NordVPN VS Surfshark are two highly renowned VPN providers in the market, and they are difficult to match in terms of service quality. Interestingly, these two products are owned by the same parent company, but their offerings are quite distinct. Both VPN services are exceptional options that offer top-notch security and excellent features.
To provide an in-depth comparison between NordVPN VS Surfshark, we have tested both services in terms of their speeds, features, security, apps, and customer support quality. By the end of this review, you will have a better understanding of the differences and similarities between these two VPN services, and you will be able to decide which one is the better option for your needs.
NordVPN VS SurfShark VPN – An Overview:
NordVPN and Surfshark are both excellent VPN providers, and their differences are quite minimal. Although Surfshark is generally more affordable, starting at only $2.30 per month, NordVPN provides a more extensive selection of servers and protocol options. Additionally, NordVPN limits its connections to six devices at once, while Surfshark does not have any limitations. Nonetheless, NordVPN emerges as the superior option because it provides a much better overall value.
Why You Should Choose NordVPN?
Based on our research and market analysis, it is clear that NordVPN is a top-tier VPN provider that deserves attention. One of the primary reasons for this is its exceptional security features. NordVPN is based in Panama, which is a privacy-friendly country, making it an ideal location for a VPN provider. Furthermore, NordVPN has undergone a detailed external independent privacy audit that is open to the public, adding an extra layer of credibility to its claims.
In terms of performance, NordVPN excels in download speeds, making it a clear winner in this category. However, both VPN providers are exceptional and have their unique strengths. To help you make an informed decision, we have provided an in-depth review below.
Why You Should Choose SurfShark VPN?
If you are looking for an affordable VPN option that doesn’t compromise security or speed, then Surfshark is an excellent choice for you. In addition to its affordability, Surfshark also provides unlimited simultaneous connections, allowing you to use the VPN on as many devices as you need.
Moreover, Surfshark’s antivirus protection and breach alerts are noteworthy features that add an extra layer of security to your online activities. You can access these features through Surfshark One, which offers a comprehensive package with all the necessary tools and features.
Performance With Netflix:
NordVPN and Surfshark are highly proficient in unblocking geo-restricted streaming sites, including the popular streaming platform Netflix. In fact, both VPN providers are widely regarded as the best options for streaming. As anticipated, neither NordVPN nor Surfshark faced any issues in accessing foreign Netflix libraries and other platforms with strict geo-blocks. After conducting our tests, we found that both NordVPN and Surfshark were able to unblock US-exclusive content and connect to various foreign locations with ease. Therefore, if you’re looking for a VPN that can provide seamless streaming on Netflix, both of these options are highly recommended.
Furthermore, both VPN providers support split tunneling, allowing you to set up Netflix to work exclusively with a VPN. Additionally, the SmartDNS feature that both VPNs offer enables you to stream foreign content libraries on devices that do not support VPN apps, such as smart TVs. Moreover, both Surfshark and NordVPN are compatible with numerous other popular streaming sites, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Max, and many more. During our testing, neither provider encountered any errors that would spoil the streaming experience.
Subscription Cost For NordVPN VS Surfshark:
VPN pricing is generally straightforward – the longer the subscription, the more significant the discount. This rule applies to both NordVPN and Surfshark. The monthly subscription option is the most expensive. NordVPN charges $12.99, while Surfshark is a bit cheaper at $12.95 per month. To save money, it’s worth considering the longer plans.
The longest subscription plan, which is two years, offers the best value. NordVPN charges $3.29/month, while Surfshark costs only $2.30/month, which is an excellent deal.
When it comes to payment options, NordVPN accepts credit cards, PayPal (in certain regions), AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and cryptocurrencies. Surfshark accepts credit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, and cryptocurrencies.
If you’re unsure about committing to a VPN service, NordVPN and Surfshark offer a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Surfshark also provides a 7-day free trial for mobile devices, with unlimited simultaneous connections, and a flexible 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re looking for discounts, you can find NordVPN coupons and Surfshark coupons on our pages.
Which VPN You Can Trust?
Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer robust security features to keep your data safe, including AES-256-GCM encryption and RAM-only servers, as well as a reliable kill switch and DNS leak protection. However, it is worth noting that Surfshark is based in the Netherlands, and is a member of the 9-Eyes Intelligence Alliance. This raises some concerns about data privacy.
Both services have undergone public security audits to verify their no-logs policies. NordVPN has had two audits conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), while VerSprite performed a security audit on NordVPN’s applications in 2019.
Surfshark, on the other hand, has been audited three times. The first two audits were carried out by Cure53, who tested Surfshark’s browser extensions and server infrastructure. The most recent audit was conducted in 2023 by Deloitte, focusing on Surfshark’s no-logs policy.
Privacy Offers By Both VPNs:
NordVPN, on the other hand, is based in Panama, a location that is known for its privacy-friendly legislation. This means that your data is protected from intrusive surveillance alliances regardless of which VPN you choose.
Which VPN Is Faster?
In this comparison of NordVPN and Surfshark, I conducted speed tests across five different locations – US, UK, France, Singapore, and Australia – for each protocol to determine which VPN provider is better. Both NordVPN and Surfshark use WireGuard, with NordVPN using a modified version called NordLynx. NordVPN showed slightly faster speeds than Surfshark, with both providers still offering fast speeds that make them two of the fastest VPNs available.
Additionally, we tested their performance with other protocols, including OpenVPN (UDP and TCP variants) and IKEv2, which is a favorite among mobile users. The results were close when comparing download speeds, with NordVPN experiencing an average drop of 28% and Surfshark’s drop being 27%. However, NordVPN was more efficient in terms of upload speeds.
Some Additional Features:
Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer a wide range of features as part of their subscription plans. While NordVPN has more specialty server options, Surfshark boasts a more extensive selection of security features.
