NordLocker review 2023
NordLocker is a file encryption tool and a secure cloud storage solution by Nord Security, the company behind such products as NordVPN and NordPass. The service was launched in November 2019.
The 2.0 version, released in 2020, had NordLocker looking all shiny and new, sporting a pretty purple-colored interface, and carrying all sorts of nifty features inside. Triple-encryption methods, cloud backup, and support for all file formats are just some of the cool things about NordLocker.
So, in this NordLocker review, I dive deeper into the depths of secure cloud storage and encryption. I will answer questions regarding the safety of NordLocker, take a look at the apps, and explain how exactly NordLocker works.
📢 LIMITED OFFER: Get up to 50% OFF NordLocker!
|🔒 Encryption:||AES-256, ECC, XChaCha20-Poly1305-IETF, Argon2id|
|✂️ Free version:||Yes|
|💿 Storage:||from 3GB|
|📱 Apps:||Windows, Mac, Android|
NordLocker pros and cons
- Supports any file formats
- Cloud syncing across devices
- Easy-to-use interface
- Can be accessed on the web
- Cloud backup
- Space saving feature
- Advanced and varied encryption
- Zero-knowledge architecture
- No iOS app (yet)
- Slow loading on Android app
- No file sharing between non-users
Visit NordLocker to learn more about the features.
NordLocker features overview
Here are all the features of NordLocker – both the ones you can see and click on, and the ones that are seamlessly integrated into the app:
- Support for any file formats – there are no restrictions or limits on what kind of files can be encrypted.
- Drag and drop – the simplest and easiest way to load files onto NordLocker. You can just drag and drop them in there, and the app will take care of the rest.
- Organize your files – NordLocker allows for a number of organization methods. You can sort your files into lockers and subsequently into folders, or leave them in the locker as single files.
- Unlimited secure local storage – you can encrypt and store as many files as you want on your computer because there are no limits to NordLocker’s encryption.
- Cloud storage – secure, always-encrypted storage space in the cloud.
- Syncing across devices – if you choose to store your files in the cloud, you’ll be able to access your files from any Windows, macOS, and Android device.
- Cloud backup – this is just what it says on the tin. NordLocker automatically backs up all of your files on the cloud, so no matter what happens to your device, you’ll always be able to access your data.
- Web Access – if you don’t want to install NordLocker on every device ever, you can use the web to access your documents, as well as upload new files.
- Space Saver – with this feature, you can free up some space on your device by offloading rarely used files to the cloud. They will still be accessible to you at any time.
- MFA and biometric login – multi-factor authentication is available on all apps, while the biometric login option is fro Windows and Android devices.
Is NordLocker safe?
To put it simply – yes, NordLocker is very safe. It uses a number of different encryption ciphers for a number of tasks such as encryption of the files you upload, for the lockers you create, and for login authentication purposes. And if you’re worried about someone at NordLocker accessing your private cloud – don’t be. The zero-knowledge architecture of NordLocker means that no one can see your encryption keys or what is in your personal cloud – not even NordLocker developers.
NordLocker uses AES-256 for encrypting your files, ECC and XChaCha20-Poly1305-IETF cipher for the lockers in which your files are, and Argon2id is the one that derives the secret key from your master password.
I know that all these ciphers look like bird-speak but there is one thing that I want you to take away from this. The fact that NordLocker uses different ciphers for different parts of itself makes it much more secure than it would be with just one encryption method.
But what about the safety of your files when they are on their way to the cloud, you may ask. Can someone intercept the traffic and retrieve them? The answer is no – as soon as the file enters NordLocker locally, it gets encrypted, and only the encrypted files leave your computer and enter the cloud. If anyone were to steal your files while in transit, they would have a hard time decrypting them.
NordLocker allows for multi-factor and biometric authentication, which adds an extra layer to app security and offers protection in case someone finds out your account password.
NordLocker offers you to choose from several 2FA methods – you can rely on single-use codes, authentication apps such as Google Authenticator, Duo, or Authy, as well as third-party authentication keys.
These authentication apps, when connected with Nord Account, will generate temporary keys that you will be asked to enter once logging in. So, as long as your mobile phone with an authenticator app is in your hands, no one else will be able to log in and access your NordLocker files.
Biometric authentication is available on Windows and Android NordLocker apps – it can either be Face ID or fingerprint.
