offers Cloud Firewall (FWaaS), a scalable and low-maintenance network security layer compared to traditional physical firewalls.
    • Device Posture Security: As part of the Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) concept, this feature monitors and evaluates the types of devices connecting to the network through NordLayer, notifying administrators of non-compliant devices.

    Internet Access Security

    • Shared Gateways: Users can select from over 30+ countries and connect to random VPN servers using various tunneling protocols.
    • ThreatBlock: This feature automatically blocks harmful websites, safeguarding devices against malware and cyber threats.
    • NordLynx (WireGuard): NordLayer employs WireGuard-based proprietary tunneling protocols for enhanced performance and security.
    • DNS Filtering by Category: Administrators can block websites and hostnames by content category.
    • Deep Packet Inspection (Lite): NordLayer provides network packet filtering to detect, classify, block, or reroute packets with specific codes or data payloads, enforcing content policies and blocking malicious content.
    • Custom DNS: NordLayer allows businesses to handle DNS requests privately instead of relying on public DNS servers.
    • AES 256-bit Encryption: Advanced encryption algorithms secure traffic and online activities on the open internet.

    Network Connectors

    • Site-to-Site: Useful for organizations with multiple offices in different locations, site-to-site connectors establish secure VPN tunnels between networks for private data exchange.
    • Smart Remote Access: This feature creates a virtual Local Area Network (LAN) to access devices on the internal network securely.
    • Browser Extension: NordLayer offers a browser extension designed exclusively for secure connections within a web browser, ensuring that related activity stays within the browser's scope.

    User Authentication and Management

    • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): NordLayer enhances security by requiring multi-factor authentication for user logins.
    • Biometric Authentication: Additional security layers can be added through fingerprint scanning and face recognition, bolstering overall security.
    • Single Sign-On (SSO): Integration with Azure AD, OneLogin, Okta, Google, and JumpCloud enables users to access multiple cloud applications with a single set of credentials.
    • User Provisioning: Automatic provisioning streamlines user identity management in cloud applications, including maintenance and removal of user identities in response to status or role changes.

    Network Monitoring

    • Activity Monitoring Reports: NordLayer offers visibility into user-level connections to and from gateways, showcasing member names, devices, and source IP addresses. Reports include member activity history, including connection session date and time.
    • Device Posture Monitoring: This security feature enables administrators to assess member devices based on predefined security rules and receive notifications about non-compliant devices.

    Security Controls

    • Auto-Connect: NordLayer can be configured to auto-connect to a selected gateway upon detecting an internet connection.
    • Always On VPN: Organizations can enforce VPN-only access to the internet, making the internet inaccessible without a VPN connection.
    • Idle Session Timeout: NordLayer supports automatic user logout from the Control Panel or the app when a device enters sleep mode or is turned off.

    Gateways and Servers

    NordLayer offers two types of gateways: Shared and Virtual Private Gateways. 

    • Shared Gateways: These create encrypted tunnels between remote users and the internet, enabling access to geo-specific content and facilitating Q&A and automated tests from different virtual locations.
    • Virtual Private Gateways: With dedicated servers, organizations can securely connect their devices to cloud and on-premises networks, implementing IP allowlisting and granular network segmentation. NordLayer operates in over 30+ server locations worldwide, including Brazil, RSA, Australia, and Hong Kong. These servers can be leveraged for Q&A and automated tests, facilitating product performance monitoring and global SEO and AD optimization.

    Plans and Pricing

    NordLayer offers a range of pricing plans to cater to various business needs.

    • Lite Plan: Essential internet access security with basic internet threat prevention features, priced at $10 per user on a monthly subscription or $96 per year, saving $24.
    • Core Plan: A suite of advanced internet access security and basic network access control solutions, available at $14 per user on a monthly subscription or $132 per year, saving $36.
    • Premium Plan: A powerful blend of network access control solutions with more granular network segmentation and the ability to interconnect sites and devices, offered at $18 per user on a monthly subscription or $168 per year, saving $48.
    • Custom Plan: Designed for large companies to tailor cybersecurity solutions to their specific needs, this plan is available through a quote acquired via a consultation with NordLayer specialists. Please note that all plans have a minimum requirement of 5 seats.

    Payment Methods

    NordLayer offers flexible payment methods, including:

    • Credit Card
    • Bank Transfer
    • Cryptocurrencies (Payments above $1000)

    NordLayer Pros & Cons

    NordLayer: Pros

    • Ease of Use: NordLayer provides an intuitive Control Panel for network management control and visibility.
    • Centralized Billing: Automated user management and billing reduce administrative workload, with the ability to scale flexibly.
    • License Transferability: Organizations can easily transfer licenses between users, offering flexibility for upscaling or downscaling.
    • Integration: NordLayer seamlessly integrates with multiple network vendors, simplifying network administration.
    • Robust Security: NordLayer incorporates advanced security measures, including IP allowlisting, network segmentation, and military-grade AES 256-bit traffic encryption.
    • Global Reach: Offering shared server locations in over 30 countries and optional dedicated servers, NordLayer ensures data security and network performance.

    NordLayer: Cons

    • Cost: NordLayer may be perceived as somewhat costly.
    • Occasional Bugs: Users may encounter occasional bugs.
    • Speed: While generally good, some users may find room for improvement in speed.

    NordLayer Review: Verdict

    NordLayer emerges as a solution well-suited to the evolving needs of businesses. The paradigm shift towards remote workforces has underscored the importance of secure access to corporate networks, and NordLayer delivers on this front.

    Built on the principles of 'Zero Trust,' NordLayer prioritizes security by ensuring that only trusted users gain access to the network. It empowers organizations to segment their networks effectively, allocate access permissions, and maintain a comprehensive overview of network activity.

    With centralized billing and a robust set of security features, including IP allowlisting and network segmentation, NordLayer provides a streamlined and secure network access solution. Its global reach, encompassing shared server locations in over 30 countries, and the option for dedicated servers ensure both data security and improved network performance.

    NordLayer offers an efficient 24/7 technical support system to cater to its customers' needs, further enhancing its appeal.

    While some may perceive NordLayer as relatively expensive and may encounter occasional bugs, its overall benefits in terms of network security and management outweigh these drawbacks. NordLayer's commitment to delivering a hassle-free network security experience to organizations is evident, making it a valuable asset in the fight against the rising tide of cyber threats.

    NordLayer is a strong contender for businesses seeking a robust, user-friendly, and scalable network security solution. Its alignment with the evolving cybersecurity landscape and dedication to simplifying network security make it a noteworthy choice for organizations looking to safeguard their networks effectively.

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    • Overall Score

    NordLayer Review 3
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