Best VPN Service / Best VPN Comparison List For 2024 / ExpressVPN vs Surfshark: Which VPN is better?

ExpressVPN vs Surfshark: Which VPN is better?

Should I choose ExpressVPN or Surfshark?

Last Updated on 17/05/2024

Choosing the right VPN to match-up with your unique needs is crucial before you buy. On the question of Express VPN vs Surfshark, however, picking between the two poses something of a challenge.

You see, SurfShark offers exceptional value for money to new customers who opt for their cheapest deal. It’s also a spot-on VPN for server locations, with 100 different countries available. That said, ExpressVPN offers best-in-class security and compatibility with certain set-top boxes and routers you simply won’t find elsewhere. But is Express VPN better than SurfShark overall? Let’s find out.

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Compare the best VPNs

ExpressVPN
Recommended
Favicon
4.6/5
  • Wide server coverage and continuous expansion
  • Lightning-fast VPN speeds
  • Flexible pricing plans with a money-back guarantee
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Hulu
bbc_iplayer
from $8,32 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
+
Apps
Show less
CyberGhost
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.6/5
  • Robust server network
  • Fast WireGuard connections
  • Wide streaming compatibility
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $2,37 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
+
Apps
Show less
NordVPN
Hot Offer
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Lightning-fast server speeds
  • Wide server coverage globally
  • Advanced security features
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $3,59 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
+
Apps
Show less
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $1,98 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Wide server network, extensive coverage
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Excellent streaming capabilities
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
Hulu
from $2,49 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
Hide.me
6.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Top-rated VPN for privacy
  • Lightning-fast connection speeds
  • Innovative features for security
Data Logging
Yes
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Torrents
Netflix
bbc_iplayer
from $2,59 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
PureVPN
7.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Always-on auditing for transparency
  • AES-256 encryption and obfuscation
  • Competitive pricing and streaming
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Hulu
bbc_iplayer
from 2,04€ / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
ivacy VPN
8.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • High-speed streaming and browsing
  • Robust security and privacy
  • Affordable long-term plans
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $1,00 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
American Express
+
Apps
Show More
ProtonVPN
9.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Free version with excellent features
  • Extensive server network
  • Top-tier encryption and security
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $4,99 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
StrongVPN
10.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • User-friendly VPN for beginners
  • Strong privacy and security features
  • Access to 950 servers
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Torrents
from $3,97 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Apps
Show More
Bitdefender
11.
Favicon
4.4/5
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Robust encryption and security
  • Impressive server network
Data Logging
Yes
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Torrents
from $2,50 / Month
Visit Site
Payment Methods
PayPal
Bank Transfer
Visa
+
Show More
Atlas VPN
12.
Favicon
  • Impressive free VPN service
  • Solid security features
  • Optimized for streaming
Data Logging
No
P2P/Torrenting
Yes
Works with
Netflix
Hulu
bbc_iplayer
Best Alternative
ExpressVPN Go to ExpressVPN
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
JCB
+
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Hold up. What is a VPN, exactly?

If you’re reading this article, you most likely know the basics already, but here’s a quick reminder before we get into comparing these two clear contenders for best VPN around.

A VPN or “Virtual Private Network” protects users from would-be hackers and trackers online, by enabling you guys to mask your IP addresses via an encrypted tunnel. You can even pick a country/location of your choice, enabling you to:

  • Use public Wi-Fi more safely.
  • Hide your IP address.
  • Ensure 100% private browsing.
  • Access the internet as if you were in another location.
  • Unlock streaming services’ content from other regions.

Now, let’s see how two market-leaders, Express VPN and SurfShark, compare against one another.

ExpressVPNSurfshark
CompanyExpress VPN International LtdSurfshark B.V.
Web Sitewww.expressvpn.comsurfshark.com
Customer SupportLive Chat, Email SupportLive Chat, Email Support
Licence
Verified byn/an/a
Payment Methods
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
+
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Bonusfrom $8,32 / Monthfrom $2,49 / Month
VisitGo to ExpressVPN
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Surfshark
T&Cs apply, 18+

Express VPN vs SurfShark price – which is the cheaper VPN?

Cost-conscious buyers will be happy to hear that both providers are budget-friendly. Here’s what you need to know price-wise:

Express VPN SurfShark
Monthly cost for 24-month plan N/A From $2.39
Monthly cost for 12-month plan From $6.67 From $3.99
Monthly cost for rolling contract From $12.95 From $12.95
Money-back guarantee? 30-day guarantee available 30-day guarantee available

So, which is better, Express VPN or SurfShark? Well, SurfShark offers the all-round cheapest deal thanks to their SurfShark Starter discount, which gets you one free month and an up to 82% overall saving on new 24-month plans.

That said, Express VPN actually costs the same if you opt for a one-month-only rolling contract, or you can enjoy an attractive 49% discount on 12-month plans with 3 months free for $6.67 monthly. Some would say the extra cost here is worth it on account of Express VPN’s longer-standing industry rep, but we’ll leave you to decide on that one.

Our choice of VPN operators

ExpressVPN
1.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $8,32 / Month
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
CyberGhost
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $2,37 / Month
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
NordVPN
3.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $3,59 / Month
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $1,98 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $2,49 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+

Express VPN vs SurfShark speed – which has the fastest servers?

