Surfshark vs NordVPN in 2022 – which one wins?

Jan Youngren
Jan Youngren | Chief Editor
Last updated: September 19, 2022
Surfshark VS NordVPN comparison
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.

Which one is better, Surfshark or NordVPN? Both are great services that I can recommend to anyone. However, each of our comparisons has one winner, no matter how close the fight. So, which provider wins this Surfshark vs NordVPN battle? Check out my in-depth comparison – its results might surprise you!

In this article, I take a closer look at the most important VPN criteria, such as privacy, security, performance, and price, among others. Don’t have time to read the whole NordVPN vs Surfshark comparison? The table below should give you a good idea which Virtual Private Network better suits your needs.

Our rating9.6 ⭐9.4 ⭐
Current offerGet NordVPN 68% OFF!Get Surfshark 83% OFF!
Price starts from$3.09/month$2.21/month
Money-back guarantee30 days30 days
No-logs policyIndependently-auditedNot audited
Servers5500+ servers in 59+ countries3200+ servers in 95+ countries
VPN protocolsNordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
StreamingNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and moreNetflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, HBO Max, BBC iPlayer, and more

As you can see, NordVPN wins in all major categories, including the Best overall service. In the meantime, Surfshark holds the #2 position in four out of five, which means no other VPN is that close to NordVPN. If only Surfshark VPN was faster, it might have won this comparison because of its lower prices. But now, paying a bit more for the fastest VPN is totally worth it.

Security of NordVPN and Surfshark

ProtocolsNordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
Kill switch
Internet kill switch, app kill switch, Always-on VPN for AndroidYes
DNS and IP leaks
No leaksNo leaks
Security featuresDouble VPN, Tor over VPN, CyberSec & Threat Protection, SOCKS5 proxy, Obfuscated servers, DNS and IPv6 leak protectionCleanWeb, MultiHop, Whitelister, Camouflage mode, NoBorders mode, Shadowsocks, DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection, Surfshark One, GPS spoofing (Android)

Surfshark and NordVPN offer top-notch security. Both have military-grade encryption, next-gen WireGuard (or, in NordVPN’s case, NordLynx) protocol, and solid leak protection. Surfshark has even more security features than NordVPN, but the latter wins this Surfshark vs NordVPN round thanks to its advanced kill switch.

NordVPN two kill switches

Both providers allow you to connect to two VPN servers at once (Double VPN and MultiHop), making your online actions virtually untraceable. However, NordVPN also adds Tor over VPN to the mix, a great boost for your privacy. Both services also come with their own anti-malware tools (CyberSec and CleanWeb) that will stop ads, tracking, and phishing.

NordVPN’s SOCKS5 proxy holds a slight edge against Surfshark’s Whitelister, which can be treated as a split tunneling feature. That’s because the SOCKS5 proxy connection is faster. On the other hand, Surfshark VPN boasts Shadowsocks proxy, which is faster than using stealth protocols.

Both VPNs will let you access the web in China and other countries that strictly regulate online activities. NordVPN uses Obfuscated servers that hide Virtual Private Network traffic from China’s Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Surfshark’s Camouflage mode has the same role, and the NoBorders mode unblocks the online resources no matter where you are.

The most secure VPN
Unprecedented online protection and a solid package of security features.

NordVPN vs Surfshark – which one offers more privacy?

LoggingIndependently-audited no-logs policyNo-logs policy
Anonymous payment

NordVPN wins this close round of the NordVPN vs Surfshark battle. Both services are registered in privacy-friendly jurisdictions that have no data-retention laws. This allows for a true no-logs policy, and both contestants claim to have one.

However, NordVPN’s policy has been independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which is already a better argument than Surfshark’s claim that’s not backed in any way. On the other hand, Surfshark’s browser extensions and server infrastructure have been audited independently by Cure53.

NordVPN payment options - cryptocurrencies
NordVPN cryptocurrencies

Every solid Virtual Private Network should offer anonymous payment that gives maximum privacy to its clients. NordVPN accepts more cryptocurrencies even though Surfshark allows to pay via two services – CoinPayments and CoinGate.

To sum up, this round could have been a draw if Surfshark had its no-logs policy audited or proven in court. For now, NordVPN holds the edge in terms of privacy.

