Best VPN Service / Best VPN Comparison List For 2024 / NordVPN vs Surfshark Review

NordVPN vs Surfshark: Which VPN is better?

Should I choose NordVPN or Surfshark?

Last Updated on 17/05/2024

In a race between NordVPN vs Surfshark, which is most worthy of pole position? Both offer lightning-fast download speeds, 24/7 customer support and incredibly user-friendly apps, but surely one stands out more than the other, right?

Ultimately, both providers offer quick and reliable VPN services at affordable price points, but each also comes with its unique pros and cons. In this comparison between NordVPN and Surfshark, our experts at Strafe.com walk you through the services provided by each in detail.

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ExpressVPN
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4.6/5
  • Wide server coverage and continuous expansion
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NordVPN
Hot Offer
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4.5/5
  • Lightning-fast server speeds
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Surfshark
5.
Favicon
4.5/5
  • Wide server network, extensive coverage
  • Unlimited device connections
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Hide.me
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PureVPN
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4.5/5
  • Always-on auditing for transparency
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ProtonVPN
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  • Free version with excellent features
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StrongVPN
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Atlas VPN
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NordVPNSurfshark
CompanyTefincom S.ASurfshark B.V.
Web Sitenordvpn.comsurfshark.com
Customer SupportLive Chat, PhoneLive Chat, Email Support
Licence
Verified byn/an/a
Payment Methods
Google Pay
Mastercard
Visa
+
Visa
Mastercard
PayPal
+
Bonusfrom $3,59 / Monthfrom $2,49 / Month
VisitGo to NordVPN
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Surfshark
T&Cs apply, 18+

On paper – which is better, NordVPN or Surfshark?

The quickest way to get a feel for which service might be the right fit for your needs is to stick a few stats about each side-by-side – which is exactly what we’ve done below.

Service NordVPN Surfshark
Number of servers 5,800 3,200
Number of countries 60 100
Cheapest price plan $3.49 monthly $2.49 monthly
Available discounts Save up to 69% on two-year plans Save up to 81% on two-year plans
Money-back guarantee 30 days 30 days
Simultaneous connections Up to 6 Unlimited
Security 256-bit AES with RSA-4096 encryption 256-bit AES with RSA-2048 encryption
Real-world speeds Approx. 196 Mbps Approx. 190 Mbps

NordVPN vs SurfShark – a pros and cons comparison 

As pretty much anyone could make out from our comparison table, both VPNs have their strong and weak points. Here are the key pros and cons of each, which include a few we haven’t touched upon just yet:

Pros and cons of NordVPN

NordVPN main
Pro and Con
  • More servers and countries.
  • Slightly faster real-world speeds.
  • Stronger industry reputation.
  • Positive reviews from prominent people.
  • A little more expensive
NordVPN
4.5/5
from $3,59 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to NordVPN
NordVPN Highlights
  • Lightning-fast server speeds
  • Wide server coverage globally
  • Advanced security features

Pros and cons of SurfShark

Surfshark VPN award winning
Pro and Con
  • Cheaper monthly costs.
  • Larger discounts across price plans.
  • No cap on simultaneous devices.
  • Excellent ad-blockers and virus alerts.
  • A tiny bit slower in real-world tests.
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

NordVPN vs Surfshark price in detail – which is the best budget option?

Pricing will always be one of the most important factors for people shopping around for a new VPN. Both providers are budget-friendly and offer a great range of discounts, which means regardless of whether you choose NordVPN or Surfshark, you can rest-assured you’ll be getting a great deal.

SurfShark works out the cheapest overall, at $2.49 monthly on their best budget plan, though you will have to upgrade your account to unlock features like ad-blockers and malware alerts – which only come with their “Surfshark One” package. Interestingly, NordVPN’s biggest discounts don’t affect its cheapest monthly price plans, which means you can often get equally good deals on shorter plans as longer ones with them.

NordVPN vs Surfshark speed in detail – which VPN lags behind?

Probably your next biggest consideration is speed, right? Well, you’re in luck – because whether you pick NordVPN or Surfshark, you’re going to be running with some of the fastest VPN software we’ve seen. Both providers advertise servers of up to 10Gbps, but real-world tests indicate that you’re more likely to get around 150-200Mbps with most US, European or Asian servers.

We carried out a real-world speed test across popular servers that yielded the following all-round average results:

Up/Down NordVPN SurfShark
Average download 196Mbps 190Mbps
Average upload 187Mbps 189Mbps

Speed-wise, it’s near enough impossible to name which is the Best VPN. NordVPN came back with marginally higher download speeds, while Surfshark turned out to be ever-so-slightly better upload-wise. Independent reviews from elsewhere have occasionally found otherwise and it seems that, generally, the two are about on par as far as speed is concerned.

