Surfshark vs. NordVPN 2024: Which is Better? (It Depends)

Surfshark is more affordable, provides unlimited device connections, and matches NordVPN for speed. But Nord has more servers and places an emphasis on user privacy.
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Best for Low Prices

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
  • Headquarters in Nine Eyes Alliance

Best for High-Quality Service

5.0
Editorial Rating
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On NordVPN's website

VPN
NordVPN
Up to 74% off 2-year plans + 3 months extra
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices
  • Too many confusing plans

Between NordVPN and Surfshark, Surfshark is the better option for many people because it’s more affordable ($2.19/mo (billed every two years) vs. $3.09/mo (billed every two years)), provides unlimited device connections, and still competes with fast speeds and streaming support.

NordVPN is still a viable option and an excellent choice, especially if you want name-brand reliability. This includes more servers than Surfshark, potentially more focus on privacy, fast speeds, and streaming support.

Let’s dig into our Surfshark vs. NordVPN review to see the details of how both services compare in terms of security features, speeds, customer service, and more.

In this article
Surfshark vs. NordVPN at a glance
Surfshark vs. NordVPN: prices
Surfshark vs NordVPN: features
Surfshark vs. NordVPN: streaming support
Surfshark vs. NordVPN: internet speeds
Surfshark vs. NordVPN: compatibility and customer support
Surfshark vs. NordVPN: customer service
Surfshark vs. NordVPN FAQs
Surfshark vs. NordVPN: which is better?

Surfshark vs. NordVPN at a glance

Comparing two virtual private network (VPN) services typically means looking at their prices, features, and download speeds.

Having tested Surfshark and NordVPN, we found they both provide fast speeds and plenty of features for low costs. They also have high levels of privacy and security with loads of servers to choose from, including if you want to unblock regional streaming content.

There’s no clear winner across the board, but Surfshark is the cheaper option if pricing is your main concern. And Surfshark isn’t a slouch in other areas either, providing great streaming support, unlimited device connections, 24/7 customer service, and fast internet speeds.

But you might prefer NordVPN for its lack of connection to a global surveillance alliance and more server options, while still remaining affordable.

How do Surfshark and NordVPN compare?


Surfshark

NordVPN
Starting rice Starts at $2.19/mo (billed every two years) Starts at $3.09/mo (billed every two years)
Max # of connected devices Unlimited 10
24/7 customer support
Compatibility Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and more
# of servers 3,200+ servers in 100 countries 6,300+ servers in 111 countries
VPN protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2 NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
No-logs policy No logs No logs
Unblocks Netflix?
Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

The primary differences between Surfshark and NordVPN include:

  • Price
  • Max number of devices
  • Server count and locations

Surfshark’s price point ranges from $2.19–$17.95/mo, which beats the $3.09–$15.99/mo range of NordVPN. See more details about prices.

Most VPNs have a max number of devices you can connect at one time. Surfshark doesn’t have a cap, which gives you unlimited simultaneous connections. This makes it easy to share your account with friends and family. NordVPN caps you at 10 unique devices.

NordVPN has nearly 3,000 more servers than Surfshark. But Surfshark has servers in more than 40 more countries (server locations). So you might go with Surfshark if you want to connect to a VPN in specific locations, but choose NordVPN if you want access to more servers.

Having a high server count can give you more options for avoiding servers with high loads. A high-load server is one that large numbers of people are connecting to, which could reduce the performance of the server and potentially have a negative impact on your connection.

Surfshark vs. NordVPN: prices

Our Pick
Price range $2.19–$17.95/mo $3.09–$15.99/mo
Best value plan Surfshark Starter 24-month plan for $2.19/mo (billed every two years) NordVPN Standard 24-month plan for $3.09/mo (billed every two years)
Money-back guarantee Yes — 30 days Yes — 30 days
Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

Surfshark costs between $2.19–$17.95/mo, with its lowest-priced plan coming in at $2.19/mo (billed every two years) for 24 months.

NordVPN costs between $3.09–$15.99/mo, with its lowest-priced plan coming in at $3.09/mo (billed every two years) for 24 months.

Overall, Surfshark is the cheaper VPN. So if you want to save money on a VPN, choose Surfshark.

But realize that NordVPN isn’t actually that much more expensive, as we’re still in the range of a few bucks a month for either service. So paying less than $2 more might not be a deal breaker, especially if you want access to more servers.

Keep in mind that Surfshark automatically enrolls you in an auto-renew feature after signing up for a subscription. We couldn’t figure out a way to turn off this feature without contacting customer service, which is a bit sketchy. But at least it was an issue that didn’t take long to resolve.

Both Surfshark and NordVPN provide 30-day money-back guarantees, so you can try them out risk-free for a month before determining your pick.

