Surfshark vs Nordvpn

If you have never used a VPN in your life, it might be challenging to choose a provider, especially with so many options on the market. Take, for instance, NordVPN and Surfshark – both VPNs are popular.
They are also very similar across many categories. Still, there are some notable differences you should be aware of before you spend your money on one of them.
We compare the features, pricing, ease of use, support and speeds of Surfshark and NordVPN.
Article by
Stephen Mash

Stephen is a UK-based freelance technology writer with a background in cybersecurity and risk management.

About writer

Contents

Compare ratings

Rating
PIA logo
NordVPN logo
Features
9.4
9.7
Pricing
9.4
8.0
Ease of Use
10
9.6
Support
9.6
9.8

Reviews by experts

Reviews
Review by our expert
PIA logo
7.1

Surfshark is a premium VPN service based in the British Virgin Islands that offers easy-to-use anonymous and safe browsing feat...

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Article by
Stephen Mash
Last modified:
2021-06-05 10:06
NordVPN logo
9.0

NordVPN is a premium VPN service based in Panama that markets itself as having one of the best performances thanks to its bespo...

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Article by
Stephen Mash
Last modified:
2021-07-26 12:23

Side-by-Side Comparison

Surfshark
Pricing
Monthly
$12.95
Half yearly
$38.94 (equivalent to $6.49 per month)
Two yearly
$59.76 (equivalent to $2.49 per month)
Payment Methods
card_amazon_pay Created with Sketch.
Parallel Connections
Unlimited (Subject to Fair Use Terms)
Server Locations
65 countries
Jurisdiction
British Virgin Islands
Protocols
OpenVPN (UDP)
OpenVPN (TCP)
WireGuard
IPsec (IKEv2) on iOS
Encryption
AES 256 GCM
Handshaking RSA
Speeds
Surfshark VPN Server Locations Download Upload
United Kingdon 418.75 Mbit 164.6 Mbit
Australia 346.95 Mbit 22.6 Mbit
Taiwan 325.03 Mbit 0.98 Mbit
South Africa 176.8 Mbit 3.07 Mbit
California, USA 284.36 Mbit 21.46 Mbit
New York, USA 315.07 Mbit 52.57 Mbit
Germany 540.44 Mbit 148 Mbit
Spain 445.98 Mbit 45.04 Mbit
Brazil 228.1 Mbit 24.61 Mbit
Indonesia 163.92 Mbit 18.26 Mbit
NordVPN
Pricing
Monthly
$11.95
Yearly
$59 (equivalent to $4.92 per month)
Two yearly
$89 including discount and three free months (equivalent to $3.30 per month)
Payment Methods
card_amazon_pay Created with Sketch.
Parallel Connections
6
Server Locations
60 Countries
Jurisdiction
Panama
Protocols
IPsec (IKEv2)
OpenVPN (UDP or TCP)
NordLynx (Built on WireGuard)
Encryption
AES 256 GCM
Speeds
NordVPN VPN Server Locations Download Upload
United Kingdon 732.38 Mbit 352.96 Mbit
Australia 148.82 Mbit 19.61 Mbit
Taiwan 81.91 Mbit 41.36 Mbit
South Africa 241.08 Mbit 15.89 Mbit
Arizona, USA 449.54 Mbit 8.99 Mbit
New York, USA 547.48 Mbit 31.71 Mbit
Germany 545.48 Mbit 96.32 Mbit
Spain 632.41 Mbit 128.17 Mbit
Brazil 390.1 Mbit 26 Mbit
Indonesia 124.18 Mbit 10.54 Mbit
Surfshark
NordVPN
Pricing
Monthly
$11.95
Yearly
$59 (equivalent to $4.92 per month)
Two yearly
$89 including discount and three free months (equivalent to $3.30 per month)
Monthly
$11.95
Yearly
$59 (equivalent to $4.92 per month)
Two yearly
$89 including discount and three free months (equivalent to $3.30 per month)
Payment Methods
card_amazon_pay Created with Sketch.
card_amazon_pay Created with Sketch.
Parallel Connections
Unlimited (Subject to Fair Use Terms)
6
Server Locations
65 countries
60 Countries
Jurisdiction
British Virgin Islands
Panama
Protocols
OpenVPN (UDP)
OpenVPN (TCP)
WireGuard
IPsec (IKEv2) on iOS
IPsec (IKEv2)
OpenVPN (UDP or TCP)
NordLynx (Built on WireGuard)
Encryption
AES 256 GCM
Handshaking RSA
AES 256 GCM
Speeds
Surfshark VPN Server Locations Download Upload
United Kingdon 418.75 Mbit 164.6 Mbit
Australia 346.95 Mbit 22.6 Mbit
Taiwan 325.03 Mbit 0.98 Mbit
South Africa 176.8 Mbit 3.07 Mbit
California, USA 284.36 Mbit 21.46 Mbit
New York, USA 315.07 Mbit 52.57 Mbit
Germany 540.44 Mbit 148 Mbit
Spain 445.98 Mbit 45.04 Mbit
Brazil 228.1 Mbit 24.61 Mbit
Indonesia 163.92 Mbit 18.26 Mbit
NordVPN VPN Server Locations Download Upload
United Kingdon 732.38 Mbit 352.96 Mbit
Australia 148.82 Mbit 19.61 Mbit
Taiwan 81.91 Mbit 41.36 Mbit
South Africa 241.08 Mbit 15.89 Mbit
Arizona, USA 449.54 Mbit 8.99 Mbit
New York, USA 547.48 Mbit 31.71 Mbit
Germany 545.48 Mbit 96.32 Mbit
Spain 632.41 Mbit 128.17 Mbit
Brazil 390.1 Mbit 26 Mbit
Indonesia 124.18 Mbit 10.54 Mbit

Comparison Review

Here, you can find a side-by-side comparison of NordVPN and Surfshark. By the end of this review, you will get the answer to which VPN is right for you?