Next up, let’s look at speed – which we’re sure will be another of your top considerations when trying to pick between Express VPN or SurfShark. Again, here’s a handy table on the main need-to-knows:

Express VPN SurfShark
Maximum speeds advertised 10 Gbps servers 10 Gbps servers
Reality-test upload speeds 300 Mbps 310 Mbps
Reality-test download speeds 324 Mbps 300 Mbps

As you can see, independent speed tests estimate average upload and download speeds to be virtually identical between the two providers. These tests, which were performed on servers in the US, UK, Australia, Brazil, and Switzerland using each operator’s fastest protocol, averaged out at approximately 300 Mbps for both Express VPN and SurfShark.

If you’re a Netflix addict, though, you might want to note that Express VPN offers slightly superior download times, while regular Skype-callers might be better off with SurfShark’s marginally better upload stats.

ExpressVPN
4.6/5
from $8,32 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN Highlights
  • Wide server coverage and continuous expansion
  • Lightning-fast VPN speeds
  • Flexible pricing plans with a money-back guarantee
Surfshark
4.5/5
from $2,49 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Surfshark
Surfshark Highlights
  • Wide server network, extensive coverage
  • Unlimited device connections
  • Excellent streaming capabilities

Security, servers, and streaming options – a comparison between Express VPN and SurfShark

Time for a bit of nerd speak. Here’s how the two compare in a handful of other make-or-break categories:

Security and safety

Express VPN is often hailed as the granddaddy of online security in the VPN world. It’s flagship Lightway tunnelling protocol has an industry-leading rep, and you’ll find other protocols up for grabs here too, from OpenVPN to IKEv2 and L2TP/IPsec.

By way of comparison, SurfShark is slightly less IT acronym-heavy, with only OpenVPN, IKEv2 and WireGuard available. Phew. That said, these protocols are still very highly-regarded in the industry, and you’ll get super-intelligent ad and cookie pop-up blockers with SurfShark that Express VPN simply can’t match.

Servers and locations

SurfShark VPN offers access to servers in 100 different countries in total, which is six more than the 94 offered by Express VPN.

Nevertheless, we’d advise delving into our detailed reviews of each provider to cross-compare their full country lists – as you might find that one (or the other) excludes some of your favourite locations.

Streaming potential

Both providers can circumvent geoblocks effectively when streaming. In normal person language, this means you can watch Netflix shows that are ordinarily prohibited in your region by switching to another country’s server.

During the tests we performed, both VPNs functioned fluidly with Amazon Prime, Disney+ and other content platforms, too – again with similar speeds logged. However, Express VPN seems to be the easier of the two to hook-up to set-up boxes, Amazon Fire Sticks and the like. Generally, their platform is a little more user-friendly.

What other VPNs are worth checking out?

We get that this is a guide on Express VPN vs SurfShark, but if neither feels right for you for whatever reason, here’s a few alternatives also worth considering:

NordVPN

With a 63% discount currently available on two-year plans, NordVPN is another worthy contender for bargain-hunters. They also offer great tracker and ad-blocking tools.

CyberGhost

CyberGhost keeps zero records of its users’ browsing or traffic history, making it a good choice for anonymity-conscious users. They’re great for torrenting, too.

IPVanish

With unmetered devices and bandwidth up for grabs, IPVanish is one of the most flexible VPNs on the market. They also boast an amazing TrustPilot rating.

Final takeaway – is Express VPN or SurfShark best?

Which of these two top-ranking VPNs is right for you will depend entirely on what you’re looking for in a VPN. As we’ve already made clear, both providers offer exceptional security, tons of useful features and compatibility with a broad range of devices.

If budget is your top priority, SurfShark comes in at the best price thanks to their latest welcome offer – and they also rank best for streaming and for number of countries available on their server list, too. But if you’re looking for a VPN with the best possible security rep, marginally faster connections and greater compatibility with less-common devices, you might want to give Express VPN a try.

More great VPN deals to compare

ExpressVPN
1.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $8,32 / Month
Mastercard
Visa
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
CyberGhost
2.
Favicon
4.6/5
from $2,37 / Month
PayPal
Visa
Mastercard
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
NordVPN
3.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $3,59 / Month
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Private Internet Access
4.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $1,98 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+
Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
from $2,49 / Month
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+

Express VPN vs SurfShark FAQ

🔓 Express VPN vs SurfShark – which is best for privacy?

Online privacy and anonymity rank among the key features of today’s top VPNs. SurfShark and Express VPN both offer state-of-the-art encryption and myriad server options to keep you protected online, but which one actually fares best from a security standpoint? Find out now.

📺 Should I pick SurfShark or Express VPN for streaming?

Using a VPN can help you to access TV shows from streaming sites back home while you travel. It’s also a great way to unlock some of the hidden content that popular streaming platforms only make available to certain customers on a region-specific basis. But which VPN is best for streaming purposes? Check out our expert guides to find out today.

💸 Which VPN has the biggest 24-month discount?

Top-ranking VPNs routinely advertise and rotate their promotions. Oftentimes, the best deals will be available on 24-month packages or price plans, but on slightly rarer occasions you might be able to secure a more favourable deal by opting for a shorter plan. Discover the best VPN promotions with Strafe.com.

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Best VPNs in the World
ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN Bonus
from $8,32 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to ExpressVPN
NordVPN
NordVPN Bonus
from $3,59 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to NordVPN
CyberGhost
CyberGhost Bonus
from $2,37 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to CyberGhost
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