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NordVPN vs Surfshark 2023

Table of Contents

    Which VPN is better?

    Author Image Kristina Perunicic
    Kristina Perunicic

    Managing Editor

    NordVPN and Surfshark offer great value for your money. They use the secure AES 256-bit encryption, have excellent speeds, and support OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols. In addition to feature-packed apps, the VPNs provide responsive customer service and 24/7 live chat support.

    However, there can only be one winner. NordVPN has a more extensive servers network, but Surfshark offers Unlimited simultaneous device connections with a single subscription. Read on to find out which one comes out on top.

    Rating

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

    Reviews

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Kristina Perunicic
    Kristina Perunicic

    Managing Editor

    10.0/10

    On the surface, NordVPN looks like a really impressive service. It claims to have a huge global server network, the ability to unblock tons of streaming platforms, and iron-clad security and privacy features. Plus, you can get it all for just $3.49/month. That all sounds great, but is there a catch? To find out, I did an in-depth analysis of NordVPN. I tested its speeds and how well it performs...

    Read all
    Latest positive user review
    J
    John Hoy
    10.0/10
    Best documentation was easy to understand

    I came from Surfshark which never worked correctly. I had to run from the browser extension with supp... ort telling me it was my network that was causing the problem. That was rubbish. I set Nord up and had it running in a short time from the documentation. I only had to ask support about accessing more servers than just the one I saw. Great product.More

    Latest negative user review
    D
    Dax
    6.0/10
    Average service, some nice features, rubbish support

    Basic features work really well. Basically. I liked the feature that when Nord crashes (as it seems to...  do monthly) it will shut other apps so they aren't exposed. My subscription is based in Australia. Found downloads peak at about 1-1.5Mb/s, which is ok as long as you aren't playing online games. Don't go for the frills (though hard not to when they gamify them). I canceled my subscription because I added the Kill switch and then MFA. Nek Minnit I can't even log in. No way to remove the Kill switch without logging in. Uninstalled, reinstalled no joy. Went to the help page, and it redirected me to up my subscription as the only solution. No chatbot where I am. and I don't have an email app so couldn't email help. After a couple of hours of mucking around. Gave up and went to a competitor. Note: if I hadn't played with the security settings, I would still be with Nord. But if I can't log in, it's a dead service to me.More

    Review by our expert
    Author Image Kate Richards
    Kate Richards

    Managing Editor

    9.4/10

    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
    A
    Anonymously
    10.0/10
    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
    M
    Matt
    2.0/10
    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

    Pricing

    Starting price $3.49/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license 6 devices
    Starting price $2.3/month
    Money Back Guarantee (Days) 30 Days
    Number of devices per license Unlimited devices

    Best VPN by category

    NordVPN’s huge server list and regular updates make it a fast and reliable service, ideal for beginers and experts alike. I especially like it for its one-click privacy protection, smooth streaming, and safe torrenting. Surfshark isn’t far behind. Even though it has a smaller server network, it delivers excellent speeds and unblocking abilities.

    NordVPN and Surfshark both allow P2P traffic and have solid no-logs policies and a kill switch to keep your torrenting activity private. However, NordVPN offers better connection speeds than Surfshark, plus it has a SOCKS5 proxy for even faster downloads.

    Surfshark works very well on Windows, and advanced users will appreciate the WhiteList (split tunneling) feature. But it isn't yet on the same level as NordVPN. NordVPN's proprietary features (including Threat Protection, SmartPlay, etc.), 2 types of kill switches, and a super-simple interface makes it my top choice for Windows.

    Surfshark has a neat feature for Android called GPS Spoofing. It matches your GPS location to the IP address assigned by the VPN, making it virtually impossible for anyone to detect your real location and potentially block you. However, NordVPN still wins the Android category (evidenced by over 50 million downloads on Google Play) because its state-of-the-art NordLynx protocol keeps you safe without slowdowns. There's also a 7-days free trial for Android.

    NordVPN’s big advantage is giving you a choice between an OpenVPN Mac app and an IKEv2 version. The OpenVPN Mac client is almost identical to the provider’s awesome Windows app, with all the benefits it provides. Surfshark only offers the IKEv2 protocol for its Mac app, with OpenVPN available only via manual setup.

    Surfshark’s polished iOS app and unlimited simultaneous connections are great for Apple fans with a ton of devices. But, if you don’t need more than Unlimited connections, NordVPN pulls ahead with excellent speeds and the ability to double encrypt your traffic.

    NordVPN is ideal for accessing US content with 17 US server location and the ability to unblock almost all American streaming platforms. It has had issues with Netflix US in the past. But, I experienced no problems during my tests and could even easily access my Hulu, Disney+, and HBO Max accounts.

    The Bottom Line

    While NordVPN takes first place, Surfshark is nipping at the heels. Both protect your online privacy with robust security measures (like AES 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, no-logs policy, and private DNS) and stop malware and annoying ads — NordVPN has its CyberSec suite and Surfshark with its CleanWeb feature. That said, NordVPN has some clear advantages regarding speed and bypassing geoblocks. It even performs better in China.

    Time to decide which one is best for you

    FAQ

    Is NordVPN better than Surfshark?

    Yes, NordVPN is better overall than Surfshark. It has 5507 servers in 60 countries, fast speeds, and impressive security features.

    Best of all, you can take advantage of its latest discount and get it for only $3.49 a month.

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

    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 NordVPN may be perfect for you due to its performance during the tests .

    Is NordVPN faster than Surfshark?

    Yes, NordVPN is faster than Surfshark. 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 NordVPN or Surfshark offer any deals?

    Both NordVPN and Surfshark 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.