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Surfshark vs NordVPN Head-To-Head Comparison — Who Wins?

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Surfshark and NordVPN are owned by the same parent company, Nord Security.

Both siblings use 100% RAM-based servers, unblock geo-restricted content, and even support torrenting.

But NordVPN costs more than Surfshark, and Surfshark offers unlimited connections at an affordable price. So, which one is better, and which one should you pick?

Continue reading to answer all of your questions!

Surfshark vs. NordVPN (Overview Table)

  Surfshark NordVPN
Servers: 3,200+ in 100+ countries   5,500+ in 60 countries
Speed: 15.75 Mbps speed drop 11.45 Mbps speed drop
Protocols: WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Streaming: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more
Torrenting: On all servers, no seeding P2P-supported servers, no seeding
Gaming: 6 ms ping + 0% packet loss 3 ms ping + 0% packet loss
Logs: Verified no-logs policy Verified no-logs policy
Security: AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, Multi-Hop, CleanWeb, Rotating IP, Obfuscation, and more AES 256-bit encryption, Kill Switch, obfuscation, WiFi Protection, Onion Over VPN, Double VPN, and more
Devices: PC (Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chromebook), mobile (Android and iOS), Amazon Fire PC (Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chromebook), mobile (Android and iOS), Smart TVs, Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire, Oculus Quest
Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited 6
Customer Support: 24/7 live chat, online form, and email 24/7 live chat and email
Best Deal: Surfshark NordVPN
Winner
NordVPN logo
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Server Locations

Surfshark boasts 3200+ servers across 100 countries compared to NordVPN’s 5,500+ servers across 60 countries. While NordVPN has far more servers than Surfshark, Surfshark covers more countries which could be beneficial to get more IP addresses and unblock local niche content.

However, Surfshark has physical servers in only 56 countries, making the rest virtual locations. So, a virtual server in Argentina may have its physical servers in Brazil.

The only disadvantage of connecting to a virtual server is a bit more lag since the server is further away from the intended location. On the upside, Sufshark uses virtual servers to expand and cover even more locations.

On the other hand, NordVPN only uses physical servers, which might explain why it’s not yet in as many locations as its rival.

nordvpn location servers

Does Surfshark or NordVPN Work in China?

Despite using obfuscation servers, NordVPN isn’t a spectacular VPN for accessing the internet from China, but Surfshark is.

First of all, NordVPN and Surfshark don’t have servers in China.

Instead, they have servers in nearby Taiwan and Hong Kong. Surfshark also has a virtual server in Macau, a special administrative region of China.

Secondly, as per NordVPN’s customer support, Windows users can’t use NordVPN to unblock the internet in China yet. This is an issue Surfshark Windows users won’t face.

nordvpn unavailabe for windows in china

Thankfully, both VPNs can bypass the Great Firewall on Mac (using the IKEv2 configuration file), Android, or iPhone units.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Surfshark has fewer servers than NordVPN, and most are virtual servers.

However, Surfshark is a much better option to access the internet from China. 

Judging overall, Surfshark wins this round.

Winner
Surfshark logo
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Is Surfshark Faster Than NordVPN?

NordVPN is faster than Surfshark, winning 7 out of 10 tests across similar conditions.

That was expected since NordVPN offers its proprietary protocol, NordLynx, based on the WireGuard protocol and optimized to provide better speeds with lower latency. 

In contrast, the fastest protocol available for Surfshark is WireGuard.

That said, Surfshark VPN offers 4 VPN protocols:

  • OpenVPN (UDP)
  • OpenVPN (TCP)
  • IKEv2
  • WireGuard

You’ve got access to these protocols across the Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android Surfshark apps.

surfshark protocol options

NordVPN also offers four protocols available across its PC and mobile apps:

  • OpenVPN (UDP)
  • OpenVPN (TCP)
  • IKEv2
  • NordLynx

But on Mac, you can install two different versions of NordVPN — NordVPN IKE or the NordVPN OpenVPN version.

For this speed test, here are the protocols I chose for this speed test on my devices:

  • NordLynx protocol for NordVPN and WireGuard for Surfshark on my Mac (PC test).
  • IKEv2 protocol and OpenVPN (UDP) on my iPhone (mobile test).

