Surfshark vs NordVPN: An In-Depth Comparison

With many brands currently in the market, choosing a reliable VPN service is pivotal. Among the many being compared, Surfshark vs NordVPN is a pairing that's often mentioned. 

After all, these are two of the foremost contenders in the VPN market.

For those of you who have yet to make a choice but feel the need, you aren't alone. Global consulting firm Deloitte has found that 67% of consumers today worry about online privacy. This leads us back to the dilemma of which VPN to choose.

Join us as we compare Surfshark vs NordVPN in this bottom-line comparison.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: Company Backgrounds

Surfshark vs NordVPN

Established in late 2018, Surfshark is now a notable player in the VPN landscape. It has quickly established a reputation for offering a user-friendly, feature-rich service. Surfshark has also gained attention for its aggressive pricing strategy.

On the other hand, NordVPN is a seasoned veteran in the VPN field. Launched in 2012, it has built a formidable reputation over the years. NordVPN is known for its advanced security features and reliable performance.

Market Presence and Reputation

While Surfshark impresses us with its rapid growth and user-friendly approach, NordVPN commands respect for its experience and advanced security features. Both have received accolades in the tech community, with numerous positive reviews and endorsements.

However, they've also faced their share of criticisms, which they've used as opportunities for improvement. Surfshark has been commended for its rapid response to feedback, whereas NordVPN is noted for its continuous refinement of security protocols.

For example, according to CNET's Attila Tomaschek and Rae Hodge, NordVPN's “Privacy and transparency issues need attention. Meanwhile, Redditors often complain about Surfshark's smaller server network and lack of finesse in browser extensions.

Technical Performance: Is Faster Always Better?

In the world of VPNs, consistent performance is critical. This includes connection speed, server reliability, and maintaining stable connections. 

Here, we compare Surfshark and NordVPN on these technical parameters to determine the best and most consistent performance.

Surfshark SpeedNordVPN Speed
US321 Mbps425 Mbps
Europe336 Mbps432 Mbps
Singapore421 Mbps431 Mbps
Australia220 Mbps464 Mpbs
Note: Speed tests were conducted on a desktop PC on a 500 Mbps speed line.

Surfshark is known for its high-speed performance and leverages modern protocols like WireGuard to provide fast connection speeds. This makes it ideal for streaming, gaming, and large downloads. However, speed consistency can vary depending on server location and network traffic.

NordVPN also uses advanced protocols, including its NordLynx protocol based on WireGuard. It generally offers high-speed connections across its vast server network. NordVPN's performance is noted for its consistency, maintaining stable speeds even on distant servers.

Server Reliability

With a growing network of over 3200 servers, Surfshark ensures a reliable connection. It manages server load efficiently, but users may encounter variability in less popular locations.

Boasting over 5400 servers, NordVPN provides a more extensive network. This large number of servers helps maintain consistent performance, reducing the likelihood of overloaded servers and ensuring better reliability.

Stability and Uptime

Surfshark has shown commendable uptime and stability. Its servers are optimized for uninterrupted service, although some users report occasional disconnects.

Known for its robust infrastructure, NordVPN excels in maintaining high stability and uptime. Its servers are strategically placed and well-maintained, offering a resilient connection.

Streaming and Torrenting Performance

Surfshark is effective in unblocking streaming services and supports P2P activities. While its performance is generally reliable, it can sometimes be inconsistent in speed during peak hours.

NordVPN is highly reliable for streaming and torrenting, with dedicated servers. It consistently unblocks major streaming platforms and provides stable torrenting speeds.

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Features Comparison Between Surfshark vs NordVPN

When choosing a VPN, features are often the deciding factor. Here, we compare Surfshark vs NordVPN across several vital aspects.