NordLocker has apps for Windows, Mac, and Android, as well as the web. It does not offer any apps for Linux or iOS. The apps are very simple, both on mobile, desktop, and browser. They are incredibly easy to use because there aren’t really many settings to tweak and toggle. The overall look is nothing exciting, but I count that as a good thing – you don’t want fireworks to explode and purple unicorns to appear every time you upload a file.
The NordLocker desktop apps on both Mac and Windows look like File Explorer on any PC. It’s a compliment to the design – it is familiar and thus doesn’t require learning anything from scratch. Neither Mac nor Windows apps differ from each other in terms of functions and navigation.
On the homepage, you can see all of your lockers on the left sidebar, and the contents of the lockers themselves in the middle. Below the locker list on the left, it’s displayed how much storage you have left in the cloud. On the right side of the app, there are the stats for the locker you’re currently viewing – how many items are in the cloud, who can access the locker’s contents, etc.
Through the File tab, you can access NordLocker settings, and from there, the fun starts. You can set the app to automatically lock after a set amount of time and enable MFA in security settings, for example. The files settings let you choose if you want all of your files to be uploaded to the cloud or on your computer, or whether you want to always be asked about that.
Overall, the NordLocker desktop app is simple. It resembles File Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac, and using it doesn’t require any extensive technical knowledge.
NordLocker currently has an app only for Android devices. The app for iOS is scheduled to be released in the near future.
The NordLocker Android app is simple, has a purple theme going on, and is exceptionally easy to navigate. The homepage contains all of your lockers and files, and you can choose between a grid view and a list view.
To create a new locker, you simply tap on the plus icon in the upper right corner. Each locker also has a kebab menu, which contains options for renaming, deleting, sharing, and general information about the locker.
You can access the settings through the burger menu in the upper left corner of the screen. There, you can set the lock time, choose to use biometric data to unlock the app, enable MFA, and manage your subscription.
Interestingly, the Android app doesn’t allow taking screenshots – and toggling the “allow screen capture” permission on or off requires your master password.
The only slightly frustrating thing about the mobile NordLocker app is that it sometimes takes a second too long to load the lockers and files.
The NordLocker cloud can be accessed on the web as well, and this is especially convenient when you need a file but don’t want to download NordLocker on every device you ever use, such as a school computer.
The NordLocker Web Access interface looks exactly like the desktop application. It has the purple theme going on, and all the file uploading, locker organization, and settings tweaking action happen just the same as with mobile and desktop apps.
The only difference is maybe that the settings for your account, security, privacy, and everything else can be accessed by clicking on your profile icon in the upper right corner.
How does NordLocker work?
NordLocker’s working principle is file encryption. All uploaded files get encrypted with end-to-end encryption and can either stay on your computer or be uploaded to the NordLocker cloud. The NordLocker cloud also has a sync function, which allows you to access the same files and settings on different devices.
On Windows and macOS devices, you can choose whether you want to upload the files to the cloud only, or to also download them on your computer. On Android – and most likely on the coming-soon iOS app as well – all the files are in the cloud only and are not automatically downloaded. This is done to save space on your mobile device. However, you always have the option to download any files from the cloud if you wish.
How to install and use NordLocker?
Installing and using NordLocker is as uncomplicated a process as it could be. You don’t need to worry about configurations or ponder over complex encryption processes.
To give you an idea of what may lie ahead if you decide to get NordLocker for yourself, I put together a simple step-by-step guide on how to install and use the app.
How to install NordLocker
- Go to the NordLocker pricing page and choose your plan.
- Log into your NordAccount, or create one.
- Download the NordLocker app.
- Follow the instructions from the installation wizard.
- Create a master password.
- Save the recovery key in a safe place – without it, you will lose all your files in case you forget your master password.
How to encrypt files with NordLocker
- Create a new locker by clicking on the little plus icon in the upper left corner near the "My lockers" tab. Choose whether you want the locker to be on your PC or in the cloud.
- Open the locker and drag and drop your files and folders. They will be encrypted in an instant.
- On the web, you can also upload files by clicking the purple Upload Files button.
How much does NordLocker cost?