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ExpressVPN
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CyberGhost
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NordVPN
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4.5/5
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Private Internet Access
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Surfshark
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Other categories explored in detail – is NordVPN better than Surfshark?

So, Surfshark is a tad cheaper and both are about as fast as each other. We don’t really have a clear winner so far, do we? Here’s how the two compare in a few other important categories:

Security

You’ll find 256-bit AES encryption with both VPNs, which is broadly considered “uncrackable”. Both providers use the same security protocols with only minor differences between them. In other words, we have another tie here.

Streaming capabilities

Whether you’re into Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer or Amazon Prime, you’ll encounter no issues unlocking either while travelling so long as you have NordVPN or Surfshark in your suitcase.

Servers

NordVPN offers a little more flexibility here in terms of overall number of server loactions, with 5,800 against the 3,200 you’ll get with Surfshark VPN. That said, Surfshark offers 100 countries compared with NordVPN’s 60 – so the better of the two will depend on whether countries or individual locations matter to you most.

Industry reputation

Dating back to 2012, NordVPN has certainly been in the business longer – and has amassed some great testimonials from YouTuber PewDiePie and others in its time. That said, while Surfshark was founded much later, in 2018, it’s actually now owned by Nord Security – the very same guys who sit behind NordVPN. Weird, right?

Usability

Large families or those indulging in a bit of password-sharing will be happy to hear that Surfshark imposes zero limitations on the number of devices you can connect at any one time. NordVPN limits this to six, though their apps are arguably a little easier-to-navigate than Surfshark’s – especially if you’re new to VPNs in general.

Don’t overlook these other great VPNs

While NordVPN and Surfshark both offer amazing potential, we’d suggest checking out a few of their closest competitors before making a final commitment. Other VPNs worth investigating, include:

ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and best-established VPNs on the market. They keep zero activity logs and offer amazing customer support.

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

CyberGhost

CyberGhost’s reputation for online privacy is second-to-none. They use the widely-respected WireGuard protocol and offer some super user-friendly apps.

CyberGhost
4.6/5
from $2,37 / Month
T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to CyberGhost
CyberGhost Highlights
  • Robust server network
  • Fast WireGuard connections
  • Wide streaming compatibility

Private Internet Access (PIA)

PIA is a great VPN from a customisation standpoint. They impose no caps on the number of devices you can connect at once and have incredibly fast servers.

Private Internet Access
4.5/5
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T&Cs apply, 18+
Go to Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access Highlights
  • High streaming performance and extensive server network
  • Robust security features and privacy measures
  • Affordable pricing plans and reliable service

Conclusion – which is better, NordVPN or Surfshark?

We’ve scrutinised both VPNs as harshly as we can here, but they’re both so darn good that it’s difficult for us to poke too many holes in either.

NordVPN offers a little more speed-wise, reputation-wise, and server-wise, but Surfshark’s budget plans come in at a much better price, and their lack of any limits on simultaneous connections will afford you much greater flexibility if you’re the kind of person who just can’t stop buying new devices. Ultimately, both VPNs rank among the best we’ve seen on the market and are definitely worth giving a try.

Value VPN deals

ExpressVPN
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4.6/5
from $8,32 / Month
Mastercard
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CyberGhost
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NordVPN
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4.5/5
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Surfshark
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Favicon
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Visa
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Visit Site
T&Cs apply, 18+

NordVPN vs Surfshark FAQ

💲NordVPN vs Surfshark – which one is cheapest?

The best VPNs out there offer multiple price plans and packages to properly cater to different kinds of consumers. Ordinarily, the best deals are available on longer-term plans, though some VPNs tend to buck the trend here. Compare NordVPN, Surfshark and other VPNs cost-wise with Strafe.com to find your perfect VPN today.

🔒 Is Surfshark or NordVPN safest?

Perhaps the core purpose of a VPN is online safety and anonymity, so the best VPNs out there really ought to offer state-of-the-art encryption and security protocols. Find out whether Surfshark or NordVPN is the safer VPN option now with our latest guides, comparisons, and reviews.

📱 Which VPN is best for use with mobile devices?

Top-ranking VPNs should offer dedicated apps that you can download and install on all kinds of different devices to facilitate your ability to connect and browse securely on the move. Compare the top features offered by today’s best VPNs using Strafe.com now.

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ExpressVPN
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NordVPN
NordVPN Bonus
from $3,59 / Month
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CyberGhost Bonus
from $2,37 / Month
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