NordVPN vs Surfshark

NordVPN vs Surfshark

NordVPN vs Surfshark

Online safety is paramount in this day and age. The number of cybersecurity threats lurking out there has increased over recent years and this has necessitated the use of VPNs.

VPNs protect us from all online threats by providing us with a safe and secure network. But if we’re to be honest there are numerous VPNs out there and picking the best one can be a headache.

NordVPN is a better VPN service than Surfshark. It has a better combination of features and capabilities that outmatch and outperform those of Surfshark. For this reason, NordVPN is recommended.

In this article, we will endeavor to put these two VPN services in a head to head comparison and find out who comes out on top for a whole range of categories.

In the end, we will come up with the winner who will be the best choice for all your VPN requirements. So buckle up and prepare for the ride!


Even if you are not a cybersecurity expert or don’t geek out on cybersecurity stuff, chances are that at some point in time you’ve come across NordVPN. No surprises there.

It’s arguably the best VPN service provider there is. It has been providing customers with reliable and affordable online security solutions ever since it was founded in 2012.

It has maintained a degree of credibility in the VPN world and for this reason, is a popular choice for most people.

It combines this credibility with affordability and a whole range of security and privacy features to give you overall great user experience.

It is an extremely effective VPN and works well for a lot of people all around the world.

It’s one of the most highly encrypted networks in the world, boasting a military-grade encryption protocol that renders it uncrackable.

It also has a whole host of other security protocols in place to ensure the safety of your information.

It’s based in Panama, outside of the jurisdiction of the EU and the 5 Eyes. Because of this it isn’t legally required to keep user logs.

It has a zero-logs policy which only serves to prove its credibility. It doesn’t track, collect, store, or share user logs. So with NordVPN, your privacy is always assured.

Some of its pros and cons are:

Pros of NordVPN

·   It has a large server count spread out all over the world- 5500+ servers in 60+ countries.

·   It has excellent speeds that are stable for all manner of online activities.

·   It has a zero-logs policy and is based in Panama.

·   It has the best security and encryption protocols in place to safeguard users’ data.

·   It has superb customer support in case of issues.

Cons of NordVPN

·   It’s a little bit costly.

·   Some servers may not work well for some locations.

·   Speeds drop significantly on some servers.

·   Not all servers support torrents.


One of NordVPN’s greatest competitors is Surfshark, and rightly so. This VPN service may not be as popular as NordVPN, but it too is a big player in the VPN business.

It was founded in 2018 which makes it a relatively new player in the business. It is however moving quite fast to establish itself as a better VPN option than some of its older and more popular competitors.

It has been giving some of the larger and more established VPN services a run for their money. It’s surely on track to become a behemoth in the business.

Despite having a smaller server fleet than some other VPNs. It boasts impressive speeds that are stable at any time of the day.

It also has some of the best security and encryption protocols available which go on to show you it’s a safe and secure service. It’s great for all manner of online activities.

Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands. Because of this, it isn’t legally required to keep logs. It, therefore, has a zero-logs policy which ensures the privacy of your information.

Pros of Surfshark

·   It has a zero-logs policy

·   It has strong encryption protocols for safe and secure browsing.

·   It has great customer support.

·   It has good speeds.

·   It’s affordable.

·   It has a good number of servers well spread out all over the world.

Cons of Surfshark

·   It has limited P2P servers with slow speeds.

·   It doesn’t offer a wide range of features.

NordVPN vs Surfshark: Which One Is Better?

Both NordVPN and Surfshark are excellent VPN services. They are both ahead of most other VPN providers out there.

Each offers a unique set of features and capabilities and because of these, one is destined to be better than the other.

Both of them claim to have the best security and privacy policies in the business, coupled with excellent speeds and performance, but which one is better?

We’ll analyze both of their features and capabilities under several categories and declare the winner for each of them. So stick around for that!

1. Prices

Based on the range of features that NordVPN and Surfshark offer, you could say that they are reasonably priced. They, however, offer a different combination of features and for this reason, their prices are different.

Often, VPN services that offer more features are usually pricier than their counterparts, and this is just the case here. An ideal VPN would be affordable but with a wide range of features.

NordVPN is much more expensive than Surfshark. This can be attributed to the fact that NordVPN offers a wider range of features and is an established service.

For the short term plans, both are well priced, but for the longer plans, they give great discounts.

