NordVPN vs. Surfshark

Compare these two VPN services to find your best option.
by Hedy Phillips — 
NordVPN vs. Surfshark

The choice is yours: NordVPN vs. Surfshark

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NordVPN vs. Surfshark

If you want speed and security from one of the leading brands in the industry: NordVPN If you want cost-effective protection on many different devices: Surfshark
  • 5,200+ servers in 60 countries
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Secure 256-bit AES encryption

  • Affordable plans from $2/mo.
  • Connect unlimited devices
  • Supports iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, Linux, Fire TV, and more

If you've ever researched the best VPN services, you've almost certainly come across NordVPN and Surfshark. These companies offer two of today's top VPN products, both offering the ability to protect your identity online and access unblocked movies and TV shows from around the world.

To start, what is a VPN? It stands for virtual private network, so now you might be wondering what a VPN is used for. It's essentially a tool that allows you to unblock titles — especially streaming services — and allow you to surf a wider variety of corners on the internet.

In this comparison guide, we'll explore the key differences and similarities between NordVPN and Surfshark. We'll discuss how each VPN service performs in terms of price, speed, security, and more so you can determine the best option for you.

Compare NordVPN Vs. Surfshark

  • one-month plan: $12/mo.
  • one-year plan: $5/mo.
  • two-year plan: $3/mo.

  • one-month plan: $13/mo.
  • one-year plan: $4/mo.
  • two-year plan: $2/mo.

Free trial length 30-day money-back guaranteeSeven-day free trial on Android, macOS, or iOS 30-day money-back guarantee on other devices
Number of servers 5,200+ in 60 countries3,200+ in 65 countries
Number of connected devices SixUnlimited
Ad-blocker included YesYes

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Which VPN is right for you?

Released in 2012, NordVPN is a pioneering brand in the VPN space. It's best-suited for people who are looking for a fast VPN, need a VPN with a vast network of global servers, or want advanced VPN features (such as a dedicated IP).

Despite only launching in 2018, Surfshark has already earned huge accolades in the industry. It's ideal for people who are on a budget, want an easy-to-use VPN, or want to use more than six devices on a single account.

Below, find a breakdown of NordVPN vs. Surfshark in four key areas: speed, security, ease of streaming titles, and disadvantages of each. You'll also find recommendations to help you determine whether NordVPN or Surfshark is right for you.



Speed is one of the main selling points for NordVPN, which consistently ranks as one of the fastest. Because NordVPN has such a large and wide-reaching server network, there's less stress on individual servers — easing the stress on the network and providing faster connections for its users.


Surfshark also has impressive speed, but it doesn't quite stack up to NordVPN — which makes sense, considering Surfshark has 2,000 fewer servers around the world. Still, the average VPN user should be satisfied with Surfshark's speed.



Security is a critical factor when evaluating VPN services — and NordVPN wins this category, albeit by a narrow margin. To keep your data safe and protected, the Panama-based company uses the highly secure 256-bit AES bit encryption, offers a kill switch on all of its platforms, and uses private DNS servers. 

If you're really concerned about security, you can take advantage of NordVPN's advanced security features. For example, the provider offers dedicated IP addresses and a Double VPN feature, which routes your traffic through two servers rather than one.


Like NordVPN, Surfshark performs extremely well when it comes to security. It provides many of the same features, including 256-bit AES bit encryption, kill switch functionality, and private DNS servers. The company is based out of the British Virgin Islands, which is known for its favorable data and privacy laws.

In addition to supporting OpenVPN and IKEv2 protocols, Surfshark also supports the newer WireGuard protocol. (NordVPN has built its own technology around WireGuard, known as NordLynx, rather than supporting WireGuard directly.)

Ease of streaming movies and TV shows


In terms of user experience, streaming titles is fast and frictionless with NordVPN, thanks to its massive global server network. According to the company, NordVPN is capable of unblocking more than 400 streaming services around the world, including Netflix,

, YouTube TV, and Hulu 

NordVPN also has a built-in feature called SmartPlay, which combines VPN and DNS services so that users can securely access titles from anywhere — without having to manually configure any settings.


You already know that Surfshark doesn't have as many servers as NordVPN, which means that streaming can be a little bit slower. However, like NordVPN, Surfshark has no problem unblocking popular streaming sites like Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Prime Video, and others.

Surfshark and NordVPN each offer a native app for Fire TV. If you use one of these product line devices to stream titles, make sure to check out these VPN apps for a more seamless streaming experience.



When comparing NordVPN vs. Surfshark, NordVPN loses on price. It's slightly more expensive than Surfshark for a long-term contract, which is what the majority of VPN shoppers will want. Specifically, the NordVPN price for a two-year contract is $73 ($3/mo.), whereas the Surfshark price is $60 for two years ($2.50/mo.). 

It's true that NordVPN's month-to-month price is a bit cheaper than Surfshark's — but as a general rule of thumb, we'd recommend against monthly VPN plans. Multi-year plans provide much better value for your money.

Another minor disadvantage is that NordVPN doesn't offer a free trial. To try out the service, you'll need to pay upfront. You can cancel within 30 days for a full refund, but it's not as compelling as a free trial offer would be.

It's also worth mentioning that NordVPN went through a very public data breach in 2018. Following the announcement of the breach, the company took steps to prevent it from happening again. However, some users weren't convinced, and NordVPN's reputation took a hit.


The biggest downside of Surfshark is that it doesn't have as many servers as NordVPN. As a result, Surfshark users don't have as many server locations to choose from and will experience slower speeds than they would with NordVPN. 

With that said, we wouldn't necessarily hold this against Surfshark since NordVPN has been operating for far longer. Plus, Surfshark has been adding servers and countries at an impressive pace.

Finally, some people might prefer buying from a well-known company (NordVPN) over a newer player in the space (Surfshark). However, this is simply a matter of personal preference and shouldn't count against Surfshark's VPN service.

Our recommendation

It's hard to crown a winner in the battle of NordVPN vs. Surfshark. The products share quite a few similarities, and either one would be an effective option for keeping yourself safe online. With that said, there are a few small differences that might make you pick one over the other.

On the one hand, NordVPN would be the right choice for savvy VPN users who want the highest levels of speed and security. It's also worth considering for frequent travelers who want to access movies and TV shows wherever they go. 

On the other hand, Surfshark has proven to be a worthy opponent — especially as a newer company going up against a long-established VPN brand. Surfshark will be a better option for anybody who is concerned about budget or wants to use one VPN account for more than six devices, especially when streaming.