I selected the following servers for this test:

  • US (New York)
  • UK (London)
  • New Zealand
nordvpn speed test results

Check out the below section for detailed results!

Speed Tests

Here are the results of the speed test on NordVPN and Surfshark using different protocols and servers:

  US UK New Zealand
Surfshark (IKEv2) 30.23 Mbps speed drop 11.45 Mbps speed drop 28.11 Mbps speed drop
NordVPN (IKEv2) 25.14 Mbps speed drop 22.76 Mbps speed drop 19.17 Mbps speed drop
Surfshark (WireGuard) 37.16 Mbps speed drop 13.56 Mbps speed drop 35.54 Mbps speed drop
NordVPN (NordLynx) 22.28 Mbps speed drop 21.44 Mbps speed drop 24.34 Mbps speed drop
NordVPN (OpenVPN UDP) 31.67 Mbps speed drop 27.78 Mbps speed drop 23.25 Mbps speed drop
Surfshark (OpenVPN UDP) 33.55 Mbps speed drop 28.16 Mbps speed drop 32.49 Mbps speed drop

Despite the distance from my location, NordVPN recorded the lowest speed drop with the NordLynx protocol in the US.

nordvpn speed test results on new york server

However, Surfshark recorded the lowest speed drop on the UK server with the IKEv2 protocol.

surfshark speed test results on uk server

However, NordVPN’s speed was consistent on the US and New Zealand servers with WireGuard, NordLynx, and OpenVPN UDP protocols.

EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN performed better on both the IKEv2 protocol and its NordLynx protocol. Surfshark only scored higher when connected to the UK – London server.

So, NordVPN is the faster VPN of the two.

Winner
NordVPN
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Streaming

I tested Surfshark and NordVPN with Netflix, Prime Video, NRK, BBC iPlayer, and France.TV. For Netflix results, check the next section.

Meanwhile, here are the results for the other streaming services:

Streaming Service Surfshark Access? NordVPN Access?
Prime Video Yes Yes
NRK Yes Yes
BBC iPlayer Yes Yes
France.TV Yes Yes

Surfshark and NordVPN unblocked content from most streaming websites successfully, even up to 4K, without buffering. However, Prime Video detected the VPN connections on my first attempt and didn’t allow access to its platform.

I solved the issue by clearing my browser’s cache and cookies and relaunching Prime Video in incognito. This time, I successfully played the TV show Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders by connecting to a Los Angeles server on both VPNs.

NordVPN played the TV show without delay in 1080P, but Surfshark took a few seconds to buffer and play the show and then another few seconds for 1080P playback.

I also tested Surfshark’s and NordVPN’s SmartDNS features to stream Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders on Prime Video on my old SmartTV, which isn’t compatible with either VPN app installation. And without any surprises, the feature worked just as it was designed.

Finally, NordVPN offers SmartPlay, a feature that encrypts your connection and hides your IP address when streaming content from your favorite streaming services. To enable SmartPlay, connect to a server on one of the NordVPN-supported devices, and it works!

Let’s see how Netflix performed in the streaming test!

Netflix Test

I tested Surfshark and NordVPN using six Netflix libraries: the US, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and Brazil. Here’s how they performed:

  Netflix US? Netflix UK? Other Netflix Libraries?
Surfshark Yes Yes Netflix DE, AU, FR, JP
NordVPN Yes Yes Netflix DE, AU, FR, JP

It was a plug-and-play experience with both providers, unblocking content on the first try on all libraries.

streaming netflix with surfshark on us server

I even played a few 4K HDR and HD titles without buffering across both VPN providers.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Surfshark and NordVPN performed the same when streaming different libraries.

While they struggled with Amazon Prime Video, they both held up against other tested streaming libraries. Thus, tying this round.

Winner
Draw

Torrenting

If you download torrent files or are into P2P sharing, you need a fast VPN that hides your IP address and online activity from copyright trolls and ISPs.

Thankfully, both Surfshark and NordVPN support fast and secure torrenting.

But NordVPN is better overall.

All 3,200+ Surfshark servers are P2P-friendly, but not all are P2P-optimized.

You can pull up Surfshark’s P2P-optimized servers by searching for “P2P” in the search bar.

