There are several reasons why downloading a cracked version of NordVPN is a bad idea, not least infecting your device with code that causes irreversible damage.
Grab a huge NordVPN discount today and say “no” to internet pirates.
I have worked with VPNs for 5+ years now, and I’ve seen many sites offering cracked versions of NordVPN.
If a NordVPN deal seems too good to be true, it’s probably not legit.
If you’re ready to take a deeper dive into why you should avoid cracked versions of NordVPN, I’ll go into more detail below.
Is It Okay to Use a Cracked VPN?
No, it is never okay to use a cracked VPN.
The VPN provider could ban you and it can also cause irreparable damage to your device.
In fact, there are several negatives to using a cracked VPN, which I’ll go into below.
If you’ve ever bought a new PC or laptop, you might be familiar with this term.
Usually, when you set up your device for the first time, you’ll find it comes bundled with software that you never signed up for and are never likely to use.
The principle with a cracked VPN is quite similar; you download the software, and during the installation process, you unknowingly sign-up for additional applications that you’re not interested in.
You’ll often accept a license agreement without reading the small print of what you agree to, and hackers may get a commission for installing the additional software on your device from the software provider.
Viruses and malware are probably some of the most dangerous risks associated with cracked NordVPN accounts.
The official NordVPN website would never host a link to a cracked piece of software, so instead, you’ll likely find a link to an untrusted website from a forum or embedded at the bottom of a YouTube video.
Although many antivirus programs or malware scanners like Malwarebytes detect many malicious files, they’re not 100% foolproof.
The hacker that uploaded the file to the hosting site may have written the code themselves, meaning there’s little chance of your antivirus detecting it.
If you’re lucky and your antivirus identifies a malicious file, many hackers put a disclaimer like “you’ll need to disable your antivirus for the crack to work,” which many users will fall victim to.
More importantly, if a backdoor virus slips past your device’s security defenses, this could not only allow hackers unattended access to your computer but could also enable root access.
Root access is like a golden ticket to your computer for a hacker as it allows them to do whatever they want with the most sensitive files on your system.
That means they can corrupt, steal, or overwrite the files that make your system function without you even knowing about it.
It’s no secret that ads and pop-ups that interrupt what you’re doing get a little tedious at times.
Cracked VPN software is no different.
It’s often worse than the ads you’d see with YouTube or Spotify.
Adware is another way hackers can make money from cracked or stolen NordVPN accounts, so you should expect to see masses of ads if you opt for a cracked VPN.
In some cases, the cracked version of NordVPN may contain code that can wreak havoc on your device, rendering it utterly useless with something known as a “Ransomware Attack.”
If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer one of these attacks, it can be pretty scary.
Once you install cracked software, code is injected that opens access to an attacker and encrypts all files on your hard drive.
All your games, photos, music, and more become inaccessible, leaving you with a shell of an unusable device.
To get access to your files, the attacker holds them at ransom for a price.
You can pay the fee to get your files back, but there’s never a guarantee that the hacker will release your files.
Alternatives to Cracked VPNs
If you’re set on getting a VPN for free, there are other methods than using a cracked VPN.
NordVPN 30-Day Trial
This is my preferred way of trialing a VPN.
You can sign-up for a NordVPN subscription and try its full range of features for 30 days, no questions asked.
If you decide NordVPN isn’t for you, then you’re free to cancel after 30 days and get a full refund.
Use a Freemium VPN Provider
Although I wouldn’t usually recommend free VPNs, as encryption is often substandard and many sell your data to third parties, freemium VPNs are a different story.
In particular, AtlasVPN is a freemium VPN that gets a thumbs up from me.
It’s entirely free, has a zero-logging policy, and won’t pester you with advertisements.
Atlas VPN is only available for Windows, Android, and iOS at the time of writing, but you can expect military-grade encryption and full P2P/Torrent support.
Alternatively, I’d recommend checking out ProtonVPN.
Much like AtlasVPN, it is a freemium provider with free and paid subscriptions, and its free version offers servers in the Netherlands, Japan, and the US.
Unlike AtlasVPN, though, ProtonVPN has full support for OpenVPN and works on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Routers.
Ultimately it’s your decision, but I’d recommend steering clear of cracked VPNs, as they aren’t necessary when you can grab a freemium VPN without the added malware and harmful code.
Are Hacked NordVPN Accounts Safe?
No, hacked NordVPN accounts are not safe.
Sometimes referred to as stolen accounts or sale accounts, you’ll have no problem finding a vendor promising full NordVPN access for inarguable prices.
It all sounds great, and yes, these accounts are legit as authentic users are paying for them, but the accounts often use weak passwords making them easy for hackers to steal.
Below is a little more detail on how hacked accounts work:
- A user signs up for NordVPN with their email address using a commonly used password like “Password123.”
- A hacker uses sniffing software to hack an insecure website to locate these new accounts and passwords.
- The hacker tests each of the logins with various online services until they find one that works.
- The active accounts are listed for sale online, leaving you (as the buyer) believing you’re purchasing an authentic NordVPN account.
So What’s The Problem?
- As the buyer, you’ll log in to NordVPN, and it works perfectly at first, but as you have no information about the account, you’ll have no idea how long the account will work or the subscription’s expiry date.
- Considering you’re paying a hacker, there’s no guarantee that they won’t use your credit card credentials for another purchase you haven’t authorized.
- NordVPN comes with a device limit, so if the legit user of the account deploys the VPN to several platforms above the simultaneous device limit, your account is unlikely to work.
What Happens Next?
If you’re lucky enough to have the account up and running without any issues, it could just be a matter of time before you run into a problem.
Suppose you (or other users illegally sharing the account) reach the device limit, and this could result in the legitimate user being locked out, raising alarm bells.
The user may realize something isn’t right and change to a stronger password, leaving you with a login that no longer works and purchasing another subscription.
There is no way of knowing whether you’re sharing the account with two users or 20, so you could be gambling on the account working for the subscription length, or it may not even work at all.
Are Cracked NordVPN Accounts Illegal?
Yes, using a cracked NordVPN account is illegal.
In the same way you’d be prosecuted for downloading a video game that you haven’t paid for or belongs to someone else, a cracked VPN follows the same principle.
Unfortunately, many people without a deeper technical understanding of software rights, etc. will be unaware they are committing fraud by downloading NordVPN fraudulently.
As a result, users may hand over money to purchase a stolen NordVPN account.
Not only will they end up without a working version of a NordVPN account, but they’ll have lost money, and a hacker will walk away scot-free.
Cracked NordVPN accounts are freely available on the web, but they are not worth the risk.
Unsure whether a VPN account is for you?
Sign-up for NordVPN today and get a full refund after 30 days if you’re not completely satisfied!