EncryptionAES-256-GCM encryptionAES-256 encryption
Unique Security FeaturesCleanWeb, No-logs policyDouble VPN, Onion Over VPN, No-logs policy
Server NetworkOver 3200 servers in 65 countriesOver 5400 servers in 59 countries
Streaming & TorrentingExcellent for streaming, Unlimited connectionsGreat for streaming and torrenting, Dedicated P2P servers
Ease of UseUser-friendly interface, Cross-platformIntuitive apps, Cross-platform
Device CompatibilityApps for major platforms, Browser extensionsApps for major platforms, Browser extensions
Unique FeaturesWhitelister, GPS spoofing on AndroidCyberSec feature for blocking ads and threats

Security and Privacy Features

Surfshark shines with its AES-256-GCM encryption, offering a secure and fast experience. Its CleanWeb feature blocks ads, trackers, and malware. Importantly, Surfshark's no-logs policy assures users of privacy.

NordVPN also employs AES-256 encryption, ensuring top-tier security. It steps up with Double VPN and Onion Over VPN for extra layers of protection. Like Surfshark, NordVPN maintains a strict no-logs policy.

Speed and Server Network

Surfshark boasts a growing network of over 3200 servers in 65 countries, ensuring good coverage and speed. Its WireGuard protocol support enhances speed without compromising security.

NordVPN offers a larger network with over 5400 servers in 59 countries. Its use of the NordLynx protocol, based on WireGuard, provides excellent speed and security.

Streaming and Torrenting

Surfshark excels in unblocking streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu. Its unlimited simultaneous connections make it an excellent choice for families or multiple-device users.

NordVPN is equally proficient in accessing various streaming platforms and offers dedicated P2P servers, making it ideal for torrenting.

Ease of Use and Device Compatibility

Surfshark offers a user-friendly interface across all platforms, including dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and extensions for popular browsers.

NordVPN also provides a seamless experience with intuitive apps and browser extensions for various devices and platforms.

Unique Features

Surfshark offers unique features like Whitelister, which allows specific apps and websites to bypass the VPN. It's also one of the few VPNs offering GPS spoofing on Android.

NordVPN includes CyberSec, a feature that blocks ads and potential threats, enhancing your browsing experience.

Value Proposition: Surfshark vs NordVPN Pricing

Pricing and the flexibility of plans play a crucial role in decision-making. Here, we compare the subscription options, pricing, and value offered by Surfshark and NordVPN.

Plan TypeSurfshark ($ per month)NordVPN ($ per month)
Note: Prices are subject to change, and checking the latest pricing on their respective websites is recommended.

In terms of structure, Surfshark and NordVPN offer identical plans:

  • A monthly plan, priced at the highest cost per month.
  • A 12-month plan, which offers decent cost savings.
  • A two-year plan, which offers the best value for long-term subscribers.

Both VPNs occasionally offer special deals or discounts, especially during holidays or special events. It's worth watching for these to get the best value.

Money-Back Guarantees

Surfshark and NordVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing users to try their services risk-free. Additionally, there are free trials for both brands that you should take into account.

Surfshark: An Affordable Choice

With its current 82% discount, Surfshark is the cheapest premium VPN available.

Customer Support Comparison

The quality of customer support is a vital aspect of any service, and VPNs are no exception. In this section, we compare the customer support services of Surfshark and NordVPN.

Support FeatureSurfsharkNordVPN
24/7 Live ChatAvailableAvailable
Email SupportAvailableAvailable
Knowledge BaseExtensive guides and FAQsComprehensive help section

Surfshark is known for its responsive customer support. It offers:

  • 24/7 Live Chat support, ensuring users can get help at any time.
  • Email support, which is helpful for more detailed inquiries or technical issues.
  • An extensive knowledge base on its website provides guides and self-help FAQs.

NordVPN also places a strong emphasis on customer service:

  • It provides 24/7 Live Chat support, known for its efficiency and knowledgeable staff.
  • Email support is available for more in-depth assistance.
  • NordVPN’s website hosts a comprehensive help section, including tutorials, general information, and troubleshooting guides.

Both VPNs are committed to providing timely and helpful support, but there can be differences in response times and the depth of assistance offered.

User Reviews and Community Feedback

Understanding the experiences of actual users offers invaluable insights into the performance and reliability of VPN services. In this section, we examine user reviews and community feedback for Surfshark and NordVPN.

