Surfshark vs NordVPN

Surfshark vs NordVPN: an In-depth Comparison

Last updated on June 7, 2021

NordVPN is one of the most established names in the VPN market, whereas SurfShark VPN remains something of a newcomer. Both are no-logging VPNs with global server networks capable of bypassing geographical restrictions and providing exceptional online security. What we want to know is which is best: Surfshark or NordVPN?

A thorough evaluation of the two VPN providers enabled us to pinpoint each one’s strengths and weaknesses, and the Surfshark vs NordVPN contest was very close.

 Surfshark VPNNordVPN
Security & PrivacyLoserWinner
Set Up & InterfaceWinnerLoser
Customer SupportLoserWinner

Surfshark or NordVPN: Who’s The Best Performer?

Both of these high-quality VPNs are versatile performers that provide consistent protection and online anonymity. Neither will cause a significant lag in connection speed, but NordVPN’s wider selection of servers does give it the advantage when navigating geo-blocks. Surfshark, however, has the upper hand in terms of geographical diversity.

 Surfshark VPNNordVPN
Number of Countries6559
Number of Servers3200+5467

Both of these VPNs provide reliable, day-to-day protection, but how do they compare when it comes to data-heavy activities like streaming and gaming?


A VPN’s ability to access popular streaming sites like Amazon Prime, DisneyPlus, and Netflix is critical for many users, which is perhaps why Surfshark makes such a big song and dance about its ability to access all 15 Netflix libraries.

NordVPN doesn’t have quite the same capability, accessing just 7 Netflix libraries and experiencing the occasional hiccup when it comes to BBC’s iPlayer.

Those two minor hiccups are enough to give Surfshark the win in the NordVPN vs Surfshark streaming wars.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: Surfshark WINS


NordVPN has improved its speeds recently with the NordLynx protocol but still lags a little when it comes to multiplayer games, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, for instance.

Surfshark, on the other hand, is so effective, it can even boost your base speed, enabling you to compete to the best of your ability.

In this Surfshark VPN vs NordVPN contest, Surfshark speeds through the virtual waters to victory once again.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: Surfshark WINS

Bypassing Geo-Restrictions

While some reviewers claim neither NordVPN nor Surfshark work in China, others rate them as the top two VPNs for getting through the country’s complex restrictions and censors.

The truth is, very few VPNs work consistently well in China, but NordVPN’s obfuscated servers do a better job than most, having been “specifically configured to bypass network firewalls.”

Surfshark has a NoBorders mode that’s designed to perform the same task, but it’s not quite as effective as NordVPN’s approach, which gives NordVPN a win in this category.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: NordVPN WINS

Financial Security

Neither Surfshark nor NordVPN log their users’ online activities, and both utilize the latest AES 256-bit encryption and DNS leak protection.

Surfshark provides extra protection with its Multi-Hop feature that, like NordVPN’s DoubleVPN servers, sends your data through a string of secure servers instead of just one. NordVPN goes even further, however, with its Onion over VPN option.

NordVPN has always been praised for its excellent security and, when it comes to protecting your financial transactions, you can’t get any better. NordVPN wins again, making it a tie in the performance category.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: NordVPN WINS

NordVPN vs. Surfshark: Who’s Got The Coolest Features?

In many respects, Surfshark appeared to model itself on NordVPN, and the two VPNs boast a similar range of features and extra tools, so we’re expecting this category to be a tricky one to judge. Let’s see how they measure up.

Mobile Apps

Both these leading VPNs are compatible with Android and iOS devices, offering powerful apps that are both fast and versatile. While Surfshark’s minimalist interface works well on a smaller device, NordVPN’s map-based version becomes a little overcrowded, making it more difficult to perform any functions beyond swiping the quick connect button.

While both provide fully functional mobile apps, Surfshark’s user-friendly interface gives it a win in this category.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: Surfshark WINS

Browser Extensions

NordVPN’s browser extensions block malware and encrypt your traffic for free, whereas Surfshark’s are only available as part of its paid VPN service.

While that gives NordVPN a head start, with browser extensions available for only Chrome and Firefox, it struggles to maintain its lead.

Surfshark has also only rolled out secure add-ons for the main browsers, but they are more versatile so, the Surfshark Chrome extension works just as effectively on both Brave and Opera. Although you have to pay for Surfshark’s extensions, its versatility means it wins again.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: Surfshark WINS

No-Log Policy

Not only do Surfshark and NordVPN both operate under a strict no-logging policy, but they are also both situated in jurisdictions outside the international intelligence alliances. They’ve also both had independent auditors assess their services.

