NordVPN vs Surfshark – Does Surfshark Manage do Beat this Reputable Provider

Last updated: September 18, 2019
Obaid Chawla

Obaid Chawla

Surfshark is a fast-rising service, but can it match up with the might of NordVPN? To settle this, I am doing this NordVPN vs Surfshark comparison

NordVPN aced this comparison by coming out as being 27.2% better than Surfshark.

Both of these providers have a big reputation in the industry and where Surfshark represents the new breed of top VPN services, NordVPN is an old warhorse that people have been trusting for ages.

A comparison between these two makes perfect sense since users should know who is better in this battle of the giants?

Below, I have pitted both these providers against each other and evaluated them through 17 critical VPN related factors, to find out who exactly deserves the title of being the Better VPN service in 2019.

Here is a brief overview of NordVPN vs Surfshark listing out their major features:

  • Located in Safe Jurisdiction (Panama)
  • 3-Year Plan: $3.49/mo. (Billed $125.64)
  • No Logs Policy
  • 5604+ servers in 60 countries
  • Live Chat Support
  • Works with Netflix
  • 3 Day Free Trial
  • Headquartered in the BVI
  • 2-Year Plan: $1.99/mo. (Billed $47.76)
  • Keeps No Logs
  • 800+ servers in 50 countries
  • Live Chat offered
  • Works with Netflix
  • Highly Affordable

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Jurisdiction

Verdict: NordVPN and Surfshark are both equal as far as jurisdiction goes.

NordVPNSurfshark
Panama (Safe)British Virgin Islands (Safe)

NordVPN Jurisdiction

NordVPN is located in Panama, a country that has no data retention laws. Panama is not even a part of any data sharing alliance as well. So NordVPN’s headquarters is located in a secure region.

Surfshark Jurisdiction

Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands which is as safe as Panama. The BVI also doesn’t have any mandatory data laws and neither does it hold membership in 5 Eyes or 14 Eyes or any other similar data-sharing alliance.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Logging Policy

Verdict: Subscribe to any one of them as your data will be safe with both of them.

NordVPNSurfshark
Doesn’t keep logsNo Logs Policy

NordVPN Logging Policy

NordVPN doesn’t keep logs of any sort of sensitive user information. No IP is stored, your browsing isn’t logged and your data isn’t shared with any 3rd parties.

This makes NordVPN ultra-reliable for anyone looking for a secure VPN service that doesn’t compromise user privacy.

Surfshark Logging Policy

There is no major issue in Surfshark’s logging policy either.

The provider has managed to keep its privacy policy clean and by that, it has ensured that users can trust it blindly as a zero-logs service.

Overall, Surfshark is incredibly trustworthy when it comes to keeping your information secure and private.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Pricing

Verdict: Surfshark is 33% Cheaper than NordVPN and its overall subscription cost is also low due to the shorter commitment period.

  • $11.95/month (Monthly Subscription)
  • $6.99/month (1-year Subscription)
  • $4.99/month (2-year Subscription)
  • $3.49/month (3-year Subscription)
  • $11.95/month (Monthly Subscription)
  • $5.99/month (1-year Subscription)
  • $1.99/month (2-year Subscription)
  • 3-year Subscription not Available

NordVPN’s Pricing Plans

NordVPN’s best plan will cost you $3.49/month (3 Year Deal)

This price is cheap and affordable but its still higher than that being offered by Surfshark.

Correspondingly, NordVPN’s best plan requires you to opt for a 3-year subscription, implying that you will have to dish out more than a $100 to subscribe to it, majorly raising its cost.

Surfshark’s Pricing Plans

Surfshark’s best plan will cost you just $1.99/month (2 Year Deal)

This is perhaps the cheapest plan among the best VPNs in the industry as not just NordVPN, but also other comparable providers like PureVPN and ExpressVPN are costlier than Surfshark.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Leak Test

Verdict: NordVPN and Surfshark cleared our leak tests fully, so its tie here and we consider that good.

NordVPN Leak Test

NordVPN is leak-free all the way.

It doesn’t suffer from WebRTC or DNS leaks on any of the servers I tested. Every time, you connect to NordVPN, be rest assured that your real IP will never be exposed to hackers.

Surfshark Leak Test

Surfshark is no slouch on the security front either and that’s perhaps its biggest USP.

The provider didn’t return any leaks on multiple DNS and WebRTC tests that I conducted on it so far.

