PureVPN vs Surfshark: VPN Comparison 2022
Are you looking for an in-depth PureVPN vs Surfshark comparison? I have put an end to this debate by taking up the strengths and weaknesses of both VPNs in detail below.
The apps you use on a daily basis may sell your data to third-party marketers without taking your consent. In this case, VPNs come in handy and secure your online privacy. Luckily, we have done all the legwork so you wouldn’t have to test PureVPN and Surfshark yourself. If you don’t know much about each VPN, check out our exclusive PureVPN review and Surfshark review!
Let’s dive into a detailed comparison of PureVPN and Surfshark based on price, payment methods, UI, speed, unblocking potential, servers, and much more.
Here’s a quick review of the PureVPN and Surfshark features:
|Current Offer||82% off for 24+3 months free||Save 81% for 24 months|
|Subscription Packages Start From||$1.99/mo||$2.49/mo|
|Money-Back Guarantee||31 days||30 days|
|Simultaneous Device Connections||10||Unlimited|
|Platform Compatibility||Dedicated apps for all major platforms||Dedicated apps for all major platforms|
|Logging Policy||Audited no-logs policy||Audited no-logs policy|
|Servers||6500+ servers in 78 countries||3200+ servers 65+ countries|
|VPN Protocols||Supports WireGuard, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec protocols||Supports OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2 protocols|
|Streaming||Unblocks major streaming platforms||Unblocks major streaming platforms|
|Torrenting||Supported||Supports P2P activities|
|Customer Support||Decent customer support||Real-time support available|
Pricing and Discounts
When it comes to pricing and discounts, PureVPN is the undisputed winner. Although PureVPN and Surfshark come under cheap VPN services, PureVPN has much cheaper subscription plans. Whereas, Surfshark comes at a reasonable subscription cost of $2.49/mo .
I had a hard time comparing Surfshark and PureVPN prices, but here’s a quick look at each VPN’s current offers:
|Free Trial||7 Days||7 Day-Free Trial for Android, iOS and macOS platforms|
|Money-Back Guarantee||31 Days||30 Days|
|Payment Options||Multiple payment methods||Multiple payment methods|
A PureVPN free trial lasts 7 days, but you will have to provide your billing information to activate it. Surfshark VPN, on the other hand, offers a 7-day free trial only on macOS, Android, and iOS platforms.
Both providers, however, make available a lengthy money-back guarantee. Where Surfshark gives you a 30-day refund, PureVPN gains an edge by giving you a day extra (31-day money-back guarantee).
Get This Best Deal for PureVPN: 82% Off for 24+3 Months Free
Get This Best Deal for Surfshark: Save 81% for 24 Months
PureVPN and the Surfshark VPN accept common modes of payment. While testing, I observed that both the VPN services are open to most payment methods.
|Operating System Apps||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Fire TV||Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and Fire TV|
|Manual Install Devices||Linux, Routers, Set Top Boxes||Routers|
|Split Tunneling||Yes (All Apps)||Yes (All Apps)|
|Free Extras||Official Kodi add-on, ad-blocker, malware-scanner, browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox||MultiHop, Bypasser, CleanWeb, KillSwitch, Camouflage Mode, NoBorders, Override GPS Location|
In terms of features, PureVPN and Surfshark are quite “equal”, even though the technologies used are different. I will be breaking down the lists for each provider below.
PureVPN offers exceptional apps compatibility. It offers native clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TVs, Roku, and even an add-on for Kodi. When it comes to compatibility, Surfshark doesn’t fall behind PureVPN.
Surfshark benefits from its compatibility with all the major devices and operating platforms like PureVPN. Considering its unlimited simultaneous device connections, Surfshark is the best VPN to protect multiple devices at the same time.
Despite being incredibly budget-friendly, both PureVPN and Surfshark offer exceptional unblocking capabilities. To my surprise, they bypassed geo-restrictions on sites, where even industry leaders failed.
Where Surfshark just requires you to connect to different servers for unblocking different libraries, PureVPN does go the extra mile though. They offer an easy-to-use “popular websites” option.