On the other hand, NordVPN has 4982 dedicated P2P servers, which you can pick from the “Speciality Server” section. Likewise, NordVPN offers SOCKS5 proxy, a missing option on Surfshark, for faster torrenting.

However, Surfshark and NordVPN lack port-forwarding, stating privacy and security reasons behind this decision. In other words, you can’t seed torrents using either provider. If that’s a dealbreaker, I recommend you check out these other VPNs for torrenting.

P2P Tests

I compared the torrent download speeds on Surfshark’s and NordVPN’s servers with a 290MB copyright-free movie called Ancient Greek Engineering.

I grabbed the file using qBittorrent, but both VPNs are compatible with uTorrent, Deluge, and BitTorrent.

On NordVPN, I selected the NordLynx protocol, and on Surfshark, I chose the WireGuard protocol since they were the fastest from the speed tests above.

I also connected both VPNs to a P2P server in Singapore for comparable results.

  Average Download Speed Max Download Speed Download Completion Time
Surfshark 14.5 MiB/s avg 16.7 MiB/s 22 seconds
NordVPN 14.5 MiB/s 16.4 MiB/s 22 seconds
torrenting with surfshark on singapore server

Surprisingly, Surfshark and NordVPN finished downloading the torrent at the same time.

EXPERT SUMMARY

This round is a tie, as both VPNs downloaded the file at almost the same time. 

However, NordVPN supports SOCKS5 proxying and offers more P2P dedicated servers than Surfshark.

Winner
Draw

Gaming: Latency & DDoS Protection

I ran a ping and packet loss test to see if NordVPN and Surfshark are suitable for gaming. Here are the results:

  Server Protocol Ping Packet Loss
Surfshark New York WireGuard 219 ms 0%
NordVPN New York NordLynx 149 ms 0%

NordVPN achieves lower pings on NordLynx, better than what Surfshark scored on its fastest protocol, which is ideal for online gaming.

I continued to do real-life gaming tests to play Genshin Impact and Valorant on both VPNs.

playing genshin impact with surfshark on malaysia server

I noticed a slight lag when playing Valorant with NordVPN and Surfshark.

But the Genshin Impact gameplay was smooth for the most part, with very minimal lag.

EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN’s server ping was significantly lower than Surfshark’s, but both performed almost indistinguishably in real-life gameplay. So, this round ends up as a tie.

Winner
Draw

Privacy

NordVPN is based in Panama, a country with no data retention laws and a non-member of the 14 Eyes intelligence and surveillance alliance countries.

On the other hand, Surfshark is based in the Netherlands, a part of 14-eyes country! So, it may have to comply with any court order issued by a domestic or foreign law enforcement agency.

However, since NordVPN is headquartered in the privacy-friendly nation of Panama, it’s free to ignore domestic or international court orders requiring user data provisions.

The saving grace for Surfshark is that it doesn’t log user activity, nor does NordVPN, for that matter. Thus, these VPNs won’t have anything to tender even if forced to provide user data.

Moreover, both VPN providers don’t request your name or any other personally identifying information, such as a phone number or address, during signup.

All you need for a subscription is an email address to auto-generate a username.

On top of that, both VPN providers accept cryptocurrency if you don’t want to pay with a credit card, PayPal, or any other service that could compromise your anonymity. Both VPN providers also offer refunds on cryptocurrency payments.

NordVPN and Surfshark also offer ad-blocking tools to protect you from pesky ads. NordVPN calls this feature “Threat Protection,” and Surfshark calls it “CleanWeb.” 

But NordVPN’s Threat Protection does more than just block ads.

It blocks malicious websites, trackers, and malware and can run without you connecting to a NordVPN server.

To be sure, I tested the ad-blocking capabilities of NordVPN’s Threat Protection and Surfshark’s CleanWeb. Threat Protection scored 92 out of 100 to decimate Surfshark’s CleanWeb, which scored 58 out of 100.

Surfshark:

surfshark adblock tester result

NordVPN:

nordvpn adblock tester result

NordVPN also offers a Dark Web Monitor. This feature goes by Surfshark Alert on Surfshark. The Dark Web Monitor/Surfshark Alert notifies users when their personal information has leaked into the dark web.

