Ultimate guide to NordVPN on Raspberry Pi (Kodi & Raspbian)

nordvpn installation raspberry pi

NordVPN is a VPN provider, allowing you to protect your privacy, secure your connection and access any country-oriented content (like streaming services)
In this guide I’ll show you how to install this software on your Raspberry Pi

How to install NordVPN on Raspberry?
NordVPN is available on any operating system and can be installed on a Raspberry Pi as well
To set it up on your Pi, you need to download a .deb package from the official website, and install it
The procedure is a bit different depending on the system you use

I’ll start by an introduction about what is a VPN and NordVPN, and how to create an account on their website (mandatory to try it)
Then I will show you how to install it on Raspbian Desktop, Raspbian Lite or Kodi
And finally, I will give you a list of useful commands with NordVPN

Feel free to use the table of contents to go directly to the part that you are interested in

Introduction

What is a VPN?

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network
The goal is to link two remote networks to make them appear as only one

I already wrote here on how to install OpenVPN to create a VPN server
Today, we’ll see the other way, NordVPN will act as a client to connect to their servers

As I told you in introduction, a VPN has 3 main benefits:

  • Security: your data are full encrypted in a secure tunnel between you and the provider
  • Privacy: it goes with security, but a VPN allows you to hide your Internet activity from snoops
  • Country: for some reasons, you may want to show your connection as coming from another country. Many websites offer a different content depending on the country you are in.

The main interest on Raspberry Pi is to use it to access streaming services (with Kodi for example), but it works very well, whatever the reason you have to install it

What is NordVPN?

So, NordVPN is a VPN provider
It’s a company with VPN servers all over the world
And they provide a software to connect to these servers from your computer, smartphone or Raspberry Pi

The company was created in 2012 and is now one of the biggest ones on this market
They host over 5,000 servers in 60 countries
The price is not expensive (about $3 a month) and the software works very well (on Raspberry Pi and other systems)

More info here

To be more exhaustive here, NordVPN offer a software for the following systems:

  • Windows 7/8/10
  • macOS
  • Linux (DEB/RPM)
  • Android and Android TV
  • iOS
  • Raspberry Pi and Synology NAS are mentioned on the download page
  • You can even install a browser extension on Chrome or Firefox, so it doesn’t change your network settings

They also allow you to download an OpenVPN configuration if you need or prefer to use it instead

Create a free account on NordVPN

Ok, it’s not “Free”, but they offer a full refund for 30 days
So, you can try it without risk, and ask for a refund if you are not satisfied

Here is how to create your account:

  • Go on the NordVPN website
  • Click on “Pricing” in the top menu
    The previous price table shows up
  • Pick the plan you want
    As for many subscription services, the longer you stay, the less you will pay
    The 3-year plan is the best deal with only $125 every 3 years, but choose the one that fit your needs and click on “Get XX plan”
  • Then you need to create your account
    Start by enter your email address:
  • And select your payment method
    Many options are available

Once your payment is complete, you’ll receive an email to confirm your email address

Click on the button and that’s it, your account is ready to use

Install it on Windows

To make sure that your account is working correctly, you can try the NordVPN software on Windows (or any other system)

  • Log in on the website
  • Go to Downloads (top menu)
  • Download the Windows app
  • Install it like any other application (double-click on it)
  • You need to log in on startup
    And then the Windows app looks like this:
  • Click on a country to connect to a server
    That’s it 🙂

If everything works well, we can move to the Raspberry Pi part

Installation on Raspbian

If you are on Raspbian, you can install NordVPN as on any computer (the Raspberry Pi 4 can even replace your desktop PC)
This way you can use NordVPN for any reason, including Kodi (as Kodi is available on Raspbian)

If you don’t have Raspbian installed yet, you can start by reading the tutorial on how to install it here

Raspbian Desktop

Unfortunately, NordVPN doesn’t offer a Raspbian Desktop app
But you can install it with the graphical interface, so I’ll show you how to do this here

Download the NordVPN package

Ok, so the first step is to download the package available on the NordVPN official website

  • From your Raspberry Pi, open Chromium
  • Go to the NordVPN download page
  • Click on “Download .deb”
  • At the end of the download, Chromium will give you a warning (“This type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep it anyway?”)
    Choose to keep it, there is no risk
  • Click on the downloaded file in Chromium to open it
  • A window shows up:

    Click on “Install” to start the installation
  • Now you just need to confirm by typing your password to complete the installation

That’s not clear on the NordVPN website, but this package is only here to install the NordVPN repository on Raspbian
NordVPN is not yet installed, it’s just available in the package manager
So, you need to install it now