NordVPN offers a 1-month, 6-month, and a 2-year plan. For the 1-month plan, NordVPN is at $11.95. For the 6-month plan, the price is at $9 per month and the 2-year plan is at $3.71 per month.

In addition to this, NordVPN gives a 30-day money-back guarantee to customers who don’t like the service.

Surfshark is cheaper than NordVPN for long plans. It offers a 1-month, 6-month, and a 1-year plan. For the 1-month plan, the price is at $12.95. This is a bit more expensive than NordVPN.

For the 6-month plan, the price is at $6.49 per month and the 1-year plan is at $2.49 per month. Surfshark also gives a 30-day money-back guarantee.

When compared to NordVPN’s prices, Surfshark is much cheaper. So if you’re looking to save a few extra bucks, Surfshark is the best choice here.

The only question is how well does it hold up against NordVPN in terms of features?

1-month$11.95 per month$12.95 per month
6-month$9 per month$6.49
Money-back guarantee30 days30 days

2. Servers

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a VPN service is the number of servers it has and their distribution across the world.

Ideally, you want to find a VPN that has a large number of servers and good global coverage. This is because servers determine the speed and access you get.

The best VPN service has numerous servers spread out across the globe. Such a VPN will have minimal congestion on the available servers.

This, therefore, means that it will be easy for you to choose a server that has the best speeds for all your online activities.

No matter where you are on earth, you will get fast and stable speeds. You also get a variety of choice servers to effectively mask your IP address and spoof your geographical location.

In terms of numbers, NordVPN is unbeatable. There’s no contest here! NordVPN boasts the largest server network of any major VPN provider.

This doesn’t mean that Surfshark isn’t doing well in this regard! It also has a large server network, but not as big as NordVPN.

NordVPN has 5500+ servers spread out in over 60+ countries. It offers several servers such as P2P servers, Onion over VPN servers, Obfuscated servers, and Double VPN servers.

Surfshark on the other hand has over 1600 servers in over 60 countries. It doesn’t offer a variety of specialized servers as NordVPN does.

Very few VPN providers out there can operate and maintain a large number of servers. It requires a lot of effort and resources to maintain. NordVPN, therefore, has an advantage in this case.

So in terms of servers, NordVPN is the clear winner.

Number of servers5500+1600+
Location in countries60+60+

3. Speed

Speed is one of the most important requirements for most internet users today. Regardless of what online activity you engage in, a fast and stable speed is always an essential aspect.

Most Internet Service Providers (ISP) throttle their users’ speeds. Slow speeds are often frustrating and make it impossible to do anything worthwhile online.

For this reason, most people are resorting to using VPNs.

A good VPN will always provide you with fast and stable speeds that do not fluctuate over time.

No matter your geographical location, a good VPN will give you good speeds at all times of the day. But if we’re being honest, all VPNs have different speeds.

So what determines the speed of a VPN? The answer to that is the number and distribution of servers. Like we’ve already discussed above, a VPN with a large server network reduces congestion and strain on the network.

This provides strong, fast, and stable speeds for everyone all around the globe. So with this in mind, we already know who the winner in this category is.

There are 2 protocols associated with the speed of VPNs and these are OpenVPN and WireGuard.

Between the two, WireGuard is faster. NordVPN uses both OpenVPN and the WireGuard protocol (NordLynx in their case).

This gives the service fast and stable speeds. Surfshark on the other hand just uses OpenVPN on its own which is much slower.

We conducted speed tests to determine which the faster VPN is. The first test was the base speed test which was 150Mbps.

In the UK, a NordVPN server gave an impressive speed of about 145Mps. Surfshark on the other hand gave speeds of 80Mbps.

Next, we carried out tests in the US. On a server in Seattle, NordVPN speeds averaged 148Mbps while Surfshark speeds averaged 83Mps.

On a server in LA, NordVPN speeds averaged 139Mbps while Surfshark speeds averaged 70Mbps.

So as you can see, both VPNs give great speeds. The only negative is that Surfshark has inconsistent speeds at times.

But all in all, NordVPN is the clear winner in this category, as expected.

Server locationNordVPNSurfshark

4. Security

One of the most important factors for most internet users in today’s world is security. In a world where online threats are increasing day in day out, you need to be well protected whenever you are online.

This is where VPNs come into play. They encrypt all your data and pass it through a secure tunnel. This makes it impossible for hackers and other third parties to intercept your data.

