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nordvpn-vs-surfshark

🏆Winner: Surfshark

Surfshark vs NordVPN

In this Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison, we put to test two of the most iconic VPN providers in the market through extensive testing on 12 different performance criteria and found Surfshark to be the winner. Surfshark offers unlimited simultaneous connection, unblocks 30+ Netflix libraries, and is available at a cheap price of  $2.49/mo. 

There are hundreds of VPN services out there, but only some can be trusted. Undoubtedly, every VPN service promises to deliver security and privacy, but not all of them stay true to their words. At VPNRanks, we have tested hundreds of VPNs to find the right VPN provider for your needs.

Based on extensive testing that we did for our  NordVPN vs Surfshark comparison, we can confidently say that NordVPN and Surfshark are great VPNs for anyone who wants to secure their online privacy and security.


A Quick Comparison of NordVPN and Surfshark

This table covers a quick summary of almost 9 important factors to help you choose the most appropriate VPN according to your requirement.

SurfsharkNordVPN
JurisdictionBritish Virgin IslandsPanama
SecurityAES 256 BitAES 256 Bit
LeaksNo IP, DNS & WebRTCNo IP, DNS & WebRTC
Servers3,200+ in 65 Countries5,200+ in 59 Countries
Speed24.9 Mbps average93.5 Mbps average
StreamingNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and MoreNetflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and More
Torrenting
CompatibilityWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routersWindows, Mac, Android, iOS, routers
Customer SupportLive chat, tutorials, knowledgebaseLive chat, tutorials, knowledgebase
Pricing$2.49/month$3.71/month
Trustpilot4.3 ★★★★ – Reviews 9,7184.0 ★★★★ – Reviews 6,127
More InfoExpressVPN ReviewNordVPN Review
Visit SiteVisit Site

Winner: 🏆 Surfshark


Quick Overview: NordVPN vs Surfshark

Before we go into details, here is a brief overview of 11 different categories on which both NordVPN and Surfshark have been tested in this article:

  1. Pricing PlansWe evaluated various subscription plans offered by both these providers along with their refund policies to see which one of them offers budget-friendly and economical subscriptions.
  2. Payment MethodsWe also looked at the various payment methods offered by NordVPN and Surfshark to determine which provider had more diversity when it comes to payment methods.
  3. Speed TestWe conducted multiple speed tests on both VPN providers to find out the fastest VPN provider between the two.
  4. Security featuresWe closely inspected the numerous security features offered by NordVPN and Surfshark to see which one of them takes the lead over the other concerning security features for an additional layer of online security, privacy, and data protection.
  5. Privacy and LoggingWe looked at the privacy policy of both providers to determine which provider is the safest regarding online privacy and the secrecy of user’s VPN connection logs and personal data.
  6. Netflix Streaming and Torrenting We tested both of the VPN providers for their ability to bypass Netflix’s geo-restriction and allow unlimited, unrestricted, and uninterrupted torrenting.
  7. Customer Support – To determine which provider offers better customer supports to their users, we carefully looked at their live chat, email, and knowledge base support.
  8. Server LocationsWe looked at their server network to determine which provider offers the largest, more diverse, and optimized server network for various purposes such as torrenting, streaming, and online gaming.
  9. Device compatibilityTo see which provider offers official support for many devices, platforms, and operating systems.
  10. VPN SetupEvaluate which VPN is easier to install and offers the most user-friendly experience on the majority of the devices.
  11. JurisdictionTo see where both the VPNs are located in terms of national security and privacy laws.


Surfshark vs NordVPN 2021 – Detailed Comparison

To determine the better VPN out of the two, I performed a detailed comparison between Surfshark and NordVPN. In this comparison, I analyzed the attributes of both providers and compared their relative strengths and weakness.

Following is the detailed comparison of both providers:

1.  Pricing Plans

Result: Surfshark is cheaper than NordVPN

SurfsharkNordVPN
1-month plan$12.95/mo$11.95/mo
6-month plan$6.49/monthNo
1-year planNo$4.92/mo
2-year plan$2.49/mo$3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE)
Payment methodsCredit cards, PayPal & BitcoinCredit cards, Alipay, Bitcoin

surfshark-cheap-pricing-plansSurfshark Price: Surfshark’s primary USP is a considerably budget-friendly service, priced at $2.49/mo. Surfshark’s 2-year plan is the cheapest one.