The fact that NordVPN’s audit proved its zero-logging status gives it the edge over Surfshark who’s audit only verified the security of its browser extensions.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: NordVPN WINS

Kill Switch

A kill switch is an extra layer of security that protects your device in the event of a dropped VPN connection. With these two reliable VPN providers, that’s unlikely to happen, but both include kill switches just in case.

Where NordVPN gains a little ground, however, is in providing an additional app kill switch that terminates specified apps when the VPN connection drops, preventing them from sending unprotected traffic out into cyberspace.

This additional functionality means NordVPN wins this category.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: NordVPN WINS

Split Tunneling

Given how feature-rich NordVPN is, it seems strange that split-tunneling is only available on its Android and Windows apps. Those of you with a Mac or iOS operating system have not, for some reason, been deemed worthy.

Surfshark’s Whitelister feature, however, is included in all its apps, meaning you can be watching Netflix in the US while simultaneously banking in the UK – all you do is whitelist your bank’s website.

Until NordVPN rolls out its split-tunneling capabilities to all its apps, Surfshark will keep on winning this race.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: Surfshark WINS

Extra Tools

When it comes to bells and whistles, both Surfshark and NordVPN have them in bucketfuls. NordVPN has CyberSec and Surfshark has its CleanWeb tool. While NordVPN has the extra-secure DoubleVPN, Surfshark has its Multi-Hop.

While NordVPN has extra tools like the NordPass password manager and secure cloud storage in NordLocker, Surfshark touts its HackLock ID protection and the private search tool, BlindSearch.

With two such well-stocked toolboxes, trying to establish which is best: Surfshark or NordVPN, proved virtually impossible, so we called it a tie instead.

Mobile AppsSurfshark VPN
Browser ExtensionsSurfshark VPN
No-Log PolicyNordVPN
Split TunnelingSurfshark VPN
Kill SwitchNordVPN
Extra ToolsTie

Security and Privacy

Based in Panama and the British Virgin Island respectively, NordVPN and Surfshark both operate in countries outside the main intelligence alliances. Neither VPN is, therefore, forced to log any user data.

They both utilize the latest and most secure protocols and military-grade encryption.

Surfshark is one of the few VPNs to take up NordVPN’s Double VPN challenge, although it hasn’t yet introduced an Onion over VPN feature, which means NordVPN holds onto its lead in the privacy department.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: NordVPN WINS

Setup and Interface

NordVPN’s user interface features a simplified map of the world, showing all the available servers and locations. It’s quick and easy to set up and, although there aren’t a lot of configurable settings, those that are there are simple enough to access and personalize.

Surfshark has always been a bit on the minimalist side when it comes to appearance, and its user interface features a list of servers rather than a map. It’s still easy to navigate to your desired location, however, and accessing the advanced settings is also a breeze.

As Surfshark’s lighter interface is easier to navigate on mobile devices, it manages to sneak a win in this category.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: Surfshark WINS

Customer Support

When it comes to customer support, the NordVPN vs Surfshark contest moves to another level. With comprehensive online support centers, VPN tutorials, and 24/7 online chat support services, they both do an excellent job of looking after their users.

NordVPN is just a little more informative and responsive, however, so it takes the lead here.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: NordVPN WINS


Comparing prices between Surfshark vs NordVPN isn’t all that easy. While Surfshark has a 6-month plan available, NordVPN leaps straight from one month to one year. Meanwhile, Surfshark skips the yearly plan, heading straight to its cost-effective 24-month plan instead.

DurationSurfshark VPNNordVPN
1 month$11,95$12,95
6 monthsN/A$6,49
12 months$4,92N/A
24 months$4,13$2,49

Although Surfshark’s monthly plan is a little more expensive than NordVPN’s, it covers an unlimited number of devices, whereas NordVPN only covers six. When you consider that, the 24-month plan is one of the most cost-effective ways to get reliable online protection.

Both VPN providers offer 30-day money-back guarantees, but Surfshark’s competitive pricing and unlimited devices make it the clear winner in this Surfshark VPN vs NordVPN price comparison.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: Surfshark WINS


Having explored every aspect and function of these two leading VPNs, we’re now ready to announce ”Which is best: Surfshark or NordVPN?” As a NordVPN user, I expected my chosen VPN provider to come up trumps, but Surfshark managed to secure victory in more categories, making it the overall winner.

With its impressive speeds and dexterity coupled with its generous packages and superior performance when streaming and gaming, Surfshark has not only outdone itself, it’s also blown one of the most well-respected VPNs out of the water.

While the NordVPN vs. Surfshark comparison was an undeniably close contest, the verdict reflects Surfshark’s continued evolution and development. Better luck next time, NordVPN.

Want to know more about each VPN brand? Read our dedicated Surfshark review and NordVPN review.

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