This feature lists all popular streaming platforms in one location. Simply click on the one you want to access and PureVPN’s app will redirect you to the unblocked version, within a few seconds.
Best part of all: where countless providers fail, PureVPN’s browser extensions on Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, also work for unblocking popular platforms like Netflix, minus any hassles. However, Surfshark consistently and reliably unblocks popular streaming platforms, which is why it’s the winner.
The “Great Firewall” in China utilizes various techniques like Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Blackholing, DNS hijacking, DNS poisoning, IP blocking, etc to ban VPN access in the country.
All of this makes it close to impossible to bypass geo-restrictions from within the country and outside (to access local Chinese content). However, Surfshark is not one to back down so easily.
Surfshark has an edge over PureVPN and it also offers a dedicated mirror website to download their apps within the country. This is why it’s also considered one of the best VPNs for China.
Besides Surfshark, you can also check out other VPNs with Chinese servers to access its local content.
Then, it gives access to the “NoBorders” mode, which uses obfuscation technology for bypassing the VPN blocking algorithms of the GFW.
Fortunately, you can choose Surfshark or PureVPN to carry out torrenting because both VPNs are based in user-friendly jurisdictions. Fast torrenting depends on the connection speeds offered by a VPN. Surfshark allows quicker downloads than PureVPN, so it takes the trophy home.
Surfshark and PureVPN are both safe and reliable options for downloading torrents. You do not have to worry about slow speeds, leak issues, or getting DMCA notices with hefty fines.
With either option, you have specific P2P servers available that offer great security for protecting you from local ISPs and copyright infringement hunters looking to fine you. Port forwarding is not supported by Surfshark, whereas PureVPN offers a port forwarding add-on.
Best part of all: You can add a SOCKS5 proxy to increase speeds and even utilize the Split Tunneling feature to redirect VPN traffic to those sources that require it and those that do not.
Setup and Interface
|Automatic Setup Wizard||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS||Windows, Mac, Android, iOS|
|Main Location Selection||List-based||List-based|
|Extra Settings Pages||Yes||Yes|
As compared to other providers, PureVPN boasts quite a unique design and appearance. It offers plenty of easy-to-use apps across multiple devices, which include larger screens of Firestick and Android/Apple TVs.
The desktop Windows and macOS versions utilize the same UI and design, which cater to rookie and expert VPN users. For instance, you have plenty of configurations for the tech-minded.
Then for the less tech-savvy, PureVPN offers different modes and even a “popular websites” option. If you want to torrent, select the P2P mode. If you want to unblock Netflix, simply click on its icon! However, locations that are far away from where you reside may take a little longer in connecting.
Meanwhile, the mobile apps utilize a “darker” appearance, but one that is equally impressive. You have specialty server listings for all your VPN-related needs, along with access to Dedicated IPs as well.
Surfshark’s apps are built in a minimalist manner which makes them extremely user-friendly. The app’s GUI are especially great and so is the architecture, so you won’t have major problems navigating.
Connection times are also incredibly quick; averaging at a minimal 5 seconds. As far as features are concerned, you have plenty of configuration options in the “settings” menu.
Surfshark apps are easier to navigate and perform functions without confusion. Therefore, Surfshark is a clear winner here.
|Total Number of Servers||6500+||3200+|
PureVPN server list includes 6500+ servers in 78 countries around the world. This also makes it the only VPN to support many countries in the marketplace.
As such, it is not that difficult to determine a winner among the two in this aspect. Surfshark, on the other hand, needs to increase its server count massively to compete with PureVPN as it currently offers 3200+ servers in 65+ countries across the globe.
Not to mention, PureVPN offers specialized servers for torrenting, gaming, streaming, and browsing activities. This classification of servers is missing with Surfshark. Despite the lacking classification, it works exceptionally well for all data-intensive activities while connected to most of the Surfshark countries.
Unfortunately, this network infrastructure still needs a major upgrade, if Surfshark wants to continue delivering great speeds and unblocking capabilities as the expand their user base.