NordLocker has both personal and business plans. The personal plans are for individual users, while the business plans are oriented towards, well, businesses in need of a secure cloud storage and file encryption solution.
|Unlimited end-to-end encryption||✅||✅||✅|
|24/7 priority support||✅||✅||❌|
|30-day money-back guarantee||✅||✅||❌|
NordLocker has a free tier, which grants you 3GB of storage space, unlimited end-to-end encryption, and email support. Unlimited end-to-end encryption means that you can use NordLocker to encrypt however many files you want, and store them locally to your heart’s content (or however much your device’s storage allows). The 3GB limit applies to cloud storage.
The other two paid plans also include priority 24/7 support, which the free plan doesn’t offer. The main price difference between Personal and Personal Plus plans comes down to storage. With Personal, you can get 500GB of storage for $2.99/month, and with Personal Plus – 2TB of storage for $6.99/month. Both paid plans also offer 30-day money-back guarantees.
|Unlimited end-to-end encryption||✅||✅|
|Access control via Admin Panel||✅||✅|
|Secure file management||✅||✅|
|Access on any platform||✅||✅|
|24/7 priority support||✅||✅|
The business plans of NordLocker offer a little more than those for a single user, but that is expected. For example, besides the unlimited end-to-end encryption, business owners also get to control access via an Admin Panel, This allows the business owner to manage organization members, approve account recovery, assign roles, enable/disable sharing outside the organization, and securely manage the files and share them internally.
Just like the Personal plans, though, the pricing difference appears only in storage space. With a Business plan, you can get 500MB storage for $8.99/user/month, and with the Business Plus plan, 2TB of cloud storage will be yours for $14.99/user/month. NordLocker offers a 14-day trial for business plans.
There is also an option to get a custom plan tailored to your business.
|24/7 live chat||❌|
|Guides and/or articles||✅|
* There are no dedicated FAQ pages, but some frequently asked questions are answered under guides and articles.
NordLocker doesn’t have an incredibly extensive support infrastructure. Despite that, their communication is quick and helpful. Free users can browse through the help center’s articles and contact support by email. Unfortunately, there is no live chat or phone support, and no separate FAQ section.
NordLocker’s help center is divided into four sections – for business accounts, for dealing with NordLocker’s applications, for any issues related to NordLocker WebAccess, and for payments. The guides on installing, using, and troubleshooting the apps are informative and easy to understand.
To test the support’s capabilities, I contacted NordLocker through email. I got a response within two hours, which was pretty quick.
Overall, NordLocker has a pretty good user support system, and the lack of live chat, clear FAQ section, or phone support doesn’t really affect the overall experience.
All things considered, NordLocker is an excellent secure cloud storage and file encryption solution. It is affordable, exceptionally safe, and easy to use. Features such as cloud backup, web access, and support for any file format make it arguably the best among similar products. The zero-knowledge architecture and advanced encryption also prove NordLocker’s dedication to making file organization and sharing experience as secure as possible.
With NordLocker being available on Mac, Windows, Android, and through the web, accessing and uploading or offloading files becomes especially convenient. The apps themselves are easy to navigate, and the close resemblance to an ordinary computer file manager affords the user a sense of familiarity from the very beginning.
So, if you’re looking for an app that encrypts and securely stores all of your most sensitive files, NordLocker is definitely the best choice.
How does NordLocker protect my files?
NordLocker protects your files with end-to-end encryption, and only you as the owner of the files have the key to decrypt them. The zero-knowledge architecture ensures that not even NordLocker knows the key required to access your files, which means that anything you upload to the cloud is only accessible to you.
Can someone else access my data on NordLocker?
No, no one else besides you can access your data, not even NordLocker itself. Only you have the encryption key required to access your files. However, if you have a business plan, there is an option to share your lockers with other NordLocker users in your organization.
Can I use NordLocker for free?
Yes, NordLocker has a free plan with 3GB of cloud storage space. You also get unlimited end-to-end encryption (unlimited encrypted file storage on your device) and email support.
Does NordVPN include NordLocker?
NordLocker is a separate app from NordVPN. However, if you purchase a Complete NordVPN plan, you automatically get access to 1TB of storage on the NordLocker cloud. Otherwise, you will need to get a separate NordLocker subscription. The good news is that all Nord Security products use the same Nord Account for login purposes, so if you already have it, you won’t need to create a new one.
Can I play downloaded videos from nordlocker?
Can I download videos/ pictures directly to local locker or cloud locker and not go through my apple pictures app
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