Comparing both VPN providers with privacy, streaming, security, encryption And Torrenting
Like the previous comparison, I have again taken two popular choices-NordVPN and Surfshark and compared them in this article. Before recommending the best one, I have tested both the service providers for 11 different factors. If you want to know which is a better option, I will disclose my verdict at the end of this article.
If there’s an option to choose the best one among the two, it would be pretty challenging. Unless one has a complete understanding of each service provider, including their features, protocols, and privacy policies, you can’t conclude.
Thus, to make things easier, I decided to make a detailed comparison of NordVPN with Surfshark. This comparison allows you to see each VPN’s strengths and weaknesses and then choose accordingly.
So, let’s start reviewing NordVPN vs. Surfshark.
Before starting with the detailed analysis between the two service providers, let’s have a quick overview.
|Number of servers||5000+ servers in 59 countries||3200+ servers in 65 countries|
|Encryption||AES-256 GCM with RSA 4096-bit key||AES-256 GCM with RSA 2048-bit key|
|Operates in China||Yes||Yes|
|Protocols Offered||OpenVPN, IKEv2, NordVPNLynx||OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, Shadowsocks|
|simultaneous connections||Up to six||Unlimited|
Security of NordVPN and Surfshark
Both of them offer almost the same security-boosting features. The only difference is that NordVPN serves some servers to work with the Tor browser while Surfshark doesn’t. The dedicated Tor browser servers protect the users of Tor browsers.
Here’s a breakdown of the security features of both the service providers.
|Encryption||RSA 4096-bit key||RSA 2048-bit key|
|Protocols||OpenVPN, IKEv2, NordVPNLynx||OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, Shadowsocks|
|DNS & IP leak protection||Yes||Yes|
|Obfuscation/ Camouflage technology||Yes||Yes|
|CyberSec/ Clean web||Yes||Yes|
|Onion over VPN||Yes||No|
The differences lie between NordVPN and Surfshark’s encryption standards and protocols. Firstly, NordVPN uses OpenVPN (UDP/TCP) protocol and the newly released NordVPNLynx, a modified version of WireGuard. At the same time, Surfshark uses WireGuard and Shadowsocks proxy with OpenVPN and IKEv2. The Shadowsocks is not an encryption protocol but a proxy that’s helpful to bypass censorship.
Though both use AES-256 bit encryption, NordVPN is still more secure because it uses the RSA-4096 bit key, while Surfshark uses the RSA-2048 bit key for private communication between your device and the VPN server.
Thus, here NordVPN outstand Surfshark VPN.
NordVPN and SurfShark belong to countries that do not belong to the five eyes, nine eyes, and 14 eyes surveillance alliance. NordVPN is a Panama-based VPN, while SurfShark has its headquarter in the British Virgin Islands. Both the companies are never obligated to give the government user data making it an ideal choice for privacy-savvy people.
|NordVPN Jurisdiction||Surfshark Jurisdiction|
|Panama||British Virgin Island|
Besides this, both the service providers follow a strict no-log policy and have undergone a log audit. NordVPN has been independently audited twice by leading auditing and assuring firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland in 2018 and 2020. Both times, the auditors were fully compliant with its no-logging policy.
To conclude, both providers don’t keep any logs and are secure to use.
Who Bypas The China Fire Wall
Though China observers strict censorship across the globe. It has even blocked the access of specific VPNs, but fortunately, both NordVPN and Surfshark work in China.
NordVPN’s obfuscated servers and Surfsharks’ camouflage mode and no borders servers enable users to use unrestricted internet and protect their digital identity in China.
Which Best With Server Location
NordVPN has an extensive server network than Surfshark and is more recommended to use. A vast server network means that the VPN enables fast connection and unblocks content from anywhere in the world.
Here’s the comparison between both providers server locations:
|5,000 plus servers in 59 countries||More than 3200 servers in 65 countries|
Compatibility With Other Devices and Platforms
Compatibility with browsers, devices, and operating systems, is vital while you purchase a VPN for yourself. Both NordVPN and Surfshark VPN are compatible with all major devices and operating systems.
NordVPN works well with routers too. Connecting NordVPN with a router means that all your network devices’ web activities and IP addresses are encrypted. While Surfshark is compatible with a few more operating systems and streaming devices, NordVPN’s compatibility with the routers makes it outstanding against its counterpart.