Although the PureVPN fastest server network has an edge over Surfshark, it is still advancing and constantly adding more server locations to the network.
To get a better idea about the performance of PureVPN and Surfshark, I conducted a comprehensive speed analysis. This involved testing different servers for all internet activities.
These include streaming on Netflix, downloading torrent files, playing online games, or simply browsing the internet. For the task, we picked up 4 random servers from PureVPN and Surfshark.
On average, Surfshark managed to deliver 87.8 Mbps in download and 82.59 Mbps in upload, after testing its servers in 4 different locations.
Conversely, PureVPN offered good performance too, delivering an average of 78.4 Mbps in download and 73 Mbps in upload.
I tested on my 100 Mbps internet connection with servers in the USA, UK, Germany, and Australia. Where PureVPN clocked in with a speed loss of around 10.01% while Surfshark was better at 8.50% on average. Overall, here are the speed results with both VPNs:
|USA||78 Mbps||90.2 Mbps|
|UK||79.2 Mbps||87 Mbps|
|Germany||80 Mbps||89.3 Mbps|
|Australia||76.4 Mbps||85 Mbps|
|Average Speed||78.4 Mbps||87.8 Mbps|
The winner for this round of the PureVPN vs Surfshark match is Surfshark because of its RAM-based server network and more secure VPN protocols.
|VPN Protocols||WireGuard, L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec protocols||L2TP, IPSec, IKEv2, OpenVPN, WireGuard, SoftEther, PPTP, SSTP, L2TP/IPsec|
|OpenVPN Data Encryption||AES-256||AES-256|
|OpenVPN Control Channel Encryption||RSA-4096||RSA-2048|
|Cloaking Technology||None||Camouflage Mode|
|App Security||Kill Switch, Wi-Fi, DNS/WebRTC/ IP Leak Protection||Kill Switch and DNS/WebRTC/ IP Leak Protection|
|DNS Status||Private DNS||Private DNS|
PureVPN supports PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN (TCP and UDP), SSTP and IKEv2. SSTP is mostly used on Windows devices and IKEv2 is a useful addition for mobile devices.
It utilizes AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA1 hash authentication for the data channel and AES-256-CBC cipher with HMAC SHA384 hash authentication and RSA-4096 handshake encryption for the control channel.
Surfshark, on the other hand, is a big fan of the IKEv2 protocol and uses it as “default” across all of its devices. Users, nevertheless, do have the option of configuring OpenVPN on all platforms.
It utilizes AES-256-GCM ciphers so no additional authentication is provided on the data channel. For the control channel, Surfshark uses AES-256-GCM cipher with the TLS key exchange secured using RSA-2048.
Perfect forward secrecy is provided by an ECDH-(384?) key exchange. If we talk about security overall though, PureVPN tends to be stronger – thanks to its inclusion of the RSA-4096.
Surfshark still relies on the outdated RSA-2048 on its control channel, and this needs to be upgraded, if it needs to compete with top names in the marketplace like PureVPN.
|Sign Up Information||Email Address||Email Address|
|Anonymous Payment Methods||Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin||Accepts Bitcoin payments via CoinGate and CoinPayments|
Luckily, PureVPN and Surfshark are both located in safe jurisdictions. Where PureVPN has its headquarters in Hong Kong, Surfshark headquarters are in the Netherlands.
Hong Kong is not a part of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances, so you do not have to worry about mandatory mass surveillance and data retention laws.
On the other hand, the Netherlands has a close intelligence-sharing relationship with foreign nations as a member of the Nine Eyes Alliance. Despite this, the Netherlands is one of the most privacy-friendly nations in the world with non-existent government-mandated internet censorship.