NordVPN Price: NordVPN is slightly expensive than Surfshark. However, NordVPN is a reasonably priced VPN costing $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) if you subscribe to the 2-year plan.

nordvpn-price

Winner:🏆Surfshark

Both NordVPN and Surfshark are quite affordable, but Surfshark is cheaper than NordVPN. Therefore, it is a winner in the price category.

View our VPN comparison chart for 2021 to check out other budget-friendly VPNs. Other budget-friendly VPN options are PureVPN and IPVanish.

Payment Methods

Payment MethodsNordVPNSurfshark
Credit cardsYesYes
PayPalNoYes
CryptocurrencyYesYes
Amazon PayYesYes
Google PayYesYes

NordVPN Payment: NordVPN currently accepts credit card payments through Credit Cards (Visa, Master Card, and Discover), Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Union Pay, and ACH Transfer. As for cryptocurrencies, it is accepting Ethereum and Ripple at the time of writing this comparison.

nordvpn-payment-methods

Surfshark Payment: Surfshark offers various credit card payment options, including Master Card, Visa, PayPal, and Discover. Like NordVPN, it also supports Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and 3 cryptocurrencies, i.e., Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.

surfhshark-payment-methods

Refund policy

Finally, both providers also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. Thus, Surfshark and NordVPN are very similar as far as payment, pricing, and refunds are considered. However, Surfshark has a slight edge courtesy of its lower price.

The provider you decide to go with must have a clear refund policy. There are providers such as TunnelBear that offer refunds on a case-by-case basis, and you wouldn’t want to be stuck with them regarding your funds. However, your refund request may get disapproved by TunnelBear if you decide not to continue with the subscription.

Therefore, always make sure to check the refund policy yourself before committing to any VPN provider. Although the TunnelBear refund policy may seem dodgy, it is still one of the best VPN providers in the industry and can go toe-to-toe with top-tier VPN providers.

Recently, we compared it with NordVPN, and you can check out this blog to decide which one will be your next provider: TunnelBear or NordVPN.

Winner:🏆Surfshark

NordVPN and Surfshark offer multiple payment options, including cryptocurrency, which is excellent for making yourself more anonymous. However, Surfshark is the real winner here as it offers more budget-friendly, economical, and low-cost subscription plans than NordVPN.


2. NordVPN vs Surfshark: Speed Test

Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer good connection speeds. Because both support WireGuard, as it tends to be faster than OpenVPN. We tested both VPNs in our local testing lab with a base speed of 100 Mbps connection. Here are the results:

SurfsharkNordVPN
Multiple connections (Local)25.87 Mbps94.5 Mbps
Single connection (Local)21.23 Mbps95.75 Mbps
Distant server speed (US)23.09 Mbps93.5 Mbps
Average Speed23.09 Mbps93.5 Mbps
Average time to initiate server connection8 sec3 secs

Let’s see how these two provider performs when tested with different server locations one by one.

Test #1: Surfshark vs NordVPN – US server location

US ServerNordVPNSurfshark
Speed Results93.5 Mbps24.09 Mbps

NordVPN is one of the fastest VPN services and offers consistent speed across its server network. For example, on a US server, it delivered a speed of 93.5 Mbps.

Surfshark is no slouch itself when it comes to speed. However, on a US server, it clocked at a speed of 24.09 Mbps. That is very slow compared to NordVPN.

Test #2: Surfshark vs NordVPN – Australia server location

Australia ServerNordVPNSurfshark
Speed Results91 Mbps25 Mbps

NordVPN on its Perth, Australia server offered amazing speeds. It did not disappoint.

Surfshark’s server in Australia, Perth, again offered very low download speeds and high upload speeds.