And this is a major reason why Surfshark has broken into the category of best Torrenting VPNs.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: App Compatibility

Verdict: Surfshark offers simply more apps and extensions than NordVPN.

NordVPN App Compatibility

With NordVPN, you will have apps to secure all of your devices like Windows, Macs, and iPhones. The provider even extends innate support for routers through dedicate setup guides.

.apk file is also available for those who want to set up VPN on Android manually.

Firestick app is also there for streaming aficionados. All in all, the compatibility offered by NordVPN is incredible.

Surfshark App Compatibility

Like all other top VPNs, Surfshark too has a vast repository of apps for all platforms. Recently it included a Firestick app and if we couple this with the availability of .apk file and router support, we could have assumed that Surfshark is NordVPN’s equal, but that’s not the case.

Surfshark also offers browser extensions which NordVPN doesn’t, making Surfshark better in terms of powering compatibility and user ease on the most of a number of platforms.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Torrenting/P2P

Verdict: NordVPN wins here as its better VPN for Torrenting.

NordVPN Torrenting P2P

NordVPN does not suffer from crowding due to a higher number of servers so it has faster speeds due to a much better guarantee of server proximity. It also leaks free and supremely Torrenting friendly.

Surfshark Torrenting/P2P

Surfshark allows P2P activities on its servers and it doesn’t suffer from leaks. The only problem it has is that its speeds make downloading and uploading a lot slower.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Protocols

Verdict: NordVPN takes a major lead here as it has more Tunneling protocols, simply.

NordVPN Protocol Support

NordVPN takes the lead is it offers L2TP/IPsec, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv1 apart from OpenVPN.

This is a large pool of choice made available by the provider to suit all kinds of user needs and device variances.

Surfshark Protocol Support

Surfshark only supports IKEv2 apart from OpenVPN.

PPTP and L2TP/IPsec are both a bit unsafe as they have known security vulnerabilities, but since there are many devices and different conditions that users encounter which necessitate the use of such protocols.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Servers

Verdict: NordVPN has 85% more servers than Surfshark so it’s a clear, big winner in this category.

NordVPN Servers

NordVPN currently has a server network comprising of 5604 servers worldwide in 60 countries.

This single-handedly allows NordVPN to offer a much better experience to the highest number of users globally than other VPNs, including Surfshark.

A high number of servers means less crowding as users are distributed evenly and because the servers are available in 60 countries, most users have a server that’s very near to them, thereby reducing the chances of experiencing lag considerably.

Surfshark Servers

Surfshark only has 800+ servers in 50+ countries.

To match NordVPN’s count, the provider will need to add servers like crazy.

In our speed tests, we found Surfshark to be a lot slower than NordVPN and that’s probably because of the low number of servers which results in crowding.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Free Trial Policy

Verdict: NordVPN exclusive 3-day free trial in which you can use all of its features makes it trump Surfshark by a fair distance according to this metric.

Nord VPN Free Trial Policy

NordVPN can be considered very user-friendly as not just it offers a 30-day risk-free refund period in which you can claim your money back if you don’t like the service, it also has a special 3 day, fully free trial account that you don’t have to pay anything for.

Surfshark Free Trial Policy

Surfshark also extends a 30-day refund guarantee to any user who subscribes to its service but there is no full free trial available here.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Apps Safety

Verdict: Download apps from either of these providers as all of them are safe.

These providers have apps for all compatible platforms, but are these apps save themselves?

Apps offered by providers should be clean from malware and Trojans so that they don’t harm the devices that they are installed on.

I used Virustotal.com to run malware and Trojan checks on apps offered by Surfshark and NordVPN.

Both the results were clear with no problems detected.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Security and Privacy

Verdict: NordVPN is much more suitable if you are looking for something extra like Tor compatibility or gilded protection.

NordVPN’s Security & Privacy

NordVPN’s security features, holistically, are a lot better than those offered by Surfshark as they have more usability and novelty. Onion over VPN offered by NordVPN allows users to deploy the VPN on Tor networks. Surfshark lacks such capabilities.

Surfshark’s Security & Privacy

Surfshark’s service includes niche security features like ad-blocker and No borders ™ mode to make it a whole lot easier for users to surf the internet safely and ensure digital privacy. But still, these features are not as valuable as the ones offered by NordVPN.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Netflix Compatibility

Verdict: If you want a premier Netflix unblocking experience with Ultra-HD streaming support, NordVPN is the perfect choice for you.