VPNs often have encryption and security protocols in place to ensure your information is safe and secure.

But not all VPNs are good at ensuring the safety of users’ data. Some VPN services have lax security protocols. It’s therefore important to find a VPN that ticks all security boxes.

A good VPN will have multiple layers of security to ensure the safety of users’ data. But while this is desirable, it’s worth mentioning that multiple layers of protection usually reduce speeds.

So the best VPN in such a case will also maintain top speeds no matter the layers of security.

Both NordVPN and Surfshark have some of the industry’s best security protocols. For example, both of them have AES-256 encryption protocol which is uncrackable.

They also allow one to connect using OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols which are strong. They also offer additional features like Killswitch, Obfuscation, DNS, and IP leak protection.

The only difference is that NordVPN takes things a step further. It has Double VPN and Onion over VPN which provide additional layers of security.

Its WireGuard protocol (NordLynx) uses updated encryption protocols. Additionally, it has a CyberSec feature that protects users from malicious domains and ads.

In this category, the winner is NordVPN since it provides additional layers of security.

Security featureNordVPNSurfshark
AES-256 protocolYesYes
OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocolsYesYes
DNS/IP leak protectionYesYes
Double VPNYesNo
Onion over VPNYesNo

5. Logging and Privacy

One of the most important things to people is online privacy and anonymity. It has become so simple these days to lose such an essential part of oneself.

Because of this, the use of VPNs is becoming more and more popular. But before getting a VPN for yourself, stop and think carefully first. You might just be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!

When using a VPN service, their logging policies are intertwined with the degree of privacy they offer. This is because logging policies determine whether any of your data is tracked, collected, and stored.

A company with a proven zero-logs policy doesn’t track, store, or collect user data. Most VPNs claim to have a zero-logs policy but very few of them can be trusted. 

One of the other things to consider in this scenario is the jurisdiction. If a company is located under the jurisdiction of the 5 Eyes (Australia, Canada, U.S., UK, and New Zealand) and the EU.

It’s legally required to keep user logs. So the best VPN for privacy should be located away from these jurisdictions.

NordVPN submits to audits by third party auditing firms that have proven it has a zero-logs policy. It’s located in Panama which has zero logging laws. So in terms of privacy, NordVPN is credible.

Surfshark also claims to have a zero-logs policy but this has not been verified yet. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands where there are no logging laws. So it too is credible.

NordVPN is the winner here just because it has a proven no-logs policy.

Proven zero-logs policyYesNo
JurisdictionPanamaThe British Virgin Islands

6. Streaming

This is a favorite online activity for most people. The best VPN for streaming should be able to unblock geo-restricted content on most streaming services and maintain fast speeds.

Unblocking geo-restricted content on streaming services like Netflix is hard, but luckily NordVPN and Surfshark have proven they are quite adept at it.

NordVPN is a favorite because it unblocks many of the streaming services. Surfshark too performed admirably well. Both of them can unblock Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, CBS, and NBC.

It’s for this reason that we give this category a tie. Both are excellent for streaming. The only difference is the speeds, which NordVPN has better.

Streaming ServiceNordVPNSurf Shark
Amazon PrimeYesYes
BBC iPlayerYesYes

7. Torrenting and P2P File sharing

Torrenting is a popular activity today with people sharing large files across the internet. But it also comes with some issues. Torrenting is quite risky.

This is because while torrenting, any other person connected to the network can see your real IP address. This is just the nature of the service and it wouldn’t work without this.

There are also concerns about copyright infringement when sharing and downloading copyrighted content. A VPN is therefore essential to cover your digital tracks and mask your IP address.

The best VPN service, therefore, is one that is based away from most copyright jurisdictions, has the best security protocols, and has dedicated P2P servers that allow the download of large files.

As we’ve already discussed, NordVPN has better speeds, security protocols, and server coverage than Surfshark. What’s more, NordVPN has 4000+ servers dedicated to torrenting!

This makes NordVPN the best service for all torrenting activities. However, we should mention that Surfshark is also good for torrenting.

So the winner is NordVPN in this category.

Dedicated P2P serversYesNo

Overall, NordVPN is a better service than Surfshark, which also puts a valiant effort despite being relatively new in the business. NordVPN is therefore the best choice for you no doubt!

Mark Lewis

Security nerd with a Data Privacy First mindset!

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