Install NordVPN

You can now use your package manager to install NordVPN:

  • In the main menu, go to Preferences > App/Remove Software
  • Start by updating the repositories:
    Options > Refresh package lists
  • Then type “nordvpn” in the search engine:
  • Check the box near the nordvpn package and install it by clicking on “Apply”
  • Once again, you need to enter your password to confirm

And that’s it
This time it’s truly installed 🙂

Use NordVPN on Raspbian Desktop

As I told you at the beginning of this part, there is no app available on Raspbian Desktop
So even on the Desktop version you need to use a few commands to connect to a NordVPN server

That’s no so complicated:

  • Open a terminal
  • The first step is to log in your account:
    nordvpn login
  • Enter your login and password
    You are now authenticated
  • The next step is to connect to a server
    You have two choices:
    • Either to a random server with:
      nordvpn connect
    • Or by choosing a specific country with:
      nordvpn <country>
      For example:
  • As you have seen on the previous picture, the command to disconnect is simply:
    nordvpn disconnect

That’s it, you know how to use NordVPN on Raspbian Desktop

Once connected, you can use any website to check your current IP address and location
Here is an example with WhatIsMyIp:

Cool right?

Raspbian Lite

Let’s see now how to install it on Raspbian Lite
The process is almost the same, except that we need to do everything in command line 🙂

Download and install the repository package

  • I recommend to start by enabling SSH, so you can copy and paste the command here from your computer:
    sudo service ssh start
    Then use Putty or any other client to connect to your Raspberry Pi
  • As on Raspbian Desktop, the first step is to download the package from the official website:
    wget -qnc https://repo.nordvpn.com/deb/nordvpn/debian/pool/main/nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb
    I don’t think they update the file name, but you can go to the download page to get the latest link
  • Once downloaded you can install it with:
    sudo dpkg -i nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb

As on Raspbian Desktop, this package is not the NordVPN app directly
It’s just a way to install the NordVPN repository
You can now use apt to install the app

Install the NordVPN package

  • As always, start by updating the local cache:
    sudo apt update
  • Then install the NordVPN package with:
    sudo apt install nordvpn

That’s everything you need to do
The NordVPN commands are now available on your system

Use NordVPN on Raspbian Lite

The commands are the same as on Raspbian Desktop
I will give you more details in the last part of this tutorial, but here is the basic commands that you can use to check that everything works fine:

  • nordvpn login: Enter your login and password to authenticate on NordVPN
  • nordvpn connect: Connect to a random server
  • nordvpn connect <country>: Connect to a server in the specified country
  • nordvpn disconnect: Disconnect your VPN client

Check your current IP and location

On Raspbian Lite, you can’t use your browser to check that you are really connected to NordVPN
But here is a way to do this:

  • Enter the following command:
    curl ipinfo.io
  • You’ll get a result like this:

    So, here I’m connected to a server in New Delhi (India) and my IP address is 103.221.233.15

That’s it! You know how to install and use NordVPN on Raspbian Lite
Don’t forget to check the last part with all the useful commands you need to know about NordVPN

Installation on Kodi

In this part, I’ll show you how to install it on Kodi
Even if you can install Kodi on Raspbian and use the same procedure as the previous part, it’s not convenient if you are mainly using your Raspberry Pi as a media center

By following these steps, the VPN connection will be done inside the Kodi menus
Let’s go!

Kodi installation

If you are ready this, I suppose you already have Kodi installed
If not, you can read my guide here on how to install Kodi with OSMC

Kodi is the software we’ll use to browse into our media center (like Spotify for music)
OSMC is the operating system running on the Raspberry Pi (like Windows on a PC)

If you don’t know, Kodi allows you to play videos, music and other digital media files from local and network storage media or the internet

NordVPN way to install it?

At first, I lost many time trying to follow the official procedure to install NordVPN with Kodi
Here is the link if you want to try

Basically, the idea is to install OpenVPN on Kodi, and use it as a client to NordVPN
NordVPN does an excellent job by offering you to download the OpenVPN configuration
You just have to change one line to define your login and password

It seems easy, but it doesn’t work
I managed to make it work in command line with OpenVPN (so my configuration is OK), but sadly it doesn’t work in the Kodi interface

In the next section, I will show you the easiest way to proceed, and that works 🙂

The good way to install it

Allow unknown sources

If not already done on your installation, you need to allow the “Unknown sources”
We’ll add a new repository on the next step, and by default Kodi doesn’t allow this