Slow Speeds with OpenVPN: Surfshark vs NordVPN

It was much slower as compared to connection speeds without the OpenVPN protocol.

speed test 7

In contrast, NordVPN’s OpenVPN speeds were a little better than Surfshark. In addition, the NordVPN DoubleVPN feature also provides fast connection speeds compared to Surfshark’s OpenVPN speeds. Here is the speed test result:

NordVPN-Speed-Test

Therefore, NordVPN was faster than Surfshark while using WireGuard as well as OpenVPN protocol. The same was the case in comparing NordVPN vs. TorGuard, where NordVPN offered faster connection speeds on OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols.

Winner:🏆NordVPN

NordVPN is faster than Surfshark. To see how it performs in the speed category against the industry’s other top providers, check out NordVPN vs ExpressVPN and NordVPN vs. PureVPN comparison.


3. Security Test

Result: Both providers possess strong security features

NordVPNSurfshark
ProtocolsOpenVPN, IKEv2, NordLynxOpenVPN, Shadowsocks, WireGuard, IKEv2
Encryption mechanismAES-256-Bit encryptionAES-256-Bit encryption
Control channel encryption4096-bit RSA key2048-bit RSA keys
DNS securityPrivate DNSPrivate DNS
Cloaking technologyObsproxyNoBorder Obfuscation

These providers rely on using OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, but Surfshark also supports Shadowsocks (an open-source proxy) and WireGuard, the newest major player in the industry. This feature is known for being easier to audit and faster over long-distance connections.

In fact, NordVPN actually bases its own exclusive protocol, NordLynx, on WireGuard, citing its “lean architecture” as a major selling point.

As for the encryption mechanism, both of these providers use AES-256-Bit encryption. This encryption technique scrambles your traffic using a secret key, meaning anyone looking in can only see meaningless data.

In addition, NordVPN utilizes a 4096-bit RSA key to let your device communicate with the VPN privately. In contrast, Surfshark uses 2048-bit RSA keys, which are still secure but slightly less so.

Winner:🏆It’s a Tie

Since each VPN consists of quite valuable proprietary features of its own, this round is a tie.


4. NordVPN vs Surfshark: Privacy & Logging Policy

NordVPNSurfshark
Headquarter locationPanamaThe British Virgin Islands
Connection logsNoneNone
Activity logsNoneNone
User details for sign-upEmail addressEmail address
Anonymous payment optionsBitcoin, Ethereum, RippleBitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple

Surfshark follows a strict zero-logging policy. Similarly, NordVPN guarantees against any form of user information or activity logging.

NordVPNs Privacy Policy:

NordVPN does not keep any user data. It only logs some technical information like usernames, server load information to recommend the most suitable server, and email address when creating an account.

Nordvpn-privacy-policy

Surfshark’s Privacy Policy:

Surfshark does not log any user information. It also doesn’t log the personal information that users provide when creating an account.

Surfshark-Privacy-Policy

Winner:🏆Its a Tie

Both NordVPN and Surfshark underwent an audit in 2018, and it shows that they don’t keep any traffic logs, connection logs, or IP addresses. In fact, both of these providers are two of the most trustworthy VPNs in the industry as far as logging policy is concerned. Both VPNs are secure.


5.  Special features

When talking about special or advanced features, both VPN providers have some unique and common features available. For example, both vendors offer an internet kill switch, but Surfshark offers a Multi-Hop feature equivalent to the NordVPNs Double VPN feature.

NordVPN has a few interesting features that are not available with Surfshark. Onion Over VPN, which allows you to use both the Onion anonymizer and Nord’s VPN together. NordVPN also allows you to buy a dedicated IP address, which can help if you wish to remotely access few devices or protect yourself from DDOS attacks during online games.

Both providers offer malware and adware filtering, although Surfshark’s AdBlock VPN feature appears to be more inclusive. Surfshark also offers Camouflage Mode, which can prevent your local ISP from knowing you’re surfing using a VPN.

While NordVPN has a blog post on whitelisting, they don’t appear to have whitelisting as an actual client feature. By contrast, Suftshark uses its split-tunneling feature as a whitelister.