Who Offers More Simultaneous Connections
The most significant difference between NordVPN and Surfshark is the connection limit. NordVPN allows the connection of up to six devices at a time. Surfshark allows unlimited device connections, but this isn’t something to applaud. After a maximum of six device connection speeds, issues arise. So, here again, NordVPN wins.
|Up to six devices||Unlimited connections|
Who Provides The Fatest Speed Test Results
NordVPN and Surfshark offer good connection speed because they support the WireGuard protocol, which tends to be faster than OpenVPN. But, for satisfaction, I decided to conduct a speed test on multiple servers.
First, I tested NordVPN on the UK, US, and Australian servers. It was pretty impressive to see that NordVPN maintains fast and consistent speed with a slight reduction in overall speed.
Also, I tested the speed by tweaking the VPN protocols. NordVPN offered fast speeds on both OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols. Whereas, Surfshark doesn’t. It provided much slower speed on the OpenVPN protocol than WireGuard.
Also, I found a few Surfshark servers slower than the others. Thus, NordVPN is the fastest VPN as compared to Surfshark and is recommended to use.
Both Surfshark and NordVPN are excellent options for streaming.
NordVPN unblocks various Netflix libraries of many major countries like Australia, Canada, the UK, the US, Japan, and the Netherlands. At the same time, Surfshark also unblocks over a dozen Netflix libraries, including the UK, US, France, Japan, India, and the Netherlands.
The table below highlights other streaming platforms that the service providers can unblock:
Overall, both the VPNs are capable of unblocking the geo-blocked content. But, NordVPN has a much more vast server network than Surfshark, which established quick connections to access the blocked content from anywhere. Thus, NordVPN earned a perfect streak in this area.
Both Torrenting Compatiblity
The two VPNs have dedicated P2P servers which are better optimized for fast downloads. Both competing VPNs use OpenVPN protocol along with WireGuard, which maintains high speeds while you download torrents.
NordVPN and Surfshark have a split tunneling feature that secures your torrents downloading and encrypts the torrent traffic as well.
The Panama-based VPN offers more than 4,000 P2P optimized servers, whereas Surfshark has only 18 P2P servers. Also, as speeds are crucial for torrenting and NordVPN outperforms Surfshark with faster speeds, NordVPN comes out on top.
Both the providers take customer support very seriously and provide excellent customer support to the users.
The customer support representatives are pretty responsive and possess good technical knowledge. The best thing about their customer support is the 24/7 live chat option. If you want to get your queries resolved soon, you can contact the representative via the live chat feature.
You can also contact their representatives via email, but usually, the response is not as fast as in the live chat option. Moreover, the websites are also equipped with well-informed FAQs, set up guides, and blogs.
|Live chat option||Yes||Yes|
NordVPN has also introduced their YouTube channel that includes tons of walkthrough videos, so it’s providing more effective customer support than Surfshark.
Pricing Insights and Refund Policy
Price is indeed a crucial element while buying a VPN. Users always look for a VPN that offers the maximum benefits at a reasonable price because not everyone can afford a VPN that doesn’t fall network devices’ into their monthly budget.
Both of them offer three different subscription plans, with the monthly package being the most expensive. In terms of price, Surfshark is more affordable than NordVPN.
Here’s a look at NordVPN and Surfshark’s pricing plans:
|Six Months Plan||–||$6.49/Mo|
|One Year Plan||$4.92 per month||–|
|Two Year Plan||$3.67 per month||$2.49 per month|
Both the VPNs offer a 7- day free trial option to their users. Even after subscribing to their services, if someone is not satisfied, they can contact their customer support representative and ask for a refund. But remember, you can ask for a refund in the initial 30-days after subscribing to the service.
NordVPN and Surfshark offer a variety of payment method options. If you want to buy the service by keeping your identity hidden, you can pay via bitcoins. But, if you’re a mainstream person, you can pay through conventional payment methods such as credit/debit cards.
Overall, both service providers have different modes of payment. But, since NordVPN provides more options than Surfshark, it’s recommended to use.
Final Verdict- Which is A Better Option to Use?
Surfshark is among the leading VPN brands in the industry and has gained unprecedented popularity in less time. Surfshark has been objectively better than NordVPN in only one area, and that’s price.
But, NordVPN makes more sense to people when it comes to security and fast speed. It provides super-fast speed, a variety of security and privacy-focused features, has a vast server network that is two times more than Surfshark, and provides excellent customer support. So, it should be no surprise to use NordVPN over Surfshark.