Surfshark vs NordVPN: comparing prices

Free trial
7-day (requires Android)7-day for macOS, iOS, Android
One month
Six months
One year
Two years
Payment options
Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, ACH Transfer, cryptocurrencies, UnionPayCredit card, PayPal, Sofort, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, cryptocurrencies, Giropay, Webmoney
Money-back guarantee30 days30 days
Current deal

This NordVPN vs Surfshark round goes to the latter, although the former is left not that far behind. As you can see, Surfshark is cheaper when we count the long-term plans. Also, let’s not forget that NordVPN allows only six simultaneous connections, so if you want to protect more devices that aren’t under the router, you’d have to buy a second subscription. In the meantime, Surfshark VPN has no limit for the number of devices online.

Another great thing is that Surfshark has a 7-day free trial. Even though it works on macOS, iOS, and Android only, it’s still better than NordVPN’s free trial, which works on all devices but requires an Android device to register.

Both services offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is more than enough to see if this VPN suits your needs. Some may argue that Surfshark doesn’t have a three-year plan, but its bi-annual option cost less than NordVPN’s cheapest one.

Both services offer a bunch of payment options, including anonymous ones, such as cryptocurrencies or cash payments in retail stores. NordVPN accepts more different cryptocurrencies than Surfshark.

Is Surfshark faster than NordVPN?

According to our in-house VPN speed testing tool, NordVPN is faster than Surfshark, but the difference pales when you see how far behind them all other services are. This is because of the next-gen WireGuard tunneling protocol that both contestants have implemented.

When it comes to latency, Surfshark holds a slight edge over NordVPN, but neither of the two would work for online games with servers in another continent.

NordVPN has way more servers to choose from, which is vital in case of a sudden usage spike. Surfshark offers a few more countries, but most users will probably want to connect to popular locations like the US or the Netherlands anyway. Neither of the contestants owns all of their servers, but Surfshark’s fleet is 100% RAM-only.

NordVPN vs Surfshark VPN: 14-Day Speed Average

More live data from our VPN Speed Test tool
NordVPN Surfshark VPN
USA server
Download Speed 1,572 Mbps 1,166 Mbps
Upload Speed 1,552 Mbps 1,253 Mbps
UK server
Download Speed 1,202 Mbps
Upload Speed 1,210 Mbps
Germany server
Download Speed 603 Mbps 531 Mbps
Upload Speed 1,024 Mbps 973 Mbps

Surfshark vs NordVPN apps – are they easy to use?

Major dedicated apps
Other dedicated apps
Fire TV & Fire Stick, Android TVFire TV & Fire Stick, Android TV
Browser extensions
Chrome, Edge, FirefoxChrome, Edge, Firefox
Manual setup
Routers, firewalls, NASRouters, Chromebook, pfSense, Raspberry Pi
Simultaneous devices
Customer support
24/7 live chat, email, FAQ, tutorials24/7 live chat, email, FAQ, tutorials

No matter which one you try, both NordVPN and Surfshark have easy-to-use apps and excellent 24/7 customer support. But even if we don’t count NordVPN’s beautiful map with all the countries marked, it still looks better than its opponent. When it comes to tweaking your settings, each provider offers enough room for customization and explains what will happen if you turn them on or off.

NordVPN server map

Surfshark and NordVPN have dedicated apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. While the Linux clients are command-based, you won’t find a Virtual Private Network that has created a GUI for this version. In fact, most Linux users don’t have a problem with that.

Speaking of browser extensions, both VPNs have add-ons for Firefox and Chrome. They come with a malware blocker, while NordVPN also has WebRTC protection. However, Surfshark holds an edge in this NordVPN vs Surfshark micro-encounter because Cure53 security testers have audited their browser extensions.

When it comes to routers, both services offer manual configuration options for the most popular models and makes. However, Surfshark wins this duel thanks to its unlimited simultaneous connections and Smart DNS feature. While NordVPN also has a version of it named SmartPlay, it’s integrated with the VPN and doesn’t extend the number of devices that can benefit from the unblocking without traffic encryption.

Powerful but easy-to-use
Start safely right away with the most user-friendly VPN provider in 2021.

NordVPN or Surfshark – which one is better for torrenting?