Winner: Surfshark wins because it’s the cheaper VPN. Check out our Surfshark VPN review for more information.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: features

Feature
Our Pick
Number of servers 3,200+ servers in 100 countries 6,300+ servers in 111 countries
No-logs policy No logs No logs
VPN headquarters The Netherlands Panama
Encryption AES-256-GCM AES-256
VPN protocol WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2 NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPsec
Kill switch
Split tunneling
Netflix support
Torrenting support
Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

Both Surfshark and NordVPN provide strict no-logs policies, kill switches, split tunneling, and torrenting support. You can also use either service to unblock regional Netflix streaming content.

NordVPN has more servers than Surfshark, but Surfshark has servers in dozens more countries. So if you want to connect to specific server locations, Surfshark might make more sense.

But NordVPN still has servers in 61 countries, which is likely more than enough for most people. And having nearly 2,000 more servers can help you avoid heavy server loads, which can slow down your internet connection.

We like that NordVPN has designated servers for P2P (torrenting), Onion over VPN, Double VPN, obfuscated servers, and dedicated IP. This gives you plenty of options to choose between different servers to meet your needs. Surfshark doesn’t have quite the same range of specific servers, though it does have multi-hop, dedicated IP, and static IP.

NordVPN has designated servers for P2P (torrenting), Onion Over VPN, Double VPN, obfuscated servers, and Dedicated IP.

NordVPN comes off as the more private and secure service because it’s headquartered in Panama. Panama isn’t part of the Five, Nine, or 14 Eyes alliances, but The Netherlands is part of the Nine Eyes alliance. However, we were pleased that both services have had their no-logs policies audited by third parties, 

Individual testing of both VPNs found that they don’t suffer from WebRTC leaks and can successfully mask your IP address.

One large point in favor of Surfshark over NordVPN is that you can connect unlimited devices with a Surfshark subscription. This means you can use Surfshark on as many desktop computers, laptops, Macs, tablets, phones, and other devices as you want. With NordVPN, you’re limited to 10 different devices.

Surfshark vs. NordVPN: streaming support

Platform
Our Pick
Netflix
Amazon Prime Video
Hulu
BBC iPlayer
Disney+
HBO Max
Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

We tested Surfshark and NordVPN to see whether they work with popular streaming services, including Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Disney+. We tested both VPN providers by opening the different streaming platforms on Windows using a Chrome browser while connected to different VPN servers.

We had two main objectives with each streaming service:

  1. See if the VPN actually loads content from the service
  2. Observe for any issues, such as lag or low-quality streams

We successfully unblocked content from Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, and HBO Max with both Surfshark and NordVPN.

Reviewed by Ben Walker
“One large point in favor of Surfshark over NordVPN is that you can connect unlimited devices. This means you can use Surfshark on as many desktop computers, laptops, Macs, tablets, phones, and other devices as you want. With NordVPN, you’re limited to 10 different devices.”

We were also able to successfully unlock a non-U.S. Netflix content library using both VPN services. Here, you can see the Netflix U.K. content library is available using Surfshark. Unfortunately, we had trouble unblocking Netflix Canada with Surfshark, but Netflix in particular can be persistent in blocking VPNs.

We successfully unlocked the Netflix U.K. library with Surfshark.

We were even able to unlock Star content on Disney+, which is a portion of the platform that isn’t available in the U.S.

Both Surfshark and NordVPN allowed us to unlock Star content on Disney+, which isn't available in the U.S.

Winner: NordVPN wins this category because it generally has more appealing features, such as more servers and potentially more secure practices (independent audit of no-logs policy). But you can use either service to watch Netflix with a VPN, and don’t forget that Surfshark allows unlimited device connections.

Surfshark vs. NordVPN: internet speeds

VPNs are known to have a small negative impact on your internet speeds because they tend to eat up some of your bandwidth.

But we test internet speeds before and after connecting to a VPN to see whether the secure connection has a significant impact on internet performance. For example, does a VPN affect your everyday internet activities, including gaming, web browsing, or work?

To measure this, we check the results of speed tests to see if using a VPN causes a massive reduction in your overall internet speeds. We compare the results to a baseline measurement we take before connecting to a VPN. We connected to servers in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. 

Surfshark vs. NordVPN download speeds

Server location
Our Pick
US 41% slower 9.1% slower
UK 24% slower 0.03% faster
AU 92% slower 31.5% slower
Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

Reviewed by Ben Walker
“NordVPN is an excellent choice, especially if you want more servers than Surfshark offers, potentially more focus on privacy (including an independent audit of Nord’s no-logs policy), fast speeds, and streaming support.”

NordVPN consistently maintained better download speeds than Surfshark across servers. It even sped up our connection with the U.K. server. 

It was surprising that our connection slowed down more with a U.S. server than with a U.K. server, but it’s probably nothing to be concerned about. Speeds can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, and it wasn’t a huge drop.

