Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN 2024: Battle of the Budget VPNs

Both Surfshark and PrivadoVPN offer a lot for your money — find out which one is right for you.
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Best overall value and performance

4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website

VPN
Surfshark
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support

Best for users on a tight budget

4.7
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On PrivadoVPN's website

VPN
PrivadoVPN
  • Affordable pricing and a free plan option
  • Fast speeds and unblocks Netflix
  • Low server count

Virtual private network (VPN) users are spoiled for choice these days, with tons of options available at every price point and features to suit almost any need. Surfshark VPN offers an excellent feature set and solid performance at a very affordable price, while PrivadoVPN is available for less than $1.50 per month at the time of writing, making it a true bargain.

In this comparison, we’ll help you decide whether that super-low price is worth the tradeoffs.

In this article
Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN at a glance
Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN: prices
Which VPN is faster?
Which VPN is more secure?
Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN: compatibility and customer support
Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN FAQs
Is Surfshark VPN or PrivadoVPN better?

Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN at a glance

Comparing Surfshark VPN and PrivadoVPN comes down to one thing: price. Surfshark is a bit more expensive (although still very affordable), but you get more features and performance.

PrivadoVPN is more affordable — it’s one of the cheapest VPNs on the market — but you don’t get quite the same level of performance, server choices, or extra features that Surfshark offers.

How do Surfshark VPN and PrivadoVPN compare?

Price From $2.19/mo (billed biannually) From $1.48/mo (billed annually)
Max # of connected devices Unlimited 10
24/7 customer support
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, FireTV Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, FireTV, AndroidTV
# of servers 3,200+ in 100 countries Hundreds of servers in 49 countries
VPN protocol OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
No-logs policy No logs No logs
Unblocks Netflix?
Learn more Get Surfshark VPN
Read Surfshark VPN Review
Get PrivadoVPN
Read PrivadoVPN Review

How we test and rate VPNs

We complete standardized hands-on tests for each VPN we review so we can put their claims to the test. This includes vigorous third-party testing by comparing our internet speed while connected to different servers, checking for DNS leaks, making sure the kill switch actually works, and more. We also make sure we can comfortably access popular streaming sites, like Netflix, and still do our day-to-day work without interruption.

Once we’ve completed the testing, our editorial rating is calculated by taking into account key features you’d expect from a good product. We score each VPN in the following categories and use a weighted average to calculate the final rating out of 5 stars: price, server count, speed, security, and features.

Surfshark VPN pros and cons

Surfshark is one of the best VPNs on the market. It performs very well, maintaining speeds better than many competitors in our testing. It also allows unlimited simultaneous device connections, which is almost unheard of in the VPN world.

Surfshark offers a slew of useful features, such as a rotating IP, which changes your IP address automatically every 5-10 minutes, and the CleanWeb ad blocker. It also has a strict no-logs policy and is a great streaming VPN.

Best of all, it’s one of the most affordable VPNs on the market, coming in as low as $2.19/mo (billed biannually)

Surfshark’s main downside is that it’s headquartered in the Netherlands, which is part of the Nine Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. This means there’s the potential for your data to be shared with other countries if there’s a need.

Granted, with no logs, there shouldn’t be anything to share, but it’s still worth noting.

Pros
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections
  • Affordable pricing
  • Strict no-logs policy
  • Tons of extra features, like rotating IPs
Cons
  • Some features (like antivirus) cost extra
  • Headquarters is in the Nine Eyes alliance (the Netherlands)

PrivadoVPN pros and cons

PrivadoVPN is a relatively new VPN option, having been founded in 2019. Its main claim to fame is the price. PrivadoVPN is perfect for users looking to save money on a VPN, for as little as $1.48/mo (billed annually).

It also offers a limited free plan, which is nice for testing out the service. Very light users could potentially get away with using the free plan long term.

Aside from the low price point, PrivadoVPN also offers a simple plan structure. Unlike Surfshark, there’s just one plan, so all you need to decide is how long you want to commit: 1 month, 1 year, or 2 years.

PrivadoVPN allows up to 10 simultaneous connections and is compatible with all the most popular platforms.

PrivadoVPN’s biggest disadvantage is the relatively low server count. The company advertises “hundreds of servers” across 49 countries, while many competitors boast thousands of VPN servers.

On the upside, they’re all physical servers, which tend to be more reliable and secure than virtual ones.