Allowed on
Select serversAll servers
Free SOCKS5 proxy
Split tunneling
Yes (Windows, Android)Yes

All torrenting fans know that speed and security are the two main criteria when looking for a reliable P2P VPN. As I’ve mentioned earlier, NordVPN is a clear winner in the speed department, but is Surfshark a safer option for torrenting? Well, it turns out that both providers are secure enough, thanks to their kill switches and leak protection.

NordVPN P2P-optimized servers

So the only thing left to evaluate is the extra features that can enhance your P2P experience. To start with, NordVPN allows torrenting on select servers, while Surfshark lets you roam free on all 3200+.

On the other hand, NordVPN has about three times more servers but allows torrenting in 40+ countries only, so both break even here. Moving on, NordVPN has a free SOCKS5 proxy, while Surfshark answers with split tunneling (Whitelister), which is not bad either.

So, is Surfshark any good for P2P? To sum up, both are among the greatest VPNs for torrenting, but this round of Surfshark vs NordVPN goes to the latter thanks to its sheer speed.

NordVPN vs Surshark – which one wins the Netflix battle?

Netflix US
Other Netflix libraries
Other platforms

NordVPN is the best VPN for Netflix, and Surfshark is right behind as #2. But how good Surfshark is for streaming, really?

Once again, NordVPN is faster and might give you UHD (4K) when Surfshark struggles with HD. What’s more, while Surfshark has around 3200 servers, NordVPN has more than 1,700 in the US alone, which means there’s less chance of overcrowding.

Surfshark unblocks Netflix

Both contestants of the NordVPN vs Surfshark duel easily unblock American Netflix and libraries in other countries, such as the Netherlands, the UK (which had the largest library when I was writing this comparison), or Japan. The same goes for other streaming platforms like Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, or Disney Plus.

Speaking of Kodi, none of our contestants has a dedicated app for it, but both support it and can be used together without any issues.

So, is there anything that Surfshark has and NordVPN doesn’t? The above-mentioned Smart DNS feature extends the number of supported devices with various smart TVs and game consoles. Therefore, if you have Apple TV or Xbox One and a good internet connection, go for Surfshark VPN.

NordVPN vs Surfshark – which one to choose for China?

Works in China
Stealth VPN
Yes (Obfuscated servers)Yes
Tor over VPN
Yes (Onion over VPN)No

NordVPN vs Surfshark contestants sit at the very top of the best VPNs for China list. Once more, the sheer speed of NordVPN helps it win this round because using a stealth VPN, not to mention Tor over VPN, significantly slows down your connection. If we put the speed aside, we will soon see the advantages that Surfshark holds over its opponent.

For starters, Surfshark supports obfuscated servers (stealth VPN) on all servers, while NordVPN provides you with 17 locations in 14 countries. On the other hand, there’s not much point in connecting to a server in Europe or the Americas if you’re in China, trying to overcome Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Besides, Surfshark’s No Borders mode should be used together with the Camouflage mode for the best effect.

My final tip is to install the Virtual Private Network before visiting China because their websites are blocked, and you’ll need to contact customer support or someone who knows a working mirror site.

Surfshark vs NordVPN video review

NordVPN vs Surfshark | Security & Privacy VPN comparison
ExpressVPN vs NordVPN vs Surfshark | BEST VPN SERVICE revealed!
Surfshark VPN 2022 💥 8 things YOU need to know about Surfshark

Surfshark vs NordVPN – which one is better?

Total wins
6 out of 82 out of 8

And here are the results of the Surfshark vs NordVPN comparison. The latter wins in six out of eight categories. So, is NordVPN really the best? Well, Surfshark supports more devices and has a Smart DNS feature that allows you to stream unblocked content on smart TVs and game consoles. It also has better prices than NordVPN and offers a 7-day free trial for Apple and Android devices.

However, when it comes to security, privacy, speed, torrenting, and streaming – there’s no better choice than NordVPN. Having said that, Surfshark VPN is a great service and a close competitor that you may like even better. That’s why I strongly suggest reading our Surfshark review to learn more. Want to know about the other features of the winner? Head straight to the NordVPN review.

Get NordVPN with  68%  OFF

You may also like to read:
NordVPN vs CyberGhost
NordVPN vs ExpressVPN
NordVPN vs OpenVPN
Surfshark vs ExpressVPN
Surfshark vs IPVanish


Is Surfshark VPN reliable?