Surfshark FeedbackNordVPN Feedback
PricingPraised for affordabilityHigher pricing for short-term plans noted
Device ConnectionsUnlimited connections well-received
User InterfaceUser-friendly interface appreciatedOccasional speed fluctuations were reported
Server NetworkExtensive network highly valued
Security FeaturesStrong security features highlightedRobust security features praised
Performance in StreamingStrong performance in streaming
SpeedInconsistencies noted in some locationsOccasional speed fluctuations reported
Community ReputationGenerally positive with some criticismsHighly regarded with some criticisms

Surfshark User Reviews

  • Positive Feedback: Users often praise Surfshark for its affordable pricing and unlimited device connections. Its user-friendly interface and strong security features are frequently highlighted in positive reviews.
  • Criticisms: Some users have noted inconsistencies in server speeds, particularly in less common locations. There are also occasional mentions of connectivity issues.

NordVPN User Reviews:

  • Positive Feedback: NordVPN is commonly lauded for its extensive server network and robust security features. Users appreciate its strong streaming performance and its dedicated IP option.
  • Criticisms: Higher pricing is a common concern, particularly for short-term plans. Some users also find the interface complex and report occasional speed fluctuations.

Community Feedback

  • Both VPNs have active communities, with forums and social media platforms often buzzing with user experiences and advice.
  • Tech experts and cybersecurity forums generally regard both Surfshark and NordVPN highly, though each service has its own set of advocates depending on user priorities.

Our Recommendation: Weighing The Pros and Cons

In this section, we delve into the advantages and disadvantages of Surfshark and NordVPN. This comparative analysis will help you weigh the benefits and limitations of each service.

Surfshark ProsSurfshark ConsNordVPN ProsNordVPN Cons
PricingAffordableHigher for short-term plans
SpeedReliable speedsVariable in some locationsOccasional inconsistencies
Device ConnectionsUnlimited connections
Security FeaturesStrong (AES-256, CleanWeb, MultiHop)Advanced (Double VPN, Onion Over VPN)
User InterfaceUser-friendlyCan be complex for beginners
Server NetworkSmaller networkLarge network
Company ExperienceNewer in marketSolid reputation
Streaming PerformanceStrong unblockingStrong unblocking
Dedicated IPAvailable

Analyzing Surfshark vs NordVPN makes it clear that each VPN service has its unique strengths and areas for improvement. 

Surfshark distinguishes itself with its affordability, making it a desirable option for budget-conscious users. It also stands out for allowing unlimited device connections, a feature not commonly found in other VPN services

Additionally, Surfshark's user-friendly interface and innovative features like CleanWeb and GPS spoofing enhance its appeal, especially for those new to VPNs or seeking additional functionalities.

On the other hand, NordVPN boasts an extensive server network, with over 5,400 servers globally. This translates into superior performance consistency and reliability, especially in regions where VPN server availability is crucial. 

NordVPN's advanced security features, including Double VPN and Onion Over VPN, cater to users with high security and privacy demands. However, NordVPN's pricing is relatively higher than Surfshark's, particularly for short-term plans. 

Our findings: While Surfshark offers greater affordability and ease of use with innovative features, making it suitable for a broad audience, including beginners, NordVPN provides a more extensive server network and advanced security options.

Conclusion: Should I Choose Surfshark or NordVPN?

Note: Your choice between the two should depend on your specific preferences, whether it's pricing, security, server availability, or user experience.

After an in-depth comparison of Surfshark vs NordVPN across various critical aspects, it’s clear that both VPNs offer distinct advantages and cater to different user needs. Here's a summary of our findings to help you make an informed decision:

Surfshark stands out for its affordability, unlimited device connections, and user-friendly approach. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a balance of price, performance, and ease of use. Its innovative features and robust security protocols make it a competitive option in the VPN market.

NordVPN, with its extensive server network and advanced security features, is ideal for users who prioritize robust security and wide-reaching access. Its strong performance in streaming and dedicated IP options cater to general and specialized VPN users.

Timothy Shim

Tim is a former tech journalist turned web technology junkie. He spends his time exploring the best in digital privacy and security tools. Meanwhile, experiments with SEO continue to increase his blood pressure. ( Contact Tim on Linkedin )

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