The Smart DNS:
The most popular streaming devices do not always support VPN natively. However, NordVPN and Surfshark have devised ways to offer VPN-like functionalities without requiring an app. NordVPN offers SmartPlay, which automatically unblocks streaming sites when using a VPN. This feature can also be configured as a SmartDNS function to replace the device’s DNS settings, triggering whenever the user visits websites with restricted media. On the other hand, Surfshark offers a similar feature called SmartDNS, which functions like NordVPN’s SmartPlay and has a comparable success rate.
NordVPN VS Surfshark Speciality Servers:
Rewritten: Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer specialized servers that provide unique advantages to your connection. Surfshark, for instance, has multi-hop and static IP servers. Multi-hop servers route your traffic through two VPN servers, obscuring your real IP address, while the P2P servers are optimized for torrenting. Surfshark’s static IP servers, on the other hand, assign you the same IP address each time you connect to them, but the IP address isn’t exclusive to you.
NordVPN, on the other hand, offers a wider range of specialized servers. For example, Double VPN servers, which are similar to Surfshark’s multi-hop servers, but with two VPN connections instead of one. NordVPN also offers Onion over VPN servers that combine your VPN connection with the Tor network, and obfuscated servers that disguise your traffic to appear non-VPN (although Surfshark also has a similar setting). Additionally, NordVPN offers dedicated IP addresses, which are reserved for those who pay extra and are exclusive to the user.
One of the most beneficial features that a VPN provider can offer is split tunneling. This feature provides a more specific approach to directing your internet traffic. Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer similar implementations of split tunneling. You can choose to route only certain apps through the VPN or exclude them from the VPN connection. This means that you do not have to disconnect from the VPN every time you need to connect directly. However, both providers have only integrated this feature on Windows and Android platforms. Therefore, if you use a Mac or iPhone, split tunneling will not be available to you.
NordVPN VS Surfshark Web Filters:
Regardless of which VPN provider you choose, you will benefit from web filtering that protects you while you browse. Surfshark offers a feature called CleanWeb that blocks intrusive trackers and ads. This is accomplished by blocking known IPs associated with adware hosts, malware, or trackers. CleanWeb works with Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browser extensions. On the other hand, NordVPN has a feature called Threat Protection that enhances your browsing safety by blocking ads and trackers, identifying malware, and preventing you from accessing malicious websites.
Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer a vast number of servers in various locations worldwide. While NordVPN boasts 5500+ servers in 60 countries, Surfshark has 3200+ servers in 100 countries, which means more country options for the latter. However, NordVPN’s fleet is more extensive in the US and Europe than the entire Surfshark network combined, ensuring more reliable performance across different user locations. Both providers have specialty servers, and while NordVPN doesn’t use virtual locations, Surfshark does. Moreover, NordVPN has more servers overall, while Surfshark offers more countries to choose from.
NordVPN VS Surfshark Torrenting:
Both VPNs have specialized P2P servers that are designed to enhance your download speeds. While Surfshark permits torrenting on any of its servers, the download speed might be compromised. On the other hand, NordVPN has a specific server designated for P2P traffic, but you can opt for any server that supports P2P traffic. NordVPN ensures safer file sharing and better speeds by reconnecting you to a P2P server automatically if P2P traffic is detected. Additionally, NordVPN offers a SOCKS5 proxy, which is ideal for P2P connections since it offers faster download speeds.
NordVPN VS Surfshark Use On Desktop:
Linux users may not find the NordVPN app very visually pleasing, as it lacks a graphical interface. Instead, Linux users will need to use the terminal and manually input the servers they want to connect to. In contrast, Surfshark has recently released a dedicated Linux app with a user-friendly interface and a rich set of features.
On Windows, Surfshark offers an attractive user interface and exclusive features such as Split Tunneling/Whitelisted. These features are not available on macOS. However, Surfshark’s macOS version is available in two forms. The App Store version with all tunneling protocols and the website version with only IKEv2. In comparison, NordVPN’s Windows and iOS versions are very similar, featuring a map interface that is easy to navigate. NordVPN’s macOS app also has two versions, with the website version offering more recent updates but only supporting the OpenVPN tunneling protocol.
NordVPN VS Surfshark Use On Mobile:
The notion that Android VPN apps are superior to their iOS counterparts remains uncontested. Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer excellent Android versions, whereas their iOS versions are somewhat lagging behind. What sets Surfshark apart from other VPN providers is its Android version. This features a Bypasser and GPS spoofing capability, a feature that is yet to be implemented by competitors.
While the Surfshark iOS version includes a kill switch, it only offers additional features such as CleanWeb and auto-connect. For more information about these features, check out our Surfshark VPN review.
NordVPN’s Android app is user-friendly and packed with features. You can choose servers from either a map interface or a list of servers. It also includes essential features such as a kill switch, split tunneling, pausing, and auto-connect. As for NordVPN’s iOS app, it comes with a built-in kill switch, favorites tab, and dark web monitoring. There’s also a map interface, but you can use a list of countries to select your server.
The Comparison Verdict Between NordVPN VS SurfShark VPN:
In the end, after comparing NordVPN VS Surfshark in various aspects, NordVPN emerges as the winner. Although both VPNs are comparable in terms of features and protection, NordVPN has a slight edge when it comes to security. It has undergone more public audits, providing tangible evidence of its safety.
Both VPNs provide the necessary tools for streaming and torrenting, but NordVPN offers a more comprehensive suite of features. When shopping for a VPN, this is something to look out for. Nevertheless, Surfshark is also a great option that can match NordVPN in speed, protection, torrenting, price, and clients.
It’s not surprising that both VPNs frequently appear on lists of the best VPNs. You Can also read our latest review on NordVPN to further dig down into the features and benefits offered by the service.