Yes, Surfshark VPN is reliable. The connections are stable and fast, the features work as intended, and a wide variety of servers ensures that geo-blocks are not a problem.

Does Surfshark work with Netflix?

Yes, Surfshark works with Netflix. It has plenty of servers around the globe and can unblock the US, UK, Canadian, and other Netflix libraries. Plus, the WireGuard tunneling protocol guarantees a buffering-free experience.

Is NordVPN the best overall?

According to our research, NordVPN is indeed the best overall VPN. It’s fast, dependable, has plenty of security features, a solid privacy policy, and an affordable price.

Is using a VPN legal?

Yes, using a VPN is legal in most parts of the world. Some exceptions exist, for example, countries with heavy censorship and online monitoring.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Alan

    I had Nordvpn which mirrored Samsung tablet to LG TV using built in software.
    Recently switched to Surfshark and mirroring will not connect. Error message “cannot connect due to vpn”,
    Surfshark support unable to fix.
    Any suggestions?

    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne

      Greetings, Alan. Have you tried setting up Smart DNS on your LG TV? Honestly, I’m not sure what else I can suggest if customer support couldn’t help.

  2. John

    Hello , Does Nord VPN have Camouflage mode , which is available on Surfshark? If yes what is the feature called ?

    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne

      Hello, John. Yes, NordVPN has a similar feature, and it’s called Obfuscated Servers. You can enable them from the settings menu.

  3. then and there

    Man, Surfshark vs NordVPN is even harder decision than I thought? I have a few questions: 1) is camouflage mode the same as socks5? 2) Does NordVPN have something like clean web feature? 3) What is noborders mode? Thanks for answers and I hope they will help me to choose the best vpn out there!

    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne

      Hello there. 

      1. Camouflage Mode obfuscates your VPN traffic and makes it less susceptible to content filtering. Meanwhile, SOCKS5 is just a proxy and isn’t as effective.

      2. CyberSec is a similar feature that blocks ads and malicious domains.

      3. NoBorders mode is a feature that’s meant to get around network restrictions. For example, those in restrictive countries or offices.

  4. Norm

    I’m trying to decide between Surfshark and Nordvpn. ExpressVPN does not pique my curiosity. I’ve been using it for a while now and want to try something different for streaming. What are your thoughts on these two, taking into account I’m also interested in Peacock? Thank you very much!

    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne

      Hey, Norm. Both Surfshark and NordVPN can unblock Peacock and other streaming options. Therefore, you should look at what else is important for you. NordVPN is faster, but Surfshark is cheaper. The latter also has unlimited simultaneous connections. On the other hand, NordVPN has an independently audited no-logs policy.

  5. Olli Wells

    I was always compelled by the question which is better Nordvpn or Surfshark because they both seem reliable, just one is better in terms of price, the other is better with security. So yeah, now I understand it’s just personal preference. I personally am willing to pay a little bit extra for the quality, so my choice of vpn is Nord.

    1. Kel in P

      I had NordVPN first, had problems with connectivity repeatedly. Their support was not very responsive. I had nearly two years on their special offer, but they would not do a partial refund. So it didn’t matter if I cancelled. I switched to Surfshark VPN. Works great, they will respond if there are any issues. And I can use it on multiple devices and different platforms. Windows including Windows 11, iOS, Android, and Linux. Now with unlimited connections. New features added all the time.

      I don’t miss Nord. The only time they have contacted me was when they updated their Terms of Service.

  6. Ed

    If someone asked me to take one of them for free, without looking at the price of nordvpn vs surfshark, I’d choose Nord any day, but… since I probably won’t use tor over vpn or other advanced features, and nobody is giving me them for free 😀 I choose by the price, however are there any hidden terms and conditions with surfshark? why is it so cheap?

    1. avatar
      Ethan Payne

      Hey, Ed. There are no hidden terms with Surfshark. The VPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, has been audited independently, and has a strict no-logs policy. However, I don’t know why it’s so cheap. But keep in mind that some Surfshark features cost extra so it’s actually not as cheap as it seems at first glance. 

Table of Contents:
Thanks for your opinion!
Your comment will be checked for spam and approved as soon as possible.