Surfshark vs ExpressVPN

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: Who’s the Winner?

Last updated on June 14, 2021

Finding the right VPN can be a difficult task. But if you know what you are looking for, the question of “Surfshark or ExpressVPN” gets a little easier.

Emphasizing security and privacy, Surfshark’s mission is to obfuscate your traffic and keep it secured. Surfshark offers uncrackable encryption and a range of useful features that can’t be beaten for a price.

ExpressVPN is the premium option on the market today. It’s the most expensive option from my top VPNs, but comes with cutting-edge technology, ultrafast connections, and a suite of features to keep your data safe.

But which one is better? Let’s find out.

 Surfshark VPNExpressVPN
Security & PrivacyWinnerLoser
Customer SupportTieTie


If you’ve ever wanted to watch foreign content, ensure your online security, or reduce your ping, you need a VPN. Streamers, gamers, and people trying to escape firewalls all stand to gain a lot from obfuscating their data.

 Surfshark VPNExpressVPN
Number of Countries60+90+
Number of Servers3200+160


With ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol, they’re champions of streaming speed. Built in-house and constantly fine-tuned, Lightway delivers crystal-clear streams that are friendlier to batteries.

Surfshark is also excellent for streaming (thanks to a wider range of Netflix libraries), but it doesn’t deliver knockout speeds. Surfshark aims for consistent performance – it won’t outperform ExpressVPN’s best, but you won’t find a jittery, poor-quality connection either.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN WINS


When I’m gaming, I want two things:

  • Low ping
  • DDoS defenses to stop the angry script kiddies

Surfshark makes your IP address and traffic untraceable. Your ISP can’t throttle your bandwidth, so say goodbye to high ping! Also, cheating losers will never find you – they will only find Surfshark’s state-of-the-art protection (good luck breaking that down!)

ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol is perfect for gamers. Tricking your ISP and uploads will reach their destination faster. You can’t install ExpressVPN on your Xbox or Playstation though, but ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer is a DNS service that will reduce ping.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN WINS

Geo-Restrictions Bypass

Netflix is a top concern for people using a VPN. That’s why Surfshark has pushed its ability to access over 30 Netflix libraries. And working around even the most difficult of firewalls is easy thanks to the No Borders feature.

But ExpressVPN is no slouch and has all the tools to navigate difficult firewalls. As well as access to Netflix, BBC, and Hulu, ExpressVPN breaks down the walls to restricted messaging services, blocked social media platforms, and banned games.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: Surfshark WINS

Financial Security

Banking online can feel risky sometimes, but using Surfshark or ExpressVPN to check on your financials is safe. Both providers use military-grade encryption (AES-256) and RAM-only servers, so your data is safe in transit and isn’t saved after you end the session.

Overall winner: Tie


Mobile Apps

Surfshark is available on Android and iOS. The app offers everything the desktop version does – including multihop and NoBorders mode – meaning you can protect your online payments and stay safe on public WiFi.

ExpressVPN also offers apps for Android and iOS, but with one excellent addition – auto-connect on untrusted WiFi. If your phone connects to a new network, ExpressVPN will kick in to protect you from any unknown risks.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: Surfshark WINS

Browser Extensions

Surfshark’s Chrome and Firefox browser extensions are both VPNs and all-purpose ad/tracker/malware-blockers. Spoof your location, protect your system, and be safe in the knowledge that no logs are being written.

Surfshark’s extensions also received a big “guarantee security” badge from Cure53, showing that Surfshark is doing something very right.

ExpressVPN offers extensions for a wider range of browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, and Vivaldi. Promising to spoof your location and block connections to unencrypted HTTP sites, this tool will bail you out if you make silly mistakes while surfing.

Still, ExpressVPN’s extension doesn’t block tracking or malware. Surshark wins this round for me.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: Surfshark WINS

No-Log Policy

Both Surfshark and ExpressVPN are No Log VPNs. Both providers promise that they don’t log:

  • IP address (local or VPN)
  • Browsing history
  • Used bandwidth
  • Session information
  • Network traffic

They only collect an email address and (most of the time) payment details. But ExpressVPN really commits to its No Log Policy with a fourth payment option – Bitcoin. Use cryptocurrency and your identity is completely hidden.

Surfshark pulls ahead, however, by blocking online data trackers. Whereas tracking tools could find out who you are while using ExpressVPN, Surfshark’s ironclad defenses stop your data leaking out.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: Surfshark WINS

Kill Switch

You need a kill switch to secure your data. Although Surfshark does have a kill switch built into their desktop and mobile apps, you need to activate it in the Connectivity settings menu.

ExpressVPN will automatically kill your internet connection if you are disconnected thanks to the Network Lock feature. It can also be configured to work on routers, meaning no one using your network is hemorrhaging data.

Overall winner: Tie

Split Tunneling

If you need certain programs to get around firewalls, Surfshark has adopted Shadowsocks – an open-source tool for creating lightning-fast encrypted tunnels. Perfect for getting around the Great Firewall, this tool stands up to the toughest tests.

ExpressVPN’s split tunneling offering goes both ways – you can manage which apps send data through the tunnel, but also which devices and apps can receive data through it.

Overall winner: Tie

Security and Privacy

SurfShark and ExpressVPN committed to privacy when they set out their business plans, and you can tell. Both are based in the British Virgin Islands, a country that doesn’t agree to share data (unlike the 5 Eyes or 14 Eyes countries).

They also use military-grade encryption (AES-256), data leak protection tools, and RAM-only servers. Data is secure in transit and forgotten at the end of a session. Perfect for the privacy-minded VPN user.

Need something extra? Surfshark’s Multihop feature doubles up the protection. You connect to one server and then onto a second, meaning you’re twice as difficult to find.

Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: Surfshark WINS

Setup and Interface

Surfshark and ExpressVPN have intuitive interfaces – both offer one-click connect functionality which means connecting is as easy as simply opening the VPN app.

If you want to connect to a specific server, both apps have a server list that offers the same one-click connect functionality. Really intuitive and fast to connect.

Overall winner: Tie

Customer Support

There are two support features I want from a VPN:

  • A comprehensive knowledge base, and
  • A support team who are available 24/7

As industry leaders, Surfshark and ExpressVPN offer plenty of tutorials and videos to help you get the most out of their service. Maybe ExpressVPN’s knowledge base is prettier, but the content within the two help centers is mostly of the same quality.

Overall winner: Tie


Surfshark wins hands down. The prices are an absolute bargain and there are no device limits with a Surfshark subscription. Share it with as many people as you like!

Month-to-month, Surfshark and ExpressVPN are basically the same. The real differences come when you sign up for long-term plans. ExpressVPN demands premium rates, especially when you compare them to Surfshark’s $2.49/month.

 Surfshark VPNExpressVPN
Prices starting from:$2,49/ month$8,32/ month
Surfshark vs ExpressVPN: Surfshark WINS

ExpressVPN or Surfshark: Who’s the Winner?

It’s a tight contest, but Surfshark wins for me. It won’t give you the blazing speeds that ExpressVPN does, but its security features and pricing make this a premium offering at bargain prices.

If you value performance above all else, ExpressVPN is still an excellent option. But be prepared to pay out for those premium speeds.

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