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Surfshark vs NordVPN: Which is Better?

Surfshark vs NordVPN

In recent years, news of major corporate data breaches and ransomware schemes seems to lurk around every Internet corner. In a world of multiple online threats, we could all use an extra layer of cybersecurity. 

Although there are numerous ways that we can protect our online presence and personal information, using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can provide an easy method to gain peace of mind.

There are numerous free or affordable personal VPNs available for Internet users, but some are more credible and reliable than others. Among the most common VPNs, Surfshark and NordVPN stand out as two of the most popular, but which is better?   

Let’s take a look.  

A break down of VPNs

In order to discern whether Surfshark or NordVPN is the better option for your VPN needs, you need to understand what VPNS are, and how they work. VPN technology was developed in the late 1990s, and was initially used by businesses throughout the early 2000s.

The first VPNs became available for public use in 2005, and the cybersecurity tools have grown in popularity for private use ever since.    

How a VPN works

A VPN creates a connection directly between your smart devices and a private server. In the magical world of the Internet, a VPN acts as your cloak of invisibility — it hides your assigned IP (Internet Protocol) address, encrypts your sensitive personal data, and lets you access websites that have firewalls or geoblocks in place.

Different types of VPNs

The connection created by various types of VPNs remains the same, but there are four different types of VPNs used for different reasons. The categories of VPNs include:

  • Personal: Personal VPNs are the only type of VPN used solely for personal use. You can utilize a VPN on your home computer, along with any other smart devices you might use — including your Android or iPhone. This type of VPN will connect your devices to a remote, private network and enhance your online security.
  • Remote access: Remote access VPNs work similarly to personal VPNs. However, rather than connect a home network to a private server, remote access VPNs are used to connect off-site professionals to their corporate private network. Remote access VPNs are great for remote workers and enables business employees to access their private work network when off-site without risking their secure connection.
  • Site-to-site: Site-to-site VPNs create a secure, private connection between multiple networks. These VPNs are typically used by companies with multiple locations to allow servers within their network to communicate with an extra layer of cybersecurity
  • Extranet-based site-to-site: Extranet-based site-to-site are used in a professional setting, and work similarly to basic site-to-site VPNs. These VPNs are often used by corporations in a partnership to ensure secure communications between two or more businesses. This also allows the VPN to be used solely for partnership purposes.

When you should use a VPN

If you’re based in a region with geo restrictions on Internet access, a VPN can help you to bypass those restrictions. A VPN also offers added protection for online gaming, public Wi-Fi networks, cybercriminals who might target your IP address, and prevents tracking from website cookies and targeted marketing campaigns. 

The cybersecurity benefits of a VPN  

Although VPNs are an excellent way to gain access to content for online users in geo-restricted countries or regions, the tool provides numerous cybersecurity benefits as well. When comparing Surfshark vs NordVPN, it’s important to keep the benefits in mind. These benefits include:

  • Personal data encryption
  • Hides your IP address
  • Allows you to search anonymously
  • Real-time malware protection
  • Secure file transfers
  • Blocking of malicious websites
Surfshark VPN on a laptop

The pros and cons of Surfshark VPN

The Surfshark VPN  debuted in 2018, and quickly rose in popularity due its user-friendly features. Here are some of the pros of Surfshark:

  • Coverage in 65 countries
  • Connection for multiple devices using a single VPN
  • Safe and private connections
  • Affordable cost
  • No recorded data logs (this is a Surfshark policy)
  • GPS spoofing

Surfshark’s detractions are minimal, but could impact your VPN choice. The cons of Surfshark include:

  • Temperamental torrenting connections: if you’re using a VPN solely for torrenting purposes, Surfshark may not be your best option
  • 9 Eyes Alliance: While this moniker sounds more nefarious than it is, the 9 Eyes Alliance is a network of countries that promote global data-sharing. Surfshark is headquartered in the Netherlands, which is part of this alliance.
  • No router app: Many VPN providers offer an app to download for your router, Surfshark does not currently have an available router app option.
NordVPN on a tablet

The pros and cons of NordVPN

One of the first VPN options on the market, NordVPN tops “best of” lists every year, is consistently highly rated, and is considered one of the best VPN options available to the general public. It’s a versatile VPN that meets a variety of needs. 

Some of the pros of NordVPN include:

  • Ad and malware blocking
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Extremely fast speeds
  • VPN browser extensions
  • Kill switch that adds extra security and prevents accidental data exposure
  • Double VPN protection
  • Excellent for streaming, especially with Netflix
  • Dedicated IP browsing options
  • 24/7 customer support 

Even the best cybersecurity tools have room for growth. Although NordVPN doesn’t have many glitches or problematic features, it’s worth noting a few cons:

  • Limited torrenting options: Only specific dedicated VPN servers offer peer-to-peer sharing, thus it’s not a universal option on NordVPN servers.
  • Slow app connections: When using the NordVPN application on your personal computer, you might find it takes a bit of time to connect to a server. Once connected, the VPN works quickly and seamlessly, but it takes some time to get there.
  • Glitchy software updates: NordVPN offers great service, but with software updates, glitches can occur frequently.

NordVPN vs Surfshark VPN

Although Surfshark and NordVPN are run as separate companies, NordVPN merged with its Dutch counterpart in 2022. Both offer affordable options for the average Internet user, safe and secure connections, extensive regional coverage, and can work for your cybersecurity needs.

In a head-to-head competition, both NordVPN and Surfshark offer appealing and unique features. Surfshark is cheaper, but NordVPN offers more server options. NordVPN offers double VPN security, yet Surfshark offers unlimited device connections under one license. Surfshark is available in more regions, and NordVPN offers more protocols.

Ultimately, both VPN providers are excellent options for both the tech savvy and average Internet user. In the Surfshark vs NordVPN battle, both VPNs win out. It’s vital that you weigh the unique features of both before making your selection, but both offer extra cybersecurity that isn’t provided through standard IP address connections.

Explore the cybersecurity tools offered by What Is My IP Address, and check out our blog for the latest in cybersecurity insights, tips, and trends.

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