To know what feature is available with which provider, you can check out our table below:

FeaturesNordVPNSurfshark
Kill SwitchYesYes
Double VPN/Multi-HopYesYes
CyberSec/CleanWebYesYes
Onion Over VPNYesNo
WhitelisterNoYes
Simultaneous Connections6Unlimited

Winner: 🏆It’s a Tie

Since both VPN providers possess almost the same features, with the only exclusions being Whitelister and Onion Over VPN, it is safe to say that this round is a tie.


6. NordVPN vs Surfshark: Netflix Streaming and Torrenting

Surfshark guarantees access to 15 various Netflix libraries. This ability to overcome 15 Netflix libraries’ geo-restriction has worked as a great selling point and a reason to keep the service up.

NordVPN did pretty well in our testing as well. It easily circumvents every Netflix library restriction we tried. However, other streaming services sometimes required few tries.

Both NordVPN and Surfshark had amazing results as they unblocked all of the geo-restricted streaming platforms in the table below. In addition, both the VPNs also unblocked various Netflix libraries, and we never had to encounter Netflix proxy error.

NordVPNSurfshark
NetflixUS, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Spain, and more.US, UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, South Korea, Japan, and more.
HuluUS, JapanUS, Japan
Amazon Prime VideoYesYes
BBC iPlayerYesYes
Disney+YesYes
HBO GoYesYes
HBO NowYesYes
HBO MaxYesYes
VuduYesYes
SHOWTIMEYesYes
Sky TVYesYes
ESPNYesYes
DAZNYesYes

Winner:🏆It’s a Tie

As shown in the table above, both NordVPN and Surfshark come with excellent unblocking capabilities and work with all the major streaming platforms. For this reason, the result is a tie.


7. Surfshark vs NordVPN: Torrenting

To find out the best VPN for torrenting among NordVPN and Surfshark, we carried out extensive torrenting using uTorrent and BitTorrent software and a base internet connection of 100 Mbps.

During our testing, both of these providers delivered almost similar torrenting speeds. However, with a speed of 84.35 Mbps, NordVPN did manage to take a very minimal lead from Surfshark, which ended up delivering 82.67 Mbps speed.

In a nutshell, you can choose either NordVPN or Surfshark to download your favorite torrents securely and anonymously. Interestingly, both VPN services operate from user-friendly countries and have plenty of P2P-supported servers in their VPN infrastructure.

The AES-256-Bit encryption and zero-logging policies ensure that you can safely download torrents without worrying about getting tracked down by authorities. In addition, Surfshark and NordVPN don’t have data limits, so you can download as many torrents as you want.

Learn more regarding the NordVPN torrenting guide.

Winner:🏆It’s a Tie

Both providers offer military-grade AES-256-Bit encryption and a no-log network for safe and secure torrenting.


8.  Customer Support

It’s a bit of a twisted journey to get to NordVPN’s knowledge base of guides and articles, but once you’ve found your way there, the content is great. NordVPN resolves customer queries primarily through live chat, which is available round the clock every day of the week. Tutorials and knowledgebases for setups and other technical problems are also available on the NordVPN official website.

I contacted NordVPN’s live chat support, and while the live chat agent “Peyton” was effective, he seems to be taking about 10-15 seconds to respond to my questions. However, apart from the slow response time, I felt that their live chat support was incredible.

nordvpn-live-chat

Surfshark’s bank of guides is very similar, with excellent articles that should cover most issues. It also provides 24/7 live chat support, and the customer support representatives are capable of answering your complaints or queries without wasting your time. I contacted their support, and support agent “Scarlett” was very quick, reliable, and polite. She responded to my every question within 5-8 seconds and seemed quite knowledgeable.

surfshark-live-chat-support

However, for most users, live chat will be your first and only port of call. Thankfully, both providers have operators available 24/7 who are knowledgeable and seem to be able to sort the majority of problems.

NordVPNSurfshark
Live Chat AgentYesYes
Setup TutorialsYesYes
FAQsYesYes
Knowledge BaseYesYes
Live Chat BotYesYes

Winner:🏆Its a Tie

Both providers have reliable, efficient, and 24/7 excellent customer support in place.