Pros
  • One of the lowest prices of any VPN
  • Offers a free plan
  • Up to 10 simultaneous connections
  • Simple plan choice
Cons
  • Low server count compared to other VPNs
  • Parental controls are mediocre

Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN: prices

Our Pick
Price range $2.19–$17.95/mo $1.48–$10.99/mo
Best value plan 24-month Surfshark One plan for $2.69/mo (billed biannually) 24-month plan for $1.48/mo (billed annually)
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days Yes — 30 days
Learn more Get Surfshark VPN
Read Surfshark VPN Review
Get PrivadoVPN
Read PrivadoVPN Review

Surfshark starts at a modest $2.19/mo (billed biannually) for the 2-year Surfshark Starter plan and can run as high as $17.95/mo for a 1-month subscription to Surfshark One+ (all the Surfshark features and extras, plus the Incogni data removal tool).

The monthly subscriptions are far more expensive than the yearly or 2-year options and really only make sense if you’re testing the VPN but aren’t ready to commit. The 2-year Surfshark One plan is the best value, in our opinion — you get all the features except Incogni for a price that’s barely more than the base plan.

PrivadoVPN starts at $1.48/mo (billed annually) for the 2-year plan and runs up to $10.99/mo for the month-to-month option. That’s obviously quite a bit lower than Surfshark, which is PrivadoVPN’s main selling point. The 2-year plan is also the best value by a large margin.

Both providers offer 30-day money-back guarantees, so you can give them a fair shot and request a refund if you’re not satisfied.

Both providers also have free trial options. Surfshark has a 7-day free trial available through the Apple Store and Google Play, and PrivadoVPN has a free tier you can try for as long as you want.

Payment options

Both Surfshark and PrivadoVPN offer a range of payment options. PrivadoVPN, in particular, accepts a ton of different payment methods.

This is important — VPNs are all about privacy, and some users are using them in highly sensitive situations.

Surfshark VPN payment options

  • Credit or debit card
  • PayPal
  • Google Pay
  • Amazon Pay
  • Cryptocurrency

PrivadoVPN payment options

  • Credit or debit card
  • PayPal
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Other options, like Mint and Sofort

Winner: In terms of raw price, PrivadoVPN wins, hands down. However, Surfshark isn’t far behind it, and both are an excellent value.

Which VPN is faster?

When testing VPNs, we pay special attention to their performance. Since they’re routing your traffic through additional servers, pretty much every VPN will slow your speed down somewhat. However, some cause more of a hit than others.

We run speed tests on our plain connection without the VPN. Then we run more speed tests connected to VPN servers in the same country and then also in other countries and continents to see how well things work. The table below shows how much of a performance hit each VPN had in each situation.

Server location
Our Pick
US 3.6% slower 18.3% slower
Canada 8.6% slower 22.5% slower
UK 9.1% slower 28.2% slower
AU 33.8% slower 27% slower
Learn more Get Surfshark VPN
Read Surfshark VPN Review
Get PrivadoVPN
Read PrivadoVPN Review

Surfshark performed better in every test except Australia. PrivadoVPN didn’t do badly at all — these numbers are actually better than some competitors.

Note that in these tests, physical distance to the server makes a big difference, which is why the U.K. and Australian servers appear to perform so much worse — they’re further away from the test location (either the U.S. or Canada).

Surfshark

Surfshark VPN speed test.

PrivadoVPN

PrivadoVPN speed test.

Winner: Surfshark wins this one, but again, it’s pretty close.

Which VPN is more secure?

Feature
Our Pick
Number of servers 3,200+ servers in 100 countries Hundreds of servers in 49 countries
No-logs policy No logs No logs
VPN headquarters The Netherlands Switzerland
Encryption AES-256 and ChaCha20 AES-256
VPN protocol OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
Kill switch
Split tunneling
DNS leak protection
Ad blocker
Learn more Get Surfshark VPN
Read Surfshark VPN Review
Get PrivadoVPN
Read PrivadoVPN Review

When it comes to security, there are a lot of similarities between Surfshark and PrivadoVPN. Both have strong no-logs policies, both offer good encryption and the same choice of VPN protocols, and both have features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and an ad blocker to ensure your browsing stays as private and secure as possible.

The main differences are in the server counts and VPN headquarters. Surfshark offers significantly more servers and countries, giving users more choices for where to route their traffic.

More servers also help with performance — if servers get overloaded, there are more to fall back on. We think this is a big deal and a potential reason to choose Surfshark over PrivadoVPN.

Headquarters is tricky. Surfshark is headquartered in the Netherlands, which is part of the Nine Eyes intelligence network. PrivadoVPN is headquartered in Switzerland, which has excellent data privacy laws and is not part of any intelligence alliance.

In theory, your data might be more secure with PrivadoVPN. In practice, they both have solid no-logs policies, so it’s not likely to be a huge issue for most users.

Speaking of no-logs policies, Surfshark’s policy has been audited and verified by Deloitte, an independent third party, so you can trust that it’s truly keeping no logs. PrivadoVPN has not had such an audit performed, so you’ll have to take the company’s word for it.