Logging Policies

I checked the privacy and logging policies of the two VPN providers and discovered the following:

  Traffic Logs? Connection Logs? IP Address? Server Location?
Surfshark No No No No
NordVPN No No No No

Surfshark and NordVPN don’t collect the IP addresses that you visit, session information, connection timestamps, browsing history, or other relevant information.

However, these VPN providers store information such as the IP address of the server you connect to, username, and connection time stamps when you connect to a particular VPN server. The upside is that the information is anonymized and automatically deleted within 15 minutes of closing your session.

Check out the image below for more details:

surfshark privacy policy

However, even after you stop using Surfshark’s services, it may keep your personal information for up to two years. These aren’t directly identifiable data and can be deleted on your request.

NordVPN does the same; it keeps track of customers’ billing and payment information for ten years after the final transaction. However, if you ask NordVPN to remove all information about you, it’ll comply.

I like that Surfshark and NordVPN don’t rely on their word to convince users about their privacy. Hence, Cure53, an independent cybersecurity firm, audited Surfshark’s and NordVPN’s no-logs policy claims in 2018 and 2022.

In 2023, Deloitte, another cybersecurity firm, audited NordVPN’s and Surfshark’s server networks, and both passed the audit test.

These show that both VPN providers aren’t recording your activities, storing them, or sending them to third-party services.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Surfshark and NordVPN’s privacy and logging policies are similar and have been audited for claims. But NordVPN is based in Panama, and Surfshark is based in one of the 14-eyes countries. So, NordVPN steals the trophy for this round.

Winner
NordVPN
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Security

Surfshark and NordVPN use AES 256-bit encryption, offering IP/DNS leak prevention, a kill switch, and DDoS protection. On kill switches, only NordVPN provides both system and app-level kill switches.

I tested the encryption on both providers using the Wireshark and OpenVPN (UDP) protocol, and here are the results:

In other words, anyone who tries to intercept your connection will only see a mix of scrambled texts and symbols without a hint into your actual online activity.

Furthermore, I connected to multiple NordVPN and Surfshark servers to run several IP and DNS leak tests. Here are the results:

Surfshark Leak Test on Canada – Montreal Server:

surfshark dns leak test results on canada server

NordVPN Leak Test on Canada – Montreal Server:

nordvpn dns leak test results on canada server

Think that’s all? Far from it. Check out the next section for extra special security features on these providers.

DoubleVPN & Multi-Hop

Surfshark and NordVPN offer Multi-Hop and DoubleVPN, respectively, which function the same and just as the name suggests.

surfshark multihop feature

These specialty servers allow you to encrypt your connection twice by connecting to two servers simultaneously. This way, even if someone tries to intercept your connection (which is next to impossible), only the first server will be intercepted.

Surfshark even allows you to pick and create your multi-hop servers, defining what location you connect to before existing at the intended server.

On NordVPN, you only get to choose from 82 pre-created DoubleVPN servers.

Automatic Public Wi-Fi Protection

I hate to turn down the tempting “Free Wi-Fi” hotels, airport lounges, coffee shops, and such other establishments offer. But I confidently connect to and use them over Surfshark or NordVPN’s reliable public Wi-Fi protection.

To turn on the “public Wi-Fi protection,” manually connect to a server on your NordVPN or Surfshark VPN app, and that’s it.

Otherwise, you can also have both VPN apps automatically provide public Wi-Fi protection. To do so, add the networks you trust to the “Auto Connect/Trusted Network” option in NordVPN and Surfshark’s VPN app settings.

When you connect to a network other than a trusted one, Surfshark and NordVPN will automatically connect to a VPN server, offering instant protection.

Obfuscation

Surshark and NordVPN offer obfuscation servers to bypass internet censorship or to use in countries where VPN usage is banned. Surfshark calls its obfuscation “Camouflage Mode,”  and it’s only available only on OpenVPN (UDP) or OpenVPN (TCP) protocols, like with NordVPN too.

The upside to Surfsark’s obfuscation is that it’s enabled on all servers under the OpenVPN protocols. But with NordVPN, you only get 105 obfuscation servers in 16 countries.

nordvpn obfuscated servers

Extra Security Features

Surfshark and NordVPN offer a few additional features that are unique and available only on their platforms.

Surfshark offers NoBorders Mode to bypass network restrictions when connected to a restrictive network, like a school’s network with a firewall.