9. Surfshark vs NordVPN: Server locations

In terms of server count, Surfshark would take years to beat NordVPN. The Panama-based provider has a network of over 5200+ servers in 60 countries. In contrast, Surfshark has 3200+ servers in 65 countries.

NordVPNSurfshark
5200+
60 countries
3200+ servers
65 countries

Winner:🏆NordVPN

Based on the above comparison, NordVPN turns out to be the winner.


Surfshark vs NordVPN: Chinese Restrictions

China imposes severe internet restrictions and censorship in the country. However, both NordVPN and Surfshark are premium VPNs that can easily bypass the Great Firewall of China. Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer features that enable Chinese users to bypass restrictions and use the internet freely.

NordVPN offers Obfuscated servers, and Surfshark offers No Border servers for Chinese users.

How to turn on NordVPNs Obfuscated servers

  1. Go to Settings (click the gear icon)
  2. Select Advanced
  3. Turn on Obfuscated servers

NordVPN-Obfuscated-servers


How to enable Surfshark’s No Border servers

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Select Advanced
  3. Turn on No Borders

Surfshark-No-Borders

Winner:🏆It’s a Tie

NordVPN is the winner in terms of the server network, as it has more servers than Surfshark. But, Surfshark has more server coverage as it has servers in 65+ countries. Both VPNs can help you bypass geo-restrictions in China or anywhere in the world.


10. NordVPN vs Surfshark: Device Compatibility

While both, NordVPN and Surfshark are compatible with different platforms and devices. Surfshark’s ability to support unlimited simultaneous connections compared to NordVPN’s 6 simultaneous connections gives the former VPN provider a clear advantage when it comes to supporting Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, Android, iOS, routers, etc simultaneously.

In addition, Surfshark’s 7-day free rial often makes it an ideal VPN provider to test out device compatibility. This same feature also helped this provider be listed among the best free VPN for PC.

NordVPNSurfshark
WindowsYesYes
macOSYesYes
AndroidYesYes
iOSYesYes
LinuxYesYes
ChromeYesYes
FirefoxYesYes
SafariNoNo
OperaNoYes
Samsung Smart TVNoYes
Fire TVYesYes
Android Smart TVYesYes
LG Smart TVNoYes
PlayStationNoYes
Xbox OneYesYes
Nintendo SwitchYesYes
RokuNoNo
KodiNoYes
RouterYesYes

NordVPN might not offer dedicated apps for these platforms, but you can configure it on your router and protect all your devices.

Winner:🏆Surfshark

Both NordVPN and Surfshark performed well on all these devices. However, as you can see that Surfshark is the clear winner as it supports more platforms than NordVPN, including Opera, Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, PlayStation, and Kodi.


11. Surfshark vs NordVPN: VPN Setup

As you can see from the above table that both NordVPN and Surfshark offer VPN apps for various devices, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, browsers, and more.

Use NordVPN and Surfshark on Desktop

NordVPNSurfshark

1. Go to NordVPNs official website

2. Click on VPN Apps

3. your device’s App device (macOS, Windows, Android, etc.) > Click download.

4. Install the app on your device

5. Open the App > Sign in using your credentials.

1. Go to Surfshark’s official website

2. Click on Apps from the landing page

3. Under the section Desktops & Laptops > select your device.

4. Click Download > Install the app.

5. Open the App > Sign in using your username and password.

Use NordVPN or Surfshark on Mobile (Android & iPhone)

You can find most VPN apps on Play Store (Android) or App Store (iOS), but we don’t recommend downloading VPN apps from app stores. If you don’t buy VPN apps directly from the vendor, you might not be entitled to a refund. Just follow these simple steps to get NordVPN or Surfshark on your mobile phones:

NordVPN on Mobile DevicesSurfshark on Mobile Devices

1. Go to NordVPNs official website and sign up.

2. Click on VPN Apps and download the app on your mobile phone.

3. Open the App > Sign in using your credentials.

1. Go to Surfshark’s official website and Sign up.

2. Click on Apps from the landing page and download it on your mobile phone.

3. Open the App once downloaded > Sign in using your username and password.

Setup for Other Devices

Apart from desktops and mobile phones, you can also get these VPNs for other devices.

