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Surfshark vs VPN 2023

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Anneke van Aswegen
    Anneke van Aswegen

    Managing Editor

    Want to know the difference between VPN and Surfshark? They both proved to be great choices in my tests, making it a tough choice in a lot of areas. Here are the things you need to keep in mind before you pick one.

    First, the similarities. Both VPNs are pretty good at accessing streaming content. Each one unblocked every platform I tested — including Netflix, HBO Max and Go, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and more.

    They gave me equally good speeds too, though Surfshark was a little more reliable on long distance servers.

    This is probably thanks to the fact that both services also have a vast network of servers. has 2,100 servers in 77 countries, while Surfshark covers 100 countries with 3,200 server locations.

    Lastly, these VPNs have excellent security, including 256-bit encryption, MultiHop servers, and a kill switch.

    However, after hours of testing, Surfshark came out on top as a good all-around VPN at an affordable price.


    Features 9.3/10
    Pricing 9.4/10
    Ease of Use 10.0/10
    Reliability & Support 9.6/10
    Features 9.0/10
    Pricing 7.6/10
    Ease of Use 8.4/10
    Reliability & Support 8.4/10


    Review by our expert
    Author Image Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor


    With VPNs, you tend to get what you pay for. So when I saw Surfshark’s super low prices (you can get it for just $2.30/month), I was a bit skeptical about its rave reviews. To find out if it actually lives up to these claims, I tested every single aspect of Surfshark, including speeds, security features, unblocking abilities, network reliability, and device compatibility. I also took a closer...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    Five star vpn

    Best I've ever used. All good, no complaints at all. I had a couple of questions when I first started ... using it, reached out to customer service. They were quick to respond, friendly, and helpful. I'm looking forward to them making the Surfshark Search feature a separate app.More

    Latest negative user review
    Doesn't work for BBC

    The only reason I bought it. Constant error msgs from iPlayer, individual channels like 4 and 5 were a... ccessible--until the latest update. Now nothing works. Spend more money on something that's more reliable.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Husain Parvez
    Husain Parvez

    Cybersecurity Researcher

    8.0/10 claims to be the most secure VPN with a free plan. This sounds too good to be true, so it got me wondering — is it really a good alternative to the premium VPNs? So, I put through a series of tests to see if it’s safe, reliable, and effective. I found it offers great security, decent speeds, and a beginner-friendly user experience. It's easy to use and brings robust privacy ...

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    Latest positive user review
    Anonymous Reviewer
    Best VPN for free

    It works perfectly fine, the speeds are good, and there are a lot of different locations. I have had ... no problems with this VPN, and I like that it has a 10GB data limit monthly (more than most competitors). I tried every other free VPN, but all of them are slow and aren't as fast as this one. In my opinion, download this VPN and you will be happy.More

    Latest negative user review
    Not working with my Asus RT-AX88U

    Will not work with Asus routers - Service has no Interest in compatibility with Routers. I ha... d to change the Provider from to NordVPN and its all OK now. I had a Bad Time and now the sun shines on the VPN Sky - thanks NordVPN.More


    Starting price $2.3/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited devices
    Starting price $2.43/kuukausi
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 10 devices

    Best VPN by category

    Surfshark is better because it offers more for less. Although both VPNs have great security features, fast speeds, and a large server network, Surfshark has the edge when it comes to unblocking streaming content. It gave me fast streaming speeds, and its servers unblocked Netflix in every country I tried. VPN is better because it has specific P2P servers and supports torrent activities. Surfshark also allows torrenting, but its automatic P2P servers can be temperamental. Both VPNs have great security, no logs policies, and kill switches to keep you safe while you torrent. But VPN’s high performing torrent servers give it the edge in this category.

    Surfshark is better because it app works seamlessly on both desktop and browser extension. It also has simple guides so you can set it up on your home router. Although both vendors have intuitive apps for Windows, with options for split tunneling, auto connect, and kill switches in the settings area, VPN’s app takes a little longer to navigate, making Surfshark the winner in this category. VPN is better because it has impressive features on its Android app, such as 'intelligent reconnect'. Unlike Surfshark, if your kill switch kicks in, VPN doesn’t wait until you manually reconnect. The app rejoins the network as soon as your connection is fully secure. Although both VPNs have good Android apps with an easy interface, VPN’s advanced features give it the win.

    Surfshark is better because it is a lot easier to install on Mac than VPN, which has some additional steps in the process (such as selecting the client from “Mission Control”, rather than it automatically appearing). Although I had no major problems with VPN’s Mac app, Surfshark takes the win in this category thanks to its ease of use.

    Surfshark is better because of its dedicated security and ad block functions for iOS. Both VPNs have easy-to-use iOS apps with no-log policies, fast speeds, and widespread server locations. However, Surfshark’s Cleanweb feature means you get additional protection against malware and trackers on your iPhone, iPad, and other Apple devices.

    Surfshark is better because of its reliable US servers that seamlessly unblock most streaming platforms. VPN also works well in the US, with great download speeds and the ability to unblock Netflix, but it struggles with upload speed and high ping. Surfshark has 25+ US servers and a “secret” ability that allows users to unblock US platforms on some European servers, meaning you can usually access all of your favorite US shows.

    The Bottom Line

    Surfshark gives subscribers an excellent server network, good speeds, and robust security features for a fraction of the price of other VPNs. It has excellent device compatibility, and you can easily connect it to your router to use it with games consoles and smart TVs.

    hide.meVPN is also a good choice, with secure protocols, outstanding speeds, and the ability to unblock streaming platforms. However, its server network is much smaller, which is one of the reasons why Surfshark beat it in my testing.

    If you want the fastest speeds for streaming though, I recommend ExpressVPN instead. Its server network is bigger and more reliable than both Surfshark and Plus, you can try ExpressVPN risk-free. It's backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can claim a refund if you don't like it.

    Time to decide which one is best for you


    Is Surfshark better than VPN?

    Yes, Surfshark is better overall than VPN. It has 3200 servers in 100 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $2.3 a month.

    What should I keep in mind when choosing between Surfshark and VPN?

    When choosing a VPN, you want to pay close attention to its number of servers, overall speed score, pricing, and the number of simultaneous device connections it offers. While some VPNs provide a flawless online experience, others will really slow you down.

    If you’re ready to commit, then Surfshark may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

    Is Surfshark faster than VPN?

    Yes, Surfshark is faster than VPN. Since your VPN is your computer’s main connection to the internet, you need to use a service that won’t slow you down by more than 20%.

    If speeds are important to you, then I recommend you take a look at ExpressVPN. It’s the fastest service out there, provides unlimited bandwidth, and you won’t experience any slowdowns even when you connect to the other side of the planet. You can try it out risk-free. It’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a full refund if you don’t like it.

    Do Surfshark or VPN offer any deals?

    Both Surfshark and VPN offer deals on occasion. You can check out the current coupons and discounts here. However, ExpressVPN has the best deals. Right now, you can get a 49% discount and up to 3 months for free with a new subscription.