Winner: NordVPN is the winner for internet speeds, only minimally affecting our connection with each server.

Surfshark vs. NordVPN: compatibility and customer support

Windows
macOS
Android
iOS
Linux
Apple TV
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Router
Smart devices
Browser extensions Yes — Chrome, Firefox Yes — Chrome, Firefox, Edge
24/7 live chat
Customer support options Live chat, email, online guides Live chat, email, online guides
Get Surfshark

Read Surfshark Review

Get NordVPN

Read NordVPN Review

It was easy to set up the Surfshark and NordVPN Windows apps on our desktop computer. The processes were as simple as downloading the apps from the applicable websites and then taking a few minutes to install them.

Both Surfshark and NordVPN have intuitive, easy-to-use apps. We had no issues navigating their server lists or looking for specific settings.

Both Surfshark and NordVPN have intuitive, easy-to-use apps.

We also found both VPNs offer plenty of compatibility and functionality with different operating systems, mobile apps, routers, browser extensions, and smart devices. We were personally able to download apps for both providers on Windows, iOS, and Amazon Fire TV Stick. But you can also use macOS, Android, Linux, Apple TV, and more.

Having 24/7 live chat can be extremely helpful if you run into a VPN issue or simply have a question. We tested the live chat options with both Surfshark and NordVPN to see how well they performed.

We had great live chat interactions with both Surfshark and NordVPN. We started each chat with a question about whether the VPN supported torrenting.

In both cases, we were promptly transferred to a live agent within a minute or less. And both agents were understandable, quick to respond, and provided helpful responses.

The end result was confirming that both Surfshark and NordVPN servers can help with torrenting. With Surfshark, you can use any server to torrent. With NordVPN, there are specific P2P-optimized servers, and you should use those for torrenting.

Winner: We have no complaints for the compatibility or the customer service experience from either Surfshark or NordVPN, so it’s a tie.

Surfshark vs. NordVPN FAQs


+

What's better, NordVPN or Surfshark?

Surfshark is the better option if you want a premium, low-price VPN that provides unlimited simultaneous connections. It offers high levels of privacy and security, while also being able to unblock streaming services, including Netflix and Disney+.

NordVPN is a slightly more expensive, but still fast and reliable service that has more servers worldwide.


+

Is Surfshark owned by Nord?

Yes, Surfshark is owned by Nord Security, the parent company of NordVPN. Surfshark and Nord Security merged in 2022, but both companies operate independently of each other. Surfshark is based in The Netherlands, and NordVPN is based out of Panama. Both VPNs provide fast and secure services, but Surfshark is the overall cheaper option.


+

Is Surfshark VPN any good?

Yes, Surfshark VPN is an excellent VPN service that doesn’t have a premium price tag. Starting at $2.19/mo (billed every two years), you get fast speeds and loads of features. This includes connections for an unlimited number of devices, which isn’t common for most popular VPNs. Surfshark also unblocks Netflix and has a strict no-logs policy.


+

How much does Surfshark cost?

Surfshark costs between $2.19–$17.95/mo depending on the plan. The plan with the best value is $2.19/mo (billed every two years) for 24 months. The $12.95 price is for the month-to-month plan, which is the worst-value plan that Surfshark offers.


+

Is Surfshark a Chinese company?

No, Surfshark is a company based out of the Netherlands that’s owned by Nord Security, NordVPN’s parent company. NordVPN is based out of Panama, but Nord Security has offices throughout Europe, including Lithuania, Germany, and Poland. Surfshark offices are in Lithuania and Poland.

Surfshark vs. NordVPN: which is better?

We recommend Surfshark if you want an affordable VPN that also provides fast speeds and streaming support. Surfshark is cheaper than NordVPN, had better speeds in our testing, and unblocked all the streaming services we tried. You can also use Surfshark with as many devices as you want.

But we recommend NordVPN if you’re willing to pay a bit more for more servers and a focus on user privacy. We encountered at least one Surfshark server that had some dips in performance, so having more servers to choose from could be the way to go with Nord. We also like that NordVPN has had an independent audit done to back up its no-logs policy.

To research more popular VPNs, see how Nord compares to ExpressVPN.

Customizable Coverage That is Simple to Use
5.0
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On NordVPN's website
VPN
NordVPN
Up to 74% off 2-year plans + 3 months extra
  • Ultra-secure, high-speed VPN complete with malware protection and automatic blocking of intrusive ads and third-party trackers
  • Other benefits include a premium password manager, dark web monitoring, and access to IP-restricted content
  • 3 plans to choose from for custom protection on up to 10 devices
  • Too many confusing plans
Author Details
Ben Walker is a security, travel, and credit card writer with a passion for all things internet and technology, whether it's using VPNs while away from home or organizing his life with password managers.