When it comes to investing in a long-term Virtual Private Network (VPN) subscription, it can be difficult to choose between two popular options. Between Surfshark and NordVPN, both offer a great user experience and great customer service.
So how do you choose the best VPN for you based on the plans and features it offers?
Where are Surfshark and NordVPN servers based?
Using a VPN that offers servers in places of interest is essential, whether for privacy reasons or to bypass geo-restricted content.
Surfshark offers more than 3,200 servers in 65 countries. As a company, Surfshark operates out of the British Virgin Islands. But note that despite being a British Overseas Territory, the British Virgin Island is a self-governing state and is not a member of the Five-Nine or 14-Eye Surveillance Alliances like the United Kingdom.
NordVPN has servers in 60 countries but offers more than 5,000 servers to its users. NordVPN’s head office is based in Panama, a country with no internet content restrictions or mandatory data retention laws.
Surfshark vs NordVPN: which is more secure?
Surfshark and NordVPN both use AES-256-bit encryption to secure your web traffic, but only NordVPN uses end-to-end encryption for data in transit.
Another difference is the VPN protocol. Surfshark uses OpenVPN and IKEv2 by default, both of which are incredibly powerful and fast tunneling protocols. NordVPN uses Next Generation Encryption (NGE) in the IKEv2 / IPsec protocols.
Surfshark vs NordVPN: additional features
Besides being great VPN providers, Surfshark and NordVPN offer additional features and services to make your internet browsing experience safer and more enjoyable.
- Fractional tunneling: With split tunneling, you can have two different Internet connections; one with a VPN and one without. For example, you can use a VPN to watch Netflix and simultaneously scroll through your local social media feed.
- Immobilizer: A kill switch is a security procedure that keeps your data safe and your IP address hidden. When enabled, your connection drops as soon as your VPN connection fails or is interrupted.
Additional features offered by Surfshark
- CleanWeb: CleanWeb automatically blocks trackers and malware, and intercepts phishing attempts for a safer browsing experience.
- Multi-jumps: With MultiHop, you can redirect your traffic through an additional VPN server to add a layer of security and fingerprint masking while you browse.
- Camouflage mode: Camouflage mode prevents your Internet Service Provider (ISP) from knowing that you are using a VPN in the first place.
Additional features offered by NordVPN
- CyberSec: CyberSec is a feature that automatically blocks websites that contain malware and suspected phishing scams.
- Double VPN: With Double VPN, you can redirect your traffic through two NordVPN servers and have your data encrypted twice for added security and privacy.
- Onion over VPN: NordVPN allows you to redirect your traffic from any of its VPN servers through the Onion network without having to install The Onion Router (Tor) browser.
How easy are Surfshark and NordVPN to use?
Surfshark and NordVPN are not technical tools that require prior knowledge or skills. They were designed to be used by average people.
Both VPNs have official apps on Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, and Linux devices, in addition to some browser extensions on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Installation is straightforward and follows standard procedures with easy-to-follow and intuitive instructions.
But depending on how many devices you need to protect, a service may better meet your needs. NordVPN allows you to connect on up to six devices by subscription. Surfshark, however, works on an unlimited number of devices, making it suitable for families and users with multiple gadgets.
How to use the Surfshark desktop app
As soon as you launch the Surfshark desktop app and sign in, you’ll be presented with a list of locations. There is also a “Favorites” tab where you can keep your favorite servers for quick access.
You also have the option of “Quick Connect”, which you can adjust to mean “Fastest Server” or “Nearest Country” by clicking on the three lines in the right corner of the button.
How to use the NordVPN desktop app
As soon as you launch the NordVPN desktop app, you’ll be greeted with a simplified map of the globe with all available NordVPN servers marked. On the right, you have the list of countries and locations offered by NordVPN, as well as recently used servers.
Although you have a “Quick Connect” button at the bottom of the screen, you can choose a server location from the list or by clicking on it directly from the map.
Can you stream using NordVPN and Surfshark?
To watch something online that is not available in your country, you need a VPN to hide your IP address. Fortunately, Surfshark and NordVPN are able to bypass geo-restrictions on Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, YouTube, Spotify, Paramount +, and Amazon Prime.
The open streaming feature is available on all Surfshark and NordVPN servers, so you don’t need to change your server location to stream.
Surfshark vs NordVPN: torrents
NordVPN and Surfshark allow you to download torrent files at high speed without exposing your IP address. You can torrent on all Surfshark servers except those in countries where torrenting is illegal.
With NordVPN, however, you can only torrent using certain servers. But there is no need to worry because over 3,000 of their 5,200 servers are open to torrenting.
Surfshark vs NordVPN: pricing plans
You can get a 2-year Surfshark subscription for just $ 2.49 billed at $ 59.76. They also offer options for six-month subscription plans at $ 6.49 and one-month subscriptions at $ 12.95.
NordVPN’s cheapest plan starts at $ 3.67 for a 27-month plan, billed at $ 99.00. You can also get NordVPN for a year at $ 4.92 and for a single month at $ 11.95.
Payment options and refund policies
Both services accept payments by credit cards, cryptocurrency, PayPal, and GooglePay.
Surfshark offers a seven-day free trial, as well as a 30-day money-back guarantee in addition to the free week. NordVPN, however, does not offer a free trial but does guarantee a 30-day, no-questions-asked money-back.
Still not sure? Try both!
Making a decision between two outstanding VPN providers comes with a lot of doubting and questioning of your decision. So, why not try Surfshark’s free trial and NordVPN’s money-back guarantee to test which one you like best?
In fact, you can take advantage of MUO’s exclusive offers and get three months free on NordVPN today.
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