NordVPN Netflix

NordVPN can unblock Netflix US, no problems at all. It offers 15 working servers at any time for those want to reach the American version of Netflix. Speeds are also fast enough to support Ultra-HD streaming. A perfect Netflix VPN.

Surfshark Netflix

Surfshark isn’t affected by Netflix’s VPN ban as it can easily bypass US geo-restrictions on the site at all times. But since it offers just above average speeds, Ultra-HD streaming is off-limits.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Speed Test

Verdict: NordVPN is 18% Faster Than Surfshark.

By taking a base speed of 100 Mbps, I tested both of these provider’s speeds on 3 servers in the same locations.

  • US Server Speed: 86.12 Mbps
  • UK Server Speed: 67.30 Mbps
  • Germany Server Speed: 59.02 Mbps
  • Avg. Download: 70.81 Mbps
  • US Server Speed: 62.78 Mbps
  • UK Server Speed: 52.34 Mbps
  • Germany Server Speed: 59.26 Mbps
  • Avg. Download: 58.12 Mbps

NordVPN Speed Tests

As expected, NordVPN’s speeds in the US are incredible, clocking in just a 14% loss, making it one of the fastest US VPNs out there. The speeds dipped a bit when I tested speeds on UK server but they were above average, so therefore can be considered okay.

German server returned the slowest speeds of them all, with a 41% speed loss. This speed is slow, although overall NordVPN is a pretty fast VPN service at an average speed of 70.81 Mbps.

Surfshark Speed Tests

Surfshark is a top VPN service and aces almost everything but speed is its perennial Achilles heel. US server tests returned decent speeds at more than 37% speed loss, making it highly usable in the country. The same cannot be said for the speeds recorded at German and UK servers, where the speed loss was more than 40% on both counts.

Overall, above average speeds can be expected if you opt for Surfshark as your VPN service.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Performance & Reliability

Surfshark’s app is one of the most well-designed apps in the whole industry and is way better than NordVPN’s lazy interface that has no major visual appeal.

  • Clunky App
  • Not Visually Appealing
  • User interface not optimized
  • Well Designed Apps
  • Minimalistic, Optimized Experience
  • User-Oriented Interface

NordVPN’s Performance and Reliability

NordVPN’s apps are stable and they don’t crash at all but their interface is a bit clunky. The connection times are good but not great. It takes about 30 seconds on an average to connect to any server in the network. Its apps have a good UI/UX but you will have some problems initially getting used to it.

Surfshark Performance and Reliability

Surfshark’s apps are built in a minimalistic 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 through them to access different features.

The apps are stable as well. Response time to a server is about 20 seconds right now, which is a lot better than NordVPN.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: China Unblocking

Verdict: Surfshark is a much more suitable VPN for China since its servers are able to unblock many websites inside China, which means that they respond very well.

NordVPN China unblocking

NordVPN has a redirection site for China, but a major issue that users will face with this service in China is that it doesn’t respond sometimes. You won’t be able to access anything for long periods of time, which raises doubts about its usability as a China VPN.

Surfshark China Unblocking

Surfshark is powerful and responsive when it comes to offering services as a VPN for China. There are no major issues from this VPN when it comes to bypassing the Great Firewall and unblocking services in China.

NordVPN Vs. Surfshark: Customer Support

Verdict: Surfshark’s response time is 50% on live chat support. Its chat team is also much better and competent at handling technical queries than NordVPN.

NordVPN Customer Support

NordVPN’s live chat support is okay. The response time varies from a minute to five minutes, which is quite slow. But since there is a que system in place, these times are expected. My biggest problem with it chat team is that they were a bit cold in their responses and sometimes event blunt, making me feel unwelcome.

Surfshark Customer Support

Surfshark’s customer support is much better than that of NordVPN. Responses are lightning fast with the time for a chat support exec to respond to a question being less than 30 seconds every single time.

Every technical query is handled by them in detail and they look for every possible solution to help you out. On top of this, the chat support execs are courteous and welcoming, making you feel like you are talking to a friend for assistance and not to some brands live chat support.

 

The winner for this comparison is NordVPN which has proven to be better than ExpressVPN.

NordVPN trumped Surfshark by a big margin of 27.2% cumulatively.

However, Surfshark is no slouch either as it might be a bit off-color in some areas in comparison to NordVPN, but still, it’s a robust VPN service with no privacy or security issues.

We recommend that you opt for NordVPN as it’s the obvious choice here, but even if you opt for Surfshark, you won’t stand disappointed.

Both of these are stellar VPN services with major capabilities and neither of them will harm your privacy prospects at all.

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