In this case, once the app detects that you’re connected to a restrictive network, it will recommend the best servers to bypass network restrictions.

On the other hand, NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN servers allow you to access the dark web faster and more securely without downloading the Tor browser.

Surfshark also offers “Rotating IP,” which keeps changing your connection’s IP address every few minutes to protect against snooping, IP monitoring, or other online spying attacks when connected to public and private networks.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Surfshark and NordVPN share features like Multi-Hop, obfuscation, and automatic public Wi-Fi protection. They also have unique features like NoBorders Mode and Rotating IP for Surfshark and Onion Over VPN for NordVPN. But considering that Surfshark offers more features, Surfshark wins this round.

Winner
Surfshark logo
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Devices & Connections

NordVPN and Surfshark VPN offer native Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebooks, Android, and iOS apps. They’re also supported on FireTV sticks, Xbox, and PlayStation and have browser extensions.

NordVPN:

nordvpn compatible devices

Surfshark:

surfshark compatible devices

However, Surfshark beats its older sibling by offering unlimited simultaneous connections. NordVPN, on the other hand, only allows six simultaneous connections.

Surfshark and NordVPN also support router installation via manual setup.

The good news is that installing NordVPN on a router removes the 6 simultaneous connections limit, allowing you to protect unlimited devices with NordVPN.

That said, here are some of the routers you can install Surfshark on:

  • InvizBox 2 VPN router (Surfshark-ready)
  • Synology RT2600AC
  • Vilfo
  • GLiNet GL-MT300N-V2 Mini Smart Router “Mango”
  • Asus RT-AC86U AC2900 Dual Band Gigabit WiFi Gaming Router
  • DD-WRT router
  • OpenWRT router
  • Tomato router

And you can install NordVPN on these routers:

  • ASUS WRT (native firmware)
  • GI.iNET
  • Sabai
  • Tomato
  • NetDUMA
  • ASUS Merlin
  • DD-WRT
  • EdgeRouter
  • TP-Link
  • Padavan
  • OPNsense
  • OpenWRT
  • DrayTek
  • pfSense
  • Mikrotik

In summary, the table below gives an overview of, and compares, the device supported by both providers:

  Surfshark NordVPN
Compatible OS? Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Android, Chromebooks, and others Windows, macOS, iOS, Linux, Android, Chromebooks, and others
Smart TVs? Android TV, FireTV, + SmartDNS Android TV, FireTV, + SmartDNS
Router Support? Yes (manual) Yes (manual)
Browser Extensions? Chrome, Firefox, Edge Chrome, Firefox, Edge

SmartDNS

Surfshark and NordVPN offer SmartDNS to change your location for streaming content on Smart TVs, gaming consoles, and other devices you can’t install a VPN app. However, SmartDNS is often restricted to unblocking US-available service libraries.

For context, Surfshark’s SmartDNS can unblock these streaming services:

  • Netflix (US)
  • Amazon Prime (US)
  • Disney+ (US)
  • Hulu (US)

And NordVPN’s SmartDNS can unblock these streaming services:

  • ABC Go (US)
  • HBO Now (US)
  • Amazon Prime (US)
  • Netflix Originals
  • Fox Now / Sports Go / News / Showtime (US)
  • Disney+ (US)

Compared to NordVPN, Surfshark’s SmartDNS supports fewer streaming services, but if you’re a movie buff, Surfshark and NordVPN have you covered, as both support major streaming platforms.

In my testing, both VPNs’ SmartDNS performed flawlessly, and I could stream movies and shows on the abovementioned platforms.

Setting up SmartDNS is also easy on both NordVPN and Surfshark.

Here are guides to:

EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN supports more devices such as the Raspberry Pi and Oculus.

It also offers SmartPlay, and its SmartDNS service unlocks more streaming platforms than Surfshark’s. Without any question, NordVPN wins this round.

Winner
NordVPN
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Dedicated IP

Surfshark and NordVPN also offer Dedicated IP addresses exclusive to you and not shared with other users.

While NordVPN offers Dedicated IP servers in 10 different countries across 13 locations on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, Surfshark offers only five servers in two locations.

surfshark dedicated ip

Likewise, NordVPN charges more for a dedicated IP compared to Surfshark. 

