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: Surfshark and ExpressVPN. 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.
Surfshark & ExpressVPN Comparison Summary
Surfshark was given a score of 96 due to its usability, advanced features, and wide server coverage. ExpressVPN was rated slightly lower only due to its lack of advanced features in comparison to Surfshark.
In terms of pricing, both solutions start at $12.95 per month. Surfshark is more affordable than ExpressVPN 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 does, however, offer dedicated IP support, which ExpressVPN doesn’t.
Overall, both solutions are advanced and capable for small businesses in need of robust VPN software. In fact, both Surfshark and ExpressVPN ranked in the upper percentile of our VPN software category. Ultimately, we recommend Surfshark over ExpressVPN due to its affordability and wider breadth of advanced features.
Here’s a quick breakdown of who will prefer each option:
- You are in need of VPN software for a year or two
- You’re in need of ad-blocking
- You would like double VPN support
- You in need of VPN software for only a month
- You would like transparent security protocols
- You are an advanced VPN software user
Table of Contents
- Surfshark & ExpressVPN Comparison Summary
- Surfshark & ExpressVPN Price Comparison
- Surfshark & ExpressVPN Top Feature Comparison
- Bottom Line
Surfshark & ExpressVPN Price Comparison
Overall, Surfshark and ExpressVPN are similarly priced. Surfshark is more affordable the longer the plan duration is.
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.
ExpressVPN Pricing Details
ExpressVPN is a relatively less affordable solution than competitors. There are three pricing options. Users can pay $12.95 for one month, $59.95 for six months, or $99.95 for a full year.
ExpressVPN does not offer a free plan.
Surfshark & ExpressVPN Feature Comparison
Overall, Surfshark and ExpressVPN have a similar breadth of features. Surfshark comes with ad-blocking features as well as double VPN support.
|Multiple device support||Yes||Yes|
|Dedicated IP support||Yes||No|
Location & Device Coverage
Surfshark offers location coverage for up to 65 countries. You can choose from over 3,000 servers. Compare this with ExpressVPN, which offers only 160 servers but in 94 countries.
Surfshark offers support for unlimited devices at once, while ExpressVPN only supports 5 devices. Both solutions offer support for the following range of devices and operating systems:
- Apple TV
- Fire TV
- Nintendo Switch
Surfshark and ExpressVPN both offer the standard security measures most VPN software solutions offer. ExpressVPN does dive deeper into its security operations and protocols. Still, Surfshark offers strong security for its customer base.
Both solutions offer high-strength encryption with AES-256, as well as IKEv2/IPsec and OpenVPN encryption protocols.
They also support the following standard security protocols:
- WireGuard VPN protocol
- Private DNS and leak protection
- Obfuscated, RAM-only servers
- No-logs policy
- Two-factor authentication
- Independent auditing
Surfshark and ExpressVPN both offer a kill switch like many other VPN software solutions do. This can be automatically set up in their respective preferences.
Surfshark comes with three advanced features: Split tunneling, ad-blocking, and double VPN support. ExpressVPN only comes with split tunneling.
With split tunneling, you can route select devices and applications through 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
ExpressVPN allows you to leverage split tunneling in two ways. You can split-tunnel applications and devices with the normal method, protecting all connected devices except those specifically excluded. Conversely, you can leverage inverse split tunneling, which protects only your selected devices and applications, letting everything else connect to ExpressVPN.
Surfshark, unlike ExpressVPN, offers ad-blocking capabilities as well. You can block ads on the following applications and devices:
Note that Surfshark’s ad blocker does not block YouTube ads. Still, it can be an effective way to minimize malware risks, save mobile data, and avoid phishing attempts.
Finally, one of Surfshark’s most unique features is its 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.
Overall, we recommend Surfshark over ExpressVPN. This is due to its greater breadth of features and overall affordability. ExpressVPN offers greater country coverage but ultimately falls short in comparison to Surfshark. Note that both solutions do not support dedicated IPs.