  • Go in the Settings menu and click on System
  • Then choose “Add-ons” on the left menu
  • And allow the “Unknown sources”
  • A warning message appears, you can ignore it by clicking on “Yes”
  • That’s it, you can now quit this menu and move to the next step

Download and transfer the Zomboided repository

  • On your computer download the following file: Zomboided repository
  • You’ll now transfer it on your Raspberry Pi
    On Windows, you can use a tool like WinSCP or FileZilla to do this
  • For example, on Filezilla, create a new site with the following parameter:

    Change the host field with your IP address (you can find it in Settings > System information)
    By default, the login is “osmc” and the password “osmc” too
  • Transfer the file you just downloaded to the Raspberry Pi
    For example in /home/osmc

Install the repository

Back in Kodi, you can now install the file:

  • Go to Settings again, and choose Add-ons
  • Choose “Install from zip file” in the menu
  • Click on “Home folder” and select the file you just uploaded
  • A few seconds later, the repository is installed and ready to use

Install and configure the VPN manager

The last step is to install and configure the VPN manager:

  • Back to the Add-ons menu, select “Install from repository
  • Click on “Zomboided Add-on Repository
  • Go into “Services
  • And install the “VPN Manager for OpenVPN” package
  • On the next step, click on “Install” to start the installation:
  • A complete wizard will guide you through the installation
    Asking for your provider (NordVPN), your credentials (login and password) and the country you want to connect for your first profile
    You can even choose to auto start the VPN connection on boot

  • You can create multiple profiles if you need (one by country)
  • Once the configuration is complete, you’ll get a success message like this:

To manage the connection, you can go to Add-ons > VPN Manager from the main menu
From here, you can check your settings, display the VPN status, connect or disconnect, etc.

That’s it, you now know how to install and use NordVPN on Kodi!

How to check that it’s working correctly?

A funny tip to finish, here is my strategy to check that I’m well-connected with OpenVPN:

Yes 🙂
If my country’s weather is displayed, there is a problem, otherwise the VPN is working correctly

NordVPN commands

As I promised you, here are the commands you can use on the three systems we have just seen (Raspbian Lite, Desktop and Kodi/OSMC):

  • nordvpn account: show the account information if you are logged in (email and subscription status)
  • nordvpn cities <country>: display a list of cities available in the specified country
    Ex: nordvpn cities Germany
  • nordvpn connect <option>: the main command to connect to a NordVPN server
    There are many possible options in this command
    Here are a few examples:
    • nordvpn connect: connect to the recommended server
    • nordvpn connect <server>: connect to a specific server (check the list here)
    • nordvpn connect <country>: connect to a specific country (as seen in the Raspbian Lite part, check the next command)
    • nordvpn connect <country> <city>: connect to a specific city (see previous command)
  • nordvpn countries: display a list of available countries over the world
  • nordvpn disconnect: stop your VPN connection
  • nordvpn groups: a list of server groups you can use with nordvpn connect <group>
  • nordvpn login and nordvpn logout: commands to configure or remove your account from this device
  • nordvpn rate <value>: Once disconnected, you can rate the quality of the server you just used. This way NordVPN can improve its recommendations
  • nordvpn settings: Display the currents settings (technology, protocol, etc.). You can change them with the next command
  • nordvpn set <option> <value>: Change a configuration option (use nordvpn set without any parameter to get the list of options and values)
  • nordvpn status: As the name suggest, display the current status of your VPN connection
  • nordvpn whitelist <command> <options>: An advanced command to add or remove an option from the whitelist
    Example: nordvpn whitelist add port 22
    This will allow you to connect to any SSH server without using NordVPN (if there is an IP filter for example)

That’s it!
You can use man nordvpn or nordvpn --help to get more examples for each command

Conclusion

Wow! This was a giant post to write, but I hope above all that it’s comprehensive and helpful for you
If it’s the case, you now have a complete guide to install and configure NordVPN on a Raspberry Pi, whatever the system you use (Raspbian Desktop & Lite or Kodi directly)

If you have any question on the topic, feel free to leave a comment below
And as usual, sharing this post on the social networks help me a lot (you can use the buttons below)

Disclaimer: Just to let you know that I wrote that post because I use and like NordVPN and it’s really useful on Raspberry Pi, but links to NordVPN in this post are affiliate links and I can earn a commission from qualifying purchases. The commission comes at no additional cost to you.

NordVPN is a VPN provider, allowing you to protect your privacy, secure your connection and access any country-oriented content (like streaming services)
In this guide I\'ll show you how to install this software on your Raspberry Pi

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