NordVPN charges $3.89 monthly for a dedicated IP, whereas Surfshark charges $3.75.

Split Tunneling

NordVPN and Surfshark (Bypasser) support split tunneling. This feature connects only the selected program(s)/apps to a VPN connection while leaving other apps connected to the local network. They offer this feature on Windows and Android devices but not on other operating systems (Mac, iOS, and Linux).

EXPERT SUMMARY

Since Surfshark and NordVPN provide dedicated IP addresses and split tunneling for multiple devices, this round is a tie.

Winner
Draw

Customer Support

  Surfshark NordVPN
Live chat support? Yes, 24/7 Yes, 24/7
Help center? Yes, with FAQs and setup guides Yes, with FAQs and setup guides
Email support? Yes Yes
Video tutorials? Yes, recent and up to date Yes, recent and up to date
Other support channels? Online form No

NordVPN and Surfshark don’t want their customers to be left hanging, and they have multiple customer support channels to ensure that.

Both VPNs offer robust 24/7 live chat support to reach customer agents in real time. On Surfshark, connecting to a rep took me less than 15 seconds and less than 10 seconds with NordVPN! The fact that using the live chat feature doesn’t require logging into your account is another thing you’ll appreciate.

Alternatively, you can also reach Surfshark (support@surfshark.com) and NordVPN (support@nordvpn.com) via email. On top of that, Surfshark has an online form you can fill out to get to the support team.

surfshark online form

I emailed NordVPN for a query, and they replied within 24 hours.

Conversely, I heard from Surfshark in an hour. So, they’re both active on their email channels, even if Surfshark was faster with replies during my testing window. 

Besides that, these two providers have active YouTube channels that frequently post tutorials, how-to videos, and internet and cybersecurity news.

NordVPN:

nordvpn youtube channel

Surfshark:

surfshark youtube channel

Both VPNs organized the videos in the playlist by topics, making finding a specific video about your needs easier. If that’s not enough, you get how-to guides, tutorials, troubleshooting guides, and other articles on their websites.

EXPERT SUMMARY

NordVPN and Surfshark have a solid 24/7 customer support team. 

They assist via email and frequently publish content on their websites and YouTube. 

But Surfshark slightly won this round for replying to emails faster.

Winner
Surfshark logo
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Usability

I tested NordVPN and Surfshark’s PC, Mac, iPhone, and Android apps.

I quickly observed that they have similar easy-to-use interfaces across different operating systems.

For example, here’s the Surfshark app on my Macbook:

surfshark connected to thailand server

The Surfshark mobile app on my iPhone has a similar appearance, and the menu options are nicely organized to make it simple to navigate.

Now, here’s NordVPN on the same Macbook, and this is how it looks:

nordvpn on macbook

The NordVPN app on my iPhone looks mostly similar to its Mac app but looks a bit more advanced than Surfshark’s mobile app.

Though both VPN apps are missing one or two features on different operating systems, their appearance and user experience are similar, and there’s no steep learning curve.

I tried to see which VPN connected to a server first. Surfshark connected to a server within 4 seconds, but NordVPN took 7 seconds. At times, NordVPN struggled to connect to a server, and I had to restart the VPN app.

Also, NordVPN and Surfshark offer a few neatly organized presets on PCs, Macs, and smartphones to help you quickly connect to the best server.

The NordVPN Mac version also lets you create presets to connect to a particular server and open your favorite game or streaming service simply by clicking on the saved preset.

Surfshark presets:

  • Fastest location
  • Nearest country
  • Specific server

NordVPN presets:

  • Downloads
  • Speed
  • Browsing

Moving on, the Surfshark app has a “Kill Switch” toggle on its computer and mobile apps’ settings pages, which must be turned on manually.

In contrast, NordVPN only has the “Kill Switch” toggle on Mac and PC.

nordvpn kill switch policy

You don’t see a “Kill Switch” option on the NordVPN iOS, Linux, or macOS app, but the feature is automatically activated once you connect to a server.

auto connect kill switch on nordvpn

On the other hand, Android device users have to go through a setup process to enable the Kill Switch. More about this in the image below:

enable kill switch on nordvpn

Moving on, Surfshark provides a customizable “Quick Connect” button to connect you to the fastest server automatically. You can customize the “Quick Connect” button by picking a server from these sections:

  • Locations
  • Static IP
  • MultiHop
surfshark quick connect servers

In NordVPN’s Windows and Mac apps, the only option resembling Surfshark’s customizable “Quick Connect” is “Auto-connect.” However, this is designed to work when you connect to an untrusted Wi-Fi network, automatically connecting you to a server for online protection.