Privacy – Great Start For Both VPNs

Surfshark and NordVPN follow almost identical patterns when it comes to privacy. Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands, while NordVPN places its services in Panama, privacy-friendly locations.

The most important fact, at this point, is that both VPNs are out of reach of surveillance alliances. In turn, you can rest assured, whether you pick Surfshark or NordVPN, intrusive legislation won’t threaten your data.

Better yet, both Surfshark and NordVPN provide strict no-logs policies, giving extra credibility.

Surfshark no logs

Source: https://surfshark.com/features/no-logs

NordVPN has undergone two independent audits by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) and a security audit on its applications by VerSprite, concluding the VPN truly sticks to its promises.

Surfshark has also been audited twice by Cure53.

NordVPN no logs

Source: https://nordvpn.com/features/strict-no-logs-policy/

Security – It’s a Tie

A VPN acts as your intermediary, so it’s essential to choose one that you can trust.

First things first – encryption. Surfshark offers AES-256-GCM and Chacha20Poly1305, while NordVPN provides AES-256-CBC, both of which are uncrackable versions. You can also find the SHA-512 hash function for authentication.

NordVPN features

Source: https://nordvpn.com/features/

You can connect to OpenVPN, IKEv2, and NordLynx with NordVPN, while Surfshark supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, Shadowsocks, and WireGuard.

Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer the option to pay with cryptocurrencies. Also, you will benefit from the Kill Switch across all apps and DNS servers on both VPNs as a user. In other words, you will never browse without protection.

Surfshark use cases

Source: https://surfshark.com/use-cases

Finally, NordVPN and Surfshark come with cloaking technology, hiding that you are even using a VPN. NordVPN uses Obfsproxy, while Surfshark has its proprietary software, NoBorders.

Due to all this, it’s safe to say there’s no winner when it comes to security.

Speed – Two Great Server Networks

Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer RAM-only servers across several continents, covering Europe, The Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa.

NordVPN has 5,205 servers in 60 countries around the world. The best part is, you can choose from several options, including P2P, Obfuscated, Double VPN, and Dedicated IP servers.

NordVPN servers

Source: https://nordvpn.com/servers/

In turn, Surfshark VPN comes with 3,200 servers in 65 countries, so it’s a close race between the two.

Surfshark servers

Source: https://surfshark.com/servers

 

In theory, NordVPN and Surfshark offer very similar performances. However, when we tested the connection speeds, we realized Surfshark’s WireGuard is faster than NordVPN, which gives the provider a win.

Apps and Compatibility

NordVPN and Surfshark both come with incredible ease of use. Both VPNs support many operating systems (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS) and browser extensions (Chrome and Firefox) and work across different devices.

Furthermore, Surfshark works with Android TVs and Fire devices, while NordVPN also adds Kodi to the mix. With NordVPN, you can go for up to six simultaneous connections.

 

NordVPN devices

Source: https://nordvpn.com/download/

Surfshark takes things to another level since you can connect from an unlimited number of devices from a single account.

Surfshark apps

Source: https://surfshark.com/download

Still, six simultaneous connections are ample for most users. So, it’s yet another draw.

Streaming Options – Rich Libraries

You can unblock many websites using either NordVPN or Surfshark, including different Netflix libraries. It’s due to the VPNs’ capabilities to unblock geo-restricted contents.

See, if you go for NordVPN, you can expect a smooth experience with no buffering. You get access to HD movies, crazy cat compilations, fresh TV episodes, and so on. The VPN provides for server-optimized servers with the NordLynx protocol, unlimited bandwidth, and advanced SmartPlay technology.

NordVPN streaming

Source: https://nordvpn.com/features/streaming/

However, Surfshark also supports over a dozen libraries, including Hulu, Sky Go, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, CBS, NBC, ITV, and Channel 4.

Customer Support – 24/7/365

When it comes to VPNs, you can commonly stumble upon an issue. Fortunately, NordVPN and Surfshark are both here to assist you in all quests.

First, you can find many topics within their Knowledge bases and FAQ sections. Better yet, you can get in touch with real humans using the live chat options. If you face a more challenging issue, the live agents will transfer the inquiry to the ticketing systems. Either way, you will get the proper assistance.

We had a pleasant customer support experience with both Surfshark and NordVPN. Once again, we declare no winner.

Pricing – Depends On The Plan

Sure, all of the above-mentioned features will affect your decision. Still, the VPN of choice should also suit your budget.

It’s a bit challenging to compare NordVPN and Surfshark regarding pricing since they offer different plans. With Surfshark, you can go for monthly, six-months, or a two-year plan. In turn, NordVPN offers monthly, annual, and biennial plans.

Surfshark pricing

Source: https://surfshark.com/features

In general, NordVPN is cheaper on a monthly basis. However, if you are in for the longer term, Surfshark offers better discounts. Take, for instance, the price difference in the 24-month plans.

NordVPN pricing

Source: https://nordvpn.com/pricing/

Conclusion

NordVPN And Surfshark - A Close Race With No Winner

As noted, both NordVPN and Surfshark offer superior features. They provide comparable security and protection, speed, ease of use, and streaming options. It’s clear why they both end up on almost all “Best VPNs” lists. Whichever you choose, you cannot go wrong. The best part is, you get a 100% 30-day money-back guarantee with both NordVPN and Surfshark. So, if you are not satisfied with your service, you can immediately get your money back.