Surfshark's multihop feature.

PrivadoVPN's control tower settings.
PrivadoVPN Control Tower advanced security protection

Winner: Surfshark wins this one. The tipping point for us is the independent audit, which makes us feel like the company is actually doing what it claims. That said, we have no major issue with PrivadoVPN either on the privacy front.

Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN: compatibility and customer support

Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Routers
Smart devices
Browser extensions Yes — Chrome, Firefox, Edge
24/7 customer support
Customer support options Live chat, support tickets, online guides, email Support tickets, online guides
Learn more Get Surfshark VPN
Read Surfshark VPN Review
Get PrivadoVPN
Read PrivadoVPN Review

We didn’t have major problems with either interface in our testing — both are easy to use and reliable. Both also have compatibility with a good range of devices, including most of the popular platforms.

The main exception is PrivadoVPN’s lack of browser extensions, which are nice to have but not essential since most users are likely to have the VPN installed on their device anyway. PrivadoVPN also doesn’t offer a native Linux app at this time.

In terms of customer support, Surfshark offers more options, including live chat. PrivadoVPN seems to have dropped that option from its site, which is a shame. Your only real way to get help with PrivadoVPN is to open a support ticket.

That said, we used this method with PrivadoVPN to ask a question and received a response within a few hours, which isn’t bad. Both providers offer 24/7 support.

Surfshark VPN's VPN CleanWeb settings.

A red arrow points to the text "kill switch" on PrivadoVPN's screen.

Winner: In terms of interface, we’ll call it a draw — both providers are easy to set up and use. Surfshark has a slight edge in compatibility and customer support, though.

Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN FAQs


+

Is Surfshark owned by NordVPN?

No, Surfshark is not owned by NordVPN. The two companies did merge in 2022, but the products continue to operate and be developed independently.


+

Does PrivadoVPN sell your data?

No, PrivadoVPN doesn’t sell your data. The company makes money via its premium VPN plans, so it has no need to sell user data to make a profit. Plus, between the encryption and lack of logs, there wouldn’t be a whole lot to sell.


+

Can I trust Surfshark?

Yes. While nothing is an absolute, Surfshark has been in business for several years now. It’s got strict privacy policies, strong encryption, and has been independently audited to verify that it keeps no logs of user activity. The company has also not suffered any compromises or data breaches as of 2024.

Is Surfshark VPN or PrivadoVPN better?

The answer to this question really depends on what you’re looking for in a VPN. Surfshark has a lot going for it — a low price, a solid feature set, unlimited connections, and a strict no-logs policy make it a great all-around choice.

PrivadoVPN falls a bit behind in most of these categories, but makes up for it with an even lower price, making it ideal for users who just want an affordable VPN, period.

If we have to crown a winner, it’s Surfshark. Surfshark’s price isn’t that much higher than PrivadoVPN’s, and for that tiny bump, you get a lot more for your money. It’s a fantastic VPN, and one we highly recommend.

Unlimited Device Protection and Large Server Network
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website
VPN
Surfshark
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support

Surfshark VPN vs. PrivadoVPN alternatives

You’ve got plenty of options if neither Surfshark nor PrivadoVPN meets your needs. We’ve tested a lot of VPNs, and three of our favorites are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, and Proton VPN.

  • NordVPN: Our favorite all-around, NordVPN has fast speeds and tons of features at an affordable price.
  • ExpressVPN: It’s an excellent VPN with wide compatibility, but ExpressVPN is a bit pricier than most.
  • Proton VPN: Proton VPN is an easy-to-use option from a highly privacy-focused company.
Best for Best overall VPN, most reliable Best for wide compatibility Best speeds and free plan
Price From $3.99/mo (billed every two years) From $6.67/mo (billed annually) From $4.49/mo
Max # of connected devices 10 8 10
24/7 customer support
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Android TV, Apple TV Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Fire TV, Apple TV Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Android TV
# of servers 6,300+ servers in 111 countries Servers in 105 countries (exact number not specified) 4,900+ servers in 91 countries
VPN protocol OpenVPN, NordLynx, IKEv2 Lightway, OpenVPN, IKEv2 OpenVPN, WireGuard, Stealth
No-logs policy No logs No logs No logs
Unblocks Netflix?
Learn more Get NordVPN
Read NordVPN Review
Get ExpressVPN
Read ExpressVPN Review
Get Proton VPN
Read Proton VPN Review

Unlimited Device Protection and Large Server Network
4.6
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website
VPN
Surfshark
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support
Author Details
Dave Schafer is a professional writer with a decade of experience specializing in cybersecurity. His expertise spans gadgets, technology, and the internet, with a focus on topics such as routers, hardware, and VPN product comparisons.