The Windows version of NordVPN’s Auto-connect feature can also be configured to activate on mobile networks, Ethernet networks, Wi-Fi networks, and all other network types.

You can set the NordVPN “Auto-connect” to connect you to a “Recommended country” on Mac or “Fastest Server” on Windows, a selected specific location, or one of the servers from these sections:

  • Dedicated IP
  • Obfuscated servers
  • P2P server
  • Onion Over VPN server
  • Double VPN servers
nordvpn auto connect servers

But on a smartphone, you’re restricted to customizing the “Quick Connect” button to only the “Fastest server” or selecting a specific country on the NordVPN’s app.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Surfshark is more user-friendly and highly customizable across multiple platforms, much more than NordVPN. So, Surfshark wins this round.

Winner
Surfshark logo
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Price & Value

Surfshark is affordable compared to NordVPN. Here’s its pricing:

Screenshot MS 1 1
Image for illustration only. Design, deals, and details may differ. Click on the image for current info.

And here’s NordVPN’s pricing:

NordVPN pricing
Image for illustration only. Design, deals, and details may differ. Click on the image for current info.

You can pay for a NordVPN or Surfshark subscription using a credit/debit card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, or cryptocurrency.

Both Surfshark and NordVPN also offer region-specific payment options: NordVPN accepts ACH transfers in the US, and Surfshark offers Sofort payment methods in Germany. Furthermore, Surfshark and NordVPN offer a 30-day money-back guarantee but no free trial.

Hence, if you don’t like the service and request a cancellation within the first 30 days of subscribing, Surfshark and NordVPN will refund the money.

That said, NordVPN gives you an additional three months with the 24-month subscription. So, you get a total of 27 months of subscription.

In comparison, Surfshark offers only one extra month.

EXPERT SUMMARY

Surfshark is affordable compared to NordVPN and supports similar payment methods. Hence, Surfshark wins this round.

Winner
Surfshark logo
GET DISCOUNT NOW

Surfshark vs. NordVPN (Overview Table)

  Surfshark NordVPN Winner
Servers: 3,200+ in 100 countries   5,500+ in 60 countries NordVPN
Speed: 15.75 Mbps speed drop 11.45 Mbps speed drop NordVPN
Protocols: WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2 Tie
Streaming: Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and more Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video, and more Tie
Torrenting: On all servers, no seeding P2P supported servers, no seeding NordVPN
Gaming: 6 ms ping + 0% packet loss 3 ms ping + 0% packet loss NordVPN
Logs: Verified no-logs policy Verified no-logs policy Tie
Security: AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, Multi-Hop, CleanWeb, Rotating IP, Obfuscation, and more AES 256-bit encryption, Kill Switch, obfuscation, WiFi Protection, Onion Over VPN, Double VPN, and more Tie
Devices: PC (Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chromebook), mobile (Android and iOS), Amazon Fire PC (Windows, macOS, Linux, and Chromebook), mobile (Android and iOS), Smart TVs, Raspberry Pi, Amazon Fire, Oculus Quest NordVPN
Simultaneous Connections: Unlimited 6 Surfshark
Customer Support: 24/7 live chat, online form, and email 24/7 live chat and email Surfshark
Best Deal: Surfshark NordVPN  
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So Who Wins?

It was such a close race, but NordVPN took the trophy! However, that doesn’t mean Surfshark is a terrible option.

Surfshark should be your choice if you’re on a budget but, at the same time, want to protect several devices at once with a VPN.

But if connection speeds, latency, specialty servers, and quirky features that NordVPN offers, such as SmartPlay, are essential to you, you should pick NordVPN regardless.

Now, the choice is yours—which one do you pick!?

THE WINNER IS NORDVPN

Protect private web traffic from snooping, interference, and censorship. All plans are covered by a no-hassle 100% money-back guarantee for your first 30 days of service.

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