Winner:🏆Its a Tie

Both VPNs offer easy setup and installation for various devices. If you are having issues, you can always find installation guides on their official websites.


12. Surfshark vs NordVPN: Jurisdiction

NordVPNSurfshark
JurisdictionsPanamaBritish Virgin Island

NordVPN Jurisdiction

NordVPN is located in Panama, which is a country with privacy-friendly laws. With no mandatory data retention laws in the country, NordVPN is under no obligation to store logs of your activity, IP address, or other personally identifiable information.

Surfshark Jurisdiction

Surfshark, for its part, is located in the British Virgin Islands, which is another country without any mandatory data retention laws. BVI is also not a part of any surveillance alliances like 5-eyes, and it is legally independent of the UK with its own privacy laws.

Jurisdiction is essential when you are deciding on a VPN for yourself. For example, you wouldn’t want to purchase PIA because it operates from the US, as your online privacy and data will always remain at risk.

Even though PIA is a competitive VPN provider on many levels with a top-tier VPN provider like ExpressVPN, it is not a favorite due to its jurisdiction. Check out how it performs against top-tier VPN in our separate ExpressVPN vs. Private Internet Access comparison.

Winner:🏆It’s a Tie

Surfshark is based in The British Virgin Islands, and NordVPN is based in Panama. Therefore, both providers are in safe jurisdictions.


Overall Ratings: NordVPN and Surfshark

Result: Surfsharkhas outdone NordVPN based on the different factors mentioned above. Hence, I declare Surfshark a winner.

Overall RatingsNordVPNSurfshark
Anonymity9/109.5/10
Reliability8.5/109/10
Features9.5/109/10
Performance8.5/109/10
Support9.5/109.5/10
Value for Money9/109.5/10

When I reviewed Surfshark and NordVPN in detail, I was able to rate them based on different factors such as performance, anonymity, compatibility, features, and so on.


TrustScore: Surfshark vs NordVPN

Trustpilot is a top-notch customer review site that delivers updated and unbiased reviews about different products and services. You can explore the resource to find relevant feedback about Surfshark and NordVPN hassle-free.

As per the viewpoint of one Surfshark user, you could trust its impressive customer support that solves your problems timely.

TrustPilot-Surfshark-Review

Surprisingly, NordVPN users have given mixed reviews about the VPN provider. For example, some users did not like its confusing payment methods. But, few subscribers appreciated the brand overall.

NordVPN-Trustpilot-Review


Surfshark vs NordVPN: Reddit review

Reddit is one of the most sought platforms to explore unbiased reviews about different VPNs. Here is a guide that discusses the best VPNs for Reddit users. One Reddit follower recommended Surfshark to other users.

surfshark-vs


 FAQs

Yes, Surfshark is better than NordVPN. While these two providers managed to draw most of the comparisons, Surfshark easily defeated NordVPN in the subscription price and device compatibility factors making it easier for the former provider to beat the latter.

No, Surfshark isn’t faster than NordVPN. During our testing, NordVPN delivered an average speed of 93.5 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection. In contrast, Surfshark only delivered an average speed of 24.09 Mbps on a 100 Mbps internet connection.

Surfshark is the best VPN to use for Android phones in 2021, with a Google Play Store rating of 4.1/5.0. The provider offers best-in-class security, privacy, data protection, and unblocking capabilities at a very budget-friendly subscription price on Android 11, 10, Pie, Oreo, Nougat, Marshmallow, and Lollipop.


Final Verdict: Surfshark is the Winner

Based on better pricing, a privacy-focused logging policy, faster download speeds, and overall strong performance, Surfshark comes out as the winner of the Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison.

However, NordVPN is not a lesser VPN and is one of the leading brands in the whole industry. So you can’t go wrong with either choice. Just make sure you know what you’re in for before you purchase one.

To know more about these services, you can check out our detailed NordVPN review and Surfshark review. You can also check our comprehensive VPN comparison chart that we have prepared for a general comparison of multiple top VPN providers in the industry.

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