Earlier in 2017, PureVPN’s no-logs claim was invalidated by an FBI case. Later in 2020, PureVPN became a 100% no-log VPN provider, but Surfshark does not have a questionable history regarding logging user data. It has completed a security audit by Cure53 on the browser apps, but on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android apps, an audit is still remaining.
|Dedicated IPs||7 Countries (USA, UK, Singapore, Canada, Germany, Malta, and Australia)||N/A|
Surfshark offers static IP locations that you can connect to. They allow you to always have the same IP address when you connect to them, but you would end up sharing the same IP address with everyone else who is connected to that particular location.
PureVPN adopts a shared and static address allocation. You have 2,000+ servers with dynamic IPs and then 7+ countries, where you can get a dedicated IP for as low as $1.99/mo . If you opt for additional features on dedicated IPs, like DDoS protection and port forwarding, you may have to pay higher than the standard price, depending on the location.
|FAQs/Searchable Knowledge Base||Yes||Yes|
|Average Email Response Time||39 Minutes||1 Hour|
|24/7 Live Chat||Yes||Yes|
While testing the customer support feature for this PureVPN vs Surfshark review, I was extremely satisfied. PureVPN and Surfshark both offer support in the form of video guides, a sufficient knowledge base, FAQs, emails, and tickets. All the customer support options catered to my queries.
Apart from these, you have live chat support available. Both providers offer quick support through this medium and the representatives are prompt with their responses. The second best option for most is email support. So, I went a little further with my testing to analyze the response times from both providers as well.
Below you can see the stats of both providers on the basis of four different questions:
|Question||Initial Response Time||Number of Emails||Question Answered|
|Is PureVPN good for torrenting?||25 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Does PureVPN work with Netflix?||39 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Can I install PureVPN on LibreELEC?||50 Minutes||1||Yes|
|How to setup PureVPN on Firestick?||44 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Question||Initial Response Time||Number of Emails||Question Answered|
|Does Surfshark work with Netflix?||1 Hour||1||Yes|
|Is Surfshark good for torrenting?||48 Minutes||1||Yes|
|Does Surfshark work in China?||52 Minutes||1||Yes|
|How to use obfuscated servers in Surfshark?||59 Minutes||1||Yes|
Here’s the PureVPN review Trustpilot and Surfshark review Trustpilot to give you a clearer idea:
|4.7 (14,428 Reviews)||4.5 (15,763 Reviews)|
With 14,428 reviews, PureVPN has got a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot whereas, Surfshark has a rating of 4.5 with 15,763 reviews.
Is Surfshark illegal?
No, Surfshark is not illegal in the US, UK, and many other parts of the world. However, illegal acts are still considered illegal even when conducted over a VPN connection.
Does Surfshark work with Netflix?
Yes, Surfshark efficiently works with Netflix. You can binge-watch your favorite Netflix series on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, or smart TV. If you prefer streaming Netflix on a browser, then you can use the Chrome or Firefox extensions for Surfshark.
Why is Surfshark so slow?
Although Surfshark users usually do not face speed limitations, you should expect a 20-30% speed decrease while using any VPN.
What is the fastest server on Surfshark?
The US – New York server is the fastest Surfshark server because it ensures a blazing-fast download speed of 83.27 Mbps and a 65.59 Mbps upload speed with a 251 ms ping.
Does PureVPN support P2P?
Yes, PureVPN supports P2P activities on its P2P-optimized network. Whenever you download or send files over a P2P network server, they are encrypted using the highest-grade AES 256-bit encryption.
Is PureVPN fast?
Yes, PureVPN is fast but it is not the fastest VPN. Moreover, its apps are equipped with many advanced features like kill switch and split tunneling.
How to use PureVPN Linux?
Follow these simple steps to use PureVPN with Linux:
- Open the command prompt and enter the command purevpn -location OR purevpn -l.
- Connect to any country with the command purevpn -connect “Country Name” OR purevpn -c “Country Name”.
- Check your connection by using the command purevpn -status OR purevpn -s.
The Winner: Surfshark
The winner of PureVPN vs Surfshark comparison is Surfshark.
Despite the fact that Surfshark is fairly new to the VPN industry, it still had an edge over PureVPN. Although PureVPN is a strong contender, it still falls behind in the head-to-head comparison.