Best VPN Software

NordVPN vs. Surfshark

Is NordVPN or Surfshark the better solution for you? This in-depth, feature-by-feature breakdown will help you decide which VPN tool is the best fit for your business.

VPN software includes features like location and device coverage, security, and ad-blocking. In today’s digital world, small businesses without a technology-enabled approach to VPN connections are falling behind.

This article will discuss the differences between two of the largest players in this space: NordVPN and Surfshark. We’ll discuss the notable strengths and weaknesses of each tool, and provide recommendations for who each tool will suit best.

All of our recommendations are based on research, product demos with the software companies, and dozens of hours spent hand-testing VPN software. More details regarding our research process can be found on our VPN category page.

NordVPN & Surfshark Comparison Summary

We researched and extensively tested both NordVPN and Surfshark. NordVPN received a score of 94 while Surfshark received a 96.

NordVPN was given a score of 94 due to its usability, advanced features, and wide server coverage. Surfshark was rated higher only due to its affordability when compared to NordVPN, as well as its robust amount of advanced features.

In terms of pricing, NordVPN starts at $11.95 for one month, while Surfshark starts at $12.95 for one month. Surfshark is more affordable than NordVPN if users are purchasing yearly plans.

Both solutions offer the standard features found across VPN tools. These include robust server and country coverage, advanced security, and additional features such as split tunneling. Surfshark, however, offers far more advanced features than NordVPN. This includes ad-blocking and double VPN support.

Overall, both solutions are highly advanced. In fact, both NordVPN and Surfshark ranked in the upper percentile of our VPN software category, with Surfshark being the highest rated product. If you’re in need of VPN software for a year or two, we recommend Surfshark due to its affordability. If you’re in need of short-term VPN software with dedicated IP support, choose NordVPN.

Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:

You'll prefer NordVPN if:

  • You need a dedicated IP
  • You’re in need of VPN software for only a month
  • You prefer more server coverage over countries

Try NordVPN Today

You'll prefer Surfshark if:

  • You in need of VPN software for a year or two
  • You’re in need of ad-blocking capabilities
  • You would like double VPN support

Try Surfshark Today

Table of Contents

NordVPN & Surfshark Price Comparison

Overall, NordVPN and Surfshark are similarly priced. Surfshark is more affordable depending on plan duration.

NordVPN Pricing Details

NordVPN is less affordable than competitors. You have three pricing options. Users can pay $11.95 for one month, $143.40 for a year, or $286.80 for two years.

As of December 2021, NordVPN offers discounts for their yearly and two year plans, charging $59.00 and $79.00 respectively. NordVPN does not offer a free plan.

Surfshark Pricing Details

Surfshark is more affordable than competitors. There are three pricing options. Users can pay $12.95 for one month, $38.94 for half a year, or $59.76 for two years. The 6 month and yearly plan are very affordable when compared to ExpressVPN and NordVPN.

Surfshark does not offer a free plan.

NordVPN & Surfshark Feature Comparison

Overall, Surfshark is more advanced than NordVPN. It offers unlimited device support, as well as additional advanced features that put it at the top of our VPN software category.

For a full analysis of each solution’s features, read our NordVPN review and Surfshark review.

Unlimited device supportNoYes
Kill switchYesYes
AES-256 encryptionYesYes
Split tunnelingYesYes
Double VPN supportNoYes
Dedicated IP supportYesNo

Location & Device Coverage

Both NordVPN and Surfshark offer similar location and device coverage. Surfshark offers location coverage for up to 65 countries and over 3,000 servers. Compare this with NordVPN, which offers over 5,000 servers in 60 countries.

Surfshark Coverage

NordVPN offers support for up to 6 devices at once, while Surfshark supports unlimited devices. Both solutions offer support for the following range or devices and operating systems:

  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Linux
  • Chromebook
  • Android
  • Apple TV
  • Fire TV
  • iOS/iPadOS
  • Playstation
  • Xbox
  • Nintendo Switch


NordVPN and Surfshark both offer the standard security measures most VPN software solutions offer. For starters, both solutions offer high strength encryption with AES-256. They also utilize IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN encryption protocols.

Additional security features include:

  • WireGuard VPN protocol
  • Private DNS and leak protection
  • Obfuscated, RAM-only servers
  • No-logs policy
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Independent auditing

NordVPN and Surfshark also both offer a kill switch like many other VPN software solutions do. This can be automatically set up in their respective preferences.

NordVPN Kill Switch

NordVPN, unlike Surfshark, offers a unique feature entitled NordLynx. NordLynx is built around the WireGuard VPN protocol, which is essentially a standard protocol known for its speed. WireGuard, however, can potentially compromise privacy. NordLynx works to essentially make this protocol rely on a no-logs privacy model.

Advanced Features

NordVPN comes with two advanced features: Split tunneling and dedicated IPs. Surfshark comes with split tunneling, ad-blocking, and double VPN support. We highly recommend Surfshark’s advanced features over the ones in NordVPN if dedicated IPs are not important to you.

With split tunneling, you can route select devices and applications through NordVPN and Surfshark’s encrypted servers and allow others to use your local IP. This has several use cases:

  • Stream foreign films while using web services from local IP addresses
  • Download applications without slowing down general web activity
  • Access network printers while surfing the internet through VPN
Surfshark Ad Blocker

Surfshark offers ad-blocking capabilities as well. Note that this feature does not block YouTube ads. Still, it can be an effective way to minimize malware risks, save mobile data, and avoid phishing attempts. You can block ads on the following applications and devices:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • iOS/macOS
  • Android
  • Windows
  • FireTV
  • Edge

Surfshark also supports multiple VPN connection capabilities. Double VPN, called MultiHop in Surfshark, essentially allows users to connect to two VPN servers at the same time. Surfshark recommends MultiHop only for users who require the utmost privacy. This is because it does take a toll on connection speeds.

Surfshark does not come with dedicated IP support like NordVPN. Do note, however, that purchasing a dedicated IP with NordVPN costs $70.

Bottom Line

Overall, if you are a small business or individual in need of powerful and user-friendly VPN software, Surfshark is perfect for your needs. Although NordVPN is robust on its own, Surfshark’s features are more advanced than their NordVPN counterparts. Surfshark also comes with the additional benefit of being more affordable.

If you’re interested, visit NordVPN or Surfshark today to get started.

Yousef Fatehpour

Yousef Fatehpour is a Junior Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit. He graduated from University of California, San Diego, where he studied Human Centered Design and Communications. His work at UCSD's Design Lab emphasized UX research and product management.

Yousef's primary areas of interest are software design, user journeys, and how user experience is handled across software markets. Yousef also has experience in product design and multimedia content production. You can connect with Yousef on LinkedIn.

Yousef is an expert in several software categories including:

  • SMS marketing software
  • Document management software
  • Human resource software
  • Applicant tracking software
  • Design software

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