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
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 need a dedicated IP
- You’re in need of VPN software for only a month
- You prefer more server coverage over countries
- 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
Table of Contents
- NordVPN & Surfshark Comparison Summary
- NordVPN & Surfshark Price Comparison
- NordVPN & Surfshark Top Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
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.
|Unlimited device support||No||Yes|
|Double VPN support||No||Yes|
|Dedicated IP support||Yes||No|
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.
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:
- Apple TV
- Fire TV
- 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, 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.
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 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:
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.
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.